Boundaries

I have been working hard this week on my attitude, my outlook toward life, and I am happy to report that through the meditation I do in the morning, the visualization I try to keep running throughout my day of positive events unfolding before me, using the Law of Attraction to make my world better, I see benefits already. I feel better, mentally and physically. I am not as anxious about the day ahead of me. But I know this could be a passing phase of being manic. I want to believe this will last because for the first time in a long time, I feel happy. Not perfect. Not where I want my life to be, exactly. But for the moment I am content. I see the progress. More importantly, I feel it.

Which is why I have learned that it is so vital to block out the noise from others. I am sure for years I have beleaguered anyone close to me, who would listen, with the tales of my miseries. I am grateful they listened. I am grateful for those that have helped. But ultimately, I can only help myself, and for the first time in almost a year, I choose to feel optimistic about the future.

That cannot be said about other people in my life – those I work with, those I love who are miles away from me. My partner is struggling, hard. This week threw him off-balance with managing his son as well as his mother. He is distraught seeing how she is aging and her faculties slowly fade. I know the pain. I know how awful this is. I am going through the same with my own parents. It threw me into a huge depression when I first found out about my mother’s diagnosis, and then my father’s rapid decent into illness. I was angry, depressed, lonely. But I have had months to digest this information, time to become accustomed to this “new normal” that my siblings and I are dealing with. For him, this is all brand new.

He has been dragging his feet on making any decision to come visit me next month, and although I have given him time to roll it over in his head, he still cannot come up with an answer. I find it slightly ironic, as when he wants me to choose one option or another, he expects an immediate determination on which way to go. I do not always have the answer on hand, but I feel the pressure and usually bust my ass for him, simply to please him. But that is bullshit. The only one I can truly please is myself. I have jumped through all the hoops he places before me, and even when under tremendous pressure, I try and follow through as best I can. I do not place such expectations on him, nor would I wish to. He is his own person. I cannot control his world.

But I feel his pain and I ache for him. Yet, I am frustrated at the same time. Although an easy excuse, my bipolar controls what happens inside my head and ultimately what I think and feel from day to day. I try to maintain balance with the medications I take and living a healthy lifestyle, but it is not always easy. And it is frightening to not know what will have happened during the night, if something shifted in my head and with the dawn, my world will look completely different. This is why I see professionals. This is why I am trying to look up and not down, again. For the first time in a long time.

I think he needs someone to talk to. Someone that isn’t me. He is an extrovert who works from home and gets no stimulation from others, no “charging of his battery” that extroverts get from being around others. I am the complete opposite. After a day of work, of being around people, I need time alone and silence, to recharge any life left in me. For now, I am his sounding board – he does not think going to a therapist would help him (I disagree). Every day for the past week he has sounded miserable and completely out of it on the phone. I know he is exhausted. I know he is frustrated. But if I have to hear “this is not the life I wanted” one more time, I may scream. Join the club, son. When you get to a certain age and start looking back at where you have been and what you have accomplished, you can find you are not where you thought you would have been in those heady days of youthful dreaming. I think we all face it. Some can be amazed at what they have done, but I think the majority of people share in the feeling that something is missing, or went wrong somewhere along the path.

But I will continue to try and support him, as best I can. Hell knows he has gone through wars for me. I have had to draw the line in the sand though. I do not want calls of anger at work. It screws with my head. I do not want to have to look up random things online for him, while I am in the middle of very focused tasks. I wish there was a “bring your partner to work day” and he could see the amount of work we are expected to do, and the office politics that are always in play. Perhaps then he would understand why I am so exhausted after being here.

For now, I will do my best to help him. I am hopeful he will have a better day, and tomorrow will be even brighter for him. But the most important lesson for me has been in slowly creating these boundaries and blocking out the noise. From him, from others, from the world if that becomes necessary. It is not always easy. At times I fail. But I will keep getting on the horse when I fall off, because I truly believe life can be better for all of us. We just have to work at it – some days more intently than others.

© Sorrow & Kindness

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