Dropping in

3/2/15     11:20pm

I didn’t go to Soleil’s today. She let me reschedule due to rain. I also couldn’t stay awake. I spent the day with T- instead. It was nice. Shopping, the beach, group. I’m exhausted.

I’m dropping back into life and I’m confused by what I see. I didn’t realize how many demands are placed on me, what people expect, what I was able to give. It’s astounding. Life didn’t ask it of me. I chose to give. And I chose to take a break. Life didn’t change. I did. Praise God for that. But I’m not sure where I fit.

I have a very low tolerance for other humans right now. I’m also not fond of bright lights or noise or extended car trips. My creativity is blossoming and I feel peaceful and calm, but I have no use for or real ability to do what I usually do. I don’t want to help people. I want to be at home. I don’t want to do paperwork or answer emails or look at texts. I don’t even want to be on my phone. It’s not that I’m depressed. Quite the opposite. I’m alive. I’m alive for Christ’s sake! And I’m dropping in, assessing the damage, deciding what to do next. I’m not sure what that means for now but I’m pretty sure it will turn out to be nothing less than miraculous. God is good and I trust He has me here in this state of disarray and confusion for a purpose. I wait with anticipation…

What helps you when dropping into your life after an absence of some time? when you find what you left doesn’t suit you anymore?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Rebranding

3/1/15     12:32am

Hello, dears. ;) It’s like greeting an old friend, sitting down to type. It has been awhile. Someone asked me recently, “What happened?!” in regards to my hospitalization. Well, a lot. I haven’t been able to answer that question yet. I thought I’d try here but it doesn’t seem likely tonight. I’m tired. I feel disconnected.

I worked all day in somewhat of a trance on my room and my chair in the living room – organizing papers, moving things around, throwing things out. I took a 4 hour nap in between but was able to create a space for me. I took some pictures but they came out blurry. I made space to put down my dance floor, a rug and my purple BackJack. I assembled some metal cubes to store stuff I don’t know what to do with in. Everything is up off the floor now. I even changed out the art on my walls. My room reflects me now. Colorful, calm, full of possibility and flexible in use.

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My birthday’s coming up next week. I’m excited. I’m going to my aunt’s house in the desert – my favorite place in the world to be. I get to spend time with my family and my dog and alone time with the dirt – my salty desert dirt. Is it just me or are there a lot of the words me, my and commas here? My mind is on its own today.

I’ve decided this year the purchase I want to save up for is a fountain. Yes, I want my own fountain. I got a mattress I love and last year I bought myself a swing. A fountain seems a fitting next step. I feel calmer near water and always gravitate towards it in gardens and at the hospital. So I’m starting a fountain fund. If you want to pitch in toward the fountain for my birthday, just because you like me, or because you have nothing better to do, you can send money through PayPal to my mom (diana.routhieaux@gmail.com). I made an Amazon wish list too. I want to buy a bowling ball this year but I’m not sure when. I’m overspending recently…

I feel like a seven year-old after a long day at the fair, coming down off cotton candy and ice cream, talking in circles and not making much sense. (stare) Then again it is 1:30 am and I took my meds at midnight. Eh, same effect. I’ll leave you to it. (Zap!)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Unimportant Grace

2/15/15     2:30pm

I want to die. I played Apples to Apples. I’m in a spiritual service now on repentence, turning toward goodness. Apparently lent starts next week. Hot damn. Who cares? Aside from Auntie. Not me.

     I need to go home now.
     It’s too far, too much.
     This transition will hurt.

I am proving how unneeded I am. (sigh) Damn. I am at once important and not important at all. Dr. N. It’s important to understand my unimportance. I can only get out if I do. I don’t want to. I don’t know how to know and survive. Jesus, help me. Thank you, Lord.

It is only through being unimportant that I am freed to do something else.

I don’t want chocolate.
I don’t want steak.
I only want to feel okay.
Soaring freer than ever before,
Far up over the open door,
I watch what’s left here on the ground.
Where I am headed there is no frown.
No time, no terror, no second base.
Only the glow of His great face.
I don’t want chocolate.
I don’t want steak.
I only want to feel His grace.

