thought for the day.

If I find joy in nothing else today, at least I have the dude at the Dunkin drive-thru who has a sexy-ass voice.

 

p.s. — And this post just proves that I’m still alive. I know you’ve been spending all your time wondering. And you know that’s some serious sarcasm because I really don’t think that highly of myself.

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

Posted in life, writing | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

the anxiety of reading.

If there was ever a question that I have too much stress and anxiety, rest assured, there is no doubt.

I have a shit ton.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading. A lot. Thirty-eight books in about three weeks. Perfectly imperfect books about love, many complete with delicious sex scenes. And all with happy endings. Not that kind. Wait… yes, that kind. But the other kind, too.

How is this stressful, you may ask?

Of course, I’m going to tell you.

You can’t have a story without conflict. I mean, you can, but it will be significantly less interesting, captivating, satisfying, and realistic. [I use the word ‘realistic’ loosely. If these stories are anyone’s reality, my life is even worse than I thought.] So… inevitably, the conflict comes. It [almost] always works out in the end. Fuck, if it doesn’t, I just ditch that author forever. I can’t handle an unhappy ending. Stresses me out.

But well before the ending, I’m anxious as fuck. The conflict. I’m worried. I’m yelling [in my head, as it is usually the middle of the night or some shit].

Don’t let her go, you fucking coward!
Give him a fucking chance to explain, you bitch!
Fucking tell her how you feel, dumbass!
For the love of god, please do not sleep with that slut, you idiot!
Noooooo!

Just imagine that’s a book, not a laptop, okay?
Well, okay, a phone because I usually read on my phone.
And imagine that I’m Ice Bear.

As I’m reading through the conflict, I can feel my anxiety creeping up. I can feel my heart hurting. I can feel my eyes watering. I start to tell myself, “Don’t worry. It’ll be okay. They’ll work it out in the end.” Fuck me if that works! By the way, it doesn’t, so I guess I’m not getting any tonight.

Am I too invested? When I read during the day, I’ve had my daughter ask me what’s wrong because I look so distraught that she’s concerned. I’ve also been caught laughing at, as far as she can tell, nothing. Laughter and tears. That’s normal, though. It means the book made me feel things. Right? Fuck, I cry at the end of Tangled every time I watch it, and I’ve seen that movie easily a hundred times. That may not be normal.

All of this conflict-induced anxiety can only be resolved in one way: I must read to the end of the book.

Cue sunrise.

I’ve been up to see the break of dawn more times lately than ever in my life. I’m not waking up… no no no—I’ve not been to sleep yet. I’m sure it’s contributing to my anxiety because I’m not ‘postponing‘ my sleep—I’m getting less. But when I sleep is a problem anyway, so even postponing likely wouldn’t help.

Last night was particularly bad. Six in the morning. Daylight. I have trouble falling asleep during daylight. Even with the blinds drawn. Woke up at ten. Couldn’t get back to sleep. My head is pounding. Has been all damn day.

My lack of sleep isn’t insomnia. I’m not reading because I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because I’m reading. I’ve tried to force myself to stop and sleep, but I’m too stressed over the damn fiction I’m reading. Fiction, dammit! I’m going to survive no matter what happens in the damn book. Yet I can’t put it down and sleep until I’ve made sure it’s all good in the end.

On the other hand, I’ve had stories that stress me out so much that I’ve abandoned them. They’re not bad stories. They’re quite good [in my opinion, anyway], but I feel like I can’t take anymore. My god, my heart hurts. I can feel the impending doom. I have to stop. What the fuck? Of course, inevitably, I can’t handle not knowing either. I end up going back to them eventually…

So here we are. The conflict… the loss of sleep… Even something as simple as reading stresses me the fuck out.

p.s. — So much for my assignment. I haven’t posted since 15 June. But… I haven’t talked to the NP since 11 June, so maybe it’s not so bad. But I’m still feeling isolated and lonely, so maybe it *is* so bad. I don’t think I’m getting the desired outcome here…

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

Posted in anxiety, life, reading, writing | Tagged , , , , | 33 Comments

my assignment.

I had an appointment with my NP last week and she left me with an assignment.

