Author: Gregory Patrick

A mad man who writes books, knits, and deals with the daily dilemmas of living 20 miles from nothing...I'm not kidding.

When You Don’t Try So Hard

Zap!…and it was decided.

If you know anything about Central Florida in the summertime, then you know of our famous thunderstorms that happen between 3 and 6pm daily. Sunshine invades our state on a regular basis, but so do the storms famous for their clashes just above us. The cool breezes of the Atlantic clash with the warm winds off the Gulf of Mexico as they rendezvous just above Orlando, wrestling each other with wind and rain right down to the very ground. I love these storms. I find them to be brilliant and dramatic, Gothic and theatrical, as two opposite winds wrestle to the death for dominance with cracks of thunder and spikes of lightning….

I got caught in the crosshairs of those fights twice this week. Yes, TWICE this week lightning struck Honeychurch rendering our modem useless. (Don’t think it prophetic, the entire neighborhood lost internet). This second time was a bit different though. SO many people had lost internet that it was going to be three days before the technician could come out and swap modems.

Oh, I think someone else may have panted and panicked, freaked out and fawned over missing out. But, not I. No, I enjoyed the time away from the world. I enjoyed knowing only what joy I could summon, enjoyed not being subject to the anger, hostility, or even revenge that the world seems to be designed around these days.

No emails, no phone calls, no known truth other than those in my back yard. Books were binged (as they should!), bears were knit, and time was spent quietly focused on whatever joy my mind could conceive. I day dreamed, wished, prayed…and smiled brightly as nightly the storms converged on top of me again.

The heavy winds push the thick mists of rain through my open window and I feel relief. The temperature drops a few degrees to a place that is comfortable, crisp. The sky is alight with flashes, the ground rumbling with thunder, and the air so cool to the skin that it feels like heaven. Big oaks sway, the shadows of their branches bouncing along the thirsty grass. Cats hide, sirens begin to cry, and splashes upon the pavement can be heard from blocks away.

I love this time of year in Central Florida….

So, to be without internet these last few days was just a little taste of what it would really be like to disconnect from the world, so that I could pay more attention to the immediate world around me, and feel just fine the whole time.

But, despite all this, it was the cable technician’s own words that had halted me. “This is the second time this has happened in a week? I’m not surprised….You’re not grounded.”

Always looking for lessons in life, I simply listened as he said, “You’ll have a perfect, uninterrupted connection once you’re grounded.”

He may have been talking coaxial cables, but I was hearing something else. I had felt grounded the last few days, had felt an uninterrupted connection between myself and that beautiful little spark only seen when everything else goes away for a while. And while watching the modem come alive to remind me of some unearthly connection that I should be joyous of, I was hesitant. I sat back for a good hour before delving into emails, reading comments, tending to business…..

The world was just fine without me. Or maybe even better off for my having not been around. Quietly, in this safe place, harbored by oaks that sway gently through aggressive winds, wrapped in a mindset that was focused only on blessings, I was able to walk away from the world and care for it in a more personal, genuine way because I didn’t know what mischief it was up to…

221626796_557191185282446_6324077548533573864_nThe whole episode pushed more of my desire for a religious life, a contemplative life. For the dim lights of dawn, and the dramatic theatrics of our thunderstorms at dusk, all brought my ordinary way of thinking full circle.

This is what you wanted, Gregory. You wanted to fall deep into the waters of siloe, have the cenobites tempt you with their silence, their detachment, that you should be an heir to their wisdom, a wisdom only inherited once you cease demanding silence.

It happens as it should, for the religious and for the layman, that contemplative silence can either be pursued or found. In my pursuits, that great place of prayer eluded me every time I demanded it, or hunted it….But, the moment that silence was overwhelming, ever present, fully engulfing my day to day due to no will of my own,….well, beautiful things happen when you’re not trying so hard.

