Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Venting Tape and Feelings

Third Blog I Can't Publish, a Venting Tape

Sept. 5th, night.
I decided a few nights ago to make myself a Venting tape of some of my favorite blues tunes, so that when I felt sad or upset about the past, (Ann's death) I could listen to others who have felt similar things. I will have to find out from experience whether it's a good or a bad idea, but the tape is made.

One thing I already know is that this is a balancing act. Not having the Feeling that I'm communicating with Somebody, (even if it Isn't usually true) through a blog pushed me to go ahead and make the tape. But I've seen people who sit in front of the TV all day and get depressed, Of Course they're Depressed! Given the garbage available for watching. And I've met people too, who listen to only One type of song, (sad, angry, blaming Others, etc.) who feel the same ways as the songs they listen to, All of the time. Then there's "talk radio" the purpose of which is a competition for ratings and sponsors, by either making listeners enraged or selling fear, doom, and gloom. Talk radio junkies are often in the states of mind their radio hosts try to create.

I don't want to put my mind into a permanent state of depression, so I will have to use the tape sparingly. Also, some of the songs, a few, are happy ones which seem to answer the sadness or grief in the others. Feelings are a river or ocean, which is constantly moving. I have happy and thankful moments most days. And I have sadness, fear, frustration, and anger, too. Sometimes I run away from unpleasant feelings by distracting myself with food, work, etc. But sometimes I'm able just to keep breathing deeply and continue what I'm doing, or take a Calming break, just trying to relax and let the feelings roll over me, like waves. They pass and if they don't pass for a long time, I may call someone or think of something to blog, write about.

Since I'm storing these posts and do not know if they'll ever get sent anywhere, I will see how the tape works or doesn't work.
This weekend, I've realized I have an underlying depression and anger (flip sides of one another) which are present even when things are fine. Fear is nearly always there too. I know myself well enough to be aware that the way I was raised have set some of these tendencies in my personality. Being totally blind and having a significant hearing loss is conducive to fear. And Ann's death and my having to move contribute a lot, too.

A counselor would only point out what I already know, where my feelings come from. No point wasting time and money on that. But I'm not sure how to Change these feelings!

A good counselor would probably say they are normal, given my circumstances. Ok, so what? If I want to try and feel Differently, what do I change, besides acknowledging how I feel and the fact that feelings and logic often tell me two differing things about a situation.

People say I've had seven months to mourn Ann's death. Not quite true. During the first six weeks after her death I was numbed out with shock and busy both communicating with everyone she interacted with, (friends, physicians, her family, etc.) and with her sister's excellent help, planning a Memorial Get-Together at the house.

Then I had to go through all of Ann's and my papers, many of which hadn't been touched since my trailer became uninhabitable in Jan. 2007, and a few which hadn't been touched since 1993, when Ann moved to Mo., after her health crashed so that she couldn't finish her college work.

There were boxes stacked up taller than me to sort into piles for shredding, recycle, and a few nonpaper items to pitch.

Then a dear friend came over and we went through Ann's visual art work for many hours, so I could know what was unfinished and should be disposed of, what her family might like, and what might be good enough to show. This was a very painful experience for our friend, who painted with Ann once a week, when each of them could make it.

Then I had to donate all of Ann's used clothing, shoes, wheelchair, and other items, to different agencies around which would take used items in good condition. Ann's family generously helped me with shipping costs to return things (mostly pictures) to them.

Then I had to pack and label each box in print and speech, via use of a "Pen Friend". And I had to look at houses to find a place to live.

I moved here at the end of June, then began unpacking as furiously as I had packed. At least in a Physical sense, I just wanted Very much to be able to Find things again!

Also, I taught a Braille student who needed the assistance quickly. Some of the lessons took as much prep. Work as the lessons themselves took to teach.

It wasn't until the second half of August that I began having some break time to think or feel a lot.

And I am unsure what to do with my life now. It seems I always feel tired. I can's sort out whether this is physical, (cancer recurrence?) or just an emotional backlog demanding time to be dealt with. There is the desire to die after someone you love dies suddenly. Since I don't plan to do a Thing to bring about my death this desire not to have to start over without a loved one takes the form of worrying about having cancer again.

There is also the desire to live, and I have fear that I cannot learn to do what I want, on my own. When I'm Really depressed I would add, "And does it matter anyway?"

So, that's how it is at a time when everyone thinks I've had more than half a year to "get used to your new situation."

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