There’s this great line in Paul Simon’s song Gumboots where he says, “Hey, you know, breakdowns come and breakdowns go. So what are you going to do about it? That’s what I’d like to know.” I try to remember this wisdom on days when I’m feeling more than a little bit crazy. Like today, for instance.
For weeks now, that Huckle of mine will. not. sleep. I spend what seems like hours just to get him to fall asleep for a cluster of minutes, at most. He hasn’t had a stretch of slumber longer than two hours, not even at night, and I’ve just about gone completely batty. I’m trying, trying with all my might, to keep it together and be productive, but after yet another night of very little shuteye, it’s hard not to feel utterly defeated.
To make matters worse, summer is slipping through my fingers faster than a handful of sand. I’ve done precisely none of the things I’d planned on doing with my kids during our break, mostly because I go through each day feeling like there is mush where my brain should be. But the thing that gets me most of all is how understanding those big kids of mine are, because let me tell you they are trying hard, their effort is more than evident. Sometimes they are more successful than other times, and this might go down as the Summer of Silly Sibling Squabbles, but we’ve got just about three weeks left to live into this season before it’s time to head back to school, and we could all use some fun around here right about now.
A couple of weeks ago, I was diagnosed as having a mild case of PTSD. The moment the words fell from the nice doctor lady’s mouth, I was flooded with relief, which is exactly how I knew her proclamation to be accurate. I’ve been struggling to cope with what I can only describe as a constant state of panic, which is only further exacerbated by exhaustion, unrelenting as it is overwhelming. It is so much more powerful than simply deciding that everything is fine, that I’m not falling apart and there is nothing to fear, but it’s also a matter of me actively pursuing a more relaxed and rhythmic existence, one that is balanced and infused with positivity.
Easier said than done, sure, but by golly, there has got to be at least some doing lest there be no progress. This much I know for certain. Aside from motivation, the biggest obstacle for me always seems to be patience. Some adversaries are more easily defeated than others, and the ones I’m currently facing are very, very other. The otherest.
Today, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, which is kind of a silly thing to say because how can you wake up when you aren’t even asleep?! But my point is, I was in an extra bad mood before even climbing out of bed to get the day started, which is never an ideal situation, when my sweet peach of a daughter looked at me with her giant green eyes and told me not to worry. It will get better, she said.
She’s right, of course. It will get better. I will get better. I have no other choice. My family deserves the best version of myself I have to offer, and they are worth every effort it takes to find her. I know she’s in here somewhere.
This is me, humbly, honestly, and with a whole lot of hope, admitting that I’m having a hard time. There is a giant, angry bull I’m facing, but the horns are in sight and there is nothing I want more than to find the strength to reach out and grab them.