Category Archives: writing

P.S. I Love You

 

I just got done writing a letter to my sister, Carol. Carol does not do email. Texting. Facebook. Anything. If it doesn’t have a stamp on it, she can’t read it.

I remember when I used to love corresponding with different friends. My friend Barbara moved from Falmouth Maine up to Thomaston. Our folks couldn’t drive us back and forth to see each other every day (gasp!), so we wrote.

My friend Valerie went to camp. I couldn’t live without her. We wrote.

When my friend Sabrina moved a whole 20 minutes away I was crushed. To me it was a million miles away. We wrote. I think we even taped our letters on cassette tapes once in a while.

Sheryl moved to Boston for college. We’d been best friends since Junior High School. We wrote.

Beth, my first roommate, moved to North Carolina. We wrote!

It was no big deal to pick up a pen and write. In fact, it was kind of fun to find different papers and pens to write with. And I loved going to the mailbox and finding a “real” letter! To this day I look forward to getting the mail, just in case.

But now it’s a big deal to pick up a pen and write. And I don’t know what happened to change things. I guess electronic communication is so much easier, faster. And you don’t really have to think about it too much. It’s “short attention span theater” at its finest. I still get the same excitement out of receiving a text or an email, or a Facebook message.

But what does one write about in a letter? Think. Think.

Oh there’s the weather. Work. Church. My son. I also go line by line through her letter (if I haven’t misplaced it, since it’s been so long), to see if there are questions or comments I want to address.

And I always try to say something to make her chuckle.

Really, it’s the same stuff you’d say on the phone I guess.

What’s funny is that half the time I’ve just sent her a letter and she calls me. And I’m like, I don’t want to tell you anything! It’s in my letter!

I guess you could say that our letters are pretty mundane.

But where my sister is concerned, they are just our way of saying, “I love you. I’m thinking of you.”

And that is priceless.

 

Just another stinkin’ resolution post …

January 1. Would it surprise you if I committed suicide? Look around at your friends. Would it surprise you if any one of them tried to commit suicide? Do you know that suicides are at an all-time high, especially among women? It could be anyone. And it’s sad that when I think about starting out my 2018 blogs, that’s the first thing that I think of talking about.

So THAT was abrupt, wasn’t it? Sorry. ANYway … I really would like to write a blog entry every day in the year 2018. Seems like a pretty good resolution. Much more likely than “lose weight” or “save money.” Could I? Would I? Do I have enough to say? Do I think anyone would even want to hear it? But that doesn’t really matter. It’s the writing that I need to do, that’s therapeutic.
Know that anything I say cannot be used against me! or be considered gospel just because I have written it down. Writing is a process, and things change as soon as they are written.
It’s a good thing God doesn’t think that way. His Word is true, period. It doesn’t change as soon as it’s written down. And I like that.

Writing is as writers do

I’m channeling Forrest Gump’s “Stupid is as stupid does,” chiding myself for not writing what I’m “supposed to be” writing, and instead imposing my whining upon you, Dear Reader.

I worked on my writing a lot last month during Nano Camp (related to “National Novel Writing Month). It’s a young adult Christian novel, speaking of imposing. The stupid thing insists upon being written, though I am NOT a young adult novelist, nor even a novelist, really, if being published counts. I had started the book back in February? April? November? I forget … and had gotten in I think 15,000 words. So, for the July Nano Camp I brought it up to around 50k. It’s still a mess! I bought Scrivener, so I am hoping to get it into a more cohesive mess. One can hope.

But back to my point. I am looking online for spreadsheets to help me chart my lack of progress … HAHAHA! I came across this one, the Wrting And Revision Tracker by Jamie Raintree, and it looks good. And then there’s always Facebook, if I run out of ideas for putting things off. There’s also eating, bathing, and cleaning. 

The point again being that I’m not writing, yet, this month! And I really want to. There are probably another 10k words to be written, and a major rewrite/edit that needs to be done. There is a contest I’d like to enter with it (drums fingers). But here I am talking to you, sigh.

Anyway all this to say hi, there, my name is Procrastination, and how are you?

Seriously, how are you?

xo

I suppose I should…

I suppose I should write SOMEthing!

GOOD MORNING!

Yes I am shouting because all y’all are still sleeping.

