… from the bungalow

It’s Not You, It’s Me


Well, I’ve done it again. I’ve somehow removed myself from the one thing that’s been a sure source of motivation and inspiration in my life lately: my blog.

You could argue that your significant other or your kids or nature hikes or what-have-you are sources of happiness, but they’re not. Not really. It’s the way we perceive those people and events, how we process and engage in those experiences and interactions. Our happiness is directly proportional to our compound ability and willingness to perceive goodness. In other words, it’s not you, it’s me.  It seems too simple to be accurate, but I believe it fully, at least for myself. Unfortunately, I have the willingness, but not always the ability. And as we all know, anything multiplied by zero is zero.

How could you question the validity of such a high-quality, professional-looking graph? You can’t.

But I’m trying. God help me, I’m trying.

I’ve been mentally flogging myself for not having written my St. Baldrick’s follow-up post yet, seeing as how the event was now over a month ago. Ugh. I honestly don’t know what my hang-up has been. I’ve been preoccupied, I guess. Struggling to be happy has been the biggest challenge. I try to keep this blog focused on the positive, so when I’m not feeling it, nothing gets written. I also procrastinated (yet again) on filing my tax forms. I also had doctor appointments (some out of town), applied to grad school, and got myself back on an anti-depressant. In full disclosure, I’ll add that I’ve also been playing a lot of Skyrim lately, but that’s more a symptom of depression (escape) than a causal agent.

Then I read a blog post that really got me thinking. (If you’re on the Facebook page, you may have seen me share the post yesterday.) As usual, Rachel of the Hands Free Mama blog and The Hands Free Revolution hit the nail on the head with her post, “Six Words You Should Say Today.” I always appreciate her simple, inspiring reminders on how to “let go of daily distraction and perfection to grasp what truly matters in life.” I would encourage you to read it.

Did you read it? Great. Here was my comment on that blog post:

Rachel, I’ve been so disconnected lately; from blogging, from friends, even from my kids and spouse. This really hit home for me. I find myself wishing it were so easy to say those six words to my kids, resenting myself over the fact that it should be so easy and that I’m the one making it difficult.

Lately I’ve allowed myself to be personally affected by the near-constant tension between my son and step-son due to the tension it’s caused in my relationship with Karin. But in so doing, I’ve also distanced myself from the good moments. I haven’t been feeling those moments you describe where you feel your heart may burst. I used to. I need to reclaim that right as a parent, for myself and my kids.

I also mentioned that she’d helped bridge a connection between my heart and mind. For me, that’s what blogging is all about. She put it out there, I read it, and it resonated with me. It wrote itself on my brain, and I took it home with me. Then I tried it out. I was pretty down most of the evening, but I found an opportunity at bedtime and grabbed it. I used the six words (replacing “play” with “read”) and it did make a difference; for both me and my son. It’s a baby step, but I’ll take anything I can get right now.

So here we are. I’m back to blogging (for now) and you’re back here reading, hopefully making a connection similar to the one I made yesterday. If you do feel that click, be sure to let me know in the comments section. And if I do disappear again or start disconnecting, please remember: it’s not you, it’s me.

P.S. Thanks for sticking around even when I take unexpected breaks. I appreciate you.

Author: Chris

Introspection to a fault. College employee, parent, soap-maker.

23 thoughts on “It’s Not You, It’s Me

  1. SO glad you are back. It sounds like the dark demons got ahold of you. They get ahold of me too sometimes. I am glad to hear you are back on an antidepressant. Your words are beautiful and I enjoy them very much. It’s in the journey that we find ourselves. There are highs and lows, and you are very honest about both. thank you for that. Also, has your hair grown back yet?

    • Thanks for your support and kind words, Katy. Yes, my hair is growing back nicely. I’ll be sure to put up before, after, and one month later photos on my next post. 🙂

  2. Thank you for your honesty. It sounds like you are human and are flowing with the inevitable ups and downs of being alive….

    It is nice to have you back though… and sometimes a break is good… I’ve been considering a blogging break myself. And, anyway I think you should know that you have made an impact on me as just because you weren’t blogging, you did not disappear out of my consciousness. You’ve made a lasting imprint on me and I think it’s partly because you do inspire a very authentic heart/mind connection within my own process..

