The fear in my head

The fear in my head can tell me all sorts of stories, many of these stories are not the present truth. Though once in a blue moon, the fear warns me a of  a true danger. Unfortunately, these rare moments of true danger live forever in my head, and they return with a vengeance with the slightest sliver of a reminder.

And when that fear starts raining down on me it’s hard to get out of that spiral. I start to make doomsday predictions: I will lose everything. I will be homeless. Everything good is going to disappear. I won’t be able to feed myself. And then it further disintegrates into thoughts of disappearing because my head can’t conceive of going through the danger and the pain again.

Deep down inside me there is a belief that good things are not for me. When I get those slivers of fear I let them into my head because goodness feels fleeting to me. Anything positive feels transient, and borrowed, but with a quick return date like a new release at the library. The bad news and awful things feel familiar and known.

When people tell me they miss me, I’m stunned. Authentic happiness from people upon seeing me still confuses me. It’s not the self-perception of myself that I want, but it’s the one I have at the moment. Believe it or not, this is an improvement from just two years ago. Back then, and for as long as I can remember in my life, I would live with suicidal ideation most days. I would wake up in the morning and my first thought was that I shouldn’t be on this earth, and I would work against that desire sometimes on an hourly basis, depending on the day. Thankfully, my dark self possesses a sliver of hope within that propelled me to fight this desire my entire life.

And it’s that sliver of hope that I hold on to in moments like this when the fear has overtaken me, and I feel like the universe is raining on me. I try to keep perspective. I check my perceptions with friends. Sometimes I have to repeatedly check because I have a hard time believing I’m really okay. It’s hard for me to hold the belief that if I do lose everything in my life, in a worst case scenario, I am still worthy as a human being, still someone that people will want to know.

Faith is a Formless Thing

My faith is like a small bouncing ball out of a vending machine. It bounces up and down and then I have to chase after it. And now that I just wrote those two sentences I have a further realization that perhaps that’s not faith after all because if I had it wouldn’t it be more static? And I certainly wouldn’t have to chase it down.

I see people all around me in support groups that have strong faith. They don’t lose sleep over whether they will have the wolf at their door kicking them to the street. Nor do they worry about losing a job, or becoming too ill to work. They have faith that their Higher Power has a plan for them.

For me, I’ve had too many bad things happen that I feel like I always have to ready for the next bit of bad. Faith feels scary to me, like I’m giving up the 24 hour watch, like I will miss something big.

I don’t know what else to say about this. The subject stumps me completely. Full stop. I know nothing. I only know that having it will likely bring me more inner peace because people that seem to have it appear that way.

About a year ago a good friend made a suggestion that worked for him. He suggested that I choose a person to trust. He said that as I start to trust this person more with sharing things about me it will be easier to contemplate having faith in a Higher Power. I’ve done that, found someone to trust. However, I’ve not experienced having that trust rollover into full-on faith in a Higher Power. My faith is intermittent, like bad wifi in a cafe. For now, that will have to be enough. I can’t eke out what isn’t there.

a grey hoodie and black yoga pants

It is entirely possible to wear a grey hoodie and black yoga pants too many days of the week. Initially, one might not think this is possible. But, after three and a half weeks of not working, such attire has become a uniform of sorts. And uniforms inevitably start to have an unfun feeling to them. The grey hoodie and black yoga pants have become the uniform of absenteeism, illness, and feeling down and out. The grey hoodie and black yoga pants have gone from fun after work/weekend lounge clothes to a uniform I no longer want. I now find myself at a loss when I arrive home in the evening as I am already in my “evening lounge clothes.”

My weekly laundry is now down to one easy load full of yoga pants, t-shirts, and other related exercise and lounge wear along with the usual socks and underwear. Yesterday I had an appointment that required “real clothes” and I had to unearth my favorite black and blue Ralph Lauren dress with a long black flowy jacket. I put on the dress and jacket with the pearl necklace my sister gave me for my birthday years ago, black pantyhose and long black boots. It’s amazing what clothes do to the spirit. Just putting on this outfit restored some of my sense of usefulness.

Shiny orange running shorts and a print t-shirt, soft from repeated washings, with a chihuahua dog on the front that states, “No more stinkin’ tacos!” make up the new evening lounge wear. Given that the temperature outside has started to plummet, there is little chance that this getup can become the new uniform of being down and out.