Beautiful things happen when you let them happen….not when you force them. And just like that, God said, “How many times do I have to strike you with lightning before you get it? I am….I am here…..I am here always…..I am never apart from you….I am never away from you….I am as you….You are as I am…..Every part of your body, your being, is a part of Me. There will never be a time we are apart, never. I give you My promise, that I will love you for eternity.”

That has been the cornerstone of my spiritual endeavors, just hearing that promise of eternal love, and I’m truly sorry, but you can hear that from anyone anytime of the day and it be meaningless. I know. I’ve heard people say, “God loves you,” and I winced and walked away. But, in those darker trenches of yourself, where you remember that everything you are is known by your soul, you tend to get a bit humble. When confronting God in silence you find yourself at a loss for anything to say…what can be said? You can only share with God what you feel….and in that communion you feel what HE feels back and you know, you realize nothing but love. And with that all is right with life.

The minute that modem was fried by lightning, I could hear God say, “Say nothing, and listen to nothing. Just feel my presence for a moment and do nothing more….All will be well.”

Yes, all will be well.

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Broken, But Fine

218019445_893628197895553_1416711784680907692_nI didn’t realize how much of a toll the stress of my divorce was causing me until I saw these pictures. I look broken…but, I’ll be fine.

I keep telling myself that, while realizing at the same time that the words mean nothing if there is no truthful emotion behind them, if they have no real feeling.

I wake every day with the best of intentions that when I say, “I’ll be fine,” that it is true. But, when you come down to it, the words really have no more value than something you read on a bumper sticker in traffic. I know the words can’t mean anything, because I haven’t been able to connect to the words and feel better. I feel the same. There is almost no emotion in the words after that. They’re almost said with a lazy lilt and rolling eyes. Sure. Ok. I’ll be fine.

I set myself up for failure when I wake up in the morning telling myself that I’ll be fine. Because I keep these conditions in play that say, “once I’ve done this, I’ll be fine,” or “once I have that, I’ll be fine.” I shouldn’t have to feel that way, that my safety, happiness, and security are contingent on conditions. At that rate, I’ll never be fine.

If anything, there shouldn’t be anything said at all when I wake in the morning. It should be an emotion, a feeling that resonates with right now and if that whole vibration insists on clinging to words, then they would have to be, “I feel just fine.”

If I wait to feel good once certain things happen, I’ll never make it. These pictures prove that. I’ve allowed myself to feel awful, depressed, frightened all with the promise that once this happens or that happens, then I can feel better about this divorce, about this big discord in my life….or sadly, about my life in general. Sad to think that I would have to wait to feel happiness right now, for now is when I need it most.

218334271_150739880462962_3782803089388917981_nSo, I’m glad I saw something in these pictures that I haven’t been able to see in a mirror. I saw that break between the affirmations I’ve been using and the actual feelings that I have. That break can be seen all over me, just when I thought I was doing so well at hiding it. But, I won’t be focused on all the things that need to be fixed in order for me to be happy, no I’m going to be hellbent on spending as much of my time as I can filling my heart with the things that already make me happy: the good people in my life and a God who loves me. And that’s pretty much all I need to feel just fine.

If you appreciate my blog and would like for it to continue, please donate. Every bit helps and I wouldn’t have the courage to do this without you. Thank you!

I’m Leaving for Wants and not Reasons

For the last three mornings I have run up to Hobby Lobby to grab only one skein of yarn. Now, you read about that first day in my previous post, the second day required that I do more to challenge my agoraphobia, so once I was home I waited for another moment, any moment possible to leave the house for any length of time. (You might ask why I just don’t go for a walk? If I didn’t have a viable reason for leaving, my agoraphobia would have my feet nailed to the floor).

I was getting a little thirsty, nothing but tap to drink, so I found a few quarters in my change jar and head up to 7-11 to grab my little Mexican soda that I like. The line was lengthy, but despite that, I did ok. I kept my focus on the candies, the chips, the sad, rolling hot dogs in the display case, the bazillion different varieties of cigarettes, the clock on the wall, the mounted telescreen with ads. “I can help the next customer.” Next thing I knew it, I was home sipping my Jarrito. 

