Plinky Prompt: Escape!

  • English: Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C...

    English: Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. closeup view of vocalists Joan Baez and Bob Dylan., 08/28/1963 Español: Bob Dylan con Joan Baez en la Marcha por los Derechos Civiles en Washington, D.C. (1963) Italiano: Joan Baez e Bob Dylan durante la marcia per i diritti civili a Washington, 28 agosto 1963 Polski: Bob Dylan i Joan Baez w 1963 Deutsch: Joan Baez und Bob Dylan beim Marsch auf Washington am 28. August 1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Live at the Troubadour (Carole King and James ...

    Live at the Troubadour (Carole King and James Taylor) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from). See all answers

  • Escape!
  • I’m escaping from STRESS and I’m taking my husband with me. I can’t possibly hang on much longer with my twisted, achy stomach which might very well be an ulcer or worse, losing weight, and being tired and upset. I’m watching my husband feeling down and defeated and unhappy too. I’m taking my husband, my best friend, whose stress level I share and intensify, out of here.He needs a new, good job PRONTO, in the computer field (something about Software and Engineers and Project Management) where people are not mean but decent and NICE. It’s been too hard, waiting for the pink slip which is coming except they don’t even GIVE you a pink slip anymore. Now, they just take you into a room, avoid your eyes and mutter about lay-offs. The unemployment drill.
    Let’s sell the house, then tell our kids in college, take the nutty dog with us (she’s always up for an adventure) and rent a van, or small mobile home. We can become the baby boomer hippies we never were. Let’s go down to the basics, we don’t need all this “stuff” that you, okay WE cling to. Imagine, having no agenda, no plans, no watches. We’d be living on money from the things we sold. Our college kids might even have to work (Gasp, what’s that??) Let’s go cross-country (you never believed me but I meant it.) Maybe somewhere we can settle down and open a breakfast place or lunch, maybe ice cream?
    Let’s go now, before we change our minds. We won’t sell the CD’s, because the one thing we need, wherever we are, is music. Music makes us happy and we need to sing loudly out the windows with joy. Our dog, Lexi, hanging out the window having a blast. We will sing all the oldies, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Carole King, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez….just to name a few. No stress? Sounds like heaven to me.

Kraft American Cheese, Sleeping, Anxiety And Yoo- Hoo

Slumber

Slumber (Photo credit: weesen)

Some people drink when they are under stress, others turn to cigarettes, some to drugs. It soothes their souls and it may take the edge off of their anxiety. The people who drink red wine can boast that it is medicinally beneficial, heart healthy in fact. Others like scotch or beer or ooey- gooey sweet stuff with vodka in it, like a spiked punch. I do none of the above, when I am anxious all I do is get into my bed, surrounded by layers upon layers of blankets and sleep. Really, I do. The only food my stomach allows me to eat is a Kraft (orange) American Cheese Sandwich on soft bread with soft butter or margarine spread and a box of Yoo Hoo to drink. That’s it. I lose weight during this period of anxiety but really, it isn’t any fun and definitely not worth it, well maybe worth it a tiny bit.

There is nothing more relaxing to me than”hibernating” under mountains of blankets, snuggling with my pillows and escaping life’s problems. Do I know what I am doing? Absolutely. Do I choose to do this? Yes. It is my way of dealing with overwhelming stress without any addiction except the warmth of my bed, no alcohol or drugs needed. Sometimes I say I am just going “to rest” and we all know what that means…..

I acknowledge what my problems are, I’m not crazy, this is my coping mechanism. I can’t change the situations at hand for the better so I have to live with them and instead of being the hyper-oh-my-God-what-are-we-going-to-do person that I already have been for 24 hours, I try to balance that with pure avoidance therapy. It’s cheaper than a lot of other coping mechanisms and I can do it anytime I want.

