Well, yes, I made it. Through Christmas Eve and Christmas–alone. My choice. I could have gone to a friend’s or up to my cousin’s in Colorado, but I chose to be alone. At Thanksgiving, I did this too. Thanksgiving I understood. I’d planned to go to my friend’s house and have Thanksgiving with her family, but that day, I had no joy and I didn’t want to pretend, and therefore would have stolen their joy. No. Not going to happen.
Understanding why I chose to be alone at Christmas is more difficult to understand. Whatever demons possess a person to be masochistic? Or was it something I needed to do? I don’t know and that’s okay. As Trey*, a recovering addict says, I’m just going to “keep it moving.”
I’m disturbed. Well, yes, we knew that, but I’m disturbed about recent events. Christmas is over, and as I’ve said, I know next year will be better because I’m going to make it better. Three years of minimal participation in a season I love is enough. I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of all the shit. But what’s got me thinking and confused is men. Terrence* called yesterday. Terrence broke my heart on so many occasions I lost count. I finally had enough of him at the beginning of August when he moved in his pregnant ex-girlfriend. And now he has moved her out. And the day after, he’s calling me. Nothing is going to happen there. Is that what I’m confused about? I don’t want to go back there. I waited for such a long time for him to change. To treat me the way I treated him, with love, respect, and devotion. I have no obligation to him. I’ve moved on. He has to find his own way in the world. Without me. I took what I felt for him which was so big and so strong and compressed it and compressed it until it was like a solid dense metal box and I put it on a shelf in my heart. He will always have a place in my heart. But I will not take that box down and breathe life back into it. I won’t denigrate the relationship I have now with Trey, however twisted I may have made that, by thinking about Terrence. Hey sorry!! I just had to run that through the processor. And I’m happy to have spit out that answer. I care about me! More than I need to please some prick who hurt me again and again and used me!! Wow!! I’m taking care of myself!! Some reading this will shake their heads. Even people who love me don’t understand me. Too empathic, too forgiving, too understanding. I forgive Terrence but I’m not interested in going back there. Perhaps I should be livid because he’s calling me. Outraged somewhere. But I don’t have the energy for that or desire to go there. I simply want to keep it moving.
And I’m actually alone. My relationship with Trey is long-distance. I don’t really want to be that close to anyone right now. I have work to do. So much work to do.
A realtor called to show my house today!! The day after Christmas!! And only today!! I had to pass. I have to get control of my space and I’ve given myself (as I told my realtor) until January 2nd to get it sparkling. I may have to leave, because I don’t have a way to finance the house myself. I would hate that because I love my house and this is where I want my children to come home to. But I may not be able to save it. And I’ll have to deal with that when I come to it.
So I’ve been cleaning. I promised myself I would clean the kitchen. Ugh. It’s really a mess from having prepared the fondue for my time with my children. They loved it. Che* said I went overboard because I brought their Melting Pot wine glasses. Jan* was shocked because I still had them. But we had a really good time and I haven’t seen Che that relaxed and having that much fun in a long time. Bittersweet. We had Grandpa’s favorite dessert. I’m not able, for some reason, to cook and clean at the same time. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to food and cooking. My passion. I exert so much energy that when I’m finished with my masterpieces, I don’t have the energy or will to do the cleaning. And then, I just want to avoid the whole mess. And something in my brain clicks “off.” I have to then jump the chasm from wanting the kitchen clean and being brave enough to tackle the mess. Because I don’t do anything in a half-assed way. Not even mess-making.
I’ve cleaned the living room and free-cycled an old beau’s jackets he left in the closet (it’s been almost a year). I kept his army jacket with his name on it just in case he asks for it or I get some cash together and can send it to him. It’s not been a priority nor is it now but I can’t be that cold to get rid of it. It has his name on it. Perhaps I should keep the others, but, I’ve put them up for grabs. What? It’s been almost a year!! I don’t want that stuff in my house. Bad mojo. I’m cleaning up. Success is exerting effort in the right direction. As someone with Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome, this is amazing. I can get rid of stuff. And it feels good! I don’t hold on to things for a rainy day anymore because my life turned into waiting for a rainy day instead of living in the here and now. People with CHS have a hyperbolic “on steroids” attachment to things. Sometime I’ll relate my adventure with getting rid of stuff, which is kind of the whole thing about my blogging…relating my recovery. I’m far from recovered, obviously. But I’m making progress. Baby steps, so it’s not so overwhelming, because that’s when we shut down.
Later, and I’ve been working on the kitchen. I’ll get there, now that I’ve started. It’s always the starting part that’s so hard.
Living with mental illness is so odd. It’s like being several people at once, and no, I’m not talking about multiple personalities. But there’s an element of that. There’s who I am in my heart and the one who allows compulsions to rule her life. In my heart I would never hurt anyone, but I’ve hurt so many people. And most of all, myself. But I am not my disease. I differentiate myself from my disease, even though for a time I’ve been consumed by it, literally. Me disappeared. I’ve been fortunate in that I have an over-arching personality that has made me seem less ill than I am. And then, there’s the shame involved. Not wanting anyone to see the malaise. Even before my diagnosis, I knew something was wrong. I took medication for chronic depression and it lessened my symptoms, but there was still so much wrong. My inability to talk about it because of the shame of being so flawed sealed closed the doors to help. It’s so hard to live with. And the stigma is so hard to live with. People’s fear, as if it were contagious. As Winthrop Quigley writes in the Albuquerque Journal, when one has a disease like cancer, people bring flowers and casseroles. When one has mental illness, your “friends” avoid you, you become a lower caste person. http://www.abqjournal.com/upfront/262241417376upfront10-26-10.htm
I’m fortunate to have those I do have in my life, despite my disease. And I am so very grateful for them. I am so very fortunate. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, like at holidays when I can’t be with my children. But they will be with me. I am working hard on it, on me. As Kahlil Gilbran wrote,
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
Almost forgot my gratitudes:
1.) My children.
2.) My dogs.
3.) Food, to prepare and savor.
4.) Writers, because I would be lost without books.
5.) Cookbooks especially.