Monday, May 8, 2017

Something to push against - depression - joy

I got a return call from my Aunt last week.  A call I made before Thanksgiving she told me that she had had another heart episode and the medication they gave her to calm her down had a side effect of a psychotic episode where she was seeing people and she was flying.  I told her people pay good money for those kinds of hallucinations.  Unfortunately she continued to take the medication and it took her into deep depression and that is why she hasn't called.

She said she would never be the same again and that she would never complain about being blue or sad for just a day or so. I related my own experience to her and she was shocked.  They actually visited me one day during that time a visit I barely remember.  I do remember making hot chocolate with mini morsels and canned milk for their granddaughter that came with them. She said it was the best hot chocolate she had ever had. It is the small things, right?  Apparently in the depths of despair and contemplating suicide I can make some mighty fine hot chocolate.

I can laugh about it now because I am not there now.  In fact I am better than ever and actually making plans. I have signed up for a cooking class on knife skills just to see if I can learn something new. I have had a cooking spark just below the surface and I am going to see if I can re-kindle that flame. In my old life it was a passion but since then nothing. For some odd reason I made beef stock last weekend and was binging Chopped the TV cooking shows. Little signs that something is stirring up something I thought was dead forever.

I am also drawing up a planting plan for my side yard.  I worked all day yesterday cleaning the space out.  It is about 15 feet wide and is terraced with four levels. The front of my house is at street level and the back goes down to an inlet off the river.  It is mostly been full of leaves and wild things since I have been here but I think I am ready to do something with it.  I have also had a sudden interest in house plants and I have filled my house with new plant friends. This was a passion I had in my twenties and basically haven't had an indoor plant since.

Most of my life I have been pushing against something.  I felt that life was about surviving and preparing for some unknown thing that was coming. I have had pockets of happiness but the fear was just below the surface warning me to not get too comfortable and in time, what a surprise, the voice was right. When my mind couldn't accept that it couldn't solve this problem and decided no more it sent me into long term sorrow.  Eventually even the sorrow vanished and I had only emptiness. When you experience this long enough you get to a place of acceptance this is all there is and you just keep moving. Many times I didn't see a reason to go on I did anyway.

When you live in crisis your mind is fully engaged it has something to push against. A constant to do list of time filling accomplishments. Valuable things that must get done to stop impending disaster. But when disaster comes anyway for me my mind blew a gasket. I bottomed out when I realized that bad things couldn't be stopped by any action I could take. I gave up and stopped participating in life what is the point?  Life just kept moving forward without me people came and left jobs ended an began life didn't really need me to do a thing. I became a watcher.

I watched while people stressed over the smallest things. I felt free to just be and not get too attached to the outcome.  I think now I am waking up to the idea that everything does not have to have great meaning.  I don't have to save the world or accomplish anything for that matter. I do have to accept life the way it is today and try to enjoy what is right in front me. To not judge myself so harshly when I just want to be, instead of do, sometimes.

I have a deep groove in my mind that was made when I was child.  It was that life is about doing something productive every minute and that life isn't suppose to be fun.  This is the default setting that I am up against every moment luckily I do find joy in making things beautiful it does involve work but I don't mind now that I can find joy doing it..



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Baking Bread - Sacrifice

I am baking bread this morning and contemplating what this day means to the the Christian world.  I do describe myself as a Christian even though I don't meet the standards of my childhood upbringing. Jesus and I have come to an understanding I love and respect him and he forgives me for blaming him for all the bad things my family did to me in his name.

The lack of love I received made me want to reject anything that they professed to love and Jesus and the Church was at the top of the list. I once said if my Dad was going to heaven then I didn't want to go. Fortunately all my bitterness has washed away with time and grace I have been able to see that he was just a man ill equipped to deal with the death of his wife and the emotions of two girls without a mother.  He did what seemed like the quickest way to happiness remarried another christian women. This worked out for him but not so much for the two girls.

I get it now and I am no longer looking for someone to take responsibility for leaving me in the lurch. It happens all the time we all put ourselves before the greater good of everyone involved. We can't help it life is short and we just want to find some happiness somewhere even if it means hurting someone else. The hurt is never intentional it is just a bi-product of our search for happiness.

