Raw and Exposed

 

The protective earthen cover has eroded and laid these roots bare, raw, and exposed to the elements.  I randomly went to this little pocket park to get away for some alone time to reflect, cry, and release the emotions that had sent my anxiety skyrocketing.

As I walked among the trees absorbing the healing vibrations of the earth, air, sun, and plant life,  it became clear that what lay before me were my feelings made manifest in nature. The universe in her wisdom gave me a visual aide with which to equate my feelings.

I wonder if the bare roots adapt and continue to keep the tree alive, and if so for how long?  I wonder the same thing of myself sometimes; do I have the strength within to regain what has been laid bare or lost?    I haven’t the answer to either question but can’t help thinking that maybe the questions have already been answered.

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Just Another Morning..

I woke up abruptly from a dream I can’t remember. I’m anxious. I Try to remember the dream. Was it a flashback dream? Traumatic and graphic, filled with all the questions that still linger. Was it a dream of grief? Was my mother in it, still vibrant and alive. Sometime I have dreams where I feel she is trying to tell me something.

This morning it was about my mother, although I can’t remember the specifics. I just woke up missing her; sad and with a tear falling from my eye. It’s frustrating when I can’t recall the specifics but I am sure she was here, as she always used to be. Even if I can’t visually recall the dream, the emotions are real and raw. I miss her.

The anxiety doesn’t diminish as I become fully awake. It must be around my usual waking time. Time to take medications and get out of bed. Before I do I get a memory flash of the first time a panic attack reoccured for me after so long an absence.

I was at work, walking outside when it hit. I had just been on the phone listening and learning about my mother’s illness. Everything would be alright, it didn’t seem too serious; yet as I walked I became dizzy, stumbled, and couldn’t breathe. I made it back inside and sat at my desk, cold and shivering. I needed to go home and face what I was certain would be at least an onset of illness, and at worst certain death. I didn’t want it to happen here at work. I excused myself and drove home. White knuckled and scared, I somehow made it home to my apartment. I collapsed into bed and slept. The panic abated.

In hindsight I know that first new panic attack happened because I was worried about my mother. I felt helpless so far away, even though I knew she was in good hands. Surely I must have been overreacting.  At the time I suppose I was,  but things would turn out differently.  Her illness took many twists and turns.   I panicked at each phone call and update; and there would be many of both.

I had forgotten that first new attach just as I sometimes forget my mother is no longer with me. This morning I sit with grief. I miss my mother more than words can ever express, and I miss my life before that first new panic attack more than anyone will ever know.

All that’s left to do this morning after writing out these thoughts and feelings is sit with my tea, try and release some pain, and let my tears flow. This morning, like many mornings, I practice the art of silent crying.

I Will Cook A Turkey Today

I will cook a turkey today
through a tear I’ll remember
the way my mother taught me how
maybe I’ll smile with memories of times past

I will cook a turkey today
given to me by the kindness of strangers
I but one of the masses in the line of those in need
yet still, I am one with more than many

I will cook a turkey today
remembering those with whom I stood side by side
I’ll remember too those who have so little
they are unable to stand in line

I will cook a turkey today
in search of normalcy and comfort
to uphold tradition
to connect me with family and friends,  gone or afar

I will cook a turkey today
and look beyond my own problems
grateful for all the universe has provided me
yet grieving for those suffering around the globe

I will cook a turkey today
when there are those who haven’t a turkey
or a home, a country, freedom, or equal rights
those whose plight is unimaginable to me

I will cook a turkey today
and I will express my gratitude for what is near and dear to me
but my heart will swell and ache for humanity
and I will wonder why I cook a turkey today

A New Chapter of Fear & Panic

I went to bed on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 early.  The next day I was scheduled to begin a new intensive outpatient program with Roger’s Memorial Hospital.  An exposure therapy program whose principles align with cognitive behavioral therapy.  This new therapy focuses on the behavior rather than the cognitive.  Naturally, I was anxious about starting a new program.  I made practice trips for two weeks to make sure I could drive there without major panic issues.  It’s a distance from my home and beyond my comfort zone.  Ironically, I was able to begin the program by utilizing it’s very practices to ensure I could get there for treatment.

I was shocked when I awoke on Wednesday morning and learned our country had chosen Donald Trump to lead it.  Talk about anxiety.  Overnight the world changed and it changed based on fear.  Fear and I have a working relationship and I can tell you that the fear that changed our country is not the same fear I fight every day as someone with panic disorder.

I don’t fear change, but I do fear the kind of change that’s based on hatred, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, islamophobia, et.al.  This vicious election cycle and its horrendous outcome have shaken me and given me reason to worry about the rights and privileges of myself, my friends, minorities, women, and all marginalized groups.  It has placed a layer of icing on my multilayered cake of anxiety and panic disorders.

It was tough to begin a new treatment for panic disorder and agoraphobia on a day when I literally didn’t want to leave my house.  Once I fully processed the current events I had to, by necessity,  put my feelings, insecurities, and uncertainties about the future of our nation and all those at risk on my personal back burner.  I have to place my own health and welfare on the front burner.

I arrived and reported for my new therapy program as scheduled.  One gold star for me just for getting there.  Another for fighting agoraphobic urges to leave throughout the 3 hours I had to attend.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 as the country greeted it’s new president and the world’s jaw dropped, I opened the doors to Roger’s Memorial and begin a new chapter in my journey with anxiety and panic disorders.

I will be blogging about my experiences in treatment soon. Here is a link to Roger’s Memorial for general information.  Their expertise is in OCD but they are well respected in treating all forms of anxiety.

Roger’s Memorial Hospital

 

I Am Not Alone

Inspired by the quote below:

I am not alone
Yet I am overwhelmed
With the loneliness that comes
From being stuck
I feel you, my divine self
I see you working, my genius self
Continually striving to overcome
I know there are days I succumb
I hear your voices in the dark
And I rise yet again
Searching and learning
I know I am not alone
And although you may not need it
I yearn for the light
To see what the darkness has wrought

 

“When you have closed your doors, and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone; Your Divine Self is within, and your genius is within -and what need have they of light to see what you are doing”.  – Unknown Author