I miss you, Sonny.
Only surrender.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Day 18 – Looking Forward

2-12-15     5:30pm

Day 18. I think I’m getting better. Today I realized I haven’t been harassed by an electrical outlet in days. I don’t even want to die 24/7 today. What a concept. I even danced in my room. I admit I did it because it was part of my homework, but I did it. I’ve been working closely with my doctor here and with a therapist.

I’m having trouble concentrating. There aren’t many thoughts in my head right now but the ones that are are being diverted by Comedy Central blaring behind me and the sound of my fingernails on the keyboard. Mom’s coming tonight. I keep thinking it’s Friday and that there’s an OCD group tonight. Neither are true. It is, apparently, almost Valentine’s Day though. Not that it matters. One day after Friday the 13th.

I’d like to write something helpful here or even somewhat coherent, but I don’t really see that happening. (deep breath) Oh, how I long for the sound of quiet. I’m hoping I’m allergic to someone’s perfume or something else here and not to my new medication. I can barely breathe through my nose and my head and ears hurt but I don’t have a cold. I’ve also been getting migraines and having eye pain every day. Today was definitely better than the past few.

What I’m looking forward to:

  • Playing with Ellie at dog beach
  • Getting my nails done
  • Sleeping in my own bed (first time I can say that!)
  • Holding the girls
  • Watching NCIS
  • Seeing Soleil
  • Eating at CBW
  • Using my BackJack
  • Having a computer all to myself
  • Going to Possum Trot
  • Visiting Auntie
  • Driving
  • Going to church
  • Gospel Choir

Feels good to look forward to something positive. I can’t recall the time I was able to do that last. Praise the Lord for Dr. M and D- and my mama. Here’s to more posts in the near future with substance and grace.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Presence over Present

2/2/15     8:10pm

Presence over present – my message from God today. His presence over my present. I shared the phrase with a few people. They gave me their interpretations. For me, it stays the same. His presence over my present.

I wondered what this meant. DBT stresses mindfulness and being in this moment – the present. But being in this moment is really hard for me right now. Can I be in His presence without being in this present? Yes. Yes, I can. I was so relieved to realize that. My present doesn’t quite matter. It’s simply a bonus to drop into when I can. All I need is God.

Wrap me in your healing warmth.
Surround me with your presence.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Salty Desert Dirt

My doctor asked me to write a poem about gemstones or nature. This is what came out.

1-31-15     5:30pm

When I think of nature, the thing that comes to mind is salty desert dirt. I see the multicolored orbs – white, tan, brown – piled on top of each other, shifting with each of my steps. I stop, bend down to look at them, to ponder the earth. Large black ants march on their way. I’m fascinated by their roundness, their focus. Is it of fear or motivation? Intently I watch the ant hill. What is the project? What is the mission today?

The smell of the earth fills the air. It permeates by being. I want to be here with this earth, this special earth. When I leave, it isn’t hurt. When I return, it isn’t happy. It is simply my earth. Salty, talcy, dusty, dirty earth. I need no gemstones.

The earth doesn’t judge. It listens. It respects me. It hurts predictably when I fall on it. Salty desert dirt.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Confetti Mind

1/31/2015     9:40pm

So, I’ve been checking my email repeatedly tonight hoping something interesting would appear. In lieu of that, I decided to post an update here.

I’m sorry I haven’t kept up the blog lately. My brain’s been trying to kill me. I had a manic episode that morphed into a mixed one and finally crashed into depression. I’m in the hospital now. I didn’t hurt myself. I just really want to die and have been in a lot of physical pain for some time. A new med is helping my pain tremendously but another new one meant to “organize” my thinking is turning out to make me more confused.

I’m in somewhat of a spiritual battle. I don’t know what’s happening to or with me or why I’m here. I surrendered to God last week, disengaged from my life. I prayed that God would fill every cell of my being until it burst and there was none of me left, only Him. I prayed He would use me for His purpose and not mine. I know it’s a dangerous thing to pray but I did. I’m very aware that I’m incubating here for something. I don’t feel anxious about His work in me. I just feel weary and tired. I need rest before the journey. My pastor visited tonight. It was helpful.

