perjantai 10. tammikuuta 2014

Days 377-378: Dissatisfied with life


Yes, it's just me. /

Ever since my partner left to travel a couple of days ago I've been hit with heavy anxiety and depression. It has made me crazy when I'm at home by myself and jammed when I'm out with other people. I had trouble being at work because I didn't really know how to be around people: it took me many hours to move myself out of the state I was in to start to enjoy the presence of people. Today at university specific triggers caused me to get very depressed, emotional and anti-social. I walked through some of the things during the day but was still feeling very heavy and tired. I called that state “being in deep waters” - a phrase I've probably picked up from a friend who once used the same words to describe his depression.

When I got home I was relieved to be by myself, but soon the walls started caving in and I again got anxious because I was alone. I reached a breaking point where I started talking through the points that had been surfacing and releasing the accumulated emotions through crying, shouting and movement. This worked surprisingly well: I calmed down, my state of being stabilized (walls were no longer crashing but standing quite firm, lol) and as I started going through all the things I had just voiced I had a bunch of points to write down and examine. I will now go through some of the points at once as they intertwine.

“My life as it is feels unsatisfying”

I had a very hard time admitting this to myself, because I feel like an immense failure saying it. Everything in my life is apparently well: I've got a place in a university and I don't have any tuition fees to pay; I've got a job that I enjoy and brings me enough money; I have plenty of friends; I've got all the basic necessities of life covered; I've got a direction that I am walking towards. Nothing should be wrong – yet, something seems to not be right.

All of my adult life I have been trying to find myself a direction to go to. I've been working to survive and applying to different schools every year, usually art schools because I've had a passion towards many fields of art. A couple of years ago I decided to move my focus from art – a form of psychotherapy – into the system itself, which causes the need for psychotherapy in the first place. Instead of working with the symptoms I wanted to work with the causes, the actual illness that makes the world a place of inequality and separation. I chose to focus on the field of education, an effective tool for prevention, which is what I'm studying now in university.

One way I've also been looking for fulfillment of sorts has been through relationships. I used to live in a big family, and when I left home to live on my own I moved together with my second boyfriend. I was happy to be living with someone, but it also became a point of dependency and addiction where I became financially and socially dependent on my boyfriend, thus eventually taking the relationship into a breaking point where we broke up and moved apart. I've lived alone ever since and I've been fine with it, up until 1-2 years ago when I saw some of my friends living in communes and shared houses and realized how much more fun life would be when living with other people. I created a craving for a “family”, not necessarily one of a couple and their children, but of any people, a community of sorts. But as I realized it was not possible for me at the time I thought that there would be a time for it, and that I should just enjoy the time I have on my own.

The two questions I'm looking at here now are:

  • Am I studying the right subject?
  • Can a person be fully happy living alone?

I've asked myself the first question before, and I have told myself that if I am genuinely enjoying whatever it is that I study and finding it relevant and useful, it “doesn't matter” what the topic is. I think that education science will prove itself useful to me in ways that I cannot yet foresee, because it can also be combined with any form of art or adapted into any setting where people are involved. In any case what I study now is going to give me much needed perspective and knowledge.

I guess one thing that I need to keep in mind while studying is that I should not be afraid to change what it is I'm doing. I have a habit of planning waaaaay into the future, but I cannot really know if any of it will happen or if any of it is advisable at all. I'm kinda pondering between the options to either step into the system and play the game that the social construct labeled “LIFE” is, or to focus on creating my life into one that I find enjoyable and worth living – because, frankly, right now life does not feel “worth living” in those respects. It may be the wave of depression speaking, but there is a deep dissatisfaction in me where life just seems to suck balls. This may be me separating myself from life in each breath and each moment as I lose myself into grand visions and get disappointed when I do not see immediate results.

But I'm guessing one could both “play the game” AND create a life that one can enjoy. Depends on how one plays the game, I guess: I once met a guy who was dedicated to become a prime minister and thus had given up all hope of ever having a fulfilling partnership – although this may have just been his helplessness, as even though politics is tough many do still manage a family alongside all of it.

So I guess that I'm just going to have to live through studying, work, career and all that moment by moment, and grasp whatever opportunities come along my way when and as they do. We cool? We cool.