There are only specific foods that I CAN eat when I am that, shall we say, out of sorts? American cheese (Kraft Individualized Orange slices) and bread, soft butter and Yoo- Hoo to drink (boxes). This is my comfort food and I will absolutely have it every single day, it is the only thing I WANT to eat and CAN eat when I am this upset. It soothes me. I can eat it five times in a row, even ten. It depends heavily on the situation. Tonight, I actually ate something different since we were at a restaurant but the only thing that appealed to me was ravioli stuffed with butternut squash. I couldn’t look at my husband’s rare burger though admittedly I did try a bite of my son’s steak. It tasted delicious. My own food was soft, mushy and comforting and it certainly was in the same genre as my American cheese sandwich. Club soda with lemon was definitely no substitute for my beloved Yoo- Hoo. They should really stock that in restaurants, don’t you think?

Things are a little better now, not completely but we are coping. I’m off the complete American cheese sandwich but am still into small portions of soft food like the baked ziti I made today. It wasn’t my exact comfort food but I’m trying to branch out a little. Even I try to be flexible after my 24-48 hours guaranteed American Cheese/Yoo-Hoo Festival. Sometimes. it even works. Sigh. Okay. Rarely.

*my admiration and thanks go out to Kraft and Yoo-Hoo companies.

And Now I Shake

ECG complex.

ECG complex. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the last six weeks I’ve felt light-headed; I’ve often brought this up to my internist and she has always said that it’s my low blood pressure ( 80/60.) “Salt your food” she murmurs, “stand up slowly from a seated position.” Then she adds: “That happens to me too!!” (Now I’m SURE we can be best friends because we have so much in common.) My husband insists that it has been happening more often and he has nagged me to see my doctor for a few weeks now, I’ve refused.

Yesterday I had an annual physical with my gynecologist who I like but totally FORGOT that she’s a worry wart like I used to be. Notice the PAST tense. I casually asked her if she thought I needed to see my internist about this small issue. She said “yes” and “that it might be a problem with my heart “valve.” The only “v” word I expected to hear from her was “vagina”( if there are any guys reading now is your opportunity to run) valve did not make me happy. I finally confessed to my husband, tried not to look at his smug face and called to set up an appointment.

I described feeling light-headed, having to bend my head down to prevent fainting, feeling very warm, getting a massive headache but never passing out. I could reach a chair or a bed and sit down and I’d be fine in a few minutes. It never happened when driving and obviously if I felt weak, I wouldn’t go out. It did happen going up or down stairs but I always held on to the banister. It was NOT, in my estimation, dangerous.

Now that I had conceded, a nurse gave me an EKG which was perfect with the oddest exception. My whole body started shaking. Once or twice lately I have noticed that my body starts shaking uncontrollably and I can’t stop it. I have asked my husband if he could see it and he has always said “no.” I think it’s one of those “guy” things. The nurse noticed it right away, I’m sure a best friend could as well.

So now, I could add “shaking” to my long list of maladies. Along with Fibromyalgia, almost passing out, Thyroid disease, Auto-Immune disease of the thyroid,  impaired hearing, I shook. I felt like one of those bobble heads except it wasn’t just my head that bobbled, it was my body wobbling. A nurse took five or six vials of blood and then the doctor told me (wait for it…) I had to go to the cardiologist for an echocardiogram and even worse, a stress test. No, No, No! Ugh, this is sweat and embarrassment  in front of others and I hate that kind of stuff. I gave my husband the evil eye, actually two evil eyes. They scheduled me in six weeks, obviously not a crisis situation to them (Thanks, honey!)

My doctor used this new phrase at least five times during my seven minute visit: “due diligence. In my language that means ” I’m running these tests to cover my ass.” For someone who used to get anxious for days, even weeks, I only got anxious for about five minutes which for me is zen-like (and that’s when they  told me I had to see the darn cardiologist.)

As soon as we got home,  I made myself my old standard comfort food, an American cheese sandwich on soft bread with butter, some salt-ridden baked sour cream and onion Lays potato chips( for medicinal reasons only) and a cold Yoo-Hoo to drink. For dessert, nothing speaks comfort more than a dish of really rich vanilla ice cream, softly melting in a red ceramic dish. No drugs of any kind were necessary. No jelly on pizza, I required nothing else. Damn, I was proud. But, I still have to do those stupid tests unless, as my sister suggested, I cancel?! What do YOU think?

