sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist, an unschooler, and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Posts tagged ‘acceptance’

Healing through writing

Today is March 25, 2013

I had knee pain come out of no where yesterday and was so glad I had an appointment at my chiropractor this morning.  Apparently it was more misalignment in my back and hips causing knee pain.  I assumed it was residual damage from the car accident that I was in 10 months ago.  When my knee bothers me which it does from time to time, I get angry.  Before my car accident, I had no knee pain issues.  And when I am in pain or stressed, then I become more anxious driving.

Even ten months later, I have an over active startle reflex when driving.  It is far better than it was the days and week and even months right after the accident but it is not gone.  We can recover from trauma yet we don’t ever return to the place we were before the trauma.  Right after the accident and for many weeks, I could not get the memory of the accident out of my mind the entire time I was driving.  I hated that.  I hated the fact that what sometimes is my time alone, time in the car driving, was now ridden with fear and the memory of a traumatic experience.   I think what made it even more difficult for me was because I was driving along minding my own business traveling the speed limit and this car turned into me in broad daylight on a road with good visibility.  The result has been me not trusting any other driver on the road because you just never know when they are going to make a bad judgement decision.

This is no way to live.

Today as I was driving to  my chiropractor experiencing this  constant ache in my knee, I had a few close calls on the road.  Nothing extreme just a few cars coming toward me and crossing the yellow line for a few seconds, enough to set me on high alert.  Later, after I dropped my son off, I was pulling into a two lane road where the speed limit is 35 and was about to move into the left turn lane when a car speed along out of no where- the closest call all day.  So I thought to myself,  Why am I having these near miss experiences in the car on a day that I have knee pain?

Surely, it must just mean that I need to write about my accident.  The universe has been pushing me to write more and to carve out time in my life regularly to do so.  The signs have been so clear to me and yet finding or making the time to do so has been a challenge.  This past Friday, I did it.  After getting my younger kids breakfast, they wanted to watch a show and so I decided I would go up to my bedroom with my lap top and write.  I would not check Facebook or my email but go directly to wordpress and write.  A few weeks before I had decided that i needed a more specific blog and had created a Child-led learning blog.  I hadn’t done anything else since creating it.  So for almost an hour, I wrote. I did not finish the blog, but was so happy that I had carved out the time and done it! Finally!  My goal is to do that every day or at least several days each week.  As I write that, something deep within me says, “everyday,Gina, make time to write every day”.

It is Monday and on Mondays, I usually have a few hours to myself while my oldest is at the homeschool co-op.  I either go to a coffee house or the library both around the corner from where the co-op meets.  Usually, I decompress by checking Facebook and email and then look at my homeschooling website and approve and welcome new members and then work on an update message to send to members.   I think about writing a blog but it has been a long time since I have done so.

I knew I needed to go straight to WordPress today and not look anywhere else and write.  I wasn’t sure exactly what I would say or what the focus would be.  I then pulled up my drafts because I recalled writing about my accident in the past.  I found the following written just 6 weeks after my accident:

I was in a car accident on May 26, 2012.

I was driving home from work. It was a Saturday and I was done early and so I decided to head to Target to use the gift card that I had gotten back in October  to buy a new swim suit and planned to take my kids to the pool too.

I never made it to Target and I did not take my kids to the pool nor was not able to for about 2 weeks.

I was driving along, not my usual route but on a road I had traveled many times before.

It all happened so fast and yet those seconds or more likely second, before the crash, happened in slow motion.  I clearly recall seeing the white SUV turning into me and deciding to swerve to the right to get out of the way.  I also vividly recall realizing that I could not get out of the way and knew she was going to hit me.  I remember it all like it took place over minutes instead of seconds.

But then all I remember is impact-

….and then the car coming to a stop and me opening my eyes.

After the initial impact, I do not know what happened.  I must have hit my head because I had a cut on my nose and my nose was bleeding and my air bag never went off.  But this I only know after the fact- when I got out of the car and someone said my nose was bleeding and when I later realized the air bag did not deploy.

I remember opening my eyes and seeing an air bag (passangers side) and some smoke and having the instinct to get out of the car.  I attempted to open my door but it did not move and so I climbed to the passangers side, taking my purse and water bag and exited my car.

I recall how shaky I felt as I stepped out onto the grass.  A wonderful bystander was walking toward me and asked me if I was alright and advised me to sit down.  I am so grateful to that wonderful woman who reached out to help me.  She did  not have to help me and I think she might be the witness who is listed on the accident report but I really have no idea.  She was there when I needed someone and I am forever grateful to this kind stranger for stopping and coming to my aid.

The person who hit me, apparently was a medic and she advised my bystander angel that I should lay down which I heard and then did.

