I Just Can’t Seem to Manage It

I don’t know where my head is this morning. Turbulence. Headache already, and it’s not even 8 AM. I haven’t even left for school. Haven’t finished the first cup of tea either, so maybe that’s part of it. My to-do list is too long. My stress levels are too high. I need more help than I’m getting, but my stress levels increase when I have to start arguing for that. I’m close to crawling into bed and pulling that pillow over my head that drowns out the damn early morning birds and maybe staying there until July.

I think I wrote the same thing last year. Which is sad. Or…normal. Hard to say. Maybe my normal isn’t that healthy.

I posted this comic on FB…

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I love Purje’s work…she seems to really get what it’s like to be an artist. And I’m not sure I do the center row well. I try to, but I feel like a mutant sometimes. I do shower regularly. I sleep less than a third of the day (I sleep a quarter of the day). Right now, last night, I just wanted to curl up in a ball and not be me for a while, maybe experience someone else’s life and see what that was like for a week or two. Give me some perspective, because I’m not sure I have any, and I’m living day by day at the moment, terrified that someone’s going to come ask me for more money than I have. Oh wait. They already have.

Any time I think I don’t need my counselor any more, life bitchslaps me back into realizing maybe I will never NOT have a counselor.

Suffice it to say that I did not curl up into that ball last night. I cried a lot; there are tears in almost every quilt I’ve made in the last two years. They open the floodgates, tap into emotion. They are my brain in fabric.

I pinbasted instead.

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Because when you’re in a horrendously sad and depressive mood, crawling around on a tile floor closing a million safety pins seems like a good idea. I should probably apologize to my neighbors now for the music. Whoops. But hey, that makes up for that crazy pirate party you throw every year.

And then I started quilting, because that’s the next step, and even when I’m flailing and cursing and flopping around in a depressive place, my brain knows how to do this process…and it just does it. Because not doing it is worse. I see people who don’t do it at all, who succumb to inertia and express their unhappiness with that and don’t change it, and yes, depression kicks your ass on that, and maybe I was lucky because the process memory was in my brain before the depression, so it is just dragging me through, whether I like it or not (strange metaphor for parenting there).

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And in quilting, there is that meditative space where your brain can inhabit the needle and the hands moving the fabric, prethinking only enough to realize where to push the needle next, to guide the fabric through. The rest of the brain settles down into a curled-up ball and tries not to think about life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, because honestly, it can’t handle all those questions and not-answers at the moment. It just feels broken and damaged and irreparable.

And maybe that’s what I am. Broken. Damaged. Irreparable. If that is the case, then I will have to live with that.

So I quilt.

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And I find tiny bits of joy in outlining a cat’s face.

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Or in these tennis shoes. They pop with the lines done. That’s what I wanted to see.

It’s not exactly how I want to live my life, but it’s where I’m at right this moment…looking at this one day and deciding what has to be done (which will only stick for a short period of time until someone else adds to my list). The sad part of the brain obviously cried most of the night, because my eyes feel it, my head feels it, and I just don’t want to feel any of it. And that’s not an option. You can’t turn the feeling part off. You can slough some of it off onto paper or the screen, send it out into the world where a bunch of people read it. But you can’t make it stop.

So yeah. Today I’m not funny. I don’t have pithy remarks about parenting teens. I don’t have answers. I don’t even have the energy to get out of this chair and go to work, which is lame, because I don’t have a physical excuse. My body functions. I don’t have a disease that physically inhibits me. I have no excuse.

I just can’t seem to manage it.

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