We talked about my parenting worries—specifically that I think I’m a terrible mom… and that my own mom was so much better.

How was your mom different?‘ she asked me.

It took me a minute, but once I started talking, it was easy. My mom is confident, friendly, and outgoing. She’s more laid back. She worries like all parents do, but not like I worry about every fucking breath. Even with four daughters, she has always had a great [and close] relationship with all of us. She didn’t work [because four daughters], but she still had [and still has] her own life. She has always had hobbies… she has always had friends… and until he died, she had my dad who she absolutely adored just as he adored her.

I’m not confident or outgoing. I am terrible at making small talk and making friends. I worry excessively. I often feel like I want to hide away in a closet instead of being around anyone, including my kids. [God, that sounds awful.] I used to feel close to my kids when they were younger, but I feel much less close now. I don’t have a job nor do I have my own life. All I am is mom, chef, maid, lazy fuck. I have hobbies but I never feel like doing anything so I rarely partake. I don’t have [local] friends… and I don’t have a great love story. [Or, all I have is a ‘story’… a fictional one. Not a reality.]

I wasn’t cut out for parenting. I wish I had recognized that before I became a mom. I’m just not good at it. Simple as that.

Maybe contributing to my crappy parenting is my lack of confidence and social skills… and in large part, my loneliness.

I’m not alone. The kids are here all the time. The husband comes home after work every night and is around all weekend. But, as everyone knows, loneliness and alone are not the same thing. Hell, I think not being alone makes me lonelier. There’s a level of connection missing for me. It’s the kind of connection you feel when you’re having coffee with your best friend or you’re cuddling up to [or doing other stuff with] the love of your life.

I don’t have a best friend locally. Or any friends. I have my long-distance best friend [and a few other long-distance friends], but we don’t ‘get together‘ regularly. I never met the love of my life. I am sure it’s too late now. He’s not coming. You know, if he even exists at all, which I highly doubt.

Maybe some people are just meant to be lonely.

My NP listened… took in everything I said… and made me think back on one of the things I said—the bit about having a few long-distance friends who I met here. [She knows about this blog—its existence, not its address.]

She gave me an assignment. A two-part one, kind of.

Part one: Post on my blog.
Part two: ‘Talk’ to [email, text, DM, back-and-forth comments, whatever] a friend [or two or more]. Doesn’t have to be a lot. Even just a little… maybe a couple of times a week.

I already told her I was still going to be a mess… still going to feel lonely… because—full disclosure [horrible as my honest thoughts are…]—it’s never enough for me. A few conversations? A couple of emails? It’s never enough for me. I need a constant.

I know… it’s wrong for me to give up and accept defeat before I even begin. But I’m just being honest… with her, with you, with myself.

Yet… here I am. Posting. Thanks for taking part in my ‘therapy‘.

 

p.s. — I just want to be clear that I do recognize that I’m not exactly a person who inspires others to say, ‘Wow, I want to be friends with her!’ So, no hard feelings if you run. If I could run away from me, I’d probably do it.

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

Posted in life, writing | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

throwing cake.

When did birthdays stop being fun? I think maybe it was after 29. Sometimes I still give that as my age. It’s a lie.

My family was going to throw a party for me at Mom’s… where we always gather for special occasions. [Aside: Why is the expression ‘throw a party’? What exactly are we throwing? Cake? That would be a tragedy! Never waste cake.] I’m [almost] always the baker, so I’d bake my own cake, and we’d have a late lunch, then cake… all while listening to my little sister talk and talk and talk. She never shuts up.

However, even though restrictions have been loosened a bit, we’re still kind of under a stay-at-home-as-much-as-possible order. And one of my sisters lives in NYC. Getting a train up to Mom’s might still be a problem. And we’re extra cautious about being around Mom since she’s older. She’s healthy, but who wants to take the risk, you know? But how long are we supposed to wait? This nightmare isn’t going to be over until everyone can get vaccinated… with a vaccine that’s not even available yet. I miss Mom. And she lives alone and misses us, too. Maybe at some point, we just have to take the leap and get together.

