Commitment&Consistency

Amazon.com: If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run, then walk, if you  can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving...  Martin Luther King Jr.

If you follow this blog, you already know that I lack in the latter of this post title. Consistency has definitely not been my strong suit. Then again, being a blog of someone who struggles with mental health, I suppose it isn’t a surprise. Consistency is an important element for mental and emotional well being, yet it can be challenging as all hell! To add to the dilemma I never had a firm routine growing up, being a daughter of a single mom. Therefore, it is yet another tool I have to learn or relearn as an adult.

I have been working with a success coach through Vocational Rehab for a little over a year now, her name is Dr. Deborah Osgood and I think I would have given up a long time ago if it weren’t for the support and encouragement from her and my VR caseworker, Lisa Beck, and of course, my therapist and family/friends. The goal is to start my own herbal business; but it is not a simple journey for someone with so many triggers.

The first trouble I had was responding to a “See, Hear, Experience, exercise called Challenging Reality. The worksheet asked you to visit your early life experiences, with questions like, 1) What did you hear about money and rich people early on in your life? 2)What did you see about money and rich people early on in your life? 3)What did you experience with money and rich people early on in your life? I might write a separate post about my answers; but, if you ever read my Being poor post, then you can imagine the feelings these questions brought to the surface. I held a deeply ingrained belief that I would always be poor and unworthy.

FinerMinds - Timeline Photos | Be gentle with yourself, Self talk, Words

It took almost a year to work on rebuilding my lack of abundance&worth mindset. Talk therapy and daily affirmations helped me slowly become more aware of how my thoughts and beliefs affected my reality. Believing you are always going to be poor and unworthy will keep you poor and unworthy. I had to retrain my brain and introduce new thoughts and ideas around money and self worth. Fortunately, the second step of the aforementioned exercise helped challenge those old beliefs and create current views.

I have been working diligently on reforming my routine and trying to ‘do it all’ I am still in herbal school and it is a lot, especially for somebody who has physical limitations and still in mental health recovery. I am learning to juggle, schoolwork, Voc rehab, building a business, health appointments, housework and self management. I have come a long way from my post on My daily battles which were basically just to get up, get moving, get outside and get to sleep!

I get discouraged that I am not further along; but I remind myself that I am doing things every day toward my goals. I often feel I should be doing more, but I know that I am honestly doing my best and mustn’t beat myself up.

Here are some pearls of wisdom and encouragement from Dr. Deb in our email correspondences;

“Congratulations on realizing that you “are and have been” productively working on multiple things all along that are contributing to defining and growing your business.”

“As you shared, homework and intern work definitely counts <smile>. While personal appointments, errands, and housework will also always be part of everyday life, this new perspective and practice simply ensures that your business goals remain a priority as well. 
…and not just a priority, but something to definitely celebrate as you also touched upon – excellent!!!

And I love this last one when I expressed to her that I was worried I wasn’t being consistent enough.

“As for your comment about “having to stay consistent,” I’d like to introduce a different perspective. 
I think I get what you mean in terms of you “have to stay committed to your goal…”, correct?
Even then, I invite you to be true to who you are. You do not enjoy mundane details and routine work. 
You are a loyal and devoted individual to people and causes you believe in. You also thrive on continued growth and are creative and inspirational. (this info is based on the Meyer Briggs personality test that I took on my first appointment with her, I am an INFP) By continuing to create and operate a business model that allows you to leverage these inherent strengths, you will be happy and you will not “have” to force anything.”

This really resonated with me. I realized that while I am still working on improving my ability to be consistent, I can celebrate the fact that I am committed, to my recovery, my health, my family, my goals, my blogs, my business, my education and so on. I can be gentle with myself and allow the flow of life.

Thanks for bearing with me readers, your support means everything! If you have been following long enough then you know that I do always come back. I am committed to this blog and my visions for it. I will be slowly tweaking this blog while building my Beyouthentic blog. Hoping to post at least monthly on both.

If there is anything in particular that you would like to know more about, please let me know.

