Monday, May 03, 2010

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, Part 2: Turn and Face the Strange

So that phrase was haunting me: This is your one life. TH was having some struggles at work, and I said it to him. “Um, you already said that the other day,” he answered, which made me think, hmm, maybe I mean this is MY one life.
That had always been a chilling thought for me, but for some reason it started to feel empowering instead. Not this is my life, not this is my life: this is my life. Mine to enjoy — or not.
Slowly, so slowly that I didn’t notice it at first, something began to fall away from me, something I couldn’t identify. Every day somehow seemed a little less … fraught. Christmas at my parents’ was easy and fun, despite a broken toe and a sprained back. (I find it significant that this all started before the solstice.)
Yet it bothered me not to know why things were better. I need to be able to put things down in words. Since I couldn’t define what was happening, I didn’t want to talk about it —as if trying to describe it without the precise words might make things go back to the way they had been. It felt as if some malevolent presence that had always been in the room with me had stood up and walked away. (Yes, it was definitely a he.) I was afraid he would return, and needed to know what to say if he did.
Fast forward to Valentine’s Day. We went to visit my (good) in-laws, and it somehow worked out that they took HB for the whole day, and TH and I ran/biked and got to see a movie and have dinner out. And here’s where the Avatar part comes in, because that’s the movie we saw.
In my new state, I was able to plunge into the movie in all its gorgeous, silly, romantic, 3D glory. It felt fabulous. I haven’t felt that absorbed by a movie since the first Matrix (which had the same plot, come to think of it). No worries, I have no desire to run off and romp around a forest in a G-string.* But in analyzing the movie’s flaws (I never said I didn’t remain a critic, just that I could love it despite its silliness), I stumbled across the words to describe what was happening with me.
I’m perfectly happy to accept an utterly ridiculous premise for a movie—it’s not a documentary, right? But there were plenty of other things in the movie I would have done differently, if I were a director with hundreds of millions of dollars to throw around. Take the lead character’s awful hairdo. If only they’d put him in a Mohawk earlier! (If you’re reading, James Cameron, could you do that for the director’s cut DVD, please? It’s all computer-generated anyway, how hard can it be?) Then there was the cheesy dialogue. One of the lines I took issue with was when Jake asks Neytiri why she saved him, and she says, “You have a strong heart. No fear.” I’m thinking, first, puh-lease! Second, it’s a lie. She saved him on account of the little floaty thing that gave her a sign. Third, he seemed pretty afraid to me. If she’d said it later, it would have made more sense, because when he was learning all that warrior stuff he was pretty game; he definitely wasn’t afraid to make a complete idiot of himself …
… unlike me.
The realization crept over me like a cold chill: That’s it. I have been afraid. Practically every minute of every day.
I can’t properly describe how earthshaking this was to me. Until that moment, I’d thought I was a fearless person. And most of those who know me would have agreed. I’m known for speaking truth to power, giving my honest opinion, not backing down when I know I’m right. But I now realize that I had been courageous, not fearless.
Fear of what? So much. That this pleasant moment will vanish soon. That if I say everything is going well, someone will think I don’t have enough to do or will take me for granted. That if I enjoy this, I won’t find something better. That people will be angry. That someone will think I’m stupid if I don’t know what to do or say even in trivial situations, like standing in line to buy something and not noticing the lane has closed. That someone will notice my pimple. That if I say I like something silly people will think (know!) I’m not cool. That HB will behave badly at the restaurant. That I will be late. That the cat will pee someplace I can’t find. That I haven’t packed the right things. That something is going to annoy me.
I suppose I was being afraid as a defense mechanism. If I worry that something bad is going to happen, I won’t be taken by surprise when it does. The absurdity of this is apparent to me now.
Angst is probably the best word for it. The future had always rolled out in my mind like a line of dominoes poised to click-clack a path to disasters small and large.
It crystallized in me down to my very core: I must give up angst. That was what I had been doing, bit by bit, but once I could articulate it, it was as if a screen that had been separating me from the world was lifted. And everything became so much simpler. I am here now, present, appreciative, aware. The difference this makes is incredible. I can relax. I can enjoy. I can like things or not like them without that horrid overlay of whether I should feel a certain way. I can talk to people and smile at them genuinely (and I found out that I’d had no idea how many people will respond to that — it’s as if there is a whole secret society I just discovered). I realize that anything can happen at any moment. The world is beautiful; heartbreaking, and beautiful, and fascinating.
I should say I am not talking about the opposite of depression. My episodes of depression have been distinct; qualitatively different from the rest of my life outlook. Nor is this mania — my new feeling is peaceful, not hyper. No profligate spending, promiscuity, or delusions of grandeur. And I doubt I’m done with depression forever; I know it’s a chronic, periodic disorder that may well visit me again. I’m not about to go off my meds.
