Staying the Course

I’m trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
~ Indigo Girls, Closer To Fine

Still feeling like Pig Pen from Peanuts. Depression is following me around like my own personal raincloud, and i’m kicking up moody dust wherever i go. My affect feels flat. Everything is either meh, or ugh. I don’t hate it, but i don’t love it. I’m working on a piece about anger, and it’s occurred to me a number of times while writing it that my creative juices aren’t flowing well. It’s getting done, but slowly.
And it’s struck me that nothing is riling me up, lately.
And i am easily riled.

I’m asking myself if this is a good sign or not, and i don’t know. It could be because as i mature and become more functional, i’m better at coping with the world and all that happens in it, and people and all the shit they get up to. WE get up to. (You know, cuz i can still get up to some shit. Heh.)
Is it because depression is settling in and dulling my senses and reactions. As i’m writing this i immediately thought No, because where is the characteristic frustration, irritation, and explosive anger? When i’m depressed i’m not so much sarcastic as caustic, and i’ll spit that acid at any and all comers. I’m churlish and cranky. I’m morose and i mope and think sad and dark thoughts.

I honestly don’t know. I don’t even have an intuition which one it is. In my life it’s usually both, but to what degree? Welp, since i don’t have enough evidence to draw my favour one way or the other, i shall just press on, as mindfully as i can. I’m still functional and accomplishing small goals. My routine is still in place and i’m pleased with its flow. I’m still on track with some longer term goals regarding weight loss, fitness, and relationships. I’m on track with planning for how i’d like my life to change once my area opens back up and i’m fully vaccinated.

Things are okay. They’re not great, but they don’t have to be. Life is like this for me at the moment, and that’s okay. It’s not ideal, i wish it were different, but i can work with it. I’m aware and conscious and intentional and committed. If and when more information becomes available to me i might add or subtract to my daily routine, but unless or until, i am staying the course. I am still moving forward, and while it’s slower than i’d like, it’s still positive and enriching and good.

There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less i seek my source for some definitive
Closer I am to fine

Love and Peace, Everyone,

IMAGE: Alex Siale

Integration: A Day in the Life

One tiny Hobbit against all the evil the world could muster. A sane being would have given up, but Samwise burned with a magnificent madness, a glowing obsession to surmount every obstacle, to find Frodo, destroy the Ring, and cleanse Middle Earth of its festering malignancy. He knew he would try again. Fail, perhaps. And try once more. A thousand, thousand times if need be, but he would not give up the quest.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

I wanted to give my readers more insight into how my brain works and with what i’m currently dealing. (There you go, a sentence that didn’t end in a preposition. I think it sounds weird, and prefer to end with with… Heh.) To that end, i took my phone and a notebook, and recorded audio, video, and/or jotted down everything that happened on a recent 24hr period of time.

At 5am the alarm goes off, and it’s time to get my husband fed and off to work with a lunch. As i swing my feet out onto the floor i check in with my brain. Is it quiet or busy up there, and if it’s busy, why? If there’s nothing going on that requires my immediate attention, i ground myself mentally for the day, while connecting with my system. I remind them that i am in charge, that i love them because they are me and i love me, and i reassure them that i’m going to do my very best to take good care of us today.

My husband always asks me how i slept, which provides an opportunity for me to think over the night:
Did i sleep okay?
How many times did i get up?
Did i take more meds? (I live with chronic pain, insomnia, RLS, plus other things that can rouse me and keep me up.)
Do i remember any dreams, because if i do, it’s generally wise for me to go over them, just to make sure my brain isn’t trying to bring my attention to something important.

I make the bed, get dressed, and wait for him to head in to work before i walk our dogs. I catch the basic world news headlines and the local weather, but only if i’m in a good place. If i’m tired or struggling in any way i avoid it. The hubs will inform me of anything i’d want to know. Sometimes i sit through it all – a couple hours worth. I’ve been working on handling triggers more calmly and functionally when i can. Nothing like politics and world events to set me off. If something hits too hard and i feel myself dissociating or getting more anxious than i can bear, i get up and do something else. I keep our house, so there’s always stuff that needs doing.

We live on a farm, and walking the dogs gives me 2 choices; to listen to music, or nature. There’s no rhyme or reason to the choice, however making it helps keep me mindful. Some mornings music helps muffle the chatter, some mornings i’m dragging my ass a bit and all the birdsong puts a skip in my step. There are times when a particular emotion is weighing heavily on me, and listening to the right music can help me emote. (Think “dance it out,” if you’re familiar with Grey’s Anatomy.) When i return home, the dogs are happy, and i have either earned a 20min nap, or i can cruise into my daily chores while coasting on self-esteem. I purposely give myself choices throughout the day, as it makes me check in with what’s going on in my brain. Without the gentle mental poke to do so, i can shift into a dissociative state, easily and often. It’s like sleepwalking through my day, and i’ve done it for the majority of my life. I don’t want to do it anymore.

NOTE: An interesting aside here, is that i’m having trouble tapping into my writing voice. The programming i received as a child was so intense, and being a multiple made me so good at everything they wanted from me. They wanted me malleable and obedient and above all, to keep my mouth shut about everything. They purposefully steered me away from asking questions. (I was regularly beaten for asking anything, even something as simple and innocent as, May i have a glass of milk, please?) My mother was a student of every new pop psychology craze, and became adept at prying into my thoughts to shape them to her will. I was only allowed to think what she wanted, and my survival depended on toeing her line. It wasn’t enough to do what she wanted me to do and say what she wanted me to say. I had to think what she wanted me to think – and think nothing else, besides. I had precisely zero privacy. I couldn’t even hide from her in my mind.

Except i could, and i did. I was a multiple, and unbeknownst even to me, i hid parts of myself that she would have destroyed had she been aware of their existence.

This level of sharing and this depth of introspection, go against all of her training. The parts of me that she and my other abusers actively created, are coming up against this post. I feel scattered and slow, like i’m walking in a fog and keep running into things and getting turned around… I’m having trouble finding my way. I might not be particularly cogent. Nevertheless, i will press on.


Thus begins a day that’s been years in the crafting. I work a bit, and then i don’t work a bit. Sounds simple and obvious, i realise, but sometimes i just have to get there on my own. I have to put my own super unique and slightly crazy spin on it. Okay, maybe that should be slightly unique and super crazy, but let me toot my own horn, will ya? This too is designed to keep me mindful; conscious, in the face and in control.

