Tag Archive | friendship

Bridge Over Troubled Water <3

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(Ben F. Bridge in Philadelphia, Pa)

“When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all (all)
I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down”
~ Simon & Garfunkel ❤

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel – mobile

Bridge Over Troubled Water – desktop

Much love & light to you, always,

❤ 😀

xoxo Kim

Rhythm of My Heart <3

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“When I first learned about her, no less than two million buffalo stampeded across my chest. (That is just an estimate at the risk of sounding dramatic.) When the dust finally settled, when chaos clipped its own wing & the Earth relinquished her thunder, I found the remains of a heart not twenty feet from my aching body, trampled into a bloody mess. This heart did not belong to me, but I ripped open my own ribcage just to double-check.” ~ Amanda Torroni

Look at that beautiful smile!! So bright, so genuine.  I miss it so so much!! I love her so, so much!!! I miss her! I wish so desperately to see her and laugh with her again. I haven’t seen her beautiful face in person since February 2015. I used to see her so often. Looking at her picture, I am healed in a deeper way and I feel light and joy and gratitude even with my pain. ❤ ❤  I couldn't bring myself to look at it for a while. I am incredibly thankful to see her face. I feel so complete. I still see her face so clearly in my head but to physically see a picture is so amazing.  

Today is the one year anniversary of my close friend, Diane's death. It still feels so new and messed up. It has been a very difficult journey of grief and I know in some ways it always will be. It's one of the hardest things I have ever had to endure in this life. Sometimes I feel I'm in a nightmare I can't wake up out of. 

The pain throbs throughout my whole existence. 

Valentine's Day was Diane's favorite holiday.

Diane is my friend and was my coworker and she died one year ago at work. Just out of nowhere. She wasn't sick or anything. She was loud, funny, giving, compassionate, loving, full of life. And in an instant she was gone and so many are now shattered. She is so loved by so, so many people and always will be. 

I worked with her for nearly ten years. I never imagined being without her. Especially like this. She was (still is) so much a part of this life of mine day after day, year after year and it feels strange and unnatural that now she's gone.

Diane used to stay at work late without getting paid just to help people. Like me, she never liked turning customers away even after we closed so she would stay open after hours and serve them if there were a few stragglers. She was hilarious even when she was angry at someone or something. She would tell people off if they did something she did not like but she still showed love to them. She was mouthy and sometimes sarcastic. I remember one of the first days after I met her, years ago, I said something to her and she said "well yeah no shit" in a sarcastic way and I did not appreciate it. Lol I thought she had nerve getting flippant with me. But now I think it's hilarious and I miss every bit of her sarcasm.  She wasn't even trying to be funny, she just was.

Her last word to me, last year, a few days before she died, was "unfuckingbelievable!" She was pissed when she yelled it and I was amused and I'm still amused. It makes me giggle that that happens to be the last word I heard her say. It's "so her." If only I knew, I wouldn't have walked away, I would have ran back and embraced her and never let go. I would have clung to her and tried to keep her heart going forever. ❤ </3 ❤ I would have given her my own heart if I could have. I would have cracked open my own chest, ripped my bleeding heart out and handed it to her.

Let's be as loving as possible and try to make it so the hearts of people we encounter have less negative stress. Stress can contribute to a heart attack probably.  I don't ever want it to happen to anyone else. </3 ❤

She wanted to learn to speak Spanish. She loved strawberry ice cream and peanut chews and Coca Cola. We have a lot of similar loves. She used to also like bananas with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. She loved to help people. She would always be giving her last dollar to someone else, letting people in need stay with her, inviting me to holidays at her place in case I had no plans. 
 
She used to tell me almost no man is good enough for me, even some of her own family members who had the hots for me! Lol I don't agree that someone isn't "good enough" for me but it always made me giggle when she said it, especially about her own close family members! One of her family members was thinking about asking me out and she told him "don't you dare go near that sweet girl until you get your life together!" lol She used to often tell me "I love you girl!" and make me lunch and always trying to give me money even though she hardly had money herself. She used to borrow money then give it to others who needed it. She was extremely protective & generous. 

She was always trying to help me find a job, always writing down names and numbers and places for me. She was even going to take my resume to give to people she knew to try to help me get a job. So many occasions through the years I overheard her bragging to others about how amazing I am in a way that made it sound like I was her own daughter. I always felt her love but now when I think about it I realize just how deep that love for me ran. I did not lose her love; I keep it with me always. ❤

She has three adult sons and grandkids. And lots of other family members. I still see them around sometimes. She has a big loving family.
I see her son Thomas and her granddaughter, Kaitlyn and Kaitlyn's baby boy the most. I'm so happy when I see them.

❤ 

She would make sure I had anything I wanted and scold me if she thought I was doing something not good for myself. She was always checking, making sure I had enough food. 

I can't believe she's gone and still keep thinking how can this be….how can she really be gone for good? Can it really be? I know this experience isn't unique to me even though it can feel like it. Many people who lose someone so close feel this way off and on even years later, possibly forever. Our story isn't unique. People die so frequently of sudden heart complications. People die every single day in all kinds of ways. Every single day people are left grieving and confused over the loss of close friends, family members, pets, others they know and love.  It's just the way it goes.

But we can feel so lonely in our grief. 

I remember her long gray coat in the Winter and her long blue denim shorts and t-shirts in the summer. I remember her hearing aids and her black hair. I remember her voice. I remember she walked with a cane or leg brace at one point because she was injured. I remember she had asthma and had a bad attack at work one day. I remember it was scary. I remember so much. Sometimes I find it so healing to talk about her.

I feel so light when I talk about her. Not mentioning her death. I'm not in denial about it. I just don't want to think about it. 

And I remember her life, not the horrible circumstance of her death. My mom did not know her but when Diane was alive, I frequently talked about her to my mom and texted my mom while at work so many days telling her all the hilarious things Diane did and said. And all the sweet, thoughtful things she did for others and for me. 

"Oh the rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum
with the words ‘I love you’ rolling off my tongue
No never will I roam for I know my place is home
where the ocean meets the sky
I'll be sailing
"

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She was a big Rod Stewart fan (like me!). That's why I'm dedicating Rhythm of My Heart in her memory. 
I was recently looking through old stuff I have, looking for an old philosophy book, and I found this cd case.

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I love how I found it right before the first year anniversary and I instantly thought of her.

I love and miss her every single day. I think of her in everything I do and see things every day that remind me of her. I will always think  of her and love her everyday until I take my last breath. My heart breaks for her and her friends and family. 
I am shattered by our loss but I will honor her in so many things I do. I will keep on loving like she did, like she encouraged me to always do. She was so loving.
She loved my warm, gentle nature that is in some ways in contrast with her loud, assertive one. She told me to never let it change.  I never plan to. 

I’m filled with immense gratitude that I got to know her for the decade I spent with her. Sometimes my gratitude is drowned out by the grief but usually the grief is healed to a certain point through my gratitude. Usually the happy memories bring me deep joy and happiness and laughter & smiles along with my grief but sometimes they mostly only serve to deepen my pain. Some days it fluctuates overwhelming raw grief to a healing kind of gratitude, back & forth. And some days it’s more pain than gratitude while other days it’s more gratitude and smiles than overwhelming pain. But generally it’s a combination of both. Every fiber of my being is in agony over this loss and it would be like this for any friend/family member I lose and am close to, including pets, whether I knew them for years or even just days, all that matters is the depth of our friendship. Grief just hurts.

I have so much sorrow, not just for us who lost her, but for her for not living anymore and experiencing everything she loved, for missing it. This is what kills me the most usually. I know she’s not suffering but she’s dead and it’s worse because she can’t heal or feel happiness or anything. At least us who are left grieving can find a sense of healing and still be happy. But at least she lived and had love & happiness & life and touched so many others. That’s all that matters now. 

It doesn’t get better, it’s just the longer I live with it, the more “used to it” I become so I can cope with it better usually. But I can never truly get used to it. Sometimes it feels like I’m drowning. Like I’m being submerged in water and struggling to keep my head above and breathe. It’s overwhelming. 