I… (confused)

My doctor is considering TMS or ECT as well as other med changes. I’m grateful that my outpatient doctor is covering for my inpatient doctor this weekend. I saw her today and will again tomorrow. She is concerned, says I’m much more scattered than usual. I agree. I was sitting in the hallway today staring. I asked myself why I’m here in the hospital. I didn’t know. That’s never a good sign. I’ve been dissociating a lot and she asked me to try to stay present. I did and the death thoughts came flooding back in. I could feel myself dying in various situations. It was very unpleasant. I told my nurse tonight, whom I hate, and he didn’t seem to care. I care. God cares. I miss Dr. N.

My mom came to visit tonight too and I was pressured-speech rambling. Now I’m exhausted. I’ve eaten way too much chocolate pudding today but I’m eating and that’s positive. (stare) I’m tired now and feel so incredibly sad. Also, my friends are mad that I asked for no visitors except a select few. I don’t know what to say to that. I just need my space right now.

I’m not sure why I’m typing this or sharing my life with random humans. I guess I just need to feel heard tonight, to share. Thanks for listening. I appreciate you.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Feed Me

12/23/2014     1:04am

It’s 1 in the morning. I just finished baking three batches of cookies and a pan of brownies. I’m tired. I haven’t blogged in forever. I forget how long. It’s not personal. I’m not writing much either and when I do it’s not stuff I can post. I’m getting sick. Forced down time.

I’m really struggling. The stress has been building for months and I’ve watched my functioning slowly and quietly deteriorate. Saturday I had a total shutdown and couldn’t speak or move. Then I could move but not speak. The words came back Sunday but were touch and go. I almost got hit by a car yesterday because I wasn’t paying attention. I was too focused on trying to eat something so my blood sugar didn’t get any lower. I visited a friend in the hospital a few days ago and she joked that I should be her roommate. I didn’t tell her it was quite possible.

Today was a lot better. I saw Jim and he said I should adopt a hospital schedule. I’ve done it before to get through hard times. It just makes me sad. I carry a Snuffleupagus around for safety. Yes, the Sesame Street character. I’m not eating enough or I’m bingeing. I am tired all the time. I don’t know what’s happening but something is taking over my brain. I have a solo in the Christmas Eve program at church and I think that’s my only solid reason to be here. Tonight I have a scratchy throat and I’m praying for God to sing through me and preserve my voice for the show. I’m not sure what comes after that. Mom and I are doing Christmas at our house just us. I’m not looking forward to it. I just don’t feel Christmas this year. I miss Dr. N terribly and I can’t think straight.

I see Ashley tomorrow. I don’t know what to say. I need help. I’ve been having panic attacks and allergic reactions from things I eat even though I’m not supposed to. I left group early tonight because I was too anxious and I couldn’t tolerate hearing any more stories. No one followed or asked. I wanted to share what’s going on with me, how I’m scared and feel so alone. But I left. I hid and ate. I need help.

I’m not feeling poetic or wordy tonight. No creativity flows from me. Just the remnants of a disagreement with the oven and the faith to ask God to heal me. Even just the cold. I want to go home. Someone please feed me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Purpose

Thoughts after a friend’s comments today. She made my life make sense.
Yes, I am safe.

10/2/14     12:45pm

“It’s your job to help them make sense. You’re really good at that. You have a unique angle… Praise these people for the good they’re doing.” -C

Judgement          (piano music)

Anger at incompetence

They’re doing their best

Your best isn’t good enough

My best isn’t good enough
(sigh)
It never is.

She pointed out I let things get me upset. There are many thing worth being angry about. I don’t understand artificial limits. Things are SUPPOSED to make sense. People are supposed to be good and competent and do their jobs well. Life is supposed to be good. Objects belong in their assigned places. Needs should be met. There should be love.

Yet, there is chaos. The force of the world turning empties the drawers. Walls fall down. Good people die. Fourth graders run the world.

IT’S NOT RIGHT.

People wonder why I get mad. I can have empathy for individuals, not so much for systems of care. The happy people seem to not have or have overcome this programming. I observe them operating calmly under the belief that people are good, practicing forgiveness and rest. This is utterly foreign to me. When I try this I have to not care. I stop giving a shit and my anger turns to bitterness. It erases my hope.

