Some Thoughts About Motivation

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I am, as Carrie Fisher used to say about herself, an over-sharer. I have been jokingly referred to as, the Queen of T.M.I. I share liberally and personally. I process out loud, frequently about my health issues, how I wrestle with depression, anxiety and PTSD, abuse I have taken the brunt of, family, life experiences.

Sometimes people balk or take offense at this. They tell me it’s too personal, that I should keep it to myself, that what I share is inappropriate for Facebook or a blog. This used to be something that occurred more frequently. But now, I think the people who were offended have gotten used to it, given up or it’s just finally sunk in, why it is appropriate.

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I do it for me.

I learned a long time ago that returning the shame to the person it actually belongs to, means no more secrets and no more silence. I don’t have to name names, but speaking about my experience out loud makes it real, makes it less painful and it means I am no longer a conspirator. I separate myself from the person who put me through the trauma and become the person surviving it. Why should I be ashamed for what was done to me (or for the resulting life issues) or worry about embarrassing the perpetrator? I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed and embarrassed about. That shame belongs to them!

And when I do this for myself, I am also doing it for others; as support for those who have been through or felt similar things and also to bring awareness and help those who haven’t been through these traumas to understand.

Much of this is also the motivation for my project, The Empress Dammit, which is a definitely a rough work in progress, and deals with how I started to finally build healthy self-esteem, post age Forty.

A lot of strangers run across things I have written and respond favorably. Lately, I’ve been trying to get more of my personal friends, especially those that have said they appreciate my writing, to follow my writing blog. I think it will motivate me both to write more and to actually post it.

Tonight, I was going through past posts and saw something I posted that underscores all of the reasons for why I do this. There have been people in my life that I will never meet that have saved my life with their art, with their openness and with their shared experiences and feelings that mirror my own. Two people I can think of, immediately are Amanda Palmer and Carrie Fisher. If I can move someone, make them laugh, make them aware that they are not alone, that even if they are damaged that their voice, experience and their very SELF is VALID, then it was all worth it.  

So, here is the post, from a couple of years ago; I can’t recall what post the comment was in response to. :

YES THIS! This is why I air out all this “private,” painful, embarrassing stuff. This is why I blog and this is why it’s worth it. When I get comments like this from readers who are absolute strangers that touch me to tears of my own:

” I am very literally crying as I type. I very desperately needed to read this and see my experience put in someone else’s words (so much validation for so many things). I honestly felt my skin crawl reading your experience. In all seriousnesss, it matched my own so closely that I felt irrationally paranoid…still am a little…Regardless, thank you. Thank you so damn much. May I please share this? “

I hate so many things about the life I have had. It hurt and still hurts so much.
At the same time it is a huge blessing, it is a valuable tool to help others and I am so filled with gratitude.

I guess we are all seeking motivation from without and from within. I write, largely, because I have to get it out. If I don’t, it hurts. That goes for the personal content as much as the poetry, stories and other creative bits. But, that internal motivation is not enough for me. Motivation is usually a good thing. It isn’t always pleasant and it’s not guaranteed to make things easier, but it is a tool that can help you do things that give your life purpose and make it both meaningful and satisfying. At least that’s true for me. When I get a response or a message, even a “like” on a post on Facebook, it lets me know I’m not alone out there. My words have reached someone. And I know for every person that lets me know they read something, there is probably at least one person who read and didn’t leave any clues behind. Dare I hope more than one?

Thanks to those who like, follow, message and comment. Thanks for motivating me to make more content.

Cheers!

 

Trickle

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desert
I am weary of being scared. Fear is simultaneously very real and just plain pointless. Fear is a bully!
 
Freedom is at once with me and illusive. I would like to be free but freedom without the means to choose my situation is just another kind of trap. I keep thinking there has to be a way; a way out, a way ahead, a way through or even a way to accept, Yes, I keep thinking there has to be a way, but I have not found it yet,
 
I keep thinking if I was younger, prettier, more energetic and able; if I was less ethical I might be able to use those things to my advantage. However, I am not any of those things.
 
I have tools. I lay out the tools I have on the table in front of me but my fingers merely fumble with most of them.
 