I didn’t even tell TH about this for a long time; instead I watched for differences in how he reacted when what he expected from me didn’t happen. What I saw made me ashamed. Was I really so hard to please, so prone to being thrown off kilter by the slightest problem? Did he really need to tiptoe around me so much? How awful.
One might think that all of this would make me less diligent at work, but it doesn’t seem to. With the angst gone, I can do things because I want or need to, not because I’m afraid of what might happen if I don’t. I work more efficiently and with less resentment. For instance: about every six weeks, I have to cover the weekend. This means that I work 12 days in row, in the middle of which I’m rounding in the hospital (one of my least favorite places), admitting patients to nursing homes, and fielding pages from outpatients and nursing homes for 60 hours straight. In the past, during the first week of this stretch I was crabby because I knew I wouldn’t have the weekend off; during the actual weekend I was unbelievably stressed; and the final week I was burned out. But I’ve worked two weekends in the past three months, and they were — fine. Each day was just each day. One Saturday I was in the nursing home finishing up my last admission at 5:30 pm when a nurse informed me that there was a new patient they had forgotten to tell me about. In the past, my cortisol levels would have gone through the roof. This time, I thought: okay, need to get that done. How do I feel? I feel … hungry. Do I need a snack, or can I last until I’m done? Eh, I can wait. And I did the admission and that was that. The other day I had my “annual” (really first ever) evaluation with the Chief of Medicine, and I looked forward to it. I have actually found myself saying “It doesn’t hurt to ask!” — a sentiment I couldn’t come close to understanding before, because I used to find the very act of asking painful.
I am still shy in new surroundings and with new people. But I am no longer afraid of being shy, and I am a happy shy. Instead of berating myself I have compassion for myself: needing to warm up to a situation is no crime. This seems to have the effect of letting people see that I’m feeling shy rather than cold and mean — and then they’re more likely to take the initiative with me.
I am having to relearn some things. I can speak more bluntly, which surprises people and sometimes hurts them, something I most certainly don’t want. Perhaps this is balanced by feeling more free to say good things as well, but I’m not sure. I’ve had a few misunderstandings with TH where he thinks I’m being sarcastic and I’m just saying something nice — did I not say nice things before? Yikes. I also get frustrated when other people are grumpy and are bitching about things instead of being happy — especially TH — which is pretty funny, since I was on the other side of that line just a few short months ago.
Some of my habits have changed without any conscious effort. I used to turn the radio on whenever I was in the car alone, and now I almost never do. It interferes with my thoughts — something I used to like, and now I don’t. (This means I need to figure out an alternative source for news.) Yet I enjoy listening to music more — and louder — than I used to. I am reading fiction again, something I once loved but more recently couldn’t manage to concentrate well enough to really enjoy. And when I feel jumpy — which is often — I think, what shall I do with this energy? Rather than, I must be anxious. I used to try to think of things to be anxious about!
As with anger, the angst bubbles up every now and then. But it’s exactly like that: a bubble I can reach out and burst with the slightest of touches.
Alas, the question I cannot answer is how. A comment on my last post: “The flip side of anger is fear, always. … We get angry when we perceive that something we value is threatened, whether it’s respect, safety, way of doing things, sleep, health, sanity, etc. … So how in the world do you transform anger into emotions and sensations other than its root, which is fear?” The simple answer is, give up the fear too. But can this be a conscious decision? I was in a good place, thinking about the right things, but … how did I manage to convince my angst to get up and walk away? I don’t know. Writing about this feels like trying to describe how to ride a bicycle. How did I learn that fear, like anger, almost never helps in the privileged life I lead? And how did I let go of it before even understanding that? I don’t know. But I’d like people to know: this happens. It happened to me, and it can happen to you. Maybe I’m the only person who was entirely blind to a enormous part of my personality and motivations, but I kind of doubt it.
Will this last? It feels like riding a bicycle in this way as well: once you’ve learned … but I can’t be sure. I feel like I will recognize that malevolent presence if he does try to come back, and in recognizing him be able to keep him out, but I’m learning to be humble about my own self-awareness, so who knows. I do know that even if this all goes away, it’s been an amazing few months.
*Though I would very much like to be a Toruk Mocto, so if anyone is selling an orange pterodactyl, drop me a line. Also I found the Tsutay character to be pretty hot, in a blue, hamster-eared kind of way.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I've been so used to your short blogs that I might have to read through this one a few times to really take it in!

