The more I try to outrun (debating whether lying on the couch or in my bed is considered outrunning) the pain, the less I am able to experience laughter and joy. I am reminded again, how I can not selectively numb my feelings. And– understanding my pain has not removed it….possibly I need some help with that.
There are times, in which I have been known for having a great sense of humor and for being fun. But, since fun happens only in the present moment– and I always have one, if not both feet in the past…Very little feels fun. I miss fun and laughter. I no longer recognize what “fun” means for me. In survival mode for too long, I have forgotten.
Even if someone cleared my schedule and responsibilities to grant me A Day of Fun and Creativity, I have only one idea—“not this”. Okay– today’s vision: wholesome large quantities of prepared food available to me, minimal stimulus, and a variety of places to sit comfortably, exercise and take in a sunset. Physical comfort and serenity are my constant cravings.
Self soothing has not translated into enjoyment of life. Many people seem to avoid and manage pain through intentional fun and thrill seeking. I seem to be stuck in survival mode. While survival and recovery are miracles, they are not fun and clearly differ from legitimate thriving.
Things I used to do for pleasure and my reasons for not doing:
- beach volleyball, doubles, so that I had only one teammate to disappoint (weak unexercised body and no access to beach)
- teaching (too peopley and demanding)
- learning (too self obsessed with the idea of healing to do anything that would heal me)
- reading (see below)
- book club (cannot focus well enough to read books and clashes with my need to avoid others)
- walking at the beach (too far and too expensive to go)
- small outdoor concerts or a dark , nearly empty bar with a solo musician playing acoustic guitar while singing mellow songs (??)
- swimming in the ocean (too far from beach, even though when I lived 12 miles from ocean, I still didn’t cuz- kids, job,work)
- trying to draw (just can’t)
- watching the sunset (no excuse–it just feels impossible)
- sitting around with (two or less) friends (sometimes I can wrangle one)
- shopping (too broke)
- garage saling (too early)
- working in the yard (too hot, buggy, and muggy)
- marathon gambling in Vegas at the same low stakes black jack table (whatever)
- sitting in the sun (now makes me feel ill)
I am lost. Keeping our home paid for, cleanish, and stocked with food we like, are freakin’ miracles. If I would do all the things I want done, that would make me feel better about myself. My list would look like this:
- Finish unpacking, for the love of God.
- Paint living room
- Frame and thoughtfully hang meaningful prints an photos around the house
- Spray and pull the weeds
- Fill planters with colorful plants
- Purge and organize the garage
- Train my dog–it would be both fun and beneficial for all
- Take a vacation with my sons
- Do an actual freaking activity with Greg…we enjoy a lot of eating and watching tv and avoiding stimulus and working around the house, may be time to step that up.
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