I WOKE UP IN A GOOD MOOD.
No, no, no you’re not on the wrong blog! That’s right. I’m in a GOOD mood. What the fuck? I forgot what that feels like. I do feel a lot of joy when I’m out with people but when I’m dragged back home by my invisible tether, I usually feel so frustrated that I have to do SO much work to eat SO little.
Either the company of my old friend or the essential oils or both put me in an excellent mood!
I think it’s pretty clear by now that great conversation is very, very important to me. I feel so bad for Ady Barkan - he recently lost the ability to speak. Like me, his Voice is so important to him. I don’t know what I’d do without being able to converse. I think about things that can be taken away a lot. Probably too much. When things keep being snatched away year after year, you can’t help but wonder what will be next.
It does force me to be more appreciative of what DOES work. Though, I know I still have a lot of work to do on the gratitude front.
That was what was so great about my visit with my friend! We met each other years ago in New York City when we were both movers and shakers in the Food Movement. Fast forward, now she is living in the Northwest and living in Oregon. If I can make the trip, I may go visit her community and even try a sweat lodge! Ok, ok, I know I’d probably have to sit near the door, with an IV bag going and sipping lemonade the entire time. But I’ve always wanted to try one and I’m determined to figure out how to make it. I will take necessary precautions, I promise!
We talked about how we’ve both done “our work,” though I will fully admit, I still have a LONG way to go. But I know I must be getting somewhere because incredibly wonderful people are showing up who HAVE done their work. Like attracts like.
What is work? Well, for anyone that doesn’t know, then it’s likely there is some work to be done!
This phrase is often used in the mental health and recovery world. It essentially means digging into ourselves and sorting through our baggage, examining that baggage, and then letting go. This is all my interpretation, by the way!
It also means taking responsibility for our life, acknowledging that we are the problem, but we are also the solution, to the things that aren’t going right in our lives. That doesn’t mean that we can overlook the very real things that are oppressing some people - for example, I am in a very oppressed group now as a disabled person. There are things that I can’t control that may make my life harder.
How I handle it, view it, react to it - are all within my power. I know the verbiage and the goal of the “work” process, but I can’t always DO.
That’s why the phrase is “do the work.” It’s short but says a lot. It means we are actively engaged in moving our evolution forward, we are participants in our life and not just passively going through the motions. Again, I’m working on all of this but there is a reason it’s called WORK. It is a lot of work.
I don’t mean to deter anyone from delving in, but I will never say it’s easy. Never.
But I will say it’s worth it. The things we work hardest for usually are.
Doing the work also means learning how to communicate in a way that’s meaningful and honoring both the self and the other person.
This kind of deep interpersonal work is best done with a credentialed counselor, mental health professional and/or healer that is reputable. I don’t believe everyone with letters is always qualified and vice versa. Please make sure they are vetted before you let anyone in too deep.
So much of this could be taught to kids - but if we haven’t done our own work, old patterns just get passed onto the next generation. This is a big motivator for me - I want to make sure I model mature behavior as much as possible to the kids.
Communicating my needs and feelings is still a real struggle for me. I’m learning a lot from the peeps coming into my life lately. It’s like playing tennis with someone better - they pull you up. If you let them.
The darkness has receded from this latest depressive bout. FUCK that sucked so bad. I’m still having pain issues and my stomach is still messed up. BUT but but, I just had another friend drop of homemade juices for me! I’m going to try and mix them with the vegan ice cream I made. Man, I hope I’m up for sharing recipes here for GI patients. I have so much I want to share!
But when my week is devoted to doctor appointments, dealing with the government benefits (a friend is helping me figure out how to get more food benefits - this is the privilege I have and hope to pass along), and trying to stay ALIVE, I don’t have the bandwidth to download all my nutrition info. I want to!
It’s overwhelming though. Thirty years of data. I’ve had so many problems with the gut, I have to figure out how to tease out information and package it in a way that makes sense.
Because I’m so tired - that low protein isn’t helping - this sounds really hard. This is why I like blogging here. I think I’ll just start sharing things here and figure out how to organize it later. It makes me feel less stressed to download some of it here - you know, just in case something happens.
I worry all the time now that I will leave this body unexpectedly.
It’s a hard thing to live with. When you have all the problems I have, it’s assumed that my death will be slow. That’s why I put off doing a will, and all that paperwork.
