“How Deep the Hollow” remains

Source: “How Deep the Hollow”

I ran across this post today. “From the depths of despair”  I said. This painting and all the others from last year, almost got thrown in the trash. I’m trying to purge all the things that remind me of the horribleness of years past. Predominantly 2016.

The pain and mental anguish was so great that my only refuge was paint on canvas. I see them now with the realization, that as I suffered, I was being bamboozled. I see all of the paintings now and I’m reminded of this. 

I have a fresh start and the things that remind me of the horribleness will be tossed away.

“How Deep the Hollow” lives on to see another day. Although, it may be placed in a far room in the house. Or under a couch cushion.

I am set free. I am free. I live without effort or sadness… dammit.

https://alleviationodyssey.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/how-deep-the-hollow/

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The horrible person is my roommate… not me!

Last week my therapist called me a “horrible person”.

multiple times

I couldn’t deny it. I will analyze the shit out of a person. I’m a bloodhound and nothing will stop me from figuring out your intentions.

She said I was a horrible person because I always look for the worst possible outcome in every scenario. Our conversation was all in a friendly banter and she was showing me that I have a choice of being a “horrible person” or giving up that need to always feel like I need to have a contingency plan or have total control. The idea is to give up the tendency to look for the worst in people and situations. Her white board flow chart of my thinking always left me in the worst case scenario.

Over the next week, I began to break down this thinking and I feel that it is a protective mechanism to always be prepared. That’s part of PTSD. Or maybe it’s just a Boy Scout code of be prepared for shit. (Or something)

The “horrible person” ideal also brought up an inner dialogue. The need to tell my therapist of who I am. “She should have an idea of who I am by now. Haven’t we be talking about who I am for the past four sessions?” No. We’ve been talking about my domestic issues. My goal was to work on me, but really, I’ve been ruminating over the same shit about someone else this whole time. The conversation always turns to my deep hurt and trust being demolished and the depression, anxiety and pain that follows. Over. And over.

Get over it, and work on me! Right?

I came across this audiobook called “The Sacred Self” by Michael Singer during my week of rumination. Very honestly, this book is a Universe Nod (people, places or things that come into my life in a very timely fashion.) It’s an audiobook about exploring who we are and the ability to observe ourselves and the world around us by tapping into meditation and mindfulness and letting go of pain, thereby achieving happiness. It focuses on getting rid of the inner dialogue, opening the heart and achieving enlightenment. I’d love to quote most of the book, but to keep your interest and to avoid risking copyright violation, I’ll send you to the Google Book so you can read these few pages regarding opening the heart… start on page 44 where it talks about ” There are centers within that channel your energy flow. When you close them, there is no energy. When you open them, there is. Although various energy centers exist within you, the one you intuitively know the most about opening and closing is your heart. Let’s say that you love somebody, and you feel very open in their presence. Because you trust them, your walls come down allowing you to feel lots of high-energy. But if they do something you don’t like, the next time you see them you don’t feel so high. You don’t feel as much love. Instead, you feel a tightness in your chest. This happens because you closed your heart. The heart is an energy center, and it can open or close…. When you close your heart center, energy can’t flow in. When energy can’t flow in, there is darkness. Depending on how closed you are you either feel tremendous disturbance or overwhelming lethargy. Often people fluctuate between these two states. If you find out that your loved one didn’t do anything wrong, or if they apologize to your satisfaction, your heart opens again. With this opening you get filled with energy, and the love starts flowing again….” and read through 46.

But here’s the words that struck me the most regarding heart his description of heart energy…

“Humans have an innate tendency to close as a means of protection. But closing your heart is not really protecting you from anything; it just cuts you off from your source of energy. In the end, it only serves to lock you inside… do not let anything that happens in life be important enough that you’re willing to close your heart over it….”

Is there a connection to my chronic pain, depression and anxiety and my heart closing?

If you’re feeling The Universe Nod yourself, check out Mr. Singer’s description of inner dialogue… it truly hit me where I needed to be hit. There’s an analogy of your inner dialogue being your insane roommate that had me rolling.

I’ve been listening to an insane roommate (page 15-22) for the majority of my life! Maybe I’m not a horrible person, maybe my roommate is!
When I saw my therapist on Monday, I told her about the book and the roommate theory. I told her I’d been listening to this inner dialogue (the insane roommate) and believing everything I heard. Trust me, I worded this in such a way that she didn’t come to the conclusion that I was hearing voices… at least I hope that’s how it came across.  We did not do the slow march to the psych ward, so I think I’m in the clear. I explained to her that since I understood that all these catastrophic thoughts in my head were not all true, I could begin to apply the cognitive behavioral therapy worksheets that she kept giving me… and I kept ignoring.

