brightlotusmoon: (Asha)

Good things.
The personal therapy protocol is juuust starting to work. Slowly and softly. The doctors said slipping off is natural. But my slips are fewer. I think the new drug is working much faster than expected. No terrible side effects after all between dry mouth and that tingly sensation that the world is shiny shiny shiny. But I can already feel those most compulsive thoughts starting to be quiet.

Now, if I could just not be badgered by acquaintances who want me to be better now now now. Yes, this has had me in its psychiatric grip for over four years. It takes tiiime to get the ideal treatment. Yaaaaugh, leave me alone. You don't know. You are not inside my neurology.
Repeat. Rinse.
Those of you who get it, you get it.

So much meditation. It is in my dreams. I am ready to work myself through and beyond. Shut up about it taking all these years. Damaged braining is hard.

I make it hard for people to love me well enough to help. Which is why I need to do this on my own.

/venting ranty ramble

brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
Yes, obviously. Sheesh.

Friends have been sharing this back and forth into repetitive boredom, so I'll just add: Yes, this is obviously a strategy I've been implementing for a while in order to manage my mental illnesses, it is totally part of a very very specific personal therapeutic ritual that will take at least another couple of months to complete, and for Loki's sake, this stuff takes time, quit asking if I'm better yet. I've only been ritualizing for three years; most of this takes at least five. Plus, I can't just magically fix damaged neural pathways by thinking happy thoughts. Most people spend decades in therapy, while their acquaintances urge them to fix themselves faster. The frantic urging especially comes from people who've never even been in states of extreme anxiety, clinical depression, endless chronic pain, obsession, compulsion, memory disintegration, traumatic stress, dissociation, depersonalization, derealization. I often hold back from just punching walls. Therapeutic ritual and mindfulness in mental artistry takes time and a large amount of control. I've only been doing it since 2011. By 2015 something will at least be, as they say, Fixed. At least enough to allow other treatments to fall into place. Until I finish that intense ongoing ritual, I'll keep on battling where battles must be fought.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
This is the greatest.

Good news: Apparently, most of this small weight gain is actual muscle. Who knew.
Annoying news: Everything hurts in such a very specific way everywhere that most forms of exercise make it all worse. The only things that seem to make it better are isometrics and mild qi gong and a few basic Pilates-style moves... sooo, physical therapy with a spiritual bent?

Also, I still have a stress reaction to even the idea of "doing yoga for pain". None of my doctors are surprised. Plus, the physical therapist suggested some lovely snarky replies to "Have you tried yoga for your pain?" - my favorite is still "Well, yoga tastes like artificial banana, and I hate artificial banana flavor, so I don't want any yoga, thanks." Second favorite is "Nah, I'm still trying that floating Jedi thing in the swamps. I'd rather take the Dark Side with the cookies."
Seriously. Don't yoga push me. I did try it, it was painful, I found other things.

Now I feel like mimicking that scene where Bart draws a picture of Flanders and chases Homer around with it yelling "Howdily doodily! Howdily doodily? HOWDILY DOODILY?" Luckily, I haven't been pushed in a while, and the last few times, I remained calm and cool, because I am still fucking awesome.

