Anyway. This film tweaked my Macchu Picchu lust something fierce, but also made me laugh at myself when they showed this kid wielding a machete all day on his first day, no gloves, no nothing. The color commentary voice in my head was all, "What? That guy would be crying 'cause of all his blisters." My next thought was, "Well, Follett, when have *you* hacked your way through a jungle? How do you know?" And then the one right after that was, "Well, except for that one day you worked as a Christmas Tree trimmer and spent all day hacking at pine trees with a machete, and were crying 'cause of all the blisters you got 'cause you didn't wear gloves."
After which I drove a 4x4 down a mudslide. True story! I was an idiot when I was younger.
I've been off work for awhile, trying to recover from a nervous breakdown - specifically, a pretty fierce panic disorder. I tried to handle it in bits and bobs, and it just got to a point where I couldn't take it. The good news is that my treatment team (yeah, I have a team) is awesome, and things are improving, though not exactly "better," whatever that means. I'm down to an average of only one panic attack a week, which is a huge improvement. Of course, the idea is to get rid of the dang things entirely.
I comfort myself with the fact that the litany of bullshit that has landed on my doorstep over the past few years (both through my own jackass choices and through the blind nature of life being rough all over), when compressed into a twenty minute recap, has been shown to drop the jaws of professionals. So, you know, I guess I have some stuff to be legitimately stressed and depressed over.
I vacillate back and forth over whether to be really transparent about what I'm going through, in the hopes that it will help break down some of the ridiculous stigma associated with these kinds of mental health conditions (not to mention save me awkward explanations down the road)....or whether it's too much work to try to express my experience effectively. Plus, I always have a vague worry that I contribute nothing but whining to the internet...then again, what is the internet for? Besides porn, obviously.
I still haven't exactly decided one way or another....so in the meantime, I'm just posting what I feel like and that's that. I go to therapy, I do a lot of yoga, I read about anxiety disorders (self help books, woo hoo!). I play my guitar a whole bunch. It's been hard to write much, my brain has been so scrambled and restless....but that's starting to be easier again. I take naps, I take walks, and I spend a lot of time thinking and processing my feelings. Sometimes I have rough days where I can't talk to anyone or do anything without feeling like I'm the Universe's Emotional Punching Bag.
It seems like this much time off work ought to be more fun.
I picked up Rob Brezsny's Pronoia the other day, for the first time in yonks. Since my wordy brain is starting to come back, I though it would be nice to try that book, as an alternative to the whole twelve-step way of doing things (and put a pin in *that* for later). I flipped to a section at random, and read:
Teach them the difference between oppressive self-control and liberating self-control. Awaken in them the power to do the half-right thing when it is impossible to do the totally right thing.It was good to read that, and I am reminded how much I dig Brezsny. I totally recommend that book if you're of a spiritual bent, particularly if you like your reverence significantly irreverent.
So, at my therapist's recommendation, I went to a handful of different Al-Anon meetings. (I know I'm blowing the Anon part by talking about it, but here's me not caring.) The short version is they didn't really work for me. And I'll tell you why!
I hadn't ever read the twelve steps before going to a meeting, and when I did, I was really shocked. I didn't love the religious overtones (especially when 3/4 of the meetings I went to were in churches), but I could actually handle the Higher Power bit alright.
It was the idea of powerlessness that rubbed my fur the wrong way. I mean, I've been powerless. I know what that is, and maybe it's one of my issues, but I am not interested in accepting that state of being in my life now. Sure, there are things I can't control, but that's different from being powerless to me. I don't always have a good choice or a comfortable choice or a convenient choice or a pleasant choice or a desired choice....but there's always a choice. I would rather put my energy into recognizing the choices I have made, making better ones where I can, and having compassion where I'm still making less-than-ideal choices.
I totally get why a lot of people really dig the Anon meetings. They're obviously a powerful tool for so many people....but I just couldn't dig it. So, as often happens in my weirdo life, I find a different way to get there. Good times.
I've been learning a lot of covers in my time off (since I haven't been doing much writing). My favorite so far (and who knows if this will ever see an audience other than my cats) is Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" smooshed in between verses of Queen's "We Will Rock You." I don't know why I think those songs sound right together, but I do.
So far, the cats agree.
I blew my health insurance deductible for the first time since I switched to a high deductible plan, lo these many years ago. Considering this year has put me through pneumonia, persistent back-related bullshit, and a nervous breakdown....it makes sense. Makes me grateful for the luxury of insurance. And wish for actual universal health care. Le sigh.
I cut my hair off. Like, more than usual. I will post some pictures at some point. Probably.
For anyone who's sent me a message or note of encouragement....I'm grateful, even if I haven't acknowledged it. I appreciate the thoughts, though I am pretty much total shit right now at dealing with anyone but my therapist. That will change, and - depending on whether I wind up on antidepressants in the long term or not - drinks are on me sometime over the holidays.
Thanks for being patient with the crazy girl, y'all.