How interesting that it has been a year since I last wrote anything here. Has it really been that long?? I guess so.
I didn’t reread my last post yet so I’m not sure what frame of mind I was in, but today as with many days, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and a lot of introspection. I am often alone on holidays, usually by my own unconscious or conscious design. And as usual, today I feel sad to be alone on a day where most of North America is hanging out with their loved ones. But what it always does, and today is no exception, is force me to dig deep into myself and learn something.
Right now I’m learning my desire to be more real. I had a conversation with a friend the other day about being real on social media, how she doesn’t censor out the bad days or her anger or sadness. The instant I heard her talk about it, I was astonished and impressed. I respect the courage that entails. I wasn’t really sure it would work for me. But after spending some time today writing in my journal, I realize just how very alone I feel these days, and how much I year for real connection, and I have only myself to blame for the lack I feel. I don’t want people to know how sad and alone I feel almost every day. I don’t want to be vulnerable to anyone. I prefer to only share and talk about the positive, nice, beautiful things. Because I feel a) like nobody is going to want to here about the things that are bothering me. Who is really going to care about my pain? I mean, it is so small and self-involved in comparison to what others are going through… or b) people will care and will care too much and read too much into it and panic, or ask me if I’m okay and tell me they’re worried about me. But I realize right now that by not being real and sharing the whole spectrum of my emotions and presenting the whole picture, I am choosing my own isolation and I am the cause of my desolate feelings. So that’s a hard lesson. But harder still is imagining being completely honest about how I feel. I don’t like to appear weak to the outside world (outside of me). But I feel very weak inside.
So this post isn’t about a pretty hike that I did. If I have to fit it into the theme of wild spaces, I’d say that I hope this is the beginning of me writing about the wild, little-explored terrain of my internal spaces. It’s a dark, lonely jungle in there and I feel like there are a lot of minefields buried just under the soil. I don’t want to fall apart and have my whole world know about it. But then again, it seems the circle of people I feel like “bothering” with my current emotional state shrinks and shrinks, and right now it is pretty much down to one counselor and a few people I share some true snippets with. I think my counselor is the only one in the world who comes close to knowing all of the real me.
Anyway, blah blah. There was some pertinent reality shit I wanted to share but now I don’t remember what it is. I am coming to suspect/be convinced that this is a very well-practiced coping mechanism for me, forgetting things. Not saying it is conscious. Just saying that when I’m thinking of something hard or scary it’s like it has a time limit and then suddenly the thought fairy comes along and wipes it out so I don’t have to deal with the scary thought anymore. This happens often when I’m in counselling sessions. We’ll be talking about something and I’ll try to explain it, and then another thought will suddenly distract me and I’ll go off into a slight tangent and then when I try to return from the tangent, the original thought has disappeared, though it leaves a vague sense of unease behind plus a lot of frustration. I guess these things come up when they are ready, but I believe my psyche is very good at shielding me from an undue amount of agony. It’s kind of annoying because my conscious mind just wants to open up the box and just let all the things fly out and deal with the aftermath after. And there’s another tangent.
Today I’m feeling a wide array of emotions. This is something that I’ve only learned is possible in the past 1.5 years. I never really knew that I could feel more than one emotion at the same time until recently. I’ve spent a lot of years being depressed, and pursuing happiness. For me there were few variations of emotions…just happiness, fear, anger, sadness, joy, all felt separately, never mixing. Now I know better. Today is a great example.
