learning to stay present….not today, I’m afraid

I am starting to believe that I spend far too much time being far away from where I’m meant to be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s served me well, my ability to separate myself from the things that hurt me. But, I’m not entirely convinced it’s helping me anymore.

I want to learn to be more present. The problem is, I’m not quite sure how to go about it. It’s not as though I don’t want to be part of the here and now, it’s more like I can’t. It just isn’t something I’m capable of at this point in time.

I made a plan to spend some time over the weekend trying to sit with the way I was feeling. Without judgement, I worked hard to pay attention. What did I do? What did I think? What did I feel? What did I not want to feel?

I found that things move so quickly inside that I often don’t have a chance to figure out what is happening. Thoughts are almost instantly replaced by something else and it’s a constant invasion of the past intertwined with the present. The hardest times are when I see things like a movie and I get that sense of removal and everything feels muted and nothing seems quite real. I still have ongoing nightmares. I get overwhelmed, feel the panic rising and then suddenly everything is far away and all thoughts disappear. That is when I too must disappear.

It found trying to stay present quite difficult. No matter how hard I tried, my attention was always pulled inward or all over the place. I found that my awareness often glides above and around reality and I don’t seem to be able to know when I’m checking out. I find that I struggle to respond in a meaningful way in real time. I often found myself feeling easily overwhelmed. It became quite apparent even small things can leave me feeling on edge and needing to escape.

The feelings from the weekend have trickled into today and it’s not going very well. I’m sitting at work and cannot for the life of me find the energy to get anything done. I’ve almost climbed under my desk a half dozen times because I feel quite anxious in my chair. I finally gave in and just stared out my window. As I watched the snow fall gently on the dark green evergreens by the river and I could feel the pull to just drift away. I struggled to find any connection and while I’ve been trying so very hard to not need T, I felt too overwhelmed and so I reached out to him. He responded and tried to assure me he was still there and that he was with me, but it doesn’t feel that way at all. I wish he could come with me when I go away but he does not. He must remain, patiently waiting for my return.

Maybe tomorrow it will feel safer to stay. Maybe tomorrow it will feel easier to live in the present.

7 thoughts on “learning to stay present….not today, I’m afraid

  1. ‘I wish he would come with me when I go away’ – this resonates so painfully today. I am so far away. The world is so unreal and I am not real. I had my session but feel as if I was never even there. I wish our brains didn’t do this! I hope you feel more here soon xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks love. I’m sorry you’re having a tough go of it.
      I hate that this happens. It’s awful and frustrating and makes me feel like I’m doing everything wrong. Yesterday was a hard day for me and I feel like such a pain in T’s ass over the fact that this still happens. This is the one thing that I really wish would change for me—being able to sense that he is still there even when I can’t see him in front of my face.
      I hope today is better for you xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know how you feel! I just text K to ask if she is still here because it feels like she is just someone I knew vaguely many years ago 😕 she must get so frustrated to still be getting texts like that


  2. Right with you.

    We just got “cut off” from communicating with Ts outside session. They know we can’t remember them and still they will not provide this reassurance anymore.

    We are grieving. It just happened this week—two therapists. Of course, they are working together to try to help us. We have to hope it’s short-term pain for long-term gain.

    They gave us stones, pretty ones. We can play with them and try to trust the Ts are still there. Do you think a stone is a helpful reminder?


    • I’m sorry you no longer have outside contact with your Ts. Mine did give me a puddingstone and I keep it with a small collection of rocks I have from special places I’ve been. Sometimes it helps, yes but I sure wish there was an easier fix to it all.

      Liked by 1 person

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