Saturday, April 25, 2015

i saw the sign(s)

well, i kept an eye out for signs and i called for's the list of today's signs/moments of grace:

1.  a lovely morning bike ride with my friend lizzi to the prairie.  we spotted some horses.

2. finding out about theology on tap, another opportunity to plug into the best church in town (United Church of Gainesville)

3. i made granola.  i planted my roselle and spread horse poop in my garden.  i ate my first bean and admired the tomatoes that are coming on.  one curly kale has survived.

4.  i randomly stopped at a friends house to pick up my phone charger and they invited me in for sausage and salad while their adorable naked baby romped with her potty book.

5.  playing solo at the fat tuscan again.  yummy fish/couscous dinner.  moving inside when it got buggy, and encountering a Fan who blossomed with surprise and delight upon sighting me with fiddle in hand.

6.  sky setting me straight and telling me how important i am to him and how much he cares about me.

7. biking home with leftover fish and the last piece of blueberry pie.

Friday, April 24, 2015

you matter

yep, time for another sad n' lonely post.  yay!  i am so damned sick of these pathetic self-pitying pieces of schlock, honestly.  but what can you do.

today i had a plan.  with a friend.  for after work.  i was so excited all day about not having to go home to the dark separateness of my solitary apartment.  we were meeting to go see the senior film projects from 2 UF classes, being shown downtown at the Wooly.  It was really nice.  i guess, i just figured, it being artwalk night and the entire town being out that maybe we'd continue hanging out after but alas.


2 things

1.  i got a message today from a friend that i had randomly reached out to recently on email, and they told me that just this weekend they had been having a particularly low ebb and contemplated killing themselves as well as planning how they would carry it out

2.  biking home with the usual rip-in-the-gut of feeling rejected again and utterly alone in the world, i screeched to a stop at an intersection where i didn't have the right of way, right as a car sped around the corner.  as the car slowed down the tiniest bit, the driver called out the window not unkindly, "watch for the sign".

so, as usual, i have a choice.  watch for the dark gloom (which will find me anyway), or watch for the sign.  when i got home, i reached deep to the very bottom of my mailbox, begging it to deliver.  and, lo and behold, a tiny envelope all the way at the bottom:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

in the deep dark

One thing that has been happening this year is that i'm learning more about my (mild) depression and (major) anxiety.   The depression manifests as a kind of paralyzed, catatonic state where i don't want to do anything.  it makes it hard for me to trust my own rhythms of rest and activity.

Anxiety is a physical experience above all else.  its like a cord that runs through my skin is being cinched slowly until i feel overwhelmingly uncomfortable and eventually overwhelmed by pain; crazed, desperate to crawl out of my skin and myself.   the other night it was so bad all i could do was curl up in desperation, crying and frantic.  in those moments there's just nothing.  to do.  usually i hit a peak and then slowly retreat from there.  social interactions tend to make it worse, and can amplify it by ridiculous amounts.  often it feels like twin chords climbing up my back and wrapping around my head.  squeezing my head and choking me simultaneously.  there's little rational thought available in these moments.  like a friend once said, its like you reached up to get your tool box down from the high shelf and it slipped, smalling into your head and you just black out with useless tools scattered around uselessly.

Its taken me along time to admit that this is part of who i am.  because there's no on-the-surface reason for it.  my life is awesome.  i'm super lucky and very privileged.  i shouldn't need anything,  especially from other people.
it can get pretty dark in there

things that help, if i can manage to do them:  exercise, eating, hydrating (sometimes there's a bad cycle that happens where i'm stressed and anxious, and feeding myself becomes an insurmountable chore, which feeds the cycle).  tai chi.  meditating.  playing music.  singing.  dancing.  all these can take the edge off but often the full blown version is still close at hand, ready to climb back to fever pitch at any moment.  physical contact is one thing that cuts through it more quickly and deeply than anything.  i think this is why i have always craved it so much.  it is so grounding and gives me such a sense of peace and solidity.  right now i get very little if any physical contact.  and my anxiety cycles have been running pretty quick on top of each other.

i've been thinking about how many of my teachers have dedicated the majority of their lives and energy to the particular thing that they are teaching me:  tai chi, country fiddle, ortho-bionomy, improvisational music, singing.  And how i am dedicating my life to about 15 different things.  so, maybe i'll never be as good as them at any one of those things.  or maybe i'm just that awesome that i can succeed wildly at anything i put a significant amount of energy too.  But most importantly, each one of those things is a life-line for me when things get dark and horrible in the void of my internal chaos. the more lifelines i have, the better.