The anger is what propels me, causes me to seek or make change. People don’t like it. I assume they think I do, like I could walk away if I tried. There’s nothing else inside.

(quiet pause, close my eyes)
I want to die.
(watch the people)

When you take the anger I sit on the floor, silent, looking up at you. Who’s my mommy? Will you take me home? I don’t belong here.

(silent)

Inside the donut.
Goosebumps.
Thank you, God.
Thank you, C.


“Lord I’m Ready Now” by Plumb plays over and over in my head. It’s so intense. I’m ready to let go. I don’t want this anymore. Fall into the arms of Jesus and weep. I feel so alone.

Yes, I’m a bitch. It’s all I know. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Teach me your ways.

Read the book.

Shut up.

(deep breath)

Go.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Elephants

9-27-10     10:25am

I’m struggling this morning to find the motivation to take a shower. It’s been over a week. There is a show on the television about elephants in Bali. My mom is asleep. We’re supposed to be at dog training in a half hour. I don’t want to go.

Something is wrong with me. I am weak, lethargic, having episodes of tachycardia, muscle spasms in my back and head. My headaches have returned. My blood pressure is spotty. I know some of this can be attributed to stress but not all. I’m having this thing where the muscles in my face pull my eyes open wide and make it difficult to blink. So I don’t blink often and then my contacts get dried out. It hurts and when I do close my eyes it’s hard to open them. Consequently, I fall asleep. This has happened several times while driving. Yesterday I almost hit a car in traffic. It comes on quick and is often preceded several hours by happiness/euphoria. Yesterday I felt sincere joy and cried happy tears although I have no idea why. I made an appt with my chiropractor today. In this process, there are few if any thoughts in my head.

I’ve at least been thinking about blogging lately, even if I haven’t done it. That’s a step up from forgetting I have a blog. I saw my new psychiatrist a few weeks ago and she seems nice and competent. I don’t know what to do… I’m tired. So tired. A better word would be lethargic. I had apple and peanut butter for breakfast. Thank God for honeycrisp apple season. Lets work it in.

I have to go. I’m having trouble staying upright to type. Just checking in. Oh, I made reservations for CLOG National in Reno. I’m excited. Something positive to look forward to.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Chaos in the Chorus

9-10-14     11:26pm

I knew it had been awhile since I blogged but I didn’t realize it had been almost 2 months. 

So what happened 2 months ago? Dr. N, my psychiatrist and main support person, told me he took a different job and can no longer be my doctor. He explained the situation and I understand but it’s fucking me up. This is the first time I’ve experienced real grief. I don’t know what to do with it. At first I couldn’t stop crying and carried around the means to kill myself. Then I shut down. Then it would hit me in waves. All of last week I was bitchy and angry. This week I just sit and stare. I was supposed to see him yesterday but he cancelled to pick up family from LAX. I’m concerned about him and his family because his home country is Syria. That place has gone to shit.

I’m tired. I’m so tired. The sky is falling. I struggle to dance in the rain. The moon is under construction and it’s raining Starbursts.

My mom had cataract surgery on both eyes. She can see now and is fascinated with colors. We are working on decluttering the house. Our dog is amazing. I’ve decided to train her in French. Mom doesn’t buy it. I went to Harvest Crusade with Mom and my friend T and rededicated my life to Christ. I’m reading the Bible when I can. I keep praying. I feel my problems are insignificant compared to others’ but it’s the intensity of emotion that bothers me more than the stuff. I also started watching two little girls. They make my day every time I see them. One is 8 months old and the other is 2 and 1/2 and has autism. Mom is helping and it’s a good time to bond and learn.

The word “transition” keeps coming up. Everyone says I’m in “transition.” I’ve come to view it as an evil word. What does it even mean? The shitty, unorganized period of time between two or more important events? I feel selfish for having such an intense reaction/response to the situations in my life when those less fortunate can say nothing. I have a home. I have family. I just got approved for SSDI. I’m driving now. I finally have a room that feels good to me. I worked over a year saving up money for a new mattress and putting art up on the walls. Now it feels like me. Butterflies and tranquility.

