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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dark Night...

And so I am locked in the throws of battle...


Every labored breath brings a mix of deep throbbing and sharp staccatos of pain...


Every movement brings forth a symphony of daggers and clubbing blows...


It is a fight I cannot win and must not lose...


And though there are comrades at my back, both near and afar, it is a fight born out alone as the darkness looms around me...


Sometimes, such as I do now, I feel I cannot endure this war, but there is no retreat and there is no reprieve...


And so I persevere knowing that this hell will not last forever -- I just wish it would end. 


I am in a dark place and the light of 'one day' no longer is there to give hope of the light.


But (and I know you should never start a paragraph with 'but' however at the moment I do not give a rodents rump for rules) I will never give up and I will win this struggle -- why? how? -- simple, I am a very stubborn, relentless, and optimistic hardheaded teddy bear!



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sometimes We Make It More Complicated Than It Needs Be...

I ran across this a while back and at the time it struck me how true it is, so I saved it so as to share it one day...today is that day...

---------------------------

I love you. It's not a weight you must carry around.
I love you. It's not a box that holds you in.
I love you. It's not a standard you have to bear.
I love you. It's not a sacrifice I make.
I love you. It's not a pedestal you are frozen upon.
I love you. It's not an expectation of perfection.
I love you. It's not my life's whole purpose (or your's).
I love you. It's not to make you change.
I love you. It's not even to make you love me.
I love you. It's as pure and simple as that.

~ Anonymous



Friday, October 25, 2013

Hope Is The Bridge, Not The Destination

Woke at 3:00am and my pain has determined I have slept sufficiently for now...I disagree, however I do not get a vote on this.

On the bright side I am, as always, grateful for life.

I read a very sad article just a few days ago about a man who, like me, faced constant debilitating back pain. As I read that article I found myself empathizing with his emotional position.

Now to be clear, there are significant differences between me and the man in the article, but we will get to that later.

There is an incredible feeling of despair that can build up when you live with the kind of pain and suffering I live with everyday. I, like him, have periods where I contemplate my future and when looked at with unbiased eyes, I see the potential for becoming a significant burden to those around me. I would be propagating untruths if I did not say that this makes me very sad inside.

Furthermore, I think of the things I have hoped to do, 'one day', and see myself as precluded from those hopes ever coming to fruition and this deepens the sadness even further.

People who do not live with this kind of pain cannot possibly understand how dejected and unwanted it can make those of us who do live with it feel. I do not say this to diminish the sincerity of their sympathy, but there is a vast difference between sympathy and empathy and those who do not face day after day of intense and crippling pain simply cannot comprehend how this can accumulate like a toxin in our hearts and minds.

There is a saying we have all heard which is very applicable for those who struggle with intense chronic pain, "familiarity breeds contempt". Those who are close to those who wade through this life of pain are the most likely ones to fall into this trap. This is not to be seen as an indictment on those who live with us and are close to us, no matter their physical distance, but more as a waving flag of caution to help us avoid the pitfalls it can produce. For it can lead those who are around us the most to become desensitized to what we face and at the extreme, to make them ambivalent to it. It is just human nature. This can be very devastating to the ones living in the hell of chronic severe pain, because we then feel even more alone and dejected. This can lead to extreme consequences, as it did with the man in the article I referenced at the beginning of this extremely long monolog...he attempted to end his life.

This is where that poor tortured soul and I diverge. I have never seen, and hopefully never will see, ending my life as a viable option. Not because of any 'religious' or 'spiritual' taboos or their consequential implications, but for one reason and one reason only...I have too much to live for.

I love those whom I love too much to ever leave them with the sadness and destruction that suicide brings about. And this love is not based on the degree of love (real or perceived) that is returned in kind, but solely on what is in my heart.

I cannot live with the hopes of what may come about, 'one day' as an anchor for my life. Many things that I have hoped for, 'one day' now seem to no longer be on the table.  These hopes are gone for reasons not controllable by me. They have drifted away and now seem to be clearly, never to be, based on what I currently see as their possibility.

However, for me, that changes nothing. I still have that love in my heart and that will never change. It is that love, for those I choose to love and for the life I have, pain included, that I will never step away from.

I am not the religious man I use to be, but that is not to say I am not still spiritual. There is a proverb that says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." I have many longings...some I truly hope will one day be fulfilled and others that I have come to accept, based on their current state, are likely to never be. However, I will never lose that hope and never lose my love for this life.

And so I keep going and will keep going, regardless of the pain that wracks this body, because I have hope that there are still amazing things before me and those are the destinations I am looking forward to seeing.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It Is The Things You Cannot Say That Often Need Saying

I recently had to tell someone something that they really did not want to hear. How do I know it was not what the wanted to hear? Well, when they avoid you (even more than they normally do, I should add) and settle into a pattern of 'one word' replies, it is pretty obvious.

The sad part is, they just do not see what is right in front of them...that the 'thing' that they lament about..that they cry over and proclaim a wish for improvement is within their grasp to change...but that changing 'it' will mean opening their heart and eyes to a realization that their mind and pride are unwilling to accept.

The hardest part of change is always accepting our own responsibility. Responsibility for our past actions that set the pattern of our present discontent. Responsibility for how we make others feel, whether those 'others' be the ones we wish the 'change' to be with (that is an awkward statement, but I hope you can follow it), or an 'other' who had the courage and love to tell us what we needed to hear.

Life long habits of denial and personal isolationism are the, "Berlin Walls" that must fall if we...if you...are going to have the kind of love and 'belonging' that we proclaim to the heavens that we want.

As for me, I am always hoping that I will be brave enough to not only be that friend who says it like it is, but also brave enough to hear the 'others' in my life telling me what I am resistant to hearing. As far as the former is concerned, I truly do try my best...and it has cost me friendships. And for the latter, I want to believe I am humble enough to listen.

Life is too short for 'somedays' when those 'somedays' are just obfuscation for keeping others at a safe distance. Sadly, those 'safe distances' often push those who wish to be there for us out into the currents of life that then lead to us being alone.

Ok, enough mental rambling for now...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pet Peeve #146

There are few things in this world that tweak my tweakers more than a supposed friend that I never ever hear from...until they want something from me or need my skill set to address something in their life.

I mean, really?!? Do they think me so hard up for friends that this kind of BS would just fly under the radar?!

That said, if it is a friend that suddenly has a need I can help with, no worries, I am so happy to help! However, if it becomes a pattern or worse yet, they are unresponsive to attempts to communicate until THEY have a need, then just k ow that the radar is going to be set off and the BS-meter engaged.

Rant over.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sad Times With Happy Memories

It is hard to believe that it has been 8 years ago that we brought Ruthie home and into our lives. Her first 5-6 years of life had been hard. As we understood it from the first owners, she had been intended to be a companion for his aging mother, but her life at that point had culminated into an existence of being chained in a back yard, subject to the elements, little care and little affection.

She had lived outside, no grooming to speak of and this resulted in her fur becoming matted to the point of resembling armor plating, hanging all over her body. Shaving her free of that mess took 20 pounds of horror off her body and I would love to think that the last 8 years have been happy ones for her.

Tomorrow I will be taking her to the vet for the last time and I am so incredibly sad.


Friday, November 23, 2012

The Closed Door

I am thick...but eventually, like rain water making its way through the mountain to join the underground aquifer, I come to understand what a less dense person might grasp sooner.

The door is closed and I cannot make it open.