Now, about living alone. Since my partner left the time I spent living with him compares like a slice of heaven to these past couple of days, which is just insane and I know it. I have recognized a part of what makes it, though: being able to share myself to another being, because another being is a dynamic mirror to myself whereas the walls of my apartment never respond, lol. I've noticed that now that he's gone I speak maybe a tenth of what I did when he was around, which has a huge effect on how much I communicate with myself: I don't talk to myself until I reach some sort of a crisis where I have to talk something out, so usually I just fall into this slump where I forget to ask myself how I'm doing. This, now, may be a great moment to learn more about self-communication and how I can become self-sustained in that respect, so that I would not be dependent on living with others in order to see and know myself, even though living with others may make that process a lot more efficient. I may have to live on my own some time yet, so I need to learn how to be my own mirror, my own partner and my own conversationist while there's nobody here to assist me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to make my life feel dissatisfying by creating big visions of what I should become and then getting disappointed when I appear to be “getting nowhere”, not realizing that even though I am actually making progress I am making myself blind to it by wanting to see grandiose things when progress is actually about doing small things within consistency.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe and perceive that I should “get somewhere” in life to be successful, not realizing that even though in the “game of life” (the social constructs of the world) “getting somewhere” is an asset that will gain me things, in the actual physical life beyond the social constructs very little is in fact required for life to be enjoyable and worthwhile.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel as if my life is a failure when I seem to be failing at the “game of life”, not realizing that the two “lives” here are not the same even though I participate in both.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to attempt to play the “game of life” (participate in the system) without first being stable in the physical life and without knowing all the rules of the “game”.

  • I commit myself to prioritize stabilizing in the physical life and to participate in the “game of life” - the system – only by the requirements of the physical life.
  • I commit myself to explore the basic components of the physical life – nutrition, exercise, socializing, creation and work, self-expression – to see how I can balance them out in my own living.
  • I commit myself to further educate myself about the world to learn about life itself as well as the “game of life”.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to stress about what kind of a professional I will become, afraid that I will become such a mismatch of skills and knowledge that I will have no use in the society, not realizing that what I can do may not have a distinct profile in my mind or in anybody's mind (as I will not be a stereotypical ballet dancer, firefighter or a classroom teacher – to be honest, I don't think any living person's actually a purely stereotypical presentation of a profession) and that what I can and will do to contribute to society, to humanity and to the world is something that I will create every step of the way as I move myself in this reality.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to want certainty of “what I'll become” in the form of a clear career direction or profession that I could use to define myself with, not realizing that this self-definition would limit me in my choice of action as I would choose on whether something fits my profile or not.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear that I will have no place in the world as I have been unable to label myself and assign myself a place, not realizing that to an extent not defining myself is actually supportive.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear that others will perceive me to be a failure if I do not “have a place” in the world, not realizing that I am again confusing life with the “game of life” where “having a place” is an asset, and that even if others were to make the same confusion it does not make it any more real.

  • I commit myself to slow myself down to enjoy studying for as long as it feels interesting and enjoyable.
  • I commit myself to not force myself to study things that I find no interest towards, and to instead focus on things that I am motivated to study.
  • I commit myself to trust myself to be able to create myself positions in life where I can contribute to the world with all of my skills and knowledge.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to make my life feel dissatisfying by communicating with myself only with a few selected people, thus not really being intimate with myself and supporting myself when I am not in the presence of those few people.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to blame others for not asking me how I'm doing in my life, not realizing that it is not others' responsibility to open me up but mine.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that I am not satisfied with life because I have clammed myself up from most people, thus not giving myself a chance to experience the social field in the scope that it could be utilized: as a mirror to myself and to others.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to require other people in order to see myself, not realizing that even though self-reflection is more efficient with other people, others are not in fact required for me to see myself – it simply requires a bit more effort when I am by myself.

  • I commit myself to ask myself “how are you” at least once a day, preferably more than once.
    • I commit myself to stop, breathe and ask myself “how are you” every night before I go to sleep, and I commit myself to reserve enough time and physical comfort for this exercise.
  • I commit myself to write on at least 4 days of a week. (As writing daily is not working for me at the moment, I will instead commit to a smaller amount that I am certain I can in fact live up to.)
  • I commit myself to investigate how exactly I live with myself to see how I could give myself enough attention and care.

Fascinating stuff! I'll keep on walking this state of being to see what comes up. The depression and anxiety have dissipated for now, which sure as hell makes life a bit nicer, lol.

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