C. said...

Very insightful. Over the years I have realized my one true fear is lack of money. My mood actually depends on my bank account and not in a way that I can buy the latest Prada shoes but in a way that I can survive.

Growing up money was always tight and electricity was being turned off. All I want is to know I can live. It takes a lot of work to figure out our fears and how to manage them and how they affect others.

Snickollet said...

Thank you for this: it's beautiful. There's a lot for me to learn here.

I'm happy for you.

DoctorMama said...

I would have split it up, but two cliffhangers in a row seemed a bit ostentatious.

C, I grew up in a very precarious money situation too after my father died -- but the electricity was never shut off; my mother went out and argued with the workers on the front lawn with my baby sister on her hip. Maybe because I saw that, it hasn't been a large fear of mine -- though I've always been highly aware of the need to be able support myself. And to budget for the utility bills.

Orange said...

This is deep stuff.

Now I need to ponder what fear may be lurking behind my anger when it flares up.

Laurel said...

I think something very similar plagues me. I also had an experience of just being able to ... let it go (also after watching a movie--Like Water for Chocolate, who knows why) but it only lasted an evening, and I was a teen. I'm much happier than I was then, but I certainly do have a lot of fear, and I see some of the things you said about your past self in my own behavior. I wonder if I can make this same cognitive leap again. Thanks to you, I know it's possible, and that's a huge incentive to spend a lot of time thinking about this. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. A post that deserves more pondering.

"That someone will think I’m stupid if I don’t know what to do or say even in trivial situations, like standing in line to buy something and not noticing the lane has closed."

Oh, I love this one. It's a concrete one that I'm working on. It can be crippling, honestly crippling, to avoid things just so you won't get into this situation.

Anonymous said...

This: "The future had always rolled out in my mind like a line of dominoes poised to click-clack a path to disasters small and large."

That statement made me catch my breath -- and then release it with relief. Knowing that I'm not alone in having thought that is going to be a huge factor in me personally making similar life changes.

I'm so glad that I happened along your blog (can't even remember the trail I followed to find it).

- JBEN

Erin said...

Longtime lurker here. I just had to chime in to say that I started therapy during the last few months, and the one tool that it has given me that I feel I lacked previously was the idea of mindful living. The technique is, essentially, Buddhist in origin, but has been put to use in clinical settings (see M. Linehan's http://www.amazon.com/Training-Treating-Borderline-Personality-Disorder/dp/0898620341 for more info). Note: I do NOT have borderline personality disorder, simply a severe case of PPD, but the techniques that she outlines in the book seem to work well for me. Focus on the present, don't let your anxiety about the past or the future interfere. It works, for me. Really well.

I feel utterly empowered by the realization that I can *choose* how to think, what to focus my energy on, and how I let the events out of my control effect my life. Talk about a mind-blowing difference! I just thought I'd write because I haven't ever met anyone who's had the same realization as I have these past few months, until I read your blog post. Isn't it fantastic?

Cheers to you for figuring it out on your own!

Mommy Attorney said...

Ok, this: "I have actually found myself saying “It doesn’t hurt to ask!” — a sentiment I couldn’t come close to understanding before, because I used to find the very act of asking painful." Actually made me cry.

My husband says that all the time and I can never explain to him why I CANNOT bear to ask. And now I know why - fear. I fear looking foolish, disappointing people, saying the wrong thing, offending someone. Oh God. Now that I have a description for what's going on in my head - I didn't have the narrative before - what do I do?

Lynn Jenness said...

I really appreciate that fate/karma/man-upstairs has me reading your blog while you're posting about both mother issues as well as living with perpetual angst.

A lot of your revelations on living in the now and observing how you feel when faced with a new challenge (hungry, i love it!) seems very Buddhist to me, from what little i know of Buddhism. That and a comment on a prior post from someone reading "The Art of Happiness in the Workplace" inspired me to find a couple books by the Dalai Lama to read. (the original "The Art of Happiness" and "An Open Heart").

