Feelings Need Comfort

photo by Patricia

Listening to news brings deep vibrations of fear coupled with anxiety. Maybe not watching would relieve it, yet every scrap is consumed needing to know, be prepared, and to be preventative. Like a moth to flame, or to safe ground?

Trying not to feel what is there doesn’t work only pushing me to old habits of stuffing my body with unwanted food, no longer an escape that helps much. Causing great dis-ease instead, intensifying fears because now my own actions are causing harm. And it is a very big clue that emotions need tending to with care, gentleness and compassion.

So feel the feelings. Oh that. Yes, feel it. These feelings don’t run through dissipating like others moving on to the next issue. These rumble on as the emergency heightens.

So continue with the things that keep my body strong and healthy. Meditation. Time in nature with the relaxing repose by the creek after lap 5, healthy nutrition, sleep, and past-times that unwind stressed nerves.

 

The Breath

photo by Patricia

Staying in my body, attuned to the breath, and doing things with as much attention as possible. The tiny things that once brought pleasure, still can; the sparkle of the twirling glass beads sending prisms dancing on the wall. The cat’s antics as she races around the house spinning in place because her paws can’t find traction.

The fear in my belly subsides after doing all that can be done to keep us safe, but going out into the world whips up the alarm bells keeping sleep at bay. Holding a sign through the window, the Walmart grocery worker nods then loads up the trunk waving when done.

Returning home a quandary exists. How long to leave out non-perishables before the virus dies on its own. Spraying the cold and freezer foods, the bathroom spray not drying on the products so it drips as it’s loaded into the refrigerator.

On-line it says this virus can live frozen for 2 years.

“You sprayed it,” Samuel responds to my worried announcement reading it aloud.

But the worries upset an already fragile nervous system keeping me awake. Anxiety thrums universally throughout the world, in most of those aware of the reality. Some choose not to know. For most there is a level of fear present.

Do what can be done. Seclude from the public, go to the store only when necessary, then try to go on. A tear rolls down my cheek listening to the news as a sound man from one of the major channels dies from the virus. He was much younger than me. Eyes water hearing several area nursing home come up with a positive result. The thought of the elderly, or myself, dying alone scared because no can visit rolls through my mind vividly. 

Reports of people lying in hospital hallways in Spain. Our leader is not taking care of us, and those images could soon be happening here in our country. It is dreadful that health care workers do not have what they need. It is hard enough without that problem. With a country that is supposedly as great as ours, how could this be?

It is so because we have a leader disconnected to reality consumed with himself.

Powerless to stop him, life can still be lived in each precious moment. Breathe, breathe deeply and long. We sit on the patio in the sun for a long time absorbing the heat, relaxing to my core. Full relaxation is a powerful friend to the immune system. Seek it out in whatever way it can be found. 

 

EACH MOMENT

It couldn’t be true that fear lay in my belly. Cocooned in our little home, my belief is I’m above becoming terrified of an arriving virus. Yet why suddenly had eating without hunger become all consuming? There is usually a reason, especially after all was going so well.

The robotic state of constant numbness from overeating returns instantly when fear seeps in. You’re making excuses, the harsh voice whips. Am I? Could it be terror? Yes, terror. Never far away especially when feelings of victim-hood, helplessness, or powerlessness visit.

Eating it away doesn’t make it go away, only boxes it in wrapped with self-hate. I can do without the hate. Only with compassion can the terror be unearthed, real terror that feels shameful as if it is something to hide.

But on the news the influx of others seeking therapeutic assistance has increased greatly, even if virtually on-line for safety reasons. Those with anxiety or depression issues are hit especially hard. Duh.

It is with compassion that acceptance of real feelings and my whole self occurs. That’s missing when the eating machine emerges. Food was, and is, the bank vault locking in terror tightly so that daytime life can go on. Not good sustenance at all, just a habit since age 8, a survival tool that hinders my health and well-being.

As a child that was what mother insisted. Go on as if nothing happened Love your brothers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, monsters who look human. Nighttime terror locked in daily with food, the one thing she gave freely.

