If Accidents Occur

“Upon every accident, remember to turn toward yourself and inquire what faculty you have for it’s use. If you encounter a handsome person, you will find continence the faculty needed; if pain, then fortitude; if reviling, then patience. And when this, habituated, the phenomena of existence will not overwhelm you.” - Epictetus, Enchiridion

I feel frustrated. Some self-inflicted stupidity regarding my work leave of absence paperwork is holding up my short term disability request. The other night I got some additional news that I reacted poorly to. When you’re in the hospital or a treatment center you want to get back to your life and you want life to pause while in treatment. Regrettably, I have yet to find a pause button on life, and naps don’t count,

Epictetus would counsel patience and greater attention to detail on my part. Monday night I was in no mood to practice either, nor did I feel like changing my mood. I fell back on some poor coping skills because I didn’t want to muster the energy to shift my mindset. Well, not completely. I did run two miles on the elliptical. That helped to burn off a good amount of steam, but didn’t extinguish the source of heat.

I lost myself in a book, and, eventually, fell into a fitful sleep. This morning I marked my mood tracking app, Daylio, with a “meh”. I feel neither good, bad, or content; I exist in between emotional extremes. I’m sure I’ll feel better after breakfast and some time writing my book.

I definitely felt overpowered by the “phenomena of existence” that Epictetus discussed. I love that phrase because it encourages taking a moment to both experience life and to analyze it. I do not wish to feel upset over my circumstances, and it is okay to acknowledge feelings of frustrations, to feel then, and to allow them to pass.

Though I do not feel like it, I will try to maintain a positive mood today. Not a super positive mood, but a slightly more upbeat one. That is a lighter lift for my weary mind at the moment and it feels more doable.

Treatment Life - Here I Go (...playin’ star again)

Question: What do you do when thrown into the abyss?

Answer: Keep swimming.

I wrote that QA statement last night as a reminder to myself that I require more perseverance in the odyssey of treatment before me. Even though Odysseus would laugh at my paltry trial of 40 days, at minimum, he would appreciate that every journey, no matter the length, is difficult when all one wants is to be home.

Access to my blog while I’m in treatment is a treat I wasn’t expecting, but much like eating too many sweet treats, I need to balance my writing with my treatment goals. I may write every day, or once a week, or not at all after tonight. Not sure just yet. There is part of me that wants to chronicle my experiences in residential treatment, that requires tightroping over the sins of oversharing while simultaneously making for worthwhile reading.

Maybe it makes it less scary for someone else to consider. Or it illuminates what someone’s friend or family member is going through. At the very least, writing is my longest act of self-therapy regardless of whether I publish or if a soul reads my words.

Time to shut down for the evening. If you’re reading: may you experience peace in this moment and ease in the next.