i don’t have to create any intricate similes or metaphors to explain this
the pain in my right arm, this constant, chronic pain from my ear down the right side of my body, into my fingertips and hip socket
is most literally
from a tension held so long, a finger cocked, waiting to pull the trigger.
Filed in me myself and i, not poems | Tagged with anxiety, ennui, pain management, wanderlust | Comment (0)
yesterday was a strange day. well, most days are strange, but sometimes it seems more acute.
as noted, my chronic pain has flared up again, now for over a month with little relief. so i’m not sleeping well, taking various pills and trying all the therapies again and trying to walk the line with my yoga/workouts between doing nothing and overextending, both of which are bad. friday night we went out dancing and i danced as hard as i could while trying not to hurt myself (not *too* ecstatic), and i felt great when i went to bed, but woke up saturday morning feeling tired and broken, and the pouring rain did nothing to lift my spirits.
1. the little match stick girl
sunday morning jay got up before dawn and went to tahoe, which was only a couple of hours after i had finally fallen asleep. i tossed and turned until i needed to get up to go to see my friend Anastazia’s performance with the SF Lyric Opera in a production of The Little Match Stick Girl Passion at ODC.
The Little Match stick girl is a story by Hans Christian Andersen (1845) about an abused child who dies in the snow trying to sell matchsticks on New Year’s Eve. it’s a puritanical tale about the homeless, and it is heavy. i had planned on going Saturday night, but i was already feeling terrible on saturday and seeing such a thing sounded like a bad idea. and, as it is a reverent morality story, i thought it was more appropriate for a Sunday afternoon.
the piece was minimalist, with a choir of 4 singers (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) singing the David Lang vocal arrangement of the story, a cappella besides a few percussive instruments, and Anastazia, all in white, embodying the child. i have seen and performed with Staz many times, and had also read her description of her preparations to take on this role, which were personal and intense, and so on top of the subject matter, my personal connection to the performance as deep. the haunting vocal arrangement, the visceral embodiment of a scared dying child by my friend – by the end of it, i was full of tears.
and then the producer came out, also trying hard to hold back tears, and gave a short speech about how it was no accident that they chose this story to perform at this space – near 17th and Capp, a neighborhood plagued with prostitution, drugs, and homeless problems – as their return to the stage, and asked us to remember the homeless, remember the downtrodden and the dying. do not just walk by. and then i really lost it.
in Staz’s preparation for this, she said
“I feel the role of a contemporary artist no matter the medium used is to reflect our history, personal and planetary, and offer through that reflection another way to view the present while navigating a positive affect on the future.”
this production definitely achieved that goal.
the combination of this emotional intensity, my body pain, my fatigue – i was a mess. i could barely talk to my friends who were there, and i didn’t stick around to mingle.
2. the litterer
after some deep breaths back out in the sunshine for a bit, i met up with reagan, and we had a respite for a while, and then since it was a sunny day i decided to take a long walk from the mission through mid-market to powell street to get back on the train. at 9th and market/civic center, the man standing in front of me waiting for the walk sign threw his emptied single-serving liquor bottle into the intersection. oh how i hate flippant littering!! it took some restraint not to say anything, but i wasn’t just going to let it go by either. so right when the walk sign came on, i stepped directly in front of him, swooped down and picked up the bottle mid-stride and then kept walking directly to the waste receptacle on the other side of the street and plopped it in. i never looked back behind me, i never made contact, so i don’t know if he saw me, but if nothing else the other people in the crosswalk did.
this decision to not confront the litterer was a departure for me, as i usually do speak up to people like that because i think letting it slide reinforces the behavior. sometimes they really are ashamed “oh, sorry i wasn’t thinking” but sometimes they are defensive “who the fuck are you?!”
but last weekend, on March 17, i took a 1-day women’s personal safety course at Bernal Yoga, as i often find myself either confronting people, or being confronted, on the street and on the train and in clubs/at parties. and it was taught that your first priority is to de-escalate any situation, even if it means saying sorry when you’re not in the wrong, and definitely never provoking people. so i decided there to not provoke the situation, but in the few seconds before we crossed the street figured a way to make my point without ever interacting or making eye contact with the person, and that was to step in front of him and pick up the litter and keep walking.
