Saturday, July 29, 2017

PTSD and Anxiety Suck (aftermath of The Incident)

Saturday 29th of July  

The effects of The Incident are going on and on and on.

The event so traumatized me that I find myself in the unpleasant position of having a pile of my anxiety triggers reactivated. The "squirrels" have been released from their cages and they are having a merry time racing around causing havoc. (I call them "squirrels" because my thoughts race around like the squirrel in the movie Over The Hedge once he drank the can of energy drink) All the old, forgotten traumas have resurfaced, bursting out of their places in the past. It is amazing and annoying at what can trigger the release of those squirrels and how I can go from calm and content to shaking and afraid at the drop of the proverbial hat.

Full blown social anxiety problems cause me to be scared to leave my home even to visit with dear friends. The idea of going to a public event leaves me in a panic. The idea of going to a shopping mall has me wanting to hide. I have been struggling with this and some days it is easier than others. Sometimes I can't leave my bedroom without anxiety. Other times I do OK even though I am not comfortable leaving the house even to putter in my garden. Or be in other rooms of the home.

Full blown PTSD moments from sexual abuse and physical abuse of my childhood and youth. 
I was enjoying a pleasant meal at a local fish and chip shop with Hubby when a senior fellow at another table decided to target the two young people- young teens by the look of them-  at the table beside up for teasing. It was obvious that he did not know the family.  The build of the man and his manner reminded me too much of my "Uncle Jack"- the man who sexually abused me between the ages of 3 and 16.  The teasing got ugly when he commented that the kids shouldn't use any ketchup because " don't you know that ketchup can make you fat".  Those kids were slim. And that kind of rude remark can trigger episodes of food avoidance. I know- it did for me. At least the mom spoke up- "anything can make you fat if you eat too much of it!" But the ugly minded man did not let it lie- he replied. "Not if it is me that you are eating."  What an ugly, perverted Uncle Jack type thing to say. The three adults at the table with the kids gave him looks that shut him down and he muttered some inane stuff about the cat on his shirt eating all his food so he didn't get fat- when he was fat. Hearing that exchange took me back to my teens and the hell that I went through then with both body image and sexual abuse. My stomach clenched and I nearly lost my meal. The squirrels were flashing images of the past- my past. It's amazing how much can be relived in a split second. I knew what was happening but I had no control over it. I needed to get home as fast as possible. So much for a lovely Friday evening out with Hubby.

Today there was a social event tied into Hubby's work. A camping weekend at a local provincial park, with a noon picnic- food provided- for those camping or just coming for the picnic. I had thought that Hubby has said the picnic was Sunday so I was totally unprepared for his telling me that he had put camp chairs in the car when I hadn't even gotten up and dressed yet. Let alone eaten anything to stabilize my blood sugar. ~PANIC~  I had asked him to put it on the kitchen wall calendar- because otherwise I forget events and their dates. He didn't- and I not only forgot I got the day wrong.  And he did not remind me yesterday.  I did get myself dressed and out the door- but once we got there the anxiety had me shaking. I KNEW NO ONE! There was no one to say hello and welcome. Oh, Hubby knows his co-workers and he would do the usual- leave me sitting alone somewhere and go socialize. Meanwhile the squirrels were busy.
Those squirrels were whirling about- "You don't belong here." "Why would anyone want to socialize with you?" "You don't belong here- you aren't part of the group." No one wants you here".....  Thankfully the park is close to home so Hubby took me home and then returned to the event. I just could not do it. Even at home all I could do was shake. 

Rejection and isolation, being shunned and attacked as one who does not belong to the group is another part of my childhood. Violence and bullying was a big part of my school life from grades 1-6 that I could not escape. It was a life of terror and trauma that I would wish on no one. The squirrels have piles of pain to work with. It is something that I have worked hard to overcome.  Too many bad memories to justify why no one would want to socialize with me. I belong no where, with no one. No one could possibly want to be my friend. I am back there again- thanks to the assault by that woman and being yelled at that I was not one of her people. That she needed to protect her people from the likes of me.

Words are weapons- that do more permanent damage than physical blows. But I have taken enough of those physical blows that they are paired in my mind with the harsh words. "Go away or we will make you go away" with physical violence.

