Clarity

Oscillation.  That’s been the over-arching theme of late.  Frustration-turned-sadness, happiness-turned-rage, depression-turned-anxiety.  Something had to give.  I had to give.  So I did.

I’ve started on a prescription of 10mg Lexapro.  The immediate placebo effect is interesting in the sense that there’s been a shift in how I see myself and how I see situations and interactions that would normally frustrate me beyond words.  I’m finding that I’m taking things a bit slower.  Responding more slowly, thoughtfully, compassionately.  I’m finding that what my “normal” cadence of speech was before beginning the prescription (usually a steady, rapid-fire stream of anxiety) is now more measured and even.  I feel as though things are less “severe” or “urgent”, if that makes any sense.

The implications of an SSRI alleviating some of the underlying anxiety and depression is still somewhat concerning.  The idea that I’ve basically been operating on a serotonin deficiency for over a decade is striking.  That alone explains a great number of issues that I’ve experienced and casts a very broad shadow.  Discovering that particular aspect has been mortifying.  Now that I feel less anxiety in general, I realize how skewed my behavior may have come across to others.  It presents for me a very deep sense of discomfort and shame.  What’s also interesting about it is that I am able to catch myself earlier when I feel the onset of frustration or unhappiness.  Taking the position of the passive observer and seeing where things come from and how I can address them is illuminating.

I’ve been reading a lot more the last couple of weeks.  I just finished reading Contact by Carl Sagan and A Queer History of the United States (ReVisioning American History) by Michael Bronsky.  I have to say that A Queer History definitely caught me flat-footed in the sense that I didn’t know how much of U.S. history was influenced by not just queer activism, but quiet acts of self-determination and defiance.  Women, men, and everything in-between living their lives in as complete a truth as they were willing or able to endure, giving truth to an aphorism of the same.  Upon matters of faith, love, society, and life were reliefs impressed and carved by queer life in early America.  I’m happier now for knowing more history.  I feel even more indebted to those who came before.

I’m close to selling the adventure truck.  The last two weeks have been a tangled mess of sending paper mail, faxes, emails, phone calls, and apologetic text messages in an effort to get my title cleared-up.  Should finally be on the last step of squaring that away.

The experiment in living without a car begins soon.  I’ve managed to pick up water-resistant cycling pants and shoe covers, so at least that’ll help in the event that I need to bike somewhere in the rain.  Since I also have a work backpack that has a rain jacket, I think I’ve got most things handled.  The only thing I’m on the lookout for is a water-proof or water-resistant backpack that I can carry my climbing gear in.  I figure if I’m going to be cycling a lot, then I’ll need to be prepared to get wet when I’m cycling around town.

Which I guess brings me to a difficult topic: motivation to climb hard is difficult to find.  I’ve been so stuck in my head the last two months and I feel like I’ve been watching my strength dwindle-away.  I’ve been feeling really discouraged after coming away from a hard bouldering session feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing.  I’m not sure if it’s due to me just having a hard time of things emotionally and not being able to really appreciate the process or if it’s just an extension of the results-driven mindset that’s been the primary driver of a lot of issues.

In retrospect, maybe it’s not even a results-driven mindset, maybe it’s just expectation meeting reality.  When the proverbial rubber meets the road.  I’ll have to think on this some more.

The universe is in flux.  It’s the modus operandi of life.  Moments of lucid retrospection and introspection have been few and far between.  I don’t want to step back from my efforts, but I want to find a happy medium where I can apply effort and not burn myself out.  Maybe that’s part of this particular process.  Getting help to set things back to an even keel.  Maybe things will change for the better.  For the first time in a while, I think I’m optimistic about my life.

What a difference clarity can make.

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