What I Want Now Vs. What’s Best For Me

It’s been a long and busy week, full of stress and pressure. Not all of it external, some of it was self-inflicted. But here’s the thing. Most of it was at a healthy and reasonable level. When I think back to the stress, anxiety, and the pressure I felt to perform at all of my previous jobs, I notice the difference to how I’m experiencing these feelings now. I’m doing work I enjoy, and I’m my own boss. This makes such a huge difference.

I’ve also learned a surprising thing this week. I’m much more passionate about web and graphic design than I am about photography. I’m also so much more confident in myself in this field. There have been a couple of times where I surprised myself this week in doing something in record time, pulling off “the impossible”, or having just figured something out on my own. When that happened, I felt a gentle sense of pride in myself, and gave myself a pat on the back. With my photography I hardly ever felt proud of myself, just like a failure.

There were a couple of moments while working on my design projects where I felt so overwhelmed and just wanted to scream and bury my head under some pillows. But, instead of panicking, I got up, stepped away from what I was doing, took some deep breaths, and started speaking out loud to myself. Telling myself that I’m in control. The work doesn’t control me. The clients (or my dad) don’t control me. I am in control, and I don’t have to give my power away. These conversations with myself really helped a lot. I feel good about what I accomplished this week. Sure, I wish I didn’t get tired and overwhelmed so easily, but I do, and I need to accept that and be kind to myself. I need to know and respect my limits. Know when I need to push myself just a little bit more, and when to step back and take a break. I’m trying to learn how to balance things.

Since waking up this morning I’ve felt low on energy and depressed. There were a few things I wanted to get done on one of the websites I’m building, and starting feeling some pressure to do it. So I decided that I’m not going to work on anything today. I’m taking a break. I’m photographing a newborn tomorrow, and those sessions can last up to three hours, so I want to give myself some time off. I’ve worked hard and long hours this week, and I deserve a break.

All I want to do right now is stay in my room. I don’t want to do anything. Usually when I’m feeling low on energy I enjoy just reading, writing, and maybe watching a movie or episodes of a series I like. But with this depression, I don’t even feel like doing that.

Elizabeth and I have plans tonight. We’re meeting up with one of her friends who’s visiting South Africa from Europe, and one of his other friends. I’m not in the mood. Like I said, I just want to stay home. I know I can tell Elizabeth that I’m not coming, and stay at home instead, but I also know that would not be the best thing for me. If it were just tiredness, and I wanted some time to myself to “re-set” or refresh, I might have cancelled. But I know myself. If I stay here, the depression will just grow, I’ll get bored, and go down a very slippery slope. I just have to look at past experiences to see how good it had been for me to go out when I had felt this way, versus how I had felt when I had stayed at home in this current state I find myself in.

What I want right now, isn’t what’s best for me. Staying here won’t serve any good purpose. Sometimes we have to do what we don’t feel like doing, if we know it’s the best thing for us in the medium to long-term, and for our well-being. So I’m going out.

It might be just what I need.

Advertisements

Imperfection

I’ve been a fan of Evanescence since their beginning days. As the years have gone by though, they haven’t been on my radar as much. I’ll always have a soft spot for Amy and her band, as their music got me through many dark days and nights. One of the highlights of my life was attending one of their live shows. That was a powerful moment for me.

Today I was searching for a song on YouTube by another band I really like, and I saw Evanescence’s new song “Imperfection” on the playlist. While it’s a different sound, it’s the lyrics and the message of the song that really drew me in. So I did a little background search on the song, and found this:

John Legend sang about perfect imperfections in his 2013 hit “All Of Me.” Amy Lee of Evanescence picks up that theme on this track, where she makes the case that our quirks and peculiarities are what make us whole. Unlike Legend’s love song, which is devoted to Chrissy Teigen, Lee is far more urgent, addressing those who are in despair:

Don’t you dare surrender
Don’t leave me here without you

Said Lee: “For me, this is the most important song on the album. I struggled with the lyrics for a long time because there was a lifetime of work to live up to and I wasn’t sure what to say or how to be good enough. When it finally started pouring out of me, it was undeniable. I had no choice. It’s for all the people we’ve lost, all the people who we could lose, to suicide and depression. I’m singing from the perspective of the person left behind, the person in the waiting room. It’s a plea to fight for your life, to stay. Don’t give into the fear – I have to tell myself that every day. Nobody is perfect. We are all imperfect, and it’s precisely those imperfections that make us who we are, and we have to embrace them because there’s so much beauty in those differences. Life is worth fighting for. You are worth fighting for.”