The squirrels are good at spinning anxiety, at digging up those painful nuts that they have buried in my memory, at turning the anxiety into moments of reliving the terrible, traumatic past and triggering all the emotions of the time into life once more. To be dealt with once more. While the calm and logical part of the mind can only look on in dismay as the body reacts to the stress hormones that those memories cause to be released.

I was fragile before The Incident, the attack. I am more fragile now. 
It is hard to live this way. Broken of body, broken of spirit. Hanging on by a thread.
Afraid to reach out for help- because I may be rejected, even attacked, if I do. And because just that has happened recently I can't even tell myself that it can't/won't ever happen that way. 





Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Incident- one the cruelty of some and the support of others.

The Incident Of Thursday July 13th, 2017 


Even a week later it is difficult for me to relate the events of that day. It was terribly traumatizing for me and even today I fight the shakes and tears whenever I am forced to relate the incident to others. A good friend (Thanks Judy) suggested that I blog about it, so here I am and here it is.

I will start off a few days before- on the Monday- because it does tie into the difficulties of the Thursday. I had undergone a laser procedure on both of my eyes to correct for what I have been calling cataracts 2.0. Because of the shape of the sides of the lenses used to replace my natural ones the capsule holding the lens in place within the eye had thickened and clouded up creating vision problems identical to that of the removed cataract afflicted lenses. The procedure was to burn holes into the capsule to allow the light to get through freely once more. Side effects were black appearing floaters that look like spiders and flies in front of me, and for my left eye a temporary fogging over of the vision either partially or fully. It lasts for only seconds at a time and will stop happening in the next week or so, but when it happens - for those fleeting seconds- I become suddenly blind in one eye. I quickly stopped swatting at the big bugs that only I can see, but the sudden blindness along one side is startling at best.

On that Thursday I had a doctor's appointment and errands to run in the downtown Langford area about a mile away from home, and being it was a lovely day I decided to ride my mobility scooter, Betsy.  Right from the start the machine wasn't acting normally, but I did not have time to call for a taxi and still get to my appointment on time. I had to take my chance and hope for the best. The trip had always taken no more than one bar of power and I thought I had started with a full charge.

The charge indicator was all over the place, bouncing up and down again like a yo-yo. When I was close to the doctor's office when a fellow ran over to me to tell me that a rear tire was half flat. I would have to worry about that after the doctor's visit. 

The doctor's visit left me feeling down and a bit scared. Another new set of medical rules from the Powers-That-Be concerning the use of opioid pain medicines for the control of chronic pain. Last year my allotment had been cut back by 30%. This year the goal is to remove all access to the quick release breakthrough pain relief. Not that day- but the next time I run out I will get fewer and the next even fewer pills to last for more days in time with the goal of getting no breakthrough relief at all. Being that I have a degenerating spine, inflammatory arthritis and ever more parts being effected by ever stronger pain as my body attacks itself (autoimmune issues)- and since I have tried and have had sometimes life threatening side effects from the non-opioid pain control options- this did not leave me feeling reassured. My doctor has advised me to explore my cannabis options, which I already have been doing to replace what meds I have already lost access to.

It is stressful riding along and having an eye fog over. I had just had worrying news. I had a tire to fill (and hope that it wouldn't go flat again), prescriptions to fill and to get safely home again. I just wanted to get home again. Meanwhile the charge indicator on Betsy was acting up in a way that I have never seen it do before.  I was on the edge of an anxiety attack and pushing myself as hard as I could to hold it together and get done what I needed to get done.

Tire filled with air, prescription filled, I was on my way home and suddenly the charge indicator went dark. No bars! Oh Shit! Half bars to no bars in an instant! There I am a mile from home, and that is too far to push the machine. If I was strong enough to do that I wouldn't need it in the first place.  Strangely enough the machine kept on going. In the past no bars meant a dead battery and a dead machine. I had no idea what was happening and how far it would go. I knew that I could not abandon the machine on the side of the road, on the sidewalk, or in a parking lot. It is a mid-sized three wheel Shoprider machine, with a freewheel "steal me" switch and I did not have any sort of way to secure the machine to anything. Being that I have nearly had my machine stolen before when I left it outside of a shop while shopping within, and I know of machines being run over while left in a parking lot handicap stall I needed to find someplace safe before the charge really did run out. I did not know if I could make it to the safety of Alloy Music ( Hubby's been associated with it for over 20 years)- half way home from where I was- or I would have headed straight there. But I was in too much of a panic to even try. And I didn't even have their number in my cell phone even if there was someone there who could come to my aid!

