RIP Melody

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(Pictures of Melody)

I just found out that a friend of mine passed away a year ago. I knew her through Facebook; but, that doesn’t diminish for a second, the deep connection we shared. We had endless Facebook chats and spoke on the phone a few times too. We shared our pain, our stories and quite a few laughs. We called each other Warrior Goddess sisters. We chatted about family, men, life, death, grief, physical pain, mental illness, creativity, fairies, magic, God and the Universe.

 
Melody was there for me, the way good friends are. At the time I was Agoraphobic and living in a one bedroom apartment with my 12 year old daughter. My disability payments barely covered the rent. Melody always cheered me up and encouraged me. She’d tell me to summon my warrior spirit, and I would do the same for her. We were survivors. We took our turns with insomnia and depression, and we would always try to be there for each other.

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(Melody’s husband photo shopped these for us. Her the warrior, and me the fairy)

Melody was a giving person too. She was an artist, and jewelry artist. One day I received a package from her with a beautiful bracelet in it for my daughter, and a fairy necklace for me, that she had created, accompanied by a couple of handmade cards. She even once mailed me $11. cash for a bottle of wine! We called it drinking grapes! 🙂

 
The last time I spoke to her was 2012. We both had things to go through and we fell out of touch. I tried sending her a few messages through the years; but no reply. Her Facebook account wasn’t very active.

Today, in my Facebook memories, she came up. I went on her page to see if there was any new activity. The last posts were all of us wishing her happy birthday Sept, 2016. I scrolled down a little and there was a post that said RIP, and a few after that saying she passed away.

 
My eyes filled with tears. Her obituary says she died May 2016. She was only 54. No details or explanation, and per her request no memorial service. I have spent today processing this news, my emotions, and memories.

Emotions and memories of a woman that I have never met in person; yet feel so karmically intertwined with. I wished I had reached out more or there was something I could have done more for such a generous, humorous, beautiful spirit.

 
I can’t help but to worry that she was sick or in pain. She often was. It makes me sad to think she may have never got the healthy life she wanted. It makes me want to hug myself tight and be grateful that I have found the strength to persevere, and that I am still on this amazing planet Earth. I set free the guilt because that is what she would want me to do. No more suffering now, my Warrior Goddess sister! I hope your wild heart is free and your soul traveling like a magical gypsy. I’ll see you at the Fairy dance. I hold up my glass of grapes to you my Dear Melody! RIP

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Agoraphobic Flashback

At one point in my life, my illnesses took such a hold of me that I developed Agoraphobia.

I do not recall a particular incident or moment that triggered it, or if it happened overnight; but, before I knew it, I became terrified to leave my house.

I have always had panic attacks and social anxiety that would strike at any given moment.

Even before my breakdown, I can remember I would get sudden social panic attacks. For instance, I’d be cashing out at a grocery store and if the cashier started a conversation, I’d be okay for a moment and then…BAAAM…my neck would lock up, it felt like my head would start to shake,,and I’d wonder if it’s obvious, then my heart would pound loudly and my hands would tremble. I’d silently pray for the brief social encounter to be over.

I also had severe PTSD with going outside. Growing up I survived many horrific encounters just walking home. Men have exposed themselves to me, chased me, and attacked me.  I can clearly understand now why I would be afraid.

I think the PTSD combined with social anxiety and panic disorder just all morphed into a giant block of fear. No matter how I geared up to leave, once I reached the door knob I was paralyzed with fear. I can still vividly recall the image of that door knob in my mind.

Even though I felt safer in my home, I would jump at any sound outside. I pulled my shades down and sometimes I would curl up in the corner of my apartment where I felt safest.

When I started to work through the Agoraphobia in therapy it was difficult; because I defensively stated that the reality is that bad things do happen out there and it wasn’t my imagination. My therapist suggested taking a phone with me, or thinking of other ways to make me feel safe.

I also joined an Agoraphobic support group on Facebook. I always kind of giggled at the irony of it. Here we were all in our homes not having to leave for our group. I am very grateful for the people there and still touch base with them.

My life drastically changed because my daughter started cutting herself. A mother has no time for fear when her baby needs her.

I can’t recall a victorious moment when I finally could go pass that door knob; but I do think about it almost daily. I fight my fears and anxieties everyday and sometimes I feel I should be farther than I am. That’s when I like to look back on my Agoraphobia times and feel proud of how far I’ve come.

Agoraphobia is a terrible way to live. If you need help here are some links:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/hateago/

http://agoraphobia.supportgroups.com/

http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Agoraphobia-and-Social-Anxiety/support-group

http://www.adaa.org/supportgroups

http://www.mdjunction.com/agoraphobia