Benefits of Pain

4/10/13     9:35am

  • Forces me to slow down, to be mindful of each thing I do
  • Refocuses my attention on God
  • Shows me what is and isn’t important
  • Humbles me
  • Makes me greatly appreciate the little things when they come back
  • Gives me permission to take care of ME
  • Allows me a space to heal
  • Reminds me this is His plan, not mine
  • Increases my empathy towards others
  • Purifies me
  • Reminds me of all my blessings
  • Shows me how frail I really am
  • Causes me to seek help
  • Causes me to want to apologize & forgive
  • Breaks down my walls/barriers/facade
  • Lets me cry
  • Takes my focus off of thoughts & feelings
  • Gives me new perspectives

I am thankful for pain.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

Jesus Loves Me

12/4/12     8:15pm

Dear God,

THANK YOU!

I am waiting for the trolley. I feel joy. I breathe in the cool night air. I breathe. I breathe… I feel calm. I listen intently to crickets and the sound of car tires over rail tracks and the wind. German discussions drift…

My hair blows softly over my face.
I’m free.

I’M FREE! (sigh)

I can’t explain the joy sitting here brings me. Folding laundry. Listening instead of just hearing. The deep appreciation of rising from the ashes, of being released from pain. I see colors. I taste. I feel God again.

19 days of pain have led to this beauty. I am set free. I savor the feeling. I know it is just for a time but this time is mine.

(break to talk with Ringo on the trolley)

(zap) I look forward to projects. I eat colors, swallow time. I am pink and the whole world sings. Of joy, of deliverance, of me. My face smiles without me. I watch. She is beautiful when she’s happy.

This week I realistically contemplated going in. Today I don’t need to. When I see my doctor tomorrow the pain will be a story. I will be able to talk, unlike last time, and to think. I think. Anyway, there is such a difference. Like flipping a switch. I am glad to be on this side.

I could not appreciate gift without loss. Now I take it in, prepare and wait. Rest. Thank you, God. Weepin’ may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Amen.

My whole body tingles.
Joy comes in the morning.

(sing Brett Michaels’ song “Joy Comin’.”)

As my muscles being to hurt again, remember this feeling.

I used all my energy today.
Now I’m melting.
At least I can poop.

7          If I can feel such joy on Earth, can you imagine what it’s like in heaven?

FG       I don’t know.
            Probly pretty awesome.

3          Sparkles and unicorns!

13        Dragons & fire.

25        Peace & quiet.

7          And angels.

13        I want to paint the sky with a dance and pour out the rain.

FG       And for things to be okay.

3          Jesus will like my unicorn.

7          And I want to ride a sunset.

3          Jesus loves me.

FG       I know, baby. He does.
            Jesus loves me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Rainbow Update

5/30/12     9:09pm

I know I haven’t blogged in forever. I feel it only fair to give an update.

Today I woke up with a horrible headache, probably from a new medication last night, and I cried and cried and cried. I put on a pretty dress and went to lunch with a friend. I’m so glad I have good friends. When I got home another friend was waiting in my driveway to take me shopping for items for my Comfort Drive. I’m exhausted.

I’ve been really all over lately. I haven’t posted because there haven’t been many postable things. I’m swingin’ and switchin’ and crashing all the time. In the span of a day I can hit happy, productive, rageful, depressed, suicidal and euphoric. There are hours that I am a Rainbow and light is God and God is in me and I am God. When I hear him talk to me and I twirl and skip and there is this peace like I’ve never felt. A quiet calm in the middle of the storm. My head hurts almost constantly and whatever’s going on in my neck comes and goes. Yesterday I found myself hiding behind some dumpsters crying and fighting my thoughts.

My psychiatrist says he’s proud of me for surviving the crises and that I’m doing a good job. My therapist is becoming a life coach. My mom has a boyfriend and a job. And my cat cries a good portion of the day. I agree that I’m doing a good job handling crisis, but I want to be more stable. I want to be able to live one day at a time instead of fighting for moment to moment.

I saw a new doctor yesterday way the Hell up in Encinitas. He seems a bit cocky but like someone I could trust. He wants me to get off as many meds as possible to figure out what symptoms are side effects and what symptoms are organic. This terrifies me, as I know what happens when I don’t take medication. Last summer I was all for a wash. That’s what they call stopping all your meds. I was ready to do whatever it took to get better. But right now I just want to stop hurting. I want to be better or dead. A wash is a long painful process that doesn’t really establish any betterness. It’s sole goal is to bring out the worseness and identify the actual problem, which in this moment I don’t care about. I care about not hurting. And about preserving my inpatient Medicare days. I might be willing to do it at a facility that did not affect my Medicare days, definitely not at home.

I use my phone a lot as a coping skill and tool. I work on the bus, communicate, look up my medications and bus information. I went to group with my phone a few days ago and didn’t leave with it. It walked away. So now I have my old phone, which is great for texting but does none of the things I use my phone for now. I feel like I’m in some other world. Like everything is changing and it’s only a mirage. Today I shopped with a friend for stuff for people in the hospital. I had a good time. I felt bad because he was paying and I was shopping and I usually finance my own impulsive spending. But it was his idea. I just feel like I’m on the edge and I’m livin’ it.

