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Monday, October 31, 2016

Stepping Away

Stepping away from my life is imperative to my sanity. There needs to be some distance between me and my reality to take perspective.

It's impossible to look at the big picture of your life when you are immersed in it. It's just like you can't see the entire beauty of an ocean while you're swimming in it. When you're swimming, you can only see the parts closest to you. You can only think about what you need to do to survive. There is no time for figuring out how to make things better. There's no time reflect or set goals for the future. You are just living from one moment to the next, and maybe, just maybe, you may get some rest in between.

You have to get back in your boat and sail away. You may not need to go far. Just far enough, so that you can take it all in from a distance. Feel the breeze and the sun on your skin.

When you step away, the good stuff happens.
This is where you gain insight...
~in the quiet.
~in the stillness.

That's what I am doing this weekend ...stepping away, having some fun, sitting still, and looking back on my life.

The last several months have been taxing. I haven't even been able to write about everything that has taken place because of my son's privacy. Also, there's the fact that when something heavily emotional happens in my life, I usually have to get some distance from it before I can write about it.

I'm learning a little from my early days of blogging, where I would totally let it all hang out, un-edited, as I was living through it.  This blog was my only release. It was my life preserver.  Now, I have a real therapist, besides my community here and on Facebook. Since the kids are older, I think more carefully about what I am willing to disclose here on the blog.

What is really funny, is when someone reads and makes assumptions about our lives, in an obvious attempt to read between the lines. And then they decide to offer unsolicited advice. I just laugh. Sometimes, I roll my eyes and give them the finger.  As I've said so many times before, you can not know the story in it's entirety unless you've lived it.  I realize that receiving critique and having people feel they have the right to weigh-in on your life, is all a part of the package that comes along with putting yourself out there. The benefits I receive and that I give to this community far outweigh the comments from the peanut gallery.

I write for parents, just like me who are struggling, and maybe afraid to say it out loud. Everyone else, I hope you get some form of education or entertainment from reading, but you can keep your advice. Actually, you know what you can do with it...

I digress. 

If you follow regularly, you know that I've written about the anxiety of my 17-year-old recently. He is now a Senior in high school.  It's difficult to begin to describe anxiety and the way it shows it's ugly face.  To the naked eye, a written description probably doesn't come close t0 describing it in totality. There is nothing about anxiety that is rational or makes any sense.

So today, I am a couple of hundred miles away from my life, visiting my best friend and her family. I left on Friday afternoon. I wasn't sure exactly how long I would be gone when I left. Maybe I would come back on Sunday. Maybe, I would come back on Monday morning, preferably the latter. All depending, on how well I sleep while not in my own bed, and what activities I would participate in, while I'm here.

What I didn't anticipate was how difficult the drive would be this time. I was in a pretty traumatic car accident several weeks ago. So, I wasn't as comfortable with driving at high speeds, being surrounded by large trucks, and being pinned in between both, with no outlet, on a two-lane highway.

Normally when I drive here, I zone out with my music, singing, and car dancing. (Have I told you what a fabulous car dancer I am?)  But this time, I couldn't just relax and enjoy the time alone in my car, listening to my music, with no one to ask me to turn it down or change the station.  This time, I was pretty tense. So I'm not looking forward to hitting the road again to head back home.

The amount of discussion that I had to go through just to get out the door was enough to make my blood pressure rise (and I'm not talking about my children). It was my mother. "Why are you leaving this early? Why would you stay that long?

Since I've been here, there have been phone calls from both my husband and my mother with little digs built-in about my point of return. It makes my heart rate go up just thinking about going home.

My everyday life is boring...busy, but boring. The highlight of my day is usually, my first cup of coffee in the morning and my first cocktail in the evening. Oh! Yes. Let me not forget, climbing in to bed everynight. That's my absolute favorite! In between is busy work, taking care of the details of our lives, the house, and the meeting the needs of it's inhabitants. There really aren't any days off from my job where I get to totally decompress. I have to take them, or they will not be given.

The biggest, most heart wrenching and exhausting part of my job is being a listener.
I listen to my son attempt to get a few of the many thousands of things, that are running through his head at any given moment.
I listen to him try to make sense of a world, that doesn't make any sense.
I am the live-in, on-call therapist, constantly walking a line between active listener, and advice giver.
The fine line that I walk is like a tightrope.
I'm trying to allow him to grow up and be independent...
at the same time, he is begging me for advice that he doesn't really want.

Sometimes, that rope feels like a noose around my neck that I'd like to hang myself with. Most days I feel like  running away leaving it all behind for a while, letting them all sink or swim.  They are lucky that this runway trip is only for 3 days. I could use three months!

The truth is, they all actually function better when I'm out of the picture. Which makes me think, I need to be out of the picture more often.

For example, there has been a meltdown every.single.weekend, for the past several weeks. This weekend, I'm away, there has not been one-single-meltdown. In fact...he made it to Kung Fu for the first time in weeks, and he actually earned his yellow belt!

Hmm...maybe I should get an apartment here.