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This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today's Postitive Affirmations

My posting has been extremely light this late summer and autumn. That has mostly to do with my feeling dull and in and out of heavy malaise/depression. Today I don't feel so good. My muscles are kind of burn-y, my joints kind of stiff, my head a little pounding, tense, belly full of acidic messiness. That sounds like a lot of symptoms, and some, like my doctor, would even wrap it into the fold of "mild fibromyalgia". I try not to blow the presence of these symptoms up. The harder work is to actually listen, and respond to, the messages my body is sending me. It's so much easier to feel the pain without registering it. I find my mind migrating toward all sorts of negative ideas and guilt when I feel so physically shitty. I noticed this correlation last night and noticing it allowed me to relax my tense and tired muscles and self and fall into sleep.

Since I made delicious, but decadent, apple bread last night my sweet tooth won out over my good sense and I had a large piece before breakfast, even before water, this morning. That was not a smart move as it made my stomach churn and my burn within an hour later. I'm staying away from sugar today, even honey for my tea. I'm drinking as much water as I can stand and going to be sure to run for at least 20 minutes this afternoon.

My friend made the very important distinction last weekend that the simple thing is not necessarily the easy thing. He's so so right. I know how to live healthfully, and even enjoy doing so, especially when the reward is feeling like a glowing (gloating?) super goddess. The crux of my failure is that making the simple choices to live well are not my habitual choices of inertia and over-indulgence.

Much as I've struggled these last few months, I've also grown accustomed to a new level of determination. I'm making seriously lovely progress on all fronts and remain proud of it no matter how many loved ones point out to me that I'm bored, dissatisfied, or whatever. To them I say, "look around!! Shit is Fucked (Capital F) Up! If I'm being level headed or sensible or even fucking boring at least I'm not out smashing the windows of Hummers or robbing from the rich or..."

wait...

that train of thought derails into questions of why I haven't turned vigilante and then to fantasies of divine violence. I'm going to back up from that edge and simply congratulate myself on learning the following:
I am a beautifully faceted and competent person who knows how to try things she does not yet know how to do,
who can care for herself better than anybody else and wants to,
who can care for others with an honesty of heart that will make sure they know they are cared for and acknowledged,
who can let difficulty exist in her life without needing to make a big drama of it, who can invite the sex pot and the sugar daddy and the teacher and the small voice and all the other incomplete characters of her psyche come together in a crazy submarine orgy of lush oil paints and chocolate ecstatic singing to create a very beautiful outer world even when others try to cover it over.

(So can you!!)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Déjà Vu All Over Again

I spiraled down several layers and cried a bit to finish that week. I watched several chick flicks and tried not to emulate their character and drank some glasses of red wine. When I'm sad I am happiest living inside familiar clichés and costumes. When I woke Saturday morning it was the quintessential mid-west fall day in my city. The sky was a plane of serene blue milk glass. I wanted to crack it into shards and rain clouds. I lay restless and inert in my bed, limbs akimbo, wondering why I felt nothing. Hopelessly it seemed that nothing was worth feeling. I came to the understanding that this deceptively pretty Saturday was going to be a day in which I became completely unstable like liquid mercury from a dropped thermometer on the kitchen floor. And so it was. From it I pulled out of my swollen soggy eyes and red nose toward a sharp clarity like the wreck I would break the sky into. I donned oversized sun glasses and make-up, scarves, gloves and cigarettes and laughed mirthfully with my friends. I breathed into my diaphragm and chest and let the nasty energy go away. Of course, the blood that brings positive change and strength followed, ushering me in to another cycle in the life.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Refuse to call this Growing Up

It's been just over a year since I moved into my apartment, which I thought was the beginning of my hard work paying off. It seems now that it was actually the beginning of working harder to make the bare minimum but not "enough". I remember feeling so full of positivity then. My apartment was the color of the September full moon on which I bled, I was in love with two amazing new people, I'd made sacrifices, and carved something out of this big place for myself. It feels silly to me now. It feels distant and envious.

I hadn't been to therapy in three weeks before I went last Saturday. When I'd seen Dr. A last I'd just put a cap on my reconciliation with Devyn and I was excited. I was glad to have the anger mostly washed out of me and felt renewed remembering all the things that amaze me about him.

These therapy sessions are good for me, but the idea that I'm going to therapy is still so foreign. In so many ways I feel I'm turning into this dull sitcom version of the person I wanted so strongly NOT to become when I was young and didn't have to deal with the problem of money and begging someone to buy my time for it constantly. My mom did an amazing thorough job of sheltering me from any "grown up" problems which has turned my twenties into a crash course of learning how to suffer without halting life. All sorts of sudden realization come up in these suspiciously unpaid for therapy sessions like the fact that we were living in middle class white suburbia on blue collar income. Growing up poor and not knowing has come around to bite me in the ass. Every well suited and fashionable person walking by me, while I'm wearing thrift store/hand me downs can sometimes feel like a punch in the gut. I'm trying to unlearn a sense of entitlement that I was only fooled into feeling entitled to in the first place.

On August 18th I wrote in my journal that I was "starting to come down after a long up". That down has enveloped me in a shroud of bewildered disinterest. I'm trying to learn my mood cycles, how long they tend to last, and what tends to impact or bring them on. I can't get the thoughts of bi-polar people out of my head for I feel like one who's described what it's like to be on Lithium: no staggering lows, but no sparkling ups either. I'm flat-line and it's confounding me. I keep hoping that it's going to get better soon because surely I've hit the bottom of this well but every day blurs into one same week and suddenly it's October and I didn't even notice the Solstice and greeting the new moon was just an after thought, something I forgot until it had past. I continue to be unable to delve into all the unsatisfactory things I'm surrounded by simply for the fact that it will only make me feel worse. This conscious refusal to over-process my feelings is a stark contrast for me too. At least in the past if I felt I couldn't process the reasons for my depression I could get properly worked up over it and focus on dramatic inner narratives of being "stuck".

While all this gray scale is frustrating, part of me acknowledges several positives too. For instance: it is a considerable success that I'm not over dramatizing my feelings and reactions because that means I'm learning how to pass through difficulty with more grace, it means I have more stamina in depression and don't collapse into existential crises or elaborate escape route planning, and it means I am, in fact, making progress in learning how to take my goals one day at a time, even if it takes many many more days to accomplish things than the pushy part of me thinks it should.

This is all very interesting for you, isn't it dear reader?

How about a list of my favorite things about being depressed: I get to cry whenever the fuck I want to whether it's over the memory of a fall in the North Woods, the song "Sing" by the Dresden Dolls, or the Heart Sutra posted on a blog. I get to have a chocolate bar on my night stand, take a bite immediately upon awakening and feel that rich feeling of self loathing all before even getting out bed. I get to be endlessly self deprecating and smoke a cigarette whenever I want. I get to congratulate myself on my blog on how much better I am at being depressed now than I used to be.

I may be better, but I'm still terribly suspicious. I fear that I'll get so good at being depressed that I'll forget about my mania and ecstasy and come to inhabit the pre-Oz colored world for years before something snaps and I remember, and go berserk, and skip town, and move to Guatemala to live in a hippie commune on the shores of the beach at the edge of a jungle full of howler monkeys and hammocks.

Not that I've thought about it much or anything.