Sliding Scales (Actually Quite Good Considering)

Sometimes bad is relative.  Good is too, when I stop and think about it.  But lately it has been hard to focus on anything beyond the bad.  Not just one issue, but several, all combined to create bad.

For a moment there I considered packing my bag and moving out to my brother’s farm.  There’s ‘no room at the inn’, other than the cow shed (which is small and breezy… this is after all, a mushroom farm and not a cattle farm!).  I was still seriously tempted.  The reason of course, being my darling niece L, who kindly gave me a few hours stress relief the other afternoon.  The only problem was that I needed more.  That said, I recognise for all parents out there that I might be being slightly unrealistic in thinking that living with a two-year old could be stress relief.

Still, a few hours of feeding L’s doll (it is still beyond me how one can feed a doll and it poops out the other end!) and chatting to her Dad was a very good remedy for what had been mounting symptoms of stress.  After a few days of that tight feeling across the chest, and breathlessness, I realised I needed to do something fast.  And so the trip to visit L.

L is, of course, a very healthy stress relief but I admit that this week not all relief has been healthy.  No, I’m not sharing the details.  Surely though, some things are less bad than others (I know that is terrible English but it’s warranted).

Put bluntly there are two things I am trying to avoid happening, in terms of where my brain goes.  The first is suicidal thoughts and the second is the ‘need’ to self harm.  If I can avoid those two, then I am relatively happy with whatever it takes.  And you’ll be happy to know I have avoided both.  Actually, in spite of being what I consider as addicted to self harm in the past, it has been the furthest thing from my mind.  I simply have no desire to go there.  Wow!  Even when I stop to think of what I need to avoid, I still find I have no desire to go there.  Everything else aside, I am so happy to have got to a point in my life where I can say this.

As for suicidal thoughts, I haven’t gone there this past week either and again, that is a major victory.  This past week I have (almost) been able to accept (or at least acknowledge) my despair, my anger, my hurt and my loneliness (and I’m not talking about needing a partner, I’m talking about feeling apart from people when I don’t want to be).  I could ‘be‘ with those feelings, and not think that I needed to destroy myself.  Don’t get me wrong, none of this has felt very nice but I haven’t slipped straight into destruction mode as I usually do.

So why the difference?  Well, to be totally honest with myself I’m talking about the last week, and I have no idea of what the next week will entail.  That said, I realise that I am a good person.  I realise that just because others do me wrong (and yes, they have done me wrong!), it does not make me any less of a person.  And perhaps most of all, I realise that at some stage (who knows when?) I will get through this.  I will heal.

There’s so much truth to those three words I will heal.

When all those bad feelings dominate my life it is almost impossible to tell myself the truth, that I will come out the other side.  When I’m depressed, I don’t even care about ‘the other side’ because I simply can’t see that far.  Maybe right now I’m not so much depressed as very badly hurt several times over.  Maybe that’s why I can see that I will heal, in time.

Meanwhile I keep up my stress relief.  So some of it may not be as healthy as it could be, but it’s kept me alive and physically unharmed.  That has to be a good thing.  I’ll worry about the rest when I get to a point beyond the hurt.  It is going to happen, and while I wish I never was hurt in the first place, I know that I will heal and grow.  If I could just keep telling myself that, then I’d be fine.  But I might need a few more visits with L because after all, I’m only human.

I just wish that humans could treat each other better.  It would avoid all this need for healing.

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” 

― Martin Luther King Jr.


17 thoughts on “Sliding Scales (Actually Quite Good Considering)

  1. Those are two HUGE things, Cate, and I’m so happy for you!! I know how hard it is to not think/not want to self harm and how difficult it is to get out of the place where suicidal thinking is always on your mind. Just one of these would be wonderful, but both? FANTASTIC!!

  2. I have it all figured out. We’re going to write to Sara Bareilles and explain our bond, and our bond over her and her music, and she’s going to finance and facilitate us getting to meet somewhere with a beach. Maybe even write a song about it.

    Also, you are stronger than your brain. I know that sounds queer, but you are. You’re proving that right now. Don’t you ever forget it, my Cate.

    1. Oh, oh, oh… can I join you if you do meet?

      Sid and I were saying just last night that we should one day take a road trip and visit you, Ruby (It’d be quite difficult to drive to NZ to see Cate). Or perhaps we could find a middle point where we all could meet…. say, Ottawa, ON? 😉

      1. LOL! Claudia, don’t fret, I’ve got driving in my veins. It flows with the blood of generations, and it has been too long since I’ve been able to do it. Sailor and I have long talked about driving the U.S. together and meeting various bloggers. I’ll talk with her, I bet we can get Canada added to our itinerary. 🙂

        Cate and I will sort ourselves out still.

      2. I’m thinking maybe after our beach rendezvous with Sarah Bareilles, we could pop up to Ottawa. Seems like a long way from the beach, but it would definitely be worth it. 😀

    2. What a great plan. You know, that woman has such an amazing voice, so perhaps she could come and perform privately for us too? As for being stronger than my brain, you know that doesn’t sound queer at all. It actually makes sense, and I think I’ve spent most of my life assuming my brain was the strong one, whereas actually it is my heart. And I can live with that. Actually I like it a lot, so thank you, thank you, thank you. What also occurred to me was that your words were similar to some of Winnie the Pooh (or should I say, AA Milne). Please know that is high praise, my dear. 😀 ❤

    3. Weeeeeeeeeeeeee

      Good thing you like to drive, Ruby cause Sid hates it LOL

      Also, visiting New Zealand has always been in my plans. My daughter’s boyfriend’s grandmother was born and lived there for half of her life there before coming to Canada and the three of us often talk about going. One never knows, perhaps one day we will! 🙂

  3. Some things are less bad than others makes perfect sense in my head. There are bad things and then there are bad things, some of them are more bad and some of them are less bad. If you say, some things are better than others, implies a positive thing, no?
    What would be the proper way to say it?

    Anyway, squirrel.

    What I’m trying to say is: Yeah. To everything!

  4. John Richardson

    Yes, Cate you are a good person and you will heal. I have no doubt of that and all of your friends will be better for it as well as all those who learn from your experiences because of your honesty. God Bless!

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