I have a long way to go. My therapist assures me that I will get there, but it takes time. I’m running on blind faith here.
We discussed things to this point. I had it all – if you can call what I was living all; high-pressure career, appreciative clients, respect of my colleagues, all of which consumed my life for the last thirteen years; there was no balance. I had nothing left after 5:00 p.m.
Employers love people like me. Our ultra-perfectionist nature is rewarded with ever-increasing work. We are the all-too-willing community teat for the rest of the fucking slackers. My therapist said (again) that she is shocked I made it as long as I did in that position/condition. The unfortunate thing about employees like me is that we burn out in epic fashion, leaving the employer with a bit of a mess to clean up in the aftermath. How many people will it take to do my job? Well, I took some time off once and five people had a hard time getting shit done. Stupid business practice, but I was a willing participant - always ready to please and please and please the unpleasable machine.
We discussed my OCD, specifically my obsessive planning. Some people can just go to the beach and enjoy. I begin three days prior to that beach trip thinking about (in exhaustive detail) what to pack, food (recipes), parking, various routes to the location, cost, gas, how many people, does everyone have a towel, do we need extra sunscreen, what about the dog…packing the car two days before, gassing it up, first aid kit…
I said that I envy people who can just grab a towel and go – without a care – and enjoy the day. I suck the joy from everything before we even get there. I do that with everything in my life. Everything. I just clicked my teeth for every word written on this page. I will make sure that the windows are up in my car eight times before I exit. Everything I do is obsessively and compulsively regimented. Everything.
Once my moods have stabilized, we will begin to discuss me. Who am I – really? What makes me happy? What do I like to do? I've discussed this before; I do not have the answers to these questions – I never really did. I was all work and that nearly killed me. I’ve never asked myself these questions. Why bother? I was already dead.
My homework is to set a single goal each day and follow through. Today, I showered. Perhaps I will do something else. I will note these accomplishments and do the same the next day. If I fail to accomplish my goal(s), I am to focus on what went right, NOT obsess over what went wrong. I have to learn that the "to do" list never ends. I will never finish it. Deadlines aside (another discussion) it is ok to leave things for the next day. When the list is finished, you are finished. That is life.
My response to this homework assignment was a deep, tearful breath. It’s like starting over from infancy with crawling, speaking, walking … and so on. I crashed. This is the bottom.
It is a long goddamn climb back to uncertain territory. Will the view from the top be the horror that I remember? I am not accustomed to not knowing how things will progress, so this work is particularly painful for me.
My car needs gas. I haven’t pumped gas in weeks. The last time I tried to pump my own gas I kicked the ever-loving dog shit out of the gas pump (and injured myself) in a manic fit of rage. I have set a goal to gas up the car, by myself, again today and see how it goes.