Category Archives: prayer

fear and uncertainty …

filled his blue eyes, open wide and full of worry.  At first glance, from the hallway, the only visible things were a single foot protruding from beneath a blanket and a partially filled urinal on the tray table.

I wondered, before walking into the room to speak with him, what I would find.  I was already feeling badly for him simply knowing that a container holding his urine sat on a table where soon, his lunch would be placed.

I felt that surely, had there been family present, that would not have been the case and, not to my surprise, I found him alone.

He was worried.  It was evident in his sad, sad eyes.  They were wide open, showing the incredible blueness, wrinkled at the edges from a lifetime of emotion; laughter, tears, anger.

He was a widower.  He had children, but his voice betrayed his attempt at courage as he spoke of wishing to go home.  His blue eyes became even more sad as he spoke of a home that he knew, in his heart, he would not return to.

I felt a wave of righteous fury toward his children, none of whom had been to visit him during his week-long stay in the hospital, as he spoke of having nobody to care for him.

I thought of my own father.  Thought of his sadness were he to lose my mother and be left to live out his days without the woman that he loved more than life.

Many times, and to my mother I have said such, I have prayed that if my parents cannot die at the same time, I hope my dad goes first.  I cannot bear to even entertain the thought of him trying to cope without my mother.  He is strong in body and spirit, but would be lost without her.

She, on the other hand, is tough as nails.  A survivor full of beauty and strength and would, though with sadness and tears, move on and make the best of a seriously bad situation.

While her tears would cut me deeply, tears shed by my dad shatter me.  I would be of little use to him, not that he would last for long without her as he would soon die of sadness.  I know this as surely as I know the sun rises in the East.

But I digress.  I wasn’t speaking of my parents, but of poor, sad-eyed mister who lay in the hospital bed, dwarfed by the room, confused by the lingo, hurt by the antipathy of his children.

He wanted to go home and held, other than that wish, no other ambition or hope.

It would not come to pass.  He would not go home.  Not to the home where he lived for over fifty years with his wife before she died.  Not to the home where his children, who had now abandoned him, had been raised.

He would not go back to where the garden once thrived with vegetables and a myriad of flowers in the summertime, the trees bursting full and golden in Autumn.

He would not walk the familiar halls that had brought him comfort in his time of need.

He would not sleep in the bed that conformed to his body due to years of use.

He would be a stranger among strangers.

It took all of my strength and everything I could dig from the depths of myself to not burst into tears while speaking to him; seeing him old and broken and alone.

His wide eyes, full of worry, filled me with compassion and empathy.  I, in my mind and heart, brought him home with me.  Though there is an unwritten rule among nurses to not become too attached, he has been here, dancing on the edges of my thoughts, since the day I met him.

I have cried for him, prayed for him and inwardly cursed his children for their inattentiveness.   I want, in these last years of his life, happiness for him.

I try no to get too attached, but I am human and I fall in love with those the world has so blithely displaced.  He will remain in my prayers and though I will likely never see him again, his eyes will haunt me.

They haunt me now as do so many others; young, old, suffering, addicted, betrayed, sickened, world-weary souls who need, more than anything else, to be loved.

I have said it before and I reiterate it now … I am too softhearted to be a  nurse.  I always have been.

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Leviticus 19:32  ~ Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.

Posts about Mother’s Day …

and how much we love and appreciate our mothers will likely be abundant.  My mother knows already how much I love and cherish her as I tell her every day.  My daughter tells me regularly that she loves me and shows it in a thousand beautiful little ways.

This post is, in a round-about way about Mother’s Day, and yet along a different vein altogether.

While for many, even those who have lost their mothers to death, Mother’s Day weekend is a time of tearful celebration.  It is a time to reflect on family, on love, on life itself.

But the celebratory spirit doesn’t reach everyone.

My heart is heavy tonight for those that I both know personally and those I simply know of, who have been unable to conceive a child.  A child that would be cherished above all else.  A child to complete the circle of life as far as they are concerned.

