Existential Crisis, Except I'm Too Tired for Crisis

I have become a beige uninteresting person who just looks for moments to rest in, falling behind on goals then deleting the goals and then making very simple goals...(*shower today*) I'm not the sort of energetic bright charasmatic person someone wants to be friends with and I worry I'm going to just fade away while spending what little energy I have to benefit my family (driven mostly by guilt, 'I'm supposed to be doing so much more!') They're not going to remember me for unclogging the sink. In 2018 I'm just aimlessly wondering how to reclaim my life and experience life because it seems so fleeting and going by so fast and I just want to rest....but I'm missing everything.

The smell in the kitchen is intensifying. Where is that garlic odor coming from? The pickles that got left out have been there actually long enough to develop mold now. I find that ... interesting. I wonder what kind of intensely motivated microbe took on the vinegar.

The adult children left the house in the usual dissaray from the weekend. The son let me know he thinks next year he'll just live at home and go to the local college. Two more years.

I was looking forward to the offspring leaving the nest. I thought it was like a finish line -- ta'da -- I did it. They lived to adulthood without eating a Tide Pod (my daughter actually ate my contact lenses once though) and they're functioning - more or less - as adults. Good grades, no arrests, wow I did an okay sorta job.

Now I might have some time to do 'me' things, because as I've tried to explain to them until I'm blue in the face ----- all of my time awake is spent doing for them because my envelope of activity is so small. Along with -- "if you dirty up every dish in the kitchen, I can't cook you that grilled cheese and besides which you're old enough to make it yourself." (( "Harumph, fine then, I just won't eat today."))

They are lost in trains of thoughts about the future, about what happened yesterday and about what to wear and whatever I'm saying is sounding a lot like background noise of our local ocean or a buzzing of a bee - or maybe they even hear silence. I'm understanding because I was that age once and I miss being that optimistic and full of energy. I had no comprehension of how fleeting life was at that age, and that's a luxury.

When I talk about how I am phsyically feeling to my husband - he falls asleep. Literally. It has happened three times now.

This has made me put my health synopsis into tiny easy to manage packets for them. "ME. TIRED." "ME. FATIGUED." (( Then later, "well how am I supposed to take your illness seriously when you just give me a snippet of how you are feeling?"))

He says it's because I pick late at night to talk to him after a hard day of work. I promise you, that is not it. At times he has fallen dead asleep only to wake back up and play video games for a few hours. The falling asleep also has a counterweight of how much we can't afford me to be ill.

When I try to talk to my kids about responsibility and picking up after themselves, "Mom is judging me. I never do anything right. She thinks I'm a slob. She hates us around...." *Face Palm* So then they just come around when I'm asleep or not around or try to minimize their impact and they think that will make me happy. I try to tell those silly idiots -- just THROW AWAY TRASH. You know, rinse your dishes, pick up some stuff. I still like you.

I'm Southern, so every time I ask for help it's, "can you help me get my dishes done up? Help me with MY floor." Although if it was truly mine, I would probably just start screaming at them -- DO NOT LEAVE FOOD IN THE SINK, for the love of God are you savages????? Who is going to stick there hand in there and clear that? Not you hu? Screw you guys."

Unfortunately I inherited by culture a unique 'do everything' model. I have supper on the table when the husband comes in and when I don't, he won't say anything of course but dissapointment is there.

It's nobody's fault, it's culture.

The pass the buck train runs right through my house. It is apparent that absolutely no one contributes to the mess. It's a holy miracle. The house is completely destroyed and yet - no one has contributed to the mess. "That's not my cup. I didn't do any of that." Even my husband is on board that train.

I've posted rules on my fridge, I've posted notices, I've yelled, I've given beautfiul oratories about responsibility. It works initially. They even seem to appreciate I've got some gusto. But this is what happens. I get too fatigued and sick to enforce anything.

I've slowly gotten more and more boring and have no friends.

The only drama in my life is a dirty stinky kitchen and an overweight cat (who sleeps with me, he has his own blanket and pillow even - he's my baby).

I got too overwhelmed to be on Facebook anymore. I don't even have Facebook chums, how sad is that? Well, I tell you a lot of Facebook is like putting blocks into sqaure block shaped holes - there is no thinking involved - it just asks you to form like a million opinions. Opinion on this, opinion on that, and it just builds walls out of those blocks, walls in thinking, walls in how you see the world and yourself. I'm too tired to have so many opinions.

I'm a painter and an artist by trade, but it takes me forever to finish anything. I never really get feedback. Both of my kids are excellent artists - my skills impress no one. One time my husbands buddy came over and he said I should keep practicing, maybe someday I would get good. (I've been painting since I was six years old so almost four decades).

It is hard with chronic illness to assert yourself to shine, to have that charisma and brightness and uniqueness. It's hard being a middle aged woman and feeling like you have your own interesting identity let alone keep up when you're ill. Everything ends up feeling like an endurance event.

I just want this year to be different. I want to shuck off that weird sadness that hangs around me and just tell people off maybe. I don't know, just hear my own voice. It has been ages since I had enough oomph to even hear my own voice. I wanted to do the fun run and the little itsy bitsy run training that was mostly walking, which I've missed a week of now. I just get down and nomatter how much will power, it's difficult to move.

I was up on the scale three pounds this morning. I did not gain three pounds over night - it's inflammation. Here we go again. Got to do something different - anything - something big and weird maybe, I don't know. Somehow I became invisible.

Anyway - I know TL;DR -- haha, I like writing though - it's cathartic. Love and kindness to all of you, I know most people have it way tougher than I do.


--Paula from the Woods aka Runner 5


That cultural thing you're talking about is very real - and there are ways to change things. They say we can't change others, only ourselves, and then that changes how people act around you.
There's a book called A Woman In Your Own Right - it's about assertive communication - it helped me, might help you.
As an artist, you have tools to be able to hear your own voice, better than most people. Your husband's friend didn't know what he was looking at - please don't take it to heart.
You go girl. xx
The title of your article made me laugh. I would love to see your paintings if you have pictures. I have always wanted to paint...started to learn several times but one thing or another got in the way. The illness takes up so much energy.
I like your narrative. You seem to manage a sense of humor; some of your irony had me ROFL. Procrastination? Oh yea. Put it off until tomorrow- maybe it will go away.
Your call to be heard, important reminds me of Thoreau’s summation that we all live lives of quiet desperation. It’s a damned lonely centered illness, which is why we don’t have a line of buddies coming by - we simply don’t get a chance to meet new people nor struggle with lengthy, tiring conversations with past friends or passerbys in everyday life. We’re like the cave dwellers, making our daily awarenesses by cleaning out our familiar abodes. As an artist you likely think deeper and see more layers to ponder. IMO, this is a conundrum about the crisis you say you’re too tired to entertain, but I think considering it all entertains you. Throw a plate once in awhile and refresh the meter,)
That your kids grew up not eating Tide Pods hit my funny bone. LOL. You do have artistic talent - in writing down the bones. Keep at it’~)
your writing had me smiling and near to tears I think expressive writing is also a great art form.so you are indeed an artist.
I liked your title too. Like other commenters said your writing is very entertaining and fits so much of life to a T.
I think you could be the "Irma Bombeck" of ME/CFS. :D

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