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Let the healing begin. 


A month or so ago I took my first glass fusing class. It was a private class for a friends birthday party. 

I had a good time, I was very unsure of myself during the first class. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do, or how I wanted to lay thing out. 

I was not in love with how things turned out from my first class, they weren’t horrible… but they were very much disarrayed. 


I gifted one of the pendants away already from that class. One of the “soap dishes” is currently on my stove as a spoon rest. Some of those pendants weren’t even made by me because I ran out of time!! 

During my latest round of issues I realized I need to have more hobbies. More outlets for stress, more ways to channel my creativity, a way to turn off the fuzzy noise. 

I went back to try again, taking a class where you made a garden hanging piece. I even invited some friends along! A friend I hadn’t seen in months joined me, as well as a friend that does my nails came to class. 

Again I was stumped for ideas… but being me rainbows are always something I gravitate to. 

On the left side of the photo below you’ll see the before, and on the right the after/fused project. 


I enjoy the class, and started thinking about ideas of what I might be able to make if I had more time.  

It was time for another private party, and I had ideas heading into the party. Lofty goals of things I want to make in glass. Ideas for things I might like to see in my home now or in the future. Thoughts about things that might make good presents. 


I felt super satisfied at the end of this class. I made the first piece I was super proud of. My unicorn! I also made a few other random pieces but I was very drawn into the unicorn. 

Leaving that class I knew I needed to sign up for another class. I could feel the grip loosening and I could feel my creative side coming back out. 


I am in a place right now where I am letting the glass speak to me, and I speak back.  I have a few ideas. There is a list in my phone of sets of plates I would like to see. Ideas I could try. I still let the glass lead the way. 

Today I took a “big plates” class. I opted not to do the platter, because we just don’t have the space. I did two smaller ones. I only decided 24 hours before to take the class. I didn’t have anything really in mind. 


I looked at the glass. I looked for light and shadow. I looked for what I could see beyond the glass. I looked for balance and waited for the pieces to talk to me. 

I am excited to see how the pieces come out once they are fused. I have at least two more fusing classes on the books at this time. It’s been really nice to feel like I am a part of something even with changing faces in each class. 
I can feel myself relaxing into the process with each session. I can feel the pieces leading me to the project instead of the other way around and it’s a treat. 

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Coming out of the dark. #NoStigma

Hi guys! When I last checked in with you I told you I was in a very dark place. I am not ashamed at all to admit that I have struggled with my mental health for much of my life. Dating back to my adolescence I have had issues with depression, and anxiety. Sometimes you just need some help.

I recall being pricked up from school, being told we were going out to lunch and instead being taken to see a therapist. You can imagine how that ended. Don’t lie to your kid folks. Just don’t. You think you are protecting them, but really you are just creating a way to protect to yourself. You need to find the courage of your own convictions.

At the end of August my struggles reached what I call a tipping point. I have been working with a doctor and a psychiatrist since December on meds to try and right the ship. Well… the ship decided to hit a reef and overturn during the holiday weekend and I needed to call for help.

I needed to step back from everything. This was hard. I stepped away from nearly everything. I left my job, my home, I stopped reading and watching the news. I stepped away from most of social media. I took very few phone calls, saw very few people. This I am sure seems drastic to some, but I was at a point where if I did not step back… the thought I was having ere going to cause very ad thing to happen.

For those following along on Instagram, or Facebook my departure probably seemed a bit odd. The tone of my posts changed, it I have not made a public statement over my need for more formal help. Those close to me know what happened to me. They knew I was losing my grip, and needed urgent help. We show the best parts of our lives to the outside, we put the best parts of our lives on social media, and tell the best stories to other. There is no reason for me to continue to be okay when you’re not.

I do have to acknowledge the great friends that I have who have all supported me through this. Asking for help can be SO scary.

The good news is there is light t the end of the tunnel. I do not believe that it is a train coming at me. I have started some new medications that seem to be helping stabilize my moods, and also life the depression and anxiety. I am working on a routine, and on coping kills for anxiety.

