It’s hard being true to yourself

Positive thoughts are fleeting nowadays.  I see it when I write, feel it when I am emotional, think it when I let my thoughts wander.  But is it all that bad?  I am finally able to live as myself for the first time in my life.  I am finally with someone who encourages me to be who I am and doesn’t hold me back.  Why am I not happy?

Life situations tend to cloud what could be a very hopeful and happy situation.  I am unemployed, so my worth to society seems very little.  I have not made anything creatively in a long time.  My motivation to create, work, and do things has reached an all time low.  I know this and it’s a constant cycle of feeling worse and worse.  I know the solution is not to wallow in these horrid feelings that feel impossible to escape.

It is not easy living as ones true self.  In a lot of ways it’s been self defeating.  I have already said I have lost friends, lost this, lost that, etc.  So how have I managed to keep going and not just stay in bed.  Well for a few months, I didn’t really want to do much.  Depression can be very crippling.  I didn’t even apply for jobs, do house work, feed myself properly, take my meds, etc.

What has kept me going despite all of this?  Stubbornness?  To lazy to stop existing?  Some days I can’t fathom why.  But I know what has helped a lot.  The few friends left that I try to message and support, the few twitter friends I try to message every now and then just to see how they are doing, and watching the successes of my twitter friends.  I could talk about all of them individually, but that post would be excessively long.  Maybe I should write it anyway.  We all need a boost from each other right?  I feel as if even with that I have not been as supportive as I could be.  I don’t ever feel that I have done enough or that I have forgotten about others.  I try to remember that I have to take care of myself before I can help and take care of others.

My partner has been extremely patient and supportive during this time, even working overtime to help cover bills.  I of course feel guilty for this even though I know there isn’t much I can do about it.  I don’t want her to work so hard just to make ends meet.  I feel worse because I don’t feel like I am contributing to our household.  But I also have to remind myself of what I am doing and what I can do to contribute.  Depression doesn’t help make this any easier.  I have started to say “sorry” way more often than I should.

So why am I still trying when a lot of things have made me feel like a failure?  I love my family and friends so much that I don’t want to fail them.  I feel bad for not being able or willing to provide as much as I can.  So what is left if the depression has convinced me of these terrible things.  I have to remember to be myself, take care of myself, and that I can not help others if I can not help myself.

I have recently been trying to take care of myself.  Self care is so very important right now.  It comes in many forms:  learning a new skill, getting some chores done, applying for more jobs, getting interviews scheduled, updating my resume, eating right, taking my meds consistently, being a good listener for my friends, helping a friend who needs some advice, promoting my friends accomplishments, collaborating with others on projects both creative and otherwise, using my career skills to help friends and family, and more.

Part of this is self care, the other is doing things that I am able to do to help others out.  The latter is a reminder that I still have something to contribute to others.  The former helps me do the latter.  I can build my own cycle of reward to hopefully help me get out of the cycle of depression.  It gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.  It gives me a reason to live and breath.  It gives me a chance to be myself.

I have had to discover a lot about myself these past couple of years.  My journey has changed course so much during this time.  I thought I knew who I was, but I still do not know fully who I am.  But I have made plenty of discoveries about it.  So who the hell am I?

I am a kind and caring person to a fault.  I am a strong defender of those I care about.  I am forgetful.  I am intelligent but scared to show it.  I am flawed, but not trash.  I am imperfect but not worthless.  I love hard.  I will not put up with others stomping on my civil rights.  I will defend myself and will defend others.  I will lift those up I care about who let me know they need help.  I am strong willed and am unable to completely give up.  I am able to fake it till I make it.  I take things hard, but can bounce back from it if I try hard enough.  I need support from those I love, but rarely ask for it.   I am afraid to speak out of fear of offending others.  I am afraid of others judging or disliking me.  I am not 100% introverted.  I am not extroverted.  I want to be heard instead of ignored.  I am a person who holds honesty in the highest regard.  I show respect to those who are honest to me even though they may be afraid of hurting my feelings.  I fear the future, but am not opposed to it.  I want to experience new and interesting things.  I want to be free from my depression.  I want to continue to have the few friendships I have.  I want to strengthen those relationships.  I want to build new and fulfilling friendships with others that are mutually beneficial.

And finally, I want to love others who are close to me.  I want to be loved for who I am, not who I was.  I will continue to fight to be who I am and love those around me.  I will continue to try and build up current and new relationships.  I will not let depression take the things I care about most from me.

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The Great Divide

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I have lost friends over this.  I have stopped talking to people.  My circle is tiny now.  There are maybe a handful of people I can call friends.

My worst fear is abandonment.  I feel like once someone gets to know me, they leave.  Either by moving away, by going silent, by ignoring me, etc.  I have been left to many times by people I care about.  I can’t just stop caring about those people, but either they leave me or I have to leave them to be healthy.  When I have to leave, it’s because they want to rely on me to help them out of their emotional hole.  Yet they are unable or unwilling to help themselves.  I can not be dragged down into their despair because I have my own to deal with.  I want to help those I care about, but if they are not willing to put in the effort, what is the point?  I can’t solve problems of others, I can only offer help.  When I see they are trying to pull me down with them, I have to leave.