I'm not sure i can comfortably term my angst as a product of fear-- not because it isn't, but because i have yet to figure out what the hell i'm afraid of. But the idea of deciding "what do i do with this energy?" or asking myself for a TRUE analysis of my feelings in order to make active choices to be happy and relaxed.... well, those are my goals. Perhaps i'll figure out why i'm so afraid along the way.

Anonymous said...

Could I add one thing to my previous comment? The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (sp?) has written a whole series of books about how to live in the present. One of them is called "You are Here," but there are a lot of them.

People who are interested in advice on how to achieve this peaceful, in-the-present acceptance might be interested in his writing.

Not on Fire said...

I think that you are experiencing acceptance. You are not resisting the present moment even if you do not condone it.

I too have realized recently how much of me is fear. I have been watching it lately. Fear of lack of control, mistakes, pain, rejection and abandonment floats around me during the day. It is easier now that I am watching more and reacting less.

Artful Lawyer said...

Outstanding - I've also come to the "living in fear" realization and I'm trying to feel compassion for the me who used to be terrified to fail and/or humiliated - and then move on.

My anger stems from fear, fear of being trapped in something unhappy etc. and it sounds like you have made very meaningful progress - I will continue on my own parallel path thinking of this blog post!

Artful Lawyer said...

Such a good post I have to comment twice - this made me remember that I started to FINALLY make some progress in my self and life a few years ago when I realized that I was living in terror. My work suffered and life suffered even more. Then I realized what terrified me - the long-held belief that I was somehow inferior (terrible, sinful, unlovable, born to fail) and if I didn't keep running has hard as I could in place, working as hard as possible, running myself into the ground at the firm etc. that the world would realize I was awful and the Universe would end.

Then I worked for the worst law firm in, perhaps, the Universe, where the let me know daily that as a woman I was dirt, and as "me" I was a freak and - the world didn't end. I saw how they were wrong and I was OK and everything got better from then on.

Though, I do wonder if my current "please God fire me and put me out of my misery" mindset is really helpful....maybe I've lost too much fear.

bisb said...

Wondering if you noticed the similarity between the 12 step notion of “acceptance”, the Buddhist concept of “mindfulness” and the Hindu concept of “be here now”. There is a lot of good wisdom out there and all of it seems to me to be part of the same continuum. A phrase which has pertinence to the path you appear to have taken is “the only person who has nothing to fear is the person who has nothing to hide and is willing to stand before the world and himself naked – thereby stating, this is all that I am”. Another pertinent phrase is “without self reflection, all the wrong questions beget bad answers – thereby leaving life incomprehensible”. I am happy for you and wish you contentment with you (you seem like you may be on your way).

E. said...

Congratulations. I'm so very happy for you. And I really appreciate you sharing this epiphany and what lead up to it and how you understand it with us. It's inspirational.

Fear. It's at the root of so so much of human emotional turmoil and suffering. Your story brings that out in a lovely and lucid way.

Now I want to know what TH thinks about all this. I can only imagine he's over the moon. If my beloved husband ever found a way to let go of fear and anger, it's hard to even imagine how awesome our already awesome life would be. And it could happen.

Anonymous said...

This is the anonymous lurker who said the flip side of anger is fear.

I'm reading this and my first thought is: My in-laws and several of my family members would attribute your powerful experience to Jesus. Every single part of it. They would say that the Holy Ghost moved into you and filled you up and left no room for Satan. And I'm not being sarcastic or judgmental--I'm just realizing that to them, you essentially had a Religious Experience. A big one.

It's pretty profound what you describe here. The closest I've ever come to losing the Angst is reading a Wayne Dwyer self-help book. It brought me very, very close to that good place you are in, but I didn't, couldn't go all the way. Ironically enough, although I don't have Borderline Personality Disorder, I did read a book on dialectical therapy, and that too brought me pretty close to living without deep seated instinctive fear and worry. But practicing all of the exercises got to be too hard and I lost interest.

I'm so happy that you got here, DM. Everyone deserves to be in that space, including you. I hope it lasts you a lifetime regardless of the separate, distinct periods of depression. There is a difference between chronic angst and acute (but for some lasting)depression.

I haven't seen the movie because my husband hates movies, but after reading this, I want to see it. I know I can't replicate your experience, the movie just sounds interesting.

Julie said...

The tool that's helped me is Byron Katie's The Work. It's simple, but it's more concrete than "be present," which, howevermuch I adore Buddhism (and oh, I do!) makes me want to hold someone down and demand that they explain hooooooooow.