My thoughts really haven’t been coming to me. They are either nowhere to be found or showing up in pictures. There is chaos in the chorus and sometimes I can’t even hear the thoughts. I just hear the cadence, the timing. Last night 7 had so much she just needed to get OUT so I walked around the parking lot after DBT talking to the moon. She’s so scared. 

Yoga therapy has been really great. It’s exactly what I need. A quiet space to explore me with someone who cares. An opportunity to move my body, to listen to it. I am so grateful for Soleil. I found a new friend at group too. Her mom hates me but that’s okay. She is fun. She reminds me a lot of me when I was her age. I want to be free. 

Right now it’s Comfort Drive time – the 3rd year I’ve done it. I’m concerned because there aren’t many donations coming in and usually it’s a flood. I’m too tired to hit the pavement so I wait and pray. This current situation has me praying a lot, relying on faith when I usually wouldn’t. I don’t have the answers. I don’t know why. Dr. N said I’m a fixer and this can’t be fixed. Then what do you do with it? 

I recently tried Amitiza for my stomach. I took it for about 3 weeks. Then I stopped because it caused debilitating, mind-numbing pain for me. Head pain, burning face, lack of thought, super weak, can’t stay awake, can’t breathe pain. My head feels much better. Now if I could only get the…  (falling asleep)

I really like the little girls. They make me happy, even when they’re sad.

I have to go. I’m literally falling asleep at the computer. Just wanted you to know I haven’t forgotten you. I want to write and I want to blog but I’m not writing much and what I am is not internet-friendly. I managed to hurt my shoulder somehow while thrashing around in my sleep. I really should get it checked. Feels like someone is cutting me with a knife when I reach for anything. 

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Thank God for Maggots

9-7-14  4:23pm

Thank God for maggots. 

I’m sitting in El Pollo Loco. I finally got food. I’ve been full of anger for a week now and today I broke. I spent two hours pouring sweat at Irma’s fighting maggots and flies. I called Mom and she Googled for me. At first I felt bad killing them. Then it was oddly relieving feeling their tiny bodies crush beneath my thumb, like bubble wrap.

In case you’re wondering, Windex, Simple Green, and Raid don’t kill maggots. I settled for boiling water. It was nasty. But I did it. I’m falling asleep.

As I turned into Dixieline to buy fly tape I broke down. I parked and sobbed and wailed. It felt good. What about crying makes eyes look glassy?

I emailed Colleen back. It’s really nice of her to reach out. I want to write to Dr. H but I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to scare her or look too sane, but there are things I need her to know.

(falling asleep)

I don’t know why I’m sleepy.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Awake

7-25-14     1:23pm

Awake 7-24-14

I am awake.
I am alive.
Nothing bad happened.

We talked about radical acceptance. “I don’t like it. I don’t want it. AND I can tolerate it.”
I added, “AND I can love it.” I am awake.

I told her I want to wake up. I shared some past. I curled up tight in a ball. I talked about fear and confusion. She allowed me to feel what it’s like to be scared and confused, to stay with it. For me that’s new.

I notice I’m having trouble remembering. I was skipping around the numbers.

From the ball I took a chance and uncurled. I laid on the floor, moving my fingers and toes. Then I went upside down – plowish pose. Things were instantly better. I’m calmer upside down. I struggled in my head to find the courage to ask to do a back bend. When I did I shared the arguing in my head.

Soleil put her feet on my back and supported me as I peeled off the well. I opened my eyes to look at her briefly. I felt sheer freedom, relief. Then an overwhelming wave of nausea. I’ll call it emotion. I stayed with it for as long as I could then came down and put my hands and forehead on the wall. I breathed heavily. I was awake.

I learned the emotion is much stronger and closer than I thought and that I can access it when I want. I can be awake and have nothing bad happen. I can sit with and love my scary thoughts and the parts of me thinking them. I also noticed how real and very close my past is. I don’t want to run anymore. I am weak, and that’s okay. I want to integrate. I think I’m ready. We work together.

