Silence doesn't really exist. Even when the children are tucked up in their beds, your partner has gone to work another night shift and the TV is turned off it's still never truly silent - more like the absence of noise that gives way to the quieter sounds of a living, breathing household. Nothing but the slow, rhythmic ticking of the clock, the faint humming of the fridge and freezer and the sound of your own breath filling and then exiting your body.
Now is such a moment. With stinging eyes, an itch in my nose and a dull ache at the back of throat that hints at the beginnings of a cold, I sit and stare at the screen, as if it will provide me with the answers to questions I haven't yet asked.
There is a deep restlessness about me tonight. Something that niggles away at me, just beyond my reach. I'm dissatisfied with something but can't place my finger on it. I've flitted from one task to another - one website to another - looking at so many things but paying attention to none, wasting time that I don't really have.
And then the thought hits me like a led weight. What am I really good at?
Not in a "oooh, hey I wonder what I'm good at" upbeat kind of statement, but more of a "actually, what am I good at" expression, in the melancholic tones of someone drowning in their own insignificance.
The sad thing is I can't even answer that question. I can list the things that I used to be good at, like drawing, painting, writing poetry, making short stories, singing, making people laugh, spending hours thinking about how the universe worked‚ but now? I'm not so sure.
Since becoming a parent, all of my strength, creativity and energy has gone into making sure that I'm a good mother, leaving nothing left afterwards.
I used to be good at making friends, spending time with other people. Now I live in a town where I don't have a single friend to talk to, despite having lived here for a good six years. I wake up alone, spend the day with nothing but toddler conversation, briefly chat with The Beef if he's awake enough in the afternoon and then spend the evening alone, without a word passing my lips.
I feel isolated and incapable. Even the very thought of going out to seek friendship scares me now. You would have thought blogging and my new fangled happy pills would have changed that, when in reality it's only shifted the anxiety from one place and directed it to another.
I used to have an opinion. I recall a time when I spent an evening drinking a mixture of coffee and Jack Daniels, setting the world to rights with a 41 year old hippy. Another time I sat in a coffee house having my tarot read by someone who had learned the language of Tolkien's elves. He taught me how to see a person's aura and had an effect on me that I will never forget. Again, I remember an elderly man who briefly entered my life. I was in the process of editing his manuscript on Sex, Meditation and Religion. He was a devout Buddhist who, after being a millionaire, suddenly found himself on the streets. He was an inspiration. And then he was gone, into another life leaving an echo in the form of his memory and his unfinished manuscript.
Now I can't seem to form an opinion on anything. It's all just a rehash of other people's thoughts and suggestions because I no longer feel that I know anything worth contributing. Social Media for personal use has turned into a thorn in my side; I should be utilising it as an extension of my blog but seem to shun it more and more letting the scheduler take over because I never know what to say.
My world feels all the more silent because of it. Yet it's something I can't force, if it's not there then why fake it?
Maybe it's the cold talking, or the exhaustion, lack of sleep or lack of social life. I don't know and sometimes get to the point where I really don't care. I'm tired, so very tired of putting on the happy face that people associate with me glossing over the long evenings of loneliness, disguising the crappier parts of parenting and masking my complete lack of confidence.
I just don't have the heart or enthusiasm for any of it any more.
Stacey started blogging to try and regain a little bit of sanity and isn't entirely sure if it's worked. She has three children, a significant other and a lot on her hands. They're full stocked, raring to go and prepared for all adventures, including the Zombie Apocalypse!
Blogs at: Five's a Fellowship