Imagine a day where children are celebrating their mothers,  mothers are celebrating their children and yet, for so many, there is no child to celebrate.

No hand print cards.

No artwork on the refrigerator.

No smells of talcum powder and baby shampoo.

Only an emptiness that threatens to consume them; mind, body and spirit.  A brokenness that soon leads to feelings of failure and inadequacy that fill each waking hour of every single day.   Knowing that they would give the last drop of blood in their body for a single moment of holding that tiny life, born of themselves, in their arms.

Imagine the anger and frustration, the anxiety, depression and psychological pain that comes from the anticipation followed by disappointment, month after year after decade until there is nothing left but a hopelessness that destroys everything good and pure in their lives.

It would, I imagine, be all-consuming and destructive on many levels.

Mother’s day, for them, must be like pouring salt in a wound, shattering an already broken heart.

Yes, my heart goes out to them and I am, even as I write this, crying openly for the hopes and fears that they harbor inside themselves.

I wish I could encourage them, hold them against my breast and tell them that everything will be ok.  But in their minds and hearts, everything is not ok.

So I will do the only thing I know to do … I will pray for peace, for hope, for the fulfillment of their dreams and the for the courage  to face whatever tomorrow may bring.  I believe, with everything in me, in the love of a faithful Heavenly Father and while I don’t always understand His ways, I trust him.

I know that such prayers are answered, for I have seen it with my own eyes, felt it with my own heart and rejoiced in the glory of it with my own spirit.

1John 14-15 ~ 14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Hope is a good thing … and no good thing every dies.

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Get out of my OR …

were the words he said.  Actually, he didn’t say them as much as angrily and red-faced screamed them, and this, might I add, is the severely cleaned up  version of his tirade.  There were many other quite colorful words he said as he pointed his scalpel at me.  A scalpel, I must say, that he hadn’t had the chance to use yet.

I was a very young, very green, very squeamish nursing student.  It wasn’t a hundred years ago, but looking back, it seems so.  I had already told my instructor that I was a bit apprehensive about rotating through the surgery suite, but she, having more faith in me than she should have, encouraged me to “give it a whirl”.  I gave it a whirl alright; right to the ground.  I had one of my biggest pump-knots ever from that experience, not to mention my wounded pride.

The victim, aka patient, was draped and swathed over their entire abdomen, with betadine.  The first incision hadn’t been made and yet, just seeing that poor soul lying there like a corpse, covered in the magenta colored antiseptic, made my head spin.  I sang in my mind, as I often did when I was nervous, Bee-Gees songs.  Something about that beautiful Barry’s falsetto  just calmed me right down.  In this particular case, however, it was ineffective.  The head Operating Room nurse (who was a very formidable character) had placed me nearby, but not close enough to get in the way.  At least that was what she thought.  Every time she looked at me with those sharp, intelligent, hard eyes, I felt like I was five years old and about to get a spanking.  I stood in the exact spot she put me and didn’t move an inch; not one single inch.  Up until , that is, the point that I passed out.

The Surgeon, one who was known for his quick temper and blatant intolerance, didn’t even glance in my direction.  I was, as far as he was concerned, little more than a gnat to be swatted away.  He was in his element an he knew it;  reveled in it … a god in his own heaven.  The fact that there was a young nursing student watching his every move just enhanced his already inflated ego and even so,  he still didn’t acknowledge my presence.  I was glad of that because I was, without a doubt, terrified.

I looked at the poor soul that was about to be cut on, saw the red hue of the betadine and felt myself getting warm.  I had never passed out before, so I didn’t recognize the warning signs.  I had no idea how much damage simply collapsing in a heap could cause.

