Monday, October 28, 2013


~ Simple | Collective Soul ~

"What does patience feel like? It's a subtle unfolding with time as your ally. You feel relaxed and trust that it will all work out, even if in this very moment, there's no clear path to the end. It feels like the subtle uneasiness of allowing all you're uncomfortable with to be exactly as it is."

- Mastin Kipp, founder of TDL

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This latest journey into unfortunate life challenges has taken me from times of extreme patience and faith straight to being out of control in the depths of hell, walking through that fire of hopeless pessimism with more than subtle uneasiness with all I'm uncomfortable with.  Living without running water is not the easiest endeavor I've ever encountered.

Time has not been my ally.  As time goes by, patience escapes me more intensely although it comes back in fleeting moments of faith.  Of course I know the problem will eventually be solved, but my patience . . . or lack of . . . is making time seem to stand still.

The Captain is feeling better after being hit with a nasty flu, the parts have been purchased and he will start working on the problem again.  I know I haven't made life easy for him . . . shame on me, it is not his fault.

What is patience anyway?  

Wikipedia defines it as "the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way."  

Human nature and difficult circumstances takes certain personality types to the brink of teetering on the edge, losing control and the grip of perspective.  

Years ago I would have retreated to the comfort of my mom's house without even trying to endure the difficulty.  It has been an option I have considered during the moments of extreme frustration, however,  I've developed a stubborn streak of determination to endure what is difficult.  Progress?

Perhaps this is the lesson to be learned through this latest challenge . . . patience . . . and holding on to it with lots of faith.  

It is one of those delicate balances in life . . . teetering on the edge of frustration, impatience, patience and faith in the midst of difficult times, drifting from one to the other, even though I have trusted that everything will eventually work out.

Although there is still no clear path to the end of this dilemma, at least tonight I am feeling more relaxed and in control of my emotions.

Simple?  I think not!

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Free your mind

Free your mind

and the rest will follow,

be colorblind,

don't be so shallow

(before you read me you

gotta learn how to see me)

Lyrics from the song
Free Your Mind | En Vogue

~ Free Your Mind | En Vogue ~

Well, we are into week #2 of our water well system being out of commission which has meant no running water all this time.  Talk about missing something that is a normal part of everyone's day.

To compound the situation, The Captain is sick!

As I was going through one of my old blogs this morning, I found this post so ironic as I am struggling to keep from going over the edge with the major inconvenience of having to deal with all these bottles of water.  The way things are done on a routine basis is all turned around.  I tried to enter this latest life challenge as a new adventure, but I am getting to the point where I can't fool my mind into thinking this is an adventure.  In reality it is a major hassle that is getting on my last nerve.

So . . . maybe I should prepare a bowl of popcorn to combat the blues!

Seriously, the following post includes some awesome methods for handling those stressful times in life.  Wish I would have run into this post before I started teetering on the edge!

Originally published on January 18, 2008

On the path to my quest for happiness, the best thing I did for myself was take the time to figure out what I was doing WRONG in my life since it seemed like I continued to spiral out of control time and time again. Yes, I have also had to deal with the death of my spouse, but I was not handling life well at all . . . and I know I will continue to stumble here and there because it is human nature. The difference is that I understand myself better and the way I handle difficulties.

I ran across an article that touches on a lot of what I have discovered in this year of self-awareness and I thought it was worth sharing with others having a difficult time with stress, depression or even a mild case of the blues . . .

Feeling good physically works on the mind too . . . exercise does help combat depression or a case of "the blues" . . . and here are some other psychological strategies that help us attain that peace within.

Feed your "brain" with low calorie foods with lots of crunch, like apples, carrots and celery . . . I eat a bowl of popcorn every day just because it is one of my addictions. Through the years, I have learned how to make a healthy version with a microwave popcorn popper . . . I never used the bagged microwave popcorn since I want to control what goes into it. It fools the brain and works as a release that helps deflect the binge of "stress-eating".

It is important to not use food to bring comfort, remember that it's mainly a source of fuel. An extra slice of cake won't solve anything . . . it will just make you feel guilty later. This is the one that I was really guilty of since I quit smoking last year and had to deal with that too . . . and the desire to eat everything in sight. Finally . . . I can say I have a handle on this too.

Avoid excessive stimulants like caffeine or guarana . . . I prefer not to practice what I preach with this one . . . although I have started substituing hot tea instead of drinking coffee every day, all day . . . and I have cut down the amount I take in each day . . . but I must have my caffeine!

Breathe right . . . Slow it down . . . allow your diaphragm to fully contract, feel the breath through your entire lungs, breathe out and exhale the air completely. When I feel stress starting to creep in, I take a time out, clear my mind and breathe . . . I close my eyes and envision the waves crashing onto the ocean and the sound it makes. When I have serious time . . . I have a CD of ocean sounds that is supposed to help with sleep, and it helps on those days I need to free my mind since I am such an intensive thinker that lets the stress creep in.

Everyone has their way of letting off steam . . . discover yours and recognize when you need to take a time out before the stress gets too out of control. My greatest stress reliever is energetic music and dancing . . . for others it is a hot steamy shower or a soak in a hot bubble bath in candlelight . . . discover the way that works for you and change the quality of your life. No sense running around stressed out if you can find a way to free your mind from it.

Do you feel yourself making the same mistakes over and over again? The most important thing I did for myself last year was invest time in myself . . . self-knowledge . . . recognizing patterns and understanding why. To break the mold, step out of the story to review it from an outsider's perspective . . . I've done that by blogging about the journey into my new life. Give yourself a reality-check to find the root of the problem and re-evaluating the situation. Although I know it didn't seem like it, I have really listened to the feedback and comments I received from my friends and have slowly made incremental changes.

Whatever you do, be true to yourself . . . take the HONEST approach with an open mind, finding negative characteristics about yourself is just part of the journey to finding your authentic self and making those changes that are necessary to stop the vicious cycle. Listen to what others have to say with an open mind . . . someone may say the one thing that clicks for you and makes a huge difference in your perspective.

Free your mind . . . and the rest will follow!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The changing ocean tides

Oh, mirror in the sky

What is love

Can the child within my heart rise above

Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides

Can I handle the seasons of my life

lyrics from
Landslide (Barkan Ottaviano Remix) - Fleetwood Mac

Lately I've been on a quest to consolidate all of my personal journals and blogs into this one blog.  It is interesting (to say the least) to go back and see how the mirror in the sky has reflected the changes in my life since I became a widow.  From that day up to present day, happily married to The Captain, life has taken me on quite a journey.

