Monday, October 22, 2018

Junk in my Trunk

Between Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and an article I read in The Mission Newsletter, I am writing for the sake of writing. Because that's how books are written. The author writes. Writes a lot. And I have not been writing. Anything. But now I am. Could this post get any worse? (spoiler alert: possibly)

In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert lists just a few (20+) common fears that writers may have about their aspirations. After reading the list and checking off most of the non-existent boxes that no one asked me to do, I went to sleep. I'm sorry for the build up but I want my writing to be authentic. It was late and I was tired so I went to bed. But! The next day while I was double checking the accuracy of the previous night's checked boxes (i.e., the list-o-fears) I had an ah-ha moment. A weird one, you'll see.

I realized this: the recording playing in my head (the one stuck on repeat) features many of the same fears that I very accurately box-checked from the list-o-fears. But these fears are attached to my writing. I have never been so excited and thankful to be afraid. Just stay with me.

Not everything gloom and doom in my head and heart is about my lost childhood, current relationships, feeling, that all sounds so pitiful. Anyway, my ah-ha moment I'm attempting to put into words is that I have fears and negative self-talk not directly related to the current topics I talk about in therapy. I have junk about writing. Writing! I can handle some writing junk. I feel less overwhelmed knowing that a sizable amount of  junk in my Trunk of Life is manageable and not depressing, starting now. Like right now.

Oh, you kind reader from across the inter-web! Hopefully there are more than just one of you. And hopefully you will return to read more of writing for the sake of writing, but I promise it will be better. Actually I can't promise that because.....ah, my writing junk is already getting in the way!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Counseling Avoidance

I used to be an infamous canceler of counseling appointments. Infamous because of timing and repetition: always last-minute and approximately 3 out of 4 appointments. My previous counselor once told me, "I never knew if you were going to show up or not." I was shaawked. I knew I was a fickle client but 1) I didn't know I was that inconsistent with keeping our appointments and 2) I didn't think my inconsistency was that big of a deal.

Fast forward to today. Actually rewind to a few months ago.

  • Week 6: Cancelled and rescheduled for week 5.
  • Week 5: Cancelled the reschedule and rescheduled for week 4
  • Week 4: Cancelled.
  • Week 3: Ghost.
  • Week 2: Scheduled for week 1.
  • Week 1: Cancelled.
  • Today: I am afraid my counselor hates me.

So why am I avoiding going to my appointments? Aside from general terrifying anxiety, I didn't have an answer until weeks after my final cancellation. One morning as I looked toward the blue sky and whispering clouds hoping with every piece of my being to find relief, I only saw my sadness and confusion dangling above my head blocking my view of any view not consumed by sadness and confusion.

Avoiding talking to my counselor is avoiding dealing with my current situation which is (still) Mr. P and my unsure marriage. It's like I have to deal with it everyday, trying to be positive and spending time with him while wrestling with the anger and betrayal I feel toward him. Plus we are going to marriage counseling every 2-3 weeks, which is a positive step, but it's still an added layer of "dealing."

I need my counselor to know the "why" behind not following through with our sessions. I'm not a flake or unaware of her precious time. In addition to my inability to process even more shit I'm already processing, some of it is embarrassment. I came in "guns blazing" with my new apartment and comforter set and then my next email to her was, "I'm not moving out and I lost my job." I feel like I failed at being brave and loving myself and making good decisions and being an adult.

My emotional state is as follows: I cry daily, stay in bed until the afternoon most weekdays and take naps at 2-3 pm on weekends which of course just means I'm in bed for the night. I have been having negative, hopeless thoughts. I started praying recently and I have felt a little better. I will have a negative thought but then it feels like something swoops in and says "No, that's not right.

To end on a hopeful note, because I feel obligated to do so, I am reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It stirs up some magical thinking and beliefs in my soul. I discovered this book at the very moment when I couldn't need these words anymore than I do at this exact minute of my time on this universe.

I always have books and I always have writing, my true unconditional sources of love and truth and hope.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

An Imperfect, Exciting and Mysterious Post

I've been struggling with writing a post for the last...well forever it seems. I want it to be eloquent and for you to walk away with some great insight that helps you in your life. But nothing. I just want to write about a few amazing nouns (people, place, thing) I've encountered in the last year. I'm afraid if I wait for that perfect post you'll never know, and you have to know. I would want to know because it's all just so incredible and weird and leaves me at some interesting crossroads.

I met a man at the end of last year. He is a Vietnam vet and writer. And as I have come to suspect, an angel sent by God to intervene in my life. He wanted to get involved with the organization I was working for so we chatted, I learned a little about his background and we parted ways. Just before he left my office, he handed me a business card from the church he attends and mentioned I might benefit from going to a service. He reminded me of my great-grandfather, a kind, old man with a story to tell. We talked once or twice afterward about me possibly helping with a writing project and then communication fizzled.

About two months ago I thought of him. I sent him an email letting him know I was no longer at the organization where we met but that I wanted to say hello and see how he was doing. We exchanged emails for a few weeks and I had written that I was struggling with my depression. He told me about church, not his church, but church and how finding one will be beneficial to me. I told him I'd love to meet him for coffee or lunch at his favorite restaurant and he told me I could meet him at his church on an upcoming Tuesday during a veteran meet and greet he helps with. The church is right next to the VA hospital and being a veteran, he is trying to help other veterans get to know God or just have someone to talk to. My anxiety was at an all-time high and I almost cancelled. I was going to send him an email and I thought, "I can't cancel on Charles!" I felt like he deserved my time. Plus he wanted me to meet the associate pastor. So I went.

And a few life altering things, emotionally and mentally, have happened since. That I will post separately. I am unsure and hopeful and afraid all at the same time. My head feels foggy but crystal-clear too. I feel like this is God. Like my name has reached the top of His list. I have this overwhelming feeling like I have to make a choice. But I think I just need to let things happen, because they're happening. Don't fight it or force it, Jesus take the wheel.

I never understood the "fear of God" concept. Like how can you fear God? And why would He want you to? But I think I get it.