10-27-03: Emotional Enema

My apartment has been messy for a week now. I did my recycling on Saturday and I still had piles of non-recyclable stuff on the floor that needed to be brought to the dumpster. I have my AeroBed (best $99 I ever spent) and bedsheets on the couch and floor from when Jeremy rescued me and slept over last week (bless him). I have laundry to put away, suitcases to clear out, papers to file, gifts to ship, cable bill to pay, Knappuccino's stuff to clean up, my 401(k) rollover form to fill out (*cough*since March*cough*), birthday cards to send... ya know. And when this stuff piles up like it has, I find it affects my thinking and my attitude. I feel overwhelmed because my cute little apartment isn't its usual cozy den of escape and relaxtion, but instead it's an obligation pit (and we all know how I feel about obligation).

I also noticed that my brain needs some of this cleaning and sorting, too. It dawned on me last night that I have spent almost every morsel of vacation time I've had over the past 2-3 years in Arizona doing semi-work. Granted, it's always fun to fly out there, but I'm usually cramming in rehearsals or performances or whatever, so I never truly get to relax and stare at the wall. A lady at work yesterday was saying how she was going on vacation next week, so I asked where she was going. She said, "Nowhere. I just want to be home and catch up on the stuff I never get to do. I want to enjoy Autumn this week." This lady has the right idea. Rock ON.

You know, it dawned on me last night in a fit of insomnia that I haven't had a night off to process my brain queue in a long time.   I've been feeling really unsettled about lots of things and I think it's because I've got way too much data to parse as of late. This isn't necessary bad data that needs to be sorted, it's just a few months' worth of input of varying degrees of happy-slappitude that needs to be organized into my grey-matter file folders.

So I've been wondering why my body has been rebelling the last month. I'm getting scrawny again (what is with this?), my leg cramps are back and worse than I've ever experienced. I think my lack of mental housecleaning and emotional upkeep is manifesting itself physically. (yeah, that sounds good.)

Anyhoo, I have noticed a pattern that when someone says something that really upsets me, I don't say anything right away and ask for clarification or offer kind words of "go screw yourself." Instead I internalize the hurt and this quickly turns into anger. I don't get sulky, I don't hide under the bed and lick my wound and whimper-- I get mad. I get mad at whatever hurt me, and then I get really angry at myself for (a) not speaking up right away and (b)for not being strong enough to prevent something from hurting me and (c) for not being smart enough to keep people OUT in the first place. I understand (b) and (c) sound all overdramatic, but I also think they're vital to my self preservation. I shouldn't let every schmuckwad in, I should make them earn it. I'm too quick to think someone has earned that right. Guh.

This method of not quashing the initial blow is totally ineffective because the person typically has no idea that they've delivered such a blow, and by the time I get around to overanalyzing it to death and finally bringing it up, the issue is 2000% larger in my head, I'm much angrier about it than I should be, and they think that I'm being annoying for dredging up old crap. So I gotta work on this.

Anyhoozle, last night I was upset on a really deep, molecular level.   I tried going to sleep but as I would drift off I would have these horrible situational nightmares which felt so real (hate that!) and I'd wake up in a panic.   And of course, once I was awake I'd get back to brooding and analyzing and just getting more hurt and which turned into me getting angrier.   By this point was probably a not-particularly-malicious comment had now turned into an unforgiveable, terminal offense.   When I'm in this state, sound sleep is impossible unless I either resolve the issue right there (rarely possible due to the hour, and rarely a good idea because I'm so wound up I'd hardly be objective), or I go for a run (rarely practical, but it does help), I go for a drive, or I get out of bed and write it out.   So write it out I did.   At 5:08am I was sitting at my PC typing at 87987231+i words per minute; I felt like I had laserbeams coming out of my fingernails.   I wish I could type so fast and with such intent at work!

Anyhoo, on these fun occasions when I do manage to get to sleep while angry, I can usually wake up "over it" and with a fresher perspective on things.   But not today.   Woke up pissed.   I was pissed off in the shower, I was pissed off drying my hair, I was pissed off in my bathrobe, I was pissed off eating cinnamon toast, I was pissed off putting on my shoes, I was pissed off packing my lunch, and I was pissed off driving to work.

That is, until I popped in this ancient mix tape I dug up at my parents' place last night-- I made this tape in November of 1984-- and everything started to lift.   I only got to listen to the first few songs on the way to work (short commute), but one song stood out and I even repeated it: The Great Suburban Showdown by Billy Joel.   What a great frikkin' tune that is.   The lyrics are so honest and perfect, and they paint this painfully accurate picture of an afternoon I spent at my brother's house in September.   So my pissed-off-itude from the morning turned into general bummed-out-edness about my aging parents and how I wonder if I'll ever have a comfy suburban life that I had growing up. So add that to the list of things I've been thinking about.

SO! With all of the above stated, the name of this entry is Emotional enema because I feel like I need one.   I've been taking a huuuuge beating at work, I've been working nutty hours, my friends are whining that I'm neglecting them, I've been doing lots of extra computer work on the side, I'm working with my barbershop quartet (which I love - again, not all of these things are bad!), I'm trying to figure out how to get fresh meat into Knappuccino's, I have chicken breast and london broil that was on sale and needs cooking, I have finances to comprehend, job leads to follow up on.   I'm trying to keep so many people happy and I'm simply neglecting myself-- which is my typical M.O.   It's exhausting.   And I'm not just talking about the physical work involved with keeping these balls in the air-- it's the emotional expenditure of it, and knowing that my ant-man has lost some structural integrity due to the recent blows he's taken, I'm not working at peak efficiency here.

I went to Trader Joe's after work and bought myself some sunflowers-- they had yellow ones and these neat bright orangey-red ones. I got them home and arranged 'em all up and they did seem to make a difference. I put them in my room so I could spend quality time with them.

ANYway, the moral of the story is that I need a few days off, or at the very least, a night. I just want to go home, light a million candles, do some yoga and pray on the floor; I wanna play music, I wanna take a long bath, I wanna scream "F$CK YOU!!!" into my pillow a couple thousand times, I wanna have the whole thing come to a head where I cry my head off and then make myself a nice turkey sandwich.

Ideally, I'd take a day off (vacation time is dwindling now) and sleep in, and then get a nice 90-minute massage. But alas, these things are expensive and I have other stuff I want to be saving for.

It's 7:20 now. I had best get moving.