Tag Archives: recovery

cashing my reality check

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Some days it hardly seems worthwhile, recording my thoughts.  But I feel bereft of good sense lately; my ego voice is loud and strong and my spirit whimpers under the lash.

So I slept with the Devil.  And he is all that was foretold:  seductive, winning, glorious, COMFORTABLE.  And with little hesitation, he moved on.

But somehow I feel different.  I feel that a loop was closed, a knot was tied.  And now I set about the long, long, long sojourn into my deepest self, to manufacture means of hushing the screams of outrage against the unfairness of what was once a beautiful dance.

I have substituted physical pain for psychic pain, a computer for a life.  I am pathetic.  But I am acquiring discipline in the only way I know, one day at a time.  I’ve not issued a booty call in over a week.  I am trying to ignore the taunting judgment, “He’s just not that into you.”

Perhaps the next step is to gorge on reality.  But reality is boring.  It stares me down at the end of a straight line, a box with rigid sides.  I march toward reality along the gangplank of dying dreams, to step off into an oblivion of wasted time.

Fantasy provides me a chaotic space in which to nurture my obsessions, to strive again and again toward the past, a reckless moment of abandon, a tarantella of lost reason.

Somewhere between the two extremes must lie grace.  It is always there, the quiet sweet spot, the underlayer of promise that waits and knows no limit.  I depend on grace, for I am too confused to find my horizon.

I will say this:  I do live my life.  I don’t hold back.  I know that somewhere a sunny beach with warm sand is waiting for my body.  Mother Ocean pipes her sweet lullabye and the stars will gather to listen.

So I will try to use my time as best I can, do my job, pay my bills, nurture my soul and allow God to show me The Path.

Fight Back

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Write the feelings down on a piece of paper, fold it into an airplane and make it fly. Play music and dance. Trace the outline of your hand on the wall and color it in. Tell someone you love them. Sing. Pray. Be visible. Be alive.

Scott Bennie’s Thoughts on Depression and Anxiety

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… depression is a disconnection of one’s emotions from the real world. It isn’t just melancholy or feeling down, it’s your emotional telephone dangling off the cradle while your hands are too weak and useless to put it back where it should be.

Attempting either to give pep talks or use “tough love” to people who suffer from depression rarely if ever works. If it was that easy to get people out of it, it wouldn’t be as much of a problem.

Anxiety is taking the panic button in one’s head, that impulse that tells you that you’re about to die, and holding it down. You have no idea why it’s being pressed, you feel incredibly weak and stupid and foolish that it’s being pressed, to the point where you feel useless and worthless — and it still won’t go away.

A prolonged anxiety attack is the closest thing to a living hell that I know. They’re a scream that doesn’t stop which drowns out all sounds except the panic and the accompanying feelings of worthlessness, and it’s nearly impossible to get any message through that noise until the trigger stops being pressed.

~ Scott Bennie

on the nature of tuesday

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What I believe today is that the answers to my most puzzling questions are found through interaction with others.

I have a new teacher. The reason I know this is that I talk to him a lot, in my head and in real life. And i think about stuff he has said and whether or not i believe it.

So today there are lots of people crossing in and out of my headspace, and there’s a lot of staccato on the wires. If you sit very still you can hear them whispering.

It occurred to me today that I was thinking about my interactions in terms of survival. It appears that most of the people I meet are behaving either as if they are predator or prey, or both. And while it may not look like it, I’m trying to be an observer.

I’ve been watching “Fringe,” and if you’ve watched it, you know all about the Observers. There’s one of them, September, who feels compassion, and doesn’t know what it is, because those around him see it as a handicap. And it truly is; he’s ostracized because of it.

So I think my new teacher and I are looking at our predatory nature, both together and separately. And he says things like, “I don’t want to hurt you,” and that both makes me laugh and pisses me off, because I think, what an arrogant statement.

But in his defense, that’s a line that seems popular these days. And is it because we are all such predators/victims? Is there space for Observers here? And must the consequences of that choice be loneliness and incomprehension?

