I didn't realise how helpful these posts are for my own self reflection. I'm aiming to write more frequently where possible.
Things have been predominately positive lately. I'm significantly less stressed now my assessments are over and I don’t have study weighing on my mind. It’s funny because once I started feeling more “well”, I began to notice an aspect of my personality which I hadn't known for years: perfectionism. It was something my psychologist had pointed out several years before as a cognitive distortion; all or nothing thinking. However, I don’t really see it like that. For me, it’s about honouring myself and my ability to be productive and produce work that I feel proud of. So many of my high school years were a blur of sadness and overwhelm as I failed to live up to the academic standards I set for myself. As such, I compared myself to my friends achievements and never felt like I was good enough. I thought my passions, interests and studies were insignificant against their achievements, not my own standards. Important distinction. I have eventually decided to stay living in Ruby Creek despite the initial flee response and events following. I'm surprised that Kieran felt it was appropriate to confess his feelings for me, inform me about the financial benefits of my living with him or disappear into the night without warning (is there something about me which allows people to be their worst selves in my presence?). There are so many pro's and con's to weight up when considering the move. At the moment, I'm focusing on getting my license, buying a car and seeking a new sense of independence. I want to keep nannying next year and intend to frequent the trendy areas in Melbourne often. However, I'm not prepared to give up the (church) community I have found living here. The other day someone said this to me: the definition of community is unplanned connection. Anyone can schedule a catch up, coffee date or experience together. It becomes meaningful when it is spontaneous and driven by the need to connect. I'm also committed to being close to Friday and the kids. I'm not sure what that means. It's not romantic, not longing, not desire. It's more than that. I can't imagine my life existing without her. I completely accept that she's married and has children; there's just something about her which makes me want to be close to her (including following them half way across the world!). Maybe this will change when I find a partner to share moments, milestones and come home to?
I feel content with the friendships I am currently cultivating and the meaningful connections outside of these. The other day I read an interesting statistic: the way your brain matures between the age of 18-22 can unequivocally shape your experiences and personality in the future. I sat there just contemplating my experiences thus far and how much power I have to change the next 18 months or so.
I had a strange experience a few days ago where I fainted in the GP's office during a discussion of IUDs and birth control. I can’t pinpoint whether it was the discussion of assault, romantic partners (the potential of both) or the thought of something piercing my uterus…either way, it wasn't enjoyable but did help me to reflect on how far I've come. That used to be a regular occurrence. Suicidal ideation on the daily. Sleeping tablets. Self harm. The list goes on.
So overall, I guess it's about remaining in the present. I am convinced that being without a therapist for over a year has been one of the most important parts of recovery. Rather than examining and de-constructing and ruminating; I spend time in prayer, with friends, reading books, making good food and salvaging kernels of joy found in everyday moments.