Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff. Please.

Got a new neighbor recently.

They have been over there painting and getting their new house fixed up the way they want it.

They haven’t moved their stuff in yet.

Meanwhile…we had a big blizzard here a few days ago. I think we got about 10-12 inches of snow.

Finally, after being snowed in for 2 days….yesterday afternoon we got some people to come dig us out…with shovels & a snowblower.

It cost us $40…but we had to pay it. Hubby is 70 years old and a heart patient, and I am 66 and have multiple autoimmune diseases including RA, diabetes, thyroid disease, endometriosis, fibromyalgia and more…so obviously neither of us can do it.

Early this afternoon, the new neighbor knocked on the door (I was still asleep, had a rough night last night).

So when I got up, I asked hubby, Who was at the door earlier?

He says, The new neighbor. He complained that the snowblower got snow on his windows and his front sidewalk.

I said….Whaaaa???

I wasn’t pleased to hear this.

So the more I thought on it, the more it ticked me off.

I mean, WTF?? Seriously? You are worried about SNOW getting on your WINDOWS? And the front sidewalk??

Ummm, sorry. We just had a blizzard. Did snow get on your windows when it was blizzarding? On your sidewalk at all? Did you shake your fist at the sky?

I realize you shoveled the sidewalk, (only minutes after it quit snowing). So I’ll give you that.

But I don’t know if you realize this….. that sidewalk out in front of your house is a PUBLIC sidewalk. So….

I’m thinking the new neighbor needs to chill out a little.

Don’t go barking out complaints at us, before you’ve even moved in!

We’ve lived here just about 38 YEARS, dude. Just about as long as you’ve been alive.

Relax. Settle down. No one is trying to blow snow on your proprty.

I realize our houses are very close together, and our driveway is unfortunately very close to your windows.

But dude, you could see that when you bought the house. So.

Anyway, look….we are going to live next to each other for awhile, it seems like.

So don’t you wanna start off on the right foot? Get along? Be nice to each other?

Please. Let’s start over.

Because if you start bitching at ME about SNOW, of all things, getting on your property, as if it’s a personal AFRONT or some shit….for crying out loud.

Please just relax. I want to get along with you. I had even tried thinking of something easy I could make for you as a housewarming & Welcome to the Neighborhood treat. (I hate to cook). But I was going to do it cause it’s a nice thing to do.

Then you come over all PO’d about snow on your windows & your sidewalk.

Welp. I guess no cookies for you. ūüėÄ

*************************************************

So after I cooled off, after my meltdown…..I thought about it. And came to this conclusion.

I’m going to do some extra meditating over this….because I really want to get along with you guys.

I want to wave at you when we see you outside, I want to ask how things are going with the house.

I want to NOT have to wonder what you are going to complain about next.

Please be nice.

Please. Just don’t sweat the small stuff. No one is out to get you or throw snow at you.

*******************************************************

So….. Welcome.

We want to get along with you. Please don’t make it hard.

Namaste.

Peace, brother.

Part 2

So I am my father’s daughter. I was born with a quick temper, that blows up fast, then dissipates just as quickly.

Add that temper mixed in with severe chronic pain every single day for 40 years, and you might call that a problem waiting to happen.

My husband has learned why I am the way I am, and so he just lets me ride out my explosions of anger….until I yell or cry enough to get it out of my system. Then he comforts me, he rubs my back, he takes my hand and squeezes gently.

He knows I’ll be okay. He knows I don’t mean the shitty things I sometimes say.

He knows it’s the pain. It’s always the pain.

So when this neighbor thing triggered my anger, and I ranted (and ranted) at poor hubby for almost an hour….and I finally fizzled like a spent sparkler firecracker….it was basically just status quo for me.

Hubby just let me go…he knew I would need to spew for awhile.

And then I calmed down and just sat in a heap of my plummeting high blood pressure and insulted ego.

I knew, this is yet ANOTHER thing I have to bring to my meditation station (bathroom) and lay it on the altar of the Universe (a small bench across from the toilet, where I have my books, candles & a small drum that I like to play along to music during meditation).

I knew that I would need to figure out how to deal with yet another trigger that would be living right next door to us for who-knew how many YEARS.

