Monday, December 31, 2012

Me with my niece Deja

J- What's your favorite sport?

D- Soccer.

J- Why? I thought basketball was your favorite.

D- Because I think I have the best chance at soccer. So...I'm puttin' my heart into soccer. And even if I don't make soccer in high school I still have a chance at basketball.

The first year in high school I'm gonna do travel basketball and play soccer for the school team.

J- What high school you goin' to?

D- Poly.

J- Why?

D- Because they have a good basketball and soccer program and because my mom told me that all the women in the family went to Poly and I wanna continue the tradition.

J- How do you feel about making the team at Hughes as a 6th grader? They don't usually take 6th graders right?

D- I feel good because my brother didn't make it in the 6th grade and that was my goal, to brag in his face.

(She laughs)

J- So what's the plan after high school?

D- I wanna go to Bayler College for basketball reasons. They have a good team. I haven't really thought about soccer in college. But...now that I made my soccer all star team then...

J- How did you feel when your coach called you and told you you made the all star team?

D- I felt surprised but then I also felt like I earned it. Like I deserved to be there.

J- Ok, so what happens after college? What's going on?

D- My career. I'll probably be on the L.A. Sparks.

J- What if sports are out of the question? What are your other interests?

D- Um...acting because I'm good at it. I was working with an acting group and I had the opportunity to try for a commercial but I had a game.

J- Oh, so if you have a game the same day as a commercial...

D- Duh, game no question!

(We laugh)

J- So your last game in San Diego I heard there was a man in the audience taunting you. How was that?

D- I just tuned him out. I didn't listen to him. I play for myself, not for the audience.

J- Could you understand anything he said?

D- Probably, but I didn't pay it any attention.

J- Do you feel like you compete with Reuben a lot?

D- Yeah. I compete with him but to him it's not competition. He makes it look so easy.

J- What do you wanna tell me?

D- About what?

J- Whatever.

D- I don't know.

J- How are you doing in school?

D- Last time I checked I had all A's and one B.

J- What's your favorite subject?

D- Math.

J- Really?

D- Um hum.

J- Why math?

D- It's easy to me. Other subjects it seems like it goes in this ear and comes out the other. God just gave me the gift in math I guess.

J- Remember when you had your second hip surgery and I said "Deja, you gon have to slow down. You wanna be able to walk, don't you?" You remember what you told me?

D- Yep.

J- What?

D- I said "That's ok. If I can't walk I'll just play in the wheelchair Olympics." There's nothing that's gonna keep me from playing something.

J- Go 'head, girl!

Dear Blogspot

With the old layout I was able to easily read other people's blogs just by clicking that arrow in the right hand corner. There's no arrow anymore. Are you suggesting that I keep my eyes on my own paper? What is this, 5th grade? Is this a test? From time to time I like checking out random photos and stories by other folks. Strangers. The guy whose blog is next to mine who lives in Russia or something. Also I liked my picture above my posts. It was the cute one of me holding my camera and I kinda looked like I was really handeling business. Oh well. You don't care. Happy new year to you anyway.

Happy new years eve!

I am boss charged about hanging with my family tonight to bring the new year in. Hanging at the house tonight. So many memories there. So many more to come. Whatever you do, please be safe.

I like big bags and I cannot lie

Yes, often my purses look like small carry on bags one would take to the airport. So what. I was at the check out stand recently and a security guard remarked as I was paying for my items "Dang, what is that? A suitcase?" Really? I mean, if I pulled my wallet out of a cereal box what difference should that make to you?

Sickening

This whole "Stand your ground" defense is just plain scary and just plain straight out evil. I noticed that in the previous sentence I meant to type plain but typed pain instead. I started not to correct it because pain is what it really is. Our young boys are being murdered and no one has to be held accountable because the killer was what? Standing his ground? Against what? What ground? Jordan Davis was riding in a car with other young men and they were playing loud music. Yes. And somebody was afraid and now the boy is dead. He is dead. Our young man, our son, our blood, our baby is dead. And maybe and probably, no one will pay. As if payment could ever even be made.

