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Here are some more timely bits for my current meditations: Tiny Wisdom on Suffering and On Letting Go of a Relationship.  I think I have been doing mostly the right things with my recent choices, but perhaps working so hard to hold onto my friendship with Hawthorn has made it harder to let the relationship part go.  I suppose I do need to sit down with him and make sure he knows how I feel in a way that satisfies me, and let him have his say, even if I know it will hurt.

Also my Breszny-scope this week:

Taurus Horoscope for week of April 7, 2011
The hydrochloric acid in our digestive system is so corrosive it can dissolve a nail. In other words, you contain within you the power to dematerialize solid metal. Why is it so hard, then, for you to conceive of the possibility that you can vaporize a painful memory or bad habit or fearful fantasy? I say you can do just that, Taurus — especially at this moment, when your capacity for creative destruction is at a peak. Try this meditation: Imagine that the memory or habit or fantasy you want to kill off is a nail. Then picture yourself dropping the nail into a vat of hydrochloric acid. Come back every day and revisit this vision, watching the nail gradually dissolve.


This week I am going to actively work on embracing my Vipassanā meditation and related studies instead of just paying them much lip service.  I’ve got books to read and guided meditations (for newbies) to get myself back into it and start centering myself again.  At the risk of over structuring myself in the near future I am going to make a point to leave open time that will ideally be either reading or sewing, both activities that pull me out of myself and leave me feeling better.  I am not rushing it, but also working setting in motion finding a martial arts teacher as well.

I realized this morning, when sort of half awake, that I haven’t taken Klonopin more than once a week since, well, since I started feeling stuck and like I wasn’t getting better.  Which is to say that I suspect the Klonopin was going a long way towards making me feel better.  As always with any drugs, I’m on the fence with this.  I have no real fear of dependence on it, if I need it, I need it. And, really, I’m not sure why I haven’t been taking it, except perhaps I don’t need it right now? Still I’m sure that’s a big part of how overwhelmed I’ve been feeling by my emotions, since they aren’t currently being blocked or blanketed in the way they were in the many weeks following the break up.  This isn’t going to stop me taking it when I think I need it, but I guess I have unintentionally become more selective about how I use it.  I’m certain this is a good thing.

I was thinking last night about Letting Things Go, and what some of those things are.  I feel like when you look at my last three or four years and the number of friends and lovers that have passed from my life, at the amount of actual trauma I’ve been through, at the lack of support I’ve had (though much more from my lack of expressing need for it, than lack of people to offer it) it feels like a miracle that I’m still here functioning as well as I am.  But I want to take all of those things and push them away into the past.  I can not be convinced that many of them even need “dealing with” to push them back.  I just want to release them all, let it go and keep moving forward into whatever comes next.  I am tired of, exhausted by, carrying all of those things.  I am just going to set them down, right here, by the side of the road.  I will hold on to the still precious pieces that I feel like still need some care before they are set free (Hawthorn, my teeth, a few other small bits) and just keep moving on until I get to the place where I can set those things down as well.  Forward, one foot in front of the other, with already a lighter load and knowledge of increasing lightness in my future.

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I’m feeling a little stuck.  I feel like I have less to say here, but looking back I’ve mostly been talking about drugs, therapy and Oak and Hawthorn.  And none of those are currently valid or interesting topics to me right now.  I am still feeling around the borders of my rage to try and find how much of it is residual Hawthorn break-up and how much of it is coming from somewhere else.  I find I feel lonely and abandoned when I have to go home alone after a rough day.  I want someone to talk too, something to distract me from the inside of my head.  And I blame Hawthorn that I don’t have that, since I don’t come home to him anymore.  On the other hand, I’m positive he’s not The One for me, or even one for me, so I can only blame him so far for not being there.

I think some of my feeling of stagnancy are coming from not being patient enough.  Some things really only can be healed with time and more time needs to pass before I can put those things behind me.  There is no instant cure to make me feel whole.  I am vastly, dramatically better than I was 4 months ago, than I was for all of last year.  I guess I’m trying to figure out the balance of settling in to feeling better and still be moving forward.