In the meantime, I’ll tell the roommate to shut up when it begins to yell at me about lies, deceit and what happened in the past. It’s all about right now and opening my heart to discover that no matter what, it won’t be hurt. Soon, I’ll have to tell you about the incredible voice (that was not my roommate) which spoke to me while meditating at a yoga retreat in the Bahamas. It had to do with my golden heart…

Who is the Bloggess? | The Bloggess

The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, has become my muse, mentor, hero and inspiration. She could be batshit crazy, and this is one of the best things that could have happened to me.

My best friend, Tiffany, made me listen to Jenny’s latest Audiobook, “Furiously Happy”

Made me listen. Like, she took my phone and downloaded Jenny’s book to Audible and said, “listen”. “Just, listen”. You need to get on board. … ooohhh k? (I gave her the side eye and went about my day like nothing happened)

Tiffany checked in with me every few days. “Have you listened yet?” “eerrmm, oh so busy!”

Eventually I listened. Then I stopped. Holy crap, Jenny is in my head. Not that I’m in a great place now, but I was in a really dark place when I first started listening. And if you listen, you have to be prepared to laugh until you pee yourself and sob so hard you puke. Jenny rambles and jokes and vents and she really tells the raw truth about mental illness and chronic pain. We may not all have the same diagnoses, but we all can relate.

I listened again, and stopped. The process continued over a few months. I don’t regret it. I’ll listen again, when I need to. Heck, I hear her voice in my head now.

I was so taken with this audiobook that I asked my husband to listen to some parts. Jenny has single-handedly been able to explain to my husband what I feel like on a daily basis better than I ever could. (thanks Jenny <3)

I’ve vowed to purchase the paper version and highlight the crap out of it. I’ll share those highlights with suffering friends. Either they’ll pee or puke… depending upon their dilemma.

Today, I’m broken. My husband’s grandpa is being taken off of life support. This saddens me greatly. He’s an amazing man with true grit. He’s his wife’s hero. Strong, resolute and hilarious. I’m going to miss his spirit.

The passing of my husband’s grandpa hurts in another way as well. You see, my father passed away by me pulling the plug. It was my decision and I regret that decision to my very core. The story is at the end of this post.(and dammit, I added the details that I cannot forget)

The question is, does Jenny post these types of struggles. Or does she keep them to herself?

Who is the Bloggess? | The Bloggess

This is an (edited) excerpt from an email that I sent to my (soon to be) husband entitled “my life story.” I wanted him to know what he was getting into before he proposed marriage.

“I was a daddy’s girl. We had a very special relationship and I still miss him very much today. Sometimes out of the blue I’ll miss him terribly and just cry. He wasn’t the most stable or perfect man. He was manic depressant and had severe Post Traumatic Stress from his two tours in Korea. So he would sometimes not talk to me, or hide in his room when I came to visit. But I loved him like I’ve loved no other and I don’t think my step mom or family never understood that bond. He was crazy, and I loved him deeply.

My Father died in 2005 of Congestive Heart Failure. (I was on a double dose of Prozac at the time. I was numb to life and consequences. I was incredibly depressed and not so smart.) He died fully awake with tubes in his mouth. He couldn’t speak. He was on life support and my step mother left it up to me to “pull the plug”. So at the doctor’s recommendation I chose to let him go.

My step-mother had turned against him as he lay helpless in the hospital. She said the most awful things to me, I was devastated and I didn’t want him to know how she had turned against him and me.

I remember the tears rolling down his cheeks as they disabled his pacemaker and defibrillator. He spasmed within a few beats of his broken heart.Terror swept over his eyes, the tube kept him from speaking. I remember the blood filling up his lungs and his mouth and poured out of his mouth, down his cheek. And then he was gone. My brother and I waving goodbye to his spirit.

I swear to GOD at this moment I don’t know why I chose that way! I had no idea the meaning to life. My dad was hell bent on not dying … EVER… and he did not want to die! He held on so tightly to life, even though I couldn’t understand at the time why anyone would want to live. He had been in the hospital for 30 days and he couldn’t move, his organs had failed him and he couldn’t breathe on his own. In those thirty days, I watched him come back from organ failure once, be intubated multiple times and survive a stroke. He was superman. And I killed him. And he was wide awake when I did it.

I hate myself for choosing death for my father. After he died I couldn’t be alone for more than two hours or I would go into panic attacks. I would have nightmares of being unable to breath, unable to speak and unable to move. I started drinking heavily and began extreme risky behavior to bury all the emotions I couldn’t handle. “