Releasing the Pain. #poetry (Revisited)

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Originally published (c) 2009 Pamela Schloesser Canepa

I write, I express

and I press so hard

The hurt in my shoulder

like little glass shards

****

I focus, I strive

My thoughts so intense

The weight on me

at times feels so dense.

*****

Pop! I let the pressure out, let it rise

like a balloon at its demise…

Powerless, away with the wind it goes

The fear and the pain that I once held so close.

*Revised version, 2021

Weekend Coffee Share, Challenge

Don’t hide from the storm. Revel in its power and beauty.

Here’s my Weekend Coffee Share.  Take it or leave it. Digest it or leave it on the table. Yeah, I suppose I sound a little antisocial today. I’m having work and COVID fear- burnout this weekend and don’t feel up to doing much. I’m working on avoiding overwhelm/stress/anxiety. I’m reading about the brain and pain/anxiety.  I was kind of achy when I woke this morning.

The 4 a.m. restroom wakeup had me tossing and turning to get back to sleep while an 80s Pixies song danced in my head. (My frequent wakeup song on the way to work). 🙂

Nonetheless,  it is a coffee day…because there is always something to do. While I don’t have flu or any other illness,  I will be doing. Right now the coffee has my brain juices going, working to get over the fatigue and body aches I feel. I’ve read a lot on this, and I’m a firm believer in tension-myositis. So, here is what I’ve learned from my recent readings in poetic form:

Don’t ignore the ugliest parts of yourself

Stare them down and challenge them

Know them, don’t deny them.

“Try it, I dare you.” Don’t back down, nothing can stop you

Headache, heartburn, pain, fear or fatigue…don’t let them rule

While you’re quaking in your boots, face the giant

You’ve faced it before, and it truly is not bigger than you.

You’re older now, facing many changes

They cannot control you, for you are not only a sum of difficult times

You are every good thing that has happened to you

You are every victorious moment of triumph in adversity

Never forget that when facing the storm.

It never was bigger than you.    

(C) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2020

Mind Body Mantra

(C) Pamela Schloesser Canepa

My body is a temple.

It is a source of joy,

Just as a source of pain.

My body is to never be a source of shame.

The tension within is divine

It is a path to joy, as well a warning sign.

The tension only clears

If I can cross that line.

Is it safe to let down my guard?

Will my brain give me that regard?

Will automatic systems yield…

Can past assumptions drop their shield?

I choose harmony between the two

Once achieved, there is much more I can do.

But to achieve it, there is still much I must go through.

****Certain parts of this mantra are more positive while I feel others hit the reality head-on. I plan to focus on the positive portions when needed and return to all other stanzas to honor and respect what I may feel.in any given moment.

Weekend Coffee Share, 7/04/20. Liberty and Justice for all!

Happy 4th of July, and welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share!  It has been so hot here in Northeast Florida.  Grab your favorite beverage; I’ve got the AC on high!

This week has been relaxing, yet challenging. I started off with a physical therapy appointment, then had a relaxing coffee get together with a writer friend at my house.  The physical therapy IS, at times, challenging.  More on that later. The coffee was mostly relaxing; we talk about where we are in our current works in progress and what our plans may be. I talk a lot about my shoulder because it has slowed down my writing and my time at the computer. We talked about our loved ones: her grandson and my son.  We can talk for hours! I rarely do stuff like this anymore.  Don’t worry, we were at a good social distance in my house, and I played some good jazz in the background. 🙂

I am making progress with the shoulder. With the guidance of my physical therapist, I am now able to place my hand on my hip.  He encouraged me to move my right hand and arm behind my back, something which I have not done in a very long time and would not have on my own. To think, I used to be able, just 3 or 4 years ago, to reach both hands behind my back in the prayer hands position.  Not any more.  But I’m gradually working through the pain.  I often come back from physical therapy ready for a nap. That is okay! My hard work is paying off! I will get my mobility and capabilities back. I have goals: axe throwing for one.  I may or may not be kidding. We shall see!  I also plan to be able to do more upper body yoga moves, without having to modify so much.  I do have an appt. with an orthopedic surgeon on 7/21.  My hope is that I don’t need surgery that badly.  I will be working hard on my mobility until then!