But nearby to where I sat (on the sidewalk) was the office of the chiropractor and massage therapist where I have gone for over 30 years. Several doctors have come and gone from it, but in the past it has been a safe haven if I was stuck with battery problems.  "Yes'" I thought. A safe place to go to sit and figure out what to do next- to get me and Betsy safely home. I could not have been more wrong.

It was around noon so the place appeared to be empty save for a woman on the desk. She apparently did not recognize me as a patient, and she was on the phone on hold. I told her my name, that I was a patient and that I was having an emergency with my mobility scooter and was hoping that I would be able to get some help. I said that I would wait until she got off the phone. I wanted to sit in the waiting room to get my panic under control so I could think clearly, figure out my options for what to do next - but she refused to allow it. She wanted to know what was wrong and what I needed her for and what I intended on doing- and where I had put my machine. 

I was doing my best to not fall apart and here she was demanding instant replies to questions that I didn't have answers to. I said that I was trying to figure all of that out- and my machine was in front of the building- where I always park it when I have a week day appointment and ride it there (where other people park their machines as well) up against the building, out of the way for other people coming in.  I was babbling as I ran through whatever options came to mind- I had no idea what was the best thing to do. I needed to get a drink of water, use the toilet, calm down- and clear my head so I could think my way past the panic to a good plan. I got none of it. I got aggression which only made things for me so much worse.

The front of the building is well set back from the main road, on the corner of the street. The front yard used to be the septic field for the building, and is fenced in and gated and grassed all for a sidewalk area and a good sized patio area next to the building front. 

She did not ask me to move my scooter over to the grass, off the paved area but within the compound for safety. Oh no, not her. She told me that I had to move it outside of the fence- to use a parking stall along the side of the building- they are half on the street- or at the back of the building which also is open to the street. I froze, fighting back tears. I said that I am sorry, but I can't do that. I was in a full fledged panic attack at that time. She said "Can't or won't? You can either park there or leave". By then it was nearly impossible for me to get a word out, my throat was so choked up with emotion and she cut me off every time I got a word out besides.. "You don't understand.."- I got out and she cut me off, getting ever louder and more aggressive- "No, you don't understand. You can't park inside the enclosure. Park where I told you to or leave." So I said "I'll go". I was on the verge of terror. This was not what I had expected, not how I had ever been treated before by anyone whom I have sought help from. 

I held back my tears of anguish, I did not yell, I held myself together. I tried to leave. I could barely see through the eye fog and unshed tears. I prayed that the machine would start and get me to Alloy. I didn't get the key into the switch before the woman was outside yelling at me at the top of her voice and flailing her arms about over her head as if she were about to physically attack me!!  She yelled about her having been on the phone. (I had said I wanted to wait until she was free- she wouldn't allow it.) She yelled about "It's not all about you!" ( Where did that come from?) She called me a bunch of names- selfish, self centred, entitled, rude (she was the rude one).. and I forget what else.  I was just wanting to get out of there, trying to get away from the threat she was posing to me.  She said that I had no idea how difficult it was to get someone in a wheelchair from a handydart into the building (Huh?? I had used a handydart handicap bus days before so I did have an idea what that took- before she was hired I had used a walker for many years) and that she would not let me block their access to the building for any reason. She had to protect "my people". It was all about "My People". Wasn't I among her "people" having been a patient for longer than she worked there? How dare I go to her for help! I was in blind terror at this point! 

The office's building is on a busy corner of Goldstream Avenue- with a Starbucks across the road and a St. Vincent de Paul shop next door down the side road- and people were stopping to gawk from both places- as well as the shopping mall and even across the road the other side of Goldstream. I was being humiliated publicly on top of everything else.  With the way she was waving her arms about as well as the yelling she triggered my ptsd and I was terrified that she was going to physically assault me if I could not get away from her ! Loudly and violently thrown off the property where I had sought safety to deal with the panic attack and the broken machine. I was so upset that I nearly drove into an oncoming vehicle- or two- as I fled into traffic in my tears and terror! 

