Making One’s Self Miserable

It is easy to wake up and stub your toe getting out of bed to just proclaim that your day is going to suck. Law of Attraction states that you are just setting yourself to attract to more negative energy because your are already vibrating at that level. You can know that is what is going on and still be stuck in the wheel of suck. Once you are on that roller coaster, it is so hard to get off.

I have been feeling my energy slip. I feel like I am in a weird sort of limbo. I am done with my treatment. I don’t have to work this summer. I should be having fun, soaking it all up. Instead, I have been having a hard time getting out of bed. I just go through my news feeds and see how everyone else is living their life. I am bored. The weather is beautiful, and I don’t want to go outside. I break down in tears for no real reason. I find myself getting embarrassed with myself. I chide myself. I try to keep it to myself, but the emotion just keeps bursting out at the wrong times.

What is going on?

I had my life put on hold for nearly a year. During that time, all I focused on was treatment, staying positive, and focusing on having fun. Now that I am in recovery, I am worried about returning to the unsatisfying life I had beforehand where everyone else’s wishes and desires trumped my own. I blocked out my needs. I denied myself nourishment for both my body and mind. I felt alone, isolated. I know that if I return to that lifestyle, (ignoring my inner calling, fearing every move I make, insisting that I am not worthwhile) I will not make it.

When you have lived most of your life in that negative thought pattern, recognizing it and disrupting it is not easy. Your muscle memory makes it the easiest choice sometimes. I have been doing so much better. I can monitor my emotional guidance system and steer it in the right direction with practice. Yet, things that have deep emotional baggage or triggers can overwhelm my system quickly.

I have one thing that I know I need to do this week, and I haven’t been able to do it. I have to call my mortgage company and find out how much longer I can stay in my house. I need to know so I can arrange a move-in date for my new apartment, order a moving van, hire movers, pack, and prepare. Unfortunately, I just feel stunned and unable to dial the phone number.

I decided back in December that I needed to rethink my living arrangements. My house needs work. I have no money to fix appliances that are broken. I don’t have the physical energy or the tools to cut my yard or shovel snow. I have even lived without heat because I couldn’t afford to fix my furnance. Selling my house is a joke. It is more than $30,000 under water.

In exchange, I have been approved to move into an apartment complex where I am not responsible for the upkeep; I get free heat, television, and other utilities; and there is a washer and dryer, even a dishwasher. I would be free to move anywhere in the country at anytime I wanted to. I can see how much I would love it.

Just as I convince myself of how wonderful it will be and how necessary it is for my healing, I get a wave of crushing self-doubt. How dare you back out of your financial commitment? You will be ridicule for being an idiot. Owning a home is always a good investment. You are signing yourself up for a life of rent slavery. You’ll never be able to buy a house again. You’re throwing everything away. Imagine how much you’ll hate listening to your neighbors in the apartment complex. You won’t have a back yard. You won’t have a porch.

I have had conversations over and over again with Max and Alex about this. I know that for me moving will be a necessary part of my healing process. I am not the same person I was when I bought this house. In some ways, my reluctance to let it go probably attributed to my cancer. I have made my decision and I have to trust it. Second guessing just uses up energy that I need elsewhere. Plus, as the boys remind me often, I am all right just the way I am. No matter what, I am worth it. I have never been bad; stop acting ashamed of yourself.

When a House is Not a Home

What is home? Is it where you hang your hat? Is it where your family lives?

I own a house. I say that in the loosest of ways. I have a mortgage that I am severely behind on. The bank really owns my house. I walk in the door and it feels cold and austere. Budget cuts have stopped television service. I have an ancient television, so none of the cool Google Chrome type gadgets work on it.

My furniture is all throw away. My couch, once kind of nice, is leaking stuffing. The recliner is a broken cast off from my sister. If you lean back too far, you wind up on the floor. The other chair was also inherited, and has been urinated on several times by my boy Chihuahua.

The kitchen has a beautiful raised ceiling that houses the cobwebs I can’t reach and the track lighting that is pulling away from the wall. The oven hasn’t worked in a year. There appears to be a lot of cabinet and counter space, but in reality it is only able to house a minimal pantry.

My bedroom is stark white. The frame of my bed is a warped piece of twisted metal. The fourteen-year-old mattress is rock hard and lumpy. The sheets have wholes and refuses to stay on the mattress. My comforter is worn and holy, every time I kick my leg it goes through a new gap of fabric and rips a new hole.

