I hit my goal of working for at least a year at one workplace. Despite all the friends I made there, it was time for a change. At the end of the month, the company closed and everyone was laid off. I’m glad I worked there, and grateful for all the friends made there.
February: Where one door Slams shut, others open.
Old friendships end in an awful way. I never did end up apologizing to that person. I wish I said “I’m Sorry, I can’t do this anymore. I won’t enter your house again, or bother you again.” It’s best we went our own ways. “Sometimes it’s best to leave a relationship broken, than picking up the pieces and hurt yourself. I had to face reality and move on.”
I wasn’t alone anymore because the truth set me free. There was no way for me to continue on like none of this happened. That end marked new chapters with new friends.
March: the Pandemic Saga begins
I was pretty useless in March this past year. I was heartbroken from the rejection-breakup. I had to reevaluate my entire life and life choices because of that loss. I was grieving the death of my 18 year old kitty from December 2019, I was grieving being laid off from a job I liked. It was extremely stressful at home as Mom and I adjusted to being around each other all day at home. I had a nervous breakdown on day two of a new job at the end of February and had to quit that job. I felt suicidal… This time I asked for help from Mom and I went to the hospital. Because of this difficult experience, the psychiatrist there pointed me to the right help. At home, I lived on the couch in comfortable pajamas, wrapped in a blanket. I split my time on the phone, or watching relationship and psychology videos on YouTube. I started seeing my current therapist in March, and started doing groups over zoom too. As of the date of this post, 12/31/20, I haven’t met my therapist in person yet. It’s been a weird year for therapy. Oh and I started this blog on 03/27/20!
April: Bargaining & Depression
Looking back in my journal, I was torturing myself with excessive blame and trying to right my sense of sanity. Worse yet I had to deal with all this grief in a pandemic world away from family and friends. Weekday zoom therapy groups became my social life.
May… More of the same
It was still early into my recovery phase. But this month produced two of my personal favorite blog posts this year:
I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I shouldn’t be afraid.
Why? It’s Tuesday.
The worst possible things have already happened to me. It was my fault.
Zapped of energy, laying on the couch.
A human anchor.
What am I afraid of?
That I’m too old at 34 to be a good human.
That it’s too late to turn life around.
I’m afraid that I’m crazy. When is it a flaw, and when is it mental illness?
I’m afraid that nobody will love me in a romantic way.
I’m afraid that I will hurt someone. That I won’t be able to handle it.
Anxiety is torture because you think the thoughts above… And the following:
I am enough, as I am now.
I am not a victim. I am capable.
It’s not too late. It’s never too late.
You ain’t too old yet.
You’ve been here before. You’ve handled it well, and not. You are learning from your mistakes.
Everyone is worthy of love.
Being worried about causing harm shows you have empathy. It shows that you are considerate of others.
Everyone makes mistakes. You choose whether to learn from it, or not. It’s your choice.
You know, maybe I’m feeling anxious because the air quality sucks right now.
My kitten Coconut has been sneezing through the day. All the windows inside are shut.
Maybe a month left of summer here in Seattle.
The emerald city is covered by smog.
Last night around 10:30pm, I could smell the smoke rolling in the space between the houses. Smelled like a mix of alder wood and weed.
Fuck it, I want cold rice and pickles.
Time for a cold shower.
Song of the post:
The 54321 Grounding Method
Here is a DBT skill I learned this week. It’s called 54321. So you choose a sense: Taste, Smell, See, Hear, Touch, and noticed that number of things in the room around you with the number until you have calmed yourself.
The 54321 grounding technique is simple, yet powerful. Like gradually attaching anchors to the boat, this method slowly pulls you back to earth.
First, take a moment to become mindful of your breath. Just a few deep breaths invite your body back into the moment, slowing everything down. Then, become aware of your environment.
Look For 5 Things You Can See: Notice the wood grain on the desk in front of you. Or the precise shape of your fingernails. Become aware of the glossy green of the plant in the corner. Take your time to really look and acknowledge what you see.
Become Aware Of 4 Things You Can Touch: The satisfyingly rough texture of the car seat. Your cotton shirt against your neck. If you like, spend a moment literally touching these things. Maybe notice the sensation of gravity itself, or the floor beneath you.
Acknowledge 3 Things You Can Hear: Don’t judge, just hear. The distant traffic. The voices in the next room. As well as the space between sounds.
Notice 2 Things You Can Smell: If at first you don’t feel like you can smell anything, simply try to sense the subtle fragrance of the air around you, or of your own skin.
Become Aware Of 1 Thing You Can Taste: The lingering suggestion of coffee on your tongue, maybe?”
More on it here:
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It’s been awhile since this pitcher and I were on the same team. We met on a team in its 5th year. Uniforms in black and white. I was learning to play the outfield again, she was training in the bullpen. She has the traits every good team wants: a strong work ethic, talent, leadership, a good teammate.
The team was a fool not to try to keep her.
Our teams faced each other in spring training, but it wasn’t the right time for an at bat.
At the July trade deadline, we would face off on the field. I walked the plate, stepped in, and hit a line drive between 3rd and short. The bat split in two as I hit the ball. The shortstop made a spectacular play! Diving behind the 3rd baseman, snaring the ball in their outstretched glove quickly throwing off kilter to second base to start a double play. I ran as hard as I could.
I was out by a mile. As her team returned to the dugout between innings, we caught eye contact. I tipped my cap. She smiled back. I did everything right, and still failed. Baseball is a cruel mistress. Sometimes the timing isn’t right. The game ends as I sit in the dugout watching the other team celebrate a no hitter. My team heads into the clubhouse. I get up off the bench and walk to the clubhouse from the dugout. I see her look over, smiling still.
I laugh and give her a thumbs up as I leave the field for now. I don’t know when I’ll see her next. Maybe next season.
It’s the last time this season.
I worked harder than I ever did this season. I was prepared for this at bat.
Coach pulls me aside. Says don’t worry about it. It’s a slump. She no-hit the whole team. You made contact and the bat broke. That’s baseball.
She’s on TV talking to reporters. She’ll be a free agent again in the off season. I am too.
We gotta do what best for each of us.
It’s hard not to talk to a friend when you want different things.
But I get it. I’ve been there before. I’m happy for her, but it still hurts to be in a slump.
I don’t mind being a free agent.
I turn off the TV. Maybe next year we will be team mates again. Soon the slump will be over.
I’d rather be the man in the stadium and fail greatly under the lights instead of a spectator.
Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, comment, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance from others to fight Covid-19!
My last baseball poem didn’t get many views, and it deserves better. I admit the original title is not great:
I can’t write much today because I’m hungover from therapy yesterday. It’s been a busy week. Forgive me if this seems scattered. Well, busy for quarantine. So maybe 20 hours total of work between therapy zoom groups and self care stuff. … I’ve been unemployed too long. The world is a strange place to live in right now.
All this solitary time has shown me who is important in my life. It’s given me time to work through problems, and space to finally be comfortable with myself. I’m glad to be alive. It’s been such a long time since I was so happy being myself. Comfortable being inter-dependent with the world. I’m at peace with my flaws. The light and dark within. I want to be the best possible human I can be.
Here’s a poem I created from a word cloud of all the words in my personal journal. I made this from the top 100 words I said. A nonsense poem.