Life as an Extreme Sport

“so how are you, anyhow?”

Oddly, several people have pointedly asked me how I’m doing this evening, citing recent posts here as reason for concern. I’m doing okay. Not great, not bad, just okay. A step above apathetic, but admittedly only a step. In the last few days, I’ve had:
* insomnia
* an allergic reaction that started off mild and became severe enough to require a trip to the campus health center for a couple of shots of liquid benadryl and a course of OTC benadryl after that (tonight’s the last night of taking it every few hours); my hands no longer look like I dipped them in scalding water (and the rash that developed on my feet, chest, and upper arms is all but gone), but the lightest touch still makes me want to scratch the top few layers of skin off
* sleeping more than usual, after the insomnia, thanks to the benadryl
* midterms (blargh)
* an apartment complex fire that thankfully was put out by my next door neighbors before it became an issue, but still resulted in asthmatic issues for me, and the need to wash anything clothe in my apartment (as my apartment was completely filled with smoke before the fire was put out and we could air the building out)

My cats were hit rather hard with the smoke inhalation, too, and I’ve been babying them very carefully the last day and change.

On top of that, I decided that now was the time to finish dealing with some of the lingering issues around my mother’s death, and trying to figure out how to move forward, restart life, and all the trite yet true things that come up as you’re grieving. I’m working on two separate ASBH abstracts, which is a novel and somewhat stressful experience, have been buried under schoolwork, am helping with an epistemology conference we’re having, and trying to dig my way back up to the surface in a few other areas of life.

So, I’m doing okay. My life is horribly out of balance, I’m having issues motivating myself to do a lot of things – including just getting out of bed in the morning – but I’m trying my best. In some areas, I know it’s not good enough and I’m trying to just accept that, and accept that right now I can’t be perfect, and I have to just give myself credit for trying. I’m trying to rediscover balance, and I’m trying to recapture the joy in life, in enjoying my schoolwork, in seeing passion in the world even when it’s not apparent to others.

I was talking to someone on Friday who told me that I’ve not had the chance to internally process and become the next version of me, that my transition from UW/Seattle to here was cut short by my mother’s illness, and that in many ways my entire life was on hold for 18-odd months, or at least subject to the whims of others and the unpredictability of disease. It was a true statement. And now I have to figure out who I am, and how to be that person, out of order and turn, and in an environment that’s not necessarily open to me needing to do this, or kindly inclined and understanding with the issues that are strongly affecting everything right now. Which sucks, and hurts – you always hope that the people you’ve surrounded yourself with will be understanding when you crumble; sometimes you end up pleasantly surprised, and other times you just sob in your pillow. Bits of both have been common; just have to dust yourself off, say you took a risk and it didn’t pay off, and continue moving, growing, changing, being.

Which is, in all, a longwinded way of saying I’m okay. I could be doing better, I’m working on doing better, but it’s a process and not a decision.

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