In some ways everything is the same. In others, they are completely different.
The structures and routines in my life are just the same as ever. Exercise, meals, reading, TV, and work happen around the same time every single day. But that’s where the similarities end. I’m trying to congratulate myself on every positive thing I do and to be gentle with myself when I fall short. “Good job” and “you got this, buddy” and “you’ll be okay” are phrases that I repeat to myself with great frequency. There are times when I come to the threshold of inner turmoil and I…slowly step back. I’m only five days in so I don’t feel like I’ve mastered anything. There is a fragility to it all that is very humbling.
I have decided not to let myself regress with anyone. If I regress I am to count only on myself. The kindness and gentleness that I direct at myself keeps me from regressing and brings me back when I do. If I have any doubts as to whether I’m feeling regressed or not I err on the side of not reaching out. Sometimes it’s clear and sometimes it isn’t. The polarities are everywhere.
Sometimes I think I have a good game plan–like I have created what I hope is a structure for healing. Sometimes I worry that I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing and that I have just outsmarted myself into a clever little avoidance scheme. I counter the latter thought by reminding myself that part of my plan is to reintroduce the things that I am afraid of in a gradual way. In a gentle way.
In some ways I feel lonelier and in other ways I don’t. Or rather, by not regressing I don’t have the annihilation anxiety that separates me from…existence. But tending to myself and trying to live simply and gently leaves me with a very quiet and solitary life. It’s a bit sad. A bit melancholy. But it’s also rather cozy and sweet. I like reading comic books and exercising and watching the cars pass by. In between all of that I take care of all my responsibilities.
I think I have been addicted to intense feelings my whole life; vacillating between intensity of feeling and numbness. Things feel less real when they are not intense. I question my own feelings. Is this love? If it is then why isn’t my heart throbbing with pain or joy?! Is this sadness? If so why aren’t I planning my suicide?! I’m learning to live with this mellowness. I’m X and I’m an intensity addict. I’m 4.5 days sober. Did I not tell you that in my one-person program there is a 4.5 day chip? I just handed it to myself.
Right now I’m very tired. Bone tired. I’ve worked a full day and I had a challenging workout under a hot sun. So being gentle with myself means….accepting that I have nothing left to give anyone (unless it’s an emergency). It means not confusing my exhaustion with dissociation. It means reading and watching TV. It means drinking some Gatorade Zero to compensate for all the stuff I lost when working out. It means…more quiet. More solitude.
I don’t know if this is going to lead anywhere. I hope so. I recognize I’m being my own therapist and sort of making up a treatment plan on the fly that is based on instinct and the simple edict of “don’t beat yourself up”. A little tear just dropped. It felt…sweet. You’ll be okay, buddy.