Sometimes my grief is so raw it hurts almost physically. Then it mellows out and gets softer and quieter and easier to bear until the next raw flare up. But it never goes away. I don’t want it to. Ever. 

It doesn’t interfere with my general happiness or my ability to function. It’s not depression. When it flares up to the raw pain though, sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on other things. 

When Diane died, almost everyday I felt like some physical part of me was missing. I felt like I was missing a limb that got ripped off and felt like in its place was numbness as well as pain. I kept feeling like it should be here. I felt a tingling. I don’t know where I felt that sensation exactly, just all over my body and other parts that aren’t physical. I especially felt it when I would be at work, shortly after she died and sometimes I still feel it. I walked around in a fog for days and days. The initial shock wore off but in some way I’m just as shocked as when it happened. And now the shock can’t numb most of the pain like it did at first. So now I’m shocked and in pain and sometimes numb like when it happened. 

There’s nothing like having to go back to work after losing a coworker to unexpected death. Seeing the empty desk. Standing in the place we used to stand together and the space next to me, empty. Not hearing her laugh. 
Not hearing her funny stories. Showing up for my shift which was also her shift and she’s not there. I seriously dreaded going back to work the first days after it happened.  

She used to sit at her desk and read a newspaper and eat peanut chews, drinking coca cola soda. We would often visit each other after closing at night to say I love you & goodnight or bring each other stuff. Some nights after work it aches so deeply when I walk by and she’s not there. But I’m so healed by the memories and the love. 

Sometimes, especially at first, it wouldn’t feel like it can really be real. I wanted to physically collapse everyday in my deep anguish. Sometimes I still do. It hits me at the most inconvenient moments, on a crowded bus, walking to work, out shopping, trying to sleep, on my way to therapy appointments(i don’t like to talk about it), ….    It’s much too painful. 

After she died, I would lean out the window at work and stare across the street (that’s where she worked for our boss, in the bar kitchen across the street) and wonder if it’s really real. We used to look out and wave to each other, laughing. I would look out day after day desperate to see her face, her beautiful smile, but she wasn’t looking back. She never looked back. I kept checking over and over to see if maybe it was some kind of mistake, some really big misunderstanding, even though I knew it’s not. Maybe no one really died I kept telling myself. Maybe they were wrong, maybe I was dreaming and now I’m awake and my nightmare is over. But I knew that is not the case. Occasionally I still look over and half expect to see her. But I know I won’t. 

I loved being near her. I loved her bubbly presence I felt. She loved me as soon as she met me. She talked to me right away like we already knew each other very well.

 She was my coworker but I love her like a close friend. If she was my family or friend outside of work I still wouldn’t love her more. She was always a friend to me. And my pain shatters me completely and is unreal. It’s all encompassing and takes over every aspect of me sometimes.  Sometimes I can’t believe this pain. Sometimes I wonder how anyone can survive it. It reminds me of my physical pain disorder when it flares up to unbearable levels. Grief is still easier to handle than my physical head pain even though it’s not less painful. But some aspects are incredibly similar. The magnitude of the pain of both the headache & the grief is unfathomable.

 But I go on and on and keep her with me.  And she is still a significant part of me.  She’s no less a part of me than when she was alive. I never go a single day without thinking of her. She’s always on my mind. I always feel her here within. I don’t see or talk to her anymore and know I never will again and I don’t believe she can see or hear me but I keep my memories of her and my love for her close and the love she had for me still lives in me. I rebuild my self to make room for this grief I now live with. Grief & gratitude and grief & joy and grief & happiness can live together. Side by side. Harmoniously.

I don’t want anyone else to die like this and I don’t want anyone else to suffer like us over a loss like this. It’s bullshit. There are worse ways to die and worse ways to lose someone but it’s still bullshit that this happens to people. 

 I want people to see her face and read her name and read how loving and beautiful she was. And I want anyone who has lost someone, maybe a friend or coworker or pet or mom or neighbor, anyone, to feel less alone. And anyone who has suffered a traumatic loss or some other trauma to feel some sense of consolation. Sometimes reading someone else’s experience can be comforting or inspiring or empowering. 

Sometimes I’m so angry about it. Not as frequently as when her death occurred. But still sometimes I feel like screaming “fuck you” to no one in particular. I’m not angry at a person or her for dying. Or at the uni-verse or some god. I accept the fact that Diane is dead, I have never denied it, but I don’t like it. I don’t feel that it’s unfair. It can happen to anyone and would be just as bad if it were someone else, someone I don’t know, and we’ll all probably go at one point one way or another. Some people are blessed to live to be 80 years old or older and die of old age while others unfortunately die much too young. It’s just the way it goes and always has been. But sometimes I am furious about the situation. I feel like how dare this happen. She was 58 years old and could have lived many more years. Isn’t this bullshit? 

“Fuck” is exactly what Diane would have been yelling! Lol Unfuckingbelievable!

It is Unfuckingbelievable. There’s no other word for it.

I can still find laughter in my grief. 

In a way, I don’t feel as if I really lost anything because I got to know her in the first place. Our lives could have never crossed but they did so it’s not a complete loss, I still have her love with me and my memories. So instead of mostly dwelling on what I lost, I think of the blessing this life bestowed upon me when it gifted me with our friendship and I focus on that and my gratitude. Why dwell on what has been snatched away when I can instead more frequently give thanks for what has been “given” to me.  And her beautiful family is still here to keep her memory alive so a big part of her still lives. 

My heart goes out to all those people who have lost someone to a heart condition(or any way at all – grief is the worst pain there probably is, at least for many…). It’s one of the most common ways people die and it sucks! Let’s keep the memory of their beautiful hearts in our own loving hearts, always. ❤ ❤

I hope anyone who is suffering with grief will remember grief is the price we pay for love. It's an indication that we are touched by those no longer here on Earth with us. But even with seemingly unbearable pain over our loss/es, we can still eventually be happy, grateful, full of laughter & joy along with our terrible pain and grief. Grief and missing someone and happiness and gratitude are not mutually exclusive. We can miss them terribly and be sad but still be generally very happy. 

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In Loving Memory of our beautiful Diane, July 14th, 1956 – February 14th, 2015 </3 ❤
I wish most of the healing energy and thoughts and things to her friends & family who knew and love her outside of work, her three sons and her grandchildren who she was very close with and her siblings…as hard as it is for me I know in some ways it must be even harder for them. 

 I'm so shocked and thrilled the song "Rhythm of My Heart" started playing as I was writing about dedicating it to Diane! Then again! Lol I was writing a post to dedicate it to her a while ago but never posted it and saved it for now. My playlist was on shuffle as I was writing the previous post, back then! And it came on randomly just as I was dedicating it to her! Then as I'm writing this one, it started playing again! ❤ ❤

Sweet! ❤ 😀

Hugs & love to you! ❤
Xoxo Kim

When the sun comes out again….<3

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“It felt like spring time on this February morning
In a courtyard birds were singing your praise
I’m still recalling things you said to make me feel alright
I carried them with me today”

I found this fortune on the floor near the door when I walked into work today. It brightened my day and made me smile. And it reminds me to smile at the very next person I look at (which I did! And he smiled back! 😀 ). 

Last night I had difficulty sleeping. My grief kept me awake. It tends to do that some nights.
But my adorable dogs know when I’m in serious pain whether it’s physical or emotional and they show me extra love. Lol It’s so cute!! ❤

One of the strange things about grief is how one moment it can be quiet, soft, mellow, calm, easy to bear then the very next moment it can be raw, agonizing, violent, nearly unbearable. It appears and reappears for many of us as long as we live, no matter how long ago the loss occurred. I still feel this for my dog who died of old age in 2013 and others I knew and love.

Last night I was thinking about how in just a few weeks, it will be the first anniversary of my close friend/coworker's unexpected death. It has been a long exhausting journey of grief this last year. Full of beauty & pain. Light & darkness. Love & hope.  
One year is just a social construct and it seems strange and interesting to think about it. Our society places so much importance on anniversaries each year.  This can be good or be very painful. Or both? 

