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April 25, 2017

The Calm Before

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 4:25 pm

I’ve been getting up regularly and meditating, writing a thousand words, and going to the gym before work. I’m dating and it’s pleasant but I’m not CONSUMED by feels for anyone. I’m getting a paycheck every two weeks; I’m paying my bills and I’m almost out of debt. I’m even sleeping most nights. This feels like the most stable I’ve been in years and it’s nervewracking as fuck.

I know this anxiety is a classic symptom of having grown up with an abusive or mentally ill parent. It’s scary when things get calm and quiet because you don’t know when the next rage is coming. It’s hard to enjoy what’s good because you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop: “Fuck, everything seems fine. Something bad must be coming. Am I getting really sick? Am I going to lose my job? Will someone I’m close to suddenly die? Am I about to fall in love again in some helpless way that destroys me?”

Of course it’s irrational. Good things happen and bad things happen and there’s very little logic to the frequency of their occurrence. That’s life. We weather it. But this feeling of “Don’t get comfortable, don’t let your guard down, everything you’ve worked to build could fall apart in an instant, something or someone is going to come along and tear your life apart, just wait” is a lot to deal with. In some ways, chaos is more comfortable because at least it’s in your face and you know the shape of what you’re up against.  Sometimes it’s enough that you want to trigger the chaos yourself just to relieve the tension of waiting for it. But life is plenty chaotic on its own without me helping it along. I think my work in terms of stability, rootedness, stillness here is learning how to recognize and quash that impulse in myself: my impulse to preemptively smash the reset button before somebody does it for me.

Incidentally, the fact that things currently feel solid makes this the perfect time to start looking for a therapist. I’d been waiting until I got settled in one place before committing to that kind of long-term relationship again, but I’m here now. Having someone I can turn to for support when shit DOES get crazy — internally or externally — is pretty mission critical, but the process of researching, interviewing, finding a match, and building trust with a new therapist is pretty daunting at the best of times. This means the best of times is the right time to do it, rather than waiting for the kind of times when I have the most need for professional support but the least capacity to find it. So, that’s my next adulting project after getting my damn taxes filed.


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