Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Moment by Brittle Moment

    Funny how I can go from feeling invincible to fragile, grounded to floundering, and back again in the flash of a moment. I know I am on shaky footing these days, hoping that the ground will eventually firm up beneath my feet and not feel like shifting sand as the waves recede. I can look at the calender and see how it was a mere few weeks ago that I had tumbled over the edge of the abyss. Tumbled, fell, hit the jagged bottom, and crawled back onto a narrow ledge for a toehold of safety and respite. I can look at the last few weeks and congratulate myself on my recovery. My strength. My resolve. But I can look at those same weeks, day to day, hour to hour, moment by moment view and understand the fragility of any given moment. It truely amazes me. I feel like a Maple tree: dense hardwood, glorious spreading canopy, vast trunk, and yet brittle, with hollow branches that can barely support their own weight. I need to be a Willow, that can bend and flex but spring back into shape without breaking. The Willow that can hold to the banks of a raging river without losing its hold.
    At least my brittle moments have lessened, and shortened, so they are easier to disguise. It is second nature to choke down panic, fear, desolation, and anxiety. Hide it from the world, keep it held tight in my chest until it passes and I can breathe again. A few brief weeks ago, these brittle moments stretched to hours and days, making it difficult to hide that face from the world. I moved through life as an automaton, going through the motions of calm and normalcy, hiding behind hats and tinted lenses. Fleeing a room for a few moments of absolute breakdown until I could regain just enough control to fake my way through the working day. By comparison, the last week has been a cake-walk. Okay, not the last week, the last few days. Okay, the last 48 hours. I find I can measure my rationality in hours. Which also, truely amazes me.
    I look at life these days with the "one day at a time" perspective. To be able to get through any given moment with calm is a victory. I shield myself from some truths. I actually delude myself, knowingly. Telling myself how everything will work out, everything will be fine. Some moments this is reality, others it is complete happy horse-shit. But I am my best source of positive reinforcement. When I find myself confronted by a truth I do not want to acknowledge, I turn away, deny it until I can face it down with resolve and strength. Some truths are too painful, overpowering, unacceptable, and so I will ignore them until they do not hold sway over my emotions. I am sure most would say I need to face these issues if I am to heal, but I know my limits. I will face these truths when I am more resilent, less brittle, less easily shattered, more like a Willow, less like a Maple. Until then, it is one day at a time. Hour by hour. Moment by brittle moment.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Eye of the Storm?

    I have felt preternaturally calm the last 12 hours or so. This did come after a tumultuous explosion of emotion, angst and hard physical activity in an attempt to burn down the manic energies coursing through my system. Exhausted, I climbed into my bed early, in an attempt to calm myself with the coccoon-like feeling of my warm down comforter. For a while it had the affect of a mother's hug, letting me pour out pent up tears and pain. Then, again like a caring hug, it led me to a place of calm, thought provoking clarity. I lay for hours, staring into the dark, letting my mind roam in and out of the events that make up my world. When calm, my mind stops running in pointless circles like a hyper hamster on a wheel, and instead will pause for breath and then begin a linear path.
    The paths I can travel when calm may not always run straight and true, but they do lead me forward and into a new understanding of self. I am striving to learn of myself enough that I can become proactive, instead of reactive. I want to have at least an idea of what is coming up the road to meet me, instead of feeling like I am in a Funhouse waiting to be startled by the next grubby apparition to spring out of nowhere in a pointless, heart pounding act. I want to be prepared for the next event, not startled by it. I am exhausted from living in a constant state of expectation, waiting the next attack on my psyche. I am trying to step away from the shellshock, and battle fatigue that makes me jumpy and over-reactive. I need my mind to be my bunker, where I can view the world, see what approaches, decide friend or foe, and make decisions accordingly.
    I feel as if I have made a major stride towards the proactive. I have reached a state of calm and clarity that has eluded me for far too long. In this clarity I can see far afield, understand my place in the cosmos, take charge of what I can, and release myself from responsibilty for what I cannot control. I am hoping that this calm, this clarity, this stillness in my soul is the aftermath of the recent storms, and not, instead, the deceptive Eye of the Storm.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mysteries of the Mind