Where i’m at mentally, emotionally, and physically determines how long i work and how long i don’t. This keeps me checking in with myself all day, ideally. Lately i’ve been doing so well i’m not watching the clock, i’m just going by how i feel. But if things are tough, i keep track. It’s incredibly helpful. If depression is heavy on me, or anxiety has me nearly immobile, i even use a timer. Sometimes 10mins of work followed by a 50min break is the best i can do. Sometimes after 1 or 2 go-’rounds, i determine even that is too much – and that has to be fine. It has to be because, in my experience, not finding a realistically based sense of peace about my capabilities can push me into a downward spiral. It can also amp up my anxiety, and that can nudge me towards a mania. And the common thread through it all, whether too down or too up, is dissociation.
As Johnny Cash once did so melodically, i walk the line.
Although, my line is rather pitchy.
Think Neil Young.*

Writing this post has taken me a few days, due to some personal issues here at home. As i’ve stated before, this blog is about me only, and i’m careful not to share things that might have a negative impact on others in my circle. However, there will be rare occasions where i deem it necessary and appropriate to include some information that involves someone else.

I have a close association with someone who has debilitating anxiety issues, depression, and struggles with anger and aggression. It makes our relationship rocky and contentious. Over the last couple of days, things have bubbled up again, causing significant strife and stress. It’s been difficult, and has amplified my own anxiety, as well as anger and frustration. Over the course of the last couple of years, i’ve been learning to set firm boundaries with this person. It’s been an opportunity for me to care for and protect myself, rather than the feign/fawn/freeze responses that have been typical for me in the past.

This morning, after my walk and before i write, i was catching up on some emails and a bit of reading, which is part of my daily routine. I read something that grabbed me immediately. While it was about someone and something else entirely, i could see how i could apply it to my current situation with the person in question. It took me from tired and anxious, to refreshed and hopeful. I have fashioned my life in such a way for just this reason, and so many others, besides. It has taken years worth of trial and error, but it is finally, FINALLY! paying off. My job was to hang in there and keep trying. I knew it would bear good fruit( …eventually, usually, mostly), but it is a damn fine thing to be enjoying how right i was to believe it.

And this too is because i practise mindfulness, and am working towards being present and accounted for as often as possible.

Even as i’m writing this, i am taking breaks to do other things, including “nothings,” that are integral to my peace of mind and continued successes. I make myself something to eat, i clean something, i exercise, i do something artistic, i connect with someone, i make a joke, i organise some clutter, i wash myself, i watch some telly, i go outside and weed the garden, i stand in the wind and sing like Beyoncé (okay no, but i am feelin’ myself!), then laundry and doggy shnuggles… And so on and so forth.

And i am regularly checking in with my brain. I listen to my thoughts and reach out to my people in there: Is everybody all right? Anyone got somethin’ to say?

Somebody’s always got somethin’ to say, and i listen for a bit.
Because they are me, and i deserve to be heard, and being heard starts with ME, listening to ME, MYSELF, and I.**

Before i know it, it’s time to get supper on, and the day is nearly done. While i’m cooking i go over things, and if there’s something i didn’t accomplish that i’d wanted to, i ask myself if i can fit it in yet. If i can’t, i let it go. Maybe tomorrow. I’ll decide that in the morning, when i start all over again. The day is gonna do what it does, and people are gonna be who they are. The only thing that i can truly affect is myself: my thoughts, my actions, and my attitude. And to truly be effective, requires mindfulness on my part.

As i swing my legs into bed and settle down to welcome sleep, i rededicate myself to all of this, and i check in one last time. I touch those parts of me that are still somewhat separate, with thoughts of love and comfort, assuring them (ME) that i will be there for them (ME) to the best of my ability tomorrow, and hopefully always.
Perhaps one day i won’t need to reach out at all.

At one time or another we are all called to leave the safety of our homes, the certainty of what we know, the illusions of who we are. Not everyone will heed this call, of course. And those who do will risk losing themselves completely. But if we choose to ignore the invitation, we risk never knowing who we might have become. We risk dying without knowing what it is to live.
~ Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Painted Oxen

Love and Peace,

*For the record, i love his music. He consistently goes flat at the ends of his notes, though. When David Foster had him do a bunch of takes on his solo line on the Canadian charity single, Tears Are Not Enough, he finally said, “That’s my sound, man.”
It is, and it works. But he is pitchy AF.

**Beyoncé reference, for us fans.

IMAGE: Vitor Machado

Ping Ponging and Peach Cobbler

I didn’t go back to bed this morning. So yeah, yay.
Having an epiphany and getting back to blogging and sharing it yesterday did not make the depression i seem to be fighting magically disappear. So yeah, boo.

I know this is part of it, though. This is what real life looks like for a lot of people. I don’t mean that no one but me has problems of course. I just mean that there are a lot of people out there that manage to live a productive and functional life despite their problems, and that is what i’m working towards.

So i get the husband off to work and the Kiddo off to school and i busy myself with breakfast. I really want to go back to bed though, so i remind myself that the last time i tried that (ah, does yesterday ring a bell, H?) it made me feel worse. Then i thought to myself rather pointedly, How do you think you’re gonna feel if you go back to bed after what you thought and felt and wrote yesterday?
It worked.
I treated myself to some extra computer time after i completed my morning routine of making the bed, tidying the kitchen, doing my morning toilette, and getting dressed.

It didn’t take too long before i felt like i was wasting time and needed to be doing something. This is progress. Most of my life i’ve been kinda faking the functional thing. I’d watch what other people did in their regular day-to-days, and then i’d try to do that, with varying levels of success for inconsistent periods of time. Ten years ago though, when i made the decision to let myself fall apart, i could not even manage the bare minimum, and frankly i didn’t trouble myself much about it. It’s hard to let yourself fall when there are still things to hold on to like, Look how great a housewife i still am!

Speaking of which… My 10yrs of abject brokenness, i mean. I’ve recently begun to wonder if that’s no small part of why i’m pinging back and forth so quickly between feelings of oncoming depression and then mania. Before i gave in to it all utterly, i fought it. I fought it all the time. Mostly i didn’t realise i was fighting, because that was all i’d ever known and i lacked the insight to move beyond that, but i was always resisting very powerful feelings and urges. Things i knew weren’t right or were too much or even dangerous; i knew i had an impulse control problem. So i kept myself very tightly bound with the help of my Peanut Gallery, which i was largely unaware of, and massive quantities of food.

