Friday night was a hard night. I went to bed at about 11:30, forty five minutes early, and that seems to have made a huge difference in my sleep pattern. I took my usual 2.5 mg valium and expected to have a reasonable night sleep, but I awoke at 2:30, completely awake, so I took another 2.5 mg and that didn’t work so I just stayed restlessly in bed until almost 4 when I took 2 trazadones and finally fell asleep at about 4:30 and slept till 8:30. However I couldn’t get out of bed for over an hour and I took my synthroid and one Zoloft (my third day) and dropped back into bed. I finally got going around noon and was too tired to accomplish much. I did get perhaps 40 books in the truck and finally headed out about 4 to drop off the books, then drop off the DVD and the Thomas More book at Tech and then take my 45 minute bike ride at Tech. Dave called and he reassured me that I was a good person, and that helped me along with the passage from Breath of God, which spoke of how once your sins are forgiven in reconciliation (assuming you are sincere in confessing them and you honestly repent for them, which I think I really do), then they are really forgiven and if you start feeling that your sins can’t be forgiven, that they are too bad, then that is either the devil speaking to you or the flesh. The Sissons and friends were camping out and I brought them 3 12-packs of Busch Light. I sat and chatted with them for a while and had some tacos with them then played a game of cornhole with Chris Patrick against two of the teenagers and then headed home for my porch prayers and cooking dinner. I stayed up until 12:15 and then I was unsure how I would sleep but I only took a 2.5 mg valium and hoped for the best. I was so relieved when I slept through the entire night and woke at 8:30, without waking once.
I still stayed in bed for a while but I got up, took one Zoloft and my synthroid, then did some more culling and packing. I am basically done with the novels (only keeping the ones I might teach) and I also separated out the poetry book, getting rid of many that I probably will not read. I loaded up the truck with perhaps 60 books (and one of my prednisone bruises started to bleed) and I will get rid of them Tuesday. I read some from the Gospel of Luke, and that was where Jesus teaches them how to pray the “Our Father.” I said a rosary, read some from the unabridged Catholicism, which would be more interesting to someone who was not a believing Catholic. I found the discussion of whether or not you can get to heaven with just faith and not good works also rather interesting and it sounds like faith is the crucial part. I thought about my loneliness, and I am hopeful that once I move into Blacksburg that situation will change. Certainly if my health returns it will much easier for me to get involved with the church and with Radford groups and perhaps even some environmental meetings. About 1:30 I put on my bathing suit, tevas, and a long sleeved shirt and drove down to the campground to take a swim in the North Fork. I made it to the new hole dunked myself and spent about 10 minutes in the water and it was pretty cold. I can see how an occasional trout could survive in that water. The fishing was pretty poor (Andy said that locals are fishing it out) but the kids got a few, which was nice enough. I drove back to the house, rested a bit and then cleaned the dishes and headed out to take my 45 minute bike ride at Tech (up along the road to Smithfield Plantation, up along Oak Lane to the fraternity buildings, then back over to the Perry Street parking garage. I decided to do the bike ride first since I am trying not to take any more Valium during the day, and that was a good move. It calmed me quite a bit and by the time I got to McDonalds, I was okay to write. I have done some writing about my blog so far (and Claire Hall liked my opening about Tracy leaving, but I have put that off for now since it is too negative for the Catholic state of mind I want to stay in). I think a good, fairly short piece would be to show how the hollow was such a welcoming place to me for so many years (over 20) and suddenly, after the lupus diagnosis and my loss of 4 pints of blood, it became a place I couldn’t handle anymore. That should make a good piece and I think it won’t be a problem with my newfound Catholic beliefs. I still don’t feel like I am making much progress in connecting with the Holy Spirit, but considering I have the pressure of the move coming up, my financial issues (even with getting sick leave for the fall), all the drugs I am taking (especially the prednisone), and the fact that I am still isolated in the hollow, I wonder if I can really expect a deep connection with the Holy Spirit right now. Jen said that none of those things would affect the all powerful Holy Spirit but I guess I have some doubt about my receptivity to the Holy Spirit right now.