Happy New Year, Dad.

I miss my dad.
Through all the turmoil; all the moments of anger, hurt, uncomfortableness. Even through all his own pain, discomfort, the disruption of Parkinson’s disease degrading his human form and bodily organs failing.

I didn’t feel him at the end of this year.
The anniversary of his death on Christmas Eve, then a week later remembering his birthday on New Year’s Eve. A busy time of the year when it is easy to not notice many things. So I paused, left space for his memory, thinking about the present more than the past. I remembered him with a toast of his favourite drink – Cooper’s Stout “Happy Birthday Dad”. For a change, there were no tears, no heartache, no grief.

He wasn’t close to me this year. He was somewhere else, being himself, knowing I was okay at this time.

And now, a week later, with clear thoughts, I remember and miss the spirit that sparkled in a way like no other. The love that he gave for so many people, selflessly. He cared in his own way, and I thank him for expressing that as best he could.

So there are no more visits, no more chats. No more awkwardness and no more love. All I have are the memories – the feelings and moments, emotions imprinted on my heart.

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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.

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 ]

Getting Over It?

Relationship grief is tricky

Mourning the loss of what was

Mourning the loss of what might have been

Grieving the pain that became

Coming to terms with your choices,
the decisions that put you there,
for better or for worse.

Responsibility is always shared

Outcomes are the result of reasons

Sometimes beyond our control.

Forgetting is not an option

You are today, because of yesterday

No matter what has been
you always have a choice of what comes next.

Hopefully, we integrate and grow

Our desire to be better,
no matter what was.

And when I can no longer manage
the hurt that still pulls me apart

I hold onto the one solid piece of me

The love that I still give, that still burns brightly.

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.

Comparisons.

Feeling guilt over the validity of my pain
Comparing my childhood story with yours

Yet I know this is no competition
And we each bear our own challenges
We each learn in our own ways

Why does comparison even come into it?

How do we accept this and grow?

Wanting life to be right and just, does not make it so

All we can do is live our own integrity

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 ]