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I worked a long, long day yesterday.  I went home, ate barely enough food and went straight to bed.  I was exhausted and painfully lonely.

I really do like having my house be entirely my domain and my responsibility.  I like having my own space, the sense of privacy that it brings.  But man, I really do hate being alone.  Or rather I hate being single.  And it isn’t the lack of sex, or the pointless stigma supposedly attached to it.  It’s just not having someone to call whenever I need too.  Yes, there are about a dozen people in the world who say I can call them when ever and talk to them about anything, ask them for anything. And maybe 4 or so of those I’d feel comfortable doing that.  I started to call Rose yesterday, but then I realized I had only about 30 minutes to get ready for my restaurant shift and there wouldn’t be enough time to talk to her about the things I want and still manage to get myself together for work.  And of those dozen people few are in this county and even fewer would I actually feel comfortable talking too.

I recognize that I’m kind of isolating myself lately, but I’m not sure how to change it.  I mean, I do talk to people, Hawthorn, my mom, some of my coworkers at the restaurant, my close friends (though not as often as I’d like).  It’s just that something is missing.  I’ve been dreaming a lot recently about my best friend who I, uh, ‘broke up’ with last year.  I don’t regret my choices or actions in that situation, but it’s made me feel very aware of what I’m missing: someone to talk to who knows me well, isn’t distracted by children or by their own really screwed up problems, who will listen to me without judgment, who I don’t have to tell whole long back stories too, who will stroke my hair and hold my hand and tell me it’s going to be okay.  Someone who is my partner in things, both good and bad.  And I recognize how selfish it is, but a few of friends who meet most of these criteria have their own current deep emotional problems and I really would like to have time where some one is paying attention to me and not comparing it to their own situation or problems or turning the conversation back to themselves.

Yes, I see that some of what I’m describing is therapy and I’ve already rejected that.  It lacks intimacy of the real kind (intimacy brought on just by telling your secret fears is kind of hollow in my opinion), it lacks physical comfort (even, or especially, the non sexual kind, hand holding and the like), and it lack immediacy (I can’t make an appointment and get myself to the place I need to be in to talk on a schedule, nor can I decide I need to talk and then wait hours or days for an appointment).

My need is for someone who can come right over and just be there to make me tea and hold my hand when I feel bad (mentally or physically). I can see how selfish it is, but I want someone to share the burden of how I feel, but someone who wants to help support me emotionally, who I don’t have to feel guilty about interrupting their life, because their life is already part of mine. And I really don’t think this is too much to ask for.


Maybe I’m not even ready for it yet.  It’s only been 5 months since Hawthorn and I broke up.  But I am very much feeling the lack of it lately.  And if one more person tells me this is my time to get to know myself and become whatever before I’m ready to share with someone else I am going to punch them in the nose.

Understand, I don’t think a relationship is going to save me, or necessarily even help me get better.  I just recognize that there’s a distinct lack in my life and that space is shaped like a boyfriend but could be filled other ways.

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I have a doctor appointment tomorrow at lunch.  I’m asking about my somewhat persistent abdominal pain (that seems to be either reproductive related or digestive depending on the day),  and will probably discuss more drug options in the anxiety/depression (though still not interested in taking these, but maybe will give it one more go) and hoping for hormone, blood sugar and thyroid checks.  My periods have always been irregular and I’m not worried about that, but am hoping to talk about the PMS seeming much more painful and horrible in the last year and particularly in the last six months.

While I am there I will investigate the dentistry offices in that building, as I seem to recall there’s a specialist there who does the work I need.  I put a reminder in my phone for this.

I recognize that this is small bit for most people’s Monday mornings, but it’s HUGE for me.  And I did get through making the appointment just fine, but I almost started crying while setting the reminder for the dentist. Tiny, tiny, tiny steps.  Now if I can just make it through today without making myself sick thinking about all of this, that’ll be a huge step.

I had a good, calm weekend.  Went to Dandelion’s wedding, had a lovely time, only cried a little.  Drank too much.  Hawthorn was my date, which worked out lovely until he tried to kiss me good night.  In fairness we’d both had a lot to drink and had a good time together, but it was awkward.  He actually rather charmingly said, as he was going out the door, “Thanks for kissing me,” like I’d done him a favor by not making it even more awkward than it was.

During the ceremony I said something to him that I don’t remember that caused him to say, “You know I think so highly of you, right?”  And in the (not very good) book I read this weekend, I saved out this bit, “To offer someone your love is no small thing.  I offered mine to you and you refused.”  I have been meditating on both these things unintentionally most of the weekend.  I’d say in grander scheme the pain of the break up and the just being friends is getting better all the time, but there’s obvious steps back and wow, I am still really hurt.

I am irritable and whiny and achey today in a way that indicates PMS.  If it is this means either the really bad symptoms are stretching out to 10-12 days before my period starts or it’s going to come very early this time around.  This? Actually makes me glad to be going to the doctor tomorrow.

This post at io9.com is very interesting.  I’ve actually wondered with some regularity (when I don’t have anything else to stress about) what the long term effects of so much cortisol is doing to my body.  If we extend the findings of this study to realm of possibility then one assumes it’s damaging my endocrine system and making me more prone to future depression.  YAY!

But what’s actually the most interesting here is the comments.  Many folks giving the usual “just get over it” and “you can will yourself out of depression, if you were a better person you would have done this already” type comments (although I think many people don’t realize that that is specifically what they are saying).  One commenter made an excellent point and I hope I’m breaking too many internet rules by posting it here, but here goes:

“Getting over it” isn’t something that happens over night, once your brain stops knowing how to make ‘happy’ anymore. Its a choice to have discipline similar to being a marathon runner. Every day you have to have focus and choose, again, to do this difficult thing that hurts, on the chance of a really cool payoff long in the future. You work to modify your body, physically, through hours of effort. Taking care of your mental health is what you do, it is your hobby, and it is an activity that takes a similar amount of effort as a full time job, running your own company, training for a marathon, or getting a new degree.

