Write Now

I have the writer’s nemesis: writer’s block. It’s why I have several half-finished stories.

This is a big part of my shame, the parts of me I wish I could surgically remove and join the doer world.

Books, articles, videos, podcasts, psychiatrists have been consulted – and I still procrastinate.

The controlling editor in my head won’t let me write a sentence in peace – there’s no ‘getting it out and edit later’ for me.

But writing calls to me anyway.

Writing is this beautiful, unhampered soul just waiting for me to get over myself and create. Why does that terrify me?

It’s a rhetorical question. I know the answer, or at least I’ve been given several explanations from the above list of resources – especially the psych docs.

Information is power, sure, and I’m writing now because this is a chunk. This isn’t fraught like finishing a story is.

It’s important that I write – even if it’s never published – even if no one likes it.

I’m writing because it’s what I must do. I just know, or believe, I can be and do better.

Living up to my potential is what life’s waiting for me to do, and I’m only a chronic disappointment to myself, and probably my mother, and possibly my family and everyone who knows me.

Except that’s part of the big lie the boogeyman in my head blocks me with. I give my energy, witting or unwitting, to fear. The unwitting I can do nothing about, but the part of me that knows has to step in and, gently (for me anyway), take pen in hand – or keyboard – and begin.

Maybe I’ll be found a failure and a fraud, but how can I fail any worse than I already have by never following through?

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

 

And That’s How It Is

I’ve been so stuck in the past – as though it’s vital I get back there, as though that’s the only part of my life that mattered, as though now is a wasteland unworthy of notice when it is actually rich, and actually all there is. The past is gone – just like Steven Tyler sang in Dream On

all those years ago when, ironically, he was just becoming an adult.

I think the pain makes me feel alive, the longing gives me a sense of purpose, like: ‘Don’t forget how things were!’ – but it’s a lot of revisionist history because so much of my early life sucked-ass.

I was battling panic disorder, undiagnosed major depression, and PTSD – before PTSD was a word, and then only by soldiers who had witnessed untold horrors qualified.

Well, sorry, but trauma is trauma & fucks you up for life. Trauma literally changes your brain. My brain is different from non-traumatized brains, so stop telling me to have a better attitude! It doesn’t work like that! (“That’s not how this works! That’s not how any of this works!“)

It’s also accepting, or trying to accept, that my beautiful boy, the light of my life, has grown up and not only doesn’t need or want my counsel, or my – anything – but he’s a man, and wants to be seen as he sees himself. I cannot divorce my connection to him as my boy, so therein lies the rub. So, that’s present pain.

I’m older. That’s present pain. There’s nothing I can do about it. That’s present pain. I’m lonely for connection more than just my significant other. That’s present pain. I can’t seem to hold a job. That’s present pain. My family is dying off. That’s past and present pain. I miss old connections. That’s past and present pain.

We’re living in bizarro world with dangerous politics and a megalomaniac president. That’s present pain, panic, anxiety, and PTSD!

Those are my fears writ large. The President is basically Michael Rapunzel, the head of the commune/cult, and the President’s sycophants, like Rapunzel’s, can’t see his horror, or they revel in their chance at power and gain riding on his coat tails.

I’ve been down this road and now I’m living through it again. It’s harder because I know the outcome. It’s all about oppression and control, not co-operation or decentralization of power. The President, like Rapunzel, is mentally ill, and no one is stopping him.

I can look at the present pain in my life and do what I can to minimize it. I know it’s also a flux issue. My feelings, needs, and desires change – sometimes on a daily basis  – but there are times I’m truly joyful instead of longing for it.

There are days I’m connected to life and loneliness vanishes.

There are times my son calls or texts and I feel better for our connection rather than inadequate or stupid.

I’ve even been kind and accepting of my aging at times instead of railing against it – but anything I’ve ever let go of has claw-marks all over it.

And string hanging off those claws.

And glue holding the string on.

And then duct tape when the glue starts to peel…

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

April Is The Cruelest Month

T. S. Eliot’s line in, The Waste Land, speaks of April’s cruelty in uncovering what was covered and dampened by winter’s snow.

I think of it opposite – that April hems and haws its way into May – delivering warmth and budding growth, only to snatch it away in frosts and freezes.

Warmer weather and longer light modifies my depression, but April fool’s me the whole month.

I know April’s not to blame. I understand depression is a brain malfunction rather than a seasonal disorder, but Cabin Fever is practically literal for me – seeing as I live in a cabin.

I have been walking and getting out as much as I can, but the cold is enervating, depleting, and I need energizing.

I tried, Ketamine, a controlled substance & experimental depression drug under my doctor’s care, and it was another failure – a temporary, dissociative, relief from my depression with other untenable side effects. She said we’re using desperation measures now, and while some might really enjoy being altered that way, dissociation is not a good substitute for dopamine.

Sunshine, exercise, eating well, and decent rest are all helpful, but not helpful enough.

It’s also weird how February used to be my most dangerous month, then it expanded into March, and has now creeped into April. I don’t understand why that is. I used to assume February must be when some of my worst trauma happened, but now I think it’s some other mechanism. Maybe my aging brain is making less and less dopamine?