Dear Brother and Sister

Yesterday after church a woman I have known almost all of my life walked up to me smiling and said "You gettin' hipty. You got big legs." Smiled again and walked away. I'll note here in case you aren't a regular reader of my blog, that I don't regularly or even often attend this church. My mother still attends. It's the church I grew up in. It's the church of which I hold some good and some painful memories. Anyway, she said that and walked away. What brings me to write about her comment is this. Every time I come to the church I see her and/or her husband, both ushers, first greeters of the guests, one of them makes some remark about my weight. What if I was sensitive about that to the point it would have me never come back? What if I didn't happen to think I was as sexy as I think I am? Smile. What about how incredibly inappropriate that is on so many levels? Especially with the majority of the remarks coming from him. I never say anything. I don't know why. I don't though. I never give any expression. They can't read that? So this is to you Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, no, I'm not a size 2 anymore. I, as you put it, am hipty. Love it and me or don't. But as you wonder why the children and other members are disappearing from the church, listen to the "love" you give.

Yes, let's be that petty

If you aren't speaking to my mother, then stop speaking to me too. Mkay?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The children. The family. The moments.

Seriously, the children in my life are phenomenal. My son, nephew and niece. I am so proud of each one of them. They are all incredible human beings I would want to know even if I was not related to them. I am so thankful to God for blessing me to know them and even more, share blood with them. I am thoroughly enjoying the moments we share.

Today the family was together again. My sister and I went to church with my mother, which was a surprise to her. After church we went to the house and ate the awesome dinner my brother in law cooked. All present were my mother, sister, brother in law, Uncle Therman, son, neice, me of course, the dog, and then later my nephew joined us from his visit with his friend. My sister played some game with the kids (ok, teenagers) while we watched silly movies on television. The sillier the better. Step Brothers and some other movie just as crazy. I so enjoyed laughing at the foolishness. Together. Playing with the dog. Ok, I don't really play with dogs, but I watched and took pictures. My son finally said it was ok for me to post the photos of him playing with the dog on my blog. "But I'm just playing around with the dog. What's so big about that?" I explained as best as I could that that was the point. That it was just a moment. A beautiful moment that wasn't big or small or sad or drama filled. It was a normal, wonderful moment. Maybe he will never get it. I almost hope he doesn't. I almost hope he never craves to see pictures of moments that are just moments because sad thoughts and anxiety fill his mind. Praise God for moments. And really normal happy times. Oh how I love Christmas break.

It's 9:21 now and I'm at home. About to shower and ready myself for maybe another free write and movie and conversation with Love (who had to work today but was lovingly in my thoughts). Have a wonderful night all. A wonderful night indeed.

This world. Sad face. This world.

I just passed by as this story was being told. Gotta go back and get the details. It seems a woman today or yesterday pushed a man onto the train tracks because she hates Hindus and has hated them since 2001. Her defense now is that she is bipolar and I guess didn't know what she was doing. Ok, you know...I get it, the urge to snapp, to go off. I'm not accepting though that she didn't know right from wrong. I'm not. So if she has a mental illness then she needs help. Being bipolar is not a get out of jail free card.

Dear Sir, it's almost 2013

It's hard to sit in a church where women preachers aren't allowed in the pulpit.

Bliss

I love watching movies with my son.

Last Sunday of the year!

9:39. Home. Happy Sunday morning all. Spending another day with family. Today I believe I'll take a kagillion pictures of my son and niece and nephew if he's home. I'll be sure to post. Enjoy your day.

Black people, do better

I just watched the worst YouTube video ever in the history of YouTube videos. Why did I watch so long? Because it was a link on Facebook and the person sharing it said that she had been sick all day but that video made her laugh. I'm such a sucker for the funny. I fell for it and played it. Two men with full on beards were sitting in a car with wigs on and women's clothes talking crazy and calling each other bitches were waiting for one of their "baby daddies" to purchase a blanket from a guy selling things in front of some house. The camera went from the bitch this bitch that conversation of the women to the bartering of the men. The whole thing was rediculous. It ended with baby daddy walking to the car to settle something and the seller running off with baby daddy's EBT card. Yep. What about that would make anyone laugh? How sick was the person who shared this craziness that this blessed her life? Really? Aren't you disgusted just reading my description of the video? Have you ever read me bashing anyone's creativity on my blog ever? No you haven't. I'm usually an if you don't like it just move on and it just wasn't for you type person, but no, not this time.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Breathing

