10 November 2014

so much

yesterday, my amazing Della turned 4.

I cannot believe it, but here we are. She is amazing, dazzling, delightful, dramatic. She is her own fine self and don't you forget it. She is tender and bright as hell.

Today, we signed the papers for a small (read: tiny) house. This week is all about moving. And with that, and birthdays, a time for reflection and projection, and I am working, breath by breath, to remain or return to the Now.

I brush my face against her hair and breathe in.
Now, I say.

So much.

Photos soon.

13 September 2014

My art show!

In the Denver area?  Please come! And please let me know how you know me. I'll be there without Doug and Della, but with my awesome dad and dear friend Liz. (I AM SO EXCITED!!!)

12 August 2014

like a window

grief opens grief like a window

like a can opener

stirs silt from the bottom

shakes loose parts newly or incompletely mended

rattles around, making noisy messes, reminding me acutely of things that hurt to remember.

As I think about the brilliance lost in Robin William's heartbreaking choice, I think too about the losses we all share, those who have loved someone who has made this nearly unthinkable decision. And while I am so very sad for Robin, that this felt like the only choice he had left, I am more sad for his family, those who loved him, all of us who felt somehow connected to his wry smile, his tenderness, his humanness.  It exposes our collective vulnerability somehow.

After losing a beloved to suicide, 11 years ago this past weekend, I have finally gained solace of a sort during hard work this past year... a hard won healing. Tender always, but a new sense of something like peace, I guess... a still point of understanding I did not have before-- before, suicide was simply unthinkable, unimaginable, and my loss, the world's loss of my beloved, was totally beyond my comprehension.

Now, after experiencing being taken down by anxiety into an underworld of desperation-- I understand things I did not understand before.

I sought help, took it, take it, seek it. And thanks to this intervention I have returned home to myself.

But I understand now, desperation, in a way I did not.

I understand just wanting to make the pain stop. And simply not being able to stand it. Feeling lost, taken over, alone.

And I wish for all who feel lost, to reach out, get help, allow help in. Please.

In this moment, I sit with this sadness, with the echos of my own loss, my own grief, and let it (as best I can) move in and through... knowing, after all this time, that it will move like water, downstream, if I allow it to pass through my knowing, my heart, my memories, and not try to hold on for the sake of having something to hold on to.

04 August 2014

August 4th? how did THAT happen?

Hello from rainy maine. I am up with my darlin, for the first time truly trying to see what it is like to be here for longer than a weekend. I brought my computer and my paints and spend at least a half day each day working while Della takes part in activities and Doug works 24/7 here at camp... Della and I will be here for another week, then back to NH.

Anonymous prompted me to update-- I am not sure how to talk about how I am.
Anxiety is being held at bay by the immense assistance of chemistry: Zoloft and microdoses of Ativan... and by this complete change of scenery. I am worried about re-entry. Worried and aware that my triggers will be waiting for me, and I will be tested especially as school begins, and kids start to share viruses as they always do.
I don't know how to help that future me, except to revel, now, in the relative comfort in my body, and awareness of the sound of rain, of my fingers on the keyboard, and kids (many, many kids) indoors on the other side of a thin wall  when they wanted to be outdoors playing.

I mentioned I am painting and have a bunch of stuff I have created while here-- all of my stuff is abstract, some minimally, so enormously-- all intuitive, best done in a flow of whateveritis that comes through like water or a perfect breeze. When I try, I suck, just like Po (Kung Fu Panda), but when I allow, things happen that range from interesting to magical.
The sucky ones make me feel like the flow will never return.
The magical ones make me feel awe.
It is very much like writing that way.

If you don't like abstracts, you won't like my work at all.
But if you do, you *might*--

Are there any of you in the Denver area who might want to meet up very late september/early october? I've got an art exhibit in a local coffee shop there for the month of October (my dad lives in Denver, and it is the coffee shop he frequents)-- I'd love to see you in real life, meet up, say hello. I'll let you know once the details are set for the "reception" (aka: meet the nervous, introverted, yet semi-social artist). I'll also post some art sometime so you can get a sense of it.

If you have questions about my anxiety: bring them-- I will try to answer as best I can.
Right now it is about being
and trying to pull my awareness back to now, and now, and now, and now....

thank you A, for asking how I am.

