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.

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Me Me Me!

Mind the gap...

Thin line between hopelessness and ability to heal! (Photo credit: asparagus_hunter)

So many years spent without the ability to think outside the ME-mind! Well, I did take care of my family, I did get an education, I got a job, I have friends. But the egocentric mind, dominated for so many years. And by all means; “ME” is the mind that must heal.

Realizing last post was a genuine recipe for depression (which I definitely had) I need to make a follow up.

So I got to think… I am no longer only inside the “ME”-thing, which I described earlier. As a child, I didn’t know anything else.  Trying to cope with depression, there was never room for anyone else, really.

Like so many others with backgrounds similar to mine, you don’t just have PTSD or c-PTSD. You get depressed, you stop sleeping or sleep too much, you might have anxiety issues, eating disorders, dissociative disorder, OCDs, phobias or other stuff. None of it is very nice… Most need treatment. How hard it must be to point out THIS ONE THING as the reason for all your trouble. Like I have my PTSD. (At least that the way I see it, don’t know if my therapist agrees).

If you get a physical decease, you still have a life to live. It doesn’t have to consume all your thoughts and high wire your brain for years. If you have a mental illness, it IS who and what you are. Sometimes for most of the hours of the day. And night.

For me, realizing this, happened in retrospect. I think at one point, I decided to define myself outside of it. (I probably have decided that several times, like if you decide to diet or stop smoking again and again…) But now I feel rather successful at it.

I think all the time of how I feel, and evaluate my feelings. How do I cope with feeling sad, why am I sad, does it have to be like this? And how can I use the mindful approach and be here right now, and let it go? So many times, I find that after meditating I feel so much better. More focused, positive and with a calm here-and-now feeling. This enables see others, feel beauty, enjoy life, concentrate…

I want to focus on the good feelings (still having some bad ones from time to time), and I want to choose to feel good about me (though sometimes I don’t). It means experiencing all feelings and regard them in a state of not judging them either way. I kind of set myself outside the feeling.

I could go on for some time on this… Probably get back to it!

The depressed universe doesn’t have any room at all for any other than ME. The million-dollar question is how to get inside that ME and make it help itself, instead of forever lingering in the deep hurt and pain issues.

Have you been trough the same? How did you start to heal?

Ideas on healing

A bit strange, that the first person (C-PTSD A way out) to comment on this blog has so many of the same ideas on healing that I have. Thanks Marty:)

I have been in serious trouble for as long as I can remember. Hiding has been my way of coping since I was four, after that came running away, drugs, a short period of forgetting as I got three children, and then cPTSD struck big time. Then studies, drugs, therapy, depressions, work, more studies, more drugs… and so on, really. It has been my whole life. I hope to go into more details, for my own healing sake, later.

But as I wrote in one of the earlier posts, I now find that I have a more solid ground than ever. About a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an iPhone App, Deep sleep with Andrew Johnson. We were discussing apps during lunch I think, and she complained about bad sleep. (I would of course never do that… having something like the Berlin wall between my work and family life, and my PTSD issues, kind of a misunderstood idea on how to be successful.)

After downloading the app, and a few more of the same, I thought that this is bullshit. I used to go to bed like seven times every night, feeling restless and sometimes a bit anxious, but I managed to listen to the programme once, put it on play once more, and actually calmed down. So I decided to go with this, for the three weeks he recommends. It worked. I realised that by using my breath, and managing to focus on his lovely scottish accent talking me through every muscle in my body, made me calmer. And sometimes just a small step like that, the feeling that I HAVE CONTROL over something, changed the way I looked upon my whole situation. It said that I CAN DO SOMETHING to change. After so many years going round in circles this was a major step out of a circle.

These apps was an introduction to meditation, something I have always been curious about. I never had the time or took the effort to look it up. It felt too difficult, too strange, and even if I go regularly to the gym, I would never sign up for relax-classes or yoga. Too strange! But now I was curious. I started with “Meditation for dummies” but advanced quite quickly to Jon Kabat-Zinn and “Full catastrophe living” and Mindfulness. Enjoyed both apps, books and YouTube on this subject and it definitely works for me. Now I read everything I can get about Mindfulness…

I am not a premium student… I find that I actually can meditate and focus on my breathing, and after I started to do this regularly, I am much more in control of my feelings. I struggle a bit to find time to sit down and not do anything else, or think about the other things I should have done. But I don’t have the same problems falling asleep at night, and I am calmer. Last week I did a one hour speech at a national conference with 500 people, which usually gets me a bit nervous, at least before I start. This time, as I felt the butterflies invading my whole body, I managed to lower my shoulders, focus, close my eyes, breathe… And it all went away. It must be the most focused speech I have ever given, response was good too. (Afterwards I felt like a worn out washing cloth or something though…)

Being mindful changes the perspective from “I wish I didn’t…” or “If only it was Friday and I was through this hopeless dreadful week”, or “If only I get well, I will start exercising (or something)” to now, right here right now. “If only” doesn’t exist anymore. Sounds a bit weird.

This is the day I have, this minute, this hour. This opportunity.

The panic is still there, but maybe the panic for the PANIC is less intruding. Sometimes it still gets out of hand, and the last time it got really dangerous. But even so, I feel more in control, and I stop to think, instead of rushing into bad choices. I can choose!

Good choices are green, don’t you think?