This photo was taken last summer while out on a trail run with my running group. I wonder if this is paintable.
Here I am back in this dark place. When is this darkness going to lift? I am beginning to believe the lies my depression is telling me. I’m a loser. I will never be happy. No one cares about me. I will spend my “golden” years destitute and lonely.
Somehow it seems I have backed into a life that does not seem to be my own. I am not enjoying my job. I am not enjoying my home. I am forcing myself to go out and be with friends, but when I am with them, I cannot wait to come home.
The instant relief that used to come with helping others seems to have vanished. I feel like the life is being sucked out of me by a woman I sponsor. Every day she calls to cry, complain, freak out – over things that seem enviable to me. Her husband loves her, her parents are still alive, her brothers are available to her, she has the ability to make a living without lifetime commitments. I have grown weary of trying to care – about someone who will not make one move to change her frame of mind, so firmly entrenched in her misery. This is a woman who has “worked” the steps repeatedly and absolutely nothing has changed in nearly 7 years of sobriety. I have never seen such a thing. Never.
Other women I sponsor have “moved on” I guess. They don’t need me, therefore don’t call or even return my calls.
Meetings I attend are all about “self-esteem” and not the old message of “don’t drink – no matter what.” And they DO drink. And some of them die. But if you share a message of recovery, you are scorned and derided. It is somehow CRUEL to suggest to someone that they might try not drinking. No, you are supposed to pat them on the back and say, “it’s OK.” and the one I really love “We don’t shoot our wounded.” No, we bury them. Rather than tell them the truth, we would rather let them die. And we can feel good about ourselves at their funerals because we were always “nice.”
Thank God for the one lifeline of my old homegroup. Thank God.
All of my grandchildren are in another state at the summer home of my ex-husband. He is “retired.” He has been “retired” since long before retirement age – since about the time he married a very successful attorney. I miss them.
My job – oh my job. My boss called me yesterday to tell me that my file names need to be changed. Oh my God. A 32 year old telling me what to do on this level of detail (micro-detail) is appalling. I talked to a co-worker who is LOVING the same job. She loves it. Her nature is to blow off the criticism and just do what she wants to do. I am not built that way. I wish somehow I could change my entire personality to LOVE this job, but frankly it is just a bad, bad, fit.
And why am I doing it? I could retire now with 40% of my salary – for the rest of my life. However, I cannot live on 100% of my salary with my current lifestyle. And I cannot figure out how to change my lifestyle. Cancel cable? That’s an entire $65. a month. Stop getting my nails done? ~$50. Stop getting my hair done? – not even thinking about that one. Stop having lights and electricity? Crazy-town. Stop watering my lawn? nope. Stop taking vacations – yep. I am going to see my sister this summer. No fancy hotels. I think I need to start thinking about getting rid of my home, and maybe my car.
I could retire now and get another job. A simple job. But when I really NEEDED to retire, I would be left with the 40% – which I don’t think will ever be an income I can live independently on.
In my mind, I have all the intellectual solutions. All the spiritual solutions. I am long-practiced in living by a set of spiritual principles. I never thought I would end up in this dark, dark place after all these years. But here I am. I know I am beyond even pretending today that I can turn this around.
So I will do what I have done. I will surrender it to God. And be grateful that I haven’t been indoctrinated into the “prosperity” gospel. I know that God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. I know that this absolute despair may be a gift from him – I don’t know for what reason, but then I don’t pretend that I can understand the mind of God.
So, it’s time to put on my blue skirt and black lace blouse. My black heels. I’ll bathe and lotion myself. I will curl and spray my hair and put pretty clips into it. I will put lipstick and a smile on my lips. And go out and face the world. I will make every effort to think more about others than myself. And try to get to Mass at lunch.
Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~~ Joshua 1:9