In the past day or so, I've been pouring over my journals at the five year mark of widowhood . . . late 2007/early 2008.  The frustration with myself was intense and changed frequently.  I perceive this phase as my time of awakening.  The anxiety of it all was confusing to the point of feeling like I was about to lose my mind.  The irony is it may have been one of the sanest times of my life.

2008 was the year I finally got a real job after being a retailer for over a decade.  My online stores went from being extremely prosperous to costing me money almost overnight when the economy tanked.  

For the first time since I moved away from my parents' home, I had to worry about money and survival.  Getting a real job meant failure to me since I had finally escaped it after working in the corporate world for so long.  I was no longer my own boss . . . I had lost the freedom that was so precious to me.

The two posts that follow span a few months and opposite perceptions of life, accentuating the confusing times I went through in this phase, knowing I had to make drastic changes that were freaking me out.

I do not consider myself "normal" yet, but I have moved on with my life into a new phase, no longer confused.  I've already been there and done that.  The changes yet to be made includes a partner to help me through the changing tides that guide us into yet another phase of life.

Originally posted on January 5, 2008

The strange thing about life changes is our attitude and perception of them which in turn affects how we handle them and what our reactions are during different phases of life changes.

The following entry was written a few months ago, but my way of thinking has changed in just that short time. Now I see my future as an adventure and don't hate my life as it is. What is so exciting about what I see now is that my possibilities are endless, rather than hopeless.

The sky is the limit . . . my life can be whatever I want it to be.
What an exciting thought to begin the new year with.

Originally posted on September 28, 2007

The beautiful voice of Stevie Nicks . . . one of my favorite female singers . . . a timeless beauty and an inspiration that we can age gracefully. This has also been one of my favorite songs and I adore this remix version. For some reason, I've wanted to hear it over and over again this morning

Maybe it is the featured lyrics that haunt me and have got me to thinking. Changes are a part of life . . . I've never liked changes. I'm the type of person who likes to put my roots down and incrementally perfect my reality, but not drastically change it.

Having said that, I have gone through so many changes in my life and made it through all of them. In retrospect, it seems to me like all the changes in my life have been good ones. I've learned from all of them and I've handled the seasons of my life quite nicely . . . and yes, times have made me bolder and stronger. But JR was by my side when I made those changes, I wasn't alone. It doesn't feel that way at the time though, I'm alone and all of a sudden making changes is scary. Even the little ones.

The recent changes have been many . . . five years has seemed like a lifetime that stood still, but they haven't. When I see my reflection, I don't like what I see and I need to make drastic changes. For the first time in my life, I have so much confusion. I don't like the reflection of an indecisive woman, I'm a decisive person by nature. Is it depression or whatever label "it" is given . . . that strange feeling?

I'm normally one of those people who knows what they want . . . and I'm very detail oriented . . . my dreams have always been in details. But JR's death was such a shock to my system, it knocked me down so hard and even though I've gotten up and fallen down several times already, I'm still feeling strong, but so confused. I still don't know what I want out of life. My life was set, everything was determined in details . . . it included my partner. I was so happy, I never wanted anything to change, our lives were as perfect as life can get.

I keep climbing that mountain and turn around . . . I took my love, took it down . . . God forgive me, but I'm hating my life this morning. I feel so out of control while feeling strong and bold . . . honestly I don't know what I want and it is hard to move forward in this state. The constant theme of my writings have been that I am one of life's contradictions . . . all things at once and they are all having a battle to win.

Will the landslide bring me down before I can
 sail through the changing ocean tides? 

Time will tell . . .

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Back To You

Like a star that guides a ship across the ocean
that's how your love
will take me home back to you
And if I wish upon that star
someday I'll be where you are
I know that day is coming soon
I'm coming back to you.

lyrics from the song
Back to You/Bryan Adams

Originally posted on Yahoo 360
September 29, 2007
comments included at the end of this post

What if we could go back and look into the eyes of someone you love who has passed and tell them how much you love and miss them, spend time with them or just give them a big hug . . . fix those mistakes we made in life, go back and rewind immediately after we know we said the wrong thing and have the ability to say it again . . . the manipulation of life's outcomes. Rewind immediately after the lottery numbers are called and be the first one to get them right . . . we'd all be millionaires wouldn't we?

How about the love that got away? What if you could go back and do it all over again?

History would constantly evolve into whoever's concept of fixing what was wrong was achieved. What a crazy thought . . . the world would be far more out of control than it is now if outcomes could be changed and manipulated.

In my life, I've dealt with death starting at a very young age and I still don't deal with it well. Many of my friends were killed in automobile accidents and coming from a very large italian family with my grandparents each having at least ten brothers and sisters, I think I experienced more than the normal person. Then my grandmother who raised me and was actually more like my mom than my mom died at a very young age . . . well, my childlike thoughts wished that I could go to the place where I could visit those who had passed on who I loved so much. At the time, I didn't have much religion with just a vague concept of heaven, so death freaked me out.

I've since become a Christian as an adult and death does not freak me out as it did in my younger days . . . but when my husband passed away, the notion of time travel and visiting heaven has come to my mind quite often. I guess that happens when someone so close to you passes on suddenly without warning. You spend your life with this person and don't even get to say goodbye . . . what if you could? What if we had the ability to visit heaven, not a time travel thing where history would be constantly evolving and changing . . . just a visit to another time or another dimension like heaven.

Of course I would love to be the merchant in charge of all travel arrangements . . . would be a popular item on eBay . . . talk about difficulty in pricing an item or a service for something so priceless and worth more than all the money in the world . . . at least it would be to me. For now, I visit them in my dreams.

What do you think? For once, I would love to use it to win the lottery, not have to worry about survival and be able to help people with the money I win. What would you do with the powers of going back?

lol I know most of you probably think that I have really gone over the edge with this one . . .


