Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I'm in that dark place...

...and I don't want to be here any more.

I'm full of excuses.

And they're making me feel ill.

I'm cranky, I'm depressed, I'm tired, I'm sick, I'm down in the dumps.


"It's hormonal," my doctor says.

"It's all the change in your life," my friend says.

"It's coming down from  months of stress," my husband says.

"It's enough!" I say.


It's overwhelming to think of adding a ton of things to my life to fill up all the hollow spots.

And I don't feel like I have enough energy to even find a ton of things to add.

So I'm just going to be nice to myself.

And make some small changes.

Add a few vegetables and fruits to my diet each day.

Walk to the end of the driveway.

Find my Face-ercise book and start doing those odd little facial workouts again.

I'm going to set small goals that I can achieve...and I'm going to do them.

Because that dark place gets to feeling a little too comfortable after awhile...

You know?

The dark place lets me wallow in my excuses because there's no bright lights to show me I'm even standing in the shadows. And after awhile it all starts to feel like shadows. And after awhile it starts feeling like the shadows are the way things are supposed to be.


Sometimes when you're hiding out in the shadows, things from the past start to feel like they were the sunshine. Kids being small, Grandlittles being less busy, gardens to plant, friends and relationships still alive.

And sometimes when you're hiding out in the shadows, things from other peoples lives feel really, really perfect. And everyone else seems to have it all together.

It feels comfortable to put on the 'oh boo-hoo' shirt when I'm hiding out in the dark, even though it fits badly and is super itchy and uncomfortable. 

It feels comfortable to disregard my own advice to others and to embrace myself as the exception to all the rules.

It's only when I poke my head out of the shadows that I can still count my blessings...look to the future...find joy and hope in things that I am still able to dream for myself.

I read somewhere that 'life begins at the end of your comfort zone'.

If I were a braver woman I would have that tattooed somewhere on my body.

Perhaps where it would conceal a stretch mark or two.

I'm going to try it.
No, not the tattoo. Do you think I'm totally crazy?


I'm going to step outside my comfort zone and see what happens.

I'm going to find that woman who woke up in my bed each morning (no, this isn't getting kinky! blush!) who believed and embraced the philosophy that happiness was a daily choice.

I'm going to find her and drag her out into the light...

Because things are only going to change if I change them.

And things are only going to change if I quit hiding in the dark.

Nobody else can do this for me.

And while kind words and quotations and 'it could be worses' can help me on my way...

It's still me that has to do the work.

I'm going to try walking out of the shadows.

Please disregard my disheveled appearance.

I've been letting myself have a really, really bad hair life.

But I'm determined to make it better.
Today I will choose eating a peach and swimming for 10 minutes.

Today I will annoy my husband by saying:

"Knock, Knock."

He will roll his eyes and reply in a resigned voice, "Who's there?"

I will tell him, "Old Lady".

He will roll his eyes again and say, "Old lady, who?"

And I will say, "Gee, you are talented. I didn't know you knew how to yodel."

And things will start feeling way better in the world.

How can you hide in the darkness when there's so many wonderful knock-knock jokes in the world?

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Theresa said...

Seriously, there are SO many Knock-Knock jokes:) Sending a big fat Ganky-sized HUG clear across the Country! Sometimes we have to just jump out of the shadows and scare ourselves into giggling:) LOVE you Ms. Jenny!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I'm in the shadows a bit myself, don't know if it's that fall is around the corner (and that means, winter...shudder...) or if I'm just not feeling good physically (gum surgery) or if I'm just using it as an excuse not to be creative and happy and me, but whatever it is, I'm sick of it and it's time for it to go away...



Anita said...

Have you considered getting some counseling? I convinced my mom to go when she was well into her 70s and it helped.

You're such a beautiful spirit and I don't like hearing that those little demons are taking precious time away from you.

It sounds like you have a plan though. I hope and pray that it helps...a lot.

Next time you walk to the end of the driveway, keep walking, keep walking...


ps. not so great feelings, however, beautifully expressed and illustrated

Jennifer said...

I believe that every woman can relate to & express the same feelings at some point in their lives, if not a few or more times in life. The words you share of encouragement are not only for yourself but for so many others feeling "dark" & a little damaged right now. Thank you for exposing yourself and allowing others to feel that they are not alone.
Hugs :)


Ms. A said...

