I mow the lawn with the push mower we ordered online. It's so much work that I have to do half of the yard one day and the other half the next. It rains a lot during summers in Alabama, so the grass grows tall again way too quickly for my taste. Often, like in the photograph above, it's raining while the sun is shining. I find this type of storm unnerving but I also like it. At least my outdoor plants are not thirsty. I love the thunder & the rain, it soothes my anxious soul. It makes me want to stay home and be cozy, to maybe nest a little or do a bit of housework. I plant more seeds: rainbow chard, cilantro & mammoth sunflowers this time. We'll see if they grow.
My little catfish then one of my guppies dies. I take a sample of the water to an aquarium shop and get it tested. The news is not good but there are things I can do to make it better.
Lena & I go for a walk and I make a floral arrangement from small branches of flowering neighborhood trees (crepe myrtle is blooming everywhere right now) and a bird of paradise flower from my backyard. I haven't found a good place to buy cut flowers in my new city yet, so I am going to stretch myself creatively by trying to use found flowers and foliage when I want to make a new arrangement.
On Wednesday I get a new tattoo. I've been wanting one for a while. I like the tattoo artist I find - he works in a small, rather sketchy tattoo shop near our home. There is a man outside the shop selling stun guns & pepper spray. The buildings around it are mostly vacant. I like getting new tattoos so much. Whoever told me they were addictive when I got my first one on my 18th birthday was right.
After waking, the difficult to explain & unwelcome feeling - something close to emptiness but not quite, fills the woman and the house. It is as though the house, the little world of it, along with the woman have been sucked into a vacuum, maybe a black hole. The names of this vacuum might be: loneliness, isolation, tightness in the chest, another empty day to fill, disillusionment, growing up. Inside this vacuum there is less air. The only way the woman knows how to get enough is to move her body to music, when her muscles are warm & she is winded there is enough air again. A cloud of it holds her within it, much in the same way the black hole does.
I make a new daily rituals list like I used to use when I needed some flexible structure in my life because my days felt too empty. I check things off Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday - then the anxiety kind of takes over and I am back in "survival mode." But I'll make another one for next week and try again. Somedays it feels good to use it, to have a list of things to do in whatever order. It's better than waking up alone 5 or 6 days per week and falling quickly into anxiety/depression because I don't know what to do with myself and the day feels like a big empty void I have to figure out how to fill. My doctor has told me consistant boredom/under-stimulation can cause anxiety just as much as being too busy or overstimulated can. If I can use the list some or most days that's better than nothing.
I am struggling a lot but my doctor doesn't seem as optimistic about lessening or solving the anxiety symptoms as he used to. We've tried so many different medications for it by now to mostly no avail. I have panic attacks throughout the week. I can't leave the house some days. I'm still adjusting to the new insulin pump & it is still adjusting to me. I don't regret going back to using an insulin pump, I just don't do well when it wakes me up frequently during the night for 3 weeks straight. Sometimes I get really frustrated with it. It has been making me have way too many low blood sugars both during the day & the night. Between the low blood sugars, the anxiety & the interrupted sleep I feel drained, frustrated & short-tempered a lot of the time. I try not to, but sometimes I still do. I know self-pity is an ugly emotion, I try not to let myself feel it. Maybe some more self-compassion would be a good idea for me though; more compassion in general, in all areas of one's life, seems like good advice.
On Friday morning I learn I've gotten a grant I applied for - a photography grant having to do with reproductive rights! It is my first real grant as an artist & I am so excited I almost cry. I am floating around for a while after that news. But then the anxiety returns & I spend most of the afternoon giving my aquariums a very thorough cleaning and fixing the issues with the water so hopefully my fish will stop dying. It makes me really sad when one of them dies - I feel incredible guilt.
Now that I'm done being a good blogger, summarizing a week in my exceptionally dull life up with pretty words & photographs for you, here are four truths about my life right now:
- I feel invisible.
- My throat hurts from screaming.
- Sex feels like abuse.
- I want to disappear but I've cleaned the house instead.