When i had a gastric bypass over 10yrs ago, the fat was the cage that had contained my bipolar disorder, and as i lost weight, i also lost control. Deciding to fully acknowledge my past of abuse and my multiplicity and finally deal with it all head-on did nothing to ease my symptoms of mania or depression. I was tossed about on an emotional tidal wave like an old ship that should have sailed her last a while ago. But in this analogy i’m not only the ship. I’m also the map to buried treasure being fought over by a bunch of pirates driven mad by too much time at sea without sight of land, and whoever holds the map is captain of the ship. (If the map song from Dora the Explorer popped into your head then friend, i like the cut of your jib.)
And here’s the really fun part – i’m a slow cycler.
I started out in a mania that lasted over two years.
Then i got slammed by a 2yr depression.
And then whizz bang! another mania took hold for a bit longer than the last one, which was very kindly and predictably followed by another agonisingly long depression.

So if you’re following along, i’ve been fairly steady for the last two years. No hospitals for either long term visits or forced commitments. The thing is though, i can feel them coming on and have worked assiduously to keep them at bay, and although i’ve been successful, it seems that i’ve only staved off the one to be quickly confronted by the looming possibility of the other.

And frankly, i have wondered WTF?!

The best i can come up with is that parts of my brain have become very accustomed to having their way with other parts of my brain, and now they’ve become like the neighbourhood brat that no one will play with anymore. They knock on everyone’s door and ask if so-and-so can come out to play, and sometimes the father fills up the doorway with his scowl and his shoulders, and his basso profundo voice bellows out a No, now go home! And other times the mother comes and looks very sorry as she sends him away with a sad smile and a warm cookie.
And well, sure he’s a brat, but he has crappy parents so it’s not really his fault and he’s so lonely…

So i didn’t go back to bed.
I did a lot of normal housewifey stuffs.
I bashed out some self-reflection in a blog entry.
Tonight there will be peach cobbler for dessert.
Right now, i’m going for a walk in the snow with my dog.
Today has been a good day.
I don’t know what i’ll bash out tomorrow, but maybe you’ll come and see?

Love and Peace to You Regardless,

If there is a place you got to go
I am the one you need to know
I’m the Map!
I’m the Map!
I’m the Map!

If there is a place you got to get
I can get you there I bet
I’m the Map!
I’m the Map!
I’m the Map!

Like Swimming


If you read that like Terry Gilliam stepping out of a Zulu suit in The Meaning of Life, then you’re reading it how it was written.

In one month i’ll be fifty.
I’LL BE 50 YEARS OLD! (That one was Sally O’ Malley.)
Pardon me folks, but holy shit.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not ageist. It’s not that i’ll be old, or too old, or washed up, or a failure. None of that applies.
Number one is that i never thought i’d make it. My whole life i have assumed i would die young. At this point 50 doesn’t seem that old anymore, but when i was 4yrs old, staring at myself in the mirror with a bottle of poison in my hand and contemplating suicide for the first of countless times, 50 was inconceivable.

There are other factors of course. The regular ones that most of us go through. I have regrets, and i wish i had accomplished more. Both of these things, oh, so very much. I try not to trouble myself with these thoughts overly, because what i have gathered from most of those who’ve been here before me is, honey, it’s de rigeur. As Socrates is said to have uttered, if “the unexamined life is not worth living,” then my life is chock full of value. Heh.

I’ve been feeling like i’m being slowly pulled down under. Like i’ve been fighting the current for too long, and i’m close to exhaustion. It’s largely due to the personal issue to which i’ve alluded a number of times, but some of it is because of something else i’ve devoted much of this blogging process to, and that is my certainty that i am at a pivotal place in my personal growth. I’ve done a tremendous amount of work over the years, but it has all been tearing down the old and laying the foundation for the new. Now it’s time to build. The junk’s been cleared out and the old structure razed. The basement’s poured and the framework is done. The rest is all sweat equity, and this house ain’t gonna build itself.

I’ve shared how i started with teeny tiny little baby steps. I’d take a wee and wobbly stumble forward, and immediately rest, congratulate myself, and do it again. The rest in between stumbles was not insubstantial, either. I mean, i rested. Starting with weeks. It was a long time before it was even days. It’s only been this last year that it’s become hours. Today, one month before i turn fiftyholyshityearsold, i don’t even need any time at all between some of those steps. I regularly do some of them one-right-after-the-damn-other.

Lookit me. I’m swimming. I’m stepping. I’m building.

This morning i felt the same terrible drag on my thoughts, my feelings, and my body that i’ve felt for a couple of weeks now. I thought, I’m fighting another depression. Well hell, that sucks a dirty penny, but hey, i’m just gonna keep fighting. I’ll just keep schleppin’ along, doin’ what i been doin’, and it’ll be all right.

It hasn’t been all right though, and it’s been troubling my mind and disturbing my sleep and stirring up my Peanut Gallery and i haven’t been able to write a goddamned word.
So like i said, i felt it again this morning, like more than a dozen other mornings in a freaking row, and so i went back to bed at around 10 or so.
I had the troubled dreams i’ve been having for the same amount of time, and i woke at 12 feeling worse. Worse.
Naps usually make me feel better. They are one of the things i can do between stumble-steps if i need to rest. I rarely nap anymore, though. Usually my rest/reward involves playing on the computer or watching something on telly. Naps are specially reserved for those times when i really need it.
But it didn’t bloody work.
I dragged my more-depressed ass out of bed and forced myself to shower like i haven’t had to force myself to shower in a long time. Which made me feel worse. And anxious.
Great, now i’m anxious too. Wonderful.
I shouldn’t have had leftover cheesy noodles for breakfast. Too many calories and heavy carbs. Ohai Inner Critic. I was definitely needing some self-hatred to add to this toxic brain-milieu, so thanks, ever so.

I’m still in the shower at this point, but already the doing of something positive, that is hard to do, starts having an effect. Rather than just thinking, i become aware of the fact that i am thinking, and i am, quite suddenly, keenly conscious of precisely what i am thinking. I practise a bit of mindfullness: i bring my awareness to the water spraying my skin, my hand with loofah, exfoliating, the scent of my bodywash, my fingers massaging my scalp, brushing the conditioner through. I watch everything wash down the drain and imagine that it is not just dirt and skin cells and soap, but also the psychic weight of all the negativity i’m carrying is sluicing away from me as well.

