Shades of Self

The past couple of weeks have been filled with more family business and a bit of exhaustion. However, I am in the process of researching some issues that are necessary for installment #9 (which may spill into other installments) of Continual Resort, so I am taking my time with the story, although I am excited about having the next part published. I have been thinking about possibly ending published posts at installment #10 or maybe #12, but I’m not sure. I would like to compile all of the installments into a book (probably an ebook for my first time), but I feel that I may be able to add more to it to compose an actual novel or maybe a ‘novelette’, so once I get to the 10th or 12th installment, I will be finishing the story privately until I am ready to either give it away or sell it. I am aware that this may be a rather slow process as I have a lot to learn about self-publishing etc., so any tips that you guys have for me will be greatly appreciated. This process may take quite a while, but I am so excited about making a new move – YAY!

I am also in the process of stocking up on books for this fall (in ebook form or otherwise) from some folks that I follow and who follow me that I am very anxious to take in the stories that they have published. I have already purchased ‘Pathways to Illumination’ by ChristyB at poeticparfait.com – can we say AWESOME??? I also intend to enjoy a novel called ‘The Eyedancers’ in which the first three chapters can be found on the blog which has the same name. Those first chapters truly held me captive and I cannot wait to get the book – this story is so intriguingly suspense filled and wonderful! Among others intended, I also contemplate the purchase of Kellie Elmore’s ‘Magic in the Backyard’ as well as every other book that she has written – naturally!

I intend to thoroughly enjoy the fall months with these works among others, and hopefully one day you will all be able to do the same with mine in due time.

I didn’t add links to the bloggers that I mentioned because I have not yet asked for permission despite the fact that I truly love going to their spaces and indulging in what they have to say and offer. Also, due to my slow technical abilities, I will need to take some allotted time out to get this all done in one post  – hopefully on installment #9 of Continual Resort.

Until then, please go and check these extremely talented writers out – you will be well pleased.

For now, I have written a poem that features colors. I guess this piece is derived from the slew of weirdness that I have experienced over the previous months although things are really peaceful now and have been for a while – hence – the weirdness.

Hope you enjoy! ❤

Shades of Self

On days when my sun beams shadows , I find a Dogwood tree

To find shelter and protection from fearful black rays

Then, night falls and my moon emits a dingy cream spotlight held solely on me

I cannot veer from it, for it menacingly stays

Milky blades of navy grass lay helpless under my feet

Refusing to be the hue that they should be

Nothing is as it was; deliberate, light, and sweet

It seems long forgotten when true colors I could see

Discernment has become impossibility…

Temporarily; until I flee…

From confusing woes and heavy lows

But I shall not remain there

Giving in is not an option behind tangerine dripping blows

That strike as charcoal lines of lightening, sending me on a tear

Pain or pressure, I cannot evenly tell

Which of them laugh at me the most

But I fought back until my brown eyes welled

With tears of wrath, til pink dust flew up as a ghost

Knowing the difference escaped me for a while…

Until intolerance for what beset became vomit-green vile…

The smoke soon cleared, but my skin turned grey

The golden needle of my inner compass failed

Refusing to show me the way

“You – you are a damned liar!” I mutt-brown wailed.

Even though I shouted from a hidden place

Knees shaking, voice in a quiver

Yellow uncertainty covered my face

Still…white, smoldering determination lulled me thither

To that glowing gateway that always stands

Guiding me back to myself

Into the midst of bright familiar lands

To own transparent peace is to have true wealth

Apparently I had been heard

From a murky place somewhere outside

Of myself, for this place reversed my words

The royal violet gateway opened; I no longer needed to hide

Discernment is now a possibility…

I can see clearer this stoic tree…

My shelter now stands alone

Temporarily empty inside and underneath

I have left it and am gone

Away and up out of the depths of the neon indigo heath

Confusion filled woes are replaced

With exactness of what is – as I am

Accepting the imperfections of my space

Releasing my glass-like ethereal dam

My sun beams now, brightly

My moon discreetly does the same

I take not the palette of life lightly

Discernment left briefly, but the aura of strength timely came

The colors don’t really matter much

Unless you take heed

To the revelations and such

That make our hearts bleed

There is a shelter for anyone to run inside

We choose our own locations

We either sink or ride

The waves of our own reservations

In what shade does your sun shine most

Does your night tell all?

