WARNING: Light reference to suicidal thoughts.
I’m feeling a little better the last couple of days. I’m becoming familiar with this cycle, so i’ve decided to take a hard look at it, not to tweak it, but to find some peace in it. See, at the end of it, i beat the everloving crap outta myself because “i did it again”. I’d like to change that part of it, at least for a start.
There may be some other changes i could make in the future, but if my success over compulsive eating and weight issues is any indication, a kind of acceptance needs to come first. It’s not giving myself over to inevitability (screw you, Mr. Smith), it’s more of an acknowledgement of who i am and where i’m at.
Without that, it seems to make shame and frustration even more of an anchor for me. A millstone. To see where i’m going, i must first look at where i am.
I’m starting with the fact that i’m here at all, which is a good thing.
Next, i’m not the person my mother intended me to be, which is a very good thing.
Also, i have a loving and supportive partner, children, and even a couple of friends, which is excellent.
And, although the list could be longer, let’s finish with the fact that i have a therapist who’s helping me know who i am and work towards being more of who and what i want to be.
The cycle seems to work like this:
– Drag myself up out of the pit,
– Struggle to stand,
– Take a couple of shaky steps,
– Stop and rest,
– Take a few steps more,
– Rest again,
– Start walking a little faster and farther,
– Force myself to stop for a rest,
– Walk more often and with fewer and shorter stops in between,
– Fall into a pit.
There’s some nuance missing there, but that’s nutshelling it well, i think. The bit that doesn’t quite fit into the steps is the part where i’m embarrassed and ashamed that i fell into a pit again. I feel guilty, like i’ve failed my family and myself – including my system. I’m disgusted with, and disappointed in myself.
I see the pit as failure.
I see my level of functionality (or lack thereof) at my age as pathetic.
I see myself as far behind my peers.
When i get particularly low, the feelings can stray into self-hatred and hopelessness, which has, at times lately, brought about thoughts of suicide. Not making-a-plan suicidal, but i-can’t-do-this-anymore, and my-loved-ones-would-be-better-off-without-me stuff.
So, not where i need to getteth mine asseth to thine infirmary, posthaste. Still and all, not a good place to be, and one that can lead me down darker avenues.*
Me: Here’s the thing though, H, what else could you do?
Also Me: I could push harder, take more steps, do more things.
Me: Could you though? I mean, haven’t we tried that, like, a LOT?
Also Me: Yes but, at my age i should be able to handle this stuff.
Me: Should you? Says who?
Also Me: Well, at my age… Hell, folks a helluva lot younger than me have their shit together.
Me: Yeah, some of them probably do, but i’ll bet a lot of them just look like they do.
Also Me: True, but i’m getting older, and with each passing year, my opportunity to be the person i want to be gets smaller and smaller.
Me: That’s the way it is for everyone.
Also Me: I know that, smartass, but my window’s starting to look like the upstairs scary eyes ones in the Amityville Horror.
Me: Small, and split apart. Funny.
Also Me: It’s a gift. Listen, my children are grown and i have grandchildren. I should be further along my path by now. I can’t seem to stop falling. Even if i don’t fall into a pit, i trip and get root rash on my face.
Me: I know. It hurts and sometimes it’s obvious, which can suck, but you’ve found a way to make some good out of it.
Also Me: *sigh* I wanted to leave behind a better legacy than that.
Me: Like what? Sure, you could have been somebody. You could have been a contender. But at what cost? Our system would have certainly paid the biggest price. You could have been a very successful person who would have remained incredibly broken and in pain on the inside: Famous, rich, respected –whatever you dreamed of– a success by current world standards… So? Would that person be who you really are, though?
Also Me: *deepersighpluseyeroll* No. I would have had to completely shut down parts of myself. Pretend my childhood never happened. Never acknowledge the people who live in my brain who saved my life. Inauthentic at best – a complete lie at worst.
Me: Right. So this is the price you’ve paid to be a real live girl. You had a huge mess to clean up before you could stop being wooden and start being flesh. A mess you didn’t even make.
Also Me: But it’s taken so long to get HERE, and i’m still not THERE yet.
Me: You’re never going to get there. No one does. You just get as close to it as you can with the time you have.
Bits of Me: When you take too big of steps, we can’t keep up. We’re too little. You make us scared and we cry. Also, we’re hungry. Can we have a cookie now?
I guess i’m just going to keep plugging away at this. This is how i’ve learned to do it. Maybe there was another, better way, but i can’t go back and do things differently. This is what i have to work with, this cycle. I may always have to take baby steps. I may always fall into a pit, here and there.
My legacy is that i will always claw my way up out of the pit, even if it’s just to fall into another one later on. I’ll be further along my path. A few steps is better than no steps. I will always try to learn more and live more true, so that i might be, do, and give, MORE.
It may not be much, but it’s real. I may not be much of a success by the world’s current standards, but my Bits N’ Pieces trust me, love me, and look up to me. I have a family that loves and forgives me. I want for nothing. I may wear a mask sometimes, but it’s not on purpose, and everyone who knows me, knows about the masks, and they don’t mind. And if the people who matter to me don’t mind that i fall into pits and wear various masks, why should i?
Time for cookies.
Love and Peace To You,
*I know what to do to manage these thoughts, and i do these things. I don’t hide them inside my brain, where they might grow and fester. I talk – i tell safe people. I check my daily self-care. I call my therapist. And i have gone to the ER, seen my personal GP, and even checked myself into The Bin where necessary. Whatever it takes, i do it.