Whispers in the Night
It has been a while now that I have been back and thus far I have accomplished nothing except stress and panic and the like. But, somewhere amongst the "oh my god I'm a complete loser who has done nothing" chaos, I have found time to think and reflect. I do believe it is high time I share some of these whispers.
Being back "home" again is not easy. This has been listed as my permanent address for the past ten years, but several of them were spent far away. When I returned in September people would ask me if I was happy to be home. Edinburgh is my home, this is just my permanent address until I can leave for good. Until then, however, this place will be my residence and I will need to find a way to deal with the problems. Some of the people who know me know I was not a happy teenager (putting it mildly) and had many issues, some of which continued on well past high school. Well, this is where most of them happened. Being back but without the same problems is strange, and while I try to embrace the positive differences, many of the same stressors are still present - and as much as I hate it I feel like I am slipping back again. Sometimes my daily struggle is just to stay afloat.
I have mentioned my mate Sherri a few times when writing about myself, usually in reference to some of the important lessons she taught me. Her way of addressing issues is very academic, very focused on identifying and addressing needs and wants. If you read her blog this ought to make more sense; I have witnessed it firsthand. As I probably have mentioned, her approach has been incredibly helpful to me. Whether it is intentionally academic in nature or not, I can understand why such an approach is helpful to her and me. It allows someone who does not have the same basic foundation as everyone else to mimic the expected actions in a wholly rational and logical way. It justifies everything and provides a solution to the problem. Think of it like a scientific equation, if you will. Identify, rationalize, address, justify. By doing so the need is not only recognized and fulfilled, thereby justifying it, but one's existence is also justified. To you it may seem obscure, but to me it is the most important part.
Learning to identify the specific need and put it forth as a requirement is hard. Explaining it to others and hoping they will understand is even harder and by far scarier. For me social interaction is one of the most challenging parts of my life. Telling someone very directly "I need this" referring to an intangible can be very tough, especially if they do not understand. Sometimes it goes far better than expected and life becomes a lot easier, but even so the important part is being able to identify and address the need properly. It may be a blunt system, but it works for me. It makes sense, it is logical and understandable. Just like identifying hunger again (the first,time I said "I think I'm hungry. I should eat" was a very emotional moment) being able to say "I need you to respond to my messages so I know you read them" is very intimidating - but worth it. No matter what happens next, I gave my need a voice and put myself forth as worthy of the request. Small for many, I hope, but it is a huge step for me.
So even though I feel like I have gotten nothing done and have nothing to show for my life, I know that I have come a long way in my own life. Realizing that it was not until the end of January/early February that I started to overcome my issues and looking at how I am dealing with problems now, in early October, I cannot help but smile. It was tough, incredibly hard - but I did it. Yes, from time to time I come close to going back to what I knew, as it is as familiar as this place, but I never seem to make it that far. People may think I am simply being overdramatic with a lot of what I say, but no, not really.
Looking at me now I hope one would not have thought nine months ago I was the way I was. For me it still is a reality shock I have troubles with sometimes. But when I am stressed so far past gone I take insane to new definitions (cue recently) I am still able to rationally identify what is going on and say that I am scared out of my mind and that is the problem. I can look at old memories and say "not now, I still need some time for this but I will be back" and know that I am not missing my ex, instead I am missing the feeling that someone loved and cared about me. And when I see that, I can remind myself that I am strong on my own, as I am, for who I am. So even though there is a slight sting, I can accept it for what it is - a growing pain. It may be a purely academic approach to emotions, etc, but I do not care. I would not understand it any other way, and if I cannot understand what I am feeling how can I take care of it? It may be rough for others, but this is me and who I am. I still have some learning left to do and I intend to do it.
(picture of me late September; I was hoping to compare it to one from December but evidently do not havethat one at the ready. Silly me)