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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’.

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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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New marbles – and how Independence Day sucked

Warning: Strap yourself in for this one, or you will incur whiplash.  I’m shall be swerving from topic to topic and tangent to tangent.  Keep your hands and arms inside the post at all times.  Any appendages not safely and securely contained within the blog are in jeopardy.  You have been warned.  Now you can’t sue me.

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Ah the irony of my Soul Stretch post and the bundle of insane that I became yesterday.  I should have remembered to stretch.  ALWAYS stretch.

This morning a customer said to me “I don’t know how you do your job, I couldn’t do it.  And you’ve been SO sweet!”  Evidently she didn’t notice my eye twitching involuntarily nor was she aware of the length I go to in order to keep my ‘thought Tourette’s’ safely tucked into my mind and not allowing them to come out of my mouth.

I am good at my job.  I’ll give me that.

But DAMN it’s stressful some days.

I battle with underwriters, absurd lending guidelines, government rules all whilst fielding a daily barrage of panic from realtors, escrow officers and customers.

All with a smile.  All while breathing in through my nose, out through my mouth and staring like a Jedi at my ‘shut-up-Buddha’ willing him to transfer to me his serenity and ability to not speak.

I lost it a little earlier.  Just a smidge.  Okay – let’s be honest.  If someone had a straight jacket handy, probably they would have cut their eye from it, to me, to it and back to me – deciding whether or not it was possible to slip it on me safely.

I was googling funny pictures about stress.  Found this particular one and what bubbled up as an innocent fit of giggles, turned to eye watering, uncontrollable bursts of laughter.  The poor loan officer, only feet away from me must have wondered what the hell was going on – as I convulsed in my chair barely able to breathe.

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No, no … none of that actually happened.  Well, not to me.  Clearly it happened to someone or:

a) it wouldn’t be an ecard and

b) it wouldn’t be relatable to any recipients. 

Oh gawd, this DID happen to someone didn’t it??

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Let’s go back in time shall we … all the way back to last Wednesday.

This was my little Wednesday arm.

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I decided, since I am rolling in money – to spend a large chunk of it and some of my copious free time at the ER. (Ouch, sarcasm sometimes hurts when you type it)

I have a heart condition called ‘Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia’.  And I swear, this is the last time I want to talk about or mention this.  Basically, my heart misfires electrically sometimes (okay, quite frequently) and get’s all confused and thinks I’ve just run a marathon when I am actually doing something really physically exhausting like sleeping, resting or sitting in an office chair.  That crazy mixed up heart of mine.  It’s silly ;).

What then ensues is me – getting to experience all the fun symptoms of a heart attack, without the heart attack part.  I do relaxation breathing – if I can walk steadily, I’ll find the nearest sink and run my hands under cool water (that seems to help sometimes) or, I’ll go sit with someone, usually my friend Betty if at work, and just listen to her talk about anything but how I’m feeling.  (Because if I focus on the fact that I’m not feeling well, it gets worse) And, eventually my spell passes.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

And I know my ‘normal’ now – and I’m used to it – so when something different starts to join the tachycardia party, I get scared.

Little arm day, was brought on by three really painful, sharp thuds in the center of my chest, after trying my breathing solutions and cool water trick.

And I’ve been experiencing rapid heart beat when I exert myself lately.  You know, like climbing the three steps to my porch or getting up too quickly. Serious exertion 😉

It’s a good thing I’m thin, because I can not exercise.  You will not see me jogging or doing jumping jacks … ever.

Stress also doesn’t help.

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Oooo!  First tangent.  Speaking of sex … So, I’m wearing a dress that my friend gave me, and shoes that she gave me.  I went into her office and said “Hey, if you’ve got a hair clip and a pair of underwear I can wear I’ll be head to toe Betty”  To which she replied, “Hair clip I could do … the underwear would end up around your ankles”  (She was referring to my thin frame) To which I responded “Ah … the good old days.”

It’s been a while since my underwear was anywhere but on me or in the laundry basket.  But … anyway.

