Mental Road Rage

I am driving myself mad today -- and probably partly because it's just so damn easy. I could be writing right now - the voice in my head is shouting that I SHOULD BE writing right now - but I'm feeling rebelliously disinclined to do it. I just don't want to today (despite the fact that I haven't written in days) -- I don't want to, and you can't make me, so there (tongue sticking out)!

Why I am in such a mood is beyond me. I woke up a bit grumpy today, but that's not really the reason it's lingering on. My main problem at the moment is that I'm feeling ubiquitous, unenlightened, and superfluous. You know that thing about
a million monkeys typing?

I feel like one of those monkeys.

I swear that not only is everyone, and their brother, writing a truly brilliant masterpiece (effortlessly, of course) while I bang away at my own boring tripe -- but I swear that everyone (aforementioned brothers, now with second cousins, and friends from camp included) is just living a more authentic life than I am. And they're doing it while meeting deadlines - bastards!

I thought (stupid me) when I began this blog it was all about expediency. I though it was about saving time writing e-mails (e-mails I never managed to find the time to write, resulting in long lapses in communication between myself and people I actually like). But I'm beginning to secretly suspect that that isn't really what this is for, and maybe that never was the reason. Unbeknownst to myself, I think I might have meant to do something else entirely. And I'm starting to think that that something else, is a close friend of the reason why I write.

For the 4 people I know, who don't already know (and for any poor fool stumbling across this post/blog), the title of this blog: 3amTherapy Sessions, comes from something I said to a friend once. I was rambling on about why I write (I do that a lot - too much - LOL) and I said that I do it mainly because it's cheaper and easier than therapy, and can be done at 3 am (an hour at which it is most often needed). I decided a while back that when I got ready to actually publish some of my stuff, I was going to do it myself, under the label of 3amTherapy Press. It seemed an obvious thing, in my mind, to name my blog in that same vein (even if none of the entries actually occur at 3 am). It wasn't really that I imagined I would be extremely revealing in this blog -- it wasn't that I really expected it to be therapy -- it was just a name.

But what's in a name?

I've never been a journaler (couldn't handle the weight of obligatory regularity, or the actual commitment of my naked thoughts and feelings to a place outside my head), and I've never felt comfortable sharing details of myself, my life, or anything particularly exculpatory - especially with people I know and like -- It's worse than trying to look someone in the eye while dancing! So, I've always processed my life through writing. You assign it to figments of your imagination, and they work it out for you. Then, you imagine, you understand it. You imagine you understand something - but you don't really. The only emotionally tangible (yes, I know that's an oxymoron, but I don't care - it's exactly what I mean!) thing you get from it is a purge. And we all need to purge from time to time -- it's something we're meant to do, something that makes and keeps us sane (or at least in close proximity).

I always imagined that what I wrote was nobody's business. Back in the day, before I had a computer, I would write in notebooks. I would write and write, revise and edit, re-write and re-write. And when I felt finished, when I felt purged, when I imagined that I understood something, I would tear it up into tiny pieces, or go through it line by line with a black marker (like a classified government document), and then unceremoniously throw it away. It was only after I threw it away that I would realize all the things I didn't understand, and that perhaps if I had it to read over again I could find the answers.

But despite my propensity to obliterate everything I wrote I had very Emily Dickinson fantasies -- they would find my stockpile of brilliance (of course I'm brilliant in my fantasies! what would be the point otherwise?) after my death. That way I wouldn't have to face the rejection and criticism I assumed I was in store for. And above all else, I wouldn't have to put my name on what was in my head. I wouldn't have to own it. But nothing I wrote ever passed the brilliance bar, IMHO, so out it went, as if it had never existed.

At a certain point I realized there was something sort of wrong with destroying things I had poured so much into the creation of. There was something about inking out each word I had so intensely worried about, that struck me, one day, as being really self-destructive. I used to do a lot of self-destructive things. In fact, almost everything I used to do was self-destructive. But one day I stopped deleting the files on my computer. And when I did that, I started on this path of being kinder to myself, and owning my life a bit more.

I stopped purging my body of all the food I ate, stopped alternately denying it any food, stopped taking 24 diet pills a day of a variety meant to be taken once a day (over the counter speed is only fun in massive doses!), stopped cutting myself, stopped smoking, stopped wanting to die, stopped feeling completely invisible, stopped imagining invisibility made me safe.

It's not to say that I don't still have these issues and problems. I'm like a recovering alcoholic or drug addict. I'm a recovering self-hater, and every day is taken one at a time. Some days I slip, falling right off the wagon and landing on my ample butt. Some days I don't -- I sail through as though I've always been sane. But it's there, underneath, everyday, waiting to take hold. Food and I are still not in a full peace accord, I still (with decreasing frequency) cut myself, and there are still days when I sort of want to die, or where I imagine invisibility will save me. But I know it's a lie - and if there is only one thing I do understand now, it's that knowing what the lies are, makes all the difference.

It's taken me 30 years to find a voice for myself. And it may well take another 30 to exercise the atrophied muscle of it back into usefulness. But it's what I'm all about these days - rehab of all that has atrophied. And I'm starting to imagine this blog may be a greater part of that than I realized. I walk a fine line on this blog - between what I could say, and what I do say. I skate tiny circles on thin ice, and cross my fingers that I don't fall into anything so frigid and deep that I drown in it. I let go of only the tip of the iceberg, but I do let go of something with every entry - not necessarily something big -- but something of me, none the less.

Maybe no one else sees it go - maybe by the time it floats toward them it's melted down to an innocuously sized ice cube. But from the angle of origination, knowing what a big block it chipped off from, it always seems huge to me.

And the muscle feels stronger.

So maybe this blog isn't just about not sending out the dreaded group e-mail anymore. Maybe this blog is also about looking people in the eye when you dance. Maybe it's pilates for the soul. Maybe it's the destruction of my obsessive comfort with silence. Maybe, if I am just a monkey at a typewriter, it's good that I know it. Maybe it's important to let go of your aspirations to be some other monkey, or to be other than a monkey.

After all, it's possible the only monkey who does turn out to be Shakespeare, is the only one who let go of the fear that he wasn't.


b. said...

Bravo, Lu.....Bravo!
A sistah friend indeed, here's to rehab!

LuluBunny said...

Thank you kindly b :)

I just found your blog (and commented all over it, LOL). You are definitely going on my list of blogs I read too much!

I raise my water bottle to 'the process' of rehab - may we get stronger and kinder to ourselves with each passing day!

b. said...

Thank you for commenting all over, your insight is wonderful!!
Ummm...I'm definitely a lurker here, I'm obviously new to blogging, I stumbled across yours, and you became my first favorite writer. Raising my diet pepsi to you (you should feel lucky, it's one of my last....I'm giving them up, as of today!) Namaste.

LuluBunny said...

Ah, thanks so much for saying you enjoy my ramblings -- and thanks for toasting me with one of your last gulps of diet pepsi (I used to love the diet dr. pepper, but have since mostly gone off the caffeine and completely gone of the aspartame, so now I indulge only occasionally, on the real dr. pepper - yum!)

b. said...

I uh.......still haven't given up my diet peps yet, but it IS a goal every single morning I get up...."Today's the day...." So here's (raising yet another diet pepsi can) to trying???

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