Behind This Mask, I'm Not Me
I don’t even know how to do it … to start, I mean, because the whole thing is so complex and meandering. Like any woman’s brain, one thing leads to another, and like any neuro-divergent, the easiest path from here to there includes a jaunt over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house, and yeah, she’s a part of all of this too isn’t she? So, really how do I start?
My supervisor at work says the best place to start is … wait for it… at the beginning! We enforce financial child support obligations. It’s complex too, and one thing always leads through the woods and before the answer is discovered, five more questions pop up. But always she reminds me to start at the beginning. I’m not sure that works in this situation, this revealing of my not so deep, dark secret, but a confession of the one that’s right on the edge of the slippery slope where everyone can and has seen me frolic.… Yeah… the beginning is not going to work.
I’m not me right now. I know me, I know who I am, but I’m kind of lost. There are plenty of reasons why but this is where I’m at and writing has always soothed me and been a part of me and… well, I have a blog, might as well use it...
I have always considered myself an odd duck, the older I get the more I think most people think this about themselves on some level… “I am different than the rest.” So maybe I’m not as odd as I think, but I suspect I fall somewhere on the quirky side of life, because of ADHD? because of upbringing? because of my controversial artist mind? Who knows.
I also know I tend toward depression. Depression coupled with ADHD is more like a frenzied, fury of pent-up energy unsure of where to go or what to do than it is a feeble soul curled up in bed wishing the world away. The best I can describe it is like one of those mini-penny-cars from my childhood. The tiny, rubber-wheeled cars had a slot in the back where a penny could be inserted for weight. The car was spring loaded and after it was pulled back, it could be let loose. They would do wheelies and spin like crazy but never really go anywhere. Forget putting one on a track to get from A to B, or write a book, nope, just a bunch of kinetic energy turned loose for no particular reason.
I have an incredible urge to run, run far and fast, to start over, not so much to escape but to take away the burden that is me… like this… from those I love most. It does almost seem like a better idea to leave than to put them through this. I was a fun chick, I brought joy and love, now I suck the life from people. It’s not what I want to do.
I have my moments of happiness and joy, I have a divergent attention span how could I not? I can be genuinely tickled by something or caught up in passion and everything, everything seems good and right in the world. I can do my job, tell my husband good things, learn, write, help people but the car keeps pulling back and the energy has to do something and usually the frenzy isn’t pretty.
I have a new life. It’s a great life. Together my new husband, Jeremy, and I are realizing things both of us have dreamed of... but it is not what it once was. Jeremy says it’s probably part of the grief cycle, but I don’t want to grieve. I was left! Now I have this great man who loves me so wonderfully and communicates in a way I can understand, why would I want to grieve he who left me any longer or the family that once was but by now would be grown-up and different anyway?
I have lost much of my spiritual strength and fellowship. I never quite replaced the church I had in Arlington but I haven’t found a church home since I left Leavenworth in 2015… that’s a long time with no church roots. Maybe I’m picky but nothing’s been quite right. Well, Calvary Crossroads, but then I moved right when I was settling in. I tried to find something closer but nothing yet. I feel far from God. I don’t memorize like I used to and feel like I’m always on the spiritual defense. I’m exhausted, and I know I brought this on myself but I need a safe place to spiritually land.
I am terrified of being left again! I’ve never been an anxious person, but I actually have anxiety over it and fluctuate between clingy, needy and desperate and ready to pack my bags and go do it on my own so I don’t have to fear being left again.
My gramma is fading away. She’s my steady in life. I do not know life without her. She didn’t answer the phone yesterday when I called, how long until she never answers? How long until she forgets me? It’s hard enough to take care of her bills and finances but the fact that I’m doing it because she’s going away and my aunt is sick makes it so much worse.
And then there’s the thing… all of that purge above is probably just a cover for it, maybe? No, I think they’re valid reasons to be “lost,” but the thing… the thing... is really probably THE issue. But I guess I have another week to prepare to go there, because I’ve used up all my words for this post...
Here we are, another year down, another opportunity to reflect and, as it turns out for me, re-direct as I look toward at the new year. I am unashamed to admit that I’m a planner, goal setter and resolution maker. I have great expectations for 2019… you know the books (reading & writing them), the races (a 5k and at least one half-marathon), the growth (spiritually, physically, financially, emotionally, relationally), the trips & travel, remodel & reconstruction, and letting go of alcohol… or making it let go of me (but I’m still not quite ready to write about that...yet).
I don't think there's ever been a year where I've met all my goals (or even 50% of them) but oh how I love the process of looking forward and developing the life I’ve been given!
It's fascinating to me how some people don't plan. I asked people, “Do you make new year’s goals or resolutions?” I got a ton of answers. I identified with goal setters, but the non-goal answers intrigued me. It’s like another language I can’t understand. I appreciated the answers and though I still don’t get it, I hope I heard the heart behind their answers.
For many, the reason for not setting “New Year” goals or resolutions was an aversion to waiting, for a particular day. If I comprehended correctly, these people live in “the moment.” For them, there’s no better time than now, no reason to wait for later. They make a goal and set off on the journey immediately. They don’t hesitate. It was beautiful to me, and I suspect these, non-new year goal setters also start workout routines or diets on Wednesdays or Saturdays, and don’t wait until Monday. I bet they “strike while the iron is hot” and seize opportunities as they present themselves. It’s a beautiful perspective!
There was another group who didn’t plan or plot because of fate, or God. This group felt that a plan would somehow thwart or be thwarted by God, or fate and so they therefore resist the urge to plan out of obedience, or resignation to their Higher Power. This, of all the perspectives, was most difficult for me, and because it is so foreign to me, was fascinating. I can’t imagine just living life on a whim, going where the wind or Spirit leads (although this year, living with the Chicken Farmer, I’ve come to see it in action). Because of my ADHD I screw up more than I’d like to admit with scheduling but still, I need a plan! I need to know what’s next. To them it feels freeing, to “Let go and Let God” to release control, to “follow your bliss”… to me, it feels aimless, like a ship with no anchor or compass. A life lived un-tethered. Not wrong, just foreign to my natural sensibilities.
A third group’s reasons for not setting goals were fear based: Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of change, fear of the unknown, the stress the goal can create, or the concern that their planning for the future some how denotes a lack of trust in God. It makes me sad that people would resist setting a goal because they are afraid.
All of this reflection on other’s answers is simply to speak my peace quietly and clearly: The world needs spontaneity and, in many ways, I wonder what it would be like to “be like that.” I am different. I relish the challenge of a task; like a gauntlet, laid out before me, I’m energized by the work a goal requires and trust in the Lord to lead me… or re-direct me as He has for this year. I trust God to give me vision, to guide me on the journey I have prayed, planned and prepared for. Clearly, God has designed and created me to love a good plan (even though I often fail when I make them), to crave challenge and character building conquests (even when some of the character traits are so ingrained it’s almost impossible to change), and to sally forth ever onward. I can question who I am, why I love to organize my life and make plans and set goals even when I know I’ll fail and fall short; or I can trust God made me just as I am. It's not wrong for me to love new beginnings and look forward to starting lines, it's not wrong for others to wing-it and go where the Spirit leads, we are all uniquely and wonderfully made and it makes for a beautiful mosaic of humanity.
Happy New Year… may the LORD bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you and give you peace as you journey through life in 2019!
Buy me a coffee to support my blog: