Decluttering My Life

Clutter

Clutter (Photo credit: marlana)

First, I thought I might be a hoarder, and believe me I am in no way making a joke out of this. I read that hoarding starts with keeping sentimental things. If that’s how it starts then I am in big, big trouble. If I look around my house, though, the clutter is really just in my bedroom and my (once) big walk-in  closet. You can’t walk into it anymore. I ‘m scared, truly scared, as I look around my bedroom filled with Diet Snapple bottles and magazines, candles, plates, lavender moisturizing creams, piles of paper… I need to breathe, I  need to breathe.  Other rooms in the house “look” fine, for example: the living room but my room and my closet are humiliating and filled with junk. Boxes and boxes, laundry baskets and laundry baskets filled with everything but laundry.

If I declutter my house, will my head and heart be clearer too?

Lately, I have misplaced things too. My keys, my sunglasses, my plane ticket,  lipstick, my book, my jacket. Also, recently I have been very stressed out, emotionally. This is MORE than my nemesis Fibro Fog from Fibromyalagia. I misplace one thing after another, panicking and starting the cycle over again. There has to be a connection here I’m trying to slow myself down, so far it isn’t working. It’s not amusing when I “lose” something, my daughter helps me find it, ( I always find things,) I misplace things rapidly. I need to slow down.

I can’t deal with anything when I am feeling so overwhelmed. I need to start cleaning and organizing now, actually yesterday. I feel the stress in my stomach. I always feel stress first in my stomach, is that just me or does it happen to everyone? The tender points in my neck and shoulders are all raw, tap me lightly on a tender point and I will let out a blood-curdling scream. Last week the edge of my husband’s sleeve brushed against me and my scream was so awful and so loud that it scared both of us. Damn disease.

Next morning: I can breathe a little easier today, I really did work myself into a panic but once I started organizing my room and recycling a lot of papers and magazines I felt better. There’s still a lot on my mind, I don’t feel settled yet, but even if I make a tiny bit of progress it will make me fell more in control. Of everything. I will need to work things out, in my head and in my heart. I will do all that while I am cleaning, because cleaning will give me more control, I just feel that. I can’t be wrong. Can I?

Carry on Tuesday: There is a place, Where I can go

Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at th...

Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at the Paws and More No Kill Animal Shelter in Washington, Iowa. I took this picture. This looks just like my dog Yuma. He was from a shelter in Evanston Il. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There were too many people inside my parents house. They talked too loudly so I slipped out the door in my black down coat and covered my cold, red ears with an old gray hat and crouched behind the bushes. They were probably all drunk.  The clinking of glasses sounded like mirrors being shattered. I didn’t care if it was my mother’s birthday party. Who did they think they were to have a place this garish when they didn’t need it? It was all for show.

Unfortunately, I’m their 18-year old misfit daughter, Lindsey. I embarrass them all the time by the way I talk, the way I dress. They are pretentious and all they care about are their fancy clothes and their BMW cars, glossed so they gleam in the light.  If you asked either my mother or father if they knew anything personal about any guest invited they would come up blank. Their uplifted, tightened faces would freeze and they would change the subject: “Would you like another drink, darling?” These are all plastic people, acquaintances to be used to just get ahead. They really don’t know about each others children, lives, troubles, they just need each other like the stepping-stones to get to their private yachts. I despised them all.

I’ve never been used to the amount of money that my parents would throw at me as if to entertain me. “Here, darling, here’s five hundred dollars, go buy yourself something” my mother would say, waving her hand away.  “Umm”I said, just standing there, silently pleading for her to look at me. She never glanced over. Our conversation was over, she tried to buy my love with money. As if. I wasn’t stupid, I stashed that money away and I had a huge pile saved up in my sock drawer.

Later that night, I shoved all my money in my a bag, took the keys to my dad’s car and left. I was going to my boyfriend Adam’s house, the only person I loved and trusted. I had done this many times before. My parents never even knew I was gone.

In the morning I went with Adam to the *animal shelter where we worked. I loved it there. This was a place where I could go and feel love, unconditional love and I never wanted to leave. My parents would never let me adopt a dog but I had always wanted one since I was a little kid. I begged and pleaded but my mother refused; she didn’t want a dog to “mess up her carpet.” That pretty much summed up our family.

Adam and I had worked at the shelter for about a year now. We cleaned and held the puppies and fed them, stroked their soft fur, wiped out their smelly cages, fed them and gave them water. Then we walked and cleaned the older dogs, same thing every day but it never got boring. Me and one dog who was about a year old were best friends. I named him Rex and he was special to me. I was going to adopt him that very same day.

