decades had a mary tyler moore binge this weekend. i’m sure everyone can at least muble along with the lyrics. but then there are the lyrics for the opening season. they weren’t the normal upbeat lyrics that we’ve come to know. the lyrics start with, “how will you make it on your own?” and ends with, “you might just make it after all.” the season 1 theme is filled with downers and doubt. her are the lyrics for season 1 and beyond for those what to see the complete difference.
i’ve had a bad habit in my life of letting my bring-me-down emotions, my dirty dozen, control my life. fear would breed fear which would breed more fearand and so on. anxiety would breed to more anxiety which would lead to even more anxiety and so on. anger would breed mor anger which would breed to even more anger on so on. this pattern, would entrap me and i would seemingly get caught in an inescapable vortex, spiraling out of control heading for a nearly inevitable visit with depression.
a couple of months ago, i found myself swimming in anxiety, an 8 out of 10. I simply noted how anxious I felt. I stopped and spent 15-30 seconds with my anxiety, not giving it any more power. i went forward with my day. a few minutes later, i noticed the anxiety had left. cool! another time since, i left my anxiety behind by acknowledging the anxiety, spending a few seconds with it, not giving it any more power, and moving on.
You might remember my brush with my “friend” from a few weeks ago. i did the unthinkable act of expressing anger to a friend. that would have been unthinkable, just a short while ago. they ended walking out on me. i convinced myself i had done nothing wrong, which is true since all i did was express an emotion, a perfectly legal and legitimate act to take. i’m not giving the situation many spare cycles; they walked out on me. they haven’t tried to contact me btw. unfortunately, i don’t think i’ll hear from them ever again. their loss.
a couple weeks ago, i was dealing with one of those emotional dropouts, you know, when every seems to be going well them boom! the bottom drops out. Where the hell did that come from? while doing a brainstorm with a friend on how i could handle something like that, I doubted any good would come of it. One of my suggestions was to just be with the drop, not giving any more power. I moved on from what seemed be a lame exercise.
later that day, it finally dawned on me the parallels between how I handle anxiety and how i proposed to handle the emotional drop outs. because of the discovery, maybe the brainstorm exercise wasn’t so lame after all. a few minutes later, another revelation happened. Why can’t this method be used with my dirty dozen; anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, frustration, feeling judged, feeling less, abandoned, lonely, criticized, rejected, and stressed? would that be a dream? yes it would. if it would get an upper hand on my dirty dozen, it’s worth the old college try.
last night, i had another one of those most enjoyable emotion dropouts. i tried my new method. i acknowledged i dropped out, had a few moments with it and tried to move on. Is mostly worked, not as well as my try with anxiety, but i still felt i recovered more quickly. and after going through the process, i felt less controlled by the dropout. i went to bed hoping to held by Mary to finish my recovery. she laid there in sound asleep. i didn’t get my hold, my recovery completed before falling to sleep, though.
today, i went cross country skiing for the first time this year. even though I had skied for over 25 years, today i just couldn’t stay over my skis. after brutal wipeouts, and, god forbid, taking my skis off do go down a couple of hills, i had myself convinced that i had skied the last time for the year. i noticed how frustrated i was. i acknowledged i was frustrated, spent a moment or two with it and moved on. the energy quickly dissipated and i went on with my day. The topper? by the end of the day, i actually had a fun and good time. the frustration which would have sunk my day many times before, became barely a blip on the screen.
maybe there is something to, for lack of a better term, not fighting my dirty dozen. when they show, i treat them like the obnoxious guest at a cocktail party. i’ll give ’em a nod from afar, and move on to people i’d rather talk to. in the analogy, that will make for a much more pleasant cocktail party and for life, a little less tumultuous journey. the would be a good thing.
did you know the universe is currently experiencing a lithium shortage? to explain why we have to go back to the big bang.
my friend had a tough time with her sprained ankle. the pain impeded her ability and she self-admitted she was isolating.
it got to the point where she seemed to be coming out of her shell. we even planned to do something together. the next day, she came down with a cold. this ended up to be one of those horizontal colds. you might know about those; it’s a cold where not only is horizontal the preferred position, but it’s the only position. needless to say, our get together got postponed.
went for a hike with a friend on Friday on a nearby trail. it was her first time on it. as the day went on, she kept getting better and better. her performance surprised and impressed me. we topped out on our hike and headed back down
about .8 miles out, she slipped off a trail supporting log and crumpled. after about 10 minutes, she got up and tried to walk, after about 20 yards, it became obvious that the answer was “no dice”. I asked if she wanted to try to hobble along or go for help. shortly thereafter, I headed down the trail to get help.
my first concern became the time. I figured the ranger station would close at 5:00 pm and the time read 4:30. better get a move on, I thought. i sent Mary a text to update her since she expected us for dinner.
I made it to the ranger station only to see the sign hanging in the window, “closed”. Hearing rustling in the office, I worked up the courage , knowing I had to, and knocked on the door. An elderly gentleman, a volunteer with a big bushy gray mustache, answered the door. he heard my story and called over to his daughter, another volunteer, to gather anything that might work like a crutch.
