It’s 3:40 in the morning, I’ve been up for about an hour. Mostly feeling pressure in my gut, with the occasional heart palpitation. I don’t worry about it too much, it’s just the same old, same old. I figured I’ve been due a few days like this after the last few weeks. I mentioned earlier to a young friend, that I don’t let troubles bother me much as they happen. It’s usually afterwards that the pressure finally settles on me in the form of some physical reaction.
But it is what it is, 21 years after being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, Chronic Depression, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. You either accept those fact or bury them away in your prideful mind. Both mindsets will lead you down similar but different paths. I consider my stories the creation of my more logical side. While my poetry is the creation of my more emotional side. Lately my poetic side has taken over, giving me some release from my troubled mind.
As I lay here, I accept the release my words give me. Writing is my meditation. The words flow freely, much easier than they have in years past. I’ve noticed that the more pride I let go of, the more content and accepting my mind gets. So many of us live in this bubble of rules. Believing that “herd mentality” will eventually set us free, well I don’t know about that. While the world lives by a very strict genetic code. There are so many outside forces that twist and pull at each living thing. That life eventually turns into it’s own unique puzzle. Whereby adapting to circumstance is the key to survival.
Not feeling too dandy this morning, I got a headache and my guts are tied in knots. Other than that, I look good. I took a hot shower at my daughter’s and even give myself a nice smooth shave. But even in the shower I could still hear my insides churning. Making it clear what kind of day this is going to have. But what are you gonna do? Give up hide under the covers all day? I don’t know, I tried that shit and it didn’t get me very far. I also tried burying my head in work or in denial, but all that ever gave me was the situation I’m currently in.
Listen, packing it all in may sound like a great idea. But take it from me, all it leaves you with is a rotten feeling. That eventually leads you down a dark path where you take out your fear and frustrations out on others. Thank God I had a young family. If it wasn’t for them, I’d probably be six feet under by now. At times when I didn’t feel like moving, I'd eventually have to force myself up and go to work or at least go to the store for my family. You see deep within me there always was a fire. A fire that quietly told me I would be okay, if I tried.
This year has certainly been a test on the psyche of the world. Especially for those that feed from the trough of misinformation. To be honest my only problems with 2020 have been limiting my travel and a lack of toilet paper. I’m already self-isolating, I don’t like people much, and I much rather be alone. I suppose my point is, “Roll with the Flow”. Life is like a leaf on the wind, being carried where it may. You can believe differently, I don’t mind. But just know, life only takes you as far as you take it.
My life has become a reflective ritual. Sitting under what’s left of the backyard shade, I smell the freshly washed clothes on the line. Nearby a neighbor mows their grass, while the kids down the street yell and ride their bikes. Other than that, every so often a car passes by, all the while the migrating birds sing from the tops of the trees. The sun slowly moves, meaning I got to move my chair again. While the fallen leaves on the ground are a not-so-subtle reminder, winters right around the corner.
Each of these things take on ritualistic duty, that helps keep me sane. Years ago, I wouldn’t have taken so much time to notice such things. But the ghost of my past guide me and nurture my senses to look beyond the next moment and to focus on the here and now. I meditate much like my uncle and my father; by stopping, listening, and observing. While on the trails, I watch for deer tracks, pay attention to how the wind moves across the yard, and notice the smells that cross my senses.
But sometimes my focus is broken. The troubles of the day start to weigh heavy, pulling me towards despair and troubles. So I cherish these few moments when all things seem okay. Giving me focus and stability to go through another day. Reflective ritual is more than just a well-worn path for me. It’s a guidebook to the answers I often seek.
Vulnerability melts into the darkness, avoiding light and sound. Leaving your eyes blind to the truth. Leaving your ears mute to the sound. The body says a lot about how you truly feel. The discomforts and pains so often tie directly into the environment in which you live. At the moment I feel discomfort and pain. From the surface, everything should be good. Still there is a gnawing centered deep within my soul.
