Tag Archives: emotions

Acknowledging feelings


A few minutes ago I read that Glen Campbell died.    Now, I was a bit young for his music, (or was so into John Denver that no one else compared!) but I remember my parents loving his music, and when I hear his music, it lifts me up, makes me perky, happy.     So when I reacted with tears to his death, I was a bit dumbfounded.  First off, I’ve been told no one can cry on Prozac.   PLEASE!    I beg to differ!  I remember being at a drive in movie with my parents seeing a movie Glen Campbell starred in.  I had a bit of a crush on him from the movie.   But why am I so emotional about his passing?  It isn’t as if I knew him.  But I have been reading on his battle with Alzheimer’s for a long time, and while I’m grateful for him that his battle is behind him, I’m trying to decipher my own emotions.

Calling Dr. Freud!!!!!!!  

My dad is older than Glen, and my mother just a year and a half behind him.  I’m sure these facts are related to my reaction.   The stories I would read on his battle with Alzheimer’s reminded me of a girlfriend who was a student of mine when her mom was whisped away for years to this disease, and later, her dad.    What was impressed upon me was how loyal and loving this woman was.  She was a role model for me which I’m afraid I fall short on, when it comes to caring for parents.  I do what I can, I really do, and I think I’m a good daughter, but my dad lives hours away, my car has 271k miles on it, and currently uninspected.   When I see my dad, I see his aging, and the pain on his face from knee problems.    It’s very hard for me to see this.  But I know I’m not original to this difficulty, nor am I alone.

And I suppose some of this has to do with accepting death, and perhaps my own.   Don’t get me wrong, while I have freedom right now from the dark and potentially dangerous thoughts of a depressed mind, I see changes in myself, too.   It’s not just my parents who are getting older!

So now I’m listening to a playlist I made of Glen Campbell’s music, I’m working on a pet portrait that looks a hell of a lot better tonight than it did last night, but I’m keenly aware that life can and does change on a dime.     Something today that may seem insufferable, is cast aside with the wind when serious illness or injury occur.     The old adage “when you have your health, you have it all!” is so true!

I’m going to honor these feelings of sadness, and acknowledge the fear of losing my parents, or another sibling, or friend, and try to steer clear of dwelling.   Life is so short, precious, and it’s easy to lose track of what really is important in our lives.  Loss, death is inevitable.  Also I’m very sad (yet happy for my neighbor) that the sale of her house closed today, and she’s on her way down South.  I’m really going to miss her….

RIP Glen Campbell, your music reminds me of my parents when they were much younger, and parents to five children and having serious illness strike my oldest sister at the young age of 6.     Prayers for his family, as they say goodbye, once again, to their husband, father, friend.




Today was a challenging day for me.   As fate would have it, I learned that someone I care about is ill, very ill.   Further complicated by a parting of ways between us.  I couldn’t even remember the incident, or exactly what happened, I knew I was upset, but the “final” visit, I have no memory of.    When I learned of this, haphazardly, I felt like I was going to toss my cookies.    It doesn’t sound good, not at all.

I had also been inadvertently told that she had just learned of this last night, and was home from hospital today.  All I could think of is being left alone to think about what she was told.  I had a full list of things to do today, rose early to do them.  The list was set aside two hours upon rising after learning this news.

When you learn something like this, it really doesn’t matter what happened.  I think it’s important for each person to acknowledge and say what they couldn’t say prior.  And that was the case when I walked into her home, her bedroom where she was resting.  I didn’t know how or what I’d find, I just said a prayer for strength and courage and went and sat with her on the bed.  It’s a HUGE bed that she hates.   I wasn’t sure if she was happy to see me or not, but I grabbed her very soft hand and said “I’m sorry”.     She looked away.   “I have something to tell you”, I nodded.   What she shared next was one of the “moments” I hadn’t recalled, and a bit of it came back.    She expressed how hurt she was, and how she didn’t even want to address it or try to fix it with me.  “Friends don’t do that to other friends”.   I said “Your right, they shouldn’t”.

It wasn’t easy hearing how I had hurt her.   And sadly I don’t recall the incident she spoke of, I had thought our estrangement was just a mutual thing after a couple bad experiences.  I said the words that I needed to say, “I’m sorry I hurt you”.

