Goodbye Sweet Girl

 

This is Tasha Marie (also referred to as Posha…but not by me).  She died at 3:00 a.m. Monday morning.  It wasn’t a surprise.  We recently found out that, at 14 years of age (which my vet referred to as ANCIENT for a beagle…really dude?) she had Cushing Disease and possibly bladder cancer.  We chose to bring her home and let her life progress as long as she wasn’t in pain.  She wasn’t, but when she stopped eating on Saturday we knew the end was close.  Not only does Cushings make them ravenous but beagles are notoriously food driven.  Tasha Marie was no different.  She came into our lives at 11 lbs…she left at approximately 37 lbs.

I found Tasha on an adoption website known as Triangle Beagle Rescue of NC.  Beagles in the NC/SC area are often found in abundance in shelters because they’re bred for hunting and if they are no longer of use, they are quite literally thrown away.  In fact, Tasha was found in the mountains of NC, pulling a trash bag from a pond in which her puppies has been placed and tossed away, along with her.  She was only two years old.

When I called the shelter about adopting her they informed me that, unfortunately, all of the puppies had been adopted.  I laughed and said, “I don’t want the puppies!  I want that mom!”  Her drive to save her pups at all costs reminded me of me – we were perfect for each other.  She was only 11 lbs, had mange and ear mites and heartworm and I couldn’t have loved her more.

It never ocurred to me that our current dog and Tasha would not get along so I guess that’s why there was never an issue between them.  She came into our home and within a few days, it was like she had always been part of our family.  What was most surprising was that, in spite of the fact that she was a beagle and had been mistreated, there was never any food agression between the two.  And she REALLY liked to eat so we took that as a blessing.

At first she didn’t like men (understandable) and would curl up behind me in the chair to rest.  But soon she discovered how much we loved her and except for a fear of loud noises, settled into her spoiled, cushy life.  She was never very cuddly but when she was, it was on her terms.  When she was young (under say…10) she loved to curl up on my lap on cold mornings and snuggle.  She was so soft and her ears were like velvet.

She didn’t bark much but when she did it was that typical beagle baying and I loved it every time I heard it.  (In case you haven’t noticed, I love beagles.)  She was submissive but if need be, like in the case of her puppies, she could step up and be fierce.  Again, she reminded me of me.

She has left a huge hole in our family where a great deal of love resided.  The love remains but the overweight bundle of stinky dog has passed on.  I was sleeping downstairs with her for last few nights because I wanted to be around if she needed me.  Because of that, I was honored to be the first to hold her when she came into our family and the last to hold her when she left this world.

Rest in peace my sweet girl.  You will be in our hearts always.

Namaste

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I Can’t Get No…Mo-ti-vay-tion

My apologies to the Rolling Stones but I couldn’t resist.  And the rest of you can thank me for getting that song stuck in your head.

You’re welcome.

One of the things I hate most about being at a low point in my depression is the lack of motivation that comes over me about everything.  I can’t get motivated most days to get out of my living room chair much less do all the projects and activities that I should be doing.  I am always careful not to, as they say in AA, should all over myself, but this goes beyond that.  I know it’s depression when I can’t get motivated to do the things I love.  The things that should bring me joy just won’t right now. At least I don’t think they will – I don’t actually know because…you know…I am not motivated to actually DO them.

That’s part of the depression also…we have a complicated relationship.  Don’t judge.

The weather here this week is nothing short of glorious.  Low humidity and highs in the low 70’s.  It’s rare we see this weather this late in the spring so when it does appear, I usually jump at every chance to take advantage of it.  That means sitting outside in my swing or taking a walk after work or puttering around in my flower beds getting them spruced up for the growing season.

Now?  I’ve noped out of all of it.

Last night I came home from work.  Sat for a little while outside with the hubs…and then complained that the bugs were biting and returned inside to plop my butt in my chair and play on my phone and feel like crap because I KNOW I’m missing out on some gorgeous weather but…wait for it…I don’t care.