You should be getting ready for church!

Yes I said “should.” (“Don’t should all over yourself.” Yes I know the expression)

But honestly how are you supposed to hear the Word of God if you don’t go to church, and you don’t read the Bible? And if you don’t hear the Word of God, how are you supposed to know how He thinks?

Just sayin’

Now yes I am in Florida and yes I am settling in nicely and I am happy! I just hope it is not that “geographical cure” happy, but just that “happy I did what God’s been nudging me to do for 5 years.”

That’s what it feels like I am doing.

Why haven’t I written?

Because I have had WAY too much to say!

You ever feel that way?

And now I am going to leave y’all (yes I said y’all) leave y’all in suspense while I leave it at that and finish getting ready for church  😀

Number twelve is the loveliest …

Twelve is such a great number isn’t it? Twelve steps of AA, twelve months on the calendar, twelve in a dozen, and then there are the twelve quotes for writers.

We’ll get to that.

So, I’m done screaming now, which is good, and I guess I’m moving on (I had a good appointment with my therapist in other words, lol).

This month was supposed to be my Nano Camp (July) but I have allowed life (including a colonoscopy) to distract me. I hardly did my DBT homework either. So there is one month almost gone, never to be seen again  😦  I’m sure the time is not wasted, but it feels like it is!

So anyway – I guess reading these writing quotes is one way to be inspired to write. Of course, inspiration is NOT THE SAME AS ACTUALLY WRITING, Kathleen! But when I do write it is like my depression doesn’t exist. My low self-esteem doesn’t exist. I feel like a worthwhile person, and like all the time I waste (read: disabled) doesn’t matter; I write, therefore I am! I am a worthwhile person! My life is not a waste! And my mental illness doesn’t matter. I don’t know how or why that is, and I don’t know why that isn’t more of a motivation to actually write … but anyway… here are the quotes, by “The Literacy Site

“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy–which many believe goes hand in hand with it–will be dead as well.”

-Margaret Atwood

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

-Gustave Flaubert

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

-E.L. Doctorow

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.”

-Truman Capote

“Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For these two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.”

-Roald Dahl

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”

-Isaac Asimov

“Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.”

-Amy Tan

“The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.”

-A.B. Yehoshua

“I believe that writing is derivative. I think good writing comes from good reading.”

-Charles Kuralt

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is that  you’re having a relationship with your mind.”

-Natalie Goldberg

“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.”

-Meg Rosoff

Read more at http://blog.theliteracysite.com/quotes-about-writing/#mjgs3ajHYUEwYjDf.99

This Is It!

Yayyyy! We’re fast approaching an obscure little number: 190 posts!

And so, it’s time to make some very important decisions!

The first one is whether to sign up for a paid website, and take this writing gig more seriously.

The second decision: whether or not to take a nap.

I know, I know, we shouldn’t rush things, right? I’ll admit, the second seems a lot more important in the scheme of things.

After all, “paid” is not part of my vocabulary. Not when “Free” is also available.

But honestly, I’d rather plan ahead for what will be a very long, illustrious, and successful career, than plant my feet any deeper on this particular blog site and have to uproot. Seems more logical to start now with my author’s page. After all, I’m going to be rich and famoose before you know it.

*Coughs*

Ok, maybe that sentence was filled with a little more bravado than I feel.

I don’t care. After all, the sooner I finish this post, the quicker I can take that nap.

I wish I could remember …

Now and then I get a few ideas in a row of topics for writing blog posts. In the past I’ve let my readers vote on which they would like me to write about. I suppose I could do that…

1. Valerie Weeks, my BFF who died when I was in 9th grade – on friendship

2. Dohhhhnuts… my battle with health and fitness. (hm, there are a lot of areas of “health” besides diet, right? Right?)

3. GoFundMe – the explosion of a trend

4. Losing my religion – or for that matter, – finding my religion. Being a religious snob – healing in the name of Jesus are bit ebenues (yes, that’s a typo but I will remember)

5. I forget what the other topics were. Durn it. But I will remember the important things to write about, people SAY.

6. Ask me something – relatively clean in nature, but if I can address it, I will

♪♫ Just A Few Thirty Minutes To Go … ♪♫

I coulda sworn I’d heard a song by that name … “just a few thirty minutes to go…” Well that’s all I have left to write my novel! I set my alarm for 30 minutes and for some reason I will write. It’s very strange.