Come lunchtime I’m feeling a bit hungry and ask Phillip if he’d like to split a meatball sub from Stasio’s. He looks at me with a huff, “Man, I don’t feel like walking up there.”

“You don’t have to. I will.”

He perks up and looks at me as though I was some other person in the room. 

“I’ll make you a deal. You buy it and I’ll go get it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. But, one condition. You have to order your sandwich right in the middle of lunchtime. Smack at 12:30. I need to be there when it’s packed full of people, me waiting in line like everyone else.”

“If you think you can handle it, you’ve got a deal.”

And handle it, I did. Proudly stomping home with my sub from Stasio’s. What a feeling.

217961508_868584483750464_7148795578462683218_nThe more I paid attention to myself, the more I was realizing that these had no longer become reasons for leaving. These were now wants, which is a completely different aspect of dealing with this illness. I wanted that soda, and I wanted that sandwich. And the same attitude helps with the interview I have tomorrow. I want that job, that job is not a reason to get out, I want it. All clues and hints from the Universe almost compel for it to happen. Even when I’m inside this store, the smell alone makes me feel like I want to spend time there because it smells…..cozy, warm, hearthy. 

I pray I get this job, I pray for the possibilities that await me.

If I get this job then I’ll have the biggest chunk of my problems wiped away: how to pay for an apartment. Even at 20 hours a week and a very low wage, I could still make enough to pay for an $800 apartment, which is a really great price for this area. With my knitting, embroidery and books bringing up the slack, I can easily, EASILY I SAY!, easily make this work. The more I thought about how easy it would be, I just kept feeling better and better about slowly starting at 20 hours, getting comfortable, then maybe going full time once Christmas comes. EASY! 

Even if I don’t have my first paycheck until the end of the month, it will be one big huge chunk towards the next months rent. For now, I need to have a place secured by the 28th or 29th. Phillip is going to be needing a roommate and he needs to start showing the house to someone who is already interested. So, I need to be moving out the weekend that guy is moving in. 

217814689_856281668647765_4506878938990630136_nI hope I start my new job on Monday. That would give me a paycheck right at the end of the month, so that would help with the rent and the deposit. Until then, it’s teddy bears everyone. When I’m not working at this retailer’s, I’ll be kicking back with my speedy needles in hand making teddy bear after teddy bear. 

So, keep constant watch on the shop, for my teddy bears often sell REALLY fast. At best, I have to raise a deposit, just so I can look at a place, the rest will be cake. I already have a little tucked aside for my move. So, if a bear is sold out, come back the next day….and the next….and the next until you have one!

I feel REALLY good about the progress I’m making. As a matter of fact, I feel I like I really want a bag of M&M’s. So, I’m gonna grab a handful of change and head up to the store! 

(I’m pretty dang sure I got this job. As a matter of fact, I can’t wait to tell them that I got this job 🙂 )

If you appreciate my blog and would like for it to continue, please donate. Every bit helps and I wouldn’t have the courage to do this without you. Thank you!

Clutching at a Skein for Dear Life

I would have normally just dropped the skein right there, plopped it on top of the impulse candy buys. But, I had to, needed to, stand there in that long line at Hobby Lobby for as long as I could.

While trying to find work, I’ve been trying to slowly handle being outside for more than an hour. So, I needed just one skein of yarn from Hobby Lobby, which is only a few blocks from here. I have to stress that I have not been that far from my home for any length of time in months.

As I expected, just after leaving the house I felt compelled to go back inside to check the stove, check the doors, the windows, the cats….I then walked out again, but just one block further, my agoraphobia insisted that I didn’t need to make this trip, I could order it online, “It’s fine, go back home.”

I began to feel physically worse the further I went. My guts were turning inside out, my skin felt hot, my eyes couldn’t tolerate light. “You see? You feel awful, sick. You’re close enough to home that you could just turn around right now and go back to feeling safe….and better.”

