Thursday, February 15, 2018

Valentine's Day conclusions- the continuing anti-anxiety saga

Its been a rough couple of days and an even rougher couple of weeks.  I'm working on it, I am.
My periods have been getting more difficult as I have been aging- longer, heavier, etc. They completely wipe me out physically....and then with the tenuous grasp I have on my anxiety issues, my body crashing throws me into a total tailspin.  I am trying to be proactive.  I have a two stage plan that I am working on.

Stage 1- Managing the periods.  I hate birth control pills, but there aren't too many options for lessening a period.  I haven't been on birth control for a very very long time.  I still do want to have kids of my own, and while I do practice safe sex, if something happens, it would be welcomed.  At one point I was going to try to have a baby on my own, but after thoroughly planning it out, it wasn't something that I wanted to do alone.  I don't have many childbearing years left and getting an IUD that would last 5 years was a hard decision.  It hurts.  It feels like I am cutting off a part of my hoped-for future.  So I am in mourning....and I hope that this helps the other symptoms and that this mourning is going to be worth it.

Stage 2- Working with different healing modalities.  I need to feel.  The depression meds made me not feel. I felt hollow, like I couldn't connect or be authentic with people.  Now that I can feel again, I've lost all skills on how to manage those feelings. Hence stage two, which is not a quick fix like the IUD.  I went to an intake yesterday, which helped some, but the practitioner said something that hit "the" rawest nerve that I have.  She asked me "who supports you"?  It isn't a new statement, it isn't something that I haven't been told before.  Accepting love from others is a painful process for me, especially if it is unconditional love.  It is something that I need....I don't know if I feel like I deserve it though....  and if I don't feel like I deserve it then I react.... the only predictable part of that reaction is a lot of tears and me confusing everyone I know in trying to explain it.

With the exception of two people in my life, I've always felt that there were consequences for me expressing my emotions. My emotions, my feelings on a subject inconvenience other people....therefore I am an inconvenience, I am making things difficult, I am not appreciative enough, I am not worth their time and attention, I don't deserve to be loved....  So I don't feel supported.  And I over compensate with trying to take care of others.  I try to be as solid and as grounded as possible so that I can support myself AND all of the other people that need me.  It is exhausting.  And maybe, maybe my own ambition makes this worse as well....because if I am the person everyone wants me to be, than someone will actually want me.

I know that this thinking is not sustainable, that it is not serving is slowly killing me.  So I'm trying.  I'm trying to be vulnerable, I'm trying to share and be more open.  But with any little bit of being made to feel like my needs are inconvenient to another person, I retreat and rebrick the little opening that I tried to come out of. I worry that I am too broken to even expect that this will be the only reality that I know.

I am not good about voicing my expectations....mostly because I've been made to feel that those expectations are wrong in some way....too materialistic, not caring enough for other people's feelings on the matter, how very dare I?  So let's talk about some expectations that have come to a head this week; specifically Valentine's Day.  I'm poly....and seriously there is only enough time that anyone has.  I know that.  Schedules are difficult to map with only one partner, multiple partners? Logisical nightmares can ensue. As this Wednesday was the day that my partners usually spend with their primary partners, I had come to accept that I wasn't going to see them that day.  So I made plans to, at least, have a token, however silly and stereotypical delivered to their homes.  I tell them that I love them everyday....but Valentine's Day calls for something a little extra.  Growing up, Valentine's Day was a family holiday.  It wasn't about romantic love, it was about giving an extra token to someone to celebrate that love on a day where everyone else was doing it.  Love tokens given on Valentine's Day need to be done without expectation or obligation.  If I don't receive something in return that is ok.  It feels good to know that you have made someone's day, or even just a hour out of their lives.

However.... Valentine's Day is a timely event.  That is what makes the token a little more special than any other day.  Don't get me wrong, I want the grand romantic gesture, but if it is done in the name of Valentine's Day, it needs to be done on that day.  If it happens after Valentine's Day and is still being done in the name of that day it will make me feel that the other person felt obligated to give me something in return, that I was an afterthought and now a burden.  I don't need that....I feel like a burden on most days anyway, I don't need that feeling to be reinforced.  The only exception to this rule that I can see is if two people have agreed upon beforehand that they are going to celebrate Valentine's Day together on an alternate day and that they have something "specifically planned" to do together.  So unless there has been some specific planning in place- Valentine's Day ends on the 14th.  Giving me something afterwards just makes me feel like the gift was an obligation.  I gave you something willingly and openly, an extra little token to say that I love you.  I gave it to you because I wanted to, not because I was expecting something in return.

I guess this makes me materialistic somehow.  Or just a demanding bitch.  Not appreciative of people's intentions, etc.  Intentions are great and all, but I know that even with the best of intentions, I still have to deal with the impact of those actions.  And in the case of Valentine's Day, the best of intentions while late (even with notice), impacts me as I was not worth the time for someone to be timely.  That I can always wait.  That I am really not that important.  So if you can't be timely, don't do anything at all.  It will hurt me less....which I would hope that someone who loves me would want to do.

Why am I writing about this?  Because I tried to convey this to a partner, and it turned into a super-huge the point where I thought that they were going to leave me.  In the back of my mind I am still afraid of this....and even more so that I deserve to be left.  That I should just accept everything even if it hurts me.  That my purpose in life is to love and support others and not have that returned to me....or at the very least that I cannot feel that love being returned to me.

At my intake, the practitioner asked me if I associated a location in my body with my anxiety and if it had a color.   The anxiety is always in my chest, in my heart.  No wonder why I feel sits right there all the time.  The color thing was an interesting question.  I process alot through color- emotions, rooms, people, moods, music.... My anxiety doesn't have a is a black a real astronomical black hole, where no light or love and escape....just sucking and sucking everything around it.  When my anxiety is managed (which the depression meds did not do at all) my chest isn't a black hole.  It is just my normal chest and heart that I feel like I can project love and light out of.  I want to be in that place.  I need to be in that place. And I'm trying to get there.
Step by step...