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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

In!

1. I passed my second exam!
2. I registered for my course!

On March 25, 2009, I begin a course, 1.5 years in length, that, once completed, will earn me a college certificate in Graphic Design!

I'm very, very excited.

Because I have had to jump through numerous hoops (due to being on E.I.), I'm left somewhat frayed at the edges. I have one more meeting with the government agent to get the final stamp of approval for the funding, but I was reassured today by the counselor at the school that all would be well - this, she said, is due process for all students on E.I. She telephoned my agent just to be sure that all was in order, so, now that I am passed and registered and paid for, I think, I think, I think I should be able to exhale and actually allow myself to be unreservedly excited about this!

Now, for the upcoming weeks: lots of yoga and walks, journalling and reading, a spring cleaning all the way around, and plenty of healing and restorative time with myself. I really feel that I need that.

Finding the Good Space (January 26 2009)

For the last few weeks I've been preparing for the two entry exams for the Graphic Design course that I've been wanting to get into full-time. Between learning completely new material and juggling other demands of the administrative, official and teenagerly sort, I've been increasingly...distracted. I don't know about anyone else but it seems to me that staying centered doesn't come naturally to me.

Perhaps it is true, as so many in my life have observed, that I am way too hard on myself. I tend to think that I am not being hard enough. There are things that I want to accomplish and I keep thinking that if I just kick my own ass harder that I'll get those things done. This ends up being counter-productive as I simply end up slapping myself around in ways that I would never, ever think to do to anyone else.

Without realizing it, I've slid bit by bit into a mild winter depression. Being unemployed for the last five months while feeling somewhat trapped in the apartment (because of the weather) has provided a quietly fertile breeding ground for an insidious mildewy inertia of the soul. I'm a bit bored and lonely and I don't have the momentum I want.

The other day I had the first (and most difficult) of my two exams. The morning started out unhappily as I had a mother-daughter encounter of the confrontational kind. The few hours I had to spend preparing before the test were a bit rattly and rickety and taken up with pacing and shuffling and a phone conversation with my daughter's school regarding discipline issues that are longstanding and exhausting. Writing the exam itself was strangely the most focused and emotionally restful portion of my day - likely because I was fully engaged in this event that I had been preparing for.

When I returned home, there was an emotionally charged situation that provided the spark for a full-scale core meltdown which lasted over twenty-four hours. I didn't fully "pop" until I had one of the worst panic attacks that I'd had in years - almost 30 hours after my exam. I couldn't breathe and came completely unglued.

The fallout from those emotional/chemical storms is as bad (if not worse) than the anxiety and panic attacks on their own. Translation: I have a panic attack, then I feel ashamed enough to want to die from the shame of having come unglued - especially if there's been an audience. It's a vicious cycle, one that I have a hard time disengaging from.

This is where I get into trouble with myself: I know that these panic attacks can be prevented, so when I have them, I blame myself for being foolish enough to let it happen, or worse, to bring them on myself.

At any rate, the storm has subsided and I can breathe again. Warren is fine (despite battling a brutal winter flu) and the kids are completely unaffected.

I'm still shaken, though, and there's work to do before I can feel "better", or more like myself - at least the Self that I am comfortable with. While I believe in "the power of Now", and in being in the moment, I still must work on it at times. I would like it to come as naturally as breathing.

And why should I think that there is any part of me that deserves anything else but acceptance and edifying treatment (as opp0sed to unfettered self-indulgence)? If I'm feeling run down, the last thing I should do is continue tearing down. If I need to apply myself more diligently to anything at this point, it should be to loving myself the way I love my partner and my children, and with the same amount of grace that is extended to me.

Anyways. These words are part of how I feel my way around, checking the spaces, and finding where to sit and rest and be. At some point, though, the words must cease. Words can help - or they can be so much noise.

In the end, it all comes back to being able to breathe.

I can do that.