What a day this turned out to be! On check in at the beginning of the day, I reported in as feeling okay, and indeed I did – or so I thought.
We began with a guided visualisation – a relaxation exercise, which although I felt positively toward, I had reservations about letting myself go fully (I remembered the one we had done a few weeks ago, which seemed to have triggered a full on Crohn’s attack) We were asked to report back on our feelings about the process to the rest of the group, and take some time to fully measure the the impact of this exercise on our thoughts and feelings. The phrase that had resonated with me throughout the exercise had been “I am the creator of my own mental state” – it had frightened me, I mean really frightened me. Am I? I don’t want to take full responsibility for my thoughts – at least not all of the time. For the most part they are okay – if I keep myself busy enough that they don’t have the time or space to start running wild (just one of the reasons why I love to listen to people – it fills my head with their thoughts, pushes my own out of the way for a while) but there are times when – I don’t even want to say; the self-indulgence of fully owning up to the depths of my internal darkness is so ugly and ungracious…
Our tutor, on reflection of the feedback coming from the group at large, suggested that we consider why we were thinking in such polarities; the concept of ‘letting go’ appearing so frightening – maybe the idea of gently loosening my grip would be more appeasing, and easier for me to deal with? Relaxed or tense? What about the ‘inbetween space’? Is it possible to gently weave the two together, so that they can co-exist within me? Is that possible for someone like me? Do I create my bipolarity myself? With strength, can I be ‘normal’? I know that I want to, so badly. I want to walk a calm steady line between the two places, want to be able to accept new emotions occurring within me without fear, I want to be peaceful and comfortable with the natural ebbs and flows, not feeling tension as though I am about to be engulfed by a tsunami whenever any fluctuation occurs. Maybe this is the real reason why I cry so easily? I am constantly on edge, afraid of myself…
This took us on to the next exercise – a revisit to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This just about finished me off! From extremes; happy and comfortable when I arrived this morning – in a nice comfortable state of denial, pushing thoughts of what my life are really like out, out, OUT of my head, to letting them come flooding back in, and feeling myself being pushed under by the weight of the water. Thinking about my needs – where do I sit on the scale of need? It’s a joke really; here I am, reading my existentialist literature – contemplating my navel, effectively, trying to formulate a strategy for my self-actualisation, when my biological, physiological, and my safety needs are not even met yet!
I am often ill. I often do not have enough money to feed myself and my children properly. I don’t have a comfortable place to sleep. I have no security, or feelings of safety or stability. I am scared, all the time; of what will happen to me if I get really ill again, of legal and financial hangovers from my marriage and business still; of my ex-husband finding out, and coming to find me; of my whole network of friends and family getting sick of having to help me so much; of my kids rejecting me again, and worst of all – of myself, of my need to continuously torture myself with the worst, and my unnecessary self-flagellation. I AM DOING MY BEST! What do I expect of myself? Everyone tells me to ease up on myself, that my current situation is not my fault – it is down to circumstances out of my control, but I just can’t fully believe that; there is a (quite large) part of me that believes that I have created this state of affairs through my manic behaviour. In fact I know I have, and that the rest of the world is being kind to me by not saying it. But then, what does blame matter now? I am here, I am living it, and I am the one trying so hard to make things up that I am driving myself to breaking point again.
SELF- CARE. Take self-care.
So I did; I recognised how absolutely horrendous I felt. I knew that the introspection that being at college demanded of me was making me feel even worse. I could feel my stomach knotting, tightening, twisting, and I could feel my thoughts spinning. When my tutor asked me a question, I spoke up. I told her how I felt, and I asked if anyone would mind me leaving early on this occasion.
Luckily for me, they didn’t, and so I went home, and took myself straight to bed.
It was too much.