What the actual fuck?

And the crazy thing is that I REALLY DON’T CARE!  I don’t care that I’ve wasted this time.  I don’t care that a walk would be just what the doctor ordered (literally).  I don’t care that exercise and getting things done would improve my mood dramatically.

I don’t care about yoga.

Wait…what?

You heard me.  For the first time in my adult life I don’t care about hitting the mat, finding my zen or even just breathing properly.  I’m not sad about it.  I just don’t care.  I sit at work and think I’m going to go home and unroll my dusty mat and then I walk in the door and I just…don’t.

Even when I’ve been away from the mat over the years, I’ve never NOT wanted to be there.  In fact, there were times I would have rather been there than almost anywhere else in the world.  Now?  Not so much.

The last time I was in this deep the thing that sent me running to the proverbial couch was the fact that I had an opportunity to see my Redskins play here in Charlotte and I didn’t go.  I didn’t care to go.  That one even impressed my doctor.  He said that as much as I talk about my Skins – I must be depressed.  (Actually he said it in a much more clinical and professional manner but you get the drift.)

So I will go to see my therapist (every other week right now) and I will let the doctor adjust my meds and when I do my first down dog and extend my savasana because I love being in that space, you’ll be the first to know.

Namaste

 

 

On The Subject of Weight…Again

lasagne

Here I am again for the 142nd time talking about my weight.  I’m so bored with this topic.  You?  If so, you can skip this post because you’ve heard it all before.  I’ve got to stick around because I have some shit in my head that needs to come out.

In 2016 I lost 15 lbs. and managed to keep it off.

In 2017 I lost 15 more.

In the second half of 2018 I gained most of it back – about 20 lbs.  As soon as I hit the lowest number on the scale I’d seen in a decade, I fell off the wagon.

Really?  There’s some kind of message in there but I’ll be god damned if I can figure it out.  I remember how happy and light I felt and how it felt to see sizes I hadn’t seen in a long while and how good it felt to get rid of all my fat clothes.

Note to self:  do not give away fat clothes until you’re sure you’re not going to need them.  It’s expensive.  And stupid.  And sad.

And then poof!  The holidays brought with it a new round of depression which conveniently was drizzled with holiday calories in the form of cakes and candies and high fat high carb food and I decided that it would be a good time let my self hate shine and just eat my face off.  That old voice in my head that had been quiet for so long piped up to say, “It’s okay.  Just eat it.  You can always take the extra pounds off after in the new year.”

Fuck you old voice.  You suck.

God I am so sick of this roller coaster.  I told my therapist (and I’ve said this before on this blog) that I don’t necessarily want to be skinny, I just want to find peace with myself and food.  I want to like who I am enough to feed myself well and moderately exercise.  I’d like to want to extend my life that way.  I want to care and I want it to stick.

What I do not want is for the first thought I have when I wake up in the morning to be, “I wonder if my clothes will fit today.”  I do not want to be consumed with how I look and how I believe people are judging me.

Question:  It’s none of my business what people think so why do I care so much whether or not they are judging me about my weight?

Answer:  Because I am judging me about my weight which means everyone else must be as well.

I mean duh!

I’m smart enough to know that’s not a healthy way to think but not yet smart enough to know what to do about it.  But I digress.

I do not want to keep postponing my yearly physical because I don’t want the doctor to know how much weight I’ve gained back.  I do not want her to write, “Obesity” on my chart again and I do not want to come out of that office with a bad photocopy of The Mediterranean Diet which she has given me every year for the last 8 years with the exception of last year because, of course, I had everything under control.

Shit.

It’s a chicken and egg thing for me.  Does the reoccurrence of the depression create the weight gain or does the weight gain create the reoccurrence of the depression?  I think it’s the former but who really knows?  Not me…that’s for dang sure.

I ask the hubs not to bring crap in the house and in he comes with brownies, chocolate, goldfish and cookies.  Why?  Why does he insist on doing that?

Because he knows me.

