I don’t want to keep a journal. Really. A lot. I mean it. The DON’T MAKE ME PULL THIS CAR OVER kind of meaning it. I have successfully avoided it for a week now, but since I have to see the therapist next week, I should probably get on the stick, no?
I’ve been reading some of the Geneen Roth books, and although I’m “supposed” to be thinking about relationship patterns and closing myself off, I find myself thinking more about wanting. Over in the sidebar is a link to Kate Harding’s post “The Fantasy of Being Thin,” which basically amounts to, “don’t live your life waiting for tomorrow.” Geneen Roth takes it one step further and talks about what happens when you start wanting to WANT more than you really want to HAVE. Because as long as you want to want, the outcome is controllable. As long as I want to be thin, I can keep believing that it will make me a different person. As long as I wait to be thin, I can believe that I’ll meet the perfect person, and real life will never intrude on my fantasy. As long as I wait/want to be different, I can imagine that I don’t freeze up at the thought of confrontation, that I don’t vacillate wildly between panic and rage. I can imagine that I’m cool, calm and collected all the time. I can imagine that everything really IS fine – that I’m never sad, never vulnerable, never angry, never wrong. I can live there, in that place without having to deal with the messiness and pain of real life.
Is it weird to write that I’m more comfortable posting this on the internet for the world to see than I am taking it into the therapist’s office next week? (Actually, probably not. The internet is still abstract, whereas a therapist is a face-to-face thing.)
I mentioned to the T that I live above my neck. I live in my thoughts, my opinions, in the high-powered, always-running, turbo-charged space that is my brain. I’ve been trying to eat when I get hungry. But you know – I don’t KNOW when I’m hungry. I can’t feel it until I’m starving, when I suddenly look up from whatever I’m doing and realize that I need food NOW. But starving is different from hungry (and momentary starvation is different from long-term starvation).
The T asked me at the first session, “Do you think that you eat/drink in order to slow your thoughts down?” and I answered that no, I didn’t really think so. And I still don’t – I eat/drink to SHUT THEM UP altogether. I eat/drink to put myself back in my body, even when the results are unpleasant (coughhangovercough). I spend days running from one thing to the next: gotta get this done, don’t forget about that, did I remember this, add that to the list, after this is done I have to do that, but first I should accomplish this thing over here . . . I run and I run and I run, but I never really STOP. I realized, as I started paying conscious attention to that part of me, that the VERY FIRST thing in my head when I wake up is a variation on, “today I have to . . . ” And sometimes, I’ve realized that even as I wake up, before I’m fully awake, that refrain is already running – IN MY SLEEP.
And you know what the irony is? Physically, I’ve never been able to run. Even doing the Couch to 5K or before that, trying to teach myself to run using a similar format, I’ve never been able to run for more than 6 or 7 minutes straight. I did it exactly once, for 15 minutes or so, but never before or since, and that once just about killed me: I was wiped out the entire rest of the day. It’s like my body compensates for the speed of my head by digging in its heels (literally and figuratively) and weighing me down, forcing me to hold still, demanding that I stop. Which only makes my head run faster.
In the meantime, I’ve been meditating. Not a lot: once a day (maybe twice), for about 10 minutes at a stretch. Just trying to be present IN my body, instead of living in my head.
It feels weird.