Saturday, November 1, 1997

Look Deeper

Languid movements overcome the spirit which seeks flight into new territory.
Only a temporary setback to the keenness with which I attempt to master life’s challenges.

Doubt creeps in every now and then,
Eroding only slightly the progress made in days past.
Eventually, the steps are forward again,
Rebounding me into greater growth and understanding.

Sinking Feelings

Sometimes the words are not forthcoming.
Instead there are these feelings, nagging at my gut,
Keeping me stuck in some past memory.
Nemeses so nasty and gnat-like,
Drawing upon my energy to merely keep them at bay.

Forging new ground.
Extending myself beyond previous self-imposed limits.
I am quite certain I have done this before.
Now I must focus on things for which
I am grateful to have in my life…for life itself,
Setting my heart and mind free to move on.

A Little Bit About Me

Ok, well you know my name already, and that would be Amy. As for basic statistics, I am 30 years old and live in Connecticut with my 8 year old tiger/tabby cat, Faith. Her typing skills aren’t nearly what mine are. Faith, nonetheless, does her best to chat by walking across the keyboard or making her presence otherwise known…she has a penchant for plopping down in my lap and making a meal of my arms and wrists as they stretch towards the keyboard. But we’re far more compatible roommates than some I’ve seen, so I can’t complain.

My life is, as are all of our lives, a journey. Along this journey, I’ve encountered so many things that, while I would never wish on another human being, I know there must be a reason I’ve experienced them. Learning and growing from them is my only expectation. But for many, many years, I felt desperate, sad, angry, and alone. I grew up in a pretty messed up household (common in this day and age). There was chronic illness with both of my parents...physical and mental. There was alcoholism and assorted abuse–some of which now has arrested, and some of which continues. Sadly, sometimes removing oneself from the situation is the only way to grow and survive.

Growing up, it seemed that I was always the most screwed up in our family. That was my role. My father was a minister, my mother a successful businesswoman, my older brother was a brilliant student. I was the damaged one. As far as outside appearances went, I manifested all the symptoms of a really disharmonious family. Everyone else, well, they seemed better able to keep the problems under wraps. I tried to bury what I felt, what was going on, but I was not as skilled as the rest of my family. By age 16, I was thoroughly convinced that I would never live to age 25, or if I did, I would surely be committed to an asylum. The world around me was just fine, I was the problem.

It wasn't until many years later that I realized I was probably the best off of my family...I had a need to share my mind, my feelings, and my heart with others...a need so strong it would not be denied. My words fell mostly upon deaf ears or met against strong denial...and I thought I was crazy. For many, many years, I believed I was insane. I did a lot of writing during my adolescent years (A Few Excerpts From My Mind) to try and keep from losing my grip. When my father died as a result of Multiple Sclerosis, I was 20 years old. I hadn’t seen him in 4 years. My world came crashing down around me. I fell apart physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So many things I had held back, so many beliefs I held about myself, were out of control. I couldn’t function. I was hospitalized, and for 3 days straight I could do nothing but cry...I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat, I didn’t talk; I simply cried.

There were so many reasons for my tears. And I began to explore the reasons for the next 2 years in a safe and secure environment. Yes, it was a controlled environment, but it was oh so safe. I was very, very lucky…not too many people have the opportunity I had to evaluate myself and my life. I began to rebuild me, a person I did not know existed, a person I thought had no value. I can’t say that I enjoyed those 2 years; they were some of the most hellish times I’ve ever experienced. And my life is not now a perfect picture of health and happiness. But I am grateful, so very grateful, for that starting point.

There have been several times I thought for certain I would return to that place in my mind I was back in November of 1988. And it has scared the wits out of me each time. But every experience I survive has proven to me that I have strength, courage, love, and heart I fail to give myself credit for on most occasions. And I am reminded of how blessed I am with the friends I have.

The friends we make and keep provide us an incredible opportunity to increase our happiness and joy. One of my dearest, Susan, has been with me on this journey for just about 14 years now. Without her encouragement, love, and support, I’m not sure I would be here today. She means the world to me. And to Rich and Charlene, who are not online, well, my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for their love, support, and encouragement. I hope they truly know just how much they mean to me. As for all of the friends who touch my life daily, old and new, thanks just for being.

My journey continues. I used to believe it was a bad thing to wear my heart on my sleeve; I don't believe I would like myself very much if I was any other way. I pray for peace within myself, and I pray for the ability to appreciate and learn from each new challenge life offers me. I vow to give something back to this world for all it has given me, wherever I can. Life is so precious. I’ve heard that the world is not full of strangers, just friends we haven’t yet met.

I never met a friend I didn’t like.

–Amy, November 1997