Today’s Happy Note: Walking through the evening air after a very long day. It had just rained and it totally cleared my head and calmed me down. The night sky is the most wonderful deep purple in summer and I feel like the stars are shining especially for me.
Workout: Squeezed in a quick 3.5 mile run in the late afternoon. Also probably walked another 3 miles throughout the day. Still having trouble waking up early to workout. *Sigh*, maybe next week.
Today was a bit confusing. Both stressful and soothing — it was a difficult day to begin with because I had a lot to do for both jobs, and getting deep into my inner thoughts and self was a sort of added pressure. I ended up taking part of the afternoon off work, which helped me get my thoughts straight.
Part of the reason I felt overwhelmed was that our conversation was all over the place. I just had a lot on my mind and we sort of bounced around. This is usually okay, but today it just added to the stress snowball! There was a common theme though: punishing myself/feeling consistently bad about myself and believing that I deserve to feel consistently bad. This came through in everything we talked about — from my sleep patterns to my relationship with my father. It’s not a feeling that’s always there, but it is present in so many things I do and it is not soothing nor is it productive. One thing I am eternally grateful to L for is pointing out moments when I judge myself. Which is pretty much all the time. L likes to emphasize that both the frequency and intensity of my feeling bad/sad can and will be lessened. I believe her and trust her a lot but don’t feel so hopeful/confident myself. I guess I do believe that I can grow and change and relate better to others, it’s just that feeling bad/sad is what I know. Learning how to feel good more often (I do sometimes, as L reminded me!) is scary. I am not sure what this might mean. It sounds fun, but I’m apprehensive. I think that, looking at the bigger picture, I have already moved towards feeling good/happy more in the past 9 months with L. So a part of me is hopeful that I can feel that way more often.
“Bad” Caronae looks like: not fun, too loud, unloveable, gloomy, too shy around others, unattractive. “Good” Caronae looks like the real me; it’s how I actually feel when I do believe in myself: tall, nice hair, creative, funny, active, loving, kind, fun to be around.
I feel like I am unhappy or “bad” because a part of me deserves this; like that’s how I’m meant to be. I told L a story about some of my sleep problems lately — nightmares/waking up all night and oversleeping in the morning, then stressing out about it all the rest night — and concluded by saying something along the lines of “and therefore this is bad and I am bad.” While this seemed like an obvious connection to me, she didn’t buy it. It was refreshing to hear her say that a minor disruption or disturbance in my life is okay. I can manage these things. They do not mean I am a bad person nor do they have to make a bad day. I definitely replicate this kind of situation all the time in my everyday life.
L is always telling me to “just sit” or “be” with my feelings but I have had trouble understanding this. Today I asked her to explain what she meant: she said that by experiencing our feelings and then letting them pass, eventually, we learn that we can deal with them and they will be less intense in the future. The thing is: I am already a pretty intense “feeler”. I spend a lot of time feeling things — that’s part of the reason I can’t sleep half the time! Am I doing something wrong? Am I not feeling things properly? Am I somehow secretly turning away from my feelings? I just feel confused because if (a) feeling things or being with my feelings is truly supposed to make things better and (b) I already do this then (c) what am I supposed to do and (d) why hasn’t it worked before?
L accused me of trying to change the subject at one point when I was talking about my feelings surrounding father’s day. I find father’s day upsetting and difficult and it always leaves me unsettled. I have been totally out of it the last few days thinking about it. What it means to be a father or a daughter. To relate to our parents. To forgive past mistakes. Obviously, it was uncomfortable to talk about these things. Maybe I was trying to change the subject. I don’t know. I guess I’m just not really sure what “sitting with” my feeling in this instance would mean. I know that I talk about things a lot — I acknowledge what’s going on with me; I am honest with L. I am just not sure what else I must do…
It’s kind of funny writing this. I feel like I am judging myself and using a lot of good/bad and right/wrong thinking. L hates this kind of thing! She would tell me I’m not doing anything wrong at all and that whatever path is unfolding before me is the one that is supposed to be there. Maybe I need to have faith in that. At the same time, I am just so anxious to improve or get better. But I am also beginning to have a major realization — therapy might not be about “improving” or “getting better.” Rather, maybe it’s about just exploring and relating with L. I think I want to trust myself and not be so obsessed with changing. Many people like me the way I am, and I know that I will have opportunities to meet new friends and mates in my life. I think I have some faith, at this moment, that L is helping me learn and grow in new directions. Certainly I have worked hard to explore and talk and discover.
Sometimes meditating a bit helps me at times like this. It helps me remember that, as L points out during the bad times, things aren’t always bad.
I feel like if I weren’t “bad” or “deserving punishment” someone would love me, romantically speaking. It’s frustrating to feel like no one wants to be with you and that you’re no fun. It seems useful to understand the origins of my feelings; why I feel a certain way at a certain time. But I feel frustrated about the lack of romantic love in my life all the time. Outside of a date once or twice a year, it really is all the time. I am not sure if this is something that will simply pass in a year or two (or a month or two). I truly don’t know. I do know that I don’t like it. That I want to love and be loved. And, going back to something I said earlier, I think I just want to have faith in my ability to grow, and the possibility of good things happening.
It is nice to hear L tell me that things will be better. This is encouraging. I feel frustrated that my bad/sad self seems tied to so many relationship problems (family, friends, romance). But I am beginning to believe in me. That’s a start.