WARNING — this is a LONG post.
I feel like I’ve come through the other end of a very dark tunnel.
While in this tunnel, I realized that my chemistry had gone very awry.
Somewhere along the way of realizing that, I struggled. Mightily.
It was as if I had I pulled myself out of my environment, I had to find out where I was in the world. Who am I in relation to who I thought I was.
Right now, I am spent. The scope of my activities is becoming smaller, and smaller, and smaller. Because of my health, physical and mental.
I want to survive. I want to survive everything. I want to get through everything. I want to do what is right, and not just for myself.
I have trouble with the concept of “Me” as the center of the universe. So many people have this philosophy these days. They justify doing as they please, without regard for impact on those around them, even children they are directly responsible for, as helpless as they are, our smallest and most inexperienced members of society. Doing as you please is promoted as the healthiest way to live. And it seems that it does not take much to consider oneself in an “emergency” situation where YOUR desires and wishes must dominate and prevail, or you will do yourself irreparable harm. It is so easy to say, as in my last entry here, “FUCK YOU.” To well, everything. Except of course, YOU.
But I was not brought up like this. I have indeed learned that neglecting the self is useless if you are trying to be there for others. This I learned the hard way, my stubbornness to see things the way that I WANT to see them, a willful decision to look past reality, perhaps a sort of ascetic despising of the corporal self, a “serve others” attitude to the point of a kind of martyrdom I learned through my upbringing as a half-Italian Catholic woman, not only hurt me emotionally, but it hurt me physically. So YES, you must not neglect yourself in this war we call life. To fight, you have to dress and heal your wounds, physical and emotional. You have to know your weaknesses and not put them knowingly in harm’s way. The corporal and emotional self DOES matter, whether you are going to do something good in life, or not.
And then there’s the topic of men and women. Friendship between them, and between people of the same gender. Oh what a murky area. Particularly between different genders.
When I was younger, I was taught and preferred to see everything clearly structured in these areas. Black and white. No greys allowed (although they may exist, so bright that they are practically blinding the beholder’s eyes).
Without greys though, you are not admitting your humanity. In other words, your inability to know how you will behave, think, and process every single situation you go through with another human being. Yes, you can start with guidelines, but then, it comes down to understanding what you are experiencing, understanding yourself in that situation, communicating with the other party(ies) and understanding where they are. This requires awareness, the ability to think in the moment, and extremely important here – compassion and humility. Lessons I learned in this area, I will try never to forget. Abilities I grew in these situations, I will try to employ every time I suddenly find myself lost, in unfamiliar territory. Always remembering my humanity, and the humanity of the person(s) I am interacting with.
This education, as I described it, has been hard (this part of it, obviously I have much ahead of me, depending on the length of the life I have left before me). I have, sometimes impulsively, and sometimes gingerly, navigated through things that were, within my particular upbringing, considered taboo, dangerous, and wrong. But without knowing what these things were really about, I could not feel that I was real. I was just an empty cardboard person. Even when I was hurt, and badly, I learned something. I feel more settled about some things now. I don’t know everything, but I can say that I discovered what I was seeking to know enough to be satisfied.
However at this moment, in the midst of the very awful combination of type 1 diabetes and perimenopause, I am exhausted. I can’t seek, or learn, or find, or do much of anything anymore. Three weeks of the month I am in constant pain, and while I am hopeful that medicine will assist me with some kind of reasonable solution, I have to admit that it may not. Women are not studied enough overall in medicine, there is not enough known about type 1 diabetes or perimenopause, never mind the two combined, and with everyone’s chemistry unique to them, it all feels rather hopeless that there will be a better way to manage this state of existence that I am in right now. Furthermore, I may be in this state for a while. Who knows? Nobody can tell me anything.
So, while in this state, I retreat. Not out of unhappiness, not out of spite, not out of anger (though I still have major conflicts with the world at large about some topics), but because I have the very strong feeling that if I don’t, I will be going beyond the pale. I will not survive. My withdrawal right now is based on an instinct to survive, and leave things as they are until I am better, and at peace (as much as possible), and not in turmoil.
I have accomplished a lot in the last few years to make amends for what I felt was a life being wasted. A life of indecision. A life showing a lack of discipline. For without discipline, it is hard to do much for yourself, and it is hard to know what exactly you can do for yourself. If it was my time to go, say NOW, I can say that I will feel like I set out to accomplish something before it was too late. And I achieved that. There was some impact. It mattered, at least for a while.
And it’s enough for now.