Ozzie said...

AWESOME! Thank you for writing about it- even if it does go away (and I hope it doesn't), you still had a great experience. Keep on rocking!

Cheers,
A maggot

Anonymous said...

As I was reading this post, which is really great at describing how you are experienceing life right now BTW, I couldn't help but keep thinking that this is exactly how I felt after turning 40. It was like someone had pulled the paper bag off my head and I just knew all the secrets of the universe. No one told me them, they were just there.

Once you become comfortable in your own skin, life is no longer about fear, doubt, shyness, predjudice, etc., et al... but more about understanding. So when my life turned completely upside down 5 months ago, I was more prepared to handle the changes and stress than I would have been 6 years earlier.

Good luck to you on your journey.
Melaka

Ozma said...

Wow, you are amazingly rational.

I have tried this. I've had very similar thoughts about my life being my one life. It's so frustrating to know that and not be able to break those self destructive habits and emotional responses.

But I'm still trying! Right now I am on an extremely similar train of thought and having a little bit of success. But it's Spring. I have some Winter issues...

It's also weird that I thought this today about fear/anger. But much more about powerless and anger. People get angry in domains where they feel powerless. That's not the only situation that prompts anger--but it prompts that irrational kind of helpless anger.

Anyway, this is incredibly interesting...and helpful. I have to keep thinking about how to get to that point where I can have an idea--and a reason not to have certain reactions--and have it impact the emotions in a significant way. This rarely happens in my case. I think a lot of stuff is going on in my subconscious or something--a place I can't access. I also think that I have multiple sides or something--and they aren't all able to get what I want them to get. It's hard to describe...And strange.

But the fear--that's so TRUE.

8junebugs.com said...

Well, yes, yes, and amen.

There's something in this post that just made my brain giggle:

Angst.

I honestly haven't thought about angst since high school, when I learned what it was and discovered I was full of it. I was very angsty in my youth, and IT NEVER OCCURRED to me that there was an adult version.

Looking back, laughing in my head, it occurs to me that my ex-husband's certainly suffered from excessive angst (among other things). But he thought worrying incessantly, in the way you describe, made him the grown-up, responsible one. (He may still think that...I wouldn't know.)

There's some other stuff resonating for me in this, but I'll use my own blog to puzzle it through. ;)

r3 said...

OK, I'm outing myself, a formerly anonymous commenter. The only reason I didn't want to say may name is that my own blog has been woefully neglected and sucketh mightily. I'm the one writing the flip side of anger is fear and the doofus who mentioned Wayne Dwyer. I know. I KNOW people. Don't judge me.

r3 said...

Oh, and my name is Micaela. There. Ya happy?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Mama,

This morning, I got up early to row, and as I was pouring my coffee, I was worried about rowing, work, the dog, etc., when it hit me:

My fears are all about imaginary things.

I fear what I imagine other people think of me, or I fear events that haven't taken place yet.

But right now, this moment, the dog, the soymilk, the coffee, the cup, all these things are real. I had this moment of being PRESENT in my life.

It was pure bliss.

That Buddhist book, "You Are Here" helped, as does Wellbutrin, and meditating, and exercising, but it also helped that I had read your blog.

Thank you for your writing. Your blog has really benefited me.

-victoria

kirsten said...

i wish i could figure out how to leave the fear of what other people think of me behind. i am overly concerned about looking stupid -- your line about being in the wrong line at the grocery store really resonated. that kind of little stuff gives me such anxiety. and is so pointless.

Anonymous said...

Wow, these posts about your Big Changes have been amazing to read. I agree with your commentor about anger and fear --- I finally figured out some years ago that a lot of my anger stemmed from being fearful but unwilling or unable to acknowledge it.

I was struck by this most recent post for another reason. Just this morning I saw a photo of myself from 1994, when I was forty-five. The first thought I had was "Wow, I used to have dark hair!" (I'm now sixty-one and pretty damn gray.) The second thought I had was that I wouldn't go back to being the person I was then for anything --- not to have dark hair again, not to have skin that wasn't getting crepe-y, not to feel farther away from death.

I'm still someone who tends to get anxious, but much less than I used to. I'm much more inclined now to deal with things the way they actually happen, instead of having to have everything go the way I think it should. I like myself better now than I did then, and mostly I've learned not to be fearful of what others think of me. I'm much less inclined to suffer fools gladly (though paradoxically also more inclined to cut people slack). Even though not everything in my life is easy or happens the way I once thought it would or should, I'm more content now than I used to be.

