Frozen

That I’ve spent the last ten minutes staring into space wondering whether to title this post ‘So…this is progress’ or ‘Woefully inadequate’ should give you some idea of my frame of mind. That I’ve spent the last 20 minutes wondering aloud whether to write (because I want to) or go to bed (because it’s late, and I should), might emphasise the sense that in many ways, my modus has ceased to operandi, and I’m feeling more than a little bit stuck.

I probably should go to bed. Giving up seems so tempting, in more than just this particular arena.

That said, sleep is good and healing (I have the perpetual beginnings of a cold, it seems, which makes me sneeze and ache and feel deathly, yet never takes off – I’m treating it with vitamin C, intermittent epic naps, and the hope that somehow treating the symptoms will be enough to mitigate my underlying failure to self-care) and perchance things will look rosier in the morning, or the evening, anyway.

I will have another solid day’s work under my belt. I may or may not have gone to the gym by then. I will most certainly have had a therapy appointment. And I will be a day further away from the grey fuzz which has descended on my brain this evening, like ice – reaching in to cover everything with an impenetrable and frustrating case of disillusionment.

FROZEN did the cold ever bother me anyway

Everything seems to break when I think about the future, certainly in terms of functionally achieving the dream. I read a piece which stated the most important question we can ask ourselves is not “What do I want?” but “What pain am I willing to endure?” for those dreams are exacting in the minutiae of their achievement, and whilst it would be lovely to have everything just magically fall into place, that’s rarely the way of the world.

And yet for all that, things ARE falling into place for me, and I’m still struggling.

I wonder if I’m destined to be one of those people who permanently needs their hand held, and spoon-feeding. I sure as hell don’t seem to have ever stood firmly and independently on my feet, rather constantly clinging to the edges, grabbing for the coat-sleeves of grown-ups, and turning a snot-bubbled, lip-pouted, tear-stained face to each new endeavour failure attempt at getting my life under control, already mentally beaten down by the stacked history of unsucceeding.

Baby steps.

One of those at a time.

With help, and yes – with hand-holding and spoon-feeding and lots of encouragement from those more capable, because…I’m just not. Never mind wings and flying – at the moment I seem to need support even to do the next important thing…or determine what it is.

Dreams will have to wait, while I have all of this NOW to manage.

On the surface of it, my NOW might even look positive: I have a full-time job, which I enjoy and at which I’m capable. I am packing and moving out of the flat (albeit painfully slowly). I’m writing new pieces (even if I’ve not submitted anything anywhere for the longest time, and my idea of ‘writing my way back’ has fallen somewhat by the wayside). I’m even (glacially slowly) putting together the bits and pieces of information and documentation I need to achieve the rest of the year’s plans.

They look something like this:

January: Finish moving out of the flat

February: Visit America, establish some work roots and make business plans, learn to drive a ‘Murican car, visit the college where I hope to study and get answers to a bunch of important questions. Change my name and all documentation associated with it*, call the courts about this veryveryslow divorce, if nothing has transpired by then.

March – ?: Keep slogging away at the paperwork, finalise plans as information becomes available and possibilities become solid pathways forwards (or not)

September? January 2017?: Up sticks and move to the other side of the world to see if I can’t make that dream come true.

But that NOW…that ghastly NOW, which is comfortable, surrounded by loving friends-and-relations, with such manageable broken-down next steps to achieving…seems like a wall of encoded reality my brain just can’t comprehend. I am under constant bombardment by thoughts which cloud my vision, like hailstones descending in sheets from darkened skies – I don’t know if the employment visa will work out; Can I begin on one visa and switch to another if it’s better; I don’t have a clue how the US tax system operates; I don’t know if I can make a car work; I don’t want to wait another year; I’m so impatient and it’s not going to help me; It might all be for nothing anyway; Even if I train I might not get a job; Why do I constantly self-sabotage; What’s wrong with me; Why do I have so much STUFF – I’m not going to be able to bring it all – I should just get rid of it now; I shouldn’t throw my life away yet in case I need to come running back when it all goes wrong; AM I just throwing my life away; It’s not like I’ve ever earned enough for a pension; Wonder what happens when you’re old and penniless, like the for reals penniless; How many second-tries does one person need before they figure out they just need to knuckle down and do what works and accept a life where dreams stay dreams; Wonder how many second tries I’m going to want to go for; Wish I could be less self-involved and less of a crappy fair-weather friend; So many people I need to catch up with; I’m going to lose my friends if I don’t interact with them; I owe so many letters; I wonder why there never seem to be enough hours in the day; I wonder how other people do it; Why am I so quick to ignore the things I have achieved; Why am I still here, typing, instead of going to bed like I know is good for me; Why do I publish articles at stupid hours of the night and then wonder why they do so badly; why, why, why…and omg HOW?!