I keep fighting. I’m not writing much. I’m switching too fast to follow. When I do write it’s in several colors. I go in and out of being afraid of certain colors and there are voices talking/writing that have their own colors. I’m exhausted. I need some time as Rainbow.

Thanks for listening. I really appreciate it.

Love, Michelle

PS – I gave up on brushing my teeth after a bad encounter with the dentist. I still like the toothpaste.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Pain is the price of admission

(a conversation between me & a voice in my head after hours and hours of writing)
4-11-12     1:43am

(big breath)
I am alive.
I am alive.

If I have no control over what happens to or around me and what I do doesn’t matter…
If there is no such thing as should or real…
If I’m the only one my importance matters to, why am I here?

‘Cuz I like it.

(??) What?

I said because I like it. And I always get what I want. You can’t have hugs and the ocean without pain. Face it. You fear life.

No shit. I know that.

Yeah. But you don’t know that you love it too. You can’t see that in order to feel joy, you must know pain. The music comes with heartache. The ocean comes with pain. The dancing comes with a loneliness that pushes you to death. There are no substitutions. You can’t get away. You can’t strain off the bad. It is one.

(stare)

Michelle, you don’t want to die. You want not to feel the pain. The fire inside and the physical stress of your body melting away. But it’s not going away. It’s here to stay. What you do with it is your choice. But, like you said, you have no control.

There is no anti-life pill. You can’t strain out the seeds. Can’t sugarcoat it. You have pain.

You also have music. And hugs, and flowers, and writing and what you see in your head. You have God and the pirates.

(crying)

You have me.

But it hurts so much.

I know.

I’m so scared.

Like Jim said, you don’t have to understand right now.

I just have to be.

Just be.

I love you, Mom.

I love you too.

Acceptance is realizing the pain is an entry fee, a price of admission, to the theme park of life. Non-refundable. It’s your choice if you have fun or not.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Gratitude

11-5-10                11:46pm

I find lately that as my level of pain rises so does my level of gratitude, my ability to be in the moment and to appreciate the beauty in each little thing. I am so grateful for the hugs, and the colors, and the stitching. The air. The smell of a desert summer. Everything as a piece of art, unique in its own way. It feels good to feel grateful, even in the pain.

What I am grateful for tonight:

Sacha
Elijah
My ipod and its music
God
Chicken fingers
A soft couch
The roses
The tree in front of the hotel
Mags
Stephanie
My new pens
My new shoes
Sarah
The new piano guy
My mom
Pizza
Texting
Facebook
My clothes & my socks
My hairclip
My crayons
The trolley
My understanding of Mindfulness
My ability to laugh
My kitty
My networking skills
My memory
My ability to write
Jango
TV
My blog
Jazz music
Cool summer nights

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

Disappear

9-17-10                3:09am

Sometimes I just want to disappear, like now. To just walk away and go some place new, to start over. Core belief tonight – I’m not wanted. I don’t know why. Nothing particularly bad happened. I listened to great music with a good friend, watched “House” and pet my cat.

There’s something that’s been bothering me that I can’t really talk about here. It eats me, makes me tingle inside.

(crying)

I am so sad. And so scared. And so, alone. And I’m so tired of feeling this way. If I’m right and I really am sick, what’s gonna happen when I can’t go out in search of happiness anymore? If I feel this way now and I’m out every day doing things I enjoy and can’t stand to be alone or in the house, what happens when that’s gone? Huh? I’m not disturbingly ill now and I hardly see anyone.

It was something I read on FB, a trigger tonight. An answer to something I’d been wondering, a question I didn’t ask.

Just listened to this. It’s amazing. “Wild Horses” by Natasha Bedingfield. Not what I was looking for, but I’m very glad to find it. I feel like I need to go out in the wilderness for awhile, to have it out with God and be alone and try to figure this out. Talk to myself, and scream, and cry, and be quiet. With no computer. Just my journal and a phone. I’d rather be alone by myself than just lonely. And when I have sufficiently reconciled with what is happening to me, maybe I can come back to my life. Or maybe I’ll break that family tradition and just stay on the mountain. Might be easier that way.

-Michelle

Quiet

6-6-10                   1:04am

I sit here quiet tonight. I just don’t have the right words.

There are a few people I feel very connected to. I’m not sure why. I just do. They have this energy. I just know that they’re special. There’s something about them I can’t quite shake. Like B-. When I first met her at an HD convention years ago I was in her group and I just kept staring at her. I didn’t know why but she was one of those people. And she kept staring back. There are three in my life right now. When they hurt, I hurt. When they’re happy, I’m happy. It’s like there’s a soul-connection. I don’t understand it but I know that it is.

Tonight I am quiet. I don’t know what to say. One of them is hurting and it is a heaviness I carry with me. I don’t get to choose it. It’s just there. It makes my face hurt, makes it hard to breathe. If I could just be quiet with this person. It is more powerful than any words. A hug. I know. And I’m here. It’s hard to send that over email.

Do you have a person or persons you’re just connected to? People who for no rational reason can take you on an emotional ride? People you believe too much, no matter what they say, just because they’re them? From whom a single text or picture can change your entire day or leave you thinking for weeks? And people who’s pain that has nothing to do with you can make you physically hurt? I am so grateful that I have these people. I would do or give anything for them. But tonight it leaves me quiet.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010