GRACE

PHOTOS BY PATRICIA, over the meadow

During an illness nothing seems right, not my relationships nor my ability to interact with people with grace and tolerance. An old shrew, or so it seems.

Under that is a broken person unable to trust. How that has interfered with a warm, loving life is inconceivable. Yet there it is.

While so ill, wondering if the severe pain might lead to death because it was that serious, the negatives plagued me unable to retain any good thought.

On my death bed (sorry to sound morbid), I don’t want to lie there thinking of all the bad that I could have done better at. So, things that get in the way of the life preferred, and more importantly of the person I’d be proud to be, need work now.

Though I’ve worked daily, is it enough? Can I do more? Can I take the leap of trusting a bit more, and garnering a little more faith in people? To let the petty stuff slide off, and accept people where are- looking underneath their seeming hurtfulness to understand what may be hurting them?

Grape leaf in early morn…

GIRLFRIEND TIME

Trying not to feel? Or trying to turn feelings around instead of feeling the scratchy rawness of loss or memories.

As leaves begin to drift down there is both magnificence in their colors and the vibrant sunsets along with a feeling of wanting to go back and recapture a life now over as the next phase moves forward.

A rare gift of a friend stopping by while we gaily drank tea and chatted, then walked the meadow in the sunshine after a week of rain. What relationships built up, not dozens, just a few, drifted away during and after the pandemic.

Those close to me fell away, no phone calls, no visits, and missing girlfriend time became sharp with need. So, with my invite she came, and we made a shopping date also with lunch.

As fall sets in closing around me, breaking free is necessary and doing so with fun times that bring me out to do things. So, what else can be arranged? There are willing partners, but my willingness is also needed. Time to step out a bit.

ANXIETY BEAST

Walls close in shrinking me as days grow darker, then sunshine. Soaking it in as if every cell is thirsty for its nourishment, walking then just sitting on the front porch glider, the sun’s warm hug making me whole.

Then it drops and with it? Me, sinking back into my hole, one that though familiar as it has happened every winter in memory, is still not by choice. As if wrapped like a ball of twine, pieces hanging off unraveling.

What to do with the twisted threads as they dangle outside of myself with no place to go? Trapped. The cold making it harder and harder to feel free, be free, walk the fields as if a bird with wings.

The coziness of winter slowly begins to settle in, and with it an excuse for hibernation, but I’m not quite there yet, not ready to give up the magnificence found this summer especially in those early moments when everyone was still asleep.

The sun peeked over the horizon on many misty mornings revealing an array of reds, golds, and oranges that took my breath away. Meadow walks sustained my soul, but what now?

It looks and feels dull. All the birds gone except a quiet few. The crunch of nuts beneath my feet foretelling the drabness of winter to come. Just keep going, managing the blah of winter with fun pastimes and an upbeat outlook.

CRAFTING

Good days in summer just happen. How could they not with sun time on the patio and the meadow invitingly calling with its greens, golds, and all colors of summer?

In the darker months it takes effort to reveal what’s important and fun to make a task of. Delighting grandchildren is one of them.

With the endless rain it was time to dust off the elliptical feeling my heartrate accelerate healthfully. Then onto crafting for Halloween, another package to send through the mail for grandchildren in the neighboring state.

That fills my heart and keeps hands, head, and spirit happily busy.

We Will Never Pass This Way Again

With rest my sanity returns, and with it my mundane life as it sadly turns that way when daylight lessons. Then the challenges of finding fun and magic increase, though it’s the little things that are magical.

Even a moment of being in it, after a life of zooming around it, my mind twirling above my body as escaping from it since the age of 8 has been necessary to survive.

When things feel boring, that is when all is well. Because chaos has been the norm. Boring is peace. So look into every moment. It will not pass this way again.

SLEEP!

If you add not sleeping to the list of challenges, the dive off the cliff is complete, my basket case status secure. Thoughts ran dizzily like a non-stop train down a mountain.

