This is what’s going on. I have been doing well. Well enough that I sort of forgot about feeling vulnerable. I know about certain vulnerabilities– hungry, tired, sick, intoxicated. I’m developing some others that can go on own personal list- cold/icy weather, cold apartment, every now and then prementral stuff, any sort of interruption therapy routine. I feel like I’m coming back. I got off. Two weeks of no therapy, some intoxication, icy on the ground. It got harder to feel like one steady person. I can generally take for granted that I can keep myself safe these days– and I did keep myself safe through the hard time– it just took some conscious effort. I’m starting to feel better again now. Had a relatively easy weekend. I took good care of myself- got myself special food, took myself to an easy, nurturing yoga class.
But the issue of the moment is that I had been planning on taking a 5 week class that starts at the end of the month. I looked now and it’s almost full and I haven’t yet registered. I have some big work projects right up ahead that are likely to leave me a bit stressed. I have to do taxes, I know the cold weather will still be here. Wise mind tells me that I am not up additional stress. But the class doesn’t start for another couple weeks and maybe I will feel more sure footed then. I had a difficult couple weeks and I don’t feel sure footed now. The class would be interesting and labor intensive and I’d have to stay awake a bit later than normal. And it and work project would compete for time, which is going to be stressful. Nothing is as important as my health and safety. It is not healthy to have additional stressors right now. And not healthy can lead to not safe. I shouldn’t sign up for the class.
That doesn’t feel good. 5 years ago it was a miracle I could get myself to therapy. Then it was a miracle I could leave an abusive relationship. Then it was a miracle I could speak fluently. Then it was a miracle I could hold a job. So I can see that I am steadily progressing, big time. There’s no urgent need for me to finish the certificate program I’m working on. It might help future job prospects, but I adore the job I have now. I know I’d learn stuff in the class that I would use routinely in my job.
…..but I’ve gotten accustomed to not having to consider my mental health as the main factor I make decisions around- because I am basically just strong enough that I don’t have to do so anymore. But I bump into sadness- a thin sadness over a big pit of loss over not feeling up to taking on anything more- not feeling strong enough. Knowing I need to keep just working on resting right now. It had been feeling like an identity problem to be feeling vulnerable- it’s just not the *me* I am used to these days. If I don’t take the class now I won’t be able to for another year. Maybe it’s snowball-y thinking to tell myself that I don’t know what will even be up in a year- maybe there will be something preventing me then too. ….And I could push myself to just take it now. But last week I got close- couldn’t take safety for granted. And I did great. Nothing but steady progress.
I need to find a way to think of not taking the class as progress, rather than a set back. Progress to honor myself and nurture myself, recognize my needs and tend to them. Career doesn’t actually matter. Learning fun stuff doesn’t really matter. Keeping myself well matters. ….and getting to a point of feeling vulnerable is an opportunity not to fall backward and relive, but to reflect on progress.
I just feel really sad that I’m not up taking it on right now. It’s probably really good to let myself experience that sadness, rather than trying to push through. I think that sadness lies atop a well of sadness, though I’m not sure where the sadness is coming from I feel it gathered in my throat.
When I started writing this out I didn’t know if I was going to sign up or not. Now I suppose I’m not.
Does everyone need special care? Is there something wrong with me? I feel a lot of shoulds- I _should* be able to…. I have diagnoses. Do they actually mean I’m not as capable as other people? …in some ways I know I am more capable than other people,,,, And I know I’m strong as hell. And I know I have lived a lot of life and survived a lot when not all the people around me did survive.
It’s hard to know how to think of myself. But I know there are times when I need to prioritize self-care. And I know that that is just a practical strategy- has nothing to do with right or wrong- just has to do with what works. And believing, and acting on the belief, that my well being matters.