Thursday, June 25, 2015

Looking For Brighter Corners

My knee is still jacked up, and my ankle is most definitely still a little wonky...yes...wonky. I can't kick my feet in the swimming pool or sit criss cross apple sauce...I can't pull either leg up under the other while I'm sitting unless I want to feel a very uncomfortable pain afterwards. Can't kneel down, squat, or run...can't walk for very long without swelling up and hurting. Can't work. What the hell?! Jeez, I'm only 32!!! It sounds like the shittiest of situations, right? And, yes, like I told y'all before, I had been shaking my fists at the heavens and cursing the universe...but then I simmered down. I can still walk...I can move around independently...I can take care of myself...I can still go out and socialize. I have all of my senses and my health is pretty close to being very good if not excellent. Well, despite the depression and fatigue, but we're not talking about that right now! So yeah...it's all about perspective. I needed that time to cry and to be angry; to ask, "why me?" But, one must never stay there very long...one must intentionally look from another angle and see the different sides and the brighter corners. Find those spots, go to them, and they will help heal you.



Want to know what things are in my brighter corners? Words, colors, melodies...thoughts and images, lyrics that inspire, poems that make me look deeper...books, records, paints, pastels, and pencils...green tea and fresh fruit...whiskey and smoke...candles, incense, James Horner, Miles Davis, Beth Hart...a fun hat to wear as I write and type...coffee in the mug that was my grandma's...nature's chimes heard in the soft fall of raindrops...




When I started this blog, I wanted to share the art in my life along with the depression. Depression took the steering wheel for a long long time...I got tired of being the passenger. Some things do happen for a reason. This is where I'm supposed to be right now...to write, paint, draw, read, and enjoy some music...maybe this is a turning point for my dream of The Ro Fo Sho Art & Photography. I don't know how long this good feeling will last, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can...

Thanks for sticking with me, dear readers; I know I say it all the time, but I'm always ALWAYS going to be incredibly grateful.

Hugs and love, my lovelies,
Amy Ro Fo Sho

p.s. It's very important that I also share that this current situation would be completely different if I didn't have a loving and supportive husband. His patience and compassion throughout my struggles keeps me going, and I am unbelievably thankful for him...what on earth would I do without him?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Bam...Hitting the Brick Wall

Sometimes you're going a hundred miles an hour and all of a sudden you slam into a brick wall. It is especially upsetting when it took so long to even get started! You might find yourself questioning, "Can I please just get a break?!!!" This is the story of my last 9 days...

I started training for my new job, and after a rocky but pretty good start, I began to really enjoy it! And by my last day of learning the ropes, I was feeling extremely happy and optimistic about my future with this company. I had a little hiccup right before my last two days of training and sprained my right ankle...I was still able to go to work, but I had to wear a splint, and it was incredibly uncomfortable. I didn't let it bother me, though, because I knew I had a day off to rest, elevate, and ice it! On my way home from work, there was a rainbow, and it felt like a good sign...


Unfortunately, the night before my free day, my left knee went out on me. It's my bad knee and I've been having problems with it for more than a decade, so I initially didn't think anything of it...I was still able to walk and I figured I'd just be icing my knee with my ankle the following day. I spent the rest of the night talking with friends, bartenders, and strangers about how happy I was feeling...that I had been struggling for so long with my depression, but had started feeling so much better and was so excited for the future. That night I couldn't stop smiling and kept on thinking about that rainbow...I was on cloud nine!

Wednesday morning I woke up and could not walk...my knee was the most swollen it has ever been and every movement caused me to cry in pain. Y'all, I have a high tolerance for pain, so when I hurt so badly I'm bawling my eyes out (like when I had kidney stones), it means I am legit suffering! I couldn't take Kakashi out, and every little bit of pressure I tried putting on my left leg just to get through my home was excruciating...it felt unstable and I eventually fell back on to the couch a sobbing mess! My friend, Stephany, became my guardian angel and took me to the emergency room.