Can I ever relate!

Good luck finding that woman!

Pat Tillett said...

Being down in the dumps sucks! Believe me, I may not have had the hormonal part of it, but oh man have I been there! I just couldn't or wouldn't even get out of bed. It is a choice, but sometimes it is so hard to make it. Counseling and/or medication is a very real option sometimes. take care my friend... Choose happy, but don't be afraid to reach out for some help doing it.

Janie Junebug said...

I'm in a dark place, too. I love your knock-knock joke.


Susan Marlene said...

Hi Jenny! You have a special way to share what we all someday, sometime feel. I'll be thinking about you today. I'm reading 'Power Thoughts" by Joyce Meyer and oh on page 49 she talks about not trying to stop thinking negatively. Think something positive on purpose. :) I really liked that! Hugs to you. I appreciate your Knock Knock joke. If I can remember it during the telling I'll be ever so pleased!! Yes I'm a lady who forgets the punch lines. LoL!!

Bookie said...

This is a moving post. I never thought you could have a down day, Jenny, as you always seemed so upbeat. I guess you are just normal after all, ha, ha. Great attitude for the fix...keep going!

J said...

Aw, I love you Jenny. You'll get through it. :) Especially since you're determined to, anyway. ;)

Unknown said...

I have been dealing with challenges here too.

Lorrie said...

Ah Jenny, wish I could sit down with you and have a cup of tea/coffee/iced whatever and share a chat. I feel that way, too, and it's time to pick myself up, dust myself off and perhaps give myself a little kick in the butt, which is anatomically impossible. Small steps, my dear....

ImagiMeri said...

Knock, knock.......
Who's there?
Pantha who?
Your pantha fallin' down

Knock, knock.....
Who's there?
Bedda Who?
Bedda pull-em up

Love you pretty lady,

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Shape up Teacher there is school on Thursday! I missed last week ( first time ) and I have NO EXCUSE that will pass muster. I am coming in on a day or so looking all sheepish and sh**

You are probably just down because you have had no weird vacation adventures in the last week. ?? :)

Hang in there XXOO

( this is Deb at Homespun though my Google ID is set up at my other blog right now :)

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Oh Jenny, I am so glad you shared this. Sometimes I feel like that and know the only way to drag myself back to the sunshine is by my own hand! With the move and life being so 'great' all should be well, but I am overwhelmed with changes and also worries. I need to do just what you are and start to make little changes each day. I can do this! So can you!
big hugs,

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I do know and it does get comfortable. I'm pushing myself too!((HUGS))

Amy said...

Knock knock
Who's there?
Dwain who?
Dwain the tub, I'm dwowning!

I know how you feel. I hope you can take off the itchy self pity shirt and emerge happily! Miss your smiles!

Unknown said...

I get like this every summer it seems....like cabin fever....I am glad you are going to be positive and start feeling better by eating a peach! :)

Hugs, Sandy

21 Wits said...

You sure are right about lots of knock knock jokes! But also about finding yourself in that dark place! Me too more often lately then I like. But I tell myself that's okay we need those darn rainy days of being lost in the dark because I like to think it's my wake up call to adjust my sails! So far it's been working for me!

Jeanie said...

I can't add much to all that has been said, except to say that in the shadows or out, no one's life is really, really perfect, and anyone who looks like they have it ALL together probably doesn't.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

You my friend are my blogger twin. We must meet face to face!

enthusiastically, dawn said...

"And sometimes when you're hiding out in the shadows things from other peoples lives feel really, really perfect. And everyone else seems to have it all together." That just hit it out of the ball park for me...and that knock knock joke...I am going to try it on my hub. As one who has battled depression more than once, I understand your feelings. Nothing is less motivating when one is down than pat quotes on motivation....as a matter of fact they are downright cliche and annoying. Especially the true ones. HUgs...;)

Golden To Silver Val said...

Thank you for this. It's just what I needed. I have been feeling just like this for months and I'm too old to blame it on "the change". It's comforting to know that there are others who feel like this and not just me. Big hugs....thank you again.

Janice Grinyer said...

A revelation for me was that there was no one better - not one person - who could take care of me better - then me. And theres not one person who could be the best advocate ever for me- then me.

