Posts Tagged ‘love’

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Saying goodbye to the biggest piece of my heart.

October 15, 2015

i’ve talked before about how i believe the world works the way it is supposed to.

i’m having more than a little trouble understanding it at the moment. i know we aren’t always going to understand- and it may take time to see the big picture. But quite honestly, at this moment in time, i don’t want a big picture, i don’t want the future to come with answers, all i want is to turn back time.

September 12 was one of the worst days of my life. And i am trying to constantly remind myself of the year and a half of magic that led up to that day.

You see, 2013 was a year of ginormous changes in my life. They were good changes but hard ones. They happened in a way that i wasn’t emotionally prepared for and the depression monster became my closest frienemy. But in December of that year while i was struggling to make it through each day i learned that there might be a light in my future in the form of an emotional support animal.

i have always had a connection with animals- dogs especially. Growing up in the household i did my dogs were my protectors, my confidantes, and the greatest source of love. In college i had a pet fish who died, some friends wanted to know what would make me feel better as i sobbed. All i wanted was my dog. They couldn’t give me this so they went and bought me one of those electronic dogs that was so popular for a bit.

i spoke with my doctor, she agreed this was a good plan and something that would help me. And at some point in January of 2014, i started seriously looking at Petfinder to see who was out there. i saw so many faces and stories that touched my heart and then one night i stopped. i saw a face looking at me and i knew. i knew with no doubt i had found the answer i had been looking for.

On January 14 i drove about an hour and a half, it had snowed recently. Usually i am terrified to drive on slippery roads, i’ll avoid it at all costs but it felt like the middle of summer to me that day. When i pulled up to the shelter my heart was pounding in my ears, my mouth felt dry. i was anxious and excited. i started panicking that someone had come for her earlier that morning.

i walked in and let them know which dog i was there to see and the woman said, “Are you sure?” She went on to tell me how this dog was too wild for all the people who had come for her before. How she had been at the shelter for over 6 months- had had a major surgery. She finally let me know she would bring her out and i could see what i thought, she had a look of doubt and amusement on her face. Like she knew once i saw this animal i would turn around and walk out the door.

They brought her out and she jumped up to sniff me, i sat on the ground and she crawled into my lap, rolled on her back and looked up like she were saying, “rub my tummy and let’s go home.” And that’s what we did.

In the car she was nervous at first, she didn’t want to explore anything but the floor of the passenger’s seat. And then i started singing along with my music. She crawled up to the seat and started licking my face, she would stop and stare when a song changed and when i started singing more kisses. She started watching the other cars on the road- she loved them. Even when we stopped to pick her up some new treats and toys she wanted to stay in the parking lot and just watch the cars driving.

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The next day i gave her a bath and she fell asleep in my arms while drying off. i knew that this was the best relationship i had ever opened the door to.

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My Maguire was named after Robin Williams’ character in Good Will Hunting. Those of you who have read my previous posts know how much that movie means to me. Sean Maguire says things that hit my brain in ways other words have never been able to. And since she was my emotional support dog she was like a little therapist herself. i thought it was fitting.

The difference in my well being was astronomical. There are so many people who can tell you this. Not only did i have someone constantly beside me to face whatever demons crawled into my head but i had someone there who i knew i had to be there for. i had to get up each day to get food and water and trips outside. i couldn’t hide away the way i could before.

When i tore my ACL Maguire would greet me like normal but when it came time to snuggle she would rest with her head on my knee like she was protecting it from anything else happening. We practiced jumping through a hula hoop while i was recovering from surgery so she would still get exercise and fun while i wasn’t able to do as much.

She loved her aunties. One day one of them came to visit and i kept trying to do other things so Maguire would spend time with her. It wasn’t until i sat down and she was able to fully greet me and make sure i was okay that she went and crawled into someone else’s lap.

She refused to sleep without touching me. In the winter she was under the blankets curled up right next to me and in the summer when she got warm, she would stretch her paws so they were touching part of me and then fall asleep.

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To say i was in love would be an understatement. My heart has never been filled with the love and magical-ness of anything like this before. At my college reunion people commented about her in the same way i asked and commented about their children. i was so proud. My Girl Scouts would ask to see pictures. And almost everyone i ran into at work mentioned her. She was my world, my light, my heart.

