The series of entries that follows werewritten previously, shared wi’ family I trusted. I decided to publish them now; minor edits have been made.
Please read this post first for Content Warnings.
Part 2 of 5; No One Is An Island series
At The Start
As I alluded in the opening, this is going to be a hard read. It’s been a hard write. The increasing openness and honesty I think is, in part, of my well-being outweighing the knowledge of who might be reading, of the stigma that I feel certain will assuredly be cast my way. I think another hopefully ever-growing part is writing brings me joy. It cultivates a bravery that is very much needed for me right now. As much as I was able to shed the mask that was me playing the part (that I did for years), in some instances, it was far easier to continue to play the part than to ‘explain.’ I suppose going back to where I wrote for myself helped nurture the idea that I don’t have to explain. I could, and it may be a hard conversation, but there is no edict that I have to fall back in line with a perception of myself, particularly when it doesn’t belong to me. It’s harder to put into practice, even more so when the idea of myself isn’t static, especially for the times the only answer that’s honest is: I dunnae know. It’s a very simple statement, ‘I dunnae know,’ and I’m still a bit in awe of how fearful that makes me. Even more so as how powerful it can be. Largely, I’m disappointed that it wasn’t motivation to push past it. What I’ve learned not-so-recently, is that that’s just one part of the puzzle. One that has been so mind-fuckingly frustrating to understand let alone solve.
I’ve been largely absent from just about everything. I’ve withdrawn: I don’t converse with many the way that I did. I’ve made attempts, but little has come of it. In continuing to be kind towards myself, I have to highlight that I tried. I had felt so much better that I thought I’d finally found some decent footholds. I suppose I did, just not the way I’d imagined. That and I took on more things rather than be completely honest with my capacity at the time. Perhaps I’d hoped and the lesson that resulted was: not so much kiddo. Not at that time at any rate. Maybe I got ahead of my needs, thinking I was good to go and the truth was I had so very far yet to travel. I still get a bit astounded when I think about how utterly broken I was and yet, somehow I found a way to function, meagerly as it was, I was still functioning.
As I write this, it’s just past the two year mark after edging away from clinical depression. I’ve spent it learning to be gentle about that fact, acknowledging that I’m close enough to find myself there again if I’m not unabashedly honest and braver about my well-being. It’s compounded by dealing with this alien want: I don’t want to be seen. I miss my friends/pals but I wrestle with this and lose almost every time. I understand the underpinnings, but it is the Maria to my mind. I circle back to the honest statement: I’m a friggin mess (and I loathe it). It’s been a long haul to get just a smidgen better. And keeping mum about it was foolish, but I honestly felt no one would really understand. Somewhere along the way, I believed I wasn’t allowed to ‘say it out loud,’ and I can’t give a decent reason for that other than I bought into that horseshit. Considering how steeped we are in a lot of abysmal horseshit, I shouldn’t be surprised. I used to be grossly misogynistic a la the ‘I’m a tomboy, I’m not like those other girls’ variety.
I identify as a perfectionist on many levels and the last time I felt this broken, I came out of that with the means to recognize when I was being unreasonable with myself, steer my head toward the idea ‘it’s the best that you can do given where you are in your life. It’s OK not to like it, but for the love of you, stop.it.this.instant.’ Somewhere in there, I developed a skewed perspective on failure. As a result, having a healthy relationship with it has always been an uphill trek. I tried to align myself to a set of expectations and forgot to let them be a guide rather than a fixed endgame. A direction to cast me in as I enjoy every moment I have here and that I was allowed to readjust if going in another direction made me happy. I didnae know/ it didnae occur to me that this was OK. So life does what it does; it takes my footholds out from under me because sometimes making me wonder why something’s not working is the only way to get my attention. King’s to you, Life.
At the close, I am thankful that I can recognize my frames of mind, understand them regardless of the damage and in spite of every hardened instinct to select all and delete. I started this writing a little over ten months ago, using as it another tool to understand what happened. To understand where I am now, to wrap my Brain Things around why I think and respond in the ways that I do. I am thankful I don’t feel like I’m listing in an ocean of nothing.