Dear Carolyn: I am a single mom to two incredible boys. My ex-husband's mother is my live-in nanny and general cheerleader (a story in itself). I have a great job, a beautiful home and a supportive boyfriend.
Even though I have absolutely nothing to complain about, sometimes I just want to run away. I want to be in a place for a day or a week (or a year) where no one needs or demands anything from me - problems solved, forms signed, appointments made, cash doled out, Minecraft stories listened to, or even just time spent. I love all the people in my life dearly, but I get to a point where I just want to scream at them to leave me alone.
I am trying to be more positive and remember just how great I have it - I feel totally churlish even writing this - but some days it's hard not to feel sucked dry. Do you have any advice for getting back to that grateful state of mind?
- Trying to be grateful
Trying to be grateful: Gratitude is nice and all, but it sounds like what you really need is some alone time. A chunk of it, built into your schedule, accounted for with child care. Especially (but not only) if you're an introvert, this is a mental health issue, not an oh-poor-me issue.
It may be that you need a longer stretch to start, like a full day or a weekend, and after that will be okay with the "touch up" of a weekly break or regular exercise class or daily meditation or whatever. But if that's not doable, then find a place to put that smaller break into your schedule and see whether it's enough to feel some relief.
If you balk at this, then please ask yourself why you refuse to accommodate your own needs. Forget for a moment that it's okay just to want to be alone sometimes - that your preference is valid in its own right. People also perform better for others when their own needs are met. No breaks = breakdowns.