I am working on self-care plans. Things like going back to prepping meals, going for walks (even if they aware short ones, as I am still experiencing pain and weakness in the ankle I broke last year). I am also working on my art again. I am taking some glass fusing classes at Goddess of Glass in Minneapolis, which will be two-fold. It will let me work on my creative side, but also allow me to make some holiday gifts. I am also looking into a way to or on my drawing digitally. I used to draw pen and pencil on paper… but that takes up a lot of space. So I might invest in the 53 Pencil for my iPad.

Anyone up for sharing their self-care tips? What do you do to take care of yourself? How do you make time for you? How do you leave work at work or the troubles at the door? One suggestion was to blast my radio and sing along or physically find something to touch and leave my troubles on. I’m open to suggestions I figure anything might be worth trying!

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Deep thoughts from the Funeral

Any week in your life when you say goodbye to a friend is going to be difficult. I found myself asking the difficult question, “is this the tipping point in life, more funerals than weddings or baby showers. More sadness than celebration?”

Intellectually I know that is not the truth. Life keeps moving on, and there are always things to celebrate. I have been working diligently in the recent past to celebrate everything I can, and plan to continue that. I believe it is important. 

I am finding strength and support from new friends as I grow and change. I grow more distant from those who I once treasured so dearly.  

I have thought a lot recently about how growth is pain.  Much like fruit on the vine, that which does not grow is left to wither and die. Fruit that does grow, changes and is forced into a new shape, it enlarges, and is forced by the conditions around it, and the nutrition available to adapt, thrive, or whither and die.  Did you know they can make watermelons square, or pears shaped like Buddha? Adaptation to environment, and the result of need or desire for change. That pear or watermelon grew as it was forced, not all end up the same and that’s ok. 

It’s hard to think about loss because it makes us look sat ourselves. What is the legacy I want to leave behind? Would anyone come to my funeral? What would people say about me? As I sat in the pew at mass I did have the passing though that I did not care if anyone showed up at my funeral because those that matter show up when you are here. 

Funerals are not for the dead they are for the living… and while I am out living I want to be surrounded by the amazing and magical people that keep showing up.  This is why I invite people to be part of my life. Be present because you are a gift of spirit. 

You can raise someone up, or drag them down and it is your choice how to handle a situation. I will continue to raise others and myself up, saying yes and showing up when asked at every chance my body allows. We only get one shot in this life, find joy where we can, embrace it where it lives in whatever form it arrives in. 

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Courage

Watching to “To The Bone” on Netflix today a lot of it hit home. I have struggled as far back in my life as I remember with an eating disorder. More than that this movie was a good reminder about living life. 
Folks, I beg you to take note in the real world there is no way to be safe or see and live just the good moments. 

Stop waiting for life to be easy. The more you push through the muck and the mud; the garbage and the sludge the more brilliance and beauty you will find. 

Stop hoping for someone or something to come along and save you. We are meant to be resilient and when you stare down the demons and that awful shit… you are going to have an AMAZING life. 

I offer you this poem for a bit of reflection. Please enjoy and move into the week with intention! 

Courage 

     by Anne Sexton

It is in the small things we see it.

The child’s first step,

as awesome as an earthquake.

The first time you rode a bike,

wallowing up the sidewalk.

The first spanking when your heart

went on a journey all alone.

When they called you crybaby

or poor or fatty or crazy

and made you into an alien,

you drank their acid

and concealed it.


Later,

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets

you did not do it with a banner,

you did it with only a hat to

comver your heart.

You did not fondle the weakness inside you

though it was there.

Your courage was a small coal

that you kept swallowing.

If your buddy saved you

and died himself in so doing,

then his courage was not courage,

it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.


Later,

if you have endured a great despair,

then you did it alone,

getting a transfusion from the fire,

picking the scabs off your heart,

then wringing it out like a sock.

Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,

you gave it a back rub

and then you covered it with a blanket

and after it had slept a while

it woke to the wings of the roses

and was transformed.


