The Proverbial Bottom – “Just believe”


There comes a time in everyone’s life where we each have a day of reckoning. Much more than an “AHA” moment, more like a series of lessons that all come together at once. Similar to those mountain top highs that we experience at a High School youth camp when we are touched by a certain speaker’s message or just the praise songs sung around a campfire. Promising to God and ourselves the magnificent change we are about to make, really believing that we can make those changes…. That is, until we come down off of that mountain to face the real world. And are hit by “life.” When we are younger, it may be peer pressure, school, home life, whatever pushes our buttons that help us fail at being that person we really want to be. And yet as adults with decades behind us, we have a clearer picture and are more aware of our daily mistakes. Though we try to live right, have faith, be patient and kind, love our neighbors, our family, even our enemies until something happens that tests that faith and we  hit that bend in the road or the proverbial bottom of where we end up in a crisis, when we feel as if we have failed.

The older we get, more “stuff” gets in the way. And we feel more of an urgency to take account of our lives. But in a more surface matters of the heart kind of way. Believing that it is genuine but still becoming easily discouraged or offended. And not remembering that down on your knees kind of faith. Until that is, we start losing loved ones, or dealing with health issues, or financial crisis, relationship issues,  or whatever will send you to that proverbial “bottom” of where we hit when we feel helpless…. It is only then when we stop and take a good look at everything in a way that we haven’t for a while, maybe even not since that High School Camp experience.

I’ve had several crisis in my life. And have tried to renew my faith each time. But looking back, in a very primary kind of way. Though I genuinely meant it each time and was going through a kind of information gathering process. I don’t really believe that I understood this thing we call faith as much as I feel I do now. (And am still learning about it.) Through deaths and divorce, illnesses, financial stuff and getting on my knees kind of catostrophes. Everytime, making promises and praying for answers and receiving those answers but not continuing that walk of faith in the good times as well. NOW, realizing that even as I failed to follow through, I needed to go through those times of not following through, to land where I am now and to know that I need to keep getting down on my knees,  going in my prayer closet and giving it all to HIM daily. Not just when I need something but also to thank Him for His answers.

Recently a friend of my husband’s died and at the Memorial they gave away a book called Proof of Heaven, written by Eben Alexander M.D.  a Scientist and Brain Surgeon who got sick, and had a near death experience that he didn’t believe in as a Scientist and Surgeon beforehand. I highly recommend the book!  The one thing that really poked my heart was where he shared the (3) feelings of heaven that impacted him most… He said that he felt this overwhelming feeling of… (1) Love, (2) no fear, and (3) that he could do no wrong. The last one hit me the most and I was overcome by something inside of me that is so hard to explain. The realization that everything the Bible teaches us is about forgiveness and non judgement hit me with such a powerful impact it made me cry. I never really truly understood just how much I have felt like a failure in my life. To feel as if I could do no wrong would simply be heaven for me.

I believe that when we hit bottom, we are supposed to learn from those times. To rise up stronger than before. God has put people in my life with examples of strength that humble me. And make me count my blessings. To think that I don’t have it “so bad” and yet I wonder, why are they so strong as they continue to be a servant without complaining? And somehow I think that as I go through each trial, I am just beginning to learn how to fall on my knees, on my face and just believe. Isn’t that what we are called to do? Why haven’t I gotten that yet? Though mountain top highs are great memories of times when we felt as if we could almost touch the hem of our Lord, there is something about reaching a point in our life where we have to stop snatching back those prayers we  lay at HIS feet, and truly get down on our face where we are closer to the hem and just humbly believe that He is in charge and let Him be. Only then will we feel what it truly feels to be free.

 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, “for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor fasake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight Proverbs 3:5-6

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bed

Today I woke up feeling that after an unusual night of bad dreams and having a hard time just sleeping that I’d open my blinds to gloom, the kind where the sky seems lower and the clouds hang heavy. Instead I found a crisp day with sun already settling in.

window opening

I have come to the conclusion that I talk myself into a lot of my bad moods. In fact a lot of my conversations with me have gone that way lately. And then there are those times when I want to have a conversation with someone not there anymore. Some of those times still take my breath away and cut like a knife, while others are like a prick, just a reminder of someone not any less important, but that time has dulled the pain of their leaving my life.