3. the misogynist
a short time later, unfortunately, i had a much more intense situation in which to practice de-escalation. as i boarded the train home at Powell street, *immediately*, and without any provocation whatsoever, not even eye contact, a guy on the train started talking at me, loudly and aggressively, from a few seats away. “who the fuck you think you are, girl? why you dressed like that?” it was so obtuse that at first i didn’t even realize he was talking to me. his companion tried to calm him down with “come on, man, don’t say things like that. chill out” but the guy kept at it. “who you think you are? so what you got sunglasses? i got sunglasses too, BITCH” and his companion got up and moved down the train, telling him to “shut up, man, you can’t talk to people like that”.
then the guy broke into song to the tune of “i’m sexy and i know it” except that he sang “i’m a rapist and i know it”. WTF. the entire train could hear this. he was loud. i sat unmoving, looking forward from behind my sunglasses, wanting DESPERATELY to say FUCK YOU DUDE but instead deciding to get up and get off at the next stop. the companion kept asking him to stop, but the guy kept it up and i could hear him still yelling things at me as i stepped off the train.
in retrospect i am glad i didn’t say anything to the angry misogynist, except that i wish i would’ve said a very direct Thank You before exiting the train to the companion friend, who at least wasn’t just letting it slide (positive reinforcement).
i wish this was an isolated incident, but it’s not. i deal with street harassment at least 50% of the time that i leave my house alone, and that is unfortunately not an exaggeration. it’s usually not as aggro as that dude, more like the guy 5 minutes earlier before i got on the train that leered and swerved uncomfortably toward me and said “hola rubia……..” as i walked by on the street. but that guy is why i took the self-defense class, because while nothing serious has happened yet, with this rate of incident, i’m scared that it will. SIGH.
in the vein of the recent “shit X people say to Y people” meme, there is a “Shit Men Say to Men Who Say Shit to Women on the Street” PSA video for International Anti-Street Harassment Week. if you have a friend who does this to women, make him watch it.
after all that, i needed a beer. so jay picked me up at west oakland and we went to the Trappist and had a couple nice dark microbrews.
another rabbithole complete.
doorway at 19th and Mission, taken yesterdayFiled in art, autobiographical, friends | Tagged with badunklsista, pain management | Comment (0)
i have been down lately. and when i say down i mean like, feeling the bottom. do you know what the bottom feels like? i thought everyone did, but recently a friend of mine told me he’d just experienced a “bad day” for the first time that he could remember – like, 15-20 years. and my mind was sort of blown. that’s possible for a sane person?
the other day as we drove through west oakland i thought about this, about what he said, and i thought that it seemed impossible to me, to have that kind of mentality, when 1. all of the atrocities in the world are visible on every street corner and 2. to me it appears that all of us are always standing on the edge of a cliff. every day, living on the edge, the potential for falling into the abyss present with every breath taken, and that the spectrum of awareness goes from paralyzed with fear at one end to completely oblivious and doing cartwheels at the other.
i am not paralyzed but i am always aware of the edge.
later that night, my head buried in my pillow, i bemoaned my disposition and jay said “you just have to let go.” and i said: “how can i let go when i feel like i’m balancing on the edge?” he agreed with me, which is why i love him, but i’m sure there is some platitude about “faith” or something.
to be clear i know that there is nothing either objectively or subjectively “wrong” with my life. in fact it is by most standards BLESSED and i am not ungrateful. i am also aware of this idea of “creating your own reality” and choosing to ignore atrocities. i can’t. i can’t live in this world full of torture and persecution and injustice and just “focus on myself” and my beautiful friends and my beautiful life. yeah, if i blocked all that out – starting from my doorstep in west oakland to the regimes of oppression worldwide – life would be fucking grand!
and if you try to tell me you live the best, most non-consumer non-imperialistic socially-conscious life possible and that is all you can do so why not focus on your own happiness the rest is out of your hands/isn’t being a happy human a greater asset to the world than an angry one? i will 1. point out that your reading this on a computer/gadget made in China negates that defense about you not willingly having anything to do with atrocity and 2. respectfully and sort of jealously disagree while acknowledging that this is an ancient philosophical/POV debate.
the weird thing is, despite all this psychological torment i put myself through, and despite these occasions where i feel weighed down, overall i think i’m actually a happy person. just maybe not an optimist.
the point is that some days i don’t know how to take a step back from the edge, that edge where i can feel the present and future stew of everything and everyone, nothing and no one and feel like i am/we are falling forward.