The hailstones build in the corners of my vision, unite their freezing, incapacitating thoughts together into a chilly mental straitjacket. Before I know it I’m frozen, wishing I knew a way forward but finding distractions instead. Wishing I would sleep but choosing to write instead (so continuing the cycle of self-sabotage and lack of self-care). Wishing I had willpower and expending not an ounce of effort to achieve my goals.

Wishing and dreaming in sunbeams and glitter, whilst wasting time staring at a screen as the despondency thickens, and I wonder at how quickly my grandiose Words of ‘adventure’ and ‘resilience’ shattered upon contact with reality and all the frustrating groundwork required to achieve them. I turn a resigned face to the chilly insistence of what seems like just another failure…like marriage; like all the training I’ve done previously; like most of my life so far – all amounting to…well, whichever measure of success you apply it doesn’t seem to meet criteria, and certainly not with regard to workability.

Knowing that I have such, SUCH good people around me, and feeling as though somehow I’m managing to let them all down, simultaneously.

So here I sit, frozen, wondering…if the cold never bothered me anyway (beyond whining about it), then it at least explains why I’m so quick to feel I’m incapable of getting anything done.

Frozen…and feeling as though my ‘Becoming‘ has fallen into stasis.

And still sat here…wishing for the thaw.

 

 

*Christine, keep watching this space – I haven’t forgotten.

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43 thoughts on “Frozen

  1. All of the things you wrote here happen in my head too, only on different subjects. Though failure is a big theme for me so we have that in common 😉 Misery loves company, right?

    Your anxiety sounds out of control, love. Depression as well, I only say it because it feels so familiar. I think the difference between us is that I’ve mostly given up on my dreams, I don’t recommend it!!!

    Always here for you ❤️ Xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have dips, yaknow? Most of the time I’m alright, and sometimes even FINE, and then I’ll dip, inexplicably (or, I’m increasingly noticing, with some form of PMS) into darkness, have a horrible few days, and then struggle out of the other side. Still not sufficient badness that I want to go back on any meds…

      Sorry you know these things too, though. I can’t imagine the subject change makes it any easier to live with.

      I’m not giving up on my dreams just yet, well, not permanently. I think I need to figure out a bit more clearly what they even ARE!

      And thank you for being there. I hope I can be for you, too ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Remember, since the start of this new year, how much I’ve been fearing stagnation? Well, feeling stuck sucks.
    🙂
    I see how many peeople/friends you have supporting you, but I know how completely overwhelming life can still become.
    It will all look different when 2017 rolls around. Hard to wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We are rather like mirror images, my dear – you want to move to America, I want to leave and live abroad. However, both of us are overwhelmed at the complexity involved in such a move – and I’ve found, in my case at least, when I get so overwhelmed I DO tend to become frozen. I’m trying to thaw out, take a breath or two, and get on with it already.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh well done you. Stopping and taking a break is also hard, cos you (I) tend to think of all the productive things which COULD or SHOULD be being done in the meantime. But yes…we’re definitely running on parallel lines, and I sincerely hope we both make it!

