Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Hate Dory (Dory Was Right)

I am at a point in my life I never anticipated being at. A crossroads, time of change and uncertainty that is has left me without orientation. My compass rose is malfunctioning and true north could be any which way as far as I am concerned. In the past, my mood and mental health would dictate that during a time like this that I curl up in the fetal position and stay there for as long as possible. Rarely washing my hair, often eating too much or hardly eating at all, and crying buckets in ragged tones. Ya know, clinical depression, or whatever the doctors were calling it at the time.

However, this time through the confusion and sadness, something is different. Something palpable and good.

I have so many unknowns flitting around in my head . Where am I going to find a job? When? Will I be able to afford a new place to live? Will my mood suddenly collapse? Am I going to loose friends? The questions are nearly constant. A buzzing, humming noise in my mind. It is always there, but is most noticeable when everything else is quiet. Needless to say, I listen to a lot of Pandora lately. The unending circle of questions results in something new however. I have answers that I keep saying to myself: It will work out, it always does. I’ll be fine. I am strong enough for this. I will keep going.

I cannot count how many times I have said these words out loud to the reflection in the mirror or the even more multiplied times I have repeated them as my mantra, silently before bed. Laying in the relative dark, city lights seeping in the crack of the windows just as the questions seep into the cracks of my mind.

My way of coping with loss is different than ever before as well. In times past of emotional turmoil I have resorted to tears, self-abuse, copious amounts of alcohol and a near constant verbal assault on myself. I’m no good, I don’t deserve happiness, I am a failure. People's support and willingness to love and help and listen was seen, but not understood. It was just another way I was a burden. I hated to rely on anyone, I hated to ask for help, say I wasn’t okay.

Alright, so some things haven’t changed too drastically. Asking for help, love, support takes epic amounts of energy, nerve wear and hours, days of contemplation. There is a certain amount of perceived control that is lost in the action of saying, “I am not enough on my own, and I need help”. You must understand, coming from the family I do, giving up control is sort of like giving up a limb or two for absolutely no reason. Who would do that?

"Hey Anna, why did you shear off your right arm and leg?"

"Oh, just to see what it’s like."

NO. That simply does not make sense, thus it is not done.

But I have asked for help. And I got it.

Before I did any of this though, I decided I was going to keep moving. I was not going to let the sadness and scariness of what may be, stop me in my tracks.

Everyday I set goals for myself in order to keep going. Some days it involves applying for at least three new jobs, and writing the corresponding cover letters. Other days it is cleaning house, cooking dinner, practicing music. There are days where I start with one simple goal and once it is accomplished, I set another one. Incremental steps that get me out of bed, and often times showered and relatively productive. In the mornings sometime I have to set goals like “I am going to count to 5 and then get out of bed." Some days I have to count to 1000 in various increments of time before I actually get out of bed, but I don’t beat myself up about it too much. I just get up and set the next goal. In 10 seconds I am going to put pants on, etc.

Which leads me to realizing that Dory, from “Finding Nemo” was right all along. When you are lost, just keep swimming. When you are scared, just keep swimming. When you don’t know what comes next, just keep swimming. Just. Keep. Going. Pretty soon you find yourself dressed, fed, contacting loved ones, laughing, singing, writing, and perhaps dipping into the occasional dark alley of the mind, but walking back out in time. I hate that I can take all my life concerns, boil them down and realize the basic answer is to quote a fucking cheesy Pixar movie. Although, let's be real, it was a pretty good movie…


Anonymous said...

"But I have asked for help. And I got it." From God? From doctors? From medication? From Time? From yourself? From someone? From something? From ???

I stole your Prozac said...

Friends and family have been... amazing. Also, time is doing alright by me.

Sadie said...

Motivation, patience, perseverance, little goals, big goals, small wins, big picture, giving yourself a break, giving yourself a kick in the pants, timing... it's all such a funny balance. Though you and I are sometimes on different sides of the fence, we're still in the same neighborhood. I can't wait until we get to hang out again, but your blog sustains me in the meantime. You are a bright and beautiful person.

I stole your Prozac said...

Sadie, that was such a wonderful comment to get. You are absolutely right about the same neighborhood. An excellent metaphor. Sooner than later may we get to hang again.