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going sane [userpic]

what am i gonna do??

September 3rd, 2008 (05:18 am)

current location: Denny's
current mood: confused
current song: mood muzak

the only reason i didn't "fail" out of grad school my first time around was 'cuz i realized i was NOT DOING WELL (depression) and so told my department i was leaving. they countered with "take a leave of absence" which i did, but finally never went back since the depression got worse and worse.... that was back in '97.

i'm just now feeling well enough to consider going back (thank GOD, not to the same university or the same research area). however, that means applying all over again, from the beginning, at new programs, most of which won't accept GRE scores over 5 years old and some which want the MCAT! yet, how do i explain a 10+ year gap that includes living on social security disability due to mental illness??? i'm very afraid... very, VERY afraid!

i'm rapidly (months) approaching 40 years old, and don't even have an MS behind my name since the grad program was PhD or bust...! i'm looking at retaking a test that is no longer on paper, one i've never taken, and then having to EXPLAIN why i was depressed, but how and why i'm now better!?!?!?

any advice???

going sane [userpic]

why i struggle with depression and misanthropy...

August 5th, 2008 (04:30 pm)

current location: public library
current mood: sad

[excerpted from Sacred Plant Medicine by Stephen Harrod Buhner (pp.4-5):]

As Mother Theresa said, softly, when receiving her Nobel Prize, "It is not we who are poor but you."

The poverty Mother Theresa spoke of can be felt strongly when comparing the following stories:

In Korea, it is said that in the year 850 A.D. the Ginkgo tree was in danger of becoming extinct. It is a tree whose existence is interwoven with that of human beings in Asia, only recently (about 1800) having been introduced into the west. The Ginkgo is used for food and medicine and additionally is held to have many spiritual attributes. In that time of danger, many Buddhist monasteries in Korea began taking saplings into the monasteries to protect the tree from extinction. The Buddhists were credited with saving the Ginkgo from extinction by taking it into their temple gardens.1 One of the largest ginkgo trees in Asia grows on the grounds of Yongmun-san temple in Korea. It stands 180 feet tall, 15 feet in diameter, and is said to have been planted in the ninth century. This tree, planted to protect the species from extinction, was kept with reverence and prayer for over a millennium. People still make pilgrimage there to visit it.

Some 1100 years later (around the 1950's), a graduate student was finishing his Ph.D. on the bristlecone pine. He had completed his course work and was working on his dissertation, conducting field research in a bristlecone pine forest. He was trying to establish the bristlecone as one of the oldest trees on the North American continent.

He hiked for many days, packing in his equipment, and set up camp. Eventually he located the tree he would study, the tree which he believed was the oldest tree in the forest. In fact, he intended to use a core drill to extract a sample from the tree in order to count its rings and establish its age. He kept extensive field notes and made careful preparations. His Ph.D. degree depended on the research he was conducting on this tree. However, when he was ready to drill a core from the tree, the core drill was not working. He struggled with it for days trying to fix it but to no avail. He did not have another core drill but he did have a saw. And he cut down the tree and found it was some 4000 years old by counting its rings. A tree already 2000 years old when Christ lived, cut down for a Ph.D.2

It is never possible to share this story without experiencing deep feelings of sorrow. The story brings home the rift between humans and the world, the poverty and illness with which we struggle with as a species. The feelings it brings to the heart are often too deep for words. Yet, they are the ones all of us try, often with great success, to repress. There is not a one of us who does not carry the grief concominant with the damage to our home. As Aldo Leopold notes:

One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on the land is invisible to laymen. An ecologis must either harden its shell and make believe the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.3

1. Del Tredici, Peter, Arnoldia, 51(2):2-15, 1991, revised by author, 1992 as
Classic Botanical Reprint Number 224.
2. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_R._Currey for more details).
3. Leopold, Aldo, A Sand County Almanac. New York: Ballantine, 1991, p. 197.

going sane [userpic]


