Saturday, November 01, 2003

Collateral Damage

It comes in all sizes, shapes, and forms -- and did I have to start out this post with a terrible cliche? -- and lately I feel like I've seen a lot of it. I mean ... by remote from Iraq and the California forests. Closer to home, but still remote, never terribly well-balanced old friends slipping further into the abyss. Friends who are not just divorcing but tearing apart their very lives. Me? Ooooh, yeah. Maybe not so much right now. I think my different obsessions and frustrations and whatnot are in check. (Ha ha hAH.) But today I feel forced to examine some of my own shortcomings due to being critical of someone else with the same ones. Albeit much more severe, and that's the truth.

Anyway. So there's this thing of self-neglect. My writing, my knot-tying, my horizon-expanding. All sliding. Barely exercising enough to maintain. Not even writing in my journal enough to keep a grip on my moods. Yet maybe worse, there's this thing of self-neglect by proxy, i.e., neglecting the things in my life that are supposed to matter the most, and which sustain me or make me happy in one way or another. I feel out of touch with my sisters, and being in touch with them is so key to staying balanced for me. Don't pet the cat enough. Haven't emailed certain far-away friends in quite a while. Totally ignoring my niece, which is terrible. Just so busy, and when I do get a scrap of free time I want to spend it on myself -- just staring into space, often. Need mental breathing room, get basically none.

But ... you know. I get things done. I take care of what's gotta be taken care of. Right now this person of whom I speak and who I am very worried about seems to be sinking. If she's taking meds, they aren't working. I feel like I need to say something. But I actually don't even want to. I mean, she needs to learn to do things for herself, including pulling herself out of moods. I do it. She can, too. Or can she? I so don't know anymore. Self-nurturing is fucking hard, and I am better at it than I ever was, and yet still I often suck at it. So I feel like I should tell her these things and come from the POV of ... this is me, too. You're worse off -- you need meds that work and therapy for sure. A sounding board so you can hear what you're saying. But I understand the inertia. I understand the "why should I bother?" I also understand it has to be fought or at least staved off. You can't sink. You have to float.

And so I feel guilty that I would even drag my feet in engaging this discussion. She's one of the most important people in the world to me. A closed loop of self-neglect? What does this mean? I am so selfish I can't even risk trying to help someone who loves me more than almost anyone else? WTF?

This state of mind and affairs makes me wonder if I am in part succumbing to a psychological trend. Another casualty of the lack of mercy in our world. I am caught up in the bootstraps zeitgeist -- must stop the madness. Love is the answer -- supposedly this is the message of the "Matrix" flicks, and I don't see what's wrong with that. It seems so simple, I know. In some ways that is the message of Tolkien's books too. Frodo prevails b/c of Sam's love for him, for example. But that love and loyalty was sorely tested. I believe in love, but it's hard to these days. I feel it so deeply, in so many different ways, for so many different people -- and sometimes so many different ways for the same people. But it can be wearying, loving the world. Don't wanna do that, anyway. But, caring is hard. Not caring is easier. At least in this culture. People care and don't care practically on cue. Ugh. This is depressing and cynical. Not surprisingly.

Anyway. The main thing here is I need to do something for her, and thus do something for myself. It's a shared trait, this near-fatal self-neglect, and I think my fate is tied to hers ... but on the other hand it's too much to wish that I could actually save her. Yet I have to try, b/c ... lots of reasons. Must use powers for good -- to not use them for good, when I clearly can, is too close to using them for evil. Plus, saving her isn't a hopeless endeavor. And ... my Master says it is the trying to save that matters. (So he obviously isn't Yoda, who wouldn't entertain the notion of merely trying.) I resisted this, as I do pretty much all of his teachings. But he's right, dammit. I have to try.

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