In the trenches of acute fear and pain…

I am in the midst of a humbling experience right now. I think what better way to cope with it for me, than to write through the feelings. Martha Beck says, “I never wrote to sell myself, I wrote to save myself”, and I can identify so much with those words.

I am feeling raw this morning with the pain of others that I care deeply about. Raw as only a mother who has watched her son in the emergency room feeling helpless and lost, can. It’s such a terrifying process, and something happening to our babies is unthinkable. And yet sometimes the only choice we are left with is to learn to love harder and to blame and criticize less. When we are lost, angry, scared…. the best version of ourselves is rarely accessible. I am learning that in profound ways lately. So the enemy is that which tells us we are less than, that tells us we should/could do more or better. The enemy is the thought and stories we tell about ourselves or others, that are not generous. The unkind, the criticism, the blame, the anger and the pain.

I have needed to learn as a Clinician that some things are beyond the understanding and help of science. An intersection that requires love of self and patience and compassion for self and others. A personal sense of spirituality in whatever you can grasp onto for hope in times of suffering. But hopefully above all things the ability to “find the light in the darkness”, et lux entebris lucet.” This is a quote that I found in graduate school. I was asked to write a paper on the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It was one of many life changing journeys into myself I would have.

I had to leave this post off here the other day so I’ll pick it up now to finish:

I’ve been catching up on some classic movies lately. The Mirror has Two Faces, which I deeply related to, and The Way We Were are the most recent two. I guess I am on a Barbra Streisand kick 😉

It is several days since an acute phase of a scary situation. The take home: the sun always comes out eventually, and usually much sooner than we think. Each time someone goes through such an experience they learn something about themselves. So is it really the worst thing we thought in the moment?

I am so grateful to have this space in life, the one that witnesses the deep of peoples lives. I am humbled and grateful for this existence.

Spring cleaning of the house, the heart, the soul….

I’m not doing so well with my pages this morning. The season has shifted and the feeling is almost immediate. Last night we randomly, with no planning whatsoever, began to pull out the lawn mower, and get some new yard tools. My yard looks like the Secret Garden before it’s magical transformation. It has been 6 years of neglect of having an owner whose last primary focus was it. The yard that time forgot. I’d be ashamed, but how can I rightly do so when I’ve opened a successful counseling practice, learned how to do billing, become a better parent, learned to manage Crohn’s Disease and all that comes with it, gotten a much better handle on my anxiety, and found a love that makes me a better person every single day.

So I guess now it’s the yard’s time for a little attention. To hopefully help me slow down as I learn to tend to it’s needs. To take the effort to do something that doesn’t yield an immediate gratification and to enjoy task for the sake of being tender and nurturing, without requirement from the task. It seems daunting at first this under-taking. How do I even attach this blade to this long handled saw? Am I qualified to prune trees? I’ll probably kill them. I’ll probably cut off a finger, and then I won’t be able to write. I’ve always had a black thumb. Honest. I used to tell people that if you truly cared about that plant to give it a different home. But perhaps over time I’ve become more able to attend and nurture and maybe I could be a gardener now. We can try on a new self anytime we want. Did you know that? I sure have and boy have I learned a lot along the way. It’s what I have learned the most from.

Could I be the environmentally conscious person with a compost pile and dirt under my finger nails? Ok I couldn’t do the dirt under my finger nails, that strikes fear into my highly sensitive heart. That’s why I can’t keep finger nails. I would obsess about the dirty nail until I had to take it off immediately with or without the tools to do so.

I would also like to try out being the person with an exercise routine. And maybe even one who runs a 5 k. Also could I be someone who has the edgy fun short hair cut without worrying that my weight gain would make it unflattering or someone won’t take me seriously in my career with the hair. Why do we give ourselves such little permission for the things we really want? Conditioned and trained with so much outside commentary about who we should be and what we should do. Lately I am feeling like rebelling against this in every way possible. I recognize the pain caused to self from shame and feeling not enough or too much in some way. I’m spending lots of time thinking about this.

Guess what person I am though? I realized this after my post and this is an edit actually to the original. I remembered how good it felt last night. We played and worked outside together. I was the house in the neighborhood that kids wanted to be at. They played four square in the court that someone who isn’t in our lives anymore, but loved us at an important time we needed it built. We have been loved and supported, so we can also give love and support and a space to others. This is how it looks. The more we receive the more we have to give. And I realize in this moment I’ve never been short on receiving. I just had a lot of expectations about where I was supposed to get things from, and what they were supposed to look like.

