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Unwarranted

Relentless Pursuit of the Times

Shed

I’ve never been the best at knowing my limits, but I have learned a lot and grown to accept the boundaries I find. An improvement from the obstinate stand I would have taken long ago, and sometimes still find myself in. In this case I knew caution was the route to take, and maybe that’s why it’s been so long since I’ve even considered going to a concert. Something in me is just ready to let go of the past, stop letting it hold me back.

Let myself heal.

I have been assessing why I let myself feel bad over things that aren’t worth it. I clearly find some penance in it. Why do I find it correct behavior to make myself feel bad over such tokens?

I couldn’t help but be excited as much as anxious. Pushing into the cluster of people near the front, waiting for the band to emerge onto the stage, nursing beers and eyeing the crowd. I vaguely knew what to expect when the music started, but it was magnified as the familiar song started to play. It was like a hand of fire reached out and shoved me hard. I stumbled back a few steps and covered my mouth as I felt my face turn to that of a gargoyle.

I am an ugly crier, there’s nothing for it.

At first it was hard to remind myself of where I was, the world swirled out of focus for a breath. I could feel my heart and lungs reverberating, resonating with the music, and it was so disconcerting. I pushed the thoughts of hospitals and IVs and dying out of my head.

I felt the break through.

As the sound washed over me, and the crowd shouted to the music, something inside of me melted. Disappeared. Dissolved.

Absolved.

I forgive myself.

Finally.

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Hard Wired to Thrive

I spend my little bit of energy for writing in the scattered notebooks that liter my bookshelves these days. The feeling of holding a pen, the room there is to grow an idea before it hits the page, re-reading my own handwriting, turning pages, and that little lace bookmark that always, without fail, reminds me of the bible. Knowing mistakes can’t be fixed with a button gives me more realistic expectations, a more effective plan of attack.

To say I have no friends is an exaggeration, I do have friends, a handful of humans I trust enough to talk to regularly, but even still my life outside my own mind is small and I often find it limited. I live in my own head more than in the world we share, because it is safe and because it is where my lab is. The experiments I conduct in the lab are essential to my mental health. I build coping devices and defense mechanisms and self soothing techniques, I study the curves of my soul, its many twists and turns.

Like the cyst under the skin on my wrist, I can feel the internal damage just there beneath the surface. It floats atop bones and squishes between oft used joints, jutting out like an undeveloped limb. My fingers trace it, seeking the origin, but my fingers cannot see. What would happen if I looked directly into it? Could it obliterate all of my work with ease, flushing free every tool I’ve forged?

Roles that were beyond my reach in the past I am learning to fill more comfortably and completely. Altering my perception to put forward the emotions that I, the being within this body, align to, the body itself a tumultuous thing of imbalance and raw instinct. With focus I hold my burning anger in my hands and slowly crush it down into diamonds. I face insecurity with a defiant, dead-on gaze and a straight back. I yield myself more and more resolutely.

There are these moments when I can see both the sun setting on the horizon and the stars beginning to reveal themselves to me one by one on a rich, royal velvet blue sky. I hone my ability to look into fire from the corner of my eye, study its shape, mimic its power.

My mind picks times in my life in which I felt a specific balance of emotions, and tries to match it in real time, with an entirely different set of variables. It chose moments that were unrealistic first, slowly testing through all available data. Finally I have found one that is compatible with where I am, and so I create small bursts of time where I feel … easy.

There are colors in this world we cannot see, just because we cannot see them does not mean they do not exist. Once there was a time when I saw it all monochrome, how could I treat it any other way? I no longer seek out highs to balance lows. I can go any direction I want, and happy isn’t the opposite of sad, and depression doesn’t react to light like a shadow would.

I want wonder. I want to be open.

Polarity in the Extremes

I struggle for the words to express what’s happening to me, both mentally and physically. The amount of words it would take, would fill your life ten times over. We would be long dead before I could get to the real core of it. Or, that’s what it feels like anyway.

I hate it, it’s like being a teenager again, all angst and “you don’t understand” and shit like that. I really don’t expect anyone to understand, I barely expect anyone to accept it, honestly. Yet there is an urgency behind my lips, something that desperately needs to be said, if only I knew what it was. I could say the magic words and free myself from this prison.

It’s on the tip of my tongue. I’m about to remember that movie I couldn’t quite name, that phrase I couldn’t think of, the dream I wanted to tell you last year, that last item on my list before I leave the store… just….

t e e t e r i n g

on the edge of success. If only if only if only I could figure out that one super important detail I forgot.

Every action a rush to get there. Every gesture just something that needs to be done to further me on this path. I care about nothing. Nothing can distract me from this highly focused goal…

except I have no idea what it is.

