Absence

Why do we feel the need to apologize for absences? Maybe I speak only for myself, but the desire to apologize for and excuse absences runs rampant in my world. Can’t make it to a party? Have to give the host a long-winded explanation of the absence. Skip class? This absence is one that many students simply expect to be a part of their school schedule, but for me I’d have to have a pretty rock-solid reason for skipping class. Blog infrequently? Definitely an absence I’ve felt the need to explain.

I think it’s clear from my past few posts that I’m mostly fixated on one thing right now: the fact that for the first time in eight months I’m flying relatively solo in the recovery game. Whether it’s because I have too much on my mind or too little, I just don’t seem to be in the mood to blog. It’s important, however, for me to keep writing even if I feel like I haven’t got much to say. In my recovery, I’ve found solace in the written word on many an occasion. I’m able to rehash things from a distance. I often end a writing session with a much better understanding of the way in which my brain works. By putting pen to the page (or clicking keys to the screen), it seems that conflicts or confusion can become somewhat resolved in a minimally-invasive way. I think the critical distance between myself and my writing is key- instead of leaving things to stew inside my head, if I put something down I have concrete evidence of the situation’s resolution (or lack thereof). If I wanted, I could even re-write the ending to better fit my perception of “good”. I could make a sad ending a happy one, a nightmare into a fairytale.

Lately, there haven’t really been nightmares or fairytales. Besides the obvious changes taking place in my life, nothing is so much in extremes. There’s just a lot more middle ground than there used to be. As they say in dialectical behaviour therapy, I’m learning to walk the middle path. I kind of like this middle path, but it doesn’t give me many fascinating things to write about! Therefore, in lieu of explaining away my absence I’ll merely consider that I’m allowing my writing to take a new direction. I’m letting myself let go of deadlines and the feeling of having to do something. It is summer, after all. I’m going up north tomorrow, and I’m hoping to spend some quality time with an old-school pen and pad of paper, rejoicing in the calm of having nothing I have to do. Come September, there will be assignments, essays, tests. For now there’s me and my self-imposed schemes of productivity that are perhaps best left alone. So I’ll try, for a change, to wander where my thoughts take me.

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