Thursday, March 17, 2005

a little of the back story or how I became an urban hermt because the alternative....

You suggested I wrote to you when we last spoke on the phone which I thought was a bit odd at the time but I’m taking up the suggestion anyway.
In December I became very very depressed. One day when I was walking to work across the North Bridge I thought about how much I couldn’t face living to the new year and how wonderful it would be to slip over the wall to oblivion. At the same time certain symptoms (ME like) began to return.

After I became depressed I decided that my life had to change radically and I went and stayed with my parents for a few weeks over the Christmas & New Year break and a long time out from my habitual habits and life. The people I phoned, wrote emailed. I didn’t do the normal things I do at Christmas like my big christmas card mail out. I decided I would take the advice I’ve been handing out for many years. ‘To do something you don’t know how to do you have to stop doing the things you do know how to do’.

One of the things I decided was that it was not my job to take care of people. My job is to take care of myself first of all.

It is very hard to stop participating in a behaviour which I’ve done for 36 years. I stopped phoning people and writing to people which is a major part of my caring behaviour. Checking up encouraging them etc. I cut down on my socialising drastically and decided only to respond to requests to socialise if my entire spirit said ‘YES’ to the opportuntity. Unless it gives me pleasure I aim to not do it. I am divesting myself of the constriction of ‘duty’ and ‘should’ and ‘ought’. The few times I have broken this rule I almost immediately become physically ill. It’s quite dramatic. I was pressurised into meeting an acquaintance at the Botanic Gardens a few weeks ago (she’s got more baggage than an airport carrousel and denies it) and as I waited at the bus stop to meet her I developed nausea and a headache.

I feel our relationship has always relied on me supporting you than is healthy for me. I have just spent too many decades of my life doing this and really I’ve run out of ‘care’. Even when I spoke to you on the phone I was aware of how carefully I probed you and how I filled the space with advice and sympathy and did not talk about my own situation. I’m in the process of change I don’t know what to all I know is that I have to stop doing the things I have been doing as I said above in order to allow the space for something else to happen. This is not an easy space to be in and its very difficult dealing with people who expect me to be there as an unending stream of sympathy and care. I’ve slowly but determinedly turning off the taps. As the months go by I have to explain more and more to people why I’m doing it. Some are thrilled and happy for me others frankly don’t get it and would like me to be the way I was.

The thing I know is that we have to give ourselves the care and sympathy we crave from others or lavish on others.

I cannot do this for you.

I’m sorry I can’t be a full time regular friend to you.


At 9:14 PM , Blogger hendrix said...

keep going , the more you become you, the more amazing you become.

At 9:22 PM , Blogger m said...

thanks hc now do I print that off and post it?

At 11:09 PM , Blogger Guest said...

Very brave of you to re-evaluate everything, and even more so, to actually so something about it. Hats off to you - I really admire you for challenging this head-on.


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