He knows if it’s not there I’ll just go out and get it.  He knows that something is going on inside me right now that needs comfort and simply eliminating it won’t fix what’s wrong.  He knows I’ll be even more unhappy if I don’t have it than I am when I do have it so he brings it home.  There’s not a soul in that house forcing me to eat it but honest to Christ it gives me comfort to know it’s there.

What. The. Actual. Hell?

This goes deep people.  I feel like if I can crack this code I can maybe make some progress in mending what’s broken inside of me.  In healing that deep and wide hole in my soul that doesn’t seem to ever close.  Not with food, or cigarettes, or exercise, or alcohol, or back to food.  It just sits there begging to be healed.

How do I heal a chasm that’s been growing since I was a child?  The meds definitely help but clearly they aren’t the answer.  They only lift the fog enough for me to see that there are things I can do to actual heal this wound.  The only problem is that those things seem so vast and endless that I can’t get my brain around it all.  Plus, they’ve been written in another language and I haven’t figured out how to translate it into language that my heart can understand.

Hmmm…writing that last paragraph actually felt pretty good.  To put into words what I’ve been feeling for so long is kind of powerful.  The miracle of blogging strikes again!!!

Namaste

 

The Hardest Thing About Being a Mom

I really didn’t like being pregnant.  I know that’s not a very popular opinion and, if I were a YouTube influencer or had a following on Twitter (Twitter bores me…yet another unpopular opinion), I’d likely get a bunch of crap about it.  But I’m just one woman in the universe who did not like being pregnant all that much.  There you have it.  I kept thinking that once the baby was born everything would be okay.

And it was, except that if you’re doing your job right, from the moment they separate from your body, that’s all they do for the rest of your life.  They spend their entire lives trying to separate from you.

Which is exactly how it’s supposed to be.

For the first time since I had kids, I really wish that I had a normal mother/daughter reference from which I could draw guidance.   I don’t really know what a normal feeling is about letting them go – even though I’ve been doing it since the day Lori moved into her own place in Baltimore.  How am I supposed to do it?  I am constantly second guessing myself and wondering if I’ve done it right.

I stand between honoring my feelings of loss and longing, and letting them go with love and guidance.  I fight very hard not to let them know how much I miss them needing me, relying on me, letting me care for them.  I stand stoically by while they make plans for and move through their lives that, rightly, do not include me.  Many times they do not even seek advice and that’s okay…in fact, sometimes I like it better that way so that, if it doesn’t work out, they can’t blame me…but I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss it – even just a little.

For example, for the first time in…well…ever, Mother’s Day will have only one of my chicks at the table.  One is with my bonus son and his wife because said bonus son just graduated with his master’s degree from a college about 3 hours away.  It’s a long story but suffice to say he is exactly where he needs to be right now.  (And let me just say that the master’s degree for this bonus son is the best Mother’s Day gift ever.)

Another is on his way to board a cruise with his fiance who works for the cruise line (how cool is that…I mean…for reals).  They don’t get to see each other very much because of her job and the fact that he’s still in graduate school so this is a much needed week for them to reconnect.  Again, he is exactly where he needs to be.

The rest are just living their lives.  ‘Nuff said.

My mother guilted me every mother’s day to make it all about her even after I became a mom.  Of course no matter what I did it wasn’t good enough but that’s a story for another day.  I am left with trying so hard NOT to pass on any of that shit to my kids that I don’t know what the hell I should be 1. feeling and 2. doing about it.

Side note:  I found what I believe is going to be a great therapist.  She’ll be hearing about all of this.  You can bet your sweet ass on that.

Anyway, I think this is the hardest thing about being a mom.  Harder than putting the first on the school bus at the tender age of five.  Harder than being told, “I can do it!”  Harder than being told, “I don’t want to talk about it.”  Harder than finding out they are doing something or going somewhere they didn’t ask/tell you about first.  Harder than realizing that, if the world turns the way it’s supposed to, you are slowly being replaced in their hearts.  Harder than no longer being able to kiss the boo-boo and make it all better (I mean seriously…that one sucks so bad.)

