3rd Leibster award nomination

I have again been nominated for an award.  I do not usually accept awards because I can not follow the rules that come along with them. I do like this award in particular because I love answering the questions that come with it. The questions become part of my “about me” category.

I was nominated by Suzanne(FindingHerVoice)

Eleven Questions For You:

1. What ultimately got you motivated to get started and how long have you been blogging? I have been blogging since February 2015.  My archives say January, but that was a minor mistake on my part.  My therapist encouraged me to write because she thought writing would help me see things clearer. She also thought that the way I was able to express my thoughts and feelings via writing might be beneficial to others.  I met a woman on a web site who had a blog. lily pups life – bipolar and recovery. She encouraged me to try one myself.  I did and here we are.

2. Do you prefer to write best in the morning or at the end of the day?  I guess I  prefer the morning.  I like it when it is quiet and no one is home but me.  I like to sit down with my iced coffee and just write. Kind of like what I am doing right now.  Thank you for helping me write today Suzanne.

3. Do you give like that it’s somewhat anonymous or do you give your blog URL the friends or family? Such a simple question that is going to get a most difficult answer.  I like that my blog is somewhat anonymous.  My husband has the key, and one very old friend. I let one friend in because I hadn’t seen her in 30 years and thought it would be an easy way for her to see what I have been doing.  No one else in my real life knows where my blog is. Although if they truly wanted to, it would not be hard to find. I have shared a few stories with a few other relatives, but am not ready to say “hey here it is!!!! Read it all!!!!  My Mom and I discussed giving her access, and we both agreed it would be better if she didn’t have it.  Some things she would prefer not to know.  When I write something I think she may enjoy, I print it out for her.

4. Did you keep a journal as a child/teen? I did keep journals when younger.  I probably still have each and every one of them stored somewhere.  Journals were different from blogging for me.  Journals were for me and me alone. I shared them with no one.  I do not know what I would have done had blogging been an option when I was younger.

5. Are you an emotional writer? Do you write more for your heart or your head? I like to think I do a little of both.  I definitely start by writing from the heart, but then my head always seems to get involved somehow. I have tried doing it the other way around, start with my head, but it just doesn’t seem to work out as well. I think my heart is a better motivator than my head.

6. Do you have more blog posts that you have begun (in draft mode) or that you have completed)?  I am going to guess and say that the number of published posts and drafts are about even.  I have one particular draft that is full of random thoughts and ideas.  I sometimes take these ideas and turn them into published posts.

7. If you could/did write a bestselling book what would it be about? I did not have to think about this question for very long.  Angels!!!!  I would love to write about angels and how I believe they have touched my life and others. Since I started this blog, I have written a bit about angels, but only published one so far. The hardest thing Evah would be my brief introduction to writing about angels. Also, I mention angels in a couple of my Relationship posts.

8. What is the best feedback you’ve received on a blog post?  All feedback I get is important to me.  I have 2 bests though.  1 would be acknowledgment that something I wrote made a difference in someone’s life.  Especially if that meant making them laugh. The other is constructive criticism.  I asked for it once so I could improve my writing. I got it and it helped me see how I could make my writing better.

9. Where do you get your ideas for your blog posts? I get my ideas from my daily life. For example, I was cutting down tree saplings in my yard and had to go to the store.  It turned into a post called Has the Future been written already ????

This must have been a good day as you can see the crab rangoons on the left

This must have been a good day as you can see the crab rangoons on the left

10. What is your favourite food? This is an easy question to answer and it comes with a picture. Buffalo chicken tenders with Jojo’s.  If we have extra cash, we will get either onion rings or very special crab rangoons on the side.  The crab rangoons are very special because I will only eat them from this particular restaurant. They are 128% better than anything you might find in a Chinese restaurant.

11. What is the best advice you can give your fellow bloggers about how to get new subscribers? The best advice I have is the only advice I have.  Engage with other bloggers.  If someone likes a post of yours, visit them and see what they have written.  If you like what you find let them know that.  Even if you think their blog is just not for you, at least let them know you were there. The feeling I get when someone acknowledges something I have published is a darn good one.  I like knowing I might be able to help others feel the same way. 

Whoa.  I am done already.  That went quicker than I thought.  It took a while, but it did not feel like awhile.  Thank you again Suzanne for the nomination.  Maybe if I can ever figure out how to follow rules, I will start accepting awards.  For now, I will just have to go back and answer the question I missed.liebster-award

Advertisements

I totally forgot again

I have managed to find someone other than myself to blame for my inability to get my weekly feature published on time.

My husband is to blame.  He has had an extra day off each week this summer which totally messes up what day I think it is.  Therefore it is his fault I cannot write about obsessive thoughts on Obsessive Thought Thursday. I do not know when Thursday is.

So glad we got that squared away from the beginning.  I continue to challenge OCD in some way every day. The more I challenge it, the more I reinforce the fact that it is okay to do something once. The more times I eat three skittlesimage at a time instead of four or 2 cookies instead of four, and nothing bad happens, the more I believe nothing bad will happen.  The more times I successfully challenge this disorder, the stronger I feel. And No, not every challenge is a successful one. Twice recently while in a store, I had an incredible increase in anxiety which was directly related to an opportunity to challenge the OCD.  I felt it in my body, just like my new Therapist wants me to.  I can hear him now, “What does it feel like?”     “Easy, It feels like I am going to puke.”

