Selves

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So I finished reading Waking Up, by Sam Harris. Would reccommend it, it’s less a pure “spirituality without religion” manual as perhaps a way to lure pure, innocent atheists into looking at secularized Buddhism.

Which means it ended up being more up my alley than I was anticipating.

The book mentions that the first part of of our brain that becomes “conscious” is the right side of our brain, which is non-verbal. The left, language-baring part of our brain activates later and eventually dominates the other part of our brain…

so essentially, what could be our actual self is eventually shoved into a corner and falsely replaced by a chatty asshole that feels the need to endlessly describe and create a false storyline for everything that occurs. Ever.

Huh.

Relatedly, I have found out that I yell at myself just as angrily for forgetting to check the mail when I’m doing my laundry as I used to about getting high and completely screwing up my life. Then I start laughing and feel insane.

Hahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Otherwise I’ve still been trying to figure out the buddhist soul thing, and keep feeling like I get close to understanding it, and snapping back to not. Is that even possible?

Essentially what is “me” is constructed of a mixture of other materials, generations of other people’s decisions, and a heavily flucuating mindset and a weird little durable body.

And we’re all as weird and complex. Sometimes I hook into the feeling, sometimes, at work, that there’s hundreds of us hooked up to computers, having our own internal dialogues and having our own quiet battles, while parroting the words of a human being we are never going to met, but will know intimately for a few hours.

Mindblowing.

Love just seems impossible to me now, considering how we’re all just kind of isolated in these mind/body units that are not really capable of understanding ourselves, and have no chance of completely understanding the world around us or the other people in it, no matter how hard we try.

“With Mercy for the Greedy” – Anne Sexton

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For my friend Ruth, who urges me to make an
appointment for the Sacrament of Confession

Concerning your letter in which you ask
me to call a priest and in which you ask
me to wear The Cross that you enclose;
your own cross,
your dog-bitten cross,
no larger than a thumb,
small and wooden, no thorns, this rose —

I pray to its shadow,
that gray place
where it lies on your letter … deep, deep.
I detest my sins and I try to believe
in The Cross. I touch its tender hips, its dark jawed face,
its solid neck, its brown sleep.

True. There is
a beautiful Jesus.
He is frozen to his bones like a chunk of beef.
How desperately he wanted to pull his arms in!
How desperately I touch his vertical and horizontal axes!
But I can’t. Need is not quite belief.

All morning long
I have worn
your cross, hung with package string around my throat.
It tapped me lightly as a child’s heart might,
tapping secondhand, softly waiting to be born.
Ruth, I cherish the letter you wrote.

My friend, my friend, I was born
doing reference work in sin, and born
confessing it. This is what poems are:
with mercy
for the greedy,
they are the tongue’s wrangle,
the world’s pottage, the rat’s star.

Anger

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A deep, smokeless flame that’s been burning for years.

 

It’s been suppressed within me for years, and has a vast collection of sources. Allowing myself to feel it is new, energizing, and almost dangerous. Anger wasn’t managed well in my house, and could end up being explosive and unresolved.

So here I am.

 

There’s the general anger at how badly managed this world and particularly my country are, how human suffering is left unregarded and unattended, how money is more important than life and how so many of us feel broken and disregarded.

 

We could be so good to each other, but we just aren’t.

 

Then there’s the interpersonal anger, which is…I’m refusing to allow someone the opportunity to apologize to me because I’m afraid of what they would do with complete forgiveness.

So I just throw out some diversionary bullshit whenever it’s brought up in conversation. Horribly. Sometimes I do this three turns ahead of the conversation potentially leading to this.

I have no clue how to express my anger, and I have only ever really shown in either by a) leaving, or when it’s  a self-defense (oh shit, this is totally out of control, am i going to die) situation or I’ve been pushed to the point where my brain is interrupting it as such.

You want to know something humilating? I can’t have a man in my house that’s my age without shaking. Eventually, my ex boyfriend bypassed that, but fucking that. Imagine how fun this is explaining. The suddenly cold excuse only like, is passable so long.

Like…it’s men I’m actually comfortable with, enough for this to be a thing, and yet every fucking time, dude. I’m not even consciously playing out a fear scenario with this shit. Just gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……….

