God it's been a week of fuckery. I'm not usually one for anecdotal sayings, but news has come in threes this week. Bad news. Everyone seems to have left common sense at the door and I'm just left here staring blankly, trying to figure out if what is happening around me is real, or I'm being punked by an entire bunch of unrelated people in my life at once, in some sort of elaborate and multifaceted ruse. Well, at least being able to use "elaborate", "multifaceted", and "ruse" in the one sentence has softened the blow of this week a little. But only a little.
I think I'm most annoyed by the disruption to my already choc-full deadlines. I'm working two jobs and studying an honours year full-time. I was working three jobs, but had to drop one because I also party to a level which is not advisable, and the end result of that all shoved into one lifestyle was that I spent most of this week as sick as all hell, pushing my workload into an even bigger well....shit heap.
As weird as it sounds, something that has kept me sane and avoided me really rolling heads has been taking on yet another commitment. I've been to the gym most days this week, with the exception of the ones where I really, really was too sick to function at all. It's actually been brilliant. My initial urge was to go to the doctor and get more valium, but I just don't feel right about that while I'm doing this well. There was a time a while back where I genuinely needed the stuff, but honestly as uncomfortable as life has been this week, I know I don't need it right now. One of the big things worrying me is to do with drugs and someone else, and to be honest, I feel kind-of wrong about having these concerns and then coping by getting a bunch of valium. I don't care if I can get it on a script, the rationale seems kinda fucked.....I'm not judging, if you need it then by all means go for it, there is a place for the stuff, but I don't need it right now.
So....sorry I got a little off-track...this is where working out comes in. I'm flogging myself at the gym when I'm frustrated, angry and/or upset, and it's helping a lot. I'm getting something to throw my aggression at that doesn't beget more aggression, I'm getting a rush of serotonin from the workout, and I'm getting the added bonus of better feels surrounding body image. And you know, better general health as well. Science, bitches.
Tonight has been particularly trying via a "series-of-random-events-that-had-nothing-to-do-with-me-but-very quickly-became-a-burden", so this is my friendly semi-public reminder to myself to stay on-track. Do those damned readings. If you're wanting to yell at "the stupid" tomorrow, go do a gym session instead. You have been through so much worse. Don't let silly things steal your happiness. You got this girl. Et cetera. This is one year of hard work, and that hard work will be worth it. Hold on to your sanity and smile it out. You got this.
Trauma can do funny things to a person. I've survived it, but since I've come back on track, I've felt emotionally switched off at times. There have been a lot of ongoing psychologically distressing circumstances in my life over the past few years. Lately that has not been the case, which has seen some changes in my experience of life around me.
This morning I woke up and it was as if a large chunk of the emotional numbness I had been, well, not feeling for the past year and a half had been turned back on to about perhaps 80-90% of what once was. What once was had been somewhat exaggerated anyway by major life changes, so I'm going with I feel normal again. I woke up, had a bit of a cry, and felt lonely for the first time in a very long time. Which was wonderful. I hadn't felt a lot of anything recently. That may sound strange, but emotions coming back is something I needed. I generally care so little that I struggle to remember a new person, not due to any physical deficit, but due to a lack of interest. It's nice not to feel so numb. I think I can say that I'm not a full time PTSD sufferer anymore.
It will be nice to take the feelings my body is letting me have again, and drive them toward goals. Hopefully it will allow me to take in my coursework and make it more meaningful. It also means that I feel like I'm really ready for more meaningful relationships now, so that's another possibility, depending on what opportunities come my way.
It's all a little hard to describe, but it feels as if a weight has been lifted today. I'm thankful for having a rare day off to enjoy it all. It's very hard to describe, but my experience of PTSD so far has been akin to a stroke patient having to relearn how to walk, if walking was feeling emotion. It was as if my body reacted to the trauma by protectively shutting off my emotions, and then randomly throwing all of them at me at once in a concentrated form whenever something triggered it.