I wince when I hear it, focusing on the noise of the semis at the dairy as I move towards Hobby Lobby. I see life, I see production, I see active people all happy to be out in the sun. And just across that street, just around that little pond, is a shortcut to Hobby Lobby.

You would think that would be enough to squash my agoraphobia’s influence, and I thought it had. Because while walking up to the store, and while walking through the store, and while fetching that one skein of yarn that I needed, everything began to feel ok.

….then I stood in line.

It may have been 2 minutes, it may have been 10, I’m not sure, but the cashier said to me while tending to her current customer, “Sir, this will be a few minutes.”

214441201_945132159610425_563695233710863715_nI started clutching that skein, staring at fake flowers to my left and Swedish Fish to my right. “Just drop the skein on the fish and go. You need to go. Something could be wrong and you’re not at home to keep it from happening.”

I stare at anything I can, clutching that skein with a death grip. I feel my heart flutter, I hear, “This is taking too long….and all this while something could be wrong at home. You might have even lost it….it’s not there anymore, it’s not yours.”

I gasped.

“May I help the next person in line?” I barely heard, but the kind woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder with a smile and said, “That’s you!”

The cashier apologized for the delay and I began to pay for the skein…..but, my hands wouldn’t let me. I was so trembling with fear. Every time I inserted my card, it would read some sort of malfunction. These shaky fingers wouldn’t allow me to place the card in the slot. And the shaking was noticeable.

And that kind man asked me if I needed some help. I handed my card to him, lowered my head and blatantly, metaphorically said, “….yes.”

He inserted my card for me without problem and I was on my way.

I have no idea what that man might have thought of me, but if only he knew how much control I was holding over my panic, he may have applauded.

I would have rushed home before today, ran like a mad man back to his cave to see if it’s even still there. No. I wanted to go slowly, step by step, observing anything that pleased me. That flower, that rock, that car, that person, that window display, that bird, that sunbeam, that shadow, that laughter I heard in the distance, that swirl of traffic in the background, that total composition of life outside my frightened little bubble.

I did what I could to focus on moments in the pleasure of now, rather than being oppressed by dreadful thoughts of the future. And it seemed to make all the difference.

Didn’t hear my agoraphobia inside my head after that. I just went back around that little pond, past the dairy and the semis, back towards my shell beginning to cry in the most joyous way. I love days when you can cry because you’re happy.

I closed the door behind me, cuddled a cat that happily cuddled back and felt that I could do this. That the desire to do this was really pushing me to experience the most uncomfortable of situations while learning to live outside.

And despite my agoraphobia’s best intentions to convince me otherwise, I survived.

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The Spirit of Fear

As of this morning, Phillip and I are no longer tied financially. Basically, our separation is official. We are no longer bound to each other on paper. No more shared responsibilities, no more shared benefits, no more shared income. And let’s face it, the last couple of months his income has increased, while mine has not.

212563375_2622573508047469_4912997208349322244_nI feel a lot different than I thought I would. I feel alone, which is what I wanted….More than that, I feel scared because now I truly feel on my own. And in many ways, I’m not prepared for that just yet. Hence why I’ve mentioned that my leaving sometimes feels like it’s not happening fast enough, and other times it feels like it’s happening too fast.

But, today solidified the idea that we are moving ahead with this. This isn’t a game, this is real. We will, of course, help each other out the best we can, but the idea is that we are to be two independent people….or at least no longer dependent on each other.

The only thing we’re waiting on is my leaving the house by the end of the month, which is about three weeks from now. I didn’t get called back on the job I really wanted. Lunch room attendant for a charter school. It’s been quite a few days and I did a follow up, but haven’t heard back. Oh, well. The thought of my bald head wearing a hair net would have been fun 🙂 Something else will pop up, after all, I have a ton of applications out there. The only place I didn’t apply for is where Phillip works. Ironically, I feel I’d be hired on the spot….but, that would just add complications to an already complex situation.

