Tag Archives: yoga

10 Ways that Divorce Has Improved My LIfe

I’m having a glum morning. Divorcing means losing my current health insurance, and although I can and will (and have to by their rules) switch to the University’s grad student insurance, it will cost more than $1000 to sign up…. which I just don’t have. And it’s, of course, not as comprehensive by a long shot. And I can’t afford to order my contact lenses… (seriously, screw LASIK. Everyone I know who’s had it has needed vision correction within 10 years, and my eye doc says those who have gotten LASIK pay his mortgage and Mercedes car payments. Feh.)

I know I’m in the company of many, many people who have been tossed from financial security to a precarious position by divorce, but it’s still hard for independent and proud me. So, in order to lift my mood, I’m going to list the things that kind of rock about having to go through a divorce:

1. I’m Getting Fit. I am the fittest I’ve been since high school. Thanks to my friend K, I did that 40 day yoga challenge, and it converted me to Baptiste Power Yoga (sad that I wasn’t into it when I lived in Cambridge or Philly at the same time as Baron Baptiste!) I love feeling myself get stronger. I love being able to do push-ups, and trying new poses that were previously beyond me. I even like the heated rooms at this point. I’m in Bucks County, PA for two weeks visiting my parents, and am missing my Houston studio, even though I’ve been doing yoga here too! Being single means I can go to yoga whenever the whim strikes, without compromising or apologizing or negotiating the car.

2. And Getting Over my Fear of Loneliness. When I moved to Japan, I suffered immensely because I’d never lived alone and was dealing with too many pressures at once. And when I first returned to Houston, I was terrified and depressed. I felt as though I was haunting my own house. I paced. I frantically made plans. I fell into a horrible black sadness every time there was a lull in my distractions. Mostly I used dating to avoid dealing with my own mind. But I’m learning to be okay with just hanging out alone (In the past I loved alone time, because I knew that eventually someone would come home and relieve me of my solitude.) Now if I can learn stillness…

3. Learning to cook. Living with a great cook for my entire adult life meant I never did learn how to cook much of anything. I’m enjoying dusting off all of the cookbooks I had pointlessly accumulated, and making the things I once wanted to try. I’m just -learning- how to enjoy the process and results. Nobody mocks my knife skills, nobody tells me I did anything wrong. I can just learn as I go. I know I don’t cut things correctly, but my food still tastes good to me.

4. Getting to budget. I do so much better with money when I can be a super control freak about it, and without some other reluctant party to mess it up and sabotage my efforts, I can save for the things I want that are more expensive (of course, with no income that’s trickier…) When I splurge on something, I know it’s okay for my budget and I don’t have to argue with anyone over it.

5. Getting to travel if I feel like traveling. If I can scrape together the money (yay frequent flyer miles!) and, so long as I can find a way to deal with the dogs, I’m free to go. Being married to someone who hates to travel was sad during my 20s. If we’d had a budget (see #4) we could have saved for trips… but we didn’t even take a honeymoon.

6. Juice Fast? Sure, why not?. I can randomly decide to do a 7-day cleansing fast if I want to, and nobody can say boo. I’m looking at you, January 7 (when my sister goes back to Philly from Houston). I’m going to try the Cleansing Diet that Baron Baptiste used on his 7-day Bootcamps. I’ll probably get all surly again. But they really do have an overall positive effect on me, and I didn’t expect them to, so I’m not sure the case is strong for a mere placebo effect.

7. Learning to be less useless. With nobody around to handle things like the smoke detector needing a battery change, or the paint chipping on my back doors, I’m just sort of learning to do them myself. I changed my own car oil the other day!

8. For the first time in my adult life, figuring out who I really am.  I defined myself in relation to another person for my entire adult life (19-35), and I am discovering I didn’t have much of a sense of my own strength, or even who I am apart from his opinion of me. So much of me was defined by the feedback I got from him, and not all of it was complementary. I’m also realizing that, because I was the submissive partner in the relationship, I deferred to J’s opinions on a lot of things- but I’m often right (too). Not always, but more than I thought I was.

