Aiya…it seems that no matter how fantastic my life is going, I still have this haunting sadness that won’t leave me….This befriending of darkness bit is really tough~~

Ahh…the pressure of march..
Makes sense that I’m writing this blog so late in the month doesn’t it?
I suppose I need to review the past month and a bit for you all since I wrote last.
Last time, I said I was going to Hong Kong to visit my girlfriend.
That, I must say was fantastic!  As was our trip together~  Couldn’t have been better~
Indeed, I had a great opportunity to share with her about my mom…and it was powerful…I showed her the eulogy I wrote for my mom and as I re-read it, my eyes were really streaming in tears…I felt quite embarrassed, but my honey bunny was so amazing..She was just right there with me, embracing me, even when I wanted to ‘be a man’ and try to hold the tears back…but she just encouraged me to just let it out….She said she felt so much closer to me after my opening up, and she expressed that she just wanted to protect me forever and love me, just as much as I want to protect and love her forever…..So, yeah, it was quite powerful stuff indeed.
Coming back, and being apart from her, however has been really difficult.  I remember having trouble focusing on my teaching when I first got back…just missing her(I also teach 3 seminars as part of my PhD program).  And I know it’s been really hard for her too.
It’s strange…I’ve never felt anything like this.  I’m so overjoyed and absolutely in love…still…it’s like there continues to be this deep sadness inside that never goes away….and the more the adrenaline of a new relationship passes and transforms to something that is deeper and less hormonal/chemical in the brain, the easier it is to feel what has always been inside me, that was only really bandaided by my sheer happiness meeting and getting to know who is now the love of my life…
I’ve been confused about this…like, I can’t allow myself to be happy or something…
I think I’m trying to create this “wall” to protect myself.  I guess the separation by distance is so hard for me too. With my girlfriend–and things are really going great between us–in my mind, I notice myself always trying to think of ‘something is wrong with her because she loves me’ and ‘nobody has ever loved me like that…so she must have something wrong with her’ or ‘I don’t like this or that about her’, but then I slap myself (symbolically) because I think….what am I saying?!?  Why is something wrong with her because she loves me back?  and then I tell myself….and then I try to find stupid things to ‘not like’ about her  (in my mind…i never tell her because they are really mundane and stupid…e.g. I find the way she says ‘fine’ a bit irritating sometimes…even though it’s always said in a positive, affirming way…what the heck is wrong with me?!?) I think there’s this really scaredy cat part of me that must find things to not like about her, just so I can push myself away…as if, by withdrawing, and keeping my distance (through feeling some negative feelings), I can protect myself from ever being hurt by her in the future…
How silly is that?  Inside I’m such a jerk….and I feel so ashamed about this….especially because I really do love her and want to protect and cherish her always…Luckily, I haven’t actually done anything stupid yet (it’s just been in my head), so I have a good chance of remedying this….
~~But, on top of that overthinking, yes, it’s been a crazy March, with teaching, marking, and deadlines for my thesis.  I remember I worked for nearly 19 hours straight with only a short 1 hour break while working on my thesis submission to my supervisor.  And also some work back home in the States that I’m doing online….And my room is a mess….All that has been stressing me out…
I think the best ways I’ve tried to keep myself less stressed is going for walks, taking a moment just to meditate, and also today, I went to my martial arts class (that I missed most of the month due to deadlines), which I found really helpful to ease the stress….
But yesterday and today especially, I guess I felt so burnt out that all my sadness really tried to come out…I feel a bit shameful to even ;feel sad’ because I love what I’m studying, I love this city I’m in, and I’m in love with the love of my life, and she loves me just as much, my students gave me great teacher feedback, and my supervisor has said I”m doing well in my thesis…but still, the sadness is stuck in me nonetheless…what is it about??  Why is it still there?  Maybe I fought it too hard, and tried to push it back down which I guess isn’t the best way to deal with it b/c then it keeps coming back up.
Aiya…I know I’m pretty hard on myself as always….but still…sometimes I really hate the idiotic person I “can” be (but more deeply and really just want to be a great person of integrity)I think I really need to face my sadness and tendency to find every way to withdraw and put up this distant wall…  I know it has to do with my past relationship hurts…and now that I am in a relationship that is fantastic…If I let myself, maybe now, I have enough courage to embrace what my honey bunny is offering me…and together with her, I can face the wounds of my past even more deeply than I have before…maybe this is what I need to take my personal healing to the next level?  Is this what it’s going to take to truly and finally befriend my darkness?


Comments Posted

Comment by Joshua posted on Mon, 02/05/2011 00:39

@ John: Thanks for the comment, man.  And sorry for the late reply. It’s nice to know that you can relate.  Yah, I’ve also, for me, decided that learning to cope/manage or more philosophically, to ‘befriend’ this sadness is what I need to best keep living well.  I think my biggest barrier is that I let my sadness build up for too long before I address it (I try to do regular reflections to help heal myself)…and so when it’s all built up, then I become a bit to apathetic to everything, and then I see, listen, or hear something I read or watch that inspires me and motivates me to “reset” and start fresh again.  It sorta works, and i think would work better if I applied it better. 🙂


@Dani: Thanks so much for encouraging me there. Yah, you’re right, my relationship with her really is wonderful, and I do just need to keep finding strength to focus on the positive things.  It’s really helpful to hear your support and encouragements.  Thanks for that~

Comment by Dani posted on Mon, 25/04/2011 23:34

It’s so hard to realise that someone really loves you just how you are when you’ve had a lot of shit in the past, but you have to keep trying because otherwise it will impact your relationship now. Your relationship sounds wonderful so I hope you can find the strength to focus on all the positive things you have

Dani x

Comment by John posted on Sun, 03/04/2011 03:47

I can really relate to the lingering sadness you write about. It’s hard not to blame yourself, but it’s truly, medically not your fault. I find a lot of depressed people, including myself sometimes, struggle to accept that. Someone suggested to me recently that it’s better to think in terms of trying to manage depression rather than vanquish it. Whilst some people do fully recover, others live with it to varying degrees forever, but still attain a reasonable quality of life. For me anyway the latter seems more achievable than finding a silver bullet.