Standing in Line During the Holidays

Well Merry Christmas, Mrs. Watson. You made my morning.

I was at the Post Office early this morning to send a package to a friend. I would not under any circumstances describe myself as a morning person, but I had already gotten my oil changed and hit up Home Depot before the mailman rolled back the steel partition, and I wasn’t the only person getting business done early. Those December lines, right?

I was wearing a beanie with my university’s logo emblazoned on the front, and the woman in front of me, for whom I had held the door, was wearing a jacket in the same color. Which I didn’t notice at first because I was on my phone, already avoiding eye contact and any conversation. When I’m with strangers in public, my default is Do Not Engage. Rude? Maybe, but I still get triggered by weird shit and I like to avoid that, especially at the start of my day. The two women in front of me were already engaged in a conversation soaked in negativity, and I was still thinking about the gorgeous sunrise I had witnessed while driving around town. No thanks, leave me out of it.

My hat was too much temptation, and the woman in front of me asked if I had attended the university I was promoting on my forehead. Yes ma’am, my first degree was from there. She told me her husband had also graduated from my school, and we started talking about football and coaches and salaries and fun things like that. She knew her stuff, and was interested in me and what I do. It made the line pass quickly, and she had her turn and slipped out the door to head home before I could tell her “Merry Christmas”.

Well Merry Christmas, Mrs. Watson. You made my morning.

 

Sharing Some Love

The good people never really die.

Don’t miss the beautiful stories because they don’t fit within your preconceived ideals.

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The yarn in this piece of wall art – and five other pieces I finished today – belonged to a friend of mine who lost her battle with cancer two years ago. Yesterday was her birthday.

After she passed her husband gifted her yarn to me, and yesterday I began to use it for the project to raise funds for an orphanage. She was a social worker, a mental health advocate and one hell of a woman. Kathy, I hope you enjoy seeing your love continue to be shared, as you were so generous yourself in sharing it.

Bone Deep and Mind Breaking

‘Tis the season for joint pain.

Pain, you make me a believer.

I’m a summer girl, if for no other reason than hot weather doesn’t cause me joint pain. I inherited the family curse of old bones in a young body, and I can sit around with mature members of society and chat aches and pains with the best of them. They never believe someone my age can know how they feel, but since I can predict weather changes based on my elbows and hands and predict the overnight temps based on my knees, they eventually come around to accepting me as one of the wise. Or at least one of the chronically inflamed.

Add the prospect of months of constant deep joint pain to my neurological disorders and you get someone who hates winter. Me.

I finally broke again yesterday. I hit my limit of stress and went over the edge into nausea, dizziness and headache. Am I getting sick? No. I have PTSD, and the stress overload I’ve experienced in the last two weeks sent me over the edge again. The nausea is not completely new, the dizziness was. Thankfully I was able to hold it together to work with a couple of clients, and my mom and my brother kindly drove me where I needed to go. I was not about to drive in that state. Could I? Yes. Was that the best thing for me and everyone else on the road? No.

It would have been better if, when I got off work and got my hair cut, then grabbed some crafting supplies for a project I’m working on for a charitable organization, I had popped a Xanax and gone to bed. Just be done with the day and the stress and sleep it off. But I am so determined to not let the negative part of my brain control my life. So I texted a friend to see if I could catch a ride with her to Bible study and she gracefully didn’t hesitate. That support network? It’s everything on the days I can’t.

I took my knitting because it helps me stay present in group discussions, and knitted my way through tackling Jonathan Edwards’ writings on Charity. It was challenging, and it was good. The woman who hosts us in her home had made a spiced tea and cookies, and she has such a calm, loving presence. Toward the end we shared prayer requests, and I opened up about my struggles, about trying to come to terms with my new normal, that there are always barriers to living the life I want to live, that I have realized I will never be healed and I will live with this for the rest of my time on earth.

I live in pain. Every waking moment is hell because I have no hope that this life will ever be what I want, that what has happened to my brain will subside and I can live free from the demons in my head. I expressed that, and was received with love. One of the women in our group said that what I was saying was exactly her daughter’s experience. I found so much comfort in that, that someone understood. Those that didn’t understand met me with love and compassion.