If I had only passed out and fell without incident, I suppose he would have just left me there until he was finished; caring not if I were alive or dead and happy in his existence, either way…  but that isn’t what happened.  At the moment I realized that I was going down, I reached out.  (after all, isn’t that what people do when they realize they are falling?  reach out for something to brace themselves with?)  In this particular case, the thing I caught hold of was THE  sterile tray of items needed for the surgery at hand.  I pulled gauze, instruments and towels to the floor, thus compromising the sterility of everything that would be needed f0r the surgery.  One of the towels landed across part of my face; the instruments and gauze strewn about me.  The spell lasted only, as fainting spells often do, a few seconds.  But my, oh my, the havoc that a few seconds can have  on an already tense situation.

When I woke up (again, after only a few seconds), the surgeon was standing over me, scalpel pointed at the part of my face (namely my eyes) that weren’t covered by the previously sterile towel, screaming at me to get the #$&% out of his OR and ensuring me that if I ever came back to his operating suite, he would strangle me with his own hands and laugh while I was being buried.  Being young, green and very impressionable, I did the only thing I could think of to do; I started crying.  That pissed him off even more and I learned a whole slew of new words.  Some of them, nearly thirty years later, I still don’t know the meaning of.

Needless to say, I was banned, for all eternity, from the OR and had to spend an extra three weeks (I’m now convinced it was solely as punishment) in Pediatrics just to get enough clinical hours to get me through Nursing School.  By some miracle, I graduated, passed my boards and ended up actually making a living as a nurse.

I became less squeamish as years passed and tasks that had to be don were less daunting. Other than watching someone be hacked on, I found could tolerate many gruesome things.  As I get older, though, and I am older for that experience happened more than 25 years ago, I find myself becoming  squeamish again.  More often than not these days,  I find it’s hard not to gag at the myriad of things that people bring to “show the nurse”.  There are things I don’t need to see, things I don’t need to hear and things I wish I never knew existed.  These days, my least favorite phrase is “ears!” for God knows that the things that grow in people’s ears is as close to Hell as one can come without actually getting burned.

I am not thwarted, though, because unless I am discovered as a writer or photographer, I can retire in  another 100 years.  Wait, I’ll be dead by then and I won’t have to worry about it anymore and the fear of humiliation will be noting more than a bad memory.

We learn things as we go through life.  Things that make us stronger, more secure or simply cut us off at the knees and then kick us while we are bleeding out in front of the spectators.  I still sing Bee-Gees songs when I get nervous about something and I still wonder, at times, if this will be the moment when I hit the floor.  It is, if nothing else, an adventure in itself, but I’m finding the adventure to be less adventurous and more arduous as time passes.  But, like I said, in 100 years, I can retire.  I am counting the minutes.

Soaring

Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly far; far, far away from here ~ Jenny in Forrest Gump

A woman cries ….

for a variety of reasons and, inexplicably, at times, for no reason at all.  Tears fall as though they will never end, sobbing with indelible sorrow that may not be sorrow at all.  A woman’s heart is a vast place that has many crevices and corners, turns and twists that often have no meaning, no direction.  Just because I cry doesn’t mean that I am weak.  On the contrary, each tear that falls makes me stronger, whether I understand the reason for the tears or not.  They are, after all, signs of unspeakable grief and unbounding love.  They are part of what makes us who we are.

My life has been riddled with tears for one reason or another.  Loss, sorrow, betrayal, hurt, humiliation, and then, at times, for absolutely no reason at all.  It is bad enough to cry for a good reason, but when the tears fall for no good reason, it leaves me feeling silly and empty with nothing and no one to which to throw the blame.

I have  people in my past who, at one time or another,  have purposely caused my tears.  They, at this point, are irrelevant as I have moved past them.  They no longer have any power over me and certainly don’t have the ability to bring tears to my eyes.  The tears that fall, dripping from my face, have nothing to do with them as they have proven themselves unworthy not only of my sadness, but of a single thought on their behalf.  I have stricken their names from my mind and moved on.