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  4. So. For starters, I can relate to the part about having a sort-of cold for far too long. I think I’ve had this since New Year’s Day. Ridiculous. And I’m certain that my physical state has a lot to do with my mental – but as far as which started the cycle, I’m very unsure.
    I get where you’re coming from. The feeling that no matter what I do to put my future in place, it feels like not enough or a big fat fail. The feeling that this is never going to work. But, like you said, if I’m in a more rational moment, I know that things ARE moving forward and there IS success. But somehow…it feels stagnant. I want to be positive. I try to be positive. I go more days in a row doing just that each time. But I still hit a day where there’s a crash, some days bigger than others. Is it progress to note at least that? That the freak-out sessions and overwhelming fear is less a bit each time it hits? 😀
    A lot of people here have offered you comforting and wise words. I don’t know if I have those. I do know that (and I’ve already said this elsewhere) you’ve come SO FAR in the time I’ve known you. That’s been amazing to watch, truly. Maybe the best I can say is that while I don’t have a good answer for you (if I did, I’d use it on myself, then share it with you) but I can say…I know. With a sigh and an sort of constant underlying frustration at not always feeling as positive as I tell myself I’m being about all of it. I think right now my approach is “fake it till I make it.” I’m just going to keep telling myself what I want and take whatever tiny step I can every day to get closer and maybe start forgiving myself – or just accepting – when a day doesn’t turn out the way I planned.
    I hope your cold goes away. Sending huge hugs. xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like we’ve both been sending ships out and have radar silence, yaknow?

      And yet, you’re (we’re) RIGHT – steps ARE being taken, progress IS being made…it’s just that the endgames for each of us are so monumentally huge, each step seems insignificant.

      Here’s a thought though (feel free to disregard it) – I remember very powerfully a walk I once had, on top of some giant, rolling cliffs, up to a monument at the top of a very high hill. The pathway was very long and very wide, and open space was all around me. There were a few other people walking, and the sky seemed huge. The sea stretched away into the distance on one side, and the land stretched away into the distance on the other, and closer to, everything was just low-low-grass and gently rolling ground. Now I’m a FAST walker, but when trying to get to this iddy-biddy monument at the top of this long walk, I got SO FRUSTRATED because even though I was walking my normal speed, it didn’t LOOK as though I was making progress. I could see the ground moving under my feet, but relative to the markers around me…they were all so distant it looked as though I was barely moving. So maybe it IS a matter of perspective, after all (in a way) and we just need to measure by stuff that’s closer to us, if that makes sense.

      Sorry. Tangent there. And yes, I made it to the monument in the end. And I’ll make it to the US, and you’ll figure out a way to support yourself from home (or a new plan will present itself) and we BOTH have the love and support of good people around us, and we BOTH will succeed. Somehow. Some way.

      And thanks..I’m glad it seems like I’ve come a long way, personally. That counts for something, I think 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok…so I just found out today – there’s a graduated licensing system in the US (no, I knew that, that’s not the new part) – the new part is if you have a European license, you may be able to skip the graduated part and go right to the end. But you need a letter from the country you’re from. Suggest if you’re visiting you look into all that and figure out what you’ll need.

    I know…not particularly related to your writing today…but it just popped into my head.

    And get submitting. You have some great work…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now THAT would be handy! I have an international driver’s permit now, which is valid for a year, and I guess the thing to do would be to contact the DMV in VA when I’m there, and ask! That would be SO useful though, and maybe I just need to take a test or something. Learning to use the car will be the toughest bit, I think. And maybe I need to do some theory…that would make sense.

      And THANK YOU! Your confidence in my writing is very encouraging, even if we’re not currently making anything by having it all stacked up going nowhere lol.

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  6. I’d say you are not frozen. You are paused. Just for this moment. But there is so much story ahead, literally and figuratively. Plus look at your fucking list. That is a LOT! I’d add to the section that you can already celebrate the support and community you have built for others.

