(drifting – plumb)
Life is still really hard. I still want to be done with life. I have been telling God what day I thought would be best for me to die, but on the somewhat positive side, I have also resigned myself to the fact that God is most likely going to say no. And I will have to deal with that. It is hard when my whole life I have been working towards one thing and that one thing is gone. Everyone told me I wasn’t good enough and it feels so much like they were right. I realized to have any chance I probably have to wait at least two years before re-applying, because besides not being at all in my personality, it probably isn’t kosher to be like hey, I know I started training like two days ago, but would you like to be my reference for the job I actually wanted more than this? That was a really hard realization, but it also really helped because it put a timeline on getting back to my dreams.
I recently read this article about helping people in crisis. The author’s explanation of each concept wasn’t necessarily exactly in alignment with my opinions (though some weren’t far off at all), but the concepts themselves seemed pretty good.
- Stay calm – so true, if I am already in crisis, I don’t need you to add drama to my life. I don’t need you to make life more difficult. I need someone to be an anchor in the storm. That doesn’t mean you don’t show emotion (also not necessarily good) but that you don’t freak out and make this about you rather than about me.
- Understand – no one (probably) wants to feel bad, but when we do it can feel very isolating. Grief takes a lot of energy that makes it hard to have anything left to do anything but survive. Crisis makes us less good friends as the primary focus is on survival. When it feels like no one gets it, especially when for a reason that feels shameful, I feel that much more alone. Taking a minute to listen and try to understand is a huge gift to me.
- Touch them (if they’re okay with it) – I love hugs and stuff. In most situations, it makes me feel safe. It is a good way to help me feel less alone. IDK about this for everyone though since I know some people hate being touched.
- Stay with them – grief is lonely and isolating. It is super awesome to be willing to come into my life and try to help me, but in my story of abuse and rejection, it isn’t just the loneliness and isolation that return when you leave again. Although sometimes I am so desperate for help that I want any possible thing I can get, but most of the time I feel like it might be better to have no one at all than people who leave again…but at the same time I know I don’t really want that, because I really need people even if they aren’t always exactly what I need. I know that studies show that support tends to last about a month and at most 3 months, but grief or other crises tend to last at least a year. That is a minimum of 9 months of isolation while the pain is still very raw and very intensely painful. I just need more hugs sometimes…or just a quick text hi. I finally figured out that was something that would help but then I never actually completely followed through on making sure it happened…I asked…a couple times…and then I ran out of energy to devote to a task that wasn’t as directly survival based.
- Ask why they haven’t – so this is referring to why they haven’t hurt themselves in response to the negative emotion. While I am not sure how helpful this would be to me, I think it is a good question to ask to gauge safety. On a smaller level, eating and drinking was SO hard at first and such a chore (for that matter, even now sometimes I am okay in that arena and sometimes I am packing goldfish and skittles in my lunchbox and calling it a success that I am eating something even when half of that pathetically non-balanced lunch comes back home with me), but almost every day I tried really hard to get three meals into my mouth. Why didn’t I just do what was easiest and just not even try? Mostly because that might worry people and draw attention to me, and I didn’t want to draw any attention to myself and I didn’t want to hurt anyone. So, yeah, I am a major people-pleaser. I am pretty much always okay, especially when I am not. It is good when people can understand this and see through my mask to see that just because I am smiling and laughing instead of crying at the moment doesn’t necessarily mean I am not still fighting really hard just to make it through every day, and it is also good to realize that because of that, when I am in crisis, I might be a lot more sensitive to the perception of letting people down, so recognition is huge if I am doing something right. On a bigger scale, why have I not killed myself even though I want so badly to not be alive? Because I strongly believe that life and death are in God’s hands, and my religious beliefs tell me it is wrong to hurt yourself in any way. This probably makes me a lot safer, but also means there should be a big red flag going up if my faith becomes less important to me…luckily even when I couldn’t believe God cared or was even good, my faith was still super important to me.
- Make a plan – consistency, structure, routine, and predictability really help me in life, and even more so in grief. Helping me know what to expect is really helpful. Waiting to offer something to me until you are pretty sure you can make it happen is awesome so the change in plans later doesn’t crush me. Remember that what seems small to you can be a lot bigger when it is the one thing that I am counting on to help me through the day, and when a minute is an eternity, the idea of a generic ‘maybe later’ is a forever that doesn’t even register on the time scale.
Moderately unrelated, but I also read this post recently where this mom claims she did a study and found out that she is invisible. Her logic is that she intentionally only wore one earring every day for six months and no one said anything…ummm…dude….what an idiot. First, if anything you proved that the earring, not yourself was invisible. Second, people are generally paying attention to YOU, not analyzing your attire. Third, your ears are on opposite sides of your head so depending on how good of eye contact you are using they might have no way of knowing that one of these things is not like the others. Fourth, people are generally respectful and mind their own business. Why should they point out that your appearance is less than perfect? And especially by the end of the six months if they had noticed they probably figured you liked it that way…yep, people be dumb…but using that logic, then I know that I am also invisible. I wore a shirt with a nice oxycodone stain on it a few days ago and no one said anything…I don’t know what bright drug manufacturer decided that oxycodone should be bright red, but I do know that whenever I spill it, particularly when I spill it on myself I do not appreciate the color…it stains…on the positive side, I mean, my shirt wouldn’t have been stained if I hadn’t caught the bottle that I lost my grip on. Because I did grab it, I only lost like a mL of oxycodone. I lost it all over my shirt and the counter, but at least I didn’t lose almost the entire bottle on the floor…