My brain and body are fried. I am recovering from the holiday-induced introvert hangover. I can’t think my way out of a tunnel now. But one thing that always helps me is writing. So what do I do when I can’t think? I look through previous writings.
That is a lot of writing! My brain wants to tell me I am a slacker, “Look at all that unpublished work! You could have a book by now. So what are you doing that you don’t have a book?” But I am shooshing my brain. I have an introvert hangover and don’t need any crap from my brain today.
During my brain fog, I came across this document titled “Not Cohesive Ideas.” Well, this sounds very promising—what a perfect way to end the month and get through my inability to write a complete sentence. Problem solved!
I have tried to organize those non-cohesive ideas. The timeline of these random thoughts is late 2021 to early 2022. Welcome to the mish-mash that is my brain today.
I need help myself. Is this a survival instinct? I am not sure. I only know that it is a desire that sits within myself to get out of this fucking hole of darkness. I don’t like it. I don’t want to be here.
No, this sinking feeling isn’t about being overextended or not having the capacity. Those are the by-products of the need to keep running from myself. A person that I do not like much when I look in the mirror. The result is what I have or don’t have to give to others.
I used not to have anything. My tank was so empty from the overextending, and I was in a pretty bad place. I was very broken, lost, and drinking myself to death. When I am sitting in darkness, I can’t bring the light to anyone else. I can’t even find it myself.
The need to keep running, stay busy and never sit still is a trauma response.
The holidays are the hardest time of year for those with depression, anxiety, and complex PTSD. If you or someone you love is struggling, please encourage them to seek professional help. I engaged in therapy to understand and work through what I could do. And you can too.
I recommend Online-Therapy.* Encouraging therapy is their first step in healing.
Two People in Darkness
It isn’t helpful to merge darknesses. It only makes immense darkness that feels even harder to get out from underneath. It feels like the light will never illuminate anything ever again.
That happens when two people stumbling in the darkness find each other. However, they don’t help each other. Instead, they continue stumbling in the darkness. Each thinks that they are helping the other, but in reality, they are both lost. Two lost people do not equal one not lost person.
Help Others, Help Myself First
I want to help people. It is as simple as that statement, but how do I do that? As I learned in therapy this past session (and several before that one), it’s focusing on myself. Sounds counterintuitive, right?
Yeah, but here is the thing, I can’t help other people if I don’t help myself first. Like the airlines’ safety instructions, put your mask on first, and then help others with theirs. If you are gasping for air, you can’t help anyone else.
To understand how to change something about myself, I need to understand the why. Why do I constantly want to help other people? Is it because I never had the help I desperately needed growing up? And now, I see that in other people, and I want to help them. Maybe.
But here is the thing: A LOT of people out in the world need help. But, unfortunately, I cannot help all of them.
I know that I can’t. But I will try.
But that isn’t what I am supposed to be doing.
I needed when I was growing up is that, shit, I don’t remember what I was going to write. Aw, well, hopefully, I will remember it before this gets posted. I think it was a good thought.
Selective assistance is what I need to think about now. My desire to help ALL THE PEOPLE is tempered by the reality that I can’t help everyone. There isn’t enough of me to go around. And I have to help myself first. Once I get to that place, I have to be selective about who and how I help.
NOTE: Selective assistance to my current introvert hangover brain means pulling back on supporting all of the people and supporting my inner circle. I don’t remember if that is actually what that means.
Not that I think I will be able to do anything super amazing and grand, but I believe that my presence, simply being there, is what she needs. I can do that, and so I am.
Sometimes it is good to revisit past writings because I came across this idea:
As part of what may become a series of blog posts, or maybe once a month, I will celebrate more of how far I have come. This came up in my therapy session the other day. And I have continued to ponder it since that session. I mean, c’mon, I will think about this for weeks.
I did not think about that for weeks considering I just rediscovered it today. Sigh. Still, it is a good idea.
I am a Genius
I finally GET IT! I can’t help other people with whatever they think they need from me. We all have expectations of someone. Disappointment is when the other person falls short of your expectations. But when those expectations are unspoken, how is anyone to know?
I am not someone who can help someone else or give them advice. I am blundering around in this world too.
I think that is why I don’t like people who sell themselves as having this extraordinary life. No one has a life without struggle and strife. NO ONE. And those are the people making money off people who want to be like them. I have it all, and you can, too, by attending these expensive conferences where I tell you how amazing I am at life, so you can dream of being like me someday—what a load of absolute crap.
The Inevitable Path
Everyone must make their path. Sure, your path might parallel or be on someone else’s path for a bit, but ultimately it is your path.
I write about paths a lot. It’s the best analogy for life. At least it’s the best one I have come up with so far. Of course, I am not the first person to compare life to a path, and I won’t be the last. But the more I think about it; it really is the best analogy.