Gloom and Doom

by mssinglemama on October 10, 2010

He looks at me and I envision us when we’re 80, on our death beds. The song “To Lose My Life” by White Lies is going through my head, “Let’s grow old together and die at the same time.”

He leaves with Benjamin in his car and I hope it’s not the last time I see them.

Why can’t I focus on the now instead of worrying so much about the future?

Is it because I’m a mom? Is it because I lost my father at a young age? Is it because I can’t imagine a life where we both live, long, well and happily? Because, that would just be too good to be true. But if we do – will I have wasted it thinking about death? Is it because my mother has yet to recover from losing my father? Her pain is still so visceral.

I try not to read or watch the news. I have found, the news only aggravates my “condition.”

I’m also settling into the new house and letting myself just “be” with John and Benjamin, enjoying moments as they happen. And when the creeping thoughts of dread and doom come, I try to knock them out.

I read blogs like Matt’s for inspiration and evidence that you can live on after losing a spouse. If you haven’t discovered Matt yet, you’re in for a treat. There’s a good chance his blog will change your life. Born out of his pain over the loss of his wife, Liz just 27 hours after the birth of their daughter, his blog is one of the most romantic stories you’ll ever read. And through living on with their daughter Maddy, Matt effortlessly reminds us all to live and to love. If you’re a long time reader of Matt’s – don’t miss his book cover just released.

Thanks for reading my rambles on this everyone. Just writing it down, confessing in a sense to my morbid thoughts, will help me tremendously. This blog is a release for me. And as you’ve noticed, I haven’t had much to release as of late. Because things are going so well. And, I know, no matter how hard I stare at them in disbelief, they do exist and no, they are not going to end anytime soon.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Momma Sunshine October 10, 2010 at 9:18 am

I struggle with the doom and gloom thoughts, too. It’s only made even worse for me with all the travel we have to do, maintaining the distance. I don’t know if it’s being a mom or just having a hard time believing in our own happiness. But like you, it feels like I’m always in a constant struggle to stay in, and enjoy the right now.

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mssinglemama October 10, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Yes… having a “hard time believing in your own happiness”. Well put and so sad to think about. We must find a fix for this!

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Karissa October 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

I can’t remember exactly where you are but I know around here, this time of year can really switch my mood, sometimes for the worse. I try to get out for a walk each day and I doubled my Vitamin D intake.

The other thing is, with the move, you’ve just experienced major major change. Even if it’s change for the good, it can still be hard on you.

I’ve struggled with anxiety for most of my life. I’ve avoided the “news”, actually I usually still do. I try to practice gratitude every day, but some days it’s difficult.

Hang in there.

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mssinglemama October 10, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I hear you Karrissa. I love this time of year, so definitely not that. And all in all I have been the happiest I’ve been in years. Walks definitely help, I have been replacing them with working out around the house (ie painting and lifting things) but I’ll start walking this week and see if that takes away some of the anxiety. Vitamins definitely help, will do that as well. Still on my smoothie in the morning diet, but I could stand to up the Vitamin D.

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Stac October 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

I feel this too. I have a hard time living the moment and just enjoying happiness because I’m afraid of being blindsided by pain, bad things, and just plain terribliness. I feel I need to be prepared for it, always expecting and ready so it won’t hurt so much. But in the meantime…it’s hard to just enjoy life with that always hanging over my head. I’m working harder these days on just being…..Expecting pain doesn’t make it easier to deal with, it just makes there be less happy thoughts to find shealter in when things go bad.

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Cheryl October 10, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I think that being PRESENT is a hard thing for most women, especially moms, and especially those of us who have experienced loss at a young age.

You might try “labeling” (a mediation technique that I find REALLY helpful). Notice when you are thinking these kinds of fearful, in the future, type of thoughts… and then just label each of them “THINKING”. Then let it go. No judgment about the thought. No urgency to it. No level of importance. Just notice it. Label it. Then let it go.

Course of Miracles, Buddhism, and other spiritual traditions teach that there is no solid or meaningful basis to our thoughts anyway. It’s ALL illusion. So, if it’s not really real (unless we MAKE it real by assigning a story to it, or drama, or fear, etc.), then letting it go, seems like a good idea right? Or at least, it seems like a freeing process that I’d like to practice more.

I’m rarely present. In my body. My relationship. With my daughter. My mind is always racing to the future (things I want, need, should do, etc.) or back into the past (things I didn’t get, should’ve done, resentments against people that hurt me, etc.). Bringing myself back into this moment right now, like when you’re watching Ben and John Bear drive away, and being present in it, with no thoughts or judgments about what it might mean. Label the yucky stuff, bless it, let it go. Then notice the stuff that makes you feel GOOD. The sunshine on your skin. How cute they look in the car together. How good it feels to know they are together and love each other. How good it feels to know you are loved by them. Whatever you can notice that doesn’t give you anxiety. Does that make sense?

Anyway, it’s a place to start.

I say this mostly for my own benefit by the way. I needed to read this post to remind me that I’m practicing presence. Right now.

;-)

XOXO

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mssinglemama October 10, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Love this Cheryl… thank you so much for sharing. I need to get into meditation, have heard so many good things. But for now, your comment will do worlds for my psyche. Thanks again.