I’m standing in front of the mirror and i look at myself and what i’m doing. I’m towelling off, i’m moisturising my skin, i’m doing my morning toilette and i treat my skin to a deep-pore extraction and my hair to some keratin creme. I’ve been practising looking at my body -really looking- while i do this, and so i find myself doing so out of habit.
But today… Today that work bears fruit. My body bears the scars of a childhood full of beatings and sexual abuse, and the resultant war of self-hatred that i waged against it for the majority of my life. Years of morbid obesity have not been kind, and now that i’ve lost most of the weight, my skin looks as empty and hollow as i might look on the inside if it were possible to see after all the psychological fat i’ve shed.

But i look, and today i see. And today i don’t hate it. Today as i was standing there and really seeing my body i thought i looked okay. I accepted what i was looking at in a reasonable and rational way, and i was kind to myself. It was not a you’re-a-beautiful-fucking-goddess moment. That’s not who i am, nor who i want to be. I saw myself as nakedly as i’ve ever seen myself and it was more than okay. It was fine. 
And it was then that my brain asploded with a lovely epiphany.
I don’t seek them and i don’t need them, but they sure are nice to have, sometimes.

I know what’s going on and i know what i need to do. It’s a lot and i’m scared AF, but i’ll even tell you.
I need to do MORE than i’ve been doing. It’s okay that i haven’t been doing enough because i didn’t know that i wasn’t. I’ve been progressing along the road to mature functionality admirably well, all things considered.
But now my brain is telling me to do more, and i didn’t understand, and so my feelings tried to help by telling me something was wrong. This is how it’s supposed to work.
I have been working the way healthy people generally work.

I need to start acting just a bit more like regular folks though.
So i won’t be going back to bed after i’m already up for at least the next month.
Weekdays i’ll be getting up at 5:30 like usual, and i’ll be going to bed at 10:30, which i try for, but it’s a bit spotty (maybe because i can go back to bed?)
And i’ll be blogging too – Monday to firetrucking Friday. (I know i cussed a fair bit for this post, so i’m trying not to overdo. Heh.)

I don’t know how terribly concise this post was, but welcome to how my brain works. This is who i am and this is all i have to offer. If you’re still here i thank you, and maybe i’ll see you tomorrow.

Be as well and as happy today as you are able. I’ll do the same.

It’s a lot like swimming first time over your head
It gets easier when you move your arms and legs
And for air you lift your head, why don’t we try right now
Yes right now
Yes right now
~Like Swimming, Morphine

Love and Peace,


Ice Cream As Kudos

There’s a bit of panic in me these days. I’m living a less chaotic life, stumbling towards something like normalcy. What i wrote the other day about no parades or kudos has been like scratching a record, scrubbing across the vinyl and playfully warning me that there are No kyu-doze. N-n-n-n-no kyu-doze. Just little victories noted by me and mostly only me.

This is my life today, and though it’s a good life and i’m heartened by my progress, i can be suddenly overwhelmed by the enormity of the work in front of me. I stepped back to get a break from the mood i’ve been in, and as i did so i looked up and caught the big picture. Based on results, that was not a good idea.

I was in the kitchen when it hit me. I’d been putting off little things here and there, trying to give myself some space, to nurse my mood a little. I saw a life of cleaning up the same messes, over and over. Making the same meals, scrubbing the toilet, doing the laundry…

And then i cast both my literal and my figurative eye around myself, my house, my life.
THAT i should not have done. It’s too much for me to bear. The enormity of all that lies before me, waiting to be done, to be cleaned up, to be put right. In mere moments i’m in the grip of an anxiety attack; i’m crying, it’s hard to catch my breath, i feel physically weak, like i’d suddenly picked up a huge burden. Which i had.
Many have either heard or made some joke about trying to manage all the bags of groceries in one go. We want to get it all over at once, but we often end up hurting ourselves or dropping and damaging household items. It might very well have been faster to take what we can easily carry and just go back for the rest. We’re not injured, the supplies we needed are intact, and hey, we got a little more exercise – which most of us can always use.

The fact that i am well behind many of my peers and contemporaries when it comes to the day-to-days of what i see as a relatively normal and functional adult life, cannot be denied. I’m not sure exactly where i learned it -and by that i mean i have no wish to ascertain blame- but i grew up believing that only those doomed to fail offered up any excuses. More than that though -and this is where blame can certainly be assigned- i believed i had none to offer.

They would be excuses if i offered them up and then did nothing. As that is clearly not what i’m doing, what i have are reasons. I have a legitimate basis upon which to build a case for my status as a late bloomer. But even a sincere acknowledgment by me of that truth cannot gird me well enough to step back and absorb the monumental work that lies before me.
So it’s too much to look at it all, and it is also not enough to only look at what is in front of me.
So it’s to be balance, again.
I don’t need a parade, but maybe a small celebration is in order.
Just me and my Peanut Gallery.

There’s no poetry in this and i don’t have a clever literary device to use in closing.
I’m just putting in the blasted work.
I’m paying attention to what’s going on in my brain and i’m regularly checking in to see what we’re feeling. Roll call. Heh.
I’m learning what thoughts and feelings need to be addressed and i’m facing them and following through.
I believe i have earned a small dish of ice cream and a cat nap.

I shall keep on keepin’ on, and i hope you do, too.

Love and Peace,

Rubber, Meet Road


I’m not doing very well today and i’m not sure what to say about that. There are terrible and private things going on in my life that i’ve no one to talk to about. I have a therapist, but money is very tight, and we can only afford for one person to be seeing her right now and that person is not me.

I have no close friendships and i’ve suspended my social media. I’m so dissociative right now that i don’t feel like i have enough self-control to be on there. Everything everyone says either frightens, angers, or hurts me. These things that i want someone to talk to about involve the only people i have to talk to…

I don’t know what to do. All i have is this little piece of cyberspace and i don’t know what inside me is currently fit to print.

I do NOT like crying and i can feel my throat tensing up. I’ve got that terrible, painful ache that lives in the space behind the bottom of my sternum. That ache that spreads behind my breastplate, reaching up to fill the gap between my shoulder blades. The headache i’ve had for weeks is now at full throb and my sinuses are swollen and painful. And there’s a piano on my chest playing anxious music that sounds like something from a 60s British horror film.

Okay, i just took an hour’s break from this.

I’ll confess that i’ve been so low that i let my personal hygeine slip last night and this morning. Hey, i wasn’t dirty or smelly okay? Just slow, heavy, tired… sad. But y’all can read other blog posts that refer to the importance of regularity and regimen in my life, and particularly in this area. Clean house, clean person. I have set these routines in place when i was in a better frame of mind, to help get me through the times when i wasn’t quite myself.

