Anxiety: A Stifling of Power

I felt the words rise into my chest and up to my mouth but my lips would not allow them through. My heart began to pound.

I realized in that moment that what I termed anxiety has only been the bubbling of my Power within and my own refusal to allow its free-flowing expression.

I see the beating heart and shaking voice now, not as my anxiety, my deficiency, but my God Within rising to be released and expressed.

The practice now is to trust this uprising, this foreign power – to reacquaint myself with my Self and to trust fully in the perfect rhythm and flow of Life.

Only I can choose to allow Its expression – who am I to deny such a thing?

God in Zoloft

You’ve heard the story of the drowning man who prays to God to be rescued?

A rowboat sails by and the man refuses rescue saying that he’s waiting for God to save him. Then a motorboat comes by and he refuses that rescue too, still clinging to his belief that God will come to his aid. He refuses the helicopter rescue too before he finally ends up drowning.

Once in heaven, the man asks God why He didn’t save him and God replies, “I sent you a rowboat, a motorboat and a helicopter! What more did you expect?”

I am that man, drowning in my own misguided and maligned ideas of what rescue, grace and salvation should look like.

I am wholeheartedly, without a doubt, clinging to my own mind-made beliefs of who I am or who I should be.

Still struggling in the midst of the chaos, confusion and torment of a worsening depression, I contemplate what it would mean to re-start my medication.

I fear losing me.

The thing is, I’m losing me anyway. I’m like the guy drowning and passing up all the life preservers being thrown his way, waiting for something better.

…waiting for something better and ignoring the omnipotent, omnipresence of God.

The endless suffering is but a result of my own refusal to accept help.

Martin Luther said, “Until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him.”

I believe God can do more with me than I’ve ever attempted to do for myself and His grace can take any form.

I took my Zoloft this morning.

 

 

 

RE – A Mighty Prefix, Another Chance

A recent interaction with my husband has me sitting in a spot that is painful and uncomfortable, and also unknown.

I’m in uncharted territory. I’m not clamoring to get out. There’s something happening here and I just need to sit and watch.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not in a peaceful, pensive, in-control spot.

I’m panicked on the inside; in a state of complete confusion and bewilderment. I think this has been the catalyst of a very steep spiraling down of my mood.

I’ve landed right back at square one in terms of mood, eating disorder and overall emotional well-being.

But, I’m still here. And while the circumstances of the past may all be playing out again, I am not the same person going through them. I think I’m getting another chance.

The things I’m still holding, still resisting, will keep touching the nerves until the thorn has been eradicated.

Round two, here we go!

Even though I still feel like I’m in a very vulnerable place, my view point has definitely changed. The reactions still come, aggressively and shockingly angrily at times, but the time from spike back to plateau is not lasting as long. That’s how I know there has been change.

I saw my husband last week. I had given him an April 30th deadline for letting me know if he was going to go into treatment.

He responded on May 1st, via text, telling me that he would see the counselor one more time but that it had been almost a year since I left him and though a bit upset he felt encouraged that he’d made it a year on his own. He likes who he is, he just needs some fine-tuning.

I didn’t respond. I cried. It just sounded to me like he was okay with things and was moving on.

I felt rejected and dismissed.

I felt sad that his takeaway from the past year has been that, in some way, I just don’t like who he is. That there’s something ‘wrong’ with him. Not true.

I pondered this. There doesn’t seem to be any objective truth in either of our ‘sides’, only our own personal interpretation which drives our behaviors and actions.

I went over to the house later that day. I’m not sure it was a good idea or not but I was sad and wanted to see my dog.

I arrived and my husband was standing at the back door. He just looked at me, threw up his hands, said that he’d been drinking, and walked away.

I replied that it didn’t matter, I’d just come to see my dog.

Several minutes later we were in a heated discussion and he dropped a bombshell.

He told me that I am the reason he drinks.

I became irate. I screamed. I yelled. I threw things. I stomped. I slammed. I wanted to hit him. I didn’t.

