It’s weird, how long it’s been since I’ve blogged. I’ve posted, of course, but fiction is one thing and this is something else. I’m tempted to say I had nothing to blog about, but I know that’s not the truth. That’s never the truth.
The truth is things have been going pretty well. Not without their challenges but still good. Better than they have been in a while. Quite a while. Maybe that’s why I feel the need to blog now. Because I hit a speed bump.
It’s nothing altogether life-altering. I know in a few days I’ll look back and see it for the minor incident it was, but it reminded me how easily I can let myself get derailed.
I tried energy drinks for the first time this week. I’ve avoided hem, for good reason, but I had a long week ahead of me. One that required getting up at 5 a.m. and working long hours. It was good, actually. I was pleased, if you can believe it, because everything that filled my week was something I wanted to be a part of. But getting up at 5, for 5 days in a row, was not something I looked forward to, so I decided to try an experiment.
V8 apparently makes an energy drink, as I discovered grocery shopping last week, so I decided that might be a good alternative to some of the other stuff on the market. And it worked. I had one every day, right around the time I felt myself lagging, and I managed to get through the week. What I failed to realize is that, while V8 certainly lacks the “scary chemicals” we might associate with other drinks in that category, it also carries about 3 times the amount of caffeine normally consume on a daily basis. Something I didn’t take note of until I stopped drinking it.
It finally hit me Saturday night. I couldn’t sleep. Like I literally couldn’t go to sleep.
Needless to say, I woke up Sunday morning with the worst caffeine withdrawal I’ve ever experienced. There were times I wasn’t entirely convinced that I wasn’t dying.
Like I said, minor on the scale of life-changing events, but it reminded me of something I too often feel.
I’m going back through The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. I did it over a year ago for the #CreateLounge book club and learned my Core Desired Feelings were Free, Creative, Love, Abundant, and Ardent. I just finished her new book White Hot Truth, and it felt like a good time to go through it again and see what, if any, of my CDF’s have changed. I could see from the moment I sat down with it again that I was in a very different place than I was the first time, and I was excited to find what changes that had resulted in me.
I finally got to the exercises in the second half of the book and decided to take my time and really consider the questions. I had hoped to get farther along today, but, well, dying, you know. So, I haven’t managed to find my new words yet, but one section I managed to work on really hit me.
In it Danielle states that how we relate to people is how we relate to the world, so all the questions were about how we interact with people. This has always been a pointed issue for me, but, possibly due to my caffeine hangover, I was rather honest with myself.
I like people. I don’t think I always give off that vibe, but I do like people. I want to know to them, and I have a strong desire for them to know me. I am good, for the most part, with people. In certain circumstances, at least. In the right conditions, I can be quite conversational.
But there’s always a hesitation with them. No matter the situation. There’s always a part of me that is wary, afraid. I want people to know me. I want to be known. But in the back of my mind I am also afraid of that.
It’s nothing new, I know. Nothing wholly unique to my condition, which I suppose is a good thing. But I realized how much it defines all of my interpersonal relationships, even with people I am very close to. I am always scared of being rejected, so I am, to some degree, always holding something back.
Brene Brown would call this “Dress Rehearsing Tragedy”, the idea we have that if we tense up and stay on our guard, we’ll somehow be more prepared when it all hits the fan. In the same way, some part of me is always guarded in my personal interactions. Always ready to be disappointed.
And that goes for everything, I realized.
I took today off, as much as I could. I knew this was more than caffeine. I had come through a long and full week, and after pushing myself for 6 days straight, my body was done. You need days like that sometimes. But the whole experience triggered that part of my brain that is always ready for disappointment.
Because it’s not just with people, it’s life. Things have been going good lately. I am in a better place than I have been in a long time. And it’s times like that when that part of you is all the more ready for it to go wrong.
It may have been minor, but it doesn’t have to be anything big. It’s like when you are productive and you are making good progress in life, then you get one scratch on your car bumper and you feel like the furthest thing from an adult. Or when you are doing well and feeling good, all it takes is one cold, one caffeine headache to remind you that death is near.
We’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
But I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be that way with people. I want to be confident and vulnerable when I can. I want to meet people and know them, without judging them in the back of my mind. I don’t that way with my life. Things are good. I have work that I enjoy and I’m good at. I have seriously good opportunities around me. I am in a good place.
Difficulties will come. That’s life. And while I don’t know what my current Core Desired Feelings are yet, I know I do want to feel like I can enjoy the good I have without being derailed by one lousy day.
So, I’m learning. I’m not there yet. This weekend certainly proved that. But I’m learning to take things in stride. But, most of all, to be grateful for the things I have.
And, I think, that might make all the difference.