Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I've been hearing rumblings from those concerned about me being in The Place. They don't understand it at all. They think I would be better off not being here. They don't realize that I'm in a Place that is necessary for me to heal. A Place I have to be in order to heal myself completely, mind, body, heart and soul.
In The Place, I am protected from the daily onslaught of the world. As long as I can stay here, I feel good. There's no emotional overload. There is nothing and no one here to cause me any anxiety. There is just me and my friends. And we have tea. Ohhh, and cupcakes. Don't forget those. All in all, it's a lovely, peaceful Place. I keep the noise to a minimum, meaning no TV or radio. I listen to my own collection of CD's. I love so many different music genres. African drums and dancing. Rain forest rain. New Age musicians who make music sound like something more. Jazz, classic, country, old rock, new rock, international, alternative, opera. For some strange reason, I like women opera singers better than the Three Tenors, although I have those, too. Maybe it's because Madame Butterfly was the first opera I saw. And I'd say 60% of my CD's are instrumental. So I have it playing in the background, and it isn't intrusive. I read a lot, and of course, do my daily web surfing. My previous experience with a computer was limited to doing accounting and bookkeeping. Not only did I not have time to surf, I didn't know how to surf. Only within the last year or so have I discovered that there really is a world wide web full of more than any one person could ever want to see. Actually, it's full of stuff I never want to see. I found that out the hard way. So I have several places/blogs that I look at every day. And I am very picky. I want to see something new and interesting. Avant garde. Photographers who push the limits. Artists whose work takes more than a minute to understand. Seeing how far creative minds can take an idea. Or read and learn something I never knew.
Whoa, I can really go off on a tangent. Sorry. I was saying that I like the peacefulness of The Place. The problem, as those concerned see it, is that I am rather stuck here. As in, I don't leave very often. I do leave to go to work, but so far I've only managed one day per week. One day and I'm done. Come home, fall asleep, in a fog for the next three days. So I am here more than not here. I don't go to the grocery store or the drugstore. I can't go much of anywhere without running the risk of seeing someone I know. And that really scares me. I'd have to do the "happy face" thing, and I'm already so tired, I don't know if I could. So I'm trying to get these several concerned people to look at the bigger picture. I've been like this for over 20 years. More than 20 years in a depression that went from bad to worse to much worse. Now, I've finally given myself permission to focus on me, to allow myself to "completely" recover. I'm learning that I need more than just a few months or even six months. Maybe more than a year. I know that I am creating problems by doing this, namely financial problems, but I've done the quick fix thing for so long and it only gets me right back into the same hole. I think I need to stop falling down the hole. Or having the house land on me. Or whirling around in the cyclone. Or growing tall then small then having my head cut off. (I told Alice that if the Queen had gone through with "off with her head," it could be the solution to my problems. No head, no problems. Since it was her story, she adamantly refused to change it. Too bad.) Hopefully, I will have time to heal. Really, truly heal. I'll still have to live with depression, but at least it won't be in the major-to-severe levels. Because I want to be able to do the things I want to do. To truly live and not just be alive.
Indigolights, a Seller on Etsy, has a beautiful print entitled "The Healing Heart" by Brian. It looks like an open glass heart bound up in a metal harness. Right up my alley. Did I say I liked avant garde? Anyway, there is also the following about healing a wounded heart:
"The Healing Heart holds a spirit,
strained almost to breaking
by hurt, indifference, and pain,
binding it, until it is made whole again."
Healing a heart and mind that has been fractured and half-healed for so long cannot be done overnight. Who can say how long it will take? I want my heart and mind to heal, to be made whole, but I'm not unrealistic. I know that there is a limit to how whole they can be and that the healing will take time and lots of stitches and will leave scars. But I need to stay here in The Place for that to happen.
And I need for them to understand.
(Image used in this post is from TheLittleFox, a Seller at Etsy, and is entitled "The Safe Place.")
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
One of the things about being normal is that it is extremely exhausting. There is no down time when one is normal. It's about always being "up." I was normal for so long that I wore myself out. Now I am simply exhausted.
And no one understands.
(Image is by inksmear on Etsy and is entitled "Normal.")
Monday, January 25, 2010
Today I am convinced that there is nothing wrong with me. I'm giddy with excitement! How could I have been so wrong for so long? Sad that all of my tears and anxiety were for naught, but who knew? I managed to reach this conclusion by some rather convoluted thinking, but there it is.
I do have my doubting Thomasinas. Oh, yes, my friends are trying not to laugh as I explain my theory. Surely laughing is not what friends would do.
