Monday, September 14, 2009

Finding a Voice

I'm really struggling in these writings to find a voice. And, I think, that struggle to find a voice is connected to the larger fight to lose weight and be healthy. Over the weekend, my husband and I were talking about some issues and I just lost it -- in that moment, I felt so misunderstood, so frustrated, so downtrodden, and so alone. He asked me what I wanted, and I could only reply that I didn't know -- that I am so far away from myself and the dreams that I had when I was younger, I couldn't even recall them any more. There's so much babble going on inside my head, I can't seem to breathe or to find the psychological space to devote time to my own happiness and health. I'm almost entirely at the behest of others -- sometimes because that can't be helped (as when my chickadees are demanding and needing attention (all the time, LOL), and sometimes that's because I add too much "stuff" to my life -- volunteering at church, visiting friends and family, taking the children on outings, etc. Life just seems to accelerate and accelerate and only screeches to a halt when I lose my mind temporarily, have a fit, then pick up the pieces. Obviously, this is not an optimal way to conduct business.

So, why is it so hard? Why is it that I can't seem to find time for the things that I love to do? Why can't I bring myself to say to my husband when he arrives home from work, "Honey, I'm going upstairs for some alone time or out for a walk? Dinner's on the table and the children are ready for bed." Could that reason possibly be that, most of the time when he arrives home from work, the house is in chaos, children are jumping off the sofa, I'm in the middle of cooking dinner, and I'm ready to lose my mind? Then we have dinner, and I start the nighttime routine. Even if we start bedtime on time (around 7:30), I'm still not finished with it until at least 8 and more likely 8:30. Then I have to clean the kitchen and try to restore some order. Sometimes, instead of straightening up, we talk or share things about our days, so clean up doesn't happen until 10, 10:30, 11:00 pm, at which point, we're both mind numbingly exhausted and likely snapping at one another. We retire to our (messy) bedroom, read for ten minutes, then pass out from sheer exhaustion -- if we can sleep or are let sleep by the chickadees. Then we wake up and do it all again. Day after day after day. I can barely take a breath, let alone take time to be healthy.

And in the midst of it all, I hear my voice getting fainter and fainter. I'm becoming someone I don't want to be -- someone who whines, who makes excuses, who takes her frustration out on others. The clarity of mind I used to have seems to have gone, replaced instead with emotionalism. I know the way out of this, but I can't seem to get going on the road. I feel stymied at every turn and get more and more frustrated, until I'm tempted to give up and just let life take me where it may. But I'm not a piece of flotsam. I have to be an agent, rather than an object. That means taking control. Deep breath. I can do this.

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