Why.

Yeah. I’m known as being ridiculously forgiving and kind…I mean, in ways, yes. I guess this boils down to how we’re all infinite internal universes and mirror images of each other blah blah blah, but my faith in the ability of the human character to alter and I frankly don’t really believe in redemption the way I used to, anymore. It’s less like I’m even still….acutely angry about the situation, I can see it was mostly a reflection of “everyone here is damaged”, but goddamn.

What are those famous words of wisdom? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me…can’t, can’t get fooled again?

 

Which is a strange way for a person who’s changed and left so much behind to feel, I guess.

But as much of myself that either I’ve altered intentionally, or has changed with time, I still have the old tendencies and aches.

 

Some of this boils in to an old tendency to not let people in, but it’s escalated to a high degree…vulnerability just does not feel safe, in any normal context, anymore.

I almost feel like my “success” at this point, is its core, is driven by an aversion to letting anyone hurt me or make me feel less than again. I have such a deep distrust and blatant disdain for humanity as a whole it’s just…like, are 30 year old women supposed to feel like this?

I used to be so fucking innocent and trusting toward people’s motivations, and now if the bus driver is too friendly with me I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up dead in a ditch somehow.

Come on, self, moderate this shit. The grandfatherly bus driver probably is not going to murder you.

It’s like I trust my motivation to help others without attempting to like, fucking eat their souls in repayment for a small favor, but I would probably have to close to death to allow another person to help me.

Well, with the exception of my best friend, and a trained professional.

 

I’ve formed this thick, hard shell, and feel like nothing but clay feet.

2017

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Colorful 2017 New Year date in sparklers

Colorful 2017 New Year date in fiery sparklers over a black background with copy space for your greeting or invitation

2017 was a pretty important year for me. I guess it’s a bit early to be writing this, because anything could happen between now and the end of the year, really. I went into this year pretty broken – my femur snapped when I was in a half-way house in the fall, and what was hardest for me about that wasn’t the physical pain – although I’m not going to lie, unexpectedly losing your mobility for months is its own difficultly- was how hard it was to find out that a lot of the people that supposedly cared for me in and out of recovery were just not there for me. One minute, everything’s fine, working, volunteering, trying my best to become a better person…next thing I know my leg is broken, I can’t work, and the place I live and pay for is kicking me out because letting me sleep downstairs is a risk. Really took me a minute to recover from that. Like, it’s one thing for life to crap on you when you’re doing badly, but just for something like that to happen…haha, well, these things don’t happen because you’re “bad” is the end lesson.

So the hospital helpfully recommended I move into a Motel 6 after they released me…yeah, okay, great place for a 28 year old recovering addict in a wheelchair.

Thanks, everyone..

Thank God my amazing best friend was there for me. She lived 2-3 hours away from where I was at the time, third floor apartment so like…not ideal for a person with a broken leg, but we made that shit work. Then I moved in with someone else briefly, and discovered that someone I thought was decent, wasn’t, and I’ve been in my own place since September, started working full-time at captel at some point before that.

So, my values changed a lot this year, and I found that really hard to describe or even realize at first, but I purse protecting my animal self a lot more. Mostly that’s a weird way of saying that I feel like I had a close cluster of experiences with dmt. I think the end result brought me closer to realizing that whatever this “me” thing is in encased in a warm, vulnerable animal body that has legitimate needs, and my focus more now is on protecting that and increasing my ability to do that rather than worrying about every other dumb ass motherfucker on the planet and trying to find and hold a transcendental love with someone who just…wasn’t capable of controlling themselves or even functioning in the world.

I mean, I guess there’s something to be said about caring about other people than you care about yourself, but if you’re not like…taking care of yourself at all, your ability to even do that gets pretty limited and the whole thing is toxic.

I’m pretty closed off to close human relationships at this point in my life, hoping to regain some openness in the future, but, I don’t know, after years of draining relationships I guess I know how I got here, lol, and I’m just happy to be alive after all the dumb shit I did to myself.

Here’s to a productive 2018 to all of you, let’s hope we all make progress with our goals, know who our friends are, and are fulfilled.

naturally occuring dopamine.

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Ok, so I’m incredibly proud of myself right now.