Apparently the weight I was putting on my left leg because of my hurt right ankle weakened my knee...I didn't realize how unevenly I had been distributing my weight all of these years. The doctor said I basically hyper extended it and sprained it, and he said, "I'll show you why..." My x-rays showed a bone spur from my initial injury back in 2004...he said that the ligaments on that side of my leg had been rubbing against that bone spur which limited my movement and affected the way I walked. Hurting my ankle set me up to test my opposite leg and knee, and I most definitely failed...

I cried and cried and cried. Stephany was comforting me and encouraging me; and I kept asking, "why?" Why couldn't I just have a little bit more time before facing my next challenge? Why did this happen now? Why must I suffer when I've only just begun to feel good again? I was finally beginning to heal mentally only to be knocked back down physically...why? Seriously...why???!!! Yes I know these things happen...yes I know it's life...yes I know to stay optimistic and positive...yes yes yes I know. But some of y'all have to know what I'm talking about. Right? There are those people we know who seem to have the best luck...everything always works out for them. And then there's me, and people like me...it feels like one obstacle after another...I just want a break. I want things to fall into place fore me...because you know...I've been working hard. I give myself the motivational pep talks...I try to encourage myself and others daily and on this blog...I'm always looking for the silver lining, and I do the best I can for other people. I treat life and this universe as a gift...something to be cherished...why does it feel like some force is constantly working against me?


Work has been understanding, but if I can't walk by Monday, I'm afraid of what could happen...photographers need to be able to move you know! My neighbors and my friend Stephany have been life savers...seriously I would be helpless without them! So shout out to Peggy, Elizabeth, Jared, and most recently Alexis...incredibly grateful for all the help! There will be cards and cookies for appreciation most definitely! I especially want to express my love and gratitude to Stephany...she has walked my dog, brought and cooked me food, tended to little needs, and even gave me a card...truly a guardian angel...thank you thank you thank you, dear friend...so much love for you!


So...in summary...I am grateful, appreciative, thankful, positive, optimistic, and blessed. But. I'm still pissed off...I really need a nice long string of good events...could the universe just be on my side for a little while?

Every person's struggle is different, but don't ever thing yours is not as important as the person's next to you...it's okay to simply be pissed off. You can be doing your very best and putting all of your love and light out in to the world...and sometimes life will still hit you on the ass. It sucks. Hugs and love, my lovelies, and may the universe give some love back to you as well!

Broken but still going...
Amy

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Up Up and Away!

Good afternoon, dear readers! I'm on lunch break at my new job and thought it would be a good time to say a little something...you know...trying to get that groove back, y'all! Blogging from my phone, friends! Let's start with a word for the day...Up...yeah...today is up! Yay for up days!

I was so tired this morning and already thinking about how I didn't want to go to work...and it's only the 2nd day! Sleep sounded so much more appealing! Y'all know what I'm talkin' 'bout. Then I was feeling super sick to my stomach...legit thought I was going to lose my breakfast. But I gave myself a little pep talk of sorts and tried to work some mind over matter magic...it worked! I dragged my butt to work and I've enjoyed the day so far...knock on wood...don't want to jinx anything!

So the day could have very well ended up being a down day...I could have called out of work and slept all day. First of all, that would have been a bad first impression for a new job! Second, even though my body was asking for rest, my mind was determined to make the day different! It has taken me so long, longer than ever before, to rise back up from the abyss I was suffocating in; it seems like even one step back will have me tumbling down again. And I'm just sick of it! (Heads up, strong language in this next sentence!) So fucking sick of it! Strong language finished for now haha!

Anyway! For all of you suffering and having trouble finding your way out of the muck...try getting angry with it...get sick of it...throw your middle finger up at it! Screw this crap!

