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Some positive spin on Mercury Retrograde.  To sum up her long article: “Which makes the truth of the Mercury retrograde matter really quite simple: the trivial frustrations we’re forced to deal with when concealed information comes to our attention always pale in comparison to the intellectual power that becomes available to us whenever it does. Always. ”  So I will take that as part of my current meditations being timely and run with it.


Last night as I was falling asleep, I imagined that I was a potted plant.  Left too long in a too small pot, my roots became bound, knotted and crushed.  Watered both too often and too little at varying times, my leaves flourished and withered, grew stunted and strange.  I was unceremoniously yanked from that pot, with no thought to the injury of my leaves, crushed and broken by gripping hands, no thought to the tearing and breaking of my roots as they stuck to the sides of the old pot.  Eventually I was replanted in a larger, perhaps too large, pot, filled with good, organically rich soil, but yet still watered too much or too little by varying turns and left in burning sunlight and dark corners at random intervals.  Eventually I found myself where I am now: strong enough to bear the elements, water and light, whether too much or too little and only just discovering that I can start reaching my roots out in to better, more nutrient soil.  Only just now realizing what that will mean to the growth and spread of my leaves.

This morning I’ve been thinking too much and I think it’s fair to say that, that as we creep up on May, I have cried every day for two years now.  For every day that I haven’t cried, there’s been another day that I’ve cried twice.  I’m letting all of that go.  Over 700 days, it’s hard to imagine what even kicked off each of those teary instances.  Each one floats away like cherry petals on the wind today.

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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.

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.

A few quick things on my mind before I fall into bed:

I just realized how much I am looking forward to April!  April is when life (spring) begins by my reckoning.  I’m getting a (sort of) surprise visit from some loved family members to kick off the month, then a weekend with Wisteria and some of my closest longtime girlfriends, then Dandelion’s wedding (which I am crazy excited about) and then my birthday at the end!  What a month! And it will surely be full of sun and flowers (and rain and leaves)! Hooray!

I had a nice evening with Hawthorn, mostly we talked about work, but it was a good, healthy sort of unloading and getting it out (mainly project talk and coworker gossiping, but we don’t do that at work, so sometimes we need to outside of work).  I do still feel angry with him and I think we will have to have a long heart to heart in the next few weeks or so, just so I can make sure he understands how I feel now that I’ve had so much time to work it out.  I think for closure on this I really need to genuine “I’m sorry I hurt you” apology (as opposed to the “I’m sorry your feelings are hurt” fauxpology).

My rage of earlier in the week was very definitely hormonal.  I’d just like to record for my future reference that the emotional upheaval and disturbance around my cycle and the physical pain associated with it are getting consistently worse and lasting for more days in a row.  Related: as I suffered incredible, sharp stabbing pain in my breast today, which I’m repeatedly assured is just normal and I only need to worry about if it continues after menopause, I was struck by how angry I am about women’s place in the world.  It’s all well and good that we can sue for wage discrimination, that we are supposed to be treated as equals, that we are no longer considered property, but when will we really get to be equal? When will women’s medicine get funding equal to that of what erectile dysfuction gets?  When will we finally be so fed up with quietly suffering pain that we ask for it to be changed?  When will we really learn to speak up for ourselves and not resign ourselves to being paid less, to being talked down too, to the assumption that we’ll still do women’s work, that we’ll do all of this while bearing the pain of childbirth, the pain of simply having a reproductive system?  When will we take ownership of the world enough that we stop accepting food and packaging and products that disrupt our nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems so much more than they do men’s but we still accept our place as being one of suffering and let it happen.

*cough* Um, yeah, I was definitely feeling like we aren’t doing enough for each other, ourselves or the world today. Stupid body pains. Alright, Imna take my hormones and go wonder why I’m not married to Wil Wheaton, or bedding Colin Farrell.  Stupid hormones making me a parody of  stereotypes. *grumble grump*

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.”

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.

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.

So I left work early yesterday and went home and straight to bed.  I did get up at some point to eat and read a bit and wash my hair.  Total though, I slept for about 12 of the last 18 hours.  I definitely feel better.  I could use a couple more days of forced rest and non-interaction with people, but living requires work so I guess I’ll find that stuff where I can over the next few days.

I have to go for an annual exam next week, so I guess I’ll talk to my doctor again about medication options.  Honestly, though I’m not that hopeful about it.  I recognize that my attitude about the whole things shades my experience and it probably won’t be helpful if I’m not open to it.  But at the same time I think I have the tolerance left for one, just one, more round of ‘let’s throw this drug at your wall at see if it sticks.” After that, I’m done and will only try other methods.  I have been feeling so crappy the last few days that I’m will to give it one more shot.  But again it’s hard to gauge how much of my mood is affected by the seemingly endless rain and grey skies here, by my period, by my insomnia and exhaustion (which I just don’t think going to be cured by drugs, maybe therapy and exercise, but drugs seem unlikely).

