Archive for the ‘Journaling’ Category

A return to writing

I want to write again. To journal again. Vent out my random musings, thoughts, ideas, attempts at poetry and other such nonsense.

One thing depression is good for: a burst of creativity.

At least, that’s how my depressions begin. Sleepless nights, anger, despair, and a desire to be more active.


It’s madness, this life, this chaotic life.


Has anyone ever learned to stop wanting approval from their parents? To love and to not seek love in return? This is my current struggle.

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Day treatment again?

Spiraling downward at home.


Panic attacks.

Morning insomnia.

Sleep all day.

No showers.

No shampooes.

No cooking.

No leaving the house.

Two tears fell today.

Gettin worse worse worse.

Feelin shitty shitty shitty.

Trying homeopathy.

New therapist.

Cymbalta continues.

Lies lies lies.



Gettin fat.

Husband frustrated & angry.

Hide under the blanket,

Let me sleep, forever.

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what do the experts call i t, anhedonia? yes, that’s how i feel (or don’t feel rather).

flat mood.

i do nothing.

but it’s another matter, that i have no desire to do anything either.

i am not severely depressed, not in the well. generally ok, laugh a little, sleep a lot, eat some, take care of myself some, of the house some. (the laughs are starting to feel made up more & more).

i am not normal, by any means, normal said with all the endnotes it needs. i am not efficient, i am not productive, i am not satisfied, i am not tired from work, i am not doing.

i am between those two. and yes, have been here before. familiar territory.

after lifelong depression, it starts to feel like a familiar coat or pair of pants that one knows every crease, touch, feel, fit, size, smell of too well.

there is a huge lack of desire to get out of this flat affect i am fighting, to take just one itty bitty tiny baby step in any direction is taking up more than i seem to be able to muster right now.

i could melt. just end. life, living, everything. and be fine. not out of any intense depression, no not out of wanting to die, just so tired of living.

if you, dear reader, have any advice, do comment.

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I can feel your hold lifting off of me
I crave you no more

Words still pierce my heart.

You preach and preach
Ego flourishing
Imagine yourself raised up higher than the rest of us

I look into your eyes
All I see is
a lost boy

This is the end, for me
for my attachment
for you.

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Move! Get up, go, forward, just do it.

Mulling, analyzing, caught in my story, attached to my bed.

If there was a mood monitor, like those heart rate monitors next to hospital beds, mine would be a flat line right now.

Stuck. Can’t. Get. Un Stuck.

Two days and nights sleeping then one staying awake all day and all night, then two days and nights sleeping, and so on.

Housework has made me sore like I ran a half marathon. Pathetic.

I still dream of you S, but much, much less than before. When you complain about your new wife, it re-affirms for me that you didn’t make the right choice. If you are happy with her, content, I may be able to let you go completely.

A singular emotion at the bottom of it all, Fear is running my life.

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Yesterday night mom, papa and I went to the dandiya
/ raas get together for navratri. As we entered,
they told us to put our names and numbers on our
tickets for a raffle. I was writing them out, and
thought I've never one any of these types of things
in my life, but have a feeling one of us will win
tonight. So I wrote the names very legibly, then
entered the cell numbers, put all 3 of our names on
the tickets, and handed them over. Then forgot about
it. I danced some, mom socialized, dad sat on the
sidelines and watched, then we left very early
because papa got overwhelmed and teary eyed, he's
been very depressed lately and the commotion and
crowd turned out to be too much for him. I said
let's go home, no big deal, we can come back next
weekend, so we left early before the aarti. Today
friend of my mom's told her we missed seeing you
later and your husband won the raffle and they were
calling his name for a long time and they'll call
you. I'm not surprised at all that my dad won that raffle.

I knew one of us would.

These experiences are beginning to get very

No, it's not eerie actually. I used the wrong word.
There is a little bit of fear inside actually with
these experiences. The same fear I felt in that dream
of the Buddha statue opening one eye, fear of a realm
that feels new (even though it isn't, it's as old as
Life itself), it feels new, and therefore a fear of
the new, the unknown.

I have also felt this fear as a child, in moments of a
strong connection to the Universe, of "wanting"
moksha, and then a feeling that I'm actually "getting"
there, and then a fear, a "I asked for this and I'm
getting it and is this what I really even want? No,
maybe I'll retrieve into the mundane, the ordinary."