I had no idea at the time that my car had spun around and the back end had struck a third car and then had been propelled forward coming to a rest along the grass on the side of the road.  Thinking about that, its almost like someone had guided my car to move forward and come to a rest where it did.  Maybe the car wasn’t on the grass, but I know when I stepped out of the car, I stepped onto the grass.

I drove back down the road where the accident took place today, it has taken me over 6 weeks to build up the courage to do this.

_______________________________________

I kept the above just as I wrote it 8 months ago.  The accident was still fresh in my mind and as I read it, I recalled the feelings I felt for so long every time I got in the car for several months after the accident.

I finally drove down the road where the accident was, pushing myself to do so 6 weeks after my accident but then I did not drive that way again for many months.   Luckily, it was not a usual route for me so it wasn’t like I was avoiding the road.  Yet, I knew I needed to drive on that road again to desensitize myself and reduce my anxiety.  Reminds me very much of ERP therapy that my daughter does for her OCD.   Recently, they began working on a bridge on my usual route to work and also where my chiropractor is located.  So now, I found that driving past my accident was the quickest option to get where I needed to go.  At first, I drove that way to work because I was driving the opposite direction from when I was in my accident.  It helped me to drive many times from the other direction and see where the accident took place.   I would go home a different route avoiding the road entirely.  Then, I decided I needed to drive down that road heading home but I choose to take the highway which the entrance to is within eyesight and just before where my accident took place.  The first time I did this, I got stopped at a red light waiting to turn onto the entrance ramp and as I sat there,  I had a clear view of where my accident took place.  I became anxious and felt my heart racing.  It was difficult to sit there for those seconds waiting for the light to turn green.  The next time that I came to the same intersection, I could look on the spot without all of the anxiety.    Over time, I even drove the actual path of my accident again.  The most difficult was when I was bringing my son’s friend home and it was dark and raining.  I became very anxious but survived the experiene.

When I think about my daughter and the level of anxiety she experiences with her OCD, I realize that it is likely far more intense than even what I experience.  The thought of having the amount of anxiety that I experienced when first trying to drive on the path of my accident  every day and many times in a day gives me a better understanding of what she experiences.  All I can say is,  “Wow, I can not imagine living with that much fear and anxiety   every day and frequently throughout each and every day.”

Healing from trauma is a funny thing.  There is physical healing and mental healing and yet they are very interwoven, much more so than most of us realize.  I know on days when I have physical pain, I have more anxiety driving.  I also know when I feel more emotional stress, I also have more anxiety driving.

I am teaching my 15 year old son to drive.  He has had his learner’s permit for several months and so I think about my driving all the time as a way of helping him to learn.  I try to take my 25 years of driving experience and use it to help him develop good skills and habits with driving.  Today as he was driving and we were talking about driving, he told me that he believes I drive different now as compared to before my accident.  He did not have his permit when I had my accident.  It was 3 months later that he took the required drivers ed class and another 3 months before he turned 15 and could take the test for his learner’s permit.  But he is very observant and I found it interesting that he saw a difference.

Traumas change us.  When my husband was healing after surving a massive heart attaack and long hospitalization, people  began to ask if things were “back  to normal”.  There is no going back.   I remember feeling,  Life will never be normal again.   I realize now that things can become “normal” again but it is a new normal.   The experience changes you forever and the change can be both positive and negative.  Hopefully we can heal enough through the experience to take more positive change with us and learn to release the negative or allow it to subside.

My husband calls his heat attack “getting hit by a two by four”, a sort of wake up call.

I have decided that it is much more challenging being the one smacked by the “two by four” than to be the caregiver.  At least, that has been my experience.  I could see far more positive change after my husband’s heart attack.  Yet, when I was the one in pain, it was difficult for me to step outside of my experience.  As I say that, it makes perfect sense.  At the time when my husband was recovering, it was frustrating to be in this place of new understanding and clarity and he seamed to be mostly angry, frustrated.  Maybe I was more in a spiritual place and he was more in his body.  Unlike my car accident, had no memory of his heart attack.  He had pain but had no idea it might be a heart attack and then he went into cardiac arrest and remembers nothing until after he woke up hours later after coming out of the cath lab.   I saw him in the ER before he went to the cath lab and he was “awake” and they told him he had a heart attack and he had this look on his face like “you have got to be kidding me” but he has no clear memory of this.   And so he awoke to discover what had happened and to be on a bed restricted to laying absolutely flat for a humber of hours and then it took time before he could sit up and over a week before he could stand and walk.

