The SLOG of Joy

Grumble. Growl. Grunt.

.   Swear. Sweat. Stomp.

. Punch. Pound. Pant.

.  Breathe. Binge. Boss.

.  Shout. Scream, Smear.

.  Fall in a heap, exhausted. Then get up, clean up, and do it all over again.

.  There is joy in this. This “living” we do. No matter how sweaty, or dirty, or ugly, this “living” is a beautiful thing.

.   There is no ‘give up’ here, no ‘quit’ , no ‘over it, no ‘packing it in’.

This is where every. breath. matters.

.    DO YOU HEAR ME?

EVERY BREATH MATTERS.

Right now, in my little trailer in the middle of down, down, way down and out USA, I am deciding to care. I am deciding that my sufferings will amount to something, that all this silence and fear and worry  in my heart will be done away with, that with this breath of life my Creator blessed me with will be used to help someone else live, too.

.  I know I’m a rag-tag mess. I can’t think straight most of the time, and there are days I can’t leave my house. I am oppressed by an illness that tells me I don’t have it, and that feeling like I’m sick is a sin. I’m not exhausted, it tells me, I’m lazy. I’m not in excruciating pain, I’m a dope seeker. I was not abused, assaulted and raped, I was promiscuous.

.  I am here, I am now, and with my God’s help, I will reach out to someone else. And with my God’s help, I will not believe the lies. Instead I believe the Bible, God’s own letter to me, and to all his children. I want to live.

Fanning A Flicker

In my last post here on The Wind, I shared how ashamed I was to not want to help myself get well. Upon further reflection the episode was cringe-inducing, and I must confess, my statements were  frightening!

Back in pool playing days my motto was, “It’s not the dog in the fight, it’s the fight in the dog!” This , of course, referred to my uncanny ability to get behind 1-6 in a race to 7, and the saying fueled more than one come-from-behind upset. (remember Chanelle?) So, I always believed I was not a quitter. I was in for the long haul, and nothing was ever going to slow me down again!

I forgot something in my rush to judgement on myself, in my fierce denunciation of my own weakness. I forgot that I am human, and that I am made of dust. I forgot that I have a real, unmistakable disease, one among many, yes- but I believe the worst one:

I have Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depression, The BIPO, and it is deadly. In this instance it stopped me, blinded me from recognizing a simple fact: I was physically ill and needed a medical doctor. I had become so discombobulated in my grip on reality that I did not realize I could not breathe!

I blamed my lack of sleep for my headache, for my terrible weariness. This I believed was due to a myriad of different causes, ranging from the bi-pap machine not working right, my bed not feeling right, the fact that I had too much caffiene the day before, even so far as to think I was being persecuted by the devil himself. The brain fog was so bad that I just lay in that agonized state, unable to pry myself from this bed of torment even long enough to take my medication, which would have at least enabled me to get to the doctor.

Finally, only through an extreme exertion of prayer, and a HUGE inner push did I roll, really roll out of bed and onto my feet. Still berating myself as a failure, and feeling hateful towards the entire medical community, I was going to cancel the appointment with my PC. For some reason, though, just due to my suffering, I suppose, I did find clothes and the courage to leave the house and fall into the car.

The heat stifled me, and the weather was blamed, the sun blinded me- so it was complained about. My car wasn’t right, my head wasn’t right, NOTHING WAS RIGHT!!!

Then she walked in, in a ray of golden sunlight, thermometer in her hand… 

” Hello Ms. Martin, I hear you are not feeling well…”

“grrrr…mumble, mumble…headache…grrrr…pneumonia….grrr…sinuses…mumble, mumble….no sleep…rotten sleep apnea…grrr, mumble mumble….”, says I.

Doc replies, ” Alright then, lets have a listen to your lungs!”

“grrr, wheeze,,,grrr…well I did use some spray paint….grrr..wheeze…”

“OK, Susan, let’s get you a breathing treatment! I’ll be right back with the nurse!”, pipes Dr. Wonderful, as she floats out on her golden cloud of I-Know-What-I-Am-Doing-ness…

 

——————————————————————————————————————————

(Twenty Minutes and 1 Treatment Later)

“WOW, Doc, I really feel BETTER”

(down curtain)

———————————————————————————————————————————-                                THE REALIZATION DAWNS

In retrospect, I DO NOT KNOW MORE THAN Highly trained Physicians. I do not recognize when my manic episodes have overtaken me, and I am unable to recognize how sick and confused I am when my Bipolar Disorder is not being managed properly.

Should I hate myself for giving into weakness and despair. THE ANSWER IS

NO-NO-NO-!!! A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!!

I would not berate someone with a terminal illness like Cancer for giving in to despair, especially when they are sick, sleep deprived, manic and lonely. I deserve the same consideration, and yes, LOVE, from myself. If my GOD, JEHOVAH loves and forgives me, then who do I think I am not to???Picture 015

PostScript: My choice of featured Image reflects on feelings of Love for my puppy Izzy, who I had to put to sleep last month. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, because she was not at death’s door, of having a life threatening emergency.

