Where is the line between grief and feeling sorry for yourself? I’ve been crying a fair amount lately and, if not crying, feeling like crying… I can’t tell how much is a continuing release of grief from the past and how much is feeling sad that I don’t have more friends and more of a community and more of a connection to my family. Of course, all those issues are related to my past, but when will I ever get it “together”??? Is this as “together” as it gets?

Our house is listed for sale and we were hoping to leave next week on a van/camping trip to visit some possible new places to live. A few problems have come up however – the van needs some more work (about $1,000 more than we had anticipated) and I have a (very) painful tooth. I need to get into the dentist on Tuesday and may have to get a nightime mouth guard to protect against tooth grinding and/or jaw clench – neither of which I am even slightly aware of doing. And – the mouth guard cost $450 and will take about 10 days to make. So, we will have to make another trip to the dentist (about 300 miles round trip) to pick it up! It looks like our trip will be postponed until May.

Some of my “feeling sorry for myself” is very closely related to money. I often feel that I made a lot of poor decisions as an adult – decisions that are now causing me to live on a (very!) limited budget as an adult. Unfortunately, my husband did not do much better. (We did not meet until we were both in our mid-forties.) Perhaps it’s more a case of me being ashamed that I did not handle money more proficiently so that I could now be living comfortably in my so-called retirement years. I don’t want other people to even know how little money we have because I imagine them laughing at me and/or feeling sorry for me – perhaps making comments such as “Well what did you expect – you should have done (blah, blah, whatever)”. I’ve always had a kind of pride that I could take care of myself. I think I began feeling that way as a very (again, “very”!) young child because I couldn’t trust the adults in my life. It all gets confused at this point. I’m sorry for myself, angry at myself and ashamed that I didn’t do better – and still don’t want anyone else to know – because I have to take care of myself and not look/seem incapable and definitely not allow anybody else to pity me. That’s feels like the worst possible thing!

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