We have been experiencing a lot of ‘firsts’ the last few weeks and I am happy to note that in no way could I make them into fourths. It was stuff like the 1st time you peel and cut up potatoes without saving some pieces for the beagle. The 1st time you forget your water when leaving the house and realize you can go back in without disturbing the dog. There is no dog. The first time you cook and realize there is no dog to step over no matter where you move.  The first time you sit in your dog’s favorite spot on the loveseat and realize just howMattNoMoreFirstsWords comfortable it really is.  The first time you have sirloin tips for supper and realize there is no one to share the juice with. The 1st time your husband leaves when the dog would normally ‘think’ he shouldn’t and you both realize he doesn’t have to sneak out of the house anymore. The 2nd time you sit in your dog’s spot on the loveseat, only this time you recline back, totally enjoying how comfortable you truly are and think, “that little shit has had the best spot in the house for 15 years, and I can see the TV better from over here.” Done with firsts for now.

Okay, O.T.T., obsessive thoughts, Thursday, No its Sunday, Obsessiveness, you started this Saturday…. Lately, I have found myself obsessing over depression.  I have been obsessing over being aware that the depression may or may not be trying to get back in control of my head. I am obsessing over doing everything I can possibly do to stop the depression from taking over my brain. I am thinking this might not be a bad obsession.

Because I am constantly on the look out for signs that depression may be returning, I see the signs rather quickly. I see them before they can get a hold on me.  I can then do what I need to do to prevent it from getting worse.

For example, I have been neglecting my blog.  I enjoy my blog, I have fun with my blog.  The more I neglect my blog, the less joy and fun I have and the easier it is for depression to strengthen itself inside me.  There is more room for it to grow.

Sometimes depression tries to sneak up on me in other ways.DepressionStronger  It likes it when I feel irritable and get snippy with my partner.  I know this, I am aware of this, I can apologize for this and not do it again. Depression hates it when I do this, it loses power. One thing depression loves is alcohol.  If I have to do something that makes me extremely anxious it wants to convince me that it will be easier to do with a drink. It will be better with a  drink.  To someone with a history of depression, alcohol is just FFD (Fuel For Depression). Depression lies. It lies to me all the time. You don’t need to eat today. You will only get fatter.  Eat tomorrow. Depression wants to be that gut wrenching, motivation sucking, all-consuming monster it has been in the past.  And if that means lying to me, that means lying to me.

Today is different though.  I have had time away from that major, debilitating, dark depression. I like to think I have used that time wisely.  I have been able to work on ‘other stuff’.  I have learned how to get through some incredibly anxiety provoking situations unscathed.  I have learned and am still learning that unpleasant feelings just are. Everyone has them.feelingsEmotions  If I feel them and let them be, they will change or leave altogether. The more I fight unpleasant feelings, the stronger they become. Which opens the door for depression.  I need to allow myself to feel stuff like fear, or sadness, or even anger. That way when I feel things like joy, peace, and happiness, I will enjoy them that much more.

I do not know where I am going with this story and I barely know where I’ve been, so my suggestion to Myself is to end it here.

THE END

Wasn’t sure what to do with “Day Six: Connect & Tags”

Then I went outside to take a short break from comforting my very old beagle.  I found this.

horizontal

horizontal

My husband connected the deck chair to the trash barrel.  then connected that to the laundry basket. Added a rake, creating a beagle blockade.  All in the attempt to prevent the beagle from trying to go in the yard and crawl under the deck.

vertical

vertical

Day 19 – You are all in trouble Now

Day Nineteen: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

I guess I will start at the beginning.  Rumi.  He has been coming up in my life a lot recently.  I should figure out who the heck he is first, then figure out what he has to say.  I do like this quote….

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”Rumi

This one is pretty good as well….

“Either give me more wine or leave me alone.”Rumi

For someone who lived in the 13th century a lot of his stuff makes sense today. Especially the wine one.

Okay enough of that crap.  I am not looking for extra credit by tackling something I have been working on that is “too silly” Everything about me is silly in one way or another.  I have been working on a couple of things that I hope to finish one day.  I’ve been working so hard on Writing101 that I have been neglecting my Blog. LMAO!!!! or at least what I thought was going to be my blog.

I have a few unfinished master pieces.  I think I may have my first installment of an angel series I want to try out.  Writing about angels was not part of the plan when I started this blog.  Life happens and things change.

Cool 250 words.  Almost done LOL

Relationships are not one of my areas of expertise, yet I wicked want to write about them.  I have experimented with writing about online relationship a bit, but I want to write about other relationships as well.  Mother/daughter and husband and wife come to mind.  Relationships with my beagle could be entertaining.  But if you have never owned a beagle, you might not understand.  Even after I explain it.

83 more words and I am done.  I know that because in 4th grade I was taught about reciprocals. I bet they don’t even teach that math method today.  I remember every day we would get the same quiz.  Get a 100% on the quiz and no more quizzes.  You got early recess instead.  I had trouble getting that 100%.  Did I mention it was timed? I knew my reciprocals I just didn’t  them fast enough.  Until one day my teacher watched me.  I would go down one column, up the next, down again, and up the last.  The teacher suggested I go only down.  Top to Bottom. Wouldn’t you know it the next time I took the quiz I got 100%.  You’d think I would have learned the life lesson of “taking suggestions” back then.  NOPE took me another 35 years for that lesson to sink in.

Uh Oh 461 words.  I know it said “at least” 400 words.  I have no problem with that.  I need help knowing when I am done. That 461 which is now 492 can easily morph into 1004.  I wicked like the word “Morph” right now.  I seem to be getting a lot of use out of it.  516 is a pretty good number too.  But now that I said that the count has gone higher.  See that it just went up again.

THE END (568)

569 since I edited it on July 4th 2015 ________Take that OCD!!!!

DAMN 579 Now…ummmm 580 +2

HaHa it worked. Damn 586

Day 17 what do you fear?

Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page. Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. Today’s Twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own

.

haha No commas!!!!  I have been afraid of so many things for so long it is hard to pick just one.  But I will. I fear losing My Home

.

Right now.  I have My Home.

It is me.  My partner.  My beagle.

I have had other similar homes.  Some included my partner and beagle.

Others did not.

This is My Home.  I am content here.  It is peaceful.

Life can be hard.  I do it anyway.

It is quiet here.  I can hear me.  I can hear you.  I can hear my partner.

I do not always understand him.  I know this.  I listen anyway.

I can hear my beagle.

Today.

He has less to say.  He still talks.

I listen to it all and to nothing.  I hear the quiet.  The noise is gone.

I fear the noise will return.

I am vigilant.

I could easily lose my home if the noise returns.

My goal.

Listen.

Do not let the noise get loud.

Internet Relations (Part deux)

internetfriends4I’m back and so is the story of MrAl. My first real online friend. One day I sent him an email. The reply I got was horrifying to say the least. It was from his wife. His wife didn’t know that much about the Net and emails and web sites. I remember her telling me she contacted her daughter and said, “Get on that thing, find someone, and tell them.” They found me. MrAl had died and his wife had no way of telling all the people he had built relationships with via the Net. Although he had met very few of them IRL, he ‘knew them’ and they ‘knew him’.

When his wife was finally able to contact me, it became my job to contact everyone else. I had only met his wife twice, but knew in my heart I needed to do this for her. She had no other way of letting people know he was gone. I like to think I did my job well. Some people I emailed, some I phoned, and some had to read it on a message board. I took my job one step further. I copied everything everyone wrote in response to Al’s death. Although many of the people did not know Al IRL, they were connected. They loved and cared for him. They had so many heartwarming things to say. His wife needed to know about these people and how much her husband had meant to them. My Mom and I went to Al’s funeral. I handed his family every great thing that was written about him. I hope on some level, they took some comfort in those words.

Today, people on the Net know so little and so much about me at the same time. They know what I think and feel, but do not know my name. They know what makes me laugh, but not where I live. They know I am female, but not what I look like. I know the same about them. I know that Base lives in either NC or SC, but I do not know her husband’s name. I know that Moogs is sober and married with a kid on the way, but I do not know what he does for a living. ((((Hollow)))) is younger than Base and I, is half a twin, and lives in Oh Canada         But,

Do I really know these things about them???? Baseline could be from NY and have homicidal tendencies. Moogs could be a show girl in Las Vegas. Hollow? Well, ((((Hollow)))) says she is from Oh Canada. I know so much yet so little about them. But, when I woke up extra early today and wanted someone to talk with, there were people there. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 3651/4 days a year. It may be 3 a.m. in my neck of the woods, but in Australia it is daytime. People are awake and ready for me.

One thing that is very different between real life and Internet relationships. The conversation you are having with an internet friend can all of a sudden end. When your Net connection stops for some reason, so does your conversation. This can be good and this can be bad. Great conversations have abruptly ended for me as have conversations I wanted to end but didn’t know how.  I guess I could accidently disconnect.

Back to my original online friendships. Starwindsinger. Starwindsinger was the name of the woman who slept over my mountain home with her son. I was feeling bad that I could not remember her name. My Mom always told me, if you can’t remember a name, go through each letter of the alphabet. The letters you hesitate on are the ones that will begin their name. I kept hearing “S” and “J” in my brain. Then Starswinger floated  around for a while. I finally landed/settled on Starwindsinger. Then the “J” started up again. By the time I got home, I knew her name was Jackie. Jackie Starwindsinger. I feel better remembering her name. I mean,” shoot, her kid and her had a sleepover at someone’s house they never met before.” I should at least remember her name.

I thought I was going to talk more about my present day online relationships in this post, but then I recalled having a second set of friends I originally met via the Net. I had just moved from the city to the mountains and knew no one. I had also been diagnosed with ADD. I put it together and found online support in my area for adults with ADD. We had a few people in the group and we met in public places.  I do not recall ever being weary of meeting them in person. Today I am weary with every little bit of information I share on the Net.  The Net and the people of the Net have definitely changed over the years, but I have changed as well.  I wonder what has changed the most????

Stay tuned for part three.  I did not know there was going to be a part 3.

Her name turned out to be Robbie

Day 6 of writing 101therapycopyright

I’ve seen her quite a few times before but she never caught my attention until today. I can be very shy at times. I am not one to just talk to anyone I meet walking down the street, or strolling in a store, or flying through a waiting room.  She flew by once, twice, three times before I said something.  “You really need to think about slowing down a bit. You are speeding through here like a freight train.” She slowed down just long enough to respond.

“Yes” she relied with a big grin, “I do appear to be stuck in fast forward today. I have so much to get done.”

“Hey.” I replied with the devilish grin I reserved for the best of times. “Just be grateful dealing with me is not on your list of things to do today.”.

“Not a good day?” she inquired.

“I’ve had better.” I responded still trying to smile.

“Well I hope it all works out,” she said as she flew past again. She appeared to be hurried, but not panic like. Almost like she had extra energy that needed to be burned up. I felt jealousy slowly creep through my body. I want to feel that kind of energy again. I use to feel it. I miss it. There was something in her eyes that I could not identify during this first encounter. It did seem familiar. Eventually, in time, I would learn what it was.

This was the same day my therapist told me she would be gone for another 2 weeks.  Damn, I thought to myself, she just got back from Italy. I needed to decide if I wanted a replacement person for those weeks or just someone who’s available for me to call if I need it.  I thought about the uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts and feelings I had been experiencing lately.  I was also seeing my therapist almost twice a week. This was so not the time for me to be skipping a few weeks of therapy.

