The Bottom of the Well

I’m stuck. I wait at the bottom of the well, unable to use the rope to pull myself out. Stuck. I want to be rescued. Who will rescue me? The other day I was thinking of the word inertia. I looked it up to check my understanding.

The law of inertia states that it is the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion. According to Newton’s words, an object will stay at rest or stay in motion unless acted on by a net external force, whether it results from gravity, friction, contact, or some other source. Wikipedia

Yep, that’s me, an object at rest. A slug. I cannot move or be moved. Getting up every morning and going to work is a Herculean effort. My head feels full of cobwebs as I sit at my desk valiantly trying to make order out of the chaos of papers and projects in front of me. I sit in meetings and try not to lose focus. I pinch myself on the drive home to stay alert. Once home, I continue being a slug, the couch my throne. I don’t eat dinner, I snack. I try to watch television and I sleep. Then I get up and go to bed. And, the next day the cycle repeats. The weekends aren’t much better. I don’t do much of anything. I sleep late both days.

Tonight I hear myself saying, “Snap out of it!” (In my mind I can see and hear Cher as she slaps Nick Cage in my favorite movie, “Moonstruck”.) Enough already!

The truth is my coworkers are trying to rescue me. I work with very caring and concerned people. The people I work with are happy. Many of them face serious life challenges, like being blind, or having some other type of physical disability. Some are developmentally disabled. Many live at poverty level. My colleagues are smart, passionate and experts in their fields. I am surrounded by goodness and grace. My work friends have watched me, listened to me and tried cajoling me out of my funk. I have no right to continue this pity party.

So, tonight, when I got home, I thought about these wonderful people. Two women, “B” and “S” are pretty special. Their support and encouraging words make me realize there is a way to get moving. Both are at the top of the well pulling the rope and encouraging me to start climbing. Both are spiritual women whose devotion is strong and sincere without a hint of hubris or pompousness. “B” and “S” have overcome significant obstacles and are loving life. “B” talks with me about God, Jesus, our Creator. “S” talks with me about St. Padre Pio. I am grateful for the gift of their friendship. “S” encourages me to go to Padre Pio’s chapel. She tells me it is a beautiful place that will fill me with quiet and happiness. I keep saying I will go but I haven’t made the time.

It occurs to me, even as I write this, that my purpose for writing this blog is to pursue quietness. “B” inspired me to start blogging after I began reading hers. Tonight, as I read her latest entry, I began to feel better. She wrote about feeling divine presence in her life. She included a passage from the Acts of the Apostles, “In God we live and move and have our being. —Acts 17:28” I read those words over and over. I re-read her blog. I thought about wanting to feel His presence when I am at the bottom of the well. Perhaps He can help me out of this funk, get me out of the well. I have a lot to do with my time here on earth.

I was raised Catholic. I attended Catholic schools. At one time I thought I had a vocation. It may have been a childhood notion, but still I felt close to God. These days I am a Catholic in name only. My attendance at Mass is spotty at best. I defend my Catholicism but I don’t live it. I speak the church’s teachings, but I constantly question. I wait to feel God’s presence, but I don’t go to Him. I don’t hear Him perhaps because I don’t listen for Him. I am not happy about any of this. Maybe I could be more childlike in my feelings about God. Maybe that’s a good thing. I know the Bible says that to enter the Kingdom we must be like little children. Maybe a little less critical thinking and a little more faith is what I need.

I can become an object in motion that will stay in motion. I can climb out of the well or I can continue to wallow in self-pity. It’s my choice. I can continue being lazy about seeking His word and His wisdom. Or, I can choose to grab that rope and start climbing. I can try harder to follow, to listen and to pursue true peace and quietness. I believe my journey to find quietness will help me become my best authentic self. In God I live and move and have my being. Yep, that’s it!

Thanks, “B” and “S” — you know who you are.

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7 Responses to The Bottom of the Well

  1. carlorustico says:

    Good imagery, Ro.

    I think of faith as a gift, and the path to faith is necessarily different for everyone.

    Don’t be so hard on Critical Thinking. It certainly worked for Augustine and Thomas Aquinas!

  2. Point taken. Expressing myself by writing helps me think more clearly. The cobwebs don’t seem so bad. Also changed up my theme to something a bit cheerier! My picture from Highland Park.

  3. Alison says:

    Your writing is always so beautiful! I don’t have any words of wisdom at the moment, but I am very happy to know that we’ll have lunch together next week.