My husband once said to me that my great memory stories all are from the past of somebody else. And that has really bothered me. I want to shake myself sometimes and say: “MOVE ON GIRL! Get over it, look at what is in front of you and live in the moment and soak it in, because someday these will be the moments you remember longingly.”     I get it. He says he knows me better than I do. I’m smiling as I write this. If he knew me as well as I know me, he’d be long gone!

But seriously, I do truly want to embrace every moment. There are a thousand conversations I share with my husband. And I’d miss every one of them if he wasn’t there to have them with me. But sometimes he is kind of “judgy”  And they tend to go a little like this:  “And then I said.… and then he will say….“Oh no, why did you say that?”  Argh!!!! So let me get this straight. I am sharing a story where I am basically throwing myself under the bus, already knowing I messed up by sharing the dumb thing I am sharing that I said and so HOW does pointing THAT out help??! I mean I already feel bad enough if I am telling the story and I already said the stupid thing that I am feeling stupid about.

friends talking

Those are the times I need those friends who just listen. The ones that used to just empathize with me. No matter how stupid we both know what I did or said was. But then I think to myself… I’d reeeeally miss those conversations with my husband,  the one that has stayed even though he thinks he knows me better than I know me. I need to live in this moment and cherish them and him. No matter how annoying both can be sometimes. I know I’d miss them most of all if they were only a memory.

So today was one of those days. I woke up really wishing I could have a conversation with someone who is not in my life anymore. It wasn’t even about anything in particular that I wanted to talk about. I just needed that connection. And I think instead, I had the perfect conversation. With me.

quote about the last chapter

Tomorrow IS the Answer!


We have a local site with someone who anonymously keeps us updated on all of the local emergency occurrences  happening in our area via his Facebook page, which I followed since I drive over 50 miles a day, to and from work, and his traffic information seems to be the most up to date. Sadly his recent reports have been on a few local accidents that have occurred on our local train tracks. Even sadder, they seem to not be accidents but suicides.

computer screen frustration

I try not to get sucked into the comment threads, because at times they are so frustrating and can make you look pathetic, wasting even one minute arguing with a stranger, though as a writer that some might describe as opinionated, I can never keep my mouth shut when it comes to the above subject.

When I was a young girl my boyfriend’s mom killed herself. She’d attempted it a few times before that, but succeeded when we were dating. It was one of the most horrific of experiences I’ve ever lived through. And I have never really been able to describe the pain she left behind.

tears

I sincerely believe that if she’d received the right kind of help she would still be here. She was vivacious and funny, smart and beautiful and one of the most generous people I’ve ever met. Everyone loved her. She was a mother, a wife, my boss, and one of my best friends. It happened around this time of year many decades ago, and it still affects me as if it were yesterday. Statistics say that this is a high suicide time of year. And our census was usually up during the holidays at the hospital where I worked many years ago.

I believe that her pain was real. I believe that she was chemically imbalanced and that her issues were organic. And I believe that she could have been helped. I also believe that I was far too young and inexperienced as was my boyfriend to be held responsible for not knowing how to help her. And yet I think that because we couldn’t, it affected us both in ways that we still are dealing with in our own separate lives today. So yeah, I do believe that when someone kills themselves it is no just about them. Having said that, I believe that this woman that I loved, that might have been my children’s grandmother, missed a whole half of her life, I know that she missed weddings, celebrations, births and probably deaths and sadness too. But her life was far from over.

Today I was very disturbed by the comments that a few particular people made defending suicide saying that some people just don’t want help and not condoning it, but making it almost okay and defending the act. It is not okay. The next comment was…. “It’s not about you.” You wanna bet? It’s about everyone involved. And it is something that lives with you forever after. Always asking what could we have done? Even over thirty years later.

My childhood best friend just died of cancer last year. She fought to save her life for twenty years. She did everything she could to fight. She finally didn’t have a choice. I understand that depression is a disease. I understand because I have it. But don’t tell me that it is okay not to fight for life! You do have a choice.

The way that conversation was going could make somebody feel that it was okay not to fight, that if your pain is so great, go ahead and jump in front of a train and maybe kill some people in your wake, don’t think about the people who will have to clean the blood off of the tracks or the conductor who couldn’t stop in time. Suicide is one of the most selfish acts anyone can do. And they may be fighting words for some, but I will never change my opinion. No matter how you do it, Somebody has to find you. And most likely it will be someone who loves you.

