Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Cross Section of Worthiness

I watch Grey's Anatomy.  The drama part is whatever, but what I love is the medical part of medical dramas.  I love listening to what organs they are working on and looking them up in my anatomy study cards.  I love watching House and guessing the diagnosis.  I love being able to call out for more blood when the pressure is dropping, knowing what unresponsive pupils could be a sign of.   I love naming the tests they will be doing before they do.  I love scolding them when they don't wear masks in burn units.  sometimes there is a ridiculous obstetrical episode, in which they give birth to one baby while keeping the other inside for longer and I'm shaking my head at the risk of sepsis and the subsequent hemorrhage and I am proud of myself for knowing this.

Some of the most fulfilling times in my life were in hospital rooms.  Working alongside healthcare providers.  We'd just "click" and there's this dance, this silent dance where we knew exactly how to make space for each other to do our part in keeping the client and her baby physically and emotionally safe.  Nothing beats that feeling.  Not even writing.

So I look at these characters and I think to myself, "If only I wasn't sick.  I could be a healthcare provider.  I could work with a team and save lives."  Then a strange and (sadly) unusual thought comes to my mind. "What if I wasn't sick?  What if I could get better?  Completely better?"
This thought process may not seem unusual to you.  To me though, I haven't seriously considered the idea of being cured, in years.  Feeling better, yes.  But being completely free of this debilitating illness? No.  In fact, I stopped making appointments because I felt better, not cured, but better than before, I figured that I should just be grateful for the amount of good days out numbering the amount of bad.  I didn't like the stress the tests put me through (or that I was actually just having a hard time coping with).  I also didn't want to seem like I was complaining.

However, that spark of hope I felt when I asked myself: What if I really could get better?  The way my life opened up for me in my mind... I realized that as worthy as I thought I was of having strong emotional health, I obviously did not feel the same about my physical health.

So, as such, I will be making an appointment with my Nurse Practioner to talk about the struggles I am still facing despite my near miraculous turn around.  I deserve to be healthy enough to follow my dreams, or at least I deserve a chance to try to get healthy enough to follow my dreams.

I'm ready.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Joybreak

This season I have felt completely overwhelmed.  I'm exhausted, emotional and negative.  I've been generally feeling like I should know better, I can be happier than this, why does it seem so hard?
After reading a blog post I wrote after being in St.John's (one of the most joyous times of my life) I realized that I wasn't tending to my own joy anymore.  I have this preconceived notion that when my schedule gets busy, I simply do not have the time to spend on my joy and instead it becomes damage control.  It's a matter of priorities, messed up, hand built by robots, priorities.

So I decided to take a Joybreak.  A week where I focus on doing things that bring me joy.  Here's what a typical Joybreak looks like:

Wake up, tell my kids I love them, send them off to school, have a mind blowing orgasm, choose my favourite colours to wear, put on make-up, choose a great music playlist, put on my headphones, dance in my room, go out still listening to music, walk to my favourite coffee shop, make my coffee with lots of honey, eat my favourite oatmeal, check Facebook, chat with acquaintances, make a list of yummy food to buy, write, write,write, head on out to do my shopping still with music playing, shop, sing along and dance while shopping, get home put stuff away, take a hot bath, nap before kids get home from school, cuddle them, make dinner with them and plan our movie for that night. After the movie send them to bed with kisses, Check Facebook, climb into my super soft covers, read a book, meditate, sleep.

I'm only part way through my day and already I feel more energetic.  I had forgotten that doing things that bring me joy, does not detract from other responsibilities, it makes them more than merely tolerable, as joy tends to overflow into all aspects of my life.

Update: when you search for joy you find it.

Today, while at the coffee shop, I talked to two great women, who always give off such warmth.  I got to stop by my friend's work and say "Hi.".  There was the amazing chocolate lab who was so happy to see me and let me pet him.  Leaving the supermarket, I saw a friend, who gave me a genuine hug and made my chest fill with warmth.  My housemate made dinner, my kids loved their new light up toothbrushes, we listened to Stuart McLean and I swear I heard a story that I had missed the last two years we were listening.  The Christmas puzzle was well received and finished.  Day one of my Joybreak was a success, with only one hitch, when I waited too long to eat and got a bit grumpy with my kids.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sharing Singleness

I don't want to be in a relationship.  Not the thing that most people call a relationship anyways.  I want someone to share my singleness with. Let me explain:

Typical dating goes as follows, meet someone, maybe chat on social media, go out for coffee, chat more on social media, go out on date, go out on more dates, start hanging out at each other's places, spending whole nights, do this for x amount of time, move in... On the emotional front it starts with two independent people with their own lives. Then they slowly integrate and their choices begin to become based on this integration and the understanding that they plan to spend the rest of their lives living together in full partnership, supporting each other emotionally, physically and financially.  This is great for many people, but not for me.  Not for the next few years anyways, maybe never. You see, I've got shit to do, and I can't be basing my plans on how it's going to affect another adult's future.  I need someone who also has plans and can hold their own if I need to go off to fulfill my dreams and in that, I will fully support their need to do the same: with or without me.

