There was a very distinct shift today. The kind you feel in your bones, or for me the kind I more often than not sense coming. Like a deer catching a scent on a breeze. I didn’t sense this one coming. so here I sit somewhat adrift and wondering why. Though I truly know better than to think there needs to be a reason. I scan the inventory looking for changes, to anything from diet, exercise, to amount of sleep. I track all of it carefully in my head, always watching for a trend developing. I scanned and searched, turned over every rock, but am left with just one change. The only item that is different is the folic acid supplementation that I was doing for the month until I repeated the blood work. I cannot imagine that 1mg of folic acid a day is enough to shift my mood so completely and utterly. I’m willing to wait it out, and just see if it is a one day thing. My gut, which by this point is well worn from many a day like today, feels it isn’t a one off kind of deal. I’ve been wrong before, so I’ll sleep on it and hope tomorrow shifts back to my happy content way of these past weeks.
Really good blog I read on occasion. Always thoughtful, though tends to get out there a bit with references to various religions etc. Doesn’t matter, since the heart of the blog is authentic and heartfelt. I can’t even count the times when I think to myself, gee I should probably breathe, but the emotions are so overpowering I am fighting hard to stay still. Thinking for sure if I even blink, or breathe I won’t be able to control the overwhelming current that has me in its riptide. Racing hard away from the couch and the voice across the room. So much is tethered to our breath. Whether is are exploring our depths or racing across the ground. It enables us to remain upright and conscious. Its absence ends our life within just a few moments. To say it is critical is an understatement. Beyond the ability to sustain us, it allows us to control pain. To breathe thru pain and to allow us to cope with the most overwhelming sensations that accompany it. Pain affects our breath almost immediately after our body registers the injury, or emotion. That sudden catch in your chest as the body fights to deal with it and assess the insult. The most common painful injury most of us have dealt with is a broken bone. The link between pain and suffering in humans is well documented. We suffer, and our minds tend to lock into pain. It forms this intense state where it can sometimes convince us it might never end. In that moment suffering becomes immense and immeasurable. To control pain we must catch it before it becomes so overwhelming to our minds. pain control doesn’t work as well as time and suffering continue. So, back to that broken bone. I think we all have experienced that place our mind goes. The complete and utter conviction that enables us to buy the minds argument that it will last forever, despite knowing that it will actually be okay once stabilized and immobilized. Within a week we will remember little about that extreme discomfort our mind was convincing us would be unending. It is no different with emotional pain. In that moment when the riptide pulls us hard away from our therapy, it convinces us that to breathe and accept it will cause it to last forever. Our mind convinces us, and so we freeze, hold our breath or breathe shallowly without embracing the pain. If only we pushed away that instinct. To breathe deeply would let us ride out the current and even bring ourselves to a place of diminished pain. To sit with the most horrible of emotions and come through the other side, intact. But it never gets any easier. I still cannot control that. In that moment I sit still, completely convinced the pain lapping at my heels will demolish me. Bury me within its current and I will surely drown beneath its enormity. and as I always do, I stop breathing and stop accepting. The cycle repeats. I push back the pain and it only comes back later. I so long to just that once breathe and not absorb it. To breathe and let it go. I wish more than anything to find a way. To breathe is to live. To breathe is to release all that tears us apart inside. I need to learn to breathe.
and yeah I probably swapped breathe and breath more than a few times…never was any good as paying attention in grammar 😉
Interesting article on Americans and prescription meds. 70% is a huge number. Never mind 20% take 5 meds of more. But the startling piece of info is antidepressants join antibiotics and opiate pain killers as the most prescribed. Scary…
I know I have been scare these past couple weeks. It has been so solid my mind hasn’t much been hiding in its own skull as usual. I love these times. I can live my life and all the other shit that is normally holding court is gone. It is just life as it should be. I am productive and settled. Not that there aren’t worries, there always are. They just don’t have the power they do when I’m not in quite as solid a place. For now I just want to enjoy it. I want to be happy and content. Think I deserve that.