So, while I continue to apply for work, I’ve stopped looking seriously for an apartment for the moment simply because I don’t have the funds for a deposit. Once I do, I’ll be scouting out places with money ready in hand to snag a new studio for me and Betty to live in. And I do so hope the one I showed you the other day is still available (and has screens in the windows!)

At the moment, I’m not working with a whole lot.

So, if there is a bear you’d like me to make for you, please be in touch. I’m working on one this morning, but he’s already spoken for, but I could sure use the work right now. I can’t take on anymore embroidery because I have work that already needs to be completed, which takes a while. Bears are much faster. Within 6 hours, I can have one ready and in a box, and out the door. So, if you’d like a bear, please let me know.

I’m going to get through this, I’m going to be ok. God has always taken care of me, but for some reason, right now I feel God and I are not talking for some reason. My fear in trust is being tempted, as well as my patience. I’m scared. I have every right to be….

But, then I hear, “…for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.”

Amen.

If you appreciate my blog and would like for it to continue, please donate. Every bit helps and I wouldn’t have the courage to do this without you. Thank you!

On Job Hunting

I’m writing from bed today. No worries, nothing is wrong! I’m relaxing…

I spent some time pounding the pavement today, walking into big box store after big box store only to learn right away that I didn’t need to do this. By the time the third store said, “Oh! You can apply online,” I realized I should just go home, get out of that desk chair, get comfortable….and tell as many people I could in the employment world how valuable I was.

Now, for an agoraphobic this is massively interesting. Because it could cause some damage.

It is too EASY for me to sit at that desk chair all day afraid of the world, communicating only through words that are seen on a page….The issue is pivotal, because it helps my agoraphobia. It makes it too easy to never leave my home.

I could apply for a job online, use my phone to work for a call center while sitting in my underwear, order my groceries from Publix and never….ever….leave again. I could find a job working from home, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be free from the fear of leaving…..

(woah) Had to stop for a second. That kinda stung my soul while I wrote it. “afraid of leaving…..”

I don’t need to spell that out. You’re all smart enough to know where my head was going just then, without even my realizing it while putting it to pen: afraid to leave Honeychurch, Phillip, my home.

I’m not the only one in history who purposely built a fortress to keep himself safe from the world, only to then claw at every stone with bloody fingertips with a desperation hoping to get out one day.

I NEEDED to go business to business, door to door, asking if something was available. When I discovered I could do this online, I came back home, grabbed the laptop, plopped into bed and said, “Ok, world….someone out there could really use me right now.” Nothing crazy. Three hours a day, a few days a week to start, just so I get my sense of safety being outside back. I need to wade in the shallow end of the pool for a minute before I go diving into the deep end.

But. don’t misunderstand me. I want to dive into the deep end!

It’s a bit like someone in recovery asking for help. From my personal experience, I’ll go ahead and say that agoraphobia is an addiction. It lures in at first with the promise of you feeling better, safer. Then before you know it, the first attempt you make to go outside, (to be free of it!) like any other addiction, it will wrestle you to the ground with its hold over you and keep you bound. You make no decisions without consulting your addiction. You plan your day around this addiction. You plan your life, your career, your bills, your expenses and all of your joys around this addiction. You belong to it like a slave.

You look forward to those moments where you walk into your space and latch the door shut behind you…..and you shut out all the noise you heard and all of the madness, the anger, the resentment that you saw. You sigh, you feel better. You look around and see nothing that will harm you. You find your peace….even if the building around you is decaying. You do not notice your life in shambles. Like any other addiction, it doesn’t matter that the you’re living in a self imposed decay, in shambles, wrecked and visible to everyone around you…You’re safe in this. You are in a grounded spout of constant decay because agoraphobia will NOT allow you to flourish. No addiction does. Every addiction’s intention is to pull you from the beauty that you truly are, masquerading as your ambassador to the world at large. Your addiction speaks on your behalf as to why you cannot, or should not, or will not do something of benefit for yourself.