Oh god almighty. LOL

So begins yet another thing to work on, so I don’t make an enemy before I even have a chance to make a friend. Before I’ve even laid EYES on this person.

Help me, Universe. Help me learn to RESPOND, not REACT.

Help me, Universe, to find that pure love for my fellow man, even THIS man, who doesn’t like snow on his windows and sidewalk.

Help me learn to genuinely like him…. Help me learn to make friends with him.

Help ME be the one to welcome him home.

Namaste, neighbor.

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Liberation ~ Letting Go of That Which No Longer Serves Me.

It's been a long while since I dropped in to share my stuff... so often, I've wanted to come back and start in again, but I just never did. I am not sure why the hesitancy. I guess I might have been afraid of where writing might take me. Of being vulnerable to myself...  Funny, I've always been phobic of vulnerability with  anyone...even my wonderful husband. But now my most hurtful and harsh critic is my own self. Therefore, I am one more person to hide my own self from. If that makes any sense.  

What is next for me, now?  

Well, I'm trying to find myself. My place in the scheme of things. Trying to find my own brand of spirituality. A way to draw closer to the things of Spirt...my truth. MY truth. My spiritual path. My walk toward things just beyond the veil...

Why? I guess I just have that thing inside of me that makes me want to touch something beyond myself. Beyond the physical world, the seen world. I know that there is more than one dimension. You'd have to be crazy not to realize that energy doesn't just disappear after death... That if OUR energy continues, then what about the energy of the Universe? 

I just KNOW that there is so much more beyond what our eyes can see, what our brain can perceive. There is more out there. And I want to find it, to see it with my spiritual eyes, to commune with it. Spirit. Angels. Gods. Goddesses. I can feel them. Sense them. Spirit is real.

I hope you can find your truth as well. We are on this present journey together, in this present moment. No other moment counts. Not past mistakes. Not future. Just now. 

I don't want to go to my grave without some kind of spiritual experience. I mean a postive experience. Not the one I had back in the old days when I met up with a tent ministry of Jesus freaks, and my life changed forever. It wasn't the tent that made my life hell. It was what happened 2 years after. 

The first two years were amazing. I was transported to a brand new life. I was happy. I gave up drugs, cigarettes, promiscuity. I was grounded, centered. Free. Then along came a guy, and he said I "needed" to go to church, so I wouldn't "go astray". I told him I was good, but I guess I could go. (I figured he knew better than me, since I was relatively new at it.) 

Instead of listening to the clanging of my intuition, screaming Noooooo!!!....I went to church. And then the shit hit the fan. It took seven more years after the initial two, before I finally gave up on God after I struggled to regain what I had those first two years. Because of the confusion, the anxiety, the fear, and the existential loneliness I felt after my peace was stolen from me by these people who called themselves Christians. It took almost 40 years later, for me to "get back on the horse" and seek spirituality again....only NOT the Jesus freak thing this time. 

I finally grew up enough to realize that no one needed to tell me what I "needed". I was a grown up now, and I could choose for myself what was good for me. I decided I wanted things that weren't served to me by old white men of the church...THEIR version of the Bible. THEIR version of the truth. The one tied up in a nice neat bow. The one where you don't question, you don't disobey. You tow the line if you want to go to heaven. Guilt trips. Fear. Obedience. Wow. No thanks!

I have a VERY open mind now. I am not afraid anymore, after 40 years of being closed up tight. I've now finally opened up to many different paths. I've sampled a little of this and a little of that on the spiritual smorgasbord, so to speak. I've still got some sampling to do, I haven't picked out a specific brand of spirituality. In fact, I doubt that I will. I will probably just walk in whatever spiritual "way" that Spirit directs me, personally.

Something neat happened a couple months ago. I was thinking about how Jesus said in the Bible:  
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
So I was sitting there, pondering that...and next thing I knew, this thought floated into my head...
'But he never said no other gods "beside" me'.

After my jaw hit the floor, I thought, Whoa.