So i thought, “Well, that will be a positive thing i can put in my blog, which will be better than going full Eeyore.”

Never go full Eeyore.

So i got up and stripped off my pajamas that i’d been in all day, and i dragged my unwashed arse into the shower. After that i did my skincare and took proper care of my teeth. I even flossed and gargled. Heck, i also lotioned and spritzed and put on a clean outfit.
In part, so i could come here and report that i’d done it.
I’d set that in place, too. So yay me.  /ns (not sarcastic)

Honestly, i didn’t feel much better. A little better, but still so low.
I had defeating thoughts. Like, “It didn’t help. Nothing’s gonna help,” and “I’m not gonna get through this without screwing up.”

Anyone who deals with this sort of self talk may be able to relate when i share that i almost bought in to those thoughts. I mean, that’s what has usually happened, right? I feel this way and i can’t get out from under it. So there’s this feeling of inevitability. And then there’s the lack of energy or fighting spirit. These feelings use up so much energy. I spend most of my will coping, with not much left with which to fight. None left to fight, it seems to my exhausted mind.

But i think about what could happen if i give in and stop trying/fighting:

– police involvement,
– involuntary commitment,
– suicidal feelings/attempts,
– pain and suffering for my loved ones,
– loss of my “streak” and at least some modicum of starting over.

So i tried to focus on getting supper ready.
My worldview shrank to very small chunks of time. Minutes.

Hang in there until my husband gets home.
Put finishing touches on pot roast.
Set table.
Distract myself with an engrossing program.

I made it until he got home. I’d shared with him by text that i’d lost a large part of the day and was not doing well mentally/emotionally.
He was gentle and kind and asked concerned questions when he got home.
He provided a buffer between me and a somewhat contentious teenager (hey, it happens, and he doesn’t know how awful my day has been).
They enjoyed the meal and said so.

After supper my husband hugs me and says how sorry he is about my day.
He asks if there’s anything he can do to help.
I say he’s already helped some, and i thank him. He works 12hrs a day, 6 days/wk, and so i keep supper late, and he sits down to eat before he showers, so that we can eat together as a family, before our son retires to his room.
While he’s showering i’m sitting right here and staring at this screen, trying to think of what to type. I want to be both honest and uplifting.

And that is when i realise that i can be.

You know what?
I’m in trouble. My mental health has been threatened by a terrible event and things could go very badly for me.
I have done all this hard work because, not only do i want to be happy and good, but i know that my mental illness can be a serious impediment to achieving those things. Especially when life happens. Which it does and it always will.

So i am sitting here with my fingers poised over my keyboard – waiting for something inspiring and poetic and deep and true to zing into existence inside my brain and zap my fingers into a rhythmic ratatat-tat on these blasted keys.

Last night my busy, busy, anxious AF brain wouldn’t let me sleep, so i made 4 1/2 dozen refrigerator cookies. Chocolate Haystacks, a childhood favourite.

Today i realised that i’d lost time and i texted my husband and told him i was in a bad place.

I knew things could go badly and i knew i didn’t want them to and i knew that it’s up to me to cope.
I reminded myself that my brain works in weird and fantastical ways, and i may not handle things as well as i -or anyone else for that matter- might like.

Today, i made a labour-intensive, slowcooker pot roast, while switched.

I have made it through the day without going full Eeyore.

While i am not currently suicidal, i can feel it, looming in the background like dark wings ready to fly. Whatever comes i feel even more committed and competent to handle it than i did yesterday. And that is a reasonable expectation realised.

This piece may have a metric fuck-tonne of mistakes in it, but i think i should post it without proofreading. That’s something i never do, but i don’t want to overthink this and end up not posting because it’s so raw and lacking any flowery accoutrement. I admit i checked my spelling of the fancy French word. Heh.

Love and Peace and THANK YOU,


I’m Fixin’ to Sing


Holy Moly. It’s not going to be as easy as i’d hoped.

  1. Have a good, hard think.
  2. Have an epiphany, or even just a good realisation.
  3. Share it with others.
  4. Feel better.
  5. Resume living as before the “incident”.


It was relatively effortless to get out of bed at 5:30 and get Man-Thingy and Kiddo off to school, i think because they needed me to do things for them. I make lunches, i hunt down lost items (i think the uterus may truly be a tracking device, Roseanne), and i send them off with affection and best wishes for a good day. But then they’re gone, and my Little Crooked House is empty, save dogs and my own thoughts.

It’s only sheer force of will that has me writing this. I very much don’t want to. You see, i know the purpose of this is to keep me moving forward. I’m committed to plodding along, no matter how slow my pace. But i don’t want to. What i want to do is nothing. I want to go back to bed and hide in my dreams. I feel heavy – slow and tired. What i want is absolutely counterintuitive to what i need. I know that writing will help, but i don’t want any damn help, pleaseandthankyouverymuch. I would prefer to stop typing right now; delete all these words, go to bed and pretend it never happened. But i have it here, and this cursed site keeps telling me it saved my draft… And i would know i’d deleted it and i would feel like a failure. I would know i’d given up, when i could have given a little more. I would know that i’d taken the easy way out when i was capable of taking the hard way. I would know these words on this blog had been here and i’d come at least this much closer to being just a little more functional in my life. Maybe i’d feel a little bit more successful and maybe, just maybe, i’d feel a bit happier and a bit more satisfied with who i am and how i live my life.

Can you hear me talking myself out of going back to bed, and into action? Because that’s what i’m doing. I warned you that the coming blog posts may be, well, kinda shitty. I believe i used animal testicles by way of metaphor. I didn’t have a plan when i started this blog, beyond sharing how my brain works. I had hopes it would keep me moving forward, perhaps even give me some momentum -not too much because manic- but just enough. I also dared to hope that i might be able to help someone reading about me and how my brain works. The benefit of accepting the general consensus that i’m odd, is that i think i might just have a unique perspective, one that someone else who reads this might find resonant, comforting, encouraging, or even just informative.




Jeepers Creepers. Yesterday was a day.

So as i was finishing writing that last little bit, i knew that i had to stop writing and go do something. I had to accomplish something that took physical effort. Movement beyond that of my hands typing on a keyboard was required to get out of the funk in which i found myself. I saved my draft, and got up to make bread. With 2 men eating 2 sandwiches in their lunch nearly every day, it saves us quite a bit of money. Plus, i feel more competent and successful, and the men in my house feel special. The rewards far outweigh the effort. I dragged myself into the kitchen and i made bread.

