I posted this on Facebook on Feb. 6, 2016. Just posting it here for posterity’s sake.
“I spent a lot of time on the bus today, going about my business, so I had a lot of time to think. Today my thoughts were these: I would NEVER EVER in my entire life talk to another person I cared about, or a person I worked with, or anyone (other than a few select people on my “loathe list” and really there are only 2 people on that list – those two women I lived with in Maple Ridge), the way I talk to myself. I talk to myself with an enormous amount of self hatred. I tell myself I am ugly, unworthy, defective, a waste of air and resources; that I am unlovable, unimportant, stupid, invisible, incapable; that I don’t deserve happiness, acceptance, love, and the good things in life we are all entitled to; that I am of little value and consequence to the world and the people in my life. I tell myself this ALL THE TIME. That is how I speak to myself. No one is responsible for these messages other than me. No one in my life treats me this way, and no one in my life treats other people this way. I would not associate myself with someone who spoke to or treated others like that. Yet, this is my internal dialogue. These are my core beliefs. I carry these with me like an anchor. I have accepted bad messaging about myself from my past: from bullies, from people close to me who loved me, from the Wasband, who traumatized parts of me I didn’t know existed until the damage was long done. My acceptance has been my choice. Now I need to make different choices. I need to get out of this pit, and I need to do it immediately or the shitty and miserable future I foresee for myself is going to become a self-fulfilling prophesy. And the crazy thing is that there is NO evidence whatsoever that any of these beliefs are truth. In fact, all the evidence tells me that the opposite of what I believe is the truth. I don’t know how I’m going to change this, but I do know that it’s a matter of life or death for me.”
On Sunday night the police escorted me to the psychiatric emergency services. I was assessed, kept overnight, and reassessed, and sent home the next day with some new information on dealing with suicidal thoughts.
I am going home to the Kootenays tomorrow on the Greyhound. I have made arrangements for Juno, work, volunteering, etc.
I am exhausted.
…And then today the universe chose to kick me in the teeth. I have interpreted this as a signal to give up, close myself off, and become hardened.
Today has been really rough, as was yesterday. Nothing feels like it’s going right right now. I just want to give up. I’ve had enough. I’ve cried on the phone with two support people and it didn’t help. I feel like a POS.
I grapple with this concept a lot. In my work, one of the things I’m supposed to do is role model hope to my peers, hope that they are just as capable of a successful recovery journey as I am. But then I feel like a fraud because I actually question my commitment to hope on a regular basis.
I hope for many things for myself, and I also hope for many things for the people I love. In fact, I’d say I hope harder for the people I love than I do for myself.
Perhaps that is about my own self-worth, but it’s also about having hoped for things for so long…and having them not pan out.
All my life, I’ve needed some kind of carrot strung up in front of me to motivate me along. That illusive bloody carrot! It’s changed form so many times over the years, but right now that carrot is hope. It’s a puny, shrivelled carrot and it hangs by a flimsy thread – but it’s there.
And I really think at times that it’s the only thing that keeps me alive.
I am starting to come around to believing a couple of things about my life and the things in it that are not working. While I SAY I want things, I am frustrated that I’m not getting them. I am starting to believe that I’m not getting these things because I am not fully committed to them, and I am not fully committed to them because I have a lot of fear around them.
Men/relationships. I am not going to rehash everything here because what I have to rehash is, ultimately, irrelevant. I am now starting to accept that this is an area that scares the hell out of me, and because of that, I have only partially committed to the work of creating this in my life. By partially, I mean, yes, I have done a lot of online searching and done some dating, but I know I could have taken more risks and met more men and been a lot more confident.
What am I afraid of? Honestly ALL OF IT. I am afraid of the usual stuff: rejection, getting hurt, etc. But I also look back at my marriage, and I am afraid of repeating the same things in a new relationship that I did or had in my marriage. I am afraid of the depressions I experience ruining things. I am afraid of vulnerability. I am afraid of having to hide myself. I am afraid of losing self-determination, control, and individuality. I fear intimacy. I am afraid of tearing down a wall I am just starting to realize I have built. I am afraid that I don’t know how to “relationship” any more after over 11 years alone.
What am I going to do about it? I really have no idea. Insight, acceptance, and knowledge is one step in a process that I fear could take the rest of my life. I don’t know how to change these beliefs, I don’t know how to not fear these things any more because they are so ingrained. But, what can I commit to? I can commit to not closing myself off any more. I can commit to trying to be vulnerable more. I can commit to being authentic with everyone and the world. I cannot do anything about my wonky brain chemistry except committing to manage it as best I can. I can commit to not hiding. I have to challenge all my many cognitive distortions about this, which is no easy feat.
On to weight/dieting. This is going nowhere, and it’s no one’s fault but my own. I have not lived fully committed to losing the weight, dieting, and exercise. I know I have not pushed myself. I have not made good decisions.
What am I afraid of? Well, for one thing, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of weight I have to lose, and I fear failure. I hate working hard for no success. I fear making room in my schedule to exercise regularly because I tire out so easily, and I hate being tired. In a weird way, I also fear success, too, because I doubt it will make much difference in how I feel about myself, though of course, I realize the health benefits would be huge. I fear the struggle, the setbacks, I fear the process, which I know from previous experience is long, hard, and taxing. I fear it’s not going to be worth the effort.
What am I going to do about it? I have to break it down into manageable pieces. I have to make a series of smaller commitments instead of looking at it as one huge commitment. I have to recommit every day, if necessary. I have to do my best to change my thinking and focus on all the benefits and gains instead of the potential barriers and pitfalls. I have to challenge my cognitive distortions around this issue, like I have to with the previous issue.
I have a lot of work to do.
For three years I have done the online dating thing. It’s gone nowhere, and in the end, has only ended up frustrating me, depressing me, demoralizing me, and making me feel defeated. The decision came to me recently to let go of online dating completely and just let the universe take its course, whatever that might be. I simply don’t believe I’m going to find what I’m looking for online, and to be honest, I am just put off of the whole process of finding someone and staring something; it’s too much work right now, and is too much heartache.
I think I’m just better off being alone and okay with my loneliness than I am engaging in a futile weeding out process full of rejection and disappointment.
I am not sure what the future holds, obviously. I never ever thought I’d spend this long alone, but I just have to accept that and move forward. I just hope that one day I will be way less bitter and jaded and more open; I do not want to be a closed off person who shrivels when things get uncomfortable and hard.