28 Days To A New Me

28 Days of Writing

I’ve missed blogging this year. For those who have been on this healing and recovery journey with me, my absence may have been worrisome. For my absence and silence, I apologize. There are many of you who have been interactive, sharing your encouragement, support, and concern. Hopefully, you know who you are.

One day, hopefully in the not too distant future, I’ll have the time and wherewithal to catch you up on the comings, goings, and transitions I’ve been experiencing over the course of the last five months. For now, a brief synopsis:

December 2013: My youngest daughter turned five. There was a major conflict between her father, my (then pregnant) oldest daughter, and her boyfriend. This conflict precipitated and triggered a near nervous breakdown for me. I took our daughter and left for several days. During that period I decided on a separation of indeterminate duration in order to get focused on my well-being.

January 2014: I finally got government sponsored health insurance due to the ACA. A complete medical physical revealed that I had a variety of health issues, related to lifestyle and stress which combine to create Metabolic Syndrome: Type II Diabetes, Thyroid Imbalance, Cholesterol Imbalance, and Morbid Obesity. In conjunction with those things is Fibromyalgia. During January I got connected with mental health services as well as support services for domestic violence and trauma survivors. Please note that “domestic violence” identified in my case was not physical, sexual, or even overtly verbal. It was the conflux of two imbalanced, toxically codependent people in a closed system, in an almost 20 year pattern of mutual destruction of autonomy.

February 2014: Through the mental health provider I received confirmation that I do indeed experience a bipolar disorder, as well as PTSD – both of which were present, unrecognized, and untreated prior to the beginning of my relationship with the father if my youngest child. My youngest got very ill with the flu and pneumonia.

March 2014: My son and his wife experience a miscarriage the week before my daughter went into labor, birthing my first grandchild six weeks early. Then my daughter’s family lost their housing during the three weeks they were living in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This precipitated the final breakdown in the relationship between my daughter’s father and myself. During this time I also received the final evaluation report from the Early Childhood Services team at the local school district that my youngest experiences Autism Spectrum Disorder on the higher, functioning end of the spectrum, indicating Aspergers. By the end of March, there were five of us living full-time in my tiny two-bedroom apartment, with the father if my youngest staying on the weekends. My adult daughter returned to work at three weeks postpartum.

April was spent adjusting and transitioning with all of these changes. My eldest daughter’s boyfriend was given a part-time job under my son’s management and her work hours have increased. Last weekend three major items moved out of my apartment so that my youngest and her father are now able to spend their weekends together elsewhere. He still has a lot of things here, which REALY need to go ASAP, but with the bed, the extra large flat screen, and sofa gone, the weekend tensions have been reduced.

There continues to be many things needing attention and resolution. There are many meetings, appointments, and classes requiring my time, energy, and attention. Putting as much focus and energy into parenting, grand-parenting, and self-care as possible in the midst of it all is my focus. Thus, the lack of writing.

I need to get back into the writing. This month the 28 Days to a New Me personal transformation group has a writing focus. I have committed to writing out an inspirational thought or poem and creating a shareable graphic wit it for the first 28 days in May.

I started on April 30th with this one:

I choose to be entertained rather than offended. It disarms the ignorant and idiotic while empowering me to have a better day. ~ Lillian E. Moffitt

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Here is my official Day 1 of 28 entry:

Present in the now
Experiencing the warmth
Acceptance is Peace

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So, each day for the next 27 days, I will share what I put together for this month’s challenge.

Reader Interactive: Would you help me write my book, please?

Dear readers,
As any of you who have been following along may know, I’ve been participating in 28 Days to a New Me accountability groups on Facebook since May, after joining Dream Stoker Nation a month or so earlier. You may also be aware that one of my dreams is to write professionally and help support my family through my writing.

The time has come. Based on some recent conversations – about fears, dreams, and such: I have committed to taking action to make that dream into a reality.

For the AUGUST 2013 28 Days, I will develop a book. It will be based on my writing from this blog and do two things: 1) Tell the story of my journey and progress from the basket case I felt I was, Dec 2011, to the person I am now. 2) some of the significant things I learned, actions I took, and choices I’ve made that helped me grow and change.

I will do this by going back through and reading my blog from the beginning, at least three posts each day, and pulling out the significant event, presenting problem, outcome, and lesson learned.

By the end of August I should have the framework/outline in place for putting the book together.

What this means is that I might not be posting here as much. I am requesting two things from you, the readers of Human in Recovery.

First, for those of you on your own journeys of healing, recovery and growth, learning how to manage and cope with whatever conditions, compulsions, diagnoses, hurts, habits, etc., if you write – blog, journal, or notes on napkins – please consider sharing part of your journey, here, on Human in Recovery. This goes for anyone – artists, photographers, poets, musicians, crafters, scrapbookers, jewelry makers, walkers, runners, swimmers, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. I believe that sharing our experiences helps us realize our strengths and gives hope to others, as well as to ourselves. As I have been growing along this journey, I have realized the healing power of being in community. Many of you have participated in helping me feel like an accepted part of your online community . While I move forward into new things, I envision this space becoming more of a community hub and not solely about me, my thoughts and my journey. So, I am asking you to join me in this progression and add your voice to mine. If that scares you to think about, that’s okay. I’m scared too. But, action in the face of fear is called courage. So, step into and grow your courage. Let’s do this, together. Leave a comment or go to the Connect to Kina page and we’ll create something amazing together.

