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)
Because part of All The Therapy is blogging my feels. And this was short enough anyway.

'kay.

I'm having a Being Elsa day. My symptoms are awful and well beyond control, and the smallest thing triggers the fibromyalgia pain and the mild C-PTSD symptoms. I cannot even hear or read someone speak from the cult of positive thinking without internal screaming.

I've seen many other friends here having similar issues. I'm not dealing with a terminal disease, but said terminal friends keep reminding me that we are all "In This Together" (that's my current ringtone. It's from Apoptygma Berserk).

I admit, the Being Elsa days seem to counter the Being Alice days (Being Alice is my code for epilepsy, seizures, and postictal aka post seizure state. Being Elsa is a new code for mental illness and neurological disorders including all chronic anxiety, social phobia, chronic stress disorders aka complex post traumatic stress disorder, sensory processing disorders, and some co-existing conditions linked to spastic ataxic cerebral palsy).
That was much words but I was born full of words. I blow word raspberries.

I totally do have gleefully joyful fun talking about my medical history. Interested friends have told me that I tend to discuss it clinically and technically, as though describing a patient who is not myself. I've been told that my medical and scientific wordening as a curious patient has helped fellow chronic illness patients examine their own conditions closely to find ways to help treat specific symptoms. That is such an honor.

Anyway. Is anyone else having their own version of a Being Elsa day?

(Alice is from Alice in Wonderland and Elsa is from Frozen. Because of what happens to them. Etc. I actually still have not seen Frozen all the way through yet. I will, obviously, and it will be many times. But I relate desperately well to Elsa, her hidden aspects, her representing disability, autism, childhood abuse, chronic anxiety, PTSD, personal orientations, and her love for a sister beyond a potential unnecessary husband. I only have chosen sisters and I love them so hard like the stars.)
brightrosefox: (Default)
Sooo, you know how I've been chatting with my neurologist a ton, and also with my psychologist? Neither woman has spoken to the other. But they both recently gave me the same diagnosis.
(Now, I need to stress that I am perfectly aware of the "Stop relying on so many diagnosis labels, it's just medical stuff, what does it matter, why do you care, why do you think people would care" cliche that has been poked at me by, well, many healthsplainers and people who just want me to stop talking so much about my medical history, future, and present. And yeah, I get that. But guess what, I don't care.)
The neurologist was kind of relaxed about it at first, and after I left her office I didn't really consider it. Not until that one session with the psychologist, when she looked at me with tears in her eyes.
It's just that the neurologist used one term, and the psychologist used a different term.
And I would love words from those who are there. Because fuck it, it does matter.
http://www.psyweb.com/articles/depression/chronic-stress-disorder
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)
Copied from Facebook, because it should be put here.
*
My neurologist is hilarious and awesome. And she thinks the same of me. We're gonna schedule a brain scan. And we traded quips and jokes about why the he'll I didn't get diagnosed autistic until last year. And she agreed that I am badly stressed and depressed for no reason and she desperately wants to help, and she wants to increase the Zoloft a bit to see what happens, and she's very pleased that the passion flower is helping me sleep, and she cares so much it makes me cry. She hugged me when we were done.
I told her that I feel like I'm on another planet with super caring doctors who really help, and she looked so empathetic and almost upset about the lack of such support. I heart you, Chang Ching Debbie Lin, super neurologist and friend to patients.
*
And here I thought they would take more blood. I must remember that the good veins are in my right arm. I'm impressed I was able to watch both arms being poked. That was a big needle.
*
And of course I tripped and fell flat on my knees and shins while walking through the grass. As I was using the cane to slowly get up, I heard a woman call out, and then a hand was on my arm. She asked me if I was okay, and asked if I was going to the bus stop across the street. When I said yes, she held my left arm and helped me the whole way and stayed until we were sure I was okay. Then she went back across. Funny thing was that we were right next to both the hospital and my primary physician office.
I'm home now, and both my legs are bruised, and I'm all stiff and annoyed. But the look of concern on the woman's face made me grateful that people care enough...
*

Indeed, it's never big things, never major or massive emergencies. It is just several little things, one after another or at the same time, building up day after day, never stopping.