   Just when you think that depression is just depression, and it can be warded off with good intentions, fitness, nutrition, positive outlook, optimism and general joie de vive, along comes the diagnosis that hits far deeper than merely the pat phrase "Seasonal Affected Disorder." The deeper I delve into the mysteries of the mind, at least MY mind, the truths begins to surface. At times it feels as if I am looking at an algae covered pond, seeing some mysterious creature bumping up beneath the dense green surface. I can see the movement, see the solidity of the beast beneath, but cannot for the life of me identify it for what it truely is. Or in truth, discover how many creatures are actually there. One? Two? Too many? And just how large?
    One of the largest and most active creature seems to be Introjective Depression. I had never heard of such a beast. But apparently it inhabits my pond: "Introjective Depression is developmentally more advanced that Anaclitic Depression. Introjective Depression is characterized by feelings of being unworthy, unloveable, guilty, and having failed to live up to expectations and standards. The person with introjective cognitive structures has a keen sense of morality and self-scrutiny. These individuals have excessive demands for perfection, a proclivity to assume blame and responsibility, and feelings of helplessness to achieve approval, acceptance, and recognition. The Introjective person overachieves in order to win the approval which he or she feels is lacking. With any sense of failure or lack of approval from important others (an activating event), the Introjective individual is vulnerable to depression." Hell, who knew? Yes, I've always been a perfectionist, and have felt deep angst at presumed failure. And "keen sense of morality and self-scrutiny?" Oh hell Yes. Have you read any of my over-analytical blogs? Most of my writing is all about self-scrutiny. I guess it should come as no surprise to find that these hardwired aspects of my personality are also a core of my self-flagellation. They are more than the core, they are the hand that holds the whip.

    There is a sense of relief in the naming of things. A name is another step towards understanding. And understanding is paramount in finding a source of relief. It gives me a jumping off point, a target, a visible creature to define and understand.

(*For those who know me and know my private nature, understand that my sharing of this information is one of many hurdles towards my own self-acceptance, understanding and management of the Whirlwind that is Me. It is not an attempt to elicit pity or sympathy, just understanding. I love the Whirlwind that is Me. I truely do. But I am searching for ways to lessen my impact on my psyche and my environment, for a Whirlwind is a force of Nature, not to be denied, but hopefully to be understood and accepted for what it is.*)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Fire Demons

    I am usually one to think and write in metaphors and symbolism to keep the reality of my inner demons somewhat out of the public domain. Today really isn't much different except I am willing to name  a few of those demons for what they are. Expose them to the light. Rob them of some of their power. The last few months have been a brutal, painful, arduous, revealing self-exploration. I truely feel as if I have been through a trial by fire. Fortunately, my nature is Fire, and so despite the flames licking, scorching and burning, I did come out mostly unscathed, though a tad singed. But I have been forced to deal with inner demons. Forced to come face to face with truths about myself that are undeniable, and that shape my personality, the very core of my Self.
    As my difficult trial by fire reached a chaotic crescendo last month (or dark, frozen abyss depending on the perspective) I found that I could no longer fight the good fight without allies. Not just the casual alliances of friendship, but the strong, well-trained alliance of professionals. My professional demon hunters, if you will. I sat through several different assessments, defeated and exhausted, choking out my tale, hearing words of sympathy and understanding. More than once I saw that flicker in their eyes that made me fear I would not walk out under my own power, or be allowed to leave at all. I know it was my willingness to speak truths, listen and understand words of advice, and prove the mettle of my fight, that convinced all involved that I was safe to unleash back into the world. I have long known I struggle with demons, my own personal little beasts that possess me from time to time. But through the years I have managed to keep them caged, pacified, somewhat controlled, or at the very least, maintained. But now I had reached that hellmouth dimension where they were ruling my life, unleashing thier raging power, wresting control from me. I fought with every fiber of my being, every trick, every ploy, trying to recage and restrain. Nothing worked for more than a brief moment, then they would return more powerful and chaotic than before.
    Chaos seemed to be the ruling force. As we all know, demons thrive on and dispense chaos as their favorite habitat. They live for and within chaos, and so will feed it, nurture it and release it out upon their chosen victims. I was their Chosen One.
    Forced to seek out allies to ensure my own survival also forced me to confront these demons head on. There was no other way. I have long known I am borderline bipolar, the only thing making it borderline is that during manic episodes I never do anything harmful or destructive (I guess that is a silver lining). And during the depressive state I would never have thoughts of self-destruction (Suicide? Never! Homicide? Well, now...). I walk a fine line most of the time, balancing health, nutrition, fitness, self analysis, self exploration, meditation, and stress management. It is a very fine line, and a difficult one. This line was finally crossed, my balancing act shot to hell, my life tumbled into the hellmouth. My demonspawn were unleashed upon my world. The only way to limit the damage was to come to terms with the realities of being a Demon Keeper.
    A proven way to gain control over demons is to know their true Name. I know I have limited my control by not knowing or refusing to name the demons that inhabit me. I know the strongest by name now: Introvert, Bipolar, Social Anxiety, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Introjective Depression. Some I have known and battled with religious fervor. Others, I could feel the weight of their presence, but did not know what lurked in the shadows. I have Named. I have pulled them into the Light. I have weakened their powers.
    The hard reality of being a Keeper of Demons, is just that, I am a Keeper. The demons are mine. They are mine to tame, control, leash. But they are truely mine, a part of my psyche, and will always be a part of the multitude of facets that make me unique. I am striving to develop a working relationship with these demons of mine, for they are not Evil, they are Fire and Chaos. As one who has always had an empathy for beasts, both wild and domestic, and had the ability to tame with love even the most irrascible, I know I can conquer these demons of mine. I will harness their powers for my own use. Channel their energies and use them to restore mine. I will allow myself to revel in the Fire of Chaos when it is unavoidable as it is a stimulating alternative to stagnation and apathy. I will accept, love and cherish them, these Fire Demons of mine. I will learn to understand their nature, as I am understanding mine. For they are part of me, part of my nature, part of the Fire.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Fire That is Me

