Two Inch Square Reminder

I would like to think that every day I am swimming a little bit closer to the surface of reality and contentment and “ok-ness.”

It seems today was very very dark and only on a few occasions could I see a greyish blue light around the exteriors of objects and words and people.  Otherwise it was pitch as night.  At this very moment, just the slightest grayish blue.  And then it all disappears and I am without any senses to guide me.

I am making such an effort to come up with things to please myself, to give myself a moment’s respite from hell, to wrack my brain for what might be the thing I have missed.  I ate a soft-serve vanilla cone today. It reminded me of my sister and McDonald’s and having fewer cares. It made me feel happy for a moment, as I was looking at a faraway memory.

Often the grey light will come from within a memory of my sister or Oscar.  I have the picture booklet she made of their first year as a family sitting on my table where I spend many hours.  I usually go so far as to only look at the cover, but lately I have allowed myself to look inside and it is almost amusing to laugh out loud at Oscar’s silly face and my sister’s beautiful and loving smile, all the while with snot and tears rolling down my face.  And I flip back and through it over and over, laughing, smiling, and feeling like there are things worth living for.

And I tell myself, well, Rosa, at least you can be grateful for one thing if none other.  In the here in now, you have remembered there are things worth living for.

This happens to be my very first indication that, while things could go bad again and likely will, for now I have a glimmer of hope that I find in a two square inch photo book.  Love you guys.

#reverb14 Day Three: How to Love an Imperfect Life

Reverb BB (2)

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.

Collection of Thoughts, Part III

collection of thoughts

First of all, thanks to my friend, Mama, who created this fun and lovely banner for series I started long ago, Collection of Thoughts.  I find that I haven’t been using this series enough, because a lot of times there will be several things that I want to talk about that don’ and this series allows me to do just that.

do one thing every day that scares you

I have many silly little fears, but the fear I have been facing over the past few days is my fear that I will lose the love of my sister, that we will never be close.  I have had this fear most of my life, mostly because I have always thought that my sister looked on me as the “crazy” sister.  We have been emailing back and forth for the past few days about a separate issue, a terribly sensitive and embarrassing issue, and she said a lot of things that surprised me.  About her unconditional love for me.  About how she feels like I keep her at arm’s length.  About how she wishes we were friends and we were close again.

I never expected any of those things to come out of her mouth.  I have always dearly loved my sister and would go to the ends of the Earth to spare her from any pain or hurt, would fiercely defend her, to the death if necessary, but I always thought she saw me differently than how she apparently does see me.

I’m excited.  She wants us to be friends, to be close.  Well I want that, too…I just didn’t think it is possible.  You see, my sister is about the coolest, smoothest, most put-together person I know.  I’ve always wanted to be more like her.  Hell, I’ve ASPIRED to be more like her.  She has all the immaterial things that I would like to have.  She has the confidence, the know-how, the smarts, the skills.  She is an amazing woman and I am surprised over and over that she wants to include little old crazy me in her life.

But she does.  And that’s awesome.  She wants to come visit me with my nephew.  She wants to go for walks again and hang out.  She wants to see more of me.  There was this issue that was in the way, the terribly sensitive and embarrassing one, and it has now brought us closer.  I leave Thursday at 7:30am to go drive to the big city and spend the entire day watching my nephew (along with my Dad and his wife), and I couldn’t imagine any better day.  I feel closer to her now than I have in a long time.  She has become so mature about things, I’m just incredibly proud and happy.



It’s possible I’ve already blogged about this, but there are four goals I have set with Goddess of Mindfulness that must be attained daily.  They will all keep my life regulated and peaceful, ready for whatever the day and the people around me might throw at me.

1) Hygiene.  Shower every day.  Lotion.  Loofah.  Pumice stone.  Trimmed toenails and fingernails.  Stray chin hairs removed.  Legs and armpits shaved.  Deodorant.  Teeth flossed and brushed.

Dad is  helping with this bit.  With motivation, with rewards, with help buying the things I need to stay clean.  This is something I’ve classically struggled a lot with, but I’m feeling really motivated.  No one wants a stinky daughter, co-worker, sister.  It’s a real problem and I’m going to do something about it.

2) Take the very best care of Kizz.  Fresh water and food everyday.  Treats.  Walks.  Bones.  Lots of petting.  Grooming regularly.  Shots, heartworm, flea/tick always up to date.

I guess that could seem a little obvious, but it’s clear to me that Kizzie needs a little extra TLC after two years of DSB/Rascal.  She is getting a lot of attention — anytime she asks to be petted, I am dropping what I’m doing and petting her (within reason).  She sleeps in bed with me, under the covers, back in her original place.  She is definitely happier as a single pup than as part of a two-some.

3) Take meds as prescribed.  Morning and evening.  Bedtime.  Nine, noon, and three.  All of them, every day, always.

