The secret to my own happiness?

I’ve worshipped “someday” for my whole life and now I cannot do that any more. I’ve comforted myself with the idea that even though right now things are not exactly as I want them to be, there is a big wide future in which all things in my life can be put right and I’ll be doing all the things that I feel I am supposed to be doing, including that one “thing” that will finally qualify me as good enough.

I have to change my outlook and shift my center. What is it that I want most? I want to get through today and be happy with myself. What do I have to do to accomplish that? I have to write something (not just journaling but actual writing). I have to eat right (count points). I have to be active in a purposeful way. And I have to do something else productive, probably making something.

Maybe the solution for me is to forget about doing anything grand and just focus on one day at a time. Just be happy for this day. God please help me to do this and to stop grieving. I will get through this and be victorious. I will endure and thrive. I will reinvent my life and be happy again.

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Am I torturing my husband?

I have to find a way up and out of this emotional pit I seem to be struggling with. I look up and see daylight and blue sky and promise. I just can’t seem to reach it. Yet. All I need is a foothold. And once I get out, I have to defend myself so as not to get kicked back in. I need to be strong on the inside and outside.

If I could do it for him, that would be so great. My secret fear is that I have traumatized him. He’s had the sinking realization that he married an insane person and he is losing hope that I will ever be well. At least the sex is good. And I don’t nag. And we have great conversations. And I believe in him. And we’ve been together for 27 years.

Wait, maybe he’s not so bad off, after all. Maybe he’s really fortunate to have me. Maybe we are truly made for each other. There are some areas where I am crazy and maybe I won’t ever be magically healed from that. But there are other marriages and relationships that we know are horrible, flat out scary. Our relationship is not that.

We are best friends, best imperfect friends limping along together on this hard road of life. I hurt him sometimes and that is up at the top of my regrets in life. He could be more tactful with me but the intent is good. Neither one of us is very disciplined in setting and achieving goals or good with money. We get by pretty well though in spite of that.

Still, he is so much better than I am. And I feel I have put him in a bad position with the slow death of my business and nothing else coming up after it so far. He has to work so hard and his body might start to have trouble keeping up. I know he is stressed. I want him to be relaxed. I want him to change what he is doing but he doesn’t feel like he has time for that yet.

Real estate would be a good option for him. If only he could just take the time to do the training.

I am going through paroxysms of stress because I feel like a lump sitting here every day not making money, when it used to be pouring into the coffers with my Etsy business. Not any more. And it puts a lot of pressure on him. And I can’t seem to find a way to replace the lost income. I have gone back into panic and anxiety mode.

I think my best option right now would be to focus on trying to rebuild the traffic to the Etsy store. It still brings in some money and maybe if I could tweak things just right it would turn the spigot back on. I have been praying that I could find the faucet and get under it.

I am weak-minded and entitled

So I clicked the “Write” button. And here I am. I’ve always been able to write well but I kind of lost my mojo, to use a hackneyed cliche. It happened way too long ago when I burnt myself out as a freelancer. I don’t seem to have ever been able to get it back after that. I’ve become afraid recently that I don’t have the ability anymore, that the brain cells that were reserved for that skill have been fried away somehow. Probably too much beer.

As I have gotten older the thoughts and ideas have become more elusive. They tease me. I have a cool thought and then another, and when I try to go back to the first one it is gone. Can’t remember it.

I may be a little negative in my focus.

This is a time in my life when my writing should be at its best. So many things get harder to do well when you’re older. You don’t fit into the job market quite as well and the possibilities seem slimmer. But one thing you can do well is write. You have a deeper reserve of experience from which to draw. You have years of dues paid. You’ve had time to hone your skills. So what am I doing here?

I realized something about myself recently. It’s not flattering. I’m not used to working hard to get what I want. And I may have a tendency to think the world owes me something just because I am “special”. I don’t know how the hell that happened and how it happened without me realizing it until now. So if I get turned down for something or pushed back or rejected, I pout and withdraw instead of shrugging and just working harder. Like my business – it did so well for quite a while without a shit ton of hard work. I mean, I did some work and spent some time building it but I wasn’t killing myself. Then it took a down turn. It slowed way down to a minimum part time job. And I pouted. OK, so I deserve a pout. But then I should have busted my ass to try to make things happen again. But I didn’t. I haven’t.