    Fire. Flame. Maelstrom. Firestorm. Embers. Ash. Phoenix. The fire that is Me. The fire that is misunderstood. The fire that is the essence of my being. The fire in my heart and soul. My spirit that is a raging blaze or softly glowing ember. It is me. It is mine. My Fire. My Spark. My Vitality.
    Embers, covered in ash, that seem cold and dead. But a wisp of tinder, a breath of wind and I burst to life. Lively flames leaping and surging. The tinder burns hot and fast. The flames dwindle, but prove the spark is alive. Vibrant. At times, it is far more than tinder that ignites. I become a conflagration. Flames burning hot and hard. Leaping to the sky. Sparks crackling and raining down, fiery hail. Sometimes all consuming, destructive if not for self-imposed fire-breaks. The flames leap and dance. Bright. Hot. Hungry. Dangerous. Alluring. Hypnotic. I feel the edge of danger. I know the damage of fire. But I know the vital heat. To live within the vortex is exhausting yet exhilarating. To live with me is to know the vortex, embrace it, feel the heat, the radiance, the warmth, the exhiliration. The Fire that is Me radiates energy, warmth, life, passion. I may singe, but never destroy.
    I am a flaming whirlwind. I am a gentle heat. I am the firestorm. I am the warm hearth. My heart is an undying ember, kept sheltered and ever bright. Protected from those who would douse the flame out of fear or envy. Protected, nurtured, tended. The ember awaiting the tinder and breath of wind.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Treading Water

    These days I feel as if I am treading water. Managing to keep my head above the waves, but still getting water up my nose, making me cough and choke. I continue the slow steady movements that will allow me to keep breathing, even if in my heart I know there is no rescue ship on its way. I can't let myself give up, that is not an option. But at times my arms and legs feel leaden, my chest aches with every breath, my heart hammers against my ribs, and the cold seeps into my marrow. But still I kick my feet and flutter my arms in a valliant, last ditch effort. Bloodshot eyes scan the horizon, hoping for a glimpse of a rescue party, a glimmer of hope, but all I see is wave after wave. But still I tread. Although I lose faith in rescue, I hope for the sight of land. Even a remote island, where I can relax and breathe easy for a bit. At this point I would be happy to find a rock to rest on, a piece of flotsam to cling to, anything to give me the feeling that the constant struggle to remain afloat is not in vain, or foolish.
    As the days pass, and I continue to tread, I search the horizon for an island. My island. My piece of salvation. Solid ground beneath my feet. Stability. Once again I find myself feeling that I am placing too much faith in rescue. That I need to place my faith in self salvation. I will be the one to come to my own rescue, again. I must continue moving in an attempt to find that patch of sand, pile of rock, safe haven, sanctuary. I can find my way to land, I have the strength to continue to fight against the waves that wash over me and threaten the very air I breathe. I continue to find that I am so much stronger than I ever imagined I could be. I have an inner core of steel that will carry me through any and all trials and battles. Despite the fatigue that threatens, the daunting seas that seem endless and hostile, the rescue that will not come, I will tread and swim until I feel solid ground beneath my feet once again. That's all I need is just a bit of solid ground.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Onions, Jeans, Jewels, Me

