Saturday, June 9, 2012


It's a common expression in England.  Ask someone - especially an older person - how they are and you're likely to get the answer, "Oh, middlin', lad [or lass]".  

It means they're doing about average.  Nothing to write home about, nothing to complain about - well, a few aches and pains, but who wants to listen to that?  Just the same old same old.  Middlin'. 

One of the things I say to people when they ask how I am is "Okay" or "Not bad" - it's the truth, it's much like, "Middlin', lad."  Yet I've lost count of the number of times some zealous optimist has said, "What? you're not GREAT?  you should be FANTASTIC!" (...usually followed by some religious or positive thinking platitude, sorry folks but that really gets me going.)  Lately, if I get that response, I have been known to come back with, "So, I should lie.  Hm."  Which usually gets them backpedaling - hee hee.  (Ain't I a stinkah?)  Honestly.  Don't you mistrust a salesman who's ALWAYS grinning? 

Most of the time, I'm middlin'. I'm okay.  Life is throwing an equal amount of pleasant and unpleasant things my way.  It all evens out (as they say around here) "in the warsh."  

That's a whole heckuva lot better than it was just a few years ago.  Life sucked.  It just did.  Every day was a drudge, more reasons to be upset because nobody would do things my way (which, of course, was the right way!)  - and I had this huge happy-faced facade up so nobody would suspect how miserable or how incredibly lonely I was.  

When I started living my new lifestyle of respecting boundaries: my own and others', and started taking care of myself and taking responsibility for my own actions and expecting others to take responsibility for their own actions... such a weight fell off my shoulders!! My stress level was reduced by at least 75%.  And I began to trust my "feeler."  I'd always been taught to distrust my emotions, taught that my feelings were somehow evil.  When I started paying attention to how I was feeling and letting that alert me to those things in my life that were out of balance, my life and my relationships started to improve.  

So now, when I get to feeling really awful inside, and I can't shake it or seem to deal with it - even with the new tools at my disposal - that's when I'm no longer middlin' and then I know it's high time to pay attention.  

Like a couple of months ago.  I slipped into a bout of depression that made me doubt my own sanity.  People who remember what I was like during that time frame will remember how concerned they were for me. I wasn't sleeping well at all, losing on average three hours a night of sleep, perhaps a bit less on the weekends when I could nap in the afternoons.  I was bone-tired-weary all the time.  Everything ached. I dragged myself around. I was paranoid, fearful of everyone. My self-confidence was non-existent. I seriously doubted my own judgment, my own thinking patterns. I didn't want to do anything or go anywhere, especially work and church. It was a herculean effort to even get out of bed in the morning. I was on the verge of either tears or an outburst of rage nearly all the time. I lost my temper more.  And I cried.  A LOT.  

When I finally did ask for help, and started to get it, I realized that I had allowed certain things to go on far too long without dealing with them.  I had permitted things to build and accumulate until I was convinced that some people were just out to get me.  My perceptions were clouded by my own inner reality.  When I started looking after myself more, and got the rest I needed to get, things slowly righted themselves.  I'm so thankful that they did; I know that some folks aren't quite so lucky. 

Even with that, it took nearly a month for me to start feeling more like myself, getting back to middlin'.  Just to wake up in the morning and not dread putting my feet on the floor is worth more than I can express.  I might not look forward to this or that thing that I will have to do that day, but it all balances out.  That's a good thing. 

Middlin' is okay. Okay is good.  I like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment