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Friday, January 29, 2010

The Voices Are Back

I was doing really well. I got that awful medication out of my system and the subsequent parody of irritable bowel syndrome went away with it. I sailed through November, December, and part of January without wanting to send the snow and cold to Vancouver for their stupid games. (they are currently trucking snow down from the peaks. This is hard for me to fathom, as other people don't have water, clothing, houses... plus our entire main street and my driveway is clogged up with the stuff......... But I digress) I was pretty much coasting, and even had a pretty good attitude.

I kept checking the sky and the sidelines for those nasty twins; depression and anxiety. But they seemed to be pretty much taken up with other matters.

But right around the time that I questioned the Unquestionable Medical Guy, I started hearing the voices. (not literally- just to be clear) The voices whispered things like...

"you're not very bright, you know. And did you notice that you're getting less bright?"

I recognized the voices right away- they germinate from shame, guilt, inadequacy, inferiority, and a whole legion of other evil forces. I shushed them. I reasoned with them.

But they seemed to germinate and multiply in the very heat of my resistance.

Pretty soon they bantered me about everything. I don't read to the kids enough. I don't make their appointments fast enough (girl child and her run-in with the car. That never ends, especially when basketball season comes up and she runs and runs and runs) I haven't taught my children to do enough housework and I do way too much for them. (true.... true...) The boys spend too much time on electronics. We should be out sledding. They don't eat vegetables. (Or most everything I cook). Have I donated that money to WFP or did I not? Must check the website, should remember this. Can't remember this. Must be stupid.

Yup, once those twins get a hold of me, they are relentless.

I should stop chewing my hangnails, my fingers hurt. We're out of lettuce. The dog needs grooming. Van should have had an oil change a millenium ago. Is there rye bread? I must clean out my closet; I can't find any pants that I like. The boys room-- oy.

The mind is a curious organ. While it is yelling mercilessly; it can remain aware of the charade of it all. It can know that it is lying to itself. Exaggerating. Bullying. Simultaneously, the mind becomes the call center for its own advocacy- arguing against the lies, buffering them with positives, allowing in the beauty of the low orange moon to flood the synapses with seratonin.

And the mind knows the seasons of the nasty twins. That they won't stick around, they won't define their host. They don't become her. And even when the mind laughs off its forgetfulness, flightiness, lack of lettuce-i-ness, there will still be chewed hangnails, unmade appointments, and a shaggy dog. It's just going to feel less significant than life and death.

(thrill me... chill me... anyone willing to throw a bone on their own personal coping mechanisms with the whole brain going sour syndrome?)


Karla said...

I know those twins too. Your paragraph about the mind stopped me in my tracks... so perfectly described. I am amazed as I read it that crazy people like you and me actually have any capacity left in our brains for the day to day when the mind is working overtime to advocate for itself to the bullies that reside right there.

Janice said...

Yes, they plague me, too. Growing older helped. Positive affirmations - repeated and repeated ad infinitum - maybe that is what did it, as I grew older. While I am not the poster-girl for emotional health, I hear far less of those voices lately.

For what it is worth, I think you are superwoman.

joyce said...

Every time I wear that delicious green scarf (which is nearly every day), I think you're a pretty super woman too.

This spinniness is really depressing me, though. It's pretty bad right now.

karla- I take it as progress that we can recognize both sides of the spectrum coming from the same bodily organ.

Mary K. said...

I, Schwester Mary had a very disturbing dream about relationships last night. I woke up anxious. Been working thru "it" most of today and keep pointing self back to what is truth -- lots of pointing back, and slow progress, but progress indeed.

Chelsea said...

This is not to make you "feel better" but just so you know, I don't even know you and I always think, wow what an amazing person, I should try to be more like her...and then I tell my husband about your blogs and your awesomeness, and he thinks you're awesome just so you know...
But as for the twins, deep breaths, a good long bath and a good conversation..or reading a great blog.. sometimes help..

Anonymous said...

