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Subject:Loss
Time:09:05 pm
Current Mood:aggravatedaggravated
A trend I find so commonly among us is the perpetual idea of loss. Everyday some person suffers loss in some way. A dropping off, a spiraling down, a dissappearance, a minimization. We are constantly surrounded by death, dieting, divorce, and destitution. It's no wonder why we're so stressed all the time, so uptight, when it's too constricting, loose it! It's all about loss right? Whatever we gain, we lose somewhere along the way. Everything is liquid, flowing away and dissapating into the atmosphere. Mist is our losses returning to us in memory. Don't lose face, Lost soul, Lost among us, loser, lost weight, loing value, losses unkown, lost and found, loss on sale, win some, lose some, loss payee, lost time, losing numbers, lost respect, lose, lose situation, lost friend. Look howmany of our sayings revolve around loss. Is the world really nothing but a vacuum void?
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Time:12:54 am
Current Mood:peacefulpeaceful
For days I've been perusing my friends journals, but not really having much to talk about, all my thoughts remain in my head. I have disappeared inside myself for exploration, and I am feeling at peace, in harmony with my surroundings. I've enjoyed reading and listening, being silent and being in the company of others, laughing alot; letting go. The cool mornings hint at serenity, a removing of the veil.
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Subject:Herbal Farm Fun!
Time:06:11 pm
Current Mood:dorkydorky
This weekend, my mother, my neice, my husband and I all went to a Lavender farm on Cape Cod, we walked through the enchanted garden which was a maze of different plants and minature medeival stone castles where faeries were perched in doorways and windows. I showed my neice how to recognize wintergreen, which was abundant along the ground and we walked the paths leading to a field of lavender bushes, their fragrant leaves brushing against our skin and leaving their scent on our clothes. My husband took photographs of the bee keeper and the bees where they were busy making lavender honey. The little store had no lighting and was aglow only with the afternoon sun. There they sold lavender lemonade, lavender cookies, bath salts, sachets and plants. I bought some of the lemonade which was also flavored with hibiscus and a large lavender plant along with some loose lavender. Later, we went to another herb farm and I purchased a lemon balm. Since my husband deals with depression, we decided that a fun project would be to make herbal dream pillows that soothe and rejuvinate the spirit with a mix of dried lavender, lemon balm, sage and a bit of sandalwood essential oil, enclosed in a small cotton pillow case. I have some lovely turquoise paisly cotton material left over from my days on the farm in Deerfield, I used to wrap up little gifts for the farmers when we would trade, I even have turquoise paisly material with roosters on them! What fun we had this weekend, a day at an herb farm is a relaxing, soul rejuvinating experience, that I would recommend for anyone who is looking to refresh their spirit. Communing with nature is my first remedy for depression and anxiety in this crazy world
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Time:07:53 pm
Current Mood:excitedexcited
I'm very happy at this moment. After last Tuesday, I was really scared that things were going down hill, that I may lose my husband, that I may lose myself, that I was in over my head in something I didn't understand. I felt so lost and alone and had no idea where to turn. When my mother-in-law found out that Erik could go to the hospital as an emergency patient to get a psychiatric evaluation, I felt it was the best thing to do, to finally get a solid diagnosis and help for him before his suffering put an end to his life, as it does with so many.

When we were finally seen by the psychiatrist, I was so relieved by her bedside manner, how she listened to not only Erik, but me and his mother as well. That Erik was willing to actually do this was a blessing, some people never take the first step.

The doctor decided that he needed to be placed in an outpatient partial hospitalization program for five days, to get him on the right medications, to get him evaluated and set up with a psychologist to help him cope and process his mood changes. Since he's been in the program and on the medication, I have seen so much progress and it's only been a week! This thrills me to no end, because it proves that all of the behaviours he has exhibited for years is the illness, not just a personality flaw!

I have actually had conversations with him lately, real conversations, meaningful and deep. He's funny lately, not just perversity, but actual thought out humor! He's showing deep concern for my well being, he's showing he genuinely cares about me, asking lots of questions and making me feel like a part of him. He's communicating with strangers, opening his mouth and making eye contact with store clerks and showing assertiveness to people he comes in contact with. And this is just five days after he began taking medication! Laundry is done and housework too, without prodding or questioning. I feel like I'm seeing the person I married again. He hasn't been edgy or irritable with me in five days, I have not had to second guess myself or walk on eggshells. I actually desired him last night because I knew that my emotions wouldn't be trampled on suddenly out of nowhere.