anyway, stress work existential angst anxiety fear of the unknown self-doubt global unrest blah blah blah i did not have a good weekend and let’s not get any deeper into that other than to say that while yes, it is possible i might benefit from some therapy and/or medication, at the same time i am also always fighting my way back to the top so don’t worry too much (mom). i’m just emotional and dramatic.
as is often the case when i am down, my chronic shoulder/back pain flared up again yesterday to a more than just annoying degree. the fact that it’s been almost a year since i’ve written about it says a lot about how under control i have this still-undefined thing, but it has not been gone, oh no, and i have to be hypervigilant with my PT, and when i am down there, in the bottom my friend doesn’t feel? i am not vigilant. i am the opposite of vigilant. i am destructive. and if you are me and you live in San Francisco in the year 2012 you have access to a lot of tools for self-destruction.
so yesterday i was whiny and in pain and i didn’t sleep well last night and needed to not be typing and all that so today i only went to work for a couple of hours but that was OK because it was sunny and 72 degrees in february and so i left work and biked across town and went and hung out outside at cafe in downtown oakland until time for yoga. I KNOW, RIGHT? see why i’m depressed? #affluenza
this DJ person i live with is playing electronic music of whatever microgenre that is he plays (i’ll keep out of that debate) – i do not listen to electronic music unless said DJ is playing it at home or/ i am out dancing. i was actually quite offended when an old phish friend said “oh right you only listen to electronic music now” when i didn’t know some new band. on evenings when he is doing this, i am often in the bathroom listening the Velvet Underground or somesuch while i do one of any number of beauty treatments on myself (it’s only been 10 days since i last bleached my hair and i am already unhappy with the color gradient. UGH. maybe maryann is right; i should shave my head. ANYWAY.)
so just now i was there in the shower listening to Built to Spill Perfect From Now On (1997) which is still, now, 9 years after i first heard it on KALX, also while in the shower one morning sometime in 2003 when we lived in that brownshingle on Benvenue avenue in berkeley- wow that was a long time ago and wow it’s been since 2006 that we saw them live? holy crap. – it is still one of my favorite end-to-end albums to listen to from the first track to the last (my friend Allie talks about doing elliptical workout jams to rock music and i could def bust a long elliptical jam to Perfect From Now On.)
all that is to say that you should listen to it if you never have.
and also if any of you out there are going to good indie/psych/punk/emo rock shows in SF will you clue me in? i’m looking at you 40goingon28.
my younger sister used to say i was mean. and i was always defensive – no i’m not! i love people. LOVE. but the older i get, i think she was/is right. i can be CRUEL/i don’t know why. i mean, a guy i know who has the word “evil” as part of his nickname told me at the club on friday night that he has always stayed away from me because i seemed like someone he didn’t want to fuck with. am i really that unapproachable? man. but i am so soft on the inside.
and to cap off this completely boring old-skool whatididtoday/iamsoEmo blog post, here is what i ate today: Continue reading »Filed in autobiographical, food, health & vegetarianism, me myself and i, music | Tagged with affluenza, anxiety, optimism/pessimism, pain management | Comments (4)
i got on my bike monday for the first time since valentine’s day, as it had rained the whole week after that (and by rain i mean MONSOON) and then i went to michigan.
it felt so amazing. my body rejoiced. have i mentioned recently about how much i love riding my bicycle?
some mornings i float. effortlessly. the sun is shining. the air is still. it feels glorious. i sail.
other times i have to fight it’s raining. there’s a headwind. it feels like work. i push.
but no matter – i am into it.
i don’t know if bicycling is saving me much money (with only a 9 mile RT commute i wasn’t driving much before) but it sure does make life more fun. and my sanity: if i didn’t have that half hour of fresh air+exercise before and after work i would most certainly be losing my mind right now.
an optimistic update on the ongoing shoulder/neck pain management:
after a year and half, the other physical therapies and whatnot recommended by my chiros, MDs, et.al. (alignment exercises, deep massage, heat/cold, etc) weren’t doing much but temporarily alleviating the tension/pain only to have it return. then i read somewhere not too long ago in some online article by some personal trainer who i don’t think was a physician that a large majority of neck/shoulder/back pain is the result of uneven muscles pulling your body out of alignment and that only weight training would resolve that problem, not muscle relaxers or the kind of light PT often prescribed. a study released in 2008 confirms:
“The higher percentage of pain reduction was due to the special effort made by the Danish researchers to follow exercise guidelines as set forth by the American College of Sports Medicine. This meant not babying the painful area, but instead, treating it the same as any other muscle group during a strength training session.
