Hangovers. Why is it easy to understand, commiserate with, and tease someone and one’s self, when it comes to an actual alcohol hangover, yet emotional distress is picked on, discounted, hidden, ignored, or not even on one’s radar? I process recovery issues everyday to the nth degree, yet even I missed it. WTH?
This was not the case last Saturday. Last week I canceled my plans from noon to midnight because I absolutely could not go out into the world, act like a normal person, be festive and engaging, and put off how I felt for another 7 days. Hell, no. When I could not function, and I stopped to ask myself how I felt, the answer was, “totally beat up”. The previous post was why.
Today I felt similarly. My realization today is that for me, feeling and moving at the same time is amazingly difficult. I think I spent so many years not feeling, that now, feeling is so heavy. I think my problem today is leftovers from 40 hours of WTH? on top of last week’s heavy hitters. This might not just be a hangover, but also a Back Log. As my drill downs exposed, I have decades of back logged emotions. No wonder growing up was so hard. For me it was slow, complicated, unexpressed, full of holes and questions and confusion. It was far too much in some spots and desolate in others. Much of my emotional life was unprocessed, piled up, and buried. Overtime I came to believe my pain was resolved, out-grown, unimportant, or would be taken care of “later”.
Last week proved otherwise as did this week. Apparently I now poop out like other people. Yeah me! But not like other people, I now take a nit comb to EVERYTHING. Not like others who still let the hamster wheel roll; I flat stop. Stopping, I think is the hardest part of recovery. Nobody thinks they have time. For me, I allocate the time. I think of stopping my day’s plans as repairing the broken, healing the injury, cleaning the wound, comforting the hurt, resting the exhausted, finding the lost, and of course recording what the heck happened. I write to know what I really think and feel. I write because as in the last post, the surface issue is not the true problem.
Getting to this point took grit. I had to learn to not give a rodent’s behind. I had to learn to let go of appearances, expectations, lists, sales to get to, and fears around deprivation, exclusion, and judgement. The idea that things won’t be there again has less of a grip on me. With this lessening, I can step back in trust to tend to myself. The is NEW. This is a brand new realization for me, a brand new reaction, and therefore a new behavior on my part.
The not caring part had to come first. What I mean is I had to take that Self that I recently assembled, and not care about anything but that new Self. As a female this is tough. As a parent, doing it now, this late in the game, total killer. As a person previously tending to give to the point of self destruction, murderous. But here’s the thing- all that giving of myself before, not so true. Most of what I’ve given away most of my life was to perpetuate the survival of a needless cameleon self or false self. Dysfunction came to me to survive. Today I survive just fine. In fact, I am slowly stepping out of sheer survival and into a small measure of comfort. This is totally new and different for me. Additionally, I have learned over the last three years that to continue to survive the dysfunction has to go. To thrive the dysfunction has to vamoose. I now STOP and care for only myself when I have to. (In a way, being alone is a blessing. I am thinking hard on situations where people are not alone and need to just stop.)
Then came the trust. Trust is difficult for me. I am usually convinced that whatever it is will never happen again, come around again, still be there later, or there will be a way again. About literally everything. They won’t invite me again, the money won’t be there again, I won’t have the time next time, it won’t be the same again, I won’t be here…. Given my history, there is a ton of evidence to support these fears. I’ve had way too many losses, changes, unknowns, denials, withdrawals, and deprivations. These particular fears are gnarly because they happened. Trusting myself with myself, trusting those in close contact with me, trusting the Cosmos, majorly difficult. This new feeling thing, it’s freaking exhausting! For me, getting tired of fighting is a good thing. At times I have to say, “to hell with it”.
I am sure that both “to hell with it” and trust benefits from the relief I feel after letting something go. Often times I just need to mentally release myself, then process it, then sometimes let whatever burr was there free. Often, then I can carry on with whatever I may have bailed on in my “to hell with it” mode. Or not. Last Saturday I didn’t regain my emotional stability in time to send out a text that I was ready to join the fun. I tried. No go. I was down for the count until morning. Another thing I have learned is I can regain my peace by letting go, tending to myself, and preparing for the next thing. I think it might be called Maturity.
That night I gathered myself. I ironed my entire ironing pile, laundered my clothes for the next week, cleaned my pets, organized my purse, work bag, and gym bag, and ordered a king sized feather topper. Then I wrote something for Sunday’s church service and went to bed.
And it was okay.