    Again, thanks for sharing and welcome back.

    I will check out that blog.

    Have a great day,

    • Thanks, Currie. Breaks can be good. Unfortunately, this break wasn’t a planned, rejuvenation type break. Just hesitation filled with self-loathing.

      Thanks for your kind words. I wrote this and let it go into the ether, knowing I’d written it for myself, but hoping someone else would get something out of it in the process. Thanks for that affirmation.

  3. Chris, thank you for your words. I love your honesty. I think we all, at times, get so bogged down being stuck in a bad head space, that we forget the most simple pleasures and how important they really are to us.
    I also read Rachel’s post yesterday, which brought me to tears. I always try to make it a point to build up those I love, to never tear them down. Sometimes I slip back into that pattern of what I believe to be constructive criticism. However, I have made an extraordinary effort to tell them “I love the way…” over the last 2 days, and it’s made a difference, both to them and to me.
    Keep your head up. Don’t discount your feelings. They are part of what makes you YOU. Don’t let Negative Nelly steal your joy. And remember, you’re not alone.

  4. So glad you’re back!!! take a gander at my blog, there’s an AWESOME update on there that I KNOW you’ll like!!!
    CJ is on a roll, he was interviewed by the local paper yesterday (well, I was and my mom was, but CJ chimed in with profoundness like the little professor will do) 🙂
    So excited… first testifying before the ND Legislature and now being interviewed by the local paper on Aspergers and Autism…. incredible!!!!

    Anyway – glad you’re back, I’ve missed you!

  5. Chris, thank you for your words. I love your honesty. I think many of us get stuck in a bad head space, and forget to find our joy.

    I also read Rachel’s post yesterday, and it brought me to tears. I typically make a conscious effort to always build up those I love and never tear them down, but it is so easy to slip into what we believe to be constructive criticism. I’ve made an extraordinary effort over the last 24 hours to use the words “I love the way you…”, and it’s made a difference, both for my loved ones and for me.

    Keep your head up. Own your feelings. Never discount them, but don’t lose you in the process. Don’t let Negative Nelly be in control. And please keep sharing. I love the way you write.


  6. Oh wow. Chris, I am again blown away. There is so much courage in your story. I can’t be certain, but I feel strongly that your message is going to help someone else greatly. When we see one another’s scars, imperfections, struggles, and dark moments, we come to love each other more. We also find a little bit of hope in there to anchor us. I applaud you for sharing your struggles. I applaud you for writing after one month away. Neither of those efforts are easy. It is beautiful to watch someone rise up despite falling down. I envision you now with a light shining on your face … and it is a glimpse of what is to come.

    I am celebrating your achievement today. I am celebrating you. Thank you for letting us see what hope looks like and feels like. It is not always pretty, but it is real and it is empowering. May this be a turning point.


    • Rachel, I’m honored by your comments. Life has been so… lively… lately.

      Hope is so important, isn’t it? Critical, even. It’s what saves me when I’m feeling the most overwhelmed and desperate. So much has happened in the past few months, and I plan to write about some of it. I just don’t really know where to start.

      Thanks for your kind comments.

  7. Thanks Chris for the courage to share! As bloggers and everyone else we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of real life, and many times I find it difficult to write and find inspiration because I am tired or overwhelmed. To combat this I try to find a space to relax, reflect, and read and this tends to help me. What also helps is having drafts that you just have to push POST on, on those busy or stressful days.

  8. I love your ability at self examination and your desire to be a better person,
    especially your desire to be a better parent. Blessings to you!

  9. Glad to have you back, Chris. It is easy to get caught up in life and I give you a lot of credit for not only recognizing it, but doing something to change the pattern.

  10. I love to read your blog (even though I’m not one who comments). Thank you for sharing the link. It brought tears to my eyes.

  11. You are certainly not alone. I have blogged before and let life carry me away all too often from something that I enjoy. Rest easy though my friend. You are only human.

  12. I haven’t taken a huge leave of absence yet, but I have thought about it. Oh, have I thought about it. Hang in there and welcome back.

Reply away!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s