who needs sleep

Day two! Here we are. (don’t be confused by the title. I’m writing in the past, when I should be sleeping. Good Morning Future People. Here’s yesterday’s news)

Advice of the Day: Everyone, go to your Netflix screen of choice and watch “He Never Died”. Then watch it a few more times. I think Henry Rollins has been training his whole life for this.

Coping Mechanism of the day- Calendars. Long term, short term, one so I know how many days have happened in the normal week. I have to make sure I at least have a cycle of work and rest. It’s easy to get caught up in one and lose the balance of the other.

TLDR of yesterday- I’m depressed because I’ve been in a rut but that’s okay because it’s been the mental health reboot I’ve needed.

Today I realized, Continue reading

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Reboot

I’ve been thinking a lot about anxiety and depression lately. I went through kind of a major bout myself and there’s no knowing for sure how far out of the woods I’ve gotten, but things are pretty sunny and I feel I can see my path again.

I tried a bunch of times to write about what my depression was like, what I’ve been experiencing. But to be honest just go read Hyperbole and a Half. Allie Brosh perfectly captures the experience that I think anyone who has been there can relate to. I’ll save my own story for when I finally write my own novel. The TLDR version of the past 6 months of my life goes: took on too much responsibility, tried to make too many changes all at once, my emotional energy and mental focus was being pulled in too many different directions and I essentially crashed like any computer would. I froze, I stopped responding. When I did snap out of it, it was like waking up from a restful night only to be met by the shocked and concerned faces of everyone around you because you’ve been in a coma for a while and they didn’t know if you were going to wake and they were just about to pull the cord, then trying to go through a self-prescribed mental rehabilitation while still under the same pressures and same distractions and not being able to find my center and just repeating the pattern of overload and shut down.  Continue reading

a pirate looks at thirty

I wish to explain my radio silence. I’ve been participating in the #NaNoWriMo and it’s proven to have been a deeply introspective month. On the bright side, I think I finally figured out the root cause of all my suffering. My whole life I’ve resisted forward progress. I dug my heels in like the stubborn ox that I am. I think the whole world should be done in retro. I still have a Windows Phone for christ’s sake. I think I just I regretted being born. Somehow I knew that there in the womb would be the last time I would ever be so comfortable or pampered and I refused to be born. My poor mother was in labor for nearly 36 hours before I finally decided to make my entrance. Only when they finally threatened bodily harm to my mother in the form of a cesarean did I come gracefully into the world. I do like to make an entrance.

I wasted much of my youth either trying too hard to be an adult or resenting things. Now that the end of my thirtieth year is approaching, I realize that this year has all been one last hurrah before handing into the unknown. I often joked that my 5 year plan after college was to fuck around until the world ended. I would tell it as a joke, but I graduated in 2007 and, at the time, the 2012 Apocalypse seemed like a good enough game plan for me. I’d had ambitions to be a mother, start a family, one day go into politics or open a business but it all seemed so impossible to the person I was that they were safe for day dreaming while I focused on the here and now. As you all know, the world didn’t end in 2012 and in fact it stubbornly has pressed on even to this very day. The world’s failure to end was a huge inconvenience for me. I awoke December 22, 2012 with no game plan, having never created a world in my mind after this day. 27 years of living and not one single day had I spent thinking about life after this moment. I could no longer hide from the fact that I still had no clue I wanted to do with my life. So I dramatically changed careers, left my boyfriend, and struck out free and unbound. But what you do, who you’re connected to doesn’t define who your are or what binds you.

On my thirtieth birthday I felt a lackluster of excitement. So what that I was turning thirty? I was getting married in less than a month and I was lucky I even noticed I had a birthday. Both the joy and the sadness I experienced on my birthday is still hard to explain. I had been looking forward to being an adult my whole life and here it was! But nothing felt different, it was the exact same as the day before. I still had all the same worries and wonders and strengths and weaknesses. I looked no different, I felt no different. I still felt like I was young and could conquer the world. As the year wore on, even more stuff refused to change because I was now an adult. Money was still earned by going to a job, food still had to be bought, prepared, and cooked, world peace was still out of my achievable grasp, and people still do not always do things my way, which is the right way. No spaceship landed to wish us off on an intergalactic adventure. God had not visited me in the form of a burning bush to dictate the greater plan to me, no matter how many bushes I set on fire. No zombies roaming the earth, no massive sun flair causing a global EMP and sending us back to before the industrial revolution. It pretty much looks like life is just going to go on as normal from here on out. And I was not prepared for normality.