After work I’m going to pick up my newly framed prints, check on a chair possibility at a nearby furniture store and then go home and lock myself in for quiet couch time.  I have to work at both jobs tomorrow and Friday and I recognize that I better get my much needed peace and quiet when I can.  One of the traits I’ve always recognized in myself, no matter how good or bad I’m feeling, is that I need equal amounts of time alone and with people.  Or I need those to be directly proportional.  One of the things I need to work on is being better about making sure I’m setting the time for myself.  This was easy when worked alone at home, but being in an office is more problematic as I need more space of my my own in the evenings, but I also feel more like I want to get out and do things and not miss out on fun I could be having.  Which of course doesn’t end up being fun when I’m exhausted and emotionally over extended.

It really feels weird how tired I am of spending money too.  I bought 4 new pairs of pants (to replace the 4 pairs of work pants I’ve been wearing for a year) and new (work) shoes and a new spring trench (bright, ridiculous and floral).  Usually this is big exciting stuff for me.  I think the furniture and home shopping has taken the shine off everything.  Maybe this is a good thing, maybe I’ll simply be less of a consumer when all of this over.  I’ve been working to shrink my consumption footprint as it is.  Maybe now is the time.

Maybe the high point of the last few months has been the journey of self discovery.  Living alone I don’t need a microwave, I don’t want too many dishes or unnecessary things.  I can learn new ways of cooking and relaxing and being.  I do like this aspect of it.  On the other hand,the journey of self discovery is exhausting and the anxiety has already sapped so much out of me.  I feel like I need to find a way to hit the “pause” button for a while and just be.  Not be shopping.  Not be worrying.  Not be financial planning.  Not be suffering a broken heart.  Not be organizing.  Not be packing or unpacking.  Just be.  Just be me.  Surely I can delve deeper and discover more about myself if I can slow down and just be, right?

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.

“Always be mindful of the kindness and not the faults of others.” ~Buddha

I’m trying harder and harder to heed this advice.  I’m tired of feeling angry and hurt.  Throughout my life I would always rather see the good in people, but right now it seems too much to even try and contemplate the bad, like it will only end in pain for every one.  I mean, not to be all Pollyana Sunshine on you, but let’s all look on the bright side, okay?

I am a silver lining person.  Some times I lose sight of it, or forget to care about clouds at all (the last couple years maybe this has been true) and I certainly can’t snap right back into it.  I was contemplating my positivity the other day and I have to admit that prescription drugs, therapy, moving and a work promotion are all well and good. But truly, despite an occasional left over chill, it’s spring here.  And nothing, nothing, nothing in the world shoots me back into positivity faster than the first cherry blossoms, the first bluebells, the first daffodils.  I want to shout hello to the fuzzy new chartreuse beginning buds on tree branches.  I know, most everyone likes spring, but I truly feel that people born in spring have special relationship with it.  I feel stronger, better and like I can do anything.  I know that will fade in summer heat, and all but sizzle out by the end of fall, but oh! Spring! Spring!  Spring!


So I’m pretty sure the biggest problem with being single is not having easy access to sex. Last night I dreamt I was talking to Princess Bride-era Cary Elwes and he was trying to tell me about all the ladies the “Dread Pirate Roberts” had before he came back and how there should be a movie about his exploits. I suggested that maybe people didn’t want to know that, that they only wanted the great romance of Buttercup and Westley. He offered to show me how he wooed ladies (he was dressed in his slim pirate all black) and pulled me into his lap and tried to kiss me, but my hair was tangled over my face and we both got a mouthful of it.  So I push his back, straightened and pulled back my hair and started kissing him in earnest.

Now, I’m not one to do too much interpretation of my dreams, but seriously? A) this is too easy, I mean:

Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?
Buttercup: Well… you were dead.
Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
Buttercup: I will never doubt again.
Westley: There will never be a need.

Hmmm, what could my brain be on about? And B) I’m almost embarrassed for myself for being so obvious and easy in my dreams.  However, let me just say, I really do wish I was still asleep and kissing a young Cary Elwes.  Also speaking on behalf of my entire generation and the tail ends of thos eon either side of me, I’d like to say that this movie has ruined us all for realistic expectations from our own handsome princess. As we wish, indeed.

 

pee ess – I know you all are reading, why does no one comment here?

