Post 150

I’ve made it this far.

149 posts and some interesting deep dives, shallow paddling, and just getting wet.

My apologies to the Facebook viewers who were poem-bombed while I was adding tags to my older writings. I forgot that I set this up so it would automatically post to Facebook. I don’t know, maybe there was some poems worth reading.

Now as I turn this corner, a reawakening will be occurring. I’m going back to school (kind of, it’s online so far)  to work on a degree in Creative Writing. My first class is poetry, ironically. I’ll be hiding in my home office, trying out more words and will hopefully get a decent grade.

But for now it’s late afternoon, my work on the site is done. One cat is butting her head against my elbow. The other has taken her napping position on the couch. My husband is asleep as well. So other than the occasional meow, all is quiet.

Time to relax and let the imagination wander as it may.

 

Resilience (or Lack Thereof)

Resilience is the “ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change,” according to the Mariam-Webster Dictionary. Many see it as a bounce back from something bad, like a tennis ball striking the ground and flying forward.

 

Even tennis balls go flat, though, and lose their bouncy potential.

 

I know there’s been times in my life where I didn’t get up quickly from the things life punches me with. I’ve struggled with depression for many years. It was hard to not be able to do the “pull yourself up and think positive” routine for a while. It was difficult enough just to get out of bed. So, I was not always resilient. Even when I did push myself forward, there was an anxious blowback that would incapacitate me for hours.

 

Resilience is only good if the misfortune is aired out. Releasing the pain from its infernal grip, talking to somebody or journaling, and practicing self-care relieves some of the sting.

 

It also helps to understand the trauma. Be it childhood abuse, stress from work, financial woes, or shellshock from war—these require different types of caring. It’s one thing to commiserate over a lost job; different than losing a beloved person or pet; still another to wash away the vision of killing a child because they were trained to kill you first.

 

These things take compassion, from others and from oneself. Most people know where their breaking point is. What do you do when you received the short straw? What do you do when the last shovelful of dirt hits the grave? Can you walk away and go on with life? Not easy, isn’t it?

 

There is no set timeframe for grief. There is no expiration date to suffering. It happens when it happens. Let the pain roll through.  I breathe it in and breathe it out. Then I pick up the pen or open that document. Let it all out. Write until I’m exhausted. Then pick up the phone and call or send a text. Find a pair of listening ears. Someone whose eyes can digest your words, and give a thoughtful response.  Even if I have to pay for it, find them.

 

Then look around. The birds are in the trees. Another car goes by. The dog barks, the people walk to their destination. Life is still happening. And I’m still a part of it.

 

I had years of therapy and dozens of medications. I practiced talking and drawing cartoons of my suffering. I am still working on that inner peace thing. Memories emerge and I wince, shaken out of my body. It’s hard to be doing dishes and suddenly I’m back to the abuse. I realize I’m not there now, that I am safe. Focus on the plate, the bowl, the fork. Focus on the warm water and the suds from dish soap. Being in the present. Finish and take the time to process it.

Put it down in words. What is it saying to me? I’m not stupid or dumb. I’m not a loser. Another rosebud of compassion falls on my lap. I did the best I could. It’s not all my fault, or none of it is my fault. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to stand still. Breathing in, breathing out.

I’m becoming resilient. Step by baby step.

Waiting and Watching…

My husband had hernia surgery on Monday. It was a long wait as I was forgotten by the staff and had to call back to the recovery room to see if he was okay.  I spent most of the time eating, watching HGTV, and scouring the Facebook feeds.

He’s been laughing and groaning as the abdominal muscles that were cut make their presence known. He’s been sleeping on his back, not a normal position for him.  Bending and twisting are limited for the moment.

I’ve been doing the driving, cooking, and caretaking. It’s unusual with the roles being reversed. He finds it weird that I have to tell him to sit down and rest for the umpteenth time. He has to lie down and sleep when the pain killer kicks him down.

Mostly it’s me who goes to the hospital or the doctor for something healable or manageable. My moods have been lurching from one side to the other, the pendulum of bipolar swings wider until it settles down to a mere rocking side to side. I can’t afford the depression; my wariness now keeps tabs on various stages and players.

He’s getting better, slowly. It should be about three weeks before the Steri-Strips fall off and the wound heals. I keep my vigilance. Like a solder at the gate I watch and wait.

It’s Done, For Now

My Web site has been renovated. It’s been some head scratching but doable for the most part. I like this theme and will probably stick with it for a while.

I used up some brain cells on parts of it. Things that worked in the demo can’t be done on the live site. That’s how it goes.

I’m glad to have this completed for the time being. I want to move back into poetry and writing, and taking more pictures.

My mood has stayed stable through this. No anxiety attacks or hypomania. I’m grateful for that.

Winter Still Comes…

The snow makes filigree lines, lacing its way around the grass. Spring tried to arrive but was defeated with biting cold and crystalline powder. Still, I managed to capture Spring’s brief charge with the chipmunk featured below.

We went to Cox Arboretum, and the animals were busy. Chipmunks scuttled around the boulders, a squirrel was busy relocating nuts it had stored, and robins flitted upon the ground. For a brief moment in time we paused and relaxed.

Now Winter has returned. I don’t know how the delicate leaves of the rose bushes will fare. I’m pretty sure the squirrel is still busy. The robins hide under the trees, fluffing up their feathers for a bit of warmth. I’m here with my jacket on, contemplating whether to start the fireplace.

 

Chipmunk