Broken Tuning Knob

28 Aug

I have been trying to make myself sit down and write something personal for a little over two weeks now but when I get to the keyboard my head fills with so many things I get overwhelmed and end up playing Candy Crush. I am still distracted and unable to focus… Case in point:  after typing my first sentence I got up to use the restroom and ended up changing my close and cleaning the dust off my fan in the bedroom.  Actually, that is a totally lie! I went to my room to find something to wear even though I got up to use the restroom; noticed my fan was getting dust all over the clothes I folded and sat on my hope chest to be put away, got undressed and put on a bra and t-shirt, took the cover off the fan and tried dusting the blades with a dry paper towel, put the clothes from my hope chest that are now completely covered with dust into the laundry hamper to be rewashed, walked to the restroom to use the toilet (which is what I got up to do in the first place), washed my hands and put my hair up in pigtails, walked back into the bedroom to dress my bottom half, and then came back in here to type this sentence… NOW I am going to go downstairs and get my lemon Pledge so I can dust that fan and I will be back in a few minutes (hopefully).

Back! Fan is dusted and performing with much more efficiency I might add. That was actually an hour long break because while I was cleaning my fan I remembered that I planned to call Comcast’s loyalty department and see if I could get my bill lowered so when I finished the fan I came in here and did a little research and then called. F.Y.I, I not only got my bill lowered by $50 a month, I also discovered that I have been paying for $10 a month for a cable box I don’t even have anymore for the last year!!! BAM! The really funny thing about all of this is that I came in here to clean my office about two hours ago; I feel like I am trapped in one of those “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” books!

Fuck! Am I even making a point… where in the hell was I going with all of this? I guess my point is that I have been kind of distracted with and overwhelmed by the world as of late. My answer to being distracted and overwhelmed is apparently to further distract and overwhelm myself. I totally feel like a big defeated failure right now because I have not met a single goal that I set for myself this summer and I have grown tired and annoyed with the slow pace that I need to do things. I filled my plate too full again. I piled on all of the things that I WANT to do and told myself that if I didn’t get them done in the timeframe that I wanted them done it I would basically suck at life. So yeah, no wonder I feel like I totally suck at life!

If the world outside my head has been like the beloved Laura Numeroff children’s books that always begin with one action that triggers a series of events distracting from that action and eventually lead back to the original action, the inside of my head has been something akin to a radio tuner that is forever stuck on search mode. I get roughly a minute (if I am lucky) to think about something and then it is on to the next topic. Mostly I think about what I feel like I should be doing but am not doing. I think about each thing I haven’t done yet just long enough to sucker punch myself in the emotional gut a couple of times and then move on to the next item on my list of “should dos”.

When I get like this it is almost always because I am stuck on something I either can’t control or something I don’t know how to fix/react to. I am struggling with many things in my life at the moment. None of them are truly catastrophic issues but if I don’t know how to deal with them they remain unresolved and start interfering with my life.  I had a lot of artistic and professional goals that I wanted to meet this summer and although I haven’t met them and I am floundering a bit with how I want to move forward  with my education and professional/artistic goals, this isn’t what is giving me mental hiccups.

I have fallen off on my weight loss and exercise goals, and have even put quite a bit of the weight that I lost last spring back on. I am pretty upset about this but honestly, I know how to fix it and I know that I can fix it so I view it as a temporary setback. My body image and self-esteem issues have been around for much longer than any of my other problems so I usually just flip them the bird and move on with my day. No, what has me tied in knots right now is something far more complex than any of this but something that amplifies all of it. In a nutshell I am struggling with a lot of my relationships right now. I am too tired for conflict. I don’t want it anymore! But I also don’t want to allow myself to be sucked into situations that make me feel anxious, or bad about the world/myself, or lesser than, or chronically irritated. In short, I really have no desire to invest time or emotions in relationships that don’t work for me.

By “don’t work for me” I mean relationships that don’t make me feel good. I am not talking about avoiding all conflict all the time… shit, if I did that I would have to figure out a way to stop arguing with myself! I mean relationships that feel toxic. That have more bad than good.  That leave me drained and empty and sad. But the problem is that it isn’t as simple as just walking away. I feel like I have done a purging of friends each decade of my adult life. Around my 20th birthday I shook off the hanger onners that I wasn’t very close to from high school and some of the new friends I made living on my own that were obviously not close friend material. When I was 30 it got a little more difficult but I shook off the last of the friends I felt an obligation to because we grew up together but who clearly took a different path than I chose in life and were only going to drag me and my family down. But this one… it feels like it should be a purge but it is so much… Bigger? Deeper? Potentially more painful? More personal?

Yes! More personal! That is it. These are much deeper relationships that I don’t know how to walk away from or if I can even do that. As you have probably guessed, some are family, and some are just very long standing. These previous changes were not exactly what I would call easy or pain free, this one feels so final and life changing and more than anything, it feels more about me and how I need to grow as a person rather than who I need to have in my life or not.

I started this process a few years ago but it seems more urgent now. I have learned which relationships I want to nurture and put effort into and which seem to be a fruitless and often damaging waste of my time and energy, but learning to let go and allow the ones that don’t work to just be what they are and go where they will naturally is proving to be more difficult than I thought. I realized today that most of this difficulty comes from the fact that I care about all of these people and their feelings very deeply. These are not relationships that I want to give up on but they are situations that I don’t see changing in a significant way. At some point the pain, self-doubt, or insecurity that these situations cause me stopped being a reasonable price to pay for what joy or happiness they bring to my life. It is the longing for that joy and happiness that I must learn how to let go of… but how?


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Riding the waves of dual-diagnosis as a parent.

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