Finding Myself #Autism 

In 2014, my life shifted dramatically. I had sat down to write my story and suddenly realized it wasn’t the story I wanted to be living. That was a terrifying feeling. But what was even harder was making the changes that needed to happen. My life was full of unhealthy habits. My eating habits were off and I had gained weight. My marriage was totally broken. I couldn’t seem to quit smoking cigarettes no matter how hard I wanted to or needed to. I felt so broken.

When my ex and I parted ways (No need to discuss details), I realized something big: My need for change meant I was about to begin an uphill battle. It was time to re-evaluate my relationship with God and my relationship with myself as well. I was having a hard time looking in the mirror and being okay with what I saw. But that part of my journey was just the beginning of something that truly revolutionized how I view success and how I view myself.

None of the changes happened right away.  As urgent as they all felt, I had no knowledge of how to make things better. It was more like stepping stones that were really far apart from one another which involved lots of falling on my face along the way. I made a lot of mistakes, hurt some friends I’m sure, and lost some confidence in this plan of action. But I knew I had to keep trying; Giving up is never an option with me and I had a lot of learning about self sufficiency ahead of me. 

During the month of February 2016 I started seriously trying to quit smoking. I kept saying I would and failing and then on February 21, 2016 I won that battle and I have not smoked a cigarette since. Yoga helped me, drinking tea on the porch where I used to smoke helped me some, but to be honest there are still days that that addiction haunts me. 

My weight loss journey was a continuation of my journey to learn to love myself. Yoga was becoming less annoying and more healing, the cravings were growing less and in October of 2016 I sat down with a nutritionist (again) and started tracking my calories. Every. Single. Day.  (I still do.) 


This became less about the scale and more about learning to being gentle with my soul. Forgiving myself is not a strength of mine. (Neither is brevity. Haha. But I digress)  After some soul searching, long talks with folks from my past who are still awesome friends today and long talks with new people that God introduced me to, I started to find some patterns about my own heart that needed to do some letting go of.

That seems to be a common theme in my life and my greatest struggle. I struggle to let go of things, people, and ideas. But as I began to do from the start of this journey, something amazing took the places of each of those things and that thing is self respect. I had held on so tightly to the past that I couldn’t live in the present and I had held on so tightly to my fears I had lost sight of my faith. 

My weight loss journey isn’t over yet. I’ve lost just over 47lbs so far (194- 146.8.lbs) and I’ve got eight pounds left to go…But that isn’t the point. This journey is far from over. Our journey in finding ourselves is life long and so many things seem to come full circle as well. Since the start of that journey that seemed like a crippling ending and less of a beginning, I had to say some goodbyes to folks, to things, and to some ideas I thought I wouldn’t ever let go of. 

As an individual on the Autism Spectrum, change can see extra painful. But I’m so glad I made the decision to do so. Some of the things I thought were holding me together, were actually holding me back and tearing me apart. However, I couldn’t see it until I could see it behind me. 

Along this journey to find myself, I met someone quite extraordinary and that man is now my future husband. Amazing how that works isn’t it? Tonight I look back on that day when I felt like my life was over and didn’t know what to do and wish I could have given that broken woman a taste of the blessings that were coming. This has been one heck of a bumpy road but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The bumps that catch us off guard are often what teach us, humble us, and mold us the most. 

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Compassion #Poetry

Let me close my eyes,

while you lean over the railing-

to kiss my head//

My cheek,

Don’t let go of my hand,

my heart – please,

The heart monitor is beeping again 

my temperature climbing &

the IV is tugging,

And – we – lean 

our foreheads together,

Closing our eyes, 

I’m just trying to breathe

as we listen to the elderly lady whose forgotten her name 

Not far down the hall screaming in pain and for “Mommy”,

and tears of pain & compassion are falling,

You squeeze my hand to steady me,

Today feels like a long sad dream,

Breathe//

Steady//

Breathe.

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Long Talks & Tea

For J.

When twilight begins to fade
and it’s been another one of “those” days,

There is a sense of peace to be in your company.

A dash of laughter &

a warm mug of tea

(And let’s be real-

There are cookies too usually)

The day seems just a little softer and less to carry.

What an answered prayer and blessing 

your friendship is to me.

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Heartbeat #Poetry

My heartbeat looks

like firelight

Fierce and hot

Burning brightly

to the tempo

of a Summer’s night.
*

In response to a prompt by dVersePoets

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Smoking Gun #Poetry

For about the millionth time,

I prayed again for a sign-

and found your street. (Literally)

However, it guided not you but me

and as a part of a journey,

Yet still- I was walking blindly.

