Thursday, May 08, 2008

First Aid

I once happened upon a word in the dictionary that was the proper term for the period of exhaustion you experience after crying. That was some amount of years ago and I've never been able to find the word since. It has since became one of my favorites.

Making that post was therapeutic. Writing it reduced me to an absolute mess but what followed was a weird kind of serenity that has lasted since. I make myself miserable with overthinking, with overpoeticizing, with distraction. Ultimately, there's not a whole lot more to analyze than "I'm overwhelmed." If I knew that word, it would be the title of this post, because I feel calm.

The past couple of years have been my two worst. Vicious insecurity has coalesced with a number of unresolved, undiagnosed physical pains and discomforts, a series of minor and major emotional traumas (crushingly bleak night followed by vitriolic confrontation with neighbors, dry ice bombs, moving to college, death of cat, Bryan's suicide) and a variety of domestic/academic frustrations to pound me into the most compromised state of my life. But it's OK, because I'm putting everything above board now.

If I was writing in the same cycle that I've used forever, what would now follow would be some kind of fabricated sense of grand perspective, a makeshift resolve to change. But I don't know what's going to happen, how I'm going to make it better or how long it's going to take. What I do know is that writing about this makes me feel like I'm unwrapping rotten bandages, cleaning the wound, drying it, exposing it to light and air.

I'm not going to say "this is the true nadir, the low point at which I begin to climb my way back up the ladder," because I don't know if it is. I hope so. I hope that I am ready to get better. I'm optimistic, though. This feels right.

Tomorrow morning I'm getting on a train to visit my Civil War re-enactor aunt and uncle in Vermont. They have a beautiful house on a beautiful lake and a beautiful garage full of canons. They're planning on taking me to shoot their MR-15, which is some kind of gnarly-ass assault rifle used for exploding Kuwaitis. Should also be therapeutic.

I will say that I am guilty of being too consumed by my own worries about myself to pay attention to the things that are happening around me. I've been cycling through old photos, which is a habit of mine, and almost every series makes me smile or laugh out loud, because my life is full of wonderful, hilarious people. Sorry if I haven't done my part to return the joy you all seem so ready to share with me.

I think things are going to change. Here's a wish in the well.

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