I am in love with my life. Truly, madly, and deeply. I complain and get cranky sometimes and my kids probably think I’m the strictest mother ever. But I am seeing us all becoming more compassionate of one another and conscientious people, and that’s always been important to me. And I have moments where everyone is laughing and playing and I’m surrounded by love and being love. Those moments are my gold.

I’m less in the mood to think and write as I am to DO this morning. To be present with people I love and to share the joy I’ve found in myself. The only thing nagging at me is all the supposed to’s of my Sunday expectations of self. Cleaning, shopping, and most importantly to my heart right now. Preparing myself for Martha Beck’s Light Writing Course. I am going to be a Light Writer! I am already one is the conclusion I’ve come to from listening to the initial materials on the psychology of light writing. Basically it’s how to access our higher selves, the compassionate less reactive ones. I am relieved to notice that this is my life’s work already. I just didn’t have the language for it she does. So I’ve found my place. That’s one of the best feelings.

Another new feeling of belonging. Belonging has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s been one of my biggest battles in life on so many different fields. I never feel like I belong even when I could. And now I’m trying to give myself fierce permission to belong to myself so I’ll never have to fear the sting of taking personally that I don’t belong somewhere for some reason outside of myself. Belonging, like love, is an inside job. It’s whether we feel worthy to belong, and in the face of much information towards the opposite it feels impossible.

I am a light writer and I am a being who who accesses her higher self a good portion of the time. And when I don’t I am committed to looking at my part in things and learning to be humble and take the lesson. I think this writing course will also be humbling for me, it will show my painful parts to me and I know I need to be up to the task. I admit I’m a little nervous.

So I will be here guys tending to my internal garden and the external one and writing about everything along the way. Thank you for supporting me. You are the kerosene, the candle, the electric current, and the sun to my shine. I’ve never been alone. I believed I was for so long, and that belief held me back. All my supports were just waiting for me to reach out and find them. For me to love myself enough to ask and to teach, those willing to learn how to love me.


They need us to rise…

Ask people what they need and how we can love them better!

I am having an inspired morning and want to share a couple of things. A realization I had just this morning is that we need to learn how to love one another beyond loving in just the ways we know how. What I knew about love for a long time left me not behaving very well. I didn’t create space or have room to let love grow. I had deep and crushing insecurities and at the drop of a hat (or more appropriately the pull of a trigger), they would explode like shrapnel tearing apart my relationships and then my life. I would have to rebuild again, and I did this under the weight of crushing shame. I had friends even stop hanging out with me, because I had a new partner, they didn’t like that change. Did they think I did? Did they think that my relationships didn’t work because I didn’t desperately want them to? We need to stop shaming others people. We need to learn how, and when, and why we do this so we can stop.

I had to learn my way out of this space and way of existing, and the cost of that learning has not been cheap. I’ve lived bathed in anxiety. I have a chronic illness now, whether you say it’s genetics or extreme stress most of my life has been exhausting. Lots caused by my thinking as much as my circumstances. This is why we need to be educated on these matters, and the time and encouragement to fully explore our own thoughts and minds without being called selfish, or crazy, or somehow wrong! Without being told how to live and love based on one perspective.

Parents tell their children how to live all the time, and don’t realize they are showing them by modeling, not with their words. We are sometimes accidentally angry with our children for not being who we want them to be, even when they may be being courageous. We can accidentally crush their tiny spirits with all of our fear of failure as parents, and we need to be aware of this.

It isn’t just natural knowing how to live we need to be taught, and these days we are taught by the extreme opposite of thinking about who we are and what we want of life and how we want to be loved, and if we are loving others well. These days our teachers are YouTube videos and scrolling Instagram, and my kids are left alone on those platforms as well, while I’m busy. Now I’ve given out some great recommendations to clients and friends about fantastic YouTube videos, it isn’t all bad. But when kids are just left to learn from whatever they come across with little guidance or presence because it has been replaced, then we are heading to a scary place.

Do you know that our children are scared to death right now? They are in my office all the time. All they hear about is that the sea is rising, and that you can be shot while in class, and that they won’t have any financial future. Where is the hope? We have to teach them how they can rise to any occasion, because it’s what humanity is famous for. Someone will rise and they will lead, and it can’t all be bad. Our children are stressed, and anxious, and depressed, and lonely. They need us to rise. THEY NEED US TO RISE.

