Shift.

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Things are better today. Normally I’d attribute that to a solid night of sleep, but.. nope.

I have a tentative plan in my mind about how I’m going to handle some stuff – and all that’s left is for my brain to fine-tune it, my mouth to rehearse the words, and then I’ll put it in action and see what happens.

I feel.. good – a little residual tinge of disappointment, but no anger or frustration.  We’ll see how long it lasts. The pieces seem to be in the right places, at least.

I’ll put the credit for this mental shift in my finally finishing this book, but really, the usual advice about clinging too tightly, and trying to control things that can’t be controlled, applies as much as anything else. Throw in some comparisons and some envy for good measure! Oh, my nemeses! My archenemies!  Goddammit.

Breathe.

Today is coffee + library day; fresh air and some sunshine can’t hurt. Also: books. Books always help.  I’m returning a stack of mostly-unread books from the path I thought I’d take, so that’ll be my housekeeping for the day – and I’ll wander the stacks until I find something intriguing to occupy my mind in a positive way.

Tomorrow is.. tomorrow. I’ll get to that when I get to it.

Weighted.

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There is a big, heavy block of discontent nestled into the centre of my brain right now – and it keeps shifting to a place in my stomach, then back to my brain, back to my stomach, repeat, repeat, repeat.

I know what it’s about and I know what caused it. I know that I can’t do much to change those circumstances, but I also can’t seem to find a way to get the heaviness out of my system.

Recently I was talking to someone about the difference between (for lack of a better term) lifestyle changes to shift someone’s addiction and a full-on residential addiction treatment plan. The person was talking about all the small things that a person can do – eat better, spend more time with friends, get outside for fresh air – and how all of these things, combined and in part, will help with the healing process.

I countered, though, by saying that while the piece-by-piece method may work for some (and it definitely does) for others it’s akin to trying to heal a thousand injuries one by one. Every time you ‘fix’ one part, another wound re-opens. Every time you manage to slap a bandaid on something, another part develops an infection. Some people have the ability to focus on 28 different wounds, in a balanced way, but I think most people get worn out and overwhelmed.

Honestly, I use physical injury metaphors a lot – people tend to understand them.

As it goes, you have this option of trying to heal all of your wounds individually – or you check yourself in for major surgery. With the second option, you’re ripped open, the infection is scraped out, you’re washed and disinfected, everything is stitched up, and with any luck you return to your life needing to tend one single wound for a while.. until it heals.  The process is intensely painful but the healing is ultimately faster.

(That’s a reaaaaaaally simplified picture, I realize. But it sort of works for me.)

I really feel like right now I need to rip open my brain, scrub it out and disinfect it, and then get on with things – but I can’t figure out how. The metaphor only goes so far.  It’s not about looking for a new therapist (although I should probably get back on that path sometime) but more about trying to figure out what, exactly needs to be cleaned out.

All of my emotions right now are useful and appropriate – but they’re not being directed anywhere. They’re just sitting there, burning holes in my brain.  Conversations with me right now are just chock full of weird complaints – I can hear them coming out of my mouth in an unstoppable stream. Even nice things prod me to start muttering unpleasantly about some specific issues in a cranky voice.

Re-reading some of the Dalai Lama’s writings. Trying to distract myself. Trying to think positive things. Trying to avoid stabbing someone. Sending some emails that I’ve been weighing for a bit. All the little things that, hopefully, added up will help.

Nothing’s working, so far.

But..

This too shall pass.

This too shall pass.

Or I may just need to burn it down..

Fury.

Published / by violet / Leave a Comment

Daaaamn.

In the present moment, you have some kind of pain or difficulty: anger, frustration, disappointment, regret, sadness, hurt.

Notice this difficulty, and see that it’s all caused by whatever story you have in your head about what happened (either recently or in the more distant past). You might insist that the difficulty or pain is caused by what happened (not by the story in your head), but what happened isn’t happening right now. It’s gone. The pain is still happening right now, and it’s caused by whatever story you have about the situation.

Note that “story” doesn’t mean “false story.” It also doesn’t mean “true story.” The word “story” in this context doesn’t imply good or bad, false or true, or any other kind of judgment. It’s simply a process that’s happening inside your head

Read the rest here.