I still don't like this new layout on Blogspot. Blogspot does not care. It knows I won't move permanently to Tumblr. Tumblr doesn't feel like home. I don't want all the interaction or whatever. No, that's not it. I just don't post there much. Besides most everything I post anywhere else I post here too so...Whatever. This is a dumb free write. There are things I want to write about but haven't decided to move those thoughts past my journal yet. Maybe I will. Thoughts about my son. My absolute favorite person on the planet. He is fifteen now. And I can't take it away. None of it. None of the fifteen year old stuff. None of the lessons. Even if I could answer every question he will never voice inside his head, there would be a million more to take place in his head. I can't take away those feelings. Those whatever awkward feelings. I can only love him and do my best by him. I can only be here and look him in his big amazing eyes and tell him I love him. Listen when he speaks. Hold him in my thoughts and prayers. Laugh at his funny stories. Twist his thick locks and remind him to keep his phone charged. There are things I can do. And he is fifteen now. There are things I can't do.

Creepy

I still don't know how I feel about Facebook asking me how it's going.

This is why

Because sitting up in the living room fiddling on my blog is what I feel like doing
Because the candles are still burning
Because I haven't made it to the kitchen to put the pumpkin pie away yet
Because I don't feel like going to bed right now
Soon though
Just not now
With these whatever free write nothing no matter words in my head
Itching escape
Leave then
Here is your chance

11:39pm
Saturday night
I passed on a holiday sipping party because of the sipping
Because I don't want to sip tonight
Because I don't want to sip and drive home
I don't want to drive home after every one else has sipped
I passed on a holiday sipping party because of the sipping
Because I do want to sip
And sip
And
Sip

Coming to a close

You know how every year this time people talk about how fast the year went by and they just can't believe it's almost over already? Well, I'm usually one of those people. Not this year though. This has been a long year. New experiences and lessons. New adjustments and stuff and stuff. And...always blessings. Long year doesn't mean bad year. Hard in a lot of ways, but hard didn't kill me. Not sure how much stronger hard made me either, but whatever. I made it. At least to here.

Seriously

If you are in a church where the members call each other Brother This and Sister That, then please act like family and not just the reality TV bickering type drama brothers and sisters. It's a church remember? Or does that count? Where is the love? Really, stop wondering why your seats are empty. That's why. You are why.

Good Saturday morning all!

10:06. At home. I am loving all the rain. I love this gray day. My favorite kind of day. Still in bed. Yep. Went to see Flight again with my family last night at the 10:30 show. I had a wonderful time with them. My mom, son, and niece. Seriously, time spent with family really is priceless. On the drive I played iPad Scrabble with Deja and Uraeus. Uraeus won. We laughed and shared stories and Uraeus and Deja competed for the last word (because they are so much alike). And the evening was beautiful. And then I get to wake up to these musical drops of rain patting against my window, my roof.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Free write part 2

I heard there were other girls after me. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe if I had said something way back then there wouldn't have been. All the maybes. I was a child. I still beat myself up about it though. Every now and then there is this space inside of me that feels free. Then I feel guilty for feeling that because I picture some other young girl who thought she could trust him because he wore a robe. Some young girl feeling violated who grew up and maybe forgot about him but couldn't shake his tounge, maybe his fingers, his voice in her ears. Maybe something I could have stopped.

This is the work. This is putting up or shutting up. This is being of service to someone else or not. This is honoring myself or being a victim to some old something else some old other sad story. This is making a difference or turning my head. This is the line. This is jumping into freedom or not.

Free write (like all the rest)

3:20pm. At work. I'm full of boring random thoughts today. But isn't that better than my breakdown reports? I thought so. I feel better after therapy. I usually do. I heard that was strange though. Whatever. Thoughts though, about therapy today. Places I'm stuck. Places I beat myself up on for being stuck. People. Him. Today a him. From my childhood. Inappropriate kisses and conversations and guilt about keeping secrets. Some people shouldn't be around children. They just shouldn't. I've been stuck here so long because he is still around children and I doubt he has changed. It's not enough that I'm free of him. There are young girls who are not. It's not the memory of his touches that haunt me still (well, a little) but my silence. My silence haunts me. This is hard to say. But necessary. I Googled him a few weeks ago to see if he was still preaching. I found him. Behind the podium. That voice. Stern and clipped. That fire that brimstone that pointed wrinkled finger damning souls to hell. It's not that I haven't forgiven him. I have. As best as I know forgiveness to be. I haven't forgiven myself. Haven't forgiven my sewn together lips for not calling the foul. As a child I thought I may have misunderstood and he didn't mean for his tongue to slip in my mouth every single time he kissed me. When I purposely extended my cheek he didn't mean to force my nose to his. Every. Single. Time. Then I got older and didn't know how to answer why I didn't say something before. Now I'm a grown woman and why should I believe that he has set his predatory behavior aside? As much Criminal Minds as I watch? And I'm ashamed I listen to the nine year old girl in me who reminds me that at least it's not me. At least it's not mine. But I'm not free from it. Silence does not set you free, you know? Time does not heal. Words heal. Actions heal. Making the world safe for others heals.

