Monday, March 15, 2010

What I Love

I love it when I have a day that is totally in the clear. I mean a day where there is no alarm clock, no commitments, no need to travel anywhere. Usually on these days, if it is not raining, my husband and I will go for a walk.

Today it is raining and today I set the alarm clock so I could call the doctor and cancel my appointment for my eye infection. It is courteous to call the doctor early when you are canceling so that they can re-schedule the spot. Over the weekend the infection seemed to clear up on its own. My husband has medication left over from his eye infection, several years ago. He kept the tiny bottle in the refrigerator. I did not notice it. I've been using the drops. No medical doctor's appointment; no deduction from our insurance reserve. This pleases me immensely. Crafty of my husband to keep his old medication. The due date is off by a little less than one year, I bet its still good. My husband tested it first on his own eye. No ill effect. So I was convinced to use it. It did take some mild convincing. At first I was like, ew, use your old medication? Gross. Our eye infections could be different kinds, of course this medication can be the wrong thing. I think he had pink eye, and I do not have pink eye. But as long as it doesn't hurt, why not? One drop in the morning, one drop at night.

I wrote today for two hours. There is a section of re-write that is a mess; some paragraphs repeating information that was in preceding paragraphs. Plan to straighten out this mess. Procedure - print out mess on paper, read it once, put it away, then hand re-write on paper in a notebook from the beginning. Whenever I get stuck I take the computer out of the equation. Back to handwriting the old fashioned way is a method to straighten out your thoughts and stimulate inspiration. Will do this exercise tomorrow when I write. Tomorrow is a free day, from top to bottom, the kind of day that I love. And it should be sunny, which means we will go for a walk.

Am suffering from chocolate withdrawal. I know I can't lose weight when I eat chocolate. And I know that once I start eating it it is hard to stop. I want more, more, more until I am sleepy and satiated. My husband has the same problem with alcohol; once he starts it is hard to stop. My solution is don't start. Not even one small treat. My husband's solution is to only drink one beer when we are out at a restaurant. No booze kept at home. No chocolate kept at home.

It is so hard when the pharmacies come out with Easter candy. This is right after Valentine's Day candy. Which is right after Christmas candy. Which is after a Thanksgiving feast. I really haven't been on my diet since Thanksgiving.

But today I am being strong with my food. I will not binge. Neither, according to my schedule of things to do this evening, will I exercise. I have to see my therapist and then I have to go straight to the church for some Christian education. I can always skip the church, although, it is a stress-free environment. I say very little during these classes because I don't want to give away how ignorant I am of the Bible. Pretty much everything I hear is new to me. Happily I go to a church that is in the tradition of "question everything". Bet most people didn't know churches like that exist. But mine is. Only old people go to our Christian education. I'm the youngest. I guess people choose their religion and then don't challenge their beliefs. I think you either move ahead or you die. Stagnation is death. Or, the young people with children don't want to leave their children to go to an even that will help them to grow spiritually. Maybe they are just tired after a day at work and don't want their evening cluttered up with activity. They want to eat and then watch television. Rest. I just get the feeling that people my age in church aren't having a crisis of faith. I'm having a crisis of faith. In fact, I can't imagine living life without being in a state of questioning and seeking.

Read an interesting quote last night. It was in the psychology book "He" by Robert Johnson.

Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk, once said that a monk may often be happy but he never has a good time.

This struck a chord with me. I can't say that I'm having a good time when I write, because it is work, and because it is draining, but I can say that when I'm writing I'm happy.

And I can say that my marriage makes me happy, and that walks with my husband makes me happy, but not because I'm having a good time. I have to summon up the motivation and the energy to go for a walk. They don't happen naturally. My natural state is to be cocooned in sheets in bed. Yes, good times are very, very rare. Contentment happens more often, and while I am content, I think I am happy. But because I have a mental illness I cannot summon the enthusiasm of having a good time. I do not lie when I smile, and I think I smile a lot. But I do not have reserves of energy to emote too much enthusiasm. I can't get wrapped up in an event. All events exhaust me, good or bad. All experiences lead to mental depletion. Every event is felt at the same level of immediacy and introspection, so, I suppose, I am not a better friend to one person over another person. I am the same to all people. And all people drain me. The pattern of my life is dreadfully simple; act, rest. Act, rest. Act, rest. How can I have a good time when I know that I am going to pay for it later?

There is much about my life that is monkish and withdrawn.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen,

    I am quite withdrawn, though I wouldn't call myself monkish. I'm not withdrawn in my personality, just in that I spend very little time in the company of others. I have come around in a circle and enjoy my solitude. Early on my illness attacked this about me, really tortured me to reach out and get involved in my community. I dutifully did so and even helped a few people, but ultimately I wasn't cut out to be a social worker and so I returned gradually to my reclusive, artistic style of life.

    I'm glad you wrote today. That's interesting how you take your typewritten rewrite and literally re-write it in long hand to reconnect with it and improve it. Right now, I have a journal that I write in when I'm in one frame of mind and the computer that I write on when I'm in a different frame of mind. I just finished reading a book called Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg. The book is a pep talk for writers to encourage them to stick with the writing practice. She told herself to fill up a journal each month using a good fast pen and she encourages other people to follow suit. She also suggests writing in different places. The next fine day out when I don't have anything planned, I'm going to go to my local coffee shop and order a Cafe Mocha and sit and write for an hour.



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