PEACE

Snow frosted trees, big flakes falling. Later in the day warm March sun melted it all except patches of white in the shade of the pines. My boots sucked into the mud on the path, ducks flying off at my approach. An otter swam busily to the creek side lighting upon the log then slipping back into the cold black water. The current runs strong with the overflow from the melt.

It is a period of grace, without my squirrel brain a ’worrying, and sleep coming night after night. A time of rest, with enough energy to enjoy various outings, gatherings, and get-together’s.

My son and grand-kids came for brunch. The monthly women group of friends met Sunday for hours of cards, laughter and fun. A shopping trip to the mall and lunch with a friend satisfied a need for exercise and socialization. .

Sleep brings energy to do these things.Gratitude blossoms as this lull in anxiety yields to quiet peaceful joy. 

 

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TRANSITION

photo by Patricia

As the criticizer comes crashing down, coming to a head as the joy of spring meets the depression of winter, I choose gratitude and to look upon my life as one of success; not the critic’s choice… a stain of regret and failure. What a see-saw time of emotion, which is indicative of much of my life; two opposing events, emotions, or ways of looking at things.

Love and hate. Joy and sorrow. How to make room for both in one being, and feeling them, one then the other, or both at once. I loved my mother, and hated her. Sometimes moments of appreciation occur for a life lived with persistence and hard work, but then a bat towards myself about failed relationships, regrets and what if’s.

My heart feels as if physically wrapped in barbs ready to break free or be punctured. A prayer to the universe, Please let go of the wires , Release the strictures, let my heart pump freely.  

Joy and hope burst forth when sprouts rise from the brown earth, joy that suppressed itself all through the difficult winter keeping my flagging spirit up enough to face each day. With more light comes an appetite for pleasures, wanting to do more, see more, be with others more.

The critic needs knocking down, and the soft voice of acceptance reminding me of successes wants voice, and must be given room to speak with an amplifier to hear the whispers of truth.

Yes mistakes were made, be prepared to make more, but look at all you have, and all you have done. As daylight lengthens, so does my ability to see things more beautiful. Food tastes better, scents are noticed more deeply, and stunted feelings open up to possibilities.

 

Labile/Anxiety

“Here is an article about sleep,” Samuel said, moving the AARP magazine closer.

A few days passed before picking it up. Most of the suggestions, like not drinking coffee later in the day, and keeping a regular bed-time, are things already in motion, but one suggestion caught my eye; CBT-I Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Sleep disturbances over the last month have become severe. So is the search for confidence, well-being, fullness, or any other feeling offering succor. The coldness outside froze my insides. Regret frosted growth spiraling me backwards. Coming off the ‘path,’ I became lost in the forest of doubt, anxiety, and depression.

I’m doing my homework. Many sites seemed like scams, wanting money for completing this therapy on-line, which can be done without a therapist if the depression is mild. But one has offered guidance, already easing my mind and body during the night so that sleep came even after two separate trips to the bathroom.

You know the work. Someone wrote on my blog that maybe you won’t have to constantly keep telling yourself you are OK throughout the day. And my squirrel mind felt criticized, though the remark was a caring and compassionate one. I do need to tell myself that day and night. Living is fearful for me.

Danger lurks around every corner, and in every relationship. My job is to allay unfounded fears, challenge them, offer other plausible scenarios, and so much more pinpointed clearly in these articles. Looking at things less rigidly offers more solutions. Maybe there aren’t aren’t any, so stop worrying over what you can’t change or influence positively.

I took notes. It was so helpful, and the notes will be kept handy as this transition from winter to spring takes place. Even if not read again, they are my security blanket; you’re not alone, and there is a way. 

Labile emotions, joyful to the moon one day, the next a waterfall of tears. The tears come like this each spring, a washing off of winter depression, cleaning out the dull, brain chemicals opening windows for happy endorphins that bring balance. I will get there, and do the work.

http://cogbtherapy.com/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-exercises/

Spring to Come

photo by Patricia

The Cold wet ground, sodden with melted snow.

Geese squawking, red-wingers trilling melodically,

The repose so sought, brought by digging into the earth.

The spade into soil recently unfrozen.

Bulbs already sprouted covered,

And when the snow returns will slow them down,

Until,

Until, like me, they blossom under the warm sun.

The Things We Learn

And so it goes, recovery. Shane forgives, why can’t I? We spent time together watching his son play in his basketball tournament winning by a landslide. But more sweetly was time with Shane after my regretful expression of long standing anger which had built up over time. 

Shane’s voice sounded dry and some ground needs making up. The call this morning started with the same coolness, but ended with ‘love you,’ something he had left out of the last few calls. We will resume our monthly lunch dates, though his office is on the other side of the city.

There hasn’t been lunch dates the last few years because after three hospital stays in one year, fear had grown in my belly. Even shopping at the grocery store brought uneasiness, anxiety, and ungroundedness.

As health restored, and internal bleeding became better controlled by the daily high potent antacid, my bravery at doing more increases. That long ago stomach stapling caused severe complications due to the newness of the procedure putting my life at risk over the loss of so much blood.

Though one ER doctor pressed for blood transfusions, another suggested recovery was possible without it, Over the 4 day stay a few years back, I managed to improve without the transfusions. But at home full recovery took many months to heal the internal opening made by the surgeon in ’85.

Eating often caused debilitating pain for hours afterwards. Now that things are more stable, lunch dates might be a very good way to again spend some time with my busy son. He sounded happy to hear of resuming our lunches. So mending occurs on all levels. 

So often my own sufferings are kept to a minimum when it comes to relaying them to my sons. Why burden them? Yet being factual is also necessary, which means being upfront about challenges. 

Things we learn along the way…

Intimate Friend

Waking in the dark, first thoughts gather in my belly as a feeling of want, a yearning for a close woman friend. A loss that has been there for a very long time. One who knows. One who has suffered deeply, yet the time spent together isn’t about the long gone past, but dealing with now. A relationship of depth.

This closeness is now found only on-line. With those I can’t hug, sit and have tea with, or go for a walk with. An emptiness yawns open with the loss of my friend who died, and the one who moved to another state. We still email occasionally, checking in on each other, but it’s not the same as sitting with her around the warm stove, or down by the creek.

Friends don’t arrive by stork. One must seek them out by going into the world, a place still found to be inhospitable. Solace is found more easily at home where a safer world opens wide at the end of my finger-tips on the keyboard to all countries.

Though grateful for that in all ways, still, a need unfilled calls out in the quiet moments before dawn dispels the shadows of want with light.

 

TRADITIONS

photo by Patricia

Temps dip to 10 degrees but I’m not discouraged. Time springs forward this weekend, and sleep already is balancing out with enough hours together to get those REM’s in. Health feels restored, even working in the studio has resumed with happy hours whittling by as sun pours in upon my shoulder.

Improved sleep might have to do with more light and longer days, or enough time passing so that my son once again began calling on his way to work. The break was needed as so much kept pouring out me we both needed a break. The excess was written, not sent, now it can be deleted.

Sometimes the lava flows. It would be much better to see him regularly if he manages to fit us in with his busy workload, social engagements, kids here there and everywhere. My fear is that someday he will look back and wish he did.

Calls on the way to work keep me posted on all the little details in his life, but it isn’t the same as being together in a relaxed environment where these things can be discussed as they come up, and in a gentle, more loving way.

Hopefully he will take me up on the offer of Sunday’s here, bringing the kids with him. Memories of Sundays at Grandma’s are so sustaining. My older brother, more like a father at the time, brought donuts and the Sunday paper. Never will the look of complete joy on my Grandmother’s face be forgotten.