My grief exacerbates to nearly unbearable levels off and on throughout my days. And while it's so hard sometimes, I know that's ok. It will be like that. I no longer try to battle it usually. It's not something to be battled. 

It's just a natural reaction to our losses. So I let it appear, do what it will, and then mellow out to the more bearable levels until the next raw flare up whenever it may be. 

Sometimes I still have trouble doing this though. Sometimes I want to resist that grief that hurts so much. 

Last night as I laid down to sleep, it just hit me. So unexpectedly. My beautiful friend never leaves my mind and my grief never leaves me either. But like I said, my grief now is usually bearable. 

But last night as I thought of the first anniversary approaching, the pain came at me like daggers piercing every square inch of my being. I thought of all the beautiful days we shared together in the last decade. All the love she has shown me and the love I still have for her and always will. But last night the happy memories weren't enough to soothe the pain. In some way, they even worsened it. Somehow though, I finally drifted off to sleep with her beautiful face across my mind. 

“Oh darlin’ as I lay me down to sleep
This I pray, that you will hold me dear
Though I’m far away
I’ll whisper your name into the sky
And I will wake up happy”

Today I woke up still in that terrible raw state of grief. It's worse than when she died because at least back then the shock of her unexpected death protected me against the agony that was soon coming. But when I think of her, when I speak her name, it's so healing. 

As I sat at work today, a memory came to me. It was the Summer before she died. It was July, just after her 58th birthday. I was 28 years old. Diane always treated me like her own daughter. We stood together by the soda boxes in the store I work at. Her job was in the bar kitchen across the street. But she came over to the store to help me when it was busy. She absolutely loved to help people. She was a very giving person.

She often came over just to talk to me or bring me food and tell me something funny. She was hilarious, so full of life. Diane bragged about me to others constantly and always told me how wonderful I am and how she loved me. She was so proud of her sons and always sharing stories about her grandkids. She was so full of love. 
I always loved how she referred to her boys as "My Thomas" and "My Matthew" and "My Daniel" 
She would scold me when she thought I was doing something not good for myself like if she thought I was not eating enough food. She was always making me food and bringing it to me. 

My sweet, sweet friend. I miss her like crazy. The pain is almost physical. 

I always felt so close to her. 

I remember her black hair blowing in the swirl of the air the fan was blowing that day. I remember her white t-shirt and long denim shorts. And her beautiful voice.

There is nothing significant about this memory. It just came to me in one of my worst moments of grief and stood out. I love how it's just a simple memory of a mundane part of an ordinary day, yet it's so vivid in my mind. 

And it's a memory only I have of us together that day. There was no one else here. It feels so unique. But now it's written in stone, for the world to see at any moment of any day. And for that I am thankful.

Today I walked over to the soda box where we stood that day. I longed for her. I longed to feel her near me. My arms ached to hug her. 

 And as my grief reached its pinnacle and I felt it would destroy me and I was so tempted to repress and deny it, instead I let it ripple through me in agonizing waves. I let my body writhe in agony, I let myself keel over as I clutched my chest which felt like it held something inside physically breaking, as I thought of how I'll never see her again, how she'll never live again, never work again, never see her sons and family and friends again. Never again feel the wind blowing through her dark black hair. I thought of her hearing aids and how she'll never again reach up to adjust them. She'll never again eat her favorite strawberry ice cream or drink her favorite soda, which is also my favorite. Coca Cola. We both have always loved it and we both wouldn't drink Pepsi if Coca Cola was sold out. Lol Instead we drank Mt. Dew. 

So I let the pain break me. As much as I wanted to resist it. I let it break me. Then I allowed myself to steal away into the stillness around me and within, the quietude, the spaciousness, the emptiness, that awaits beyond the worst of the pain. The still of this cold, desolate  afternoon enveloped me in a soothing, exhilarating kind of way, giving me life & hope. 

And I felt beauty. I felt calm. Love. Whole. I felt her in my loving memories and I felt healed to a certain point. Grief, for many of us never completely heals but that's ok. 

It will appear and reappear and rise and fall. It will scream some moments, loud and vicious and terrible. And other moments it will softly arise in our self, floating gently and sadly but beautifully across our essence. Sometimes the happy memories will shatter us to pieces and other moments they will put us back together and help heal the darkest pain. And it's all ok. But it won't always feel ok. And that's ok too.

I was so tempted to only see the ugly in my grief today but I remembered my vow to this year refine my ability to see beauty in every moment, even the seemingly ugly ones. To deepen my sense of beauty and strengthen my philosophy of life that life is beautiful even in its darkest moments. 

So I let myself stand in quiet and calm and felt the beauty rise and surge within and consume me in its glow. 

And it was all ok again. 
And all will be ok again.

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Acceptance is a beautiful thing. It beautifies the world. We can accept our things that can't be changed and just go with the flow. And even things that can be changed, we can accept that things happen that aren't good while trying our best to help it. Acceptance doesn't mean we don't try to help it. It just means we allow whatever will be, to be and move forward doing the best we can, the best we know how. 

I accept my grief and my loss. And I move forward and try to help others in any way I can, often through my writing here & sharing inspiring posts. If it just touches one person, even in some small way, it's truly amazing. ❤ ❤

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“It’s not too near for me
Like a flower I need the rain
Though its not clear to me
Every season has its change
And I will see you
When the sun comes out again”
~
 Sophie B. Hawkins – As I Lay Me Down 

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I’m wishing you much love & light today and always,

~Hugs~

Xoxo Kim 

How To Find Your Power

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“I could sneer, I could glare say that
Life is so unfair and the one who Made it, made it ’cause her breasts
Were really big” ~ Jill Sobule

I have never been starstruck or celebrity crazed. I’m not into TV, the personal lives of celebrities just because they are famous, their drama or the drama people bring to them. I find it appalling that people chase them around with cameras, seriously invading their personal space, nearly getting them into accidents, stalking them, stalking and taking pictures of their kids!!!, verbally bash them out of jealousy, and all the other nonsense. The fact that they’re famous and knew this would likely occur does not make it ok or make the barbarians any less responsible for their dangerous and annoying actions. Not all famous people necessarily want to be famous. Some want to do whatever the job is and just have to accept the popularity that comes along with it. Some probably want to be actors, singers, and other things that will potentially make them famous, but not the fame itself, still wanting to live a life not being known and heckled by everyone who looks at them out in public. Fame is just a byproduct of certain jobs. Some like it. Some don’t.  But whether or not they chose or want the fame doesn’t justify other people’s reckless and negative actions towards them when it’s interfering directly with their lives.
I don’t believe celebrities are generally any more or any less intelligent or wise than those in the general population. 
They just have the ability to reach many more people and affect people at greater magnitudes because of it, usually.
When they have wisdom and a message and a cause and a story, they can reach millions upon millions of people.

But we who aren’t famous can still impact a number of lives somehow. And just reaching one, touching one heart for the better is amazing.
I don’t care that they’re rich. That’s the life they chose. They work for it. I can probably be rich too if I were determined, dedicated, skilled, and motivated enough to do what it takes and also desired a job that happens to have a mind-blowing paycheck come along with it. But I’m not. And I don’t care. The kind of job I want won’t make me financially rich and it doesn’t matter to me. It’s the satisfaction and value to others that the job will bring that I’m desiring.

Many people argue that celebrities don’t deserve the money just for acting or whatever. While that may be true, the point is, it’s the job they chose and most of us can choose the job we want as long as we have the appropriate skills and ability and motivation. Not all of us want to be actors or are driven or talented enough to be even if we wanted. Maybe our calling just doesn’t happen to bring with it such money. If you’re fortunate enough to strongly, passionately desire something,whatever it may be, have the skills it takes to obtain and maintain it and become financially rich, all the power to you!

