I Must See to Believe

Sticking to the promise I made myself earlier this month I have been doing my best to work ahead and get my posts together on my good days. This helps to alleviate the guilt of neglecting something that is important to me on the bad days when I just don’t have what it takes to get a post written and up.

This comes with a real odd form of insight. Most of my posts are written on good days in advance and planned ahead now. When I get the notification a post has gone live I might not even remember writing it so I take a look and wonder who the hell the author was. This comes from reading a good day post on a bad day, of wondering how I ever felt that way, questioning the legitimacy of my feelings on those days I’m soaring high above life.

Have you ever felt like this? The right emotions to describe it somewhat escape me, I feel disconnected from that woman, almost like I’m a fraud. Then of course comes the swing of guilt for not being that woman, for not being able to just be better. Spiralling into the overgeneralization that my entire life is worthless and nothing will ever get better, etc, etc, etc. I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way, but I do wonder how other people deal with this internal struggle. If you’re nodding your head in agreement right now, please let me know in the comments how you deal with this.

When I discuss this shift with my psychologist, who is very empathetic, we can’t come up with that magic wand to just shut it off. There are different tools I can use, like listing the negative thoughts and reviewing them one at a time to combat them with the truth and reality. Sometimes this works, and sometimes the list makes me curl into a ball and cry for an hour. No switch to just shut my mind off unfortunately.

It also makes me cautious in my personal life, again because I work ahead. Family and friends read the post of the day and think that is the person I am today, which unfortunately isn’t always true. They reach out in support when I’m having a great day, post forgotten in my mind. Invitations come on the days I can’t leave the house due to anxiety or numbness. I live my life one day at a time, planning too far ahead makes my stomach churn truthfully. Yet that’s not the reality people in my life see.

Right now it’s 9AM and I’m writing in a hotel lobby bar with semi-decent free coffee and air conditioning that’s ensuring my fingers think it’s December. This is a trip that was planned months ago, a trip that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. It wasn’t until I was in the car driving yesterday (or last week for those not paying attention) that I actually allowed myself to get excited, to be present in the moment, to acknowledge it was happening. Packing the morning of because the idea of doing it the night before travel made me want to throw up.

This is how my life operates now. I’m scheduled for a trip to the other side of the country in just a few days, and while I’m excited that overgeneralizing all-or-nothing brain of mine is spinning faster than a top with all the possible negatives. Visualizing myself sitting on a patio enjoying a cold beer on a hot day with family is impossible, but I can 100% see myself curled up in bed with Netflix and a box of Kleenex. Spending the day on the couch in my pjs semi paying attention to awful daytime tv, ignoring my phone completely comes to my mind instantly. I want to see the positive, I want to see myself sitting across from family enjoying a wonderful dinner full of laughter and fun, but until something has been proven or shown to me I can’t. I must see to believe.

When I think back I know I haven’t always been this way, but I also know that in the past I’ve allowed myself to invest everything into something only to have it fall through which shattered me. Does my caution come from all those previous experiences, or is the realization that I don’t know which me I’ll be until I wake up the reason for this hesitation?

Disappointment. That’s the word I’m looking for. I really dislike disappointment in all its forms, whether that be disappointing others or myself. That’s what I feel on the bad days, disappointed in myself. Where does this drive to be always on, or always good come from? I don’t make promises I can’t keep, believing people must walk the walk as well as talk the talk. But what is worse case scenario? I have a bad day and can’t do something trivial that I had hoped to on a good day, I have to cancel or re-arrange plans? Will this matter in five days or five minutes? Probably not, but my brain always goes there. Guess this is just something else for me to work on.

That will have to wait for another day though, my travelling companion has finally gotten out of bed so I’m off to live in the moment and find me some great eggs in this foreign city. Have an awesome day dear reader, whatever you find yourself doing.