Lately I hear music almost constantly. The numbers in my head fight and change course. I feel pressed. I must always be working. I don’t want to wake up one day when I’m 50. I want to live life now. And take a nap. Soul-searching is exhausting.

I am awake.
I am alive.

(continued 7-26-14)

I felt.
Identified a want/need.
Allowed myself to want.
Let my self ask.
Used courage.
Took a chance/risk.
Asked for what I wanted.
Was honest about feeling scared.
Asked for help.
Trusted that she wouldn’t hurt me for asking.

Trusted her.
Experienced the uncertainty.
Stayed with it.
Participated.
Let go into the pose.
Embraced the feeling of freedom.
Let myself feel it.
Acknowledged pain when it came but didn’t stop even though I felt scared.

Watched the sensations grow
– pins & needles & burning in my left hand and arm
– extreme nausea
Chose to move up and sit back even though I was scared to get in trouble
– rested my hands and forehead on the wall
Watched myself breathe deeply, heavily.
Did not judge the moment.

What did I practice?

  • Patience for me
  • Trust
    trusting me
    trusting she wouldn’t hurt me
    trusting her words
    trusting her to support me
    trusting my own judgement
    trusting what my body tells me to do or not to
    trusting my instinct
    trusting God
  • Staying in the moment – present/awake
  • Staying with a feeling
  • Feeling
  • Telling the truth
  • Being Real
  • Being Michelle
  • Just being
  • Allowing myself to be happy, playful, and do basketball court angels

When I was scared I curled up so tight in a ball. I didn’t know I could get so small. I took a chance when prompted to uncurl. The dance is stuck in me. I must get it, let it out. I must set me free.

(listened to RadioLab)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Ya can’t fix tile with a laser beam

7/17/14     3:17pm

Do you want to stop dissociating? (therapist)

I want to not feel trapped. I want to not need to escape reality. I want to get what I need and to know that I have it. And what I have it for. I want ME.

I’m so exhausted. I fight but I can’t get out of my mind. I want to cut the pain out like a tumor. Just GET it OUT. I rarely cry. I’m surrounded by fog. My life is a lie it seems but only to me. I’m the one who can’t quite reach it.

Put on a smile. Dress nicely. Run to catch up. What day is it? Who cares? Just follow the box. This meaning is big-picture stuff. Just keep trodding along.

(slow deep breath, confusion)

I don’t want to be sick. It has benefits but not worth dying for. Why stay propped up on toothpicks when you could run? Have you tried?

(shutting down)

Tuesday I had a strong response and shut down in group. B- was the trigger. I didn’t say anything. (falling asleep) I want to be able to read menus again. I don’t know how I’m doing right now. When Ashley states it objectively it sounds bleak. I can’t remember what I’ve done or am doing. I’m very reactive. I can’t make decisions. I zone out driving. I hear music or racing thoughts or nothing. I get hot or cold for no reason. I’m not interested in people or activities or life. I’m having a really hard time making my bed and handling finances. I’m not brushing my teeth. My hair is falling out. I’m gaining weight. I’m picking again. I’m thinking in pictures. I can’t tolerate reading email and I’m not responding in a timely manner to text or voicemail. I’m not interested in tv. I have nightmares and wake up sweaty. I’m tired. Head pain and stomach pain are literally mind-numbing. Dr. T says I’m falling apart. I am.

I’m working really hard. I don’t know why I’d do that if I didn’t want to change. Groups and therapy are stressful. Who would volunteer for that? I’m not a glutton, nor do I like punishment.

Oddly, I don’t feel angry or offended at the question. One would think I would be better by now, might think I’m not trying. I just feel sad. It’s a question I’ve asked others. Do you want to get better? Yes. I do. Life is better than treatment. But life is trying to eat me. Or so my brain tells me. I do what the voices tell me.

Honestly, I do not want to be present for this. But if I don’t experience it I won’t have a chance to remember. “I feel like a hamster,” I kept telling them. Trapped and people are watching me. They gave me Risperdal and Depakote. “I broke the stone statue” led to being under close observation. I don’t speak the language. Shawna tries but she rarely “speaks Michelle.” I don’t want my own language, don’t want to need translation. I just want to be, to understand, to experience just what’s real. I imagine it might be boring but I want the opportunity to try.