Is the color of your strength a protection post…

Lest you fall?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Aside

Blog Dare Writing Prompt – The Last Straw Part II

Later on that year, after bringing my 15 lbs gain back down a few notches to around 162 lbs, I began to search for a new primary care physician because I had not been to see one as my last appointment was my 6 week checkup with my obstetrician.

I had flat-out refused to even see another doctor until I had at least taken some of my regained weight off, plus the PCP that I had gone to for years (male) did not want to honor my requests for checking my hormones for the menopausal symptoms that I’d been experiencing (this took place a couple of years before my mom passed).

He proceeded to tell me that I was too young to be having those symptoms and that I was simply depressed about my mother’s illness. Then came the offer for Lexapro.

Okay, I admit that I was extremely worried about my mother and yes, it was very saddening. I’m sure that I was depressed, but that was pretty much the norm for me from the first day that I entered junior high school where I endured endless teasing.

I was teased for being skinny, short, not putting out, and anything else that those who taunted me daily could force their severely compromised brains to scrounge up. – (at least until I began to practice the art of cussing so well that I created new levels in the craft and the teasing stopped.)

Those same teasers suddenly became quite friendly.

So I was already well acquainted with what I call ‘the black hole’ at an early age and if I didn’t let that kill me, there was no way I would go off the deep end and not be able to help my parents.

Anyway, when I told the doctor about the hot flashes and mood swings, etc., I asked, “Well, why is this happening if it’s not menopause?” He replied that he did not know and wrote me a prescription for the Lexapro.

There was no further discussion with him and it was also the last day that I visited his office.

Back to the new doc…

I had been to see her for my very first 6-weeks check-up ever. She was a nurse practitioner at that time and was great, though I found it a bit uncanny that she was working under my former doctor’s father’s practice.

When I found her again several years later, she had her own office so I decided to switch over to her for my belated and somewhat dreaded annual. I was okay with this because I figured if she was good while working under someone else, my next experience with her had to be even better since she had her own practice.

The inside of the office up front was nice, neat, and the lady at the front desk was friendly. After all the preliminaries (weight, BP check, etc.), I was then led back to an examining room.

I think that I should explain that when I go into any medical facility, family practice, dentist, or anything else, my radar always goes off and I end up looking around the room to check for cleanliness.

I have always been this way for some weird fear that I will end up receiving an exam with unwanted germs to go along with it.

It’s just a strange little ‘ism’ of mine that I can’t seem to get rid of, but I could see dust on the tables where medical tools are placed and dust on the floor set off my internal alarm.

I thought to myself, “There will be no pap-smear here!” as the nurse walked in. Despite seeing evidence of one of my most despised pet peeves (dust), I was still eager to go ahead with the blood tests that I had requested.

Hormones, a re-check of my vitamin D to see if my levels had improved, thyroid levels, and anything else that I could think of. That process went over with no problem and soon after the doctor came in for a brief exam and our consultation.

Hello, doctor…

After going over my family history and discussing my exercise routine, my stress, insomnia, and all of my other annoyingly ever-present symptoms, she told me that my results would explain everything and not to worry.

Then, she asked if I would like to start on some type of birth control. I politely refused as after over 15 years of marriage and not having at least 15 children, controlling births must have been one of my strong points.

So after about three more polite refusals, she finally relented and said that I would receive a call when all of my test results were in.

At this point, I was annoyed, but still willing to move forward. It was time for my exam.

The exam consisted of nothing but the normal check of eyes, ears, glands, etc., and then it was time for me to lie back so the doctor could check my belly… you know – when they press all over and ask if you feel pain or pressure.

As soon as I raised my top she goes, “Whoooo! You told me you were sure you weren’t pregnant, but are you really sure? You look like you’ve got a bun in the oven right now!”

At that very moment, I conjured up an extremely clear mental picture of me raising up and slapping all freckles from her left cheek while being witness to said freckles gracefully flying into the air before falling like fresh snowflakes, travelling down diagonally by a light winter’s breeze on the way to their silently awaiting bed of dust on the floor.

Curiosity may kill the cat, but pure satisfaction brings it back.

So despite my ‘eating habits’ and the scarlet letter ‘O’ that was symbolically stitched into my forehead, I felt a sense of comfort in knowing that I actually did have some semblance of self-control, though my mental picture remained just as it was.

I calmly replied that I was not pregnant, but was having a problem losing weight and needed to know what was going on with me internally as I had tried to stress before. She assured me that I was in good health – maybe a little too healthy, but that I would be fine once I cut out eating all of my favorite greasy foods.

(The slap vision immediately came back, only this time involving freckles from right cheek.)