August 1st, 2008 (06:25 am)

just one small reason to live....
clipped from www.piclens.com
 blog it

going sane [userpic]

embracing living

August 1st, 2008 (03:05 am)

current location: Denny's
current mood: busy

i've chosen to live. big change! will write soon....

going sane [userpic]

aaahhhhh writing

August 24th, 2006 (12:20 pm)
Tags: ,

current location: next door
current mood: pleased
current song: gentle humming of the pc and fan

so, i've finally figured out the last bit about why i've been too blocked for forever regarding my writing even though the "push" has been so consistent for so long.

i've known for a few years that i need to begin by writing my bio to clear the air so-to-write, before my past dripped all over every sentence i penned. combine this need to confront my childhood with my fear of a repeat of losing it like i did after i took that autobiography class in 2000 and wrote those 20-or-so pages that knocked me on my ass (from the pent up pain) and i see stuck reason #1. i so love living in fear!!!! :P bah!!!

after reading "if you want to write" by brenda ueland i see that until i can really feel my feelings again, i can't write. she stresses that writing can only happen from our core (deep feelings) and not our head (where i've retreated to over the years). aha! stuck reason #2!!!

i've been able to see clearly that i felt a need for a safe "place" to write so i wouldn't be overwhelmed by grief or whatever feelings come up, but i've gotten so good at shutting down the dark emotions that i wasn't feeling much of anything at all. hard to write when i'm paralyzed from feeling anything, let alone the wretchedness the soul-searching will pull up.

al-anon is teaching me to accept my feelings, and allow myself to FEEL them instead of repressing them or denying they could be right. hopefully, THIS is the key to unlock this blockage. i KNOW i need to write, the universe has been knocking too loudly for too damn long for me not to get this clue! thankfully, al-anon is giving me the tools i need to unlock me from my fears and upside-down attitudes so i can start living like the rest of the world. oh yeah, and write dammit!!! LOL

going sane [userpic]

what i heard in meeting

August 2nd, 2006 (12:48 am)

current location: on the bed with my two cats
current mood: contemplative
current song: 94.9 fm "big sonic chill"

today, someone mentioned that she was always looking outside herself to be taken care of, and i had a couple of epiphanies on hearing this. first i so understood her statement because i too have always wanted to find someone to take care of me because i'm dreadfully tired of having to do it. so i quit. but then i thought that i'm tired because i have wasted all my effort trying to take care of others when they can and should be doing it themselves. and then, it occurred to me that maybe if i spent my energy taking care of myself, then i'd not be so tired and could quit looking for someone to take care of me (when in reality, even if i found someone who tried, they'd do it "wrong" and piss me off anyways!).

and just last week i thought that all those months looking for the perfect Dom last year was a futile endeavor. i finally realized only my higher power could fulfill all my requirements; any human is going to fall far short. then i heard last saturday at another meeting that we should look in ourselves for what we look for in others and our higher power. i'm seeing a pattern from the universe here for me to clue into....

going sane [userpic]

what do i want??

July 30th, 2006 (03:02 am)
Tags: , ,

current location: in rv parked outside my condo
current mood: hopeful
current song: meowing of my sweet tigger cat

if only i knew the answer to that question, i'd be miles down the road of my recovery journey. unfortunately, for far too long i've been trying to live the life my mom gave up when she had me in high school (only just realized it in the last few months) that i have no clue who i am, what i want, or where i'd like to see myself in any part of the future, years, months or even tomorrow. SO..., i'm going to verbally vomit here on this topic as an attempt to get some clarity out of the dense fog of my thoughts:

i want to be beautiful again. this goal will entail continuing my attempt to learn to trust my higher power to not only guide me regarding my next indicated step toward serenity, but also to trust that my higher power will either actually keep me safe and/or give me the tools, courage and strength necessary to overcome any experience of real danger i may encounter, as opposed to my long-standing phobia of being tortured and murdered.