As many may know from personal experience, shit hits the fan when the med schedule gets messed up.  I feel like I have more meds to take at several different times than the average bear.  So, I have to be organized about it, and I usually am.  I can tell if I’m late on Ritalin or I missed my morning meds.

4) Eat healthy.  No fast food.  Limited soda and sugared drinks.  Lots of fresh fruit and veggies.  Avoid bingeing.

I am  not worried about a number on a scale or a certain pants size fitting — I am concerned with my overall mobility which has become severely limited due to my extra weight.  I want to be able to do housework or yardwork without stopping every 10 minutes.  I want to bounce up out of my chair when Mom asks me to do something.  I want to say “yes” when life’s activities require some physical effort.  I want to be able to take a shower and reach all my spots, comfortably pee in a regular sized bathroom stall, stand on my head and meditate.  Whatever.  I just want to be able to move.


From March 27, 2012 to April 30, 2014, I was like a ghost to my family.  The only person I ever saw was my mom.  I drifted away from all of them, and I am now gaining them all back.  I was teasing my dad that I never need to buy any groceries, because I’m always at someone else’s house for dinner.  He and my mom both said the same kind of thing, as in, yes, we have missed that so.  The transition from coupledom to single-life has been better and easier than I expected.  Sure, there were some hard times in the very beginning and a lot of beating myself up over staying with someone like DSB for so long, but now it’s over.

I can feel peace, I can feel love.  The dramatics in life, the huge limb that fell in my back yard today and knocked out part of my fence, the big Memorial Day weekend at the store, the time I’m spending with QoB and the Big Dawg and Dad — all just priceless and I couldn’t get through any of this without them.

I told Mom and the Big Dawg today that, if it weren’t for them and their support, Kizzie would be in the pound and my house would be foreclosed on and I’d be in the state psychiatric hospital.  And that’s probably true.

I’m reconnecting with my sister, as well, along with my stepsister and her family.  The friendships I’ve built are only growing stronger, and I must say, for the first time in a long time:


And it feels damn good and long overdue.


Happiness is Right Here

The above song came out right around the time my sister and her (now) husband were planning their wedding.  I think both my mom and I hoped that they would choose it as their wedding song, because it was just so “them.”  Little did we know that they had another very special song in mind.

It seemed like such a magical time.  She had asked me to be her maid of honor, much to my surprise and, er, honor.  I mean really, it meant the world to me that she would ask me to be by her side as she married the man she loved most in the world.  And although I didn’t know her soon-to-be husband in a very deep way, I was convinced that he would treat my sister right and even more convinced that he felt a deep, profound love for her.

Her wedding day that November was the happiest I had in years.  It’s still probably in my top five happiest almost five years later.  It didn’t matter that the guy I was dating at the time was a complete social reject or that my dress didn’t fit right or that my shoes were ill-advised.  I choked up when I saw her walk down the aisle, barely stopping myself from full-on crying.  I was teary-eyed throughout the ceremony, and really, had never experienced tears of joy before.  I actually thought that was a made-up phenomenon.

After the wedding, there was a whirling limo ride through the city, with all the bridesmaids and groomsmen and the happy couple drinking beer that was actually made by my brother-in-law and his friends, and made to taste like champagne!

The reception was lovely, I made a little speech (that went rather well, I was told), and we danced away the night.  I have never danced so much, ever, and don’t think I ever will again.  I actually danced so much that I could barely walk the next day (darn those inadvisable shoes!).  My sister and her husband were so clearly giddy and in love and happy.  My heart warms thinking of it even now.

A car stood waiting to whisk my sister and her husband off to their hotel for the night, as my then-boyfriend helped me maneuver my tipsy parents off to the cars we drove.  A wave goodbye, and they were gone, Mr. and Mrs.  The only time I have ever been happier is holding my new nephew.  More love and happiness brought to me by those two.

I love that my sister made me a part of that day, and that I have been able to see my nephew a few times since he was born.  He is (I think) coming up on three months old now, and my sister has to go back to work.  I probably won’t see him as often, but I plan on asking for some time off every now and again so I can go see my favorite little guy.  Love and  happiness reigns with my sister and that little baby, even through the crying and the tears and the up-all-nights.  There is so much love.  I couldn’t be happier.

Also perfect — the song that they DID choose for their wedding:





Embracing Aunt-hood

There has been so much happiness in my realm lately.  Of greatest note is the birth of my nephew.  I have visited him twice and, while I may be biased, he is perfect.  I hold him and am mesmerized by the way his little face scrunches up this way and that, reminding me of his very-animated father.  He lies peaceful and serene, reminding me that there CAN be such peace and serenity, and that one does not necessarily have to be an infant to know it.

At my insistent request, my sister is sending me a couple of picture messages of him to my cell every day.  I am probably not the only one making this insistent request, and part of me feels a bit guilty for doing so, but this baby is a game-changer and I really just want to soak up as much of him as I can.

