Archives for posts with tag: tears on my pillow

I don’t know that it is actually an important thing. It’s an experience. A moment. I woke up crying. It’s not the first time. It may not be the last time. I wandered the limited space of my apartment in the darkness as if both seeking out whatever is distressing me, and also, perhaps, attempting to sneak away from it. I pace aimlessly, while plentiful hot tears spill silently down my cheeks, dripping from my face. I flutter a bit. I feel edgy and restless fighting off… what? I feel the mental machinery begin to spin up for a night of over-thinking this.

Then I begin again.

I breathe. I relax. I sit the fuck down and let the pacing and mindless cycles of movement end, in favor of a moment of self-inventory. I briefly take stock; what’s up with me? What do I need from myself? I pull myself back into this moment, here, in the quiet darkness, in the wee hours. I blow my nose. I let the tears fall without criticism. The living room is very quiet. The world feels very quiet from this quiet vantage point. I feel my emotional state shift. My tears dry. I’m okay right now. The moment passes. I meditate awhile longer. Life’s practical burdens sometimes feel heavier than they need to. It’s not about the weight, though – it’s about the journey.

I’ll sleep again, when sleep comes. I’m not quite there as I get up from my cushion, alone in the darkness. I won’t feel like writing about this tomorrow, after waking from some other moment altogether. In fact, maybe I won’t write tomorrow, I think to myself as my feet take me into the studio to while away some minutes wakefully… I’ll write now. I’ll write about this… Maybe I’ll sleep in. I feel calm. Sleep sounds good…

…Tomorrow I can begin again.

This morning I woke up crying. And in pain, but the pain is an everyday thing, waking up broken and emotional less so. This morning I woke up on the dark side of the bed, clumsy, hurting, and weeping. I initially tried a ‘reset’, took my morning medication and had a glass of water, went back to bed. Not helping. The tears become sobbing. Why am I crying? Is it only the pain? Nightmares? I slept well and deeply, and don’t recall my dreams… My brain carpet bombs my heart with every misstep, every failure, every scrap of potential risk in my near future, all my doubts, my fears, my insecurities – I’m drowning in panic. What the fuck is going on?? I stop caring much about any of that at some point and just give in to the sorrow, the dread, and the tears.

…Clearly, I was not going back to sleep. I get up. I make coffee. I open the apartment to the cool morning air. I am so overcome by restlessness and anxiety that meditation is difficult. I pace a bit. I’ve barely been up half an hour; yoga is difficult this morning and I am too stiff and too clumsy for now. No relief. No ease. The tears start again. My own words are attacking me, becoming water leaking from my eyes as soon as they form sentences in my head. The layered meanings of English words become enemies, and I hear only darkness and despair in the most beautiful poetry. I feel sad and lost – and can’t bear to put it into words. Fuck this… But now what?

I finally reach for my coffee and take a sip. Well. There’s one bright spot in a difficult morning – my coffee is excellent. It’s something – and I grab onto the moment and hold on. It’s still very early – earlier than I’ve been getting up most of this week. The sun has not yet risen, and I can see the colors of the sunrise just beyond the window of this room.

My brain sucker punches me again, when I try to write “just beyond the window of my studio”, and I start weeping all over again. How fragile happiness can seem when it slips away. “This is temporary, and it will pass.” I remind myself. I remind myself, again. Uncertain what is causing this emotional experience, even now, I go through the motions of any small thing that I know has the potential to be comforting, soothing, balancing… things that provide perspective, that ease emotional pain, that tend to support long-term wellness. I keep waiting for something to work. “Be kind to yourself, it’s a very human experience.” Yes, isn’t it? I feel rather as if I am… grieving.

