Archives for category: anhedonia

I’m home for the day. The poor quality of my sleep continued to affect my experience much of the day. I arrived home feeling… sad. Drained. Sorrowful. Mortal. Contemplating such fun topics on the commute home as “do any of us really deserve to live?” and “would I spend my life this way if I knew I would be dead in 2 years?”. It was a grim and unsatisfying drive.

Now, home with my thoughts, armed with almost 5 years of better practices to fall back on, and still I pick at the open wound that is the recollection of last night’s nightmares. I continue to fuss quietly, seething, alone, and feeling disrupted. “It’s all in my head”, I remind myself. In this moment, right here, I am unconvinced, and my solitude is less than ideal. Words and phrases, lacking in context or purpose in the moment, bring me to the brink of tears, when they reach my consciousness. It’s foolishness of the first order, nonetheless it is difficult to dismiss it when I am tired, and feeling rather sad. It feeds itself. I even know this.

I stew in it awhile. The traffic beyond my windows aggravates me. I am sound sensitive, and easily irritated. I am sleepy – but also restless. My nightmares left me feeling averse, at this point, to falling asleep again; I don’t want to return to The Nightmare City. Not tonight. Not right now. Not when it is obvious that the current denizens of my darkest dreams really get what terrifies me most at this time in my life. I don’t want to be the grown up in the room… I want someone else to do that for me. I want to be held. Told “everything will be okay” – in spite of there being very little actually “wrong”, at all. I want someone to check for monsters under the bed, and in the closets, and care for me as though these concerns are “real”. I want someone to promise me things, and assure me that there is a happily ever after if only I am “a good girl” or “work hard enough”… or some other bullshit combination of magic words intended to soothe the savage bitch.

Being tired isn’t a good state of being for me, generally speaking. A wave of anger washes over me as I wonder how the hell I survived my 20s at all…? The anger is no more (or less) “real” than the other emotions that crash upon my cognitive shore, wave upon wave, disconnected from circumstances. There is more to come. I guess I’m fortunate, in general. This bullshit? It is bullshit.

This bullshit, though? It’s hard, yeah. This part, here? This doesn’t seem to get any easier over time. Mired in my own bullshit, for the moment, aware I could do more differently, could begin again, could move the fuck on from this… I know, I know. Choices. Verbs. Ennui overtakes good sense. Anhedonia steps in for will. There are, at least, these words. I can see them, as I write. I hear my voice – finally, I am heard, even in this dark moment. I’m here for me, at least that far. I’m not yet despairing… that’s something. I hold onto that. I breathe. I have a big glass of water, and marvel at how refreshing that can actually be. I take a couple Tylenol for this chronic headache (an exception, almost on the order of “a treat”), knowing that even a few hours of relief, in this state I’m in now, will make a difference – enough to be worth accepting the risks and contraindications. My temper flares up, and cools, again and again, disconnected from anything going on around me. “This too shall pass”, a calmer inner voice observes gently, kindly, full of love and understanding.

I breathe. I relax. I let go one notion, then another. Breathe. Exhale. Let the stray thoughts that plague me fall away like wisps of mist on a summer morning, before the heat of the day develops. Another breath, another moment. One by one. My seething fury begins to ease. I’m just tired. I put my ear plugs in, and add noise-canceling headphones. There is quiet now, except for my tinnitus. It’s enough. It’s enough to endure. It’s enough to survive. It’s enough to have choices and to attempt, in some small way, to choose. It’s enough to recognize agency, even if I fail to make use of it. Right now? “Enough” is plenty – I can hold on to that, perhaps long enough to get some rest.

Eventually, I will understand to begin again. Eventually, I can walk on from this moment. It’ll pass.