So when i got home on September 12, i didn’t know that my world was going to change. Maguire greeted me like always- we had our mom just got home from work talk and snuggle in her chair and then came to snuggle more in bed. About an hour or so later everything changed. i knew something was wrong, i thought maybe she had a tummy bug. We went to the vet and by the time we arrived she had gotten even worse. After way to much time waiting and running tests they suggested i take her to the emergency vet. We sped out there to find that no one had any answers. She was deteriorating more and more and i was trying to be strong but i couldn’t stop crying. We decided to try a course of treatment and see what happened. A few hours later i got a call telling me that she had only gotten worse. The doctor said she had never seen anything like it in a dog. Whatever was happening was in her brain and it wasn’t stopping. My heart was breaking- i’ve never felt anything like it. And i said yes when she asked if i wanted to stop her suffering. i drove out in a blur of tears and they brought her in on a table, she couldn’t walk anymore, she was blind in one eye. She was trying to dig into the air as they put her on the ground and told me i could have as much time with her as i wanted. i curled up next to her and started talking while the tears poured out. Her paws stopped and rested on my tummy. i apologized to her for the day and for anything else i might have done to cause her suffering like this. i told her how much i loved her over and over and over again. i gave her kisses and i hid my face in her neck and sobbed while begging her not to leave me. i don’t know how long i was there- it never would have been enough time. i got up to get the doctor and she started digging again. The doctor came in and i curled up next to her again and held her while the shot was injected. i held her after. i didn’t know if i was going to be able to let go.

And now there is nothing. No clicking of nails on the wood floor. No protective barking when the neighbors get loud. Everywhere i look is a reminder. And all i can think is, why? Why her? Why me? Why in that way?  Because as whiny and cliche as it sounds, it isn’t fair. And the truth is, i need her. i still need her so much.

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Sometimes i have a good day, or hour, or few minutes, and then something reminds me and i can feel my heart being torn all over again. It never stops hurting.

Some people don’t understand, to them she was a dog. She wasn’t a dog to me. She was everything. You don’t ask someone who has lost a spouse or a child if they are going to go find a new one but they ask me that. i can’t look at a picture of any dog without making comparisons to Maguire or cursing it for not being her right now- i know that in time my heart will be open again but right now it is grieving and i don’t know when my next step in that process is.

It’s taken a few times sitting in front of this screen to be able to get this far. It has been a daily struggle to deal with the world and my own brain. i don’t have a pair of paws jumping onto my tummy in the morning to force me out of bed. i don’t have eyes looking at me or a body getting comfy on my head when i want to reach for a sharp object. And thus far i’ve been able to avoid those objects but i worry about how long that will last.

i’ve been shutting the world out, shutting people out. It isn’t so much that i want to be alone, though that is the only way i know how to put words to it. It is more like none of the world is Maguire and i don’t know how to talk about everything very well yet. All the words and the emotions feel like mush and i don’t know how to take that mush and turn it into a conversation or a moment in time with another being.

i’ve talked in the past about fighting this monster- there is a part of me, right now, that thinks. . . what’s the point? Because the things and people i love all just go away. Everybody leaves, my heart is always going to be crushed over and over and over again. So why try and fight? Why ask for help when i’m just going to end up alone anyway?

i’m lucky to have people in my life who don’t let me listen to that very long. But it’s a struggle. It’s hard work to fight while you feel so defeated. And hard to push through when you don’t see anything at the end to be fighting for. No amount of hard work or fight will bring Maguire back.

So i struggle, every single day. And this along with my fucking uterus has made for one of the most mentally and physically painful months that i can remember. i’ve been trying to take each day one moment at a time- that’s all i can do right now. Grief takes time. Our society doesn’t allow for that. We hear time and time again that you can take as much time as you need, and that in time things will feel better but there is no magic Delorean out there providing this time for us. We are expected to take that time around the schedule of everyone else- grieve as long as you want, as long as you don’t miss work and perform to normal standards. Grieve in your way, as long as you are still a functioning member of society. The pressure is enormous and makes my head want to explode.

i’m not saying this to call out any particular person or group. But it is hard enough to deal with mental health bullshit every single day. There are still so many taboos and fears. When you add a traumatic experience on top and are made to feel like those things don’t matter- that you just aren’t strong enough or trying hard enough it’s a recipe for disaster. i know this, i’ve eaten disaster more times than i’d like to remember.