(40 total)

If I could go back in time...I would have never left my Dad and my home state in search of adventure. Never have been able to connect closely with him again nor return to old friends or old places for more than a day or so.
Saturday September 29, 2007 - 11:11pm (EDT)

very thought provoking..... there are a few things that i would love to go back in time and re-do or at least re-think.....
the 2 most important one would be~
going back to october 31, 1987.. when nick was born 9 weeks premature...
to go back to sept of 2002 and stay by mum's bed when she was dying instead of leaving...
and going back to 1993 when we had that wicked fight that i just can't forgive her for............
excellent post gina....
Saturday September 29, 2007 - 11:18pm (EDT)

btw.. that was 3 not 2!! ok... now you have my mind reeling.... so i'm adding one more...
1984... i would'nt have gone to the bar after the boyfriend brokeup with me... that decision alone would have changed the whole course of my life.........
Saturday September 29, 2007 - 11:24pm (EDT)
If I could travel back in time and visit someone. It would be my grandmother (mom's mother) I miss her so much. She died of a brain tumor when I was 12. She told my Mom before she died Take care of Sherri she is my Heart. I wish my Son could have meat her. She didn't get to meat any of her great grandchildren. My Grandpa (Mom's Dad) Did though but not my child. She was the women that took the most time with me and she lived close about 10 minutes away. My Dad's parents lived in VA and we live in AL. I have made some mistakes in my life and even though I don't regret my son some of those mistakes probably wouldn't have been made if she had been alive! Hope you are having a great weekend!
Saturday September 29, 2007 - 10:29pm (CDT)

You going over the edge was the farthest thing from my mind Gina, excellent post, some many places and times I would like to be able to go back to.
Take good care,
Saturday September 29, 2007 - 08:40pm (PDT)

Great blog and great thoughts!!! It would be great to go back and see my father once again before he passed away. I was not by his bedside when he passed on and I have always regretted that day. Still hurts me to this day knowing that I was not a part of the last people he saw..

You have not gone over the edge on this one.. What you said really makes you think
Saturday September 29, 2007 - 09:28pm (PDT)
My mom alwasy told me that hind sight is 20/20. Actually--I know lots of people have said that LOL but it is true. I guess knowing we only have one chance to let people know that we care--all we really have is today---we just need to learn to make the most of each moment. But time travel would be fun! Hugs!!
Saturday September 29, 2007 - 11:29pm (CDT)

awwwwwww Jan . . . that is what the events of 9-11 did for my husband and I . . . we lived for each and every moment learning through the tragedy that life is so fragile, not knowing he only had a little over a year to live after that . . . although I didn't have a chance to say goodbye, thank God I have no regrets. Sometimes I think I was spared . . . what would I have said? Would can you say anyway? I'm in a pondering mood tonight ya'll!!

I only hope I am bringing back good memories . . . these are good memories for me when I think along these lines.

Great discussion!!
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 12:43am (EDT)
I never got to say goodbye to my dad who died on a heartback while away on vacation. If I could turn back time I´d insist he´d stay home and check into a hospital...if only...!
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 07:17am (CEST)

I would go visit my grandpa Abie in heaven and tell him how much I loved him and appreciated all the little things he did for me and how, 10 years later, I miss him and think about him everyday...
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 03:05am (EDT)

You're not over the edge yet. I think we all have been there, thought about that, too many times. I know I have.
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 08:26am (EDT)
So many small things that would make so much difference...I have a couple things I would do I guess. Thanks for making me think about the what ifs....
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 08:29am (EDT)
We should learn how to deal with death - our whole attitude towards it should be different. But it is not easy. You cannot accept not seeing again a person you love and care about. It is tough. But that's life and that's how it goes. Some people use religion to find strength, others use their logic...but everybody needs to move on.

As to the trips to heaven, I had a dream some years ago - I was in heaven, saw Virgin Mary and asked her to take me see all the relatives that were dead. And so she did. The dream was so real that I woke up and was wondering if I was dead or alive. But if you had a travel agency arranging trips to heaven I wouldn't be a client Gina. It would be really hard for me to say goodbye to someone for the second time. I'll have to wait till the day that I'll go there to stay.

Travels back and forth into time would be a mess girlfriend! ;)
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 02:32pm (CEST)

Hmmm. Time travel. If I could go back just the once, I would take my parents aside and tel them how important I was as a child. No matter what was happening to them. Of course, this would be no guarantie of change.
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 10:12am (CDT)

I dont know about this one!!! if I could travel back I dont know if I would have gotten married so young and maybe traveled and went to college right then.But see if I would change time then I wouldnt have my kids or I wouldnt have met Tim and those are the bright spots in my life. Certain things I would!!! too bad we couldnt do that!!! have a good day dear Gina!! going to rest now.
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 11:20am (EDT)

I would rather travel forward in time, to see whats to come rather than go back. I've seen the past, yeah I miss ppl that have died but if we really could travel in time I rather go where I havent been than to where I have.
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 11:31am (EDT)

This isn't a crazy idea at all Gina. Although I wouldn't want to be able to change the past, (how messed up would the world be then. Not a good thought..... ) But to be able to travel back abd visit people and events, like watching it as a movie maybe, would be so comforting and special. What a thought provoking post you've done. It brought back some good memories, thanks. :)
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 11:56am (EDT)

sometimes Humanity looses too much of today, because they are so busy feeling guilty about yesterday or worrying about tomorrow. yesterday is gone. tomorrow is but a dream. there is only today. and absolutely everything happens the way it needs to and for a reason. mistakes and all, i would not change a single thing. i have no regrets. ; D
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 12:01pm (EDT)

p.s.....i do not think you've gone over the edge at all. the whole concept of time travel is really awesome, but how to do it without altering things that should not be altered? aye, there's the rub!
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 12:29pm (EDT)

If I could go back in time, there are many things I would change. Too many to list! LOL
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 02:00pm (EDT)
Very thought provoking. I would like to say I would go back and not repeat the same mistakes I made, but I would just make others so what would really change? It's almost impossible to select a time to go back to. There are many times and people I would like to visit in order to learn about my heritage. I have done some genealogy and discovered some interesting facts. I guess the person I would most like to see again would be my maternal grandmother. She was a peach.
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 11:00am (PDT)
My favorite movie is Somewhere In Time. It's such a beautiful story and it takes place on one of the most beautiful places here in Michigan.

I had an extremely large family on my father's side and went to a lot of funerals when I was young. I guess I never really thought about that till just now. My son, at 15, just went to his first funeral when my MIL passed away. By 15 I had already been to at least 20 funerals.

I am trying to think about where I would like to visit again and the only things I can really come up with is the birth of my children and to see my great-grandma again.

Great subject!
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 04:09pm (EDT)
I like the idea of knowing what the lottery numbers would be, not really for myself, but to set up my children and make their lives a little bit easier. I don't think I need time travel to visit heaven, I think we carry our lost loved ones around in our hearts, I tell them there, things I should have said before they left and one day I will be there to hug them again.

