Sunday, May 17, 2015

Walking Side By Side

It is in her eyes you can see the disconnect. Not all the time. Not every day. But when she's lost within herself, in the cruelest cage ever, you can tell by her eyes.
They lose their happy glint, a detached look takes its place. Her eyes tend to linger too long when talking. Or...they refuse to meet yours entirely.

When I was little I asked, queried, questioned and annoyed my mother to death. I daresay we all did. It is natural for us to be inquisitive and want to explore anything and everything around us. Patience is what got her through her days. Explaining and re-explaining ideas, answers, and everything in the big exciting world to me. Lovingly.

Every stage of my growing years, she sat next to me, walked with me, ran with me on my journey. She answered my questions about life, about where we came from, where we go, helped with homework, fielded my never-ending theological and philosophical questions and when she did not know something she would find out the answers.

Never be afraid to ask or search for knowledge, she would say while unabashedly questioning others or ideas.

It can be frustrating at times. Especially when I feel I am losing her in front of me. It can be scary when I feel like I am losing my mind when she asks the same repetitive chorus over and over. It can be unsettling not knowing where this disease will take us.

But I know one thing.

We are all on this journey together.

This time a little backwards. It's her time to ask me the questions and me to supply the answers. It can be frustrating yes, but the patience she not only paid me when I was younger she also taught me with her examples. It can be scary, I just need to remember to reach out and ask for answers, for help, for support when need be fearlessly. It can be unsettling, but everything in life is.

We have no clue where life can or will take us. So, we must focus on what we can in our day to day life and remember we are never truly lost. Instead, we are simply finding ourselves amongst the unexpected twists and turns in this journey called life.



Today has been a Sunday Confession about Lost with the one and only Hot Ash with More Than Cheese And Beer. Please stop by her page and see what she did with the prompt and to see how the other brave bloggers interpreted Lost.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Use Your Words Challenge

Hello and Happy Friday to you!

Welcome to Use Your Words. Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them.

Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 

My words are:  paper ~ couch ~ freezer ~ Fan ~ peanut butter

They were submitted by:http://eileensperpetuallybusy.blogspot.com/ 

                           **

As you read this, I will be at my first therapy session. I am not sure exactly what to expect besides the cliched image of me lying on a couch while a therapist with a stone face listens and takes notes on paper.

I would much rather be sitting in my underwear eating nutella or peanut butter out of the jar and reading some trashy novel on my day off avoiding my feelings, my issues, and everything going on in this brain of mine. But I need to do this.

Am I a fan of therapists? Yes I actually am. I believe they have tools and resources to help us.

Now am I a fan of helping myself? Well...that's a little trickier.

I feel like a hypocrite-for a few reasons. If someone I know is struggling mentally, physically or spiritually I am there for them in a heartbeat. I want to see them flourish and live the healthiest life possible. When they poo-poo going to the doctor or therapist I am right there telling them to reach out-that there's nothing wrong asking or needing help. But when it comes to me...I would rather deflect attention elsewhere. I am content to reach into the freezer and pull out some icecream and avoid my feelings. I put on a happy face so I do not upset anyone. I hold in instead of letting out my emotions.

I know that is wrong.

I know that is unhealthy.

But that's me.

And part of a reason I am going today.

At least I'm taking that first step and acknowledging I need some help right?

                            **

Please don't forget to stop by these other amazing bloggers today and check out the words they got and how they creatively used them:

 Baking In A Tornado

The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Spatulas On Parade

The Momisodes

Stacy Sews and Schools

Disneyland in Kentucky

Southern Belle Charm

Someone Else's Genius

Confessions of a part-time working mom

Climaxed

Battered Hope

Searching for Sanity

Eileen's Perpetually Busy
 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Complicatokay

There is a rumor that runs amok stating that we as humans complicate life. We abuse the simple joys and twist and deform them until they no longer hold any semblance of happiness for us and bring us nothing but torture.

It is said if we miss someone we should just call them. If we are angry we should forgive. If we are sad we should just get happy.

Basically, if it's complicated-simplifying would fix it.

Ahhh, but we are not one-dimensional soulless freaks.

Our emotions are tied with our memories.

A song can bring back a million memories in a few strums of a soulful guitar solo. A smell can make our mouth water and hunger for more than a favorite dish. A glimpse of a beautiful flower may make you ache because you'd love to give it to someone who would love and appreciate it...but who is no longer in your life.

We are made up of layers. Intricate, confusing, thick, necessary  layers. They hold in our memories, protect us from our pains, insulate us from our mistakes, and shed when we are ready to embrace change and growth.

