A Need For Solitude

The older I get, the more I seem to want my own space away from others. Socializing exhausts me. I spent time with two of my closest friends this weekend, staying over on Saturday evening. It was lovely, but I didn’t want to stay another night. They know me well, so I don’t have to wear a mask around them and I feel comfortable enough to tell them when I’ve had enough. They know it’s not personal. That I love them to bits, and enjoy spending time with them.

It’s not just being sociable that exhausts me. It also depends on the activities we engage in. For example, if we go on a hike or a walk on the beach, I can spend more time with people. But when it involves sensory rich environments such as carnivals/festivals (this is where we went on Saturday evening), concerts, movies, etc, I become overwhelmed and over-stimulated, and want to get back to my comfort zone (my room, my bed, my stuff) much sooner.

Every so often (very often actually) I long to just disappear for a while. Go somewhere quiet, surrounded by nature, with not a soul or building in sight for miles. Switch my phone off and disconnect from everything and everyone. But my financial situation won’t let me do that. I wouldn’t mind going camping, which is more affordable, but it’s too dangerous to go alone. So I feel stuck in an overwhelming world. My little corner of the world.

So when my friends asked me whether I would house-sit for them for about a week at the beginning of August, the decision was an easy one. Granted, I’m not someone who enjoys sleeping in unfamiliar environments and beds (even when on holiday), and I always have to prepare myself for it mentally. But I’m usually okay as long as I have my “comfort items”. My family and friends always tease me about the fact that even if I’m going or coming for one night I pack as if for a week-long trip. And it’s not clothes and other essentials that are taking up all the space. But I can’t help it, it makes me extremely anxious any other way.

While I’m looking forward to getting away from this place for a few days (and from work), I’m also a little scared as I’ll be staying alone. They have two cats (I’m not really a cat person) and two little dogs, so that’s a comfort at least. The neighborhood they live in is quiet, so I’m looking forward to the peace, and plan to enjoy my time there as much as possible. Maybe I can see it as practice for one day when I eventually have my own place.

I’m supposed to be seeing my friend/business partner on Friday, but I just don’t want to, so I’ve decided to postpone it until next week. I’m going to group tomorrow anyway, so really don’t want to have to socialize more than that this week.

 

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Adulting is Hard

Another project done and dusted. I made it through a tough job with the most difficult client I’ve had (so far). I thought I’d be over the moon. I usually feel good afterward. But this time? I felt nothing for the first couple of days, and didn’t know what to do with myself. And now I feel like a fraud. Like I don’t deserve to feel proud of myself for a job well done, because… well, I suck. And I’m not actually that good.

I suck at relationships, work, socially, etc. Basically anything that involves being alive. Why do I bother trying? All I want to do is hide away in a dark, quiet, small space, with tons of blankets (like I used to do, but have since adulted) and my Cuddly. Being a kid was hard, but being an adult is even harder, and I just don’t want to do it anymore. Having to pretend to be normal every day is exhausting.

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Cuddly – He’s super soft. I want a real one too, but have now finally given up on that dream.

The Anger and Pain Again

It’s agony wanting so badly to kill myself, but being unable to because I don’t want to hurt a few key people in my life. I hate that I care. I wish I didn’t. I wish I could just do it and get it over with. And why the fuck do I care how it might impact upon my current therapist and the OT’s at the clinic? What even makes me sure they might be negatively impacted for even a minute? I don’t think they really care anyway. They see so many people, they can’t care about them all. Especially not those annoying, over-bearing types like me. That’s reserved for the good clients. The only person I feel cares is A. Well, she did anyway. I’m trying to hold onto the thought that she still does. Don’t want to go to therapy tomorrow, but I already know I will end up there anyway, because I’m so damn predictable. I don’t want to see her. I don’t want to see anyone.

I’m angry with the world. I want to burn it all down. I hate humanity. I’m not good with people anyway. I thought I had become better with them through the past few years, but apparently not. When I can’t even understand what a person is saying and end up saying stupid things that don’t even make sense. When I misread the simplest of things and can’t even concentrate on something someone is saying because I’m trying to maintain eye contact (which comes hand in hand with anxiety) to show that I’m present and attentive. Multitasking? It’s a myth. People rope you in, then once they’ve got you, rip you apart.

I’m angry with the god I don’t think I believe in anymore. He didn’t even help a child that needed him because her parents couldn’t be there for her the way she needed. So why would he help an adult who’s supposed to be more capable? I was brought up in a Christian family, so I knew how to pray. But according to some Christians, I obviously didn’t pray the right way, or didn’t have enough faith. The smallest little thing I prayed for, for him to send someone into my room one night to just hold me. I just wanted to be held and feel loved, but apparently that was too much to ask for. So the next person who thinks about sending me an email telling me to just give everything over to God and my life will be better, please, don’t bother. I’ve been down that road and it just caused even more confusion, guilt, shame, and pain.

Most of all, I’m angry with myself. For being the way I am. For feeling the way I am. For being a brat. Life’s not fair. No shit. It doesn’t owe me anything. And on that note, I don’t owe it anything either.

To Exist

This song touched me deeply. The music is beautiful, and when the words start coming it’s made even more powerful. It’s such an incredible message. Even though I’m feeling depressed, I can still appreciate this piece of art (which is exactly what it feels like to me).

For some reason I felt my grandmother’s presence with me while listening to this. As if this message is from her. I’m not sure I believe in an afterlife, but I know I also can’t be sure that it doesn’t exist. And maybe, just maybe, if it does… she’s with me.

