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Archive for April, 2016

Yellow ribbons for life

Something was wrong with me when I came home from Japan.

The wrongness sat with me for months, unidentified and unidentifiable until I sat waiting to turn at a T-intersection and saw a big rig barrelling down the street toward me.

I imagined taking my foot off the brake, and the subsequent peace of no longer having to struggle.

Thanks to that brief vision, I was finally able to identify what was wrong: depression.

I couldn’t name it–or work to ease it–until I could really see it.

Someone I love has been struggling extra hard recently.

This friend told me today that last weekend they were closer to suicide than ever before.

My heart caught, hearing that. “Please call me,” I entreated. “Please call.”

As I drove away from my friend, I thought about what I’d said.

I thought about my very first webpage, and a program I’d once featured as inspirational. Lights for Life distributed–and continues to distribute–cards with yellow ribbons on them. These cards are an alternative to having to try to explain. They give youth who are considering suicide a way to reach out for help without needing to focus on finding words.

Sometimes, there are no words adequate to express what someone is feeling. Sometimes, they can’t be found. Sometimes, the act of reaching out itself can seem so monumental the thought of adding words on top feels impossible.

Sometimes, words are not the answer.

Today I will send my friend this picture, and say it’s OK to text me this image if words won’t work.

I don’t need words to listen. I don’t need words to hear.

For all the words I pour out endlessly, I know well words’ weaknesses,

and hope that my friends know they can
always, always, send a yellow ribbon,
and that I will understand
and lend heart and hands
without judgment and
with
so
much
love.

image

Please see yellowribbon.org for more

Mechanics & medicine

A few days ago, I found a receipt showing it had been three years since a momentous change in my life health.

Oooooh, those are exciting words, right? They don’t seem very exciting in retrospect. They’re matter of fact. All that changed was my finding a book. One little book.

I’d spent six months trying to find a doctor who could help me understand what was suddenly wrong with me, and how to fix it. My search was fruitless. And then, then I found a book talking about how changing my diet could change everything. I was only eating eight foods at that point, so that the book’s direction to remove one of those–rice–didn’t seem like it could do much, but it changed everything for me.

Grains were a problem. Meat was not. Fat was not. Most vegetables were not.

I didn’t have a diagnosis, but I had (mostly) my health … and didn’t care much

about a diagnosis, as long as I had that.

About a year ago, I realized I was having a problem with certain sets of foods. They didn’t seem at all related, until I googled them and found a commonality. Read more…

Our 3 a.m. romance

At 2:57 a.m., the scent of my husband’s deodorant awakened me.

I laid in bed for a few more minutes before rising and asking Anthony, “How long till you leave?”

“I’ve got about fifteen minutes,” he replied before fumbling slowly through the darkness toward me. He planted a kiss on my cheek.

“Can I get your computer?” I mumbled, thinking of a spreadsheet on his computer I needed to update.

“Sure.” He got me situated with his computer and continued preparing for his workday. Read more…

On deefiness

Categories: Reflections Tags: , , ,

Progress, not perfection

As an introvert, meetings often exhaust me.

Today I attended a rare meeting that invigorated me without the corresponding exhaustion.

The meeting was only five minutes, which helped, but my joy was about more than un-meeting minutes.

One colleague explained what he’d accomplished since our last meeting. He expressed regret that he hadn’t finished everything yet.

A teammate I greatly admire, C, countered that with a simple upbeat statement that blew me away: “What I’m hearing is progress–it’s all good stuff!”

Recently, I’ve been making huge lifestyle changes to reduce anxiety and physical symptoms–each of which feeds the other–that have assailed me for the last few months. With every passing week, I’ve become more frustrated how much work there is ahead:

Shouldn’t I be healed already? I’m failing. I’m a failure.

Hearing C’s optimism and warmth  inspired me to look at my situation in a different light, as I imagined he might. Instead of focusing on all the progress I have yet to make, I sought signs of progress I have already made … and found a great many.

I am doing good work.

The facts are all the same as they were before that morning meeting, but my perspective now isn’t even on the same continent as it was then.

‘Cause what I’m seeing is progress–and it’s all good stuff!

Beyond where stars twinkle

I held
my sister’s hand
on her sofa in Portland
(and also Metropolis)
as we finished watching
The Man of Steel

I thought how
wondrous it is how
we humans create
such marvelous
fictional problems,
and (often)
even
better
solutions

Where filmmakers
and authors fail,
others offer
alternatives,
numbering
dozens,
hundreds,
and even thousands

How hopeful!

We humans
are good at
creating problems
but we are also
innovative
about resolving them,
politics usually excluded Read more…

Another small-great kindness

Last night I found a bag I’d long ago forgotten was mine.

"Needed an extra backpack; considered (aloud) using my work one. "Or you could use your old one," Anthony said. "My old one?" "Yeah," he said, gesturing toward a small black bag I'd thought was David's. Dubious, I opened it and found ... keepsakes from my 32nd birthday! I'll keep the towel, but by now it's best to skip those glucose tablets and lip glosses, methinks. :)"

Needed an extra backpack; considered (aloud) using my work one. “Or you could use your old one,” Anthony said. “My old one?” “Yeah,” he said, gesturing toward a small black bag I’d thought was David’s. Dubious, I opened it and found … keepsakes from my 32nd birthday! I’ll keep the towel, but by now it’s best to skip those glucose tablets and lip glosses, methinks. 🙂

After my little ones were asleep, I pulled out the old purse journal I’d found tucked in with my commemorative towel. I curled up against one of my sofa’s arms and began reading a random page.
Read more…

Categories: Family, Love Tags: , , ,
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