Yesterday was a bad day.
Today will be a better day.
One of the things that these daily AA meetings have reminded me of is the Daily Promise. The Daily Commitment. The idea that one must re-dedicated themselves to sobriety every. single. damn. morning. It helps center us and helps us avoid big, dramatic scenes, which is a good thing for everyone.
So today, I am re-dedicating myself to a better day. I will soon eat a rice cake (unsalted, though perhaps with a touch of peanut butter) to quell the still nagging nausea, and accidentally leave my coffee outside, thus requiring me to microwave it back to acceptable, barely-tongue-scorching levels. All things will be as they should be.
Except for me being, y'know, asleep. Cest la vie. I am alternately both cavalier and desperate about the whole thing. We have already reduced one tablet of my steroids, which has not made a dent. When we rid ourselves of two of the three, at least for now, I can add hope to the repertoire of sleep preparations.
But for now, it's 3 AM. I am awake. Sunrise, sunset. So I do what any self-respecting, insomniac writer does - I sit and chainsmoke endlessly on the porch thinking of things to say on Livejournal.
I tell myself that posting the worst of the self-doubt and self-loathing is a strong thing to do. I tell myself that it only reinforces this terrible idea that self-loathing somehow equals self-awareness. That idea is a lie, and one I've struggled with for most of my life. I tell myself that fuck it, if people don't like it, they don't have to read it.
And I tell myself that this, more than anything, is a lifeline. In rough waters, in fleeing 20th story windows with flames licking behind them, it's going to hurt your hands. Skin's comin' off during that dire slide down. Your muscles are going to get pulled. Underwear will bunch up and if you have let go for those last few feet, you're probably not going to land on your feet.
But it's going to save your life, and even if it leaves you handless and footless altogether, it will have been worth it.
Is that a healthy thought? The idea that even if it hurts, saving yourself is still worth it? Or is the goal to avoid hurting yourself AT ALL
, and if you've scarred yourself somehow, you've done it wrong????
My therapist caught me off guard this week and asked me what my goals were. I paused and asked if she meant my end-goals for therapy. She shook her head and said "in general. What are things you want to accomplish?"
I have no answers to such a question. One would think at 35 there would be some sort of goal - a better home, a better job. A child. A sense of fulfillment and of having helped people along the way. To know themselves better.
I have not settled on any of those, sans knowing I do not want children. But that's an answer only in the negative
, which is not the same as having a goal itself. In any setting except for a job interview, I laugh and waive the question off, saying I don't set goals. Getting through the day is hard enough.
This is true. Lifelong poverty teaches you to not to plan for whatever calamity will wipe away today's stability, because there's always a calamity about to wipe away today's stability. Get what you can when you can. Desperation will take care of the rest.
Lifelong mental instability teaches you that there's only so far you can trust your own mind, so what it wants is faulty and requires constant second-guessing. That takes precious time and energy, energy that you're frantically trying to use to avoid calamity, so you begin to make decisions on flashes, on hunches. You just keep praying that this time the meds are working right, or that you got enough sleep, or that the free clinic doesn't cut back its services.
How does one plan a life on that? In pieces, I'd imagine. Being willing to take that strange new job (call center rep). Arguing with your psych about worries of sedative overdoses and then remembering they went to school for this so they probably know more about it than you do. Stash away 5 dollars at a time, though as a smoker, we all know that's damn near impossible.
But it doesn't lead to a goal.
It just leads to a way of living.
Can a way of living be a goal?
Not only do I fear trying and failing to achieve goals, I've just really got very little practice in it. Very basic, common fear. Very basic, very common lack of experience. Its banality makes it no less terrifying, however, and the conversation between my therapist and I began to shift.
I told her that earlier in the hospital, I'd promised myself I'd take a dance class this year. She said that is a goal. That is an active thing I will have to plan for, promote myself for, and actually show up and do some work for. It seems the silliest of things, but she's right. It IS a goal.
And it's the only one I have right now. To learn a new, cool, graceful way of moving my body. It won't bring me stability. It won't quell or quiet any of what rages in the voices in my head. But it's something I have to do outside of my head.
Maybe that's the important part of setting goals.
Maybe that's the important part of life.This entry was originally posted at http://quirkytizzy.dreamwidth.org/1016060.html. Please comment there using OpenID.