03 June 2014

update on the big A

So yes. Well, THAT was fun.
Now with Zoloft.

Week 3 begins today, now up to a full dose and I find myself praying more often than I would care to admit.  Two nights ago was complete hell. But then, the sun rose, I got up, made breakfast and was normal in spite of it. So maybe this is also about realizing the fact that even the most horrible moments of this pass.
They may pass after hours and hours of counting backwards, and tapping, and reiki and bilateral whathaveyou... but they pass.
They pass.

the time passes.
the sensations pass.
the memory passes into a slightly less vivid version of itself, slightly muted, more like the remnant of a bad dream.

So.  this, apparently is about letting go as much as anything.

On a more positive note, I have been painting up a storm. Or a storm has been painting its way out of me. However. I am loving it.
And today I hung two big pieces up in my living room.
It is good to know that beneath all of this, this chaos and discomfort, the acute shit, that I am not only still here but Really here.
Loudly wanting to express beyond this experience.


15 May 2014

Anxiety, you may bite me.

Usually there is a rush, first. A whoosh as adrenaline bolts from the solar plexis gate and the race begins-- down arms, and legs, up along my jaw, into the top of my head, and neck, and into an emotional whatthefuckness of total hijacked badness.

under threat
in danger

in this land of no lions, the dangers the threats are ghosts. ghosts of old wounds, rubbed new by navigating grief.
ghosts are reminders of vulnerability, true vulnerability, true threat, true aloneness without resources, without backup, without the ability to keep anyone safe.
ghosts haunt with memories of insufficiency, of true inadequacy, faced with problems that I could not solve, were not solvable, about which I felt responsible even if I was not truly responsible, and ended in the ultimate failure of loss of a loved one.

this cocktail is a potent one,
the pin is pulled, the trigger, touchy, everything good feels temporary, and the anxiety, when it comes, feels like it will never leave.

I have so many tools at my disposal.  Yoga, breathing, nature, love. Meditation, mindfulness, awareness, curiosity.  I have art and friends and family and doctors. I am lucky beyond measure. And yet, with all of my tools, all of my resources, I am failing.  (don't worry, I KNOW better, but that is what it feels like).

beyond the triggery rushes, there is a low lying fog of it too-- potent in its own insidious ways: the fear of fear. a cloud-headed cool tingly feeling of waiting and sadness.
the grief of losing what felt like my own unconscious but oh now i know how sweet it was sovereignty
the grief of losing the innocence of life without this brand of Fear.
This is Anxiety plus Grief.

The timing and the emotional depth suggest the triggering may have started as I truly began to face the grief associated with Jeff's death after avoiding it for so long. But it is cleverly mixed with triggers embedded in things that every parent of a toddler faces. Often.

To get a handle on it at all, I asked for medication about a month ago.
I felt better knowing I had something to take, but I also felt more and more there is some sort of emotional scope creep where I was feeling fear more and more often. So, with my doctor's blessing I am doing an ativan boot camp-- medicating before physical responses as much as I can. This, I thought, would allow me to address the mental and emotional parts more directly without having to cope with the physical manifestations.
But in the 7 days since my plan was implemented, I have had two big triggers, two floods, two chunks of time washed away into the foreign and unpleasant land, and countless hours tinged or awash in fear of fear and grief about the fear.

today, the morning after the second trigger...I am so tired, bone tired. but also trying to revel in the good feelings that the lack of anxiety-in-this-moment means.
when it is not here, my ordinary, spectacularly ordinary life is so rich with good feelings, with openness with unclenched body.. but even with the relief, I am now on watch
and I hate that.

aware, alert for any change that may mean It's Coming Back.

constant vigilance.  vigilance does nothing but sap me. it does not keep it back. hold it at bay. make me more effective. it does not make me a better parent, a better person, a better artist (oh, maybe it will actually, who knows?), it does make me more compassionate to all who suffer from this bullshit.
man alive. I am just so tired.

this month marks one year of this dance.
and I toast it, with irony and  a quarter of an ativan.
I am working this, hard. and also trying my hand at allowing. at listening. at believing there are messages in this for me that are important.  I have a care team, I have Doug, I have my own stubborn tired self.
there are gifts in this, I am sure. and I say I am open to finding them. but in this moment, knowing there must be gifts is not the same as feeling it to be true.