My studies have led me to find that I fall into almost every category that researchers, um, researched, about depression and who is affected. Here are a few that I fall into:
--premature/low birth weight
--family history of depression
--brain chemical deficiency
--elderly (okay this one pushes it, but I am in post-menopause)
There were even a few categories that I fell into earlier in life. Teenager, lawyer (wanted to be one) and accountant (I was one). I'm fairly certain that these could relate to the chronic stress category, but they were separate studies. Who am I to question science?
Now, if I am predisposed to depression based on all of the above factors, then it is normal for me to be depressed. Which would make me normal. Isn't this something like the substitution theory or transitional theory? Didn't we all take geometry? If A, then B. If B, then C. Therefore, if A then C.
Do I think too much?
(This lovely deep thought patchwork-quilted hanging is by quiltedpetunia and is sold on Etsy.)
Friday, January 22, 2010
One of my daily go-to blogs is by a favorite Etsy artist. I like to see how she is currently being inspired and to look at the really strange and wonderful images she finds. Recently, she commented on one of those images and how it reminded her of what it feels like when her depression medication wears off. Since I had to convo her at Etsy to let her know that I had gotten an item I ordered, I also mentioned how much I appreciated her openness in sharing about her depression.
Here's what she had to say:
"Yes, I'm medicated. (Sorry to offend delicate constitutions out there.)
Couldn't make a single thing without it.
Never used to do/make anything because just existing was so overwhelming to the senses and to my brain. Everything was difficult and exhausting.
I thank god for the miracle(s) of modern medicine.
Though, it doesn't demand worship or acts of blind faith. It doesn't go against logic or suggest I move to an ashram in a far-off land...
Without it I would rather not be alive. Very much so.
Although saying that upsets a lot of people. People who have no imagination and have never been in pain. And like to talk about ridiculous things like whether suicide is a cowardly act. I'd like to put those people out of my misery, is what I'd like."
So honest and straightforward. And so very true.
(Image and words from fancifuldevices at Etsy and on her blog found at http://fancifuldevices.blogspot.com)
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Yesterday, I woke up at 5 am, did my usual thinking about life, and then got up at 6:30. I did several things around the house, including emailing a shoe company for a return postage label for some defective shoes (I'm an extreme shoeaholic) and getting that package ready to go back. Got dressed in an actual "outfit," went to work and had a really great day. When I got home I found out my husband had bought ingredients for a lovely salad, which I put together for dinner. I savored every delicious bite. A wonderful day.
This morning, I didn't wake up when my alarm went off. I vaguely remember my husband saying goodbye, looked at the time (7:30) and knew that I absolutely, positively had to get up. I went back to sleep. Something woke me up at 8:30, and I stumbled out of bed.
Two hours, three cups of coffee, every puzzle in the newspaper and letting dogs in and out, later, and I'm still barely able to keep my eyes open. It's the kind of morning that I put the cream in the microwave after pouring it into my coffee. Get in and out of the shower without washing my hair.
What makes my brain and/or body act like this? Am I so old that having one somewhat active day wears me out? Does my brain get so overloaded on a somewhat "normal" day that it can't function the next? I'm like this all the time. There isn't really a pattern to it. I'll have those days when I think I am actually a normal person, then I'll be in a fog.
It's days in the fog that make me sad because I know that life is passing me by.
(The image in this post is a collage entitled "Don't Fall Asleep." It is found at Etsy and is by Seller LisaChun.)
Monday, January 18, 2010
My friends and I just finished our weekly tea party, complete with the most scrumptious cupcakes I've ever eaten. It seems that Alice knows someone who knows someone who recommended a certain bakery. I grew up on regular ole' cupcakes--white cake with chocolate frosting. Who knew that cupcakes had come so far? We enjoyed the ones pictured (from top to bottom):
Boston Cream Pie, Black Forest, Lemon Meringue, Irish Coffee and Tiramisu.
I thought perhaps my recent posts had been a bit heavy, so I wanted to offer something a little lighter. Of course, these are just as heavy...calorie-wise.
(Image used is from The Alchemist Chef.)
Looking at my previous post has made me realize that I might have made my mom sound a bit like the wicked witch, and she is nothing like that at all! She is everything good and nice and kind. She does so many good things for everyone and asks for very little in return. So my apologies, Mom, for painting you in a negative light.
There is a verse in the Bible that talks about the sins of the father being visited on the sons. I take that to mean that actions and/or reactions always have far-reaching consequences. We may not see them in our lifetime, but at some point there will be a reckoning. I am suffering the consequences, my mother suffered the consequences and her mother suffered the consequences of a life filled with nothing but difficulties and hard work. I've had time to look back at my mother's and grandmother's lives to better understand my life. And I've found that there is a circle of life.
In my case, it's a circling, funnel-shaped cloud that sucked everything in and whirled it around and caused a lot of damage. And when the house landed, we were all under it.
(The beautiful beaded art doll image used in this post is by HeathersHaven. It's entitled "Tornado" and is found on Etsy.)