I hope you are all well during these challenging times!💜

Be gentle with yourself

Cry, Clean, Create

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If you saw my Wordless Wednesday, then you know my furbaby, Max crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He lived 16 weeks after his cancer diagnosis despite the veterinarian gave him only 1-2 weeks. I was in awe how long he fought and grateful for every moment, but, the last week he began hiding under my bed and hardly had the strength to hold himself up, not to mention, he wasn’t eating again, and this time he wasn’t bouncing back. I had to make the almost impossible decision to assist him with a visit to the vet. They were extremely compassionate and supportive. He went peacefully with a final rest of his head on my arm. 

It is a big loss for me as he came into my life only a few months after my mom passed away, and was by my side for almost 14 years. It’s been three weeks and I have yet to get through the day without crying. 

My mom’s death anniversary just passed also, and my dad’s is coming up in a few weeks, adding to the weight of my grief, but for the first time, grief isn’t swallowing me whole. I can allow my feelings without falling to bed for days. This is a huge progress for me, I have never been a functioning depressed person before!

I created a little mantra to help me cope with my emotions during this difficult time.

Cry, Clean, Create.

Cry. When I have to cry, I stop everything and sit and let it flow, until it feels like I can move again. I stop distracting myself from the pain and allow it to be felt.

Clean. Then I will clean something.  Anything from the top of a dresser to mopping a floor or putting clothes away, whatever is in front of me to be done. I lose myself in the act of cleaning and let my system process. It helps me feel productive and proactive.

Create. Creating a nice space on the dresser I just cleaned off. Journaling, or painting, where ever my spirit needs to go. I started working on a scrapbook/journal of Max, a painting, and refurbishing some plant pots. I have been working on trying to open up to my creativity and am finding the value of catharsis through it. It really is a beautiful healing tool.

This mantra has helped me stay grounded and focused enough to not lose myself in the grief and depression. I am also taking some herbal extracts and essences and practicing lots of self-care. Most recently, that self-care includes the gym or a walk. Physical movement helps break up the heavy energy and gets the endorphins pumping.

Grief feels like an old familiar friend these days. With the losses I have endured, I have somehow become stronger each time. Learning to navigate through the pain instead of running away from it. The bellyaching grief is slowly subsiding and giving away to smiles, love, and remembrance.

I close my eyes and I can see all the people and pets I have ever loved. I get sad and may cry because I miss them in the physical sense; but, I know deep within my heart that the bond of love lives forever and that is where we are always connected.

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One of those Days

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Some days I am ecstatic with enlightenment and joy, 

I can flow easily and I feel blessed and loved.

Some days, I feel broken and useless, and unworthy.

I feel incapable and poor, and hopeless.

I feel I will never get up that mountain top and see the view.

I will always be at the foothill scrubbing the mess others left.

I am full of anxiety and grief and depression.

I use my tools like grounding and centering and acknowledging the many different aspects of myself. I validate them and hold space for them. I recognize my triggers and breathe.

Some days these tools work and some days I still cry through my housework, shake through simple tasks and my heart hurts as I panic about everything.

These days turn into a feat to survive without being swept away. 

These days turn into sleepless nights.

Some days I can flow, some days I can barely bear to breathe.

Today is one of those days.

Update: Celebrating Life

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It’s been a bit since I’ve posted, so I figured an update is a good place to begin again. The year has been a whirlwind for me so far. Major events and significant emotions spinning around me. The amazing thing is I remained fairly stable through it all.

If you read my Hello 2019 post then you know it was a mixed beginning to the new year. Shortly after that post, it was confirmed My cat has cancer. At the same time, I somehow manifested a money miracle. On the unclaimed money website, there sat $11,000. waiting for me! Since my Being poor post, I have worked on changing my attitude about money and I truly believe this little miracle was a reward for that work.

The money was its own little tornado. It was a blessing, yes; but, it was also stressful. The fact that I am on disability created its own set of rules; because, you are only allowed $2,000. for assets. After reporting it, I had only the rest of the month to spend it. I used it with the goal in mind to elevate the quality of life for myself and my daughter. It was mostly spent on another car, home improvements, appliances, and furniture.