Taking the dreaded Xanax one night when 2AM said ‘hello’, meant going off the dear little marijuana plant’s tiny bit of oil for three nights till the Xanax cleared. Mixing both lead to over a year of hell till the doctor mentioned that mixing the two wasn’t a good idea.

That dreaded Xanax. Telling myself that it’s a disease, and no blame is put on a person for their disease, the next several nights were fitful lacking the full sleep needed. What that does to thoughts is dreadful, especially when less daylight has already turned them sour.

Thinking maybe a week should go by without using the magical oil, after three nights and lack of sleep, it was used last night. 8 ½ hours of sleep followed. Sleep, lovely, miraculous SLEEP!

All is well with the world once again.  

They Go

And so they go and with them goes my heart, because one part of my soul was born with my son and he carries that part away. No wonder that even after 18 years of leaving home, a wife and 3 children, missing him still occurs.

He lives so far away! At least they didn’t see my tears this time. That’s an improvement. And the raw emptiness of pain didn’t overwhelm me, it was more in line with just a mother who misses her son, not an endless cave sinking past earth into the infinite universe.

Because growth has occurred, that of finding a connection with self, a grounding, a place to call home, be home, and find solace.

A solace no one else can give me.

Cursed Blessings

The gaiety of my son’s visit from a neighboring state with his wife and 3 little ones sent my PTSD rockets off to the stratosphere. My head went spinning, more so my nervous system because even happy events set them off.

Time spent the first night with my granddaughter reading her a bedtime story then singing a lullaby was my usual time to wind down for the night, but how could that precious time be resisted?

By 1AM after two attempts to sleep the stronger sleep aid was needed. It gave me 5 uninterrupted hours of sleep causing a need to refrain from the birthday party the next evening at my other son’s when a rare occurrence of us all being together happened around a campfire. (all except me)

The tears wash down hating to feel sorry for myself due to the blessings of having such wonderful sons yet needing to recuse myself from the partying. Time alone in quiet brought me back into my body and brought sleep. I am cursed with C-PTSD due to the early traumas that went unprocessed at the time, yet blessed in so many other ways, especially family.

PEACEFUL SADNESS

Feelings of happy with sad mix like cake batter. Tears squeeze out against my better judgement, while a quiet stillness resides internally.

Tranquility. That’s the happy, my usual modus operando is anxiety. To deny the sadness is to deny authenticity.

Making room for sadness alongside peace with compassionate acceptance while acknowledging the spinning thoughts spilling out of my brain is the job of day.

JOY

Dark and cool, up before others, and in summer it was a joy. But these darker days the light is needed, so why not a fire because it is still too dark to walk the meadow.

The glow brightens everything considerably, and the fingernail moon dazzles me with its brilliance along with the snapping fire’s warmth. Soon the dawn breaks enough to walk leaving the fire but coming back to it.

Sun causes me to walk again yet sprinkles of rain mix with it making me smile with nature’s way of poking fun. Turning the corner back up by the hedgerow, a bunny’s cotton tail bobs as it hops away.

Looking up a stunner, unexpected rainbow appears, and my smiles of delight broaden. My day is made in the early mornings. A better sleep with morning excitement, some made, many given, once again fills with me joy.   

PTSD BEAST Meet SAD (Seasonal Depression)

The PTSD beast strikes again, out of nowhere, for no reason fathomable or easily identified. It just does. And after a few weeks of deep, happy, (miraculous) sleep, the interference is felt deeply especially the next day. Though tossing and turning in bed isn’t much fun either.

Like other times, it will calm down and sleep will come again. It’s not helpful for sadness bordering on despair that settles in when daylight lessons with autumns approach. Take blah and pick it apart like a daisy, love me, love me not?

Where has that haven so recently discovered within that welcomes with light, softness and love gone? Because glimmers of self-love had begun. Autumn did a good job of stripping the oasis of its cushioning warmth.

With work it will come again. For a serious human being, because since age 8 surviving took away childhood and entrenched a serious outlook of life in my core, these added stressors aren’t easy to cope with.