Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ship Shaped

I didn't realize I had skipped a day, because I woke at 1 AM on Tuesday morning and wrote the blog. I was going to finish it later, but never got back to it. Sorry about that.

With so much going on in the news, about the loss of rights for minorities and women, it is tempting to devolve around those issues, but I can't. This blog is a comfort zone for me. The outside world doesn't exist, only the fact of myself, and my diagnoses, and the differences between the two. I am not my mental illnesses, or my alcoholism; another facet exists. I have disorders and alcoholism. But they do not comprise my being. They are simply somethings that I must treat and learn to work with to survive, and live happily.

I am firmly convinced that my higher Power, HP, wants me to live doing what I can to help the world, and the other living creatures that inhabit it. It wants me to share the joy of being, to make the way easier, and to have my own way made easier in return.

I have gone through my borderline personality disorder therapy book, and realized I have skipped a lot of the homework. Somehow, in my efforts to Be, I have lost some initiative to Participate. It's a logical decision on my Mind's part...participation entails vulnerability, to some extent. I don't know if it is a quest to limit vulnerability, but it necessarily cuts down on participation and interaction.

Humans hurt me. Interacting causes all kinds of emotions that I may not feel equipped to handle. After all, it's not as if I swim in a world of emotionally healthy people. While my quest for emotional sobriety, and stability occupies me, it does not occupy others. I have no control over others and their actions. Therefore, it creates a resentment on my part to have to deal with people who may/may not be working on their character and point of view as much as I do. Especially when I feel cheated of a 'fair' reaction. Or when I am misunderstood, deliberately or not.

But, my very nature as a human, social creatures that we are, demands that I do participate. Today, I ask HP for the willingness to participate with others, with all their demands, and illnesses, and joys and gifts. I cannot afford resentment for where/when I am. I don't want to drink!

I want to be healthy and well, and live within loving, caring relationships. I would like to increase the joy of living for those around me. I would like to live joyfully as well. Which shouldn't (judgement call) depend on the material world, but for me, does.

That is: I like my cozy place, and my cozy animals. I like the introverted world I live in. I am happiest on a ship, everything tidied and stored away, with nothing sticking out into the aisles. I love the battened hatches, and everything roped to the deck, ready for storms.

As the author Larry Niven once pointed out though, the universe is not designed for my joy, or happiness. The universe is geared for my destruction, the universe runs down.  Perhaps that is why humans have a spiritual life, which is geared toward the eternal.

And all this results from a Facebook post by a friend, that a loved one has gone insane after a death. Just as I did, after losing my Dad. Of course, there were the other components: the sexual assault, the divorce, all in the same year. Throughout my experiences living as an insane person, I never felt without the presence of a living higher Power.  However, I have no doubt, that insanity holds death for me. I cannot 'do' it again.

So I take my medications, and don't drink, first of all. I hold a psychiatrist and a therapist as close as I am allowed. I hold my friends even closer. I remember a time without hope. I remember days and nights, weeks and months, with nothing to look forward to, and no hope that it would ever change.

It remains the most profound experience of my life, living without hope. I would not revisit that place for anything, neither love nor money. There is nothing more dreadful, and many people on the planet today live without hope.

I do not have the capabilities to tell you how much I cannot walk that path again. JK Rowling, of the Harry Potter series, said once that she based the characters of the Dementors, on her experience with depression. As if there would never be anything happy again.

And so often, when I am overcome by negativity, or hopelessness, I distract myself with the material. I soothe my unquiet soul with the tidiness of the world around me. As you can imagine, I frequently must limit my view to my very physical surroundings. I must limit my world view to my animals, my pets, a healthy relationship as any. Animals can have emotional problems, but my animals do not at this time. I try to keep them happy and healthy, and they do the same for me.

I try to keep my person clean, which is an effort, and I dress carefully everyday, although it may not seems like it. My hair is wild and crazy and curly, but every strand is arranged. I wear jewelry to look complete, not for any show of vanity, but the ship must be rigged with every rope it has. Nothing is superfluous. Sails tied the wrong way mean death in a storm, and I hope never to meet another as unprepared as I was, so long ago.

I have a routine, which I keep when I am healthy, as if my life depends on it, and it does. Everything should be ship-shape in case of disaster. I take my medication carefully, everyday; I ponder the unknown, but not unknowing, in my meditations every morning; I turn to this blog to begin communication with the day. I reflect on the shining rails of my ship, the brasses polished, and the ropes worn clean with the sea.

I rigorously scrub my conscience clean every night.  Did I cause harm that day? Did I do what I could to right it, if I did? Are my relationships in balance? I ask for willingness to understand, rather than to be understood, to listen, rather than to be listened to, to help, rather than to be helped.

I ask for willingness to help myself, to be firm on my own behalf. If I don't look after me, who will? There exist in my life, people who will look after me, if I do not: but it cannot be expected of them. My existence, after all, depends on my care.

 I do deprive myself of sleep time, fantastically important to someone with mental illnesses, to have some 'alone' time, some privacy. But I do keep some sort of a schedule about it. And I share it with you.

How can anyone's talent be enough to convey all I try to tell you? Shakespeare had it. But I am not he. So I write this blog and my poetry, in what I often feel is a fruitless effort to share what I think most important: take care of yourself. Don't drink or drug, take your meds, and for heaven's sake, eat something and get some sleep...

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