The winter dreariness has finally hit New England. It’s windy and 20 degrees outside today. I know that Pup will nag me to take him out for a walk, and then he’ll make a fuss about being too cold and want to come back. Dogs are like little kids in that way, except less annoying.
The Christmas blues have finally hit me. There seems to be sickness all around me, and if I let myself worry about everyone, I’ll go crazier than I already am.
Lately I’ve been doing the meditation techniques talked about in Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki. His sitting positioning is very strict, and it takes quite a lot of practice to maintain that position and also relax into focusing on the breath. Sometimes I just want to let myself go and just sit without worry about my neck, back, and arm positioning and my breathing technique, so I’ll just do just that. Just sit and not worry about anything else but emptying my mind. Last night I imagined my imaginary friend Krishna sitting in front of me, holding my hands and reminding me “If you can see me, you’re doing ok. Just never lose me.”
Krishna has become like a very good friend to me. He’s given me a sense of comfort when I need to be told that everything is ok. Last night I wondered if he’s my alter ego. Is my alter ego a half-naked old Indian Yogi?
Last Friday hubby and I drove to Portland Maine, where for the first time I visited a pot dispensary. It was a very quiet place, and they gave me an introductory talk about the different types of strains and how they would affect me, along with some suggestions. Now that I have a good supply of weed, I can use vaporizers, which heat off most of the THC, the stuff that gets you high. You end up with a much milder form of pot, which is nice. It works better on anxiety. I feel like I need less ativan when I use the vaporizer, which means one less drug in my system. If I really feel stressed I’ll take a quarter of an ativan at a time now. It also helps keep away the sleepiness that ativan gives me.
Still, today I feel a ton of burden on myself. Most of it is Christmas blues, but some of it is because Mom will spend Christmas alone. I feel badly. My brothers can’t make it there, and I can’t handle the stress of going there and then coming back to a ton of catch-up paperwork. When I’m with her it seems like I’m doing everything. Same feeling with my mother-in-law. The burden of having to do every single thing for the person taxes my stress and kills my back. Some people don’t realize that old people need visitors who are hands-on, not just people to sit there and watch while they dribble, struggle to get out of bed, fall over sideways and can’t adjust themselves, need their nails cut or teeth brushed, or to be fed, or just need the distraction of some hands-on activity. Visiting them shouldn’t be a passive thing. There’s always something they need done for them even if it’s rubbing lotion on their legs. People don’t get it.
If the travelling and the stress weren’t such a huge burden on me physically I’d go. But at this moment I really need to be home with my routine that’s keeping me fit and pain-free, and I need my dog, and I need to concentrate on doing all of the paperwork I do to keep things rolling smoothly financially for Mom. Whether she would even recognize me I don’t know, and it’s a 50-50 chance she’ll just ignore me anyway.
So here I am justifying and feeling guilty for not seeing my mother for Christmas. I spent the summer with her, and I feel like I’ve said everything I’ve needed to say to her, and done things for her that I’ve wanted to do for her. Now I just need to get over the guilt.