Friday, September 25, 2009

The Resistance

I have been living in a small town in North Georgia for four months now, and I think it's time to review.

As I've said before, about three days into my move here, I started experiencing a great deal of depression and panic. I used to stand in the shower and suffocate, worry that I would pass out because the weight of everything was crushing my chest. Brad and I have argued like cats and dogs, although, not all cats and dogs argue, but you understand the expression. Brad has worked 60+ hour weeks, gone from satisfied with his work, to frustrated and disappointed in his employers, and from excited about the outdoors, to desperate for the culture of the city. I don't think there has ever been a time when I was not desperate for the culture of the city. To counter some of the insanity, we have made frequent trips into Atlanta to enjoy things like Indie movie theaters (movie theaters in general, actually), good restaurants that serve classy beers, and creative martinis, organic markets, book stores (for crying out loud), and urban metro yoga studios. We've had lovely trips into the city.

Back in Dahlonega, my days unfold as follows: I get up, I sit on my back porch, avoiding the spider webs (they kill the bugs), drink a cup of coffee, and eat some sort of breakfast....and play Spider Solitaire for about an hour. Then I go to the garden at the winery. I take my shoes off, check the progress of all of the plants, pull weeds, smash little caterpillars that are eating my greens between my fingers, search for edible wild fruits and weeds. I know there is a Persimmon tree somewhere close to the garden, I just haven't found it yet. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I try to make it to Yoga at the gym at 1, then I teach from 3:55-6:45. On Wednesdays and Fridays, I take my time, grade papers, meet with students, clean my house, visit The Tomato House (my favorite roadside local market where I can by all kinds of novelty sodas, sauces, local eggs, veggies, nuts, beans, and delicious boiled peanuts...DELICIOUS). Most of these things I do by myself as everyone else works at the restaurant. Sometimes I go into town and sit at the bar at The Half Moon Saloon to talk to Irish Dave and enjoy a unique selection of beers. Aside from Dave, I haven't met a lot of people. My students are the people I consider to be my "new friends" in that we talk to each other, spend about three hours a week together, laugh at each others' jokes, and encourage each other. My students are fantastic. Love em. LOVE! But NGCSU doesn't have a place for me in the spring. Sometimes I go to Atlanta alone to do Bikram or hang out at a bookstore or Trader Joe's. And sometimes I go up to the winery and chat with the servers, who, of course think I'm the cutest, mostly because my boyfriend has fired a couple of them...and no one else wants to get the boot. They give me free glasses of Prosecco, and Brad brings me the occasional free beer. Or sometimes I just sit in the office and play Spider Solitaire.

The biggest complaint I have is that I am lonely, but as it is, don't I have the most lovliest of schedules? I feel like a jerk when I complain...but loneliness is really horrible and painful. It is the resistance. The only thing that, at its worst, makes me create scenarios in which I pack up everything and move away to start a new life alone.

Also, I seem to be putting my underwear on inside out as of late. What's up with that?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rain, Addiction, and Recovery

The rain finally let up yesterday. Despite rain being forcast, the sun stayed bright until it fell below the horizon. I let my classes go early because I wanted to enjoy it, and I'm sure they did too. The sun, recently, is like snow. When it appears, you want to be able to enjoy it.

Let's back up a few days. I started working on my own to build the organic garden at a winery that I am apparently not allowed to name about a month ago. I transplanted some greens, herbs, and tomatoes. By the end of the week before last, I had designed a garden paradise, providing the cutworms didn't kill everything before it had a chance to reach its full potential. The land was my canvas, the soil, my medium. Then, last Monday night, it started to rain. It rained all the way into Tuesday afternoon. It didn't stop raining until around 4 p.m. Then, later that evening, it started raining again. It rained all night and into the morning. I lay awake in bed listening to it beat down on my tin roof, imagining the garden washing away. It wasn't until Wednesday afternoon that I was able to make it out. The rain had been at bay for most of the day, so I drove to my little haven to check out the damage. The only terrible damage consisted of two large ruts that rivers of water had plowed into my tilled soil. They tried to tear up the lettuces, to no avail, but they took a good chunk out of my row of flowers and Quinoa. Small sections of my spinach rows had been washed away, but not the whole things, and the plants, despite being slightly water-logged, seemed to be thriving.