I had a relational difficulty at an organization I used to be part of. After that happened I just walked away. I had been in leadership. I had been recognized for some of my accomplishments. But as soon as I hit a challenge in which I felt personally slighted and I felt ashamed of my response to that slight, I left.

When I write about painful things, it stresses my body. I can feel it. When I am happy and distracted in life, I feel great physically. No aches or pains, no digestive issues, no fatigue. But when I muck about with memories or future worries that are emotionally painful, my body responds in kind.

What can I write about that brings me joy instead of pain? Why am I drawn to write about things that bring me pain? Do I dislike myself? Why?

Many roads have led to pain. Things that I thought were going to be joyful have ended in disappointment. But one must continue on. My life has been more painful than some and much happier than many others.

Sometimes I think I am weak-minded. I need to do some serious work on truly, finally, letting go of this stone of pain. I need to work hard for the things I want and not just expect them to come to me. Stop sitting around and waiting for life to come to me.

I don’t want to be stuck anymore.

If you knew me in person.

You would think, oh, she’s nice, or boring, or polite, maybe even amusing or funny. Clever. Sweet. Oh, isn’t she sweet? I just love her. Yet, if you only knew me via my writing, you’d think I was a negative bitch. Yet another reason I have to keep this anonymous. The secret uncensored me is a bitch who thinks you’re all stupid and life sucks. Is it any wonder I wallow in shame? Fuck. This is why I need Jesus.

Avoidant.

After I went almost all the way through design school and then quit the last quarter, I was increasingly unhappy in my marriage. Not that I had ever been blissful. I’d married him because I was pregnant. That’s what you did back then. It still wasn’t socially acceptable to just live with your baby daddy. I suppose that was a good thing in some ways for the girls, even though it ended anyway when they were six and eight years old.

But hell, I don’t want to sit here and write out a line by line account of my past. That shit hurts. I don’t like to spend too much time thinking about it. The truth is, I go back and forth on whether or not I like the person I was in the 80s. Usually I land on the side of not liking her. Which begs the question: how do I feel about myself now?

You know, there are some things I just can’t seem to get it together on. I’m not much of a people person and I guard my heart. I keep people at arms length. I am putting a long term friendship on hold because she wouldn’t take my counsel under advisement. She wouldn’t even consider it. Case closed. So I have no desire to be with her anymore. Is that wrong of me?

Here’s the thing: I have a faith. I believe in God. I even claim to follow Jesus. I don’t call myself a Christian because I think that term raises a lot of negative feelings and I don’t want to associate myself with it. I’m not like other people. Yeah, fuck, I’m special and all that, remember? Anyway, I have a faith. So shouldn’t I be willing to be a martyr and sit and listen to my friend’s problems and try to figure out a way to be able to help her even when she has rebuffed my advice?

Or should I decide what my own boundaries are and live by that without shame? Which choice is going to make me a better person?

I just don’t know.

When my adult daughter wants to come over and talk to me I cringe. It’s not that I don’t want to help her, I do. It’s not that I don’t love her. I do. It’s just that the potential emotional fallout of such encounters makes me feel vulnerable. Of course, I have a history with this particular daughter that makes me feel like a painful episode could happen again. And I try to avoid that kind of shit.

I find that as I get older I am more and more hesitant to extend myself. I am hurt and hiding in my hidey hole. I am disconnecting from more and more outside things and content to be at home, alone, no longer in the world making a difference. Realizing this disturbs me. It’s like everything I touch eventually falls to shit and I withdraw further.

It wasn’t that long ago that I decided to become part of Toastmasters. I’m a good speaker. I’m a good writer. So how much fun would that be? It would be great fun. And it was great fun. I got to write speeches and give them and critique others’ speeches. I was even elected president. And then it all fell apart one day when I was too harsh in my critique of someone’s speech and another member publicly rebuked me. I left and never went back. I will never go back. There is now shame attached to that event and that place and those people and I will never go back.

So now I am making myself cry. That’s not a good way to start the day.