Keeping on being happy

New Year Fireworks, Athens

New Year Fireworks, Athens (Photo credit: RobW_)


I am basically happy. I used to be:

  • sad
  • unmotivated
  • stressed out
  • desperate
  • impatient
  • worried

Those feelings used to own me. It is not like that anymore. I don’t go around all day with a big smile or anything, well, maybe some days. 🙂 And I feel good and calm. What used to cause real anxiety, worry, and upset me, doesn’t make me drill down into chaos anymore. I am more like “oh well, how do I solve this?”

If you have followed my blog from the beginning, you’d know I was quite intense and energetic. I posted almost every day, and I had a lot to say. I never really planned it, but writing turned out to be my breakthrough. Writing about all those bad things, made the symptoms disappear. It was probably not the only thing happening. I am not sure. At one point I felt finished. My deep dive into bad emotions and even worse memories was done.

I have been ok since then. Almost all the time.

I am very grateful that this happened.

I started thinking about next year today. What hopes I have, what I wish for to happen. I think I will put together some new years resolutions, not like the usual ones, but some thoughts on how to grow. How to reach my goals. How to continue having control and be at peace.

Thanks for reading everyone! 🙂

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No, not good, not at all…

sternocleidomastoideus muscle

sternocleidomastoideus muscle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The nerves of the scalp, face, and side of neck.

The nerves of the scalp, face, and side of neck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An MR machine is not like on “House”, where the patient has lots of space, light, and seems to have a good time. It’s NOT! I think today, that my nose was two centimetres from the ceiling of that very noisy machine. I did have the alarm thing in my hand, but the thought of not doing this now, and use months thinking about doing it again, kept me from pushing the button. My neck was locked in a bracelet, and I had bell shaped hearing protection over my ears.
I cried a bit.
Then I had to do x-ray.
I cried driving home as well.

Earlier today, I went to physiotherapy. He (the gorgeous looking one) is not as optimistic as he was after the first sessions. Most of last week went by trying to ignore pain and headache. Think I succeeded, in a way, but it makes me so tired.
Instead of beating up all those sore points where the muscles and the nerves are attached at the back of my scull, he worked on all muscles around the clavicle and the sternocleidomastoid muscle. This is one of the most important muscles in the neck, sort of goes from the clavicle to the ear. Apparently mine is extremely tense and strung up, he had problems trying to get hold of it at all. I was in so much pain I had to get his hands off me a couple of times.
I don’t really like to be touched, I think. He worked so close to my throat, that I found myself trying to avoid it, and him, by clutching my legs to the bench, and sliding my upper body to the side. Hanging on by my feet and some stomach muscles I didn’t know I had. Tears streaming, and my top was wet all through from cold sweat.
Right now I wonder if there is something wrong in the upper part of my vertebrae too. I, and the doctors and therapists have considered all of this to be consequences of a whiplash after the unfortunate crash between my head and a brick wall while cycling. (USE BIKE HELMETS, I did!!) My current diagnosis is cervical headache, and it is only on the left side. Now I am not sure. There is something wrong with my C1 nerve, for sure, but all these f***ed up muscles too? My physiotherapist says that time has made it all this painful. Right now, it feels like my left side has been hit by a bus, it aches in my arm, shoulder, all muscles around my clavicle, my neck feels swollen. To top it up, my headache is out of this world.
I think I’ll allow myself one tiny little depression tonight, grab some painkillers and go to bed.

Dreams

sleep

Dreaming (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I have had so many strange dreams lately, which is quite unusual for me. I hope it means that my sleeping pattern is changing, after cutting back on sleeping meds. I don’t really believe that dreams are all that important, or that there is a meaning to all of these strange things that gets into my head while I am sleeping. That would make life VERY complicated. 🙂
My dreams tend to be quite chaotic, and sometimes I wake up, just knowing that I dreamt something upsetting, without remembering what it was. I haven’t had any flashbacks or flashback-“dreams” for weeks and the last ones hasn’t been all that disturbing.

I think my sub-conscience is trying to figure out something. It’s been about a car accident that happened when I was a child. I don’t know exactly where it was. I just remember the car going off the road, and downhill very fast. There is a wood, many trees, and it is quite bumpy. This was long before there were seat belts, and I am on the floor between the front and back seat. My mother is driving. My brother is also in the car. I’m afraid, of course. That’s all that I remember. I tried once to ask my brother what had happened, but he won’t talk about it. Even if I asked him quite late, after he had a few beers… He said that we spent the night in a house next to where it happened. I don’t remember any of that. I don’t know if anyone got hurt, maybe I remember some pain in my head. But I’m not sure. Other than this, my flashbacks seem to have taken a break, it seems. I hope they are gone for good 🙂

But just this other night, I dreamt, we were running a petrol station, some of my friends, my youngest daughter, one work colleague and me. It was really very busy, and everything that could go wrong did. We ran out of diesel, people stole chocolate from the store, many were mad because they couldn’t fill up their cars, the queue of angry customers went all the way through the front door. We didn’t handle the situation very well. It was like when you have four people in the kitchen trying to do the same thing at the same time. When it finally calmed down, we went to sleep on the floor. It was like NOW I am going to sleep for SO long! I was just so tired, after working for days. And as I came to that conclusion and kind of felt the sleep coming, the alarm on my iPhone set off. I woke up angry…
Didn’t last for long though.

Sandy beach

English: Pothluney Cove Beach in Summer

Beach in Summer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you remember what it smells like to lye down on a towel on a warm beach on a sunny day? The change in smell from where the sand is wet, to where it’s dry? Well, some of you probably doesn’t live by the sea, and others are so used to heat, that they don’t regard is as a pleasure, like I do.

