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Dancing on the line

There's a line between wearing a mask and being too honest. I find myself on that line a lot. This post will probably put me far on the too honest side, just so you're warned in advance. I've had several posts that have been too heavy on the mask side, so I guess it all evens out.

When someone asks you "how are you doing?" how do you answer them? Is it "oh, let me put my happy mask in place and say that everything is fine" or do they REALLY want to know? What if the real answer involves tears and stress? Because, if you were to ask me right now how I'm doing, and if I were to be honest with you, it would involve tears and stress.

I thought this would get easier. It's been three months, and I'm no less overwhelmed than I was. Maybe even more so because we started school last week. (And actually, other than the first day, school has gone very well.) The stuff is all getting done just fine. You could drop in unannounced and I wouldn't be mortified that my house was a mess. The laundry is getting done, sheets are getting washed, floors (which I totally hate) are getting swept or vacuumed. The kids' rooms are clean and have been that way for a while now. We've given away a lot of the clutter and are still working to get rid of more. We eat regular meals and get all of the dishes done. We even observed earlier this week that we hadn't gone out to eat (other than a free meal at chick fil a) in several weeks, including fast food. (We promptly went to chick fil a again to celebrate.)

All that is great, however, I am a mess. I feel like I walk around in a fog all the time. I'm exhausted constantly, and I'm still really not sleeping. Brendan still gets up early and the girls still go to bed late. I did sit down with them yesterday and told them how badly I need for them to go to bed when I tell them to; that they're too old for the arguing and constant up and down at bedtime. Last night did go a little better, so maybe there's some hope there. Last night though, I know they were both asleep by about 10:30 and it was still almost 1:00 before I got to sleep. I crave the quiet, and wait until then to do my Bible study, or read, or watch TV. Then I end up with an hour or so of tossing and turning and wishing to be asleep, but am wide awake. If I could get them to go to bed a little bit earlier, I think I could get to bed a little bit earlier. I hope to be able to find out!

It's more than just being tired though. I'm wondering if I'm dealing with some depression. I really don't know, it's more like a constant state of being overwhelmed. Looking right now I see the dog needs food in her dish. The thought of getting up, walking the five steps to her food and filling her bowl is too much. The thought of calling a kid to do it and a) being ignored, b) having them fight over who is going to do it, or c) having the dog jump on whoever is trying to feed her is equally overwhelming. I don't really know how to get past this. Well - with the dog I do; I know that if she's not fed in the next few minutes, she will start barking incessantly, and I'd rather skydive than listen to her bark incessantly, so when I get up to get dinner out of the oven I'll feed her. I just don't know how to get past the overwhelmed feeling.

And I'm not sending this out hoping that the collective you that reads it will offer to help. You all have, and continue to do so, and I love you for it. I get plenty of breaks, so it's not like I'm really even in need of a break. What I need help with is learning how to get past the feeling of constant overwhelmedness. I don't think that's something that someone can do for me, although I would request prayer that I would learn to deal with it without bringing out my mean face too frequently. Maybe it's just a season that I need to accept and live in this state for the next seven months. I really don't know.

Okay ... so I think this post completely obliterated that line. Sorry to share so openly. Maybe one of you have the solution to the constant state of being overwhelmed. Or maybe this will help someone someday who might feel the same way. Or maybe it will just be something interesting for me to look back on one day when I'm NOT in this place anymore. It is what it is though, I'm hitting post.

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