No Matter Where I Go, There I Am

Sometimes I feel like everything I do is preparing for death. Like I just want to make it through this week, and the next week, and every week for the foreseeable future until I can lie down and rest for good.

Doesn’t that sound awful? It means that every week is a struggle for me. Every week is a dance with stress and pressures and deadlines, and I hate it. The purpose of every week right now seems to be retirement, which I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford, followed by death.

I know people who were retired for a year before they died. I know one person who died less than 6 months after retiring. I know another person who didn’t make it to retirement and almost literally died in situ.

Today is a bad day. I can’t even stand to be in the same room with myself. I teeter between escapism and self-loathing. I’m riddled with holes, out of which leak guilt and fear and disgust.

My last contact with my ex was deleted, and it feels horrible. I’m untethered, floating, screaming “Happy Thanksgiving” into the void. Though ending my relationship was the only solution, that doesn’t make it any easier. I lost my best friend. I lost the person that I’ve done things with for almost half my life. I don’t know what I thought would happen after we split. It seems obvious that we wouldn’t have any contact with one another, but I thought we might still be connected somehow. I don’t know why I thought that, maybe because being completely without him was inconceivable.

And in keeping with my usual lack of foresight, I moved right before my birthday and the holidays. Even if I’d had the foresight, I probably wouldn’t have understood how this would affect me. I thought about going out for Thanksgiving dinner, there’s a lovely Portland dinner cruise, but I’m stopped by the prospect of being pitied by others who are there as a family.

I’ve decided that I need a break from social media, because I’ve been relying too heavily on my phone for entertainment. So I’ve deleted the Instagram and Facebook apps on my phone (not that I ever really look at Facebook anymore) and am going to take a break from it until the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I don’t want to see anyone’s happy (?) family photos or pictures of food.

Even worse than Thanksgiving is Christmas, though I won’t be alone. I’m going to Colorado for a couple of days, a trip that I can truly do without. My dad’s asked me to come and in an attempt to keep my guilt dialed to a 9 out of 10 instead of the full 10, I’m going.

My phone is full of a text string from my new coworkers talking about their Thanksgiving plans. I can’t even contribute to that conversation, and I don’t want to tell them that I don’t have plans.

I don’t know how to make this better. I don’t know what to do tomorrow, or the next day, or my birthday. I know I should plan things so I won’t be so alone with myself, but I don’t know what to do. I’m trapped in my own skin and I can’t shed it. No matter where I go, there I am, so I have to learn to live with the discomfort until it goes away.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I think I’ll spend the day moving furniture around and trying to unpack the rest of my boxes. I have another cabinet to build, so I’ll do that too. Try to keep it low-key and not beat myself up.

I made a list of things I hope to do on my birthday. I’m definitely going out in the evening, my last time for a while I think. I sent myself a bouquet of flowers, so hopefully those will arrive on the day in question. The indoor bike arrives Friday. I want to set myself up for a good mental state for next week. I’ll be expected to do some work (yikes!).

I know that I need to do some quality introspection, but I can’t yet. I still feel fragile. I start so many sentences in my head with: “I just need to hold it together until…” and then I do hold it together, and then nothing happens. I don’t come apart at the seams. One of these days…

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