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?

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Life 101

PEACE!

PEACE! (Photo credit: Snapies ~ hiatus!)

Norman Rockwell Mosaic  "The Golden Rule&...

In my fantasy career, I’ve always wanted to teach a class, much like Jerry Seinfeld’s old show, a class about nothing yet everything. It would start with young children, kindergarten or nursery school age so they learn, at an early age, what is right and what is wrong. Maybe there would be a corresponding class for parents as well. It would be a class about life, a place where kids could ask any questions they had; it would be a safe place, teaching children about valuing differences, good vs bad behavior, being kind to one another, volunteering and diversity. That’s the agenda. If you start talking about love and different families early on maybe there wouldn’t be such horrible numbers of teen suicide and bullying. You also need to talk about all kind of different people, that each person is equal and should be treated with kindness and respect.

I expect naysayers and scoffing but the truth of the matter is, that life as we know it, is not going very well at all right now and hasn’t been for a long time.  We can’t say it won’t work if we don’t try it. Teach them that children and parents are all different so respect them equally and that families come in different varieties, they are families just like your own. Love is love. Our goal is that no one will know the word “bullying” anymore.

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s we were pretty much sheltered from the “real world.” I remember having drills where we would hide under our desks because of the Cuban Missile Crisis but no one ever explained it to us. The world has changed, technology has changed, violent killing games are readily available for kids to play, violence on television, it’s everywhere.The world we live in now is a scary place: devastating losses, natural disasters, friends and loved ones dying of cancer and heart disease and many other things, people with psychiatric disorders that go untreated. We saw that on Friday with the mass murder of children and adults in Newtown, Connectict’s Elementary School.  I used to try to shove the thoughts away and put them on the back burner. We, as a nation, can no longer put these issues on the back burner. Things need to change NOW.

I wrote this article months ago but never published it. After Friday’s shooting in Newtown, Ct. of little children, babies really, and staff, I’m even more convinced that a program of this kind needs to be started as early in a child’s life as possible. There will always be children who have special needs or need psychiatric help, there is nothing wrong with that. However, these children need to be diagnosed and treated and cared for responsibly. I don’t respect the press when they declare the shooter had Asperger’s to explain the motivation.That is NOT okay and isn’t true at all. I think they are terribly WRONG and irresponsible. Do we need stricter gun laws? Yes. We also need, more and better mental health facilities that people can go to get the help they need. There is no shame, there shouldn’t be.

Parents, teachers and therapists need to be involved in the care of your child. Everyone should work together to give your child the best help available. I know it takes time and I know it takes money but this is not something we can “think about.” This should start right now. For the students: if you have problems, please involve your parents or the school counselors and get the help you need as soon as you can. If the therapist is a wrong match for you, find one that you like. It’s important. Talk about your problems; we will listen.We will be your support system. We will be there. We DON’T want to let you down but you need to communicate with us so we can help you. Please try and know that we will too.

Plinky Prompt: Have you ever had to end a friendship?

English: Broken heart sewn back together

English: Broken heart sewn back together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • it is YOU, not ME
    • HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO REPEAT A PROMPT?
    • please stop asking the same questions over and over. many thanks!
    • Dear Plinky,
    • were you serious when you asked if we would miss you when it was ultimately time to say good-bye? Are you ending soon, or was that a TRICK QUESTION?!!!
    • I would miss you, the way you used to be…..
    • Repetition is BORING. I’m sure I have answered this question BEFORE…
    • WE WANT CREATIVITY. CAN WE TRY AGAIN?
    • Hugs and Kisses,
    • Love, Hibernationnow

Carry OnTuesday: Is there anybody there?

English: Memorial to William Huskisson Tilghma...

English: Memorial to William Huskisson Tilghman Huskisson, died 1865, grandson of Emily Huskisson’s sister Harriet Millbank, who married into the Tilghman family of Philadelphia, in Eartham parish church, West Sussex, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Miranda wakes up in the middle of the night, sobbing. Her sister, Emily was in her dreams and she is confused when she wakes up. She sits upright and clutches the cheerful flowered comforter to her and cries out “Em, Em!” Her boyfriend is beside her and is gently shaking her shoulder and whispering soothing sounds. “it’s okay, baby, it’s okay” he says but she looks at him and whispers to him “is my sister Emily alive or is she dead?” and he responds softly, “Hon, I’m sorry, your sister, Emily, died a long time ago..” By then she is lucid and she remembers and she curls up, her head to her knees and shakes uncontrollably.