I was shaking and praying all the way to Peatt Rd, and down it to Station Ave- and down it along the roadside to Alloy Music. The charge indicator was dark the entire time. The boss there, Tim, and the teacher Jeff, took one look at me and told me to sit down. Once the customer that they were dealing with had gone I was calm enough to be able to get out what had happened at the Chiro's office.

Tim said that if he had his truck that day he would have loaded up the machine and taken it, and me, home. I was truly safe now. I could leave the machine inside the back of the shop for Hubby to pick up later- or fix there- if need be and wait for him there or get a ride home from Tim. I was told that I could call them anytime I needed them, and that if I was stranded they would go so far as to close down the shop to come and get me- and the machine if need be. We decided to try to charge the machine to see if that would work, so Tim took me to retrieve the charger and put the machine on to charge for an hour and a half. The indicator said it now had a half charge so I felt that it could get me home. It did- but halfway between Alloy and home the indicator went dark again. 

I put the machine on to charge as soon as I got home- then I put the number for Alloy into my phone, made a cup of tea and let myself break down and cry. 

Once I calmed down enough I got on my computer and went looking for some email addresses for the Chiropractors office and found addresses for the business, the office manager, and the individual practitioners. I set about writing letters addressed to the business, the office manager, our doctor and my massage therapist to tell my side of what I call "The Incident" because I was sure that the woman would either not mention that she had publicly thrown a patient seeing emergency help off the property or make me out as a terrible person trying to do something nasty. Or that they would only hear gossip from someone who had witnessed only my very public humiliation. I cried as I wrote, but with those tears my held in panic also dripped onto the table in front of me. But the trauma of that event would not ease up.

An hour or so later I got a phone call from the chiropractor. She was very apologetic but felt that maybe there was miscommunication as the root of the problem as if I was as much to blame as the receptionist. I said that while that may have been part of it- once I had agreed to leave without making a fuss of any kind there was no justification for being followed outside and yelled at in such an aggressive way as to make a very public spectacle of it and to humiliate me in that way. Not when I was already leaving in tears and anxiety- in worse shape than I was when I sought help. The doctor agreed that what happened outside was uncalled for. I was reassured that the woman doesn't work on Saturdays, which is the day that Hubby and I go for our adjustments. I was barely holding myself together and sobbing and shaking while I was on the phone. Here I was apologizing and pleading for understanding when I was the victim of the attack.

The next morning I heard from the office manager. I let the answering machine take it as I was terrified to answer it lest it be the woman calling. She had not spoken to the woman yet but wanted to speak to me first. The woman would be spoken to. Both the office manager and the chiropractor assured me that the office was a safe place to come, for whatever reason, and that I could park my scooter within the enclosure at any time I needed to. I could not bring myself to return her call and relive the hell of the previous day once more.

I have not heard from my massage therapist. She may be on vacation. I know that she works out of a second location and I asked her about where it is and if the woman works there as well as I would possibly transfer our visits to that location if it is. I may have to find someone else to do the deep tissue work that I have gone to this therapist for many years now- and those are week day visits. 

I have not had an apology of any kind from my attacker. As a true bully does she likely feels fully justified for what she did and how she did it. I never expected one. Without any kind of apology I feel that there is always more of a danger that she will attack me again. It isn't logical, but the emotional anxiety charged ptsd part of things isn't logical nor does it listen to reason. It just feels, reacts and brings back traumatic events- and due to that woman's arrogance and self-importance (everything she accused me of having) a difficult and stressful day turned into a terribly traumatic one.

On top of being afflicted by a laundry list of physical conditions as a result of childhood polio, an autoimmune system trying to fry my nervous system and to kill my body, and genetic based problems I also suffer from anxiety attacks and ptsd. I was in an anxiety attack before "The Incident" happened. I now have another incident for the ptsd to feed upon. I have been in hell for this past week.  I have been waking up several times each night in a panic, wet with sweat. My guts have been in knots with nearly constant nausea. Headaches  from stress happen daily.  My days are filled with attacks of fear, anxiety, and panic, my mind drifting back to that day- to everything that happened, replaying every detail that added to the original anxiety attack along with the attack upon me. I cannot get free of that attack no matter what I do. There is grief at the betrayal of trust.  

