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8:54 a.m. - April 09, 2004
When I'm angry I fall into a cleaning routine where focusing on details blocks out everything else, where I can lose myself in Ajax powder and the recombinating scratch-scratch-scratch of brushes and cleansers. After I had gone to bed last night feeling guilty that I am not visiting my grandma this weekend, I got up to clean and went to the closet in the garage where I store my chemicals and powders, cleansers galore, all neatly arranged like an in-store How To display. I was surprised in a sweet-and-sour way to realize I didn't have enough of anything to do much at all. This is, I (fervently) believe, a great thing, though perhaps in a heady rush to symbolize and then deconstruct I'm missing the point: Shelves do not magically restock themselves. My cleaning pattern - to couch it in therapist-talk, my avoidance schema - manifests with greater spans between each episode, and this makes me feel both happy and strangely adrift.

So last night I swept, dusted, opened all the windows to let the house air out. Then I borrowed the neighbor's dog and we went on a walk at 3:45 this morning. Greeted the joggers, came home, went to bed. Didn't sleep; thought about a lot of things and got up again.


One good thing about therapy is learning to identify cycles, become more attuned to myself where I not only understand what's going on but the activation of these cycles. I'm slipping down again, and I wonder if being aware of down cycles and up cycles and plateaus encourages them to manifest more frequently than before. That, or I'm becoming demonstrably manic. It is an uncomfortable thought.


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