Monthly Archives: May 2012

Rat a tat tat.

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I am getting a bit slackola with the blogging. I have been meaning to, but actually want to think about what I have to say. This is more of a forum for my own catharsis, my therapy, my way of talking myself through things a bit more logically than I do in my mind.

I feel ratty. Restless. A vague sense of unease.

I have felt like it for a long time, on and off.

I used to just try and deep dip the feeling in chocolate. Didn’t work.

And you don’t just give an irritable, moody child a cake to shut her up. No.

You say “hey, what is it?”

I’ve gotten a lot better at this in the past year.

I’ve been through a lot in the past year, and have had to find a new place for myself in the world, to look at the things in myself that I am uncomfortable with, and decide what sort of person I want to be, and what sort of life I want to live.

I have given up a lot of “security” for a go at happiness. Bound to cause anxiety. No brainer.

That financial and material security of being in a dual income partnership was very important to me. I grew up in a household where there was no money and constant anxiety about how the family would manage. Hence, I worry a bit about money. Financially, I would be a lot better off if I had stayed with my husband and worked full time as a consultant, rather than leaving him and doing a PhD.

Money’s not everything. I have a secure job which pays well and allows me to earn while I do a PhD. I will spend many years earning good money. I have enough to put a roof over my head, feed and clothe myself, and have as many good times as my leave/the weekends will allow.

I have worked full time since I graduated. That was quite a security blanket. There were always things to do, and I could go home at the end of the day, satisfied in the fact that I had “worked hard”. My controlled chaos, foul means or fair method of working got me through efficiently and effectively. I am a good doctor, I know it and my colleagues know it. It is safe, for me.

The lustre has worn off the PhD a bit. A lot, sometimes. I have to run my own show, work off my own motivation, be exacting and methodical. Make lists. Do one thing at a time. It is not the way I am used to working. It is all very amenable to the little demon of “you are not good enough” making big appearance. That perfectionism makes me scared of doing things, and gives rise to procrastination.

Sometimes, the only thing that keeps me going in it is the faith of my supervisor.

He believes in me. He thinks my project is worthy. Shouldn’t I?

And I am learning new ways of working. New time management skills. Lots of other skills.

No, I don’t know where it will lead. Probably (hopefully) somewhere exciting.

I left a “secure” relationship…..I do question that sometimes, but always quickly return to the conclusion that it was the right thing to do.

I get so lonely. Crushingly so. But I did in my relationship, too – I would often come home to an empty house, and I really don’t like it. Not then, not now.

The difference is that now I face it, and try and deal with it as best I can.

I am learning that I have good friends I can turn to. I have a better idea of who they are now, who I could call at 3am if I was climbing up the walls. It’s good to know.

It is not some guy off RSVP, that is for sure.

The dating….many tell me that I shouldn’t be.

The thing is, though, that I never dated. Never had that adolescence where I dated boys. I studied. Hence, I need to go through that now, to figure it all out. It’s important.

Plus, I actually genuinely like meeting new people. I have learned a lot about people, and about myself in the process. It is nice validation to know that I have no problem getting dates. Nice given I have spent most of my life feeling that there was no way I could attract a member of the opposite sex.

I have found, to my pleasant surprise, that most of the people I come across are good people. Sure, they do some shitty things, but they are good. And it’s nice to know that I still think people are good. I don’t want to become jaded.

People say “oh, but you must be happy with and by yourself”….(usually folks who have never been single in their life, or have been single all their life). But I don’t want to think that happiness in oneself and wanting a good relationship are mutually exclusive. I have had plenty of opportunity to be in relationships, but have not just gotten into one for the sake of it. That is edifying.

My life is  exciting. A relationship would have to be pretty good to compromise my lifestyle, I’ve decided.

A few salutary lessons in dating. The first is of patience. To learn to STFU when in doubt. To have the strength to walk away if I feel my sleeve-heart is being slapped around. To always act kindly and with dignity, even if the situation makes me want to tear them a new arsehole and call them vile names, and make them hurt as much as I do.

The biggest thing, though, is that no man is the be-all and end-all. Or, if one is, I haven’t met him yet. This is important to remember. Particularly given that things are very much easy-come, easy-go. Somebody can have a swift and profound effect one week, and be gone the next and it is dizzying and frightening.

So I must always, always, hang on to those things that are real – my own attributes, my loved ones, my life, the things I enjoy.

I, by nature, am somebody who worries about the future. I think most of us do, more so when things are less certain. I would like to fully buy into that philosophy that things turn out the way they are meant to, but I have seen the fuck-up fairy fly over people too many times to give the philosophy much credence.

