Tag Archive: meditation


I’ve finally reached a point where I feel I can start giving some of my hard-earned $$ to some good causes. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I’m one of those people who always seem to be living hand-to-mouth. But! I’m determined to change that.

So I just signed up for the bottom-rung automatic donation at Foundation Beyond Belief. A measly $5 a month, but it’s a start.  I feel good just having made that first contribution.

I’ve been pondering my dating history a little bit lately.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I just haven’t had enough practice to expect myself to get it “right”; take the most recent example, NG: it was obvious to me that he was way more into me than I was into him.  In retrospect, it would have been better to make that clear to him as soon as I noticed it, to make sure we were both on the same page.  Because I didn’t, my breaking it off came as a much bigger shock to him than it might have.  I’m not beating myself up about it — I just didn’t know any better.  And now I do.  This, I think, is the nice thing about starting to date young.  I didn’t do that, so I’m having to learn these things now.

It’s nice to have this little awareness.  Kind of a mini-breakthrough in awareness.  Yoga + meditation ftw?  Maybe.

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and meditation

Today has been much better.  Yesterday I almost literally spent the whole day lying on the couch or in bed.  And yet I would still call this only a “moderate” depressive episode, not Major.  I wasn’t feeling stellar to begin with.  One of the cats kept waking me up in the early morning hours jumping from the bed to the mantle and back and whining to be fed.  I got out of bed fairly early, made some breakfast and got ready to go to the Red Cross to donate blood — the atheist group was sponsoring that day.  Listening to “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me” in the car on the way got some laughs out of me, but I was still very anxious and depressed.  They do a finger stick to determine whether your hemoglobin count is high enough to donate.  Mine wasn’t.  The nurse/lady said they need at least 12.5 and I was only 12.1.  But 12.1 is within the range of average for women.  It’s on the low end, but it’s still considered normal.  Apparently I need superblood to be able to donate.  I know she wasn’t doing anything on purpose but her delivery had me feeling like something was wrong with me, like I was defective, a failed vegan because I couldn’t get my hemoglobin up high enough to donate blood.  I realize this is absurd, but at the time I felt terrible about it.  Like I wasn’t even good enough to donate blood.

So I drove home and proceeded to spend the rest of the day on the couch and/or bed.  Basically, I felt like shit if I stood up and was basically just wandering around the house not doing anything.  When I was lying down I didn’t feel so bad.  I didn’t feel great, but not miserable like when I was standing, wandering, unable or unwilling to motivate myself to actually do anything.  So I decided, m E, if this is what you need to do right now, that’s fine.  It’s not something I would want to repeat regularly, but if that’s what I needed yesterday, okay.  I closed out the night with a couple episodes of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” and then the documentary “Buck,” which was beautiful and everyone should watch it.

Today began at about 9am.  I rolled out of bed and picked up and put away all the shoes I had left lying around for the last couple of weeks.  That’s a pretty good sign that I will be at least moderately productive.  Or at least moderately not depressed.

I put the clean dishes away, had breakfast, then decided I needed to decide how to use the food in the fridge.  There are a bunch of leftovers and some base ingredients that I didn’t really have a plan for.  I made my list of what to do with everything, what I needed to get at the grocery store, then made berry-peach crisp using the blueberries and grilled peaches I had leftover from Independence Day.  Picked up a bunch of pots for my philodendrons and finally got a box fan for the bedroom.  Repotted all the houseplants — hopefully they won’t die.  The philodendrons will be fine, I’m just not sure about the spider plant mom gave me.  It looks a little sad.  Oh, also made some carrot-spice bars from Fatfree Vegan to take to work tomorrow.

I went to Zen Meditation this evening.  All the bowing kind of weirds me out; not sure if I will go back.  I love the atmosphere, the absolute still of a room full of people meditating, but I hate the ceremony attached to it.  Wish we could just come in and freakin’ meditate without all the suggestion of worship.  When I have my teahouse I will have a space for people to come and do that.

Dialing back the meds

Just a quick note, I started at 75mg Effexor on Sunday.  I had been at 150mg.  I’m a little worried about dialing back right now because, in the time since I began seriously considering this change, I have fallen into a little bit more of a funk than I had been.  I haven’t really felt like cooking for days.  But I am going to go ahead and try this, supplementing with yoga and meditation.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga is proving to me just how pathetic my upper body strength is.  I think my arms are okay, but my chest muscles are woefully underdeveloped.  I spent about 10 minutes on a 30 minute “Intermediate” level video and had to quit.  My arms are still trembling.  This will be good for me.

I identify a lot with the story of Sisyphus.  I suppose if we all examine our lives, we would all recognize something of that futile struggle in our own experience.  But in dealing with mental illness it’s especially easy to feel.  You push the rock up the hill all day, every day.  Then it falls back down to the bottom and you have to go back to the start and begin pushing all over again.  Certainly when I feel depressed (or in med withdrawal *coughThursdaycough*) the idea that the entire pursuit – of life, success, happiness, whatever – is futile is a pretty alluring one.  What’s the point of striving, of bothering with any of it, if at the end of the day the rock rolls back down and you’re back where you started, feeling like shit.

From a slightly less negative angle, a slightly more experienced angle, my experience is now more like “two steps forward, one step back” or some variation thereof.  I’m not charging forward, blasting through all impediments with my warriorlike will.  I stumble, I fall, I get back up again, but always looking forward if not quite able to move forward on my journey toward mental health.

Today I went to yoga in the park – my second time going, the first was last weekend – and this evening I went to a Soto Zen meditation group.  I believe both of these things can/will be good for me if I keep up with them.  We’ll see if I do.  It can be so hard to keep up the momentum of a positive weekend and carry it through the week and into the next weekend.

This Wednesday is the 4th of July, Independence Day in the US, so I plan on grilling some tofu and other veggies for my main meal.  I made whole wheat flatbread yesterday afternoon and I found a recipe for soy yogurt that can be made using only store-bought soymilk.  I have wanted to try making non-dairy yogurt for a while now but it seemed like all the recipes I found started with “make your soymilk.”  That will be fun and exciting, and if it works I will have delicious yogurt to eat my delicious homemade granola with.  I love food, and I am trying to incorporate that love into my journey.  So often I complain to myself that I have no great hobbies or passions; food comes very close, so I will try to harness that in as meaningful a way as possible.