(Do you see how evil agoraphobia is?)

So I sat here going from application to application, letting anyone and everyone know that I was available.

A few hours later, while trying to fill in 10 year old gaps on my resume, I had successfully completed 5 applications within walking distance from here having never left home. I felt…..accomplished because, I would love that moment where I’m purposefully LEAVING my apartment with joy because I’m wanted somewhere….rather than latching the damn lock behind and saying, “To hell with’em.”

213254369_360014088821312_4073570140537487138_nSo now I’ve decided to sit back, relax under my granny’s quilt and embroider for a minute. (Custom work for a customer).

I feel I made exceptional progress today. I really do. I think Hunter S. Thompson is credited for it, but I think it’s an old Indian saying, “Pray to God, of course! But row away from the rocks….”

Step one, pray. Step two, do the ACTUAL work to make it happen.

If you appreciate my blog and would like for it to continue, please donate. Every bit helps and I wouldn’t have the courage to do this without you. Thank you!

Three Steps Forward, No Steps Back

UntitledA friend of mine found me distraught, comforted me with wisdom. “Let the pieces of the puzzle fit to themselves, don’t force them to fit.”

Step One: secure the apartment in this building that I can actually afford that only allows CATS for pets. (I love those people). I am going to need help with that.
 
Step two: get a job at Publix, which is practically across the street. (That helps with my agoraphobia. I’ll feel a tether to my home.) I’ll be the first to ask for the 6am shifts.
 
Step three: spend every loving other minute knitting, writing, embroidering and enjoying ENJOYING my new independent life….and watching whatever beauty happens to blossom next. 
And I have to say, I really like the way this could all work out for me. 
 

If you appreciate my blog and would like for it to continue, please donate. Every bit helps and I wouldn’t have the courage to do this without you. Thank you!

Branching Out and Finding Love

I think I’ll just speak freely tonight, if that’s alright.

I found the most delightful way to watch fireworks last night. Don’t sit and stare, but wander through your neighborhood.

I needed to go for a walk, needed fresh air and limber legs. I ventured outside to find that it was too cloudy to see the blasts at Lake Eola, so I just started walking….just….walked.

Block after block, some neighbor or another had something blasting into the night. POP! CRACK! BAM! My head would shift left, turn back right. The deep night was filled with explosive gratitude. The heavy oaks and their dripping moss caught the reflections of the reds that burst suddenly over on that street, then would suddenly blink with the bright blue of a firecracker over here on this street. The smell of the sulfur, the burning end of this cacophony, drifted though the humid air on a mist that was wrapped in smoky eddies. I was immersed in the celebration, not watching it.

I passed neighbors drinking beer, lighter in hand, ready to set torch to something everyone else felt looked sketchy. There was a lawn chair in every driveway. Coolers stacked with beer were, by now, empty.  I saw kids sway sparklers gently in their hands. Our precious flag was either worn or waved.

Beneath this celebration you begin to feel that everyone is a star in this show, capable of shining their own light whenever they wish. Especially tonight. No one was going to stop them from celebrating either the birth of a country, the right to party on a random Sunday, or just the right to set of fire crackers. Hallelujah, ya’ll have fun.  Celebrations are pretty much just an extended form of gratitude.

212091500_253199292810596_8489152017423410279_nI found all this particularly thrilling because this agoraphobic man was wandering the streets at nearly 10pm in the evening, perfectly lured in by the beautiful sense of celebration, lured in by this common desire for enjoyment, seduced to express some idea of shared gratitude. I found myself branching out to every moment I passed….reaching with long limbs, almost begging to be included in all of this shared love.

At some point previously in my life these noises, these people, these smells would have amounted to something akin to the Blitzkrieg. I would have shuddered, huddled in place, waited for it to end.

But, last night I saw how quickly that shift was diverted by watching others celebrate their lives, their freedoms. This agoraphobic man felt at ease, pleased and so grateful his journey has been blessed with joyous people.

