Another Brick in the Wall

You never quite know when that last brick is going to make the wall you strike so big that you become overwhelmed. You add one here, one more on the other end, one in the middle and suddenly, without even realizing, you find yourself exhausted. I believe I’ve hit my wall.

I tend to do things full force. I’m not one to let life idly pass me by. Unfortunately, that means that I like to stay busy and keep my hands on a lot of things all at once. Most people who find out how much I take on are amazed that I am able to handle so many things at once. I must say, it was easier when it was just myself that I was worrying about. Somewhere along that road, I picked up what feels like the responsibilities of a team of others.

One of the symptoms of codependency is controlling. When you control a situation, you don’t have to worry about it. You know that anything that happens is accountable to you and that means you do things right. Well, as I’m learning, it’s utterly impossible to control every situation and releasing that control is NOT an easy thing. Having others to delegate things to is great, provided those things get done, however when they don’t, it falls back to you and it seems a lot has been falling back to me.

The stress is beginning to take its toll on me as well, mentally and physically. Too many things on my mind have been making me second guess some of the things I tell myself are fine. I’ve learned that there are times when you must ask for help even when you don’t want to and there are other times when it’s best to just leave things alone. This past week has been extremely stressful with many things all falling on me at once.

It’s hard for me to tell people they will have to just wait and its proof of that considering I was still working when the doctors told me not to. Even through excruciating pain, I was returning emails and phone messages as if nothing was wrong. Between naps and medications, some things just had to be pushed off. Unfortunately, the feelings of not getting things done doesn’t push off as easily. And not being able to share those thoughts with friends in some cases, well, that will take its toll on you as well.

Not only was I taking on too much through work and activities, but I’d overextended my emotional boundaries as well. As you may already realize, I live a very independent life. I do things when I want and how I want without many to answer to. This at times can become a quandary that presents some difficulties. One of these is the ability to make friends without further side complications.

It’s great to talk with someone you feel comfortable around, who understands situations you have been in, and who experiences some of the same vulnerabilities you do. Unfortunately, sometimes these friendships come at a cost. When it is so easy to talk to someone, there are times when people become blinded by what’s in front of them. They see what could be rather than what is or what has to be. A friend described it best. When someone sees something in life they wish they could obtain, that something is shiny to them, be it an object, a title, an accomplishment, or even another person. This “shininess” has the ability to send someone on the wrong path and needlessly can build the ego of the person who sees the “shine”. Unfortunately, when the shine wears off, the pedestal the person has climbed, crumbles and falls. Even when warned of impending danger, the shine overtakes them and they tend to proceed anyway.

This “shininess” has caused the downfall of many of my friendships and relationships. I would even go as far as to say it was one of the reasons for my failed marriage. I’m very upfront with people. I speak my mind and I don’t apologize for the things I say (so long as they are not offensive, or incorrect). Being able to freely speak about a variety of topics is not a trait for many I’ve learned. The misconceptions made by those who are uncomfortable about the topics of choice can be very hurtful and at times ruin lives. I don’t like to see others hurt and I surely do not wish to see myself come to harm, however I also strongly disagree with the views of a great many people about a great many things.

Perhaps people need to take a moment to sit back and look in a mirror. Really think about who they are, what they want out of life and determine what path they are going to choose in how to get to their goal. It’s a work in progress and the paths will change, believe me, but taking the time to think about it and be honest with yourself and your intentions will make a world of difference. My paths are changing and the stress of this past week with its emotional and physical rollercoasters has me deciding to update a few of the goals I have currently. Some things need to be put off. Some bricks need to come down off the wall. Some people need to be reminded that I’m not “shiny” and overall, I need to take care of me, because sometimes you have to be selfish and make the hard choices for others.

So, here’s to running into my wall and somehow, some way, finding a path that goes around it. I’ve been spending too much time and energy trying to go through it for far too long.


What Do I Want?

It’s a question that has been asked many times. The answer? Well, that changes as many times as it’s asked.

Some may ask “who” I want. The answer to that question is almost always “I don’t know.” When it comes to determining how someone else will fit into your crazy, well, there’s a lot to think about. Overthought is typically what happens and I need to remember to step back and question myself, what do I want?