And if you have all that but don’t get financially rich for it, still all the power to you! What really matters is if you’re fulfilled and living how you want!
I don’t see that it’s necessarily unfair in a way, that they get so much money, more than I have and more than other jobs.  Because we can all choose to seek well-paying jobs if we have the skills. We won’t always get the job quickly, it may take a while, just like some celebrities struggle for a while before a big break and sometimes even after. And if we don’t have the skills, it’s not unfair. Some people are talented and geniuses at some things and not others. Some people have natural talents while some don’t. Some people have disabilities, illnesses, obstacles that others don’t. It’s just the way the world works. Many people have so much more than me. More money, more skills, more knowledge, more wisdom, more friends, more experience ….and many have less. That goes for most of us. It is what it is. 
I think some people with certain jobs deserve just as much money as celebrities, and appreciation they don’t always receive, police officers, doctors, and others who save lives and risk their own.
I don’t think it’s the celebrities’ fault though that they don’t get paid like that and they do.

We can make a choice to take what we have and do the best we can while letting others also do that even if they seem to have better circumstances. 
We can “bloom where we’re planted” while  encouraging one another, celebrate each other, cheer each other on, celebrity or not. We’re all in this together. We can allow the success, happiness, accomplishments, and fortunes of other people to inspire us, motivate us, and guide us instead of letting it depress us or make us bitter or jealous.
It’s true some people have it easier but no matter what obstacles stand in our way, we can prevail somehow. And even the most successful and happy, joyful people can encounter problems, pain, and stress.

Famous and rich people are not gods, not invincible, not necessarily people to look up to merely because they are celebrities, not people to hold to greater standards than other people and criticize harder when they fall, in my opinion, not people to hold grudges against or not takes seriously merely because of their celebrity status.
I know some people disagree and think they’re morally obligated to be responsible and send positive messages to others. It would be great if they do but I don’t think they’re really obligated. It’s great if we all set positive examples for each other. But it’s usually not our obligation. 
 But some are worthy of being looked up to as positive examples just like some non celebs.
Rich and famous people are susceptible to pain, death, tragedy, illness, breakups, bankruptcy, bullying, abuse, breakdowns, loss, eating disorders, substance abuse, grief, mental health conditions, stress, discrimination, being detested, suicide, accidents, overdoses, being stalked, attacked, killed, assaulted….just like the rest of us.

And rich and famous people can also share deep wisdom and inspire us, and bring light & love to our world. Just like people who aren’t famous or financially rich.

“I don’t wanna get bitter like you
Like you, with the darts in your eyes
Like you, with disdain for mankind
I was charmed, now I wonder” ~ Jill Sobule

I just found now, a celebrity who has quickly won my heart. Yup, I’m in love. 
Her name is Selena Gomez. 

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And the fact that she’s a famous person isn’t what inspires me. But if she were not famous I probably would not have the opportunity I now have been blessed with, to know her beauty.
I was doing self discovery/authentic self/art journaling activities, cutting out things in random old magazines when I came across something about Selena Gomez. I heard/read her name on various occasions but never really knew anything about her, never cared to, really. Just that she’s famous. I was never sure what she’s famous for, what she looks like, or anything else.
I do love reading celebrity personal interviews sometimes, no matter who they are, because I get a feel for the person’s true personality and we all know how much I love people. I’m just not more interested in celebrities than other people because of their status. 
I love looking at pretty girls in magazines and getting hair, makeup, clothing style….ideas and see lots of gorgeous faces and beautiful bodies all throughout the magazines but I don’t always read about celebrities, just look and cut stuff out for arts and crafts activities.
I saw this page in a magazine with incredibly inspiring phrases and I was thrilled! I was about to cut them out and glue them into my journal when I saw one that says “Support Your Girls.” I assumed it was about boobs and a great bra and looking pretty. And I thought wow can’t go wrong with that one! Until I read the phrase underneath which reads “I love my girl friends more than I’ve loved any of my boyfriends….
I realized it’s Selena Gomez who said that. And what she has to say is beyond amazing.
She loves her best girls and other girls she knows of, even ones she never met personally. Her friends love and support her and  stand by her always, including when the men she has been romantically involved with did not. She loves women who empower other women. Taylor Swift is one of those girls she loves who empowers other girls. And this other girl Demi. 
I love Taylor Swift also. She’s all for love and seems like a total sap like mee!!
Selena Gomez wants girls and women to stop comparing negatively, stop the competitions with fashion, best friends, and lovers and betrayal and just love one another, empower each other, support each other unconditionally.
 “My wish is that girls would love girls more.” 
Selena even loves girls who don’t love her back! Talk about amazing! She wants the best even for women who don’t return the love.
 “I’m going to support her whether she likes me or not because I think she’s doing great things.” She says this of a girl, Lorde, she never met but truly adores. This girl, Lorde, doesn’t like Selena, according to Selena, at least when this interview was going on, March 2014, I think.

Some day I will see her and we’ll be cool.

So sweet! I have loved girls and wanted to be friends with certain girls who did not feel the same about me. I would be thinking “we would be perfect BFF’s, soul sisters, she just doesn’t know it yet!”
Lol!
Have you ever met a girl and think you two would just be amazing friends but she doesn’t seem to think so? It can be painful but we can still love and empower one another even if we’re not or don’t want to be friends with each other. We don’t have to wish to see each other crumble or see each other fail even if we don’t like each other. Girls who don’t like me back still have my love.
There are also girls I would not want to be friends with but still send my love and well wishes.
I never felt that romantic love is necessarily more important than platonic love. It’s different but not more important to me. I don’t believe romantic relationships are more worthy of special recognition than platonic friendships no matter what the gender of the people are. I love all love.


I agree that it’s best for women to build each other up, not tear each other down. 

“Wise women don’t compete with each other; they empower one another.” 

Selena also teaches a lesson on saying no. She says “You can’t be afraid of what people are going to say, because you’re never going to make everyone happy.
She encourages girls to speak up when they don’t like something. She says saying it out loud is the first step to taking away fear. Say what you want. Express it when you don’t like something. She says that it took her a long while to learn this. Her friend Demi taught her this great lesson. Now she is teaching others. She explains that it’s effective to be direct, not aggressive. 
I had to learn this too. In cases with people taking advantage of my desire and willingness to help, I had to learn to say clearly and directly, NO. Not because I don’t want to help or be kind, not as a punishment or to seek revenge. 
To show people they can’t keep getting what they want by taking advantage. 
When people take advantage of our generosity and kindness to the point it takes a toll on us, we have to think of ourselves as well. Our own health and well-being is just as important as everyone else’s. If something doesn’t feel right to you, say no. And if you wear yourself out just constantly doing for others, eventually you may be too exhausted to help anyone well.

Selena provides a lesson on finding your inspiration. She looks to others for inspiration sometimes. Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Demi. She finds inspiration in their music, songs, in the different moves they make. What inspires you? Who inspires you? Look around and look within and and allow your heart to open to the inspiration all around. Then create. Do. Be.

She also encourages to “Pick your power song.” She loves her song “Who Says,” which she declares is her anthem for girls. She says that when she performs it, she stops singing and allows the girls to sing it to her so they can hear themselves say “Who says I’m not perfect? Who says I’m not beautiful? Who says I’m not worth it?” She wants girls to feel that. This is so empowering. The fact that she let’s girls sing it themselves, become active and actually engage instead of just listen is truly amazing. What a wise young woman this girl is.
I feel my heart well up with love.

 

She encourages us to “never change for a guy” and talks about how some men may be intimidated by strong women but it’s important to remain ourselves. This goes for anyone though not just a man/lover/boyfriend/potential love interest/husband. I encourage us not to change for anyone but ourselves. Don’t change who you are for parents who want you to live out their dreams, jealous girls who want to see you fall, friends who won’t accept you as you are, society…don’t change for anyone except yourself if it serves you well to change because YOU want the change.

One of the most beautiful lessons she teaches here is “Give Your Whole Self.
Selena says “I don’t feel like I can do enough for my fans. I work a lot, I work hard, and I get tired. But when you walk on stage and see these people who wait hours outside just to see you, it’s the greatest thing in the world.“. She states that she feels that her fans do so much for her and she doesn’t feel she can do enough for them. Her lesson is to give your whole self to people, all your love, your passion, your beauty. This can apply to any aspect of your life. Your work, hobbies your love, people you know, whatever you do, where ever you go, go with all your heart. Give it your all. Put your whole self into it. This is a beautiful way to live and love to the fullest. You don’t have to be perfect, you can be passionate and loving in all that you do. We don’t need perfection. Being passionate and loving is perfect enough.

