First of all, a happy holiday to readers, commenters and blog writers. Hope all are well and happy if possible. I appreciate you all. Fellow blog writers are part of my daily life, as I read blogs every day, and it’s almost like having company, or just like having a window into someone else’s life. It’s a good feeling for me.

At this moment I feel good. I spent the afternoon and evening with a friend, and it was low stress and pretty good overall. My friend is suffering from a relationship which went wrong, and after a movie and a drink, she didn’t want to be alone, so I went over to her house and we watched netflix together. I really know what it’s like to want company when you’re suffering, not to talk it all out, but just because it helps to have someone there. I like being useful. Plus it’s nice to watch TV with someone else – it is less lonely.

I think I’d be able to heal faster if I was less lonely. If when things are bad, I had somewhere to go, somewhere to not be entirely alone with it all. But I really don’t.

Christmas I had two dinners. On the 24th I went to my family’s Xmas dinner. I volunteered to bring a veg, so I made green beans and off I went. All day I’d dreaded going. The dinner wasn’t that bad, but I can’t say I felt much connection to anyone there. I’m not going to describe in detail because I want to stay out of the depression and pain for a while. One way of looking at it is it wasn’t bad. I left fairly early, and that was that.

On the 25th, I cooked a meal. I’d gotten a Christmas tree a few days before, and decorated it on the 24th, so that was done. I’d planned, bought the right groceries, so that helped.

A problem I have struggled with is my tendency to shut down, and this has been in full force the last few days. By shutting down, I don’t mean just that my emotions shut down. I shut down entirely – I have to lie down, and I either stare out the window, or doze. I feel enormously tired and unable to move. That’s a problem when you have people coming for dinner that you haven’t started yet.

This shutting down problem is what I need to tackle in the coming year. I need to find a way to stay conscious. Because with me shut down so much, I don’t get much done.

Anyway, dinner was good. I cooked lamb, rapini, and apple crisp. I bought a really nice wine to go with it. My ex and my son came over. We had a pretty decent time – much nicer than with my parents.

This year I sent Ron an email wishing him a Merry Christmas, and thanking him for all his care in the past year. I worried about whether it would be intrusive to send over the holidays, and ended up sending it boxing day. Then I shut my email down for the night, because I didn’t want to worry about whether he would respond or not. It didn’t need a response. But the next morning, I saw he’d responded within a few minutes – wishing me also a merry christmas, and saying it was his pleasure. So nice. I did feel warm and fuzzy with this exchange. I am grateful to him, and it felt good to express that, and then getting a kind email in return felt good too.

I went off to my 12 step group on Boxing Day. That day, I was feeling down, and I feel like my share there was over-wrought. I don’t know. It all depends how I want to look at things. I wish I was calmer – my sharing just wasn’t at all calm. Why can’t I talk about things in a calm tone of voice?

One thing I did at the meeting was I let a younger part be there for much of the time, also reassuring her that it was safe. This part, B, loves being with people, so having her sit there, while telling her all was well and she was perfectly safe, felt really good and healing.

I’m hoping to stay on a more even keel for the rest of my holiday – all next week. Some good things have been happening, but I’ve also felt really down and unable to move around – the shut down problem I guess. But tonight I feel good. I’m glad I have my tree, and I have work that’s going pretty well overall, and I have one friend at least.

My last therapy session, I left feeling really connected to Ron, which was really fortunate, going into the holiday. I think at the end of the session, I was talking about missing him, and then B took over and I think talked about missing Ron also. And I said something about what an odd situation therapy is, where you feel close to someone, but they’re not really in your life, apart from one hour a week anyway. Talking about this made me feel closer to him I suppose, in a nice, warm way, not a desperate craving type of way.


  1. Cat said:

    Glad to read you had an okay Christmas, Ellen. It makes a difference to get that tree up! Are you off work until the NY?

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Cat. Yes, I’ve had a tree every year in the last decades – it’s a part of Christmas I enjoy. I just need to remember to buy new lights – most of mine are burnt out. Yes, I’m off until next Monday. I get to rest, and try not to think too much! Hope you are well.

      • Cat said:

        makes all the difference to have the tree and lights up. It doesn’t feel like Christmas in London. We’ve had temps of 15/60 in the daytime and not much below 10c at night. The sunshine today felt more like March or April

        • Ellen said:

          It’s warmer than usual here too….cheers

    • Ellen said:

      And to you also, Penny. I’ve been following your story along, even though I don’t comment much. Hope you are keeping well.

