Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


2 Comments

You Never Know

Do you ever get discouraged?

I’m quite sure it’s a normal part of the human experience. Now that I’m in my 50’s, I think things that I probably thought in my 40’s, maybe even younger. Why am I still dealing with this? Do you ever just stop worrying about certain things?

Recently with adding job re-design and hunting to my life, I find myself in the place where I was a couple of years ago – exhausted. Most days I leave a lengthy list of things that I don’t get done that get cut and paste into tomorrow. I know I’ve been productive all day, there just is more to do. Lots more.

Lately I haven’t been sleeping well either. Last night I was still awake at 3:45 am, knowing I had to wake Frankie at 5. I ended up skipping an important seminar in the morning and slept until 11. Then the most productive part of my day (usually) has been lost and the rest of the day is spent playing a hopeless game of catch-up. The only reason I’m blogging now is because I forgot to confirm an appointment so by the time I remembered we had to reschedule.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not looking for a pat on the back. I am just trying to be realistic here. Does anyone really care about blogs? Does anyone even have time for them? Most weeks I love writing because it helps me process life, but sometimes I stare at a blank screen and wonder if I should bother.

Then I get something unexpected. This time, it was an email from an old friend several states away. I met her through my first husband, so you know that was quite a while ago. I don’t even remember the last time we spoke.

Anyhow, she reached out to tell me she was hurting terribly. She has read both of my books and been following my blogs for years now. That has enabled her to keep up with the basic gist of my life. She has now lost both of her parents and gone through a divorce after 35+ years of marriage. Many of those losses were piggy backed cruelly on top of each other. My heart broke for her.

I had no idea she even remembered who I was. I certainly didn’t know she had invested so much time into following my story. I was humbled and honored all at once. Again, it is not about the pat on the back. It is about the reminder that as we conduct our lives, we really have no idea whatsoever who is watching. We don’t know who we are impacting – for good or bad. Reminds me of the verses in the Bible where it talks about how we might entertain angels, not knowing we are doing so.

Thank you my friend for being the life jacket I needed this week. You gave me purpose when I was feeling discouraged. If you are reading this, please know I look forward to talking soon. It will be my honor to walk through any part of your journey with you as you navigate the difficult waters of re-inventing yourself after tremendous loss. I love you!


2 Comments

Drama Free

I have said before that as an author/writer, I have really grown to appreciate those that can write fiction. I can really only write about things that happen in my life. I have no idea how people make up characters and plots from their imaginations. When I have something on my heart, I can whip up a blog in a very short time. It usually just flows easily for me.

Because of my personality type, I am also drawn to the melancholy. That is why I could write a book about death/dying and then grief/loss. Sure, I added humor and hope to it. That is also my personality. But let’s face it, the topic falls on the sad side of the spectrum.

Lately, I have been experiencing a lot less drama than I usually do. Drama free is a bit misleading, because I don’t think life is ever completely free from it. But I have certainly decreased my daily intake of it. Now, of course that is a very positive thing that I am extremely grateful for. However, everything in life has its loss and its gains, no matter what. The downside for me, is that I find it harder to write on Thursdays. When I don’t have any gut wrenching things going on, the writing doesn’t flow very easily. In fact, I sit and stare at a blank screen for a while.

I asked Frankie what I should write about and he said he had no idea. I told him to try and he said he can’t because he doesn’t care about my blog. Then he blabbered off something about how he’s just being honest and honesty is the best policy. Damn teenagers.

There has been plenty of changes and stresses around lately, but it hasn’t really been mine. I’m totally involved, but it doesn’t belong to me. Big difference. We have been helping my dad clean his house out (simplify things), work on his finances, and discussing the possibility of moving to an apartment. I come home from his house with tons of things to do, both physically and mentally. My sister is moving south so she is packing, selling things, and making all kinds of preparations for a very big anticipated change as well. I try to help when I can and be as creative as I can about how to do that.

I’ve been super busy. And sometimes I get stressed out. But overall? Not much drama.

I feel like my blogs have been pretty un-inspiring lately. I am grateful to all you faithful readers who read them anyway. And for those of you who know and love me personally, you can actually be happy that I am writing boring stuff, because it’s the heartache that usually inspires me. So stretch yourself and be glad for blah reading, cause it means I am in a shortage of drama to write about. I like it!


