Mental Health, Uncategorized

I Have to Live For Me

One of the things I’ve been working on with my new therapist is trying to determine what I want. I know this seems like an odd thing for most people, I understand that, but for me, it can be a problem. For most of my life, I’ve lived to try and serve others, with a fear of being seen as too selfish. It turns out that I actually need to take more time to focus on myself and make my own decisions about where I want to go in life.

This week, I learned that there is only one person I have to live for: Myself.

When I am asked personal questions about my future, a lot of them are very open-ended. What do you want to do? I don’t know. Where do you want to be in five years? I don’t know. What does your ideal life look like? I don’t know! My indecisiveness is becoming detrimental to myself, and I need to step back and try to figure out exactly what I want to do before it gets much later (because it’s already past “too late” now that I’m in my 30s).

Too much of my life is spent thinking about other people. Whether it’s worrying about the car behind me on the road, internally begging store employees not to talk to me, or feeling obligated to answer all the little questions my mother asks in a day, most of my time and energy is devoted to others. Part of my mental health recovery is to focus on myself instead of others and to stop worrying about what others are going to think about me and my decisions. This is going to take time, but as I’ve mentioned before, recovery is a process. My assignment this week is to try meditation to help my focus shift onto myself and my being. I’m going to install a few apps on my phone and take some time to “turn off” my anxiety and think about myself.

Mental Health, Relationships

People Do Care

As a continuation of last week’s post, I had emailed some therapists. Right before that post went live, one of the four answered me, leaving a phone number to call them. This, of course, was daunting because of my phone-based anxiety, but I took it in stride and decided I was going to call on Monday.

Monday came, and I spent all day fretting about having to make the call. By the time 5pm rolled around, I opened my email application, ready to compose another message suggesting that they call me instead, only to see that they had responded.

I read your message again and noticed you have an issue with the phone. How does tomorrow sound?

This week, I learned that there are still people out there who care.

One of my largest struggles has been with interacting with others. In a lot of situations (notably while job hunting) making contact seems like I’m shouting into a void with no chance of ever getting a response. My anxiety makes me feel like I’m being a burden or annoyance to others, so getting a response like that, which was so understanding, is refreshing and helped me feel so much better about my efforts to seek help. Knowing that there is someone out there willing to pay that much attention to my message helped me realize that no, I wasn’t yelling into a void. There are people out there willing to listen, I just wasn’t giving them the chance.

The other impetus to seek help, the fight with my partner, was resolved this week. Things aren’t back to normal, but we took some time to talk it out and establish what the “new normal” for us might look like. I understand that all couples have to do this at some point, where they have to re-evaluate their relationship and set new goals and priorities. But I think we have things settled at least for the time being.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me this week, even indirectly. One of the ways that I practice self-care is hanging around in the chatroom of a twitch stream. For those of you who aren’t aware, twitch is a platform where people can stream themselves doing things. The site is primarily used for playing video games, but there are other categories for things like art, content creation, and just to chat. The streamer I follow, weirdistbuilds, is a Fallout 4 streamer who I found after he managed to beat the game without earning a kill. Two years later, I am an active member of his community and a moderator on his channel. Watching him play and talking to him and the rest of his community helps me forget about the troubles in my life and the world at large and having that escape helps.