healthy · heart

Check Engine

If you have a car you are familiar with the CHECK ENGINE light. If you have a body you might also be familiar with the same kind of warning. The warning might come in the form of swollen joints, fever, chest pains or any other sign there is a security breach of wellness – inside your castle.

The early warning beacon, letting you know that you need to go in for service. Probably skipped that last service appt as things were going well. Why fix what’s not broke? 2 weeks ago my CHECK ENGINE siren went off in my chest.

I awoke with chest discomfort. A cramp of sorts that I just could not ignore. It had been less severe during the week but this was different.

Of course, I fast forward to my funeral. Have I made a difference? Will anyone miss me? When will my heart stop? Will it hurt? Then, the pain disappears just as quickly. Relief. But will it return? Will this be it?

As I wait for my appointment, I live my best life, wondering if each hour could be the last. Waffling between panic and satisfaction, I carry on. For the next 3 days I reflect on my life, how I’ve been able to bust up my FOO (family of origin) and continue to stand tall atop the rubble.

I am flooded with pride, my love for myself spilling from my pores, a purple mist entering my heart space. A healing mist, mist of comfort and knowing and grace. Angel’s exhaled grace holding my heart in tender appreciation.

I’ll be fine. My heart is fine. Scarred? Yes. A thorough exam and stress test reveal normal function. A beautiful, typical pitter-patter. Nothing wrong they say. My heart whispers, “there was never anything wrong with you.”

My check engine light is off for now. I resume normal function. Listening to my body, everyday. Slowing down to take notice of my needs. My self heal modalities cued up. My toolkit brimming. Self-talk extremely important. Ready for this to happen never again.

cycles

Driving Miss Crazy

I just want everything to be normal. As it used to be. I would rise up in the morn after a restful nights sleep. Mind open and free. Free to wonder and allow and dream. Thinking about the day ahead with possibility and satisfaction for my life, my aliveness, my able body. All is right in the world.

But this is lost. NOW. A much different picture. Restless nights, waking soaked and agitated. Dark and irritated. Unfocused, lacking the capacity to absorb even pleasurable things. Overstimulated and exhausted. Tears that won’t stop.

Rather then a blessing, life feels like a chore, a trick. Unable to see past my funk, time moves on. This is what depression must feel like. A dimming of the light. The numb taking front n center in a once vibrant life. Eyes fixed and tears streaming. A vast nothingness.

Overwhelm and indifference fighting for the front seat. Moving from everything is too much to -who cares? Frozen despondency. Cozy and terrifying at once. A cocoon on fire, with an audience. Humiliation and validation fighting for the back seat. Driving Miss Crazy.

The isolation looms. I must keep connecting. But my deepest desire is to be invisible. If just for a day, a week. Disappearing. Unable to be found, uncovered, discovered. For who I am is not permissible. Not presentable. What I am, who I am, is not allowed. Not right now.

I hide behind my disposable mask. Inhaling stale thoughts, countless lies about myself. Right now I can barely see the light. Right now, I’m feeling the deepest humiliation and shame. Right now my brain and stores of serotonin have gone on holiday. Leaving me, a rusty iron gate in the wind, mostly closed and whining. Disconnected and invisible.

Until now, my experience with deep humiliation was basically an unmet, unfamiliar stranger. Humiliation meeting pressure, perfection, anxiety and fear, my old sketchy roommates. Most of the time unwelcome house guests. Familiar shadowy strays. With name plates at the dinner table, never changing out of their pajamas.

Today, I rely on a fortress of autopilot tolerance and patience. I muster these for myself. I must cling to the patterns, the same patterns that saved my ass, my sanity, allowed me to look normal and sane as a child. Having patience for the parts of me that still act on impulse and keep me playing victim.

Patience and love for the parts of me that listen to the little stupid voice. You know that voice. Saying I deserve all things horrible because I bring it on myself, I don’t care enough, I don’t know anything, I have nothing to offer… bla bla bla. Should have, could have , would have.

On the surface I fight back but at the core there are holes in the fabric where the slime of self loathing eeks through. All dark and slippery, like a serpent hungry for my soul. I muster the compassion for myself naming and evicting those voices. Zing them out the front door. Crafty bitches slither back in, finding the smallest cracks. No vacancy, no room in the inn. But oh yes, there always is. They laugh at my meaningless protests.