It was best that I go with the replacement therapist, just in case, but only if I get to pick who I see. I am a firm believer that one tends to get what they need.  Maybe I spoke to this “woman in flight” out of the blue for a reason? I went with my gut, I asked about her.

I learned that what I saw in this woman’s eyes was something I once recognized in myself. It was fun, joy, cheer, love of life. My therapist assured me I would laugh if I met with this woman, who I now know is named Robbie.

I only saw her twice, but we talked about everything. Dogs, OCD, stress, horses, conversion disorder, outlooks on life, laughter therapy, doctors, diagnosis, husbands, SIB, depression, showers, anxiety, beer, medication, and so on. We smiled and laughed about most of it. I have never talked that easily with someone I just met, NEVER, EVER.  I came close to a life crisis while my regular therapist was gone and this woman helped me though it. The last thing she said to me was, “you are a very interesting woman.” I think that is a good thing?

I’ve seen her again. Always in passing. We’ve had brief conversations, like, “Hi, How are you?” “your boots make as much noise as mine.” “How is your dog doing?” “You still move really, really fast.”  Circumstances have arisen where I may switch to her as my therapist.  I do not know at this time.  I am going to try and believe that whatever happens is meant to happen. Yes I would like to see what I can learn from her as a therapist, but I will be happy with what I get when seeing her fly by.

She remains the same as when I first truly noticed her.  A very busy person with eyes that smile.

A not so funny O.T.T.

 

Okay I did not expect to be writing about obsessive crap so soon.  It is only Friday.

My husband calls every day on his lunch break. He does not miss a day.  Some times he may be a bit late, but he does call.  every day  Sometimes I can’t wait for the call and I call him. Today I waited for the call and waited and waited and waited some more. Finally I called him.  He did not answer.

and it starts.  well it already started. This is just when I became aware it was starting. I speak of anxiety.   

He always answers why did he not answer???? why did he not call???? what happened to him???? why can’t he call???? was that a noise outside???? is someone here to tell me something is wrong???? Why hasn’t he called???? where is he???? What has happened to him???? He should have returned my call by now,should I call him again???? It is almost 2 he should have called….There it is again the noise outside….  The dog has been a bit off today too.  Wonder if he’s okay????It is after 2 maybe I should call????What if I call and he does not answer????What do I do then????yes I already have him dead and buried, but maybe he is just at the hospital and can’t call????  if he lost his phone he would find another so He can’t call !!!!l why can’t he call???? what is stopping him from calling???? Damn I could use an Ativan but if I take another I wont be able to drive and get salad for dinner…. we wont need salad for dinner if something happened to him!!!! what could have happened to him????  Okay I am gonna call.  where’s the damn phone????  things have been going way too good lately. what is wrong???? 

This has officially become unfunny.  So unfunny that I may not include it in next weeks obsessive thought Thursday. It is just not funny. Even when I find out what happened, it will remain unfunny.  I did take another Ativan so I will not be going to buy salad so at least that decision has been made.  Maybe my rational side can take over for a bit????  If something bad happened to him, someone would have called.  They would notice if he was missing and go find him.  They would take care of him and they would call me.  No doubt in mind that they would call. So nothing can be wrong.

He would call….Why hasn’t he called ???? Damn this is exhausting me!!!!

Unless something really big happened and no one can call.  Oh Man!!!!  The news, I should turn on the TV.  DISTRACT SELF MUST DISTRACT SELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay I distracted self by calling doc and trying to make appointment for 6 month follow-up.  Been needing to do that anyway. They will call me back when an agent is available WTF!!!! Distraction doesn’t even work right.  Breathing wont help…. I’ll do it anyway.

NOPE, NOT HELPING….

Distract more!!!! must distract more!!!! the doctor called back…. of course they put me on hold???? I had them call me back so I could avoid being on hold wtf.  BREATHE JUST BREATHE  I hate this on hold music it totally sucks…. why can’t I hear the byrds or ed sheeran???? I would go to YouTube and listen, but then I wont be able to hear them talk on the phone,,,, it would be better music,,,, but would I not hear them…. if they ever come back???? I’m gonna do it anyway.

Got off hold funny, I already had an appointment???? 330,,,, that will put me right in prime traffic time….now I don’t think I like the time….traffic on way home wtf !!!!I can’t see me making an appointment at that time????  I got confused and flustered while on the call. I wonder if I can call back and get an earlier time???? I will have to call….Okay, back to where I began again,,,, where I was before…. DISTRACTION,,,, I am again waiting for doctor office to call back so I can fix the time of appointment unfortunately when phone rings,,,, I will hope it is husband…. why did I choose this as a distraction???? To feel hope moron!!!! if the phone rings there is hope!!!! You will feel it even for a second.  Hope is Hope!!!! 

and it rang!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Caller ID just said Husband WTF,,,, no one was there…. hang up!!!! maybe he will try again…. and he did!!!! let it ring twice then answer;;;;  It is him!!!! he said hello!!!!  hahahahahahahaha !!!! he ate lunch early got distracted, forgot to call, and did not know what time it was. he is forgiven.

anxiety gone.  skills used were not wicked helpful, but attempt was made to use them.  You can breathe now.  Talking with doctor office much easier this time too. Not so confused when talking to them.  Not as flustered. hmmmmmmmm???? Does anxiety also cause confusion???? I never thought about that before.

You acted so calm and cool when talking to hubby.  You were breathing again.  He does not need to know about this at all.  No, not right. You don’t hide things.  You can’t hide things.  You did do great job of not calling Mom and freaking her out as well. Plus you might hit publish instead of Trash this time. Then he will read it anyway. Best you tell him now and make it sound funny.

