‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Friday, December 05, 2008

Is This A Mid-Life Crisis?

Torina poured her heart out on her blog, and it got me to thinking about how much I don't post about my own confusion/anxiety/hopelessness. I have this ridiculous need to put on a brave face, go it alone, not ask for help, not share the dark stuff. I'm sure it stems from growing up in an alcoholic home, but c'mon people...I'm 43. It's time to learn a better way. What is wrong with me? Why can't I let my guard down? What's so dangerous? The bogeyman is gone. Why can't I let that sink in?

In my normal daily life it's easy to just keep moving forward and not think about it all, but I've had ten days of vacation and it is bringing up all the crap! Wouldn't you know it? You go away to sunny Florida and imagine sitting by a pool, relaxing, storing up energy for the next 'round'...but that is not what happens.

I have had anxiety-ridden dreams and even some full-blown nightmares every night I have been here. I have woken up in a cold-sweat three times...heart racing...mind careening...full-on total fear of what life holds ahead of me. See, I'm too busy most of the time to allow the fear to get the best of me. I never stop. But here, I have. There are no classes to teach, no dogs to walk, no house to clean, no friends to support, no shopping to do, no bills to pay...none of those things that take up all the hours of each day. And Anastasia is having such a blast with her uncles and cousins and grandmother, that I have even MORE time on my hands. It's surreal. I feel completely out of sorts. I function so much better under pressure.

So, this fear: I'm thinking alot about where I am in life and not feeling good about it. I wanted to be married. Didn't happen. I wanted a houseful of kids. Didn't happen. I wanted to buy my own home. Nope. I wanted to be financially secure. Big no. I wanted to have accomplished more with my work...wanted to get my masters and my Phd. Finances made that impossible years ago. I wanted to have written a book by now. Not even a page to my credit. I wanted to feel like I had made a difference in more lives. I feel my hands tied.

Aside from the things I wanted, there are the deep, heart-wrenching desires that have built up over the years that I agonize over: I want Anya home, and she will likely never be home. How do I live with that? I want my dad alive again, I want my family to be more supportive -- neither of these are going to happen. But the desire for them does not lessen with that knowledge.I want to be healthy again. But, I'm 43. I'm not going to get healthier..I'm going to get older and more things will fall apart. The diabetes will get worse, the PCOS will cause more pain, the arthritis is already debilitating at times...it will only get more so, the trigeminal neuralgia will require surgery..sooner rather than later, the cervical disc damage in my neck has already lost me the full use of my right thumb..and now my fingers are experiencing the same numbness. I won't even think about my weight issue. It's too damn depressing...

And there are the annoying facts of my life that get in the way of really feeling joyful: my horrific school loans that hang over me like a prison sentence, my poor credit (from said school loans) that will keep me from ever owning my own home, my numerous health issues that knock me down each year at the worst possible times, my lack of health insurance and the jealousy I feel of people who have it and take it for granted, the judgemental attitude so many have towards my daughter..not knowing how truly hard she tries just to make it thru this life. I'm sick of it all!

I don't want a sports car or a casual fling or any of those other things that mid-life crisis' bring to mind...but I do want what they stand for: I want to shake things up. I am tired of my life as it is. I want change. I want purpose. I want support. I want to know every day that I am making a difference. I want kindness and genuineness from the people I interact with. I want to tear off this skin I live inside now and create a whole new me. I'm tired of this one. She's fat and sad and lonely and scared and insecure and overwhelmed and underpaid and a workaholic and anxiety-ridden. I'm ready to trade up. I want the new model. I want to start over and get it right this time.
The photo is of me at ten. I just found it on my mom's computer.That's the first year I became aware of things not going the way they should. If only I could go back to that day in 1975. A do-over. We should all get one chance at a do-over. Don't you think?