We have chiropractic appointments this Saturday morning, Hubby and I do. Just thinking about it gets me terrified. I know that the vile woman will not be there. But will the Saturday person look at me as if I have two heads and am a nasty person for upsetting the weekday woman? I start shaking, with a tight lump in my upper chest and a knot in my belly. I have given myself permission to chicken out at the last minute. If not for needing to have an inflamed and damaged sacral joint needing to be unlocked and degenerative neck vertebra adjusted I would have cancelled last Saturday. Hubby is being supportive- saying that if I need to stay home it's OK with him. I can go and sit in the car, get to the door and turn around- whatever I need.

And as for my mid-week appointment in August with the massage therapist that I have waited months for- Hubby said that he will take the day off so that he can be there with me to be between me and my abuser. If I haven't decided to find someone new to go to between then and now- depending upon if I can make it for an appointment Saturday. Right now I have doubts if I can do that,

Wish me luck. I need all the luck that I can get.

   
UPDATE- SATURDAY 22 JULY 2017

Because of the agony of a locked and inflamed sacroiliac joint I needed to go to my monthly chiropractic adjustment to unlock it. I awoke this morning with stomach and belly cramps, wet with sweat once again. It took me a long while to push myself to be dressed and ready to leave the house. Hubby was being as supportive and gentle as he could be. 

When we arrived at the office my stomach was in my throat and I choked down reflux juices. I could not stop shaking and struggled to walk into the building. In the waiting room I could not control the shaking of my upper body, my hands and arms. Hubby held my hand and looked at me lovingly to help me sat as calm as I could. It took all the years of experience I have in meditation, positive self talk and calming techniques for me to not fall apart or run away. The Saturday receptionist/assistant was concerned when she took me into the exam/treatment room because I was shaking so badly I could barely walk.  I overheard her talking with Hubby about her concern and he explained how I had had a very bad experience two Thursday's ago. I caught her say that she would have done what I had done if she had found herself in a similar situation without a second thought. It was apparent that she had not heard anything about the incident.

When she came to check on me she gave me a hug and said how sorry she was that had happened to me and assured me that I was always welcome there.  She seemed to be angry that I had been subjected to such a violent rejection of my appeal for help. I broke down in tears. I thanked her but I blubbered that I had truly thought that the woman was going to hit me when she followed me outside yelling and waving her arms.

I lay there shaking until the doctor came in- but at least I had stopped sobbing by that time. I did not want to talk any more about the incident as I would have just started sobbing once more. Once the adjustments were complete I left the building as soon as I could manage it, to wait for Hubby outside.

An apology from The Woman.
Once home again, later in the afternoon I got onto my computer. In my email inbox I found a note from the office manager along with a copy of a very short hand written note of apology from the woman who verbally attacked and abused me. It was sent yesterday, Friday 21 July, 2017. Since it took over a week for the apology to happen I do not trust the sincerity of it, but the rational part of my mind does accept it.

I did reply to say that while the rational part of my mind does accept the apology it will take some time for my psyche and spirit to heal, because I had been so traumatized because I felt certain that the woman was going to hit me. I shortly explained that I have been suffering with night terrors, and daily attacks of anxiety and tears along with episodes of the deep darkness of reaction depression. 

I ended my reply by thanking them again for the apology.

But...
I truly feel that, from the way it was worded the only reason that any apology happened was because the woman was forced into it. 

I do not know how long it will take for me to heal from the attack, the humiliation and the terror of that day. 


Friday, February 17, 2017

PAINSOMNIA SUCKS- Pretzel Nights

 

  Last night was another Battle Royal with pain. Pain so heavy, pain so strong, pain so unpredictable that there was no way to be "comfortable" - I use this term quite loosely- for long enough to sleep. When sleep does come it does not last long. Sleep for an hour- awake for a couple of hours- back to sleep for a few- awake again-

I call nights like that Pretzel Nights.

A Pretzel Night is one where the periods of sleep have several big holes in them. Doze off for a bit. Awaken in agony. Do something to distract yourself until such time comes as the pain stuff kicks in or the attack eases up. Doze off again. Awaken in agony. Repeat until you are finally able to get enough sleep to get up and start the day.