I knew the car was going to hit me before it did and I can feel the impact of metal on metal.  When I stop and think about it, I can feel it in my entire body.  I recall vividly the experience of my car coming to a stop and seeing smoke coming out of the dash and feeling that I needed to get out of the car.  I can relive the moments like it happened yesterday.  Yet, I know I was in a state of shock after the impact.  After all, it was dust coming up from the air bag on the passengers side that I saw and not really smoke, but at the time, my instincts told me, smoke means get out of the car and quickly.  I even wanted to move far enough away from the car after I got out of it.  I had no idea that my arm was injured from the glass and that my nose was bleeding and that my air bag had not gone off.  I remember some blood dripping but had no need to figure out where it was coming from.   Once I was out of the car, others began helping me and I am sure laying down helped me.  Then it was a long wait as the medics arrived and the police officer came over to talk to me, all with me lying flat on m back staring up at the sky.  I think about it and feel like I was fully aware of everything.  yet, I know there was a hazy fog of shock that likely lasted for days or weeks.

As I ramble on writing about this experience, I am thinking about all of the day to day traumas in our life, all of the little disappointments as well as the bigger challenges that affect our daily experiences and our life as a whole.  We respond differently depending on the situation.  The common thread is whether it has primarily a negative impact or a positive one.  How can a trauma have a positive impact?  Even I wonder that too as I write this.  I think it is what we take from the experience. The decisions we choose to make because of it, not our initial gut reaction but the way we handle ourselves despite it.  Most of the time it can be a big mix of both negative reacting and positive decisions.

Somemtimes, it just takes us longer to pull out of the trauma and to step outside of it and move forward.   Sometimes we have no choice but to keep moving forward.  Other times, we sit with the pain for a while.

When I think back on the days and weeks just after my accident, if I could go back in time, I would allow myself more time to heal.  I know I took my time to some extent and yet I take from the experience  a reminder to accept what is.  If I don’t feel well on any given day, I really try now to stop and think about what must get done and what can wait.  LIfe is no longer the rat race that I used to feel when I was younger.  Some days, it is good to stay in your pajamas and watch tv with your kids or make cookies and eat them for dinner.

Life really is too short to be in a hurry and rush though jumping from one thing to another without any time to breath.

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Runaway Train

Runaway Train

Call you up in the middle of the night

Like a firefly without a light

You were there like a blowtorch burning

I was a key that could use a little turning

So tired that I couldn’t even sleep

So many secrets I couldn’t keep

Promised myself I wouldn’t weep

One more promise I couldn’t keep

It seems no one can help me now

I’m in too deep

There’s no way out

This time I have really lead myself astray

Depression seeps in

Silently and slowly creeping

Like a shadow obscuring the light

It arrives slowly without warning

A gas leak that slowly chokes out the life

Within us

We struggle and fumble

To find our way out

To the fresh air

And to the light

Again

Rain falls softly

Quietly covering the ground

The wind blows the leaves of the trees

Branches sway

Thoughts of how I use to be

Enjoying myself with my children on a road trip to ohio

To an unschooling conference

Just this past May

Two months later

And here I am feeling lost

We drove to St. Louis over Easter weekend

I had determination, organization, purpose and poise

Now i sit in the silence looking at old photos

Longing for that feeling I once had

Happiness, joy,

It is more than that

Purpose

I sense of divine purpose

Yet each time I encounter the chains of depression

I move forward

Never back…

Runaway train never going back

Wrong way on a one-way track

Seems like I should be getting somewhere

Somehow I’m neither here nor there

Can you help me remember how to smile?

Make it somehow all seem worthwhile

How on earth did I get so jaded?

Life’s mysteries seem so faded

I can go where no one else can go

I know what no one else knows

Here I am, just drowning in the rain

With a ticket for a runaway train

And everything seems cut and dry

Day and night

Earth and sky

Somehow I just don’t believe it

Runaway train never going back

Wrong way on a one-way track

Seems like I should be getting somewhere

Somehow I’m neither here nor there

Bought a ticket for a runaway train

Like a madman laughing at the rain

A little out of touch, a little insane

It’s just easier than dealing with the pain

Runaway train never going back

Wrong way on a one-way track

Seems like I should be getting somewhere

Somehow I’m neither here nor there

Runaway train never coming back

Runaway train tearing up the track

Runaway train burning in my veins

I run away but it always seems the same

Cool, quiet? Sunday

I woke up today on a Sunday morning and had the idea to take a walk. I looked at my weather app, 64 degrees.

64 degrees!?!?!

It is July in Charlotte, NC and we don’t usually see 64 degrees even at 8am.

I got dressed and grabbed my headphones and found resurrection Sunday on iheart radio and off I went.

Now I am perched on the trampoline with a pillow and some towels with my iPad and keyboard in the quiet.

Quiet?

“Mom, mom, there is something I have to tell you. Do you like pears?”

My 9 year old comes bouncing on the trampoline to tell me pears are growing on the pear tree in the front yard.