The second thing I’m asking your help with is to let me know if there were particular posts that were relevant and helpful to you. I want to find out what it was that you connected with and how it may have influenced your journey. For those who have joined us a little more recently, I’m interested in the same information from you. Having this feedback will help the book to be. The intention of the book isn’t just to tell my story and hopefully earn a little money to help support my family, it is also to share my experience, hope, and strength with others who struggle as I have, who haven’t yet connected and been able to apply the lessons and information about healing, growing, and changing their lives to be more than they believe it can be.

Certainly, I haven’t become an expert example and I still have much to learn and grow in, but I never thought I would reach this place of self-acceptance, reconciliation between myself, my past, and key people along the way. That is what I want to help guide others who are stuck in similar ways to know and see that they CAN move out if that place, no matter how long they’ve been stuck.

I thank you all for following along on my journey. I am grateful for those of you who have offered encouragement, insight, and perspective along the way, you’ve helped me become who I am now. You are amazing souls!

Blessings,
Kina

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28 Days of Heyku and Blogging

I know my posts have been quite sporadic and inconsistent. I’m planning on changing that with July and another round of The Ultimate Blog Challenge in conjunction with the accountability and commitment Facebook community group, hosted by Robert Kennedy III, 28 Days To A New Me.

In May I focused on creating a new habit of getting physically active. Since I could break a sweat and need to take a breather after doing something as fundamentally basic as taking a shower, needing to rest before even getting dressed on some days so that I wouldn’t pour sweat just from the action of drying my body with a towel, I had to start small.

No, I’m not exaggerating and, yes, it was that bad. I had allowed the physical symptoms of both the fibromyalgia and depression to rise to epic proportions and immobilize me physically. I had been doing a tremendous amount of mental, emotional, and spiritual work, from the confines of my tiny apartment and barely moved from the couch or bed. Constantly fatigued, achy, and with excruciating lower back and sciatic pain from a probable herniated disc from March 2012, I was beginning to resemble the thing I’d been teased about as a young tween – Jabba the Hut.

I weighed nearly 270 pounds and was starting to think I would outgrow my 3x wardrobe, what little there is of it. Poor Luna had to use the furniture as her playground and Jungle Gym to get her activity needs met, since the perception of pain and weakness in my left leg and knee was so intense, I was terrified to go down the stairs and knew I wasn’t physically capable of keeping her safe and protected if she got out of arm’s reach of me.

So, I committed to 15 minutes of physical activity a day, whatever that looked like. Some days it was merely cleaning the kitchen. Other days it was walking, swimming, or doing the elliptical. By the end of May I was walking over four miles at a time or lap swimming for an hour and a half.

This month, since I no longer had someone here every day to be with Luna as she slept in the mornings, I committed to continuing the exercising and increasing the commitment to an hour a day. I also made the primary commitment to log and track all of my food intake.

I designated both of these actions as part of my ongoing process of raising self-awareness and practicing presence.

What I’ve learned and become aware of through these activities and my participation in the Circle of Security therapeutic parenting class I just completed, is that I’m profoundly disconnected from my self – especially on emotional and physical levels.

I experienced a lot of conflict and crises this month. I also processed some pretty intense and traumatic realizations about myself and a major unresolved issue around growing up fatherless. I saw how connected my eating patterns and food choices were to the emotional and psychological experiences I was having. I also noticed that it was more difficult to make the exercise a priority in those moments.

However, I am pleased to report that physical activity is now my preferred “go to” action over eating when I’m feeling stressed.

One critical piece of my self-care, healing and recovery process is writing. Many of you who have been with me here for any length of time know this about me. This blog had been my primary DIY therapeutic tool. Since I haven’t been posting much, I suspect that was part of the reason why consistent action was more of a struggle this month.

Approximately two weeks ago I discovered the Heyku app. It is a writing tool that offers writing prompts in a guided and modified haiku or it can be written free verse style.

It’s almost like a mini mash up of Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress with the likes, commenting, and automated sharing whenever a Heyku is written. The editors are doing a fantastic job of connecting and promoting, as well as community building. Since June 14th I’ve composed 79 Heykus and seven of them have been chosen for The Editor’s Desk! A few of them have been fairly mundane and practical in nature, but the majority have been moments about time spent with Luna, creative prose about practicing presence, and me processing the things I alluded to earlier.

Therefore, I have decided to commit to this blog and my writing as part of my self-care process. I will share my Heykus here each day, at the very least, while continuing the activity and food logging commitments.

Here are the Heykus that erupted from my insomnia:

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