And I think loving and truly appreciating and being grateful for her fans is enough. She embodies love so perfectly.

Selena Gomez is a wise and beautiful girl. Inside and out and our world is blessed to have her. Not for her music or work(that too) but for the powerful love she projects out into the world and the deep beauty of her life’s message. What a bright light. I would be honored to have a friend like her.

“So I’ll smile with the rest
I’ll wish everyone the best
And know the one who made it,
Made it cuz she was actually pretty good” ~ Jill Sobule

Xoxo Kim 😀

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(this photo isn’t mine)

Love is the answer <3

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Some quotes:

Love has everything to do with it ~ ♥ ♥ ♥

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” ~Malcolm S. Forbes

“By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before. “~Edwin Elliot

” Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.” ~ Jim Morrison

” Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

” Where there is love there is life.”
Mahatma Gandhi

” A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.”
Thomas Carlyle

“So many women just don’t know how great they really are. They come to us all vogue outside and vague on the inside.” ~ Mary Kay Ash

Much love to you!

Xoxo Kim

Priceless Gifts <3

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(picture taken somewhere in Center City, Philadelphia, I saw it on a pole and just had to take a pic!)

i have purchased a book a few months ago, and it’s called “Priceless Gifts” (How to Give the Best to Those You Love) and is written by a psychologist, Daniel A. Sugarman, Ph.D. He is a clinical psychologist and the book was published in the 1970’s. 1978 to be exact. I haven’t read the book yet but I will.

I read the list of gifts on the back cover. Even though it was written decades ago, the twelve gifts that the man lists are timeless and still apply today.

They are psychological gifts, not material gifts. This book, even though I haven’t read most of it yet, inspired me to create a list of my own, of priceless psychological /immaterial gifts that I believe are incredible to bless others with and to receive.

While my list is inspired by this doctor’s list, not all of the gifts I list here are ones in his book and the descriptions underneath each gift, even the gifts I took out of the book, are my own. Next to each gift that is also in his book, I will state that I got it out of the book.

1.) The Gift of Time(in the book):  
Being with someone who needs/wants you at that moment is an amazing gift.   Whether you are having fun doing entertaining activities, talking to one another, or just sitting close to show you care when a person wants company is an amazing gift.   It shows the person that you care enough to take part of your day and make that person your top priority at that moment. What better way to make that person feel loved, valuable, and cherished!?

2.) The Gift of Active Listening/ Undivided Attention (in the book) : 
We usually hear what people say and respond.   But how often are we truly, fully listening? It seems we are frequently only partially or half listening while multitasking, doing other things while a person talks to us, mindlessly/mechanically responding.   This is not being fully receptive of or acknowledging that person’s needs and desires at that moment. Even if you accurately hear what that person says and even provide a relevant, pleasant sounding response, that is not always good enough. A person can tell when you are not fully present even if you don’t know the person can tell and maybe even if that person doesn’t consciously know it or realize it at that moment. Make the person feel s/he is the center of your world at that moment. It can be quite offensive spilling your guts to someone only to realize that person is playing with a phone, texting someone else, watching TV, drifting off, or off somewhere daydreaming giving you empty, half mutters while you speak. Whether the person is talking to you about light topics such as her favorite food, book, or movie, or more deep topics such as his problems, pain, future dreams, that person wants your attention! S/he cares enough and believes you are important enough to talk to and trusts you enough to share with you so repay the gift and really, truly listen fully with your whole heart and drown out everything else while that person speaks. (unless you’re driving or something, be careful!)

3.) The Beautiful Gift of Loyalty: 
When a person shares secrets with you, s/he expects you to keep them to yourself. It’s not good to blab them to anyone. Many of us have someone we believe we can trust with someone else’s secrets but then the person we trust may also have a person or persons s/he trusts and may tell the person’s secrets to that person thinking it’s Ok to tell and that it will stop there.     But then that person tells people and on and on and that’s how “secrets” get around. It’s not that the people who tell other people’s secrets are necessarily bad people and likely they don’t want to sabotage or hurt anyone. They just want to talk and be the big bearer of “news” but it does not always go over too well. So when a trusting person comes to you, it’s best to let that person’s secrets stop when they get to you. (unless it’s potentially life threatening.) 

And it’s also best not to gossip about or judge a person, negatively, who trusts you, with other people. Be loyal and true to the person who opens up to you.   It’s unkind and a betrayal to trash talk the person or spill their info out to others. Let the person come to you and be a true friend and listener. That is a true gift. And if you are being truly loyal you won’t join in when you hear other people saying unnecessary negative things about your friend.  

4.) The Gift of Acceptance (In the book) :
Just about everyone we meet is going to have at least one (probably more) opinion, trait, characteristic, or thing about him/her that we will not agree with or not like. But that does not mean we have to give the person up or not like the person or reject the person or try to change him/her. We can gently state our opinion in a kind way if it’s truly necessary and intended to help or connect with someone and then be done with it. But we can accept the person for all that person is. “Flaws” and all. We can disagree, argue, debate, but still love, cherish, tolerate, and accept. We don’t all have to be identical to get along well and love.

“I ain’t lookin’ for you to feel like me
See like me or be like me
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.” ~Bob Dylan

5.) The Gift of Positive Support:
I think just about everyone desires and craves the true support of a great friend or family member or others.   Humans are social creatures and like to belong and be accepted and want positive encouragement.   We may not always agree with something a family member or friend thinks or does but we should want to see the person happy and healthy no matter what. And we can still support a person, in general, even when that person does something we oppose or thinks something we disagree with.
As stated in the above gift description, we can gently and kindly state how we feel when necessary, and allow the person to think or do as s/he pleases without interference, rejection, and negative judgment. Unless a person is struggling with unsound judgment as a result of illness of any kind or alcohol or other drug intoxication, and wants to do something potentially life threatening to the person or others, we should support the person in her goals and be happy she is happy no matter what.  
This also goes when a person accomplishes or attains something we wish we will gain or accomplish.   A little bit of jealousy is a normal emotion and is Ok. But don’t let it destroy your friendships or other relationships and happiness for that person. People will always have things we want and can’t or won’t get but we can still be happy for them even though we may feel somewhat jealous or disappointed for ourselves not having it.
6.) The Gift of Sharing/ Self Disclosure (in the book) :
It is a true gift to others to hear of or read of your own problems and struggles, successes and dreams, pain, goals, failings, life lessons, and happiness. It can remind them that they are not alone and it can inspire them to feel happier and act on their dreams and it helps them get to know you and connect with you on a deeper level and trust you more. It may help them open up and share their own stories more comfortably. Sharing is caring! A healthy balance of Sharing with others and actively listening to them speak is amazing! What a true gift!  

“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ~ Muriel Rukeyser

7.) The Gift of Seeing the best in people (in the book) :
Everyone has things about them that are good and bad. No one is perfect in everyone’s eyes. Even the best people you know will have pain, setbacks, problems, failings, struggles, and negative aspects about their lives but instead of focusing on the worst in them, focus on the best!

Let the person know you cherish her/him and support her/him in her endeavors no matter what and that the good is what stands out. People want to be around those who lift them up and appreciate the great and not just criticize the bad. Think of your own “bad” or “negative” qualities. Would you like to be around people who can’t get over them and always point them out and criticize you over them? Or do you want to be in the company of people who love and nourish and cherish your amazing qualities and overlook and accept the bad? Give that gift to others! 😀

And try this: instead of saying “I love you but…..” try saying “….. but I love you!”.

8.) The Gift of letting them make their own decisions without negative judgment :

Many friends or others may want and seek your input on some things and want to know how you feel and if you are true, close friends, they will likely cherish and appreciate your desire to help and your willingness to open up and contribute to their lives. But this doesn’t mean they will or should always take heed of your suggestions or advice. In the end the decision is theirs.   It is their life and they are responsible for their own life. The ultimate decision is theirs.  They may not always make decisions that you like or want but you don’t have to negatively judge them or criticize them for it. And you don’t have to feel coldly rejected or seriously crushed if they should choose to not do what you suggest. It doesn’t mean they don’t value your opinions or take you seriously, just that in some cases, they have different needs or views.  Provide your input and let them know you are right by their side no matter what they choose and if things do not work out well, you are still right here to help them see it through. 
It is good for people to allow others the space and liberty to mess up, make mistakes, experiment, be uncertain, but still support them in their attempts and experiences with true, unconditional love, acceptance, and loyalty.   What better gift in this life than a friend like this?!