I explain that it is a pear tree and has had pears on it before but they usually don’t taste good.

He is very excited. I am less than thrilled that my quiet has been invaded.

I try to smile and acknowledge his excitement in the discovery.

And off he goes… on to his next adventure.

The WiFi goes in and out on my iPad and I have to enter settings several times to reset it.

There is an amazing breeze blowing trees that surround me in my backyard sanctuary.

The sky is Carolina blue

The humidity is low

The air is cool

It’s a beautiful day, like an early spring day here in NC

Amazingly, I am home from work on this beautiful Sunday.

If only Bluetooth and WiFi would work continuously so I don’t have to keep going into settings to fix them…

I am in the quiet right now, no music, no children….

Well, to be fair, I texted him first about my personal hot spot not working.

So now. my oldest is texting me about things before he goes to work

I don’t mind.

Motherhood is my first priority.

Now it is quiet.

cicadas? Or something like that chirps

Crows fly overhead cawing

Neighbors dog barks

Wind blows the tall trees

And the leave rustle

A siren in the distance

Not a peaceful sound…

Or it can be, knowing someone is getting the help they need

But it brings knots to my stomach

Deep breath

I release the stress of the siren sounds…

The sun shines down on my back creating a glare on my screen

Showing all the dirt and smudge marks on my iPad screen

The temperature is perfect

A loud banging noise..

From my house?

No, not my house

The sound of cars…. and an airplane

The leaves rustling in the wind is my favorite sound

I could curl up and take a nap

I have been sleeping a lot lately

I figured my body needed rest

And yet…

I seam to sleep a lot and still feel tired

Warning sign

Shiloh, my beagle, comes running through the back yard, sniffing the ground

I don’t think he realizes I am here

Until I call his name and he freezes, tail perked

And then runs over and lifts his nose onto the outer edge of the trampoline to discover it is me

And off he goes again, running through the yard

I realize this is the reason I put music on to write

Music helps me focus

Today my husband was going to take 2 of our kids to Raleigh for the kids camp my sister runs for kids and dogs.

The plans changed so they are leaving tomorrow now.

I was looking forward to having a Sunday at home by myself.

I will have the next two days home, yet I also will be going into work both days.

Then Wednesday, I drive to Raleigh to do a parental swap.

I have right now, here outside in this beautiful weather, sitting on my trampoline.

I lay back and look up to see a hawk flying overhead with the moon in the bakyround

Then another hawk appears

I watch them soar, floating through the air

And then they are gone…

Life moves quickly until we stop and sit still for a moment

My pets know this, the dogs and our cat

Shiloh, the beagle, is sitting still and staring at a fence right now

A wooden fence

There are vines growing on our metal fence and our neighbor’s wooden fence sits against the metal fence

Shiloh sits still, turning his head from side to side on occasion as if to be looking up and down the fence

I call his name and he turns to look at me and then resumes his watch

If only I could enter his mind for a moment

8% battery on my iPad and my keyboard battery must be running low too

It is so peaceful out here and yet my battery will be dead soon and nature calls…

I know I can come back out here and yet, somehow I know once I go in, I won’t come back to this peaceful place on the trampoline to listen, to think, and to write

I need to make meatballs today for my husband to take for a meal on the trip

Life

For now, I sit and watch the leaves move in the wind

I take this moment to be still and peaceful

Quiet

Waking up at 2am

I woke up at 2am and made the mistake of looking at Facebook. A Facebook “friend” had shared a video of a Pediatrician speaking out agains transgender youth, speaking out about the dangers of medications and procedures for transgender children. From her video spewed mountains of hate for LGBTQ individuals and references to the Bible and God and Jesus and a debate on gender and sex.

Ignorance

First, I made comments back on the post and to the people spreading hate and ignorance.

I took my frustration and decide to write a blog.

My blog turned into a blog about all I have learned from my children.

Love

Love is stronger than hate

The opposite of love is fear

People are afraid of what they don’t understand.

Come from a place of love

This is my goal in my writing, to come from a place of love.

So now I have been awake for 4 hours?

Has that much time really gone by?

I am not sure what time i sat down to write, must have been by 3am.

It is now 6:28.

How I spend my time.

I wrote one blog in 3 and a half hours

And spent much time reading other posts on Facebook.

Hmm…

How I spend my time…

I am now paying attention to how I spend my time

The first step in changing my actions is to pay attention to what I am doing

And ask, Why?

Or maybe more poignantly, what purpose has it served for me?

Today, I have learned that I can read something I completely disagree with and from that create a post of love. That I can pull inspiration from unusual places.

And what I write about might not be a response to what I have read.

I have also learned that I can choose how I spend my time.