I was then told that I must not know  about mental illness. Hmmm, I guess working in an adolescent unit of a private Psych Ward in LA for almost six years does not count? I counseled a lot of kids and adults who were in excruciating pain and I must say that one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever experienced was running into them later in life and being introduced to their families. A husband, they never would have met, and kids they never would have had, and living a life they chose to fight for. Meeting people they never would have met, experiencing celebrations and love and new babies, all that they never would have known if they’d stayed stuck in their hole. Telling me how grateful that they were that we didn’t give up on them!

And so Yeah, I still believe that… Suicide is not the answer and I won’t be a part of ever saying that sometimes the pain may be too great. Perhaps it is for that day, maybe even for several days. But it will get better. I am proof. I have been pretty wasted in the toxic wave of my own depression. To the point of not wanting to go on. But I believed in something greater than my own pain.

Don’t give up today because the sun really will come out again and though you will still have your happy and sad days, you won’t miss the happy ones when you finally decide that…  Tomorrow IS always the ANSWER!

kiss on stoop

 

The future is exciting. Always believe that something wonderful is going to happen.

I Wish I Could Go Too


peter pan never grow up

I went to Cal Poly yesterday and saw Peter Pan with my daughter. It was the same show she’d played the “grown up” Wendy in almost a decade earlier. It was the last show she was in here at home, before she left for school to attend AADA, The American Acadermy of Dramatic Arts, a drama school that has been around for over a century. Ahhh how I remember those last days. They were so fragile and they’d hit me like a Mack Truck.

I wasn’t prepared for the whole “Empty Nest” thing. In fact, it really kind of creeped up on me. It all started with her driving, and then curfews changing and slowly, me figuring out how to let go. I’d done it almost a decade earlier with her brother and that was hard enough, but there is something about the last one. Anyway, I’d remembered this line in the play at the end and searched all over to try to find it again and couldn’t. I kept wondering… What was that line that had me sobbing in my seat all of those years ago?! So silly.

NOW I KNOW, it was a combination of things that caused it to have had such a strong impact on me, but I was sure that line was so much more than what it was. Maybe it was because my baby was playing the older Wendy and I related to that character so much right then, but it was the scene when Peter came back to find Wendy and was mad at her for growing up. She’d told Jane, her own little girl, all her stories about Peter Pan and was letting her go with him. The line was simply: “I wish I could go too.” At the moment I heard the line back then all those years ago, I guess I felt that I was saying goodbye to my youth as well. NOW, I realize that it hadn’t been the words, but the time in my life.that made everything more meaningful. Not only was I letting my daughter go, but I was giving her wings, letting her fly, to go find her way, to go realize her dreams, to embrace her youth and find her way. It was time for me to stay home. I’d had my chance. It was her turn. Today I’ve realized how stuck I’ve been. But it has been my fault. I am in this time of my life where I am in deep reflection. My parents are getting older. I am having to face realities that I haven’t had to until now. Even my friends are dying, two in two weeks. But I have to realize that, THAT is not the norm. They died too early! “All” my friends are NOT just dying. Sadly, two of our closest friends who’d both fought different illnesses for around twenty years went home to be with the Lord. I knew it was happening, I expected it. But when it did, my world kind of crashed for a minute or two or… well, I’ve been kind of stuck since, in a depression. Focusing on everything negative. This also happened when I turned forty. I wasted my whole 39th year focusing on the next. Funny, but it took the very same play to kind of make me think about it. Lately, I’ve realized that the weeks seem to whip by, as if my life is going in fast motion. I think I got lost for a while. I think that I felt as if I’d missed my chance. My art room is packed away in tubs in the garage, my book is in the archives of my “saved documents” and I’ve kind of felt like Wendy when she knows she has to let her daughter go and live her life saying “I wish I could go too.” But yesterday I realized that it probably wasn’t that line that bothered me… it was the line after Wendy’s wish to go too when Peter said… “Well, you can’t.” “You wanna bet Peter?” Watch me!”

