I was all excited for my day off today. It’s my writing day! I have finally launched my blog with an initial goal of posting once a week to not overwhelm myself, even though I write daily. I have so much to write about, ideas bursting all week. Then BLAM! Nothing. I do a double take in my head and try again to make the thoughts flow. Nada. What the heck? Glancing at my clock, my self-esteem takes an all to familiar hit; it is 12:35 in the afternoon and I am just waking up. I know I should have been up hours ago being productive around my studio and plunking away at writing today’s post. I am instantly upset at my laziness, but also curious. Recently I have been much better about the not-getting-out-of-bed thing, laziness, and keeping to a routine. Instead of continuing to harangue myself I began to wonder what went wrong. Hum… why did I keep rolling over and going back to sleep? Leaning back on my pillows I tried to recapture what I might have been thinking or feeling during fleeting moments of wakefulness. Words did come to me. Words like oblivion, out, and peace. Rats. I was escaping again. What was I escaping? Damn. All the wonderful thoughts I’ve had all week have gone “poof”. I sit a moment more, now on the edge of the bed. Nope. Still nothing going on in my head. AAAGGGHHH!!!
As I go about my now way late morning routine I realize I am blotto. I absolutely hate it when my mind goes blotto. Distress begins to fill me as I struggle to come to terms with my mind doing it’s own thing despite the plans I have made for it. Fear of wasting another day on depression; voiceless, semi-frozen, and angry with myself begins to take hold of me. Flinging myself into the shower I pray for release. This gripping fear needs to leave my life. As the water finally gets hot my anger dissipates with the steam and self criticism begins to flow down the drain. Sighing, I say to myself, “I am where I am.” Then from Candace Bushnell’s Summer and the City, “….keep it simple…. live your life on the page.” This last thought makes me smile. Emerging from the bathroom with new resolve, I google “blotto”. My basis for sharing my journey through depression is to expose this very sort of challenge. If I am blotto, then I will write that I am blotto. Merriam-Webster online informed me that “blotto” means: very drunk. Further skimming reveals besotted, blasted, impaired, wasted and wiped out. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blotto My apparent impairment today is not from drinking. But I do feel hung over. I begin to break it down. A hang over is from too much alcohol. Hum…what did I get too much of that would leave me in this state? Checking in with myself I felt emotionally blah. Emotional blahness for me has become a sign of needing to pull in, disengage, reframe, and maybe hide. Why do I want to pull in, disengage, and hide? What do I need to reframe? I ask myself. If I do this, I won’t be writing, I will only be journaling. Too much. The light bulb goes on! I have had too much strong emotion the last five days and now I have an emotional hangover. I am blotto alright!
This new technological world opens up to near infinity for us logophiles. The urban dictionary online defines emotional hangover as: The feeling you wake up with in the morning after an emotional breakdown from the night before. This feeling is sometimes a result from an argument, a deep sadness, an unfortunate loss, a break-up, drama, strong feelings of regret, conflicting emotions, etc. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=emotional%20hangover
Bingo! Basically everything I have felt for the last five days just caught up with me and left me emotionally blasted. This is actually not so bad. My entire life has been blasted and left me emotionally devastated hence my first blog about life interrupted and natural disasters. My initial idea for today was to write about slowly and furtively emerging from debilitating depression to begin to build a small, simple, peaceful, entirely new life for myself. And this is exactly why; there are gonna be many more days like this.
Emerging from a life of unending pain is going to bring on more pain. As I unearth old hurts, dysfunctional thought patterns, feelings I have buried (many not so deep), and reasons for poor behavior; I am likely to experience physiological changes leaving me besotted. PTSD is a real thing and it can mess a person up. Jonice Webb, Phd. wrote a book explaining how emotional neglect of a child sets that child up to attempt to live their life on empty. My crash lead me to stop ignoring myself for good. There have been previous attempt at asserting myself for real change. Each attempt gained me something to be sure, but not enough. Not nearly enough to sustain myself through all kinds of life’s challenges. Currently I am recovering from PTSD and due to parental non-involvement in my crash, I am finally facing my childhood neglect. This time is actually a forced continuation of Work began in 2010.
“Work” with a capital W for the purposes of this blog means deep cognitive, emotional, psychological, physiological, spiritual, and perhaps even neurological work on myself. You see, in 2010 I was fighting breast cancer. I decided it would be a bummer to beat cancer only to die by suicide. Not only would my doctors kill me, but it would be a huge bummer to those around me and a slap in the face to health care dollars. I am also pretty sure it would continue to keep my family line messed up and bump me to an unfavorable spot karmically. When I speak of Work, I mean literally rewiring my brain. There was a time I had the following written on my wall: I will not allow either naughty breast cells nor over/under firing neurotransmitters to kill me, I will beat them both. Against advice, I decided to take on breast cancer and suicidal ideation at the same time. My thinking was that I was going to be spending a lot of time in bed, how better to spend it than in fighting something that even if I beat the cancer, could kill me anyway. I had the time, why not take it? This journey began in earnest the first day I spent in bed sick from chemo. As I write this, I imagine readers thinking, “Whoa! That was 4 years ago! How long are you going to spend at this? How long would I have to spend on my issues? I don’t have that kind of time.” Et cetera et cetera.
Back to today and being “blotto”. This Work is right on time. Somewhere along the line I read about a calculation to help figure out the amount of time I would need to recover from co-dependency. I apologize for not remembering the formula or the source. My calculation came up to 3.5 years. Yes, I am 4 years into recovery, but with major interruptions. The cancer time it’s self threw me into co-dependency. Right after that I returned to university to finish my degree interrupted by the cancer. While going to school this time, I honestly did not want nor thought I could handle all the responsibility of my own place. I did not want all the bills, the cleaning, yard work and maintenance of a home. I wanted to write a check to a roommate and do my own thing. Clearly I was wrong. Even though I was doing my best in other ways to recover from co-dependency and other Adult Children of Alcoholics and Other Dysfunctions issues; disaster was looming. I had still not done enough and it wasn’t going to be enough while in school the way I was attempting it. So I have to subtract 1.5 years from my 3.5 years. I think that gets me another year. This is good because it appears that I may spend a good part of 2014 still on my bed.