    This last year has been a constant revelation of my fluid nature. I feel as though my soul, my essence is being peeled away like an infinite onion. Each layer removed, sometimes painfully, to reveal a deeper, simpler layer. And like peeling an onion, there have been many tears shed. Tears are an indisputable consequence of peeling onions.
    Today, I am exploring the predawn mental meanderings that made me think that so much of my fluidity, false starts and sometimes gender-bending explorations of self are merely an attempt to find just one place where I might fit in. I have felt like an outcast, outsider and misfit all of my life. Through school I was one of a handful of Invisibles, hanging onto the fringe of the social groups, never fitting, never understanding what was required to fit, and not sure I wanted to. As a child, teen and young adult, this was a painful and uncomfortable reality. I envied the people who always seemed at ease, happy, and socially acceptable. Over the years I did learn to emulate this behavior, externally at least. I can slip, chameleon-like, into almost any social scenario. I can chat up nearly anyone about almost anything. I have developed excellent listening skills which help me understand what someone feels comfortable discussing. I have a strong empathic ability to know what someone needs from me, be it a smile, a hug or silence. I enjoy interacting, feeling a connection, even if I still feel like the stranger in a strange land.
    The upside, is that to all appearances I do fit in anywhere. The true downside is that I have constantly struggled to find one place where I do truely fit. One group that might be the puzzle in which I am the final piece. So what I realize I have done, is slip into different social groups, explored alternative situations, sought the fringe groups that drift about on the edge of society. I have slipped into these situations as if I am in a fitting room, trying on jeans in an attempt to find the one pair that fits me like a glove (or like a damned good pair of jeans). What I have found is that, like jeans, I am not an easy fit. Each group may have some defining characteristic that I identify with, but only one characteristic. Like jeans; this pair is long enough but the waist is too loose, this pair fits the waist but the rise is wrong, this pair makes me look deformed. Why is it seemingly impossible for me to find a fit?
    I admit, this search for a good fit has led me into some very interesting groups. It has made me come to erroneous conclusions about my nature as I see one characteristic and think, "Yes, finally, that's me." But then I step back to see the whole picture and realize that all I was seeing was one unimportant pixel in the overall view. It has caused me to make declarations, that at the time seemed appropriate and true, only to have to rescind them later with a feeling of sheepish gullibility. Many may wonder why I feel such a need to find my "Fit," a group, acceptance. Why? Because I am human. Humans are pack animals. I may be an Introvert, so to all outside observations antisocial, but I still need the physical acceptance of a pack, even be it a pack of one. I feel the need, desire and requirement of contact with other similar beings. I am not seeking a group as a source of personal validation, or for approval for my Self. I am searching for a deeper level of understanding and of companionship, contact, and acceptance for who I truely am.
    Where does all this onion peeling, crying, and trying on of jeans get me? A deeper understanding of myself, and an ability to admit attempts and mistakes. I don't know that many people (especially of my age) put themselves through such rigorous and fluctuating behaviors. Many might read these words and think I am either insecure, shallow or schizophrenic. Maybe. But I think not. Insecure? Sometimes. Shallow? If I were, would my journey in search of Self be so arduous, painful, and difficult? No. Schizophrenic? No. Bipolar, yes, but not unmanageably so. I make these attempts, painful and uncomfortable as they may be, in order to discover truths about myself. Failure is often just part of the process. The failure can be every bit as revealing as success, maybe more so, though it is also far more uncomfortable and a cause for not a little humility.
    But what I realized today, after gestating on the pre-dawn maunderings, is that I will likely never find one group in which I fit. No single group could satisfy, explain, or define me and my multitude of facets. For that is what these different aspects of my personality truely are; Facets. And really, what are facets? They are the the different faces of a jewel, small and large faces, that are the reason a jewel sparkles. Facets are unique and individual to each jewel. Facets help hide any small flaws, small imperfections that are really not important to the value of the jewel. I have many Facets, each one with its own angle, each one making me a unique Jewel that will glint and shine in my own unique way. I do not need to fit anywhere but within my own setting.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Explosive Decompression, Rebuilding, Regrowth

