disappearing act.

Wouldn’t it be great if after disappearing for almost a week, I came back and told you that life is good? That my mood has lifted… my kids are having loads of summer break fun and are getting along famously… opportunity has been knocking and money has been rolling in… and my back feels better?

Yeah! I agree… that would be great.

In reality, my mood is terrible… my kids are bored and fighting too much… there is no money to spend to alleviate that boredom… and my back feels worse than ever.

I have tried walking, cooking, cleaning, writing… and anything else I can think of… to occupy myself so I don’t get the horrible morning feelings. The complete and utter despair I feel *every* morning without fail. And the crying… so much crying. Nothing is working.

[Writing sure as fuck isn’t working. I can’t do that at all. But that’s only part of the reason I disappeared.]

I really thought I would feel better once the kids were out of school… not being alone as much. But it hasn’t helped. I still have to fight tears every day… and sometimes I fail… and the kids know I’m sad. Horrible.

Without enough to do, the kids are bored. Boredom makes me feel terrible, too, but combined with the kids’ boredom… it’s worse. Everything we think of either costs money, involves eating junk food, does not appeal to the kids [if it doesn’t appeal to me, I say yes and do it anyway because I want the kids to be happy…], or some combination thereof. And they haven’t even been out of school for a full week yet.

I never stopped the physical therapy exercises for my back that I started last fall. I also go for walks whenever I can—something else that has been recommended to me repeatedly for my back pain. None of this helps. In fact, the pain is worse. [And there’s no current treatment plan since nothing has worked.] I guess it may have been a bad idea to throw a frisbee around and play basketball with the kids. But I’m not going to miss out on doing things with them because I’m in pain. Even if it makes it worse.

• • •

I have no idea if I am going to disappear again. The fact is that I have nothing good to say… nothing to write about… nothing… just nothing. And I can’t seem to make up stuff either. I may never have anything worthwhile to say again. I have no idea. It’s been bothering me a lot…

I’ve tried to keep reading even though I can’t write anymore… but I’m having trouble with that, too. I feel out of place. I feel like I don’t fit in… like I don’t belong. I feel like I’m not a part of things like I used to be.

I miss you guys.


©2018 what sandra thinks


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when. #poetry

When I don’t know what to say
I hope you remember
those times when I did
When I had all the right words
and I could make you smile
even when you cried
When nothing more than a hug
took all the pain away
When nothing would ever
be wrong again
simply because
of love


Today, this poem is for my daughter… but on another day, it might be for someone else. I was torn as to whether or not I should include the photo above because I prefer to allow the reader his/her own interpretation… not mine… not necessarily mother and daughter.

• • • • •
©2018 what sandra thinks


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a friend. #poetry

when I needed a friend
you stood beside me
and held my hand
when I fell to the ground
you lifted me up
and dusted me off
when I cried hopeless tears
you wiped them away
and smiled for me
when I needed a friend
you magically appeared
and changed everything


©2018 what sandra thinks


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need some home improvements?

I’ve been walking a lot lately. The fresh air is good for me. And sometimes I see interesting things. One day, a funeral at the church a street over… one day, a really laughable sofa abandoned by the sidewalk waiting for a new home (which I believe should be in hell).

But yesterday, it was something else. I was just innocently walking around my neighborhood when I saw this van…

How could I not take a picture?

Sonny Dong: All Types Of Wood


©2018 what sandra thinks

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reverse schadenfreude.


That seems cruel. Am I a horrible human being? Maybe. But I cannot be the only one who feels this way sometimes. If I was the only one, there wouldn’t be a word for it. Maybe everyone else who feels it is German.

It’s been a really long time since something great (or even good) has happened to help my current situation. I am not saying that there is nothing good in my life. My friends, my family. There are things. That’s not what I mean. I’m talking about the things in my life that desperately need fixing (or at least improving). The back pain, the financial situation, the job search, and anything else I try to do or accomplish. The things where I can never catch a break. Those things. The things that always go wrong instead of right. The things that get worse instead of better. The things where the news is always bad never good. The things that remind me every day that I am jinxed.

