HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

Self Love is

Asking yourself what you need

EVERYDAY

And then making sure

You receive it.

ūüíúūüíĖūüíú

New Year, New Dynamic

Mom died.

It’s been about seven weeks since her passing.¬† Time seems to go buy at different speeds at the same time.¬† I’ve hit new levels of stooopid I never knew I could.¬† I’m still not eating right, sleeping well or taking care of myself as I should.¬† The only thing I’ve been capable of doing is making crochets shawls.¬† I can count to 8, I can sit and watch it grow and not have to do anything else.¬† Since December 1, her last time to the hospital, I’ve made seven shawls.¬† One is my “house hold” shawl because I would rather wrap up than turn up the heat.¬† I seem to¬† keep going back to the hook for comfort.¬† They feel like hugs.¬† I’m trying to make one for all the women/girls in the family for the boat ride out to skater Mom’s ashes.¬† Hopefully I will be more back in the world by April.

I¬† haven’t really cried yet.¬† Maybe writing this out might break open the flood gates and release the torrent of tears that are just waiting for the opportunity to flow.¬† I don’t know why it seems so hard to express myself that way.¬† It could be the general fear of crying; if I start I won’t be able to stop.¬† Or it could be the medication is still providing the buffer that keeps me from completely dissolving into a puddle.¬† I’ve gotten the basics down in my journal but not really the emotions.¬† I wonder if I’m actually going to have any.¬† I mean, it’s not like this is out of the blue.¬† I’ve spent the last 12 years taking care of her as she, well not exactly slowly, declined.¬† The last three to five years have been the hardest, and living with her and taking care of her really tore the wellspring of hope out of me several times.¬† It did happen really fast, in the hospital on the 1st, back home by the 5th, then dead by the 10th.¬† There wasn’t¬† a rally coherent good by on her end due to the hypoxia from the lack of oxygen.

My team of professionals and myself have held the theory/belief that part if not most of my depression and anxiety was due to my environment.¬† Maybe I’m overmedicated now that the environment has changed or maybe I’m so completely overwhelmed (I had my car broken into after the memorial service and I drove myself to see my sister C. run in the Carlsbad marathon, I lost my job when I lost my mother, going back to school in February, and creditors filing suit).¬† I’m overwhelmed.¬† I guess I should stop trying to push myself so hard and try to do things one day, one task, one blog post at a time.

I’ve had some dark days, but in general I still have the light and hope for my future, so I don’t believe I’m back in the void, although, truth be told crawling back into that warm dark place to hide sounds really inviting..¬† I’ve had more bouts of anxiety than depression, I’m becoming more aware of my desire to take care of myself (like eat, bathe, change clothes, etc.)¬† In some ways I feel like I’ve been reborn into this world but I’m going to have to fend for myself.¬† I’ve got to find a job that pays well enough for me to write until the nectar of creativity runs dry.

My nephew gave me the best advise yesterday.¬† I didn’t want to go home, it felt like a trap so he told me when he feels that way he goes out into the world and tries to find something beautiful.¬† So, I went home briefly and grabbed Sammy and we took a trip to the coast and watched the boats in the marina and on the way home on Highway 35, I got pictures of a beautiful sunset over the foothills in the valley.¬† It was beautiful and my anxiety was calmed.

Clipping Time’s Wings

Everyone knows that time flies, and I’m getting to that rounded age to see it¬†zoom by at¬†super-sonic speeds.¬† I was looking at the calendar of this blog, how many times I wrote in one month, how when I was in crisis there would be a darkened square two to three times a week, and when things were masquerading as ‘normal’ it was lighter.¬† Then¬†I saw when I birthed this baby my jaw dropped.¬† May 2011!!¬† It’s been over five years, and before that it was about five years before with round one.¬† I’ve been trying to grapple with this for over ten years now.

The goal of this blog was to find my way back into the light but to make sure I didn’t trip the dark fantastic again if at all possible. I know life isn’t going to be all sunshine and flowers, there will be bouts of sunburn and allergies too. Now where once there was blackness and anger there is hope and joy . I am not cured, I don’t know if there is a cure, but this is working for me, the writing thing, I just wish it didn’t need to take so freaking long. I guess I should work on my instant gratification issues too

The new goal is to re-post the enteries and figure out a plan of attack in the event of a fresh hell in the void and to shore up the processes I found helpful. Time willing it shouldn’t take another FIVE YEARS!