Today wasn’t terrible, objectively, but involved a lot of mis-steps that are mostly due to me having poor management skills, etc., but ok:

 

Went to sleep late last night, because yolo. Got up at 7 on 3 hours of sleep. Went to plasma clinic, ended up waiting for an hour because their computer are down. Miss planned activities.

Completely wipe out on ice leaving clinic, after snow has been on the ground for less than 24 hours.

Return to apartment.

Leave for work, get to work, not expecting anything eventful. I literally sit in a box all day. NOTHING CAN GO WRONG.

Receive unanticipated voicemail from parents. Return call. Agree to have conversation with mother when home from work. This would be the first actual conversation I have had with her since, like, spring.

ANXIETY BEGINS. Sit in cube, handling calls and occasionally interact with others, pass for normal while heart is pounding in chest and can feel blood rushing in head. Use breathing and mindfulness, this eventually passes, last two hours of work are unremarkable.

Punch out of work, begin nervously checking placement of proximity card for work, wallet, make sure bus pass is in anticipated location. Randomly check for keys.
ITEM NOT FOUND.

For the first time in my adult life, I have lost my keys. Return to cube, check parking garage, acquiesce to the fact I may have to speak to someone about this. No one has reported keys to security and or supervisors at work. Miss bus in process.

FUCK.

Pray that landlord is awake, answering phone, and like, willing to be helpful at 145 at night.

Praise God, affirmative on all of this.

Eventually return to building, acquire new set of keys, and return to apartment.

DREAD PHONE CALL OCCURS.

Not the terror anticipated.

Call ends by midnight.

Realization that there are many points during this saga where I would have freaked out, left work, and fucked up my life worse.

Instead I am home and sober and listening to classical music.

DOPAMINE SURGE.

Happiness

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Last night I realized I was happy.

Was in a steaming hot bath, listening to classical music and smoking.

This year is the first year I’ve had relatively unfettered control of myself. I’m not in addiction, my basic needs are consistently met,I live alone, and I’m not bouncing from crisis to crisis.

It’s pretty terrific, to be honest. I think one of my issues is that my standards for myself are quite high, and I needed realize that I have had a lot of setbacks in life, so holding myself to a standard of being where a person “should be” at 30 isn’t ever going to be helpful for me.

Instead it’s more positive and accurate to look at all the changes I have made, and barring political disaster and things I have little to no control over, life is going to largely get better from here.

Maybe at this point, it’s more interesting for me to be happy and successful versus perpetual misery girl, haha. I almost feel disrespectful to humanity being happy. There are a lot of things to be unhappy about in this world, but it’s more productive for me to focus on how I can improve myself in order to help others improve their own lot.

Haha, seriously, after most of my twenties, making $23000 a year, having freedom, living somewhere with interesting people and things to do, and having my own apartment makes me feel like I might as well be a millionaire.

There’s a lot to do and so much to pursue. Considering becoming a vegetarian again, I’ve parred myself down to chicken, but it’s a pretty big staple, so that’s going to take some rejiggering.

Otherwise making a pretty deep commitment with health for the next year. I’ve been so up and down with weight my whole life, I’d like to get the rest of this weight off in a controlled fashion and manage to maintain a relatively stable weight after that. Be nice that one of the downfalls of not seeing me for a year could be that I’ve gained or lost like a fucking 100 lbs so you might have an issue recognizing me at first.

Think not abusing drugs/alcohol should be a pretty big help with that.

Otherwise consistently meditating again should help, but I’m so resistant to starting again. Blargh.

Maybe quit smoking, at some point in the next three years…or par it down to exclusively vaping.

A lot of issues with my stem from just consistently prioritizing things and acting according to my values on a day to day basis. Human shit.

Think I’d realize I was in a state of dysfunction with something, and then try to fix it so hard and fast I’d throw myself into a different and opposite state of dysfunction, as a way of life.

Now I just have to figure out how to avoid extremes and stay in the middle on life more.

Haha, I just think I’m hot shit now because I’m paying off my student loans at the standard rate now. (Which, FYI, is going to take 8 1/2 years. Yikes.)

So health and finances are priorities for 2018, which was basically the same as last year, did ok with that but still need a lot of work. Education the year after, maybe at some point during 2018, but probably not.