Aug 17

The trouble with being human

I feel confident that I am not the only person struggling with existence right now. Honestly, based on headlines, I feel like anyone would be hard pressed NOT to be struggling with something.

In my little life, however, there seems to be a bountiful array of issues that are troubling me.

Body

I am fat. It’s not fun. I work on it. But some days the discomfort can be intense.

I have developed plantar fasciitis (small tears in the plantar fascia ligament) in my right foot. The best way to get over it is to rest. But I have a young, active dog and a variety of other reasons that I need to go for a walk every day. Because of this, I’ve been struggling with this for almost a year and it’s not, in any way, on the mend.

My knees are aching, probably because I am fat and I am walking funny to try to compensate for the foot pain.

I am hot. I hate summer. I don’t like anything over 75 degrees. And it’s been a hot summer.

I can’t breath. There are a bunch of wildfires nearby and the air quality is bad and my asthma has flared up.

I’m tired. Objectively speaking, it’s been a long time since my last vacation (I think that was Hawaii in December of 2015.) I’ve been saving up vacation time for a while now to go to Montana with my mom next month, and I’m really starting to look forward to getting away.

Note: This isn’t to say I haven’t taken days off work, but most of those days have been art-workshop-related, which is not the same as vacation or time off.

Mind

I struggle with depression and anxiety. I currently appear to be going through something of an uptick in my depression, which means that every feeling and plan has to go through rigorous screening to ensure it’s:

  1. Socially acceptable
  2. Real
  3. Helpful

It’s not so much like having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, it’s more like…

In addition, I am feeling sad about some extra-family issues that are going on. Sometimes, just because it’s not your responsibility, doesn’t mean that you don’t feel bad.

And finally, I am having some serious anxiety about some social issues. I’m not the best with people, which is hard enough. But one of my struggles is with lying, which doesn’t always have the same meaning to me as it does to society. I am someone who does my best to do what i said I will do (I don’t know how true that is in reality, but it’s true in my head); the rest of the world has a looser definition. That can be hard for me to deal with.

Spirit

I don’t feel creative. That statement is not altogether true. I have things I’d like to do, but the studio is just too overwhelming right now. I feel overwhelmed by the weight of everything I need and want to do. Going into the studio (currently a disaster because last weekend’s event) is not possible without some work.

I don’t feel very motivated. Believe it or not, this is a different issue that the first. The event last weekend (Englewood Forest Festival) was fun, but I didn’t have many sales and it was a tremendous amount of work to get out there. It’s making me wonder if I should be trying to sell my art at all. Which leads to a whole other set of questions about what I need and should have and should do… And there goes my motivation.

I am heartsick. I feel like current events have been hashed over enough. I won’t go into them more. But my heart hurts in the place inside me that believed that most people in our political arena were just doing the best they could. That all but a tiny percentage of people understood that some things just were not okay.

Triggered

I see the term “triggered” a lot these days, to the point that I sometimes cringe a little when someone talks about it. But I believe that most of us have triggers. Kids and spouses are excellent at finding them and pushing them. Friends can hit them with a casual word. Co-workers can unintentionally kick them. The other day my dog joyfully jumped, rolled, and ate his way around one of mine.

For whatever reason, last weekend’s events triggered me and I’m going through another stage of grief: depression.

The real trouble with being human is that we are at the mercy of our synapses. And when those synapses get hijacked into sending alternative messages, it can be hard to get them back in proper working order.

One theory on depression, and it’s a theory that meshes well with my own experience, is that when you are depressed, the synapses don’t communicate as well, with positive messages being among the first casualties.

In other words, when I take my dog out for an early morning walk and watch the sunrise, I think, “How beautiful.” But my heart doesn’t lift. And I go back to brooding about all the things that need to be fixed.

I’ll sign off today with this, my favorite Bible verse. Read it, or don’t. But if you choose to read it, take it as an early recommendation to join the current mindfulness trend.

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

 

4 comments

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  1. Thanks for being brave enough to share your soul. I’m sorry I missed the opportunity to meet you in person at the Englewood Forest Festival. I worked at the Audubon booth and we did poor on sales compared to how we have done at the Home and Garden Show. I don’t think the crowd we had at the Fesival was there to buy, as much as just enjoy a walk in the park.

      • Tara on August 18, 2017 at 2:16 pm
        Author

      I didn’t sell too much either, but my neighbor, who was selling succulents just down from me, did a BOOMING business. She said she made over $1000! I thought it was a very pleasant event. Sales aren’t everything… but they sure are nice!

    • Missy on August 18, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Your post really spoke to me. Thank you so much for sharing. I too struggle with GAD and depression and things have been harder than normal lately. I appreciate the raw honesty here.

    • Lori Westling on August 19, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Thinking of you, Tara. It is so good to write these thoughts down. I think it helps to process them.

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