Dear Netflix

Thank you for all of the seasons of Psych.

Dear Jaha

Stop posting stupid stuff and get up.

P.S. I love you very much. Mostly.

Hmmmm

If I get up now I will have time to use the restroom before I go into my session. But...

Dear Anybody

I seriously want a new Samsung Galexy phone. Really.

Hey

The barista at Starbucks looks like Bridget Gray. Except shorter. Whiter. Straighter hair. Smaller nose. Darker eyes. Thicker. Different smile. Ok...so...no.

Oh well

Taking myself off of my meds was probably a bad decision. Probably. And I will probably never be on them again. This feeling is temporary. I will probably feel different in an hour. This post is really about how many times I can say probably before you stop reading.

But...

Why am I so nervous right now?

Happy birthday, Dad!

Yep, today is my father's birthday. I do miss him and think about him often. I still have his number in my phone and will probably never delete it.

Switchin' it up

Gonna start posting more short fiction and poetry on this blog. Tired of talking about my life.

Making list. Checking twice.

7:31am. Therapy day. In Starbucks right now reminding myself of all I have to be thankful for. And I am...thankful.

Good morning all

7:15. Starbucks. Good morning is it for now. And maybe that's enough.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas recap

Hello all. 2:09pm. At work. I had a relaxing and easy Christmas evening with family and friends. Was glad for the peace of mind because I had a breakdown Christmas eve. I could feel and was determined it wouldn't last long. I was happy, hyper and anxious the day before that and the measure of my pendulum to the right is the measure to the left it seems. I was going into a store and just became overwhelmed with ugh. I pulled it together and took care of what I needed to do in the store. When I got in my car I lost it. The car seems to be my favorite lose it place. Tears uncontrollable. I told myself out loud that this was just an episode and wouldn't last long. Gave myself the best pep talk I could, prayed and drove home. I try as best as I can not to bring my ugh into our home because it's not something I know how to explain. I got it together. Was kind to Love and to myself. I grabbed my favorite blanket and numbed myself with iPad Scrabble and cable.

I was still feeling the residual blah from the night before when I woke up but that...that funk was gone. You know? I played fake it til you make it til I made it and had a wonderful time and meal on a boat with Love's family then at my mom's house with mine. God is good.

This is totally switching topics but whatever. This morning when I woke up, I don't know why but I was thinking about a woman. I don't know her but she is a family friend of someone I knew. This someone I knew and I were at a wedding a few years ago and this woman was there. She sat in the first five rows of the church and we were about twenty rows behind her on the opposite isle. She cried throughout the wedding and I was sad to learn that her teenaged daughter had died in a car accident a year before. I understood, as best as someone who has not been in that situation can understand, her tears. When a child dies, I know that it is not just that child that dies but a lifetime of dreams and what ifs die too. I can only imagine her pain as she sat there so close to the front of the church and watched a young woman march down the isle and make promises to her new husband.

I don't know why that woman was in my thoughts this morning and now. I pray that she has some ease in her heart. I hope she had dinner last night with friends and family. Hope she has found some space, some corner where she can go to and be understood and heard and loved. I wish for her the words to say to herself when she is in her car and the ugh lands on her like rocks. Maybe I will never see that woman again. Still though, I wish her peace.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mother is home!

2:39pm. Work. New day. Still excited my mother is home and enjoying her "new room." My sister and I spent all night her last night in the hospital cleaning and rearranging her room, preparing for her return. We lifted crazy heavy furniture and work super hard. She loved it. Next chapter, recovery, diet and exercise. We're all in it together.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Yeah

Love is so wonderful. He just is.

