Tears of a Clown

15 Nov

NaNoWriNO Day 15

Topic: Third Life Crisis

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This topic wasn’t suggested, but I thought I’d give myself a pass and write about it anyway. It’s something happening in my life, and is something I really need to get off my chest. Additionally, this is my blog and I’m a tyrant.

The truth is, I’ve been in some strange downward spiral over the last few months. Maybe it’s more of a sadness black hole I’m being sucked into. Whatever it is, I want so badly to get off this train to crazy town already.

It’s not one thing plaguing me. Some people can identify that it’s their job or relationship or financial situation. Mine is…everything. I suffer from anxiety, and have a history of depression. It’s mostly under control thanks to coping mechanisms I’ve acquired over the years, but it occasionally creeps up on me. It feels like a ton of bricks crashing down on me, and then having a steamroller come by and run my ass over.

Sometimes I lay awake at night worrying about everything. I’m sure I’m going to get laid-off at work. I’m sure my parents are disappointed in me. I’m sure I didn’t pay all of my bills on time. I’m sure I didn’t lock the front door. I once got out of bed at 4 in the morning and brushed my teeth twice because I had eaten candy earlier in the night, and was convinced my teeth would fall out overnight if I didn’t. Anxiety is the mistress you wish would stop calling your house.

Then there’s the depression. Some days a cloud of malaise hangs over me, but it’s still manageable. I have a beer, or crawl into my sweats and watch reality television until it’s time for bed. Other times I wake up nearly in tears, and have to force myself to get out of bed.

Most people are really surprised to learn this about me. I’ve been told several times, “You’re the happiest person I know. What’s your secret?” My secret is that I’m a fucking wreck on the inside.

Eventually the fog lifts, and I poke my head out. Lather, rinse, repeat.

One of the worst things about these afflictions is the extreme guilt and embarrassment you feel as a result. You’ve let people see you at your worst, and you wonder if you could have done more to be better for them. Forgiving yourself is the hardest part of it all.

I’m choosing to forgive myself for this 12 rounds in the ring with my mind. I’m a good person, and I don’t deserve to punish myself the way that I do. One of the techniques I’ve used to center myself is to think about all of the good qualities I have. It’s a reminder that I am a sum of all of my parts.

Here are five things I love about who I am:

  1. I’m generous. I would give you the shirt off of my back if you needed it, and would go broke helping a friend. I donate money to good causes, and volunteer when and where I can. I send presents to loved ones for no other reason than to make them smile. My heart is open in this way, and I invite all deserving people in.
  2. I’m accepting. I talk all kinds of shit on this blog about people or things I don’t like, but it’s mostly for humor’s sake. In reality, I’m totally supportive of people doing whatever makes them happy as long as it isn’t hurting anyone. I’ve learned to love people for the things they are, and the things they are not.
  3. I’m trustworthy. I am a keeper of many secrets, some more considerable than others. I take people telling me things in confidence very seriously, and a violation of a person’s faith in me would be an egregious error. There are some secrets that are really only important to the person sharing, but there are others I’d be willing to die for.
  4. I blaze my own trail. I’ve never been conventional in the way I do anything, and I live my life for myself. Sometimes this makes life really hard, but the reward is that once I reach my goals, they’re the goals I wanted. After I got Freshly Pressed, I wrote to my parents to let them know. One of the things my dad wrote back was, “[I] admire that you’re doing your thing in your own time.” I admire that about me too.
  5. I’m funny. My childhood was nothing less than a disaster, but out of that carnage came the ability to laugh at life. I think laughter is one of the greatest things you can give another person, and is a way of sharing a part of yourself while still having fun. I hope that I bring the ha-has on this blog.

I want each of you reading this to do what I’ve done above, and post five things you love about yourself in the comments section below. You don’t need to have inner turmoil, nor do you need to worry about coming across as an egomaniac. This is about reminding ourselves that there is someone very special who lives inside the exterior we show to the outside world.

One day I want to be able to look back on this post and be proud of myself for it. Proud that I wrote it. Proud that I shared it. More than anything, proud that I did those things with people like you.

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Thanks to Jen at The Rollergiraffe for giving me the courage to write this post. She wrote this post which inspired me to write this one. She’s a great writer, and a funny lady so please check her out.

NaNoWriNO Day 14

NaNoWriNO Day 16

165 Responses to “Tears of a Clown”

  1. Swati 01/20/2014 at 10:36 pm #

    There is something about your blog that makes a connection. I didn’t hit the follow button till now because I wanted to discover the element of connection, first. But now I think I don’t care. :)

    • Jen and Tonic 01/20/2014 at 11:17 pm #

      Swati, that’s a huge compliment! The reason I wanted to be a writer was to make that connection with others, and I’m happy you felt it.

  2. mytwistedroad 11/11/2013 at 7:06 pm #

    You are brave and strong. Way to put this out there. We live in a society that ranks people day in and out. It’s time to break out of those things and just be happy with who we are!

    My five:
    1. Hard worker. I work my ass off even though it’s not always appreciated.
    2. I care too much.
    3. I’ll do almost anything for my friends. Let’s face it. I’m not going to jail for you, but will help plan something if you promise to get me an alibi. :-)
    4. I’m honest. Ladies, don’t ask me how you look in your dress if you need a pick me up.
    5. I’d like to believe that I have a big impact in the world.

    Cheers!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 12:39 am #

      I can completely relate to #1, but I sometimes think the reward is in the work itself. It teaches self-discipline, and if you really want something one day, you’ll be able to go after it.

      I really love #5. Small things can make big impacts.

  3. Claudia Bette 05/14/2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I lay awake at night thinking just those same things. And I have recently become obsessed with whether I locked the front door or not. I’m sure midnight tooth brushing is next.

    I was going to tell you that I really can’t find 5 things I like about me, but I don’t want to be a party pooper so I will try to think of at least 5.
    1) I’m adventuresome.
    2) I like to laugh
    3) I’m fun
    4) I could probably out drink the best of them
    5) I’m passionate

    • Jen and Tonic 05/16/2013 at 12:38 pm #

      Thanks for participating in this even though the post was from awhile back. I hope anyone who stumbles upon this challenges themselves to come up with 5 things.

      I like your list, and am especially intrigued by #4. Have you thought about coming to the blogger meetup? ;)

      http://sipsofjenandtonic.com/category/blogger-meetup/

  4. train-whistle 12/14/2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Thank you for reminding me that I count. Sometimes I forget that.
    1. I take my writing seriously and try to do it daily.
    2. I love and support my family.
    3. I take care of and embrace elders.
    4. I’m emotional, and it’s OK.
    5. I’m a good friend who listens.

    • train-whistle 12/14/2012 at 3:59 pm #

      ps: love the name of your blog!

    • Jen and Tonic 12/14/2012 at 6:44 pm #

      You absolutely do count. We all need to remind ourselves that we’re important too.

      And thanks for the compliment on my blog name :)

  5. Adam S 11/25/2012 at 6:35 pm #

    I’ve dealt with A&D for a long time. Man, what a struggle some days. It’s exactly as you describe. Sometimes waking up in the morning feels like unearthing myself from a grave. And despite as horrible as I feel some days, I’m still here. I guess it’s for a reason. Great post. Thanks for reminding me to remind myself…

    1.) I’m sensitive toward other people’s feelings.
    2.) I’m receptive and observant of the world around me.
    3.) I’m thoughtful.
    4.) I care about doing things well, and always put my best foot forward.
    5.) I have a sense of humor. Without it, I’d never make it back from the dark place…

    Thanks again.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/28/2012 at 12:49 pm #

      YES! We are all here for a reason, aren’t we? I think about that a lot when I get like that. My “purpose” if you will. Even this brief interaction between us is meaningful in some way.

      Thanks for posting your list! And I totally agree with #5.

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