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Letting Go

What do you do when you can’t let go of toxic emotions, fear, and endless swirling negative thoughts? What do you do when you can’t let go of pain, from all sources, that keeps you in an endless loop of heartache and misery?

Seriously, I would like to know the secret of truly and fully letting go of something.  I am not sure I ever have completely let go of anything.  This clinging is what has compounded over the years to produce my current state of ill health.

I still suffer from the illnesses I’ve talked about in my posts, which in this post shall be referred to only as the illnesses.  I’m not attempting to take anything away from their cause and effects, rather, I am linking them to a root or major contributing factor in their development.

I came to the realization that in some way they are all rooted in my inability to let go.  To let go of fear, grief, and pain is something I strive to do everyday, with every therapy session and with every thing I read or listen to.  Try as I might it doesn’t seem to be enough.  My intellectual self is aware of the impermanence of life and I try constantly to be present in the moment.  I think I’ve made great strides in that regard.  Yet, I find I cling to the past as a person clings to the edge of a building, afraid to fall.

This clinging to the past, to my grief and to my pain feeds the fear.  I am afraid to fall.  I fear what is around the next corner, my next step, tomorrow and the days beyond.

If I am being honest with myself, my personality is heavily slanted to these behaviors.  I am stubborn, persistent, relentlessly curious, and obsessed with finding answers.   In many ways throughout my life these qualities have served me well professionally and personally.  What once helped propel me through life is now taking my life away,

I can’t change my personality so what I am looking for is a way to adapt my personality traits, how I utilize them, and how I emotionally react to them to better serve the current situation and the person I am now.

I’m participating in a new therapy approach that I believe is guiding me on a path that will enable me to better let go of things.  I’ll have more on my experiences with EMDR in my next post.

Love, light & peace….always

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

Technology, Friendship & Unfriending

I believe all people enter and leave our lives to love us, befriend us, help us, or teach us something.  It’s not unusual for friendships to change over the years, due to distance, life’s circumstances or other reasons. A close friend today might be less close tomorrow and a new friend might quickly become close. Our lives continually change and the people in them change as well.

If we are lucky we have some friends that are family. These are the special friends that no matter how much time or distance separates you, you just pick up right where you left off.  Others come into our lives for a short time, burn bright, then fade away.  These fleeting friendships serve a purpose, even if that purpose isn’t immediately clear.

It wasn’t that long ago that we kept in touch with our friends in person, by telephone, or by putting pen to paper. If we lost touch then the only way to get back in touch was to make an effort in those same ways.

Today it’s different.  We can interact online with our friends, share thoughts, pictures, and update each other on our respective lives.  This newfound connectivity has its advantages and disadvantages, which are continually debated.

In my experience it has served to keep me in touch with old friends who, without this technology, would be lost.  The flip side of it is that it has reduced communication with closer friends.  Picking up a phone and having an actual conversation seems archaic, requires more time and a higher level of commitment than is always convenient. Instead we text or have Facebook exchanges that can be spaced out over hours or even days, allowing for multitasking and living busy lives.  Although convenient and less demanding, I do often feel shortchanged by these interactions.  Friendship, like every human connection needs nurturing, and nurturing requires commitment, time and dedication.  What harm, if any, is being done by not having a more organically committed friendship?  Is technology saving us or hurting us?

All this leads me to the inevitable sting of being unfriended. I have a friend, at least I thought we were friends, that I don’t see often. We are separated by distance, and we no longer have the close relationship we once enjoyed. We worked together, spending many hours a day in each others company, and occasionally interacted outside of the workplace. We did, until recently,  keep in touch by text and an occasional phone call, and of course we were Facebook friends. I know things change, yet I find I am nonetheless hurt his unfriending me.

There are ways built into Facebook that can limit what you see from someone while still keeping them as friends. A way to avoid unfriending. You don’t have to see someone’s posts in your feed but you can still visit their page, look at pictures, and view whatever posts might interest you, avoiding those that don’t.

This was designed as a way to keep friends you seldom interact with; but has it also become just a step before unfriending?  Is it being kind or simply a form of avoidance? Is it better or am I just trying to mitigate my own hurt?

I don’t want this friendship to fade away but I also don’t want to force it to stay.  I’m uncertain what, if anything, to do about it.  Is this the new way a friendship fades?  Has technology just added a layer to the complexities of some friendship’s fleeting nature?  I haven’t the answers. All I have is a feeling of being secretly discarded.

I suppose when it comes right down to it I obviously placed more importance on this friendship than the other person and I will have to deal with that fact and the feelings that arise.  Although I’m saddened and hurt over losing someone I valued as a friend, at least by their unfriending me they are communicating their intentions, even if passively, that they are less invested than I am at keeping the friendship alive.  Knowing how they feel and being cognizant of the impermanence of all things in life will hopefully help lessen the sting of rejection.

I welcome your thoughts, opinions and feelings on this subject.

Light, Love & 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.

Grief and The Pain of Mother’s Day

Time is meaningless, it flies by and it stands still.  Time is not kind, in fact, it’s kinda cruel.  It’s almost Mother’s Day, the day set aside to honor one’s mother.  Honoring one’s mother is a personal preference; not all mothers are worthy of honor, or respect, or love.  I don’t know what it’s like for someone on Mother’s Day, or any other day, to have a mother they would rather forget.

I have been fortunate to have a good, kind, and caring mother.  She will be gone two years shortly after Mother’s Day.  As if Mother’s Day doesn’t hurt me enough by her absence, I have the anniversary of her death to look forward to two weeks later.

The expression “time heals all wounds” is a lie.  Time has not dulled the pain I feel.  It has not lifted the fog I sometimes find myself in and it has not healed my loss.    I miss my mother the same today as I did yesterday and will tomorrow.  My grief doesn’t recognize a clock and it has no expiration date.  It just is. It ebbs and flows in a cycle beyond my control.

I love and honor my mother no less on the other 364 days of the year.  I honor her in the memories I recall, full of life’s laughter and tears.  I honor her in the respect I have for all she did for me throughout my life.  I honor her by striving to live true to the lessons, wisdom, and morals she instilled in me.

Yet Mother’s Day was and still is special to me.  I took pleasure and care to reaffirm my love and gratitude to my mom.  Whether I was near or not it was something I looked forward to doing.  It didn’t always have to be a brunch, a gift, or even a visit but it was always special words and a special heartfelt expression of love.

I still honor that tradition,  just in a different way and right now with more sorrow than happiness because I miss her so much.    Although I know I will always miss her,  I hope one day those emotions will reverse, but that time hasn’t come yet.

My mother lives in my heart, where she guides me through the pain of grief, and it’s there I honor her every moment of every day.

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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.