I’m thinking as i work, and my thoughts go from deep and contemplative, to lighter and more focused on my daily schedule. What do i need to get done today? What would i like to get done today? What would bother me at bedtime if neglected?

While the bread’s rising, i get laundry going. I reward myself by playing some games on the computer, and then the bread’s done rising. I get the bread in the oven and i clean up some clutter and i finish the laundry. Wow. I feel better. Lighter. The activity is easier and my feelings are less dreary and draggy.

I sit down and pull up my blog to tie it all up in a pretty package with a nice bow. I pulled myself out of the ditch and i’m back on the road, w00t!

I cannot access my drafts.
In fact, it says i have no drafts saved.
I know immediately that this could crush me, and send me back to Square1. Hell, it could put me at Square-1.

I decided not to think about it, and just go do something. I have a new rug, that i got off of a local give-away site, and it desperately needed shampooing. That required me to move our coffee table, which is made of stone and metal and is wicked heavy, then remove the rug and the stays underneath so i can drag the new rug in and clean it with my handy dandy shampooer. Physical effort + concentrating on the task at hand = maintenance of lighter mood.
I’m starting to do more than just figure things out, i’m actually moving on to putting what i’ve learned into action. This is huge. I mean, huuuuge.

As i dealt with my past, i saw the greatest abuse done to me was that which was done to my brain. I’m not talking about any hereditary illnesses i may have as an accident of birth. What i’m talking about is the selfish and depraved way my mind was purposefully molded.

By the time i was old enough to begin asking questions, i already knew not to ask them. I thought what i was taught to think. I used my intelligence only to reflect my parents’ beliefs and only to achieve their ends. To say i was “discouraged” from independent thinking would be putting it mildly. My mind was locked away in a prison cell, and it took me many years to even realise i was confined, let alone break out.
If you’ll indulge me in continuing with the metaphor, although i broke out of solitary confinement, still, i wandered around amongst the general population with fellow prisoners. I was so grateful to be connected to anyone, that it didn’t occur to me to look for a door. One day, as i was out in the yard, i noticed other people who lived outside – beyond the chain link fence topped with razor wire. They spoke to each other in a different language and it sounded like music to me. I wandered along the fence, trying to get closer to them, wanting to hear more songs, when i happened across a door in the fence. It wasn’t locked of course, and so i opened it and stepped through.
It hasn’t been easy to learn their language, but they’re all teachers in that they all have a song to sing. I listen and learn and i want to sing too – but i’m afraid i’ll mispronounce a word or i’ll go sharp or flat on a note. What i’m learning is that everyone sings beautifully, and when it’s the right song, even being off-key, or flubbing a line sounds good. So now i’ve just gotta get my ass out there and start singin’ my song.

Getting up off the couch and making bread is a song. So is doing the laundry, and washing my face, and brushing out my dog, and calling my husband’s mother who’s in failing health to tell her i love her and chatter away about nothing.
I was not supposed to sing.
What i mean to say, metaphor aside, is i can’t just sit around thinking about life anymore. I get this restless feeling inside me, like i’m itching to get moving. It feels wrong to stay still for too long. This is an amazing and wonderful thing. Me, always afraid of screwing up. Me, who needed so many masks to get any kind of living done at all.

Tra lala lala


Frickety frack i forgot to tell a most important thing! At the end of the day, i checked my blog, and there was my draft – sitting there waiting for me all smug like it taught me a lesson, or something.

I suppose it did.


Love and Peace,


Recommit and Revisit

I haven’t been able to write much lately. When depression comes knockin’, i tend to get very angry. I’ve done a lot of screaming and yelling, ranting and raving, and general grumbling and griping besides. And while i needed to do those things, i’m convinced the time for that is mostly done. I want to focus more on the positives; turn my attention to things that are good and well and right with me and with the world. I’ll fix my attention on things i can change for the better, and concern myself with things that matter. I have neither the time nor the energy for pettiness.

I’ve only just begun growing up. I’ve been too broken to be functional and too stuck in the past to mature. There’s been hard work and preparation that has led me to this time in my life, and intend to push continually forward, no matter how slowly, for as long as i’m able. To that end, i’m going to write more often, but i’m including a caveat. It’s for my peace of mind, and also removes my biggest excuse for not writing more often.


Some of it is probably -no, certainly- gonna suck. Like unwashed donkey balls kinda suck.

So there, i’ve got that shocking admission out of the way. Now i have no excuses.


I’ve had a couple of friends ask me for that piece i wrote about parenting and forgiveness for Facebook almost a year ago. I think it’s good enough to hopefully offset all the agonised whining that i’m about to begrudge my readers in the coming weeks.