I woke up today thinking about chairs.  Partly because I have none.  Well I have one, but a cheap, well used rolling office chair doesn’t exactly make for good home comfort.  Ironically one of the first posts I made elsewhere after moving in with Hawthorn was about having a space with a chair to sit in that was all my own in a comfortable place.  I guess I’m still trying to get to that place.  Space at my new house is limited and it is my intention to buy three chairs (something like this, for use for sitting both at my desk and not at my desk, and two dining chairs for when I get a table) and a couch for maximum sitting comfort.

When I got divorced a decade-ish ago, we had a couple used couches and a love seat and matching chair from about the 1940s.  The love seat and chair set were given to us by a friend when that friend’s mother went into long term care and sold her house.  When we separated I took the chair and left the love seat.  It was a big over stuffed armchair in fuzzy deep green fabric (something like this but not leather). At some point my ex-mother-in-law decided she needed to complete the set for display while showing and selling the house my husband and I had lived in.  I refused to give up the chair.  I took nothing in my divorce but my own clothes and this chair.  It didn’t belong to her family (I left thousands of dollars worth of china and furniture that were given to me by my exhusband’s paternal grandmother–not as a wedding gift or anything, but given specifically to me, as a gift, before we got married–I left it because it belonged with his family, heirlooms as it were), it wasn’t worth much, had no sentimental value, she just wanted it because it matched.  I had many horrible, mean phone call fights after my divorce, mostly centering around that chair.  I refused to give it up unless it was replaced with a similar or better one.  No one had any more specific claim to this chair than I did!  This many years later and I actually have no idea what happened to that chair, but I have for years wished I still had a similar chair.

Now Hawthorn has a couple midcentury Danish modern chairs (something like this).  I am quite sure that he told me, when we started dating, that he bought these at an antique store immediately after his divorce and was waiting to have a house to put them in (they were in his office at work for a long time).  He has sat in one of these chairs exactly one time since I moved in with him (they are awkwardly placed in the far corners of the large living room of our old house).  When I was preparing to move I asked if I could borrow the chairs, just for two weeks or a month, until I got a couch and had else where to sit.  He agreed that would be fine.  Since then I have been treated to several discourses on how those chairs are the only thing he got in his divorce and how he gave up the chair he wanted and how important and sentimental those chairs are to him.  1. Our house was filled with pie-safes, wardrobes, an expensive sofa, several antique tables and a huge TV, all of which he had when he was married, all of which he took with him after his divorce.  2.  I’m not asking for them as a gift.  I am a careful, conscientious person who has just had her whole fucking life turned upside down by this guy and all I want is place to sit for a few weeks until I pick out and get a couch delivered.  I’m sorry I didn’t get right on the incredibly expensive couch thing, but I did have to outfit a whole entire household and pay extra rent and a deposit etc. (Yes, I recognize there are thrift stores, but I’m really allergic to animal hair and paranoid about bedbugs and I just want new upholstered furniture, damn it, everything wood can be bought used, but not if it has stuffing.)  Anyway, suffice to say, Hawthorn never said he wouldn’t lend me the chairs, yet the chairs are not at my house and he keeps offering to bring over some of the shitty dining chairs to sit on.  Man, I have a shitty chair, which for my present purposes is still preferable to your rickety dining chairs.

So, I woke up thinking about chairs.  My recent (pre-Hawthorn break up) desire for a good one, my need for one now, my exhusband’s mean-spirited chair fights and now Hawthorn’s chair dickery.  If the absence of desire is the end of suffering, let me tell you, I am suffering over chairs. Grrrr.

I have been thinking a lot lately about listening and paying attention.  This post (especially the comments) identified a lot of things I’ve felt about being a woman.  I think men often hear only what they think I am going to say (and this isn’t limited to men, I think my mother does this to me too).   With Hawthorn I have long felt like he was never listening to me.  Much of this, I know, is because he would ask me 3 or 4 times in an evening if I wanted to do something, as if he never listened to my answer before or he assumed I’d change my mind.  I’m not sure which but it was VERY frustrating.  Indeed it would have killed our relationship eventually, although hopefully in a less dramatic and shitty fashion than it did end. This post on communication with partners has had me thinking a lot too.  I often have no freaking clue what Hawthorn is talking about.  Like he’s using some shorthand that is all words and cues that I just don’t get (or he starts in the middle of a thought, I guess unaware that I can’t read his mind) and now that we’ve broken up and spend even less time together it seems to be getting worse and worse.  And then today Tiny Buddha told me that love means attention.  And let me tell you not being listened too and not understanding sure does feel like a lack of attention.

This is all to say, I guess, that I’ve long recognized the signs of why things would  never work out with Hawthorn in the long run. And perhaps most my hurt over all of this is his hideously terrible timing on the break up and his seeming disregard for me and what I am going through in relation to be rejected at just this time.  Also if he was really listening to or paying attention to me, he would know that lending my his damned chairs would go a long way toward repairing my anger about his assholishness.