I wonder if people feel the same way about me and leave me because of the same reasons.  I like to think that I do not try to pull people down with me.  I like to think that I try to fix my own issues and just need someone to listen and acknowledge me from time to time.  I just don’t know.  But I no longer have the friends I use to.  The ones I still have that I consider close are physically so far away.  The ones that are close by physically are new friends that don’t really know me.  That is not their fault though.  I don’t really open up like I use to anymore.  I don’t want to risk being hurt again.  It has happened too much.  I do not want to open up, just to be abandoned like others have done.

I feel stuck, I want close friends again, but either they are unable to or I am unable to open up.  It makes me feel alone a lot.  I know only I can change this, but it doesn’t make the feeling of despair go away.  There is a great divide that seems hard to cross.

Obsession

Disclaimer: I do not have a degree in psychology or any sort of training relating to it.  These are my own experiences and opinions.  They should be treated as such.

It happens to us from time to time.  We get overly excited about one thing or another and can sometimes become overly enthusiastic about it.  Even to the point of obsession.  For a lot of people it’s an escape from their reality.  A focus on something that makes them happy, gives pleasure, etc.  at the cost of other things in their life.  Obsession, I believe, can be both good and bad depending on the severity.  The word and its context usually implies something negative, but when harnessed and kept in check, can lead to great things.

I was obsessed with gaming.  I loved the community that I built around me and still do.  I loved being in the know about things coming down the pipe, meeting new people just as obsessed as I was, and it helped me not think about all the other bad things going on in my life.  I was able to escape and feel purposeful in the things I did.  For every team victory, every level beaten, every game finished, I felt like I accomplished something.  For a while it satiated my need to feel I am moving forward.  In reality I was standing still with other important parts of my life.

I ignored my mental problems, I ignored the fact that I didn’t feel right in my own skin.  I ignored that I was miserable when not gaming.  I ignored relationship problems, my health, my career goals.  All I wanted to do was play games for hours.  The plus side was I never felt alone.  I had lots of friends to talk to online.  Lots of people to spend time with, game, or just have social interaction in general.   Deep down though, I was unhappy and had emotional issues.  The obsession helped me not have to think about or deal with these problems.

But eventually those problems become to big to ignore.

Most people who read my blog know what happened when I started to listen to myself and start caring about myself.  So I will not go into that here.  Obsession lead to making me blind to the issues I really needed to deal with.  But, without that obsession, I would not have the friends I have now.  I would not have had the experiences with those friends.  I will never forget the fun I had playing Smite and having victories, playing Mega Man Death Match with my podcast friends.  I would not have made the connections that I continue to have with them.

I regret the negatives of my obsession, but I can not discount the positives I gained from it.  I am happy I realized that my obsession was an issue.  I still game, I still stream, but life is much fuller and balanced.  I will always have some obsession, something I strive for.  Where would we be without some kind of goal?  But I feel this time I am more aware of myself and my need to do things I love.  Obsession can lead to great things, but must not takeover and make us blind to the other things in our lives.

Energy

I haven’t written here in a while.  And all the stuff I’ve written on fb will be more of the same here.  But I don’t care.  This is the story of me.  I am happy when there are those who chose to read my words, as sappy as they are.  Happiness is not a feeling I’ve known.  Not true happiness anyway.  Not until now.

A lot of you already know and have probably grown weary of hearing about my wonderful new relationship.  I am gushing and continue to do so.  Connection of this type is something I’ve not experienced before.  There are parts of me I do not share with the world.  We all have those parts deep inside that we keep to ourselves.  Those parts we don’t share, even with our partners.  To bear it all to one person takes a lot of courage.  For someone to see you, see through you, see all parts of you, is a scary thing.  But it doesn’t have to be.

Everyone had an energy about them.  We feel it when we feel that love of a friend, that familiarity with people we see and look forward to seeing.  We feel it when we get that gut feeling that something is not right about someone, or when we get the creeps from someone.  The first thing I felt when I met her was a strong energy.  One that was kind of intimidating but in a sense, inviting once we started talking.  Then it became a feeling I could trust.  There was already a connection forming even then.  Then I asked her for a hug, a cuddle, etc.  Someone I didn’t know well, someone who projected this confidence, holding me.  Helping me feel like things will be ok.

We both started to have a deeper connection.  She felt she wanted to protect me.  We started a platonic, mother/daughter dynamic.  It was more than a friendship, a deeper one that was very nurturing and caring.  But it was still a friendship.  She had other relationships.  I noticed how she looked at others and I could feel the energy between them.  I stop there and start to compare the energy exchange with her relationships then and the energy with me.

When she looks at me now, I melt a little.  I feel my body ease, my eyes soften.  I could see how she eased when she looks at me, the smile that comes across her face.  It was similar but different to another romantic relationship she had before.  I wondered what it was.  I think I now know.  The energy we have exchanged has brought us closer.  It’s as if I can tell what’s on her mind emotionally at times.  I can see how she looks at me, what goes through her head.  Yes, when she looks at me, it’s a much different feeling to past relationships.  It’s hard to describe it, but now that I know it’s there, I don’t have to be told I’m special to her.  I can feel it through my whole being.  I have never experienced that from someone else.  The way she looks at me is not at all the same as it is to others.  I see that now, VERY clearly.

It’s mushy, gushy, cliche and sticky sweet love stuff.  But I don’t care if it bothers others.  I want to share every happy moment.  I want to show the world that we have found something special together.

us

I love us.  And I want to share the rest of my life with this wonderful person.  I want to stay in this happiness and look forward to things I never thought I would want, but welcome with open arms.