Positive Nostalgia/Can Lightning Strike Twice?

This site’s posts and, by extension, my life has many recurring themes and words that have held this negative connotation because of my past experience with them. And I’m rarely ever nostalgic during moments where I’m enjoying the present very much. There’s usually a reason why I’m looking back and it’s usually because I enjoy putting myself through situations that I know will make me feel like shit when I’m already feeling like shit and reminding myself of what I used to have but for whatever reason don’t anymore. I enjoy attending my own pity party of one. That kind of was the only “improvement” I made in that regard. I still tend to choose things that make me feel more of what I’m feeling, I suppose to validate that I am indeed hurting and not just making it up, but at least I don’t try and include people in my pity party anymore. I suffer in silence which is a good thing mostly for those around me, listening to the whims of my emotional sensitivities and warped all or nothing thinking caused by my BPD was not something my friends enjoyed being a part of. Not something I enjoyed doing either, I purposely upended my life to snuff out those symptoms so I can be able to sleep at night knowing that even if I was hurting at least I wasn’t dragging anyone I loved or cared about down with me. So not so great for me initially, I relied too much on these close relationships that I gripped on to too tightly. That’s why the phrase “Favorite Person” or even just the word “favorite” itself had been tainted for me. But with time both of those negative associations, and by extension most of my associations founded on ancient feelings/hurt, have been waning. Almost non existent at this point, but there is still always going to be a danger of them returning.. just to be realistic. If I had to make a guess as to why they are waning right now though is I’d say maybe it’s because reality is proving itself to never be aligned with any of my assumptions/warped view of the world (when I’m splitting or am extremely depressed at least.) I’m slowly reevaluating all my past connections because like my repeating mantra has been, “It may have served a purpose in the past, but today it does not.”

I tended to use nostalgia as a tool to remind myself of my mistakes, to blame myself why things aren’t the way they used to be. As if I had complete control over the outcome of every one of my failed friendships/relationships.. I mean sure I am heavily responsible for some, less so than I give myself shit for in others, but sometimes shit just happens. It took a long time before I could begin to accept that. Here in lies my associations and past “trauma” creeping it’s way into my current perspective of otherwise innocent, or at least not nearly as intense as I made them, ideas. I’ve met someone recently, a few people actually, but I’ve gotten really close with one in particular who is an avid fan of Heathers. And going back into quoting lines from the movie and the musical, and delving into a surprisingly high amount of similar interests from our past was actually really nice. Perhaps the big difference here is that I didn’t go down this nostalgia trip alone, and maybe even more importantly we talked about our past as if it still was. There was no “I used to love Heathers” or “I was obsessed with Hamilton” it was “I’m obsessed with Heathers”, “I love animal crossing”, and “I’m a big fan of Hamilton.” There’s something nice about not having to say goodbye to the past, and also not have to invite any of the negative associations that latch it’s venomous claws over things it doesn’t belong. Memories that actually were sweet and don’t have to be tainted by anything outside of just those memories itself.

That also seems to be a reoccurring theme or idea I’ve been learning lately, that I don’t necessarily have to throw away the past to have a decent future. Mistakes and bad memories might still linger but I don’t need to carry them with me, and just because a specific instance of an event, like watching Heathers with the group that I considered my “family” for the first time isn’t going to happen again. Not in the exact same way, not with the same people, although because I have thankfully repaired a lot of very meaningful and important friendships that I almost very stupidly threw away, so SOME of the same people maybe.. But some faces aren’t here anymore which isn’t necessarily a bad thing I guess. It just is. There are new faces though and even though it might be returning of old interests, we’d still be making new memories. Good memories if I allow myself to enjoy it. Coming just from rock bottom all of this sounds and feels a little too good to be true, like maybe this feels like I’m feeling happy again only because anything out of what shitty mood I put myself in the past couple of weeks is heaven in comparison. Even more worrying to me is the idea that I feel really happy right now, and a lot of that has to do with external forces. Mostly the people I’m spending time with and I’m not so much worried that things are going to blow up this time. In fact I find some comfort in knowing things will blow up and that while I don’t have control over that I do often have control over how big the blow up is, who it gets directed at, and how I cope afterwards. Which is why I’m worried if I get too comfortable in good feelings not created from myself that I might not be prepared for the next time that feeling that the people who I know in this moment care about me, just don’t anymore.. that for some reason I feel they hate me or in the most recent case that any affection or validation I might have needed would surely have been given if I asked, but only out of pity and fear that they HAVE to help me through this and be nice to me. I tend to be the biggest gaslighter in my life.. The fun thing is I can 100% say and believe that none of that is indeed true today but the second that depression hits all that goes out the window so there’s not much I can do to stop that warped thought from coming just prepare myself to make sure that vulnerability that comes from that thought is felt less severe.