I claw at myself, my stomach churns, it’s like sitting an exam, and I’m only half way through, and this ONE question I’ve come back to six times is so close to being solved.

My stomach aches with the weight of it. My nerves have fire bursting through each one. My skin crawls and twitches as my mind works harder and harder.

Then I forget real life things, I forget how to ring a customer, or delete items out of inventory, or something as obvious as hitting the total key, and all my fears are suddenly justified and somehow, I manage to panic more.

I never need to slow down, I’m always working hard to keep up, now I have to turn everything down and I just don’t really know how. Do I let the fire burn itself out? Should I feed it? Should I feed it deeply and see what it illuminates? Should I jump into the fire? Should I try to simply put it out?

I’ll test each theory, one at a time, to see how my mania reacts to each one. I just don’t know how it’ll go if I end up making things worse. It’s really so bad, I’m open to checking into the psych ward if it gets that much worse. I don’t think it’ll come to that, but I like having safety protocols.

Lucky to have someone to catch me if I do fall.

 

 

* P T S D *

I paint pretty pictures on the walls of my mind, and I forget what lies beneath. Today, I scrape away some of the bright colors, and examine what’s real. There are deep, devastating cracks that reach to my core.

“At a time in my life when I was homeless off and on, I stayed with a coworker. He repeatedly sexually assaulted me. I had no where else to go.”

This is only one small part of a much bigger, more painful experience. Of only one experience of many. I was raped 3 times before I was of legal consenting age, that I can remember. Who knows, maybe there was more and I just blocked it out. I barely remembered all 3 of these.

Between the small brutalities and abuses of my childhood, and the shit that happened to me as a young adult, how the fuck am I still sane and ok?

My fingers trace more superficial wounds, fresher, from far different events. Accidents mostly. Much less serious mistakes. Risks taken. Not all are so violent and raw. Some I can touch without wincing. There are raised, soft scars, they occasionally twitch with discomfort.

As I carefully whisper my fingertips across the surface as a whole, I feel the texture.

Put my face close…

Study the detail….

There is color there still, coming from within?

Time to grab some brushes.

Making Withdrawals

When they first explained to me that I have addictive tendencies I thought that was such a silly concept. As I’ve grown older and fallen in and out of various addictions, I wish they had perhaps put a little more emphasis on how real the symptoms can get. I was once addicted to Minecraft for a few months, I would have crazy withdrawals when I forced myself to give it up for a day or so.

All new addictions and weaknesses and symptoms are already oozing out of this new year. There are techniques I need to revisit. I feel like I’ve slowly been losing more and more ground, despite how I battle it. Digging in my heels and pushing up and onward seems only to dig a bigger hole that’s casually swallowing me up.

It’s quicksand, you don’t kick and struggle. You must be patient, clever, and strong. When the ground loosens its grip on me, I do my best to carefully shimmy up the rope that was thrown to me. I can’t help but feel constantly exhausted. This isn’t an ocean any more, if I go under, coming back up won’t be so easy.

I remind myself that perception and visualization are my tools, and they do not belong to the symptoms. I push the scenery of my mind to sunny blue skies in the afternoon, wildly pink sunsets, and velvety clear nights where the stars wink at you like they know a secret.

Sometimes it feels like I’m sweeping something important under the carpet. Other times it feels like a triumph. For now, I’ll squirm, and long, and pine, and whine, and stomp my foot like a child, as I find my center. I need to ground myself. Pull close to the hearth and let everything else melt away.

How to Happy

“I’m scared to admit it, I feel like it’s so fragile, but…” I pause for a deep breath, “I’m happy.” I listen carefully to the words, for the ring of truth to absolve me. “I’m happier than I’ve ever been,” sometimes I have to hear things aloud to know if they are true or false. 

“You often say the same about feeling bad, it feels like you’ve never felt worse,” she speaks my own thoughts in response.

“It is different though, I know it’s not exactly that I’ve never been happier so much as I’m more equipped to accept and allow myself to feel this than I have been in the past.” 

Happiness has been a chore, something I have to tend to and take care of. I have to be careful with it, nurse it into being. A small, small ember I’ve fed and protected, and it has produced a flame. Flickering and tiny, but warm and alive. 
There were times when storms would threaten my warmth with wind and rain. In such moments, it is necessary to hide away that tender seed, sacrifice seeing and knowing it, that it should survive the night. A taxing and painful act, for someone whose known darkness and chill for so very long. Put away the only comfort you have ever had. 

Fighting depression gave me the power to survive, but no one tells you that once that’s over, you are a savage without the emotional skills to produce a functional life. You work in heavy metals and swinging swords. Once you breech that realm, make it to the light, swords don’t fit anymore. 

