I feel much more calm and focused again now that the emotional meltdown of Sunday becomes more distant in my physical body and emotional self. I want to avoid such an experience again, if at all possible.
If you have ever seen the commercial for the perscription medication, Cymbalta, you may have caught one of their catch phrases.... "Depression hurts!" They meant this both physically and emotionally. It is pretty easy to understand the emotional part, but I KNOW it is wholly true about the physical part as well. Last Sunday, I felt a near hysteria of emotions and experienced a range of emotional turmoil to such an extreme that I was physically ill. My throat hurt, my head ached, my back felt like I had slipped a disk, my hands ached, my jaw was tight. Additionally, my eyes were swollen and felt like sandpaper, all the muscles in my torso ached from the sobbing.
How did I pull myself out of this despair? I do not fully know. But, a major contributing part of my help came from my wife. The trigger that plunged me into the pit of despair was a disagreement my wife and I had that started as I was just getting out of bed to walk at about 7:30 on Sunday morning. The disagreement revolved around ways in which the two of us have difficulty in one very specific manner of communication. In a nutshell, for my wife, the difficulty is that when she gets upset or annoyed at a specific event, it causes her to feel upset about everything. For me, the difficulty is that when my wife acts upset in this generalized way, I take it personally and spend a great deal of energy trying to "fix" the situation or try to "ignore" the situation. Neither of my efforts is particularly effective, for they both tire me out and neither is what my wife "wants" at that time. It is an issue we have always had difficulty dealing with. We try all sorts of methods to work through this issue. Fortunately, it does not happen often, but when it does it can be devastating.
Well, back to my point... how did my wife help me get out of the pain and turmoil? She listened to me. She heard my cries about our disagreement. She saw my emotional distress. She saw my physical pain. For me, this was valuable and helpful, and so needed, for it helped me TRY to climb back out of the pit of despair. What is "in" this pit of despair that I felt? The best I can describe it is that I am utterly, horribly alone and isolated. I am in a void. A void where there is no one, and nothing. When I am in this emotional upheaval, I feel such horrid despair that I cannot describe it adequately. Imagine having no senses, imagine having NOTHING surrounding you, imagine there is NO ONE anywhere, you are isolated in an empty space of nothingness. It is terrifying. It is devestating emotionally, and physically the rage, despair, and desperation of these feelings weighs so heavily on my physical body. The argument served as a trigger to allow me to fall into those desperate feelings again, but it was my wife's willingness to LISTEN to ME that helped me find a way out.
Physically, on Sunday, I was a wreck for the entire day. My body had to recover from the episode. But through the pleading of my wife, after she understood better what I was feeling, I screwed up the energy and did go for a walk, to keep my consistency intact.
Today, Thursday, I feel pretty much back to normal physically, and emotionally, the despair of Sunday is growing more distant. Today marks the 25th consecutive day I have walked my 5 mile (8km) walk. I am pleased about carrying this out so consistently. And, overall, I feel the walking helps me significantly to reduce my stress hormones and to feel better.
Teaching is going well, also this week. I am enjoying all my classes at the moment. Interestingly, the three classes are all on a convergent path at the moment and I am speaking about neuronal communication, specifically the biochemical and physiological processes that are involved in neurotransmitter release from the synaptic vesicles of the axon terminals. Fascinating stuff.
I am contemplating attempting the NaNo (National Novel Writing Month)
effort again this year. My last effort was aborted very early. But this year, I am thinking I can perhaps make it a more successful and fun adventure. I have roughly two weeks to decide about participation and what sort of book I will write. Currently, my thought is that I will, in this go around, attempt a old-fashioned psychological/biological/sociological science fiction book. Something perhaps in the same vein as B.F. Skinner's Walden Two
, A. Huxley's Brave New World
, George Orwell's 1984
, or Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451
. These novels are amongst the most intriguing science fiction I have ever read in my life. So, why not aim high, right?
My plan is that I will publish my meager efforts here (in a linked blog) for you, my friendly readers to peruse if you so desire.
It feels good to feel back to my old self. I am not perfect by any means, but I am comfortable in this emotional state, which feels to me like my "normal" skin. Now, I will finish this bowl of cranberry-tinctured burley leaf before I head off to class.