Updated: Nov 8
Some challenging things I’ve been facing finally came to a head last night. Bombs have been exploding inside me for so many weeks now yet I’ve managed to contain them. On Friday night I felt a piece of shrapnel escape my containment field however, and then last night I lost the ability to hold it in any longer. I hate when I lose control like that.
I didn’t sleep well. At 3:30am this morning, still awake, I had a candlelit shower where I sung to myself. I tried to stay present by focusing on the sensation of the warm water washing over me, listening to the soothing white noise of droplets drumming against the tub, and watching the gentle flicker of light dance upon the ceiling and curtain. When my mind would wander back into the angst, upset, fear, and hurt, I’d crank the water cold. It did help while I was in the tub. Unfortunately I couldn’t relax myself enough once out of the shower to be able to fall asleep until 5:30am this morning.
I woke up naturally at 9:30am so I haven’t had much rest. This is very unusual these days. I’ve been doing well overall, especially with sleep, food, movement and connection. I‘ve been triggered a lot though recently by things I was hoping not to be facing in my life right now. I made choices that led me here however, so I own that. I quite obviously have pains that I need to continue working on.
In reflection, I can see a lot of ways I could have acted better last night and especially throughout the previous weeks. I know I need to improve how I communicate and I also must learn how to emotionally regulate myself, amongst many other things. I also need to remind myself that all relationships, be them friendships, family or romance, take two. When communication is frequently met with emotional detachment, it’s okay to step back. Emotionally intimacy and/or connection is important to me in all the relationships I form.
Yes, I have wounds and I own those as my issues to deal with. However there’s also behaviours from others that aren’t congruent in building and having healthy connections. It is heartbreaking to write this as I don’t want to place blame on anyone, especially anyone who already blames themselves. I can’t change or save others though, I can only change and save myself. This morning I got up and dragged myself out the door to the gym, despite only having four hours of sleep. I allowed myself leniency and didn’t actually go to the gym though. On such little sleep, I was okay with just doing the hour power walk there and back (30 mins each way). It felt like enough for right then. I still built up a sweat.
I have been home for a while now and am exhausted. My eyes hurt from fatigue. I hope to have a nap soon then will be having Thanksgiving dinner with my family and some friends tonight. Saba’s upstairs singing away right now. She’ll be with me soon.
Today I am grateful that even though I still have pain, that I can get through these triggers without reaching for substances or poor coping strategies. In the past, I couldn’t cope and then I’d use drugs/alcohol, shopping, causal sex or other unhealthy ways to run from the feeling of being incapable of handling these feelings, which made everything worse.
Now, it hurts, but I sit with it. I journal a lot. I let my mind scream in my journals and I feel what I need to feel. I self soothe. This internal battle is far from over even if I can get respite for a while. The triggered aspect of things I’ve shared here is something I’ll need to face eventually. At least right now, in this moment, I feel a sense of peace, even if it stemming from utter exhaustion. My mind warred most of the night and now it’s finally growing sleepy again.
Photo: My candlelit bathroom.