So, it starts off simple. Someone to talk to, who makes me smile. Someone who understands the importance of a short hello message which in the right circumstances can mean the world. I’m not asking for all someone’s attention. In fact, if they are unable to stand on their own two feet and from time to time tell me no, then I’m not interested. That also goes for those who want me to know everything about them and them of me. Intrigue is a must. Keep me guessing. It may not be a game, but if it’s not fun to play, what’s the point?

I’ve had my share of needy men, nay, boys. They take and take until there’s nothing left. At one point I decided I needed to be selfish. Take care of MY needs. I thought this was working to my advantage, and for a time it did, but somewhere down this path, things changed. It became more about him than me and it never was or will be us. So now I reevaluate. What do I want?

I want someone to tell me things will be okay when I’m not able to do that for myself. I want someone who knows how sincere a kiss on the forehead can be. I want someone to be selfless when the times are right. I want to be held and touched to know that I am cared for. These things are missing for me. I’m not requesting after-sex cuddling. I’m not asking for a kiss goodbye upon every encounter, just what feels right. And if it doesn’t feel right, then the rest shouldn’t either.

Maybe that’s been my problem. The rest hasn’t felt right and I haven’t bothered to listen to myself. Though, at the same time, I’m overly cautious of what else is out there. I don’t want just anyone who is willing to show me some affection to get what they are after. I’ve played that game and lost. There are just some things that shouldn’t be relived. However, how do you put yourself out there without some semblance of vulnerability?

You don’t. You can’t go fishing in the ocean and not expect to come across a shark once in a while. There will always be someone who is ready and willing to take you at your worst. Weeding out these bottom feeders is a learning process and for someone with codependency issues, this is no easy feat. I will continue to search and fail, but maybe sometime I might find someone who is willing to ride this rollercoaster with me or better yet, guide me to a different ride entirely. Who knows?

So, THESE are my people…

Appreciate Good People. It took 35 years, hundreds of mistakes and many moves to find my people. So many paths to take, so many options, but in the end, you know who they are. Those people who don’t judge you for your choices. Who respect the mistakes you make and the lessons they leave you to learn for your own good. Never reaching too far, but far enough that you open your eyes to what’s right in front of you. And you will still make mistakes, but they are there to pick you up dust you off and push you right back on your path of life.

Without these people, I don’t know how I’ve gotten as far as I have. I wouldn’t call it a destructive path, but definitely one I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. I’ve seen and done things I would choose to do differently if I were in those situations again. With any luck I won’t be, but through everything, I’ve found a new awareness. I’ve opened my eyes to the world around me and am still learning.

There are SO many different types of people. So many views. So much judgment. Perception is NOT always reality. To you it may seem, but for someone else, it is seen differently. Put yourself in the shoes of those you judge. Find out their story. Don’t place yourself above anyone else.

Feelings are a funny thing and they can lie to you. Something can seem shiny and interesting. That doesn’t always make it good. Pay attention to signs. Don’t succumb to old habits and be aware. These are lessons I’m learning and sharing with you, dearest reader.

One day, I’ll find directions to the feelings store. I will have some returns to make and I may even make a few new purchases, but for now, I’ll settle for knowing that I’m surrounded by some great people and that will be enough for me.

You want company? Have you tried Craigslist?

It can be utterly amazing that someone who is so down on themselves can so easily turn on the people who try to help them. If only people would learn to open their eyes and see what’s in front of them. I want the company of someone who can understand that it’s not always about them. Maybe I’m stepping too far, but I’ve learned I need to watch out for myself and not fix the world. Unfortunately, sometimes I’m the one that needs fixing and the outlets just aren’t where I’d like them to be.

I want so badly to just go away. To get in my car and drive, without destination. Just to get away from here. Here hasn’t been what I’d like it to be in longer than I can remember. But, at the same time, where ever I have gone hasn’t been it either. I always seem to come back to the start. Maybe it’s Karma telling me the one issue I need to deal with. Unfortunately, that ONE person will never change. That relationship will never change. And it still affects me. I hate that it does.