They bring me candy and gifts and charm my pants off. Seduction of sameness, familiarity. All for a comfy seat in my life. They’re so sure they won’t be evicted – they know, before I do- smug bastards. Their voices are ancient. But I give them life. Breathe life into them, their crusty old bones erected and lubed. Upright. My doing.

I supply their juices, fodder, connective tissues and strength. I am the life giver. I birth them, give them a voice -when I listen, when I play small. When I accept the bait, and devour their shards of glass garbage thoughts. They are nothing without me – I breathe life into them.

I bleed. I cut. I cut myself. I cut myself out. I cut myself off. From the light, my gifts, my heart. Severed. Aliveness -hidden. Ready or not. I will stay in the dark but only long enough to find the light. No-one can find this for me. This is an inside job. This is the work.

To blaze the path not yet fully cleared. Grab my sickle, hedge clippers, bushwhacker, axe, pick and chain saw. Disregarding the old, dark, comforting lies my shadow NEEDS me to believe. Otherwise it won’t survive.

I can’t wait to be fearless, content and grounded once again. It will happen. It always does. Meanwhile, buckle-up buttercup. The journey continues…driving Miss CRAZY.

resilient · shadow

Don’t I Know You?

I feel a little piece of myself in everyone I know, everyone I meet. We are all a mixture of light n dark. A fine recipe of delicious complexity.
I am joyful and depressed, I’m hateful, I am optimistic, I’m a killer, I’m jealous, I’m content and curious, wild, responsible, disengaged, entitled, invisible, enraged, tired, discouraged, complacent, magnificent. Big breath in….. real, lost, embarrassed, hopeful, dreamy, open, humiliated, passive, judgmental, honest weird, eccentric, lonely, pissed, accepting, blank, spiteful, alive, proud, blessed, dismissive and aggressive.

If we’re honest, several of these are living within us. Sure the positive traits/experiences are easy to embrace and recognize. The darker, shameful, maybe even shocking tendencies we def try to conceal, deny, excise. They need love and compassion too. They’re looking for recognition and expression. To be lovingly surrounded with safety, protection and containment.

Can we privately bring LOVE

and understanding

to the parts of ourselves

that we hate?

If just for this

moment

If just for today

resilient · Uncategorized

Maybe

Hello my darling Anxiety
What is it you want to tell me?
I promise I won’t curse you or
chase you away
The fact that you’re here now
is a good indication
that I’m ready
and prepared to hear
your message
You’re here anyway,
so I might, as well
lend you an ear
I’ll keep checking in with you
Maybe I can get to know you better Maybe we can be friends
Maybe

acceptance · anxiety · anyways · body · challenge · Change · exploration · human condition · Menopause · Play · self love · Thrive · Uncategorized

Menopause, true story

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Here I am getting older and wiser, or maybe just wiser. I’m just an average fish, swimming alongside the rest of you. I had heard some things, mostly scary stuff about growing older as a female. There is a plethora of information out there, charts and graphs, statistics and studies – all doing their best to explain exactly wtf goes on before, during and after the looming “Menny-P”. It all looks horrible, nothing any sane individual would sign up for. On top of that crap, there seems to be a shitload of shame surrounding this most transformative time in mid-life. Yes, shame for having an aging body. WTF. So I am beginning to dip my toe into this middle aged black hole…

My body is freaking out just a little. I usually feel pretty agile and thin – even though I’m 20 pounds more than ideal. But these strange sensations tho. Like being pregnant all over again. Yes, this is it. An abdomen that’s bloated for no reason. Less of a “looking” big than a feeling of literally, a stuffed sausage that has overstepped its casing boundary – huge. Waking up distended, going to bed still large. Expanding inside and no matter what you do, the feeling of hugeness it still there with you to lug around on hot June afternoons.

Clothes don’t feel right. Elastic waistbands are blissful. Nothing without give. Nothing constricting. Great theory….but brand new problem – underwear and waistbands roll down when you bend. Well, isn’t that fucking grand? Nakedness works but is frowned upon by the police. So here I am, just feeling enormous. From sternum to pelvic bone, completely disturbed. Uterus, ovaries, cortisol pumping, dancing, singing their ritualistic, ancient songs. Oooo, here comes my period, nope, just kidding. Here it is, nope, note this time either. Cramping, bloating, feeling – pull the covers up to your nose – gross. Abdomen and pelvis working overtime to figure out the hormonal changes and bring me back to homeostasis.

