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fears

I am afraid of vulnerability

and yet here I sit getting ready to pour my heart out

I wear my heart on my sleeve in everything that I do

and I am afraid that who I am will lead to more pain

 

I am afraid to trust anyone else

I assume the best of people sometimes, even in the worst

I want to believe their intentions are as pure as mine

and I always get hurt

I hear I “need to be more mean”

and I fear my heart will turn to stone and never soften again

and I’m scared I will never be able to reach anyone again

if I am made of ice

 

I am afraid my strength is actually a facade

and the only person I’m fooling is myself

 

I am afraid I’m living too fast

and I’ll die too soon

and I’m missing out on the life around me while I worry about the past and what will be

 

I’m afraid I’m moving too slow

my life is going nowhere

 

I fear I might be lost because I have no idea where I’m going

what if instead of living life, I’m just along for the ride?

 

grief is a sacred thing

and I have grieved so much so soon

I’m afraid I’m not grieving like I should

and I fear it will haunt me someday

 

I’m afraid of learning important lessons too late

I’m afraid I won’t value what’s in front of me until I can’t have it anymore

I fear that life is too fucking short

and I’m spending it afraid

 

vulnerability scares me

and yet here I am sharing what scares me most

because I don’t want to have anything to hide

and I don’t want to be a mystery even though it feels safer

safer to hide behind my fears

and safer to be alone with my thoughts even though solitude is sometimes scary

 

but here I am

hoping for the best

and tired of expecting the worst

 

I don’t want to be afraid anymore

so I share my fears in the hopes that throwing them into the light will scare them away

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home – a thing

sometimes something is like home

a feeling, a taste, a smell, a sound, a sight

the senses bring us home

and we find home in a person, a place, a thing, an idea

nouns

and in this moment, I find home in the flavor of pine needles on my tongue

and I regret that I hunger, I thirst

and that I will need to wash away this flavor

of home

I put a handwritten copy of this in Claudia’s grave.  She died by euthanasia about two and a half hours ago in her/my backyard after a long battle with dementia, heart disease, pancreatitis, and more recently kidney disease.  I feel so incredibly lost.  That dog was my soulmate in dog form.  She was my best friend.  I feel like I died.  She was my baby.

———–

I knew the day we brought you home that you were special

I actually already knew, but you showed me right away how smart you were

looking at me with inquisitive ears before walking into our bedroom and waiting for me to gesture somehow, almost like you were asking if it was okay to come in

I remember how independent you always were and how for the longest time you didn’t like to cuddle

While this was sometimes frustrating, I always found your attitude endearing

Speaking of attitude, I remember how I could always tell what you were feeling because of your expressive eyebrows

I remember how pissy you looked sometimes, and it was adorable

I remember how you’d try to tree squirrels when I took you to Saugatuck

and I remember the overly trusting peanut squirrel walking up to you in front of the Peanut Store and how you lunged at them

thankfully I was holding you by the harness

you were always a baked goods thief, and I remember at least a few occasions of your theft

especially when you ate all the banana muffins except the one you tucked in the corner for later

I remember how much you loved to play hide and seek

this must have been one of your favorite games, you always smiled so big

I remember how you used to wag your tail, how wide the wag was and how the end of your tail would loop to whatever side it was on

I sure miss seeing you that happy

I remember how the light in your eyes returned a couple of weeks after adopting you

it was the first time I’d seen it since I met you as a volunteer

I only see that light anymore when I return from somewhere, but I cherish what remains

I know you were always incredibly strong willed, independent, and definitely a one-person kind of dog

though I feel like it took years for you to really warm up to me, it happened

you were very loyal to me even before then, but you learned to like being close to me as you got older

I remember how calming you always were

all I had to do was put my hand on you and a wave of calm washed over me

you always had a quiet wisdom

I felt I could especially see it in the sunshine when we’d sit and you’d close your eyes and have what I liked to call your “zen face”

you looked so peaceful

there are so many memories, I could talk about them all day

You’re the kind of dog that models the kind of person I want to be

Strong, independent, wise, quiet (but always pondering), graceful, persistent, peaceful

Even through the illnesses you’ve had for a few years now, and even though I thought I would lose you many times before this

you always fought with such grace

you always kept going

you’re a survivor

throughout the hardest transitions and the deepest depressions

you’ve kept me going

you’ve given me a reason to get up every day

I’m going to miss you so much I can barely stand it

I already miss you

I hate that dementia has taken so much of you away

even though you’re not completely gone, I just don’t think it’s fair to you anymore to continue with this, not to mention the other battles you’re fighting

