I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Everything's Gonna Be Alright

 Recovery is a whole series of storms, storms that help to sprout new growth, storms that flush clean our own clogged drains.  The peace that comes after a storm is worth singing about.  ~ Each Day A New Beginning: Daily Meditations For Women by Karen Casey
A few weeks ago, I performed with The Rise Theater as the goddess of creativity.  I strolled around a recovery fair and sang songs to people with flowers in my hair: 
One of the songs I sang was the Bob Marley song, Three Little Birds.  If you can't recall the song, it's the one where the chorus sings, 
Don't worry 'bout a thing 'cause everything's gonna be alright
It's a really lovely song and I enjoyed singing it.
About half a week ago, I was late for an event and I was beginning to lose it.  I could feel myself begin to become agitated in the car when the song lyrics popped into my head.  Internally hearing the song lyrics again enabled me to be able to pause and take some deep breaths.  I was able to reassess the situation: I was not actually going to be late but right on time.  I would have to cook my dessert as soon as I got there but it should be done in about an hour.  Well, that's fine - the guests will still be there and besides people usually eat dessert after any meal, anyway.  I realized that, in essence, everything would really be fine and that I had blown an annoying situation out of proportion.  As I made my way to the event, I kept on taking deep breaths and chanted to myself that everything was gonna be alright.
And the event was more than alright - it was a great success and I was quite proud of myself.
I wish I could say that I have not had more incidents of anxiety but I would be woefully wrong.  In fact, the past few days have been painfully anxious and overwhelming for me at times.  I really hate it that I am not perfect!  Sometimes I think it would be nice to be a programmable machine but then I would not be to sing at all and the arts really are my saving grace.
Fortunately, these lyrics have continued to help.  They have not been able to save me from making mistakes but they have provided me solace.  When I have started to struggle, I eventually am able to remember the lyrics and then reflect that no matter what happens, everything will eventually work out.  I don't mean that the situation is guaranteed to work out in the way that I want - of course not - I mean that life is change and eventually what stresses me out today will barely be a memory.  Accepting that is the key to maybe not bliss, but probably contentment. 
To me, that is a life worth living.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Grieving for My Younger Self - A Poem

Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God's Sunrise will break in upon us, shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace. (The Message Bible, 121)
Clinical words can hurt immensely - the picture they paint seems so drastic and horrible at times, which if you think about it, is sort of funny considering that usually clinicians are trying to get us away from all or nothing, doom and gloom thinking.  The other day I was cleaning up my art room when I stumbled upon a big binder with no label.  Curious, I opened it to discover that it was my clinical records from when I attended an outpatient program a few years ago.  As I thumbed through the pages, I was overcome with sorrow and empathy for the person I had been at the time.  Memories of a much worse time flooded me and I cried.  Sometimes I just wish that I could go back in time and treat my younger self with loving kindness - the kindness that I and others denied it then.  I want to give her a big hug and tell her that everything will eventually work out, although I know that she would not have believed it.  I wrote a poem about my feelings that I thought I would share with you:

  Grieving For My Younger Self

 She was so vulnerable, 
        So scared,   
              Corned into a box of clinicians.
 One day she found the strength  
        To overturn their boxes
 And now she runs,  
         Turning boxes over,      
                Trying to find the girl she used to be.
 She is stronger now,    
         And wiser too.
                 But all she wants to do
 Is give her younger self a hug    
     And cry over all that was lost-
 And all that will be even more triumphed    
          Through great pain,         
                         And yet,                          

               More joy.