High flying is not the only way

Whenever I have the opportunity to spend time with people who operate in the 'real' world, I have noticed that I always feel a strange mix of emotions afterwards. Following yesterday's BBQ organised by my hubby's work colleagues (a splendid bunch of people) today is no exception.

Here is my attempt at identifying those various emotions so that I am not left 'holding' a slightly painful and nauseating brew inside myself.  I feel:

  • SAD, terribly sad - nearly grieving for the life I used to have and the person I used to be. People who go to work every day, travel, function productively and reliably from one day to the next present me with a living/breathing vision of my past self. When that happens the chasm that exists between the past me and the present me is so wide that it threatens to swallow me up.
  • DISABLED - just when I feel I am doing well by even getting to the BBQ or the party, my limitations come down on me like the proverbial ton of bricks. I am an eagle with clipped wings, a high altitude flyer who now can only cope with the chicken coop....  AND none of this shows on the outside, which somehow makes it even worse. I cannot point to my disability - I can only experience it.
  • DISCOURAGED - recovery and remission suddenly sound very hollow. Yes I am in recovery/remission because I am no longer climbing up the walls and/or obsessed with destroying myself but I can't DO very much at all. For one afternoon like yesterday, I know I have at least two weeks of barely breathing exhaustion and one week of skin crawling agitation - and that's WITH medication! It's tough to keep thinking positively about such an on-going situation...
  • EXHAUSTED - socialising drains my energy faster than anything else. For a naturally gregarious person like me this is also hard to tolerate.

That's for the negative stuff but, now that I have lifted the heavy burden of my negative emotions, I can identify and express something else. I also feel:

  • RELIEVED - strangely enough, a part of me is also glad I don't have to live my previous life any more: working 80 hours/week, running around the country, spending energy in truckloads. Yesterday, that same part of me was happy to leave the party behind and come home.
  • LUCKY - working as I used to do may have been exciting and rewarding but I was never the captain of my own ship in the sense that I was always accountable to someone else. Nowadays, I am the boss! I am totally and solely in charge and there's something wonderful about that. Within my limitations, I do what I want when I want in the way I want to do it. In that sense I have never had it so good.
  • OPTIMISTIC  - about my future. This is totally unexpected but being unable to go back to who I was has forced me to go forward towards whom I am becoming. There is something stonkingly wonderful about that too!
  • HAPPY - just happy to be who I am, where I am.

All in all, allowing myself to express my negative feelings (instead of plastering a thick obliterating layer of positive thinking on top of them) has enabled me to feel those lighter more subtle positive feelings underneath.

I guess the chicken coop is just fine for now  :D

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