SLEEP

Grossly sleep deprived, my body couldn’t stay awake past 8PM. Waking at 2AM, there wasn’t a possibility of more sleep, and who is to say what is normal for any given individual, so up for coffee.

6 hours of sleep is an improvement over 4 from the previous night. My sleep becomes erratic easily, but it is going in the right direction.

Sometimes disciplining myself to stay in bed is rewarded with a few more hours of sleep. REM time is important, and another round would be healthful, but it isn’t happening today. My mind was not going to shut down. Who gets up at 2 in the morning if they don’t have to?

But here we are, the cat and me, cozy around the fire, and that will have to be OK for now.

A THANKSGIVING TABLE OF LOVE

PHOTO BY PATRICIA

How much is luck, or timing, and how much is due to my efforts at calming my interior? Because some mornings waking at 2AM, my body is so awake there’s no more sleeping.

Yet with self-talk to calm, bouts of sleep sometimes come, off and on till 6AM, but other times, no way. Does PTSD work like that?

A beast quiet at times, roaring at others?  And does self-esteem faulter, rise and drop hinged on whether the PTSD beast roars its ugly head? The tendency is to blame myself when it isn’t controlled, but is that fair, or even accurate?

No, of course not. Even the low blood sodium, making me anxious with concern, though my blasé doctor says it’s a lab error.

What have I done to cause it? Do others blame themselves for everything? No. The work to pull in compassion for myself, to seat myself at the thanksgiving table of self-love will be a daily job every day.

MOVEMENT in NATURE

What a difference a day makes.

“I feel so much better,” I said excitedly to Shane when he called on the way back from dropping his son off to middle school.

“I walked a lap and sat awhile by the water. My toe didn’t throb, so I was able to walk more rounds completing 5,” I added.

Walking and nature is so curative, the fresh air, movement, my blood waking up all other senses. Joyful feelings coursed through me once again thrilling as the sun burst forth spilling stripes of turquoise and pinks across the horizon.

Such a simple pleasure keeping all parts of me happy, hopeful, and healthy. A slide to depression occurred so fast without it!

THANKGIVING

Very often a comment of support from a stranger means more to me than anyone I know. Closeness can occur without meeting someone face to face. It occurs on-line where the world opens, and connections are made that help lift me and help me do more than just survive day to day.

Thank you Q, and to all the women on-line who have supported me through my blogging years.

PTSD

The PTSD rocket takes off without my permission, leaving many parts behind right here on earth. But a body can’t sleep splintered like that. On night three of rough, erratic sleep, a stronger sleep aid was resorted to.

Grogginess from it caused a bad fall the next morning possibly breaking a toe which throbs even now, also looking black and blue. That day, yesterday, a cardiology appointment was completed where a treadmill and ultrasound were used for my routine check-up. The gel felt so cold on my bare chest after huffing and puffing on the treadmill’s incline.

Though I did it, I cried like a baby during the undressing- the anxiety of the appointment, the hurt toe, but especially the after-effects of Xanax which always leaves me full of self-pity the next day for having to use it due to the traumas from childhood- bringing me right back to it all as if it were yesterday. Luckily the technician possessed all the qualities you’d want in a medical person, compassion, and competency.

“Everyone gets anxious at appointments. You’re doing great,” she said. (more than once)

“Samuel, will I ever heal from it?” I asked through tears, adding, “no wonder some people believe in reincarnation. No one reaches their full potential in one lifetime,” wondering how I could ever let this one person affect me so dramatically. Haven’t I grown? Can’t I find depth and wisdom to handle this, and rise above it?

Samuel doesn’t say much because I prefaced my lamenting by asking him not to say anything, to just let me express myself without trying to ‘fix’ it. So, he was blessedly quiet.

The peaceful lull of night after night of sleep ended as it always does, a happy period of sleep, then? Whether caused by an acquaintance who unfortunately is part of my inner circle of friends, or it just periodically happens because my bodily systems were broken in childhood, I just don’t know.

Seems too coincidental not to be due to this one person’s cagey deceitfulness reminiscent of my entire life; living in the shadows invisible to even myself because it made my mother’s life livable. And the others who did such monstrous things to their little sister. My close inner circle of those allowed in is limited. Rosalie doesn’t belong, yet there’s no way out of it.

Great effort is being put into trying to see some positives about having an untrustworthy person as part of my small, safe, inner circle. So far none has been discovered.