The people who just rode the stationary bike also reduced pain, but only slightly. The researchers felt theirs was not enough pain reduction to indicate the stationary bike would make for good therapy for neck problems.
The upshot of the study is that for people with trapezius myalgia, a good treatment would be doing high intensity strength training 3 times per week for 20 minutes under the supervision of a professional.”
so even though i was scared to do more advanced weights, especially free weights, because i had hurt myself doing those in the past, i said wtf and started going to the body sculpting class at the Y again for the first time since 2009. body sculpting is more or less basic calisthenics (push ups, situps, squats, lunges, etc), but with free weights/kettlebells or resistance tools (bosu ball, resistance bands). i do this 1-2x a week for an hour and it’s TOUGH. i am often sore for a couple of days afterward, sometimes in muscles i didn’t remember having. and i have to say (crosses fingers) — i think it’s working. i haven’t had a significant bout of pain since NYE and i stopped downing handfulls of pain relievers a couple of weeks ago. SO: YAY!
fingers crossed though because it’s not 100% resolved. i can still feel it there, that muscle knot below my shoulder blade, that tightness behind my right ear, there, lurking. and i am still on tenterhooks sometimes when i attempt something that i’m afraid will result in a pain snap. like yoga, with all it’s downward-dogging. but i have even started going back to yoga! which i was really missing from my life.
because of this i’ve become a bit (more?) evangelical about how much i believe physical exercise is important to sanity and well-being. i know this seems DUH, but it’s amazing how often people forget this (or willfully ignore it in favor of sedentary activities), and how RARELY doctors enforce physical exercise as a wellness tool. but watch The Biggest Loser! lives are changed by treadmills. if you have body aches, pains, moods, demons: sitting on the couch is most likely not only hindering recovery but part of the problem. get up and move.Filed in autobiographical, food, health & vegetarianism | Tagged with bicycling, pain management | Comment (0)
fresh platinum: check. awesome black Miranda Caroligne dress: check. 3 pairs of shoes: check. false eyelashes, with spare glue: check. xtra contact lenses: check. red bull: check. champagne: check. protein bars: check. warm furry fleece Tamo Design coat: check. 3+ fantastic parties to attend in the next 12 hrs: check. ♥ Jay Oberhelman to kiss at midnight and beyond: check. BRING IT ON, 2011.
i wrote that facebook status update at 6:15pm on friday, December 31 2010 and then got up off of the couch to get in the shower and get ready to head out to dinner and then the long night of NYE. i was a bit giddy and did a little jump/skip/woohoo! move as i crossed the room. as soon as my feet hit the ground, i felt something in my neck snap/crackle/pop. i knew it was bad because it didn’t really hurt but instead i was instantly nauseous. and shocked. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? my back/neck pain had subsided to a quietly annoying ache over the past couple of weeks, i was back to my of my regular routines at the gym (except yoga), and NOW, on NEW YEAR’S EVE, i do a little bunny hop and everything goes out of whack?? i was stunned. and pissed. is this really how my year would end? i really thought i was almost recovered.
i didn’t want to believe that my night my possibly be ruined before i left the house, but i couldn’t really turn my head. so instead of getting ready on time i swallowed a handful of ibuprofen and went back upstairs to bed and lay there with a heading pad wrapped around my neck. after a while i got up and slowly got ready, but was a bit deflated. would i be able to enjoy even some of the party like this, let alone make it an epic adventure? GAH.
the show must go on, i said, and so there was a substantial amount of MIND OVER MATTER and self medication. a little too much self-medication. eventually we got to the party where jay was to DJ a 12:30am set. it was a massive underground event that, unfortunately, suffered the fate of so many massive undergrounds before it: cops at the door before midnight even happened. but our team was prepared and the after-party, which was thankfully within walking distance, became the now-party and while it was sad that so many people were scurried out into the cold, wet, raining streets of san francisco before they could even toast the new year, we rebounded pretty quickly. and then it was dance dance dance all night long.
we left that party at around 7:30AM and cruised by Breakfast of Champions, the epic all-day New Year’s Day event, but the line was around the block, it was raining, and we just weren’t Champions enough to stand in line in the rain for an unknown amount of time to get in. also, by then my neck was starting to really hurt and jay was totally exhausted, so it was over the bridge and off to bed….