The song starts off slow and soft, but don’t let that fool you. It turns into a powerhouse.

I’m glad I came across this song today, as it’s a message I really needed to hear. I hope it speaks to you too.

 

Death Wish

I didn’t spot you there in the shadows
Until it was too late
You’ve descended upon me once again
And I’m left wondering…
Where did you come from?
Why are you here?

Your presence is uninvited
But you don’t care, do you?
You just want to make yourself heard
No matter the agony you cause inside
Throwing as much darkness at me
As you can.

You’re my death wish.

Suicidal ideation has overtaken me once again. Driving to a business meeting earlier today, I suddenly thought of Jasmine and felt an ache in my heart. I miss her. So fucking much. I don’t know what’s more powerful… The anger I feel towards her, or the hurt.

As “luck” would have it, once I had settled into my seat at the coffee shop, my business partner told me that she had met up with Jasmine for breakfast over the weekend (they’re friends), and proceeded to tell me about it. I felt the tears come, and I tried my hardest to hold them back. But it didn’t work. I managed to stop pretty quickly at least. She’s one of those people who are uncomfortable around emotions.

It’s not just this whole thing with Jasmine. It’s work. It’s my financial and living situation. Life is exhausting.

I know I can talk to Elizabeth, but I don’t want to bother her. She has a lot on her mind at the moment what with work and studies, and I don’t want to add any more stress to her life. This is my problem, I need to deal with it alone. And one way I’m doing this is by writing here. I hope it’s enough.

Life

The writing block I’ve been experiencing has lifted. It happened on Thursday after my therapy session. I had this desire to write a poem, and it just flowed so naturally again. And damn did it feel good.

During our session I could actually feel some mental block crumbling. I managed to express myself relatively well, and talk about some of those things I haven’t been able to even write about yet.

There are a few things I want to write about that I hadn’t been able to. I still have processing to do with those topics, so I’ll definitely be writing as I get around to it.

As most of you already know, I’ve been having a hard time since stopping the medication (Lamotrigine) that’s been serving as a mood stabilizer. I don’t believe that the decline in my mental health has just been due to that. There were other factors involved as well. I think that just made these other things harder to deal with.

My step-brother ran away from home again. Once again without so much as a hint to me that he was going to be doing that. I’m disappointed and hurt because he promised me after the last time that he would tell me when he’s planning to pull that stunt again, and let me know that he’s safe. But he didn’t. And once again, his phone was off for a few days. He eventually let us know that he’s moving out. He’s living with a girl friend and her uncle. He asked me whether I would help him take some of his stuff to his new place, so at least I know where he’s living (I’ve promised not to give my dad the address though). This whole situation has caused a lot of family conflict and issues. Things are tense here at home at times, and plain weird at other times. My heart sinks every time I walk past my brother’s room and remember that he’s not here anymore. I’m going to miss seeing him every day. Things just aren’t the same without him.

I’m also worried about my eldest younger sister, who my mom is convinced is back on drugs again. All the signs are apparently there. It’s hard living so far away from my mom and sisters. It’s frustrating, especially at times like these.