We love and miss toxic people. We want to reach out, we want them back in our life, we miss their laugh, their smile, but know they are detrimental to our souls. Keeping them in our lives would only bring us pain so we do what we can by shutting them out, distancing ourselves from them and moving on. But we miss them still. Even though we made the tough decision to choose what's healthy for us our hearts and souls yearn for what once brought them comfort and joy. Because pain and pleasure often are not separate. Those who can bring us the most joy can also destroy us the quickest.

I do not necessarily know if we complicate life. We are born a blank slate, we are empty canvases that are colored by every experience we encounter. Sometimes though the colors are thrown quickly and splattered on our stretched screen of a canvas. They become muddied and run together and make it hard to figure out what exactly our masterpiece is supposed to be. I daresay it is safe to say, life complicates us.

Complicated just means we have lived, we are living, and that we are learning how to navigate our life and this confusing world.

Happiness does not elude those of us who have convoluted, tricky relationships. For those of us who simply cannot yet forgive for the wrongs done to us, for those of us who cannot simply flip a switch and be happy, for those of us who cannot just give up our job, our kids, our life to follow our dreams, for those of us who are still becoming who we are and sorting out what it means to be you-know you are complicated.

It just means our complicated selves may need to work a little harder for our own happiness. Mainly, we need to work on being happy and doing what we want and need to do whether life is a breeze or a confusing complicated conundrum. In doing that we must throw out any generalized cliched advice to simplify that people tell us to do, even if it is with their best intentions.  Our emotions and experiences are intertwined with our past, present and future and as much as we crave simple sometimes we are complicated.

And that's okay.

We are okay.

We're complicatokay.

This has been a Sunday Confession on the prompt complicated. Sunday Confessions are hosted by the one not impressed by morphine, sweet Auntie, cheese loving Hot Ash from More Than Cheese And Beer. Check out her awesomeness and the other talented bloggers who dared to take on this prompt.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Secret Subject Swap

Hello and happy Friday! Welcome to May's Secret Subject Swap. This week, 16 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 
 
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
 
 
My subject is:  Have you ever witnessed how somebody has been wronged and done something about it?
 
It was submitted by: Confessions of A Part-Time Working Mom -thanks Tamara ❤
 
This might be more of an interesting piece if this prompt would have gone to someone else. I have a big problem with keeping my mouth shut. If I see something I think I can help with-I will offer help or assistance. I did not get that gene that allows people to brush stuff under the rug or turn their heads. I am one of those annoying people who take things to heart immediately and if someone is hurt or wronged I want to help. I don't think about it, I do not pray about it, I want to do something right there and then. Instantly.  Impetuously. Stupidly.  This has not only caused people to shake their heads in disgust, sigh loudly and be annoyed by my intrusive help but it has literally ended friendships.  
A few stories popped up in my head but the one that stuck out to me was an event that happened a few years ago.
I worked 3rd shift in a gas station for a few years. 3rd shift is quite an experience itself. But couple that with a convenience store in walking distance from 2 very popular bars made some nights incredible and others incredibly exhausting. One night a regular came in. She was young, sweet and in her 20's. She always came in with this man who was quite a jerk. He would say rude things to her, often was belligerently intoxicated, and she was always apologizing-for his curses, for his rudeness, for his existence basically. She would have bruises on her arms and neck occasionally that my gut told me he gifted her. But she was not ready to leave him and never asked for help-if she did I would have offered the number to the shelter in a hot minute. I would have had someone pick her up and take her. But I was a just a clerk to her, I was just another face that might not care or believe her, she never reached out or asked for help and who knew I might have read the whole situation wrong.
Until that night.
The night my regular came in-without him. She was frazzled, she was dirty and she was pulsing with an air of change and fear. She saw me and ran to me.  At first, I thought she was kidding around but when I looked into her eyes my heart dropped. Her eyes reflected fear and pain and a breaking point that she had reached.  I asked her what I could do. She told me he was after her because she was leaving and she had nowhere else to go. She asked me to hide her and asked if she could borrow my cell to call her family to pick her up. She was jumpy and jittery and looking over her shoulder, she asked again if I would hide her. Against the squawking of my co-worker, I hid her in our coat area. It was an area where our industrial sinks lived where we washed our coffee pots and trays. This was not an area where she would have access to anything that violated store policy just a place customers normally would not go.
Within minutes of hiding her, he came storming in. He yelled for her and asked us where she was. His eyes were on fire and he was livid. He wanted her and he wanted her right then and there. There was no way in hell I was going to tell him where she was.  He looked at me with disgust and asked me where I she was.  I told him that she asked me to hide her and that I didn’t want to get in between them and told her she had to leave. I told him that she was crying and seemed scared and pointed him in the direction of the bars. His cruel and calculating eyes scoured my deceitful face and thankfully found no flaws in my story. Instead, he slammed out our doors and went on a search for her in the way I sent him.
She ended up calling a family member to pick her up and take her somewhere safe.
Seemingly a good ending, right? Well, it was then it wasn't.  My co-worker would not shut up about how stupid I was, how I should not have got involved and how I was just the dumbest person in the world. All night. I should not have gotten involved, I should have let her deal with it on her own, I should not have lied to him blah blah blah.
When I told my mom and my husband they were so mad at me because I put myself in a 'dangerous' situation.
Even though I was getting pretty much shamed from all fronts-some surprisingly-I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do.
Too many women are afraid to come forward and admit that they are a victim of abuse. They fear that no one will believe them, they fear they have nowhere to turn and sadly often times do not after they have been alienated from their families, they fear that a life of abuse is all they are worthy. I could not in all good conscious turn her away and not offer her help when she was begging for it when I watched her suffer silently for two years. All I did was hide her. She had the strength to leave, to break the cycle, to fight for herself, to say she was worthy of more. I simply had her stand behind some coats in a room off to the side. Is that necessarily speaking up when someone was wronged? I don’t know. I just know that it was worth it. It was needed and I did it.
Too many times we stay silent; we choose to ignore and quiet that nagging feeling that we should do something. We figure that someone will work it out and that things will 'be fine'.  If we speak up and are told to shut up, that is fine. But what if can simply offer a hand, an ear, if we can ask what we can do—and we can help change their life?
I saw her again a year later.
I was shopping with my husband and she came barreling up to give me a hug. We hugged for so long and we were both trying not to cry. I had oftentimes thought of her and hoped and prayed that she did not return back to him. After our hug broke, she asked if I remembered her, I laughed and told her yes. She let me know that she had moved a town away to escape him and that she did not speak to him even though he harassed her family and friends trying to find her. She thanked me for hiding her and told me she thought she was going to die that night. She was sure that she was going to die that night and that by giving her that hide out for half an hour I gave her the opportunity to get a hold of her family and get her out of a situation.
I did not do anything. She did it all. She just let me know she needed help.
 