Those that sacrifice everything in this case Jesus making the ultimate sacrifice thinking of only the greater good of the human race is saying it all.  Even if you don't buy the whole story it is a pretty spectacular idea. He did have doubts and he did experience loneliness even though he knew he would come back he also knew that to come back he would have to suffer and die alone.

In my own life I have had many spiritual deaths followed by great periods of growth. I felt rejected by the people who claimed they loved me. In my darkest hours I didn't want to go on and felt that being here waste of time. It was in those hours that I surrendered to my own spiritual death and ask for help from the unseen. Within moments I felt better and today I see clearly just how lost I was and how far I have come and I am grateful.

The story of Christ's death and resurrection is the story of human existence. He began speaking the truth and had great multitudes of people following him but in the end he had to face the worst on his own. Even though surrounded by people no one could take his place. It was a journey of one.

Ironically I am making bread for Easter dinner at a friends house. She requested it last night so I got up this morning and started baking. Bread does represent the body of Christ in the Christian world I thought how appropriate for the day. I feel peaceful today not wanting for anything.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sisters - Crisis - Life

My family came and went.  It was a good visit stress free for the most part except when my niece was trying to manage us all in the nicest way. Making sure we were all sticking to the agreed upon schedule we all resisted like everyone naturally does when they are being managed.

This is the first time my sister has seen my house.  It is a nice house filled with the years of my life and some of hers or at least some of the people that she is related to on different shelves around the house.

I ended up with a lot of family stuff because my mother's oldest sister and my grandmother ended up here at the end of their lives.  I came here at sixteen because I thought I needed a back up plan in case I couldn't support myself.  My aunt was already here and in the process of moving my grandmother here. I ended not needing that backup plan and never lived with either one of them.

My relationship with my sister has changed for the good.  I think in families we sometimes makeup stories about each other something based on a snap shot of our childhood. We imagine that we know who this person is and that idea just stays with us.  Especially when they are far away we can place them securely in a box and treat them the way we treated them when we were kids.

With my sister I think we have finally let go of our rolls.  She always felt that she needed to add me to her list of people she needed to counsel.  We also had the issue between us about my dad.  He was a part of her life but not mine. A few months ago we had our final argument about him ending with me saying I just wanted her to acknowledge that we had different experiences and in my eyes he was not a saint but human and that she didn't need to defend of justify my relationship with him.

Life goes on and before he died I had accepted that he was unable to give me what I ultimately wanted from him. The child in me wanted to be some kind of priority in his life. It is old news now and it is just me and her and I am over it. She is too I can feel the change between us she has also stopped trying to point out places she thinks I need work. Anyone reading this blog knows that this has been my life's work.

My sister just like me has lived a life of crisis.  One after another barely making it and thinking that living like that is normal. The difference is with the program I was able to find periods of real peace. It is hard to become comfortable with peace your mind goes wild looking for something to fill the empty space. Now it feels strange to be in a crisis about anything.

I am not in charge of most things that happen. I can only control my thoughts about it and stop myself from projecting some awful future outcome. I can also recognize that other people have the same option. They also have the right to make their own life choices even if I don't agree with the choices they make. Their lessons are different from mine and my own problems have led me to a higher place.

I love my sister and she loves me and we are now becoming friends how weird is that.  Two adults respecting and loving each other.








Sunday, February 26, 2017

Looking for my mother - All grown up

It is a friend of mine is having a birthday tomorrow someone I have known a long time and I was once very close to.  Maybe the closest thing to a mother I have had. Our relationship has been different now since I had to go out on my own and learn to heal myself. I couldn't act like the the person I was before because that person does not exist.  I did try for a while because I felt bad that I was losing another person who represented a milestone in my life.

When I entered the program I met a lot of people that were all suffering and going through some of worst times in their lives.  We were all babies in the program and children looking for a safe place to land and someone to comfort us instead of us being the comforters.

She did this for us she cooked and made all our favorite foods it seemed for me the way I imagined my own mother would have done if she had lived.  She was a mother to us an in turn we were obedient children and did what she told us to do. When she said show up we did.  I imagine this is what having a mother would also be like.

