# Momentum

God i love science jokes.  And i don’t bother explaining them because you either get them or you don’t.  Take my word for it:  that cartoon is friggin hilarious.

Momentum equals mass times the square root of velocity.  I could not do the formula numerically because i cannot figure out how to make the 2 subscript.  Anyhow momentum has something to do with mass and velocity.  Which is cool and that is all you need to know right now.  You should have paid attention in your physics class.

Anyway Newton was a cool guy and i’m going to try to make sense here from my perspective.

i have a body.  i have mass.  i have a lot less mass than when we moved up here, but i am still a pretty good size.  Yeah.  i have mass, so keep your funny comments to yourself.

And i am terrific at staying at rest.  Especially if i am depressed.  We have talked plenty about exercise, so don’t run away just yet.

i am more concerned about my internal mass.  Yours may not be as big as mine, but i have carried a ton of baggage around for most of my life.  i’ve got plenty of mass.  A whole load of crap.

And there have been particular times in my life when i have needed to deal with that “mass”.  Not all of it, of course, just what was necessary at the time.  And i have noticed something.  The greatest times of growth in my life have been times of crisis.

Never mind the whole chinese symbol thing (some of you will get that), which i heard is bogus, my greatest gains as a human being were during times of crisis.  why?

Because i have some velocity.  Crisis brings that whole flight or fight response to the fore.  Something or someone has caught my attention and i know, right then, i need to make some changes.  Why?

Because if i do not have velocity, then all that crap in the trailer that is my mind will come rushing on in and take over.  My mass will crush me.

When you begin on the road to recovery, if may take time to build some momentum.  The mass will seem so huge sometimes it will threaten to overwhelm you.  You don’t need to do that.  Don’t take on the full mass.  You need some velocity.  Movement in the right direction.  i know.  You feel a bit like this at first:

After you are out of crisis mode, take on some of the smaller tasks at hand.  Do your dishes.  Go for a walk.  Talk to another person.  You know.  Nothing extravagant.  “Hi.”  “Good morning.”  Things normal people do.  I’m not kidding.  i’ve seen them doing it.

i have not been a morning person for years.  My mug is huge and says, “a giant cup of shut the fuck up”.  That’s not even close to “good morning” right?   “Oh.  You are just grumpy in the morning until you have your coffee. ”  Lots of people are like that.

Wish i could say it was simply.  Nope.  i can be a miserable bastard for the day…or days.  Grumpy.  Complaining.  Bitching all fucking day long.  Poor Sarah.  And if i am depressed, forget it.  i won’t communicate for days on end.

That is not even close to normal.  Most people, i assume, do not walk around miserable and angry for the whole day.  If they do, i do not want to be normal.

i need to treat this emotional inaccessibility and internal anger seriously, or it will be there forever.  And it will destroy all relationships around me.  Serious shit.

But i did not start with the deep shit.  I do the little things, because changed actions lead to change attitudes.

If people are here in the morning, i move away from my multitude of gadgets and converse.  No.  i do not sit there and sulk because i would rather be on my machines.  I remind myself that these folks are a gift to me.  And i ought not despise their generosity.

So i close my stuff and do the people thing.  Because it is easy to do and it is healthier for me.  And it is a small step.  Every time i do that, i feel better about myself and a little more crap falls away and the stone in the trailer shrinks.

But it would be shortsighted to stop there.  i take the time to congratulate myself and do positive self talk, etc, but i do return to that previously inert state.  I build on my momentum.

“Hey that worked out ok.  i talked to people in the morning.  No one died.  i actually enjoyed myself.”   You see what happens?  i have momentum.  i have some positive, forward moving, human building, momentum going on.

Very true.  So build on that, John.  How can we take another baby step?

John goes into town, a terrifying thing.  Why?  Because i might need to engage in what most of you consider daily conversation.  For years i have been convinced casual conversation, unless accompanied by beer, is a total waste of time.  Tell me something useful or get out of the way.  i have things to do.  What a dick, eh?

So i go into town now and engage.  i say hello to people.  i go into random businesses and tell them how much i appreciate their service to the community.  Despite all of my fear and anxiety, i survive.

And each time i go into town i survive.  The false images never materialize and i have come to the conclusion that i really like most people.  And that is huge for me.  Ask anyone who knows me.

And that kind of thinking leads to Gratitude.  And then i can explore a little further.  Because i have momentum.  Change begets change i continue forward.  As soon as i begin to think i have nothing else to do within (i’m sure that is a loooong way off), i lose momentum.

Not talking about relaxation, as that is a big part of Recovery.  Being kind to myself and allowing time for renewal is not wasting time or losing momentum.  That is part of the healing.  Good things.

As i lose momentum, as i stop doing the things which have helped me to grow to this point, whether it is exercise or meditation, it becomes a little easier to return to being a body at rest.  And things stop changing and i stop growing and sometimes, if i am not careful, some of the old habits and ways of thinking can return.

So i work to keep momentum.  i keep doing the things that work for me.  And i remember how far i have come.  i admire the baby steps and know they will lead me toward being a better human if i simply keep following the good things in life.

There is my goal.  To live to my fullest potential.  Be a better human.

Work it baby,

John