I’ve picked up and moved away so many times. Thinking a fresh, new start, new people, THIS time, it will be different. It’s not. The same types of people, the same situations. If it’s not them, it must be me, but breaking free of the codependency is no easy task. I look in the mirror and most days am not pleased with what’s staring back at me. I wonder what people see in me. I know I’m accomplished. Doesn’t mean I feel accomplished.

Just once it would be nice to have something move forward without taking what feels like a huge chunk out of myself. It took 5 years to open up and talk to me and seconds to shut that door back in my face making me feel worthless and only there for his use. Apparently the feelings of others are something that shouldn’t be acknowledged. Guess I should know that considering where I grew up and the way I’ve been treated all my life.

Tomorrow will be a new day, I’m sure, but that doesn’t mean that I can just turn a blind eye to the hurt that is so easily caused. I’m doubtful I’ll break free of this looping coaster anytime soon. Might be nice if I wasn’t riding alone.

Say Thank You She Said…

Two little words that I struggle with. Even in the simplest situations. It’s not that I’m not grateful, I just don’t think to say it. It’s one of the things I’m becoming aware of on this journey of betterment I’m on.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been accepting of compliments. Sure, there are times I put up my wall and fake it with the best of them, but underneath, I don’t believe the things people tell me. Not because I believe they aren’t being honest, but I don’t see those things in myself. Self-critical one said. Especially more so in my career than every day life, but it bleeds over between the two.

For years I have had people who were kind to me. Would give me things. Buy things for me. Offer me assistance when doing a project or moving. It still continues to this day. Is it wrong that I feel like I’m not worthy of their generosity? Like I owe them something in return? I struggle to kindly say thank you and just appreciate their kindness with nothing more. I find myself saying the simplest phrase late, almost to the point of forgetting and at times having to come back to the matter in an after thought. I’m not perfect.

The problem is I strive to be. I want to be able to say thank you to a heartfelt comment without the feeling in the pit of my stomach that I don’t deserve what I’m being given. This feeling is one small piece of a larger issue of my codependency. That mixed with my ADHD, PTSD, anxiety and slight depression, well, I’m a walking shit show.

The funny thing about being aware of these things? It makes you work harder to realize and notice the things you do within each of these illnesses. You strive harder to fix them. To reach near perfection. I have gone years without understanding why I am the way I am. And it brings me to question, am I heading off a mid life crisis at the pass, or is this, in fact, MY mid life crisis? Will it all turn around from here?

One can hope, but as they say, hope in one bucket, shit in the other and see which fills up faster. Hope is not enough. Do or do not. There is no try. And I’m a doer. (I’m the “bitch that gets shit done”.) I’m proactively taking steps to work with my issues. Resolve those I can, lessen the effects on myself and others for the ones I cannot. One day, maybe this shit show will be able to do that which she desires and truly help someone else. That goal may have already been met, but in the eyes of someone seeking perfection with a codependency problem, she will try to fix the world.

Try to take over the world

All I’ve Got to Do

Well, my dearest reader, it’s been a long time since I’ve graced this blog with content and I feel I have a confession to make…..I’m a failure.

I have failed to listen to my critics, my biggest adversaries and to be quite honest, my own family. I have proven my failures in the courses I took in college, with the failed career choices I have made and with the lack of anything spectacular to show for the 30+ years I’ve been on this earth.

However, it is through these failures that I have become the person you read about here in these words. I am grateful for the people who told me throughout my life that I would fail, and for the classes and instructors who told me I never had the right answers because they weren’t the ones in the book. Without those things I wouldn’t have experienced the many (and I mean MANY) careers I tried before I found myself where I am today. The funny part about it though? I still don’t feel accomplished.

There’s a fine line between doing a good job and feeling like you’ve made a difference. I’m told time and again what great things I do, but I still view them as failures. Maybe because I still don’t feel like I’ve hit that home run that to me will feel like I’ve really, truly done something good.

Recently, I hosted (along with the association I serve on a board for) our normal monthly event. I pushed hard to bring in our after dinner guest speaker, who I knew would be just edgy enough to either completely win or fail with all the spectaularness that is the fourth of July in a hurricane. I put everything I had behind this event, pushing for increased funding, for increased promotion, and I’m sure with every detail that I tried to make sure was just right, I annoyed more than my fair share of people who assisted me with this venture.

