Wednesday, July 9th 8:26 a.m.
I’m into another week…week two of being out of IOP, to the date. I am feeling pretty good. I still have my moments (as we all do), but I am able to pull myself out of the shit before it gets intolerable. Using my skills, dontcha know. I didn’t spend two and a half months in intensive DBT to let it all slip by the wayside.
I surprise myself sometimes at the things I am able to do now. One of the major MAJOR things I have been doing is going to the local public pool…all by myself. No one to talk to, no one to help me feel comfortable. I’m just doing it…without anxiety. I am having a good time, interacting with strangers, people-watching, getting some sun, floating around the lazy river. Being there puts a smile on my face and makes me feel good. Plus, I have a very nice tan at this point. 🙂
Then there are the little things I can do now, without anxiety, that I was not able to do before. I can spend time by myself without ruminating on every little thing that has been said during the day, that has happened in the past, that might possibly happen. I can keep myself busy, soothe myself, distract myself. I can tolerate intense feelings, work through them. Every once in awhile, it gets to be too much, and I make a coaching call and feel better.
I can also be around people. A lot. I mean A LOT. I have been working at the bait shop and water garden store when I’m not doing other stuff, but usually for around 4 or 5 hours, sometimes more a day. Interacting with strangers (customers), regulars, and everyone in between. I have a smile on my face, a joke always on the ready, and damn if I’m not a good saleswoman. And I feel very comfortable doing it. It comes easily, and is not forced at all. I am genuinely happy to be there and happy to help people find what they are looking for.
It is incredibly interesting to interact with the variety of people that come in and when I leave at the end of the day, I feel good. Really good. I think that working there is really helping build my self-esteem. I feel knowledgable and like a friendlier person. I do have that inside of me, to be social, to be outgoing and personable. I just lost track of that somewhere in the last ten years. It is coming back, though. I am seeking people out, instead of avoiding them.
Granted, sometimes I seek out a little too much and end up exhausted. Usually it’s not that I am tired of being around people; I just wear myself out, mostly physically and mentally. I get tired, sleepy, just exhausted. It’s not that I have to put a lot of effort into interacting with people, but I think it’s just something that I’m not used to, so it takes a lot out of me, even if I don’t feel it at the time.
And I like to be busy, to have plans for the day. Sometimes I go overboard and don’t schedule any time to just relax on my own, and then I end up exhausted, like I said before. Recently, I have been taking more time for myself and trying to find that middle ground on the dialectic of socialization…social butterfly to recluse. It feels good, like it is an accomplishment (which it is), to even be thinking about looking for the middle, to be cognizant about where I am on the dialectic. Progress.
I am finding a lot of things that make me happy, that make me feel good. Interestingly enough, I am really enjoying going to Walmart. I go during the day when there aren’t a lot of people there, and just look around at stuff. Sometimes I find something really cheap (like the $2 plastic summer mugs for cold drinks…HUGE mugs…love them…and the blue straw holder with green and blue straws…that match my new mugs…for $1.50) and buy it for myself, knowing that I can do something like that every once in awhile. Just doing something for me, without spending a bunch of money, going to extremes.
And as I said before, I really enjoy going to the pool. It’s not something I can do a lot of, because it costs money, but I helped Mom and DHut open the pool a few days ago and plan to spend time there getting out in the sun and floating around in the water. I find it very relaxing, soothing, and I love to be outside. Such a change from all of the years when I hated to be outside more than anything and would only go out if I had to or Mom and DHut suckered me into it.
It just amazes me how different I feel, how much better life is, how clear my thinking is. I feel like I am living, instead of existing, and it’s a great feeling. I am embracing life and the things around me, rather than pushing it away because I am uncomfortable or fearful. Yes, I do feel anxious from time to time, but not to the levels I did before.
I am very thankful for all of the love and support of my family and friends and everybody else who has helped me to get where I am in this moment. I know that without that support, my ship would have sunk and I’d have drowned. At the time, I think part of me wanted that. I’m just glad/happy/relieved/thankful that I have all kinds of people that love me and helped me through. And that continue to help me through. Most of all, I am relieved that I came to the point where I was willing…willing to get better, to do whatever it takes, to live.
Bobby McFerin, Don’t Worry Be Happy
Even if you don’t care for the song, this video has tons of very cute pictures of puppies, dogs, kittens, cats, and other animals…BEING HAPPY. 🙂