I have learned that I have been craving quiet time alone

Time alone in my own thoughts

That is renews me to have time to reflect, to listen to inspiring music and read social media and then turn to writing.

We all can be influenced by persuasion even in the absence of facts and science.

Facebook and social media is full of so much misinformation and it is a source of real information, truth and honest news.

Like life, it is a dichotomy.

Now it is 6:30am and my alarm goes off telling me to get up for work.

I am now ready for a nap.

Yet, I will get ready for work.

Inside their is a struggle of resistance, wanting to spend my day writing and reflecting rather than entering the world of geriatric healthcare for the day.

Yet, I know I can choose how I spend my time.

I can choose to make time to write and reflect and have quiet alone time.

I can and need to make these choices actively no matter what is happening with my family and what time my children wake up.

I can get ready for work and go to work now and nap later.

I can take this idea with me today and remember that I am more than my job working in healthcare as an Occupational Therapist.

I can create time for writing and pursuing parenting coaching business just as I make time to go out of the home and work to bring home income for my family.

Everything is temporary.

I can earn an income in more than the traditional way of working at a job.

I can have faith.

I can live in this world and not be of it

I can work at a a job and pursue a passion and and pursue earning a living from a business.

I can transition my time slowly or however it unfolds…

I can embrace the change.

Gratitude: Embracing Bipolar Depression

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out

And if you want to be free, be free

‘Cause there’s a million things to be

You know that there are

And if you want to live high, live high

And if you want to live low, live low

‘Cause there’s a million ways to go

You know that there are

Cat Stevens sings as I sit here telling myself to write

Ups and downs, highs and lows

Bipolar depression and mood swings

Life challenges

Leaving me wanting to escape it all, at times

Other times ready to jump in and fight, power on…

Emotions

Feelings

Memories

Regrets…

Life for 48 and a half years and counting…

Opportunities come and gone

New endeavors

Staring new jobs, new people, new places, new computer systems…

Old jobs and people I have known a long time

Letting go

Moving on

Writing

Because I have to

Because it is what feeds my soul

Because when I don’t write,

I feel lost

Something is missing

Until I return to my keyboard

And figure out what to say

My life is awesome

Sometimes my life sucks

Circumstances and situations suck

Infuriated by government systems

Lack of organization and logic

Waiting

Mental health services

Sick care

Thinking of those things is a whole ‘ nother blog

Embracing myself and who I am

Embracing where I am

Right now

Right here

In this home

My 5 year home that I have lived in for 17 years…

With all its cracks and crevices and needed repairs

My house is nearly 49 years old, as am I

Built the year I was born

A good year

1969

I was born on Peace Day during the Vietnam war

October 15

I believe I choose to be born on that day

I was born 3 weeks past my mother’s “due date”

They allowed that back then…

Here I am

Now

Journey sings to me

Don’t’ stop believin’

Dreams

Writing

Aspirations

Hope

New endeavors with Don

Speaking

Speaking!

Writing and speaking my truth

My true self is emerging

i sing this song to my true self…

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere, somewhere

I know I’ll find you somehow

Somehow, somehow

And somehow I’ll return again to you

The mist is lifting slowly

I can see the way ahead

And I’ve left behind the empty streets

That once inspired my life

And the strength of the emotion

Is like thunder in the air

‘Cos the promise that we made each other

Haunts me to the end

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere, somewhere

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere you can hear my voice

I know I’ll find you somehow

Somehow, somehow

I know I’ll find you somehow

And somehow I’ll return again to you

The secret of your beauty

And the mystery of your soul

I’ve been searching for in everyone I meet

And the times I’ve been mistaken

It’s impossible to say

And the grass is growing

Underneath our feet

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere, somewhere

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere you can hear my voice

I know I’ll find you somehow

Somehow, somehow

I know I’ll find you somehow

And somehow I’ll return again to you

[Interlude:]

You see I know you’re out there somewhere

O yes I know you’re out there somewhere

You see I know I’ll find you somehow

O yes I know I’ll find you somehow

the words that I remember

From my childhood still are true

That there’s none so blind

As those who will not see

And to those who lack the courage

And say it’s dangerous to try

Well they just don’t know

That love eternal will not be denied

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere, somewhere

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere you can hear my voice

I know I’ll find you somehow

Somehow, somehow

I know I’ll find you somehow

And somehow I’ll return again to you

Yes I know it’s going to happen

I can feel you getting near

And soon we’ll be returning

To the fountain of our youth

And if you wake up wondering

In the darkness I’ll be there

My arms will close around you

And protect you with the truth

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere, somewhere

I know you’re out there somewhere

Somewhere you can hear my voice

I know I’ll find you somehow

Somehow, somehow

I know I’ll find you somehow

And somehow I’ll return again to you

Thank you Moody Blues and Azlyrics

Story of my life

Have you ever seen the video for the song, Story of My LIfe, by One direction?

