Addiction · Mental Health · Personal Development

Hover

Hummingbird” © AnnCam, 2010. CC BY 2.0.
“You’re running to stand still,” he said as he mimed the motion. “The way you describe it is like the way a junkie describes shooting up just to stay level, you know. You know. Just to keep from getting sick. It sounds exhausting.”

I glanced out the window, then back to him, and pulled one foot underneath me. “I guess I hadn’t thought about it like that. I mean, I guess I just figured I kind of have to do this stuff because…” I trailed off in a light giggle. “This sounds so fucking ridiculous.”

“It sounds dangerous, is what it sounds like. It sounds unachievable. It’s just another way your perfectionism is coming into play.”

He doesn’t usually get preachy. Usually he lets me get there on my own, so I can tell it’s important when he doesn’t. My religious avoidance of things that might be addictive or may cause unhealthy habitual behavior has become just that.

Taking care of myself is getting closer and closer to becoming just another avoidance tactic. Just another thing I do to not deal with what is happening. Focusing on my health slips from being a good idea to a dangerous obsession with just a few additions.

There’s got to be balance somewhere. An understanding of the things I need to do to take care of myself and the way I need to do them. Room for the just sitting, space for doing things just because I like them. There’s has to be a way to have a cup of coffee without thinking, “This is addictive. Caffeine is addictive. Everything is going straight to shit. I’m going to start drinking again.”

Flexibility has never been my strong suit. But I like to think I can learn to stretch. Learn to believe I have the capacity to live somewhere between the perfection that doesn’t exist and passed out drunk in a ditch.

Mental Health

Cage

"籠の鳥 (Kago no Tori: Bird in the Cage)" © halfrain, 2014. CC BY-SA 2.0.
籠の鳥 (Kago no Tori: Bird in the Cage)” © halfrain, 2014. CC BY-SA 2.0.
I take a shower. Change the sheets. Wipe down counters. Try to find my footing and start wondering if I’d even recognize stability.

Sweating. Vision blurry. My breath is shallow in my chest. My mind can’t get its claws in anything.

“Come on. Focus. You’re okay.”

A truck outside honks its horn and I scream, dropping my glass of water into the sink. Constantly jumping. Firing on all cylinders.

“Come on, kid. Breathe.”

Pacing back and forth in my apartment, digging my fingernails into the palms of my hands.

“You’re okay. You’ve been sick. Stuck inside. That’s all this is.”

Boil water. Make peppermint tea. Settle onto the couch and pull my legs up under me.

Sleeping twelve hours a day. Trying to get well physically and I can feel my mind tightening. A spindle already holding too much yarn and doesn’t know what to do with the excess.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll feel better. I’ll leave the house. Talk to someone. Stretch my legs. Get some sun. Stop understanding why caged animals gnaw off their own limbs.

Autobiography

Running, growing, and rap music

"rune" © Alessandro Pautasso, 2009. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
run” © Alessandro Pautasso, 2009. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The past two weeks I’ve been only just functioning. December’s introduction left me incapacitated and stumbling. Wrapped in a blanket, curled up on the couch. This week I managed to pull myself from the apartment with unwashed hair and dirty fingernails. All hazy around the edges, my heart and my head were only half-way there. The kind of week I have trouble even remembering. My word. I know, I swear, I did things.

My exercise weeks start on Thursdays. Wednesday’s scheduled rest day has had a tendency to bleed into two or five days lately. My body has no idea how to go about sleeping these days. Running and trips to the gym get scrapped for sleeping in, cups of coffee, and promises to get it done this afternoon. There is always an excuse to find later. I know I have to trick myself to going outside before I even have a chance to think about it. Can’t fall for that, “Oh, come on, you have all day.” I know that isn’t true. Plus, I’ve always preferred the morning. Continue reading →