Persistent headaches and constant sense of dissatisfaction, plague my mind. Rather it’s one thing or twenty, who the hell knows. Certainly not me. I often feel like a canvas that simply wishes to be left alone. Life battles us from three fronts spiritual, physical, and mental. I suppose in a way all three of these are lacking some satisfaction. Laced with my usual tendencies for fear, dread, and longing.
Maybe Dad was right and I should push all these things to the side and just work myself to death. But so much of me is just self-analytical, the result of too many visits to the Community Mental Health Center. But the gist of this is the fog that often plagues us, even after so long on the journey. Wishing to some degree I could turn off the noises I express through art. But these words are but a reflection of what I see and feel around me. A catalog of these difficult times. Where reality and madness exist side by side.
Within my dreams, fear and unrest manifest themselves into palpable realities. Drawing me ever deeper into the storms of worry and dread. Ignoring such things will only lead you down dark unhealthy paths, of self-destruction and pain. After nearly 21 years of recognizing and working to face my self-abuse. I still find myself faced with the unfortunate truth, that these ingrained tendencies never magically go away.
The best option I have found is to face down the fear. Not in a competitive way, but rather by listening, giving the fear a voice. By telling that inner child that it is okay to feel that way. Maybe I live in some alternate reality, where forgiveness begins from within. But for me, no matter how many times I hear someone else offering me away out. It eventually falls away, like autumn leaves in a howling wind.
So I face my truth, I face my shortcomings; and with that in mind I try and make things better. I wish I could wrap my arms around this hurting world. Where fear, hatred, and divisiveness reign supreme. But I cannot, I am just one man. But I can touch that individual next to me and they in turn can do the same. Living your truth is a much stronger testament, than forcing it down someone’s throat.
I finally got a day off from my taxi service, yet here I am wide awake at 5 in the morning. Apparently, I can’t win for losing at this sleeping game. Anyway, I been feeling a little extra tense these last few days. Not so much any situation with myself. But more or less worried about other people and their situations. I mean, you can’t help but feel for the people in your life going through bad things. Being a totally unprofessional therapist, people do seem to take comfort in talking to me. But I often find it hard to shake off the emotions I feel them place upon me. I suppose I skipped that class in Psych 101.
I will admit I have been internalizing some of the shit going on around me. I know some of you may find that hard to believe, but I do. Lately this has been leading me down a path of poor choices in a number of areas. From impulsive buying to poor dietary choices. I suppose it’s just the same old “song and dance”. But it’s a familiar tune we all love to play.
So for now I’ll just lay here, my mind racing and my stomach churning. Because at the moment this is my reality, my confession. But probably just as soon as I turn off the app, I’ll be at rest. Knowing I made my confession to a world that’s just as screwed up as me. Lord knows, I ain’t no superman or a guru high on a hill. I’m just me, listening, confessing my sins, and apparently not impressing anyone. But for the honest person, isn’t that all you ever want to be?
For the last few days, I’ve had me a good case of the mulligrubs. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a real word that can either mean foul mood or uncomfortable stomach. In my case it means both, my belly’s uncomfortable and I’m in a foul mood. But I take these things as they come, right now I got a heating pad on my belly and an ice pack on my head. I am such a pathetic site. But pride left me along with my libido, a long time ago. So I don’t worry about such things anymore, I mean I do carry a diaper bag after all.
Pride is such a funny thing; I suppose it’s not much different than the plumage of a peacock or antlers on a deer. It’s a source of gravitas, a way of standing out from the rest. In my own life I always knew I was witty and observant. But I was also very much aware that I lacked the right plumage. And while I’ve gotten through life fairly well, in the back of my mind there was always that sense never measuring up. A sense that has led me down a path of many destructive behaviors.
But I’m sure none of you know what I’m talking about. I mean you guys driving around in your shiny new F-150’s. And you gals clinging to your last shining moments of youth. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to be judgmental. It’s just that most all of us clang to some attribute that makes us special. I ask that you forgive my mulligrubness, at least for now. The key is to not let the ghosts of doubt, rob you of our comfort. Clear your mind, allow yourself a little forgiveness. Change what you can and be at peace with the rest.
