Let the circle be unbroken

August 21, 2009

Am I the only person who occasionally (oh, crap, sometimes, but not quite frequently, okay?) finds myself awash on the shores of self-pity?

Am I the only person who sometimes simply craves others to read my mind and take care of me exactly in the manner that I wish (but don’t often even know how to say aloud)?

I hate feeling sorry for myself, simply hate it.  So I really try to avoid it, or at least avoid the appearance of it, because self-pity has to be one of the least attractive qualities, I am nothing if I person who wants to appear to have it all together.  I’m an admirer of the pull-oneself-up-by-the-bootstraps kinds of qualities.  I like resilience.  But tonight I feel like my boys’ old basketball — deflated and soft in all the wrong ways.  I feel like I’m trying to bounce, but goddamn the effort of it all makes me think that I can hear just a little bit of air whispering out of my spirit.

Self-pity is a character flaw, I’ve always thought.  I still think that, at least if one immerses oneself in this particular witch’s broth for very long.  For me right now, self-pity is cyclical — life is a series of repeated circles where I crest the top — doing good, doing good, hanging in there, emotions in check, a teensy sprig of optimism for the future, oooooooh crap, going down, sliding, emotions spurting out as if from an open artery, hate my life, hate, hate, hate, craggy nasty soulless bottom of myself…right now, I’m somewhere at the base of the circle, probably on my way back up again, because if nothing else, I can take comfort in the mathematics of circles.

But I want to honor my little patch of self pity.  Acknowledge it with a little more gentleness than I usually offer myself.  I’m weary of my damned bootstraps, and wary of not giving myself a little give.  Because truth?  I’ve been going through the most challenging, oh crap, I mean shitty period of my adult life.  My parents’ health situations are more stable, true (this I say with my dad in the hospital this week, but overall, their health situations have been at least not as horrible as sometimes), but Tim’s job situation and the resulting financial fallout, coupled with the challenges of being and staying married well, alongside changing and sad dynamics in many friendships…look, I know it’s not living in Darfur.  God, I really know that so many people suffer so much more all over the world, and within the circle of those I love.  So I fear putting this out there; I fear sounding  self-pitying.  I fear exacting judgment  from the imaginary Greek chorus of my life, who has incidentally changed over time, and is at least no longer filled with people from high school.  I take progress where I can find it.

But baldly, plainly, life is so hard right now.  It hurts.  No boon to be enjoyed from the hero’s journey, is it?  But it’s real, and I believe that being real counts.  I stake a lot on that belief.  Just as I stake a lot on circles.


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