A few months ago I had a conversation with someone I love very deeply, who has been deeply wounded by me, the effects of my various mental & physical health issues, and my choices/actions/insanity regarding those things. He had tentatively and cautiously been making forays into my world and I was doing my best to be open, accepting, and non-defensive as he was offering me his insights, perspective and feedback.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of trust issues between us.
During that conversation, he indicated that from his observation and experience, the me I present here and in other online forums, is more a representation of who I want to be and how I want to be seen, rather than a true reflection of who I am. This niggles at me a lot of the time.
Especially on days like today when I don’t feel like I have anything of value to write about. Days when both mind and body are sluggish and tired. Days when the physical and mental pain are coursing through mind and body in a symphony of crashing crescendos and waning pianissimo.
Cool, humid, heavy atmosphere days that seem to accent all the aches and pains from the fibromyalgia and the tingling of neuropathy in my hands and arms is continually present, easily exacerbated by nothing at all.
Days following a particularly difficult day in coping and dealing with the emotional and relational difficulties of interacting with my preschooler having a hard time and acting out in whining fussiness, tantrums, uncooperative, and demanding behavior; interacting with her father when his BPD symptoms have taken over and nothing is right, everything is wrong, and the impulsivity and anger rule the day; witnessing the physical and emotional pain my adult daughter is going through as she navigates her way through her life.
A day when I’m feeling the effects of having coped by eating too much of the wrong foods, not done enough to take care of my own needs, and succumbed to internal thoughts of bitterness, resentment, and martyrdom while trying to keep them from bleeding out and affecting my attitude and reactions to the people I love.
Days like today that start off looking a lot like days like yesterday make me want to stay in bed and hide from the world and everybody in it. I want to be numb and insulated from the whiny, demanding 4 year old and her irritable, aggravated daddy.
These are the days that make me question myself and wonder if HE was right and the changes I think I’ve made are merely a public mask, a personal placebo mistaken as panacea.
Then I realize that the truth is while I may be feeling and experiencing all the same things mentally and emotionally that I always have and the external circumstances of my life don’t seem to have budged even an inch in the “right” direction, I have changed in how I think about myself, others, and the circumstances. I am choosing different responses more often than I revert to old patterns. Even in the midst of days like yesterday, I still saw and appreciated positive things and chose positive action. Even though I’m feeling tired, uninspired, and demotivated, I still put on my “big girl” clothes and followed through on my commitment to write. Even though the last thing I want to be is reasonable, patient, and loving in the face of the less than reasonable, patient, and loving attitudes and actions of those around me, I love them and know they love me, so, I do it, because I can and because that’s what love is and what love does.
I realize that the value I have to offer is not negated by my feelings and circumstances because my value is not determined by my feelings or circumstances. It is determined by Love; the Love I have, that is there for all. The Love which enables me to know, show, and receive love in relationship with those around me.