I hated my life here and Adam hated his. Adam, Rex, and I were going out on the road.  I would never have to see my parents again and I knew if they looked for me at all, they would stop in a week. I was an embarrassment to them. I didn’t fit in with them but Adam and I fit together. Rex was MY dog, and we knew, when we set out that day, we would never ever, look back.

*Both my dogs are from animal shelters, please save a life if you can.

Haiku Heights – Witch

witch hat

witch hat (Photo credit: snarledskein)

Pickled chin, red wart

Sparks from eye balls attacking

Happy Halloween!

*****

Which witch is that witch?

A good witch or a bad witch?

Can we ever know?

*****

Which witch are you, dear?

“I won’t tell anybody

Find me with your heart.”

My Fibromyalgia Vacation

Rhode Island Retreat 2983

Rhode Island Retreat 2983 (Photo credit: WebAdvantage.net)

I bet for a second you actually thought I got a vacation from Fibromyalgia and ALL my aches and pains. Oh, silly you, you know THAT’S not possible, that’s not even a thought that enters my sane mind anymore. Actually, it doesn’t even enter my insane mind. I’m stuck with this horrid disease, as I know so many of you are, and we are going nowhere, well, not fast. Fast is a past tense word. I don’t do anything quickly anymore, with the exception of napping and eating.

My husband and I went away for a couple of days, it was a short car ride that we broke down in two days. Yes, we stopped overnight so I wouldn’t have to sit in the car for four hours which, I thought, was extremely sweet and generous of my husband. After all, money is tight and in August we are sending two kids to college (state schools, thank goodness, but two in college at the same time.)

We arrived at our lovely Bed and Breakfast and it was the first time I noticed someone actively noticing me. The Inn Keeper was watching me, she stared at me, not unkindly, but with acknowledgment. I only had one computer bag in my hand and she said “let me take that for you, it’s easier for me.” This was not a woman who was much younger than me but when I saw her sprint up and down the stairs like a youthful kangaroo I realized how old and how sick I must look and seem. It was devastating to me and quite alarming.

I am used to my small circle of friends and family who are with me all the time and know about the chronic pain and illness. The stiffness in my bones, muscles, the nerve pain, the imbalance, the awkwardness of going up stairs (and these were deep and wide stairs.) My husband’s arm was always at the ready and I’m sure she noticed that too but I felt so conspicuous. I felt like I had a sign on my back that read: DAMAGED GOODS. Apparently, I did.

I have other tests coming up soon and if those are okay I know I will be thankful for just having Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an auto-immune disease of the thyroid.)  I am not complaining about how I feel physically as much as the shock I felt when the inn-keeper looked at me, with equal parts of pity, kindness and sorrow. She was NOT trying to make me feel bad in any way, but bad is how I felt, I’m so used to feeling physically bad that I don’t know what physically good feels like anymore. Physically painful is my new normal. I felt emotional pain from a stranger for the very first time and that hurt.

Under A Changing Sky

Dark Moon Tree on Night Sky / Magic Fantasy Space

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

Manically I go through box after dusty box in my closet as if flames are licking at my fingers.

What was once mere clutter in my over-stuffed hideaway, needs to be given or thrown away. Now.

I look at these now disposable items with weary and tired eyes of dull green.

I have been awake since early morning;

It looks like I am abandoning my life; life as I know it now.

I am just changing it to focus more on me.

Is it because I feel I am being abandoned that I take things and stuff them into one of seven white trash bags?

Is anger really depression turned inward?

Those sentimental snuggles of the past, the hot tickles of laughter against my warm neck;

I feel nothing now.

I am being left, we are all moving on

and I question for the first time, where all my love and devotion, went.

My daughter is a dark mystery, my son, a stranger, separating.

Tonight I feel used and sorry for myself to be surrounded by silent, awkward strangers.

Sometimes I want to shout “who ARE you?” but I stay silent, trying to accept and acknowledge

the vagrant mysteries of life.

I can’t do more than that.

I want to get ahead of the start of the race, I am in position before they stand up.

Sweat dribbles down my old, soft pink T shirt,

my hair is in an angry ponytail pulled tight, strands of gray and white wiry hair are like lit candles in silent darkness.

I feel unhappy, I say I want more fun.

There are only so many times you can say that

before it because a slow, steep burn of a salty secret.

I already have plans for new skills and new habits and a location change in the future.

I was young once too, I think

but we are all old now.

I have already packed a box of mementos from my children’s childhood,

taken from my inner sanctum of sweet sentimentality.

I will hand them over to my children like an Olympic medalist running with the torch.