Later,

when you face old age and its natural conclusion

your courage will still be shown in the little ways,

each spring will be a sword you’ll sharpen,

those you love will live in a fever of love,

and you’ll bargain with the calendar

and at the last moment

when death opens the back door

you’ll put on your carpet slippers

and stride out.



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My Summer of Dresses

So I literally spent the entire summer in dresses. Skater dresses, Maxi dresses, Sun dresses.  Workdays were spent in dresses and casual Fridays where jeans should be worn… dresses.

I am “not a dress person.” A former coworker who has now left my job said having my gallbladder removed was probably the best thing that could have happened to my fashion sense. … WOW. I guess maybe it was supposed to be a confidence booster about my dresses.  I have been trying not to criticize myself too harshly, especially as my wardrobe now contains an obscene number of dresses.

For those keeping track my galbladder surgery was back in… April.  I had not been able to wear pants for the longest time due to the incision in my belly button.  It would not heal.  The dissolvable stitches they used were not being disolved by my body.  They were also poking out through the incision causing further irritation and scarring.

About two weeks ago I tried jeans again for the full day.  It was uncomfortable, but manageable.  I have missed my “normal” clothes.  They are an expression of me… and while the dresses are an expression they don’t have the same way of expressing things as my unicorn, superhero, or coffee shirts do.

So I have now morn my jeans a few times, like maybe three… they are not as comfy as they once were… but they still fit! Which is something I was concerned about due to the possible weight gain or body shift having nothing forn fitting being worn in months!

Fall is here, which means it will be time to modify my wardrobe… adding leggings under my dresses, but I will likely continue my dresses into fall and winter since pants are still leave me counting down the time to get them off at the end of the day.

I am happy as a clam to be finally feeling like I am almost back to normal where I can get back to a starting point to regaining my stamina.  I can’t even begin to explain how difficult it has been to wrap my head around how kind i need to be to my body to allow it to recover on its own terms.

Kindness to ones own self is possibly one of the most dificult things I have had to learn.

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Everyone is Someones Replacement

So recently I have been trying to stay very in the moment.  Very conscious and connected to the here and now. I hear people call it being rooted, or a bunch of different things  I started calling it being in the flow when I started connecting to whatever “it” is that I have been experiencing.  The more I am in the flow, the more I find books, experiences, and people who are “in the flow.”  I am experiencing energy attracting like energy and I fully believe it.

If you view yourself as mediocre, and look at your circle of friends, and your job and your situation, you are going to find that you are surrounded by things that are exactly that.  If you view yourself as AMAZING, and that you do AWESOME things, and you try new things, and you like in a state of the here and now and are thankful for what you can do in the moment… you will attract more good energy.

So earlier this week I was having a nice chat with a friend, when a nerve was struck. It struck kinda hard and I am not sure why. We have been talking about a lot of things. We talk a lot about work, a lot about my old job, since we have that setting in common. We started talking about how I had left behind some big shoes to fill, that they haven’t quite found the right fit for and how I still feel a little bit of mixed emotions over that situation. We also talked about some things going on in life right now, big and little, mostly just empty chat… that somehow turned into deep insightful conversation as tends to happen when I just sit down to talk with someone.

When he said… “everyone is someones replacement” I just… I didn’t have words to respond.  I mean, it is truth, it is so profound… It makes me think about what kind of space I want to leave behind to be replaced in any aspect of my life.  About two weeks ago a friend of mine passed away suddenly.  If I were to pass away… who would be my replacement.

I know that is not exactly the context we were speaking in… but my mind went there.  I mean, I know I am replaceable at work… I never live under the illusion that I am not.  While I may have been told two jobs ago “you can be replaced by an add on craigslist” during a fit of frustration by my manager, for which when I gave my notice and said that was one of my reasons for leaving I received an apology, it is true.  My replacements may not be as qualified for the job as I was, or as hard-working, but as i said before you attract what you put out there… and if you are just looking for a body to be there at an ungodly hour… that is what you will get.

