The joys continue

It’s been a tough week. I still feel triggery and jumpy. I’m still depressed. Bottom of the pit depressed. The urge to hurt myself, and end this futile existence, has loomed large. I saw the Wonder Therapist at the start of the week. She helped me feel a little less disconnected, and a little more focussed on safety. That’s good, I guess. She also rammed home that she thinks I’m being unduly hard on myself. Who? Me?

It struck me today (three days after my therapy session) that I’ve had a lot on, and I have been flagellating myself. Between medical appointments, job interviews, post-operative recovery… it’s a lot. That’s not an excuse for how I’m feeling, but it’s certainly added to the weight I’m carrying.

The pointlessness of life, the space I waste on this earth… this has also been a heavy load. It’s only thanks to the support of friends (you know who you are), and my therapist, that I haven’t acted. Part of me knows, I guess, that this is just the inner critic poking and prodding me again. But is that enough? I mean, is it enough to know that my therapist says this will pass, that friends want me around? I don’t know. Part of me thinks they would all cope without me: my therapist would fill the gaps in her schedule and my friends have their own lives.

I know I’ve been isolating myself, and I know that’s not a good thing. Animals retreat from the world when injured, to lick their wounds. It’s animal instinct. No wonder it feels count-intuitive to socialise at times like this.

I flicked around the internet trying to find something to shift my mind. I found a couple of things that helped.

One talked about not fighting my thoughts and feelings, but acknowledging and accepting them without judgement. It said that I should recognise that I experience a range of thoughts and feelings beyond the hell I’m currently in. Each state is temporary, and each will pass. That helped. Not so much the temporariness, but the acknowledgement and acceptance. Sitting with the thoughts and feelings, I suppose, even the bad ones. It’s helping me recognise these as feelings, but also focus on being safe.

The other thing that helped was thinking about a time and place where I feel safe, relaxed and comfortable. I visualised myself in my favourite place, and immediately felt calmer.

The thoughts are still there, but I’m trying to sit with them. I’m so incredibly exhausted that it’s not too hard to just sit. I’ve been sleeping a lot. That helps to pass the time. Or rather, I should say, I’ve been sleeping a lot during the day… the nights have been restless, wakeful, annoying.

I’m hoping this will pass soon. It’s ghastly. I’d like to be happy. Actually I’m desperate to be happy, but for some reason the universe seems to be conspiring against me.

14 thoughts on “The joys continue

  1. dear kerro, i was already thinking about you this morning and planning to write to see how you’re doing. i’m glad to hear you’ve found some strategies to help you cope.

    just sitting with the bad feelings and accepting them has been of great help for me too. i’ve had a few experiences where i went ahead and let myself feel as horrible as i felt, i cried and cried until i thought i couldn’t cry anymore. and eventually found myself just observing the negative thoughts as they rolled through my mind.

    i remember each time i did this, because each experience really helped. because i didn’t cry forever. there was an end. and i learned something when i finally realized what the negative thoughts were deep down underneath everything.

    i hope your urge to self-hurt passes soon. and that you start feeling better in general soon.

    i know i haven’t known you that long, but i consider you a friend and i care about you. i have my own life, yes, but you’re a part of it.

    sending safe hugs and peaceful wishes your way~~~~~

  2. Kerro –
    Sorry you are going through these rough times, but you listed a lot of things going on right now that you are dealing with. I hope you can recognize that you do have a lot on your plate and it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. Figuring out how to calm in these times can be tough but it sounds like you are working on that.

    Thinking of you.

  3. I couldn’t agree more with the idea of not fighting what you’re feeling, and just letting it be, and sitting with it. Those states pass more quickly when they’re truly heard. It can also help to remind yourself that you have felt differently, which will reassure you that you will feel differently again … your recent post about going to the symphony, for example … might be a reminder of a time when you felt content and good about the space you were in.