I will say though knowing I still feel all that, still cautious, but not towards any people or relationships more with just my ability to handle intense emotions following what was a brief period of EXTREME sensitivity, kind of gives me some comfort. That means I’m clearly still depressed. Which you might ask? T, how the heck is that a good thing? Well if I do feel happy and if I’m worried it’s because of things that aren’t 100% in my control, and that might mean that this is just me being manic, not better, and I’d be giving into the symptoms of my BPD that I tried so hard to snuff out. Although if I’m still depressed and can admit that to myself, while at the same time saying yeah I also feel happy too. I can be depressed and happy which honestly really does still sound like a foreign concept to me, like I’m just making shit up right now. Everything used to be all or nothing for me.. but my situation has improved, I’ve met some incredible new people, I’ve gotten more comfortable with the people that were in my tribe and I really want to feel like this time I’m doing things right. That’s important to me, as futile as that goal might seem sometimes, I do genuinely care about and appreciate every single person I’ve chosen to be in my life. I really do.. They deserve at the very fucking least for me to try and be a decent friend (even if I’m just winging it most times), and though I am bad at showing it.. the fact that they are still in my life is how I show they still matter. I have had little energy or patience for people that genuinely don’t seem to care, that I don’t think are good people, and to some extent that I’m comfortable being around. Saying someone’s friendship doesn’t exhaust me might not seem like the greatest compliment, but literally people looking at me the wrong way emotionally exhausts me so if you’ve known me for a long time. It’s because you’ve mattered.

A lot of events in my life are sort of repeating, I mean kind of all at once I’ve made amends with someone I’ve been on and off with for years, started reintegrated into a group that I was distancing from but has mostly always been a place of comfort for me. Even more so now. There was even a repeat of a big event in my life, that I didn’t think would happen ever again, but now I’ve learned it for sure is going to happen again I just need to be better prepared for it. I don’t want to say anything along the lines of me wanting this to be different from the last time it felt this way, that im scared it might not be.. because well I might feel that a little bit. I always will. I do know this isn’t a remake or a sequel, just another movie with some of the same cast, maybe the same genre.. but it’s its own movie with the freedom to end however it’s going to end; good, bad, or something in between. And it in no way has to be compared to or evaluated in relation to past movies I’ve seen just because it also stars Robert De Niro. That wouldn’t make any sense to me if I were trying to be a film critic and logically none of what I’ve done in regards to getting these aspects of my life tangled in this disorganized mess of associations makes any sense either. It isn’t just that one time in my life where I thought I felt happy, because I can guarantee you I wasn’t. Yet I still waste so much time hoping I can get something “like that,” feel a lot “the way I did before.” It isn’t much different from the way I felt a couple weeks ago. It isn’t much different the way I feel now. I’m starting to get a better grip of living in this rocky life boat. I can be afraid I’m going to tip at any point but if I know that if I do I can just flip the boat and get right back in.. makes just leaning in the opposite direction to keep the boat level a much less daunting task. It’s okay if I don’t have the strength one day and the boat tips. I don’t need to think about it every damn time I start to lean. Maybe this an example of lightning striking twice, the universe rewarding me for sticking it by giving me more opportunities to help find those in my pack and those who I’m comfortable talking about with what’s going on. Or maybe it’s just luck and fortunate timing and to not look too into things and to just for once enjoy the moment. It doesn’t matter why things seem better, all I need to do is appreciate that it has and participate.

So I’m going to try and participate. Thank you for hearing out my bullshit and sticking through it if you are a returning reader. Till next time.