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Memores acti prudentes futuri

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A few words
"When we describe the Moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness."
~ D.H. Lawrence

"Is the meaning of life defined by its duration? Or does life have a purpose so large that it doesn't have to be prolonged at any cost to preserve its meaning?"

"Living is not good, but living well. The wise man, therefore, lives as well as he should, not as long as he can... He will always think of life in terms of quality not quantity... Dying early or late is of no relevance, dying well or ill is... even if it is true that while there is life there is hope, life is not to be bought at any cost."
~ Seneca

"People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world's about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don't need to last forever to be perfect."
~ Daydream Nation

"All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories-- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death."
~ The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes

"The road now stretched across open country, and it occurred to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road."
~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."
~ William Blake
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Passive Aggressive Notes
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
From a social learning theory (Rotter, 1954) point of view, burnout might be conceptualized as the state in which one's minimal goals are too high and are not changed in response to feedback.

The symptoms of burnout have been described as depression, cynicism, boredom, loss of compassion, and discouragement (Freudenberger and Robbins, 1979). The research on burnout among therapists suggests the following as contributing factors: professional isolation, the emotional drain of always being empathetic, ambiguous successes (Bermak, 1977), lack of therapeutic success, nonreciprocated giving and attentiveness (Farber and Heifetz, 1982); and failure to live up to one's own (perhaps unrealistic) expectations, leading to feelings of inadequacy or incompetency (Deutsch, 1984).

Well, this strikes a chord.

What do I do about it, though?

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Thanksgiving at home
Thursday, November 24, 2016
I had a really nice Thanksgiving, with no sensory overload this time.

Only had to make two dishes this year, because my mom wanted to experiment with the mashed potatoes, so she and my cousin handled that. I just made mac and cheese and spinach kale ricotta pie, which my boyfriend helped with. He'd never made pie crust before, but he picked it up quickly. :)

After we finished cooking, boyfriend and I hung out in my room a bit while he set up a game on his laptop, and then we went out for a walk. We went to my elementary school and walked around the playground. It was clear and sunny outside, and a bit brisk, but not too cold. The weather was comforting.

Fro called me while we were out and asked if my parents drank wine, because she wasn't sure what to get them as a host gift, but I told her not to worry about it because she was already bringing a pie and ice cream anyway. She said she'd be over in fifteen minutes, so boyfriend and I walked back home.

Then... Fro and Mike came over, and we hung out in my room for awhile, until dinner was ready and the rest of my family came over. My mom asked everyone to write something they were thankful on an index card anonymously, so that we could later shuffle the cards and everyone would read someone else's. I wrote that I was thankful for "good listeners who don't interrupt you in the middle of what you're saying."

We made wayyyyyyyyyy too much food for everyone to eat, even though we had seventeen people. When the leftovers were gathered on the table, it looked like we hadn't even eaten yet. >.> It was good, though. I didn't stuff myself like Mike or my boyfriend, so I didn't get too bad a food coma, but I still felt fairly sleepy. Mike and Fro and boyfriend and I had our own little table to sit around, and we chatted through dinner and for a few hours afterwards, until they went home. It felt really pleasant. Since I hadn't overeaten, I nibbled on things while we talked. Four tangerines and a bit of apple cranberry crumble... Definitely unnecessary after dinner, but they still tasted good. It also just felt really good to talk, and we laughed pretty hard a few times.

I'm pretty sleepy now, but boyfriend fell asleep on my bed and I'm not allowed to sleep in the same bed with him at my parents' house, so I have to wait for him to go out to the living room before I can go to sleep in my room.

Things feel so much better at home.

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What are we doing here?
Sunday, November 20, 2016
A friend asked me for advice today. A friend of her friend has been suicidal for awhile, and my friend and her friend are wondering what to do about the situation.

I asked a few questions about the friend-of-a-friend's situation, and wondered how I got to this point in my life. How did I become someone whom my friends would think to go to for advice in a situation like this? Is the request justified? What do I know about anything?

...What am I even doing?

I looked up an affordable counseling center and linked it. It felt so trivial, so mechanical, so meaningless. It echoed of a feeling I sometimes felt at the crisis line. "Is this even helping? I'm just giving this person a link to something else. What am I doing that they couldn't have done themselves?"