What does sharing my singleness look like?  How does it work? It looks like me living my life, as per usual, with travel plans and the knowledge that I plan on living all over this planet before I die.  I'll still go out on my own and meet new people. It means doing my favourite things, hanging out with friends and also hanging out with the person I care about romantically.  It's not like dating, as in the insecure "Do they like me?" Stuff.  However, the amount of time spent with each other would look a bit like dating. I've come to realize that I need a lot of "me" time, I cherish it.  The person I am with will know that I care about and love them, even if we are not in contact everyday.

I used to think of looking for a type of person and type of relationship as two distinct things. I could really like the person but hate the relationship. I've realized that the type of person you are interested in can make or break "shared singleness".

First off: to share singleness, you need someone who takes full responsibility for themselves emotionally, physically and financially.  They can't be needy, or else it will morph into the type of relationship where you find yourself under pressure to keep them happy, healthy and fed. If they are truly independent this won't ever become an issue.

The person has to have their own hobbies and things they are interested in that don't or won't always involve you.  As such, they are likely to respect your time to do the things you love and encourage you to do them.

They need to understand that some relationships don't last forever and that ultimately the relationship that is most important to you is the one with yourself.   If it is a matter of fulfilling a deep desire in my life: I will choose me and I hope that they would choose themselves in the same situation.  If the person is specifically looking for someone to eventually spend the rest of their life with, then, I am not for them, I refuse to make promises I cannot keep.

To tell you the truth sharing singleness, in my opinion, is just a really healthy romantic relationship and can even be done in marriage.  It's a point of view, a way of loving someone unconditionally, where neither of you base your happiness/your life's dream on someone else and their life choices.

Now here's the kicker:

It takes someone who is fully secure in their ability to be happily single, for this kind of relationship to really blossom and succeed.  This person knows you are with them because you really want to be, because they know you could be just as happy on your own.  You will know that for them it is a choice of desire and love that keeps them in your life, not filling a space of loneliness.

Wouldn't that feel great?




Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Guilt and Art

I've been feeling really guilty lately.  Guilty for working so much before Christmas, guilty for being emotional and selfish with friends.  Guilty for making assumptions without communication.  Guilty for waiting on getting Joon's tooth pulled (she's not in pain, it's a crowding issue) because I don't know when her father will pay me back from his insurance company.  I've felt guilty for not fighting hard enough for their time with him and I feel guilty for fighting for it at all.  I feel guilty for not having all the gifts ready, for losing the mail key and missing a parcel from someone (probably one with Christmas gifts).  I feel guilty for not getting back to Children's mental health because our schedule was too packed and I was overwhelmed with the idea of more appointments, also Joon seemed to be improving greatly with theatre, but still... I feel guilty for not taking more shifts at work.  I feel guilty for going out and leaving my daughter in charge.  I feel guilty for quick meals and Mr.Noodles.

But I see now, that the guilt does not motivate me to do anything about these things (not that all of these things need to be fixed). Guilt is a paralytic.

So I overcome it by moving, moving things in my room, moving my body. Dancing and breathing. I'm reminding myself that I am not on this Earth to stand in one spot perpetually cementing myself to the ground with the heaviness of not doing enough.

I can feel that tingle, that joy that permeated my entire being this Summer.  I don't merely survive my life, I create it, I can and will do amazing things.  I'm feeling the need to express creatively through my daily endeavours.  I'm remebering that action is art, I am a walking canvas and my colours can seep into everything I touch, may everyone who experiences me get splattered with joy.

Guilt is the most effective prison someone can build for themselves.  Self love and expression is the path to true freedom.