I am absolutely sure that my sister and her husband are soaking up as much of that love as they can, too.  My sister was fortunate enough to be able to take 12 weeks off from her job, and my brother-in-law runs his own business, which, although he is still quite busy, allows him to spend more time with him than if he were in a traditional 9-5.  I’ve wished many times that I lived closer to my sister.  I yearn to be closer and even now more so that my nephew has been born.

I am sure that if I lived closer, I would be knocking on her door every day, bugging the crap out of her, so it’s probably best that we don’t.  It’s funny, because I spent years and years.  Pretty much from 2005 — 2010 feeling like I was the last person on the face of the Earth that she would want to spend time with.  You know, having a sister who has (had) a very active mental illness was a lot to handle.  So I get it.  Really, sis, I get it.

And then things started happening and I started getting better.  The mania went away and the depression simmered down and I could actually hold a conversation.  With my sister.  Pure gold, pure love.  I felt like I was being given a second chance, and I didn’t even question my sister giving me another chance.  I was just too grateful.  For us to be close again, like we were long ago, would be all I would ever need from her.

And she started seeking ME out and sending me thoughtful text messages when she didn’t have time to call.  And then she started making time to call.  And I thought I must be the luckiest person on this planet to have a sister that cared like she did.  And I was so incredibly grateful that I forgot those nearly five years when we barely interacted, and realized, for the most part, that those five years where I was mostly apart from my sister, were my fault.

It wasn’t my sister who didn’t want me around.  It was me making myself completely unavailable for any of the things in her life.  She knew I wasn’t much for socializing, so she didn’t invite me to parties or get-togethers where there would be a lot of people.  But she wanted to, I found out later.  She did a lot of that, “protecting” me from all of the things that scared me.  She thought she was doing something good, and really, she probably was because a lot of the time I was a complete wreck and would have ruined any decent party.

But she wasn’t not inviting me places because I had a mental illness.  She was not inviting me places because she didn’t think I would have fun, because she knew I wouldn’t fit in.  Looking back on it, in that light, I don’t feel angry about those five years that I lost her.

I look back and I think of her asking me to be the maid-of-honor at her wedding, so surprised that she picked me out of all of her friends.  I look back to that wedding and remember the great time I had, and the great speech I made.  Of how close I felt to my sister, and even to her husband.

I look back just a little over a week ago, with my sister sending a text message telling me that I can come see my nephew in the hospital whenever I want, that I got priority because I was “Auntie Rose.”

I feel like I am a part of her life, and I am so very grateful.  I’m happy that we could get to this point and I look forward to all of the wonder and joy I am going to experience with her new little family.  No matter what, I vow to always be there for that little boy, my nephew.  No matter if I get really sick again, I will still be Auntie Rose.

Tea of Tranquility

…is the name of a lovely loose tea that my sister gave me last Christmas.  I have been craving hot tea with honey lately (so cold in my house!) and decided to give this a go, minus the honey (I’m out!).  It is a reddish-pink color after it has steeped and really is quite good, even unsweetened.  I wish I could tell you what was in it, so you could go get some yourself, but, alas, the little plastic bag does not have a description.

I do know where she purchased it, however, as she took me there once on one of my quite infrequent visits to her big city.  I had never been in a tea shop before, and it was amazing.  The smells…sigh!  And drawers full of tea…everywhere!  I had no idea (silly me) that tea came in so many varieties.  We bought several small samples to take home.  My favorite was a citrus-y black tea.  Not only was it delicious, it was beautiful to look at.

I think it would be interesting to watch a documentary about tea, as silly as that may sound.  You know, the history of tea, or the art of tea gathering, or how to make different blends.  I should Google that and would likely find something, or if you know of one, do share.

That “tea of tranquility” has done me well today.  It is not nearly noon, and I have been up since six.  Damn the time change, is all I have to say to that one.  When I get up too early, I get a bit jittery.  Never-mind the pot of coffee that I shared with DSB before he had to get out in the cold to do fun welding stuff.  The tea, two large, steaming cups later, has left me feeling quite mellow.

And almost passive.  Docile.  Maybe they should brew this up and serve it to criminals and miscreants throughout the towns and cities.  Wouldn’t that be something?  “Miracle tea lowers crime rate in little-big city.”  Bwhahahah.  I love it.

With the tranquility, however, comes a trade-off.  I am feeling quite, well, how do you say…complacent.  I have things to do, people to see, and I’d much rather keep drinking this tea and reading my Kindle.  And then I realized I hadn’t taken my morning meds, and likely the reason for feeling so spacey was the lack of Ritalin in my system.

And so I took the Ritalin about 90 minutes ago, and have since cleaned my kitchen and done some laundry.  That “tea of tranquility” is still lingering in my system, however, because, while I do feel focused and clear, I do still feel peaceful and calm.

I should drink this stuff more often.  And petition City Council to, perhaps, put it in the water system.  😀