Well, it's been three months since I started seeing a counsellor (again). It's been a tough and somewhat confusing few months. There have been so many ups and downs I'm not entirely sure whether I'm coming or going. It's pretty stressful.
One of the things we have identified is that I'm not really sure who I am just now. So much of my identity is tied up in work and Guiding, that I've sort of lost the joy, the spontaneity, the excitement and the confidence to just be me, whoever that may be.
The past month has been really overwhelming. This week's counselling session was the first where I really felt that there wasn't an obvious solution, and it was hard. I spent a lot of time repeating 'I just don't know. I just. Don't. Know.' I wish I knew what it was that I didn't know. I just didn't know.
So today, my car was booked in for its annual service. At 8am. Because that seemed like a good idea at the time (UURGH!) Of course, my alarm clock batteries died, so I woke up at 8.30am and panicked. I really wanted to cancel the service, to get back into bed, and to beat myself up for not even being able to get up in time to take my stupid car for a stupid service.
But something in my brain told me to stop being an idiot, to get dressed and to just take the car for its stupid appointment. Just put on some jeans and a hoody. Then walk down the stairs. Then get in the car. Then drive to the garage. Then explain to the lady at the desk why I'm there. Once that's done, I'd have a few hours to spare and I could be productive. There's a McDonald's next to the garage, I could just sit in there and do some life-admin. Easy (HA!).
I got as far as McDonalds, bought an unsurprisingly disappointing breakfast and decided to read a book for a while. A couple of hours and two large cups of tea later, I got a phone call. They couldn't service my car today because they'd over-booked. It was nearly 11am and I'd wasted perfectly good lying in bed doing nothing time in bloody McDonalds. I did later apologise to the lady who called me for being a bit rude (I may have used the words useless and incompetent, but I really didn't mean them - I was mostly just angry at myself for oversleeping).
Regardless, I was angry. And I knew I was angry, which made me sort of happy (because I recognised I was angry and I acknowledged it - that's a pretty new thing). Then I got all confused again, and wanted to run away and hide under a blanket on my sofa. But then I got frustrated because I didn't really want to hide, I wanted to be able to do the things that normal people do at the weekend without completely overthinking and freaking out. And then I freaked out and got angry at myself.
Eventually, I found myself at a local shopping park. Somehow, in the confused mess that is my head, the tiny part of my brain we call my subconscious decided to be spontaneous and decided I was going to go to the cinema.
In the past I-don't-know-how-long, I have been to the cinema exactly once to see a film that I actually wanted to see (I'm not including the two times in the past 18 months that I have been with Brownies - if I were to voluntarily go to the cinema, Penguins of Madagascar would not have been my first choice of film...). Going to the cinema is one of the many things on my list of 'I really want to do but I'm completely overwhelmed so I won't' (along with clothes shopping and generally being in public spaces on my own). There have been so many films over the past few years that I've really wanted to see, but either argued that 'it's cheaper to buy it on DVD', or 'what if I do it wrong?' (HOW DO YOU DO GOING TO THE CINEMA 'WRONG' STUPID-HEAD?!!)
To give you an idea of how completely overwhelming going to the cinema is, here is a list of the things going round my head in the (literally) fifteen minutes it took me to get from my car into the cinema screen:
1. Get out of the car. Just get out of the car.
2. Did I lock the car? (*goes back and checks car is locked*)
3. There are lots of small children around. Maybe this is a family showing. Maybe I should just go home.
4. Just buy the bloody ticket you stupid idiot.
5. That lady is dressed up in fancy dress and is smiling at me. Oh god, what if she speaks to me.
6. Phew, the small child distracted her.
7. Can I buy tickets at the machine? Yes, good.
8. Why won't it let me buy tickets for the midday viewing?
9. Oh, wait, I already selected the midday viewing. Phew. No-one saw.
10. Am I too late for the midday viewing? No, seven minutes, I can do this.
11. Oh crap, since when did you need to select a seat?!
12. Where am I going to sit?!
13. I need to sit in the middle otherwise I'm blind and won't see the film. To get to the middle I need to pass other groups of people. Where is the least populated area in the cinema?
14. Why are there so many small children?
15. I'll just pick this seat here, there's no-one either side, maybe I won't be in the way if I sit there.
16. This machine is stupid, why does it ask so many questions? And why did it just spit my ticket out on the floor? That's unhelpful.
17. Right, seat H15. H15. Screen 3, H15. Show the man the ticket. No, idiot, that's your receipt. Why is there so much paper?
18. Do I have time to pee? What if I need to pee halfway through the film? I can't just get up and pee. I'll just go pee now, just incase. But what if I need to pee again? I always need to pee.
19. How do I turn the stupid tap on? Why am I so stupid, maybe I should just go home. But I spent lots of money on this ticket, I just need to get on with it. But there are lots of children everywhere, what if their parents realise I'm an adult, on my own, watching a kids film. Oh, it's a motion-sensored tap. Well that old lady clearly thinks I'm an idiot as well. Good job Rosy. Good job.
20. Right, it's now or never. I really want to see this film. Just walk into screen 3. H15. If I look like I know what I'm doing, no-one is going to stop and ask what I'm doing here. I belong here, I bought a ticket and everything. I'll just wait for that family to go in. And that one. Just go in. God Rosy, stop being a complete wuss, just go and sit in the bloody cinema.
21. Oh look, a map, that'll show me where I'm sitting, that's useful.
22. Oh crap, there are loads of people here, and my seat's on the other side of the screen - I have to walk infront of everyone to get to my seat.
23. Rosy, don't fall over the man in the wheelchair. Don't look up, just keep walking.
24. Where the hell are the letters?! Why can't I see row H? If I crouch down, I'm going to look stupid and people are going to notice me. Oh, here's row H.
25. H15. Sit down. Get juice and half eaten chocolate bar out of your bag. Good. Now, enjoy the film.
26. Why hasn't it started yet? Maybe I'm in the wrong screen.
27. I'm the only person here on my own. All of the other grown up people are here with small children. What if they notice I'm here on my own and say something?
28. I just want to watch the film. What if they ask me to leave? I'm not doing anything, but what if they think I'm weird and want me to leave.
29. That child just asked why it is dark. It is really dark. Is it normally this dark? Am I in the right screen? Maybe they changed the screen and I missed the announcement.
30. Oh thank god, the adverts are starting. Just focus on the adverts. It'll be ok.
No wonder I've not been to the cinema in a while. I'm exhausted and the film hasn't even started.
I'll update you on the rest of the trip once I've recovered...