Yesternow Rememberings.

I’ve been here before
Familiar feelings, familiar side effects.
I guess last time I didn’t learn the lesson
So what is it I’m trying to understand?
Uncover and reform the energy of before
Disassemble and redistribute emotions
Wanting to get this right
Wanting to grow and become a better person
And yet –
Here, now, in this very moment, is all that really matters
Within the timeless being of mindfulness is enough
Perhaps not perfection as can be judged
Just, perfection in being present –
In committing my energy to honour and love
For myself, then, for others
The first seems the hardest,
While the second comes naturally.
Looking for answers to ease my mind
Guidance to direct my thoughts,
So that action may follow
And it seems that there are other energies at play
Both supporting and molesting my growth.
Before, when my eyes were opened,
My heart flared with inner power
And now I’ve been lost again in the darkness
Searching blindly for direction,
For anything solid to carry me forwards.
It’s difficult to lead oneself out of the dark
Only guessing on direction,
Unaware of the circular path worn in the landscape
Missing trees, missing the green and the sunshine
I forget so easily what was, and
Get lost so easily in the yesternow.
Sometimes stepping forwards is terrifying
While staying in one place is certain death.
Through the fabric of my world bleeds everyone’s fears
Sensitivities expose this heart to those emotions
Yet, while crumbling in pain
I would shine out as lighthouse in the storm.
Shipwrecked,
Support rallies around me
Let me be conscious to embrace the care
Let there be light on my face and in my heart.

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Her Voice.

I am L’s voice.

When she talks about pain, it is a level of pain that leaves most people in tears. Having dealt with constant physical pain every day of her life, she has a high pain threshold. So when she talks about being bothered by pain, listen carefully and do not dismiss a single word.

When she says the pain is preventing her from sleeping, realise that “being tired” is her way of saying she is experiencing severe sleep deprivation from nightly lack of sleep. Realise that fragmented hours of sleep are nowhere near as beneficial as a solid block of deep sleep. Realise that this has been her experience for months. Realise how difficult it is to still function under these conditions, and that running on autopilot is not a healthy situation.

The pain takes so many forms. It is frequently the sharp stabbing pain of knives. It is hot and cold throbbing, sweats and swelling. It is spasms of nerve pain that make her whole body jump, that occur all times of the day, and are particularly disruptive when asleep. There is currently no relief from the pain, only variations of extremity. Even the most pleasurable of intimate times offers no alleviation to the distressing discomfort.

When the pain brings her to tears, realise that there is nothing left, that she has reached the limit of her endurance, being pounded daily by the various attacks on her physical senses. Realise that the pain has been so severe as to frequently leave her feeling nauseous. Realise that vomiting from the pain is her body’s last resort to expel what currently cannot be removed.

When she says that she has trouble thinking, realise that the pain is so strong that her working memory is functioning at a fraction of normal, and the constant assault on her senses is an underestimated stress. Realise that what she manages to communicate is critical information. Do try to find out more with further questions, for her ability to volunteer information is somewhat limited.

Realise that her emotional struggle is as real as the physical. Realise that many of her normal coping strategies have been taken away, and that her normal physical-mental interplay has been disrupted.

When she speaks honestly about how she feels, it is a big effort, requiring much strength and focus, which is a very tiring process for her. Realise that she has experienced over 20 years of being emotionally smothered. Realise for that time she was conditioned into compliance, criticised, belittled and abused for expressing herself or having a different opinion. Realise that speaking up about herself and for herself is a huge task. Realise how tiring is it to every day push herself beyond the protective shelter of silence that she had created in order to survive most of her adult life.

When she talks about understanding the psychological effects of pain, of reduced function, of limited activity and changed behaviour, realise this is a master instructor  with nearly 30 years experience. Realise this is a teacher at the top of her game, with a professional interest in the psychology of behaviours. Realise this is an educator of the most difficult children in this city, who daily has a positive influence on the future of some of the most disadvantaged children here. When you talk about the psychosomatic influences during this time of dramatic changes in her own life, realise this person intimately understands the territory and must respond daily to assist children and adults experiencing such effects.