Just for the record, I bake and boil damn near everything and fry not even on every blue moon! But I explained this to her nicely. Determined, she suggested that since my belly was already out there, I may as well ‘go for another one’.

I reminded myself of how well I’d kept my composure earlier and informed her that I did not want to have more babies and had been successful at accomplishing ‘no more babies’ for a good while on my own.

I distinctly remember stating, “I believe I’ve reached an age where I’m old enough and have enough experience to not need a planned parenthood oriented consultation…I’m way past sixteen, but thanks.”

My attitude may have been present in my voice or facial expressions, or maybe by some miracle, she could see the mental pictures of patient to doctor freckle killing slaps…I don’t know. But somehow, she finally came to her senses and said I was free to go.

Lesson learned…

The last straw for me must have been due to my negligence in missing the breaking news report on the fall of professionalism in the medical field before I made my appointment.

At that point, my next move was to get my results and fire this lady who had apparently changed for the worst immediately after her move up the ladder, but I would still move on with my life. I knew that I didn’t need any pats on the back from anyone, and if I had no support from paid supporters, I simply didn’t need it because it was my life.

This realization led me to find yet another PCP (so much better) who actually has all the quality characteristics that one who resides in the medical field should.

I have since been ‘working on myself’ but this time, it is not in desperation or because I don’t love myself as I am now…it is because I do.

I don’t know if the doctor meant harm or not as she was the joking type. What I do know is that a person with a vulnerable complex could be crushed by what others say about them when ‘others’ speak before they think.

The results from feeling crushed will show up sooner or later – even if not realized until later.

With all disappointments thrown out of the window, I now embrace my downs as well as my ups and keep it moving.

Though I still deal with being self-conscious about buying new clothes or going out in public, I am still determined to make my way through this battle victoriously and that particular straw will surely be the one that breaks the camel’s back in my behalf!

Just for the record, I think freckles are darned cute, but in this case and at that time, they were mere minions used to install a new flight to the ongoing spiral staircase of the fortress that surrounds my empire of retaliatory fantasies dwelling within the dungeon of my mind’s angry eye. My advice… keep the naturally conjured mental picture of choice, but don’t act on it. Be you and love all of you!

Thanks for reading.

Aside

Blog Dare Prompt – The Last Straw – Part I

The Last Straw – Part 1

I had always been rail thin during my teen years and early twenties. Eighty-eight was the year of my high school graduation and this number also matched my body weight at that time.

Now that I think about it, that number sounds rather low as I recall not being a happy camper in school with the bad habit of not being able to eat (or just not wanting to) when I felt depressed which was quite often.

This habit  lasted on into my first and only year in college – experiencing even more depression and not eating enough, but faithfully participating in band camp and practice which was at times much like a military boot camp.

By some miracle (must have been the never-ending rice dishes served for lunch almost daily) I went home with a three digit weight of nothing more than lean muscle mass that just happened to stick around despite my deciding not to go back the next year.

Not being the typical 18 year old, I did not cope well with supposedly normal life changes such as adapting the mentality of my peers, being away from my home and family, and hating sharing a room with two other people when I was used to having my own room at home.

I clearly was not ready for the extra course in ‘One of Your Room Mates is a Freaking Kleptomaniac-101’… I didn’t sign up for it, but it did turn out to be an intriguing study.

Anyway, I kept up with much of my exercise routine once back home where I decided to go to cosmetology school in my hometown. It was definitely a better experience.

My twenty pound gain remained in tact until I got married and began to enjoy take-out on weekends (my mom always cooked – take-out was a rare treat) while also relishing in the beauty of frequent alcohol consumption.

I had begun to put on a small amount of weight but it actually looked good on me as I was still working out and still had a functioning metabolism. I was finally beginning to reach the ‘normal’ weight of an adult female.

At the seven year marriage mark, there was no itch, but there was finally a baby…long awaited by my family who frequently volunteered and enjoyed feeding my ravenous appetite during my first pregnancy.

Despite my gorging on mom’s famous butter roll (yes – with cinnamon) and a two foot long Hershey Bar from one of my sisters (Christmas gift), I was still able to drop the baby weight with no problem. I worked out religiously.

Five years later, my next baby came and I had read about how breastfeeding would help to take off baby weight and I found this to be true.

During that time, my appetite dwindled even more because my parents’ health problems had begun to deteriorate, so I was taking care of my kids while helping them also. I noticed that whenever one or both of my parents were in the hospital, I would go into ‘help mode’ which killed my appetite. This went on for several years – emergency runs and stays in the hospital, cleaning and cooking for two houses, taking care of young kids – who had time to eat?