This means we are the teachers of compassion, empathy, understanding, and hope. The teachers of how small changes can make a difference, rather than doing nothing because of overwhelm. This has been one of my biggest battles. As an HSP I feel so much I become crushed under the weight, leading to my main focus being how to comfort myself. I’ve had to learn my way out of this cycle. We need to make the change from bogged down hopeLESS to hopeFULL.

Our children watch every action we make and every word we say. So spend some time thinking what they are seeing you do, because ultimately that is the cycle they will repeat until they resolve their personal tasks. We can make that an easier or a more difficult process for them. The number one thing they want is to see you interested in who they are as a person, not who you wish they would be. We must see our children, and our lovers, and our friends and neighbors, and the stranger on the corner through generous eyes.

We must do this whether or not it is deserved in a moment. We must do this because of who we are, and not because of any inauthentic reason. Because a person who is believed in and encouraged is a thousand times more likely to be successful at becoming who they are.

This does not mean we allow ourselves to be treated badly by subjecting ourselves to poor treatment. That isn’t what I’m suggesting. Always exercise and be aware of your personal boundaries, that is loving of self. When you’re confident in your boundaries it becomes easier to love with your whole self and heart, that healing variety of love, because you’ll trust in your ability to know where your energy is productive and where it isn’t.

Our children need us people… WE MUST RISE. We must educate and love harder and with more of a depth to our understanding. So kids have permission to understand themselves and to grow. So kids have permission to expand, and we aren’t unintentionally asking them to shrink to fit our expectations.

Even good intentions must be examined, because many things we do are not conscious.



The Seven Deadly Sins…. Sloth and Gluttony

*Everything in moderation. Unless you are ADHD, then it is everything all at once immediately as soon as you want it, and deal with the consequences later. With a force and a fury that feels impossible to get a handle on.

It’s blog post Sunday. The girls are blasting Hamilton, playing Jenga (which is really cute), and also playing with Siggy and his new toy. There is a pot of chicken soup with veggies and potatoes simmering on the stove. These are the warm and comforting things of family that I have created and now have the privilege of basking in, for moments at a time at least. Directly before this calm one teen was yelling at me, and then at the other. It felt like a grenade had gone off in the kitchen, but I am noticing that as quickly as the waves of anger and frustration come, they can become diffused and calmed, or turned into a nuclear explosion. I am constantly working on myself to learn which choices create the best outcome, and then having to undo my wiring and humanity to force myself to behave differently than I feel in a moment. It takes a lot of awareness, practice, and patience with self and others.

In my “pages” this morning I named my gremlin. For those just catching onto my blog, “gremlins” are the name I ascribe to the tiny little havoc creating beings of malice that tell me messages of self-doubt and attempt to undermine my attempts at creating and being my truest self. I named the leader or a particularly bad one Besmirch. I was being playful and creative, and it gave me pause and wonder. I had a quick moment of clear vision where I saw me as DOING what I have set out to, versus just talking about it, and always feeling not enough. When we are in the midst of actual changes we can rarely see them as they are happening. It is only in hindsight and reflection. Really these days my whole life has become reading and writing, it is always what I do in free moments. I am BECOMING exactly who I want to be.

We went to Courtney’s cousin’s wedding last night. It was at the Union League in New Haven. The kind of affair where frantic employees dressed to the nine’s, flit about with small silver trays containing a single shrimp in a shotglass of cocktail sauce. I had some realizations about myself one that I liked and one that I didn’t. The one I liked is that I feel like I may have been the only person who when alone with the service staff asked them how their evening was going. They seemed genuinely surprised that I would think to do that, and perked right up. Even a quick kind smile and polite word to them seemed to be received not unlike a man who has been in the desert for 2 days with no water and who just has the first sip. I notice things like this. Perhaps because I feel more comfortable on the worker’s side of things serving the rich. I was always on that side. On the side of the actual guest I felt out of place and at times undeserving. Hmmm.

The thing I didn’t like: I am a CONSUM-ER. Not one who purchases things. Ok, wait I think I should have said it this way. When I am nervous particularly, I think that I hyper focus on food and drink. Let’s be honest I don’t need to be nervous for this to happen either. I watched those hors d’oeuvres like a hawk. Fun fact about me when I was young I read things way above my level, and I would pronounce the word for these delightful little treats whore-DO-VOORS. lol. For the purpose of this tale I wish I could remember the exact moment that it dawned on me how much I had butchered that word, and how many times I’d said it aloud. Anyway an issue for me currently is gluttony. It as if I need to experience ALL of the Seven Deadly Sins just for good measure. That by doing so I will more readily be able to relate with all of humanity, not just the portion of whom I aspire to be like. If we are looking at this from a clinical model (because why not) I have a terrible terrible time with impulse control in many areas of my life. And lately I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to eating and drinking.