  2. Deepest sympathy on complete shut down. I used to do that daily, now it is about once a month or during rough times weekly. I now plan for it. That goes better. Weird how if I planned for it I needed it less. Good luck on your goal to tame your body from complete shut downs. Hugs. Glad to here your Christmas was pleasant. I had a lovely time too but do feel a bit tired today. Take care, Ruth

    • Ellen said:

      How did you get over the shut down Ruth? or did it just gradually get better as you healed? It is taking up so much of my life currently. I plan for it too, in that I leave space for that to happen…It’s frustrating. Glad your Christmas was good, and hope you get the rest you need. Thank you. Hugs.

      • I studied it…everything I could get my hands on. I found out that sleep deprivation plays a major roll along with keeping secrets. Secrets are a terrible burden that drains away energy. I learned about a bunch of illnesses I am thankful not to have. I started making minor adjustments in eating, sleeping, praying, serving others, and counseling finally helped me put all the pieces together. I think too often people underestimate small changes. It gradually healed as I gradually healed. Now I use sleeping like taking my emotional temperature. If I can’t sleep, I start checking in with myself. Counseling taught me how to do this. I certainly didn’t come knowing it. Counseling helped me to reconcile my parts. Integrating all my parts helped but wasn’t the only cause of my body collapsing. Every body is different. What worked for me may or may not work for you. You are already in counseling. You are working with your doctor to improve your health. I remember you writing that you are working on eating better. All these pieces help. Yes, I still pass out from time to time but I know when to expect it because for me it is after the stress is over. You are doing many things right. Keep making adjustments until you feel better. It works but takes time. Cheering for you.

        • Ellen said:

          It sounds like all your healing efforts came together to help this. I actually don’t pass out, though sometimes I’ll fall asleep. It’s more like a failure of will, though it feels physical also. I think it’s some kind of trauma response – like freezing. Anyway, I’ll have to persevere and find things that help. Thanks for explaining.

          • Your welcome. I’ll look forward to reading about what you discover.

  3. Grainne said:

    Xox just wanted to leave a hug.

    • Ellen said:

      Hugs to you too Grainne. Thank you.

  4. So glad you had a good holiday Ellen! wishing you a great 2016! xoxo

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Many – you too! All the best to you.

  5. leb105 said:

    Happy New Year to you, E!!
    I’ve been dealing with extreme slow-downs myself, and I think the answer will be to accept where I’m at and not criticize. Let that anxious part who’s worried about what everyone else will think (!!!), that it will never end, that I won’t get anything done (and whatever catastrophe will result) – focus its energy on accepting whatever is happening in the moment, and being kind towards yourself. Freaking out about what’s happening, and/or blaming yourself for it, never seems to help. I’m glad that the work problem seems to have resolved itself!
    Are you fearful of giving in to it, when you’re alone?

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, being kind to self is important, and I’m glad you’re doing that. I have a long history of giving in to collapse – I barely get anything done. I’m not afraid of giving in to it – it’s so much harder to muster a response other than giving in. For me, I believe this is a trauma based response. I’m not processing anything – it’s just shut down. I’ve been reading about it and will discuss more in a post. I think for you, if you’re not dealing with the same kind of trauma, maybe it’s something you need to allow to happen, so you can process your emotions.

      Happy New Year to you also! Thanks for reading along.

  6. Rachel said:

    I love what you said about reading other blogs daily, and it being a window into other peoples’ lives. I also read on here daily (multiple times per day, I check for peoples’ blogs) and find it to be one of my most important sources of connection right now. It is really important, even if I don’t know any of the people on here in person.
    Glad you had a good holiday and felt connected to Ron. Also that you spent time with the friend. Before I had close relationships, or any real friends, I would sit and watch TV with my grandpa. It was better than being alone. I felt like a loser in many ways, but it was better than being alone. I get that. I know the shut down is really destabilizing, and I wish that would get better faster. I do see things improving for you, for what its worth.

    • Ellen said:

      I also get a sense of connection from blogs. No one IRL is going through anything similar, so it helps to read others’ experiences.

      I kind of think for me, even if I had really close friends, I’d still like to spend time without needing to interact, if I’m feeling fragile. I don’t necessarily want to talk about what’s going on all the time.

      Thank you Rachel.

      • Rachel said:

        I hear you, often the people I spend physical time with are not people I would ever discuss the content I discuss on the blog. Sometimes just being around people is so needed. And not having to say anything or sit in the reality of my emotional world. Well I’m really glad you spent that time with your friend.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Ash. All the best for the holidays!

    • Ellen said:

      Happy New Year AG. I wish you lots of peace in the New Year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: