Can someone please tell me
just what is enough?
What is a big enough house,
or how much is enough food
to be able to live in health?
And why are there those
living with very little
who manage to be happy,
and then there are
those who live in excess
who are miserable?
And then there are those
who simply don’t have enough
and they live in despair,
and there are those with a surplus
who are celebrating their good fortune…
And then there is everyone in-between,
fluctuating with gratitude and trust,
allowing, resisting, judging, surrendering.
And then, and I’m still wondering about this—
there are people
who don’t have access to clean drinking water,
while I take luxurious baths with candles,
and epsom salt and essential oils,
and I really can’t understand why this disparity exists….
It’s a good thing we humans are so resilient.
Otherwise all this variety
could really make us lose our minds.
She keeps striking out in the darkness,
but there is no one there to fight.
The shadows dance and slip away,
and she is exhausted to her very soul,
sparring with aggressors that don’t exist.
How to be successful in battle
when the one she fights
is on the inside?
I’m praying every chance I can get
God please show me what to do,
I’m struggling, please guide me.
In the morning I wake up thinking
I choose to love myself
because I deserve my love.
I keep telling my story.
It gets exhausting telling my story.
I tell it to my friends. Therapists.
Anyone who will listen.
They all say, You got this.
It will all be okay in the end.
But I want someone to rescue me.
I want someone to come along
and make these problems disappear.
And God, Grace, The Universe,
or is it just my luck,
continues to send me people
who listen to my story
tell me You got this
and who walk away.
I need to solve my own problems.
Apparently, I need to realize
that I’m stronger than this.
Apparently, I need to walk this path alone.
There are people cheering on the sidelines,
but I guess I need to walk this path alone.*
*And I have to tell you, it’s lonely down here in this big black hole…
I’ve been working my @ss off,
trying to boost my finances
for what will come.
I’m tired, overhwhelmed,
my body aches, my mind is fuzzy,
and I’m flooded with a sense of futility.
And it hits me…
I’m doing what my
grandmothers and grandfathers did…
I am struggling just to get by.
I thought when I married him
I’d be taken care of.
I’d raise our children
and take care of the house
and he would take care of us.
But that dream was shattered
in an ugly, unkind way.
How can my faith in life be restored?
My family struggled through
the Great Depression.
And countless ancestors before them
struggled through poverty, famine,
sickness, and endless toil…
and through it all…
they somehow survived to procreate.
And so I was given a chance at life.
Sometimes I wish I hadn’t been given this chance.
If I had known I would end up here,
wondering where I’ll live
and if I’ll have the mental fortitude to keep going,
I’m not sure I would’ve signed on.
What’s the point of living
when you’re struggling just to get by?
And I’m being asked to take on
and even greater challenge…
be strong for my progeny,
give them a reason to keep going,
pretend through it all
that I’m good at this,
that I like this,
that this is all ok.
Hats off to all the single moms out there
who managed to pull this off…
you deserve an award for your performance.
But frankly I resent being here.
I resent the weight of this burden.*
*I just want to acknowledge that in comparison to many, many people on this planet I am doing quite well. I currently have food, clothing, shelter (for now) and access to resources that could be of help. I recognize that all my whining and moaning and complaining about my situation here might elicit absolutely no sympathy at all from people who have been through far worse. I’m just sharing how I feel. I don’t expect that my feelings make sense to anyone. I’m just sitting in the middle of my own suffering wishing I could get away from it. Maybe one person out there knows this feeling. Maybe one person out there now knows that they aren’t alone.
When you’re 42 years old
with two young children,
celibate for the last two years,
yearning for human contact
but trusting no one…
When there’s just $35 in your checking account…
and your AC has been broken for two weeks
and there’s a wiring problem in your house
necessitating running extension cords
from your refrigerator and freezer
to outlets in another room…
When you’re feeling
tired, angry, and lonely,
but you’ve made a commitment to sobriety
to try to claw your way out
of this pit you’ve fallen into…
When the only direction you can go is up,
but you’re so damn depressed that breathing feels hard—
HOW DO YOU FIND THE STRENGTH TO CLIMB?
Friends, that last question is not rhetorical. I quite literally want to know how YOU, you who have made it through tough circumstances and who have come out stronger, how YOU did it. I need some hope. Please share your experience, strength and hope with me.
Alone, in the dark.
What’s the point of going on?
Swallowed up by grief.
A sense of heaviness, futility
from deep within.
Maybe it’s a simple case of fatigue.
I summon the courage and the strength
to recognize I won’t feel this way forever.
I face the demons, and I do battle.
No one sees. No one knows.
To the outside world,
I’m this cheerful person.
No one realizes the mighty battle
I’m fighting every day.
Sometimes the greatest wars
are waged within.
There is a struggle
between the old way
and the new,
an attachment to familiarity
and a yearning to break free.
My body is tired
and my mind is weary
but my soul knows
this is the only game in town,
and so it says,
I can feel the old me struggling
to regain some footing,
and the new me is just plain tired.
I won’t let the old me win—
the old me needs to die.
Does it sound harsh?
I am no longer available
to live life the way I lived it before.
I know too much now
to go back to sleep.
But how to eliminate the struggle
with the old me
so that the new me
can relax and surrender
into the flow of cosmic synchronicity?
If you can answer that question
I’ll be your best friend!
It’s a struggle,*
but only because
it’s always been a struggle.
If I can change my mind,
if I can see a different way,
this might become
This is an opportunity
to slow down,
to the rhythms of my body-mind,
honor the self
that tries so hard to be good.
Can I love her
when she wants to scream?
Can I love her
when she is tired?
Can I appreciate
everything she has been through?
Instead of doing
what I’ve always done,
can I try something new?
If nothing else,
has given me an opportunity
to come home to myself
if only for this moment.
I want to find the Self
in all the swirls of emotion,
in the body aches and fatigue,
in the loneliness—
and I want to love her fiercely.
*Ladies out there, give me an AMEN if you too find yourself accosted with darkness and mood swings in conjunction with your moon cycle. It has been this way my whole adult life. What helps you manage to make it through those days of darkness until the sun breaks through the clouds again?
And guys out there…when your ladies get this way, have you found a way to help them make it through, or do you run in the opposite direction? I mean…it is INTENSE, after all, and hard to understand the sudden changes in temperament. My recommendation: buy her some flowers, run her a bath, make her some tea, and tell her you’re there for her and that you love her no matter what.