Focusing on the now, and the near future is incredibly helpful. I am out of my comfort zone, so it is mandatory that I find regular comfort and joy. (Ohhhh tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy!)

I am good at planning things to keep myself busy. I am good at planning trips. I am good at keeping my diary full. I have gotten better at scheduling quiet time. Perhaps what I need to do is keep a weekly list of “things to look forward to”. Things to get me through the day.

And knowing that whatever discomfort, sadness, unease I am feeling, that it will pass.

Staycation.

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I’ve shaken off the worst of my torpor.

I have learned to bounce back and have done it again. Mostly. Will take time.

This past 12 months, I have learned to live my life differently – it is a process. I want to enjoy as much as I can, live as well as I can. It is not about spending money. I spent a lot of money before but without much joy.

The past 12 months, I have been actively fighting off another bout of the big D – I have teetered very close, and had many times where I wanted the ground to swallow me up.

I fill my spare time with lots of exciting things. Make sure I have things to look forward to.

The Queens birthday holiday looms ahead. I don’t have the money to go away at the moment, but I want to enjoy Melbourne a bit.

Some things I have thought up to do (may not be just that weekend):

  • The 1000 steps
  • go to an awesome bar in Melbourne, with an outfit containing red lippy, a flower in my tresses, possibly fishnet stockings. ie Saucy, but not slutty. One playing live music.
  • go to a restaurant I have not been to before, for dinner
  • go to a cafe that I have not been to before, for brunch
  • finish off one of the books that I have going
  • Mesopotamia exhibition
  • Archibald exhibition at TarraWarra
  • Bake a cake or scones or pastry
  • Cook a roast dinner or lamb shanks or something wintry.

Anyone else have any ideas?

 

I’m doing OK (my therapist said)

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Thankyou for your lovely, lovely comments on my last couple of blogs.

I’ve had a few days off. I am now feeling a bit more in control of things. I have gone easy on myself.

I am very lucky to have a very, very good therapist, and lucky enough to have the money to pay her.

Part of the frustration of the last week was:

“Shit, man, I have worked so hard and I just feel like I am back at square one.”

She gently reminded me that, no, I have come far in myself. It is a process, of essentially blazing my own trail, of figuring out who I am and what I want to be, and the type of relationship I would like to be in.

Those times where I just stop what I am doing, shudder, and face palm, that is all the events of the year coming up and hitting me, and I just need to remember to breathe.

Beginning of last year, I had an almighty bout of depression. I started my consultant job and PhD regardless. Then a lot happened during last year.

I have had to actively fight off being depressed as well as trying to keep on top of the other things I do. Somebody said I was walking a tightrope, and that is absolutely true. Mostly, it has been successful. In the face of some externalities, it has not been. Like now.

I am better than I was last week. Next week will be better still.

Those things that people remind me about myself, about my qualities. They have lodged in my head, but have not quite gotten to heart yet. They are getting there.

A big monkey on my back is the PhD. Last night, I was thinking that, in some ways, I would be better off if I didn’t do it, less stress, more money. That lustre at the beginning has worn off. I am told that is normal, to have a love hate relationship with it. And the only thing that is keeping me in it is the faith of my supervisor, who has attained father-figure like status in my mind. I won’t quit. It is not in me to quit.

It is not in me to quit. The marathon taught me that.

A few little things to try and do:

  • get to bed by 11pm on a school night
  • be up by 7am
  • keep the internet interactions to outside school hours.
  • Make lists. Review them
  • Diarise things, make alarms.
  • Keep the exercise up
  • Do arty stuff.

Elaborating on “Not fine”.

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So I have taken a few days of the PhD stuff, a day or two off work.

Why?

The times when I have been up and about, I have been preoccupied, and forgetful.

I have got bugger all done with the PhD.

Twice this week, I forgot I had patients.

Twice this week, I have forgotten where I parked my car and spent nearly an hour looking for it. While looking for it, I just wanted to lay down on the ground and go into the foetal position. Sometimes I stop, look around, scratch my head.

So. Much. NOISE. Can’t focus. So I forget. And all I want to do is lie in bed with the doona over my head, and I have done just that.

I have been fighting all year to feel good about myself despite some major things happening. I thought that I was getting the hang of it.

Why, why did I lose that feeling? Nothing really has changed.

Here I am, about to find out.

Not fine

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For all the light I try and make of things, the dropping of the f bomb, the rationalising, the soldiering on…..

I don’t feel fine. Not now.

I’ve been cracked open, and it’s going to take some time to get better.

To use marathon parlance, I have hit the 25km mark, and it’s all a bit of a painful unknown now.

