Today I Am Still


Today I am still.  My phone works, tomorrow is payday, and Saturday I get to spend some time with a friend of almost 35 years.  My car works, I have caffeine in my Yeti, and I have been listening to encouraging music while working.  I am still.  Content in this moment.  I would say that very few emotions are swirling or whirling.  I simply am.

Last night it was not so.  Last night, had I had the energy to get up and dig out my laptop to write, I would have filled the page with raw emotion that may or may not have been cohesive. In fact, I composed on imaginary paper in my head, and filled it with my innermost feels, and hopes, and hurts, and longings with fairly eloquent words, given that they were not actually written down anywhere.

Now, though, I cannot recall them.  I recall the theme.  I recall that there were tears in my eyes, and I was silently crying out as I pretended to write.  I know there were things I wanted and hoped for and felt like giving up on and regretted and couldn’t let go of.  But trying to pull them out from under the calmness of today seems tiring.  Or maybe it seems perilous.

The days, you see, are very full.  I have a career, a family, a life, stresses, duties, pursuits.  They all fill that thing that needs to be filled.  And there is music or television or – Lord help us all – Pokemon Go (smile).  But at night…. well, at night when there is nothing engaging on television, and sleep won’t come, and the brain begins to think….

But never mind that.  Today I am still.


Sleep Well


She sleeps better beside him.

She sleeps best when her head is curled into his chest, and his arm is around her, along with a leg thrown carelessly over.

Her rest is sweetest when it is punctuated with the sound of his silent inhale and and funny puff of exhale, sometimes with a tiny snore.

Her dreams are most peaceful when she can feel him at her back.  And when they are scary, the fear instantly subsides when she can roll over and touch him.

Slumbering deeply for hours…it happens most often when her body is in total relaxation after being tangled with his.

Yes, she sleeps better with him.

That is probably why she dreams of him every night.

Anatomy of a Panic Attack


I don’t feel right.  It’s a bit hard to breathe. My head is buzzing.  I can feel my heart in my chest.  It’s tingling. My heart is racing.  I can’t exhale. I might cry but my throat is tight.  I can’t hold a thought.Breath-2-3-4, breathe-2-3-4. It’s not working I have to keep trying I feel like I am losing it I’m scared this is scaring me calm down don’t be scared just breathe…I need to call someone what if they don’t answer can I distract myself texting?I can’t text the phone makes me nauseous calm down calm down chest tingling face tingling hands tingling breath-God-help-me, breathe-give-me-peace find a song to sing a worship song what if I stop being able to breathe is my medicine okay I feel like I might break think rational thoughts think rational thoughts reality reality breathe…breathe…….breathe…….inhale nose….exhale mouth….inhale nose….exhale mouth….let the tears fall…just go limp.  It’s okay….you’re okay….okay…..okay…….you survived.  You’re here.  You’re in the room.  You can think.  It’s okay to cry.  Get up and blow your nose.  Yes, it’s okay to laugh at yourself.  Control your thoughts.  Don’t go “there” anymore.  God is in control.  Sing inside your head…God is in control, He carries me, He is all you need.

“Mom, you’re such a control freak”


My oldest teased me about this recently.  She thinks it is funny that I am so nice and yet I internally freak out when I know I have zero say or control over something.  It’s why I have been a bad passenger at times when my children drive.  I mean, I tailgate too, but when I do it my foot is on the gas/break.

I don’t like the way I tend to respond to helplessness.  I don’t like the way it makes me cry at inopportune times or have this weird, someone just punched the breath out of me, feeling, or how I have to count when I inhale and exhale at night (in-2-3-4-, out-2-3-4) to keep that tingly chest, spot in my eyes feeling at bay.

My first boyfriend was named Bryan.  He was a funny, somewhat shy, but very kind 16-year-old who took me on my first real car date.  We dated for several months.  Then I broke up with him over something silly and stupid and adolescent.  I wanted him back, he told his friend who was dating my friend who told me that he felt the same way.  It was football season.  It was busy.

Then the day after Thanksgiving he and a friend were coming back from somewhere, and a drunk driver ran a stop sign.  The car flipped, his seatbelt wasn’t working… probably know what happened.  5 days later school let out early for anyone who wanted to attend his funeral. I remember the days he was in ICU, probably already gone.  I prayed, I wanted to tell him how I felt but he couldn’t hear me.  It was completely out of my hands.  My chance to get “ready” for anything was ripped from my grasp, if it was ever there to begin with.

The same thing happened when I lost a job.  I knew things weren’t going well.  I was not well and trying to hold things together.  I hadn’t really let anyone know because I wanted to have a chance to come to grips with it all first.  Be prepared.  Then boom!  The job was gone.  I could finish out the contract or take severance and go.  For reasons I will never understand I finished the contract.  Some weird sense of obligation?  Or maybe because I knew just not having a job to go to that next Monday morning would have been too much of a shock to my system.

I hate helplessness.  I hate situations where there is no recourse, nowhere to go for answers, where the rug just….yank.  I hate the questions and wondering and distrust that comes with it.  I hate the way it makes me feel powerless, invisible, unimportant, like huge parts of my life are or were a lie.  And I hate that it makes me feel selfish.

When the rug is pulled and you go home rugless and someone is waiting there with open arms and an ear and a warmth next to you in the bed……it sucks, but it’s different  When a part of your life is sucked away and it is just gone, and there are no arms or ears or warm spots in the bed……and all you want to know is if it’s the real goodbye….

I hate knowing the truth….I am and always was disposable.

I hate being helpless.  I hate seeing the truth of what I am not when I haven’t gotten ready for it.

The ceiling


The ceiling in my bedroom is a “trayed ceiling.”  I’m not sure if I spelled that correctly.  The first level is bordered in the same gold/yellow color as the walls. The second level is bordered with a rich brown.  The ceiling itself – in the middle – is an almost white.  It has the same almost white molding to accent each level.  In the middle of the ceiling is a light/fan with glossy, mahogany-colored blades.  They need dusting.  The fixture has four light bulbs, and one of them started flickering a bit last night; I’ll probably need to change it soon.  The outer corner of the ceiling has a cobweb I need to bat down with a broom. I’m glad it’s a smooth, painted ceiling instead of a popcorn ceiling.  I’m not a fan of popcorn ceilings.

These were the things I noticed when I couldn’t sleep last night.

Nightly Thoughts

Now I lay me down to sleep

I know into my dreams you’ll creep

But tonight I’d like to say

I know for sure you’ll be okay

You’re smart and strong and good and kind

You got one heck of a great mind

Whatever challenges you meet

I know you’ll land upon your feet

I’m sure you’re heart is churning now

And you are asking “why” and “how”

But know that I believe in you

I know what great things you can do

So even when you’re plagued with fear

I hope you know that I am here.