When I was in the grips of pain, depression, and overwhelming anxiety which I blamed on my job, my role as caretaker of my elderly mother and Aunt, feeling like an outcast in my husbands family and hating who I was because of the way I was thinking and the way my body looked…whew…I felt like at every opportunity, I needed to tell my story. My story had no happiness but involved my upbringing, my loneliness, my familial burdens as well as every other thing that I considered to be my negative personal affliction. By telling my story, at least I got attention, I had a line of people who felt sorry for me, I had friends who would get down there in the mud and wallow with me. I thought I was fortunate *fist on forehead, that I at least had that!
Each step forward I thought I could make myself feel better by changing my surroundings and my personal appearance but the brick wall I was running into got thicker and thicker. Finally a therapist led me around the brick wall.
Today…I woke up feeling like I was going to have a sensitive pre-holiday day…but I started out mindfully feeling gratitude…I took my oldest grandson to school this morning and he chatted as if he was in my head and knew I needed to hear what he was saying….gratitude. I’m babysitting my 3 year old grandson today and he’s laughing and full of joy…gratitude. I was thinking about Christmas past and I felt gratitude….I was loved and I have friends and family who love me. When my grandson pushed the button on the paw of a toy dog that sings Blue Christmas over and over again, I felt gratitude. My mom bought this stuffed dog for herself a couple years before she died…I felt an unusual thankfulness for my mother and her gift to me of memories of those cherished christmases past. For a moment, I felt myself wanting to rethink my story…the familiar story I used to tell myself… but I just stopped and realized gratitude was my new story and here I am. Right here and right now, I’m so thankful!
A few months ago, I participated in an applied kinesiology session with a massage therapist. It was a technique to dig deep in your soul writing down specific words in color degrees as you talk about a troublesome issue…followed by an alternative muscle massage therapy to determine where you are physically hiding these emotions. The dam broke for me approximately 5 minutes in because my emotions about my childhood are always right under my skin. I did a follow up session one month later and was given the large poster board size sheet of paper marked in Magic marker of my words and was told to hold on to it and then one day burn this page. I was ready last night.
I spent most of the evening on the deck with my headphones watching a movie on my iPad….alternating sips of coffee and water. I found myself distracted several times by my flowers and the serenity of the pond. I put a quilt over my legs and felt the cool evening breeze in my hair…I felt I was totally at peace with myself. I shut down any intruding thoughts and focused on my blessings.
Then I grabbed the “words” off the ironing board where they had been laying for months, grabbed the fire stick and in the dark over an old tree stump, I burned the words in preparation for Mothers Day. I didn’t do it for her….I did it for me!
Until next time…..
When he died back in 2001, I felt that grief that takes your breath away…that pain which reaches so deep into all of your muscles and nerves that you are pretty sure you will never feel alive again. His death was the most important thing that has ever happened to me. It changed me from the person I thought I was to the person I am. I called upon all of the stubborness and determination and a little of the eccentric personality traits learned from him to change myself from being a victim of my life to being in charge and having chutzpah (which I like to refer to as balls) to stop the insanity.
After the initial grieving, I was relieved that his life was over – I knew my dad and I knew that my dad was ready to go. I now know that he suffered severe bouts of depression. He verbalized many times to Phil and to me that he wanted out – I know and knew that he really wanted away from my mother…but I will not crucify her in this blog…this is about my dad. His mind was finally quiet…it was over…and this is exactly what he wanted. My love for him was able to allow me to be happy that he was finally dead!
We all have those outline bullet points or the A.1.a. in the outline of our life or the events which we always refer to as before this happened or since this happened. My dad’s death is the capital A in my life.
Onward and Upward.
Until next time.
In today’s chapter, the heroine made it through another anxiety ridden spell to wake up having accomplished another level of fear of the unknown, insecurity and inner turmoil which I should probably just call not loving herself. I told him yesterday morning that I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I couldn’t fall asleep, I woke up pissed off and getting myself up off the couch and away from the TV was impossible. In a week, I watched more movies than I have watched in many previous years. Kate Winslet and I had a relationship and every day with Kate Winslet was a struggle of epic proportion. Not Titanic proportion but close!
I had a ridiculous number of things I needed to do but I was unwilling to dig in and just get them done, I was totally overwhelmed. I’m not normally a procrastinator…one of the things I’m normally proud of…but for some reason, I shunned my responsibilities and felt like I just couldn’t tackle it. Yesterday, I donned the gear and took care of all of them. One right after the other. Done…no more thought…one step at a time…done! In the evening, I watched a little TV, did some laundry, straightened up the house, watched the first Housewives of Orange County reunion show and started reading a book……
This morning I woke up and immediately took a shower…just prior to stepping in the shower, I weighed myself…40 pounds! I was able to think in the shower this morning…something I’ve been having difficulty doing. I felt strong…I felt secure…I felt like this is who I am and no one knows my struggles…I am strong because what I have been through aka life. I am me. I like me. I really want to hold onto this me…but I know – because this is life – I will find myself in the other place again. I must remember they are bad days but good days are just around the corner depending if I’m willing to work at it or just bask in the ugliness.
Until next time….