That moment of vulnerability? It opened up so much love for me. It added women to my circle and to my team in struggling against and with what I’ve been dealt. I have gotten really ignorant responses from church people about my condition and what I do to try to heal. Last night was not that, and I was so comforted.

It is so fucking hard to be vulnerable when the person you were is ripped out of your hands and you’re trying to find your way again. But damn is it sometimes worth it.

And Client’s Brother messaged me all evening, showing a lot more interest than I expected.

When you live with chronic pain it can be hard to be thankful. But today I am so, so thankful.

B&W Challenge Day 7

I am normally not a joiner, but I like these bloggers, so…

I was challenged by Laken on Dazed and Still Dreaming to participate in the Seven Day Black And White Photos of Your Life Challenge. Thanks, Laken! This has been an unexpected bright spot for me and caused me to rethink my willingness to share my life.

Tuesday I challenged Haylee at Stumbling Around Our World.

Wednesday I challenged Laura at LF Books.

Thursday I challenged Alexis at Untangled.

Friday I challenged Amielle at Love Amielle.

Saturday I challenged Kashyap.

Yesterday I challenged AnonymouslyAfroIrish.

I’m not a joiner, and I generally don’t do anything the internet tells me to do, but I appreciate the connections I’ve built with several bloggers and this seems to fit that. Also my week is turning into an endless hell and this is an excellent break from that.

No people, No explanation & Challenge someone new everyday for 7 days.

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I challenge Sadie at Sadie the Wallflower because her blog is a ray of thoughtful sunshine!

I now return to my normal blogging schedule…

 

B&W Challenge Day 6

I am normally not a joiner, but I like these bloggers, so…

I was challenged by Laken on Dazed and Still Dreaming to participate in the Seven Day Black And White Photos of Your Life Challenge.

Tuesday I challenged Haylee at Stumbling Around Our World.

Wednesday I challenged Laura at LF Books.

Thursday I challenged Alexis at Untangled.

Friday I challenged Amielle at Love Amielle.

Yesterday I challenged Kashyap.

I’m not a joiner, and I generally don’t do anything the internet tells me to do, but I appreciate the connections I’ve built with several bloggers and this seems to fit that. Also my week is turning into an endless hell and this is an excellent break from that.

No people, No explanation & Challenge someone new everyday for 7 days.

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I challenge AnonymouslyAfroIrish because her blog has a lot of great texture, and I think that would translate well in black and white photos.

 

B&W Challenge Day 5

I am normally not a joiner, but I like these bloggers, so…

I was challenged by Laken on Dazed and Still Dreaming to participate in the Seven Day Black And White Photos of Your Life Challenge.

Tuesday I challenged Haylee at Stumbling Around Our World.

Wednesday I challenged Laura at LF Books.

Thursday I challenged Alexis at Untangled.

Yesterday I challenged Amielle at Love Amielle.

I’m not a joiner, and I generally don’t do anything the internet tells me to do, but I appreciate the connections I’ve built with several bloggers and this seems to fit that. Also my week is turning into an endless hell and this is an excellent break from that.

No people, No explanation & Challenge someone new everyday for 7 days.

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I challenge Kashyap because he was kind enough to recently follow my blog and like several of my posts, and I am honored to be able to connect to bloggers across borders and languages (and I’ve been tagging people with cool names!).

 

B&W Challenge Day 4

I am normally not a joiner, but I like these bloggers, so…

I was challenged by Laken on Dazed and Still Dreaming to participate in the Seven Day Black And White Photos of Your Life Challenge.

Tuesday I challenged Haylee at Stumbling Around Our World.

Wednesday I challenged Laura at LF Books.

Yesterday I challenged Alexis at Untangled.

I’m not a joiner, and I generally don’t do anything the internet tells me to do, but I appreciate the connections I’ve built with several bloggers and this seems to fit that. Also my week is turning into an endless hell and this is an excellent break from that.

No people, No explanation & Challenge someone new everyday for 7 days.

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I challenge Amielle at Love Amielle because I bet she has captured some amazing photos in her travels!