When Everything Else Is More Important

I don’t want to turn this blog into just a random daily diary of woes. That won’t help anyone but me. However, I need a spur to continue. I haven’t been writing. I haven’t been eating well. I haven’t been exercising. I have been anxious and depressed. I have been worrying about everyone and everything except myself. I write that after using “I” or “me” in every sentence. I I I me me me… It’s a fear, to be so self-centered. When you wake up every morning feeling every muscle and joint aching and you’re more tired than when you went to sleep, it’s hard not to be self-centered. It’s a danger, to be so self-centered. When you focus on those aches, the fatigue, the despair, the anxiety, it enhances it, and the rest of the world no longer seems relevant or important.

There has to be a fine line…somewhere.

After all, if you aren’t mindful of your own needs – wait, back up. After all, if I’m not mindful of my own needs, I can’t be healthy. If I’m not healthy, I can’t help anyone else. Mindfulness is an issue lately. It seems I’m helping everyone except myself.

  1. At work I help the program directors, the residents, secretaries, the people wandering lost in the hallways. My only escape is to close my office door and hope no one knocks while I’m at lunch.
  2. At home I struggle to find time alone – which is why I’m writing this at 5:26 AM – and when I insist on time alone, I struggle to feel okay about insisting on it. I’ve lost my truly down weekends, when I could close the door on the world and regenerate. Would I trade Terry in to get those weekends back, heck no. But right now we’re living in a basement waiting to build a house in the spring. It’s more than Terry and me and the snuggle bunnies. That perfect silence, when I choose what I allow, when I choose any and all intrusions into any of my senses, is gone. I’m not regenerating, and I can feel my energy draining out of me.
  3. In my finances, I make more now than I have ever made, but I’m struggling, again because I’m not living just for myself. It’s too easy to just say okay, I’ll take care of it, give in, spend too much on other people’s needs, and forget my own. Retirement is a pipe dream. The house is my dream, but if I were still alone, I would still be in my little broken nest. Sometimes I feel invaded and with that comes resentment. Sometimes I see broken promises and with that comes disappointment.
  4. In my country, I feel powerless, confounded, absolute fear. In many ways, the last two years of a bizarre, unthinkable government is an impetus for the state that I’m in now, more than anything else. I’ve been thrown back into the horrible days of my youth in Chicago, haunting echoes of people shrieking at each other, epithets that I refuse to use. I find my own sensibilities challenged – I used to be frustrated by paranoia about Russia (just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you). I find myself struggling with a deep-seated prejudice of my own: old white men. I just want them to  shut up and retire, go play checkers in the park. I want the government to stop spending money. Wait, I’m not a conservative. All my worries about the republican party have come to fruition. No, it’s not the republican party anymore, but they have proven they are definitely not family-values, small-government, fiscally sound. You can tell, I’m overwhelmed by the state of my country. But I’m letting that pressure – things I can’t fix unless I go into politics myself – overtake all other considerations.

Lately I have let the world invade, my family and friends invade, my colleagues invade, everyone except myself. Mindfulness is a pipe dream. And as mindfulness goes down the pipes, so does my well-being. As my well-being disintegrates, so does my ability to help anyone, myself, my friends, my family, my colleagues, strangers.

Starting by writing this blog, something I haven’t done since October last year, I’m going to babystep back into wellness. One step at a time. I don’t expect to ever wake up rested and painfree, but I can work on waking up content and grateful for all the wonderful things in my life instead of blind (or suffering macular degeneration) to all the people who are there for me, who aren’t trying to make my life more difficult or stressful. I can wake up with gratitude. I’ll babystep myself back into gratitude.

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