I feel lost. I feel like I can’t see the wood for the trees. I’ve been gulping for air. My anxiety is throttling me.
This is exactly why I write, it’s my process.
I know that I have landed in Portland, Oregon. I have fulfilled my ambition of relocating to the US. I’m in the processing stage. I talked about the stark reality of my move in my last post. While, I know it’ll be all right, I hadn’t expected the curve balls.
I hadn’t expected the lack of welcome in fellowship.
I hadn’t expected that if I were crying in a meeting that I would be ignored.
I hadn’t expected that it would be a challenge to find my tribe.
I hadn’t expected the cultural differences in a country that speaks my language.
I hadn’t expected that I would miss the familiarity of the place I had outgrown.
I hadn’t expected that I would lose my confidence cycling.
I hadn’t expected that I would experience freak weather and be stuck indoors.
I hadn’t expected to get sick, twice.
I hadn’t expected to fall downstairs and bruise myself black and blue.
I hadn’t expected that this self-sufficient woman, would want someone to look after me, drop off groceries, bring me Tylenol, and give me a hug. Many hugs.
I hadn’t expected that I’d have to move nearly as soon as I’d unpacked my suitcase.
But most of all, I hadn’t anticipated the emotional capacity required for a monumental move.
When we hear the words ‘I thought’ in fellowship, there is a sense of amusement, an eye-rolling, the familiar uh huh muttered; because we know where our best thinking has led us to–to use drugs against our will at the expense of everything and everyone. Yet, nearly five years on, I have learned to trust my thinking again. I know how to decipher between addictive thoughts and thoughts that serve me well. Sometimes, however, the I thoughts are out-with our control.
I thought that once I landed here, unpacked my suitcase, I’d be on my merry way. Uh huh.
The sheer energy required to process the adjustment to a new culture, area, friendships, fellowships, I knew would be tough. I knew that I would doubt myself, my decision and that I would call myself crazy. I knew that is all part of adjustment–my friends and family had told me as much. I just hadn’t thought sickness would zap the energy required to put myself out there to find somewhere to live (twice in two months), to form new friendships, to acquaint myself with a foreign area and navigate it.
What has surprised me the most is that I have demonstrated the most profound sense of faith I have ever practised; in spite of all this emotional turmoil, I know that I will be all right.
I also hadn’t counted on my strengths: the brute force of my resilience. I had always thought that I was overwhelmed with situations and was weak. That my fears, anxieties and emotion were too crippling to deal with what was before me.
I’ve overcome one hell of a year. A year of punctuated with immense stressful life events: grief, unexpected long-haul travel, planning and executing a relocation to a different continent on my own, leaving full-time secure employment, friendships, a secure footing in recovery, and an established life behind.
Here I am: I have moved to a different continent. In spite of my experience, I am finding my way. I am finding my tribe, I am putting myself out there, I am forming new friendships, I am acting in a way that I wish to be treated in meetings, I am asking for help, I am dating. I am looking for another new place to live. For someone who likes her own company, is so over cliques, prefers meaningful interaction, this has been a challenge. I know I appear confident, but there is an introvert in here. To coin a phrase I identify with, I’m an outgoing introvert.
I am feeling, fuck me am I feeling! I have felt the most powerful feelings: grief, feeling lost, letting go of physical security, fear, sadness, anxiety, depression, and a huge sense of feeling overwhelmed–like I can’t process any more. I am letting the crying wash over me and through me. I have never felt so present in my life. I can only deal with the next thing before me.
I am being provided for. Job opportunities present themselves each week and I will have a secure income in no time.
I thought that security related to my physical home and financial security. Yet, I have learned that to feel settled, to feel secure, is to feel connected to my tribe, to my truth and to the universe. And that is all I can ever hope for. Today, I choose connection and peace.
This Brit has remarkable resilience.
Thoughts are exactly that.