Monday, June 21, 2010

Blogging that Effer Voice Away

I'm trying to blog my way out of a hole today.

We are exactly five hours into summer vacation.   We had a great Father's Day weekend at the beach - perfect weather, swimming, sand castles, family.    

Today isn't going so well.    Here is where I am supposed to take a deep breath, recalibrate my perspective and accept life on life's terms.

I've tried all the usual tricks, and nothing is working.    I'm in a black, dour mood, and I can't shake it.   

Sometimes when I write about them, things right-size themselves.   I see things spelled out on the page, and it wrenches me into a better perspective.    So here I am, typing away.   Lucky you.

Nothing is seriously wrong.   Usually, when a series of inconveniences and setbacks come my way, I can take a couple of steps back and realize it could be so much worse.   And it could be.   A lot worse.    For whatever reason that doesn't seem to hold any water today.

My car is dead - the battery has been acting up, and we managed to get a jump start on the tidal flats yesterday, just as the sea was lapping at my front tires.    It died again that evening, and again this morning.    So now it's in the shop, and I'm home for a couple of days with no car. 

Finn is sick - he has been spiking fevers for a few days.    Something is going around - kids at his school had it, and others assure me it's a virus that passes in 2-5 days.   Nothing to do but treat the symptoms, and wait.   He's tired, crabby, and Finn and Greta have been fighting almost non-stop all day.    Greta isn't used to the slow pace, and has asked me no fewer than fifteen times if we're going to do anything fun today.  

The house is messy - not over-the-top messy, but messy enough to peck at the corners of my brain, scratching at that spot that likes to tell me how useless I am at housework.     Because the kids are home full-time now, as I work my way through the piles, new piles are popping up all over the place.   They "helped" me clean for a while.    I had to clean up from their helping.   Finn dumped shampoo all of the pantry, because he thought it was soap.    "I was just cleaning, Momma!   Aren't you happy?"

Greta is resisting going to the playspace at the local Y, where I go to work out.    She graduated from the younger kids' room, but feels out of place in the bigger kids' room.   I'm antsy for a workout - I feel sluggish, tired and more than a little cranky if I don't exercise.   I'll find a way to get her there, eventually, but it's not a battle worth tackling when Finn is sick and can't go anyway.

But what bothers me the most?   That voice, that stupid Effer Voice that gets louder when I'm annoyed, run-down, cranky.    The alcoholic devil in my head that tells me how much I suck, fans the flames of my annoyance.    The one that whispers in my ear, tells me to look for that trap-door away from my reality.   The one that says to me that a drink or a fistful of chips would taste so very good.   

On days like today, I have to work harder at beating back that Effer Voice, and that is the most discouraging thing of all.    I can do it, but I'm not happy about it.   Not one bit.

I feel like I did yesterday, when the car wouldn't start and the ocean was mere minutes away from engulfing my car in water.     I was frantically turning the key, trying to get moving, get the hell away from there, to no avail.

I can't do it alone.   A nice woman enjoying the beach with her kid jump started my car yesterday, just in time.     Like yesterday, I need the help of other people to pull me back from the brink.    Left to my own resources, I'll just keep turning that key over and over, thinking I'm in control of the situation and not realizing I'm not until the ocean is up to my waist.

So I'm talking to people.   I'm blogging about it.   I'm reaching out to all of you for your empathy and humor.  You haven't let me down yet.   

And it helped.   I got out of myself for a bit, typing this.   I re-read it just now, before hitting publish, and my problems seemed a whole lot smaller.    Cars can be fixed, kids recover from colds.   I will find a way to get back to the gym.    Sometimes, just speaking my truth is enough.  

A bad mood is just a bad mood.   A drink or a fistful of chips wouldn't help a thing. 

That Effer Voice is no match for One Crafty Mother like me.   Damn straight.


  1. Writing it out and articulating things does help shrink irksome feelings to cars can be fixed, kids recover from colds. There's no shame in being affected by a few shitty days. They are shitty days and it's their nature to make us want to run for the hills. Everyone looks for a way to stave them off or lessen their impact, whether it's with a drink, a bath, five minutes alone, punching a pillow, or closing eyes and meditating. Writing helps way more than booze, and I'm glad you chose to write it out.

    (This is an aside, but I wanted to tell you how much I love my earrings and necklace from Shining Stones. Every time I put them on it's like a boost to the focus to stay healthy. Thanks, Ellie.)

  2. Sending happy thoughts your way, sometimes just reading your posts can give the jump start to change my attitude! Thanks

  3. Ellie-I found myself saying out loud today "it's only their first day home and you're yelling at them already".... but after reading this and taking 5 minutes to myself, my perspective has changed.
    Thank you.
    Hope Finn is feeling better soon :)

  4. I've also been walking around in a black cloud of despair lately, Ellie, and yesterday I just started writing resentments to get this monkey off my back. Something magical happens to the addict in me when I write, especially when I get to the 4 character flaws in the big book. Once I start examining myself in light of selfishness, dishonesty, self-seeking and fear, everything changes. How is HP contained in a pen? I don't know.

  5. The Effer Voice is a pain in the ass... and I know it all too well.
    Glad you wrote about it :) It always helps! Cheap therapy...
    Hope tomorrow is better, and Finn feels better soon!

  6. Makings for a long day! Hope tomorrow is better and Finn is quickly on the mend.

  7. Damn straight is right. Just take it one bite at a time, one day at a time, remember???

    Think how much better a position you are in now to deal with the stuff!

    Call your mother for a well-deserved attagirl!


  8. Have you ever watched that clip from In Bruges where it's just full of effer this and effer that? Sometimes just watching it makes me feel better. It's in the youtube video category on my blog if you want some comic relief.

    Hang in there my friend. You're making choices to do something positive about your reality today. That is something to celebrate even if the day never gets any better.

  9. Ack, I looked and the link is NOT there! I was counting on some comic relief for myself. I found it on youtube.

  10. That voice woke me up this morning. It was hanging out with my ego so it began with a compliment someone gave me at a meeting last night and then turned to how wrong they were for this perception, etc. Love the battery story. I'll try to remember that this week as I'm plowing through work piles that seem never ending. When I give it to HP and just do my best progress and peace begin. Thanks Ellie :)

  11. First and last days of summer vacay are the worst (around here too, but we have another week till we even start).

    Hang in there!