I am anxious, but I have relaxed at the same time, it is slightly overwhelming, this change, but welcome all the more. I'm nearly in tears over how promising I can see the future to be. My heart is once again uplifted and I don't feel so alone in the shadow of my loves lost self.

After the hospital, Erik and I went out and bought several books on Bipolar Disorder and how to deal with a depressed loved one. I didn't go to work, my boss and my co-worker know exactly what I'm dealing with, as both of them have dealt with depression and manic depression and suicide in their lives, they were so supportive of me. I felt so much more able to cope with them by my side, these two amazing, strong women who never once judged me or tried to tell me what to do.

To have women like that in my life is very meaningful to me. I don't have a very strong mother figure, although she has been supportive in her own way, she has always taken optimism as the way to cope, which has lead to denial and self sacrifice in her. What Donna and Claudette taught me was the value of having walked through the fire, getting burned and doing it again and again until you find the answer to the problem, you don't give up hope, but you remain clear headed and realistic about what you can handle, and what you need to do for yourself in the process as well as what is best for your loved ones.

For my mother, she never gave up hope, but at the same time she was never realistic either. She read book after book, telling her what she wanted to hear or discarding things that she didn't want to hear, refusing to see what was before her as a problem and giving up her own life for fear of losing what she holds so tightly to.

My father, on the other hand, uses humor to cope with situations or at times keeps his feelings buried deep. This weekend when we were on the Cape to see them, he almost offended me by making a joke of what Erik had been through, too fresh from the trauma and threat of suicide, and a visit to the ER, I felt it inappropriate to jest and liken Erik's situation to Schizophrenia or Dementia.

I understood what he was trying to say, that we should be able to laugh at ourselves in light of our troubles, and he is certainly right, but I feel that laughter only after success in conquering such a trial is warranted. To laugh before you've succeeded in transcening your darkness, you minimize it and relegate it's intensity to a comedic joke behind a curtain.

This is also why it irritated me when it seemed that my sister was making a mockery of one of the books I got her to cope with her break up. In it, it asks that the subject delve deep to explore the relationship that the subject had with their father. In my opinion, it doesn't matter whether you feel you had a good relationship or a bad relationship with your parent, they still affected you on a unconsious level and affected your psyche with their moods, actions, words and thoughts.

For me, it was that I felt in my childhood, unappreciated for who I was, my father was only around on weekends and my mother was often stressed out and depressed. I suppose I would act out to get the attention I felt I was missing, and when it was rewarded with heavy discipline and often harsh verbal repremands, I sought to seek approval and change my behaviour to suit them. This is what translated in my relationships. I honor that, I was profoundly changed by the knowledge of it and then of course it changed how I viewed my inner world and how I handled things.

This weekend, though good, it brought to light many things that make me glad to live off the Cape. My mother still wants someone other than Rachel to blame for what happened to her, even though Rachel is the only person at fault. She even tried to suck me into pitying her because I returned a picture in which Rachel was a child and crying. I told her, that most children cry and just because it's a picture of Rachel crying as a child doesn't have anything to do with what is going on with her now.

Then she tried to get me to join her beleifs that Rachel was a victim and that she's lucky to be "alive", she even went so far as to try to get me to believe that Rachel had emotions and feelings of sadness or happiness even though she has 98% brain loss. I had to stop the conversation and tell her point blank, that I did not agree with her on the matter of Rachel, nor would I ever, that I did not have an empirical evidence to cause me to believe that what Rachel exhibits on a day to day basis is anything more than reflexive reactions to external stimuli.

The simple and hard fact is, my parents kept her alive against her living will, they enacted life saving efforts that were explicitely condemned in a contractual agreement that my sister's own hand signed by my witness. The only reason she lives today is to make my mother feel better about having lost a child and to give her false hope. It's very sad, and I will never see my sister in this condition, therefore I cannot support my mother's claims, nor would I ever refute them for that matter. I told her that I understand how hard it must be, but I cannot stand for or against the choices that this family made without Rachel's wishes being honoured.