Okay. Now looking back, it is sort of funny in a warped kind of way.  It is different from the past.

You know what is happening when it is happening, you know it is anxiety. 

YOU KNOW YOU WILL BE OKAY!!!!  

Internet Relationships Part Uno

John-Edward-Photo-Devon-Cass-2-1

John Edward NO “S” please get it right

My first experiences with Internet relationships began with my love of John Edward (JE). That is Edward, NO “S”. The one with an “S” is the politician, the one without an “S” is the psychic medium.

Anyway, I was new to the Internet. It was new to the world. I didn’t know a lot about it. I was willing to learn.

I discovered a web site that focused on people like me who loved John Edward, the show Crossing Over and everything to do with contacting and getting messages from “the other side”. The person who keeps popping in my head is MrAl. I don’t know how we hooked up originally, but I do know we hooked up for a reason.accident2 MrAl and I chatted a lot. We mostly communicated via the web site and eventually went to email. We didn’t have much in common except for our love of JE. I enjoyed talking with Al. He had a daughter,Jodi who had passed and we talked a lot about her. I had my Dad. At some point we decided to meet. Just like that. We both had plans to go to a JE seminar and figured “what the heck, we will be at the same place, at the same time, for the same thing. Why not get together?”

This was before the world found out how many crazy/not quite well/scary people could be found on the Internet. But just a hair after 911. I don’t even think Al knew my real name the day we met. All he knew was that I would be the one wearing the bright orange Bass Pro Shop baseball cap.  Today, Summer 2015 I can be found in a hat I call my Australian Outback hat. It sports the American flag sewn (by my hand) on the front.

So, one day we met. I will never forget this day. There was a big line waiting to go into the seminar. As I walked toward this line, I heard my screen name being called. I do not remember what my name was (I think it was Alyx90). You see Al only knew me via the Net therefore he only knew my Internet name.

This turned out to be a very spiritual day for me. JE asked us to participate in a meditation exercise before he began his readings. I didn’t think I would be very good at meditation, but tried it anyway. I was at this event hoping to getspirituality messages from 2 people or energies I guess would be a better word, as one of those “people” was my dog. During the meditation, I tried to focus on my dad and baby beagle. I felt more than just them. I swear there was a third energy that kept distracting me from concentrating on my Dad and beagle. Finally, out of nowhere came the thought, “Jodi bring them all through.” I really need to end MrAl’s part of the story here or I will go on for another 1000 words about spirituality, “the other side”, mediums, and messages.

Another relationship of mine was a woman from Maine. At some point I met her IRL as well. We met once when I visited Maine. Her son and she actually spent the night at my house once. We all went to a JE seminar and my house was closer than hers, so sleeping over was a great option. I can’t even imagine this happening today.

I have 1 “friend” left over from my JE obsession days. Her name is May. I do not know why or how we remained “friends”, but we did. Somehow we hooked up on Facebook and were able to keep in touch. She has 2 kids, 1 is a doctor, the other depressed like me. This is why I love the power of the Internet. I can search for any quality I have and will find someone on the Net who has the same virtue, or at least understands what I am talking about. It is so easy to find people with common interests. There were very few people in my real life who were as into JE as I was. I found thousands on the Net. May knows my real name, where I live, and is Facebook friends with my husband. I would not allow that to happen today.

The Internet is different today. We have learned a lot more about it and about the world. I really cannot see me allowing someone I met via the Net know where I live never mindinternetfriends5 stay over my house. Today the people I meet know very little about me. They know that I am female, married, have a great sense of humor, and live somewhere in New England with a beagle and husband. Some know I deal with mental health issues on a daily basis.That is pretty much it. I have “met” many people I really do like. I have “met” people I have a lot in common with. I have “met” people I would feel comfortable sharing almost anything with. I have also “met” people I have no desire to have in my Life. These people do not know me, I do not know them. Sharing is easier when no one knows who you are. I would never even think about allowing them to be my friend on Facebook. It is different today. I am not sure what changed, I only know that it did.

I started this post with my present day Internet Relationships in mind.. I wrote 3 pages and still have not touched upon these people. This will definitely be continued……..  Until then, Relax, Enjoy, and Have A Great Day.

Day 20 – I treasure Awareness, and Family, and dogs, and the ability to pee by myself, etc.

Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession. Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative.

Good luck to all who read the whole thing and I promise never to write this much again!!!! 4189 words

It all started innocently enough.  I first noticed I couldn’t feel my fingers. As things progressed and I told my story over and over again I realized it actually started weeks before.

I couldn’t feel the cigarette smoke go into my lungs.  I remember telling Jax, “I can’t suck. I suck at sucking.”  I was also eating a lot of Tootsie rolls.  Every time I generated some Tootsie roll flavored saliva I would cough, sputter, choke almost.  I blamed these things on a sore throat and slight fever.  Little did I know that these simple, little things would turn into what it did.  I went from dead fingers and a throat I couldn’t control to not being able to hear what I say and my brain not communicating properly with my body.

My brain doesn’t always register what my fingers type, but knows if it’s right or not.  Sometimes I care sometimes I don’t.

At Christmas dinner I noticed one thing.  I couldn’t feel myself swallow.  I was still not concerned.  I did not think anything of it. I just thought it was some weird freaky strange thing. Nothing to worry about, It would go away. I slept well that night.  The next day was different.  I woke with no complaints.  I still couldn’t feel my fingers, and was still not concerned.  I thought to myself, “I will mention it to my doctor when I see her next week.”