I look back over my shoulder into that dark and treacherous place and I refuse to go back. I look forward into the shifting fog. I look up at the blinding sun. I look down at my feet and I can for fleeting moments I can feel my roots. I am strong and grounded. Then the earth cracks, breaks and rumbles to remind me that it is difficult to keep my balance. I look inward at my wounds, some healing, some tenaciously festering and I see where I have been. It is a place and time where angels covered their ears and would not tread.
 
I find myself marvelling at all the brutality I survived with astonishing resilience. How did I manage to keep opening up my heart? How did I determine to keep trying to trust, to forgive, to love? Yet, now my heart finally closes, hardens, becomes wary, cynical over much smaller offenses! The clock is winding down and I have more happiness yet more frustration than ever before.
 
All I ever wanted was to be loved and cared for. All I ever wanted was to give love, to share, to help others by word, deed and through my art and music. I wanted to let all this creativity and care flow to the ocean in a torrent but all I can do is let it trickle through a straw in the hopes that someone who is thirsty will find it and drink.
 
-LM September, 2015

How To Find Hope

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bluebirdYou always know it’s going to get better
It’s just that sometimes You don’t care
About looking forward to the unknown
Which has pretty much an equal chance
Of being fantastic
Or an utter disappointment

There are some days that
Someone could tell you
Without a sliver of doubt
Tomorrow you’ll win the lottery
And you’d just shrug and walk away
Staring at your shoes

You used to say about your life,
Well,
At least it’s been interesting
But interesting has lost its shine
Interesting is lying somewhere in a gutter
Without it’s wallet or it’s dignity

And HOPE who used to lift you up
Is struggling to stay in the air
So many of her feathers lost
That when she tries to float
It’s more like a stutter
The bluest ones you loved
Were the first to go

No, you’re too tired these days
To love anything
Or anyone again
At least not with your entire heart
It seems insurmountable
Unlikely
Ridiculous

It’s an effort just trying to be useful
Trying to love someone
To find someone to love
Who will love you back
Without swallowing you whole
Or chewing you to pieces
From the inside out

No. That ship can sail on without you.
It’s too much work
You’ve been caught up in the rigging
Dangling high above the deck
Like a sorrowful kite
Hem tickling your ears
So many times
It’s no longer embarrassing

Just tiresome
Yeah
It might really be over
Time to hang your heart on a hook
In the foyer
Like that. dusty hat you always mean
To grab on the way out but forget.

You used to FEEL helpless
Now you KNOW that you are
It’s not a feeling you care for
You used to feel isolated
And now you contribute to your isolation
It’s a comfort you’ve come to resent

It’s funny
The things in life you think
Will surely destroy you
Only show you how resilient you are
It’s the little things
The ones you thought you could
Just shake off
That accumulate
A weighty poison

It’s the one you fooled yourself
Into thinking held no power over you
Who turned your heart into a desert
While you slept
Who made your bones angry and brittle
Who tapped the last of your strength

And tired isn’t getting any easier
It just takes you further away from the world
Passivity
At some point a decision’s got to be made
Or it will be made for you
By time and neglect

For now you live with insomnia
And cells and neurons at war with each other
Most of the time your eyes are dry
Surprise tears sting you blind
Often you feel like you are too close
To the edge of the precipice

Most days you feel like you are trapped behind a giant stone.
You can’t roll it away
It feels like every day of your life has been
A different view from the same prison

You can’t reconcile the dream
With the life
Or the things on your plate
Or the realization that you absolutely can’t
Do it alone
But you have to
Anyway

You still make little efforts with the half heart you have left
But all you want to do is sleep
Because Hope still flies in dreams
And has all of her feathers
The blue ones that can lift you up
And coax you to go further

-LM 2015

Your Christmas

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 A Mermaid's Christmas Eve by Artist Robin Pushe'e https://www.etsy.com/people/RubysBrush

This is my first ever, Holiday song. In keeping with the Fragmeantz theme, it is a quickly produced, very rough draft.

This is for everyone who may not be feeling it this year. Maybe you’re an atheist. maybe you don’t celebrate anything. Maybe you celebrate something other than Christmas.

Perhaps this year has been especially terrible to you and it’s been impossible to get in any kind of holiday spirit. Times are lean. You have seasonal or all the time depression.

I feel you! And this is for you!

