Thursday, July 28, 2011


I used to be so much better at escaping reality than I am now. I want to escape right now and I can't. In the past, I wanted to escape being me too. I thought I was a really boring, dull and not very intelligent person so I wanted to be someone who was not any of those things and used my imagination to do just that. I think that is called dissociation. I think I used to spend about 95 percent of my time in that made up world and the rest of the time in this one. Then I went into treatment with a wonderful therapist who helped me with the extreme forms of post traumatic stress disorder that I had. One of the side effects to the work I did with him is that I spend most of the time in this world.

A friend of mine who writes memoirs for a living is often criticized for not living in the present. He is actually in the same situation as I am. He used to lived most of the time in his imagination and because of his recovery from drugs and alcohol (I did not have this particular affliction), he now, like me, lives in reality. He uses his writing of memoirs to center himself in this world. I write journals. No one pays me for my journals. Ted says many times a day he wishes for that ability that he lost to just escape from the day to day existence he has to stay in this world. Recently, he spent some time in jail and although some good things came out of it, he had moments when he was there that he wanted to leave that place for a nice place and it was hard to convince himself that the talent for doing so went with the booze and drugs. He had to stay.

I am waiting for a phone call and the realization that I might not survive the current fight with cancer is something I can't run away from. The first time it happened in my life, I could hide in my imagination but I can't anymore. Ted told me that I need to really show my love for myself by staying in the present, by being mindful. I can't be mindful if I am full of fear. That is true. Instead of trying to hide, I have to face what is happening to me. Then I can exist in the present even if I don't like it. I certainly can't change it. I also can't make the phone ring although after a while if it doesn't I can go to the patient's advocate for some help in dealing with the pulmonary department of the Veterans Administration Hospital. My doctor called me on Monday and made the referral. It is only Thursday. I can do the 12 step program and give it to my Higher Power.

Friends have been supportive. Even my grandson who is 16 years old called me last night although he could not speak because his phone is not hooked up to a service. My oldest son calls often. My art teacher called last night as I have not been going to class. That was nice.

My best friend is myself and my Spiritual Guardian and nothing will be separating us even if I don't make it. I am feeling good about where I am living and will be going to see friends this weekend and attending a book club that I like. I did not like the last book we had to read but really like the one we are reading this time. I even lost a pound on my diet recently.

Last night I watched a movie that made me laugh. It was a movie about Dudley Do Right and the Canadian Mounted Police. It was a silly movie but I loved it. There were discussions about good and evil all of the way through it and of course good wins at the end when a character who turned his life around because of Dudley happens to reconnects with his family and his wife happens to be the new prime minister of Canada and orders the Mounted Police to save the Indians and Dudley from the evil guy from wiping them out. Again, it was silly but I laughed and felt good that good always wins over evil in those movies. I skipped the news after the movie which is a form of escape; but I read the paper this morning.

The fact that I can't escape like I used to is good because I have to face what is out there. My father could not face reality and drank a lot to do that creating a Hell on earth for the rest of his family. I know someone who weighs well over 300 lbs because he can't face reality and eats his way into fantasy and that is not healthy. I wasn't facing the things I needed to face or doing the things I needed to do because I was blissful in my own little world. I was good at it. I still visit that world but I use that time to write about it. One time I was sitting with several other women and an accident happened in front of us and I did not see it. I was in lala land. The others did and gave an accident report and I just repeated it. I was so glad I was not sitting at the bus stop alone. It was a man who in a drunken stupor rammed into a woman with her children who had stopped her car for a stop light. He really hurt that family. It is not pleasant right now, but I am glad I am here in reality.

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