Within a few hours I couldn’t open the sliding glass door to let the beagle in.  BUT, I could open the refrigerator to get a bottle of water.  I started thinking that maybe something was wrong.  If I can’t open the door for my dog or light my own cigarette, there might be a problem.  Jax and I both thought it would be best if I called the doctor. Of course this was the day after Christmas and the office was closed.  The doctor covering  was actually closer to my house and they wanted to see me at 2:30.  This is when I began my first lesson of this whole experience.  2:30 was a long way off, I would learn how to wait.

At 2 PM I could put on my sweatshirt.  1 hour later I could not take it off.

All I thought about was “it is the day after Christmas, in New England and I am only wearing a sweatshirt. The sun is shining bright and the temp is reasonably warm.  The fact that my arms don’t move doesn’t really bother me.”

We didn’t stay at the doctors long, they wanted us to go straight to the ER.  I must briefly mention this doctor’s office.  For a place I had never been before I felt very comfortable here.  There was a Dustin Pedroia “fat head” on the wall and I knew the medical assistant.  I knew I had to be a bit nervous as I repeated over and over again, “it should be Kevin Millar on the wall not Dustin. Kevin Millar, not Dustin. It should be Millar not Pedroia.”  The medical assistant talked to me. She kept me calm. This was the first incidence of thoughts coming into my head and straight out my mouth.  The doctor I saw a week later described it as me “losing my filter”. I basically spoke without thinking.

When leaving the doctors, I noticed I was walking very slowly. Whatever was going on was progressing and I was starting to get a tad concerned.

At the ER 5 minutes later, walking was very hard. Jax had to fill out the paperwork as I could no longer write.  Very little waiting here. They got me right in.  I was amazed at how quickly they started to care for me.  I have never seen a small town ER come alive as quickly as this one did. One nurse was drawing blood as someone else started an EKG.  I was getting nervous and asked for Jax.  It took 2 hours for him to find me. They never went and got him. OH well, except for this, they were taking very good care of me. Plus their focus was on me, not on finding him.

While waiting (there’s that word again), I sensed I had to pee. I couldn’t feel it, but on some level, in my head I knew I had to go.  I didn’t think walking was an option at this point. Bring on the bed pan!!!!  After quite a while of trying to relax parts of my body I could not feel, I only managed 3 drops.  Plus, peeing while lying down is not that easy when you are in control. Forget about it when you have lost that control.

Later without thinking, I made a slow trek to the bathroom.  I got part of the way there when it was suggested I ride the rest of the way.

You have no idea how proud I was when I peed.  I announced it to the whole ER.  Remember “no filter”.  It was good that I peed as they wanted a sample.  They also did a cat scan which showed nothing.  At this point I could lift my arm to scratch my head, but couldn’t put my arm back down.  The doctor did some neurological tests like follow my finger, now squeeze it.  I don’t know if I passed.  This ER knew they couldn’t help me so it was off to the big city hospital. By way of ambulance.

On the way to the big city, I lost the ability to talk.

What a trip this big city ER was.  A nurse said it was a calm night, but boy was it ever busy.  There were people everywhere.  Voices on top of voices on top of more voices.  Patients never stopped coming in the doors.  I liked my ‘room’. I could see it all from my vantage point. My ‘room’ was the hallway.  Two people occupied the stretcher down the hall a bit.  I don’t think this was another space issue, I think it was love.

I still couldn’t talk and was very scared. I never realized how frustrating it could be to not be able to talk. Until it was taken away from me,  My name tag did not have my name on it.  I was incapable of telling anyone.  Finally by way of frantic hand signals, nods, and shakes of my head, a nurse finally understood what I was trying to say.  They gave me the right name.

Jax arrived quicker than expected.  I saw him from a distance and was able to wave.  Couldn’t do that at the other ER. When he got here, I had already seen one doctor. It was very frustrating trying to tell this Doc. all that had been happening.   All I could get out  was “Call the other hospital.” This Doc. knew everything any way.  He just wanted me to say it all again.  Wicked not funny. I must say, “Jax, not the Doctor, is a very smart man.”

Jax noticed almost immediately that if I didn’t try hard or think too much, it was easier to spit words out.

The neurologist was next.  He was difficult to understand as he was definitely not from this country.  I pointed to my ear every time I couldn’t understand him.  Jax was right, if I didn’t try, it was easier to do things.  We told the neurologist this.  With much effort and little thought, I was able to add, “my sense of humor is one of the best and I am doing everything I can to keep it.”  For some reason I felt this was more important than whether I could squeeze his finger or not.  I have never spent more time with one Doctor.  His questions and tests lasted forever.

At one point I don’t think this Doctor appreciated my humor.  He wanted me to remember three things.  They were auto, bowl, and New York City.  Being a diehard Red Sox fan, my brain would not allow me to say New York City.  It kept saying “Yankees suck”.  He laughed the first time this happened, but not all the other times.  I was trying so hard to be good, it just wasn’t happening. I was freakin’ out inside and laughter helped.  Finally after doing more and more tests, he left my hallway.

After a short bit the original ER Doc came back.  He had good news.

“There is nothing wrong with you.  You passed all the tests we have and we couldn’t find anything wrong.  You’ve seen the best neurologist. The best Doctors.  Had every test.  We put our heads together and came up with conversion disorder.”  He explained a bit of what this was and continued, “You can go home. See your psychiatrist as soon as possible.  Here are some names, numbers, and instructions for weakness of unknown origin, depression, and suicidal thoughts. There is nothing we can do for you. You can talk to a Psychiatrist here before you go if you’d like.”

This was all a tad shocking.  As far as I knew I still could not walk.

How was I supposed to function without the ability to move?

I had a feeling he was going to come up with a psychological reason for this crap.