Afterwards, I was immediately more at peace, and joyful. 
Because I knew then that I was free at last.
Free to seek Spirit and find joy & peace of my own. That no one could steal from me.
It only took 40 years to unlearn all the crap that had attached itself to my soul, my spirit, my psyche...by the Church.
My spiritual pain, and the confusion was so great, it took 40 years to release that anxiety from the false teaching & lies that I learned from organized religion. 

I've finally learned that it's okay to think outside the box. To pray outside the box. To add things, and subtract things from any spiritual practice, and make it fit MY needs. We are allowed to do that. We can take what is pallatible and leave the rest. I am finally liberated to find my own way. And I am so happy that I have that freedom, at long last.

I am not here to bash Christianity. I am not here to bash Christians. I am just here to tell my story. To tell what happened to me, but more so, what is happening NOW. In the present moment. Cause that's the only thing that matters. I want to leave all the past stuff behind me, because it is over. My life has entered the last phase (I'll be 67 this year)...so I don't have time to waste, talking ad nauseum about what happened "then". I don't have time to waste on details that don't matter any more.  

I'll focus more on my journey now. An honest look at a woman with a gazillion "issues" who wants to lay her burdens down and walk in the present moment, to learn to release her anger (more on that later), her anxiety, and all the junk that causes suffering, both spiritual and physical.

I am far from "having arrived" at a comfy spiritual place. I am not even close to finding nirvana. I am struggling even as we speak, because I've had chronic pain (severe) for about 40 years now...(I have 4 different kinds of arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, diabetes, thyroid disease, endometriosis cysts, eye problems, foot problems, etc). I have recently been given the word "disabled", to describe my pathetic physical condition.

This as you can imagine, has caused me great difficulty with my spiritual quest. I go through times of intense pain and severe depression, where all I can do is bitch, cry, scream, yell at my husband, talk about wishing I'd never been born, and all the rest of the tumult of emotions, wondering why I have suffered for 40 years with no one to help me. (doctors, a whole 'nother subject)

Anyway, I am not perfect. I am about as low on the spirituality totem pole as you can get. I have not been on the journey long but I have a ton of books and I am trying to saturate my being with what resonates with my soul. I want to touch Great Spirit, the Creator. I want to experience my true self. I want to understand.

Join me, and maybe we can walk together & learn who we are and why we are here. 

Namaste.   

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Missing You…

I look outside every day and every night, my eyes scanning the porch to see if maybe they might have come back. window3 ¬†First there was Tuxie, a small mama cat that wearily walked as if the world was on her shoulders. A hard life she led. Then she disappeared. Coal was her baby who was so loving and sweet. He had a teeny tiny meow and when he called for me, my heart melted. The day I was first able to pick him up, my heart soared. Then we brought him in but he was too lively for my 67 year old husband and me so we sent him to live with someone who would be better suited to handle a baby kitten. Then along came Hoagie….such a sweet boy who had some type of injury that caused a neurological problem. He warmed up to us right away and we were talking about bringing him in…and then one day, he stopped coming. We watched and watched for him, but he was gone. The food & water bowls were not touched. All my babies disappeared. Sadly, we brought the bowls inside, and finally after a month, we gave up. But I still look outside. 8babee1199879f186c63f5c6b101d4d1 Searching for those warm bodies, those beautiful eyes, sweet innocents trying to survive. I doubt I will ever put food out for strays & ferals again. I can’t take the emotional pain when winter comes, when they stop coming…the wondering what happened to them. It hurts my heart too much. And for anyone who wonders why I didn’t bring them in, you have to understand….I have many chronic illnesses as does my husband and we are not equipped to handle new pets at this point. I can barely handle taking care of myself and my husband. With that said, I carry a lot of guilt and regret, but I did what I could and hopefully I gave them enough food, water and love to extend their lives a little bit. I miss them so much.

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Learning Mindfulness While In The Midst of Suffering

Everyone seeks peace, whether they realize it or not. In this world, peace can be so elusive. Everything is so fast paced, crazy-making, anger-producing. We all want peace.

pexels-photo-267748.jpeg

Recently I became interested in meditation, and Buddhism. I was first attracted to the Buddha statues you see here and there, like in Pier One Imports and in people’s zen gardens. I liked how beautifully serene the faces of the Buddhas are….I found myself wishing that I could attain peace like that. So I bought some statues, some incense, some candles and books on the subjects of Buddhism and the practice of meditation.

