Poem

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I wrote a poem today.  For some people that may not seem like too big of a deal, but I really don’t like poetry.  I’ve always found poems difficult to read unless they are at the level of a nursery rhyme.  Anything beyond that level is beyond my abilities.  I don’t understand the economy of words or hidden themes.  Maybe I am too literal.  (Or stupid.)  Ask anyone who knows me, if something can be said with three words, I’ll use 33.

But today was different.  It was gloomy, and it is Monday.  I didn’t sleep well last night, and I have a deadline looming over my head to complete the FY 2017 budget.  My house is covered in drywall dust with no end in sight to the constant stream of workers talking loudly and blasting music by 7:30 a.m.

I arrived at my office with a plan, but by lunchtime I had barely made a dent.  With constant interruptions, I was struggling not to lose my temper.  I ordered lunch and planned to eat at my desk while I continued working.  I sat back in my chair for a moment and closed my eyes.  My mind wandered from one thing to another, one person to another.  My thoughts are too often on those who are no longer a part of my life. I hate getting older.  There is too much loss.  I am tired of losing.  Too much change, and I’m tired of changing.

I closed out of the spreadsheets.  I wasn’t going to be productive in my present state of mind.  I took a bite of my sandwich and tried to shake away the gloom.  I remembered something I had done years ago that had often helped me during times like this.  I opened up a Word document and started writing.  So much was bottled up, and I needed to release the thoughts one by one in a sort of stream of consciousness exercise.

Before I knew it, something had begun to take shape.  I went back to the beginning, and I began to tweak the words.  I edited and arranged them.  I worked quickly.  It was as if the words were telling me where they needed to be placed.  The words began to make sense.  One thought followed another, and a deeper meaning began to speak to me from beneath what I had written.  It was a poem.

It wasn’t good, and it certainly isn’t worth sharing.  I’m certain it does not follow the “rules of poetry.”  I remember there were always a lot of poetry rules that didn’t make much sense to me.  I’ve never been very good with rules!

The process of writing my poem was therapeutic.  I arranged the words and thoughts.  By economizing, a theme began to emerge.  What had weighed me down was lifted just a little.  A small part of the gloom floated away..off into the distance.

 

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Dormant Virus

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depression

My daughter, Emily, was sick with mononucleosis during her freshman year in high school.  Aside from accidents and injuries, this was the sickest I had ever seen any of my kids.  What started out as something that appeared to be a common cold, quickly escalated into a major illness.  She was covered with an angry red rash, her joints were visibly swollen, and her throat swelled to the point where she could not speak or eat solid food.  Being a “wait and see” mom didn’t work out very well in this instance.  As much reluctance as I had to take my kids to the doctor, I knew it couldn’t be avoided this time.  Unfortunately, beyond a definitive diagnosis, there wasn’t much that could be done medically for Emily other than to treat her symptoms.  Mono is a virus, and we just had to wait for it to run its course.  Em missed about three weeks of school, and it took her months to recover anything resembling the normal energy level of a 15-year-old girl.  The doctor told Emily that she would need to be careful.  The virus could remain with her in a dormant state, but could suddenly flare up if she allowed herself to become run down. Continue Reading »

Precipice

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***Below is another draft blog post.  This one was written on November 16, 2011, almost two years ago now.  The event I refer to below is now even further in my past.  

I’m thankful for the gift of time.  Some pain never completely goes away, but time does heal.  Pain changes us in both good and bad ways.  I will never understand why things happened as they did.  I wish that I didn’t have this knowledge and experience with lies, cruelty, and deception.  I have been forever changed in ways that still make me sad.  I mourn my loss of innocence and my loss of the ability to trust.  I still struggle with the fact that I often expect the worst from people instead of seeing their best.  

However, I did learn one lesson that I hope to never forget.  At my darkest hour, I found myself alone, and I blame myself for that fact.  I had cut myself off from the good things in my life.  I had lost my relationship with God; I had emotionally distanced myself from my family and friends.  My emotions, loyalties, energy, and efforts had been misplaced.  I was lost, and it was my own fault.  I poured my emotions into blogging.  I talked to a therapist seeking answers.  Neither of those things worked.  The blog helped sometimes, but in the end, I was still alone.  The therapist helped even less.  I was seeking answers, reaching out like a person in the dark.  I was grasping and lost.

Life IS better now.  I am beginning to find my way.  I know who I am and where I am.  I’m beginning to soften and to carefully trust again…very carefully.

cliff_jump

As I drove to work this morning, my thoughts were full of where I was in my life on THIS DAY exactly one year ago.  November 16, 2010 was the date of the biggest betrayal of my life.  I remembered phone conversations from that terrible day.  I remembered what I wore, gold skirt and a black sweater.  I remembered sitting on my therapist’s couch, and I was shaking with fear.  I was worried, yet hopeful. Continue Reading »

For Dad

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I heard this song today as I drove to work.  I had been driving along, looking at the now-barren fields, the beauty of the blue sky, and the wispy clouds overhead.  As always, I felt calmed and grounded by this land that I love.  It was during moments like this morning, that I would often pick up my phone to call my dad, my connection to all that has come before me and loved this land in very much the same way.  As tears filled my eyes at the painful reminder that I can no longer reach out and hear my dad’s voice, I remembered that his spirit is always near me.  And then this song played on my iPod.

At The End of a Long, Long Day

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I had some bad news today.  My laptop is dead.  That’s it.  They said that it can’t be fixed.  Time to get a new one.  So for now, I am still delegated to this computer with the sticky keyboard located in a room off of the kitchen.  My blogging is going to suffer! Continue Reading »

R U OK?

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To Write Love On Her Arms

Yesterday was National Suicide Awareness Day.  A friend’s post on Facebook last night made me aware of the day, but more importantly it reminded me of the lies that depression can tell a person.

 “Life is not worth living.”

“I am not loved.”

“I am not good enough.” Continue Reading »

Cathartic

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the terrible breakdown I had in my therapist’s office.  In the two years that I have been seeing her, the day of the breakdown was probably the most honest moment I have allowed myself to have during our sessions.  I freaked her out.  Heck, I freaked myself out!  I took her advice (for about four days) and began taking antidepressants again.  I could have continued to numb myself into a state of calm.  I did that before.  I’m not saying that there isn’t a time when medication is necessary and beneficial.  I’m not saying that those who choose to go that route are wrong.  However, at this time and place in my life, antidepressants are not what is needed.  I don’t need to be numbed.  Instead, my breakdown was cathartic.  It made me ultra-aware that the changes that are needed in my life must come from within myself.  Instead of numbness, I need strength.  As painful and as difficult as that day in my therapist’s office was, and the days that followed, I have come out on the other side with a new awareness and sense of self-protection.  The breakdown forced me to face lingering issues.  After all, something caused it.  Something was WRONG.  I could either numb it, and in my opinion, deny the problem, or I could begin to look for causes, answers, and potential solutions. Continue Reading »