Party or not, I baked myself a cake. That is the highlight of a birthday, after all. I should probably say seeing my family is the highlight, and that’s nice, but it’s not happening this year. And I crave cake. Like, every single day. In fact, in addition to baking myself a cake, I sent my husband out to buy me a cheesecake. I didn’t feel like making one of those. So I’ll be treating myself every night after dinner until both cakes are gone. [Who am I kidding? Cake is also a suitable breakfast.] I’m really milking this birthday. Or am I caking it? [I know… that was really bad. Feel free to cringe.]

So… I made a cinnamon cake… with cinnamon frosting… topped with crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. I should have piped a pretty frosting border around the top and bottom edges, but I got lazy. And it’s just me and the husband and kids. They don’t care what it looks like. I should have done it for me, though, right? Yeah, that’s never a good enough reason for me.

And yes, it is sitting on a paper plate. I’m super fancy when it’s just for me. I wonder if I’ll even bother with candles. If I put one for every year of my life, I’ll burn the house down. Twenty-nine [wink wink] is a lot of candles. By the way, I cannot wink.

Maybe just one candle. I mean, I have to make a wish that will never come true, right?

p.s. — Just in case it wasn’t painfully obvious, today is my birthday. Yay?

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

Posted in life, writing | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

bad timing.

Here’s my dilemma. Maybe that’s the wrong word. But I can’t think of a better one. [That’s telling. My inability to write is so strong that I can’t even find the word I need.]

I’ll just explain myself now.

Sometimes at night as I lie in bed reading on my phone, I feel a little motivated. Inspired, even. My mood is lifted. I’m not skipping around in a field of flowers blowing sunshine out my ass or anything. My mood is never lifted that much. But feeling even a little bit motivated and inspired does wonders for my well-being.

I’ll lie there between chapters coming up with all sorts of projects I could do around the house or ideas for writing stories. Most of the time, I even write these things down. And I actually feel like I can do them—the house stuff and the writing. But not at 1 – 2 – 3am. Tomorrow. I can do them tomorrow. These feelings come from around 11pm until I fall asleep. Terrible as it is, lately sleep comes between 4 and 5am.

Then morning comes. Well, it’s already morning. But I mean my ‘morning‘ which is around 11 since by the time I finally fall asleep, the birds have started chirping and traces of sunshine are peeking through my windows. Unless it’s not a sunny day. But you get the picture. My alarm goes off, which I set only because I have no idea when the hell I’d wake up without it, not because I have any reason to wake up.

When I hear the alarm, I grab my phone and silence it. I continue reading for a while, picking up from where I left off when I dropped my phone on my face when I finally fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning. Why don’t I get out of bed right away? Because I don’t see the point. I feel empty. Gaping hole inside me. I have nothing to do.

Right. I have plenty to do. All those projects and ideas I had before I fell asleep. Those things. But it’s morning and every trace of motivation and inspiration I felt at 2am is long gone. My lifted mood has taken a nose dive. Does sleep murder those things? That’s a violent image. I think I might be really fucked up. No, I’m sure I am.

dreaming.

Eventually, I do drag my lazy ass out of bed. And I am most definitely dragging. I don’t want to be out of bed. It’s such a chore. All of it… getting up, showering, getting ready for my empty day. I do the things I have to do. You know, dishes, cleaning, other random mom stuff. I feel like I’m only doing the minimum. Probably because I’m only doing the minimum.

Why does the motivation, the inspiration, the decent mood come at night like that? At night—when I’m not going to get up and reorganize my kitchen cabinets… or write… or paint the bathroom… or dust and vacuum… or clear out old books and clothes? And why is the motivation and inspiration and decent mood gone when I wake up and could [and should] do these things? Do I feel motivated and inspired at the wrong time because my brain knows I won’t do anything about it at that time? Is this another cruel joke the powers-that-be are playing on me? Some fucked up torture?

I’m an analyzer. I want to know why this happens. I don’t know if it’s because I think knowing the reason will help me find a solution or if it’s just a mystery to solve. I don’t know if knowing why would change anything. But it kills me that this is how it is. Every damn day.

It’s not even just the loss of motivation, inspiration, and decent mood. In the morning… during the afternoon… it’s not just that I’m missing those things. I’m also missing, well, everything. I am empty. Purposeless. Bored. Sad. Lonely. Alone [not literally, yet still alone].

