Monday, May 31, 2010
I grappled with posting this for a few days (plus there's no wifi where I am and I hadn't been able to blog on my phone) and finally decided, what the hell. The internal battle to get to this place has been extreme and maybe some of you are going through the same thing. Or have been here and can share what's worked or what hasn't.
Today is my 4th day of taking an SSRI for anxiety/depression. There have been many times in my life I think taking something would have been a tremendous help but I was always too scared. That, and I saw it as a sign of personal weakness - that I should be strong enough to hold it together and soldier through, regardless of how bleak or stressful things became.
So, what made this time different? I don't want to suffer so much. Even though I know I always come through these things I don't want to be in this much pain anymore.
I didn't do tons of research. I trusted my doctor, whom I adore, sat with the starter pack for 24 hours and then dove in on Friday. Being so aware of how I feel has made this more intense than it should be. Every moment of lethargy, every time I've been thirsty, anxious, spacey, mellow, every time my stomach's clenched, my head feels woozy, I can't remember a word I blame on the meds. For a person so terrified of change, of letting go, of not being in control, taking something like this is a nightmare.
I'm taking care of myself in a way I never have before. There are moments I'm aware that my jaw's not clenched tight. I sat on the beach yesterday and wasn't compelled to go do anything - just sitting was fine.
Anxiety had alwas been my default mode and I'm thinking/feeling/hoping that I'll discover another way to be.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
To be honest though, I don't do that nearly as often as I used to. In fact, it's a rare occurrence. And yesterday wasn't whining, at least not to me. It was sharing frustration and the reality of my life in that moment.
I am still surprised people take time to read these very personal thoughts. And more surprised when someone judges me on them. A few hundred words posted online is only a fraction of the picture, the life. They're a snapshot of time and emotion.
People tell me I share too much. And people share that my words resonate with them, that knowing someone else out there is struggling or questionning or celebrating helps in their journeys.
Who knows who's right.
What I know is this is who I am at the moment I'm writing. Real. Raw. Not censored. Pained, deep, proud, inspired. Hurt, confused, questioning, filled with joy. Grateful, pissed, ambivalent, surprised.
I can't imagine what I feel, what I experience to be all that different than most people. I just write about it. In writing I'm finding my voice. And am searching for my center, hoping to let go all sorts of baggage I've been carrying for too long.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I haven't been on a trip all year and this means so much to him. And at BEA I'm nobody. A faux reporter. I was overwhelmed at all the purposeful people milling about, toting rolling suitcases, carrying stacks of stuff. Waiting for special events. To meet authors.
I'm am author. No one's waiting to meet me.
Last year I came to BEA so excited about FLOW and the thought that this year I'd be someone, a presence, a worthwhile entity. Looking back over the past year it's mind-boggling to remember all that's happened. And yet, at least at BEA I'm in the same place. An anonymous (in a very loud vintage dress) spectator, not a participant.
It's moments like these I want to give up. That I feel like a complete loser. That nothing I've done or accomplished means anything.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Next week is BEA (Book Expo America) and I want to go. Last year I went with a friend of mine, one of my closest from college whom I hadn't seen since then. We met amid the chaos and confusion before the doors opened and within 10 seconds it was as if I'd seen him every day since I was 19. We wandered the aisles, picking up books and galleys. I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Kinney, who wrote the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and got to tell him his books were the reason Jack started reading. My favorite part was the fabulous bags everyone was giving away. To be honest, that's one of the reasons I wanted to go back.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
This time I'm giving something up. Taking away a source of comfort, of nurturing, of soothing myself when things are hard. Which they so often are. And after years (and years) of denying myself it's makes this even more challenging. Not that this part is particularly difficult. I've trained myself to for this. I've given up sugar before. Anorexic willpower is a powerful force. Denial is familiar. Comfortable. Easy.
But it's bringing up so much. I haven't been this anxious since I was in my last year of design school, juggling a full time job, my portfolio, 6 workouts a week and a lot of therapy. I've fallen into this bleak place as if time's stopped and there's nothing to look forward to. I cry every day. I feel powerless, hopeless, at times on the edge of a breakdown.
And in wondering, is it worth it? To be in this much pain? Or will I come out the other side with my body in a healthier place and my mind catching up?
I don't know yet.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Do you ever feel heartbreakingly alone, even when you’re in the midst of people? I’ve been fighting this for days—feeling obsolete, unneeded, superfluous.
Today I found out someone I’d considered a great friend had tremendous changes going on in his life for months, never breathing a word. I feel stupid for selfishly rambling on all that time when his stuff was so much more monumental. It can never go back to what it was. He’s in such a different, better, happier place—turns out I was just filler until something better came along.
Another friend dumped me recently. Someone I trusted wholeheartedly. This time too, I was a place-holder until a more interesting option turned up. And it did.
I feel marginalized, insignificant. Unimportant.