I don’t want to lose my superpowers, just to put them away for awhile. Ya can’t fix tile with a laser beam.

Love, Michelle

PS – I want out of my body. It hurts not to move or dance. When offered opportunities I freeze with fear. GET IT OUT.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Still Worth Saving

7/14/14     2:05pm

pink button 7-14-14Still.

(several sighs)

I feel my throat burn and face and hands tingle. The chaos floods back in quickly. I drew my picture. Then I colored out the anxiety.

Today I let go.
I am worth saving.
I am still worth saving.

Still. That implies that I was before.
I’m also still okay.

I feel nauseous and scared.

(go outside)

(stretch, toes in grass, look at sun & upside down trees)

I am okay.
I’m afraid of the pain.
I’m afraid of the pain being real.
It’s everything I want.
If I go through it, will it subside?
If I come to life, will I want to be in it?
Will I be able to get back out?

I am okay.
I’m still okay.
I don’t know what that means.

I’m accessing. I’m getting closer to her. I’m letting her take over me.

I feel frustrated because today it’s different. I went from chaos at an 8 to a 0 with Soleil. I practiced trust and truth, hanging on and letting go, listening. (wave of sadness). Then chaos clamped down like a dungeon door trapping me in when I left.

(image in my mind of me begging at the door when the back of my cell had no wall)
Just turn around.
You’re still okay.
It’s okay to save you.

Remember today, resist self-sacrifice.
Eat. Move your body. Believe.

That’s all ’til next time.
Over and out. –

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

I am not broken

I am not broken crop 7-8-147/8/14     11:55 am

Hear music:

It’s not over.
It’s not finished.
It’s not ending.
It’s only the beginning.
When God is in it, all things made new.

It played in my head before and resumed again.

I visited the dungeon. I sat with 15. She gave me a button. I’m not broken. And I’m not sure I believe it.

I’m not broken.
The button is real.
The sickness is real, but I am real too.

I talked about my kidneys and Ashley. My body held all of my sins and strife in a hollow ringing dark blue ball in my back. My body said to let go. Let go. I can’t follow the pattern of movement and change. Hands, feet, rocking, stretching. A whirl in my head like a blender. Then we were there. I went to the dungeon. I went to see 15.

Mom says not to go down there, that she’s bad and deserves to be punished and alone, a disgrace to the family. She eats spaghetti. But she’s not. She’s just a little girl looking to be loved. She’s not broken. I’m not broken. It was cold there. She sat on the floor instead of the bench. The door was open. I sat next to her. I didn’t say a word.

Her hair was stringy, eyes big. She was younger than me, scared but she didn’t run away. She just watched me. I wasn’t scared of being caught like before. I didn’t try to change or convince her. She’s not broken. I’m not broken. This isn’t our fault.

I feel nervous as I write this, like someone is watching and will find out and get me.

(someone screams in real life – look up)

She gave me a trinket, a small button with an anchor on it. It was dark blue and textured. She is the anchor and she is not broken. She is REAL and I have to save her. Or do I? Maybe I could just be her friend, hold her hand. Maybe she can teach me.

I decided that maybe I could take her a picnic. She had a very important message for me – “You have to dance.” The phrase comes to mind, “Don’t let me die in vain.” Is she really dying? I want the time to love her. She’s not broken. I’m not broken.

I set a goal to dance with some videos this week and to re-query Trisha about space. In order to be successful in teaching while sick, I need to drop my pride and be open. That is hardest for me. It’s why 15 is in the dungeon and why I don’t teach kids. I’m terrified.

It’s a made up fear.

No it’s not.

Kind of.

Okay, a little. But SOME of it is real.

Yes.

Plan for the ending.
Then LIVE.

Touche. Live.

Almost everything scares me. I stuff the fear inside the blue ball. Shame is placed in the dungeon. Sadness lives in my core. Anger stays in my head. Before the ball, fear burrows everywhere wreaking havoc on all of my cells. Uncertainty or loss take my breath. Overwhelm lives in my throat. I hold tight to the spiky pain. It makes me dizzy and confused. And exhausted.