Reverse Pride

Reverse pride isn’t humility.¬† Humility is humility.¬† Reverse pride is when you are prideful of the fact you aren’t better than anyone else.¬† We all know this idiom:

Pride goeth before the fall.

I didn’t think that really applied to me because I was on the floor, I would never be ‘worthy’ of the grace of God, to take part of the sacrifice Christ provided for me.¬† Which is why my thoughts when I do something less than Christ-like I hear, “It doesn’t matter, I’m going to hell anyway”¬† I wrote it off to self-esteem problems.¬† I’ve been reading a book called “The Miracle of Forgiveness” and in the beginning it talks about pride.¬† It talked about how pride is also telling God who/what/where/why anything that isn’t in your responsibility to change or judgement you can pass.¬† I realized in a moment of clarity I hadn’t just been telling myself I’m bad and unworthy but I’ve been telling Christ I’m bad and unworthy and the grace He secured with his blood isn’t going to save me.¬† EVERYONE will have a share of His grace, no matter what they’ve been in this life.¬† Life is eternal, growth is eternal, the Grace of Christ is eternal.¬† With this knowledge came the realization of there is absolutely nothing I can do about my future, well, other than be the best person I can be.¬† No matter how messed up I perceive myself to be.¬† I have no control, and I am not perfect and neither of those are within my grasp or prevue anyway so I’m trying to figure out how I can better utilize the time feeling like an eternal-bug-in-the-radiator kind of person.¬† I’m moving forward towards my future again, it’s nice.

This begs the question: Why do I feel this way?¬† I’m not a bad person (in comparison to like Hitler, Dahmer, and the ilk).¬† They’re going to receive grace.¬† I’m not ‘useless’ or a ‘waste of clay’.¬† Where do these thoughts come from?¬† Is it that sometimes when someone corrects you by calling you stupid, where every other time it just bounces off your psychic armor until one day the chink is displayed and you are mortally wounded?¬† I’ve called myself stupid most of the time when I do something wrong, from burning dinner and blowing a tire to stubbing my toe on something I’ve left on the floor.¬† I’m far from stupid.¬† I still compare myself to others and, yes, that’s wrong, but I’m finding out all the useless information I seem to gather has made me rather intelligent.¬† Not to be prideful, but my last IQ test (online) I hit in the high 120’s.¬† If I could do math it might be a little higher but I suck at math.¬† How can I be so easily fooled and so completely without guile that I would believe everything bad and evil that I am told both inside and outside my head?¬† The bigger question is, how to I seal up that chink so the darts of negativity aren’t hitting the pink flesh beneath?¬† I am correcting my thoughts when I become aware of them, I try to keep positive quotes handy on my phone, my notebook, my walls, but how can I paper the inside of my head with them?¬† Any suggestions?¬† Please share.

Crossing the Line

Sorry, I’ve been distant, silent even.¬† Mostly because I did something wonderful and it confused me.¬† Let me explain…..

I went on vacation with my family, it was a wedding onboard a cruise ship and we were invited to join the happy couple for the honeymoon.¬† We all had our own rooms of course.¬† I brought a long two books; one pleasure and one enlightening.¬† I chose the Enlightening book first.¬† Before the end of the first day at sea I grabbed my book and went up to the top deck, sunglass/reading glasses in hand and a hat and read.¬†¬† Within the first ten pages I came across a statement (that I can’t quote because it’s not exactly what I read but what I needed to hear) to the effect of:

There comes a time when introspection becomes indulgent.

It struck me so perfectly at that moment and I realized, every aspect of me said it was time to move on and move forward.¬† There was nothing more I could do with the deep dives into who, what, and why that makes me who, what, and why I’ve become.¬† I needed to put myself out there and try to put into place what I have learned, to build on the foundation that I have laid and hopefully not have any dead bodies hidden in the cement.¬† At many points in life we need to stop and do the self evaluation/inventory/mind-tripping that helps us move to the next level, but I feel like I’m all caught up now….