I ran downstairs, ready to make a swift exit. My mind was rolling and I could see it – I wanted to run, drive, call all my friends and family, tell them all how he has betrayed me, tell them what he said to me. I wanted to tell everyone what a horrible monster he was.

But why?

I wanted to be right. But, I looked further down the road and knew that no consolation would make the pain more bearable. It would still be inside me, stirring the cauldron of self-pity, rejection, guilt, shame, betrayal, unworthiness.

I stood in the basement, alone and shaking, knowing that other than being right in the pain, any other action would only be a mask.

The pain was indescribable but I was still alive. It wasn’t killing me.

I took deep breaths. I could hear my husband upstairs, sobbing.

I know I am not the reason for his drinking. I may be a thorn in his side that hits his nerves, but I am only one of many.

I went upstairs. He thought I had left and, still sobbing, asked what I was still doing there. I shrugged. He hugged me.

I lightly returned the hug, feeling completely empty. I wasn’t filled with love but I didn’t have hate in my heart either. I just felt like we were two people who were hurt, doing the best we could, trying to protect ourselves from further pain.

After that episode, we lay in bed talking. I asked probing questions to which he was responding openly.

He dropped another bombshell which, for me, was worse than the first.

He told me that shortly before we were married he thought about leaving me. He wasn’t sure if this was really the life he wanted.

I was non-reactive and accepted his words as his truth. The tears were unstoppable though and they rolled, in streams, down my cheeks. He didn’t seem to be concerned about my tears.

I left shortly thereafter. My life, to this point, now felt like a complete untruth, a total charade. It was never real.

I don’t even know if he meant any of what he said that day or if it was his way of protecting himself from further pain and rejection. I think the latter is the case but I will never know.

My whole identity, though I question ever having one to begin with, has been shattered.

I know not what I was. I know not who I am. I know nothing beyond this breath.

A me I thought I was was never really real.

I think I have spent the past week in mourning.

And I don’t even feel a need to rebuild.

I am feeling overwhelmed by all the things sitting in my apartment right now. I don’t want anything. I want to throw it all away.

I’ve started packing.

My lease is up soon.

I don’t know where I will move. I may even move back home.

You see, the marriage isn’t even a thing to me right now. It was a game.

Nothing was real.

We’re just two people. We went looking for happiness in each other and blamed and pointed fingers when the other fell short.

It still hurts. I’m still letting go.

This dying to self thing, no wonder the gate is narrow.

Interview with Myself – #1

Q: How are you doing?

A: Not so good.

Q: Why not? What’s going on?

A: I feel lost and confused. I can’t control this thing that’s happening inside me. I feel like there’s this separate entity that I’m fighting. I don’t understand why this is happening to me.

Q: Is the entity really separate?

A: Yes, and no. It doesn’t feel like it’s truly me but it’s not really outside of me. It’s me but it’s not me. I mean, if it’s me but I don’t want to feel like this, then why would I do this to myself? Why would someone do this to themselves? If it’s not me, then who is it? There’s no one else here so it must be me. I can’t stand it. I want to crawl out of myself.

Q: Do you feel like you’re at fault?

A: Yes! I should be able to control myself. Why can’t I control it?

Q: Control what?

A: These feelings…

Q: What feelings? What do you feel?

[pause]

A: I feel nothing and everything. I feel anger,

Q: Anger?

A: Yes!

Q: At what or who?

A: At myself.

Q: Why?

A: Because of what I am.

Q: What are you?

A: Wrong. Gross. Inadequate. Empty. Different. Displaced. I don’t belong here. I don’t belong there. I can’t decide what’s right. I can’t decide what’s wrong. I can’t decide. I don’t understand who I am. I should be able to figure this out. Why can’t I figure this out?

Q: What are you trying to figure out?

A: Everything! I don’t understand why I don’t feel like I belong…anywhere. I’m out of place. I try this, I try that. I do this, I do that. I don’t feel any connection. I am without purpose.

Q: Do you need a purpose?

A: I feel like there’s a reason for me. But it continuously evades me. Deep, deep, deep down I feel like I am meant to do something but I don’t feel like me doing what I’m doing now. I feel like I’m anything but me. Everything feels wrong. I don’t belong here.

