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.

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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.

Sleep, And A Dream

I went to bed relatively early last night. I had just taken a Xanax, which I take in the place of sleeping tablets. I’ve got a box of prescription sleeping pills, but the Xanax has been effective in helping me sleep, so I haven’t needed to use them. It’s been a while since I took Xanax, as I only take it when I’ve had a week of bad sleep and just can’t function anymore. Then I take one every night for about 3 nights, to try to catch up on that sleep.

This morning at about 10am, I was woken up by my step-mom knocking on the door (usually she just walks in without knocking). She wanted me to go grocery shopping for them, and continued explaining something. I can’t remember anything else she said, other than “go shopping” so I had to phone her before I went. When I just wake up and therefore, still half asleep, don’t talk to me, because I’ll probably miss 99% of what was said. And I become irritable. The only time I won’t be moody when someone wakes me up, is if it’s done gently. But even then, give me time to wake up properly before starting a conversation.

When I looked at the time this morning, I saw that I had slept for 11 hours! That’s not me, I don’t think I’ve ever slept for so long. I don’t know how that had happened. If my step-mom hadn’t woken me up, how much longer would I have slept? I took a nap this afternoon as well, which lasted two hours. I woke up often though, but was too tired to get up, and would fall asleep again. I’m still exhausted. I’ve never slept so much in my life, even when depressed. Actually, when I’m depressed, and exhausted, my insomnia is worse. I just want to lie in bed whole day, but I struggle to actually sleep. I don’t feel particularly depressed, so I don’t think it’s that.

I had a dream last night, and I must have woken up at some point, but I have no recollection of that. I read (or heard) somewhere that we remember our dreams when we wake up from one… If we don’t wake up after the dream, we don’t remember it. I don’t know how true that is though.

In this dream I was holding a newborn baby against my chest. I had her wrapped up in a blanket, inside the jacket I was wearing, so I knew she was warm. She was very quiet, and seemed to be sleeping. But then I got the sense that something wasn’t quite right. Why wasn’t she crying? Why did she feel so cold against me, when I knew she’s actually warm? All of a sudden I felt her take this deep breath, as though she hadn’t had oxygen for a while. She started crying. I knew that she was hungry. Starving actually. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to feed her, but I didn’t have any bottles or formula. I thought maybe I can breastfeed her, but realized that I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I tried searching for a bottle, or something that I could feed her with, but my efforts were unsuccessful.

I tried to get the attention of my dad and first step-mom, who were locked in a physical fight, and screaming and swearing at one another. I tried to ask them to help me find a bottle and get formula for her. But they were ignoring me, as though I didn’t even exist. Like they couldn’t see or hear me. I felt stuck. What do I do now? Then suddenly I was in a crowded place, with people all around me. But my cries for help with this baby went unheard. I tried everything to soothe her, but it wasn’t helping. That’s all I remember from this dream. I felt a little unsettled by this dream for a few hours after waking up.

It’s been a strange day. I feel like I’m in a zone that I don’t know how to get out of. I was a bit dissociated at some points during the day, but used my self-soothe box to help ground me. It worked, but I still felt different inside. Not knowing how I’m feeling. It’s not a sense of emptiness either. I just don’t know.

I’m glad this day is over, and for a change I’m actually looking forward to sleeping.

Goodnight everyone.

Alone

Did a photo shoot for some friends. Wasn’t up for it. Depressed. Did it anyway. They seemed to be having fun. I was on autopilot. Tried to have fun. It wasn’t happening.
Went out for coffee with them afterward. Felt empty. Could barely talk. Good thing they seemed to be talking among themselves enough for my silence to be okay. For me to be invisible. And they didn’t notice a thing. Empty… Lonely… Depressed… Empty.
Supposed to be working on the photo’s. Something I enjoy. But not in the mood.

Just want to disappear. Want to be alone. But so lonely. Don’t want to be alone. Want to curl up into a ball, with a warm hand to hold. Lie with my head on someone’s lap. So cold. Inside and outside. Want to be soothed. Only have myself for that. Don’t want myself. Too much sad to hold alone.

That’s enough for today. Going to rest my face against my special super soft little blanket. Sleep in my therapy “jacket”. Hold onto that special hug. Pull the duvet over my head. Disappear into the dark for a while. Alone. Always alone.

Darkness, Please Leave Me Alone

I’ve been trying to come up with something positive and inspirational to write on my blog for a change again. But no matter how much I try, I can’t grab a hold of anything. And you know what? I feel incredibly guilty about that. My whole life, my mission has been to help and inspire others. To be strong for them. But right now, I’m failing at it. I can’t even help or inspire myself right now. I’m not that strong.

Over the past month, I’ve had one good day. One. The rest have been clouded in the thick fog of depression.

I know I must move. But everything is such a effort. Just walking down the stairs takes so much energy out of me. I know I must do things. But I can’t focus for too long, and don’t enjoy those things I love as much as I used to. I know I can’t stay in bed all day. But sometimes I can barely move. It’s as if there’s an unseen force pressing down on me, and I’m powerless. Trapped under the heaviness.

I’m so tired of feeling this way.

Stranger In This World

This is something I wrote on the 15th March 2016, and stumbled upon today. It applies just as much now as it did back then.

Where do I belong?

Why do I have this constant yearning to be anywhere but here?

People call places home. I haven’t yet found my own. Does that place even exist? Or is there a deep internal resistance to anywhere I find myself? A subconscious element I don’t have access to?

Staring out the window. The moonlight casts slivers of light through the dark trees beyond. It looks different today. Is home perhaps somewhere out there?

And sometimes I wonder…
Do I even exist in this world?

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