Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Zen Mode: Engage!

Obviously, I've spent a lot of time processing, braindumping, and generally trying to simply move on with my life. I wasn't making amazing progress, for various, stupid 'I'm an emotional punching bag' reasons, but hey... I was trying.

I even managed some socialtimes, despite having a stressful, sleepless week. I intended to spend both days out this weekend, but I barely managed to drag myself out of bed on Saturday because I was so drained and fatigued from my week. Still, I was in a good mood by the end of Sunday, which was awesome.

And then, BAM, I got a super-hostile asshole email punch in the fucking face late Sunday night. But I wasn't sad or upset other than the fact that I was REALLY ANGRY. A hurtful, drama-causing reminder of everything I'm trying very hard to put behind me was the last thing I needed. I'm moving forward, well past all the petty bullshit, and even the realisation the other party is at a standstill with everything... I mean, really? I was at least harbouring some sense of human decency, because I just simply don't have the capacity to hate people, even ones who cause me a lot of pain and stress (case in point: see husband). It must be hard work maintaining that level of spite and ill will for days and days.

But it pushed me well beyond the point of caring even a little bit anymore, and the sensation is truly freeing! I was actually feeling super great today for the first time in a while. I got some things done today I needed to, which is nothing special, but I also met a new psychologist for the first time because she will be running a group DBT therapy program I'm going to be a part of in a couple months. And the even fairly general chat I had to her about everything that's been going on helped me really solidify a few things in my mind.

The most important is that my emotional responses ARE both reasonable and valid. I've been telling myself this for a while, but that is different than believing it is true. My reactions to these strong emotions needs a lot of work, definitely, but the emotions themselves are not problematic. I mean, they exist for a reason... it was a strong sign that I needed to get the heck out of dodge.

And secondly, I have been through some REALLY SERIOUS SHIT the past year or so in my life. Like, also a thing I knew, but the more I talk to professionals about it, the more it becomes easier to forgive myself for the mistakes I have made. And I've made quite a few, but I'm also kind of flailing about here without a life raft. The fact that I'm pretty clueless about how to properly respond to things sometimes, especially when I'm at high levels of stress or anxiety, is not really unreasonable. My response has generally been to shove all the terrible shit away into a part of my brain I don't access and not deal with it. Or, as has been the case recently, be at such a high level of emotions that I stop coping and responding rationally altogether.

The DBT is meant to address a lot of this specifically, so I'm pretty convinced it will be a good, positive step forward. And step one is simply awareness, which I've certainly had a lot of practice with lately. And I'm not in a space where I'm beating myself up with guilt or dwelling too much on the past or other things which are simply completely out of my control.

For instance, the husband and I actually came to a similar conclusion today about how we are only in control of our own actions and thoughts, so to a certain extent it's a pointless waste of energy worrying over how others think and feel about us. We can't control others' perceptions, even if we keep striving to do better and learn from our mistakes. And for me, an important addendum to that is that others cannot (or, at least, shouldn't) control or influence our thoughts and behaviours for their own benefit, and to my own detriment. I need to be in control of myself and my own well-being and stop letting others tell me how that should or shouldn't manifest. And that last bit is a lesson I've learned the very hard way.

Anyway, so yeah, I'm feeling very zen about everything at the moment, and it is an amazing brain space to be in. If anything, I feel sad for the other party, because it seems draining and unhealthy to live life that way. I hope his views of me will change some day, but if he wants to stew in his own misconceptions, that's not my problem.

I also thought of a really good way to sum up the entire situation in one sentence: We kept having strong philosophical disagreements on how not to be dicks to one another.

And that's all anyone needs to know, really.

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