Take Your Own Arrows

cremains

I went to my first therapy intake in years the other day. All the hours of my life cried out to be seen and heard and accounted for. I’m never in therapy at my darkest moments so I come with some unintentional armor guarding my heart and my entrails. It takes so little to dent the anger-tempered metal.

It feels important to tell every psychologist that my dad once told me to vacuum the lawn and that though it filled me with doubt about the order of the universe I did it because I was too scared not to. The words always dry up in my throat because it’s ridiculous to tell anyone that I have, in true fact, vacuumed a lawn.

I know I could use a silent ear regarding Zeke’s death. I’m not sure what I can say when a thousand things are always trying to speak at once through me in a giant coagulating mess of noise. I miss him. I think the hardest thing is that I expected to die before him and yet, here I am. I would have taken every pain in his stead, but that’s not how life works. I have to take my own arrows, collect my own offal in pails arranged carefully under a thousand leaks in my body.

I believe our personal power and our greatest weaknesses always stem from the same source. The things that make us vulnerable also makes us strong. Perhaps I think of it in too simplified terms for some, but for me it comes down to the idea that light can’t exist without dark, that cold is meaningless without heat, and good has no context without bad. I even named my company after this concept; sugar and pith – the sweet and the bitter. I don’t believe in fairy tales because they’re obsessed with vanquishing the dark so that light can prevail, but morning is nothing without dusk. Fairy tales are incomplete stories, bastards of the truth which is ultimately more rewarding as well as devastating than fantasy.

I need a therapist to help me swim to the bubbling sunlit surface of water from a thousand feet deep in the alien darkness full of changelings and dancing muscles. Can therapists do that?

The greatest gift in my life has been the long slow discovery that I’m not alone in this dark.

It’s peopled with a thousand spirits kin to me. When I stop struggling to swim and let the waves tow me under I can hear all of them speaking with buoyancy at the same time; with joy and love and the fear stripped from them like it was nothing more than thin streams flooding porous tidal stones.

Can there be reconciliation for as many selves as I have been?

 

The Last Few Days

light in balanceStart over. Do over. Put the lights on and flood the fuck out of the nightmares.

I’m struggling with something I just learned a few days ago (about the past).  It felt like a sock in the gut. I need some therapy for this. The last time I tried to get therapy from Kaiser I was really let down so I don’t know that I can turn to them for help.  I really wish my first psychologist was still alive.

But he’s not.

All the Christmas hoopla and noise is over and New Year’s Eve is almost here, my favorite day of the year. A symbolic new start. I have the next few days off to think about what I want for (and from) myself this year. Not much different from what I wanted last year and every year for the last number of years, but even so, I like to approach each year as a fresh opportunity. I like to focus on new words, new thoughts, and new energy.

I want to not drink alcohol until I’ve lost 85 lbs.

I want to have one whole finished first draft of a novel by this time next year.

That’s all I ask of myself. Perhaps this will be easier while I have a job because at least money isn’t quite as much of a stressor. I mean, we still can’t afford a new car and our current one is held together with packing tape, but at least the regular bills are easier to pay. Max isn’t struggling so hard right now either so I don’t have to micromanage his school experience or fight the school over stupid shit that shouldn’t be so hard to get done. My mom isn’t scheduled for any surgeries and is recovering well from the last two. Also, I just had that writing realization which will (hopefully) help me re-focus on the fiction writing. So this is a good time to get down to business. I hope.

Renewal of hope is what the New Year is all about.

A good amount of self care is called for this year. That’s the other thing I want to work on – writing self care posts on Sugar & Pith. Explore daily self care and share it with others. I need to engage in that actively with purpose. Take care of my skin. Take reading breaks. Do little things around the house that improve my every-day experience in it. Take better care of my body with exercise. With diet. Part of self care is also shutting out the world more often and taking care who I spend time with. Plant more plants.

Cleaning crap out is also excellent self care. I was doing that the day before yesterday. Went through all my clothes and shoes and hat boxes. Cleaned up my office quite a bit (still have some cleaning up to do in here). I love cleaning crap out of my house. It takes a lot of energy to get going with it but once I do it – it makes my head feel clearer.

What are you going to work on this coming year?

If you hate New Year’s Eve and thinking about goals and aspirations then don’t tell me about it. A lot of you get really depressed after Christmas and hate resolutions and winter and all of that. Now that Christmas is over it’s finally quiet enough out there for me to enjoy my favorite time of year and favorite holiday. I did make strong efforts not to ruin Christmas for all of you (YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY BITTER GRUMBLINGS AND COMMENTS I HELD BACK). Please let me enjoy this time with those who also enjoy it.