Figuring It Out. ALONE.

Dark Moon Tree on Night Sky / Magic Fantasy Space

Dark Moon Tree on Night Sky / Magic Fantasy Space (Photo credit:

Part 2: Figuring it Out: By Myself

Why didn’t I just sit down and listen to myself? Really listen and take my advice and go away for a few days to have some alone time? I didn’t have a second this summer when there wasn’t someone around me. Without a doubt, the high point of my summer was spending time with my daughter in Fort Lauderdale,  Florida for five nights, just the two of us. That was amazing and I would do it again, in a hot second, because not only did I want to go but my 18-year-old daughter wanted to come with me. For the first time.

I need my space, have always needed my space so I can breathe. Like a fish needs water, that is how essential my alone time is to me. That’s why I’ve been depressed, I knew it was something simple, something tangible but it was far beyond my reach at the time to understand. Yet, it was right in front of my face. It was just so black, I couldn’t see it.

During this summer, hostile weather and all, I was housebound with Fibromyalgia and Depression, not a win-win combination. For the first time in six weeks I feel so much better, I’m smiling at the computer and a smile feels better than a sack full of jewels. I’ve always needed my alone time and I had none. Not one minute. There was no balance in my Libra life, no balance at all.

I drove myself crazy with questions and speculation deepening my depression because I couldn’t figure out why the cause of my depression. I have never been a depressed person. Anxious yes, depressed, no. I had researched meditation, chakra, astrological practices etc. and what I really needed to do was sit still and listen to myself like I did tonight. Finally. I can breathe again, slowly.  I am yawning with relief and self-satisfaction. Next time, before I run myself around in circles I should just listen to my gut feelings and act on it and not back away because it feels too hard to do or too expensive. It’s worth every single penny and then some. I feel clean and light.

I couldn’t sleep when I wanted to sleep the most. I couldn’t concentrate because I forgot everything the very same second : the cause: Fibro fog (Fibromyalgia Fog: short-term memory loss. I had no appetite and could only eat the smallest of portions. My mind felt cluttered but if you asked me with what I couldn’t tell you one single thing. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Nothing felt right, nothing was right, I simply was not myself and I was out of balance. I tried to find my center but tried to find it on the outside and not on the inside where it belonged.

It took some time but when I finally figured out WHAT was making me depressed and the feelings beyond that, it was a gift I welcomed. I felt so disheartened not being able to figure it out by myself because that is one of my strengths and yet it was right in front of me. I just couldn’t see it in the dark.

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little bird

English: Green Violet-ear -- Finca Lerida, Boq...

English: Green Violet-ear — Finca Lerida, Boquete, Panama. Français : Un Colibri thalassinus, Finca Lerida, District de Boquete, Panama. 日本語: ミドリハチドリ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

little bird, you don’t have to apologize for having a new home, i understand completely. I said the same things to my parents when I was your age. I remember thinking that college WAS my home and of course it is. you come back for some vacations, you have moved on and will continue to move on and out. Don’t you think I know that, of course I do. I understand and I support it and I am proud of both you and your sister’s independence, the grown ups you have become. If I shed a tear or two at times, it’s okay, I’m not good at transitions, I never have been, starting from when I was a little girl. Don’t take it too seriously, please. You know I have always been the most sensitive person in the planet and always will be, at times it is both a curse and a blessing. believe me, I have tried to change myself for years but as you know, it really hasn’t worked.

i’ve told you before that I just need a little time to get used to things, even on vacation. when dad and I were dating long distance, he knew i needed 24 hours to get used to him again, some people are like that, its not better or worse, it’s a personality trait. not everyone is as incredibly adaptable as you and your sister,where you both got that trait from we have no idea (okay, maybe my mom) but dad and i are thrilled you both have it.

I was fine saying goodbye to you today until i heard your sweet voice asking “you’re not even going to hug me?” do you think i didn’t want to? could i say no to you? I ‘m laughing at the thought of me not wanting to hug you, of course i did, just didn’t want the flood gates to open up, kind of like now. waiting for that darn transition to kick in (it hasn’t been 24 hours yet) I am writing this for me and for you, and you know how i get when i feel like i’m writing something mushy…not a sight to be seen. you’ve seen it many times before, but now i’m also laughing at myself too which is a very good sign.  I know that you are happy and independent and i am so proud of the person you are. my goal in raising a son, was to bring up a good man, truly. when i found out we were having a boy, i was honored, blessed that i could try to make a difference to help shape a boy to become a wonderful young man.

you have become all that and more. you know i feel that way. sometimes we don’t even have to talk, we know what the other one is thinking with a look, or a smile or a quick nod of your head. this gift will never go away, no matter where you or i live. we are connected. forever. so have the best time of your life, and, because i’m a mother, it’s in our handbook to also add “please be safe.”

i love you.

Like We Used To

mother and son

Image by 'PixelPlacebo' via Flickr

It’s a different page in the book, the old chapter ended abruptly. Now, there’s a new chapter that really doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest. But, since I have no choice but to continue reading, whether I want to or not, I will learn something in the end. I’m not sure if I will like the ending or if I will hate it but it is not an ending that I get to write. Not anymore. It’s no longer my story. I’m so low on energy today with the temperature and the humidity so high it hurts to breathe and I am feeling daggers of chest pain. Tears are sliding down my cheeks but I don’t bother to wipe them away; it’s all out of my control. I wish I could hide away somewhere, or go on vacation alone and relearn who I am.

