brightrosefox: (Default)
Yes, obviously. Sheesh.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6081918

Friends have been sharing this back and forth into repetitive boredom, so I'll just add: Yes, this is obviously a strategy I've been implementing for a while in order to manage my mental illnesses, it is totally part of a very very specific personal therapeutic ritual that will take at least another couple of months to complete, and for Loki's sake, this stuff takes time, quit asking if I'm better yet. I've only been ritualizing for three years; most of this takes at least five. Plus, I can't just magically fix damaged neural pathways by thinking happy thoughts. Most people spend decades in therapy, while their acquaintances urge them to fix themselves faster. The frantic urging especially comes from people who've never even been in states of extreme anxiety, clinical depression, endless chronic pain, obsession, compulsion, memory disintegration, traumatic stress, dissociation, depersonalization, derealization. I often hold back from just punching walls. Therapeutic ritual and mindfulness in mental artistry takes time and a large amount of control. I've only been doing it since 2011. By 2015 something will at least be, as they say, Fixed. At least enough to allow other treatments to fall into place. Until I finish that intense ongoing ritual, I'll keep on battling where battles must be fought.
brightrosefox: (Default)
This is the greatest.
http://yoganonymous.com/watch-ultra-spiritual/

Good news: Apparently, most of this small weight gain is actual muscle. Who knew.
Annoying news: Everything hurts in such a very specific way everywhere that most forms of exercise make it all worse. The only things that seem to make it better are isometrics and mild qi gong and a few basic Pilates-style moves... sooo, physical therapy with a spiritual bent?

Also, I still have a stress reaction to even the idea of "doing yoga for pain". None of my doctors are surprised. Plus, the physical therapist suggested some lovely snarky replies to "Have you tried yoga for your pain?" - my favorite is still "Well, yoga tastes like artificial banana, and I hate artificial banana flavor, so I don't want any yoga, thanks." Second favorite is "Nah, I'm still trying that floating Jedi thing in the swamps. I'd rather take the Dark Side with the cookies."
Seriously. Don't yoga push me. I did try it, it was painful, I found other things.

Now I feel like mimicking that scene where Bart draws a picture of Flanders and chases Homer around with it yelling "Howdily doodily! Howdily doodily? HOWDILY DOODILY?" Luckily, I haven't been pushed in a while, and the last few times, I remained calm and cool, because I am still fucking awesome.

Addendum:
Also, it's really interesting: I am totally fine with basic yoga, with flow yoga, with restorative yoga. But it is the way people talk about it as though it helps everyone heal everything? That is what I gripe so much about. Maybe some poses will help ease cerebral palsy issues, fibromyalgia issues, joint issues. Maybe. For some disabled folks. But if I say something like "No, thank you, I've tried that, it was too painful, it made things worse, and I have found other exercises that help me," I expect people to, if not back off, then at least acknowledge my reasons. The actual fact that many pushers have brushed off my reasons and kept pushing is what makes me want to slap them with their yoga mats. So when I talk about an exercise by calling it a name that is also the name of a yoga pose, please please do not assume I have taken up yoga. It's just that "Warrior Pose" is far simpler than having to describe the whole thing.
Comments:
Anna Sirén: Yoga? Us? Really? ...?
Joanna Capello Paul: LOL, it is to laugh. But by gods, people love to try.
Anna Sirén: Jesus, I can't imagine you with your ankles behind your ears, and that's not an insult.
Joanna Capello Paul: OMG ow. Ow ow ow OW.
Joanna Capello Paul: I'm just glad other CP folks get it. I don't know what's so particularly special about yoga, but it's become so elitist in many ways. And if I say I'm "doing Child's Pose" or something, I feel like I need to add "not actual yoga because that is painful" because just because it's a stretching exercise doesn't mean it's a yoga pose.
Cara Liebowitz: When a teacher who knows how to handle Ceeps is doing it, yoga can be nice. *coughcough* Kara T. Billingham. Yoga at crip camp was great fun, if painful.
Joanna Capello Paul: My mom teaches a certain type of yoga to seniors in Southampton sometimes, and the moves are so simple they're barely even yoga. What bothers me really is this culture of yoga-ier than thou elitism, and gods forbid I perform a "yoga style type pose" that is not yoga.
Cara Liebowitz: I wonder if Kara and your mom know each other. Next time you're in the Hamptons, stop by The Yoga House, LLC and ask for Kara, tell her you know me. One of my favorite things about Kara's yoga was that she encouraged us to laugh if we wanted to.
Joanna Capello Paul: Hmm. I'll ask my mom! Have you spoken with Kara lately?
Joanna Capello Paul: *looking at website* Well, it's good that she teaches Kripalu. My parents' basement tenant, who is a massage therapist, is a certified Kripalu teacher.
Cara Liebowitz: We speak every so often here on Facebook, last I saw her was over the summer. She is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful and so is her husband. Two very influential people in my life.
Joanna Capello Paul: I haven't been through Hampton Bays in a long time, but I do recognize that sign and building. I have a feeling that Kara and my mom have run in similar circles.
Melissa Boyer O'Doyle: I'd rather take the Dark Side with the cookies.
Heather Stover: I do vinyasa flow yoga and restorative yoga. It helps. With some things. It is not some magic cure for everything. If you're not into it people should leave you alone, your yogi wouldn't want you there with any less then a willing mind and heart.
Heather Stover: Gentle yoga classes are the bomb. I hate elitist yoga snobs.
Mad Miriam: You know you might just get people to back down more quickly by simply sating that you have a very satisfying home practice, thank you very much.
Joanna Capello Paul: ...except that when they keep nudging and insisting, I tend to feel backed into a corner, and I start snarling. I'm a very peaceful person. But I am also shy and isolated. I really don't like being pushed.
Mad Miriam: If your agreeing why are they still nudging and insisting?
Joanna Capello Paul: I really wish I knew. People are very odd.
Mad Miriam: I'll say. I'm sorry, I for one do not push cause well I know you have met the practice where you are at and since yoga means union isn't that the fucking point anyhow?
Joanna Capello Paul: Agreed. That's why I am so upset and pissed off when people don't seem to understand the whole damn point. Union is about, y'know, respecting people's choices. The fact that there ARE yoga practitioners who almost bully others into doing their kind of yoga - particularly disabled people - hurts me.
Joanna Capello Paul: For example, in the cerebral palsy support group I am in, there have been stories of non-disabled people pushing CP folks too hard, leading to injuries that were not fully recovered - physical and emotional. And that is just not right at all. And I feel like that is part of the weird elitist attitude that shouldn't even exist with yoga practice.
Mad Miriam: OMG Joanna Capello Paul I could not agree more, as a fairly mild arthritic I get the same shit and I don't get why its so hard for some teachers to understand that just cause I got into a really low lunge last week this week my knees and hips might just be too stiff to go there and that it does not mean I am not dedicated to the practice, it means I am listening to my body, something we should all aspire to do more often.
Joanna Capello Paul: Listening to our bodies! Exactly! I don't think people like that care about listening to the body anymore. You do what YOU must do for YOUR body. And I am so burnt out on teachers who don't listen. It's why I do restorative, flow moves with my mother over the phone.
I mean, I literally cannot be straight. When I try a lunge, or a pose that requires balance, I have to ask someone, usually Adam, if my body lines up. And when he helps get me into a straight aligned line, I start wobbling. It hurts. I am in serious pain. My body, my very bones, were never going to align like that. And so I need modification, compensation, compromise. And the fact that a lot of yoga practitioners have insulted me just for that literally created a stress reaction in my brain. So when I talk about yoga poses, I have to say "modified basic yoga" otherwise I start hyperventilating just from memories.
Mad Miriam: It is a myth that our bodies and bones can align to some artificial standard, we all all have such diffent experiences and phsyologies that make up who we are and it my mind if you are making room for the breath and creating sensation, but not pain you are doing it right. I totally agree through and think it is part of the problem with the comodifying of yoga, I think once upon a time, maybe there was the root of the notion that yogis practiced to access a place beyond pain and body and to reach a space where they could meditate and focus on breath and vein, but with institutions like lululemon and power yoga people see their yoga as about perfecting the body and not reaching past the veneer that is the body. Its fascinating and sick really.
Joanna Capello Paul: I appreciate you saying that, Mad Miriam. It makes me feel better, knowing that there can't be such "perffect alignment". I was always, always told that I'd never reach any ideal pose with cerebral palsy. So I stopped. And I found isometrics and just started doing meditative stretching, which was my version of yoga anyway.
Mad Miriam: Next time someone starts to push hard ask them if they practice Ahimsa, it is the first basic principal of yoga and translates into compassion for all living things, if they say "Of course." then tell them you do as well and intimately understand what is most compassionate for your body. Namaste.
Mad Miriam: I think all the wrong people have been foisting their opinions on you. I took up Kundalini yoga last year and the whole idea of it is that through the practice you are opening up channels on your spine for the kundalini energy to come spouting out of the top of your head, I expressed concern that I had a slight scoliosis in my spine and that according to this notion I was ineligible for kudalini enlightenment, my instructor said "No worries, the energy meanders its way around these things, it's like a stream." Thus I go with that notion.
Joanna Capello Paul: Ahimsa, eh? I shall look into it!
I have fallen in love with kundalini energy. I do what your instructor says, instinctively. I don't necessarily do all the poses and moves but I reach for that energy in my own way. Maybe one day you and I could get together and practice in our own imperfect methods?

