Sunday, November 20, 2016

Solitude vs. Isolation

I am pulling back these days. I have never been in this place before and I can only think that it is a tribute to the emotional health that I have been able to piece together through the years. I am a "never give up," "we don't quit," "I will forge on ahead even if it kills me," type of person.

However these days I just don't have it in me and I am finding that it's really very comforting, quite lovely actually, to step back and let others take over, and care for me. I don't have to manage and be in charge or be participating in something that is useful every single moment of every single day.

Let me tell you that I am a doer. Doers, at least this is true of me, are afraid of being let down, so they do everything themselves. I should just speak for myself really, but I have a feeling, I might not be the only one and at the very least my true confession will let anyone else know they aren't alone. It is a little vestige of fear and control that I have not been able to let go of....and it all looked so nice. Lol I was the hero, the one who could do it all, who everyone could count on....until I wasn't. The problem with this is that we, I, rob other's of their chance to serve, to feel good for helping, to feel like they are a necessary part of something. It put me on top and you beneath. My need for this sort of affirmation has been so all encompassing that I have not been able to scoot over and make room for anyone else to be the hero, the shining star, the one that is needed.

The dad, bless his heart, has always just stepped aside and allowed me the freedom to pursue whatever I wanted, to fill this deep chasm of need that I have been compelled to fill...he was content for the most part to let me bull doze around doing a million things, while he played board games with the kids. My guess is that he was wiping his brow in relief that I knew enough to not seek all of that positive affirmation from him. My analytical, problem solver, linear thinker of a husband would have stared back at me, wide eyed, and wondered where to begin.

What me stepping back and acknowledging that I can't do it all, that I NEED help, that I NEED my family to rally around me for once, that I don't have the answers that we need....that maybe no one does and we just need to keep on moving forward doing the best we can....what this has given to me is a chance to rest and a chance for those I love to rise to the occasion. And they have. A hug here and there, a foot rub, a TV show chosen to share with me because they think I will like it (I NEVER watch TV and it's a source of pride with me that I do more useful things than zone out watching TV... I can really be awful,) a text saying that they love me, help around the house, help with all the driving we do, help with cooking and cleaning, taking over some of my responsibilities so that I can just be.

I have stepped away from some volunteer positions for a minute, I left Facebook for the holidays....a friend once called me "The Mayor of FB land." Not funny. I feel the need to focus on the here and now, the concrete of my daily life, be present in today with those closest to me. I'm keeping our holidays simple. They are an incredibly challenging time for me. I knew that watching everyone's "perfect" holiday FB moments played out over my iPad screen would be too painful this year, so I walked away until after the new year.

Not to mention all of the election awfulness going back and forth. For the record, I didn't vote for either of our top candidates so I knew that my "by default" pick wasn't going to win....but I couldn't in good conscience in all of my glorious freedom vote for either one. So for today I feel that we all need to live by being true to who we are, in love and kindness with one another, and let's see how things play out. I know.....simplistic. But it's all I have right now. If we all conduct ourselves in love and care for our fellow children of God, how can we go wrong?

So if I'm not around for awhile, you will know that I am just resting. Trying to take it slow. Trying to get through the holidays with some joy and a semblance of sanity. I am reachable through email Thank you to those of you who have reached out and checked in. That has meant so much to me.

Bless us all. May each of you, my readers and friends, find your way to peace and good will toward all men. Much love to all.....


Birdie said...

Facebook is a soul sucking waste of time. I wish I had never signed up. I need a break and I have only been on it for 6 months.

Remember the "moments" others post are likely staged and the picture posted are the best of many taken. It's not reality. Why do people do that?

Anonymous said...


I'm so glad that you're taking some time to take care of yourself. I'm not on facebook and never have been ... for the very reasons you talked about here.
I hope you have simple, peaceful holidays and look forward to reading whenever you feel like posting.


Grace-WorkinProgress said...

I think it is better to do this on your own terms instead of having some illness force you to see the exhausting world you created for yourself. It is going to feel strange not to be the keeper of all things. You will lose some people and at times you will want to do anything to fill the void you have created. Filling the void is a habit hard to break. If you hold on the void is where the real healing begins and if you don't freak out you will find a place of peace that surpasses all understanding. It will be uncomfortable for those around you they will have to grow too but it is worth it. This is what I know for myself.

Anonymous said...

Acknowledging that we can't do it all is such a simple thing but so hard for so many of us. I have just begun to use the phrases: I can't ... No ... I don't know ... I need some help with ...

Mostly I have learned that good things will eventually happen if I keep the focus on myself and take care of myself.

All hard to do though!

Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful I found you in the far reaching corner of the internet.



Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing this annette. i too am sort of stepping back. a lot of it is from sheer exhaustion. i've been on this road of addiction with my son for 10 long years now and it's really catching up with me. i feel that if i don't start taking very good care of myself this disease will take another victim, me. i'm so v tired of the worry and the writing on the wall and every single aspect of this cruel disease. i'm afraid my son is at the end of this disease too. he had 9 clean months which is a miracle and then relapsed/od'd badly and has been on the worst binge of his life. it's frightening to watch and heartbreaking too. at this point i think death wouldn't be so bad. the torture he's in must be unbearable. anyway, sorry for going on but i really have related to you over the years and this post speaks to me. x

Annette said...

Anonymous, I hear you. I so hear you. I had a friend who lost her son to an overdose and when I gave her my condolences, she hugged me and said, "I'm fine. I'm sad and I miss him but I know where he is now. It's over for me....I never have to worry or lay awake wondering, again. You are who is still in the thick of it. It's harder for you." I've NEVER forgotten that. At the time I was appalled, but today, 8, 9, 10 years later....I get it, and I so understand that death doesn't always feel like the worst outcome. I'm so sorry for your pain. Please know you can email anytime and we can talk privately. I'm just a mom like you, I have no answers, but I know we can't do this alone.