Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Step 4, Part 3

I've hit that magical level of exhaustion where things click into place because I don't have the energy to overthink them.  Time to exploit that fact.
More inventory:
My red rage scares me.  I don't mean anger or frustration, I mean flat out, berserker RAGE. I don't have it as often as I once did, but it's still far more common than I wish it was. It's always over something I can't control.  It's always well beyond what the situation calls for. And much of the time I either lash out and hurt someone I love, or turn inwards and feed the storm into myself because I don't want to or believe I can't take it out on the offender (see: getting laid off.)  Neither of these is healthy.  I actually got complimented, once, for how professionally I took being removed from a position.  What he didn't know is that I was being very neutral and clipped in my speech so I didn't get arrested for assault, and it was taking every ounce of strength and determination I had.
I guess being able to hide, or at least mask, unwelcome expressions can be a good thing in the working world.  Being labelled sensitive or  explosive can haunt you.  I do need to remember to deal with those emotions, though, and nt keep them sealed off forever.
I'm still not sure how much of my anxiety (GAD) is situation based, past based, and asthma based.  I have a difficult time distinguishing between them, because so often it's one feeding another feeding the other, like an anxiety centipede.  I do know it has a firmer grip on my life than I'd like it to, and that I need to remember my emergency inhaler's existence more often.
I expect chaos.  I may not thrive in it, but I expect it.  When will the other shoe drop?  When will things go to hell, because things always go to hell?  What drama will unfold?  I ask my God to remove me from the hurricane I live in, and in the same breath wonder how I'd survive in calm normalcy.  Even something that should be minimal chaos, like talking to friends, or asking for another project at work, has me making contingency plans along the way for when it will all go to hell.
I make contingency plans.  Hell, some of my contingency plans have contingency plans. I realize that planning ahead and having certain contingency plans aren't necessarily a bad thing, that it's actually quite a good trait, in moderation. I don't do it in moderation.  I have contingency plans for the most inane things, like if I run out of gas on a stretch of road when I have a full tank, or if the dog dies suddenly.  There are times I haven't even realized I had a shit plan until shit happened.  There are other places I need a contingency plan and I refuse to even touch the topic (see: talking to my mother on a bad day and dealing with my middle sister.)
I have a strongly mathematical and scientific, but not necessarily rational mind.  I like to think I consider logic above all else, but my heart tends to rule my head.  These two sides of me seem to be constantly at war.  I get a gut instinct and then try to figure out if it could be rational.
I am frugal and often cheap.  Frugal is not spending more than you need, cheap is buying the same $5 item 20 times when I could have bought it once for $20.  My husband is slowly helping me go frugal as opposed to cheap.  I'd say that's largely due to not having enough money to be frugal when I was a kid; we had to settle for cheap. (Did you know there was knock off ramen?  I didn't know name brand ramen existed until college.)
I am tiny built, and fit into extremely small spaces well.  I learned how as a method to hide from pain.  I still find myself curling into a smaller shape or whatever crevice I can find when I'm in pain or uncomfortable.  It's a defense, but that defense doesn't work against emotional pain.
I can, and do, sacrifice myself for others, far more than I should.  It was an unspoken rule growing up: take care of the small people (those younger, smaller, or more delicate than you) first, be that giving them your dinner, comforting them when you're in your own hell, or protecting them  (Hey, look, a memory.)  I guess it can be a god thing, in moderation, to help those in need, but my needs should (often don't, but should) come first.
Aside from basic survival needs, I put myself last. If you look hungrier than me, I'll even push my hunger aside.  That hurts to admit.  I thought I did a pretty good job taking care of myself, but looking at it, I guess I should probably do more for me.  It's funny.  People tell me to relax, take time for myself, do things I want to do for myself.  I don't know how to do any of that, really.  I know how to do what needs to be done, but when it comes to my wants, those tend to get shoved aside.  The only relaxation I know is a bath with a book and one I hate to admit, even to myself (booze.) As I refuse to become my father, I refuse to comfort myself with alcohol.  I try meditation, and get caught up in trying to be "perfect" in it. I can't thoroughly relax while getting a pedicure because sudden movements tweak me out.  My journals are my outlet, and I tend to censor those, to an extent.
I have dysthymia.  It's a form of depression where my high points of elation don't really reach much higher than your blah days and my dark days are like falling away from the sun with an anchor strapped to your back.  People have actually said "Just TRY to be happy!"  I give them a Wednesday Addams smile and send them on their way. When I eat right, I get a glimpse and a taste of nondysthymic emotions.  They scare me.  To actually be able to be consistently happy feels like euphoria, which scares the hell out of me because it feels like a loss of self control.  I think that's why I self sabotage my efforts to eat right with "treats."  The euphoria of normal happy scares the pants off of me.
I occasionally get the urge to run (I ran so far awayay) like my mother used to do.  I've never acted on them.  I know that my problems can outrun me and will be waiting on me when I get home.  Even if running would help (I don't see how,) I refuse to do it for fear of turning into my mother.  I don't even run to exercise, for fear I might like it and then start running away, like Mom.  (Well, that and the real possibility of a severe asthma attack.)
When I was younger, the only reason I didn't cut was fear of discovery.  I had dreams of carving symbols and words into myself and making them scars.  I'm glad I didn't.
On my worst days, I am suicidal. It's not really something I can ignore.  My mind will see every day objects and views and invent ways I can off myself.  I don't see suicide as an option, but that doesn't stop my imagination from inventing new way to do it.
I need a safe coping mechanism, a candle against the red and the darkness. Biting it down only works for so long before it festers. I don't know of any way to handle negative emotion besides a whirlwind of emotion that dissipates quickly and leaves destruction in it's wake or biting it back until it festers into tears weeks, months, even years after it was created.
I can't name most of my emotions.  I can tell you the Big 3: Sad, Mad, Glad, and Sad and Mad weren't to be shown when I was little.  I can point out some others now (bemusement, bewilderment, confusion, frustration, fury, irritation, euphoria, calm, happy, elated) but the majority of my emotions fall into the lumpy category of Other.
I will push myself to my snapping point, and beyond, to the point where my head is doing nothing but screaming "I want out, I want out, I want out."  Being able to push myself can be good, within reason.

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