New Year’s Day was rough for me as after being up all night i couldn’t really fall asleep with the neck pain. Jay was less incapacitated than i was and got up and went to Tahoe to go skiing. he’s still there. i made it out of bed in time to go have dinner with some friends, and then, mostly because i had been in bed all day, went out that night to see Modeselektor and danced until 2:30am sunday morning.
then yesterday i went to jason’s and hung out with him and Neva and the hot tub.
and now it’s the first Monday of 2011 and i’m not really sure how i feel about it all.Filed in autobiographical | Tagged with pain management | Comment (0)
i am finding this “end of year” post difficult to write, and it’s coming out in pieces. i am trying to wrap up 2010 in my mind and in writing and it’s not going well.
part one: recognition: grace
in my solstice blog post i talked about why this year hasn’t been fun for me. the thing that bothers me most about it is not that i feel like life has been cruel or unfair to me in particular – i am highly aware of my 1st world privilege and all the good things surrounding me – but that the overall affect on my mood and attitude has made ME not fun. a couple of nice friends told me after that post that despite how i have been feeling on the inside, i’ve been a friendly, positive force for them, and i appreciated that, because i think most of all this year i have been afraid that i’ve maybe rubbed some people the wrong way with my grumpiness, even though it was rarely ever personal, and possibly even damaged some friendships/relationships. my boss in particular – wow. the combination of 1. work stress 2. body pain 3. not sleeping 4. task boredom have sometimes compounded me into a srsly ….bitchy person at work. some days even i can’t believe how grumpy i am at work. and that my boss puts up with it. i feel guilty about this. which goes back to my last post about my main resolution for 2011 is simply to try to be a more positive person, even if in just the little ways. i want to have more grace.
part two: shedding skin, removing the unnecessary: austerity
like everyone else, i have (ongoing) goals of removing the unnecessary from my life, physically and mentally. clean out the shelves, get rid of useless stuff, release attachment to objects, cleanse the environment and body. the drastic Austerity Measures in europe this year piqued my interest in learning more about that idea, philosophically and economically, and while this 2010 Word of the Year has a bad reputation economically and politically, philosophically i am not opposed.
the crux (for me) here is whether austerity is, by definition, on the opposite end of the spectrum from hedonism. can you not be an Austere Naturalist (see: Hume), living life to the fullest, completely enamoured with creation, but without all the excess? isn’t that a better way to be, happier in simplicity? is this idea truly audacious in a modern consumer world?
more than anything though, i feel that simplifying my desires, my belongings, and my inputs and outputs will help me gain some focus. i need focus. there is too much extraneous going on here.
part three: reincarnation: focus
recently some friends started an email thread wherein they reported all the things they’ve done/accomplished/significant events for them this year. while i’m inspired by my amazing community, it also it made me sad, because i feel like i have notable nothing to say, and i didn’t participate in that thread. going on vacation to south america and watching a lot of really good movies and being lucky enough to have worn some fabulous outfits this year don’t qualify as accomplishments to me.
in retrospect, the two biggest things that happened in my life this year have been 1) again, the ongoing body work/struggle to find pain resolution and 2) becoming a full time bike commuter. at the beginning of the year i was certainly not expecting #1 to still be ongoing here at the end, and was unprepared for the mental toll it would take on my energy and commitment-to-do-things level. as for #2, i knew that biking to work and back would be somewhat of a shift, but didn’t realize that it would feel like such an accomplishment. according to my exercise log i have biked over 1500 miles this year. every day that i get out of bed and get on my bike and make it to work is sort of a little miracle.
but if these are the two biggest parts of my year, i’m not sure how to feel about 2010. in past years i’ve always found myself little side projects, moonlight jobs, or new hobbies that resulted in feeling like i accomplished something new and definitive. i feel like i just let this year the last couple of years roll over me. maybe this is what i needed and a natural downcycle but it feels very unproductive and i feel that now i am overly-anxious to DO SOMETHING in 2011.
“Someone told me not long after I moved here that people with talent and no ambition move to San Francisco, people with ambition and no talent move to Los Angeles, and people with talent and ambition move to New York.” (–PH)
OH HOW THAT RESONATES.
but WHAT? the thing is i still do not have any definitive goals. i can’t tell you what i want to do in 2011. or who i want to be. so in addition to more Personal Austerity and Grace, i need Focus.
so here’s to 2010: the year i went to South America, the year i bicycled nearly every day, the year the whole world felt volatile and entropic on both a personal and global scale.
may 2011 be full of austerity, focus, and grace.