I helped adjust her pillows, asked if there was anything I could do for her.  Asked if she wanted me to leave, “no, I don’t want you to leave”.     Then she shared another incident that hurt her and I guess the look on my face said what I didn’t need to verbalize.   It was nothing I had done, nothing I could do.   She said I’m sorry, I thought you had.

My mom showed up a few minutes later, I guess she knew where to find me.  I had dropped her off to get her car that was being serviced, the second $400 we put into it this month, and just drove away.     I didn’t know if I should go see her.  I wanted to.  But I didn’t want to upset her.  I just didn’t want her sitting alone with this news.   What happened between us didn’t matter, was unimportant.

She was very tired, and apologetically needed to give in to sleep.  We said our goodbyes.   I held her hand before I left and told her I would be in touch, and that she could call me if she wanted or needed something.   She thanked us for coming and said “Donna, I’m really glad you came”.    As I walked out, drove home, I felt numb.   But numbness isn’t really the word for it, if it hurts, its not numb, right?

This is a person who I had spent many hours with, driving around back roads, in my home, or hers.  She’s almost 20 years older than me,  I’ve always tended to have older friends.   We have shared with each other things we’ve never shared with another.   We were good, close friends.   I was frustrated with her about a few things that need not be shared.  I was even angry at one point.    It wasn’t until she had brought up what she needed to say that I vaguely remembered it.

I thought about the couple things that I had remembered, that annoyed me.   And I questioned, was she sick then?  Is that why she forgot to do what she promised to do?    And at that very moment I was reminded AGAIN, how important it is that we be kind to others.  We know not what will eventually unveil itself.   It never occurred to me that she was sick when this broken promise happened.   I felt like shit, for a few minutes.  I allowed myself to feel bad about that, but then I had to forgive myself.  I didn’t know.  And it wasn’t that I was unkind to her, although her words said it was a look I gave her.

We think we have all the time in the world to make amends, forgive, or fix things.   We don’t.   This was a blatant reminder for me of the things I take for granted.  And I’m a pretty grateful person.    But I guess I had more to learn.

So, I decided I needed to go to bed, and I opened my bedroom windows.  We are being plummeted with rain.  Rumors are there was a tornado 40 miles from us.   I laid in bed, realizing, I needed to write about this.   It’s all consuming.    And now I’ll go crawl back into bed and listen to the rain fall, and think of what perfect weather it is for this day.   It should be a dismal, damp, wet night both inside and outside of my home.     Because today was a hard day, and I’m very saddened by what I have learned.

That’s all I need to say.  The rest I will wrestle with myself.    If there’s someone you care about and are at odds with, rethink it.   Is it really that important?  Do you have both sides?  Is the silence worth the loss of time?    Only you can answer that.

Grateful I went to see her.   If you want to say a prayer for her, I’m sure she would appreciate it.     Goodnight.


What is love?


While visiting with friends yesterday we watched Nancy Reagan’s funeral, and then, by chance, Dr. Phil.   There was a married couple on there, I guess, trying to salvage their marriage that began on false pretenses (a nice way of putting “lies”).  Not only that, there was no trust between them, and while there appeared to be no infidelity, the accusations were immense, chaotic, but most importantly, damaging.

Having been in a bad relationship before, looking at this kind woman who was putting up with SO much, and why?   Because she loved him?    Is love based on lies?  On accusations?  On distrust?    I suppose its possible for both to heal and come together in health, I mean, anythings possible, right?  But what is the likelihood?  And what will be the cost  to each?

When I crawled into bed last night, perused my facebook feed, I noticed that someone who was once on my facebook died.    He was young.    I liked him, he was a funny man, and one night a couple, few years ago now, he and I spoke on depression, so I know he struggled for at least that period of time.    I looked at his facebook, and the last post is “love and kisses” from his equally young wife.    What went so wrong in that couple of days that someone decided to take his own life?

If I am to be totally honest with you, and I try to be, without making myself feel like I’ve shared too much of myself, I know what depression, helplessness and hopelessness feels like.   It’s hell.    I always remind myself “It’s darkest before the dawn”, but every minute feels like hours, and while you don’t want to die, you do in fact want your pain to stop.   If you’ve never experienced depression, and I’m not talking the kind where you are depressed because things aren’t going your own way.  I’m talking about that which attaches itself in you, and becomes so weighted that it’s hard to hold your head up, get out of bed, to MOVE.    Where it seems every minute of every day is a battle, against your brain, to fight off the thoughts, the emotional tennis match that resides in your head, and eventually in your heart  and becomes a war between your head and your heart.