As humans we often crave a simpler time; seek a simpler truth. Especially as we grow older the world just seems to get more complicated by the day. But you know what, in reality it’s no more complicated than it was when we were kids. That’s because we processed things differently when we were young. Acceptance and change weren’t so bound by the baggage we now carry. When we were young, change was simply a part of everyday life.
Often I find myself wishing the good old days. But honestly, I think I wish for my youth than the situation. I mean I would love to be able to do some of the shit I could do back then now. But sadly for me, strength and wisdom didn’t go hand in hand. So sit here half-heartedly regretting things there’s no point in regretting. So all you can do is make amends for the wrongs I’ve done.
The thing is you can sit around drowning in your sorrow. Or you can put on your big girl panties and do something about it. Because as much as I bitch and moan about my life, there are moments of sheer clarity. Where everything isn’t perfect, but damn when is it ever? The minute you start putting action to those prayers, you may find yourself getting results. But don’t be surprised if the results aren’t what you were looking for. I’m not much on faith, but I am about perseverance. Meaning that in the long run persistence always keeps you moving.
After a whole day of being confined to the house, it’s nice to able to come outside. Living with a gastro condition, along with everything else, puts a damper on many social activities. Among them simply being able to enjoy the outdoors. Usually this time of the year I’d be hiking the park trails or just walking around town. But for the last two years I’ve been putting up with uncontrollable bowel movements and gastro pain. On the bright side, I have lost a ton of weight. Something that drives my PCP even crazier.
I try to not worry about such things, unless I’m riling in pain. There’s really not much I can do about it. Fear, worry, health anxiety doesn’t do a damn thing but take years off your life. After all, it was those things that stressed me out enough to give me congestive heart failure. I think of my current health problem as nothing more than an annoyance. Believe me, “I got bigger fish to fry”.
I suppose what I’m saying is, take a moment to breathe. Fretting over the small stuff doesn’t leave room for the big stuff. Listen I ain’t giving up, I’m too stubborn and stupid to do that. I’ve finally reached a point where I’m at ease with myself. Growing comfortable in the skin I am in. And while I still “pitch a fit” and feel sorry for myself. Those things are all just part of the journey. So live your life as best you can. Don’t let inconvenience rob you of your joy. And if you can make a doctor crazy, all the more better.
Hastily written notes on a phone often become moments of confession. Peering into the depths of my soul, I often tread dangerous waters. Where I question my own purpose, my own sanity, my own life. Yet I find comfort in the uncomfortable. Filling volumes with public confusions most would dare not write. So here I am, my wife softly snoring next to me. While I am wide awake exercising the demons in my soul.
And yet she’s supposed to be the special one. Peacefully sleeping in the oblivion, I so dearly miss. So I close my eyes and breathe in the moment. Embracing the cold and silence. Years ago, silence would have frightened me. The sound of my own thoughts was a pain I hated to endure. Yet here and now, I listen to those thoughts. Detached in a way, giving them room to breathe and be heard.
So often we flow through our lives like an open tap. Letting the precious gift of life flow unnoticed down the drain. That realization has caused me a many a sleepless night. My only solace is to give away the parts of myself that I have learned and unlearned. Creating no profit from this, maybe I should just call it a hobby instead of a talent. It has taken me a really long time to understand, we are each given a gift. Rather through our physical labor or more executive task. We are here for each other. And that my friend is purpose.
97.3°…that’s what was taped to my chest as I entered the clinic. When I got my cardiologist office, I became a birth date. Then in the exam room, I became a name on a chart. But after my echocardiogram, I became a follow-up appointment. At some point life often loses its meaning. Like the moment when your kids are grown and gone. Or some life changing incident that scrambles the course of your existence.
I don’t mean to be so melodramatic, but my life often likes to remind me that I’m not indestructible. That the pains I wish to ignore are based on real problems. I used to think my life as finite, but that was only a fool’s dream. So I do my best to live my life fully. But I find myself bound to the harness of duty. But don’t call me a cad or worse yet, a saint. For even Christ was given a moment of relief from his cross.