I was also able to afford x-rays for my cat, to clarify the cancer diagnosis. The vet did not bother with the ultrasound because the x-ray confirmed there were already spread nodules in his chest. She believes cancer started on a cellular level in his GI system. Even the testing to find out what type of cancer would be too aggressive. She placed him on hospice and prescribed steroids to suppress cancer as long as possible. I was financially able to buy him herbal/natural supplements to aid in his treatment. The vet gave him 2-4 weeks to live, and he has lived 10wks. Though his recent decline in quality of life leads me to the inevitable decision to bring him to the vet and ease his pain.

I was grateful I had my furbaby to keep me company when my daughter left for Alaska for a three-week visit with her dad and family that lives there. I usually fight loneliness when she goes; but, this time dare I say, I felt relief. We’ve had a few upsets recently and agreed we need a family therapist to guide us through her becoming an adult. I don’t know when to push her and when to not. Her self harming in the past left me very anxious to not upset her. We need maneuvering and mediating.

While she was in Alaska, I had the opportunity for a few weeks to really be mindful of my own feelings and needs. It was healing, enlightening and enjoyable. The joy came to a halt when I received news of a dear friend from my past had died. I was devastated. Sad because she passed; but, also sad that we had fallen out of each other’s lives. I learned her son had died three years earlier and I wished I had been in her life. Maybe she would still be here? I recognized these thoughts as grief guilt and the overwhelming sadness of my good old friend grief. I knew better than to resist, I opened up and let the emotion take over.

I spent the first day with wine, weed, pizza, and chocolate and said screw my daily routine. The next day, I awoke exhausted and didn’t feel like doing anything. Part of me wanted to push, get up, do your routine!! The other was simply unable. I emailed my therapist and asked, what is a normal response, I don’t want to spend too much time teetering on the tight rope of depression; but, I needed to rest, and mourn, and process. She told me three days, then get back to my routine. On the third day, I dragged myself to start functioning. The funeral at the end of the week brought closure and though sad, I was feeling like I was at a normal and healthy space.

A few days after the funeral, my daughter came home, exhausted and with a bunch to process herself. The next day was my birthday. Shockingly, not a tinge of the typical birthday depression. My gratitude for life was heightened with the loss of my friend. I awoke, did my routine, went to the gym, (I learned to go by myself while my daughter was away), I bought myself big sunflowers, vegan cheesecake, chocolate, champagne, and dandelion greens to make pesto. I indulged and took pleasure in these simple things. I took a long bath and wrote in my journal. I sat in the bath and reflected on all the baths of my life since I was a small girl. I spent my day in appreciation, mindfulness, and gratitude to be here another year.

The same mindfulness I practiced on my birthday I am using now, to cherish every second with my cat. Looking at him and loving him for the last time in this dimension. His symptoms are lasting longer and he is not bouncing back like he has before. He has held on longer than expected and it dawned on me that he has held on out of his love for me. When my friend died, he spent every day by my side. He kept me company while Serenity was in Alaska. He celebrated my birthday with me. He has been there for me through countless tears. He has been an amazing therapy cat and I am so grateful for the time we have had. Now, I have to be there for him and make him as comfortable as possible. Having to come to the decision to let go of my cat has been tremendously painful and I am struggling with depression again. On the other side of that pain, the appreciation for every moment and every breath of life has etched its groove into my soul.

I celebrate my cat’s life, our life together, and the connection we will always have.

I celebrate every person that I have spent precious time with in this life. I recognize how lucky I am to be loved and to love.

The loved ones I have lost I think about every day. When I feel apathetic I shake it off and appreciate the fact that I am still here, I motivate for the people who aren’t here to have the luxury anymore.

I Celebrate Life ❤

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My Cat has Cancer :(

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I mentioned in my last post that my fur baby wasn’t feeling well. He had stopped eating as much and less each day. When I called the vet, they confirmed he was dying, as they stop eating when their organs begin to shut down. After giving him Reiki and feverishly praying, he began to eat again. Though not his regular appetite and still not feeling well, I arranged a vet appointment. He lost four pounds including muscle mass, signifying a chronic illness.