Also, it's really interesting: I am totally fine with basic yoga, with flow yoga, with restorative yoga. But it is the way people talk about it as though it helps everyone heal everything? That is what I gripe so much about. Maybe some poses will help ease cerebral palsy issues, fibromyalgia issues, joint issues. Maybe. For some disabled folks. But if I say something like "No, thank you, I've tried that, it was too painful, it made things worse, and I have found other exercises that help me," I expect people to, if not back off, then at least acknowledge my reasons. The actual fact that many pushers have brushed off my reasons and kept pushing is what makes me want to slap them with their yoga mats. So when I talk about an exercise by calling it a name that is also the name of a yoga pose, please please do not assume I have taken up yoga. It's just that "Warrior Pose" is far simpler than having to describe the whole thing.
Anna Sirén: Yoga? Us? Really? ...?
Joanna Capello Paul: LOL, it is to laugh. But by gods, people love to try.
Anna Sirén: Jesus, I can't imagine you with your ankles behind your ears, and that's not an insult.
Joanna Capello Paul: OMG ow. Ow ow ow OW.
Joanna Capello Paul: I'm just glad other CP folks get it. I don't know what's so particularly special about yoga, but it's become so elitist in many ways. And if I say I'm "doing Child's Pose" or something, I feel like I need to add "not actual yoga because that is painful" because just because it's a stretching exercise doesn't mean it's a yoga pose.
Cara Liebowitz: When a teacher who knows how to handle Ceeps is doing it, yoga can be nice. *coughcough* Kara T. Billingham. Yoga at crip camp was great fun, if painful.
Joanna Capello Paul: My mom teaches a certain type of yoga to seniors in Southampton sometimes, and the moves are so simple they're barely even yoga. What bothers me really is this culture of yoga-ier than thou elitism, and gods forbid I perform a "yoga style type pose" that is not yoga.
Cara Liebowitz: I wonder if Kara and your mom know each other. Next time you're in the Hamptons, stop by The Yoga House, LLC and ask for Kara, tell her you know me. One of my favorite things about Kara's yoga was that she encouraged us to laugh if we wanted to.
Joanna Capello Paul: Hmm. I'll ask my mom! Have you spoken with Kara lately?
Joanna Capello Paul: *looking at website* Well, it's good that she teaches Kripalu. My parents' basement tenant, who is a massage therapist, is a certified Kripalu teacher.
Cara Liebowitz: We speak every so often here on Facebook, last I saw her was over the summer. She is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful and so is her husband. Two very influential people in my life.
Joanna Capello Paul: I haven't been through Hampton Bays in a long time, but I do recognize that sign and building. I have a feeling that Kara and my mom have run in similar circles.
Melissa Boyer O'Doyle: I'd rather take the Dark Side with the cookies.
Heather Stover: I do vinyasa flow yoga and restorative yoga. It helps. With some things. It is not some magic cure for everything. If you're not into it people should leave you alone, your yogi wouldn't want you there with any less then a willing mind and heart.
Heather Stover: Gentle yoga classes are the bomb. I hate elitist yoga snobs.
Mad Miriam: You know you might just get people to back down more quickly by simply sating that you have a very satisfying home practice, thank you very much.
Joanna Capello Paul: ...except that when they keep nudging and insisting, I tend to feel backed into a corner, and I start snarling. I'm a very peaceful person. But I am also shy and isolated. I really don't like being pushed.
Mad Miriam: If your agreeing why are they still nudging and insisting?
Joanna Capello Paul: I really wish I knew. People are very odd.
Mad Miriam: I'll say. I'm sorry, I for one do not push cause well I know you have met the practice where you are at and since yoga means union isn't that the fucking point anyhow?
Joanna Capello Paul: Agreed. That's why I am so upset and pissed off when people don't seem to understand the whole damn point. Union is about, y'know, respecting people's choices. The fact that there ARE yoga practitioners who almost bully others into doing their kind of yoga - particularly disabled people - hurts me.
Joanna Capello Paul: For example, in the cerebral palsy support group I am in, there have been stories of non-disabled people pushing CP folks too hard, leading to injuries that were not fully recovered - physical and emotional. And that is just not right at all. And I feel like that is part of the weird elitist attitude that shouldn't even exist with yoga practice.
Mad Miriam: OMG Joanna Capello Paul I could not agree more, as a fairly mild arthritic I get the same shit and I don't get why its so hard for some teachers to understand that just cause I got into a really low lunge last week this week my knees and hips might just be too stiff to go there and that it does not mean I am not dedicated to the practice, it means I am listening to my body, something we should all aspire to do more often.
Joanna Capello Paul: Listening to our bodies! Exactly! I don't think people like that care about listening to the body anymore. You do what YOU must do for YOUR body. And I am so burnt out on teachers who don't listen. It's why I do restorative, flow moves with my mother over the phone.
I mean, I literally cannot be straight. When I try a lunge, or a pose that requires balance, I have to ask someone, usually Adam, if my body lines up. And when he helps get me into a straight aligned line, I start wobbling. It hurts. I am in serious pain. My body, my very bones, were never going to align like that. And so I need modification, compensation, compromise. And the fact that a lot of yoga practitioners have insulted me just for that literally created a stress reaction in my brain. So when I talk about yoga poses, I have to say "modified basic yoga" otherwise I start hyperventilating just from memories.
Mad Miriam: It is a myth that our bodies and bones can align to some artificial standard, we all all have such diffent experiences and phsyologies that make up who we are and it my mind if you are making room for the breath and creating sensation, but not pain you are doing it right. I totally agree through and think it is part of the problem with the comodifying of yoga, I think once upon a time, maybe there was the root of the notion that yogis practiced to access a place beyond pain and body and to reach a space where they could meditate and focus on breath and vein, but with institutions like lululemon and power yoga people see their yoga as about perfecting the body and not reaching past the veneer that is the body. Its fascinating and sick really.
Joanna Capello Paul: I appreciate you saying that, Mad Miriam. It makes me feel better, knowing that there can't be such "perffect alignment". I was always, always told that I'd never reach any ideal pose with cerebral palsy. So I stopped. And I found isometrics and just started doing meditative stretching, which was my version of yoga anyway.
Mad Miriam: Next time someone starts to push hard ask them if they practice Ahimsa, it is the first basic principal of yoga and translates into compassion for all living things, if they say "Of course." then tell them you do as well and intimately understand what is most compassionate for your body. Namaste.
Mad Miriam: I think all the wrong people have been foisting their opinions on you. I took up Kundalini yoga last year and the whole idea of it is that through the practice you are opening up channels on your spine for the kundalini energy to come spouting out of the top of your head, I expressed concern that I had a slight scoliosis in my spine and that according to this notion I was ineligible for kudalini enlightenment, my instructor said "No worries, the energy meanders its way around these things, it's like a stream." Thus I go with that notion.
Joanna Capello Paul: Ahimsa, eh? I shall look into it!
I have fallen in love with kundalini energy. I do what your instructor says, instinctively. I don't necessarily do all the poses and moves but I reach for that energy in my own way. Maybe one day you and I could get together and practice in our own imperfect methods?

Copying stuff from other social media sites can be interesting...
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
'Reborn' by Laura Sava (
'Mirabella' by Rachel Anderson (‎)

Two forms of my own story character, Asha Clara Night, my strongest, most individual, most personal fiction character.

These paintings. Completely different images that look almost exactly like incarnations of the same character of my own subconscious creation Women who look almost exactly like the dreamself I am becoming in my dreams and visions.


Rachel Anderson Mirabella

She was in my dreams last night and many nights before. I haven't decided exactly who she is yet, but in my dreams her name is Asha, meaning "desire, hope, hopeful; life; alive; she who lives." Which says so much, so so much.