A hard day at work followed by stark loneliness can sometimes bring tears, but not always.  I don’t mind being alone.  As a matter of fact, I often thrive on it, so blaming tears on loneliness isn’t an option either.  I have learned to be alone and have decided that, on many occasions, I prefer my own company to that of those who have no understanding of me.  It is true.  I would rather be by myself than spending time trying to explain myself to someone who not only can’t understand me, but has no desire to.  And being by myself is not the same as being alone.  I am surrounded by my music, by words, by thoughts and dreams that keep me company.

It would be vain of anyone to assume that they caused my tears.  Who knows me better than myself?  Who knows my deepest secrets other than myself?  Well, a couple of people do, but their indifference does not make or break me.  I am who I am because of the trials I have faced to this point.  But who I am now has nothing to do with who I will be on another day.  The hardships I have faced up to this point, along with the joys on the journey, make me who I am, at the moment.  But what about tomorrow?  Or the day after that?  Or the year after that?

I am a woman and feel that therefore, I have the right to cry at will.  Am I not allowed to cry simply to make room for more emotions?  Is it shameful to cry for the things I long for, wish for, dream of, miss and long for?  I think not.  Tears are essential to my well-being.  I am one of those people who wears my heart on my sleeve.  Tears are only a word away.  It doesn’t make me less, it only makes me more in tune to the world around me.  I do cry.  It would be a lie to say otherwise.  I hurt for many reasons, but that is nobody’s business buy my own.  If I choose to share my tears, how can I be certain that those I share them with will have any understanding of their derivation.  Who can say to us that we have no reason to cry about this, that or the other thing.  Tears are personal.  They are internal.  They are telling, but only to those who have the ability to read what they say.

I won’t explain myself.  I find no need.  If one spends enough time in my life, they will understand me, my moods, my needs and the importance of tears.  They will understand that the tears that fall from my eyes can have a myriad of reasons behind them.  I cry when I pray, when I’m hurt, when I’m overwhelmed and sometimes, for no reason in particular.  When someone causes my tears, it is often because they have hurt me on a level that few have reached.  I don’t share the most intimate parts of myself with everyone, so that severely narrows the playing field.

It becomes irrelevant, really, what causes tears to fall.  I play the woman card.  The card that says that any number of things can make me cry.  I don’t even try to explain it as it would be pointless.  I am who I am, which is the same person I have always been.  My tears mean something to me, but are often lost on the ones who are are partly responsible for causing them.  In the end, if they fall from my eyes, I am responsible.  I choose who I allow into my life, into my heart, into my dreams; therefore, the tears are of my own making.  I have no one, but myself, to blame.  It would be easy to cast blame, but what purpose would that serve.  Often, people who have no intention to do so, hurt me deeply.  Other times, I bring the hurt upon myself.  Who is to say, when all is said and done, what causes a woman’s tears?  Do we really need a valid reason to cry?  I don’t.  Sometimes I cry simply because I am so happy that tears are the closest thing to joy that I can achieve.

Tears do not have to stand for sadness … and nowhere is it written that only women cry … Men, too, have the burden 0f tears and, like my own, they can represent joy, relief, praise, worship and happiness.  Not all tears are ones of sorrow or regret.  But unless you know me, personally and on an intimate basis, my tears will mean nothing to you.  That is the way of life.  Our family and friends learn as they go; we learn as we go and life unfolds as it is meant and tears fall when they feel like it.  It is, in the grand scheme of things, a very simple equation.  The tears I cry tonight?  Well, they are born of many things and will hopefully, end with the sunrise.  At the end of the day, sometimes it is the tears which set me free.

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Friends come and go …

such is one of the intricacies of life.  Sometimes, the best of friends can become separated for one reason or another.   It is difficult to come to terms with such things, but there is no avoiding it.  Not everyone you expect to be there for you will be there for you.  It is best to learn this early in life so that later on, it doesn’t come as a shock when you realize that people fade from your life.

