Lackadaisical Me?

If you are doing therapy “right,” the work of it doesn’t solely happen in the fifty minutes you sit in an armchair and spill your guts. To encourage forward momentum, some practitioners assign homework. Mine has not taken this step, yet I seem to be an entity that once in motion continues.

The reason I sought out a professional was my utter unhappiness with my life, specifically the lack of emotional intimacy, the absence of a collection of people who support me through the rough patches and resilience within myself to make it through hard times. I felt alone, drained and completely unable to figure out how to fix it. I lay the blame for the first to on the doorstep of a society that perpetuates untrue beliefs about disability that form the burier between me and other people. I sought a professional to help me decide if I had to accept that or if I could change it. Somehow. I wasn’t optimistic.

Slightly over two weeks ago, I had a painful conversation with a friend that resulted in a mutual decision to be less in each other’s lives. It left me with one local friend who I can count upon no matter what. I thought I’d be crushed by this fact, but I’ve been oddly curious. I want to know what happens next.

It also appears to be contributing to my growing feeling that I must clear out my life in order to move forward. Anything that isn’t working is vulnerable to being eighty-sixed from my universe. And when I follow that urge, I feel good about the consequences.

At least the immediate consequences. I have serious concerns that I will resolve what I need to in therapy and look up to find my life is gone making me more alone and isolated.

But if therapy works, won’t I have replaced the things that aren’t serving me well with things that are? This clearing of the decks is a way to make the space and free up the energy to build something better, stronger and fulfilling, right? Right?

The weirdest thing has happened. I no longer can even write a sentence about all this that contemplates failure. “When trying to build something better fails” literally feels like a lie. I don’t think it’s a healthy, optimistic perspective so much as faith in a non-disabled, never-treated-a-disabled-person therapist I’ve found. That’s just unfathomable. And possibly a very bad idea. Oh well.

And that’s even stranger. I actually don’t care if I’m making a mistake because it doesn’t feel like a mistake. It feels like I’m a combination of an adventurer and mad scientist. “Let’s see the consequences of these actions and what adventures they bring.”

What is going on with me? Anyone?

It’s Been……

Months. Far too many months. Fortunately, I did not make any promises about posting regularly since they would have been broken. Into tiny slivers.

I now know why I wasn’t writing – to preserve what little mental stability I had left. Writing this blog is intense because in trying to live up to my commitment of sharing the good, the bad and the ugly, I not only have to unearth buried emotions, but I then must turn over rocks to study what’s beneath. I don’t mind physical worms and slugs. The emotional ones, on the other hand, aren’t fun. Barely keeping it together, examining the unpleasant wasn’t a wise move.

I’m better now. Not great, not fixed and definitely not at my best. Just better.

I did learn one very valuable lesson. A bad therapist can make it so much worse. That was last summer and early fall. A good therapist, in contrast, helps, not in any miraculous way, but subtly. I found the good therapist in December.

Over the past few months, I did do some writing. For now, I’m going to post something new each week and pull out something old as well.

Brutal Honesty

Sometimes twelve days on a lake with your family and guide dog who suddenly acquired gills is exactly what you need to refocus. I left warn out from Pride and wondering how I should change my life. without consciously even thinking about it, I came home knowing what to do. My subconscious is so smart.

I need to come clean about why this blog has been so silent. It began as a series of infections, then the habit of not writing took over, or so I thought. In actuality, I was avoiding emotional “stuff.”

Writing this blog with the frank honesty I want means digging in my feelings and uncovering what is underneath. Exposing buried emotional issues to the light of day can be hard and is definitely always intense. Since I was avoiding anything not immediately obvious on the surface, I steered clear of a writing process that would force me to examine things. When I eventually realized this fact, I made a conscious choice to continue not writing. My avoidance was in fact a smart decision on the part of my subconscious.

The emotional issues are still there, but I have unearthed them, cleaned them off, sorted them into piles and assembled the fragments into a picture.

There is a lack of emotional intimacy in my life that doesn’t work for me. At all. I can accept many of the ways my life is directly effected by disability – unemployed, limited income, lack of access to information and even having to ask for help. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a far harder time with the ways disability indirectly impacts my life based on how the world reacts – fewer friends, limited dating, people’s ignorant behavior and lack of respect. They all boil down to lack of emotional intimacy.

If you think about it, the direct consequences of my disabilities are things I can figure out, like fining meaningful things to do that take the place of paid work. How do you change the amount of emotional intimacy you need? And how do you increase the amount in your life when you aren’t the cause of the problem?

I used to think I needed to change my behavior or attitude or mannerisms or deodorant or something. At least in this area, I swallowed the idea thatDisability is the responsibility of the disabled

I was required to do whatever was necessary to make others comfortable and that would make it all better. I had to crack the jokes, not get angry about being treated as less than, educate, explain and accept with a smile whatever I had to. In this way, I would make others comfortable with me and they would want to be in my life. In other words, if I was nice enough, things would change. And, if they didn’t improve, I was obviously not being nice enough. My effort and attitude would fix everything.

Um, no. I have come to realize that how others react to my disabilities is not based on something I did. It’s about them. My only responsibility is to behave like a civil adult using the same measurements non-disabled people apply to themselves. Who, after all, would expect a non-disabled person to smile sweetly and thank the cashier who just handed your change to the person with you?

Still, I was left with a big problem: how do I deal with my need for emotional intimacy not being met? Good question. No answers.

While working my way through all of this, I couldn’t write this blog without making my abject misery worse. Now I can at least write about it. Progress.

Blog Cubed

[Note: Apparently the new blogger interface and I have issues and as a result, this was not published on July 1st which was my intent. Ooops.] Last year in my anniversary post I wrote: do blogs have “terrible twos”? Guess we’re going to find out. We now have our answer that yes, in deed, this particular blog endured the terrible twos characterized by lack of entries caused by me being flaky. I could promise to be more dedicated especially since public proclamations like that increase the chance of the thing actually happening. but, well, I’m not really sure why I haven’t been posting meaning a solution is out of reach. And then there’s my anger. Recently I have been getting in touch with my rage at the world. I suspect the next year of this blog is going to be….. interesting. I’ll leave you with a question: What’s problematic about name tags and online groups that require pictures to gain and maintain access?