always there. just like he promised.

He came. And made a vow to never leave her side again. The minute the promise was given, a darkness something fierce engulfed her. Sitting there on her chest, weight that was so grueling she feared all of her tensed muscles keeping this from crushing her eventually would release, give out. Relaxing wasn't an option. One minute okay, next, her knees making contact with the floor.
Patty Griffin, Gregory Alan, Ofelia are all there happy to help in any way they can. The voices of those she had fallen in love with would for hours sing to her while building up a wall between him and her. Water-coloring, spinning roving into yarn - the fibers drafting through her fingers easing her hurt mind. All becoming more of a sedative than a cure. The wall never stayed for long. Anytime she was alone, she felt the stifling atmosphere that she had come to know so well spreading over her once again. He was there, always. Just like he promised.
"Sister Waters, this will never.go. away. This will always be your struggle." He said.
Slowly the muscles are building. She can feel them. They are sore, but the good kind of sore. The kind that makes you want to work the muscles more because you know results are coming.
In the beginning she wished for nothing more than for this to go away.
But now she see's.
Her eyes are opened.
He showed her the way to compassion. & In the end if that’s all he showed her - how to be compassionate - she will still shake his hand, imagining tears being involved, and thank him for it all.
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chocolate milk will help

My niece and I have had a rough couple of days.
She's been in a funk where she seems to hate the world and wants to let everyone know about it.
I've been experiencing what I would call "the organic process" a march that we pretty much all go through but hate every second of.
And if she were able to fully understand her feelings I think she would agree with me when I say that this past week can shove it.

Did you know it was possible to connect with a 3 year old like that?
Me either.

"I have a firm belief in this statement. & it's that shit ends." - Chelsea Babbitt

It does.
It know it will.
In the mean time eat a whole pint of ben & jerry's late night snack & go on that 3rd taco bell run for the day. No shame.
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i'll go first

Share with me the dark parts of yourself? I'll go first if that makes it easier.

The stroke of the brush takes my crippled mind and gives it a minute to manage - a break if you will. Laying down water within the lines of my mind. Carefully dropping in color before the water soaks in making it harder to manipulate. 

Sap Green with a drop of Burnt Umber to try and stimulate that quiet security -  the feeling that only being in nature can give to you. On the days when I feel taken advantage of by the judgments of others, pure Phthalo Blue - unnatural in my opinion. It's sole purpose, to please the spectators. The decided glance of others towards my experience gives me a constant need to over-think my thoughts- hence the Phthalo. & then on the best days, masking fluid already set to mimic the shape of the cosmos. Ivory Black and a hint of Ultramarine Blue run together down the back of my eyelids. Nothing so grim that the combination of water and color can't mend.

So you see here; The darkness that mental illness brings, also draws a light. A light by which you are given the ability to see.

Share with me the dark parts of yourself, I'll go first if that makes it easier.
Then wait with me while we watch for the light.
Its worth it, I just know it.
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no guarantees

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

To let ourselves be seen—deeply seen, vulnerably seen. To love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee. To practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror. To believe that we are enough. Because when we work from a place that says I’m enough, we stop screaming and start listening—we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.

Vulnerability proves it's power once again in my life.

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seeing the evidence of her in my moms hands

Last weekend was spent in Soda Springs Idaho visiting grandma Dixie.
Merlin my grandpa passed away coming up on two years ago and we try to make the trip up to see her now as often as possible. No real reason for going except family, you know? That has become another one of those sacred words to me within the past year.

Dixie has always been this fire cracker of a woman. And until my grandpa died, that part of her was always there, overwhelming anything else attempting to shine through. But since he has gone something has changed in her. She's become softer. More fragile. And maybe that's because she's realized that time left here is shorter than when she last checked. Or that loosing a spouse really does take a toll on you physically as well as emotionally. But since Merlin left us, she's become a more gentle person. It's been an interesting thing to watch over the past two years. Like I said in my last post, time and experience can change people. Even after 80 years of being a certain way, change still occurs. 

Because the evidence of her is in my mom's hands. And my aunt's hands. And I am happy knowing that once she has finished here and I have to wait awhile to see her again, I get to see parts of her throughout my mom, my aunt, my sisters, and even myself. Dixie is apart of us all.
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time will do the talking

I've become a firm believer in time. Giving myself time to see past the hardship of what "now" is so apparently shoving in my face. Giving the Lord time to work it out. Time has told me that I am more than my current weaknesses. Those things that seem to be the hardest to overcome, I overcame. Those things that seemed never ending, ended. And the main ingredient? 

I took an 8 month break from my life to go and help others find theirs. What was so apparent when I came back was how much time changes us all. It wasn't so apparent when I was home and gradually watching the change happen. But it's like coming home and seeing how much your nieces have grown. Had you been with them everyday the growth wouldn't be as clear. But because you stepped away for a while, the differences are tangible. 

Time & experience can alter someone you thought could never change.

Time will heal. Maybe taking years, but ultimately the passing of time will tell you what you can't hear right now. Patty Griffin your words sink straight to my bones. 

So taking a comfy seat, I actively wait for time to make clear what is unexplained right now. One day I'll see and it, and it will be then that I say to myself "Dammit Madi, look at who you've become because of that, why'd you have to complain so much? You could have saved so many ears from hearing your unpleasant whining."
And then I will buy everyone Taco Bell in hopes of showing how sorry I am I subjected you to that awful pitch of my voice.
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44 days

Quietly get up and leave.
Quiet so as not to wake.
I sit down on the floor to untie my shoes.
Slip on. Re-tie. A five year old again, trying to tie my shoes in the dark. 
Check for keys in my pocket.
"Stand up" I said.
Weighing more than I realized, I take another minute to myself.
"This is holy" I quietly repeat, trying to convince myself.
Eventually when it feels right, get up and walk towards the door.
The creaking dulled with every loud snore, opening that movable barrier a little wider.
Double check for keys once more.
Coat on

The 430 am sky is always the most silent and reassuring. Stopping at the usual spot where the lights are muted, I look up in between the trees and apartment buildings to breathe it in. Finally understanding the full weight of it all on that first inhale - I exhale with my head tilted towards those celestial bodies.

Time gives you a break to let you breathe. But soon enough that overwhelmed feeling comes swinging back to hit you in the chest and knock the wind out of you. A cycle that I am learning to work with, be grateful for.
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