Friday, January 15, 2010
Having grown up with a mother who was distant, imagine my surprise when she called this week to ask me to go with her to a dinner/speaker event. We do very little together. There is also the fact that at one point in my past, my family kicked me out. Out of the family. Really. It's quite a long story which I won't go into now. Of course, their side of the story is not like mine at all. They did it with love, out of concern for me. Right.
It took me a long time before I could even have any contact with them, and then to have that contact be meaningful in the least. I was the oldest and the only girl in a family that was "old school." I didn't even realize that until much later in life when I started looking back to try and make sense of it. By "old school," I mean that males mattered more than females. There's probably a nice word like "patriarchal" to describe the situation, but I've also been told my family was chauvinistic. I was floored by the comment and, or course, vehemently denied it. It wasn't too long before I realized how wrong I had been.
I think I may have been cherished before my two brothers came along, but I was so young that I don't remember much at all. I do know that my mother told me that she "had no idea what to do with you since you were so strong-willed and stubborn." I got locked in the closet several times. See, it all comes back to that surfeit of emotions that seem to define so much of my life. I feel everything so deeply and passionately, and when those feelings emerge, they sometimes can be explosive. Apparently, even at a young age.
Too bad the concept of "time out" wasn't around then. Then again, I probably wasn't a "time out" kind of kid. It's doubtful that a mere chair would have had any affect on me. But who knows what damage that locked closet caused?
Maybe that's why I have such a fascination for old doors and keys.
(Image used in this post is by ErinGarrisonDesign at Etsy and is entitled "Waiting to be Unlocked.")
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I've come to the conclusion that I may never find answers in this world. Sometimes I'm not even sure of the questions. But there is something in me that begs to understand the events of my life. Looking back, it's a crooked path, to be sure. I wish it were a straighter one. I think that the straighter the path, the easier the time spent on it. Or maybe that the one who walks it is stronger. Or better. Some might say a crooked path means life has been experienced, that there have been twists and turns that give it meaning. I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I'm behind the curtain just looking out at life, desperately wanting to change it but having no idea how to do that.
Maybe I'm really hiding.
(Image used in this post is entitled "The Search" and is by SpecialBuy found at Etsy.)
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I have gone back to work part-time. The need for funds has overridden my need for both a job that makes a difference and one that offers some creativity. I am back at the same office that I was at when working full-time. I know that helping them is going to make a difference for them. Maybe that's all that matters. If I help make their lives easier, haven't I made a difference? I took a fairly lengthy leave of absence, and they are now as stressed as I was when I left. So if I can help get them more in control of the mountains of paperwork, I'll be helping them to feel better, just like they helped me.
Is this a case of "what goes around comes around"? If so, maybe I need to wear this bracelet to remind me that I am making a difference!
(Bracelet is by theroyalbead and is found at Etsy.)
Monday, January 11, 2010
Thankfully, things have been a little less rambunctious around here. Once I finally got the ladies settled down from their little blogger war, they have been on their best behavior! I really do not like conflict, especially when it's between people who hold a special place in my heart. I guess that has also been a big part of my past struggles. When emotions run so high during conflict, I am completely distraught and consumed by it. I'm even affected by conflicts between people I don't know! Don't ask me how or why that happens, but if it can, just imagine how much worse it is when I do know the people. Keeping everyone happy seems to be both my goal and my struggle.
The artist of today's image quotes the following about struggle: " 'there will always be a pull, tugging at you from every angle. fight it, and you will lose. give into it, and you will be home.' "
Easier said than done, I think.
(Image used in this post is from TinaCrespo at Etsy and is entitled "The Struggle."
Friday, January 8, 2010
Ladies, please!! This is getting out of hand. No more comparing yourselves or your time in my blog. That's right. MY blog. Remember? I'm the one who started this and who invited you two to be a part of it. You both are here for moral support and encouragement. I never promised you blog time.
Now, tea and cakes, anyone?
(Image used in this post is by Seller derekwragge at Etsy and is entitled "Dez.")
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Hi! Dorothy here. I grabbed the mouse out of Her hand so I could have some blog time. Alice has been mentioned by name once, and Her last post alluded to Alice's story of "who am I" and "where am I"? Geez, give me a break. I'm beginning to believe that Alice's story might not be true. I mean, have you read it? It is total nonsense. It's like she's making it up as she goes along. Since I know what I went through was real, I'm taking over.
Now I'm not here to talk about myself, but to do a shout out for Her. Sure, there is a lot of stuff going on inside of Her, but all in all, She is a survivor. She doesn't give up, even when the odds are way stacked against Her. I have been around Her long enough to understand what happens and why. I've seen it happen too many times not to. But this time was different. This time, I'm really worried about Her. So take five and read.