If you give everything you have to a friendship, you should be aware that the possibility of disappointment, betrayal, hurt and denial are viable options.  It happens.  It doesn’t mean that you, or they, have done anything wrong, but have simply drifted apart to the point that there is nothing left in common.  Having a conversation with someone you have nothing in common with is like being skewered by a porcupine.  It hurts everywhere, all at the same time, and the reason often goes unknown.   I would like to say it is not a reflection on ourselves, but sometimes it is.  Sometimes our selfishness and desire to know that our friends understand us gets in the way of understanding that they, too, need validation and understanding.

There are people from my past that I loved dearly, but haven’t spoken to them in years.  It isn’t because I didn’t want to talk to them, but that our lives took different paths and there came a time when there was nothing left to say.  I find that many people distance themselves from me because I am completely different from what they have become accustomed to.  I am about plain speech, brutal honesty and speaking my mind.  I am both weak and strong, both intelligent and ignorant and at times, a seemingly unworkable puzzle.  Often, the filter between my brain and mouth fails.  When someone asks me for an opinion, I give it.  Truthfully.  There are those who don’t want the truth, but an illusion.  I don’t do illusions.

It is enough, for me, to know that there are people who understand that I am not like them, not like their other friends, not like anyone they know.  That doesn’t stop them, though, from being there when I need them.  It doesn’t stop them from loving me when I yell, cry and meltdown right in front of their eyes.  It doesn’t stop them from asking questions that may possibly have an answer they didn’t expect to hear.  It doesn’t change who they are or how they interact.   They take it in stride and see it as no more than what it is.  Me being me.  Those are the people I cling to.  The ones I message in the middle of the night with random thoughts that, quite possibly cross a multitude of boundaries … at times, I get an answer, but, some days feel as though I am no more than a vapor in the wind; conversations deferred until they have the mindset to go one on one with me … They are the ones who hear what I say and accept it, although it may perplex them but they do it without judgement, advise or trying to fix me.  I’m not a broken doll who needs her arms glued back on, but, just someone whose mind sometimes goes faster than what the rest of me can keep up with.  It is a fallacy and unthinkable injustice to think that they, who give of themselves, do  not need the same.

It is an implausible thought to believe that our friends think of us all the time.  Maybe some of them do and just forget to say so.  Maybe they outgrow us and find that there isn’t any common ground left … sometimes, yes, but not always.  Our minds have a way of distorting things and making judgements that are unjust and just plain false and when we do that, we ostracize ourselves because of our imagined ignorance.

While it is true that there are times when I ask more of my friends than they are able to give; the ones who truly want to be in my life say so.  They tell me that I’ve pushed the envelope over the boundaries and need to take a step back.  I need, as much as I give, honesty when it comes to my dearest friends.  I don’t ask for unconditional devotion.  That is an unrealistic expectation and should be met with opposition, but I do expect honesty.

Our friends are not merely there to stroke our ego or soothe ruffled feathers.  If that is all they do, eventually, they will become disillusioned and separate themselves for our lives.  I have caused that a few times.  Been too much work and not, in the grand scheme of things,  important enough to understand on a level that may never be achieved.

I am thankful for my friends.  My dearest friends know who I am and if they don’t, then it is as much my failure as theirs.  It is, indeed, a bitter pill to swallow when you realize that someone has distanced themselves from me simply because I don’t fit the mold they have cast for a friend.  It took me years to find myself, and even now, I am still learning and as long as I live,  if I have my mind, I will continue to learn.

Yes, friends in our lives will continue to come and go, but the ones who are true will be there when you need them.  That is not a supposition, it is a fact.  So for the handful of friends that I have who are not daunted by my mood swings, months of dis-communication,  missed birthdays, forgotten anniversaries and, at times, bombardment of questions, accusations and needs, know this;  I am thankful for you.  And, when the time comes that I can be there when you need me, know without a doubt, that I am on my way.

