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nocturne

Still fighting the battle!

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I just wanted to say thanks to all who replied to my last thread. I wasn't necessarily in the frame of mind at the time to accept much of anything beyond negativity and despair, but just knowing I had been heard was something of a relief valve.

This whole mental-health/life thing really is an ongoing battle. I realize I'm going to have to work and work and work, take numerous leaps of faith, all very frightening and overwhelming prospects. Still, something in me is beginning to at least be able to fight. What scares me is not knowing how much fight I have in me, how much strength I'll be able to maintain. Even when I make progress it still seems like a pretty shaking house of cards ready to collapse at the slightest wind.

So, yesterday was...good. Progress was made. I've become very fed up with the state of my apartment, which looks like a crack den due to the fact that I haven't washed dishes in ages, and have just let clutter and dirt pile up around me. I've realized I've been living with blinders on and that I can never really relax in such surroundings. Even if I had friends, I certainly couldn't have them over. The filth and mess is really getting to me, and as I come out of my depression (ever so slightly) I just can't live like this anymore. The problem is, cleaning up is a major job. I'm estimating a total of 35 hours hard work to get things livable again. Overwhelming. Even breaking it up into more manageable chunks, it still looks overwhelming. And yet, yesterday I managed to tackle and complete the first chunk I had set for myself. Six hours of hot sweaty work and one room is entirely clean. Cleaner than the day I moved in, and I threw out a ton of junk too. I'll tell you, getting rid of objects is very liberating, especially when it's clutter that's been weighing your life down! I felt so pumped on my achivement, that I was sure I'd be able to tackle tonight's chunk of housework with equal success. I was wrong. Tonight I failed. I feel I've lost my momentum and let myself down. It's a setback, and another reminder of just how much I have left to accomplish to get this apartment back into shape. Why did I procrastinate? Why didn't I just put myself to the task and get it done? I worked hard last night, exhausted myself, and I really wanted a break. I wanted to relax for the evening. I know that's not wrong, but under the circumstances I feel I really need to forgo relaxation for a few days and just get this place cleaned up so I can REALLY relax and enjoy my home! Anyway, what's done is done, and it's too late now to get my cleaning done tonight.

Which brings us to the other battle I'm fighting currently. I won't be able to do any cleaning tomorrow night, because I actually have plans! That group I mentioned in my blog entry...well, a bunch of us have decided to meet up for drinks tomorrow evening. I have never done anything like this before, and I'm terrified. On the one hand I know I need to get some friends and come out of isolation. On the other hand....well, the list of fears is endless really! Walking up to a group of total strangers, introducing myself and then joining them and actually having to make conversation?!!!! Scary. The thing is, I'm really worried that I'm going to chicken out. I intend to show up, but what if I can't make myself walk through that door? And then there are the darker feelings....about myself, about how I'm really nobody anyone would want to know, how deep down there are big things wrong with me and therefore I don't deserve to have friends or be happy, that I'll never be able to be real and open around people ever. I also feel like I'm somewhat at a loss, as this really is my first venture out into the "lesbian community." What if I don't fit? What if I don't know things that everybody else knows. I feel vulnerable because I've already revealed some things about myself to these people. In a sense, although I've been "out" to myself for a long time, being "out" to others is fairly new. Old habits of closing myself off, sensoring what I reveal, I don't think those will be easy to drop even among other gay people.

So....all these worries, all this anxiety and tension eating at me. At the same time there are positive feelings. I'm excited that I'm taking steps toward meeting people, and I'm excited that I made a significant dent in my cleaning. I'm feeling very cautiously positive, but still the tension and fears are there. I've been sitting her for hours on the verge of a binge. Debating in my head whether I really want to do this or not. I came to the point where I just couldn't take it anymore, and I threw on some clothes, got my keys and headed for the car....the thought of McDonalds drive-thru consuming my entire soul. I got outside my door, had the key in the lock ready to lock it behind me, but somehow I stopped. I thought, I wrestled. Only somebody who has been in this kind of addiction will know the battle that raged inside of me. I stood there with my key in the door fighting with myself, knowing that all I wanted to do was get that food and stuff myself and make the pain go away....and yet also knowing that somewhere inside I knew this was the road to destruction. Somehow I made myself turn around. I came back in, took off my shoes and sat down to write this entry. I still want to binge, badly. I want this horrible empty and afraid feeling to be filled. I've been here so many times. I know I'm slowly destroying my body with these binges, I can feel it and I can see it. It scares me, but it also scares me to think that so many times when I enter into this battle the dark side of me wins. I dont' want to die, but I'm scared to really live. For now, I turned back. I'm here, I'm not in the drive-thru. I'm afraid I still might go, because there's this other voice inside me that's angry at me for continually chosing the self-destructive option.

