I'm well{ish}

So I disappear for a while and then I come back with a random post, waxing philosophical on crying strangers.

Am weird.

Then so many of you were kind enough to say something along the lines of Um...okay, Heather...but how are YOU?

I'm well{ish}

I'm trying to make friends with the middle. And by that I mean that I struggle to be okay with not being perfect while I also mostly just want to cave to being the opposite of perfect. For example, I feel so much more peace these days about all things motherhood. I used to ruminate and worry much more than I do with sobriety in my pocket, and it's strange new territory. Because as an addict (and a human being) I have this all or nothing tendency. So. That whole peace thing is bordering on laziness. Believe me. I know. I live here. Yesterday I did more nothing than I have in years and it makes me feel itchy. And I've been doing that more and more.

Yes, I know people need to shut down and decompress sometimes, but this is more like the disinterested and complacent kind of lazy. I know it well.

I think it's because the ALL side of me has been saying yes yes yes and now my calendar is saying WHAT WHAT WHAT? I'm working on taking it, you guessed it, one day at a time, but as my mom would say, MAN ALIVE, that's tricky.

My head has been spinning words and more words and I've been working on the book, which brings me hope. There are parts I love and parts I delete quickly with a roll of the eyes, of course. I'm trying hard to get myself out of the way and just.write. It's new territory and it's engulfing, so I'm doing things like totally forgetting that both of my boys (one with a medical condition) have not had their yearly doctor appointments.

And then there's the school issue. I haven't talked about this very much, maybe out of fear of some kind, but Miles is old enough for kindergarten and he's not going. Mostly because I'm frozen. I'm not happy with any of the options (HELLO PERFECTIONISM) and I want what is best for my boy. Making friends with the middle in this particular aspect of our lives has left me, once again, frozen.

Apparently I'm not really all that peaceful after all.

I'm working on it.

So. Miles is staying home this year, he's not signed up for preschool again this fall and that's a whole otha' story. It's actually kind of funny and has a whole lot to do with me being THAT mother, but it's too long for today.

So. What I'm saying is that I'm going to keep Miles home (he has a late birthday anyway) and we're going to try to navigate learning together. And by that I don't mean that we're going to see what level we can get to on Super Mario Bros, but I think both of us would prefer that, since it's lazier.

I have to push myself, I think that's what I'm thinking out loud to say. Most of my life I've had this ability, this God-given-not-of-me sense of right and wrong, best and not best...intuition, yo. I always know, I just know in my heart-gut what needs to happen and I sing its praises (or preach my opinion of what we should do, just ask Ryan) and then I tra-la-la...do exactly the opposite. Self-sabotaging at its best, you know?

(Just so you know, when I turn around and do the opposite thing, I defend what I'm doing like a champ, listing all kinds of reasons I've changed my mind and how wise my new decision is...)

I'm trying hard to not stand bug-eyed at the future. Because I'm writing and I'm parenting and sort of schooling and making doctor's appointments and planning for 4 speaking engagements (yes, I said "speaking engagements" because it sounds so fancy).

I have no idea how you full-time working moms do it, maybe that's all I'm saying.

And while I navel-gaze here today I get the sinking feeling that I need to shut up. Because the reality is, it's not all about ME. (Maggie wrote a beautiful post about that, by the way) and yet this is where I say it, the thoughts I have that bring me to struggle. And then, after they're out and they're heard, I move on, more able to focus on NOT ME, you know?

(Or maybe that's just a nice way of covering up how selfish blogging can be.)


Here's the deal. In the words of a guy who wrote a hymn,

It is well with my soul.

Truly. All of it. Decisions, pressure, creativity, mothering, home-makering, blogging, friendship, speaking, schooling, painting, wiping, mowing, laundering, bathing, fighting, strapping, bending, comforting, listening, kissing, writing....

I'm reading Mary Karr's memoir, Lit. It's a stunning masterpiece, just so you know. And she said this one thing that pierced me last night as I read. She described the balcony on which she would sit and drink and smoke when her child was small. She would hide there no matter what the weather and turn inward. She did this (I did this) because,

"Not one thing on the planet operates as I would have it, and only here can I plot my counterattacks."

With that one sentence, she summed up so very much of my drinking life. And this is why "it is well with my soul," because now, I don't have to plan my counterattacks, I can simply trust. I can see it, all that does not operate as I would have it, and I know that, put simply, it will all be alright, in the end.

It is well.

22 clicked right here to comment:

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Wow...I wish I could not, but I can relate. Coming from a family filled with addiction, how could I not? And having touched it myself in various forms...and seen it in others close by...it's all about control, and the desire for power. It's when you're feeling powerless that that yearning is there, to go into that place where the world is all yours and controllable. *sigh* What is true, though, is that there are healthy ways to deal, and unhealthy ways, and they are both ways to deal, which means they both bring about the desired outcome. It's just that one harms you further, and one brings healing and health. To me, faith is a big one, the way toward healing and health. Sitting at the foot of Jesus, literally, in the Blessed Sacrament, is about as good as it gets in some of those moments of weakness. I wish you well with your book, mothering, and pondering. :)

MidnightCafe said...

Oh, you beautiful lady, I just love you!!

