Posted in Anxiety, Depression

January 11th

I can only write about this now that it is behind me and things are much better. I went back and forth, weighing the pros and cons, whether I wanted to post this or not, because I don’t like to bring things here that are not uplifting and inspiring. Reality is, life is not always candy and roses and sometimes we struggle with the seriousness of it. What swayed my final decision was the knowledge that depression and anxiety is real. It happens to the best of us, no matter how optimistic and positive we might be. It is something that needs to be shared to help others instead of leaving it in the shadows. It is something that needs to be addressed to let others know that they are not alone. I hope to accomplish this here.

After spending the last ten month in Germany caring for Mom, and recently returning back to the states, I realized how exhausted and weak I had become. Months of sitting by her bedside, struggling with the humidity and other things had left my body with minimal movement and exercise. It resulted in chronic pain of various levels that became a constant. On top of it, I got to experience the extreme pain of a cold shoulder which still affects me today. It’s awful and if you ever had to deal with it, you know that you can’t reach overhead, behind your back, or sleep on that shoulder. Trying to compensate, my entire neck and back region became stiff and one tight mess which robbed me of sleep. With minimal rest for several month, I eventually started my 22 hour journey back to the states. It was too much and my body started to give out. At one point while traveling I didn’t know if I would make it back without asking for help. I managed, drugged up and with the help of painkillers (Advil). It was a bandaid, to prolong the inevitable and just a days after my arrival, I could feel things happening. My legs were so tight, all the way from my calves up to the thighs, it felt like everything was on fire and inflamed. I couldn’t sit on the ground or kneel, and my knee was still hurting from the nasty fall that I took the week prior to my departure.

My health kept deteriorating, but I started to rest a little better in my own bed. I was in so much pain and everything was a struggle. The pain wasn’t just in one spot like it usually is and my entire body seemed to suffer. There was that unstable left ankle that felt as if I had twisted it at some point and it never got right again. It left me wobbly and unsure of my footing. There was the left wrist, which bone was sticking out in an unusual way caused from carrying too heavy bags visiting Mom and from carrying heavy grocery bags. There was the left knee that hurt from the fall and was very sore. Both shoulders were hurting by now and robbed me of sleep, which in turn rendered me unable to perform basic tasks. Not all yet, there were also my legs that felt on fire and there was a pain in my thighs every time I sat down. I just couldn’t get comfortable any which way. I couldn’t stand and walk, and I couldn’t sit and lay. It was misery spelled with capital letters. And finally there were the hands that were weak and couldn’t even hold a plate. I think several past I couldn’t comb my hair.

It kept building and it ate away at me. I became very worried and scared that this might be my new future. It couldn’t be, or could it? They say life isn’t fair, was this the moment that would convince me that this statement is true? Then there was the silence and worry, due to the iPad not working and not being able to talk to Mom. Although I had left Germany, I knew nothing was resolved. Mom was banking on me to get her out of the nursing home. This would mean to dissolve my own life of 30 years, clear and sell a house while I struggled to hold a plate. An immense burden and responsibility that crushed me underneath. Then there was this job issue and not earning any money. And how could I possibly earn any money feeling like this! I was overwhelmed to say the least.

The night into January 10th, I had to get up four times. It was a restless night that was trying and further ate away at me. January 11th, I was woken unexpectedly early and I was beyond sleep deprived. For once the pain allowed me to rest, but then it was something else that robbed me of it again. It was detrimental to me. Every waking hour was hardship and pain and the day started with tears in my eyes because I didn’t know how to put my socks on. My hands and fingers hurt so much it was nearly impossible. I cringed and eventually managed. I never recovered that day and at times I felt like I was having an out of body experience, seeing myself there, a pile of misery just wasting away. Over and over the tears would start and well up my eyes. I couldn’t listen to music, I couldn’t watch TV, I couldn’t do anything. I’m not sure I had a desire to live. With the pain worsening and not getting better, I felt helpless and for the first time I wasn’t so sure anymore that I would pull through all that was going on. Everything was hopeless and nothing mattered anymore. I was scared and found myself caught in a vicious cycle. I really think that I had an emotional breakdown. I wasn’t panicked and felt strangely calm. But I felt so empty and spent, like I had given it all and had no strengths left. All hope and faith I had, my two swords of power were dwindling away. It was awful.

Exhausted I went to bed that night, praying and calling out to the universe to help me. I felt like a wounded warrior, raw and vulnerable. I had no answers as I wondered if this was how it was meant to end. I could only hope I was not yet defeated, and I wasn’t.