This link is a quick, one shot recording of a holiday message  to you, from me and I me singing the song. (By the way, I would love it if there’s someone out there who would like to actually collaborate on music for this) As a professional, it is really hard to just pop off a recording in the middle of the night. I’m used to doing many takes and lots of rewriting before I share with anyone I’m not writing with so I hope you will remember, it’s the thought that counts!

Here you go:

Here are the lyrics:

Your Christmas

I don’t need a season for giving

I don’t need a myth to believe

I don’t need angels and holly

your “Christmas” means nothing to me

I don’t want friends and relations

Who turn up once or twice a year

Out of a sense of obligation

Or pressure to be of good cheer

Worth isn’t measured in spending

Or how much you can pile under a tree

I stuff my feet in my stockings

Your “Christmas” means nothing to me

 

Because sacred is where and when you make it

You hold it in your heart and you just know

It doesn’t need a shiny ribbon tied up in a bow

it doesn’t need a heaven or a fire down below

it doesn’t need to carol under softly falling snow

You hold it in your heart and you just know

I won’t hear eight tiny reindeer

Making a ruckus on my roof

Singing, Away in a Manger

Never brought me any closer to the truth


No worries ’bout naughty or nice lists

Or all of the places I should be

I don’t need need wise men or sleigh bells

Your “Christmas” means nothing to me

So I will quote a  favorite story

That turns up round this time of year

“I will honour Christmas in my heart,

and try to keep it all the year.”

 

Because sacred is where and when you make it

You hold it in your heart and you just know

It doesn’t need a shiny ribbon tied up in a bow

it doesn’t need a heaven or a fire down below

It doesn’t need to kiss you  underneath the mistletoe

You hold it in your heart and you just know

You open up your heart and you just know

Conversations With Depression (But, there are cute kitties)

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Me: Uh oh. Didn’t see you come in.

Depression: Yup! I’m sneaky that way.

Me: But, the sun is out!

Depression: And your point? 

Me: There are really cute kittens!

Depression: I am pretty much immune to kittens, baby chicks and daffodils. You’re going to have to try harder.

Me: But it’s hard to make any kind of effort, ’cause I’m depressed now.

Depression: Gotcha!

Later that afternoon……..

Me: (glances out corner of eye) Oh, you still there? 

Depression: Yup!

Me: Do I detect a smirk? 

Depression: Well, I do take a certain amount of satisfaction in my job.

Me: (muttering) Asshat!

Depression: What was that? 

Me: (sigh) Nothing. I’m going to make that coffee I thought about making 3 hours ago.

Depression: No, you’re not.

Me: Fine then. I’ll just take a nice warm shower. 

Depression: No. That’ll take too much energy. 

Me: Well, I played with the kitty. That was fun. I could do it again.

Depression: The kitty is sleeping. Why don’t you call someone? People said you could call them! 

Me: I don’t want to bother anybody.

Depression: (laughing) Oh man, this is too easy!

Me: Shut your pie hole, Depression! Can’t you see I’m trying to grieve here? Is this the kind of crap you pulled on my brother? I wish he’d just pounded your ass! Now I’m mad!

Depression: Are you? 

Me: What? 

Depression: Mad? 

Me: Yes. No. I’m too depressed. (sigh) Maybe I should eat something now.

Depression: Nice try, but no.

Me: I could read a book.

Depression: Good luck concentrating. (pointing at book on nightstand) You’re still on chapter two of THAT easy read. It’s been what? A week now? 

Depression: Hey, I know. Why don’t you call your ex, the one you’re terminally sweet on, but who needs to just be friends right now, because; stuff? He always makes you feel better anyway. Oh wait, (smirking) he’s busy on Sundays. 

Me: (making series of obscene gesture at Depression which totally wears me out and I crumple) Maybe I will call someone! I want company! 

Depression: Do you?

Me: Yeah! No. Wait. I don’t know. I think, I want to be alone. 

Depression: Maybe you should just go to bed.

Me: I’m already in bed. I’ve been here all day!

Depression: Exactly!

Me: (sniffles)

Depression: Oh, I’m good.

More naps, sobs and social networking posts of despair and a few hours later……

Depression: Stop it.

Me: Stop what?

Depression: Stop writing down our conversations and posting them on the internet! 

Me: Why, Depression? Because you don’t want me to do anything? You just want me to stay curled up here in my pajamas, uncaffeinated, sort of hungry, sort of lonely, sort of not lonely and unwashed? 

Depression: Well yes. But that’s not the point.

