Laundry and Therapy

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“Have you thought about what it means to be a god?” asked the man. He had a beard and a baseball cap. “It means you give up your mortal existence to become a meme: something that lives forever in people’s minds, like the tune of a nursery rhyme. It means that everyone gets to re-create you in their own minds. You barely have your own identity any more. Instead, you’re a thousand aspects of what people need you to be. And everyone wants something different from you. Nothing is fixed, nothing is stable.”  ~  Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Just a little perspective bump for you. Take a look at the mountain in today’s opening photo here at EyeYotee blog. That friggin thing is one mile high, from valley floor to summit. One mile. It’s big; that’s what I’m sayin’. It’s fun to have that mountain in view each and every day. Sometimes it makes me think – and sometimes it stops me from doing so. I just started the second pot of coffee. It’s going to be a long day. Rosie the cat is at my side. She’s sleeping now but just fifteen minutes ago she was washing the top of her head, and I thought it was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. I’m feeling not so clear this morning, and beer is the culprit; last night. This too shall pass. It’s nice and cool this morning at 58º Fahrenheit. It has been too darned hot lately. I just haven’t gotten used to Summer yet. All I want to do is stay inside this low-light room and pass the time. But  .  .  . I have to do laundry today. There’s no putting it off any longer. And I have a psychotherapy appointment at 11 AM. There’s a lot to say there because my state of mind of late has been pretty rough and ragged. Mental illness sucks. Let me make that clear. The past few days have been a cavalcade of obstacles, or so it seems. I’m just edgy and pessimistic these days. I’ve handled the obstacles like a champ, and there’s a lot to be said for that, but in my current state of mind it doesn’t look like that, it doesn’t look like I am a champ at all. So what, right? Hey, I’m going to take a break from writing this for a few minutes, go out to look at the mountain and the light coming up from behind it. The sun rises way north this time of year. Pretty stuff. Then I’ll pour a cup of fresh coffee and start writing again. Something to do.

The sun has yet to rise but the preceding light is wondrous. Two rabbits were sitting out in the gravel driveway just before I came back inside. I opened the chicken coop door on the way back in and smiled to watch the girls come marching chaotically out. Oscar the turkey is still on top of the coop as I write this. I love that bird. I’m feeling sort of philosophical this morning. I think it has to do, in part, with following the Presidential campaign, Friggin Trump. Between him and Brexit the world seems to be seething in hatred and intolerance. Trump seems like a bad dream while hatred seems all too real. Let’s work on that, k? Thanks, yer a pal. But for now I am hungry and so is the cat. I’ll feed her and then give her daily insulin injection. It will be a struggle to make myself eat. Such is depression. Don’t want to do much of anything. But I will. Discipline, that French woman with the history of severe head trauma told me last week. I agree with her. Laundry, breakfast, therapy – I will make it happen but it will take some doing. I’ll work on my beleaguered cognition on the way. Sounds like a productive way to spend the day. Oh! And an afternoon nap. Last night’s sleep was fraught with anxiety dreams, my hair is a mess as a result, and .  .  .  whatever. Seems like a pretty good day is in store.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Extra Sleep

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“Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.”  ~  William Shakespeare

The internet was down overnight, so I have only this brief moment to say hey. Got some extra sleep as a result. Nice. Must put coffee on and feed the monumentally pesky cat. More later. Thanks for being here.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Hokey Smokes

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“Man may behold what ugliness he likes if he is sure that he will not worship it; but there are some so weak that they will worship a thing only because it is ugly. These must be chained to the beautiful. It is not always wrong even to go, like Dante, to the brink of the lowest promontory and look down at hell. It is when you look up at hell that a serious miscalculation has probably been made.”  ~  G. K. Chesterton

