Seeking Comfort.

Feeling uncomfortable. The heat making it difficult for me to settle down to sleep. Anxiety rises. Feeling uncomfortable. Break the cycle, change the temperature. Close up the house and turn on the air conditioner. Feel guilty for needing to do that tonight for a matter of two degrees Celsius. But it’s my comfort threshold. Over 27°C air temperature and my body gets very uncomfortable. There’s that word again. Fan air movement is not enough to compensate for the heat trapped by my body against the bed mattress. I really don’t like feeling uncomfortable.

I remember feeling uncomfortable so often as a child. Unsure of school classrooms, being a quieter child, not speaking up, finding difficulty to make friends, feeling different – feeling uncomfortable. Feeling uncomfortable being teased for being smarter and less socially enabled. Feeling uncomfortable in the classroom with year-round allergies, runny nose, sore eyes, sensitive skin, twitchy muscles. Feeling uncomfortable go to an specialist and being conscious while they scrape an ulcer off my eye. Feeling uncomfortable with a sensitive eye and needing to wear sunglasses in primary school. Feeling uncomfortable with bullies and peers behaving in ways I didn’t understand.

I remember feeling uncomfortable and being self-conscious around most other people. Later, feeling uncomfortable about my mental state, anxiety and depression, unable to calm racing thoughts. Feeling uncomfortable about asking for assistance. Feeling uncomfortable about doing my self-improvement work. Feeling uncomfortable about taking medication. Feeling uncomfortable about the physical side effects.

Feeling uncomfortable in a relationship that wasn’t as supportive as I needed. Feeling uncomfortable talking to a partner who wouldn’t enter emotional territory. Feeling uncomfortable persisting with a relationship that was growing apart. Feeling uncomfortable about ending the relationship. Persisting. Feeling uncomfortable. Finally realising the uncomfortableness of staying was worse than the possible uncomfortableness of leaving.

I’ve always sought comfort. To feel safe, and loved. To distract me from the physical and mental unpleasantness that was being alive. Never receiving the guidance to navigate difficult conditions. Never having someone understand me enough to offer the support I needed. Rarely feeling comfortable in myself.

Until I took control of my life. Went out and made happen what I desired. Found the people I wanted, who turned out to be the friends I needed.

And still at times, I default to seeking comfort. When I’m unsure, worried, not thinking clearly. Do I seek comfort for peace? Is my discomfort a result of self-care lacking? Sometimes you move way past your normal comfort requirements and make new discoveries. Sometimes other needs surpass the desire for comfort.

Is comfort more a state of mind? Is it achievable more often and far more simply than I realise?

There is comfort in writing – in creating something with meaning out of struggle. There is comfort in processing and determining self thoughts.

Tonight as my body cools, as I finish writing and my brain becomes tired from the process, and as music has eased me through this task, I feel the approach of comfort. Feel the quiet, calm, cool rest that is my sleep into comfortable.

Here and Now; from Before.

I remember mid high-school. My bassoon teacher being upset and teary. I later found out it was because she separated from her husband. But at the time I didn’t understand such things. I thought she was upset because I had done something wrong. I didn’t know what I could do for her to feel better.

When I think back to that time, I’m not sure whether I blamed myself for how she was feeling, or whether I was just so connected to her upset that I felt all her emotions too. Or something in between, or something else. I don’t think I had much understanding of relationships at that time. Home was unhappy with Dad being so unreasonable for a number of years. Maybe I could only react to everything around me; not being equipped to manage my own emotions, never being taught, rarely having any good examples. I watched others, and I picked up some cues from my brother; but it was more of an aspiring to be like that, than developing an understanding. And I think about some of my peers then; those who were working part time to support themselves, those who were out having multiple relationships, while I was still trying to get a hang of feeling and trying to understand my own sexual awareness alongside my shyness and lack of confidence.

