Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tilting At Windmills


So this past week I have had two major anxiety attacks. So major that they required a double dose of anti-anxiety meds to knock them back, and even that took twice as long as usual.

I feel like I am not meant for this world sometimes. It seems like all of the vibrations in the universe travel across the plane of existence and settle in my bones. It's too much, too overwhelming: the pain, the sadness, even the happiness sometimes. I remember cowering undeneath  a seat at a Washington Bullets game when I was young, maybe six, covering my ears and crying as everyone around me roared their approval at a come-from-behind victory.

The hate spewed online and seething below the surface of many interactions this past week in Baltimore has been unbearable. As the news about Freddie Gray unfolded, changing from weeks of peaceful protest and calls for action to two nights of violence and rioting, I scrolled Twitter obsessively.

This week, I have deleted my subscription to multiple news outlets and blocked several "rebuild Baltimore" groups on Facebook. I am contemplating deleting my Facebook page altogether and archiving my Twitter feed.

Maybe it is cowardice that forces me to take actions to protect myself, but I am really struggling to cope with what is going on in this city and the deep history of racism and discord and the massive leaps of faith it will require to change, leaps of faith that I am not ultimately sure the bulk of humanity is capable of making. Certainly not many residents in Baltimore, when many in the northern neighborhoods recite standard white privilege mantras ("I can't believe they destroy their own neighborhoods!") and in southern and western neighborhoods where crime unrelated to the unrest has seen a spike as police and National Guard forces were engaged in concentrated areas of the city.

Tilting at windmills. Spitting in the wind. Bailing out the ocean with a teaspoon.

That's how changes feels. Impossible.

I am breathing. I go to yoga. I am trying to sleep (on an air mattress with a hole that lands me hovering above the floor by the time my alarm goes off in the morning, but a mattress is coming in less than two weeks so I suck it up). I write down what I am grateful for (and there is so much), but the world seeps into my skin through my pores, and I can't stop it.

I dream nearly constantly of the ocean, a beach with the water in front of me and no sound but the wind and the waves. No people, nothing electronic, nothing, just the sand and the water and the wind. You can't take a vacation from yourself, as much as you try (my early 20s proved that to me), but I am struggling to find equilibrium in the city. I am nesting in the nearly-finished rehab, and it feels like I am building a fortress. This can't be healthy, but it feels necessary.

What do you do when it's too much?

 (as an aside, I am not writing anymore on the ways in which Baltimore needs to be fixed. I have three other blogs on the subject but just have to step back. Part 1 and part 2 are still up. For now.)

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  1. I greatly admire you and Sicily for pushing through tragedy and finishing la petite mansion. I wish nothing but good for you and wish I could help you go any way. I have felt with a whole life of pain myself and only wish for a life of peace. I walk alone in darkness but ever hopeful for light. The eternal optimist, yet I can not be so for others. I worry and always fear the worst. Right now you seem to be in a bad situation. Emotionally as well as environmentaly. The enviroment go baltimore is bad for somebody already dealing with pain and loss. I believe that la petite mansion can once again be beneficial to you and Sicily. As it was once a antidote to despair it can now be a restorative retreat. Never think you can not just up and leave-you can! You have a lot of people from all over who would en anything to help you. That community that helped you two finish la petite, I am sure would help you now with looking over the baltimore job while you and Sicily take a while to go and reset while you build a simple deck and fix the shower leak. A little time away from turmoil to get back go touch with the spirit of la petite. A little place all your own, safe, peaceful your own little place of tranquillity. It pounds like you need that now. But I can only go off what I feel from what I read that you have wrote. I hope this helps you. And I also hope you can find personal happiness again one day. You deserve that as well.

  2. We will make it work, as we have always done. Baltimore is our home, and we love this city. But you are correct; LPM is definitely a great place to retreat, and we will go there soon. Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts with me!