My worst fear confirmed when his blood work came back normal, ruling out any less aggressively treated diseases. The next step is radiograph and ultrasound to determine where the cancer is and if it has metastasized. The cost is between $500. and $700. I am unable financially to make that appointment. I had to borrow the money to bring him in the first place. I can’t help but wonder, if I had the money, could I get him treatment. Could money save his life? It’s so frustrating being poor and not having that choice. Maybe money would be useless. I don’t know.

I believe it’s in or around his stomach, as he struggles with nausea, constipation and throws up bile. It would be nice to know where it is and how much time we have; but, I am just trying to stay in and cherish each moment.

All I can do is monitor his quality of life each day. He is social, affectionate and active. He eats very little still. He will have a good day, then a bad day. Soon enough, there will be more bad days than good, and I will have to make that call.

I have researched natural treatments extensively. I have been studying animal communication and Reiki for animals. I play him sound frequencies that kill cancer cells. I started him on THC free CBD oil made for pets. I give him nutritional yeast for B vitamins and turmeric because it is a cancer fighter. I know I am doing everything in my power to give him the best life possible while he is still with me.

It has been a rollercoaster of emotions and very triggering. Watching someone you love decline with cancer is heart-wrenching. I have many memories of being with my mom through her journey with cancer. It is the most helpless feeling, an emotion I don’t do well with.

He has been my guardian, my therapist, and my best friend. He is being so brave and doing so well, I am trying to live up to his example, and give to him like he has always given to me.

❤❤❤

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In a Slump

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I’ve been in a slump. Weeks of utter exhaustion, mild depression and a complete lack of motivation. The first week, I chalked it up to still recovering from my surgery and allowed myself the rest. Though that Friday I managed to gather my strength and go out with some friends from school to see another classmate sing. It was a lovely, normal evening out and I am so glad I did it; but, the anxiety and socializing was draining. I was down a few days from that alone.

The next week, my daughter was depressed after a break up. We both spent a lot of time playing video games and being in bed until the end of the week. Realizing the unhealthy, depressive, codependent vibe we were creating, I vowed next week would have to be different. Sunday we drove to my niece’s to celebrate her birthday and spent the evening. It was a lovely time but Monday was right back to the shit.

My daughter and I got into an argument, probably needing space and independence from each other. We are so close that when we argue it is painful. That night I discovered my breast was disfigured from the surgery. The large indentation starting at my scar and going down the bottom of my breast was not any better and now there were two more lines across. I cried myself to sleep.

Tuesday morning, I had an appointment with the garage to inspect the car I am borrowing from a family member. I woke up to a group message regarding an upcoming brunch meeting with old friends. A change of plans. Could we meet near the hospital because my girlfriends mom was in the hospital. I was concerned for my friend and her mother whom I am close with too. I inquired to learn that it is Leukemia and she doesn’t have long. I offered anything I could do to please let me know, and I got ready for my appointment in tears. My appointment didn’t go that well either, I need all four brakes and rotors replaced and a side view mirror to even get a rejection sticker. Then I will have to identify the light stuck on to get inspected. Depleted. I cried on my exes shoulder whom I met because he is local to the garage. I have been completely independent from his help for a long time; but, I needed help. I asked if he could fix my brakes. Presumably, a “friends with benefits” comment surfaced in our conversation. I questioned silently, is that where we left it? I came home to a message from my daughter’s father asking if she was okay. Apparently, she had called him the evening before upset. I replied yes, just growing pains. He responded and then sent a dick pic. One with contraptions on it. I told him he was a perv, and he apologized and said it wasn’t meant for me. Between that and the comment from my ex, I now was depressed  AND angry with men.

I still had my breast to deal with, so I called the doctor and they made an appointment for me. Then my girlfriend with the sick mom called and asked me to call her as soon as I can. I was scared. I didn’t know if I had it in me to be as good of a friend as I tried to portray. I knew her situation would be triggering for me, and I feared breaking down. I poured a glass of wine and called. She wanted me to find someone who could perform a spiritual blessing at her service. I agreed. Then I poured another wine and called it a day.