All better, now. Yesterday was a tough one, but I made it work. It exhausted me to ‘shackle the demon’, as it were. There have been few days when I stayed home to hide from the world while the demon that is depression had it’s way with me. Better to shackle the wretch and get to it. That’s what I say. I have no way of truly describing the process by which I put on a brave face and go to my daily duties. On the surface I just look like me straightening up my beleaguered posture and walking from my car into the store where I work, glancing at the crows that like to hang around there. In those dark times it is always a balm to stop by the gas station for a cup of joe. My favorite usual stop is at the Giant station at the four-way intersection where US 64 heads west into the dramatic country out beyond the Rio Grande Gorge. That store has the feel of an outpost, and the general tone of the place is more rural than in town. More relaxed. Less bother. The woman who usually works the counter there is named Hope. I’ve come to make wordplay with her name, as a ploy to knock the looming shadow of depression off its metaphorical feet. Hope wasn’t working yesterday. Good on her. But the younger woman there did have a sweet, shy smile that made me go “ahhh”. The sweet smile of a pretty woman is one of my more favorite things in life. That’s one big reason I like working retail: you get a lot of that. Yes, yesterday was a long day. I fell asleep before the chickens went to roast. Woke up at 11:15 PM. Went out into the dark yard to close the chicken coop door. Stayed awake for a while, reading whatever dirt I could find on Donald Trump (That little boy’s got a demon in him alright). Went back to sleep for another three hours. Woke up with the hair on the left side of my head sticking pretty much straight out to the side. Not your most fashionable look; that said while considering the times, and how men spend good money on hairstyles that make their mop look messy, held in that pose with shellac or something. I don’t get it. My messy hair was a result of anxiety dreams. Happens every time. I could go on. But what it comes down to is like a scene from the cartoons, when after a nefarious try at making bad stuff happen Boris Badenov looks over at Natasha and says “Moose and Squirrel”. The heroes have arrived, goofy though they may be, and the baddies stand defeated, only to return another day. And Rocky is like all hokey smokes Bullwinkle. Boy howdy, I went through hell yesterday. But I can’t say it was totally subjective. Depression has a powerful physical presence as well. That’s why I feel all beat up this morning. But the coffee helped. And the cool morning air. And so will the pretty smiles I will see today. Who knows; maybe I will be able to stay awake until sunset this evening? As Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise says: make it so.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

The Openness Thing

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“I don’t want any more of this try, try again stuff. I just want out. I’ve had it. I am so tired. I am twenty and I am already exhausted.”  ~  Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

I can’t write much today. It’s a sweetly cool morning; the coolest it’s been in weeks. I deeply wish I felt better. Mental illness sucks. But I must go to work; remain strong. I’m not asking for sympathy. I’m just doing the openness thing; a thing that promotes awareness of the insidious thing that is depression and anxiety all wrapped up in a tight and ugly ball. This morning is worst than it has been in a long long time. I’ll leave it at that. Wish me luck. I don’t want anyone to know how much I hurt, and yet I do. That’s why I am admitting this in this blog.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Feelin’ Groovy

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“Fantasy is not antirational, but pararational; not realistic but surrealistic, a heightening of reality. In Freud’s terminology, it employs primary not secondary process thinking. It employs archetypes which, as Jung warned us, are dangerous things. Fantasy is nearer to poetry, to mysticism, and to insanity than naturalistic fiction is. It is a wilderness, and those who go there should not feel too safe.”  ~  Ursula K. Le Guin

“Lend me your wings, bird. I’ll spread them and fly on the thermals.”  ~  Stephen King

Laziness snuck up on me this morning, but I suppose it is not really laziness so much as it is good judgement. I’ll let you know how that goes, k? Gull danged world moves too friggin fast and seemingly without looking where it is going, or caring. The advent of smart phones has not helped that one little bit. I could go on a serious cynical magical mystery tour. I feel nice today, the fog of depression having lifted into a low cloud cover that  feebly attempts to filter, through refraction, the sunlight. When depression is pulled back the anger that lies beneath is exposed to the sweet air of rationality. Anger is what could drive me toward cynicism today. And dude? It’s like all gnarly and stuff to get cynical on such a sweet and beautiful day dude. Boy howdy it’s laundry day and I am in no hurry to do it! Aw dude. When’s the last time you heard someone say groovy? I heard it just a few weeks ago. The woman said groovy when I asked her how she was today. I told her that I hadn’t heard that word in a long time. She smiled and said “I am of that era. And I even have my little bowl of marijuana first thing in the morning as well”. She was a sweetie dude. Yeah, groovy. I feel it, coming and going. That’s what Flow does; it comes and goes. And right now I am going to round up the soiled garments and meander on down to the laundromat. And I hope it rains later on this evening. Without rain there ain’t no rainbows, if you catch my drift. It’s just that the barefoot Flower Child in me is intently giggling today. It’s nothing serious.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

 

 

Harnessing Renegade Cognition

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“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”  ~  Fred Rogers

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”  ~  Teilhard de Chardin

Maybe it’s weird. I begin a blog post with quotes from Teilhard de Chardin and Mister Rogers. Let’s just say that it is a wonderful day in the neighborhood. And the Noosphere is still alive and kicking. And there are no outsiders. Right? I’m beginning to think so. I have no idea why.