I had dreams, I had purpose. Even as life slowly changed those dreams, I felt drive and passion. Now I just feel tried wishing for a soft pillow to lay my head. But even pillows these days are in short supply. Dragged away by time and obligations all their own. So I sit in the sterile mist of another waiting room. Feeling forgotten, feeling abandoned, feeling alone. I have so few tricks left in my bag to cheer myself on. Torn between companionship and reflection, and a desire to just be left alone.
Down this foggy road I’ve driven a thousand times. I see the same cars, the same trucks every day. Where they’re heading is anyone’s guess. All I know is we travel the same direction every day.
Are they heading to work? Or to some appointment? One never knows from the blank stares in their eyes.
Travelling the same familiar path, a thousand times. I often wonder, if I’m coming or going. But does one ever really know? For the road is straight and hilly. For us travelers repeating the route, over and over again.
Against my better judgement I’m now outside. After having taken a 120-mile round trip to one of my doctor’s today. I still have two more dates left on my three-day Doctors Office Tour this week. Fortunately, today’s visit was the longest of the three, but the next two are still 60 mile around trips to two different cities. How lucky can one man get? Needless to say, I feel worse since leaving the doctor’s office. Nothing much was accomplished, considering I don’t believe the doctor actually remembers me. At least not by the way she kept staring at the charts.
With the next two I probably won’t fare much better. But one is a simple six-month check-up (to see if I’m still breathing and can still pay the bill). The other’s a new doctor (to see if I’m dying from something new). I don’t mean to be so cynical, well maybe I do. But out of the dozens and dozens of doctors I’ve seen, only a handful actually saved my life. So to them I remain loyal the rest…uh.
I guess the point to all this is, take charge of how you’re living. Remain aware of all the facets of your life. Now that may seem strange coming from me, the poster child for laissez-faire. But even my seemingly causal way of living has a purpose. You see, I am very much aware of my limitations and conduct my life accordingly. When I tell people I’m “retired” it pretty much means I don’t do that anymore because I can’t. So do what you have to do. Always do your best to remain positive. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll end up luckier than me.
Today is my chill day. After about three weeks of running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I got up, took a bath, washed my head, then made a toilet paper run to the store. Right now, I’m outside in the sunshine, with a nice cool breeze blowing, and mess of migrating birds singing their brains out overhead. I for one am quite content to just sit here all day.
Like I said, I went to the local Dollar store to pick up some TP and coffee creamer. As usual I said, “How are you doing?” to the clerk. She replied, “Working, working, working.” For a minute I thought about how leisurely my life is now and I kinda felt bad for her. But sitting here and thinking about the last few weeks, I remembered how I thought about nothing but getting ahead and ending up getting nothing.
I got nothing against motivation, ambition, and drive. What I’m saying is simply based on my own experiences. I read a book by Thich Nhat Hanh a few years back titled, “Power”. The book discussed the proper use of power and ability, not only in the business world, but the real world itself. Pushing one’s self towards a set of goals may fulfill you. But often it’s an empty kind of fulfillment. In business and school, every goal I met only left me unfilled. Happiness never truly came until I discovered that my drive and motivation were only bandages for my broken heart. I never found to true peace and satisfaction until I confronted my wounded soul and learned to love all parts of me.
It’s been a busy, but weird past few days. Other than that, it’s been a damn near perfect weather. Got some business taken care of “in town” and even more business waiting for me on my desk. So between that and other crap I’m dealing with, I hardly have time to create. Even now I got a pot roast waiting on me to cook it. But I needed a moment alone after dealing with family and business issues all morning. Being a caregiver for two adults is a challenge I wouldn’t wish on someone I didn’t even like.
But I keep telling myself, “It is what it is”. But even that gets a bit old and you just want to run away. Listen, I love my wife and I love my son, it’s just that sometimes you want to be a little selfish. I guess since this is turning into some kind of confessional, I should point out, I am far from perfect. I get frustrated and I get mad at loved ones when I shouldn’t. My only excuse is exhaustion, both mentality and physically. But this world doesn’t seem to care for those that are “less than perfect”. The one’s hard to deal with, the less than. It’s a hard thing to hear, but an even more frustrating thing to say.