And by the time I got home? Well, I don’t want it to sound greedy, but with what I had experienced, I felt every bit of this celebration was just for me…..I’ll take every bit of progress I can. 🙂

If you appreciate my blog and would like for it to continue, please donate. Every bit helps and I wouldn’t have the courage to do this without you. Thank you!

Independence and Desire

This is probably the most poignant Independence Day I’ve ever experienced….at least on a metaphoric level. I’m struggling now to acquire my own independence and I’m reminded that on July 4th we did not actually win our independence, we just declared it, dammit. We shouted that we wanted out, wanted to be let go, wanted to be free of whatever burdens are making both sides terribly unhappy. And there is something bold about just setting forth with the decision to find some freedom for self governing, because there really is no coming back from that commitment to break free, from that declaration of desire.

Thankfully, the situation between Phillip and I isn’t at a wartime level. No things are quite civil….but, decidedly uncomfortable. Our language has changed. We speak more candidly, more freely, now that we don’t fear stepping on our marriage….and that honest way of speaking can be brutal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as guilty of being as snarky as he is. Our deepest, unresolved issue is my moving out. Sometimes either one of us will feel that it’s happening too fast, or as we’ve both decided lately, not happening fast enough.

We are both truly ready to rip off quite a few Band-Aids, scream, then sigh with great relief that the pain is over.

213107940_199417412105346_4393727794338596171_nSo, much like the Colonies on this infamous day, I’ve already decided that I want my future to be free, to be my own, to tend to as I please. Much like the founding fathers, I have no idea how I’m going to make it happen, but I will do my best to proceed with as much ambition and hope as I can find, because there is so much to gain!

…or much like the Continental Congress, I can beg France for a loan….

It’ll be dark soon and the fireworks will begin. Bold, bright, and shrieking through the night, they’ll remind me of the many rockets of desire I’m blasting into the Universe.

If you appreciate my blog and would like for it to continue, please donate. Every bit helps and I wouldn’t have the courage to do this without you. Thank you!

The Fear of a Return

I know I need to be patient. That’s what I keep reminding myself. It’s only the second day of the month, I still have at least 22 of them to make a go of this. If I get a little job, knit a ton of teddy bears, push my new book….I’ll be ok, right?

Well, it isn’t feeling like that. It’s actually a lot more frightening than I had anticipated. The job is harder than I thought. I am having a difficult time being out of the house. And I keep reminding myself that this agoraphobia set in a good 5 years ago, it’s not going to be fixed overnight. But, if I at least attempt to fix my brain and return to a normal life, then I feel I’m progressing.

I finally knit my first bear in nearly a year. I remembered how quick I was at knitting them up, but….I’m not as fast as I was before. 🙂 My hands haven’t moved in that way in so long, they’re still getting adjusted to the madness I use to make of them with knitting needles in hand. If it takes me 10 hours to knit one, as opposed to my usual 5 hours back in the day, then I keep telling myself that this is a minor setback, you’ll get your flow back, but if you at least try to use that bear to help guide you to the next chapter, then I’m progressing.

209537547_2025861300895875_4008941143287180702_nIn a week, Phillip and I will be officially separated financially on paper. We both had to be patient with that. But, basically he won’t be paying for any part of my life or bills, nor will I be contributing to his. We will be responsible and accountable only for ourselves. But, we do what we can to help each other in whatever way we can. He knows I don’t have very much money so he brings home burgers from the restaurant. I know he’s pressed for time, so I’ll do his laundry for him. But, actually making that move to end joint finances was progress, even if I ended up with nothing. Honestly, I’m letting him have the furniture, the dishes, everything. I leave with my laptop, my clothes, a few books and a cat…..

….and maybe that’s the part I’m having a hard time with. It’s a little too reminiscent of how this journey began so long ago. And I think that scares the hell out of me. Yeah, I really do feel scared at the moment. I still don’t have anywhere to go, but I hope where ever I land, it will be progress….and not a return to an old life I have fought to get rid off.

Thanks for listening.

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