Now let’s talk about what I call “volatile relationships”.   Where one cannot function or live without the other.  Where everything is extremely perfect, or extremely imperfect.  Where one day you’re “in love” and the next, you are being left.      I understand this type of relationship because I was in one a very very long time ago.    It is a pathway, and for those who are looking in on it, “a freeway” to destruction.

Such sensitivity and fragility cannot withstand the test of time when it involves the roller coaster of hurt or broken souls.     Some so damaged, only God himself can heal, that is, if the person can hold on, just for today.   This is where I learned the value of twelve step groups.   “Just for today”.    Today can be hard enough, I don’t need to think or dwell about tomorrow, or yesterday.  Living in the moment is a beautiful place to be most of the time if you can get there.  But it’s hard to do that in the busy world we live in today, when most news cast the world we live in, and it’s hard to feel anything but sadness.    That’s why I like silly news, good news, and I also like to surround myself with happy.   I can’t watch depressing movies, because it sucks the life out of me.  Sometimes for me, my sanity means shutting out the world, picking up my paintbrush, or pencil, distancing myself from that which brings me pain.  But that isn’t always possible.

I don’t know why this young man ended his life.  I am NOT in any way saying that what I wrote above is his scenario.   I am merely sharing my thoughts, which stem from my own experience, and what I see, today, when I look into the unhealthiness of yesterdays.

I do know, when friendships or relationships are built on extreme highs and lows, that is something I will stay away from.  That is not healthy for me, and instills fear within me when I see, or suspect this is happening with someone.  It is like giving a newly licensed driver a sporty race car to drive.  They have limited experience with driving to begin with.  It’s dangerous.

Love isn’t about always easy happy times, for sure.  Even healthy love can break a heart or spirit.   But if you’re on a daily roller coaster from ecstatic to hopeless, perhaps stepping back, and distancing yourself from it may be helpful, insightful.  And that isn’t to say that two people with problems are not capable of love, because they are.  But I think when you are learning how to love yourself, and you love someone else more than yourself, it’s a recipe for disaster.

The old cliche “Two halves multiplied do not equal a whole”.    No matter how hard you try, they just do not.   And it isn’t easy getting to that whole.   But my experience tells me, nothing worth having is easy to acquire.   I think relationships, love, is one if not THE greatest gift we are given in this world.  But my ideas of what “love is” has certainly changed over the years.

Relationships can be wonderful, but they are also mirrors.   Everything you are, and aren’t, get reflected back to you in face of the other.   It’s not for the weak hearted!

If you are struggling, if you are hurting, please, try to find a safe space, a safe person to which you can sit until it passes, because it will pass.  RIP my friend.  I know not what your problems were, but I know your pain must have been unbearable.    I know you are now at peace, to which I offer prayers for assurance, but your family and friend’s, they’ve got mountains of icy terrain to climb.






Poor santa


I just got up and walked away from a painting I’m working on.  If truth be known I wish I had done this 10 minutes ago because I despise what I did to it.   Poor Santa!   I  believe it takes two to paint, and one person to stay “STOP!”     I have been using brighter colors than usual, and I’m excited about that, I think it is tell tale that I am seeing things differently than I did a few months ago, a couple few years ago.

I love Spotify.   When I’m in my car and hear a song I like, I ask Siri to take a note which lists the songs.  When I get home, turn on the computer I download these new songs.    I have playlists for cleaning, workout, painting, for each of my siblings, and people who have departed.   Music is so powerful.  It carries me through the darkness and then gives me a jolt, boost of energy when a song comes on that reflects positive memories.   My best friend went through an ugly divorce and could not listen to music for a couple of years.  I remember thinking to myself, if I did not have music, NEW music at that, I would probably not move.   But I know there was a time in my life when I couldn’t listen to music.   That’s all I want to say about that dark time.

Tom Petty is currently “running down a dream” as I type this.   I hope he dreams that this Santa I’m working on will look better in the morning light!  Music, Music, Music!     When you listen to music, do you sing like a rock star?  Find yourself holding a tube of paint as a mic?    I am not saying I do, just wondering about you! 🙂

This week is not going to be without stress, I’m afraid.   Dr.’s appointments, test results that could change a life drastically.  I have worked hard to stay busy and try to keep my emotions in check.   But it doesn’t take much for fear to jump in, and I find myself in the middle of a panic attack.   Why does life have to be so hard?   Recalling an earlier conversation I had with myself (Hey, I’m pretty good conversationalist), in which I reminded myself it was just a few days ago that I questioned “my shining hours” were actually some of the hardest of my life.   Now isn’t that something?    I was hot and didn’t even know it?  Haha!