She has a problem with her brain. Maybe the Scarecrow should be here helping me, but he wasn't invited. She doesn't let just anyone into The Place, you know. And I wouldn't dare suggest that She invite him. But about the problem with Her brain. It's not that She doesn't have one, it's just flawed. Not in a terrible way either. Thankfully, there is medication to help correct it. Her brain's problem is called depression, and She falls into it when She is dealing with too much emotional stress. You see, along with feeling things very strongly, She also seems to take in other people's emotions, especially those people She cares for the most. Maybe you don't get that, but it's true. She can just sense when something is wrong with someone, and She will do whatever She can to make things better. Enter the brain flaw. Her brain on meds helps Her deal with Her own emotions. When She takes in emotions from other people, She gets overwhelmed by them, and the meds don't help so much.
I think the reason She trusts Alice and me to be here is that bad stuff happened to us, too, and we both came out doing pretty good. Well, at least I have had bad stuff happen. Alice just had regular stuff happen, if it did happen at all. Just saying. Hey, what are you doing here? G..vithis bk.....What the.......
[The image used in this post is from Etsy Seller BeatBlack. The necklace shown is the "Neuro Necklace" in "moldy"(green). It is also available in "lunch meat"(pink), "dark thoughts"(black) and "grey matter"(surprise!! gray).]
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I find myself pondering the questions of who I am, where I am going and what I have accomplished. These are things that until now I've never asked myself. I've made choices I thought were the right ones to make. I've done my best in anything I endeavored to do. I have tried to make a difference wherever I am. I have always walked to my own drummer's beat and hopefully always will. I have never let age be an issue, never given it a second's thought. I have always known exactly who I am. Until now.
A little background info might be the thing. I had a very stressful time of it last year and took a "leave of absence" from work. Twice. For almost four months total. It took three of those months to recover from the emotional and physical consequences of the stress. Emotional stress isn't anything new for me, but the physical problems were not only new, they resulted in a state of mind that led me to The Place. I have changed physically in significant ways. Physically, I am no longer who I was. The overwhelming change that occurred was being thrown into post-menopause. And therefore being thrown into a tailspin of questioning everything about myself. Something has "died" inside of me, and I can't seem to get my head around that.
So in the midst of trying to decide who I am now and where I'm going, I'm also struggling with how to get back into the workplace. I've been given the green light for a part-time job with the employer for whom I was working when I was so stressed. There has been no definition of "part-time" on his part, however, and I am one who needs structure. Therefore, I'm left hanging as to how to proceed. Of course, there is the fact that the stressful part of the job hasn't really changed. I'll walk right back into it even as a part-time employee. Now, I will admit that he has hired someone to take my place, so it won't come close to being as bad as it was before, but it still will be bad. So what with knowing that it will be a bit stressful and not knowing exactly what my new part-time position entails, I'm feeling a bit lost.
As I have said, I am one who needs to make a difference no matter what I do. I have always been aware of this need, especially when I felt like I wasn't meeting it. Because I have been away from a work environment for so long, I'm giving more thought to my options. Isn't there a saying that if one does what one loves, the rest will follow? I'm assuming that "the rest" means an income. So what is it that I love doing? Can I do it well enough to make a living at it? Will it make a difference in this world? And most importantly, will it help me to leave The Place where I no longer know who I am? Asking myself these questions is enough to make me hyperventilate.
(Image used in this post is entitled "Trying to Breathe" by LightLeaks, found on Etsy.)
Monday, January 4, 2010
Since my discovery of The Place, a New Year has arrived. I ushered it in with a hearty toast (more of a prayer, actually) to much less drama! All the many changes and revelations last year were quite enough for awhile, thank you very much!
I recently shared with Dorothy and Alice that I am now looking for that elusive "something" that is missing in my life. What with all the upheavals and changes from last year causing me to cocoon myself here in The Place, I know I must emerge and grab hold of life, such as it is. But what is it exactly? I have a deep need to make a difference to someone or something. The problem is learning how to distance myself emotionally while making a difference. Is that even possible? Must what I do always be accompanied by emotional stress? My friends tell me not to worry. Something will come along, and I will recognize it. It will call to me, they say. But in order to best hear it, I must be emotionally ready. I must diligently maintain a positive attitude. Knowing myself quite well, I believe I will need some help in doing that! So I have been looking for something to aid me as I struggle to remain "up," disregarding those obvious traps into which I have often fallen. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be! Thankfully, there are those who realize that we all need help now and then. My discovery even fits right into the most looked-for event of my week! I'll serve myself and my friends some Happy Tea. It will "help move those blues away" and gives one an "uplifting experience"!! It's sold at Etsy by wildroot (botanicals) along with other herb-related products. Here's to a better year and a happier me!!