Isolation

Another fascinating session last night.  Another session I was contemplating not going to, making excuses to cancel and drug myself into anyways.  I even tried to sit down and organize my thoughts in my journal before I went, but couldn’t get past a few lines of one-words: Sad, angry, tired, diet ok, walking more.  That was it.  So I went and I didn’t try to control it, I just sat down and was going to be okay with silence.

Of course that didn’t happen.  I talked for an hour and left feeling reenergized.

She said to me pretty early on in the session that I looked tired and drained.  That I did not have the same energy as previous visits and I answered “yes, yes I am.”  I’m very tired.  Sure it was the first day back to work after a long weekend off, I had a headache all day but mentally and physically I was spent.  It felt so good to have someone look at me and say “I see you.”  Immediately had a head full of things to discuss with her and they all came flowing out.

I told her about a situation with John over the weekend, a miscommunication and how I resolved it.  She then asked me about my family and what interactions I had been having with people.  After going through the list of people and stuff going on, she said “I’m trying to figure out who in your life is someone that brings light, lifts you up and cares for you but I don’t know who that is.”  She says she has observed that most of the people around me seem to drain me, rather quickly without returning anything.  I admitted that until that moment I hadn’t really thought about it, but it does feel that way.

I mean, not everyone, at least I don’t think, and no one does it intentionally.  Though, upon further reflection, I don’t really have anyone that will say “I’m picking you up and we’re going to go do xyz that I know you love to do.”  I usually do those things for other people or I do them alone for myself.

I do have people that check on me, ask how I’m doing and I love them dearly, but I think I know what she means.  I also have a tendency to make myself very very busy with no downtime, doing things for everyone else without taking time for myself.  For the past few months I’ve been better about self care, but I still struggle with guilt about it.  I also hide behind my smile, my laugh and my outgoing personality when I’m not really feeling that way authentically.

She said she gets the impression that the people in my immediate circle around me don’t know me.  They see the smile or the warmness, but not everything else.  This hit me as well.  One of my friends recently said “Oh, we know you would never die from a heart attack, you don’t let anything get to you!”  Then just kept repeating it.  I was kinda outraged when she said it but not sure why, and now I get it.  I told my therapist that and she smiled knowingly.  I yelled out “I am IN THERAPY FOR CHRIST SAKE!”

This is not to place the blame on everyone around me solely.  I know I am loved and I love the people in my life, and my responsibility is I do not communicate well because I seem to react from the past.  I don’t communicate with my boyfriend on certain things because I fear I will get the same experience as my marriage or my childhood.  I share myself with those I love based on my past.   Those around me do the same things.  We all act on our abilities.

She opened up a bit about herself and said that she knew she was very sensitive and decided to make her circle very small to accommodate herself.  It took a lot of work and eventually cutting people out, but she has a smaller circle and can sit next to someone she loves and listen and share without absorbing their issues, etc.  She said I will learn this as well.

I have to focus on taking care of myself above anyone else.

Case in point with my boyfriend and our miscommunication over the weekend…I immediately catered to him to fix him because I was scared he’d leave me if we fought or didn’t do what he wanted.  Hours later when we finally talked we both were just trying to spend time together, why didn’t we both just say that?  I know he lives in his past too.  I am down on myself physically lately and I assume he hates me and is unattracted to me.  She laughed and said “What?  If he’s done, you will know.  He’s probably not even thinking about you.”

This was the other thing.  When you are low or sensitive, you make everything about you.  When it really isn’t.  People think about themselves, it’s human nature.  When you are depressed you assume all bad things are the direct result of you being the center of the universe.  Alas, it’s hard to set boundaries or not absorb everything in that place.

She warned me again that my circle, as I start to figure myself out and get to a positive stronger place, will shrink and should shrink.  Then I admitted to her that my fantasy is to buy or build a cabin near a lake and live pretty remotely, but I didn’t really know why.  A few friends and a town nearby to adventure in, but mostly a place to be alone when I need to.  I joked and said “not like the Unabomber, but alone.”  That I haven’t really told anyone this or let myself understand why I needed it until now.  Historically I have always worried about being social and having friends and things to do that are interesting, but I’m starting to realize the real me likes quiet and home and meaningful interactions vs. quality of interactions.

I’m happiest weeding and gardening and small gatherings with friends and good food and wine.  Adventures with my girl alone exploring or just sitting in the sun.  Drawing, reading, writing and observing, even cooking and baking.  These refill me.

The point I need to get to is to be able to set boundaries, not feel so isolated or guarded and live in the present vs. base all decisions and actions on past experiences.

She also said something quite profound to me about weight. She said “You could be happy at this weight. I see nothing wrong with your weight and would be fine telling you that everything is okay, but you do not see yourself happy at this weight.  The reason I haven’t touched you losing any weight is because for any goal to work for ourselves, weight or otherwise (job/man/etc.) you have to get right with how you FEEL first. You don’t feel good right now, you feel drained, you are surrounded by draining people, why would I tell you to then try some diet?”

For starters, I have NEVER EVER had anyone in the medical profession tell me my weight is fine as it is and I could be fine as it is.  Ever.  Secondly, my weight is another layer I hide behind, just like my smile and laugh and jokes.  What if I took away that layer, what would I be besides terrified without going through the mental work first?  I should keep up with the walks because they make me feel good, not because they burn calories.  I should keep up with the reading, naps and quiet time because they refill me.  I should keep up with the eating healthy meals because it makes me feel better physically.

I have decided to see her weekly vs. bi-weekly and I’m excited.  I’m sure next week I’ll still try to make excuses, but I want to stop this cycle so badly.  I’ll do the work.

I also cancelled all of my plans for the night, came home and put my jammies on and spent a quiet night with my man.  I woke up this morning feeling restored.  I slept through the night and the nightmares didn’t come around 2:00 a.m. like usual.

Forward progress always.

This post didn’t flow out like it normally does.  I probably should have written it last night, but I like to sit on it for an evening.  I’m not always going to have everything perfect or controlled and nothing lasts forever, good or bad, we just keep moving forward.

-lulu

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