Glass Bottle on a Gravel Road

I thought my whole life was happy at my core.  For 44 years I've considered myself happy with momentary passes of sadness.  Now.  Sitting here on the most average of Sunday's, I've come to realize that my life has been sad with momentary passes of happiness.  I've just now decided to face it.  To deal with the real.

All of the busyness, pent up, nervous energy I forced myself to handle throughout my entire adult life and quite frankly a good measure of my childhood was only a distraction from my realness - my center.  But I'm tired now...and I'm tired of finding stuff to do, and lists to check off and accomplishments to file away in my mental organizer.  When I take a moment to be still, when I dare to let my mind absorb what's around me - not wander really, because Joyce Meyer says that's bad to let your mind wander because the thoughts could be negative and detrimental to your spiritual health.  Honestly, I've reconsidered this non-wandering mindset because sometimes wandering minds are creative.  And creativity cannot in itself be creative if there are fences and lines and boundaries....but with that freedom comes the risk of danger.  Areas that are dark, murky, sinister and lonely.  Lonely seems to be the worst - because you're not afraid when you're lonely - you're just sad.  Dark murky and sinister generate fear - which is an emotion that I can celebrate  - because if you're afraid - at least you're alive.  You have a pulse.  You're still here.

But sadness - which is why I began writing this to begin with once was troubling to me - but now it is comforting.  I can sink into the sadness of my thoughts and I don't have to fight anymore.  Like a warm bath.  Fighting is deceiving of course because it gives the impression that I've lost any sense of decorum and I yell a lot.  At my husband, my kids, the cashier or the school nurse - I don't do that.  I nod.  I slide on my dark sunglasses.  I shrug.  I go through the motions and I correct by sighing and half closing my eyes and whisper, please.  My shoulders roll forward as I chop an onion for dinner and I think to myself that maybe they should try harder not to get C's and D's since the entire reason for my working existence is to put them in a good school.  It's for them - not me.  It's a difficult thing to realize one day as you sit in an uncomfortable chair in your formal living room that you don't always get what you give.  And the reason you have an uncomfortable chair in your living room is because you settled.  You cut back.  You did without for the sake of someone or something.  Because for the last 10 years of my life - I honestly have tried to give good - but the good doesn't come back from the people you are convinced it will always come from.  People aren't wells - you think they are - but they aren't.  People want what they want - and if you can give them what they want then you've secured a safe spot on their list - until you can't give them what they want because you've run out.

Glennon Doyle Melton in her new book Love Warrior said love is not meant to last forever.  There is perennial love and annual love but love is not wasted no matter how long or brief it is.  I chewed on her thought for a few days but I've determined that in my opinion, that while I agree that love is not forever - I do believe it can be wasted.  This is a horrible line of thinking, considering that this is supposed to be an uplifting and inspiring blog website, but my sad feelings of late have motivated me to tell my truth - whether or not it is "nice" or not because I think inspiration can come from really dark places.  And I happen to be in one.  I don't recommend it...unless you like the numb feeling of watching rain, pool and puddle on the bricks of your front porch and the rain seek crevices and indentions in the brick like a watery rat in a maze.  If you stare at it long enough you see the water soak into the brick and become lost in it's rough pores.  The sadness can be hard and clinch your chest or it can be soft and slippery like your cheek on a pillow in the middle of the night.  You never know how it's going to be until you're in it.

 Glass Bottle on a Gravel Road - Original Frantic Finch

Glass Bottle on a Gravel Road - Original Frantic Finch

I'm more of a filling up accounts type of bird.  I believe that relationships are investments.  You deposit, You withdrawal, but at the end of the month, year, decade the account better have some return in it.  If you only deposit and the other person in the relationship only withdraws from it - then the relationship is not in balance.  Children are the exception to this rule because most parents will deposit more than kids will.  But ADULTS have to be conscious of this.  The good-old boy network gets this.  John pulls David out of the mud with his truck.  David helps John chop wood to stock up for winter.  Give/Take.  Even/Steven.  But I've had two experiences lately where I have poured at least a decade and a half into people who repaid me with nothing but indifference.  One group I'm glad is gone.  The others hurt more than they'll know.

Good doesn't always get good. You don't always get what you give. The image that comes to mind is an ordinary glass bottle - like a clear, Cheerwine bottle with red lettering.  If you skip this bottle down a gravel road, then it will spin and rattle and ting with glassy musical sounds the first six or eight or fifteen times you throw it.  But, eventually - it will break.  My love is not a soft, squishy beach ball.  It's not even more firm like a racquetball which can take a beating even if it's on gravel and not a gymnasium wall.  It's an empty glass bottle which fills up with what it's given - and lately it feels like a whole lot of nothing and gets tossed on gravel to see if it will survive - this time.

Now it seems completely awful for me to say these things - about a whole lotta' nothing and emptiness and sadness and rain especially when there are about a million people in this world who would be more than happy to change places with my delightful little life...because it all looks good on the outside.  Loving husband, great kids, house in a nice area, two working cars, two jobs, - it looks like the writer behind Finch has got all of her S*&% in a pile so why in the world would she need to love or support or help?  The writer behind Finch doesn't need anything because her happy little family have got it all together.

Then I rationalize - people don't think this  - they don't take the time to think that maybe the writer behind Finch might need love or support or help because  - here's a NEWS BULLENTIN - they aren't thinking of us.  No one is sitting around their living rooms thinking about the Finches.   There's a loud, booming dance noise muffled by a heavy door coming from a party we don't belong to...but I don't want to belong to it.  I just want the noise to stop.  The reason they aren't thinking about us is because we appear strong.  We seem to have it together.  People donate time and energy to the train wrecks, the weak, the ones without family or another type of support system.  But it's an illusion.  Strong on the outside doesn't always reflect the soft, chewy cancer eroding relationships on the inside.  The support you think we have is false.

It's all paper mache.  Our relationships are as strong and reliable as paper napkins in a rain soaked fast food parking lot.  Deteriorating. Helpless.  There's no more fight in me now.  I am sleepy and my eyes are swollen from all the tears.  I've laid down my weapons.  I can't fake anything right now.  I cannot fight for my happiness, or yours for that matter.  I am sinking into my comfort of sadness which is a personal choice to survive without medication or therapy.  My husband believes I am a high functioning: which sounds like a wonderful accolade if he weren't referring to a level of depression that I've been battling since I'm not sure when.   Buried underneath this high-strung nervous energy of to do lists, accomplishments and responsibilities, lies an empty, broken glass bottle thrown on the gravel one too many times.