List the things (from your past and present) that feel like blockades in the way of happiness
Loneliness -- I've been lonely in a church that was very large. I felt sad driving there, sad during coffee hour after service, sad for the rest of the day. The church was great and doing great things for people's faith lives and for the lives of the disenfranchised in the city, but I was lost within its sea of attendees.
I was lonely as a single person, because I wanted my complementary person, but I was also lonely as someone who needed (needs) a lot of time with people, and needs a lot of real, attentive time with people. In the times when I was on the outskirts of a community/clique/group, I could break my way in to make casual acquaintances, but at times in my life I have lacked that sit-and-talk-for-hours-and-hours-day-after-day thing with people. That thing is very important to me; vital, in fact.
Lots of wandering in the desert -- I've spent a LOT of my adult life wondering what I'm doing. In a certain job, in a region, interacting regularly with certain people. From the big picture, "What am I doing with my life?" to the everyday, "What should I do right now? Eat? Read? Clean?", I have been really worn down by being uncertain about my next (or current) step.
Not having a cat -- There is a marked difference in the times in my life when I didn't have a cat and when I did. Thank the good Lord I have one now; and he's a great one to boot.
Not feeling needed enough -- This could be as simple as my need for attention, but when surrounded by people who have a clear role, people who are called upon to do or provide certain things for others, I have spent a lot of my life feeling like I had nothing to offer -- at least not something that was being requested.
Today I can say I feel needed or desired in many ways. I feel valuable in the lives of my cat, my boyfriend, my friends, in my church, and in my vocation as a writer.
Saying "no" too much -- For a long time (and to some degree, still today) I would say "no" to things too often and too quickly. I wouldn't let "yes" be an option for anything that scared me, anything that my family would turn its nose up at. Unless someone had already verbalized that I was already capable of something, then I wouldn't consider it as something at which I could succeed. The breaking point in my life for this was when I applied to an internship at a business journal, got it, and moved to California for it. Things have been very different since then.
Living under grey skies -- Growing up a child of the Midwest, I never thought twice about my native climate. But toward the end of my run there, I realized loud and clear that grey skies were not for me and my gravitation to melancholy.
I'm not writing full time -- I know that if and when I am writing full time, it will present its own set of challenges. But I think I'd feel very differently about life if I were writing day in and out, breathing Microsoft Word.
My weight -- I've gained 30 pounds in about three years. I still consider myself relatively attractive in many ways, but I don't feel like me.
My apathy toward exercise -- I wish I had that natural energy and desire to move that I used to have. It seems to have escaped me entirely. I miss it so much, and I'm not sure I can muster it by sheer will.
Lethargy -- I just feel bored and apathetic, not like me, not like I can flip a switch and suddenly be peppy or interested. I think my meds are to blame for this, largely. What's that? Call your psychiatrist? Fine...
Generalized crankiness -- I've kind of turned into a crotchety person lately. This needs to stop.
Feeling misunderstood -- Particularly in today's national climate, I am having a very difficult time injecting my thoughts and feelings into things without everything feeling like it's derailing or turning into a fight. I've kept silent a bunch, and while at times that feels like the good, right, and salutary thing to do, I also wonder if this is a time that my mouth should be wide open. I shed many tears over this, unexpectedly, last night.
Saying "yes" too much -- I feel like I say "yes" to too many small things, things that may be serving a good purpose, but in which I don't necessarily need to be involved. This leads to a lot of stress, and sometimes anger, I think.
Both past and present:
Struggling to balance my intro/extroversion -- When I'm alone too long (which doesn't have to be very long at all), I get lonely and depressed, agitated. When I have things on the calendar, I just want to be alone. It's very difficult at times, deserving of accompanying drama.
Not being on the right meds, or dosage -- This should speak for itself. Meds exist to create balance, and if one is not on the right cocktail, she stumbles emotionally. This can be incredibly difficult, and I applaud all who are patient and tough enough to weather it, those who trust enough in a hopeful future to keep tinkering with milligram amounts.
Not having a group of friends -- I am often dumbstruck at the quantity and quality of friends I have. I am so overly supported, entertained, and encouraged, every single day of this damn lucky life of mine. But I have very rarely been within a group of people, and I think only in the eighth grade was I maybe something of a ringleader in a group.
I feel SO loved by my friends. I have received some of the nicest words from people over the years. But there is something incredibly heartbreaking that hits me every once in a while -- a feeling that I don't belong.
I think many people would look at my life and think I have no reason to complain, and in many ways I would agree with them. But I am being truthful when I say some of the hardest moments for me have been at times when I felt like my Rolodex was full, but that I was an interloper. And almost every time I catch myself in such a moment, I wonder if things would be different if I had a solid group of friends. I have solid friends, for sure for sure for sure, but they are here and there and everywhere.
Not eating super well -- If I ate more snap peas and fewer McDoubles, I'm sure I'd feel better. Sure of it.
Being easily affected by others' emotions -- I do think I'm getting better at this. But if people are upset, or particularly if they are fighting with someone, I take it on. I know it's not my responsibility to fix life for them, but it's hard for me not to feel negative or tense when others around me are being negative.
Feeling left out -- This is very similar to the no group of friends issue. But there is something specific in its own way about feeling left out. This also has to do with not having a role. Since discovering my place as a writer, I've felt better about the role thing. It doesn't happen too often that I feel left out, but it does still happen.
Feeling like life is on hold -- whenever I feel like my hands are tied to change jobs, start school, or move to a new location, I get real out of sorts. However, when I'm in school, even if I'm stressed out beyond belief, I never find myself aching for the working world.
Well, this was a happy go lucky post! :) I think the next list is a little more positive. Stay tuned.