    I should think that I would be getting used to these constant realizations about myself. But each one presents itself with another OMG moment. I realized that when I am desperately unhappy I absolutely blow apart. Explosive decompression, meltdown, shatter to bits, fracture, fall apart, breakdown. I go to pieces in such a dramatic fashion that even I don't recognize myself. I manage to keep up a decent facade, a masquerade, of who people think I am, but underneath the skin I might as well be an alien pod person. Truely. Yes, I am still inside, trapped by the alien mind, a faint voice trying frantically to be heard over the chaos. But that is all, just a whisper of my Real Self, nearly consumed by an alien energy.
    The explosion is always hidden as well as manageable, done in the privacy of my own home, away from eyes and ears that would be stunned by the shockwaves. The shattered pieces are gathered in the bag that is my skin, held together by sheer force of will as I move robotically through my daily existance. Several months (or more) will pass, as I move about in the tenuous state, carefully holding my bits together. I can look back on these months and see the abberent behaviors, the confusion, the attempts to salvage that small speck of the Real Me from the netherworldly chaos. Even I am startled by the random routes my mind and personality may take, the aimless wanderings, false starts, wrong turns. The way my psyche casts about, seeking to sort real from surreal, dark from light, healthy matter from the damaged and scarred, lies from truths. It is a monumental task, the reconfiguring and repairing of shattered Self. It is a painful, difficult journey full of mis-steps and failure. A journey that often seems endless and impossible.
    During the Broken Times I do all I can to maintain the health of the shell that is my body, the physical vessel that carries my Real Self. I do what I can to keep strong and functional physically, while the mind strives to find the cure, healing, the path back through the fog. I have fought this particular ill on several occassions through my life, and come out the victor in every battle. The explosion and rebuilding making me stronger and healthier each time as I learn more of myself, more of my truths, and discard the flotsam and self misconceptions that block healing and spiritual growth.
    Many would see these explosions as damaging, negative, abnormal, yes even psychotic and frightening. But in my reality, they are empowering. They build my character, my resolve, my strength. When I breakdown, I rebuild stronger, healthier and closer to spiritual perfection (though still far from it). Muscles that are pushed to failure build up stronger and healthier with every painful session, and so do I. Pushed to failure, I grow stronger, healthier, powerful, empowered. I have come through the latest explosion with new revelations of self, new resolve, better understanding of needs and desires, and stronger drive to pursue my life to its fullest. Without the breakdowns, I would be the same timid child of 40 years ago. Without the breakdowns there would be no real growth. But with the passing of each episode my growth is as lush and verdant as Spring in my garden. My Spirit is strong, my Will is powerful, my Life is full of potential.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


    Instead of waiting until 2am for my regular self-therapy, tonight I'm getting started early. I figure Hell, why waste a couple of hours sleeping before I start rolling things around in my brain? Why not start early? Why not ramble incoherently as I feel the meds start to kick in? I manage to keep my hands and mind busy through long days of hard work, and then the work is over and I try to relax, but instead my mind takes me on rough journeys. Retracing paths that I have worn through the tangles of the briarpatch that seems to be me these days. I wander these paths, looking for traces of truths that I might have overlooked, passed by, ignored. I hash over conversations, situations, reactions, looking for hope, and finding very little. I know that, even as I seek to uncover my own truths, I still tell myself little white lies to protect myself. In some ways I am doing myself a kindness, trying to limit the amount of stress and angst I am dealing with, by reassuring myself that it will all be fine. In other ways I know I am doing myself a great injustice by not facing solidly up to the truths that are right before my eyes, facing them, acknowledging them and then carrying on with my life. But I can't quite make myself be so brutally honest, as much as I know I should. I can't face the realities that whisper in my ear.
    I am trying to ease myself into the cold, harsh reality as if it were a frigidly cold lake, and I am wading in slowly. Wading in, letting myself go numb and accustomed to the cold a little bit at a time. Slowly, as the cold rises, it does not make me enjoy the frigid water, it just makes it a nearly tolerable cold ache instead of a painful, heart stopping shock to my system. So I wade in slowly, feeling myself go slowly numb as the cold rises up my limbs, approaching my chest, making my breath come in shallow gasps. If I could just face up to the cold, harsh reality and see things as they truely are, then perhaps I would do the wise thing and simply turn around, walk back towards shore, dry myself off and then warm myself in the sun. But I do not always do the wise thing. I have proven that time and again.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Break on Through