Woman in Café with Yoo-Hoo and Cigarette, afte...

Woman in Café with Yoo-Hoo and Cigarette, after William Glackens (Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

Carry on Tuesday

angel

angel (Photo credit: M@rg)

Title : Old and wise
First line: As far as my eyes can see
I stare at an old photograph, taken in 1991, of my father and me.  It was taken in my husband’s and my first garden, actually our only functioning garden, ripe with carrots and beans and peas and three types of tomatoes and corn that the raccoons ate. My arm was around my  father’s neck, my dad and I are grinning. We both looked incredibly happy, his eyes: grey-blue, old and wise, saying without words ” I knew one day you would have your dream.”  I am 6 months pregnant in the photograph; it had taken me over 2 and a half years to get pregnant. During that time, I shed more tears than I thought possible. In that photograph, in the late afternoon sunshine, with my dad, both of us were beaming.
During the long phase of infertility however, I was poked and prodded and put through every invasive test known to woman-kind by my doctor and everything was done in complete secrecy. I was ashamed, it was all my fault.
Only many years later did magazines burst into publication with articles describing the shots we had to take, the mood swings, the twice daily blood tests and ultra-sounds, the stress and depression we felt. Back when I was desperately trying to get pregnant, we kept our feelings to ourselves. Sometimes we shared our lives with the other people in the infertility office, a very strange, yet delicate friendship. You wanted your friends to get pregnant but not at your own expense. It was a double-edged sword. Close but not too close.
The photograph before me, which stands framed on my table now, represents both the good and bad; ultimate happiness and deep depression. I was pregnant and standing next to one of my favorite people, my dad. Sadly, he died when both my children were young but at least he knew they were born. No one could replace him for me, no one could have felt more dramatically upset than my mom and I. He was my mother’s husband, but for me, he was my hero. He knew me better than anyone. We had the same personality, my sister and my mother still do. Without our spouses and kids, our nuclear family consisted of three; our mother, my sister and myself; a triangle is a tough combination. I can’t understand how they think.
I’ve had to fight on my own, grow-up, remain firm and I have done that; it’s hard for me to even remember what it was like having someone who understood me so well, having an ally in the family. I look up at the clouds sometimes, I look as far as my eyes can see and beyond that, for a sign from heaven, from my dad. I am one of those people who definitely believes in those signs, that bodies die but souls don’t; that love NEVER dies. How could it? I know my dad still loves me as I love him. When he first died I got many, many signals and messages. As time passed, I got fewer. But I know, if I truly needed him, he would, without a doubt, send me a sign to show me that he is still watching over me and that love is everlasting.

Carry on Tuesday

English: Rainbow flag flapping in the wind wit...

English: Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue skies and the sun. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Midway in life’s journey…

“My name is Joey, I’m thirty years old, married with a daughter named Sophia. We are a good family but sure we have more than our share of ups and downs. Who is happy all the time, right? I mean I know we aren’t. I never thought I would turn thirty, have a family and be out of a job but the economy sucks. I was laid off from my writing job at Music Magazine, a place where I have worked for over five years. Five loyal years of my life and now they lay me off. I hate my life now. My wife is a lawyer and we can pay the mortgage but that’s just not it. I put hours and hours in this damn company, screw the economy. “It’s not personal” my boss said, ”we’re laying off 20 people.” Is that supposed to make ME feel better? It doesn’t.

As if it wasn’t bad enough, my wife, Gabrielle and I have been fighting non-stop, I’m not even sure what we fight about anymore.  Gabby and I have been going at each other since we met, at least that’s how it feels to me. Sometimes, I feel furious when I even think of her and I don’t know why. Well, maybe I know. That’s when I feel my heart speed up and I scream out loud, I’ve even put a few holes through the wall but I am in no way proud of that, trust me.

Been hanging around with my friends Steve and Jack more, since I don’t have to be anywhere in the mornings. We usually go to bars or to the ballgame or just hand out at their house watching television.. It was really funny, last night we went to a gay bar. Steve and Jack are a couple and they asked me if I wanted to go. I  thought ‘why not?’ So we went in and after a while, a few guys asked me to dance. Of course, Steve and Jack were egging me on so I thought it would be fun. I danced and it was a blast. I felt free and I felt happy, happier than I have been in a long time.