She knows logically her sister died years ago. Why is she still having these dreams, these nightmares? Is it that she just wishes it wasn’t this way? Just a few weeks ago her boyfriend was away on a business trip and she slept in their bedroom alone and she felt frightened at the sounds of their small, ranch house. It was raining and their house creaked and the wind pushed branches against their house, she thought that animals or maybe people had come inside. “Is there anybody there?” She asked in a childish voice, not realizing that if there were, they probably wouldn’t have said something like “Well, hey, yes, it’s me the burglar, my name is Roger.” She was frozen in place, clutching her pillow to her chest, breathing heavily and praying it was nothing. She stayed like that for an hour until the winds died down and she could fall asleep, drained from all the stress.

Her younger sister, Emily, had died of leukemia when she was a child. Emily was five when she died and Miranda was ten. Emily could not pronounce Miranda so she called her “panda” and that was her nickname for as long as she could remember. To this day, ten years later she still had night terrors almost every night. Nothing could soothe her, nothing could make the memories fade and she thought, like her parents, it would stay this way forever. Why would it change?

How do you explain the death of an innocent child? What reason can there be to take the life of a baby? A beautiful five-year old girl with big brown eyes and brown curly hair who had never done anything wrong. She deserved to live while some other brutal killer should have been taken. Miranda had anger in her still and didn’t know if it would ever dissipate. How could she make sense out of her baby sister’s death? How could anyone even dare try?

There were no answers, she finally came to that conclusion. She would never have an explanation or anything that made sense to her and her parents. Her life would go on without the love of her baby sister’s but her life could never be normal, because nothing made sense once her sister died. Nothing would ever make sense again.

Carry On Tuesday: When As A Child I Laughed And Wept

Little Girl Feet

Little Girl Feet (Photo credit: mtsofan)

As a child I laughed and wept, but nobody heard me. I lived in my own world of stuffed animals and dolls and they were my friends. Once, when I was about five years old, my mother, from another room, asked me who I was talking to, I replied ” my friend.” There was not another child in the house.

My mother said I “could always occupy myself” unlike my older sister who always had to be entertained. “Play with me” she would whine to our mother and so my mother would play with her. Was it out of default that I didn’t even try or was I really happy in my own little world? I can’t say for sure but I think it was a combination of both. I’d wager a guess that I was never big on competing,  sure I would fail. My confidence level was always low; a loving gift from my mother. I knew she never meant to give me low expectations but her fear and worry overwhelmed her and so she thought she was protecting me when in fact she was holding me back, making stress and anxiety my constant companions.

At night, every night, my father would sit at my bedside and I would ask him the same series of questions. Would anyone go to the hospital? Would there be a fire? Would the birds come? (We had bats once) Will the boys come (My sister once had rowdy boys come on Halloween, banging on the door relentlessly and I was terrified) and a few more I don’t remember anymore. It was a ritual, a scared girl, needing momentary comfort every night, while the orange light from the hall beamed.

When I was told that my mother had to go to the hospital for a hysterectomy I remember sobbing that night when I asked my father the questions. I told him that the answer to the hospital question would be “yes” and I was inconsolable. The order of the routine was changed, the answer to one of the danger questions was wrong and I was filled with fear and doubt.

I never wanted to try anything new, I was scared and I always made excuses to get out of doing new things, fear held me in it’s vise-like grip until I could only choke-out syllables of lies. It was a long time before I could be honest and the first time I was honest was with my sister, on the telephone and it was such a relief. She told me step by step what to do and how to get to her house by subway and I got there, for the first time in many years feeling brave. What gave me the strength to tell her then, with my mother on the other line, I have no idea. Maybe I was just sick of being sick and holding all my fear inside me.

Eventually, I became more and more honest with people, telling them my fears or my utter lack of sense of direction. I felt safer in the world by becoming stronger as a person. It was okay to have shortcomings because apparently everybody did; I wasn’t the only person that was weak, everyone was weak in some way, I just didn’t know it. Now, I consider myself a very strong person, realizing my strengths way before my weaknesses and yet having weaknesses made me sensitive to others and to how they feel. I can read someone’s feelings just by looking at their face, I can see what someone is feeling instinctively, whether they are ready to acknowledge it or not.

