I saw a meme on Facebook today that made me smile because I understood it completely. It said: “I believe in love at first sight. I fall in love with every dog I meet.” The featured image is our precious puppy, Miley. She really is the sweetest thing. Those eyes will make you melt every …
Actually, it is cold, windy and pouring rain. Some areas of our province are still getting snow. But inside my heart and soul, the sun is shining bright and warm. This is the official end of my very deep and dark depression. The last couple of days I have started to feel better in the …
After tumbling around for a couple of months in the worst my bipolarity can offer, I resolved to set aside all thought, expectation, plans and hope of moving. It would happen in its own time (in months, maybe, or even a year), but until then I needed to reengage with my life instead of living with one foot out the door. The stretch of that cheerleader’s pose had strained my brain into a constant trembling. Mental-muscle exhaustion.
I could feel the eminence of a raging relapse on the horizon. I had to do more than Wait. So, I made appointments with my therapist, reinstated my Y membership, asked my cleaning lady to postpone her scheduled attack on my Moving Out Cleaning List. I asked my friends on dates, opening doors that I’d almost closed.
Armed with a new Plan, I slid my foot back inside the door of my life as it is, not what it might become. I slept a little better. My capacity seemed a little deeper.
And, of course, yesterday my sister called to say the Move is On. The tenant I’m replacing is being evicted, and the townhouse could be ready for me as soon as mid-April.
However, my new-found footing kept me from spinning at this news. I’m sorry for whatever reason this woman must be expelled from her home. I send my heart out to her, hoping she can find a better home, hoping she has support and help to transplant her to a place that is loving and absent of fear. I also refuse to take note of that “mid-April” business. It’s just an invitation to more brain-splits, and I’m not having it.
Worried, my sister wanted to know how I was taking this news. I said I’d just do the next thing (scan and email her all the documentation required), then eat supper. And if it falls through, that’s fine, because I’m on terra firma.
As I was scanning and emailing last night, I checked my In Box to find a new message from Art Journaling Magazine. My journal passed muster, and I’ve been invited to write a 700-800 word article about it. As one of the artists featured in that (as yet unknown) issue, I’ll be part of a forum where we’re asked questions like: How did you get started in art journaling? What’s your favorite way to fill empty spaces on a journal page? How would you describe your style?
I had to laugh. If there’s anything I believe in, it’s synchronisity. In finding my balance and feeling my agitation and anxiety abate, I became ready for The Next Thing. And after all my years of struggling to be a published writer, it comes to me now on the wings of an art form I love more dearly than writing.
The Universe is a perverse and whimsical partner. But, I’m much better at dancing with It than I am at cheerleading.
Originally posted on Being Lydia!: Wednesday, February 22, 2017, is Pink Shirt Day in Canada. It is the day that we wear pink and promise that we will all do our part to stop bullying. Like with Bell Let’s Talk Day in January, Pink Shirt Day is sponsored by the media (Shaw) who are donating…
Today was my last appointment with my therapist, Megan. Last week I had my last visit with my nurse practitioner, Sarah. There’s been a lot of blubbing (as the BBC might say), and not all on my side of the couch.
I thought I would be a mess. These two women saved my life many times over. They taught me how to be bipolar and still function in the world. When they set up their clinic almost three years ago, they created a sanctuary for me where I was always welcome to hang out with my art supplies. They are the most professional care providers I’ve ever had. And I know, without a doubt, that they love me.
I know, too, that their consistency is the reason I can leave them. I take everything they’ve taught me, their humor, and their open-heartedness with me. I will be fine, whoever I find in Muskogee to be my therapist. It will be a new relationship enriched by the healthy, positive ones I had with Megan and Sarah.
Today, the three of us ate lunch in Sarah’s office, laughing and leaking tears in equal measure. I know this sounds horrid, but their distress lifted me up. I’ve been struggling with all the uncertainty of this move—not knowing when it will happen, making lists I can’t act on. Today’s loving closure gave me a much-needed sense of a job well done. I drove home feeling lighter than I had in weeks.
In her card to me, Megan wrote in part:
I am a better person and a better provider because of the things I have learned in our work together. You are super fucking awesome, and I will miss you tremendously.
“In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a wonder woman.” —Queen Hippolyta (Wonder Woman’s mom). I will miss you dearly.
I am so grateful to have had them on My Adventure.
The Birchwood Team. Megan—back row, second from left. Sarah—front row, in the chair
I am late for Valentine’s again; however, I wanted to revisit a post from two years ago. While it is not one of the more upbeat posts I have written, it is definitely one where I portray the raw truth that is or was my life. This year we went out for fish and chips …
“Heartbreak is how we mature; yet we use the word heartbreak as if it only occurs when things have gone wrong: an unrequited love, a shattered dream, a child lost before their time.
Heartbreak, we hope, is something we hope we can avoid; something to guard against, a chasm to be carefully looked for and then walked around; the hope is to find a way to place our feet where the elemental forces of life will keep us in the manner to which we want to be accustomed and which will keep us from the losses that all other human beings have experienced without exception since the beginning of conscious time.
But heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way… If heartbreak is inevitable and inescapable, it might be asking us to look for it and make friends with it, to see it as our constant and instructive companion, and even perhaps, in the depth of its impact as well as in its hindsight, to see it as its own reward.
Heartbreak asks us not to look for an alternative path, because there is no alternative path. It is a deeper introduction to what we love and have loved, an inescapable and often beautiful question, something or someone who has been with us all along, asking us to be ready for the last letting go.”
— David Whyte
This quote from David Whyte calls me to be open and available instead of hiding in my apartment until I move to Oklahoma. Leaving will break my heart in many ways as much as moving will give me a new way to be and a family nest. My practice, then, is to lean into the heartbreak, trusting in the gifts it will bring.
You’d think Gene Roddenberry would have known better.
Still, Bill Shatner could Shakespearize anything, even bad grammar.
But I digress.
Boldly going, I’m moving to Oklahoma.
My sister and I started talking about it when I visited her there over Christmas. We let it sit a while to see if it was just holiday cheer and wishful thinking, then decided the plan had legs. What really put shoes on those legs, though, was my brother’s offer to support me enough to live somewhere other than subsidized housing.
It’s been a shock, really, to be given this unconditional support, to know that my siblings are with me, to come to understand that I am not alone. We didn’t grow up this way, you see. Grand generosity was never our family’s forté. Small gifts, yes. Limited support with strings, yes. Pull up your big girl panties and stand on your own two feet lectures, yes. This level of largess requires a complete brain dump and reboot. What I thought I knew as truth isn’t.
I’m also struggling with the urge to hide in my apartment until it’s time to move. I can feel myself disengaging from my life here, from both difficult and delightful relationships, from the activities that fill this life. All the reasons I want and need to leave this place rear up like trained elephants, trumpeting and rolling wild eyes at me.
But I have a trip to Taos at the end of February, to make art with friends and breathe in the mountains of the West. I want to enjoy that trip. And I know I will need time afterward for my brain to do what it does with change and stress. It will be well into spring before I leave this little apartment that I’ve worked so hard to make into a Nest. I need to stay present and grounded in now, take care of my friendships, do the work in front of me each day.
In the meantime, my sister is in High Research Mode, talking to her realtor friends and sussing out neighborhoods. In a month or so, she’ll start looking at places for me to rent. She has my Must Have list (I have several lists going—that’s one way to keep the Greener Pastures Gremlins from taking over).
Transition is always a challenge, as is stress. Even good stress. So, while I do the work in front of me, I must also Do My Work. Be kind, gentle and generous with myself. Allow the terrified elephants a chance to walk on four feet and sing themselves to sleep.