Support & Appreciation

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Monday, March 03, 2008

More than alone....

Life is a funny thing.. and emotions are fickle.

Three days ago I was filled with joy and a love for life.

Today... blah is the only word I can think of that somewhat describes my mental and emotional state. Nothing has changed since then. No new events or catastrophes have transpired that can explain my lack of happy. It's just not there anymore.

Since I was a kid I've struggled with being sad. Often with good cause, but sometimes without reason. At least no discernible reason I could or can pin point. Logic, and science and a therapist or two say this is depression. Not a huge deal right? Hundreds of people suffer from depression, some mild, some severe. Well for someone who's a perfectionist with a bit of an obsessive compulsive personality depression just isn't an acceptable option.

Depression means there is something in my body, my head that doesn't work right. Something that's missing something it needs to "make" me happy. So how does someone who is a firm believer that mind over matter is more than just a catch phrase and people are solely and completely responsible for their own happiness explain that she more often than not is unable to be happy? She can't. I can't.

I was the kid who came home and grounded myself in 7th grade for making a B on my report card. I cleaned the whole house and left a note on the kitchen table for my parents that I was grounded and horribly disappointed in myself. I was the kid who cracked her knuckles punching a dent in the paper towel holder in the school bathroom for making 2nd chair in band. As a freshman. Out of about 17 other alto sax players. 1st chair was a senior. I was 1st chair tenor sax out of 2 of us and the ONLY oboe player in the entire band. You read that correctly. That means I played 3 instruments in band. Over achiever much? So depression equals less than perfect, or at least less than the absolute very best I can be, which equals not acceptable.

Therein lies the dilemma. I've been to therapy before. Two different therapists, two different states. The first one wanted to put me on antidepressants by the 3rd visit. I'm ridiculously anti-medication. Reference the above "mind over matter" thing. The second one just told me that I was right in how I felt and everyone in my life was wrong. Yea that helped.

Why am I so hard on myself? Maybe 3rd time will be the charm and a new therapist (yes I'm in search for one) will be more successful in sorting out my deep rooted issues than the previous two. Therapy is even difficult for me. It means I have stuff, crap that I need to talk about so I can deal with it. It means that I've slacked in being able to control my life and my reactions to events, people, etc in it. Again.. less than perfect. Again.. not acceptable.

I think the only reason I've finally gotten to the point where therapy is an option is that allowing things in my life to adversely effect me translates in to not being able to NOT allow them. So if getting an outside unbiased view of how to unscramble the scrambled mess that is my head will enable me to have more control (I'm a bit of a freak about control ) then it can be deemed a somewhat acceptable avenue.

What does any of this have to do with the title of this post you ask?

Allow me to expound:

I've always been a bit of an independent child. My mom told me recently that when I was about 7yrs old I just up and decided that I wanted to be grown. And have been ever since. I've never felt any deep attachment to my parents or many of my other relatives. I love them all dearly, but have never been really close to any of them. I've always been a bit different. Interested in other things, had different views, opposing opinions, wanted other things.

I'd say it was a safe estimate that about 85% of my family have at least at one time if not regularly done drugs. I've never tried a single drug. Ever. Probably 70% of my family drink or participate in some sort of recreational drug use, be it weed, prescription pill abuse or something heavier. I've never been drunk and can count on both hands all the times I've ever actually tasted alcohol. Close to 90% of my family smoke cigarettes. I despise the smell of smoke and won't even touch a cigarette. I've in fact since moving away from my family and not being around smoke for several years have developed an allergy to it. I think it would be a safe guess to say that probably 65+% of my family had sex by or before the age of 16. The first guy I had sex with was also the first guy I french kissed. I was 24.

So needless to say (at least I think it's pretty obvious) I've always felt out of place. In my family, in school, in life in general. I don't buy into much of what she says but Sylvia Browne
said on an episode of Montel (she's a regular guest) that people live several lives, and often when someone feels "out of sorts" or disconnected for most of their life it's because they're living out their "last life". I'm not sure if I believe we live multiple lives or not. I'm not saying we do, I'm not saying we don't. My views on life, spirituality, religion and God have drastically changed over the past couple of years and some things, multiple lifetimes being one of them, I'm just not sure what I believe about anymore. But it, feeling disconnected, definitely struck a cord with me.