Let’s now turn to yesterday – the day I lost my last marble.

Fourth of July.  My original plans included a man I adore, my son, BBQ at my parents and a four-day weekend.  Not bad eh?

What actually happened:  Argument with my son, spending the day alone crying like a basket case and not even having a hot dog.

To be fair – and I am fair … my part in this argument was that I was already stressed out – the man I adore has been unavoidably delayed, I’ve been worried, I had my little arm day, and I just had a shorter fuse than usual.

Instead of being the mature parent that I am, (that time the sarcasm hurt less … hmmm … clearly if you use it often it gets easier) I resorted to bringing up every single thing I was pissed off about instead of staying on current topics.  My words were pretty venomous and I was ashamed of that.  I did own my part in that – I did apologize later for being so ugly.  It was wrong.

I won’t go into detail about the argument – but suffice it to say, someone stormed out (and it wasn’t me) and the argument continued online.  What have we come to?  That we argue on IM?   Although, it’s nice to point out in black and white proof of a sentence when someone says “I never said that!”  HA!

One such sentence (that wasn’t denied) was “I’ll move out”.  Oh gawd.

I should have taken into consideration that without a vehicle, job or place to go – this was an empty threat – but my mood at that moment didn’t allow for logic.  I was mortally wounded by that notion.

He wanted his independence.

Independence??  He goes where he wants, when he wants – has no obligations around the house and the house to himself all day while I work?  It’s not as if he lives in North Korea?!

Anyway, none of this was funny yesterday at all.  Awful day.  He did come home.  We did talk.  And I gave him the biggest hug I could muster.

But after a good two weeks of stressing out – that was the last straw for me.  I lost my last marble.  Gone.  Poof!

I decided today to do the only sensible thing I could.

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I’m guarding these ones – and I will keep smiling – breathing and laughing. 

Pity Party Permit approved! (Balloon animal artists need not apply …)

I am always grateful for what I have, I keep my detective hat handy for silver lining searching and usually feel happy and serene.  I do!  But after a string of bad luck, I find myself putting pressure on myself to keep my chin so far up it’s affecting me physically.

I have had a headache for three flipping days!

I don’t get headaches. But this one is turning my stomach and pinching my neck and perching in my cranium like a huge fat scratching, pecking rooster.

I already have a heart condition – my sinus node decides at time of rest to lie to my heart and tell it I’m actually jogging.  (How my heart believes this, as I don’t jog, is beyond me).

Minor exertion results in feeling like I ran a marathon, and stressful situations replace my human heart with that of a captured sparrow.

So I’ve been smiling (yeah, sometimes grimacing) and counting my blessings and keeping the faith versus letting the fear in, but my body is not on the same page.

I know I’m not faking my positive attitude, so why then is my body not following?!

Just a few days ago, I actually felt so unwell I was a little concerned I might not see morning.

Not being dramatic – I was truly scared as my heart raced and my chest squeezed.

The thing about having a chronic condition is you get to know what your ‘normal’ feels like.  So when a symptom rears its head that doesn’t fall into that norm, it’s quite frightening.  I had already taken my medicine and I do not have insurance, so a trip to the ER was not in the cards.

I prayed, I pet my dog, I did my relaxation breathing – anything for some relief.

And I saw morning.

(Good thing I cleared that up for you eh?  No one could have guessed that I made it through the night since I’m POSTING! lol).

I got to thinking though, ‘am I setting too high of a standard for myself’?

Why can’t I vent or have a mini-breakdown without feeling like I’m no longer a positive, grateful person?

I Googled crying.  I learned that tears remove toxins.  Crying can elevate your mood (apparently we have a manganese level and if it’s too high, crying helps lower it. Low manganese level = good).  Crying lowers stress.

I’m giving myself permission to throw my body a mini-pity party from time to time.

Not a huge bash, not a wallow in it all-nighter – but a self time-out, acknowledging that maybe sometimes my body needs to ‘let it all out’.

I don’t cry easily – so maybe I can hire an arm pincher instead of a face painter?

Oh, and let there be cake!  🙂