If I am not being obsessive about something… well I might not know, because I think I am always obsessive about one thing or another. Now that I’ve found love, and a career that is fulfilling, and my life feels really nice it seems my last self-destructive vice that could very realistically put my life on the line (at some point) is eating and drinking. Eat drink and be merry. Since I have the merry part down so well, most of my mind is occupied with when and what I am going to eat or drink next. I will begin to think about how that particular thing tastes, what it smells like, what it’s served on, and then am relentless in it’s pursuit until I am satiated. Then guess what happens. I don’t just have one, I have two or three. My pants begin to fit less, and I currently have an entire closet of clothes that are for someone who is a size 6, 8, or 10. When I am rapidly approaching a size 16. I am loathe to be honest about this on here, because part of me feels I’m betraying young women everywhere, especially my daughters by obsessing over this. You see though it isn’t attached to my self-worth any longer, so I thought I could just live, but what I am realizing is something else is happening.

 I love that I don’t hate myself enough anymore to torture myself into losing weight. But what is happening is that as a Highly Sensitive Person the sensory experience of pants being tight on my waist is driving me nuts. When I feel as if I am going to burst out of my clothing at any second it drives me nearly mad. It isn’t because someone will have an opinion of me that will be less than favorable, it is because physically I feel like I am about to burst out of my skin. There are many more symptoms to this. There is the swelling of the hands and feet with very much salt for me. There is the terrible bloating with my Crohn’s Disease that makes me look immediately 5 months along in a pregnancy. I am dreading the day that someone mistakes and thinks I must be carrying and comments as such. I already have a difficult history with feeling comfortable in my clothing for an entire variety of reasons. Gender neutrality and fluidity were not a think of my generation. I preferred to shop in the boys section and always have, but then I began to realize what people wanted from me to be accepted into the herd. I tried and tried to feel comfortable in those clothes, but if I am in something I don’t feel comfortable in I obsess about it, and can’t think about anything else. I am aware of the fact that I look like a hobbit in women’s traditional thin and demure dress shoes. I desperately want to be one of the beautiful women in heels, but I just can’t hate myself enough for that kind of torture. And mostly again for others it might just be uncomfortable, but manageable, for me I can’t think about anything else.

So the only solution here is to begin to make healthier choices and get more consistent about it. The barriers to this? EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE, or that’s how it feels. Long unpredictable schedules that can change on a dime, life with teenagers, my wife’s schedule to balance, and mostly my own angst and emotional psyche. I think the angle I am going to try and take with it is that when I am comatose with food or beverage my mind is not sharp in the ways that I enjoy most. It is the opposite of creative, it is escapism.

It’s going to be hard to pick this back up since I got distracted with the kiddos hours ago and am now not in the same thought train. So I guess we can just sum this up as I am trying to do some self-work on fitness and wellness in general, which makes me consider my incredible impulsivity and wonder how I can curb it without ADHD meds working for me. I am doing research and using myself as a guinea pig.

Ok this is now Monday so going to post for now. Stay Tuned….

Coffee Shops and “College Bound Son” Musings

*I love that I am in a relationship that I choose to drive 30 minutes in the opposite direction just to be with her for a few hours between clients and then all the way back to Fairfield. It’s already coming up on one year of marriage and I still feel this way.

An impromptu afternoon. The more that I sit and intend/attend to writing, the more comes. Surprise surprise. 😉 I am sitting at Safari Kaffeine across from the most beautiful woman. She is fiddling with her new toy (a Sketchbox), watching a tutorial on how to use special blending pens to draw a sketch of an attractive looking gentleman. She just paused to show me how the KOH-I-NOOR kneaded rubber eraser and the magical lifting effect it has on charcoal.  The coffee shop was buzzing with various conversations from local valley inhabitants. Nothing could possibly interest me more. Except for maybe my attention being stolen for the purpose of sorting out car insurance for my firstborn son. That process arduous and frustrating as it may be.