Where am I now? I’m proud of how I’ve grown; of how I’ve gained significant understanding of myself during my adult years. Within my current relationship, I’ve gained a great understanding of how my own energy interacts with others, particularly with females. I’m learning more how to control the gifting of my energy to the world around me; when to hold back and when to let it out. I feel that I made some poor relationship choices in the few years before this current stable and supportive one. And yet I know during that time I was doing what I thought I needed to, to experience life in a new way, to experience relationships in a new way.

Where am I now? I am actively working to greater understanding of myself; developing greater compassion for myself; and growing in a positive direction (as I always have).

Where am I now? I am in a positive, supportive relationship with my soul-mate. I made my way here through positive choices. Through the brave choices of leaving (two) relationships that weren’t right for me. I was courageous and intelligent enough to decide what was best for me. I was fearful then, and yet I acted in love for my own well-being. I’ve always cared for myself, and that is why I am where I am today. That is why I am writing these thoughts out in this moment – self care; love for who I am, for who I was, and for who I will be. Doing the best I know how, endeavouring to help myself in the best way possible.

I know logically that I deserve this self-support. And yet I am aware that there is a component of fear driving me. Fear of feeling lost, fear of feeling abandoned and unloved. Some negative core beliefs persist; and these are my current challenge.

Am I worthy? Right now I can feel worthy of love, worthy of brilliant supportive friendships. And I also know that often I don’t feel that way. The dark hole of depression and self-loathing. A brain that functions differently in small ways, that leaves me hiding away from the world, self-isolating. It’s not healthy, and perhaps I can learn how to better deal with those times, how to manage them and ask for the help I need when I really need it.

I’m proud of my choice of friends. I’m proud of my choice of relationships, of my choice of life partner. I still remember that time years ago I decided to grow my friend circle, for my benefit. And now I see fruition of that decision. I now have around me the type of friends that I envisaged. I made this happen, for myself, for my benefit. To live a full and enjoyable life. To be a positive contributor to the world, and to feel the love of similar minds with similar energies all around me.

.

[ 23 Nov 2019 11:05am ]

Always Feelings.

I feel much, and I feel little.

Emotional memories stir of past events, moments that just were; but became significant, painful, and joyful all at once.

They were left behind, thought they were let go; but circumstances brought them back to my conscious consideration.

Where they stir, simmer, and grab my attention for a while. Where they knock me off-balance and pull me apart; such that bringing myself back together, back to the present, is exhausting.

So I took today to rest my body; to rest my spirit and just be in my own space with no responsibilities. Choosing to act when I felt comfortable. Choosing to look after myself without guilt; to remember myself without influence.

There is joy in feeling little; in the quietness; in appreciating the silent mind that chose to be, today.

Holding On.

Some words must be blocked out

Never heard

Their dark, desperate,

deep disturbance

Disrupts the thine line

That I walk each day.

As they creep from the silence

I seek noise, distraction

action, engagement,

Push away the pressure

Leaving space for light.

Scarce lightness

Found outside in the sunshine

With the wind through my hair

As I glide along greenways

Nature ways

Pathways to sanity,

clarity, comfort.

There are no shortcuts

I know no easy way

to traverse time.

Just this time I find my way

quickly, quietly

Hopefully, generously,

happily, thoroughly

Following the hand

leading me along the light

Holding your hand tight

Holding what feels right.

Yesternow Rememberings.

I’ve been here before
Familiar feelings, familiar side effects.
I guess last time I didn’t learn the lesson
So what is it I’m trying to understand?
Uncover and reform the energy of before
Disassemble and redistribute emotions
Wanting to get this right
Wanting to grow and become a better person
And yet –
Here, now, in this very moment, is all that really matters
Within the timeless being of mindfulness is enough
Perhaps not perfection as can be judged
Just, perfection in being present –
In committing my energy to honour and love
For myself, then, for others
The first seems the hardest,
While the second comes naturally.
Looking for answers to ease my mind
Guidance to direct my thoughts,
So that action may follow
And it seems that there are other energies at play
Both supporting and molesting my growth.
Before, when my eyes were opened,
My heart flared with inner power
And now I’ve been lost again in the darkness
Searching blindly for direction,
For anything solid to carry me forwards.
It’s difficult to lead oneself out of the dark
Only guessing on direction,
Unaware of the circular path worn in the landscape
Missing trees, missing the green and the sunshine
I forget so easily what was, and
Get lost so easily in the yesternow.
Sometimes stepping forwards is terrifying
While staying in one place is certain death.
Through the fabric of my world bleeds everyone’s fears
Sensitivities expose this heart to those emotions
Yet, while crumbling in pain
I would shine out as lighthouse in the storm.
Shipwrecked,
Support rallies around me
Let me be conscious to embrace the care
Let there be light on my face and in my heart.