If you think of it Tuesday morning, Wednesday afternoon, drop a prayer or send good thoughts my way.  I’d appreciate it!  And I hope you have a lovely Monday!   Is there such a thing???

And so this is Christmas… and what have we done?


src=”https://donnascullyblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/house-015.jpg?w=225″ alt=”My favorite Santa I painted” width=”225″ height=”300″ class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-6006″ />Darlene's last ChristmasTwas the night before christmas....Santa on old Ironing BoardMy sister Darlene.... with our nephewsSiblings. Doug, Karla & DarSense of humor still in tactJim & BrodyMy sister Karen...

Home from a gig... he's so happy to see his momma

Home from a gig… he’s so happy to see his momma

many many moons ago

many many moons ago

Jim...My sister Darlene

Another year older, and new year just begun… Hopefully next year I will learn how to arrange pictures.

Not sure whether I should be writing this blog, I suppose it will help me, and I don’t have to publish or delete it. 

Christmas, I feel so alone.  I am alone.   I was doing very well Christmas Eve, then again, after I did what minimally needed to be done I slept.  I just called my oldest friend, swore I wasn’t going to cry, but I failed.   I think I’m being a baby, and I need to pull myself together.

I have stayed away from pictures of happier Christmas’s because I have enough in my mind but I finally gave in, and I feel so much better since doing so.   I can close my eyes and vividly picture those that I have loved and lost.   I remember a time when there was someone to kiss me goodnight and hug me good morning…  I remember a time when my family would get together and we would open and share gifts.  That hasn’t happened in a long time.   My father says he can’t afford it, he does do for his grandchildren and great grandchildren which is wonderful.  My mother is financially challenged and hasn’t really celebrated the holidays in decades.   My brother will probably call me today and see if I want to come over, maybe not.  Christmas used to be such a fun and happy time.    Gifts are fun, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the gifts, it’s the love, the gathering of family, the sharing of memories, the excitement of someone opening the gift you got them and they were so happy.   Of course I miss opening a present and being surprised and happy with what someone got me and of course, I would be lying if I didn’t say… receiving.     I am alone. For those who know my history with depression, this is not a cry for help, nor is this a cry for pity….this is my thoughts, my feelings at this very moment.

I pray for others, less fortunate, and truly there are many, who are in dire straights, who are in the hospital, whose child are in Iraq, those whom have lost a loved one, particularly new, but then again, I’m not sure that really matters.   I’m crying tonight over loved ones I lost a decade ago, or 4 years ago, or this being the first Christmas in 14 years that I don’t have my Brody boy.   Perhaps crying is a good thing, perhaps in some strange sort of way, mourning and missing them makes them present.  The tears will eventually help me to sleep, and perhaps wash the face that I should take a hot wash cloth to.

Holidays alone are hard.   I didn’t expect this.  This certainly isn’t the first holiday I have been alone.   A message from my sister on her death bed, she was afraid I would end up alone, end up like my mother echo through my head, I take a deep breath and let the pain flow out through out in exhale.  My mother, she is a good person.  She is an intelligent person, she is a funny person.   When my parents divorced, which was not just between them but a third person as well which always makes things more painful, my mother hasn’t really celebrated the holidays since.  It has been 3 decades.   Christmas’s with my dad went by the wayside years ago.   The best of holidays were with my sister, my Jim.   We were “staples” in each others lives.   Not having them hurts to my core, to my core.

I know I will survive this, Lord this is nothing when I think of others who are alone for the same reason, or worse.  This is just a hard day, and it will pass, I will get beyond this and ultimately will become stronger.  What I hope I do not become is cold, or uncaring.  You know those people you meet who are just miserable?  They grunt when you talk to them, their eyes offer no spark or shine, they look off into the deep yonder and you think “What the hell happened to this person?”    Is that how my sister thought I would end up?  Is that how I am?  Good God I hope not.  I truly hope not.  

