Just. Be…

“For the next week”, she said, “I want you to try and just be. Don’t worry about your to do list, or what your husband should be doing.”

I like my counsellor, well as much as you can like anyone who you’ve only met three times and who just sat and listened to you sob for an hour the first two times.  She listens, duh, but she also gets what I’m saying and kind of goes along with me, not in an appeasing way, more as in she’s on the same wavelength. Our first session she honed in quite quickly to my controlling nature, and now she’s trying to help me let go. To. Just. Be.

When she said that to me the other day, the bit about just be, I looked at her and scoffed. Laughed bitingly. Was she out of her mind? But she insisted and I grudgingly promised I’d try. I am. Trying. It’s a funny thing, though. I am this way for good reasons. Those reasons don’t just disappear because I’m trying to just. be. I don’t know how to let go while also keeping the ship afloat.

If I decide not to get on the kids about their chores, I just let it go. Well, you know what happens- they don’t get done. Then the house looks trashed, and I get all stressed and anxious about the house. So, surely it hasn’t worked?  I play these scenarios out for most things, and come to the same conclusion.  Surely the act of just. being. is a luxury reserved for those who are rich and have beautiful homes, the ability to book a warm holiday away from stress, and staff to take care of most of the logistical crap in their lives? Those people are the ones who get to just. be. How the fuck, then, does she expect ME to do it? I’m behind in my studying, behind in my bills, behind in my housekeeping, 80 pounds overweight, supporting three young kids and trying to pick up the pieces of a marriage that exploded quite extraordinarily, with devastating fall out, a year ago.

Shouldn’t this be the point at which I am trying to get even more control over things? I’m torn, anxious, highly stressed and see myself holding on for dear life to the side of a cliff with the deep dark river of Depression flowing far below. Letting go, just being, sounds wonderful. Just very unrealistic.  Letting go means…I’ll fall.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Maybe you don’t have to let go of everything. Maybe just one thing. And, your right. Single parents have a lot on their shoulders. And, it’s not always easy to just brush off your hands and go read and sip a cup of coffee when it feels like your whole world is crumbling and there’s nothing and no one but you holding it together. Maybe you let the kids’ area go. Maybe you keep control of your own bedroom, or the place where you study. If your kids are accustomed to things being cleaned up, they will come around. Kids dislike what they aren’t used to as much as the next person. It might take a bit, but they’ll notice your not carrying their load any more, and they’ll comment. And if you stick to your guns, they’ll do something about it. It may not be up to your standard, but when you’re juggling ten fishing poles with snapping turtles at the end just waiting to bite, you have to drop a couple poles. Doesn’t mean you can’t go back for the poles later.

    And sometimes falling isn’t so bad. Sometimes you find out there’s a more solid ridge to stand on just below. And good for you, for talking to someone! That can be a really hard step. Sounds like it’s been worthwhile. 🙂


  2. Posted by UnclePaul on February 5, 2011 at 8:06 am

    What a great blog you write. Full of emotion and honesty. I’ve been reading for a while now and you really are a very talented writer. I kind of know you (think Dev/best friends uncle/Alton Towers) but I think we’ve only met once.

    Stress will kill you. But the reality is – it is there. You play the cards you are dealt in life the best you can. But some of it is self-perception – how we feel about ourselves. And of course, we project that on to others and it may seem controlling. The therapist allows you to vent in a non-threatening way and get things off your chest. But the advice they give is kind of hit and miss. Like you say, you cannot just let go. Life does not work like that.

    Heres some things you can do (and possibly already do from what I have read). My advice is free and probably worth about what you pay but I hope it helps (even a little).
    – ask yourself if you are doing the best you can. If so – thats all you can do. Does not matter if its enough or not – its the max possible. It wont pay the bills, feed the kids or anything else – but you cannot do more than the best you can do.
    – ask yourself if you are doing the right thing. Only you know this, but bringing your kids up with morals, manners and basic life skills (incl. chores) seems to be pretty right. Trying to beeter yourself (education) seems pretty right.
    – think ahead a year (or longer) and imagine what life might be like. For the positive thoughts, think back to the current time and what you could be doing today to make it more likely to happen. For negative thoughts, think back to today and ask yourself if you are doing the best you can to stop it from happening. Education is an example – you are trying to make life better. In a year (or longer) you might have a well-paying job and a comfortable lifestyle – this will be because you are working now on your education.

    Finally (and I can rant on for ages), relationships with friends, other halves and kids would be wonderful if it was 50/50 give and take. The best advice anyone ever gave me was it needs to be 80/20 where you give 80% and expect 20%. Always give more than you take. Always expect less than you get. Sounds ridiculous but you are rarely disappointed and often delighted when others exceed your expectations.

    Like I say you write a very good blog, reminds me a lot of stuff I love and hate about England and why I am over here in USA. But I visit so often I must love a lot of it!!! I look forward to reading the next installments….

    All the best



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