We loaded the supplies into the gator, a glorified golf cart with a dump bed. this ride got us 1/2 mile closer to my friend. We got out and walked the rest of the way to where my friend waited.
we didn’t have a good crutch system, not unless a shovel handle qualifies as a good crutch. my friend began to drag herself forward. shortly thereafter she said,” this feels a little too much like the revenant.“ After 100 yards or so, it became obvious this wasn’t going to work. The volunteer called back down to the office to inform that we needed search&rescue only to find out s&r were on their way. at this time, we truly had no idea who called s&r, knowing that s&r were on the way, we thought it would be silly to struggle on.we sat down and waited.
s&r arrived shortly thereafter, and loaded her up and strapped her into the orange rescue basket. next, s&r mounted a fat large wheel to support most of the weight for the trip down. my friend didn’t mind the six s&r people working the basket on the trip down, especially nathan.
in no time, we had made it to the parking lot. as my friend got ready for the ambulance ride, I counted the aid vehicles: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. well, nine if you count their gator! the park volunteer told us the s&r sometimes get board and they jump at any opportunity to get out of the station. i guess that proves the point.
we headed to the hospital, me in my friend’s car and my friend in her private red chariot. While traveling there, i finally got enough charge on a phone to call Mary. I gave her and update on the situation. I her told that someone had called 911 but we weren’t sure who. She said she didn’t know what to do, so she called 911. they gathered enough information to make the decision to send out the cavalry. mystery solved.
i got to the hospital with the ambulance right behind me. I hurried to the ambulance to go in with my friend so i didn’t have to ask what room she was in. she expressed her concern about potentially getting separated and she felt like she wanted me in the er. with a rather jovial mood x-rays were taken, time past, and prognosis got delivered: a sprained ankle. my friend was given a new, shiny set of crutches and some very incomplete instructions on how to use them. We headed to the car and then my house where dinner waited.
Mary had made soup and sandwiches and my friend and i recounted the tales of the day and even though Mary and my friend had only met that morning, they continued to hit it off. the mood remained jovial and light. I received a text from her mom and responded as requested with a vague reply. The day finished and my friend headed for home. All seemed well.
The next day, I started by sending a “How are you doing?” text. It felt strange when she did not reply as our communication had been rather timely in the past. Throughout the day, i pinged her with a couple of short text. by the end of the afternoon i sent her a text basically saying, “i care about you but i can’t make you let me help you. contact me when you can.” as previously agreed to, I also sent her my pictures from the day. i use a dlsr so, i have to load my pictures from the camera to the computer. then, i had no choice but to sit and wait.
the next day, i checked my phone far more frequently than i normally do, wanting, hoping to see some sort of reply. morning and the afternoon came and went and i stayed wanting for something, anything, even a leave me alone because ten i’d know where i stood.
early evening, the phone rings. it is my friend. i answer. we talk. she talks of her struggles with her ankle and with life. she admits to isolating. we have our normally good conversation, challenging at times, in a good way, mind you. she tell me she’ll be following up with her doc the next day. we part ways. i’m left feeling satisfied and fulfilled. Maybe things might return closer to normal.
the next morning, i send her a text saying I’d appreciate an update after the doctor’s visit. I received no text from her all day. In the interest of fair disclosure, truthfulness and the american way, pretty much the entire day, mary and i were outside the range of cellular service. the moment we hit the first tower, a message pops through. Her doctor’s appointment is now the next day and let’s talk later. i suggest 8:30 and she said that works for her.
8:35-i call. her phone rings and dumps to voice mail. 9:10, the same thing and similar results and 9:40. one of my core struggles, one of my nemesis, abandonment takes up residence in my psyche. I sent her a text, letting her know i’m riding a kiddie’s roller coaster compared to the adult coaster she’s been riding. I am also able to show her empathy since I have had to serious mobility injuries. I also show her some compassion and myself some self-compassion. the art of self compassion had its birth from a challenge she gave me. That challenge, though only a week old, has truly changed my life.
what are my hopes? that she calls me after her doctors appointment and we get back on track. it’s already happened once.
what are my expectations? that may not happen.
what are my desires? to find a way to detach. she’s offered me many things but i think i’m wound too tightly.
what are my apprehensions? as someone who struggles with depression, the trap of isolation has snared her.
what are my fears? that i’m acting too much like an overbearing boyfriend.
btw, this may seem like a lengthy post, but the first version was on track to have twice as information, hence twice as long.
eeh by gum, take a gander at the calendar, don’t get flummox, but did you flippin’ ‘eck knoe that august 1 is yorkshire day.( the the previous sentence is loaded with yorkshire-ism.) neither did i until by blogger friend lauren hayley, who happens to live in yorkshire told me. I told her about about our family recipe for yorkshire chicken. Mary and i introduced it to your friends down the street. they liked it so much, it has become a regular on their christmas table. lauren asked for the recipe and instead of trying to shove in a comment field, I decided to post it here, for all to see. so, without further ado, the recipe