She is another dreamself, not a spirit guardian, but much closer to my Self than my other characters (Alicia, Serena, Ananta: my spirit guardian coping mechanisms for epilepsy, memory loss, insomnia, sleep problems, [Alicia], chronic pain and fatigue, depression, anxiety, physical disabilities [Serena], neurology, neurodivergence, autism, total mind-body connection [Ananta].

Asha seems to represent many internal things about my emotions, my heart and mind, my rhyme and reason, my logic, my science, my creativeness and creativity, my power, my energy, my beauty. If she were to reveal herself as a guardian, she would be for emotional states, creative thoughts, desires, loves, patterns, ideas.
Asha is definitely powerful in a way I always wanted to be since childhood: Fae and and Elemental Mage and Neurodivergent and Autistic Witch and Quantum Magic Scientist and Story Crafter and Shape Shifter and Magic Librarian and Magic Keeper.

Asha seems to represent my deep, obsessive, compulsive wish and desire to be one of the psionic-mage superhumans in my stories, to take over for be when I feel failure and self-loathing and terror and panic. I think Asha may in fact be an actual entity, one who communicates outside instead of simply speaking into my visions, dreams, pain flare withdrawings, anxiety attacks.

All I know is that Asha was in every dream last night and throughout the past several sleeps, long detailed intense dreams, and she quoted Kosh. She spoke in a soprano version of my voice that could sing. She was always here She is always here. She has always been here.
I think she was with me since I was a baby. In different forms, in different species, with different names, in different imaginary beings, in different fictional characters. She was made of fire. She used to be a phoenix, a unicorn, a dragon, a star, a nebula. I know Asha. I know Asha in the way I hope to know myself.

The thing is, Asha has a fully active voice when I am completely conscious, aware, awake, functional, and stable. She didn't completely create herself, but she grew and evolved over my lifetime in her own way as a character in my subconscious. She took ideas I worked with and wove them into her personality, behavior, and mentality. My disabilities are hers. She stayed and changed and grew with me like a permanent piece of my spirit. Asha also represents my fluid sexuality - I often visit her in the place she calls home and we make love, representing my desires for love and orientation.

She lives with Alicia in the Wonderland cottage, but she freely moves about my brain more often. She shapeshifts into elemental energies, she moves around my hippocampus and amygdala and temporal lobes and cingulate gyrus and thalamus and auditory cortex and somatosensory cortex and parital lobe and the back of my brain.
She has altered the Wonderland cottage to be something else entirely, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two office rooms, a large entertainment living room, a large kitchen, a basement. The outside build would contain concrete, cement, hemp and limestone, bamboo, steel. The glass windows are shatterproof. The doors are hemp-lime and timber. That must say something about my mind's inner workings. Especially since the main reason for hemp being illegal is due to its threat to corporate patentable synthetic fibers and wood and paper product industries, while the medicinal drug potential became subject to false claims and fear mongering alarm campaigns until the original industrial potential became buried under the alarmist anti drug campaigns. Part of me probably knows how powerful this is. Medicine from nature itself and the human brain itself is usually denied and seen as worthless.

Asha represents that part of me that firmly supports the controversial balance of traditional pharmaceutical medicine and nontraditional botanical medicine.
Asha is my activism and advocacy. Asha is the fire that moves my belief in the combination of synthetic drugs and organic drugs. Asha is the phoenix in me that rises after every defeat, every failure, every attack, every oppression, every attack and assault on my truths and faiths.

Throughout many names, faces, back stories, lives, personalities, and individual growths... she has always been Asha Clara Night. And this is how she asked me to look so I could see that there is beauty deep and shining.

I must find and thank the artists for these images, since I found myself taking these pieces of artwork and subconsciously turning them into incarnations of my own fictional character.

Asha may well be the character in that second novel after all. It won't be this Asha, my Asha; just a version, a more humanized incarnation I can bring out to show the public. This excites me. She could help me write it, just by living in my mind.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch Light)
My modified Disablility Compensated Qi Gong exercises always help, mentally and spiritually and psychologically and physiologically. Like yoga, except Fake Yoga Cripple Style that is not actually yoga. (FYCS. FIX. Ha ha ha...) (Or hey, Fake Yoga Cripple Style Modified Exercise. FYCSME = FIX ME. Ha ha. Wow. Dude.)

But it isn't helping today. I'm too Hollow, which is my term for deep major depression. I'm too Postictal, after that unexpectedly awful seizure yesterday and its aftershock which were tiny seizures for hours. Emotional responses are foreign and results of emotion are mere symptoms, like crying and laughing. I will meditate again, do more qigong work, and breathe and much as possible.
FYI. I am having an episode of pure major Depression plus major Anxiety. This is accompanied by mild memory loss of the past two days. Everything is foggy. I know I should be upset about something, but I cannot feel upset. What is upset, anyway? I think I hurt myself emotionally yesterday. I wish I remembered what it was. I believe it started out with false happiness. Remember that weird assumption of some sort of hypomania? I think I was outside of my rational mind.

Back to special exercises.
People keep suggesting and recommending breathing exercises. I know all of that. I know people just want to share their personal remedies. I love it. Please don't think I am rejecting you. I love hearing your stories. Even the stories about yoga. I wish I could explain why just seeing or hearing the word yoga evokes a sad, upset reaction. It isn't that I am unable to do yoga. It is just that yoga extremists do not listen nor care about my need for compensation. My body was born crooked. I cannot form a proper straight line even if I held on to something. No amount of cajoling, insisting, or pushing different forms will change that. Please don't do that. Please just accept that I have to perform qi gong differently, and that qi gong included poses that are similar to yoga, and that yoga is not the greatest panacea of healing holistic practices. This is part of why I don't want to visit California, which makes absolutely no sense and makes me look prejudiced.

