The things we think are important in life are illusions, distractions from the voice that says “slow down, please slow the hell down” – and we ignore it. We fake it, wear a mask and all is fabulous.
I keep telling myself that this is what I always wanted, and it is, but it’s not what I can manage. I can tell I’m doing too much because I have to concentrate to relax my shoulders and I’m finding it harder to sleep, even though I’m so tired.
You’re pushing too hard, slow down.
But what if all of this slips away? What if I wake up tomorrow and I’m back in that place again – god I have to go there tomorrow and I’m not sure what day it is today, neither am I convinced that it’s the day people said it is. What do I do?
You slow down. Things won’t vanish because you put your feet up for a bit.
I have so much to do; it’s my fault it’s all piled up because only half of me is dedicated at the moment and I keep forgetting everything. I’m beginning to question myself more and more. Something happened somewhere along the line and I’m not sure if I can recognise it.
Take a break, find some trees. First organise what you can do, work systematically and then let it go. You will remember the things you’ve forgotten. Slow down.
But what if I…
What if I slow down? Maybe my heart will beat steadily; maybe my dreams will be lighter; maybe my feelings won’t screw themselves up; maybe I’ll smile.
February 8, 2009
I should be sleeping now but instead I’m raking though Mind trying to find some answers that the medical professionals assigned to me should be providing me with.
I’m beginning to realise that I can’t hide behind this screen all the time; it’s an awkward shape and the wheels are wonky so the bloody thing doesn’t go in the direction I want it to, meaning that I have to keep jumping behind it. And on top of that, it’s that horrible pastel green colour that you find in hospitals. As if my ‘conditions’ aren’t exhausting enough.
So Mind has given me a bit more info than I’ve been able to suck out of the so-called medical professionals. Yes, I suffer from severe anxiety which causes all number of nasty physical manifestations including palpitations, sweating, chest pains, nausea, headaches, restricted (or in some cases, complete lack of) breathing and a huge sleep deficit; yes, my phobias include public, unfamiliar and enclosed spaces, people and occasionally mirrors; yes, I’m aware that walking about doing my thang is usually impeded by the fact that most of the time, my body doesn’t feel like it’s actually there – try walking down steps with feet that you don’t believe to be yours, it’s exciting; and yes, I’m acutely familiar with the fact that these things aren’t going away any time soon.
Doctors wonder why I’m so agitated and unwilling to show them the depth of things. Anxiety is merely the blackhead to my being and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone who considers me a ‘client’ go ahead and squeeze it. You’re not supposed to squeeze them anyway.
A friend told me to get out there and start trying to live again. The thought terrifies me to the extent that I don’t want to get out from under my duvet ever again. The only thing that outweighs this is that I don’t fancy having bedsores. So taking into consideration the suggestions made by my friend and other suggestions made by another friend – little steps – I’m going to do something that Mind has recommended, something that can help me on the way.
I don’t like this being public, but anyone who knows me and I mean really knows me will understand that it is public whether I like it or not because I spack out when I’m in public and behave erratically. It’s sometimes hard not to notice. And why should I be ashamed? Why should I hide? Mental health stigma is rife and I’m tired of being a victim of the politics towards difference… I almost wrote différance then, bit of Derrida leaking through like he does before disappearing…
So yes. The thing that Mind recommends. Focus on positive aspects of my life.