 

I realized I hadn’t imagined life after thirty. I hadn’t thought you could actually get those dream jobs if you actually worked toward them. I looked upon the enormity of parenthood and I realized how unprepared I was. There was no time left to get ready! The panic manifested itself in all sorts of lovely anxieties and depressions that I’m sure has been ever so much fun. I thought I was losing my mind, descending into madness, maybe I was sick or ill. I’ve always had wildly fluctuating emotions and maybe it was time to finally seek help. One day in my meditations I realized the power I have to control my world. Yes I have a family history of depression but I also have a family history of repressed emotional expression, Catholicism, substance abuse, and unstable childhoods. Maybe it’s not so much that I was born with a bad brain, maybe I just haven’t been using it right. I’m an expressive person, I say the first thing on my mind, which is often hurtful in the wrong company. I’ve experimented with associating with only people I won’t offend, but that led to a lot of playing by myself. I experimented with saying nothing at all and there’s nothing more harmful than a subconscious full of unexpressed desires and emotions. I tried only having happy thoughts and trying to use my will to create a positive mind but, little known brain fact, willpower is exhausting. It puts a heavy load on mental resources and can often be what causes a burn out. I wasn’t about to go to a doctor, I felt it would only exacerbate the paranoid delusions that everyone is out to get me.

So I tried talking to my husband. I admitted to him that I might not be perfect. He laughed and said he knew. I admitted that sometimes I’m not the smartest person in the room. He said that’s ok, no one is. I admitted my feelings of worthlessness because I do not feel like I am a contributing member of society. He held me close and told me the rest of the world can suck a dick because I am incredibly important to the society I am a part of. I realized my feelings of disconnection and feeling like an outsider are my choice and no one else’s. I felt like I woke up and realized I was not a little girl anymore, scared of being left behind. I have as much a right on this planet to take up space as anyone else. I have no obligation to be anything other than what I choice are mine to take up. Why do I dress like someone who wants to be left alone and I act like someone who wants to be left alone if loneliness is so unbearable?

I felt awakened from some terrible nightmare where I had no control, no friends, no worth to anyone; where I had been a lie and at any moment everyone would find out I’m not who I said I am. In the dream I questioned everything, I constantly replayed moments over and over trying to analyze them and learn from them so the moment would be perfect next time. As if I was trying to escape the Groundhogs Day that I thought was my life by getting everyday perfect. No wonder I was exhausted and distracted all the time. I was holding on to every though, feeling, emotion and using them as my sensors for reality instead of actually observing the world around me. Well no wonder I wasn’t getting anywhere, like trying to drive from the back seat. My mind’s eye had been shifted to the back of my head and I was trying to see the world through reversed images and echos. I realized the only answer I needed was my own self-determinism.

Am I “better”? Heavens no. I awoke on that day and said “Not everything is perfect and that’s ok. Not every day is going to be this good and that’s ok.” Sure enough I observed myself just the other day giving in to old triggers; and that’s ok because by observing my triggers and responses I am able to learn why I think the way I do and how to address the matter. Sometimes it’s hard and I have to learn a whole new way of thinking but for the most part it’s as simple as giving others the benefit of doubt. I forgot how good I had gotten as using victimization as a way of deflecting my intimacy issues. I’m not lazy, he is. I’m not being selfish or inconsiderate, he is. When I find myself feeling victimized, I am learning to really examine the emotion. Am I a victim or am I uncomfortable with the subject being addressed? Did my husband just ignore me or did I mumble or sound uncommitted? I find that with almost 99.99% accuracy that if I remember to assume that he loves me and will do anything I ask and try again like I’d never asked in the first place, I find out that he just didn’t hear me. Amazing scientific breakthrough, I know.