Sunday, I gathered my strength again and drove to Burlington Mass to meet my girlfriends and her sick mom in the hospital. It tugged my heartstrings to see her sick. I am so glad and proud that I could be there to see her and be there for my friend. I have really grown! I came home and collapsed.

This week, I feel much of the same. Exhaustion, depression, repeat. My appointment with the doctor didn’t make me feel any better. She explained that she had to go into the capsule area to get the calcification out and it could have caused a reaction with the implant, now I have to see a plastic surgeon. Then another blow comes my way. The family of Carrie Moss contacts me to ask if I could tell them about a photographer I worked with. Carrie Moss is a girl that dated my brother in the 80s. In 1989, she went missing and later her bones were found but the mystery never solved and they are still trying to piece it together. The photographer came into question because my sister recently mentioned him to the family. This guy was wanted for child pornography, rape and possible murder, so he was a logical suspect. Shaken by just his name, I researched him only to find he finally became successful and then passed away in 2014. I hadn’t even heard his name in years, and here I was looking at his face and trying to process multiple emotions at once. He is something I will have to write a separate post on. I cried and cried. Here I was sitting with traumas from almost thirty years ago. It’s strange when the past catches up with you. It slaps you in the face and then curls up on your lap waiting for your attention. I will be working on that little gift today in therapy.

It’s really all I can do to just keep going sometimes. The last few weeks, it seems I’m up and then I’m knocked back down again. I am hoping with Spring coming the hints of hope will break this dark and gloomy slump cycle. It has been weeks now, and even though I am functioning, I feel heavy and depressed. I am overwhelmed with the sensation of my inner child just wanting to curl up and cry. I don’t want to be brave today. I don’t want to look into the darkness. I am afraid. I am tired. I just want to color, and play and be innocent.

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Wounded Woman

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Wounded Woman

You can tell by the look in her eyes.

A beautiful sadness, silent cries.

The lines of her face

mark passages of time.

The scars and stories, she can’t erase.

Wounded Woman

She carries immense weight

on her shoulders.

A lifetime of trauma and pain;

but, the heaviness doesn’t stop her

from dancing in the rain.

dancing in the rain

Wounded Woman

twirled and thrusted

until she broke through

to the other side.

Alas, in Great Spirit she trusted,

and set herself free,

never again to hide.

Wounded Woman

She wove her wounds

like an intricate web of Grandmother Spider;

as she journeyed deep inside her.

She found the truth and beauty

of her own old soul.

Her spirit held all the selves, the keys.

Thus, Wounded Womanbecame whole. …<3

 

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What Do We Do With Grief?

 

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Twelve years today,

your spirit whirled away,

far out of reach. 

It took all of these years

to move from the constant grief,

to face the fears

of a life without you.

To see through the darkness 

that you held the light to.

In my heart the nostalgia sustains.

It’s the memories I keep 

that gives me the courage to face each day.

It’s been a treacherous journey just to get this far,

I wear proudly on my soul, the scar.

Today I feel that grief again,

like a dam trying to hold the flood

I tense up.

Afraid to feel,

my logic scrambles, how do we cope?

Throw yourself in homework,

paint, create!

Channel the grief for the better.

For better my spirit screamed, now that’s just mean!

What do we do with grief?

We feel it,, we let the sorrow in, we honor the loss, we sit with that pain

because reality is, my life will never be the same.

Her smile, laughter, and wisdom

are not in the flesh,

yes, she’s with me, but it’s not the same.

It’s not fair, my sadness weeps,

my daughter doesn’t have a grandmother

and it’s fucking sad, my grief bellows.

I let the flood take over me,

run through me, and fill me.

In the arms of my daughter

I set the tears free.

I am so blessed to have her, 

we are like you and me!

It is true, I have lost part of myself forever,

and it is also true we are all together.

It’s okay to feel sad

my sorrow whispers.

It won’t consume

like it once had.

A cardinal appears

and I know you are near.

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This cardinal appeared a few hrs ago, right after I finished a good cry.

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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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