Dr Lin Super Neurologist has written "chronic stress disorder" on the list (right next to intractable epilepsy, insomnia, cerebral palsy spastic ataxic, and myalgia as doctor-approved medical issues on that lab test print-out I took to the lab that took two vials of blood). When she had touched my shoulders, she had exclaimed, "Ohh, you're stressed. These muscles are far too tight, even for the cerebral palsy." We joked back and forth - I said, "You know those internet memes that tell you to think positive thoughts to eliminate stress? I hate those." And she said, "It's exactly like saying that the best way to treat a stress-related disease is to get rid of stress. Helpful, isn't it?" - and she was genuinely worried.
She gave me those physical tests where I had to push against her hands with my hands and legs, and my left side barely responded, and I watched her mouth turn down and her eyes fill with sympathy. When I said that my medications were working very well for what they had to work with, she was almost gleefully relieved. She does want me to see a psychiatrist, and she thinks increasing the Zoloft may help mitigate some stress with its ability to handle more than just depression and anxiety. She was happy to see me able to genuinely express my sense of humor, and she liked that I called my depression episodes "hollows". I truly feel better for having seen her and for scheduling the six-month follow-up. Brain scan ahoy.

I know so many people with intense diseases, disorders that must be monitored and treated with porcelain delicateness, with multiple medical conditions that leave doctors stunned and astounded that these patients are still alive. This is why I don't like to compare. This is why I hate playing games, even though sometimes I find myself pain-bragging without realizing. My small, numerous, chronic daily medical issues are nothing next to something as huge as, say, cancer or MS. But they are annoying.

These varied, various, multiple little pains and problems are indeed growing and they are quietly and slowly debilitating no matter how many Happy Thoughts tm I throw at them, and they will be with me for the rest of my life, and I will work with them and treat them as best as I possibly can, and I am doing my best to turn away from insistent voices that cry about magical panacea drugs/herbs/exercises and seek out whatever magic works for me, magic or not. And all I want to do is reach out and hold the hands of those who are being struck down with health problems no matter how many times they get back up, who get back up no matter how many times they are struck down, who just want to rest.
I just want to rest.
brightrosefox: (Default)
So... there is that whole thing about "I am having a medical depression episode, I am medically anxious, I am in severe a chronic pain fibromyalgia flare that rates an 8 on Allie Brosh's pain scale, my spasticity is out of control, my hypertonia along with ataxia is interfering with my ability to balance, I'm very dizzy, I'm in a mental fog, I keep thinking of how Rose-kitten died and I start getting choked up, my joints ache and throb so much that I want to become a cyborg right now..."

And I got back from a shopping trip to Barnes&Noble and Target. And Adam picked out a beautiful autumn/spring coat with purple/rose/yellow/brown patterns I never would have considered and it was gorgeous on me and on massive clearance, and Adam himself found a perfect back-up backpack on massive clearance. And I found several new books I've wanted to read including a new Amber Benson book and a new supernatural suburban fantasy series, plus a Pinkie Pie doll from the company Aurora, the same kind that sells Fluttershy on Amazon, with soft simple fabric for hair that was perfect for cats to play with.

And I spoke cheerfully and joyfully with strangers, smiling so much that my disguise and my mask strengthened, and I knew that I could make it through as long as the medications held up, the Soma and Klonopin and Ultram and Vinpocetine and Picamilon and MSM and Vitamin D and Guarana and coffee. People asked me where I got my gold-colored cane and why I had it... and were honestly intrigued to ask about the cerebral palsy, no condescending remarks, no inspiration porn, just requests for details and honest educated understanding. And I was happy to educate, explain, enlighten, and watch their faces light up as they thanked me sincerely and walked off with more information, and that is all I want from things like that.

And the medicines did as promised, and I came home and fell down by choice, and as a wise, wise woman with a PhD told me, It Is Okay To Not Be Okay.

I am not okay. And that is okay. Eventually, I will be okay.

Some quotes I would like to share on trauma and living with illness, disability, life after trauma:

1. "Healing is seasonal, not linear.
It is true that healing happens with time. But in the recovery wilderness, emotional healing looks less like a line and more like a wobbly figure-8. It’s perfectly common to get stuck in one stage for months, only to jump to another end entirely … only to find yourself back in the same old mud again next year.
Recovery lasts a long, long time. Expect seasons."

