i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings.
i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds.
i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

loss & lost

wilted flower by me, Cat

there are a multitude
of words and emotions
crashing around inside my head
and heart

none want to escape their
dark, swirly, hideaways
and find themselves on paper
or screen.

these days I see nothing but
memories
of who lived within each box
of 28, 30, or 31 days
I know it’s just a matter of perception
a glass half empty / half full
sort of filter when I look at the calendar
but right now, all I see are empty spaces
where family, friends, pets, and loved ones
used to be

this date used to celebrate that person
that date used to celebrate this person
empty boxes that represent empty spaces
in my heart, and in the world.

and six years ago today, when my life changed
for better or for worse
(who knows)
perceptions changed, priorities changed.
but I’m still not sure how
or what I want to change

I have been wandering, lost.
through a maze of possibilities
uncertainty trailing behind me like a shadow
what I thought I needed, wasn’t what I needed
what I thought was the right path, turned out to be a dead end
and somehow, I am back at the start
all over again
or, maybe not.
maybe it’s a new direction, from the same entrance, but with different
possibilities and goals to achieve
maybe it’s not the same start, but a new one

Still.
I look at those empty boxes on the calendar
and all I see is loss
a birthday that is now a memory
a deathday that reminds me, yet again, of the empty space
each loved one, human or animal,
now has two empty boxes within 365 days
sometimes more
and I have lost so much time myself
because of six years ago today
the catalyst for change,
the shift in perceptions and priorities
I left, I grew, I tried something completely different
but it wasn’t the right path
and I am lost again
on another path that I am sure
is also the wrong direction

but I have so little energy to look for the right way
and I am so tired of trying to see through the fog
in my head
in my heart
in front of my eyes

I miss my father
I miss my dogs
I miss my friends
I miss my grandfather, grandmother, aunt, etc.

I miss seeing full squares in the calendar on my wall
eventually I may see them half-full
but I don’t know which path will take me there
or how long it will take to find it, or arrive

I am exhausted by loss
and of being lost

fauxplessness

I don’t really have a photo to go with this post so here is a photo of Abigail pretending she’s a flower in my garden.

The good news: After four years, I have finally gotten to the point where I am confident I have overcome the trauma I suffered in March 2013. I am no longer broken. I am scarred, but not broken. This means my doctor and I have been slowly decreasing the medication originally prescribed to help glue me together. I am looking forward to being medication-free once more.

The bad news: The first week of a decrease in medication is rough. It varies in difficulty per person, per medication, and even per dosage. And sometimes that roughness sends you into spiral of complete and total hopelessness. There’s no point in anything. There is no hope. No light. No reason.

But it’s not a true hopelessness. It’s false. I call it faux-plessness. Because I know everything isn’t hopeless. I know I am OK. But my brain is currently trying to figure out why it feels weird. My body is looking for extra dosages of whatever it was in those yellow and white pills. I guess it’s looking for the white part, because the pills I’m on now are all yellow.

I feel like total crap this week. From dizzy spells, to nausea, to random bouts of paranoia and anxiety, to a deep, suffocating sadness that convinces me there’s no hope for anything in my life. My head is in a fog. I want to cry one second, rage the next. I feel abandoned by friends that I love, and yet feel a total overwhelming sense of love for my friends that I want to hug them forever.

Up and down. Spinning.

I feel slightly better today than I did on Monday, which was the first day I was on the decreased dosage. Oddly, the decrease before this one (which was 4 months ago) didn’t have the same effect on me. That one mostly effected my sleep. 100mg I sleep like I am drugged, 75mg everything is fine, 50mg WIDE AWAKE HELLO INSOMNIA, 25 mg…. WHY DO I LIFE?! SO ALONE! GLOOOOOOM!!

But by this time next week this will all be gone. I will feel normal again. And as I continue on this dosage until I start to stagger the pills to every second day, then every third day and so on… I look forward to living my life without crippling anxiety and fear in a medication-free zone.

I had worked so hard to take care of myself mentally, after years and years of depression and other mood disorders. I was so proud of who I was and how strong I’d become. And then March 27, 2013 happened and I broke apart. It’s been a long, uphill battle to get myself back into feeling safe and strong again. I have gained the gift of learning more ways to help strengthen myself, and these gifts are what are allowing me to slowly remove the medication from my body.