Here I sit, surrounded by notes and pens and drawing pads and old

photographs and letters that I have saved; now dissolving and crackling with a light touch.

It is time to let all these things go. It is time to move ahead and change.

Maybe I will keep a few sentimental things in a box for myself,  just a few small morsels of sacred sweetness.

There is a new box  for my deceased father’s old things that I cannot part with; I will put it in the corner of our musty basement

so I don’t trip over his memories several times, every single day.

His absence, like a gaping raw wound that never completely closes.

The stuffed animals that used to give me comfort, even as an adult, are now gone,

I am giving them away to children

who deserve to smother them with sloppy kisses and love.

They mean nothing to me anymore, I look at them and I don’t feel pleasure

but at least I don’t feel pain.

I’m finding it hard now to feel anything.

I could eat silky milk chocolate or dark chocolate with currants  if i wanted to

but I don’t think it will make me feel any better.

This is pain I need to feel and get through.

I am giving away many books, enough to fill a small bookstore.

Starting fresh without all these things I do not really need.

I have my photographs, my slow -motion technicolor memory.

I don’t need much else anymore

but I hope that deep scarlet arm of regret does not clench me and wake me up with stabs of pain

when the morning sun tuns alive, with color, again.

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?

my day by sherry

Hopscotch

Image via Wikipedia

my dday waas verry diffrent from yesssterdat, funnyhow ur day cann be really bad andd scary and u  want to  just cry an cry. thaats what i felt like   today. mommy and pops were all tryin  to  preetend to b hapy but i culd know thaat its was just becaaause  i was stil their. i felt that in my bakk as i walked out the dorr so i culd catch the lellow school bus. my hair waz in 2 long braidss, my feet werr flyin in my new red lite up ssneakers witch ar so ammasing!!! andd i had a baloni and merican cheese sandwitch in my hello kitty! lunch boxx.i dont know whats goin on really but i know it feels kinda wrong and badand sad. i hav a brover who is just makin me feel jumpy and sad and mad andd that shouldnt happen. isnt family suppo two be nice tto family? no iguess thats not just so for some peepel, everyone is different i know.my teacherr told me that. i was sitting on the playground when  jessie came over to me and u know what, she didn’t do anythin but sit right down next to me and that was relly good. it was plenty, she asked me to play wit her like jump rop or hopsscotch or use   chawk but i didnt want to play or jump rope or hoppscotch.i just wanted someone to know who i wasss and what i was feeling like and jessie was all quiet and she put her arm around my neck and then we both smiled. smiled like we had won the lottery like on tvee or something cuz that is just how it felt. we both felt happy for no reason, well, no special reason at all. after that we held hands an went bakk incide. me and jess, we are best freinds now.

wen i gott home my brooter  said some  baad words and slamme the door an every ones voics were sso loud and screamin. my brother sam, i am, is 14 and hes in some kiind of badd truble, somes ttimes gronups dont listenn enuf but i no something was wronng and when i came baaak from skool, i was not  so hapy anymore andd at leaast i knew tht tmmrrow woud be sccool again  and i woud ssee Jessie aand she wood still be my bestest friendd. so i no thaats  really good an i donnt hav to say a word if i don’nt wan to.

If My Pet Could Talk

Kissy Face White Puppy Dog Love, Kahuna Luna c...

Image by Beverly & Pack via Flickr

True, True Love

I’m Callie and I am a nine year old “mixed breed” or mutt as some would say and my mom is the best mom EVER. I’m her favorite child because she says that I just give unconditional love and my siblings are both teenagers and they have something called “attitude.” I don’t. I just love to lie on my mom’s bed and we talk and she rubs my belly and I lick her face. I know when she is sad so then I just go up to her and kiss her cheeks and she puts her arms around my neck and cries some more but it’s now like a happy cry. She doesn’t leave me alone all day and I’m so lucky. I’m a lazy dog and I definitely fit in with THIS family. My mom picked me, yes me and not my stupid sister at the shelter and it was love at first sight. I told my sister not to eat all the electrical wires there but she didn’t listen. Hey, sometimes my Mom and Dad say that about my HUMAN siblings too about how they “don’t listen.” I listen and I crawled right into my mom’s lap and stayed there and never left.
At meals, I always sit next to her, my chin rests on her leg. I don’t bark, she likes all her children to be polite but when I look into her loving eyes, she always cuts a piece of food (or 3) for me and hides it in her hand so Dad won’t see it even though everyone knows she does it and that she’s a sucker for me! My mom loves food and she shares, my new favorite are ginger snaps and my mom was surprised but I LOVE THEM. She puts half in her mouth and the other half she lets me have because I go right up her mouth and the cookie and eat it. We share. My mom was also surprised when I liked blueberries but she stopped letting me lick hand lotion off her hands because some mean woman at the vet’s office said it wasn’t healthy. Who does she think she is? It was good for my pretty coat of hair.