Tyler as a character. Could I write him? Having read Anne Lamott this a.m. and having a nice dose of her as daily vitamin/medicine I am thinking about character development. Speaking of character development let’s talk about arguing for a minute. The purpose of it…. my ex-husband argues for the sake of doing so. Some internal ego battle being played out on the co-parenting field, wreaking havoc amongst the ranks, sigh. I can hear my grandmother delightfully chirping that song “if you can’t say something nice…. say nothing”. Interesting because she had an invisible way of being mean by the way of shame. When the person isn’t even aware of what they are doing or do, what use is it to try and make sense of it or point it out. You can really only try to do better yourself. This is what I have made most of my life into. I have unknowingly embarked upon a mission of being committed to knowing myself above all things. Mostly in my early years this resulted in a way to emotionally terrorize myself, as what I was most aware of were my many shortcomings. Natural behaviors of youth and immaturity became material to analyze for threat and I “worse case scenario’d myself” about myself for a long time. Finding no calm for this anxiety, and a variety of others as I discovered many things about myself including my many blind spots.

As I wonder about Tyler as a character I sift through what I know about young male characters. Let’s see we have Holden Caufield and a young David Foster Wallace…. wondering how he will be alike and different from them. How his unique experiences will shape the landscape of his life. I was thinking this morning about how to encourage him as far as college. Part of me wants to keep him as close as possible and of course reduce costs by encouraging practicality, and the other part is screaming screw practicality get on the other Coast or another country even and see new things, and DO STUFF. In the end these choices will be his, but I know I have a tremendous influence on him as well. You don’t realize when your child is first placed into your arms that someday they will be a real life “almost adult”, and that you will be vulnerable to any suffering they experience without your consent. To love as deeply as I do is a divine suffering. To not love like this; impossible. The choice was never really mine. I didn’t know I loved like this when I first decided to have children. I didn’t know a great many things then. Knowing them now doesn’t make the feelings any different.

It’s time to head back to the office soon. I don’t want this time to end. I am sitting here thinking about how a coffee shop barista is not unlike a mental health counselor in many ways. People are looking to share their experiences and what is going on in their lives with others. A musician that plays with one of my favorites, Lee-Ann Lovelace who sings with her whole soul (they play Monday nights at Crave) came in for coffee, he is talking about how he brought his cat to the vet today. He ordered a large coffee with a little mocha. Never heard it ordered like that before. I like his hat. It reminds me of a hat of my wife’s that she wore on our most recent date to the casino. It’s very St. Patrick’s like… very Irish I suppose I mean.

Ok back to reading Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, basking in the glow of my love, and then my office and clients.



Chicken Soup and the Written Word…. for the Soul

*When I was a kid I devoured as many Chicken Soup for the Soul books that I could get my hands on. I remember they stirred something in my empathic soul. I can still remember some of the stories to this day. I kind of wonder how much of my value system was formed in those, always telling tales of people who would go above and beyond and then the effect that had. 

Let’s see what kind of Sunday thoughts I can organize (or not organize) with a house full of eight girls. Am I having a birthday party you might ask? I am not. My daughters are very social and love to host their friends. With such a great group of friends how can a mother argue. It’s such a wonderful thing to hear their laughter and to watch them all experimenting with who they are and coming into their own. This is one of those moments where I am at the top of the parenting mountain and able to catch my breath for a few moments and take in the breath taking view. These moments will quickly blur into the rearview and the next challenge will be on the horizon, but it’s incredibly important to soak them up and log them into the long term memories folder. The issues I was speaking about in previous posts with twin A have subsided for now. We finally came to an understanding, a partway meeting of sorts. Her attitude has been better ever since.

Today’s blog title began with me buying ingredients after I dropped my son and my adopted son (emotionally not literally) off for a day of work at Trader Joes. They are sixteen and part of the my first work program, and I couldn’t be more proud. It’s a great company to begin learning from, and a job that was able to carry me financially and personally in ways I only am able to see now through a painful divorce and many transitions in my life. My Trader Joes family will always be an important piece of my personal history. It is so good for my son to be out in the world learning about new things and people, rather than just holed up in his room playing video games. I am proud of the balance I have encouraged in his life. Granted it is not always easy to know how much to intervene and how much to let him have his own lessons and conclusions. I am putting a lot of work into that recently as a parent. A Client session recently and the movie I love Simon, brought to my awareness that I can be a little overly intrusive into my kids lives. You know trying to pry them open like using a knife to open a can of tuna, for their every feeling. I mean I know the value and necessity of having a space for that, but with my own children I just may not be that space. It’s heart breaking to acknowledge that. But seriously where is the magic formula for when to make sure you are involved, and for when to give them space? If I ever find one I’ll let you know.

