Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

7Apr/200

Twofer

Last night the site was down, so this didn't get added, but was when yesterday:

Tender greens unfurl.
Collect raindrops along the stem.
Humble diamonds.

Today's haiku accesses some of the anxiety and pain I'm feeling today.

Blooming regardless.
Flowers know nothing of fear.
They answer the light.

4Apr/200

Self-care Isn’t Free Time

Scattered in clover.
Yellow faces gazing upward.
White petals unfurl.

Haiku turns us inward, teaches us to see tiny details deeply. Teaches us to pay attention. I return to it to get the pathways of poetry writing reconnected.

I started new medication to help with my anxiety; the stuff that arises out of my own special Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. I think it’s helping, although it is honestly hard to tell as I feel anxious and down.

CK and I water talking about people who keep saying online how they have so this free time now. We consider that some folks have lost jobs, which accounts for it. Some folks just were always out?

In theory I should have more since I’m not driving around, running errands, etc. I don’t have more time. It might be that the time is going to keeping myself grounded, which doesn’t leave me free time.

It doesn’t feel like abundance this time. I need to use it to stay functional. If it were truly free time, perhaps then I might be using it to tackle more projects.

3Apr/200

Gifts Gratefully Received

Standing beneath trees
Abundant with bright blossoms;
Hopeful, tender Life.

I went out today and saw a dear student, physically distant as I admired her garden. She made CK and I each two cotton masks, beautiful creations that will allow us to more safely do necessary errands.

I’ve felt increasingly anxious about my rare trips out. A student asked if we wanted some and I took her up on the offer, gratefully, and shared with her hoe it was helping my anxiety! Ironically, as I was on this errand the CDC issued a statement recommending masks!

I feel loved. I am taking it in, trying to really pay attention. This gift, the sweetener of including CK, the money I’ve been making, the generosity. It is this reminder that I am valued, worthy. I’m not a toxic person who destroys people.

30Mar/200

Ups and Downs

Had some unexpected, positive news today. Something that connects to the work I’ve been doing to promote my Aging into Vitality practice, an invitation to connect with a professional, medical group for “Lifestyle Medicine”!

I also had 14 people, at least, come to online chair yoga today! I upgraded to the pro account and we now have plenty of time for people to say hello and connect. I’m excited to get this all going despite being fixated about how I look on camera.

These things helped keep my mood up, and I’m so grateful as it is hard not to get down. Between thoughts of my Mother & family and watching the infection & death rates climb, it can feel heavy. After doing some cleaning I finally took a short nap with the dogs on the sofa, I can’t make it through most days without a nap.

Am I doing enough to protect us? Am I keeping well or collapsing? I worry about this most times I take a nap. What will the new normal be?

29Mar/200

Childhood Logic

A few years ago I read Arielle Schwartz's workbook on healing Complex PTSD (recommended). I posted several quotes from it onto Tumblr and often they get reblogged. This one was over the weekend and, not surprisingly it’s been connecting with the current trauma memory I’m working on integrating.

"Self-blame is a direct link to childhood logic -- children will develop a fantasy that they are bad kids relying upon good parents to avoid confronting the terrifying reality that they are good kids relying upon bad parents."

I have a belief that I am so fundamentally damaged and toxic that I really should be alone. Prolonged exposure to me is dangerous.

This doesn’t really align with reality, but that’s why my trauma is Complex.

It’s what happened. Through abuse of all kinds, telling me repeatedly literally and metaphorically, that I was terrible, ungrateful, and deserved to be treated horribly.

I had bad parents. The one that was present was so damaged from her horrible Mother she was unable to soothe herself, had terrible boundaries, and lacked empathy. She terrified me so often, so young, that I didn’t dare do more than back talk and even that only mildly, as I grew older.

All of this gets tied right into shame around money. Which is coming up, right on time, as students send me money for online teaching! People giving me money, as opposed to a paycheck or transaction for an appoint, really trips me up. I get hit with shame and unworthiness.

