Afraid to Fall

As I was showering this morning I began to have a small anxiety attack. As I am right now. I am thinking about returning to work. I need to figure out how not to start this. I am fretting. I should not be because I have worked really hard to imbue the thought of ‘Do not worry about what you cannot control. Do not think that you can perdict what others are going to say or do. Stop worrying Jay-lyn.’ And I try. I am hoping that writing this out is going to help me.
The same thing happened yesterday. I began thinking, predicting what was going to happen when I return to work. And when I was driving T to M’s for a weekend sleep over. I am not sure really which one caused me more anxiety. Work or the cloverleafs on and off the perimeter.  I do know that I need to stop doing this. I will be fine when I return. I will be able to impose my new reality on the world at large. Maybe that is what it is. I am fearing that I am not going to be strong enough.
Lately there has been a lot of little nudges in the brain about buying wine. I have been able to shut them down. But I fear that when I am out working and dealing with the public that I will fail. That I will end up listening to that voice, rather than the one that says to me:
Jay you are a beautiful strong woman who has her shit together. You no longer need to hide behind alcohol and drugs. You have faced a larger fear than returning to work will be. You have faced what asshole has done to you. You accept that your brain is protecting you and with the withdrawal of the self-medicating it is letting the good memories back. You have come a long way. You wrote a letter and sent it. Content just to have sent it. Nothing more. That was a huge fear. You submitted one of your poems. You are writing again. Jay you do not need to be afraid to return to work. Calm. Breathe. It is okay to accept that there is fear. Your job has really been about 40% of yourself and you are pushing it down to 10%. You will continue to do a good job at whatever job they have you doing. T. Mom. Bro and Family. Your girlfriends. Those are the important things. Being present in your life. Not willing it away. Stop aging T and enjoy him as he is. You are a wonderful woman Jay-lyn Anne and you do not have to be afraid alone any longer.’
I just made myself cry. I am going to print that out and tape it to my bathroom mirror so that I see that every day. That is the voice that is reasonable. That makes sense.  The one that I have to learn is the one who protects me and guides me in the right direction. The scared one, the fear monger is the one that is being ousted. I imagine that if this were a fantasy novel this is the one last stab made by evil to triumph. But good will come to being and grow into the paladins required.
I have saved myself. I need to remember that. And every once in awhile I need to give myself a small pep talk. To reopen my eyes to the woman I am becoming. Not the one who is being sloughed off like the skin of a snake. And that is kinda like the evil concept. Old me, the one who hid rather than face her problems is fading. Leaving behind a raw new me. Who is afraid that she still yet may fall.
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Slothism