This is where I get confused.  How am I supposed to feel about this?  I can tell you how I DO feel.

I feel left out.  I feel bereft.  I feel less needed.  I feel physical pain sometimes when I think about the fact that they are always leaving.  I feel lost.  Alone.  Confused.

But wait!  There’s more!

I also feel so fucking proud of these adults I’ve helped raise.  They are genuinely good people who make good, well thought out decisions.  They are kind.  They are generous.  They stand up for those who can’t.  They love unconditionally.  They lead by example.  They get their hearts broken and heal stronger.  They are well-balanced and successful.

Well shit – THERE’s the Mother’s Day gift!  These amazing young adults who have grown up to be all that – in spite of their crazy-ass mom.

At the end of the day, I don’t think I could be happier about these offspring.  And while the leaving is the hardest thing about being a mom, the result of that is the best because it means that they’re going to be okay.

And they will always know that I will always be here ready, to be their mom in whatever capacity they need.

BTW – check out the Google animation today.  It’s a pretty good representation about the different phases of motherhood.

So to all of the moms out there, happy mother’s day!  Celebrate yourself today.  We’re a pretty badass group.

Namaste

 

The Shrinking Time

So I saw the head doctor today (finally).  First let me say that I love my psychiatrist.  He is the perfect blend of just plain doctor with a side of empathy.  I’ve seen him for the last 12 years and honestly don’t know what I’ll do if and when he retires.  Hopefully I’ll have conquered this whole business and it won’t be as big of a deal.

Yeah…I don’t think so either.

I went in and told him how I wasn’t in a good place and then proceeded to whine about how frustrating it is to have to keep going in and getting my meds adjusted.

Side note:  When I’m healthy those thoughts do not enter my mind.  I know that I’m lucky to be getting the help I need and to have people who support whatever I need to do to make myself well.  It’s only when I’m on the downswing that I start to whine about it all and the fact that I’m not “normal”.

Oh for Christ’s sake.  Seeing that in print really pisses me off.

Anyway, the doc really wasn’t having it either.  In short he told me that if I wanted to figure out why I keep cycling in and out of depression then I was going to have to get some therapy.  He can adjust my meds from now until the cows come home and will continue to for as long as I need but if I’m going to whine about my mental state, then I should damn well try and do something about it.

Okay…maybe that last sentence had a lot of me in it and less of him but you get the picture.

I even brought up the fact that therapy is expensive and that I can’t really afford it and…well…he didn’t actually call bullshit on that one but I sensed he was thinking it.  Not because he doesn’t think therapy is expensive but because we’ve been together a long time and he knows my schtick.  If I really wanted therapy I’d FIND the money to get it.

Well played doc…well played.

He changed my meds around and I want to get stabilized on them before I make any real decisions.  I want to see how I feel on the new meds before I embark on dating a new therapist (actually I think I’ve found one if I decide I need to go so that will make the process easier).  Or maybe I should just look at the finances and bite the bullet and just GO.  I don’t HAVE to go every week right?  I can go once a month if that’s all I can afford right?

Right.

Bottom line?  Get your shit together Sherry.

Namaste

 

 

The Shore

“if
the ocean
can calm itself,
so can you.
we
are both
salt water
mixed with
air.”
― Nayyirah Waheed

Sometimes I think it’s odd that someone born under the sign of Taurus (the bull) who is so connected and rooted to the earth should get so much from being at the shore.  There is something life affirming (we all know this – I’m just stating the obvious here) about being there.  Listening to the gulls (after they steal your fries and poop on your head), watching the tide come in and then go back out, taking in that briny, salty smell that is uniquely ocean.  I often find myself physically pulled to that seaside spot.

And so it is that last weekend, in celebration of our 36th anniversary, the hubs and I took a couple of days and went to a sweet little beach on the Atlantic seaboard.  Surfside Beach is a charming little community just south of Myrtle Beach (which I would NEVER describe as charming) filled with cottages and huge beach houses, families and old people (us being of the latter category).  It was perfect.