Then there’s Jasmine. I haven’t seen her again since the time I wrote about in my post “Elizabeth, and the Dilemma“. I’ve sent her messages from time to time asking how she’s doing, and letting her know that I’m still around and here for her. It takes her a few days to respond. Last week I sent her a message saying that I think it’s about time that we get together and talk this whole thing through. She agreed to meet on Friday, but then sent me a text telling me that we won’t be meeting up anymore. It’s Monday, and I still haven’t responded to that message. This is the first time I’m “ignoring” someone. I’m angry. Hurt. At this stage, I’m not even sure whether it’s a good idea for us to remain friends. That maybe it will be better to just cut ties completely. That idea hurts. But it feels better than this feeling of being in limbo, and not knowing when or what is happening or going to happen, and knowing that there’s a possibility that she’ll end our friendship anyway. I mean, if she’s not even able to meet up with me for coffee, how’s it going to be when she meets Elizabeth for the first time? Is it going to be awkward? Probably. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want to do anything I might regret, so I’ve decided to rather just step back. I’m not going to reach out to her anymore. The next move (if there is one) will be hers. I’m done.

Another little update. I’ve started a new medication, Dopaquel (Quetiapine). So far so good. No side effects as far as I’m aware, other than the obvious drowsiness that this med is known for. I take it in the evening’s, and it helps me sleep… It’s glorious. I’m hoping this one will be it for me.

Grateful

I’m sitting on the balcony of my lovely lady’s place, surveying the beauty around me. In front of me I see the landmark mountain in all it’s glory.

Elizabeth is still asleep. I’m tired, as we haven’t had much sleep over the past three days. But for some reason I had this desire to make myself a cup of coffee and come sit outside for a while. Will climb back into bed with her when I’m done with this post. The strangest thing for me is that I usually struggle to sleep with someone so close to me. But with her I sleep deeply, even when she’s holding me or I’m holding her. It’s just so comfortable and perfect. We just fit in so many ways.

I’m going back to my place later today. We went to an event on Thursday, which ended really late, and went to her best friend’s birthday party on Friday evening, which is why we decided it would be better if I stayed over. I took the day off work on Friday. My work was done by Thursday late morning anyway.

She met one of my friends on Thursday, who came with us. My friend was only going to stay for an hour, as she had to work the next day, but she ended up staying with us the entire time. She loved Elizabeth, and vice versa. We all had a blast. We “collected” people as we walked from art gallery to art gallery, and went bar hopping (we didn’t over-do the drinking). We were walking through the city with plastic glasses of wine (the one evening that it’s legal to walk around in public with alcohol) and it was raining. Elizabeth had an umbrella, but the wind here makes the umbrella irrelevant. So we spent most of the time with wet hair and clothes.

I had a great time at her best friend’s party as well. Her friend’s are just as crazy as mine. The same kind of people who allow their inner children to come out and play, and just be silly. I love it!

I feel so at home at her place. More so than my own. It’s comfortable.

On Friday and Saturday when Elizabeth was working (she works from home), I caught up on some reading and writing. I also took the opportunity to take walks through the city, getting lost plenty of times and having to use Google Maps and ask strangers for directions. I love that! Just being free without having a fixed destination. I found a lovely little coffee shop that I’ll go to every time I go for a walk when I’m here. They have the most amazing cappuccino’s and croissant’s. I haven’t walked this much in years! I feel so good!

I’m going home later today, and will probably only see Elizabeth for a few hours on Wednesday.

I’m so grateful for my life, and never thought I’d ever feel as happy as I have been feeling. I’m living in one of the most amazing places in the world, and I have the most beautiful, amazing girlfriend. I feel so content.

I Can’t Remember Your Face…

Or the sound of your voice.

I recently found out that I’m not exactly “normal” when it comes to how I remember how people look. My world is black and white, but not just in the BPD/cognitive distortion sense of the word.

I’m unable to remember what people look like. How their voices sound. The way they walk. I was talking to an old school friend recently, and she was talking about some other students and teachers from our school days. The way she was describing them, I just couldn’t see it. I can’t remember what any of them look like. I have the memories of some of the events she was talking about, but had no recollection of how those she spoke of looked. I don’t quite know how to describe this, since it’s a normal thing for me. I can’t visualize the person’s face. It’s weird. It’s much more of a sense of that person, which for me, translates as seeing. I don’t know if this makes sense. How can I explain something that was always normal to me, and compare it to others experiences?