If I have something I absolutely have to do outside the house—somewhere I have to be, my mood isn’t as bad. Motivation and inspiration have still gone to hell, but I feel okay-ish. Unfortunately, I haven’t had anywhere to be due to stay-at-home recommendations… and due to my life being empty. The answer to the mood thing is clear: leave the house every day. Problem is, unless I *must* be somewhere, I can’t motivate myself to go out.

Last week, I had a routine appointment with my doc that was actually not canceled [like most things have been for months]. And I felt human that day. I wore a little make-up for the first time in nearly three months. No lipstick because, really, what’s the point while wearing a mask? And I had a nice chat with my doc, who I adore, about kids and life and whatever else came up.

The next day, I took my son to karate. His instructor has started having very small classes. Like, only four kids and him all spread out in the studio. Even though it was just giving my kid a ride, grabbing a coffee, and picking him up, it was something I had to do. [Well, not the coffee, I guess. I didn’t *have to* do that. No, I take it back. Yes I did.]

drink you under the table.Mom says I should go out for coffee every morning as though it’s an appointment. But it’s the same problem I keep repeating. My brain knows it’s not required so I can’t motivate myself to do it. Plus, I really don’t need to drop money on coffee every day. I have tons at home already. I know where she’s coming from, though. I need a schedule and I need to stick to it. But, again, not required = no motivation.

It sucks that I have to be forced to leave the house. What the hell is wrong with me? I mean, really. If I *know* something is going to make me feel better, why can’t I just fucking do it? Being productive… accomplishing something—anything—gives me a lift… and sometimes a trace of that motivation and inspiration comes with it. I wish there was a pill for that. The motivation and inspiration pill. Sign me up!

I have a theory.

I carry a tremendous amount of guilt because I don’t have a job. This is not a pandemic-related situation. I got laid off a long [loooong] while back and never found a new job. [And gave up and can’t really not be around now for various reasons that I won’t bother detailing.] Because of this guilt, I feel awful during the time I ‘should‘ be at work… when I used to be at work—daytime. I’m justified in being home in the evenings and at night so I’m better during those times.

However, this doesn’t explain the weekends. I’m ‘justified‘, to use my own word, in being home on the weekends, but I feel terrible anyway. Maybe that’s husband-related. He irritates the hell out of me a lot of the time. But he’s also home in the evenings and at night so why are the weekends different? Maybe the longer he’s around the more annoyed I am. You may laugh. I just did.

And the other part of my theory… the part about not being able to do what I know is going to make me feel better—

I’ve never been confident, but at this point, I’ve lost all sense of self-worth. I feel like a waste of a human. I think I’m subconsciously punishing myself, and that’s why I can’t bring myself to do things even if I know they’re going to make me feel better. My subconscious doesn’t think I deserve to feel better.

Of course, these theories don’t change a damn thing. So maybe I don’t really have a question here. Maybe I’m just explaining myself for no apparent reason. Maybe I just wish I had someone who could hold my hand and make me go places and do things. Like, literally drag me out of bed, take my hand and pull me out the door. Maybe I just wish I had someone. Period.

Who the fuck knows?

p.s. — This post was born from a draft from last November. That’s right, seven months ago. I had these thoughts then. I still have them now. That’s just fucking fabulous… seven months and nothing has improved. I’m the best human ever. So amazing and well-adjusted.

p.p.s — Damn, I disappear for a month and when I come back, I write a fucking book. If only I could write an actual book. You know, my romance novel… not this psychobabble.

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

Posted in life, writing | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

letters | after thoughts #atozchallenge

letters | a to z | what sandra thinks

Dear Everyone,

Now that the A to Z challenge is over, I can plainly see that my heart just wasn’t in it. My heart wasn’t in it last year either, but I think this year was worse. I haven’t been happy with my A to Z posts since 2018’s Dear Diary story. Since then, I’ve been forcing myself, and that’s evident in my writing. I’m not proud of it… any of it.

