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

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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

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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

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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

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letters | x/xanax #atozchallenge

letters | a to z | what sandra thinks

Dear Xanax,

I guess it’s probably inappropriate to write to you. Or at least weird. But there are a few factors at play here.

First, you are the only thing I could think of that starts with the letter X that has any significance to me. Sorry for using you this way.

Second, I’m a bit frustrated with you. I know I need you sometimes, but I can’t always have you because you make me so tired. How can I take you in and then have to explain myself when I fall asleep for three hours in the middle of the day? Don’t you see what happens? Don’t you know how it is? I have to hide my emotions. I have to cover up my feelings. I can’t use you often because there’s always the chance that when I do, all of my weaknesses will be revealed. I can’t have that.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to feel the way I feel and not be able to do what I need to do because I have to hide my feelings… my emotions… my ‘condition‘? Of course you don’t know. You’re a pill. I’m a human. A fucked up one, but a human nonetheless. Of course, when I need you most, I do not feel human.

And third, you are one of the, if not the, only things that calms me when I’m having a panic-ridden outburst of fear and loss and despair. I need you more than I care to admit. Not in an addiction sort of way. I don’t take you enough for that to be an issue. It’s just that while I have a list of no less than thirty techniques to relax, to distract, to refocus, none of them matter when I’m panicking too much to even find that list, let alone try any of those techniques.

So, thank you, I guess. But I wish you could help me off the cliff without burying me in sleep. It seems there should be a balance somewhere in the middle, but I haven’t found it.

See you soon.

Love,

p.s. — Oh, who am I kidding? I already said it all.

 

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

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letters | w/work friends #atozchallenge

letters | a to z | what sandra thinks

Dear Work Friends,

I’m sure you think I’m a total bitch. I don’t blame you… not really. After all, I’m still on the group text where you arrange that gathering every summer, but I never say a word. Maybe you don’t even realize I’m still in the group.

It’s not that I don’t have fond memories of you. Well, some of you. [Some of you were, and I’m sure still are, annoying as fuck.] It’s that I am not working and haven’t been since we all got laid off. You have all moved on and have jobs. Good jobs where you seem happy. I’m jobless and unhappy. And I know I can’t handle being around you.

If I saw you… any of you, all of you… there would be questions. How are you? Where are you working now? How’s the family? I can lie and say that I’m fine. I can lie and say that I’m not working because I decided not to and I’m happy as can be… that it’s completely by choice. I can lie and say that my kids are angels…. my family couldn’t be better. I can pretend I’m not a complete failure. But I know these are lies, and I’m not that good an actress. You will know I’m totally full of shit. You will see right through me.

After all these years pretending I’m okay, I should be better at it, but sometimes I can’t keep it together. Being around that many happy [or seemingly happy] people is too much for me. Tears could (would) come and then you’d all know how miserable I am. It would give you something to talk about after I’m gone. Maybe you wouldn’t talk about it, though, because after all this time, you probably don’t even care. I don’t blame you… I’m a terrible friend.

In reality, I was never part of the group anyway. I was always on the outside because I’m just not a social being. We may have had some fun in the office, but I went out with you guys a total of once during the entire time we worked together.

Now that I think more about it, I’m betting most of you thought I was a bitch the whole time… because I know it’s hard for socially capable people like yourselves to understand why it’s so difficult for me to socialize… so difficult that I avoid it.

I feel bad about you especially, J, because I think we were real friends… not just work friends. But I’ve lost all connection to you, too. The embarrassment and shame I feel about my life is all-consuming. I don’t want anyone to know.

So if I didn’t already say it… goodbye.

p.s. — Hey, J? I want you to know that I fondly remember those fake ‘meetings’ we had in your office when we were really just hanging out for an hour drinking coffee. I really did value our friendship. I’m sorry I killed it, but it’s too late now. I’m far too ashamed to ever get back in touch.

 

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

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letters | v/vanilla cheesecake bars #atozchallenge

letters | a to z | what sandra thinks

Dear Vanilla Cheesecake Bars,

I could eat a whole pan of you. But why is your recipe for an 8×8 pan? That’s too small. I’ve used a 9×9 pan a couple of times, but I didn’t change the recipe. It’s not more cheesecake. It’s just a psychological game I play with myself. I thought of doubling your recipe, but I wasn’t sure you’d bake properly. Maybe this is your way of controlling my enormous capacity for cheesecake. Um… thank you??

Part of my brain thinks I’ll find joy under the crust when I eat you up, but the rest of my brain knows I won’t. So I’ll have to settle for the joy of you on my tongue. Apologies… that came out a lot dirtier than it sounded in my head.

Love,

p.s. — You’re welcome, in advance:

Vanilla Cheesecake Bars

 

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

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letters | u/universe #atozchallenge

letters | a to z | what sandra thinks

Dear Universe,

Why are you punishing me?

I’m tired of feeling like I need to hide from my life. I have no peace. I can’t get a break. I’m afraid I’m going to snap.

Do you want to know what brought this on? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. I almost hate to because I don’t want you to think I don’t absolutely love my daughter. I adore her. But I feel that you’re trying to give me some kind of test. And I think I’m getting a big fat F.

Is it normal for a daughter to get annoyed with her mother for simply being the parent? It is? Yes? Then why do I feel like shit when she gets mad at me for it? Am I doing something wrong? Maybe it’s just my fragile mental state. But it has always been this way for me. [The ‘feeling like shit’ and the ‘fragile mental state’.]

So… I can be the parent and I feel guilty. Or I can give in and know that it’s wrong. (It is wrong, right?) I’m so confused. One way makes me feel guilty, the other makes me feel like a failure. Neither is a winning choice. I tend toward the failure/give in option because then I’m the only one who’s upset. With the other option, both she and I are upset.

To add insult to injury, the husband came home in a bitchy mood from work last night.

[Aside: For the record, his ‘essential’ job is in an office. He is not in healthcare or any job where he’s in close proximity to others. It just happens that his company supplies equipment to industries like water, gas, oil, and other essentials.]

He walked in at an inopportune moment—just as I was [calmly, I might add] telling my daughter that her attitude was not acceptable nor appreciated. Then my husband snapped at me the moment I spoke to him. As though I did something wrong. When I called him out on it, first, he denied snapping at me. Clearly a lie because then he gave an explanation for snapping at me—he doesn’t like when the first thing he hears when he walks in is conflict. Boo fucking hoo. Does he want to trade places? Stay home all day with the kids instead of go to work? No, he doesn’t. I’ve asked him.

Then I felt even worse than I did before. Like I did something [else] wrong. Like I should have just kept my mouth shut. In fact, I only spoke if necessary for the rest of the evening. And this, combined with the crap with my daughter, had me in tears. I literally went into the bathroom to cry so no one would see or hear me.

I just don’t get it. I know I shouldn’t let anyone walk all over me so why do I feel so guilty and terrible when I don’t let them?

Why are you doing this to me?

Fuck.

p.s. — I’m really struggling. I know I got myself here so it really is my own fault, but is there any way you can help me? Do you want me to beg?

p.p.s. — Maybe this is all magnified because of fucking quarantine, but truthfully, I don’t think it is. It’s not really new. Please help me. This is me begging.

 

         
©2020 what sandra thinks

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