Daily Archives: September 14, 2014

Follow Your Wild Self

Follow Your Wild Self

Just a pretty while I work my way through this year’s case of bronchitis.  It’s not so bad.  I’m eating what I want (lots of Häagenn Dazs bars) and shuffling from bed to chair either watching episodes of Call the Midwife, or cruising Pinterest, or sleeping.  The weather is fine, so the windows are open and the boys enjoy the sniffs as well as burrowing under the covers with me.  Maybe it won’t take until October to de-crap my lungs this time.  Wild hope.


No Direction Home

Over the years since I started writing this blog I have referred to my poor sense of direction. ‘Poor’ doesn’t really do it justice. ‘Total lack of…’ is nearer the mark. I have written about how – on the three cycling trips we have taken together over the years – including the one a few weeks ago – my cycling companion Fausto Coppi has been my compass. In France, in Belgium and most recently closer to home in Dorset.

The routes I ride are ones that are familiar. I have the confidence to make diversions. I know to stop get off my bike and look behind me when I do this, so that I can recognise my surroundings when I come back along that road. That tricky business of whether to turn left or right at such times often defeats me.

Cycling is good, very, very good for the state of my skull’s interior. Yeah, and all that cardiovascular business they’re always banging on about, too. But what do I care when cycling can send the neatly stacked shelves of my mind crashing to the floor?

I know that my sense of direction is catastrophic. I plan for that. So I pore over maps muttering the unfamiliar place names to myself as I root through the calm oasis that is my cycling kit drawer.

I set off with a certain baseless self-confidence, a sense that I somehow own the road beneath my feet. That is, until I reach the first T junction, or the second, or the third. It matters little since it will happen eventually . The sign says one thing, the map another. The map is right. The sign is wrong. The sign is right. The map is wrong. And so, with a brittle air of decision and the faltering certainty of one who cannot turn back for fear of the consequences, I turn left. Or right.

And so the fires are lit.

The kindling starts to cackle and taunt.The road winds on in all its oblivious loveliness and I – in  my baffled search for direction – turn round and ride back to the road signs. They look friendlier now. Helpful, even. And hope, once again the betrayer of sense, sends me away, away, away in every direction and none. Now lactic acid begins to flood my brain. I am done for.

Is this a description of someone with manic depression, or is it simply of someone who has a poor sense of direction? Is my behaviour the cranking tighter, tighter and yet tighter still of the bolts of my sense – normal? Is it part of my personality? Sometimes I think manic depression is my personality. Or am I just the sort of person who gets stressed out easily? Do I let things get to me too easily? Lots of people are like that; they don’t need to visit the doctor, have medication prescribed. I imagine that they play computer games to relax.Or maybe something physical, like kick boxing. Run a bath at the end of the day, light some scented candles and immerse themselves in the bubbles for an hour. Me? I rumminate. I write about it. I continue on as before. I am forever telling people that manic depression does not define me; but I nevertheless have to be mindful of it in order to manage it – that it is not me.

So if it’s not me, then who is it who disolves into a blur of steaming emotion because someone rearranged the roads and stole the sign posts?

It is at times like these that I despair the most. I am on bike, this is what I love. And yet this is what burns away contentment – and so much else besides.

I need someone to decide: am I the problem? Or is it the diagnosis? I am happy to stop and wait at the T junction and meet my future.

Either way I’m stuffed.

 

Waiting for the Barbarians

 What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

The barbarians are due here today.

 

Why isn’t anything going on in the senate?

Why are the senators sitting there without legislating?

 

Because the barbarians are coming today.

 

What’s the point of senators making laws now?

Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.

 

Why did our emperor get up so early,

and why is he sitting enthroned at the city’s main gate,

in state, wearing the crown?

 

Because the barbarians are coming today

and the emperor’s waiting to receive their leader.

He’s even got a scroll to give him,

loaded with titles, with imposing names.

 

Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today

wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?

Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,

rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?

Why are they carrying elegant canes

beautifully worked in silver and gold?
Because the barbarians are coming today

and things like that dazzle the barbarians.

 

Why don’t our distinguished orators turn up as usual

to make their speeches, say what they have to say?
Because the barbarians are coming today

and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.

Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion?

(How serious people’s faces have become.)

Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,

everyone going home lost in thought?

 

Because night has fallen and the barbarians haven’t come.

And some of our men just in from the border say

there are no barbarians any longer.
Now what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?

Those people were a kind of solution

C P Cavafy (1863 – 1933)
note: the title of this edition is a quotation from the song ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ by Bob Dylan

 


Tonight I Hurt

Today was a wonderful day. I spent a lot of time with my husband ad we had fun. I ate at new places, saw some new things. It was a semi-adventure. Tomorrow we plan to go to the Omaha Zoo. If all goes well.

Tonight I think I made a mistake. I contacted my dad by text. I’ve been feeling really guilty not talking to him, its been a couple of years and even though he was not a great father I still miss him from time to time. I haven’t seen him in 13+ years. Most of his text back to me were quick and abrupt. Once he realized it was me he got a little friendlier. Still it was lacking, he told me that he has been spending time with his GF while she has chemo and radiation. It made me feel bad that I didn’t know but no one knows she is keeping it as a secret.

I feel bad, first that I didn’t know. Second because I have never spoken particularly highly of her, I mean I don’t think much of her now. I don’t want anything bad to happen to her but this doesn’t change the way I feel.

What do I mostly feel bad about is that my dad really didn’t seem to show any interest in me and when I told him I loved him, he said me too. Me too? Really? WE havent talked in 2 years and all I got was a me too. I’m hurt. Really hurt. Why the fuck do I even care?

