Let Go of This Beautiful Day

I am involved in what feels like non-stop programming to address my mental health issues.  Mondays are my DBT group day, and I joyfully did my homework and filled out my diary card over the weekend, really looking forward to group today because:

  1.  It is probably my biggest form of in-person social interaction over the course of the week
  2. Last week’s group and the few before it were really interesting and fun and we are working on interpersonal skills right now, which happens to be my favorite
  3. I had several things I had wanted to share today, and was also curious to see how my peers’ weeks had shaped up.

Unfortunately, the admin for therapy services called this morning around nine to let me know that group today was cancelled, as the therapist that leads was out sick.  I caught my judgmental thoughts right as they happened — “she probably partied too hard over the weekend” — and tried to reframe it in a way that I wouldn’t feel pissed off or disappointed.  I regret to say that I let the news really spoil my mood for a few hours, but thankfully I didn’t let it wreck my day.

I hate having a schedule that is at the mercy of others’ failings and frailties.  It seems to happen once a week, or maybe every two, that something I am counting on happening (like a group or  a meeting or something similar) doesn’t happen because of something outside my area of control.  No control issue comments or ribbings, the struggle is real.  I work hard, AND need to do better at accepting things as they come, and knowing (with certainty) that things are not always going to clip along at a pace that I can appreciate.

I think the hyper-sensitivity to feeling let down by others stems from experiences over the years of being let down by important people in my life.  I’m not naming names or pinpointing specific period of time, but when I really think about it, one thing I have learned in life is that I cannot trust other people to come through CONSISTENTLY.

So yes, it may be more fair to say that there has been quite a bit of inconsistency in other people, in my life, in other’s hearts for the majority of my life.  Here’s the thing — I am fully ready to radically accept that I cannot change this quality in other people.  I am fully ready to focus on doing only what I can do to maintain my schedule, and to be flexible and fair with other people, as they come in and out of my life.

As for the events of today, my DBT class getting rescheduled and me ending up in a funk over it, I will move on.  I will not harbor any ill will toward the therapist, because, hey…shit happens.  I will take the opportunity to review my diary card and homework with someone who understands it and can provide feedback (such as at my therapy appointment on Wednesday).

At 8:00 p.m., I am reflecting back on my day, and while it didn’t go nearly as planned, while some things fell through and my mood was not to my liking, I can look at it nonjudgmentally and say, “Rosa, today was just a day.  It wasn’t a bad day and it wasn’t a great day, but it was a day that something was learned and there were many very small victories and very few negative points.”

Let’s face it — any day that I get out of bed and brush my hair and leave my house and am upright for the majority of said day, is an okay-enough day by me.

let it go

To Want is Willful

This post is obviously going to contain first-world problems.  I have food, shelter, and a basic support group.  In fact, I can say, I have always had all of those things.  I have three parents who have worked extremely hard, so that I can say that.

I have worked quite a bit with people who don’t have these things, the mentally ill and the felonious mostly, and so I see what happens when the most basic necessities are stripped away.  I say all of these things before starting, because I realize, that which I WANT, is just that.  I don’t need these things in order to sustain my life.  I personally have to keep that in mind.

There are four key things that I am wanting, am searching for right now.  I want to lose weight in a normal, healthy way.  I don’t know what that looks like, for me.  I want to figure it out and make whatever work.  I don’t want to give in to temptation over and over, and, I do not want to struggle.  Asking to not have to struggle, is similar to asking for a test.  Fine.  Test me, but help me figure it out.

I want to maintain my currently mental health stability, damn whatever drugs they have to put me on, whatever therapies I have to participate in, whatever hospitals I have to be in, whatever information I have to share.  I will do what it takes.  And I mean I will do EVERYTHING it takes.

This seems small, but I fervently want to get better from this flu that has plagued me for the past week.  People drop things off, but they don’t stay (and I don’t blame them).  I’ve seen the doctor twice, been diagnosed with three separate conditions.  Two will go away with antibiotics and one will go away with time.  Other people should be so blessed, because I don’t know what I did to deserve that grace.

Yet I complain about the things I want.

The fourth thing I want, is to be able to calm down, to take a deep breath, to not let excitement and the possibilities overwhelm me.  Sometimes I get so excited about something, I let all reason and logic and boundaries go to the wayside.  I want to not do that.  I want to just revel in the excitement of a new thing, without freaking out.  I don’t want to push people away, I want to pull them in.  I really feel like I must get a hold of myself.  I feel totally out of control with excitement.

If I was asking my Aunt Pat G. for advice, possibly the most Catholic person on the planet, she would tell me to pray.  She would tell me to find friends and ask them to pray.  Aunt Pat G. has partially recovered from cancer more than three times.  Of course, she has had excellent medical care, but her church, her faith, and her love for God are completely unbelievable.

My faith has all but gone away.  I’ve lapsed in going to Mass with Glo and my faith has faltered.  Why don’t I pray to God on some of these things?  Better yet, why don’t I meditate on some of these things?  There doesn’t have to be a specific God, a church where there are specific rules, a congregation that lifts each other up.

For years I have operated on the assumption that my faith would come on its own time.  I mean, that’s what my dad practically said, and he was in the seminary.  Here and then, sometimes, I would go to Mass.  But I didn’t feel God there.  In fact, I haven’t felt God anywhere in a really long time.

I don’t feel right asking God for any of my wants.  I don’t have a problem with saying a prayer for a friend or lighting a candle for an ailing family member.  I go through the routines, but I don’t find Him there.  And I start to wonder if it’s all this “wanting” and all of this desire to control outcomes that has left me so far away.

My faith has never been strong, but I have always wanted it to be.  I have always been jealous of Glo and Aunt Pat G. who seem to be able to access theirs so easily — who seem to have no doubt.  What do I need to do to get to a point where I can, not necessarily go to Mass, not necessarily pray, but to do the most important thing — GIVE IN.  Stop fighting everything so hard.  In DBT it’s called willingness.  I can handle that.  I can work toward willingness easier than I can trying to find “God.”

So, on the wants I mentioned before, while I’d still really like for them to happen, I understand it comes in time and letting go.  I will have to remind myself every 10 seconds to let go, but I know it will work.  I’ve seen it work years before in my own life.  That Rosa, so stubborn.

Just let go.