I think the way we depended on her made her feel she was needed. In my last relationship I played the same part she did.  I took care things and made sure everyone had what they needed and felt safe and secure when I was around. The very thing I was longing for.

I enjoyed this role for a long time but towards the end it felt forced and the people I did for took my presence for granted. No one ask me to do this it was what I needed. I was trying to feel the void that was left in me after my own mother died.  I was trying to heal that part of me that didn't feel safe.

I know now that no one can keep you safe even if you have the best mother in the world life isn't safe. Things happen and you have to find a way to dig deep down and trust that you are going to be alright. It is good to have friends that comfort you but in the end no one can fill that void but you.

If we are lucky we grow up and learn that we must save ourselves and find our own inner happiness. This wasn't easy for me because I believed I had something permanently missing from inside of me. Something I would never be able to heal I thought I was damaged goods.  This was the lie I told myself and it affected every choice I made.  All the time I had the power to heal myself.

I know now this was the path I had to take because I took it.  Every choice was right for me and my own growth.  I wasn't born lacking in any way and my spirit was trying to find its way back to the freedom I was born with. To live life un-afraid and willing to accept that life changes and people change and we can either adapt or live in constant fear of what is next.

Happy birthday to my friend and thank you for the years you took care of all of us. We are all grown now but we still love and respect you for all that you did for us so many years ago.












Sunday, February 19, 2017

What will they think of me? - The color of life

My sister and two of her kids are coming to visit me next month the first time in 24 years.  I have a lot of ideas about the reason why she hasn't visited but they are coming.  I decided to redo my upstairs bedrooms with paint and new drapes an over all face lift.

In the old days I would do something like this because I would be worried about what they think. Today I am doing it because it gives me an excuse to stop neglecting the upstairs. After my roomate moved out a few years ago I haven't really done anything to it. It has become a bone yard of spare furniture and lamps.

The room I worked on yesterday was originally painted cake batter yellow with one citrus green wall. Today the room is white with a midnight blue accent wall. It looks amazing but I am completely sore from my marathon painting job and I am not sure I can work on it today.  I hope I have enough energy to hang the drapes that will bring the room together.

I had the whole house painted before I moved in.  I chose the pallete that I had in my former house since I was too shocked to make any other choices.  Most of the walls were the cake batter color with light accent walls. Since then the down stairs has been repainted white with deep accent walls. Ironically the house was white when I bought it but it seemed too stark and un -familiar for me to leave it white. I wanted it to feel like home.

I believe our space directly affect how we feel about our lives especially color.  It also affect the commitment we have made to where we are at that moment.  If we are planning to stay or if we look like we just moved in or could pack up and leave at any moment. Chaos in the mind is always reflected in our spaces.  I am happy to see that I have come along way.

For my particular situation I rejected this house and this new life I was forced into. This was not home and I refused to treated as if it was.  My previous home I thought I would be there for life and I was dug in even if I wasn't happy. I look at the color choices I made for some upholstered chairs they were so drab and lifeless.  I think "who was that person/"

Over the years  as I have gotten better and healed those places inside myself that I thought were permanent my house has begun to change too. Room by room things have gotten lighter I am no longer stuck in the darkness. Even though the midnight blue is dark it is contrasted by the brightest white.

When we are locked in our minds and our troubles we aren't living in the physical world any longer. We are a body walking around doing what we have to do to get by. Life is an interruption to our thinking process and we can only deal with the crisis in our minds. We have to see that the problems can't be solved with more thought. We have let go of the fear our minds have created and be free.

We want to be free to be available for the people that need us now not is some imaginary future when we have all the problems straighten out. We need to be there for ourselves physically and emotionally not just mentally.  We need to comfort and take care of the child within that is waiting for us to notice them. It is time to come back to the present.

That was a little heavy in the end there but it reflects what it has taken me a lifetime to learn.  Today I can just focus on the fact that the relationship between my sister and I have healed enough that she is coming to visit and I am happy about that.  She has found out in the past few months that we are more alike than diffent and life is short and the only time we have is now.  I have no expectations.




Sunday, February 12, 2017

No longer afraid

It has been 10 years since my life was turned upside down and I lost the person I use to be.  It is not like life didn't go on and I haven't accomplished a lot of things. Losing the life you thought you were going to have is hard to get over.  It took 13 years to create that life and for me to feel like I could actually trust that the relationship would last.

