Thoughts Not of Cakes and Candles

 

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Another year has passed, marked on the calendar that is me. Like a blink of an eye or the slow movement of a glacier, depending on the day, mood or perspective.

A year of waiting, my life in limbo. A year of pain, trials, procedures and emotions; non-linear, full of ups and downs, but always returning to purgatory.

For all that is uncertain, the constants of love, support, and my appreciation for those by my side are juxtaposed.

Life unfolds as the universe will have it unfold. I am here, grateful just to be, for I have persisted and continue on the journey that is me.

Luckily, I do not journey alone. I am thankful I am able to give and receive love. I am thankful I can remember to pause and feel the warmth of the sun, see the clouds above me, hear the birdsong and appreciate all the beauty that the universe presents to me daily.

Love, Light & Peace…..Always

One Moment of Beauty

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I am always cognizant that we are surrounded by beauty.  Even during the most difficult of times you can find at least one moment of beauty in any given day.  Whether you seek it or not, you’ll find it just the same.  Today it might be the subtle sound of water as it laps at the shore, tomorrow a sunset.   A kind gesture, a strangers smile, whatever it is recognize it for what it is; a moment of pure bliss.

Be of open heart, pause, listen, feel, and experience it in all it’s wonder for each moment is unique. Experience life with gratitude and love no matter your struggles.

I Am Not My Illness, I Am Michael

I started blogging about my illnesses with trepidation a little over a year ago.  Blogging has a degree of anonymity, like most things on the internet.  One doesn’t necessarily have to reveal their identity if they choose not to.  I chose to keep things at arms length.

The more I have written and as my blog morphed into more than just writing about my illnesses, the more at ease I’ve become sharing some of my personal details with the blogging community.  I have shared some of my treatment experiences, symptom manifestations, and how I live daily with Anxiety disorders.  I’ve shared the things I like in nature, photography, and poems I’ve written.  I’ve even posted about my dog.

I still have panic attacks, I still suffer daily with Anxiety, the intensity of which varies day to day and moment to moment.  I still have nightmares and flashbacks, I still have PTSD.  I still have depression.  I named my blog based on how I felt these illnesses effected me and about my continuing journey living with them.

I know there is more to me than my illnesses.  I hope I have convened as much in my posts.  Since I started interacting more with others in the blogging community I find people addressing me as “demons”.  The demons are still by my side but they are not me. I am Michael.

Caught In A Web Of Fear

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I am caught in a web, a web of deception and lies, a web of fear.  It whispers constantly in my ears; no, can’t, don’t. Danger is everywhere. I lay in it’s web, paralyzed by the anxiety fear has wrought. I know fear lies; yet I still lay motionless as it creeps closer, ready to spin me ever tighter in its never-ending cycle. I am it’s prey, helplessly stuck, just waiting for it to feast upon me.

Heal is a Four Letter Word

via Daily Prompt: Heal

To heal implies a resolution of a condition or a disappearance of a wound.  To heal implies a cure, a complete reversal of illness.  It’s my experience and opinion that we never truly heal from a mental illness.

Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD don’t disappear.  Symptoms may diminish and sometimes we can learn how to carve out a way to live day by day with them, but we are not healed.  We are altered, forever changed by the experiences of pain, trauma, and the uncontrollable emotions these illnesses inflict.

Everyone’s experience is as unique as a cloud in the sky.  Our illnesses manifest individualized and fluid.  Each of us rides the wave knowing that when the next wave comes we will be changed.  Hopefully we can ride the latest wave with more balance and skill.

We may improve and our demons become less visible, but we never heal.

A World of Fear and Anxiety

Since January 20th, well actually since November 8, 2016,  a new unreality has dawned in America.  The pounding of chests in Washington can be felt in my own with each new headline.  Almost hourly it seems a new headline breaks or a tweet is hastily released by our so called President.  Each tweet contains false boasts, lies, alternate facts, and conspiracy theories.  Real and troubling matters in need of thorough investigation are hindered at every turn.  When the truth does begin to emerge it throws the so called president and his followers into a frenzy of deflection and denial; resulting in a preemptive framing of new accusations whose main purpose is to distract and confuse by creating a new story or situation.  This circle of deceit has taken on a life of it’s own, swirling about like an F-5 tornado.  The Deconstruction has begun.  Healthcare, immigration, consumer safety regulations,  climate and environmental protections all dismantling before our bewildered eyes.  Hate prevails,  while common decency, civility, respect, and human rights are trampled and rolled back.

You can agree or disagree with my assessment or you may simply feel apathetic because nothing is particularly affecting you.  Whatever your affiliation, beliefs, or opinions, I think you’ll find two facts indisputable.  We are a nation divided and we are a nation full of fear and anxiety.

As someone with anxiety and panic disorders, post traumatic stress, and depression, my ability to focus my energies on my own healing and self care are compromised by the palatable feelings of a nation and world in a flux of fear, anxiousness, and instability.

How do I reconcile a need to focus on myself while trying to stay abreast of current events?  How do I fight my own demons and lend a hand to the growing fight of resistance?  The short answer is that presently I can’t. My own demons want to feast on the fear that permeates the atmosphere. I am not yet well enough to handle the stresses such a fight can bring.

What I am doing is trying not to let my personal demons gather strength.  I am venting my frustrations so the poison doesn’t fester.  Mostly,  I am trying to get creative and find ways to use my own fears and anxieties along with those that are manifested by current affairs to push me on a path of greater determination.  If I can expedite my own healing, perhaps incrementally I can add the space to lend myself to the greater fight ahead.

My plan is simple;  disconnect – reconnect.  I am disconnecting from reading too much news with planned black out days. These will be followed by a structured reconnection with trusted sources for facts rather than opinions.  I think this strategy of disconnect – reconnect will help limit my exposure to all the negativity, fear, and anxiousness.

I have joined a couple of local online groups to keep abreast of local happenings. If and when I am able, I will try to use an event or a opportunity to volunteer as an exposure therapy, the same as I would any other exposure therapy.  A crowd is a crowd.  An interaction is an interaction.  As long as I think the exposure situation will benefit me then I will incorporate it into my therapy, thereby serving dual purposes.

We must be kind to each other and kind to ourselves during these uncertain times.  Most of all, in any guise and in any way…..  WE CAN NOT LET FEAR WIN!

Realities and Dreams

 

Version 2

Can’t manage a job
but I still have my will
I have no money
won’t swallow the pill

beaten down and hurting
I have nothing to hide
working hard each day
I still have my pride

need a helping hand
a dollar in my hat
just wanting for godspeed
the wind at my back

no shame in needing
I still have my dreams
even if they’re fraying
I’ll hold them by their seems