The experiences continue. I was thinking about my
kathak teacher from India who came here in the summer
of '96 and wondering where she is, and I look her up,
and find out she's been coming to Seattle every summer
to teach, and she's performing with her students in
Seattle next weekend. This woman is a professor in
Delhi and lives there. I thought of her after  years,
and she's performing 1 week away, 3 hours from me,
just enough time for me to make plans to go meet and
reconnect with her, maybe.

I emailed an author I'm very fond of, out of the blue,
3-4 years ago, Irene Vilar, found her email address
online. She wrote back. We've exchanged a few emails.
I told her of my depression as a teenager and how her
writing had helped me, so she got worried about me. I
wrote her back a few months ago, she responded, but I
didn't write back - inertia. I was just thinking, I
should let Irene know that I'm fine, why let her worry
about my suffering, and got another email from her -
THAT SAME INSTANT (after months). She said, she had
been thinking of me, hoping I'm doing OK.

I can make myself fall sick, at times. I have told
people that I'm feeling like I'm catching something, a
fever, not feeling well, when in fact I've been
feeling completely fine (I have said it to gather some
TLC, some attention, pity?) - Yes, I've lied. But 24
hours later, I'm actually sick and have a fever. The
pretend becomes real. This has happened more than
once. If I claim I have a stomach ache, it becomes a
stomach ache, if I claim I have a fever, it becomes a
fever, I can choose. I don't lie about being sick
anymore. Manipulating people that way was a bad idea
to begin with.

The fear rises and dissolves. When it dissolves, I
want to merge into the ocean, a flame that
extinguishes, and I'm willing to see clearly, with
deeper and deeper mindfulness, into my feelings,
thoughts, desires, conditioning, lives, karma, the
cycles. I will merge, I will disappear.

And if he is intuitive the way I am, and I know he
is, then he will know what I'm saying here, he is
hearing what is said and also what is left unsaid.

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I’m here. I’m alive. I’ll come back. I’ll write again.

I fell into a hole of inertia.

I am climbing my way out.

I tried to hide.

But Life found me.

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The Buddha called it “sloth” . I have no energy, I want to contract not expand, I want to hide not show. I don’ t have the means to move, I want to lie down, curl up. I want to disappear. I want to dream.

I need to get up. I need to get moving. I need to be active.

I try, I try.

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A decision. Need time away from him and us. The “us” is falling apart. It’s all uphill, and contempt abounds. Need to figure out how to earn a living then move out, even if temporarily. This is no way to be in a marriage. Too explosive. Need/want a bubble of peace, time, quietness, serenity, and breathing space.

No more on the edge, unsure. Now, this is a difficult decision, but needs to happen.

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He is oh so busy lately, sleeping not till 2 am, with work, his mom, lunches, vedic astrology, outings. No time for me, to talk to me.

And the one I live with swings between anger and lust and friendship. I feel tired around his energy.

I want to curl up and sleep a dreamless, content sleep.

I am so aimless, where is this life heading? I want to run away. Start over.

Sadness is creeping over me while I’m waiting for the medicine to do its’ thing.

Much metta to me, to all tonight.

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Buddy 150-cc scooter (Olive Green)

Buddy 150-cc scooter (Olive Green)

We bought this Buddy 150-cc Italia scooter yesterday. It’s olive-green, a 2-seater, and I feel like the little girl I was in India, riding behind my dad on his Bajaj scooter. The fresh air in the face, the feel of the road as we go along, I love it all.

A red Vespa was my dream; but who wants to pay an extra $1500 for the brand name, the image.

I’ll get back to writing earnestly soon.

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I am always at a juncture in my life. I know that this is Life, right here, right now, under my feet, yet I’m waiting for something to happen, some new day, for Life to truly begin. Why am I waiting? What for?

This marriage was a mistake. I admit it.

Now what?

Do I stay in it?

Separate and go our separate ways?

He doesn’t understand what this is about, to him it’s about not rocking the boat.

I love someone else. Always have. Never stopped loving him from the moment I made contact with him. Realistically, he will never be mine in this lifetime either. But I’d rather be alone, than in a marriage built on a faulty foundation.

I pray for presence of mind, mindfulness, wisdom, strength, and courage through this process.

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Confusion abounds. R pushes my boundaries, I push his, he grows (a little), I grow (a little), he is not a hindrance to my spiritual growth, he is also not encouraging me on my path of spiritual growth, nothing is wasted, everything is fodder for my growth, all the arguments, contempt, hatred he feels toward me, I can use as fodder to grow from. Yet, I don’t want to be here. I am overwhelmed, exhausted, drained from this relationship. This up and down and up and down and up and down relationship. I love him as a part of this creation. I don’t have to live with him though.

