I didn’t want to post about this. Not because of shame or denial, but because I know it’s temporary and will pass. I’m reaching the end of my rope though.
Last week my wife and I signed on a house after a month of emotional turmoil trying to get the financing in order. I knew it would be a stressful process because I bought a house before, but between much stricter standards and communication problems with the seller (a corporation), the process was so much worse than I remember. All that, plus worrying about the money we would have to put down, really overwhelmed me. Still, I pushed through because I knew that once the papers were signed it would all be behind me.
Once we signed the papers, we had to decide what we wanted to fix before we moved in (we’re moving in this weekend). We’ve purchased a lot of supplies, and have been trying to do repairs after work. Trying to divide my attention between planning projects, getting contractor quotes, figuring out what we can afford and when, and still taking ownership of projects at work has been exhausting. I thought it would be a “different kind” of exhausting because the unknown of getting the home loan was behind us, but now the things I do have control over are overwhelming me. It’s also exhausting keeping my attention divided between 2 homes, our apartment that we’re trying to pack up and our house that we’re trying to prepare, that are 20 miles apart. We can’t just leave the apartment alone either because we still have our dogs there.
For what it’s worth, I know that nothing has to get finished before we move in, and I can acknowledge the good work that we have done. There are some things that are out of my control, like the time limits we have and the costs of repairs. Still, it feels like there’s plenty that is in my control that isn’t going my way, and there’s just so much. I know owning a home will be endless work, but the little projects we wanted to do before moving in seemed reasonable and achievable, and I’m struggling as our small setbacks keep adding up.
In addition to all that, I’m 3 weeks into my new sexual recovery journey I talked about in a previous post, and that has been overwhelming in its own way. I’ve stayed clean so far, and I’m figuring out a lot of the roots behind my behaviors, but since I haven’t started step work or learned any coping mechanisms yet, I’m having to grit my teeth through urges to act out. That’s exhausting and guilt-inducing, as much as I know it’s not supposed to be. Recovery takes time, relapse is part of recovery, yeah yeah. Still, I keep thinking if I can stay clean it will give me a head start in my recovery path, and if I act out at this point it’s in open and willful rejection of my sexual sobriety. I’m also at a loss for discerning the gray area of what is normal and acceptable human thought patterns and what crosses the line into inappropriate territory, and what to do with inappropriate thoughts. I wonder if I’m beginning a journey toward repressing my sexuality, which is something unhealthy that I don’t want to do either. Part of this journey is calling my temporary sponsor every day, which is an exhausting human interaction even if it’s only 5 minutes long. My sponsor is well-intentioned and nice enough, but he’s not a good personality fit. I know I need to find a permanent sponsor, but tonight will only be my third meeting, and last week’s meeting was virtual due to an ice storm. I haven’t had a chance to get to know anyone there. On top of all this, these meetings coincide with HS Masterclass, so that’s another thing I’m letting go. I can re-watch the lessons on my own time, but I budgeted Thursday evenings for it. I need to carve out more of “my own time” to watch the lessons, an hour and a half at a time. I’m also giving up part of the community aspect of Masterclass. I know it’s not something I guilt myself over, but it’s still happening. Just another thing on my plate.
With all this, the obvious answer is “take time for self-care.” I fully intend to do that, but I don’t know when. I finish my current work project next Tuesday, and at that point I want to talk with my manager about taking on lighter work for awhile. I want to take time off to get away, or even just to rest at home, but I want it to be at a point where I don’t dread what’s waiting for me when I get back to the real world. My wife’s parents are coming to stay with us for a week and a half to help us get settled into the house. I like them, and they respect my emotional boundaries, so I’m not dreading their visit. It does mean I can’t (or shouldn’t) take time away though. It also means that we will spend next week trying to prioritize what to unpack and set up so that we can host them with a bare minimum level of comfort. So even scheduling R&R is imposing on things that can’t get put on hold.
I’ve had enough. I’ve been telling myself “just a little bit longer,” and that’s true. There are end dates on everything that’s going on in my life right now. It will all pass, and things will settle down. For now though, I’m exhausted. My attention feels viscerally splintered, and my daily performance in all aspects is slipping. I’m going to sleep every night dreading the next day, and waking up wanting nothing more than to sleep.