My office is storage for a bunch of odds and ends that I don’t know how to store. It inspires no work. I often keep the door closed to forget about the mess behind it. My bathroom is so tiny that your knees hit the bathtub when you sit on the toilet.

When it is time to go home, my heart sinks a little. The last animal living at home with me, my cat Josey, traverses the terrain like Wall-E on a post-apocalyptic Earth. There is little joy and warmth. It just feels sad, neglected.

When I first bought it, I was so glad to have a place to call my own. I decorated it with all my possessions collected through my travels. It wasn’t much, but it was my own and I was proud to have company over. Over the years, I have had others move in and out to help them out. My stuff got moved down to the basement, and when the last guest left I never replaced them. The old photos and trinkets just felt inauthentic to who I currently am.

I often feel trapped in my home. If I dream about living somewhere else, I stop it short because I am tied to the mortgage. As my salary has been reduced, or when unemployment or illness has prevented me from having much of an income, my mortgage is the biggest burden I cannot pay. I have gone with out eating, have put the car in danger, and have limited social pleasure to sit in my cold austere house because the idea of being foreclosed on and the embarrassment of that is too strong to let go. The thought of selling it is a joke since I paid over $64,000 for a house that is sitting next to one that is twice the size for the cost of $18,000.

Since Alex and Max have been away, I have been house sitting. I walk into their house and I feel the residual love. It is warm. Every corner of the house has their mark, their personality. As a visitor, I feel their warm embrace even without their presence. It is decorated simply for the holiday. There is plenty of room to stretch out or dance. The living houses an enormous couch that is comfy and cozy. The three cats great me. They are well loved, happy, fed, and surrounded by love and stimulation. Making food in their kitchen is a pleasure. There is room for everything and a place to prep and cook.

It is rented, but it doesn’t feel like a rented place. There is an ownership of the property. Even when there are problems with the toilet or the electric, there is a knowledge that the landlord will take care of anything that might go severely wrong.

Having my family here for a makeshift Christmas was easy and nice. I didn’t have to worry about not having enough room. There was a place to eat, a dishwasher to take care of dishes, and an entertainment system to keep their attention as they warmed up and enjoyed the day.

Even when I hang out along, there is an ease. I feel like I have more energy and am inspired to do more things. I enjoy loving the cats and caring for the place. I can relax and not worry, even when the boys aren’t here.

When they are present, the house is even more fun. It is like a clubhouse. We have the fun that young teenage girls have at a slumber party. Food tastes better here. Conversations are more stimulating, and everything seems right with the world.

Of course, there always comes a time when I have to leave because it isn’t my place. I travel reluctantly home and turn the key to only find my house a little colder, dirtier, and pathetic then before. I don’t have the strength to look at it, so I just crawl into bed and try to dream about a better place.

After my surgery, I recovered at Alex and Max’s house. When it came time to take me home, I freaked out. Staying there seemed like the last place on Earth I wanted to be. It got a little better as time went by, but as I prepare to return today I harbor some intrepedation. I don’t know how much longer I can live in a house that doesn’t feel like a home.

I always blamed it on not having a significant other. Maybe it would feel more like a beloved home if I had someone I loved living there with me. I am started to think that even that wouldn’t help it. Home is where you make it. There is a reason why I am reluctant to claim it.

Whatever the problem is, I can’t live like this much longer. I have learned to love myself more than this living arrangement is allowing me to do so. I have no idea what the answer is; all I know is how I really feel. Right now I am just not feeling it, I am dreading it.

Stagnation

Last week I didn’t have anything really planned to do. It is exciting when you start a week and you have no doctor’s appointments or commitments to worry about. It was my last week of feeling good, no treatment. I had hoped to get so many things done….pay bills, get Christmas presents in order, go to the gym, get the house in shape, etc.

I found that during most of the week, I was listless. Getting out of bed to do any of the activities I had thought of was difficult. Am I depressed? Was I just fatigued? Not really. I just wasn’t feeling “it.” As the week went on, I found myself getting more frustrated. I would accomplish one or two things on my list, but than get ticked that I didn’t get the other stuff done.