When I say I love the shore I mean just that…the actual shore.  I don’t especially love what we’ve done to the area around the shore.  I don’t like all the hub bub and the putt-putt and the amusement parks and the calabash seafood buffets (which, if you don’t know, is just a fancy way of saying, “we fry everything”).  Don’t get me wrong, when the kids were little I was very grateful for all of that because of course their attention span was that of a gnat (on a good day), and when I was in my 20’s I loved the restaurant and bar scene, but my real love is, and always has been, right next to the waves.

Notice I say next to the waves.  This is where the bull in me comes out.  I seldom actually get into the water.  I’ll cool my feet.  Stand by while the kids play.  Wiggle my toes into the sand.  But the fish and I have an agreement – they stay in the water and I stay on the land.  Plus I hate being wet and especially hate being wet in Lycra so…there you go.

But I can sit by the shore for hours provided I’m well shaded.  This is why my favorite time at the beach is fall/winter and early spring.  I actually like the brisk (okay cold) weather.  I’ll bundle up and huddle down and just watch the waves and listen to the roar and let my mind just do whatever it wants to do.

In a word, meditate.

So that’s what I did this weekend.  I sat by the shore for several hours.  I sat on the balcony for several more.  I positioned the sofa in the condo so that while I was watching TV I could still watch the ocean.  Bliss.

And a crazy thing happened (she said with her tongue fully in her cheek), as the waves rushed in, I imagined all my own negativity rushing back out when they left.  I imagined peace rolling in and depression rolling out.  And I feel better.

I’m not sure how long this peaceful easy feeling will last but I’ll ride this particular wave to the end.

Namaste

Empty Nesting

I started a post on the patterns I’ve discovered that lead me in and out of depression when I landed on this…empty nesting.  As soon as it popped into my head I knew it was it’s own post. (Perhaps more than one?  Probably a book.)

I’m not sure what I hate most about empty nesting, the not being needed or no longer connecting with my husband the way we used to or being bored without a thousand things to do or making dinner no one wants to eat or…you get the picture.  I guess I just feel exactly the way I’m supposed to feel – empty.

Here’s the thing, I never found anything that I was truly, TRULY good at until I became a mom.  I spent my life with a couple of narcissists who insisted on dragging me down to build themselves up so no matter what I did and how much I professed to be in control there was always that little tiny voice in my ear that continually chanted, “You’re not good enough.  You’re not good enough,” and of course I believed it.  I mean after a while you’ll believe anything that’s pounded in your head day in and day out unless of course it’s positive.  Then you deflect the praise until you convince yourself once again that the voice is right.

Or is that just me?

But then I had a baby.  It didn’t happen when I was caring for my sister’s two kids although I could PLAINLY see that I was better at parenting than either my mother or sister would ever hope to be but they weren’t mine and my sister delighted in handing them over only to snatch them back simply because she could.  It didn’t happen with Lori because she was 12 when she came into my life and though I felt an immediate connection with her, I was trying so hard not to step on anyone’s toes or do anything wrong that I don’t think I relaxed until the kid went to high school!

But when William came along I knew, down to the marrow in my very bones, that this, THIS was what I was put on the earth to do.  Raise kids and love them unconditionally and the best part was that it was retroactive so I could then love Lori and Michael and Theresa with the same ferocity.

And it came naturally.  God knows I was flying blind but I didn’t need any instruction. (I needed constant validation but no instruction.) It was like my entire being had just been preparing me for this moment, this child, this life.  I never felt so complete in my whole life than I did when I brought William home, laid him on my bed and promptly burst into tears.  This was it.  This was me.  (Wait – isn’t that a line from The Greatest Showman?  I love Hugh Jackman.  Sorry…veered off there for a second.)

