I’ve never felt loss so physically, and for so long. Some days I still wake up with a feeling in my chest, a kind of piercing ache that is different, somehow, from panic attacks that I’ve experienced in times of prolonged anxiety. Wonder if it would be so acute if I could gather, hug my friends, make new ones, travel to distant cities. I have tried everything that I know to do, am working to change my bad habits, to build better ones, to give myself a stronger foundation for the future.
But all of this work reminds me of what I have lost. And doing it, I think, stirs things up—like starting a new treatment of SSRIs and finding yourself feeling especially raw in the first couple of weeks of regularly taking the medication. It’s hard to do this work alone. To feel the pain that for so long you have tried to avoid. Yesterday it kept coming to me, over and over again, as I tried to distract myself (a reaction, I think, to the work I had done in previous days). I have to realize that it’s a kind of progress if I burst into tears when I am playing a game or looking at my phone (a sign also that I shouldn’t do these things). Better to feel it than not, even when I’m doing the things that some part of me hopes will keep me from feeling.
I am making progress, even if it’s hard.
Last night in my dream I bought a projector off a man who lived in my parent’s house in the country. A projector with, somehow, a huge lot of video games and board games included, that I wasn’t sure he knew were in the lot. He wanted me to have the whole thing, and he thought he would hang around somehow, and continue to use it, like a shy male cousin who has difficulty with boundaries and won’t explain his motives, but my instinct was to sell it all. It would bring an incredible return and it seemed like a good way to sustain myself, though I knew it would make him sad to do so. But his sadness was just a kind of reluctance, a refusal to release his grip, a holding on. As far as I was concerned he no longer had any say in the matter.
A dream with a quartz underneath my pillow. I put it there when I am looking for direction. Last time, in my dream I was in bed with an ex and there was a monster—the beast from Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête—pacing the circumference of the room, shifting papers, disturbing old recycling. I wasn’t sure what it meant, that we were there, and this monster—but in the dream we were bickering in all of the old ways. There was some gentleness, gentleness I had wanted and even anticipated, but it was not allowed to take hold. Not yet, if ever.
There’s a lot that I need to release, to let go. To clarify. If I am going to learn anything. If I am going to return to myself—I mean the person that I am, or was, or would be.