  4. Do says:

    Written with real, raw emotion…I honestly understand your feelings…I could have written them. I’m happy you have the type of people surrounding you always to help ‘bring you back’ when you need it. And I believe in Chuck’s statement…”I think of faith as a gift, and the path to faith is necessarily different for everyone.”
    Love you,

  5. Alexis says:

    I was going to comment when this was first posted, but it took me some time to formulate what I wanted to say.

    I think we all experience this well at one time or another. I, too, am experiencing the well as you so eloquently described it. I know I mentioned this briefly yesterday at the CARF exit conference, but I wanted to expand a bit since CARF wasn’t the time or place to do so.

    I’ve been feeling pulled down in this well for some time. I think I can point to exactly when it began. Late in November, I communicated with a former student regarding further training needs. The conversation was very unpleasant. The student was very impolite and rude to me on the phone. I know not everyone will be polite, but the person had no consideration or respect.

    Other students along the way had made negative comments about my teaching. In fact, the student went to my supervisor rather than discussing her concerns with me. I tried incredibly hard to improve my teaching, but nothing was ever good enough for the student. She also began lying and telling people that I had not taught her certain skills when it was documented that these skills were taught. In fact, my supervisor stated that he didn’t want to hear anymore lying from this student.

    Rarely do I have a student whose training is easy and stress free. Once in awhile will I have a student who treats me with respect. I realize that these individuals are adults, therefore, I cannot expect to teach them manners from the ground up. There are days, however, when I would like to be a social skills teacher because some of my tech students need a social skills teacher much more than a technology teacher. Then there are students who treat me with respect and treat others like dirt. It really makes me wonder why I am so much more special than other teachers, why I get all the respect, whereas these teachers get none.

    I think all of this, as well as my feeling of disconnectedness from my family in North Dakota, is pulling me into the well you describe so eloquently.

    Sorry for the novel in your blog.

    • Alexis,
      I am glad you wrote me about your feelings. I’ve been thinking we should have lunch. Now, I’m convinced! I’ll get something on our schedules. Let’s talk in person. And, in the meantime, keep the faith and keep your chin up. You do a great job for us!

      • Alexis says:

        Thanks for the vote of confidence. There are days when I wonder what sort of impact I have at ABVI. Having students like the one I described in my comment makes me really question my ability to teach. Even though Chris says I’m a good teacher, I still wonder. He says that this has nothing to do with me but everything to do with the student. In fact, he fully expects the student to be back for refresher training down the road. I hope he’s wrong because I will be assigned the case if that in fact does happen. If it does happen, it will be very unpleasant. I can bet the student will make nasty comments about my teaching. Since I’m the only tech teacher around, well, she has no choice….

        I think another issue is the fact that I couldn’t walk many of my familiar routes without ankle pain. Surgery is supposed to have solved this problem, but we shall see. The weather hasn’t been cooperative so I can’t test the doctor’s skill yet.

        Another issue that isn’t as prevalent now as it was before surgery was the lack of confidence when I wore the big AFO, ankle foot orthosis. This was a rather large contraption that was quite visible if I wore the wrong pants.

        Ever since 2007 when it was first prescribed, I’ve been very unsure about my abilities when I wore the brace. I was concerned people would judge me incompetant because the brace was visible. Irrational, yes, but it’s something I had to fight with for 4 years.

        When the doctor in February prescribed a bigger and bulkier brace, those emotions went flying into higher gear. It didn’t help that he said that he’d write the rx, but it wouldn’t help anyway. Self-fulfilling prophecy because within weeks of getting the new brace, pain returned. So, yes, I had AFO affective disorder (AAD.) OK, so I’ve made up that diagnosis. LOL I think a psychiatrist could diagnose it more accurately, but these are feelings that I wasn’t comfortable sharing with many individuals, not even people at work. I mean, when we had an event in the department where we discussed what was and was not appropriate to wear, I asked if people saw the AFO and what they thought. They assured me that the AFO was fine, but I still wondered…. It made me even more uncomfortable when students saw it and asked.

        This reminds me of when I was a teenager and refused to use the cane for fear that my peers would see it and laugh. I couldn’t refuse to use the AFO because it would have had unpleasant consequences. Now with surgery behind me, I’ve been told to ditch the AFO. Honestly, that was the best piece of news I received in a very long time. When the doctor said to ditch it, I wanted to jump up, cheer, and hug her. I did none of this because I’m an adult. LOL

        I’ll stop now because what I’m saying probably makes no sense to people who have not worn AFO’s or other medical devices.

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