I woke up at 3 am today. Suddenly terrified that I have to go back to some semblance of “normal” life in the next few weeks. I feel like I am supposed to say that “I am getting bored being off work and that I feel ready to have some structure to my daily life”.
But I don’t feel that way at all!
I like being off work and school. I like having unstructured free days. I’m not filling them with crazy adventures, unless the adventure of getting to know oneself can be considered a crazy adventure. I *should* say that I’m sure this feeling will pass, and that, yes, eventually I will want to engage and be productive. Maybe that’s true. I have spent the last couple of years thoroughly burning myself out and my body and mind need a rest. Yes, other people are also burnt out, and yes, many other people have to push through it and just get by without having a break. Which I feel guilty about. I also feel, strongly, that my guilt stems partly from my ongoing reliance on other people’s opinions of me. I don’t want others to scoff at me. I don’t want others to think I’m selfish. I want people to see me as strong and enduring.
I’m tired of all that pretending though. I’m just tired. So I am striving with all my being to let this time be, without making it into another project. This time is my time. In so many senses of truth.
My time to find out who I am. My time to refresh and recover in whatever way makes sense for me. Am I lucky to have this time? Yes. Is that all the more reason to use it in ways that are healing to me? Yes.
It may sound like I am trying to justify myself (partly because I am), but if I return to the old routines and schedules and way of living, I won’t last. I have been killing myself slowly (yes, that’s what I believe I’ve been doing with my anorexia and I will write more on that in the future). Nobody’s opinion or judgment matters if I am unable to live and function – I need to see that, feel that, live that. For me.
As I re-read the above text, it feels as if I am rising to some awe-inspiring conclusion of life changing, self-affirming proportions. Something worthy of Oprah.
I want to bring myself back down though. Some of the important learning I am gaining involves failure. My view of what counts as failure, unsurprisingly, involves someone else’s judgements. I remind myself, now, here, that life involves constantly changing purposes and paths. My early morning fear today centered largely on my readiness to return to school in May (I register for classes today). My insight over the last 4 hours is that I want to try. I may not be able to finish. I can still try and I can be kind to myself if I doubt my ability as I go on. I can be kind to myself if I decide that my health can not sustain the rigours of graduate school.
This little insight dampens the terror of “real life re-entry”. I don’t have to do it perfectly. What a relief. I can work to change and adapt to life in the ways that make sense for me and with the supports I am so lucky to have. I will be worthy of those supports primarily by using those supports.