LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.
I have been thinking more about the shame issue. I am not burdened by shame about having been a problem drinker but I do feel shame about being/ feeling like an underachiever. And being very prone to depression. I have been weaning myself off antidepressants but have definitely felt myself spiralling down recently, spiralling slowly, almost imperceptibly, but definitely feeling lower the lower the dose I'm taking. It has been a theme at therapy that the anti depressants might stop me from experiencing/ engaging with the sadder feelings I carry around. that I'm seeing how it feels to engage more fully with those more painful feelings. But truth to tell I am probably just trying to prove to myself and others that I don't need them. I am starting to wonder if I do. The last couple of days I have noticed that I don't want to see anyone I know in case they ask me how I am. How do we assess the business of a genetic disposition in therapy? Because by definition there's not much you can do about that.
Trying to sort out what is inherent depression returning, from the 'withdrawal effects' of stopping a long term medication, however slowly, is likewise impossible. I went to the doctors on Monday and we jointly decided I should up my dose to 15mg daily. I had got down to 80mg per week. But it's also a pain to be tinkering and faffing with the dose levels - it requires a level of care that means it easily turns into a bit of an obsession.
Hope everyone is feeling well and has a good weekend. x
Always hard figuring out what can be shifted with medication and what might be better left raw and gritty for the sake of therapy. I hope upping the dose works. My moods go up and down this year and I just hope it doesn't get worse because any kind of medication would be much harder to find out here and more costly.
At 3am when I can't sleep I feel like a complete failure and underachiever and useless, but that is 3am. Most of the time I feel I've done well enough at some things, had some good luck, failed some things but made an effort and had the courage to risk failure.
Much of the time I feel reasonably resilient and optimistic -- I do what I love doing and have never wanted to do anything else. That may be an illusion too but it keeps me going. The problem with depression of course is that we can't reason with it or get any balance. It is like dropping into a black airless pit.
Have a lovely weekend
Mary and Elsie
Most of the time I feel I've done well enough at some things, had some good luck, failed some things but made an effort and had the courage to risk failure.
I don't think you can hope for much better than that and it is something to feel pretty good about. We are all born with certain talents and dispositions, and there is not much we can do to change them. The best we can hope is to do the best we can with the helpful ones and learn to cope with the others. If we can do that, I don't think we have too much to feel bad about.
Thanks for that. Of course, what feels balanced and reassuring enough as a general life perspective is lost when clinical depression kicks in and that is the hard part. What sobriety does (IMO) is to ensure we are actually present in our own life and that means we can respond to opportunities and create a more positive and different narrative together with those who know us sober.
How is the outdoor kinetic sculpting coming along?
The sculptures are going fine - we've had a fairly mild winter so I have been able to work outside more than usual. And I've also been doing some smaller indoor sculptures when I can't work outside. There are pictures of Instagram.
Last fall we went to the Snite Museum in South Bend, Indiana which has a large number of is outdoor and indoor pieces. It was wonderful to actually see his worke in person. It gave me lots of inspiration.
An interesting development, I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but I've developed an interest in ballet. It started with some things I saw on Faecebook - I kept watching them and then got more and more. And in the last 4 months I've gone to three performances, two mainly Balanchine and Ashton and on of Martha Graham. We saw a Balanchine version of Firebird with the original Chagall costumes that was just amazing. I'm not sure I know what to make of ballet, but there do see to be some simularities to kinetic sculptures - I just watch the movement. I'm enjoying something new.
And none of this would have happened if I had still been drinking - stopping does give you your life back.
There's something so nice about suddenly developing an unexpected interest! I have had an interest in dance somewhat foisted upon with with my daughter being in performing arts training. I tend to favour the dance she feels comfortable with- jazz, contemporary, commercial, basically because I'm her mum. But in her shows the ballet is so often the most entrancing. It's wonderful seeing the boys at her college especially- probably because you see so few boys and hardly any talented ones at your average local dance school but her college has a particular strength in recruiting and training boys. When I was a child and danced my favourite was tap and I adored all those Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films. Ballet is however the basic discipline from which it all stems. But pointe work is what sorts out the women from the girls and it's a pretty strange and tortuous aspect of it when you give it any thought. The lines and shapes that can be created with ballet on pointe are really striking, elegant and beautiful, but I can't get over how terrible it is for the dancer's feet! My daughter has come to terms with having 'the wrong feet' and really the wrong legs and hips for ballet, which given she is perfectly well-made and healthy is quite odd in itself! She has a low to average instep, tapered toes (which mean that pointe shoes never fit and essentially she has to balance on just her big toe), straight legs, and forward facing hips with not much natural turn out. The physio who works at her college has said that she must never work in fifth position as it forces her legs and hips out too far, and the tendency to take the strain in the feet is what has probably caused her to get plantar fasciitis in the past. I certainly hadn't realised it was this technical! And clearly however hard she tries she will never be a ballerina ( luckily she doesn't want to, but they have to do ballet whatever their interest) I suspect even the most naturally adept ballet dancers really suffer for their art.
