I have days when I fall into foul and dark moods for no explicable reasons. I’ve never questioned the validity of my feelings till lately. When I asked myself, Why do I feel so angry and pissed off? I could find no good reason. A poor sleep aggravates my dourness greatly. Faced with that knowledge, I had to ask myself a more important question. How do I get myself out of this fix?
It’s not good to sit with these feelings. They tend to mushroom and grow bigger and darker. One of the ways that works for me is coming to this writing space to air my angst, known and unknown ones. The rhythmic tapping on the keyboard soothes and smooths the wrinkles in my brain. I’m flossing my nervous system. If flossing works for sciatica and other conditions, it should work for my brain angst, too. Of course the exercise technique is different for each malady. It’s up to me to pay attention to what works for me.
I’m able to come out of myself a bit tapping for a solution to a problem. My attention, thoughts and feelings are redirected to a different direction. I’m not locked in. It’s not just about me. The world is a big place. There is the whole universe. The Queen has died. While I am not a royal follower, I enjoyed watching her committal service on YouTube. I was fascinated by the colours and pageantry and it’s happened in my life time. It’s quite remarkable. It really brought me out of the doldrums. How could I stay immuned to life and joy watching it all? I might sound paradoxical since it was a funeral. But to me it was a joyful celebration of a life well lived.
I do not have to understand why I fall into my moods. Usually I blame the weather and how it changes. It’s better than blaming myself. The important thing is being aware of : 1)When do they happen? 2)Can I avert them? 3)What can I learn from them? 4)Are they all bad? I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have my moods. How boring life would be if there was no ups and downs, with just one flat line. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a fan of bungee jumping or skydiving.
Another writing day and I’m sitting empty of thoughts and words. The world is too strange now. Another shooting in the US of A. Another 18 year old shooting his grandmother and then went on a rampage at an elementary school. He killed 19 students, aged 9 and 10 and 2 teachers. Who can make sense of this? And how can you grasp that there is no talk of changing gun control laws by those who can? Are guns more important than lives of children and teachers?
Well, that’s my little rant. I got it out of my system. These shootings are frequent repeaters, aren’t they? Should we be getting used to them now since nothing changes no matter how horrific they are? It is very strange to me. And strange, too, how we are riveted by the dramas of the rich and famous, myself included. I am at this moment talking about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. I am not for one or the other. I do think Johnny Depp looks a bit scary. I wonder why we are so fascinated. Having seen this seamy side of their lives, I do not envy their fame or money at all. Darn! FB has distracted me again with a scandal about Bob Hope and his mistress, Doris Day. Bob Hope and Doris Day. For christ sake! I will practice restraint and read it later.
So now what? How shall I move around in this strange world of ours? There’s nothing to do but carry on, not as usual but with more awareness and care. Everything we do matters. Every minute counts. I shall try not to fritter my time, my attention and my energy away in despair or indifference. If I try my best of the moment, that’s all I can ask of myself. My best today was getting up, dressing up and showing up for my exercise class, shopping for groceries and doing some gardening. I planted a few cabbages at the community garden and some squash at home. I still have alot to plant but that’s enought for today. Now, I am showing up here with a few words and thoughts to end my day.
At long last the end of the road. This is it for the Ultimate Blog Challenge in October. I’ve done a good job. I did what I said I was going to do – my best. I had a beginning, middle and an end. I had goals. They gave me directions each day. They led me to the finish line.
There were days when I faltered, when I didn’t feel like it, when I was tired, when I was…blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I am just full of excuses, but I pushed through them this month. I have many unfinished projects. I have this bad habit of incompleteness, unable to follow through even on simple things. That’s why I am such a clutter bug. I don’t put things away. I don’t throw things away. I don’t…You get the drift. This writing challenge has helped me to see this part of myself. I can now move on to do some corrections.
A fellow challenger had a post on the benefits of making lists. It resonated with me. I kept the post up on my tab for many a days. I would read it again and again. It appealed to me. I saw the value of what was said. Though I never did make lists literally, I made them in my head. I would decide a few things that I would do for that particular day. I was not religious about it. I didn’t do it every day but I did it enough that it came back again and again.
That’s the thing. If we do healthy actions regularly, they would become habits. When they do, we wouldn’t have to struggle so much in doing the right thing. Life would be easier. We would be healthier and happier. That’s the end products I’m aiming for. These days of writing regularly made me more aware of my thoughts and feelings. I pay more attention to what I say and do. I ask myself more questions. Do I want to say/do this? Do I need to say/do that? What difference would it make? I think questioning has made me wiser and choose better ways of being. It made me see that I had been doing the same thing over and over. Yet I was expecting a different outcome. Dummkopf!
I am in the honeymoon phase of enlightenment. It’s like being in the throes of first love. I hope I won’t crash. I know it is possible. I have had that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even if I do, I know the landing will be softer this time. For now, I will enjoy my euphoria. I saw the big fat moon last night. I saw it again this morning. I even saw the stars. We are stardust. We are golden. Song of Joni Mitchell.
