I haven’t blogged in so long, even though there’s so much I wanted to share, especially about my Napa Valley trip. But there was still so much darkness that I needed to work through and I think I just got tired of myself being in that state and assumed everyone else was tired of me, too!
I’ve been posting on Instagram regularly, which crossposts to Facebook. That’s been easier to take than long blog posts or articles. Some of that content will end up over here eventually. And, yes, I will tell you all about my Napa trip! Again…eventually.
Being tired of myself
2021 has been the hardest year of my life. If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that’s saying a lot. I’ve had some rough years – becoming a first-time mom to a nine-year-old, my daughter almost dying, leaving a 20-year-marriage, being quarantined on a literal island…
But, yup, 2021 takes the cake.
You see, I’ve always focused on other people. Growing up in a dysfunctional home, I was always aware of the moods of others in order to keep the peace and protect my younger sister as much as possible. As a teenager, I chose friends with problems bigger than mine so I could focus on their issues instead of my own. I met someone at 20 who was several years older than me and already had a job, house, and car, which signified huge stability to me. We got married when I was 21. My focus became catering to him – trying to do everything he wanted in order to keep him calm.
Then motherhood. Adopting a nine-year-old from foster care who has significant emotional special needs takes a LOT of energy.
When my daughter became a teenager, I was Mom to many of her friends, as well. One of these friends actually moved in full-time their senior year (after years of living with us part-time). I consider her my daughter as well.
I hadn’t really had friendships during my marriage. He didn’t like being around people and didn’t like me going out without him. I was so focused on his emotions I neglected my own needs. For two freaking decades.
And then being a mom consumed me.
After my divorce, I returned to old friendships and made new ones. I now see many of these friendships followed my old patterns of me focusing on their issues and ignoring my own.
And I was still over-involved in my daughters’ lives even after they went off to college.
Everything shifted about six months ago. I lost friendships so important to me and had to set boundaries with my daughters. This resulted in me being alone and having to deal with my own shit for the first time…ever.
Overflowing grief well
I saw a therapist years ago who said my grief well was overflowing and I needed to process it. I had a house and car full of teenagers throwing all their problems at me daily and an emotionally controlling husband. There was no time to process my own feelings.
And I didn’t want to.
But when I lost the people closest to me this year, I had no choice but to feel all my own issues.
Well, that’s not true. I could have easily shoved it down and made new dysfunctional friendships.
I wanted change, though. So I’ve been doing the work, feeling all the feelings. Grieving. Dealing with my traumatic childhood and considering how it impacted me. Looking at patterns in my relationships of all kinds and how I contributed to unhealthy dynamics. Recognizing my co-dependency.
And I get tired of myself. Everything I’ve written for months seems so whiny and dark. I was sure other people would be sick of seeing it. I don’t do curated. Aesthetically pleasing feeds no matter how I’m feeling? I don’t even know how to pull that off. And I don’t want to learn. I pride myself on my authenticity and ability to be vulnerable.
But I felt like where I was with all my big feelings was just too much for me to even tackle writing about it in long-form. And I definitely didn’t think anyone else would want to read it.
“I did not know that I was supposed to feel everything. I thought I was supposed to feel happy.”
-Glennon Doyle, ‘Untamed.’
I’m crying right now.
As a matter of fact, I’m crying right now. I started while typing that very first paragraph and haven’t stopped. There haven’t even been any big emotional revelations. My grief well is still overflowing. I’m tired of myself, but continuing the work I’ve avoided my whole life.
I think I need to get back to using the tool that works best for me – writing. I’ve wanted to escape my feelings and emotions when I can instead of diving deeper into them. But I think that’s exactly what I need.
And I’m going to bring you with me for at least part of that. If you want to come. It’s going to be messy. But I also plan on throwing in some lighter content, too. Because I’m looking for bright spots, even in darkness.
I’m challenging myself to blog every day this week. Maybe I’ll challenge myself to blog every day next week, too. We’ll see.
Right now, I’m still very much in “left foot, right foot, breathe” mode – an Anne Lamott quote my friend Sarah shared with me many years ago that has gotten me through so many tough times.
I’m tired of myself, but also grateful for the healing and growth happening, even though it’s been extremely painful.
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