I need to work on not feeling like a victim of my own life and focus on the many good things that are going on amongst the bad.
I actually feel like I do a decent job of focusing on the good stuff. But I have a confession to make: sometimes I'm living an Al-Anon slogan and totally doing the "fake it 'til you make it" routine.
The past few weeks have been one of those times.
I have been feeling like a victim of my own life. I started the year off sick. GH's cancer treatments weren't going well. I was taking my fear about that out on him. I have been behind at work, due to my own unwillingness to focus. The babies have colds. Riley has been getting teeth and not sleeping well. I have been doing the lion's share of housework and baby care while GH has been feeling under the weather. I am behind on personal projects. My mother-in-law is visiting for two weeks, which is a stressor for me. I have been generally crabby. I have just felt tired and lonely and scared and, well, depressed.
I have lots I want to blog about--a job interview, Maddie's physical therapy, my mother-in-law's visit, Peace Corps, Al-Anon, cancer. But rather than do any serious blogging, I've needed to spend some time thinking about how I can feel better mentally.
I don't have any magic bullet answers. I've thought a lot about what Al-Anon can offer me, and what I keep coming back to is that I am the one who needs to change. I need to adjust my attitude. I can't change people and I can't (for the most part) change circumstances. I can only change me.
I feel a lot of resentment about that. I don't want to change! I carry so much weight already. Why am I always the one who has to do all the work? At the same time, I know it's true that I have to be open to the idea that, with so many other things out of my control, I need to focus on what is in my control: myself. I need to remember that I don't have to do this on my own. I can ask for help from friends, family, and professionals. I can keep blogging, because the act of writing helps me see things more clearly and the community keeps me supported.
I felt a kind of epiphany about this as I drove home from work tonight. I had a great conversation with my father, an alcoholic with 15+ years of sobriety under his belt and a lot of program wisdom to share. When I got home, I tried to be more aware of my actions and my reactions. It was hard, but I was able not to snap at my mother-in-law over every little thing she does that drives me nuts. I was able to give my tired, treatment-weary husband a hug rather than harping on him about all the work I had to do today and how hard my life is. I was able to just be in the moment while playing with Maddie and Riley. It wasn't perfect and it's hard work, but it does work.
I'm sick of the fear, I'm sick of feeling blue. I'm ready to work on it. Or at least try.