Sometimes life stings.
Oh, I’m not talking about an overflowing toilet or forgetting my wallet at the grocery store. Those types of aggravations are certainly a pain, certainly cause for spouting, “Damn it!” loudly. I’m referring to the times when my heart literary aches, when sobriety seems rather pitiful, when my head throbs from a day’s on slot.
I had a great stretch of about three years. My struggle with anxiety was rarely a struggle at all. I was financially secure, had a beau and my family and dear friends were also at high points. A cat’s scarfed up hairball or a broken washing machine were unpleasant, but not maddening. Waking to the shrill of an alarm clock was invigorating. The day ahead was met with joy and contentment.
The past year or so, I’ve had a difficult time. After a gap of 45 years, I allowed myself to come forth with the story of my molestation and a slew of medical problems left me in financial ruin. I sold my home to pay off that debt and I moved to a different town. Here I will interject that I hate change! I gained a ton of weight, experienced times of clinical depression and often felt as if I was just taking up space on this planet.
I ask for your understanding if this is sounding like a whine-fest. I don’t often fall into the category of a drama queen. I try to catch myself when I’m being bitchy and feel it is paramount to not have ugly words hurt others. This period of time is a challenge though, and life truly does sting.
I’m not alone, however. I have several close, wonderful friends and we are all struggling. I might say that this is due to some phase of interplanetary discord or karma or the state of the union or destiny, but I don’t buy those notions. Without getting into lengthy prose on my belief in a loving God, I’ll suffice it to say that I am absolutely clueless as to the ‘why’ of all this unrest.
“Stuff just happens,” I guess. After all is said and done, I find myself forcing to jot down a daily gratitude list. I’m not dealing with a fatal illness, my beloved son is thriving and the sun continues to rise each day. But, DAMN, I’m tired. I’m tired of putting one foot in front of the other. I’m tired of feeling that I have a capital ‘L’ for loser tattooed on my forehead. Mostly, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. (If that sounds familiar that is because it is an often used Alcoholics Anonymous slogan.)
Venting helps. Writing about my woes helps. I’m not suffering from a lack of cathartic options. Nonetheless, I feel stuck. I am searching for ways to get past this awful funk and I don’t think Prozac is the answer. My father used to say, “Kathy, when the chips are down, kick them around a bit. Have fun making a mess with them. But then dear, you’ll need to pick them all up and make things tidy again.” My dear, dear father…ah my, what I wouldn’t give to have him take me by the hand and tell me which pathway I should journey.
I need to stay proactive and I need to let my emotions take a sabbatical. My intellectual self is due for a tune up. I need to throw the chocolate crunch bars away and put some decent fuel into this aging body. A good book, a long walk and the phone on off would also be helpful. When I’m feeling rejected or frightened of the future, I can put those thoughts on pause and snuggle with my girlfriend, Phoebe, the cat. I could have some wine…ONLY KIDDING!!…or perhaps light lavender scented candles and soak in the bath. “Stop the world, I want to get off,” will filter through from time to time, yet I can tell myself I am a strong, worthy woman. Did I just write that? Goodness, could that be true?
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill,
of things unknown, but longed for still,
and his tune is heard on the distant hill,
for the caged bird sings of freedom.”
~ Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Signs

Katie Hiener

Kathleen Gemmell has a passion for the written word and spends her time penning in a myriad of genres. An animal rights proponent, life coach and psychology buff, Kathy dreams of winning the lottery and running sanctuaries for abused/retired circus animals. Pen and paper at the ready, Kathy will create prose on that experience. ("I can dream!") In the meantime, Ms.Gemmell is a Connecticut resident who loves being a mom and a dear friend to many. Currently writing for 3 online sites, Kathy has an awesome sense of humor and the ability to tell it like it is.