I need to take a moment, pause, and breathe.
It doesn't stop from the moment my toes hit the floor in the morning to the moment I fall into bed, exhausted, each night.
It feels like there is never, ever enough time.
Things that need to be a priority in my life start slipping; I manage to get everything done for everyone else, and put my needs last. I don't feel resentful about this, not yet at least; it comes naturally to me to shuffle myself to the bottom of the deck.
I didn't go to a recovery meeting for two weeks; that is the longest I've gone since I got sober. I skipped my Jenny Craig appointment for three weeks. I'm not meditating, or taking any time to sit and reflect. What scares me most is that I don't mind. I love being too busy. It makes me feel important, needed, but that's just me deriving my sense of self-worth from external forces. I'm losing touch on how to find it from within.
I don't like being motivated by guilt and fear, but sometimes it's all I've got.
At the meeting I slumped into my chair, wanting to fade into the background, listen for an hour and go home. My list of things to-do last night was huge: homework, baths, jewelry orders, emails and phone calls to return. I didn't want to be there.
So, of course, I was asked to chair the meeting. I really didn't want to, but I couldn't say no, because I didn't have a viable excuse.
Chairing a meeting isn't a big deal, but it forced me to open my mouth, speak my truth. I admitted out loud that I hadn't been going to meetings, that I was feeling just fine, thank you. Heads nodded all around the room, especially the people who have been going for a while. They've been there before, too.
And, of course, I heard exactly what I needed to hear. As people shared, told their own truths, spoke about their struggles and triumphs, I felt a peace come over me. I've missed this, I thought. I need this.
Today I'm feeling overwhelmed. I just need to get it out, speak my truth, right-size my troubles. I have a lot on my plate, and not enough time to get it all done. I spent half an hour this morning just pinging around my house; Finn is at school until noon, then Greta is picked up early for a doctor's appointment, then a play date later in the day. Panicked, I started and stopped three different things - all of them important - and then froze in place.
I picked up my laptop and sat down to write this. I can't always bring it, but that doesn't matter. I just need to write. As I've heard many other bloggers say: they aren't all gems.
Wise words from a friend in recovery just surfaced. He talks about what he does when he's overwhelmed, when the sheer volume of things that need to get done freeze him in place, make him want to curl up in a ball. "I can only do one thing at a time," he says. "So I do one thing, and let the rest of it go. Then I do the next one thing."
So, I'm doing this one thing. I'm writing myself back into the moment. Then I'll do the next thing. It's all I can do.