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About a year ago I took a vow of simplicity. I started before the health scare took place and am picking up where I left off.

What is it? What's the point?
A vow of simplicity is one where you vow to live (for a time) a more simple existence which includes freeing up time wasters, money wasters and drama for the purpose of mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and balance.

I think simplicity has cleaner lines of thought and action. I think life can be filled with distraction and clutter and I'd like to minimize the affects the outside cluttered world has on me.

The vow is personal and spiritual, and has nothing to do with how others live or thrive.
Being a personal vow, it is specific to my needs.
This is in fact a vow before God to live a simplified life for a time. Its new and official start date was September 1st of 2018. Because the vow is before God it is more than a goal. It's a spiritual obligation. I really want this in a large way which is why I did a vow instead of a goal. I wanted the obligation to fulfill it.

How is this a spiritual goal?
If I mentally simplify my life and declutter it, I am available more mentally for spiritual things such as Bible reading and teaching others about the Bible. Simplifying my life so there's not so much damage control, not so many distractions to muddle through will allow me to be more available to assist in a ministerial way.

What is it not? ...continue reading "A Vow of Simplicity"

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TakenMy physical wounds have healed faster than emotional wounds. There's a real fear that time will pass, I'll 'look better', and people will forget that on the inside I'm still struggling.

When all this first happened and for the entire 5 months, friends leaped to my assistance. I had more visitors than I knew what to do with. 🙂 I felt loved. Now that things are going back to my version of normal with Lupus, I fear being left and yet I know the fear is unfounded. My friends love me and I know it, and I know that they were there for me before all this happened. But there's this fear that all the love and attention is going to stop, and I'll fade right into the background and be forgotten. I like the feeling of being loved. It's not entirely new but its new enough that with a taste of it I don't want to let it go. ...continue reading "Don’t Forget Me"

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My Face My Art - Half FullMonday was one of the hardest days I've had in a while. It started off with nightmares that stayed with me for much of the day. I tried to go back to bed to start over but had yet another nightmare. Then as planned, I got myself together, got on my horse (wheelchair) and left the house despite mega pain. I went to the shoe store and cried my eyes out in the store unexpectedly. I had no idea the grief would hit me right there in DSW but it did and there I sat crying in my chair in front of people. I felt like a fool.

Later I went to the post office to send out art only to discover that it was Columbus Day, no mail. That would have been fine except I was already at my max of stress and physical pain. Then later the big worry happened, I fell. ...continue reading "Surviving to Eke out Gratitude"

See VolumesI'm hesitant to publish work like this because of the dark lines and how packed it is, full of images, but it represents my head in an accurate way. It shows the full, always thinking, always moving, nearly manic thought processes inside my head. Why would I hesitate to post that type of truth in art but feel free to do so in words? I don't fear any kind of judgement with words I use. I don't expect anyone to tell me to lighten up or make my words pretty, but I can't seem to forget those who have told me to do that with my art.

Posting it is a way of shutting up the negativity in my head. I like this piece. I like the activity in it. I like the color against the black. I like the twists in it. I like the orange and I like the hidden people at the top, on the left side and at the bottom. I'm posting it and my head can just shut up about it! ...continue reading "See Volumes. Art Confidence."

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I've been reading about staying positive which can be difficult for me. One of the things I've been trying to remember is that even with my health issues, I've not lost everything. I made a short list of things I've learned to do while in bed and while pacing at home. The reason I learned these things is that it's difficult to sit. It's painful so I end up  lying down or I keep moving while I'm up. Standing still doesn't go well for me but as long as I keep moving I'm okay. So, here is my photo for the 17th of this month and my list of things I can still do:

