SUNSHINE!

Kite flying on Mother’s Day- photos taken by grandson, age 13!

Shaking off the dust and despair of winter takes focus because feeling down became a habit over the dark dreary months.

They pull me down no matter how attacked; walking through snow even on the coldest days, keeping busy, using full spectrum lighting- nothing really perks me up except spring’s sunshine permeating my bones, blood, and brain.

The happy chemicals have come back to stay.  

Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused.  (Google info.)              

HELLO SELF!

Disconnection with ‘self’ causes a hollowness internally so expansive that falling into it is an endless dive through an empty crevasse. The pain in the freefall is sharp, severe, and ever there.

Losing my way brings back that rift, emptiness wrapped in loneliness the only hug.

As days grow longer and sunshine seeps into my bones, hope, energy, and aliveness help counter the tendency since childhood to self hate.

The hate makes for loneliness, because no matter how caring others might try to be towards me, if not caring for my own self, no way is warmth allowed in.

You dare show compassion? No. Yet in these softer days when home internally is sought and found, compassion comes in then flows outward.

It is not all luck that brought me here and kept me alive. Hard work, persistence, grueling persistence, and dedication with a great will to live, survive, and thrive has brought me thus far.

And appreciating these facts is OK and deserved. The decades of doggedly sticking to the right thing, learning to do what needed to be done, especially for my boys. That both graduated from a prestigious college due to their hard work in high-school earning them scholarships. And chosen to work as resident assistants during their years of studies which paid for room and board. How awesome is that?

Instead of the constant harangue of badness, look at the good. For a self-hater that is a struggle even during summer. It is OK to rest on my laurels even if for a little bit, enough to at least appreciate them. And as the sunny days accumulate that becomes more possible, warmth flowing in with the sunshine. Sunshine brightens brain chemicals chasing the critic down the path in front of me. The ability to feel good makes mee manic with joy.

Years of struggle, saving every penny while hanging cloth diapers around the wood stove, and shopping for necessities at garage sales; clothes, toys, household items, just about anything and everything to pay bills each week.

That struggle and being so frugal has been what brought us to this place of peace where we can retire but still handle our expenses, a miracle still shiny to me after all those years of barely making ends meet.

It feels so good to feel good after despairing winter months…

Welcome Spring

The sun came out

and I shined too.  

A curative dose,

waking me.

Lap after lap

of discovery.

Geese, trumpeter swan,

bluebirds, robins, chipmunks,

and a bunny.

Even a plant to water with

little buds thirsty.

Though knowing SAD strikes each year, still the tendency is to blame myself for not enough perkiness. The turn around when sunshine soaks in demonstrates once again, as it does each year, that less light depresses me in every way.

So, welcome spring, chase my blues away.

ONE KIND WORD

And so, the self-pity leaks out splashing down my face when allowed, though often as in the past, tears are suppressed causing a life robotically lived.

So let them flow, even if not knowing why. Stress causes tears, even happy stress. The way my body ejects parts of itself leaving the rest behind while rocketing off to Never-neverland? What’s left is wasteland, a vulnerable, weakened, self-doubting desert where I’m parched for warmth, love, and wholeness.

That happens too often and is the cause of great angst and self-pity. Yet there is magic, a friend far away consoling me. Knowing about my lack of self-esteem, and how self-blame batters me ragged over things having not a thing to do with me, eating me alive from the inside out.

A few words from her soothed, and supported my own quiet, wise, voice that couldn’t be heard over the critic’s which was banging away till the bruising caused me to curl insanely up into a fetal ball.

One kind word. One kind word. Thank you.

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!

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.

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.

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

FALL

Tears fall without really knowing why. So let them. The feeling that fall brings isn’t comfortable, enjoyable, or easy. Coming every year doesn’t make it any easier to adjust to.

The best that can be said is that the depression isn’t debilitating, and mostly hidden from others. But hiding? That’s not authentic, at least not from myself. So accept the tears, the nostalgia. Welcome whatever comes.

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.