9.) The Gift of True Empathy:

This isn’t to say we should “feel sorry” for people in an arrogant way as if we are somehow above that person or more fortunate than that person. It is to say that we should acknowledge that other people are just as sentient as we, ourselves are. They can feel like we can and they have needs and desires as well as we do. And we should really try to a certain extent to understand how that person must feel even if we haven’t experienced the exact same thing. Not to say “I know how you feel”. That can seem cold and like you are overstepping your boundaries. The truth is unless you can literally get into someone else ‘s head you don’t know exactly how that person feels whether or not you have similar experiences.   But we can have some degree of understanding and much compassion and concern for another person. Whether we know the person or not.  
We all have pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, and we can use our imaginations and draw on our own experiences to empathize with someone even if our experiences aren’t exactly the same. Having empathy for animals is also important.

10.) The Gift of Unconditional Love:

True love, to me, is unconditional.   If I truly love someone, no matter what that person says or does, I will continue to love.  I may feel the need to distance myself in certain ways if that person is doing things, excessively, that are detrimental to myself but my love will not falter or decrease. This even goes for people who want to live without me in their lives.   I will be unhappy, crushed, that they feel the need to abandon, reject, or give me up but I want them to be happy with or without me. And I will not stand in the way.

11.) The Gift of True Friendship:

As stated above, even if I must distance myself permanently or temporarily, if someone is my friend, I will always be here as a friend or supporter if that person should need or want me. I may never hang out with or have deep conversations with that person again but I can still wish her the best.  I will not reject a friend over disagreements or differences no matter what. I want to know the good and the bad, the happiness and the sadness in the person’s life. I want to write or talk, just to say hello some occasions, I want to see the person and bask in his/her successes and be a true listener and console during moments of stress or pain. I don’t want to be an “occasional” or “seasonal” friend who comes and goes or one who makes pathetic excuses to never hang out. True friends are interested in the good and the bad and will put things on hold now and then to tend to their friends when they need or want them most.

12.) The Gift of Full Forgiveness:

For both you and the other person, forgive. Let go. Even if feelings of resentment or anger reappear every now and then, in general it’s best to accept and move forward, or move on and forget and not let your body frequently fill with fury and negative energy.   And not throw a mistake a friend made back into that person’s face again and again or during different arguments.  A True, genuine, strong, positive, loving  friendship is definitely worth forgiveness. You don’t have to always forgive everything and everyone but in general it’s probably best to try to let your body relax and ease up.  This isn’t letting the person off the hook or get over on you. It’s quite the opposite. The person hurt you but no longer has power over you or your life. And if that person is a true friend and is genuinely interested in your welfare that person deserves forgiveness. And you deserve the liberty that your forgiveness will bring you. 

13.) The Gift of appreciation and expression : There’s nothing better than knowing a person genuinely appreciates you and all you do. Let your friend, lover, kids, coworker, doctor, secretary,  maybe even a stranger and anyone else you appreciate know just how grateful you are for that person’s presence in your life or how that person has touched you for the better. Tell them in person, send them an electronic message, a phone call, a card, or small gift, a hug, anything….just let the ones you appreciate know somehow! It will make them so thrilled!  

14.) The Gift of inspiration:
Be a positive, uplifting person.   Speak positively of yourself and others and the life you are blessed to know. It’s uplifting and a good example to other people and will make you feel happier and uplifted too. Care for yourself and share your wisdom with others even though some people will not welcome it. Many will! This will inspire people around you to also love and care for themselves and others. If you come up with a great idea about anything or discover an inspirational quote or beautiful poem or photo, share it with people! Bring out the best in people. Smile. Make eye contact. Say hello. Be a blessing. Be a friend.

15.) The Gift of validation/letting others give to us:
Let people think and feel how they do instead of trying to emotionally force them to believe other things. Let them express it. Your input is good but degrading, denying, and ridiculing people’s emotions is not good. If someone is in a bad mood, trying to cheer that person up is sweet but telling the person to “get over it” or that there’s nothing to be feeling low about or criticizing the person ‘s low mood is often detrimental, aggravating, and not helpful.  
You don’t have to lower your own mood to match theirs; you can find a good balance to console them.
And when someone pays you a sincere compliment, even if you disagree or are very modest, it’s good to just be happy the person feels that way about you! Saying things like “that’s not true!” or “you’re just saying that. ” or “No I’m not that good looking or intelligent ” will just invalidate the person’s positive feelings about you and deny the person the positive emotions of complimenting you. That person wants you to feel happy and pleased and the person really feels that way about you whether or not you feel it about yourself and it’s not good to tell that person s/he is wrong.   A true compliment is a gift to you, why throw it back in the person’s face?!  Just a sweet & simple “thank you” is a great response!

16.) The Gift of your life:
If the person is a true, trusted friend to you, share the good and the bad of your life and show genuine interest in the good and bad of that person’s. It’s not good to a person when you only want to vent or gossip and not tell your success and happy stories as well and if you have problems, big or small, a friend wants to know. So if you want to express them, don’t hold back! True friends are genuinely interested in the good and the bad. And it’s good to let your friends complain and vent to you about negative events in their lives and to take pleasure in their happiness.  True friendship is about the good, the bad, everything….

“You’ve given me the best of you and now I need the rest of you.” ~ Billy Joel  

17) The Gift of communication :

Tell your lover, family member, friend when that person is doing something to really affect you. If people are hurting you, they may not realize it or the extent of it. And it may not be intentional. They don’t always realize how much it impacts you. You can save a relationship or the quality of it by positively and effectively communicating.   You can gently tell them that what they are doing is negatively affecting you and tell them you cherish your relationship with them and want to work on it for the better.     And don’t just tell the bad things!   Celebrate and acknowledge the good as well! Communication is very important in ANY kind of relationship!

These are just some things I find crucial to relationships of any kind and beautiful blessings to people. I believe they are good for people in general. And when you give these lovely gifts, you not only bless the person but you, yourself will be blessed.  You may disagree with some of them or many of them. Or all of them?! ;-D
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My intention is NOT to tell people what they should do or have to do or to negatively judge people who do not do these things! I don’t always do all of them myself and I make mistakes but I try my best to frequently live this way and I truly believe these are great and priceless gifts to others.   I don’t like to tell people how they should live or what they should do! Who am I to do that!   I’m in no position for that!   Of course I’m not! But I do love to provide suggestions in case they will help people and share what helps and inspires me. If someone is not inspired and does not want to take my suggestions, that’s ok! Whatever floats your boat! 😉

Xox0 Kim

Holly, Hope, & Healing

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I wrote this some weeks ago and intended to post it here then never got around to it.

I tried posting it and it would not go through and then later I posted other stuff.

In January, 2008 I met a girl named Holly. In the extremely short amount of time we knew each other for, she impacted me in an incredibly positive way. I loved meeting Holly and will always be so very grateful our lives crossed and touched. Holly was/is one of the most beautiful, sweetest girls anyone could ever be blessed to know or meet.

But the circumstance in which we met was very, very unpleasant. We were both admitted to the same psychiatric hospital, her for Schizophrenia, me for severe depression. We shared a hospital room together.

It was my first hospitalization in that kind of hospital and I was unsure what to expect. I am extremely claustrophobic and have an immense fear of small and closed in places especially if I’m alone in them or with someone I cannot connect with for some reason.

This was my only fear about the hospital. I’m generally not a fearful kind of girl.

Even regular hospitals don’t scare me. I wasn’t even scared when I was about to have emergency kidney surgery when I was twenty one years old.