I am having trouble believing my brain is capable of this.

After a short bit they sent a Neurological Psychiatrist dude down to talk with me.  I think I wanted him there to convince me that yes, my brain was capable of completely shutting down my body in this way.  This Doc made sure I was ‘not at risk of harm to self’ and left.

Impossible earlier, I again had to sign some papers.

With Jax’s encouragement I was able to write my initials. It took a long time, but I did it. I figured if the doctors were right, and there was nothing physically wrong, I could sign my name.  I just didn’t know I could do it.  I had already walked to the bathroom with help. I was so proud that I was able to pull my pants up by myself.  I didn’t think about it, I just did it.  Still “no filter” as I announced this small feat to the whole ER.  The nurse who discharged me rolled me to the door, said Good Luck, and left me.  Eventually Jax found me.

When we arrived home, I felt gratitude that there was no snow on the ground as my feet were covered in just hospital socks.  I would not have enjoyed walking in snow.  It was just too hard to think about putting my shoes back on.  Without thinking too hard, I struggled up the few steps to my back door.  I kept telling myself that there was nothing wrong and I could do it.  I trusted that I could do it.  Funny, this was how I got through an anxiety provoking situation a few weeks prior.  I just kept telling myself that I could do it and there was nothing wrong.  Hmmmmmmmm, The power of the mind comes up again.  There wasn’t much to do once we got home.  Jax helped me smoke a butt, (which is something I really, truly wanted). And I went to bed.  Didn’t even waste time peeing.  Couldn’t be bothered.

The next day was interesting.  I woke up before Jax and went straight to the bathroom.  I didn’t think about it, I just did it.  I was so proud to tell Jax what I had accomplished all by myself.  Maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad after all.  The big city Docs recommended I see a psychiatrist for follow-up.  Luckily I already had an appointment scheduled.  I have a history of depression, OCD, and anxiety. I am being treated for all and am or thought I was feeling better.

On Saturday I was able to do a few more things….  stand up, walk to the door, smoke (with help), and pee.  Getting TP was very hard, but someone how I managed.  I am also noticing that I can do stuff, I just don’t know I’m doing them. I am not sure how to better explain it.  I basically just went on with my day, did what I could, trusted that I was doing what I thought I was doing, and went to bed.

My constant thoughts were “I can’t handle this waiting thing anymore. I am getting too much practice with waiting. I should be better at it by now. I can’t wait to see my shrink. I just want this crap gone and I want it gone NOW!”.

Sunday morning was the best.  When I awoke, I immediately announced to Jax that I was back.  I had walked to the door without a problem and may have even opened it. A few minutes later, after fully waking up, I noticed that I still couldn’t feel my fingers. I didn’t care that much, I HAD HOPE.  Hope is pretty powerful.  Just like the brain.  My symptoms slowly returned throughout the day.  I was having trouble turning on the bathroom light and getting TP was still a tough chore to tackle.  Jax suggested we take a ride.  We ended up going to NH.  I could walk slowly and get into a car.  Dealing with the door handle and putting on a seatbelt was not happening.

It is these simple, little things that I am grateful I am able to do today.

Monday was Monday.  I couldn’t do much.  Jax was very helpful, yet I sensed he was tiring of it all.  I know I was.  Jax kept me fed.  He did a fine job with this.  Eating was still very hard, but I managed.  I could talk, but couldn’t hear myself talk.  I was constantly asking Jax, “Did I say that out loud? Did you hear me? Did I say that?”

Tuesday was Mom’s day.  Jax was getting a break from me and got to go to Work.  Technically, there was nothing wrong so I couldn’t ask him to take another day off from that joyous place.  He really does love it there.  I don’t blame him, It is a fun place. I had already spoken with my mom and explained what was happening.  I assured her that I was okay, I just needed some help.  Jax had left the slider unlocked and I was able to open it all by myself.  This was tremendous progress.  Mom’s job for the day was to get me to the doctors.  This is the Doc who has the dog.  I think it is way cool that my doctor has a dog with him.  How can I not trust the man?  We got to the doctors early so I got to experience waiting again. I didn’t care anymore, I was getting real good at it.  I couldn’t talk to the receptionist, so Mom helped me.  Jax had written down most of what had been happening just in case I lost my voice again.  I’m glad we thought to do that. It was less stressful that way.

I ran into my doctor in the hallway.  He apologized for being a few minutes late and would be right with me. I tried to respond, but again could not talk.  I handed him the paper Jax had written out.  I tried communicating that I could not talk, but couldn’t get my point across.  I figured if anyone could relate to my struggles, it would be him.  He is deaf and uses an interpreter.  He also uses a very cool dog for help.  That dog makes everything okay at our appointments.  I once told my doc that I didn’t come there to see him, I only came to see his dog.

Humor is so important in my life.

This Doc asked a lot of questions.  Sometimes I could answer, sometimes I struggled with answers, sometimes I could not answer.  He checked out my body, looking for any physical reason for what was happening.  He did notice Parkinson like symptoms.  He said I was shaking a bit.  I couldn’t speak so telling him that I shook all the time was not possible.  I couldn’t get it out.  I like a doctor who knows and admits when he doesn’t have the answer.  Makes them more human like.   He needed some time to look some stuff up.

He asked his dog to sit with me.  I loved this. I love dogs.  At one point the dog put his head on my foot.  Things were still weird for me and I wasn’t sure if this was actually happening.  After asking the interpreter “Did I say that?” numerous times, I asked if the dog did in fact have his head on my foot.  He did.  This was important because of what happened later.  I told her I tried using the few signs I knew in the ER when my voice failed me.  No one understood what I was doing so it didn’t make a difference.

