I had a good therapy session where I started digging into the roots of why I tend towards apathy. People react to stress with a lot more than fight or flight, and freezing or playing possum is a valid and common survival response. Evidently I have a very deeply ingrained possum response after bullying eventually knocked the fight out of me.
Honestly, after the last year and more of therapy, this is the first time I’ve been emotionally healthy enough to even begin tackling my visceral stress responses.
Following my therapy session, I fell on my face for a couple of weeks, crawled into my possum cave and wallowed. It kind of freaked me out because, when something hits you hard like that, you can’t see out of it, you know? It doesn’t feel like it is temporary. It feels like the new normal. I didn’t even want to push back against the intense apathy.
I am coming out of it. I feel better even though I still feel directionless.
I can do up to 2 doctor’s appointments a week right now, but I really need to be doing about four to catch up with health maintenance. I have a list of specialists I’m not seeing and genuinely need to see sooner rather than later. My foot doctor, the botox/migraine guy, the physical therapist, my regular therapist, the dentist, a psychiatrist, and on and on. It’s exhausting and I just want to sleep. Or really I want to go hiking, back packing in some beautiful mountain range, but that’s not going to happen. I’m keeping up with my therapist and gastroenterologist and hematologist and allergist and…
I realized that I’ve had trouble praying because talking to God would admit that I don’t want to give up certain attachments in my life which really are getting in the way of my relationship with Him, and I’m mad that I need to give them up.
I’m mad that I’m single and childless. I’m mad that I can’t physically show up and help people through the efforts of my body. I used to do that. I can’t even be counted on to show up to important events like baptisms. I always have stories running through my head, since I was very small, and in my stories, I’m not single and alone, and it’s hurting me to keep pretending in my head that this is a possibility, but I don’t want to give that up, even if its a lie I tell myself that gets me nowhere. I don’t want to let go of that story. I don’t want to tell myself the true story. And as long as I won’t, talking to God gets harder and harder as he hammers at that lie. There are others, but that’s the biggest one. It is significantly easier to tell myself that I am disabled and mostly helpless, its easier to tell myself that I’ll never climb another mountain than to tell myself that I am alone, that I don’t have the option of arguing with my spouse or getting frustrated with my kids, or cleaning poop off the carpet again. I don’t just miss the idea of picture perfect moments. I want those. But that’s not everything that relationships bring and I know that. I miss the space that a spouse would fill, a best friend to be around at odd times, someone I’d argue with and get mad at and have to get over myself and compromise with when I don’t want to. I want someone I could be that vulnerable with that I could have a fight and still feel safely at home.
I’m not even going to get into kids. I’ve lived with small children and I know how hard that is. I still want it. All of it.
I don’t know how to let go of this narrative and accept the one God is giving me.
Admitting that this is what I’m doing at least makes it easier to tell God that this is what I’m mad about.
Somewhere in the last few days the worst of the apathy and depression have passed. I no longer feel as though I am a statue made of lead and bolted to the floor.