I have always liked the song and having just watched the video, I like it even more.

And I am very picky about my videos. My favorite song currently is Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill, but oh my! I really dislike the video. It just does not do the song justice. I find the video cheesy. But I will focus back on the video I like…

Story of My Life by One Direction

Today is my half birthday.

Crazy? That a 48 year old woman is celebrating her half birthday?…

Maybe…

There is no cake or anything. I just always think about it when it arrives, 6 months prior to my next birthday.

And today, I am using the date to focus on me and my life for my blog.

What better song to use and after watching the video, I knew it was perfect.

Do three links to the video impress upon how much I want you to watch this video?

I will superimpose my blog within the lyrics of the song today….

“Story Of My Life”

Written in these walls are the stories that I can’t explain

I leave my heart open but it stays right here empty for days

April 15, 2018

I am 48.5 years old today. My 49th birthday is 6 months away. It is also “tax day” but being Sunday, I guess that will really be tomorrow.

I am very happy with my life right now. I would not have said that last year. Two years ago, I might have, but several years prior to that, most likely not. I have had more than my share of challenges over the past 11 years. Somewhere in all of it, I lost myself but have been working to uncover myself again. In doing so, I have discovered that the truest part of me has been lost for far more than 11 years.

The last time I remember being this confident and happy with myself was when I was 10, 11, and 12 years old and living in Bethel Park, Pa. I lived there for 3 years of my life: September 1979 through the summer of 1982. I made some wonderful friends in those 3 years and have some of my best childhood memories from that time period. I was a Girl Scout, a safety guard for the bus stop, part of the writing crew for a child run and produced news show that ran on the local channel and was facilitated by my 5th grade teacher at Washington Elementary School. I learned to play the clarinet and was in the band which continued even after moving across the state and when entering high school. I played softball for a church league and was a catcher and learned to hit the ball and even got a home run! I played softball the year before we moved to Pennsylvania, when we lived in Ohio, but we later found out that I really needed glasses and this explained my not hitting the ball for an entire season of softball. It is much more fun to play softball when you can see.

She told me in the morning she don’t feel the same about us in her bones

Seems to me that when I die these words will be written on my stone

I received my first journal, “dairy” when I was 10 years old. My sister gave it to me for my 10th birthday, October 15, 1979.

I still have that diary and every one after it that I have been writing in for the past 38 1/2 years. I have been a writer for as long as I an remember. My 6th grade language arts teacher was the best. I can remember creating a book of poetry in her class and I vividly remember her sitting down to review it with me. She encouraged me and praised m writing.

We moved a year later and somehow, my vision of myself as a writer changed. Somehow, when I was in high school and thinking about college, I never thought of pursuing a career in writing. Looking back at my life now, I see how everything I did was perfect to bring me to where I am today. I would not change going to E-town College and majoring in Occupational Therapy. Nor would I change all the places I have worked as an Occupational Therapist. Even the job I held for only one month. It all brought me to where I am now.

I used to say “I am a writer that got detoured by a career in Occupational Therapy”.

I don’t know that I would say that anymore.

I am a writer AND…

I am an Occupational Therapist.

Both are a large part of who I am.

And I’ll be gone, gone tonight

The ground beneath my feet is open wide

The way that I been holding on too tight

With nothing in between

The story of my life

I take her home

I drive all night

To keep her warm

And time is frozen (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

I give her hope

I spend her love

Until she’s broke

Inside

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

Any love song I listen to now, I often think about loving my inner child.

Nourishing the part of me that got lost, my true self.

I have been actively working to nurture my inner child for over 14 years ever since I began practicing EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique with Jan Luther.

I did personal work and went on to study EFT further and earned a level 1 and level 2 EFT training certificates. I also received level 1 and level 2 Reiki training. I am a student of Conversations with God. That goes back even further, I believe to before my oldest child was born over 20 years ago. I remember hearing Neale Donald Walsh speak at Unity of Charlotte when I was pregnant with my oldest child. I have read many self help books as well and engaged in classes on spiritual health and growth. I went to counseling with my husband when we fist met and before we even had a first fight. I attended further therapy on my own and joined a women’s group and continued to be in touch with those women for several years.

Written on these walls are the colors that I can’t change

Leave my heart open but it stays right here in its cage

I know that in the morning now I see us in the light upon a hill

Although I am broken, my heart is untamed, still

Depression has been a part of my life since my teenage years. I did not struggle significantly until my senior year of college at the age of 22. Although, high school was difficult for me and I lacked self-confidence and could not wait to move out of highschool. I excelled academically but socially was a very different story.