I’m sure that is why I feel that twinge of happiness when something goes wrong for someone else (for a change)… not just me. Maybe I am a horrible human being.

on the flip side…
Because things constantly go wrong for me, I envy people for whom things go well. It physically affects me. Heart pounding, tears falling. Especially people for whom things go well all the damn time… no matter what they do… whether they try or not… whether they make mistakes or not. Things just work out. Everything just falls into place. That has never been me. I wonder what it’s like to be someone like that. I am so envious. Painfully so.

But that’s not schadenfreude (maybe that was just my jumping off point for this post). What I feel is not so much pleasure at someone else’s pain. It’s more the reverse… pain at someone else’s pleasure. The closest [German] term for that is gluckschmerz… defined as feeling unhappy about the good fortune of others. But most people have never heard this word. The closest English translation is envy… but that doesn’t quite grasp the pain and sadness.

I know I’m not ‘supposed to‘ feel this way. But if I’m honest, and I always am (maybe to a fault), I feel this way quite a lot. Daily. It’s no one’s fault (except maybe mine). It’s not like I sit around wishing for things to go wrong for others. But fuck, it hurts when I’m surrounded by others’ successes… by everyone else’s good news… when mine is always bad. It is painful in every way.

It’s so bad that even others’ optimism can upset me. They have positive thoughts… they have drive and motivation… they have a purpose. Why can’t I feel that way? Why can’t I have any of that? My life is shit by comparison. I know I shouldn’t compare, but really… how can I not?

[Aside: Someone is going to tell me to make good things happen for myself. Please don’t bother. You might as well tell me to make my own happiness (that’s not a thing) or make my own luck (neither is this). I’ve said this easily a billion times: If it were that simple, I would have done it by now. I’m not a fucking moron. Some shit is just beyond my control.]

I don’t know how to stop these feelings of schadenfreude and gluckschmerz. Maybe I can’t. All I know is…

… this leaves me with weltschmerz*.

*weltschmerz: a feeling of sentimental sadness or pessimism; the weariness that comes with knowing that the world is going to let you down no matter what and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.


©2018 what sandra thinks
(but I did not draw that picture of the girl under the cloud… I could not find the source)


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happiness. [1]

I want it so much it hurts.

It’s not something I can create.

Everyone doesn’t get to have it.

It’s there or it’s not there.

For me… it’s not.

happiness. [2]

It’s out of my reach.

Sometimes I get a shred of it… then it’s taken away.

The world is out of balance if I feel good.

Course correction brings it back to bad.

I fight but I fail.

I’m too tired and disheartened to bother anymore.

©2018 what sandra thinks


Posted in life, writing | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

come back. #poetry #haiku

I don’t need to know
Where you went when you left me…
I just want you back.


©2018 what sandra thinks


Posted in poetry, writing | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

so… to sum up…

As ‘promised‘ (or merely mentioned), here’s that birthday recap I know you’ve been waiting for.

Warning: I’m probably going to go into too much detail so this might be long. Oh, who am I kidding? It is definitely going to be long. Sorry.

My daughter did not want to wake up for school this morning. She hates when I stand there waiting for her to get out of bed before leaving her room, but I have to make sure she actually gets up. And she usually gets mad at me for it. Sigh.

Mom called to wish me a happy birthday as she always does. My mom is the best. But inevitably, we talk about how much my life sucks… and I cry. I hate that there’s nothing good to talk about, but there just isn’t. Confession: This is why sometimes I get anxious when talking to Mom… because I know I will end up crying. Not her fault at all… but it happens. Of course, crying happens most days whether I talk to her (or anyone else) or not. Besides… it’s Mom… she always manages to say the right thing.

One of my daughter’s friend’s moms included me on a group text with three other moms from my daughter’s class (about a group gift for their teacher). This doesn’t sound like a big deal… but I struggle with making friends… even with making conversation… so I was a little surprised but happy that she thought of me.