This is a very nice blog Gina, and very thought provoking.
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 04:28pm (CDT)

I think it would break my heart even more having to say goodbye again..I hope that they know..and can see, it is always so hard on those left behind..this life is a twinkling of the eye..and soon enough we will all be together again. :)
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 06:36pm (EDT)

I think about going back in time alot. But usually it's to witness historical events. But if I could go back now, I'd go back about six months and talk to a certain person a lot more than I did. God bless.
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 04:08pm (PDT)
I would go back 24 1/2 years and tell the earlier me to run from that blonde as fast as you can. Is that selfish?
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 07:23pm (EDT)

So you want specifics? Two things come to mind, To follow Jesus during His ministry, and to tag along with the Corps of Discovery with Lewis and Clark and see the Indian culture in it's prime and relatively untouched.
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 04:55pm (PDT)

To go back to a historic time . . . I'd love to go back to the times of Cleopatra in Egypt or go back to the wild west days of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid . . .
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 07:59pm (EDT)

i am not so sure i'd want to go back, even to relive the good times... although there aren't all that many, and they are just moments, not periods... interesting thought... a few decisions different, and i might not be single and clueless about women, but this is what i have, lol...
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 09:29pm (EDT)

I love Bryan Adams. Oh Gina...I feel for you. I would love to go back in time knowing what I know now. Live my life over and not make the same mistakes I have made in the past. If only!!!
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 07:18pm (PDT)

I'd like to go back to sneak up & smack myself in the back of the head just as I'm about to do something particularly stupid or hurtful.

After that selfish indulgence, I'd have to think about preventing murders and acts of terror. Then there's a spate of musicians one could protect from themselves or air accidents. Oh, my.

Unconditional Love!
Sunday September 30, 2007 - 08:51pm (MDT)
I don't think you have gone over the edge at all, I sometimes wonder the same thing, I'd love to go back and hug my Dad and get to know my Grandmother better, ask her so much about her childhood, when she lived in Scotland and why she came over to Canada all by herself as a young girl. I understand you and your reasons for wanting to go there ((Hugs))
Monday October 1, 2007 - 12:09am (ADT)
my past is riddled with mistakes and bad judgements and missed opportunities. as a young'un i seemed to stumble from one crisis to the next. the problem is, though, that if went back in time i would still be the same young person i used to be with the same personality flaws and bad judgement and insecurity.i am sure that i would make the same mistakes, and have to live through all that again. shudder! no thanks!
as for going back in time to a part of history? nuh. lower life expectancy and less rights for women. no way.
could i go back and make the world a better place by stepping in at a crucial time and preventing a disastrous action from taking place (like thwarting an assasination)? the trouble is - i am a bit of a cynic. while i was doing one good thing in one part of the world you can rely on human nature to step in and provide an equally bad thing to replace the bad thing that i had thwarted. make sense? no? thought not...
Monday October 1, 2007 - 06:17pm (EST)
i do have some things i wish i'd done differently, but then i look at where i am today and have to wonder if i changed any aspect of my past if my present also would change.. so.. nothing.. i'd not change a thing.. excellent question for blogging.. it's always interesting to see the different responses to this kind of question
Monday October 1, 2007 - 07:12am (PDT)

Actually, what you say makes complete sense. Paradox is one of the reasons I'd think about it. It might seem like a good thing to give a shooter a shove, or more, but one never knows.

Still trying to decide what I'd hit my earlier self with.

Unconditional Love!
Monday October 1, 2007 - 08:13am (MDT)
Well technically time travel is possible, but it can only be counted in nano seconds, not much cop for mending a broken heart really.

To be honest I'd risk blowing the whole space/time continuum apart for the chance to take away some of the damage I've done in the past. That sounds selfish, but it's not my heart I want to mend.
Monday October 1, 2007 - 06:08pm (BST)

If I could time travel it would be back to 1984..ahhh love love
Monday October 1, 2007 - 07:15pm (PDT)

Finally I am able to post here.... I have been trying for the last 2 days to get to my friends blogs!

I too have experienced loss from a very young age. Far sooner than I should have been dealing with that and I have played with this question myself many times. I think I would struggle to turn the clock back if I couldn't keep the person with me, it would break my heart to let them go again but there are things I wish I could say to them about what was left unsaid and should have been said! I like to think they know. I have sat down and talked with that person and explained.... I know it is not the same as having them here looking them in the eye. Some days I want to rewind the clock, other days I am not sure I can deal with what that means!

Yes with all that rewinding I wonder how it will change the future and what I would miss out on because I had turned the clock back. Would I have met my husband...., would I have had children, would I still be alive.... The questions go on to infinity and beyond. The reality is very frightening either way really!
Tuesday October 2, 2007 - 08:29am (GST)
The expression of loss... is an expression of love. The physics of time is a constant.. the mind can excape constraints... the beautiful place of emotions.. feelings...saying goodbye may have no meaning.. saying hello is like life anew.... the philosophical thoughts expressed here are all entwined a few strands or all.. for this moment... with goodnights and goodmornings..... love the colours Gina.. hello all from Ralph G.
Tuesday October 2, 2007 - 03:12am (PDT)
my mother died when she was 39 and I was 21, I was out of town when she passed so I did not get to see her and tell her how much I loved adored and respected and needed her. that is my one main regret in life. I didn't get to say good bye to my mother. I love you mom.
Tuesday October 2, 2007 - 04:33am (PDT)

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Friends and the comfort zone

Kindness in your eyes

I guess you heard me cry

You smiled at me

Like Jesus to a child

I'm blessed I know

Heaven sent and heaven stole

You smiled at me like

Jesus to a child

And what have I learned

From all this pain

I thought I'd never feel the same

About anyone or anything again

But now I know

Lyrics from the song
George Michael - Jesus to a Child

The following post was written in 2007, back in the day when Yahoo 360 was a popular place and a really tight community for bloggers . . . we were there for each other through good and bad times.

After reading this post again after a long time has passed, I realized that in those days, my blogging friends and computer were my comfort zone within the larger comfort zone of my home where I didn't feel like a freak of nature.

I haven't read this post in quite some time and the comments and the people behind those comments also made me realize so many things.  Real friends don't have to be friends you have known in your real life for many years . . . my "friends without faces" as I have referred to them in the past were more of a friend to me than those who had been in my real life a long time.  I'm so glad I saved those comments with the posts . . . you can see how awesome and important these people were in my life at that time.  It makes me sad that Yahoo decided to pull the plug on the blogging community and many of us lost touch with each other.  Many are still my blogging friends!  One of them recently passed away and I mourned for her and cried as if I knew her in real life, but I probably knew her better than I would have in real life.

One of the themes of this post is a social disorder that I was afflicted with and still struggle with at times . . . agoraphobia.  I was surprised to find that I was not alone in my lonely world as a result.

Thank God I have progressed way past those emotions I had to deal with and get through to get where I am today.  It was like learning to walk all over again . . . by the way, my husband was once one of those "friends without faces" in my life.  Isn't the internet wonderful?

September 9, 2007

comments from my original entry follow this entry

Into how little space can a soul be crushed?

Some days are better than others, but for the longest time I've felt like my spirit has been broken, sometimes feeling crushed beyond hope . . . but I know better.

