I am a little less positive today as I have been lately, but not much different off than usual. My routine on a day off is, I sit around the house and do a small handful of things, half-heartedly, and most of the time sit very still, thinking, as if, like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, my housework will sense I am there and jump out and eat me. When people suggest going out I usually want to turn them down, if I leave the Tyrannosaurus houseworx alone it might have time to come up with new plans to try to eat me.
Sitting alone in the house, and eating, is something I have done since my mom died. I have always had pretty bad social phobia, when I was 4 I couldn't do anything but huddle in the corner in ballet class, and at 5 my mom had to push me, screaming bloody murder, onto the schoolbus, I was so terrified, I remember it clearly, It was the same thing, there was a Tyrannosaurus Rex on that bus and if I got on it would probably eat me. My mom of course would not let me sit around the house all summer, eating and watching TV. She signed me up for "summer splash" and made me play with my friends. But after my mom died I could do what I wanted, and so I did. Every summer I would sit alone in the house with the shades drawn, I would watch the price is right, and I would walk to the refridgerator or pantry and I would put together concoctions during the commercials.
Today, since I am feeling a little beat down, a little bit punished for my step back into the world, I am feeling even less able to take on the housework dinosaur. And since shoving and berating myself for not doing it doesn't work, I decided to deal with it differently than usual, one way or another. My usual methods on days like today are to drink coffee, watch a movie, eat until my stomach hurts, and, on those especially tough days, take a nap. I felt my wounded consciousness trying to shrink down into slumber, but I didn't want to do it, It felt too pitiful, I wanted to move forward, even if it meant only keeping myself from going backward.
I started by trying to tell myself I didn't have to clean today. I tell myself I have to everyday and little gets done, so the worst that could happen is little would get done. And then, when I caught myself thinking "I feel wounded" I decided to run with that. I sat down and thought hard about what I was truly feeling. I am so quick to try to feel better, but, in the book I am reading about Buddhist practices it says to identify what your feeling, don't try to cling to or resist it, just be mindful of it. I coaxed myself to think about the ugliest times in my life. I coaxed myself to think of the fact that I feel unimportant. I coaxed myself to be mindful of the things that are always there, but I try to pretend they are not. It is like I completely turned around, and instead of trying to ignore what my life has been like, which requires moving very quickly, to try to get away from those feelings that are a result of the life I have lived, I turned and faced them, I didn't reject them, I just let myself think of them (I am not so far along that I am ready to feel them, but I accept that it is one step at a time)
Even when sitting and thinking of my mother's death and my father being passed out I didn't cry. This is a "maladaptive behavior" a behavior I adopted, as a survival tool, that was successful at the time, but now interferes with my life and can be changed (next time you find yourself exasperated, saying "why do I do that?- it makes no sense!" it may be a maladaptive behavior.) two things did break through where I got a tear or two. The first was as my mind was wandering, I cant remember the context but I visualized a party of friends, with an open mic, and everybody did something and everyone cheered with pride for everyone. This hit me hard, I don't know how it got in my head, but it touched me. To imagine it felt like paradise, not to have supportive friends, because I do, but to have the courage to just move freely, to relax, to have the courage to request and desire approval, and to accept it when it is given to me.
The other thing that moves me to tear up is the image of a little girl curled in a ball next to the wall, absolutely terrified of nearly everything. I intended the image in my head to be a metaphor, but it felt so dead on accurate. I am as afraid of the world as I was back then (including when my mom was alive), but I have trained myself to stand up and walk out the door, as if I am not, and overtime it has decreased but not enough that that cowering kid image doesn't hit me hard.
I am not sure what I am going to do next, I am going to curl up on the couch and think about it. But I think I did something smart today.
mood: hard to say. Ugly, unhappy, bored, achey, but at the same time a little hopeful, proud, and I recognize I am in much better shape then when I am severely depressed.