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  7. When I read posts like these (and by “these” I don’t mean yours specifically, but posts in general, written by anyone, like this one) my scott kicks into overdrive. It’s exactly what happens when I talk with someone in person, and that person vents to me her woes and concerns and worries. My brain starts coming up with a list, working problems and solutions and things to consider. As a person of manners, I keep these thoughts to myself unless, in the course of it all, the person specifically asks for help or advice. I do the same here. If you want it, I’ve got it. Just let me know. 🙂
    Great, big, GIGANTIC changes bring anxiety and stress right along with the excitement and fun. It’s normal.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Ish. Ish. Other things have crowded in and turned me to a different set of ridiculous anxiety but in the end it all boils back to control and panic and not feeling capable, and the whole self-worth thing (again, always). I’m working on it, but the work is hard going and not nice.

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    • I would specifically LOVE any help and advice you can give…truly! WonderAunty is an amazing project manager, but you might well have ideas and thoughts which are outside our experience and so wouldn’t occur to us, and I would love, *love* to know that all the things which can be taken into consideration, have been.

      And yes…you’re right. Anxiety and stress is normal for this kind of situation…but I guess I’m not good at seeing that when I’m in the midst of it – I just see the mess and the muddle I’m in.

      Thank goodness for wonderful people like you to help me through and keep me focused and aware that what I’m feeling isn’t beyond the norm, and that I’m not just failing at life. Thank you so much for your help and encouragement. It means a lot to me ❤

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  8. Lizzi, what strikes me first and foremost is that you are absolutely NOT stuck or frozen, You make feel that way, but you are moving many things forward, most of all yourself. That takes a lot of energy, particularly psychic energy. You aren’t frozen, you are tired, rest is what is called for, guilt-free, totally indulgent, wrap up in some cozy blankets rest, and before long it will be Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhhhhh SPRING! I like that thought. I like that thought very much – more light, more energy…more hope. Winter does tend to GET to me, and I think perhaps I’d forgotten to factor that in!

      I’m making headway, I *know* I am…I just don’t feel like it. I feel anxious and hopeless, but perhaps that’s part and parcel of the tiredness and SUCH a big endeavour in the first place. I’m so lucky to have everyone (Stateside and here) supporting me and helping. It’s making a HUGE difference, and I really feel like if I DO somehow pull this off, it’s going to be a team effort, which is a lovely thought 🙂 Thank you for such encouragement – I truly appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lizzi, you sound just like any one else, except the dreams are different. The beauty is that you ARE dreaming and reaching out for a different future. Sending you love, good wishes and lots of hugs. You are not frozen – you’re the warmest human being I know online! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh bless your boots, Corinne…thank you so much! *hugs* I just feel horribly stuck and anxious and as though I’m not making progress…but I think as Val said, it would be a FAR greater anxiety to never have tried, and to always wonder.

      Good to know I sound like everyone does when they’re facing a big deal change! Thank you 🙂

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  10. As the late night hail falls around you, think of this. With everything that’s on your mind, you wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway. Anxiety and fear of the unknown is better than anxiety and fear for not having followed your dreams. Trust me on that one. You have a good plan. Don’t worry about driving an American car – half the people on the road here don’t. And I still don’t understand the tax system, except they take way too much of your hard-earned money. Hang in there, you are doing great. Besides, America wants you here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s absolutely the most encouraging thing, and SO what I needed to see RightNow, my OceanHeart…THANK YOU! ❤ I've had another day of going through horribleness, for different reasons, and my anxiety levels are sky-high and I feel like a complete failure.

      THANK YOU for still wanting me. I hope I pick up the driving quite quickly. I feel pretty confident I'll be ok – I can drive several different types of car/van here…but all of them stick shift and (of course) on roads which are the other way around.

      Taxes…the same the world over, just more or less involved *sigh* I need to convince myself I'll be able to cope with them.

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  11. Moving to a city a hundred miles away was a daunting thing, but I can’t imagine what it must be like to move half-way across the world… What an amazing thing to do! I think everyone needs support and it’s always brave to ask for help… Hope the cold goes away soon and you feel much warmer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re not native of London? Well…ya learn something new every day! I think probably the hassle will be about the same, but the usual support networks that extra bit further removed, which is daunting, but I guess I know they’ll always only ever be a plane ride away. So there’s that.