Picture courtesy of CITPrincess.deviantart.com (Found on Internet)
Sloth is one of the seven capital sins. It is the most difficult sin to define, and to credit as sin, since it refers to a peculiar jumble of notions, dating from antiquity and including mental, spiritual, pathological, and physical states.
Yes, I looked it up because I wanted to make sure that I was using it in the correct context. I am a sinner. I once practiced the sin of sloth. A sin so insidious that you do not even know that you are a practitioner.
I once used my days off and weekends to lounge around. Doing nothing more strenuous than a load of laundry because I needed clean clothing. I also used those days to recover from a hangover or malaise of spirit that was brought on by my drinking. It is not that I did not do what was required because I did, I just would not make a further effort. I existed, I was not living.
****I think I should insert here that while some of this is serious, some of this, such as my calling myself a sinner and mocking myself is done in sarcastic humor. It is how the voice in my head talks as I write. 
You might be thinking that this was only during the time of my depressive episode which lead to me going back on my medication. And yes, the malaise was lifted, but not the drinking. I was still hiding and in doing so, was continuing to harm myself. So while I was moving forward, the energy, the desire to do more was slow in coming. In July I decided to quit drinking because of, well, I have issues. I did have a couple during birthday celebration and on holidays.
I also discovered in mid-September that I have a fatty liver, which has been brought about by my drinking. It has also lead to my hoarding of iron in my body. I made another decision once I found this out. I am going to take a year off from drinking and see where my liver situation is and also because, well that is another part of this story.
In July when I decided to quit drinking, I discovered a few things. I could still write. That had been a huge fear. Another of them. The first had been could I still write without the emotional and painful upheaval that my depression and anxiety brought along with a burst of  creativity.  I could.  Next was without alcohol.  Would my imagination, my ability to create still be there?  And again, it was.
Next I discovered that I had a great deal of excess energy. I was always on the go. And I felt great. I spent a lot of time laughing and talking with coworkers and friends. For awhile I was concerned I was on a false high in the cycle of my depression, but as each week passed I realized it was that I felt clearer. My mind was working better. My memory was better. Everything and anything was providing me with inspiration to write.
And I began and stuck with a workout regime. I make it sound like I am spending hours in the gym, I am not. I have a stationary bike at home that I ride and I spend another half hour on toning exercises of my own design. Part of the exercising to begin with, was to help lower my blood pressure. Yet as I began to see results, as I began to feel even more energized and hopeful in every aspect of my life, I was struck by how different I am from even three months ago.
My girlfriends believe that I am possessed by some evil spirit. Since I have quit drinking my sleep patterns have changed. I am no longer staying up until 1 a.m. drinking my dreams and desires away. I now go to bed between 8 and 9 p.m. and I am up between 4:30-5:30 a.m. on my days off and late starts. Let me be very honest here, I am not getting up at 3 a.m. on the days I work at 5:30 or 6 a.m. to work out, I can do that when I get home.
I realized as I was cycling away this morning that I really like this new me. I enjoy getting up early and getting everything I need to do done early. Than I have my day to write, to read, to chat with my friends. I can put my feet up and sip my coffee playing games on Facebook or checking my emails. And I can do it without feeling any guilt.
This is a huge thing for me. Alcohol has been a very large part of my life. In the last few years it was how I coped with my problems. With my fears.  It lead to me making some dubious decisions. Alcohol also made me feel less. Less of myself. Less creative. A crutch and a parasite on my being.
It has been two weeks since I made this decision. Two weeks where I have not had a glass of wine. But the thought has crossed my mind. Eventually each week is going to pass and I will think of it less and less. I will continue to catalogue the good that has come out of this decision to quit.
1)So much energy that sometimes it is hard for me to stand still.
2)A desire to eat healthily.
3)A desire to exercise. Both for health and because omg I actually enjoy it.
4)Inspiration is everywhere.
5)I am more present. I do not look at the clock and count how long it will be until I can have that first sip of wine. Rum. Whatever it was going to be.
6)Creativity that pours from my fingers.
7)I like me. The every part of me. From my brain down to my toes there is no longer a malaise of spirit.
8)I can forgive. I no longer hang onto bitterness and past mistakes. They ate at my soul and that is not who I want to be.
9)I have realized I am not perfect nor do I need to be. I am better for all my little quirks and folliables.
10)There really is no ten but the list would look a little off without a 10th thing.
As I reread this I realize most of you are lost by now. Wondering what the hell my decision to quit drinking has to do with slothism. And you have every right to. This became one of my rambling conversations where a lot of things have been storing up and I finally figured out how to write them. I apologize.
My slothism took the guise of alcohol. It numbed me. Helped me to rationalize why I was the way I was. How I continued to feel the same despite having tackled my depression head on. It allowed me to be. It helped to shadow the woman I am. The woman I have always wanted to be.
I needed to be slothful. I needed to sin per se so I could repent (tongue in cheek) with a lifestyle change. I am not a religious person so this is my stab at humor. Snort or shake your head in despair I admit it is bad.
I am now the opposite of slothful. I am the friend who gets up early by choice while everyone else is still asleep. Not sure what the proper term for it is. My friends all tell me it makes me crazy. But they still love me. 🙂

Not really sure….

I am going to apologize in advance. This is probably going to be a rather disjointed and completely odd blog. Basically it is going to end up much like my actual conversations do. All over the place. Because without fail, one thing I am talking about leads seamlessly to this other thing. It all makes sense. At least in my mind, however, I have been known to cause some deep confusion and perplexity. Thus my advanced ‘I am so sorry.’

I have not written much. Have been going through a lot of my older poetry and posting those as they have struck a chord with me. I have been rereading posts on Facebook that I made as I began to recover from my depressive state in 2014. Those have been hard to read. I find myself crying in sympathy for the creature I was. So broken and alone. Even though I was still married at the time, a mother, a daughter, a sister, unfortunately as hard as they tried, they could not really understand what I was going through.

