as I told a friend in a chat today, things are “muggy” for me right now:
“I can’t tell if they’re better, worse, or the same. I feel like things themselves are becoming more clear, but what I should do about them are not. rather, whereas I used to be in a place wherein I knew what actions I should and should not take in murky waters, I’m now confused about what to do in very clear situations.”
he replied, as always, very justly:
“Sounds very confusing. At least you have a new perspective on some things, even if it makes decisions harder. Do you feel like you learned anything helpful?”
and honestly, I can say that I didn’t so much as learn things as I did accept them.
last night, my final required night, is a perfect example. we were discussing perspectives, and we went around the room telling each person how we perceive them. most people were in unison in their perceptions of another, with a few key people giving additional insight.
what I was told was things I already knew, but had not necessarily been told so directly, nor in such succession.
- firstly, everyone remarked on my intelligence and wisdom. I have been told since I was a wee one that I’ve very well learned for my age. as a teen, even, I was offering advice to grown adults; most responded positively and thankfully, noting how it was odd to see such a young person having such vast knowledge and wise suggestions.
- that was often followed up with how I need to take my own advice, or listen to myself. “if you only followed half of the great advice you give others, you’d be in a much better place.”
- a second point was what a bubbly and magnetic personality I have. again, this was nothing new. as mentioned in my previous post, I give people the attention and respect I would like to have, no matter my opinion of said person. I’m polite and considerate. I make a point to smile often and laugh proudly. people like being around folk like that.
- the third and least common of this lot was that I’m too pessimistic. the pessimism isn’t as obvious to strangers as the other two are; but anyone who has an actual conversation with me on a level deeper than the first or second, they can announce this about me. anyone with whom I discuss my life, my plans, my expectations — they all will say for such an outgoing and happy person, I’m oddly pessimistic.
none of those were surprising. these were things I had been told in passing after a person meets me for even just a mere few hours. but some of the feedback I got, it was a little more … intensive, a little more direct.
- “you need to stop caring so much about what others think about you.” this is a telling sign that I really revealed myself to those people. I play this crazy, whack-a-doodle person who stands out in the crowd not because she climbed onto the stage but rather because that’s just where she ended up. in reality, however, I’m original, yes; but with great effort. I like to play that I don’t care about others’ opinions of me, and that my self-confidence is enough to get me through. but some in Group saw through that. I was informed by a select few that I care too greatly for how others see me.
- and then two people, with whom I confided in deeply, went further. they went on to say how this care of and for others, it’s preventing me from taking care of myself. between my being such a giving and compassionate person, and my elevating the values of others above my own, I’ve belittled myself into nigh nothingness. they both said I needed to spend more time and effort taking care of myself and valuing my own values and desires.
in regards to that last item, I hadn’t realized how true this was about myself until Group. it was three weeks ago, right after the extension began, and I was starting to get suicidal for the first bout. I forget the topic or the instigator, but the counselor asked me directly about why I was upset about whatever. there were only four or so people in the room, three of whom were on my Team; I felt comfortable being honest: “I feel like my life is not my own; I have to be alive for everyone else, yet if I were to take it I’m being the selfish one. it’s stupid.”
from there, we did what’s call a Spot-Check Inventory, wherein we take a situation, person, or thing that has incited an emotion in us, and we reflect. the end-goal is to determine the actual causes of the emotions, not the stimuli.
in this case, I was upset because I wasn’t allowed to kill myself. but through the different steps, we learned the cause, or the root, was that I valued others’ opinions more than my own.
there were other smaller revelations I had throughout the few weeks. but those last two, those were the ones with which I need to do something. either I need to work on them to get Better, I need to be ready sit in my own shit forever, or I need to Quit and give it all up. but these last two are really the ones I need to focus on.