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Journeys of Healing & Discovery

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When I started my road to recovery, I felt incredibly alone.  My circle of friends at that time were not interested in things like feeling pain, speaking truth, or self-reflection. Who could blame us, really?

I had myself tightly knit with people who lived in denial, thus allowing me the freedom to do the same.  I didn’t even realize the cocoon I lived in until I took several steps away. It felt natural, and safe.  Little did I know just how wrong I was…

Joining the blogging community has been such a completely different experience.  I’ve found so many people who are interested in growth and healing of all sorts.  Some from physical issues, others from emotional, mental, or spiritual ones.  My own journey of healing and recovery was catapulted with the discovery of such a rich world of genuinely caring and tremendous people.

There are several such bloggers I’d love to highlight on this ‘blog hop’ I’m on, but today I’ve narrowed it down to two, plus a thank-you for the invitation to join in The Hop.

As part of The Hop, I’ll also answer 4 burning questions at the end!  😉

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The Difference Between Feeling Better and Getting Better

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Feeling better seems to be a universal goal of humankind.

When we’re experiencing physical, emotional, or spiritual pain, the instinct to feel better can take on a life of its own.  Most of us don’t even realize our subconscious is in overdrive doing whatever it takes to avoid bad feelings.

The problem is this:  what makes us feel better usually isn’t what makes us get better.

Feeling Better More

Change Of Plans

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In 2009 my husband and I realized time was running out for taking a family vacation –at least for our existing family unit.  Both kids were seriously involved with their significant others and we knew it wouldn’t be long before there would be wedding bells.  Change was fast approaching for family as we knew it Happy for our soon-to-be-growing family, the vacation would be a bitter-sweet and symbolic farewell to the existing family structure.

Thus began the plans for what seemed like a fantasy trip for 4 to Scotland and Ireland.  None of us had been to Europe and we all agreed experiencing a bit o’ Irish sounded like a lot of fun.

The planning was both exciting and stressful, as vacations are prone to be.  However, stressful took on another level when my dad died during the planning stages and my PTSD symptoms exploded.  His death launched an entire new wave of nightmares and flashbacks.

I struggled mightily to focus on planning the trip, not wanting to disappoint my kids.   My mental state became fragile, my work suffered, and I spent many hours crying on the couch trying in vain to figure a way to escape my anxiety and not give up on the trip.

Somehow we got our itinerary finalized and bought the airline tickets.  Three days later the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in Iceland.  The volcano may as well have been inside my head because my brain felt like it exploded too.  I hadn’t realized how close to the cliff I’d been until the volcano blew. More

Incredulous

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Once again, an ignorant comment about rape is in the news. 

Disbelief rose as an offensive headline jumped out at me recently.   India crime chief causes outrage with ‘If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it’ comment.”

According to a EuroNews report, Ranjit Sigha –the chief of India’s equivalent to our FBI – made a comment last week during a conference about illegal sports betting and the need to legalize gambling to make revenue from it.  “If you cannot enforce the ban on betting, it is like saying ‘If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it.’”  Now he’s crying foul, saying his words were taken out of context.  Even if they were, the fact that someone in charge of sexual assault investigations would use such an analogy is outrageous and unacceptable.

To even entertain the idea that being raped is like betting or any other illegal behavior that is hard to enforce is insolent at best.

It reminded me of More

The Mom Factor

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It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since my mom and I reconciled after a 12-year estrangement. It’s been quite an adjustment having a renewed relationship with the truth about my dad as the foundation. Though it’s not perfect, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with her. It has been an incredible time of healing for us both, I think.

Depression and PTSD rendered so many dreams and goals in my life impossible and I had given up on most of them.  The long-term effects of Mom not protecting or believing me have been devastating. The good news is I’m seeing (and feeling) the boost from just knowing she believes me now. It amazes me that no matter how old we are, a mom can make such a difference.  There are some very deep emotional holes being healed as we nurture the relationship.  I believe there will always be scars, but the open wounds are closing.

Another gift our relationship has given me is More

“Knowing Yourself is the Beginning of all Wisdom”

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Aristotle said these words more than 2000 years ago, but I believe they ring as true today as they did then.

Knowing myself was never something on my “Bucket List”.  Frankly, it never even occurred to me that I didn’t know myself.  I was just going through life, one day at a time.  It was more than enough just to maintain family, work, and social events.

When my life began unraveling several years ago, I thought I was going crazy.   If someone had told me knowing myself would help, I probably would have just cocked my head and said “Huh?”

Truthfully, though, I think I subconsciously understood this theory to some degree.  I often wondered why some events  -or especially non-events – terrified me when it was obvious there wasn’t any actual danger.  (It took a long time for me to learn about ‘triggers’ and PTSD.)

A time I remember like yesterday was at my kids’ middle school band concert.  My husband and I sat with my in-laws, eager for the concert to begin.  I smiled and shook my head, both amused and dismayed, as I spotted my son sharing M&M’s out of his shirt pocket with the trumpet player seated next to him.  I also grinned indulgently seeing (and hearing) my daughter unsuccessfully stifling a fit of giggles with her girlfriend.  Just a proud mom basking in the milestones of her kids.

Things changed suddenly when More

Fifty Shades of Grey?

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Only Fifty Shades of Grey? 

I don’t think so!  There must be at least 1000 shades of grey, and I’m not talking about the book on the New York Times’ best seller list.  Having lived a black and white life most of my (ahem, 40+ years) I still sometimes cringe when I think about moving into the ‘grey zone’ of life.  I like things to be nice and tidy; up or down, day or night, good or bad, right or wrong.  Or at least I think I do.  More

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