Of course, COVID-19 gives me a little anxiety and on days it really bugs me, I feel so obsessive-compulsive.  It’s not every day, though. I do still get hot flashes at times, and one day, that led me to take my temperature five times until it finally appeared to be lower.  What is going on with me?  There were no other symptoms.  What doesn’t help, is that our governor is bound and determined that kids will physically be in school to start the year in August.  At my least check, we had 166,000 COVID cases in Florida.  My city and county evidently had a big rise in cases yesterday.  I wish I could go to the beach this weekend, but I probably won’t. I do plan to go Georgia with my boyfriend and see his dad.  I plan to be careful and not catch COVID. I don’t think it is prudent or careful to have all these kids in school. Yet, the district has spent money on plastic dividers.  I guess they’re not even considering us being online for a while.  WHATEVER! I’ll get through it. My friend suggested wearing scrubs, which wash easily, instead of our good clothes. That may be a plan.

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I hope all is well with you all.  We can survive this.  We can even thrive in our own ways. Though I am not writing as much, I am journaling daily to help myself mentally not just deal with, but overcome the pain.  I bought sidewalk chalk and drew little pictures outside my front door.  I plan to do more of this, as well as making a miniature living room out of playdough. 🙂  

white and red flag

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If you’d like to learn more about my books; the first two in the Detours in Time series are just .99 in Kindle format through Sunday.  Click here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0711ZW6XF (Detours in Time), or  Book 2 (Undercurrents in Time) at  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DCCQS3N .

Have a great week, and a happy, safe Independence Day!  I feel us gradually moving closer to “Justice for all.” May the tides keep turning that way, and may we hold true to our promises as a nation. 

 

 

Goodbye! A meditation in verse

Sending it Away, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa (c) 2020.

 

Put your stuff on the boat,

and send it off gently,

the baggage that only

held you back.

 

See them go,

you don’t need them,

and they won’t counter-attack.

 

Pain, shame, anger, fear,

low self-regard, loathing, and resentment

can’t fit your search

for an enlightened life.

 

What you held onto

has distracted and limited you.

For, baggage does its duty.

Now just send it away,

with a genuine, Goodbye.

 

The monster you created

out of negativity

is no longer your friend.

Put it on the boat,

with a tear-free Goodbye.

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white and brown ship on sea

Photo by Levent Simsek on Pexels.com

Weekend Coffee Share, Processing as I Go

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali.

My online course is winding down!  Work keeps me busy as ever, but I missed a day and a half this last week due to sinus/allergy problems or a cold.  I needed the rest, but it seems many of my students missed me, which makes me feel good!

My son is becoming an adult, working steadily and learning new things, and I have no one to take care of but…myself.  Last night, he said, “I sometimes wish I was on my own, but you all (his grandma and I) keep me out of trouble.”  What a wonderful acknowledgment!  So I am taking care of myself now, per the request of my brain and body.  I’m going to pilates this morning and having a massage this afternoon.  It takes a village to keep my mind/body straight and work out my knots.  I am willing to accept help and have sought it. I also have a friend meeting me at pilates, so there may be a coffee chat for us afterward as well, since I only had half of a half-caff (can you do the Math? 🙂

I finally finished editing and processing my physical therapy journey and what I’ve learned and still am learning on pain’s connection to the brain.  You can read it here:    Pain, Growth, and Making a Truce with My Brain  Let me know if you are not able to read it all.  It is a different blogging site for me, as I am branching out.  However, hardly anyone knows me there.

