How am I even supposed to do this?

Last night, Friday night, I wrote this, thinking I’d publish it:

I’m done. At least, that’s how I’m feeling today. I may feel very different tomorrow, but right now, I’m feeling done.

Wiped out. Completely drained.

Even the things that normally bring me joy are just now… well, they’re just there. And for the most part, I’m purely on autopilot.

I know I need to make some significant changes in my life, particularly around my job. But I’ve got nothing left for that. I don’t think I could start a new job, if I wanted to. I’m just so worn down to nothing.

Of course, it would be nice if I could just quit my job, but I have responsibilities I need to keep up with. Someone depends on me to stay alive, and that person is cognitively and physically declining. Rapidly.

I have to keep going for them.

So, I shall.

This morning, I woke up feeling a lot less desperate. But my situation has not changed so terribly much. I’m still married to a cognitively and physically declining spouse. She still needs me to keep going for her. I’m still struggling with my work. I still would love to leave my job and dedicate my attention to a smaller subset of Very Important Things. I have deep and abiding reservations about, well, everything. And there’s not much that I really feel I can do about much of it, at all.

I’m just stuck here, where I am. Locked down in a pandemic – since last March, I’ve basically been locked down, which may have kept me healthy, or it may have been a poor use of time. I’ll never know. All I know is, I’ve been plugging right along as best I can, making what I can of life as it comes… taking care of, well, everything.  Following my best judgment, in terms of how to keep safe and clean and healthy… not always doing the best job of it, but then, what can you expect?

What can any of us expect? What, indeed?

I have an exercise bike in my house. It’s in the living room that we rarely use, except as storage, because we have a family room on the other side of the house that’s much more cozy. And we have a lot of stuff we’ve needed to keep on the ground floor, because once upon a time, when my partner was still mobile and not in crippling pain, we produced events. A lot of events. Obviously (for us, not for the rest of the world), that hasn’t happened in, like, a year, because we’ve been overly cautious, and her pain has been increasing. But anyway, there’s this whole room in the house that has a bunch of stuff stashed there, and the exercise bike is there. My weights, too — nothing dramatic, just a bunch of dumbells and some plates for adding 5-10 lbs to some of my free weights. I haven’t used those plates in some time. I haven’t felt like it.

There’s a lot I haven’t felt like doing, over the past year. We relocated while our house was being worked on, last spring, and the smaller space where sound traveled easily made it less convenient for me to exercise. I could have done it, sure. But I didn’t. Because I didn’t feel like it. Depression and all that. Overwhelm and all that. Taking care of things, managing the contractors from afar, holding down my full-time job as best I could, and carrying on with some other personal projects I had happening.

Lord, when I look back, it was a massive flurry of activity. For months. And then the move back home, the unpacking boxes and adjusting to the new look of the house, the new configuration, calling the contractor to fix the new things in the house that kept breaking, and, well, everything.

And then my partner started to decline. More… and more… and more… all the while, in increasing pain that I couldn’t stop, with more and more symptoms that I didn’t even know about (she didn’t tell me) until they were too big to turn the clock back on.

So, yeah, it’s been a ride. And it continues to be.

Small wonder, I was at my limit, yesterday. I cycle in and out of being at my limit. I cycle in and out of hope and despair and all the stuff in between. Get some rest. Build myself back up. Have a good meal. And then wear myself down, all over again.

This post feels like it’s going nowhere, so I won’t waste anybody’s time with it, anymore. It’s just here – this constant sense of never getting ahead. And even when I do get ahead, I slip back. Again and again and again. Because that’s just how things go, when things go like this.

So, keep on. Just keep on. It may not get much better, but chances are, it’ll get different.

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