Thursday, May 7, 2015

Be Still

Be still,
Close your eyes,
Soon enough you'll be on your own,
Steady and straight,
And if they drag you through the mud,
It doesn't change what's in your blood,
(Over chains)
Over chains,
When they knock you down,

Don't break character,
You've got a lot of heart,
Is this real or just a dream,
Be still,
Be still,
Be still,
Be still,

Over rock and chain,
Over sunset plain,
Over trap and snare,
When you're in too deep,
In your wildness dream,
In your made up schemes,
When they knock you down,
When they knock you down,

Don't break character,
You've got so much heart,
Is this real or just a dream.
Oh rise up like the sun and labor till the work is done,
Rise up like the sun and labor till the work is,
Rise up like the sun and labor till the work is done.
-Be Still, The Killers
I'm sitting in my cubicle at work.  This song just came on.  Tears building in my eyes.  I feel so lost and tired and sad and sick of all the responsibility on my shoulders.
People ask me all the time how I am.
"Fine," I say.  Sometimes with a fake smile.  Most of the times I avoid eye contract to keep them from seeing the lies behind the words.
I've been having stomach issues the last month.  While deep down I think it's stress, I finally went to the doctor last week.  The same doctor who prescribed me with antidepressants two years ago.  I tried to describe how I've been feeling without crying as she looked at me with such sympathetic eyes it made me want to collapse into tears.  I said multiple times that I'm not very good at self care.  I felt more and more embarrassed about why I was there and not because of the symptoms. As we discussed the lovely topic of diarrhea, she finally asked, "How are the kids?"
I explained how they are all fine, great in fact.  Everyone is healthy and happy.  Doing all that they are supposed to be doing.  Her whole demeanor changed after that.  It was like the litmus test for how well I'm doing is based on the kids.  "Oh well that's good!" was her response. I felt minimized.  Silly for complaining when I've got such great kids who are thriving.
I started thinking about the book "The Giving Tree."  This book always makes me cry.  The tree keeps giving and giving till there is nothing left. A stump.  A stump that the boy sits on in the end. The problem is that I don't want to be a stump.  I don't keep on giving and giving happily and with joy like the tree in the story.  I'm grumpy.  I get short with the kids and my husband irrationally. My mind races in the middle of the night worried about what I'm not doing.  I get shingles.  I have an upset stomach for over a month. 
Thinking about my inability to handle all that I have been given in this life makes me feel really sad.  Alone.  Pathetic.
Not sure where I'm going with this post other than to acknowledge to myself that things aren't fine. 
I'm trying to be still. 
Find joy. 
It's just hard right now for some reason. 


  1. Abiding with you. May you find a way out of being the stump and get back to feeling like one of the people enjoying the tree.

  2. Is there any way that you can go somewhere by yourself? Take a weekend for you? Even if its to stay in a hotel for a night? I know you don't know me but you can come stay at my house for a couple of days and I will pamper and take care of you. You need sometime to not be a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter, a sibling.

  3. If you were good at self care, what would you do? Or, if you were giving advice to a good friend who was feeling that way, what would you advise? Whatever the answers are, try to do for yourself. You deserve to be taken care of, most of all by yourself.

  4. Sometimes when I'm not caring for myself the way I should I stop and imagine what I would say to my daughter. What would I want her to do? What loving things would I think she deserved whether she felt she deserved them or not?

    Personally, I was always appalled by the Giving Tree. I don't know if giving everything to the unappreciative is virtuous or not. The boy never learns to give in return. You deserve better than to become a stump.

  5. Dear Peg,

    I hope you're doing okay. I have been reading for awhile, and I always like to read your posts. I remember once reading that you felt like you never had read about others' who had a similar experience to you, even if they also were going through grief, or change, or another difficulty. I came across this book, perhaps you've already seen it, but I thought you might be interested. Here's the title and info from Amazon...

    This Is How We Grow: A Psychologist's Memoir of Loss, Motherhood, & Discovering Self-Worth & Joy, One Season at a Time Paperback – November 12, 2013

    Best wishes.

  6. I'm with Korinthia. I think The Giving Tree is appalling. (I also hate Love You Forever and The Rainbow Fish, but I digress. . .). I wish there were a way you could banish thoughts like this "Thinking about my inability to handle all that I have been given in this life makes me feel really sad. Alone. Pathetic." You've been given more trauma and stress than anyone ever deserves. Of course you're not okay and I wish the people in your life (friends and family) could open their eyes and see what you need (without you asking) and help to lift some of your burden.

    Are you at least enjoying watching women's world cup soccer?!!

    Best wishes.