Once I decided to throw off the "be a martyr, you should feel guilt for thinking of yourself" syndrome, only then Did I really start living MY life. Not their version, not her version, MINE. And actually LIVING.

And i have no regrets for taking care of myself. not one. I only wish that all women could do the same without beating themselves up...why do we ask women to give up their lives like that in todays culture? sigh...

Unknown said...

I've dealt with depression all my life, and in my profession, I talk to numerous people who are depressed. It's a positive to fight the negative feelings, but don't beat yourself up. Belittling yourself for feeling depressed won't help. I'm not a medical doctor, and I don't know how much hormones have to do with it. My mother and aunts are very stoic people and none of them showed much emotion during "the change." However, that doesn't mean they mightn't have been feeling depressed.
We're so conditioned to believe that we have to put on a happy face all the time that we tend to be rather belligerent to ourselves when we can't. Be kind to yourself.

Jenny said...

Dearest Jenny,
I would seriously see a psychiatrist. This may be a seratonin level in your brain and not hormones. You are such a creative person and that is a problem lots of creative people have. It is genetic. If you have dealt with the depression of not being able to overcome it yourself, please get help. I have had depression probably all my life and didn't know it until my mother died. Then I couldn't get out of bed and couldn't make myself get out of the hole. Get help for yourself. This may be bigger than you can handle alone. xo Jenny

Beth said...

Have you ever tried meditation? Oprah and Deepak Chopra are hosting a 21 day free meditation. https://chopracentermeditation.com
/hom. The theme is to fall in love with yourself and your life. I put headset on, listen(only takes 15 minutes) and it really improves my mood.

Gattina said...

Once you are sitting in this deep dark hole it's very hard to get out of there and nobody can help you except you. The worst is that you wonder how you arrived there and why ! Sometimes a good "happy pill" helps to climb out and stay out !

Busy Bee Suz said...

It is a challenge when you fall into those dark shadows...it becomes a daily habit. I'm so glad you have figured out that daily baby steps will help. Peaches and swimming; sounds perfect to me Jenny.
My Lolo who is studying psychology says you can actually 'fake it until you make it' when it comes to happiness/joy. So, start faking it and repeat your silly knock knock jokes. You are awesome.

Moore Minutes said...

I think you have a lot of wisdom in saying that you're going to do small changes. Those small things make a big difference. You are very LOVED and I hope you can take things a day at a time. Keep your chin up!

pasqueflower said...


Susan Anderson said...

I've spent some time in those shadows myself, more than I like to admit.

And since I am reading backwards, as usual, I want you to know that I am going to put your coupon idea into action!


PS. I bet your coupons are a lot cuter this time around...just a hunch.

Rita said...

Yup! Drag your ass out into the light, baby! Kick yourself in the butt. Life is a crap shoot and sometimes you get crap...but it's still the best game in town...and it's a damn short game. Yes, it definitely could be worse. And being happy (or at least happier) is a choice. I can say that, living with constant pain and being housebound for 8 1/2 years. This is the most beautiful, awful, awe inspiring, gut wrenching place to be. Worth every moment--good or bad. I'm so glad you shared this post with us, dear one. *love and hugs* :)

Anonymous said...

So sorry you've been in this dark place. It does get to be a comfort, I know. That is one of the things about blogging that I don't like. It's easy to share your life and leave out all the difficult and unpleasant parts, and it does make your own life seem worse. I do love the idea of stepping out of the comfort zone to make it easier to chose a happy day.

Leovi said...

Yes, it is good to set small goals that can be achieved, live life step by step!

Splendid Little Stars said...

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"--that's an interesting thought. I will have to think about it. I do think that it's true some of the time.
Many of us look at the past through rose colored glasses. It occurs to me that we're the lucky ones!
thinking of you and caring and sending warm thoughts and prayers. I hope that thinking of all your bloggy friends can add a little bounce!

Pondside said...

I've been so caught up with what's happening here that I haven't been reading. I'm sorry to read that the Dark Place is edging near. Time to take some serious care of YOU who takes care of so many others.

mub said...

I am hoping things have started turning around and the dark spot is getting a little less shady. I don't know why it's so easy to get lost there and so hard to keep the lights on. I feel like it can be a full time job trying to not get stuck there!