I don't know what I want and I won't be happy until I get it.
Have you ever felt that way? Have I? Well, obviously I have or I wouldn't have written it in bold print across the top of this blog.
Can I be bitchy?
Oh, yeah. I guess I just proved that.
Ok, now let's go back to the first line of this blog.
Periodically, every year, without warning, I get down, dirty and in a slump. I'm unmotivated and I have to force myself to go through the motions of everyday living. I rack my brains trying to figure out how to get going again. The unpredictable roller coaster ride of my life is mentally and emotionally exhausting. At the onset of these painful days, I talk to myself, trying to pull myself out of the gutter. The following dialogue is typical of my inner struggle. I've labeled my inner voices, Self #1 and Self #2. I haven't started talking outloud to myself, yet. That's a plus.
Self #1: You're lethargic, indifferent, irritable and even downright hateful. You hide your anger well but it's there, oh boy, is it ever. The things that go through your mind! What is your problem?
Self #2: I don't know what's wrong with me and what difference would it make if I did?
Self #1: Well, wallowing in this mood again is a waste of time. It's wearing on me after all these years. Get a grip.
Self #2: If you're so wise, you tell me what has thrown me off track. Huh? Come on. Tell me what's wrong with me. Wave your magic wand. I hate this as much as you do.
Self #1: Little things on your mind build themselves into mountains. Let's try to figure out what triggered your depressed mood.
Self #2: I don't care, anymore. I'm so sick of feeling like this. I'm tired of everything and sick of trying to figure out why.
Self #1: Please try to remember what you did to pull yourself out of this mood last time it happened.
Self #2: My brain's asleep. It's hard to think.
Self #1: Did somebody say something that knocked your feet out from under you? You tend to overreact to what people say and distort or blow things out of proportion.
Self #2: Everything everybody says bothers me.
Self #1: How can that be?
Self #2: I don't know why. I just don't want to talk or be around anybody. I want to be alone. When I'm with people, I second guess everything I say and do. I come away feeling inadequate and worthless.
Self #1: You've got a lot to offer; try to think about that.
Self #2: No! I'm stupid and ugly and no good for anything. I just want to stay here at home until I have to go to work.
Self #1: Okay. Here we go. You're beating up on yourself again.
Self #2: Just shut up and get out of here!
Self #1: No. We should do something, anything. Let's go to Target or Menards. How about a walk?
Self #2: I don't know what I want and I won't be happy until I get it.
Self #1: Now you're talking. We've been here before. I recognize this place. Let's fall back on what works. Keep going through the motions exactly as you are and one day soon you'll know what you want and we'll go after it.
Self #2: Right, yeah, right. How'd you get so smart?
Self #1: After sixty years of hanging out with you, I've noticed a pattern. It's a mean and bumpy road you're destined to travel. You've run off it before but you manage to steer yourself back on, somehow.
Self #2: It's scary though. I always wonder, what if I can't get the wheels turning this time?
Self #1: It scares me too, but trust me. Or better yet, trust God. He'll give you a push.
Self #2: I'm afraid He's tired and ashamed of me.
Self #1: Don't be stupid. Talk to Him. Say anything. It doesn't matter.
Self #2: I really don't want to.
Self #1: Do it now and then just wait. Be as patient as you can. It may take a while. When you get your front tires back on the road, the rest will follow.
Self #2: Is that my Bible over there, under those magazines?
Yeah, except for an exceptionally rough time in my twenties, I bounce back in a few weeks or a month. When I'm feeling good, there aren't enough hours in a day for all I want to do. During the hard times, I just want the day to be done.
For me, writing is many things. It's a life jacket when I feel like I'm drowning. I can write when nothing seems right. It gives me an outlet and I don't feel stuck and stagnant when the words start to flow.
For now, I've got a new banner to wave. It reads like this:
I know that I want to write and I'm happy when I get to.
Oh, yeah and Amen.