State of the Union, Isle of Tam, March 2011

It’s that time of the month. No, not that time of the month. Appraisal time. Time to see how I did or did not measure up these past 28 days. I have a tendency to be harsh with myself in my head. Raven voices tell me I never do enough, I never do anything well enough. Therefore, before I even begin this accounting, I’ll remind myself of Max Ehrmann’s words so I can try to be objective. And though I’m sure all of you know the Desiderata, it never fails to calm me and give me hope.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

So very beautiful, isn’t it? I think that what the Serenity Prayer does for people with addictions the Desiderata does for me.

I feel, as always, that I have not accomplished all that I needed. I know I have not. My duties, at the present time, are to be the best and most loving mother I know how to be, work as many hours as my employer will give me and work as well as I can to ensure I continue having that employment, attend daily to my mental health, attend daily to my physical health,  keep my house presentable for prospective buyers, tend to my animals, be the best daughter and friend/relative I can, and be the best citizen of the planet as lies within my capabilities.

This past month has not been easy–I lost a relationship that was important to me. But while it has been painful, I have not fallen completely apart.

I went to my job when I was expected to be there, and I gave every ounce of passion I have to that job. I gave both sides of my brain to it as well, and guarded myself so that my illness didn’t interfere with my productivity or work relationships–I didn’t insist on perfection, and I didn’t stir waters with my coworkers. I kept my own counsel about situations and processes and people I haven’t cottoned to, waiting to see over a period of time “what is” rather than “what seems to be.”

My mental health toolkit contains therapy, journaling, blogging, EFT, being social, taking my medications, eating healthfully, and exercising. Major fail.

I took my medications every day, but not at a consistent time. It’s very difficult for me to maintain a schedule unless there are routines enforced by someone or something outside of myself. Even so, I was more irregular than normal. I was also all over the place with bedtimes and didn’t eat healthfully. I did start exercising and went to a ballet class. Unfortunately, I don’t have the proper attire at the moment and I can’t really afford it or to go regularly at this point in time, which makes me really crestfallen. But it did feel good to go and move and to be part of a group. I’ll keep looking for something that I can do.

I blogged but I didn’t journal much. To my credit, however, though writing the blog actually wasn’t easy for me this month, I posted 13 times. Writing My Big Fat Summer Vacation and the Summer of Familial Love took me days and it was as if I were eating spinach from the can–trying to force it down, or rather in this case, trying to force it out. Writing about Darren was like that also. I guess those were places I did not want to journey to again. But it’s done, and hopefully my cousin Kathy will tell me if I remained true to the course of events. I felt myself wanting to shirk some responsibility while I was writing–which made me work at remaining present and try very hard to be true in accounting for my part in how the events unfolded.

I attended my doctor appointments and even made the quarterly PHP Consumer Advisory Board Meeting. What a snooze. But hey, it looks good on the résumé, and they feed you lunch.

I was barely social, unless you count Facebook, and I while I love it dearly for the people there, social needs to mean, for me, making phone calls and seeing people face to face. Fail, fail, fail. The news I did get from loved ones was difficult. My mother has been ill for three weeks and my parents are putting their house on the market next month. My nephew in Japan is close to the nuclear power plant that is in meltdown.

I tended to my animals and was the best mother I could be and was the best citizen I could be. I participated in the world and made my voice heard.

I had a lot of down time this month. I spent a lot of time reading. That is the method I use to escape pain and things that need doing. On the one hand, I want to be compassionate with myself. I really was in a world of hurt. On the other hand, I can never have those hours back.

This month, I would like to do less escaping and more living. I would like to be more consistent about living and reaching my goals. And wouldn’t you know, my horoscope has something to say about that.

“In the absence of clearly defined goals,” said Cancerian writer Robert Heinlein, “we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” If this description is even a partial match for the life you’re living, now is an excellent time to address the problem. You have far more power than usual to identify and define worthy goals — both the short-term and long-term variety. If you take advantage of this opportunity, you will find a better use for the energy that’s currently locked up in your enslavement to daily trivia.

I could use some help with the short-term goal process. I’m a little lost right now, and spinning in circles. For me, with OCD, it’s so much better to act than to think. Anyone who has any constructive input is welcome to call me, just remember that another trait of OCD is that one is easily overwhelmed, which is why we think instead of act. Small, manageable goals that can be accomplished and problem-solving is helpful. I get stuck in the process when I can’t put everything in place because I’m missing what I need for a step. It throws me for a loop. Thanks!

I promised myself I would get to bed by midnight tonight, and it’s shortly after.

Gratitudes:

1.) My children, always.

2.) My nephew, Jason, who I’m trying to bring into the family fold. (He said I’m the only Davidsson* that isn’t off her rocker and sliding into insanity…let’s break it to him gently, shall we?)

3.) My mommy, who has been sick these past three weeks.

4.) Friends and family.

5.) Pennie and Lady.

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About ZephyrLiving

Join me on my journey, if you like. A return to mental health. When I started with my first blog in 2011, I was three years in. Now it's 2015, and I am so much better. I though I had nothing less to lose. I was so very wrong. So arrogant--or deluded! OCD, Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome, Chronic Depression, PTSD and Histrionic Personality Disorder. A big list, a big task. I've come a long way and still have far to go. But I've built my foundation and I'm working at it every single day! Join me for some laughs, some inspiration, some hope, and support. Peace.
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