“Get over it” is the equivalent of saying “get your MBA” or “run the Boston Marathon”. Yes, it is something that just about anyone can do and will improve their life. But its not something that is taken on lightly and shouldn’t be given lightly.

There, my friends, is the rub. Or at least the thing I’ve been losing sight of.  I do feel better, even though I know I’m not better.  And lately I’m guilty of just trying will myself better when I should be asking for help.  (Yes, YES, I will call my doctor and make an appointment about the physical things that I have been stressing over and that will probably help a lot.)

It was truly a nice boost to read all the comments on this article  and see the folks defending against the “you can just get over it” responses.  Made me feel like there are others out there, made me feel supported and gave some excellent insight into how others have dealt anxiety and depression.  Sometimes you find a boost in the most unlikely of places.

So I’m reading along in my happy blog list this morning, all the lovely folks who make me laugh and think and I come across this post by The Bloggess (who is generally hilarious and clearly crazy) and I’m nodding and agreeing all the way through it. Especially when she gets to the part about needing to be told that it’s going to be okay.  I feel like right now I am really, really lacking in lots of positive it’s going to be okay statements from folks around me (and from my own self).  And I find myself in an awkward space where someone does just need to come over and drag me out to do a photoshoot with wigs and fake cigarettes and make me have fun, but depending on how that’s presented and who is doing the presenting, I might be offended, annoyed or even more reticent to socialize.

Here are some of my problems that might or might not benefit from a surfeit of it’s going to be okay:

1. I still feel completely invalidated by the Hawthorn situation.  Like if we assume I made all the right choices, or the very best choices I could make given my circumstances and feelings  and the information I had at the time, and assuming that he is not cruel, intentionally malicious or out to get me then what? I mean, really, what? That means I’m just here, still feeling completely invalidated, like everyone either thinks I shouldn’t have known better or that he’s a horrible person.  I can wind the thread out and say, well I am in a better place now and I couldn’t have gotten to this place with out all the prior events.  But, BUT! So? I still feel like I need to be reassured that I did make the only choices possible, that they weren’t bad choices, that I didn’t do anything wrong, or anything to make the situation worse.  I don’t know who I am supposed to get this validation from, myself, I guess, but I suppose that doesn’t happen in any way but just letting go and I’m still too hurt to let go.

2. It’s really excellent, so good that I’m no longer in a nearly constant state of hyperoverdrive panic.  I can talk myself down or take a pill and generally deal with what’s immediately in front of me. But my social anxiety is still pretty high (though it has been for at least a decade) and I continuously don’t immediately recognize that need downtime when I’ve overextended myself socially.  But I also feel like I need validation for this.  Like I need to be told that it is okay for me to want to spend evenings at home alone.  Like I need affirmation of my legitimate need for alone time.  Someone (me?) needs to recognize that I’m not being a bitch, or a hermit, or weird and isolationist, rather I can only deal with, only manage so much, before I need to pull back and regroup.  Someone needs to tell me that it’s fine to take as much time as I need, when ever I need it.

3. I often feel weepy and it’s not just teary but like abject misery.  Some of it is okay, I think, given everything in the past few years, given the immediate emotional situations I’m still dealing with.  I’m certainly still trying to identify and define all it’s sources though and I think some of it might be hormonal.  Like not just oops, PMS is making cranky hormonal, but really problematically imbalanced hormonal.  I’ve been tracking it against my cycle and it is about 80% worse around ovulation and about 175% worse in the roughly 8 days before my period, and the first 3 of my period.  This means, surely, a trip to the doctor, who will tell me (or not) that it’s okay.

4. I can’t go to the doctor or dentist.  I’m just so blocked on this that I can’t even pick up the phone to make the appointments.  I can’t really articulate what I find so upsetting about this.  If it’s possibility that something might be really wrong with me, or some conviction I have that something is wrong and won’t be able to deal with whatever procedure is required to fix it.  Or if I’m worried about money.  Or if it’s some huge jumble of all of these things.  Surely hearing it’s going to be okay from both the doctor and dentist will go a long, long way towards making me feel better.  And like actually making me feel better, like with less pain and discomfort.  I’ve been trying to reach out to ask people to help me with this, but I guess I’m not persistent enough or making it seem dire enough because I can’t seem to get a stronger response than, “Have you made that call yet? Are you going too?” And I think maybe someone needs to make the calls for me and take management of the appointments in hand for me until I get past this.

And annoyingly much of this comes back to being single. Just not having someone to lean on.  Having ‘lost’ 2 romantic partners and my best friend in the last couple years I am left feeling distinctly without someone to lean on.  I know this isn’t exactly true, that many friends will pipe up and say are there for me and they want to help, but it really isn’t the same.  And I don’t know how to address it exactly, or resolve it.  A friend was recently complaining about a car repair place asking if she wanted to leave it for a couple days and she was dumbfounded, why would any one do that? How would they get around? But of course the ‘normal’ assumption is that you have a husband or partner to pick you up or take you around or take up the slack.  The world assumes that.  Single and independent does have it’s perks but realistically most everything is easier when you have some sort of partner to help you, someone to take care of and to lean on in return when you need it.  Someone to tell you it’s going to be okay.

I had a nice full weekend, with lots of friends and lots of love.  I feel grateful and overwhelmed.

Winding down on a Sunday night, trying to recenter myself.  Time with my friends was really wonderful, but it felt more like a diversion than real life. I need to be a little inwardly focused this week.  Increased panic attacks and and my general sense of unease the lat week or needs more meditation still.

I think the (boring, relentless) ongoing sense of no closure of Hawthorn is still weighing on me. Though really, really much less, it is vastly improving day by day.  Still I feel like I’m floundering a little, in limbo, waiting to make plans, to look seriously at the future until..? Until, what? I don’t know.  Until I get better, until some mystery action happens, until, until, until.  It’s surely all part of the process, what ever that is. Or, yeah, since that is what ever I say it is I would really like to get back to feeling grounded so I can say what I think that is.