But, through all of that, through all the worry, the stress, the butterflies and the laughter, I again survived. I proved I am capable of doing what I love to do, I have the support of others who have the same passion as I do and, dammit, I’m good at it too. (Take THAT naysayers!) However, maybe it’s my humility that brings me down off that pedestal and leaves me still questioning if I did it the best I could.

I once had a wise man tell me “The enemy of great is good enough.” This phrase has brought so much meaning to everything I do. The frustration of people who don’t care, of those who feel they have no accountability, “it’s good enough.” I can’t do things that way. I hope this event wasn’t just “good enough.” I hope that it was the start of my yellow brick road to that big shiny city that is just waiting for me to come up and knock on its gates. I see the dream, I know the path that leads there. It’s time to shake off the dead weight and make my way.

If I should die tomorrow…

I'm Not Afraid of Change, I'm More Afraid of Staying the Same.It’s rather surreal to think that should I die unexpectedly, I’m quite sure there would be a fair number of people to see me out of this world, yet while I am still here, breathing, living life, I struggle to feel wanted. I sit home often wondering why no one calls, why invites don’t come, and what I should be doing differently to change this. After all, change starts with yourself, right?

It’s been this way since I can remember. Friends coming and going. Meeting new people through one new friend and never quite fitting in. I find that talking to people who are old enough to be my parents is more satisfying conversation than that I have with people in my generation. This tends to cause another issue, however. I don’t want to date anyone old enough to be my father. I tend to gravitate toward younger men. This hasn’t worked out as well as hoped either.

So, I sit home. Chat with a few people over the interwebs and check out events that are going on in the area. There’s really not much that intrigues me, and intriguing me goes a long way. It’s one thing that motivates me to do things. I’m always wanting to know more about things, people, just in general. The sad part of it all? I’m an extrovert. An ENTP to be exact and yet I find it immensely difficult to get myself up on a given night, and head out to a Meetup where I might find some great new friends. I hesitate because they are nearly always at bars and I just don’t have the mindset like most others in this area. I don’t want to get drunk to run away from my problems. I’ve been doing well enough at literally running away from them for years.

I’ve had more addresses in my life than about 10 people combined in their whole life. Recently for a new job they asked for my background history, including where I had previously lived. I had to ask if they really wanted all 30+ addresses. Mind you, I’m only in my mid-30s, and my family has only moved once since I was born. It’s all been me and as I grow older I realize or rather become aware that it’s all been because of situations in which I felt moving was the answer. Getting away, starting anew. Well, as you can imagine, it doesn’t work out nearly as well as it sounds it would. East Coast, West Coast, Mid-West and almost the deep South. I can’t really imagine it would have been different.

I’m finding again, now, that I want to run. I want to get away from the things that are confusing me, that just run circles in my mind. Like the friend, who is more than a friend, but not. I know, that doesn’t make sense. He is my Bennie. He tells me he cares about me and that he won’t abandon me like all the others have. Yet when push comes to shove and I tell him the truth that I don’t feel we should be more than friends, it doesn’t last. I don’t blame him for this. He’s only doing what we’ve been doing for years. Off and on, again and again. It’s me that’s addicted to the attention. Always have been and it’s unfortunately led me to here.

I didn’t view it as an addiction until recently, but all signs are pointing to yes. I felt ignored as a child. Friends never stayed. Distant relatives made it known how little they liked me (which looking back shouldn’t have mattered, but I was in school with them and it was a VERY small school). I didn’t think I was well liked all those years, later to find out that my hard exterior actually intimidated some and they were afraid to talk to me. (Guess that didn’t work out as well as expected.) So, I’ve always had people around and felt completely alone.

It’s been proven that even a hug can make a person feel better, feel wanted. I didn’t know that little gesture was so much to ask. Over the years, man after man in my life was only there for one thing. Many will lie and say it was more, a select few will actually be telling the truth, but most? They were only there to get their rocks off and be completely selfish about it. They would continue to lie to me and tell me things I thought I wanted to hear and I would take it all in because of that overwhelming addiction to just feel wanted. It’s a vicious cycle and I’m trying to break free of it. It’s not going to be easy but I’m determined. I want a life where I don’t second guess everything and everyone in their words and actions. Maybe one day someone will prove me wrong.