2. "Whatever doesn’t kill you …
In 2011, after a publically humiliating year, comedian Conan O’Brien gave students at Dartmouth College the following warning:
"Nietzsche famously said, 'Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.' … What he failed to stress is that it almost kills you.”
Odd things show up after a serious loss and creep into every corner of life: insatiable anxiety in places that used to bring you joy, detachment or frustration towards your closest companions, a deep distrust of love or presence or vulnerability.
There will be days when you feel like a quivering, cowardly shell of yourself, when despair yawns as a terrible chasm, when fear paralyzes any chance for pleasure. This is just a fight that has to be won, over and over and over again.
… Doesn’t kill you.
Living through trauma may teach you resilience. It may help sustain you and others in times of crisis down the road. It may prompt humility. It may make for deeper seasons of joy. It may even make you stronger.
It also may not.
In the end, the hope of life after trauma is simply that you have life after trauma. The days, in their weird and varied richness, go on. So will you."

I chose these quotes because I have heard, over and over and over, "Oh, just get over it. Slap a bandage on it and walk it off. Are you still going on about that thing? It was years ago! Aren't you on medication and in therapy? Shouldn't you be past all that by now? Stop thinking about it so much; you're just making it worse. You're creating negativity in your own spiritual space. Negative emotions and negative thinking will destroy your immune system, you know. Stop stressing so much. I give up! You're hopeless! I can't even talk to you! You're a broken record! You're just making it worse. Why won't you listen to me? Every time you talk about getting worse, your mind and your body really believe it. Get over it! Think positively! Change your attitude! Do what I did! I quit thinking so much about the pain and trauma, and in a few months I was cured. I really think you need more positive thinking. You're bringing yourself down."

And the reason I have merely smiled, nodded, and replied, over and over, "Thank you; I shall consider that!" is because those people don't want to listen anymore, they just want me to stop talking, even though I just want to confide. And so I stopped confiding in them. It was a drain on my energy and time and it just made them irritated at me.

The point is that there is no straight line when it comes to trauma, pain, illness, damage, and negative life events. Some people will never seek treatment, and will continue to live in a post-traumatic stress cycle complete with angry outbursts, emotional breakdowns, and paranoia over things such as medical treatments. There is nothing I can do but be there, even if it is just as a voice to soothe, a hand to hold, a joke to tell, a distraction to offer.

But for me, everything is a cycle. I will never be free. I acknowledge that my entire life, literally, is, was, and will be about recovering from trauma. I have tools to work with. I have doctors who understand me. I have taken all my medical problems on with my own personal arsenal, and I know better than any of the people who dislike my methods how to work with, on, and despite myself. I have my girls, my spirit guardians, my coping mechanisms with human faces, the parts of my brain formed from fictional characters that allow me to handle different parts of my trauma. And so I keep going. Trauma is a part of my life. And that is okay.
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)
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)
You guys, I amaze myself. I've been writing helter skelter all over the place: Novel, stories, novellas, blogs, facebook, notebooks with various pens, everywhere... in the middle of a postictal migraine and insanely horrific agonizing chronic pain flare-up following recovery from a panic attack. If I didn't have a computer or paper I might write on the walls. I hurt so badly I have no idea what I'm doing. I feel half fire and half water. Wild and raging, and all I want is a crackling bonfire and a rushing river.
I doctored up a photo of myself and it came out half gold light and half blue light. It looks inhuman. But part of me adores it so much. My face is two different parts. I am two entities in one. When I burn, I am cool. When I am cool, I burn. It is ying yang, dragon phoenix, up and down, left and right, I don't even know. I don't speak out loud except to my cats, I just speak through Story. So much Story inside me.
That rock. That rock that my husband gave me, the rock that he held while standing in Room 217 of the Stanley Hotel, in which Stephen King wrote "The Stand" and used as an inspiration for "The Shining". That rock is still next to my laptop. I am covered in words. I am filled up with Words. I may disappear into Story. I may not even see the world until I have to.
Is this what it is like to live in the land of the Fae and then come back to the land of humans?

