Yes, I’m whining. I get a turn at whining. It’s not just WTF. It’s money, it’s time, it’s relationships. But I swear, believe your Mama when she tells you that if you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything. If you have your health, I believe you can create, earn or steal anything else you need. You can make some more money, you can make some more love. Health . . . there are limits to your control over it.
I’m back to square one. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I know I struggle every day to do the most ordinary things in the most minimal way. I haven’t given up. But I have to confess, I’m having those moments. It’s old. It’s so fucking old, now. I feel overwhelmed. OVERwhelmed. I’ve been thinking about that word a lot, lately. Wondering if I, why I, couldn’t just be plain ol’ whelmed. Whelmed, but not overly so. I looked it up. It’s an odd word. There’s a big difference, say, between eating and overeating. Between sleeping and oversleeping. Spending and overspending. But between whelming and overwhelming, not so much. In fact, one definition of “whelm” is “overwhelm.” That shit ain’t right. I want there to be a difference, and I want to settle back into whelmville.
ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
|Verb||1.||whelm – overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli
devastate – overwhelm or overpower; “He was devastated by his grief when his son died”
clutch, get hold of, seize – affect; “Fear seized the prisoners”; “The patient was seized with unberable pains”; “He was seized with a dreadful disease”
arouse, elicit, evoke, provoke, enkindle, kindle, fire, raise – call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses); “arouse pity”; “raise a smile”; “evoke sympathy”
kill – overwhelm with hilarity, pleasure, or admiration; “The comedian was so funny, he was killing me!”
benight – overtake with darkness or night
knock out – overwhelm with admiration; “All the guys were knocked out by her charm”
stagger – astound or overwhelm, as with shock; “She was staggered with bills after she tried to rebuild her house following the earthquake”
lock – hold fast (in a certain state); “He was locked in a laughing fit”
tr.v. whelmed, whelm·ing, whelms
1. To cover with water; submerge.
2. To overwhelm.
1. To flow over completely: deluge, drown, engulf, flood, flush, inundate, overflow, overwhelm, submerge. See full
2. To affect as if by an outpouring of water: deluge, flood, inundate, overwhelm, swamp. See full
[Middle English whelmen, to overturn, probably alteration (influenced by helmen, to cover) of whelven, from Old English -hwelfan (as in amacr.gifhwelfan, to cover over).]
Reading about these words really confirms for me that I am overwhelmed. Whelmed on good days, maybe. The whole idea of being knocked over and then submerged. Drowning. That’s about right.
Some years back, I noticed that when I went to social gatherings, parties, what have you, and new people learned that I was a therapist, their ice-breaker line would be something like, “So, what, in your opinion, is the biggest problem that most people are dealing with today?” I’m not kidding. I was asked that repeatedly. And I eventually stopped furrowing my brow and resisting the urge to say, “Who the fuck knows?! Everyone is different!” And I actually came up with an answer, that I believe to be true. What we perceive as our biggest problem, most of us, anyway, is the reality that we can’t make other people (parents, kids, sibs, friends, lovers, employers, doctors, politicians…) behave the way we want them to. We just can’t. I have, I like to think, made a rather impressive peace with that reality. But when WTF is at its worst, that still gets to me, too.
And now, because I can, I am going to play SPF, for the first time in a very long time:
This is what I use to smell-fresh my house. And by gosh, even with WTF, I can operate this thing. Every couple of weeks, I flip the little sticks, and feel like I’ve accomplished something.