I left the bar at 3 am and was not looking forward to Gabrielle’s interrogation, God, I hate that. She’s not my mother you know, I’m a grown up and can go out with my friends if I want to. Sure enough, she was sitting up in bed, her dark brown eyes looked black with fury. She starts screaming about “courtesy and marriage, and “why didn’t I call? ” Yeah, I know, I screwed up by not calling but after her screaming at me for so long, I stopped caring. Enough is enough. Everything inside me froze.

I’m midway in my life’s journey for my own truth and happiness and as I stood up from the bed something clicked in my head. That always happens when I have a very important thought or if I have reached my limit or made a very important decision. I didn’t say a word and Gabby was still screaming at me. Calmly, I went to the closet and got our old navy blue suitcase and started packing. I couldn’t speak but I cried, tears streaming down my face. Gabby didn’t even notice that I was crying which says a lot.

I started sobbing and shaking violently so I sat in my armchair, put my face in my hands and wrapped my arms around myself. I was moving side to side like a pendulum. Gabby was suddenly silent. She didn’t even ask if I was ill or was having a heart attack, she just sat there and stared. Through my cries of distress and anguish I managed to say “I’m so sorry Gabby, I’m so, so sorry” over and over again. Her face looked as if it had aged ten years. “You’ve always been suspicious and I’ve always denied it but I can’t anymore. I deserve to live a full and happy life.””Gabby” I continued, “I’m gay.”

The words lingered in the air, floating around the room like a helium balloon. Finally, I was able to let out a deep sigh, I felt so bad about hurting her but I felt amazingly light inside myself. “I will make sure to see Sophia, but don’t ask me to change who I really am.”  “I’m a gay man and I’ve lived a lie,” “but I can’t live with myself any longer playing this game. I love you and our daughter but it’s time now, truly time, for me to love myself.” With that, I lifted the suitcase, went to Sophia’s room and kissed her sleepy head and then slowly walked out and locked the door behind me.”

Plinky Prompt: What Stresses You Out The Most

    • So Stressful!
    • “You Worry Too Much” DUH.
      stress I stress myself out by worrying. Worrying about my kids, my husband, my dog, my mother, my sister, my friends, victims I don’t know and I worry about myself. I worry about sickness, death, and the flavor of the week on the news i.e. terrible shootings. Worrying about worrying. I “pre-worry” when I have absolutely NO CONTROL over any outcome. In psychiatric terms it is called “anticipatory anxiety.” What good does that do me? IT DOESN’T DO A DARN THING. Yes, I know this but sometimes it’s hard to switch the channel. I am too sensitive in both a good way and a bad. I am incredibly sensitive to others, compassionate and intuitive at the same time I take on other people’s issues to heart and feel for others. A lot. I have tried to change a million times with no luck. I have heard “You are too sensitive” so many times I could scream (especially when it is said by totally insensitive people) I KNOW THAT, I DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE THIS WAY. So, give me a break. I do deep breathing, I’ve tried all the tricks but this is who I am. PLEASE, TRY TO BE understanding, know I worry because I love and I care. Maybe I care too much but don’t you think that’s better than not caring at all? If I could be a cold-hearted, non-worrying-bitch I’d have a much easier life. Sorry, no can do. I worry. I care. And that’s okay.
    • Previous Answer

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Carry On Tuesday: After All, Tomorrow Is Another Day

Sun Rays Through The Clouds

Sun Rays Through The Clouds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What happens when you have those kind of days when everything seems wrong, unfair and it is just plain relentless? It’s like a nightmare when someone is tugging on your arm and you feel the pain but they don’t let up, your arm falls off instead and you scream in raw pain. When people you thought you loved keep taunting you and making you fall deeper into a hole that buries you? When you are completely misunderstood? It gets to the point that the thought of suicide feels like a vacation.