All right, y'all...time to wrap up! My new job is a photographer position, but I like to keep work details private...so no company name or any specifics like that. I stopped photographing people years ago, except for the occasional helping a friend or family member out. It just seemed like the right time to find my way back to one of the things I've been passionate about since I was a kid...so far so good! I'm painting more and writing more these days as well! This must be the light at the end of the tunnel...I hope! Thanks for taking some time out of your day to hear about mine, darlings!

I hope those of you still hurting start to see and feel that light soon! Hugs and love, my lovelies!

Working Woman Again!
Amy

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Blooming and Busy


Hi there, my lovelies! I've tried to write a few times this last month and a half, but I just couldn't ever get the words out like I wanted. It's been another long up, down, sideways, and upside down on the bad roller coaster ride! Below is a little something I started writing about two and a half weeks ago that I wanted to make sure I share...

Hello, dear readers, how have y'all been? It's been more than a month since I wrote last and I'm terribly sorry for that, but it's been a difficult time as I'm sure y'all have imagined with all that I've been sharing about my struggles recently with depression. Ain't it a bitch, right? Let's be real, my friends! If I could pick one word for this last month, a word of the day of sorts for the last several days, it would be heavy. The fight, my eyelids, basic functioning...heavy...a pressing weight. Every thing I do is with a push; I'm shoving against a massive presence that would rather keep me on my ass. It takes so much energy to get from the start of the day to the end of the day...it makes me just want to sleep...sleep and sleep and sleep until I wake up and have been magically healed and revived!
(written May 11th)

I'm happy to report that the weight has lifted quite a bit...the heavy presence has eased. I'm doing better...but every day is still a fight, and it's not an easy one just yet. And yes, it does get easier...there will come a time when I will almost forget about the shadow of depression that always follows me...I'll be blogging one day, and it will occur to me that, "huh...I can't remember my last bad day." It will be a big boost...another "high on life" wave to ride, and I can't wait! Time...everything takes time...I'm just trying to be patient and stay optimistic as I battle through each day.

I've missed writing, however, and I realize that I need to make more of an effort to stay consistent with this blog. But I've been busy! Friends have been visiting every weekend for the past month and a half, and today I started my new job! So here's what I'm thinking about as I share the latest and greatest with y'all haha...this is a blooming and busy time during my journey. Buds were bursting into beautiful blooms around me each day, and they became symbolic to me. I watched them during their stages and transformations...wondering, "what will this one look like." I took photographs of them at each new development, and I made little collages for Instagram showing their progress. As the petals uncurled and soaked up the sun, I was also blooming, and the sun was giving life to me as well! I am healing...


 Friends visiting and socializing, preparing for my new job as a photographer, and now training for this job have kept me busy. The truth is I haven't been managing my time very well either! Whoops. Ok! So! Time to get my groove back! I have photos to share with you and paintings I've done and poems I've written...I'm looking forward to showing more of the art and creative side of this blog; excited to bring a little sunshine to this little corner of the Internet! For now I'll wrap with the obvious words for the day (and most recent days)...Blooming and Busy!

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Been missin' y'all!
Love,
Amy Ro Fo Sho!!!


Friday, April 10, 2015

Let The Good Feelings Rule!

Word of the day: EXERCISE! I've been doing some half ass exercising, but today, I pushed myself a little more! Lunges...tomorrow will be painful haha, but a good painful! I tell you what, y'all, I'm believing in the power of your prayers and thoughts! I might climb out of this quicker than I thought...thank you thank you thank you so much for encouraging me; I'll never be able to express my appreciation enough, dear readers!


Today is a good day, and I'm happy! It's important for me to also say that it might not be a good day all day; tomorrow might be a bad one...that's the way of depression. The possibility is like an annoying high pitch buzz in the ear that can cause pessimism to creep in and ruin everything; but I will do my very best to ignore it and handle however I feel next when it gets here. Some of you may know what I'm talking about, so that's why I wanted to mention it...ignore the buzz and let the good feelings rule while you have them. Try to let optimism carry you and empower you! And if you're having a bad day, dear ones, I'm sorry and I wish I could make it better for you. I'll say try to get up and let some light in...but if you don't want to, that's okay too...some days are just hard.

