Homeostasis

ho·me·o·sta·sis
/ˌhōmēəˈstāsəs/
noun
  1. the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.

This has been a good year; my most functional to date. I stopped hermitting, made a couple of friends, and reconnected with some old ones. It’s the year that i added exercise to all my lifestyle changes regarding food and eating, and all the work finally started paying off with some significant weight loss. I took up some parttime work, and i began volunteering my time in a couple of areas that matter to me.
By the time summer rolled around, i’d hit my stride and was feeling successful, and also like it was just the beginning.

Fall brought a change in the weather, dead leaves picked up and strewn about by chill winds, sucking the warmth from the ground, bringing the kind of silence that fills your ears and echoes in the stillness.
It’s analogous to what was happening in my brain; old voices whispered into an unsettling quiet, invading the hush. I shushed but they persisted, until i was so full of sound my body couldn’t contain it and it spilled out of me like Shhhhhhhh, bleeding off the pressure like a tire with too much air.

Dreams, too many, then nightmares and sleeplessness, and then the old urge to run. To get away, to go home, and for the first time in a very long time, wondering if it might be better to just stop. I didn’t know why it had gotten quiet, but i did know that it had caused fear and panic inside me. I went looking for answers in the dark corners of myself, but i only found emptiness, a yawning blackness where something once had been. The voices following after, soughing through my head like wind through trees.

No sleep, no peace, the anxious murmurs, old bones rustling like ancient scrolls. I have trouble hearing my therapist over the susurration – she repeats everything once, twice. Again please. Sorry.
She doesn’t say “integration”, she says “homeostasis”.

My switching tics return.
I stop exercising because i keep trying to “go home”.
I pull away from people, from work, from helping.
I don’t fit in my body correctly.
I break my ankle.

Maybe it seems like my year started out good, got great, and then got fucked.
Kinda accurate.
Maybe it looks like i started out walking, broke into a run, then tripped on a stone in the road and went sprawling.
I mean, that does look like road rash.

All those years spent fighting the urge my parents programmed into me to go home. I think in resisting it i found true direction. My Fortress of Solitude. My true north.
Homeostasis. HOME.

This has been a good year.

**********

I have some resolutions. I have some little goals and some bigger ones. I intend to continue on as i have been, one foot in front of the other, pushing doggedly forward, adding one kilometre onto the next, putting distance between myself and the place i was told to go, and instead heading towards the place i want to be.

My resolutions this year are less nebulous, more distinct and definitive.
They are little things like building my wardrobe to better reflect my own personal style, and having exercise be an integral part of my personal hygiene, like showering and brushing my teeth.
They are bigger things too, like blogging and keeping in touch with family and friends. Deepening my relationships; letting worthy people in a bit more.
Returning to helping and growing its scope.
Getting my house shipshape, top to bottom. Declutter. Organise. Move Kiddo downstairs and finally turn his room into my makeup/change room, with a day bed and a light-up mirror.
Keep moving our home toward healthier eating.
Read more fiction, and maybe even write some?
Blog more than last year, maybe even through the tough bits this time?

It’s 5:37am on January 1st, and i was woken by a bad dream a couple of hours ago. I got up, got a cup of tea, recorded what i remembered of the dream, and then i brought up my blog and clicked that little rounded rectangle button that says WRITE, with a plus sign, and bashed out this wee thingy.

Not a bad start to the year.
Homeostasis right now looks like bed and hubby-shnuggles.

Love and Peace To You, and Happy New Year!
~H~

Talk, and the World Talks With You

Listen, and you’ll no longer be alone.

As you may have noticed, i’m quite focused on speaking. I wanna know what i’m saying, why i’m saying it, and is it appropriate for the time, place, and audience. We’ve all seen the terrible damage that words can do – both to us, and by us. I could go on about wars and suicides and divorces and such… But you know.

Well i’m tired of it.

I can only change myself, and so this is what i’m about these days. I want to be responsible for what comes out of my mouth. I’ve been going about it in much the way i’ve done with everything else that i’ve had success with changing and improving. I take small, slow, steady steps forward. I keep it as simple as possible. I tweak it to maintain balance, especially when it comes to my thinking – so, no obsessing, but no ignoring, either.

I’ve been paring down the amount i speak. It starts with asking myself whether or not what i’m saying really needs to be said. If it does, then does it have to be me? For a small step, it’s proven to be the harshest editor. I’ve been shocked at how often the answer is “No”. My opinion on everything isn’t often required. Like, OFTEN. There are those times when it clearly doesn’t need to be said, but i wanna say it anyway. My desire to express myself and be known is definitely one of the criteria i use for whether or not to speak. I’m not getting super deep about it all.

My reasons for talking less are myriad:

  1. Speaking less makes it easier to hear the constant chatter going on inside my head. Knowing what i’m telling myself is an extremely important part of managing my mental illness.
  2. I think there’s a lot of talk pollution out there, and i don’t want to add to the near constant noise. Everyone deserves to be heard, yes. About everything all the time? Maybe not. I think some things that are both worth saying and hearing are being lost in the unending drone.
  3. Employing an economy of words can give them more weight, and hey, i definitely want to be heard. I know how i react when someone pours out a constant stream of words. (Nod, smile, and repeat until you get asked a question, and then freak out and try to fake answer and not get caught for completely tuning them out.) While i do think there’s a place for pointless, meandering, unremarkable conversation, i’m striving for more meaning. I’m getting older and have far less time to waste, as is the way of things.
  4. A lot of talk can wind me up. In conversation, it triggers all sorts of behaviours and concerns. I want to be liked and accepted and understood, so that can set my mind to racing over what to say and how to say it, which can often distance me from the people i’m trying to engage. It’s like sometimes i’m above myself, trying to be my own puppeteer. That is stressful.
  5. Over the last few years i’ve talked a lot a lot a lot. I had a lot of things that needed me to say them. I’m tired now, and so’s my husband.
  6. Talking less is an integral part of moving away from the wreckage of my past and embracing the here and now. It leaves me free to listen, which draws me away from that black hole inside me, that broken place that is only need, and unconsciously devours any and all that gets too close. When i’m listening, i’m open and turned outward; i can be a friend and a helper and really participate in the living going on around me.

Without getting too philosophical, i think we’re drowning in a sea of audio feedback. So many are talking and so few are listening. I was given the incredible, life-saving gift of a dedicated listener. He’s the #1 reason i can now be silent on the outside, and enjoy a modicum of peace on the inside. I think it’s now an important part of my continued improvement to share the gift with other people. We all want to be heard, even if all someone has to say is, “I’d like to be left alone, please.” Some people need to spout a lot of verbal diarrhoea before they’re able to get to the weighty words that they’ve been longing to say, and some have never said much about anything because they’ve never had an opportunity.

Well, i’m ready to listen. It’s your turn now. Speak. Speak until i hear you.