Tuesday, July 31, 2012

UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE … July 31st 2012

 I have made real progress these last few weeks, checking items off my to-do list with regularity. I was scheduled to see my therapist today however she postponed our session until next Tuesday to take care of other matters. That leaves me to my own devices with regards to drawing up the next set of tasks for my agenda. These last couple of months have been an emotional roller-coaster, especially in the areas of school and finances. Financially, I have come to the end of any and all monies previously dispersed under Erhard's name. I am, in a word, flat broke.
On the plus side however I did manage to Erhard's title to the '96 Lincoln and can now sell it – giving us another couple of months of monetary self-sufficiency – although that statement is predicated on my being able to sell the car for cash-up-front-and-in-total. The paperwork for school has been completed and sent and now it's time to start on my missed assignments. So that's definitely on the agenda. Driving home from Chicago I made the decision to straighten up the house from the top down – no major cleaning, just a quick tidying-up. This will clear a mental and temporal path for me to start on my assignments. In addition, I should probably go ahead and run a load of laundry too.
For the last 2 months I have relaxed my adherence to SparkPeople's trackers in order to determine whether I could maintain my weight loss without the daily recording, but I have discovered that this isn't true yet so beginning tomorrow I will return to keeping daily logs. Although I didn't gain back anywhere near what I would have in previous diet incarnations I still have 50+ pounds to lose before getting down to my ultimate goal weight of 135 pounds. SparkPeople definitely makes a difference!
I have begun to list items on eBay again and already have some sales that need processing. Right now selling off as much of my things as I comfortable can is my only hope of generating some income. I do need to get the i-cash forms notarized as well and apply for DHS assistance and any home improvement grants available for the Signal Hill area. I also have to file my guardianship status form so that I can continue as Angie's guardian. More items for the agenda.
Beyond these tasks I have come to the conclusion that now is the time to start working on the new garage. It looks like as flea market exploded in there! I simply can't tolerate the mess anymore, seeing as how my entire house has been cleaned and the old garage is still pretty much intact. Not to mention the fact that I want to hold a garage sale in the near future and there are plenty of items that could be sold online or donated outright. So I think I have my plan-of-action in mind. If I stay on task each one of the items I mentioned can demonstrate real progress by the time I see Dr. Garcia on the 7th of August. Just one more thing to note... I am going to try my level best to extend my allocated medications farther than I have... preferably into at least the middle of August. In the past it has been too easy to run through them like candy and then suffer later. This is one demon I have been wrestling with for many years and this time I will make real, tangible progress towards its defeat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

PROOF OF LIFE


I don't normally share the contents of my therapy sessions, but since little else in my life really feels normal anyway, I have decided to open my thought processes up to a little observation in the hopes of more accurately communicating just what's going on with me these days. I will not belabor the details of sadness but will admit to it still being a large part of my every waking and dreaming minute. Sadness has caused me to retrench back into myself in many ways that I thought I had long since retired in favor of being more open and present. The resulting stagnation has produced little except miscommunication and misunderstanding and my further emotional recoil. It is a toxic, dangerous spiral.
About two months ago I began therapy through NIU. While I had hoped that in the ensuing years since last I sought help some sterling-silver panacea had been developed to rid me of my emotional ills, the truth is that while productive and beneficial, this therapy requires the same old slop of work and determination that it has always demanded. There are the celebratory epiphanies and desperate agonizing periods of regression. So while my life is not currently in the throes of downward spiral, my days and nights are spent living in what can best be described as a sine wave.


As a result, my therapist and I have worked to construct a clean foundation with which to begin the transformation of this up-and-down pattern with something more approaching contented forward progress. After much introspection it has become clear that for me to begin, three items need to be addressed first: Make the decision to finish or leave school; Ruszczak Family Conference and Shred my old therapy notes. For some of you reading, the first of these will be surprising, since almost everyone who has ever known me knows how much I have talked about finishing my degree. But as a precondition for this process to work, all should-have-s and must-do-s have been swept off the table, everything in my life had to be recognized as being completely optional and driven by my choices and decisions alone. This implies my ownership of what happens from here on out.
Over the last nine months the volume of work required to complete my schoolwork has become almost overwhelming, and the heart and soul of my desire to finish this degree has been dying of malnourishment as I have turned my attention to almost everything and everyone and where else. So the time has come to recognize the crossroad and choose a direction – either I finish my work and graduate this December 16th or I withdraw from school and petition to have my last year erased. Every other option has already been considered and eliminated. It's do or do not.
The second of those – the Ruszczak Family Conference – comes down to some very practical and currently salient questions regarding the continued financial stability of my household , most notable me. Before leaving for therapy this afternoon I sent away what amounted to the tenth monthly installment of household bills – ensuring that everything is now paid until the end of August. But I am at the end of my financial rope and have no further ability to conjure additional string out of thin air without the input of the rest of the family. I am proud to say that we have managed to stay afloat for far longer than I think anyone thought possible last October – but I am unable to continue this without reinforcement.
The last one may seem out of place – surely shredding one's previous notes could not compare in urgency with the other two – and yet for me right here and now it ranks as highly as those having to do with far more tangible concerns because of the emotional investment I have accumulated in the keeping of those note for so many years post-therapy. I have not looked them at any length for twenty years and yet they represented for me my proof of life – the repository of my mental energies and insights. But I require that energy in the here and now and so I must move beyond yesterday's answers and gnosis even at the risk of having to relearn some of their lessons. They represent the me that was becoming the me that was, and do not speak of or to the person writing this blog today. I have managed to purge a considerable amount of “stuff” these past months and years, but the time has come for this particular set of notes to go.
For anyone who has ever sought to encapsulate their life into writing – whether journal, fiction or notation, the weight of this decision will be obvious. For anyone who has ever been in therapy, the decision to destroy the old and move beyond its boundaries will be apparent. I am both agonized and excited.
My next session is one week from today, and this is what I have pledged to accomplish during this time. Your encouragement, suggestions, and prayers will all be appreciated.