9. Regaining my Sex Drive! Er, you might want to skip this, friends. But yeah, a dysfunctional relationship can really, really torpedo your sex drive, eh? I’m sure some people are able to sleep with a person towards whom they have years of accumulated hurt and pain and anger, but not I. And I’m enjoying feeling like a more healthy and vital person as a result of not having to wrestle with that emotional garbage constantly. I should qualify that the garbage is still there, but it has nothing to do with my current sex life. 

10. And…  Forcing me to Leave My House. When I am in a relationship, it’s just too easy for me to give in to my introverted instincts, to hide in my house with the other person. Thanks to being single, I’ve gone to (and participated in) The Moth, and Grownup Storytime. I’ve gone out for beers on weeknights, tried bars I hadn’t been to, etc. Forced to leave my house if I want human contact, my life is much more interesting now.

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In Which I Try to be LESS of a ‘Ho

Hello internet.. lately a week in my life feels like a year. I find that I just met someone last week, they fell out of my life this week, and the whole thing only took a week in total. This is why I hate trying to date. Although since I changed my dating site profile pictures, I am apparently quite the catch for 40-something year old cowboys with anger issues. (Alas, no cute ones yet- and the age is fine, as I’m 35.)

On Monday I had this conversation with my shrink:

“How are you?”

Me: “Hmmm…wfessffsd” (Seriously, all I managed to utter was some sort of noise.)

“Can I tell you something I’ve observed about you?”

I tried to nonchalantly take a sip of my coffee and wound up dumping it down my front. I nodded sloppily, while reaching for a fist-full of tissues.

“You come in here talking about despair and anxiety and profound depression, and yet you always seem cheerful and even perky.”

Her observation didn’t surprise me in the slightest. Actually, it surprised me that anyone would be different…

“I’ve only let two people in my entire life see my feelings,” I told her “and one is divorcing me” (have you also observed that I am prone to melodrama?)

***

A guy found my OKCupid profile and told me he too is a yogi (I will never, ever refer to myself as a yogi. Or a yogini. I’ve been doing yoga for 20 years and I’m not a damn yogi. I’m way too easily embarrassed for that), and asked where I practice. I told him, and he said that he’s been known to pop into Big Yoga as well. I looked at his profile too… he had made a fortune in his 20s, sold off his company, and now does nothing but do yoga, and quite possibly roll around in his money.

He asked if we could have a juice after class on Wednesday, and I said yes, except I’m too broke to buy a juice. I sort of (guiltily) knew he’d offer to buy me one when I mentioned that, but I really am that broke, and I don’t like to lie or demur or…   pass up a chance to complain.

As I was unfolding my mat, he approached me. His eyes moved slowly, slowly up my body. So appraising was his gaze that I involuntarily folded inward. I didn’t want him to see … me. But apparently I didn’t check out. After class he wouldn’t even turn his head towards mine as I tried to make conversation. He chugged his juice in one big gulp, and then told me he had to run. As I sat in my car by myself I thought… “Hm. Online dating is the stupidest. And that was just supposed to be a friendly conversation between… yogis. And now I get to sit in my car and wonder what he found so objectionable… was my hair a mess?”

My favorite thing is that a full 50% of the people who write to me try to do so in Google translated or sounded out Japanese “konnishiwa” “oh-hi-yo gosaimash!” I can’t imagine if I actually were Japanese. Speaking of, I do have a hot date tonight with a Japanese guy who just moved here for work. His English is perfect, unlike T’s, and I can’t tell what he thinks when I switch between English and Japanese.

But.

I have done the fadeaway with all but my trusty friends-with-benefits guy from the last post. B is such a sweetheart, and really hot. The rest were making my heart ache and my stress skyrocket.

Time for some matcha and houjicha.

The Week I Cried in Yoga Twice

… or “I need to get my shit together, seriously.”

