I’ve been terribly afraid of what lies beyond my self-described milestones in counselling. So afraid that it’s holding me back. You see, I’m scared of the future – I can’t imagine a future where I’m not pulled back by this crap in my head; one where I’m free. I don’t know who I am without being bothered by the memories and ideas that surface to sabotage and infiltrate my life.
I’m equally fearful of relapse. I don’t want to be the me of five years ago, or even two, or one. I want to rise above, to soar away with the baggage of the past lost where it belongs – somewhere in Heathrow. This is where it gets giddily hilarious for me: if I don’t pass my milestones, if I don’t post the letter to my Mum explaining everything (I’ve held it for a week so far – for review, spelling and grammar check, and now – sheeit there’s no paper at home for printing. Sound much like prevarication?) if I don’t talk to my best friends who surely deserve to understand why I’ve put them obliquely through the wringer for years, if I don’t decide to move on to whatever looms next (or more positively, beckons), then I can’t relapse can I? I’d have to finish this race to move on to the next…
I’m genuinely afraid of having to do this again. I’ve read things I couldn’t imagine reading a few months ago, said and written words that have been utterly verboten in my heart. I’m come so far, but if I finish then I run the risk of having to repeat it all. It’s silly – this is exactly why I’ve forced myself to go through it all and document it once more. So that the next time I forget and plunge back into the penumbral recesses of my past I’ll have a candle to light my way. A big fuck-off brazier full of my rationale and wit to punch the shadows in the nuts and tell them to fuck off.
Sometimes I wish that I could cry. It’s been a long time. I worry sometimes that I’ve graduated to some level of sociopathy. I do recall choking up in frustrated tears of anger and misery some time before commencing counselling. I am occasionally pushed by some internal struggle to hot angry tears. Usually when thinking of a lost pet. It seems odd, I care much more for the fate of our pets than the family I have lost. I suppose I ascribe far more agency to the humans – they did their stuff, and now they’re gone. Sure, I can regret not knowing them for longer – but that’s what they had. I, and they, made the decisions, passively or otherwise about how well we would know each other – and then they died. That’s it – that’s what life is. We can either regret our failings and choices or relish the fragmentary touch of humanity we had.
I’ve drifted from milestones. I’ve created milestones: reading my diaries, reading my letters, writing to Mum, telling my friends… and then what? I drift in the void? I need, I think, and my counsellor has been helpful in thinking of this, to know what comes next. It’s not a hungry vacuum – it’s life. I can have agency in my life, I can choose what happens, I can influence myself as I would do others. I need to make some plans. I need some future milestones. I can work to a schedule – it works well for guiding me now in terms of when I should think about this stuff (Monday nights, after counselling with a pint and Portishead). I can extend that. I can plan for Christmas, I can plan to be happy.
I’m thinking about meditation – something without the religious and spiritual content: we’re just meat, complicated meat made of the same stuff as the rest of the universe. I’d like to learn how to calm my mind, to be content in quiet for moments. After that… well I guess I’ll have to make more plans.
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