So as caregivers are left dealing with the public outburst, changing the messy diapers, and getting the dirty looks with the “glad that ain’t my kid” whispers. Still we press on. So maybe I am a little too chatty and a little too noisy with strangers. But hell, who else is there to talk too? The isolation can often be deafening. When all you do is check behind those that don’t know any better. I’m sure as hell not writing this to make myself out to be a saint. I’m just a human being, no more, no less. So excuse me, I hear a pot roast calling my name.
Woke up a little bit early this morning. Earlier than I wanted to in fact. But here I am an hour into my day and still two hours from sunrise. Wasn’t doing too well yesterday, an old friend came back to visit. A friend that brings a lot of discomfort and pain. I’m still having discomfort in my gut. But don’t worry, just as soon as the talking heads get done dissecting last night’s rhetoric, I’m sure my belly will be fine.
Two old men fussing at each other, that's all I heard. At least when my son-in-law and I disagree about politics, we have enough respect for each other to pause and listen. But most of us just scream over each other for the sake of being heard. And for what, to prove we are right? To slay your opponent? To be the winner? There are no winners in this game of emotions. Only losers and hurt feelings. What are we so afraid of if we are wrong?
Oh, I done my fair share of bragging. But at the moment I’m tuckered out. Exhausted by all the confrontation. Stuck in the house while my body dictates my actions. But I pray, I pray for better days. Maybe not the same way you pray, but I pray. I’m trying to keep my emotions in check about how I feeling right now. But it’s safe to say I’m tired. My gut is tight and I’m cramping up, while my heart aches. Not only for myself, but for the world. As two tired old men just fuss at each other, over the fate of the world.
Overcast skies drape the windows of my mind. As hopelessness and dread foretell my future. Much like the lines of a poem, I do my best to seek optimism. But when I look to the horizon the realities of the coming days say otherwise. I guess I’m too much of a realist to think differently. But such as it is, for I gave up a long time ago trying to purge myself of negative thought.
What I have learned from Zen teaching is that positive and negative thought exist to serve each other. That one cannot be acknowledged without the other. That balance between the two is essential for a healthy existence. So I acknowledge and embrace the negative when it occurs. I listen it I say to it, I understand.
I like to think I am aware enough of my self that I can acknowledge my short comings. I don’t live in some fairy tale world where if I pray or embrace mantras enough; that negativity will magically go away. That my friend is a Slippery Slope that can lead to even deeper depression and hopelessness. The key is to accept your shortcomings and then work to overcome them. You see, I can wish for a good harvest from my garden. But without hard work, wishes reap nothing.
I can’t help but look up into the sky. Sweeping thin clouds of white tapered in front of a blue backdrop. I’m a little light-headed, as I work through this fast. But the clarity it brings is intoxicating. But I do my best to monitor my vitals, in case you were worried. But often circumstance causes sacrifice. Choices are made, so obligations can be met.
We live in a world that feeds off self-gratification. Where selfishness is a virtue and compassion is for losers. We scream as the awaken majority. Yet we’re drowned out the voices of the damned. In a world stoked by fear, the occasional happy whistle is enough to cause hope. But as time passes my side starts to cramp, as the morning sun burns my face.
I suppose it’s time to return to my cave. Put the heating pad to my side and drink some water. To pull oneself from the daily routine, can be a respite from fear. For staying in the game, can often be life shortening. But to pull yourself from reality can be just as bad. So fight for what you believe is right. But remember, peaceful resistance is better than war.
I am one strange bird, when I should be happy, I’m not; and when I should be upset or depressed, I ain’t. Well round here it’s face the music week. I got the last of the monthly bills to pay, I’m over extended due to extra doctor visits, and I got taxes that are due. (As all 1099’ers know so well.) So while anything’s looking a little “thread-bare” around here, for some damn reason I’m optimistic. In a world that is so hyped on keeping us afraid (to sell ad space, in case you didn’t know). We drown in a sea of pessimism searching for a way out, only to be dragged down again.