Filed in autobiographical, resolutions | Tagged with bicycling, pain management | Comment (0)
one of my new years resolutions is going to be that i will try to be more positive, at least vocally and publicly if not successfully internally. less ranting, less expression of exasperation/jadedness/hatertude, less wallowing, more focus on gratitude and affecting change for the better in my little world instead of worrying about the big one so much.
so while it’s still 2010 let me gripe/whine for a minute. a longer post reflecting on 2010 and moving into 2011 is (maybe) pending, but these current bullet points from this morning sort of sum how this whole year has felt for me:
–waking up to a negative bank account balance is not fun
–not feeling confident to go places/buy things you want to for the holidays because of empty bank account is not fun
–having your first email of the day be from a disgruntled tenant with a soaked computer because the roof leaked all over his office because you can’t afford to fix it is not fun
–a full year of ongoing chronic neck/shoulder/back pain that appears nonresponsive to hundreds of dollars in treatment is not fun
–i’ll keep this brief right now but i’ve been going back and forth too much in my head about how much of this is self-inflicted misery (what more should/could i be doing to help these situations for myself), and that is also not fun.
i had some awesomeness this year (Priceless, Chile/Peru, Burning Man, fun weekend excursions and things with friends/family), and i am super grateful for those times and people and i don’t mean to belittle them, but overall, the other 45ish weeks of this year have felt like personal purgatory (see: notes from February, not to mention the mental impact of global socio-political-economic situations) and NOT FUN.
it feels pretty terrible to write that. not fun.
yeah, maybe i’m just an actual grownup now with grownup responsibilities and problems, but i refuse to believe in “acceptance” of things you can change (aka settling) and don’t think that wanting the majority of your life to be/feel FUN is too much to ask. and this is where most of my not fun comes from: i know i can change some of these things, that life is what you make it, but the fact is that i haven’t. acknowledging this (and the possible reasons why) is NOT FUN.
i digress, but hopefully that will be the last big of negativity you read from me (at least for a little while…).Filed in autobiographical, resolutions | Tagged with pain management | Comment (1)
there it was, November as National Blog Posting Month, of which i only missed one day and had 34 posts total. pretty good, and i did enjoy it, although i definitely posted some things i would otherwise maybe have just tweeted about or shared on google reader, which felt inauthentic, so we’ll see if there’s any momentum here.
onward: last year, i declared December Focus On My Body Month. i can’t believe it’s been a whole year….and at the end of that 2009 declaration i said “but if i spend all this time and energy focusing on this and nothing changes i don’t know what the hell i’m going to do in 2010.” well, here it is the end of 2010, and my constant, chronic neck/shoulder pain problem is now a year and 2 months old (give or take, depending on when you start counting). i have kept up my health/fitness regime this past 12 months more than any other recent year (no going entire months without going to the gym), and the rest of my body is in great shape. but the neck/shoulder thing is still bothersome and unresponsive to any treatment i’ve done. i spent literally hundreds of dollars and hours this year trying to alleviate it, and nothing has changed other than now i’m used to it. (many thanks to all of you who have offered advice/recommendations/referrals etc, but i really don’t need any more.)
what i do know is that if i don’t take the time to focus on my body, cleanse from toxins, destress, etc, the problem gets worse. it might not make me feel better, but at least i don’t feel worse. and since it’s dark out at 5:00….most days i don’t have anything better to do after work than go to the gym. so, once again, December will be Focus On My Body Month, which means more consistent exercise (mostly: not skipping the gym to do social things), more concentrated relaxation, and less crappy food (like that huge goat cheese and portabello boca burger and fries i had last night) and less alcohol.
we’ll see. if nothing else, at least this intention will keep me from binging like crazy at all the holiday parties. cuz lord knows i love me some cheese, wine and sugar cookies.Filed in food, health & vegetarianism | Tagged with pain management | Comment (0)
i must’ve jinxed myself with that last post, because the rest of the day afterward was rough.