jowitchzen2

Maybe it was the super moon. Maybe it is the heat from the sun now. Maybe it is anything.
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)
Let's see. *fingercounting* Sleep seizure, postictal migraine, pulled muscle in my neck, extreme hypertonia with hemiparesis and ghost nerve sensations in the left arm, hip pain, sciatica, chondromalacia patella, TMJ, difficulty swallowing and speaking due to spastic ataxic cerebral palsy complexities, ankle pain due to tripping over my own feet, right wrist pain due to ulnar nerve entrapment, mild asthma attack, difficulty working both hands, hay fever, swelling in right knee...
And of course the wonderful fibromyalgia flare.
*fingercounting* Eighteen distinctive symptoms. So far.
Pain level: Eight on a one to ten scale.
Oooh, eight! My favorite number and also the infinity symbol when turned on its side! *clapping* Clapping hurts, but fuck it. *more clapping*
Thank you, pills and special stretching and mind over body quantum magics. I have no idea what Normal is right now, but at least I am conscious and moving. That is a wonderful thing. I still win.
brightrosefox: (Default)
So, I'm not going to fully describe the four distinct simple partial seizures, the Raynaud's flare, the lumbar and sciatic spasms that literally crippled me and put me on the floor writhing, the chondromalacia patella flare that was just purely evil, the spastic hemiplegic flare that left my entire left side feeling ghost-like, the fibromyalgia burning that I compared to nerves hooked on heated barbed wire and connective tissues touching a bonfire - skin included - the sinus and jaw pain caused by my generally being irritated, the depression, the twitching anxiety.
Details are pointless. But since I am a disability advocate, I will leave this open for questions and stories and understandings and commiserations and complaints, since a huge percentage of my Friends List is disabled in some way.

My female cats are taking turns jumping on my lap and nuzzling me, occasionally preventing me from getting up. Obviously I could remove the cats from my lap at will, but I don't want to, and also they kind of dig in because they really want to hang out. Fine by me.

Although, if anyone actually wants details, please ask. You never know.
brightrosefox: (Default)
Well, this water damage debacle is getting more and more interesting. That tree that was chopped down out front? For no reason? By a third party company? Is almost certainly the cause of our problem. Since our own property was not the actual initial cause of our damage, things are now moving at a fascinating pace.
Our kitchen will need complete remodeling. Our living room carpet will need replacing. Contractors will need to add labor to the bill, which will probably easily exceed the limit that the insurance company will pay. We may need to take out a bank loan. HOWEVER. If none of this is our fault, we may be able to get all this work done with minimal financial stress. I don't know. I don't fucking know anymore. I cannot think straight. I've had two seizures and I am still so post-ical it is not funny.

Last night I knew I was about to seize. I went to the couch. Five minutes later, I woke up twisted and half on the floor, tongue hanging out... with Luna sitting on my torso purring like mad, licking my face and meowing loudly. My first words were garbled and included, "Where am I?" and "What happened?" and "Hi, Luna, love you."
I stumbled downstairs to get a hug from Adam and burst into tears.

Complicating all of this: I have stalkers online. In a chronic pain community, someone has some kind of strange vendetta against me, because I apparently said something they were offended by after I gave them advice. So they won't leave me alone. They believe I wronged them. I have blocked them. They are finding ways around it. But I recognize them. Hah.
On Facebook, a very immature male person wants me to be his wife. I blocked him. I am about ready to go on a blocking spree. I don't care anymore. I used to care. I used to be innocent and naive and kind-hearted until... well, now. Now, I have started to become cynical and snarly, and I now recognize delusional thinking when I see it. People like to put blame everywhere but on themselves. People are terrifying. Fuck it. I truly do not care anymore. And that is shocking, coming from me. Let them have their creepy online lives. I have my own life. This is absolutely the post seizure brain talking, but I absolutely agree with it. People who don't know me need to leave me alone when I'm in a bad mood.
I am the Snow White and Red Hiding Hood nobody mentioned in any fairy tales. Poison makes me stronger. Wolves are my family.
No, this online thing... this isn't even a complication. This is a mosquito. Online bullshit is nothing compared to the emotional stress and damage I've been going through since the flood.

In the meantime, my creative writing is flowing. I can work with my characters all over the place. I feel happier than I felt before, at least. Which means still depressed, still stressed, still panicked, but able to use stories as outlets. Yes.

Now I am just drained, wrung out, exhausted, and in need of a nap. My brain has reached capacity.
brightrosefox: (Default)
For me, my confidence always lifts so high with the little things.
The pomegranate red and the raspberry pink. Always.
http://beautyinfozone.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/it-cosmetics-pretty-woman-lipstick.jpg
http://beautyinfozone.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/it-cosmetics-love-story-lipstick.jpg
http://beautyinfozone.com/beauty/it-cosmetics-vitality-lip-flush-anti-aging-lip-stain-review/

The pomegranate and the raspberry are prominent and powerful in mythology and legend.
Both the pomegranate and the red raspberry contain ellagic acid and are able to filter UVA and UVB rays, making them excellent additions to sunscreen products. They both contain extremely high amounts of various nutrients, amino acids, and skin-healing nourishers. They both help guard against inflammation and some types of cancer. Their bright colors indicate their intense antioxidant abilities.