My new friend Mel posted a very sweet birthday party message for me on her blog. I was touched, especially since we just recently ‘met‘. Thank you, Mel.

My long time friend Lennon also posted a beautiful birthday message. I don’t know how I managed to land such a great friend (and not just her… so many others, too… you know who you are), but I’m so grateful. She also sent me a wonderful gift… because she is amazing.

My perhaps longest time friend (one of the longest anyway!) Meg sent me a very sweet and generous gift. Thank you for thinking of me… but, then, you always do. And thanks for being such a wonderful person and caring friend.

And someone else mentioned something about a late birthday gift… but as I don’t yet know what I’m thanking her for, I’m going to have to make another post at a later date… just for her.

I am left a bit speechless because of that whole thing where I think I’m not so great of a person and I don’t get why people like me. I mean, I get what they tell me (and they have told me because these are truly wonderful people) and I love them for it, but I still think the disaster that is my life can’t be fun for them… god knows it’s not fun for me.

I got two (real paper) cards in the mail. One from Mom (see below) with what she called a ‘birthday bonus‘… and one from my very generous sister who included her own version of a ‘birthday bonus‘. My father-in-law gave me a card, too. He lives just a couple of streets away so his cards are hand-delivered. He also gave me a ‘birthday bonus‘ which was really more than he should have done since he already does so much for us.

Yes, my mom has a sense of humor much like mine.

I wish I felt that I could take these ‘bonuses‘ and do something for me. Pedicure, massage, etc. But there are two issues. (1) I feel incredibly guilty spending money on frivolous things for myself when we are not in a great financial place… and (2) I don’t have a regular place to go for any of those sorts of things so it would mean finding a place and going to a new place and dealing with other humans in that place… and with my social anxiety and everything else, I probably couldn’t do it anyway.

I hate to end on a depressing note, so I’m going to shove this really bad part in right here before I get to the rest…

I got a call from the pain doctor’s office. They want to try one other injection for my back that’s a little different than the others, but they are concerned that the insurance company won’t approve it because of what they’ve already tried (none of which has helped). If I can’t have this one or if it doesn’t work, they are out of injection options. The PA mentioned that they/I could consider more aggressive things like a spinal implant that interrupts the pain receptors to the brain… or I could see a surgeon even though they don’t see anything that would indicate surgery is an option. I’m really not okay with either of those options. I really thought some sort of injection would at least help… but no. I have been afraid of having this pain forever and it seems like I will. So… this is terrible news. Again. This has, unfortunately, overshadowed my whole day.

My daughter really is the sweetest kid on earth. I’m not just saying that. She was nearly in tears yesterday when she thought my husband wasn’t going to have time to take her out shopping for my birthday. I told her she didn’t need to get me anything, but it was so important to her. The husband did take her… and she picked out some sweet little things. One of them was a tiny notebook… one for me and one for her… and an envelope full of random words. Every day, we pick one and draw a picture of it. She even got balloons.

In the interest of eating as much junk and as many carbs as I’ve eaten in the last six months combined all in one day, I went to the fancy muffin shop this morning and bought myself a carrot cake muffin with cream cheese frosting. I love them and haven’t had one for years. And obviously I got coffee with that.

To that same end, for dinner (because I sure as fuck was not cooking), I sent my husband to Five Guys. It’s been a long time since I treated myself to that super-healthy meal. Hey, they use only the freshest of ingredients. And we don’t have In-N-Out Burger here on the East Coast.

Oh, I almost forgot… earlier this afternoon, I had a craving for potato chips, so I figured what the hell! I got some. Hey, at least I shared with the kids.

And finally, after dinner, I had half of a cheesecake. No! I’m just kidding. I didn’t eat half of it. That would be crazy. Unless I had skipped dinner. Which I clearly did not.

My body may go into shock but I’ll get through it.


Couldn’t resist adding this…

Obviously I am not the owner of any rights to this song, video, or lyrics… just everything else…

©2018 what sandra thinks


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