My tongue is in my hand…

Archive for May 2008

I said before I can’t afford to buy coincidence. I also can not afford to buy fear. The cost is outrageous and there is no easy way to return it.

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psalm

Posted on: May 13, 2008

Please help me keep perspective.

Be my protector, and my stronghold.

My center, my buoy.

Grant me clarity and wisdom.

Set right my compass.

propel me through the uncharted waters,

through the depths of my uncertainties.

And wrap me in comfort;

may it soak through my pores.

Send peace through my veins,

coursing through every living part of me,

until the peace is all I believe.

Expel the fog

the fears

so the clutch is loosened,

the choke hold, freed

so I am breathing again

so I am a version

more capable

so I am

able to vessel

the light

that You are

gleaming through

this

cracked and

misshapen

jar.

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When I take stock, really take stock of my life, the life I inhabit this very moment, I am flooded with gratefulness and think it would be greedy to seek or want for anything else, as what I have is more than enough, and even the hardships and sacrifices are bearable. But then I think about all that I know lies within me and I think it would be a horrible waste to leave potential sitting idle.

May 10, 2008

Mom, Natalie and I walked around downtown Concord today. We parked in the free 3 hour parking deck behind the library and made our way in and out of the little boutiques and antique shops. We stopped in one store and sampled lotions, stopped in another where I took about 15 minutes to buy 10 sticks of incense, smelling all of them two or three times and letting Natalie do the same, settling on honeysuckle, rain, magnolia, and plumeria. We sat outside a kitten rescue for a while and watched the little cats play. We saw Mickey and Minnie mouse outside a coffee shop and café and after looking into the other eating options decided this was the best one to take Natalie in, and it turned out to be perfect. They served really good pannini’s and Natalie got chicken nuggets for free, which is good because she didn’t eat any. She sat on Mickey’s lap and then watched them and the children from a window seat inside while I sat with mom at our little round table sipping sweet tea instead of our usual waters. After that I drove around a little looking for this one book store I thought I had seen before but couldn’t find. On the way through the historic district mom and I talked about the houses and what it would have been like to live in one in the past and now. It was a clear, warm, breezy day. It was beautiful. Natalie fell asleep on the way home after we listened to Taylor Swift’s “Picture to Burn” a few dozen times. While she finished her nap in the car I sat on the stoop and read Loving Frank my book club pick while texting Haley and Catie, and talking to Jason in between about flowers in the flower bed and how our morning had been and our plans for the rest of the day.

I just burned the magnolia incense while typing. I love the kind of earthy, heavy smoke. I like to watch it streaming out the lid of the incense burner which sits right in front of a black and white photgraph of ocean waves and a cloudy sky with the sun hazy behind the clouds. Jason’s playing xbox live, Natalie is doctoring her babies and watching Veggie Tales. Natalie is wearing the cutest little pink sundress and the top is seer suckered and multicolored, the straps are frilly. She’s such a little girl right now.

Last weekend started off with Alicia and Chris coming over on Friday night to hang out and watch Dan in Real Life while we ate banana split ice cream sandwiches and popcorn. I gave Alicia back Songs Without Words which was the other book club pick (Haley’s). She had got it from the library and let me read it first since I couldn’t get it from the library.

Saturday Natalie and I caught ladybugs in the morning and then met Megan and her nephew at Caribou where Natalie and I had our usual; M&M cookie for her (which she only eats the M&M’s) and a small hazelnut latte for me. That night Jason and I had pasta from Anzi in Locust. I got the baked Ravioli. It was so good. After Natalie was in bed I went to B&D and got boiled peanuts and cherry lemon sundrop slushies. He watched the race, I read, then we watched the Astronaut Farmer (on tv), which was actually pretty good for a movie that I had no interest in seeing at all.