Crossing that line, the invisible line between the two worlds instigated a miraculous change in my psyche: I’m happy, I’m hope-filled, I have more energy, I am making plans for my future and are anxiously waiting to put that plan into motion.¬† (Mom is still doing well, so things are still as they were).¬† Crossing that line also gave me the push I needed to start¬† whittling down my meds.¬† I’m off one of my anxiety pills completely, I’ve cut my Lexapro in half, I’m still taking all my puppy uppers (Welbutrin).

I don’t know if I’m ready to go down another 10mg on my Lexapro.¬† This last jump down brought up the realization that I don’t really have the skills that I thought I had when¬† I was fully medicated, and emotions are starting to break through the chemical barricades.¬† I’m getting caught in the angry loops, but I have more success of talking myself out of them before I spin out of control.¬† I get overwhelmed and stymied easily , but if I just plug away at it, it gets done.¬† I’ve had to put some¬†exercises into place so I could deal with the mental stuff, one of those is writing every day.¬† Which brings me back to the confusion….

For the longest time I used this blog as an integral part of my self exploration.¬† Anything too private was taken care of in my journal, and I’m back to journaling now too, but if¬†continual introspection is self indulgent, it’s not something I should be engaging in if I want to move forward in my life.¬† And I’ve made some major strides in my life from March to now, but I didn’t know if I should start a new blog post-depression to write all the plans and¬†the executions with both successes and failures or if I should just continue here; or should I do it at all?¬† I miss it, so I need to keep doing it .¬† I found that blogging my personal truths out into the world is an act of courage and bravery that makes me feel more courageous and brave in the real world.¬†I think it’s not self indulgent if it isn’t wallowing in the dark but instead sharing the joy and excitement of rediscovering my life now that I’m outside the void.

Any input from my readers would be helpful.  Please,

Miracle & Milestones

Miracles abound when you have faith enough to welcome them.

Last Thursday I took a trip up to visit Sammy (the parrot) as my sister spends time with Mom on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings which gave me the freedom to go. ¬†(Sammy didn’t want anything to do with me other than take a chunk of flesh out of my fingers, but that’s another tale of woe.) ¬†I called to check on Mom while I was there, as I’m want to do when I’m not home to make sure she knows that I worry about her and she said she was anxious for me to come home because she needed to talk to me, but she was soooo apologetic I wasn’t sure if I should believe it to be good or not. ¬†The last thing I needed after a long drive back from one valley to the next is to have another “talk” in *that* tone of hate, disgust and disappointment.

I guess I should back track at this point. ¬†The day before, Wednesday, it was written on my calendar that I should put her name in the temple for prayers. ¬†They rotate out the names ever two weeks so I call and put her name back in. ¬†I didn’t want to. ¬†I fought with myself because of the way she still talked to me after we had our fight over Sammy and the lock on my door, which in her mind was the greatest betrayal I could have ever perpetrated against her. ¬†She doesn’t have boundaries, so no one can have boundaries. ¬†I asked her a few days after the bird was moved to my sisters if she would ever like me again, she told me it still remains to be seen. ¬†And from that point on she has tolerated me, sniped at me every chance she got. ¬†I remained happy and chipper and trying me best not to flinch at her tone. ¬†There is some sort of dark hollowness that you feel when your mother treats you like you are the worst person in the whole universe. ¬†Needless to say, I didn’t want to, I didn’t think she should have it because of the way she treated me on a regular basis the anger started to push everything else aside to pour salt in my wounds. ¬†I had to stop, redirect the anger out some sort of internal overflow spigot and rethink my position. ¬†She can treat me how she wants to treat me, I can’t do anything about that other than not let her hurt me but I made the decision not to let her behavior dictate my actions so I put her name, a friends name and my name in the temple. ¬†(who couldn’t use extra prayers)

Okay, back to last Thursday….

She apologized, she was terribly sincere. ¬†She wanted me to know that she loved me, appreciated me and was truly proud of what I have accomplished in my life. ¬†She didn’t relent and let Sammy back in the house but the air purifiers haven’t come in by that time, so hope still spring eternal on that front. ¬†The other portion of this was she realized she can’t keep trying to make me secure a happy end of life for her. ¬†She has to make that choice, and she has to make the efforts to do so. ¬†Now THAT is a miracle and a milestone for her.