What was I doing two weeks ago that left me feeling so relaxed and functional? What happened that the last week was so emotionally rough and miserable?  Will answering these questions help me move to the next point down the line?

Full blown panic attack, around 11 am this morning (still on-going).  Not sure what set it off, but it’s perhaps the first one in two weeks.  Which is good over all, but barely able to resist the urge to flee my office right now. Gah.

Update (around 12:30): Email full of happening-right-now vacation photos from Cedar made me feel a little better (how do you not love a guy who sends you pictures he took of himself underwater and then refers to them as ‘Cedar-sea-monster’ pictures?).  Trying to choose something for lunch for Hawthorn to pick up and bring me reduced me to tears. Klonopin time.  It’s been weeks since I had to take it during the day, but I can’t possibly be any less effective than I am right now.

Update 2 (around 3pm): Klonopin and fried chicken helped immensely.  Still feel heart-racey and out of sorts, but calmer and like I’ll live through the day. Canceled movie night in favor of a long walk in the park after work.

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.

I should be asleep, or trying to be asleep, but I’m sitting up watching Criminal Minds (because my limited cable doesn’t have an all Law & Order all the time channel) and fretting a little about my cousins getting here tomorrow.  I don’t think they know that Hawthorn and I broke up and that I no longer live in the big house with the guest room.  Although Hawthorn has offered up his guest room for the weekend, since he’s going to be out of town.  And I’m sure it’ll all work out.

This is actually one of the things I need to work on.  A situation that I can’t control and really don’t need to control, it will be whatever it will be and I need not to be losing sleep over possibilities.  Especially things that aren’t dangerous or potentially harmful.  This is another lesson in letting it go. I think I’m not doing very well so far.

Obviously this is also revealing about how much of my problems are about control.  And right now I”m feeling a lack of control, a lack of discipline, a lack of concentration, a lack of exercise, a lack of distraction, and a lack of socialization.  It occurs to me, given all that, and a seemingly random comment on Facebook from a friend, that maybe martial arts is what I should be considering? Can you even start martial arts at my age? How do you decide what flavor? Find a teacher who deals in adult newbies?  I need to figure out how to follow through on this.

It seems crazy obvious how this would help me.  I mean not just be more fit, but feel more in control at the same time letting it go, and feeling more safe and in charge of my life.  So now I just need to figure out how to do this.

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.”

So yesterday, after my whining here, Hawthorn asked if I was mad at him.  I told him, quite clearly that I hated being asked multiple time for anything, that his refusal of initial ‘no’ in any circumstance was invalidating of my choices and that he’d already taken enough of my choices away by breaking up with me.  I told him that I reserved the right to be mad at him whenever I wanted over anything I wanted because I was still hurt and within the bounds of responding however I felt I wanted too.  I told him that he needed to take me less for granted, remember that I wasn’t his girlfriend and acknowledge how good and generous I’d been through the months following our break up.

He apologized, but I’m not sure how much of it was him understanding why I was mad and how much of it was the “I’m sorry you’re mad at me” apology which I loathe, as it leaves me feeling less understood and in a position where the offender is sure to re-commit the crime.  Still After spending too much of the day trying not to cry at my desk, I’d softened up ad let go of most of it by the evening.  Which I spent assembling furniture, cooking, cleaning, watching TV and writing letters.  A nice calm evening, which would only have been better if I’d figured out to turn on the A/C before it got swelteringly hot in my house.

I’m very tired of the rollercoaster of emotions in regards to Hawthorn.  I get it, it’s actually reasonable, it will surely be tempered and toned down with time.  But I am just so over it.  I would actually like to just move on, though I recognize that I can’t quite yet.  I think I’ve forgiven myself for the choices I made, I think I’ve accepted the consequences of both our choices, but I haven’t forgiven him yet and I’m pretty sure this isn’t over until I do.  I don’t think that’s a release I’m going to get any time soon.  I think I need to really feel he’s accepted responsibility for his actions in regards to me, that he’s genuinely sorry, that really understands the effect it had on me and why his timing was so selfish.  But I don’t feel ready to sit down and specifically have that conversation with him, I don’t know when I will, even if I know I won’t be satisfied until I do.

Probably part of the answer here is to start filling the spaces in my free time and in my head with other people, with other activities.  Still I’m a little stuck in sort of negative cycle in that I want more time to myself, I feel like I still need the relaxing down time/alone time, before I set out to be crazy social again.  And yet taking that time leaves me with little to think about but past events and all the things I’m trying to move on from.  As with every part of this, it comes back to balance, an even amount of down time and new experiences.  Honestly, everything would be easier if I could back to being my usual, patient self.  I feel like I’m too anxious and eager for change that only comes with time and I can’t let go enough to let it come when it will like the first flowers of spring.

 

Despite my whining last night I did have a good time with Oak yesterday.  It was a nice, open conversation and I am actually happy for him, should his new potential love work out.  Even moreso, I’m amused that I figured it out before he did  (girls don’t invite you to drive 2 hours to visit three weekends in a row and comment on ALL your FB posts if they don’t like you).  “I guess she was flirting with me,” he said, “I guess I need to be hit over the head with that stuff.”  Having the conversation about all that seemed to finally relax him enough to be teasingly flirty with me, which was wonderful, though a little bittersweet.

It was an enjoyable day, all the way until I was walking home alone from my afternoon with Oak.  Partly because we’d talked a lot about how mad I am at Hawthorn and because I was mad at Hawthorn still and because my experiment of asking that guitar-playing boy out ended in two rejections (one more subtle and open to interpretation and the other pretty outright, though he still insists he wants to go get a beer some time.  Whatever).