I feel a lot of excitement, happiness and joy at the birth of my new nephew. I also feel a lot of sadness that I can’t be there to welcome him into the world. I was in the hospital for his sister’s birth, didn’t watch but I got to hold her when she was minutes old. That was a really big deal for me. And it is an equally big deal that I’m not there for him. It is painful. And I’m sad and worried for his family because he may have some health problems in the future. And then I feel guilt because while this amazing joy has happened a few days ago, I am thinking about other things in my life. I feel ever-present fear about how in the world I’m going to make life work this month and then next month, and next. Money is a constant choking, drowning worry. At my current income level I make $20,000/year. About half of that goes to cover my mortgage, which leaves me $10,000 per year for things like property tax, groceries, gas and dog supplies. Clearly this is extremely difficult so I bump it up when I can by working as much overtime as I can, which means that I work too much and tire myself out and then I basically get soul-sick. It’s a cycle. So I am drowning, and that is ever-present. I feel a great deal of guilt that I’m not a better dog-mom. The dogs need behaviour work done and I just don’t have time or energy to do it, nor the time or energy to do things like cleaning and property maintenance. I feel guilt about all that. I guess guilt is a pretty big one.
I feel alone, so very alone. I often feel that I have no one to ask for help. When I spend a moment thinking about it, I realize that maybe there are people who would help me. The real problem is I don’t want to ask for help. I don’t want to place my burdens on someone else, although I probably need assistance with a lot of things right now. And also I don’t want people to talk about how I’m just miserably failing at life. That is raw honesty right there and it is hard as fuck to admit. I feel like I am failing miserably in almost every aspect of life right now, and I’m certainly not achieving much in the way of my goals, but there it is. My progress is way fucking slower than I want it to be. some days I feel like I’m actually moving backwards. And some days I absolutely hate myself for that fact. Other days I just feel numb. Very rare are the days where I feel like I got something accomplished and very rarely do I let myself celebrate.
So I’m just a total mixed bag of emotion right now. I’m raw and there is joy in there, happiness, awe for the beauty that surrounds me, appreciation for little things like the misty sunny orangey-red autumn scenes this morning as I drove some of the residents in my group home to church. Gratitude for the message of thankfulness that I allowed myself to hear from the religious sermon (even though I do not believe in a God or gods). And a lot of exhaustion from desperately trying to hang on for dear life on this crazy ride that humans call life, stuck in one of those old-timey mining carts that are just containers with wheels on the bottom and no way to steer…stuck on this rollercoaster track up hills and down valleys and through caves and darkness and light and all sorts of amazing and weird and scary and cool and exhilarating experiences. But today I’m hanging on for dear life, not looking out at the scenery because it’s just too much too fast at the moment. I’m praying for a bit of a flat spot so i can catch my breath and maybe stick my head over the side to vomit or something. And then find a Ginger Ale to drink.
So that is the real me today. I’m a mess, honestly. And I’ll be a completely different mess tomorrow. Frankly I don’t anticipate becoming less of a mess any time soon, though I’m trying every day to get less messy. I don’t understand how people can love someone as messy as me, so I don’t really bond very well with other humans. I don’t want to love them because I feel incredulous that they would love me back.
I am mainly not only the pretty pictures and wise saying and cute puppy videos that I post on Facebook. I’d call those my highlight reels. I have many facets and not a lot of them are entertaining or pretty or wise. Just messy. Very messy. But I suppose that is my reality, as a look around my house can attest to. If the inside of a person’s home is a statement of who they are, as a friend told me, then yep, my life is a goddamned mess. But hey, today I can say that at least I am still here, and I’m going to finish this post, have a Strongbow, watch something on Netflix, go to bed and wake up and do it all again tomorrow. I’d like to be some cool champion and do amazing shit. I really want to save people and save the world. But right now, on days when I can barely save myself, I gotta make do with the heroic-to-myself act of going to bed knowing that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and somehow find enough strength to do it all again. And hell, you know what? Because writing is cathartic, I think I’m just gonna feel proud of myself that I will do it again tomorrow. Gotta feel proud of myself for something and right now that’s it.
So yeah. It’s been real, friends. I hate being this honest and vulnerable and I hate thinking of what people might comment on this post. But there you have it.
xo. Wishing you honesty, vulnerability and the reassurance that you will wake up and do it all again tomorrow.