Posted by: Chelsea Novak | April 7, 2008

Toppled by Zen

It’s come time to stop posting random clips from the Muppets and start writing again. I’m sorting my situation right now and learning that it’s not anger that’s making me so not myself. It would be simple if it were just one emotion and fantastically entertaining if anger was the only thing to process, since I’m a much better writer when I’m angry.

Sadly, it’s complicated and there are a couple of things going on. I’ve made some seemingly logical choices in the past 5 to 10 years that I’ve taken to such an extreme that the results have become a problem. And by problem, I mean not being able to swallow for four days and waking up in a panic attack on the one out of three nights when I sleep well.

I’ve got a nice big emotional wall up. I’m exercising a lot of control over my feelings and my environment. The more I can control, the less opportunity there is for external forces to effect me. Problem is, as I’m getting older, and hopefully wiser, it’s more and more clear that there’s not very much in life that can be controlled. Thus I have anxiety. This is the way that I know how to work, but it doesn’t work, so what do I do?

I don’t really feel like getting into the nuances of why I try to control my feelings and my world. It’s not really interesting to anyone but me. I do it for pretty logical reasons I think. I don’t want to be hurt and I don’t know how to grieve. I realize that sounds absurd, but I seriously don’t know how to. The bottom line is that my body has staged an intervention on my mind.

I tried to cut out the fantastic highs and the horrible lows, or I guess more accurately, I tried to cut out the lows and the highs came with them. I’m not suggesting that I’ve managed to totally flat line my emotions for the last few years, as there have been many instances where I’ve had them and expressed them in less-than-graceful fashion, but most of the time when I have, I’ve questioned or berated myself for letting them out.

So I’m under instruction to get in touch with my heart. You know, the thing I’ve been referring to as the “cold, empty, space in my chest.” I’m quite in touch with my mind. Perhaps too much so. I, apparently, need to focus on being, rather than doing. Which is awfully Zen for someone like me, but I think, after digesting it for a week, it means rather than planning and repackaging my emotions I have to just let them out (“like I do, every night between 10 and 10:15, on a pillow shaped like my father,”- Clone High).

I was telling a friend about my situation, and she being a former Buddhist, told me about a saying she thought fit my situation: “Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy.”

I can’t promise that it’s going to be pretty. I can’t really promise anything, but I’ll try to be genuine. It’s not control, but it’s real. Really ugly right now. Ugh.




  1. Ah, my padawan.

    Enjoy the ride.

  2. hey babe,
    i know we haven’t chatted for awhile, but just wanted to say that this blog entry impressed me.
    it’s like you’re growing or something 🙂
    at least one of us is 🙂

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