Wednesday, April 23, 2014

more than survival...

"You're always so happy." "You are always smiling! How do you do that?" "It's impossible to not feel loved by you." "Dang -- you just have life figured out!" "I wish I was more like you."

I get comments like this a lot. I smile and nod and say thank you, then rush to encourage the speaker or point out their good qualities. I appreciate their words. I can tell (most of the time) that they're sincere. And I'm grateful for their kindness.

But -- I don't feel like I'm any of those things at all. I don't have life figured out. I know for a fact I'm not always happy, nor always smiling. People say they want to be more like me, yet I'm constantly wishing I was someone else.

I'm not "that girl." I don't have everything under control. I'm insecure and vain and shallow -- I worry about dumb, petty little things. My thoughts are often obsessive, focused on tiny issues that probably don't matter to anyone but me. I want things I can't have -- I do things I shouldn't do.

Honestly, I feel like I'm always the girl who is struggling with something. No matter what I do, something is going wrong that's outside of my control. Either that, or the internal struggles become so intense that I can barely function.

It's a miracle that I hauled myself out of bed this morning. Part of that was because I know need to work so I can pay for graduate school -- fear of massive debt or financial strain is a huge motivator for me. Part of it was because I knew I'd be more bored if I stayed in bed -- and I felt guilty for feeling bad.

I don't feel like I smile very much. I don't feel like I'm a very happy person. Often, I'm shocked that I have as many friends as I do, particularly after I was told that I'm "an incredibly negative person and no one really likes you, which is why you have no friends. People don't like you; they don't like to be around you." Comforting sentiments, let me tell you.

The happy compliments and this absolutely devastating remark swim through my head on an almost daily basis. I hear "people don't like you," and fight back "but she said I'm nice!" And it comes back, "Yes -- but you know it isn't true. Because people don't like you. You don't even like you. Even if everyone in the world liked you, you'd still be like this."

I have no reply.

Whether surrounded by friends or in the comfort of my small bedroom, it's dark. So often I find myself begging to just make it through the day, or even the next five minutes. I'll sit with my head bowed over my desk, willing the tears to go away; I'll lie curled on the floor of my room, physically trying to hold myself together until it passes.

Each time I make goals or attempt new things, I suddenly feel paralyzed. My motivation to progress and do something, anything, is overturned -- and then I'm in survival mode. Just wake up -- just roll over -- just walk out of the room -- just brush your teeth -- just make it back to your room -- just survive.

I don't want to simply survive life. I want to live life actively, passionately, maybe even a little aggressively, meaning not as someone who has things done to them. I want to be the one doing things.

2 comments:

~**Dawn**~ said...

I'm just going to toss something out there. No judgment. Just an observation. Have you ever considered getting into some therapy? My best and dearest friend, always there for anyone and everyone, always able to make anyone feel better, fought a constant internal battle to ever feel "put together" himself. When his marriage came to a shocking and abrupt end (wife called him while he was away on business on the other side of the country and said she wanted a divorce, end of discussion), things crashed hard for him. He resisted therapy at first, but then one day, he just bit the bullet and called for an appointment. It's been a year. He has made so much progress that he only has one session a month now (it was three times a week a first), but he is truly happy, healthy, and the person he always wanted to be but couldn't quite reach. Now he has a toolbox to battle the damaging thought processes and, while life is not perfect, of course, it *is* life being lived and not merely survived. I hope you find some answers. No one deserves to wake up already feeling beaten down by life. =)

Georgie K. Buttons said...

Hi, Dawn - thank you. I actually started therapy again about three weeks ago. I've been in and out for the last 7 years but haven't had real success because 1) the first time, I was fifteen and forced to go so totally resisted, 2) the counselors in the past and I haven't "clicked," as you might call it, and 3) I've been impatient with myself and so quit because I felt like a failure for not doing better.

Now I've found someone who is really helpful and I'm making some progress. Hopefully he can refer me to another counselor after my insurance runs out! :)