joannebest











{August 7, 2015}   Where I’ve Been (And Why)

morning2Write what you can write when you can write else you may never be able to write again.

Substitute any word that may apply to you and your passion and never ever neglect it, because you never know when your passion, or your ability to pursue your passion, may be taken away from you.

My recent passionless existence began with a near-crippling case of carpal tunnel rearing it’s ugly head a few months ago. I’ve already gone the surgery route but all I got for my trouble was two wrists more painful than before surgery and two hands constantly reminding me that I have to choose where when and how I use my small windows of pain-free time.

So I stopped writing.
And began a downward spiral.

Fibromyalgia, once closed off in a box somewhere in my mind escaped much like Pandora’s Box, only this time, hope fled as well and I experienced the most excruciating fibro-flare I’ve ever had.

I shut myself down, nearly every part of me, shut down. Caring about anything became a distant memory. I couldn’t even fake it anymore. Nothing made me smile. Nobody made me laugh. I stopped believing in anything good ever happening to me again. Ever. Sleep became the only thing I looked forward to and the sound of the phone ringing made me cringe. My computer may as well have been nothing more than a dust collector because I had no interest. In anything.

I may as well have stopped living because whatever it was I was doing, going through the motions, was not in any way shape or form a life.

Grief.
I thought I would have been over it already. I mean, it’s been over two years since my Mom died, why does it still feel like it happened yesterday?

My whole world has changed without her and I have a new understanding of the effects of grief. My family has imploded. I used to have two brothers but now I have one, my older brother has basically cut me out of his life, guilt-calls my Father maybe once a month while I twist myself pretzel-like to do everything I can to help out my Dad. He’s going on 89 and while he can still be as sharp as a tack, he’s fading away. Lost without my Mother, he’s reimagined their life together, turning it into a Love Story For The Ages. And while I know the real version was nothing like he wants to remember, I agree with him as my heart breaks a little bit more every time I see him.
My younger brother and I have become closer than ever, as my older brother doesn’t talk to him either. The eldest, as far as I understood it to be, was supposed to step up and help us out. Instead, after taking my Father to his lawyer and having a will drawn up with him as the executor (not my Father’s wishes, but as the only one of us who went to college, his opinion seems to be the only one that matters) my older brother, when he was still talking to my younger brother, told him if anything in the will was changed, he would take me to court and say that I forged documents. He has some resentment towards me because when Hurricane Irene destroyed our house he wanted to put my Parents in an assisted living place while my Parents just wanted their house back. I, with the help of my younger brother, moved Heaven and Earth to make that happen and it pissed him off that I, a girl who never went to college, was able to get them back home.

So I’ve been dealing with a lot health-wise, and the three things that made me happiest disappeared. No more daily phone calls and Mother/Daughter getaways, my BFF became my occasional F due to, well, life, and my writing became a distant memory. With virtually no one to truly confide in anymore, I began to think of myself as worthless, cold and uncaring about anything. Basically, I make myself sickeningly pathetic and I’m sick of it. I sometimes wish I could just breakdown and cry my eyeballs out, but my feelings have frozen and I feel unmeltable.

Even my Birthday came and went without fanfare, it took me weeks to open the Birthday Card my favorite Aunt Judy sent me, as if I wasn’t even worthy of a card. I feel like an idiot for allowing myself to fall this hard and I realize I’m the only one who can save me.

And then something happened to wake me up. Out of nowhere, I received something in the mail from some very special Miscreants. There was no return address so it wasn’t until I opened it that I realized what it was, a fun pack that to this very second still makes me smile, hard.

Somehow, I’ve managed to babble about nothing important to anyone but me myself and I, but I have to admit, I feel a little bit better.

I was Blessed enough to attend two Facebook events this past week, one was a release party for
Anastasia Vitsky‘s new book Taliaschild and the other was Decadent Publishing 5th Annivesary Party.

They both gave me life. Inspired me. Woke me up. Stirred something in my soul to remind me who I am.

I’m back, and this time, I’m back to stay. No more not answering comments, no more ignoring life. It’s time to live again, and a great part of my resurrection is you. And you. Also you.
While these words are not my own, the sentiment is a perfect truth : “Love is all that matters.”

