Just passing through......

Musings of a lowly pilgrim
Life lessons | Mental Health | Vegan food

Woe is me……again!

July 23, 2018

This has been a difficult week, hence the fact that I didn’t manage to blog this past weekend. I’m trying to recall what it was like to have nothing running through my head and to be able to sleep. Maybe I spend too much time alone. I don’t know. I have tried everything natural and unnatural but nothing seems to help. I know it is anxiety but I need it to stop. I’m exhausted all of the time, but can’t seem to relax.

Somewhere in Kananaskis, Alberta

So I have begun a 30-day challenge to try to rid myself of excess weight gained while travelling, cut back on sugar (I’m also a sugar fiend) and perhaps begin feeling healthy. Maybe it will help me with my sleep issues.  It’s not that I’m obese, but I have an anorexic brain, have had since my early twenties. It didn’t help that when I first met Greg, his partners in crime (literally!) all had incredibly beautiful girlfriends and that he suggested that I “firm up”.  So I did. I began lifting weights and it truly did make a difference, but once I had it in my head that I wasn’t good enough, it stuck. And even after having given birth to seven children (the first child I gave up at birth) and having two miscarriages, I managed to keep my weight fairly even. But, as a woman ages, things get a little slack. I developed a slight tummy bulge in my late forties, which Greg would grab and make comments about. I know there are strong women out there who wouldn’t let something as trivial as that affect them, but I’m not one of them. And, if you check out all of the weight loss programs available, you will realise that there are millions of women who feel insecure about themselves. I have done many cleanses, but it really takes not going back to the same old thing for those to have any benefit.

Quinoa, kale and mango in coconut milk.
Kale, cucumber and pineapple smoothie with lime and coconut water.


Anyway, part of this challenge is meditation. I have neglected that part until today. The meditations are combined with affirmations we are supposed to speak to ourselves. Listening to the words, “I am thankful for myself” and “I am okay the way I am” actually brought me to tears. I couldn’t continue. I’m not thankful for myself and I’m not okay the way I am. I then realized that I do not value myself. I’m not sure I ever have. I have always valued myself as a mother, but never as a person. Without my family, I feel totally useless. That part of my life is over. I may have valued myself as a wife if I had been given the chance, but we all know what an utter failure I was in that department. That is the reason for my solitary life now.

Flowers at Riley Park

A friend told me that people who suffer from depression are people who live in the past and people who suffer from anxiety live in the future. I think there is a lot of truth in that. Unfortunately, it is difficult to just flip that switch and begin living for today. And, to be honest, I really don’t have much going on in my life at present that encourages me. I am not an optimist, nor a pessimist. I am a realist. And sometimes reality is a hard pill to swallow. I want to value myself, I sincerely do, but I can’t think of one thing I am good for. I do value who I am, but I can’t value my place in society. I spend so much time trying to figure out how I am going to support myself for the rest of my life and come up empty. All I can get are menial jobs, but I am not physically strong enough to take any of those on full-time. Sometimes I just want to scream. Crying gets rid of a bit of my frustration, but I always come back to the same thing. What am I going to do? I’m in a serious rut. Where did my faith go?

And you know what? I have so much to be grateful for. I have a cosy little apartment, an adorable little boy to take care of and children who do me proud. I’m going to Costa Rica in a month and Bali in January. What is wrong with me?

My humble apartment

I like to throw all the blame for my misery on Greg. It’s easy to do. It seems I have never taken responsibility for my own happiness. How do I do that?

I am concerned for Nerah. Will I cause her to go into depression as well? I loathe living with myself, I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone else. Of course, I would put my mask on for others. I can’t seem to summon it up for Nerah.

Nerah sitting on a shelf in the basket Bethany brought back from South Africa.