Merging with another person is a gradual at least on an emotional basis years of interaction. I have to admit there was a lot unsaid. When you live with another person for that long time you tend to take for granted that you know what the person is thinking especially when there isn't any visible conflict.

In my case it wasn't from lack of trying and for many years I was mining for feedback. Hoping for one nugget of actual honesty or emotion would show itself. I eventually gave up because this need for truth was interpreted as emotional assaults and I never wanted to be the person that hurt someone like that so I retreated.

I got my emotional eruption when I was told "I don't love you anymore and I am in love with someone else".  Ironically almost the same words my husband said to me when he left.

In the past this is where I got stuck thinking I should have been different. If only I had been more something I wouldn't have suffered so much. Someone once told me my picker is broken. I don't really believe that.  You pick the person right for you where you are in that moment. Sometimes  you grow and change together and sometimes you don't.

February is a month of anniversaries and birthdays linked to people I don't know anymore. My mother also died the day after Valentines.  Together these things make me at least think about my life and my choices.  I don't really feel any deep regrets and I probably wouldn't change much about my life experience.

The above statement isn't true. I would change a lot about the past but mostly about myself. The person I am today would not accept the lack emotional intimacy that my younger self accepted. I gave willing until there was nothing left hoping for just a little emotional consideration.  I was loved and treated well but never let in and therefore I felt alone.  They were both shut down and so was I to a point this was why we were a good match at the time.

I heard yesterday from a speaker.  Those who are spiritual seekers get left because we are always trying to be better and we are never enough for ourselves and this is reflected back to us as never being enough for someone else.

I know that sound harsh but there is truth in that statement. I have spent 10 years getting to know and love the person that I am today. Forgiving myself for being human and for once in my life not sweeping the trauma I was feeling under the carpet.  I looked at all that I was and saw how I had done best and what has happen to me is just life.

Today I maybe alone but I feel whole and happy.  The love I have for myself isn't dependant on whether other people love me.  I don't intend to be alone forever and I now feel strong enough to just live and be happy without judging myself and my progress.  I have gathered the best parts of myself and I am making plans. I am no longer afraid to be who I am.













Saturday, January 21, 2017

Feeling safe - depression - suicide - utopia

I can feel the sadness in the air with our incoming president. It is hard to feel good about someone that promises to turn back time. He is the president for that small group of people that enjoyed the world when it was a little more censored.  When you didn't know every bad thing going in the world and you weren't aware of the predators living in your neighborhood and you could just pretend they weren't there and the world is safe.

Now days there is so much information coming in and only the worst is ever reported.  We want to feel safe and if someone says they will make us safe we really want to believe them.  We want someone to just fix what isn't pretty about life and take us back to the days of Andy Griffith and Beaver Cleaver.  News flash they were make believe just like the idea we were or will ever really be safe.

Holding on to the idea that things will ever be the way they use to be stunts our ability to grow and adapt to how it is now. I know personally that change is not usually something you sign up for it is forced on you but you can learn to adapt quicker.

When my life was turned upside down. The breakup - menopause and the recession my mind could not accept it.  I could not accept that what I thought would be my life wasn't going to happen.  With so much uncertainty I had a meltdown mentally spiritually and physically.  I was in shock and thought about taking my own life daily it seemed like a perfectly logical solution with such an uncertain future.

Someone recently told me that during the recession they felt so out of control that they slipped into a depression that was so severe that that regularly kept a gun near them incase they wanted end it.  They said they laid next to their spouse at night an cried non-stop and hadn't told anyone except me about this time in their life. I can't imagine not telling anyone. I told you guys and regularly joked with the people that could stand to be around me that they might find me in the garage with a hose in the window. 

Just like the conversation with my friend it wasn't that I was sad it was that I felt nothing and without out feelings I didn't really see the point of going on. People say it is a selfish act but when your mind has had a break and there is no feelings it seems like a logical choice.  You are just there taking up space and since I am alone I felt no one would really be affected by my disappearance. I know these thoughts sound crazy and they were crazy but when you have no feelings there seem to be no point in living. 

