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.  

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.

BRR…

OK, so your mood dropped like a rock in a dry well. And first thoughts upon waking are with the critic whipping me even over decisions that needed to be made for my own well-being.

Good twisted to bad. The overall feeling of blah bleakness, well, you needn’t be victim to it. Though it happens every year it feels like the first time in its depth and scope.

You’ve cleared the critic off the shelf before, many times, and often many times throughout a day. So, do it more, as much as needed.

Just when needing to feel whole and in yourself, don’t abandon you. This is when the most kindness, compassion, and gentleness is needed; the reality of who you are, and all that has been accomplished.

The windows this morning are shut to 44-degree temperatures. Brr… and it is too quiet without birds, crickets, and the happy sounds of squirrels in the trees waking to collect more nuts to hide in the grass. Too quiet.

Resisting the TV or radio, just sit with it. Let it all be felt, what’s there being recognized so that when starting the day it is with wholeness not fakery. Challenges are real, so when taking them on kudos can be absorbed.

Pretending happiness when not? But finding it. Take yourself places, whether indoors or out, to those places of ‘happy.’ You can do it. It is different, as different as the seasons, but you can. The cold causes reflection about what thrills me, and if it’s lost, how to find it.

Making Magic

A NEW DAY

A day of joy, the sun warming body and soul, then off the rails. Sleeping like a bear for over 9 hours, then the next night- is it time to get up as it seemed a bit light out. But sorrowfully no, it is 3 AM. The rocket of PTSD had launched, and worries crowded my brain.

By 4 the forced stay in bed was given up. Sitting in the dark on the porch at the time is lonesome. And the day with less sleep pulled me down more.

Fall’s sweeping drop in mood fell like a crashing elevator. Usual challenges increased tenfold; negativity, worries, repetitive thinking- not about happy things, even those turned sour.

When craving my mother’s love- as was yesterday, then my own love of self, or the work towards such a miracle, goes by the wayside. What about love of self?

The self-talk began anew. You can do this. I can take this day and make it my own. You know that the 3AM waking is PTSD flaring up, so roll over and go back to sleep Worries are cornered back into slumber.

A new day, didn’t the Queen say that?

“Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.” – Christmas broadcast, 2002.

HEALING? Yes & No

The Morning Goddess: enthralling throughout summer due to the unusually cool nights.

Talk of ‘healing’ makes my stomach turn. There is no healing, only managing the damage done. Well, there is, and isn’t.

The horrific feeling of being abnormal has mostly healed, though left with struggles of self-esteem permanently. But my internal ‘home’ offers more welcome and understanding as to why that exists accepting it with a more loving embrace.

And yes, admittingly there is healing in many areas, yet much damage was done by silencing me as a child causing irreparable damage than cannot be healed, changed, or reversed in any way, only coped with daily.

These are the truths of my life. To silence me at age 8 after a violent rape. To not administer medical attention. To leave me all alone with it stuffed inside for decades, because you and your cohorts (your sons) couldn’t bear that truth be told- that caused irreversible damage. Not what they did but silencing me and forcing me to be alone with it.

An 8-year-old child? Pummeled again and again by your other sons as they satisfied teenage lust on my little body? All alone. Suffering. Holding it in then- and for my life to come, until you died. (in my fifties)

By then it was too late. Though it all came out in my writings, every egregious ghastly detail, and with it the joys that were stuffed too, the damage was done. Repression represses joy too, creating a walking robot without feelings.

After you died I started to live, learning wholeness and love for self. It was my choice to remain gagged so that the little crumbs of love you gave could sustain me because I had not yet learned to love myself. How could I when who I was had been locked away?

The chronic severe C-PTSD is here to stay. There is no denying it, or if so, as with much of my life trying to keep up with others, unhealthy ramifications occur. There isn’t fear to jump in and try, but rather an outcome of disease. In trying to do things my body cannot cope with the severity increases exponentially.

Like camping. As the camper left yesterday swirling panic almost descends watching Samuel get it ready for the buyers to take it. Neither of us want to let go of over 40 years of camping in the woodsy mountains- campfires, biking among the pines down to the pristine lake, canoeing, our paddles softly licking the water’s surface as the loons near-by take a dive, sunsets of salmon, rose, and magenta, so many pleasures let go of.

But good-bye it was, along with all the gear, because my body cannot cope with being anywhere but home. When not home, finding my own home internally is about impossible.

So many years of pretending because that was required to be part of a ‘family.’ That caused the damage. Traumas kept inside caused physical ailments that worsen with age. The spirit, mind, and body are connected, and so much has been injured due to forced censoring that no amount of therapy of any kind will relieve or fix.

Only loving care to manage it. All the many things that need attending to are only attended to in the safety of my own home. And it does not have to make me weep, it can be decided on instead to bring me joy- joy in living, joy in finally feeling I have a right to be here too, joy in the little things which sweep me away with their beauty. Joy in that I finally honor the reality of where I am and why, learning who I am and liking what I find.

CANDYBAR DAY

Sometimes a girl just needs chocolate. If the candy is made with fat free condensed milk, graham crust with just a little margarine, and unsweetened organic coconut, is that considered healthy? Magic bars magically feel good, the molten chocolate swirling my brain chemicals with happy vibes.

After the orgy, just sitting, all day sitting, my body hardly moving, I began to feel better. But it’s so off the mark of should dos, and the critic had to be shut up- yammering away at ‘should and should nots.’

Sometimes it’s not laps around the meadow that cures, but stillness. As summer collapses around me, kissing the pool good-by after Samuel covers it for the season, and all the windows are shut to the cold shutting out the sounds of crickets, birds, and other wildlife, the silence plummets me down to depths I’d forgotten.

Just hardly months ago my being was used to dullness and the down mood of winter. And a friend reminded me of its coziness. It is good to have friends. But it is in me that the will must be found to face every day, because some days it isn’t there as if, not another?

Weak, vulnerable, fallen off the precipice of sunlight and joy into darkness so suddenly, the will of finding that light in other ways almost completely escapes me.

Stillness, not moving, enjoying the rapture of chocolate, all things social norms encourage one NOT to do, as busyness, productiveness, and ‘eating your greens,’ are the goals… quietness ensconcing my most inner being brings me back in to myself- back home.