… because obviously I haven’t fucked everything up. As Laura Jane Williams brilliantly put it once “none of us is fucking up like we think we are” — which is invariably true. So I thought I’d better just check in with a post to let you know that that was a low point and I have (for now, however temporarily) ascended from there.
On the one hand, I still haven’t got my period. I mean I’m pretty certain I’m not pregnant, so that’s a bit annoying and fucked up because I had hoped to do a cycle pre-Xmas and I’m not sure if that’s going to be possible… But it’s slightly out of my hands because I don’t want to throw more drugs at the problem right now so really it’s a question of just waiting and seeing. But now I’m not in the depths of misery, I’m seeing it as a small but understandable blip rather than an indicator of early menopause. Today anyway.
The other stuff. Well again, hindsight, distance, not being in the depths of misery is brilliant for perspective. And, by the way, thank you lovely people who took the time to comment on my last post and be nice about a situation that I hadn’t really explained very well.
Basically, what I was trying to say (and later managed to articulate in the comments, so apologies if you’ve already read this) was that the conflict between self-care and hurting other people comes down to trying to create a protective bubble around myself that — by definition — shuts out people who don’t necessarily want to be shut out. It’s about boundaries, and something Cheryl Strayed wrote beautifully about in Tiny Beautiful Things. I loved this line from it so very much that I thought it worth repeating:
Fucked-up people will try to tell you otherwise, but boundaries have nothing to do with whether you love someone or not. They are not judgments, punishments, or betrayals. … Boundaries teach people how to treat you, and they teach you how to respect yourself.
I think it’s not always easy to establish boundaries. Especially if we’re used to a certain status quo. But right now, today, two weeks or so on from writing that last post, I know that it’s the right thing to do. And not only do I know it, I feel it. That might sound weird, but with so many things the difference between intellectually knowing something, and actually believing it and honestly feeling it is so different.
I’ve known intellectually for a really long time that certain situations were not healthy and needed to change, but I think until I actually genuinely believed and felt that that was the case, I struggled to change them.
I suppose it’s like the fact that intellectually you can know that when it comes to trying to get pregnant, there’s a limit to what you can actually do, and that a lot of it is out of your control. But until you feel that, you’re always going to think there’s something more you can do. Just like intellectually I know that whether or not I have a child won’t actually make me a better/nicer/more successful human being (I’m not sure whose definition of success I’m using here) but right here, right now, however much I’d like to, I don’t currently honestly feel or believe that.
At the end of last year in a post about emotional fuckwittery (which, as an aside, frankly I should have read, re-read, re-read again and then had tattooed backwards on my face so I had to read it in the mirror every morning, because then maybe — just maybe — I wouldn’t have ended up in the same situation again, almost 12 months to the day later) I wrote about fluctuating emotions…
I think that’s probably something I’m going to need to remember a lot in 2017. That sometimes, I’m going to feel OK about things. And sometimes I’m not. And that’s OK too. Because however I feel, I’m not going to feel like that forever.
Probably should have remembered that a few weeks ago, before catastrophising my whole life. But it’s hard to be rational in the depths of misery, so I’m cutting myself some slack… (and not promising it won’t happen again.)