So. Please, please do talk about how much yoga is healing you, because that is beautiful and I am genuinely, honestly joyfully happy. But if you wish to suggest a yoga pose that can be modified for someone with a shaky, spastic, crippled body, please suggest an alternate form. That is all I ask. There is no such thing as a real panacea, even in the botanical world, even in the plant and herb world, and certainly not in the exercise world. It is entirely possible that I will find a set of yoga exercises that will really, truly help me, and I will join the ranks of yoga enthusiasts. Anything is possible. Nothing is off limits. Except evangelism. If I wanted something pushed down my throat, I will drink water mixed with special fruit and plant powders, like sea buckthorn and moringa.
This is coming from my years as a holistic enthusiast and pusher. I was bad. I was essentially an asshole. And then I learned that it was just wrong. I never want to do that again. Just because something works perfectly for me does not mean it will work at all for someone else.

Any form of good physical-spiritual combination exercise, be it yoga, qigong, taichi, strength training, cardio, dead lift weight, isometrics, plyometrics, dance, hardcore dance, etc, is wonderful and beautiful and strengthening, and will help everyone in some personal powerful way. That is the point of exercise.
I love you all. If you really want to help me, don't push me. Just guide me.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch)

I had a seizure. I didn't mean to. It lasted three minutes. Complex partial. I'm so sorry. I suck at everything. I can't think. Word fail. Word flail. I'm sorry. I have to something something rest and medicine. I'm sorry about the seizure. I remember Alicia's kiss. I remember her peace. I remember Koan's purring, I remember Serena's embrace. I remember whiteness and vortex and confusion. I'm so sorry, brain. Something something take your Klonopin and Passionflower and rest easy.
Maybe winter. Maybe I don't know. Things hurt. I'm just cold. Everything is my fault.

brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch Light)
Thanks to another trip to Michael's craft store, I have a new set of Faber-Castle Pitt artist pens below Fine, and Calliope has a Beanie Boo dolphin to cuddle, which she has been doing. I have an owl, which seems to work well as a knee pillow.

We went to the nearby Whole Foods as well, where I found my loved chocolate hemp milk, Guayaki Yerba Mate energy shots in Lime Tangerine, Orgain Chocolate Nutrient Shakes, a bottle of Acai+10 Superblend with Seabuckthorn and Mangosteen, and the rare Badger Balm large Lime lip balm. Adam picked up some fabulous cheeses, and a Coffeeholic Cream Cake for me.

Mom called to chat about an NPR medical science podcast about migraines and the placebo effect, and I revealed that forty percent of my smaller headaches can be slightly reduced by intense meditation after taking certain supplement pills. Good talk. Doesn't work all the time, doesn't work for the more intense symptoms, but I know how powerful placebo effects can be for mild and minor pains sometimes.

Luna and Calliope seem to be starting a... well, a tolerance, on Luna's side. As long as I give Luna attention first, she is nice to Calliope during cooperative play, feeding, brushing, etc. As long as Luna Moon knows she is still the precious queen and Calliope Io is submissive, there is peace. And Jupiter has been gently playing with Calliope, with the occasional soft bap on the head. I am pleased overall.

So, while at Whole Foods, I was limping down an aisle with my blue aluminum cane, right behind a tall man who had the same cane, in sparkly black, and we smiled at each other. "So, how are you?" he asked. I said, "Oh, well, the back pain and sciatica are acting up. How about you?" "Yeah, I'm going to need hip replacement and knee replacement soon," he said. "Oh, ouch," I winced. "I can't imagine. I mean, I'm 34, I was born with cerebral palsy, I'm still learning how to use this," holding up my cane. He nodded. "Yeah, my whole left side has been crazy for years." "Oh, mine too! I have spastic hemiplega on the left! The chronic pain has been getting worse for a long time, but I don't need surgery. Yet!" We grinned at each other. He looked around forty or so and over six feet. I could see right away that his joints were bothering him. "Well," he said, "You look absolutely lovely!" I smiled widely and said, "Thank you! You too!" He grinned back and thanked me, then said, "I hope the pain reduces as much as it can." And I said, "Same for you. Good luck with the surgeries." We said our goodbyes and hobbled off. It was as though we had been friends who hadn't seen each other in a while, commiserating in that cripple language that stays away from "Feel better" and steers toward "I hope your symptoms ease up" which, well, we all understand in the chronic pain community.

And that got me thinking. People tell me "You look beautiful/lovely/great" and of course the silent "even though you're in pain" follow-up. And I actually honestly don't mind that at all. It isn't an insult to me. I know they're usually talking about my chronic pain specifically, not my disabilities as a whole. It's an unspoken thing - "You're chipper and glowing and not letting the pain show, rock on with your badass self." I know that so many cripples would see it as a back-handed compliment and insult, because it totally can be. But for me... I guess it lifts my spirits, especially and specifically when a fellow cripple says it and even able-bodied people who may have invisible illnesses. It is something I need to hear from other disabled folks, because even when I think I look hideous and shitty, to hear someone tell me I look great despite my pain makes me happy, which in turn makes me feel psychologically and psychically better, which helps me try to combat the symptoms, etcetera.