    Lying awake at 2am and staring at the insides of my eyelids (as has been my standard operating procedure of late), my brain was rolling around the many revelations, expectations, tribulations, and disappointments that have presented themselves to me these first weeks of the New Year. I have been in a prolonged state of high agitation recently, far beyond anything I have endured before, it has been relentless and seemingly endless. As if I am living in a war zone; shell-shocked and desperate, panicked and adrenaline fueled. But despite, or because of, this anxiety and stress, I have been trying to do a major overhaul of my outlook, understandings, expectations, tactics and motivations. It has not been easy. Far from it. But I press ahead, trying to break through to the other side. It has felt like a trial by fire.
    So, last night, in my late night self-therapy session, as I wondered where I was leading myself, what I was doing to myself, how my actions and reactions were tearing me down inside and out, I swear I heard a voice. It was a clear whisper, a shiver in my mind. It softly said, "There comes a time to put aside childish things." Just that. It sent my mind down a whole new path. A path of further revelations, for good or ill. I will never lose my child-like joy for play, rough-housing, climbing trees, looking at bugs, catching snakes, skipping stones, the wind in my face at 80 mph. I will not lose the child-like wonder at a spider web outlined in dew, spring flowers, bees buzzing in an apple tree, new puppies, a purring cat. I will not grow old, my heart is as young as ever. But I think the voice was speaking of a new level of spiritual maturity. Acknowledging to myself that I am at a crossroads in my life where I must re-prioritize. A time when I must, for my own sanity and security, chose to focus my energies on my own life, self, and surroundings. I need to fully acknowledge the coming years when I must look to myself to secure my health, happiness and security. I believe the voice was reminding me of what is important now, right now, and for my future.
    Yes, there is always time for play, and always should be. But there are times when work, home and hearth must take presidence. Play will always be available, but there are times in one's life when one has to buckle down to a few seasons of hard, diligent work in order to make future years easier, more comfortable, safer, saner, and secure. I have known this, logically, but not really absorbed it spiritually. I have been focusing on losses that have seemed tragically overwhelming, instead of pouring my emotional and physical energies into the solid and substantial reality of my new life. Instead of seeing the loss, I have to see the success. Instead of fighting an uphill, high casualty battle I need to retreat into my bunker-like home and let the tides of war beat themselves against my foundations until I can open my door to see either carnage to be swept away leaving peace behind, or a strong ally shining in the morning sun. Either way, I will be the Victor.
    Really, what is a victory in what seems to be the endless battle that is my life? A Victory is surviving to fight another day. A Victory is having peace in my heart knowing that I am fighting the good fight, despite the chaos that flows around me. A Victory is approaching a wall of flames, a trial by fire and not backing away in fear of the potential damage and pain. A Victory means that I can Break on Through to the other side; charred, scorched with hair smoking and ash in my mouth. But to Break on Through, and remain whole of Spirit. That is a Victory.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shout Out

    I am having that lonely feeling of shouting out to the universe and hearing only the soughing of the wind. Not even crickets chirping from hidden crevices, or dogs barking in the distance. I am trying to make my voice heard, but feeling as if all my words, whether breathlessly whispered or shouted with all my strength, are falling on ears of stone. I feel I am living on the knife's edge of anticipation, waiting for the universe to react and respond. I have fooled myself into believing that if I just rephrase the question, alter the wording, crank the volume, that eventually the message will manage to cross the void and the universe will eventually answer. That if I can up the amplitude of emotion, reveal my angst, bare my soul, that it will eventually hit the proper chord and unlock the truth. I know this is erroneous thinking, but I cannot help myself. In my desperation to be heard and understood I am trying every imaginable ploy, every media, every outlet. Nothing is working. It is making me feel that all my efforts are in vain, and will bear nothing but bitter fruit, self-harvested.
    But I will continue to send my message out into the ether, in the hopes that, at the very least, it will be detected by an alien life form empathetic to the cause. At the very least, I know I have found my voice. I know that what I am saying is worth hearing, my message is valid, my reasoning is sound, even if my method of delivery is ill-timed and/or misdirected. So I will continue my onslaught, and not let myself be deterred by the cold void of space, I know there is at least one warm body out there that will hear me, feel my energy, appreciate my efforts, and eventually return the message across the airless vacuum of the night sky.