My mom and my sister always have a birthday party for me, every year on March 1st. They invite my good human friends Margaret and Christina and John, but my brother and father are NOT INVITED on purpose because they think it’s stupid. I don’t even care. I get presents and a special meal and they sing the “Happy Birthday Song.”

So, Dad, I know you are the alpha male but ‘ll tell you now, it’s not MY fault I shed so PLEASE put away those stupid sticky tape rolls and stop with the vacuuming already, that vacuum machine scares me and there’s only so much noise I can take. My mom now puts a clean sheet on top of the bed so we’re all happy.

My mom is the best; I love her and she loves me. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for me and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her. It’s Love, True Love. Lick. Lick.

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The Fibromyalgia Fall And Flicker

NYC - MoMA: Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World

Image by wallyg via Flickrfter

On one of those freezing days we suffered through recently I forced myself to do a couple of errands even though with Fibromyalgia, the 50 mph winds and cold temperatures are not my friends. I was proud after I did my first errand but then I fell on a step, hard. I found myself sprawled and hurt in front of a store.  I landed heavily on my left wrist and right knee. I had to wiggle my body closer so I could tap my nails on their door. A few times. I felt like Christina, in Andrew Wyeth’s  famous painting, Christina’s World. Finally, two women came out looking at me like I was a drug addict, alcoholic, or homeless person that  decided to crash there for a good time. The women opened the door a few inches. I said “I fell, I’m hurt,  I can’t move, can you help me up ?”” I can still see their suspicious faces as if I had hit them up for some heroin.  Finally, a man came running from the back of the store and moved the bitches, I mean women, aside. “What happened,” he cried “are you hurt? Let me help you.”  I was so thankful to hear kind words I could have cried. He came over, pulled me up, then made me come in to the store to sit down and asked if I wanted some cold water. This man became my prince for the day.

Driving home was excruciatingly painful but I had no choice. When I arrived, I sat down on our faded, green living room couch, put my head down and stayed there, not moving.  A few minutes later my husband came in, looked at my face and said “What’s wrong?”  I said ‘I fell’ and then told him the story. My wrist was incredibly painful. Knowing my history with loose bones and plenty of breaks and sprains, my daughter drove me to the doctor’s office. She’s 16 and a half, has her junior license and she sailed through the streets remaining  calm, kind and mature.

An x-ray was taken and I returned to his office for the results. I was thrilled that it was not broken or sprained but also incredulous because of the pain, I couldn’t move my hand.  He asked me for a list of medications that I took and I said Synthroid and Savella. His eyebrows furrowed, his voice became louder and firmer and he asked “what do you take Savella for?”  I answered “Fibromyalgia” and then I saw it. The flicker of suspicion in his eyes and the dismissive nod of his head. I then asked him what I should take for the excruciating pain and he snapped like the arrogant lizard he was and said “Motrin, that’s it.”  He shut my file loudly and ushered me quickly out the door. Fibromyalgia is still, for some people, a mystery and a question mark. I hadn’t seen that flicker of hostility and disbelief in a long time; I will never see it from THIS  ignorant doctor again.

If You Could Read Minds, For A Day, Would You? (Plinky Prompt)

The Crystal Ball

Image via Wikipedia

  • If I Could Read Minds
  • When you say “hello” I know how you are feeling….
  • I would definitely read minds, but not to freak you out, I have a small amount of that ability already. I didn’t ask for it or train for it but I have always been super intuitive. I sense things, feel things, when others don’t. I have learned not to be scared of it, not to be proud of it but just to accept it and honor it. I have always been a very sensitive person (sometimes it’s a gift, other times it’s a curse) even when I was a child.
    I’d want to know if people were true to themselves, are they lying even when they are complimenting me? Are they truly kind or do they just want recognition. Truth and honesty hold a lot of weight with me; maybe because I am a Libra; always a Libra no matter what that new horoscope alignment says.
    There are times when a blink of an eye conveys a message to me, often I can feel and understand what is not said in a conversation. Sometimes, when I call people and they answer the phone with a simple “hello?” I will say “what’s the matter?” I’m not always right and since I am so sensitive I can read more into something that is there. But, I’m right WAY more than I am wrong. The only exception, I am not good with certain things when it comes to myself because my own anxieties or emotions overwhelm me and I am not objective. That’s when I need my sister or one of my two best friends to listen to me and separate the anxiety away from the reality.
  • Previous Answer