Thankful for my real friends and, surprisingly to some, my family, and even more thankful that they know not only who they are and what moves them, but find that they, even if they didn’t realize it earlier, know who I am.  Being understood is one of life’s most cherished blessing and while many of us go our entire life without finding that bond, the rest of us realize that the blessing is astronomical.  I am grateful for my friends.  I am thankful that, though I am different, they accept me.  I find it hard, though I may want more, to ask for more.  I am curios in a way that only a Sagittarian can be.  I have wants and desires, but won’t bash my head against a brick wall to get fulfillment.  There will come a time when I will, because it is in my nature, move on.

I think it is safe to say that the “I want it yesterday” world we live in is a hindrance.  Not everyone follows those same rules, the code of immediacy is not their own. It doesn’t make them a bad friend.  It makes them dependable and loyal.  It is hard to wish for more than loyalty, dependability and honesty in our friends.   Asking more is selfish and self-centered and will, in time, result in the disintegration of the friendship.   When you ask for more than someone can give and then hold it against them, the burden is of our own design.  At times, just knowing, whether they say so or not, that my friends think of me on occasion is enough; sometimes it isn’t.  We all need validation on some level, need to know that what we have isn’t one-sided and wasted on those who don’t really understand us and have no desire to.  But there will be ones like that, in those times, who become water under the bridge.  We learn lessons that will help us be better people in the future.  I have friends that I talk to on occasion, but the connection is one that, irregardless of excuses, stand the test of time.  They know more about me than anyone and they are the ones, being honest here, who hurt me most.  It isn’t their fault, but my own unattainable expectations that play tricks on my mind and make me doubt when there is no valid reason to do so.

I am thankful for my  real, honest to goodness friends.  As long as they are in my life, in some capacity, I can deal with nearly anything.  I know their weaknesses and disappointments even as they know mine.  Such intimacy in a friendship is hard to find and should not be taken for granted.  Be a friend, a loyal, trustworthy friend, and inevitably, you will reciprocate the same.  It is the way the world works.

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Proverbs 27:17 ~  Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

As our Gracie grows …

I find that watching her is one of my most wonderful blessings.  The years seem to have flown by and now, she is just a couple of months shy of her fifth birthday.  She can do whatever she tries to do, follows her sister wherever she goes and can hold her own (especially in the ones she starts), in a good old fashioned wrestle.  She has learned that pouting works with everyone but me and doesn’t even bother anymore.  She just points her finger at me and says things that I’m almost glad I can’t understand.  She has her own mind, her own will and her own ambitions.  She has her own way of doing things and is pretty set on doing it HER way.  Having to share everything and everyone with a sister who is cut from the same cloth makes like interesting, to say the least.

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When Gracie first came into the world, she was early.  Very early.  And she was almost immediately diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome.  She won our hearts so quickly, we didn’t really have a chance to absorb the fact that she had Down’s.  We prayed and God answered; she would touch our lives in a way that none of us, not even us optimists, could ever imagine.

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While she says many things that are amusing, there are two phrases she says that melt me like warm chocolate.  “Hi Nini” and “Love you, too, Nini”.  I’ve never once called when Gracie was around that she didn’t pick up the phone and say “Hi Nini”, whether she knew it was me or not.  I love that.  It makes me feel good inside to know that I am part of this beautiful child’s life.  I’m not the only one, though.  Ask anyone who has had the pleasure of being around her; she has a gift.  A gift of encouragement and light.  She never fails to bring joy to anyone who sees her.  It is rather awesome to watch.  She has a special light around her; one that makes everyone want to be near her … makes me want to be near her.  A light that makes even the worst of days insignificant when she puts those little arms around my neck.