It is coming up from the dark, and this morning is one blanketed by a high fast moving overcast, with a breeze that is mostly failing at being cool. I have that trouble at times myself. But yesterday was rich in many ways. Just before my physical therapy appointment I realized that I was three hours late in taking my morning dose of psych meds. My bad. It’s not like I don’t notice how my body reacts to this neglect. I do. The meds help me in a big way. I am often grateful to the lovely Dr. Debra Solomon (a little promo plug link for my friend) for her astute diagnostics. Although she is cautious in prescribing meds she did right by me. I was a mess when I first went to see her. And as an aside, the hug we shared on the last day of her being my shrink was one of the best I have known. Thank you. The therapy session went well. Leo was my therapist this time. Young, with a still fresh license. And tall. It helps my ailing neck just to turn my head up to look him in the eye. Nice, firm, expressive handshake as well. I like the kid. We worked on my posture muscles. My slumping posture is more behavioral than physical, but having the muscles ready to help me straighten up is valuable. At the end of the session he worked on my neck, loosening up some serious knots. Thank you. When I got home, after a little shopping, I found a French woman sitting on the deck outside my room. Odd, right? We chatted about the magnificence of Oscar the Turkey, who stood just outside of the farm animal-proof fence, which protects the deck from chicken poop, displaying his full glory and occasionally gobbling a good one in letting the French woman know who was boss. The conversation drifted away from turkeys after a spell, when I asked her her nationality. French; I’d pegged her as Israeli. I was wrong. Somehow, the conversation then drifted on to head trauma and its after effects. She was ten years into recovery, while I am 30+ years into mine. The talk went deep. The struggles, the obstacles, the need for loving support, and the compelling need for harnessing renegade cognition, and directing it toward accommodating the brain injuries while creating a new level of brain function to replace the old. I’m working on it, k? If you see me twitch or spasm give me a smile. It helps. The whole while we were chatting her travel companion was inside the house, playing some world class classical guitar music. Just practicing, said he. Wow. The whole scene was surreal for me, and a healthy boost for my soul. When I let cognition run rampant my soul suffers. Rein it in, son, rein it in. It just began to rain as I wrote that last sentence. See – even Nature tells puns.

For some reason I am thinking about my ex-wife this morning. It’s been 20+ years since I’ve seen her, and 40 years since we lived together in Seattle. And 37 since the divorce. I remember us walking into the city from Queen Anne Hill one day, all the while with me spinning out plot and storyline from a possible science fiction novel. Nice. We had a lot of fun together. I was not who she thought I was, said she in the end. Bueno bye. Which leaves me here this morning. I’d like to see her again. We could talk. But is is another day in the hardware store for me. Many people are growing things in their gardens, while I do my best to accommodate their needs while reining in my wayward cognition. I don’t always think about this glitch. I try to keep my awareness at a meta level. That’s where the healing and rehab works best. That’s what I am on about today.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

Of Longing and Therapy

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“There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness and death.”  ~  Fran Leibowitz

Right away I need to point out that I disagree with the opening quote, but I chose the quote because I resonate with it in a consistent manner. It speaks to one of the underlying currents in the mental illness I have. The illness may never go away. This is a possibility that I must live with. Some say that dedicated positive thinking can overcome this illness. Maybe. Just maybe. Who knows. I doubt it though. Is that negative? Maybe. As I have written here before, I strive to find some purpose in these illnesses – Bipolar 2 and PTSD. I repeat this diagnosis for the benefit of any new readers that arrive at EyeYotee. I want to note that I now have consistent readership in countries besides the US. I love this. It somehow frees me up. Somehow. Some way. I can’t describe it. It’s a feeling – rather both a feeling and a drive. Let’s ride with it, k? I feel dizzy this morning. Uncomfortable, and I have my final physical therapy session come 9 AM. I somehow dread the session. That is because of the way the neck and shoulder exercises trigger PTSD memories, which then express as full body reactions, as if the events that served to create the PTSD in the first place are here and now. Today. Right at this moment. This phenomenon is already beginning to stir. Poor me, right? It is helpful, however, that my therapist is a beautiful woman, as is one other therapist. The ‘one other’ is the one I hope to get today, because she flirts a tad, and that is a healing influence, but I am scheduled with the tall kid; a young man who will do just fine. Ugh, I’ll not go on about this. What is on my mind is inner peace and I aspire to bring it forth today. What I feel is Longing, a word I capitalize to underscore that Longing, in the Celtic spiritual path I wander upon, is a force that beckons me forth. Call it the light at the end of the tunnel and you are underselling the concept. I know, I’ve been there. So I will endeavor to go there today. I need the release from the tensions of life today. That’s what I call getting better. Boy howdy I will be in the moment before day’s end – just as I am right now, here, whatever.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Livin’ the Mystery