I am proud and happy to finally have found my favorite red and pink lipcolors, especially products that contain my favorite nourishing, hydrating, plumping, moisturizing, staining, and healing ingredients. I no longer need to search.
(Revlon Lip Butter Lipstick in Red Velvet and Cherry Tart come in second, while Too Faced Lip Creme Lipstick in Stiletto Red and I Want Candy come in third.)

In my current profile photo, I am wearing a blend of Love Story and Pretty Woman, affected by lighting and webcam angles. I will always feel strong with this lipstick, no matter what.
brightrosefox: (Default)
*teeth grind*
I try to be okay. I always try.
This time I just cannot make the thoughts leave. I've mentally tried screaming, pleading, cajoling, forcing, threatening, crying. They don't fucking care. They get louder and louder and they laugh and troll and tell me what a terrible human I am and how nothing I do will ever matter because in the end I will always screw things up, even though I have an actual excuse that includes various disabilities. The depression doesn't care. The depression insists that everything is my fault and always will be, and smacks me in the face with the trolling insistence that nobody loves me for who I am, only for what I can give them.
Internet trolls have absolutely nothing on clinical major depression.

I hate it.

Fuck depression.

I will now do everything I possibly can to fight, fight hard, but I am weak and losing spears and I just want to sleep for days and not care. But I have animals to care for and promises to keep and a life to live and loves to love. So fuck you, depression trolls. You cannot take me. Get the fuck out.

Joanna The Sicilian Greek Russian Romanian Hungarian Warrior Princess commands it.

I hope it works. Please let it work. Dear Cosmic Interdimensional Entities in this Universe and other Universes, if you can hear me, give me some sort of strength, because I am thisclose to falling down.

Thank you, New Model Army. Thank you, Justin Sullivan.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV8af21GusA (The Charge
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyr8aiGUlzc (Vagabonds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPIPTR3Z5Vc (Wonderful Way To Go)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4xg9NwCg80 (Rivers plus Orange Tree Roads)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcLdXSkm5uE (Ballad Of Bodmin Pil)
brightrosefox: (Default)
You know what is unexpectedly amazing? Adding a few droppers full of pure sea buckthorn fruit oil to coffee along with the usual dark cocoa powder and coconut palm sugar.

The oil tastes fruity and red and orange and yellow and juicy and thick and intense. And it is nurturing my whole insides, even my blood cells. Acid reflux goes away, digestive upsets go away, all my organs are happy, my joints are happy, my skin and hair and nails are happy. I mean, as long as I take it all the time. Sometimes it doesn't work. But that's medicine for you. Hit and miss. Nothing is a true panacea, but as long as I remember to do things right, take my life-saving pharmaceutical prescriptions, eat my nourishing foods, do my healing exercises, perform my personalized meditations, and work my personal magic, I feel all right.

I don't remember who first told me about sea buckthorn but I love them forever. It is still a step above moringa plant extract, but moringa is way up there too.

Fun holistic medicine is fun!

http://floraleads.com/OILSEA.HTM
http://www.taoofherbs.com/info/seabuckthorn/
brightrosefox: (Default)
Dear Friends:
Do not tell me I will be a great author. Do not tell me I will finish this novel in record time and go on to land a major publisher and become so popular I will win awards. Do not tell me I will succeed. Tell me I will fail. Tell me I have no chance. Tell me I will be terrible.
My fear comes from the fear of failure, of success, of fear itself. I fear being bad, I fear being great. My motivation will be the intention of failure, not success.
I know this seems strange and awful. Don't worry. This will urge me on. This will make my writerbrain say, "Oh yeah? I'll show you! I'll make this great. I'll make this beautiful."
And I will. But don't tell me that.
<3
brightrosefox: (Default)
Something I have been meaning to do for some time. I thought perhaps others might like to try.

I will name three stressful situations that are irritating me right now. Then, I will name three positive outlooks about those stresses. Then, I will name three best solutions.
I will do this as often as I can, for various problems, and meditate on everything for at least ten full minutes until I feel myself being lifted and soothed.

Let's start with these.
First try... )
brightrosefox: (Default)
Something I have been meaning to do for some time. I thought perhaps others might like to try.

I will name three stressful situations that are irritating me right now. Then, I will name three positive outlooks about those stresses. Then, I will name three best solutions.
I will do this as often as I can, for various problems, and meditate on everything for at least ten full minutes until I feel myself being lifted and soothed.

Let's start with these.
First try... )

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