It's a fine line for me between self isolation and self care. I spent a lot of last year self isolating, getting through on a day by day basis. Spending so much time with my family last month has made me realize how much moving across country has stripped away all the stress, all the "taking care of" and all the "setting a good example" that I used to hide behind.
Guys, when you strip away "the one that always holds it together and never asks for help"? There's a world of hurt under there. Abandonment hurt. Codependency issues. Anxiety. I'm not saying these things for sympathy or pity, I'm just saying that right now, these are the things I'm struggling with. These are the things I'm finally letting myself feel. I have worked so fucking fuckity fuck hard to be everything my parents were not. My eyes have been so focused on the prize of a normal, stable, responsible life that I willingly ignored my emotional instability.
Yes, I know it's always been there. There's no pretending when a significant other says things like "Are you getting out of bed today? You're acting like a depressed person" or when you've spent hours curled in a ball sobbing like the world is ending. When I bring a significant other to meet my family, it's not to see if they can handle my family or if my family likes them, it's to see if they can handle me when I'm around my family. Every muscle in my body tenses and you can feel (and hear) the stress radiating from my body. I am not fun. Unless you give me some valium or some booze. I wish that were a joke.
So no, I didn't actually think I was as normal and well adjusted as I convince people I am (seriously, if I had a dollar for every "but you're so normal!" or "you're so together"...) but I think I had myself convinced I had done a lot more dealing than I actually had. I had myself convinced I had the issues UNDER CONTROL.
Guess what? They're really not under control. I mean, maybe, maybe I've got my shit more together than a lot of people wrestling with the same demons. But basically all that means is, at least I'm not an addict myself. That's no way to live life. I'm tired of defining myself as somebody who is doing pretty ok FOR WHERE THEY CAME FROM. I just want to be somebody who is doing really well. Period. No excuses.
When I decided that today was going to be a down day after a month of doing all the things, it wasn't about lying in bed and watching tv and taking a break from my emotions and my life, it was about doing the things that help me feel more together and healthier. I cleaned, I organized, did yoga, meditated, finally put my bed frame together and finished reading 1Q84. Did I watch some tv? Yeah. Did I check twitter obsessively? Is that even a question? Did I also choose to schedule a date tomorrow after work instead of today when it could've been at a more normal time and I'm sure the guy would've liked to see me sooner? Yes. Because y'know what? I had shit I needed to do and a self that needed some care and it turns out people don't actually get mad at you for saying that.
I'm working on learning the difference between when I'm just using excuses to talk myself out of something and when I legitimately need to say "no I need some time for myself right now". I think part of that might be having to show real life people (not just people who read this blog) that I'm vulnerable and sometimes I need help. I don't know if I know how to do that, in fact, I'm actually 100% certain I don't, but twenty six seems about time to learn.