My hope was that pushing myself to do this challenge would get me writing again, but I think it has only made me realize how much it pains me that I can’t. Or can’t do it well. I don’t want to quit. I don’t want to give it up. I don’t think I could give it up. I just hate the products of my efforts, and I have for months. So. Fucking. Many. Months.

It started at the end of 2018. My posts became less and less frequent. Soon, I started disappearing for a few days at a time… then a few weeks… then a month. This has been going on for over a year, but it feels longer.

I remember the reasons I started blogging 4 1/2+ years ago, but those very same reasons seem meaningless now. I don’t have a mission, a goal, an endgame anymore (if I ever really did in the first place). Maybe I am writing just to write? Still, though, I feel good when I come up with words and terrible when I don’t. It makes me push myself, often too much. You can’t force it, you know? I mean, you can, but then it sucks.

I go back, sometimes, and read some of my old posts. And a few things jump out at me.

Let’s start with the bad: Evidence demonstrates that in my 4 1/2+ years of blogging, I have not improved, and have maybe regressed, with the state of my anxiety and depression. I’m also struck by how nothing I have written in the last six to twelve months is as good as what I wrote prior.

And the good: I wrote some damn good poetry, particularly, but also good fiction. Even my personal shit seemed well written. But the poetry… I literally say to myself, aloud, ‘Damn! I wrote that?!?’ I’m not one to pat myself on the back, but I was good. Was.

But the good, for me, as usual, is overshadowed by the bad. I imagine I will never recapture the quality (and quantity) of my past writing. Reading my old poetry, for example, makes me more sad than proud. Where did my inspiration go? Where is my muse? Gone.

And then there are the relationships. I used to feel so close to some of you, but now I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. Or on the inside looking out. Yeah, that’s more like it. Everyone is out playing at the playground, but I can only watch from my window. I struggle to go outside. And if I do break the chains and go outside, I feel like I don’t belong there.

Maybe I wish someone would come and be inside with me.

All of that aside, I do hope you enjoyed my a-to-z letters. This was my fifth completed A to Z challenge. I hope to continue doing them well into the future. It’d be pretty cool to say I’ve done ten of them someday. But that’s far off. You know, five years from now. Jesus, my son will be 20. Okay, I don’t want to think about this anymore!

Love,

p.s. — This was supposed to be my ‘reflections’ post after the A to Z challenge, but it turned into whatever the hell this is. I guess I reflected…? But I got seriously off topic. That seems about right, though. 

 

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

Posted in blogging, challenge, life, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 48 Comments

letters | z/z #atozchallenge

letters | a to z | what sandra thinks

Dear Z,

You’re a stupid letter and I’m not going to write to a fucking zebra.

Love,

p.s. — To my readers: Yeah, I totally gave up. But I guess this post still counts as me ‘completing’ the A to Z challenge. Up next… my thoughts after this month of letters… which will, no doubt, be riveting. 

 

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

Posted in blogging, challenge, life, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

letters | y/you #atozchallenge

letters | a to z | what sandra thinks

Hey You,

I always feel like I’m repeating myself when I write to you. I tell you how much I appreciate you, need you, wish you were here. I tell you that I wonder why the hell you want to be my friend when I’m so… challenging, shall we say. I mean, come on… most of the time, I’m not a lot of fun. Or any fun. But knowing you, you’ll say that I am. And I’ll know that you’re not ‘just being nice‘ because you don’t do that. Which I love.

I believe that you believe the things you tell me when you explain to me why I’m not the waste of space I think I am. I have never doubted your sincerity. But I feel your frustration at me not being able to believe those things within myself. I wish I could believe them for you. Yeah, for me, too. But for you.

Here is where you tell me that I’m crazy for wanting to do that for you when it’s about me feeling better… when I should want to do it for me. But I want to be a good friend. I want you to know that even though I fail, your belief in me helps me. You make more of an effort to understand me than anyone else in my life.

I don’t know what else to say… since I’ve said it all before. But I’ll repeat this again, too: Thank you.

Love,

p.s. — You know I’d be nervous as hell to get together if we were ever in the same damn state. I’d be having anxiety from hell. But I would do everything in my power to get myself there. Don’t you feel special?  

 

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

Posted in blogging, challenge, life, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 27 Comments