I think not. I think there are other non-Observers who wish to evolve, who are just winging it on a daily (or hourly) basis, and who have lost so much that they have nothing left to lose by just putting it out there.

It takes tremendous courage, I think. The risks seem huge and the reward iffy at best. But maybe it’s just about the ride. As my teacher said, “You are welcome on my rocket ship. Just understand that we may crash.”

And I said, “It’s like Apollo 13. You wonder if you’ll survive reentry. But look at that moon in the window.”

reassembled

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I feel like I am finally getting back to the little spot of now, the quiet sweet spot that constantly changes but never moves. When panic erupts it shatters me into fragments that land all across the spectrum of time, and through love and grace, I am reassembled, a little weary, but hopeful.

Affirmation June 18, 2012

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I am coming to know myself as a living example of God’s mercy.

ivy

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ivy

I wonder where my fascination with ivy began?  It’s one of the lesser totems of my life.

When I moved into the house on Marcia, the kitchen pantry was lined with ivy wallpaper.  (My dad painted over it one day while I was gone.  “You were going to paint over it, weren’t you?” as if any alternative was unthinkable.)

When I lived in Austin, while browsing the local Goodwill store, I spotted a plate, sage green with white ivy leaves.
It was just one plate, tho, and I had no use for a single plate.  But it was there the next time I went back, and for $1.50, it was a must purchase.

Turns out it was Harkerware.  Thus began a long love affair with all things pottery, especially tableware, but also bowls.  I angered my friend Ann one time because I had found a huge bowl somewhere shopping, and she thought I should let her buy it.  But I had been looking for a bowl like it for big recipes, like oatmeal cookies, where the flour goes everywhere when you start up the mixer.  At the time I did not understand why somehow I seemed like the bad guy in this deal, because she had numerous similar bowls and I had none.

In retrospect, I understand it a little better today.  Crockery can be a kind of addiction.

Anyway, back to Austin:  I began searching for pieces of the Harkerware on eBay and I ended up buying, selling, collecting, learning everything I could.  I inherited a large cache of Fiesta from Mom, who included boxes and boxes bequeathed to her by the former Anne Roney, who’d gotten tons of china and figurines and JUNK for her wedding gifts.

I began collecting a huge set of Azura by Taylor Smith Taylor.  It seemed the perfect fine china companion to my everyday Ivy Wreath.

It’s all in boxes now.  I gave the Azura to Rachel when I moved back to Memphis.  She’s used it once, last Thanksgiving.  It set a very nice table.

Three of my salad plates are downstairs in the kitchen.  I should probably rescue them.  I had the sugar bowl in the hallway, to keep dog biscuits handy.  Hannah discovered these, and the sugar bowl is no more . It’s not like I used the sugar bowl, anyway, and I’m certainly not using it now.  I still have the lid, and I might find a replacement for it.  But not for a while.

One of my favorite photos is of a sprig of ivy in a bud vase, sitting on the windowsill of the bathroom upstairs on Carnes.  It’s flanked by some of my seashells.  Not sure if I even have those shells anymore or the vase, but I have that photo.  I look at it frequently, tried to make it part of my Facebook timeline but it’s the wrong crop.

Near the garage, there’s ivy sprouting in a place where hostas had been and died.  It’s tenacious and hardy.  It holds the ground together and can form a carpet across a lawn in no time, or up an exterior wall.  It is the bane of masons and carpenters, and it can be tiresomely mundane.  But there’s something about it that reminds me of sweeter times, of disappointments and flawed relationships, and hope.

Wild Geese ~ Mary Oliver

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You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
…You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Mary Oliver

The Laughing Heart ~ Charles Bukowski

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your life is your life

don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.

you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

@Charles Bukowski

YouTube: Tom Waits Reads “The Laughing Heart”

why not?

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i’m tired of making excuses for myself.

i’m tired of letting people talk me out of it.

i’m tired of letting them infect me with their fear.

i’ve fucked up about as much as any woman can with her life

so what have i got to lose?

5:06pm July 7th, 2010