That was the most difficult part of the weekend, I should say. Other than that, we saw a very raw and tragic play at the W.H.A.T theater, had lobster with my family, went to an herb and lavender farm with my niece Natasha and just spent some nice quality time together. And while I do think that Deb is doing ten times better than she was a few weeks ago, I still worry about her more than ever and hope that she will find her own road to happiness and peace.
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Time:08:52 pm
Current Mood:sadsad
I've been on the verge of tears all day, I've been crying since last night and can't seem to shake this feeling of dread that has come over me. All my emotions have been pushed to the limit and it's only Monday. Last week I was screamed at by a colluege and it gave me my first white hair. The stress of dealing with that, coupled with having to say goodbye to a very close friend, a family member's constant turmoil and my husbands battle with manic depression must be taking it's toll on my nerves. I felt like I could have an anxiety attack today and I just could not get into the routine of my work. I just don't feel very positive right now. Erik is going in for a psychiatric evaluation tomorrow at the hospital, he's been suicidal lately and I'm very frightened for him. His medication isn't working and his mood swings still come at random, catching me off gaurd and saddening me to no end. I just want to have some balance in our lives, I don't want to have this persistant fear of not knowing what he's going to do or say next. It's costing him his job and it's causing our relationship to strain. It hurts very much right now.

My sister is going through alot of problems too, but I feel unable to be there for her as I might if I weren't dealing with so many of my own issues right now. I feel bad that I've been short with her but I just can't handle the burden of her pain, on top of my own, it's too much to deal with. It feels like I walk alone half the time, that I always stand for everyone else, but no one walks beside me. I'm always ready with a listening ear, but when I open my mouth, where are the ears for me? I'm always everyone's strength, the one they count on to be rational and lead the way, but I'm feeling really lost right now. I've never really had to deal with mental illness before and I'm scared.

My friend Jen's dad killed himself when she was 7 years old, he hung himself in his bedroom. Jen's mom found him, he was a Vietnam vet and they had alot of problems. I could never imagine being a little kid and hearing that your parent killed themselves, would you blame yourself? This is why I need to fix this now. I think I might be pregnant and if I'm not, I really want to get pregnant very soon, but I need to get Erik to wellness before this happens.
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Subject:Coconut & Peaches
Time:07:19 pm
I'm making a peach cheese cake and Erik is evicerating a coconut in the kitchen. We thought it would be funny to have a show on TV called, "Metallers in the Kitchen", where we would throw things around and make a total mess of the kitchen while screaming out recipe ingredients to one another, Death Metal blaring in the background and it would all look like a disaster, but in the end, we'd have amazing dishes that would come out perfect. They have everything else on TV, why not?
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Subject:Vintage Weekend
Time:11:20 am
Erik and I went to a wonderful Vintage film festival this weekend. The festival was in honor of a local actress, Thelma Todd, who starred in many films with Laurel and Hardy up until her untimely death at the age of 29 in 1933. Thelma Todd, among other such actresses such as Theda Barra, began her career in silent films, collectively known as Film Noir. These vintage films, many lost in their time because film and movies in general were not taken as a serious art form in those days, are only now being preserved by dedicated enthusiasts and film experts.

The screening we went to was at the Palace Theater and was set up as it would have been in 1933. First they had televised newscasts by Fox (It's really been around that long), as many people did not have radio then, news was read in the paper or you would go to your local cinema. Then there were prevues, longer in length than our modern ones. Followed by a cartoon, we saw original Pop Eye and Betty Boop comics. The we saw a Laurel and Hardy short, then the feature presentation which was presented as a reel to reel film on an old projector on a hanging screen. The film was "Fra Diavalo" or "The Devil's Brother" starring Thelma Todd. It was a comedy with excellent acting, superb singing and amazing costumes. Unlike today's comedy, which relies mostly on illicit humor, the comedy here was actually intellegent, Erik and I laughed our asses off for more than an hour.

The mayor of Manchester proclaimed July 29th "Thelma Todd Day" in Manchester and vowed that the city would support future Vintage Film Festivals of this nature every year. I wonder if I should contact these people and offer my assistance. I worked on a film festival once and had a blast and I absolutely love film noir. In 1934 "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was produced, and it is one of the most fascinating film spectacles I have ever seen, and it was an inspiration for a song I wrote, "Oberon".

I also got my hair cut this weekend, short. I am finally free of the raggety, dry mop in the back of my head. I had it dyed a bright red with plum highlights and cut in the style of Aeon flux, long in the front, short in the back. I love it alot and feel that I have even more style options now than I did before. Since our first show is coming up in August, I want to look Kick Ass, I am also working on losing weight, excersising and getting toned. I began a yoga/pilates workout each morning and I hope I can stick with it. I don't have alot to lose, just alot to tone.

Today, we are going to visit Erik's mother in Nashua and post flyers around town for the show. It's gorgeous weather out. I don't know how anyone can be indoors on a day like today.
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Time:06:15 pm
Current Mood:mixed
We got our new bed this weekend!!! Weeee! It's so big and fluffy! I just love it. It doesn't squeek when I move, I can just pop out of bed without disturbing Erik and I had the best and most intricate dreams in a while. Though because I must have been sleeping in a very precarious way, I injured my hand and now it is all cramped up and I can't bend my finger. I put some St. Johnswort tincture on it and rubbed in some arnica and cayenne oil, which helped a bit, but I think I'm due for a soak with the epsom salts shortly.

