Tales from the Dark Side

I don't usually blog from the dark side. If I do, I usually think of something happy or mundane to talk about. But, I thought, just this once, I'd let go and see how it goes. This will never be what my blog is about. But, just for one day, I thought I'd see if this is the self indulgent thing I need to do to start feeling better.

Today started as another dark day at the end of a couple week long string of dark days. Days when I felt so down that it was all I could do to go to work and smile. And, time is missing. What happened during those days other than me staring off into space without the motivation to pick up a pencil? I know that I was doing things. I turned in work. I can see progress. There isn't a pile of dishes next to the sink. Stuff was done. But all I can remember is the blank spots in between when nothing really happened. Time whooshed by and left me standing in the road, dazed.

And, everybody wanted something. Some decision. And, it was all I could do to get a glass of water. Looking through a child that wanted attention. Looking past the aging dogs. Getting frustrated by the questions of a man that just wanted me to tell him what he could do that would make me feel better. And, I couldn't answer because I didn't know.

It's like I wasn't even there. And, the whole time thinking if I could just do one self indulgent thing, it would be for me and I'd feel better. So, I self indulged. I hid away from everything and everyone. I closed the sewing room door and shut out the world. And, I was selfish in my self indulgence. It wasn't self indulgence to give me anything. It was self indulgence to not give anything to anybody else. And, justifying it by saying that if I just do one thing for myself, I'll start to feel better. And, doing everything for myself and not feeling any better.

Unable to enjoy the trees because the forest is so daunting. A myriad of problems that need to be solved. Too many expectations that I can't meet. And, I lose track of any one thing I could do because I can't find it in the pile of things that need to be done.

And, hoping nobody notices that instead of trying, I've sat down.

I'm pretty sure that I can only write this because I have started looking at the trees and forgetting about the forest. Before now, it was thinking what I'd write in my blog for the day. And, when I let thinking about that be all I thought about (a single tree), I figured out how to get it done.

Next, I'll brush my teeth and put on my shoes. I'll worry about what comes next when I get there.

I hope that there will be some brilliant p.s. later in the day that describes what happens after that. I'm thinking there might even be some sunshine. Just because I picked one tree to look at, one problem to solve, one thing to focus on. And, I can handle one thing. Any one of the single things that needs to be done. One thing at a time.



Auntie Em said...

Awww, Lane. I'm very sorry that your are feeling so down. You really sound overwhelmed. Don't know what to say that will make you feel better except that I admire the job that you do and the care that you show to others.

Shirleymac said...

I'm sorry you've been going through a dark time. I've been there. It's like watching life through a movie camera, I'm not there. It's very difficult to pull out of but I agree doing just one thing for myself is the beginning of rising out of it. For me it's usually going out... even to the grocery store. That way I am giving myself alone time. I don't have to listen to what's going on in the next room or see that dust on the tables. Then I start slowly. I will dust one table and when I'm done that if I feel like it I will dust another. And before I know it the dust is cleared away.

Bonnie K Hunter said...

Lane, this is for you! I saved it after reading it this morning not knowing what I was going to do with it, thought I'd keep it to myself rather than post it, but I just read your post, and...yep. There's a reason this came to my email this morning!

You can’t change your entire life.
You can only change your next action.

You can’t change a relationship with a loved one.
You can only change your next interaction.

You can’t change your entire job.
You can only change your next task.

You can’t change your body composition.
You can only change your next meal.

You can’t change your fitness level.
You can only start moving.

You can’t declutter your entire life.
You can only get choose to get rid of one thing, right now.

You can’t eliminate your entire debt.
You can only make one payment, or buy one less unnecessary item.

You can’t change the past, or control the future.
You can only change what you’re doing right now.

You can’t change everything.
You can only change one, small thing.
And that’s all it takes.

viridian said...

I say "me too" to what Bonnie posted.
I hope you feel a little better, getting some of this out of your system. And some (most?) of your readers have been where you are, at some time or another.

lw said...

I had to stop and thank God that I haven't felt this way for years. When I did (I had three teenagers at home and I was working a lot of overtime) I used to daydream for a few minutes at a time. I would picture myself buying a saxophone and getting really good at it, then buying a Harley Davidson and hitting the road. Alone. Funny thing is now that they're grown, I think that my old daydream sounds really lonely. At the time it was a lifeline, picturing the freedom and the open road...

Take a deep breath, Lane. As my dad used to say, there's good days coming. We just need to keep going till they get here.

Cynthia L. said...

Lane, as stated by others, we have all had these days. I think that when we are "givers," as I believe you are, we get overloaded and just want to shut down. I know that you will pull yourself out of this, but give yourself time. We all have to go through the dark to get to the light. Know that we all support and care for you.

Patricia said...

Life does get in the way doesn't it. I think you actually did the right thing. Sometimes you have to acknowledge something in order to get over it. Sorta like "naming" it. It gives you some direction I think. Just know that you aren't the only one who finds themselves under a "cloud", you will not be the last and in fact you may find yourself in this "valley" again. You though know I think how to climb that hill and get out. Sending positive thoughts your way!!!

Becky said...

I've been in the forest before too, Lane. Not pretty. Thankfully there is daylight around to find. You're on the right track....one thing at a time. When I think of all the things I need to do or is expected of me I become overwhelmed and essentially paralyzed to the point I just sit and do nothing! I just can't find the end of the string in the wad of to-dos to begin. Hang in there. Love ya!

Coloradolady said...

Lane, Oh boy....I know exactly what you are feeling, I have been in the forest before and was lost for a few years. I just thought of this very thing the other day, years lost, days lost, moments lost....for what??? Because I could not see the light and turned away from everything inside....it was not pretty.

I still struggle today, but feel it coming on and try and talk myself or refocus to keep myself in the meadow and not the forest...because I am afraid of going there again.

It is hard. I am thinking about you dear friend, just know you are not alone, that I know you can not just snap out of it, and thinking that better times will come does not help in the moment either. Yes, they will come, and this may pass...but it is a terrible struggle until it does. Hang in there....

Off to start dinner, and eat on my "new" plates....that I dearly treasure!

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Everything I want to tell you has already been said by other people that care about you.

One step after another, one foot after the other .That's how you get through this.

I'm thinking of you.

Elizabeth said...

Not sure exactly what to say because I know that words won't make it better for you. But you have been heard. I hope that helps, a little.

Nancy said...

Sometimes one thing is all we can manage, and we need to applaud ourselves for managing even that on our dark days. I pray that not too many of these find you, but without the dark, how do we appreciate the light?