In my first ‘just the two of us’ session with my lovely new therapist last week I was told I am good at ‘doing’ but not so A+ at ‘being’. This may sounds like therapy mumbo-jumbo (which I tend to have severe allergic reactions to. All of a sudden I will break out in purple weeping bullshit sores and a hippy nonsense rash that covers my ass and hurts so bad I can’t sit down) but when I really thought about it she was pretty god damn bang on. I challenge my anxiety and agoraphobia everyday. I force myself, no matter how painful gross and cry-snotty it may be. I am able to stare in the face of my anxiety and yell “I’M VERY SCARED BUT I’M NOT RUNNING AWAY. THIS IS MAY BE A BAD IDEA. AAAAARRRGGG. OH DEAR ME, WHAT AM I DOING?”
On the flip side often my worst anguish comes when I’m try just sit, alone with myself. My inability to be non-judgemental about my existence causes me gut wrenching internal anguish. It gives me tummy aches, real ones that hurt in a stabby way and some times cause me to throw up. It is really very not hot.
The morning after a night out is a frequent example. Alcohol is a depressant but hang over is anxiety heroin. I would wake up in my house alone and spend the morning mentally swimming about in my self loathing. I’d have the unshakeable feeling that I had done something horribly horribly wrong, like I had woken up in Jeffery Dahmer’s life rather than my own.
Where there decapitated bodies in my fridge?
Better double check.
My fears are of other peoples judgement. Had I embarrassed myself? Had I offended someone? Had a made some small but irreparable social faux pas? Did I have a bit of snot hanging out of my nose when I thought I was being all sexy and flirting with that man at the bar? The anxiety would simmer and boil my insides until such a time as I gained the determination (and medication) to get up, get dressed and go out to commune with the outside world. What happened when I got there was always the same. I had hurt no one. I had been fun and blithe and charming… well perhaps not but at least I’d been a funny, silly, bouncy mess and no one had judged me for it. I was no different than anyone else the night before and my anxiety had be unwarranted. Deep down I know this but every time I’d still be unable to be within myself and let myself be the judge of what was right and wrong about me.
So my point, I am trying to learn how to ‘be’. On my lunch break from work I went for a walk to the Winter Gardens in the Domain and noticed that while I was happily basking in the warm sunshine I was ‘being’ unconsciously. The gardens are just right for me to be comfortable and safe; there are toilets, there is beauty everywhere to distract me from any bad feelings and nasty thoughts. There are people but infrequently people I know and most often they don’t speak any English and I will never see them again. It also has many entrances and exits for a speedy get away back to the safety of my office on the hill.
I took some photos while I enjoyed my surroundings.