Ready To Give Up

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Yep. I’m exhausted.  Ready to throw in the towel.  Working so hard, feeling like I’m spinning my wheels.   I’m teaching seven yoga classes a week and trying to find balance at home with my children and husband.  Twice daily meditations, writing in my journal, this blog, my other blog, weekly therapy sessions, antidepressants, and still I am so low I wonder if I will ever see the light again.

I have reached out to countless people.  I have prayed.  I have tried and tried again to practice one-pointed attention.  I don’t know what else to do.

Today I became angry and yelled at my daughter.  I wasn’t in control of my anger; I yelled from an unconscious part of myself and then felt guilty afterwards.

A friend who moved to the mid-west told me that I shouldn’t blame myself for my biochemistry, that I need to be monitored by someone who can assess my needs better than my primary care doc can.  She said that maybe I need a combination of medications.  A combination?  More meds?  How did I get to this point?

This third month I said I’d be working on the third step, turning it over to God.

Dear God,

I turn this mood over to you.  I turn my biochemistry over to you.  I turn my life, my work, my marriage, my children–I turn it all over to you.  I don’t know what else to do.

Please help.

Sincerely,

Lorien

And I don’t know what else to write, because right now, my words don’t matter.  This is pointless.  Why put more effort into what I want to say?  I don’t want to say anything, I just want rest, and a friend who’ll hold me and tell me that it won’t be like this forever.

Now I’m remembering to breathe. This moment, this breath. A little more space in my body, some space to exist, even if it’s painful right now, even if I’m feeling alone.  This moment this breath.

5 responses »

  1. I’m sorry you were struggling so the night you wrote this, Lorien. I think we’ve all been there at one time or another–trying so hard and still feeling at the end of our rope. You are not alone. Millions of Americans (myself, included) know the feeling of exhaustion far too well.

    My belief is that part of listening to and honoring our body is resting when we need rest. It isn’t always possible, of course, but often it is more possible (and far important) than we tell ourselves. Getting enough sleep is something I have struggled with for a long time. I know from personal experience what a dramatic difference it can make–including the effect it can have on your biochemistry. And yet, I often fight sleep to do other things.

    Consider that there may be days when another hour of sleep may be more important than a blog post or your second meditation of the day or ___________ (fill in the blank). Consider that there may be days when being gentle and patient with yourself may be more important than not breaking a “streak” or being 100% consistent with a practice or discipline. Consider that there may be times when knowing you can change the plans you originally made when it becomes clear that your needs aren’t being met or when taking a day off from your work even without being deathly ill is the kind of trust you need to establish with your body.

    As a child, I was almost never absent from school. In 1st – 10th grade, I think I missed a total of 3 days – 2 of which were for the mumps, which I got right before spring break. I was raised to believe it was more virtuous to tough it out and do your work even if you were sick or had been up all night finishing a project, so that’s what I did. To this day, I feel guilty if I have to miss a meeting or a student or a class or an appointment. But sometimes it’s the best choice.

    There are whole books available on the mess Americans are making of their health because we are so sleep-deprived. What if it turned out that if you slept another hour a night (or perhaps took a siesta in the afternoon), you didn’t need any more meds, after all? What if, as a result of getting more sleep on a regular basis, you were dramatically more productive and could get more done in less time? Wouldn’t that be worth it?

    If it’s hard for you to do so for the sake of your own health, consider the benefit to your children and the example you’ll be setting for them by being well-rested on a regular basis.

    • Lenora, thank you for the reminder about how vital rest is to our health and wellbeing. My health is something I often take for granted until I’m dreadfully ill and experience the contrast between the two. I often have wondered if I need to manifest illness just to give myself permission to rest a little more. And allowing myself to modify my schedule, to not be so strict about my practices and disciplines–you might be on to something there. It is certainly the case that I end up brow-beating myself into my practice at times. On the other hand, I do think it’s possible to modify the practices themselves to meet my current needs. I’m starting to learn with my blog project that shorter posts are acceptable (and maybe even a better idea given my current long list of responsibilities). I’m allowing myself to end my meditation practice early if I’m falling asleep. I’ll go downstairs, and complete the meditation lying down in bed, falling asleep as I silently recite the words of the mystics. Instead of judging myself for not sitting upright for the full thirty minutes, I acknowledge that my body is tired and this is the best I can do at this point. Part of my vision is just showing up, even if it’s for just a few minutes in seated meditation, even if my daily post ends up being just a few not so awesome lines about my day. I’m seeking balance as I strike out to develop more discipline and the will to persist with my project in the face of daily challenges. As the days, weeks, and months pass along, I feel myself moving closer to that balance. I think I just need to live my way into the answer. AND I’m truly grateful for friends like you who can read between the lines and speak up if something doesn’t seem reasonable or healthy. So thank you for your kindness, for sharing your thoughts with honesty, with caring. It really does mean a lot.

Please share your thoughts. Your presence here is greatly appreciated.

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