I don't like being altered anymore
In May I took a psychedelic for the first time in four years. The last time I took something like this, I had a very difficult experience and had become fearful of doing it again. I’m proud of myself for conquering my fear. And with the exception of an epic nosebleed at the end of my trip, it went pretty smoothly.
I also learned this: I don’t really enjoy being altered anymore. I used to enjoy it. Or, I guess I found safety and comfort in it. But now, I like to be sober. Actually, let me be a little more honest here: I do drink caffeine. I like a caffeine high. And let us remember that being caffeinated is in fact an altered state.
Back to my desire to be (mostly) sober. It’s not that I’m 100% confident or comfortable in myself. Far from it. In fact, in the last few years I have dug up so many buried parts of myself and I feel like I’m navigating uncharted territory.
Sometimes I feel even more awkward and cumbersome as I try to move about the world with these new parts. It’s like I’ve added limbs to my body that are throwing off my balance as I learn to adapt to them, and use them to my advantage.
But even with this awkwardness, there has been a shift within me. A shift toward a reminder that it’s all okay. If I have an internal crisis at a festival, It’s okay. I can handle it. If I feel like a needy little baby in my relationship, it’s okay. If I am awake all night spiraling in anxious thoughts, it’s okay. I can handle it. I’m okay with it all. I’m okay with the raw, real, unaltered me. And fuuuuck that feels good.
With that, I’ve been playing with this paradox lately: I want to reveal the deepest parts of myself to you and to be more vulnerable than I’ve ever been. AND I’m also feeling the desire to hide behind the veil and save those imperfect, prickly, dark parts of me only for the people closest to me.
I am struggling with which way to go. I feel a little stuck. Which is where writing has come in. It’s a way for me to unravel the stuck-ness. A way to express what I want to express, in my own words. On my own terms. For me.
Through this process of unraveling, I have also recently become aware of my disordered eating. That’s what my therapist called it. Different from an eating disorder. I’ve been writing about it while I’m in the midst of it. Usually I write about something once I’m on the other side. You know, “I had this problem, then I did x, and how I am healed”. (That nice clean linear process is not actually how we heal / live / grow. It’s much messier than that). But this time, I am writing about this experience when I’m in the trenches with it. Writing in this way is hard. But it also feels more true. More to come on this.
Music that has been inspiring me lately:
Mindchatter: Spiritual Puberty
Lorde: Pure Heroine. Always. That CD is the one CD I have in my car. (Yes I have a CD player in my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee.) I’ve listened to the actual CD hundreds of times. It is a masterpiece.
Sufjan Stevens: Visions of Gideon. The song in the final scene of Call Me by Your name. It makes me feel all the things.
Books I’ve been reading: The Henna Artist, The Comfort Crisis, Demon Copperhead, The Covenant of Water. I recommend them all. Demon Copperhead is very sad and intense.
How are you today? Let me know in the comments 💌