May 24th, 2018

Journal confession time. I have been harboring a lot of guilt about a goal that I set and actually went the opposite direction. I wanted to lose at least 20lbs at the same time I quit smoking. I haven’t had a cigarette since January 12th but need to lose a LOT more weight. I’ve tried keto (didn’t satisfy) tried smaller portions (already do because of the gastric bypass) and a lot of other gimmick stuff. I realized that I’m happy with my ability to find time to paint and write but need to focus on my weight.

I took a walk this morning before work and writing and felt really bad about how I looked while doing it. How can I exercise when I feel anxious about people watching me and possibly secretly judging me. That’s the anxiety working in me and shaking hands with the depressive state that I fall in with. I could’ve easily gone home but reminded myself that it was still dark out and people are heading to work and are probably late. I walked fasted just to get home before the sun came all the way up. My daughter turned 16 today and I thought if I keep going the way I’m going I’m not going to be healthy enough to enjoy my kids anymore like I was before. So, part of getting healthy this year was to quit smoking and I think I nailed it. Now, it’s time to control and manage my eating and weight. This entails me going to the store after work, purchasing a weight scale, and possible leggings to walk-in.

I researched many options and due to my family’s strict budget I made the first step and signed up for Weight Watcher’s Freestyle program. Fingers crossed I’m able to figure out meals with what I have and will get what I need (portion size for one because my family eats regular foods without a care in the world) on my next grocery shopping trip. Speaking of grocery shopping with my C-PTSD and anxiety I learned that I can shop through Wal-Marts grocery app which will also help me from going through the aisles and shopping with, ‘Oh that would taste awesome’ mentality.

After joining (still needing to feel out a few profile fields), I saw where I can track what I eat. Banana, coffee with chocolate caramel creamer, a babybel cheese, salad with greek dressing and croutons all added up-QUICKLY. It was clear about my food choices and guilt turned to shame. I synched my Fitbit app to my Weight Watcher’s app, opted for water instead of V8 and only had 1/2 cup of spicy ranch popcorn. I will research tonight more recipes and things that I can change and do differently.

I feel better fessing up to my guilt and shame and I guess I’ll take my readers along with me. I’m still going to write, paint, and doodle just now I’ll do it hungry. Kidding, not hungry but mindful of what I put in my body.

Elaborating View

I know that there are many writers that have quoted Hemingway,

“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.”

Let me elaborate my feelings about this quote. The truth is, the time that I’m truly lonely is when I can’t write. If I’m sitting here at work (like I am now but I’m protesting something as I write) and I’m forced to regurgitate an old idea in a new color (basically) my mind will wander to writing and building characters and stories in my head or which short stories should I build on and publish. Then I get lonely. I could be standing in a room full of people but without my characters and my ideas being written out I’m alone.

My writing area is in an office area that overlooks the living room and the kitchen. I can look out all the windows and see everything. The T.V. is going and the kids are asking 20 questions and even though I’m distracted as I write, I’m not lonely. If I’m sitting there watching T.V. with everyone or preparing dinner, I have company but somewhere inside I’m lonely. I need my writing and characters just as much as I need air. It helps with my C-PTSD, it helps with the depression and anxiety, it helps me communicate with others. It’s my therapy.

So, me facing eternity, or lack thereof in each day, is not being able to write.

Mourning Me

A lament is or can be a poem or song expressing grief. The lament is powered by a personal sense of loss. The poetry of lamentation, which arose in oral literature alongside heroic poetry, seems to exist in all languages and poetries. Confession, I can’t write poetry. I don’t know why that is. Even when I was a teen I wasn’t pining over a notebook spilling my thoughts into poems. However, I do miss who I was before things happened in my past.

The sun used to kiss your happiness on the porch swing
and the birds’ song would fill your ears.
Indian summers brought more days to enjoy outside
and more time to offer company to others.

You enjoyed welcoming hugs
and took a handshake as the word and promise.
You helped others without question
because all you had was compassion.

Your laughter was a pleasant sound
and brought smiles to little faces.
Your free spirit made dreams
into a reality.

The isolation took you from sight
and the tears were never seen.
You cried for help but he
made you wear a mask.

Other things I do differently but
I do mourn the loss of me.

Pine Advice

‘Daddy they’re going to fall on us! They’re falling!’ I was frantic to get off his shoulders clawing and screaming my way down his back. I was surprised he didn’t just let me fall because I know I pulled on his beard and long hair. The gentle giant of a man allowed me to become frantic. I felt the sensation of emotions of the impending life learning lesson I was about received without knowing. He was able to catch me before I went running off into the woods and calmed me down.