That’s the key, remembering not every day is going to be the best day and that’s ok. Remembering that sometimes I need to do a double check, “did I actually say what I mean, or did I just say the first thing that came to mind and then I commited because I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know what I’m talking about even though now I definitely don’t know what I’m talking about.” Remembering that I have an extensive network of friends who do agree with my opinion and that I have a tight knit tribe of close friends and family that make up my support system. The world may or may not end or may or may not go to war and we all may or may not die horrible, violent deaths. And that’s ok. Destiny or not, the fate of humanity is not in my hands. All I can is all any of us can do. Love.

I had a moment today where I was enjoying my time in the yard trying to fold a large tarp meant to cover a metal framework for a deck tent all by myself in the gentle tousle of a cool autumn wind. It began simple enough. This thing looks basically like a fitted sheet so I should be able to fold it just like a fitted sheet. After one noisy and fumbling attempted I decided to try laying it down and smoothing it first. Try as I might, soon as I’d get one side down, the wind would flip up the other. I stopped in frustration and laughed. I thought about how if I had Jack here, I’d still have the same problem. I could imagine him giggling at my exacerbated sigh as he playfully flipped up the corner I had just smoothed out and gotten to lay flat. I really enjoy our playful dynamic. He’s a pain in my ass and that’s what I need him for. To remind me to laugh.

As I think of him I remember him earlier pointing out the cinder blocks I had moved to the side patio of the patio. They had been used to hold down the legs of our deck tent but  since we took it down, they no longer had a purpose and with no where else really to go, I put them to the side. I walked over to the edge and squatted down and picked up a cinder block in both hands. I walked back to the tarp, squatted down, smoothed a corner and tacked it down with a block then stood up, lifting the next with me, and walking over to the other corner. I repeated this for the other two corners. I continued rotating around the square as I methodically smoothed and folded the tarp. As soon as I became aware of how inefficient I was being over something I could just quickly fold up messily and put away, out of sight out of mind. Then I began to notice the precision I took with each movement, bracing my core with every squat, engaging in my quads to take strain off my lower back and knees, curling the blocks as I lifted them, ensuring a solid back, ready to carry the load. I was having fun doing this slow and repetitive task, it felt meditative. My body focused on the task at hand and my mind free to drift away on the wind. I thought about when I took the rugs out and beat them last month, how much I had enjoyed the experience and the work out that it gave me.

I became determined to create a regimen that helped me combine working out and housework. I could replace a workout and a chore while adding quality time by the natural stress reduction of the time to reflect. I set to the internet to find  out if anyone else has found ways to turn cleaning house to working out. In my poetic mind I felt the best place to start was to find out how the old world did it. Simply curious how things can be done without electricity and machinery, I googled “how old world housework was done”

The first hit is for the Wikipedia entry on housework. The rest of the front page are headlines screaming that women are still doing the housework, pointing out the feminist war on sexism is not over, there was even an line that asked who is supposed to be the one to do the housework. I was defeated. This is why we’re missing the point. Questions no longer get answers, they get rhetoric. Someone young, naive, and hungry for knowledge can be very easily led astray. If you don’t know how to look for the truth, how do you know you’re being led astray?

But really, what makes me any better if I sit here pointing out the point that everyone is missing the point because everyone is so busy pointing out what’s wrong. I think the question “Why are things bad” has been thoroughly and fully examined. And I think we know what the right thing to do is, but it’s almost like we’re at a stand of. I won’t be nice to other until everyone is nice to me. Well that’s dumb. I’m just going to keep on doing responsible things the fun way and not really get to worried about how chores. I know why I do more chores in the relationship. I do more chores because I’m home more and he works more so he can pay more so I can stay home more and pursue my creative endeavors. So I guess in taking on more of the work load I’m saying thank you to my partner in supporting me. And by forgiving me when I forget to do the chores because I got caught up writing a particularly juicy story, he’s supporting me in being an artist. All I need to survive is love. After that it’s just for fun.

november one

Today was a good fuck day. I woke up a little early for me and got to raking the yard finally. It was long over due and I now finally understand the point of doing things a little bit at a time. I’m finally understanding that if I put off a task more and more that it becomes a large mess and unsolveable. So little bit of raking once a week, even if it doesn’t look like it needs it.

