My Mom noted that of late my posts have an air of “Woe is me.” To which I responded, “Well, yeah.”
I am trying not to get stuck in the Land of Self-Pity but man it’s hard these days. I cannot seem to move at an appropriate speed. I either go full throttle and feel overwhelmed or I turn completely stagnant… and feel overwhelmed.
I’ve given myself a few months to let it happen, take it easy and not beat myself up too much. So far, the results of this aren’t exactly stellar.
Okay, to be fair, I’m doing pretty darn well for someone who’s only been in an entirely new lifestyle for 6 months, with a new job for only 3 months. In my head with all the divorce stuff, I’m fine. I occasionally get incredibly angry, but that’s about it. And that, I think, is something I should feel okay about. That’s pretty above average in the coping skills department.
So yes, I’m proud of myself for moving on, moving forward, etc. However, except for facing in the right direction and taking my first couple important steps, I’ve haven’t moved forward much.
There are just so many opportunities to feel sorry for myself. So. Very. Many.
I went through this after Graham’s diagnosis and that lasted well over a year. Every time anything good happened to anyone else’s kid it felt like a slap in the face for me. I’ve moved past that, mostly, but it took a lot of time and a lot of therapy (for him and for me).
The issue now is that there are just so many ways to feel bad. It isn’t just seeing happy couples doing well. It isn’t just the anniversaries, the fancy vacations, the family pictures. It’s also the complaining.
It’s when they have a difficult family photo shoot. We aren’t doing photo cards this year. There’s the money, and then there’s the feeling of forced happiness that comes from a card with a newly-single parent who is so very obviously single.
It’s when a spouse leaves town for a couple days and they’re stuck caring for kids alone. I feel hyper-aware of the differences between my normal days and other people’s.
It’s when their work is too busy. I just think about how they’re a decade into a career while I’m starting from scratch.
It’s when a kid is sick. I’m jealous that they are already at home with that kid, and don’t have to change anything to help their child feel better.
It’s when their credit card gets stolen. Yup, that sucks, but the odds are that person has other credit cards, plenty of money in the bank, and no real harm done.
I am stuck in this place where everything that happens to everyone else is really about me. And I hate it.
I don’t want to be like this. The energy required is extensive.
The other day I walked on to a crowded bus where people did exactly what they always do and cluttered all up in the front instead of moving to the back. There was nowhere left to stand, so I asked loudly for them to start moving back only for a woman with her stroller to get in my face, immediately incensed that I’d asked her to move. I hadn’t been talking to her, of course. She wasn’t in the way. I was talking to the idiots beside her who stood there oblivious while people continued to crowd into about 5 feet of space. I avoided the confrontation but I went to my seat astonished at how much anger and energy must be required to assume that any negative thing someone says is about you. Yeah, it took me about 10 seconds to see my hypocrisy.
Maybe I don’t pick fights with people, but I do fight my own little internal skirmish. And I always lose. And everyone else’s life everywhere is better than mine.
It is pitiful, really. But it’s my default brain setting at the moment. And that needs to change.
I need to get myself together.
The holidays are coming. I don’t just have to think about a Thanksgiving without a turkey, a New Years Eve without a kiss. I also have my stupid birthday, where I have a long tradition of feeling lonely and sorry for myself instead of happy and excited. I do not want to just cope with the next 6 weeks. I want to make some merry, dammit.
I want to relax and feel like I have everything under control.
I want to straighten up my house and lose that next 5 pounds.
I want to enjoy my days alone and spend that time doing something other than recovering.
I am not exactly sure how to make all this happen. Will it work just through sheer force of will? Can I draft a check list? Is there a mantra to recite?
I have no idea. But I’m going to try.