  1. Complain. I can do that in whatever position I find myself in. I complain in English and American Sign Language. I'm currently learning French, which isn't killing me this time around.
  2. Paint. I can paint and draw while lying down. I've covered my bed so as not to ruin my mattress. It was my greatest concern that I wouldn't be able to paint because of needing to lie down so much.
  3. I can sew while lying down. This was a welcome surprise. I have to be a little more prepared but it is still possible. I just finished and adopted out two dolls and I've started on a custom order doll today.
  4. I can study and take notes in bed or on the sofa as long as I have my tablet and supplies with me. I can read and pace at the same time which I do quite often.
  5. I can produce hand written letters of encouragement to others while in bed. It's important to always reach out.
  6. I can still receive visitors if I'm on the sofa.
  7. I stand while making tea but I have a no spill cup that allows me to drink tea in bed. Yup, gotta have that tea no matter what.
  8. I can enjoy the sunshine on my face from the comfort of my bed. I can see the sky and hear the birds and ducks.
  9. My smile isn't broken because I'm lying down. I still have a sense of humor.
  10. Possibilities. Options. Hope.

...continue reading "What I can still do"

They said if I wear this little patch it'll help; it does.
Hope - My Face My Art

My Face My Art - The invisible illness becomes visible.
It's as clear as the art on my face.

The three art pieces used in this addition of "My Face My Art" are: (drum roll please) ...continue reading "Hope and Art"

The Clearing : My Face My ArtThe problem I have with the old GP is that he never saw me. He walked in the room and typed on the computer. He didn't look at me. He asked a few questions, typed some more, wrote on paper, handed it to me and left me sitting in the room alone wondering what on earth just happened.

I use to sit there and cry. He walked out like that and I just started crying. I asked the nurse why? What's wrong? She didn't know. I thought he didn't like me because I'm fat. I thought he had a problem with fat people and that I disgusted him.

He treated me as if I was beneath him. I spoke to another employee who said others reported the same. I kept going back. ...continue reading "I don’t need to own your feelings or behavior"

Content : Suicide, abuse, held captive
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I have to remember the bigger picture. I can't get distracted or tangled in the limbs of one tree and forget the forest.

I'm going to scream. I'm going to drown. I'm going to fall. I want to say I'll never ever become suicidal again but I can't promise that, but I can promise that I will seek help. I will reach out. I will not take my life.

I wish she knew that I understand the feeling of abandonment and confusion. Where do you fit in without our mother? How do you go about your life without her commanding each step? I even wondered if I'd stop breathing if I crossed states lines. Would I just poof and disappear? It was like I'd crossed over the invisible line that kept me alive. The only thing that made sense was that I'd disappear, poof, gone. Sister, I've crossed many state lines and set my own boundaries, never once did I stop living. You can live without our mother's influence.

...continue reading "Out of prison, into the world"

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Grief - available
Grief

I recently started reading from a website called What's Your Grief? I need a lot of the articles right now as I struggle with my brother and mother..... I hope every February and March from here on won't hurt this much.

In an article about Sentimentality & Holding Onto Items the writer talked about dolls that her mother purchased each year for her. Being a doll collector my interest was piqued. For me, each doll I collected had some connection to a part of me that was lost to abuse and neglect. I knew on some level that I was trying to regain these things but it took years before I could look at the dolls and say, she has this quality in her dress and facial features that reminds me of this particular moment of loss.

...continue reading "Dolls and Grief"

Tired Eyes. Cold Inside. Not everything has gone as planned. Things changed very quickly with accusations flying when I requested 30 pain pills to last 90 days.

Let me start from the beginning. I saw Dr. Yes Wednesday evening. He wanted me to see a pain specialist. I said okay. I called the people Friday morning to talk about an appointment. When she started talking about therapy and injections and another MRI with this and that test I stopped her. I explained that I've been through all that many times with no real results. I said what I really need is a doctor who understands that there are going to be flares I need help getting out of. I said, the steroids, though horrible, do help me but there are also times when my pain level is getting out of control and I need to take the edge off. I said, that's why I'm requesting a script of 30 Vicodin every 90 days. Talking to Dr. Yes's office Friday morning took a nasty turn from there.

...continue reading "Escape My Skin. Art. Suicide. Rage"

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