Identifying the terror is the first step. Then do all that you can to protect yourself, especially while out in public which is very little except picking up groceries and other items. Even that is being curbed as much as possible. My friends continue church services, and attendance in chorale and other groups. Which is why I am not going to attend our upcoming monthly gathering, or the next month’s.

As one not involved in group things, seeing them exposes me to their perspective groups of people. Each of their families, kids, and grand-kids, and all the separate churches because each belongs to a different church. So our little gathering of 5 exposes me to a much greater population.

At the risk of anyone saying I’m overdoing it, feeling safe needs focus and respect. I’m worthy of listening to my own rationale as an intelligent person, not going along with others because they know best, or because getting together doesn’t worry them.

It worries me. They don’t know what’s best for me, only I do. The hammerings of  negatives in my head are not coming from others, only me. Just say no, and know you are doing the right thing. 

Do what can be done to protect myself. Accept that terror is there which helps lessen it. Come back into myself, into each moment, feeling the new thick carpet under my bare feet in the bedroom. The sparkle from hanging gems sending prisms dancing on the wall as the sun sets, an orange orb that dazzles my eyes with brilliance

Come back to this precious moment. Each one comes never to come again. Be here now.  

Que Sera, Sera

As the start of spring unfolds, so too the impending virus, marching across the country like a plague. My mind says, go ahead eat. Because eating numbs anxiety replacing it with an anxiety accustomed to— self-hate. And that doesn’t feel good either.

Face the terror. Yes, death might come to either myself or Samuel. My mind takes off; sick, out of respirators, death, alone, unloved, cold. Or vice versa, Samuel hospitalized without the ability to sit with him due to his quarantine, and death, leaving me alone.

And there is the more real probability of neither of those. Yet the low thrumming terror has been blotted by eating leaving me deadened to fullness or satiety eating things in a way that began at age 8. Eat to numb the pain, terror, and abandonment.

Stop. Face it. Feel it. If the worse happened is living paralyzed until it might come any way to live? Stuck in a chair eating because I’m too scared to move? Or walking the meadow taking in every moment with openness loving what is there.

The sun broke out in the late afternoon calling me. Grabbing hiking shoes that are waterproof to the muddy path, donning coat and hat, the walk, despite so much dull drab browns and greys, was stunning in its earthy splendor. Birds singing, sunshine burst through the puffy clouds.

Movement of my body brought sweat. Off went the coat, lap after lap. My body loved it. Work begins on facing the crisis internally where numbness was achieved by old patterns of eating that make me feel sick not well.

Face the anxiety, sit with it, feel it. Seriousness has been a state of being since age 8. Because survival is a serious business. But other feelings have emerged over time, especially a connection with my central core, or soul, no matter what is happening externally.

That is lost when any form of numbing is initiated. Connection to self. Numbing is rejection of self, even if for decades it saved me. My path now craves wholeness, connection, and peace.

BLOOM

photo by Patricia

Waking, the same dead dragging feelings wake too always present in my core needing work to banish and confront. Sipping coffee rocking by the fire, watching the cat pretend hunt on the porch through the sliding glass doors, the question presents itself— why?

Why always awaking with pessimism framed with rocks of depression? Why goes back to Chet, not the first attacker, but one who held me captive long after the attacks stopped. Captive in badness. Knowing it wasn’t my fault wasn’t known then.

Like weeds overtaking gardens with deeper, tenacious, stronger roots than flowers, thoughts and beliefs that developed in childhood grew thick and heavy, solidly intertwined, and muscled. Hack away at it, they grow back while sleeping waking as if all that happened was yesterday.

The feelings, the heaviness of blackness believing myself bad, abnormal, abhorrent really, not fit to be born, surely not fit to live, craving relief from the pain even if it meant thoughts of death for decades to come.

Why? Isn’t laughter, light and joy part of being alive too? Can’t these feelings dance? Why must the feelings upon waking be so forlorn? What else is there? As the delicious black brew is enjoyed, more of what’s hidden wakes too.

Wind blows through the tree limbs with a song as geese fly overhead, nature melodies comforting. Spring, a time to dance, play and laugh, as in any season if one tries, but spring is especially exciting. 

