(Leaving) My Body & What's Happening Around It

Art, LifeKait MauroComment

My anxiety has been shape-shifting on me lately. I finally know what the “disassociating” I’d been asked if I experienced so many times before feels like. Disassociating is a new symptom for me. Sometimes I feel like I am not in my body, it’s a classic dissociative thing to say it’s like you’re seeing yourself from outside of yourself, maybe above yourself - I haven’t experienced that one (yet, at least). Mine come in the varieties of: feeling like I am not real (I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either, but I tell you: it’s a real & distressing feeling), feeling like I (and sometimes also the people around me) are dead & in whatever comes next once one is dead, feeling like I am a ghost (but actually) haunting my own little rented house or, today, looking at myself in the mirror & feeling like the real me was in the mirror, if that makes sense, not trapped in it necessarily, just that I was in the mirror - I was my reflection - instead of in my body like people usually are.

I plan to lower my coffee-intake in an attempt to lessen my anxiety - but I have been drinking a lot of coffee for a long time & I am not excited about the process of titrating my intake down. Maybe it will be fine, even good, though. I am perpetually anxious. There are rare moments, glimpses of calm, that come every now & again when I do not feel acutely anxious - but most of the time it’s either the constant low or medium volume anxiety or a panic attack. Those are my two forms of late.

I am not keeping up with The Daily Map course I signed up for about how to live/structure a life as a creative. It’s a six week course but luckily I have an entire year to complete it. I am at the end of my workshop with Ariel Gore & I have gotten a lot written during it but the submission I posted on Sunday was really rough & unfinished (it literally had just bullet points at parts of things I intended to get around to including/writing about). I feel like the work (The “Integrating” project) needs a lot more work. I’ve signed up to take two more workshops with Ariel this spring, so hopefully I’ll have the motivation & helpful critiques to make the writing stronger & more cohesive.

A secret little dream I’ve been harboring: throw myself fully into this writing project, keep working on it, make it as strong as possible then submit it to some small presses to, hopefully, get a little book published. I actually contacted one of my favorite authors, Chelsea Martin, on Instagram - I told her I was working on a rather weird little manuscript & am a big fan of her work & how did she get her first book published? She told me small presses love weird little manuscripts & that was my best bet.

On a completely different note: I, like many other women in my ‘‘demographic” have gotten into the Marie Kondo thing - though admittedly I’m a bit late to the trend. I’ve watched a few episodes of the television version on Netflix & have gotten the audiobook but haven’t listened to it yet.

I did a small, soft start to the process of this “magical art of tidying up” today. I got rid of all but one of my orchids. I kept the one in my studio on my desk that’s relatively new & still in full bloom. I had a large collection of old, stemless orchids - just leaves & roots - that were not re-blooming. They were not re-blooming for a combination of two reasons: 1. they were older 2. I had so many of them that watering them all in the sink, soaking the roots from silver to green, had become a massive chore & definitely was not sparking any joy in me anymore. You can see all of the now empty pots in the photograph below. I easily cut down my houseplant collection by at least one-third by getting rid of these plants. I used to be the queen of getting orchids to rebloom. But in my melancholia, I’ve lost a lot of motivation to do things - anything at all really - & I need to simplify the chores so I can not constantly be behind on things & beating myself up about it. I am a massive asshole to myself, given any excuse. So if something is adding no value to my life & is a chore that is pretty time-consuming to do & sparks no joy - out to the bin with it, no?

I cut the flowers in the vase below from the backyard. I think they are some strange Southern type of dandelion because they had the leaves of the dandelions I know & grew up with but aside from the leaves they are entirely different thing - though still with yellow flowers that turn into little puffs of seeds to be blown away.

I’ve gotten the e-book of Melissa Fabello’s “Appetite” It’s about the experience of women with eating disorders (specifically anorexia nervosa & OSFED) & how these disorders intersect with their experiences of touch & sexuality. I do not know if I have/am getting in the zone of developing an eating disorder. I do now that with some recent changes - freckles [which I normally love] making my eyes look bruised because of the particular way they’ve constellated, a flair up of adult acne [somebody lied to me at some point - I thought acne was mostly for teenagers], becoming acutely aware & self-conscious of how thin my hair is & being unhappy with my body’s shape & how much gravity is is exerting on the earth - have really affected my self-esteem & added to my depression.

I have an endocrinologist appointment tomorrow & I am worried about getting on the scale - dreading it actually. I’m worried my A1C will have gone up because, due to already mentioned depression, I haven’t been as vigilant about managing my blood sugars & I also haven’t been as timely about changing my infusion sets for my insulin pump - so there are some angry looking pink bumps on my thighs from a few that were left in too long. I really hope the doctor is kind tomorrow, she usually is.

I’m worried about Lena because when she went for her vet appointment on Saturday I was told she is developing arthritis, needs many of her teeth removed, has a strange (though regular) heartbeat & her weight has gone up 25% in 3 or 6 months (I can’t remember which it is). They think she might have low thyroid so we took her back today to get some bloodwork done. It was traumatizing for everyone. I hate taking her to the vet because she doesn’t know why I am letting them stick her with needles or why any of it is happening. It makes me feel so guilty. She’ll have to wait to get her teeth done until we move back to Birmingham because the vet we go to there is a lot more price-conscious than the one we see here in Montgomery. Dogs of Lena’s size are supposed to live 15-20 years. She’s only 7.5 years old. I’m scared, with these health conditions she’s developing, that she won’t be with me for as long as I had hoped. She’s my buddy, she can usually be found where I am, I don’t know how I’d/I’ll survive losing her.