Losing sight of the shore
I have felt a lot of emotions this week, no surprise there, but overall things have repeatedly settled at an ‘ok, just about coping and hanging on to normality’ level, which I’m pleased about. I have done a LOT of traveling by public transport, which played into my anxiety, I felt angry and frustrated after my writing course on Tuesday (probably unjustifiably) and on Wednesday I felt both extremely happy and sad throughout the day. And so it goes on. Often, these individual emotions will take hold and spiral out of control for a while but this week, I have managed to rein them in and temper them so that the intensity of the feelings has lasted a much shorter length of time. Another mini success!
On Wednesday, I had my one off, 3 month follow-up meeting with my old therapist at the therapeutic community where I had been an inpatient until March of this year. I was incredibly anxious and frightened about going back, even though the place had effectively been my home for nine months and I know everybody there. However, I am so glad that I did go. I saw a mixture of staff and patients and it was a real pleasure to see the people who I owe so much of my progress towards recovery to and what’s more, to be able to tell them that things are going ok. I had conversations with people that felt like they were more equal than before, like we were talking just as two people rather than as a staff member and a patient. And whereas I had spent so much time talking to these people (patients included) in the past about what was going wrong, what was difficult and what I couldn’t manage with, on Wednesday I was able to tell them what has been going well and how I have been managing. That felt so good! Like I said though, the day was also tinged with sadness as I had temporarily re-made connections that I was leaving behind again. It made me realise once more how much these people meant to me and how unfair it felt that I had to stop contact with them after developing such close relationships. Still, it felt less like an abandonment this time and more like something that just had to happen in order for me to move on. It was difficult to leave in March but I can see now that it was the right time and that ‘you can never cross the ocean without first having the courage to lose sight of the shore’.
I am pleased with the way things are going at the moment but I am also wary of the fact that by its very nature, the stability of my current state could wobble and decline almost at any minute. I am managing far better than I thought I would - if someone had told me 6 months ago that I’d be managing with just one hour of support once a fortnight I would never have believed them - but I don’t know if I am truly managing or just holding my breath. I have a lot resting on the outcome of my therapy re-assessment this week, as well as things like hearing back on my driving licence. The question is, will I still be able to manage when these things have happened, particularly if they do not turn out the way I so desperately want them to, or will the spiralling emotions take over again?
I guess only time will tell how things pan out but for the moment, I need to learn how to accept the positive for what it is - and maybe even enjoy it!