I don’t think I’m cut out for much of anything right now. I don’t feel like I’m doing a particularly good job at… my life. I can’t concentrate on my work, as I’m either too depressed or too manic for self-discipline. I don’t think much of what I’m writing is any good. I feel like I only receive the uncompetitive grants and awards (which may be as much a function of my research topic than anything, but I’m not sure). I feel like I fail at online dating so far, and I still don’t know what to do about T who is back in Japan and still lurves my messy, broken self.

Sigh.

I spent this week on pins and needles waiting for the guy in my last post to contact me, and here it is Friday morning and I wasted Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday staring at my phone and hoping.

Nothing.

So my chest aches and I feel like the most useless, unlovable, messy person in the world right now. How did I scare this one off? Am I doomed to repel anyone mentally healthy because I can’t fool people well enough that I’m in a good head space right now? I thought I was doing a pretty good job of putting on a mask.

There’s this song that has sort of become the theme of the 40-day yoga boot camp that I’m doing.  I mean, I’d heard it before I joined the yoga challenge but it’s been played several times during classes. Wednesday, in a dark, shadowy room lit faintly yellow by street lamps from the outside, I felt acutely my desperation that this guy contact me. I repeated to myself the need to “let go” and “stop struggling”, but just as quickly as I felt myself relax, the turbulent anxiety filled up my lungs again. Lying on my back, I felt my eyes well up. “I am not okay”, I had to acknowledge. I wanted to plug this guy into the hole in my life, to use him to buffer myself against my own screaming anxiety and fear. But perhaps he sensed it, or perhaps someone else came along via OkCupid and he moved on. Either way, the waiting and the hoping has turned my week into a nightmare of pillow-punching and hand wringing and kitchen-swearing and…

and…

I just felt so stupid for how rarely I truly fall for someone like that, but for how completely it happens. The last time it happened, well… I am still not over that crush, and I think he’ll always have a part of my heart. (That was an impossible crush, and though he took my breath away every time I saw him, and still does, I can never tell him.) So, as foolish as it sounds, this week’s guy was probably #4 in my life who had this effect on me, and he has disappeared.

Lately I have had immense difficulty closing my eyes. During the twice-daily meditations, during yoga (particularly the end savasana), I stare blankly ahead at walls, ceiling beams, etc. It took me a while to notice that my eyes weren’t closed, so vacant and unseeing was this stare I’ve developed. Lately I’ve found my mind quietly whispering the chorus to the aforementioned song…. Hallelujah… Hallelujah as I stare.

The yoga instructor yesterday caught me in the twilight, lying on my back with my eyes wide open, tears trickling down my face. His eyes met mine as he stepped past. Perhaps he didn’t see.

Every time I feel different from most people lately, more special(er), smarter, etc. I am humbled. I am not better. I am not more gifted. I am a decent academic writer with some pedestrian problems and some really significant traumas. I’m taking this guy’s disappearance so hard because of how unlikely it was that I actually let someone in right now.

Just found myself listening to Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt, which is also devastating. It captures a bit of the burden I’m carrying around these days.

Channeling my Junior High

Okay.. so… I’m not the most patient person in the world. I’m trying. That yoga challenge I’m doing has me meditating twice a day for 30 minutes each time this week, and because my mind is all over the place lately this is extra challenging. Why is it all over the place? Boys. For the first time in 15 years, boys.

I’m a proud person, and I don’t like being made to feel like I need something from someone I don’t trust. Need-imbalance may actually be one of my least favorite sensations. Because of the yoga thing I am trying to sit with it, recognize how uncomfortable I am, and the kinds of thoughts it leads to, and then let it all go. But I rarely succeed in expunging the sensations. Actually, y’know what? Let me back up a bit and make this whole entry a little less vague.

So there’s a guy I really like. It started very slowly, with occasional messages on OkCupid, and me just having fun bantering with him (the way to my heart= a man who can not only take my teasing, but match me). I wasn’t paying much attention to him, honestly. He was just one of the many guys that I expected to cycle in and out of my new online dating life. A little fun, and that was it.