So, that's where I sit at the moment. Things are changing in my life for sure. I guess it has to be the meds at work. There is more fight in me, but I still feel like I need a lot more. Theres is starting to be some hope in me, but it so often looks incredibly tiny next to all the obstacles in the way. Is life a perpetual effort? Am I looking for a state of being that realistically doesn't exist? So many questions...

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nocturne,

Good for you for sitting down and writing a post instead of giving in... Did it help? Do you feel better at all?

I totally understand how you are feeling... I swear, I could have written that entire post! (except maybe for the mcdonald's part). The house thing.... the scared to go out thing... does a different sate of being exist...?? If when you feel like s***, it's nice to know that there are others and you are not alone in that even tho it feels that way.

I constantly have a battle where my house sometimes sends me into a fit of rage/depression ... or I don't care at all

What scares me is not knowing how much fight I have in me, how much strength I'll be able to maintain. Even when I make progress it still seems like a pretty shaking house of cards ready to collapse at the slightest wind.

I get this.... It seems like you can never be sure what the next day will hold... It's hard to hope that it will be better permanantly b/c when you're in it, it's so up and down... But I HAVE had periods (even years) where it's been OK- no meds, all is good. So there is hope... somewhere...

I've realized I've been living with blinders on and that I can never really relax in such surroundings. Even if I had friends, I certainly couldn't have them over. The filth and mess is really getting to me, and as I come out of my depression (ever so slightly) I just can't live like this anymore.

I know this feeling too....... I either don't care AT ALL- can't be bothered- to OMG I'm going to strangle my self and/or my partner if I see one more half-empty bowl of cereal milk. All our friends (or rather, my partner's friends I should clarify) know that we allow no one but the most inner sanctum in the house. This is partially due to a bad cat we have (another story...)

But I *did* clean my office last night even though I just wanted to crash, and I swear it has been a mini-surprise-pick-me-up "oh! it's clean!" every time I have walked in it today.

I felt so pumped on my achivement, that I was sure I'd be able to tackle tonight's chunk of housework with equal success. I was wrong. Tonight I failed. I feel I've lost my momentum and let myself down. It's a setback, and another reminder of just how much I have left to accomplish to get this apartment back into shape. Why did I procrastinate? Why didn't I just put myself to the task and get it done? I worked hard last night, exhausted myself, and I really wanted a break. I wanted to relax for the evening. I know that's not wrong, but under the circumstances I feel I really need to forgo relaxation for a few days and just get this place cleaned up so I can REALLY relax and enjoy my home! Anyway, what's done is done, and it's too late now to get my cleaning done tonight.

Getting one room done is a GREAT accomplishment! That kind of hard core cleaning is no small feat.. you do deserve a break! I know how you feel though...It's frustrating, you just want it done NOW. You feel good in the moment at your accomplishment and then totally crash down when you realize there's more to do and it's not done, so none of it might as well be done... I know that thinking... and procrastination- evil thing. Unfortunately, procrastination is like my best friend. ( Very bad when you are self-employed and have no boss breathing down your neck.)

In the next couple of days, I bet you'll get your wind back. Sometimes it's not meaqnt to be and you really needed that break.

Which brings us to the other battle I'm fighting currently. I won't be able to do any cleaning tomorrow night, because I actually have plans! That group I mentioned in my blog entry...well, a bunch of us have decided to meet up for drinks tomorrow evening. I have never done anything like this before, and I'm terrified. On the one hand I know I need to get some friends and come out of isolation. On the other hand....well, the list of fears is endless really! Walking up to a group of total strangers, introducing myself and then joining them and actually having to make conversation?!!!! Scary.

