For Some, Mother’s Day is a Day to Wallow in Self-Pity
Mother’s Day 2018. I slept in as I hadn’t slept much the night before, and had danced and walked my way to 13,000+ steps 3 days in a row. I got up and started my day even though there was really nothing to start, but I no longer sleep all day, even when, like today, I’m feeling lower than the underside of a mushroom in the forest.
Tossing the healthy eating aside for the day, I made myself gluten-free pancakes and chicken breakfast sausage with a bowl of fresh strawberries so the meal wasn’t a complete lost cause, then nibbled on the strawberries and sausage for another few hours. I lolled in front of the TV until after 8 watching sappy Hallmark movies before deciding I was TV’d out and tried to switch to computer solitaire.
But my heart wasn’t in it. I’d hit my wallowing stride around 4PM and it was all downhill from there. One daughter hasn’t spoken to me or acknowledged any kind of holiday or special day in years. The other wrote a quick blurb around mid-day I didn’t even bother to respond to. Too little, too late. Would it be too much to send a card or a text, or pick up the phone? Yep, I was really feeling pitiful now.
Finding Something Wallow-Worthy in Everything
Thought about the cruise and how the table I was at with people I barely knew (my own fault for cancelling, then re-booking late) was set off by itself away from the rest of the group. And how the people who were so excited I was going after all never did manage to meet up with me for lunch or breakfast.
Then I got started on the place where I dance. I wander back and forth from one end of the club to the other talking to people, but I feel like a nomad despite still sitting at my regular table. I feel like I don’t belong…again.
I go through this periodically, and I know it’s me and not the people around me. I’m somehow isolating myself in a crowd of people. I detach, and pretty soon, I might as well set up a play list of the line dances I like and dance alone in my living room. At least I wouldn’t have to get dressed, put on makeup and wear a bra.
The trouble is, I can’t figure out why I feel the need to isolate nor even when I started doing it again. I just know I’m doing it, and feeling like I’m going to burst into tears any second. And as the song goes, you can’t cry pretty.
Finding a Little Light in an Otherwise Gloomy Day
Sure, I managed to get the Roomba working again and cleaned up the kitchen from all my messes, but if that’s my claim to fame this Mother’s Day, it’s a pretty pathetic one.
I admit, I’m the Queen of Wallowing. When I get a good wallow going, even my kitties can’t drag me out of it until I’m good and ready. Years ago, when I saw myself going down a really bad path (somewhere in between my parents’ suicides and finally starting to write about it) I made myself a promise that no wallow would last more than a day and a half. But this one seems to have snuck up on me.
I was doing fine, or at least OK, then suddenly, WHAM! I’m at the bottom of my personal pit of despair. Nothing is really wrong, but then, nothing is really right either. So there’s nothing for me to grab onto to pull myself out of the pit this time.
All the cheery Mother’s Day pictures and greetings certainly aren’t helping, nor are the sad ones from the suicide survivors support group or the empath group. And apparently, nobody knows me as well as I thought, because none have picked up on my silence, my pathetic excuse for Mother’s Day breakfast, or any of the things I, as a friend would have picked up about someone else.
The No Reason Wallow is the Darkest of All
Through it all, I keep asking myself “what’s wrong with me? Why do I not give anyone a reason to care?” I even left the post for today undone because I didn’t care enough to keep to my schedule. I figured it was one less post I need to write for next week.
My memoir lies untouched since March as I don’t even know where to go with it right now. My business is still limping along. I’m half-heartedly looking for something part-time, but am still trying to keep it remote. I’m pretty sure I’ll fail at that too.
You’re probably wondering why I’m writing such a whiny, negative post. If you’ve gotten this far without closing the page in disgust, I’ll tell you why.
Why Share My Misery?
Each of us gets down sometimes. We don’t have to have a reason. We just start seeing all of our failures and none of our successes. All of our challenges and none of our blessings. We feel alone but don’t remember how to fix it. Even in a crowd, we feel like an outcast, and can’t seem to figure out what’s changed.
So I started writing this, partly as therapy, but partly to try to reach even one person who feels the way I do right now on occasion. I want them to know it’s OK to feel down like this once in awhile. What’s not OK is to let yourself keep feeling this way without reaching out to someone, somewhere for help if you just can’t break out of your funk alone.
Reaching out, asking for help is by far the hardest lesson I’ve ever had to learn, and frankly, I have only just broken the surface. I have a long way to go before I’ll ever be good at asking instead of trying to muddle through on my own, believing everyone I know is too busy to help anyway. I know I have several friends who, if they’re reading this are calling me all sorts of stupid for not reaching out. They’re also the ones who know how hard it is for me to do so, especially when I’m feeling down.
Sometimes, You Have to Reach Out Any Way You Can
The hardest part about being depressed is feeling like nobody wants to be around you. You isolate yourself even more because of the voice in your head that says “you have no right to bring others down to this dark, dank place you’re in right now. Stay away until you’re not such a drag to be around.”
Well, I may not be making any phone calls right now, or private messaging, or texting to ask for help. In my own way, this is how I let the people in my life know I’m not as OK right now as I might seem. I could use some help, but don’t really know how to ask because I’m not sure what kind of help I need.
I will, however, urge anyone reading this who can relate to please, Please, PLEASE call someone who loves you and let them know you’re struggling. Text a friend, a child, a parent; whoever you have and know they care and love you even when you’re not your bright, happy, cheerful self. Someone out there really does want to help you get through whatever it is that’s taking the sparkle out of your life. They want to help you clear the clouds and find your sunshine. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for me and the millions of others who might be wallowing with or without a good reason right now.
Grasping at Straws for Gratitude
My gratitudes tonight are:
- I’m grateful that I can use my writing to help others feel less alone.
- I’m grateful that I recognize a wallow for what it is even if I can’t yet find my way out of it.
- I’m grateful I refrained from spending too much time on Social Media on a really depressing Mother’s Day, if only to keep from bringing anyone else down with my desperation and loneliness.
- I’m grateful for the one or two people who may have recognized I’m not in a good place, even if all they could do was send me some good thoughts.
- I’m grateful for the end of a long, dark, lonely day because I can start over tomorrow, and tomorrow is a gym day which I actually look forward to these days.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for ghostwriting to help your business grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your uniquely genuine self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author