So, my fellow chronically ill and disabled folks, how do you react to such a comment? Is it an insult or backhand compliment for you? Is it a lovely compliment? Do you view it differently when it is said by other chronically sick and disabled people as opposed to able-bodied people?
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch)
Seizure happened in the kitchen. Jupiter meowed and rubbed against me while I crouched. Adam came in and gently lay me on the floor. My eyes were open and blank. Adam touched my face and reached for my mind, and I spasmed and gasped and blinked. I asked why I was on the floor. Adam helped me up and stood me against the large freezer. My memory is swirling. Alicia is holding me. Earlier, Adam said he told his boss, a fellow animal lover, that he needed an extra day to care for his wife. I rolled my eyes and said that was not necessary; that I was fine. Never mind. It was so dark and so white equally braided as order and chaos magics. I was spinning at ninety-nine percent light speed and thirty-five miles an hour. The world was elsewhere. A few seconds lasted a thousand years. Adam suggested I go upstairs and rest. Jupiter is suggesting a cuddle. I am thinking coffee and clonazepam and baclofen. I am made of light and love and pure order-chaos magic in its simplest form. I can give myself the right strength. May be that I can regenerate. As brightly and intensely as a Time Lord. I always shine enough for everyone.

brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch)
Some random rambling about my own mind, my imaginary friends, and how my mind likes to invent coping mechanisms that talk back.

One of my imaginary friends, Amara, who is the human coping mechanism in charge of all the neurochemical, neurodevelopmental fuctions, has been interacting with me more and more ever since Alicia (the epilepsy mechanism) and Serena (the pain, fatigue, psychological, neurobiological functions) urged her to show herself more often after I fell into a chemical depression with severe anxiety. Serena and Koan could only do so much.

Amara, at the beginning of her creation, was not even human; formless and elemental. These days, she is human shaped but she loves to take bits of my writerbrain as inspiration. Her ears are pointed and her eyes and hair change color with her moods. She likes to mimic my bone structure and basic figure shape, just with more muscle intensity. Serena says it's because Amara wants to show me that I am beautiful.
Also, when I saw a Google image painting of a woman with elf ears and a unicorn horn, posing with a unicorn, Amara insisted I make it my current Facebook cover photo. She made herself up to resemble like that character while still mimicking my features, including the horn that represents the third eye - just with chestnut brown streaks in her white-lavender hair and honey brown flecks in her intense blue eyes... although none of that is her true coloring. When she made herself human, her coloring randomly became alabaster skin, gold eyes, and pale flame hair, essentially inhuman. But she kept the mirror shape of my skeletal structure and body shape. She even plumped her lips, made her eyes bigger, and made her nose smaller, because she knew I desired that. It makes me smile, which I think she likes. She wears the same jewelry as me, the same clothing colors, the same makeup colors. She is determined to "reboot" the parts of my brain that are having trouble accepting the recent flooding overload of information about these disabilities and chronic illnesses. The name Amara means everlasting, eternal, immortal... which is why she was formless and elemental to begin with. I finally understand why I created her. And she wouldn't mind being the inspiration for any stories I write. I'm grateful for that.
She insists that my jaw, hair, and eyes resemble the jaw, hair, and eyes of Elena Risteska from Macedonia, which I agreed with and humbly accept with a simple thanks. The only way I even knew about Miss Risteska was through searching for shades of brown.
She just wants me to feel better, to feel my own positive human emotions. Since Amara is still learning about humanity, she looks to Serena for help. In my dreams, they have amazing conversations.
I'm so glad I created these characters. They help keep me sane, emotionally stable, intellectually stable, and psychically curious. Also, every time I meditate and concentrate on my third eye, I actually feel a short unicorn horn on my forehead.
I just love that my own mind is creative enough to make up whole people with entire personalities, back stories, individual appearances, individual likes and dislikes, and actual behaviors. They mainly come to me in sleep dreams, daydreams, and meditations. My psychotherapist adores the fact that they exist, which relieves me. It's just one of those things that I, Joanna, have in my brain to help me handle all the stuff that life gives me. Awesome.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
I stretched the hell out of my back and legs and arms. It was lovely. I did it my way. I am very pleased and very satisfied. I won't discuss the various burning barbed wire pains that are distracting me even through the codeine, but I will talk about the beautiful meditative exercises I've been working with. Peaceful, serene, tranquil, calm, relaxing, refreshing, fantastic in multiple ways. The scene always changes, but always appears Zen in some way.
I had mentioned that my human coping mechanisms, my spirit guardians, had begun communicating with each other deep in my brain without my conscious knowledge, which leads me to believe that parts of my brain are starting to come together as part of the story, as my unlimited imagination and writerbrain is starting working on a whole new, amazingly unique, private story all on its own. No wonder I have been working on Amber's story beyond these bits of my brain. Amber has also given me free reign to write her as a fully developed character and not just a created coping mechanism.
In general, I am just... very happy.
And the funny thing is that I am in a depressive episode. I have all the symptoms, and I am quite conscious and aware. But I have things that are helping distract me: Talking about my imagination and my creativity, talking about the triggers for my panic attacks and my simple seizures, talking about comedy TV shows and powerful fiction books. Somehow it all is able to keep the major depression away, although it is a very intense fight. Sometimes I find myself weak and struggling, even physically, as thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness, frustration and terror, pessimism and guilt all slam into me and my wall and my shell.
I suppose I could say I am happy. I feel happy.
But... what is happiness?
"Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy." Sure, I feel those things. However, there is a strong undercurrent of the exact opposite.
Brains, man. Brains are wild. Brains are weird. Brains are so complex. One day, I want to have an MRI and see exactly what my brain is doing. I want to sit with multiple brain specialists for hours on end, and just... talk. I want to talk about my brain.
Brains, man.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
Does anyone here have any experience with Taoism?
I have been having recurring dreams about walking down a long winding path of many colors, with a companion made up of dragon, cat, and humanoid parts.
She tells me the same thing over and over:
"Be who you are. Love who you are. Know who you are. Follow your own Way. Your own Path stretches long and strong all around you. Happiness, ecstasy, tranquility, serenity, joy, peace - it is all part of you. Heed the advice of others, even if they do not always match your Way or Path. See anger as a thing to work with, not against. Be calm in the face of fear and rage. Be the dragon, acting; do not be the tiger, reacting. You are part of the universe and every cosmic force. Be a force within yourself."

