There’s a fine line between long-needed solitude & escapist reading– and catatonic denial & avoidance. I’ve been trying to avoid crossing over, engaging in little small ways with the world the last couple of days even as all of me wants to just curl up in a ball and do nothing for a very long time. (Nothing defined by read nothing too emotionally challenging, eat, sleep, spend a little time in the garden, repeat…) So I’ve made calls to the plumbers & HVAC contractors to enquire about furnace service, something my dad hasn’t gotten around to doing as yet. And I put in my short term disability claim over the phone, though that made me short of breath & panicked at the idea of scrutiny. I went out of the house to get groceries, even if it was just to the corner meat market, & today I didn’t buy junk food, even if I did space out & leave my wallet at home. (Thank goodness they know me & would take my check, because of course I carry my checkbook.)
Tomorrow, I’ve got therapy first thing in the morning, and that will provide me with papers to fax in for my leave, and I will do that. (Functioning! See!) I’m supposed to also spend part of the day with someone I haven’t seen in almost a year, but I spoke with them for a while today & now I am feeling panicked about seeing them, too– for reasons that have to do with why I stopped socializing with them in the first place, as well as just general “I’m not ready yet” panic– I sort of feel like making copies and faxes after my therapy session is going to be more than enough and I shouldn’t have to do more.
I sort of figure as long as I’m leaving the house & taking a shower every day, not eating too much shit but still eating, making dinner and answering the phone, I’m doing okay for starters. I sort of set Thursday as my day to start getting down to brass tacks in terms of doing some actual projects, and Friday is a reward day to spend time with someone from work who works in my group but out of state and whose company I really enjoy. (She’s also someone who’s just really–humane– and not weirded out by the fact that someone in our group might just say– yep. Yeah. Enough.)
But I don’t know about tomorrow. I stopped seeing this person because their issues were a little too aligned with mine & yet they were really stuck in a rut of negative thinking that was way more than just a bummer for me to be around. They meant really well, and still do, but they lacked the ability to pick up the cues to act on anything but what was in their tunnel vision– and I needed to be around people who had a wider scope than that, and whose kneejerk response was not “everyone sucks.” Telling them that, though, would have been hurtful because of that same tunnel vision/set of issues, so I decided to just let new job/lack of car stand in for everything else. Maybe it’s the coward’s way out. Maybe I’m one of those people who suck, by not being forthright with my friend. But what’s the point, if all it does is wound, and helps no one?
(They weren’t wrong, this person, but I needed space, not because people don’t often generally suck, but because they don’t always intend to, and I need to try and maintain that compassionate space in my head that this person couldn’t. I guess it sounds stupid & flaky to say they were harshing my mellow, but that’s what it was. Not that I’d achieved any mellow, but I wasn’t going to get there, either, with them still in my life.)
But I’ve also really narrowed my social circles and am really lonely. I don’t think there is any way to have an honest conversation with this person about how their general world outlook mashes all my “I need to try not to be suicidal all the time” buttons, but the quandary here represents a more general problem– how to stop freaking out at going outside & hermiting & getting more social contact of the kind that I need when I’m really depressed–as well as speaking up for myself (and discerning) when it will do me some good, and more good to me & others than harm, in a general or other-directed sense.
I still don’t know where those lines are– and am afraid of being either pushy & needy or weird & awkward, and so I retreat. You’d think by know I’d have some sense of how I come across to others, but I really don’t. I guess that’s a line to discern.