Thursday was a day, kids. I actually wrote a lot of this that day on my phone while I travelled home in transit. Writing is one of the most effective tools I have for distress tolerance. I haven’t returned until now because it has taken that long to come back to baseline…
Days like that can turn a groove into a rut before you can blink. I had packed my schedule and overwhelmed myself. That is a risk when I let the energy spin and be the proverbial needle playing the tracks. I get too eager and end up skipping all over the place, praying I don’t make permanent scratches.
Well, I started spinning on the crowded dance floor that is the TTC, appearing at three different destinations throughout the day. And, this player got bumped on every track.
To put it in a better context: the first half of the week, I had felt more alive since, I think, my brother died… Fifteen years… Perhaps even longer than that. I spent my time surrounded by people who have been encouraging my dive into the life of the creator. Not cautioning me. Not telling me that isn’t how the “real world” works. Not trying to force me to be less passionate and emotive. Rather, more so. After forty-five years of trying to swim with the ducks, this swan has found a bevy. People who understand that it is these things that make me the creator/storyteller that I am. In the midst of almost completely losing my shit at Broadview station, after another string of “Mr. Bean” moments, it struck me that the intensity of my experience was directly related to the intensity of the joy I had recently been experiencing.
Now, this isn’t even close to a revelation. This is the fact that I keep having to ignore; put away; deny myself. I am an intense, passionate, emotive person. I cannot just restrain myself to be “functional” in the “real world”. It doesn’t work. I writhe in that straight jacket and create a lot of chaos. I go home and cannot wriggle out of the bondage so that I can channel the energy appropriately in my personal time. Everything and everyone suffers needlessly. Medications don’t alleviate anything, for me. They enable resignation; the acceptance and perpetuation of unhealthy relationships, at best. Or, they create and exacerbate symptoms that can be life-threatening. Either way, inevitably, bringing me to the logical conclusion that the best thing for everyone is that I am no longer here.
I am compelled to share that it is my emotional self that keeps me here. No matter how much harm I might think I cause people, especially those that I love, I KNOW in my heart that I could do nothing more harmful to them than to kill myself. The rational mind can be the most unreasonable bully there is. That is why, I believe, psychotropic drugs are the WORST treatment for emotional regulation issues. I will also note that my psychiatrist does not disagree with me. I do understand and share his frustration. He just doesn’t know what to do with me. If we ever really were, we are no longer a good “fit”.
When I got to his office, I was still “hyper-aroused” and tried to explain to him the way I had been triggered in public. It IS relevant that I am so triggered. It is a result of spending the past two years stripping myself of the faulty core beliefs and paralyzing fear that ARE the primary manifestations of my illness. Yet, he became a broken record, playing the same dismissive bullshit that made me shape a life of self-denial and destruction in the first place. He keeps asking me what I have actually done in the past two years and why I could “function” before and not now? Then, argues with my responses before I get half a sentence out. I wasn’t actually “functioning” before. He does not listen. It’s all black and white. Just because I can adapt to suffering doesn’t mean that it is healthy for me. Or, for anyone around me. It is no secret that we build unhealthy lives to protect ourselves. My armoured prison is why I could do it before. I refuse to get back in it. It WILL KILL me.
When I have to lock myself up to be “appropriate” in a workplace, that is when addiction reigns. Self-denial opens the cage of the beast. The door only closes one or the other. Since I have had the time to finally believe in my work and have faith that it will sustain me, that door has swung.
And, I have come back alive.
Yes, it has taken almost three years to clear away the debris of a lifetime of self-destructive denial. Suffocation of the soul is a long process. And, undoing a lifetime of patterns takes time. So does creating and building new ones. It will take time to learn how to walk right now that I have straightened my spine, so to speak.
I know that I am taking a huge risk by choosing the path I am on. I’d rather accept that and live my life than ignore/mask it and live waiting for life to be over.
What would you choose?