“Saturn”

You taught me the courage of stars before you left.
How light carries on endlessly, even after death.
With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite.
How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.

I couldn’t help but ask
For you to say it all again.
I tried to write it down
But I could never find a pen.
I’d give anything to hear
You say it one more time,
That the universe was made
Just to be seen by my eyes.

I couldn’t help but ask
For you to say it all again.
I tried to write it down
But I could never find a pen.
I’d give anything to hear
You say it one more time,
That the universe was made
Just to be seen by my eyes.

With shortness of breath, I’ll explain the infinite
How rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist.

Why Stay?

I’m a burden. An inconvenience for the most part.

I annoy people.

The world doesn’t need me.

These are the words running through my mind right now. Some days I don’t even know why I’m still here. What am I doing here? Maybe at first a few people will be sad that I’m gone, but in time they’ll forget about me, and I’ll only be a passing thought. One of those annoying thoughts that pop up from time to time, and which is only an inconvenience.

What am I still doing here? I don’t know. Does there have to be a purpose to this life? Some believe there is. I don’t. I haven’t found a purpose for me to be here. Help one person here and there like I always thought I’d do? But what’s the point?

I’m one person in an ocean of people. Barely noticeable. Not important. The world is already full. One less person won’t be missed, but will help alleviate the stress of the earth.

So why stay?


NOTE: This is the way I’m currently feeling, but I won’t act on any urges. I’m fully aware, even with these thoughts raging, that suicide will only hurt certain people I love. And I love them enough to not want to cause them even one day of pain. This keeps me alive.

Impermanence

Last night I was deeply aware of the impermanence of life, and everything it represents.

I was sitting with a sadness that can be described as bittersweet, instead of dark and heavy.

The event that precipitated that mood and experience was what took place during group on Tuesday evening. It was the last meeting for the year, and one I had been looking forward to from the beginning of the week. Little did I know it would be the worst one I’ve attended.

The psychologist who was leading the group opened up with an announcement that they’re changing the way the program runs. It will now only be a 12 week program. Those of us who have been attending for longer than 12 weeks, would be having our last session at the beginning of February. So much for “you can attend for as long as you want.” Such a let down. There are about five of us regulars who are immediately affected by this decision. And needless to say, none of us were happy about it.

This announcement was poorly executed in my opinion. I feel it would have been better had he told us this closer to the end of group, and allowed us to discuss it then. Going into skills training after that announcement wasn’t the wisest decision. And I’m not the only one who thinks this. Another thing. Telling us this at the end of the year? During a month that a lot of people struggle with as it is? Perhaps waiting for the new year would have been the safest option.

Two of us left about halfway through. Staying just felt pointless. I had a lot of confusing emotions bubbling under the surface, and I just wanted to get out of there. That safe space suddenly felt unstable. For most of that evening, I was cycling so fast between different emotions, I couldn’t pinpoint just one to deal with.

It was only late that night, while talking to Elizabeth about all of this, that I realized the subconscious driver of these emotions. That of abandonment. I have felt rejected by the OT I had been seeing for a while for individual sessions, and now by the entire team. But this time, I’m not the only one who was being abandoned. There are others involved as well. Some of them more in need of these regular group sessions than others.

Before talking to Elizabeth there were a lot emotions and underlying thoughts that I wasn’t fully conscious of. So when I was speaking with her, and these things were just flowing out of me, I was surprised by some of them. I found I was having a lot of paranoid thoughts. She validated them, and told me that she can see how I made those connections, but that it doesn’t mean they’re true. I was surprised when she told me that in a situation and time like this, we need to look at what we know. Look at the facts. So she helped me with that exercise. I didn’t even know she knew about this. And it’s one my therapist used a lot with me. So it was actually very helpful and soothing having Elizabeth do this with me as well. She also helped me put things in perspective.

One of the fears I discussed with her, was that of losing my therapist. After all, I had just experienced how something that can feel so stable and predictable can so suddenly end. What if my therapist decides our time is up… that I’m ready to end therapy? I told Elizabeth some of the things my therapist had told me over the course of working with her. She told me that she doesn’t think my therapist would go back on her word. That from everything I’ve told her about Therapist, she sounds ethical and professional, and that her care for me is genuine. These days, deep down inside, even when these fears of my therapist abandoning me come to mind, I can still (if only minimally sometimes) feel the secure, stable base we’ve built, and trust in that. Trust in her, and our relationship.

All of this made me sit up and take note of the impermanence of things. I thought of some of the people I’ve lost. I missed some of them so much. But I also felt a great sense of gratitude for these people. Even for those who had hurt me, and abandoned me in horrible ways. The truth is, not everything was bad. There were good moments too. And those are the moments I focused on and felt grateful for.

Nothing in life ever hurt me so badly that I could not survive. I made it through. I’m alive. The good might not have lasted. But the bad also came to an end. None of it was permanent. This is why it’s so important to appreciate those souls we have in our lives, and let them know from time to time how much you value and love them. You never know when you won’t get that chance again. There’s so much I wish I could have said to my grandmother, things I wish I had done differently during her final days, for example. I didn’t get a second chance. But I have the chance now, with those still in my life.

I sent Elizabeth a voice note (I wanted her to be able to listen to it whenever she needs it), telling her how much she means to me and how deeply I love her. I did the same with a few other people I value. By doing this, you’re giving these people a beautiful gift. One that money just can’t buy. So I encourage you, go ahead and tell someone how precious they are to you. How their very existence brings light into your life. Don’t wait. Things can change and end in an instant. Tomorrow may not come.

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