Randy is cooking breakfast for me and I am staring at a blank WordPress page.
I have started and stopped this post with the same words so many times that Bill Murray called me to ask if I am okay.
For my brothers and sisters who deal with moderate to severe anxiety issues, are you ever afraid that you are actually skating up to your limit? I hate being here, I hate it. Randy made the most wonderful grilled breakfast sandwiches just now. I took forever to eat because my throat is tight and it’s hard to swallow. Nothing feels good. I hate this.
It’s time to break out two techniques I must employ when I live in this space.
Right now, as I typed that, my brain rudely interrupted me to remind me if I just did these things all the time, then maybe it wouldn’t be so fucking bad right now. My brain is a rude asshole.
Anyway, I have to start sweating every day.
Randy and I can walk. I can lift weights. I can dance in the kitchen to the Ramones until I’m a heap on the floor. It doesn’t matter what I do, but I have to do something.
Sweating is the only thing that removes electricity from the surface of my skin.
Next, I have to make something.
Last winter, I glued beads to a plant stand. The project took months, but got me through a cold, harsh, and very sad winter.
I am so afraid of the coming months because they have the potential to be horrific. There is a chance that everything will go smoothly, but it’s likely it will be at least somewhat horrible. Just work stuff. But work stuff has always been one of my top triggers. I’ve been working on an issue that still isn’t resolved. I have 2 weeks to resolve it.
Here’s the thing, I have worked out something I am nearly positive will fix my issue.
But even though my brain acknowledges that, it will not release me from flight mode and it is ramping up at an alarming pace. I have to make something. I need repetitive motion for at least 60 to 90 minutes a day.
I think when I paint or glue or draw, I might be meditating, but I don’t know for sure.
Other attempts at meditating usually end in me singing Supertramp’s Logical Song in my head. Only I don’t know the words, so I just make up my own.
When I was young, I thought life was just spherical.
Anyway, the last time we visited our mountain friends, the four of us used oil based markers to decorate a little box. It felt good to me.
A little box isn’t going to do the trick this time. I want to do the same project, but on a grander scale.
I have a cedar chest that I’ve had since I was 18 years old. I dated the same boy through high school and then two years after. The relationship was an extension of the relationship I had with my narcissistic father; not healthy and not good.
So, he bought me a “hope” chest for my 18th birthday. What a fucking awesome concept. A goddamn hope chest. A cedar chest for young girls to gather dish towels and tchotchkes just waiting and praying for the day a man would make her his wife, thus fulfilling her purpose in life. Her reason for being.
Or do I sound bitter?
You know what? No. I don’t. Because I am not bitter. I just feel the need to say how absurd the entire notion is. And fuck the patriarchy.
Then they send me away, teach me how to be hysterical.
I have painted this chest a number of times. The chest has always resided in the shadows, other than one brief year long stint as a coffee table. Right now, it’s filled with books and shoved in the family room closet.
I have completed painting the family room and it is bare other than a coffee table, painting supplies, and the cat’s litter boxes.
A war criminal, autobiographical.
Randy and I are leaving in a few minutes to buy primer to paint the hope chest. For the first time since I’ve owned the chest, I think it might be helpful to me and might mean something to me. Randy is going to help me with this project because he wants to. I know he feels super helpless right now and he’s worried about me, so he will sit on that cold, uncomfortable floor with me every night and we are going to color my hope chest.
They show me a world where I can be so bendable.
I’m going to paint blocks of color on the surface. I have two reasons for doing this. One, as much as I need a project to help calm my brain down, I am also extremely impatient and once I start a project, I just want it to be done so I can see it. I hate waiting. The other reason is those oil based markers aren’t cheap. I’d need a ton of them to cover the whole chest. We also have a bookcase and a table ready in case the chest project doesn’t outlast this anxiety episode.
A popsicle, stretchable.
Here is something I know for sure. I learned it from a meme.
My success rate for getting through hard times is 100%.
I said, watch what you say or they’ll be calling you gastrointestinal
I care about everything I have to care about with everything I have, all of the time and it is goddamn exhausting.
Then, I remind myself I might be broken, but I’m not weak.
I will turn this hopeless chest into something healing.
Or, I will end up in a fetal position in the corner of the room. I hope not. I’ve never been there and I am terrified if I go, I won’t ever leave. But let’s not think about that. I’m going to assume I won’t break my streak of successfully living through every hard time.
This picture is my “before” picture. I got it primed and ready to go. I am curious and hopeful about who I will be when there is an after picture.
It occurs to me, if you are reading this and not familiar with Supertramp’s The Logical Song, then some of this post is probably nonsensical, unreadable, annoyingly incomprehensible.