also, to become my inner hottie, i want to focus on my health which will include eating better, getting stronger through physical activity, and taking vitamins. luckily, all of these actions will contribute to the above feeling of safety as well since i will be better able to defend myself until i can run away from any real-life, physically-dangerous situation.

i want to sell my condo or at least move out of it (and rent it), then move into my rv so i can tour the country and find where i am next going to live.

i want to find a way to support myself so that i don't have to rely on ssdi or my mother and can keep the equity i've accumulated in my condo and not deplete it by covering living expenses or impulse purchases (so i guess that means finally learning to budget).

i want to continue exploring my inner/hidden/repressed talents and desires to discover my authentic self. i want to journal. i want to feel all my feelings and learn to readily identify them. i want to find an activity where i can release my decades of pent-up rage constructively and not let it seep out and poison my relationships with my closest friends (perhaps a martial arts class would cover many of the above wants??).

i want to work through my "shit" enough that i can successfully have an intimate relationship with a man where we can grow and evolve both as individuals and as part of a couple.

i want to garden. i want to have farm animals and horses. i want to learn to cook. i want to write creatively and study how my favorite authors entice me into their worlds. i'd love to teach.

going sane [userpic]

first ramblings

July 23rd, 2006 (03:41 am)

current location: dog beach
current mood: amused
current song: distant, incessant barking

i love my astrology forecasts: universal truth IS universal truth!!!!!

Daily teen (by Astrology.com)
A new beginning is like a blank canvas -- you can fill it with any shape or color you can think of.

Daily Cosmic Calendar (iVillage.com, Astronet)
Take advantage of another pleasant day -- thanks to the cosmos holding off on its negative mode of expression. Water sports and activities by a seaside resort hold promise during Cancer Moon. This is amplified by a grand triangle in water signs while the Moon trines Jupiter in Scorpio (2:06AM PDT) and Uranus in Pisces (11:18AM PDT).

right now, i'm lounging in my rv at dog beach. i left the house right about 2 am, so that was right on, and after walking around for some time feeling the breezes and the ocean ambiance, i finally sat down to right this first entry....


i've been reading "Revelations: Diaries of Women" edited by Mary Jane Moffat and Charlotte Painter, as well as "What should I do with my Life" by Po Bronson. both are individually amazing books, but by reading them in tandem, i'm feeling further, not so subtle, pushes from the universe (my higher power?) to write DAMMIT!!! you'd (or at least i do) think that after almost 10 years of this nudging, i would maybe put pen to paper.

oh, if only i'd either listen to that prompting and write, OR quit getting the urge, i'd feel a whole lot better. stupid me though, can't seem to find a way around her blocks. i realize my fears about writing are stopping me from trusting the universe: that 1.) i am supposed to write, and 2.) that i have something worth saying, even if only for my eyes alone. BUT i DON'T yet trust completely these things, even though i'm working on trusting my higher power to lead me in the direction i NEED to go instead of my thinking i have any clue where i'm headed. i'll write about how that's going in another post later.

i doubt/fear that i will ever go back to grad-school, but i often equate getting better and being happy with being at a university studying the things i love. so naturally, i'm focusing on how cool it would be to study creative writing and women's diaries with Ms. Moffat. if i could "get well enough" to live a more normal life, maybe i could do that. unfortunately for now, this is so NOT an option. besides, why do i think school is the answer? i don't need to study this stuff formally in a classroom as the only means of learning about women writers and exploring myself and my writing abilities.

who knows, other than my higher power, if i am even interested in being "tested" ever again. i do enjoy learning at my own pace, but also miss the camaraderie of fellow students and the intense, encapsulation of the tons of information i get from a lecture by a professor that may have spent his/her whole career collecting interesting tidbits of information that make the writer and her work come more vividly, vibrantly alive for me. i KNOW i can't get that in-depth level of understanding on my own in a short time, and most likely would miss most of the cool tidbits completely if left to my own devices.

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