I’m gonna wriggle up on dry land

My life has been changing so fast, and on so many fronts, in the last few months, that I’m having trouble processing it all. I’m trying to keep up–journaling, therapy, a bajillion conversations with friends–but I still feel like my head is spinning a lot of the time.

The big change to my work life is obviously a big part of what is different, but that change wouldn’t have even been possible if some deeper changes hadn’t already been taking place. I had considered going out on my own so many times before, had even started to plan it a few times, but it never seemed to amount to much more than a day or two of excitement followed by a week of panic attacks.

This time was different–there was still plenty of panic and doubt, but I forged on ahead. Why?

It’s hard to summarize–like I said, I’m still struggling to process all this–but to put it simply, I feel like I’m finally getting out from underneath all of my shit. I feel like the negative parts of my past are finally losing their grip on me.

Obviously this had been an ongoing process. It’s not as if I hadn’t been moving at all, and then suddenly leapt forward. And it also isn’t as if I’m “all better”, suddenly free of self doubt, anxiety, negativity, self-loathing.

But I do feel as if I’ve passed some kind of threshold, reached a critical point.

It’s hard to explain why I feel that way, because many of the differences are subtle, and they’re all so internal and personal. I feel like I’m being more honest in therapy, even though I was never being intentionally DISHONEST before–it’s as if I’ve become capable of putting into words things that I couldn’t previously. I sometimes go whole days at a time without doubting whether I am capable of/worthy of the professional work I have taken on. WHOLE DAYS. I just realized in the last two weeks that I can now do seated meditation without first doing yoga for an hour or being in the room with an instructor, and I’m working on making that part of my regular routine. I could go on.

Overall, I feel more resilient. I experience extremes of negative emotion less frequently, and though when they come they remain as intense as they ever were, I recover more quickly.

I’ve been working to build a toolbox of habits and strategies to keep moving forward, but for years now I feel like the amount of time and energy I’ve put into using those tools has remained relatively constant. And now that’s changing. It’s still work… it’s still so much work… but it’s getting easier.

This is what was necessary before I could take on something as challenging as drastically changing directions in my career–I had to be spending less of my energy on the work of simply holding myself together. And it wasn’t long ago that I thought that was impossible.


 

I wish I could say more, but I’m exhausted and I need to get my sleep–tomorrow is a long work day. Work things continue to be crazy in a good way, and I might have some big work news again soon, but I’m not quite ready to talk about it yet. Stay tuned.

The song from which the title of this post is drawn is linked below. It’s a beautiful song with an ultimately hopeful message, but it also describes abuse, so listen only if you can handle that right now.

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