In other news, Erik is losing his job. We are going to be crippled financially very soon and I don't know when because it could be any time. He hates his job and I don't blame him for wanting this, even praying for this. I am looking forward to his total sense of freedom and independence too, but how we will come out of this financially, I just don't know. It's very scary any time you lose stability and don't know what the future holds. He wants to become a chef and will have to start out bottom up, he may not make more than 30k to start, but if it brings a renewed sense of vitality to his life and happiness to his heart and he doesn't die of stress by his forties, I will be ever happy, even if we have to pare down our lives.

I guess it's lucky that we were able to buy this one last peice of big furniture that we needed before the inevitable happens.

But imagine, working at the same company, dedicated for 12 years and being fired for leaving the back door of your delivery truck open while you're in the vacinity of the truck, just inside the building. It seems almost ludicrous.
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Time:06:48 pm
Current Mood:confusedconfused
This weekend I stayed with my friend Jen. Jen is a very interesting woman, as many of the women I surround myself with, she feels better with men than she does with her same sex, as I do. Jen and I have been close for many years now, have walked through fires and rages together, have held each other's hands through sadness and strength. I nearly lost Jen at a point in her life when she was struggling to know herself, but because of our open communication and space that I gave her to be herself, we eventually connected again. In many ways, Jen and I are on the same path and though we do things differently, for different reasons, much of our beleifs and lifestyles are the same.
Jen is an Herbalist, a Yoga Instructor, and Environmentalist, an Artist, a Poet, a Writer and more. Both of us, studied our Herbalism and received certificates, both of us have desires to create a business for our holistic practices, and at the same time, both of us fear to do so.

What is it that keeps people like Jen and I back from doing what we dream? Why do we fear failure so much when we are people of strength and courage? What is the main factor in why we feel unable to acomplish our one life goal and bring it to fruition? Jen thinks, as I do, that if we teamed up, we could do it. But why can't we do it alone?
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Subject:Beach Bum
Time:06:35 pm
One of my fondest memories as a child was to go to the beach with my mother and sisters in the early morning, take our swimming lessons, then sit on the beach the rest of the day having sandwiches and lemonade, and when the ice cream truck came, my mother would always hand out dollar bills for us to get whatever we wanted. By the time the sun was nearing the horizon, and the mosquitos were just coming out of hiding, we were going home.

This weekend I did just that. Erik and I woke up at the crack of dawn, we gathered our lounge chairs and a huge beach umbrella, packed a cooler full of ice and wine coolers, Italian Ices and spring water and headed to Plum Island for the entire day. We arrived to the beach around 10am and set up for the day beneath the shining sun and clear blue sky. We slathered ourselves in sunscreen and sprawled out. The air was touched by an occassional breath of sea wind, white gulls dipped into the water every now and then and children ran in and out of the frigid Atlantic. Erik and I refreshed by the summer scenery, took off into the waves, allowing ourselves to immerse in the salted bouyancy, floating along wave after wave. At that moment, I felt free. Intimacy was ours, sitting together reading books we usually have no time to read, playing and spalshing in the ocean together and later sharing a meal on the waterside, fried clams and homemade lemonade. It was a summer day to remember.

Later that night, we met up with our close friends Jen, George, Neil and Adam and had a few drinks at the Rockfish before retiring back to Jen's "Great Gatsby" house in Newbury. There, against the backdrop of midnight gardens, we sat beneath the constellation Lyra talking until 2am.

The following day, Erik and I woke up early and had breakfast at Angie's, in Newburyport. The Belgian waffles are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and their coffee is just how I like it, they even had fresh squeezed orange juice, which is always a treat. Afterward, we walked around in town and stopped in each of the three bath and body shops to buy hand cut glycerine soaps and German herbal bath gel and European bath salts. Newburyport prides itself on being a little seaside town with European style shoppes and restaurants. I am always impressed with the place, and everyone is always friendly. It's been four years since I've lived there and many of the shoppe owners still remember my face and what I like to buy. This is why I know that this town is in my soul.

It was a busy weekend, filled with much activity, a company barbeque and finally rest and relaxation. I am not leaving the apartment until sunset and may do some art if I have the energy to do so. I just created a new community on livejournal called materia_medica and I am excited about it. I'm also looking forward to many new things that seem to be opening up before me, more on that soon.
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