Category Archives: mental health

The Zen of being laid up

Wednesday night, I dropped a dresser drawer on the big toe of my right foot.  As I told Fang, the woman who lives in the unit next to mine (our bedrooms share a wall) must have thought I was having the best orgasm of my life.  Fang posted some vintage Kathy Bates realness to my Facebook wall in honor of the injury:

Fortunately, the nail stayed on, the toe was not broken,  and the hematoma stayed fairly contained.  But the doc at urgent care instructed me to keep weight off that foot as much as possible for the first 48 hours and to keep it elevated.  My mom, who had spent an entire summer out of commission several years ago after a heavy outdoor stone table fell on her toe, was adamant that I should stay home from work the next 2 days.  I’d just returned after 3 work days away from the office at a conference in Boston; my condo was a mess, I had no food in the refrigerator, and my dryer had broke the weekend before, so the timing was less than ideal.  So I took the first day off but went in yesterday, with the aid of crutches.

While the pain has steadily receded, I’m still trying to stay off my right foot, and it’s been an instructive reminder of how physically active I am.   The day I took off work, I couldn’t resist the urges to empty the dishwasher, pick up groceries and a clothesline, sweep the layer of dust that had accumulated over every surface of the house, do 3 loads of laundry, and pack to spend the weekend in Detroit.  Fang & I were planning to spend today moving the new washer and dryer and taking the old ones to the Ann Arbor Recycle drop-off station, but that will have to wait a week.  Last night, we went out for dinner and spent 20 minutes waiting for a table, which turns out to be a really long time to spend standing on crutches in a crowded restaurant.

Normally I would have started my Saturday morning taking the dogs for a long walk, and then spent the rest of the day running errands and doing house work.  I keep a Google Drive document with a list of all the things I need to get done in a day, and normally that list metastasizes throughout the day;  I cross off one item, and manage to find another to append.  Instead, I’m looking at spending most of the day on my ass, resisting the little voice yammering away about how much shit I should be taking care of.

Overriding that little voice is becoming an unexpectedly Zen-like exercise.  A day of doing nothing?   Sitting around and just writing or reading?  I can’t remember the last time I allowed myself the luxury.  I’ll be 29 in August, and damn it, the clock is ticking!  Who knows what kind of profound insights and inner peace I will discover in the course of my Weekend of Doing Nothing?


Words as therapy

One of the reasons I decided to try to start writing again on this blog was that I was already doing so much daily writing.  Journaling has always been one of my two main go-to methods of therapy.  When I’m in the grip of a particularly acute attack of anxiety or a sleepless night, I can easily fill pages with “Dear Diary”-type dreck of varying degrees of navel-gazing.  The value of this kind of writing to anyone besides me is questionable.  On the other hand, clearly I’m not the only person struggling with mental health issues;  in my case, mostly anxiety and insomnia secondary to that anxiety.  Online blogging is a way to share what I’m going through with others, both to help me process it and, ideally, to start a conversation that can help some of my readers too.  And if nothing else,  it’s a way to leverage at least some of those hundreds of words I’m scribbling each day for better use.

Now that I’ve released this blog from its previous topic constraints, you can expect to read more about mental health, both my own and in general.