Life circumstances sometimes bring reactions that we aren't always proud of in a weakened state, but there nonetheless. My demon is agoraphobia . . . a nice way to describe it is to say that I strongly dislike leaving the comfort of my home.

People from all walks of life are afflicted with this phobia that is a most misunderstood condition, unless you have gone through the experience, it is very difficult to comprehend how someone who is otherwise quite "normal" has a problem walking out the door.

My doctor gave it a name . . . social anxiety disorder. I don't agree with her diagnosis. While I don't enjoy being a social butterfly and am naturally a laid back type of person, when confronted with social situations, I am fine. I don't freak out around people . . . in fact I find myself starting conversations in the grocery checkout line and rarely find myself without something to say around people. My past employment constantly threw me into social situations and dealing with people non-stop . . . and I excelled at what I did.

I just prefer being in the comfort of my home, not necessarily alone, but very picky about who I spend time with. It is not a fear of open spaces which is how agoraphobics are usually described. And I can leave if I absolutely have to . . . with me, it is not total paralysis in the situation.

Friends have let me down and have hurt me since JR passed away. My mom warned me that my "friend status" would change real quick as a widow . . . she went through it when my dad passed away. Every word she said was true. Every single one of my friendships changed in one way or another. As the saying goes, you find out who your friends are in times of need and bad circumstances.

All of the above, along with the need to analyze my life, think about what I really want and need, who I want in my life, what I want to do with my life, what makes me happy . . . it leaves me preoccupied most of the time . . . thinking, thinking, thinking . . . WAY TOO MUCH!

As a result, I have shut people out of my life . . . I'd rather be alone. I'd rather not be bothered by hypocracy . . . maybe it is not a healthy way to look at it, but for me it is the reality of how it is.

The feeling of being perpetually lonely, even in a crowd of people is my reality . . . so my 360 friendships have become special beyond explanation since I'm not lonely when I'm online. I don't have to be lonely because my online friendships give me exactly what I need at this time in my life. No longer do I feel alone.

Although it has been five years since JR died, it does not feel abnormal to need this time for self-analysis and figuring out what I want for my life.

Apparently, I'm in good company. This line of thinking started last week, when Paula Deen, one of the Food Network stars was on Larry King's show. Here is her story:

Agoraphobia with panic attacks. In her early 20's, Paula Deen began experiencing symptoms of agoraphobia after a number of major stressful events. Eventually, she became homebound. "After we moved into an apartment, I began to feel safe only within the walls of our home. It wasn't long before I stopped doing anything that required me leave the house. I was a prisoner. Even the very thought of having to leave this safety zone drove me into a horrible panic attack." After the family moved to another city, Deen found herself so panicky that she couldn't leave her bed. She eventually worked her way out of it without therapy or medication.

Kim Basinger about her bout with agoraphobia . . . "I've had my downs, but with a little faith and a big sense of humor, you can get though them. It's truly a gift to visit the bottom because then you know how much to appreciate coming out of that and not wanting to go back there. There's a great lesson to learn on the other side of the tunnel, and you really come out stronger."
In spite of the severity of her condition at times, Basinger leads a successful acting career, which includes an Academy Award. And that poor woman had to put up with Alec Baldwin who no doubt made a bad situation unbearable.

Clay Aiken, pop singer and former American Idol contestant, began experiencing panic attacks after the death of his stepfather. The attacks increased during Aiken's quick rise to fame, particularly when he had to make a public appearance. After trying a number of medications, Aiken has found Paxil to be helpful in managing the attacks.

Drew Barrymore long has been open about her personal struggles and publicly turned her life and career around after overcoming drug and alcohol addiction as a teen. In 2006, Barrymore opened up about her recent experiences with panic attacks and why she will not take medications to deal with them.

Donny Osmond . . . although he has been in front of the camera his entire life, he spent many years feeling anxious about it. The anxiety reached its peak in  1997 when Osmond was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. With professional help, Osmond learned to manage the disorder and is doing better than ever.

As I stand at another crossroads of my life, I need to make money and survive . . . either re-open the online stores, get a real job or a combination of both. Fear of failure in the workplace paralyzes me since I have a problem with insomnia combined with being agoraphobic. Failure crushes me . . . it is the one thing that will bring me down and keep me down and it absolutely can't happen. This I absolutely know about myself.

Please keep me in your prayers . . . it is time for me to make a definitive move towards my immediate future . . . I need to move from survival mode to a real life . . . the time is near . . .

If you feel lost or discontent within your life, not comfortable in your skin . . . the lifestyle of Simple Abundance, being grateful for the simple things in life may be what you need. The books I am using in the journey to my new life are listed on my book list. They are really helping me find my way . . .

Comments from my original Yahoo 360 entry

(33 total)

I too am where you are. I love people and going out but I rarely do anymore. Im more comfy in my home. I will have to get back to work soon ....when I get up to Oregon an hope to open a shop on my own property. Not because Im afraid of leaving my home tho. Im getting old and I look at that as being practical. My eyes are going and I cant see great to drive at nite and if my business is at home I wont have to drive much. But I dont want to leave home either. Im not afraid of new things or people, Im pretty brazen when it comes to all that. But there are so many people here in CA now....traffic everywhere and rude nasty people who let their kids run amok in the stores. I dont want to be out there with them. Its quiet and peaceful here. Yes I have neighbors that drive me nuts here too but thats why I want land up in Oregon. I think this world has just become way too stressful for many of us. Home is a santuary of sorts. You see it in magazines too.....everyone is nesting these days. Life is too much, and everything is too expensive and home seems to be the only happy place.
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 03:29pm (PDT)
when life altering events happen it changes us to the core! Finding the strength to stand and try again can be difficult. I wish strength to you! Be strong. Let's get out there and live life again!
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 06:32pm (EDT)
I remember when I first became a widow..its been 6 1/2 yrs...Sorry to say I still can not go out and eat alone, go to the movies alone. I remember the first Christmas I was invited to a party and I did not go mainly because I felt like odd man out even tho the person who invited me was the biggest help for me when my husband was killed..Another time I was told I wasn't invited because as u know tables are set to an even amt.. and the person told me that it would throw the table off...funny that now seems a harsh thing for her to say but at the time I was in a cloud and it did not bother me since I would not have gone anyway... Also there are times when if u do go to a party the other spouse's wives are in fear that u may take their spouse away...In a way I am glad I met Eric it felt good to go out again and do things w/.someone I cared about..But he who has been single all his life is use to doing things by himself.. My daughters are the same.. Guess I lack the courage..I would rather stay w/in my comfort zone even tho at times it does get to me...
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 03:36pm (PDT)
my prayers and thought are with you my sis. Gina? U are one hella beautiful creature on god's eyes and mine. U have so much to say and lots of courage to will. I have always admired your ability to possess ur raw feelings and write them sis. did I tell u that? I been sorta sitting on the side waiting on you and hoping we can connect our senses stronger, here i am. U know im here, i at times is loss without you like loss puppy but letting you do what u need to do. Home is where you make it and i know that its been hard times for you, sis we talked i remember. And i had to deal with both 'panic attacks' and 'social anxiety' and its sucks for me. I had to take various meds to reds. Paxil, ativan, etc but for me they just sucked the energy out of me and was depending on the shots too for relief until i learned to deal with them. no way out for me on that thing..i love you Gina, u my chica sis...hugs luv and with you peace and tranquiility...we need each other for sure...
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 03:40pm (PDT)
I've never walked in your shoes so I can't say I know how you feel. But I have had life altering experiences that caused me depression, anxiety and insomnia. Know that you have friends here, many of whom have experienced widowhood. It must be especially difficult when you are widowed at a younger age, when it is least expected.