Creative people are often their own harshest critic. Creative people can be..gifted, special, & sometimes extraordinarily talented. You are such a person. You have accomplished so much already in your young life. Raising funds & awareness with your one woman "BAGS4DARFUR" mission is such an incredible achievement!!! Now factor in all your other achievements...the big side of your life, family, work, relationships, community etc, etc, & congratulate yourself, REALLY! You are an ispiration to so many.
The days are getting longer & spring is sure to return, hang in there. Might be a very good time for a short bag break & a little more time for YOU!

Judy said...

In an effort to cheer myself, I'm going to try to do a 'favorite things' post every day in February.

I'm one day into it.

So far, I feel guilty.

Didn't go to the nursing home to visit my mom. SHE can't notice. Still. The guilt.

I think you are lovely, Joyce.

Karla said...

Schwester Mary - I've missed seeing you here!

gophercheeks said...

Does this post have anything to do with the hairy little bastard ground hog who is too much of a pansy to look into the sun instead of flinch and squirm at the sight of his own chubby-ass shadow?

I'm not bitter....

joyce said...

ha ha, very, very good, Gopher. Very well said! (can I print that, frame it... No. Tattoo it on MY ass so that I don't forget that?!)

It has an awful lot to do with the bastard groundhog. We did have a week of gorgeous weather in whcih the children and I would normally have spent time outdoors. However. My son was home SICK for AN ENTIRE WEEK spanning over the warm break. When he got well? Minus Freaking Thirty again.

Judy- You know you are the best? Favourite thing: Feeling Guilty. Tomorrow: Shame. After that, i'll just feel too inadequate to post anything at all.
When can we go thrifting together? I heard of a local family who is driving to Marine land this summer and I thought- HEY! Won't they be going past Michigan? Couldn't I get a ride and go see Judy???? Then I remembered that I have a family. And then I felt guilty.

Okay, not really.

AAF- always so kind. Will the family remember a woman who muttered "mmmmmmmmmmmmm" and "m hmmmmm" beneath the whir of the sewing machine? ;)
I did get a cryptic note from my son's teacher (gr 1). It seems that when they send "home reading", they are NOT AMUSED if you don't open the envelope for six weeks.


Fourth kid. I figured that all the reading I did to the first couple of kidlets would sort of filter through down to the stragglers.

Chelsea- can I have your husband's number?


Here's the thing- its not a hard case of the twins. Its more of a dull background noise that sometimes crescendos to a roar. Still finding lots to laugh about and cry about and live about.

andrea said...

Hey you -- it's not OUR stupid games. Blame the IOC. But is *is* ridiculous.

That said, I totally get you and am having the same kind of week. In our so-called effort to be perfect all the time (hee hee *NOT*), allowing oneself to be less perfect more often does help. At least it helps me. Today #2 son was sent down to the minor leagues in Math 10 (his choice) -- a long overdue change. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders knowing he'll be doing an easier Math now in spite of its less-than-perfect outward appearance. Who do I think we're competing with anyway? (Always a useful question when the powers-that-be in our children's lives make us feel less-than-adequate.) I think we're more than adequate, both of us! (I say so, therefore it must be true. Are you with me?)

Judy said...

Bring your family.

joyce said...

hear, hear Andrea! Besides, I saw a pic of your son and he's gorgeous. I think you overdid it in the gorge-osity department, which means that you're allowed certain leniencies in other areas. Minor league math. pffffft. Why don't they teach the important stuff like Relationships. And Budgeting. (I never learned that. Not my fault. I choose to blame someone else. Probably in grade one...)

Who are we competing with anyway? Love that question. Especially this past two days when I found myself sandwhiched between people comparing familiy holidays (epic fail for us too....). Instead of feeding into the mental monster which chanted: If You Had Learned Budgeting; You Might Take Family Holidays...... I left and went and read a great book. Ah yes. sweet sanity. Didn't want to compete in that game anyway....

You people are awesome.
Yes, you.