So happy

10:05pm. Home. My mother is out of the hospital and breathing without the oxygen machine. Although she does have one to use at home it is only as needed. We are so happy she is home and we continue to pray for her strength.

Love you Mom!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Why yes. Yes you can do something for me.

My nails are chipped already and the next person who asks me if she can do anything for me while my mother is in the hospital I'm going to ask her to meet me in the waiting room and paint my nails. What?

In other news, I'm finding a way to get comfortable sleeping in this chair.

Hospital with my mother day 7

5:39am. Hospital. Good morning all. It's officially day 7 of my mother being in this hospital. God is good. I can say that. I am thankful this morning for hospital and staff and skilled professionals who monitor my mother with needles and beeps from machines. With charts and x-rays and technology. With all of it. I am thankful for all of it. For the meals they bring her and jokes that are rarely funny but so what and water and phone and Internet service. I am thankful. I am thankful that I am counting days of my mother being here and the number is rising and I am thankful my mother is where I can see her and count. I am thankful for counting. Thankful for prayer and free writing that eases my mind. A little. Thankful for the little bit of hair on my head that I have (for now) that I can twist with my fingers and busy my hands when writing is not an option. Writing is not always an option you know. Not even this free write with no structure. Like this post. Though my blog has been so filled with no structure these days that I should rename my blog free write to prepare the readers. You. I am thankful for you. All of you who are with me on this journey. I exist because of you. We keep each other alive. Thank you Therman and Carla and you and you and you and others like you. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Update anyone?

And now we are singing Tracy Chapman and B.B. King and Amy Winehouse and TuPac songs together and laughing and I like this.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hospital night free write

11:24pm. Hospital with my mother. And sometimes what there is to do is sit and let the night fall and let the quiet be. And if she wants to listen to gospel music about Sweet Jesus and healing and hands clapping and organ playing then that is what I want too. These four walls have us tonight. These white walls with baby blue trim with O Mary don't you weep bouncing off of them have us by the hopes. These walls know we need their permission to breathe and sneeze and be. I don't know how to sit and watch my mother fight for comfortable position each night with mask blowing oxygen into nose, down to her lungs. I will breathe for you, Mother! You can have my breath! I want to scream to her and to the walls. Just make it how it was. Just get up and breathe deeply and exhale and run and I will walk with you every day. I am not too busy. And I am hopeful and afraid and prayerful and ready for us to pack her things and go home to her bed. I am ready to sit with her in her living room.

The spirit of the Lord is here
The power of the Lord is here
I feel it in the atmosphere
(drums, clap clap)

The spirit of the Lord is here
The spirit of the Lord is here
I feel it in the atmosphere
The power of the Lord is here
The power of the Lord is here
I feel it in the atmosphere

The presence of the Lord is here
The presence of the Lord is here
I feel it in the atmosphere

That is the song playing right now. She is resting and there is power in prayer and music and hands clapping.

Dear God, fix this. Fix all of this.

Hospital with my mother day 6

8:28am. Hospital. This is what I do with my nerves, I write. It's also what I do when I'm relaxed. Go figure. I didn't sleep much at all last night. I'm sleeping in the "big" chair at the hospital next to my mother's bed. It's not very big. It's also not meant for sleeping. We talked last night about how she wants to change her room around when she gets out of here. I did like that. It seemed to light her up too. It's almost 9 and I need to be at work at 12:30. I don't want to leave at all. I want to sit here with her. Even if it means I have this helpless feeling that washes over me when she doesn't feel well. I know she sleeps better when someone is here. Roshann will be here soon. Janice will be here. I am not the only one. We are all in this. There are many praying. You can tell I am nervous. I am babbling. My mom and I suspect that this rash all over my body is not just from the shrimp but from my nerves. Probably. She has been given medication for an upset stomach and is resting now. I will try to rest some too. Keep us in your prayers please. Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hospital with my mother day 5

9:11pm. In the hospital with my mother. The nurse is taking blood now. They are always taking something. Blood. Food trays. Bed linen. Rest. They will not take my hope. My prayers. My want. My vision of her outside these walls. Free of tubes and needles.

I stayed the night with her last night and went to work this afternoon. Got off tonight and went home to rest a few hours and now I am back. Happily. I walked in and she was resting. There were no visitors so I sat quietly, appreciating how hard it is to sleep and stay sleep. I stared at her until my staring brought her back.