Communication has become very important to me.

When my doctor was done with his research, he gave me his diagnosis.  He decided that a medication I take for OCD was reacting with one I take for heart burn.  It didn’t matter that his diagnosis was different from the doctors at the hospital.  I was willing to do whatever I had to do to feel better.  If that meant decreasing a medication and a recurrence of OCD, I would deal with that.  Obsessing over some numbers and recurring intrusive thoughts was nothing compared to not being able to wipe my own bum.

Wednesday was Mom’s Day again.  I needed a ride to see Joan.  Joan is my therapist.  I had called her earlier in the week and left her a message.  “Look up conversion disorder and become an expert by Wednesday. Hope you have a nice day.”  I figured if the doctors couldn’t fix me maybe she could. I had never heard of conversion disorder before so I figured I’d give her the heads up just in case it was new to her as well.  When I first saw her I asked if she had read my file from the day before.  She had not.  It would have been good if she had as I really didn’t want to have to repeat myself again.  I wasn’t even sure I could.

Anyway when I first got in her office she told me she had looked up conversion disorder.  The site she read stated that it was caused by trauma.  I was told it was caused by severe anxiety.  I have no trauma so I am going with anxiety as the cause. Looking back, I realized a nurse at the original ER had asked me if I thought this could be anxiety. I thought about how the anxiety I had been experiencing had been gone for over a week. I said, “No. It is not anxiety.”

I always need to sign a form when I get to therapy.  I took one look at it and told Joan I was having trouble doing stuff like writing, but I would do my best.  It took me 20 minutes, but I did it.  This is important.  Even a little progress was very important to me. I cannot expect perfection.  Every little step I took was important.  I did my best to tell Joan what was going on.  It was a struggle, but with a lot of patience on her part, I got it all out. I was talking better than the day before.  Still not great, but better.  Progress.

Thursday was New Year’s Day.  Jax worked in the morning.  Mom and I made tentative plans for lunch, but I wasn’t up for it.  I spent the day doing the best I could.  I still wasn’t sure when I talked.  I couldn’t quite hear myself speak.  Simple tasks were getting easier.  I still had trouble believing I was doing what I thought I was doing, but I was doing it.  My body and brain seemed disconnected somehow.  I take supplements.  I could open the bottle and pour the pills, but needed Jax to tell me how many I had in my hand.  Eating was hard, but I did it.  I still couldn’t feel my throat.  I quickly learned to chew very well.  I couldn’t feel myself chew and was afraid I would choke. Today, even though all symptoms have subsided, I still find myself concentrating on chewing.

I never really thought about chewing before, now I do.

Friday I became more confidant.  I had spent plenty of days asking for reassurance that I was actually doing what I thought I was doing.  Today was going to be my day of just doing.  I felt good.  I felt like I could get things done.  It had been over 3 weeks since symptoms began.  Exactly one week since I became concerned that something was wrong.  I was given two diagnoses.  Conversion disorder and medication interaction.  I did not know who was right.  I did not care.  I was getting better.  I would listen to all the doctors and do what they all said.

I continued to feel better. Each day I was able to do a bit more.  I shuddered to think it might happen again.  If it was the medication, problem solved.  If it was anxiety, I could work on that.  Anxiety can be tricky.  Ever since my depression got better, I noticed an increase in anxiety.  Almost like I woke up and bang, FEAR.  A lot of fear.  I was more aware of feeling anxious and was getting more practice dealing with it.  Here too I was looking for progress, not perfection.  Despite feeling anxious, I would still do things.  I would not let anxiety stop me from doing what I had to do.  I figured everyone felt anxious at times.  I may feel it a bit more, or a tad stronger, but that shouldn’t matter.  I could walk through my fears.  I thought this was dealing with anxiety.  I was able to overcome the anxiety, but never realized I was still feeling a tremendous amount of it.

I was in the middle of making a major life decision.  I was feeling very stressed about this decision. Finally after weighing all options, the decision was made.  The stress was gone.  There was no more anxiety. The knot in my stomach had disappeared. I felt relief.  I almost felt manic.  Manic-like is the only way to describe how I was feeling. Maybe ecstatic is a better word.  I didn’t know at the time, but the anxiety I had been feeling was turning into a monster.  A monster I never saw coming.  I didn’t know that within a week that anxiety would take over. Completely take over.

I have learned a lot from my experience.  Yes, I learned how powerful anxiety can become, but I have learned so much more.  I know how important it is to be able to do the little things.  I can talk.  I can walk.  I can see.  I can drive.  I can write my own name.  I know how easily all of this can be taken away. It was all taken away from me slowly.  It was given back even more slowly. Today, I do more.  I talk more.  I feel more.  I believe more.  The bottom line is I feel gratitude every time I pee by myself.

There isn’t a lot of information about conversion disorder.  I read numerous descriptions of what it was.  Differing ideas on how it’s caused.  I’ve learned it is not as uncommon as one would think.  The one thing I couldn’t find was how to fix it.  Mine went away.  It took time, but it went.  I had a lot of family support.  I would not have gotten through this without them.  I am afraid it may return.  If this whole experience was medication related I have no fear. The problem is solved.  If it was all caused by anxiety, I worry.  I am now very aware always of how my fingers feel at all times.  I think about whether I can feel myself swallow or not.  I had a brief experience where I felt disconnected from my body. I immediately realized I was feeling anxious.

I  took a deep breath, said  “LIFE, it happens” and went on with my day.

I almost forgot.  The dog putting his head on my foot was important to my beagle.  When I got home that day all he cared about was the fact that my foot didn’t smell like it should.  It is the little things in life that really matter.  Ask a dog.