Monday, 11 October 2010

Surfing emotions

Last week the tsunami of sadness that washed over me finally abated. I am trying hard to learn how to surf with the waves of emotions I am prone to rather than allow myself to be totally immersed in them, if that makes any sense? It is all very well being driven by my heart but I also need to be mindful to learn to use my head as well.

I have continued to receive some really heart warming support from my friends. Several phone calls & emails lifted me. My surfing needs a lot more work but every time I have failed I have managed to keep going & learned a few valuable lessons along the way.

Dependency is unhealthy. When you make anything the focus of your whole life, you create a deep seated fear of losing it. Ironically, your neediness can often make you lose what you most want to hold on to. If you invest too much of your emotions in only one aspect of your life, such as work or relationship you can set yourself up for pain. When you experience a loss in that area you are likely to experience emptiness, loneliness & depression. I have invested so much in my friendships & creativity. They both mean so much to me & I was so frightened I had lost them. In my case my art society group of friends had become like an extended family to me & I perhaps placed too much value on those friendships. I was also able to reaffirm how valuable true friends can be.

I realised I had begun to cut myself of completely from my creative friends, as it was all too painful. The thought of people blanking me who I had once thought were my friends, even if they may only be small in number filled me with dread. Equally if friends were too compassionate towards me I feared their kindness may dissolve me into a pool of tears. I felt anxious that my vulnerability may add fuel to those who were trying to smear my reputation. The endless self analysis I had put myself through beating myself up that what had happened to cause my depression was my entire fault came to an end last Monday, in what proved to be a tumultuous week.

I visited a very good friend who runs an art gallery & tutors many of my creative friends. I made sure I went when the gallery was quiet. I had actually introduced her to our art society in the days when it was so special. She was one of the first ladies the man who has caused me such pain had fallen out with & continued to behave so cruelly too. He had actually done her a favour because she found the confidence in herself to start up a successful new venture right at the start of the current recession. We have similar values; we appreciate all our friends & treat people the way we would like to be treated ourselves, with respect & kindness.

I was quite afraid I would have a panic attack just going back to her gallery as I had been going there one evening a week for informal tuition & a chat for quite some time. Many of our Art Group also went there too, including one who was very supportive of the guy who had hurt me & had been instrumental in my distress.

We talked for ages over a nice sugary cup of tea. So many of the experiences I had been going through she had felt too. The big difference was she has none of my T baggage or health issues. She has been so supportive of me when I finally came out to the world as needing to transition. If I am honest she was everything I wished I could have been. A wonderful Mum, supremely talented with a great husband, two teenage children, a loving family. Last year she had tragically lost her beloved Mum just as her new life with the gallery was proving such a success. Her life had experienced great change too.

We talked about so many emotions something I had never ever been able to experience in my previous existence when I was perceived to be a man. It was quite beautiful & life affirming. It was simply two girl friends together, totally platonic. She succeeded in helping me break the continuous never ending loop of depressive thoughts I had been beating myself with for weeks, in a way the medical team who had come to my rescue in recent weeks, my parents & other friends who had all tried so hard to help me had been unable to solve. She gave total validation for so much of the feelings I had been through & installed renewed confidence in me, that I could find the strength in me to turn my creative life around once more.

Peaceful thoughts

1 comment:

Anji said...

Your friend knew exactly how you were feeling - thank goodness you found someone to share with.