Slip Sliding Today

An obvious metaphor for my journey and risk of setbacks

Another great weekend! Almost.

RIch, a friend I haven’t seen in a few years reached out last week. Back when I was in my dark spot, I stopped responding to most people. Rich was a casualty of my private little war.

Through his perseverance, we reconnected. Rich invited me to the University of Maryland to watch football Saturday, from the comfort of a corporate suite.

On my journey, I’m now able to recognize that being “trapped” in social situations from which I cannot depart unnoticed, makes me anxious. Despite that knowledge, reconnecting was important enough that I accepted the invitation.

I enjoyed myself. Rich’s other friends were interesting and unlike most of the people who inhabit my little universe. During the game I posted a photo of the stadium and immediately received a text from my pal, Dave who I mentioned in Spring Ahead: Time Changes. He was there as well. We met during halftime. Seeing him was a completely unexpected pleasure.

I was home by 8PM. It was a good day.

Sunday started beautifully. Sunny. Crisp. Autumn in all its glory. I walked. I wrote. I hung out with my old friend Jack. Walked more. It was great. Until dinner when everything went south.

Family dinner at my sister-in-law’s house. Altogether, nine adults and five kids.

Wine was my drink of choice. After a few glasses, in the middle of the meal, I let fly a Trump diatribe. Caroline’s brother, David, a scientist in Memphis, and Caroline’s father are huge Trump fans.

My philippic was inappropriate, and made the everyone uncomfortable. That person, filled with anger and frustration, isn’t who I strive to be.

I woke up this morning and my first thought was FUCK!

Angry at backsliding. Angry at my lack of mindfulness. Angry.

What is especially disturbing is my outburst came just hours after submitting an essay to The Elephant Journal, titled, Mindful Tips to Deal With an Unmindful President. How could I possibly write an essay on mindfulness when I can’t control myself, surrounded by so many people, so important to me?

After yelling at myself this morning, I began my repair work. I walked 2.4 miles. My goal is seven plus miles everyday. The walk cleared my head. By the time I arrived at Tryst I sat down, ready to write.

Despite my disappointment in my behavior. Despite my anger, I’m not driving into a ditch of self-pity. I no longer hear the siren song of destructive behaviors offering comfort.

Months and months ago I discussed backsliding with my therapist, Allie. She reassured me that in all our journeys, there will be setbacks. Back then, the memory of the dark place was vivid enough that any setback scared me that I was falling back into the abyss.

I’m past that. Yay.

The ditch is now a gravel shoulder. When I feel roughness beneath my wheels, I right my course. And that feels great.

Stay in Touch. Connect.

Jon

P.S. An obvious choice by a band I enjoy.

5 thoughts on “Slip Sliding Today

  1. I have the same challenges with my family in Florida the moment the radio or TV comes on and there is anything remotely political. The tension between this artsy feminist and her Republican sister can be cut with a knife. Isn’t it normal to feel some anger, about suck huge things in the world we cannot control? But I applaud your self-reflection and return to mindfulness. We are all works in progress, and all progress is good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isabel,

      Nice Freudian slip.

      It absolutely normal. I received a text from Frannie, my spiritual guru that I was being too hard on myself.

      Yes and kinda. Ultimately, I want my compassion to guide me at moments like that. I think the wine may have gotten in the way.

      In the essay, that i HOPE will get bought (if anyone from The Elephant Journal is looking, Hint hint!) I wrote about taking to your “self” at moments like this.

      I’m getting involved in protecting the 1st amendment, speech and press, which I fear for under a man whose skin is thinner than a supermodel.

      I promise to share the essay one way or another shortly.

      In the meanwhile, yay for progress. Yay for reflection. We will all overcome.

      And yay, for taking time to share your thoughts. That means so much to me. I’m always plagued that I’m being indulgent and when you write back it is extremely reassuring and gratifying.

      Jon

      Like

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