P.S. Children Are Always Worth the Effort


It’s taken me a while to figure out just how to talk about this subject. Sometimes words just spill out of my brain and onto the keyboard, and it’s a good thing. Sometimes though, they need to tumble around up there for a while, maybe to soften the edges of some of the words. Marinate them to make them a little less chewy, and more tender. It’s called discernment i think, and i appear to finally be getting some, lo these long years.
It’s about your kids. Well, it’s about my kids really, but it could be about your kids. There is no part of one’s life that is more precious, more intimate, and therefore no more potentially dangerous story to tell. That’s the reason for, and the benefit of the thinky time i took. You’ll hopefully get the gist of it, without deeply personal details that serve no purpose. I want to demonstrate that one can walk the line between being an open book and maintaining one’s privacy. You can help others with your experiences, but you needn’t expose your soft underbelly, thereby leaving yourself completely vulnerable to those who would harm you and/or those you love.
A lot of build up for not much to say, heh.
I have a lot of opinions about children and parenting, as anyone who knows me at all can easily imagine, seeing as i have opinions on nearly everything. I’m happy to tell you about them, even if you may not always be so keen to hear them. My philosophy with regard to parenting is unformed and nebulous, insofar as it is constantly evolving, and difficult to communicate due to its infuriating ambiguity. Well that, as well as being tethered to the deepest and most personal emotions one might ever feel.
I have failed my children. In ways. In spectacular and terrible ways. That i’ve failed as a mother has been drilled into me since i had my first child. Single, poor and uneducated, i set out to try and make everything right. I joined a church and i went back to school and i made friends with appropriate people. I got down to the business of being the kind of mother the community i’d surrounded myself with told me i should be. I took to it and did very well, but it didn’t fully take root, i guess, because 4yrs later i’d done it again. Another child and still alone. I was more financially stable and somewhat more educated, but still obviously flawed and in need of something. I listened to what i was told by the “appropriate” people around me and took all of the suggestions, but i soon found that i couldn’t maintain the level of what the world around me called success even half as long as i had with my first child.
I stumbled across a good guy and had the sense to keep him, even though those appropriate people wouldn’t put their stamp of approval on our relationship. I was becoming disillusioned with all of them and all of their suggestions. I never blamed them, though. It never occurred to me that what worked for them just wasn’t for me. I turned it all on myself: i was wrong, bad, flawed, weak… I was missing something. I just wasn’t doing it right, or i wasn’t doing it hard enough. Even having a third child the generally approved way didn’t help. I was circling the drain, and nothing could stop me. No successes, no amount of living the life i was taught to believe was the good and right life was helping. And my brokenness finally claimed me and i fell into a terrible blackness where i was lost to everyone. The proper life and the proper people and my perfect husband and my children’s need of me, could not pull me out of it.
I could not help but surrender to the process. I lost my oldest child and my family either fell away or i pushed them out and closed the door. My mental illnesses finally had me in an inescapable stranglehold, and i was sometimes barely a wife and mother and sometimes not either, not even a little. My children watched as i swam around in the sludge, my childhood catching up to me. It picked me up in its merciless jaws and shook me like an angry bear. They saw me completely incapable of mothering them properly. If it hadn’t been for one good parent in the mix, i may very well have lost them to the system.
I was eventually able to start digging myself out of all the muck i’d been mired in for years. Yep, years. And after all the dysfunction my kids had seen, the only thing i had to offer them was a front row ticket to that show, as well. They’ve seen me stumble, they’ve seen me fall flat on my face, and they’ve even seen me purposely jump right outta the boat and go swimming in the sewage again. But they also saw me pick myself back up and keep trying. And the time in between stumbles has gotten longer, and the damage has been less. I don’t hide the struggle from them. What would be the point? Kids know. I try to keep certain things from them that wouldn’t edify them and would likely only confuse or complicate things more than they are already, but truthfully friends… They’ve seen more and know more than they should. I’m not proud of that at all. And i’m not trying to tell you that it’s okay, because it isn’t. It’s not okay that i’ve screwed up royally, and they have paid the price. But i’m telling you that i’ve done it, and i know absolutely that i’m not alone.
I’m telling you that it’s not over. Not for you, not for your children – not even for your relationship with them. Children are the most amazing humans on the planet. They deserve to live in a perfect world with the best of everything and always be happy and never be hurt. But you and i know that will never happen. Not to one single baby born on this earth, if they live past an hour or so. So most of us parents try to do the best job we can and mitigate the damage. That can be particularly difficult when WE do the damage. But let me tell you something i’ve learned for me and it may be true for you, too.
It’s way harder for me than it is for them. I must admit my fault. Wholly, without reservation and with absolutely no excuses. I can never, ever say, “I’m sorry, but… ” I can’t offer an explanation of any kind, unless it’s asked for, and even then i must keep it simple – no victim stories and no hyperbole. And it must always return in the end, to what i did or failed to do. And that it is all on me. And my action/inaction is my responsibility alone.
Then comes work. Hard work. I must demonstrate -without fanfare- by my behaviour and by my behaviour alone, that i am sorry, and i’m going to be/do better. Because they’re watching me. They’re watching to see if i meant what i said. They want to know if they can trust me. They also want to know what to do when they screw up. They need me to show them how to make proper amends to someone that they’ve harmed or hurt in some way. I must show them i’m truly sorry and the only way to do that is through my behaviour.
As i’ve done these things, i’ve learned some wonderful stuff. Like, your children don’t want to harbour any ill feelings towards you. They want to forgive you, and if they can’t right away, they want to let it go. They need to, and it’s a burden they shouldn’t be carrying. And if they aren’t ready yet to let it go, they at least want to give you a chance. Even if they say they don’t. They’ll be watching you, to see if you live your life every day as if they had given you a chance. Even if the road you’ve walked with your child is particularly long and rough and you have done some terrible things… Even if they say they’re done with you and have cut you out like a tumour… You still MUST live every day as if their forgiveness is possible – because even if it avails you nothing personally, you will be healing them on some level, and you owe that to them. Every single day. You do not owe them perfection, but you do owe them effort. They are worth every effort.
My children have forgiven me for my mistakes, and to have their love and a good relationship with them would be worth much more time and much more effort than it actually took. There is no time for you to wallow in guilt and self-pity. Your children want to love you. Your children want to forgive you. Your children want to admire you and brag about you and be in relationship with you. It doesn’t take much, really. I’ve discovered that the relative ease with which i prove myself to them, fills me with a happiness and gratitude that enables me to demand more from myself; to strive for better. As a parent, certainly, but also as a wife and a friend and a member of my local community and even a citizen of the world.
Kinda mushy and dramatic, i know. But that’s me sometimes. Especially when i talk about my kids. It may be that i should never have been a parent, but it is the thing that i’m the most glad and proud and fulfilled in being.
Love and Peace,

Somebody’s Knockin’

Somebody’s knockin’
Should I let him in
Lord it’s the devil
Would you look at him
~Terri Gibbs, Somebody’s Knockin’

Yesterday as i was handling my business so well and feeling so normal and accomplished, my old party buddy Mania began to stir. She’s been sleeping off her last bender, but it appears she’s feeling better.

So yeah. And YAY. /sarcasm

I try not to anticipate some things, because the power of my brain can sometimes make things happen that probably wouldn’t have otherwise. You know, like, if you’re certain you’re gonna have a shitty day, you’ll find a way to make it suck. It’s not just a matter of perception, it’s also intention. It can be that way with my old friend. If i talk about her enough, she’ll see it as an invitation to come hang out.

I do need to talk about it a little, but just by way of acknowledgement. It’ll help me with awareness of the potential for crazy to come knockin’. *

I’ve been actively dealing with/working on my bipolar disorder since around 2006, and i’ve learned a few things. One of them is being able to see a mania on my horizon. I’ll try to communicate this stuff as best i can, but it’s guaranteed to fall short.

I’ve been noticing my body’s response to this early, warm spring, for instance. It’s an animalistic response. Like, i wanna roll around in the green grass and stick my face in trees and flowers and consume the smell. I’d eat it if i could. Being outside is incredibly invigorating. And my sex drive, which had been in a sleepy, winter lull, is fully energised in a way that’s similarly carnal. More a bodily imperative than an epicurean pursuit. Spring fever – i haz it. My appetite has increased, but strangely, i’m not tasting the food. I just want to eateateateateat.