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Amanda October 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I absolutely love this as well.

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Bear October 10, 2010 at 11:14 pm

I’m familiar with something a lot like the thing that you’re describing, though I don’t experience it myself: a tendency to notice the empty part of the glass more than the full oneā€”and when it’s all full, to think about how it might be empty someday soon.

I’m not sure what the source is, but in my experience, in the long run, this can be viciously bad. Depending on how general it is, it could potentially manifest itself as a tendency to notice your partner’s flaws more than his good points, notice your child’s shortcomings more than his accomplishments… and these perceptions accumulate over time.

My vote, for what it’s worth, is that it’s a very good thing that you’ve noticed it and an even better thing that you’re worried about it. I’d trust that feeling. Pursue it, diagnose it, stamp it out. You don’t need that “gloom and doom” constantly dragging you down.

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mssinglemama October 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Thank you for this. Wise words and incredibly generous of you to share.

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Bear October 11, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Thanks for the kind words. Re-reading that note, I realize it’s considerably more intrusive and preachy than I’d thought; I’m glad you read it in the spirit in which it was intended.

This really is a world full of beautiful things and magnificent people, and given how little time we really have to appreciate them, it’s a crime to rob ourselves of the ability to do so.

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Poppy October 11, 2010 at 2:46 am

Well then you and must enjoy each and every day you have with those you love. WITHOUT the gloom and doom!! If it helps my parents are 70 and 71 this year and are right now on a Hawaiian cruise enjoying life. Over the past 10 years they have gotten into world wide travel and seen the world. Look forward to THAT instead of ‘what might happen’ my dear :) Your futures so bright you gotta wear shades!!

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Poppy October 11, 2010 at 2:55 am

Sorry for the typo, arrgh!

But yes, my family has had it’s share of major lows (history of depression and all that that entails, sigh) but so happy for my parents who have risen above and always made happiness where they could. Inspiring really.

I look forward to hearing of wonderful adventures, every day life and how you and Bear move on to the next stage in your lives :) Try not to be afraid, be EXCITED!

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Dawn October 11, 2010 at 5:28 am

I loved the part where you said you’ve given up the news. The only real news is your life and the people in it right now. Looking at the road traveled or the road still ahead can steal the joy from today. I’ve noticed this more and more as I age.

And I can’t help but think of your mom, a love so great and lost can leave us in tears, left with scars. So many of us know this. The pain of loss is so beautifully interwoven with love I noticed.

At the core of you is a wonder. Living from your heart outward. And this is a beautiful thing. You.

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mssinglemama October 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I felt this time, like you were also writing this for yourself. ; ) How far we’ve both come over the years, huh?

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Amanda October 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I love that someone earlier mentioned having a “hard time believing in your own happiness.” For so long it’s seemed like happiness and contentment are just fantasies..but now that things are starting to change for me, I’m not sure how to accept them.

I think about death all the time…I wake up every morning in pure joy when I see my living, breathing daughter. If anything, the doom and gloom thoughts help me appreciate her that much more.

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Eva October 11, 2010 at 1:51 pm

great post because sometimes I feel i jsut need to start living in the moment and thankfully my daughter has helped me do just that..
Love matt’s blog been following for a while and its a goody!

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sharal.sam October 14, 2010 at 7:08 am

Insurance is one of the rapidly expanding sectors in modern world that’s totally true many people still don’t know about this and many of them don’t want it, but in this face they are wrong, nice post it’s so impressive. Thanks for sharing.

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Jennifer James October 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I must say that Im in the thick of it right now. Separated only 6 weeks and trying for my 16 month old sake to be a bright and shining example of the ‘right way’ to do divorce. I discovered on Tuesday that my husband started dating another woman 5 days after our break up… a woman that he had been carring on with during our marriage. My darkest hour was yesterday afternoon – he told me he wished I was dead (I had sent out a hateful email to all of our family and friends introducing her as a homewrecker). We have been fighting about the assets in the house and the fact that he refused to pay spousal – and he was about to corner me with a cut throat lawyer. I sat in the kitchen with boxes all around, my business in shambles my marriage in tatters and wondered if it would be easier if I wasnt here. And inside of that moment I knew that my son was my reason to pick up an go on. Inside of that moment I thanked the universe for sending me that little bundle of joy and the great gifts of wonderful family and friends. I read your posts and I thank you all for the reminders to be present. Not to what is not working but what is. While my life is not what it was even months ago – I was living a lie and now I can start living in the truth. I deserve better than what I had been accepting as a ‘loving relationship’. If my husband could move on so soon – how in love could we have been? Is time for me to clear out the cobwebs of the dis-empowering thoughts I have about being worthy and deserving and just live inside I can have it all. And I need to count my blessings each and every day.

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MoosMamma October 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Well…. I have to say… I totally identify with you post… I worry… far too much… especially when I am happy…. but above and beyond… I worry about my precious princess… Still struggling with the sharing…. I don’t think I will ever get used to it… but I cry a little less when she is gone… so it must get better…. I think above all else… the greatest gift we can give to ourselves, and those around us… is to be in the moment… to stop ourselves from letting our minds creep down those dark allies…. Its a struggle … especially when my little one is with her daddy…

I love your blog… have been following it for quite some time… thanks for your insightful posts.. : )

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