      The real trick will be whether or not I’m able to work it so I get to stay long-term…that remains to be seen, and the inherent hoops to jump through in that plan are utterly unknown at the moment! I’m just so lucky to have friends at the US end to help me get to grips with everything, and to encourage and support me as much as they can.

      I’d dearly love for a return to milder weathers! I hear we’re in for a cold snap, which is discouraging, but I suppose we do need one (because of germs, or something…). I just hope it doesn’t last!

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  12. Many of us can’t manage life all on our own feat. I know I can’t. And while some might be under the illusion as to how independent they are – they arn’t. As for the future, focus on the here and now. What do you need to do today to make tomorrow work. Do what you can today and stop worrying about tomorrow. (hugs)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m definitely one of the ones who can’t. And yes – I’m trying to focus on just what needs to be done NOW, but it feels as though there’s so much of it, and an unending pile of NEXTs.

      *sigh* You’re right though – worrying achieves nothing. *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The incapacity to move from anywhere but yesterday and tomorrow is always annoying-if not downright agitating. I understand that much. It’s uncomfortably difficult to give yourself the forgiveness and the understanding that you’re not doing exactly what you think you Should be doing.

    I think that the mere fact that these thoughts are conjuring up in your knotted mind are completely forwards, honest, and quite possibly helpful. Some, I do believe that these thoughts are trying to tell you something important. You have work to do and dreams to work towards.

    Fail, fail, fail, fail. Then when it’s just about time to pack it in and give it up, try again and fail. Your breakdowns can create a stronger foundation for future efforts. I believe in you. I also am trying to believe in myself with similar issues.

    We will cling onto other adults until we can’t take it anymore. Or until they can’t. You have a hand to hold in this writing community. If only temporarily and you don’t mind it physically being a hand (Which would be wonderful to have and to hold in times like these.) Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dusty – I think you’re right. Part of the issue is that I dislike being a burden, and I feel as though I’m constantly demanding attention and requiring support and input, and that irks me. I suppose (bigger picture) no-one starts out capable, and we all get there through a somewhat trial-and-error process…it just feels as though mine is taking longer (or set in repeating cycles) and it’s tough to see beyond the past failures to the place where this might possibly be a success.

      A physical hand to hold would be very useful, but that’s what I’m working towards – moving (and being) closer to my Murican friends. I just hope they don’t get too frustrated by my ‘progress’.

      I hope you find a way to believe in yourself. It sounds as though you have good perspective already 🙂

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  14. I know the feeling, frozen, and the stuckness too. I know that to get on with getting on with what will be next I have to actually call the real estate agent and have a meeting to decide what still needs doing to have this house ready to show and (someday) sell. Guess who is not picking up the phone, but puttering about cleaning this or that, etc. Yep. So, I know what you mean and I’m going to tell you to go easier on yourself because you really are very capable and you really do have this project pretty well planned. And, for somebody who didn’t know what to write, that was a fair number of well chosen words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • See, writing I KNOW I can pretty well make up as I go along, with the added luxury of this being an entirely egocentric blog, there’s a certain leeway in whatever I say, going.

      But yeah – it sounds as though you’re up against the same (but different) set of overwhelm and I SO understand the puttering around not doing the thing.

      I hope we both figure out how to force ourselves through the barrier and ‘unstick’ soon 🙂 Good luck to you – I hope you make it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • Well, I went to bed. So there’s that, I guess. I also did work, did go to therapy (it was awful, but for lots of other reasons) and I did go back and pack a bunch of boxes and move some. So I AM ACHIEVING. I AM. I AM! *bangs head against wall*