Note:  this did NOT happen to me in the hospital or when I first looked into his little face.  I was so goddamn scared that I was going to screw him up and traumatized by giving birth that I walked around in a fog for the first 24 hours.  Plus I was so wound up about making sure every I was dotted and every T was crossed so that we could get out of there and begin our family that I couldn’t focus.  I tried to feel that whoosh of maternal love.  I waited for it – but it didn’t come.  I actually thought something might be wrong with me.  That maybe I wasn’t good enough.  In fact, maybe I was defective.

Until we got home.

For the rest of my child rearing years I operated in a blissful world of just being.  Soaking up every moment with those stinky little boys.  Wiping tears.  Cleaning up puke.  Listening to stories about school and baseball and computers and video games and, eventually, girls.  I made lots and lots AND LOTS of mistakes and I beat myself up but good for them but overall, I was content and very, very happy.

Now the little shits are all grown up and moving away.  Not necessarily in the literal sense because two still live at home – one because of his eyesight and the other because why in the world would you move out and pay exhorbitant rent until you absolutely have to?  I’ll admit that I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of my house but I find it so wonderful that the remainder of my kids aren’t in a rush to get out and start paying for life (don’t worry – they pay plenty of rent – THAT part of empty nesting I don’t mind.)

But they are doing the perfectly natural act of moving away.  Conversations don’t always involve me now.  They are making some big life decisions with just a cursory nod to our parental nosiness (and to throw me a bone from time to time) while they consult with each other, their peers, their bosses, their mates and all of those others in their lives that mean so much.  It’s SUPPOSED to be this way.  This is what Bill and I worked so hard to prepare them to do and they are DOING IT WELL and we couldn’t be more proud.

But fuck if it doesn’t suck for us…or at least for me.  I’m not really sure what Bill thinks about it because even though we’ve tried very hard to keep our relationship on the forefront – and we have (36 years on Saturday) – going through life changes you over time.  I find myself looking at him now with absolutely nothing to say.  Not because I don’t want to talk to him but because I feel like it’s all been said (I’m talking about deep shit here – not the everyday stuff).  We know each other better than anyone else on the planet so what’s left to say?  It’s gotten to the point where I can think about what I want for dinner and damn if that isn’t what he’s making when I get home – a little freaky if you ask me and not in the good way.

And what do I DO now?  I have zero motivation to do anything but work and redecorate the house and look at other’s houses.  People tell me to travel or get a hobby (what the actual fuck is a hobby anyway and why would I want to spend time doing it – if someone could tell me I might do it) or volunteer or…lots of things…and I’ve tried.  I tried to volunteer with the local humane society but they’re so disorganized it drove me batshit crazy so I only went once.  I swore I was going to learn Spanish this year and while I’m still slowly working at it, I lack the motivation required to get it done.  In fact, I lack the motivation to do anything.

Traveling’s not an option because the dogs have one foot in the grave and Bill won’t board them so we can’t go long or far.  BTW – did I mention the dogs are dying?  They’re 12 and 14 so OF COURSE THEY DYING WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE TELL ME I’D HAVE TO SAY GOODBYE TO THEM BEFORE I WAS READY?  I have to admit – the blind one is so cute when he runs into things that I think I love him even more this way.  I could do without the beagle peeing everywhere but I hope when I’m their age and I’m peeing everywhere someone is there to treat me as kind as we treat her.  But I digress…

I’m empty.  I have a hole in my soul that, thankfully and blessedly, I no longer fill with wine but that I still try to fill with food (which will be yet another post because it’s all wrapped up in depression) and sometimes shopping, and my depression is rearing it’s ugly head more and more frequently and fucking with my “wellness”.

And I swear to all that is holy if one more person mention “self-care” I’m going to rip off their heads and spit down their necks.

Too much?

Anyway, I’ll close by saying I miss little boy hugs and late night conversations with Lori.  I miss shopping for prom dresses and going to Little League games. I miss snuggles and baby necks (and baby feet and baby everything) and Christmas morning when Santa still visited (I do NOT miss the Easter Bunny – that is one creepy mother fucker). I miss high school plays and watching Nickelodean and talking about who did what to whom and who is dating whom and trips to Target.

