I’ve been feeling restless. Again. I feel like I write about that a lot on this blog. Feeling unfulfilled. Not knowing what I’m doing with my life. Feeling directionless. Wandering without a purpose. Wanting something more.
I was sitting in my psychiatrist’s office the other day feeling slightly annoyed with all the stupid questions he was asking me. “Are you restricting?” “Purging?” “Do you have thoughts of killing yourself?” “Of wishing you were dead?” “Of harming yourself?” “Of thinking people are plotting against you?” “Are you hearing voices?” “Are you hearing voices?”
He always asks that last one twice. And that’s what makes me realize. He’s not asking stupid questions. He’s asking them because he has to. Because 8 years ago, the answers used to be yes. All of them. The answers were yes.
And suddenly I have another realization. This restlessness? It’s a gift. Because it means I’m answering no.
There’s no room for restlessness when you’re in the throws of an eating disorder, or suicidal depression, or self harm, or paranoia, or psychosis. There’s no room for a no.
But it’s so easy for me to loose sight of this. It’s easy for me to forget where I’ve come from. It’s easy for me to forget that this life I have? It’s a miracle. An honest to God miracle.
I was told I’d never be a productive member of society. That my mental illness would define me. That I’d never be able to hold a full time job and support myself. That I would never be “normal”.
Well I don’t know about normal, but I think I’m doing alright. Just look at me! I’m a mom, I’m successful at work, and I engage in life. I’m a cookie mom, for goodness sake. I proved them wrong. I’m a miracle.
So why do I want more? Why can’t I just be satisfied with what I have? It drives me crazy.
This post has been difficult to write because I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with it. I’ve had all these realizations. I’ve seen how blessed I am. Of just how far I’ve come. But I’m not satisfied, which makes me angry. I have made so much progress, but still I want more. I believe it’s not enough. Then I have yet another realization. I don’t think it’s me believing IT’S not enough. I think it’s me believing I’M not enough. I don’t think I’m enough. After all that I’ve been through. After all I’ve overcome. After all the fight, all the blood, all the sweat, all the tears. I still believe that I am not enough. That I have something to prove.
And it makes me angry. Because I KNOW I’m enough. Everyone says it (and please don’t repeat it in the comments…this is not a plea for affirmation). God says it. And I know it. But do I believe it? Not recently. And that makes me angry. Why can’t I believe something I know to be true? What kind of lunacy is that?
I’ve been experiencing intense anxiety these past few weeks. Sometimes it’s paralyzing. Sometimes I can’t eat. Sometimes I get sick. I don’t think you’d realize it just looking at me. It’s not debilitating and I’m still holding it together pretty well. I think I’ve caught it early enough for it not to cause me too much trouble.
But it’s been bugging me because I don’t have a reason to be anxious. There’s not some “thing” I’m anxious about. It’s just this hovering sense of anxiety that makes the air heavy and my eyes weepy.
It’s starting to become clear to me, though. I think it has to do with this restlessness and I think I know what I need to do. And it goes against everything I believe I need to do.
To me, battling restlessness means doing something. I think I need to be doing something with my life. Moving forward. Picking a direction and running toward it with all my might. But I think that logic might be faulty. At least this time around.
I think I need to stop pursuing “enough”. I think I’ve been chasing it down for too long. And it goes against everything I think I know because I believe I’m not doing anything with my life. How am I supposed to stop when I’m not even doing?
But my mind has never stopped and it’s beginning to get the best of me. I need to chill out. It’s not that I’m not satisfied with my life, it’s that I don’t LET myself be satisfied. That’s a choice that I’ve made. And it’s a bad one.
This last time in treatment I worked with the same psychiatrist I’ve had from previous admissions, so she’s seen me pretty crazy. I saw her 3-5 times a week for 2 months. And do you know what she would call me? A superhero. The first time I laughed. Who am I kidding, I think I laughed every time. She’d make that traditional superhero move where they land on the floor with their knees bent and they punch the ground and look up like they just saved the world. Because they did.
I laughed because the idea seemed ludicrous to me. I’m no superhero. But then she’d go down the list of all the reasons I was a superhero. She’d break out a textbook and start reading me the definitions of my diagnoses. She’d tell me if I could conquer that, then I was a superhero. And it got to the point where I couldn’t really argue. Where I actually started to believe that maybe I WAS a superhero.
And what superhero isn’t enough? I mean we can always be better. Every superhero has a weakness. We all have faults. We all wish we could do more. Even Tony Stark sought to build a better suit. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t enough.
Complacency isn’t my calling and I believe I have a destiny. But my purpose isn’t found in the future, it’s found in today. I have worth TODAY. I have victory TODAY. I have strength TODAY. I am enough TODAY. Just as I am.
Because I’m a superhero, damn it. My powers (found in Jesus, of course) have raised me from near death. I’m unstoppable. And so are you.
*insert superhero move*