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She has come a long way, our Gracie.  From barely hanging on to thriving and living in a world she feels safe in and isn’t afraid to explore.  She reminds me what I want to be when I grow up.  Yes, she is truly a blessing in my life, but by far, not the only one; not by a longshot. (If you haven’t read Watching Gracie Grow, read it here http://wp.me/p1CqmN-m )

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Psalms 100 ~  1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord; all ye lands.  2 Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.  3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

When I am manic …

everything becomes a challenge.  Thinking straight, keeping a single thought in my head, knowing reality from fantasy; all challenges.  I would be lying if I said that the feeling I get when in a manic state is anything but exhilarating, it is also exhausting.  The thoughts run through my mind at a speed that I cannot keep up with and the important things are often lost in the fray.  It is difficult to explain the whirlwind of thoughts and ideas to someone who has never experienced mania.  It is like being in a hurricane, protected from the wind and rain, but not the chaos.  How odd is that.  There are those who will read this post and say to themselves, “I know that feeling … I get it”.  At the same time, there will be ones who read it who say “that gal is as nutty as a fruitcake”.  But the reality of it is that I’m not nutty, or crazy or over the edge.  I am simply, at the moment, in a state of hypomania.

Manic stages are a part of my existence.  It took me a long time to realize that these episodes were, for me, part of normal life.  It is so abnormal to most people and they find it absurd on so many levels and simply, even if they try, cannot comprehend that the mind can warp at such a speed.  It is both fascinating and confusing, enlightening and disturbing.  I wish that there were words in my head to explain what I feel when I am in a manic state.  Though I have never tried cocaine, from the descriptions of those I know who have, it is similar to the feeling that comes when the hyperactivity takes over my mind and body and reality becomes blurred with fantasy; dreams become real and thoughts are not to be trusted.

I find it addictive, the feeling that nothing is impossible and all things are within my reach.  It is nearly a letdown when this feeling begins to ebb, which it must, if I am to survive; a disappointment to know that the chaos of my mind will, once again, become somewhat normal.  Being in this state does not change who I am at the core, but it changes what I am to the observer.  Try as I might, I have not found a way to harness the charge of energy that overtakes me and throws me into an atmosphere that is full of everything.  Again, to one who has never experienced such a moment, it is hard to explain.

Imagine being in a forest, a beautiful forest with the leaves alive and every growing thing beautiful with springtime in the mountains.  Now imagine that all the growing things have a personality and can interact, on a personal level, with actions and words. Being in a manic state is similar to that.  So much information.  So much stimulation.  It is like having goosebumps all the time.  Who doesn’t like goosebumps, right?  But constantly?  Not such a great thing.  But I am not alone in my experiences.   There are so many others who are in or soon will be, in the state I am in.   I count myself among the lucky ones that the manic cycles last only a few days as opposed to a few months, for I fear that I would really try to fly if it lasted more than a day or so.  Yes, I am one of the lucky ones.  But to those who live with this feeling day after day, month after month, I can understand how it would be so easy to try to find a way to put an end to everything.  To make it go away.  I spent one entire year of my life in such a state and am still wondering how I lived through it.   If it were not for the support of my family and friends along with the faith in my God that He would, eventually end this state of chaos, I could not have survived it.

There is nothing wrong with feeling this way, but it is difficult to function in a normally functioning world while in this place.  It takes extreme concentration and is, on every level, exhausting.  Knowing that there are others who face the same experiences is a help, but it doesn’t make living through an ordinary day any less stressful.  It is like fighting fire with gasoline.  The more I try to contain it, the more out of control it seems to be.  As much as the hypo-manic state makes me feel invincible, I am always glad to see it come to and end, for once again, I can feel normal in the sense of what the world deems normal.  I am different.  I don’t mind that. As a matter of fact, I embrace it, but being different has its limits and I am, almost always, happy when my thoughts slow down and I feel like I am, whether I am or not, in some modicum of control. I would not change my experiences for anything, for they make me who I am, but if it were in my power, I would change the perception of myself when I am not myself.  But life is life and I live with it.  And I’m not the only one.  That brings me comfort; knowing that I am not alone in my struggles.  I am encouraged.  And so a former blog post about encouragement comes full circle.  Nothing is as powerful as the sharing of life experiences.  It connects us all; I am not alone and for that, I am grateful.

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