I don’t know why I’m still talking about raking. I guess I’m just excited about it being fall. Autumn is my favorite season, there is a nostolgia to the colored leaves and cloudy skies. The warm air and cool breezes. All the food. People seem happier this time of year. I think they’re just so happy that the heat of the summer has finally broken and it’s about to be the best time of year to be in florida. The pressure of the peak seasons has receeded and the population suddenly has some room to breath. I think my favorite memories from childhood all have a fall feeling to them. It’s the time to start preparing for winter, getting out that favorite sweater that you haven’t gotten to wear since last season. It’s time for pumpkin in and on everything (though truth be told, the trend has jumped the shark).

I was able to knock out about an hour of work before the sun started to cool me (not that cool yet), so I came in, showered, cooked an egg and ate my breakfast, then sat down to begin work on my novel for the NaNoWriMo challenge. Now that I’ve decided on what exactly I’m going to write about, I decided to break down the chapters by major themes. Then I worked out a few essays on each subject to sort of given me guidence when  I go back and fill it in from the work I’ve prepared. I’m really excited now that I feel I have a clear vision of my method for doing this. I’m already thinking of the next book I want to write but I have to resist the temptation to jump to working on that now. I was able to get what feels like a lot done in a short amount of time. I’d say I probably put in about two hours of work in, not bad for a busy day. With work being as slow as it was I was able to get even more done. All in all I’m pretty proud of myself, now I just gotta keep that up.

oct thirty first

I always seem to find myself listening to a lot of rockabilly in October. There’s just something about good old rock and roll and horror just go so well together. I blame The Munsters.

Tonight I went to Halloween Horror nights with Phil. Since it was just the two of us, early on Halloween night, we were able to knock out a couple of the houses pretty quickly. It was a lot of fun to be able to zip through the crowd, make a quick decision, and avoid all the other hassles that often come with a big group. We moved like a pack of stealthy predators, confident in the others’ ability to complete their task that they made choices independent of each other… woah sorry for the run on sentence. I started thinking about dinosaurs.

So tomorrow begins national novel writing month and I have no idea what to write. I have this crazy ass idea to write a novel about the experience of writing a novel, but I have no confidence that anyone would get it. I know I can do it, I’m excited about the challenge but there is absolutely no more putting it off, I have to do the work, who cares if it’s good, you just need to do it. If you like it means you’ve trusted your instincts in making the right choices. You’ve been gifted with so much time, take full advantage. Happy nanowrimo

oct thirtieth

Sometimes I walk around my house wondering where all this stuff came from. I have so much junk; it’s taking up valuable space. I’m never going to use it and I should just get rid of it. One day I finally decide I’m going to do it, I’m going to get organized! I crave to be organized in the way that some people crave to be on american idol. I pick a box and start there. As I begin to pull things out, the things I’ve collected have more emotional muscle than I’m ready to tackle. I end up getting rid of maybe ten percent. Eventually the project get the seal of “Good enough,” the box gets put away, and quickly forgotten about. I sort of have the same approach when it comes to charity.

I couldn’t be happier; the cats are having a great day. There’s been some integrational distress after introducing my long displaced cat. I’ve loved her since I got her in college. Jack refers to her as my familiar. Maybe it’s been the break in the weather or that I’ve had more time to give her attention, things have been getting better. Yesterday she got out into the garage before I had to leave for work. The garage is where I’m parked. I open that garage door, she’ll bolt. So what to do? Close the door, go about the rest of the morning, and then when I’m ready to leave I’ll deal with her then. Instead of five minutes of chasing her around the car, I opened the door and she trotted happily back inside. And just today, I caught all three of them sitting happily together under the bush. Chewie was content to chirp at the majestic cardinal sitting at the feeder, Tex (mine) slinked past him cautiously, I think she was practicing being invisible. After a moment, Jean Luc zoomed in to sniff at her tail. Jean Luc is in love with her. Chewie thinks she’s a demon she-cat beast sent from an alternate dimension where he occasionally fights crime. She thinks that she and I are being held against are will and is constantly trying to escape to get help. She hissed mildly, though I believe it was mostly surprise. I think she learned that from me.

Went to the gym at work on my lunch break. There were no guys there but the place was full! What struck me the most was the lack of oppressive edm or metal blaring from the speakers. Also no waiting to use a barbell or any stations. So I put in a good work out. I love feeling my muscles move in rhythm together, a symphony of fibers.

Ok I’m bored now. Think I’ll go outside and play