My milestone is unemployment….again. ¬†Only this time I have a plan, I have hope and faith and determination to make it worth while. ¬†I also have someone to take care of Mom during the day so I’m not the only one with her. ¬†I’m going back to my post The End Is Nigh…..Or Not. ¬†Mom is afraid of dying alone, without someone who loves her there for her. ¬†She’s having more and more problems in the night sleeping, or rather breathing well enough to stay asleep. ¬†I’m thinking during this time I will do more watching at night, so if she needs me, I’ll be there and then sleep while the other caregiver is there with her. ¬†I do want Mom to have a good end of life, I don’t want her to be alone, that said, I don’t want her to do it during the holiday season. ¬†My father died on Fathers Day, and now I associate both days….actual death date and the holiday….with him. ¬†I can live without two death dates for her as well.

It’s amazing what happens when you walk in faith and hope for the best by letting go and letting God.

Prayer: The Hearts Sincere Desire

I’ve been praying again, at least making an honest effort. ¬†I still forget that I’m praying sometimes and let my mind wander but I pull it back as quickly as I can, apologize to my Father in Heaven and push forward. ¬†It seems odd that prayer is so hard for me. ¬†That it was nothing before but “Please, Father, get me through today.” (And He did) But because of my meager efforts I’m no longer extremely anxious about taking the forward steps I need to into the haze of uncertainty because I know He will prepare a path for me even if all I can see it one step at a time.

It’s so hard to describe the sensation of this for me. ¬†I’ve always known there was a higher power (mine is God/Heavenly Father/Elohim) for as long as I can remember. ¬†At one point I wanted to be cloistered away as a nun; ¬†a life of service and reflection apparently appeals to the writers heart. ¬†However, I chose the secular world and now my realities are 1) my job is ending 2) my education to be a phlebotomist is a joke in the industry 3) I’ve not stuck anyone in years and 4)it’s going to pay less (especially a non-union job) than the pittance I’m making now. (I’m not even going to go into the lack of writing, lack of journaling and lack of any creativity in my life right now). ¬†My mind races and then collapses from exhaustion. ¬†I think R.E.M. said it best:

It’s the end of the world as we know it

And I feel fine

I’ve never been able to really make plans for my future because I’ve always had the concept hard wired into my mind “Live now for tomorrow we die”. ¬†So now, I pray about it, when¬†the anxiety, fear and general loathing of change overtakes me and then a calm comes and the gentle words of peace and comfort scatter the emotions like cockroaches in the light and I feel fine.

Though I’m still anxious about a lot of things:

  • Mom’s ultimate destination and getting her ready, getting me ready, fear of walking in on her and finding her when I’m alone
  • Money lasting to the end of the month and not being able to buy stuff with my own money
  • Getting money together for my nephews wedding (This is new one, he’s going on a cruise and we’re all invited)
  • Job ending
  • Job searching
  • Being trapped forever with Mom
  • Never getting my eating under control and never being able to eat Golden Mega Stuff Oreos again
  • Dying before I have a chance to live
  • Being around people
  • Dealing with my family and the anger it stirs up in me and the fear of not being able to control it around them

That’s just off the top of my head, the things that I can pick out when it’s spinning. ¬†Though I know everything in my heart will be okay, the chemicals in my brain still won’t settle down and leave me in peace. ¬†I’m hoping to replace my emergency anti-anxiety pills and the half one I take every day, with meditation and prayer. ¬†It is my sincerest desire to be trusting and rest in the Lords embrace and know everything will be okay. ¬†Though my heart is starting to trust my head is still overly paranoid and distrusting of everyone and everything, both physical and spiritual. ¬†It’s not the end of the world, just a change, and I will be fine. ¬†Prayer needs to be my¬†bridge from this life to the next, I can feel that in my heart to be true and I need to be more persistent in following the whispers of hope and orient myself to the feeling of warmth and comfort the Spirit provides when¬†I follow my heart.

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