The strange thing is that during a flashback, I can see the faces of some of “them”… And their facial expressions of the moments I’m reliving, but not always either. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve known someone, if I don’t see them face to face, or in a photo, I can’t picture them. For example, even with the dad. I’ve lived with him most of my life, yet I can’t remember what he looks like when I don’t see him. It’s the same with everyone. With him I can see the facial features I inherited from him when looking in the mirror, but that’s still not the same thing.

I also struggle with my other senses, like smell and taste. Like in guided meditation, when they say something like “bite into the apple and taste the sweetness of it. Feel the juice dripping down your chin. Smell the ocean air, hear the sound of the waves, the birds singing overhead.” Nothing. I can visualize it, but there are no senses involved.

When I say “I can still remember her face, that look on her face”, it’s not the person’s face I’m recalling. I know who it is, but I can’t actually see their face, their nose, eyes, etc. It’s because I know what a smile looks like. I know what expressions look like. So it’s not an actual snapshot of how the expression looked like on them. God, this is confusing. Instead of “out of sight, out of mind”, the more accurate phrase for me is “out of view, out of mind’s eye”.

It’s unsettling that others can do what I can’t. All those times I’ve said that I hear someone’s voice in my head? Well, it’s their words, in my voice. I thought this was how it is. I didn’t know there was another way. As for the method of self-soothing that some people use… Picturing the faces of their loved ones helps them feel calm and safe. But I can’t do that. I have to rely on voice notes and photo’s. It doesn’t seem fair. But hey, life’s not fair.

I’ve “interviewed” most of the people I know, and I’m the only one who seems to struggle this much. They can all visualize someone’s face, some clearer than others, and hear the sound of their loved one’s voice. I’m the odd one out. They’re fascinated. I’m pissed off. Does anyone know whether this is a BPD thing, or a “me” thing?

Adult Children

I had another great night’s rest. I’m constantly tired (the story of my life), but for most of the day, much less than usual. Wow, I really needed all the sleep I’ve been getting. So I was in a good, healthy mood this morning. I had a few not so good moments, but they were bearable.

After work I met up with my business partner (let’s call her Kim) and Jasmine (who helps us with our marketing) to take some photo’s of ourselves for our new website and Facebook page. We had such an amazing time. Kim took photo’s of me, I of her, and Jasmine took some of the two of us together. I set my camera to auto mode for her, and gave her a quick tutorial on how to work it, as well as some composition tips. She took some good shots, and seemed to be having fun. She was just snapping away, even when Kim and I were fooling around in between our “professional mode”. We were running around, semi-climbing the trees. Just being big children. I felt happy. I was having fun, and it felt so damn good. I’m at my happiest when playing with children. My inner child feels free during those moments. I connect better with children than I do adults. I’m that person who you’ll see running around with the kids at an event or party, instead of sitting at the “adult’s table”. Kim, who is young at heart, is also a real adult child. I tell her that all the time, and she loves hearing it!

She’s 58, which I found out today! There’s no way! I thought she was 50! She’s one of those happy, full of energy, extroverted, and confident people. I always enjoy spending time with her and Jasmine. Even when we have our meetings over a cup of coffee, we have fun. It’s laid back and easy. Jokes abound. I’ll give you an example of what a character she is. She has these white sneakers that flash different colours when she walks. She wears them often, even in crowded shopping malls, restaurants, etc. She certainly draws attention. The first time she wore them when we went for dinner, I freaked out when I saw them. But she made it seem cool! Seriously! The next time we went for lunch and she was wearing those shoes, one of them stopped flashing (apparently it was flat- shoes going flat? Who knew). When we got to the restaurant, I asked the waitress whether they have a charger lying around so my friend could charge her shoe. Jasmine went bright red. But Kim and I (and the waitress of course) just laughed. Now that’s the effect Kim has on me. When I’m around her, I feel confident and couldn’t care less about what people think. Her energy is contagious. After a couple of hours with her, I’m left feeling happy, but exhausted.

I’m coming off that high now. I don’t have any of the strong feel good emotions I had earlier, but I’m not feeling bad either. Just tired.

It was a good day, and I’m so grateful for that.