August 12, 2017

Wiser Self (pt. 2)

Alta sent me this picture a few days ago. On the left, married and miserable. On the right, two years divorced and you can actually see her radiance. 

I've heard this metaphor before about the way a bad marriage snuffs your light out. I've also lived that metaphor. And so has she. 

When I met Alta she had just lost 25 pounds in two weeks after having her heart ripped out by her ex. She wasn't sure she was going to make it. But here we are three years later and Alta is killing it at life. 

Her friend told her recently how much she hates [he who must not be named] and Alta said, "It's okay I don't hate him anymore." She doesn't have time for that kind of negativity. She's got things to do and a wiser self to become. But her friend has her back in the best kind of way, "That's alright, I'll hate him for you. I'll hate him forever." (If that isn't the best kind of friendship, I surely don't know what is). 

So again, to any of you that can't find your light, it's there. You'll get through whatever it is that put your light out in the first place. You'll find your light and you will be radiant once again. Hang in there. 




August 6, 2017

Optimism

Just being optimistic about how much I'll be able to sleep after my night shift. 11 hours. Power of suggestion? Fingers crossed? 



August 3, 2017

Wiser Self

Today at therapy Julie had me do a meditation. I was supposed to imagine myself (called Younger Liz) during a hard time in my past. Me now (called Wiser Liz) was able to go back to that time and talk to my younger self. To hear her. To bear witness. To comfort her. To give advice. To tell her what I've learned. To show her who she will become. 

I chose a moment 3 weeks before I moved out. Many of you know what happened that day (I'm looking at you, Cate and Kyra). All I can tell you is it was terrible. 

Wiser Liz walked right up to younger Liz who was sitting there on that porch in painful bewilderment. Wiser Liz knew that this was almost the end of the marriage, but younger Liz still had to arrive at that conclusion on her own. Younger Liz wondered if the misery would ever end. Younger Liz wished she could just die. But Wiser Liz knew the truth. She held younger Liz, sobbing there in her arms. She told younger Liz that she understood her pain, that she didn't deserve to be treated this way, that she wasn't crazy. That she was worthy of love. Wiser Liz was calm, centered, secure and full of empathy. A bit fatter than younger Liz who had barely eaten in weeks because the weight of sadness was stealing her breath. 

Younger Liz listened while Wiser Liz told her how much she had learned during the year that was to come. That she had learned to trust her gut. That she trusted her intuition. That she could make decisions with less anxiety. That she would look back on this day as a turning point, and that she would eventually make a decision she would have no regrets about. A year from now, she would be so much happier. Her only advice was: trust yourself because you make good decisions and hold on to Alta like a life raft because she will teach you what it is to be safe, to have permission to feel what you feel, she will teach you how to guide others along this path. The good news was that the things younger Liz was learning right now would help her to help so many other people. 

You guys, the experience was so powerful. I had so much empathy for the younger version of myself. She was so sad and in so much pain. She felt like maybe nothing would ever be okay again. 

But I'm here today, and things are okay and they are so much better and I have learned so much from the experience. 

And I don't know what the take home message is except that maybe we should all try in the moment to be as gentle with ourselves as our kinder, wiser selves would be. Because really, don't we all deserve so much grace? So much grace. No one deserves to feel lost or alone or forgotten. Every soul at every point in life deserves to feel loved and accepted unconditionally. Maybe in the moment we give ourselves grace, younger us transforms ever so slightly into wiser us. And that transformation is beautiful and powerful and graceful. 

Then:
(ps wasn't my hair cute?!)

And now: 





July 22, 2017

Legs up the wall



Put your legs up the wall if you're super good at matching workout clothes. Blue and green and pink and black and all of the patterns. 

July 18, 2017

Mental Game

Literally two minutes after I posted that, Goddess Glennon posted this on Insta. 


Let's do this. We can do the meditation for 45 minutes. We can do whatever the hard things are today. 