I cancelled my swim this morning. I’m trying to find a good reason for it besides not wanting to. The not wanting should be good enough but the mind feels guilty. To assuage the guilt, I’m showing up here. God formid that I should waste time laying around, eh? Today would be a good day for it. It was -2 C when I woke up. But it’s toasty warm here in my space. The sun is shining through the recently washed windows. I’m happy sitting here and tapping out thoughts and feelings.
I’m not all about cancelling and lolling around though that’s how I feel most of the time – lacking motivation and energy. It seems that my feelings and how I see myself can be false. It’s part of my physicality. Now that I am aware, I can work with it. I need not trash myself so much. When I am in the state of not ‘wanting’ to do stuff, not much can come out of it even when I push and push. I learned that the hard way in the water, trying to do the breast stroke. I struggled with perfecting techniques. It was a hard and slow going. I felt like a turtle inching my way down the lane. My back ached. Then I had a thought. Why don’t I just be with the water?
The thought was triggered by memory of David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech, This is Water. I don’t know why it came. Maybe it was because I was in the water. Funny how things pop into my head. They travel through the air. It’s really light bulb moments literally. I appreciate them very much. Otherwise, I would be in the dark alot, not aware, dumber than a bunny. I read his speech again. It is an education and an understanding on how to think. And I am aware. I am in the moment. This is water.
I’m learning to date my visits here. Sometimes I leave posts not completed. Sometimes I don’t come back for days and weeks. My thoughts are left hanging. They get dried and lose meaning. I’m trying to improve. That is the essence of me. Self improvement is my middle name.
This is turning into a diary. It’s a good way of staying on track when I lose will and ambition and the power of memory is fading. I’m in a bit of a grouch. I wonder if it could be one of the side effects of the shingles vaccine from Tuesday. It sure is painful. My arm is still achy but I can raise my arm all the way above my head this morning. I don’t feel as flu like and miserable as yesterday – except for the grouchy part. I cancelled my swim again. I hope this is not me. On second thought, my arm is quite achy. I feel quite testy.
I feel somewhat like Humpty Dumpty after his great fall. I am broken but I think I can put myself back together again. Last week I had this huge light bulb moment. It was at least 100 watts. I was sewing and listening to The Current on CBC radio. I heard this guy talking about his ADHD. He has this inability to hang up his towel to dry properly after a shower. It gets dropped to the floor. How he copes with this problem is to throw the towel in a hamper. That way, it would get laundered.
I perked up when I heard inability to pick up the towel. It might sound strange to people but not to me. I know that feeling well. Mine inability does not pertain to bath towels but other dropped objects. I have often wondered why it is so hard for me to bend down and pick it up. In my head it seems like an easy thing to do. In reality, I would look at it, walk around it, etc. for quite awhile before I could do it. It feels like a physical agony to bend over to pick up the object. I’ve often wondered about this peculiarity in me. It’s a relief to find that I’m not alone.
I’m glad to learn that it’s a brain thing. I probably knew that all along. What else could it be? I have no physical disability. But it’s been a huge struggle with ADL (activities of daily living). That’s what I talk about mostly, day in and day out. The same damn things and I’m almost still in the same damn spot. Not much improvement at all. It’s not that I don’t know what to do. I’ve done lots of research. I have lots of info, lots of how to. I’ve read a lot of books. Done lots of workshops.
The thing with me is: I know what to do but I fail at the performance point. I have to stop wasting my time gathering more instructions and information and use my time and energy to DO and follow through. I am just copying and pasting like in FB otherwise. I am not doing a damn thing towards my goal of executing an action. I’ve never really thought of myself having ADHD at all until now. But I answer a resounding YES to all these questions:
Do you have trouble paying attention and are you easily bored or distracted?
Is it hard for you to get organized?
Do you have trouble starting or finishing projects?
Do you dread paperwork and have trouble keeping up with your mail?
Do you frequently lose or misplace important items such as your keys or wallets?
Are you often late paying your bills and so charged with extra fees?
Do you frequently feel restless, have trouble relaxng and find that you have to keep busy all the time?
Do you need to change jobs more than others or have “too many interests”?
Do you interrup others when they are speaking or blurt things out even when you don’t want to?
Is it hard for you to manage your time well or not be chronically late?
Are you often bored, impatient, easily frustrated, or have trouble with emotional ups and downs?
These questions are from The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD. The author advises to do something different and not to skip the introductions or skip ahead. I am already having trouble with that. I often skip ahead. Sometimes I read the ending before I could finish the book. I think I have ADHD bad. I am a high functioning malfunctional person. On the outside I could pass for a successful person. I have done well in school and on the job. I’ve paid a high price for it. Now I want life not to be so difficult.
Having a name to my ‘condition’ and that aha moment helps alot. I’m on a mad tear on learning as much as I can. I have trouble starting and equal difficulty in stopping as well. Dr. Russell Barkley’s lectures on YouTube on ADHD are excellent. He calls ADHD the diabetes of the brain. It is a chronic condition. I’m going to stop here while I can.
