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Tue, Jul. 17th, 2012, 12:31 am
Today's Check-In (Monday): I'll Take Shallow, Thank You

Went out drinking last night and ran into Trouble, who was just getting back (drunk) from KT's memorial. That was fun. *ahem*
Today I'm off and running, getting a bunch of stuff done but not the kind of things with easily visible results. I'd planned to do a two-part post, the first on moderate drinking programs, followed by the harm reduction... but it took so long to get the first done now all I have time for is check-in if I want to get some shuteye. C'est la vie.

Still, I've learned some things and that's what counts.

Comprehensive List of Tasks

  • running (despite the discouragement that all this exercise is for naught, I still accomplished this)
  • stretch class (went, my teacher called it 'pre-hab' for my surgery)
  • grooming (basic, done)
  • meal (not a chance, not only did I not make that pie, I didn't cook anything... and I didn't eat healthy all day! Breakfast was a soy latte and pastry, with a second latte & pastry when the first didn't kick in fast enough. Chorizo-dog and Red Bull for lunch on the run, and Chinese delivery for dinner. The only vegetable to cross my lips were in some fried dumplings, and what was that, a sliver of carrot and a slice of cabbage? Hardly healthy eating = no points)
  • Spanish (still working on it, still stuck)
  • chore (I DID SOME PAPERWORK! Actually, I was quite proud of the amount I processed. Unfortunately, it takes a ton of processing to handle even a small stack of papers. I filled up one shredder bag for the trash and my inbox doesn't have a dent. Also got a different kind of picture-hanging stickies to rehang the pic in the bathroom which fell down last night. Hope this works past the humidity in there.)
  • coping (completed, read two more chapters in my book)

Medication = yes
Sober (no drinking/drugs/cutting) = yes (and by the way, I only had three drinks last night)
No Compulsions = Other than a second coffee and pastry, I was pretty darn good today. Even came up with the outline of a spending plan (shhh don't say the "B" word!)
Extras = I consider that extra blog post about moderate-drinking programs to be extra work. It was like writing a book report! Boy, am I way out of practice for that.

TOTAL SCORE = 11/13 = 85% SUCCESS!

Revelations Today

"Maybe bipolar people do feel things more strongly." The negative cynic in me has always believed it was just a matter of control. By default, this also meant I was weak and a failure for having out of control mood swings. (Note: I'm not bipolar, but I do fall above average and I have PMDD, which is the psycho version of PMS.) But after coming to understand that emotions are physical things (see revelations under July 9th's Check-In, it kinda makes sense that maybe some people really do feel things more strongly than other people. Which is not an excuse, mind you, for out-of-control behavior. Just because you got shuffled a lousy hand doesn't mean you get a freebie in the game; you have to play with what you are dealt. It just makes it easier to be compassionate when someone is struggling to cope with dramas that to you are no big deal. They may just be feeling it differently, or more than you do.

"PTSD really is characterized by lack of empathy." I've never been accused of being an empathetic soul. I think jokes about people dying are funny. I wish I had a hydroponic arboretum done in steel like the atrium of the Holocaust Museum (my first thought on walking in was, wow... throw some plants up on the walls and this would be a really nice-looking place.) And yes, I freaked out about KT passing...for an evening...and then it just went flat. Honestly, as I've been saying, I envy her. She gets to find her peace and we're all still wading through the muck trying to move forward from day to day. I'm too drained to feel sad; there isn't any room left.

The analogy of emotions being water in a bucket holds true here. Stress, sadness, whatever, fills up the bucket like water, evaporates as time passes, and fills up again. This can happen pretty quickly in a bucket with just an inch of water in it left out in the sun. But when the bucket starts full, it takes a lot more time, exponentially so, to get rid of that water. And if it rains fairly steadily, that bucket might never go empty. That's pretty much PTSD. Your emotion bucket is already full of so much crap and pain that anything else just fills in that tiny space at the top and spills over the sides. Voila! It's gone. To carry that analogy further, I'm beginning to believe that DID, which can only happen when a PTSD-causing trauma occurs to a young child, warps the very shape of the bucket itself. It's the travel mug that always seems to have a swig of fluid in the bottom no matter how long you sit it out to dry. My only hope is that therapy can slowly mold it back into a normal-ish shape.

