Confessions of an Emotional Junkie

If you are over the age of 25 then you have probably noticed patterns in your life.  We all have them, a way of thinking or doing things that we have just assimilated for some reason.  The details of the pattern are really the only difference.  Where mine might herringbone yours might be chevron, or gingham.  I have found a lot of patterns in my life, some are positive ones that I’m glad I have.  Others are negative and end up taking me down a road I don’t want to be again.  It is a slow and agonizing process every time I discover one too.  I would think that there are probably those of us who wake up one morning with perfectly clarity on their pattern but alas, that has yet to happen to me.  It seems like a never-ending path to find the start of a pattern so that I might choose a different road for myself.

One pattern I am beginning to discover is this emotional addiction I seem to have.  It’s weird to think about actually.  How does one have an addition to emotions, but I can’t find a better word to explain it.  I have a need to feel intensely, good, bad or ugly.  And this is not due to an inability to be emotional.  I am actually very empathetic and emotional.  So much so that for most people I turn the emotion button off and they just don’t see that side of me.  It’s too much to be available emotionally like that to everyone.  But man if you are close to me look out because I feel really deep.  And I think I became so used to those feelings (particularly the negative ones) that I started to create situations where I would keep experiencing them.  Cause you know – that was “who I was” or “what I did” or “what my life was like”.  Do you know what I’m talking about?  Does anyone else out there get this?

I became so accustomed to this emotional roller coaster of a life, from my teens on, that I am finding myself on eggshells without it.  I truly almost don’t know how to react to things right now because they are so different.  And the other thing I have discovered is that with the changes in my life that have removed that emotional high I still find myself missing something.  I’m coasting around wondering what am doing and why am doing it.  I have been in this low-grade depression for a while now and the lack of anything to blame it on is what has caused me to stumble onto this pattern in the first place.

My life – is really great.  I have a great job, fabulous kids, a nice home, enough income to be relatively comfortable, companionship and family.  I’m trying to grow a social circle and am active in my church.  Dude – “It’s a Wonderful Life!”.  So then what is causing this feeling of disconnection?

The only thing I have been able to come up with is that without the drama life is sort of boring.  Stable doesn’t necessarily mean exciting.  So I’m missing the emotional roller coaster.  My relationships without it feel different and so I don’t know how to act.  I’m trying to learn to not be a martyr and so I don’t know how to act.  I’m trying to find real intimacy and love and relationship and it is so different from what I believed it to be…so I don’t know how to act.

I’m struggling.  I will have days when I want to pick up on an old pattern and walk down a familiar road just so I will feel something besides this mild indifference.

But I guess those old patterns are being replaced with new ones.  Like crocheting I just haven’t got the rhythm down for the pattern yet so it feels a little awkward.  But with a stable pattern real beauty is created.  With a slow and steady rhythm fewer mistakes are made.  I’ll keep fiddling with it and know that at some point the new will become more comfortable…and I will know how to act.

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My Dog

I have a dog.  Her name is Galaxy.  She is a medium-sized black lab/something mix and we brought her home with us early 2008.  She is crazy…not just crazy, she is neurotic.  She is head shy and doesn’t seem to like men very much.  My guess is she had a heavy-handed male owner for a bit before she was placed for adoption.  She is lazy too.  I have never seen a dog Continue reading

The #IceBucketChallenge

My son was diagnosed with autism at 3 years of age.  It was shattering for me, I will not sugar coat it.  And I still have days where I really struggle with the challenges his autism brings us.  Because it is a part of my life I am a natural advocate for the disorder.  I follow legislation in my state.  I am a supporter of Autism Speaks and my fabulous state autism society.  I hear stories about the major push to help children and adults with this disorder so they can participate in sports and go to concerts and get jobs.  I am glad to see those things but I’ll be honest sometimes I see those stories and I think, “what about the other kids?”.  What about the kids with cerebral palsy, or down’s syndrome, or who are fighting cancer?  Shouldn’t they have the same kind of attention and support for what their struggle is?

