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. 🙂
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Fear me not

***Picture posted on Facebook by Power of Positivity***

As I have detailed on here somewhat brokenly and rawly, I have learned I live with depression and will for the rest of my life. That somewhere along the line, the chemicals in my brain decided to go haywire and there are probably neural paths that have crossed that never should have even come in contact. With medication and previously therapy, I will not conquer and eradicate my depression, but we will live an uneasy partnership. Much like that little spider I allow to live in the bathroom corner.

As I was meandering through my Facebook feed this morning I came across the above quote and it instantly reached out and grabbed my by the throat. Because for so long I did fear failure. And with that fear, I stripped and bound myself with chains, closing off a part of me that is as essential to my well being as breathing or eating is.

I am a writer. I live to create. One of mom’s favorite stories about me when I was younger was how in grade one she received a call about a short story I had written. Not sure what was going on but the story was about a dog who died and a ghost squirrel was his (I am speculating here as I cannot go back and ask my 6 year old self) spirit guide. Not to heaven but beneath a tree in the backyard. I believe I have the story here somewhere  I might have to go back and reread it. It may be a gem of an idea!

However I am digressing.

My forte seems to be writing poetry. I began writing poems (not of the Roses are Red variety) I believe in 1986. I would not hold me to that fact, I may be a little off. But the first poem that I still clearly at least recall the premise of, had to do with the escalation of something between Ronald Reagan (than president of the U.S.) and his counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev (last leader of Communist Soviet Union) and nukes. I was 11 years old and scared. Who knows where the poem is today but that was my start.

I have always used poetry to express myself. As a teenager, struggling with depression and self-image issues and just a whole lot of anger, my poetry was dark and tragic. I wrote a lot about suicide. There was no happiness, no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel.

In hindsight, I was wrapped in a morass of pain and hatred, anger and fear. It all fell from my mind and pen in twisted pathways. Approximately 15 years or so ago, I found all my poetry. And I burned it. But that comes later in this tale. The emotions that bled off the page into the air around me as I read had tears pouring down my face for this poor soul I had been.

In high school I wrote the next great novel. Ha! Three years, a gazillion rewrites later and I was ready to send it off to the publishing world. I had done enough research that I knew I had to send in a query first so I did. And I received some interest back. I had to pay to have them read my manuscript. However the person who had to read it probably earned that money tenfold.

It was a horrible novel. I cringe even now when I think of it. I recently learned that my baby bro found a copy when he was in junior high and had an english assignment. So he took in all 300+ pages and handed it in. With his name on the front. I applaud his audacity but the teacher caught him out and ended up calling my mom. I can only hope that the english teacher never read it because I had had him during my season in junior high.

Needless to say, I did not sweep the publishing world off their feet. What I did receive was a very nice rejection letter which indicated that I had talent which needed to be shaped and molded. That I should take some creative writing courses.

Not sure if anyone can truly know what rejection is like to someone with depression so I am going to explain how it was for me.

First I cried. A lot. Than I began to be filled with this immense sadness. For this was my dream and now my dream was dead. (Yes I was also a tad dramatic when I was younger) I did not focus on the positives that I had read. Strong descriptive skill. Knew when to break with conversation. Talent. Benefit from writing courses. All I saw was that my novel was no good. I did not know what else to do with myself. (And thus started my career in Customer Service lol)

Next I packed up my typewriter. Cleaned my desk of all writing material. All creative works. And I hid it all away. Most of my material ended up being stored at mom’s until she retired and moved but I am getting ahead of myself.

For the next 26 years I wrote sporadically. Limited to poetry for family functions as required. I never showed anyone anything I was working on. I had short stints of productive periods writing poems but again I was harboring this fear. If I showed my works to others they would hate it. I was no good.

In 2003, during another bout of deep depression which had yet to be diagnosed, I found all my poetry. All the short stories. And I watched the papers burn and flutter into the air, ashes carried away on a breath of wind as I once again let go of this dream I nurtured for so long. (Even if I was not actively pursuing it, that small flame was nestled in my heart.)

I won’t bore everyone with the next 14 years of blackness and despair. Enlivened by the birth of my son. The career I discovered I was good at.  But still I feared. So I stamped out anything creative. I still was reading. Voraciously. My outlet. My escape. And I was and still am in awe of the authors I have found over the years. Of their creativity, the breadth and scope of their imagination.

So let’s jump ahead now. To today.

As I stated about I found this quote in my Facebook feed this morning and it resonated with me. Because for so damn long I allowed fear to rule my life. The words and sting of rejection so firmly entrenched in my thoughts that I feared to try anything. But all that has changed.

I began blogging back in December. And at first it was hard. What do you write about? Plus I had a lot I wanted to purge. I mainly began with blogs like this.

Talking about myself, my life. My son.

Yet as  I wrote, my imagination began to peek out. Unfurling herself from the cocoon she had woven in protection when I tried to excise her from my being.

Everywhere I turn I am inspired. I awaken from a night’s sleep with lines of poetry dancing through my mind.

And I no longer fear. I move forward, writing for myself and well those of you who are joining me on this amazing journey. Nine months later and I can say I am not in the same place I was in when I began this blog. And I hope nine months from now that I will have evolved even more in my writing. In my life.

Fear me not, for I tread among the stars. Illuminated with golden light and blessed of imagination. Travel along side and enjoy this journey with me.