I’m in pain this morning. I read my traveling partner’s well-wishes of the night before, hoping that I rest well and wake without pain. Well… 1 out of 2. It’s a start. Is this all just pain? If I start root-causing it now, I’ll likely be trapped ruminating over this all day without really getting anywhere. I woke up crying. I sure did. Now I work on pulling my focus away from it, and practicing practices that nudge me a different direction a bit at a time. The sun rises, peach and orange along the tree tops, dissipating into a pale cerulean blue wash of sky above. I watch the sun rise, and listen to the birds singing their morning songs. Today is not a work day, and clearly I need to take care of the woman in the mirror – once I figure out what this mad bitch actually needs to ease her hurts. Fuck this is hard sometimes.

My coffee is fucking good though. That’s something.

I take a really good deep breath. I observe my posture, and how tight my chest feels. I take a moment to stretch, really stretch, and breathe, really really breathe. More tears. Fuck it – let them come. I slowly ease myself through my ‘stiff back morning yoga sequence’, cutting myself some slack that it is so difficult today, and just doing it. Slowly. Try again when I can’t quite do some simple posture. I’ll get there. I remind myself that today will be a good day to meditate. I feel no enthusiasm for it. I’ve lost my joy for the moment – but chasing it is an exercise in frustration. The word frustration causes more tears; words are often associated with a visceral reaction for me, inconveniently. I remind myself that the tears are not my enemy, just another way to communicate an experience – a way that is very hard to shut down without actually addressing whatever the fuck is the matter. I let the tears come.

Okay, I’m done fucking around with this – and I need to break the cycle. Well – it feels like a need, and that’s enough to drive desperate action in human primates. So… I take a step I might ordinarily avoid, and I head to the internet. No, seriously, totally where I’m heading. Perspective is a powerful tool, and right now I’ve lost mine. I feel deeply aggrieved about… nothing, and it’s really messing up my ability to be in this moment and also okay – and I can’t identify any reason this would be the case. So. Perspective is on the internet. There is war. There is a refugee crisis. There is poverty. I let the tears continue, and I look on the face of the world’s suffering – because there are things worth crying about. There are people suffering, really suffering. I’m not among them. This is emotional bullshit I’m struggling with, and I can at least stop fucking struggling with it, and just be.

My tears stop. My heart aches for the suffering of others, and I feel grateful to be where I am, in the circumstances I have right now. I pause to reflect on what is, without burdening myself over whether it will last, or what ‘forever’ looks like, or whether this is enough. The sun clears the trees and fills my studio with light. Well… it’s not ‘enlightenment’ in any meaningful way, but it’s a start.

I’ll say that as practices go, diminishing the magnitude of my own suffering by immersing myself in the suffering of others (compassionately) in order to gain perspective is a fairly aggressive approach to take with myself when I am hurting – but it is often an effective tool. Compassion and gratitude don’t leave much room for despair, for anxiety, for sorrow, and tend to crowd out the chaos and damage, and the voices of the demon chorus.  (Note: I have found that it is not at all effective to attempt to take this approach with someone else when they are suffering – it’s sort of a ‘self serve’ tool, at best.) I’m not necessarily less angst-y, or feeling any less pain, but things being relative… yeah. I’m okay right now.

My coffee is quite exceptional this morning, and admittedly more so because I’d been getting by on the last of the pre-ground packaged coffee from the grocery store, left over from the trip to the coast for two days. The whole-bean artisan-roasted coffee this morning is a very different experience. I take a moment to allow myself to be comfortably aware that “this too shall pass”, that circumstances change, and that I may not ‘have it so good’ at some future point; change is. I am here right now, though, and it is enough. 🙂

A lot of the time I’ve spent bitching about how awful things were in that moment would likely have been much more enjoyable had I been focused on how exceptional other details of that moment happened to be. It’s just true. Hard, sometimes. Still true. My tears have dried. The day looks like a lovely one. The air is fresh and cool, and filled with birdsong. I am in a quiet safe space, with the day ahead of me. The pantry is stocked. The bills are paid. I head for my meditation cushion…

…I am okay right now. It’s enough.