I began, in my own haphazard way, to do a little meditating, and started to read some of the books. Some of the books were very simple and some were extremely complex. I thought, wow, I don’t know if I can do this or not. One of the books even said, meditation is simple but it’s not easy. They were referring to the practice of keeping your mind centered in the “here and now”,¬† and keeping it from drifting off course into the future or the past. Boy, were they right.

I am a 35 year survivor of chronic pain of various sorts. I have fibromyalgia, RA, and I had endometriosis, thyroid disease. I have carpal tunnel syndrome. I have osteoarthritis. Also several other illnesses that interfere with my daily life.

Just as I was beginning to seek out this meditation as a way to cope with my long-time chronic pain issues, another thing popped up. It seems I now have a partial rotator cuff tear in my shoulder, which for the past couple weeks has been extremely painful and really causing a lot of trouble for me.

Since this started, I am finding it more difficult to continue on my meditation journey. I am not sure why but I think it’s because it’s harder to concentrate when the pain and the anxiety are crushing me. I not only am dealing with my shoulder pain, but all the other chronic pain as well. Pain makes it very hard to learn something new. It makes it hard to practice something new, when of course, now the doctor wants me to start practicing new exercises for my shoulder. It’s like all my attention is now focused on my shoulder and I can’t deal with anything else.

But I really need to meditate. Even though I haven’t really learned the basics, I want and need to meditate especially right now. I’m not sure how to proceed.

I guess I’ll just try to pick up these books and read and absorb the teachings as best I can, and try to meditate the best I can. Because I need the peace more than ever now. I’ll let you know how it goes. I really want this in my life. Everything else I’ve tried has not worked out well for me. So I’m going to put forth as much effort as I am able to, in order to find the peace that I so desperately need.

P.S.¬† I am not meditating to try to relieve my chronic pain. I am meditating to try and find some peace in the midst of the storm. If by some miracle, my pain is lessened as I meditate, that would be great. But I’ll be happy just to exchange my anxiety and restlessness for some serenity.pexels-photo-551655.jpeg

 

Posted in Alternatives, anxiety, Arthritis, Best Self, Books, Challenges, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Clear Mind, Clinical Depression, Emotions, Endometriosis, Fear, Fibromyalgia, Hope, Inner Peace, Isolation, Life Journey, Meditation, Mindfulness, New Horizons, Peace, Self Love, Sensory Overload | 2 Comments

Why I Am The Way I Am…

I will not be made to feel small by the judgements of other people. There are reasons I am the way I am. If that doesn’t measure up to the high standards you’ve set for me then I apologize. I have some shit going on in my own life and it’s very very heavy. I can NOT be everything to all people. I am mostly just trying to survive and do what I need to do. Yes I am flawed and yes I have issues. I fail miserably at many things. I spend the major part of my life in bed or wishing I could be in bed due to severe pain that no one can see because I hide it well when I’m out, or around other people. I don’t broadcast it or moan or scream or cry or wear a sad face. After 33 years I am a great actress, so if you see me outside of the house you would never guess what is going on under the facade. Most people will never understand the depth or severity of what I deal with on a daily basis. Some see me on a good day, running an errand or eating at a restaurant with my husband or doing something else and consider, Well she can’t be hurting that bad or She is lying or She doesn’t look like she is in that much pain to me. Some wonder why I spend 95% of my time alone in my house while hubby is at work. They might think I’m lazy or just sitting around watching tv and eating bon bons, or whatever. No. I am hurting THAT BAD. Bad enough that my life and my world has become very very SMALL. Most of the time I just try to make it to the next pain pill….try to read a book…..or if the pain is too much and I can’t concentrate on reading, then I just lay on my bed with my eyes closed and ride the pain out.

