No more pressure

I am really tired of planning. I plan everything, I run through plans and lists in my head, I go over and over what just happened or what I plan is going to happen.

I made a choice today. This choice is making me cry right now, in relief I guess.

The choice is this: the only thing I have to do right now is stay safe.

THE ONLY THING I HAVE TO DO RIGHT NOW IS STAY SAFE.

I have been thinking about this for a few days, since my last day in Thailand or so, all the journey home, and this week here.

I don’t want to have anything to do right now, any responsibility, any big career plan to be pushing towards. All I want to do right now is wait and be safe while I am waiting, turn off my brain, live in the moment. I want to do whatever I need to do in THAT moment to stay safe.

What does this mean? Let me try to explain.

It means that instead of trying to make every day perfect, every day instead just has to be the best it can be given that day.

It means that instead of feeling pressure to study, be working on some ‘big-picture’ career goal, constantly be productive (and making sure everyone else knows I am doing all this), I am just going to be content with how things are for right now. Because right now, all I want is a little job that isn’t too hard for me, that earns me some money and makes me happy and keeps me busy. That is fulfiling enough for me right now. So I am going to strive for that, but I don’t HAVE to work right now either. I am just going for that because it’s what I genuinely want, not because I will judge myself if I don’t work. All the emphasized “right now’s” are key. It doesn’t mean I will never go back to school or work on a bigger career, just right now, I don’t need to.

Right now, I just want to stay safe. What is staying safe? Staying safe does NOT mean every thing is perfect, or that things are easy. It is okay if I still feel sad, lonely, afraid, or anxious. Well, I don’t want to feel those things 😉 but I accept that they will be there. This is a hard time.

Staying safe DOES mean that I take the best care of myself that I can, that I love myself, that I make each moment as best it can be, that I do not take my emotions out on myself (with negative thoughts against myself, bingeing and purging, denying myself pleasure, or self-harm).

Staying safe means, I repeat, that I do not take my emotions out of myself or judge myself for my feelings.

It means that I love myself enough to make each moment as good as it can be. Example: Sometimes, at a random time in the day, I will feel a hole in my heart, just misisng B. so much. Sometimes, I feel extreme fear and anger about my nerve disease, especially when the pain is really bad one day. Sometimes I feel extremely bored and like I will never be busy and fulfilled again. Sometimes I don’t even know what I feel, just that it’s all overwhelming. All of these situations don’t feel good. So they are at a baseline 30 on the ‘life sucks’ scale (with 100 being awesome). But depending on how I react to these feelings, I can make the life sucks scale go down to a 0, stay at a 30 (which is fine), or go up to a 40. If I love myself through these feelings, I will at least stay at a 30. Because when I love myself, I don’t let secondary feelings of guilt, shame, or anger at myself arise. When I use my DBT skills to deal with these feelings and keep insisting on loving myself enough not to make things worse, then I will at least stay at a 30 and come out on the other side okay.

If I binge and purge, I take that scale to a 0, EVERY SINGLE TIME.

That is what I don’t want to do.

I also, most importantly, want to take down the intensity of the sheer terror/fear I experience every day. That means doing things that make me feel safer and loving myself too. That gives me more confidence that I can get through the moment without worse things happening that reinforce that cycle of fear.

So I kind of want to literally get through the next three months without thinking about much at all except how to be okay in this moment. I am tired of my brain running ahead so much. I am taking ALL the pressure off. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.

Things brings up a fear that if I take all the pressure off, I will end up just being a lazy blob that just sits on the couch. But I know this won’t happen, because usually when I take off the pressure, I still do a lot of the things I make myself do anyway because I enjoy them. I get energized eventually and then I enjoy cleaning, maybe will do some studying (and just do it that day with no big pressure plan), swimming, etc. And if I DO just sit and read all day for the winter, I will not be a blob, first of all, and I won’t be lazy either, because I will be taking the best care of myself that I can. ANYTHING is better than hurting myself.

I just have no pressure but to do things I enjoy, like swimming and reading. And I also have no pressure NOT to do anything. I don’t have to hold back from cleaning or studying or swimming EVER. If I want to do it, I don’t need to think about it and analyze it. I just do it. Because I enjoy those things too. Either way, I just do what feels right and shut my brain off.

I went over this with B. this morning. I know it shouldn’t matter, but I had to know it was okay with him. And it was, of course. I will still worry about it a little bit. But he loves me and he has so much faith in everything. I just didn’t want him to judge me for this. But I don’t think he will. He sincerely said he wouldn’t and I have to believe him. I know he wants the best for me. He can see the bigger picture easier than I can. That when he gets home, we will plan the next steps together. That is what I want to do. He will need to find a job here too, and I just want to be together and be able to plan as partners. If I just need to be ‘waiting’ until then, it’s okay with me.

I really, mostly, operated like this on my trip. And when I went to San Diego in July for a couple days too. I just made everything as pleasant as possible for myself. I swam every day and read and here I will have stuff to work on too if I want to, if I get bored with relaxing. I just envision continuing to turn in job applications, getting a little job and just only thinking about that and swimming + being in the moment when I am home. Then B. keeps saying we will get engaged when he gets home 🙂 and figure out where to live and how to set things up. I think it’s okay to go more slowly. This is a lesson I have had to learn over and over. When things are more stable, I can go back to school when I get bored of my little job. But right now, it is okay. I don’t have to do everything all at once to feel like I have worth. 

Today is a hard today. Yesterday sucked beyond words! So how can I use all this today? I always think I have to ‘start’ on a perfect day – but I am going to challenge that right now. I am very tired right now, and dehydrated. All I have to ask myself is, “What do I want to do right now? What will make right now the best it can be?” The answer comes pretty quickly and then you have to go with it before you over-analyze.

Answer: I want to lie here, maybe take a nap, with my window open and the beautiful warm and sunny Fall day streaming in. Then I want to read and watch TV with my sisters. If I want to swim later, I can (part of this plan is not denying myself that just because today isn’t “perfect”). But if I don’t want to, that doesn’t mean I throw it all down the drain. That just means I keep going in each moment and make today the best anyway. Phuket mindset.

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