Ironically, I was paying lip service yesterday to how much better I’ve been at letting things go and not getting riled up over things I have no control over or things that would seem otherwise inconsequential.  And yet, I spent the whole evening riled up over things I have no control over.  As the anxiety and fear start to ebb, I realize that I am just so filled with anger all the time.  More anger than I’ve ever had in my life.  And I still really lack any sort of control over my emotions and emotional responses so anger more often than not means tears and frustration for me.  Honestly, I’m so tired of crying that this in itself makes me more angry and perpetuates the cycle.

As a result of how I felt at the end of the day yesterday I spent some time trying to dig out why I am so mad at Hawthorn.  Certainly it’s obvious on the surface, the poorly timed break up, the incredible upheaval to my life right when I really needed to feel stable, the obvious selfishness of his actions all the way through.  But I think that bigger picture stuff is actually too much for me to deal with, it’s more how it plays out every day.  I do enjoy his company and some of the time we spend together.  I just feel like he takes it for granted that I’m going to go see a show or do something with him. And that combined with his repeated asking if I’m going after I’ve said no, leaves me feeling like he doesn’t recognize any of my boundaries.  Plus he often fails to come through when I do want him, leaving me feel like we only do his things on his schedule and once again I don’t matter, or what I want doesn’t matter.  Plus when he knows he’s angered or annoyed me he goes out of his way to try and appease me which just further frustrates me.  I don’t want offerings and presents after the fact, I just want my own needs and boundaries recognized right up front.

Of course I recognize the need to separate myself from Hawthorn, that will be the best way to limit these frustrations.  But even that is limited, since I have to work with him everyday.  And obviously I am in a very lonely place right now and he’s easy to call on to keep me company.  Which of course isn’t necessarily the best option, but we don’t all always pick the best options, you know?  And I still maintain that having sex with someone else will surely go a long way towards helping me let go of the current attachments, I’m just not sure how t make that happen without things getting messy and more complicated.  Or, in fact, I just need to meet new people who will think I’m charming and take up my time.

And when I’m feeling like this, I reach out more into to divine and unknown to try help understand what I’m feeling.  This mostly takes form in meditation and much in depth exploration of my astrological chart and where my signs are sitting right now. A very simplified example of that is my current horoscopes, which have for the past several days, mostly looked like some variation on today’s projection:

Physical passion
This influence arouses a strong attraction to and desire to be with someone. You will be much more aggressive than usual in going out and finding a partner. This influence is often a sign of physical passion. Under this influence a sexual relationship is very satisfying to both partners. Even without sex, you will be very happy with other people. You feel more vivacious and attractive than usual and may well be the life of the party. You will work hard to gain the approval of others during this time, so strong is your need for affection. Artistic activity is also indicated, for the general significance of this influence is self- expression through creativity and love.

It’s not like it’s telling me anything I don’t know.  More it simply affirms what I already know I’ve been feeling. I recognize how much positivity there is in all that.  I do feel more attractive.  I do want to go out and socialize more.  I am much less locked in by my negative emotions and ready to get back to living in the world.  Still following through on getting out more and seeing more and different people is work, even when it’s positive and my available energy for dealing with things, even positive ones, is still pretty low (although admittedly the positive social interactions do replenish that energy to some extent).

(An aside: hahaha! While I’m typing this, Hawthorn just stuck his head in my office door and offered me coffee and told me he brought something he knew I wanted from the old house–see? Offereings and gifts because he knows I’m pissed off.  ARG!)

In other positive news, I got a kitchen table in this weekend and hopefully the rest of my office furniture arrives today, which means I’ll be able to get everything except the books put away.  The apartment has been rapidly becoming more comfortable (the recent additions of a reading lamp by the couch, small stereo for the living room and getting the bed room fully unpacked have really helped) and much more like my own sanctuary.  It’s nice to feel like I have a place I’m supposed to be.

Happy St. Squalid’s Day!  I’m feeling it for sure.  Headachey and hot.  For some reason when I drink too much my metabolism goes into overdrive and I feel like my insides are overheating and I swear my skin feels feverish to the touch.  Too many Paddy’s Day beers with Oak last night.  Which was, well, obviously not a good idea.  And probably not really worth it.  I enjoyed talking to him. Really though, since he’s been back, the more time I spend with him the more disconnected I feel from him.  He spent most of the first 30 minutes complaining (the service was bad, the ladies at the next table were too annoying, the Guinness wasn’t draft, &c.) which just get exhausting for me really fast.  He did eventually apologize and say he’d stop complaining since it wouldn’t do anything, which was new for him, but still it set the tone for how I felt about the evening.

I wondered home, a nice warm evening walk through my neighborhood.  Caught up with a friend, as he walked with me for a few blocks, he mostly seemed concerned that I was okay post-break up (with Hawthorn) and all.  Which was genuine, wonderful concern for me, but it got me home feeling a little miserable and lonely.  So I did the only thing you can do when you’re home alone, lonely and little drunk: I made a tentative date with a hot guy.  Mind you, this isn’t a romantic, let’s-if-we-get-along-enough-to-fall-in-love date, no, this is more of a let’s-have-a-beer-and-see-if-I-can-persuade-you-to-have-sex-with-me date.  Because it’s way too soon for me for the first one and I’m confident that succeeding in the second one will help free me from leftover past relationship clingyness and jealousy.

Happy St. Squalid's Day! It's how we recover from Paddy's Day.

Of course in the sober light of day today I feel clumsy, awkward and slightly embarrassed about asking a boy out (especially this one), but I’ll push through.  I actually have very little shame in such matters, so it’s weird to see it manifest now.  I guess I feel like maybe I’m trying to get away with something here, because I know I only want to have sex with him (what normal, single guy says no to that though?), and because Moonflower dated him in the memorable past (although I asked her first and got her cheerful, excited blessing), and because this guy is someone all my friends know and it’s hard not to have everyone know my business in this neighborhood, but in this case, I’d prefer some privacy. So, um, I guess I am trying to get away with something.

