Two weeks ago I saw Dr. Drugs and he made one little change in my medication regimen. I was still deadly bland after a week, so last week he turned up the gas and gave me a list of five changes to make – decreasing a med here, increasing here, stopping this, adding that. Well, the little wheels and cogs are starting to turn again at long last and the ACTION lever has once again been tripped, so that I can actually move! These fucking brain chemicals, neurotransmitters, enzymes, neural pathways, whatever the hell! are amazing and soooo complex!! This chemistry experiment here in my body is finally starting to respond. (Slow clap for Dr. Drugs, and it’s about damn time!) How does this happen? And how does it go so wrong? I am looking forward to getting back to life, wouldn’t that be nice?
So actually maybe I HAVE gotten back to life, somewhat, as I actually had a pretty active day yesterday, getting out and about and doing some things, mani/pedi, taking myself out to lunch, making a fabric donation and hitting the library. This was quite the outing for me. This morning I got out and harvested a huge garbage bag of weeds from my garden, they are growing so well! I am very proud. After a serious painkiller and a bath, I hobbled out for a family birthday lunch which was absolutely lovely. This afternoon I have been spending some quality time with my beautiful green water pipe and soon I will start the Sunday tradition of laundry. Goodie! Ah hell, it’s life. I am feeling inspired to do some coloring too. Mindless childlike activity. I takes me somewhere. Maybe I’ll do that as the washer whirs and I listen to my next door neighbor play jazz piano. Not too bad for a Sunday afternoon. I think I will keep up the “Thank you” chant.
Today is my 47th birthday and I am determined NOT to focus on everything that this mental illness has taken from me. So many birthdays, I have pledged that by this time next year, something will have happened, whatever my current dream is. It’s time to let that go. It’s time to lower my expectations. Right now it has to be good enough to get up out of bed and make the coffee. It has to be good enough to go to work and come home and eat dinner. It has to be enough to do the laundry and clean the house. What will the coming year bring? I have no idea. I hope things improve but I need to stay in the moment.
Today is also the twelfth anniversary of my one and only experience of domestic violence. Domestic violence doesn’t really sound so bad. I took a terrible beating, on a boat, on vacation for my birthday. At the hands of my boyfriend, who I loved dearly. I haven’t had a love relationship since. As a special present to myself, in therapy yesterday we did an EMDR session on this experience. I went back to that day in exquisite detail. I experienced it all – the taunting, the pain of “why is this happening on my birthday?”, the realization that he was enjoying beating me, the horrible wrongness of it all. I am going to trust the EMDR process and let myself heal. Someday I will let someone love me again. I don’t know if it will be this year or this decade, or if it will take sixteen more years of therapy. My heart was pummeled. But I am willing to heal.
I am replacing any negative thoughts with a constant stream of “Thank you’s” – I just keep saying thank you. It keeps me in the moment and forces me to focus on something – anything I can find right then to be grateful for. I know for a fact that feeling sorry for myself and rolling around in the sadness of where I’m at does not get me anything good. Maybe focusing on the good will bring me more good. Or maybe it will just mold my brain to see more good that’s already there.
So, that’s my story, my Happy Birthday story. I’m going to continue the purge, take myself to a Paris market, go out with my sister tonight, and give myself permission to have fun today. You know that phrase “Fake it ‘till you make it”? I’m on it. Happy Birthday!
The purge has begun. See? I said I’d see you on the other side of some action. Well, it took me awhile!! I’ve been stuck in the super-blands and it hasn’t been productive. Something in Dr. Drugs’ changes must be kickin’ me up a notch because I’m still in the blands, but I’m so bored that I’ve been spurned to action. Action! This is good. So. I did some world-class purging today, in several areas of the house, and I feel that I am open to more. I feel like the items I’m purging have attachments to things I’ve been beating myself up about, I don’t know if that makes sense? They remind me of things that make me feel bad. Why keep THAT shit around?
I have forced myself to throw shit away that my whining brain says “but maybe that has some value left in it!” but I would feel like a damn fool taking a ripped up falling apart dress to Salvation Army, why bother taking it there and making THEM throw it out? I swear. I drive myself crazy.
I also am admitting that I’m not interested in sewing any more. I used to sew like crazy. Well, I haven’t in years. I’ve carried around these two giant tubs of fabric, thinking that I would use them. Well guess what. It’s been years and I haven’t used them. Why not let someone else use them and enjoy them? I am donating the cotton to a club that makes quilts for sick kids, and I put the rest on Craigslist.
I need to free myself up from who I think I should be based on who I was, so that I can be who I am meant to be now. I’ve been so unconsciously closed off, clutching to these moldy old possessions like they define me. They own ME and I don’t really like what they say about me. It’s like an old lady set in her ways. I don’t want that to be me. So I am letting go of the unused, unloved and unneeded. Feels cosmic. Feels great.
There’s so much talk in Colorado about the wildfires that have burned, and the people whose houses burned to the ground. They lost everything, and they are, for the most part, devastated. I think, if that were me, that I would be relieved not to be weighed down by all of my possessions. Sometimes I feel like all of these THINGS are just a burden. I know there are precious keepsakes that I would feel lost without. But I have a way of accumulating at a wayyyy faster rate than I let go of things. I am not a natural purger. I have stuff…everywhere!! So many things bring attachment. I can’t let go of a garment I haven’t worn in seven years because my mom bought it for me. I carry around every single thing I have that was my grandma’s, and that’s not insignificant. I have plants. Furniture. Pots. Plants. Magazines. Books! Years of photographs. Fabric. Crafting supplies up the butt! So much of it will never be used…yet I can’t seem to let go of the fantasy that maybe, someday….Yet I think all this SHIT is making me feel stuck!! My life story is one of feeling stuck. Trying to unravel that feeling is now my puzzle to solve. Why am I so scared to let go? Will emptying my house of some of this stuff leave me feeling empty? Because I already DO feel empty. The fantasy that things will fill me up needs to be dashed. I have a lovely, luxe home. It looks beautiful. And it does nothing to fill up the soul-hole. Where am I going with this? Sorry, I don’t have the answers, just the questions.
Sometimes just the act of writing can spur me to action. Certainly, this is an undertaking that would have to be done in small bits, otherwise it would be insurmountable. Like, first I could find a place to take a fabric donation. Buy some photo boxes and start sorting. And on from there.
Somehow it just feels like more order would make me feel more empty. I don’t know if this is true. I’m going to have to explore this.
I figure, why not experiment? I have nothing else turning my mind on right now. Nothing else appeals to me. I’m reading books just to pass the time. I think action is the answer. Action and then maybe some more action. I’ll see you on the other side of some action. Ta-ta.