This is certainly apropos for me today. I've been talking a lot about this in various therapy sessions and journal entries this week.
I talked about how I've been feeling lonely and that I don't have many friends; I don't have any with whom I "hang" to just have fun outside of work. I mentioned that I've been invited by a few of my husband's colleagues from the other middle school for a Ladies weekend. He's encouraging me to go (even though I'll be gone for two whole days.) So I am going, even though I'll be missing my son's last football game of the regular season. The invitation came out of the blue - one of the Ladies' daughter goes to my daugher's daycare and she told me about the weekend a few weeks ago. I thought it was nice for her to think of me, but I hadn't heard anything about it so was beginning to think it was all a misunderstanding.
But then I got the email inviting me. I still can't believe they are including me. I mean I went to some of the get-togethers, but always because my hubby was invited.
I told my equine therapist that I am worried - what if the weekend turns into the elementary/junior high/senior high sleepovers of my past. Where I was there, but not really fitting in... She told me that from her observation I was building a wall before I had reason to - the overnight is a month away, after all. She had a point. I told her that I was scared of getting hurt - better to have never loved, then I won't know what I'm missing. She reminded me that I have a choice. That I don't have to open myself up completely; I can still maintain a boundary.
I think she and I will be working on that more next week with CeCe - the horse whom I connect with the most of any of the horses. CeCe lets me lean on her and hug her - so long as she has food nearby.
Also this week my nutritionist said that she thinks I'm ready to start seeing her every other week. She said I've learned and have been using a lot of good skills and that she thinks I'm ready to start trying them on my own. She listed how I've moved away completely from food logging (implied that I have maintained my weight through intuitive eating), but still have been able to incorporate new foods for a variety of reasons. How I am able to eat out and not get freaked about it. She mentioned a few other positive things as well. Oh and now I'm getting better at incorporating movement into each day.
I feel proud that I've made progress, but I also feel abandoned (completely and utterly irrational.) Her job is to help me be okay without her. But I have become attached to her / her support. I look forward to seeing her every week.
Of course, this comes right after my main therapist and I talked about my loneliness and how I don't have friends who I see outside of work; how I don't do anything truly "fun" with no side of therapy (like volunteering with horses gives me extra equine therapy and yoga allows me meditation and mind-body connection practice.)
I went shopping after my appointment to return a dress that I tried on at my session with nutritionist (the cut wasn't right for me); as I pulled clothes off the rack, I wished she was there with me. I channeled her - reminded myself that I'm not a size, it's the fit and feel that matter. But it still was a lonely experience.
In addition to loneliness, I also feel scared. Scared because I worry that my nutritionist is misplacing her confidence in me. When I'm overwhelmed and scared and feel lonely, I tend to want to hurt myself to keep functioning. My equine therapist said that it is and will continue to be important for me to honor my feelings - whatever and whenever they are, but that just because people may not be near me, that doesn't mean that I don't have their support. That's when she mentioned that I need to think about how I can create a safe place (inside myself) where the support can live, even if the people can't be there.
My homework is to work on creating this truly safe place (in my head) where I can go and know that the support I need will be there, even if the individuals who give that support aren't always physically there.
But the familiar and comforting place for me is one of pain (self-inflicted now); especially when I'm overwhelmed. Which I am now. Not only am I still figuring out this perimenopause crud while maintaining recovery, work is amping up. One of my co-workers is on maternity leave (2+ months earlier than anticipated) and the other co-worker at the other branch is being scrutinized by my higher ups. And my boss is being hyper critical of my efforts all of a sudden.
Stress - table of 1.
I've been trying to take things one at a time; one minute/task at a time, but that only works for the short term.
I don't know how I'm going to build this safe place when my familiar basement (dungeon, oubliette?) is already tricked out and waiting for me?