*****
Copying stuff from other social media sites can be interesting...
brightrosefox: (Default)
Oh. It is so QUIET. It has been quiet all day. Like being in a small, careful bubble. I feel as though I've been automatically meditating since I woke up.
I've been reading books, reading books, in between checking various websites, like webcomics, Facebook, blogs, entertainment sites. In the background, varied television programs have been running. Food, comedy, animated, fantasy, history, science fiction. The cats have gently nudged and loved me. I look a long, slow, enveloping shower, moisturized with oils and creams containing dragon's blood resin and powerful fruit oils. I massaged all my joints and my head with MSM lotion and magnesium oil. Among the supplements were hyaluronic acid, guarana, red raspberry ketones, african mango, devil's claw, biotin, inositol, mangosteen, shilajit, noni, probiotics, pure high omega-3, vinpocentine. The migraine is still throbbing, but like everything else it is still in the background.
There has been, for hours, a constant low-level anticipation. I don't think anything will be happening, but I feel as though I am waiting for something.
It has been the most quiet, most gentle birthday I have ever had...
brightrosefox: (Default)
'Reborn' by Laura Sava (anotherwanderer.deviantart.com/)
'Mirabella' by Rachel Anderson (www.silverstars.us/‎)

Two forms of my own story character, Asha Clara Night, my strongest, most individual, most personal fiction character.

These paintings. Completely different images that look almost exactly like incarnations of the same character of my own subconscious creation Women who look almost exactly like the dreamself I am becoming in my dreams and visions.

Laura-sava-Reborn

Rachel Anderson Mirabella


She was in my dreams last night and many nights before. I haven't decided exactly who she is yet, but in my dreams her name is Asha, meaning "desire, hope, hopeful; life; alive; she who lives." Which says so much, so so much.

She is another dreamself, not a spirit guardian, but much closer to my Self than my other characters (Alicia, Serena, Ananta: my spirit guardian coping mechanisms for epilepsy, memory loss, insomnia, sleep problems, [Alicia], chronic pain and fatigue, depression, anxiety, physical disabilities [Serena], neurology, neurodivergence, autism, total mind-body connection [Ananta].

Asha seems to represent many internal things about my emotions, my heart and mind, my rhyme and reason, my logic, my science, my creativeness and creativity, my power, my energy, my beauty. If she were to reveal herself as a guardian, she would be for emotional states, creative thoughts, desires, loves, patterns, ideas.
Asha is definitely powerful in a way I always wanted to be since childhood: Fae and and Elemental Mage and Neurodivergent and Autistic Witch and Quantum Magic Scientist and Story Crafter and Shape Shifter and Magic Librarian and Magic Keeper.

Asha seems to represent my deep, obsessive, compulsive wish and desire to be one of the psionic-mage superhumans in my stories, to take over for be when I feel failure and self-loathing and terror and panic. I think Asha may in fact be an actual entity, one who communicates outside instead of simply speaking into my visions, dreams, pain flare withdrawings, anxiety attacks.

All I know is that Asha was in every dream last night and throughout the past several sleeps, long detailed intense dreams, and she quoted Kosh. She spoke in a soprano version of my voice that could sing. She was always here She is always here. She has always been here.
I think she was with me since I was a baby. In different forms, in different species, with different names, in different imaginary beings, in different fictional characters. She was made of fire. She used to be a phoenix, a unicorn, a dragon, a star, a nebula. I know Asha. I know Asha in the way I hope to know myself.

The thing is, Asha has a fully active voice when I am completely conscious, aware, awake, functional, and stable. She didn't completely create herself, but she grew and evolved over my lifetime in her own way as a character in my subconscious. She took ideas I worked with and wove them into her personality, behavior, and mentality. My disabilities are hers. She stayed and changed and grew with me like a permanent piece of my spirit. Asha also represents my fluid sexuality - I often visit her in the place she calls home and we make love, representing my desires for love and orientation.

She lives with Alicia in the Wonderland cottage, but she freely moves about my brain more often. She shapeshifts into elemental energies, she moves around my hippocampus and amygdala and temporal lobes and cingulate gyrus and thalamus and auditory cortex and somatosensory cortex and parital lobe and the back of my brain.
She has altered the Wonderland cottage to be something else entirely, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two office rooms, a large entertainment living room, a large kitchen, a basement. The outside build would contain concrete, cement, hemp and limestone, bamboo, steel. The glass windows are shatterproof. The doors are hemp-lime and timber. That must say something about my mind's inner workings. Especially since the main reason for hemp being illegal is due to its threat to corporate patentable synthetic fibers and wood and paper product industries, while the medicinal drug potential became subject to false claims and fear mongering alarm campaigns until the original industrial potential became buried under the alarmist anti drug campaigns. Part of me probably knows how powerful this is. Medicine from nature itself and the human brain itself is usually denied and seen as worthless.

Asha represents that part of me that firmly supports the controversial balance of traditional pharmaceutical medicine and nontraditional botanical medicine.
Asha is my activism and advocacy. Asha is the fire that moves my belief in the combination of synthetic drugs and organic drugs. Asha is the phoenix in me that rises after every defeat, every failure, every attack, every oppression, every attack and assault on my truths and faiths.

Throughout many names, faces, back stories, lives, personalities, and individual growths... she has always been Asha Clara Night. And this is how she asked me to look so I could see that there is beauty deep and shining.

I must find and thank the artists for these images, since I found myself taking these pieces of artwork and subconsciously turning them into incarnations of my own fictional character.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151978626835684&l=17dde55bf4

Asha may well be the character in that second novel after all. It won't be this Asha, my Asha; just a version, a more humanized incarnation I can bring out to show the public. This excites me. She could help me write it, just by living in my mind.
brightrosefox: (Default)
My modified Disablility Compensated Qi Gong exercises always help, mentally and spiritually and psychologically and physiologically. Like yoga, except Fake Yoga Cripple Style that is not actually yoga. (FYCS. FIX. Ha ha ha...) (Or hey, Fake Yoga Cripple Style Modified Exercise. FYCSME = FIX ME. Ha ha. Wow. Dude.)

But it isn't helping today. I'm too Hollow, which is my term for deep major depression. I'm too Postictal, after that unexpectedly awful seizure yesterday and its aftershock which were tiny seizures for hours. Emotional responses are foreign and results of emotion are mere symptoms, like crying and laughing. I will meditate again, do more qigong work, and breathe and much as possible.
FYI. I am having an episode of pure major Depression plus major Anxiety. This is accompanied by mild memory loss of the past two days. Everything is foggy. I know I should be upset about something, but I cannot feel upset. What is upset, anyway? I think I hurt myself emotionally yesterday. I wish I remembered what it was. I believe it started out with false happiness. Remember that weird assumption of some sort of hypomania? I think I was outside of my rational mind.

