Volunteering and feelz.

Back in January, I was finally awarded my first (and only) Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.  Honestly, I was proud.  Really proud.  But now, I'm over it and I'm burnt out and I hate that.  I hate that I'd rather sit at home on my couch than do the things that I enjoyed doing for the past 2 years because its so much effort.  (Ok, when I think about it, as I have several times now, there are probably some deeper issues here than what's on the surface, but I'm still going to rant, kthx.)

Phil and I have stopped visiting the nursing home.  He wasn't really enjoying it, which I knew the entire time, but we still went because: community service, yo.  I am still working with the praise band at church and doing some Greyt Expectations (GEGR) volunteer stuff, but I'm less dedicated to both.  I don't feel bad when I miss a praise band practice and I don't feel bad when I don't go to GEGR dogathons.

I think part of it is that I've learned what I like and don't like in regards to these particular volunteer efforts.  I'd rather wake up at 3am and go fetch dogs in VA and bring them back to S.MD than do the washing and the adoption process for the greyhounds.  There are times I'd rather sing with the praise band than sit in the back running the soundboard.  But the opportunities to do the things I want to do when I volunteer are practically nonexistent and I feel like that is really effecting my desire to volunteer for things.

Like when I volunteer to do a particular thing and I am told there's something else for me to do, even though they kinda need help for what I actually volunteered to do, I get extremely frustrated.  I get burnt out.  I lose the desire to volunteer at all, which really, really sucks because when I'm not doing the things I do, I get bored and lonely and a downward spiral of things that just aren't pretty.  Or better yet, rather than being redirected, I'm not selected to be a part of things at all, yeah that's the worst.

I think another part of the volunteer decline is that I'm separating myself from this life.  It seems strange, but I have a feeling some of my military-experienced readers may understand.  I know that I am leaving S.MD.  I'm not sure how far away I'll get, but I know I won't be here.  Each time I have a transition, I pull away from those that are close to me.  It happens every.single.time.  It happened when I went to college, it happened when I left for the Navy, it happened when I left the States, it happened when I left GTMO, it happened when I left Bahrain.  You know exactly who you'll keep up with when you move away/on and exactly who you won't, which seems cruel in a way, but it is what happens.  You don't know what you're going to find when you arrive at your destination.  I remember being very, very lonely my first 6 months to a year in S.MD, and then one day I realized that I did have friends and I did do things.  They had slowly creeped into my life and when I finally realized it, it was a surprise.

I believe that a final part of my lack of desire to do anything except sit on my couch is potentially part of the grieving process, which is difficult for me to admit.

I'm pretty much a robot.  I am good at shutting down and not conveying my emotions (like when I volunteer for something and I'm redirected), a master of nonchalance (which I've often gotten complaints about).  Granted, people might notice that something isn't quite right with me, but they can't often tell if I'm mad or sad or excited, etc.  Often I am able to redirect and say how I tired I am, which works 95% of the time.  Yet, its quite difficult to lie to myself when I can feel the truthful answer.  The feelz suck, ya'll.

I hate how real the 5 stages of grief are and how when I don't think something is happening at the time, it becomes much obvious later that I was wrong.  I like to pretend that I covered all 5 stages of grief the last 2 weeks of February, but now that I think about it and look at my current circumstances, I can no longer believe that is accurate.  Granted, Teh Bear and I had a pretty long relationship and it seems like a healthy thing to grieve over the end of something I had invested so much into (even if it was my choice to end it).  Word on the street is that he is doing well and I am happy for him.  Other than the immediate moments after he left the house and pulled away at the intersection, there haven't been any other times that I've ever wished anything was different.  I lived, I loved, I learned, or however the quote goes.

I spent several weeks in a state of consistent retail therapy and then went to Disney World.  I really should stop that method of making things better per my bank account.  Now I'm back to figuring out life as it is.  Watching shows that we used to watch together and realizing that its not as scary or as painful as I expected it to be.  Back to cooking 1/2 meals to eat for the entire week since it's just me again.  Back to doing all my own cleaning and knowing that I meet my own exceedingly high cleaning standards every time.  Back to coming home to an empty house (except for the dogs).

Yes, there are great things still happening in my life.  I have a person and a plan and Meri is house-broken and I'm saving so much money on groceries and I'm getting out of the Navy and I've lost 10-15 lbs because I'm eating smarter and working out regularly and winter is finally gone (which is bittersweet cause I love my snows, but YAY flower pics!).  There are good things, even in the bleakness of right now.  Sometimes, its just difficult to focus on the good and the possibility for good when the bleakness looms so large.  Nonetheless, I'll keep trekkin'.  I will prevail, even if its just because I'm too stubborn to fail.

For now, I think I'll go put on my Minnie ears to bring some magic into my day.

I don't care what you say, these ears are MAGICAL, dammit, MAGICAL!

Comments

  1. Dude, totally get it. In our last town, it was hard to get anything involved at all because we knew we were there for 2 years max. No matter what happened after that- we sure weren't staying. It happens...and sometimes it sucks. Hope you feel better soon!

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