"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Peace of mind, I fear, is learned behavior not a state of being
re-lax Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin relaxare, from re- + laxare to loosen, from laxus loose -- more at SLACK
Date: 15th century
1 : to relieve from nervous tension
2 : to cast off social restraint, nervous tension, or anxiety [couldn't relax in crowds]
3 : to seek rest or recreation [relax at the seashore]
4 : What I have forgotten how to do.
As hard as I try, I can't sit still inside. Ever.
Last night's dinner went very well, even though one of the two couples had to cancel at the last minute meaning I had fixed WAY too much food. Our group of three couples are linked by the fact that we all were in hospital together at the same time for the same thing. Meeting on a regular basis gives us some needed support and lets each of us know we are not in this alone.
The girl that could not make it had a reaction to one of her new medications. I've been there, these drugs are not pretty and the reactions are usually big and nasty when they occur. Hers was a rash, but it was a rash that she was told could end up terminal.
Imagine that. Getting rashed to death. These drugs can do that sort of thing.
So the other couple showed up and we had a great time. Since my wife Kay was not feeling well, I had done all the cooking. I usually do a feast anyways, so I had cooked enough for at least ten people and the four of us barely dented it.
Afterwards we sat in my living room and just chatted for a couple of hours. I seem to find that easy and hard at the same time, and it baffles me. I crave the interaction, yet am never really comfortable with it. I never really let my guard down and become myself, I am always "on stage." Last night I tried a few times to actually just enjoy the moment, to let the experience of being with friends sink in, and when I could, it was very good. But as soon as I let my concentration wander, I was back where I started.
Does everyone do this? I can't think that this is the way everyone feels. Is it just a matter of only knowing these people for two months? They are great people and we really like both of them, they are loads of fun, great sense of humor, wonderful guests for dinner (and dinner at their house was a blast too.) So it has to be just me, inside, that is causing this feeling of stress.
Before I was diagnosed two months ago, I would never have felt uncomfortable. Maybe there is something about feeling you are not "whole" that puts you on the mental defensive, I don't know. All I know is that I need this interaction worse than anything in my life, and it makes me terribly uncomfortable to do it.
There is no such thing as pure pleasure; some anxiety always goes with it.
Ovid (43 BC - 17 AD)