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i’ve taken some steps to get help through all this and i’m trying to be proud of myself for that. i know Maguire would be.

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The world also showed me i might have a popsicle addiction and how much i love impromptu dance parties

May 28, 2013

It’s been a few days. But the good news is that it’s just because i’ve been busy not because i’ve been trying to disappear.

 

This week the world has shown me a few different things.

 

First of all, the friends and the families that we choose to be a part of come in all shapes and sizes. Of course, i knew this before. But sometimes the people that we feel the deepest connections to are not the ones we would pick ourselves if we had to go to a store and guess which person would be the best for us. And sometimes we just have to wait for the right time and place for those paths to cross. For example, one of my closest friends graduated the same year i did, from the same college. We started at the same time and knew who each other were but never got to know each other until our junior year when Junior Production threw us in the same space. It was sort of like two lego pieces finally fitting together. Not that we are ridiculously hard to separate (though we do tend to talk for hours when we are together) but that we just fit so perfectly as friends. i never ever would have thought that about her before that moment. But as usual, the world knows more than i do and places these amazing people in my way so i can’t avoid them, often times when i most need them. i am gigantically thankful for this. There aren’t a lot of people that you can really peel back layer after layer after layer and have them love you through all of it. And i think that when it comes from a person you didn’t expect it to it makes your mind shift a little bit to see the world a little clearer and helps you remember that overall in the grand scheme of things you don’t really know much but the one thing that is for sure is that you can get love and you can sure as hell give it- even when you weren’t expecting it. . . especially when you weren’t expecting it. Those are the times love is needed the most.

 

Secondly, you know how a lot of people have that moment where they realize their parents are human? i realized that before i knew what it was to realize that. But, as i’ve mentioned before, i’m kind of stunted emotionally. In many ways i had to grow up really fast but in others i didn’t really grow up at all. i think, because of this i tend to have that moment of realizing the human-ness of people i look up to, or admire, or respect. It can be a hard and sometimes painful realization. It can shatter every picture i have in my head. Maybe that’s the best thing to happen but it feels horrible at the time. i’m trying to remind myself that people are all just people. That no matter how awesome i think someone is or how much i look up to them, they can still make mistakes. They might say or do something that upsets me. And the biggest thing i’m trying to remember is that those things don’t have to mean that i did something wrong. They don’t mean that person thinks less of me. And they don’t mean that i have to run away or push away a relationship that i have established. None of these are easy for me and none of them are my first instinct but i know they will serve me so much better than the other choices. This also carries over to other people. i truly believe that a majority of people are just doing the best they can. So i’m trying to remember when people annoy me or drive me crazy with some random thing that they are probably doing the best they can and they’re on a journey too.

 

Lastly, i know that we should worry more about what is on the inside than on the outside. And i do. But, i’m just like most of us. i look in the mirror. i worry about what i see. i fuss over whether clothes look right or if i used makeup correctly. And those superficial surface things can send me into a spiral of self doubt and self hate. However, i did something recently that i wasn’t aware would make as much of a difference as it did. i dyed my hair (not a natural color) and put my earrings in. i’m working on getting the rest of my piercings put back in. i don’t do this because i want attention. i think we’ve figured out that attention is kind of the last thing i want as far as people looking at me. But there is just something about having my hair dyed, and sometimes mohawked, and my piercings that makes me feel like me. i always felt like that before when i had them in but i didn’t realize what a difference it made when i took them out. i just thought i missed them. Now that they are back in i realized it felt like i was missing part of me. Friends have told me that they are really happy i’m putting them back in. It’s not that i’m not me without those things or that my friends love me less but there is something inherently more whole about me with those things. i don’t know how to explain it but i feel way more confident lately and that’s pretty amazing.

 

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i want what you have and how my brain is like a magnifying glass

May 19, 2013

i’m feeling completely overwhelmed with emotions. i’m trying to allow myself to feel all of them and be okay with that but what i really want to do right now is unscrew the top of my head and pick all of those feelings out of my brain and then go on my way.