I woke too early, but didn’t get up until 5 minutes before the alarm; I turned it off, grateful to avoid it. I have a headache, feels like one from being dehydrated and whatever else goes with crying. Easily resolved; I drink more water.

I woke with my consciousness free of emotional debris – that’s a nice change that occurred somewhen, over time. It’s a new day. I find myself glad it is just one work day away from a long weekend. I feel as if I need the rest, though I am doubtful resting will be my first choice; in spite of last night’s… difficulties, I feel inspired to paint. It’s an almost overwhelming feeling and I find it difficult to remain in this moment, in this time/place, so overcome am I with thoughts of what could be appearing on my canvas(es).

So…another day. I begin again. I don’t know where it will take me. I wish my traveling partner well with my whole heart, somewhat saddened that we’re unlikely to spend any part of Valentine’s Day together; we go days, sometimes weeks without seeing each other. We managed to get through last evening, unintentionally, without even embracing. How odd. Unsettling and unsatisfying occur as words in my thinking, too. It’s okay – move along, brain, nothing to see here. 🙂

The work day starts super early on Fridays – but this morning I didn’t forget that (which is probably why I woke at 2:30 am, and did not return to sleep; last week I forgot it was Friday when I woke on Friday morning, and was very nearly late, which I don’t handle well). Coffee soon…

Today is a very good day to begin again. I’ll start right here…

Be love.

Be love.

I’m no good with raised voices. My insides go tense and weird and I panic, chest heavy, struggling for breath. I maintain calm by force. I remind myself to breathe. Tears slide down my face recalling my traveling partner tersely telling me, voice cutting with emphasis, that he feels I don’t allow him to experience his emotions. I struggle for breath in the face of astonishment at how often I have felt that experience, myself, and how many other times one of us has said as much to the other. Fucking primates – how do we treat each other so poorly, and with so little regard?

I just sit down and cry. He’s left, of course. He suggested it. I agreed. Choices. Verbs. I’ll probably cry awhile, evening feeling blown and wishing I hadn’t bothered, or had canceled when I realized I had a headache, before the work day ended; he was clearly not in a great place when he picked me up.

Shit. So, here I am. Tears. Disappointment. Heartache. He said good night without saying he loves me; that’s meaningful and so rare that I’m fairly certain it is a first. It hurts. A lot. The sad starts taking over, and I move from the living room to the keyboard, hoping that words will diminish the pain. I feel incredibly alone right now, and I hurt. There’s a wee rational bit leftover, somewhere in the background, earnestly trying to pull my attention back to right now, succeeding only in causing me to worry about this one human so dear to me, driving upset with me, maybe even feeling unloved, and icy fear sweeps over me and I hope that he feels enough better when he gets home to let me know he’s safe…

p.s. I love you.

p.s. I love you.

I don’t actually understand what went wrong this evening. It seemed so random and strange. I don’t know what ’caused it’ – and from the things he said before he left, our recollections are so different as to be pointless to compare. We were not having similar experiences at all. I was not understanding him, nor did he seem to be understanding me, like a conversational fun house mirror, the words seem to mean entirely different things heard than spoken. I know he had a headache. I know he has an ill pet at home. I know I’m not the best with the communication stuff sometimes. Something went very wrong. I wish I knew what would make it right.

"You Always Have My Heart"

“You Always Have My Heart”

What a poor choice of way to end an evening… I could choose better, but…it’s hard. I breathe deeply and try to understand why it feels wrong to put aside the hurting and pick up a book, or have a quiet cup of tea and let it go. I want to make it right… I feel at fault. It’s not helpful – and it’s not quite the same as feeling responsible, or accountable, or just feeling a moment of compassion that two people who love each other so much still have moments like this. It’s hard not to dive deep. It’s hard not to go numb. It’s hard not to punish myself. I’m okay right now – that’s hard too; there are verbs involved.  I think about emailing him – the emotional equivalent of drunk-dialing, and I refuse to indulge myself; neither of us need the drama, and I am too fragile to be certain of avoiding it, and being reasonable, and kind, and grown up.

