“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim”Tyler Knott Gregson

My big little brother sent me this quote via Pinterest and as always, it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time, as if in answer to the questions I’ve been yelling at the Universe lately. I had forgotten how much I used to enjoy many things because I have been solely focused on trying to cope using ways that (obviously) have lost a degree of effectiveness. I have been so focused on just “keeping it together” that I have turned blind to simple things that I had once remembered to seek out; tiny moments of everyday miracles happening all around me. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly, a baby is born far too early and fights to draw each breath, yet he fights, and he lives. People die, yet their spirit and the essence of who they were live on; the deaf can hear, the wounded heal and rise to fight another day. A mother does the impossible everyday, bringing food to the table, keeping her children safe yet aware of the dangers in this world. A father works himself into an early grave so that his children can have a better life than he did. So many miracles, unnoticed when I’m so deep into myself, my “troubles” and my rollercoaster of emotions that are as much a part of me as my curly hair and my tattoos. Living with mental illness, addiction and temptation are my trifecta of Troubles. But there is so much more to the world, to me, to what I want to accomplish and who I wish to become. As with anything, I must adjust, adapt and/or accept what is happens to me, around me and within me, but that doesn’t mean that I should disregard the beautiful insanity that is my world. A world where people are still my friends, even after I have proven myself to be less than perfect and wholly human, a world where a man knows me, good and bad, happy and sad, sane and mad and still loves me. Where I have a son who has every reason to begrudge me happiness, yet wishes it for me abundantly and repeatedly; where a friend sees the crisis and helps in the the best way possible, giving me sanctuary from stress, mental exhaustion and emotional bankruptcy….next stop Complete Shutdown. I was able to avoid that next stop and it’s due solely to my friend’s generosity, which I will try to repay, but can’t imagine how I will be able to.

These last few days have been an effort to get back into the River that is Life and swim, just for the sheer joy of it. Spending time being creative, whether it’s writing, coloring with crayons or just seeking out beauty and capturing it in a photo, stealing a moment in time and keeping it forever, unchanged and unspoiled. Just walking through a park, on a trail, really looking at the trees, majestic and tall, decorated in Autumn’s colors and waving to me with the crisp morning wind shaking their leaves. This brings me back; this slowly cleanses away the grime and dust of depression, that black dog who creeps in and lies on your chest until you know you will never rise again. Nature fights that, gives you light and beauty and life, but we need to be aware, to reach out to it and let its goodness in.

Oh – and swim. Just for the love and the sheer joy of it.



I’ve had a few rough (emotionally & mentally) days the last couple of days and whenever that happens, I tend to focus on things that I have no control over (I’ve posted on this many times) so when I found myself in that situation yesterday, I felt that desperate measures were required to get me out of the Rut of Negativity and Disenchantment, otherwise known as the State of Bleh. I turned my focus to my upcoming trip, to flights of fancy (Liam meeting me at the airport and sweeping me off my feet into a great big bear hug) and just being away from the day to day injustices and unfairness of Everyday Life in the Imperfect World that we live in. These daydreams (or whatever you choose to call them) were an integral part of my childhood and in my teens, I switched from daydreams to outright escape from reality, courtesy of my friends Drink and Drugs. Now that I am no longer a patron of these ne’er do wells, I have reactivated the creative, non-logical free spirited portion of my mind to allow the daydreams, the hopes, the wishes and the flights of fancy to once again stretch their gossamer wings and take flight, taking my burdens, cares and troubles with them. It worked so well when I was a child and now that I have a much more varied catalog of experiences, places and people, it works even better still.

So, Dear Liam, I am thankful for your easy smile, your height which makes me think of a giant oak, strong and protecting, providing shade from sun and shelter from storms. I think your arms must be like branches on those trees, cradling gently but with a strength that is unbreakable; even though none of these things may be true about you, I believe them, as I see these traits reflected in your roles, in your eyes and in who you are. So therefore, you are my Xanadu, my place beyond time and space, where I can be safe, loved, protected and adored. Thank you for that, Liam and thank you for not taking out a restraining order on me (yet!)

Kubla Khan
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.