Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

2Apr/200

Rain and Lethargy

All day the rain fell.
Slow and gentle, then pounding.
The flowers don’t mind.

It took all evening to write a little haiku, much less a post. I woke up feeling heavy and clumsy this morning. By the afternoon I just felt down and headachy, same as bedtime nears. Not physically ill, just stick of heart about there world.

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.

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.

10Mar/200

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

I’ve been mildly anxious all day. No good reason, but sometimes it is like that. Residual energy waves following my Mother’s birthday last week. Ups of anxiety and lows of depression.

Mild, day-long anxiety is tedious, tiring, and taxes executive function. This means when I finally muster the energy to tackle unappealing chores, I go a bit heads down. Which means communication breakdowns.

When all that happens I pretty much feel like a failure. I can’t just “get over it”. That’s the Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, the inability to see something as a blip and instead agonize over it. Over and over and over it.

All that happens and then I feel down. Depression bites at my heels. It’s a lousy cycle and just exhausting.

The new meds are helping, but I’m looking forward to increasing the dose later this month. It is helping, but it feels like it isn’t quite there yet.

13Nov/170

Marking Art Gratitude

Getting my studio space useable again has meant I can create again. At an artist's meet-up I help organize someone presented a project of a collaged light plate switch cover. Since I'd got my desk available, and have continued to improve the space, I was able to finish the project I began the very next day and install it in our practice room.

While I've not been writing as much, I've been creating pages in an artist's journal I began at the beginning of the year. My depression hits hard around the holidays, with the death anniversaries of all my parents falling within a few weeks of each other. My Mother's death anniversary is the day after Thanksgiving this year and this is the first year I'm coming into them without my studies to distract me. Having the ability to go make something artistic is really a helpful tool for me, especially when my energy feels too low to write.

Having weekly art therapy appointments this past month has helped me see how having this outlet is a big benefit to my healing. Art, as my friend SJ likes to say, helps us express what words cannot. Despite my skill as a writer, there are times when words fail me and the more I learn to turn to creating art during those times, the better I'll be.