This would be why I’m both glad I still get to go to therapy in-person, so long as I’m not feverish, and sad. I’m glad because I’m struggling and sad because it’s a reminder that my childhood was profoundly fucked up.

28Mar/200

Little Things

CK fixed the kitty light she gave me for Christmas. It was supposed to be rechargeable, but it didn’t work right. She took it apart and figured out how to make it run off a camera battery. It lasts for a couple of months of use in the Yoga room at night.

Two weeks of isolation is working so far. We’re both well and still getting along. I’m down and anxious, but not collapsing. Slow, steady, and physically distant wins the race?

My back pain has been higher today. I think part of it is anxiety. Part of it might well playing around with different yoga movement and gardening.

I connected with friends and made art today. I played video games, reminding myself that I enjoy the Switch. I made a satisfying meal despite really not wanting to cook.

This is how we endure.

27Mar/200

Global Trauma

Today I saw someone sharing a reminder online that this pandemic is exciting everyone’s stress response system, our friend the Sympathetic Nervous System. There isn’t anyone to fight, although racism is certainly trying to make it true. We cannot flee a virus.

Collapse, or “Freeze”, is the third stage of this system. Play opossum until the threat gets bored and moves on. This is why we’re exhausted.

The author noted that folks with Complex Trauma are worse off. We already have to convince ourselves we’re OK, but now it really isn’t safe.

Hence my nearly daily naps. I’m trying not to resent them. They keep me able to stay well and keep us well, keep me from collapsing under a blanket in years. Naps after facing the pharmacy and being at Freddie’s age also just fine!

26Mar/200

Always Tired

There thing about dread is that it's exhausting.

We worry about our plan if one of us gets sick, how to quarantine in the house to keep the other one safe. Can the sick person see the cats and dogs, would the virus be spread via fur?

Tonight we worried about what would happen if we were both hospitalized. Who needs keys to the house? Who takes the dogs, cares for the cats?

A theologian I follow online posted about writing everything down, in case the worst happens. I thought of Igal, how he wrote everything down but never notarized it so his last wishes were largely ignored.

Then I worried annoy our undone wills. What would happen if we both die?

My mood was better today,despite the worry factory working overtime, but I still couldn’t muster up the energy to do more. It’s taking so much effort to not collapse under the worries, to focus on feeding us meals, get prescriptions filled, order groceries, and keep us going. Instead of another chore I napped with kitties.

These tiny plants already coming up only two days after CK started them brought us both joy today!

25Mar/200

Highs and Lows

I held a Yoga in Chairs today and 14 people came! The online teaching thing is working! This filled me with energy and gratitude!

By bedtime the weight of the rising infection and death rates rising, set against the backdrop of politicians demanding that we get back to work, siphoned off the morning’s energy and took more on top of that.

I felt exhausted all afternoon. Lunch depleted me. I made the effort to make up a slightly different version of tofu salad and didn’t enjoy it. Food felt hard today.

A student got hit by a fraud attack, falling for a PayPal-themed social engineering after paying me online. People can be so terrible.

I finished making a card for a kid who just had her birthday Monday and was really bummed put that everything got cancelled. That helped as I felt increasingly sad all day, I’ll mail it tomorrow, maybe along with another handmade postcard.

24Mar/200

Online Teacher

Yesterday I tried a mini class and there were a lot of bumps. Today I did another one, four students came, and people paid me!!

I’ve felt so behind my peers getting to this point, needing to manage my anxiety and prioritize my family. I’m so grateful CK’s job is secure in all this crises; I didn’t have to scramble and could take a week to become an online teacher.

There’s still some fine tuning, better directions for my students, but I’m so grateful to be at this point! I’m getting yoga and community to people again.

The weirdness that comes up for me around financial success, that’s my normal and why I’m an exception for in-person therapy right now.