 
 
 
                   
                         

Sunday, April 26, 2015

1,000 to 1 On Me

There is always a chance that it will all fall apart. That everything you worked hard for, that everything you desired, that everything you believe in will crumble before your eyes and disintegrate flying into the cruel winds scattering the remants of all your hopes and dreams far, far from you.

There's also a chance that it WILL work out. But you will not know the outcome until you take a chance, that risk, that gamble with your life.

We only get one shot at this rodeo.

While we are here on this earth we will notice the yearning and desire spark in our souls. We will feel it attempt to grow, attempt to guide us to what and who will make us happy. It is up to us whether we we fan the flames and allow it to warm us from the inside out or if we choose to smother and extinguish the hope of following our dreams.

In life, there are going to be moments we are wildly, ridiculously unhappy. That simple weak spark is going to whisper to us that we need to make a choice. It is going to nudge our hearts with ideas that have been marinating in our souls for years. The reel will replay with the highlights of what has rejuvenated and recharged us and kept us going even in the roughest of times.

It is up to us to place that bet.

It is simply terrifying to think of everything you can lose but that is only one side of the coin. The fear that holds us back from taking chances focuses on the negative of what changes can bring instead of focusing on what we can gain.

We are in an unique and beautiful situation where we are both the dealer and the player in this game. There will be times where we are dealt a bad hand. A hand so damn bad we are going to want to fold into ourselves and never want to play again. Those are our redefining moments. Moments where we will need time to recalculate before making a move. When it gets so bad that we can find no hope, it would be reasonable to surmise that there would also be nothing to lose.

So why not reshuffle?

Put in the meager chips you are still holding onto and deal yourself a new hand.

Yes. It is going to be scary.
Yes. You can lose again.
Yes. It might break you.

But you will not know until you put that bet on yourself.

Be brave enough to talk to that person who gives you butterflies. Be brave enough to quit your soul sucking job. Be brave enough to go back to school. Be brave enough to speak your mind.  Be brave enough to leave that prick. Be brave enough to be you and do what you want to do.

It can blow up in your face.

But then again, there is a chance you're going to hit the jackpot. A jackpot that you could have never imagine. An overflowing jackpot full of love, fulfillment and adventure. A jackpot that stalls your fear and opens your heart to new opportunities and experiences you could never imagined.

Opportunities you might never have if you don't take the chance and take a gamble on yourself.


