a Sanity list

“Oh sister!
What’s wrong with your mind?
You used to be so strong and stable…”

I am not going to lie to you. This weekend has been rough. Historically, things get a little harder for me at this time of year right around the anniversary, and this weekend right before is no exception. I had several things pop up to stress me out, all at once. Yesterday I lay on the floor in my living room trying to will myself to move. In my head I was going through a mental list of things I could do that would actually relieve it. It looked like this:

Drinking – (not gonna help and I am too close lately)
Smoking – (this only takes me to drinking)
Find a Boy (trying to find a boy in this emotional state only results in disaster)
Eating (this doesn’t really numb it out as much as I want it to, plus, more $$ spent and that’s part of my stress right now)
Cutting – this, I can actually get away with and keep it a secret.

The fact that I even thought that shocked me. While I was sitting there I had been thinking about going on medication for anxiety or depression; I just felt so overwhelmed to the point where moving sounded exhausting. As soon as the cutting thought drifted through my mind, the counter thought was “Wow. Yeah. You maybe do need to think about seeing a psychiatrist if that is where you are going.”

See, I have realized lately that once I gave up the booze and the boys, my mind had nothing to work with. But it wasn’t going to stop obsessing. Oh no. Instead it’s found everything else under the sun to twist around. Schoolwork. Money. Relationships/Social Anxiety. My mind is a mechanism of torture, and I get locked inside it for hours. Last weekend I had an attack of shame (I have a post about that I may put up at some point) around my program, and I was locked in it for a full 24 hours of mad torture. It’s like that stupid torture machine in the Princess Bride, sucking years of my life away.

I’m not going to give you the litany of torture that was going through my mind this weekend because it’s not worth it. Suffice it to say that it’s a mixture of overwhelm about present circumstances, plus anger at the compounded losses I experienced 6 years ago. Actually, as I write that, I feel that anger is an improvement. There’s one particular instance I haven’t felt anger about yet, and it’s just now bubbling up. Probably a good thing.

Minutes later, I dragged myself up and made myself try to do homework. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to go to my friend/family house (the friends that are like my family, in other words). I didn’t want to be a bother (but they never think I am, anyway) and I sat and tried to do homework for a little while before my friend came down from her afternoon nap. It really consisted of me slumping on the couch and sluggishly trying to compile my references for this paper I have been obsessively working on for about a month already (it’s not due until Dec. 16 – I am making myself neurotic about it and I know it).

My friend came down though, and we sat in front of her fire, and I dumped over my cup of sickness and told her all about it. She sat and she listened. Graciously. My soul sighed and relaxed and unwound itself a little. And after I had driven her on a very ugly tour of my mind, she sat back. And reminded me of how loved I am. It was everything I needed to hear. I needed a listening ear, and then I needed to be redirected.

Another lovely friend gave me Eat, Pray, Love last night and I’ve been reading it. It’s been a spiritual experience for me. I decided that I was going to have a night of celebration. I bought myself a bouquet of yellow roses. Then I took a long bath and read my book and soaked, a glass of Italian Soda in my hand (hey, it’s a great champagne replacement. Just saying).

“The blackness in your heart won’t
last forever.
I know it’s tearing you apart
but it’s a storm you can weather.”

This morning I woke feeling comforted. The weather has been eerie… exactly, exactly like the weather on Sunday December 9, 2007. Sunny and snow on the ground. Man. Trippy. I went to my Sunday meeting at the hospital and I would SWEAR that my sisters sat on either side of me, holding my hands. My hands were humming with energy, and I know that sounds all woo-woo, but it’s true. I know they were there.

I am dipping down again now. I feel sadness creeping up around the corners of my heart. But here’s what’s giving me sanity. Today I wrote a petition to God for some ease. I have had a hard, hard life, and I am tired. So I wrote a petition and asked God for the sake of not just me but all of humanity that also, in a mystical way, participates in my suffering, if I could please have a break.

And I signed it with signatures of everyone I felt would be supportive of this. Yes. I stole this idea from Eat, Pray, Love. But seeing all those names was something I really needed. People both living and dead, supportive of a ceasing of my suffering because they love me.

That’s my sanity list right now.

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4 thoughts on “a Sanity list

  1. Thank you once again for sharing the deepest places in your heart with all of us. I’m humbled and honored. I’ve been thinking about you so much these past few days and I will be praying for you tomorrow. I mean that so sincerely, I will pray. Good job feeling what you’re feeling and resisting the temptation to self medicate. We know that doesn’t get us anywhere we want to be. Run to God with what you’re feeling. One moment at a time dear friend.

  2. What a lovely post, even through the heartache and suffering, there is still hope and beauty abound here. Your sisters’ grace envoloped you in your hours of need, and they bolstered that inner knowledge that you are never alone…with them, with us as addicts / dependents of all kinds, of seekers, of human hearts who look for shelter in a Great Spirit.

    Thank you for sharing this – I loved it and wish you a smoother journey going into this holiday season, my friend.

    Blessings and hugs,
    Paul

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