So when I saw this #ALS #icebucketchallenge I was excited.  I was glad that I was seeing something being brought to the foreground and looked at.  I am glad that I can show support for it.  We all, every single person on this planet, are struggling with something.  From autism to eating disorders to ALS and we each of us have a responsibility to support each other.  All of us.  To support each other globally.  Take a few minutes and learn a bit about this disease.  While dumping water on your head is good fun, don’t forget the purpose of the exercise.

I have such a huge list of people to nominate.  I would love to see #KevinSpacey do this.  Or my favorite author #JimButcher.  Or how about some great children character’s like: #DoratheExplorer, #MickeyMouse, #BuzzLightyear, you get the idea.  🙂

But I think I will send this out and know I did my part, that I showed my children something important and to have hope that we get better at supporting each other every day.

Below is the video of our #icebucketchallenge I hope you enjoy!

 

A Visit With Sadness

I had a visit from Sadness today.
I was thinking she would be by soon.

Normally Anger or
Denial meet her at the door.
Today I met her
after the first gentle knock.

She looked tired
like she had just spent time with Fear.
She had one hand wrapped around her middle
The other holding herself up on the door frame.

I’ve never really looked at her so close before.

Her face was tear-stained
Her eyes dark and distance.

I invited her in.

I pulled out a chair for her at the table
Brewed some tea.
It was warm.

We both took a deep breath
Then she began to talk.

She talked about things I had not heard about.
Things I didn’t know.

I cried with her
Held her
Told her I was sorry I hadn’t heard her before.

She left sooner today then she normally does.
I had Love and Joy walk her home.

I know I will see her again.
That will be a good visit too.

Vanity of vanities…

Most people are familiar with that song from The Byrds, Turn, Turn, Turn.  And many people know it is taken almost directly from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible.  The lyrics for the song don’t begin until the 3rd chapter of that book.  Have you read the whole book?  It begins, (in verse 2), “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity”.  Depending on your translation it may say futility.  All is futility… not necessarily a hopeful message.  🙂

The text is traditionally thought to be one of the wisdom texts of King Solomon and the entire book, including the chapter that has those popular song lyrics, talks about the futility of live.  I reread the entire book yesterday…I guess I have been feeling futile.  It can be a dry read but if you have never read it, you should.  It is very profound.  A great King who talks about how his wisdom has given him nothing more than any other man because of the futility of live.  We “chase the wind”.  In chapter 1:18 it says, “Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain”.  I think that is where the idea of ignorance is bliss came from.

I find I can relate to King Solomon.  Not that I am wise but that I search for meaning and am not always able to find it.  I ponder questions like; what am I doing, why does this matter and have a hard time finding a satisfying answer.  The reason for that is actually very simple, but no less profound.  And Solomon speaks of it in the text too.  The meaning is to spend as much time enjoying what you have been given for that is all that you have.  Rich, poor, king, slave, man, woman, wise, foolish.  We “all go to the same place.  All [come] from the dust and all return to the dust” (Ecc 3:20).  Good things happen to bad people, bad things happen to good people and all is futile so don’t measure your happiness against it.  Instead spend your time making each moment as beautiful as you can.  Instead make choices each day that bring you joy.  I guess the trick would is to be aware enough to know what will bring you joy in every moment.

This period of transition I find myself in right now is I suppose a blessing in that I am discovering those things that bring me joy.  It isn’t pleasant really, but I’m certain I will find myself looking back at this time in gratitude.  It’s hard to remember that as I go through my days trying to answer big questions with little answers.  Simple answers.  I suppose that is a good place to start.

 

The Evil of Expectations

LOL, I have just had a minor epiphany.  Here I sit, contemplating my life, my choices, my Spirit, God and wondering what the piece is that I’m missing.  Why do I feel so jumbled?  Admittedly I’m at a rather hormonal part of the month (sorry if that is TMI but it’s just the honest to God truth) but everyone knows Continue reading