I am alone by choice.  I am alone not just because I have lost those closest to me, but because I will not open my heart to try again.  Self preservation, is that a bad thing?   If the right person were to come around I would hope I would open my heart.   I was also alone Christmas Eve because I didn’t go to either invitation I had for dinner.  I really wanted to, but with the funk I was in and the messed up sleep pattern that has presented itself in my life, I woke up just minutes before I was to meet them.    I remind myself, I am alone by choice.

If I post this blog I will feel naked, exposed.   Will I do so?   Then again I have shared so much, so many details of my life, my challenges, struggles because I want others to know who I am and what I stand or stood for in my life, and on top of that list is to help others.  If my words can help one other person going through similar, then what is happening to me is not in vain.    Perhaps someone reading this will know they are not alone in their sadness, their loneliness.    I can’t imagine any of these words encouraging or cheery, but you never know.

I wish you all a very MERRY Christmas.   May you breath in and hold deep in your heart the Christmas spirit.  May you enjoy good health, surrounded with loved ones, and for those of you alone, may you find some peace, some happiness in the memories of Christmas past.  May you know you are loved, thought of, and cared for, even if right now you don’t feel that.   This holiday will soon pass.   If your pain is immense, perhaps escaping to sleep will help ease the pain.  Wherever you are, whatever you are doing or who you are with or not, Merry Christmas.  A very merry Christmas.


Christmas’s with my nephews every year when they were little, precious precious times for me.   I rarely see them now.  Of course they are grown and have their own lives, and thankfully are healthy and doing well.

Whitney Houston


Last night I stopped at a local store to pick up some snacks to bring to my uncles.   This place is like a soda/beer distribution place.  Anyway, my eyes caught the glimpse of a man who was in the hospital just months ago with liver failure due to alcohol.   Typically he will say Hi, this time he didn’t.  There is “bad blood” so to speak between us, as his association with Jim was one that I knew would be trouble, and it was.  Anyway he disappeared into the beer cooler, came out with a case of beer underneath each arm.  I wasn’t surprised, even though I heard he was sober, I was however saddened.   How can anyone watch the  insanity, destructive manner that an alcoholic or addict displays and doubt that they aren’t sick, but weak?  Would a healthy man give up his home, wife, children to go sit and drink?  Would a healthy woman leave her children, let her life fall apart, all for the sake of beer? liquor?

I thought about this a lot last night.   Once angry at this man for being a bad influence on someone I loved very much, and someone whom addiction controlled, I have long since been praying for him, and his family, for his health, mental, physical and spiritual.

Tonight its all over the news that Whitney Houston has died at the young age of 48.  A woman who has been struggling painfully and whose struggles have been in every newspaper, rag magazine, and more.   I sometimes feel sorry for “famous” people that they aren’t allowed to go through their struggles without public scrutiny.  I know I wouldn’t want that for myself.   Still, as I say that, I was reading the articles, some of them anyway.   This absolutely stunning, beautiful and enormously gifted young woman who was destined for greatness, and then years later a woman whose struggles with drugs was not only plastered on the front of every magazine, newspaper, or hollywood gossip tv show, but was evident in her face, the darkness under her eyes.  Her eyes, once filled with life, shine and beauty later revealed dulnessl, sadness and withdrawn.    I don’t know too many people who would wish this upon themselves, or even their worst enemy.   At one point she had gotten her act back together, looked like the beautiful and talented Whitney Houston that most of us loved as she sat on the stage of “Oprah”.  Later it was “revealed” (rolling my eyes here) that she and Oprah had had it out afterwards.   Now we sit here at the time of her passing, shaking our heads, some shedding tears…what a tragic ending to a beautiful life, I say this assuming it was somehow related to drugs or alcohol.  Not necessarily an overdose, but something that manifested physically throughout all the years she was using.   Most alcoholics do not die of cirrhosis, but of heart failure, or physical manifestations that have been created by the overuse and abuse of alcohol.

I remember how angry I would get with Jim, and at times how ridiculously naive and foolish when I thought “if he loved me” he would give up drinking.   Love doesn’t have anything to do with it.  The good news is, some find this as their bottom, or a beginning.  A chance to start over, get help, save their marriage, their ass, their home, etc., but many do not.