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  15. Sending you hugs and a hope that writing this down helped you through. I understand the brain monkeys – I do! But, you know the coolest thing about what you’ve just written? You can go back and see all that you’ve accomplished thus far. Celebrate that!
    As for the Murian cars and tax system. There are so many of us over here already your biggest fans and cheerleaders who can help. Who will want to help. We LOVE to help! It’s okay to ask for help!
    Not to be condescending, but I’m going to tell you what I tell my daughter all of the time. She is so worried about getting into nursing school. Once she plays out the full scenario, her brain takes her to the deepest, darkest corners and in her mind she’s going to end up homeless! Once we separate fact from fiction, we look at all she’s accomplished, and then talk about how we can worry about everything in the future. Control what you can control and move forward on the days you can. On the days you can’t, grab a cup of tea (or something stronger), a good friend and watch funny videos. It’s amazing what a good laugh (and a good night’s sleep) can do for perspective.
    Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think writing it down helped me to feel I hadn’t been *entirely* unproductive, even though (objectively) there was a lot more I did in the day which WAS productive and DID count towards the realisation of my hopes. It’s just…I think probably the same as what your daughter’s doing…viewed as a whole, it just seems like an impossible task.

      You’re right though – I do have so, SO many wonderful people all willing and able to help me, which is completely amazing and lovely, and I’m very grateful to everyone who has helped me so much already, and to those who I’m sure will be helping in future. I seriously couldn’t do it without them.

      Thanks so much for your advice and encouragement, and most of all for your friendship. You’re a true blessing and I’m immensely glad (and honoured) to know you. Your perspective and input really do make a difference 🙂 ❤

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  16. hey remember how, way back (so very/so short a time ago) we ‘found’ the expression/concept of ‘well, if everyone decides that they hate me, I’ll just have to go out and get another set of everyone’

    And, how that concept had a certain value then.

    What I think when I read this post is similar (but different). And I don’t mean in a direct and/or parallel comparison to the thought expressed. It’s more along the lines that, for some of us, we need help in acquiring some outside perspective on how much progress we’ve made, how far we’ve come, even how effective our efforts have been.

    “I wonder if I’m destined to be one of those people who permanently needs their hand held, and spoon-feeding. I sure as hell don’t seem to have ever stood firmly and independently on my feet, rather constantly clinging to the edges,

    (imo), we clarks will always see ourselves as you describe. We always will be like that, the difference I’m suggesting is that we don’t always update our understanding of the progress/change we have actually accomplished. In a sense, we don’t recognize that the trees in the forest (in which we cannot distinguish one from the other in) change… get better, get different.
    clarks remember what we are, very well…. clarks do not recognize how much we change… a lot.

    there’s an old joke that I can’t remember that has a punchline to the effect that ‘I’m still a (something) but I now I get to hang out with a better class…. something.

    so try separating what you think you are (in an existential sense, i.e. a clark) and look at your circumstances, you will take heart from the fact that you’ve come an incredibly far way since …you arrived on the scene.

    (and before you say, “yeah, but I’m still….” remember that checking on the status of your reality takes a couple of extra steps)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Somewhere between this and ‘you don’t need to FEEL it to BE it’, I think I’m at the point where objectively I see that there are steps I have taken in the right direction, even if I *feel* as though nothing’s been achieved.

      This is very helpful, actually – that the way I view my position in the world won’t change, even if my position in the world DOES…

      Extra steps. MORE effort? lol.

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  17. “Dreams will have to wait, while I have all of this NOW to manage.” If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t really have any dreams anymore, save eventually living in a life that isn’t quite so hard. And I do have so much NOW to manage. However, I am a bit older than you, so don’t take that to mean you shouldn’t still have your dreams.

    Also, dammit Lizzi, stop being so hard yourself! You are TRYING, which is all any of us can do and all of us should be proud of. So there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aren’t we all supposed to never be too old to dream, too? My anxiety is that it will all just remain in dreamland, and the realisation of my hopes will just prove too difficult, and I will prove inadequate to the task.

      I’m gonna keep breaking it down into tiny baby steps, and accepting all the help and encouragement I can get. Logically I *know* I’m achieving bits and pieces towards making it happen…it just doesn’t FEEL like it.

      It FEELS totally overwhelming, and what with all the NOW…too much.

      I hope your dream (such as it is) becomes real, somehow, so that you have time and energy and room for other, bigger dreams. Keep TRYING at Real, and I will, too. We might make it there one day, ey?

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