I am currently having a difference of opinion with someone who is trying to help me with my current emotional struggles. He is quite convinced it’s due to me being around family; I feel that it’s more due to unfulfilled expectations (that delightful cycle that I keep kicking myself for re-entering) in a certain relationship and feeling brutally alone.
And I really hate it when this happens. When my perception of what’s going on and someone else’s, whom I trust and respect, and when I get to talk to this person even briefly I’m elated, is so vastly different that it makes me feel just…lost. And frustrated. Extremely frustrated because I don’t feel listened to, and I’m trying to not pursue that thought because it hasn’t led anywhere good before.
So now I’m wrestling with this. I’m trying to trust what he says, because he is quite perceptive. I am working on grounding myself, taking time to pray, to renew my mind through studying God’s Word, taking up the shield of faith, resting in the peace of God, and keeping aware of my emotional state and taking time apart from others to re-establish or strengthen these things as I need it. Then from this, hopefully, grounded state I can go and interact with people.
At the same time, I know that over the last few days the more I spend time alone, the more alone I feel. And not the ‘oh thank God, I can just be myself and focus on what I want to and not be interrupted or have to deal with anyone else for a blessed while’ kind of alone. And I know too that dwelling on that is not going to take me to a good place. It gets easier when I am doing something, when I am purposeful and focused, but I have to push back against those thoughts over and over and over, and it’s exhausting. I was thinking earlier today that perhaps part of why I feel alone is I keep hoping for companionship from one particular person, and that particular person has been quite unavailable, and now today again we could talk some, but said person is busy again. I perhaps ought to be looking for some companionship elsewhere too.
Which is rough, because what I really want is the kind of companionship where I can tell someone anything and I don’t feel like I have to fight to explain myself, to be heard, to be understood, or to defend how I think and feel all the time. That’s not something I find very often, hence my preference for the aforementioned particular person. But I need to not be quite so excruciatingly alone. I definitely do not want to be dealing with a small-talk situation, God help me. And I don’t want a big group of people either. For the next while, though, I can go upstairs and be working and writing at the kitchen table while my Dad and his wife are watching TV. I can converse a little, and not feel guilty for sequestering myself away the entire time I’m here (that makes it sound like this is an awful place to be and I’m avoiding people – I’m not, I’m just trying to find the balance between the alone time I need and the time I need and want to spend with my family). And during that, I think that if I can keep aware of my emotions and move myself downstairs to have some peace and quiet and solitude, as I did the other night in the nick of time, when I need it then I might do better.
Balanced with the suggested detoxing. I wonder if the person who suggested this is under the impression that I am spending all of my time around other people – while that was the case for December 24 and 25, it has been only half the day at most that I’m around anyone at all. If it was all people all the time, then the easy answer would be alone time with minimal contact with other persons. But when my alone time is making me miserable too…I just feel like there’s something else.
Maybe I am picking up on things from my family members here (I think that was part of what this person was getting at? Maybe. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, and maybe I can find out more when he is available for further comment), and maybe there is someone or several someones here who are feeling very alone and upset. I do know that I can trace a pretty distinct path in my emotional and mental state related to the expectations I mentioned above, so I am pretty convinced that’s part of what I’m dealing with.
Then I found this picture while sorting through files on my computer:
It occurred to me that maybe I need to detox from those frustrations and discouragements too, more than I realised. I don’t want to go into details about a story that isn’t mine to tell, but the crux of it is I have been feeling like things are kind of one-sided again, I got my hopes up regarding some messaging expectations which didn’t really happen, I am bothered by a few things that went on, and as much as I have been working on not letting my mind dwell on negative thoughts, replacing those negative thoughts with good thoughts, putting my energy not into feeling sorry for myself but in projects and reading and Bible study and prayer and spending time with those whom I get to be with at the moment, I do still have some negative feelings from that (primarily, the aforementioned loneliness and now some frustrations because I don’t feel particularly heard). And that person was dealing with some incredibly difficult things, and perhaps I’ve picked up a bit of that, or at least I’m still dealing with the concern I felt and confusion and even frustration at times. Maybe I need to detox even from the people trying to help me.
Not that they are doing wrong by trying to help me, and I certainly don’t want them to stop or stay away. I appreciate them, and I don’t think their efforts or presence is the problem by any means. It’s just that we all have negative things in our lives, to not put too fine a point on it, and sometimes I catch a cold from someone who was wonderfully well-meaning and loving when they gave me a hug. The content could have been 100% right, and the delivery just bruised me up, and now I need some recovery (this one is a big maybe, I don’t like pointing fingers at someone else’s efforts, and I definitely don’t want to indulge in excuses). I just wonder if maybe I need to detox from the things that are frustrating me and making me cry and wearing me out, and perhaps that’s not just work and certain family members and a group chat. Maybe it’s the rest of the family and the helpful people I really want to be around too.
So that’s sort of my plan for the next few days. Not totally cutting myself off from others, that is not good for me, but being very deliberate about it, preparing myself first, detoxing after, keeping as aware as possible during and at the first sign of trouble, booking it out of there so I don’t let it become a problem. I’m also making myself prioritise keeping my space tidied, taking care of myself physically, as well as spiritually, taking time to read and write, to work on good projects, then to do some chores (something constructive that is not just reading and writing), before I do the distraction things online and such. And, most of all, and most difficult of all, limiting the days I get to check work and school emails to only three specific days now (and only once on those days) during the remainder of holidays, and leaving any chats and messaging until after I’ve done those priority things on my list.
We’ll see how it goes. I think I feel decently unfucked, and I’m going to spend a little time with other people, just enjoying company while not being obligated to talk. Which to me, is loveliness sometimes. And hopefully I will continue to unfuck myself for the rest of holidays.
That would be quite productive of me.