When a good day comes I try to balance my activity so I don’t do too much (which is hard) because if I do just a little too much then I’m back in bed for another day or another week or another month. Now since my 4 herniated disks have happened, I have new pain to learn to deal with. Along with getting older. I’ll be 61 this year and I’m feelin it. My body is not user-friendly. It has been my prison, my enemy. I have tried so many things to make myself better but nothing ever seems to work. The only respite I have found are the opioids. They block the pain for a few hours, not completely but enough so that I don’t lose my sanity. Unrelenting pain for over 30 years is not easy to take. Many times I have felt like I’m losing my grip. I am strong, but the pain that resides in my body is WAY stronger than me.

So if you look at me and wonder why I am the way I am…..consider what I’ve just said, and try to understand. If the pain had not invaded my life, everything…..EVERYTHING…..would be different. This is not the way I’d planned it. This is not how I’d hoped my life would turn out to be. But it is what it is. If you wish things had been different, trust me, so do I.

Posted in Aging, Anger, Arthritis, Bitterness, Challenges, Changes, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Compassion, Depression, Despair, Diagnosis, Discouragement, Emotions, Endometriosis, Endurance, Escape, Fear, Fibromyalgia, Flare Up, Health, Hope, Hopelessness, Inner Strength, Irritability, Isolation, Life Journey, Life Path, Medication, Narcotics, Opiates, Opioids, Osteoarthritis, Pain Medication, Pain Scale, Past Experiences, Peace, Plantar Fasciitis, Reading, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sadness, Self Hate, Self Image, Self Love, Self Protection, Sensory Overload, Sharing, Stigma, Survival, Tendinitis | Leave a comment

Suicide attempts in chronic pain patients

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Suicide attempts in chronic pain patients. A register-based study | Jan 2014

Background

There are several studies about the relationship between depression and chronic non-malignant pain. These studies have shown that up to 50% of chronic pain patients are suffering from depression.

It is, therefore, reasonable to expect that pain patients would also have an increased risk of suicidal behaviour. This problem is not well studied.  

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Come See The Best In Country Primitives From The Heart of the Country!

For those of you who don’t know, I have been selling country primitive antiques for 20 years. If you’ve never visited my online shop, please follow the link below, and come on in and have a look around. The collage of items shown below is a small gathering of stuff I offer for sale. I usually have around 200 items in stock, most of which are primitive antiques and collectibles from the heart of the country. If you have any questions, please click the “email” button on any item page and I’ll be happy to answer them for you! Thanks so much.

http://www.rubylane.com/shop/hannahshouseantiques

March31,2016

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Chronic Pain Suicide of NY Times Reporter at 49

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Sarah Kershaw, Former Times Reporter, Dies at 49 ‚Äď The New York Times¬†‚ÄstFeb. 26, 2016

Sarah Kershaw, a former reporter for The New York Times who covered real estate, the Pacific Northwest and New York City schools, died on Monday. She was 49.

She was found with a plastic bag tied over her head and pill bottles beside her,

Ms. Kershaw told friends that she planned to end her life because she suffered from a debilitating illness.  

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From Pain to Anger to Depression

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

From Pain to Anger to Depression

They say depression is anger turned inward, and especially with chronic pain, I believe this is true.

What else can I do with my anger at my broken body, a medical system that still has no answers, and a society determined to deprive me of the only pain relief I’ve been able to find over decades of experimentation?

What can I do with my anger over spending thousands of dollars on so many completely ineffective ‚Äúcomplementary‚ÄĚ pain treatments? The anger about losing my income? Having to give up so many of the activities I enjoy?

Every day is a painful reminder of my fate. Every day is a struggle not only with the pain, but with all the loss, grief, and depression that comes with it. 

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Suicide is Not About You – Pain Drives to Despair

EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

Suicide is Not About You | Then Everything Changed

Here’s a description of how suicidal thoughts and ideation take root when suffering from chronic pain.  This article is worth reading in its entirety.

The chronically ill suffer from severe depression, grief, loss, and a high suicide rate, but these symptoms are rarely openly discussed.

I am not only going to venture into this taboo subject, I am going to share my personal experience.

The mental deterioration due to my illness is a part of me, my experience, and thought process that I rarely speak of because it makes the people around me terribly uncomfortable.

When my body first began its rapid slide to the current disaster I approached it like everyone else; go to the doctor, find the problem, and fix it.

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