Realise that this woman is incredibly strong, having saved herself from an abusive relationship. Realise that this woman had the strength to prevent herself from becoming another statistic of domestic violence. Realise that right now she is coming to you for help, because she needs help. She is relying on you for the best care possible.

Too Much Like My Dad.

Looking for answers to My health issues. Trying to find anything that might resolve or improve this situation I find my body and mind struggling with.

Then my mental negativity kicked in and made some connections to my father.

I’ve turned 50 this year. I’ve been really struggling with my health for 3 to 4 months before that and again now afterwards (interrupted only by a 3 week holiday from my Wintery home to the tropics).

And I wondered what my Dad’s life was like at this age. He turned 50 a year after I left home, a year and a bit after Mum left with my siblings. So he would have felt his life was a complete mess, he would have been very angry and hurtful/hateful. I know that’s how he was in the little contact I had with him over the next few years. I know he had a new partner to help him out at home (he needed physical assistance with his own damaged body).

So he was nearly 49 when his family left him. They left because he drove them away. His brain damage and physical injuries from a motorbike accident just over 5 years prior left him in a terrible physical and mental state for which he received little support. But he became even more negatively reacting to his family, even more critical and eventually resorted to threatening and actuating physical violence against Mum who was only trying to look after 5 children.

48 (a few months short of 49) when his life crashed apart.

I finally left my marriage aged 48-and-a-bit. I walked away from another relationship aged 49-and-a-bit. I’ve turned 50 and one of the single most significant parts of my life, my job and livelihood, feels like it’s been a mess for more than the past year.

Is that coincidence, is that linked? Maybe it’s nothing and yet maybe it’s something I need to work out – somehow.

Working through this is a big hurt of realisation. It’s an exhausting trawl through dark murky emotions and scary possibilities. I want to find some brightness somewhere, I need to find some hope in all this. I need to know that somehow this will all work out for the better. I’m living off vapours and reserves now that won’t last much longer. I want to move forwards. I want to sort out work life and be excited for possibilities, instead of dreading the entanglements that I’m struggling to sort out.

I don’t know where to start or what to do. Tonight I am scared. But tomorrow I step forwards.

Out of Focus.

There are times I can see clearly
Specifically what I need to do
Have the motivation to act
The forwards plan in mind

Often these are the quiet times
When my nearby world is asleep
And all expectation has fallen away
Clarity, focus, simplicity

Then comes the morning
With its health complications
Confusions of position and ability
Managing myself prioritizes over the externalities
And life seems too confusing to manage.

.

(5 August 2018)

Looking for Less. Longing for More.

This lost feeling
I have no idea who I am anymore
Normal function seems impossible
And it has been impacting me for a year.

There have been stresses
Big, life-changing, emotional, relationship shifts
Thinking I was over the marriage break-up
But that grief and confusion seem to be stronger now more than ever.

And that other relationship
That was good and then not so good
Had to walk away from that one also
Now trying to process all the interpersonal confusion, all the self-blame, and damage that is caused by people who are hurting.

I’m the hurting one now
But I won’t let that effect my relationships
Feeling how much energy it takes to process all this
Left exhausted after physical health clashes with mental health.

I’m sure I used to have some idea
Of what I wanted, and particularly of who I was
All that is up in question
The old ways didn’t work, the new way isn’t new enough.

New ways of living are too much like the old ways
So discomfort creeps in
A wariness, a don’t-let-this-happen-again
Tries to break apart what is new and good for me.

Though the rest of my life feels in turmoil
I have a close relationship that is healthy
More sound than anything before in my entire life
The wonder of two spirits in synchronicity, joining together after crossing paths 29 years ago.

There are many things we do not understand
Why people cause pain
Some intentionally, some unknowingly
Why we choose to be brave at a particular time, and not before.

Unsettled life, unresolved personal conflict
Whether physical or mental, still the same results
We struggle not to completely fall apart
We struggle to survive, to be good, to create happiness

There is no better focus for the energy we have
If we could just thrive a little more than survive
If we could just have the energy, the health,
The freedom from pain to live a relatively normal life.

Is that too much to ask?

So Much Feels Like Nothing.x

So much
feels like nothing

Where is worthiness?
My own significance is invisible to me.

Other tells me what they see,
what they feel about me

And mostly it is meaningless
to me.