i took the day off work because 1. it was my birthday and 2. we were going away for the weekend up the coast to a rented vacation house at Sea Ranch with some friends. first, on the car ride up, a wave of spiraling depression (the kind where you know your thoughts–>feelings are totally illogical and then amplified by feeling stupid for being so affected by uncontrollable illogical feelings only makes it worse) hit me like a brick and rendered me mostly speechless and crying for most of the car ride. generally i only have these episodes during PMS, which made it even more frustrating as i had nothing to blame it on (i need to investigate whether mood swings are possibly related to having started recently taking melatonin supplements to try to get better/less restless sleep at night). i can’t objectively get any perspective on whether the things i was thinking/feeling sad/angry about are in any way justified or not, and i felt that talking about it with anyone would probably just make things worse (because those conversations get so so complicated, so so quickly), and honestly i didn’t even have the mental energy to talk about it, especially not on a vacation getaway weekend, so i just stayed silent and waited for it to pass. woooo. happy neurotic birthday!
secondly, having not had any major bout of pain for several weeks, i guess i must’ve over extended myself working out and doing yoga last week. when i woke up friday morning my neck/shoulder were stiff/sore, and by the time i woke up saturday i could barely move my head back and forth and i was whimpering around again. obviously it physically hurts, but more than that it is so mentally depressing. so there i was on my 34th birthday weekend Sea Ranch getaway feeling a little depressed and with a painful body, and holy crap did all that make me suddenly feel like i’d aged 10 years in the last 1.
so i spent the weekend smoking and drinking trying to ignore the nagging voices in my head and the nagging pain in my body. I WAS ON VACATION AND IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY, i excused. but honestly both of those things just make me feel older and terrible and after a friend chided me a bit for all the smoking i was doing i had to agree that i was only hurting myself and now i’m back on the Healthy Wagon.
i am going to be ok. i just have really dramatic moments.
NOW: my friends are smart and funny and beautiful humans who are very supportive and understand when you might be having a little breakdown/crisis and offer you either the space or hugs you need.
AND the northern california coast is undeniably one of the most beautiful and magical places in the world and when i wasn’t consumed with focusing on the above i had a wonderful time. my favorite parts of the weekend:
–night walks in total darkness
–staring at the stars on a moonless night and mutually agreeing that it’s very hard to believe that the starry night sky is REAL
–arguing about whether or not it should be legally ok to ride a whale, specifically if it happens to approach you while you’re out surfing
–having a totally 9th grade conversation about what celebrities we want to sleep with, true slumber party style
–delicious breakfast foods and the amazing 5 course meal our friends cooked from scratch that puts most restaurants to shame
–compassionate and healing hands
–a room full of people, quiet, reading.Filed in autobiographical, friends | Tagged with pain management | Comment (0)
today is my 34th birthday.
a year ago today, we were in Prague, and that seems so, so long ago. for some weeks now, i have been noting how long this year+ has felt to me, in many ways.
since last august, i have been to 8 countries (not including Canada). traveling has been something i’ve always dreamed of, always wanted to do when i was young and poor, and only in the last few years have i had both the time and money to be able to really do it. this has made my life so much richer, feel so much bigger and opened up to the world to me. other people, other music, other cultures, other foods, other forests, other mountains, other cities – i find everything so interesting, the micro complexities and the macro homogeny. i am completely enamoured with this planet and i want to see everything. traveling took up most of my extra time, money and energy this past year but it’s what has made the last year my life really start become the life i’ve been working toward.
for those following along you also know that since last fall, i’ve been dealing with chronic pain. it was particularly bad in november-february, and i spent so much time and money seeing all kinds of doctors and healers that it also made that time period feel long and drawn out. i still wake up some mornings with a fair amount of pain in my neck and right shoulder, but it is no longer debilitating and i am off taking pain meds most of the time. i will admit, though, it is the one thing that is really making me start to “feel my age”, and at times it sort of freaks me out for moment. on the flip side, because of all the bodywork and exercise i’ve done to try to alleviate the pain problem, it’s possible that right now i’m in the best physical shape i have been since high school!
finally, there is also some undefinable shift/change going on inside me. i don’t quite know how to put it into words, really, but i think going to burning man without jay this year was a big part of it. as i noted at the end there, i felt some definitive growth. i spent a lot of my youth feeling a victim. of my past, of my economy, of my insecurities, of my sex, of my culture. but i think i’m slowly breaking out of that. it isn’t consistent but i now feel a soft confidence that was definitely not there before.
big <3 to all my friends and family who have encouraged and supported me through both my pain and my wandering endeavors. 33 was an amazing year. i'm thinking 34 might be even better.