I can tell you’re tired

I want to keep you with me, I want to hold you and assure you you’re safe and everything will be okay, but I don’t want you to face any more pain, confusion, anxiety, or fear

I want to give you back all of the peace you’ve given me since bringing you home that October in 2009

You were the best dog anyone could ask for

You showed every reason why adopting senior dogs is the best

You were perfect for me, everything I wanted and so much more

I’ve learned so much from you, you’ve been the perfect teacher

we were meant to be together, and I truly believe we saved each other

I love you Claudia, and I always will

run free with the wolves

someday I will join you

until then, please be at peace and know mommy loves you with every last ounce of my being

the hardest decision

I decided Sunday night that it’s time to euthanize my old dog, Claudia.  I bring her in tomorrow for an appointment to discuss a date.

This has been a long time coming, and I’ve thought numerous times over the years that I would lose her, whether she’d nearly gone into congestive heart failure or had a bad pancreatitis flare that happened so fast and wreaked havoc so quickly.  Even with her diagnosis of kidney disease last summer and how profoundly that impacted her, I thought it might be the end.

But none of that is a factor here.  I’m making a decision over something not so cut and dry, her mental health.  Dementia has slowly been stealing her away from me, and the light in her eyes has been gone for quite some time.  One of the rare times I see her smile anymore is when I get home…and that makes me feel even more like I’m betraying her because she recognizes me as safe.  As a friend and coworker said to me last night (when trying to reassure me this is the right decision), seeing me stimulates a different part of her brain and I’m one of the only things she remembers.

I can pretty confidently say I’ve tried everything.  I spend literally hundreds a month on routine meds for her heart disease, pancreatitis, and a med that helps stave off liver disease.  I’ve tried different things for her dementia.  I tried Selegiline a few months back, and its impact was profound for a month before she started to slip away again.  I’ve tried CBD oil not only for her dementia, but as pain relief for her arthritis.  There were few noticeable effects, if any.

I tried taking her for a walk Sunday evening after work and she barely moved.  While arthritis may have been playing a role, what struck me is how lost she seemed.  I could at least take her up the street a bit just a few weeks ago before she seemed so sore and lost.  I got my dad’s opinion since he’d seen her earlier in the day for the first time in a few weeks, and even he said she’s gotten quite a bit worse.

Everything in my gut says the increased confusion isn’t from the UTI I’ve been treating her for for the past couple weeks.  I’m still going to have a sample tested tomorrow, just in case.  Everything in my gut says it’s time, her quality of life is gone, she’s “a shell of who she was”, “she’s on autopilot”, just like my ex says.  My ex is right.  But my heart is in serious denial.

When I wanted to end my life on a few occasions the last couple years, this dog was literally the reason I pushed myself to keep going.  And she was literally the reason I got out of bed so many mornings.  She wouldn’t sit still and stop pacing around the bed and looking up at me, and putting her paws on the bed, until I got up and active.  Then she’d go lay on the couch like she’d accomplished what she’d set out to.  She pulled me through the biggest life transitions I’ve ever gone through.  She and my other dog, Willow.  But especially Claudia.  She didn’t give up on me, and I never wanted to give up on her.  I try to reassure myself this is best for her and it’s selfish to keep her alive in her current state.

This dog has been my best friend.  Every time I think about this my heart breaks even more.  I really don’t know how I’m going to get through this…the courage it’ll take, the strength, everything.  I’m trying to keep myself together and be strong for her while she’s still here, but damn it’s hard.  But I’m trying.  I’m going to miss her so fucking much.

Trying to decide on a date is also hell.  I’m trying to figure it out based on my work schedule, my vet’s availability to do a home euthanasia, what’s “too soon”, what’s “too long”, if my boss(es) will accommodate a need for a day or two off, etc.  The stress of trying to even figure out a fucking date it almost too much to deal with.

I’m going to need whatever strength I can muster up to get through the next while here.  Tomorrow I talk to my vet and finalize this decision, and a date.  I’m coasting through every day right now, and some days are harder than others.  I have amazing family, friends, and coworkers who are very supportive and understanding of the mess that I am right now.  I’m very grateful.  The effect this has had on me scares me…I’m withdrawing quite a bit, among other things.  It’s just very hard.  I love this old girl.  She’s laying against me on the couch as I write this, snoring her peaceful snore.  I’ll miss that.  I’ll miss her.

Pieces

“One day someone is going to hug you so tight that all of your broken pieces will stick back together.”

I’ve always liked this quote. I miss feeling that kind of love.

