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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Tuesday, Dec. 09, 2003 - 2:56 a.m.

Cost of the War in Iraq
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WARNING!!!! if you know me personally, you may read my diary, but if you do, you take the chance of hearing things you don't want to know, misunderstanding what I've written and being hurt by it. If you are unsure if it is ok to read, save yourself and me the grief and heartache, and ask first!!! Please note that this is a DIARY, ie my subjective feelings, hearsay, suppositions, and outpourings of ranting of the moment. It does not represent objective news, the whole of what I think of a topic or someone, or even a thought-out representation of any of the above. Keep that in mind. Thanks. * Here is a Diary Etiquette Read Me.

Skull Face and Past Time Panic

I decided to put another entry tonight for all kinds of bits of stuff since the moon rainbow was so wondrous by itself, which of course is why I put a large size photo.

I will start this off by pics, not very good ones, of what I looked like at the previous Sat night opening of the Fetish Cafe, which of course you can compare and contrast with the outfit from Operafriend's party this Sat. I like to goof around with clothes. Sorry the first pic is not in focus. Sigh.

skull face, copyright 2003 wench77

You can't really see the bottoms, but the skull on my face is supposed to match the skull face on the underwear. No one got it. I guess I should be happy people weren't checking out my crotch. Or maybe upset about it. I don't know.

I am putting in this entry now, since I finally dug out the paper I wrote my doggy book deadlines on, and discovered they are later than I thought. I was starting to get anxious about the fact I keep stressing (yes, anxious about stressing...) and watching videos about dogs and taking photos. Tonight I got some adorable photos from the owners of a sweet little goldenretriever who lives across the street. You can tell it is a sweet dog, cuz you may never hear before or again from me, a laudatory sentence like that about golden retrievers, which I find to be overexcited, and annoyingly cloying. In the book, the main character, a German Shepherd/ Collie cross, has a thing for a little golden retriever and she fits the bill perfectly. My fear now of course, is that I will get caught up in being faithful to my photodocumentation, and I won't make cartoony enough drawings to satisfy my client.

But now, I feel relieved that I have 5 more days for the cover than I thought, and the rest isnt due til two weeks into the new year. So I am not stressing. I am doing this entry, and then will work some more on my comic. I got permission today from Black to draw his character in my new story the same way as I did in my previous book, where his character looks enough like him to be recognizable. One is better to straighten these things out beforehand, rather than have to redraw everything later! So, forward and onward! I did another page today, so I am up to 10 inked pages I believe. I am excited the progress is on schedule.

bricked up in the corner, copyright 2003 wench77
Speaking of anxiety, I used to have the worst time panic. It was a general panicky feeling that there was too much to do and not enough time. Kind of like the feeling you have in a nightmare, but it would feel like that for days at a time. When I was in university, I remember sitting at my best friend's house crying about how in Montreal there is just too much to do... one cannot even go to all the events in the art world, for instance, to feel well-informed and keep up with it, let alone social things. Maybe it is from living in Saskatchewan where you could actually get to every major event, such as the symphony, a theater play (we had season's tickets), a gallery show. Or maybe it is just me, completely wacko and freaking out that there is too much to do, too many choices, not enough time.

I used to have to write everyday what I did as I did it, if not I would get into a totally stressed out self-hating thing where the time panic would disect a thread of worthlessness I had about my life, that I wasn't doing anything productive. I would somehow be constantly busy, yet panicky that I wasn't DOING ANYTHING. So I started to write on a prominently posted paper every day what I had done. "Washed the floor, talked on the phone to two good friends, filled out an application to volunteer, did 5 pages of comics, changed the cat litter, massaged 4 massage clients". Then I would write something like Good Work, and put a smiley face or somesuch. It is hard to believe I needed to do that. But it worked.

I also used to get into a weird panic funk thing about job performance. It was exacerbated by stress in my life, such as illness, or financial disaster, or my cat having diahrea for six days on my bed, or having my schedule changed so that I had to work at 7am instead of 2pm. I would get all shaky, which I especially noticed in the shower when I was getting ready for work. At work I would feel a combination of panic and disconnection. I was sure I was working incredibly slowly, then I would feel that I was working too fast. At the time I am thinking of now, I was working in a coffeeshop, but it happened at other jobs too. This was years ago.

