It’s Been Gone Awhile.

The sunset, seen through my window on the jet. Above the clouds. Is this where Heaven is, if there is a heaven?

The sunset, seen through my window on the jet. Above the clouds. Is this where Heaven is, if there is a heaven? You can even see the curvature of Earth!

It’s been gone awhile now, the feelings of depression, fear, anxiety and wanting to self harm. I’m happy, but apprehensive. I can’t remember the last time I went this long, feeling good. Judging by the past several decades, it may be temporary, a gift. I doubt it’s gone for good. Life just doesn’t happen like that. Neither does mental illness. Perhaps I am ready to move forward, move on. Whatever the reason, I’m enjoying it. Hence, the decrease in posts lately. I may not be writing as much, but I will continue to read, like and comment on as many of the blogs I follow as I can. I do anticipate spending more time trying to get a job, out walking and hiking with my dog, gardening and spending time with my family. I may even take up drawing again. I took the following photos on a wintery morning in Wisconsin and would like to try and draw them. They remind me of the beauty that can be a part of winter, but also why I moved away from Wisconsin weather.

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A grove of snow wrapped trees.

I took these at the Three Pillars Village on the Square grounds next to the Bark River, in Dousman, WI

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Perspective … along a fence

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I love the reflection on the water.

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The river winds away into the distance

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Underbrush … I wondered what animals were hidden in it.

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Home again, home again. Home again, now!

I had a wonderful two week (almost) visit back to Wisconsin to be with my parents for Christmas. I was also able to see and catch up with a lot of friends and previous colleagues. Seeing my elderly father settling into a daily routine, in his independent living apartment community, and stick to it despite having company, gave me a good feeling. He and my mother are comfortable there and have made a lot of friends. My dad gets out of the apartment for a coffee hour and lunch every day – which means that he is seeing and interacting with people other than my mother. When they were still in their house, he would often go for a week or more seeing only her (or me when I went over.) That was stressful for both of them! We all know what it’s like when you spend too much time with only one other person. Even the best relationships can get ouchy! Although my mom has been able to come and visit me here in California, and will again, I doubt my dad will be able to due to physical limitations. That was why it was so important for me to go see them over Christmas.

my son, dad, mom and me

Peter, Dad, Mom and me

Dad, Mom and me

Dad, Mom and me

father and daughter

father and daughter

I also was able to have Christmas with my sisters-in-law and their families. A long tradition on Christmas day, of rotating homes, will no longer include our house unless they all decide to come out here one Christmas! It was a long day starting with picking my son up at the airport after his overnight flight from San Francisco. Then it was back to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a belated Christmas Eve time (when my family usually does Christmas) before we headed down to the in-laws.

My niece and her husband

My niece and her husband

Anxiety always plagues me over the holidays. I know that the get togethers are all about family, but the eating disorder part of my history and mentalness always kicks in and can’t quite do the food thing very well. I don’t purge, but I do over eat and eat to cope with anxiety, little depressions and any little thing I harbor. I’ve never felt able to talk to others very much about my food issues. And there are so many issues that touch upon it!

Peter and his second cousin  (I think that's what his cousin's son would be?!)

Peter and his second cousin (I think that’s what his cousin’s son would be)

drummer boys!

drummer boys!

Spending all that time away from home also drastically impacted my ability to get any exercise or spend time meditating. The weather didn’t make me feel like walking (cold, snow, gray, wind – all the reasons I moved away from Wisconsin winters!) as well as being in my parents small apartment. LOTS of just sitting occurred. I can feel in throughout my body – like a slug. I desperately tried to meditate every day. I think I was successful only once. Every other time, either the phone would ring, someone would walk in or, if I tried before bed, I would fall asleep.

But I am home now. It was a wonderful visit, but it was time to come home. Seven hours of flight time (2 legs) and a mad dash through the Houston airport have gotten me : home again, home again. Home again, now!

Time to go meditate then go for a much needed walk!

Baggage Department?

Baggage Dept

Baggage Dept (Photo credit: Noël Zia Lee)

What baggage am I leaving here and what baggage am I taking with me? Physical and psychological?

Today is my last day in Wisconsin before moving 2000 miles and being on my own for the first time in my life. It may be a shortish time, or a long time, depending on how long it takes for our house here to sell so that my husband can join me. Most people learn to do the things I’ll be doing when they are in their early 20s. But I’ve never been alone. Partly because I’m a twin, and my BPD kept me attached to her as we grew up in terms of friends and identity. As she and I grew older, I was dating my later to become husband. All of my attachments for friends, identity and decisions then became focused around him. I always deferred to him. Political views, music, purchases, big things like that. On top of abandonment issues. So now, I have to be the one to step away (because I truly get too muddled when it comes to selling our house, and I want to get started on the new home environment), try to put on my big girl panties (YIKES!!! on so many levels) and jump out of the plane 2000 miles away where we don’t know anyone, I don’t have a job, etc.

Yesterday I said good-bye to my parents. I’ve tried to spend a lot of time with them over the past couple of weeks. I think that helped. My mom still can’t say the words “I love you” out loud, but I know she does. Very much. We spent the last few days teaching her how to use skype video calling. She’ll be a master of it!

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I’m already feeling anxious this morning. Everything I want to take isn’t fitting into my suitcases and that means that there will be an argument with  my 16 year old as I tell him he has to use a different case to accommodate some of my things, even though it will just be a checked bag. But maybe it will be a moment that occasionally happens and he will say OK. It can happen. That would be nice.

Over the last few days I have had a few instances when I wanted to cut in reaction to emotions. Feeling invalidated. I know these are usually times when I am experiencing emotions overly strongly, but the thoughts of self harm are like lightning flashes – I WANT TO SLASH ACROSS MY STOMACH! – But I’m not acting on them, just hearing the words in my head as an emotional reaction. At my last meeting with my psychiatrist, I told him that I consciously packed my exacto knives to be moved with the majority of the house, not with the things I am taking now. I know it’s somewhat irrelevant because I can always go and buy another, but it was the stopping and thinking about it. The decision not to take them with me. If I decided to hurt myself, there’s ALWAYS something available. I can be very creative. But I do want to be healthy. I do want to be happy.

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emotion icon (Photo credit: Łukasz Strachanowski)