I just wish I could be curled up in bed watching Nana or Ouran Highschool and getting lost reading the subtitles and enjoying the characters.. Instead I have been painting and I’m not happy with how it is going..

Am I a horrible person?


The Cousins

The cousins arrived today. Not my cousins, technically my mother’s cousins. All the way from across the pond, where that whole half of my family still resides. From the London/Windsor area, specifically.

I’ve been so looking forward to this. When they were here last year I remember having a session with my then-therapist about how uplifting having them here was – real true close family even if they are from thousands of miles, an ocean, and a continent way. Intelligent people. Worldly people. Joyful, happy, laughing people. Cosmopolitan people. People who do things. It was (and is) inspiring. They’re the people I want to be, wish I could be, feel like I should be.

Tonight, though, as happy as I was to see them and experiencing those same thoughts, there were other undertones. I wasn’t talking or laughing as much as before. I felt uneasy. I don’t know how much they know about my situation. So an innocent question like “how’s work?” sends me into a mini tailspin of panic and near self-loathing. Especially when it comes right after the story about how 2 of the cousins are in an adult rock & roll choir on Tuesday nights that has played Wembley Arena and recorded on Abbey Road. Or how another cousin recently happened to be driving around the designer of the iPhone on his way to Buckingham Palace to be Knighted. Or about the recent dinner party where groups dressed up in full costume regalia as a music group of choice and then performed as Abba for the group in full 70s gear. Or about the recent trips to Crete and Dubai. Or the evening trips to the theater, ballet, etc. And these are not overly glamorous people – its just how life in London is.

It just brings to light how pitiful my life here and now is. One even brought me a beautiful gift of a purse “that would be just perfect for evening.” Only thing is, my evenings nowadays certainly do not involve specific handbag attire according to activity – if activity even exists.

I did have one positive spark in the sense that I thought – hey, I have control over how I spend my life. I live 90 minutes from DC, what’s to say once my work schedule is cut and solidified I can’t spend, say, Mondays at a museum in the city or walking a favorite neighborhood? The devil on my shoulder reminds me that I hardly have the means for a fly by night lifestyle and that as hard as I try to look for things to do around here I just have to face that there is no local rock and roll choir here and Abbey Road is thousands of miles away no matter what. But I can choose to be more cultured and involved if its what I love, right? I don’t want to become a pathetic lump of mentally ill nothingness, wandering aimlessly from day to day just trying to survive. I don’t want to feel this way.

I’m hoping tonight was a fluke. That the happiness and joy will rub off my way soon and this weird unwelcome feeling of “ew, look at her life, how sad” will quickly pass.

And I hope I can keep the motivation to find a reason to use that purse. Hence why I’m forcing myself to write all this down.

Now, I think I deserve just a taste of all that chocolate they brought over with them. In my PJs. At 9:30 on a Saturday night. No handbag required.


The Cousins

The cousins arrived today. Not my cousins, technically my mother’s cousins. All the way from across the pond, where that whole half of my family still resides. From the London/Windsor area, specifically.

I’ve been so looking forward to this. When they were here last year I remember having a session with my then-therapist about how uplifting having them here was – real true close family even if they are from thousands of miles, an ocean, and a continent way. Intelligent people. Worldly people. Joyful, happy, laughing people. Cosmopolitan people. People who do things. It was (and is) inspiring. They’re the people I want to be, wish I could be, feel like I should be.

Tonight, though, as happy as I was to see them and experiencing those same thoughts, there were other undertones. I wasn’t talking or laughing as much as before. I felt uneasy. I don’t know how much they know about my situation. So an innocent question like “how’s work?” sends me into a mini tailspin of panic and near self-loathing. Especially when it comes right after the story about how 2 of the cousins are in an adult rock & roll choir on Tuesday nights that has played Wembley Arena and recorded on Abbey Road. Or how another cousin recently happened to be driving around the designer of the iPhone on his way to Buckingham Palace to be Knighted. Or about the recent dinner party where groups dressed up in full costume regalia as a music group of choice and then performed as Abba for the group in full 70s gear. Or about the recent trips to Crete and Dubai. Or the evening trips to the theater, ballet, etc. And these are not overly glamorous people – its just how life in London is.

It just brings to light how pitiful my life here and now is. One even brought me a beautiful gift of a purse “that would be just perfect for evening.” Only thing is, my evenings nowadays certainly do not involve specific handbag attire according to activity – if activity even exists.

I did have one positive spark in the sense that I thought – hey, I have control over how I spend my life. I live 90 minutes from DC, what’s to say once my work schedule is cut and solidified I can’t spend, say, Mondays at a museum in the city or walking a favorite neighborhood? The devil on my shoulder reminds me that I hardly have the means for a fly by night lifestyle and that as hard as I try to look for things to do around here I just have to face that there is no local rock and roll choir here and Abbey Road is thousands of miles away no matter what. But I can choose to be more cultured and involved if its what I love, right? I don’t want to become a pathetic lump of mentally ill nothingness, wandering aimlessly from day to day just trying to survive. I don’t want to feel this way.

I’m hoping tonight was a fluke. That the happiness and joy will rub off my way soon and this weird unwelcome feeling of “ew, look at her life, how sad” will quickly pass.

And I hope I can keep the motivation to find a reason to use that purse. Hence why I’m forcing myself to write all this down.

Now, I think I deserve just a taste of all that chocolate they brought over with them. In my PJs. At 9:30 on a Saturday night. No handbag required.