Archives for posts with tag: visiting the nightmare city

My week started out pretty rough. My sleep health wasn’t good. Nightmares (again), and disturbed rest. Flare ups of emotional volatility, partially due to the poor sleep, partially due to “whatever” was driving that. I mean, I’m not unfamiliar with my own issues, I know what’s up. Political and legislative attacks on women’s health care options. Political shenanigans (seriously??) regarding basic good sense medical care during a pandemic (the heights of ignorance are astonishing). I’ll admit I’m offended that medicine, medical care, or the healthcare system are politicized in the way that they are. (Although, just being real here, I’m also offended that those are “for profit” industries, too.) Then, on top of the stressors this background crap presents, we’ve got people objecting to ending our endless war in Afhganistan. What the fuck?? I get it, it’s hard watching those media images of terrified people trying to get out of their country – away from war – against limited time, and limited transportation resources. My PTSD flared up hard. Rough. I don’t really want or need to deep dive the details; ruminating on the start of a downward spiral is not especially helpful (for me, now).

I’m okay right now. Yesterday was pleasant, too, and Thursday was better than Tuesday, so… “nothing to see here”. 🙂

The “downward spiral” of a flare-up of a mental health condition isn’t new for folks who deal with it. It’s frustrating. Terrifying. Causes a deep sense of futility and despair. All the work to heal… all the therapy… the expense… the effort… and then… still human. Still capable of suffering. Still wounded. Still struggling. It’s hard. It’s also super real. Are you in it? Sliding down? Scrambling for any possible hand-hold to slow the progression downward? I feel that. I see you.

This time was better, for me. I didn’t slide as far as fast. I didn’t get mired in my own bullshit, blinded and deafened to anything else. I was able to ask for – and accept – help. I was more clear, with my words, about what I was going through, and be more open. I was able to stall the slide – which still kind of wows me, sitting here this morning, with my coffee and my contentment. I’m pleased to acknowledge the very real progress I’ve made that I could not see, sense, or appreciate on Tuesday. Was it Tuesday? Monday? Earlier this week. 🙂

My Traveling Partner was taken by surprise by my flare up. He was a support super star, after the initial chaos rocked him off center. I not only stayed open to being supported – which was hard for me – he also stayed committed to supporting me. I know that couldn’t be easy. Apologies were exchanged, where appropriate, and the love we wrapped each other in was authentic, and deep and abiding.

I guess I’m just saying… don’t just give in to the slide down. Breathe. Take a nap. Drink enough water. Handle your self-care. Walk in the sun. Take a day off work. Get some exercise. Let it pass – it will, eventually, but let that happen. Don’t hang on to the pain and the chaos. Distract yourself from your ancient pain, don’t just sit there picking at the scabs. I mean… I’m no expert, I’m just saying, you have options. 🙂

You’re stronger than you know. You’ve been through a lot. You’ve got this. Begin again. ❤

I woke abruptly, wide awake, with a sense that sleep never was and relieved that the contents of my sleeping mind, so recently left behind, were not also my living, waking, experience. I woke clear-headed. I woke aware of my dreams, and aware of my relief. I woke feeling that purposeful moment preceding urgent action, not-yet-panic, sufficiently present to stall any move to action; there was no cause for taking action, and nothing to react to. It was merely morning. I was simply awake.

My morning felt far more than necessarily purposeful, and lacking any clear purpose this seemed strange. My dreams were perhaps still chasing me… Coffee. Music. I listened to my favorite playlist over my morning coffee, catching up on Facebook, avoiding more personal writing as though the words might suddenly jump out from dark corners, presenting some alarming situation for which I was not adequately prepared. Fucking nightmares. Damn it. It’s an ordinary enough morning off, and already I no longer remember the contents of my dreams, only the massive saturating feeling of disappointment and “I told you so” feeling of inevitability and suffering that characterized them. I didn’t really notice I had been avoiding being alone in the stillness this morning until the sky had begun to lighten outside the windows, and realized I’d kept the music fairly loud in my ears for some hours, coffee cold, every bookmarked article read, all the other tabs besides the “add new post” tab on my blog finally closed… It was hard, at that point, to overlook that I was stalling. How odd.

Over my second coffee, the world slowly emerges from the mist, and looking like an ordinary enough morning in every respect. Whatever startled me from my sleep, leaving me feeling vigilant and over-prepared, and vaguely “combat ready”, is nothing more substantial than the morning mist, itself. I feel my breathing deepen and my shoulders relax.

Another misty morning

Another misty morning

The holiday weekend, and the end of the winter holiday season, is right there at the end of the week on my calendar. Another year at an end. I’m unlikely to see my Traveling Partner; his celebrations are planned in a quite social way, where I tend to celebrate New Year’s as a more solitary contemplative event, as with most years. (I don’t mind that we celebrate in our own way; we are equally welcome with each other, should we choose to break from our own traditions to get together.)

Today is the day facing me, though. What’s to be done with that? Here I sit, sipping my coffee, a lovely misty morning unfolding… for leisure? For labor? For love? Maybe the end of this cup of coffee will come with answers… Today seems a good one to take a moment, embrace it, enjoy it, savor it, and move on to the next. I’ll think I’ll start there. It’s enough to be here, awake and aware, taking my journey moment by moment.