Lone Survivor and Surviving Meditation Class

I've been listening to the audiobook Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. He talks a ton about surviving SEAL training and specifically Hell Week by just focusing on the task in front of you, taking it one task, and one day, at a time. And I mean I know that's it's like really really physically demanding to become a SEAL but I keep thinking it's totally a mental game. So last night I head to meditation class ready to get my serene on like you wouldn't believe. It's all a mental game. LITERALLY. There is literally no physical aspect of meditation. And if Marcus Luttrell can make it through SEAL training, I can certainly make it through a 45 minute meditation class no problem, right?! False! 

Because, you guys, I forgot to take my watch off. And so when the time felt like it would never end, I was like I'll just take a quick little look at the time...WHAT?! IT'S ONLY BEEN 30 MINUTES?! And it was a downhill from there. I mean I made it to the end of the class, but I might as well have been in a torture session. 

You guys! Why is the mental game so hard sometimes?! I know that's the point of meditation class, to practice the mental game, but can't it be a little easier sometimes?!

Don't worry, I'm going back to class on Wednesday. Maybe this time I won't wear a watch? How do y'all conquer the mental game? 

July 10, 2017

Siri and Podcasts

My phone has a very nice medical vocabulary, Siri on the other hand is recalcitrant to education. I was trying to save a note from my emergency medicine podcast. "Does the murmur radiate to the carotids?" Siri was close, but not quite. 




Podcast recommendation for my ER peeps: EM Basic. 

June 7, 2017

Picture to burn.

If you follow me on instagram, you already saw this, but I think it bears repeating. 


I've never burned a picture of someone before that and I found this in my scrapbook binder with clear page protectors. I was surprised I still had it. Burning it was both a therapeutic and symbolic gesture. There's something so powerful about being able to say: a terrible thing happened to me and I made it out alive on the other side. Something so freeing about leaving the past in the past and rising from the ashes so to speak. 
 

New dresser.

Well I got a new dresser. I was really proud of myself for taking only a couple minutes to decide which one to choose and not being (too) anxious about it. For those who know me, this is a huge step in the right direction. 
 

Do you see how cute that is?! I'm in love. Don't worry, I don't sleep in a twin sized bed because, Hello! You try sleeping with Gracie in a twin. 🤦🏻‍♀️. They are bringing it by next week and in the meantime I will be rearranging all of the things. If you want to come talk to me or support me morally during this time, please let me know.  Ha! Kidding. I love rearranging my room and getting new furniture and what not.  So, Congratulations to me. 

June 1, 2017

Anxiety and writing

I was reading in Daring Greatly on Tuesday about how connection is the antidote for shame. There was then a quote about some studies that show that writing for 15 to 20 minutes a day for 3 to 4 days can decrease anxiety and depression. 

You may remember that at the beginning of March I wrote about my increased anxiety here on my blog. My new therapist recommended writing more in my journal as a part of my "self-care." I did, for about four days, and I felt much better. I think it's interesting but sometimes I'm looking for a complex solutions to things, when really all I need to do is sit down and write out how I'm feeling.

This is not to say that I'm no longer anxious. Nor is it to say that I will no longer be seeing a therapist. (I'm a divorcée for crying out loud). It's just a comment on how sometimes our brains just need to get everything out on paper, right in front of us, staring us in the face, and it helps them figure out how to feel better.

And if you want to read a book where the author did that, I highly recommend Milk and Honey by Rupi Kapur. 


May 13, 2017

The Devil in my Soul

I've got some devil in my soul today. Some days are like that. So I'm going to go bike the hell out of myself. (Get it?) I'll probably listen to this song on repeat the entire time because the harmonica in it has been clinically proven to be healing to my soul. 

 

May 1, 2017

Carry me

I've been having fairly regular anxiety  attacks again. Usually a sign that something is amiss. In this case I know the cause, but knowing the cause doesn't help me to remove it from my life because it's beyond my control. 

So tonight when I cancelled on meditation because I was paralyzed by anxiety, Kristin offered to come sit with me until it passed. I was too distressed to even do that, so she did the calm, right thing in that minute. She asked me to describe what I see, what I hear, what I feel. She slowly over text brought me back to the room and to the sensations I was feeling. She coached me through the sobbing and the pressure in my chest. She coached me and supported me and loved me, until I came out breathing on the other side. 