Now, what I find fascinating is this:

A recurrent and important element of Taoism are rituals, exercises and substances aiming at aligning oneself spiritually with cosmic forces, at undertaking ecstatic spiritual journeys, or at improving physical health and thereby extending one's life, ideally to the point of immortality. Probably the most characteristic among these methods is Taoist alchemy. Already in very early Taoist scriptures - like the Taiping Jing and the Baopuzi - alchemical formulas for achieving immortality were outlined. Enlightened and immortal beings are referred to as xian.
A number of martial arts traditions, particularly the ones falling under the category of Neijia (like T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Bagua Zhang and Xing Yi Quan) embody Taoist principles to a significant extent, and some practitioners consider their art to be a means of practicing Taoism.

Recently, it has been as though a biochemical or neurochemical switch has been flipped and I have begun to see things in ways I can't explain. My mood is still elevated even when I'm in depressive or postictal states, which is fascinating. It's as though a part of my brain and mind has separated and remained lit up, waiting to merge back in when all the neurological crap has been treated. I like it.

(Also, please don't suggest yoga. Yoga does not work well for me. I perform personalized exercises and stretches that resemble certain yoga poses, but I do not do yoga.)
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
Because people have been asking why my voice "sometimes sounds weird when I talk for long periods of time." And why I often seem "functionally essentially unable to carry out certain tasks without being reminded step by step." (after seizures and severe exhaustion of varying kinds, especially if the fatigue is accompanied by severe spasticity and hemiparesis with hemiplegia.)
Cerebral palsy is funny like that...

Why, hello, thunderstorm.
Why, hello, anxiety attacks and seizure threats and fibromyalgia flare and combined migraine-tension headaches and knee swelling and ulnar nerve entrapment pain.
Why, hello, Klonopin and Ultram and Baclofen and Codeine.
Why, hello, gemstone jewelry that acts like worry stones.
Why, hello, intense deep breathing qi gong meditative exercises
Sometimes you just have to fight dirty with advanced weaponry, you know?
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Well, after a good pep-talk with both my mother and my therapist, I've realized that my body issues are mostly due to extreme stress. Like, stress so intense and undermining that I can't feel it, but my body is reacting wildly. Literally, my nerves are so close to the surface that they react to everything - and right now they're reacting to the stresses of moving everything around the house to prepare for the contractors coming in and re-carpeting the living room and re-flooring and re-cabineting the kitchen. I'll be altering my diet a little, trying to de-stress, taking Klonopin and Passionflower every day, keeping Klonopin and Passionflower on hand, and reminding myself as much as possible to relax.
Current symptoms include digestive stress, literal nervous loss of appetite even with hunger, TMJ, exacerbated seasonal allergy symptoms, extreme fatigue and malaise, and fibromyalgia flares that make me want to curl up under heavy blankets and cry.
These can all be mitigated and relieved as much as possible with de-stressing treatments and cutting out certain foods for a while. I just need to remember that.

I also must not let myself get stressed online: Reading inflammatory Facebook posts, over-reacting whenever anyone tells me, "Yeah, that food sounds great, but beware the sugar content. Your pancreas can't handle much." - In fact, I want to write a horror story called "Beware The Sugar" after being given so much irrelevant, unwanted, unsolicited dietary advice that I already know about. I often have to bite back snarky replies like, "Did I say I had high blood sugar? Did I say I was diabetic? Did I say I eat this stuff every day? Do you think I am an idiotic child? Yes, I am aware of the sugar. Look, it says right there. On the label. Sugar content! Yes! I am fucking aware of fucking sugar in my fucking food!" or not engaging in emotionally charged political debates about why I like having a gun along with my swords and daggers and my social liberal ideals and waaah all guns are evil shut the fuck up.
I keep forgetting that my online social circle can have a massive crazy effect on my brain.
The paradox in there is that I NEED that online social circle to stay relaxed and de-stressed. Landmines, eggshells. Hairpulling?

So. for the next few days: Cut back on dairy - substitute coconut milk and almond milk and hazelnut milk and sunflower milk. Cut back entirely on refined sugar and sugary treats. Eat more oatmeal with bananas. Eat more apples and grapes. No acidic fruits. More vegetables. More fish, red meat. Take medications in a timely matter. Meditate.

