Wednesday, January 8, 2014

these things take time...

   In this new era of adulthood (my first real adulthood of honesty, positive growth and spiritual experience), I am daily working on patience. I am learning a new way of being.  Gone (well almost...) is the reactive, impulsive girl of the past. It can take an extremely long time to undo ingrained personality patterns. I sometimes still feel an instinctive pull to act in an unhealthy way (like yelling at other drivers on the road or sighing loudly when irritated...) but I am usually able to catch myself pretty quickly and correct my actions. I am ever working on lessening my anxious nature...
  I have dealt with anxiety (at varying levels) for my entire life of memory. Once, when I was a child and actually in unsafe/abusive situations, the anxiety (and OCD) served me well and acted as a sort of dreamlike protective barrier. It occupied my mind. I was too busy worrying about numbered rituals or expounding upon made up situations to deal with what the real trouble was. My child self wasn't capable of dealing with or solving the actual problems I was faced with. My mind developed intricate worlds of delusion. I was flooded with what I believed to be supernatural communications.
  Even today, when in the midst of a stressful time, my mind instantly veers into that space of extreme irrational thought and I have to breathe and chant my mantras in my head "I am ok, we are ok, I am calm, I am safe, we are safe..." on and on. I am rarely pulled into the depths of my darkest thoughts but lately (such as last week, tending to a 5 year old with pneumonia), I have been feeling taxed and tired and am finding my head going to that dark place the minute I try and shut my eyes and go to sleep. During the day, with tasks and chores and the noises of life, I am able to avoid the loop of thoughts that try to creep in, but at night, they come slipping in. So I breathe slowly, try to name the feelings and let them go once named. I imagine myself on a rocky cliff over choppy waters dropping unwanted thoughts off the edge like leaves. Sometimes they fall directly into the waves below and sometimes they float, suspended like feathers, before me.

 This picture above is from the brightest time of today.

  I am aware that this melancholia strikes me every winter. I don't enjoy waking in actual blackness and getting the children and myself ready for our day in the dark. It is hard to summon joy from inside when outside it remains dark. Even after sunrise, the cloud cover is so dense and gray that everyday can look like the moments just before sunset or sunrise for many hours on end. It drains my internal reserve of brightness. I remember fondly waking to the sun and warmth every day and always in my southern California childhood. It was wonderful. Once in a while we get lucky in the Pacific NW and there is a bright winter day. On those days, I can instantly feel my spirit transform.

  I forgot about the vitamin D I have in the cabinet. I got that out and have been taking it again. I get outside because even if it is cloudy, some of the suns rays get through and it helps. I avoid the sugar and caffeine that is a constant temptation to me (sometime cookies-especially the birthday cake w sprinkle variety, do help), it perks me up for a bit but then I crash or feel anxious or both!

 Pho dinners always make everyone smile!
   Tea provisions! My constant winter rotation (note "second tier" complaint line phone number for the internet company written on index card. Our internet has been so non existent the last 3 months-not good when you work online-I now have a special number to call.)

  I've decided I want to move out of our dilapidated rental house. It's drafty, damp and in disrepair. I'm afraid it may be contributing to our respiratory ailments... The landlord is senile and won't fix anything.  I hope to move in February or March. After scanning craigslist and driving about a little (also talking to friends who have recently moved), I feel super annoyed and stressed. Rents have gotten out of control in the city... I'm continuing to concentrate on lessening our stuff and working gradually towards the move but this is hard. Once I've got it into my head to move I want to move right away. But of course, I cannot. I have to plot and plan and work and look and hope that it will all work out. We'll find the perfect place, a better place than the one we are in now.
  Now I'm gonna sip my valerian tea and get cozy and hopefully real sleepy... xo m

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