I think the most important things right now are exercise (nope, still not doing it like I said I would months ago) and making plans.  Yep, just any old plans.  I think if I can make plans with friends for small social events I’ll be better and more distracted from waiting for time to pass.  I think if I make plans for the future, whether they are realistic or will come to fruition will give me something pleasant to think about instead of focusing on past hurts.  I think if I start planning, in my head, crafts and projects I want to do and start mentally giving myself time, space, energy and creativity to do them I will be in a much more satisfied place.

I did execute a few small sewing projects this weekend from start to finish.  I find myself really overwhelmed by the amount of things I think I should be doing, so much so that I don’t start anything.  I need to get back into my past habit of keeping a running list in a notebook of ideas I have and projects I want to finish, with space for notes on how to do each thing  written as I think of it so I can refer back to it when I get to that project.

And maybe some form of this type of record keeping for other things in my life? Spending more time thinking about and recording future fantasies?  Keeping running lists of things I want to do (museum exhibits, walks, &c.) in a place I can glance at and be reminded and think, Oooh!  That IS a good idea!  But how do I manage this without overwhelming myself?  I mean, surely i could put together a complicated schedule for myself and then feel bad when I don’t do it.  I could set up a bunch of elaborate expectations and then feel miserable when I don’t meet them.

When I start thinking in depth about all this I find myself thinking that I still need to give myself a break, I still need to take it easy.  But this too is a terribly hard balance to find.  Perhaps it will be enough to be, for the present, very aware of what my limits are.  How much socializing I can do to balance out my need both to be alone and not to feel lonely.  How much planning I can do before I feel burdened with not actually completing anything.

I feel like every time I sit down to think about or write about this stuff it all comes back to finding balance.  And honestly, I’m strung out enough on my own emotions that ‘finding balance’ seems like some sort of hideous, Sisyphean task that will lead me on an endless quest for something that doesn’t exist.  I recognize how negative that sounds but right now ‘finding balance’ takes so much thought and attention and care that the potential future rewards of it feel misty and vague and incredibly far off.  It’s hard work work and they payoff, while surely wonderful, seems so far out that it’s hard to convince myself to do the work in the first place.  I guess I need ot find some way to motivate myself to all of the above mentioned possibilities that sounds better to me than: “you’ll feel better in the long run.”

I feel better, over all.  It’s STILL grey here.  And in case my theory that I run on sunshine charged batteries needed proving: the sun came out briefly while I Was running errands yesterday, rush hour freeway traffic and all, I INSTANTLY perked up as soon as the sun shined on me.  Yes, I know all about light boxes and about half the lights in my house are “true sunlight” lights, but it seems that only the real thing, really does it.  And early spring is joyous, but not to my sinuses.  I’m getting simultaneous allergy/sinus headaches and storm pressure headaches. Makes me nauseous and no fun.  So more sun and less storms, please.  I’m not even going to complain about the pollen, it’s not worth it.


All that aside I am mostly cheerful today.  Things are making me laugh.  I feel like I have a positive outlook on the future, even if the present continues to feel a little stagnant and the future too vague.  I’ve been contemplating this balance of living in the present moment and planning for the future.  Honestly, I feel a little stuck.  Like for the last, let’s say 2.5 years (starting from about when Oak confirmed he was leaving and everything started to go awry) I have been simply waiting.  I waited for Oak to leave; I waited for Oak to get back; I waited through the flood and the aftermath; I dropped all my future plans (and Oak) and waited for Hawthorn to make new ones with me (he never did which should have been a sign from the beginning); I waited for Hawthorn NOT to break up with me; I waited to get out of Hawthorn’s house. And sure all those things have passed, but I’m still waiting: to furnish my own home, to figure out what comes next, to feel better/normal.  It’s like I can’t remember how to live without waiting.

It’s not like I don’t have things to look forward too, I do.  But most of it is small trips to visit friends (many of which can’t even be planned until my work schedule settles and I spend a few more weekends going broke furnishing my house).  And I’m excited about those things but I need a bigger picture plan.  Like moving to Spain in 5 years, or going back to school to become a an EMT, or learning pattern making for real and setting up a small business sewing.  Not that I will necessarily do any of those things, but there’s something about the planning and thinking about such grandiose plans that keeps the frightening, anxiety inducing vagaries of every day life at bay, you know?

