It’s the last day of 2015, which is surreal to me. Where the hell has this year gone? Looking back, it seems as if so much has happened, and yet, so little. On a social media level, I’ve pulled back from talking about politics as much and have mostly stuck to posting cute cat GIFs and videos, joking with friends, and occasionally bringing up a topic of interest that might or might not be political. I’ve come to the conclusion that social media is not the best medium for political discourse because of the inherent restrictions, and I haven’t regretted not being as politically involved as I used to be. Concerning my writing, I am pleased that I’ve gotten back into the habit of writing on a daily basis. I used to do that effortlessly, and then I stopped writing entirely for roughly a year. There were several reasons for it, and while it made sense at the time, it made me sad because writing is as necessary as breathing to me. I’ve said before that I write, therefore I am, and that’s never been more evident than in the time when I wasn’t writing.
I’m proud that I was able to stick to my goal of writing a post every day in the month of December (assuming that I’ll finish this one, which I will), even if most of the posts were filled with rambling thoughts that didn’t make a cohesive whole. One of my issues is that I’m a perfectionist, which means I’ll quit if I don’t think something is good enough. The problem with that is I rarely think anything I do is ‘good enough’, so I usually can talk myself out of publishing a post that isn’t word-perfect. I have several posts sitting in my drafts folder, languishing, because I refuse to touch them again. By publicly declaring that I would publish a post a day, I forced myself to write posts that I otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s silly that I have to put such artificial constraints on myself in order to make myself publish, but it worked, so I can’t be that mad about it.
I’ve realized that I still have trouble writing and publishing posts that I consider inflammatory, but I managed to do it, even if I had to lock one of the posts in order to do so. I accept that I have to create reasons for myself to do things I want to do, but won’t for one reason or the other. I’m not happy about it, but I will continue doing it if it means I actually get shit done. I mentioned in a previous post that I want to write and edit one or two trilogies in the next year as long as an anthology of short stories, so my short-term goal concerning those will be to finish the first book of each trilogy in January, at least the rough draft. One is already done, and I have about fifty more pages of the other before it’s done as well. Depending on how that goes, I’d also like to finish the first drafts of all the stories I want to write for my anthology, but I think I may need more than a month to do that. I don’t want to set myself up for failure, but I also don’t want to stop pushing myself when it comes to writing.
On a personal level, I would like to find a good therapist in January, by the end of February at the latest. The more I write about my issues, the more I realize that I can’t handle them on my own. I was burned out on therapy by the time I terminated with my last therapist in the summer of 2014, but a year and a half later, I know that I need to get back to it. It’s not what I want to do; I resent that I have to do it, but I’m also grateful that it’s an option for me. I have the fiscal means to see a therapist, and I don’t have the guilt or shame in seeing one that many people do. I do think I should be able to do this on my own, but I know that there’s no shame in needing some help. My biggest problem with finding a good therapist is that some of the things I am looking for may not readily be available. i would like an Asian person, but it has to be a nontraditional Asian person. It also has to be someone who is knowledgeable in LBGTQ issues, sexual trauma, EDs, PTSD, BPD, OCD, avoidant personality issues, attachment issues, depression, anxiety, and codependency. i don’t care if it’s a man or a woman, though I’ve only had one male therapist–my first one, in fact. I used to only want women, but it’s not as big of an issue for me these days. The last thing is that it has to be someone who is intelligent enough to know when I’m bullshitting him/her or dancing around the issues. The type of therapy isn’t important to me, either, as I think there is merit in many kinds of therapy.
I really want to get the more egregious of my mental health issues under control this year. I’ve let them dictate my life for far too long, and I’m tired of it. I recently had a dream in which I was in a dirty public bathroom. The pipes weren’t working, and there was sewage on the ground. The toilet was disgusting and overflowing. Water represents emotions (in general), and the meaning of the dream couldn’t be clearer–I have a lot of emotional shit that I need to deal with. As an aside: bathrooms in video games are usually filthy as well. I think it’s for the same reason-it’s a way of emphasizing that the situation you’re in is untenable.