I’d say I was enjoying talking to him steadily more with each message, but I didn’t really feel invested until he called me on Thursday, Halloween.

He was supposed to be leaving for a 5 day trip out to one of the oil rigs (me, queen hippie talking to an oil company engineer?!), and he’d asked if he could call me. I said sure, why not. I didn’t expect that he’d call just as I was making my way from Houston’s outer limits to Austin, on my way to a conference. I also didn’t realize that the phone’s GPS would quit working entirely as soon as I took the phone call, thus forcing me to drive with no directions.

Anyway, his voice had an almost immediate affect on me. It wasn’t just the adorable British accent, but something familiar and unidentifiably comforting. I loved talking to him. I loved it so much that when I realized the GPS wasn’t working I pulled over to continue the conversation rather than getting off the phone with him. And typically, I loathe the phone.

We messaged back and forth after the call, but my trip became a bit of a nightmare (see previous post!) and I cut off the conversation. I had a few messages from him waiting by that evening but didn’t attend to them immediately. Friday he called, and I missed it while I was at a conference event. He also gave me his email address and told me he’d be shutting down OkCupid soon.

Okay.

(I’m trying to speed this along here).

I think he left for the rig on Saturday, and he’s been working the night shift there. I next heard from him on Sunday morning, and then Monday morning. Tuesday was nothing, and so far today there’s nothing. I sent him an SMS Monday, and a quick email Tuesday. This morning (Weds), I weakened and sent him another SMS. Nothing serious, just light.

But what I hate is that the lapses (Saturday, Tuesday) in his capacity to get in touch have me absolutely squirming. I don’t in the least blame him or think he needs to be using his sleep-time to try to contact some girl he has yet to meet in person. No, I’m not insane, I swear, or even particularly needy. But I am super bad at delaying gratification. And when I want something, I tend to take immediate and direct action to try to get it.

The result is that I am joined to my phone right now, staring at it and willing it to ring. I’m willing it to light up with an SMS from him. And our conversations have been so easy and fun that I feel weirdly smitten with this guy… I don’t know if it’s my natural response to having forced-limited contact or what.

This actually happened when I first met J, as well. He only had net access at work so he was incommunicado on weekends (this was pre cellphone). He also had a bustling social life, and seemed to end up at different Boston netgoth parties than did I. I pined (ha ha, pun because we all used the unix program “pine” for email back then. Er… yeah) for his messages. I oh-so-casually asked people at parties if he was planning on attending.

He and I had the same awesome flirty-banter early-on as well.

And this new guy even looks like J, so clearly I have a type and a pattern. It’s no wonder I am a bit smitten, actually.

I don’t think this dude is going to be back in Houston until tomorrow, but in the meantime I just poked at my phone again to see if I’d missed a message. It made me want to throw my phone out the window and scream “EFF THIS! I REFUSE TO THINK ABOUT HIM A MOMENT LONGER!”

I need to get some got dang work done. I need to focus, not get lost in daydreams about this stupid boy. I am terrified that I’ll let on how much I want to talk to him, and he’ll erroneously take it as a sign that I’m high-maintenance and get too fixated too early on in my contact with someone. Sigh.

I hoped writing this down would empty my brain a little bit, so I could go back to paper writing. We’ll see. Breathe, me, breathe. No more messages until he makes contact, as excruciating as that is.

The people that you meet

It wasn’t a good day, so I needed yoga class all the more. I signed up for a 7:30PM class with live music, the kind of thing that my solitary self has the luxury of doing at the moment. I’ve been oddly early to everything lately- oddly, that is, for me, as I tend(ed) to be chronically late even to important appointments, and have to constantly fight my urge to putter around my home just as I’m supposed to be heading out the door. No joke, I suddenly decided it’d be a good time to organize my scarves right before a shrink appointment this week. That was the old me rearing her head… or maybe the mentally healthy me.

Anyway, I arrived at this yoga class among the first three– one of whom was a handsome, tanned, and muscled tattoo instructor from the same school who was going through his own routine as he waited for class to start. The other was a lean, lithe woman with tangled dirty blonde hair, a white tank-top that hugged her frame, and silver bracelets galore. She planted herself less than a foot from my face as I walked in.

