Sugar Pie

New Month.  New Day.  New Breath.Sugar Pie

Feeling so grateful for my Sister in Charge, who is performing her Trustee duties with grace and diligence.  As the stress starts to weigh heavier, and I paddle faster to stay afloat, I can rest in this thankfulness where there is more space to breathe.

Grateful, too, for all my friends and family who have agreed to “babysit” me at suppertime.  Eating that evening meal alone is too much to face at present, so when I called in the cavalry, they galloped to my aid.

I will get through this time of trial.  I will.

I Am Breathing Me

This is a lot.Baby

Sitting with my mom as she died; supporting my sister as executor of Mom’s affairs; preparing to return to a professional form of work; preparing to go to England for the first time; stepping into a financial unknown; navigating the sudden rush of family, friends and strangers; gripping healthy practices while my routine shreds.

I feel the grit of my bipolarness scratching behind my eyes.  It shoves my stomach up into my throat.  I feel the veneer thinning.  I’m exposed.  Vulnerable.

This is the way of things.  Seasons of strength followed by opportunities to use it.  Seasons of building up and tearing down.  Seasons that rise and fall like breath.

I am breathing me.

Night of Stars

SupportI just got home from saying good-bye to my mom.  She died earlier tonight after falling and hitting her head.

It happens— just like that—sometimes.

And now the world is strange and quiet.  So many plans to make, so many people to touch.   But in the center is this night of stars.  And Mom rising toward them.

For David…

Not Only Fat

 

… who’s really feeling it today.

To My Big Brother, With Gore

Scott's Birthday

 

I know my brother doesn’t read this blog, but I’m sending him birthday salutations anyway.  Nine years my senior, Scott twigged me onto the joys of comic books, science fiction, and Stephen King.  He’s the reason I watched the original Star Trek faithfully as a fifth grader (He’s also the reason I had to sleep with my light on for many years).  I wouldn’t be the geek I am today if it weren’t for my equally-geeky brother.

Live Long and May the Force be With You, Bro.

Stepping Up To Recovery

DestinyAhh.  There’s nothing like two weeks in the hospital to perk a person up.

As always, the experience of partial hospitalization is a combination of learning and acceptance.  Because the program has changed so much, the learning curve is a little different this time.  Mercy Hospital merged their Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse programs.  Theoretically, this makes complete sense.  Most folks with mental illness turn to drugs and alcohol to dull the symptoms and escape from their emotional pain.  Treating both at the same time rounds up all the demons in one pen.

But, I’m one of the lucky few who’s only hooked on second helpings and Cheetos.  As I told my counselor at Mercy, “I understand the whole 12 Step shtick.  It’s a gateway to doing the inner work we all need to do.  It’s not my gateway, but I can respect it.”

So, I’m learning a lot about addiction, resistance, and willfulness.  I’m appreciating my life in comparison to folks who have faced a Rock Bottom a bit rockier than mine.  I admire these fierce, ruthless addicts in their fight to be free and clean.  I’ve made more personal connections this time around than ever before, because… well… I’m one of them.  Badasses tend to recognize one another.

And, again, I see a bit more clearly that I’m meant to do this work.  Once the depression started to lift, I found myself able to listen closely and catch signals of distress and/or bullshit.  Again, I found the staff remarking on those skills and encouraging me to continue.  One counselor said, “I need you working in the adolescent unit.”

I get it now.  I need to do this kind of work.  Not just because I’m good at it, but because it’s the next step in my own recovery.  I’ve been convinced for years that I’d never be able to re-enter the work force.  I’m too vulnerable, too capricious, too broken.  Well, it’s time to give up that belief.

It’s a slow process, changing firmly held beliefs.  Ask any Catholic-turned-Atheist.  Or a Reformed Republican.  We believe what we believe, and we always find evidence to support our beliefs.  So, I’m on the look-out now for different bread crumbs.  I intend to get that Peer Support Specialist job at my mental health clinic.  I’ll follow up next week, as is appropriate.  I’ll ask the counselors at Mercy to write me some recommendations.  If I ever hope to be free, I need to do this.

In the meantime, I’m in treatment for another week or two at the least.  That’s fine.  I still have a lot to learn.

Once More Unto the Breach

Angel of Madness

Just a note, really, to let you know that I’m checking myself into psychiatric day-care.  I’ll see my therapist in a little while to verify with her that this is the course to take, but I can feel that I’m beyond toughing it out any further.  She may have some other options for me, though.  I’ll see.

Thank you all for your kindness and support.  I’ll keep you posted.

Cry Out in Your Weakness

Brigade of Saviors

A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth.

A courageous man went and rescued the bear.  There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save anyone who cries out.  Like Mercy itself, they run toward the screaming.

And they can’t be bought off.  If you were to ask one of those, “Why did you come so quickly?” he or she would say, “Because I heard your helplessness.”

Where lowland is, that’s where water goes.  All medicine wants is pain to cure.

And don’t ask for just one mercy.  Let them flock in.  Let the sky open under your feet.  Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music.

—Rumi

I am in awe and wonder by all of you who flocked in.  The sphere-music is beginning to play again.

Penelope’s Eyes

Penelope's Eyes

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Breathe

Breathe

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