A place to be

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.

Still no.

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.

 

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