Self Destruction

    I have known for many years that I have a fear of success. That I will work hard towards a goal, but give up too soon out of frustration, impatience and sense of abject failure. I have begun to see how often it is self-sabatoging behavior. An underlying fear of success, or expectation of failure. I am not sure which. The fear of success may be rooted in an abject fear and expectaion of failure, and so I make a choice to remove myself from a task, situation, relationship before I am rejected and sent packing. By making the choice to fail, at least I manage to avoid the devastation of rejection. But I still feel that sense of failure and rejection deep in my very core, whether self-imposed or otherwise.
    For the first time in my life, I chose to pursue a goal, and not stop until I accomplished it. The result: Success. I managed, despite having the odds stacked against me, to buy a small home. It was a long, arduous, stressful struggle. So many times I was sure that I would fail. Several times I nearly gave up out of sheer exhaustion and anxiety. But I knew this would likely be my last chance, possibly forever, so I continued to persevere. The victory was sweet and powerful, though somewhat tempered by not having anyone to really share my first honest triumph with. But it showed me that I can succeed, that I am not doomed to fail just as I see the goal reaching my fingertips.
    Strengthened by this lone victory, I am fortifying myself for another ongoing battle. I am striving to regain what I had allowed myself to lose, through my own insecurities and expectation of rejection and failure. I have found this struggle to be far more stressful, arduous, and anxiety-inducing. But the outcome is far more vital to my well being than a roof over my head, than material possessions, than a sense of physical security. I will not allow myself to give in to the constant shiver of dread that has been such a constant companion that I find I can smell my own fear. But despite these fears, the terror of absolute loss, the potential for crushing defeat, the adrenaline inducing anxiety attacks, I have resolved that I will not quit this fight. I will not allow a fear of success, or a fear of failure, to decide my actions. I will continue to pursue what I know to be right and good. I will draw upon all my inner strength to rise above my fears, and fight my own panic to regain what I allowed to slip through my fingers. It is the hardest battle I have ever fought, especially within myself.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Humpty-Dumpty Me

    As I fluctuate wildly between the world of reality, fanatasy and insanity, I am getting a wide view of the world I inhabit. It is a unique perspective, peering over the wall between the worlds. Often times it is an uncomfortable, uneasy and unbalanced perspective as I fall from my perch and crack myself wide open like Humpty-Dumpty then peer in at the soft gooey center, poking at the abumen with a stick, stirring it around, scrambling, frying, then trying to put myself back together again. The cracks are still showing, with maybe just a little viscous fluid leaking out. I try to hide the cracks and seepage from those who love me, but they see. How can they not? They are worried, hovering, waiting to see if I will stay whole, go sunnyside-up, or attempt a flip and break the yolk. If the yolk breaks, the best I can hope for is for a scramble. A mixed up mash of me that won't resemble anything that I am now, but will still have the basic ingredients of me. I am hoping that the cracks will mend, the seepage will stop, and I will manage to remain unscrambled, whole and still able to balance on the top of the wall.


    A few weeks ago I got to learn, first hand, the meaning of the word "Thunderstruck." Being hit with an unquestionable realization that shatters the current beliefs, theories and understanding of my perceived reality. It almost dropped me to my knees with a brutality that would have been less painful, and less unexpected than actually being struck by lightening, I think. It left me literally shaking, barely functioning, and desperate. It sent me deeper down the spiral of pain and hysteria. Down an abyss darker, deeper, and seemingly inescapable. Into a bleak, hopeless despair that felt unending, and actually well-deserved. It felt as if every poor choice, every obstinate moment, every pain ever inflicted on another, was suddenly being returned to me tenfold. That is the way of negativity, what you put out there will come back as a Reckoning. This was my time of Reckoning. My time for deep regrets, abysmal failure, panic, fear, abandonment, deepest despair. It was truely unbearable. Truely unbearable.
    I am only a few days away from the abyss at its very worst. It is still close enough that I can feel the vapors that rise like cold spectres, reaching for my soul, caressing my spirit, gripping my heart. I remember the chaos of my mind as it ran, gibbering, in circles around and around my fears and failures. I am hoping with all my heart that I have managed to raise myself up above the lip of the chasm. Or at least have a fingerhold on the rim, and a ledge beneath my toes, a sense that I will make it over the top without plummeting back into that murky depth that no light penetrates.
    Today is the first day I feel that my mind has managed to slip free of the self-flagellating, self-defeating cycle that has been the norm for far too long. I feel that I am gaining better perspective on my past, present and future. Though I may be deluding myself in an effort to at least pretend that the abyss has lost its hold on me. Today I managed to glean more truths about the Me that I have been missing, the Me that needs to be present for balance.
    These truths, which are not self-evident, have made me come to grips with lies that I have been telling myself for so long that I truely believed them. That is an interesting thing about lies, the longer they are lived, the more strength and power they develop, until they seem to be honest truth. Lies to self are not easy to uncover, and are very difficult to face down and purge. It is a painful process. It is humbling, humiliating and yet empowering. I understand my reasons for these lies. They really were not much different than the "little white lies" that we tell those that we love in order to protect them from brutal truths. But in my case, they were lies I told myself in an attempt to protect myself from perceived hurt, risk and vulnerability. It worked, maybe too well. But I still ended up on the bad end of the deal. And now I am having to lecture myself on the importance of honesty, especially to myself.