New tools, new skills, new perspectives. 

At first I would panic, unsure why I couldn’t make myself feel better. There is no such thing as better when you’re good. How to cope when there is nothing to cope with? 

From my experience, traditional therapy focuses only on giving you tools to manage your depression. There is so much more once you’ve mastered those techniques and form a functional life of support. I’m teaching myself how to relax, stop fighting, recognize I’ve vanquished my enemies. 

There is no room for happiness when you are bulked down with broad swords and armor. I took the stance and focused on one negative at a time, giving all my attention to each problem. Finding each to be only a link in a chain leading to yet another symptom, until I found the anchor, the seed, the source. Cutting away my connections to each pain, and coming to terms with my base trauma. Years of failed projects, classes, jobs, and dreams. Years of nightmares and crippling depression. What felt like endless battles against a disembodied darkness which had consumed me long ago. 

All that work, and I have healed. I can say that I’m happy and mean it, truly mean it for the first time in my life. Of course, I have a whole new set of problems, and I’ll never be entirely free of depression…

but I am seeing colors I’ve never seen before. 

Seasoning

“I don’t like guns and I don’t like people who use them,” my voice echoes across the speaker system in the courtroom. My hands shake, I can’t hear over the ringing of my speeding heart, and I hear another question. The judge quickly picked up on my PTSD panic and allowed me to sit back down.

I don’t though. I thought to myself, despite indeed having had a gun in my face, sawed off shotgun. I don’t dislike people who use guns. Only recently coming to terms with the fact there will be guns and there will be good people with guns and bad people with guns, and to group them like so is far too broad a stroke.

Much the same with so many opinions spouted about the Justice System TM and police officers. It was pretty evenly split, half the people trust police less than civilians, and some trust the police more. We are defined by the experiences we have, even when we know better.

To ask me to make a decision without bringing in every single experience I have had up to now is to ask me to choose at random. I know what I know, and as many expressed in line for jury duty, I cannot set everything aside. I could have said much less and still been dismissed.

My head was spinning, rage pumping my heart harder than it should go. I feel raw and unsteady, both hot and cold, calm and furious, filled with love and hate. I can chase myself in endless circles of thought. The good and the bad tend to balance in my eyes, I find a way to make it all fit in a pretty little picture.

When all is balanced.

I am left with nothing.

Except the flaws.

Counting the Minutes

Make a sliver of a gap between my lids, bright numbers float into view as I turn my head slightly. 

3:40

It read the first time.

Then

3:50

4:03

4:15

4:27

4:33

4:35

4:40

4:43

Then I got up, and watched my phone for two minutes.

Fire with Fire; An Eye for An Eye

Chaotic journey as I bounce between the lows in my mind. Trying to rise above what I am and what is wrong with me, I pay close attention to my ups and downs. To rise is to fall in the ultimate balance of the world. We are all just chemical equations slowly being solved to completion. As negatives rise on one side they must also rise on the other. For the world is equal, even if you cannot always perceive it. When does a negative balance a negative? When do two positives make a negative? When do the rules seem to bend beyond our understanding of logic and design?

When I try to put a line around it, it alludes me. This concept is meant to be free, at least partially undefined. So I take it one bite at a time.

I lay in bed, in the dark, and it feels like there is literally a truck parked on my rib cage. I cannot feel my legs or move my arms, breathing is hard and I never feel like I can get enough air. I feel bad. All I can think about is how bad I feel and how my time is worth more than laying in the dark and sulking.

Like elastic, no matter how far I get, ultimately I am drawn back to these negative and persistent thoughts. Kill yourself, they say. Don’t have to worry when you are dead, they tell me. This life isn’t worth all that much anyway, they whisper. Disembodied and echoing words in the darkness of the corners of this deeply troubled mind.

After hours of fighting the suicidal thoughts. Exhausted mentally and emotionally. My body aches with unease. What could be worse?

Feeling like I am not in control is much, much worse. I push myself out of the me shaped hole in the ground, I step with purpose into each task I know I desire to do, beneath the depression . It’s hard to know what you want when all you can think about is ending everything. There is no want greater.

If I must be burned, then at least I will take my short cut through the fire.

Listening to music, though the hoarse whispers occasionally make it through, they seem shaky and weak now. No longer so convinced they are right as I ring out my mop and hum quietly to myself.

Pain does not make my decisions. No amount of chemical imbalance that this body is prone to will muffle my being. I dare the darkness to flood back. I boldly stand with my chest puffed up, panting with primal exhaustion, and the shadows cower. They bend to my will now, for they are mere shadows, cast by me, and I am their god.

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