You see, it was a treat to go the park with my dad. He was always gone working in oil fields and on offshore rigs so our time was precious. On this particular day, he asked if I wanted to walk on the trail through the woods. I agreed with childish enthusiasm to go into what I believed to be magical where dwarves could be dwelling and fairies playing. I was on his shoulders and we entered the woods.

He showed me sparkling creeks, red clay mud, and wild honeysuckles like we have growing in our backyard. The path was worn but I knew that my father wouldn’t get lost. I could see everything from my top of the world-view and felt so safe and powerful until I looked up. The towering Loblolly Pines were swaying but I didn’t feel any wind. From my little point of view, it looked like they were going to snap and land right on top of us.

When I was done scaling down my dad and in his arms for comfort he told me, ‘Oh my little Jo. Hush now. Those trees have been around since before I was born. Their roots hold strong. They may be pushed around by the wind from time to time but they are strong enough to make it through any storm. They are grounded in the earth by their roots. They can’t hide when they’re scared or run from something that could happen again. Jo, look up.’ I sniffled letting my hands loosen up just enough to look past him to the sky and could see the trees slowly swaying. ‘Jo, take the silent advice from these pines. When you’re faced with something that’s scary or new keep calm and think. Don’t give up or give in. Your roots will keep you grounded to make the right decisions.’

I still try to be like those pines that once scared me. His advice has gotten me through so much in my life. Even when it was time to spread my father’s ashes on a lake with pines above us, I heard his words. Having C-PTSD, I first thought of myself as weak not being able to calm down or ground myself. The fact that I reached out for help is still following my father’s advice.

I can still remember the feeling of tugging on his beard like a rope to get down. This is a response to Discover’s Prompt Frantic.

February 17th, 2018

I have a few stolen moments between caring for a sick husband, running the house, cooking the specific dinner requested by the contagious man baby, errands, and keeping the kids alive to post about my day.

I have my petri dish of infectious husband quarantined in our room which meant that I’m not inhaling the diseased air as I sleep in the living room. In doing so my son was up at 4 am thinking that it was a weekday. I was able to get him to wait for breakfast until 6 am that consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, and skillet taters (something I thought that would be easy on the hubby’s tummy). From there I monitored the weather and had some errands to run in a larger city an hour away. My oldest daughter and I timed the trip perfectly and were able to retrieve the purchases and then go to the grocery store all before the snow hit. BONUS: I remembered the salt for the sidewalks.

The only ‘slap in the face’ part of my day was a simple question that I asked an individual at the mall. Now it’s very difficult for me to go into crowded areas and need to take my medication for even stepping out of the car but this errand was important to my daughter so we had to go. While in the mall I saw service dogs that were going through training. No, I didn’t touch or even ask to touch the animal. I simply asked where and how do I go about getting a service dog for me. She looked at me as if there was no reason for me to even be asking her this question. I disclosed that I have C-PTSD and could benefit a great deal from a service dog or even an emotional support animal. She said a note from the doctor and $5000. I need to prove that I was abused for years? Can barely live with myself, have night terrors, flashbacks, panic attacks, and have days that I can’t get out of the bed just to name a bit of what I experience in a week. They train for veterans and no further help or advice. I was at a loss for words. I can barely afford decent watercolors let alone that training. Devastated I went home. I shoved it to the back of my mind and have come to accept that I will never be able to have a service dog. I’m sorry I’m not a deserving individual for such a necessity.

One of the items on my list was the movie, ‘Stand By Me’. My daughter heard her friends talking about it and how the kids in the movie find a body. I Scoffed louder than I should have and explained that the movie was more than kids finding a body. So, when we got home we put away the groceries and I started right away cooking lunch. Chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese for my patient and tomato soup and grilled cheese for the rest of us. We sat down to feast on our lunch minus the infected and by the end of the movie my daughter was crying. I just looked at her and simply asked, ‘Do you understand now?’ Red-faced she nodded.

I have dinner in the oven now and Rocky is on the TV, another movie that her friend told her that she needed to see. I now have a running list of movies for these kids to watch. I’ll do my 6-word story after dinner with my time being rather occupied today and hopefully able to start a couple of projects that I have jotted down as I thought about them. Wish me luck that I’m able to do so.

Important Side Note:
Thank you to everyone that is reading and following my blog. It doesn’t go unnoticed and helps me more than you could think. It also gives me the encouragement I need to comment, follow blogs, and write on my own and I love immersing myself in the inspiration that other authors offer on their blogs. Thanks ya’ll.