One thing I did get done was calling work and telling them I would miss the rest of the school year. It was kind of scary. It is like saying, “I know I am not going to have a job when this is over.” Still, it was necessary. As nice as my principal was, there are no assurances.

I got two presents for the most important people on my list, Alex and Max. But, I still have 7 people to get something for and barely any money to do it with. Nonetheless, one of my chemo angels sent me a glass blowing class gift certificate. It is an amazing present.

The week continued, and I continued to feel impotent. I might decide to proceed in one direction, then get nervous that it was the wrong direction and just stop in my tracks.

I thought about getting some new clothes. I haven’t really bought new clothes in a long time. This year has kind of messed with my identity. A year ago, I thought I wanted to be like Zooey Deschanel or her character, Jess, from New Girl. A hip teacher, looking for a hip guy…be happy with. After realizing that I am more likely lesbian or some kind of bi, I still have incredible identity issues. I am still trying to figure out who I am and how I go about doing that.

When that happens, I guess you are supposed to be open to some mistakes. After the wig disaster, I made the mistake of buying some new boots. I looked up some shoes on the internet and Alex said they’re great but realize everyone will know you are a lesbian. Since I wasn’t fully out of the closet, my heart sunk. My feet got cold.

“It is okay if that is what you want to look like, but you keep saying it isn’t.” Alex and Max tell me. Honestly, I don’t know what I want to look like. The more I keep hearing how horrible my choices are; I start to just avoid making any choice. I just needed something other than a flip flop to get me through the winter. I didn’t want a sneaker. I don’t need a dress shoe. It fit and it was the right price.

Alex and Max then told me that they don’t go shopping alone. Again, I am not an island. They would do it with me. Sometimes you need someone else’s opinion. Just let us in….

I on the other hand, feel like I am losing my autonomy. Is my taste so bad? I have opened up to trying things that may be more “me,” but I feel like I have to justify them or get used to some sort of backlash. This just makes me feel even less capable of trusting myself and it makes me angry and sad.

How can I give you an answer of “who I am” if I am not allowed to try things on for size? If I am suppose to get more comfortable just allowing myself to “be,” how do I justify my decisions that others don’t like? I am so afraid of making errors, that I am just making errors all the time and am beating myself over them.

When I decided what course of treatment to take for my cancer, no one would give me their real opinion. I ended up making one…but I don’t know if it was the right one. I guess I will never really know if it is. It is hard to trust my opinion if I supposedly can’t even pick out a proper wig.

This “impotence” totally spills into my finances. I cringe buying Christmas gifts. Do I have enough money? How pissed off are these people going to be if I get them the “wrong” thing? Am I buying them a gift because I want to or is it because I feel like I have to?

The biggest problem I have coming up is figuring out what I want to do about my housing. I live in a house. My mortgage is under water. I am a few payments behind. I have a packet from the bank with my options. I am embarrassed by foreclosure and don’t know if it is the right thing for me. Where would I live? Would I be homeless? Could I ever get an apartment with my horrible credit? Do I sign up for some program to get back on track and swallow bigger payments when I can’t afford the payments I have now?

I feel like I have no one to talk to. Everyone in my life has miserable information when it comes to money. I don’t know if my money problem will ever be fixed. It just causes paralysis.

While I am trying to figure it all out, I just feel like I am spinning my wheels. I get up and sometimes look around my house and feel like I could throw it all away and be happy. Other times, I want to see myself being able to fix up the house the way I want and live a happy life.

I don’t know any of the answers.

Tomorrow I go in for a simulation. Radiation is going to start soon and I don’t know the exact timing. It will be every day for 4-6 weeks. I believe they are going to have me go through the holidays. I am scared, though I haven’t shown it. I haven’t been bawling or crazy…but today I went for breakfast and pulled out the information from my doctor to read. As I got to the second or third page, a wave of emotion came over me and I shed a couple of tears. I immediately closed the booklet and just tried to down my meal.

The waitress brought me my bill and I continued to eat. A few moments latter, she came by and told me that the meal was taken care of and took the bill. What? Did I look that pathetic? I graciously thanked her and the lady at the register than went out to my car and really cried. It was so sweet a gesture.  My tears were really out of joy and gratitude.

I did make it home and paid most of my bills…but I am still looking at the mortgage stuff wondering what I am suppose to do. Hopefully, I will come across some inspired action soon.