MAGIC

How to make this day magical. It isn’t outside of me, but within. Walking in the meadow then resting by the creek brings magic, the magic of great tranquility and peace.

My body unfolds like no place else except floating in the pool on a hot summer day. My body lives a life of tenseness. That nature can tenderly caress even my internal organs along with my psyche is a great gift to all parts of me.

Why? The answers aren’t fully known, but perhaps it is knowing that down by the creek my life is mine. The only one to bother me there is a squirrel or bright blue bird, or other forest creature.

But why there and not in the house? What is it about the house that tenses me? Even Samuel can cause a tenseness because it’s one person to please or displease.

The answer still eludes me, but the magic is real.

THREADS OF MYSTERY

Take yourself as you are. Whatever feelings are there, accept them even if you don’t want them, want distance from them, or don’t want them to be mine. Because if mine, does that make me a bad person?

Take it all, be in it, be in me. Fleeing makes it harder to become whole, authentically whole. Fear of criticism from others (or myself) spins denial of all that comes up, splintering, and splattering myself all over the place.

Solid and whole is the goal. That means accepting what might look and sound like pettiness. In doing so the pettiness is really pettiness of another. No wonder annoyance arose on my part. It was appropriate to the situation.

When first the habit is to attack myself, opening up with acceptance to all feelings is OK and so are you.

Wanting to move past all pettiness to deeper wisdom, it won’t happen by jumping over the potholes. All feelings need acknowledgment. There lie the answers of what makes you you. There lies the answer to mysteries, by untying the knots of confusion, then scattered threads weave together as one.

Body Irregularity

There was a type of event yesterday like the European craft fairs outdoors near Christmastime, Christkindl markets. Held at an old mansion in a small city nearby that I had gone to once before with my sister-in-law.

We had such fun, and it felt like an outing was needed again. After some thought about traffic, parking, and crowds, as it does draw a ton of people, I thought not.

Yet lying in bed in the dark of night, regret. My mind does that in the middle of the night, takes every decision deliberated thoughtfully during daytime and turns it into something regrettable and wrong.

It is my decision and there’s no real regret except wishing my sister-in-law still lived near-by. And maybe the wish that my body could handle such things more easily.

The real beast is my mind especially when waking at night. It captures every thought and takes it for a tumble down a dark hole making experiences the opposite of what they are.

That is the challenge. And last night the voice of reason came. After an adjustment to the drop of mood that fall brings with negativity that beats me up, the whisper of positivity has become stronger taking over the critic more easily.

The ups and downs are tempered with wisdom, but often I must dig deep to find it. Another new anxiety is recent routine bloodwork showing hyponatremia, a low blood sodium which never showed up before.

Both potassium and sodium are important to have in a normal range, so it makes me anxious. The only new thing that might have caused it was melatonin that the doc said I could take at night for sleep.

There are links between blood sodium and melatonin so I stopped it. Hopefully when a re-check of sodium is done in a week it will be normal.

Whenever anything in my body goes awry anxiety kicks up. But perhaps the culprit has been found and the condition corrected.

NOW

The focus needed to stay in the present moment takes energy, thought, and concentration. Too easily my mind slips away either to the future, the past, or the zone created as my ‘safe’ place from the here and now.

Yet it is in the present moment where my future is claimed, and all the past angst doesn’t matter because the preciousness of life folds in making me whole.

Bad Days Come

The hard-fought challenge each day is finding a way to my center making connection because too many days are left hanging, like pieces of me blowing side by side on a clothesline. No center, no hope, no peace.

Lack of sleep does it. Overwhelmed senses too, and that happens ever so easily even with happy interactions especially if it involves more than just one person.

No job, no nothing to do except whatever pleases me. Yet days occur where my being is disjointed like paint splattered on the wall, dots of me so far apart there is no cohesion.

The shattering in childhood means special care now, a need making me rebellious, desiring instead to go along at a pace others go at. Samuel’s out in the meadow daily, mowing for the once-a-year removal of any trees or bushes growing which inhibit our view of the creek, or hand buzzing them. Then sleeps like a bear.

No overstimulation or over-tiredness to stop him from sleeping, nor the worry machine that often kidnaps my brain into a realm of negativity. And others, friends, sons, their wives… all sleep, and even have a positive view of the world DAILY.

I must remind myself that in this season where depression doggedly comes uninvited, each day is challenging enough. Add lack of sleep and the pits of bleak darkness pull me down into blackness where no amount of self-talk helps.

Blessedly sleep came after a fitful day of tears. Peace once again with connection to my core.