Back to special exercises.
People keep suggesting and recommending breathing exercises. I know all of that. I know people just want to share their personal remedies. I love it. Please don't think I am rejecting you. I love hearing your stories. Even the stories about yoga. I wish I could explain why just seeing or hearing the word yoga evokes a sad, upset reaction. It isn't that I am unable to do yoga. It is just that yoga extremists do not listen nor care about my need for compensation. My body was born crooked. I cannot form a proper straight line even if I held on to something. No amount of cajoling, insisting, or pushing different forms will change that. Please don't do that. Please just accept that I have to perform qi gong differently, and that qi gong included poses that are similar to yoga, and that yoga is not the greatest panacea of healing holistic practices. This is part of why I don't want to visit California, which makes absolutely no sense and makes me look prejudiced.

So. Please, please do talk about how much yoga is healing you, because that is beautiful and I am genuinely, honestly joyfully happy. But if you wish to suggest a yoga pose that can be modified for someone with a shaky, spastic, crippled body, please suggest an alternate form. That is all I ask. There is no such thing as a real panacea, even in the botanical world, even in the plant and herb world, and certainly not in the exercise world. It is entirely possible that I will find a set of yoga exercises that will really, truly help me, and I will join the ranks of yoga enthusiasts. Anything is possible. Nothing is off limits. Except evangelism. If I wanted something pushed down my throat, I will drink water mixed with special fruit and plant powders, like sea buckthorn and moringa.
This is coming from my years as a holistic enthusiast and pusher. I was bad. I was essentially an asshole. And then I learned that it was just wrong. I never want to do that again. Just because something works perfectly for me does not mean it will work at all for someone else.

Any form of good physical-spiritual combination exercise, be it yoga, qigong, taichi, strength training, cardio, dead lift weight, isometrics, plyometrics, dance, hardcore dance, etc, is wonderful and beautiful and strengthening, and will help everyone in some personal powerful way. That is the point of exercise.
I love you all. If you really want to help me, don't push me. Just guide me.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Thanks to another trip to Michael's craft store, I have a new set of Faber-Castle Pitt artist pens below Fine, and Calliope has a Beanie Boo dolphin to cuddle, which she has been doing. I have an owl, which seems to work well as a knee pillow.

We went to the nearby Whole Foods as well, where I found my loved chocolate hemp milk, Guayaki Yerba Mate energy shots in Lime Tangerine, Orgain Chocolate Nutrient Shakes, a bottle of Acai+10 Superblend with Seabuckthorn and Mangosteen, and the rare Badger Balm large Lime lip balm. Adam picked up some fabulous cheeses, and a Coffeeholic Cream Cake for me.

Mom called to chat about an NPR medical science podcast about migraines and the placebo effect, and I revealed that forty percent of my smaller headaches can be slightly reduced by intense meditation after taking certain supplement pills. Good talk. Doesn't work all the time, doesn't work for the more intense symptoms, but I know how powerful placebo effects can be for mild and minor pains sometimes.

Luna and Calliope seem to be starting a... well, a tolerance, on Luna's side. As long as I give Luna attention first, she is nice to Calliope during cooperative play, feeding, brushing, etc. As long as Luna Moon knows she is still the precious queen and Calliope Io is submissive, there is peace. And Jupiter has been gently playing with Calliope, with the occasional soft bap on the head. I am pleased overall.

So, while at Whole Foods, I was limping down an aisle with my blue aluminum cane, right behind a tall man who had the same cane, in sparkly black, and we smiled at each other. "So, how are you?" he asked. I said, "Oh, well, the back pain and sciatica are acting up. How about you?" "Yeah, I'm going to need hip replacement and knee replacement soon," he said. "Oh, ouch," I winced. "I can't imagine. I mean, I'm 34, I was born with cerebral palsy, I'm still learning how to use this," holding up my cane. He nodded. "Yeah, my whole left side has been crazy for years." "Oh, mine too! I have spastic hemiplega on the left! The chronic pain has been getting worse for a long time, but I don't need surgery. Yet!" We grinned at each other. He looked around forty or so and over six feet. I could see right away that his joints were bothering him. "Well," he said, "You look absolutely lovely!" I smiled widely and said, "Thank you! You too!" He grinned back and thanked me, then said, "I hope the pain reduces as much as it can." And I said, "Same for you. Good luck with the surgeries." We said our goodbyes and hobbled off. It was as though we had been friends who hadn't seen each other in a while, commiserating in that cripple language that stays away from "Feel better" and steers toward "I hope your symptoms ease up" which, well, we all understand in the chronic pain community.

And that got me thinking. People tell me "You look beautiful/lovely/great" and of course the silent "even though you're in pain" follow-up. And I actually honestly don't mind that at all. It isn't an insult to me. I know they're usually talking about my chronic pain specifically, not my disabilities as a whole. It's an unspoken thing - "You're chipper and glowing and not letting the pain show, rock on with your badass self." I know that so many cripples would see it as a back-handed compliment and insult, because it totally can be. But for me... I guess it lifts my spirits, especially and specifically when a fellow cripple says it and even able-bodied people who may have invisible illnesses. It is something I need to hear from other disabled folks, because even when I think I look hideous and shitty, to hear someone tell me I look great despite my pain makes me happy, which in turn makes me feel psychologically and psychically better, which helps me try to combat the symptoms, etcetera.

So, my fellow chronically ill and disabled folks, how do you react to such a comment? Is it an insult or backhand compliment for you? Is it a lovely compliment? Do you view it differently when it is said by other chronically sick and disabled people as opposed to able-bodied people?
brightrosefox: (Default)
Back pain back pain back pain backpain backpain backpain NNNGGHH.
It's the lumbar area, leading to sciatica down both legs. Of course, you know? I've got an appointment with my new orthopedist on January sixth, and we're going to get be fitted for true customized orthotics... although I am going to insist they be cushioned, if not highly comfortable. The ones I had as a teenager actually made my feet hurt whilst walking. I still have the left one from those days. It is not comfortable. I understand practicality and function, but still.
Nnngh. Back, hips, legs, knees, ankles. Come on, drugs, work faster.

When we came home from grocery shopping, I looked up at the stairs and whispered, "Mama's home, Rose." I had meant it merely for her memory, for her spirit that now lived in the house, free to leave the clay statue that was a vessel, as Adam had not bound her to it. Adam said, "She's still gone, sweetheart." And I knew, and I reminded him that it was just... oh, I couldn't even find the words. It was just for her ghost. But he knew. We held each other and he knew.

My friends have cried for me, I think, more than I've cried for myself. I will have pockets of moments in which I will break down in gasping sobs, but they are so quick and triggered. A brush that had moved through her fur while I was comforting her in her lethargy, before I understood what was really happening, tufts of fur clinging to the bristles that I may not remove for a while. My pillow, and the soft bean-bag type pillow behind it that served as a general cat pillow but which was generally used by Rose especially in the mornings. A bag of Greenies treats that I realized I no longer had to move to a high place where Rose couldn't grab it and tear into it. Sitting in this desk chair, now, and knowing that Rose will never jump onto my lap and rub her cheeks over my mouth. She will not curl up on the floor, waiting for me to announce that Mama is going to bed so she can lead me there and see me to sleep. Oh. Yes, I'm in tears now. Oh, babygirl. Luna is on my lap now, kissing me, nuzzling. In her own Luna way.

We will be adopting another cat. Yes. It may be sooner than anyone thinks. I've already dreamed of her. I've already named her. I already know her age range. But... you know, someones through the grief and the numbness and the deep deep shock and the horror of physical death, we know deep deep inside that even if it takes only a week or two to get another pet, it is nothing like a replacement. It just means that the throbbing empty hollow burning in our hearts might start to heal, just a little. Luna is still my heart and soul, my queen and my moon goddess, my precious love. Jupiter is still my beautiful big boy, my chatty feline child who brightens my day just by smiling. The new kitten, the new young cat, will never be Rose. She will be herself.
Rose is never coming back, not even in a new incarnation. I'm not even sure I want that; it might hurt too deeply. Rose herself was already the reincarnation of Adam's patchwork dog, Ralph. Rose spent five glorious years learning to love and be loved. In Buddhism, that is a vital thing. All animals understand this. It is slightly Jainist. Adam and I, in our eclectic paganism, are mildly Buddhist in various, often conflicting, ways. It is not possible for us to be fully Buddhist in any way, but eclecticism is a wide arena.