And, I think, the number one change that must be permanently implemented: Set my alarm clock earlier. Force myself to wake up at 9:00 instead of 11:00. Allow my digestion to really wake up. No matter how foggy and fatigued, fight it. Go outside and soak up sunlight directly, no sunscreen, for twenty minutes. Then apply botanical oils like sea buckthorn to soothe any possible burn. I have learned that I am one of those people who physically, bioactively need direct sunlight for a certain amount of time, and that the best way for me to "screen out" the UV rays is very specific plant extracts. Which work fine for me.
And while that's out there, I've been stumbling across articles saying that "The sun does not cause skin cancer! It is out body's way of fighting inflammations and oxidants! You don't need sunscreen!" And see, this sort of thinking has been happening since the '50s and '60s - healing the body with the mind, nothing new, just upgrading the technology to keep up with the science. Good for them, as long as they don't go insane.

Now, I am one of the biggest fans of craniosacral therapy for myself - it is the one and only therapy that has truly done something incredible for me. I just need to find really good craniosacral therapy doctors in the area.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Body is very slowly getting better. Adam put a game hen in the deep fryer, I made herb rice, and I ate salad greens. My stomach finally began registering fullness.

Adam wondered if both the fibromyalgia and the fibromyalgia medications are having this effect on the nerves in my stomach; he fully understands now that I tend to vacillate between being unable to eat much and being unable to feel full despite eating plenty. He actually knows more about how the digestive system and nervous system work in tandem than I do, so I'm taking his suggestions to heart. He approved of the Ensure and since he has tomorrow off he suggested cooking tantalizing meals together.

I came for the love, I stayed for the food. When Adam was a teen, he was given a half scholarship to the Culinary Institute of the Arts, but it was still too expensive, so he just cooked amazing foods for family and friends. He's been doing such since his preteen years, when his mother was hospitalized for three months with pleurisy and he was forced to learn to cook to prevent three months of hot dogs with his father. When I first became anorexic, it was Adam's chef powers that saved me from hospitalization and feeding tubes. Oh, the man can cook.

A migraine is beginning to happen, again triggering nausea and sinus pain and muscle spasms inside my body, which is such an insane sensation. I am unhappy. I shall be receiving a skull massage from Adam, who also knows Shiatsu, Reiki, psychic touch... I did mention that randomly, probably. Yes yes, I love and adore and cherish him, etc, he is as a demigod to me.

Time for medical meditation with amber and lepidolite and charoite and kyanite and tourmaline. This is what the bracelets and rings are for. Connecting to Gaia, the cosmic consciousness, and healing deities like Apollo always seems to help, even just a little. I cherish the sensations of chakras opening and aligning, of energies moving, of my quantum psychic consciousness activating.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
"Some say the gods are just a myth. But guess who I've been dancing with? The great god Pan is alive!"
-"The Return Of Pan", Mike Scott and the Waterboys

Well, today still isn't going well, but who's counting? Love you epilepsy! Love you, hypertonia! Love you, sciatica! Love you, fibrom- wait, I just took pills for you. Love you, sinus pressure!

If you can't destroy them, dance with them?

I apologize in advance if I start snapping and snarling.
Depression, anxiety, moving in and out of realities, and extreme pains are causing me to have very low patience. So, let's just say that I will be in no mood to tolerate any good-natured teasing, obsessive attempts to ask me about my hobbies, armchair doctoring, or backhanded compliments about my disabilities. In short, if you can't tell my emotions from my typing, here they are: No empathy, no patience, needing to focus on my self.
I will have no time or patience for debates, questions needing immediate answers, or deep discussions requiring emotional investments. Did you do something wrong? No. But I am also feeling less empathetic than usual.
Laugh with me. Joke with me. Make me smile. Make me feel entertained. Don't make me feel as if I need to make you feel better. You can do that on your own today. I will be better tomorrow, and I will help you tomorrow after I take care of myself.
I will be dancing with things that seek to destroy me in order to soothe them.
It takes great energy and power to dance between destruction and creation.
See you tomorrow, loved ones.

Erin Gloria Ryan said it best: "I have given this all of my fucks, and the fucks I have given are still not enough fucks. So many more fucks need to be given, and I have exhausted my fuck supply. The fucks are on backorder. Employees are working overtime to restock my fucks, but in the meantime, please accept this 10% off coupon while we wait for the fucks to arrive via FedEx. I'll be over here, drinking wine from a Pac Man mug and watching cartoons."

I am watching cartoons and drinking various superfruit caffeinated juices from bottles with dragons on. With a goodly splash of Bombay Sapphire Gin.

Supportive likes and hugs are awesome. I'm just completely out of fucks to give and I haven't focused just on myself for so long that it's all finally boiled over. People have been asking if they did something wrong and this is the most polite way of saying "Look, I just need you to not pile things on me for a while. I'll be over there with my tea and my cartoons."

Let's see...
Spastic cerebral palsy with hemiparesis and hypertonia.
Temporal lobe epilepsy with complex partial seizures.
Fibromyalgia with full body flares and fatigue.
Sciatica in both legs.
Raynaud's Disease in fingers and toes.
Joint and nerve pains everywhere.
Major depression, general anxiety, OCD, ADHD without hyperactivity.
Disintegrating memory with dysphasia.

Yes, indeed, it is all here. Let's have a party and dance like the universe is watching.