And as the “song” says, I just have to repeat that strategy “a few” more times, and I’ll be done!

What works for you?

Walking After Midnight, Part I

Some of you may be wondering, what’s with that title, “Walking After Midnight”?

Well, there are two, maybe three, reasons behind it.

One reason is the most obvious to most of us of a certain age: The song “Walking After Midnight” by Patsy Cline:

I go out walking after midnight
Out in the moonlight just like we used to do
I’m always walking after midnight, searching for you

I walk for miles along the highway
Well, that’s just my way of saying, I love you
I’m always walking after midnight, searching for you

Ok, let’s just call this part one, lol… I’m too tired to finish! Any of you bloggers ever done that?

It’s A Title Wave!

Does anyone else find themselves thinking of clever blog post titles while using the bathroom?

Yeah I do too. Unfortunately, some of them are too long like:

“There’s a name for that: Stress Incontinence.”

And in the same vein: “There’s a Nap for that … ”

Ok, stress incontinence, since you asked:

Urinary incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine. Stress incontinence happens when physical movement or activity — such as coughing, sneezing, running or heavy lifting — puts pressure (stress) on your bladder. Stress incontinence is not related to psychological stress.

Stress incontinence differs from urge incontinence, which is the unintentional loss of urine caused by the bladder muscle contracting, usually associated with a sense of urgency. Stress incontinence is much more common in women than men [Is that fair??? – kb].

If you have stress incontinence, you may feel embarrassed, isolate yourself, or limit your work and social life, especially exercise and leisure activities. With treatment, you’ll likely be able to manage stress incontinence and improve your overall well-being. [Um, no kidding… ]

Ok, kids, carrion …

Spa-RINT! (National Novel Writing Camp)

Ok, here it is Saturday the 11th of April, somewhat sortof halfway through Nano Camp.

As many of you know Nano camp is related to National Novel Writing Month which takes place in November. November’s goal is to write 50,000 words, along with some 18 billion other novelists … ok I exaggerate but I am too lazy to look up the actual number of participants. It’s a lot, ok?

ANYway – this is the April 2015 Nano Camp, and I am in a virtual “cabin” with ten other like-minded individuals. My goal is to write 25,000 words in the 30 days, but anyone can set whatever goal they wish. I am finally caught up and even 100 words over my 833 word a day limit. I’m at 9268 words! (20,705 words total if you add the words I’d already written) Can I hear a wahoo? I also wanted to work on editing the present work but that bogs me down so much and I don’t make any progress toward “finishing” the book. So I am just focusing on the word count for now.

It’s going pretty well. I’ve never written a historical Christian novel before; it’s always been contemporary. But what I like to read are the historical ones. So why not try something I really like?

I’d like to thank the academy … hey, who do we thank when we write prize winning novels? Oh yeah, I’d like to thank my dog … wait. I don’t have a dog! (shaking my head) – well I’d like to thank my friends who like to read my drivel and who cheer me on, unconsciously or not.

So what are you all up to on a Saturday night? I think I am going to do another sprint   😀 (A sprint is where you set the clock, my friends and I like to do 15 minutes, and you write at breakneck speed until someone says to stop!)

Camp Nanowrimo, anyone? For writers in April

Many of you are familiar with Nanowrimo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place in November, and has often motivated me to work seriously on novel writing.

Well, in April and July they have what they call Nano Camp. You sign up to join a cabin, cook marshmallows, and, oh yeah, work on your novel.

The thing that is different about Nano Camp, as opposed to Nanowrimo in November, is that you can set your own word count, or, if you prefer, you can work on editing an existing novel (one hour is equivalent to 1000 words). You can also choose to work on a different kind of work, for example, a screenplay, short stories, or what have you. Again, you set your own goal, set the stop watch, and have at it.

So, anyone interested in joining me for April’s camp? My goal is to write 25,000 words. Not necessarily brand new words, because I have 17 k from my existing Nano novel from November that need to go somewhere. I am hopeful though that I will produce mostly new material.