January 12th, I woke up rested and to a much clearer head that was able to prioritize the overbearing weight of everything. Surprisingly the day past that was so hard for me, seemed so far away. I felt transformed and everything seemed lifted. I made myself a step goal to get moving, and started exercising through the pain. I got past the fear of my heart weakness from the symptoms I was showing and told myself that there is no better time then now. I’m eating healthy and I’m determined. Physically, I am getting better and yesterday I walked 3819 steps. That might not be a big deal, but it was for me. That’s how bad things had gotten.

Depression and anxiety is real and this has been a scary time for me. I can’t remember last when I had to fight this much to earn my place here. Just to manage the basics. It’s been a tough road full of challenges and I know that some are not so lucky as I am. It’s easy to give up and it’s always harder to fight. January 11th will stand out in my memory as one of my toughest days, but also as one that forced a choice and the believe that the darkness doesn’t last forever. Ask for help and let it go. Don’t be afraid to confide in your loved ones and the universe to support you and always know you don’t have to carry it all by yourself. It can be a very dark and lonely place, but hope and faith is real as well.

Wishing you bright days filled with light and minimum darkness. Stay the course, believe and find something to hold on to. Bless you. ♥️

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Posted in Europe, History

The old fortress

Back to Germany and back to one of Mom’s favorite hangouts. The old fortress is privately owned these days and was converted into a guesthouse / hotel / and restaurant. A perfect mixture of old world charm with a modern flair. I got to spend the night there a few years back and would definitely do it again. Last year we got to celebrate Mom’s 80’s birthday there and it was a very special day.

This picture was taken at a later time with just Mom and me, enjoying a couple of deers in the foreground of the fortress.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Inspiration

Inner Peace

Picture taken from Pinterest

It was just today that another comment came through to one of my posts I have written in Dezember. It was a post about anxiety, a post that has become one of my more popular posts. So what is that say?

It spoke directly to my heart, as I have felt a lot of anxiety within the last year. And I can usually deal with stress pretty good, but not this time, and life dialed my number in a big way. I felt hopelessly lost in darkness and loss, a depression that’s dangerous, and a anxiety that threatened to choke the life right out of me. In the middle of circumstances out of my hand, feeling hopeless and for the most part alone.

We don’t usually like to talk about those things, do we? I felt it relevant of having to revisit this topic in the hopes to shed light. So why do we keep it all hush hush under the rug? Are we afraid to be viewed as damaged, maybe we would lose our spot in society that we fought so hard for achieving. What about our reputation, would we dare to let someone see our true self?

Your responses told me how many others are out there that are dealing with anxiety every day in the hopes of finding their way. There is a need, a yearning for something to hold onto, whatever that might be. I hope to help and add to that something. There is a beautiful dream we all dream and that is to achieve inner peace. But what will it take?

Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question, as it is different for all of us, but I can bring awareness to the subject. Anxiety and depression is real. Both involve fear as the driving force. Have you acknowledged that? What is it that you are fearful of, how can you eliminate these things from your life? Perhaps it is helplessness which was a big part of my case that is causing you stress.

My best advice to you is to listen to yourself, your heart and your body. Listen to your soul, it already knows the way and everything happens for a reason. Even the real shitty stuff, and chances are you will come out a better person if you can stay the course. You will be wise and full of enlightenment, a warrior and force to be reckoned with.

Don’t be apologetic for taking time for yourself and missing out on prior commitments. No excuses and lies. You are worth it and you are enough.

Stop trying so hard to please everybody around you. The right people, your tribe will love you for who you are and wouldn’t want to change a thing about you.

Forgive yourself often, nobody is perfect. Live and learn and move on. Don’t look back, you are not going there and the past has seldom anything new to say.

  • Love with your heart wide open and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Somebody can only hurt you if you allow them to. Shame on them if they take advantage of you. But that is really none of your concern is it now, and you don’t need to get hung up about it. Let it roll off, no need to judge or avenge. Karma will have a way by itself. Knowing that, do you think you could ever get to a point feeling sorry for the person who has just hurt you? Sometimes it’s not because they deserve your forgiveness, but because you deserve freedom and peace of mind.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff? Choose your battles. Will it matter next week?
  • Anger…let it go. Tell me your greatest successes about anger. Where has it ever gotten you? Have you told somebody off and won a fight? And now what????
  • Practice compassion for the next person and always put yourself into their shoes. How can make their day brighter? Pay it forward and it will return back to you.
  • Stay positive and believe in the silver lining.
  • Those are some of the things I have learned in the past and who serve me well. Yet anxiety and depression don’t care, and haven’t stopped knocking on my door. Soon or later, we will all go through a rough patch. It’s serious and dangerous, but you can do it. The darkness is not forever and one day can mean all the difference. It did for me, and I wish you the best of luck. Keep fighting and stay strong. You are never alone and I root for you with all my heart. You got this. 🦋❤️
  • Posted in Inspiration, Photography

    Layers of life

    Just a light dusting on Red Rock mountains. I got to visit this neat place the other day and just sit in front of it and ponder life.