I’m good, I think.  Panic attacks are definitely waning. The relentless insomnia is making me a little more unpleasant than usual.  But since Monday’s meltdown over Hawthorn annoying me, I’ve actually been on a fairly even keel.  I have been actively working on just letting things go, on embracing now and releasing myself from the need to be happy, rather working to settle with being satisfied.  I’m pushing for a calm weekend: more household nesting, dinner with Violet, maybe a park walk and a museum trip.  Life feels so much better and settled when I can calmly plan these things and not be stressing about relationships and furniture and moving and money.

So of course I went out with Hawthorn last night and had a perfectly nice time and now feel like a bitch for being so frustrated and irritated with him.  SIGH.  I am going to assume that points to the raw, open wound of the break being the cause of much of my anger and pain in the situation.  I am going to take a deep breath before and after every interaction with him and try to let go on the assumption that time will heal much of it.  I am going to keep trying to set limits with him until at least some of it sinks in.  Mostly I’m going to try to  let it go, let it go, let it go.

Yesterday both my mom and Cedar asked how I was, specifically in relation to my mental health.  Let me try and repeat here what I told them, for my own future reference.

The past week or so has been rough.  I’ve been feeling worse, lower, I think, than I was feeling for a month or before that.  Perhaps part of that is having moved and done and not having those extra details to fill up my head.  Perhaps part of it is the many grey days we’ve had in a row here.  I did realize at some point a few days ago that I haven’t kept up with my habit of taking all the supplements that I think help me (multivitamins, extra vitamin D and vitamin B, Omega-3, St. John’s Wort, and 5-HTP), so I’ve restarted that cycle and almost immediately I feel better (I guess I should add vitamin B deficiency to the list of things to talk to my doctor about).

Over all the panic attacks have substantially lessened and I feel less high strung and riddled with anxiety than I did before.  My biggest problem at the moment is that I feel like I have so little control over my emotions and my responses to situations that starts a self-perpetuating cycle.  For instance something small will happen, like really bad customer service, and I will get very angry, in fact probably disproportionately angry.  And right now, when I get angry, I burst into tears of frustration and rage, and then I feel even worse because I don’t want to be crying, which makes me more angry, &c.  The aftermath of this leaves me feeling exhausted and wanting time to myself, which at this point there simply isn’t enough of.  And I really don’t feeling like I’m avoiding people, or negatively isolating myself, just the emotional thing makes me feel so exposed and raw that I feel like I’m absorbing everyone else’s emotions and response as well as my own.  Which is fine and great and uplifting in a positive situation.  It just takes very little to spin everything into negativity.

I feel like I have really heightened sense of awareness of how I’m reacting in any situation, of how I’m feeling, of what the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ reactions are.  Which hopefully is a good thing.  Perhaps the biggest problem with all of it is that I have much clearer sense of who I am, of what my self identity is and a lot of how I’m feeling and how I’m reacting emotionally to things is directly at odds with the sense of self.  The options seem to be to adjust that picture of myself to match the current reality, or to work really hard to struggle back to the person I feel like I was (or at least always wanted to be).  The second choice seems like the only real option.  I’m still remain unconvinced that drugs and therapy are what is going to help me with this.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a do it by myself kind of thing.  I definitely need help, I just think I need to, um, experiment, I guess, with what kind of help I need and how I can do this.  Writing and talking about it seems to help the most, presently.  I think I need to start setting goals (like making necessary dentists and doctors appointments to deal with the looming bodily health issues) and checking those off as accomplishments.  I think I need to start more actively thinking about the goodness in myself and the person that I previously recognized, who seems subsumed by all this anxiety and anger and negativity, and making a conscious effort to be that better person, while still trying to coddle and care for the hurt part of me.  I definitely need to start slowing down, so that I’m throwing what energy I have at my job, and storing the rest for my own internal, quiet recuperation.  I need to make sure that I’m treating myself carefully, and as if I am recovering and not as if I can simply overcome by doing.  I will work harder to be my own friend and treat myself as I would someone else in my situation.  More love, more care, more calm.

 

An excerpt from an email from Cedar:  You know, whoever told you that you have the eyes of an old soldier gave you a compliment.  A soldier that makes it to “old” has better eyes than the rest.  And once you make it to “old,” you usually make it home, too.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot the last couple days.  What the metaphor of old soldier means to me.  What it means to be a survivor and how one deals with things to become a survivor.  How, after surviving, one makes it home and lives again once there.

I don’t actually talk about my life very much, even here.  If you look closely at my words or listen to me, I almost always talk around the things that are my own personal emotional vulnerability.  There are a few close friends who I will revisit things with, but generally I prefer all the past to stay in the past and not be revisited or relived.  I suspect this is why therapy hasn’t been quite right for me so far. And maybe won’t be in the future, as I very stubbornly believe that there’s little to be gained from revisiting past suffering.  Combined with the fact that I think depending on which angle it’s viewed from my life has either been a series of a variegated horrors (as seen through the lens of protected, middle American, suburban prescriptions for normality) or endless run of luck, continuously bringing me to better and better places (as seen through a lens of the bulk of the non-white, non-wealthy people of the world).  I’d like to live on the pleasant side of the second lens and I don’t see how choosing to treat the past as series of horrors relived in therapy is going to get me to a better place.


