Just a pre-warning that this post is going to be more raw than most I’ve made thus far.
Because something weird that has struck me over the past week or two, that I haven’t yet posted about, for reasons that will become obvious as I continue with this, is the fact that… and I hope I’m not alone here, but… I tend not to post anything here, or to ask for advice or help or anything along those lines (from anyone, really), when I’m feeling the most broken, the most in-pain, the least put-together, the most fucked-up… in life, in love, in everything.
When I need help or commiseration or companionship or a friendly ear is when I am LEAST likely to ask for it.
Which is an interesting thing to observe about myself, from that detached “let’s get curious” place that I’ve found lately.
I mean, I really want to say something judgmental to myself about this, like, “that’s just crazy, it’s ridiculous, it’s (fill in the blank).”
But I watched a video on YouTube recently where a woman (I can’t remember her name now, but it was probably a TedTalk) talked about replacing the expletives and the harsh words in our language with the word “fascinating” instead. (Ex: Instead of saying “you f&*#er!” when someone cuts you off in traffic, saying “oh… fascinating!” And getting curious about it.) And I really liked that approach.
I even put it on a post-it and added it to my post-it mantra menagerie on my fridge. LOL.
Anyway, this whole thing — the self-observation of my total resistance to asking for help when I really need it — it’s something I don’t think I would have been open to noticing (or, god forbid, talking about to anyone because that’s just terrifying) before now. Before finding my community of kindred souls.
And it prompts me, finally, finally, finally — early early early this morning, after waking up at 2am and being up now for over 3 hours, not able to fall asleep, knowing I’ll probably face my Monday sleep-deprived and wan, after spending the evening trying to chase down (via text and online chat, mostly) old lovers that don’t seem to have time for me anymore, after crying my eyes out while falling into a pit of heart-rending loneliness that feels like this hole I just can’t fill and I don’t even know WHY I feel this way or where this loneliness came from — to end up here writing this post. Facing myself in the mirror of my own writing.
Which I think is where I should have gone first, probably. To this place, the place where I know there are people to hold space for me. Who *are* holding space for me, even now.
You, my community.
It is a curious commentary on where I am in my life (and on the work that I need to to do to heal, ultimately, if I’m being brutally honest) that I continually want to turn toward those who can’t or won’t or just aren’t capable of doing what’s necessary to hold that space for me (usually emotionally unavailable men, one of my drugs of choice, apparently). And yet, like a starving dog, I still am hanging around, waiting outside of their windows, hungry for whatever scraps they are willing to throw me, no matter how paltry or rotten.
I know this isn’t a great way to be in the world. I know I am worth more. Emotionally, I think writing about this has actually helped clear my head about it a bit, but still, it’s something I’ve been dealing with for a long time, and this is a process.
And I know that drinking is tangled up in the mess of all this, the self-esteem issues, the learning to value myself, the idea of mothering myself.
But I also just caught up on last Wednesday’s Q&A session in my support group, and the profundity of how eating disorders are also so often tangled up in all of this as well, of how so many of us suffer and fight the same slew of battles all at once… I don’t even have words for what all that brought up in me. A lot of feelings and memories.
Bulimia… it’s actually something that I think triggers more shame for me even than the booze. It is something I’ve struggled with for almost as long and talked about much, much less.
But I’ve recently started watching some videos with Glennon Doyle and just seeing how starkly open and vulnerable and strong it is possible to be about all of these issues, all together, does give me a sense of hope.
Sorry for the rambling post. I really didn’t want to take the time to edit this too much because I know if I go back and look at what I’ve written in depth I might delete this whole thing altogether.
I don’t usually talk about my pain while I’m feeling it. I’m a controller. A perfectionist. I talk about my pain only once I have space from it.
But in the past, getting space from the pain meant numbing out long enough to dull the edges of it, and I think there’s a better way. So I’m acknowledging it and talking about it instead. For probably one of the first times in my life.
Thanks for listening, everyone. Truly. You all just being here with me right now means so very much.
Here’s to a brand-new week full of opportunities to grow.
For context on this post, and links to related journal entries from this particular piece of my life's journey, see My Sobriety Journey, Journaled.