 Since I am in an autoimmune flare-up life is difficult and solid deep sleep elusive.  Waking up soggy from night sweats is such a problem that I have a stack of T-shirts and PJ bottoms to change into as needed.  Some nights I change three or more times. Other nights- a really good night- I don't get so soggy that I need to change.  Waking up soggy just adds another layer of misery. You don't want to have to change your bedding at 3am because it's soggy. Changing your bed clothes is hard enough.


Add to that waking up dizzy, confused and nauseous. It's not a pleasant image is it? Imagine waking up that way several times a night. Don't forget the pain.


It's the pain that wakes you up into the hell of confusion, vertigo, nausea and sogginess.


The body is wracked with pain. To call it anything less than agony would be to sugar coat it. Some parts hurt more than others. You may awaken gasping for breathe. You may think that you are having a seizure of some kind. You may think that you are dying. But all that is happening is that you are just waking up.

You have to hang onto the bed and wait, focus of breathing through it all and relaxing the body until the terrible spasms of awakening pass and you can move.  You have to move your body slowly. If you move too fast a muscle cramp may result. Anyone who gets cramps in their calf muscles or foot arch knows the agony. It can hit any part of the body that is muscle and leaves you feeling bruised.




This can happen several times a night.


ALL you can do is to survive it.  Survive in the moment. Survive for today. Hope that the flare will be a short one and that the nights won't get any worse than this. Breathe through it and ride it out. 



Is there anything that can be done for it?

Nope, not really.

Women in Peri-menopause and Menopause already taking HRT/ERT may find that the night sweats part lessened in intensity and frequency.  

Meds can cause as many problems as they help with. Everything has side effects. Ease one problem and worsen another.  Cause something else to happen- as if we need another issue to deal with. The remedy can be worse than the problem.

There is no good formula for relief. That does not mean that we should not try to find ways to ease as many of the issues that feed into the Painsomnia Pretzel as possible, making the sleepless holes as small as possible and the good sleep as big and good as it can get.


We may have to learn to live with nights like these, to cope as best we can.

BUT we never have to give up on the ideal of those rare and precious nights of good sleep.








Friday, January 13, 2017

The Old Cat Died- Sir TigerTail of Bast - March 1996- January 2017






                                                            Ode to the Old Cat

                                                  Do not have the gall to say to me
                                                     That he was just a cat.
                                                 To me he was my Main Meow
                                                     And so more than that.

                                                 He was my friend for many years
                                                    Close to 21 at that.
                                                From tiny kit to aged tom
                                                    Sometimes angel, sometimes brat.

                                                  When I was sad, he dried my tears
                                                     His purrs strengthening my heart.
                                                 When I was sick he'd stay by me
                                                      He refused to be apart.

                                                 He was poppa to the fostered kits
                                                   And he raised them very well.
                                                He loved them all and they loved him
                                                   As their grief for him does tell.



                                               He loved us strong up to the end
                                                 Knowing his time was near.
                                               With a last cuddle, caress and purr
                                                   He told us he loved us dear.

                                               His love is branded on my heart
                                                   My very soul and mind.
                                              My Main Meow has gone away
                                                  But his love he's left behind.

                                              Sir TigerTail of Bast was here
                                                 He shared this life of mine.
                                             Sir Tiger Tail of Bast is gone.
                                                  His love ever stays behind.

                                                 © phyllis griffiths 2017




Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cultivating Contentment in 2017







~ Good-bye 2016- Welcome 2017~

Whew- that was one difficult year, 2016 was.

In the immortal words of Edgar Rice Burroughs character John Carter of Mars:


"I STILL LIVE!"
The year 2016 ends in that defiant roar- I Still Live!
I am still here. I still live. 

It is a starting place as well as the giving a proper salute to the "Fickle Finger of Fate"


 "I Still Live!"

So what to do about 2017?

This is what I would like to have as my goals for the next twelve months: 



After the last twelve months these goals should be easy enough for even me to accomplish.

Simple, easy goals for the most part.
Difficult to manage goals in some ways.
Simple pleasures.
It's a matter, in the end, of giving one's self permission to do what brings you pleasures in spite of being in a state of perpetual, chronic pain and illness. 

