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Sunday, September 07, 2008

refuge, stress and a daze

Writing has become my source of earthly refuge because it is here that I can retreat into my world. Not even my closest loved ones can interrupt me safely from this haphazard ritual of mine, without being lashed out at by me for being taken out of the flow of words that come forth, be it on paper or on the computer. When I need safety from my crazy mind I write, as long as I can find the first words to form one phrase within me. When the words don't come I feel an anguish that translates into a need for a crutch in some kind of imbibed substance or in angered shouts. Sleep is probably about the only other activity that can provide a similar sense of safety; this probably explains why, apart from a true physiological lack of energy, depressed people sleep a lot when they finally can.

I feel anguish and therefore a need to write because even though my dream is finally coming true again - my going to Indonesia to work on my humanitarian career - it is fraught with fears and insecurities that stem from me and myself alone. It should finally make me happy, finally, after sabbaticals and rest from work that has not been satisfying because it is not what I truly want to do. I need to raise funds and while I have a salesperson's persona within me, she seems like a ghost of the past that hardly seems like me at all. I am also not the best Christian around to be raising funds for 'missionary work', because while my work is missionary, I am nothing close to what that term represents in terms of character and an image of being above-board. I am torn between two countries because my ties are still here, yet I want to be immersed in my work there. And my resilience to stress is still so low I cannot comprehend how I could have endured any form of work stress in the past. I should be able to do my job, because the Elaine that people have known all along will excel, even those who barely know me feel that way. But that Elaine feels like a shadow to me, running then on strength unknown and probably supernatural. Wrung to my depths as I am right now, I am a corpse with a weaker ghost within, seen by all as an Elaine at rest and able to rise up to become the best in her field once again. I have doubts of that so severe that I feel anguish.

I have always relished the challenge of stepping outside the 'comfort-zone' but right now instead of being excited by the challenge I feel a want for safety so much, even the thought of living in an asylum gives me comfort. I am far from having to live in one but my flat is like my asylum, with every comfort that I need here in material and in persons I love. The challenge to step outside my comfort nowadays, which I do try to, eventually and despite all, still brings about stress and I get upset enough to have to rely on my emergency Xa*nax, Slims, and alcohol where possible. All this for a little bit of stress. And as usual I am also sick (eczema and just the 'flu) which is how stress chooses to manifest itself in me. (Although probably the 'flu is more because I took the public bus that day, sick people everywhere in a contained, unhygienic space. Public transport makes me sick, literally. It also makes me very stressed but that is another story.)

I don't know how I can overcome this and this conflict within me is what drives me to seek refuge in my writing. My body is rejecting my fears by creating this anguish and this 'flu which goes against my primal and heavenly instinct to serve the poorest people who are in greater need than I am. I am a fusion of vision and fear, of a shadow of the past and a ghost of the present. I am able and unable. The greatest battles are fought in the mind. When I am weak then I am strong.

Conflicting states of being result in me being in a daze sometimes, like how aquatic confluences create silt and flotsam. I try to function as normally as possible socially, with my medication giving needed energy to. I know I will likely breakdown in embarking on this job in Indo but I am going to do it anyway. Thus the daze. I try to not be my past workaholic-perfectionist self which plans everything down to the T, but yet I feel that inadequate if I don't. Thus the daze.

Amidst all I guess I will keep writing.