Chasing Zen

Have you ever seen the movie Chasing Amy?  I am a Kevin Smith fan and I have seen that one a few times and I do like that movie a lot. The basic idea of the story is how human nature causes us to screw up good things because of our insecurities and spend life chasing the ideals of what we lost because of our own stupidity.

Ok, so depression and anxiety and OCD mixed with ADD is a mess on it’s own and so I cannot call that stupidity, but it still causes insecurities and screw ups and emotions out of your own control.  I don’t like not being in control.  It also causes a lot of chasing ideals.

I have always joked that my ADD causes me to get distracted but my OCD makes me repeat it until I get it done.  Sadly some days that is so true.  To the point I can lose time and get super distracted by nothing over and over again.  Squirrel . . . . . shiny object . . . . whatever.  Not a wonder I relate better to the animal world than the human one!

The anxiety and depression are the worst.  Worrying over the dumbest of things like it is a matter of life or death or feeling like you are drowning in the noise of a day or moment and not knowing why or how to stop the feelings or get it under control.

Then in the next moment feeling so low and heavy. Drowning in the air and noise of the day. Like the air is actually weighing on you like a weight jacket.  Limbs don’t want to move and you cannot focus.  You want to do things, but at the same time you want to do nothing.  You know you need to do something to help yourself but you just cannot find the energy. Everythings that held your passions and joys just seem . . . exhausting to think about. Trying to hide from the world to feel safe but it does not work. Feeling inadequate and angry and disappointed at yourself for failing in life but at the same time doing nothing as you do not have the energy or headspace for it right now.

It is one thing if a physical object or illness prevented your body from listening to your brain and prevents your body from doing what you want it to do, but when it is your brain stopping you? How frustrating to literally be your own problem. How can you not feel it is all your fault? It is like living in a dark pit when you know how to get out but the first step is just out of your reach. Why can everyone else reach it but you just cannot? Why is life so easy for everyone else and so hard for you??

We truly can be our own worst enemy. We know our own weaknesses to prey on.  We know what buttons to push to put ourselves down and kick us until we cannot get up. We become short with those around us as we can barely handle breathing let alone conversation or helping someone or listening to other’s issues. Selfish huh? Another reason to put yourself down. Trapped in a loop in your own nightmares of your mind.

For me the medication helps. I hate it, but it helps. It curbs the OCD and anxious moments. It calms the noise in the head to help leave room to deal with the ADD and focus can happen here and there. It helps the depression, but it never eliminates it. Constant work is to be done daily. Same as someone with a physical illness or impairment, or an addict trying to stay sober, it is a breath at a time one day at a time. Some days are easy, others are exhausting.

I was a rollercoaster for years. I figured out triggers and aids over time. For a long time it was enough without the meds. Then it wasn’t. Going on the meds was worse than being off them until it all leveled out. The thought of going off them is both exhilarating and terrifying. The older I get the harder it is to deal with and there is a chance I will never be able to kick the meds. That is a nightmare for me on it’s own.

Usually I am good until the world turns dead and brown with the dying autumn season. The stress of the kids schooling gets worse each year as things get harder for them.  I am empathic.  I do more than feel for their struggles.  I absorb them and carry them within myself.  Adding to my own emotions and weighing my energy down. This time of year I feel the cold weather and shorter days slipping in.  Well I was in October, but this warm spell has worked wonders for me.

When the cold comes in, this hermit prepares for hibernation. At the same time I know all the warning signs and I need to plug away to not slip into the hole. I can skirt the edge and keep my balance if I try hard enough. Breath by breath and day by day. Wake up, get kids off to school, walk. Exercise is key. Get yourself out into the fresh air, even if you are freezing. All you want to do is go to bed. Go home and start doing things. Something, anything, just don’t sit down. The minute you sit down you will barely get up again for the rest of the day. Keep moving. You can do it. Keep eating right. Let that slip and you side further from the edge. Keep communicating, even on the days that everything annoys you and you want nothing to do with other humans at all. There is a whole list of items like this. Most days you want to burn the list and go to bed, but you keep going. Some days you just go to bed.

I have started making more friends at the climbing gym in Columbus.  I now know 3 whole guys.  Two of which I can contact.  One of which is there on a regular basis.  This helps get me out to climb,though I miss my grrls. Climbing is very important for me.

The key to all of this, the centre to make it easier, is calm, peace . . . . zen. Some meditate. I cannot. I try but I just get distracted and frustrated. So I chase my zen. The issue is balancing zen with reality. If I could travel, take photos and climb daily, I would have forever zen.  That is not reality (damn).

I forgot my pills over the Canadian Thanksgiving this year when I went to Kentucky to climb with friends. I felt normal the whole time. Everything on the list was being checked off and there is nothing in the world that calms me or makes me feel better than climbing. I got home and got back on the meds and here comes the headaches. I hate the headaches.

What I have and have not been or done. Other’s expectations weigh so heavy. Until I learned to stop caring what others thought. It is after all my life. The only one who has to live it is me.

So I have a zen list:

Climbing, my puppies, my photography, music (learning guitar has made a new level to this zen chapter), creating (scrapbooking, building, designing), my “spot” (my inner Sheldon likes that one) and my blanket for added comfort when I am in my spot.

I cannot put people in my zen list. They can be zen and they can be stress and they can be both at the same time. Besides, my strength has to come from within, and people cannot help with that. It is my battle with my brain all on my own.

I chase zen every day. The ideals that seem to create happiness for me. Those things that seems to take all the screw ups my head tells me are there and melt them away. The things that, as I like to say, chase away the crazy. I chase zen in the hopes of catching it, but I am afraid I never will. I am also afraid I might. Then what do you do when all the chasing is done?

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