I know!! It's such a horrible feeling. Weirdly though I find that when I initiate the conversation and introduce myself (the rare orrance when this happens) it makes me feel a little more in control. Like "hey, I'm not the shy one.. I'm confident, I'm worth talking to" (even if I really don't believe it inside, I can kind of trick myself. Of course a glass of alcohol helps with this strategy. :shocked:

The thing is, I'm really worried that I'm going to chicken out. I intend to show up, but what if I can't make myself walk through that door?

You can do it nocturne!! :hearts: I know its hard, but it's such a good step. You'll feel so proud of yourself after! And maybe have a potential new friend or two.

And then there are the darker feelings....about myself, about how I'm really nobody anyone would want to know, how deep down there are big things wrong with me and therefore I don't deserve to have friends or be happy, that I'll never be able to be real and open around people ever.

I know, I struggle with this too. It's hard to try to see past that, or ignore it. But I try to tell myself that to have fun, or to try to enjoy myself, or to make a connection with someone, does not necessarily mean I have to discount that relationship just b/c I don't feel they would ever know or like the "real" (read: "broken") me. It's hard. sometimes it's lonely and it hurts really bad to be around people when you feel this way... But ultimately, I think being around people, trying to make some friends, slowly chips away that feeling bit by bit. (of course i should walk the walk myself.. lol) I try to remember not to do the black and white thinking when it comes to whether people know the "real" me... Even if they don't understand the dark insides, the exterior stuff is still coming from me... so it's still me... If that makes anny sesnse at all???

I also feel like I'm somewhat at a loss, as this really is my first venture out into the "lesbian community." What if I don't fit? What if I don't know things that everybody else knows. I feel vulnerable because I've already revealed some things about myself to these people. In a sense, although I've been "out" to myself for a long time, being "out" to others is fairly new. Old habits of closing myself off, sensoring what I reveal, I don't think those will be easy to drop even among other gay people.

I have been there.... I understand this feeling 115 percent. I have been more terrified of other lesbians than anyone else. When I finally went through that process, I felt like an imposter at first, but slowly as I got to know the other gals, I realized that all of them had gone through similar feelings. I thought b/c I dated boys forvever that I would be banned, not fit in. But you know, more than HALF probablty even 75 percent of the lesbians in that new first lesbian "gang" that I infiltrated had all previously dated boys... Had all been at that place of uncomfortableness, uncertainty in your own skin / new identity. For me, it was really scary, but then liberating. It was a turning point for me. I was still the shy girl, but they accepted me. I also felt that maybe I wouldn't know what I was "supposed to," but it did not really turn out that way. I just told them - hey i'm just coming out and they were so supportive and like "good job" and told me there stories and that kind of stuff. They did not look at me weird or shun me or anything b/c I was a "newbie"!

So, that's where I sit at the moment. Things are changing in my life for sure. I guess it has to be the meds at work. There is more fight in me, but I still feel like I need a lot more. Theres is starting to be some hope in me, but it so often looks incredibly tiny next to all the obstacles in the way. Is life a perpetual effort? Am I looking for a state of being that realistically doesn't exist? So many questions...

I think you have to keep hoping that it exists, nocturne. I try, every day. Even its just a tiny tiny bit. You have to...You are taking a lot of big steps, making changes... that is really great. That is hope in itself!!

I'm sorry this response is so long... Your post just touched a nerve with me, I guess and sent me gushing all kinds of stuff. ;-)

I hope you make it to your outing tonight. I'd love to hear how it turns out. Good luck!!!! :bump:

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Nocturne,

Good luck tonight with your outing!

I would lay money that half the people you will meet tonight are also shy with new people and can relate to how you are feeling.

And I think everyone who is gay or lesbian (at least everyone I've ever met) has struggled with publicly coming out and many of them have also struggled with defining their sexual identity. I think that you will most likely find that most of the people you meet will be sympathetic and emaptehtic to your situation as someone just entering the community.

Let us know how it goes!

