Before I say anything, I really wanna say that if you’re a survivor suffering… please don’t get lost in my moments of despair.
I have an upcoming blog post about what it’s like to be writing about this in semi-real-time vs. my open-heart surgery stuff which I got to have years of reflection on before I ever talked about it publicly.
So, it’s weird. And sometimes it makes me wonder if I’m being irresponsible. Is it better to write through the ups and downs so people can feel like they’re not the only ones on the roller-coaster? Or is it better to finish the story, make *sure* I come out “on the other side,” and write about it from a comfortable distance?
I don’t know the answer to that. All I know is I’m writing what I’m feeling today. But if you’re not in a place where it’s safe to read about someone else’s despair, then I ask you please not to. I never wanna make recovery worse for anyone else.
I like to think of myself as a problem-solver.
I don’t always solve things the technically “correct” way. I don’t always solve things super quickly. But I feel like we can point to things over and over and over in my life where I didn’t give up and I tried to make plans for the future.
I can list a couple of jobs I was unhappy with where I just quit. When I didn’t like how my life was going after open-heart surgery, I did the 52 half marathons project. (There was a world where that might not have worked, but thankfully it worked here.) I wanted to move to New York, so I have… a few times. I make a list of the things I want and I work to get them.
I know I had to work for many years to get out of reality TV. That plan kept changing as various things didn’t work. And I may have to go back. I don’t know…
So, plans aren’t always suuuuper linear. And plans aren’t always super quick. But it at least feels like they’re always possible to put in motion and that I always have ideas for how to help myself…
And this time, I feel like I’m running out of ideas.
Even though there are dead ends and smaller obstacles within bigger ones, some problems still seem a little more straightforward. Don’t like your job? Leave it. Etc. (That’s the biggest clearest one I can think of.) And I understand we all have to pay rent. And I’ve certainly worked a job I didn’t want to before. But it feels like there’s a way out – and a fairly straightforward one… Build contacts, go on interviews, spruce up your online presence, all that jazz. There might be winding roads and you might have to come up with new solutions, but it feels straightforward-ish. And this doesn’t feel nearly as straightforward to me.
How do you stop having nightmares? How do you become comfortable in the new city you’d just moved to where this happened? How do you get through the week without a panic attack? (There actually are technically answers/ideas to these. And I work on some of this in therapy… But it still doesn’t seem as easy/as straightforward to me.)
(I have a whole list of ways in which sexual assault affected me that I’ve been meaning to post. But I’ve been really irresponsible with the posting lately. I’m sorry. But anyway…)
For one thing, it feels like I am affected in so many ways, how can I possible tackle them all? For another, it feels like all my ideas aren’t working.
I felt uncomfortable in my bed so I got a new bed – heck, I got a new apartment! Yet I still don’t spend a lot of time there… I’m writing this post from my office (at 2 in the morning, New York time).
I feel not present. So, I went to do all these things that I thought would keep me present – a safari, chilling with a whale, all this stuff. But I still feel distracted a lot.
“I know. I’ll just run again” to fix everything. That project is helping, but not as much as would be nice.
And on and on and on.
I just want to keep doing things to make it better, but none of the things are a magical fix.
I’m in therapy. I’m in a support group. These things help. I believe in therapy. But I feel like there are a lot of ups and downs. And I feel like today was a big down.
I just want the problem to be “fixed.” So, I don’t know if I’m being impatient, or if I haven’t found the fix, or if it’s “unfixable.”
Who knows. Maybe this just feels harder ’cause I’m in it right now. Maybe I’m remembering other things with rose-colored glasses. There were certainly some situations with a “straightforward” fix that still felt kinda hard to get out of. So, I dunno.
All I know is, while technically anything in this world is possible, this just feels like a giant weight on me. And I just find it exceptionally hard to find the “solution,” – even though there probably isn’t one magical solution. But if anything can give me my old life back, I hope to goodness I find it. (To me the clearest most wonderful thing would be a time machine. But to my knowledge, we haven’t invented those yet?)