Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Y'all, whoever said that thing about being unable to teach an old dog new tricks maybe didn't take into account that it's a lot of effing work to change.  Or to learn the new tricks.  Or whatever.  Damn.

Right now I am feeling like I'm fighting all day to push through the stuff that I'm trying to change.  Sleep is great, and I'm thankful that I'm sleeping well, but I also work at that, and exercise and meditate and see my acupuncturist, but yeah, when I wake up in the morning I feel better and easier and then it's a matter of heading into the day.

Because I don't know if everyone realizes it but I have real, physical reactions to the mental worries and spinnings that go on.

So, for example, if I catch wind that my brain is starting to worry and spin about, say, what Jason might be thinking, then my body starts to react to that worry.  My stomach feels tight, and can be nauseated and sometimes that's been making it hard to eat.  And when that starts, my breathing gets fast and shallow and so my entire system is making this thought out to be very very real and very very overwhelming and I'm fighting and trying so hard to calm my mind and my body or both or either (it often helps to shut down the mind if I can and the body will tend to follow) but sometimes one or the both of them have gotten so carried away that it's really really really hard to withdraw.

I was just watching a documentary about the USS Nimitz (which came into town the other weekend) and it made me think of how heavy those thick ropes get when they've been in the water.  And the feeling and experience of helping to tie up a massive boat and the ropes seem like they're never ending and weigh more than you can handle and all you know is you either have to haul, haul, haul when you have very little within yourself or you have to give up, quit, and throw the rope down and cry.  I don't want to give up, but man it's tiring.

And to be doing that, that exhausting work while feeling all but overwhelmed physically and when your mind is filled with negative thoughts about how it's all so so so bad?  It's a lot.

A lot, lot, lot.

I think maybe I should be a whole lot prouder of myself than I am, but it also feels like I have so far to go and there's no point in congratulating myself when I'm right now just moment by moment.

Maybe this is why some addicts thrive in meetings.  Maybe you go and get shored up by reminders and encouragement and that sense that it does get better, it's just really hard right now.

It's a lot.  I'm working really hard and I don't know what I'd want or need to make it easier and better right now.

But this has been a few days of tough tough internal work, and I guess I'll just keep pushing until it starts feeling a little easier.

But I'll tell you... those bad moments?  Are bad.

White knuckle bad.

And I feel like I maybe chose that photo because someone somewhere mentioned that it seemed to them like I was locked in the prison tower of my own mind.

Yeah, it feels like that.  And maybe Rapunzel... Sleeping Beauty, maybe those stuck, imprisoned princesses were all just literary metaphors in the end.  And I need to be one of those modern day Disney princess types who don't wait to be rescued.

But it's a lot harder than it looks to get the f*ck out of here, man.

Updated to add:  Was just going about my morning, saw a post on photography, this made me think of Jason and before I knew it my brain was running in bad spinny circles.  (*^&^$.

Oh and?  It's like my body's been shot through with adrenaline and is ready to jump and react and fight or flight mentally and physically at ev. ery. thing.

Sigh.  It's pretty sucky y'all.


Blogger Jason Langlois said...

It does slowly get easier.

(snip long mansplaining thing)

Take credit for the progress you're making and be proud of the positive changes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 8:55:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Man, I hope so.

Plus, I kind of like your long mansplaining things! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 9:02:00 am  
Blogger Jason Langlois said...

snipped mansplaining ramble...

You're reprogramming a lifetime of thinking. Think of how long you've had these patterns and responses, and I expect it'll have been for years. You can't expect to change all that in just a few months (or a few years). It'll take less time for you to reprogram yourself, now that you're working on it, but I suspect you're not going to see the change happen in any big leap.

Instead, it's going to come in small movements. Movements like being aware that seeing a post on a photography sent you into a bad spinny circle. That awareness becomes a tool for you to stop and take a moment to stop the spinning and pull back from the panic and anxiety, and to use the other tools you have like meditation, breathing, etc. to get a handle on whats happening.

There's a stage, though, where you have the awareness but your other tools aren't up to the task, and it feels a bit like that's where you are right now. I remember going through my own stuff, and just feeling lost when I'd recognize that I was going into an anxiety loop and it was irrational, but I didn't know how to stop it. For me, it was almost like I had to worry about being worried. But eventually, I got past that stage, though I can't point to any specific moment where it got easier. It just happened gradually. You'll get past this, too.

You need to congratulation yourself for getting through each moment, because every moment you get through is a victory. On the other hand, you can't beat yourself up too much for not getting through a moment - you're playing for the long game, and each small defeat doesn't mean you've lost. It is hard work, and sometimes you do need to rest and recover your energy,

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:05:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Damn that was exactly what I needed to hear and now I'm crying and we're going to have to get married now which is going to be awkward for your wife/girlfriend/fiancée. Sorry :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:16:00 am  
Blogger Jason Langlois said...

I suspect it'd be awkward for your bf, too, or is he part of the package?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 5:45:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Aww, nuts, good point. Sigh ;)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:17:00 pm  

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