Just the anesthesia stuff scared me until the doc assured me that the Anesthesia would not paralyze me while I was conscious when I asked her. So it did not surprise me that I wasn’t scared of this hospital.

I was admitted to that hospital in the middle of the night, taken in an ambulance after leaving an emergency room at another hospital where I was for eight hours. When one of the friendly psychiatric technicians took me to my room, I was afraid. Afraid that he would lock the door and I would be locked in. I was starting to protest the fact that I had to go in that dark room. I started to get loud even though I am and always have been a very quiet girl in general. Other patients were sleeping, including my roommate, Holly. I told the technician I did not want to be locked in that room and he promised I wouldn’t be locked in there and he told me gently and warmly but firmly to be quiet so I would not wake Holly. I saw her laying in bed sleeping and as he was closing the door I turned around, pulled it all the way back opened and asked “Can she talk?”. I had no idea what was wrong with her or what state or condition she was in. She may have been in an immobilized depressive state, in a catatonic state like I am sometimes or she may have been suffering with Catatonic-type schizophrenia or some other condition that would render her unable to talk or connect with me on a level that would make me somewhat at ease being in a closed room with her. The technician smiled warmly with a quick laugh and said “Yes, she can talk.”. I instantly felt at ease and a bit calmer. He closed the door and I got into my bed next to her bed.

Words will never do justice to express the true depth of my loneliness or level of my suffering that day and the other days I have struggled with depression. The loneliness was so suffocating I felt that itself would kill me or drive me to insanity if I wasn’t already there. My depression often leaves me with a sense of loneliness so deep I feel that I am the only one in this world no matter how many people are near me and talking to me. And in a sense I am the only one in the world, my own solitary world of painful confinement. Like layers and layers just covering me and I cannot truly be touched in any way. Nothing can penetrate. There is no connection with anyone or anything. Sometimes when I am in a depression, it can be lifted by interacting with others, seeing friends, going out, doing things…but not always and this episode was one I thought nothing could touch.

But I am the kind of girl who is always thrilled to meet new people and even through my pain, despair, loneliness, and depression that day, deep inside me there was some small tinge of wonder about Holly, sparkling through my pain and despair. I wanted to meet her.

I wanted to wake her up, as tired and exhausted in every way imaginable that I was. I wanted to know her, I wanted her to know me.

I wanted her to break through my sheer walls that no one could see and ease the pain for at least a little while.

I instantly felt some sort of connection already as she laid there sound asleep.

We were both girls struggling, suffering with some wretched sickness that landed us in that hospital.

But I knew I couldn’t wake her. So I laid in my bed and eventually drifted off to sleep. Then before I knew it I was waking up to voices in the room with me. “Who’s that?” I heard a curious young woman’s voice ask. “That’s your new roommate, Kimberly.” I heard the technician answer.

We had to get our vital signs taken and get ready for breakfast. I finally got to meet her. She had the biggest, brightest smile that lit up the room.

She asked me what I was in there for and I told her depression. “What’s that?” She asked, “Is it like sadness?”. I was in no mood at all to explain what depression is or why I was so devastatingly depressed and I actually wasn’t sure exactly why anyway. I just knew it had something to do with “not having friends or a reason to live.” Even though I did have close friends. It felt as if I had no one.

“Yeah” I said, “Something like that.”. I was too lethargic to get out of bed and I laid back down.

Holly told me to get a lot of rest and I instantly sensed her caring, generous, beautiful nature.

I told her my intense fear of being in closed places and Holly was kind enough to open the door for me and she told me she doesn’t ever want me to be scared or sick. But it turned out that Holly was struggling with Paranoid Schizophrenia and was suffering with terrible hallucinations and delusions.

She saw things and heard things, often extremely unpleasant and terrifying things, that weren’t really there. And she was under the impression that people were trying to hurt her and get into her head and steal or mess with her thoughts.

She suddenly became terrified having the door open and the noises in the halls were affecting her negatively so she told me that she would close the door and that she was sorry for me and that it would all be ok because we would be together and she wouldn’t let anything bad happen to scare me.

I was no longer afraid of the door being closed.

Holly was in that hospital for a very long while and was in and out of hospitals for many years.

Holly made sure all the patients got what they wanted and needed. We were allowed to have hard candy throughout our stay there and when one girl did not get any candy and wanted some but was too afraid to ask, I could see that it actually hurt Holly to see that. Holly, an extremely empathetic person, wanted everyone to be happy. So she made sure the girl got her candy. She showed me pictures she made with toothpaste that she hung on the walls in our room.

Because of my depression I stayed in bed frequently so whenever the other patients were getting ready for a fun movie night or activity, Holly would come running to our room to let me know and make sure I was included. I was so accepted, so included, so pleased that she thought of me. ❤ And it actually lifted my depression. I felt joy in the things we did together.

One night I was extremely depressed and lonely and felt I was suffocating. I went to my room and laid in bed in so much pain I felt like I was dying. The loneliness was so immense I felt I could not go on living. I truly believed it would never end, never get better. My world was collapsed on top of me and I felt buried alive, crushed and so broken. I remembered year before, being excluded by friends and the pain was unbearable.

It was like an endless nightmare but I was awake.

It was Hell on Earth.

All of my flaws, real or imagined, magnified and came speeding at me with so much force, piercing my very essence.

I laid there alone with the lights off, endless thoughts swirling around in my head. Endless agonizing thoughts. Holly came into the room and turned the lights on.

She told me about a dream she recently had while she slept and I told her one of mine. I saw her eyes light up with amazement. She was so thrilled to hear my dream.

She was so genuinely interested in other people and the welfare of others.

So sensitive to everyone else’s needs and desires.

And we talked that night for hours in our beds about our pain and also about lighter topics. We talked about our joy, the happiness we felt when our illness would go away for a while. Girly things like body mist and lotion and Bath & Body Works, which we both love, and all the stuff we did for fun and all the stuff we dreamed of doing and wanting to want again if we weren’t so sick. The stuff we did, loved, before incredible sickness took over our worlds, ravaged our brains.

For a few moments we were just two ordinary girls having a fun “sleep over.” Chatting and giggling, the way girls are supposed to be, not stuck in hospital beds wanting so desperately to die.

I actually smiled and even laughed, joyfully, and for once in seemingly so so long, I felt a deeper connection to someone, her.

And she was telling me of something funny that happened with one of the other patients and I told her about how hilarious it was when a boy with a spiral notebook that was his journal got it and his pen taken away and the pen replaced with a pencil and the sharp metal spiral thing removed out of the pages and then he got it back.

It was falling apart now.

I still laugh at that when I think back to those days. And even through the painful memories I can feel amusement and light.

🙂 😀

We laughed hysterically over the silliness we felt and how they took away our clothes and things and our shoelaces and belts and anything else that may be a potential weapon against ourselves or others.

Replacing everything potentially dangerous with safer things. Pencils as opposed to pens, smaller towels, plastic forks & spoons, all the strings and laces in clothing, and wiring in girls’ bras, all taken away.

Suddenly for a few minutes our pain that brought so much devastation and grief and the seriousness of being in a psychiatric hospital turned into

Something funny. We made fun of ourselves instead of dwelling on the seriousness and darkness of our circumstance. How crazy we are, we told each other, being dragged into a mental institution in the middle of the night. Getting all of our things taken away.

Holly told me she hears voices no one else can hear and people just call her crazy.

“I know” I told her. “I hear them too.”

She told me how much it hurt her. I know. It hurts me too.

I have also met other amazing people in that hospital those days. ❤

Michelle. Melissa. Lamont. Latrina. Kelly. Chris. Gina. Frank. Patricia. Aquanetta. And many, many more.

Yesterday and the day before were kind of sad days for me for a reason I know not what. Yesterday I felt much sadness for no known reason and then I have been struggling with a loneliness so deep, deeper than I have felt in so so long. The kind of loneliness that even great company cannot cure. It’s not as bad as it was then. And there’s another difference. I am stronger now. And I know this pain and loneliness are only temporary.

I know this pain. I know it well.

It will come and it will go. I now know that I can live. I did not know then what I know now.