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“Anyone who believes what a cat tells him deserves all he gets.”  ~  Neil Gaiman

“Reality continues to ruin my life.”  ~  Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes)

I’m afraid it’s a lazy day. Welllll  .  .  .  I’m not really afraid so much as I am oddly needled by societal expectations. Especially expectations of positive thinking carpe diem type folks. But I’ll take the lazy day in stride, go with the flow, whatever. Just a moment ago I remembered the Mexican woman at McDonalds yesterday; I often buy coffee at lunch break from work; McD’s is right next door. She gave me a free cup of coffee while I listened to her telling that she was going back to Chihuahua for two weeks. She’s leaving today. I don’t know, it’s just that free coffee is like all cool and stuff dude. Nice lady. Anyway, I slept in this morning, slept about ten hours. Wow. Not like mister six hour to go on that long, but there were dreams throughout and it feels like they were good ones. The deep tiredness, that became the long sleep seems, seems to stem from too much stress for too long a time. Y’all gotta remember that PTSD and Bipolar 2 can create serious stress even when life conditions don’t really call for it. I’ve learned to live with it, so I have no friggin idea why it knocked me down this time. No big deal though. Life goes on. Ob la di ob la da – that sort of thing. Boy howdy dude I am livin’ the Mystery today dude, still groovin’ on that sweet Solstice vibe dude. And it’s going pretty good for me. That’s where I will leave it today as I sign off from a short blog post. Too lazy, I am, to write any more.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Lightning in a Bottle

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“Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.”  ~  Rainer Maria Rilke

Short and sweet this morning. A rainbow at sunset yesterday, so it looks like the odds for a Summer full of rainbows are looking up. I’ve seen plenty of Summers such as that during the 21 years I’ve lived here, and I’ve been hoping for one this year. Don’t cross your fingers and wait, wink and sigh and watch what Nature puts out for us to see and feel. Oh! Wait just one darned minute now; we are, part and parcel, an integral part of Nature. We can’t change that. You cannot buy a rainbow, nor can you put lightning in a bottle. I’m feel down today. Feels clinical, so I’ve decided to let it ride this time. Been fighting it for weeks now and it is now time to relax and let it flow for now. Probably  there will be considerable chair time for me. Will I write, get back to the fledgling novel I’ve begun? I have no friggin idea. I’ve got to take this body and mind, flushed with clinical anxiety, and harness the whole of my being to go perform a day’s work selling nuts and bolts to productive people. For some strange reason I equate this day’s task with healing. My odds are on the chair.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

A Synchronistic Affirmation

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“But the purpose of a story is to teach and to please at once, and what it teaches is how to recognize the snares of the world.”  ~  Umberto Eco

Suddenly the days are getting shorter. Just like that. I’ve been grouching about the long hours of light even though it is déclassé to do so. C’est la vie, non? The therapist suggested that this discomfort with an abundance of light might be a effect from the toolbox of depression. Too much light, ugh. Makes sense to me. Still, at this point in my life I am more in an Autumn state of mind. I’ll not go into a lyrical or poetic description of Autumn here today, simply because tis a Summer day that awaits me beyond sunrise. I’m okay with that, believe you me. I’ve been deeply feeling the power of the Summer Solstice, and the full moon that goes with it this year. It is a comforting energy, however disruptive it may feel at times. It’s an elemental thing. Something to do with plans and expectations gone awry because the Flow has other ideas. So be it. The Veil is open and the Ancestors are smiling. Smiling is a good place to start, whatever it is you may be starting. Yesterday I got a synchronistic affirmation that greatly eased my discomfort at a life situation that I have been gnawing on like a bone for months now. I was sitting at the stoplight, waiting to turn left onto Paseo del Pueblo Norte, when an adversary walked across through the crosswalk. I’d been thinking about the situation in which this woman played the part of an adversary. I’d been thinking that so and so through me under the metaphorical bus. I’d been thinking in the very manner that paranoia does so well. Maybe I was imagining things, but there she was. Point is that an unsavory train of thought was vanquished by this rare appearance of the woman in my life. Thank you, my dear. I wasn’t happy to see her but I felt a little happier having done so. Life is strange like that sometimes. Best get to my day, my friends. Not much to write about today. Maybe tomorrow.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.