Right now I feel like I'm supposed to be learning how to help people, but I'm not helping anybody at all. I sit in a classroom for a couple hours on half of the days of the week, and my eyes sting from the fluorescent lights, and my ears buzz with convoluted philosophical meanderings. And I keep wondering if this is moving me somewhere, if there is some insight to be gleaned from all this, something that will open me up, help me climb to new heights of being, to be a better thinker, a better listener, a better human in the presence of other humans. I feel like it all makes only the barest of sense. Frequently I get the feeling like I'm not learning anything new, which provokes a sense of "been there, done that," but I'm suspicious of that. Regardless of my feeling, it doesn't seem right to think I might just be more "advanced" or understand better what's going on in my classes than the people around me. My conclusion instead is that there is more to what's happening than I'm conscious of or absorbing. That seems more likely than the highly presumptuous "I already know all of this," at least.

I wish I could talk to my old therapist about what's been going on. He tried to encourage me and suggested that I might find my koi here, but I don't think I have.

Have been getting bouts of nausea recently for unknown reasons, but I'm going to the doctor on Wednesday, so I hope they can help me...

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Depressed volume
Monday, November 14, 2016
Fro called me on the phone tonight, and we talked for a lengthy time. She said that when she visited me over the weekend, she noticed that I seemed severely depressed. This surprised me, as I thought I'd been fairly upbeat compared to usual recently. She said that she knew because my voice had been very quiet, and that it reminded her of when I was very depressed in the past, and had spoken so quietly that she could hardly hear me.

I wasn't aware of this, but it makes sense. She said that she remembered asking me to speak up, and me saying that I was, but my volume not changing, even though I was clearly trying to, and being drained by that effort.

It feels like I've just slowed down in general, lately, like my energy to do anything is almost entirely depleted. Fro suggested that maybe things would be better when I go back home for winter break, and maybe she's right.

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2016-11-09 [6P]
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

If you know it, enter it; or, ask me for it.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016
For no discernible reason, I suddenly felt sick today and had to walk as quickly as I could manage to the bathroom in order to throw up. I just made it through the door and ended up throwing up thrice in the sink. Luckily it was mostly liquid, so it went down the drain without too much trouble... A lady came in to clean right after I finished vomiting, and she asked if I was okay and if I needed her to call Public Safety for me. I told her I felt better after throwing up, and I couldn't go to get checked out right now because I had class in an hour, but I appreciated the thought. Meanwhile, there was another girl who was there pretty much the whole time I was throwing up, and she never even paused to look at me.

I realize it's not exactly proper to form assumptions based on just two examples, but I'm really starting to wonder if there's just something wrong with the students at this school.

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Sitting alone
Thursday, October 27, 2016
A couple days ago, I was walking to school and I passed a girl. She had a blank expression for the most part, but she smiled slightly when we briefly made eye contact while passing each other, and it felt nice.

Today after my class, I sat outside and rolled around some baoding balls that my boyfriend gave me in my hand. I listened to the chime noises they made, and to the air around me. It seemed strange that there was so little noise from human activity, considering that I was on a school campus where lots of people were. Mostly I heard the wind and some little bird chirps. I also touched a cattail, which I'm not sure I've done before. It felt... not really like cat fur, but sort of soft, but with a slight roughness to it. It felt familiar, but I couldn't place it.

It was nice to sit by myself and not have anywhere to be or anything to do (at least, not immediately).

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Late night sad times
Sunday, October 23, 2016
"Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World.

If you're listening, are you listening?
If you're listening, are you listening?
Sing it back
If you're listening, are you listening?
I'm still running away
I'm still running away
Won't play your hide and seek game
I was spinning free
With a little sweet and simple numbing me
What a dizzy dance
The sweetness will not be concerned with me
No the sweetness will not be concerned with me

This song is giving me a sense of saudade right now... It reminds me of sleeping on my mattress on the floor of my room when I was 13 and we were preparing to paint my walls. My radio was on the pink shelf that used to come out of the wall next to my closet, and I spent a lot of time lying under it and listening to Channel 104.9. I still had Ducky, Romeo, and Stormy, although Stormy died that winter from overheating. Romeo almost died too, and it was my fault for putting the cage too close to the heater overnight. I didn't want them to be cold, but I ended up killing one of my birds instead. It's a painful memory to reflect on.

They're all gone, now, all my birds... I try not to blame myself for their deaths, but sometimes I don't succeed. At least I don't blame myself for Romeo. I did everything that I could for him, and he lived almost eleven years. A long time for a pet budgie.

I miss him so much. I wonder if I'll ever be able to stop grieving.

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