Don't worry about school. If Miles can tell you colors and shapes, knows his alphabet, and can count to a hundred, he's pretty much done with school for the year. Of course, there are a bazillion other things that he knows and that you'll teach him just by living life together, and that will be enough. ;) That's my official homeschooler's advice.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

You'll figure it all out. Cling to the "intuition" and let it ground you. It's hard to stick to it, I know, but blessings roll in when we do what we know deep down is the right thing to do.

Amy said...

Wonderfully put - lovely post. I am very glad all is well with your soul!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Are not weird.

Are quirky.

(I keep insisting this to Corey about myself, so I thought I'd share the sentiment.)

You are one of my favorite writers. And I loved that post by Maggie. It sank so deep, I didn't even comment. But I've been thinking about it ever since.

Heather said...

I just want to give you giant ((((Hugs)))) and tell you how spectacular I think you are and that I can not wait to read the book created by two people like you beautiful, lovely, witty and inspiring women!

From Tracie said...

I have been there...frozen in the middle. Heck, lets be honest here, I am there right now.

Frozen School Choices (and the guilt that I have to go with it) -Check!

Frozen Work Choices -Check!

Making my life harder than it has to be through my own indecision and frosenness -Check!

Lara said...

Just wanted you to know that I get it. I can never find peace in the middle. I go and go and then I just crash. I crashed this weekend. And you described it so well: Yes, I know people need to shut down and decompress sometimes, but this is more like the disinterested and complacent kind of lazy. I know it well.


And just do what you know is best for your child. You won't regret it. It's okay.

deb said...

love to Heather.
it will be alright.

Sarah said...

This is exactly what I do... so often I stay frozen too long and the opportunity for change passes. Using your intuition is all you can do. I'm going back and forth on the school thing for my boys. I'm not sure WHICH is right for them and somehow I'm sure if I just wait I'll get the nudge for which direction to go. Good luck with this year. You're doing great and inspiring so many people.

TKW said...

Miss M. missed the cutoff for Kindergarten by 4 days. I could have pushed it, but I didn't. Life and its demands comes all too soon; my gut told me to just let it be, and like you, I tried to listen.

I read Lit a month ago. You're right--it's incandescent. The passage I marked:

~I'm so watery at my edges, so permeable, so easy to hurt, and my inner monologue--what you could hear more or less constantly, should we turn the volume up on it--went, Oh shit, stupid bitch. What've you done now? Fuckup fuckup fuckup...The only way I know to twist the volume off is to choke it with exhaust.

Man, she's honest. As are you. And you are going to be brilliant. But don't forget to ask for help when you need it okay?

Mammatalk said...

Hang in there, little lady. I sense much capability in you!

I shot you a little personal email the other day just to give you some email love....don't forget to check you in-box.

Is email quickly becoming the new snail mail??

Keep well! :+)

Corinne said...

Did you know that just today Ellie gave me Lit to read? Can't wait to dive in.
Heather... I feel totally like a broken record when I say "ME TOO". Seriously. Self sabotaging, stuck doing lots of nothing when there's too much... and the schooling? Something I'd totally do (and dare I say I can see it in our future... yikes)
Deep breath.
You are doing awesome. And you know what? You're doing it sober. Which is freaking unbelievable :)

MsPicketToYou said...

dude, i am so not there.
i wish i was.

Cynthia said...

You always make me think. And now you've connected me to OTHER bloggers who always make me think. Thank you (I think!)

Kelly said...

Sometimes stillness is the best option. Don't hurl yourself at the future until you're ready. Be still, feel out the present, know that whatever you decide will be the best decision.

Anonymous said...

How is that every time I come here I read words, words that are so intimitely you and yet feel like you are speaking to me. And is that just crazy egotistical for me to say or does it help you to know that, to know that on a primal level you are not alone. I don't know. I working on finding the courage to be honest at my own place, to free the feelings inside like you come here to do and I often feel the same guilt - that it's not all about me. But the thing is, that IS what our blogs are, all about us. And it's why we keep coming back, because we like to read about you, to cry with you, to understand you and learn from you. Honestly.

And also, I'm reading Lit too and just wow!! If only I could carve out more than 20 minutes at a time to read. Sigh.

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

I've decided the same thing about my daughter actually - although she is old enough to go into Jr. Kindergarten, I just don't think it's the right decision for several reasons. I haven't really admitted to anyone or even myself that this was a definite until this moment, but with school being less than two weeks, it is decided, and being her mother, and being that one person who knows her the best, I should just admit that she's not ready. So I will be playing teacher this school year, as well as mommy, and I'm almost 100% alright with it - I suppose I wouldn't be me if I didn't question it to death.

Jenn said...

One of the most beautiful and poignant hymns out there in my opinion. Horatio G. Spafford lost so much and yet was able to write the most touching and tear producing words of wisdom. We all need to get to the point where it is well with our souls or we live a scattered, doubting, fearful life.

Great post, by the way! :)

♥Georgie♥ said...

Heather i LOVE your honesty!

Janie said...

love your honesty..about everything. all the comments about your recovery (me too) inspire me to keep going. you are a strong and beautiful woman and i can't tell you how much i appreciate your blog. janie

Jen said...

That line from the book is exactly how I feel too. But I don't drink or smoke. I would say the internet is my addiction and I've been struggling with whether to limit my time on it more because it could also potentially bring my future career. I do the same thing you do of taking on too much and then shutting down and doing none of it. And I too am trying to take it one day at a time.

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