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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?

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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.

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.

This week feels like it had nine days.  Already.  And it’s not even over yet.  I think I’ve lost my love for shopping.  I think PMS-y drama during furniture shopping ruined it for me forever.  Probably this will not hinder my ability to spend money, I just won’t enjoy it as much anymore.

I’ve slept poorly the last couple nights.  Some which  can blame on the new house.  I mean who knew there’s be cats fighting and screaming while chasing each other cross the roof outside directly outside my windows.  Like not even in the  yard or anything, but right outside my second story window. At least I assume it was cats, plural.  It could have been my magic cat protector chasing possums that were trying to get in my window or something.  Still it was very loud in that way that makes one feel panicky and unable to get back to sleep.  I’ve stayed up too late working both at the restaurant and on (paid) sewing projects at home.  I’ve been waking up early, despite lack of sleep the night before.  Mostly I just feel unrested and ready to spend many evenings in a row reading and relaxing in my house.  Alas, I’m working a bunch this weekend, heavy duty work starts in earnest at my day job next week and, of course, despite having purchased furniture, I won’t have it for at least another ten days.  Yeah, so no real household relaxation for me for a while.

I have been making an effort to cook, or at least eat better at home.  I’m still drastically lacking in the exercise department and I haven’t called the physical therapist yet. I guess I really do need a minder.  Maybe therapy isn’t where my money should be spent, maybe I need a one day a week personal assistant to make my appointments for me and manage the parts of my life I”m really bad at.  I am actually considering hiring a once a month house cleaner.  Not because I’m dirty, just I think I’d feel better if I didn’t lose a day a month to massive cleaning overhaul of my home.

Mostly I have too much I want to do, not enough time/money/energy to do it and I’m starting to overwhelm myself again by worrying about getting things done, rather than just simply managing running  to-do lists like I was doing during the moving process.  I have the paid sewing project to work on this weekend, but otherwise I think I’m going to watch movies and organize nail polish.  Nothing too overwhelming, you know?  Hopefully enough, small, non-taxing things to give me a sense of accomplishment without further wearing myself down.

And I started my period today, so some of the sluggish ick I feel could easily be attributed to that, too.

For the last 18 years I have periodically wondered about, and half-assedly looked for a high school friend of mine, Cedar.  I have often wondered where he ended up and who he ended up becoming.  Through a really quite random chance a couple weeks ago I stumbled on some information that helped me find him pretty quickly and we’ve been corresponding for about two weeks now.  This has been a really interesting experience because it’s a real correspondence.  Not the usual, oh there’s so and so on Facebook, say hi, be amazed at how young/old they look, exchange and email and then just read each other’s updates that seems to happen.  Cedar isn’t on Facebook or any other social media and hasn’t reconnected at all with anyone from his past so the reconnection part is exciting a novel to him.  And I guess that’s rubbed off on me a little, but really I think I’m just very glad to have found him.

As I was driving home the other day I was thinking of something funny he’d written in one of his emails and suddenly I could hear him saying it, see how he’d move and what he’d do as he said it and I was really overcome emotionally, on a near physical level, with missing him.  Like I’d somehow been really missing him for the last 18 years and something just completely opened up to reveal both the loss I’d had when the friendship went away and the gain I had in it returning.  I mentioned this to him and said he’d had a similar experience when reading the first message I sent him, including hearing my voice, and that our entire correspondence had been sort of a rush of old memories and curiously easy new pieces fitting together.

Part of what’s been most surprising to me is how unjudged I feel by Cedar and the realization that our friendship even was like than when we were very young.  In a back and forth of emails that has been mostly a tight combination of 18 years of catch up and windows into every day life, I don’t feel the need to edit myself or gloss over anything bad, I just speak.  I have often realized in relationships as an adult that for me I know a friendship (or relationship) has deepened when I can be totally silly with that person.  Stupidly, ridiculously silly, without feeling at all judged or, rather without worrying what the other person will think of me.  I find in my conversations with Cedar that I am much, much more silly and more dynamic, moving from seriously, to funny, to teasing, to sexy, to haughty, to goofy and all around, without a care at all.

There is something to said for interacting with people who knew you when you were a teenager.  Rose has been my best friend for close to 25 years, here and there as we find each other. And I certainly feel safer and more comfortable with her than anyone else in the world, some of that is our connection as friends/sisters, the length of our friendship and some of I think literally does come from knowing each other as teenagers.  It’s like once you’ve been through something with someone and they’ve seen you at your worst, you’re just a little more bonded and being a teenager is sort of an extended ‘worst’ that fortunately eventually ends.

And Cedar appears to have grown up into every bit as good of a man as he was as youth.  I have very strong memories of feeling very protected by him as a teenager, as he somehow stood between me and what was bad in the world.  And so even if it ends up as nothing more than a long correspondence or a mildly renewed friendship, right now it feels really good to have someone around again who I feel like is actively looking out for me.  I mean, not that that the rest of you aren’t, I know you are, just this has weirdly magic connection to it, like something leftover from a childhood dream.

 

“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?

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.