"Life is a journey.
Death is a return to earth.
The universe is like an inn.
The passing years are like dust.
Regard this phantom world
As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp - a phantom - and a dream"
brightrosefox: (Default)
Seizure happened in the kitchen. Jupiter meowed and rubbed against me while I crouched. Adam came in and gently lay me on the floor. My eyes were open and blank. Adam touched my face and reached for my mind, and I spasmed and gasped and blinked. I asked why I was on the floor. Adam helped me up and stood me against the large freezer. My memory is swirling. Alicia is holding me. Earlier, Adam said he told his boss, a fellow animal lover, that he needed an extra day to care for his wife. I rolled my eyes and said that was not necessary; that I was fine. Never mind. It was so dark and so white equally braided as order and chaos magics. I was spinning at ninety-nine percent light speed and thirty-five miles an hour. The world was elsewhere. A few seconds lasted a thousand years. Adam suggested I go upstairs and rest. Jupiter is suggesting a cuddle. I am thinking coffee and clonazepam and baclofen. I am made of light and love and pure order-chaos magic in its simplest form. I can give myself the right strength. May be that I can regenerate. As brightly and intensely as a Time Lord. I always shine enough for everyone.

brightrosefox: (Default)
Some random rambling about my own mind, my imaginary friends, and how my mind likes to invent coping mechanisms that talk back.

One of my imaginary friends, Amara, who is the human coping mechanism in charge of all the neurochemical, neurodevelopmental fuctions, has been interacting with me more and more ever since Alicia (the epilepsy mechanism) and Serena (the pain, fatigue, psychological, neurobiological functions) urged her to show herself more often after I fell into a chemical depression with severe anxiety. Serena and Koan could only do so much.

Amara, at the beginning of her creation, was not even human; formless and elemental. These days, she is human shaped but she loves to take bits of my writerbrain as inspiration. Her ears are pointed and her eyes and hair change color with her moods. She likes to mimic my bone structure and basic figure shape, just with more muscle intensity. Serena says it's because Amara wants to show me that I am beautiful.
Also, when I saw a Google image painting of a woman with elf ears and a unicorn horn, posing with a unicorn, Amara insisted I make it my current Facebook cover photo. She made herself up to resemble like that character while still mimicking my features, including the horn that represents the third eye - just with chestnut brown streaks in her white-lavender hair and honey brown flecks in her intense blue eyes... although none of that is her true coloring. When she made herself human, her coloring randomly became alabaster skin, gold eyes, and pale flame hair, essentially inhuman. But she kept the mirror shape of my skeletal structure and body shape. She even plumped her lips, made her eyes bigger, and made her nose smaller, because she knew I desired that. It makes me smile, which I think she likes. She wears the same jewelry as me, the same clothing colors, the same makeup colors. She is determined to "reboot" the parts of my brain that are having trouble accepting the recent flooding overload of information about these disabilities and chronic illnesses. The name Amara means everlasting, eternal, immortal... which is why she was formless and elemental to begin with. I finally understand why I created her. And she wouldn't mind being the inspiration for any stories I write. I'm grateful for that.
She insists that my jaw, hair, and eyes resemble the jaw, hair, and eyes of Elena Risteska from Macedonia, which I agreed with and humbly accept with a simple thanks. The only way I even knew about Miss Risteska was through searching for shades of brown.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Elena_risteska.JPG
http://img27.fansshare.com/pic34/w/elena-risteska/1200/12861_elena_risteska.jpg
http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/18051115/Elena+Risteska+elena+r.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/p480x480/578088_479387062121006_1822646409_n.jpg
http://img27.fansshare.com/pic34/w/elena-risteska/1200/12858_elena_risteska.jpg
http://tekstovi-pesama.com/g_img2/1/e/28986/elena%2520risteska-10.jpg
She just wants me to feel better, to feel my own positive human emotions. Since Amara is still learning about humanity, she looks to Serena for help. In my dreams, they have amazing conversations.
I'm so glad I created these characters. They help keep me sane, emotionally stable, intellectually stable, and psychically curious. Also, every time I meditate and concentrate on my third eye, I actually feel a short unicorn horn on my forehead.
https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/1469926_10151743304270684_204893984_n.jpg
I just love that my own mind is creative enough to make up whole people with entire personalities, back stories, individual appearances, individual likes and dislikes, and actual behaviors. They mainly come to me in sleep dreams, daydreams, and meditations. My psychotherapist adores the fact that they exist, which relieves me. It's just one of those things that I, Joanna, have in my brain to help me handle all the stuff that life gives me. Awesome.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Oh, hey, my long lost theme song.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Wmd60Kk9Ljk

Gracefully she's circling higher
She has the wind beneath her wings
And looks down on us, she said

Robbed of my innocence
Had no more time to play
I sure got my feathers burned
But I'm stronger than the flames

Here she comes, here she comes
I've been waiting for so long
Here she comes, rose again from the flames
My little phoenix

Eternity is set in her eyes
Throwing sparks back at the world
That'll never die and I think

She was robbed of her innocence
Had no more time to play
She's only a little girl
But she's stronger than the flames

Here she comes, here she comes
I've been waiting for so long
Here she comes, rose again from the flames
My little phoenix

Here she comes, I've been waiting
For my little phoenix

You've got to get close to the flame
To see what it's made of
You've got to get close to the flame
To see what you are made of

Here she comes, here she comes
I've been waiting for so long
Here she comes, rose again from the flames
My little phoenix

***

This reminds me, fascinatingly, of chronic pain, invisible illness, mental illness, disability, and the struggles of marginalization for a bodymind that is full of monsters.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/yxPMc-XWOZ8

Phantom voices with no words to follow
At the mercy of the cold and hollow
I withdrew into my sanctuary of silence
My defense

In this moment I am just becoming
Liberated from my cell of nothing
No sensation there was only breathing
Overcome oblivion

Falling Awake
From a walking sleep
And all that remains
Is the dying memory
And now I can dive for
These dreams I make
Like I am Falling
I am falling awake

Waves of melodies once forgotten
Like a symphony across the ocean
Never knew that they could hear my calling
Deep within
Crashing in
Rushing in
Like falling

Falling Awake
From a walking sleep
And all that remains
Is the dying memory
And now I can dive for
These dreams I make
Like I am Falling
I am falling awake

There is no returning to that emptiness,
Loneliness
The dream that lives inside of me
Won't fade away, it's wide awake

Falling Awake
From a walking sleep
And all that remains
Is the dying memory
And now I can dive for
These dreams I make
Like I am Falling
I am falling awake

***

And this one, same thing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdG3ECUC-mE

Whenever I wake up
I'm lost and always afraid
It's never the same place
I close my eyes to escape
The walls around me

And I drift away
Inside the silence
Overtakes the Pain
In my dreams

I feel Immortal
I am not scared
No, I am not scared
I feel immortal
When I am there
When I am there

Whenever I wake up
The shards of us cut within
Always the same day
Frozen all in the fringe
I surrender to the sleep
And leave the hurt behind me
There's no death to fear
In my dreams

I feel Immortal
I am not scared
No, I am not scared
I feel immortal
When I am there
When I am there

So far or right beside me
So close but they can't find me
Slowly, time forgets me
I'm lonely, only dreaming

I feel Immortal
I am not scared
No, I am not scared
I feel immortal
When I am there
When I am there

***

And for my new friends in disability and invisible illness, I present my number one theme song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJnCHctOeJg

Smash glass against the wall
Curse the music on the radio that the neighbours play.
Door slams, she turns her head
Watches through the window as he pulls away
Funny how your racing brain drives you so mad
When all the while you feel so numb
Too old to be clean far too young to be broken
Like an army we come

Cut back, left behind
I watched you self-destructing oh so many times
Shot down, once again
Sitting in a chair crying what am I going to do with my life?
Just learn to hide the way that you really feel
Never let them know that you're scared
But understand that you're not the special only one
Watch us now, watch us real close

How we all dance with this fire 'cause it's all that we know
And as the spotlight turns toward us, we all try our best to show
We are lost we are freaks, we are crippled, we are weak
We are the heirs, we are the true heirs, to all the world

Let's go build a fire down on the empty beach when the waves are crashing high
White heat purify, as the sparks fly up into the great black sky
Sacrifice these crutches to the crackling flames
Stand as silhouettes against the dawn
It's far too late to try to sleep now, seems I'm never tired any more

I want to dance with this fire 'cause it's all that I know
We are lost we are freaks
And we try our best to show
I am lost
I'm a freak ha ha.