I hope you can work through your fears and loneliness. Therapy and medication can help but it sometimes takes a while to find the therapist and medication that is right for you.

I'm glad we can be here for you. Hugs.
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 06:44pm (EDT)
There's nothing wrong with being a homebody. That is where a person's heart of hearts resides, it's their base or castle. It's where everything will be within your control (for the most part). When you go out into the world, it seems like you always meet the element of chaos or that which you can't control. For a lot of people, me included, that is scary.
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 06:59pm (EDT)
Yes Gina...I have never exactly been in your shoes either, but i have had many things in my life that have caused depression, insomnia and anxiety. I feel for you in your situation very deeply. But you sound as though you have turned a corner, even in your blog the other day about getting out and working in the garden. Life takes us on strange paths at times and for some reason you are meant to be on this one and now turning a corner. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. That's the exciting thing about life.

And you obviously have many wonderful friends here to help you move forward now.
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 04:07pm (PDT)
Hugs wish we could both be better!
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 06:07pm (CDT)

*hug* Gina.
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 06:32pm (CDT)
i can relate ((hugs))
my prayers are with you
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 06:45pm (CDT)
Thanks!!! I needed to talk about this problem and I know I'm not the only one who has it . . . another reason to talk about it and bring up the famous people who also have to deal with it at times.

I also wanted to let you guys know how much I appreciate you and what your friendship means to me. I'm no longer lonely . . . thank you!!
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 07:52pm (EDT)
Sorry about the blank comments...please delete them. I haven't been in your shoes with losing a spouse. However, I do feel more comfortable at home than anywhere. I have suffered with bouts of depression and I can relate there. Take it in baby what's comfortable for you. Maybe try each day getting out and doing something...even if it's as simple as going for a walk or to the store. Then tackle the bigger things. There are days where I never leave the house, and if I do it's only because I have to and then I come right back home...YEP, I'm a homebody and I like it that way. But I do enjoy going out when I feel up to it. It has to be with the right people and the right place. Take your time you will get more and more comfortable the more you do.
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 06:57pm (CDT)
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 04:59pm (PDT)
It is amazing how people change..when I was separated from my husband I lost most of my friends..they just don't feel comfortable I best friends are still my best friends..I sometimes feel paralyzed when I need to do things that are overwhelming..I just can't..and eventually it passes and I am able to..I have this saying feel the fear and do it is the fear of failure..not failure itself that keeps us from doing what we need to do...I think it is the unknown..the fear of rejection..not being able to make it..but what option is there except to try..and try again..I wish you well Gina..and I am sorry about the loss of your husband...I know it has been five years..but a loss is not soon forgotten..HUGS :)
Sunday September 9, 2007 - 10:30pm (EDT)
I often feel like you do but not for the same reason. We move so much I find it easier sometimes to just learn to enjoy my own company and past times and stay at home....

My Dad died 23 years ago and my Mom still talks sometimes of how things changed for her socially and how she had to get used to her new status as a widow and "re-invent" herself in thst role so to speak. I think what you are dealing with is a very normal part of what has happened to you and agrophobia is a strong word. I think is about coming to terms with how you now have to see yourself as well as how your friends now see you. Hopefully in time things will settle. It is a very scary world out there and you are very brave to deal with it the way you are. I take my hat off to you. I watched my Mom go through similar when I was 17 and she was 46 and it is NOT easy. You are one brave lady!
Monday September 10, 2007 - 11:48am (GST)

Chris . . . you know what I mean about the friends!! It is like you are weirdness itself and being around you freaks them out, maybe they don't know what to say or do . . . as if what happened to you will happen to them. Yeah, all of a sudden you are not a married lady like they are . . . you are a single lady . . . a threat? hmmmm I also can't go out to a movie alone, but on occasion I can go to a restaurant alone . . . that is when I can talk myself into getting out of the house and seeing the world out there!

You are very lucky to have found love again . . . congratulations!!! I have not lost hope and never will . . .
Thanks Scatt . . . my agoraphobia is not severe as I can sometimes come and go with no problem, but then all of a sudden, it is a bad problem, but soon passes. It is not a chronic problem, thank God. However, I have been going through one of those bad times off and on for the past couple of weeks. hmmmm you are right, it is a reinventing of yourself, it is a difficult thing for creatures of habit.

Gin . . . fear of failure paralyzes me . . . I think moreso than the agoraphobia, or maybe that is the root cause of it, as far as going back to work goes.

Shirley, Terri, GG, Carolyn, Dave, NS . . . I'm just so grateful to have friends that are here for me, unlike the ones in real life who just got so weird with me. Just laughing and crying with you guys, sharing the good and the bad is special to me. Thanks for being there.

Kim and Danielle . . . thanks . . . I needed the hugs!!
Monday September 10, 2007 - 04:02am (EDT)
Gina, I can totally relate to what you are going through. I´m also at a crossroad of life, decisions have to be made concerning work and my career which is on hold and has been for a couple of years. The necessety to go out and make money is really a hard one on me, as I also envision ym home to be my comfort zone. I´d love to work out of my house but don´t think that could happen.
Also very true what you said about beeing a widow and finding out about friends; my mom experienced some pretty hurtful things after my father passed away.
Keep your head up, Gina, and keep doing what you are doing :)
Monday September 10, 2007 - 10:44am (CEST)
oops poor spelling (or poor typing I shall say), sorry...necessity, of course!
Monday September 10, 2007 - 10:46am (CEST)
This post shows that when one thinks they are the only one going through a struggle, it is so not so . . . everyone has some type of struggle. I didn't realize the comfort zone thing was as common as it seems to be from your comments. Very interesting. Here I was thinking I was so weird and bizarre . . . but sometimes the problem is a real problem when I have a difficult time leaving and need to . . .