I am also considering a new post in a series I used to do called “My Exercise Evolution.” I may be able to get a post out this coming week.  Then, within two weeks, I will be a novelist again, editing and proofing the Malachi manuscript!  Woohoo!  it is like a mother who misses her grown child.  At least I see the light at the end of the tunnel…

I hope the weather is nice where you are; I know I have enjoyed having dog snuggles the last few nights, as it was in the thirties last night.  *shivers*

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a great weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share. This Little Bird’s Gonna Fly…I Hope.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette Truglio Martin. Can I just say, thank God for weekends!

I was in such bliss waking up at 7 this morning knowing I didn’t have to put my brain in overdrive getting ready to be somewhere at a specified time or thinking about what I’d do first or what morning meeting I’d have at school. I looked forward to breakfast and coffee, and everyone else at home was asleep. It was silent in my home, silent in my neighborhood, and I managed 7 hours of sleep last night, a miracle, lately. I do a lot of stretching in the morning, exercises at home, and yoga now and then, which I will start more as physical therapy is winding down. It all makes for a peaceful morning that I can stretch out with writing on the laptop and sometimes, yes, tying up less ends for work and making progress on my class for Teaching Gifted students. Right now is a busy time, and I have still been in the process of working on me.

On that note, on Martin Luther King day I invited a new co-worker, a very young woman, to bring her dog to the dog park to play with my Bixby. It went so well, we are going to do it again! She is my son’s age, but why should that stop me? I am so glad I did that. It’s about breaking out of usual limits we put on ourselves.

Of course, Bixby loved it too!

I saw my doctor this last week and we discussed many things: sleeplessness, menopause, my progress with my shoulder and physical therapy. He’s offering a prescription for the sleep, and I’m going to think about it first. I think I’ve made good progress with the physical therapy and will likely write about that on my blog as well. As this process went on, I’ve been educating myself and researching about the brain and pain, anxiety and its effects on our thinking. I am emerging from physical therapy much stronger, so let me just tell you, it works. However, I not only needed help with my body and strength, but also with my mindset. I received that as well in the most subtle of ways. As a result, I am a firm believer in physical therapy as a method for dealing with or recovering from pain. As I said, I plan to write about this and some of the things I learned about myself through this process. I have one more appt, and then I will be the baby bird nudged out of the nest. I am ready to go on to the next thing, or just to discover what is the next way I can keep myself on the path to getting stronger and believing in myself. My doctor says an MRI is not necessary now, which works for me, as I like avoiding visits to the hospital! My goal is to continue doing intentional things to keep my upper body strong and not allow it to go back to the pain cycle; may any pain that comes now simply be growing pain. I am already keeping up with lower body stretches and will continue, perhaps challenging myself with barre class or cardio yoga.

Just for fun, here is what I’ve been researching about the mind:

-Is counting a form of OCD

-Other side effects of menopause

-How safe is Ambien? (because I’m not sure I want that prescription)

-Anxiety and memory loss

-physical therapy stories

-pain and trauma

-pain and the brain

-CBT

Yes, sometimes I am heavy handed with my over-thinking. But don’t worry, this little bird is gonna fly. As you should know, if you have ever met me or read my writing or blog posts, I am very capable in the area of imagination and fantasy, and half of the battle is believing that you can!

Photo via Pixabay.

Stay light, my friends. Have a great week!

Weekend Coffee Share, Befriending my Brain

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette Truglio Martin.  If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I am on a journey of learning.  Of course, I’ve mentioned my participation in physical therapy, as I am working on some pain areas that I have due to arthritis, or stress, or one of the car accidents from my past, or maybe from one of my falls when I was younger and stupid.  I believe it is progressing well, and the sciatica is at a minimum, though it comes back when I wear the wrong shoes at work and have a stressful day.  At any rate, I am so glad I finally took this step rather than telling myself I did not have time.  I feel great about this decision.

82147550_10216558383061057_159610369222901760_n Working on health of body, spirit, and mind.

