I am so angry right now. People who I thought cared about me have acted in manners that show the opposite. I am trying to rise above it. I am finding it unbelievably difficult. I have asked many people for their opinions on these issues. Everyone has agreed that the people have acted selfishly and cruelly. Many have reminded me that I cannot change their behavior, I can only change mine, and how I react to it all. When you have known people for years, and thought you had a good sense of their characters, only to discover that they are completely different to your long-held belief, it is frustrating. How could I have not realized earlier?
I suppose the matter now is how can I deal with my feelings on the matter? How can I learn to accept that this is my new reality? How can I accept that these people either knew what they were doing was wrong, or at least hurtful, and reckless? How can I accept that they might be so oblivious to the fact that their behavior was mean and sly? How can I accept that they may genuinely accept the facts, their roles in them, and still not see the glaring truth. People have hidden from me certain truths, and now that I know these truths they are acting baffled by why I am mad. The are using derogatory terms when talking about me.
I spoke to my mom and my sister today. They live over 3,000 miles away. I officially have no one on this side of The Atlantic to see me through this trying time. They sympathized. Both could see my point, but reminded me of the points above – that I cannot control the behavior of others, that my anger hurts me. It is likely that the perpetratos (for want of a better word) don’t care, and I meanwhile am miserable. I lashed out at one party over the phone. I was vindicated or so I thought, only to be dismissed by them a few hours later. The other party I addressed in a most immature manner. I sent an expletive-laden text. I felt it was justified at the time. I still think I should have sent A text, just not that one. Unsurprisingly I haven’t heard back. She is the same person who ignored my text several months ago asking a specific question to help me with something. That text certainly warranted a response. How is it in my head? I heard from the other party, the one I am still in contact with, what sounded like a response from the text receiver that she (text receiver) did not care.
I had been having very few cravings for alcohol. I saw my psychiatrist yesterday. We’ve been seeing each other weekly. He was impressed, as I was proud, about how well I’ve been doing. He was happy for me to see him in two weeks this time instead of one. I felt good. I’ve had three of four good days in a row, which I have not had in almost two years. I had bawled in my therapy session on Wednesday, and then left and bounced back to being functional, happy, and productive. Then the shit hit the fan, and I drank last night. I had been sober for twenty two days. That may not sound like a lot, but for someone in the early stages of sobriety it is. I had been doing great. I cannot blame these people. I decided to drink. I was in pain, and reached for my cure, my wine. I regret it of course, but I think I can let it go.
I face the prospect that the two people are talking about me, laughing at me, belittling me unbeknownst to me. I may be paranoid, I may not be. Does it matter? It doesn’t. This is a good teaching moment. For me to teach myself to be the bigger person. As the serenity prayer says “Accept the things you cannot change.” Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a therapy that aims to have you accept things as they are, without trying to change the facts. It teaches looking at things in a factual rather than emotional manner, or at least something in between. It is comprised of many skills (tools) to help tolerate distressing situations and emotions (Distress Tolerance,) to interact with others where there may be disagreement (Interpersonal Effectiveness), to proceed mindfully by staying in the moment, in life (Mindfulness), and and to be able to regulate or distressing emotions that are less strong than those mentioned above (Emotional Regulation).
Radical acceptance is a skill in the Distress Tolerance module. It teaches us to look at a problem or issue we’re having to live with in a new manner. It is not an easy skill. I have not been able to practice, but I have been trying to. I will improve with practice and eventually be able to see these let-downs, upsets in a new light. I hope I manage to get to a place where I just live with this. I know I will not reconcile with one of the parties. Too much time and anger has gone by. I have to reconcile with the other person. They are oscillating between accepting and understanding my point of view, and defending themselves and pushing other issues where I was at fault into the fore.
I am just trying to keep breathing, stay afloat with my head above water, when all I want to do is allow myself to sink, link a stone, to the dark depths below. There lies comfort.