I will be doing a major rewrite to the existing novel as well, because I have added a major character. This character is based upon a real-life friend of mine who barely refrains from pushing me, lol. This can be a motivating force, or can cause me to dig in my heels and refuse to work, lol. So far it has been the latter.

So, get with it, writers! Step up and be brave!

Blahbity blah…

Ok, I’m going to continue with my writing prompts, and maybe come back to the rest of the ones Quxiotic Faith had requested.

Another commenter (commentator?), my finely feathered friend Blahpolar, also requested #4 (interesting that that was so popular). Also requested were #3 and #22.

#3 reads: “Write as if you have decided not to blog after this; your last blog.”

Rats. I was hoping not to have to do that one. Haha!

If I were to write it, it would read as follows. “Goodbye cruel world. All is lost. Thank you for your efforts. I’d like to thank my many fans, including: … ”

Ok, maybe I would say a little more, like:

“I have noticed that I got more depressed after I started writing this blog. Then I got a little less depressed. I wonder if that is because I was exposed to issues, thoughts, and feelings that I had been avoiding. Confronting my ‘true’ religion, which is a lot less rigid than it had been. Confronting my past issues, which I had dealt with to a great degree, but which I had decided to bury. They do not like being buried but require continued vigilance and resolution. I’d like to thank the people who commented on my blog and stayed true to their own. It has been invaluable support as well as an education, and I am most grateful. I have decided, however, that this blog has served its purpose, which was partly to grease the wheels and enable me to work seriously on my novel. Not only have I finished one and had it published, but I have also contracted for two more, with huge advances! So thank you so much, little people! I could not have done it without you!

Which brings me to the realization that I really can’t do it without you. And so, with the hope that none of you is insulted, I have decided even in the writing of this post that I can’t leave this blog. It has been instrumental in my growth and in my career, and most likely will continue to be so. So, thank you again, and thank you God for helping me to realize that I need to stick with it.

My next blog post will be … ”

***********

Prompt #22 reads: “Reading other people’s blogs.”

I covered this a little bit in my “last post” (above). You guys, in a very short period of time, have served to inspire me, educate me, and encourage me. I have been entertained, my heart has been softened. As to the photography, it has done the same. I love the photography! The way it speaks to my heart in so many ways. All of this, reading your blogs, is a side benefit to writing my own. I had not considered that aspect. Blogging is more than regurgitating my own thoughts and feelings, but it’s also about that of others. I’d also like to think that I have supported others as much as I have been supported. So again, thank you!! And please keep blogging. I have come to care about many of you so much, and if you just dropped out, it would be a true loss to your fans, including myself.

And so, two more down, several prompts to go. Hope you are enjoying this as much as I am! Have a great Sunday and first day of March (YAY!), and, in the immortal words of pretend Arnold:

Fascination! And more …

Ok, let’s address some more of these writing prompts!

quixoticfaith asked me to expand upon several issues, and was “fascinated” regarding number four. (When my son disappeared when he was a child, and when he was AWOL from the Army). This was already addressed in a former blog post, Noise and Runaways.

Prompt #11 was: What is the difference between being treated for physical problems as a bipolar in the ER, when the bipolar diagnosis is known, versus when I withhold that information. Writing letters of complaint to the hospital, even though I am not one to complain.

There are two times that I can recall that really burned my britches in regard to medical treatment, and stigma against mental illness. The first is when I went to the ER with complaints of severe chest pain. This pain was not typical of any I had had before, and as a nurse I know that women’s heart disease is of great concern. I didn’t want to mess around with it. When I first got pulled into a room, and the nurse began to go over my health history, I “mentioned” that I had a history of bipolar disorder.

Suddenly I was whisked away to a separate section of the emergency room, “just in case you get anxious, dear. You won’t have to be around other people and be bothered. We’ll see you just as soon as we can.” Wham. The prison doors were shut. I was in a locked unit, and I spent the next I-don’t-know-how-long waiting to be seen. It seemed like hours. Guarded by a man in uniform, not monitored by EKG, nothing. The only concern they seemed to have was my mental health status, not my heart. I was not at that time experiencing any anxiety, other than what one would normally have with an episode of chest pain. I was not manic, or suicidal. Just, “by the way,” bipolar.