The time on your dash was

the smoking gun,

A number that is emblazed in my faith-

under an already blazing sun.

That wise old laugh of yours

cracked the day’s seams-

Your cigarette smoke swirling 

in the tempered heat,

Hanging heavy like a banner –

that reads “Welcome home. You’re free.”

These rusted shackles cracked //

as my vision cleared quickly

in a spark-lit epiphany

I realized I had chained myself

to a beautiful memory-

And so the longest chapter 

has a rather ironic ending

& I guess you could say that 

it gracefully finished

with a musical flourish 

that in no way diminished

my years of naively wondering

but instead offered an answer

that my heart was begging.

& Just like that voice 

from the Wild wild West, (she sang it well)

But we sang it best,

We sang it all- with no more whys-

As you covered the clock to say goodbye. 

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Her – A Poem

Beneath the grit/ you saw it,

but you didn’t feel the need to polish.

You handed me a dirty rag and grunted like you always did in moments like this.

You asked me what I saw-

I saw something rather broken,

I saw soot and scratches-

Your response was that raise of one brow-

So I leaned in closer now

and frustrated I wiped at darkness

as though I might a sword at war with the night.

I scrubbed and scrubbed

The cool night air blew back my damp hair

As a pixelated image like the coming dawn was drawn before me

I began to see more clearly-

It – was moving now.

My own breathing beating like drums against tired ribs

I wiped this way and that way

Sweat now dripping from my face

pooling with tears of frustration.

I saw colors like prisms surfacing

and I could see the sun.

I could see emeralds glinting-

Moving // blinking,

I used my elbow against the mirror now,

Slowly crouching closer,

and I could see what you saw all along,

I had finally found her.

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Always Evolving

I’ve always kept things pretty raw on here. Tonight is no exception. I have my reasons for sharing some of what I do. 

I suppose I truly am a student of life. I had had to adapt so many times in so many ways. I’ve learned lessons the hard way several times. 

I’m constantly striving to be the best version of myself and sometimes I think I get a little lost and I’ve taken a few wrong turns in my thirty years. But those wrong turns have led to amazing life lessons that I will be forever grateful for. 

For those who have followed this blog since early 2012 began, so much as changed. Two children’s books, divorce, illness, loss, and learning that I am *not* in fact a lesbian (that was perhaps the greatest lesson of all because it means I’m learning who I am instead of fighting who I am) although I will always be supportive of the GLBTQ+ community. In fact, I’ve met someone very special to me and I hope it continues to grow. 🙂 (specifics on romantic relationships aren’t something I dive into here out of respect for them)

I am a survivor in many ways. Many of us are. I think that my experience in sorrow has made me a better poet and a more loyal friend to others in this lifetime. 

My focus in life now is on gratitude. This past May I went through a breast cancer scare that really helped me put things into priority. The day of the biopsy, while the really sweet nurse was stroking my hair and distracting me from the large core biopsy needle I really made the decision to stay focused on gratitude. Thankfully it was a fibroadenoma that the mammogram and ultrasound had discoveted and not cancer. 

I quit smoking cigarettes on February 21, 2016 after being a smoker for over a decade. I finally learned how to let go of it. It had  become what I can my own personal “Hotel California”. (Amazing song which helped me quit) I am proud to say that I haven’t cheated once yet.

They say that we need to learn how to love ourselves a lot these days. It took me thirty years to figure out what that meant. You see, I grew up thinking that love was this unattainable thing that you always keep fighting for and searching for. It lead me to people who could offer me exactly that – unattainable love. Lightbulb! 🙂 

When I began to see myself as worthy of love, I began to see that maybe love wasn’t supposed to be so much work. I began to really re-evaluate my relationships and that’s a good thing to do. 

Despite the many challenges that I have faced this year and last year, I find myself smiling tonight and reflecting on how blessed I feel. Someone recently asked me what has kept me going through these challenges. My answer was “My faith has been my rock.” It’s true. God has been there through it hall. Perhaps he facepalned at me a few times. Haha. But I wasn’t alone and so knew it. 

I am so thankful to have finally been awarded SSDI. Having High Funcioningr Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder and Dysautonomia can be a big challenge! I’ve waited for years for that and I am so thankful as it is so much needed. I know I have skill sets but they don’t equal a job as I have unfortunately discovered repeatedly. So I finally have that stability.

We really don’t need much in this lifetime. Life is really overly complicated by selfishness. We need hope, faith, and love and some days that’s more than enough. 

Stay strong my friends and fellow bloggers. More good news to come!

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