Me: (glaring) And the point would be?

Depression: You’re embarrassing yourself. Do you really want people to know how depressed you are? It’s shameful!

Me: Honey, that ship sailed a long time ago. And no, I don’t care. I’m not ashamed of myself! I’m an open book. This is how I roll.

Depression: People will think you’re crazy talking to an emotional construct. After all, I could be considered a form of mental illness.

Me: (yawning. I continue typing) Whatever.I’m depressed. Why should I care what people think of me? Besides, everybody gets depressed sometimes.

Depression: Okay. Okay. What if I ease up and let you eat something?

Me: I don’t need your permission. I ate a muffin, a muffin with copious amounts of butter a few hours ago, remember? 

Depression: Dude! You are making me look bad, ok? People are supposed to be paralyzed by the site of me. I’m a big, scary, soul crushing mood inhibitor! Frankly, you are making me sound kind of harmless.

Me: Aw. That sounds depressing! Bet you’re not feeling like doing much right now either, are you Depression?

Depression: Come to think of it, I’m feeling a little peckish.

Me: You do that. And by that, I mean nothing. Just go be a little lump, will you?  I’m going to eat something and sit in the hot tub maybe.

Depression: Gaaah!

LM-2014

 

 

The Dark Christmas Spirit

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How appropriate, Hope pondered, that on the day with the shortest amount of light, the darkness should hit her like the door of a tomb slamming shut, the echoes sounding deceptively final. Every year she braced herself for the void the season reminded her of. For a few days, she had been feeling so good that she thought she might escape the blackness, but instead it had blindsided her with an exceptionally hard knock.

This year’s unwrapped gift of depression contained so many things she had not wanted and probably didn’t deserve. Loneliness. The excruciating pain of realizing she loved someone she could absolutely not be with. The bitter edge of the cold.

The accumulation of losses and disappointments led her to spend the night driving along country roads, winding slowly through the darkness for hours little salt streams staining her cheeks. As she took in the beauty of the moonlit trees, the reflected eyes of animals in the brush and the small noises that interrupted the hush of other’s sleep, her mind wandered to the something that had never appealed to her. She wondered about the lure that prompts sad people to make the choice to climb over the railing of a wind whipped bridge and jump into the blackness. She had read that the impact was massively bone shattering.

The irony was sharp, that someone could survive plummeting into the water from a great height and instead of ending their suffering, find themselves more injured then before. She wondered if such survivors found the resulting physical devastation had eclipsed the emotional/mental anguish that prompted the desperate self inflicted violence in the first place. She knew she could never do something so dramatic.

She also knew she would probably survive this wrestling match of heavy shadow but she wasn’t sure she wanted to. She wasn’t sure she cared about anything but stopping. If only she could figure out a way of releasing herself from this prison that wouldn’t hurt so many others. If only she could sleep through the winter, hibernate like a bear. She might dance between forcing herself to go to social functions and retreating to solitude. She would plod through her obligations with diligence, of that much she was sure. She was always dependable. She would put on a believable smile. She would go through the pretense of joking and flirting like a cat hiding a trauma.

When the day came she would act as if there was nothing special about December 25th that set her and others who lacked the connection of some kind of family to share it with. There was no particular humbug here, there was just no Christmas. It was a fact of her life. But being Hope, she wanted to believe that it might not be this way forever.

-LM 2013

The holidays are difficult for me for a whopping variety of reasons. I also knew a good number of people going trough a particularly dark time right now. Because I believe that the only way to get through a dark night is to push through to the dawn, I wrote this piece and posted it. Some people responded with gratitude, some of my friends expressed concern. I had to post the following disclaimer:

FYI People: I am not planning to jump off a bridge. Yikes, it’s not that bad and it’s just too cold. Besides I have kitties to take care of and awesome New Year’s Eve parties to attend.

When I post things if I am quoting someone else I usually use quotation and usually note the source.
If I am making a statement or rant that is my own original thought and content, there are generally no quotes.
If I am posting a piece of my writing, a fragment of a story, essay, poem or lyric I almost always remember to put my initials, LM at the end. While these things often contain autobiographical elements or tinges of things I am going through that does not mean every word is true.

But thanks for your concern. I appreciate you checking in.

Cheers,

Lorelei

PS: If my writing touches people or makes them think I am grateful.