Have you ever been in a room full of people, be it family, friends, or just a bunch of strangers in a bar or at a party, and felt like you simply were different than everyone there? That you didn't fit. I've felt that way pretty much every day of my life. I question things most people don't question, I should have a doctorate in over analyzing things and making them more difficult than they should be. I care entirely too much about things that shouldn't matter and can't seem to force myself to give a shit about the things that should. I've more compassion for the plight of a complete stranger than I do for someone who shares the same blood as me.

And I have no idea why.

Again you ask.. are we coming to a point here.. does any of this have anything to do with the title I read wayyyy up there?

I posted a blog a few days ago saying I was going to venture into the world of dating. For the first time in my life. A few days before that I posted about how beautiful Mobile was and how I really enjoyed living here.

I'll wait a minute if you'd like to go back and read to catch up.


Well the thing about being single is you don't have anyone to share all the little things in life that amaze you with. I was single for 25yrs of my life then met and fell in love with my ex-fiance. I went from 25 yrs of sharing nothing with anyone to 3yrs of sharing everything with one person. Then I was single again. Why we broke up is a story that I may or may not share on another day. Long story short, he was abusive, inconsiderate and immature. As if any of those things are ever exclusive of the other.

He was also in my OCD/Perfectionism distorted mind a failure, or more distinctly something at which I failed. I was unable, in spite of everything I tried to make the relationship work. Had I been in my right mind, not saying my my mind is entirely "right" now, but it's come along some, I would have realized that it stopped being a relationship shortly after it begun. It became a dictatorship, an ownership and many other things all of which I was not in control.

Once it ended I was so distraught over so many things, being single again, losing the person who I thought had been my best friend, confidante and lover, going from being able to share everything with someone to once again having no one with which to share anything, that I closed myself off from the outside world rather than risk any chance of being so totally crushed once again. All of the friends I had before we met were guys, which was unacceptable to him so I blindly cut contact with people who had been dear friends. My family couldn't stand him, (hmm think they saw something I didn't, or was unwilling to?) but I was in love so rather than lose him I gradually stopped talking to them. He became my everything, my world. I'd never been in a relationship before and didn't have anything experiences to compare to know that I was digging myself a hole that I'd soon be in completely alone, with no way or one to help me out.

I severed ties with him in November of 2004, which meant I also severed ties with all of his family and friends, who had also become my family and friends. I was alone. I was angry. I was hurt and there was no way I was going to put myself "out there" for someone else to realize I wasn't what they wanted so they could throw me away again. So I stayed alone, angry and hurt. The angry.. for the most part I've worked through and it's faded to just confusion and sadness. The hurt.. I think will probably stay with me for a very long time to some extent. The alone... I'm still there and I'm tired of it.

For a while being alone was ok. It didn't necessarily mean being lonely. I like my space and my privacy. I enjoy time alone reading, or watching movies, or just being. I'm a pro at throwing myself head first up to my eyeballs in something to distract myself from life. Church is one of those things. I have a really hard time doing anything half way and tend to jump full throttle into things and go overboard. For a couple years I searched for what I was missing in church. Not in God.. but in church, in the people, the music, the message, the fellowship. I longed for a feeling of family, of belonging and if you can't feel that in church where can you? At first it was awkward, not knowing anyone, hoping people would notice me and introduce themselves. Then it was nice, being greeted by name when I came in, people asking how I was, telling me they missed me when I didn't make it to service. Then it became awkward again, feeling like I had to make small talk or share myself with people who, although were really nice, I didn't know that well.

I'm complicated and I have this insanely deep rooted fear that if I let people know me.. really know me they'll be disgusted, or disapproving or just not like me. So rather than face possible rejection I just keep everyone out, effectively keeping myself from being hurt by someone else. What I've recently realized though, is that while keeping other people out, I'm keeping myself in, and although I may have prevented someone outside from hurting me, I've hurt myself.

There's a blog I read
Boobs, Injuries & Dr. Pepper that I relate to in a way I'm not sure therapy could even explain. Crystal - the author reminds me a lot of me. She puts in words fears I've yet to fully reveal even to myself. She's found someone who loves her not in spite of, but possibly because of all her quirks, fears, and craziness. She gives me hope. If she ever happens to stumble across my blog I want to say Thank you Crystal, for being yourself, for seeing past your fear and putting yourself out there for the world to see. It's given me the courage to take a step in whatever direction out there is. It may be just one step.. and a baby step at that, but it's a step forward rather than staying stationary, which I've realized just may be worse than taking two steps back.

I guess I said all that to say that I'm lonely.. and alone. and I don't want to be either anymore.

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