21 years ago I ran away from home, and never stopped running. Little did I know I was running from myself and what I later realized to be PTSD and severe anxiety. I focused all of my attention on the past…of the horrible things that happen to women, me being one of them. I moved to Windsor, Ontario in 2007 and that is when the darkness started to come out in my photography…progressively getting darker and darker until late last year. I knew I was good at it, and kept trying to one up myself in darkness. Living alone staring at my dark art on the walls gave me nightmares at times.
2 years I was diagnosed with 4 herniated discs in my neck, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. All of these discs are all in a row, one so bad that it’s pinching my spinal cord and it’s fluid. No one would believe me, endless visits in emergency, doctors blaming it on me being a hysterical woman, or my anxiety. The MRI proved them all wrong. 3 neurosurgeons later I am still in the same boat.
2 months ago I awoke to a swollen left hand. I could no longer see my knuckles. I could no longer dress myself. I had home health care (nurses) coming over to help me with my IV and bags of medicine.
I seen a surgeon, he sliced my knuckle open while awake to swab it. I seen an infectious disease doctor after weeks of having a lot of blood drawn. Every test came back negative. Still I couldn’t use my left hand. This on top of my neck issue, my assisted living apartment, and riding the handicap bus.
For a once active healthy woman to aboard a handicap bus for the first time was quite the shock to the system.
This year I moved. This year I took all my dark art down and replaced it with beauty, nature and feminine works. I have daily affirmations printed everywhere I can see. I have been praying and believing in change, and that I can make the change fantastic. Throughout all of this I have had the help and neverending love and support of my bestfriend and soulmate. She goes by the name darkgrrl.
We have killed old toxic habits. We have slowly changed our ways of thinking.
Every day we focus on the small miracles…of a woman playing and talking with her child instead and seeing the eyes of that child beam. Random acts of kindness and miracles are everywhere.
It used to break my heart that I was the only one to every visit my family and make phone calls…then I realized you can’t make someone do or act or be what they cannot. Family doesn’t necessarily have to mean blood.
It is best to shelf the past and to focus on the now.
My dear darkgrrl has been my best friend, my family, my nurse, my everything. If it wasn’t for her, I would be homeless, starving and without proper care.
There are higher forces that make things happen to the good, and finally at 37 I am accepting that I am worthy of this goodness.
A few months ago we looked out my balcony window to see this beautiful oriental elderly woman doing tai-chi in my courtyard below. she had no music, no distractions…i sat haunted and speechless. At that moment, it was as if something possessed me with the most amazing postitive light. I had to go down there to speak with her, photograph her. Bless her soul, she didn’t speak a word of english, but her smile and the light that radiated from her eyes were the brightest light i have ever seen.
This morning I looked out my window and there she was, after months of not seeing her. I went down to give her the photos I had taken of her, and she smiled and hugged me. To be embraced with that much beauty and good karma from a stranger that doesn’t speak or understand a word of english was the most amazing feeling in the world. I am fascinated that we are strangers and can communicate perfectly with eyes, smiles and hugs.
Last weekend I was in a cafe, holding a bag of ice to my neck which the pain was out of the world, talking to darkgrrl. i hadn’t noticed but this man that was staring at me was talking to her. She looked at me and said ’he’s a doctor, he can help you’.
In my head I was confused, thinking ‘with what? my hand? neck? feet? i have a lot of health issues.’
He took me to his office and did some reflexology and naturopathic remedies. My neck pain (for that day) vanished. 2 days later I awoke with feeling returning in my hand and being able to bend my finger after 2 months of it being lifeless. There is still a lot of pain that comes and goes but life is returning to me.
What are the chances of paths crossing such as these?
Whatever doubts I had of something out there, a higher being, spirituality…
they no longer exist.
Also I have learned the stories of some amazingly strong and beautiful women on Redbubble (you know who you are) and feel that we are all connected.
I guess the point to all of this is whatever you focus your thoughts on…that is what grows…so would you rather have a mind full of weeds? or the most beautiful and lucious garden?