    Over the years I have seen the layers of erosion pull back and expose more and more of the beauty that lies beneath. I don’t know why but it made me think about so many of us, trying to preserve our facade, scared to expose our core. For what, because we are afraid of getting hurt, losing layers of ourselves and exposing our vulnerable selfs?

    I came to the conclusion that the elements and opportunities will always be there to wash away at us. But gosh, look how beautiful it can be if we choose to surrender and don’t be afraid.

    Posted in Inspiration, Spirit animals

    Fox Prayer

    Look at this cute little light up fox water-globe. Isn’t it just the cutest? I got it at a Christmas party 2017, in a gift exchange. Well actually it wasn’t even mine, and the recipient didn’t care for it, nor did she want it. What a shame, but what luck for me, and it must have been written all over my face that I couldn’t believe she didn’t like it. “Here you go” she said, handing me the globe. Like a bandit, I made out with two gifts, although I offered to give her my other present and would have gladly traded, but she didn’t care for that either. There was something right away for me about this water globe, I just didn’t knew what, and I didn’t give it much thought. It was not unusual that things speak to me, and sometimes it takes a long time until they finally find their true purpose and rightful spot. I don’t force it, it go with my gut feeling and intuition. Yep, my house is truly an eclectic mix of things.

    Because of the uniqueness of how things transpired, I would say it was the time that fox spirit came into my life. I have never seen a real fox here in the states, but I saw one while I was in Germany. A truly magical moment. Little did I know that a special person and friend would enter my life shortly after, who is very closely associated with the fox spirit. As a fellow writer and soul sister, I have come to love the fox just a little extra because of it. When it is lit and illuminated, it reminds me of all the light and all the good within. The globe to me is symbolic for a protective bubble, and if you do good things and carry light within your heart, karma will always find a way to protect you and keep you safe.

    Today, I see my beloved water globe every day and it is a way to connect and send healing and good energy across the miles. It makes me smile and there is a special connection that is only growing stronger.

    Which brings me to this special fox prayer, I would like to share with you.

    I call on Fox.

    Shapeshifter and trickster

    Edge walker and messenger

    Help me blend with my surroundings

    And adapt to the changing landscapes

    Show me the hidden paths between the worlds

    Teach me the ways of invisibility and camouflage

    Gift me your keen senses

    That might see more of what is around me

    And use it to accomplish my goals

    I call on you fox

    To bring magic and discernment into my life

    Lead me at your steady gait to those places

    Where I might do the greatest good

    Let us walk the borders between day and night

    And follow the scent of divine mischief

    Fox, I call on you

    Posted in Inspiration, Spirit animals, Spirituality

    Spiritual guidance

    It was wonderful to talk to Mom today, and Moni made it all happen. I am so grateful and relieved to be in touch with her again, and she seemed obviously excited to get her iPad back. Who would have thought it, but despite all doubts, it was a brainstorm of genius to get it for her. She has come to love listen to her music whenever she pleases, and it’s a means to stay in touch with me.

    If you follow this blog, you have noticed that I haven’t been in a good place as of lately. Physical and emotional pain truly had me struggle for awhile, and although I’m not out of the woods just yet, I am crawling my way back up towards the light, and I am getting better.

    You will also know that I’m in tune with my animal world, and any spiritual messages that might come true. It’s been quiet and I really didn’t get many signs while I was in Germany, but the other day, the universe had quite a few things to say.

    The day started with a beautiful white blanket of snow. Everything was clean and fresh. Symbolic for a new start and new beginnings. Symbolic of purity and cleansing away the dirt, even if only covered up.

    While doing the dishes, a young hawk came to visit and sat on the wires across my kitchen window, as if watching me. He sat there for over an hour, silent, just watching me through the window. Like all messages, if you believe in this sort of thing, was a powerful one.

    “You’re caught up in too many details, so step back so you can get a greater perspective on the situation. Stay alert and focused on the task before you, eliminating as many distractions as possible. Spent some time observing and studying the situation, and when it’s time for action, make it quick and decisive. Pay close attention to your surroundings, as you’re about to receive an important message. Be aware of any personal or psychic attacks, and be prepared to defend yourself. Stop trying to change others or just situation, And work instead on excepting things as they are”.

    Later on that day while venturing outside, a donkey crossed my path with another message.