I woke much earlier than my alarm. Early enough to do yoga, shower, dress, and make an Americano before my alarm would have gone off. I’m quite alert and wide awake, and feel rather as if weeks and weeks of fatigue and illness are finally behind me. Still have the weird headache. Still have more future appointments to deal with it. Still have the arthritis pain. Still bitching about that. It is morning. I am human. πŸ™‚

I sip my coffee contentedly, noting how good it is this morning and just really enjoying that. It is a Friday, tomorrow is the weekend. I feel relaxed and at ease – because, partly, I’ve chosen to practice having this experience of relaxed contentment, learned to build and sustain that over time, and it’s become (if not my default “state of being”) quite common to feel this way. It is a huge improvement over being mired in despair, chronically frustrated, and wondering endlessly what the point even is to living. πŸ˜€ I’ll straight up say it; I got here with my choices. I got here with practice. There were – and are – verbs involved. Practicing practices is an ongoing thing; this is not a task, these are processes. This is me, living my life, and my results vary – right now, this moment here? It’s very pleasant. πŸ™‚

There is stuff yet to do. Housekeeping. Tidying up. Maintenance. Repairing, cleaning and maintaining. lol There’s also brunch with a friend, hang out time with another, and perhaps a lovely hike with a new camera on a pleasant Sunday morning. πŸ˜€ I get to choose. πŸ™‚

I’m ready to begin again. Let’s start this day!

What a peculiar few days (couple of weeks?) it has been. I haven’t done anything particularly noteworthy… I go to work. I return home. I meditate. I read. I do just enough yoga to continue to use all my joints. I do just enough housekeeping to stay mostly fairly tidy. I don’t feel mired in sorrow, or at all blue. I’m just dealing with more pain than usual. It takes a lot out of me. I feel less like going anywhere or doing anything, once I’ve managed to put a work day behind me. Weekends aren’t much different; more meditation, more reading, no work of the employment sort, lots more squirrels, still managing pain.

I miss my Traveling Partner, but I am glad I’ve taken the time to get rested. I’m even, generally, sleeping (mostly) through the nights, and getting to bed at an hour that ensures I’ve gotten adequate rest. It’s something. Right now, it’s enough. Clearly I’ve been needing the rest. I’ve even finally gotten entirely over all of whatever contagious crud has been going around. Other than the pain I am often in, I feel pretty good. πŸ™‚

I sip my coffee. The weather seems already inclined to turn toward spring. I’ve begun carrying the new camera with me everywhere. I look ahead to the weekend, another on which I will be generally at home. I’ve brunch plans Saturday with a friend that will take me an hour across town – which, these days, hardly seems like a drive at all. lol I’ve got a ticket to a concert Saturday night.Β In between those, regularly planned time hanging out with another friend. Busy Saturday. Sunday looks like a good day for rest and laundry – or a hike! If the weather holds up, Sunday could be a lovely day to take the camera on her first outing into the trees down some near-ish trail. A plan begins to take shape.Β  πŸ˜€

I smile into my coffee as I take a moment to recognize I’ve probably been quite slowed down just by the fact that it is winter – that’s a thing, it happens to all kinds of creatures, our seasonal clocks don’t all affect us the same way. I don’t consider myself someone with any sort of profound seasonal affective symptoms, but I am still a mammal, a primate, a living creature with circadian rhythms, and it is still winter. πŸ™‚

…I’ve got a plan to begin again. This morning, that’s enough. πŸ™‚

 

All weekend it’s been a matter of choices – choices to care for myself, or choices that were less about that and more about getting some specific task handled. No surprise – these concepts come into conflict regularly. I have managed to choose self-care more often than other things, mostly, and I feel as if, mostly, I am sort of mostly getting over this once-a-sore-throat-now-something-more-about-a-nasty-hacking-cough-and-shortness-of-breath. I face choices again. Do I commit to getting my ass up early tomorrow and dragging myself into the office choking on my own snot, or do I properly care for myself as an adult, aware that I could be contagious, and ew gross – pretty sure no one wants to listen to me coughing all day – and make the choice to call out? I’ve been thinking it over for a while.

I finally have to come to terms with one of adulthood’s mighty challenges; I have responsibilities I am not able to delegate, so… either I say “fuck it, you’ll all get by, see you Tuesday, folks”, or… work from home. Okay. I’m right in that sickness median between too sick to care (and therefore easily able to just call out) and getting well enough to go in (in which case, capable of some work)… I’m fortunate that I have the option to work from home, and I go ahead and make that choice. It feels good to take care of myself. I pause for a moment of compassion, regret, and even anger that there are hard-working people out there, everywhere, who literally can not afford to call out from work, however sick they may be. That’s just not right.