I miss it all.

And missing it sucks ass.

Namaste

On Depression

Depression
Whoa.

tap…tap…tap…is this thing on?

If you’re out there than hi!  I’m writing again!  We’ll see how long it lasts and whether or not it makes me feel better but for now, if you’re there, I’m here…and even if you’re not there I’m here because after all it’s all about me (but you already knew that).

For those of you that know me let me just say that yes, I’m still sober and very happy with that decision.  I don’t know what label I prefer (alcoholic, problem drinker, dual diagnosis with my depression) but I do know that I don’t want to feel that particular More Monster ever again.  I say that particular More Monster because, of course, I have several more which is why I’m back…that and because I can’t afford therapy in the traditional sense.

All I know is that I feel a pull to the keyboard that I haven’t felt in a VERY long time.  A need to remove my thoughts and put them somewhere where I can properly arrange and re-arrange until I can make some sense of what is rolling around in there.  A need to PROCESS what is becoming a constant, and very boring btw, dialog about myself and how inadequate I am as a human.  In other words, my depression.  I’ve ridden this rollercoaster for so long now (almost 25 years) and I’m so bored with the whole process I could spit.  I’m so tired of hearing my own voice in my head that I just want her to shut the ever-loving fuck up – and that feeling scares me.  It feels like giving up on myself and accepting what is and that is not what I do.

I do not give up.

I was taking steps to find and see a therapist and I was about to pull the trigger when I realized how much it was going to cost me, out-of-pocket, to go and talk to a stranger about things that could just as easily be typed out in a blog for a others (or no one) to read.  It worked so well while I was getting sober why shouldn’t it work again?  In fact, while I was praying the other morning, the thought just popped in my head – WRITE.  Never being one to ignore a God moment I thought, “Well okay then!”

So this will likely start out with a long stream of consciousness that will essentially be gibberish until I have the time to sort it all out.  Fortunately the published versions of that gibberish will not actually BE gibberish as I’ve learned how to save things in draft to return (or not) later.  I hope that I can retrain my brain to vomit my thoughts all over the page again since that seems to be the only way for me to truly process what’s happening.

I may take this blog private depending on what I have to say or I may leave it public.  There are a few souls out there who I once trusted that I may or may not trust any longer and therefore with whom I do not want to share even more intimate details.  Then there are those that I actually NEED to hear from (you know who you are and even if you don’t, I’ll reach out to make sure you do) and even if I go private, they’ll know how to get to it.  Then again, I really love when random souls stumble on my writing and take away something.  It’s like I’m repaying the Universe for all those bloggers who loved me until I could love myself again.

But for now I’ll just say…

Namaste

Come on in…have some tea

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Last night I decided that my yoga practice would be one that focused on balancing my chakras.  Balancing chakras promotes wellness and healing in the body.  If this is all too woo-woo for you, know that you don’t have to practice its literal interpretation to get the benefits; just focusing on the centers and what they mean to you can help bring awareness to issues and may help you to heal them.

I tend to focus on the literal and last night was no different.  I was feeling fantastic and productive in my practice until I reached my “third eye” chakra.  This is the one that governs wisdom, intuition and awareness.  As soon as my teacher said intuition I thought,  “Mother’s intuition.” which then took me directly to my failure to recognize how sick Brian was when he had pneumonia several years back.  I’ve written about this ad nauseum so I will not bore you here.  Suffice to say I let my concern for money and lack of medical insurance override my mother’s intuition which said, “Hospital NOW!”

The guilt and shame washed over me like a tidal wave.  My first instinct was to push it down and tell myself to get over it because that’s what I’ve always done which led to “Oh yeah…how’s THAT working for ya?”  So I took a deep, cleansing breath and the next thought I had was, “Tea.”