So don't be surprised if next time you see me, I seem almost manic in my happiness.  Feel free to join me, we could all use a break from our self inflicted "we suck at life." feelings.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Blessings In this House

As we near the holidays, I find myself thinking about gifts, about blessings.  The things in life that turn out amazingly, like someone was listening to my inner most desires and delivering them right to me.  I desperately wanted a home for myself and my children, a real home, with safety and love... A feel of family.  A near magical house appeared, but what made it a home was my housemate.  She arrived with a flurry of friends, cleaning, organizing and decorating.  I mostly hid during this time as I was triggered by people cleaning around me (something I have since healed from).  I emerged a week later, to a home that looked like something out of a decorating magazine.  I didn't realize how empty our home was until she filled it with paintings, vases and wall hangings.  Mostly though, she filled it with laughter and song.  She filled it with the plunking of keys from an old piano, that is all the better for it's tin-like reverberation.  She filled our hearts with her empathy for her friends and family.  Some gifts are people and she is one of the best gifts our family has ever received.  She was the gift we didn't even know we needed.  We are very thankful for her. We love her very much.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Hold On

As you reemerge into life and you venture into situations, you may feel like the situations you've experienced in the past are now viewed as "before".  Now you are trying to experience them in the filter of "after".  Your emotional reactions and fears can become overwhelming and confusing. I personally find myself questioning why am I so scared of this?

There comes a point where you just have to hold yourself.  When you are alone and all is quiet... Or you have locked yourself in the bathroom and let the iPad be your nanny.  Either way, there will be realizations, that are shocking to you. Part of you knows you should cry.  You can feel that expanding ball in your chest, you know the tears will be the release you need, but they won't come.

Now, pull your knees up to your chest wrap your arms around yourself, rest your cheek on your shoulder and rock yourself gently.  Tell the woman you were that she didn't deserve it.  Tell her that you love her and she is a good person.  Tell her to forgive herself. Hold her like she is your best friend, comfort her like she is your daughter and just let her sob until everything is spent.

I often think I've got my shit all figured out, because I am generally a very happy person. But I'd be a liar if I told you I don't live in a state of "before" and "after". Everything I try for the first time since feels like my first time all over again but with a lot more hesitation and reaction within myself I don't fully understand.  I just need to be patient and loving with myself, and keep on putting myself back out there.  It does get easier.  Keep going.



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Abstinence

After a Summer of following every joy that came to mind, I have found that bliss is a bit overrated.  I realized that my search for all things joyful was being fuelled by a need for distraction.  Generally, I was not self-destructive, however there were choices that I made that, if facing the same ones today, I would choose differently. I learned about boundaries, my own limits.  I danced. I made art. I made memories. I embraced chaos and created some of my own.

Towards the end of the Summer, breathless and spent, I began to truly understand that I can plan ahead more than a few weeks.  Not only in activities, but in relationships as well.  My illness was not going to suddenly sweep in and rip my legs out from under me again.  My romantic relationships need not be whirlwinds of swirling insecurity pulling in while my fierce need of independence chased behind.  I could start building real relationships with the people around me with a feeling of safety and longevity.  I became relationship based in my goals.  I remembered that feeling of family, that my children and I felt when we moved to the shelter and the chaos was shut out. I wanted to expand that feeling to include many of the people in my life.

Peace is an inside job.  It really is.  So I looked at what desires were creating chaos in my life. Sex. That was the main one, way too much of my mental energy was spent on sex.  Alcohol, though I rarely drank more than a beer during a night out, made me feel irritable and anxious the next day.  Caffeine, same thing.  My diet had become unhealthy as well, lots of fast food.  It was time to give these things up completely, a fast of sorts, or a cleansing of the palette, if you will.

It has been 3 weeks of no sexual acts of any kind, no alcohol and I just finished weaning myself off caffeine completely 3 days ago.  I've cut out gluten and nitrates as well as other high histamine foods as a way to see which foods could be triggering my headaches.

You'd think I'd be fucking miserable.

I feel great.  I feel like I am more able to deal with stress, or perhaps it's best to say: I find less things stressful in general.  I'm calmer with my kids and I really do enjoy my time with them more.  I can feel myself growing spiritually.  I am learning how to be happy without anything beyond just having the people I care about around me.

For example, Halloween, I had vertigo so bad I had to have a bucket beside me incase I puked.  It was 3 good friends and I sitting around playing radio BINGO.  I felt genuinely happy the whole time.  My head hurt and the room was spinning. I didn't affect my mood negatively in the slightest.  I found I could separate my physical from my emotional because lessening my distractions helped me become more self-aware.  There is also something I find incredibly empowering about taking control of something that used to take control of me.

I'm not sure how long I am going to continue abstaining, but for the time being it's working for me.  It  may be challenging to do research for my sex blog, then bring my mindset back to that of celibacy. I think I am up for it though.