Working in the environment I do, I am very aware of the business consequences over time of productive hours lost to contagion in a confined area. I see it every year. I see well-meaning folks attempting to make the “right” choice coming in to work when they are likely to be contagious, because they don’t want to, or can’t financially afford to, miss work, and getting everyone they talk to exposed, everyone who touches a surface they touched exposed, everyone who passes through air space into which they sneezed or coughed exposed – and a goodly percentage, in a short time, will themselves either call out, or work at reduced productivity while infecting colleagues. I try to be very mindful myself that contagion lasts longer than we realize, often beginning before we know we’re ill, and lasting some time after we feel “mostly over it”. Working from home tomorrow is a good choice… it still took me hours to make that choice and feel confident I am doing the right thing – which is hilarious. I still have to work so hard at taking care of me. It’s worth practicing, though. πŸ™‚

This weekend has been all naps and chicken broth, rest and self-care, good nutrition, and attending to myΒ  health. Being sick leaves me exhausted and anhedonic, lacking in appetite, soaked in ennui. I know it will pass. I have done little and still feel wrung out and overworked. I’ll get over it. I keep drinking water, tea, broth… trying to drown the virus or steam it out. lol I simultaneously feel grateful to live alone (no cranky interactions), but also deeply lonely (to be cared for like a child home sick from school). I am exhausted, and also bored. I am restless, but so tired I’d rather nap than do anything at all. It sucks and I will be glad to be done with it. lol Maybe I’ll be over it tomorrow? Well… if nothing else, tomorrow I can begin again. πŸ™‚

I am not perfect. Not even close. Hell, I’m still practicing the most basic practices, generally, as a beginner. A student. An amateur. A novice. I even try to practice very much as if I’d never done it before – with my full attention, with care, aware of the moment and the motions, deliberately, and with my whole will – and 1458 published blog posts later, I’m still practicing. Like… practicing. Because I have not yet achieved mastery – and maybe can’t or won’t, I don’t know that, and it isn’t relevant to day-to-day practicing of practices. What matters is the practice itself, and the effect it has on my experience to do so. πŸ™‚

I’m a bit woozy and light-headed from the over-the-counter remedies I’ve taken to ease the symptoms of the ick-of-the-month going around the office (or maybe I picked it up at the party? No matter, that’s not important). I’m in a much better mood than yesterday, which I rather expected; really shitty moods are not especially sustainable. I took steps to take a step back, and ended the evening quite pleasantly.

I woke during the night with the sore throat. I figured maybe I was breathing through my mouth… but no, I woke with it in the morning, somewhat worse. I didn’t think much of it, it was only a tickle. By noon, it was a distraction, by 2 pm I actually felt unwell. On my way home, with a frown, and recognition that strep throat, specifically, should not be brought into the office, I pulled into the wee urgent care clinic I favor and got the diagnostic test for strep done, and had the doctor take a look. It’s not strep. I’m glad about that… well… I was initially very glad. At this point, I just feel mostly pretty shitty and ill, and I don’t really care about it – or much of anything else. I ache all over. My head hurts. My throat hurts. The tickle is becoming a nagging, dry, hacking little cough, also very annoying. I guess I know what I’m doing this weekend. Maybe I’ll also slowly get all the holiday decor put away… but I won’t be hard on myself if I don’t. I think I could already go to bed… and it’s not yet 5:30 pm. lol

Dinner was a lovely rich Pho that I picked up on my way home. I already didn’t feel much like eating, or at all like cooking, but I knew I would need to take care of myself, too. I’m annoyed that I’m sick, but the annoyance doesn’t help anything, so I let it go. In fact, I let it go every time it comes up (again). It still comes up, of course; I’m human. I remind myself that “we’ve got to pay for our thrills”, and that breaking all my routines for a high energy holiday celebration with a horde of rambunctious friends merrily cavorting through the days and nights was sure to hit my immune system at some point, and I knew that going into it. It did. No surprise there; I specifically and willfully chose to enjoy the weekend as I did – so, also, no fair bitching about the cost. Now it’s time to pay the check, that’s all. If I deal with a sore throat for a few days, I get off pretty easy, I think. πŸ˜€

Damn I’m tired. Tired. Woozy. Feeling crappy. It’s time to put all this aside and take care of me in the real life, not just talk about it. lol Tomorrow I can begin again. πŸ™‚