But it kept raining. I had a good maybe 6 hours I was able to spend in the garden last week. On Saturday, it started raining, and it didn't stop until Monday night. LITERALLY. It rained non-stop. I almost lost my mind. I haven't been back to the garden since the sun came out, as I've been stuck grading papers (self-inflicted), but I am venturing out there today. I have a feeling I have a great deal of work in front of me...

Now, I never thought I had a problem with addiction...until I discovered Spider Solitaire...and candy corn. Yes. I am insanely addicted to both. I can sit and play Spider Solitaire for hours and not even think about it...and I can inhale a bag of candy corn in less than a week...a big bag. I need help. Any suggestions? I actually think about organizing cards during times when I really should NOT be thinking of doing such a thing. I mean...really inappropriate times to be trying to develop the best Spider Solitaire strategy.

Seriously. I need help.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The silent blogger

Been trying to figure out why I have no desire to blog when so much is going on in my life and in my mind. I suppose blogging lost a bit of its charm when I started worrying about, heaven forbid, what other people would think. I felt like I couldn't write all the hard thoughts I was having because I didn't want to worry anyone. When, the truth is, that's just life, and isn't blogging some weird new way to share, to connect with other people. OR, is it just some self-proclaimed fan-club where I can stroke my own ego? I don't know. But here goes.

Yes, I moved to Georgia. I left off in the Czech Republic. The truth is, not too long after I moved, I began falling into a deep hole. By the time I made it to Czech, I was waking up every morning with tears in my eyes, afraid to get out of bed to face the day. I came home to a very small (non-existant) fanfare, and I had a major breakdown. I hit bottom? I went to my dad's and cried for the next three days. It's hard to really understand depression unless it really and truly affects you. I wanted to die. I would sit and look around me at all the beauty and think, "this is meaningless. There is nothing else to look forward to. Life is just a series of painful disappointments." I wanted to hurt myself to see if I could possibly experience pain deeper than the pain I felt inside, to see if anyone else would notice. I sat motionless, crippled, for hours. I was pale. I was miserable. I thought, something must be wrong with me. I can't be happy. I'm incapable. I am a failure. But I was just sick. Very sick. I went to the doctor, and she, of course, spoke of my pain in very medical, technical terms. Because that's what it is, technically a chemical imbalance that feels like the weight of the world on your shoulders. People still don't talk about it as much as it needs to be talked about.

I started taking Zoloft. Again. I remembered the first time I started taking it, I felt very little but crushing headaches and a heavier weight on my whole body. I made the mistake of taking a full dose the first day, and sat in a chair all day with my eyes wide open, unblinking. I felt like I'd just had 17 cups of coffee. And my mind was totally empty. For the first time in a very very long time. You cannot imagine how grateful I am for that time, about two weeks, in which I experienced very few deep thoughts. My mind had been so overcrowded with confusing thoughts and feelings. Any small addition would set me off the handle. But now I just felt good...despite the headaches. When the headaches cleared, I went through the period in which I didn't want to do anything, not even get off of the couch, and I didn't give a damn. But, luckily, that faded as well...

Lately I've just felt fulfilled. I've felt comfortable, hopeful, and content. Sometimes people have a hard time with medication because they think it turns the patient into a zombie. I assure you, for those that require its aide, it is anything but that. During my lapses into depression, Zoloft helps me keep my head up. Zoloft gets me out of the house. It clears my head...makes me think rationally. I don't feel happy all the time. I still experience down time (like when it rains very hard NONSTOP for a whole week with a prediction to rain for ANOTHER WHOLE WEEK).I still get the blues...but I never get so heavily buried under my own thoughts and fears as I do without it. I am not nearly as terrified of life as I have been in the past. I even started doing Bikram Yoga, and I love it.

With that in mind, I don't promise loads and loads of cheer-y blogs. I only promise honesty...I'm going to give it another go. Just remember, I'm a big girl.