Stressful days have been a norm lately.  The teaching schedule has been a little off due to five days of testing students in the mornings.  Students don’t respond well to the change in routine, and as a matter of fact, I don’t think I do either.  I take extra long to get papers or test materials in order, to the point that one kid asked if I have OCD.  I said, “Yeah, probably.  Oh, well.”  It is a type of anxiety, and I tend to get that.

I’ve been reading up on the brain and its relation to anxiety and pain.  Facebook has targeted me, showing me ads on the Curable app.  So guess what? I downloaded it for free.  Better to be informed than to be surprised, as I was the first time I had an anxiety attack four years ago.  I was convinced someone had broken into our house in the middle of the night. My heart felt like it would jump out of my chest.  I went and got the dog out of his crate; he sensed nothing.  Before this, all I had ever sensed in myself was being nervous or stressed: sweaty palms, red face, that sort of thing.  This time, I wasn’t sure if I could slow my heart down; it was horrible.  I don’t know if it just all piled up.  I’m working on it.  I’ve read that pain and anxiety are part of the brain’s response to protect us; for that we should be thankful, but we should recognize when it is irrational and learn some tools to calm it (instead of feeling betrayed by our minds when they take energy away from our focus or memory to direct it to our danger alert system).  One website I have searched is https://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-symptoms/brain-fog.shtml      I would cite other sources here, except that I’ve read so many and have committed these things to memory to use in my toolbox for surviving and thriving in a high stress job and a family that deals with a mentally ill family member with support, encouragement, and understanding. I won’t go on to list all of my stressers, but these are ongoing.  Another possibility is that going through ‘the change’ is affecting my responses and causing irritability.  Still, I am building a toolbox!

HendrixBook.82497427_10216553268053185_1263644820899889152_oIn my toolbox….

I must acknowledge that I have some really good friends at work that I can talk to about my stressers, and a boyfriend whom I have been dating for ten years.  He has seen me through my son’s teen years, a major surgery, and many of my family traumas.  I suppose I have seen him through some things as well, and he is patient when I am almost always late to social or family events. He jokes with me about it.  We are both getting older, and he has some health issues as well as a family issue that are both on his mind lately.  And I will be there for him.  I am thankful for his presence in my life.

Another part of this toolbox is the education I received in college and the encouragement my loved ones provided me when young to keep writing.  I write about a lot of concerns and anxieties, mostly in fiction form.  That way, I can write the resolution; I can create a hero, not a victim, and I can create characters who are there to help and prove that some people can be trusted.  I’ll be honest, I am not writing much fiction lately, but I am writing about my process with re-training my brain to deal with pain and change it into growth, starting with the process of physical therapy that is making me stronger every day.  I am still dealing with sleep issues, but I see the doctor in about ten days.  I know that all has something to do with the brain as well.  Let’s not forget imagination.  Being a writer of fiction, I have learned to work things out and write stories with heroes and lessons about those less fortunate than us.  It gives me hope. I have written some stressful, tense situations into my fiction, which I feel creates conflict, as there certainly is in day to day life.  I am 20% of the way into my next novel, and will return to it after I finish my current Teaching Gifted Endorsement class.  But for now, imagining has helped me to identify music and songs that relax me and take me away when I have to let the tension go, and some of Jimi Hendrix’s music does just that.  So I bought this beautiful book about him, so that I can know all I can of him, instead of obsessing over my health.

Next, I will need to start planning some real getaways, which has been on hold while I work on the pain and try to de-stress.  I cannot drive anywhere stressed and anxious; I’ve tried it, and it’s not a good idea.  The Endorsement class I have is a good escape for my brain, because I love learning, but at the same time it does produce some stress with deadlines and a lot of required reading.  I can do this.  I’ll read to learn more about Hendrix when I need a break.  And those trips I wanted last year to D.C. or New Orleans are still in my plans.  I CAN do this.

I hope all is well in your world, or that you are at least on the way there.  Have a great week!

 

 

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