And BRAVO to you for getting that room cleaned out and avoiding the binge impulse by talking to us about your feelings instead! :hearts:

KA

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Wah! I'm so all over the place right now. 3.5 hours until I'm supposed to meet up with these girls, and my stomach is reeling! I didn't go to work today, though that had more to do with feeling like crap when I woke up (most probably from lack of sleep, yes I was on her making a blog post at 2:30am!) then nerves about this outing. I've pretty much made it impossible for me to chicken out without lying, and I hate lying. I've comitted myself to going, and encouraged others who were expressing nervousness to be brave along with me. I've posted my photo to the group so people will recognize me when I show up. It's gonna happen, but I still can't quite see myself walking through that door! I feel like I'm in a state of mind right now where I don't know what is smart and what is stupid. Staying home from work, for example. Should I have forced myself to go in, or was it ok for me to take the day, even though I don't get paid sick time and this will put a bit of a dent in my budget? Also, I decided not to take my medication today so I'd be able to have some drinks tonight. I'm not wanting to get drunk or anything, and I don't even know if the med holiday thing works, especially given the half-life of citalopram. Am I being smart or stupid? I just don't know.

Anyway, last night posting here instead of heading for the drive-thru was an achievement, but I did binge after posting. I bingeed on foods I already had on hand, and it was a "healthier" binge than a bunch of fatty burgers, but still, no binge is truly healthy. Also working out true hunger from cravings is something I find very difficult, given how ingrained theseeating habits have become, it's hard for me to tell the difference. It's all so confusing. Anyway, I've really got to get dressed and groomed and have something to eat to hopefully settle my stomach before making this huge leap into the unknown.

Thanks for the replies so far, they mean a lot to me.

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Good luck to you nocturne!

You can always strike up a conversation asking how the folks there became aware of the group, or how they picked the metting place. Something everyone there can talk about and will have some comment to offer. ;)

You can do it!! :hearts:

KA

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Well, I did it. I walked through the door. I spent 4 hours there and had a pretty good time, and yet I felt horrible after I left. I don't know if I can explain why. I guess I didn't really "click" with anybody there. That's not to say I didn't like them, and that they weren't nice people. It's me that's off. I just don't know if I'm capable of having friends anymore, no matter how badly I want them. I don't know what is wrong with me, why I feel this way. I just don't know if I have it in me. I do feel I didn't talk enough, and that when I did the things I said were somehow wrong or not good enough. Why can't I just be myself, and why can't "myself" just be something acceptable? I don't know....I'm pretty sure we'll get together again, and we made some tentative plans for other events....still, somehow I felt like I was a subtle outsider, even though we were pretty much all strangers to begin with. I can't even say why I feel that way really. It's not like I was excluded or anything like that. I wish I could explain. I wish I could just be happy that I went out and met some people and had a little fun. Why do I still feel sad? I certainly don't regret going, it's not that. I'm glad I went, and I'm glad I met these people, but I'm also terrified because I don't think I can do this friendship and social life thing, no matter how bad I think I want it. I just don't know how to explain what I'm feeling right now. It's not good. I certainly didn't expect the evening to end with tears, and I'm angry with myself for being this way.

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Spending four hours with people you virtually don't know is success in my book. New relationships are fraqgile at first (the getting to know you stage). In order for them to work, you also need to put in an effort to maintain them. You have made a start and I'm hopeful that you will meet up again with these ladies for some fun activities.

Bravo for your cleaning. Want to come do my house? I started with one room, got a roommate who is a slob and have given up. I told him to be out at the end of this month so maybe that will be incentive to clean again. Talk about throwing out junk! We probably could have had a garage sale if we combined the junk. lol

As for changes in our life, we have to take or make it one positive step at a time. Nothing happens overnight. We get out of life what we put in. If you want to be happy, then you can do so by making changes in yourself. You refused to go to Mickey D's the other night to binge: positive change. Substituting alternative food (hopefully veggies or fruit) to binge on: positive change. Just those small steps are the ones being made in the right direction for you. Keep making small positive changes for yourself and your life will begin to improve.

