God, I’m Trying to be Quiet Enough…

About five years ago, not long after my mom died, which was not long after my dad died, I moved to southern Illinois, because I hadn’t gotten the message that my radio days were over. I was lonely and depressed. And I used to sit on my front porch and pray, “God, please tell me what to do — and make me quiet enough to hear your instructions.”  It invariably gave me sense of peace.

The first tangible manifestation came in the experience that ultimately led me to marry my now soon-to-be ex-wife.  That, of course, has become a Hindenburg among marriages.  Oh, the humanity.  Everyone tells me I’m better off without her, and intellectually I know that. But the knife wound in my heart will take a while to heal.  A good many people who have met her tell me they never did trust her… didn’t think she was good for me… was holding me back.  But they didn’t say anything at the time, of course. Who would? And I wouldn’t have listened anyway. You always make excuses for the one you love.

Lord knows, I don’t want to write this post — it’s so intensely personal, and I’m afraid you who are reading it will just get sick and tired of what seems to be self-pity.  And maybe it is, but a long time ago, I started this blog more as therapy for myself than something I actually thought people would read.  I may not post it.  I won’t know until I click “Publish,” or don’t click.

I have been through a lot of tough times in recent years, but none that seems so hopeless as what I’m going through now.  In a nutshell, for those of you who just joined us,  I arrived back in North Carolina two weeks ago, alone of course.  The idea was to get back  on the road, delivering school buses once again, and write.  Two Saturdays ago, as I neared High Point, my car died. Permanently. I will be able to sell it to a scrap dealer on Monday for 200 bucks.

So far, I have had only one cross-country trip… and am anxiously waiting for them to become regular again. They will, but it may take a week or two. In the meantime, I’m “living” in my sister’s rec room, with two cats, and the feline detritus that goes along with them.  My sister doesn’t really want me here — not because I’m smelly or obnoxious, but because no matter how small a footprint I try to leave, I disrupt the life that she shares with her daughter.  I don’t blame her.  And realizing that she’s the only thing that stands between me and homelessness, I try to be quiet and stay in my room.  But because I now have no car, I have to borrow hers, which leaves her in a rough position.  And of course, with no car, I cannot go out and find a local job, which is what I eventually would like to do.  I’m hoping to scrape together the down payment on a “beater” car so I can have at least a measure of independence.  Of course, when I’m on a delivery trip, it’s not a concern.

It’s important to me to get involved in the community, church, community theater — that kind of thing.  I am a pretty social guy, and this solitude and inability to go anywhere or meet anyone is sucking the life right out of me.

I have, in previous bad times, asked for help from friends — but I am not doing that now. One can only lean on friends so often before the friendship goes down the tubes, and I’m not willing to give up any friendship capital I have left.

I think, nonetheless, returning here was the correct decision, if only because otherwise, I’d be stranded in southern Pennsylvania, with no way to get to work or anywhere else.

As I said, I have been through tough times before, but nothing even approaching this.  I have a lot more empathy now for people with even fewer resources than I have now.  I’m 60, I feel 75, and I’m tired. I just don’t know how many re-do’s I have left in me. But there’s not really much choice, is there?

Monday, I’ll finally be able to get a prescription for some antidepressants, which I fervently hope will at least give me the ability to feel optimistic.

An adorable kitten because, why not?
An adorable kitten because, why not?

One of the reasons I returned to delivering school buses — the main reason in fact — was because I wanted to continue to write this blog, with the vague idea that someday I could turn it into a book. Many people, in fact, have encouraged me to do so. Would it work? I have no idea.

But no matter what, I’m just putting one foot in front of the other, taking life day by day, and trying to be quiet enough to hear and pay attention when God gets around to leading me through the right door.




4 thoughts on “God, I’m Trying to be Quiet Enough…

  1. Steve, keep writing. It is a good way to vent and get it out of your system so that it does not become toxic. Not doing so would cause you even more physical grief than you are already feeling. Thankfulness is another important key. Even though it is hard, try to think of things you can be thankful for now . . . your health, friends, a roof over your head, etc. It may seem that they are little, trivial things, but begin to string them together and they will form a strong cord or thread that links you to the strength and grace God is going to give you to get through this. And, you will get through this.

  2. Steve, I cannot imagine what you are going through. Know you are in prayers for healing. Keep writing as this is a good way to vent not to mention good therapy. I know someone else who wrote for therapy and published it as a book. Please try some vitamin D3 for the depression at least 2000 mg per day. I know there have been doctors who prescribe vitamin D3 for depression so it should be worth a try. Work at counting your blessings….health, friends, a place to stay….and that will help you to see you have much to be thankful for. Through God’s grace and guidance you will get through this.

  3. Being one who is also trying to be quiet enough, and to not sit or stand in today’s “wrong spot” which is, of course, different than yesterday’s spot & will, undoubtedly be different to tomorrow’s spot, I/we leave it in God’s hands too. Try our best, apply for any & all jobs that have requirements that we can accomplish, greatly appreciate that we do have a roof over our heads & Wi-Fi to apply for those jobs, & friends that entice us out to events that they underwrite, just to give us some diversions. Told you b4 that there are most likely a number of books/series of books as well, floating around in your brain & in your heart. Self publishing, I’m told, isn’t too hard to accomplish. Of course, multiple publishers contacting you, to give you advances & handle all the details is always uplifting. We “keep the faith” that there is a better life just around the bend for us, & believe there is one for you too!

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