    “Volunteer and give your time and physical energy to a service organization that’s compatible with your philosophy and believes. Listen to and respect your intuition, particularly when it comes to doing something that has potential risks. Take your time and proceed cautiously and slowly, but keep on moving ahead, pausing only to determine the best direction to go toward your destination. The more you express and honor your inner truth, the more recognition and acknowledgment you’ll receive”.

    Finally at night I went to bed with the sound of coyotes near by, bringing yet another message.

    “Lighten up, you are taking things from much too seriously. The resources you need are available. Something quite unexpected and not necessarily welcome is about to happen. Rather than fighting or running from the situation, it will work out better if you adjust to it. Look for the lessons in the turmoil you’re experiencing. Forgive yourself for any mistakes or errors, and look for the gifts that have come out of the experience”.

    So all in all I would say that this is a time of healing and renewal for me. To shed or cover up what no longer serves me and to be pure at heart.

    To break things down into smaller portions, vs getting overwhelmed by too many steps and too much detail. To own what I can impact, and to learn to accept what is not mine to change. What is truly my destiny, and what is not my baggage to carry. Being emotionally and physically drained, put into perspective and showed me that we might not always like the outcome life has for others, but it’s not our path to walk and if we are not careful we might lose more of ourself then we actual have to give. It’s a delicate balance and one that will pull in your heartstrings for sure.

    Donkey cautioned me to put my energy into a worthy cause. This could be job related, while it urges me to do something I am passionate about and not waste my time. To keep moving forward in what I’m doing, like now, even if the process is slow.

    And finally I’m reminded that more fight is ahead of me, and perhaps it is not really a fight that needs to happen, but a matter of forgiveness and seeking the lessons learned. Even during a time of turmoil, there is always a silver lining, a time to adjust, and a life with your own choices in the making.

    Posted in Depression, Life

    What a difference – A new day

    It started snowing yesterday afternoon, and while a huge storm and high winds whipped the land outside, on the inside I was fighting a different kind of storm. My last post already indicated that I wasn’t in a good place, and if ever I was close to a mental and emotional breakdown, perhaps the day was yesterday. I crumbled under the physical pain I was experiencing, and the emotional stresses of months passed. My insides matched the storm outside, dark and gray, everything felt hopeless and it is those very moments, feeling like this, that scare me to death. I recognize the danger of those times, the vulnerability, and not trusting myself, nor my judgement.

    After a better than average night of rest, I woke up to roughly 8 inches of white, heavy powder. The world looked beautiful, covered in its white gown and I was happy of not having to drive to work in it. Surely there had been numerous accidents this morning, and avoiding the whole thing was a true blessing.

    I was sitting there, still kind of out of it, having my morning coffee as the iPad rang and announced that Mom was calling. Immediately all the worries about the darn thing not working surfaced, not having talked to Mom in ages, I found myself overwhelmed yet again. With tears in my eyes, looking a mess, almost unable to speak, I found myself answering and found my cousin Moni on the other end. With the help of her husband and some work friends, they had managed to get the iPad reset and reprogrammed again. She made a test call to see if it worked and I couldn’t thank her enough. I don’t even know what I babbled along and I’m running out of thank you’s for her. She has been my rock and has helped me so much while I was there, prior to going, and beyond, I always find myself searching for ways of how I can make it up to her. And I always find myself coming up short. Most likely I will get to talk to Mom tomorrow and I’m relieved. Relieved in the sense of it working again and a few things Moni has shared with me. Apparently Mom has grown very fond of her iPad and was very reluctant to let it go. Bless her heart, embracing technology at 80 years of age, but I know it’s more than that. She loves to listen to her music and was also concerned because it is her only way to communicate with me. She has mentioned only good things about me Moni informed me, and I no longer had to worry about Mom forgetting what we worked so hard on during my stay. A relationship between mother and daughter, and she remembered and tucked that love somewhere deep inside of her. The bitterness seemed to be gone and perhaps the little diary with our pictures I so frantically finished the last couple of days, might have helped as well.

    Later on in the day, a beautiful email came through from my soul sister Amanda who has come to know me so well in such a short time. I don’t remember ever being so moved by the words of someone else, especially someone I have never met in person, yet feel such a deep connection with. She knows my heart and soul to a point that’s nearly impossible to understand, and yet she does. Maybe it could be a bit frightening at times to be involved on such a deep, honest and unexplainable level at times, but to me it is a blessing and simply beautiful. I am very grateful that our paths have crossed.