Long gone for me is the anger, the rage that once ruled me when I was with an active addict.  Life gets complicated, but quick.  It gets insane, and things roll out of control at the speed of lightning.   The negative affects this has on themselves, their family, their friends plays out like dominos.  Clearly, no matter what Whitney Houston died of there are many mourning.  I’m confident that there are family or friends who are left with the lingering sadness and frustration, the humility of knowing…they couldn’t “save” her from herself.   She walked through hell with her addictions, as does any addict.

I am not “pro addicts”, I hope that is not how I sound.  My heart goes out to her family, friends who have to live with the reality of her passing, and most second guessing if they could have helped.  The “if only’s” run parallel and steady with the grief process.

I have many friends who have gotten clean and sober.   Some arrogantly will slam others who are still using, but most?  Most are so damned grateful to be one of the “chosen few” who survived that they aren’t judging another, but basking in the beauty of their lives.

Surely one thing we have learned over the years with the access to the internet, television, magazines, media is that..no longer are addicts stereotyped as dirty, unkept street people who drink out of a paperbag.   Here is a very sad example of fame, fortune, incredible talent, and yet she was not exempt from addiction.

Recalling when I started to really grasp the disease of alcoholism, how enormous, powerful and destructive it was.  It was at that moment that I placed additional words at the end of some of my shares.  “I have been affected by the disease of alcoholism and addiction…. and I’m very grateful I haven’t been afflicted with it”.

“One moment in time”…. you shared and spread so much  joy and enjoyment to so many.  Thank you Whitney Houston.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYFHAvULvJ0

Rest in Peace Whitney Houston, rest in peace


Let those Emotions OUT!


My life is flying by at a rate of 7 days per hour… I can barely catch up with all that has transpired in the past day, let alone the past week.  I check one thing off my To Do List and fly into the next.   Visualizing the scene from the movie Titanic “Iceburg straight ahead!”

As a kid my parents did not know what to do with me.  I had emotional outbursts, physical outbursts to the point where my parents would omit telling me things, it was easier.  I was treated with “child gloves” from not only my parents but also my sisters.    One thing that was apparent was that I was “different” from my siblings in this regards to emotions.  Being “emotional” was a bad thing.   So I learned the art of humor and I became the clown in my family.   

Years later upon accepting myself as a creative type, and exploring this I learned that this was normal behavior for an artist.   This was part of who I was and part of who I am.    I can imagine how exhausting and frustrating it was for my parents who did not understand this, nor did they know how to deal with it. 

Today I accept who I am, I accept that emotions run deep within me, but they do not have to rule me nor my life.  I love with great passion and intensity, and I mourn and grieve as if my heart has been bludgeoned.  Eventually the wounds become scars, the one sided mirrored walls that were built to protect my heart are torn down, and I begin to love and trust again. 

A few days ago I was in the grocery store and I heard this kid going on and on, and this turned into a crying fit that could have been nominated for an academy award.  I was agitated and getting more agitated by the minute.  “Shut that kid up!” I was saying to myself.  Then something came over me as I looked at this child.   I stood motionless staring at him for what was probably only a few seconds but seemed minutes.  I was looking into the mirror of yesteryear.  As I watched this child cry and studied the pain and anguish on his face I came to a place where I no longer was agitated but identifying with him.    My thoughts were now “Cry kid, cry… if that is what you need to do, get those emotions out!    Why here, let me join you!”

Anything but Emotions!


Last Friday I met with my new therapist, Aisha.  What a nice exotic name, don’t you think?  Pronounced “Eye-e-sha”, it makes Donna sound pretty boring!  I instantly liked her, she has a positive attitude and very healing energy about her and I KNOW that I’m going to learn much from her.  I was just eating some delicious green grapes and remembered something she asked me and her response to my reply.   She first asked me what my favorite color palette is, I answered “fruits, veges, flowers”… she found that interesting as most people would describe it as “jewel colors”…. okay… Then she said “tell me Donna, do you eat fruit? Veges?”  yes…. “Okay, describe to me how it tastes when you put a fresh piece of fruit in your mouth”…. I replied “Joyful”…. and she laughed.  She said “You are SUCH an artist!”  I said “What?”  you describe everything through emotions… she smiled.   Now I have always known I was more of an “emotional” person than others.   She wasn’t judging me, she was pointing out something that I have never recognized in myself.     How does that fresh ripe pear taste Donna?    Joyful!   No… Delicious!  lol

I attach emotions to just about everything.. It’s down right exhausting!   It’s a beautiful day outside today Donna, how do you feel about it being a beautiful day outside?  lol  GOOD GRIEF!

