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The truth of it …

It’s been a rough few weeks.

And because I must always be honest in order to feel any serenity at all – I’m sharing an ugly part of it with you.

Last month I shared that I lost my job – since then my son gained one.  He’s been away a lot, staying with my mom in a neighboring State to cut down on his commute.

I on the other hand, had been home a lot, and his absence filled every room with a palpable foreshadowing.

I then received an urgent call from my landlady.

She was warning me that she had finally presented my nightmare neighbors with paperwork,  and that it did not go well and they were angry with me apparently.

The truth of it was that after all the traffic, drugs, domestic violence and general disregard for the community – the community had had enough.

She tried to tell them that it was more than one complaint from more than one neighbor.  But they had decided the closest to them was the snitch.

I knew what they were capable of, so to learn this was in short, terrifying.

My routine had to change – I feared they might harm Butters, my dog, in my absence.  I feared another attack on my car during the night.  I wasn’t so concerned about them breaking in and doing me bodily harm, but still had a hard time falling to sleep – and am keeping weapons at my bedside.

Add to this that I found myself in the middle of a triangle of toxicity when it came to matters of the heart.

I was lonely.  Scared.  Had too much time to think and had too many things going on – my serenity was shot and my stomach cramped with emotional discomfort while my heart ached.

Night after night I looked across at an empty couch.

 

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It isn’t so much that Nicholas wasn’t sitting on it. He’s spreading his beautiful wings and while I miss him, I’m proud of his ability to fly.

It was that nobody was sitting on it.

Problem is, I know myself well enough to know that I don’t want anyone constantly on the couch across from me – and yet I was lonely.

I walked around the house in a fog.

One night – as I was taking my medicine, I had the thought ‘I could take ALL of my medicine.’

This thought didn’t hang uncomfortably in the air – it blended into the room as if it belonged there.

I could take ALL the medicine and cease to be.

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At that moment of time, I was terrifyingly okay with that.

I felt I’ve seen and done more than 100 lifetimes.  I felt my role in my son’s life was shrinking to nonexistence.  I felt I would never be loved the way that I loved.  I felt so completely depleted of all my hopes and energy that I had nothing further to do here.

And God how I love life!

I do.

I have SUCH gratitude for my humble shelter – the food in my kitchen – the pictures in clouds and the beauty of weeds.  I seek out good everywhere I look – I love to the nth degree and I cherish every friend and loved one in my life.

And still I stood staring down thinking ‘I could take ALL of my medicine.’

It breaks my heart.

But at the same time, there was a beauty in letting myself feel that pain and hopelessness – I knew I was being what I always strive to be.  Authentic.

I wasn’t brushing the thought away like an annoying gnat with a ‘Don’t be silly.’

I KNEW I would not do it.  I knew this.  But I knew the thought was very, very real and could not be discounted.

It forced me to look at, then let out – all my pent-up emotions.

It forced me to stop for a moment – without flitting from dishes to dog and errands to emails and look myself, literally in the eyes.

I stood at the mirror, leaned over my bathroom sink and noticed myself.

There she was.

Amanda.

A real person who had been wearing herself so thin and worrying herself physically sick.

Miss independent – unsure if she could provide.  Miss solitary – needing company.  Miss brave – afraid to go outside.

And as Butters looked sadly at me, missing her boy – and not understanding why she had to be locked in the house all day –  I felt completely lost and vulnerable.

But I felt.

And I always do – so deeply.

And though sadness overwhelms me – so does joy.  I love in vibrant color with a panchromatic heart.

And I am content with ‘enough’ and I do not want ‘ALL’.

__________________________

I could poetically end there – but that would not be honest.

Things are looking up, they always do.

There is always hope waiting for those who can look at their lives and choose to live it.

I have an amazing job opportunity just around the corner, although, I’ll probably always have a healthy fear of not being able to provide the necessities.

I’m still sleeping with several weapons at my bedside, but so far so good as far as the neighbors go.

I’m still lonely, but this is a good thing for me!  I used to think I didn’t have the capacity to need anyone.  Craving human interaction is definitely a step in a healthy direction.

I have incredible friends that love me and show up.

I have a loving family that I can count on.

The world is so beautiful – and the universe is carving new paths  all the time.

And I’m willing to walk them.

 

 

 

 

 

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Catabolic hearts and Candy Corn pencils

I spent last night with a few tears – and like a child in need of comfort, I also grabbed a blanket and my bear.

Yesterday brought joy and sadness, love and aloneness, hope and fear.  And sometimes, it’s all just too much to process.

It wasn’t due to any one thing in particular – things build over time to overflowing and when there is no outlet – blanket and bear come into play.

I joke about saying too much – about not editing myself.  But the fact is, I keep so much inside that it hurts sometimes.

You know when someone notices that you’re out of sorts and hugs you?  That dam that bursts because of that hug?