Q: Don’t belong where?

A: Here, right now. Here on earth. Here in this world. It’s so hard, it’s so tiring. I go to work and try to find joy and excitement. I try to put forth the effort. Drive harder! Push more! Climb and be! Those are the messages I get but that’s not what I want and so I don’t belong. I feel condemned for not ‘bettering’ myself. And I feel on the outside again. And then I feel like since we have control over our thoughts that if I could just think different thoughts and not let myself think that I’m on the outside then I shouldn’t be. But that doesn’t work either. I still feel like I’m not in the right place. But if not here, then where? I’m trying so hard to be of a world where I truly don’t belong. But then what am I to do? There’s no place for the likes of me in this world and that’s what happens to people like me – we get banished. It’s the folks living in squalor and who are homeless, just tossed aside because the world doesn’t know what to do with them. I want to quit my job but then how I do I survive? I can’t. And then so what do I do then? I follow my heart to leave a job that is so heart-wrenchingly wrong and then I get reprimanded. How could I be so irresponsible? You can’t just quit your job! How do you plan to survive? You’ve got to have a plan and set goals and plan and try and effort! But I don’t have any answers to what I’m supposed to do next. All I know is that I’m not where I need to be. But the world doesn’t support someone who up and quits a decent job. How could you? How could you leave a job with benefits and pension? You need to put in your time just like everyone else! Damn it! It doesn’t feel right to me. But I don’t know what I’m supposed to do! I don’t know what to do! And so I just try to keep going in a world where I don’t belong. But I just know I’m meant for more but if I am then why hasn’t the “what” come to me? I’m not allowing it. I’m resisting. And there I go doing something wrong again. And then I feel bad because maybe I’m not being grateful enough and if I would just be grateful then the whole world would become better for me. How can anything be wrong when you’re grateful? And then I’m at fault again. I’m wrong. It’s always me. I am wrong. I am wrong. I am wrong.

[silence]

Q: Tell me about your eating disorder.

A: Sigh. I’ve relapsed.

Q: How do you feel about that?

A: Disappointed.

Q: Why do you think you relapsed?

A: Because it never really went away.

Q: What do you mean?

A: I don’t know.

Q: When did it start again?

A: January.

Q: You’ve reached out for help again and may be able to get back into a program.

A: Yes.

Q: How do you feel?

A: Grateful that someone is still willing to help me.

Q: Are you afraid?

A: Yes.

Q: Why?

A: It’s different this time.

Q: What’s different?

A: Me.

Q: Why?

[silence]

Q: It’s been suggested that mood, yours in particular, has a lot to do with behavior and that your mood is very low again. You stopped taking your medication in June and by November (and probably sooner) things were starting to go downhill again. Do you think your mood is a problem?

A: Yes. I think I make very different choices and have very different ideas when my mood is low.

Q: Your medication had a profound effect on your first episode of recovery from the eating disorder. Why did you stop?

A: Yes, I remember. For me, I remember changing my food/eating habits but still not being able to stop the binging and purging and then once I started the meds it’s like everything changed and I could control my choices. Before the meds I felt like everything was effort and once the meds kicked in I felt like I was in control of the choices. Things were still hard but it was like I had this magical ability to choose. I was such an advocate of the meds! I never thought I would be since I was so anti-medication but the change was like a switch was turned on (or off – whichever way you want to look at it) and the voice that was truly me could be heard again – I was in control. It felt instantaneous and the struggles were no longer uncontrollable but completely within my control. Choice was something I could make.

I stopped the meds because I was introduced to an idea that medication is not necessary, we are in complete control of our own reality. We can transcend anything with enough focus. All we need is focus. We are vibrational beings and that, with enough focus, I could raise my vibrational frequency and transcend to another plane of understanding and existence.

The problem here is two-fold.

First, I was introduced to this concept but misunderstood it entirely. And secondly, the concept as a whole still resonates deeply with me and I fear that in order to be helped I must give up what feels true to me and submit to the current modalities of treatment for my depression and eating disorder.

