Andromeda is on the left, and then we have Nancy Lord, Teresa Sundmark, Eva Saulitis, yours truly, and Miranda Weiss. Look at that sunlight--this was about 9pm.
I think I got all the cranky out of my system yesterday! Today's prompt is examining the Top Fives--the five major challenges of my health focus and the five small victories that keep me going. Ironically enough, after how irritated I got about the gagline post, I'd say the five main difficulties all boil down to those two symmetrical sentences--"What goes up must come down," and "What goes down must come up." Let me try to unpack it a little more. Surprisingly, "five" sounds like quite a lot of detail!
1. Control--Gotta have it, gotta know when to let go. At this moment, if I don't show myself capable of turning the tide around and increasing my intake more than I've been able to thus far, my control of my own environment will be taken away from me. I can't imagine how that could possibly be a good thing long-term, except for difficulty number two...
2. Body--I need one! This is something I don't always even believe, as I know that many dead people still have much influence and power. However, it's difficult to share poetry, or hugs, or sunsets, if you don't have a body, and there are a lot of poems I still need to write.
3. Counter-intuitions--You have to listen to your body. But what if eating actually feels bad, causes your stomach to tie in a knot? What if a soupcon of hunger shyly poking out feels good, feels life-affirming, feels far better than the chest-tightening that immediately follows ingestion of food? What if the crazed expansiveness of mania feels really good, and it's much more attractive to take a caffeine pill and float higher rather than take mood stabilizers and come back to the middle?
4. Other People--If there was no one else in my life, I could just let it all go. Wouldn't that be easy? But what would be left of my life with no other people? What would be the point of anything I wrote, created, gave, grew, if not to share with others? Where would the love be?
5. Short-term thinking--For a supposedly smart person, I'm pretty retarded when it comes to long term thinking or making projections of the consequences of my actions. Perhaps it's a perennial naive optimism that things will be different this time--I won't get depressed after a while in the maniasphere, I won't go too far if I decide I need to drop half a clothing size; if I start "that" conversation again, it won't end up in a fight...
Meanwhile, daffodils are blooming by the south-facing wall of Save-U-More, the wonderful warehouse-come-supermarket in town. Something even more marvelous was there too--I'll share the picture in a moment, but let me first balance the negatives with some positives.
Five Small Victories
"Small" is ok, right? Baby steps...
1. Showing up. I keep showing up for my appointments. Even if I show up unslept, unfed, unwashed, and psychotic, and having not kept my self-care agreements, I surrender that much control; I place that much trust in my care providers, I allow them to talk sense back into me. I recognize that even for an individual, control is something collaborative, give-and-take.
2. Nutrition geek! If I'm not going to eat much, at least I know how to get massive bang for my caloric buck. I choose foods and herbs so nutritious, they keep me somewhat level and fueled. I do recognize that at this point I should be looking at more caloric density, getting away from my prejudicial equation of caloric density with empty calories that isn't really true, even looking at herbs that stimulate rather than suppress appetite... And I have the knowledge.
3. Intuitions. As well as knowledge, I'm also blessed with a high degree of intuition and insight. When that gets clouded by all the counter-intuitions mentioned above, I can just think back a few years to when I was actively practicing bodywork, and how I was able to help people through problems they hadn't even told me about.
4. Other people. I have so many wonderful people in my life! Some, I have never met in person. Some live thousands of miles away. Some are in my MFA program and I only get to see them once a year. But they're all in my life and are part of what make it beautiful.
5. Living in the moment. Although learning to think long term is a basic piece of maturity, the present moment is all we have, and is the only moment in which we can effect any change. I can allow my lack of linear thinking or forward planning to lead me back to the NOW.
I was led back to the now outside Save-U-More by this beautiful butterfly, who preferred the blooming dandelions growing from a crack in the ground to the blooming daffodils pampered in the raised bed.In Alaska! In April!
Another ultimatum at the doctor's today. I went to Save-U-More on the way home and let myself wander around, looking for something, anything I might want to eat. Even packaged gf snacks (they all had rice flour in them, which has been upsetting my stomach lately too). Even stuff not on the bargain shelf. Even coconut ice cream (has agave in it, makes me itch). I ended up with some odd energy powders in the cart, and zevia soda, and gluten free flours to bake things for other people...but I also ended up with some beautiful apples. And I did get a large tub of almond milk yogurt--not something I'll ever ordinarily buy unless it's marked down--recognizing that the texture has been soothing and appealing to me of late. This post has actually been helpful--I'll focus on the victories as I work up.
I'd love to hear your five challenges and victories too! I'd better go write this final exam--perhaps even better go eat some lunch first. Much love to all.