I also know that I have a cultural, familial and inherent natural, personal bias toward Stoicism (real, ancient, philosophically ethical Stoicism, not necessarily modern emotionally repressed Stoicism).  This is surely a positive for me as much as it is a negative for me.  And yes, there are times in my life when I need help (now and recent months) and yes it does hinder me from sometimes reaching for or asking for the help I need (because of my belief that my will should be strong enough to carry me through anything).   But I recognize these limitations and I don’t see anything wrong with accepting that I am a specific kind of person who would rather bear the pain until it can be pushed back into a thing of the past than a person who wants to air it out publicly.  I’m only thinking this as I’m typing it, but it seems like there’s something to said for acknowledging the kind of person one is and dealing with things that way, rather than forcing one’s square-shaped being into a round solution hole, yeah?  Which isn’t to say I won’t keep trying to be better at asking for the help and support I need.  I will try and try harder and harder.  And I will continue to explore the options available to me for the support and healing I need.  But I am definitely making sure that I am considering myself through all of this and that I am not going to magically change into a person who wants to talk endlessly about my real, deep, emotional problems or open up in truly emotionally vulnerable way.  I firmly believe that trying to force that on myself is not going to really help.  To take a gross metaphor way too far: I have a huge wound and I want it cauterized.  I know it isn’t infected and I don’t want anyone trying to dig deeply in it to cleanse it, I’m sure cauterization will work just fine, thank you.  My method will leave a permanent scar, but I expect to get the full range of motion back eventually, and I’m not interested in being stitched and coddled in such a way that I’m returned to pristine perfection.

Of course all these thoughts on my nature and how I view myself are subject to change at any moment.  Even now I realize that all of this may either be in line with or completely at odds with my concurrent thoughts about the need for balance and equilibrium in my life.  But those concurrent thoughts are for another day.  Today I am willing myself to be in the moment, to enjoy the sunshine, to see the good in other people and to recognize when I can push negativity aside and just live.

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.

Ok, I’m giving myself a break.  I’m taking a half day at work today, only staying until I can get through a needed meeting.  I’m so exhausted I could cry.  I think I’m on about night 5 of poor and limited sleep.  Yesterday’s panic attack really wiped me out.  I realized I haven’t taken any Klonopin in 5 or 6 days.  Which is great for the thinking I don’t need it factor, how ever, clearly I DO need it.  I am going to do the work I need to do at all three present jobs this week and otherwise I’m off.  No social calls, no plans, no personal to-do lists around the house.  I’m going to sit on my new couch and read or watch TV.  I’m not going to plan house things or make lists.  I’m just going to do my jobs for the rest of the week and fuck off for the rest of the time.

Right now I have a pressure/sinus/tension headache that feels like it could flip and go migraine at any minute.  I’m fighting it back to finish easy but high concentration projects at work.  And I’m successful at that so far, despite the underlying feeling of wanting my mom, wanting to be asleep, wishing someone would come care for me.

Remember what I said a couple weeks ago about feeling better, running myself to hard, crashing, hitting a holding pattern until I felt better again and doing it all over? Well I think I took the running myself too hard to too far of an extreme over the last 5 days.  Now seeking as much down time as I can get, hopefully avoiding accidentally bursting into tears in inappropriate circumstances.  My level of frustration and disappointment with insignifigant things is surely a sign that I need to take as much time as I can to calm down.

Deep breaths.  Letting it go.

I was planning this morning on coming here and writing about how much better I felt after the grim, grey weekend.  About how much I got done around the house. Blah blah blah. Cue my first panic attack in, hmm, at least a week, maybe longer.  Even more annoying, is how dumb it is.

So my couch is in at the store I ordered it from. Ten full days early.  Which is good news, except I have plans tomorrow that I don’t want to break to have to pick it up.  It’s also supposed to pour rain tomorrow and the next day. So that leaves today or waiting Since I’m also occupied Thurs and Fri evenings.  And honestly, the guy on the phone was UNHELPFUL, and seemed to think that I should come get the item that was back ordered RIGHT NOW instead of asking them to hold it for me.  Yes, you 21 year old twit, I can totally drop everything and come get a large object all by myself.  Anyway, today it is, I guess.  But that involves, rushing around, planning finding a truck and helper and blah blah blah blah all at the last minute.  So panic attack.  And not really brought on by the rush and the planning, but still I freeze at the thought of asking people for help.  Even for something like this.  I don’t like feeling like I owe anyone, I guess.

I can call Oak, he has a truck and fair amount of free time.  But honestly, after this weekend, dealing with him just seems too overwhelming.  Hawthorn offered to help and I guess I have to take him up on it.  And I feel resentful about it because he never listens to my plans and always makes things like this WAY more complicated than they need to be by being wishy-washy and noncommittal and then when he does commit to a plan it’s usually the most confusing way to do something. And, of course, Hawthorn can only do it right after work, leaving from work. Which means there’s a possibility he’ll forget to get the work truck keys before it’s too late, or he’ll get sucked into something at the downtown office and not be able to help me after all, leaving me fucked. And even if he does come through I’m wearing heels (99% of the time I have extra shoes in the car, but not today) and thus can’t do any of the lifting.

So happiness about finally getting some of my furniture, especially the couch?  No, of course not.  I’m completely panicked and freaked about having to ask someone for help, about not having the independence and control in the situation that I’d want and, frankly, about the damned thing arriving early and disrupting all the plans I’d made about picking it up (and paying for it).

Yes, I do realize how ridiculous this is. No, I’m not even going to apologize to myself for it.  Alas, if nothing else it’s an indication that there’s (still) something wrong with me.  Which I’m fine with, since I can recognize it. Indeed that fact that something this normal and easy is upsetting me somehow legitimizes how I’ve been feeling all along. Like I’ve been feeling so much better, I start to wonder WTF was wrong with me and was all the anxiety stuff in my head.  But no, I’m still crazy.  Which, for some reason really is kind of comforting.  Still even realizing it and being aware of what’s going on with me, I might end up locked in a bathroom somewhere crying before the day is over.  Hopefully that will be a day that ends with having a couch and I can feel better about everything while I’m curled up on it.

Edited to add (mostly for my reference): my mood continued to deteriorate all day.  Hawthorn graciously sacrificed his whole evening to help me with getting the couch and (not) getting shelves and suffering through several customer service debacles.  I had a nice dinner and Hawthorn was good company, but I spent most the evening frustrated and on the edge of tears.  And while I am glad I have my couch and grateful that Hawthorn helped so much, I am exhausted, emotionally worn down, entirely w/o emotional resources and very frustrated with the world in general.