My Fluid Nature

    The last year or two have been a strange journey of self examination, trials and tribulations that have kept my mind and personality in a bizarre flux. I feel as if different aspects of my personality have raised their shaggy heads, and each taken charge of my life for periods of time. Wildly different aspects, each trying their best to control a wildly stressful series of events. Each trying their best to protect me and help me survive it all at least partially intact.
    The upside of this has been that it has allowed me to experience and understand these different aspects in ways that I never would have if my life had been easy or predictable. It has led me down false paths as I felt that the current aspect was the dominant, "True" aspect of Me, and tried to force that to be the Truth. The real downside is that it has alienated those closest to me as they were forced to deal with these different aspects in full force, instead of tempered by the other, gentler aspects of Me.
    One prime example. I have always been a Tomboy. Alway have, always will. But in the past it hasn't prevented the feminine side of Me to raise her head, come out and play, and revel in being female. The feminine aspect is fragile, vulnerable, emotional, tender. Aspects that the Tomboy (and even rougher aspects) manages to keep tucked away where they are safe from harm. The Feminine side is the side most easily hurt. The fragile China doll, in delicate clothes that cannot withstand rough handling. Therefore, she has been stored away, hidden from the harsh realities of life, for so long that even her existance has been called into doubt. But she does exist, despite Tomboy denying her very existence. Tomboy just tries so very hard to be protective, tough, resilent, and a little grubby.
    But in the ongoing Search for Self, I am trying to reach into every corner of my nature, find the hidden aspects and allow them to blossom as they need to if I am ever to reach a state of Peace and Harmony within my own skin. So many aspects have been hidden away for so long. They are the fragile, vulnerable aspects. The parts of me that are easily hurt, offended, damaged. I do not think I can blame myself for sheltering them, protectiing them, during this latest, difficult phase of my life. But I am trying to transition into a fully functional Being, with all my aspects united and working together to make me happy to live within my own skin.
    For that is the crux; when I submerge vital aspects of myself, I stop being comfortable in my own skin. I resent myself for the self-censorship, no matter how life-saving it may be at times. By denying any aspect, I do an injustice to them all. I want to embrace all of me; Maiden, Mother, Warrior, Siren, Vixen, Tomboy. It is a Wild mix. A bit of an unpredictable mix. But that does not make it an undesireable mix. Quite the contrary, it makes it an intriguing, erotic, delightful, domestic, calm, peaceful, exciting, fiery mix. The Real Me. The Me that is fighting valiantly to emerge from the Chaos.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fight or Flight

    The last few weeks have been an interesting rollercoaster that is a culmination of a year of near-insurmountable stress. By "interesting" I really mean frightenig, shocking, stressful and adrenaline-laden. Self-inflicted, self-induced. I have been in a constant state of "Fight or Flight" with no visible, physical foe with which to react appropriately to. Fight or Flight? I chose Fight. It is more direct, though riskier than flight. To be in a stand up knuckle duster would be much preferred to fighting what seems an elusive, invisible and yet dangerous foe. I wish I could flee from the situations presenting themselves in rapid and dramatic succession, but that is not an option. It is not an option because I am faced with too much worth fighting for. It would be so much easier and safer to just call a tactical retreat, find a bunker and hole up and wait for reinforcements. The main problem with the safe scenario is that there are no reinforcements on the horizon. So, it is me, fighting to maintain, regain or realize what I want, need, and desire.
    Battle fatigue is taking it's toll, and I'm feeling shell-shocked and brittle. Nights suddenly interupted by panicked thoughts, strategies, recent battles, pending battles. I will start awake and my mind leaps immediately into action, fueled by night phantoms taunting me in the darkness. Days are filled with unexpected and frequent adrenaline surges causing my mouth to go dry, hands to shake and sweat, heart to pound in my chest with such force it feels as if it will erupt through my sternum, my whole body will tremble, I flash hot and cold, my vision becomes tinged with the red of battle readiness. My appetite has waned to nearly non-existant. I have to force myself to eat small meals that sit like gravel in my stomach. But I know I need to maintain my strength for whatever impending action my body senses is near to hand.
    This would be fine if I was in a war zone. Maybe I am. Maybe my body realizes what my mind will not admit: that I am in a fight for all that is truely important to me. A battle that I do not want to lose. A battle I cannot lose.