How many days of ‘poor me’ do I get?

It’s a compulsion. Whenever I meet someone I haven’t seen for many months, the first thing I want to ask is, “How has it been for you – this year…” I want to add, ‘from hell’ but maybe it wasn’t for them. The question has to hang there, open-ended, untainted, allowing for either possibility.

I can tell you how it’s been for me. In a word, brutal.

I’ve lost a dear elderly uncle and a young friend. The struggle to keep my nervous system in balance has taken intense focus and sometimes outright trickery. Like now. I’ve been listening to Epic Choir chanting Om So Hum for an hour and I’ve just hit replay. Like the vaccine, I need a second dose and I can’t wait a month. Having soothing sounds in the background makes my body believe all is calm, normal, in control, even though my mind isn’t convinced. So while my body’s distracted, I’ll occupy my mind with this task of writing.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

But besides being brutal, I’ll tell you what else this year has been for me. Revelationary. Twenty-nineteen has been a time of intense self-discovery. And as you might suspect, most of it exposed the dark side. Fears came barrelling to the forefront. Old insecurities lit up like fireworks. Regret, blame, shame, guilt…all sat in judgment as months passed and reality settled over me like a burial shroud.

Then one morning I woke up thinking, How many days of ‘poor me’ do I get?

That sounded suspiciously like the old Sherry, the pre-Covid Sherry. So I laughed and answered my question: As many as you need, kid, but don’t make it a habit. I’m trying to take my own good advice. I allow myself some sadness – deep enough and painful enough that it approaches depression at times. But I love my natural optimism too much to risk losing it forever in the Slough of Despond.

Over the years I’ve learned that awareness of a problem is the first step in the path to managing it. My self-discovery journaling was all about getting to the root causes of my destructive patterns so I could take a different way forward. This year has given me enough psychological fodder to occupy me for the rest of my life, and it’s not over yet. My heart breaks at the thought of those who don’t have the mental steel-trap that I use to lock out despair and force myself back to sanity. It’s a gift that has enabled my survival during difficult times.

But the unrelenting length of this extraordinary set of circumstances concerns me the most.

In our instant gratification society we haven’t developed ‘staying power.’ I watch my children getting stretched to their limits, adjusting, then getting stretched again. (Okay, I started to feel anxious then realized my music had stopped. I just hit replay – going into the third hour of Om So Hum…!) They (my children) are young, resilient, creative, employed, and healthy. So are my grandchildren. What a blessing. I’m grateful every moment. But nothing for them is as it was. Two of them are working from home with toddlers. Locked down and locked in both by legal mandate and by snow. And there’s that 24/7 togetherness…I rest my case.

Then, as if conjured from the ether, I was given another self-discovery tool that left my mouth gaping. Gene Keys. I’d never heard of it so after accessing my scary-precise and in-depth free profile, I did some research and found that the profile info is a mere surface scratch. Richard Rudd studied the I Ching, astrology, and another body of learning called Human Design. He used aspects from all of them and came up with this vastly complex system that spits out information about you, perhaps as you’ve never seen yourself before.

To try it, click here. There’s a button for a Free Profile. Enter your birthdate and place and time of birth. If you don’t know what time you were born, just plug in 12:01 – a minute after noon. No problem. Mine nailed me, calling out both my strengths and my shadows. It brought me to another level of understanding about what I need, what I may want that doesn’t serve me, and antidotes for the pitfalls in my personality.

I’ll try anything if I think it will shed light on this creature that I am and help me navigate my life more effectively. I don’t have a lot of time left. The luxury of learning ‘the hard way’ is a thing of the past. I want to come out on the other side of this Covid freak-show a wiser, healthier, more compassionate human.

How many days of ‘poor me’ do I get?

Hopefully, soon, that won’t be a question I even have to ask.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol
    Dec 22, 2020 @ 13:36:11

    I find my hope and comfort in the Bible, prayer and faith in Jesus. If you believe your life is nearing its end, I encourage you to explore and trust the maker of the universe. Only His way is true.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Gail
    Dec 22, 2020 @ 13:59:25

    Sherry, so sorry to hear you are in such a dark place. This time around Christmas is especially difficult when away from family.
    Have you had any interest in your Bali place – hope it happens soon for you as sense you need to move.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Dec 22, 2020 @ 19:48:54

      Fortunately, Gail, I don’t stay in the ‘dark place’ for too long. But holidays do bring up different emotions. I have had interested buyers, thank you for asking. My focus right now is to stay in the present and enjoy the time I have left here in Bali. There’s much to celebrate and be grateful for.

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  3. JoAnna Zachman
    Dec 22, 2020 @ 14:23:24

    Sherry , this is so crazy. But yesterday at about Noon Minneapolis time. You or the thought of you. Or my memories of you popped into my head. I wondered how you were. I remembered when you lived with your daughter in South Minneapolis and how you were very soon moving across the world to begin a new life . I Remember being in awe of you and the courage it must have taken for you to do this. You were going from one world that you knew. And we’re taking a leap of faith into another world. In writing this I now realize why you are in my thoughts so much these days. It’s because I find myself in a similar crossroads I am trying to figure out if I have the strength, the courage, the nerve to move to a new place, to do a new thing. To develop a new part of myself. And I look to you as a person who has done just that. And you are continuing to seek to know and develop new parts of who you are. I am humbled and proud of you and want to know more about the path you are on.

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  4. Julie Marshall
    Dec 22, 2020 @ 15:06:31

    Once again Sherry thank you so much for this post. You have been so beautifully honest and inspiring. I too have been in a similar situation and find it hard at times but always manage to pull myself together. I must try listening to music. I find it so soothing but forget to use it to calm myself when everything is swirling around in my head. Love and best wishes as we head into 2021. I look forward to reading many more of your posts!

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Dec 22, 2020 @ 19:53:09

      Thank you for reading Julie. I forget about music, too. I remember at the beginning of this never-ending year I had to listen to music all day long to stay even-keel. After a while, all the craziness just became what life is now, routine, and I forgot about music. It was great to rediscover it today and experience the soothing effects.

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  5. Gail
    Dec 24, 2020 @ 04:41:23

    Your posting sent me back to a book which has been a real treasure – ‘Gift from the Sea’ Ann Morrow Lindberg. Such wisdom in her writing: ‘One must accept the security of the winged life, of ebb and flow, of intemittency.’ ‘the only security is not in owning or possessing, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom… the only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not even in hoping, even.’ Intermittency – an impossible lesson for human beings to learn.’

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  6. Sandra Dee Borg
    Dec 27, 2020 @ 11:00:37

    I “clicked here” above and am still marveling at what was written and how it absolutely was me, but also the me I hadn’t ever even admitted to or thought much about until reading that. I thought of going on with it, but I think I read enough in the free profile portion. Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

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