Archive for February, 2015|Monthly archive page

From the gut

Stretched. Pressured. Burdened. Constrained. Laboring under expectation. Pulled in every direction. In demand. Responsible. Needled. Tightly wound. Everything is too loud, too bright, too demanding. Swirling. Dizzy. Confused. Irritated. Annoyed. Anxious. Unsettled. On edge.

These are some of the things I’m feeling right now.

“Why” doesn’t matter. “How to fix it” isn’t the aim of this post. Sometimes you just need to say some things “out loud” (as it were), to take away their power by admitting that they exist.

My life is good, blessed, full to the brim with great things–love, family, friends, health, plenty, to name a few. But, like all of us, I have challenges, obstacles, stressors in my life. From time to time, I get to a point where the stressors swamp my brain’s ability to balance them against the always more numerous blessings in my life.

That’s when I begin to feel too much. Noise and light and smells and people’s voices and insignificant irritations (wind, dust, cold, scratchy clothing, inane remarks, intelligence-insulting tv commercials, etc.) all become needles that prick at my skin and psyche and sense of equilibrium until something breaks. It’s usually my temper and it’s usually at the least significant thing.

Most times that breaking of temper manifests in me shouting or throwing something in the solitude of my car or office or bedroom. Aside from the occasional snapping at a sales guy or speaking more sharply than I intend in making a point, I am usually pretty good at not taking my temper out on others, especially innocents. But the irrational temper tantrums nevertheless happen.

They shame me. I despise that loss of control. Worse is if someone does get an unintended blast of that temper; I’m doubly ashamed of the lapse and the unwarranted discomfort inflicted on the innocent. So I actively suppress my emotions and consciously control my reactions. But I don’t always succeed.

There’s no neat and tidy resolution to this post or the conditions I’ve described. Taking time to be silent and solitary is rarely possible as, like most of us, there are people who depend on me and who need my time and attention. Sleeping more is a pipe dream for the same reasons. Vacation, travel, spa days, all suffer the same shortcomings: time, money, competing priorities. And drink and drugs (of all kinds) are out of the question for me.

So, this is my stop-gap, to vent my frustrations into the ether via this blog. I’ll survive and get past the fug of this bout of stress-induced meh. It does help to just say it to another person, to know that there’s at least one other soul in the universe who knows that a struggle is happening, even if no one can do anything about it.

Therefore, consider this my confession to the sisterhood of unresolved frustration: I’m irritated and fighting to not let it rule me, even if the irrational 2 year old in my head is screaming to throw all the things in reach and take temporary satisfaction from the shattering.

Rubicon Passed

That’s it. I’ve passed the rubicon and am forever changed.

Actually, that happened ages ago, but I am only now beginning to understand the many, varied, deep and wide results such an event can have in my personal life experience. They are wonderful, awe-inspiring consequences. And (just sometimes) they are a little bit terrifying, in the same way a great height or deep water can be terrifying and exhilarating at once.

What was this monumental turning point?

To paraphrase lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, I have “grown accustomed to her face…she’s second nature to me now”.

In short, I’ve adjusted to not being alone and have grown to love being loved. I don’t think I could ever again be content to have no love in my life. I’m forever changed by the love of a wonderful woman and so amazingly blessed to be so.

This is not to say I am unable to be alone or solitary for a time and for specific reasons. Indeed, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t occasionally need some alone time. We have to be able to be still with ourselves and enjoy the solitude of our own minds, now and then. It’s how we retain our individuality.

But as a life, as a persistent condition, I could never again choose to be the kind of alone that coincides with lonely.

Instead, by giving myself fully to a relationship, enjoying and participating in all the benefits that entails, I have been transformed. I have become something I never believed I would have the opportunity to become: one half of a whole, a partner and life companion, one of two who are one.

I’m not sure, exactly, what brought these thoughts to the top of my mind today. She’s the most frequent thought in my mind every day. But today, a day of no particular significance, I feel her physical and temporal distance from me more than ever. I have this sensation that an integral part of myself is displaced. And more than anything, I miss my Lulu.

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