I just keep having people in my life who sit there with me and do exactly what Jesus would do if he were sitting there with me. They tell me it's okay to be broken, to be sad, to feel betrayed. It's okay that I can't do everything all the time, because that's not my job. My job is to do what I can to get through this life and to bring as many people along with me as I can. Dragging and carrying each other sometimes if we must. And if I have any say in the matter, I'll be bringing Ms. Kristin right alongside me to heaven. 


 
 

And since I don't have any pictures of Kristin on my phone. Here's some pictures of my cat. She'll understand. 

April 30, 2017

April 20

Before my hip started randomly hurting like mad, I went on the best sunshiney bikeride. 
 

Black and white pictures of dogs

I left the country for a while to do the whole Eat, Pray, Love thing and it was the best. I also haven't written a blog post in months so here's some pictures of dogs. The Weimeriner (sic) is my brother John's. The sleeping pictures are after they played like mad with her. It was all fun and games until Koda figured out how to open the gate. Good thing my parents don't live on a crazy busy street. Oh wait. 

 
   

Did I ever mention that I love dogs? 

February 13, 2017

On waking up alone

July 22, 2016 "I woke up this morning thinking I was still in bed with S___, relief when I wasn't"

I woke up quickly with that feeling you sometimes get, not knowing exactly where you are but with a vague sense that things are familiar. I thought I was in S____'s house. Overwhelming dread.  

I opened my eyes and reached out my hands to feel if S____ was there in the bed. He was not. I was alone. The realization hit. I was not in the Queen sized bed at S___'s house. I waain my own king size bed in the apartment I now shared with my dog.  

The importance of my emotional safety cannot be overstated. Marriage is not about being happy all of the time. Marriage is about learning how to become the person we need to become in the space that allows us to be safe while making that growth. 

That bed, the one I worried with dread was where I had awakened, was not a safe place for me. I learned so much during the months that I spent there about how to soothe myself, how to create my own safe space in the middle of emotional chaos, how to establish and maintain boundaries. I left that bed a much better person than I had been. But the leaving of that bed was a relief so strong I never wanted to go back. 

I had become new. 

When I woke up thinking I was back in that terrible place, it felt like regression. 

And backward was not the direction for me.  

So here's to 10 months of forging a new independent path, to a lifetime of progression, to the goal of always waking up in a bed that is a safe space for me to land. 

February 8, 2017

Dog pictures

I really don't have anything to say except Gracie and I have moved and she has a backyard and a puppy friend. 

Meet Koda 

 

 

And also she is so happy here and so tired from all the playing. And it makes me so happy. 

 

 

So yeah. We're good. But also I need to finish unpacking and if you want to come help, you're more than welcome. 

January 24, 2017

The only life you can save.

"Try to avoid lamenting how sad it is that people 'throw away their marriages these days.' Try not to generalize. I have met hundreds of divorced women who didn't throw their marriages away. Most of us fight like hell for our marriages until we realize that we can either save our marriages or save our souls."

Regardless of how you feel about Glennon Doyle Melton, this is my truth. This is the truth of so many women. I believe marriage is a sacred covenant. I believe that marriage can and should be the supreme partnership between a man and a woman. It should be the way we help each other and learn from each other, and it should be the way we learn how to because like God. To become perfect and loving and selfless. That process can be hard. The growth can be painful. It can be stretching, expansive and terrible. But it should not destroy your soul. 

Just after my divorce, a friend told me, "When I first met you, you were so happy and just had this light.  I slowly watched that light go out. It's nice to see it coming back."

The day I moved out of a home that had been slowly crushing my soul, knowing that I had done absolutely everything in my power to save a marriage that would not be saved, was a day of release, of lightness. I do not look back because I know that it is onward and it is upward from here. 

January 5, 2017

Me and Jesus

I asked Siri to play some music for me the other day. She decided to get mouthy with me. 

Good ol' Siri.