Sometimes I feel like I have spent my life punishing myself for not feeling enough. And sometimes like feeling too much is my punishment for some unknown, inadvertant mistake. I swing between the two extremes, never quite able to find a happy equilibrium, a place where I can walk through my life in a glide rather than a run, a steady pace rather than continually trying to edge backward. Does everyone feel this terrible paradox of racing forward yet retreating? Does everyone exist only at the widest point of the pendulum's swing? I try to let myself experience the center place, the quiet that comes from peace and the concert that comes from contentment, but I find myself dropping off at the apex of the swing, the place where the most damage can be done when I finally hit the ground.
I keep thinking to myself that this cannot be healthy. That the best thing to do is cut and run, go back to living the tiny yet exquisitely safe life that used to be mine. Put out of my mind what I would lose, stomp it into the ground and leave it there to rot, convince myself so utterly that it's not worth having (or that I am not worthy of having it) that I am never, ever tempted to go back.
It wouldn't be the first time.
But I'm not sure that I know what 'healthy' feels like. I have been alone for so very, very long, walking through the crowd but maintaining my autonomy. Paring away anything that made life too complicated, but using crude cuts that took the good as well as the bad.
It is second nature to me now.
Am I one of the healthy or one of the sick? I read that in a magazine article once, written by a woman who had become a psychologist in order to help people who had been hurt the way she had been hurt, and only years later discovering that she had never found the time to get help herself. She thought that she could do it all alone, and had found out the hard way that she couldn't.
No one can.
I don't know how to change, but I think I have put myself into a position where I will have to change, to learn, in order to survive. It's a terrible and awesome feeling, and one that I'm not comfortable with at all.
I suspect that it's going to get worse before it gets better.