Do I stay or go? Do I go temporarily? Where do I go?

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I have made a commitment to do breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga daily for 40 days. A dear friend of mine, S, is guiding and supporting me in this endeavor. It all started in a conversation I had with him where he asked me what my ultimate goal is in this life. That didn’t take much thought; my deepest desire and ultimate goal is to be free from this cycle of re-birth and death, free from suffering, to reach nirvana as Buddha called it, or moksha as it is referred to in Hindu literature. He offered to be a catalyst for me on this path, to give me some pointers that will help me move forward toward my goal. I happily accepted his generous offer. He sent me a detailed email about which and how many breathing exercises (pranayam) I need to do for each 10-day period, along with a video of Swami Ramdev demonstrating the exercises. He has given me some general guidelines regarding my diet. So, here I am.

I am ready for the house cleaning. I have no expectations of magic or miracles, just doing it as open mindedly as I possibly can as an experiment.

A while ago, I had taken a yoga class from a teacher who understood the deep significance of it, and he asked us to practice yoga daily for 4 weeks before deciding if we wanted to continue it or not; he had read that 28 is a significant number (as in 28 days) if we want to bring yoga practice into our daily lives. Whether 28 or 40, our bodies and minds definitely need some extended period of practice to absorb any new changes permanently. I am ready for my commitment to this practice for 40 days.

I will aim to not miss any day in this 40 day period. If, by chance I do though, I have decided that I will add 4 more days for every day that I miss.

As committed as I feel at this moment, I do have the fear inside of me of my own lack of discipline. I want to do this for myself, yet am afraid that my lack of discipline will get in my own way, again. I suppose that is also part of the journey though, facing this fear and going into it and challenging it head-on.

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Connecting the dots

There are aspects of my life that are clearer now than they ever were before. The dots are starting to connect in my mind. In this process, I have realized how easy it is to say yes to a decision; and how difficult to live with the consequences on a day to day, moment to moment basis. I am at the threshold of a very important decison. But I waver back and forth between the two sides; not sure which decision I will take.

It’s not that I don’t have friends and family to talk to; but very few people in my life are able to listen to me without judgement, or preconceived notions, unconditionally, and really listen without making the decision for me, or telling me what to do, without becoming the one who solves my problem for me. To listen in the sense of Buber’s “I and Thou”, not many people have the capacity for that. That is asking too much of anyone, to be that present, to listen that unconditionally; but I rarely find people who can give me even a drop of that ocean.

Ultimately, my journey and goal is to be my own unconditional listener. Ultimately, I am enough, I can stop trying to find solace in others, I can stop trying to fill my void through others, and sit quietly and meditate, and realize that I am enough and that I have the courage and the strength to face my void, to face my decisions, to face my sadness and I can comfort mySelf.

But, I have not reached that level where I am able to be my own listener all the time. I still need the company of others, I still need others to listen to me.

Life is interesting, that’s all I can say. More than anything, it is probably a teacher.

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Late night musings

Pen to paper, been too long since I have written. Fear of writing, perfectionism after all.

Deep, deep loneliness and connection at the same time. No one can fill this void for me. RB (my therapist) where are you? I am craving a genuine connection.

R, love me, make love to me, kiss me. I am a beggar, I beg for affection. Our desires and needs aren’t fulfilling each other.

Now, I am a nagging wife. I nag him for love and he is tired of the same topic. But, tell me this. When did you initiate love in this marriage? Give me a chance, he says. I wait, but I am not a patient person.

In the afternoon, I wanted a different kind of love. Now, I want nothing. No, I do. I want any love – anyone’s genuine love – but I don’t feel it. All phone calls, emails, hugs, kisses, conversations leave me dry. Is there no one to fill me up here?

Knowing is one thing, I know we are all One, but I am not able to feel it. Is this depression?

I don’t pull my weight around here.

Beautiful, sweetheart, he calls me. But I am paying a heavy price for those compliments. He loves me and hates me. I feel the same way.

He left me alone when I needed him the most. I am angry.

Wake up, R, kiss me hard.

No one’s listening.

I want to work and make money.

Then I can decide where I live.

Then I can get a haircut.

Then I can eat at subway without guilt.

Then I can get a membership to the Japanese Garden.

Then I can go on a meditation retreat.

Then I can buy a mini-gift for me.

Then I can give gifts without guilt.

Then I can donate.

Then I can help save the earth.

Then I can give something to the blind school in Indore, in India.

Then I can put something in the portland insight meditation community’s donation box.

Then I can breathe easier.