***

Depression Monster is still wrapped around me, steel claws and silver grin, but I am fighting and fighting, and I have many spears.

Husband returned from New Orleans around one-thirty this morning. Rose and Jupiter immediately climbed on him and we all fell asleep in a snuggling pile.
Later today, errands! Petco Unleashed with coupons for Blue food and litter. Trader Joe's for cookies, whole milk yogurt, chocolate hemp powder, trail mix, pumpkin cereal bars, fairytale pumpkins. Dollar Store for calendars. H-Mart for produce and foods from outside North America.
Had a lovely chat near the with from a guy who was from Jamaica, who extolled the virtues of awesome iron-rich burro bananas and said that his grandmother, who ate them every day on The Island, was 130. She probably did lots of things. The man himself looked barely 40 but he could have been 50. I asked him which bunches of burro bananas looked best. Yay, snacks.
And we got a pure honey nut spread, roasted seaweed snack packs, tamarind paste, demerara sugar (4 lbs for under 5 bucks), black plums, pomegranates, red leaf lettuce, and stuff I forget now.
I have taken more medication to ease this pain, I have meditated with cartoon comedy to beat back the Depression Monster, and I now will get back to writing.
brightrosefox: (Default)
I must quote this, because it struck me deeply and knocked me over and stunned me and amazed me.

*****
From: [livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling.
I don't know if I can explain it, any more than I can explain why I find anyone amazing, but you're open about what you are and what you are going through. You don't expend energy trying to be normal, and you never seem to even want to. You aren't afraid of what you ARE, even when the things that HAPPEN, sometimes because of things that you are, are scary. You seem sometimes scared of things that happen or that you (body/chemistry) do to you, but not scared of yourself, really. You're fierce. You're . . . we don't have a word for it. The way in which children and animals are alike, that we *call* innocence, but isn't innocence, it's just a kind of transparency and guilelessness-without-cluelessness. You're contradictory, and this isn't a problem. You've imposed . . . not order . . . but some sort of reason and meaning and story on the chaos in your life, and you have made beautiful things out of it inside you. You persist. You change, you are not destroyed. You're mercurial, joyful in the sense of being flat-out at everything you feel and not in the sense of being always happy, you're generous, you're very kind, you're forgiving. You aren't afraid to spend a lot of time working with and understanding yourself, because you know that is important. You are more people than just-the-one-you you. You are comfortable working with shape and meaning and color, when words aren't good enough. Whole parts of you are indescribable. You're a *good person*, while still being strong and fierce, and that is overwhelmingly obvious to anyone with half a synapse. You belong in fairy tales, like so many of the rest of us, writing better endings. You're kind of amazing.

And tangentially, THAT is why when people are all like "disabled people are so inspirational!" I get kinda pissed on the grounds of "THESE PEOPLE THAT I KNOW, they are SO MUCH MORE than a stepping stone for your ego or a friendly reassurance that hey, if those people can manage to get themselves to a beach/a gym/on a horse, you have a good chance of not being an utter asshole failure your entire life, and accomplishing REALLY important things!" and at the same time am like "No, really, we ARE inspirational; you have no fucking idea how 'inspirational' the disabled folks I know are . . . and if you had one iota of their self-awareness you might not be saying such asinine crap."
You want to find disabled people "inspirational?" I'll accept that . . . if what you are finding "inspirational" is their honesty in speaking out and sharing their opinions, their desire to help others, their weapons-grade swearing vocabulary (so many disabled people I know HAVE THAT, it's glorious), their ability to incorporate something literally disabling into their self-image and life when our culture gives them limited scripts and limited opportunities, their persistence in navigating the obstacles placed in front of them not by what they are, but by how our culture and the many dickheads in it unwittingly and often VERY DELIBERATELY make it harder to do so, the fact that they are often poor as dirt but are the most generous people you will ever meet, that they have known pain and so they often know great compassion.

*THAT* SHIT IS INSPIRATIONAL.

So is persistence, yes, which is why I am always impressed when I see someone who has had to deal with major issues accomplish something that is made particularly difficult BY those issues SPECIFICALLY, but when that sort of thing is nearly always ONLY praised in the context of visible, physical disability, or when it's some completely unrelated shit, that pisses me off.

It's like . . . people are apparently impressed by when disabled people do anything *while smiling*, because that indicates the triumph of overcoming our miserable existence? Or that we have a good enough attitude to forget, for a moment, that we are fucked up and are supposed to be miserable constantly? I don't even KNOW. But these same people aren't finding me inspirational when I'm at my blackest and am hanging on by my last claw, which is arguably when I am being my MOST BADASS. That's when I need to be pulling up my bootstraps and thinking my way out of it with sunshine and baby kisses. But an ungroomed, exhausted, surrounded by laundry, not moving, fat, blotchy, cat-strewn DEPRESSED person staring at a computer screen or TV or at nothing in particular doesn't look good in a facebook picture. "This person: probably exercising more willpower not to give up hope and eat a bullet than you will exercise at any point in your whole life. Stop. Bitching. That. Your. Yoga. Is. Hard." <---- Nobody wants that. (And, while maybe sometimes true, it's also kinda dickly, because Suck Olympics are uncool. The things that have made me most miserable sometimes do not seem to be proportional or make sense. To wit, the hour-long crying jag I had when my last pet scorpion died, years ago. Dude, I cried less painfully when my GRANDMOTHER died. What even the HELL?)

All I know is that the shit people usually talk about as being inspirational is not really very inspirational to me. Like, *if* it's true that Chris Evans really does have anxiety/panic attacks (never read reliable info about how severe his "problems with anxiety" are, though he apparently went into therapy) and he still navigated two MONSTROUS blockbuster movies and associated press events, I find that totally fucking impressive, because I KNOW WHAT THAT IS LIKE, and I know I couldn't handle it. And that's the stuff people don't seem to understand. That's the stuff people latch on to and *make fun of.* Because people who don't Get It can be real dicks about that stuff.
*****
I truly believe that if Namaah and I lived closer, we would see each other several times a week and never get tired of each other's company.
My husband once told me that everyone has multiple soulmates, that a soul can be split into many different parts. I think Namaah may be one of my soulmates. It took me five years to realize that, and that's okay. I like to take things slowly.
brightrosefox: (Default)
I stretched the hell out of my back and legs and arms. It was lovely. I did it my way. I am very pleased and very satisfied. I won't discuss the various burning barbed wire pains that are distracting me even through the codeine, but I will talk about the beautiful meditative exercises I've been working with. Peaceful, serene, tranquil, calm, relaxing, refreshing, fantastic in multiple ways. The scene always changes, but always appears Zen in some way.
I had mentioned that my human coping mechanisms, my spirit guardians, had begun communicating with each other deep in my brain without my conscious knowledge, which leads me to believe that parts of my brain are starting to come together as part of the story, as my unlimited imagination and writerbrain is starting working on a whole new, amazingly unique, private story all on its own. No wonder I have been working on Amber's story beyond these bits of my brain. Amber has also given me free reign to write her as a fully developed character and not just a created coping mechanism.
In general, I am just... very happy.
And the funny thing is that I am in a depressive episode. I have all the symptoms, and I am quite conscious and aware. But I have things that are helping distract me: Talking about my imagination and my creativity, talking about the triggers for my panic attacks and my simple seizures, talking about comedy TV shows and powerful fiction books. Somehow it all is able to keep the major depression away, although it is a very intense fight. Sometimes I find myself weak and struggling, even physically, as thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness, frustration and terror, pessimism and guilt all slam into me and my wall and my shell.
I suppose I could say I am happy. I feel happy.
But... what is happiness?
"Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy." Sure, I feel those things. However, there is a strong undercurrent of the exact opposite.
Brains, man. Brains are wild. Brains are weird. Brains are so complex. One day, I want to have an MRI and see exactly what my brain is doing. I want to sit with multiple brain specialists for hours on end, and just... talk. I want to talk about my brain.
Brains, man.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Does anyone here have any experience with Taoism?
I have been having recurring dreams about walking down a long winding path of many colors, with a companion made up of dragon, cat, and humanoid parts.
She tells me the same thing over and over:
"Be who you are. Love who you are. Know who you are. Follow your own Way. Your own Path stretches long and strong all around you. Happiness, ecstasy, tranquility, serenity, joy, peace - it is all part of you. Heed the advice of others, even if they do not always match your Way or Path. See anger as a thing to work with, not against. Be calm in the face of fear and rage. Be the dragon, acting; do not be the tiger, reacting. You are part of the universe and every cosmic force. Be a force within yourself."

