Showing posts from February, 2020

Thingadailies 6: Control Issues

The next thing I had to do was make a list of things I can control and things I do not have control over, I understand the function of the list--concrete things that I ought to know so that my mind doesn't keep turning the powerlessness I feel into recurring nightmares.

But there is a part of me that previous therapy has reminded me: that I often hang onto TOO many things/want to keep a tight rein on many "daytime" controls precisely because of my "night time" fears and this pushes me to the other extreme, which is also unhealthy.

And so what I actually need is BALANCE of my mindset/expectations and also of the obstacles/setbacks that pop up.

Mostly I have to learn to let go and be ENOUGH.

Thingadailies 5: Hurt People Struggle to See Themselves

My lack of/struggle with my identity often makes me feel out of control and child-like, when I wasnt permitted to exert a lot (any?) control over even minor things. I was dressed in boy-ish clothes and given a boy-ish nickname with a boy-ish haircut, in direct contrast with my older sister with the floral name, long hair and dresses. It seems like such an odd thing to be hung up on but to this day, wearing clothes that are floral or feminine gives me pause and I dont feel like they are appropriate for me. I have been making in-roads into my grey, black and blue wardrobe with yellows, pinks, corals and reds, but each purchase has to be made deliberately and with an eye to change, everything just outside my comfort zone.
My therapist asked me to complete a self portrait so I could try to figure out a bit more about my identity issues and how those manifest themselves in my nightmares. Ironically, on the same day, I received the gallery photos of my resilience photo shoot from way back …

Thingadailies 4: Unscalable

I never know how to respond when people ask how I am doing. Mostly, I shrug or shake my head to avoid saying "ok" or "fine", because I don't want to lie but I also don't think people care enough to know more. And they won't question further if the answer seems to be "I don't know". 
Sometimes I get angry inside because I want them to push further, to try harder to crack into the high walls I have built around myself. I want to see them knock once, and then again when I don't answer. I want them to insist on supporting me, even when I dont know how to let them in.
But that anger lapses quickly into sadness. Resignation, perhaps. I cant scale these walls either.

Thingadailies 3: Abandonment

I slept through most of today, while the warm winter sunshine poured over me. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t even fraught with dark thoughts or terrible nightmares, just an inexorable bleakness that I could only feel as heavy fatigue.

As in my paintings, it seemed to turn toward me and then, as weariness overtook me, turned away, darker and more foreboding than when it looked towards me. Abandonment.

The work I have set before me in therapy is to discover how to let go of the shards that keep cutting me down. To see a younger me, comforted and safe. To move forward from the past. I do not know how to do this.

Thingadailies 2: Fear of the Inexplicable

It has been a difficult couple of days, mostly because I feel quite discombobulated and disconnected from myself. I feel like I am on autopilot but going nowhere fast. I have tried the grounding techniques and even attended a yoga/recharge class to see if that would help but I am floating and hollow inside.
How do I fight this dragon who isn't fire and brimstone, isn't full of harsh words or endless darkness? The emptiness is unyielding and frightening; more scary then facing down the hallucinations or high pitched anxieties. Because who can love nothingness?

Thingadailies 1: Change

It has been safer to be gray or numb and it is true that what turns hard becomes rigid and is easily shattered. The last year of struggle with mental illness has challenged my coping mechanisms and "safe places" because it turns out that I am truly only harming myself and hiding from the pain instead of sorting it out and finding out the root.
Thingadailies is as good a reason as any for pushing myself beyond this static moment so I will keep on with the art therapy that painting has become. Part meditation, part mindfulness.
And so, the next step is to do more than simply survive. I need to know that the ending of one thing is not the end of all the things, but is simply opening the door to possibilities I had long since discounted as real. Like feeling happiness. Feeling grief. Feeling.