Admittedly that depressive episode sent me on an evolutionary journey. I began to claw back my space, my time, my self. I began to be more confident and happy. I spread out my interests and was no longer afraid to say this is me. I put myself in the forefront as opposed to always hiding in the background. I could finally look in the mirror and not only like but be proud of the woman who was looking back at me. It lead to the dissolving of my marriage as I realized that the man I had just spent the last 20 years with, was not the love of my life. We did not have anything in common besides our son. I am grateful for the child that we created but I am a better woman, a better mother for being apart from him. Much as he is a better person, a better man for being without me. He told me at one part that this was the best thing to happen to him, he could not remember when last he had been this happy. I had a few people say he was trying to anger me, I said I hoped not, because I really do want him to be happy.

In the last year and a bit I have learned a hell of a lot again about myself. One is that I will need to remain on my anti-depressants for life. This causes me a wee bit of a quandary for I write like a demon when I am depressed. The words flow and bite, I have no shortage of ideas. My creativity spirals and dips, clinging to the wall and than breaking apart to dance in raindrops all around me. I know that I can write when I am happy. I wrote an entire novel in high school and no one can say I was depressed that whole time.

Oh wait, it was high school. I was the opposite of popular. But I had rocking friends and really who wants to be a part of the blonde perfection team? Such a hard standard to live up to.

This passed year I have made some huge changes. December 9/16 I quit smoking. My blood pressure was out of control. February 2017 I went back on my meds and my life has been amazing since I crawled out of that black cesspool. July 1/17 I quit drinking alcohol. At least until the end of my holidays on Sept. 10th. I needed to prove to myself that I could.

My father was an alcoholic. He died 13 years ago. Not really missed. I found myself in a pattern of always finding men like him. Incapable of looking after themselves, drinkers, irresponsible. Despite the fact that I would constantly promise myself that I would not be with nor marry a man like my father in all regards I did. Than once my marriage imploded (it did not dissolve amicably made worse by our continued living together until nearly 6 months later) I began to drink. And heavily.

So I made the decision that I was done. No more. T accused me of quitting drinking because Chichi (my mom) was home. I was honest with him and told him I quit because it was becoming a problem. He was stopped by that answer. Every so often I would really like a glass of wine but I think about T and this promise that I have made myself and eventually that urge passes.

I, who have always despised and never really required exercise, have added it to my daily routine. I was given a stationary bike that I ride between 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour 3 to 4x a week. I also have some toning exercises that I have thrown in for myself. Nothing serious, no work out DVD just a few things to tone and shape.

I have also changed the way that I eat. More fish, salad. Fresh veggies. Less pizza, fast food. Eating breakfast. Not sure if this also has to do with my turning 45 this year but it really has been a year of change thus far.

My blood pressure is the envy of mom. I am happy all the time. Laughing. T is with his dad for the next three weeks and I was telling my boss about it. Said to him ‘I have three weeks to do the things I cannot do while I have T with me. And than after that I have him for three straight weeks as well.’ My boss looked at me and said ‘Only you could find the positive in this.’

It took me a long while to compute what he had said to me. And it made me realize how far I have come in the last six months. How much happier I am. How I always have a smile on my face, a giggle or laugh ready. I will retrain my brain on writing happy if that is what it takes. Or it might just be the summer thang.

When I was younger I could only write from September to June. The school year. Do not ask me why. It may be that I love being outside and in the sun during the summer. Friends were always available because well, we were kids. So before I really panic I will wait for the school year to roll around and see if I cannot become more productive in my writing.

Until than I will reread and rediscover older poetry. If it strikes me and makes me think, I will post. I am okay with that. For as I discover this new person who is me, I am patient and willing to bet that eventually, the neural pathways will straighten out and the creativity will once more pour forth from me. 🙂

 

Untitled 12

I use to think, to believe, that pain was the foundation

that happiness and flowers were a fairy tale;

Words I read on a page, that made no sense

trapping me in a whirlwind of pain.

As I grew and began to see the world anew

I realized your sickness, your disease

Alcohol, a vice to others

the voice whispering in your ear.

You hurt me, your inability to see

alcohol was your mistress but what the fuck about me?

Deadened to expectations, accepting only what I could see

my lip curls now in disdain, as I realize;

A man you were not, a father you could never be

a childhood destroyed,

never once an apology.

I spit on you,

your sacred memory.

I hope you burn in hell

accompanied by the demons

who damned you in life.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

Aug 1/12