Katja, I'm beginning to think that a widow is seen as some kind of a threat to society . . . like I said before . . . as if what happened to you will happen to them . . . a generic fear that no one realizes they have within themselves until confronted it with a friend it has happened to. And they run . . .

I was thinking about what seanymph said . . . and I also think that the state of crime in our society has a lot to do with it too. Myself, I am petrified of even the parking lot at the grocery store and the mall parking lot terrifies me because of the regularity of women getting abducted. I try to run all my errands once a week with my mom so neither of us has to do it alone.

This is an awesome discussion!

Monday September 10, 2007 - 07:12am (EDT)
I battled depression during my marriage after my second miscarriage and my then husband was an insensitive jerk. It takes time, go at your own pace because if someone tries to push you out of your comfort zone you'll actually lose progress (been there done that).
In some ways getting divorced and becoming single is similar to the changes you experience with losing your spouse. The change from having someone to go see movies with, dinners etc isn't the same anymore. The married couples look at you askance and wonder if their marriage is going to be the next one to crumble or if their spouse is looking at you differently since you're single again and the list can go on and on. I had one woman friend tell me she didn't want me around anymore because she was afraid that I would steal her husband. The irony of that is she lost him to her then best friend. She was looking in the wrong direction. Live and Learn thats all we can do.I hope you find the solace, answers and peace you need in order to move forward in your life. You know whats best for you, not everyone else.
Monday September 10, 2007 - 08:30am (CDT)
There is a saying that I use for my blast on occasion. It says " Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle." I think it applies to all of us. Great discussion Gina, you have some awesome friends here with great advise. This is a great medium to let things out. Hugs~
Monday September 10, 2007 - 08:47am (CDT)
Yes Terri, we are all fighting some type of demon and I believe our attitude has everything to do with how we get through it. There are times that my dark side takes over and my progress takes steps backwards, but part of the process is recognizing that dark side and turning the attitude around.

Minx, depression can manifest itself for many reasons (and sometimes for no apparent reason) and those around us, as well as ourselves determines how we work our way out of that dark place. You are so right about doing things in your own time. My mom and I were having a really bad time a couple weeks ago and some of it was about a total lack of understanding, the "get over it" attitude. Sometimes you just can't get over something or able to handle something because the time is not right for you, no matter how the situation looks to someone else looking in. Of course, one must continually try to work your way out of struggles . . . continual improvement at a natural pace will provide the lasting solution, in my opinion.
Monday September 10, 2007 - 01:01pm (EDT)

Thanks for Sharing I will keep you in my prayers. I knew a women who had bad problems with leaving the house and she used to come in to the grocery store that I worked in to shop and the only way that she could get through the store was to talk to someone she knew that would help talk her through the sotre. Love ya and will talk later!
Monday September 10, 2007 - 01:52pm (CDT)
Guess what? I have had panic attacks for 20 years which got worse after guess what? September 11th. I saw the first tower go down with my own two eyes, heard the sirens of firetrucks, police cars, and ambulances all day long, breathed in that noxious air for days to follow, and basically lived in a state of anxiety and depression for months afterward. In January of this year I was diagnosed with panic disorder. Thankfully, with some therapy and Vitamin Z (zoloft), I have not had a panic attack in almost six months. Gotta love those drugs ... lol.
Monday September 10, 2007 - 09:46pm (EDT)
OMG Marie . . . that would be enough to put me away. The whole thing traumatized me anyway as I watched in horror as the second plane slammed into the other tower. It freaked me out. I can't imagine seeing it right in front of me, hearing the sounds, smelling the smells, experiencing the horror of darkening around me as the black clouds hovered as the towers came down. I often wondered what it was like to actually be there. You should write in your blog about the experience, it could be very therapeutic for you to put your feelings into words.

Thanks loveangel . . . one can never have enough prayers!! I am ok once I am out, you would never guess I have a problem if you met me while I'm out. It is getting myself out the door, I really have to go into a motivational thing and plan for my outings.

I've even tried to play tricks with myself. Don't laugh ya'll . . . I love my coffee and I usually drink it day and night . . . but I must have the flavored coffee cream, I got used to drinking it that way and I am now spoiled. Sometimes when I am in my "brave mode" and go to the grocery store, I will just buy one or two bottles so I will have to leave the house again to buy the coffee creamer. Well, in my bad days, not even doing without coffee will get me out of the house to buy more creamer. I just switch over to hot tea. Now I make sure I have lots of everything I need just in case I have a panic attack and can't leave.

It is like preparing for a hurricane . . .
Monday September 10, 2007 - 10:09pm (EDT)
G, I just can't talk about my experience on 9/11 anymore. Besides, there are so many people out there that either lost someone that day or had much more traumatic experiences than I did. I spent my day today trying not to think about that day, I did not go down to the promenade to see the hole in the NYC skyline as I do this time every year, and I spent my evening watching pug videos on YouTube. I will never forget that day but I just can't keep reliving it... xoxoxo
Tuesday September 11, 2007 - 08:41pm (EDT)
Hi, After reading your post about following your dreams and leaving a comment, I wanted to read more and came to this post. Wow. I went through the same thing. The agoraphobia, anxiety, having to go back out into the world, I isolated myself for a long, LONG time. I'm sorry to learn that you lost your husband. I can't imagine that, I've never been married. I can't write about these things as well as you can. Thanks for posting these and big hug.
Saturday September 15, 2007 - 07:21pm (PDT)

oh, I just wanted to share too, the turning point for me, to actually leave my room after years and go out in the world, came when I became more afraid of what would happen if I didn't do it, than if I did. Godspeed, Gina.
Saturday September 15, 2007 - 07:33pm (PDT)