And if the gods goddesses of destruction and creation can join me, I welcome it. When it comes to incredibly powerful gods goddesses like that, I get extremely cautious. I don't say their names lightly. If I really want to call Kali, I need a damn good reason. Many people do not really understand how old, powerful, and intense these deities are. The Christian god Yahweh may be the youngest and most popular deity in history, but there are gods who are so old that time doesn't matter to them.
And so, if I ask an old god to dance with me, I need to ask in a very, very respectful, gentle way.
brightlotusmoon: (Fae Dragon Alien)
Stuff to remember every day:
Meditate with the mantras Ohm and Namaste. Be at peace with every part of myself. Approach friends, loved ones, acqaintances, and strangers with peace and calm. Use anger and violence only if necessary under proper circumstances. Do not take the problems of others into myself but make sure they know I support them. Do not become influenced by the negative or upset behaviors of others. If something goes wrong, be polite, calm, kind, and compassionate. If someone says something I disapprove of or severely disagree with, remain calm and polite if pulled into arguments. Do not throw private mental tantrums when something I don't like happens. If I see a friend looking upset or about to have a mental tantrum, do not get involved and remain calm, unless I am needed.
I will not be a stereotypical "Hippie Freak" or any related stereotype. I will simply be a person who wants to be at peace unless I need to be at violence which would circle back to peace.
Peace with oneself is a very powerful thing, which many people don't really understand.
brightlotusmoon: (Fae Dragon Alien)
I took the Ultram. I took the Soma. I too the Klonopin. I stretched and exercised and meditated. Obviously this is not a day for healing anything. Obviously this is a day for more post seizure insanity, massive pain flares, stiff joints, and depression.

And to that I say, Meh. Whatever. Life will happen as life happens. I will ride the waves and be optimistic and idealistic.
Disappointment will happen but that doesn't mean I have to let it lead me.
Just because things don't meet my expectations doesn't mean I should whine or make faces. Just because plans change abruptly doesn't mean I should frown and mutter and think people dislike me. Just because things don't work out doesn't mean I should stomp my feet and decide life is awful. Life is wonderful. Friends are wonderful. Just go with it.
My favorite words for a while will be Ohm and Namaste.
The biggest things that matter are that I take care of myself, that I do my best to help my loved ones, that I don't get angry unless it is the proper cleansing sort of anger, that I leave the past in the past, that I love people, that I love the world... that I am my little bit of the universe and the multiverse.
I am currently wearing my amazing custom ring with kyanite and lepidolite and charoite, my other ring with charoite and lapis lazuli, my citrine bracelet, my amber pentacle ouroborous pendant, and my open design pentacle ring. I feel secure, protected, warm, loved, guided, empowered. That matters more than anything right now.


Dec. 20th, 2012 12:23 am
brightlotusmoon: (Fae Dragon Alien)
Hey, every body system and entire central nervous system? Can you just... not, for a while? Can you just behave and be okay for a couple of weeks? Please? I don't like to beg, but... I need this, okay? It's important. I need you to stop feeling horrible. Can you try? Just try. Please. Please just try. I will do what I can to help, I will do everything I possibly can. But I need this from you. Just... be better. Dear brain-body and body-brain, just try to be better.

See, I am having a horrible migraine, a sciatica flare, a fibromyalgia flare, an anxiety attack, hypertonia and hemiparesis, lameness, neck stiffness, hip pain, jaw pain, and burning in my finger joints. But whatever. Whatever. There is a quote that I am humming like a mantra: "I know it has been tough, but I am still cheering for you, always." This right here is for everyone who knows and feels and deals and fights. I love you. ♥
brightlotusmoon: (Pixie Model 5)
Well, then.
Spears raised to the sky, screaming hard enough for the gods to hear my battle cry.
Covered in blood and dark and pain and scars and insanity. Teeth and talons bared, skin flayed just enough to show how I can still stand and fight. Do not back down. Stand up until my body collapses on its own. Find a safe place to heal and rest. Gear up again and rush out again. Over and over, on and on, for the rest of my life, this will never end. Spears and swords and armor and power and intensity.
I am not strong. I just want to live.
This is not about bravery or inspiration. This is not about using my disabilities to show or prove anything to anyone.
This is about my life. This about my battles. This is about my fellow warriors, who I will support until I fall, and if I fall I will crawl to throw the final spear.
I just want to live. I don't care what is normal or crazy. I just want myself back. It will take the rest of this life and beyond, but I am prepared.
My monsters will always be there to damage me. I will always be there to damage my monsters. Welcome to life.
I will stand. I will fight. I will hurt. I will heal. I will crawl. I will return. I will fight on and on because it is all I am. I will fight.
I will stand up.
brightlotusmoon: (Default)
Note to self: When a major depression episode during a fibromyalgia attack strikes, get a wooden bristle hairbrush or an ionic tourmaline hairbrush and start a long deep scalp massage. Focus on the endorphin rush. So silky. So shiny. So strong. It really does help as much as an endorphin rush can help. If I have to brush my hair until my arms are sore and weak, I will. I love my hair. So much. My beautiful Mediterranean hair. I will grow it as long as possible, maybe to the middle of my back, just above my waist. I take so much pride in my hair.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, an old friend who shared my love of wood hairbrushes told me she was going to send me a gift, but she refused to say what. Now I know what it is. And I am completely in love, ecstatic, and kind of stunned.

The painted Modern brush with the orange bristles is being kept like a treasure in a silken bag, while the colored blue brush is next to my computer, so I can massage my scalp whenever I want. Oh, so beautiful. So expensive, but understandably so. I massage my palms and my soles with the bristles as well, and it produces some amazing sensations. Perhaps I can include these brushes in my personal therapy.

I will climb out of this knowing how much I am loved.


brightlotusmoon: (Default)

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