Saturday, August 16, 2008

Small Gems

Jewel Weed
Aside from being a delicate little beauty, its sap is a great antidote to itchy insect bites.

In recent months I've been isolating myself more and more, here online, as well as in my 3D world. The limbo land of divorce, worry about my future finances, and my propensity to sink into depression have all fed into my need for isolation. I can't do much about the divorce yet, although the end is now in sight, the judge has set October 21st as the date for the final hearing (amazing how free having that date set has made me feel). I can't do much about my finances right now either, as they are also largely tied into the divorce. As to the depression, I long ago faced the fact that I am a depressive, I also know the very best way for me to fight it. It isn't medications, although they work to an extent. But I'm still stubborn when it comes to the idea of spending the rest of my life taking a drug to feel emotionally healthy. I'm not ready to face that possibility, not yet anyway. Physical activity does work for me, quite well. It always has, as a teen, as a young adult, and now, it works...unfortunately one of the symptoms of depression is lethargy, and lack of motivation. Keeping active becomes a continuous battle. It takes quite a lot of internal prodding to get me going, but luckily once I feel the bzzzt bzzzt bzzzt of that internal cattle prod on my ass, I do get moving, and within hours I begin to feel better. The harder I push myself, the sweatier I get, the better I feel. I may be weird, but I love the sweating that is the byproduct of physical exertion, I equate it to leaching all the poisons out through my pores. It's a cleansing of my physical body and my soul. I literally feel lighter.

Today I decided to visit one of my favorite hiking trails, it was tough going at first. Not because it is a difficult trail, it's easy to moderate, but because once my feet hit the sandy trail, I remembered my last visit there, a little over one year ago. Then, I was full of a vitality that has been sorely lacking of late. I was still living the high of ESCAPE, unencumbered by the symbolic restraints I had lived with for so long, those caused by his, and my own, insecurities. It was shortly after I had moved out of our marital home, and I was reveling in my feeling of freedom from living a life of constant judging, disapproval and failure to make the grade. I felt joy bubbling within for the first time in a really, really long time. Sadly, I've lost some of that feeling, my own self-questioning has formed similar restraints. I've become more reserved in recent months, fettered to my uncertainties.

This afternoon, as I set out, it took real effort just for me to place one foot in front of the other, I was plodding more than hiking, but thankfully the very nature of walking a woodland trail makes plodding almost an impossibility, at least for me. Footing has to be monitored as the condition of the trail is quite variable. In addition, it is very difficult for me to become lost in thought when my surroundings are ever changing. The trail follows the meandering length of a healthy crystal clear creek, passing through wooded wetlands and along side a prairie meadow, it's my favorite for that very reason. The trail is a habitat for so many varieties of wild life, and wildflowers, I soon find myself unable to focus on my inner world. I tried, because of a need to seek answers to questions. Questions that are truly unanswerable at this stage of my life. Why I keep refusing to accept that is beyond me at times. Today, I finally made a smart decision, choosing the trail instead of walking the road by my home. I pushed myself hard today, really hard. I love the way my leg muscles ache, and my mind feels clearer than it has in weeks. I have set myself the goal of returning every weekend while the weather holds, pushing myself ever harder, ever further. I know I need to, it is sustenance my soul and body crave.


D G said...

Walk the path that comes to thee...


Val said...

Amen to the physical exertion => cleansing sweat => feeling better!
[saw your comment on SD's blog]
Best wishes,

X. Dell said...

I would have guessed that you feel lighter aftersweating because you've lost water weight. But the psychological sense of losing weight works for me just as well.

Sometimes too, anxiety produces physical tension, which, of course, reminds you of more anxiety. Physical activity is good in that way.

I'm the opposite of you, though. Whenever I go awalking, I'm usually nowhere else but my own thoughts. A game of some sort (e.g. baseball--which I haven't played in ages, mind you) really helps me to let go.

Anonymous said...

Hard exercise always makes me feel better too. When I'm done, it feels like all the lights inside my head have been turned on, I love it.

Here's hoping your lights turn on. Take care sweetie.

Mom to the Girls said...

The way you described your walk... makes me feel as though I were there. Thank you for this, for more reasons than you can possibly know. I never thought of sweat as cleansing, but I'm going to give it a try. I love this blog... and your others.

Jonas said...

I understand this entry far better, now, than I did when I first read it.

It's powerful.