Archives for posts with tag: tears falling

How am I still so fragile? After all this time? Tears come and go. At this point, after days of it, I’m not even sure why. Post-menopause, it “shouldn’t be” hormones… but… I keep fucking about trying to “fix shit” with my body as I age, so… I don’t know. Anything I take to remedy some ailment or condition has potential to fuck with my body’s systems and my emotional balance, so… yeah. I just know the world is too much for me. Just… all of it.

…I keep finding myself weeping and in real emotional pain… but why, for fucks’ sake, why??

…I mean… I guess it’s enough that the world is this messy strange violent circus of nightmares, with an ever-increasing body count. That, by itself, is worth weeping over. I just can’t sustain doing all the fucking crying, by myself. It would make more sense to stop the killing, wouldn’t it? I drink more of this bottle of water sitting next to me. Tears = drink more water. A lot more.

…I have the strange slightly hilarious thought that maybe the water drinking itself is causing the tears somehow. That’s ridiculous, it’s just a passing notion.

My sleep is chronically disturbed and restless, this isn’t new, it’s just… yeah… chronic.

Ping…ping…ping…ping… work pings on my consciousness. My Traveling Partner pings me eager to iron out details for this or that, or share something cool. Ping. Scam calls. Ping. Another email. Ping. An announcement in a Slack thread at work. Ping. A walk-up co-work colleague with a question. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Everyone, everything, seems to want a piece of my attention, or a moment of my time. I feel overwhelmed, but it’s all quite ordinary. There’s nothing to see here.

A long time ago, in another life, a 14 year old me, feeling something similar, packed a small bag, and lacking any notable experience of the world, just sort of … walked away from her home, her family, and her life, headed… nowhere. Away. I didn’t have a plan exactly… I was “going to Florida”. Why? A rock star I was crushing on lived there, and… I don’t know. I thought I needed a destination? I was fortunate; I survived the adventure to return home to commonplace misery. I survived to see adulthood, to go on to survive domestic violence, military service, warfare, trauma… you know, life. I’m almost 60 now. Still holding on.

…Shit… is this about that? I don’t feel any obvious angst over turning 60, specifically, it’s more… the issues hang on right along with me. How much further does this journey go? How many more verbs are there? G’damn it – when can I relax and just fucking be?? I’m so tired…

Why do I feel so trapped?… Why does this all feel so fucking pointless??

…I’ve got tools. I’ve got verbs. Choices. This isn’t “hopeless”… just hard.

…I’ve just got to begin again. Again.

Should I even be writing, right now? Possibly not; something is clearly amiss, and I don’t know what. It started out as just a tiny bit of aggravation in the morning when my consciousness stumbled on an unasked question…what do I do with unasked questions? Well…generally… I ask them. Like words spoken aloud to another person, a question asked in the stillness of my consciousness lingers – answered or not. Since then, my day has seemed…off. One tiny thing after another… small, so small… the car I reserved was replaced with something different for an unspecified reason. Small.

There was less than a quarter tank of gas in the car, forcing me to detour shortly after I picked up the car, against a time crunch; the gas station attendant had never refueled a zip car. Small. He told me the card wouldn’t run; he didn’t realize that the reason I gave him two cards is that one had my ID # on it… apparently. Small. I wait to be refueled after finally sorting all that out with the very surly attendant. He comes back to the vehicle, hands me back both cards and says ‘That’s it, you’re all set.” I say thanks, he walks away – I start the car and prepare to pull out and freak the guy right out; the fuel nozzle is still in my car!! Apparently no, I wasn’t “all set” – or he and I had very different ideas of what “all set” means in the context of refilling my gas tank. Yelling at me in that nasty way wasn’t necessary. I know not to take it personally…it adds to the tone of the day.  Small.

Work sucked in some vague unsettling way; I feel like I’m defending my position every day, which is not comfortable at all. I also have a subtle sense that I am being ‘set up for failure’ which makes me uneasy. Feeling uncomfortable, unsettled, and uneasy are a poor fit for my particular issues – the result is problematic for interacting with others; I feel distrustful, suspicious, and on the defensive – not a good work environment for thinking, for detail oriented work, or for enjoying myself professionally. Nope, it kind of just blows. Is it work though…or is it me? Realistically, I do have to consider that question, too, because it very likely could be me.

