Monday, April 18, 2016

Part One: Edvard Munch, The Sarlacc Monster, and Moving Plans

Brace yourself. I'm about to "dive into the wreck."

Well, I'm trying to. You see, I am not doing OK. I have no wish to share the overly personal but I realize that this feeling that I've had for the last two years (notice I haven't posted anything in about that much time?) that I want/need/must have a change is, well, not just a feeling. This is my reality.

Long story short, I'm one of the millions of people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (aside from everything else that I battle privately). I'm not gonna go into it in any kind of extreme detail but I have come to the realization and determination that I have to move physically. And soon, very soon.

Having to deal with some of my personal baggage. yay

Just a couple words about PTSD. All I can say is that I'm still finding my way.  This is a bit new for me. It took a while to learn it. I experience the deep anxiety, isolation, the panic...sometimes wondering if I'm losing my mind. Until recently I spent time around physical triggers and obliviously wondered why they made me physically ill, perhaps not even seeing the connection.  Now I know. Well, I'm on my way to knowing.

 With 10 years and counting of various forms of therapy and counseling, I have found that a lot of the intensity in my changing mental state has been due to some very acute triggers.  All around me and throughout this city, from my childhood home to many places that I once felt safe are nightmarish reminders of my own grief and inner turmoil.  I now know that all this time that I spent so deeply confused, there was something I wasn't quite addressing. I thought that if I just pushed myself to face those dark places, berating myself for not pretending everything was perfectly fine, if I lasted through the insomnia and hermit tendencies, that if I just took a few five hour naps, even if I never awoke feeling refreshed or if I allowed myself to live in such close proximity to the very people who did this to me...well, I thought I would prove something.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Well, sure. But bear with me here: if Boba Fett survived his fall into the Sarlacc Pit, do you think he'd jump back in, just to prove that he could stand it? Obviously not. Why would anyone in their right mind jump back into a filthy, dangerously claustrophobic place that you can never grow out of, let alone catch a glimpse of daylight? (By the way, I am not apologizing for the Star Wars reference) I continuously forced myself back in, as if allowing myself to experience all of this was some sign of progress.  Nope. I had to get real. It's time for me to love myself enough take responsibility for my mind and well-being. Why suffer unnecessarily? Why stick around when there is a whole world out there ready for me?

So, here's Luke looking down into the (non-original, thanks George) Sarlacc monster's ready chompers.

I know that it is time for me to step away from the danger, delve into my new stage in my life and, more importantly, gain some fresh perspective on everything that happened.  Then maybe I will come back. But first I need to be safe. I just need to pull myself out from under this heavy, unnecessary burden.  I want to be separated from my truest of comfort zones, to break out of my own self made prison because honestly, this situation is slowly becoming my own undoing.  I am at a point where if I stick around, all that's in me is just gonna shrivel up and I will have no control.  And that all of the old ways that I used to cope that already aren't working for me anymore (visiting museums, local classes, trying new food...) will do nothing for me at all. Basically, I'm in a mine field and I have to get out now.  Goodness gracious.

This makes me think of the story behind Edvard Munch's The Scream. There he was just walking with his friends when suddenly everything falls apart, a breakdown right then with no warning.  His friends are fine, they're just chillin and neither Munch nor his companions had any way of foreseeing the agony of this moment. Why did it happen? What triggered it? As far as I know, it just is. One moment, you're enjoying an average day. The next, the world is loud and screaming like iron ripping through the earth, bending in every direction. Now I know that I am not alone and I have just the sliver of inner power and control that I need to get me out of my current situation. I know that I won't end up like Munch.  Besides, the world has an increasingly different awareness.

A close friend of mine shared that she feels I am dying staying here.  That hit me hard.  That meant that all of my interests, passions, talents, potential...all of me that is growing stagnant within is starting to show outwardly.  I'm usually so private that it's shocking for them to see.  And now it's not just my own struggle and journey, the people I love are affected. I'm not thriving. I'm not growing.  They can see this and they want me to leave too. It's painful for them to watch. They want to help.  They're telling me to go. Drop everything and go.

That's what is happening now. You may have noticed that my last post was noticeably more positive and optimistic. That was around the same time that I was leaving the city more often.  The last time I traveled was a year ago for five weeks and I was the happiest I can ever remember feeling. I was thriving and open. But then I came back, and I was not mentally,emotionally, spiritually, physically prepared for the return. Reality hit fast then, too.

I'm gonna take a deep breath.  I don't know about you but I needed to share this.  I wish I could draw pictures like Hyperbole and a Half.  I am such a huge fan of Allie's work. Her drawings lighten the content and make it a bit less tragic sounding.  As for me, I don't mean strike the violin so loudly.  Frankly, I am relieved.  And now I am more determined to start a new chapter (yuck, Elizabeth Gilbert style cliche) I am not sitting around idly. Except for the fact that I am typing this now ;)

Today has actually been all research about visas (Yep, trying to leave the country. Maybe I'll write about that sometime) and getting rid of all my crap. Clear space, clear mind. Simplify. All of that.

Anyway, thanks for reading.  That's my deal. Don't know when I'll post next. I really do appreciate your kind attention.

Peace, healing and love,


Just as a disclaimer, I own none of these images and each are copyrighted by their respective owners unless otherwise stated.  Clicking the image itself will lead you to its source and proper credit.  Technical!