#reverb14 Day Eight: Connection

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The hectic pace of our lives can make it difficult to remain connected

to the things and the people that matter the most to us.

We get wrapped up in our work or our busyness and connection falls by the wayside.

How have you created and/or sustained connections in your life this year?

For me, my family comes first and it likely always will.  When I was in the two-year relationship with DSB, I didn’t see much of my family.  He wanted me to make him my priority.  To throw away my family and just be with him.  Getting DSB out of my life in April of this year, I learned an extremely valuable lesson.  To please him, I had in many ways forsaken my family.  I stopped going over to Mom’s, I didn’t talk with my sister as much, I barely saw Dad, and wouldn’t let anyone (except Mom) into the house.  Never again.  My family is too important to me to let that happen again.  So when DSB and I disconnected, it was time to reconnect with family, and what a year for that this has been.

I have never been closer to my sister, Ab.  We talk regularly, sometimes three or four or even five times a week.  We text, we email, we  call each other.  She always stops by to see me when she is in town with Kyle and Baby O, even if it’s just for a few minutes.  We make plans for me to come hop and visit more often.  Ab is likely one of the busier people I know, but she always makes time for me, no matter what the situation.

Dad and I have developed a special bond this year, as well.  With Mom’s attentions needed more on the divorce and the business and her own life as she knows it, Dad has stepped up and become a primary support player.  He is always happy to take me to an appointment and has been there through the up and down of bipolar disorder, including a hospitalization and several major depressive episodes, with some mixed and mania thrown in.  We talk at least once a day, usually more, and we get together three to four times a week.  I grew up with Dad being a parent in absentia and now he is fully (and happily) present in my life.

Mom and I have always been close and we remain so even with the chaos and drama going on in our neck of the woods right now.  If I could say one of the things I am most happy for this year, is that I have (mostly) been in a place where I could offer her support instead of always just taking support.  Not to say I don’t need my Madre, because I do, but it’s just nice to be able to help, as well as be helped.

Over the past year, since NaBloPoMo 2013, actually, I have developed many blog friendships and now have a good number of people I consider as a friend.  Additionally, I have made a few extra special friendships and I would have to say that I consider these women to be the closest friends I have ever had, offline or online.  The beauty of becoming friends with a blogger you admire is that you generally have an overwhelming amount in common, and so there is much to talk about.

So connecting, reconnecting, strengthening connections — YES, check!

Text, phone, email, messaging, in person, send a carrier pigeon — YES, these all work… and must be used… the key to connecting IS communication!

#reverb14 Day Four: Take Good Care

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We are all lightning rods, conduits for that which

the Universe wants born into this world.

What energies did you channel this year?

As in many years, perhaps every year since I realized I was not going to “beat” the mental illnesses I live with, or even “ignore them into in in-existence,” I spent 2014 “taking care:”  Taking care means a variety of things.  It means I slip-slide from preventing symptoms to managing symptoms to minimizing symptoms to just white-knuckling it.

Taking care, for me, means staying on a time schedule, making sure days are structured, taking medications, attending doctor’s appointment after appointment, keeping up with my physical and emotional health, setting good boundaries, and many other things.

It often means sacrificing what I really *want* to do for what I *must* in order to stay well.  This was especially true when I was younger, as in I couldn’t (without extreme consequences) go out and party all night or drink excessively (without mood shifts and worse).

I have tasted the freedom and joy and peace, however briefly, that comes with a period of markedly fewer symptoms.  If you have lived a life of hell, and are then introduced to a world where the ground is steady under your feet, you will do whatever possible to keep that state going.  That being said, I am highly motivated to do what it takes to find evenness in life, to find a balance, and to sort out the rest of the world when I get there..

#reverb14 Day Three: How to Love an Imperfect Life

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It’s all too easy to put off loving where we are until everything is perfect.

What can you love about where you are now?

I would like to add that it is all to easy to put off LIVING in the space we were meant to be if things are not ideal.  We may have a hard time fulfilling our desires of ABC because XYZ is not going well.

There is something in life that I personally must accept and reevaluate and remind myself of every day — everything is not ever going to be perfect ALL AT ONE TIME.  This has been so true for me as of late.  When my (non-existent) romantic life was going perfectly (in that it was not existing ever-so-quietly and I was very happy with being single), I was not able to fully appreciate it because there was stress and imperfection and strife in other areas.