A few years ago I found an amazing therapist who taught me a few things about dealing with my baggage and old shit that rolls around in my brain.  One of those things had to do with what to do when those feeling of guilt and shame came knocking on my door.  He said I should invite them to tea.  Invite them in, tell them to have a seat, pour them some tea and then just…be.  Those feelings are a part of me just like my green eyes and annoying optimism.  They exist and let me tell you from experience…they refuse to be silenced.  If you ignore them or stuff them down, they will manifest in other ways (drinking, eating, spending money to name a few) and bite you in the ass every time.

So I invited them in and I sat with them.  I actually visualize them as big blobs with names on them like Shame and Guilt and we all sit around a children’s play table with a proper tea service.  (Yeah…I know but that’s what’s in my friggin’ head.)  It wasn’t long before another, bigger and stronger feeling surfaced…FEAR.  That motherfucker gets me every time.  Again I just wanted it to go away but realized that it was just too big.  It took up most of the room.  So I invited it in and we all sat and just were.

Slowly but surely those feeling began to shrink and leave.  I repeated the mantra, “He’s fine.  God had your back.  He’s fine.” and they just faded away and were replaced by…maybe it was peace?  Acceptance?  I’m not sure but I felt a helluva lot better after that little exercise.

I know that incident will never leave me and that these feelings are likely to continue to pop up from time to time and that’s okay.  The great thing about good therapy is that it even after you stop going, you have tools that will help you the rest of your life if you choose to use them.

So, to my incredible therapist who may or may not be reading this, from the bottom of my heart…thank you.

Namaste

Time

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Something happened to me last year that has set in motion a deep thought process the likes of which I’ve never seen.

I turned 55.

There is something about that number that has me thinking about time.  All of a sudden, the time I have left on the planet has become finite.  What’s more, since my husband is 13 years older than I, his time is even more finite.  Let me go on the record as saying that I do not like this feeling.  Not one little bit.

Yes, yes I know that no one is promised tomorrow and that anything can happen to anyone but I’m talking about that feeling of, “I have plenty of time to do that!”  All of a sudden I started to think, “Ooops…maybe I DON’T have plenty of time to do that.”  Of course there is nothing in particular I want to do that I all of a sudden can’t do.  It’s more the feeling that time is running out, that it’s no longer on my side.

I think about when I was a kid and time had a way of standing still.  Christmas would NEVER come.  I would NEVER graduate and get the hell out of school.  That guy would NEVER ask me out and then once he did, the day would NEVER come.

As I got older it began to speed up, but only a little.  It wasn’t until I had kids that time took on lightening speed and after I turned 50 that Mr. Sulu took me to warp drive.  Now I blink and five years has sped by and I’m left thinking, “Wait.  What just happened?  I want a do over.”

I feel this urgency to get things done before that last grain of sand runs through my hour-glass (those are the Days of our Lives…sorry…couldn’t resist).  I want to get a post-graduate degree.  I want to write a memoir (doesn’t everyone).  I want to learn Spanish.  I want to travel to Europe and Alaska and Asia.  I want to be at the beach more.  I want to get and stay healthier each year so I have a better chance of extending my time.  I want to spend every waking moment possible with my kids and their kids so I’m ingrained in their memories (I know that’s morbid but isn’t that what I’m talking about here?)

I know I’ll do at least some of the above before I go anywhere, it’s the urgency that has me anxious.  It’s like Father Time is breathing down my neck more and more often these days.  (And yes I know that Father Time is a man…how else do you explain why women get old and men get distinguished?  Just sayin’.)  I wish that old fart would get off my back and go bother someone else.  Someone in their 90’s…just not Betty White or George and Barbara Bush okay?

Of course when I’m in my 90’s I’ll be requesting he vacate the premises and go bother some Tibetan monk who’s 110.  Old is always 20 years older than you are at any given time amiright?

For now I’ll just have to learn to sit with these feelings, maybe ask them in to tea.  We can sit together and get comfortable and maybe move toward acceptance of the fact that time does, in fact, move on and we move with it.

But I don’t have to like it.

Namaste