There are people who feel that if a person who "claims" to have a debilitating chronic condition that if they achieve a "good life" that they must be faking it.  Either their physical issues or the claim to not being in perpetual deep emotional suffering. A person can't have both situations in their lives. Unfortunatelysomehow those folks show up as professionals in the medical, insurance and social welfare world where we can't avoid them. 

But those people are WRONG!   

We may be stuck living in these damaged bodies so we might as well get what we can out of the lives that we have.
It isn't easy and it doesn't happen all of the time but we can have periods where we can be content, even happy.

As Ringo Starr sang "It Don't Come Easy, You Know It Don't Come Easy". But it is so worth it in the end.

~ The goal for 2017- To Cultivate Contentment.~

More Sleep-  as Garfield said "A nap is always in order." Cultivate naps to retain energy and ease body pain. Quality sleep is often difficult for us to achieve so napping can be a good tool if we only allow ourselves the use of it.

More Music- Cultivate music making as well as listening. Not all music is man-made. The birds, the surf, and the wind- all of nature- produces music. We but have to notice, listen and appreciate. Music is good to reduce stress and stimulate the brain.

More Tea- Cultivate a palate for teas and tisanes, enjoy experimentation with the tastes of teas of all kinds. Tea Time- a break with a goal and little ritual. We need to keep our fluid levels up as our bodies and teas are one way to do so. 

More Books- Reading is a wonderful gift that we give ourselves. Writing is a gift to ourselves and to our readers. We can leave behind our cares and woes and enter into other worlds. We can dream through books. We can learn new things. Books are a good tool to stimulate the mind as well as easy anxiety. Cultivate your love of books.

More Sunsets-  Take the time to appreciate the splendor of the setting sun. Every cell phone has a camera these days, so why not take photos of the sunsets. Cultivate the appreciation of the beauty of the end of the day's sunlight.

More Creating- Cultivate creating. This may seem a daunting thing at first glance, but give it more than just a glance. Creating is within you wanting- needing- to get out. Simple things, even a doodle, is an act of creating. Get some crayons or coloured pens and a colouring book that appeals to you and get lost in the moment. Bake cookies, plan and/or plant a garden, write a blog, take photographs, play a musical instrument, make stuffed toys, knit a scarf, or fold a thousand paper cranes.  The spirit soars when we create. Our bodies produce endorphins, stress is reduced, pleasure results.

More Long Walks- Leisurely walks is the goal here. If you can manage walking it is good for the body. Out in nature or indoors around the mall. If you can't walk then ride. Ride a bike, ride a mobility scooter, ride your motorcycle or motor scooter. Ride in your wheelchair. Cultivate getting out of the house and seeing what there is to see. Take photographs, listen to the word- combine with Music, Sunsets and Creating and other positive activities.

More Laughter- Cultivate laughter. Laughter is good for the body, mind and spirit. A good laugh gives your innards a massage. Even spending a few minutes a day faking laughter produces good effects in the body. 

More Hugs- Cultivate hugs. Soft hugs, snuggle hugs, quick hugs, bear hugs, pillow hugs, pet hugs. People need hugs. Good things happen with hugs. Even sharing hugs online is helpful to those giving and getting the hugs. 

More Dreaming- Cultivate positive, pleasurable dreaming. Day dreams. Let your imagination take you away. Nap time is a good time for dreaming. Reading can be part of the dreaming, as can creating and music. Dream about what you would enjoy doing if you could. 

More Road Trips- Cultivate adventure. For shut ins going out for the day qualifies as a road trip. Plan for those days out. Go out to a park, a museum, spend a day going to yard/garage sales. Do a day trip to someplace new.  Go do an overnight at a spa or resort. Go to a festival. Take a vacation away from home.

More Fun- Find your fun and cultivate it. It need not be anything more than the other goals in the list- but do them all for the pure and simple pleasure of it.

More Love- Cultivate love. Love comes in many forms. Seek them out. Love makes the heart sing and the spirit soar. Loves brings a light, a warmth. Love is peace and contentment. Love is fun and joy. Cultivate simple random acts of kindness- acts of love. Put love into the things that you create. Don't forget to allow yourself to receive love- love in it's many and varied kinds. 



These simple goals are my plan, my road map for 2017. 