So…. check out this new paragraph

Hi, it’s Donna.  It is absolutely beautiful outside today!  The sun feels warm, the cool breeze feels refreshing!  The green grapes I just ate were delicious, and overall I feel grateful and joyful that I am having such an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Cancer Support Group, a funeral, and the unveiling of emotions


Today I spoke with the facilitator of the Breast Cancer Support Group down at Cancer Connection in Northampton, MA.  I am joining this group.  I will not be able to attend for a couple of weeks due to my teaching schedule, but I plan to work my new schedule around this… I need this for me.

I have read that it is very common to hit an emotional rollercoaster when you are almost through your treatment or finalizing your care.  I believe this is and has been happening to me for a few weeks.  When I call my Dr’s office to set up or change an appointment and they answer “Mass General Cancer Center” my muscles flinch, my skin crawls and my throat and chest become so tight that I have to remind myself to breathe.   My life has changed, it changed the day I was called back in for more images from the mammogram in March of 2009 and it certainly changed after the biopsy came back showing two types of cancer.  Even typing this right now I feel anxiety.  Funny, for the past what? 17 months I have been fine, really.  A couple rough days, but all in all I have dealt with it all with very little tears.  Now it seems the tears come easily and fear keeps knocking on my chest, my head wanting to take up permanent residence… I resist, I fight it… I am exhausted.

Tonight I went to calling hours for my girlfriends mother.  She was only 62.  Stacey, my girlfriend is 10 years younger than me.  She is a wonderful person with a huge heart, a great mother, wife, daughter and friend.  As my friend Mark and I neared the porch of the funeral home I had flashbacks to the last funeral I went to…My Uncle Len’s.  He was a jolly loving man who always had a huge smle on his face.  I adored him.  I remember specifically walking up to the porch of the funeral home at his service and all the while I was walking up there I was feeling unbelievable grief.  When I reached the porch and saw my cousin Mike, it hit me, I am NOT at my sisters funeral again, this isn’t about me… this is about my Uncle, my Aunt, My cousins, their children…. I don’t really know how to explain it better than that.  Just that I was living in so much pain the months prior since my sister died that it was all I knew.  It consumed me.  Embracing my cousin who burst into tears was the beginning of my healing.   Everyone experiences loss and it is so hard.   Tonight my friend Stacey, her dad, her sisters, their children, her aunts, uncles were there in celebration of Darlene Hutchins life and also to say goodbye.  My heart went out to all of them.    Loss is so very difficult to go through and grief, well that is another process entirely.  Nor an easy one at that.

A friend posted a very well written article on the topic of cancer which I read.  I could relate on many levels.  I forwarded this to another friend whom is also a cancer survivor.  Not to dwell in the diagnosis but  to relate.   This is why I am joining the Cancer Connection.  I need to be with other women who have and are experiencing what I have and am going through.  I need to talk about this with others who understand how I feel.  I  am so fortunate, I have MANY people who love me and want to help but unless you have been here you cannot fully understand and even if you have, everyones circumstances are different.

I was reminded today of the immense trauma my body and soul has been through over the past 17 months.  I remember feeling subhuman after the double mastectomies and when the expanders were placed.  I have thought about that lately as I have experienced touch again, human touch.  It is such an amazing feeling when you have not had it for so long, and particularly after going thru such traumatic body changes.  It has really reawakened my body.  It’s a nice thing.

I hope you never have to experience anything like this but if you do?  I hope you have the love and support of family and friends that I did.  I was one of the lucky ones.  I was surrounded with people who wanted to help.  And going thru this without a partner strengthened my self confidence, self esteem… but damn it’s one hell of a way to get it! 🙂

Color me purple, tickle me pink


Have you ever walked into a room and suddenly felt the urge to eat? sleep? hit someone (well who is undeserving, anyway? lol)   Has or does your mood change when you are in a certain room at work? home?   What is your favorite color?  Do you have one?  Do you know WHY it is your favorite color?   What emotions does this color evoke in you?  Colors are not only beautiful but they can be incredibly powerful. 

I was surfing on google images and found this fascinating website.   jackhaas.net    These three pictures are the visionary digital artwork of Jack Haas.  Amazing !  Even if modern art is not your “thing”, check out this mans website if for no other reason than to study the colors in his art… identify what emotions the colors are bringing up for you.  This guy is truly interesting.  Clearly a man who has led a purposeful and insightful life. 