But I have a different take now. I’ve always known that it’s my job to grow and put myself back together. I don’t need to be saved or fixed. And I don’t want to fix anyone else. I just want someone to walk with me as a partner, recognize and accept that I’ve been broken and I have my baggage (who doesn’t?), and yet have the strength and courage to love my strong, healing (yet sometimes still hurting), stubborn ass anyway. And see me as a whole instead of the pieces I’m sometimes in.

It’s hard to explain this feeling. I’m not in the awful med induced depression anymore, but this weird limbo state. I’m not happy like I was.

I deactivated my facebook yesterday. I’m sure I’ll be back, but I’m quite honestly tired of all the noise and all the garbage. I don’t have the give a shit to look at it anymore.

There are a few things I no longer have the give a shit for. All I can say is please see my previous untitled post for some idea of what I’m talking about when I say heartbreak. My heart has literally been broken too many times for me to have the energy to fight for people anymore, regardless of whether they once meant everything to me or if I had hopes for us to be a “thing”.

It’s not that I don’t care. I just don’t have the energy to fight for people who won’t make a space for me in their heart like I did for them. I don’t have the resources to do this shit anymore.

The old me may have sent my now ex boyfriend another text after he blew off the one I sent telling him I miss him. The new me is hurt, but whatever. I’m unfortunately used to hurt. What I do with it is up to me, how much I keep putting myself in a position to be hurt more is up to me. Some thought it was a mistake I reached out to him, but I still love him. Regardless of how he chooses to handle himself, I wanted him to know how I feel. And I left it there. What he does or doesn’t do isn’t my problem, though I do hope to hear from him someday. I don’t know. In spite of all the problems this still feels wrong…and I’d like to think his potential for growth is incredibly great. Maybe it’s just me having too much faith in people again.

The old me probably would have also given the guy at work a piece of my mind. But why bother. We were never together, and I just don’t care enough to take the chance of being more vulnerable and looking like an even bigger fool. Most importantly, I don’t want to hand him another opportunity to feed me bullshit. If he wants to seek me out that’s one thing, then he’s asking for it. But I’m not chasing him, or anyone else. I’m done chasing people.

I don’t want to be a disconnected, cold asshat like so many others in the dating world. I just want to be more guarded. No one else will be looking out for me unless they want to give their heart as much as I want to give mine. And they’ll get it. If I ever meet them. If they exist.

It’s so incredibly difficult to fight heartbreak and all the ways it hardens you. I came out of a 13 year relationship and entered into a shallow, cold world of dating. I’m a committed individual surrounded by people who like to do little more than hook up and play games. So much emotional maturity is lacking. It’s kinda scary sometimes when I look around and see how people treat each other. I shouldn’t be surprised I guess, but I am.

Anyway, there’s my rant. Sorry for the negativity, just needed to get that off my chest. Thanks as always to my loyal readers for taking the time.

Figured I’d put something out here strictly for the loyal readers that follow my blog on wordpress, an update I suppose.

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately.  When you’re in the grips of depression it feels like all you can do is think.  My depression was med induced this time, though I was a little off both before the increase and after the decrease to my previous dose.  I couldn’t wait to bump the dose back down anymore…two weeks on the increased dose and I kept having this knee jerk thought: I’m dying.  It felt like emotional death.  It was horrible, and I’m grateful to be feeling more normal again.

That said, something is still off.  I’m admittedly exhausted from working a lot.  I’m burnt out.

So, some of you may remember a previous post where I mentioned the possibility of entering into a relationship.  I’ve been talking to this guy since November, he’s a coworker (yeah, I know) who works on the sister unit to my unit.  We really hit it off the day I trained him on my unit and we’ve been talking since.  Got a lot in common, got along great, flirtation on both sides, etc.  Well, apparently he has a girlfriend.  He has for a few years actually.  Did I find this out from him?  No, I didn’t.  In spite of the fact that he had many opportunities to bring her up, he never did.  I found it out from a friend who was talking to him, and he told her.  I was admittedly a bit humiliated that this friend decided to call him out for his flirtation and lack of openness.  He said he’d have to talk to me.  He tried to hang out on lunch one time since then, probably to discuss this, but I said I was busy.  We haven’t spoken since.  I would have called him out myself, but two other people (that I know of) have taken it upon themselves to do so on my behalf (which I’m not thrilled about to be honest) and I just feel so shitty I don’t want to talk about it.  Or at least I didn’t at the time.  It was right in the middle of that horrible depression and I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold myself together.  And now shit’s just awkward.  I was by him at a code yesterday and he wouldn’t look at me or talk to me…he acted kinda like a smug ass.  Honestly, I’m just “over it” right now.  I’ve been betrayed, lied to, led on, hurt, and generally fucked with so much that I’m beyond the point of feeling the need to explain my feelings when someone has played me.  I feel that if he was really worth my time, that this was somehow some huge misunderstanding and he didn’t mean to lead me on, he not only would have made a larger effort to talk to me but he wouldn’t be going to my friend at work (who told me this news) and asking “why I’m all pissed off” and not talking to him.  He’d just talk to me himself and perhaps even have the emotional maturity to understand that anger is a secondary emotion, and what I really am is hurt.  I got played…again.  And that hurts deep, not just because it happened this time, but it keeps happening.