January 6th, 2018

At least I remembered to type 18 instead of 17 so I have that going for me today. One perk to having C-PTSD is the insomnia sometimes. I couldn’t sleep and instead of my head being flooded with anxiety and doubt I focused on ideas, stories and sketches. I know I’m going to need a nap before work but that’s OK. The only thing that is bugging me is wondering how writers do it?

I don’t mean writing but I mean writing…ya know? I had/have tons of ideas but when I sit to write I draw a blank. I have found an unused notebook that I don’t really have a designated purpose for and will keep that by my bed for sleepless night thoughts for stories. I have a therapy appointment today and I need to talk about the resentment I am having towards my husband. We are just not getting along and he refuses to talk to me about anything so in turn, I don’t talk to him. I don’t want to talk to him…that’s what’s scaring me.

Positive side, I walked away from donuts and cookies yesterday and did a small workout. I think I’m just going to through myself into some art or try my hand at lettering. Who knows. Have a great Saturday guys…and let me know what projects are on your agenda this weekend.

Timely Light

Ok, this took a lot for me to do. I have never written a Haiku (I don’t think I even did one in school) and was anxious for days about posting it. I’m my own worst critic but I’ve read some blogger’s poetry and absolutely stunned by the beauty of words used. Having C-PTSD sometimes (most times-who am I kidding) words escape me and I even had to double check my syllable count for the 5,7,5 rule. I already broke ‘Haiku’ rules as it’s usually based on nature. And yes, this was a writing exercise out of my writer’s boot camp. So here it goes-

Painful times die soft,
memories riot within.
Peace comes through dim light.

May 22nd, 2017

Meat and Matters and Questionable Acts

I know I haven’t posted anything in a few days and I will own that. BUT I have been writing and working on my Writers Boot Camp and will post that shortly. My journal entry for Friday the 19th to Today is going to either be a 2 or 3 part series simply because so much has happened. Let’s start with Friday.

Friday morning most of the office staff left for a trip to New Jersey and some had taken personal vacation days. This left the old and the new CSRs, both require an extreme amount of patience. The older individual is wise but also set in her ways which means no budging on the fact that her mistakes are just that, mistakes. Instead, she believes her experience excuses her from ownership of mistakes and that I should do what is asked in the art spec ONLY to have to change it several times causing more work and time spent on correcting a mistake rather than completing the artwork the first time the indiscretion was brought to her attention. So, I didn’t react like I really wanted to, I just did my work and moved on.

I not only did this because I didn’t need the stress but also because the younger, newer CSR was left alone without proper training. She was left without proper training because and older CSR decided that it was better to train her by having her watch the older CSR do the job that she was hired for with minimal explanation. So, I received an email with the art spec request with a message attached (which usually doesn’t occur unless it’s an edit to an at spec) saying, ‘I don’t have a book showing what this product is. I only have this years catalogs.’ How can she do her job when she doesn’t have all the material? I was able to hunt down PDF versions of our older product catalogs from 2013 and email them to her. When asked why I was running all around the factory and explaining the situation, I was then told, ‘That is not your job.’  I have been in her shoes and received the same treatment but I’m a lot tougher than this new CSR and continued to help her through the rest of Friday.

At lunch, an employee was telling me about how her husband was just in a wreck because they couldn’t afford the repairs and her car is in need of repairs. Plus on top of all that, it was their son’s birthday. They didn’t have anything to extravagant planned because the boy only wanted to fishing. Her husband sent her a text, ‘I can’t even afford to buy the worms.’ I could feel the heart break in the text. I threw out my cigarette and went inside. Looking back I’m pretty sure she thought I was the bitch that everyone claimed I was. Little did she know, I wanted to get to my wallet and back out to her before break was over. I wouldn’t have another chance to do what I wanted to do (and in front of everyone was not a time or place to do it). I handed her $40 which was all I had left and quickly walked back to my dungeon of creativity. I knew she was going to try to hand it back or say that she’ll pay me back and I didn’t want either.

I’m not bragging about my kindness on Friday, my reason is that I hope that you, the reader would do one act of kindness everyday. It makes a difference. The new CSR never turned in her 2 week notice because she is finally understanding her job. The birthday boy was able to go fishing with his dad and that it sparked a new interest to continue to be able to fish together. I was told today that he and his dad are learning to start their own small worm farm. Sometimes all it takes is a ripple. I also find that when I am able to help someone, however small, my depression subsides. So my question is: Does helping others aid in subsiding your C-PTSD or PTSD related depression?

I would love to hear about it.

Part 2 coming tomorrow.


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