Running on Empty

Back in April, I was faced with this situation. I acknowledged that is was a stress-related incident and secretly promised myself some much-needed change. I thought I meant it. Then, sunny, summer days showed up and eclipsed my stress, anxiety and empty feelings. Suncreen became my balm and salt water and chlorine my medicine. My aunt from Scotland distracted me with sightseeing and genealogy. For a little while, it worked. A summer break soothed some of what was crying out for attention, but it has not lasted near long enough.

I want to post about Sean & Ethan, complete with cute pictures of what they do together. I wanted to post about handwriting and great shows that we are watching, games we are playing and books we are reading. But it all seems trite. So you get this.

I find myself at the bottom of a hole that I have dug by hand. It is marked by cynicism, irritability, a short temper (or none at all) and the very uncomfortable feeling of walking through jello. I have had incidents with my kids that cut me to the core, requiring heartfelt apologies about why I am running out of tolerance like there is a hole poked at the bottom of the bucket I keep it in.

I have a gift and a curse. I have the ability to shut down any and all messages my body and mind are sending and continue on with what I want and need to do. It has served me incredibly well at times. Maybe I should have been a marine 😉 I do not enjoy the admission of tired, overwhelmed or the fact that I am trying to draw water from the bottom of a well that has run dry.

I wonder if it has even been this dry before.

I have insomnia. It sometimes keeps me up from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. Anxiety attacks that have always been an occasional visitor seem to have taken up residence in my sternum.

Although I can usually manage noise levels that would (and sometimes does) send most people running for shelter, I find my nerves frayed at the edges and the inordinate volume of my house like nails on a chalkboard right now.

Things I could always handle with one hand tied behind my back, don’t seem manageable. My concentration is shot and the word ‘prioritizing’ looks like a pool of words and actions swimming in a murky pond and I hack at them unsuccessfully with a net.

Here is my admission, my confession. Sometimes, I feel like I am living ‘Groundhog Day‘.

Dennis and I have had a long talk about all of this. It helped a little. It’s a start. I can’t pinpoint the exact issues that are causing my demise. If I look at each issue in singularity – the extensive needs of my kids, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, chores and responsibilities, my commitments to others, our schedule, the holidays, finances….one does not stand out to me.

But all wadded up together, they are forming a big ball, a giant boulder that is currently laying on my chest.

It feels good to be honest about this situation and give words to the dark cloud that has
become a daily partner to me. Maybe writing it will take a tiny chip out of the boulder.

5 thoughts on “Running on Empty

  1. Theresa Novak

    I am so sorry to hear you are feeling this way. I am sending positive thoughts and energy your way. Please know that if there is anything I can do to help, I will and that I am here to listen.

  2. Wayne Hastrup

    Well, the good new is empty cups are meant to be filled. Seriously Janet, hang in there (says the guy looking in the mirror).

  3. Becky

    Janet, it is so funny that you posted this today. I am going through a similar situation with my back on top of kids, a household and a part time job. Josh has has anxiety attacks so I can only imagine your pain. I am praying for you. You are not alone, I enjoy your blogs immensely. You can work through some of it, that’s what I tell myself a lot. Know that if I have an epiphany I will share. Make sure to take care of you also. We are not teenagers anymore and our bodies are definitely letting us know it. Sending you big hugs.

  4. Erika

    Praying for you Janet. Thank you for being so honest. I think we all feel like this at times, crushed under various loads. Homeschool Moms are always “on” and rarely get a break in Groundhog Day…If you are ever in my Sandy Hook hood, let me know… the kids can run like banshees and we can unwind together 😉 Love and hugs.

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