Thursday, September 24, 2009

The anchor

Therapy have been hard going recently. Not in a bad sense, but it's just been hard work with much to think about (particularly between sessions) regarding where I want to go and what I want to do. I say I want a better life, I say I want something more, but it's been difficult to define exactly what those things are.

It's hard enough trying to figure out what my preferences are. For so long, my preferences have never really been taken into account. While it can be somewhat exciting to explore the possibilities, those possibilities also overwhelm me.

On Tuesday, I came up with this analogy of a ship with an anchor. I told V I was looking for my anchor - something to hold me onto Life. I said that most people have an anchor (some people may have more than one) - whether it is their family, their child(ren), or their job, or hobby. Whatever it is, it's what makes them want to wake up the next day and the next day and keep going no matter what. Something that replaces the option of death.

For me, right this moment, it feels as though I am a ship without an anchor, and I am tossed and thrown about with every wave and I come too damn near a ship wreck whenever there is a storm.

Despite a certain level of stability (no more impulsive overdoses and self harm episodes), I still find myself in despair, I still find myself in that muck, struggling just to get through those moments.

Yesterday would have been a typical example - I have been forced to take some annual leave between now and the end of the year in some cost saving effort by my organisation, so I opted to take a day off a week for the next 12 weeks instead of a block of 1-2 weeks off. Knowing that a block of a week or two would just drive me crazy. I thought one day a week was "doable". But nevertheless, there was a feeling of emptiness which struck me early yesterday morning when I awoke and realised I had the whole day to get through on my own.

Even though I had plans to rent some DVDs and watch back to back movies all day, and was somewhat looking forward to it, that dread in the pit of my stomach was almost unbearable. Weekends used to do that to me, but I'm managing my weekends better now, so that I do look forward to them. But yesterday was just one day, and that giant gaping emptiness did catch me off guard a bit. Structureless days tend to have that impact on me. At least on weekends, I tend to have the usual chores and grocery shopping to do.

I know most people would kill to have paid 4 day weeks from now till the rest of the year - but the thought of doing that just overwhelms me. And that's also why I'm planning on taking Wednesdays off rather than Mondays or Fridays like most other people to make it long weekends. It's crazy, but mostly it's just sad. I had even called V to remind her and ask her about Group (she'd mentioned my repeating one module of the DBT group) to see if I could attend. How sad is that, to want to attend group therapy as part of my "vacation days".

I think V wanted me to take a real holiday - actually take a block of a week or two off and go away. But to go away on my own? The planning and the idea of it just didn't appeal to me. So I told her no, I'm not planning on going away anytime between now and the end of the year, but still have to use up at least 12 days of annual leave.

I'm sad to say I live a very pathetic and sad life. And that's what I mean by wanting something more than this, by saying that I need an anchor. I need to have a connection with someone, or something. I need to have a reason to keep going on in a positive way, not alone the way I've been my entire life. And wanting something I have never had is scary and exciting at the same time. Mostly scary, and overwhelming, because I know it isn't a guarantee and who knows what happens if it comes down to the fact that I may never find it or that I can never have it.


Harriet said...

I like your analogy, and I can relate totally. I don't have an anchor - I feel like I could just drift away and leave nary a ripple behind.

Wandering Coyote said...

Lack of structure can be our worst enemy! I know this has been true so many times for me.

The analogy of the ship/anchor is excellent. I hope you & V are able to work out what it is you need from life. I have no idea what to tell you, other than I believe the answer is there and it will be worth looking for.

Wes said...

I can sympathize with the outcry for an anchor... we all need that! In the uncertainty it is the least we can ask for... may it come to you!

tim said...

The most helpful thing I did was get a day-planner and write down (to the minute) exactly what I planned to do, and then structure my day accordingly. Sometimes it's been things like "make breakfast, load dishwasher, take a shower..." anything that added structure helped with the pain and anxiety of a lack of structure. Also, planning things with friends on days off helps enormously. I hope this helps.

sansanity said...

I sooo know what you mean. It is that despair and the time to think which scares me. So I just keep moving. Work long days and work from home on the weekends.

Dee said...

I like the idea of an anchor. Makes me look at my own life a little differently.

Polar Bear said...

Thanks everyone, who left a comment.

Polar B.