I’m registering changes in my thinking. In a word, it’s grandiose. I’m getting philosophical too, thinking about the fundamental nature of things. Deep thoughts in and of themselves aren’t a bad thing. I guess it’s my internal response to what i’m thinking that’s the red flag. I’m very impressed with myself, you see. As i’m thinking these profound thoughts, i’m not only excited by them, i’m awed by them, and by myself, particularly. It’s not so much pedantic as it is enthusiastic, but…

You see? It happened right up there. In that very paragraph. I’ve always loved words, and have amassed a fair vocabulary. As i was writing that paragraph i got swept away with choosing the best words for what i wanted to say. I risk losing your interest as i gaze adoringly at my way with words. Heh.

Simply put: i can see my thinking turning towards the belief that i’m 10′ tall and bulletproof. Without the benefit of drugs. Just this magical, orchestral way of thinking that fills me with anticipation of the magnificent and the expectation of something epic. I will be majestic and my deeds, epic. That’s as far as i dare go to explain it to you, as my writing has just confirmed to me very well. Mania is awake, and she wants to know if i can come outside and play.

My current plan is to ignore the knocking and continue with my daily routine. It’ll bring some much needed serenity whilst i come up with a plan.


*NOTE: Yes, i use the word “crazy”. If you find that word troubling, then i do apologise, insofar as it’s not my intention to vex you. If reader response to my use of the word becomes visceral, i may write about it more, but for now i’ll sum it up rather simply. I would compare it to the woman who refers to herself using the word “bitch”, or the gay man who calls himself that word that’s slang for cigarette in the UK, or a POC who refers to themselves using whatever term we generally consider to be an epithet when coming out of anyone’s mouth who’s not of that particular ethnicity.

The word “crazy” holds no negative connotation for me. It serves me in a number of ways:

  • It is a familiar, often casually used word, that carries a humourous, almost cartoonish tone;
  • It acknowledges the truth of my mental condition in a way that lets un-crazy people know that i know it, i’m cool with it, and i’m approachable about it;
  • It reminds me not to make it such a huge deal all the time. It is what it is, and all that remains for me is how i wanna handle it.

While it’s historically been a pejorative term, it’s evolved to become a part of our daily lexicon with its meaning coming more from context than its intended definition in its strictest sense. I like the word and feel better about my mental illness when i use it. ‘Yeah baby, i’m crazy. Ain’t no thang.”

IMAGE: Anthony Rampersad

Rub ‘Til It Bleeds

The title made you wince right? Heh, me too. Every time. While it’s from a song by PJ Harvey, whether or not it refers to anything i’m about to touch on would be open to interpretation and debate (which is how she may prefer it). What the lyric is for me, is a very apt description of what anxiety is like.

Ever since putting up this blog, i’ve been experiencing anxiety. The kind of anxiety where describing it to a friend would go like this:

Friend: Are you okay?
Me: Why? What am i doing?
Friend: You seem anxious.
Me: Anxiety?
*eyes bulge*
Do i have anxiety?
*shrill laughter*
Lemme tell ya ’bout anxiety!

As with most intense emotions, i wasn’t initially aware of feeling that way yesterday. I was out of sorts due to an issue in the home, but i knew that would be dealt with later, so i put it away until then. Hey, i can compartmentalise thoughts, feelings, and situations like i used to play that old Hasbro game Perfection – and i could finish that with time left over.

I began to realise something was off when i went to see a friend. I noticed that my thoughts were racing. Now bear in mind that social situations of any kind already cause my thoughts to speed up a fair bit, but this was far worse than usual. She doesn’t make me feel any more uncomfortable than i generally do being around people. In fact, it’s probably less, as i like her and think she’s a nice, kind person. Nevertheless, my thoughts were racing so fast that my conversation with her was zigzagging all over the place, like one of those jerks in rush hour that darts in and out of lanes and never signals.

In the time it took for the man-thingy to pick me up and get me something to eat at a local restaurant, i was utterly out of sorts. I nearly took his head off for no reason. Fortunately someone we know was working there, which kept me from activating beast mode. Instead, i was able to realise i’d gone off the rails somewhere, and i had to figure out where and why.

So here i am today with my answers. It’s the blog, and it’s because as soon as i put it up, i began picking apart ways it could go wrong. Ways that could compromise my pursuit of happiness or otherwise blow up in my face. To avoid that, some parameters seem necessary:

  1. If you’re someone i know, especially locally, know i absolutely will NEVER discuss your personal business, nor will i discuss specifics of our interactions. If we have any issues between us, they’ll never be fodder for this blog. I was never much for gossip, and these days i don’t tolerate it at all. There will be no identifiable details of any kind, ever.
  2. This is my new blog. It is not my old blog. The old blog was a purge, which i’ve now done, and i’ll only refer to it in an ancillary way. It was locked down long ago. I’ve also learned a great deal about my particular mental diagnoses. That, coupled with knowing some of the methods used to cause me harm, has enabled me to sort through what happened. Some i know with surety, some i’m reasonably confident, and some may have been coloured by illness, drugs, terror, or just the way the brain functions with regard to memory. This blog is not that blog.

This morning started with the terrible kind of anxiety that threatens to make you a prisoner of your bed. I woke with a headache, and my face and jaw were on fire, despite the mouth guard i now wear every night. My throat ached as it often does when i’ve spent the night dreaming emotionally charged dreams. I wanted so badly to escape back into the relative unconsciousness of sleep, but i couldn’t. It was the kind of anxiety where, if i’m able to drift back to some sort of almost-asleepness, it won’t last long. There’s this dread that grips me at regular intervals, like a knife in my chest. It causes a painful twinge, my guts to drop, and my head to explode like a piñata full of poisoned candy that i’m helpless to resist eating. It fills me up with terrible scenarios, dozens of what-ifs, all played to terrible conclusions. It holds me tight in its arms and drags me further down into despair.

I’ve fought this closet monster and won though, more than once. So i got my ass out of bed and forced myself to do things i’ve put in place to do when i’m in the grip of anxiety. A set morning routine that quickly affords me a sense of accomplishment and functionality. A regularity that calms me and buoys my morale and my mood, which in turn brightens my outlook. It renews my resolve to move steadily forward, turning my mind away from myself, towards more egalitarian pursuits.

Friend: Are you feeling better now?
Me: Ever so. *smiles*

IMAGE: ian dooley