Rainer Maria Rilke on Life

Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”

Rainer Maria Rilke

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This has been the longest short week ever and even though I’m so happy to have made it through to Friday and even though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel growing brighter by the minute, I know that this day is going to be a hard one to get through. All my favorite coworkers are out, the ones who make me laugh, the ones who have my back and I’m left feeling a little lost and overwhelmed.


Today was just as hard as I knew it would be. I feel overworked and worn thin. I feel empty and on the verge of tears and I feel angry at myself for being so weak. It shouldn’t be so hard to just work the same as everyone else. Of course, I have to remember I’m working at a deficit in body and in mind, and in addition, I’ve had to give up what little energy and focus I have to things I don’t love with my whole heart. Doing that, day after day eats at the soul.


It’s date night tonight! I finally made it out of work and I’m rushing home now so I can quickly change my clothes and head right back out the door. I need a night of good food, a stiff drink, and some time away with my wife. We’re heading to our favorite movie theater for a showing of Jojo Rabbit, a film she’s been pressing to see but I one have doubts about, but it doesn’t matter because I’ll just be happy to be anywhere at all with her.

Update: She was right, Jojo Rabbit is an amazing film and we should have seen it months ago!

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As predicted, another poor night’s sleep has me dragging my feet and snapping at everyone around me. I wish I could do us all a favor and isolate myself but with all the work I have on my plate through next Monday at least I have no choice but to subject all of us to my unpredictable moods.

Coffee is helping and there have been moments of peace I can lose myself into and come out again like the Lisa they all no and love, it’s just that she can’t stay very long.

I have to get back on track with my workout. I really think that will solve so much of my problems with sleep and energy. I’m like a dog wound up too tight with nervous energy. I need to exhaust myself every day to keep those little worries from getting stuck in my head. They get stuck in my head like bits of songs and play on a loop for hours growing louder and louder until my alarm goes off and it’s time to start another day.

Thankfully, the weather is already beginning to warm and this feeling of being cooped up, of boredom and restlessness will pass. Every once in a while I swear I catch the scent of spring in the air. Early yesterday morning it was rain. This afternoon I smelled flowers. Soon nature will return and, in turn, welcome us back to the world with promises of breathtaking beauty and adventure. I cannot wait to be rid of this winter and of who I am in it.

Baruch Spinoza on Free Will

So experience itself, no less clearly than reason, teaches that men [sic] believe themselves free because they are conscious of their own actions, and ignorant of the cause by which they are determined, that the decisions of the mind are nothing but the appetites themselves which therefore vary as the disposition of the body varies.”

Baruch Spinoza, Ethics

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A decent night’s sleep had turned everything around. Now I just need a few more nights in a row like it and I should be back to my old self. My hopes aren’t that high though. I never sleep well more than a night or two at once. I suspect tonight my mind will be back up to it’s old tricks and by tomorrow I’ll be my old lethargic self.

But for now, I feel good. I’m in the mood for work, for people, for trying hard and making progress. Unfortunately, my return to sociability has made painfully clear that my poor mood and lack of patience over the course of the last couple of weeks has burned a few bridges, but that’s okay, they weren’t ones I was eager to cross back over any way. What I care to repair I will and to be honest I only care to repair relationships with people who understand and need no explanations or apology, anyway.

And maybe the time for making up and making things right isn’t while I’m still in the middle of trying to get well, to get off my medication, and to just make it through each day with my self worth and enthusiasm for life intact.

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I was on my own today but instead of being angry for the lack of support I’m choosing to be proud. I’m proud that I can count on myself and come through for myself when no one else will. I proud of myself for being so capable and courageous. I’m not perfect. I made mistakes today and I won’t pretend I was my best self, but I showed up and got the job done.

I’m proud of me but underneath it all I can’t help feeling a little bitter too. I wish I didn’t have to be so capable and courageous. I wish I could count on more than just myself.

If I’m honest, it’s not really so bad as I make it seem. I’m not usually on my own like this but I can see now how fragile the safety net is, on many levels, and that scares me, and that fear, that is what pushes and exhausts me. It’s exhausting to have to try so hard all the time because I know there’s no guarantee that there will be anyone there to catch me if (when) I fail.


The doctor’s office called today to set up my infusion appointments for my new medications. I didn’t even know we were going forward with the medication change until I got the call! It’s a good thing but part of me still hoped that everything would get better so that nothing had to change. But it’s a good thing. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. It’s a good thing…hopefully.