This time, I will not forget that.
And one last thing, I apologize to everyone I’ve seemingly ignored, it wasn’t you, it was me.
Love. It is once again in my heart, I would like nothing more than to spread it around.

a me I want to go back to these days (my Mom in the background, me and my Uncle)

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Hi Joanne, hugs for you first of all. I am so sorry that you went through all this. I fully get you on most of this, withdrawing from others, feeling so down that the world is grey, yuck!
It is so good that you are beginning to heal, I mean more the soul than the hands, 🙂 but I hope your hands will be much better again soon too.

This part about your family sounds terrible. However, you still have your younger brother. And I do not say what I think about your older brother, because then I’d have to soap my mouth.

Ok, not to put you down, on the contrary, I have to scold you a little: please, whenever you feel down like that, communicate. You really had me worried for ages because you were simply gone.
End of scolding (and sorry that I did)! Hugs!

I am so happy that you are back with us and that you are better, I cannot express clearly how much that means to me.

I love the sentiment you wrote there “Love is all that matters”. I’d sign that any time. You are not alone, and maybe there is a way to reconnect with your bff again, that would be wonderful.
However, I know saying that is easy, maybe she misses you just as much as you miss her, and if not, you know you have tried. Wishing you a wonderful day and lots of love.

hugs

Nina



Oh Nina! Thank you so much for everything you said. And the truth is, I needed a scolding, I guess I was so used to having my Mom there for me that I locked everything inside instead of trying to communicate, but I’m making you a promise right now, should I ever feel myself start to backslide again, I will remember every word you said, and I will reach out to you, because I know you understand me, probably better than I understand myself 🙂
You, and our fellow Miscreants have made me feel so welcomed, although I admit I was ashamed of my behavior and my disappearing act, you all welcomed me back and reminded me that life is good.

So much love from me to you, you have truly made a difference in my life, and honestly, if the world was a different place, I would be nearer to you, just so I could hug you tight for all the strength you’ve given me, even when you weren’t aware of it. You, my dear, have made a difference in my life, and when I Pray as I do every night, you are one of the people I thank God for, hand to heart ❤

hugs and much love,
Joanne xox



Carol says:

I had no idea that while you and Tommy were working your butts off to get your mom and dad back home, that Donald turned into a real prick(although it may have started before Hurricane Irene). I have known you for years (movie with my cousin, Wayne), Junior Girl Scouts, Jr. and Sr. High School! I can’t believed I have loved you this long. I have always admired you, your kindness, your willingness to help others. Your ability to put your “two cents in” to get a nickel! Some of these things you may have forgotten, but I have not. Allowing my daughter and me to sit in on your “jam sessions” since she was too young to go to a bar. Yes, Joanne, you are one of my golden friends. To think you felt you had no one to confide in makes me a little sad, but so glad you are “back”. You are a might oak. Just remember you never have to face anything alone. I know you have Mike, but sometimes (only sometimes, mind you) you need a vagina around, not a penis. They just want to fix everything! In closing, if you ever need a hand, here I am! Love and light!



Oh Carol! I think perhaps you may be my oldest friend, I remember we met at the park, went to the movies, and the rest is history! Thank you so much for your response, it means so much to me, more than you know. Yes, we really have been through so much together, and when I think back on my childhood, our “growing up” years, my best memories are of you and the fun we had together.
I wish I had reached out to you, distance means nothing with the internet, so I will remember what you said, it’s so very true, a vagina truly makes all the difference when it comes to being supportive. I love you, always have, always will, and I consider myself Blessed to be able to still call you friend after all these years. Thank you again for everything you said, and when I’m down, I will reach out to you, but I think I’ll try and stay away from the ‘down’ and just reach out to you with joy and love. You made President Park so much fun throughout the years, and to this day, I still drive by your house and smile hard, remembering us sitting on your front lawn singing our lungs out 😀 xox love always and forever my friend! ❤



Carol says:

Not long ago, I went through much of what you did. Just wanting to sleep, not getting up to get dressed. that happened for almost 2 years. I think a lot of it had to do with my step daughter living with us. She moved out and things got much better. She is happy with her lover in NM, Jim and I are having a great time just living.
If you and Mike ever need a getaway, you can always stay with us. We live on a canal and a short walk away from the Albemarle Sound. I know it’s not Cape May, but sometimes you need to stray from routine just to feel better. I hope you can at least consider it….my love to Mike and of course you!



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