Moving out on my own after graduating college was a shock to my system. Somehow I envisioned that experience to be an extension of college, but it was not. I had challenges but found my way.

I met my husband in March of 1993, just four months after moving 600 miles south to North Carolina.

I can still see the add in my OT magazine for the job, it read,

Shouldn’t you be in Charlotte?

It spoke to me.

I am glad I listened. That is one “should” that benefited me!

Married in May of 1994

First big job change in August of 1995 with significant pay increase and less stress

First child born November of 1997

Changed to part time work (from full time) in January of 2000

Moved to new larger house in April of 2001

Child number two born February of 2002

Home full time in Summer of 2007, something I had desired since February of 1998 when I returned to full time work leaving my 12 week old son home with his dad

Spring of 2008, expecting my third child and when three months pregnant,

…Back to work because my husband was reduced from full time employee with salary to contractor paid commission only

January 8, 2009 my third child is born and I choose to stay home for a full year because that is why we had waited to have a third child…

So that I could be home full time

Our financial struggles began in summer of 2008 when my husband lost. his job, but never collected unemployment because he still had a job, as a contractor, paid commission, and he even had to collect the money from customers.

I sought work but it took a few months to get hired and worked many weekends ad other days as needed until December when I felt I was too pregnant to continue. I had worked up to the day before for my first two children, but this time I was 39 years old and very tired with this pregnancy.

I returned to work at that same job in spring of 2010 when my youngest was just over a year old, working “PRN” on a part time, as needed basis. I continued at that job until recently.

I could continue to list life events from this point on and yet, that would take hours.

I already have many blogs written about the challenges overt the past 10 years.

The important part…

Is that I am on the other side now

I have walked through the mud

Swam the swamp and come up for air

Hurdled the obstacles with bruises and scars

Badges of honor abound

And courage…

I am stronger because of it

I am also who I am because of all of my experiences

I am NOT what has happened to me…

I AM who I now as, as a result of my choices I have made about what has happened.

And I,’ll be gone, gone tonight

The fire beneath my feet is burning bright

The way that I been holding on so tight

With nothing in between

The story of my life

I take her home

I drive all night

To keep her warm

And time is frozen (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

I give her hope

I spend her love

Until she’s broke

Inside

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

And I been waiting for this time to come around

But baby running after you is like chasing the clouds

The story of my life

I take her home

I drive all night

To keep her warm

And time is frozen

The story of my life

I give her hope (give her hope)

I spend her love

Until she’s broke (until she’s broke inside)

Inside

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

The other side of depression, Bipolar Depression

I found this post in my drafts written February 12, 2018.

For some reason, I never published it. I suppose I felt it was unfinished.

Two months have past since I wrote it….Today is Monday April 9,2018.

I will first share the post as it was written two months ago and add to it at the end.

Written February 12,2018:

I decided today was a day to write about myself and my journey with depression.

I reread the post I wrote 8 months ago, shortly after I started on my current anti-depressant,

Seeing the Horizon

That’s just the way it is

Some things will never change

That’s just the way it is

Ah, but don’t you believe them

That’s just the way it is

Some things will never change

That’s just the way it is

Ah, but don’t you believe them

Bruce Hornsby sings in my ears as I write…

When I am in the midst of depression, I feel stuck like the words of the song, that’s just the way it is.

Yet, I never lost hope, but don’t you believe them.

I have now been on Prozac for 8 months and I feel I first really saw improvement back in October, after 4 months on medication. I insisted my doctor start me on 10 mg before moving up to 20mg for an easier adjustment for the medication. It’s what we did for my daughter and was recommended to minimize side effects and so I wanted to do the same for myself. It was also how the nurse practitioner had started me on a different anti-depressant 2 years ago when I first asked for medication help for my depression.

Here I am on the other side and looking back

Now if you’re feelin’ kinda low ’bout the dues you’ve been paying

Future’s coming much too slow

And you wanna run but somehow you just keep on stayin’

Can’t decide on which way to go

Yeah, yeah, yeah

I understand about indecision

But I don’t care if I get behind

People livin’ in competition

All I want is to have my peace of mind

Boston says it so well. Thank you amazing musicians and azlyrics.

Reading my post Seeing the Horizon….

I feel that I am in a weird fog.  I don’t want to use someone’s suffering to figure out my own life. Yet this expereince today has affected me. I want to take from it to move forward in my life and in my choices.

In my post, Seeing the Horizon, I shared an experience I had going to a new location for my writing time and discovering a man on the floor. My first thought was he was sleeping, which seamed so silly after the fact. He had collapsed, fallen out of his booth onto the floor face down on the ground and I froze, witnessing the restaurant employees try to figure out what to do, offering him ice because he was clammy. And I stood there frozen, knowing what to do but unable to make myself step forward and speak up, “I know CPR”.