I guess a big part of the problem is that I still feel really scattered from the anxiety and the drugs and the moving and the life changes and nothing seeming settled for so long.  I had a moment, waking up the other day, of how my new place is starting to feel like “mine” not just a place I am, which is nice.  I think getting it furnished will go a long way towards helping me. Still right now it’s adding to the anxiety load: not being able to find anything because it’s in boxes sucks, spending lots of money is stressful, &c.  But it is coming along and the end is somewhat in sight. Still I’m left with the feeling of waiting and the sense that I’m not quite together enough to dig myself out.

Perhaps the weirdest part of it all is that I’ve always considered myself to be a very patient person. I don’t shake Xmas presents, I don’t guess what’s inside.  I am calm, placid even, ready for anything, but happy enough to sit quietly until it’s time for whatever it’s time for.  I don’t know which came first, but either the anxiety broke that in me, or that being broken in me is where the anxiety came from.  I need to get back to that place of patience.  I’m still just not exactly sure where to look.  It seems like I can only wait to get to the place I need to be (settled, moved, planned, whatever) and I can barely stand the idea of waiting even a little more.  I just need to figure out what the more active things I can do to participate in making the future come faster are, so I can enjoy being in the moment more.  Ironic, I know.

I worked roughly from 6:30 am to 2 am yesterday at both my jobs, with only a two hour break in between.  Both jobs were relatively intense.  And that’s pretty much all I have to say about my day except that Hawthorn very slightly slighted me at the end of the day and pretty much ruined my day.  Meaning that even exhausted and desperate for sleep I got to stay up and think about why my feelings were so hurt over something so seemingly minor. And yet again we get to play a round of Hawthorn is selfish, insensitive, and thoughtless.  I’m still not over that.  And probably I never will be.  But I am TIRED of replaying that story of our past in which I own all my decisions about how we ended up together, all my choices.  But you know he worked really, really obsessively hard to help me decide to take all the paths that led to me giving up everything thing about my life and all of my plans for the future.  And then of course he ripped all that out from under me when he broke up with me.  Blah blah blah blah, I am tired of it, just had to sit through another teary evening of mentally rehashing it.  Grrrrrrrr.

Going today to have lunch with Violet and walk outside in sun and warmer weather (wheeeeee). And hit up World Market and maybe a thrift store.  Since I have to start thinking about furniture and curtains and such. Because I am going to look at a seemingly PERFECT apartment tomorrow morning.  I have my financial ducks in a row, so I can write a check right away if it works out.  Neighborhood is good, place looks crazy cute in pictures and the price is exactly what I’d hoped to pay, so keep your fingers crossed for me that it works out!  I found it by accident and things feel like they are RUSHING along, but sometimes the universe just gives you what you need right?

Okay, maybe it isn't quite this cool, but it could be!

Speaking of need, my favorite rich, generous customer came into the restaurant last night.  Have you ever had someone shake a $100 bill into your hand? After they’ve paid their bill and already generously tipped?  I think he does it as his own form of charity, but man I work in bar that serves $7 glasses of wine at the high end.  I will take his charity (also I know he really likes me, his wife made me a scarf a couple years ago!) gladly right now.  I’ve set it aside to buy something perfect and MINE for my new place when I get it (which with any luck at all will be soooooooon).

Off to cure my headache with Bún thịt nướng and girl talk and sunshine!

Ten millions years ago, when I got married, I was standing in a small dressing room alone.  Big puffy white dress on, hair all done up, gloves, fancy make-up, 200 guests waiting to participate passively in a momentary expression of love.  All I could think about in that moment was what Rose has said to me several days before: “You’re only getting married because you said when you were 14 that were going to marry him and you’re so stubborn that you have to follow through.” (Not perhaps verbatim what she said, but pretty close.)

I was thinking about those words because I knew as I stood there that I probably shouldn’t be getting married.   Maybe not to this man. Or maybe just not this young.  Or maybe just not.  But I was all dressed up and everyone was there.  And I am stubborn, but often that means I can make things work.  And how hard can marriage be if one commits to it?  I could do this.