 

FRAGILITY

Afraid to be awake, unable to fall asleep, a combination that haunts what had been mostly peaceful days. Feeling like soaring into the sky like a bird with freedom one day when temperatures are in the fifties and the suns full out, then the boom of racing thoughts with great heaviness, my body moving through quicksand as the cold pierces and the wind howls with swirling snow.

This is the stuff of spring, shedding off winter but getting stuck in the coat sleeves. One day euphoric, the next, my head on the pillow with every thought a worry or concern. My concoction of CBD oil infused with whole plant oil is dwindling. Access to whole plant oil in New York is not yet legal, and the second bottle is all that is left.

It seems to help with the racing thoughts when trying to sleep, and cutting back on it using only CBD oil meant the last several nights were upset with insomnia. Is this just in my thoughts, or real? Taking a half dropper as was my usual along with half a dropper of CBD oil last night, instead of cutting back, brought sleep back again.

Something else to worry about as the transition into spring makes me crazy. It seems to smooth everything out, taking my frazzled nerves burnt out from PTSD since age eight, and oiling them up with soothing bliss— not the usual horrendous negative worrying that keeps my head spinning. It is a tonic that will soon run out. Though stores of CBD oil are in my closet, it seem to work best fortified with the real stuff. (which is double the price)

Fact or fiction. Does it work because I believe in it, or does it really? I’m thinking it really works. Why else do so many people want it and buy it? Rolling out of bed to greet the day, it is met with a grumpy fearful attitude. Sometimes the fright is more prominent depending on what is happening in my aging body.

“I’m seeing flashes of light in my eye,” I say to Samuel worriedly.

“That happened to me,” Samuel says.

“Should I see the eye doctor?” I ask.

“No, you’ll be alright by morning,” he said.

“Or I’ll be blind,” I mutter walking to the bedroom.

And it went away, coming back again that night but less vividly. And in its place new ‘floaters,’ little black things swimming in the eye that started many years ago. This new one is front and center, and very noticeable because it’s new. Floaters are common as eyes age, but flashes of light were frightening. One more weird thing in my body to deal with. It would hard without Samuel to talk to.

The fragility of life makes me want to capture time even on these cold, cold, days. Take each moment in my hand, head, and heart memorializing its preciousness by making imprints throughout.

WARRIOR

Feeling sorry for myself for so easily being pulled into the past where fear, powerlessness, and hopelessness swirled like a constant tornado, and because the day called for something lovely baking in the house, cinnamon rolls were made from dough using the bread machine.

The problem with sugary treats is that it rings a bell in my brain saying, MORE. And the day is lost not counting calories, which also means losing self-respect. And that does not make me happy.

So a new day with more resolve about what really matters; renewed dreams, goals, and the excitement of living. Always it was food my mother used to help me fill the holes left ragged by rape and abuse. It is a habit taught to me, but not restraining me. I have free will. It is mine to own.

It is a battle not going away started at age 8 after Danny’s attack, and will forever be there haunting me like drooling, starving, rabid dogs. The abyss of self-love always yawning wide open for filling.

The beastly hole is daunting needing loving comfort, not hate. Filling it with food when the soft words won’t come, because soft words for myself are not my forte’, ends up causing more pain instead of the comfort sought.

Daydreams of cookies, ice cream, cake, or pie dance like sugar plums of happiness in my head. The feelings are temporary turning in on themselves like the savage dogs of need after the numbness of satisfaction wears off.

Left in its wake are the same deprecating sneers Tommy enjoyed making towards me throughout life. He knew no boundaries when it came to putting me down. I seem to have readily taken up where he left off. 

It will stay this way, but how to handle it can evolve, and is evolving. Softer words, kindness to self, opening my arms to accept myself, all going against what I was taught. All things not learned through life and are yet to achieve. Steps forward then backwards. The way to get even is to give myself the opposite of what I learned—- love, safety and acceptance.

And though challenging, ongoing, and taking persistent work, it is doable, possible, and a war worth winning— slaying the ghosts one by one, over and over again.