“Hi. I need to know. What that means.” She pointed to the tattoo on my right arm.

“Oh, um, it’s a Biblical verse.”

“What does it say?” She leaned closer, peering at me intently.

There are two kinds of people who ask about my tattoos– the ones who perceptively read into my clipped answer that I’m not in the mood to explain (when I’m not), and those who will not be satisfied until they extract a full explanation from me. I won’t slow down the narrative for you by explaining which kind she was.

“Oh, um, it’s about angels. And love.”

Her eyes widened. “See. I knew that,” she said manically. “I knew that. You. Like. I totally needed to hear that right now. Like. God, or um, whomever put you in my path so I could hear the words of love on your arm right now. Y’know?”

I couldn’t stop thinking that I was having a moment of failure as a human being. What if she ended up inviting me to a bar? What if she’s a fascinating (ex-drug addict, or my radar is broken) person, and all I want is to close off into my space and ignore her, even when I’m so lonely these days that it seems the only thing I can feel or think? She and I could sit in a dusty Houston bar, painted yellow and red with rusty silver stars on the wall, drinking bottles of beer and talking about dreams.

But no, if she invited me I’d probably think for a moment about how I’d rather go to Starbucks and go home to my dogs, and end up making excuses as I so often do. I’m just not good at spontaneity. Or people.

While I was thinking all of this I was nodding along with her.

“Um, so you want to know what it says?”

“Please. I feel like YOU. Were put in my path tonight. For a reason.”

“It simply says ‘If I should speak in the tongues of man and angels but have not love, I am but a clanging gong or resounding bell,’ I recited in my usual monotone.

Her eyes widened: “Beautiful” she breathed.

I demured: “Well, it’s fairly commonly used in weddings. Not really all that creative of me, actually.”

She wasn’t listening to me. She rambled along, in the same clipped, rapid fire manner : “So it means you need to. You need to have love. Love is everything. Or nothing you say. Is important. If it doesn’t come from Love. That’s so important.”

My eyes wandered to the front of the beautiful, rounded corner room with its enormous windows overlooking the Houston skyline. I made a move to put my mat down, and in this nearly empty room, she placed hers a mere foot from mine. I closed my eyes and lay down.

This class was beautiful, the live guitar and the drums complementing the yoga done in a dimming room, the sun dropping behind the skyscrapers as we moved through poses. The instructor did have an odd habit of saying “That’s niiiiiice” repeatedly, sometimes more than once in a sentence… i.e.: “Drop into downward dog… that’s niiiice… leg up…. ‘s niiiiice.”

But she ran a good class so I decided to stop counting the nice’s and gloating about my superior crow pose, and just… relax into it.

Also, the blonde woman cornered her at the end to explain the “Real meaning of yoga”, so all is forgiven. The instructor’s probably still in that studio.

Sitting in my parked car and e-mapping my route home, I found myself looking up and over to the white van parked next to my little car. Inside sat six women in black burqas, with only their eyes peeking back at me. I suddenly felt self-conscious in my exercise tank top with my short shaved hair and tattoos. But as I glanced away and then back, I found myself smiling at the woman closest to me. And then, much to my surprise, she lifted the front of her face covering so I could see her own smile, before letting it drop again. I actually giggled out loud in my car.

I’m trying to put on a brave front in public, but I feel like crying is my full-time job these days. Crying, wondering how I’m going to get through the day, and trying frantically to argue with the negative voices in my head.

(Digression- I wondered why the dogs were so quiet… as with children (I imagine), this is rarely a good sign. I’d left the closet open and they’d found their toy box, taken one out at a time, and had assembled themselves a nice little buffet of furry toys, squeakers long since destroyed.)

Fight, fight.

