Stillness In The Eye of The Storm…

So when I was going through my recent bout of anxiety, I got to the point where all I could do was pray. It wasn’t a pretty prayer. It was me at bottom going God I have no where else to look. I need some answers. I need you to help me with this thing. I need you and I need you now.

God is right on time every time. I listened after I prayed. I was taught a lesson in life. I was taught a lesson in humility. I was reminded of some happy times as a child where I overcame my fears and I was told to reach out to others, which I haven’t done in a while.

God showed me through the art that I do how I am being put through the same fire. It will strengthen me just as it does the glass I work with.

I was reminded that I had always allowed my fear to stand in the way of things and it had cost me hours of fun that once I overcame that it was some of the best times of my childhood.

I was reminded that in times of internal struggle, I should turn outward and present others to the world. Build others up. I have cousins who are photographers and jewelry makers just as I am. My person is an artist, he paints and sculpts and so much more. A friend of mine grows pumpkins, his art is in nature. I have three friends who bake cakes. My sister does floral design. My niece is a cosmetologist, her art is done on the human body.  Instead of waiting for them to promote me which none of them do, promote them, not wanting anything in return, just to be kind. Just to show that talent is all around me. I won’t share everything the post but I will try to help them if I can. There are different types of creativity.

In the middle of the chaos of my own making, I found silence in the eye of the storm. I was made aware of a great deal of things. I have now put them into place. Some don’t and won’t understand it. I have to be okay with that. It is not their life. It is mine. I want us all to win. Simple yet so hard for some to understand.

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Anxiety is a Sneaky Bastard….

If you live with anxiety, you know that it is more than worry. If you don’t, please allow me to educate you.

Anxiety is a physical, mental and emotional reaction to outside stimuli. (disclaimer…not a physiologist, just a human).

The thing you have been longing for happens and you are excited beyond belief until…..It sneaks up on you.  You are okay with failure because you are used to it but now it is happening and you are on sensory overload.

For me it begins physically. Last night, I thought it was a hot flash, as I laid in bed and chewed my lip raw trying not to cry, wanting to run at 2 am, thinking of all the what ifs, you try to stifle the scream building up inside you.

You wake up and even the smell of your coffee makes you sick.  You try your best to be excited or at least normal. Then you find someone you think will understand and the word vomit begins.

Things don’t always work out as planned. Your silent pleads for understanding are not heard. You need to tell someone yet you struggle to find the words to make them understand the storm going on inside you and you become more anxious until you are in tears.

Your head is telling you to stop. You heart is begging you not to let them see. Yet you can not stop. They roll down your cheeks as you try to control the sob rising up in your throat.

The more you speak the deeper you dig the  hole until you see no way out, so you stop talking.

You suck it up and deal with it the best way you can, on your own. You use those coping skills you have learned. For me when it gets awful, I need touch. I have to have a stress ball, play dough, something that is forgiving to work with. Sometimes, I need to feel the bark of a tree, moss, something created by someone bigger than me.

People don’t understand that you really have no control over it. You really try to, but you don’t. You cope.

The best comparison I can think of is my aunt. She is totally blind. She has been for years. You can’t tell someone with anxiety to stop worrying any more than you can tell her to see. She has eyes. Her eyes are open, she is coping with her blindness but she can’t see like we do. She uses her hands to “see”. Telling people with anxiety to stop worrying is like telling a blind person to see. You can tell them until you are blue in the face and it won’t change a thing.

And Then Came Peace…

In my last post, I wrote about my pastor. What we were afraid was going to happen, happened. His transition has come. Sunday night just before midnight, he left his Earthly home.

My folks called and told me. They called the other members of the church and told them.

Sleep did not come that night. Plenty of tears but not a moments sleep. The next day was my great nieces birthday and we had planned a girls day to take her to breakfast. My mom questioned if we should continue on, we decided that we should.

We went and had breakfast. I didn’t eat a lot. I had no appetite. I went back to my mom’s to take a nap. It never came. I rode to town to speak with my supervisor in case I needed to take off work. My person wanted to go have lunch. Once again, not hungry for food just his company. I told him what I was thinking. The loss, we as a collective group, was feeling. How it was effecting my parents. I just needed to be near him. I needed to know he was there.  I was tired. I hadn’t slept much on Sunday and none on Sunday night. I wasn’t much company but we were together. It helped to talk to him.

I worked last night. I had plenty of time to think. I firmly believe that we as humans are eternal beings in a temporary flesh dwelling. We are not meant to stay here forever. We are here for a limited time. Yet, I still struggle when someone I loves leaves their flesh house.

I use the term flesh house because a house is a dwelling. Not to sound cliche’ but home is where the heart dwells.

I wrestle with what I know and what I feel. What I know is that they are relieved of pain and worry. What I feel is selfishness, plain and simple. That is what grief is. We have lost that familiar. We have lost that thing we never thought we would lose yet here we are and we helpless and out of control; because WE ARE. We don’t control anything.

Today, I got ready for work and I hadn’t  been  around people. Something kept telling me that I needed to go to my church which is just outside town. I drove up there and I was listening to the song “something in the water. “

As I stood there, I took a picture of the three crosses in the church yard. There was a  cloud looming behind them. As I stood there, a light mist of rain began. It was almost as if there was something in the water. Peace, peace came to me right there on the side of a hill.