Lord, I need to go for a walk. Sorry, folks, this is how I am when I stop moving. I wanted to get all of this negativity and grief out, but it’s no fun when it comes to the surface. As a wise man once said, “Birth is messy”. When a person goes through radical change, the person who emerges is one who is reborn. The struggle through the mire isn’t pretty but it is definitely worth it. I have risen from the gutter before. Somewhere along the way, I’m going to find some sense of peace and belonging.

Sunset from my apartment window.

  1. I have been so wrapped up in my own daily struggle with life that I missed this post, Tina. It seems to me that you, Susie and I are all wrestling with our past – the fact that we were never hugged or kissed or shown any affection, treated like unpaid servants, constantly criticised, never praised no matter what we achieved…….. I could go on and on. I remember being told that “you’re not on this earth to enjoy yourself”. Well our “parents” (wardens would be a better description) certainly took all the joy out of life under their roof. Without the possibility of marriage or children, I have fought hard to find reasons for being on this planet. Now, without a career, partner, any friends nearby, I find it more and more difficult to justify my existence.
    But I can manage voluntary work for a charity I believe in. I turn up religiously at choir practice and participate in concerts and appearances when I can. I force myself to go for a walk every day. I currently live next to a beautiful park and look out on the hills that have been here since the dawn of time, and will be here long after human beings have driven themselves to extinction.
    I try to count my blessings. My legs still work and I can walk all day. My mind still works (how do I stop it!) and I can put it to some positive use some of the time. I can cook for myself and enjoy shopping for good (cheap) food. (I’ve given up my addictions to buying clothes, shoes, books, coins, etc. – it’s amazing what you can achieve when the money runs out! I never tire of the view from my window – grass, hills, trees, sky. I can take pleasure from small things – wild flowers, the sun on my achy shoulders, baking bread, nurturing house plants, oh and definitely music. The radio is always playing, even when I’m watching TV. I recently went for a swim to try and get my body into some sort of shape for snorkelling in the Caribbean with you.

    I worry about the future (it’s the nature of the beast) but try to live one day at a time. I can’t forget the past, can’t stop myself from worrying about the future, but try to spend as much of each day doing things that keep me anchored in the present. That’s all any of us can do, I think.

    Well, enough sermonising. I’m looking forward to spending time with you, Tina, and hope we can leave our troubles behind us for a few weeks. Always thinking of you, Robert

    1. Yes, you are right. I have many things to be grateful for. And I am. A friend mentioned that I need to look at the cup as half full instead of half empty, and I agree with that as well. But we all have times when we fall by the wayside and it is my hope that someone may read my post and take courage, knowing that they are not alone, but that it is also possible to pull oneself out of that mire and find joy and purpose. That is what I am attempting to do now.
      A wise man once said,”Music has charms to soothe a savage breast.” It certainly does. Keep on keeping on! We will have a wonderful time in Costa Rica. I’ll probably sleep for a day or two, but then……..the adventure begins!

  2. Tina, I know you are tired of hearing me recommend therapy but I just have to keep trying especially when I see you floundering so painfully. And I think last time I brought it up I told you it would be the last time ….BUT……. I was reminded of an excellent therapist in Victoria who uses a spiritual approach to therapy. My friend Vicky uses him and she raves about him. He also does distant counseling (after a first few appointments I imagine). This could work for you when you are going out to visit your daughters…………..just sayin’.
    I understand what you are saying about your weight issues but I’m pretty sure that’s all tied in with liking yourself and could fade away somewhat if you were able to fix the more pressing issue. And of course, my previous offer still stands (-:

    1. Thanks for always trying to lend a hand. I may or may not seek therapy, but I’m not closing that door. And you are correct in saying my body image has everything to do with everything else. ❤️

  3. I know and understand how you feel. I am not alone, but I feel lonely and unworthy of life and wonder why I was put on this world when I have failed so miserably at it.

    1. Oh, Sue, if you only knew how special you are. All my children think so and really love you, as do I. You are a shining example of humility. I sure do wish we lived closer. ❤️

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