No, I didn’t die in last week’s storms. Yes, I have been very lax in posting.  I got a promotion at work which means much less time to screw off.  And well, still no couch at home and when I’m there I feel like I should be actively involved in unpacking or organizing, or something, and thus, not writing.  Of course I’m not really getting much unpacking organizing done either since I don’t have shelves or much of place to keep things besides in boxes.  It’s getting there, though, slowly.

I had therapy yesterday for the last time for a while.  I’m taking a hiatus.  I just can’t seem to settle into  making it as useful as I want it to be. Partly because I’m thinking of my larger problems as something I’ll deal with when I’m settled and I’m not settled yet, so it feels like it’s taking up time that I could be getting settled with, or relaxing or taking care of myself.  And therapy doesn’t feel like taking care of myself right now, it feels expensive and useless.  So, I’ve discussed it with my therapist and I’m planning on starting back around May 1, unless I decide I really need it in the interim.  I don’t think I’m in a place to just stop, so I really do intended to go back.  And honestly, if my insurance was covering it, I might just go to go, but since it’s crazy expensive, out of my pocket and all, I’m gonna hold off for a bit.

Also I really need to get on the physical therapy for my shoulder and neck.  The work promotion is great, but I can’t be going to a bunch of different appointments during the day all the time, so I’ve also opted to use what time I can flex out during the day for physical therapy appointments.

All that said, I actually got some work done in my therapy session last night.  I have plan for dealing with my further dental surgeries, and permission not to beat myself up to make it happen immediately but, I think a good way to get myself through it, so that was comforting to walk out with in my head.

I feel like I spent my whole weekend moving things, in furniture stores or at Home Depot, which was boring, frustrating and expensive.  And still I have no couch.  On Saturday Oak went with me to pick up Hawthorn’s chairs for my temporary use. And then we went and had lunch.  I haven’t completely gathered my thoughts on Oak being back.  After I broke up with him I told myself a lot of stories about his bad qualities to justify my actions.  When things were bad with Hawthorn, I think I really romanticized Oak’s good qualities to punish myself for choosing Hawthorn.  Now, I think Oak is still exactly who he ever was, the same mix of good and bad.  And I enjoy his company, but I can safely say that I only enjoy it limited amounts and for certain activities.  Because while many of his ‘bad’ qualities aren’t really bad, his no-nonsense practical approach to everything can seem really dark sometimes and kind of brings me down.  And if I don’t catch him in a good mood I find I spend all of our time together ineffectively trying to cajole him back to good humor and it never works and just leaves both of us exhausted and annoyed.  But when he’s up and chatty and we’re just taking a walk in the park I do love his company.

Almost all of this is true about Hawthorn as well, though in a different way.  When I’m not his girlfriend and his thoughtless, selfish actions don’t directly affect my life, then I do enjoy his company.  I like to go see music and art with him (both things Oak never seems to want to do) and I like talking him.  Despite everything, I feel like he’s actually listening to me now, when I talk.

So yesterday, I swung by Hawthorn’s house, with some friends who want to buy the shelves I have left there.  And after they left I was talking to Hawthorn, just BS about the day and he gave me a hug and started to tear up.  And you know, I really do feel bad for him, banging around by himself in that big, empty house.  Yes, of course he did it to himself, but it was his own thoughtlessness and lack of foresight that did it and not any maliciousness on his part.  I had to be somewhere to meet someone, so I told him to come over to my house in an hour and I’d make him dinner.

I wasn’t going out of my way, since I made exactly what I would have done with or with him there, but he seemed very grateful.  And so we just sat (stood–no kitchen table or chairs yet) and talked about both mundane and serious things.  He expressed several times that he couldn’t believe I still anything to do with him at all after everything. And also how tired he was about feeling angry and toxic all the time (from his divorce, not from me–his son is applying to college and this is forcing Hawthorn into a lot unwanted interaction with his ex-wife).  And I was sympathetic and as supportive as I could be, since I don’t think being mean gets me anywhere in situations like this, hurt feelings or not.  And then he helped me hang my mirrors (I can leave the house knowing if I look schlumpy or not now, yay!) and hovered a bit trying be helpful in any way he could, but left before he overstayed his welcome.  And you know, it was a nice evening with a friend.  I’m sorry that it’s still tinged with so much suffering for both of us, but I hope the real parts of our friendship endure through all these hard parts.

I hope the same for my friendship with Oak as well.  But as I told a friend this weekend, I am going to want to have sex again and I will probably want to have sex with someone I’m not in a relationship with, haven’t been in a relationship with and am not going to get into a relationship with.  And there’s a good chance this will be someone I know and our social community is small enough that conceivably either or both Oak and Hawthorn would find out whether I told them or not.  And in the wobbly balance of my current friendships with them, I’m pretty sure having sex with someone else would reveal how true the intentions of either of them are for friendship.  I suspect Hawthorn would be jealous but would get over it, and Oak would lecture me on the inappropriateness of it and then, perhaps even unintentionally, distance himself from me, but people are unpredictable so I could be very wrong on both counts.

Ugh ugh ugh.  I am full of stiff, painful tension everywhere.  I went to bed early last night with possibly a migraine, possibly a combo barometric pressure/tension headache (nausea, light sensitivity and but a weirder pain than I’d previously associated with migraines–bilateral and tight). I am going to make my physical therapy appointments next week.  Remind, okay?  I was talking to a coworker this morning whose wife works at a branch of the clinic I”m going to and the conversation reminded me of mow much better this will make me feel.  Also my regular therapist has started pointing out how much my shoulders bunch up when I talk about some things. Yes, I really need to get on the physical part of treatment.