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.

I got an email from my friend Dandelion last night asserting that she’s sorry she’s been absent (due to things in her own life) and that she’d like to be more present.  Of course I replied with love and welcoming of her renewed presence.  This is, surely a good thing.  Part of what had happened in the last year or two was a split from my long time best friend, which was not as hurtful maybe as everything else, as it was long time coming and I don’t feel like I bear any responsibility for the fracture of that relationship.  Still I lost a close friend which has made navigating some of this healing stuff harder than it would otherwise be.  However, I do know that I need to process and decompress the dissolution of that relationship and Dandelion is one of the few people I could have that conversation with who would really understand what had happened (Wisteria is another, but that will include processing it for both of us, which is, I think, different).  Also Dandelion was present for a lot of the stuff that led up to my break down period, so even even if she wasn’t around when it all went screwy, I think renewing friendship with her and talking about these things with her will be really helpful for me as I know her to be a good and fair listener and I don’t have to waste a lot of time explaining the background to why I feel the way I do.

This also got me thinking about how some people just give you what you need when you need it.  When I need to vent and or relax and feel strong female energy I call Violet and Calantha.  If I need to feel like someone loves me no matter what and won’t judge me I call Rose or Wisteria (and our long time tight knit group of friends) or Rowan.  If I need to laugh and remember there’s magic and humor in the world, I call my sister Dahlia.  I am glad to have these people, and all of you, and everyone around me in my life.  I am slowly recognizing that I need to be relying on my friends more and more, that they will not reject me, that they are already giving what I need without my asking and that I simply need to be present enough to see it.  Present.  In the moment.  And Mindful.

For anyone following along closely, here is the full text of the email exchange with Oak from yesterday mostly for my own recording and to note that even when I think he isn’t paying attention, or replying to everything, I know he’s noticing every detail, I just don’t always know what he’s thinking about it: click to see the boring details

I had a rough day.  It’s hard to even say why.  I went to therapy just feeling exhausted, worn down emotionally and pretty much unable to deal.  I spent most of the time talking about things I am worried about, but are mostly a deflection from my own problems.  Then we talked about faith and that was good.  Mostly I left with her telling me basically to live int  he moment a little more, and, you know, stop and smell the flowers.  Notice the color purple.  I actually left therapy feeling really uplifted.  I don’t know that we did any “work” on my actual problems, but I left with a sense that I had some tools and some goals of who I want to be.

Of course it was snowing when I left.  I’m so over this miserable winter.  I drove in the snow to the paint store where they were really nice and really helpful to me.  I got a great discount on the paint for my apartment (the painter had a contractor’s account there and my neighborhood is kind of like a small town in the way that people will take your word for it on stuff like “he said it’s okay to use his account”).  Then I dragged Violet out to help me make one small choice about wall color.  We were going to go out after but we both kind of lamed out, which was fine as I think we both really had other things we wanted to be doing.  I came home and put the last coat of primer on the sewing table and the first coat on the side table.  I am seriously obsessed with refinishing all my furniture to exactly the way I want it.  I guess maybe it’s because it’s something I can exert my will over, some small amount of control and I know it’s going to toward making a home for myself that feels like it’s really filled with MY things.

Hawthorn invited me to see my favorite hockey team play our team here in town.  I declined on the basis that the timing is bad based on my moving schedule and that this game is essentially an anniversary of our first date (same teams playing) and that it didn’t feel appropriate to go relive our first date the day before I’m moving out of our house.  He replied, “I understand.  I am sorry for having upset you on so many levels, but I know it is best in the long run; I will talk about this (us) at whatever level you want to, if you want to, but I don’t really know what to say about it unless prompted…”  I spent some time thinking about that this evening while I painted and I think I really do need to talk to him about all of this.  Just not yet.  After I’ve moved and settled and we can literally do it on my turf.  He’s right, it surely all is for the best in the long run.  Just I need to get over my sense of being abandoned, of being rejected, past how raw the hurt is.  Until then I’m gonna go along with our somewhat superficial companionability and focus on my furniture and my moving plans and wait for the right time.  There’s been enough bad timing in this whole thing already.

Right now I will breathe, and be thankful for the world.  I will think about mindfulness and I will be glad to be alive.  Even when it sucks.  I will go to sleep thinking about handsome princes, fictional and real.  I will dream about butterflies and fairies.

Ugh, I went looking for this picture to post (the Japanese Garden in Seattle, taken Sept. 2009) and what I stumbled into was a folder full of pictures of Oak and I together.  I am still determined to dream about butterflies and fairies, even after that surprisingly jarring experience.