It would be nice to be able to talk to my eighteen and a half-year old son with the same ease, joy, warmth and humor that we used to have. Now, he is readying himself for camp and college and independence; I understand that but still, sometimes what he does or says sting. I am sure he will come back, at least that’s what other parents of older children have told me. I’m his mother, I will wait. New words entered our vocabulary last year, things like beer pong and prom, girlfriend, college, admissions and honor programs. Maybe there is still a little kid inside him also trying to deal with changes too. Maybe he doesn’t know how he’s acting or how different he seems. It’s a little rocky in the beginning when things change so dramatically but eventually we all learn to adjust to everything. The ability to adjust is what keeps people alive; we have no other option but to adapt.

I have pains in my chest; I feel weak and sad and  fragile and everything in my body hurts from Fibromyalgia and my heart hurts too. My body, is stiff and unyielding. I’m tired of being tired and I feel everything and nothing. Today, nothing trumps everything. There were many things that used to make me happy. More importantly, I used to make myself feel happy but I don’t anymore. Does the true essence of my self still exist if I can’t feel it?

Dearest Family and Friends,

Dearest Family and Friends,

Dan and I are always so delighted to get YOUR newsy Christmas/Channukah letters that this year we want to give back to those of you who give so unselfishly. It’s been quite a year for the Fessler-Friedmann family, 2009 will be a year we won’t forget!!!  Our son, Tim, is now 17 and he finally has the long awaited senior driver’s license. Ever since he was able to apply for his permit he has been bugging the crap out of us for his own car. Oh, that tenacious young man. We affectionately refer to him as our “PITBULL.”  He is doing well in his Junior year of High School where he does his utmost to procrastinate about anything “college.” You would think he would stay up long hours to do his homework and to study but half the time we find him in our “family” room bombing cars, throwing grenades and basically killing people as fast as he can with his favorite toy, X-Box.  He does extremely well on this games; we’re so proud!!! Tim is a Junior in HS now (“Sunrise, Sunset”) and he is making every effort he possibly can to alienate us,  frustrate us or make us seething with anger. He is moody, obnoxious, and arrogant. They call this stage “individuation” where the child is learning to separate from the parents, for this he deserves an A++.

Jillian, the baby of our family, is now 15. Where does the time go? Wasn’t it yesterday when she dressed up in her blue Cinderella dress and refused to take it off?  The hours between 4 and 6pm are so quiet now that those angry, sobbing and screaming episodes have ended. She is a delightful young lady, still saving all animals and fish, as a vegetarian with limited vegetable eating. Tim first called her a “Dairytarian” which still makes us all chuckle as pasta and pizza are her two mainstays.  Jillian is our fashionista and we wait for the UPS man with great anticipation to deliver her catalogue items before she models them for us. Jillian babysits and uses every penny she makes on clothing. (Where did that trait come from?) We think it’s a little bit of her precious “Granny Sue” that definitely skipped a generation with me.  She is magnificent in languages and is now taking French in addition to Spanish. Apparently,in her acting class, “Schrot, the teacher,”  is as entertaining as the class itself. Jillian doesn’t want to try out for a” regular play” but she may decide to try out for a comedy. Break a leg!

Dan is unemployed, he lost his job due to this horrendous economy. When not looking for a job he entertains himself by playing Beweled Blitz on the computer. Apparently that game is quite addictive. We’re so happy he’s having a little joy in his life.  Other than that, both cars needed major repairs, and you know what we used to say? We used to say that any single repair on a car was at least 200 dollars. Not for us!!! Both cars needed $1,200 dollars of work.  First was the driver that smashed the car Tim had just parked, lucky the little love bug was safe and sound. Second, the Altima needed several thousand dollars for various items that us girls don’t know anything about!! Brake pads, rotor cuffs, engine trouble….it’s all the same to us; it just means money,  big money.

Lastly, Laurie has spent the entire year of 2009 in medical distress and it still is continuing. To give you just a little sample, she has dealt with a badly sprained ankle with a chip from the bone dislodging taking up 9 months, followed by heel spurs in the same ankle and now is in a heavy, smelly, black cast to the knee. She has seen numerous Dr.’s in the city for her Hashimotos Thyroiditis, an opthamologist for her narrow angle glaucoma, the TMJ she tries to ignore. The exciting news is that Laurie’s Guru Dr. as we affectionately call him wants to up her 14 pills a day to a more powerful dose that would mean injecting a needle daily into her thigh. Wow, it’s something to look forward to. She also is having a needle of her very own blood, centrifuged, and inserted back into her heel in a few days. How cool is that?. Before the injuries she did take a class in Senior Pilates but flunked, but the dear old men and women in the class were so nice and so good!!! Cheers for them! Laurie is looking forward to her upcoming dentist appointment as her first outing without a cast. Joy.

Last but certainly not least, is our dog, Callie. She fills our lives with great joy and love….at least she does to Jillian and Laurie. She is going on 8 years old and it’s sad to see her fur turn a little white under her chin. She’s the most nurturing dog, a real love and we all adore her. Of course there was the time that Dan let Callie out and forgot about her….leaving Jillian and me shrieking and searching and hating all things male. The “boys” were not unhinged (as we were) and they didn’t seem to care. It was not a good family night to play Apples to Apples.  Luckily, Callie was found and remained upstairs with the girls for the rest of the evening.

All in all, it’s been a really great year.  Can’t you tell??  Filled with nothing but joy, tsuris (bad luck) and more tsuris.

Happy Holidays from the Fessler-Friedmanns

Dan, Laurie, Tim, Jillian and Callie the dog