As excited as I am to be home, it was surprisingly difficult to turn my school keys in Tuesday and leave my apartment today. I realized today that I’ve been feeling moderate separation anxiety all week, and it seems that transition is always going to be a challenge for me. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I tend to form deep attachments regardless (or perhaps because?) of how generally miserable things may be, and so parting tends to be traumatic even under the best of circumstances.
I’ve learned a lot this year about dealing with loss, but it still isn’t easy. At one point, I started to despair because my heart felt like flypaper, sticking to whatever touched it only to be shredded when pulled apart. I really didn’t like that metaphor because of the trapping connotation, and what I finally came up with instead was Velcro, particularly the soft half. (Or maybe a piece of felt.) When the right piece comes along, then it can serve its purpose, but it’s easily shredded and dirtied, so I have to protect it. I still remember the discussion we had in group two years ago about guarding my heart, which doesn’t mean never giving it away: it means protecting my ability to give and receive love. And that does entail being careful about my attachments, especially when I am isolated, burnt-out and particularly prone to clinginess–also known as the last eighteen months. But it also means continuing to practice love, knowing the risk I run of codependency and taking steps to mitigate said risk, because there is simply no other way for me to live.