Your kinetic sculptures sound really interesting- I take it that suggested movement is part of the principle? I watched a programme about the history of the moving image in the 20th century and the presenter explained about a sculpture of a very odd looking human being that I really wouldn't have understood without his explanation of the way it had been conceived and shaped to suggest forward movement, referencing certain key muscles. Amazing that something static can achieve that.
Thank you for a nice bit of thinking on a Monday morning- it's taken my mind off all the practical stuff I have to do today!
Couldn't agree more, Brian -- and not just that I got my diminished and cramped old life back but that so many new doors opened. When you're absent from daily life, you don't notice the shrinkage and lack of pleasure, when you get sober it seems to expand and fill out. I went on doing many of the same things, writing, reading, gardening, cooking but with a renewed and more lively interest.
Ballet sounds an exciting interest -- I watch various kinds of performance art from time to time and when I was working on John Cage, I watched Merce Cunningham and that opened up so many aspects of movement, gesture, the unspoken for me. I spent time with videos of Jonah Bokaer who was influenced by Merce Cunningham and some of his performances reminded me of your kinetic moving sculptures. Tell me what you think.
l sent you a private message so you can see me on Instagram. Most of my sculptures are copies of George Rickey's work. His idea was that the sculpture itself should not be too interesting, all you want to see is the movement, and the movement should be subtle and unexpected - these aren't whirlygigs. Ideally you want to see them in a garden - big garden - on a day with light but gusty winds. You sit on a bench as watch and for a while nothing happens. Then there is a little wind and the sculpture moves, but not how you expected it too. They are really wonderful. You can find lots of them on YouTube, but they are really wonderful to see in person.
One of the amazing things about ballet to me is just how athletic it is - and as with most high level sports, you just have to have the right body to do well. When I was in High School we had a gym teacher who was the basketball coach. He was a fantastic player and none of the best players on our team could do anything against him. I remember, he would walk toward you dribbling the ball - his head would not be moving from side to side at all, but his hips would be moving as though on swivels - you has no idea what way he was going to go - and all of a sudden he would just go around you and you would be left wondering what happened. But he was only about 5 feel 6 inches tall, so though he played in college, he had no chance in the pros. As anyone who has played sports knows, life is not fair. But he was a wonderful coach and seemed quite happy teaching people to play basketball.
I am so new and uninformed about this that when I went to the Martha Graham performance I was amazed to see that Balanchine was influenced by her, not the other way around - it's just amazing how innovative she was.
I like the mixed media visuals in the first Bokaer piece, I'll have to look for more of his work. Thanks
My education on Face Book has been by following Ballet del Occidente. I stumbled across them about 6 months ago and have been following them ever since.
Thank you Brian- I haven't ever 'done' Instagram so this is clearly the heads-up to start! I'm doing my best to ration my Facebook time as I felt it was starting to impact on me negatively. I found I was voicing opinions about things that didn't significantly concern me, plus I was getting into heated discussions that left me feeling very depleted. It's true that most people fail to even moderate their thoughts or views in response to others, and never ever change their minds. I was trying to give proper and fair thought to what seemed to be proper and fair comments but it seems that finding a middle position between extreme views is not at all how these online discussions go. Outrage is the order of the day. And sometimes people get really offensive when they clearly haven't even read the intervening discussion. It becomes an almighty effort to respond politely, so I just stop looking at notifications. But really, what did I expect? Enough is enough and I'm not going to comment on news articles any more. a friend of mine once said that I seem to use Facebook as a creative outlet. I think I need to find a better outlet!
I too could do with losing 8lbs...I thought reducing my antidepressants would help as they are known to cause weight gain, but quite the opposite, since I sank into a depression and kept having long afternoon naps and eating industrial quantities of cake and chocolate. Back up to a higher dose and I feel so so so much more lively, positive, and able to concentrate on things other than sugar.