Thursday, January 22, 2015

One Day at a Time (Or is this the first day of the rest of my life)

I just read a quote somewhere that went something like "you have no control over yesterday or tomorrow, only today.  Take control now."  

Where to begin.  Where to begin... when you look in the mirror and wonder who's looking back.   When you have to make a conscious effort every waking minute of the day to visualize what your words and actions are going to look and sound like to those around you before you actually speak or act.

How in the world, in the name of everything sacred, did I get to this point?  I know that there have been times in the past when I've been angry or upset for extended periods of time over this or that. You don't go through the majority of your adult life with no real friends to speak of by acting like little Mary sunshine.  I can hardly blame anyone for not wanting to invest their time in a relationship with me.  By some grace of  God, I have a husband and a best friend right now, and I'd like to keep them if at all possible.  So... I just have to be brutally honest with myself about who I am.  I have to do this before I can fix me.

Ok.  Yes, this sounds like I'm bashing myself.   I know that I can be a good friend, a good wife and a valuable human being when I'm not overwhelmed by this awful anger and frustration.   I am generous and compassionate and funny .....  yes, yes I am all of those things... when I'm not angry.  When I'm angry, I become sarcastic, biting, attacking, loud, judgmental, the queen of the rhetorical question, with very high expectations of the people who I perceive as being in the wrong.  I even manage to sound loud when I write angry words.  I'm a Mean Girl.   Yes, in the simplest of terms, I'm a Mean Girl.  Nobody wants to be friends with a Mean Girl.

"Hormones" should be a four-letter word.  How can those magical chemicals that help us to create new life also tip someone like me over the edge of pique?   And yet, they have.  I could just blame them for everything, but I can't let myself off the hook that easy.  In my heart of hearts, I know that this is a problem I've had for my entire life on which perimenopause has aimed a giant magnifying glass.   What is the answer......??

In the long term, I need a release.  Something that I can use both as a prophylactic and that I can turn to when I feel myself careening out of control.   My gut tells me that it should be some sort of physical activity.  When I look back over my life I realize that my worst periods of bad behavior have happened when I wasn't doing any sort of physical activity or exercise.  I need to find this activity and make it fit in with the rest of my schedule - even if I have to fit my schedule around it.

In the short term and the long term, I have to get out of bed each morning and tell myself that this is going to be a day when I don't lash out verbally or non-verbally.  I have to remind myself that I have sent my soapbox on an extended vacation.  It is not necessarily a good combination to be gifted with the written word and to have anger management issues, and I have to measure everything I write to be sure that it has the tone that I envision myself having. So, that is another promise I make to myself every morning now.  When I am engaged in conversation, I have to keep telling myself that I am not waging some un-winnable war with the person I am talking to or talking about.  I've learned that it is an exhausting process to try to edit everything I say and write before my words become reality.  Please, God, tell me that this will eventually become instinctive.  Right now, it feels like I have an addiction that I'm trying to over come.  That sounds crazy, though, the idea that someone could be addicted to anger.  It is crazy, or is it my reality?

Mostly right now, I just feel sad.   I find myself wondering how many people I've alienated over the years that I don't even know about.  I don't want to be the person that people are forced to put up with out of obligation, but I feel that way almost all of the time these days.

I only have control over today.   Every day that I get through on an even keel is a victory.   Every measured, thought-out word that flows from my lips or my pen is a success.   I simply cannot lose the people I care about just because I can't keep it together.

I only have control over today.

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