New drugs and treatments come on the market all the time, and I hope to try another round of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation by Brainsway instead of Neurostar. The Brainsway machine provides a slightly deeper brain stimulation that has shown statistical insignificance to Neurostar, but my sensitivity might respond better to that type of stimulation.

http://brainstimulationclinic.squarespace.com/magnetic-stim/

I can only hope…

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

Deplete

The Bullshit of Aging

Thinner skin, and that’s not a metaphor. Droopy, collagen-lacking, dull skin. Eyes receding into my skull as the muscles grow lax. The free ride was over a decade or more ago, but I didn’t do all the work necessary to keep up appearances (I also didn’t & don’t have the money for restoration).

Even if I did have the money for body reconstruction, who knows how I’d end up looking. Is a circus-freak look better than looking old? For some, that’s a resounding yes, for others, there’s no going back once you head down that rabbit hole no matter the regret.

What am I chasing? Eternal youth? No, just the appearance. Relevance, inclusion, and respect are my aims – and self needs to go in front of those words. Why do I feel less worthy of notice? Advertising and youth culture are certainly a part of that, but loss is the main theme, along with fear.

My nemesis.

I can’t hear you, or see you as well as I used to, and my joints make exercise slower going, but I’m still doing it. Use it or lose it isn’t some far away mantra anymore.

We are pure biology – and maybe there’s a spirit or soul that animates us and gives us individuality – but there’s no stopping the facts of life. Once the baby-making years are over, and menopause is in full swing, libido nose-dives, vaginal skin thins and makes sex painful. The good news is that the E-String & Estrace work wonders for that. The bad news is increased cancer risk. Aye yi yi.

I finally have a good man with a great bod who loves me & sex won’t lead to kids, and my desire is more for reading a good book by a warm fire no matter how much I psyche myself up. Sex is rumored to be 99% mental – the fuck you say! Nope, it’s biological. Of course mood & circumstances come in to play, but when you are right there, doing all you can to feel sexy & have a willing partner who’s totally sexified, and your bod says, ‘meh’ – that’s just bullshit.

I guess there’s Viagra for women now, but the fact we need these pills and potions to fight nature’s course just sucks. We face death by a thousand cuts long before we succumb to whatever it is that’s going to get us.

I will NOT go gentle into that good night, and I will rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

You & I, Dylan Thomas, you & I.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

 

I See Her

She’s so open to the world. She likes learning, and believes all that’s told her – she has no reason to doubt yet. She doesn’t know people manipulate and lie to get what they want, and she’s learning how to navigate the anger and family dysfunction around her.

Her sisters were everything to her, but it didn’t work the other way.  Her oldest sister was kinder, and seemed so worldly. But that’s the way it is for younger siblings. The older ones seem wise and wonderful, even if they’re also often unkind.

She is always seeking. She looked for god and found only more questions, not the promised answers. She had to let it go so she could live.

Her life moved on, the pace quickening with each year.  A son helped her grow & mature into a woman and mother, but the challenges mounted with little respite.

Time wore on, her son now a man off on his own, leaving her floundering for several years seeking stability and balance, and finally realizing nothing’s a permanent state but ongoing negotiations – or at least that’s how it is for her.

A room full of unanswered questions, and unrealized hopes & dreams stands open for cleaning and sorting, but where to begin?

question sign
https://www.flickr.com/photos/colinkinner/2200500024/

Was it Mary Poppins who said that’s it’s always best to start at the beginning? Perhaps I just needed her to say that.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

 

Waning Days of January

It began around January 23rd, and probably before then – building up – but that’s when I noticed the pall overhead and me trying to duck it, unsuccessful again. It begins with dread – or not dread exactly – but disturbance. Something is looming, something I try to stay ahead of, but am swallowed anyway.

I offer up all the positive messages I can. I acknowledge, ignore, accept, and end up pleading for its end.

Imagine a usual route you take, maybe some minor annoyances with traffic, or people, or maybe potholes, or other manageable blips on the way – and then you sense something when you get in your car one morning. There’s no reason – nothing seems different. The weather is good, the drive starts fine, and you chide yourself for misgivings about potential something ahead. A dog runs into the road and you avoid hitting it, and feel relieved. OK, that was it, that was the curve-ball that day, but your heightened awareness doesn’t ease.

You continue your routine, accepting the foreboding, or whatever it is you can’t shake, and then a tire blows, and you navigate your car to the side of the road. Vehicles pass by as you make calls to work, to a tow company, and you think that this was what your gut was warning you about.

Days pass, and the sensation dulls a bit, but doesn’t leave. It’s gnawing – like a toothache you hope will resolve on its own.

These days are leading to the precipice, but I’ve been triaging the whole time. It’s as though a separate entity is controlling my brain – or something beyond my control.

I know that’s not the case, I’m not possessed, I just can’t change the direction. I have to buckle up and hope I ride this out better than last year – better than all the years, probably since I was born, or whatever traumatic event(s) my psyche re-lives every. fucking. year.

Therapy: check. Antidepressants: no go TMS: check, but insurance won’t cover another round, and I can’t afford it out-of-pocket. Wise Mind Group: check. I’m starting a 13-week group today, and I’ve done this before, and do use cognitive behavioral techniques, but trauma is like trying to catch a greased, wild, pig. Even if you catch it, the pig isn’t domesticated.

The pig is autonomous though. Maybe the pig doesn’t think it’s self-determined – it probably doesn’t consider ‘self’ at all – but it knows enough to not want to be caught, and is frightened and raged at the trying.

February looms, but spring will emerge. That’s hope. The world still turns.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current