Image

I rented The Simple Life the other day. Yeah, that horrid old television program featuring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie (which I’ll be farked if I’m going to link to). I had grown weary of turning my extremely critical, judgmental gaze upon myself, and thought I’d give my poor battered self a break while turning it upon those who not only kinda deserve it, but wouldn’t be harmed by my mockery. (And I couldn’t find “19 Kids and Counting” here.)

So, while watching it with T (who definitely -didn’t- need that impression of American culture), we saw some kids eating Froot Loops. I didn’t think anything of it, while T was horrified by the color, proclaiming it to be “not food”. Really, he’s right. Those food dyes are illegal in Japan, and when I consider it and some of the other cereals I pined after as a kid, I’m kinda grossed out. But they’re so delicious, aren’t they? In kindergarten, we wrote our names in Froot Loops once. So badly did I want to eat that cereal that after we took them home (long after they’d become stale), I snuck-ate my name from the poster board it was on– glue, paper and all. I’d stashed the thing in my closet just to gorge on unbeknownst to my mom.

It’s not like we weren’t ever allowed that sort of crap. My parents had a beach house (yeah, I’m that white), and when in Delaware, my sister S and I were allowed to walk down to the little general store up the block and buy whatever we wanted for breakfast, as long as we brought Mom back a newspaper or two. The store didn’t have much, but it did have 12 packs of miniature sized junk-food cereals, and we almost always bought one and then divvied them all up, 6 and 6. Pity the fool who got the lame ones, like the token box of Cheerios or Corn Flakes.

I remember one morning I slept in, and S and my mom went to the store without me. I was pounced on by an excited S later that morning, as she squealed “IT’S A CHOCOLATE MORNING” (they’d bought chocolate muffins and Cocoa Krispies).

***
39 days left here (it’s night, so very nearly 38). Today I experienced my first “oh my god, WHERE is my home now?” freakout. In Houston my house is still physically standing, but my “home” has been ripped away. And Houston was only home because J was there, I think. In Houston there are so many things I will genuinely miss about Tokyo; I love living in a big city, especially one like Tokyo where I am liable to see something interesting daily. I’ll miss walking around, and not driving. I’ll miss a lot of people, although I am horrid at making plans with them… I’ll miss ready access to the Japanese language media -I- like (so… not anime, as a general rule).

I read this article by chance the other day, and I thought …. oh no, that hits a little too close to home… I ended up shacking up with T because I was and am terrified of being alone. I have to deal with that before -I-, like the author’s ex, make a terrible mistake.

And J is the king of boundary setting when it comes to people (or perhaps, in the past, of cutting people off), otherwise I fear we’d get into the same codependent dynamic. I would, but he won’t let me, is the concise way of putting it. He and I both agree that we should have divorced a while ago, but in my case, at least, I was more afraid of being alone than I was being in a dysfunctional relationship. He’s my family. I love him in the same way I love my birth-family… wherein you just sort of work with their faults and quirks and are reassured that they’ll always be there to support you (at least, if you/I let them).

An acquaintance once said that tattooing saved her life. I know what she means. I could easily become covered in them, but I think my research future in Japan will hold me back. When I have suffered emotional trauma in the past, I have cut or dyed my hair or pierced a body part. The hair is already short (though not dyed), and my metal allergy has worsened, so I am left with my love of tattoos. And lattes (nobody needed that last part, me).

Today is Tanabata in Japan. Two summers ago I went to the festivals, but today I was actually busy. I’m not supposed to exercise yet, after being in the hospital recently, but I did some simple yoga tonight, until boat pose proved to be a really, really bad idea, leading to searing full-body pain. Gotta keep my spirits up somehow, and I lament my weakening body, so I keep pushing at the exercise prohibition.

BTW:  I am a reply delinquent right now, but I am getting back to friends who wrote to me, concerned. I promise.

9 Steps to Happy or… A Festival of Links

After a harrowing few days I decided I should really be taking my mental health as seriously as my work, and devoting the same energy, pigheaded stubbornness, and drive to improving it that I do to Getting Work Done (apart from lately). So I made a list, and starting yesterday I tried to act on it.