Still beyond snarky and bitchy. Hate not running regularly. I just can’t seem to settle into taking a break. Not really much improvement in the tendon. The improved feeling running the other day just led to more inflammation. I forced myself to take the last two days off, and trying hard to talk myself into a couple weeks off. So, here’s to snarky and very bitchy, least in the near future…
The crazy week comes to a close. I can’t even fathom how much transpired in the past 7 days. Most of it on wednesday. Or sanctuary opened its doors to a rather out of the ordinary population of hogs. I don’t know much about pigs. Well beyond our potbelly. I understand his quirks, and his needs. He is about hundred twenty pounds. He is easy to handle because we raised him. Our new fosters are a whole different story. These are farm hogs. Some can top out as big as couches and tip the scale at 900+lbs. We welcomed a momma with 5 piglets. She’s 400 lbs! wow, is all I could think. I have a healthy respect for strange animals till I know them, but I have a VERY healthy respect when they are huge and have babies. She actually is a nice hog and has adapted to sanctuary life well. The sad thing is that she and the others are evidence in a criminal case. They are here while the case is pending. We don’t know if the judge will give these animals back. After our time, energy and love they may return to the situation that caused them such suffering.
Of all the group one little runt has really captured us. My partner promptly named her Charlotte. I would have stuck with piglet #5 and tried to keep some distance. Nope, no luck there. The little runt with the broken femur is living in the house. It is like some absurd funny farm. Birds in the bathroom, a hog in the hallway…;oh when did our lives get to this. It is ok. We signed on for this life the day we moved in here. I can only hope that it ends well for these animals. and for us. It is hard to give a piece of yourself and lose them.
On a more unhappy note, seems my time off from running did nothing to help the Achilles. I am miserable without my run routine. I did everything in my power to not run at all for a week, that after a huge cutback in miles. Finally I broke down and ran an easy 4 yesterday. The first two were beyond miserable. I kept saying to myself “stop running you idiot”. It eased up a bit in mile 3 but came back toward the end of the run. I am at a bit of a standstill here deciding where to go from here. The schedule and discipline of the run had become such a huge part of my life and my day. I knew my week and what I had to accomplish before it even arrived. I hate this feeling like a slug. I can keep working at it, and hope the pain subsides, or I can take a longer break. I can’t really decide. In the iterim I’m working at every sports medicine trick I know to get the tendon happy again. It is frustrating as hell and has me bitchy and snarky.
Well it is officially one year. Strange it seems much longer than that. Maybe it is because so much ground has been covered here, a lifetime really. I explored areas I had never even attempted to put words to. Found the courage to pull them out into the open and look hard at them. I slowly figured out what worked, and what didn’t. I know when I started writing the blog I never thought I’d still be at it a year later. I thought I would have said all I needed to say, but that is the funny thing about blogging, and life, there is always something more to be said. I know, me? The one that doesn’t talk. Yeah me. I have more to say. As I have said before, I might be quiet but my brain is not. It is always looking and searching for meaning. In the day, in that moment or even in that year. It is one of the struggles I face and often am at a loss. What is the meaning in my life? What is all this struggle for? To what end the suffering? I don’t ever have an answer. Some days I find it easier than others. I find the beauty in a sunset and realize I am glad I am here. Happy to have breathed in that late evening air. It isn’t always the case. Sadly, often it is the opposite. I sway heavily beneath the weight of a mood I cannot shift. The sun nothing more that a glare in my eye. The beauty and the majesty of this world evaporates and I am left in a hard worn place of apathy. How those two poles can exist within the same person is remarkable. It speaks volumes of what our mind can do. To care not about life or breath, yet later find the most intimate beauty of our world. To be moved to tears at the sight of the sun shifting behind the horizon. To be able to see the colors for all their glory. This the same person that on so many occasions walks a fine dark line with death. It is horrifying to me. For to be in touch with those colors and that beauty is to love completely and utterly. To cast away disbelief, and pain. To fall rapt in glory of life and existence. That is not a suicidal mind. That is quite the opposite. A mind that takes in beauty and stills itself to become deeply mindful is one that is open. Open to the experience its sounds, smells and images. The suicidal mind is closed and shut down tight on itself. It is caught within an ever rolling loop of destruction and pain. The world gets smaller and smaller. Sights and sounds become dull and finally cease to register. People in our lives grow farther away till they are merely a blip on the endless grey horizon that stretches forever beyond the cramped confines of our mind. We are so overwhelmed with pain and sorrow there is no room in our sensory systems for sights, and sounds of all that is beautiful around us. That sunset was just as beautiful, it just