I feel like I am in trouble. The truth is that if I am willing to turn to skills, I can muster through. But there is other truth too. I guess that truth is that I am past my limit of what I can endure gracefully. I feel slip off from other people at the same time that I feel like other people are the threat. I feel like I am not putting pieces of myself together very well– the person I am at work, sort of together, a leader, balancing competing demands– to be that person I turn off some other parts. Those parts need my attention. And a friend wants my attention. My taxes want my attention. My medical renewal forms want my attention. My laundry wants my attention. My child demands my attention. I want to give my attention to myself instead but all myself really wants is to harm and hide. So I shouldn’t feed that. I have found myself quite a bit this last week taking up a behavior that had been absent from my behavioral vocabulary for years– pretending to sleep– lying in bed and staring at the wall– I noticed my mind during these times– it’s the opposite of meditation because there is no presence– it’s a swirling of thought and worry and attempts to sooth myself by recalling things my therapist said and ways he responded, but largely it’s just the sort of daydreaming where I am all but blacked out– have no idea what I am thinking about. I know, though, that I am hiding. I know that it is easier to be alive on the rare occasion that my son leaves the house and I get to be alone– I am less likely to be so “exhausted” that I have to go vegetate in bed. That exhaustion is real, but it isn’t the type that sleep fixes, and I’m not sure that pretending to sleep fixes it either. It’s the exhaustion of feeling crowded. Now that I am working full-time– that’s a big part of it. My life used to have time to get bored I’d say, though I was never bored– my life used to have time to have a rich inner life. Now I am so surrounded by old trauma, on-going difficulty. I have no time for my fantasy, creative life– I know in my gut that I just hit something there– that is very true. Right now there are suddenly crushing demands on me. What i need to do for myself is keep writing. But demands to make breakfast from someone who could totally take care of himself. I’ve just dispatched him, with my money, to buy breakfast out. I don’t like that. I don’t like that stress on me. I want to me free and alone. If I could just spend that day by myself I could recoup some of myself, get myself more balanced again. That is not my reality. Distress tolerance stuff would have me getting out of the house to take care of myself, and I will do some of that. But I really need is time here. Space around me that I cannot achieve. Injuring would give me that space. It makes a whole ocean between me and the world– lets me be alone. It’s hard to really care about staying on track. I’ve made so much progress. My life was so bad, and now it… well- no one is hurting me anymore. I have enough money to live. I can move around in the world freely– make my own choices. So I sort of feel like what I do I have to be unhappy about and how could I possibly want to move backward– use old coping devices. But I now have a fairly, if one doesn’t look too closely, normal, placid life– but that life takes up a lot of space. And I also still have the problems of someone who’s life has been all but placid– and those problems take up a lot of space. And then, when things were bad, I did at least have a lot time to live in creative, non-destructive, artistically productive fantasy. That time is gone. And that was effective coping and that did lend a sense of positive identity, a place where I have gained achievement and recognition– and now the ball is already rolling and I need to do stuff for that part of my life and I don’t know how to get to it. I was telling my story at a 12 step meeting last week and it was only after that — first there was a lot of positive feedback– my growth reflected back at me– powerful and amazing– but afterward I realized more how extreme, how much trauma I have been through and I felt estranged. Then I watched a documentary about people living with mental illness and those lives were lives I totally understood. I’d never thought about it before- that my story is a story about life with mental illness– that doesn’t even sound right. It doesn’t compute. I don’t like or want that identity. And I’m sure that’s healthy…. maybe. But that is sort of a fact. ……anyway. Hard. And so cosmetically fixed in a way that I am holding a job and am safe– protect myself now from others who try to hurt me and more or less from myself. A co-worker noticed scars a few weeks ago and asked what happened. I used a standard lie. And he said something back about how if anyone ever tried to hurt me, he’ll beat them up and no one better mess with me. He has no idea about my past. He says that sort of thing a lot. I sort of like it. But it’s mixed with ideas of gender roles that are not cool with me…. and, anyway, what he was seeing wasn’t something that anyone did to me– I did it to myself. I want to stay with the program but I’m not sure how. I’m supposed to put safety first– that is the prime direction– but there are all these other tasks that I need to do and would be able to do if I could just put safety aside for a moment. Other things I could do instead are take medication and listen to music. It is also not even a good idea for me to be in the kitchen, so I could just make this a day of take-out– I don’t like spending the money, but I have the money. Money is another big thing….. I guess the need to write so much now is from the fact of to making enough time/space to process. At work I have interns and I am their direct supervisor. They seem so functional compared to me. I know not to compare other people’s outside to my inside, but it’s just obvious– they live in relative comfort. I have skills that would suggest I have not spent my life abject poverty, but that’s where the not being well comes in– I have not been well and I life in a tiny, crowded space with loads of rough edges and I have several big, active problems. I came home last night feeling very less-than. Blah blah blah. What to do now. I need a plan. I can take medication, put in my headphones and try to accomplish stuff. I could go visit the friend I don’t want to see. I don’t foresee it being safe for me to be home unless I used medication, but that could cost me extra tiredness. If I go see the friend I may feel better once I’m there– that is likely. I could even bring some paperwork there and do it at her house– that is a very good idea. If I just do the medical insurance paperwork I will feel like I did something. I could bring my computer too and pay bills. I feel good when I think of these solutions so I do that. I seem to have written myself into some sort of solution.