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