Four years later, my parents were bailing me out financially and helping me re-establish my life after we filed for divorce.  This would not be the last time they had to bail me out of such a situation (including my current impending move from Hawthorn’s to where ever I end up).

In some weird way I feel like I’ve been standing in that small dressing room of 15 years ago for all of 2010.  There’s been some sense of doubt in my mind every step along the way, and yet I’ve plodded forward anyway.  I started thinking yesterday about what I should have done, but cut myself off pretty quickly.  What difference does it make now? What is important is what I do from here on out, right?  Still I have this overwhelming sense that I continuously chose the path of least resistance through out 2010 convinced that I could make it work out alright. And hey, I’m not dead, so presumably it will work out alright, just in a different way.

I think therapy was good yesterday.  I cried a lot about Hawthorn making his clean break, then realized that was the first I’d cried about it to anyone, though in my defense I did tell almost everyone by email or text message which is less emotional (and thus my preferred communication).   I don’t know that there were huge revelations in therapy yesterday but I did realize that after Oak and split I stopped making plans.  I mean I’ve always had some sort of vague plan, possible map for the future and I haven’t had that in nearly a year. Surely that goes a long way toward explaining why I’ve felt so untethered.  And right now I feel scattered and confused and still anxious but I definitely need to start making a plan.  I will do it slowly, and I will do it with counsel and support from friends as I’m not sure I trust my choices when left to my own devices right now (a very hard thing for me to admit).

The first thing I need to do is figure out where I am going to live.  Hawthorn and I had a serious talk last night.  I expressed my need to KNOW that I had secure place to live there until I found something else.  He seemed dismayed that I didn’t trust his previous assurance that I could stay through August, but I pointed out that he’d already made a serious one-eighty in relation to me and that I didn’t think I could take another one and still manage to get better.  He said he hadn’t become a bad guy, that everything was still the same, just we weren’t romantically entwined in the long term.  And yeah, I guess he isn’t a bad guy, just insanely selfish and certainly a disappointment.

We have agreed that I could stay through August but probably will try and move around April 1 or May 1. I had some pressure yesterday from friends and family to move right away and honestly I just can not face that.  I mean even if someone else did the moving for me, I just don’t think I feel safe living alone right now. And despite all his other disappointing characteristics I am certain that Hawthorn will still look out for me and chase away things in the dark.  Ultimately however (in a couple months) I think my choice will be to live alone.  In addition to needing someone in the house right now, I also would really like to have the time to find a place to live that I want to be in, that I like, that I feel comfortable in, that isn’t just the first thing available in my price range.  My therapist set me to slowly making a list of what I would need in a home to feel safe, comfortable, and, well, at home.

The Lexapro continues to be okay.  It’s not without side effects but I think it’s within the realm of tolerable so I guess I’m going to fill the prescription after I talk to my doctor today (she gave me samples before).  Today might be the day I skip the Klonopin and try the Skelaxin again as the muscle tension is pretty unbearable.  My lovely friend Moonflower called yesterday and offered to come help me set up a restorative yoga practice at home (she’s a brilliant teacher of yoga), which will hopefully help a lot as well.  I am going to ask Violet to help me overcome my new place anxiety and go walk the track at the community center so I have that as an option on dark cold evenings.

And that’s it for me for plans for now. Yoga plan.  Walking plan.  Thinking about what I need in a home.  It’s a good start, right?

I dreamt about Oak last night.  I have been having very uneven tense dreams lately. For years most of my stress dreams have revolved around moving.  Like most folks have the naked in public dream, or the I’m at the final and realize I never attended any classes dream.  For me it’s always moving day and I haven’t packed and it’s raining and the truck isn’t there. After so much discussion of it yesterday I fully expected to spend the night trying to fit things in not enough boxes in my dreams.  But no, it was Oak instead. No story, no stress, just the physicality of him. How it feels to touch him, to smell him, to feel the heat of his skin.  I woke up  half expecting to find him in my bed and feeling a deep sense of loss.