This has been a Sunday Confession with the one and only amazing More Than Cheese And Beer. Please stop on by her page and see what the cheesy hostess with the mostess had to say about the prompt Gamble as well as the other brave bloggers who joined in today.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

It's A Good Day

It is too nice of a day to have the house all shut up. The windows and front door are open, welcoming the whipping winds inside to help us air out the winter blahs that held us captive for too long. My mom is in the kitchen peeling, cutting, creating a dinner I am sure I will eat too much of. I would offer to help but she would just kick me out, again.

Today is a good day.

I am the ever annoying optimist. I wish I was not at times as it seems to annoy my friends and family. When I am nice to a frazzled and distracted waitress, when I lend the benefit of the doubt to someone who was supposed to have their work done two days ago, when I do not call people on their bullshit-at least not publicly-I can visibly see and hear my loved ones take the deepest of disgusted sighs.

In the past, I have been accused of being a dream pusher. I gladly accept that title and that I am a cheerleader.  I sincerely believe you can do what you want to do. I believe if you put your energy, time and hard work into your goal you most likely can meet it. I will help you. I will tutor you, assist you, donate, help you raise funds, raise awareness, be your sounding board-whatever you need, whatever I can do, I will.

There are enough naysayers, bad days, dream crushers, negative attitudes and rough realities in this world that I refuse to be part of the ugly cycle. I need to offer hope and support where and when I can.

Silver linings exist. They may be hard to find, they may not expose themselves in a timely manner, they may not make sense, but they exist.

Over a month ago I was sitting at work when my husband called. He went with my mom to her appointment at the memory clinic. He was so nonchalant when he said the memory team (neurologist, social worker, neuropsychologist, my mom and hubby) had decided the best course of action to treat her dementia was to start her on Aricept.

My mouth went dry. There were too many thoughts and not enough words that were silently choking me. My eyes began to sting as the built up tears burned as I blinked them back. My husband was saying something but I had no clue what.

Dementia.

I had not expected that.

I really thought it was going to be her thyroid again. Over the past year she has been having issues where she was forgetting things-what she came in the room for, what we were talking about, incorrectly balancing her checkbook, retaking her medicine or forgetting it all together, forgetting that she already ate or asking the same question over and over, unable to break out of a creepy cruel trance.

A few years back, she had an issue where her thyroid levels were off-so off that they mimicked early onset Alzheimer's. She was put on medication with no resolution. Eventually, it was revealed her thyroid levels were ridiculously low, she was put on levothyroxine and BAM she was back to herself.

I had thought this time we would come to the same conclusion. She had an MRI, EEG, did multiple cognitive and spatial tests, tons of labs including her thyroid and B-12 levels checked and after meeting with her Memory clinic team they have concluded she has mild to moderate dementia. A hideous umbrella of a term that just meant that these symptoms were not going away.

My husband was still talking, I had questions but did not know what to ask or who to ask. So I asked the most pressing bothersome one that was screaming through my head, How is mom? How did she take hearing that?

I could hear his half-smile, wryly forming on his face, You know her, she said it could be much worse.

And I realized exactly where I got my annoying optimism from and why I could not let it go.

I may not be able to find the silver lining in this situation especially when this week has been a little rough, a little emotionally taxing, but it does not mean I will not find it.

Not all days are bad days. Most days are in fact wonderful. The Aricept we learned cannot reverse or stop memory loss-nothing can-but it can slow the progression. My mother is still funny and inappropriate, sassy and sweet, a wealth of knowledge and a goofball all in one.

Just some days, it's hard to find her.

Some days she will forget that she already exercised or that the mail came. Some days she will refuse to take her medicine swearing she already had. Some days she will become upset and emotional and we cannot soothe her. Some days she will ask the same question over and over until it wears on your nerves and your soul like only a grater can.

But today, today is a good day.

The wind has stopped ruffling our curtains, instead I hear the distinct slapping against the concrete and grass outside that could only mean rain.

Just as I was about to complain about the newly falling rain, my mom wondered aloud excitedly if there would be a rainbow.

Silver linings, there is no wonder who could have taught me to believe in them.

Today was a Sunday Confession with the one and only More Than Cheese And Beer. I want to say thank you everyone who has shown love and given support during this time. To my sweet readers and followers on my Facebook page-I appreciate the love and positive vibes you showered me with when I asked for it without explaining why.

Friday, April 17, 2015

National Poetry Month: Day 17

Determined soul.
Furiously needing to fly.
Pumping quickly.

Launching forward.
Flying fearlessly through the playground.
Proudly soaring.

Floating downwards.
Sticking the landing, brave arms outstretched.
Greeting the day.

I combined the prompts from the NaPoWriMo website which was to create a modified haiku with a 4-9-4 rhythm instead of 5-7-5 and the Writer's Digest prompt which was to write a poem about a 'swing'.