Our forefathers lived under tyranny where the few ruled the many. (Sound familiar?) But they remained focused, they didn’t let what stared them in the face take away from their vision of enlightenment and free will. Today we tend to get a little lazy. We’ve grown comfortable with the status que, accepting the crumbs given to us by the few. Allowing ourselves to be herded like cattle to the slaughter.
You may ask yourself, what does this have to do with optimism and pessimism? My answer would be, your situation good or bad is real. How you treat that situation depends on you. You can either look at your place in this world and see hopelessness, or you can tighten your belt and seize the day. God knows I got a crappy few weeks coming up, but I also know “this too shall pass”. Fight for what you believe in, but not at the expense of hurting others. Compromise and compassion will always prevail over anger, bitterness, and hate.
There are days when I feel like a folded-up accordion. The skin on my neck over laps the skin on my chest. My knees have little flaps of loose skin and my underarms look like water doodles. Ah, don’t worry if you wanta laugh, I really don’t mind. I can remember decades ago, when I was l teased for quite the opposite. It’s a little sad now, that most of those people that teased me are now alcoholics, drug attacks, perpetual losers, or worse yet dead.
I know, I know I shouldn’t think that way. But when I see these people on the interwebs, they’re all bitter, mad, or in an obituary. I guess I should be one of those sad statistics, flat broke in a one red light town, just 130 miles from where I began. Without a permanent home, no deed, no title, just an 18 year old pick up truck and a pretty steady lawn chair.
But I got friends, people that will check on me if they don’t hear anything. I got kids that stay on my ass and argue back at me like I taught them too. I got a following, it’s no more than a handful, but isn’t more than a handful just too much? Through all my wondrous imperfections, it’s nice to know that I’m still breathing. That I still got most of my wits about me. And rather I admit it or not, I am still capable of love.
Several days of sleep deprivation have taken a toll on my body. It’s amazing how a $15 piece of plastic for a CPAP machine can upset my life. Yet here I am at 2:30 in the morning, my mind in a fog and my body clock all messed up. But I don’t wish to bother you anymore with of my medical misadventures. If anything, I’d just assume make you laugh or at least roll your eyes at something I’ve said. Still even while the conditions are pretty good for sleeping, I lay here, my heart pounding, and sleep nowhere to be found.
It’s funny how beautiful words seem to pour off my fingers, but never out of my mouth. How thoughts of gentle perspective can flow to the screen, yet always bypassing my tongue. I get a lot of comments about my words that often mystify me. Because I am well aware of who I am. An ill-tempered old man, without a kind word passing my lips without some sort of cynical remark. I suppose I can always throw out the being verbally abused card as an excuse. But at 58 years old, is that still the right card to play? But then again is blaming myself for every wrong in my life okay? It’s a slippery slope, one that I don’t wish to travel.
Life is often a long journey of repeating ourselves. Rather it’s dating the same incompatible people or making other stupid life choices. We can’t seem to help ourselves. I pause for a moment searching my mind for the right thing to say. But all I hear are the desperate cries of that hurting child deep within my soul. Closing my eyes that child tells me to carry on. To forge ahead and to not stop. Living is so exhausting at times. But on many occasions, it’s nothing more than minor setbacks in the road. We need to remind ourselves to be patient. For lasting change never comes unless it’s repeated time and time again.
Some things aren’t worth the words I use to describe them. Looking at this world turned so narcissistic, I barely recognize it anyone. I’ve literally spent years of my life discussing and believing in our “better angels”. Yet all I see right now is a world hell bent on falling down a rabbit hole selfishness and self-destruction.
My latest reading has been on the correct use of power. On having compassion and empathy for our fellow human beings. It was debate and disagreement that created this “more perfect union”. But lately it’s been the fear of losing power that has driven us. Survival is one thing, to speak out against injustice another. But to pigeon hole every protestor a terrorist, and every cop a killer is insane.
There are problems with this world, yes. There is injustice and heavy handedness of the law. But the screaming has to stop. I am not always right and either are you. But watering seeds of hatred and fear weeps a bitter chop. I know of the pressures of life. I have the damaged heart and deteriorating muscles to prove it. Let’s step beyond the fear and lack of civil discourse, to allow compromise to win. I fight enough battles with myself both physically and mentally to take up all my precious time. Isn’t it time for you to go to our corner and wait for the next round?
