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Kelly J. Cooper

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Unbalanced [Oct. 15th, 2009|04:06 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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Everything feels off these days.

Every day I eat some high-fiber bars to start off my food consumption for that day (what I put in my stomach first, after waking, is really important). Yesterday, my Pumpkin Spice Flax from Kashi Foods was stunningly delicious. I mean, really outstanding. My taste buds soared. It was weird. I eat these bars regularly, and while I try to be mindful of really tasting and appreciating what I eat, this was a little off the charts.

Today I stood in the kitchen for ten minutes, utterly unable to form a plan to eat food. And by food I mean real food, i.e., a full adult portion that included multiple bricks from the mighty food pyramid rather than something snackful, like the bag of Cheezy Cheerios Chex Mix I had for dinner last night. Ultimately, I found myself utterly unable to assemble or process ingredients (much less cook) for anything... so I steamed some frozen pork buns.

Some days, though still rare ones, I can get out of bed and it's actually easy and this is wonderful.

Other days, I cannot keep my eyes open. I open them, they twitch and shudder and they're closed before I know what's going on.

Most days, though, I wake up & can't think of a good reason to get out of bed. I don't feel like getting up. There's nothing I want to get up for; nothing I want to get up to do. The exact opposite of when I go to sleep and can't stop thinking of all the things I want to do. (I'm tired, I sleep, then I'm not tired when I should be and I can't sleep and my brain is full of ideas and plans, more motivated than I ever am while awake.)

I'm unmotivated until I suddenly start doing laundry or writing documentation, and Stuff Gets Done, then I'm unmotivated again and I play Bejeweled Blitz for three hours.

It is impossible for me to just BE. When I try to sit still or meditate or think through a problem, I fall asleep. I always have to be DOING, I am not able to simply exist, I've gotta be reading or playing on the Internet or watching recorded shows or playing with ON DEMAND shows or channel surfing or looking through cookbooks or eating some snack or imagining what I might cook with my farm-share food if I could get myself to cook or I go to work or I go walking and I end up shopping, but I don't have any money for shopping, so it's better to NOT go out to the places where I want to spend money but then I just stay inside and fail to do anything that I want to do or get done.

This has always been try, by the by, and is not a new thing. But it feels like a more RIGHT HERE thing, a more in my face presence lately and I don't know why. Sometimes it's like my brain is yelling, "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO BE!" and I don't have an answer for that.

I have at least one jewelry commission and I'd really like to work on it and I keep realizing "oh, it's 4am, I should go to sleep instead" and why can't I work on it during the day?

It's like things have shaken loose, but not completely, so there's old problems and new problems and they're fighting some kind of epic battle in the base of my brain where I can't tell what's happening or who's winning except by what I find myself doing.

It's confusing and uncomfortable, but spiked with hope. I hate hope. It's like an escalator or an elevator, it takes me up farther and farther so that when I do fall, as I always do, as disappointment always hits me, I have farther to fall and more pain to endure before the next trip.


[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2009-10-15 09:38 am (UTC)
I'm sorry.

I resonate with some of this (though not all). It sucks.

Have you experimented at all with walking meditations?
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2009-10-16 03:25 am (UTC)
Have you experimented at all with walking meditations?

Nope. Just Googled it. I'll try it tomorrow when I walk to work.

Thank you, by the way, for consistently reading AND commenting on my mental gyrations. It's much appreciated.

I feel less like I'm screaming into the empty darkness.
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[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2009-10-16 09:09 am (UTC)
You're entirely welcome.

When you get silence back from your f'list, it's almost undoubtedly because people don't know what to say, rather than because nobody cares.

But I do understand that, yeah, that and a five-dollar bill will get you an overpriced cup of coffee and maybe some change (if you're lucky). I'm often there, myself, and very much appreciate the responses I get back from my f'list. So it's nice to know that I play that role sometimes, myself. I'm glad it helps.

And remember, if you scream long enough into the void, the void begins to scream back through you. :-)

Let me know whether the walking meditation does anything for you.
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[User Picture]From: candle_light
2009-10-18 05:57 pm (UTC)
"When you get silence back from your f'list, it's almost undoubtedly because people don't know what to say, rather than because nobody cares."

