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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Self Soothing

By logging in, you’ll have full access to this otherwise, sort of, well, watered down version.  However, there are topics of depression and SI which may be triggering or distressing, so please be aware in advance in case you aren’t up to reading “the full story.”

{if username == "chris"} Um, yeah, Chris, some of this stuff is about you.  Just as a heads up. {/if}

During our most recent counseling session, I was told that I can’t rely on TDO all of the time (shouldn’t rely on TDO all of the time?) for comfort and support and that I should either turn to my “support network” or that I should practice “self soothing”.  I don’t believe that was the exact wording she used, but close enough, and I was able to do some ‘net research and soul searching.

I’m doing what I can, but it’s really, really hard, and I’m really, really bad at it. 

I started by trying to figure out what exactly it is that I need - and how much if it TDO either can’t/won’t provide.  Then I started to make a list of people I knew - even people with whom I’m not really “friends” - who basically “had what I needed.”  At one point I dragged poor Libby into an IM conversation which lasted hours long.  She was very gracious and let me emotionally puke to her for hours.  It was nice to feel that support and love and acceptance.  I told her things I don’t even know I could tell HTL.  It was good to just unload and I’m really grateful.  It was a start, but there are/were other things that I need, so I kept plugging through my list.  (I’m not very good at lists, either.)

Last night I turned to a friend to ask a “comfort” related favor (which I was adamantly told wasn’t a favor - that people who care about each other just do for each other because they care) for during/after surgery, since it’s something I’m very anxiety ridden over and things turned sort of messy.  I won’t go into the long, painful details, but basically I was told, “It’s not that I don’t want to hold you up, it’s that I want to see you stand on your own.  You need to do this by yourself.”

That’s total paraphrasing, but it was close enough to the gist that I’ll leave it at that.

My heart ultimately broke.  I don’t think my friend was wrong, I just feel like I’m carrying SO much right now and that it’s too much - like I can’t do it.  It’s too hard.  Yeah, yeah, whine whine too hard, suck it and move on, sister, right? It wasn’t rejection, and I know this logically, but it felt like it.  It was someone saying, “You need to figure this out yourself.”  I also think this friend, in particular, feels that TDO should be the one taking care of this and frankly, TDO won’t/can’t.  I can do it myself.  I will.  But when I do that’s wrong, too.

I was pretty hurt that the pack didn’t even offer a “goodbye, thanks for the memories” card at the last meeting - at the crossover that I pulled together at a moment’s notice for kids that weren’t even mine - and so I bought myself flowers.  It made me feel better.  But then I was berated and chided because I hurt the feelings of at least 3 other people who felt bad because I DID take care of myself but they felt the message was, “You didn’t take care of me.”  So… I should not do what I need to take care of myself when others won’t/don’t/can’t? 

I’m confused.

Depression has set in big time - some situational, some genetic, some from the fucking meds that I hate worse than anything.  I’m sure I could take meds to counter the meds, but I’m already a zombie most of the time.  I don’t need to be an emotional zombie, too.  For all my ups and downs and craziness, for all of the blaring hot hate and dreary dark depression, I like the thrilling joys and moments of elation based on silly things like, I dunno, finding a diet cherry coke in the fridge.  I am who and what I am.  It is what it is.  I don’t want to lose that, too, not in the midst of feeling like I’m losing everything else.

It’s this depression which is clouding a lot of my judgment, I realize.  But a lot of this really doesn’t make sense.  In my parents’ house, I was taught to be unobtrusive and to keep my “neediness” to myself.  “Deal with it,” was an infamous saying in our house.  Don’t go to others.  Don’t expect praise or assistance or advice.  Do it yourself or don’t do it at all.  At my grandparents’ house it was all about, “Oh, pull yourself up by the bootstraps and go!”  “Smile and be positive!” Ignore it - and it’ll go away.  No one ever taught me HOW to take care of myself, except to “be sweet and nice” and just pretend everything is ok even when it’s not.  Or to hide it and pretend it doesn’t exist.

So I’m flailing.  I’m trying to figure out this “self soothing” stuff, but it definitely doesn’t come natural.  Did I mention I suck at it?

Posted by Liberty on 02/26 at 04:52 PM
Posted under: ColorfulSee-ThroughThe Soundtrack

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Chuck Chuck  at  02/27/11 01:52 AM

Liberty, even though we don’t get together as much as when you lived closer, I still think of you as one of my closest friends.  I always care about and look out for my close friends.  If there is ever ANYTHING I can do for you, just ask.  If it is something I can do, I will.  I am also always available if you need someone to talk to…I am a great listener. 

I’ve been worried about you these last few months, but haven’t really seen any way I could do anything for you. It’s been hard for me because I am a “fixer”...I want to help everyone.

Hopefully I can get up there to visit “soon”.  I miss seeing all of you, and it’s been way too long.

So, just keep on going, one day at a time if you have to…but, always remember you have good friends, and you don’t have to do everything alone.

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