If life were only as simple as our dreams. At 46 years old, I decided to pursue my college dreams. A dream I had stopped and started since 1980. A dream that had haunted me, telling I would never be happy without it. After a number of tries throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s, I found a good fit through online schooling. Through five and a half years of struggle, I finally earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology Business Systems Analysis. But in what I dreamed would be the proudest moment of my life, I felt nothing.
It was almost like “buyer’s remorse”. Where you buy something you thought you needed, only to put it on the shelf. Now this is not to say I didn’t get the education I desired. In fact, I walked away with a wealth of knowledge and tons of conference I didn’t know I had. Even now it’s hard to explain. All I know is I fought like hell went on to earn my MBA after my undergrad study. Literally nearly losing my life in the process. But during those months of recuperation, my life, my mindset had to completely change.
You see the driving force behind my dreams was my total hatred of myself. Even through college, with every good grade or excellent report from my classmates and instructors. I still hated myself. All the low self-esteem, the lack of confidence, the overeating; it all stemmed from my total hatred of self. Think about it, if you were verbally and/or physically abused nearly from minute one. What other model of behavior do you have to follow? It’s still taking me a lot of time to break this cycle of self-abuse. But every day I still reach out to overcome another obstacle. Listen dreams are great, dreams are beautiful. But look deep within yourself and ask, is this a life changing moment or just another quick fix for my wounded soul.
For whatever reason, I woke up with a shout this morning. I think I’ll chalk this one up to a good old-fashioned panic attack. This kinda shit would have really worried me years ago. But at this point you tend to just deal with it as it comes. I don’t mean to belittle anyone else going through this or to make light of it. I mean hell, I’ve been dealing with Panic Disorder since 1999. I’ve gone through so many treatment sessions and so many different medication combos. That after a while it’s easy to feel more like a lab rat then a patient.
At this point in my life, I’ve spoken so many times about my illness and treatments, that maybe I gloss over it a bit. But never the less, I’m here and it’s here like an unwanted guest at my party. For a person with enough physical ailments to stop a freight train, you can imagine the health anxiety I often experience. But along with that, I have the strange ability to remain calm during a crisis. My family and physicians often find that irritating, but for some strange reason I’m able to compartmentalize my fear from analytical side of thinking.
Hell, I don’t know why I’m rambling on about this other than to waste time while this episode passes. I suppose the point is to be proactive with your treatment. Question everything, do your own research into treatment opinions. Be honest with your therapist and doctors about your experiences. But most importantly, don’t be ashamed. There are thousands of individuals out that live miserable lives because of shame and fear. And I should know I was one of them. For the better part of 15 years no one but few knew I suffered from mental illness. So be vocal, be proactive, and don’t let the stigma of mental illness keep you from fighting back. Goodnight.
My mind is a blank canvas open to whatever possibilities that come my way. For a while, my mind had so much to say, but it was locked away behind a wall of fear and doubt. While I have been dealing with my mental health issues going on 22 years. It wasn’t until around 2007 that I started making real progress dealing with those demons that haunted me. It was during this time that I starting following the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh utilizing the philosophy of mindfulness and compassionate listening.
It opened my eyes to the idea of self-forgiveness and self-love by quieting the noise my head through awareness and nonjudgement. Listen, even in the Judeo-Christian teaching of forgiveness from God, one must still learn to forgive oneself. I’ve seen so many friends and family that have extended the olive branch of faith to others. Yet deep within themselves, they harbor seeds of guilt and self-hatred.
By allowing yourself to become aware of the noise going on inside. You’re allowing yourself to listen to your broken soul and say, “it’s okay”. This is not some magical cure to all your problems. But it can be a first step towards healing a broken heart and mind. Well this story ain’t going finish itself. And my EMC neighbors seemed to be jacked-up to get back to work. So I will take a moment to clear my head of today’s garbage and breathe.