As I rode the train to my internship this morning I marveled at the normalcy of life. I wonder where I got the idea life was supposed to be a constant high, a constant push to do the next "big" thing. T and I spent yesterday at home, and several times I forced myself to simply BE STILL. Every moment need not be filled with activities (I assume) others can look at and judge "meaningful". Sometimes the most meaningful thing I can do with my body is nothing. I did that on the train this morning, too, and it was surprisingly refreshing.
I've completed my internship tasks for today, so I am going to spend some time studying. That is all that is on my plate for the morning. I admit, I feel a niggling sense that I need to program more of my day, but I am resisting that urge. After all, it hasn't been long since I got my brain back, so I want to relish the quiet. :-)
1. Never being healthily slim/toned, no matter how much I exercise and eat healthily.
2. Never making a comfortable living outside of working a soul-sucking job for someone else.
I am not interested in justifying either of the desires underlying those fears to anyone. I am, however, interested, in learning how to change my tendency to think "negative forever" so it no longer haunts me and keeps me feeling a low-level of stress and fear every waking moment. Does anyone have any ideas?
Back then I was fearless, barreling into new experiences headfirst with no doubts about my ability to (if not master the experience) adapt. But now? While I am far more open and adventurous than I was in the late 90s, you would still think I had opened my eyes one morning and seen the most horrible monster ever! I have to talk myself into interacting with others, both in person and on the 'phone (and occasionally online). I feel an unpleasant shock when I see a name I do not recognize in my email Inbox or LJ comments, sure I am about to be roundly criticized or attacked for something I said. I have to talk myself past crippling self-doubt to try many new things. Left to my instincts, I would hole up in a corner of my bedroom and never come out.
I was not born this way, and I cannot medicate this away. While the Lexapro has kept things down to a dull roar, the change only comes from being aware of and pushing through these tendencies. The meds help me think more clearly so I can work around them.
Even as I celebrate my self-awareness and strength, I am mourning the
Perhaps it will be less difficult to push though the inertia in time. I sure hope so. It takes far more energy to live life this way...energy I could spend on the living rather than on convincing myself to live. I am getting quite good at the convincing, don't get me wrong, but I wish I could just do it.
This is the first time I made the connection between my religious background and those draining, frustrating dreams.
As I made the latest strategic move in the financial chess game of my life, I thought about how fucking sick I am of the financial stress. However, I realize there will always be some kind of stress in everyday life, even if I were to come upon a miraculous windfall that would make me independently wealthy for the rest of my life. With that thought in mind, I keep living through my current stress, rather than being overcome by it. I may as well live, not just survive, since stress is a part of life.
There was a time when the thought of life always containing stress would have depressed me to the point of suicide. I suppose I would have felt I couldn't live through the stress: in my mind my choices were either completely escape stress or die. (That is what my therapist meant when she told me I seem to believe I won't survive uncomfortable emotions, rather than realizing I have survived them before and will survive them, again.) But it helps me to remember stress is cyclical, not present 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is happiness, joy, and peace in my life, too. And since I know I have survived past stresses when they have arisen in-between the happiness, joy, and peace, I see every reason to believe I will survive present stresses.
There has been healing and growth in me. I have healthier expectations of life and of myself, now. I am glad I didn't kill myself all of the times I thought about and tried it.
I survived today! As I walked to the subway after tonight's photography class I had that thought and gasped in delight. I seem to do that a lot, lately: consciously celebrate having made it to the end of another day still standing, still in my right mind, and usually clearer about who I am and how well I am becoming the person I have always wanted to be. I am pleased with my progress.
Tonight's class was on photo history, and I now have a slew of photographers and technologies to read up on, if my interest is to be sated. We also have our marching orders for the remainder of the class: work on our final project of 6 photos in a series. I have three ideas: Coney Island (instructor's suggestion, as I've shown several Coney Island shots in class), Bryant Park, or my neighborhood. I'm more likely to go with one of the first two, as I have a lot of shots of them and none, yet, of my neighborhood. We have two more classes, then the third week will be our exhibition. I barely felt the sidewalk on my walk to the subway, I am so excited!
Sleeping Lady, in the style of Tina Modotti
20 June 2008
There are moments when I could jump up and down from joy and hoot from exultation.
Barring that, I just stretch and smile and enjoy the sensation of being appreciated.
Today I have felt out of sorts most of the day. The funeral tomorrow is part of the reason. Hormones probably play a part, as well. But today has been a good day. I washed and groomed my locs. I worked out. I scored 96% on a practice exam. (I'm still waiting for the school to assign me a test voucher, so I can take the real thing.) I connected with people who care about me and whom I care about. I ran some errands. Now I am basking in quiet. I don't even have the stereo on, which is odd for me. But my soul needed the quiet. I'm glad I listened.
Spring Is Here
14 April 2008
Hi. My name is Wanda Louise, and I am living with dysthymia, a form of depression. In times of intense crisis, I have suicidal thoughts. I have been this way since I was fourteen or fifteen years old. I am now 36...a notable thing, since I attempted suicide by suffocation nearly seven years ago.
There. I said it. In public. I decided not enough people do, and since I have spent a lot of my life boldly going where others of my sex or race or religion rarely go, I decided it was time for me to be one of the few to publically admit to being clinically depressed and (in extreme cases) suicidal.
( Read more... )