    I remember very clearly when I was dealing with that awful feeling of wasting space in the world … I didn’t believe that my friends or family wouldn’t be better off without me. One thing I did to combat this was I found ways to volunteer or give time to people who didn’t have to have any personal relationship with me, but for whom I was doing something they wouldn’t otherwise have had. One thing I did was read to a child in a local school literacy program; another thing I did was to offer free editing services to writers who couldn’t afford to hire me. Both of those things really helped me to shift my view of myself … I was giving with no expectation of any emotional return, and giving in ways that were unique to who I was. Doing these things also required a level of energy that I didn’t have when the ideas first occurred to me; I had to work up to them. But sometimes stuff like that, disconnected from the “messiness” of relationships (and one’s regular job usually has a lot of messy relationships) can help to establish a sense of self in the world, and what you have to give. I think you’re already doing this in the therapy group you attend, actually.

  4. Oh yes, I have so been in that emotional state that you are in. But it’s true – you do have a lot going on. I hope you believe your therapist, that you are not wasting space in the world, that you have a lot to live for. Your favorite place is beautiful – I would love to visit. Beaches are so soothing.

  5. @ Katie – I’d like to think that my observance of thoughts and feelings is mindfulness. Alas, I think it’s mostly exhaustion – from endless crying, from poor sleep, and from having a lot on. As you said, you cry until there are no more tears, then you’re able to observe. Or something like that. Every time I think I’m done with the tears, more come. Thanks for your positive thoughts. ((hugs))

    @ OLJ – Thanks. I do have a lot on, and I was triggered. I’m not sure where the trigger starts or the shopping list of things on my plate stops anymore. I’m trying to keep plodding on.

    @ David – Are you back? I hope you’re back. I’ve missed you! You’re right, I have felt differently, though it’s so hard to believe the good feelings will come again. I have also found volunteering to be helpful in a whole range of ways, though at the moment it’s just passing time and making me exhausted. Not a bad thing, just devoid of the usual benefits. The therapy group has finished. I’ve been meaning to blog about that. Thanks for the reminder!

    @ Harriet – I’m trying to believe, but the inner critic; the “voice in my head” doesn’t want to listen. I love the beach – the roar of the ocean, the “squeak” of the sand, the soothing lap of waves at your feet. My soul place. 🙂

  6. ((((Kerro))))
    I am glad you are writing. I’ve been thinking of you and hoping things were better. I’m away and typing on my iPhone which takes too long.

  7. You have been dealing with this for awhile. I agree that the job hunt, doctors appt, etc add to it. Mostly they probably make it more difficult fir you to take time for yourself, enjoy “time off”, and overall baby yourself a little. I hope that it gets better for you soon.

  8. Hi Kerro, I hope you manage to stay in the good space while you get through this.

    Perhaps later you can find the good parts of the critic – it usually was developed by us for good reason. (Although sometimes it was imposed by others on us.)

  9. I will echo what the others have said, you do have a lot on. When I am in a bad way I also visualize my favorite place a lot. It does help.

    I’m glad you have found a few things to help you. I also hope that your inner critic will give you a break. One moment at a time.

  10. @ Di – that’s so sweet of you to check in while you were away, thank you! I hope you’re away for a fun reason and having a good time. 🙂

    @ Lothlorien – Yea, this one seems to be hanging around. You’re right, there’s been little “me” time this week. Even if there was I’m not sure I’ve been in a position to “baby” myself. I’m hoping I’ll have the time and the ability to do that this weekend. Thanks for your good thoughts.

    @ Evan – Thanks for your comments. I’ve done quite a lot of work with my inner critic, have been for a long time. An early post on this here.

    @ Lost in a Maze – thanks for your good thoughts. I’m glad you also have a favourite place. They’re much nicer than the dark places we inhabit, eh?

  11. Ok, I did the check… and you’ve got lots of really good advice up there… That means it’s time for a bit of cheeky too 🙂

    I seem to remember another intelligent person recently talking about sitting with the feelings…
    Yup, you got an awful lot going on – just a general anaesthetic alone is enough to knock you around for at least 6 weeks…
    So please be gentle on you…

    If you can’t… remember group hugs and kumbaya 🙂

    Wouldn’t ya know it, there are no clips of girl scouts sitting around a camp-fire singing kumbaya…

    Take care of you… (((warm safe hugs))) if wanted,

  12. @ Castorgirl – LOL we didn’t sing Kumbaya like that when I was at school!!! Thanks so much for all your support. 🙂

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