I get messages from the deceased, I have a sixth sense, I knew that when I was in third grade, learning it as I walked down a street in my home town. My parents always called me “over-sensitive” as if I were to blame for feeling hurt, the truth of the matter was yes, I was sensitive, but looking back, they were not.

The Peace Prize

Blue Water

Image by doug88888 via Flickr

In the small, contained river, ringlets of water come to me, float away from me. I feel relaxed, my body is not betraying me now. There is silence in the house, just my breathing, in and out, with an occasional sigh from my contented old dog. I have spent three days and nights in bed, aching, pale, listless; every muscle and joint screaming in pain, tight as twisted steel. Now, there is a little comfort of mind and body intertwined. My music plays in the background, I’m listening to “My Immortal“; by Evanescence.  It was my grief song and at the same time my healing song. I can listen to this song now without sobbing yet nine years ago when my father died, I crawled into a ball and wept every time I heard it. Sometimes time brings just a tiny bit of healing in increments as small as cells.

Many other days I am filled with questions and complaints but today they have been momentarily swept away. I try to keep my shoulders balanced so the tightness and stiffness will stay away. I do not want to be known as Fibromyalgia Girl. I want to be known as a woman with Fibromyalgia and not have the illness define me. Same too, I do not want to be Auto-immune Girl, Hashimoto Thyrioditis’ woman, The Woman with Chronic Pain. I am still the same person inside yet with physical limitations. Please, please, remember me.

When there is a day like today when I can release the labels and just be myself it is like winning a prize; a prize of peace. It is rare but on the days it does happen I am so relaxed I yawn automatically. Treasure this, I tell myself, this moment, this second, as long as it lasts; I know that they are merely moments of reprieve but I am grateful for them.

I am clean and polished, I want to organize, slowly this time, not like the crazy rush I did five days ago, punishing myself with aching limbs and so much stiffness I could barely walk down the stairs. I clutched the hand rail for  support, for guidance, my jaws clenched, my hair pulled into an unforgiving, tight ponytail ; my body was stone and cement and there was no softness, no pull, no elasticity.

I swing my right leg, back and forth, keeping time to silent orchestration.  The world outside is bright and bitter-blue cold. I have no interest in bracing myself and stiffening my body just to go out. I rather walk slowly through the rooms of my tiny, doll-size house and get reacquainted. ‘Hello, pen,  hello, Bridget, the stuffed pink poodle, nice to see you again’. I am trying to breathe in even breaths but the more I try, the more I lose my relaxed rhythm. I decide that that’s okay; I refuse to worry.

Nothing has changed in the outside world so I know today is a gift for the internal me. I can’t make it happen anymore than I can make it stop. I am grateful for the breather, a vacation for an hour or two from body and mind.  The jack hammers are on a break, questions are still unanswered, situations will ultimately resolve themselves. I am grateful for this one moment of peace.

5 Things I Am Looking Forward to This Week

english: This is the american HBO brand logo. ...

Image via Wikipedia

Monday and a New Week
The end of a very long Holiday weekend. Thanksgiving was lovely but it was a lot of work and ended too soon. That happens when you plan something far in advance; once the day arrives, it seems to go so quickly, in one blurry moment. After the Holiday there are three more long, cold, days (I refuse to shop, even if I could, on these wild shopping sales days). Also, last week was HELL, this week is a redo. Everything last week felt depressing and gloomy. Been there, done that. Not going to let that happen again.

In Treatment (HBO)
Looking forward to watching the In Treatment episodes that I DVR. Love the show. I do miss Gina from Season One but love the characters of Jesse and Sunil, in particular. Debra Winger also plays a patient. This is a television show that is worth watching. It’s quick, intense and draws you in to the life of Paul Weston, a psychiatrist (on tv) and his patients.

Lunch/Dinner
Having lunch with my friend Sarah sometime this week. Always nice to catch up with good friends. We talk about going different places to eat but we always end up at our favorite diner. Perhaps date night with my hubby, just going out sans kids, to regroup and support one another.

Facebook Friends
Reconnecting with my supportive Facebook Friends on-line. I’ve found a bunch of incredibly nice and understanding group of friends that share the same illness I have: Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an auto-immune disease) These women have become very important to me; we all care about each other. There is no judging, no one cares about race, religion, ethnicity, ANYTHING. We know what we feel and how and nobody in the outside world can truly understand it. But, we know you try…..

Closure
A few loose threads dangling in our lives; we may not get good news but at least we should have some definitive answers. After that we can give each other a push and move on……again.

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