Q: Why do you think you misunderstood?

A: All I heard was “high” frequency and “low” frequency. High equates to good and low equates to bad. I found the element of separation, the way I always seem to do, that said I was less than and had something to achieve. I thought I was less than the person who introduced me to this idea of vibrational frequencies because he was vibrating at a very high frequency. Sadly, this person was not willing to entertain my mind of questions and thoughts and analysis in order to try and help me reason and figure this all out. I was quashed at every angle and just told to breathe and focus.

Q: How did that make you feel?

A: Dismissed.

Q: Who was this person?

A: I don’t know.

Q: What do you mean, “You don’t know.”?

A: In form he was my yoga teacher. In thought, I don’t know or understand the reason he came into my life. At times I hate him and wish I’d never, ever, ever met him. Part of me feels like he’s pure evil and part of me feels like he’s pure love. Part of me wonders if the things I encountered through him were even real, factual events. He and the circumstances of our encounters have had a profound effect on me but I find it very difficult to describe.  It’s surreal. I do feel like I had an awakening of some sort but can’t explain that further. I feel like I was completely blind before and when I had the awakening I was given a glimpse of something far beyond what I knew. But the vision has not been fully realized so I feel like I’m looking out with fuzzy eyes that can’t see anything but a blur and it’s driving me insane, this inability to see.

[silence]

Q: There’s unresolved energy here.

A: Yes.

Q: Do you know how to resolve it?

A: No. I have no answers. It just is and I hate how painful it is.

Q: Do you think this situation has anything to do with your low mood?

A: Not everything but something. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand it but I want to be free from it.

Q: Is it possible?

A: All things are possible.

Q: Do you believe that?

A: Yes. To the core my being.

Q: Then why do you feel so fearful and frustrated?

A: I’m wanting revelation.

Q: What if it doesn’t come?

A: It will.

Q: Then why do you feel so fearful and frustrated?

A: I’m afraid it won’t come. I’ll be wrong and crazy.

Q: So you have doubt?

[silence]

A: I don’t think I doubt so much as I’m impatient. Isn’t 40 years of pain enough time to wait?

Q: Who decides how long?

A: I know.

[silence]

A: I need to take a break.

 

The Rabbit Hole

I’ve been spiraling down the rabbit hole for about five months now and I can’t do it any longer.

There are only two options at this point. I either continue going down, which will result in complete self-destruction or, I get the hell out.

I’m gonna ditch this hole.

I’ve started to see the separation so clearly – it’s happening all the time, day and night. With every turn of my head my mind goes to the dark side. But, at the same time, there’s this knowing in me, coursing deep within my veins, that says, “This isn’t right, man. This isn’t who you are.”

My mind and body are fierce defenders of this black alley. And I don’t really understand why they want to be there. But, God knows, I don’t want to be there – not anymore. It’s do or die time, literally.

I’m linking my chains together, one by one, and eventually the strong chain of light will be long enough to haul my ass out of this pit. I’m looking one way only…that’s up and out.

I can so ably see and catch the spin to negativity but  I know I’m pretty darn weak right now. I don’t have the strength to just jump out. So, I’m starting slow.

Today, when I caught every drop in mood, I identified it as the thing I don’t want. Then, I just kept saying what I do want – that I want to feel good. I want to feel good. And then when my mind would say, “Yeah, nice try, but you don’t feel good.”, I just spoke louder – I WANT TO FEEL GOOD.

If all I’m doing is looking towards what I do want then the momentum will build, over time I will become strong, and eventually the rabbit hole will be a barely memorable thing of the past.

I like rabbits. But they can have their hole back.

The Undercurrent of My Human Mind

I stand in front of the vending machine, mid-morning. My eyes dart back and forth between the whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese and the blueberry muffin.

I can’t decide. The thoughts and questioning roll in like thunder clouds.

