I woke up around 3am and haven’t been able to really go back to sleep. I’m here now at 6:26am about to virtually meet Julie to write via Zoom, physically located on the 3rd floor of our apartment building. I’ve been feeling all sorts of emotions, sensations and thoughts.
The eczema on my neck is more pronounced, like a raised brownish-red scar or hickey. A manifestation of perceived failures and disappointments. The sense that I can’t seem to meet obligations, expectations. My procrastination and failure disappointing all the people in my life. I’ve been eating more sugar, more flour. I’ve been drinking more alcohol. I’ve been MIA and unable to be accountable as much to people, get back to those I want to get back to. Everything just feels like too much. I have stopped exercising. I’m barely meditating. I stopped tracking. I feel like a hot mess. Yet on social media, I prop myself up as though I’ve figured it out. I haven’t. I feel like I’ve been preachy but can’t seem to walk the walk, just talk the talk. So sick of myself.
I just want to disappear. I just want everything I don’t want to do to disappear.
My eczema on my neck and the crease of my right arm is itching.
I feel like shouting: Get over yourself!
I want my ego to leave.
I want to feel ease.
I feel locked in. By others’ expectations and my own.
I feel like a fraud. I’m barely keeping up.
I feel like jamming a sock in my mouth.
Although I don’t want to kill myself, I can understand the tendencies, the ideations.
Sometimes, you just want the pain, the internal prison of anguish, to simply stop.
That’s why I love LSD. That one time I did it, I realized I could disappear. I could drop my ego. Just pure ease. I could feel as if time were standing still. There was no such thing as “out of time.”
. . .
I just meditated to the self-compassion meditation that Julie sent me a while back, with Dr. Kristen Neff. It did make me feel better. To remember that suffering is part of the human condition. That we all fail. We all make mistakes.
I remember my mom tumbling onto her knees, begging Jehovah for forgiveness, for being “so imperfect,” so “full of sin.” To this day, I’m not sure what my mom was suffering from, but honestly, the last day or so, I can relate. That ache inside wanting to be cleansed, to be redeemed, is real.
Life is a rollercoaster. A ride of ups and downs. And what a ride it’s been. I am sad as I look out the window outside, seeing two cranes face each other as the morning light in the sky begins to brighten. It’s now 7:07am. My breasts ache around the edges as I type. I’m not quite here. Yet I type, I think.
I hate that I don’t know quite what to do.
Today is October 1, 2020. Today around 5pm there will be a full moon. Julie and I usually plan to the lunar cycles.
What is my plan?
What will I do with this life that I have left? How will I design a life that matters?
How do I not alienate people and spread bad energy all over the place? How can I heal others when I am so far from healing myself? And how is it possible to heal others and yourself when the outside world is so toxic?
How do you love the white people in your life?
How do you love the nonwhite people, including yourself?
How do you write or think or act without triggering yourself or others?
How can you revise a novel when you don’t even know what to do? Perhaps I need to read a novel that I truly love. Perhaps I need to write a memoir. Perhaps this novel isn’t working. It’s not doing what I had hoped it to do, following formulaic writing techniques that make me feel like I’m doing it wrong, that I’m stupid and dense for not getting it. Especially when everyone else is getting it. Not me. I’m just standing there alone, stupid, naked and raw. Just unable to move fast enough. Not able to move forward. Stuck. Perhaps I’m moving in the wrong circles. Perhaps I’m not feeling safe. Perhaps I’m not feeling seen or heard. I am feeling judged, shamed, silenced. I am feeling compared. Guilt is not the whip I want to guide me towards success. How much of it is mine and how much of it is their’s?
Clearly I am attracting this into my life.
Is the answer in CODA? Isn’t that finite? Final. The end? That’s what I interpret it to be as someone who once read sheet music to play the piano. I think this is what that is.
The words are not tumbling out the way I want them to this morning. I am a puzzle I’m still trying to put together. I am a ball of knotted and tangled yarn I am slowly, impatiently, attempting to unravel. Self-optimization feels like a joke. Just when you think you have something down, you realize how you really don’t quite know the answers. There are no experts. How can you study yourself? Your mind? Your body? And are psychedelics, especially high dose ones, truly the answer to self-inquiry?
I am trying to figure out what I want to figure out in life. I am 48 years old. Is it too late?
What if I dropped EVERYTHING?
- My novel I’m revising
- My job as a virtual assistant
- All of my clients
- All of the unfinished tasks I said I’d do
- All the obligations
- My marriage
- My kids
- My parents
- My siblings
- My friends
- My apartment
- My Instagram account
- My blog
- My books
- My ecourses — all the ones I signed up to do but can’t seem to finish
- My diet
- My bills
- My ego
- My fitness routines
- My anguish about racism
- My goals and dreams
- My fears around Covid and rising anti-Asian hatred
- All my fears
- All my stuff
- All the people to get back to
- Wanting others to respect me
- Wanting fame and wealth
- Wanting success and healthspan
- Wanting youth and beauty
- My constant procrastination
- The over-promising and under-delivering
Who would I be? What would I have left?
Who am I without all the stuff? Who am I without a title, a job, a role? Without my usual identities?
Is this what Pema Chodron did when she left her children and life to become a monk?
Who am I without all the doing, all the striving, all the dreaming?
. . .
Quite honestly, I feel fucking free as I write this.
In fact, as I walked to the bathroom feeling happier than before it dawned on me that I had managed to resurrect myself via writing just now. This hypothetical question of “what if” shifted the negative energy inside me and gave me hope.
When I came back to my laptop, my friend and accountability writing partner, Julie, reminded me, as I read back to her what I had written here: “You are already writing. Like the playwright, Irene Fornes, you are writing to live.”
Who knew I had the power to write myself out of a funk? Who knew that by simply naming and dropping everything (even hypothetically) onto the page, it could make me feel better? Make me want to stay, rather than disappear?
This is truly the power of words. May you find the power within the next time you find yourself in a funk.
You speak that truth Lily, thank you for writing your seasonal moment gosh as I felt your pain and frustration you are a damn great writer, u and Daryl. Stay well, stay in the light or try too, these days are always followed by a new day urgh. Love ya guys n miss ya. Stay safe and healthy!!
Angela! Thank you for your response to my post. That was a terrible time, and I’m glad it resonated with you too. Writing, I often forget, can be a tool to get yourself out of a rut. We miss you, Angela! It’s been too long. Maybe Darrell and I can Zoom together one day soon with you. Stay safe and healthy too.