As a writer, I tend to write about pain and heartache more than happiness and good things. I do this because writing about those things is cathartic and also because they are the feelings that are most intense and most easily accessible to me. I can tap into that part of me very, very easily. In fact, I find it difficult at times to be as creative when things are going very well.
I also find myself resisting good things and/or having an innate refusal to let the bad go and just “be” in the moment and accept the good and happy feelings for what they are without a curtain of dread hanging in the background.
Today I forgot to do that. I forgot to carry my dread with me. Perhaps I didn’t grab the right handbag.
Thing is, I’ve had a damn rough time this week, but it is getting better.
As weak as it makes me feel to acknowledge it, whenever there is a significant anniversary or reminder of some awful thing that happened in my past, I change. I get anxious, overwhelmed and easily stressed. I have more nightmares and my heart starts to ache and it feels physically heavy in my chest. I feel nauseous. Certain smells are intolerable to me. It feels like some sort of Incredible Hulk-type transformation that is fierce, powerful and unstoppable. And even though I feel it happening; I feel myself spinning out of control, I have not yet learned how to manage it or stop it before it gets very bad.
I feel physically exhausted, yet I am unable to sleep. I lose my appetite almost completely. And I cannot seem to force myself to ‘snap out of it’. It is as if I am physically ill. When it does happen, I withdraw from those around me. I can’t stand to have people see me this way. To see me at my weakest.
It’s complete and utter bullshit is what it is. Quite frankly.
I entered into a new relationship this past year and that has proven to have its own set of challenges. The biggest of which seems to be learning how to accept being treated well. I don’t think this is supposed to be a learned behavior. I think we should expect to be treated well and be surprised when we are not.
As a survivor, I am used to being ‘on defense’ all the time. Protecting myself against possible danger rather than going through life open to possibilities, being afraid of those around me rather than assuming most if not all of my encounters are going to be positive and good. I have to learn how to live again. I have to learn to ALLOW myself to live again.
I have to tell myself that just because someone tried to take my life, doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to be here. To live. Just because he made me believe I am a worthless piece of shit, doesn’t mean I am. He was. HIM. Not me.
I’m actually pretty great.
A few days ago, I had reached the end of my rope. My lack of sleep and my stress levels were making it very difficult for me to manage at work. I almost had a complete breakdown in front of my boss. THAT is not acceptable. Period. I cannot afford to let this bullshit affect my job.
Right about the moment I was about to completely lose it, I received a flower delivery from the man I love. Which means he was thinking of me. At the exact moment I felt like I was falling apart, I received something that ridiculously brightened my day and reminded me that I was loved, that I was being thought of, and that there is someone out there who treats me well.
He came to see me that evening and it really made things so much better. I devoured his attention and his affection for the better part of the night. Just being in proximity to the one I love was so amazingly perfect for me. It was like putting a soothing balm on the burn.
I didn’t enter into this relationship thinking of it as medicinal. Nor is it about being co-dependent. It is about me learning how to be treated right, learning how to feel happy and being okay with it. Sharing the weakest part of myself with someone and trusting that he will take good care of my heart and not use my weaknesses against me.
It has also been about me learning how to love someone again and give freely of myself without being resentful and without expecting that person to take, and take, and take, until I have nothing left. It’s a process, and I am not all the way there yet, but I’m working on it.
I got a very good night’s sleep last night and woke up far more refreshed than I have been in a few weeks. Today has been a pretty good day. And, instead of feeling like this good feeling is going to be taken away at any moment, I find myself thinking ahead to how much better things can get; And it has been a very, very long time since I’ve allowed myself to do that.
It feels pretty damn good.