I will always think of and remember Holly and the others. I haven’t seen her since I left the hospital. I know nothing of her now other than what I knew then. I have been thinking of her and the rest a lot yesterday. How they inspired me so deeply and let me see hope and light through so much darkness.

If I can laugh with a girl while we sit in our hospital beds being accused of being “crazy” hearing crazy voices, having disturbing thoughts, being locked away, I can sure sit here and laugh now! 😀

I am in a much, much better place. What a great accomplishment. Being able to be strong enough and knowledgeable enough to not let my mood sink deeper into the depression I was living then.

The depressive episodes are so much easier to handle now. And less frequent and less depression in the middle.

It’s strange but in a beautiful way. Weird to feel the same old pain sometimes but still be able to stay positive to a certain degree and even feel a shred of happiness amidst the pain and not want to die. Sometimes, even back then, I felt happy with the pain but even more now.

Before, sometimes even beneath the happiness I still felt a kind of lingering sadness, not always but on occasion. Now even through the sadness I still feel a kind of happiness more than before.

So beautifully strange. It feels weird but beautiful to live voluntarily and not just because I have to or out of fear. There have always been days/weeks/months, during my years of frequent depression, I truly wanted to live and was genuinely happy but then the depression would come back and stay a while and take my will to live. Sometimes for months. Then when I would be happy again, it felt strange and beautiful.

I will healthily mourn all my days/years lost to pain, while celebrating all the days it would lift and I would be happy, and I will move on and embrace the now I am blessed to know.

❤ </3

Wherever Holly is, I hope she is well and this goes for everyone else too. I hope everyone who is at a low point can find some consolation, hope, beauty, & light. Remember when you’re at your lowest point, the only way is up! 🙂

“Bless the broken road that led me straight to you.” ❤

“I may be lonely but I’m never alone.” ~Alice Cooper ❤

“To love life, to love it even

when you have no stomach for it

and everything you’ve held dear

crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,

your throat filled with the silt of it.

When grief sits with you, its tropical heat

thickening the air, heavy as water

more fit for gills than lungs;

when grief weights you like your own flesh

only more of it, an obesity of grief,

you think, How can a body withstand this?

Then you hold life like a face

between your palms, a plain face,

no charming smile, no violet eyes,

and you say, yes, I will take you

I will love you, again.”

Ellen Bass

Xoxo Kim ❤ 😀

“Carry Me Like Water” – a novel

ImageI love to read but I usually don’t read novels. I have read random ones throughout the years that I love that somehow randomly made it into my hands but since I don’t have a favorite topic or favorite author I usually don’t know where to start to find novels I may like to read.

But recently I found one that captured my heart completely.

I go to used bookstores/thrift stores mostly for books and some of them have plastic bins full of free books. One day recently I bought a shitload of self-help books and was walking out the door and noticed a book in the free bin called “Carry Me Like Water”. I never heard of it before then and did not think for a second that I would actually read or like it before I read the description. But the name, that lovely name, “Carry Me Like Water” drew me in, touched me in an indescribable place, inspired me, and so I snatched it up just for the hell of it!

And whooooaaa am I glad I did!!

I read the back of the book and just knew I had to give it a try. But when I got home, I threw the book aside and promised myself I would read it later. A few weeks have come and gone and I finally picked up the book again and began reading. Since the very first page I was hooked!

Hopelessly, desperately hooked.

There are some books I have read and love but certain parts of it or pages kind of bored me somewhat but this book? Not one word bored me. Not one! What a page turner!

I read it day and night and was through with it in just a couple short days. If it wasn’t for having to sleep and a couple of other essential things I would have read it in one day or less! It has 502 pages.

When I read novels I come to get so attached. I come to love the characters almost as if I know them! And I mourn them when my reading is complete. While I can never wait to get to the end to see what happens, a part of me dreads it because while I can read the book again and again it just won’t be the same as the first read!

This book truly has my heart. I love it. It’s beautiful, captivating, heartwarming, heartbreaking, inspiring, painful, breathtaking, agonizing.

Brilliantly, brilliantly, breathtaking.

It explores some deep sorrows that our world endures such as unjust discrimination against people of certain races, incestuous sexual abuse, homophobia, classicism, HIV/AIDS.

It is a beautiful story of hope, healing, forgiveness, moving on, trust, honesty, friendship, love, and family, romantic as well as platonic/friendship love, self acceptance and the acceptance of others, even those who are different than the character or who have made seemingly unforgivable mistakes.

It takes place in the 80’s/90’s in San Francisco & El Paso and involves a group of people including Caucasian and Latino people and Homosexual & Heterosexual people who are all connected somehow but do not know or realize it. Their lives have crossed or touched somehow at some point. Some do not know it and some want to forget. Their lives are all broken and they all struggle with some sort of emotional pain and very difficult problems that are extremely hard to face and admit.

It explores borders, both geographical as well as emotional borders.

I would fall asleep at night reading it and wake up and begin again!

It shows how people can heal even after horrific tragedies like abuse and loss and abandonment and social injustices and how family is not always biological or blood.

This is thoroughly entertaining and gut-wrenching. I felt every emotion conveyed by the author and experienced by the amazing, incredible characters. I felt like I was involved with the lives and hearts of those people. I haven’t felt that way over a novel since I read my other favorite book, the semi-fictional, “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey about his beautiful, agonizing struggle to overcome substance addiction. 

It is a lovely story! ❤

 

“Carry Me Like Water”

Published in 1995

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz 

 

My favorite kind of books/novels, other than self-help, I realize, are ones of hope & healing, perseverance, and overcoming problems that once seemed impossible to overcome. I have a hunger for more of those books. I just have to see what subject they fall under. There are murder mysteries, science fiction, romantic comedy….I guess I have some exploring to do!

 

😀 ❤

 

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” 

― Francis Bacon, The Essays

 

 

“If you are going through hell, keep going.” 

― Winston Churchill

 

 

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” 

― Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” 

― Abraham Lincoln

 

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” 

― Nelson Mandela

 

“When you get to the end of your rope. Tie a knot and hang on.” 

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

“That’s one of the remarkable things about life. It’s never so bad that it can’t get worse.” 

― Bill Watterson

 

When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” 

― Elvis Presley

 

“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” 

― H.G. Wells

 

 

“It’s not how we fall. It’s how we get back up again.” 

― Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men

 

Let pain make you BETTER not Bitter!! ❤

Les Miserables

I recently saw the movie “Les Miserables”. I never really heard Imagemuch about the novel or play until the movie came out. When I saw the advertisement for it I knew I had to see it! It looked so good and it is so good!!

I couldn’t find anyone who was willing to see the movie with me so my dad drove me and I saw it all by myself! I always wanted to see a movie myself and never have before. I used to think that going to the theatre all by myself is the worst thing on the planet and who would want to ever do that I would ask myself! Lol. But then I came to understand that it’s good to occasionally do fun things alone and this was my perfect chance. And what a pleasant experience it was! ;-). 

The truth is, I found some parts somewhat difficult to understand what is happening in that scene. I get the whole gist of it and understand for the most part though.

I found this movie to be heart- wrenchingly sad but also very inspirational and heart-warming. While there are many scenes displaying abuse, slavery, homicide, war, negativity, sickness, poverty, and more there is determination, hope, love, kindness, friendship, perseverance, will, inspiration, and, motivation glittering amidst the pain & heartache. I was thoroughly entertained. It is pleasing to my eyes & ears!! And I plan to get the DVD when it’s released.

 

We can look at life in general like this. It’s true. There’s so much grief & pain but through it all there is a light and there is love and hope among it all. So why not see that glittering in the darkness? ❤ 

 

There are great people who love and long to help the hurting and suffering ones. There is healing and hope.

 

When we hear of or experience a horrific event, afterwards we see and experience immense strength & hope and people who jump to help during and after the tragedy. Let’s all give thanks to them for shining their light on us all.  

 

Here is a great quote out of one of the songs in the movie:

“Do you hear the people sing?

Lost in the valley of the night

It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light

For the wretched of the earth

There is a flame that never dies

Even the darkest nights will end and the sun will rise” ~ Les Miserables finale song

 

❤ 🙂 😀