Every moment is precious. For all of us. You too. Your loved ones too. Cherish them, the moments.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Free write poem like

10:56pm
Hospital with my mother
My hair has grown into this collection of soft nappy raw silk
Black and gray at the temples
I keep twisting little knots with my fingers
Squeezing and rubbing my scalp until it is sore
That is what I can do now
Rub my sore scalp and pray
Feel the oil between my fingers and
Be grateful my mother is getting some rest
This is no new poem
These are just words
To busy my mind
To occupy my hands
My hands that cannot erase her headache
That can only straighten her bed
So that's what I do
I busy myself with straightening her bed
I fuss over covers and fitted sheets and TV channels
That is what I can do

Hospital with my mother

10:46pm. We are together. And that is important. She is awake now, watching something on television. I just finished a movie on Netflix. We have laughed. I have watched her in pain and felt my arms and heart cotton candy away not being able to help. No magic abracadabra in my whisper to unclot the blood in her lungs. She is my mother. I am praying and seeing her in her home. In her living room. Her kitchen. Driving her truck. That is what I can do now.

Hospital

6:59pm. In the hospital with my mother. She has been here since Saturday night.
The thing about this new Blogspot layout is that I can't navigate easily in it. I want to get to all of my posts at once to edit and I have to go through all these hoops to do that. And yes. Being irritated about this layout is easier than being frustrated about something else I can't control.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I really wanna take some Benadryl for these hives but I'm not because I'm not taking any medication this week. Really want a glass wine right now but I'm not gonna have one because I'm not drinking any alcohol this week. So there.
I don't like the new layout of this site. I didn't ask for a change. I don't want it to change. I didn't do this. Fix it back Blogspot! Please.
Been in my journal because the past couple of days have been too personal to post. I will later though. I'm well. Just checking in. Just free writing for the night. It's 11:05 and I'm home. Finally. I have the craziest rash ever all over my body. Just found out I'm alergic to shrimp. At least we all think that's what it is since I just had some of Love's awesome gumbo and then woke up covered in hives. Oh well. Gonna chill out for a bit then turn in. Love yourselves.

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's just too easy to dismiss him as crazy and that's why he did what he did. Too simple a solve to lock him up and throw away the key. What about the other hims? The hers to come next? What about the screamers and criers screaming and crying in their own quiet ways. In our own quiet ways. Begging for help. We the screaming and crying cannot tell you where it hurts. We cannot point to this spot here and ask you to fix it. There is no thermometer to gage the snap. We are waving hands and asking you to believe us when we cry. Believe the jokes. Every one. It is the language we know.
I. Can't. I'm going to play iPad scrabble now.
This gray oversized sweater day cozy should be filled with chimneys burning and hot chocolate with too sweet whipped cream fat and bread and mismatched socks and bunny slippers. Heavy traffic and Donny Hathaway on the radio and long lines and bills due and so whats. But Ryan Whatever his last name is walked into a school and killed thirty people. And maybe it's too easy to make him the monster. Maybe something else is to blame. My hot chocolate is filled with I don't knows and everything is too bitter to taste.
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. Tragedy.
Sade's Cherish the day keeps playing in my head.
No
No the devil is not a lie
Believe the devil of your gut
That tells you he will kill
Makes jokes about suicide
And mass murder
Even the devil knows better
Than to lie about this
You are the liars
We are the liars
We turners awayers of illness and sadness
We ill stigmatizers of the mentally ill
Let
Us
Be
Clear
The devil did not lie
He showed himself for what he is
A thief
He did not whisper
He called
Begged to be stopped
But we were too busy
To notice
I had to get my nails painted today. Purple. The color is not significant. Sitting in a chair watching and feeling a fresh coat of opaque glitter stroke cross my fingernails was important. It just was. Not because I needed it. And I did. Not just because at breakfast this morning Love said "Baby, what's wrong with your nails?" And he did. But because it calmed my spinning head after hearing that a man walked into a room, a school and took so many lives. My painted nails will not bring them back. My pedicure will not ease the pain. Not even my own. It is silly, I know. But it was what I could think to do after prayer.

