I don’t know what to report today on recovery. Nothing immediately springs to mind. I haven’t been on my walk to Aldi, which usually gets the cogs of my brain turning. In fact, I rather woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, everything feels gloomy and like it’s going wrong: Low mood, as they say in the healthcare trade.
I’m not really sure why. It’s the sort of morning that were I to call someone in recovery, they might remind me to be grateful I’m sober. Sometimes this works, but not always.
I’m still brooding on my ex, after recently he dismissed me during our cup of tea, in what I thought was a rather untimely fashion. I’m angry. Recently, in Philipa Perry’s column, she said that, “it’s easier to feel angry than sad.” So, wrapped up in my ball of anger the other day I mulled over this bit of wisdom. It’s not the first time I’ve heard it actually. Good friend S. also said this to me with reference to my ex a while ago, an embarrassingly long time ago, in fact. But in this more recent interlude, I thought: what actual proof is there that beneath an anger lies sadness? Like: where’s the research?
That said, when I considered that I may be sad rather than angry really, it did lift the anger temporarily. Sometimes I find that airing my grievance can shift the anger too. But I’ve already tried that. I texted T. after my dismissal and enquired what had been going on, pointing out that he did not have to ask me to join him for a tea. He said that he needed to “reset”, which in his case meant going back to his sketch of the street, which is what he had been doing before I sat down. But he didn’t apologise. He simply explained.
I’m still pissed off. As I haven’t seen him, I haven’t had a chance to “reset” and be extremely unfriendly, indicating the new way of things. I realise this is a bit of a childish solution, but I feel upset, and I don’t know what else to do.
One thing that helped marginally, was that I realised how temperamental he is. Just having that word at my disposal enabled me to see him a bit more clearly. One minute you’re enjoying a nice cup of tea al fresco, the next he gets a mean look in his eye and shortly asks you to move on. Which, considering he was the person that asked me to sit down, was a bit off to put it mildly.
Another thing that I realised was that he’s actually acting exactly like he used to when we were ‘an item’. I use those words advisedly, because when we were ‘an item’ it was like living on a village below a volcano. I never knew when there would be an eruption. e.g. One day we’d got ready to go to the beach together (he wanted to draw), when suddenly he announced that he wanted to go alone and I would have to leave.
I always cut T. a lot of slack because he has Bipolar disorder (type 1, I’m a type 2), but really, this is no excuse. I got used to his erratic behaviour and tried to adapt myself. But we aren’t an item anymore, and the way he carries on I definelty wouldn’t accept from any other friend. Why do I cut him quite so much slack? The reason is, I’m used to it.
If he’d done that the first time we ever had coffee, I doubt very much there would have been a second meet up. But the first time we met he was fairly well behaved. He certainly didn’t dismiss me after ten minutes. We chatted for two hours. But after you’ve been involved with someone for a year, things change. The boundaries get lowered because you get close and that tends, I think, to make you accept things that ordinarily you wouldn’t. I should say: I wouldn’t.
I don’t know where I’m going with this really above and beyond venting. I feel incredibly frustrated by the whole thing, as well as exasperated myself for still being all tangled up in this spiders web of confusion and anger. As well as ultimately alone. I have few friends, no family, and a succession of disastrous romantic failures tallied up over the years. And even were things to suddenly miraculously change for the better, I’d still have spent the best part of the last two decades trying to recover and not getting very far. In some case not even recovering, but getting a lot worse. Partly this is because I could never really get my head around the fact that I had Bipolar disorder, and act accordingly. e.g. take medication. And there are all sorts of reasons for this that I’m not going to rehearse here.
Sitting in the cafe earlier having my daily latte I observed a happy young family on the next table. The beautiful woman was pregnant with what looked like her second child. Her husband was handsome. Her child was climbing over the sofa having all sort of fun and attention from what looked like the grandmother. I’ll I could think was: I’m never going to have that. And that that was all I had actually wanted, and for a very long time.
Then again, dwelling in this welter of what I’m sure no small amount of people would call self pity, I did reflect that I may have been guilty of doing that other truism often pulled out of the bag at such times: I was comparing my insides with other peoples outsides. The likelihood is that had I got all that, and I was married in my early thirties and had ‘my own family’ (I was ‘step mum’), it probably wouldn’t have been that one thing that would cancel out all the suffering and unhappiness. And the truth is I actually like being single. I like time alone, maybe not all the time, but a lot of it. But maybe this is also the key to why I’m so pissed with T. Because through him I had felt in some sense redeemed, that I had found out I did have the soul mate I had always hoped for, but he took it away from me, leaving me doomed to a lifetime of failure. And while this may not be actually factually accurate, I think deep down this is exactly how I feel. What I’m finding is that time isn’t healing, or not completely.
I think that rather than trying to fight this state of affairs, whether through owning my sadness, or anything else, I just have to accept that it’s how I feel. There simply isn’t anything else I can do about it. That just is the way it is. Temporarily, I do get relief, but the something will happen, be it seeing a happy family, or being ejecting from an innocuous tea al fresco, and all that rage and disappointment comes screaming back to haunt me. I’m sure that Philippa Perry would have some wise words to add to this. For example that he’s avoidant and me, being an anxiously attached, am drawn to him.
I did actually think that when she tweeted a link to her Observer column, how much this anxious/avoidant tag applied to me. So I replied to her tweet saying how much it had helped. And when she didn’t even like my comment, I got upset all over again. I seem to draw rejections like a bloody magnet. Or maybe I’m just too thin-skinned.
I wish I had something uplifting to say about all of this but unfortunately it’s just one of those days.