But right now, the change is frustratingly overwhelming. I know it lasts about 5-10 days for me. It will pass. I know this stabbing hopelessness and sadness in my chest will evaporate soon. Also the dizzy spells. I’d like them to go away, too. Especially with how random they are. I don’t want to work or drive right now because…ugh.

But soon this fauxplessness will vanish and I’ll be right as rain. (Speaking of rain…CAN WE NOT WITH THE RAIN EVERY DAY THIS SUMMER, PLEASE?! Not helping the mental stuff. Also my garden is so soggy the plants are drowning to death. *sniff*)

Existing is exhausting. Good grief.

the healing power of a bookstore

Hey, you know what? It’s the 27th of March today. And, like, I knew it was the 27th of March today because I know I’m working on the 27th, but I didn’t realize it was MARCH 27.

As in traumaversary March 27th. (Warning: not a happy post in that link.)

As in PTSD issues March 27th.

Until I thought of the date and then did a mental double-take when I realized what day it was.

Normally I am hyper-aware of when this date is about to arrive. I have many sleepless nights, nightmares when I DO sleep, random panic attacks, and more leading up to the end of March. It’s been the norm for the past 3 years.

And yet, I really have not thought about this at all. And today, when I realized what day it was… I have had no reaction.

Maybe tonight, now that I am thinking about it (but not obsessively thinking about it!) I might have a nightmare or something. But to be honest, I feel so calm, and NORMAL that I don’t feel like that will happen at all.

Because I removed myself from so much that reminded me of the trauma. I am no longer downtown. I am no longer walking to the office I was walking to when it happened. I am in a job that keeps my brain busy, my body busy, and my mood HAPPY. So, so happy.

The trauma was always in the back of my mind for so long. Even outside of the last week of March. It was always there. I was always looking up. I’m still very cautious about my surroundings, but I’m not thinking about being cautious all the time. I know it’s become part of my every day routine and reactions, but I am not thinking about WHY.

Because this job has healed so much of what was broken within me. This job has brought me back so much joy. And I no longer feel lost. I no longer feel like I don’t know who I am anymore.

I have found myself again, and it’s not all because of working at the bookstore, but that’s been a huge part of the reason. Quitting my job, starting back in retail (books!), was such a terrifying change to make, but the more I think about it, the more I confirm that this was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Because today is March 27, and I am not afraid of it.

missing: me, myself, and I

T Swift Lyric

Sometimes a lyric deeply resonates with you. You hear it and your entire world stops. The only thing you know is, “This. This is exactly what I feel but I couldn’t put words to it.”

And it’s amazing how much can change in a decade. And it’s strange what dates we cling to as we keep track of time. Some people have said I should let go of these dates, but I can’t. I don’t want to. They are a reminder of how much of the battle I have fought, and not lost.

——-

Ten years ago today, I was 30. I had just been offered a new job a couple of days prior. Our apartment burned down in the evening.

Ten years ago. So much has happened since then. So many changes. I’m still in the same job I had just been offered. I’m now 40. I own a house.

We didn’t lose anything important in the fire. Shawn was home when the flat above us went up in flames. He was able to get out with the dogs. I came home early from work. We watched firefighters battle the blaze for over 4 hours. We didn’t know where we’d live.

But it worked out. We survived. We got stronger.

——-

Three years ago today, the sky came crashing down.  It has taken me a long time to realize that my trauma from this event isn’t just seeing a life end in front of me, in one of the most gruesome ways I can imagine, but also that it was because I could have died. Had I not stopped suddenly, that man would have landed on top of me, and I would not have walked away from this at all. Therapy helped me realize, and begin to deal with this.

My life did not end that morning, three years ago. I might have flash backs and panic attacks, and think I can feel something on me that I need to desperately clean off, but I survived.

The past three years have not been easy. I think a person can only be so strong. And I think experiencing something like this changes a person. Not always right away, and it can be subtle, but there’s change in a person.

