there really hasn't been so much progress on the whole "new way of
looking at life and myself" front that I mentioned in my last entry.
One typically doesn't start off approaching life with a new worldview
by having the worst week of one's life.
I mean, granted, if you're serious about your approach, it really ought to be able to get you through the worst week of your life. It just doesn't usually happen right away, and when it does, it wreaks havoc on your well-laid plans to improve yourself (not to mention everything else it wreaks havoc on).
I've thought a little bit about how to approach this journal entry, since the subject is vastly more personal than anything I've ever talked about before in this format. I considered leaving it out and trying to avoid the topic for awhile. But as this is what has, quite literally, filled my thoughts almost every moment of the last days, there's nothing else to write about. Anyway, it might help me process, and it will definitely help me kill time so that I'm exhausted enough when I go to bed to fall asleep instead of lying awake thinking-- something absolutely crucial. Besides, as always, these writings are about understanding me and the way I think and feel. I'm not looking for pity or sympathy; I think I've pretty much gotten that already, not that it was ever my goal. It's all about making sense of things for me, and insight for others.
Of course, I'm certainly not going to write any of the details of the situation. I'm not sure who exactly my readers are, but anyone who doesn't know what is going on is not likely to get an explanation from me, at least in the near future, while those who know, know. (Although if you think you know, you quite possibly don't know the whole of it. Don't judge my intensity of feeling if you don't understand why. I have my reasons.)
It's amazing how slowly time moves when you're miserable. It's hard to believe that I've only been through five days of this so far. When every unoccupied moment leads to your mind being filled with torturous thoughts, you experience every moment completely, one after another, and there's no such thing as looking at the clock and wondering how an hour or half-hour has passed already. And beyond the unoccupied moments, the thoughts press into lectures or reading if you're not completely focused, mealtime while you're not talking, TV commercials, walking from place to place. By the time you crawl into bed, morning seems like ages ago, since you've had thousands of thoughts a thousand times over since then. And when the lights go out and there's not a single thing to distract you, the thoughts are at their worst. You can't just let them go and drift off to sleep; you need to wait until sheer exhaustion has the power to pull you away from them.
Part of me feels like I've got to do something about all this pain, that I can't go on living in this way, that I need to find a new way of relating to these powerful emotions. But with something this important, I can't just snap my fingers and be able to reasonably come to terms with and moderate my feelings. In essence, I have the options of either feeling this fully in all its turmoil or choking off the emotions and trying to not care. And I know perfectly well that the second alternative is not healthy. It's not good for me in the long term, and it would interfere with the good that I can salvage from this situation. Besides, I don't like how I get when I'm trying to ignore my emotions-- irritable, sulky, grating, disconnected from others. Although the costs seem minor compared to how what I'm feeling now is affecting me emotionally, I just know it's not the right thing to do.
So that leaves me to hang on and go through each painful day at a time, waking up every morning with the sickening feeling that something is terribly wrong and hoping desperately that it's just a bad dream. It's getting a little easier day by day as I get used to it; the thoughts are just as painful as they ever were, but as the shock is starting to wear off, the thoughts don't intrude quite as much anymore and it's possible to find a few minutes of distraction and peace when I don't remember it, and actually feel genuinely happy without that ache that has been my constant companion. And I'm coming to terms with the fact that as much as this feels like the worst time of my life, things could certainly be a lot worse. I've lost something very precious, but I haven't lost everything that's important to me, and as acutely painful as it is to think about the current situation, I can't get so carried away with the hurt that I don't hang on to what I have and end up losing that too. (Just don't even try to figure that out if it doesn't immediately make sense.)
And as much as this has devastated me, I think I've handled it in a much better way than I would've at other times. I've got a certain amount of inner strength to fall back on that I'm not used to-- I feel great pain, but I don't feel that old familiar sense of collapse, that I can't take it. Being strong doesn't mean it hurts one iota less, but it means that you know that you are going to eventually get over it and be okay as a person.
keep getting up in the morning and going through each day and trying to
get to that point. The situation that's causing all this hurt doesn't
look to be ceasing any time soon, and I need to stop playing around with
"what ifs" and accept that. (The situation is one torture; the
fact that it could occur is a separate one. The first can disappear in
an instant-- not that I expect it to-- but the second needs time and effort
and commitment to fix. Much of the pain of the situation itself is that
it cuts off the ability to fully heal and fix the more profound hurt.)
Life hurts right now, but I don't need to and shouldn't hold my breath
waiting for the situation to disappear-- I'll eventually be okay no matter
what happens in this situation. Granted, it'll take me a lot longer to
be okay when I'm dealing with this, but in the long term, I need to be
able to be okay with myself irregardless of anything outside of me. And
I will be. It's just going to take a lot of time...
7 December, 2002
Intellectual Property Rights denounced by Britt Gordon-McKeon, 2002