did not break thru that cold grey trap. There are moments it becomes so mind numbing I seek to strike out or inflict some pain to somehow register that I am still alive. Only so much pain can be endured. Only so much horror can be experienced. The hard and fast disconnect is there to help me survive, but often backfires. In the absence of feeling and conscience the most heinous of thoughts and behaviors are viable. This blog has taught me a lot about myself and my mind. I have learned to see it, just as Virgil and Beatrice see it. Not just from the inside, but from the outside. Whether it is the manic late night rant, or the disconnected icy monologue, they all flash Neon warnings. I am more self-aware than I ever have been. Happy Birthday blog. I love that I have archived a year of my life, and so much more. I have seen health, and achievements I never thought possible. Just as I have seen darkness and chaos. I have learned that this is me, for better or worse. It is not all one or the other. I can have both and not be a worthless piece of shit. I can spend a week in a mental hospital and run a half marathon, or TM. I can excel and grow. For one is not mutually exclusive of the other. I can have the deepest suicidal lows, and still manage to climb up to the steady even plateau. It is okay. There is no judgement for either. The judgement exists only in my mind, and it drags me in directions I need not go. The self loathing and hate so evident in many of these entries only serves to weaken my resolve and muddle the view forward. I have within me the most incredible durable survivor. I have time and again fallen to the most horrific of places. Places I can barely bring myself to think about or describe, yet there beside that horror is hope. For each scuffle with the worst there is the opportunity to find my best. They exist side by side. Always. Sadly there are many times the depression and mood place blinders on me. I see nothing but demise, and decay. I see nothing but my end. My death. I cannot see my Life. My dreams, my hopes, my loves. I cannot begin to tell you how deeply sad that makes me. The tears roll freely at the thought of walking that road again, and the loss of sight for all that really matters. I do not know the answer. I do not know the cure. I only know that I have the capacity to survive if I give myself half a chance. I don’t know that I can ever truly trust myself. I have far too often been seen to make such soul wrenching bad decisions. In the absence of that trust I put my faith in those that care for me. I know that seems like a lot. And I guess it is. I trust they will not let me die, no matter how bad it gets. I don’t know if in time I will learn the skills to do that for myself. I’m not sure if skill if the right word. I do know that this blog has given me a road map. I have seen the road and written about its twists and turns. I know where to put on the brakes and look around. I have been down this road before. With experience comes confidence. I am not yet sure I have the confidence, but I know I can look back here, over my words, and see myself. There in black and white Beth exists. The best of me, and the very worst. When I second guess that the world will once again be bright, and that those sunsets will take my breath away, I need only to visit these pages. Here I am world, one year later. One year wiser. Eyes wide open to the ever shifting axis of my world. To take each day for what it is, and to love myself for my ability to do that. To stop looking backwards, or forwards, but rather to be, in this most beautiful moment, as I sit and breath.
Me: “Mom, check out this photoshop tool I have been using to repair the photos of dad and I. I’m hoping to compile them for his 80th coming up in August.
Mom: “Oh, I remember that trip! We were up North with a friend of your dad’s.
Me: “You do?”
Mom: “Oh yes! You were awful. it was a mess.
Mom “Yeah, I put a fork through your hand at dinner.”
Mom: “yeah, you were a handful”
Mom: “or maybe it was my hand, i’m not sure”
Me: “um, ok”
As we continued our conversation I was left totally in awe of 1. Her complete and utter lack of emotion in communicating a clear cut case of abuse. 2. My complete and utter lack of reaction to her communicating a clear cut case of abuse.
I am actually wondering what the rationale behind stabbing a kid with a utensil? I’m pretty sure it didn’t shut me up, unless it was that fleeting moment when nothing comes out of a kids mouth when they actually really are hurt. Just that silent
So short of a momentary Edvard Munch moment, I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. Sure it made a mess, and geez, may have caused a scene. But hell, this was the mid 70s. Guess you could still get away with that.
But back to today. What is so striking is that this is okay. I don’t question it, and she talks about it like she talks about her garden, or the weather. I wonder how I ever made it this far. Truly wonder how much of her personality disorders colored my development. What would I be without it? What was my potential? Where would I be if we could rewind the clock, and do an ABC worthy Parent Swap. Who would I be? Probably not nearly as aloof and shut down. Not prone to isolating and finding comfort in shutting all the world out. But we are connected, she and I. In our quirks and our difficult natures. In so many ways. That is kind of scary to me, but I know there isn’t really any way around that. But I changed, and continue to. I can only hope that when I reach her age that I have made some peace with this, and with our similarities. In the interim, glad I have no desire to have kids.