See what I mean though? Small things, piling on, and by evening I am at the edge of tears – and at the edge of not wanting to go on. Yes – it’s as dire as it sounds, and I didn’t ease the strain on your own consciousness by softening the words. No, I’m not likely to act on feelings of despair, futility, and bleak resignation these days – or certainly not in any immediate way. It’s not who I am. I’m human, though, and I feel these feelings as intensely as any of the good ones – sometimes it seems these dark times are more intense, which hardly seems fair at all. It’s already hard enough to drag myself out of the muck, back into the light of hope, and promise, and tender kind self-care when I’m just struggling with pain or fatigue or a headache.

Shit – what set me off, right? So hard to be sure… physical pain? I deal with it every day – even the good ones. Blood sugar too low? That’s a sure-fire shitty mood in the making, and I didn’t get lunch calories on time – so that’s a maybe. I took care of that a couple of hours ago; it’s not the likely cause of the tears cooling on my cheeks now. Something set me off, and it started much earlier today… sometime around when it occurred to me to ask that unasked question. Are you curious? It was this… “What is my safety net if I lose my job, now that I live alone?” This was followed quickly by “Or what if I am seriously injured and can’t work any more? What then?” When my traveling partner lost a job years ago, I was there for him – he moved in with me, and I covered his expenses as long as he needed me too, we shared the load. When I lost a job, he was there for me, keeping me motivated, and taking care of anything he could to ensure that I could focus on my job search. When we shared a living arrangement with another partner, we were both there for her both times she lost a job, and for months.  Hell, I returned to the workforce, after I left one job for my health, to support our family when she lost her job unexpectedly. There was no question for me that this is what I do for my loved ones…only… what about me? If I lose my job now, living alone… what then? If I couldn’t work? What then? There is no one here to come home to…

Don’t get me wrong, things happen, and people manage all the time – some with incredible grace and skill and emotional balance. I’m sure I’d probably get by okay, (I always have) and I’ve never been out of work very long… although I’d be a fool if I thought that were a given. Insecurity and doubt don’t give a shit about data. Fear is an ass kicker as emotions go. Anxiety… yeah. Anxiety is an emotion that doesn’t fuck around – she’s out for pure destruction, accompanied by mocking laughter.

So. Yeah. This evening is hard. I’m writing about it because sometimes that changes things, provides me with perspective. I feel more than a little lost right now and it’s time to break out the checklist, and go down the list one thing at a time, practicing the practices, and letting the tears fall. My worst fears rarely prove to be ‘real’. The worst of my anxiety seldom lives up to the dreaded outcome promised. My doubts and insecurities are no more real than daydreams of winning the lottery. “This too will pass.” I know that – I do know that. I’m pretty sure that this sort of shit is called ‘mental illness’ precisely because I do know that – and still feel this. This? This right here is PTSD. Every scrap of this emotion feels completely irresistibly rational and real, and my brain wants very much to support it with ‘evidence’, with ‘proof’ – or at least some very persuasive argument. I undermine those efforts with mindfulness, with breathing, with awareness – refraining from feeding the demons is definitely a good practice, and it’s a place to start. I definitely don’t make decisions from this vantage point.

“I’m okay right now“. It’s a pretty critical observation, when shit goes sideways unexpectedly. It’s hard to argue with a quiet room, and solitude when it’s time to ask “who is responsible for this moment right now?” There are verbs involved, and it just isn’t as easy as it looks on paper, from the perspective of a better moment, on a different day. So here we are alone together, the woman in the mirror and I – and the self-care still matters, and the self-work is still hard, and the PTSD is still a thing, and my injury is still what it is (which is generally an inconvenient and somewhat embarrassing pain in the ass) – and the choices for how to deal with all of that still belong to me. I can only do my best – and that has to be enough.

I can begin again.

I can begin again.

Update: Just a bit later. Self-care basics are so huge. I went down my checklist and there it was – I wasn’t in much pain this morning, and although I took some of my Rx meds first thing in the morning, I overlooked later medication, and entirely overlooked the cannabis extract that is so important to my day-to-day well-being (it is the most effective thing for managing the emotional volatility of my PTSD). It’s a foolish mistake with consequences that are uncomfortable – but I really am okay, and that really is enough.