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

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

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

Get Out Of My Head

Will you come to me tonight
You were right, it’s what I want
Let’s drive along the Parkway
We’ll revisit our old haunts

Lets shelter under the willow
Where no prying eyes can see
My body’s aching for your touch
Unwrap yourself for me

Your lips are benediction
As you bend your mouth to mine
Kisses that are sweetened
With experience and time

Share the lessons not forgotten
Held in check until you came
Every secret, searing memory
Is sparked to fiery life again

And now our bodies crash together
Truth speaks in sweat and seed
Time reveals we are a diamond
Unwrap yourself for me

~ Kei
27 May 2015, reworked 29 September 2018

I’ll Fight You

do unto others…

the golden rule is sadly tarnished

rules of engagement

more like

ignored so hard, I’m bleeding inside

i retreat, regroup, rethink

how can two people who once loved so deeply

not even be able to speak?

is this your strategy? is this how you do unto me?

I try that weapon, the blade turns

slicing at what’s left of my heart

betrayed at night by the enemy within

a traitor subconscious

dreaming a language that was ours alone

skin to skin, soul to soul

the code i know you know

something in me won’t let that go

do unto others…

I’ll fight your silence forever

to save my illusions of you

~ kei
26 May 2018

Unguarded

The thought caught me by surprise
Was it a sign of weakness?
Have you ever had one of those moments?

Well, not weakness so much as a surfacing
A loosening and a flowing
And the feeling that I thought was weakness

Started to taste more like desire
How I remember that flavour anyway
It’s the memory of how my name sounds

When it’s spoken from your lips

20 September 2017
~ kei