A different kind of life

I wanted to take the time to write. Just write. Writing is healing, writing promotes reflection, reflection promotes deeper thoughts and contemplation, and sometimes contemplating feels good.

I spent the last week with family. It was a time of celebration and a time for silence and mourning and mutual support. I got to bond with my youngest cousin who is almost three years old, and that time spent was healing to me and a positive distraction. The fact is, as I must tell myself, I have family. No matter how much I feel as if various family members haven’t been supportive, they actually care. They occasionally send me reminders of this by reaching out to me, a text here, and email there. It’s hard to reconcile. Most of my family members, actually all, live far away, some further than others, and I didn’t grow up knowing them intimately. We’re all not that close, but we get along. I have family. I must remind myself of that when I am feeling lonely. I have work and family. They keep me going. Must hold onto this… hope.

 

There is a fact: I like attention. I think everybody wants to have attention from another person in some form. We are social creatures and those interactions we have with other people mean that the other person is paying attention to us. But, I got used to an unhealthy kind of attention. I used to have to act out and do extreme things just to get the approval and attention of my ex. It got worse as the years went on. He was so self-absorbed in his own life, separate from me, that I was not nurtured with any sort of loving attention. It was very unhealthy.

Over the last few years the type of intensive attention that I got was from doctors and nurses every time I tried to hurt myself. It feels very wrong now, not hurting myself, because I am lacking that attention from others. Of course I can’t afford to have medical staff tending to my every need each day, but that is how it used to be. And I got accustomed to it. It was my modus operandi, my way of being. Part of the emptiness I feel is getting used to not receiving that kind of attention. If I express suicidal ideation and send messages out to people they usually want to put me into a hospital. I can’t help it, when I feel suicidal I just do, and I have to wait until it goes away, and it’s very difficult to live through those hours, sometimes days. When it’s over, it’s a big relief. I haven’t been suicidal for a week now. I am in recovery.

It’s uncomfortable, sometimes, letting the minutes pass by. I really enjoy silence. I don’t like music to be playing and I don’t like watching television. I like just sitting in silence. Sometimes when I get to work I think, how is this day ever going to pass by? But sure enough, the end of the day always comes, and that’s how it is, day in, day out. Although I spend the vast majority of my time alone, I’m not always comfortable being alone. I find ways to distract myself from the awkwardness by writing a blog or watching a video online, or eating food or sleeping. Those are my main distraction techniques. For the most part it works, although it still leads to a bit of an empty feeling inside. I don’t feel complete. There is something missing in my life and I cannot fill that space with self harm like I used to. What to do then?

A lot of times being with someone, spending time with them, can feel overwhelming. If it’s someone I don’t know well, I am constantly worrying about what I should say next to keep the conversation going. I worry about what I’m going to wear, and then while wearing it, worry about how it looks, always thinking I should have worn something else. I constantly am thinking that I don’t have enough clothes to wear, though that may be typical of women. I have to remind myself that it’s okay to have silence in between conversation, and often there is. Sometimes I worry so much about what it will be like in anticipation of seeing someone, that I end up canceling the get-together at the last minute. That never feels good or reflects well on me as a person.

I have a whole weekend coming up. I could be out in the sunshine, going for a walk or a hike, eating a nice meal out, getting coffee. I could go to the mall and people watch, or make a purchase, or go to the movie theater and watch the latest production. I could do laundry and go to the grocery store. I could shower. I could eat food. But chances are, I’ll be in my bed, sleeping, pretending that the day isn’t happening, holding my stuffed animal for comfort, in my pajamas, not eating a regular meal, not treating myself to a cup of coffee, not really wanting to live, because an empty existence full of not doing things is pretty “blah”, not good, bad. It’s not the vision I have for myself and my life but it is what my life looks like right now. I don’t have much going on in my life outside of work and because of this I don’t feel motivated in my life to do anything. I still don’t like waking up every day for work and wish I could just stay in bed. Although I am relieved when my paycheck comes in every two weeks. I couldn’t do without it.

I am in recovery but I feel rejected by myself and I don’t give myself credit for all of the progress I’ve made. All I see is the negative, and envision what I could be doing but not having the courage to do those things. I wish I had more fun in my life, more reason to live, more something. I don’t exactly know what is missing, but I do enjoy taking care of others, so a dog could be a good answer. I just don’t feel that I’m responsible enough to take care of a dog, and it would be home alone all day while I’m at work. I could pick up a volunteer job and do that on the weekends, or an actual job for which I have to get up. But I don’t act on those possibilities. I don’t know what to do with myself. Time just keeps on ticking.

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