 

ohdearohdearohdear

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Firstly, my marathon photos are up on facebook – have a peek!

I got broken up with over the email. On a Saturday night.

[loaded sigh]

Part of me is relieved; I don’t like uncertainty. I think you all know what the other parts are. Yet, I have not prostrated myself. I have not been perfect, but I have been ok (notwithstanding oversleeping this morning and missing an 8:30am appointment).

Yesterday was mother’s day. I heard the faint tick of my biological clock. Fuck you, biological clock.

I am getting used to bouncing back from a blow; have had a lot of experience in this in the past 12 or so months. I feel sometimes like I am flinging myself against an immovable and hard object, and I feel quite crushed and defeated at times. That’s quite an unemotional way of saying it.

He acted like a complete douchebag. I had misgivings, showed him the benefit of the doubt, and he shat all over it. I got the product of his horrible life experiences and I didn’t deserve it and I have to deal with it.

I said a few things to him, but didn’t get mean or personal. That won’t make me feel better. I have separated my ego, which has taken a great sucker punch, from my self-esteem, which I will try and keep unassailed.

That is factoid no. 1.

I could wax all this shit about things happening for a reason et bloody cetera.

But what I need to remember is:

  • It was not my fault. It was him (cold comfort at the moment, but still)
  • I am probably not doomed (by mathematical likelihood)
  • I am clever, fuck yeah.
  • My hair looks fucking fabulous (thankyou, talented gay hairdresser)
  • I have good friends (my gorgeous friend Yana bought me flowers last night. Love her. I just need to put up the flag and the friends are there. Love my friends)
  • People probably don’t suck (it is important that I try and hold on to that, I don’t want to be all bitter and shit)
  • I’m gonna be ok and this will pass.
  • Someday, that Guy Sebastian song will get out of my head. Fuck you, Guy Sebastian. (Shakes fist)

Did I tell you I ran a marathon?

First post marathon run.

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I went for my first run today. I slowly laced up my joggers and went running. I did a big sigh as I started, a big soft haaaaaaah. Trying to breathe things out. I feel a bit better for it. Maybe a longer session tomorrow. Slowly slowly. A little butt/hammy pain. My appetite has not been flash – I have been living on muesli and bananas and the odd sustagen. I have manorexia.

Re: the man thing.

The amount of tears has been decreasing.

I have had lots of confusing messages, both internal and external. All very well meaning.

A few of the “he was just not that into you”, “you read him all wrong” messages.

A few of the “he was a jerk”, “don’t waste your time” type.

A few of the “just be patient, he’ll be back, it’s not over” type.

A few of the “he has too much on his plate”, “he has had such a hard time”type.

A few of the “things happen for a reason” type.

Internally, I have been agonising.

“is this how it is always going to be?”

“am I doomed? Is this payback for leaving my husband?” (Frankly unhelpful and I have pushed that one right on out.)

“Is it fate or is the fuck up fairy always going to fly?”

“how can I believe anything anyone says to me now?”

I have had people tell me “don’t worry, you are smart, attractive, funny, brave”. I am beginning to think it is a handicap. I wondered whether I represent what these men want to be, rather than what they could love. Again, probably not that helpful.

I’ve spent time crying in the car. Nobody to hear me. Wondering whether I matter to anyone, at least, matter enough that somebody could come and help me.

I have had periods of blinding anger, probably more to come, if the Kubler Ross theory is to be believed. So. Goddamn. Angry.

But here are some bottom lines:

I acted kindly, honestly and in good faith, and was good to his children. I did not chase him any more than he chased me. I responded to the things he said to me and believed them, they made me feel good. I did not imagine things, I would like to think I am smarter than that. What happened, while, in one way, unsurprising, was out of the blue and probably something that had boiled over.

I sent him a nice email explaining why I stormed off. I told him that I understood his fears; that, given a chance, I would support him. The email has gone unanswered. Despite being awfully hurt I have done my best, and showed him my best self.

But I didn’t deserve to be hurt. And I can’t do anything more. And I don’t know what is going to happen and there is not a damn thing I can do about it.

And what I need to do now is put the focus back on me.

I decided what was important to me in a relationship.

Foremost, to be loved as I do, without reservation. And, in the right relationship, to have children. I have time. He might not be the one for that.

I need to jump back into my own life and regain that burgeoning sense of self. Dance. Paint. Run. Travel. And, heck, do work.

That little chestnut of faith. Faith in myself. That I have worth, and I do matter. The trust in others has had a bit of a knock though.

To regain that delicious feeling that something exciting is around the corner.