Part of it, I guess, is that she committed suicide. Sure, it is a loss for me and for those who loved her, but she got what she wanted, a surcease of pain. So shouldn't I be happy for her? If suddenly I was free from pain I would be pretty darn happy for me. Oh wait, I guess it is the method she chose to end her pain. Seems to me not much different than becoming a zombie on pain medications, which is pretty much the route I'm going. It's not really living. And that's not because I have any great desire to live, but because I've tried (and obviously failed) to kill myself so many times it just depresses me further. And if reincarnation actually happens (and I'm beginning to believe that it might in some format), then it becomes doubly pointless. Everyone just seems to have this incredible attachment to life that I've never understood. I guess that makes me seem like a cold and heartless bitch, but I really am trying to understand what is so great about it other than it's rare? It hurts and it is hard work; you get a chance to learn stuff and grow which is awesome, but is it really worth it?

Like when I used to say I envied Paris Hilton (no, I never watched her show or followed her). See, she's a spoiled and vapid brat who acts shallow because she's never had to experience the kinds of things that give you depth. And folks tell me, no, you don't really want to be like her because you are this amazing person. What I see is what it took for me to EARN all this 'amazing depth of personality'... and I think given a choice (which I didn't have) I would have chosen to be a shallow person and have my life handed to me on a silver platter. I'm sorry folks, I don't think my personality and whatever scraping of wisdom I have is worth all that I have endured. NOTHING is worth all that I have endured. Nothing at all.

Still, I'm playing the hand that I've got.

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Tue, Jul. 17th, 2012 04:54 am (UTC)

I have been reading your posts and I see strengths and things in you that you dont see.......you say you dont feel.......no empathy but I think quite the opposite.........you feel so much you cant handle it.........so it shuts down........I dont know what happened to you..........I do know who we are goes back to what happens to us as children.....and how we react as adults to anything in life is connected to those events. Under the anger.......is hurt..........and under the hurt.........is what what happened..the truth. No negative thoughts.....only positive girl.....karma rocks. Past is gone....cant change it......accept it for what it was.......lay it down......and walk on. Sounds easy........great advice.....not. Hard as hell........up this hill and down. We all walk our hills and valleys........we all have our burdens.........but I think you are walking tall.......perfect scores? nawww........but who of us is perfect. The thing about suicide is it dont just affect the person making the choice. My husband committed suicide. It destroyed me and my daughter and our family and friends........a circle blows outward like an atomic bomb. It actually is a selfish choice. I, me, my. Life is the most precious gift we have ever been handed. Now we may not do it perfect...but I think we really do have to just try. Not put us first. If we put others first and what we can do for them.........we kind of get what we need. I wish you blessings and smiles. Keep walking the path........I have faith you will get there.........deep curtsy.

Wed, Jul. 18th, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)

Darn, I knew I wasn't clear enough when I wrote that, because we are kind of saying the same things from two different angles. It's not that I don't have pain, I have MASSIVE trauma, it's just that I don't feel empathy for NEW kinds of pain, because all that space is taken up by the old pain I already had. New traumas just don't affect me like they should, and that is PTSD. Does that make sense to you? Some things are just harder to express in words and this is one of them.

It's a terrible loss when someone you know commits suicide and I'm sorry you had to experience that. Coming from both sides I can say, yes, it kind of is a selfish choice, but it is not meant to be a hurtful one. When you experience so much pain that you consider suicide (and it can be emotional or physical pain, doesn't matter), it literally destroys your ability to think. So much of your thinking process is overwhelmed by pain, you can't escape yourself to really feel for how those around you will feel when you are gone.

It's like PTSD in that same regard. When the mind is overwhelmed, it is almost impossible to empathize. So it isn't that the person didn't care enough or didn't love enough, it was just that they hurt so much they couldn't think straight.

That said, it is also okay to be angry. Many blessings and I have faith in you as well!

Wed, Jul. 18th, 2012 04:15 am (UTC)

And thank you, for your kind words. :D