This experience and how I handled it has haunted me since it happened. I came to some peace with myself realizing it had triggered my PTSD from when my husband had a massive heart attack and cardiac arrest in my own home. I was so thankful the medics arrived before he went into cardiac arrest. I was grateful that a police officer showed up rather quickly after the restaurant employees tried unsuccessfully to help the man. One employee knew to roll him gently onto his back and someone called 911, while I sat there paralyzed.

I recently completed a 6 week Resiliency Course with the amazing EFT Master, Jan Luther and founder of The Ego Tamer Academy and Author of the book, “Grief is Mourning Sickness”.

This course involved 6 intense weekly phone calls and some other individual work with tapping (EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique) along with other exercises as part of a deep healing experience.

In my own personal work, through the help of Jan and the “borrowed benefits” of my group members, 5 other women, I discovered a connection between my own issues with medial professionals who have failed me and my children in getting the help we need with this experience.

This experience where I failed to respond to help this man in need.

In this realization, I was able to forgive the medical professionals who have failed my family. We are all human and we all make mistakes. On some level, there is still some underlying frustration with the failure to get help for my children when we really needed it. Yet, I have learned that moving past this resentment and anger is healing. Healing to myself including the ability to forgive myself for my own mistakes.

I have always been my own harshest critic.

In reflection, I have continued to move forward with great strides over the past two months.

I went through a long period of only needing 5-6 hours of sleep and getting up very early and accomplishing many things and jumping into many new things. While enrolled in the 6 week Resiliency Course, I realized my job of 8 years was not serving me and the universe had been pushing me to move on, and I had a difficulty phone encounter with my boss that led me to moving forward on my job search process that I had already started due to lack of hours. I also interviewed for and accepted two jobs, both “PRN” work, meaning on an as needed basis which is my status of employment at my other two employers. I have worked PRN for over 16 years since leaving my part time position when my daughter was born.

I was liberated when I moved away from the job of 8 years that was no longer serving me, nor providing me a pay check.

I found new work close to home and a better rate of pay.

I have been an Occupational Therapist for 25 years and for the first time in 21 years, I have found a position with a higher rate of pay than I have previously received. This is the nature of healthcare jobs in 21st century America.

I am still in process of completing online requirements for the one employer. I have begun work for the other employer and am enjoying my 3 mile commute. I have worked at this facility in the past and so I knew several of the employees when I interviewed for the position. Being a familiar place, helped ease my transition to the new job. Change can be hard even when I am not depressed.

I have come to realize that I feel I have had some underlying depression since my teenage years. Most certainly since the challenges that came about in my life after moving when I was 12 years old, just prior to my 7th grade school year. And all the challenges of puberty only added to the struggle for me. I had some bigger issues in college my senior year when my relationship with my boyfriend of 5 years ended. I think the depression was mild until..

Maybe until my daughter was born and the challenges of being home more and juggling the needs of 2 children, or later when I was trying to conceive our third child and having no success but having hot flashes instead. Even then, when I look back, that was a relatively happy period in my life. I was struggling in that year before our third child was conceived and then when I was 3 months pregnant, my husband lost his job. The very job that helped me to stay at home full time and for us to make the decision to have the third child I had always wanted.

My daughter’s OCD symptoms began about this time, but we did not acknowledge it fully until it exploded a year later, when her baby brother was one year old and she was 8 years old.

That was 8 years ago…

The following year, 2011, my husband had his heart attack.

6 months after his heart attack when he had completed outpatient cardiac rehab, I developed Bronchitis that was recurrent for over 6 months and then got in a car accident just over one year to the anniversary of his heart attack.

May 2011 and May 2012: challenging times

My car accident in May of 2012 was far more devastating to me than my husband’s heart attack.

I became a pessimist.

And I wondered how that happened, because I was always the eternal optimist.

Yet, I knew “life had dragged me down”…

Songs like this have kept me going. Music is my therapy.

I will close with the words of the late, great Tom Petty for he has been one of my biggest inspirations over the past several years writing about my depression.

Well, I won’t back down

No, I won’t back down

You can stand me up at the gates of hell

But I won’t back down

No, I’ll stand my ground

Won’t be turned around

And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down

Gonna stand my ground

And I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)

Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out

(I won’t back down)

Hey, I will stand my ground

And I won’t back down

Well I know what’s right

I got just one life

In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around

But I’ll stand my ground

And I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)

Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out

(I won’t back down)

Hey, I will stand my ground

And I won’t back down

Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out

(I won’t back down)

Hey, I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)

Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out

(I won’t back down)

Hey, I will stand my ground

And I won’t back down

No, I won’t back down