So my trip to Trader Joes was for ingredients to make chicken soup. They are chilling on the counter right now, waiting for the teenage girls to depart the kitchen. The reason I am making a pot of chicken soup (not that I need one, it’s delicious and becoming a staple in our home) is because I am really struggling with my Crohn’s Disease right now. It’s flaring it’s ugly head. My typical MO is to try and deny or ignore, or reduce it. In the past I have told my self that I was sick, and therefore felt even more sick, believed I was sick. I believe in the power of the mind. This is a good thing except when that belief reduces the validity of my very real experience with this disease. It’s coming up on five years now since my diagnosis. The testing and my own knowledge suggests I had it for long before it was known though. I guess the theme of today is balance as my trouble here is trying to strike a balance between acknowledging and validating my disease, and yet not letting it take over my life. How do I know then when I am really sick … (ok the teenagers have asked me to play computer video games with them, and I’m actually really thrilled at this age I would even be asked, so I’ll have to come back to this).

This turned out to be a lot later. I just finished separating the bones from the chicken and the soup is nearly done. Turns out it is the perfect thing, because twin B has a sore throat and hardly slept. I got sidetracked and ended up trying to delete some of the 18,000 pictures/videos on my laptop. That task, much like cleaning out my e-mail feels insurmountable, and probably is. I wanted to sit and read for a good solid hour. It’s gorgeous outside so perhaps I will try for out there. It is still chilly though. I started reading Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, a book about the life of David Foster Wallace (author of The Infinite Jest). Something about it was calling to me. I have yet to figure out whether this reading ADHD is pure genius and exactly as it is meant to be or whether I could definitely be doing better.

Here are the books I am currently reading: Lisey’s Story by Stephen King (thought its been months since I picked this one up). Bird by Bird Anne Lamott (I don’t want it to be over). Carry on Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton (Wambach). 3 or 4 books on brain and behavior wiring etc that are all WILDLY interesting. The whole series of Julia Cameron’s the Artist’s Way. The 3rd installment in the Ripley series (Ripley’s Game I think)  (the book series that the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley was derived from, by Patricia Highsmith.) I am also trying to read magazine articles, because lately I am wondering if a way to begin with a smaller goal of getting my writing out there, would be to try to do articles first. I just started listening to 11-22-64 I think it is? by Stephen King on audiobook. It hasn’t captured me the way The Dead Zone did, but I also have been doing different things with my time.

On the home-front my first born son, (and only son I will ever give birth to) just passed his driver’s license exam, and pending some insurance sorting will be making his maiden voyage of a first solo car ride shortly. I am proud, astounded, nervous, awed, reflective, contemplative… and so many things about this. I told him this morning that if he isn’t careful and something happens to him I would stop breathing on the spot. Too much pressure? Seriously though I would. I feel simultaneously like still my 20 year old self, and also this foreign entity that has a 16 year old boy with a driver’s license. I am both selves, rich with everything in between.

The thing that is happening the most lately is the writing piece. If I look back over the past couple of years my reading and writing has grown exponentially. If I can avoid the gremlins who say things like: yes BUT you aren’t published, and who really reads what you’re writing anyway, and couldn’t you be doing something more productive to make money during that time, and it’s frivolous, and it’s already been said, and on and on and on. If I avoid those guys and just take an objective look at the facts. This is my 41st blog post, and even as I am writing it I feel it is just disjointed, and who would get something out of reading it, and my ADHD and Crohn’s is trying to sabotage my existence.

Speaking of Crohn’s to bring this post full circle. I am really struggling right now. The migraine’s have spiked up again, which likely means inflammation is wreaking havoc in my body. Last week I thought I was going to pass out while a new client sat across from me, I felt heavy and far away from my own body, and for a second I almost warned them. It passed, but the memory of the feeling and the fear it would soon return did not. I have been having ringing in my ears followed by rushing and pressure in my head often throughout the day, my hands and legs and fingers etc have been going completely numb or unpleasantly tingly during the night. I’ll wake up with a swollen hand, severe nausea, terrible stomach pain until I use the bathroom. My temperature regulator feels broken, I can be freezing and not able to get warm or too hot and puffy and swollen. My abdomen without warning will swell to a 5 month pregnant status. I can hear my stomach running and it feels like my food tries to call back out of my esophagus. At night I have been “flushing”, red hot feverish episodes that come on without any warning and leave people asking if I am ok. The only remedy is to lay down and rest. I don’t want to lay down and rest. My body is sabotaging my natural enthusiasm and joy for life, and it’s so hard not to be angry about this, to deal with it with grace and to not fear the worst. The possibility of surgeries etc. But even that is a distraction from the very real fact that each day having some unpleasant physical symptom that I am attempting to ignore, banish, push through etc, adds a gigantic extra layer of exhaustion to my life. More overwhelm, and lately this is the thing that feels the biggest threat to the breakthrough of me writing. 🙁

