"It’s taking a lot of effort and energy to maintain my balance and keep putting one foot in front of the other."

“It’s taking a lot of effort and energy to maintain my balance and keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

Yep, that’s how I feel right now… ugh! It’s such a simple sound, guttural and raw, but it imparts so much meaning.  I just feel ugh.  Maybe it’s this streak of cold weather that’s keeping us indoors again.  Or the fact I haven’t opened a window in the house in what seems like forever and the air is getting old and stagnant.  Or maybe it’s just that lull that comes after the initial push out of the gate when starting something new.  I love writing but it’s hard not to get discouraged when few people are commenting or providing feedback, even on the one article that got a lot of readership.  It was success, but it won’t sustain the blog either.  I have to keep writing, keep putting my thoughts and ideas, that are incessantly swirling around in my head, out there.

Some days I just don’t want to though…

For the last few years, my writing has been in hiatus.  Writing was always my way of processing how I felt.  I have a cousin that I used to send long letters to on a ridiculously regular basis. It helped me work through whatever was going on in my life at the time.  That changed awhile back, it was like my pen just stopped working, the words stopped spilling forth.  I would start and I would just stop because I was afraid of where the thoughts were going and didn’t want to go where the pen was taking me.  So, like a two-year-old being made to get dressed to go to daycare, I sat on the floor, crossed my arms and refused to comply.

I just didn’t want to go there.

“Going there” would’ve meant facing truths about my health, my feelings, my relationships that I was terrified to face because I saw no real solution to any of the problems, and felt like all the work I was doing was just not accomplishing anything. What was the point?

The status of my health, my feelings and my relationships haven’t changed tremendously.  We are getting some outside guidance now, which is helping to open up the dialogues that have been way overdue, but my health is still fragile, my feelings are still crazy and many of my most important relationships are walking very narrow tight ropes, suspended above a gaping abyss. It’s taking a lot of effort and energy to maintain my balance and keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Falling doesn’t feel like a real option, yet… Maybe that’s because I don’t know what falling looks like. When I look down all I see is an unknown blackness. I’m at least familiar with the struggles I’m facing currently. If I fell, what then?

2014 is my year to figure this out.  I’m tired of living like this, always feeling so ugh all the time.  Even when I take a shower, I still feel dirty afterwards because it doesn’t wash away the exhaustion, the loneliness, the frustrations and the constant feelings of being completely overwhelmed by everything around me.  I have started keeping a weekly to-do list on my Facebook page Soul Nudism, hoping it will help remind me of the various tasks and phone calls I need to deal with and, at the same time, maybe help inspire others, who may also find themselves incredibly overwhelmed, to tackle their own to-do lists.

I’m trying to stay focused on the successes, the tasks I do accomplish. For example, earlier this week I finally cleaned up my youngest son’s room. It’s been on my to-do list since before Christmas. It was a huge accomplishment and to see my son so happy because he has room to play and can find his toys again, is just amazing. Plus I can strike an item off my to-do list. Victory!

But it’s hard not to also see all the items that just seem to move forward from one week to the next and I never seem to get to. It’s not that they are not important but I forget and I get busy and easily side-tracked by the needs of others. Or I’m just tired, too mentally exhausted to pick up the phone and talk to anyone or to bundle my son up in winter layers and pop him in and out of his car seat over and over while I run errands, or even just to deal with the kids’ whining and complaining. So I sit on the couch, zoned out on my laptop or cell phone, while the kids do what they want. In the short-term it’s easier, in the long-term it solves nothing and leaves my husband justifiably annoyed with me. Heck I get annoyed with me!

So what now? I keep writing, exploring, and evolving. I keep striking items off my to-do list and working towards building better habits with my kids and setting a better example as far as things like screen time and self-care go. I also need to learn to forgive myself, to stop beating myself up for a bad day or even a bad week. They are going to happen. I can give up or I can pick myself up, pat myself on the back for even the small victories, and try harder tomorrow. Really, what choice do I have? My kids will be up in the morning looking for me, not being there isn’t an option so even on the bad days, that’s a victory!