Now, what I find fascinating is this:

**
A recurrent and important element of Taoism are rituals, exercises and substances aiming at aligning oneself spiritually with cosmic forces, at undertaking ecstatic spiritual journeys, or at improving physical health and thereby extending one's life, ideally to the point of immortality. Probably the most characteristic among these methods is Taoist alchemy. Already in very early Taoist scriptures - like the Taiping Jing and the Baopuzi - alchemical formulas for achieving immortality were outlined. Enlightened and immortal beings are referred to as xian.
A number of martial arts traditions, particularly the ones falling under the category of Neijia (like T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Bagua Zhang and Xing Yi Quan) embody Taoist principles to a significant extent, and some practitioners consider their art to be a means of practicing Taoism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoism
**

Recently, it has been as though a biochemical or neurochemical switch has been flipped and I have begun to see things in ways I can't explain. My mood is still elevated even when I'm in depressive or postictal states, which is fascinating. It's as though a part of my brain and mind has separated and remained lit up, waiting to merge back in when all the neurological crap has been treated. I like it.

(Also, please don't suggest yoga. Yoga does not work well for me. I perform personalized exercises and stretches that resemble certain yoga poses, but I do not do yoga.)
brightrosefox: (Default)
Quote of the day so far:
"Oh, that's okay. Sometimes my very existence amuses, confuses, or utterly angers people for various reasons. Myself included. I am so fucked up and insane and crazyweird that I unintentionally upset someone or entertain someone every time I do anything. Why am I here? Who am I, really? Hell if I know. I forgot why a long time ago. But it is a good life, full of fascinating people, and I'm happy to stay for as long as it will have me."

Sometimes I just want to be Honey Badger eating pistachios. But I have too many emotions and too many reactions. Damn my screaming amygdala.

My mother says it is impossible for me to not be overly emotional to everything. Even, like, air.

I think that's why I like online socialization so much. I can have my emotions and my reactions and my masks and shells, and everyone I socialize with can have theirs. I struggle with physical interactions so much and I wind up draining my reserves. You know what I mean!
But!! My shells are cracking all on their own because I'm getting more confident. I've been collecting broken beautiful shells left and right. How about you??
We are so beautifully screwed up but we are together and I adore all of you.
Also, cracking shells have started becoming a new symbol for me. I'm covered in layers of shells of different colors and intensities. Gently breaking each one feels reliving.

***

I have no idea why, but right now I am so happy, joyful, blissful, content, and serene that bluebirds should be frolicking around my head. I just feel totally zen.

I am happy about my writing, my book reading, cleaning my house, brushing each cat for ten minutes, taking long walks, meeting random people and having small talk, being on the internet, not being on the internet, being by myself, cleaning my house again, being disabled forever, knowing all my limits and raising those limits and pushing forward when I can and pulling back when I can't, having several canes to walk with, taking medications that work, sharing my stories with people, loving myself because of all these wild flaws and faults.

Even being personally insulted on geek forums because I'm not wild about the fandoms. That makes me happy. Because it makes me laugh. People are adorable!

Just... happiness. Pure. Simple. I can't even explain or understand it. It permeates me. Like a Lotus Sutra. Like a Buddhist chant. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
I don't think I could feel anything but happy right now. Even when it fades later, and it will, I shall remember.

Somewhere, Honey Badger is smiling.
brightrosefox: (Default)
If you are with me in person, and I suddenly yell out and fall to my hands and knees and scream, do not be alarmed. Gently help me stand and help me to a soft place to recline. I may be unable to speak properly, and I may be unable to remember certain things. I may lick or bite my lips, I may scratch myself or pull my hair or vocalize oddly. Take me in your arms and say comforting words. If I start crying, let me cry. Tell me everything is all right. Kiss me gently on the forehead. Offer me tepid water, or coconut water, or juice, or tea. I will need to be hydrated. If I get up and start stumbling around, take my hand and follow me. If I head toward a bathroom, help me in; I will most likely be able to take care of things on my own, as it will be a very automatic process. When I am done, lead me back to the couch, chair, bed, etc. Continue to hold me or hold my hand. I may be very dysphasic and emotional. I may also be very empathic, so do your best to stay calm, with a good bedside manner. Offer me foods like fruits, crunchy bacon, pastries, dairy, vegetables, protein. No bread; I might choke.
If I start speaking oddly in a very intense manner, it may be due to one of my spirit guides helping me speak. Serena, Amara, or Amber, since Alicia can't speak outside the rabbit hole, looking glass, and Wonderland forest that directly affects my epilepsy. Serena helps me through chronic pain and fatigue. Amara helps me through any psychological distress such as anxiety, depression, and fear. Amber monitors my entire consciousness and soul. There are reasons they are named their names. These guides are fictional characters I created long ago, characters who took on their own "personalities" to become a sort of overall coping mechanism. While Serena and Alicia remain deep inside my psyche, Amara or Amber may speak through me and alongside me to work my mouth and voice if needed. You see, Amara and Amber have been with me in various forms since I was born; my brain created them in my intense creative imagination as purely fictional ways of coping with my life. Serena and Alicia came later, as ways to continue fueling that creativity. These girls are not real, but they are certainly helpful.
After I am affected by a seizure, I may also be affected by various complexities from spastic ataxic cerebral palsy: fibromyalgia, sensory processing disorder, synesthesia, hypersensitivity, ADHD Inattentive and Over-Focused Types, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, hypertonia, hemiparesis, hemiplegia, severe anxiety or even actual panic, problems speaking and moving, drooling and possible gasps, choking sounds, or odd vocalizations, memory disintegration, spasms, emotional outbursts. Try to not be surprised. This is technically normal for me. You can ask me questions and I may reply one way or another
Complex partial seizures via temporal lobe epilepsy are different for most epileptics. For me, having cerebral palsy, these seizures can be extremely fascinating and bizarre.
I will add that this all happened approximately an hour before I wrote this, and the main reason I was able to type this out was because Amber and Serena helped. My body and mind are both in an altered state. Reality is swimming right now. I just banged my arm against the wall, and the only reason I felt it was because of that part of my brain that is still processing the outside world.
Yes, please ask me questions of all kinds. Nothing is off limits. Speaking out helps me understand my own brain and my own intense neurology.


***
Edited to add:
I just got a really fascinating comment on Facebook since I copied this whole post there. I'm going to post the person's comment and then my comment. I'm still not sure what to think. Was I too harsh in my reply? Also, I still don't know what sort of point they were trying to get across:
Read more... )
brightrosefox: (Default)
bluelotusglow