Sheepwoman :hearts:

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Ok, it's the day after, and I'm feeling a bit better about things. Cautiously optimistic even, and already contemplating contacting the group and a few individuals again. As much as I hate to say this, I think alcohol could have been partly responsible for my depressed feelings last night. I only had 3 beers over the course of the evening, and it sooooo helps me to loosen up in a nervous situation, but I do think it was in part responsible for the bad feelings. That's not to say it was the only cause. Yes, this whole thing really is scary. I've been isolating myself for a long time, and stepping out of that does feel overwhelming. My self esteem issues complicate matters. I'm really trying hard not to beat myself up over my inadequacies, but the urge to dissect and harshly condemn everything I said and did over the course of the evening is really hard to put down. I wish I could just cut myself some slack and not worry so much over how well I "performed", but this has always been a huge problem for me.

Change is scary, but the point is I'm doing it. Perhaps not perfectly, or as quickly as I would like, but I need to work on accepting the slow, imperfect (realistic?) method.

Sheepwoman, you know, I could hold a garage sale too with all my stuff, but I decided against it. I figured if I did that I'd be too overwhelmed by the task and nothing would ever get done. I made an executive decision that I was going to just throw stuff out (and donate the still-useful items to charity). I'm filling up the trunk of my car with donations, and once it's full I take a trip to the drop-off site. Only more expensive smaller items will be sold off, and that will be done via eBay. I think I'm ready to tackle some more cleaning today, and I really am enjoying that one clean room! As chevere says, it's a big pick me up each time I walk in there and realize "hey, it's clean!" Looking forward to having one more room to make me feel good, and throwing out more stuff. As my mother says, it's great therapy, and somehow that's true!

Edited by nocturne

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:hearts:

That's awesome, noctune! I'm so glad you went and 4 hours---as Sheepwoman pointed out--that's nothing to sneeze at, AT ALL. That's great!!

I know how you feel about the worse feeling after....Sometimes when I make the big effort/risk to do some sort of social thing (even if it's someone I know), I also get that kind of let-down worse feeling after its over. Maybe I'm guilty that I am enjoying myself? Maybe sad that the people don't want to take me home (not in a sexual way!) with them and be my best friend forever? Wondering if they were pretending to like me? Being alone again? I find I feel this way during my bad parts of depression... as I start making more contact with people more often, the feeling seems to subside and I slowly start feeling better each time.

I made a new friend (first new friend in a long while) at my old job a while ago--another lesbian--one who is really opinionated/socially conscience and kinda scary at first...man, I went through all that stuff. I was so nervous when she asked me to go out to lunch, when I would see her in person. E-mailing her I was fine, and I kind of tested boundries of conversation during e-mail. Helped me to feel more at ease when seeing her in person. She does not know anything about my depression or how she's one of my only "outside" (read: not connected to my partner) friends. I guess I don't want to scare her off! But anyway... now I'm not sure what my point was... maybe that it took a couple of months to and a fair amount of uncomfortable effort on my part to retain the friendship, even after I left that job. Still, I only see her for a lunch less than once a month... but it's a start, I figure! I *did* go to her bithday party-- after the EXACT same battle in my head that you had over going to your outing. I SOOO almost did not go. I got someone to go with me (a kinda-sorta friend, who was a friend of my partner's who is trolling for a new GF thus open to lesbian b-day party).. couldn't quite go it alone.

Anyway, sorry long story. I got woken up at 6:45 am (on a sat!) by being asked what type of oil goes in the car and I am procrastinating doing the work I have to do.

I think having SOMETHING to look forward to -- a clean house, an outing, a vacation, a new book or movie coming out... those are the thing that keep us (me anyway) going (even if barely) when we are depressed.

..and LOL I *am* having a garage sale! Well, hopefully. The date's not set yet, but the garage is stacked and someone (either my sister or my partner's friend) will be moving into the studio that is above it. That was pretty much the incentive for the massive purge. There's kind a lot of big stuff, and we kinda need the $$, so hopefully the horrific effort that goes into the stupid sale will pay off...

Anyway, looking forward to hearing about more social adventures and cleaning frenzies, noctune! :bump:

Edited by chevere

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