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.

To Every Season

Though Samuel had opened the pool and it was ready, all of June went by without swimming. And I didn’t mind since the idea of swimming during a month so cool was not inviting.

But yesterday watching him work at closing it? Sadness. Not wanting to give up summer when my mood has been happy (translated- peaceful) and well-being thrived; the warm sunny walks in the meadow, sitting on the patio in the early morn- that will come to an end soon, lamenting the loss, along with coffee on the screen porch even earlier with kitty as companion already snuggling a thick afghan around me on some mornings.

Each season pulls at me, weighing me down by its change till adjustments are made, and self-talk brings centeredness, hence peace. For every season has its splendors but takes effort to fully be in them. The flux of change…

AUTUMN’S GRACFUL BEAUTY

The day so cool, like all last week, then warming, so warm off go the leg warmers and sweatshirt. After a solid 9 hours of sleep there ought to be more energy, yet the day is so still, so am I.

Just slowly down the meadow path to absorb the change in season, the once white meadow of Queen Anne’s Lace, browning, now magically evolving, yellow with dandelion look-a-likes on tall stems mixed with mustard. (Samuel says it’s Golden Rod) Soon it will be all yellow.

Photos by Patricia

Listening to my body means if today is needed for more quiet activities, then wait on the bike ride, and take these meanderings a little at a time.

Though dreading fall, or change, it is becoming more appealing in its beauty. Nostalgia drifts in among the warm currents mixing with the evening’s coolness.

The sharp edges of it fading a little every day after accepting the fact that it’s there rather than running. Pain, or a nostalgic sadness with the coming of fall?

Not surprising as this drop in mood is a yearly occurrence. Yet joy abounds too in Autumn’s gentle arrival kissing summer good-bye.

The Coming of Fall

It’s gloomy, cold, matching my mood keeps dropping with the coming of fall. This fact must be accepted again and again with the change of seasons, especially on days that the sun doesn’t shine.

So, what to do to brighten the days instead of ‘falling’ into them? Think of fun things, interesting choices, artsy crafts, or even just a puzzle.