What Is A Soul Mate?


quote about looking for the answer in your questions

When I was younger I remember asking: “What is a soul mate?” Back then, I had it all twisted. I used to be able to tell you more of what it wasn’t than what it was… but slowly in the last couple of years I think that I have learned a little more and for me, it is not someone who comes bursting onto the homefront and whisks you off on some wild carpet ride that is sure to eventually lose the wind beneath the seat that carries you…  A soul mate is someone whose soul doesn’t knock into yours but bumps lightly and sticks.

Sophie

It is buying a bike for our granddaughter.

Sophie 2

AND a helmet!

Buying a sensible car when he really wants a TRUCK! It is driving for four hours to see a one hour children’s play that our daughter is in. It is going to all the counseling sessions at school when our niece needed her Uncle Jim. It is charging our son’s tires and brakes when we couldn’t afford it to make sure that he and our grandkids were safe. And for always stepping up. It is taking my car and putting gas in it and getting it washed and serviced. It is for knowing all the computer stuff and getting up in the middle of the night to fix something for me when I am in the middle of a project. It is for being the kind of son that  is an example to our kids when I fall so short of my own example.

hand from heaven

And it is for loving me inspite of me, for being the hand that reaches down and pulls me up out of my hole. For making me go to church and have friends and keep going even when I am in one of my funks where I don’t even want to get dressed let alone go out. He is the one who shows up everytime and really gets me even when I don’t have a clue of who I am. He is the one who has forgiven me for things I might not have forgiven him for… And how romantic is that? To be loved so unconditionally? How lucky  blessed am I? I used to wonder if it was possible to fall in love twice in one lifetime with the same person. Today my question has been answered a thousand times over, maybe not in the way that I’d originally asked it but now  I know it is very possible.  I used to not know what a soul mate was, until I found mine. Having a soul mate, well… It is feeling connected at the soul and still feeling how we felt in the very beginning.

hug and kissing

And then I did.


girls gossiping

I am not sure if it is the mind works™ supplements that I am taking from Shaklee™  or if I am just becoming more aware but I have realized that even though I am in a very good place right now, I can get sucked back into a place that I don’t want to be, in a matter of minutes. I have recently run into friends from where I used to work or they have actually come by to visit me and in a matter of zero to sixty, I can find myself right back in that place of dysfunction talking about the past. I have decided that I don’t want to go there ever again. I am not there anymore, I have moved on, both physically, and metaphorphically speaking and it feels good. I rarely think about it and so I have to ask myself why is it so easy to go there when the opportunity arises?

Today something happened that I just couldn’t get past and it almost ruined my day. A few years ago, it would have. But today I felt that I was stuck and worked my way through it. I have recognized how in the past I used to fall down into a very negative place and wallow in it until I couldn’t find a way out. Today, I felt under attack.  A dark spirit tried to rob me of the joy of Easter. I missed the message, I was so obssessed with something that I just couldn’t get past it. And then I did. I mean, I just did.

praying in pew

I can’t explain it, other than I made the choice to let it go and move on. I am not going to say that it was easy. I am not going to say that I didn’t want to rehash the particular issue I was having. But for the first time, I realized that it was up to me to just let it go or not, to stay stuck or move on. To make the choice to have a good time or not. If I stayed stuck the only person that I was really hurting was me. And so I thought about it, about laying it at the foot of the cross and deciding to let go.

Cross at dusk

I also realized that there has always been something about Easter that turns into a bad day. Historcally in my past Easters something negative happens and that is just silly because fifty Easters ago, I asked Jesus to come into my heart, so that is a good thing right? Over the years, I understood more about it but it was an Easter Sunday when I was seven years old that made that Easter special for me.

Jesus kissing praying girl

I guess I am sharing this because lately, I have a heightened awareness of the choices we have. Everything is a choice. And our attitude is the tool that steers us. In sailing, we tack back and forth as the wind fills our sails and pushes us to our destinations. If we let down our sails, what will happen? We stop. We are stuck.We know that all we have to do is put up those sails again to continue. So why is it so hard sometimes to put those sails back up?

sailboat

I have been so stubborn. Today I dropped those sails and missed the wind, I just stopped and felt mad and sad and stuck and then God basically asked me what I was doing, and what was the point. He told me to put the sails back up. I thought about. It was my choice. And then I did.