One of the worst aspects is the having 0 idea of when it will strike. Another terrible aspect is trying to look for ways that I have caused it by being unhealthy etc. From my understanding while certainly you can make it worse by being excessive in certain behaviors etc, for the most part you can’t really do anything when you have a disease to control whether you have symptoms or not. I mean you can try to be as healthy as possible, but it may or may not stop the symptoms, and unless you want to live in a bubble and not enjoy anything. I mean there needs to be what’s this b word again? BALANCE as with everything. But even then. It is hit or miss. I can eat something one time and be fine, and eat the same thing another time and be miserable for hours.

There have been times when I have had a few “bad tummy days” that I was afraid that I was coming out of remission, but I recognized that to be just fear. However I think this is different this time. Whether it is or isn’t the process is completely draining and sends me pummeling the air with my fists until I break into a fit of tears. I don’t want to give one ounce of my life up to Crohn’s. I refuse. My will is not enough here, and I have never come up against something where this was true. Somtimes when you write yourself all the way to the spot you needed to reach the emotions just end up flowing. This always happens for me, the dead center of the fear or the helplessness when touched with the tip of the needle bursts. I am at the mercy of this disease. Not since I was a child have a felt so helpless, and that was not a place that was very pleasant for me, so being brought back in this way evokes strong emotions from my core.

Back to David Foster Wallace for now. Oh a quick thought about that. I am still always more interested in reading about the creator, than what they created themselves. People will always be the most interesting thing… the why, the how, the when, the where of their lives. Endless fascination….

PTSD, Stephen King, aspiring writer, and FEAR(S) running wild….

I think I’m getting sick. Ugh. My head is all fuzzy and fluffy and I just feel a genuine sense of being ill at ease in my body. There is a lot of pressure in my head and my ears keep popping. Yesterday between Clients I battled a migraine all day that finally won by the time my time was my own. I couldn’t get comfortable and hardly slept. Remnants of the migraine have threatened to come back today. I am not sure which is more responsible for my nervousness about something feeling “off” in my body; my Crohn’s Disease or my PTSD. Often my thoughts tend to find themselves preoccupied with thoughts of death. The better my life gets, the more at peace I am, the more these little monsters gnaw. My theory is that the writer in me as Anne Lamott says;

“The climax is that major event, usually toward the end, that brings all the tunes you have been playing so far into one major chord, after which at least one of your people is profoundly changed. If someone isn’t changed, then what is the point of your story? For the climax, there must be a killing, a murder, or it can be a killing of the spirit, or of something terrible inside one’s soul, or it can be a killing of a deadness within, after which the person becomes alive again. The healing may be about union, reclamation, the rescue of a fragile prize. But whatever happens, we need to feel that it was inevitable, that even though we may be amazed, it feels absolutely right, that of course things would come to this, of course they would shake down this way.”

is always trying to come up with a dramatic and unexpected ending. I mean isn’t there another way to do this without my immenent demise. Come on brain get on my side already.

Perhaps it is the inevitable part I mean. Why am I always trying to write a tragedy or the emotion I want the reader to feel is what coincides with the heroin’s end just as life get’s easier for her, just as she can have peace. It is as if peace was that unreachable, as if it was never hers no matter how hard she worked. She struggled her whole life to reach her dreams and bask in them for just a brief second before her end. Why is this the ending I keep seeing for myself? Why does anxiety rule so much of my land? It is exhausting. If I am the creator then why does the story feel like it’s trying to take a life of it’s own. I have a hunch that it is my existential roots rearing their pragmatic heads. I know, have always known that there are no guarantees and that “life can change on a dime”. This last line being in my head I can quote to having begun to listen to 11-22-63 by Stephen King. I am about 36 minutes in.

