My bear

Oct. 4th, 2010 11:23 pm
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I know I am still way behind on the 30-day meme, but I'm not here to tackle that right now. Right now I want to talk about my bear. I've made reference to this before, but I'm not sure I've ever spelled it out directly. This post has been cobbled together from a series of text messages I sent to someone special on Friday.

Sometimes I can be... Very emotionally unavailable. To say the least. And it turns toward everyone, regardless of how much I love them. It doesn't last for long, usually. I can bring myself out of it, but it can suck in the meantime. See... I am VERY EXTREMELY empathetic to everyone and everything around me. Sometimes I just have to shut it off and shut down for a while. I normally ooze emotion because I feed on the atmosphere around me. It's like air to me. I am probably also bipolar or something along those lines. I should probably be on medication but I can't handle the numbness, it makes me a total zombie. The last time I was on anti-depressants, I didn't feel anything at all. I couldn't even make myself get out of bed. I didn't care about anything. So I self-manage (not to be confused with self-medicate, which I don't do). I know the things that trigger a bad state and I can avoid them or at least be aware so I can prepare an/or prevent. Have you ever seen or read Misery by Stephen King? It doesn't matter if you haven't, I have an anecdotal reference. There is a scene where the antagonist, Annie Wilkes, tells the protagonist, Paul Sheldon, that it was one of her "low" days and it's better for him if she just stays away until she is better. I'm not usually so bad, but sometimes it can get a bit dark and I just have to stay in it a for a little while instead of fighting it. The result is that it stays away just a little bit longer.

There's another SK story that's (probably unknowingly) the best analogy for it that I've ever seen and I recognized it as soon as I read it: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. [SPOILER ALERT if you haven't read the book!!!] It's about a 9-year-old girl named Trisha who's on a hike in the woods with her mom and little brother in the woods of Maine. She steps off the path to go pee and instead of going back out the way she went in, she wants to try to head them off at the pass and gets lost as a result. She's lost for like 15-22 days or something, I can't remember. The whole time she's in the woods, she is being stalked by this bear that she thinks is a monster. Sometimes the bear is practically right at her heels, breathing down her neck. Sometimes it's so quiet and far away that she almost forgets about it. But it's always there. Sometimes she taunts it and calls it and tries to bring it out in the open. My depression/issues/whatever is just like that. Just prior to her rescue at the end, she is confronted by the bear and is forced to realize it's not a monster after all. Recognizing something and naming it does a lot to remove the fear.

My bear doesn't bother me a whole lot these days. I guess he's found other pursuits. I felt his presence on Friday, though, which is what prompted me to share this with my doll. I guess the events of Saturday afternoon made him lunge for me. I didn't run this time, just looked him in the face for all that he is. it's not so scary for me anymore. I don't usually feel like I'm going to be swallowed whole or ripped to shreds. I feel strong and he's just not as strong as me right now, so I always win the stand-offs. That's why he doesn't come around much anymore. But I know... the very minute I am weak... he will be back with a vengeance.

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Tonya Woolard

February 2014

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