An Anniversary of Sorts

Other than being slightly confused as to how many more days it is until October 1st, I am doing alright. In 5 more days, I will have been separated and living on my own with T for a year and a half. My marriage actually imploded two years ago in the middle of October, but that is not an anniversary that I really want to remember. Despite being the catalyst of said imploding, I am not proud of the pain that I caused my ex. I could have dealt with the situation so much better than I did, but that is for another day.

Yesterday, after spending my morning lolling about lazily on the computer, around noon I decided that I should get my butt in gear and start cleaning house. Well, what started out as my weekly cleaning became a giant purge. The only room untouched by my desire to throw out, get rid of and tidy up is T’s. But I will be putting on the Haz-Mat suit on Thursday and entering the dreaded boy zone.

Back to yesterday.  6 loads of garbage to walk down to the dumpster. 2 large boxes for self-help. 1 bag of bedding for T to take to his dad’s. I used a tool that I learned years ago and until yesterday have never applied. Has it been used in the last year? Or worn? Is it useful to someone else or broken? And with that, the clutter was gone. No more clothing taking up space that I never wear.

I reorganized my linen closet. It is actually a pantry but I prefer to use it for towels and sheets. I first began by pulling all the bags out from the bottom. And I had tons. I have plastic bags in plastic bags in a reusable shopping bag. I had tons of gift bags. I had tissue paper coming out of every corner of the small closet. And the amount of bedding. Where the hell did it all come from? Were my sheets mating and procreating? Hand towels galore. I tossed the really torn and thin towels. Kept two sets of sheets and pillow cases for T’s room. The rest is going to his dad’s.

My bed became a pile of clean clothing I kept pulling from the dryer and throwing there until I could fold it. Towels and bedding I was keeping soon followed. And then I became distracted by my bedroom closet. I began sorting and throwing into the give away pile on the bed. As the amount of clothing began to shrink in my closet and empty hangers were taking up more space, I began to feel a weight lifting.

I admit, I am a haphazard cleaner when I do a clean and purge like I did yesterday. For every time I left what I was doing, to add something to a pile or the garbage, I would become distracted by the room I had just entered.

Take the bathroom for instance. Walked in and opened the dryer to get the clothes out. Dumped on bed. Walked back into bathroom intent on putting other clothes in dryer. Instead I sat down and proceeded to clean out the cupboard beneath the sink. Than I stood up to go get a cloth to wipe out the cupboard, picked up the garbage and came back half an hour later to finish. At which time I also put the last load of clothing in the dryer.

I also did some reorganizing of cupboards in the kitchen. Cleaned the top of the fridge. Moved games out of sight into closed cupboards instead of spread all over. Slowly our apartment is going from an apartment to becoming our home. We are going to be here for some time so there is no need for us to live like transients, ready to leave in an instant.

M the ex came and picked T up early. I thanked him and explained that I was in the midst of a purge/clean. He snickered to himself and I let it pass. When we were together, I despised house cleaning. I was okay with laundry, vacuuming and dishes, but washing floors, the bathroom, made me cringe. I would procrastinate until fights were being had. Now, I clean faithfully. I have a tidy home, with everything having a place to be. Not sure where this phenomenon comes from but there we have it.

It was after 6 when I finally was done. Bathroom cleaned and scrubbed. Floors all vacuumed, swept and washed. Bed (mine) cleaned off. Everything either folded and put away or set aside for the self-help. (I had packed the car with the items to drop off at self-help and for T.) I sat on the couch for a bit, unwinding, and allowing the silence to settle over me.

I felt as though another massive weight was lifted from my shoulders. That in a way I was letting go of things I had clung to from the past. I was purging the misery, the hatred and anger that emotionally I had let go of, but still had material items that retained memories that were not pleasant.

And last but not least, my home was clean.

 

 

 

 

My Ex

A while back I wrote about how my ex and me were getting along and I realized how much I had matured. Well today I took that one step further. Today I looked passed the man who made me unhappy and spoke to my friend.

This is a man who at one point and time I loved. It is not his fault nor is it mine that in the end we just were not happy together. We are such very different people with little in common. 

Today was the first time that we had a conversation in a long time. And we both laughed. Not the fake ‘yeah get out of my face you are annoying me’ laugh but a real laugh. One that sets the other to laughing. 

We also still have inside jokes and can say things to one another that we are unable to say to anyone else. There have been a few times, where I have been spitting mad and the only one I can vent to is him.

In talking with a girl friend today, she informed me that I was taking the mature route with him. All I had said was his girlfriend was good for him.

And I no longer had to take care of him.

This man is helpless as a baby attempting to organize a tea party. I sent him numerous texts regarding the dates he had T over the summer. I also sent him several screen shots of my calender so he had it. Finally his girlfriend messaged me asking what the dates were. 

That is only one example. 

I can afford to be nice and decent to him. I am happy and in a great place in my life. And I really am working hard to let go of negativity.

It was easy to be angry with my ex when I left. I was blaming him for my unhappiness. Which really is unfair because I had a hand in my own unhappiness. I could have stood firm when I tried to leave three months prior to everything imploding. 

Now though…I am in my own space. I am writing daily. My relationship with my son and mom are amazing. 

So yes, I can afford to be kind with M2. And I even like his girlfriend even though we have not really spoken. But she is excellent with T and that more than anything makes me like K3.(Lol too many K’s- best friend, Auntie and now M2’s girl friend. M1 being my bestie.)

M2 loves T with all his heart. And at the end of the day that is all that is important. He is doing his best to be a great dad. Our failure to make our marriage last aside he will always be my friend.