Another pause, another chance to catch my breath, another few days wondering when the next shoe will fall. I’ve had a hard couple of weeks, the lows like black holes I could barely escape even if I had all my warp capacity. But I’m not at full capacity, I’m still partially broken, limping along emotionally, dragging anger, sadness and helplessness along like garbage bags full of rocks and mud.
I had a great weekend, meaning one without any huge breakdowns, and also with some blissful moments. A couple of small lows were processed and left behind, and the stupid spat with my wife didn’t pull me into a whirlpool of anger as it might easily have. I keep breathing, talking to myself, moving. Movement is good, activity seems to be a partial antidote to helplessness.
When I talk to myself, I have a new meditation. I say to myself, “let it flow over me and around me, but not through me” and I envision a rock in the river, with water flowing over and around it, while it sits there, solid. Sure it erodes over time, but that’s a very slow process. The water can’t blow the rock up which is a good thing to meditate on as I am working on not letting my pain and fear blow me up.
I’m not as on edge as I have been, I’ve had 4 days in a row not waking up in a panic, fearing what the day may bring. That’s a good thing, but my feeling of tension is building. When is the next meltdown going to happen? What’s going to trigger it? How bad is it going to be before I come out of it? Who am I gonna hurt in the process? It’s not about if, it’s about when.
I’m going to therapy every other week. Last week it felt like I maybe needed weekly visits, but this week the pace feels right. On the weeks I’m not doing mental/emotional therapy, I’m doing massage therapy. These are not relaxation massages, these are “dig in and find the pain and work on it until it cries uncle” massages. I’m sore today because I had a massage last night. My Massage Guy is cool and when I told him some of the woo thoughts I was having, he was totally supportive. We’d been talking about how I was alternating his therapy with the other. We talked about how stress and anxiety gets trapped in our bodies, and I am definitely feeling an increase in body stress and pain. My woo thought was that I wondered if different aspects of me, the identities of me that represented traumatic or important events in my life, had taken up residence in different parts of my body and maybe this increased physical pain was linked to the fact that I’m at a heightened state of anxiety and agitation with respect to a lot of those events and identities. He was supportive of that notion, which is another reason I feel comfortable with him. He’s flat out good as a therapist, and he doesn’t mind considering the woo thinking. Plus he’s really good at digging in and finding the ouchy parts.
So that’s where I am right now. Trying to be a rock in the river. Trying to enjoy the joy as it presents itself and not second guess it. That’s hard because the track record so far is a short number of good or not bad days followed by a crashing low that takes me out for a day or two. So a significant part of me is waiting for the crash. Doesn’t help that I might be somewhat into the rush of panic and emotional storm. Into it? You ask, how could you be into it? I’m not talking about something conscious, I’m talking about getting used to/into the rush that comes with panic, the sense of heroism even that comes from being in the center of a shitstorm and having all of that righteous anger and indignation, of feeling like it’s just you against the world. Yeah, it’s a shitty feeling for the most part, but panic and anger bring their own highs, and I’m hoping that now that I’m aware of it, I’ll be able to stifle that a bit more.
Oh, and going back to the physical stuff, I’m definitely more exhausted than I have been in a long time. Battling demons from the past, trying to integrate and nurture and give space to traumatized identities within me, trying to also maintain myself in the here and now. That means parenting my girls, going to work, being an engaged partner to my wife, being a friend to all my friends, working on my workshops for Gender Odyssey, trying to get back to my writing projects, working on getting into better shape and health, working in my garden and yard, planning a wedding for this fall, and doing some extra credit geek stuff to increase my employability. Sometimes all that life stuff is too much, but most of the time having projects and other work to do is a good way to distract and pull away from being obsessed about my inner work. Some of that inner work needs to happen away from direct scrutiny. Shit, just looking at that list makes me want to take a nap. But I ain’t got no time for that, it’s time to go to the last Pizza Klatch of the school year.
Take care, ya’ll. Enjoy your joy, hug your loved ones, love yourself.
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