Balancing My Marbles

I am not losing my marbles.  I do feel like I am grasping at them a bit sometimes though; trying to keep them from getting away from me this year.  I thought I was doing really good, but is just a roller coaster.  That's more accurate, I now realize.  I never know what to expect anymore--from myself, from the world.

Yesterday was particularly challenging in that regard.  I had an anxiety meltdown when I finally dragged myself out of the bathtub to face The First Day of Classes at the college where I work.  I just felt terrible.  There is this pit of dread that keeps flooding my gut paired with tightness that squeezes my chest as it whispers "Somethingbadisgoingtohappen."  

This was when I wondered if maybe I was losing my marbles after all...

Johnny Depp is such a silly, belly-pets loving gal.  She knows how to make me smile.

Because I am not like this.  I am a ray of sunshine who is always looking for the next adventure around the bend, full of pep and zest for life.  I'm never bored.  I'm never lonely.  I'm never anxious.  I am almost relentlessly optimistic.  This is not me....and I am caught so off-guard by these feelings.  I usually cope so well with whatever is happening.

But, I'm having a hard time, I guess.  The low-grade-but-ongoing stresses of this year have cumulatively caught up with me.  Pandemic stuff, work stuff, homeowner stuff, humanity stuff, election stuff...  The first day of classes was just a tipping point.  

Having Ginger on my lap is like going to therapy.  She is basically a professional.  I can't imagine how people without pets do it.

I managed to swallow my face-the-day nausea and called Matt for a "pep talk" instead.  Bless him.  As we visited the tension in my chest released and I could breathe deeply again.  I stopped crying and finished getting dressed and ready for work.   ...where I only cried once.  

In search of game-playing novelty we set up a badminton net last weekend.  Neither of us knows where it came from, but it was in the garage so...   I can't imagine how people without supportive spouses do it either.

I haven't even been sure if I wanted to talk about the way I'm feeling either, aside from with Matt.  I don't really know what to say to my friends or sisters.  I don't mean to cause concern and lots of people are having a hard time right now.  How can I ask them to help prop me up?  My case is nothing special.  In fact, I feel ungrateful for even having these hard-times feelings.  I have more blessings in my life than who am I to feel so distressed?  

Writing is what I do though.  It is how I process, reflect, and self-soothe.  So I wrote in my journal.  I wrote a letter to a friend.  And then I wrote this.  When I got home last night Matt had (1) flowers, (2) a pint of ice cream, and (3) a Moscow Mule waiting for me.  Then we danced around the living room to You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne.  

Ginger is not happy that I'm out of the house 8 hours a day now.

Matt told me that immediately following our pep talk he read about a Pulse survey from the U.S. Census that shows that 1 out of 3 Americans are currently reporting anxiety and depression symptoms compared to 1 out of 10 last year.  That's quite a jump.  I guess mine is a fairly normal reaction to such a chaotic time.  I am in abundantly good company.  That doesn't make me feel any better, exactly, but is sort of helpful context.  

I am officially a daily mask wearer now.

How is it September already?  I can barely wrap my mind around it.


  1. Sending a hug Beth and thank you for sharing, your words have supported me! Summer was pants my hubby spent six weeks in hospital following a fractured pelvis which has healed but he’s now in neuro rehab learning to stand and walk, thanks progressive MS. My son is super anxious about returning to college. I’m dealing with a Fibromyalgia flare and have lost my zip regarding homeschooling my youngest whose starting year 7. - currently hiding in my bedroom 🙂. Cheering you on from over the pond xx

    1. Oh, San....I hope you're keeping your spirits up. That is so much to have to carry all at once. I am grateful that my arthritis has mellowed for the time being. I've had more flares than normal this year, which stands to reason. I hope you can find some zip. Or can "fake it til you make it" as the saying goes. I will be cheering for you in return!

    2. Thank you for cheering me on xx

  2. Oh, you are so not alone with this! The pandemic stress rubs down my resilience so often! I know all the coping mechanisms and still sometimes I look into the future and think I cannot go on like this. Good for you for speaking up and I'm so glad you have such good comforts. May they carry you yet again as we get through this crazy time. . .

    1. I knew I couldn't possibly be alone...but is still nice to hear. Especially from someone who seems so grounded and sensible about most things. This is just quite the time to be alive!! (and then I laugh at how every generation probably says that!) I know we're in uncharted territory...I just wish I could snatch a little more certainty for the future. Even just a little.


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