I had totally forgotten about working out as much as I had eating, so my weight stayed down for unhealthy reasons, but this all changed after my last baby and soon after the death of my parents.

I began to eat everything that wasn’t nailed down and found myself at a weight that I had only seen during my pregnancies.  The emotional eating continued as a coping mechanism until about one year later, I took a good look and noticed that I could hardly recognize myself.

Upon this realization, I began to change my habits and started working out faithfully.  I was no longer in a marching band where working out was the norm, but I was as die hard as if I were back in band camp.

This time I was actually concerned about my weight, not comfortable in my own skin, and very self-conscious. I counted and logged my calories, burns and losses on a website that I had found and kept up with my workouts like a pro until my lean muscles began to show themselves again.

At that time, I could look in the mirror and know that I was winning the battle. Proud of myself for all of my hard work and determination, the battle continued on until…

My husband’s job offered a health workshop in which employees and their spouses could visit a facility that would run a battery of tests and give a thorough health report.

I had become a bit of a health nut, so I was all for it. Everything went fine with my husband who eats pretty much whatever he wants and can do fifty push-ups once a week and poof – the mere three-pound gain is gone. But my appointment was just a tad different.

I walked in with a confidence that I’d never experienced before. By my own volition, I had gone down from 171 lbs to 156 and feeling stronger than ever! I was proud of my results. But my pride was short-lived when I found out that my so-called BMI placed me in the ‘obese’ category. Obese?

What the hell was I before? Determined to not allow one tear to fall, I kept my composure as the nurse gave me all types of documentation on how, what, and when to eat, and how often I needed to work out.

I was expected to return the following year having lost 15 lbs which would only be the beginning of working towards ‘becoming a fit individual‘.

Don’t get me wrong, I was glad that everything else came out well with the exception of a severe vitamin D deficiency, but these people acted as if I had done absolutely nothing to help myself despite my calmly given explanations. (I don’t usually explain myself due to my ‘like it or lump it’ attitude) But with each explanation, I received a lecture on how I could either change or improve my ‘behavior’. Really?

Although I knew they were just doing their jobs, I still wondered if they were telling the same mess to every female who didn’t fall under the same weight bracket as I was as a teen which is completely ridiculous.

But for some reason, I still walked out of there feeling like a lazy, non-caring, gluttonous slob. The preceding words are a total taboo for me, but the attitudes of the nurses made me feel like they saw me that way.

Despite all that I had accomplished, it apparently meant nothing according to their standards.

The idea of goals reached went clean out of the window, and all I could hear was that I was obese and needed to start working on myself. Without even bothering again to tell these people that I had already been ‘working on it’, I spent the following months desperately trying to follow their instructions which produced a 15 lbs gain instead of a loss.

My spirit had been broken and I was angry. I was angry at them, for telling me that I was not good enough.

I was angry at myself for giving what they said an ounce of merit. I was angry at my body for not doing what I (they) wanted it to do, not realizing that I never should have changed in the first place.

So my life of fitness was a serious struggle until I finally went back to doing what worked for me before, and I never went back to that facility.

As I finally began to come out of my rut, I realized that the last straw for me was trying to conform to a standard that was not my own.

For the first time I could remember, I let myself be thrown for a loop and couldn’t believe how easily I fell for it. But once again, by my volition, I recovered successfully and was on my way back to myself…or so I thought.

Aside

Poem #9 – I Cast my Cares

Into the depths of  the sea

Of forgetfulness goes my sin

Accompanied by dreams

 

English: Barnegat Lighthouse in Barnegat Light...

English: Barnegat Lighthouse in Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hopes and imaginings

Along the shore I stand

The lighthouse beams

From afar

I am  found not guilty

Yet withdrawn

Aloof from all normalcy

Not truly embraced

By its essence

Which does not exist

As the breeze lightly blows

My mind is at ease

Briefly

Certainty precedes my sanity

I stand on the rock

Which is my faith

It exists for a certainty

Along the shore I stand

The lighthouse beams

From afar

I am found by the light

Not guilty and embraced

By my sanity

Which is normal

In its essence

According to my faith

Aloofness is withdrawn

From my mind

As it now joins my sin

In the depths of the sea

Of forgetfulness

Where rolling waves

Return unto me

Dreams, hopes and imaginings

Unaccompanied by my sin

Aside

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