Hi. It’s been awhile.
I haven’t written in nearly 3 weeks. That’s the longest I’ve ever gone in the 3 years I’ve been writing this blog.
I wanted to. I mean, I tried. But I’ve been in a spot, you know, one of those dead zones where you just kind of wake up and do your thing and go to bed and that feels like enough, like all you can handle, and everything additional is too heavy.
I was already in that spot, but when one of my best friends faced a personal tragedy that rocked her to her core, I hit some mental state of feeling totally and completely lost.
Does that ever happen to you? It happens to me on a semi-regular basis. I’m going along minding my own business when all of a sudden I’m just not interested in anything. It’s like a fog descends over my eyes and into my brain. It all feels blurred and unclear, gray and, well, foggy.
Part of it is moving in with my mom. These transitions are never easy.
Part of it is that I now have to drive an hour each morning to get my 3 kids to school, and 1.5 hours to get them home. I spend at least 2.5 hours a day driving kids around. It’s not exactly an inspiring situation.
Part of it is that we don’t know where we’ll be living in a couple months, though I would like to joyfully report that I got a job teaching English at a community college about an hour away – two sections of first-year composition. Yes. So lucky. (That was not sarcasm. I am LUCKY as hell to get that job. And I am grateful and excited.)
My insomnia has reached new levels, but at least it’s consistent. I sleep from 11pm til 2:30am. Then I’m awake until 3:30. My husband’s alarm goes off at 4am. I go back to sleep at 4:30 and sleep til 6am. So I average maybe 5.5 hours a night. I wake feeling like I didn’t sleep a wink. I’m groggy and irritated and it’s like my body weighs a thousand pounds.
Do you know that feeling? The body is not rested; it’s only heavy. It’s all so heavy.
I eat crap to make myself feel better, which makes me feel worse, of course.
I regularly wake up with headaches because there’s so much tension in my neck and back and shoulders, none of which is getting released during those you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me nights.
So I’m sleeping like crap which makes me feel like crap which makes me eat crap which makes me feel worse so I sleep worse and fail to do the things that make me feel better.
(If anybody wants to hire me for a life coach, I’m totally available.)
I realize I am in control of this. I realize it’s my responsibility to change it. I realize I am in this spot because of my own rather apparent inability to snap the fuck out of a crap pattern and take care of myself.
But sometimes I just like to ride my misery as long as I can. You know, really draw it out. I like to just hold on to the inaction and insanity of doing the same damn thing each day expecting different results, which is only slightly crazier than doing the same damn thing each day expecting the same crap results.
Today I hit the end, I guess, after yelling at my husband (again) over something infinitely stupid (again).
Today I went to the gym. It took me a solid hour to drag myself into gym clothes and onto the treadmill, and I only spent 25 minutes on it. I spent 15 minutes stretching.
It was all very impressive I assure you.
But I felt better than I have in days.
In unrelated news, I’m 16 weeks pregnant, which blows me away (feels like I was just 9 weeks). I’m gonna level with you, I’m so in love with this baby I can’t quite handle it. I don’t know why. I don’t remember feeling so in love so early – maybe it’s because I know he or she is my last, or maybe it’s because I’m older, but my whole heart is with the tiny beating one in my womb, and this manifests in a warmth beyond words but also a profound fear. I haven’t felt the baby move yet, so other than the fact that I feel like crap I really don’t know I’m pregnant.
The thought keeps running through my brain “Maybe he’s gone. Maybe you’re not pregnant anymore.”
I told you. Crazy. Also, I keep feeling like this baby is a boy, but I don’t know that, and I’m probably going to be one of those assholes who doesn’t find out (which is going to have crippling consequences for my sister-in-law who’s dying to plan my ironic gender reveal party (because we all know how I feel about those fuckers.)
Incidentally, I’ve also gained like 15 pounds. UNCOOL JANELLE, uncool. I’m gonna need to nip that shit in the bud. Of course it doesn’t help that I have these super badass midwives who are like “Whatever. If you’re eating right don’t worry about it.”
Of course I haven’t been eating right. NOBODY EATS RIGHT IN THIS CONDITION. So as much as I want to use their supportive words to justify my fat ass, I know it’s actually the cookies. Winning!
You know life is pretty strange sometimes, the way it corners you in these new ways, backs you into feelings you’ve never quite felt before. I haven’t felt these before. It’s like I’m disconnected from myself. It’s like my physical and mental bodies are not unified. My body feels weak and incapable and generally shitty and my head feels lost.
All the faculties that normally pull me through are all “Fuck you, you’re on your own, bitch.”
I get angry a lot. My irritability is profound. I’ve been spending too much time on my phone, scouring social media and engaging in arguments with egotistical assholes who I really shouldn’t be wasting my time with (acting, on occasion, like an egotistical asshole myself, because let’s be honest, flame wars don’t always bring out our most mature side.)
I think I’ve been escaping through the bright lights of my iPhone.
And the worst part is the tears. I’ve never been a crier. Not that I’m too tough or have some problem with it, I’m just not super prone to tears. Now, oh lord, I cry all the time. It’s pregnancy hormones, I get it. But I feel raw and exposed and like the protection I’ve always had is gone. Now, when my feelings get hurt, I cry.
I cry from hurt feelings! Fuck me.
This is new domain.
Maybe this baby is making me softer. Maybe he’s demanding a new side of me.
It’s just the hormones. And they can BITE ME.
One of the worst parts about these mental blank spots and periods of malaise is that I feel like I’m letting you guys down. Not that this blog is like food or air or whatever, but you know, I feel like I should say something entertaining or insightful or whatever, and when I can’t think of anything and I’m unmotivated and tired, each day that goes by leaves me feeling more stressed like I’m NEVER GONNA WRITE AGAIN.
(I told you. CRAZY.)
And I explore every crevice of my brain for a something funny, something amusing at least, and all I get is “Oh my god I’m so tired.” Every crevice says “tired. Unmotivated. I gotta go to bed.”
But then I realize I can just tell you the truth. Normally life amuses me and gives me all kinds of things to write about, it sends me blog posts like pouring rain – it just dumps on my head. I don’t have to think about it. I don’t have to work at it or try or worry or even think. I sit down and the words come like water, just flowing. I laugh as I write them and I cry too sometimes, like really big ass tears (but I’m not a crier!) and I hit publish and that’s that (which is why there’s often typos).
I realize I can tell you the truth because maybe it happens to you, too, maybe not with writing but with life. I don’t know, whatever your thing is that makes you feel more alive and like you’re contributing something. Maybe work or art or cooking or singing or sewing or teaching or coaching or mothering. Whatever it is that makes you feel like you’ve got something inside that might help others, and make you unique.
And all of a sudden the energy driving that creation halts, and life sends you nothing but fog. Those days when the motivation leaves you, the inspiration slips away like your naked toddler as you try to dress her.
But then you get tired of the fog, too, and the silence, and you’re all “Well I guess I’ll have to force the issue, motherfucker,” and you move your pen and feet and hands and just start going again, forward, cause there’s no place else to go.
And you realize the blank spots must balance the vivid ones, or maybe in the end they’re one and the same anyway, and all that worry was for nothing, cause here I am, writing, even though I’ve got nothing to write.
And here I am pregnant. 16 weeks and crazy, and no end in sight. This was right before the gym. Please enjoy the hair. Yes, I went out in public like this.
Hot. Hot is the word you’re looking for.