Stormy night

Spring has arrived, and as they say, April showers have begun to buffet the Midwest. It is thundering now, and I can hear the sudden downpour.  It is a time of contemplation.  It is a time of meditation and purging and cleansing…

It is time to write again.

It struck me that I haven’t written in months, yet my mind has been many places worth writing about.  Physically, even, I’ve been many places. My life as a guest speaker in the aquarium club circuit has taken off, and so I’ve been traveling. Not to terribly exotic places, yet, but even engagements around the state have me on the go enough to be exhausted.  So much to see and to do; always. I’m…terribly exhausted, in general.  On top of my usual mental woes, I’ve discovered a nasty OCD habit worsening.  Now, I look at my food wistfully, as if it weren’t actually in front of me and ready to consume. As if it were in the pages of some 50’s cookbook I scanned once upon a time. There’s this mental block, and I struggle to get around it to stay alive at times.  Which is highly detrimental. I require my energy reserves now more than ever.  The brain can be a fickle thing.

It strikes me in my quest for human contact, a particular thought this evening: I am a stubborn woman.  I am incredibly stubborn.  I know I should look after my basic needs above all else, yet here I am, all ambitious and junk.  Choking on an oreo cookie, because the nerves have gotten to me. I feel like the walls are closing in and I’m running on fumes, at times.  At other times, I feel so happy and accomplished and fulfilled.  That is not now.  Right now, like any other stormy night, I am lonely.  I’ve a trusty cat companion, who provides sweet kisses and not-so-sweet mischief.  But I’m stubborn, and stubborn women rarely submit to men.  It’s a shame, too.  Because I really thought I liked men.  It is a manly thing to be dominant, and I refuse to submit to even my own physical limitations.  So why would I submit for a lover??  I won’t, though nature almost dictates I must.  Human nature cannot evolve fast enough…Not on this night, and probably not ever.

I ponder what my life will be one day. I never imagined it would be what it is now.  For instance, I never thought such basic things like eating would be a challenge or that I would be on a wait-list for anxiety treatment while simultaneously booking talks and trips.  It may be telling, however, that I often think I wouldn’t be alive if humans weren’t so prone to saving their weak.  I think my body is frail, and my genetics not the best. Though I consider myself weak in many regards, I am not the slightest bit reserved in my convictions.  This is apparent. There was a time I might’ve changed myself for a man, but I didn’t. Now I know I couldn’t.  Though women being strong willed and empowered is encouraged nowadays, it still doesn’t solve a residual dominance men expect to exert. They subconsciously desire dutiful women who look pretty for them and bare children. The reality may be that I scare men off with my convictions and stubbornness without even trying. If that’s the case, I suppose I could imagine more cats in my future….

Stubbornness will be the death of me.

 

 

 

 

Attention to Detail

It’s quiet now, I think.  I’ve dimmed the lights and drawn my breath.

A creaking rodent wheel sings in the night.  The bubbling of fish tanks serves as tempo.  It’s a concert; a symphony, but it’s all white noise to me.

The mind, like the animal house, is never truly quiet.  It, too, is often just unintelligible jargon.  But when it’s coherent, it stings.  It is searing in its clarity and punishing notions, just as…after a while, the sound of the rodent wheel grows irritating.  Today is the passing of that while.  Today, my mind is restless with the irritations that have plagued it far too long.

I’m sad now.  I’m sad and angry and aware.  The attention, the analysis…the core functions of the thinking brain have betrayed me.  I’m so upset.  I’m growing more upset by the minute.

Why is this?

I’ve lingered over details. I’ve replayed every word.  I’ve used the best computing device I’ve got, but I’ve been unable to prevent the inevitable.  I know why this is.  I’ve thought far too much.  But then there I go, thinking….The feedback loop just pushes me deeper and deeper into distress.

I want to stop.  I think to stop and then those thoughts intensify.  STOP.  STOP. BREATHE. BREATHE.  STOP.  STOP BREATHE.  STOP BREATHING.

That thought trail is unsettling and I do ground myself.  Life is a weird thing.  When you’re estranged and alone and your thoughts isolate you and you can’t trust yourself….that is the hardest path in life to walk.  I’ve walked it all along and wondered what purpose it must serve.  Why do I over-analyze?  Why do I dwell and prove detriment to my own progress in life?  Why?  WHY. WHY. THINK. THINK. WHY. WHY THINK.  WHY ARE YOU THINKING.

I’ve this unappealing fixation on details.  I know this.  I thought I had this figured.  Yet, in the night it stalks me.  I personify it as the enemy.  And I as not it.

Foolish, I think.  This demon and I are the same.  I’m it.  There’s simply nothing else to blame.

What is significant in this moment is that I know quite intimately that my struggle with the demon isn’t over.  In the quiet, the mind narrates. The inner monologue is saying things constantly.  It’s grabbing at the reins and when it pulls me in it rides me to utter exhaustion.  It’s insanity.  It’s what I am vs. what I want to be.

I used to take pride in my attention to detail.  I could pick the tiniest spiral shell from a bed of clam husks on any beach day.  I’d squint and analyze and process and find my prize.  In adulthood, it has become my weakness.  My focus is shot and I’m finding not prizes but reasons to worry and stress and attack myself.  Ok, and sometimes prizes such as the single wiggling fish from a dish of detritus.  I can’t gut the redeeming from the trapping of a quality.  I take it all and I’ve really no choice.

 

The question becomes.  Can I find beauty in this?  Can I exploit the strengths and embrace the weakness?

Not with the strangers I dress up as my kin.

Oh mind.  What a predicament within.

The things that kill you

My whole life I have struggled with keeping on weight.  I would always feel hunger intensely and when I would scramble for food, I would find moments later I would lose interest and leave where I lay this 70% full portion.   I must eat a quarter of what normal Americans do, at that rate.  It’s tough.  It’s tough not because I do not want it but because anxiety claims my body.  It makes the heart flutter uncontrollably and the brow furrow in strained musculature.  It takes me so far from the reality I fight to reclaim.  

 

Tonight, I have not had an easy time circling the bed.  I could barely sit still without wanting to cry or puke.  Last night was a similar story.  I have been off my anxiety and depression meds a few months strong now.  And combined with a full plate of labor before me, I have felt myself more likely circling the drain.  I have slowly been losing ground and the simplest tasks have now become frustratingly impossible.  This anxiety I have ridden to bad places.  It has convinced me I’m dying, because it really does take a toll.  I have never been more than 110 pounds in weight.  I would wager I’m slimmer than 99 at this point.  If my father’s concern for my lost presence is to be warranted.  I am not too far gone, though.  I see what is happening with great clarity even with such tired eyes. 

 

I needed the medication.  I never wanted to need it, and I convinced myself I did not.  But for the time being, my life is too hectic to not have the extra support.  I can’t afford to lose any more ground to the menace of the mind.   So I fight back.  I fight with drugs that counteract the poor wiring up top.  I fight because I have to. 

 

A lot of things can kill you in this world.   To suspect the body attacking itself is a worse nightmare.  But it claims a silent victim no longer.  At least for me.   And tonight I sleep.