I remember the nice moment a bit earlier when he told me I was sweet, with so much love. Tears start again. Words feel empty and incomplete. I go for my checklist; meditation next.

Perspective isn't always easy; verbs require effort.

Perspective isn’t always easy; verbs require effort.

Today was a lovely day, with just one difficult moment. Moments matter – and they’re just moments. I’m okay right now, and a few tears haven’t hurt me before. This is a safe quiet place, and moments pass. I hear a mocking voice in my head tell me ‘maybe if you throw more platitudes at it something will stick’, and feel a moment of further hurt that I hear it in my partner’s voice. Well, crap. If my brain is going to start playing mean games with me, it’s definitely a good time to step away from the internet. Tomorrow I can begin again.

I had a lovely dinner with my traveling partner, after a very productive and thought-provoking appointment with my therapist. “Effective” is a good word. Maybe follow that one with “important” and “relevant”, maybe add “needful”… now I am alone. Alone is hard right now.  I don’t even know why I’m crying, right now… It is a measure of progress that I know it won’t last and that trying to stop the tears has other, sometimes profoundly negative, consequences. The tears themselves serve a purpose, the science says, and will reduce my (apparently high) cortisol levels faster than most other things might.

The a/c is on, and the house is cool. The day has been very hot. I got home with a headache from the heat, and more than a little noise-sensitive, uncertain if I might be ‘dealing with the appointment’ – there is often a delay between the appointment dialogue itself, and ‘when it hits me’ later. Often. More often than not.

It passes. I remind myself that it will. I breathe. I let the tears fall. I feel grateful that I didn’t get to this place while hanging out with my traveling partner – he is supportive on a supremely deep and connected level, but I know that going through these things with me is hard on him, too. It is, frankly, one of the reasons I moved into my own place – some of this is ‘easier’ to face alone. Sometimes is just harder, in general, to face it at all.

I have all the usual choices in front of me. All the practiced practices supporting my emotional resilience – much improved over the past two years – and I feel equipped to take care of me, even now – but fuck it’s harder than I want it to be. I think back to the morning’s contentment and ease. There is another morning tomorrow, and surely I will not still be weeping. I don’t understand why I am weeping now…unless it is simply that some stuff really is worth crying over – at least once – and some of it I just never got to that part at that time. I was too busy enduring, surviving, overcoming, managing, withstanding, and holding on to whatever fragments of self I could maintain in the chaos. The damage piled up, and now I am crying. So. Okay. Now what?

A bit like squinting at fruit I can't reach, with the sun in my eyes.

A bit like squinting at fruit I can’t reach, with the sun in my eyes.

A few more deep breaths. A big drink of water – it’s a hot day and the headache itself is enough to make me weep. A cooling shower…comfy clothes…yoga…meditation…medication (medical cannabis, I’m looking your way on this one!)…and being gentle with this fragile vessel and the tender hurt thing resting within it. We’ll be okay, this woman in the mirror and I; we’re making this journey together – and we aren’t traveling alone; I’m never far from my traveling partner’s thoughts. I could call, right now, and he would answer.

Hell…incremental progress over time is – and in fewer than 500 words, harder already seems a bit easier. I wonder for just a moment whether posting this is “necessary” and realize…maybe that isn’t about me, at all. It wouldn’t be a very complete narrative if I just take the bits I don’t find comfortable out of it. Isn’t that part of what hasn’t worked for me before? It seemed ‘too easy’ – and not relevant to the very real ups and downs. The failures. The struggles. How much harder it sometimes seems…the tears. I get back up. I start again. I let it pass.

It rained the other day, quite a lot. It isn't raining now.

It rained the other day, quite a lot. It isn’t raining now.