Finally, the doctor came in with a very serious expression. No eye contact. Very little in the way of a conversation, an exam, or diagnostic testing. After he was done, I was scuttled out the door with no discharge instructions, and no explanation for the symptoms I’d been experiencing. I almost felt like I’d been assaulted.

That incident resulted in letter #1 to the powers-that-be at the hospital. They had no right to treat me any differently than any other patient who comes in with cardiac type symptoms. They had no right to be concerned that I might “flip out,” just because I had a diagnosis of bipolar. And most of all, they had no right to not pursue and diagnose my cardiac symptoms. I came to one conclusion: The next time I had to come to the ER with a medical concern, I would not disclose my psychiatric diagnoses. They might discover it by other means, I suppose, but I would not volunteer the information. Sure enough, the next time I came to the ER with that in mind, I was treated with respect and concern that was just like that given to any other patient who presented to them.

Incident #2 was at another time, when I had been admitted to the psychiatric hospital for a manic episode. Shortly after my arrival, I began to have cardiac type symptoms, this time, much more severe. This psych hospital was affiliated with the same one that had put me in the back room of the emergency room. The psych hospital did take my blood pressure, and it was 200 something over 100. I was obviously very concerned. But it took me two hours to convince the physician’s assistant that I should be seen by a regular physician. My rights as a human being were being violated, and she would not even consult with anyone else to see what she should do, when I insisted. I believe that refusal had everything to do with the fact that I was having symptoms of my mental illness, and therefore was considered incompetent to make a decision regarding my care. Not cool at all.

Finally, the physician’s assistant agreed to consult with the doctor on call, and I was taken to the regular ER, accompanied by a psychiatric technician. She was a very nice woman, but a very meek one. She was not willing or able to ask for what I needed from the hospital staff. Eventually I was sent to radiation for x-rays and a cat scan, after which I was told that I had a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot in the lungs. This is a very serious medical condition which needs to be treated right away, or sudden death can occur. The doctors told me they would give me medication to dissolve the clot, and I was put in a darkened hallway to await treatment.

Here I was, in full blown mania and alone with the psych tech, waiting for them to save my life. I don’t mean to be so dramatic, but that was how I felt at the time. I had no monitor, and no emergency room staff available. Just a “wait here for a minute,” which became two hours. All I could think about was a man who had died while in my care when I was working as a nurse. He was a patient in the intensive care unit, and had turned blue and died within seconds. I was so shaken at the time by how it had occurred that I even attended his autopsy, to see if there had been anything that I could have done. I remember seeing those big maroon clots in the medical examiner’s glove, as he showed me what had caused the man’s death. And here I was in the hospital, awaiting what I thought might be the same fate. My symptoms of mania continued to escalate, along with the continued chest pain, but the psych tech would not intervene. To me, it was obvious that I needed some attention and care, but I felt like no one was listening.

Finally the resident came to me to tell me that they’d been mistaken, that there was no blood clot after all. Hence, letter #2 to the hospital after I was discharged from the psych hospital. First of all, I explained how the PA at the psych hospital should be disciplined and instructed for not acknowledging my right to be seen by a physician. Second of all, the regular hospital should have provided me protection and support, given my manic condition and severe anxiety. And whether I was manic or not, I should not have been tucked away in a hallway waiting for treatment, given the severity of the diagnosis they thought I had. It was total neglect all around, and certainly the results of that could have been tragic. This is to say nothing of the terror I was experiencing in a state of heightened awareness and emotions.

*************

Well, then! Stay tuned, because I am going to have a part II to address some more writing prompts! But it’s before noon, and I’ve had more than one cohesive thought; I think I have done pretty well this morning!

Pick a number, any number

Do any of these topics pique your curiosity? Let me know in the comments, and I will write about them in order of arrival. Help yourself to a topic to write about, or use it as a springboard for one of yours, if you like

