Striving for a life of awareness, of forward progression, of knowing better and doing better, of being mindful and understanding and loving while also having healthy boundaries and self care without being too selfish, of communicating openly and honestly and sharing emotion without speaking irrationally from emotion, of trusting and having faith even when evidence says otherwise… Is… Exhausting.
And occasionally, I need a day off.
I’m an empath. I’m intuitive as fuck. If I’m around people for long enough, I pick up on their feelings, thoughts, fears, habits, and beyond. If I interact with others without taking solo time, I lose track of where my thoughts and energy and feelings end and others’ begin.
There are two common themes which accompany most meltdowns for me:
(A meltdown is when I hit a place of confusion and overwhelm and start to lock up, like an overloaded computer.)
- “I don’t know what’s real and what’s not.”
- “I don’t know what’s fear and what’s intuition.”
These are toughies for an intellectual sensitive like myself. I have awareness around patterns, around my character defects, and tendencies to sabotage great things out of a fear of an abrupt ending. (I end things abruptly so that things aren’t ended abruptly. BECAUSE THAT MAKES SENSE.)
I have this awareness, and yet the patterns still take me for a ride.
While in them, it feels very real. I become convinced that my job is only holding me back and I need to pursue my dream. It becomes “clear” that my relationship is not right for me and that “I deserve to be treated better” (cue mini violin). It becomes obvious that I am not talented or worthy, and that my life is shit and I deserve it to be as such.
In the moment, these thoughts and feelings are my perception of “reality”, all stemming from old patterns and, mostly, fear.
I feel anxious and want to make sudden changes. And, in the past, I have done just that. I’ve pulled the plug on relationships without a single warning to my mate. I’ve sabotaged professional opportunities by not responding, or discontinuing services once I got a hint of success. I’ve chopped all my hair off. I’ve gutted my entire living space of all things spiritual because FUCK YOU, GURU AUTHORS; YOU’RE JUST CONFUSED PEOPLE TOO.
The really ouchy part is sitting in the discomfort and the convincing confusion of those patterns, allowing the roller coaster to run its course, and not making decisions.
Don’t have deep emotional conversations when in this space. Don’t make any big decisions. Don’t cancel or join anything. Don’t lash out. Don’t spiral into suicidal thoughts. Just… Exist.
Eventually, without fail, my system reboots. My perception of reality starts to shift again. I see my job through a lens of gratitude, recognizing that I am working toward my dream and this job supports me in the meantime. I look at my relationship and get misty-eyed with gratitude; how could I have been blessed with such a wonderful, understanding man? I see myself and think: Hm. I think I’m a pretty okay person. Maybe my life isn’t so bad after all.
THAT reality feels much better. But even when I’m in those spaces, I still think: Is this real?
Maybe all realities are real and it’s just what I choose to believe?
Then again, I don’t feel as though I consciously choose to go on a bucking bronco ride on an old pattern where I feel like a pimply insecure 15 year old and want to crawl up the ass of my partner.
Y’know, I’d rather avoid that, actually.
But, it happens. And some days, I work through it. Some days, I navigate it with my therapist or friends or sponsor or boyfriend or journal.
Other days, though?
Just, nope. Not today, folks.
I need a break from being the understanding one, the patient one, the aware one, the funny one, or whatever other title/label/pressure I apply to myself.
Some days, I just need to let the fuck go. Stop trying to fix. Lovingly detach from other people and the outside world, and recharge my batteries.
My room is my cocoon. I’ve got my dark chocolate to nibble on, my baking shows on TV, and a beautiful redhead pup who can’t decide, for the freaking life of him, if he wants to be inside or outside.
I am still uncomfortable. I am still feeling sad. But I’m also learning to trust in the process. Coming offline for a day, I think, is a healthy choice.
Back to cocooning I go.