Her Voice.

I am L’s voice.

When she talks about pain, it is a level of pain that leaves most people in tears. Having dealt with constant physical pain every day of her life, she has a high pain threshold. So when she talks about being bothered by pain, listen carefully and do not dismiss a single word.

When she says the pain is preventing her from sleeping, realise that “being tired” is her way of saying she is experiencing severe sleep deprivation from nightly lack of sleep. Realise that fragmented hours of sleep are nowhere near as beneficial as a solid block of deep sleep. Realise that this has been her experience for months. Realise how difficult it is to still function under these conditions, and that running on autopilot is not a healthy situation.

The pain takes so many forms. It is frequently the sharp stabbing pain of knives. It is hot and cold throbbing, sweats and swelling. It is spasms of nerve pain that make her whole body jump, that occur all times of the day, and are particularly disruptive when asleep. There is currently no relief from the pain, only variations of extremity. Even the most pleasurable of intimate times offers no alleviation to the distressing discomfort.

When the pain brings her to tears, realise that there is nothing left, that she has reached the limit of her endurance, being pounded daily by the various attacks on her physical senses. Realise that the pain has been so severe as to frequently leave her feeling nauseous. Realise that vomiting from the pain is her body’s last resort to expel what currently cannot be removed.

When she says that she has trouble thinking, realise that the pain is so strong that her working memory is functioning at a fraction of normal, and the constant assault on her senses is an underestimated stress. Realise that what she manages to communicate is critical information. Do try to find out more with further questions, for her ability to volunteer information is somewhat limited.

Realise that her emotional struggle is as real as the physical. Realise that many of her normal coping strategies have been taken away, and that her normal physical-mental interplay has been disrupted.

When she speaks honestly about how she feels, it is a big effort, requiring much strength and focus, which is a very tiring process for her. Realise that she has experienced over 20 years of being emotionally smothered. Realise for that time she was conditioned into compliance, criticised, belittled and abused for expressing herself or having a different opinion. Realise that speaking up about herself and for herself is a huge task. Realise how tiring is it to every day push herself beyond the protective shelter of silence that she had created in order to survive most of her adult life.

When she talks about understanding the psychological effects of pain, of reduced function, of limited activity and changed behaviour, realise this is a master instructor  with nearly 30 years experience. Realise this is a teacher at the top of her game, with a professional interest in the psychology of behaviours. Realise this is an educator of the most difficult children in this city, who daily has a positive influence on the future of some of the most disadvantaged children here. When you talk about the psychosomatic influences during this time of dramatic changes in her own life, realise this person intimately understands the territory and must respond daily to assist children and adults experiencing such effects.

Realise that this woman is incredibly strong, having saved herself from an abusive relationship. Realise that this woman had the strength to prevent herself from becoming another statistic of domestic violence. Realise that right now she is coming to you for help, because she needs help. She is relying on you for the best care possible.

Too Much Like My Dad.

Looking for answers to My health issues. Trying to find anything that might resolve or improve this situation I find my body and mind struggling with.

Then my mental negativity kicked in and made some connections to my father.

I’ve turned 50 this year. I’ve been really struggling with my health for 3 to 4 months before that and again now afterwards (interrupted only by a 3 week holiday from my Wintery home to the tropics).