  1. I really need the silence
  2. Kindnesses rendered
  3. Write as if you have decided not to blog after this; your last blog
  4. When my son disappeared when he was a child, and when he was AWOL from the Army.
  5. Psalm 95:6-7 (discussion)
  6. The beauty of the ordinary in photos
  7. I have no patience to wait for things
  8. Why I hate speedy wake ups
  9. I have more depression since I started blogging – is it the reading or the writing?
  10. I love flowers
  11. The difference between treated for other problems as a bipolar in the ER – when it is known versus when I withhold that information. Writing letters of complaint to the hospital even though I am not one to complain.
  12. We all need help with something
  13. My struggle with jealousy/envy
  14. Not talking about people in my blog – frustrated because I want to! So and so drives me crazy, this one I love, this one done me wrong song, etc. But isn’t it healthier to keep the focus on myself, anyway?
  15. Saying yes to life
  16. being short – humor
  17. tithing and offerings, versus paying my bills
  18. “Do what you love the money will follow,” a book I read
  19. difference between a Christian counselor and lay counselor, I think I already wrote this one
  20. The book I was going to write (autobiography), Shedding shells, including using photography and onion skin paper, making a mock-up of it – the beauty of the book as work of art as much as a literary “masterpiece” (haha)
  21. How I felt it was important to tell on people when I was in early recovery (sobriety and mental health), wanting to go on Oprah, Dr. Phil, etc.
  22. Reading other people’s blogs
  23. Writing fiction – blogging a chapter at a time
  24. Singing/writing songs and poetry as a child – building self esteem and why it didn’t work
  25. sexual abuse memories and whether they are true or not
  26. Story about the woman in the car moving to the passenger side.
  27. Trying not to think/ work that hard (even because of vision issues) v. lack of concentration
  28. My mother worked on a Fisherman knit sweater for my stepfather – a gesture of love

Meet Up – Before

Hi guys!

Tomorrow night I am going to a Meet Up. What this means is I have connected through a website called “Meetup.com”

Yeah, you had already figured that out, I’m sure. Anyway Meetup.com is a website that is helpful for people who want to find activities and people with their own interests. Let’s say that you jog, or write, or you’re a cat person, or you speak a foreign language, or you want to travel, or learn how to manage your money, etc. You enter your information at the site and select your interests, and, voilà! (French for “see this,” or “see that”) They send you a list of activities in your area that you may want to attend.

Then, every now and then, you receive updates in your email that tell you of new activities that are coming up soon in your area. Today I received a notice that a Word Press talk would be taking place in my area tomorrow. I know, short notice, but I may well have ignored previous notices; always possible.

So, I read the list through. WordPress. Hmm, that sounds fami… HEY! I have a WordPress blog! And I still need to learn a few stuffs!

And so, with only a few moments’ hesitation, I invited myself.

It’s that easy; the hard part is to go.

One thing that I have learned, in my years of recovery from alcoholism and mental illness, is that it’s important to occupy my time with things that are of personal interest to me. When my illness is active, all I can think about is the symptoms, or, in the case of alcoholism, my next drink.I have not had that problem for a long time so basically it is depression, along with its lethargy and lack of motivation, that cause my paralysis. It is rare for something to pique my interest when I’m feeling like I do lately.

So, we’ll see how it goes. I’ll let you know  😀

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Transporter.”

Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.

I’m sure there are many smells that I could come up with from my childhood: The smell of mom’s cigarette. The smell of urine soaked clothing after a walk home from school (the walk of shame). The smell of Mom’s cooking and baking, always served an hour later than I needed it.  Oh that long hour!

And there are the smells and sounds that evoke mixed feelings: those of a hot summer night that ended way too soon. It was still very very light out and the summer day was not spent, as far as I was concerned.  I was perhaps five years old. Mom had cruelly (in my eyes) insisted I go to bed. I was crushed! How could she make me go to bed already! I remember distinctly telling her no and throwing an uncharacteristic tantrum. But somehow she over-rode my logic and overpowered my resistance, and there I was in bed. I cried and cried, wiping my eyes on the hem of my light cotton PJ’s. The fact that they were relatively new did nothing for my sorrow.

And then the sound hit my ears: that soft meditative drone. Shortly after that, the smell of fresh cut grass and gasoline. My tears turned to sorrowful singing to accompany the sound. How devastated I was! And how put-upon! Had the song “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” not been yet written, that is what I would have been heard singing. Eventually, all combined led me to lie down in reluctant peace, and dreams, forgetting about my “horribly cruel” mother.

Somehow in my later years the sound of the mower, the smell of the grass, continued to be associated with peace, and a little bit of  longing. Dad was somewhere out there, all was well.  I could let go of my sorrows, and sleep.