Which would be the better choice? I like muffins. I’d rather have an oatmeal muffin though (but blueberry is my only option). I’m not sure I feel like a bagel. Maybe the bagel is healthier. The bagel is probably going to fill me up more. I wonder if I’ll feel too full. Will that be too many carbs today? I can only imagine the amount of sugar in either option. I wonder how much high fructose corn syrup is in the bagel and cream cheese. I really should stay away from the HFCS – that stuff is killing the world. Remember that documentary? You’re falling into the trap of the “big guy” feeding you this sugar crap. I’ve put so much effort into eating healthy. This is going to kill my healthy glow. I’m hungry though. These are my options. You really should have been more prepared than this. Why do you have to eat at all? Why can’t you just NOT eat? Ah, so little will-power. You’re such a needy person. Stop it! Focus! You need to eat! Try thinking about it. Which one would taste better to you? I can’t decide. The muffin looks small. Hmm. My eyes dart back and forth again and again and again. What should I eat? Oh, come on! Stop thinking about what you should eat – try and tap into what you would prefer. I try to imagine eating both options and what each would taste like. I still can’t decide. Fuck! Just pick you stupid idiot! It shouldn’t be this hard. It’s just a bagel and muffin. But it’s not just a bagel and muffin. There are consequences to this choice. Fuck, you are fucked! If only people could hear you. They’d think you’re nuts! Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks like this. Why can’t I just be normal. Fuck, would you focus already and just fucking pick! Okay, okay. Hmm. Okay, I’ll get the bagel.

I put in the $2 and the bagel drops down. I guiltily take my bad choice from the trough and walk back to my desk. You shouldn’t be eating this. This isn’t food. It’s fake food. It’s filled with sugar and unnatural ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Oh stop. It’s just food. Remember what the bible says – it’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person. Yeah, I know. But what comes out of my mouth is no good either. I’m such an evil person. There’s no goodness in me. I am wicked and will never find the way to heaven. If only people knew how evil you are. Oh stop it. Don’t identify with that voice. It’s your ego messing with you. It’s just a bagel.

I open the bagel and spread one half with cream cheese. What would B think? He told you that if it isn’t real, raw and organic than don’t eat. Why are you eating this crap? He’d be so disappointed. He wouldn’t even want to be in your presence if he knew what you were doing to your body. You’re such a disgrace. Fat, fat, fat. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Shame on you, shame on you, shame on you. Oh fuck it! B doesn’t give a shit about me anyway. He couldn’t care any less about me and isn’t wasting his time thinking about me so stop thinking about him. He’s not God. Remember what the bible says – it’s not the food that will defile you. All things are life. Stop judging.