It’s Sunday and sunny. The sun is still shining. Sheba and I had a good sleep last night. We are ourselves and happy again. I’m sitting here in my space with my tea. I am content but I have this sense in me – a little discomfort, a feeling of putting off something. For now, I can handle putting off of whatever it is. I am happy just to be still and not investigate. Being aware of its presence is enough. I need this time just to sit. I am enjoying the sun dancing off the snow on the spruce trees, the buddhas in conversations beneath.
I have problems with letting things be. Maybe its my years of being a nurse. When a call bell goes off, I answer it right away. You never know what is at the end of it. It could be someone needing to go to the bathroom, someone falling and needing help, someone in dire distress. Even four years after all that, I’m still like Pavlov’s dog. I’m conditioned not to salivate, but to help, alleviate, rescue. I have the Rescuer archetype in the shadow form according to Caroline Myss. I am not empowered. I don’t withdraw once the mission is over. I am always on duty. It is not my job just to listen to problems but also to fix them for everyone. I’m not sure if anyone wanted/needed or even asked for my help. That thought has just occurred to me rescently. Nobody’s asked. I assumed.
Having that knowledge, I’m now untraining myself of all that. Not all at once, though. It took me years to learn. It will take me years to unlearn. My first step was awareness. The next thing is for me NOT to assume – that I need to do anything, even listening. But I can start by listening and keeping quiet. There’s no need for me to offer any opinions or ideas. There’s no need for me to have any feelings for or against. I can listen. Maybe then I will be able to hear what is truly said.
It is a big task. I know that already. I have all those years of being a nurse in a hospital. It is hard to catch a doctor to listen to your requests. Their minutes are busy and precious. They’re on the move. I always feel standing on the edge, waiting to get in a word, a request, a need. When I see a pause, I pounce. I am on the edge waiting, not really listening to their conversation. Just waiting. Then pouncing before they move on. Then you would have to page them. But now, I am not standing on anybody’s edge. I don’t have a job/duty to do. I don’t have those questions/requests to make. I can LISTEN and not do anything else except to tend to my own needs.
Another bitterly cold day. It’s a fast brisk poop run for Sheba and me. I wonder where our world is going. In the news, seeing the homeless in Toronto and the starving, sick children in war torn countries bring tears to my eyes. I am sitting warm, fed and in my home with excesses. How can I feel right with all I have? At least it made me feel better about my simple Christmas. It was the right way to celebrate.
I am reminded by Caroline Myss this morning of this special time we are living in. Our world and its myths are changing. We have to change the way we see everything. You have to listen to her speak to understand. It’s beyond my ability to explain. I understand a bit of it. Each time I listen, I understand a little more. I am aware this is an extraordinary time in history. I am in awe. I don’t want to waste it, moping and helpless. I don’t want to look back and regret. Oh, I could/should have done something! If only….
So here I sit, in my special hour, tap, tapping away – for enlightenment, for comfort, for vision. I know that I am in a special time- that space between real and energy time. I am aware that we are multi-sensory. I feel the energy around me. Some people give off a powerful presence when they enter a room/space. You’ve felt that, haven’t you? I have. Maybe it’s their body language or facial expression but it’s like an aura surrounding their body. It’s makes me want to back away or rush forward for an embrace – depending on what they give off.
I have been receiving ping backs for awhile now. A thought, idea, an awareness will suddenly pop right in front of my face. I can almost touch it. The first time that it happened, I went: Oh my goodness! No, I don’t want it to be true. But it was. And I was sad. I’m okay with it now. We all possess this ability. It’s just that some of us are not paying attention. We are not listening and we never will. That line jumped right out of Don McLean’s song, Vincent. Oh, how thoughts weave in and out of my mind!
What am I doing if not wasting time, moping and sobbing? It’s really nothing special. I do rave and rant here once in awhile. There is not enough time to mope. I am slow as a slug. I haven’t caught up to the speed of energy yet. I like to press ENTER like on my computer and things get done. I don’t function that way anymore. No more flash in the pan. Now it’s the slow layers of paint that I put on the canvas, the painstakingly slow learning of stitches, programs, and functions of my new Bernina sewing machine. Otherwise it won’t go. It’s no more speeding down the highways of life. I’m processing. I’ve been rewired and rebooted. I am awake, if only a little.
Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself. That is so with me. Before that, I never knew how cocooned and protected – how lucky I was. I was in a fool’s paradise. You can just imagine my distress when I lost myself – adrift in the universe.
I’ve been lost all my life without my knowing it. I’ve been navigating at life’s wheel without a map, compass or a GPS. I thought I could just guess, estimate and give it stab and get there. Well, guess what? Big surprise – I CAN’T.
At least I know THAT much now – a step in the right direction as they say. I’m awake and aware, my feet planted solidly on the ground like my sunflowers. I’m standing tall and erect. I know where the sun rises. Look east, young woman, look east. See which way those yellow heads are facing. Take heed. Now that you know, do not keep on trucking down the same wrong road. Try a different path. Remember to do that for the rest of your life. It’s a hard task, I know. But it’s worth your effort.