Yes, this is very much the case for me. I don't want to say something that might further upset the person, and I'm not really one for posting *hugs*. But I do care. I wish my good thoughts in the person's direction could be actually felt :-)
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[User Picture]From: muffyjo
2009-10-15 10:12 am (UTC)
Ever since I've been unemployed, I've found self-motivation to be a serious problem. This goes along with Structure. Making your own structure is hard! It's like trying to plan a week's worth of menu to me. Alien, to say the least. And because I'm only accountable to me, well, we know we can fudge it a little. :)

What I do to try and counter that is to plan two days ahead at a time (at least). I make sure I have a planned activity or two each day (whether it's schoolwork, resume typing, whatever) and I have a place outside the house to be doing those activities. For me, if they are still in the house, I can meander more.

I like Dave's suggestion of waking meditations. I hadn't thought of those, that actually sounds pretty cool.

Even when you feel complete crappy, you're still stuck with us. :) Oh, hey, you need to keep poking me about crafts fairs. I have very little inventory and I need to work on that.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2009-10-16 03:30 am (UTC)
Yeah. Lacking structure and self-motivation seem to be a big part of the problem.

Wanna do a craft day? Maybe Saturday afternoon? Or sometime next week?

Like I mentioned, I have a commission to work on and I've finally received some onyx beads I ordered so I have a couple of pieces I'd like to put together to put on the Etsy site.

I have commitments Tuesday afternoon, Thursday evening, and Friday afternoon through the evening (at the Picnic), but otherwise my week is open.

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[User Picture]From: muffyjo
2009-10-17 04:28 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the delayed response. I forgot to check in on this. Yes, yes and yes. You wanna come here and bead? And I'll sew? And then we'll both be on board with our next crafts? And I need to photograph and post the potholders to my etsy site.

Let's see...I'm out of town until Tuesday, maybe Wednesday afternoon? More in Email.
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[User Picture]From: wonderreader
2009-10-15 10:59 am (UTC)


I agree - when you are not working there seems to be no structure. My friends who are also out of work all say that they don't know how they got stuff done when they were working, now they cannot even get to the laundry. I keep saying that I am going to get a schedule, then we move and it all gets messed up again. Wish I had a solution for you, I like the idea of a walking meditation - then I don't need a destination - my path can be my labyrinth!
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2009-10-16 03:31 am (UTC)

Re: structure

Maybe you need a looser schedule than regular people?

Like odd days are potentially laundry & chores days while even days are crafting days? And, of course, if you finish a chore you could reward yourself with crafting time...

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[User Picture]From: catness
2009-10-15 02:05 pm (UTC)
Brains suck. :(

I couldn't do "nothing" with my time until after my surgery in May. Then I did a lot of sitting and looking out my window from bed. (I couldn't hold up a book or even my gameboy^Wiphone.) Now I miss "nothing" a lot, and I'm trying to find a way to get more of just being time. I like dpolicar's idea of walking meditations, if that's the kind of thing that would work for you.

When you're up at 4am with your brain clamoring, pick one thing you want to do and that you will *enjoy* but that you shouldn't start right now. Then, write it down in BIG LETTERS, put it up where you can see it from where you sleep, and when you can't think of any reason to get up the next time you wake, look at it. Might not help. Might.

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[User Picture]From: kjc
2009-10-16 03:34 am (UTC)
Hmm. Y'know when I do nothing? When I'm really really sick. And out of everything that sucks about being sick, there's a small part of me that misses being that free. When I'm really ill, I give myself permission to not worry about money or projects or whatever because I'm ILL and my job is just to get better. There's something very relaxing in that.

I like the idea of a sign. I'll work on a place to put one in my bedroom.

Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: catness
2009-10-16 05:10 pm (UTC)
Permission. *nod* I think you need more of that, too.

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From: frotz
2009-10-16 02:00 am (UTC)
Unbalance often leads to motion. Maybe it will get you someplace you need to be?

Good luck, though; even if it turns out useful it sounds like a crappy trip to get there. My sympathies!
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2009-10-16 03:35 am (UTC)
I keep hoping that the unbalanced feeling will lead to change, but so far it's led to chaos. Maybe, in retrospect, I'll be able to see a path I was taking to get someplace, but right now... nada. No pattern discernible.

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[User Picture]From: rmd
2009-10-16 01:34 pm (UTC)
i'm sorry, babe.

i also tend to get nothing done when my time is unstructured. lists help, but i have to actually look at the list and then motivate to do something on the list. so, yeah.
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