Sometimes i shy away from blogging when i feel like this because i remember being taught that i shouldn’t have these feelings and if i was weak and did have them that i shouldn’t ever show them. i also get scared that if i talk about the things that are in my head that everyone will think i’m a horrible person and i’m terrified of that.

i’m trying to push myself through these fears and do this anyway. And i hope that i can write everything out in a way that doesn’t show me as terrible and that will act as a relief of some of the mounting pressure i’m feeling under the weight of everything.

We have a bajillion people in our lives. Some of them have a larger impact than others. When those people compliment you, it fills your heart in a way that other people can’t. However, on the other hand, if those people do something to upset you or disappoint you in some way, it can hurt more too.

This is hard no matter what. But it’s even harder when it is a newer relationship. With my best friend she can do something to make me angry and it hurts so deeply but i know that she is still my best friend and nothing is going to change that. We have put that time and effort in together over years and i just know, i can feel that bond even through the negative stuff.

There are people that we meet that we just click with. You can’t always explain it but there is some connection there. For me this is awesome and awful all at once. i don’t always connect with people well. i tend to stay in my safe little area until i know things are okay and then when i venture out i don’t know what to say or do. Finding someone that i connect with in a way that allows me to skip all that is fantastic. But. . . i’ve had some pretty shitty people in my life. So when something negative happens in the beginning of a new friendship i get so scared that i have screwed everything up, i was stupid and thought there was a connection where there really wasn’t, i am going to be left all over again, and whatever other multitude of panic filled negativity my brain can churn out.

i get scared that if i say something about these negative things- and maybe negative things is a bad phrase,misunderstandings, comments, actions, whatever it is- that i will come across as weak or needy or ridiculous. So i keep it inside where it festers until it causes a crack in the wall i have built and everything falls apart. It isn’t necessarily that i am holding on to a bad feeling about a certain person, it’s more of just the feeling in general that sits there and then tries to take over every relationship, skewing my view of what is really going on in my life. Sometimes it does hold on to the connection to a particular person in a way that i worry myself sick about it. Rather than just coming out and saying something like, “you said that you would do X and now you seem like you’ve forgotten/don’t care/blown me off/whatever and that is upsetting, can we fix this?” i wonder what i’ve done to make that person change their mind. i wonder what i can do to be better and make them like me again.

i was talking to my best friend the other day about this and she had to basically spell out for me that sometimes people, even good people, do shitty things to other people. It is not always my fault. It wasn’t a magic fix that changed everything right then and there but it was good for me to hear.

Sometimes we won’t get an apology or a confrontation with another person about these things because they honestly don’t realize that it has happened. That can be a bitter pill to swallow when something feels so enormous to me. But i need to remember that even though it feels enormous to me, it didn’t even register to them which means that whatever happened was not done out of malice or pre-meditated horribleness. That’s a huge distinction.

Then there’s this. . .

i read a book last year called Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. It was a good book, not one of my all time favorites but i enjoyed it enough. But there one one line that has stayed with me since reading it and will probably stay with me forever.

“Envy is when you want what someone else has. Jealousy’s when you also don’t want them to have it.”

i set goals for myself constantly. i think about them over and over and over again until i can see them when i close my eyes. And i know that some of those goals take longer than others to achieve and that’s fine. i know how hard i will have to work to get there and that’s okay. It can get frustrating, of course, but i know how much more i will appreciate the end result when i’ve worked so hard for it rather than having it handed to me.

But. . . i definitely find myself so envious of other people sometimes. To the point where i stand in my own way or beat myself up over it. It’s graduation time and i see people i know graduating from school- high school, college, grad school, etc. And i’m so proud of them, my heart bursts with pride and i brag about them to other people (because i have ridiculously smart awesome friends) and then my heart has that tug of envy because i want that. i want to be graduating, i want to be in school, etc. i’m working toward that goal everyday but for whatever reason i see all these people achieving their amazing goals and dreams and i feel like i’ll never reach mine, that i’ll never be good enough to stand where they are. i know this is dumb, when it comes down to it, i don’t want to stand where they are, i want to stand in my own spot that i have created for myself. But my brain doesn’t always look at things logically.

It’s the same when it comes to recognitions or new jobs or promotions or whatever else. i love hearing about them. i get overwhelmingly happy when they happen to the people i care about most. And then that tug happens and i want that. i know we all have our own path and things will happen the way they are supposed to. That doesn’t make it any easier when you work toward something and don’t get it. It still hurts.