You are invited to join me in this journey. In this quest.
To Cultivate Contentment.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

"Faking It" Through December

December 18th

Past the halfway mark of the month.
Days  now before Yule.
A week until the Christmas Day.
Two weeks until New Year's comes.
Such a fun time of the year!

But when you live in chronic pain,
In debility and woe
Forever outside looking in
Sitting by yourself, alone
One question the soul does send-
Whenever will December end?

"Fake It Until You Make It"
Pretend beyond the "Try".
"Fake It Until You Make It"
When "It" is but a lie.
"Fake It" that you are happy
does not "Make It" so.
"Fake It" that you are OK
just push the "it" down low.
"Fake It"- do the holiday things
when you know you shouldn't go.
"Fake It" does a "Failure" make
when you can't "Make It" So!

But we keep on trying
Pushing until we cry
Frustrated from the lying
Faking it when we try
When there is no way that we can.

'Fake it" that no memories come
Heart breaking that they may be
"Fake it" that we are having fun
When it is hard enough to be.
"Fake It" that we're not in pain
That sickness that we feel
"Fake It" that it's a Joyous Time
When to us it's far from real.

We count the days until it's done
Until it's past and gone.

But for the here and now-

Again we sit here all alone
No place is safe to hide
The world is what it is today
No hope now can we find.

But still we go to do my best
To "Fake It" we still try
To make the best of things we can
Our hurts we try to hide
"Fake it"- wear that social mask
"Fake it"- makes the fraud
"Fake it"- is a public face
To makes outsiders proud.

'Fake It" for the family
"Fake It" for the friends
"Fake It" for the public face
"Fake It" all around.

"Fake It 'Til You Make It"
Does Not Make It So
"Fake It "Til You Make It"
Can be the path to woe.

Soon we won't need to try it
January is on it's way
December will be in the past
We won't need to wear the mask
Each and every day.

Faking It through December
Is Exhausting!

Thanks to


Saturday, December 3, 2016

December- The Hardest Month of the Year

December
My least favourite month of the year.

The month with the greatest expectations.
The month with the most hype.
The month of the most pressure.
The month where family loss is most keenly felt.
The month where some are included in celebrations while others are left behind.
The month where abundance rejoices while hunger and want are felt the most acutely.
The month where there are reflection upon the past year are done.
The month that has the most dying by people who can't hold on any longer.


December
It's not the fault of the month itself.
It is just that all the bad stuff comes along with the good stuff.

Great expectations that can never be fulfilled.
Hype that feeds the expectations and rubs in the inability to fulfill them.
The pressure to meet the expectation that cannot be met- and the stress and grief that brings.
Family loss is felt most acutely at a time when family gatherings in joy are one of the month's themes.
Celebrations and gatherings all around while the outcasts are unwelcome to join in.
Hunger and want in the face of poverty and disaster while abundances are shoved in their faces hurts.
Reflections of a year drawing to a close for those in pain brings despair.
The dying's- people who have held on until the holidays to share them with loved ones, the road deaths, those who's grief and despair overwhelms them.

One great month is December.
From ancient times it has been a time of celebration.
The days of darkness reach their end and light begins it's return to the land- when you live on the north side of the planet. On the south side it is the end of ever lengthening days and is the start of the return of the darkness. If you live around the belly of the planet the days always stay the same.

But I live where the days grow short and cold.

Shut in, stressed, and grieving.

Try as I might to "cheer up",  and work at it I do,  every day as I endeavor to bring laughter and light to those who are hurting as much as I am, every day is harder than the last. Every day more stressful than the last, every day watching the needs grow and the resources diminish ever further. Every day being reminded of things that have happened in Decembers past that are loaded with great pain- even ptsd type pain. Every day seeing things I do not want to see, hear things that pain me to hear. Every day having to push harder to get through getting those things done that are needful to get done. Every day feeling alone as I spend most of the days in my room- alone. Every day feeling so much physical pain and sickness that doing anything at all is a struggle.

It is all that I can do to not dissolve in tears- give up- and die; Gladly and gratefully put an end to the pain and misery in the only way permanent that it can be done. To hang on one more day in the thin, vain hope that miracles can and do happen- while knowing full well that the odds are not in my favour on any of the stresses and pains lifting enough to make any difference at all and that things can always get worse unto death.

December
My least favourite month of the year has come once again.