When The Heavens Cry With You….

My pastor is “dying”. I prefer the term transitioning to his permanent home.   He was sent home this morning, from the hospital with Hospice care. He was transported to one of the big hospitals on Thursday. This morning his wife and children heard the words I have heard before. “We’ve done all we can do”.

That very moment is when you start functioning in survival mode. You have arrangements to make. You have to make sure someone is there to care for them. Luckily, this is a family of a wife, 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren who are old enough to help out.

When he heard the news, he told them that he wanted to go home. So they went home. Last report, the nurse was with him where he resides getting him settled in.

We live in a small mountain community and we are a very small but loving congregation. We have been in constant contact for the past three weeks since he got severely ill.

He has been at our church for 23 years. He has driven 50 miles, three times a week to preach to us. He made numerous trips to the same hospital and others when things were going wrong in my world. He has been in my home when we were facing death to let my husband know that he was loved and cared for even when his own family would not come around.

When my husband died, he was right here in my home providing love and comfort.

After making sure my parents were okay after getting the news, I went for a long drive. I was alone and I could cry as hard as I wanted. It was raining buckets almost as if the heavens themselves could feel my pain.

I cry for his wife and his children knowing what they will be facing. I cried for our church, we have a heartache that unless you have felt it, you don’t understand. My tears are not for where he is going. He is heading to Heaven, where his heart and lungs will not be an issue. I cry out of selfishness. I will miss him.

He has been our spiritual leader, our burden bearer, our under shepherd taking care of  the flock. You have a tremendous amount of respect and love for him.

We are independent. We don’t have someone to come in and fill that spot, not that anyone could take his place.

So for now, we as a collective group try to carry on. We will have a fill in preacher tomorrow. We do what we have to do to cope. One lady went and rode with her husband in a dump truck so she would not  be alone. My mom carried beans to the can house to stay busy. I went for a long drive and had a good cry.  We all handle it differently.

My prayer for his is that his crossing be gentle. He has been a faithful servant.

My solace??? I can just imagine my husband looking at him when he crosses and saying “Well Preacher, what are you doing here?”

 

When You Don’t Feel Your Best…

I just have felt 100% today, I woke up early and just sort of laid around. I am cutting some of the sugar from my diet in an effort to lose some weight. I did few physically easy things but mostly I just laid around. I didn’t say anything to anyone. I just rested, not sleeping just laying.

Last night, I had let a couple of family issues get the better of me and it got my dander up. Then lonely kicked in. That sucked. Sometimes you just need somebody to be there.

I hadn’t been at work long tonight before I got dizzy. I sat there and just kind of let the room spin around me. I had some dinner coming but it wasn’t getting here soon enough.

I had something with me just in case I need it. My arm went numb and now my eye feels funny. I have done the looking mirror, there is no visible drooping. I stuck my tongue out it is straight.

I do notice I have some trouble focusing on the words that pop up on my screen and reading them back. I am in a good place to be checked, if need be.

For now, I will just keep a watch. I think it is okay. Time will tell.

In Just One Day….

In just one day, I have felt fear, love, joy. I have seen glee, amusement, trepidation. I have heard of frustration, greed and success. I have spoken humor and sang of love, hoping that lyrics like “the day you strolled in, my heart was stolen” were heard and the smile on my face was seen because I was singing about and to him.

I have experienced life. I have lived, not survived, lived. It all happened on a typical ordinary day. Life happened. It may be far from perfect but it is my life. I may be far from perfect, I gave up striving for perfection a very long time ago.

So as I lay here, in my bed, smelling of the lotion I have put on my body, listening to the movie that I am not watching on the TV, with my windows open so that I can get fresh air and  I smile. I lived today. If tomorrow doesn’t come, I can say I lived. Even if just for a day.

Cuts Run Deep…

I take peoples actions at face value. People lie thorough their teeth. I see it all the time.

Last night my very own sister cut me to the bone. I haven’t said anything to anyone and I won’t , people don’t understand that I see right through masks.

I was standing in a business establishment and she spoke to everyone there except me. She stood kind of behind me so that she thought I couldn’t see her.

She conducted her business and left. I spoke to her but she seemed uncomfortable. We live in a small town and everyone knows we are sisters and I was even asked about it after she left.

I didn’t know what to say, so I just shrugged it off. I thought about it last night. I even made a pintrest board about hurt.

When her world has fallen apart, I have always been there. When she got into trouble, I was there. When my world fell apart almost six years ago, she was a ghost. She hasn’t been in my house since my husband was buried.

So, when I hurt, I hide it. Right now, I feel like no one wants me around. I feel like I am bothering everyone so when someone gives me a pseudo time limit, I  try not to over stay my welcome.

Only once in my life have I had to completely close the door to save myself from hurt, maybe it is time to do that again. I will still love her, maybe I’ll just have to love her from a distance. I don’t ask her to carry my burdens. Never have.

So for now, I lick my wounds and I work on my projects and to the world, I pretend like I am not hurting. Inside my home, I cry. That’s okay. It’s not the first time. Just don’t let anyone else see the tears and the hurt. Maybe it is time for me to wear a mask for a while.