I would get incredibly paranoid, and feel that somehow I was the center of attention, every move I made judged and dissected. If I was 2 minutes late, or forgot to change the ashtrays, I would panic that I would be fired. Then I would convince myself that I was panicking and paranoid and to calm down. And then as soon as I did that, I would lose track of time and realize I had let something burn, or that there had been three clients standing to be served that I hadn't noticed. Had they been there for 5 minutes or had they just appeared? I had no grip on timeflow. And thus again, more anxiety and paranoia.

deadends, copyright 2003 wench77
At one point I realized that it was stress that did that to me. As soon as I asked to be changed back onto night shift, I stopped being that way. The other time, the job situation was insane, with people being fired left and right around me with no one to replace them. And when I quit, all my symptoms disappeared.

I used to never let myself quit something. I saw myself as a failure if I couldn't do everything myself. If I didn't work a 40 hour plus week. If I didn't work overtime, or work the hours given to me. I think that the only reason I would let myself stop doing something was if I absolutely COULDN'T anymore, if I stopped functioning.

When I was in highschool I went into a total depression, disconnected from my body, and then my Mom called my Dad and said I couldn't visit every weekend anymore. I think I had no way of saying that I wasn't happy there. When I thought I was pregnant when I was 17, I totally imagined myself going stark raving mad and disconnected like my depression, and I imagined over and over telling this to the then-compulsory medical committee who would decide if I could have an abortion or not.

I don't think I allowed myself to quit those jobs or ask for different hours until I had physical symptoms coming out of me left right and center. My massage teacher told me I had hypertension. That was like some kind of permission to ask for different hours.

Now I try to take care of myself. I try to see realistically what I have done in a day. I try not to take on too much (haha!!), I try to notice things like my shoulders climbing under my ears, knots in my back, becoming snappy with people, shaking hands, and I try to figure out what it is from.

I have learned that waiting until I am ill does not help anything. I have learned to say no to people without fearing that my reputation will be ruined forever (really, that is what I used to think!!... they would judge me lazy, irresponsible, flaky etc). I have started to notice that I get more respect, and sometimes people will bend around me instead of me bending around everyone.

I am still not so good at it in my personal life. I have no expectations of people to bend around me. I think of the people I have helped with their jobs, their school, their moves, financially. The people I have travelled for (either across town or across the world) without an expectation that they would do so for me), and the people I have stretched or rearranged my schedule for. I still find it unbelievable that people will wait to do something with me. Or put themselves out to see me. It doesn't happen often.

was a window, copyright 2003 wench77
One of the hardest things I did with ob was ask, last November, when I thought we were getting along well enough that it might go further than just fuckbuddy friends, for her to stay in the city she was living in, and not move to San Francisco (which was her plan) in order to see how it went with me. My therapist worked on me for about three or four weeks to get up the nerve to ask her to reconsider her life for me. I wanted her to of course, but I couldn't even imagine asking for such a thing. But I did. I was so scared, and I cried. But I did ask.

Of course ob said no, she was moving to San Francisco. So then I cried more. But at least I dared to ask. It was so very hard.

I guess I just wanted to write about how I used to be, maybe 15 or 20 years ago. And think about even when I think now that I find things a bit overwhelming, being responsible for everything in my life, and doing a lot (it really would help if I were very less curious and interested in many things), that I have come a long long way. I don't get that anxiety feeling anymore, just faint feelings of the edge of it. And the time panic. And the paranoia.

And I am so much better now at saying "this doesn't fit into my schedule, can we talk this over" or "I need more time, I am having a bad week". I still explain too much. Like I don't have permission to just say "no" without giving all the reasons so it will be acceptable. But I can do it. And I am so glad.

Well, that is the end of this entry.

Go look at the moon again. It was totally thrilling. And rare.

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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