All those different impressions. Lying on my stomach, letting the sand run through my fingers. Closing my eyes, listening to children playing, someone doing beach volleyball, waves splashing on the shore. The smell of sun tan lotion. Eating sandwiches with sand… They got down too. Smelling the coffee that the grownups were having.

Sometimes I’d get some money to go for ice cream. I’d walk to the kiosk, feeling warm sand, almost too warm, between my toes. The coarse grass almost cut my feet, as it desperately tries to keep all the sand in place. My feet had wet sand all over.  I’d get ice cream for everyone, and run back.

I’d be tired as a dog, coming home again. My hair was smelling of sea water.

The smell of summer. Sand in my ears.

The funeral

English: Red roses

Red roses, her favourites (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All those things to remember. We had a visit from the funeral home last Wednesday. He took us through all the details. What kind of coffin, what clothes we wanted her to wear, the flower arrangements, the psalms, advertisement, forms, costs, inheritance, testament… My brother and sister were there, and my other old aunt. (The one with a taste for red wine, who got the fresh caught fish on the summer party last Saturday). She is the sister of the very old aunt who died.

We all thought we remembered what songs and singers we used for the last funeral. We didn’t. It was the same man from the funeral home, who came to see us then, who we met again now. He had some of our funeral history on his computer. Goes to show that it’s not just me who goes “blank” in situations like these. We also had to talk to the priest, who gazed at my “Om”-pendant… Don’t think he is of the most tolerant ones. Anyway, we talked about the very old aunt for a while, for him to have enough information to put together a memorial speech.

I have no idea how many will come to the service, she outlived all her friends. The family comes of course, the same 20 something that came at the summer party. Some family from other parts of the country is also coming. And there must be some cousins, and maybe old colleagues. Though, who would you expect to remember you, when it’s 30 years since you retired?

We ordered red roses to decorate the coffin. They were her favourites. The coffin is white, I like better the oak ones.y

I hope the day goes by without me coming out of my state of indifference. I think it’s strange, but also a bit good, to see that my brother and sister feel awkvard. It sort of tells me that I can’t be alone with my experiences from my childhood. It tells me that it’s true, things were bad. I don’t feel any need to mourn. I know that our story keep us closer together than most people, only it doesn’t, really. Anyone who loses their mother as a child has a story. Not sure if I can explain this properly, but it is nothing but an act. We do what is expected. We act as if we have great affection for each other, but hardly ever meet, other than Christmas, or my summer party. The dialogue is nothing to be proud of, bad actors…

I don’t want to do very much about this. And right now, I just hope this day goes into history with nothing to remember.

No, not very mindful today. I’ll visit my feelings tomorrow.

Some colour to brighten up your day?

Can you remember opening a brand new box of crayons? I can. I would just look at them, see how the different shades of red shifted into pink or orange, and then to yellow. My brother would just throw them all in a big cake tin we had. Mix the old ones together with the new ones. I could never do that. I would keep them in the exact same place in the original box, and open and close carefully, so that it wouldn’t get torn.

If it was a big box, I would perhaps make a small dot, marking the specific spot for each of the crayons. So that they would get back where they belong.

Amazing how colours can affect your mood. Black is for sorrow, white means clean, orange (my favourite) is energy, red is both love and affection, blue… well blue.

Don’t know why yellow got such a bad rumour, at least in my country, it means cowards, and green is new. Sometimes in a negative context.

I had to think about colours today… Feeling a bit down, as one of my aunts are very poorly. There are only two of my father’s siblings left, living here in my town. This is not the one who attended the summer party, though considering the amount of wine an 89 year old women can pour down, she probably felt rather… blue… the day after. This is about the oldest one, and the way it looks now, she won’t see much of the summer coming up. They told me she might die anytime. But they have said that before… So I don’t know. She is 94. We haven’t spoken for years, I have some problems dealing with his family, and so I just don’t. This is where I should probably investigate my feelings on forgiveness. Someone did know, maybe not to what extent wrong things happened in the old house with the large garden, but I can’t help thinking that someone could have done something. She was the next door neighbour.

My youngest daughter told me that when they were kids, I had a really large box with crayons, watercolours, felt tip pens and colour pencils. She remembered it as a lovely childhood memory. She might be a bit like me, that one!

Update:
Just as I was publishing this, my old aunt died. How strange is that?

An occasion to remember

She has put on her best dress. White. Her finest shoes, white short socks. On her arm, a bracelet. Her mother arranges her hair. Her blonde curls… She feels special, beautiful. She looks like haute couture. It’s a special day.
I imagine she’d never been to see a photographer before. I can picture her going through Rue de Huchette, or perhaps Quai St. Michel after taking the metro. She holds her mothers’ hand quite tight. And her mother is careful in the busy streets.
In the studio, she takes her coat off. The city is not summer warm anymore.
I think that after walking a bit, she needs to run around, and move and play, without holding hands with anyone. But she is probably very polite, and a bit proud that she can take the photographers hand and say “Bonjour”. Words in a foreign language.
Maybe she found the leaf outside, on the street. It looks like a leaf from an oak tree. Maybe the photographer thinks it’s a good idea to leave the leaf right there, on the bench where she sits when he takes the picture.
She puts on her most lovely smile. She is happy.
Afterwards they went to buy a colourful and sweet “gateaux” or some “petit four”. Or perhaps ice cream. She’d eat like a little princess, and be very careful not to ruin her lovely dress.
They’d have a good time together, my mother, and her mother in wonderful Paris, 1936.