    The day got even better in the form that my pain was minimal, and for the first time in two weeks, I seemed to have caught a break. I got myself together, got dressed and put my make up on. Finally, I could see myself in the mirror, after the ugly crying from the morning was all behind me. No longer was I trying to mask the pain with make up behind a tired and aged appearance, but glimpses of myself and a playful inner child surfaced. “Hello, I have missed you” I said to myself in the mirror and vowed that today would be the beginning of the end. To continue to get better, to get healthy, to get my life in order and to pursue my dreams. I felt good and even had a little spirit messenger visit and stay with me for quite some time.

    Despite the storm and a cloudy forecast, it was during those moments of hope and newfound belief that the sun came out and stayed all day. And of course I took it as another sign again and reassurance to keep going. I even got out and meet up with someone very special to take a drive in the country. From there we encountered another feisty animal, this time a donkey and there is always something a little unusual that happens when we are around animals. Those always turn into memories to remember and stories to be told for a good laugh later.

    What a difference a day can make. All storms pass eventually, but it’s a matter of holding on and riding it to completion that makes you emerge full of hope and faith once more. Stay strong out there, nothing lasts forever, no matter how painful it gets. You got this….

    Hugs xoxoxo

    Posted in Life, Mom

    Christmas Eve with Mom

    This is a special picture and memory for me, one that has been so rare and non existent over the past decades. Spending Christmas Eve with Mom was packed with emotions and full of firsts. Taken in from a much different level than childhood memories, and the adult side now.

    I don’t remember ever watching Mom unwrap a present, and here she is overjoyed about the biography book from her favorite hit duo. She was soooo surprised that I found the book and went through all the trouble of getting it. It was almost unbelievable to her that she was actually holding it in her hands. A miracle, perhaps to her. Ahem, yes, thank you, Amazon, 😉 you delivered in more ways than one.

    It was a bittersweet night and our last, before departing to the U.S. I miss her greatly and I have been out of touch with her. The iPad I got her also for Christmas to keep in touch apparently performed an update overnight, now asking for a code to get back into which nobody knows or has set. It’s hard to be so far away, unable to resolve issues, with the hopes of getting to talk to her soon again. Luckily my cousin Moni remains to be a big help, but still. It’s hard going from talking and seeing each other just about every day for ten month to nothing at all. I’ve been a mess and I can only imagine how she feels. Sometimes I fear she will forget everything we worked so hard for this year, and that our closeness is getting lost. I know that none of it is really in my control, but there is not a day that goes by where I don’t think about her and wonder what she is doing. How her state of mind is, if she is holding up with me being gone, and no contact at all. It truly is frightening and it’s weighing on me. I might be physically removed from the situation, but emotionally my heart is very much attached and I know it continues to affect my health.

    Fact is that’s it’s almost been two weeks that I’ve been back, and I’m not getting any better. Maybe I’m not patient enough, not giving myself enough time and rest, but it’s scary since I have never felt like this. Maybe felt close to this, but not with circumstances like these. With pain 24/7, depression becomes a real contender and I struggled hard today. Nothing is resolved and I know Mom is counting on my. I know she needs me, and yet I am no good to here because I have to save myself first. In a dark cloud this morning I was wondering if it was even possible, and everything was very dreary and hopeless. Seldom have I lost my optimistic side and hope. I finally had to stop and distract myself with something that has always been very soothing to me. I painted while listening to soft music in the background. It felt good and I know that I have to allow myself some time for moments like this to nourish my soul.

    Still, where do you start when everything is so overwhelming? When you feel too sick to look for a job. What is it even that I want to do now? What can I do at my age now? When you don’t have health insurance anymore because your company went bankrupt while you were in Germany caring for your ill mother. Which also means you can’t go to the doctor to get better. Guess you are just riding out that storm, fingers crossed you make it through. Oh yeah, and remember to do that with no income but your expenses continuing. What if you haven’t worked in ten month, but you are mentally exhausted? When further issues that need attention such as to dissolve a life of thirty years and all you have acquired. Selling a house, blah, blah, blah. I know I am being negative right now and hopefully I am better later. It bothers me to think of what this blog is becoming. Once a place of inspiration, it has become a place of pain. Whatever it might be, it is authentic and real, just like life, our joys and our shortcomings. It’s a place to show you, out there struggling yourself, that you are not alone, and I think that is important because we all need something to hold in to during those times. Nobody is exempt and we all have the pleasure to experience them.

    I am not looking for pity, a ton of advice to prioritize things, and the obvious pointers that I am too hard on myself. The cards will fall one way or another, I just needed an outlet and to get some pressure off of my chest. Thank you for letting me do so and for still coming back to this place. It means everything.

    Hugs, Xoxoxoxo 💙🦋