I write for the first two hours of the morning, my coffee by my side. I am absorbed by the tale I am transcribing from memory–transported back in time, to moments–flashbacks of images and of sensations. Both pleasurable and painful.

I finally realize I’m hungry and wander to the kitchen. I drop a slice of rye bread in the toaster and set a big handful of dried red lentils on to cook. Dal always warms and grounds me. Helps me remember what is real and what is not. Earth. Sky. Water. Comfort in the tactile.

I try to watch the morning news on TV as I imagine normal people do. But it doesn’t hold my attention. Fear is all I hear and see. Fear and condemnation and violence. It hurts me. It repels me. I scan for a TV show I might like. Nothing interests me. I finally settle on a free movie, “Buffalo 66” a 90s indie film by Vincent Gallo. I think the stark, visceral imagery and intense dialogue might inspire something in me creatively.

I curl up on the couch with my cat Molly and the cold, grainy dregs of my coffee. Crunching on a bite of toast, I notice out of the corner of my eye– the boxes that arrived last night from Macy’s. New outfits for work.

Grabbing a pair of scissors from the kitchen drawer, I set about opening the packages one by one. The carefully selected tops, the soft blue cardigan…everything I need to look and feel my best on the job. I hold each one up to admire before draping them over the back of a chair.

 Oh, how well I planned all the external elements. Only another few hundred dollars blown on another failed venture. I’m so glad I didn’t buy the twelve hundred dollar Mac tablet I was optimistically considering the other day. Fuck. Then I would really feel guilty.

I decide not to return the clothes. They will rest on hangers for awhile. Until I figure things out. I know Molly is happy I’m home. She gets so nervous in the mornings, restlessly trailing behind me as I clip across the bamboo floors in my hard shoes, flitting back and forth like a pinball between kitchen, bed and bath, preparing to leave for work.

I wander around the front rooms aimlessly now, barefoot, in my favorite yoga pants and the same tank top I wore to bed last night. Where to start? What should I clean first? Because I know that’s what I “should” do. Dig into the cleaning. Good for the soul. And I need to do my taxes. And organize drawers and closets and rooms. Get rid of stuff that I don’t want or need.

Before I know it I am creating a mental task list of everything I am neglecting at home. I still have work with my one remaining client this week to prepare for. There is plenty to do. I call the American Veteran’s donation center and schedule a pickup for Monday. Now I have no choice but to do the weeding out.

I chat with Dr. Susan a little bit on Facebook about my situation. She always tells me to trust my gut. I know she’s right. I am learning to move through the fear a little faster every time and allow the answers to rise organically.

In these periods of emotional turmoil and drastic change, I finally come to realize I am not unconsciously trying to destroy my life.

I am trying to save my life. One adjustment at a time.