Well, hurry the fuck up. Then there’s the mental fog – sometimes it feels like just too much to figure shit out. Should I wear clothes today? lol I try and combat that and take on the ever popular addiction -coffee- So now I still realize that I can’t/don’t want to figure shit out and I realize that FASTER. Funny, but not terribly helpful. Caffeine welcomes back an old friend, Anxiety. (I refer to it as a friend just so it knows it’s time with me is limited and it’s not staying, shhhhh, pinky swear?)

So I’m bloated, foggy and anxious. DELICIOUSLY attractive no doubt. Anxious because I know I should be doing much more daily. But what was I supposed to be doing and why was it important and why am I thinking about this anyway? lol Round and round I go, my roly-poly, cobwebby, agitated self. It’s got to get better, right?  Well, yes, I’m glad you asked. Some days, my hormones take a break and I feel like “me” again and I should celebrate the shit out of those days. Party! My stomach flattens, I’m so sharp mentally and calm, peaceful and grounded. Bliss

And then, Menopause speaks again. This time it’s my thighs and my hips. Exhausted is the word. Absolutely not a drop of stamina for climbing stairs, walking uphill, riding a bike. I’d rather lie in traffic. Seriously, I could just drop to the ground and give up. GIVE UP????? I was (still am) in good shape, always was. Kick boxing, boot camp, weights, cardio, you name it, I was down. This FATIGUE bullshit is not me, at all. Suddenly I feel antiquated – Good God, not that.

And Christ, is it hot in here? Haha. Seriously tho – the fluctuations, only at night (thank God) are enough to drive you nuts. Blankets on blankets off. Bundled up, then naked. Don’t touch me, then keep me warm. Bloated, sweaty, agitated – How sexy am I? (don’t answer that) Morning arrives to greet your wet, mental fog… who’s popping up out of bed to start the cheerful day? NOT ME. I roll over onto a dry spot on the sheets, back of my hair wet, clothes damp.  Oh, that reminds me… who doesn’t want to make this all go away? – don’t, whatever you do, think you’re going to add alcohol to a hot mess such as this -in an attempt to improve the situation. I think not –  Exacerbation city!!!  It’ll make Menopause symptoms look like a picnic.

I start thinking – This is some dumb shit, really asinine. Everyday, heading into your late 40’s and early 50’s, if you are not “in touch” with your body and listen to what it needs, then Menopause is going to roll you. Ever meet Flat Stanley? you will. Blindsided by a hormonal steamroller is what you’ll be. I’m late to the party with all of this so I’ve had longer than the average Joe, to get my mental shit together so I wouldn’t enter into this milestone already a hot mess. I wonder how many women start with these symptoms and run to the Dr. thinking they’ve got early dementia, chronic fatigue, fibromialgia, heart problems, thyroid issues… seriously!

You may want to punish your body for not functioning at 100%, I get it. Common I suppose. I seriously started to think something was REALLY wrong with me until I was able to put the pieces together. Menopause is different for every woman but there are some common strands. Instead of getting angry with the temporary upheaval – I will treat my body/mind like I would an old friend and show compassion, patience and understanding. Just because I accept the ridiculousness that is upon me does not mean it is here to stay. 

So today, I rest when I can and care for myself. Enjoying the nurturing only I can give my changing, maturing body. I push a little with exercise, mostly gardening, loading rocks, digging holes, running the wheelbarrow up my steep embankment, easy shit like this, ha. All the while cognizant of what my body will agree to that day. Resting when I need to, connecting with the earth energy and the support of the heavens. Stopping to observe the changes in my body and not fighting them but accepting the wisdom they bring.  

Whatever needs doing these days….I may show up foggy, bloated, sweaty and anxious. And I will not make this a problem. I got this.

acceptance · anyways · awareness · Change · exploration · healing · healthy · heart · human condition · Human Spirit · inner work · light in the darkness · Moving On · old patterns · Reframe · Satisfied · See · self love · self talk · shadow · soul · trust · Uncategorized · Universe · validation

Power Up

When you start to speak the truth

When you find your voice

People will want to silence you, shut your shit down. Continue reading “Power Up”

Anorexia · Change · Eating · exploration · Food · healing · healthy · Human Spirit · persevere · Starving · survival · trauma

Canned Peaches & Custard

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    Survivor’s Crown

I knew something was terribly wrong. The desire in me, to bust out to the world with what I knew, was so very strong. I had kept the secret for a long time. Knowing something bad happened, something unspeakable, I could hardly keep from bursting at the seams. Continue reading “Canned Peaches & Custard”