Sunday, 20 November 2016

Making friends with lonely and welcoming boring as my interesting companion

Making friends with 'lonely' and welcoming 'boring' as my interesting companion.

I haven't written much lately. Maybe because, truth be told, a lot of the fatigued life can be just plain, well, boring. What is there to say about being housebound for the past 2 months, not doing very much and mostly keeping myself company?

In the mornings I wake up and faff around on the internet for far too long. I could get out of bed, but I need to rest, right? Then I go outside and sit in the paddock and watch the wind swirl mesmerizing patterns through the long grass and do some gentle exercises in the bush. I've been learning qigong on YouTube and I think its helping. And my backyard plant species list is up to 34. About midday I make a very vegetabley breakfast and then I have a rest. I lie in bed and read kids books. I stress about small things in my share-house, like who and how do i ask for things I can't do right now. I faff about on the internet even more, looking for distractions. I do small things around the house. I lie on the floor and fall alseep listening to audio meditations. I microwave my dinner and faff on the internet some more.

Im hoping that being patient with my energy expenditure now will help me recover in the long term. And there have been some improvements. This last week I've been able to walk about 200m up the road slowly, play piano and weed the garden a bit, and talk to my housemates some more. But there are no leaps and bounds here. Just very careful edging along, with some better days and worse days. I'm acutely aware of the precarious cliff edge I'm walking on. If i cross my energy boundaries I feel sick, and also teeter on the edge of the fatiguey pit of doom, which I've fallen in too many times already.

The boredom or loneliness cant really be cured by having visitors over for a cup of tea, or by doing things, because my energy limitations are such that I just can't. There was a lovely dinner party at my house the other day, but I took refuge outside on my own, as multi person gatherings bombard me with too much sensory input for my fragile system. I'm often exhausted just from day to day interactions of sharehouse living, sharing space, soundscapes and negotiating chores. Im often not very good company, especially for my housemates who see me at my gloomiest, and when I'm operating in a stressed-out edge zone. Cranky and grumpy, only forced smiles, struggling to cope with being upright, asking them to turn the music down or stop their incessant cheerful whistling.

But nothing is terrible. Some things are quite lovely, like watching the grass in the paddock. But there are no real moments of really feeling alive. I laugh much more rarely. Internetting is an addictive distraction. Its okay, but it's not quite 'living' really. Not like swimming in lakes, riding up hills and laughing with friends. Being Ok is a lot better than terrible i suppose. Its just a bit 'meh'.

Lonely and bored. I know they are just negative responses to aloneness and lack of variety, which are not automatically bad things on their own. Many people actually crave these states. And it is not as if they are new feelings. In fact, I've known them for most of my life. Usually they are great motivators to go out and do new things and see people. But at the moment I can't run away from them. Exercise, my old feel-good escape is on the other side of the fence of the cfs fence, as are the many incidental social interactions of the non-energy-limited human. I can get stuck in my own head, worked up over small things, without daily exposure to the bigger picture.

I recently got caught up in negatively spiraling aversion to the aloneness and same-sameness. Apparently people who are easily bored are more prone to depression, which I haven't experienced so far. However with thoughts like "what is even the point of a 'meh' life and 'how long do I have to endure this?', it's probably the closest I've come to understanding it. And the simple fact of being alone can become "I'll just get lonelier and lonelier. My life is boring and I find social interactions so hard, eventually I'll loose all my friends. I'll never find a life companion, I'll never have kids, I'll die alone, a lonely old spinster who no one who cares about".

Loneliness and boredom. My regular companions and yet I realized how often I fight them. I say rude things to them, like, "rack off, you stupid feelings, you're not allowed to be here. How could you possibly be bored when you are such a miracle of existence and there are clouds and ants to watch and wind in the grass? Only boring people get bored. Plus you're not allowed to feel anything like sorry for yourself as so many people are worse off than you. You'd better Shut up because nobody likes a complainer, or a needy person."

I fight them because I'm scared of them.

They respond by tightening their grip.

A while back I fought an early morning battle with loneliness where I eventually became so tired that I gave in. And I allowed it to be real. I talked to it even. Hello loneliness. Alright alright. I see you. Come in. What do you need?

And that's when it softened and stopped twisting itself up into tighter knots in my guts. The story loosened its grip and unraveled a little.

It turns out that part of me that was sad just really wanted to be seen and acknowledged.

And so I tried that trick with boredom yesterday.. hello boredom. Hello fear of boredom. I see you. You're allowed to be real. Come in. Welcome. Tell me about yourself. What do you need?

And suddenly there was a loosening of the story that doing nothing is bad, and that time needs to be filled with anything other than existing and breathing....

Yeah it seems weird. To, in your imagination, invite the nebulous concepts of boredom, loneliness and other fears in, so you can look at them more clearly. But. Try it, I'd say. Its worth a go. Stop fighting. Perhaps the fears are not so bad once you shine a light on them and allow them to be real.

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