My Second ACT


I am in this weird place right now. I changed jobs several months ago and very recently had a very affirming review from a past employer (now my current boss again) whose opinion matters very much to me.

It is as if a part of my world has come full circle. As I begin to believe in myself for the first time in a long time. To stop second guessing myself, which was one of the few suggestions I was told that I need to improve on. I have a kind of promotion per say as I start this week feeling even more responsible to do my best.

Even though my review reflected that doing my best was already noticed. It has taken me a while to realize that I am in a job I love, working with people I value,  and actually getting paid for my efforts.  striving to do my very best as growing comfortable in the freedom that I’ve been given, trusting my own decisions and branching out in marketing our property and working with an amazing inspire-er and striving to become one as well.

girl flying

The wind beneath my wings

holds me higher than I ever imagined

as I  soar above the Second ACT!

Thanking God for HIS plan

as I realize

He knew exactly what He was doing

as I look back!

Diane Reed 2015

My message here is to believe that there is a bigger plan. To trust that if you give it to God, He will guide you! Trust your nudges! I second guessed mine for far too long! My inner voice was screaming at me, telling me what to do and I tried to tell myself that I was mistaken. Not to believe in me. And for a long time, I just got more and more depressed. Everyone was telling me that I needed to take something for it. How my life could change if I just took “this” or “that” but in reality, all I needed was to trust God’s nudges and me.

I wasn’t happy where I was in my life. Let’s face it, we spend hours at work, if you don’t like what you do, or  the people there you are going to feel depressed. Today, I feel happy when I get in my car to drive to work. I even enjoy my drive there. I feel blessed when I walk in the door and am surrounded by people who I enjoy and a job that challenges me.

My days are not long enough, I never count the hours, except to ask myself where the time has gone? And though I usually look forward to my days off, I also look forward to my days back. I thought I was too old to start over. I thought I was being loyal to my old place of employment, when I needed to be loyal to me.

Are you stuck? Maybe it’s time for your Second ACT!

It Is Well With My Soul


I have written a fictional memoir. It basically happened exactly the way that I described it, but to protect the ones involved who may not wish to be called out, I changed the names to avoid embarassment.

https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/the-end/

It is funny, that though that was a time in my life that was pretty dark, I also have some pretty great memories during those very same days. And now, I really can’t say that I would like to change a lot about my life because I am in the midst of this amazing revelation between me and myself. Amost as if I have found a new friend… in me….

I have a new appreciation for the sentence: “I have been blind and now I can see.”

clouds of joy

I have been in such a dark place for so long that it is just nice to really feel the sunshine and smell the rain, to kiss the soft cheek of a baby and laugh really hard. To love the people I love with every cell of my being and to try to understand that this life is not the end and really have the faith that there is something more. And to try to get in touch with the journey.

BeFunky_triumphant.jpg

We all have this vessel that carries our souls around. But those vessel are all just temporary. What is important is the soul inside the vessel. God gives us each a journey all of our own. And lessons to go with it. We may not have a choice of the vessels we are given. But we do have complete control of the soul it contains.

It is not all about the bad times, it is about embracing the joy and the good that comes out of the lessons that have brought us to this place. Life is not ever going to be perfect. No movie nor best selling book will ever have a story that doesn’t have some ups and downs. That’s just how it is. And it is what we do with the downs that help us appreciate the ups. You can stay stuck in the dark or you can seek the light. And everyday we have the exact same choice. And today…

It is well with my soul.

I do hope that you take the time to click here. I promise it will be worth a few minutes of your time.

You had the power all along my dear


There are rules in life. There are loyalties that we choose and disregard. There are boundaries that we must set and discipline we must follow. As parents we teach our kids right from wrong. In life we have to give up things to gain others. Professionally, we hire and sometimes have to fire, we have guidelines that make life much easier if we insist on consistency.

Standing by our scruples, may not always earn us popularity but in the end, doing the right thing makes us win. In my life, I’ve wanted everyone to like me. I wanted to be everyone’s best friend. Favorite Aunt, Cousin, Granddaughter, Grandma, whatever the title, I needed to be the favorite. My mom used to tell me, “Not everyone liked Jesus.” Her point was, why should I expect more than He had?