bluedarklotus

bluelotus4

***
You lift your head to ask if this is a dream. She presses her finger to your lips and smiles. As she gently places the shining blossom into your outstretched hands, she whispers, "This will be safe inside you. Together, you will understand." You want to ask her everything, but you know you mustn't. She kisses your lips and stands tall. Raising her arms, she fades slowly. The air is filled with the scent of the sacred lotus. You press the flower to your breast and it vanishes, sinking inside you. And you begin to understand.
***
You find her in the swamp itself. This time she is wearing faded denim shorts and a sleeveless top, muscled abdomen and arms well exposed, bronze skin glistening. She is knee deep in muddy water, examining each blossom with careful fingers. She looks up at you with bright green eyes and smiles widely. Her hair is blacker than the darkest muddy water, tied back with satin. She looks so young and so old.
"Are you here for another one?" she asks. "Never mind, of course you are. Hold on. I need to find yours." She moves slowly, dipping her hands in up to the wrists until her skin is masked in mud.
"They're sleepy today," she says. "Here, talk. Ask which one wants you and I'll take it."
"Do I have to come into the mud?" you ask, preparing to remove your shoes.
"No, no, just call out. They'll hear you even far away."
You take a deep breath, focus on the flowers floating all around the woman, and say, "Dear blossom, come to me." You aren't sure if that will work. But then the woman nods. She tilts her head one way and the other. She turns around and walks a foot, then slowly bends at the knees and carefully scoops up a richly pink lotus that looks exactly like all the others. She whispers something, and the flower begins to glow. Grinning, the woman walks out of the swamp and holds out the flower. "Perfect!" she says. "Instant connection. Good job."
You cup your hands and she slides your lotus into your hands. There is a small amount of mud; it feels cool and refreshing, with a slight tingling. The lotus shines so brightly that you need to squint, and it disappears into your hands, under your skin.
You blink at the woman. "So that's it?"
She smiles. "Nope. Never. But you're learning more as you go. I'll see you when you're ready to come back. You'll know where I'll be."
You want to ask something, something important. You have forgotten. You just feel blissful. You reach out, and she hugs you tightly, burying her face in your hair. You rest your chin on her shoulder. She smells like lotus and frankincense and pure joy.
"I'll come home soon," you murmur. She just nods. Nothing else needs to be said.
***
The lotus flowers are in full bloom, all of them. You stand naked and waist deep in the swamp, surrounded. The blossoms and glowing gently, swimming around you. Your guide is nowhere. You cannot call out, or speak, or even whisper. You draw in a breath. A small pink petal floats on the air toward you and presses itself on your tongue. No, you think. I must not speak. You are crowded by flowers. Instinct speaks, and you fall back until the lotus flowers catch you. You are floating on a shining bed of full lotus blossoms. You are covered in tingling mud. You open your mouth and light streams from it. A single whole flower lifts and slowly flies to you and settles gently in your mouth. You breathe in very slowly, and the lotus becomes pure energy that pours down your throat like a refreshing drink. You close your eyes. Everything makes sense. You are everywhere. You begin to laugh, but you do not know if it is in your mind or through your mouth.
"There you go!" says a familiar golden voice. "How do you feel now?" You open your eyes. You cannot stop laughing like a child. The Lotus Woman has eyes that cycle through every shade of green, and you find it fascinating. She reaches for you, and you reach for her. She scoops you up and carries you to a heated rock beyond the swamp. There are clothes waiting for you, folded on another rock. The Lotus Woman helps you sit up. She produces a wood brush and slowly combs your hair, letting the bright, bright sun dry the muddy water away. She carefully rubs you down with a towel that feels like silk and cotton. You look at her, finally, and notice that now she is wearing a red sundress that moves like water, with boots polished like mirrors.
She finishes smoothing you down and helps you into undergarments, blue slacks, a red tee shirt, and boots similar to hers.
"We're going to the healing room," she says, "if you'd like. There will be oil massage and saunas and showers of all kinds. Now that you have your next lotus, I think you'll appreciate the new magic."
You just feel so much bliss, so much joy, so much euphoria, that you only nod and smile widely. She taps her finger on your nose. "Now, don't get excited. That'll fade. We need to make sure it doesn't overwhelm you. It's supposed to become part of you, remember?"
Licking your lips and taking a deep breath, you say, "Yes. I'll remember." Your voice sounds like small bells inside your head.
You hold the Lotus Woman's hand and shield your eyes from the sun with your other hand. She is leading you far from the swamp, but it is all right. You will be back soon, of course.
***
It is the way she looks at you, with that quirky smile and those gleaming dark green eyes.
You hold out your cupped hands, trying not to tremble, trying not to disturb the velvety white lotus nestled against your fingers.
"Is this your gift to me?" she asks.
"Yes," you say. "You have helped me so much... and I know you always have these, but I found this one right where I live, and, I mean, I know they're so rare, but..."
She holds up a hand, smiling so widely. "It's okay, sweetheart. I understand." She very carefully takes the lotus from you, holds it to her lips, and kisses the petals. "Thank you. It's perfect."
"Maybe... maybe tomorrow," you say shakily, "we can go to the swamp and... you know... talk to the other flowers?"
She tilts her head and her eyes fill with compassion. "Oh, darling," she murmurs. "Don't be so nervous. There's no need to be shy. This is your world. We will do anything you wish."
You nod, your throat thick with tears. You have no idea what to say next. You realize you don't need to say a word. You watch as she holds your white lotus gift to her breast, and you watch as the lotus turns into golden light, and you watch as the lotus melts into her bronze skin, and you watch as she draws a deep deep breath, exhaling into the sky. Suddenly, you feel a massive weight lifted, spiraling away from the top of your head. Energy fills you starting at your feet and moving in a rush until it reaches the same top of your head. You feel absolute and complete ecstasy, euphoria, tranquility, and serenity. You draw a deep deep breath, exhaling into the sky. You want to laugh, so you laugh. And she laughs with you.
You feel how deeply the universe lives inside you. You laugh, and you embrace everything you can reach, until you feel yourself glowing. You dance and dance, and she takes your hands and joins you, and the universe dances with you.
***
This time, you are standing ankle-deep in a swamp at midnight. Everything is glowing blue - the sky, the water, the lotus flowers, your skin.
The Lotus Woman is sitting in front of you, cross-legged, surrounded by blue and white lotus blossoms all in full bloom. Her bronze skin, her black hair, her green eyes... everything about her is shining with pale blue light.
You feel comforted and serene in a way you have never known at such a deep level. You carefully sit down in the same position, letting the mud flow against you. You and she are both dressed in shorts and sleeveless tops, no shoes, your hair both unbound. The mud sinks effortlessly into your skin.
Neither of you speak. After a few minutes, one lotus blossom floats into your lap, white and blue and covered in dew drops. You very gently pick it up and it dissolves into your skin with an intense burst of blue and white light.
She grins and laughs, clapping her hands. "Oh, yay! I was hoping you would get that one. It's been waiting for you."
You smile and shrug. "I guess I've been waiting too."
The dozens of flowers float and spin around you both, several touching your skin and her skin, merging with you in tiny light bursts that feel like soft winds. She holds out her hands and you reach out and you grasp them tightly.
You don't know how long you sit and meditate, but it doesn't matter. Forever can fit inside a single moment, after all.
The white and blue lotus blossoms swirl around you, lifting your soul, until the entire world is filled with light, and you feel completely at peace, bursting with serenity.
***
brightrosefox: (Default)
Well, after a good pep-talk with both my mother and my therapist, I've realized that my body issues are mostly due to extreme stress. Like, stress so intense and undermining that I can't feel it, but my body is reacting wildly. Literally, my nerves are so close to the surface that they react to everything - and right now they're reacting to the stresses of moving everything around the house to prepare for the contractors coming in and re-carpeting the living room and re-flooring and re-cabineting the kitchen. I'll be altering my diet a little, trying to de-stress, taking Klonopin and Passionflower every day, keeping Klonopin and Passionflower on hand, and reminding myself as much as possible to relax.
Current symptoms include digestive stress, literal nervous loss of appetite even with hunger, TMJ, exacerbated seasonal allergy symptoms, extreme fatigue and malaise, and fibromyalgia flares that make me want to curl up under heavy blankets and cry.
These can all be mitigated and relieved as much as possible with de-stressing treatments and cutting out certain foods for a while. I just need to remember that.

I also must not let myself get stressed online: Reading inflammatory Facebook posts, over-reacting whenever anyone tells me, "Yeah, that food sounds great, but beware the sugar content. Your pancreas can't handle much." - In fact, I want to write a horror story called "Beware The Sugar" after being given so much irrelevant, unwanted, unsolicited dietary advice that I already know about. I often have to bite back snarky replies like, "Did I say I had high blood sugar? Did I say I was diabetic? Did I say I eat this stuff every day? Do you think I am an idiotic child? Yes, I am aware of the sugar. Look, it says right there. On the label. Sugar content! Yes! I am fucking aware of fucking sugar in my fucking food!" or not engaging in emotionally charged political debates about why I like having a gun along with my swords and daggers and my social liberal ideals and waaah all guns are evil shut the fuck up.
I keep forgetting that my online social circle can have a massive crazy effect on my brain.
The paradox in there is that I NEED that online social circle to stay relaxed and de-stressed. Landmines, eggshells. Hairpulling?

So. for the next few days: Cut back on dairy - substitute coconut milk and almond milk and hazelnut milk and sunflower milk. Cut back entirely on refined sugar and sugary treats. Eat more oatmeal with bananas. Eat more apples and grapes. No acidic fruits. More vegetables. More fish, red meat. Take medications in a timely matter. Meditate.