I’m not broken. (deep breath)

I need to visit and learn from her. She survived. She’s real. The button is real.

All of the worries and fears of a few hours ago are gone. God gave me Soleil and 15. I prayed on a dandelion that God would set me free. I pondered the insight of a eucalyptus before it sheds. (My foot tingles) I remembered I grew like a tree last year and the tree on my wall to symbolize that.

I’m growing.
I’m real.
I’m not broken.
And I’m hungry.

It doesn’t matter what I lose.
God is holding me.
He has always provided, always will.
It’s not my plan.
It IS my life.

I’m not broken.
I’m real.
I have to dance.

I feel dizzy.

I just looked down at my anchor button and realized it’s a J for Jesus. (smile) Praise God. Yes, He is my anchor.

I am not broken

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014

Pain is a hat

6-30-14     2:07pm

Pain is a hat 6-30-14

Pain is a hat.

Pain is more of a hat than a liver. It can’t hurt me. It’s not part of me. Letting go isn’t loss. Hanging on isn’t gain. Pain is a hat.

I just finished with Soleil. Amazing session. I started out very agitated, scared. I talked about being scared Dr. Nicolas will be mad and afraid to go back to being sick.  A small dot in my stomach was me.

I laid on my back and she put her hand on the dot. We talked. I couldn’t trust, was still scared, so she held my hand. It was grounding. She was real. My hand felt real. She touched my forearm (real), my upper arm (real). She stretched out my arm, pulled. It was the reach of a line, a dance stretch. It opened up the inside of my upper arm, like when I twirl. I joined my other arm. I was calm. So calm. I felt pleasant joy. No anxiety. I listened to the tick of the clock, felt my heartbeat in my stomach. And I remembered what I told Ana – that maybe the pain/feeling doesn’t want to be there either. Am I fighting a friend, an ally?

Pain is just a hat. I can take it off and still be me. It and emotion and life are experiences. I choose pink glitter. I can change hats every day. Or leave one on for years. Or wear more than one at a time. Or I can wear no hat at all.

Some hats have magical powers. When I wear them I transform or change, but they don’t affect the real me, the foundation. Except the ones that are tattooed on, but those are more like skidmarks, scars, memories.

Pain is a hat.

(pause)

So, I guess it doesn’t matter what I go through, whether I’m sick or treated or not. Telling Dr. N doesn’t make the hat more real. Taking medication to remove it doesn’t remove me. Pain can’t hurt me. It’s a hat. Pain is a hat.

Thank you, God. Thank you.
For Soleil, and for hats.

Remember realizing Dr. N isn’t mad at me. I’m mad at me for not getting better. I want this fucking done. Get in the game, bitch. He just wants me okay.

My head hurts.

Getting better or healing and the process are no less painful, but I’m no longer afraid to do it. Me minus illness still equals me. I may be ragged but I’m still here, fighting, waiting for you.

I want a gluten-free brownie.

Me too.

I’m hungry but I don’t want to move or leave. I’m sitting in the sun in the parking lot. I hear the cars. They seem real. (run my hands over all of me) When I touch me I seem real. Then it fades quickly away.

A baby fell on its head in my car.

No it didn’t.

(sit under the trees)
(notice the breeze)

Train!

I don’t feel safe to drive.

(clasp my hands together)

I’m real.

Choose to hold on to the happy. Why not?

(13) I have to tell Dr. N.

It’s okay to be scared.

I agreed to tell Ashley when I need to use a skill to drive. I don’t want to . Where am I going? WHY ARE YOU TOUCHING ME?! 

TICKLE FIGHT! :)

Dr. N called me back. I told him I’m okay. I was at the moment. But I’m not.

I remember with Soleil God was a big fuzzy purple shoe bag that scooped me up. It was dark inside and I was trapped, so scared. I couldn’t see. He pulled the drawstring tightly closed when life was dangerous and let me look out the top when it was safe. Life was land.

Sometimes there are reasons we cannot see.

(13) I don’t want to wait here. This is stupid.

Is my life a sheltered workshop?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2014