I’m not counting pills or getting out the razor blades nor am I planning to jump from the top of a big skyscraper but suicide fantasies are real; they are a means for escaping pain, too much pain. Last night I indulged in one of them. My life, lately, has been a mess. Too many changes, too much stress, too much anger and it all got to me. Dysfunctional family members ganging up on me, needlessly, almost for sport, not taking the time to think about how that would feel to them. Other members of the family leaving me out, my physical limitations making it hard for me to walk as fast, they march on ahead, leaving me to walk in back of them, physically hurting and psychologically silencing me from their conversation.They are oblivious to my emotional and physical pain, what an incredible disappointment to me and exceedingly hurtful, physically and mentally. My Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are not new illnesses, I’ve had them for over five and a half years now, this should not come as a surprise. My husband’s comment to me when I brought it up to him was “I forgot, I didn’t notice.” I can’t forget and neither can all of my friends who have these crippling illnesses.

I call my old best friend and she understands, she knows without hearing more than a barely audible whisper of her name that something is terribly wrong. I know what she is thinking but it is not a death or an illness though it feels like that to me; I feel like I am dying slowly inside, emotionally. My friend and I don’t see each other often at all but we are there for each other when we need one another. I can count on her for anything, she can do the same. It’s nice to know, in this complicated world, there is someone from the past who knows you and your history so well that they understand without explaining. “She is my person” as they say in “Grey’s Anatomy;” she is my Christina to my Meredith. I will also NEVER let a “professional” doctor treat me in such an unprofessional way where it hurts me, never. This caused a lot of psychological damage as well. My initial judgments are sound.

Maybe sometime soon I will want to see the sun streaming in through the windows and will take solace in the few flowers that remain, the fading yellow tulips that my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day, the bottle of sugar- free black cherry seltzer water from CVS which reminds me vaguely of almonds. I won’t mind the bite marks on my hands and feet because I will appreciate the dog that I saved when I adopted her from the animal shelter, all curled up in the fetal position, peacefully sleeping, probably drugged. She’s a wild thing now, all energy, safe, happy, loved and a bit out of control.

Tomorrow is Sunday and I hope I will have the energy to get out of bed to take a shower and get dressed, if not happy to be alive than at least grateful. Maybe there will be a small slice of sunlight crossing my body and that will make me happy. My stomach, still clenched in knots, is ever so slowly beginning to relax. The doubts I had about myself, my judgment about people, my strongest quality will come back without question because after all, tomorrow is another, brand new day and I welcome it.

I close my eyes in peace, welcoming sleep and serenity, looking forward to possibilities and not thinking of death or gloom or tragedy. I need to sync my soul back into my body to align myself with the brightness and good, sanity and happiness. I will go downstairs now and play with my puppy that I have avoided for two days; I will give her a treat, I will stroke her silky fur and even if she tries to bite me, I will hand her a bone instead and grin.

p.s. A special THANK YOU to Keith from Carry On Tuesday for just Keeping On….I so appreciate it!

Alone

Description unavailable

Description unavailable (Photo credit: physiognomist)

Two bitches, foaming at the mouth, always ready to pounce on me. I feel their saliva dripping, I am close enough to feel their hot breath on my skin, I want them to back off, I scream for them to leave me alone but they stop short of biting me and tearing my face apart with their sharp, pointed teeth. I am bleeding, all over, yet they can’t see it or they don’t want to acknowledge how much pain they cause me. It’s easier to blame me.

I know nothing will change. I have fought this battle so many times before and I still feel empty, scared and I am hiding in bed. I don’t want to talk to anyone, see anyone. I feel sick, my stomach is in knots, I drink tea with milk and honey, a sure sign of my malaise. There is sunlight coming in through the window but I don’t see it, I turn to the wall instead where the shadows are dark; the door of my room has been shut tight all day. There is no one I know that can make me feel better; it’s been non-stop stress for weeks and I feel like I want to run away.