I challenge my readers to do a similar exercise; would love to read your thoughts.

Bipolar Disorder, My Biggest Competitor

For those of you out there who have mental illness, like I do, this article will interest you. My greatest lament since I have been disabled is, “I used to be an ICU nurse, and I was good at it!” As if that means that now I am nothing. I know I am not “nothing,” and if I would quit lingering in the past I might get somewhere! Former Olympian Amy Gamble (photo, above) talks about a similar issue.

Blogging 101: Way Behind (but where I should be?)

Well, I am still doing the Blogging 101 class but now I am feeling wayyy behind. One assignment, to make nice with the neighbors – look up in my reader about topics that interest me and interact with bloggers who are writing about them. I thought, welllll I’m already doing that so check! Done.

The next assignment, to write to my ideal reader. Well, my friends, I have so many! lol… (by the way I had asked you guys to help me increase my followers and they went from 45 to 79 in a week! Don’t know if you had anything to do w/ that but thank you!)

Anyway – I will write to my ideal reader but then …

There came another assignment, but wait … do I have more than one blogging course going on? This is what I do. I start small and suddenly, POOF, I am overwhelmed.

I do this IRL (in real life) as well. I start small and manageable, as in jobs, as in volunteering/ helping others, and POOF, all of a sudden life is way too big and overwhelming.

As I have said ad nauseam, GUILT GUILT GUILT!!! is my greatest derailer.

Now why would I feel so guilty all the time!

Number one, I grew up Catholic.

Ok, I hear crickets, especially from the Catholic corner lol… I know it’s a cliche … But I want you to know, I’ve heard a lot of Baptist preachers, and they do their own share of guilting people, for not doing enough, or for not doing the right things, or for feeling the wrong way … you get my drift, sigh. This is the faith I have chosen – or God has chosen. AA says, take what you like, and leave the rest. Well, as a Christian, it has to be more like, Take what GOD says, and leave the rest! And some of the legalism I hear is not from God! And here I am, a sitting duck. Vulnerable, seeking truth and support and “the right way,” and there I am feeling guilty again!

Yes, we all know what we are supposed to do with guilt. Throw it out the window.

Some guilt, of course, is warranted! When you do something wrong, you SHOULD feel bad. You SHOULD rectify it.

Shame is another thing. I learned in recovery group circles that guilt is for what you’ve done, shame is for what you are.

And I had my share of THAT growing up. I don’t want to tell you – ok I will tell you. Parents and older siblings who said “You’re stupid, you should know better, you’re not enough, you never do anything right,” does that all sound beneficial to the soul of a child? But guess what, I bet there are few children who didn’t suffer that to some degree. So why did my psyche take it in more than those of you who don’t carry that stuff around?

That makes me tear up…  😥  But I try not to “go there.” It’s in the past and I have learned a LOT since then.

But I am still struggling. Is it my diagnosis of bipolar, my anxiety, that are making me less and less able to function?

Ok, rewind… the Church inflicted a lot of guilt, family … what about friends and lovers?

Now I admit that in my younger years I was not exactly chaste. And my choices of partners were not the best… Again with the “You’re stupid, you should know better, you’re not enough, you never do anything right,” how about we add some more … you’re not pretty enough, you aren’t enough to earn my loyalty, my fidelity, you aren’t worth my efforts to treat you better…

Ok I’m getting maudlin here.

Now there is the fourth villain: My own head. Yes, I have taken all those messages, stirred them up, added some sugar, some alcohol, some bad behaviors, some misunderstood theology, baked them for an hour at 350* … um, ok, more like 55 years, at 800* …

(Ok Kat quit whining about guilt, could you please write about something else???)

And there I come to the ideal reader. The one who is reading this. Someone who can listen, maybe nod and say “I hear you,” or even, “BTDT (been there done that).” The one maybe who is having a good day when I’m not. And vice versa! Because my favorite thing to do is help you have a good day! Or, especially, make you laugh!

So, I guess I completed another assignment. Unless … you would rather not listen to my whining. In which case you have two choices:

1. Read another of my blogs that is not so negative.

2. Hang up the phone. After all, no one is forcing you to stay here, lol…

(even though it will break my heart if you leave, pout, grin …)