I don’t know where I fit in anymore. The truth is I never fit in anywhere, never really. I skirt the edges, dip my toe in, take on roles I think I can handle and then quickly move on to the next thing.
I’m the planner, the doer, the organizer. I make things happen. I bring people together. But no one does it in return.
I sent out mother’s day cards and heard back from one person out of eighty or so. I pitched a film idea to a really interested company who sought me out only to hear nothing. I put my thoughts, ideas, feelings out there every single day and they're not even a ripple in a vast ocean
I don’t have it in me to start over again. To start a new project knowing how hard it will be to sell it. To have agents politely say no. Publishers shake their heads. To plan time with friends knowing it’s all one-sided.
This bleakness is stark. These days are empty.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
That thought popped into my head as I stretched into an early down dog in class this morning, sweat dripping down my nose onto my fuschia mat covered with subtle lavender lotus outlines.
Breath is glue.
When things are falling apart around me, breath holds me together. When I am surrounded by panic and pain, illness and anxiety. When life, whether my own or someone else's, is out of control. When there's not an answer, no solution in sight, when not knowing is all there is, breath keeps me calmer than I should be. Breath has done a remarkable job of vanquishing my inner drama queen.
Last night I told Jon when pressure gets too much I dread breaking down, going crazy, losing control. He told me I’m too strong for that to happen. Too grounded. That I've grown into a place where I shouldn't fear that anymore.
I have to give all the credit to my breath who has not had an easy time with me. I am often disparaging, cynical, skeptical. And yet, in spite of those negative feelings, I keep showing up on my mat, letting breath take over for a little while. The amazing thing is that yoga has seeped in and is at work in me much of the time, regardless of the fact that I’m a non-believer. I’m pretty faithless. I never bought into the “we’re all one” or “god is inside us” or “love is the answer.” I eye roll when that message gets too sappy.
And yet here I am. Knowing beyond intellectual thought that my breath saved me. That without its support, it’s evenness, it’s subtle control I’d be lost. That all those hours, weeks, months, years sweating, twisting, breathing, chanting have changed me without my knowing it.
Namaste breath. To know you is to love you.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
He had been a trooper, even agreeing to go. Iz was at a sleepover party and so it was just him and strangers, basically his worst nightmare. Jack isn't good at new social situations. It takes months for him to feel comfortable somewhere an here I was throwing him off the deep end into sugar crazed kids, running rampant, music blaring so loudly you couldn't talk, total mayhem.
Deep down I guess I knew it would be a disaster.
It didn't start there. We got to the hotel almost 2 hours later than we had planned so there was no hang out time. His baseball game lasted 45 minutes longer than I realized. We stopped at Best Buy and Target to pick up phone chargers. Jon and I had our first fight of the night about how I could be so stupid as to buy something other than what he said. He didn't believe me when I told him 4 peple at Best Buy said they longer carry what he was looking for. And then, at Target, he continued ranting until he couldn't find it there either.
We stopped by my parent's room for a quick hello and the scrambled to get dressed. That's when I discovered Jack had no pants. I had ironed his at home, along with his shirt and my dress but they weren't there. So, as I scrambled to figure something out I started to panic.
And was met with silence.
And then shouts. Accusations. A firewall of blame slammed me against the wall until I finally broke down in tears. Yes, I made a mistake, but instead of even a silent pat in the hand or a work together to fix things attitude, I got guilt laden shit about how irresponsible I am.
I google mapped Old Navy, found a replacement pair of black dress slacks Jack slipped into in the car, and continued on. The arguing somewhat abated but by that point I was already ready to go home. Jack, who gets stoic at the times, must have been too.
We walked into a throbbing wall of lights, music, blinking necklaces, frantic energy. Long gone are the days adults have a place at these things. The hired dancers were on from the beginning and made sure kids (not mine though) were engaged at every moment.
Jack tried. I tried. It had been a long, not particularly easy day and he just wanted to go home. I don't blame him. But, we couldn't and it spiraled out of control.
I spoke to hardly anyone. I felt lost, out of place, disjointed. I too knew almost no one in a room of tightly knit people. Jon and I argued most of the evening, about Jack, about my lack of appropriate parenting, about how irresponsible I get. At one point I said we would never go to an affair like this again. He berated me in public, disgust contorting his face, for saying something so outlandish. On the drive home he said exactly the same thing, claiming not to have understood what I meant.
Which brings me to kill joy. As I struggled for an entire night, it would have been a relief, a blessing, a gift for someone to come to my rescue. Perhaps this person could have talked to Jack for 5 minutes, tried to engage him, humor him, be there for him. But she didn't. She judged and the second we got into our car he burst into tears, Jon started yelling again and I wished beyond wishing that I could disappear.
But, I couldn't. I can't. So here we are in a hotel in NJ. I have another overbooked day ahead of me. I don't know how I'll survive this one.
It's not going to be easy. Or pretty. Or remotely ok.