More on shooting in Connecticut

A 24 year old young man went into his mothers kindergarten classroom and shot her and all of her students and the adults that care for them. Life is so fragile and precious and we just never know when the last time we are going to see our loved ones will be. This is a sad day for us. It just is. Also, this young man's father was found dead in his home and also his brother. Did he kill them too? They are saying now that there are 30 dead. There were signs before this. There were jokes or subtle comments. Someone got a feeling. This wasn't a snap, an idea that happened today. It wasn't.
I am sick and sad about the news this morning that 27 people were killed at an elementary school in Connecticut. 18 were children. This is horrifying! The reports say that one of the shooters is dead and another is in custody. No news yet about who they are. I'm so sorry for the families. So sorry for all of us.
Good morning all. It's 8:09 and I'm about to get up and at 'em. Heading out for breakfast and then to work. Stayed up late painting. I do like my new work. I'll post soon. I have completely taken over the kitchen (my studio). But I like how the act of painting makes me feel, physically and emotionally. Yes, I should go for a walk. But I'm not going to right now. Though I think we are going to walk over to the restaurant down the street. That count? Love yourselves today.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Keep your heart open and love will always find its way." Kay Jewelers commercial

Dear Therman

It's 2:43 and I'm at work right now. Thank you for your last comment. Last week mostly I was just sick with the flu. I actually did make Ann's event. I decided at the last minute to go. I had been resting for most of that day and the day before trying to heal. By Saturday evening I decided I was ok enough to get out. I'm glad I did, though I probably should have rested more since all of the symptoms were back the next day. Thank you though for being concerned.

I'm feeling pretty even today emotionally. I was a bit dazed on Monday after a conversation with my therapist. She thinks I numb myself more than I should. She is right. Though I have not conceded that it is a problem. Not out loud anyway. My ego is too stubborn for that. My reaction to the conversation is a tell that I know I need to make some changes. I have been trying to be committed to being honest with myself and others on this bipolar journey. Truthfully though, instead of accepting this and being more powerful about dealing with it, a huge part of me keeps trying to prove that I don't have this thing, this lie, these highs, these lows. But I do. Every time I turn around there is one more symptom, one more sign that says I do. Even down to the ways I cope with the shifts in my head. I have always felt this rise, this chemical elevator go up and up and then this weird anxiety. Pills and wine have how I have self medicated. Whatever pills. Codeine from the dentist, Roshann's headache medicine, some whatever it was the doctor prescribed for my cramps, whatever, oh...and wine. Something to bring me down, to help me sleep. This is hard to admit. This is the part that's not pretty. All of this. I remember in Landmark Education they used to say that there is no truth about somebody without the ugly of it somewhere. We always want to show our pretty. I'm no different. When I told my therapist "no, I don't have a problem, I just take something every day" I could have dug a hole in the floor and crawled in it. Who was that? Certainly not me. And when she suggested I go to group therapy sessions I looked at her like she belonged in the hole I considered digging for myself. I just can't wrap my head around standing in front of a group of people and saying "hi, my name is Jaha and I'm a pill head." I've been finding ways to cope with an illness I never had a name for until earlier this year. I never considered it an addiction, I was doing what I could do to make it through. I mask it well. I'm never socially visibally out of pocket (mostly, maybe, ok wait...) Keep a pretty cool and together enough demeaner. I'm ok, you're ok. Right?

Then there is still the question in the room. What am I numbing myself for? What do I not want to feel? Those were her questions, not mine. We talked. Progress you know. All of this was on my head as I drove home. My mind was racing with how wrong she was and maybe this therapy thing is not what I need after all. Of course I would consider getting off the roller coaster when the work is being done. Right in the middle of the ride. Then when I got home I took like five Advils to take a nap. Therman, I'm raw and vulnerable right now. I don't want to be writing about this. Someone though, is hiding this. Someone though, is on this journey too. Someone though, should know she's not alone. I'm afraid you know sometimes. Of my words, my confessions, my posts. Afraid of being judged by all of the people in my life who only see the pretty in themselves. Yes, sometimes I am afraid. And I get over it.