There is change in me. I am not the same person I was before 8am on March 27, 2013. I am not. What wide-eyed innocence I still had within me, I think is gone.  I don’t trust the world. I don’t trust the city.

Sometimes I worry I have lost my ability to trust ever again.

And mostly, I don’t know where my old self went. I’m not saying I wish I could always stay the same, because that’s not what I want. I want back the parts of me that scattered when the sky fell. I want the parts of me that still believed in whimsy, and magic, and innocence to come back.

I am no longer enjoying things I used to enjoy with my entire being. I hardly read anymore. I don’t seem to be able to find joy in much of anything. I am acting out of character in many ways, and I’m so very tired of…well, almost everything.

I have done so much work within myself, and I know there’s more to do. But I am tired. I am an expert on all things ME. I know myself inside, and out. I am so in tune with my entire being that I can’t tune it out.

I have come such a long way in ten years. I have come even further in the past three years. But somewhere since 2013 I lost parts of myself that I don’t think I will ever get back, and my heart breaks over that loss. Because I was finally starting to like ME. I was finally comfortable being myself.

And now, I don’t know who I am anymore. So much of me has changed. I don’t show it to the world. I don’t tell it to the world. I just know. I know myself well enough to know that who I am, who I was, who I have been, is different.

I have a lot more work to do as I try and figure myself out. What do I like? What do I love? What do I want to do? How much do I want to change, and how much do I want to bury deep down inside?

I didn’t die the day the sky fell, but I shattered into a million pieces, and some of those piece are still lost.

peripheral participation

I don’t want to participate. I just don’t feel like it.

It may look like I’m participating because I’ll post something on social media; I’ll update a status; I’ll take a photo of the dogs (mainly Yoshi). But I’m not participating. I don’t read emails, I don’t read private messages on FB. If I do, I don’t reply. I don’t want to reply. I honestly don’t feel like interacting with the world these days.

I’m not scrolling through news feeds to see what your doing. I follow, and speak with, only a handful of close friends these days. They are all I am comfortable with right now.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the kindness and concern directed at me. I truly feel lucky to have people in my life who care about me and want to help. But I don’t have the energy to explain everything over and over to people. I don’t want to. And for some, even though I don’t keep what happened to me a secret in any way, I just don’t feel like spilling all the details.

I have a very close, tight, bubble around me at the moment and only a small number of people are allowed past those walls. It’s all I can handle. I am avoiding requests to come over, and hang out, or having people want to come over and hang out. Nope. Can’t do it. Don’t want to do it. But thank you for caring about me. Honestly. It means the world to me.

But I don’t want to come out and play with people right now. I don’t want to read up about anyone. I barely scroll through FB or twitter at the moment. I visit specific friends’ pages, and that’s about it. I can’t handle anything else.

So just because you see I’ve posted an update somewhere, that doesn’t mean that I’m actually online and participating in everyone else’s life. I’m in my own bubble. Seeing the private message notifications gives me anxiety. It’s stupid, but it does. I know I don’t HAVE to reply to people, but I feel guilty if I don’t. So I just ignore the messages.

Half the time I don’t even have my laptop open anymore. I knit and listen to music (yay for the 90s music station on cable!) I update occasionally from my phone. I’m mostly disconnected from social media and it’s NICE. It’s quiet. It helps the noise in my head to be far, far, away from the noise online.

I don’t want to talk to you, or anyone else. I can’t right now. My comfort zone is limited space right now and all I ask is that that space is respected.

And for those allowed through my bubble, thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me heal and stay sane. Thank you for understanding what I need when I often don’t myself. Thank you for your patience and your love. Thank you for not making me explain everything over and over and just being there, making me laugh, helping me knit, and just being an ear to talk to.

One of the things I am dreading is the small talk that is part of my daily life in the office. I just don’t want to be part of that right now. Maybe in 2 weeks I’ll be better, but right now? I don’t want to talk to anyone except my closest friends.

I’m in my own world, my bubble, right now and I am not ignoring the world to be rude, but because the world is just too loud and cacophonous to handle at the moment. Be patient with me, I am not being a bitch on purpose.

(And I am not withdrawing from life in a depression. I just need quiet space around me. Dealing with people is exhausting.)