Of course moving day is tomorrow too and I’m hoping to have some relief of tension once that is done too.  And I think at my next doctor’s appointment I’m going to revisit the medication thing.  I was thinking about it driving home last night and yes, I really do feel way better than I did 8 weeks ago, but better does not equal good or even level and normal.  So once I’m moved and settled I’m going to revisit the SSRI question.  I’ve had three people tell me int he last week how much Cymbalta has helped them, so I guess I’ll ask my doctor about moving completely out of the class of drugs we started with.  I admit I am still somewhat resistant to the idea of medication at all, but I’m afraid I might have hit a peak of feeling better and I need to keep improving, I can’t level off where I am right now and be as effective in life and at work as I need to be.   Also I don’t know for sure that I notice if I feel better or worse when I take the St. John’s Wort, but I think I feel better when I forget to take it.  I guess with that and the Lexapro and the Zoloft I’m wondering if whatever the serotonin factors are with that stuff isn’t what is making me feel so fuzzy and removed and unclear in my thinking?  So if it’s going to be drugs, the more I read and talk to people about it, the more I definitely feel it needs to be a different kind of drug.

Exercise and physical therapy are definitely the two key points I’m missing as well.  So post moving means getting back into a routine again, instead of the chaos life currently seems to be.

Work, with the new position, is ramping up to crazy stressful pretty quickly, so I definitely need to get everything else in hand so I can manage life.  I came in today already in trouble for not having done something right.  This is something I couldn’t have known, and the person that has to talk to me about it knows I couldn’t have known, but I hate making mistakes and I have so much else to worry about.  Plus I need to revisit some of my work habits and get into a different kind of planning mode.  I’m overwhelmed.  I know how to do everything being asked of me.  I have confidence in my skills at work (why can’t I be this together in my personal and emotional life?). I’m glad to have the position I do, but it is a lot to think about and organize when my head is already full.

Miles to go before I’m me again.

Blerg.  Dreaming you’re pregnant is dreaming about change, right? (I’m too lazy to actually look it up.)  Last night I dreamt I was with Hawthorn and I was sick and getting sicker.  I finally told him and he took me to the hospital.  When I got in with the doctor and looked down, my hand was incredibly swollen and misshapen.  She gave me some pills and told me it would fix and it wouldn’t harm the baby.  I stood up and I was six months pregnant.  The doctor sent me off with a nurse to make sure everything was fine with that.  Then I had two of the cutest little babies ever.  They had huge eyes and were very flirty and charming and kept laughing and pulling on my ears while I was trying to nurse them.  I was really sad that I had to give them up for adoption, but there was no other way to deal with it, because I was already pregnant again.  Then I was in Chicago with an old friend and Hawthorn.  We ran into a bunch of people that She and I knew from the west coast who were now in a famous band.  For some reason Hawthorn left  and my friend and I decided to go see the show but the jerky lead singer was trying to make us pay for the tickets which were really expensive.  So we went somewhere else instead but they wouldn’t serve us drinks because I was 6 mos. pregnant. Then we found this 4 year old black kid dressed in gang colors and made some epic trek to return him to a neighborhood we really shouldn’t have been in, all the while discussing the merits of long term jail sentences for weight loss, exercise and quiet space to recover from our lives, vs. actually continuing to live our lives the way they currently are/were.

I woke up really missing my friend and feeling incredibly bloated (as I’d been huge in both dream pregnancies).  I’m not sure I want to even take a stab at interpreting this.  Some of it seems really obvious but much of the dream was dark and creepy in the details and I actually don’t want to think about it too much.

I’ve been thinking a lot about therapy earlier this week. I really do think I am much better.  I was trying to express to my therapist that I’m managing to seal up my pain and move past my anxiety to function well enough, but that I really felt I needed to continue therapy because surely sealing it up was only temporary measure and that in a few months or years or whatever I’d be in the breakdown place again and that’s intolerable.  However I just don’t have the emotional resources yet to be able to deal with directly confronting and trying to pull out what ever the blackness inside me is.  Perhaps once I am settled in the new place, and have a place to safely be.  I’m not sure how clearly I expressed this and it’s been tugging at me.  Because I really do think I need to be in therapy, but I’m definitely having trouble digging down to the rough parts.  And I think it will be hard to push myself to that point.  I’ve been really seriously thinking about my past Buddhist practice and how I can return to that in a less intellectual and more emotional way.  Thinking about mindful living and letting go.  I think that focus of my energy on that will go a long way to keeping the anxiety at bay.  But somehow it seems at odds with digging in pulling out what ever is rooted in my chest that periodically grows and makes me so miserable.  Indeed the entire thing, my entire future life is about balance.  I’ve been meditating on balance and finding in aspects of my life (work vs. personal, planning the future vs. living in the moment, &c.) but I think I need to put a lot more thought toward finding the balance in making myself seem safe and secure and relaxed and working at extinguishing the root cause(s) of what undermines that sense of stability for me periodically.

Also, I think it wasn’t until I started talking about it in therapy that I realized just how traumatized I still am by last year’s flood.  I watched this trailer for a film someone made about it and ended up in tears.  I wonder how many people there are in this city who feel a devastated about the whole thing as I do, who didn’t lose homes or have major property damage and thus think that their post flood trauma isn’t as real or as valid.  I think we all really suffered mentally, even without losing a home it was weeks of living on what the edge of war or apocalypse must feel like: will we still have water, what happens if all the utilities fail, if the infrastructure is gone, how will we manage?  Plus, I can’t be the only one who had a back to back series of other dramas, emotional and physical, happen rapidly after the flood.  Even now as we move toward tornado season, I find I have a smattering of fear about the weather, wondering if those rains will come back.  It seems impossible the encroaching spring could feel so threatening.

Sleep is still uneven.  I think the 5-HTP is helping although I find I’ve been waking up a little before my alarm and feeling restless and not quite awake but unable to go back to sleep.