- I’m not afraid, or am becoming less afraid of being different
- I’m developing the courage to decide what I want, how I want it and when I want it, whether it be breakfast, my studies or my mental health treatment
- I have a loving cat who cuddles up to me every night
- I have a dysfunctional family, so I don’t feel like a complete freak
- I love the said dysfunctional family and they love me. And respect me, which I only found out recently
- For those who are my friends, they are good friends and they listen no matter what
- I have no material desire for anything because I already have everything I want
- My bed is uber-comfy
- I’m a good writer and I work hard to become better at being a good writer
- My passion for art and music makes me diverse and at peace with many things
- Books give me a good alternative to a world I don’t feel in contact with
- Nothing feels more incredible than achieving the things I’ve worked hard to achieve
- My diet is healthy and I have lost weight through sticking to it
- I’ve stopped smoking – this time for good
- I orgasm in my sleep. Regularly. I don’t have to do a thing. It’s great
- I live in one of the most naturally beautiful areas in Kent
- I live in a very quiet area
- People love my cooking; I make people happy with my cooking
- Even though I’m always really tired and have difficulty seeing it, I make the effort to build myself a future
- I’m stubborn. Which means I don’t quit
- My personas work well together and have been behaving very well over the past couple of months
- They have also become stronger and together we have taken steps to come to terms with a lot of external phenomena and started pushing back at the force that intends to erase us
- I’m fascinated by the worlds that I perceive and know that the be-all-and-end-all of medical science is not the be-all-and-end-all of me and my personas
- I’m proud to be an individual who questions, picks apart, scrutinizes and points a bitter finger at everything. I’m proud to be a Cynic
- Oh yeh, how can I forget? Women. They’re a very, very positive aspect in my life for many different reasons…
So there they are. Positive aspects of my life. The list is longer than I was expecting but who am I to complain? It’s a good list. Onto the next tiny step I go…
Oh and just a quick request: if anyone knows some really good pick-me-up foods/remedies, please tell me them. I can’t handle being this exhausted all the time. My diet is good, my sleep is broken most of the time and unfortunately, physical exercise sets me back a little at the moment. Think small steps people. I need energy food. I need some of the good stuff…
December 6, 2008
So here it is. Saturday night: just me, my blog, the bass of Portishead trip-hopped and remixed. Me and another ebay purchase, keeping it as cheap as I can; under £5 for a nice silver,Indian style engraved, wide wrist cuff. I’d had my eye on it.
Anyways. The purposes of this rambling. Asides from slipping between people the past few days, it’s all relatively and beautifully unstable. Contradiction? Hardly; it’s nice to be clear about instability. But this isn’t the purpose of this rambling.
I am torn. I have sooooooo many books I want to read. Allow me to list…
1. The Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 ed. Karen V. Kukil (currently reading)
2. A Lover’s Discourse by Roland Barthes (currently reading)
3. Between Us: A Legacy of Lesbian Love Letters ed. Kay Turner (currently reading)
4. How to Write Love Letters by Michelle Lovric (currently reading)
5. Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures by Walter Moers
6. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
8. Helen of Troy by Margaret George
9. Sappho’s Leap by Erica Jong
10. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Murakami
12. The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall
13. The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
14. Geisha by Liza Dalby
15. Perfume by Patrick Suskind
16. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
That’s what I want to read, and am reading. These are the things I’m going to be reading amidst all of my desired reading:
1. Stigmata by Cixous
2. Voiles by Cixious & Derrida
3. A Philosophical Enquiry by Burke
4. The Sublime: A Reader ed. Ashfield & de Bolla
5. The Lifted Veil by George Eliot
6. Memoirs of the Blind by Derrida
7. The Birth of Tragedy by Nietzche
Amongst other tid-bits, that constitutes the named material I will be throwing myself into for the module next term. The unnamed stuff includes: material pertaining to literary practice and criticism, Aristotle’s Poetics, Longinus, Kant, a snappy little book by Phillip Shaw entitled The Sublime, and if I get time… Lyotard.
I have no issues with the material on the module’s reading list, the extraneous work that I wish to read alongside or even the books that I intend to read for pleasure.
Note: I also want to submerge myself in every inch of work I can that was written by, or is related to Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf, including essays and critique, and also the correspondences they had between various people. I’m trying desperately to get hold of The Letters of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West (not The Letters of Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf), so if anyone can help me there… please tell me how and where…
The only problem with all of this is the lack of time I have. I’ve started getting up earlier (oh how it pains me) and have ditched the laptop for long periods of time in favour of reading. This is after I’ve done the chores and all. I could quite happily squeeeeeeze in 5-8 hours of reading a day, maybe more. But. And it’s a big one. My mind.
By now, readers have probably figured out (or have been told if you’re unfortunate enough to be a friend) that my good ‘ol mind is a bit doolally. To you anyway. (Urg, the Danish I ate is rolling around – damn you food, damn you…) So yes, to you it’s all a bit delicate and new, but if you get it over and out with, just say it… go on… I have several other people in my head.
It’s like having housemates, except they’re tidy.
Anyway. This in itself causes a problem because sometimes there’s a bit of disruption due to whatever (the details are too detailed) and then there’s the problem of memory in that (urg… why did I have to try that vanilla Danish…) I usually have the company of another part of me reading up alongside and it all gets mushed into discussion and hedonistic indulgence and quite frankly … I lose all memory of what I have previously read. This occurs to the point of where I read the same line over and over without realising it and then being completely bewildered by who and what I’m reading:
You see my dilemma. I have little time as it is on top of having a skull full of marbles doused in baby oil. And I could be reading now but I’m blogging.