I believe my higher self or holy spirit whatever you want to call it helped me make it through the each day.  I remember telling myself I can check out tomorrow if I want.  There is always tomorrow.

For me the life ahead of me was so uncertain that my mind could not process the changes quickly enough and I snapped. We have to teach people that feeling uncertain and scared is normal there is no utopia outside ourselves.  There is no magic pill or president that will save us the pills will only keep us from thinking too much about our fears dulling our minds.

When you are at the bottom it can be too late to pull yourself out without help of some kind. I was alone most of the time and my sickness liked it that way. It wanted me isolated so it could feed me a steady stream of crap that kept right where I was for longer than I should have been. I never questioned my thoughts until one day a voice said "you are doing this to yourself" and started asking myself "is that true?" and from that point on I got better.   

I guess my point to all this is that I understand fear of the future with all its unknowns.  I understand wanted to feel safe and crawl back into a life you once imagined you had. I would have done anything to not have had to suffer and change when I was facing it but you can't go back. Going forward is the point of life moving on besides the past was never quite as rosy I my mind would have me believe it was I can see that now. 


My friend said they fear everyday it will come back.  I never even considered that. I believe it was a spiritual correction for me.  It was a perfect storm to shake me to my foundation and make me question every thought I have ever had.  It erased who I was, one thought at a time, and left nothing but a foundation.  I have started rebuilding but it is a slow process but I have nothing but time. There is always tomorrow.  



Thursday, January 5, 2017

I don't belong - Losing my place - no where in particular

I have had a lot on my mind through the holidays.  It is never the best time for me emotionally sometimes I can just be satisfied with being neutral,  This year a few things came up that I really didn't understand.  The feeling manifesting in an under current of irritability festering on top of resentments and ultimately ending by blaming myself for screwing things up.

When I first entered the program I became part of a group where one person kinda served as the social planner and matriarch of the group.  About ten of us did all kinds of things together and at the holidays those of us that do not have family here would spend our holidays together.  This has been going on and off for about twenty years. Really.

This year it was announced oddly at a meeting that they wanted to spend Christmas alone.  When I stopped by the day after I was given a detail account of all the people that were there and what a fun time they had.

I had spent Christmas with a friend alone the third day in a row of cooking and eating together.  I felt out of sorts and really couldn't put my finger on why.  The marathon cooking did remind me of the past and the life I use to have that life involved a lot people. Back then I did enjoy the cooking but I am no longer that person and cooking three days in a row for just two felt like drudgery.

After hearing how great Christmas was where I am normally invited made me really sad. I realized I am no longer part of that inner circle the one place where I once felt like was my chosen family.  I no longer fit in there but whose to blame but me.  During my dark time I dropped out of the circle and lost my place and now my pool of close friends is smaller than ever. Blaming myself was the reason for my own sadness and irritability.

I know where is my gratitude? I was able to sort this out by admitting that I don't really fit with those friends anymore.  I have moved on just like they have but the issue is an old one "I don't belong anywhere" it an old story that I tell myself when my life doesn't look the way I thought it would look at any given time. Also telling myself that my life is small with mostly work.

I would like my life to be bigger and to have more moments of joy and laughter with friends but the truth is I love my work and I meet new fun people every day. It challenges me every day and I need that. This is more than most people can say.  I chose my work and mostly I love it.

Time has passed and I am also grateful that I came out of the dark even if this means I lost some friends along the way.  I worked through some pretty painful ideas I had about myself not being worthy of love because everyone I have loved has rejected me. So being rejected this Christmas brought up those feelings.

I  have realized that I can't define myself by how other people treat me.  Everyone is busy being the star of their own drama and they aren't paying attention to my wants and needs.  It isn't personal and when I went to the dark side I wasn' thinking of them I was just trying to save myself.  I did just that with the help of my own higher power.  It could have turned out differently and this post would not exist.  So I wouldn't change a thing.

You can't go back and do things over and you can't go back and crawl into the spaces where you once felt safe and secure. I know that security is an illusion and as you grow spiritually you learn to feel safe just where you are no matter what the day may brings. Today I am happy even if I don't belong anywhere in particular I am still here.