Feeling that hurt at the same time you feel so happy for someone is difficult. You have these conflicting emotions going on and you don’t want to come across as jealous. A lot of times you have to hide that hurt because it won’t come out the way you actually mean it. So again, it just sits inside until it bursts.

i don’t know the fix. i don’t know if there is one. i know that i can try to focus on the happy and use the envy to fuel my drive to achieve my own goals. And i can come here and try to shake out all the crazy feelings so they don’t explode. i guess that’s enough of a step forward for now.

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This week has been up and down, so is this post. Or, how my moose makes me hysterical and filled with love at the same time.

April 20, 2013

i spent most of last night and this morning crying. Some of it was related to specific thoughts and situations. Some of it was just bottled up emotion rushing out uncontrollably. i don’t know how it is for you but sometimes when that happens all of those really specific things seem to grow into ginormous insurmountable obstacles because you can only look at them through foggy tears fueled by every emotion you’ve ever felt. Thankfully, eventually, the cycle will wear itself out and all that stuff that seemed so huge and scary looks smaller and more manageable.

This week has been hard. Some stuff happened that i should be used to but am not. Some stuff happened out of the blue and i still haven’t quite figured out how to process it. Some was probably really silly and not worth being upset about but i was (Mortimer had a bit of an injury today and i had a little bit of a breakdown.) Some stuff may have happened entirely in my head but they still hurt so badly. And i blogged every day. i completed my assignment.

i feel good about completing it. But it has been a roller coaster. i was talking about it at my doctor’s appointment this morning. It’s good for me to get some of this stuff out. It’s a much healthier way for me to deal with things than cutting or bottling things up. However, in some ways i am emotionally still a child, i didn’t learn to deal with all those emotions the way that i should have so now that i’m trying to get them out it’s kind of like reliving things all over again and that’s hard. My doctor said that writing can be really good but can make things worse before better because of this. When you add to that the fact that i’m doing this on a blog, not in a journal that only i will see it’s even more overwhelming. It’s scary enough to sit down with someone you know and tell them how you’re feeling about things- putting it out there for the world to see is horrifying. It’s scary for me when i don’t get responses to things and it’s scary for me when i do. i feel sort of naked and trapped.

That being said, i’m glad i did it. i’m glad i was given this assignment by someone who knows how to push me because i need that push sometimes. i’m not going to keep blogging every single day but i want to do it more regularly because sometimes we need to intentionally do things that scare us.

i wrote a lot more about all that than i thought i was going to. So now onto what i actually wanted to say (thanks for sticking with me.) Today over on Elijah’s tumblr he posted this video:

 

So first of all, thank you to Elijah for posting this and to Jes for making it because i needed to see it today. i need to remember that my own self acceptance can start on the inside and can be made up of all sorts of tiny pieces. So i wanted to talk about some of the things that i like about me because there are days and moments when i feel like i can’t find any of those things and it’s scary for me to say things like this because i was taught not to “brag” even though it isn’t really bragging.

 

i love that i can canoe and arch and that i can teach other people how to do it too. i love that i love camp more than any other place. i love that i’m a Girl Scout. i love that i can look at things from lots of angles and pick it apart in a way to create an effective way of teaching a skill.

 

i love my freckles. And my hair- even though it drives me crazy- it holds hair dye well and it grows super fast meaning if i mess it up it’ll be fine in a few days.

 

i’m fiercely loyal. i love that i love books. i love that when i talk about books my heart starts to race a little bit like it is some sort of drug because i’m so excited. i love some of my writing. i love going back to it and being amazed that those words came from me.

 

i love that i don’t care if my apartment looks like a child lives there. i love that i don’t own sheets for my bed that don’t have some sort of animal or character on them. i love that i love Mort so much.

 

i love that i make pretty awesome cds for people. i love that i will sing to almost anything (when i’m alone) and that my brain is like a ridiculous card catalog of song lyrics. i love that i will sing my girls to sleep at camp no matter how old they are and that they tell me they miss it even now, years later.

 

That’s it for now but i’m going to steal an idea from Jes’s video and ask you to leave a comment, tweet, text, email, whatever with something you love about you and i’ll take it one step further. . . i did something good scary this week by blogging every day so let me know something good scary you can do to push yourself.