Sunday, November 12, 2023

Protection and Preservation


Howdy! How has everyone been? I hope all is well. I figured I would start off the entry somewhat differently. 

I'm nearing the end of my staycation as I'm writing this. Honestly, this has been one of the most relaxing staycations I've had in a while. 

Yes, I know that I did have one the week of my birthday ... yet ... and yet ... I am thankful that I don't look like what I've been through.

I look pretty snazzy and content in the picture (taken during the week of my birthday), but emotionally and mentally, there were storms of epic proportions occurring. As much as I practiced the methods in my toolkit, they weren't enough to keep the intensity from overtaking me, so much so that they spilled over physically.

I am not the person who always has some disaster happening.

I am not the person that is calling others each time a disaster strikes.

I'm usually on the other side, being the listening ear, damage control, and advice provider for everyone else's chaos.

It's tricky being the one who needs the reprieve. It's even trickier when the main person I would talk to ... well, I didn't even want to talk to that person. Heck, I didn't even like that person at this stage.

Fortunately, I had an objective outlet to assist me with navigating through everything. To encourage me to be patient and realize that the clouds were lingering as they should, given all I was battling. I just had not dealt with the period being so long. It hadn't been that long in years.

I found this video from YouTube creator Oh! Stephco. The topic spoke to me because there are levels and questions to consider to determine if one can provide support. It also gave insight as it pertains to isolating due to worrying about burdening others.

There were moments in my past when I fell prey to sharing my tribulations with people who didn't have my best interests at heart. Or, my sharing was seen as emotional dumping. Or, they weren't equipped. Due to this, if I didn't journal about it, I would turn inward.

For me, if I suppress for too long, I isolate. When I isolate, my brain ruminates, if there's is nothing to keep me active, content, or grounded. If I ruminate for too long, I lose track of time. Days run together. I go on autopilot and confine myself to a bubble. 

Before I recognized the warning signs and patterns, it was easy for me to check out for months at a time. I could still be working and going about my day, but emotionally speaking, be somewhere else. I have been classified as high-functioning — meaning I can mask so effectively that my productivity isn't impacted. In some cases, I am hyper-productive in a work setting, not knowing that diving myself into being busy keeps the depression at bay.

I say all that prologue to say the following:

For me, it is important that I have a support system on standby, even if I don't break the glass that often. 

It is also equally important that said support system is honest. I would rather someone be honest about time, energy, availability, and capacity than try to be there for me, only to be resentful or regretful later.

Speaking as the one from the support side, I have been more proactive in protecting and preserving my energy. I can't provide you with full, undivided attention if I'm divided and have needs that require attention. It would be a disservice to myself and to you.

Before I conclude, I would like to thank those who have listened, provided insight, checked on me, and thought about me. It was murky for a hot minute, but I'm getting to the other side.

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