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Amy

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Deployment and Depression Part 2

Some of you may be wondering how my husband's deployment may be affecting my depression. Deployment is a difficult time for any spouse, family, or friend of a service member regardless of having a mental illness or not. Everyone handles and deals with this time in their own way, and I once talked about my plan for how I would be approaching it; you can read that here! Good plans don't always come to fruition, unfortunately, but I tend to keep that in mind any time I put steps and goals in place for guidance. I've done pretty well with sticking with my little outline of sorts, but there was something I couldn't have prepared for. At the end of that entry I wrote, "I am aware that I need to be the strongest I can be before deployment gets here. I will be. That's the only thing I need to say...I will be..." Then my grandma died nine days before my husband ventured across the sea. I was in Oklahoma without my husband, and my grandma died, and then my husband had to leave. I was not my strongest before he left...I was my weakest.

Well...I thought I was at my weakest moment...it's so shattering to think that you can't feel any more awful than you do...but it happens anyway. I grieved with my family for about six weeks, and then I came home to an empty place, and I went down even deeper than I thought I possibly could! I miss my husband, but, to be honest, I'm relieved he doesn't have to see me like this. I've gained weight and I haven't gotten a job yet, and I haven't been able to draw or paint anything at all or even enjoy my photography...I've been an empty shell since he's been gone, and I don't want him to see me this way. Many military spouses will tell you that as bad as we might feel and whatever problems we might face, we're not the ones deployed. I'd like to say "we," but I dare not offend...so I'll just say me...I feel guilty for feeling the way I do when my husband is the one over seas in harms way eating terrible ship food and living where he works. What right do I have to complain? Right? No no no...I know my feelings are valid. But, I don't tell him about how badly I've been doing; I do try to stay cheerful and upbeat for him. I mean, I'll tell him a little bit about what I'm going through, but I don't linger too long in my worries...I try not to anyway!

So! Deployment sucks, and I miss my husband and our friends from the ship. I know that this contributes to my depression, but I can honestly say this: I would still be going through what I'm currently experiencing even without the deployment. This downward spiral started long before Grandma's passing and Tom's leaving. My illness is chemical and psychological...those are things I can only control so much. The heart breaks on the outside just make it harder; they make it worse. My husband couldn't help me even if he were here right now; he would be a comfort and a physical show of support, strength, and love...but my battle is with myself...ultimately, I am the one who will win this war inside me. I am armed with the thoughts and prayers of so many, and I am determined to be better for myself and for my husband.

Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Ro Fo Sho

p.s. Here's a little pic of my husband, grandma, and me on our wedding day...
(Photography by Christi Brown)

 

More Talking...

I'm at the pond with Kakashi and thought of more I wanted to say! Friends and family have said that they are there for me if I need or want to talk, and I've said the same to y'all as well. If you're like me, however, you might be feeling like you've done all the talking you can possibly do...what more can you say? Or you might not know exactly what to say about how you're feeling or how to start the conversation at all! At this point in my story my words help me explore what's going on inside me head daily; what kind of feelings and thoughts I'm experiencing; is this a good day or a bad day, up or down day? Then I sometimes have my word of the day. You can build up a whole dialogue starting with one or two words. Sometimes you just need to share your story of how you got where you are in the current moment. It doesn't have to feel like a therapy session and it doesn't have to be a complete gushing of emotions. When I say I'm here if you want to talk, you can email me and simply say you're having a shitty day...I'll write you back and we'll go from there. Just wanted to say a bit more on that! I'll wrap with my word for the day...loved...I feel loved today. Later this evening I'll write about how my depression and deployment are handling each other.
Hugs and love, my lovelies!
Amy...The Ro Fo Sho