I feel like life (and, yes, me too) constantly plugs up my dam with no relief in sight.

When I desperately need a hug.

And to be heard.

And seen.

I posted this on my Facebook wall this afternoon – after a day of feeling unwell physically, but mostly overwhelmed emotionally.

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I did this because I felt safe putting it there, I am very selective about who my ‘friends’ are on Facebook.  People that know me and ‘get me’ are privy to my mostly quirky, sometimes funny and often odd status updates.

I don’t have friends I don’t trust.

What I really wanted to do was write about it here though.  So I’m going to.

I have a lot on my plate and on my mind.  A lot weighing on my heart also.

I find it necessary, again, to reiterate that I am a happy person – and a grateful person – and a loving person.  And I know what is important in life.

But I am also a human person.

I used to think it was not okay to permit myself to feel my sadness.  That I was somehow being ungrateful by doing that.

I know not to wallow in it – not to become melancholic – but it is necessary to feel.  Denying myself permission to acknowledge sadness or fears is not healthy.  And there is no growth when one does not acknowledge, assess and address a feeling or emotion.

Still, lately I’ve pent everything up.  Putting one foot in front of the other and plugging away at life, while I tackled real and imagined problems alone.

The soul has this amazing ability to take a lot of crap from us – but has its limit.  I reached mine.

Then I came home to mail.

Real mail.

Not just an envelope either – a small package.

It was from a dear friend in California (she actually taught me how to do what I do for a living over 14 years ago!)

Inside – was this letter, the sweet pencil and a bag of Halloween candy:

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Here I was questioning whether I am worthy of love – and I receive this sweet, sweet gift.  That she knows me so well – that something reminded her of me – that she made the effort to go the extra mile and purchase the item and tell me that she thought of me … such love.

And to want to feel connected to me.

What a blessing to have such friends.

I’ll take the pencil to work with me tomorrow and put it somewhere I can look at it as a reminder.

And because it touched me so – my heart can’t possibly be in a catabolic state.  It’s still capable of processing love.

It’s just scared.

Photo therapy

Lay in bed this morning with not a fiber of my being wanting to get up.

I am in a funk of all time funks for a myriad of reasons.  But life goes on.

Laundry was skipped last weekend due to my tooth pain – blah, blah, blah – I’m so over talking about that.  But, fact is, I had to do laundry today. 

I milled about the house, crawled back into bed.  Found myself watching ‘The Shahs of Sunset’ reunion show on Bravo.  What the hell?  I don’t even watch the show – no clue who the people were.  But evidently, reaching for the remote and changing the channel wasn’t in the cards.

Get up Amanda. 

I sat outside.

I haven’t been reading as often lately, tried to read a few pages.  Haven’t picked up a paint brush in a while either, nor my camera. 

“Go do laundry, and take some pictures” a voice in my head told me.  From where I sat, I could see fog over the river – the mountains looked beautiful.

Okay.  Get dressed and just DO IT!

So I did it.  Shoved our laundry into a couple of washing machines and took myself and my camera off for some quality time.

Heads up – I’m the Queen of zoom and crop.  Whereas, my son captures a subject and leaves in the surroundings, whether aesthetically pleasing or not, and his photos end up amazing.  I love that about him.  He doesn’t edit life.  I just have a problem not editing my mouth.

Without further ado:

fogmountain

The reason I took my camera.  Fog is rare here in the desert.  It called to me.  The Colorado River creates it from time to time, and every time it does, its gorgeous.

deadwood

Decay and growth.  I loved the juxtaposition of the two.

burnedandnew

And here too.  The area I was shooting in is prone to fires.  The tree in the back obviously burned and the new growth in the foreground just made such a pleasing image.

curledmetal

Love the curl of this metal. 

flowerdirt

Beauty and the desert beast

irrigation

The reservations irrigation system. 

irrigation2

Looked like a mirror – or a framed picture to me

reeds

Gawd I loved these

spentshell

Spent shell – wonder what was on the receiving end of this?

rock

He’s a rocks rock

weedbranches

On my knees in rams head weeds to get this shot, pretty sure I have a couple of puncture wounds – but worth it

stepflower

Home now – this little guy is growing through the steps.  I won’t go into that metaphor.  But I was proud of it and that little flower inspires me.

On the way home from the laundromat a song came on that for that very moment in time, couldn’t have been more apropos.   Every word spoke to me.  And I don’t know when this funk will break – but I know it will.  I know this.  But I’m nothing if not authentic, and I never ‘fake it til I make it’.  I’m not going to plaster a smile on my face.  I don’t feel like smiling just yet.  I have big decisions to make, big changes to consider and time is slipping by quickly.  I am sad, scared, 50 shades of blue and deep in thought.  But life is still beautiful.  I am still grateful.  And tomorrow is another day.

Here’s that song.