“nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it" - Michel de Montaigne
if you love somebody, give them free shipping https://www.madcollage.com/
chronic pain, love and support
Love materializes in so many forms. It can be a destructive hurricane or a delicate breeze that makes your life fresh and comfortable. Love can be selfless dedication that doesn't ask for much in return, or it can be demanding and self-centered. Enduring love is known to remain in the absence of the loved one, and it is impossible to extinguish. Real love, in my estimation, blooms and endures the passing of time only under the supervision of a dedicated caretaker. For all its attention seeking, it's quite a fragile entity.
In all its forms, in all its incarnations, love expands and contracts your heart with a force that is inexplicable. If you are deprived of the experience of being loved in the real sense of the word, with all your shortcomings and eccentricities, the long term implications are devastating.
I make no secret of my personal struggle with chronic pain. Some of this pain is anchored in love. You might think that's impossible, but I assure you it is so. The pain of not being seen by someone you love can have lasting effects on your health. It breaks you a little, and it becomes that fishbone stuck in your throat that you feel every time you swallow.
I deal with my share of pain with as much dignity as possible, depending on its intensity or my circumstances. In the end, pain is a barnacle attached to the hull of my day to day. I can’t completely get rid of it despite my best efforts.
While pain doesn't define me, it is a part of me that I no longer disguise for the benefit of others. I want to underscore that fact, because I know that most long-term pain sufferers get especially crafty at concealing their experience. I used to do just that. I hid pain with extraordinary composure, and people around me were none the wiser. Employers, friends and colleagues were totally unaware of the amount of suffering my jokes and chattiness covered up. I chalk it up to wanting to be loved and accepted. Nobody wants to be unlovable. Socially, nobody wants to throw a wrench in the proceedings, so to speak.
The more I craved support, the more I felt like a burden. I never wanted to be a liability or an unreliable friend. Therefore, I inconvenienced myself instead. I would even go as far as to say that I punished myself. Of course, the cost was terribly high, and it was paid in the form of depression and anxiety.
Medicine is just catching up with the concept of wholeness. No painkiller (and I've tried dozens of them) could mitigate my sense of being different. It couldn't placate my crippling loneliness. It turns out, that pain is so multilayered and affects so many aspects of an individual, that the one-size-fits-all method just doesn’t cut it. It might work as a temporary band aid, but it's doomed to fail.
Fortunately, a fairly new approach employs a combination of treatments (acupuncture, CBT, EMDR, physical therapy, group therapy, yoga, massage) to manage pain in all its presentations, whether physical or mental. Is it the panacea chronic pain patients are hoping for? I don't think so, but it is better than the current alternative which is sort of a DIY approach.
When a physical problem precipitates mental issues (or vice versa), we are faced with a “pain planet” that generates its own gravitational pull. To knock it out of orbit, we must employ every device at our disposal and that’s when managing pain takes a village that provides encouragement and affordable care. Most importantly, it still takes love and support which don't come in a pill or an injectable.
If you have someone with chronic pain in your life, the best and only gift they need from you is some extra love and a great deal of support. Make it explicit. Put some effort into making them feel appreciated. You'll be surprised how therapeutic that experience can be.
To learn more follow this link below:
love letters to myself
I think exercising at least a modicum of self compassion should be taught in schools. It is, after all, a learned skill and it needs to be nurtured and practiced. Unfortunately, it isn't and many of us grow up without the tools necessary to maintain our own emotional well-being.
I was, for instance, never taught to be flexible and caring towards myself. Quite the opposite, I was told that I had to be resigned, incapable of demanding anything on my own behalf and, above all, I had to be polite...to everyone.
Needless to say, these teachings did not serve me well right from the get go. I was taunted in school, pushed around as a young adult and easily manipulated later on. Throughout, I believed that it was all my fault because, somehow, I was clearly derelict in my duties as a likable, worthy human being.
Turns out I am not alone in my inability to self care. Though now a buzz word that you find everywhere, the practical side of taking good care of yourself is still a mystery to many people. There is a learning curve, and there's no shame in taking that first baby step towards a kinder, more peaceful you.
Read on below and see what you can do today to start on your journey to a more self supportive attitude.
out and about - Crys Yin: nothing to exclaim @ Deanna Evans Projects
In a collective experience of any kind, the shared aspect of it has the potential to unite people of very different backgrounds. Few things can do that. A pandemic that crosses borders, religious affiliations, genders and economic status is one of them. The other is Art.
Art condenses the experience of one person into an entity that others can identify with. What I mean to say with any of my collages, what any artist is communicating through their work, is always superseded by your own experience as the viewer. You can only see who you are.
And yet, although we might see different things and feel disparate emotions, there is a substrate that we all share as humans. What remains hidden is a sediment that is communal. That residue is made of universal emotions like love, disappointment, loneliness, gratitude, hope and vulnerability.
Yin’s work exists in a calm and subdued way. It resides in a place of silence. It allows for multiple interpretations with a generosity difficult to find these days. Other artists who opt for more strident presentations, are calling attention to themselves and their intended message. Yin opts to recede and let the tide of thoughts come in and submerge her canvases. Her approach is soothing and it is stress relieving, and for that I am eternally grateful.
There is much to appreciate from the language of whispers. In a vociferous, often aggressive time, Yin’s work represents a welcome parenthesis that should be enjoyed. Rest your eyes and give your soul a break.
Is my heart deep enough to bury all the hurt?
Wait, they tell me. Wait, endure.
Yet time does not comply.
No cold compress to soothe the heat
You knew the wolf was at the threshold.
Couldn't you let me dream my dream?
Couldn't I choose how to begin?
I stitch and tug.
The wounds reopen in the night.
Arachne hanging from her silken noose.
Weaving a life that smells of pain.
Smooth edges pull apart
Never to heal nor bind again.
Couldn’t you let me win just once?
Couldn’t I rise to hope instead?
The curtain down at your command.
It hid me well. I never stirred.
I was a footnote, the obedient ghost.
No questions asked. No care at all.
You bruised my soul. You tore my choice.
You knew the wolf was at the threshold.
Couldn’t you keep me from the cold?
Couldn’t I hope and not be told?
Today I mend and patch the slits.
You smirk at me and call me sweet.
My fingers pricked. My faith worn down.
I bundle scraps of life and sleep
Do I have the patience to forgive?
Tonight, I burn.
Nothing could help close this newsletter better than one of my favorite songs by George Harrison. If you've ever loved, you have also lost something of yourself on the way. Perhaps, there is still a chance of recovering wholeness... one day. https://youtu.be/e9vUCdfwlgw