This dis-ease is a disease

The nothingness slowly eats away
at whatever was there before

I feel nothing now
except a hollow emptiness
That I attempt to describe
to exorcise it from my being

But the process is incomplete

It is an unearthing
an exposing
only

Not remediation.

I know its not right

Yet I don’t know how to deny
the lies.

.

[ 18 June 2018 ]

Heavy as a Day.

Longing for belonging
Instead feeling outside
Without real reason; as
Intrusive fears drag me away
From all who I love
From all that I love
Feeling the pain of separation
Fearing something unreal
Lost in a negativity storm
Comfortably surrounded by
white noise and aloneness
Whilst my brain screams
for all the opposites
That I need and want.

.

.

.

Simple fulfillment
is all that I desire.

Some Days. sʎɐp ǝɯos

Some days the struggle
seems too much
And some of those days
you push through that difficulty
And sometimes you manage
you function with productivity
Some days you find a light
Some days you feel hope
Some days you hear the voices
of every friend who supported you
Some days you ponder
the absence of positive mental health
and the struggles that hold you back

Some days the struggle
is too much
And some days pushing through
still results in no progress
And some days there is only
the heap of you unmoving
Some days are only darkness
Some days are hopelessness
Some days all you hear
is the criticism in your own mind
Some days you wish for
a single positive thought
and any way to move forwards

Falling into a Moment.

Today, is just as times before. When I feel the pain of another’s story, long after my ears have heard. When I remember back to my own journeys through the pain of chronic ill-health. And the mental anguish of being unable to function for days, weeks, months. The self-imposed stresses. The very real stress of maintaining a relationship whilst unable to maintain yourself. Being unable to work, unable to generate income, unable to meet deadlines.
Unable. Disable. Needing more enable, but those days were rare.
I have known defeat, suffering, struggle, and loss. Somehow I have found my way out of those depths and stand here today.

.

Pain reaches forwards
Up from the past
Clutching and dragging me
Back
Fearing all that
Now, as then

And I tell myself right now
These are emotional ghosts
They have no power over me
Except that which I give them.
Though I feel unsteady, unsafe
My comfort lies in others
Asking for help
Accepting supportive hands
Belief in my own inner strength.
These are my tools
With these now I survive
And prepare to thrive once more
This is my hope, my truth.

Advice You Never Asked For.

I admit I don’t know your full story. 

But I encourage you to write because of my own experiences of that being a hugely beneficial path to take. 

When I was depressed for years, 

frequently suicidal, for years

when writing was my only emotional outlet, I pushed through it all and eventually pushed out through all the hurt into something that was truly a little bit beautiful amidst the terrible darkness. 

It was on the advice of a dear friend I started blogging. Fear made me keep it anonymous. But what I met was a writing community that embraced me and encouraged me in every way. I found friends who taught me about understanding and grief, about strength and persistence, about discovery and perseverance.

And I am forever grateful for that experience. 

I see now how I pushed myself through the fear. Partly out of fear of the darkness, but mostly because ALWAYS inside me, no matter what other shit was going on, there was the tiniest spark of light that guided me onwards. Perhaps it was a genetic gift from my mother, of hope or optimism. Perhaps it was the repeated words of a few close friends who reminded me during those darkest times that it wouldn’t last, that life will get better, that I deserved better, that just hanging on for another minute is all I needed to do in the moment. 

How can I not be grateful for experiencing that genuine expression of love from people I’ve only known for a few years?!

And now it’s my time to shine for myself, and for others. It’s my time to pass on the love. To “pay it forward” to someone else. Not out of any duty, or karma, just because its who I am. Simple, honest, caring for other humans. (And because, well, in that place, there are new lessons for me too.)

So I don’t know what you want in your life, what your personal goals are. But I see you already caring for and discovering yourself in many ways. We all want to “be better” or perhaps just “feel better”. While that path is a very personal choice, I see you finding your way forwards already.

And I just want to encourage you to do, and to keep doing, whatever it takes to maintain forward momentum in your life.

I encourage you past the fears in whatever way it takes, because that is just the way forwards. 

Don’t be afraid. Just be who you need to be.

=

[ feature/title image aerial photography of Mona Vale Beach, Australia, by Bo Le @safromabove ]