Something Goddess of Mindfulness has been saying for years — “this (XYZ) is not just a bipolar thing, it’s a HUMAN thing.”. As in, my reaction to a certain stressors is not because of my history with trauma or because I am bipolar — it is an average human reaction.  It is important to find these and sort through them, because failing perfection means failing to truly love where we are in the moment and guess what, Rosa… not a bipolar thing, when I had always thought that the case.

So what can I love about where I am now?  I have the strongest relationship with my mother, my dad, and my sister than I have ever in my life.  There was a lot of pulling together that came from the stress of the past few months.

I can accept that I am not “perfect” and still love where I am, who I am, because the people I care most about have made it so very clear that I am not broken, something to be fixed.  That I am human and deserve love and attention and empathy and support and assistance.  After building our relationship up very carefully over time, I honestly love that I feel as if I can call my sister up anytime, whether I am doing well or am in crisis, and that she will be there to listen and problem-solve with me.

And its the same with my dad.  We have painstakingly worked on our relationship, and while it isn’t perfect, I still love it, still treasure it, sometimes revel in awe of it.  And Mom — we’ve always been close but I feel like I have been able to be there a bit for her like she has been for me for so many years.  Not in the same way, but I can be supportive…I have that capacity now and it is nice that I, at times, feel like I am able to encourage her as she has encouraged me for my whole life.

So yes, family and family relationships are what I think of for this prompt.  Many areas of my life are imperfect in some way, even flawed and miserable.  What keeps me loving where I am at are those three beautiful people.  Even without this so-called perfection, my family makes my life sparkle and shine even in the spots that are dark and cobwebbed.

#reverb14: Regret Not Required

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What unfinished projects from 2014 are you willing to release now?

(regret not required)

Year in and year out, I have found myself falling in and out of religion.  Not in and out of my belief that my God is a mysterious God, not in and out of the belief that belonging to a faith community may help me to feel less alone.  More so just finding myself attending church, loving it, then hating it, then becoming indifferent and unmotivated to go.  And then missing it once I had left.

It has been suggested to me by many well-meaning people over the years that finding a “good church” to be part of my “support system” was crucial to my mental health and sense of well-being.  I’m just not sure I believe that anymore.  I understand that I can’t only go from my home to work to a handful of friends and families homes and back to my home again, expecting that this will keep me from completely being housebound.  I am sure something in my brain needs more than that, but I don’t think the answer to it is church or services or whatever you may call the practice of getting together in an organized way to celebrate your deity.

So in 2015, I won’t be pushing myself to find a “new church” or a “new religion” or to “join” something.  I’m not going to feel bad about it, although I suppose at times I may long for it.  I’m not saying “never,” either.  I am saying, “No, not now.  Rosa has bigger fish to fry.”

Opening #reverb — Certainty

  • untitled (3)Some of you may or may not have heard of or remember me participating in #reverb, a reflective writing prompt put on last year and this year (and possibly a few other years) by Kat McNally, blogger extraordinaire, and a few of her friends.  You can read more about the origins, and the who, what, when, where, and why to sign up or keep reading here.

The bottom line of #reverb is that it’s a reflective writing prompt which goes on in December each year.  It is a prompt of introspection and positivity and hope and setting goals ands letting go and all sorts of wonderful things that I find so healing.  I wish there were a #reverb prompt list throughout the year because they always have me thinking and, usually, feeling better, clearer, after I write.  (Please note that there are many similar writing challenges throughout the year, and Kat sponsors a couple of them.  You can learn about April Moon and August Moon prompts here, as well as other offerings.)

This year’s opening #reverb question…

what can you say right now with certainty?

Many things could be said, small or large, light or heavy. I choose to consolidate my certainty into a list, because that just seems easier to categorize it all:

1) I have people in my life I can count on.  Friends and family and sometimes (even) half-strangers.

2) I have love in my life that is strong and steady, support and focus that are unconditional.

3) 2015 must and will be easier on my heart and mind and body than 2014.  I will make it so.

4) People can change, if they want to badly enough.  People can also change, for the worse, with very little warning.

5) I will continue to not smoke.

6) I will not rush in.  I will be easy and take my time and be sure I am ready for what is happening around me.

7) There is no allowance for telling me how I feel, for telling me what I know.

8) All judgments will be stifled.

9) Seemingly hard things can be easy.

10) More people love me than what I realize.