The main ones I want to tackle are my inability codependency and my negative outlook–both about myself and about life in general. These two things are a manifestation of so many of the issues I outlined above, and they are dominating my life. I was trying to articulate in a previous post how my overwhelming desire to agree with other people make me feel like a fraud and a hypocrite in my head. It also alienates me because I feel as if I’m hiding the true me because it’s not acceptable. I have a hard time telling anyone that I feel really depressed or anxious or bad in general, even close friends, and then I end up feeling even more isolated. I realized a decade or so ago that my ability to appear ‘up’ or at least on an even keel even when I’m depressed is a hindrance to me. Now, I can tell friends that I’m feeling a bit down, but I can’t say, “I’m really depressed. Help.” I think this is one case in which my ability to write isn’t necessarily a positive because when I write about my depression, I can make it sound like it’s less than it really is. I’ve always been able to dissimulate, and the few times I can’t, I simply disappear until I can.
When someone asks me how I’m doing, I inevitably answer, “I’m all right! How are you?”, while the voice in my head is saying, “Shitty. I hate my life. Life sucks. Why am I even bothering? There’s no point to this or life” on an almost-constant loop. It’s much softer now than it has been in the past, and I rarely have the urge to drive my car into a barrier, for example*. It’s a low-key murmur rather than a full-throated scream. I don’t have the sobbing fits I used to have, either, at least not to the extent I used to have them. I’m able to tell myself when I’m being unreasonable in feeling that no one loves me or cares if I died. More to the point, I actually know it’s true, even if I’m not always able to feel it. These are huge markers of progress for me, but they feel like nothing when I look at how much more work I have to do. I know I’m fucked up. I know what’s wrong with me (mostly. We all have our blind spots). I just can’t change it fast enough to suit myself. And, I still have that voice in my head that says, “If you do that, no one will love you.” That’s the default admonishment, and it’s hard to break free from it, even when I know it’s not true.
I’m so tired of working on myself. I know it’s a lifelong process and that I will die before I’m done, but it feels like too much sometimes. I can’t help resenting that because of my childhood and my family, I have to spend decades undoing the damage that has been done. Yes, I know it doesn’t help to be bitter. Yes, I know that other people have it as bad if not worse than I do. Yes, I know that if I don’t do it, no one will. Yes, I know that the longer I put it off, the more life I will have wasted. I know all that shit, and I don’t care right now. Life is not enjoyable to me, even when i’m doing something I like or am with people I love. I’m tired all the time, no matter how much or how little I sleep. Which, by the way, is either too much or too little. I used to sleep four hours a night/morning (which is definitely too little), but now it pings anywhere from five hours to eight. I know the latter might not seem like too much, but it is for me. I feel the best when I sleep anywhere from from six to seven hours, and by best, I mean not totally shitty. While I am grateful that I am not almost catatonic as I used to be ten or fifteen years ago, I still feel like taking my balls and going home. I know it’s childish and whiny, but I just want to be fixed already. I know it’s work, which I feel like I’ve being doing for so fucking long. I went to my first therapist when I was fourteen, and I’ve been seeing them on and off for thirty years. I don’t want to do it again! But I know that if I don’t, I’ll just continue to struggle with these issues, making minimal progress as I go. I just gotta suck it up and woman up and do this shit.
Sigh. Anyway, as this year winds down, I’m pensive. There is a possibility of a big change in 2016, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I hope y’all have a good evening and if you’re going out to celebrate, please be responsible. If you’re going to drink, don’t drive. If you’re the DD, watch out for the other drivers and know that I feel your pain. As a lifelong teetotaler, I’m the DD, and it’s not always fun. See you all in 2016–may it be a better year than this one.
*Which I used to battle every time I went driving. i also used to ‘fall asleep’ when I drove, which, more accurately, was me fuguing and not being aware that I was at the wheel. I’d come to in a start ten minutes later, not knowing how I got where I was. This went on for a few years, and I’m really glad that I didn’t cause any accidents while it was happening. It also happened my second year in college for a semester–I’d trance out while talking to someone, only to come back to myself several minutes later with the person I’ve been talking to not even knowing I’d left. This happened in class as well, and despite it, I managed to get all ‘A-‘s.