It’s an interesting tale of how I came about to be reading Stephen King in the first place. Let’s see my first knowing of him at all was when I worked in video stores (circa 1996) and would see movie covers for Carrie, Pet Cemetery, and KujoActually to this day I have never read or seen those movies. I think I read the Tommy Knockers during my young traveling days when I moved from Medford Oregon, to Moses Lake Washington (where I would give birth to my first born). I never even saw the original IT movie, while most of everyone I knew had. Several years ago to the movie Stuck in Love was recommended to me (I am trying to remember my whom, it was Ash I think ironically enough, that is a whole other story). Anyway in the movie one of the characters gives his girlfriend the book, and they share an intimate exchange where he says that she will cry in the end. Cry I thought? I thought this was a horror novel. It was enough to pique my curiosity. However due to my appetite for life and my many varied interests I still have not finished that on audiobook or paperback, yet I have finished The Dead Zone, Bag of Bones, am about 1/2 way through Lisey’s Story… and I have seen the new version of IT. Later someone I am a big fan of, brought Stephen King’s Memoir On Writing to my attention. It has one of those jacket’s that is soft and buttery to the touch. Of course now it is all worn from carrying it everywhere. I blew through the first half all about him specifically, but I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. This unfinished book is because it was so dear to me and so good I couldn’t bear to have that feeling of loss when it was over. So it remains unfinished. I don’t know if there really is a mystical meaning to this madness of reading a little of this and a  little of that, and the timing of when things cross my path, or if I just need to get my ADHD in check a little better. As I am writing a thought just crossed my mind, mine is a lot of acronyms for anybody to live with; ADHD, PTSD, HSP (highly sensitive person), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)…. hmmm. Being sick scares me extra because of taking Humira and having a compromised immune system. I am waiting as usual for the story to take a turn that somehow feels due (again why I don’t know) where I end up having a real and true scare with a hospital visit and an infection I can’t seem to fight, like they warn in the fine print of the brochure. Why do I feel like a ticking time bomb? Why does it feel like I am due for a bad bout of things, and all the stories about these possibilities are regularly run pieces in my mind?

Some information about PTSD and feeling dread that the future may be shortened.

Sig is driving me crazy. He’s in tasmanian devil mode and it feels personal, as if my attempt at writing while already not feeling well is being utterly sabotaged. As I roll my neck and close my strained eyes, taking in a deep breath and attempting to block it out. Just as I do he ramps up and barks as loud as possible and smashes into my laptop. One of my least favorite parts of not feeling well is the irritability that goes so against my natural enthusiasm for life. I can’t stand feeling on edge to the point I grit my teeth hard just to maintain control. All of my muscles tighten. My already high priced small window of attention sits like a train that has been de-railed. Frustration sets in. Heartburn blazing through my esophagus threatening to burn right through. Sometimes I feel like I might go up in flames. No one is home right now which amps up this anxious feeling. If someone was home then they could at least find me if my now 2 day long stint of a head filled with pressure turns out to be more serious. What is the acronym for hypochondriac ? Add it to the list.

Well this took an unexpected turn. Tomorrow is a badly needed day off, though as of late taking care of the dogs is actually as bad as two toddlers, and the kids actually help with this a lot. I think it’s time for a vacation. Sounds like it eh?

Something always seems to prevent me from the well intentioned writing that I just keep getting closer to. I refuse to give up on this dream, no matter how difficult finding the space to nurture it may be. This past couple of days though it’s been physical aspects that stand in my way. In those moments I feel robbed unfairly of something that is supposed to rightfully be mine. Something I’ve worked incredibly hard for.

These are some of the scattered, painful, frenzied up close things. When I step back for perspective, what I see is someone who only spoke wistfully of writing (as if she dreamed of being someone else) now about to complete her 40th blog post. I see someone who couldn’t sit still long enough to read one book, having finished about 5 already this year and well on her way to several more. I see someone who while running a thriving private practice and learning about business ownership is still making daily steps to nurture her dream. This is how I battle the not feeling well. I keep my focus on my dreams. I dream of my first novel in print, what it will look and feel like. I dream of having a Stella with Elizabeth Gilbert and that she will endorse my book. I dream of being able to afford a life that is even more my own so that I have time to go to a cabin by a lake and be with my thoughts and allow them space. If you could literally see the dogs going nuts right now and how hard I am working to get the rest of this out, it would be comical really, or sad. For now I am going to curl up with Eat, Pray, Love the movie and try and rest my weary body. Try to beg for it to heal and let me have an energy filled day tomorrow so I can pursue my artist’s date and walk, and so I can find magic among the mundane.

I wanted to write a post about the debate I am having with myself over whether or not to take Martha Beck’s Write into Light course. I think I am running out of steam (patience), and will have to save that one for tomorrow hopefully. For now here is some information on the course.

Brilliant light and love to all….