So I’m just over it right now.  I’m starting to believe I can’t trust anyone that I think I can.  It’s a shitty feeling.  And again, I wonder how much I can trust myself because I keep falling for these people.

More important than shitty men, some of my friends are going through some heavy things.  One of my closest friends that I met at the crisis home is having some major health issues and I’m very worried about her.  And that’s not even considering all the bullshit she deals with in her personal life.  I’m very, very worried.  That’s all I’m going to say right now.

I’ve been reflecting on a lot of relationship stuff lately, romantic and otherwise.  My mom and how to patch that up, if it can be done.   How much I miss my ex husband and have so many regrets.  Wishing it could be fixed.  The mess after my ex husband.  My ex boyfriend and how much I miss him, but also how incredibly bizarre he was and how I should feel more at peace with the fact that it’s over, even though I still love him and miss him so fucking much.  I think about the fact he never responded to my text a couple weeks ago and wonder if it’s because he’s got me blocked or he’s too much of a coward to talk to me, just like the other love he seriously fucked up.  Or if he’s just completely ambivalent.  I think of the guy I called my “dream guy”, the one I planned a road trip with during all of my upcoming PTO.  The dude it seemed like I would date (because there was obviously mutual interest), and then he just stopped talking to me.  Then one day I found out he was seeing a coworker.  Then the guy who rejected me over something shallow.  Then the guy at work.  The fact that I told a coworker/friend yesterday I want to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, but maybe I shouldn’t.  And she said I’m “too nice” and “passive”.  I think about the roots of all of this and what it means and I wonder how to change it.  I know there’s a way, and it won’t be easy.  I learned that shit somehow.

I also think a lot about where my life is going.  Like, what kind of work will I do, where I’ll end up living, the fact that my hair is turning white (okay, just a few white hairs here and there), the fact that I’m single and every dude I’m interested in is apparently either gamy, emotionally unavailable, somehow abusive, dishonest, and generally just not worth it.  I think about my financial issues.  I think about the reality with my old Claudia that I don’t want to face: her life is almost over.  I think about the world and wonder what to do with all of this wander lust.  I think about how I have to work more and wonder how to balance that with sleep, sanity, and everything I need to do and want to do.  I think about how I should do my hobbies more.  I think about all the things at home that need rebuilding or repair.  I think about meditation and trying to be more mindful when I do things, even taking a shower.  I think about spirituality and how I should practice it more.  I think about how I’m gaining weight in spite of going to the gym and figure it’s muscle gain (since I lift weights, even though I also use the elliptical).  But I’m still not happy with how I look and I don’t think my figure is improving.  So I feel like shit about that.  And I think about how to eat well on a budget.  I think about how I haven’t played guitar in ages.  I think about gardening and my messy yard and how I want to make it look less hill billy this year.  I think about dating women since most dudes I meet completely suck, even though I’m much more attracted to men.  As a friend so bluntly put it recently (referring to herself), “I want a man’s dick with a woman’s heart”.  I feel that sentiment.  I think about how I probably drink more than I should these days, including right now just hours after a blood donation (it’s only one drink, but still).  I think about the “portfolio” of mine that’s due at work this week and wonder if I’ll get a raise.  I think about how this isn’t what I thought my life would be.  And I feel scared about what could come next, even though I want to be excited and hopeful…and not too long ago, I was.

So that’s kind of a snap shot of life right now.  I’m trying so hard to stay positive, but I feel a bit weighed down by everything lately.  I don’t know what to do with it all, so there’s some word vomit to at least get it out of my mind and on some kind of medium.  Soon again it’ll have to be paint or pastels.  I miss art.  I feel very little inspiration lately.  I feel stuck.  I want to get unstuck.  I’m trying to figure out how.  That’s really the main good thing I can say right now: I’m trying.