May 22, 2010

just me and my coffee

It's been a while since I've just sat here an enjoyed the silence as I write. To just close my eyes and try to allow my thoughts to actually move around a bit, as opposed to stuffing them away for later. Like Scarlett O'Hara, my mantra is always, "I'll think of that later." well, it's later. I need to deal with all of these thoughts and concerns eventually, and stuffing them all away doesn't do me or anyone else any good. It just delays the inevitable and wreaks havoc on me in the process.

It starts in my head, where things begin to overwhelm me and consume me. Then all of that mental stress and fatigue starts to wear down my body. Keeping up the pace of mind games that allow me to function on at least a somewhat normal level tends to eventually wear me out in the long run. All that diverted energy ends up manifesting itself physically if allowed to go on unchecked. Intestinal issues caused by stress that start in my throat and chest as tightness and heartburn and run the entire system including my stomach and beyond start to appear and then worsen.

Sleepiness is a symptom of depression in my system, but it's also a side effect of both the conscious and subconscious battles against the depression. As a result, I'm constantly tired, constantly fighting to not fall asleep and to keep my energy levels up. When I sleep too much or nap too often, then I feel even more worthless and guilty, which deepens the feelings of despair and depression, causing more exhaustion and thus the symptom becomes the cause ant the cycle continues.

At some long ago point in my life, these cycles would begin and end on their own, and though I had no more control over them in the beginning than I do now, they were always so much shorter.

I've always been susceptible to the winter blahs, and that can lead to a cycle, or just intensify one that is already in progress. With springs arrival though, I could enjoy life and the sunshine again. Now, as much as I look forward to spring, it brings it's own set of problems. Things I once loved become complicated in my mind and therefore scary and impossible.

I love to work in the yard planting flowers, moving things around and even weeding most days. Anything to be outside. I change the layout and design of my flowerbeds continuously just so I can keep my hands dirty without spending more money or digging out new beds.

With each passing year though, it gets harder and harder to be outside working if anyone else is around. I feel unable to accomplish even the smallest of goals in the yard and flower beds. Everything seems just out of reach.

I have a motorcycle in my garage that is now over two years old, yet it has less than 500 miles on it. I fell in love with riding after a summer spent behind Cody on his motorcycle. Now even though I still want to ride, and sometimes even crave the feel of an afternoon sun shining down as I ride along the riverside just outside of town, I can't bring myself to get on the damn bike.

There are so many things that I want or need to do, yet the thought of not knowing how or doing something wrong in some way totally scares me away from even starting. Then comes more worthlessness and despair. Then the spiral deepens. Then I'm not just circling the drain, but headed straight for it.

I keep telling myself, "If only _____, I could do this." If only I had a regular, day shift, Monday through Friday job, I wouldn't be tired. I wouldn't be so distant. I could do more of what I want to do instead of just what I'm able to fit into my schedule.

I need to spend more time focusing on what matters most to me, and the things that I have committed to doing. I need to spend less time on the internet machine constantly craving that self-gratifying feedback from people on facebook.

I've deleted close to half of the subscriptions in my reader. I want to spend more time offline than on, but the computer is such an effective crutch. It's so easy to "connect" and be myself online. It's hard work when it's not fostered by a keyboard and faceless contact. Real life in real time is hard. It's ugly and dirty, and I'm horrible at it. Small talk baffles me. I'm unable to participate, and I'm horrible when I do.

Cody and I will be attending a conference for the Disciples of Christ in Ohio in about 3-4 weeks, and I'm scared shitless. That's a lot of new faces. And one of those new faces will be the ones I typically hide from our friends at church. They're going to get a glimpse into the real me, and I don't know if I can handle that.

I want to take some time over the course of that week to sort of "center" myself and be a little healthier on the inside. How I'm able to accomplish that is something I'm still working on.

I'm considering another techno-sabbatical and going of the grid for a while. I would really like to try spending the entire summer disconnected from the computer (except email, since that's the only form of communication with some friends and family). I would also really like to avoid the TV. Most of the shows that I "have" to watch are currently wrapping up for the season, so it shouldn't be too hard.

I'm not entirely sure what I'll end up doing, but I do know that something has got to give, and I don't want it to be me this time.

To be completely honest, I think I need a med adjustment as well as some honest-to-goodness lay-on-the-chaise-and-tell-me-about-your-childhood therapy. That scares the shit out of me though. I've had some less than stellar experiences with drugs and therapists, and it keeps me from actively pursuing anything on a real level.

Cody and I had a sit-down with Pastor Allen a few weeks ago, mostly to discuss the possibility of my finding additional help outside of my counseling with Pastor. I agreed to give it a shot, as they were both quite reassuring of my ability to have the final approval on any therapist or drug (excepting any immediate danger, at which point I gave them permission to do what is necessary).

Cody actually volunteered to do the initial work of finding new therapists for me to try out, but he has said nothing of it since that day, and I've not been crazy enough to remind him. I'm freaked out by the possibility, and see no reason to push him on it! (Trouble being that when he reads this, I'm gonna hear a few sharp words, to be sure...)

So for now I just continue my inaction. The sun is out, but it's a big world of frightening possibilities being lit up. Perhaps I'll go check my facebook updates.

1 comment:

Pete said...

There are some big steps in there and a lot of insight and things that had me hyperventilating. lol.

Seems like you're headed in the right direction and if you ever need a fresh ear you know how to get a hold of me.