I want to be like my childhood friend who lives for herself, wherever she pleases, dining, dancing, enjoying life. I am not enjoying life right now, I am barely getting by. My body hurts, my heart hurts and I’m questioning if my soul is even alive anymore or if it is even attached to my body. I don’t think it is. I saw a professional who was the opposite of professional, she, a nasty, cold, devil who did more harm than good. How can you abuse a patient? I just recently let her go but her words still ring harshly in my ears, there are many bad doctors in the world, untrained, shameless, heartless with just initials after the name to claim their worthiness. It’s not enough.

I’m wounded but not like a soldier bravely marching back to duty. I feel defeated and empty, in despair. My stomach rebels with a hard knot and pain on the back of my lower right side. I don’t eat, I’m not hungry. I am more than sad, less than suicidal; I’m a tightrope walker without a net. I don’t remember ever feeling like this before. I wish I could hate it so I could claw my way out of it but I don’t have the energy or the will to do so. I am tired but not sleepy; I am forgotten. I don’t know who I used to be just how I feel right now.

It’s OK To Be OK

Happiness

Image via Wikipedia

A friend of mine wrote a post recently about whether she should strive for stardom or just be satisfied with mediocrity, (my very loose translation.) It’s a subject that has been on and off my mind for years and one that I’ve never answered. After reading her very well written blog: (Phylorsblog) I had an answer for myself. I don’t need stardom or unbridled stress like that of a frisky colt rearing up on a smoky ranch. As soon as I decided that writing was for enjoyment and for my blog, I felt lighter, happier and clearer than I have felt for years.

It’s interesting that if I had asked myself the question I probably would have been inundated with anxiety and stress but that didn’t happen. I don’t know what her answer will be to the question she posed but I’m happy with my answer. Everyone dreams of being famous and making a lot of money, I’m content where I am. I used to dream of being “famous” and then realized I liked my anonymity a lot more than being surrounded by strangers, watching and criticizing my every move.

I’m fairly low maintenance, it doesn’t take much to make me happy, I get excited about little things and I tend to amuse myself. I’m definitely child-like and I appreciate my humor even when no one else does; that doesn’t bother me in the least. I’m sometimes too sensitive, true, but it’s who I am. I’m 55 and have less angst today than I did in my twenties; do we have a choice? I choose to not cover the few gray hairs in my brown, curly hair, I feel that I have earned them.

When the snow finally starts to melt and the soggy, mush of ice-water remains, I will hold on, when I can, to try to avoid slipping and falling with my loose bones. Not everything is perfect at 55, but then again, nothing was perfect at any age. I do the best I can each day, sometimes it hurts a little more, sometimes a little less. I’m fine with where I am now, I’m content. That’s as close to happy as I can imagine.

When Saying NO is Harder Than Saying YES

Two friends

I usually talk out situations with people until they are resolved in my mind, in both our minds, to each others satisfaction. I hate confusion and murky waters. But I’ve decided, today, that sometimes it really is better for both parties, during a misunderstanding (if you can even call it that) to step back and let a little time pass. Hurt feelings on both ends take time. I need to stay centered myself and remind myself, which is really hard sometimes, of my own tree: “I Am A Tree” http://hibernationnow.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/i-am-a-tree/. Sometimes when there is a whirlwind of activity things throw me off kilter and then I need to steady myself. Always, inside, I know what feels right and what the truth is and that is unshakable, it is also a gift.

I don’t want to fight with anyone, I don’t want to cause anyone harm or pain or discomfort, I NEVER DID but I also need to stay true to myself. Right now, with an ailing, elderly mother, much stress from the house and the financial situation, I need to concentrate on my family and our own situation. Sometimes, I need help too.

I mean no harm, to anyone, never did, never will. We all need to find our own paths to take to find peace and happiness and a sense of well-being. Sometimes it’s the internet itself that brings confusion, nuances are misconstrued, there is a lack of feeling that doesn’t come across.

So, for me, I’m staying in touch with my emotions and with my reality. I’m not leaving, losing or forgetting. I am the same person I always was and hope to be. May everyone’s day be filled with hope and sunshine and great possibilities for the future. I wish everyone peace, love, good health and great joy. Be true to yourself, that is what I strongly suggest. Be True To Yourself, Always.