Monday, November 15, 2010

it's just the beast under your bed

It's 10:35 p.m. and I'm wrestling with the sheets on my bed. I try lying on my right side, but this only brings to my attention that my husband has not come to bed yet and my maternal instincts will not shut off....ever. If I fall asleep, it will be with one eye open until I know he's safe in bed with me. I can also see the street lights peeking through our shades beyond his pillow, which causes me to feel utterly conflicted on numerous levels.

First and foremost, I can't decide if it's more important to take care of my lungs or to get enough shut eye. I recently took down our thick curtains that, much to my delight, could block out the light of a billion stars. But, I had to reconsider them on account of their "dry clean only" nature....and now I'm so aware of the bright city outside my window. I'm starting to loathe anything that cannot be washed in hot water, because I can't kill all the dust mites living in the fabric with a stinking sheet of Dryell....dust mites are an obsessive concern of mine since my lungs took a turn for the worse a few months after moving to this inexplicably oxygen deprived city on the Connecticut coast. My childhood asthma has returned after a 20 year hiatus, as well as my horrible airborne allergies, which only complicate my asthma further.

I can't wait to move out of Stamford....have I mentioned that? Fairfield county is like a vice to my soul, suffocating me literally and figuratively. Great. Now I'm going to have run through the list of possible cities to move to. Geez, things have really the past I would just throw a dart at a map and pick up and move the next day, but now I have a husband and he has an established career....and I'm just not a carefree 20-something anymore. It torments me to not have a place to settle down and feel at home in now when I used to thrive on the excitement of gypsy life.

Should I put the dust mite-ridden curtains back up? I really can't ignore the light. But, I suppose it's a good thing to have some natural light pouring into the room in the morning. They say it's beneficial to wake up gradually with the rising sun. Ok, I need to turn over to my left side....that's my sweet spot. I wonder if I curled up this same way when I was in my mother's womb, because it's the most comforting position I know. The right side just doesn't feel the same.

I really want to rename my isn't the name coming to me? I've been brainstorming for days now. Lola's Rain.....the Kinks in Lola's Canvas.....crap. I can't believe I am deficient in 3 vitamins! I really don't know anyone who lives a healthier life than I do. I wonder what's wrong with me? What if I have a stroke? It doesn't seem fair that someone who chooses to only eat healthy fats would be saddled with an increased risk of a stroke. Am I being punished for being skinny? I can't help it oh creator of the universe! But, you should know that. Tomorrow I am going to meditate when I wake up, then I'm going to run my ass off. I need a good, long run. And I'm going to go for a walk if it's not raining. I need more sunshine.Oh, and yoga! I need some gooooood afternoon yoga.

Ok....I guess it's time to resort to the alphabet. Let's do "things I'm grateful for" A-Z. A-Alex, B-breakfast, C-creativity, D-drums, E...I always have trouble with E....and I always fall asleep by the letter G.....

This might sound like nothing more than insomnia, something most of us have experienced, but for me it's more than that. This chattering in my head is my constant companion, unless I am fully disciplined in what I call my "Anti A Beast Routine." Even then, there is still the possibility that this overwhelming buddy of mine will pop in and say hello. The "A" that I am talking about is anxiety. Not your run-of-the-mill worries or occasional stress, but what my husband and I like to call "the GAD." I've got the GAD, and I've got it bad. Generalized Anxiety Disorder that is.

I've lived most of my life in an effort to keep any and all craziness under wraps. I think most people live this way, but for me, it's been a shame-based behavior. The reality is we are all crazy (read: human) in some way, large or small. I certainly am, but I'm comfortable with that. I honestly would not want to be that ordinary, untarnished individual with a totally pristine psyche that many of us try to emulate. I feel lucky most days to struggle with anxiety, because it could be SO much worse, and I am a better person for having to navigate the murky corridors of my subconscious and tackle my emotional memory in an effort to heal. I know myself well, and feel strong and loved as a result of my daily efforts to accept and live serenely despite my brain's overwhelming capacity to TALK....and WORRY....all god damn day. So sometimes I start to think about what I might be eating for lunch 10 years from now (maybe my food allergies will go away?) when I should really be focused on the person across the table from me with whom I'm sharing an actual lunch with TODAY. And sometimes I might have a hundred possible outcomes to a problem that hasn't even occurred in real life running through my head. But, I'm ok with that. And I can laugh about it, and laugh about the fact that my number one anxiety is: my anxiety. Think that through. I have anxiety ABOUT my anxiety. It's comical.

So why am I writing about this? Well, I've been thinking about Jack Kerouac a lot lately and one of my favorite things that he ever said is: "I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money. I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down."

Personally, the kind of writing I connect with is utterly honest and human. I think we all look for a piece of ourselves in the stories we choose to read, and that is because connection is oh so important to us humans. We want our existence to be validated. So, as I have recently delved into a deeply honest and personal book project with my husband, I have been meditating on what good old Jack Kerouac said because I share his desire. It's time for me to fish deep down and be "real" as a writer. Buckle up readers!

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