Like you, DoctorMama, I'm not quite sure how this happened. It's true that I'm a child of the self-help revolution --- I've read my share of books and been in various support groups --- but this change feels very gradual and incremental to me, more organic in nature than something I'm trying to do. Maybe I've just lived long enough to have gotten tired of working so hard to be somebody I'm not, or experienced enough loss to know that life goes on and the sun will shine again. What I do know is that it's a tremendous relief, well worth every gray hair.

Jessie

Anonymous said...

Wow.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to report that both of these Changes posts have been ringing through my mind and continue to do so. Thank you so much for posting them!

Flicka said...

I read this with a smile because I'm there too. Wonderful, isn't it? I am so happy for you. :)

runningdoc said...

Felt compelled to add my comments here - been reading your blog with interest, particularly for the motivation to keep up with my running....I too am a doctor (UK-equivalent of resident at present, and I love your entries on keeping up the running with long hospital shifts) and your comments on how you feel before your weekends at work struck a real nerve.....I dread my night shifts, and afterwards invariably think "why oh why did I get so stressed anticipating them (and driving my OH mad with my tetchiness beforehand - I usually end up having a row and tears over something quite minor), they really weren't that bad".....your post has given me food for thought. Thanks and good luck with keeping it up.

r3 said...

OK, I need to stop reading your blog and commenting.

Back to your statement: "Righteous anger in particular is radioactive."

I've been giving this some thought. And I don't know if you were referring to yourself, in particular, but it dawned on me that many great social changes have occurred thanks to the channeling of radioactive energy of righteousness. I thought to myself, did MLK ever get righteous? Did Ghandi? Did any of the women and men throughout history ever submit to the toxic feelings of being self-righteous and pissed that something was not the way they thought it should be?

My guess is: You betcha. But many have harnessed it for change in a non-violent way. Keeping with your metaphor, many countries use nuclear energy in a respectful way.

Notice I didn't say non-confrontational, because they used that energy to confront what they saw as a problem head on. But some people can do this so effectively, and others, well, can't. I feel like I fall in the latter camp.

I can give you a great example. I live in a suburb that is row, after row of houses, most with less than 0.5 of an acre. A neighbor behind me owns a beagle, and he leaves the beagle out to howl and bark and bray pretty much all the time. Like a lawn ornament. My husband and son and I love the outdoors and gardening. Because of this beagle, we cannot carry on conversations with each other, much less hear what anyone else i saying. This dog keeps us up at night, too. We can hear it through the hum of the air conditioner and white noise machines. I tried to talk with the guy's wife last year, and she became indignant after denying there was any problem and so I lost my temper and told her she was delusional. I know, ouch. So I had another weekend of bark, bark, bray, scream, bark, bark, bark and went over to their house again. This time it was the husband. I tried again to tell him that his dog's barking bothered me. Again there was denial. Then there was rationalization (well the law says that there can be no barking after 10 p.m.) To that, I said, actually, the ordinance is for any time of day, and I can e-mail it to you, if you like. Then he said, "you are the one who was rude to my wife." I said "yes." He said, "I'd like you to get off my property right now," and proceeded to come up behind me to push me. I stepped back, and at this point, just turned and headed home. So I confronted, but I didn't make any headway. In fact, I'm sure I've got an enemy. I did say over my shoulder, "get used to me calling the police," and the frequency of the incessant barking jags has decreased some, but I'm still hearing it and still frustrated by it. My next door neighbor is dealing with stomach cancer and needs her rest, and our neighborhood down the street was flooded recently (we miraculously missed it). People are grieving and gutting their homes. How could he be so inconsiderate?

I'm a perfect example of someone not able to harness righteous anger for good.

Anonymous said...

i am so pleased for you. i hope i get to this point one day, too! xox

p.s. the captcha word is "fixed u". heehee! :)

amy said...

Holy, wow. What a powerful post. I actually had tears coming to my eyes... I am following a similar path, albeit much slower process and realizations, but I'm trying so hard to let things go and let things wash over me instead of consume me. Fear still has it's cold fingers wrapped around my heart.

Shandra said...

I wanted to tell you that I have re-read this post several times since you posted and I feel like this is my task to work on right now. Thank you for writing it.