So that you know, Monday was the last day I took any pills. I did have two glasses of wine on Tuesday though. Nothing yesterday. Nothing today. Something can become such a coping habit for you that you don't even realize it's a thing. You know? Well, it's a thing. Sleep or no sleep. Anxiety or no anxiety. I don't need the pills. I don't need the wine. Ok, giving up the wine might be more of a commitment than I'm honestly willing to make right now. But today. Today I don't need anything. And that's where I am. In today. Thank you, thank you dear uncle, for always listening.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Therman

I haven't been really posting but I'm well. Now. Been down with the flu since I last saw you on Thursday. I was ugly and achy and stuffy. I had a good full days rest yesterday and am ready for the real world. Tomorrow will be my first day back at work this week. I did go to my therapy session on Monday and...well I was uncomfortable but as open as I could be revealing things about me I have never really said out loud. Not ready for the details to be posted here yet, but we'll talk.

Love you, uncle and thank you for reading and checking in.

Me

Monday, December 10, 2012

I had a dream last night that I was in jail. I so afraid and every time the fear would become so overwhelming I thought I would burst I would get these visions of bridges. I don't know why bridges, but bridges. Big long ones with no traffic and some with bright lights. I like the symbol though, of bridges. What they represent. Escape. Enter. Travel. Above water. All that. Jail. Fear. Bridges. And then I woke up.

I thought about my own jail. Of bills. Of fear. Whatever. And alongside the fear are always the bridges. God. Friends. Family. Art. Whatever. They are always there, the jail and the bridges. I choose.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

3:57pm. At work. Feeling physically and mentally well although the sniffles are threatening to surface, but it's nothing a few oranges, peppermint tea and rest won't cure. I haven't been to Vibrations for the open mic session in too long and plan on stopping by tonight. I have no plan to perform though. Just sit in the most comfortable chair there and send and receive love. And if I'm hit with the stage bug, well then...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Morning all. Slept fairly well. Feeling much better. Looking forward to a beautiful day. I'm painting in a live art show downtown Los Angeles for Brookfield Properties today. I haven't done a live art show in many years. I'm thankful and honored to be a part of this production. Also thankful that it doesn't start until the evening because I need some time this morning to get it together. Plus I have to pick up another canvas and more paint. Well, it's 9:46 right now and I need to get to gettin'.

Enjoy yourselves today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Free write

Today's breakdown doesn't define me. As hard as it was. The feelings of hopelessness and extreme anger and frustration and sadness and hopelessness again. That was the moment. I am bigger than this. Maybe I will always have these ups and downs. I will work like a dog to not stay stuck in this mess. I am thankful for feeling at all, even this pain. I am thankful that I can force out these words. I was angry even at this blog for some reason today and could have just deleted the whole thing in my anger. So I didn't log on until late in the evening. That and I couldn't write anyway. I couldn't do anything easily. Not even breathe. That's what this is. I am trying to give up saying that I can't explain it and just do the best I can. This is the sucky part about this shit called bipolar. These floaty fake ups and funky fake downs. It's all fake. Nothing is so much that I can really fly and nothing is so much I should kill myself. But this is the life, remembering to remember that.
Days like today I regret going off of my meds.
For the past month and a half I have been on such a high. Some days the high made me nervous and seemed more than I could take. While it felt good it was still a bit overwhelming. I believed the hype. I thought the doctors were wrong. I was feeling way too good to have what they said I had. Bipolar. There were days I knew I could fly. Ironically, I was in the air when I started to crash.

I was in Washington, D.C. over the weekend working with WomanPreach. As I was in the plane coming home on Sunday I could feel it. The sinking I thought I was through with. Why? Why did I think I was through? Because I just did. Because I had over a month of normal. "Normal." The sinking, the low, low feeling. Then today I crashed like Denzel's plane in Flight. All turned upside down.

It's 5:54pm and I am at home right now but must leave for work in a few minutes. I really wish I could lie here and rest for the night. That would be bliss. It's not likely to happen though. I had to get the stitches pulled out of my gums today and that was...eventful. I couldn't stop crying. I was not in pain. But I was in so much pain. On the way to the dentist, somehow I missed the exit and spent five whole minutes crying over that spilled milk. Bridget called me just as I was pulling into the parking lot and at first I was happy about talking to her and then couldn't take it. She was only being a friend but I couldn't hear her consoling me. I felt weak, like someone who needed to be consoled. But that is what I needed.

I've had a little rest and feel a bit better but I have this headache that I usually have the first day of the crash. I'll be better tomorrow. That's what I'm claiming. Today was hard though. Really hard. It's 6:04 now, I've got to leave for work.