1 Comment

Slacker

It has been three weeks since I have blogged. I know I have missed a week here and there, but I don’t think I’ve ever missed two weeks in a row except when I had that planned hiatus. You would think I would be boiling over with words to write, but I am actually struggling.

The first week I missed, I was sick. Like could barely sit up sick. Tons of people are. My office is full of clients that compete with me for coughing time. This episode has been dragging on forever. I get better, then I get worse again. I could feel myself fighting it for a week, then I woke without a voice. Then a few days later, it became full-blown sickness. I got an antibiotic so I could still fly to my vacation in Myrtle Beach. The first two days I felt much better. Then we went horseback riding on the beach and I got sick all over again. It was totally worth it, though. Riding was awesome.
DSC04444

I got so bad that I had to go to urgent care or there was no way I could fly home without rupturing an ear drum. Of course, they wouldn’t accept my insurance so I had to pay for the visit and the steroid shot, but I got better and came home. A couple days later, I felt worse again. Up and down. Now I just have to work hard to find my proper voice sometimes, but I don’t really feel sick anymore.

The second week I didn’t blog, was because my computer had crashed. I didn’t even think computers crashed anymore. My phone didn’t work for almost two weeks and after battling with Verizon (shocking, I know) I finally got a different phone. Two days later, my computer crashed. I have no idea why, but in all fairness, the extent of the damage was my fault. I called my IT guy and he told me to shut it off. I said ok, but when the computer screen asked me if I wanted the computer to repair itself, I couldn’t resist saying yes. It repaired itself all right, right back to factory settings. My IT guy wanted to wring my neck.

He was able to save my files, but I lost over 400 email addresses. I lost about five years of important saved emails with registration information and other stuff. And I lost three years of photo information. I still have the photos, but the organization, data, and the collection information is all gone. It will take about three months to restore all of that. Anyhow, that was my excuse for not blogging. I could have logged into another computer to blog, but that would require my log in information. That was in a document in my computer that hadn’t gotten rescued yet, so no-go.

So this week, life is relatively boring. I am done traveling all over the place. I am not so sick. My phone and computer are both working. I’m done crying in my soup about the years’ worth of work I lost. I am experiencing something I was craving the entire month of February- consistency. Contentment. Calmness. Hmm… all C words. Not the usual craziness, another C word. I gained back four pounds during all those weeks I was off track, but I’m back on the course I need to be. Just a pound short of my original success.

But here’s the thing. Ted’s Hot Dogs is having a customer appreciation day. Hot dogs are only 99 cents. Maybe I will celebrate my drama-free week with a diet cheat. Celebrate, another C word. :)!!


3 Comments

Taking a Break

It was kind of funny last weekend when I went to see my therapist. He hadn’t read my blog, but he might as well have. He said all the things I predicted he would. Guess when you know someone for 15 years you do get to know them pretty well.

He opened up the possibility that perhaps there is something in the way I communicate that somehow invites people to comment (good or bad) or judge my thoughts and actions. He reminded me (as I predicted) that I actually have a pretty decent head on my shoulders and should be confident most of the time that I’m right on target. He also reminded me (as I predicted) that while I do have a ton of awesome support, I also have a relatively high level of critics in my life.

He also suggested (to my surprise) that maybe I should take a break from blogging every once in a while. I guess it’s obvious really. When you blog, you completely put yourself out there and anyone in the world can read it and comment if they would like. Duh.

I think my plan is still to blog on Thursdays. I get texts and emails from some of you when I’m late so I know I have some faithful readers out there. But if I don’t have good blog content in my head, maybe I won’t try to force it.

The goal is always to get more comments. I want to be brave enough to keep encouraging everyone to comment, good, bad or otherwise. But let me add a twist. I invite all of you to be brave enough to share your own stories. It really is a vulnerable thing to write about personal things. I know I make it look natural, especially after publishing two very personal books. The truth is, it really isn’t easy and it really does take courage to take a stand and put it out there for the world to see and disagree with.

If I’m honest, the challenge is directed more at those critics out there that usually have something to say about my negativity or attitude, those who corner me in person to let me know they didn’t like my blog or disagreed with it in some way. While I welcome everyone to “share their own story,” I especially invite those of you that find my blog an occasion to let me know how you think I’m screwing up. Come on. You are brave enough to tell me what you think. Be brave enough to put your stories out there.

I know this is a different flavor than what I usually do. But I think Scott is right. I need to figure out some new ways of communicating. I will make a few blunders along the way, so forgive me. And write away!