Thursday, March 10, 2005


Boy, I guess needed Oprah today.

I grabbed the magazine at the check out counter because of the cheery colors and thought, “Oh what the heck.” And immediately chided myself for buying something I don’t need, to try and help my mood. It turns out I do need this issue.

First, I read this amazingly insightful and poetic article about friendship unraveled by Vivian Gornick. I have a recent friendship that has unraveled, a childhood friendship that has drifted, and a current friendship that is so important to me that I already cry some(hormonally induced)times when I am faced with the possibility of it’s impermanence. Ahhh.. sorrow. There were no step-by-step checklists of how to deal, just a comforting, validating essay acknowledging the pain of endings and the mystery of relationships.

Then, I came across the breathing space portion of the magazine, which just has a calming nature picture and says “Breathing Space.” So, naturally, I teared up, as I am wont to do on this particular day of the month. Speaking of which, last night I cried til 3:30 in the morning. I started in the afternoon. I had to skip going to a movie with friends because I couldn’t stop crying. For some reason, with this hormonal influence, the floodgates of my unconscious open up, all my primal fears are activated, and my safe framework of thinking melts away. At least now, after many years of this experience, I have the presence of mind to eventually think, “Oh.. this might be the first day…” But it doesn’t help the profound core sorrow and aloneness I feel. Today I wanted to draw a picture of me with my hands on my hips saying to the world, “You disappoint me.” (Maybe I still will. If I do, you know you’ll see it here first.)

I even got out my art supplies, and with a hot pad tucked into the front of my pajama bottoms started to create! Until the pain got so bad I had to crawl on my bed and pound the top of my head into the mattress. But, back to Oprah. By the time I got to the store where I saw the magazine, the pain had become a dull throb that I could ignore. See, I had to get more food so that I could take another mega dose of pain killers without hurting my stomach. If I hadn’t been so sad last night, I might have thought of taking them then. It helps if I take them the day before. As it was, it took until about 2:30 this afternoon for them to kick in.

I saw some healthy food pictures that I could use in my inspiring “new healthy me!” collages. I read that cell phones possibly can give you cancer. I drifted past an article that I’ll read sometime about the areas in your brain where certain types of thinking occur- a possibly useful article for my life work. I read “What are you waiting for?” About a woman who got so involved with the have-to’s in her life that she no longer made time for dancing. Ahhh.. another one that hit home. This year I want to learn to be happy and I discovered a few years ago that one way to do that is...Aha! Do things that you enjoy! (Seems so simple now.) So, I want to, once again, prioritize my happiness. It’s amazing how going dancing even once a week can change the landscape of my life.

Then I read answers from Oprah. Michi from Lakewood, CA asked, “For some reason the minute I start feeling and looking good and getting compliments, I sabotage myself...” Oh Michi! I’m glad you asked that. Oprah? “...You need to ask yourselves a lot of questions about why you’ve put on weight and why you’ve dieted time and time again. But I can already tell you what the answer is: You don’t feel worthy of being loved.” Oh Oprah, you hit the nail right on the head, for me.

In another of my feel good shopping sprees, I bought a book about affirmations and decided to follow her program of writing down one affirmation 10 times a day for 21 days. I wrote down a lot of possible affirmations, but I wanted to get at the core of some of my troubles. Eventually I got to “I am worthy of my time, attention, care, love, and expression.” I wonder if writing this down yesterday and thereby directly confronting one of my core issues just as my hormonal primal-fear-floodgate-opener kicked in was a big factor in the tears til 3:30 am episode last night?

Then there was a story about Daphne Sungia who was a very healthy person who turned out to have mercury poisoning. The jury is still out on the usefullness of this article for me. Is it a synchronous warning just for me, or another health paranoia that I will eventually have to satisfy at the doctors office, spending my money and my time. Who can say? Here are the facts, the symptoms are: muscle aches, (sometimes,) blurred vision, (not so much,) skin rashes, (no,) inability to concentrate, (check,) memory loss, (yes, since I was 25,) and unexplained sadness! Check! I have been eating over three servings of fish a week and I did touch mercury once as child when a thermometer broke. By the way, exposed mercury can instantly poison all the air in a room. Beware. There’s also a handy little table in that article which says which fish is safe to eat and how often.

Then there were some big fifties style skirts I’m not too hip on, a super cool cereal dispenser, and a tulip tea cup that made me actually want to add “a set of teacups” to the ever increasing mental list of things I will buy when I’m rich.

Then the piece de la resistance in the “Live Your Best Life” section: a poem by Rumi.
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of it’s furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

Ahhh, Rumi. So maybe it’s ok that I am still demanding and needy and... oh all my other list of flaws that aren’t part of the recipe for perfect inner peace and happiness. Ahh... so that was the Oprah magazine this month. I hope you enjoyed this review. For those of you using this review as your guide, I flipped through from the back.


Yak said...

I love you Braidwood - I guess being human there's other people who have some of the same issues - thanks for the helpful ideas.

Braidwood said...

You're Welcome! Thanks, Yak!