  1. Know that you always have friends just a click away!! I'm thinking about you.

  2. This vacation does not seem to be agreeing with you. I can completely relate. I do much better under stress and pressure, too. When left with my thoughts I am known to do insane things like enlist. Don't do that. Trust me. I ponder all the time like you do and wonder what the hill am I doing here...if only we lived closer to each other so we could start a (peaceful) revolution...

  3. There's absolutely nothing wrong with posts like this. Yah, they're scary and they hurt, but they can also very healing. You've already taken the first step in healing and that is to verbalize and give an outlet to all that stuff that's been weighing on your soul.

    I've often wondered what would be different if I had the chance for a do-over. Reality is...probabably not much. Yah, that sounds depressing, but it's really true. Hindsight is always 20/20 and there are tons of things I'd like to think would be different, but the only way they would be is if I went back to being a kid with the same knowledge I have now, which would never happen. What I did in the past was from the perspective I had then. I acted like a kid when I was a kid and I did all sorts of stupid stuff kids do because I WAS a kid. The other thing about do-overs is that you can't change anyone else. So really, even a do-over wouldn't change some things like growing up in an alcoholic home. That wasn't in your control and it wasn't about you. But it is where God put you. I don't know why, you probably don't either. But God does. I also know that he will show you the reasons - when you are ready and if you seek them. The amazing thing is that He won't show you all the hurt, but he will show you the blessings he intended for you by putting you where he has.

    Do you know what I really see most in this post? I see the beginnings of all those changes you want to make...the beginnings of a big shake up! Yes, life will resume as normal in just a few days when you return home. But you now have the opportunity to go home with a fresh perspective on things, as well as a committment to make it different. You have the opportunity during your last few days of vacation to pick ONE thing you want to change and make a detailed plan as to how you are going to make that happen. Lucky you! YOu don't have to wait until January to start those often phony New Year's resolutions. This one gets to be real! Start with something small stuff, make sure it is something completely in YOUR power to change, and don't forget to use all those wonderful BLCC tools on yourself.

    You are an amazing woman who has a heart of gold and already does a lot to help other people, even just by blogging and sharing your heart. You are also an amazing mom who is doing amazing things with the daughter you have been blessed with. Incidentally, being a mom of some pretty RADical kids myself, as well as a home-grown bio, I happen to know full well that 1 RADical is the equivelant of 10 not so RADicals. I personally think that counts as a houseful of kids, myself. :-)

    Hugs and blessings to you!

  4. A do-over would be nice. As long as I didn't have to go back to those treacherous/volatile teenage years.

    Adrenaline is my drug of choice so I know exactly what you mean about pressure. I struggle with just being able to "be". Being with family can bring up lots of stuff. I am so sorry that it's not been a peaceful one.

    You are writing a book. One post at a time. You are making a huge difference...just in how you live your life with N, Anastasia, your students, blogging friends, and countless others that you have touched over the years, etc. You've made a huge difference in my life!

    Know that you are loved and admired and cherished!

  5. Such a great honest post. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who is not happy with my life at this moment. I have faith though and I'm still here and sober after living through an enormous amount of crap. I'm sure God has big plans for me. I just don't know what they are yet! Ha! I'm sure the feelings you are having are about doing some work on YOU. You can't ignore yourself forever you know. jeNN

  6. Nice to hear your heart. Keri, I do believe that you do not need a do over, just a huge change, something that will make a difference,which is something I think you can do. You are an amazing woman and you are who you are because of your past. Big hugs

  7. I think I read on your blog, or on a comment you wrote somewhere, that you were beginning to look into religion. I know that God is looking for you. He will take away all these empty, painful feelings and give you a new joy and purpose. I know from personal experience. I'll be praying for you.

  8. I see from your side bar that you are a "Beyond Consequences" devotee. Me too! Heather has changed so much about the way I look at my children's behavior. And has made me a more loving person altogether.

    The thing that Jesus said more than anything else, our priest told me is: Be not afraid. That's it, isn't it?


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