I realized a while ago that I was not being true to who I was if I didn’t stand up for what I believed in. If something was being handled in a way that I didn’t agree with, I’d sit on it and wait it out. Nothing is worse than feeling a lack of validation and manipulated in feeling wrong about being pretty darn right about something.

I learned a powerful lesson in my recent transition, and it has empowered me! I was right. I won’t go into the details but I will never again allow someone to take the power away from me. What did I  gain from this experience? Perhaps to be a voice to those still stuck. Where ever you are, in a job, in a relationship, in a goal… Only you can find your own yellow brick road. As Glenda said to Dorothy…”You had the power all along my dear.”

My dream job would be to just write someday. So I know I am not there yet and may never get to do exactly what I invision as the perfect job. But I do know that I am happy now. I am working hard and really do enjoy what I am doing. I work with amazing people and look forward to everyday. A few years ago, I was diagnosed as being clinically depressed. I just needed to get my butt out of the hole I’d dug for myself. Was I depressed? Heck yeah! I was depressed with the situation. Nothing Organic about being in a situation with dumb people running the show! There are amazing people and there are toxic people. Who do you surround yourself with? People who value you or people who cause you to be in a state of constant depression? Think about it. Only you can change things!

And you my dear have the power to do it! There is no yellow brick road, nor an Oz that is a wizard that can give you courage.  But there is something much more powerful… YOU! And God! And me and God “GOT” this one now!

man behind the curtain

Who have you given the power to?

Oh little man behind the curtain I have discovered you

You no longer have the control of what I say and do

I am not sure why it took so long to see I had a choice

Perhaps I couldn’t see  behind your magnifed little voice

But slowly I began to see it was nothing but an act

As I began to gather some pretty clarifying facts

I took the power back now and I can clearly see

the power that I believe in now is through God in me!

by

Diane Reed 2015

Finding Diane


Soooo remember that song that I was trying to write the lyrics to? A while back a musician friend of mine, Jim

http://nostolencatpictures.com/2013/03/31/music-theory-0031/

  wrote a melody, indicating that he was inspired by the chapters from my book (Pieces of the circle) that I am writing and shared some chapters here. He titled the piece Finding Diane and basically told me that it might  be therapy for me to come up with the words. HOW long has it taken me?

https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/finding-diane/

I think we started in February.  I must say that it has been quite a project. If you have followed me at all… you may have gone to my friend Jim’s archives (above) and listened to the melody. It is epic! I have come up with several lines via original poems that I have posted here separately. I wanted to see how it flowed if I put them all together. So that is what I have done here today.  The cadence is off a bit in a few areas because they were written as separate poems, but it surprised me just how well 3 separate individual attempts seemed to all flow together. I  have left out the pictures which have sort of become my trademark to enhance the words I write. (Though if you want to read them with pictures they are listed all separately in my archives.) Though the poems do sound better separately, it surprised me how they worked together.

Anyway, I don’t expect him to finish our song anytime soon since he is a teacher and has other projects going but he was right. It was therapy and so I title this Finding Diane. If nothing else… the title is coming true!

The song will not require as many lines as are here (way more than he needs) he will need to cut out words here and there and only take the lines that will work… but at least I have given him something to play with for now. I finally feel found!

Well maybe one picture…..

Worship by sunset

I hear a song and my heart flies away,

I want to snatch it back for it’s gone to yesterday.

The melody wraps around my heart,

though in my head I keep playing the part.

No one can know the pain that I feel,

over a fantasy now, that seems unreal.

And so I pretend that nothing is wrong,

as I try to block out the tune in our song.

But the melody lingers as I push replay,

and wander back into my heart still there, in yesterday.

I dance in the flames as I fall into step

trying to miss the places that made you upset.

The memories make me jump higher and higher,

I feel the sting as I dance past the fire.

The tears bring back the pain that I’d put away,

spinning back into the melody of yesterday.

Like a butterfly trapped, still inside its cocoon,

I dance through my mind running from each room.

As I close the door, where you live in my mind,

I find the part of me that I left behind.

Just like a jewelry box dancer trapped in a box

my heart is inside with the key and its lock.

I had to come back to this place, always heard whispering in my ear…

Oh little girl, somehow I knew I’d still find you here.

Among the memories waiting, wondering if I was coming back

to find the child I left long ago forgotten in my past.

I gather you up and hold you close as we walk through the rooms of our soul,

pieces of you and me once broken, healing and becoming whole.