No one’s writing me back – friendless again.

I hate R for not loving me. I don’t hate S for not loving me – oh, he does love me. Not romantically, but that’s an ephemeral love anyway. I was wrong. This one does love me. And I don’t hate him. I have tried to, and I couldn’t. I understand him, and maybe no one else has understood me the way he has.

This is all upside down.

What is love anyway? Attachment, lust, attraction, chemistry, same sense of humour, same people to get angry at, that it is not. Compassion, understanding, unconditional acceptance, friendship, recognition, is it?

Radical Acceptance.


Insomnia. Fearful. Nightmares. Anxiety. Sadness. Loneliness. Heavy heart. Angry. Alone. Lost.

How to reach my goals? How to meditate? How to be brave and face inner realities?

Very scared of the dark and the silence. Disconnected.

One thing I know for sure: I will survive this. I am not feeling connection now, but all states are temporary. Some day, I will feel connected again.

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Did you count the raindrops today?
The flowers were calling your name.
The white of the clouds melted into the white of the snow.
If you had looked carefully,
you would have found the broken shards of my essence,
fallen into the puddles formed from the rain.

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Lunching alone

I like to eat french-onion soup alone. I am at Papa Haydn, next to a fireplace, in the back by the window. Full, but not ready to stop yet — the soup is delicious, I want the flavor of the cheese to linger, the warm broth on my tongue feels comforting, the onions are just right. The cappuccino was good, the waitress said, “watch. It’s really hot.” But not to my Indian sensibility — to my tongue it was the perfect temperature.

I overate — the bread was delicious, the savory butter on it even more so. The additional cucumber salad that I ordered was unnecessary — I ate half out of obligation, she took the rest away. Thank God I didn’t order a bigger salad. I finished the french-onion soup — Asiago cheese tastes like a slice of comfort, the taste of fulfillment.

Early evening shoppers are walking on “Trendy-Third” Avenue — they want to see and be seen. A poorish looking young man is waiting at the bus stop, his dark grey sweatshirt’s hood on his head, hands deep in his pockets. He has walked back and forth outside my window a few times now. His jeans are tattered and frayed, his eyes are grey. I don’t imagine he could afford to lunch at Papa Haydn, I don’t know if he would even want to if he could. Would they have let him in? Seat him at a cozy table by the fireplace?

With a twist of karma and a turn of life circumstances, he could have been me — here, inside, warm, eating deliciously prepared gourmet food, depressed, overwhelmed, afraid, and with a full belly. I could have been him — outside, cold, shivering, smiling, waiting for a bus. We might have exchanged our grey and brown eyes. There is no difference in us, after all. He and I are the same.

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My pain is others’ pain, theirs’ mine.
Bowed to a baby deer, s/he bowed to me,
was scared but didn’t run,
we were both in the present moment.

My sandal broke, one I love.
Beginning middle end.
Lost my scrunchie on the walk.
Beginning middle end.

(From my paper journal; written at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA)

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Going into Retreat

Silence will prevail for a week, and I want words, sentences, conversations for now, to tide me over. Can I handle so much silence? Can I handle so much me?
One moment at a time. The anxiety of waiting for a bus, and then a cab. Where is it? It’s late already.
People wait. An overly anxious mother-daughter pair. Two well-dressed middle aged women from opposite coasts who have connected briefly — and then will separate, but right now giggle like best friends. And old woman brought here on a wheelchair, a bit confused, talks to her luggage, says, “Now behave! I don’t have time to argue with you. Close already!” As though the luggage and she are an old married couple!
In the bus now, calm takes over me and everyone else too it seems. We know where we are, where we are going. Ahhh….
Will I fall into a void for five days? Come out on the other end or be swallowed up in the abyss?
The bus driver squints his eyes in the bright California sun.
I find companions to Spirit Rock – two women who will share a cab with me. I smile, them too. Comrades. Fellow meditators and yogis. This will be easy now.
The bus driver who made the sarcastic remark earlier is now awfully nice. His white teeth show under his mustache as he talks, the right molar extra sharp. Was he a bear in a past lifetime? The beary smile makes me feel warm and fuzzy though. A helper, he’ll answer questions happily now. He’s running late, his mistake has made him apologetic and nice.
Oakland is industrial from here. Palm trees pop up — a sure sign I’m in California.
Mountains with patchy bald spots are cropping up.
I remember a conversation with R from last night. He wants a daughter if we ever have children, just like me! I’m delighted, joyous, happy at the thought of our future daughter.
This is the journey. It begins.

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