Monday, November 9, 2009

Where Should I Go?

Sometimes there is just too much life to deal with in this life, and for me, such a time is now.

We decided this year that there wasn’t really a point in making a Thanksgiving dinner in my family, so we’re skipping it, which I think is an obvious indication that we are falling apart. If we have nothing to be thankful for, why do we bother with one another? If blood is thicker than water, and our blood is so thin we don’t even acknowledge it, then what in the world do we have connecting us to humanity?

Recently I found out that before my father died, he told my brother and mother to lean on me, that I was the rock, I was the one they could count on, and I’d keep the family together. For five years I’ve tried to do exactly that without knowing that he planted the seed in the heads of my family to do this to me, and knowing that they did just that, without trying to be responsible on their own, crushes me. I just can’t do it anymore. As I have begun to let go, to rip the tethers that tie me to them, I find that we are just drifting farther apart, knowing one another less and less, caring less and less, knowing ourselves less and less, being a part of something meaningful less and less. Partly this breaks my heart; partly it frees me from a burden I couldn’t handle on my own. And in a weird kind of way, I’m thankful that even if it’s just this year, just this holiday, just this one time, I am free to let go of what I have on this day that we’re supposed to use to show how grateful we are for what we have.

I’ve had insomnia for over a month now, and no over-the-counter or prescription medicine has been able to give me more than 5 hours of sleep a night. Whether it’s the sleep deprivation or the trauma of the relationships in my life, I feel myself withdrawing from the world, not wanting to participate, not wanting to feel anything, not wanting to be a part of anything. The stress of my family, my disintegrating relationship with B.E., the pressure from my friends to make specific changes in my life, the overwhelming despair of recognizing the pain and swelling in my hands and feet as another flare-up of sarcoidosis attacking my body, and the stubborn refusal to take the toxic medication that can make it better, all combine to make my existence a constant battle I tire of fighting. And I need to unplug from the fuel that feeds the flames that envelope me.

But how?

I find myself at a creative loss.

I have some money in my savings account for whatever road trip I choose to take, whenever I choose to take it. I have 19 vacation days left for this year, 10 of which I can carry over, but 9 that I have to take in the next 6 weeks. Clearly the indication would be to get the hell out of here for a while.

But where do I go?

Alone.

I have four days off for Thanksgiving weekend and can drive anywhere the roads take me, but I don’t even know what direction to head in. And on a holiday weekend, travel is going to be a nightmare. But I really have to go somewhere.

So, I ask you all, dear readers, who have read my thoughts and feelings for years, where should I go?

My needs are simple: somewhere I can go alone, somewhere I can go to clear my head, somewhere I can drive to and from, and somewhere that won’t cost a bloody fortune.

Suggestions are not only requested, but needed. Help me find some peace. Where can I find it?

11 comments:

Pixie the dog said...

I always head to Lake Michigan in times like this, if I can possibly get there. I'm from Michigan, so it was usually South Haven for me. Tends to be nice and lonely in the cooler months. I also spent hours wandering around the cemetery where my great-grandparents are buried. It's in Kalamazoo and for me, incredibly restful.

I'm sorry about your life right now, btw. If you ever want to be around people & animals and also be left alone, get yourself to Houston and you can stay in our guest room.

--ranger

Anonymous said...

Starved Rock or take the time, get your own apartment, and live your own life. I was the family savior after my father died until I realized--at 35--nothing I did made a damn bit of difference in the dysfunctional lives of my nearest and dearest. Hurt like hell, for awhile, but I got over it. I still have scars but I also have had a beautiful, conflicted, messy, life of my own.

Tam said...

You seem to have a close affinity with nature, so head towards a National Park (cross another one off your list!) or somewhere similar where you can just sit and be. And while I have never traveled over Thanksgiving in the area where you live, my personal experience has shown that late Wed. evening and early Thursday morning are not too bad. And if you're heading into the middle of no where......

Be sure to listen to your own music. Dream your own dreams. Live your own life.

Whatever you do over the next 6 or so weeks, take advantage of all your vacation time! You receive it for a reason.

Patti said...

If I were you, I would just pack up the car and start driving. I may plan a little bit so you can get back home ok but I would just drive and blast music and stop when I want to stop and drive when I want to drive. But I would just let myself be free of everything around me.

I wish I could do that right now.

Mary Beth said...

Washington Island. Not too far, spectacular views, interesting people.

Wishing you all the best...and that you find the peace that you seek.

jonathan said...

I agree, with 9 days, just get in the car and start driving.

I suggest the desert. Usually I'm all about the lakes and woods like you, but the desert is a good place to be free when things are falling apart. Head southwest, find a wide open, clear, cool, sunny space and just breathe.

Lummox said...

I have a radical idea, but why don't you send your family on the vacation. Let them worry about the holiday hustle and bustle. Make them leave you alone in your own space and do just that, space. Dwell in it. Revel in it. Walk around your own place unshowered, unshaved, uneverything, or not if you want. Do what YOU want to do in YOUR own place. Send them away and take time to be yourself, do what you want to do. Clean the house if you want. Sleep the whole time if you want. Throw a huge party. Make a Thanksgiving dinner just for yourself and stuff your face and enjoy the glory of the food coma.

It's what I would do, if I could. :D

Leelu said...

Failing that... *jumps and waves* We've got a couch! Lummox makes awesome food! We love you!

Amanda (the librarian) said...

When I feel down warm and sunny makes me happier. Not sure exactly where you are so I can't be more specific than that.

*hugs*

Amanda (the librarian) said...

Oh and BTW making a big Thanksgiving dinner is a LOT of work and a lot of unneeded food. We won't be making one either, but will go to the daughter-in-law's house if invited and bring something.

Cielle said...

Changes, even changes for the better, are always stressful. You may feel sad about the family falling apart, but clinging to the tradition when things have gone weird wouldn't make it right. Your plan to get away and think is probably the best thing for you now.

If it were me, I'd go camping. It's cheap. There's no technology to distract you from what's real. You could count on being nearly alone out there over Thanksgiving (few people, my aunt excepted, want to rough it on the holiday). You may not be up for the sleeping on the ground thing,though; so maybe a hotel near a park/ preserve.