Looking inside from the child within, I see all the pain you must feel.

Knowing that we must tend to each wound before we truly begin to heal.

We walk through the lonely places that once held our yesterdays

Oh how I wished I’d protected you in so many different ways.

And yet I know that through the hurting, we’ve gained strength in what we’ve learned.

In all the lessons remembered, in all the times once burned,

in every tear we ever cried, and every broken heart,

in every time we were in a crowd, and felt a million miles apart.

we built the walls around our heart and “they” never saw us cry.

We learned that fighting to survive was what we had to do

and so I lost the biggest part of me the day when I lost you.

It’s hard to face the ugly truth and really look inside,

to know I left you all alone, living with the hurts and lies.

You were the child inside of me and I failed you the most,

in the mistakes I made along the way, in the different paths I chose.

But I’ve come back to find you, to finally bring you home.

So that together we can learn to live and never be alone!

I want to find the kid inside, and heal the pain we knew.

I want to learn to love the me, that I forgot to love in you!

And so as I pack up all your things, I have hope in what will be…

As I learn to love you more…

Cuzzzz after all you’re ME!

Diane Reed

2013

                                                                                                          (Hey and Jim try to look past the punctuation errors! LOL)

Keeper Of The Keys


When I was in my twenties I worked as a counselor on Four East; in the Psychiatric Department at San Pedro Peninsula Hospital. The job sort of fell into place, in a perfect, back door kind of way. It all started when I met a lady name Lucy who was attending a Ward Clerk class that I also attended, at a local Occupational Center. She had slipped into the job as a Ward Clerk at Four East, a few months earlier and needed to learn medical terminology for the position.

I was working as a waitress and since I did not want to do that forever, I decided to take the same class which I had heard about from my mother in law who worked in the billing department at the hospital, and encouraged me to see how I liked it, telling me that there were several employment opportunities there, and that they were always looking for Ward Clerks.

Lucy and I were desk mates and met the first day. We became fast friends right away. When I learned that she worked in the Psych dept. where my sister in law Karen, had been a patient a few times, due to her addiction problems. I realized we had another connection. Lucy knew of Karen and had been sweet to her during her stay there.

After the class was over and we earned our certifications, I am not sure what happened. But for some reason the job prospects did not come as easily as my mother in law had thought they would. I continued to waitress and Lucy and I lost touch. Until one day, I got a call from Karen who had been hospitalized again, and was asking me to bring her some things. I didn’t hesitate and completely forgot about Lucy working there. I brought Karen her things and stayed to visit as long as I was allowed. As I was leaving, I saw Lucy inside the glassed in Nurse’s station. We had our little reunion moment and then she told me that they needed someone to work the day shift while the girl who normally worked it was on maternity leave. I told her I was interested, but didn’t actually realize that she had been serious and promptly forgot about it.

A few days later someone called asking me to come in and apply. At first, I worked as a temporary Ward Clerk. It was a good job but I knew it was not what I wanted to do forever. I would hear the counselors complaining about charting and I remember telling them that I would love to chart since I loved to write. I remember thinking that they were so lucky to have the job that they did. Helping people and writing! When the maternity leave was over for the gal I was filling in for, I was sad and knew my days were numbered. At first I would fill in and the hospital floated me to different floors but I loved Four East the best!

One day,Yvonne who was the Director of the Unit, called me into her office and I thought she was going to let me go. Instead, she offered me an actual job as a counselor! I had taken a few of the needed classes in college and knew the medical terminology from being a Ward Clerk, and she told me that the experience of working on the unit for the last year qualified me as a candidate for the job she had opened and she told me that she was offering it to me first.  The only drawback was that It was a graveyard slot.

 My son was three years old at the time. My dad had just died and we had moved into my mom’s house to help pay the bills. My son’s day care had been through the hospital during the day but now my shift would be 11PM to 7AM! I could work when my son was asleep. It seemed perfect but it was going to be hard to figure out just how I would take care of him when I was supposed to be sleeping. My mom agreed to help out and so I accepted and prayed a lot. God answered my prayers because I worked one week on the graveyard shift and then Yvonne wanted me to also learn the day shifts. I can’t remember exactly what happened but I never went back. I remained on the day shift for all the years I was there. I helped run the adolescent unit and I think that I have never quite had a job that I loved as much since.

Today, my husband jokes that “They told me I had a job” implying that I actually was a patient. Very funny! But it really makes me think. Who decides who gets to be the keeper of the keys and who decides who gets locked up by those keys? I remember the first day on the job, clipping those keys to the belt loop of my pale blue cords. Unlocking and locking the door for people much older than me, that depended on my judgment and my keys to let them in and out as needed.

Years later, I never thought I would partake in counseling. After all, I was one of the keeper of the keys once upon a time, I am not sure what I thought would happen if I admitted that I needed help. But I do know that I fought the idea that I was depressed with a vengeance. My attitude was… ANYONE would be depressed in my circumstances!!! I am a victim of circumstances not depression! Why didn’t anyone see that?! I thought.

Today I see I was so wrong. I also see that it was like a light switch being turned on to admit it. In fact, the first time that I fully grasped depression as something that I had to accept was a part of me, was very recently. But with that acknowledgement I felt a freedom that I have never known. I don’t know what is ahead or what tools will be used to fix things but I feel kind of like if you don’t know you have termites… the foundation continues to crumble. But once the problem is determined, the remedy can begin to stabilize things. Without identifying the problem, the frame is weakened. But once the conclusion has been reached the rebuilding can begin and there is strength in knowledge.

Just knowing all this gives me hope. Where once I wanted to hide at home and live in my past, I know I have to force myself to take one step at a time. And not even as far as the future but being satisfied to remain in the present.  And to know that Death happens. Divorce happens.  Earthquakes even happen. Life happens. Being afraid does not stop any of it. But it does make you miss out on the love and joy that still happens in-between. Being depressed will only rob you from the opportunities that happen when the love and joy  come your way anyway. Even when you can’t pay your bills or you have an argument with someone or you find yourself having to deal with the other life stuff that comes your way, you just have to remember that it’s not as big as you think it is and find the joy in all of it.

Even when Karen ended up in the hospital again, something good came out of it, because I was willing to deliver something to her… and  was given the opportunity of a job. When I had a miscarriage, I realized the gift I had in the children I still had.  Even in divorce or the loss of a business or loss of a job, we can be scared or we can take the opportunity to draw closer to God and rely on Him for our needs. Today, I understand more now than when I was younger and the keeper of the keys that strength is in finally realizing WHO the true Keeper Of The Keys really is and relying on Him to unlock our doors.

 

 

Facebook; The Click of a Key Rocked MY World!


My first love found me on facebook. We had a rocky break up but lets face it you never forget your first. He was the first one who asked me to marry him. The first one that I really loved back. The first one who I cared what he thought. My very first everything. We were both young and terribly naive. We let pride and other people play us like game pieces on a board.

Our past hurts from childhood and life such as it was in the few years we had lived it, controlled our destiny. There was abuse and no matter how much I excuse it now as I understand my first love’s own childhood hurts, the things that happened mattered and they positioned me in my life for my future and my way of loving. I built walls where there shouldn’t have been and never let go in exactly the same way.

When I became a mother I was not prepared for the love I felt. It was like no other and yet I feel I didn’t really grasp motherhood fully until I had my daughter seven years later. Before I had her, I wasn’t sure that I could ever love anyone as much as I loved my son but other mothers were right… your heart finds room.
And with my daughter, my heart did not have to make much of an effort to make room for her. From the beginning we just seemed to “get” each other. For the first time, since that wall went up, I felt the wall finally coming down.

At different times in my life, pieces of the wall were able to at least be moved but it stood strong most of the other times. So you can imagine my surprise when I accepted my exe’s friend request and finally felt that wall come tumbling down. In the click of a key we were transported back to our youth. And I stood at a door that I viewed as an opportunity to a kind of a “Do Over.”  Or adventures to be had in the midst of a full fledged mid life crisis. WARNING: You can’t ever go back. There are no such things as DO OVERS.

Am I sorry I clicked the key? You might think that I should yell from the mountain tops a resounding YES!!! But in a way, I guess I have to say that nothing ventured, nothing gained….If I hadn’t taken the time to walk down the path of my past, I may never have been able to see the beauty when looking down the path of my future or just being able to appreciate how lovely the present truly can be.