Tuning In and Floating

by justine

Things started to change in regards to my job. This is a good thing, but it’s scary as hell. It opens up a black hole of uncertainty that I realize I need to ride out. Uncertainty equals serious lack of control,  meaning not a happy camper over here, no matter how positive the changes will be.

A few weeks ago, my therapist said, “I can tell you’re upset and that you’re really frustrated with yourself because of it.” Oh, was I frustrated with myself? I.had.no.idea. Immediately, I had an out-of-body experience: I could see myself, legs crossed, foot twitching, wringing my hands, my chest tight and I thought, “Holy shit, she’s right! Not only am I upset but I’m beating myself up for feeling this way!”

How can it be that I’m so self-aware and yet, ignorant of how I really feel?

I’ve subverted my emotions for so long in an effort to not rock the boat, not pick the fight, not feel too high or too low, that I’ve lost my ability to understand my own internal language. Head + heart don’t do not share the same slang. What is a “should” in my head is “panic” in my heart. What is “freakin’ awesome” in my heart is heard as “insane” in my head.

Add to this, my recent awareness of numbing and we’ve got a whole can of worms. With my job in limbo, I am trying to give myself the care I need, to feel through this, but I know I’m only allowing myself to go half-way. Uncertainty brings anxiety, anxiety brings tunnel-vision, which brings on panic, which leads to numbing. Going all the way feels too painful right now, as if I’ll be swept away or lose my grip on reality.

So I’m trying my best to stay tuned in to how I feel, knowing that right now I’m meant to just keep swimming. Tuning in can mean: running 3miles, getting extra sleep (including naps), lessening my To Dos, saying ‘no’ to invites, reading (a lot), taking baths, going for long walks and general hunkering down hibernation techniques. It also means drinking sugary tea, eating buttery toast and enjoying lattes. I’m watching the line between self-care and over-indulgence. I don’t want to add more negativity to my life in the form of a weight gain and sugar crashes. I have been avoiding alcohol.

I like to think there’s a small, steady spot between Uncertainty and Panic, maybe a tide pool where I can just swirl around for now. Where, in the stillness, my own story can bubble up. So that’s where I aim to be, at least for now. Waiting for the next thing that comes and taking care of the basics until then. It’s not about going all the way. Right now, it’s about tuning in and floating.

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