Step 1: Go get a bagel.
Specifically, I wanted a “volcano” bagel tomato-basil tofu burger sandwich. They had these in Bagel & Bagel’s lovely Ikebukuro location, but apparently not in the Shinjuku shop– I’d have known that if I’d read the site more carefully. Really, once I saw the afore-linked sandwich was still on the menu, and hadn’t been killed like all of the veggie burger options at that emporium of bastardry Freshness Burger, I was already out the door.

Step 2: American magazines. These have always been my “turn off my brain” fodder, but I cancelled my subscriptions before moving to Japan and declined to go digital because I thought magazines were making me lust after things I can’t afford, and generally keeping me from being a content grad student. All well and good, but when under this much stress their fluffiness also feels soothing to my nervous system. So I resubbed to BUST, discovered that Whole Living had gone under, and am thinking I’ll nab an issue or two of Natural Health, even if they’re not actually hippie enough for me… Yoga Journal is still blacklisted for serving more to inspire my discontentment (expensive yoga clothes! Expensive yoga retreats!) than to enhance my yoga practice.

Step 3: Go somewhere that makes me happy….. I had to think about this one, which I have plenty of time to do these days because I cannot sleep. Typically I am up until after the sun has lit up my room around 4:30 (never thought I’d miss daylight savings time), and generally I don’t conk out until 7– at which point I am so comatose that I sleep through any alarm I try to set. This is one of the outcomes of tinkering with my medication…

But I digress…

I hit on my first ever Tokyo neighborhood, Azabu Juban, and my favorite restaurant in the whole city: Eat More Greens. I hope every vegan and vegetarian who visits Tokyo ends up here. I found this place early on during my first summer in the city, and spent a lot of time working from its patio, eating vegetarian taco rice. I am writing this post from their shop right now, and I was dead right about coming back to this neighborhood. It having not changed in 2 years is one of the most reassuring things I have experienced recently. It’s also not as overwhelming as the major hubs of Tokyo, but has many, many cute little shops to poke around in.

Next up is going back to my second former neighborhood, Ikebukuro, because I have a list of great restaurants in that area at which I must eat before I leave Tokyo this time.

Step 4: Foods that cheer me up…. Visiting Kats the other day reminded me that I can get comfort foods here, and that I should. He made me Amy’s soup and crunchy bread. Off to National Azabu supermarket soon.

Step 5: Movies. I have a monthly subscription to Tsutaya, but their mail service alone is not going to get me through this tough period. I’m going there and renting some crap films. That’s right, it’s time to see Hunger Games.

Step 6: (I think I was supposed to make a joke about “profit” somewhere in here.)
Read things like this: 25 Quick and Easy Smoothie Recipies Right now copying down smoothie recipes means focusing on a future where I can go home and use my Blendtec. Also, I adore making smoothies. It’s a hobby.

Step 7: J, who is actually my principle support because I keep fearfully and depressively cutting people off, is treating me to a massage at the LUSH spa. Kind of a dream fulfilled for me.

Step 8: Yoga and meditation. These tools have gotten me through more crises than I can count, and I need them now. It annoys me that I could have easily taken classes in Ikebukuro, had I not moved. I was honestly temporarily insane when I moved in with T, and if I could afford it, and hadn’t paid him the rent for July and August already, would move into an extended stay hotel in a heartbeat. Due to my current state of mind, I need space..

Step 9: The only reason I could even write this entry…. Get back on the meds that work. Having my meds changed turned out to be not only dangerous at this high stress period in my life, but physically grueling. The daily brain zaps, heart palpitations, and dizziness… the insomnia, the lack of control over my emotions…. I haven’t talked to my American doctor yet, but simply made the executive decision to go back on my old medication. I know what I’m doing with this stuff, and I trust my instincts. I’ve had 18 years (gah!) of trial and error to quickly recognize when I’m in trouble, and need to immediately correct it.

Well, this got long and I’m sure the Eat More Greens staff are wondering what I’m doing here on my iPad, so I’ll stop one-finger typing and finish my damned iced coffee.