I've been having panic attacks. The whammo, bammo kind that leave you breathless and shaky. Adam wants to help as much as he can and he does everything -- but I know that it's got to come from me. Even writing that is hard. Mental health is such a damn balance beam. Sometimes you just say screw it. I'm gonna fall off.
No dog has ever said a word, but that doesn’t mean they live outside the world of speech. They listen acutely. They wait to hear a term – biscuit, walk – and an inflection they know. What a stream of incomprehensible signs passes over them as they wait, patiently, for a one of a few familiar words! Because they do not speak, except in the most limited fashion, we are always trying to figure them out. The expression is telling: to “figure out” is to make figures of speech, to invent metaphors to help us understand the world. To choose to live with a dog is to agree to participate in a long process of interepretation – a mutual agreement, though the human being holds most of the cards.
There is much I want to do in the New Year. I want to give voice to the voiceless. I want to get my own words out there. I want to continue letting everyone I love know that I love them. I want to continue to discover myself, to get more comfortable with the material I've been given. I want to meet uncomfortable feelings honestly and work through them rather than running away. I want the past to be the past, the present to be fulfilling and the future so bright I gotta wear something resembling shades.
I've been seeking it, searching for it, rubbing my eyes and blinking. I think it's emerging and it's intoxicating. I love focus, precision and order -- strange because I often so don't achieve those qualities in my own life. But it's coming. It's coming.
I've had many ups and downs lately. This week I've had both. Monday I felt paralyzed by anxiety, Tuesday depression. Yesterday I took the dogs to St. Louis and was better.
Fact is, I'm at a crossroads. There is so much I want to do and boundaries I have refused to acknowledge. Mainly, I want to get the Project published, and that is so damn hard.
I am very open about having anxiety and depression and taking medication for it. Sometimes I think I'm on way too much medication. Sometimes I wonder if I ... DO I wonder if I shouldn't? Actually, I'm scared to stop. And there's no reason to do so.
Am I homesick? Yes and no. I still would be feeling this at home. Here my shit is just amplified and I HAVE to deal with it, which is not a bad thing. Except for when it is ...
I've been getting deeper and deeper into the animal advocacy world as of late. And last night I found myself in tears at 2 a.m. thinking about it all.
I have to take a little bit of a break. It's probably going to only be for a few days, but I've had a good streak (I'm seeing pets for whom I've advocated get homes) and I think I need to take that as a clue to chill for a while. It's a great cause and I want to be able to contribute to it, but I need to do what they call self-care too.
Did I mention that I've moved to Columbia, Missouri for four months?
Adam got a contract job here and when the opportunity first came up, we both chuckled. Mid-Missouri, especially in the winter? But the idea grew more appealing over time. I've wanted to go somewhere else, do something different, meet new people and freeze my ass off in the middle of winter. And it looks like I'll get to do all those things.
I really want to write a long blog post about it, about how this all started in early October and spun out until we left at the end of November, but that will come in time, I think. Then again, maybe there's no time like the present. My friend Sophie recently told me that I don't waste words and I like that idea. So maybe this is my long blog post. And maybe it's just majorly stream-of-consciousness.
Leaving Berkeley was -- hard? Adventurous? Both? We sublet our place -- couldn't give up the Farm and wouldn't want to. We bought a huge Chevy Suburban and towed Ringo halfway across the country. And now we're here, in a three-bedroom, two-bath house for $900 a month. Let the adventure commence.
I'm a writer and storyteller in Berkeley, CA. If you're wondering where that is, follow the smell of patchouli and skunkweed. There you'll find me with my kickass husband, gorgeous little boy, and manic Lab-Australian Shepherd mix pups. I'm represented by Miriam Altshuler of DeFiore & Co., but of course, my views are my own.