I guess my real question is: Do I begin reading one of my ‘desired’ texts alongside what I’m already picking my way through, or finish the smaller titles so that I may focus on Plath’s Journals (which are huuuuuuuuuuuge) for the Christmas period?
Answers in a comment box.
Ms. Dexter, if you read this – do not mock my weakness for the cinnamon roll; it is a love that knows no bounds. Not even the death in my stomach. …
December 4, 2008
… that I have. Begrudgingly.
I’m as patient as the virtue gets. Externally. The projection that I give of my being is at its best, accommodating and composed. However, nobody is perfect; it is only natural that I will at times become frustrated and indignant. But even in this state, the collected side of my nature urges me, in a very soothing voice, to be patient. Do what is required, and do it well.
I am a patient person. I am also the sort of person that makes the efforts to justify my patience, by providing every scrap of material, information and time that I can give so that others may continue on with their work. Work that usually involves helping me.
I feel that it is time to shed my stoic exterior and reveal the chaotic individual(s) that reside within the apparently impenetrable walls of my hard-nosed attitude toward progression. Let us begin…
Waiting for responses, whether by post, phone or email, is the most excruciating ordeal to endure. I am currently awaiting for several responses from various systems, some of which are to be forgiven as I understand the pressures of bureaucracy and the dripping of time that draws our attention to the end of the working day.
However. I am unforgiving in other areas.
I am waiting for decisions to be made, decisions that will aid me or, further cripple me. I am waiting to be recognised as an individual in this world who is asking for help to make the best of an existence that they don’t understand, don’t feel comfortable in. I am waiting to get on with my life.
I am waiting for a tardy company to make up their minds and let me go.
I am waiting for meetings to discuss my possible future. I am waiting for paperwork to be reviewed with cold eyes. I am waiting to sit before strangers and explain to them the contradictions between my functioning experiences and the perceptions of those who know nothing about me and nothing of the world that I live in.
I am waiting to be told whether or not a certain institution will assist me, even with the most meager of acknowledgements, so that I can achieve what I am capable of. I have to wait until November 2009 to know if another institution will support me through what is the biggest commitment I have ever made.
I had an appointment cancelled at the last-minute on Wednesday. I only get to see the psychiatrist for one hour a month and I am currently (unsurprisingly) waiting for other forms of support to be put into place. How long I will have to hang around for another appointment is unknown. After all, I don’t have the gift of foresight, just the standard ability of now-sight.
As I sit and bide my time, filling my days with reading, studying and being alone, the pressure slowly builds within me. I’m told by others to keep pushing, to keep fighting but I can’t help myself; I remain patient.
Because what I do not want these people to see, whether they be the decision makers or those who are supporting me all the way, is the congealed fury of having to tarry in the wake of the efforts I have made to further my prospects in this dismal life.
What I don’t want these people to see are the others who are tucked neatly in situ, the recessed spaces of the mind; the others who, given the chance, will drive home the degrading state of having patience as a virtue with vigour and precision.
The tranquility of such a virtue also only goes so far in assisting others. You can give someone your complete attention in order to resolve an issue; it doesn’t take long for your temper to degrade. The same can be said for those who you do your best to help, but are completely incapable of helping themselves because they won’t consider advice given to them. They won’t hear the truth.
You’re most likely scoffing at me for saying this. I’m happy to admit that my egos often stamp out the wicks of salvation in favour of stubborn pride until we are all but ruined and ready to accept that we are wrong, and that we are going to listen, make the effort.
The ones who stand with me in my body urge me to remain insistent and calm, assure me that losing control of those of us who are volatile will be a last, devastating resort. It’s not hard to see though, that they too are on the verge of cutting all ties and leaving gifts of spite on the doorsteps of those who have caused us suffering.
Patience is a virtue indeed, but it is not one that should be favoured above abilities that curtly guide the hands of those that should be doing the right things. Does it not strike you that the guiding principle of “patience is a virtue” achieves nothing but the ability to hide the insufficiency of working organisations and the ineptitude of people?
People are flawed. There are too many. I am flawed. We are too many to be handled. And we are furious.
November 23, 2008
I used to be adamant that what I saw was a mere projection of my mind layered upon a physical environment. Everything comes from the mind, is the mind. Now, I’m not so sure. There are things beyond the mind of ‘I’, things that reach further than you, than all of us. Don’t get excited. It’s not god.
There are things to be seen, and those that do not want you to see. And if you do see? Well, then you’re mad…
I am mad. I am mad. In your eyes. MAD.
In my eyes … we … are just eyes.