After the clot in my PICC line in the fall, and watching what’s happening with my dad and his clot and stroke issues, I have to accept that death may show up when I least expect it. Now, the mottling on my stomach - which hasn’t gone away, it appears and disappears - and my diet shrinking…who the heck knows what’s going on inside of me.
It’s terrifying. But also liberating. I see why old people say whatever the hell they want! Who cares. Could be dead soon so why not just say it?
It is a lot of mental space though. Wondering what will get me. I feel like a character in a video game - I never know when I need to pivot and take on a new invader.
It’s going to be hard to be this new person in my old world.
I can already feel a difference. I just don’t give a fuck anymore about things I used to care about - like what people thought of me! I’m finding that either people love me for me, or they don’t. I can’t do a damn thing about it.
Also, as I get emotionally healthier, I’m realizing that if someone has a problem with a sick lady who lives in a parent’s basement - or is somehow threatened - that says way more about THEM than anything about me. Like really. How sad is it to gossip about or be competitive with a super sick person who is in pain and miserable.
People project. There is nothing I can do about that.
I guess creating community and a family by choice is not an overnight process. But dang, it’s finally unfolding and it’s beautiful!
My friend may come back up and teach an essential oils class at my house! Classes again! This would be a good fit for me. I’m not sure about my energy to teach anymore but I could certainly facilitate and organize them. That was such a great fit for me when I worked at my JCC in Manhattan job - I brought in amazing chefs and instructors. I like finding their strengths and marketing them in a way that highlights how much they have to offer. I miss it so much.
Who knows. We find out more about my dad this week. Finally.
I’m working on getting everyone on board with hiring someone to help around the house. My dad does SO much around the house, and I can’t pick up the slack anymore. There is some stubbornness happening…but it has to happen. We need the help.
Anyway, I just put some more essential oils on and I’m loving it. My friend was teaching about the actual science behind it. I should probably clarify: I may be a big hippie but I’m very skeptical about healing modalities. I’ve been testing different ones for…dang, I don’t know since I was 20 years old!? Long time.
Something has to be based in SOME science or I need to see it work definitively - otherwise forget it. I don’t have time to waste. I’m a data gal. I grew up with engineer brothers and wrote a master’s thesis on scientific studies - it was a review of the connection between soy and reduced risk of cancer. I know - so dated now. But it was a big deal in the mid-90s!
Essential oils work in all kinds of ways, I’m learning. More to come on this! I love the gastro one she gave me and then the tube that has no markings is a custom one she made right then and there for me.
I like feeling like I have a SHOT at healing some of this. I know it’s a long, very long shot with my messed up geography inside. I think some people in the alternative fields forget that there isn’t much I can do about missing organs, blood vessels and fucked up nerve damage. But if there IS something to do, I want to find it.
So much work. Healing is so much work. I did one disease - ONE - and it took nearly six years! Now, I have so many issues and so little energy. My brain doesn’t absorb new information like it used to either. I used to be able to digest so much scientific data. This is why I need help! I’m getting better about asking for it!
I’m also being better about turning to the people who reaching out - and saying YES I will take your help and your friendship, thank you so much.
Work in progress. I’m sure I’ll lapse.
I’m off to visceral massage with Heather again. She leaves for Florida this week and my other person is on spring break so I’m lucky I got this appointment today. It’s a little disturbing how often I’m getting worked on either massage or acupuncture - and how much my body needs and wants it. They basically do a lot of work moving my intestines which decreases pain and helps make my life a little easier.
It’s a lot of work to get to all these appointments. I dream of having people come to me! But then I’d get stuck at home…so there’s that. Going to meet bestie afterward at my favorite book store. Yes, they still exist!
Damn, I like being in a good mood.
I hope it stays for a little while.
For anyone out there that has actually read this far, I do hope that if you haven’t done “the work” and it sounds terrifying, know that it’s ok. It really is! It’s actually more scary to push it off and not deal with it - which FEELS easier but actually isn’t. I know because I tried for years to push it all down and not deal with the hard stuff. It’s not so bad once you get through the initial part. I don’t want to make it sound easy, because it’s not. But once I’ve gotten the hang of what it is I’m supposed to do, I can practice at it. Fuck up. Get better. Repeat.
Like I said before, it’s definitely worth it.
Unloading years of misery. No question, I’d go through all that pain again if it means unloading heavy shit that just doesn’t fit anymore.
Here’s to good moods. Let’s hope the world doesn’t totally fall apart this week.
Oh, I know I’m a DREAMER.