Sunday morning Natalie and I went outside and caught lady bugs, made friends with a gray cat who I (unimaginatively) called Smokey. We later found out his name is Percy. We also found a toad which I caught multiple times trying to get Natalie to pet it. We named him Tommy the toad. The grass was dewy, the sun was a easy early morning sun, gentle warm. We later went to the grocery store and I gave her stickers to keep her entertained. I kept wondering why people were looking at my stomach and smiling…I later realized I had a ton of stickers spanning my torso, that I probably okayed while shopping and not really paying attention to what I was saying okay to.

I’ve been thinking, how we are innocent to our futures.

And there’s a song whose lyrics stick in my head

“You’re gonna miss this, you’re gonna want this back

You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast

These are some good times, take a good look around

You may not know it now,

But you’re gonna miss this”

And I think of periods of my life that I just couldn’t wait to get out of and how when I look back now, it’s kind of like childbirth; you know it was hard and painful but you don’t really remember that part. And I’ll think, man, I wish I could be back there again, if just for a little bit, to really enjoy it.

Sometimes my weekdays are so hard, full of illnesses and stresses…but my weekends are nice, some of my weekdays are nice, I want to keep them in the front of my mind so I don’t look back and wish I had enjoyed this.

I think we are made of glass and glue and thread…which is why we can break, come undone, come unraveled and be beautifully stained and pieced back together, woven into one another, repaired…

silence…

Posted on: May 7, 2008

silence is a medium through which we design our ideas. silence does anything but erase or dissolve the pressing heart. silence offers little peace to the unanswered questions. silence feeds our imaginations.

Why is it so hard to believe that mental illness is an illness? It has symptoms, it has treatments. You don’t have to see cancer oozing out of someone to believe when someone says they have it. And what is the general consensus when someone is being treated for cancer? Give them a break, help them and their family out, treat them with care, encourage them to do whatever it takes to get better. Yet when someone is diagnosed as mentally ill, this doesn’t happen. Why? It’s still an illness. It will eat away at someone until they disappear, until they become a stranger, even to themselves, until it kills them off. It’s still scary for the people dealing with it personally or in a loved one. There’s no magic button a person can press to just be better any more than someone with any other illness can. There are just combat techniques.

Depression is mental illness. Anxiety is mental illness. Among other things of course, but these are the most underestimated. People acknowledge the illness of these illnesses the least. Probably because everyone has felt, at some point, a level of depression, a level of anxiety. And they got over it, so why can’t everyone else, right?

But disease treats everyone differently, affects everyone differently. And just like with other illnesses, there are ways to build immunities or to catch it early and nip it in the bud. And just like cancer: it can happen to anyone, it can catch someone off guard, it can rest in someone’s body like a benign tumor and then for some reason, turn malignant, metastasize. There are people who can barrel their way through it. And there will also be people who are in constant recovery, or remission, some who will have flares ups or multiple bouts, some who never make it out…

As with other illnesses, it only seems to be spreading wider, developing new strains, and becoming more commercialized (movies, books, advertisements for meds). But still, when it comes down to it and someone is weighted with depression, grasped in anxiety, sitting in the debris of their former self, people act like they made it up, like if they just say enough prayers and think enough happy thoughts they can Peter Pan their way out of it. LIke thoughts and prayers are all you need-fairy dust.

Not to discount positive thinking and prayer, but when someone’s mind is sick, to think positive, to pray faithfully are much easier said than done.

And then there’s the stigma when mental illness is acknowledged.

Don’t we graciously accept the bald cancer patient, compliment their wig, or hat, shave our heads in support? Don’t we send sick children to Disney World and arrange meet and greets with their favorite celebrity? Don’t we research the disease, the treatments, the side effects till we are experts? Don’t we make allowances for bad days? Don’t we go out of our way?

What’s so hard about supporting someone who’s dealing with mental illness? To be perfectly honest, everything. But that doesn’t give us an out. God knows it’s hard to see anyone suffer and it’s hard to support someone who is ill, but we do it for other illnesses, we need to do it for each other when the illness is a mental illness just as we do otherwise. We as people are failing each other when we don’t.