No, my darling girl was just suffering. Suffering the pain an injured spine can bring, and the indignities of age on tiny Arthritic Feet. She lay awake every night panting and groaning, and spent each day unable to walk without crying.

She and I had a long, heartfelt talk, and she finally helped me to see that she loved me enough to let me go if I was suffering. And I recognized that this was also the most loving thing I could do for her. It was a hearthwrenching and agonizing decision, but for her, I did it. She would have done the same for me.

Goodbye my dear friend and ever loyal and dedicated companion. I will remember you. I thank God for the gift of our fuzzy cohabitants on this glorious planet He made for us.

His day is coming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burning Desire..Really burning….

I am fighting right now, and you already know what is after me…negativity. Depression. Self Pity. Pain. Sadness…boo, boo, bad, hiss, grrr, mumble, mumble…SIGH…

I have been feeling worse than usual in my physical self, heavy, cumbersome(love that word), out of breath, and oh! SO SLEEPY.

Mentally? Running With Scissors!!!! WHEEEEE!!! Paint, Paint, draw, sculpt, glue, spray…UH, WAIT.

Did you say SPRAY? As in SPRAY PAINT?!?

Yea, I did. What about it?

And you said GLUE? AS IN SUPER GLUE? AND CONSTRUCTION GLUE?

Uh, yea. What’s the big deal? I use my mask all the ti…oh. OH…OH, now I understand. I got up sicker today, and wheezing, and groggy, with a blazing headache… And I didn’t put my respirator on when I sprayed that wall hanging last night… it was just going to be a couple seconds…the mask was inside…just a couple steps away,, but I was LAZY. AND FOOLISH. AND NOW MY LUNGS ARE SCREAMING. only I can’t hear them cause I CANT BREATHE!!!!

I made it to my standing Doc Appointment 5 minutes after I got out of bed. I mean, my hair already sticks up, but I seriously looked like Einstein.

I told her I thought maybe I had Pneumonia, pressure in my head, chest, headache, weary etc… And being the Real Physician she is (i don’t know why I said “Real”, too much news) she listened to my lungs.

Wow. I did not need a stethescope…The Rice Krispie Trio was playing a tune in my lungs. Holy smoker, who quit 20 years ago! No, I thought, not me!

Which is a rediculous thought, I have known for a couple years now that my lungs are failing. How did I know this? Well, it seems that I used CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVES to build an assemblage a few years ago… The year I had a Pulmonary Embolism from laying around too much after the 3 surgeries I had, the year I fell 4 times due to vertigo..etc etc… Oh . here is te health litany.. STOP.

The point is that I ALREADY have the knowledge of what NOT TO DO if I want to stay healthy. I already have KNOWLEDGE that I damaged my lungs and body severely with my lifestyle in the past, and I KNOW what to do to help myself.

The REALLY SAD THING is that I lost my Burning Desire to be my best me, my healthy me, the BEST Version of myself that I can give to my Creator in Thanks.

I lost my FOCUS, and I let the bad ways back in for a minute, the way of shortcuts, laziness, seeking material weaBEAUTIFULlth, and I cheated myself of some breaths of life again. And I didn’t even light a match…

When the Doc said she would let me try to change some of my test numbers without meds, I really let myself down, because I opted for the meds. I told her I just DID NOT HAVE IT IN ME TO MAKE THAT MUCH OF AN EFFORT RIGHT NOW.

….. um…WHAAAAT!!!??????

I even felt sick as it was coming out of my head into my voice box…DONT HAVE IT IN ME…TOO MUCH EFFORT…why dont you just puke and fall over in it?

I felt shame, burning shame, not burning desire. That I did not feel I am worth the effort. That Jehovah created this wonderful human being of ME, and I “don’t have it in me to make that much effort right now? What an insult to my loving God, who sent His Beautiful, PERFECT and BELOVED SON, Jesus Christ to die for me. This same me that I couldn’t muster the will to TRY to save. Oh, for shame, susan.

I tried to backtrack as soon as it was uttered, claiming that I just feel so sick that everything is extra hard right now…I haven’t slept, you know…

NO! I WILL NOT LET MYSELF DOWN LIKE THIS.

Nor will I INSULT my GRAND CREATOR, SOVEREIGN of the UNIVERSE, JAH!!

I WILL BE ON FIRE WITH DESIRE starting THIS VERY MOMENT!!!

BREATHE, GIRL, BREATHE!!!

RUN WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT! WE MUST FINISH THIS RACE!!!! YEEHAW!

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“The Sentinel’s Prayer”, acrylic on canvas, Susan T. Martin2017

The Mirror

my heart looks for you

under handmade afghans…

in the kitchen…

in your seat.

always smoking your

deadly viceroy.

little did i know

they would steal you away.

your son wanted you to

do what you could not:

quit.

so he cut you loose

from his twisted heart.

but not me

i bound you to me

with chains of

suffocating

the mirror...
the mirror…

love.

if i hear your voice

it’s because i speak you,

i move you,

i do you.

it’s how i keep you alive.

“mother, how could you leave me?”

staring back from the glass

you are not really gone.

i am.