The Challenge

The year just past presented more challenges to me than I could have anticipated; undoubtably for many of you too. If I’m being totally upfront, the last eight years have been tough, sometimes beyond my innate strengths and I’ve had to find and use new tools and skills to cope.

As I emerged from that and into the crazy landscape of Covid-19 World, there were several opportunities to look closely at my life, how I must live it now and the people who are in it. The new knowledge I’d gained gave me a clearer lens to view some relationships and to understand their impact on my ability to still learn, grow and perhaps even flourish in this weird world; one that continues on into 2021!

One of the hardest things that I had to deal with didn’t have a name, it was simply a feeling of not wanting to be around or talk to some people. This wasn’t a return or lingering of the profound Agoraphobia that I lived through. This feeling is not exactly new either, I’ve simply buried my reactions to some of these folks and avoid them. As it turns out, what I’ve been dealing with isn’t uncommon and it’s called “Toxic Positivity”.

I won’t faff on as I have a link here to share that although lengthy, is excellent at describing what TP is and the effect that it has on  people who are subjected to it. I will say that as a person living with M.E. and having gone through a separation from my partner of nearly 30 years, the amount of TP – not the kind you stash when your Province is in Covid Lockdown – is significant. Sometimes, it seems benign but in truth it’s left me feeling misunderstood, sad and sometimes angry. To me, it shows a profound lack of empathy.

It’s 100% okay to not always be okay. It’s okay to be sad about a huge change in one’s circumstances. It’s not okay for someone to minimize your pain or loss with platitudes. A person in pain wants to be heard not preached at.

Excellent article. Give it a read.

Toxic Positivity: Why Positive Vibes are Ruining You

Disconnected in December

Is it just me?

I’m feeling a little displaced… like I woke up in the wrong decade
Forget that it’s been a shite year… not just for me but for the world

I love this season. I am grateful but… I feel so… untethered
I miss my family… we’ve become the Four Solitudes

Boxes of ornaments are shelved like reliquaries
No point getting them out… we’re locked down again

I’m listening to carols and daydreaming about Christmas Past
Lying under my parent’s tree, holding hands with a brown-eyed boy

That moment of perfection is caught in the corner of my own eye
Blurring the edges of this unkempt living room… it’s all good

My view has softened from the harsh reality of a Covid Christmas
To a Christmas long ago when the world really was magic. the possibilities were endless and alone was unthinkable, unimaginable in that perfect moment.

Slipping out of view, slipping down my cheek…

~ kei
22 December 2020

December

As this bizarre year closes, I find myself back to WordPress, recalling times when I couldn’t go a full day without writing something, let alone three years.

To be fair, real life became more complex. To be honest, The Muse disappeared and left nothing… NOTHING… in their wake.

Write what you know.

I started this year thinking that perhaps, this would be the one where I’d stumble across another “My Person”. There’d be no more single events and holidays. I’m ready for that. Did the work. Learned the lessons. Dropped the Narc guard – actually, that’s a fib and there was a low-key Narc not long ago and thank god that I paid attention to the red flags.

Anyway.

I’m here. I’m whole and okay but… I miss the spark. I miss being someone’s one-and-only. I miss passion and exploring and learning together. There is no one that lights me up enough to invest more than a few dates and so… little to no writing inspiration.

So. Maybe I’ll hang out here a little more. Read about what that kind of love looked – looks – like. Maybe 2020 will close with me still on my own but I’m hopeful. I’m happy and each day of this bizarre year has brought me back a little to the open-hearted woman I once was.

I hope all of you, those who may still wander by here, have found a blessing or a spark to bring joy to your soul during these past, very difficult months.

Take care Pressies.

~ kei

11 December 2020

Insomnia

Odd, given all that goes on in my life, I rarely suffer with insomnia.
Tonight is one of those rare nights.

For whatever bizarre reason, I can not get this out of my head.
It’s that; indifference is like a murder weapon when used against an Empath…
It’s not as though I spend waking thoughts on this… but once in a while… tonight… my brain is wracked with questions that just shouldn’t matter.

Who cares? Let it go. Did I do something wrong? Am I that forgettable? Did I, do I hold you, us, that time with all it’s raging passion – in all things in some weird, undeserved esteem? Was it wrong, bad, dumb, utterly misguided to believe it should have evolved?
The questions that I know intellectually just should not matter, gain some sort of supernatural power at night… my brain won’t shut down. No amount of rational thinking, Zen techniques, calming mantras works…

This indifference cuts so deep into my soul, freezing and shattering my memories, my self-worth, my perception of place in my own life story… I want it to stop. It makes me angry that someone who can make me nothing in their mind has this much power over my subconscious… enough to have me awake in the Witching Hour banging out these hopeless, hurt and profoundly foreign thoughts.

Your indifference challenges everything I think and believe about me; about my intelligence, humour, wit, warmth. In this moment, I feel like they are nothing, that the striving meant nothing because there was a goal, to be something that you would value as part of your life. That the breaking apart would be a time to learn and then grow back together in a place of balance, not a place where I felt like less. Yet, here I am… feeling just that. I don’t know how to deal with this thought process that won’t just stop. I don’t want to waste another moment on a lost cause. Something in my head though, wants so badly to know why and something in my heart dies a little every time I realize that you just don’t care.

It may be the ugliest, loneliest realization that I’ve ever known…

~ keib, 4:07am, 11 December 2020

Why, Yes! Since You Asked

Something that I’ve noticed when well-intentioned friends and family offer to help “Spoonie” me:

Those offers are more appreciated than you know; the tricky part is the follow through.

I often hear “you never asked!” or “I didn’t know what you needed” or “Wish I could but that day doesn’t work”.

It totally changes the dynamic from someone understanding that you need assistance and making that happen and you being put in the position of asking a favour, two very different things.

Here’s the thing: as a formerly vivacious, uber-capable person, it kills me to ask for help. I never have, not from my parents, not from anyone. My self-esteem as a fully functioning adult is pretty beaten up already.

If you genuinely want to help, having a take charge attitude is incredibly helpful to someone like me. It shows me that you have the time and willingness. It tells me that I’m not cutting in to your personal or family time. It makes me feel that I still have value and am not burdening you.

There are so many things that you can do without being asked that improve quality of life for “Spoonies”:

Offer to help get garbage to the curb

Shovel out a walkway; lend your green thumb for some gardening

Drop off a casserole; send Skip the Dishes gift cards

Help with organizing files, cupboards, closets

Splurge on a house cleaning service gift card, it takes the embarrassment of an untidy out of the mix

Offer to help picking up groceries or shopping or send complimentary Uber / Lyft rides

Splurge on paraffin manicures or pedicures for friends with arthritis or fibro

Doing these things spontaneously, offering them at any time rather waiting to be asked is huge for me. A friend who also understands that sometimes shit just gotta get done and that every visit doesn’t need to be or should be a social event is golden. I want to see you, need to be connected to people who know who I was but every once in a while, if you could throw on a Super Hero cape, that’d be amaze-balls!

No one wants to feel indebted, least of all the people in your life who for whatever reason may not be able to reciprocate in kind. There are so many other things that I or we can still do to enhance or enrich friendships, all you need to do is be there and really mean it.

Xoxo, Karin

~ kei
29 October 2018