Oh G - I am sitting here with a box of tissues - not because I feel sorry for you - that's not what I feel - My heart goes out to you for your pain - I know of it quite well but there is a big difference in our circumstances although the feeling we have is the same. I sometimes wish mine was due to a passing - it was only compounded by the passing of my father a little more than a month ago. I too love the comfort of my home - I do venture out - but I a homebody. It started long before I could even walk & escalated over time but it really surfaced when on 2000 I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer - Yes I am a Survivor - but during that year of fighting this horrible disease my ex husband tells me he is not in love with me. I was crushed to pieces. For the next 5 years I tried every in my power to make my marriage work - it didn't - We sold the house & I packed up & moved from New York to Arkansas in 2006. I could not enjoy the feel of my new home - I was grieving for my failed marriage I felt like a failure - I sometimes think it would have been easier if I was grieving a death. It has been a lonely road here - luckily I have my family here & for the most part that is good. I had been on a few dates, even started to fall in love with someone. I was real new to this 360 thing so I had not explore all there is with it - I still haven't. In May we were told my father was dying and my mom asked that we please keep our emotions in check as she had enough to deal with with taking care of my dad. As much as I understood that I needed to cry to my mom & couldn't I cried in the shower. On 8-12 my dad passed away, the guy I was dating - I called him - He never came to hold me so I could cry I felt so alone I was alone 2 weeks later he sends me an e mail telling me he has gone back to an old girlfriend. I have to understand - he has been in love with her forever I wish him well. I have posted 3 blogs about my pain - Haunted - I give My Troubles To You, Let the Rain Come - Do you know that only 3 people have posted a comment I felt so isolated & alone until Picture Perfect came along - It just so happened that the week I got in the theme was TOGETHER - I posted a picture of the last dance my parents danced. I miss my dad, I miss my happiness - I like me a lot - I think I'm pretty funny but I am in a comfort zone too and here I was writing to you wanting to help you -It is about getting back to one's self & being true to yourself but right now my pain is deep too and I can't rise above it yet - I lost something when my dad died & lost a little more 2 weeks later. I love ya girl - I love your blogs I love your kitchen & your 80's music! Thanks for listening
Friday September 21, 2007 - 11:53pm (CDT)

First of all, congratulations on being a cancer survivor . . . shout it loud and be so proud for your courage in fighting the battle . . . many of my friends are fighting that battle.

Emotional pain is emotional pain no matter what circumstance brought any of us to the point of that pain . . . and I cried with you as you told your story. We all have our demons . . . some of us have more than others in differing degrees.

Losing anything important and close to our heart and soul takes something from us as a result of being a part of us . . . whether it be a mom, dad, spouse, child, family member, friend, pet . . . and the other forms of loss . . . divorce, loss of a job and personal failures, whether they are real or perceived . . . it doesn't matter what it is. I've determined it breaks our spirit and to what degree depends on the person and the circumstance.

I'm so sorry about your dad and equally as sorry about the jackass you have feelings for that is an insensitive jerk, his timing sucks.

I remember the picture you posted and I'm almost positive it was the first time I met you. The picture of your mom and dad so touched me and for some reason made me think of every family member who was so close to my heart who is now gone . . . there are many of them since both my grandparents had many brothers and sisters . . . we were a very close, italian family.

The grief you are dealing with is like an open wound, raw emotions that is sometimes very difficult to deal with since you are still adjusting to it. I don't know why, but dealing with those feelings will bring up every little thing that feels like loss from the past and you have to deal with them all over again. If you read my post about grief, I talked about the cycles of grief and how they come in waves over and over again. My grandmother who was more like my mom passed away when I was a young adult and it is still as if it was yesterday. The pain never goes away . . .

You tell the same story that I tell of continuously picking yourself up in spite of the obstacles that are thrown at you. Each time does make you stronger although at the time it feels like you just don't want to get up again. I think that is my great fear . . . staying there and not picking myself up anymore, but I know better. So do you!! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Thank you for sharing your story Ms. T . . . I love ya too . . .
Saturday September 22, 2007 - 04:15am (EDT)

Thank you Gina - I think what I was trying to say is as you put in your response to me - Yes we all have our pains & demons and we deal differently with them - some stem back from an early childhood. Because I was such a sensative child & could not explain myself without crying I stopped talking about my pains and emotions. I think by trying to be there for you I was also trying to help myself.

Saturday September 22, 2007 - 08:18am (CDT)

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1960's 1970's abuse abusive behavior acceptance accomplishment accomplishments acquaintances addiction adoration adversity affair affection afraid agoraphobia ambitions anger anticipation anxiety appreciation aspirations attitude attraction authenticity awareness bad behavior bad days bad times balance balance of life beginning behavior being alone Betsy blahs blessings bliss boredom buddy burnout Buster challenges chances change changes cheating cheech and chong chemistry choices christmas cigarettes comfort zone communication compassion confidence conflict confrontation confusion consequences consideration contemplation contentment control controversy coping Corinthians13 courage creativity crossroads cupid dating death deceit deception decision making defense mode denial depression desire desires destiny determination diet difficulties direction disagreements disappointment discipline dogs doubt drama queen dreams eBay economy ego emotional abuse emotional baggage emotional commitment emotional state emotions employment empowerment encouragement endurance escape expectations facing problems failure failures faith family fantasy fate Fear fears feelings flower children focus forbidden love forgiveness free love free will freedom friends friendship frustration fulfillment future glass half full/half empty goals God good times grateful gratitude grief growth guidance guilt habits happiness happy hard headed harmony hate healing health helpless hippie culture hippies holidays home honesty hope hopeless hopes hugs humiliation hurt identity imagination impatience improvement inner strength inner struggle innovation insecurity inspiration intimacy intuition irritation job job satisfaction John Lennon joy jr Kiki kindness laughter lessons lies life life balance life challenges life change life changes life circumstances life experiences life lessons life partner life retrospect life situations life struggles lifestyle loneliness long distance relationship loss of a pet loss of control lost love lovers lust managing anxiety Mark Nepo marriage medication mental health Mimi miracles mistakes moderation moments money motivation moving on natural disasters needs negative thoughts negativity new year Nolan normal nurturing obstacles office politics online dating online love online romance opinions opportunity optimism options overwhelm pace pain paranoia passion past path patience peace peace of mind perception perfection persistence personal growth personal power perspective Petey pets physical abuse pity party planning plans pleasure positive attitude positive thinking positivity possibilities prayer pride priorities problems procrastination progress prosperity purpose quality of life quit smoking reaction reactions reality reasons regrets rejection relationship relationships relax relaxation resentment resolutions respect responsibility rest restlessness retirement retreat revenge risk risks romance romantic love routine run away running away sacrifice sadness sanctuary satisfaction scared searching self-acceptance self-awareness self-confidence self-control self-defeating behavior self-esteem self-help self-improvement self-loathing self-love self-pity self-talk self-worth serendipity serenity setting goals settle sex sexual revolution simple abundance smoking society solitude sorrow soul soulmates state of mind strength stress strong struggle struggles stubborn subconscious feelings success suffering suicide support suppressed emotions survival surviving grief temper terrorism The Wedding Singer thinking thoughts time time travel tolerance toxic love toxic people toxic relationship tragedy transitions trigger day trouble true calling trust truth uncertainty unconditional love understanding unemployment unhappiness unresolved feelings valentines day value victims vision vulnerability wants war weakness wedding anniversary widow wisdom wishes work work achievements workaholic worries worry