And I wondered what my Dad’s life was like at this age. He turned 50 a year after I left home, a year and a bit after Mum left with my siblings. So he would have felt his life was a complete mess, he would have been very angry and hurtful/hateful. I know that’s how he was in the little contact I had with him over the next few years. I know he had a new partner to help him out at home (he needed physical assistance with his own damaged body).

So he was nearly 49 when his family left him. They left because he drove them away. His brain damage and physical injuries from a motorbike accident just over 5 years prior left him in a terrible physical and mental state for which he received little support. But he became even more negatively reacting to his family, even more critical and eventually resorted to threatening and actuating physical violence against Mum who was only trying to look after 5 children.

48 (a few months short of 49) when his life crashed apart.

I finally left my marriage aged 48-and-a-bit. I walked away from another relationship aged 49-and-a-bit. I’ve turned 50 and one of the single most significant parts of my life, my job and livelihood, feels like it’s been a mess for more than the past year.

Is that coincidence, is that linked? Maybe it’s nothing and yet maybe it’s something I need to work out – somehow.

Working through this is a big hurt of realisation. It’s an exhausting trawl through dark murky emotions and scary possibilities. I want to find some brightness somewhere, I need to find some hope in all this. I need to know that somehow this will all work out for the better. I’m living off vapours and reserves now that won’t last much longer. I want to move forwards. I want to sort out work life and be excited for possibilities, instead of dreading the entanglements that I’m struggling to sort out.

I don’t know where to start or what to do. Tonight I am scared. But tomorrow I step forwards.

Out of Focus.

There are times I can see clearly
Specifically what I need to do
Have the motivation to act
The forwards plan in mind

Often these are the quiet times
When my nearby world is asleep
And all expectation has fallen away
Clarity, focus, simplicity

Then comes the morning
With its health complications
Confusions of position and ability
Managing myself prioritizes over the externalities
And life seems too confusing to manage.

.

(5 August 2018)

Looking for Less. Longing for More.

This lost feeling
I have no idea who I am anymore
Normal function seems impossible
And it has been impacting me for a year.

There have been stresses
Big, life-changing, emotional, relationship shifts
Thinking I was over the marriage break-up
But that grief and confusion seem to be stronger now more than ever.

And that other relationship
That was good and then not so good
Had to walk away from that one also
Now trying to process all the interpersonal confusion, all the self-blame, and damage that is caused by people who are hurting.

I’m the hurting one now
But I won’t let that effect my relationships
Feeling how much energy it takes to process all this
Left exhausted after physical health clashes with mental health.

I’m sure I used to have some idea
Of what I wanted, and particularly of who I was
All that is up in question
The old ways didn’t work, the new way isn’t new enough.

New ways of living are too much like the old ways
So discomfort creeps in
A wariness, a don’t-let-this-happen-again
Tries to break apart what is new and good for me.

Though the rest of my life feels in turmoil
I have a close relationship that is healthy
More sound than anything before in my entire life
The wonder of two spirits in synchronicity, joining together after crossing paths 29 years ago.

There are many things we do not understand
Why people cause pain
Some intentionally, some unknowingly
Why we choose to be brave at a particular time, and not before.

Unsettled life, unresolved personal conflict
Whether physical or mental, still the same results
We struggle not to completely fall apart
We struggle to survive, to be good, to create happiness

There is no better focus for the energy we have
If we could just thrive a little more than survive
If we could just have the energy, the health,
The freedom from pain to live a relatively normal life.

Is that too much to ask?

So Much Feels Like Nothing.x

So much
feels like nothing

Where is worthiness?
My own significance is invisible to me.

Other tells me what they see,
what they feel about me

And mostly it is meaningless
to me.

This dis-ease is a disease

The nothingness slowly eats away
at whatever was there before

I feel nothing now
except a hollow emptiness
That I attempt to describe
to exorcise it from my being

But the process is incomplete

It is an unearthing
an exposing
only

Not remediation.

I know its not right

Yet I don’t know how to deny
the lies.

.

[ 18 June 2018 ]