The bagel reaches my lips. I feel sick. I force myself to eat it. I only eat half and then put the other half away. I’m so ashamed. Well, just put it behind you. Next time will be better. You don’t eat bagels everyday. Don’t worry. Oh, you’re just like your mother. You can’t stop eating. What’s wrong with you? Do you want to turn out like that? My stomach feels so fat. I feel disgusting. I sit, internally writhing in mental and physical discomfort. I try to focus on work. And I work but I’m not focused on work. I’m focused on my body. You are so awful. I still feel hungry. Stop! You just ate half a bagel. How could you possibly be hungry? Drink some water. I don’t feel like water. I’m tired. Why am I so tired all the time? It’s because I’m not sleeping well. It’s because you can’t stop these incessant thoughts. Fuck, just stop thinking. Breathe! Sigh. You know what? It’s Friday. Just let it go – go have another coffee. That’ll make you feel better, take the edge off your hunger. Why do you have to be such a hungry girl. No one will ever love you. You know that, right? You can’t take care of yourself. You’re always needing. You gave away the only person who does love you so shame on you. You just have to deal with that. It’s your fault. He loved you. Why would you give him up? Stop. You left for a reason. Remember, you do love him but he’s an alcoholic. You had to leave. But you shouldn’t have. You can’t do this on your own. You are absolutely messing up your life. You’re fucked. You’re going to wind up an old, unlovable, wrinkled ugly woman living alone in squalor, in a ratty old apartment that smells like a stank hole. You’re never going to amount to anything. Too bad. You should have thought about that before you decided to leave. At least you’d have a comfortable home and not have to want for anything. But that’s not the life you want, is it? Come on, you can do this. These are just thoughts. You’re not your thoughts. Focus. Focus. Focus. You can be more. You know it, deep within your heart. It doesn’t matter what you weigh or look like. You’ve got a good job and work with great people. Why can’t you be more grateful? You’re such an ungrateful sod. You have more than so many others and yet you take advantage of what you have. Shame on you. But I’m so sad. Okay. Okay. I can do this. Just get through the day. After work you’ll get your hair cut, get dinner, get an oil change, do laundry, clean the house, have a work out. But when do I get to relax? Stop, you don’t need to relax. If you focus on the moment all your work should feel like bliss. It shouldn’t matter what you do if you’re doing it with joy in your heart. Why can’t I feel the joy? Why does my life feel so black? I’m so tired. Why? Will I ever be happy and feel joy? I’ve never felt joy. I feel hopeless. Here I go again. Why can’t I be happy? What is wrong with me? I’m hungry. Okay, it’s almost 1:00 p.m. Go ahead and eat lunch, if you must. It’s a healthy lunch, it’s okay. There’s not as many vegetables in here. Where are the greens? You should be eating way more greens. Your skin is going to start showing the mess of a diet you’ve been eating. Come on, just eat. Shut up. It’s tasty. Not bad. I’m full. You’re fat. You should’ve waited to eat lunch. But I was hungry. No you weren’t. You just can’t stop eating. Eat, eat, eat. No control. It’s okay. I’ll work out tonight. But it’s Friday. I’m tired. I don’t want to work out. No, you know what? It is Friday! You’ve had a tough week. Just forget it all today – all bets are off! One last binge, one last purge. Then you can start fresh tomorrow. Have an extra long workout to make up for it and then you’ll be back on track.

I’m so gray and dark at this point. I can’t focus. The tears are welling. The days have gone on and on like this for what feels like an eternity. The shackles are heavy. I want to die. I don’t really want to die but I don’t see any way out. This is my life. You’ve made a damn mess of it too! Why can’t someone help me? Who? Who would help you? What could they possibly do for you to make any of this feel better or go away completely? Nothing. Who can I call? Mom, dad, sis? No, they’d listen and then just look at you with pity. I don’t need pity. I’m not a pitiful person. I’m so strong. What about B? No, you’d just be dragging him into your mess of a world. Don’t drag others into your dismal abyss. What about L? I should get together with friends. No, they’ll just want to have fun and you’d just be a depressed mess. Who wants to hang out with that? No one. But I can’t stand this. I can’t stand myself. I can’t stand being alone. I can’t be the only one who feels like this. There must be others out there. But why do we all struggle alone? What would make me feel better? Nothing. There isn’t anything anybody can do. Just be miserable then! But I don’t want to be miserable. The sun is shining, it’s such a beautiful day. You can’t even enjoy it. Look, people go out for walks and get out and live life. Look at you! You just whole up and can barely face it. Weak, weak, weak. Who are you? What’s the point? Why bother? This can’t be it though. There has to be more! What though, what more is there? You’ve lived 40 years like this. Why would you think it’s going to change? Because it has to! I’m worth more than this! I know I am. Come on! You’re so egotistical. Always thinking of yourself! Stop. I’m tired. Maybe you should just have a glass of wine and relax tonight. Oh sure, just filling yourself with other ways to make yourself feel better. Wine won’t help either. There is nothing you can do.

I feel heavy. I feel fat. I feel tired. I feel worthless. I feel lazy. I feel useless. I feel hungry. I feel full. I feel sick. I feel fear. I feel unloved. I feel lost. I feel disconnected. I feel not human. I feel alone. I feel afraid. I feel. I feel deeply. I want to love. I want to feel. I’m not worthy.

The stream of thought is endless. And this only accounts for about 30 minutes of my day.

How does one escape this nightmare?

I’m watching…

…and if I can see what I’m holding I can make a decision to let it go.