I feel like I'm defined by myself rather than any illness lately. I'm not scared to welcome in things that I once would've just silently and numbly walked from. This post is strange, because it sort-of highlights the level of illness I've experienced to the reader that is very severe, but I don't want people to think that way. I've dealt with this all along, and this post is about not feeling like that anymore.
It's a sort of overwhelming happiness that I'd only really vaguely remembered feeling until recently. Time to go out and put it to good use now. Thanks to all of you that I kept around, for being so supportive, and for being a part of me healing from a life I left behind some time ago. I get scared talking about this, because it means people will want to ask questions about things I'd rather not discuss, but I think it's important to talk about one thing - that people can get through even the most challenging things and come out the other side stronger and with their humanity intact. If you have PTSD, there is hope for you too. There are fewer and fewer hard days as time passes, and I don't feel isolated by my traumatic experiences now.
It has come to my attention lately that people think I can only be happy if I'm a part of someone else.....and I'm confused. I mean sure, being in a long term relationship would be nice I guess, but my idea of a nightmare is committing to the wrong person. I have a huge social and academic life, and I'm more than self-sufficient.
I don't mean to sound angry, but are people in the general population aware that equality is not a thing yet? I know myself well now, I'm producing really good work, I have strong and stable friendships with no silly drama, and I'm in a stable home environment. And yes, I'm somewhat promiscuous. For some reason people are concerned about this, but were once-upon-a-time okay with me pursuing what were abusive relationships, to a point where I was not only miserable, but in real danger.
I'm not a conventional person. I don't think anyone really entirely fits the concept of conventional. I'm pretty sure that's a term that should be left for describing ovens. This does not mean "oh look at me, I'm so random haha I'm like, totally unique!"; that's not my game. I just do what makes me happy, and I really don't give a toss about external opinions, unless I've actually deemed the person having them as worthy of listening to.
What is going on right now in this culture?
Let's ask some questions. Let's ask some really interesting questions.
Why is the value of a girl measured by her love life? Why is sexuality anyone's business but those who are directly involved? Why do so many people feel as if people, particularly women, cannot be fulfilled without a relationship? Why do people outside of a person's relationships feel that they have a right to act affected by said relationships? Why is normal more important than happy?
I excitedly told someone I was hooking up later the other day and they sent back "Well I hope you find what you're looking for one day." What even is that? I have found what I was looking for. It's me. I found me. I stopped placing value on what other people thought of me, and I started to have time for myself; I became happy. Is it so hard to believe that taking a few years to figure out life in your twenties can have an endgame of being comfortable in your own skin, based on what you like? Isn't that essentially what any fulfilled person does?
I stopped being so worried about what people thought of me, and my mental illnesses started to melt away. I stopped placing my personal worth in my ties with others, and the abusive relationships ceased. I got rid of the people in my life that gained power from belittling others, and I started to make friends that were genuine, that would talk about more interesting things than who was a slut and who was alpha that week.
I love my life. I absolutely love it. The people allowed in are the ones that love me. If that changes, I feel no shame in walking away. We're not so caught up in social posturing, which means we get to talk about things like art, and science, and travel, and the future, and a whole myriad of things that are fun for better reasons and that help us grow. I'm focusing on studying, to a point where I now get the absolute honour of conducting research that helps change the way the world views social structure, for the people. To make workplaces more comfortable, to allow people to be happier. I get to do that because my time belongs to me and not the uncomfortable drama of a broken social group or a broken boyfriend. I think that's great. I'm not facing each day with anxiety and depression anymore. I'm not so traumatised by PTSD that I can't function on a regular basis. I can speak my mind without fear. I can stick up for my friends without worrying about persecution.
I'm exploring my sexuality and I don't feel bad about turning someone away if they turn out not to be what I'm looking for. That's a huge step forward. One day I probably will settle down with someone and have a couple of kids, but I don't need that to be happy. Sex is fun, by the way. Nobody should be ashamed of that.
So to my well-meaning friends and family who hope that I find what I'm looking for: I love you dearly, I appreciate your kind sentiments, and I hope you do too.