I don’t have kids of my own to worry about who would be mom to them… but I am an auntie… and it is sad to think who would replace what I teach them.  I am a daughter, and no matter what the state of my relationship with parents is, there is no one that could replace that role.  I am a sister, who would put her life on the line… or on hold in her brother needed something. Who would do that?

While everyone is someones replacement… no one is replaceable. I want those words to resonate with you right now.  Everyone is someones replacement… but NO ONE IS REPLACEABLE.  You are valuable.  You are unique and you touch people in ways you do not know, and can not understand.

I have struggled for years with depression.  Along with depression I have self-esteem issues, self-worth issues, anxiety, you name it it effects me in some way.  When I was a teen I attempted suicide, and as I have been in recovery from that for years it never really clicked that I am not replaceable.  I can be replaced but I am not replaceable.  My job in the transportation industry has I suppose served as a huge learning tool for me… because it keeps showing me over and over again that I can be replaced but I am not replaceable.

So take a look in the mirror, look into your eyes and tell yourself you are not replaceable, say it like you mean it. Say it until you believe it. Everyday.

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What Happens When you Move Out

So I haven’t really talked to anyone yet about WHY I moved out, or what happened to cause me to leave it all behind… You see last year at Fitbloggin I was not really in the best of heads-paces with my blog.  Along came Dan and Rachel, but mostly Dan from Blogging Concentrated.  Dan pushed me to know more about “my story”  I told him a little about me, and why I write… and where I wrote. I also told him what I wanted to write about.  He suggested I steer the boat in the direction I was talking about.

So after Fitbloggin14′ I bought a new domain… and pointed it at the old site. What is that old saying about insanity and expecting different results? Or better yet… if you always do what you have always done you will always get what you always got.  Yeah that sounds about right.  The problem was really not with the blog, or myself really it is that my expectations had shifted, and what my expectations for what “home” was to be, could no longer be a reality.

As I get older, and I am not saying I am old I am just saying that I am as everyone else is celebrating a birthday every year,I am not just now fighting the normal issues that accompany that process.  I am fighting the fact that I have a genetic issue that I cannot control. I am not letting it define my life, however it does cause me to take notice of some things more than others.  The physical decline makes the mental side of things even more difficult.  Framing the though of getting healthy, around a body that in my mind was a “big fat failure” was and remains VERY difficult.

I can’t tell you the number of days and nights I have said, Why the hell is my body such a fucking mess? Why is it so weak? Why does it have to fall apart over and over again? It is SUCH a struggle to feel like you can do all these amazing things in one moment, and the next literally have the floor drop out from under you because your body LITERALLY can’t hold it together.  It feels like a giant metaphor for life… you squeeze onto things so hard and then poof they are gone.

What I have been working on is to try to find the best way for me to accept myself, and my life in the moments that I am in. Some days are better than others, I can laugh loudly and easily find many things to be grateful for.  Some days are hard, and I am just thankful to have the strength to get out of bed… I muster all I have to get through the day at my job and come home to collapse with a frozen dinner and that’s all I have left in me.

The days where I have so little to “give” are the days I need to seek acceptance and forgiveness of myself the most.  Forgiveness of so many things I put upon myself.  Things like you didn’t work out, you didn’t eat right, you’re lazy, you’re a failure because you are weak and can’t do X Y or Z.  Acceptance that while I can’t do something in that moment that those days are not fatal, they are not final.

Not a single thing I do can define me. I am learning… it is a process… a process of forgiveness and acceptance.  A process of learning and loss.  I do believe I am grieving a loss at this point, a loss of a goal I had for myself.  I haven’t lost my goal, but my expectations have been more clearly defined and that has become a very harsh reality to face.

If you havent noticed I have migrated my social media names, I will be leaving my old blog up, because there is no reason to bury the past… but there is no reason to live there either.  Thanks to those of you that have already joined me on my way! we’re off on an adventure… and don’t worry there will be Unicorns, goats, llamas, sheep, alpacas and more along the way! Just wait and see!