At the time of my sisters death all of the rooms in my humble little abode  (with the exception of my bedroom) were painted farmhouse beige with white trim.  Classy, spacial, clean.  Within weeks of her passing I was climbing the walls.  I was experiencing all the stages of grief, emotions that were off the charts.  There was this internal sadness that I just could not get past.  Creativity?  That was gone, and yet my livelihood depended on it.  One night I was sitting in my den looking into my livingroom feeling like I was suffocating… those beige walls offered only a blank canvas to uncertainty, pain and hopelessness.   I needed to do something to help myself, anything, and then it hit me…. I NEEDED COLOR!  Chicago’s “Color my World” YES this dates me, but it is just what I needed.

I painted my walls many different colors for a couple years until I settled on a palette that I was comfortable with, one that worked for me.  Every room in my house has color, and I’m not talking pastel or a light tint of color, I am talking about midtones, darks, powerful colors.   I study color, I crave color, I LOVE color!

Colors have been assigned various meanings in cultures.  A white aura color has been defined as:  Reflects energy. A pure state of light. Often represents a new, not yet designated energy in the aura. Spiritual, etheric and non-physical qualities, transcendent, higher dimensions. Purity and truth; angelic qualities.  This makes sense then that in China the color of white pertains to death.  However, lets think about wedding gowns.  When I think of a white wedding gown I do not associate it with death, though I have worn a white wedding gown and shortly thereafter my marriage died!  Remember mood rings?  (I’m sure they are still available).  White means bored, frustrated.   Well yah, come to think of it, that ties in well with my white wedding! (winks)  I have a bracelet that has 30 beads, varied colors that signify different cancers.  The world is a spectrum of colors!  I am visualizing Vegas with all the flashing lights reflecting off cars, buildings, and a plethora of Elvis’s.  (Though Elvis’s prime was before my time there is a video of  “Suspicious Minds” where he is wearing a white jumpsuit type outfit and he looks HOT!!!!… sorry, digressing).   Sparkle, shine, tactful or tasteless, colors can lift our spirits to the penthouse or us down to the morgue in a matter of seconds.  Advertising, restaurants, clothing, automobiles, packaging… color is everywhere and in most cases there are (hidden?) agendas behind the choosing of them.   If I played hooky from work one day when I returned to work I would wear a color that truly wasn’t my “season”.  If I wear yellow I look washed out, sickly.  PERFECT!  Visual information everywhere and colors create the largest portion of it!

The human normal temperature is 98.6.  Colors have temperatures too.  Warms, Cools (hmmm that is kinda like humans too…. I know many warm people, and I have met some downright cold people! lol)  Different tones can certainly take us on a spiritual journey with Obi-Wan Kenobi or find us grasping for air with Darth Vader!  Placement and use of color is important as well.  Orange for example makes me feel happy, and it is said that it evokes enthusiasm and stimulates creativity… but if I were to wear a bright or vibrant orange dress I just may end up looking like “the great pumpkin” from Charlie Brown with legs and dansko shoes!   Hence, lines, forms, shapes…

Color is a wonderful wonderful gift.  Think about the first time you saw a rainbow, or for me EVERYTIME I see a rainbow!  (smiles)    Color can enrich our lives, promote good health, and when worn, can make us look hot or frumpy!  So if you’re feeling “blue”… “Put color on those walls! as Christopher Lowell says.  Interesting enough feeling “blue” means sad, down, melancholy, while sitting in a room painted blue may just put you in a relaxed, serene state, or place  you into deep meditative thoughts! 

Personally, I would love the job of NAMING the different paint colors, or fabric swatch colors…  Oh yes, this certainly screams out Bahama Blue Mama!   Do you think those jobs pay well?  lol  Seriously, I’m curious!

By the way, my favorite color is purple.    Purple  happens to be the color for people seeking spiritual fulfillment, it is a color mostly chosen by artists, and I read somewhere that 80% of children when given a choice will choose something purple .  (One time I bought a purple sweatsuit at Walmart at the bargain price of $3, I was thrilled with it until I saw what I looked like in the mirror…  hence Barney..it then became rags!)  In some cultures it stood for royalty (only because purple dye was so expensive only the elite and wealthy could afford it), opulance, nobility….

“And when I am old, I shall wear purple!”