After a few weeks of increasing fatigue, I managed to get a cold. That was on Thursday before last. In order to keep the symtpoms in check, I used TheraFlu and got more rest. I seem to have gotten a handle on that. As I began to recover my energy, I rediscovered an interest in some pending projects that had been shelved for a while. Among these are my study of Slovak and modern Western philosophy.
A few days before I got the cold, I decided to stop taking valerian every night before going to sleep. The idea of taking valerian was to try to get the deepest sleep possible during the hours that I had. As I began to feel increasingly fatigued, it occurred to me that it might be good to stop taking the valerian. After going through the cold and the effects of the cold meds, that seems to have been a good idea. I have been sleeping soundly, even without any herbal enhancements.
As I write these words, I am reminded of the title of a book by the late David Smail, "Taking Care: An Alternative to Therapy." It may be that I am gradually moving away from a period of grief and depression that was triggered by the death of my cat, but which seems to be connected with several areas of my life. I have tried to be a good therapy client by attempting to stay "in the moment" and "in my body" and "in my feelings" during sessions, and by listening politely to some basic common sense that is, unfortunately, too often expressed in terms of New Age clichés that I have difficulty accepting without "translating" them into terms that I can accept more easily.
One topic that came up during my last session was my conflicts over speaking up in the presence of racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Islamic, or other bigoted and right-wing comments, which are unfortunately becoming a more common occurrence among people that I know. Well, I lost some of that reluctance at the end of astrology class last Friday, when it turned out that the student from Ukraine is rather naively pro-Putin (quite to my surprise, because all of the other Ukrainians that I know are quite the opposite). This opinion was expressed by someone who dropped out of college because of an unspecified illness, who was briefly self-employed after that, and who is currently unemployed and living with her family, with whom she frequently has conflicts. The other student who attended class regularly is a New Age bliss bunny. The astrology teacher is a Swedish "shamanic" astrologer from the Baby Boomer generation who admits that she has telling the difference between Iraq and Iran.
On Friday the teacher announced that there would be a follow-up astrology class to the beginner one that we were in. I was unaware of that, and had already begun to make plans regarding what I pursue next in terms of astrology studies. I want something more rigorous and rational that I will be able to get in this kind of situation.
Back to therapy for a moment: when I was in therapy on Thursday, at the end of the session that therapist asked me if I wanted to come back in 2 weeks. I scheduled the appointment, but since then I'm wondering if I might be in a place to leave after the next appointment. Termination is not something I was prepared to discuss last week, but I found it hard to interrupt what I was doing that day in order to make it to appointment on time.
As far as astrology is concerned, the teacher said she wouldn't be let down if I decided not to continue with the next class. After the others had left we had our longest chat thus far. She thanked me for my patience during the class.
Because I had been in a funk in the fall, it seemed to me that the thing for me to do was to push myself to reach out more and to make more social contacts. I managed to re-establish myself with support services (therapy and Rosen) and I did reach out to the Sufis in Massachusetts and to the astrology class. Perhaps it is time for me to get back on track with some of my interests and to give myself more time and space to explore them more thoroughly.