Island.

Published / by violet / 1 Comment on Island.

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.

I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos,
no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.

So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling,
on tiptoes and no luggage,
not even a sponge bag,
completely unencumbered.”

― Aldous Huxley, Island

Takin’ My Time On My Ride.

Published / by violet / Leave a Comment

It is 9:30 pm and I am so tired. I’m also freezing cold despite being indoors and wearing flannel jammas. Stupid time change. Actually, I don’t think it’s got anything to do with the time change, but I’m going to take this opportunity to shovel the blame in that direction anyway.  Whose idiot idea was that, anyway?  (That’s a rhetorical question.)

Since it’s Sunday, I feel compelled to say that yes, in fact, I did go drink some coffee and visit the library. I have a nice stack of new books sitting on the desk beside me as I type this. Perhaps I will find time to read them this week? Maybe?

Somehow – and I’m not even kidding – I forgot that this coming week is March Break and that both kids will be home all day, every day, other than when the oldest of them is at work. Given that they’re both teenagers, you wouldn’t think this would be a huge issue, but the younger one is prone to.. shall we say.. not-so-great choices lately and I have some (legitimate) concerns about him being home, alone, at all. There’s no chance that Coffee or I can take the week off, however, so we’re just going to have to tie him to a chair in the yard and hope for the best.

(I kid.)

I swear, all the things I worried about when it came to parenting have literally never once happened – and most of the things that have caused me deep anxiety have been completely and utterly unpredictable. This is why I laugh when people tell me that they’re ready to be parents. Ha! Oh ho! No sir, no you are not.  Human children are unpredictable and ridiculous.

In other news, we flipped our mattress. I’m literally writing this here because I know I will eventually wonder ‘Hey, how long ago did we flip the mattress?’ and this is where I will come to check.  I had been under the (erroneous) impression that our mattress could not be flipped – but apparently that was only if we didn’t want to mess up the ‘pillow top’ on it and, quite frankly, I don’t care about that.

Holy shit, this is why I came back to blogging. Mattress details!

Over the weekend I stopped in to the hospital to visit a guy – I am rather fond of him, but I also cannot say much about him (as usual). He has been having some health issues for the past while, many of which have been quite concerning to him, and so it was somewhat of a relief for me to hear that he was tucked away in a safe space getting poked and prodded.

Well, a relief once I realized he wasn’t dying. There has been quite enough of THAT lately and I am totally done with it.

Anyway, I waffled heartily about going to visit – my germaphobe self does not enjoy being anywhere near the hospital. I’m convinced that every surface is crawling with superbugs and horrifying viruses and then I become highly aware of the warm air that I’m breathing that is, I’m sure, also filled with disease and, oh, I dunno, airborne plague? Something. AUGH.

But the flip side is that I figured this guy would enjoy a short visit. And, remember, I am working on being more open to this sort of thing? Yeah.  Coffee cheered me on.

Before I left, Coffee put my bathrobe and towel up in the bathroom for me so I could literally head straight up to shower as soon as I returned home. I left my purse at home, took only one phone and my ID, and made sure I had hand sanitizer in my car. I’m not even kidding here.

Then I went for a visit. Despite having to wear a gown and a mask and gloves (HOLYSHIT) I was glad to be there. He was delighted to see me – and I was delighted to see him doing well – and so it was a good 30 minute conversation with a lot of laughter. I got the feeling that he would be going home soon, which made us both happy.

I came home and scoured myself, carefully removing the top 3 layers of skin and scalding everything that remained with the hottest water possible. I put everything into the washing machine immediately after, and re-washed my hands.

(Shudder.)

I promised to return in a few days if he wasn’t released but.. god, I really hope he’s released soon. I have no idea how the hell people can work there.

(Although, as has been pointed out to me, I come into contact with a lot of people while doing my job – many of whom are not in the best of health/hygiene – but somehow that seems less of a concern to me. Hugs for everyone! Until I get the community-acquired version of MRSA, I guess?)

So, Dear Diary, that’s my update for today. I have a few thoughts percolating, but not yet ready for pouring out, so the chances of an update later this week are higher than usual.  This lady is going to go brush her teeth and get ready for bed. Stupid daylight savings time. Dammit.