And, I think, the number one change that must be permanently implemented: Set my alarm clock earlier. Force myself to wake up at 9:00 instead of 11:00. Allow my digestion to really wake up. No matter how foggy and fatigued, fight it. Go outside and soak up sunlight directly, no sunscreen, for twenty minutes. Then apply botanical oils like sea buckthorn to soothe any possible burn. I have learned that I am one of those people who physically, bioactively need direct sunlight for a certain amount of time, and that the best way for me to "screen out" the UV rays is very specific plant extracts. Which work fine for me.
And while that's out there, I've been stumbling across articles saying that "The sun does not cause skin cancer! It is out body's way of fighting inflammations and oxidants! You don't need sunscreen!" And see, this sort of thinking has been happening since the '50s and '60s - healing the body with the mind, nothing new, just upgrading the technology to keep up with the science. Good for them, as long as they don't go insane.

Now, I am one of the biggest fans of craniosacral therapy for myself - it is the one and only therapy that has truly done something incredible for me. I just need to find really good craniosacral therapy doctors in the area.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Body is very slowly getting better. Adam put a game hen in the deep fryer, I made herb rice, and I ate salad greens. My stomach finally began registering fullness.

Adam wondered if both the fibromyalgia and the fibromyalgia medications are having this effect on the nerves in my stomach; he fully understands now that I tend to vacillate between being unable to eat much and being unable to feel full despite eating plenty. He actually knows more about how the digestive system and nervous system work in tandem than I do, so I'm taking his suggestions to heart. He approved of the Ensure and since he has tomorrow off he suggested cooking tantalizing meals together.

I came for the love, I stayed for the food. When Adam was a teen, he was given a half scholarship to the Culinary Institute of the Arts, but it was still too expensive, so he just cooked amazing foods for family and friends. He's been doing such since his preteen years, when his mother was hospitalized for three months with pleurisy and he was forced to learn to cook to prevent three months of hot dogs with his father. When I first became anorexic, it was Adam's chef powers that saved me from hospitalization and feeding tubes. Oh, the man can cook.

A migraine is beginning to happen, again triggering nausea and sinus pain and muscle spasms inside my body, which is such an insane sensation. I am unhappy. I shall be receiving a skull massage from Adam, who also knows Shiatsu, Reiki, psychic touch... I did mention that randomly, probably. Yes yes, I love and adore and cherish him, etc, he is as a demigod to me.

Time for medical meditation with amber and lepidolite and charoite and kyanite and tourmaline. This is what the bracelets and rings are for. Connecting to Gaia, the cosmic consciousness, and healing deities like Apollo always seems to help, even just a little. I cherish the sensations of chakras opening and aligning, of energies moving, of my quantum psychic consciousness activating.
brightrosefox: (Default)
"Some say the gods are just a myth. But guess who I've been dancing with? The great god Pan is alive!"
-"The Return Of Pan", Mike Scott and the Waterboys

Well, today still isn't going well, but who's counting? Love you epilepsy! Love you, hypertonia! Love you, sciatica! Love you, fibrom- wait, I just took pills for you. Love you, sinus pressure!

If you can't destroy them, dance with them?

I apologize in advance if I start snapping and snarling.
Depression, anxiety, moving in and out of realities, and extreme pains are causing me to have very low patience. So, let's just say that I will be in no mood to tolerate any good-natured teasing, obsessive attempts to ask me about my hobbies, armchair doctoring, or backhanded compliments about my disabilities. In short, if you can't tell my emotions from my typing, here they are: No empathy, no patience, needing to focus on my self.
I will have no time or patience for debates, questions needing immediate answers, or deep discussions requiring emotional investments. Did you do something wrong? No. But I am also feeling less empathetic than usual.
Laugh with me. Joke with me. Make me smile. Make me feel entertained. Don't make me feel as if I need to make you feel better. You can do that on your own today. I will be better tomorrow, and I will help you tomorrow after I take care of myself.
I will be dancing with things that seek to destroy me in order to soothe them.
It takes great energy and power to dance between destruction and creation.
See you tomorrow, loved ones.

Erin Gloria Ryan said it best: "I have given this all of my fucks, and the fucks I have given are still not enough fucks. So many more fucks need to be given, and I have exhausted my fuck supply. The fucks are on backorder. Employees are working overtime to restock my fucks, but in the meantime, please accept this 10% off coupon while we wait for the fucks to arrive via FedEx. I'll be over here, drinking wine from a Pac Man mug and watching cartoons."

I am watching cartoons and drinking various superfruit caffeinated juices from bottles with dragons on. With a goodly splash of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

Supportive likes and hugs are awesome. I'm just completely out of fucks to give and I haven't focused just on myself for so long that it's all finally boiled over. People have been asking if they did something wrong and this is the most polite way of saying "Look, I just need you to not pile things on me for a while. I'll be over there with my tea and my cartoons."

Let's see...
Spastic cerebral palsy with hemiparesis and hypertonia.
Temporal lobe epilepsy with complex partial seizures.
Fibromyalgia with full body flares and fatigue.
Sciatica in both legs.
Raynaud's Disease in fingers and toes.
Joint and nerve pains everywhere.
Major depression, general anxiety, OCD, ADHD without hyperactivity.
Disintegrating memory with dysphasia.

Yes, indeed, it is all here. Let's have a party and dance like the universe is watching.

And if the gods goddesses of destruction and creation can join me, I welcome it. When it comes to incredibly powerful gods goddesses like that, I get extremely cautious. I don't say their names lightly. If I really want to call Kali, I need a damn good reason. Many people do not really understand how old, powerful, and intense these deities are. The Christian god Yahweh may be the youngest and most popular deity in history, but there are gods who are so old that time doesn't matter to them.
And so, if I ask an old god to dance with me, I need to ask in a very, very respectful, gentle way.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Okay.
Okay.
I'm... oh, hell, what is just under "okay" but not near "bad" or "poor"? Medication and meditation have both helped immensely. Cuddling with spouse and cats has helped immensely. I was laughing. Except there was still that Dark Nope in my mind, flattening me and reminding me that darkness was everywhere in my brain right now. There is absolutely no point in pasting on a smile and ignoring the depression, because fuck it, there it is, and it will end when the episode ends. See? Clinical major depression is an entity, and it will leave when it is ready. It can be coerced, cajoled, enticed, forced and tortured. But sparkly thoughts are not a treatment. I have not and do not live any part of my life by the so-called "The Secret" book suggestions. Nice idea though.
I have been envisioning things that relax me, entertain me, and amuse me, of course.
Best to take my pills with something decent in my stomach - milk in coffee, juice, yogurt. Followed by a full meal. I just have no feeling for an appetite. It's not a rejection of food, it's just a lack of feeling hungry. I ate half a burger with sliced cheese and yuk choy vegetable dip, washed down with thick acai pomegranate juice. It was plenty.
I just feel empty, dark, slow, neutral. That is it. Neutral. Shrug. Whatever. Okay. I don't mind. "I have no strong feelings one way or the other." (Hah! I knew I'd find a way to quote that line soon.) I don't really want to go anywhere particularly to anyone else's houses and couches. If I were to move, it would to go walking, shopping, moving for exercises. I'm just a cat. If someone wants to hang out with me, they had better enjoy sitting on a couch, reading books and watching TV and browsing online. With the occasional discussion about physics and neuroscience and maybe fandoms.
See, here's the tricky part: Depression is a great pretender. It can put on a perfect mask. It can smile, laugh, and interact with the best of them. That is what viruses do. It can move me, control me, make me do whatever it needs me to do while it quietly spreads across all my nervous system and tweaks each little neuron so that gradually it overcomes its host and becomes a best friend. Creepy, isn't it?
But I will know. I have been learning. That is part of my library magic, my moonlight magic. I am just as sneaky. I have weapons. I can sneak into the main consoles and screw with the auxiliary systems before I even start working on tampering the primary systems. Sometimes I get caught and I get locked up and I even get tortured. But usually it is worth it.
In conclusion... I will be okay. For now, I am that thing just below "okay" which is nebulous.
Nebulas are pretty.
I've been watching too much Star Trek. I don't even care.

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