Monday, April 8, 2013

fighting to stay afloat...

It has been a long time since I have felt like giving up. Yesterday, I wanted to. Yesterday, I had planned my last post. Yesterday, I canceled my next therapy appointments. I was discouraged and exhausted and I wanted to walk away.

I am writing this now because I will not censor myself when it is uncomfortable. When I am discouraged I will express myself. I will not be afraid of what others think of me.

Today, I need to express that I am in pain. I am suffering. I am sad and lonely. I am so afraid. Today, I am walking, NO crawling, through these next moments when I must continue to learn how to protect myself. I must remember my rainbow. The promise of beauty that I will experience when I make it through this storm. And the next inevitable storms.

Today, I am fighting to stay afloat. Today, I am recommitting to fighting for the life I deserve to live. The life I deserve to enjoy and find fulfilling.

I will keep fighting. I won't stop. It will not always be easy AND it is my choice to continue. I must make it a life worth living. I will fight for ME. I will be stronger because of it.

When I was in California I was introduced to an amazing woman. She guided me through my first real experience with art therapy. I found her and this new and desperately needed form of expression and self discovery invaluable! The project I was given during our final session of 2012 was to somehow depict what I wanted to leave behind. I had never used acrylic paint before (I HAD NEVER EVEN PAINTED BEFORE!) and it turned out to be the perfect medium for this particular project. This is what I painted.
At the end of each session our small group would share our work with one another. This was always the point where I discovered how important what I had expressed really was. Now, I will do my best to explain what this means to me...

I have spent my life running. Running because I thought it was the only escape from my mistakes and from the fear, anger, and shame that burdened me. The problem with that is that I was running into a wall. And each time I hit that wall I ended up more broken and bruised and burdened. But, it was all I knew. It was all I could do. Because I had begun learning other ways to get through these things... the running was what I knew I wanted to leave behind. One of the girls in my group asked me what the thing was covering the bottom of the page. When I painted it I didn't see what I was doing. But, when I looked at it again... what I saw was HUGE! I had tried to cover up my mistake. I had never painted a leg! I just went for it. But, the feet really tripped me up. And I just started painting to cover up the mess. How VERY interesting! Not only did I run to try and escape... But, I hid just as hard. I didn't want anyone to see the mess. I didn't want anyone to know I didn't know what I was doing! I didn't want to look like I was an incompetent fool! When I discovered the significance of this project, I wept. These were the things I wanted to leave behind. I wanted to quit running AND I wanted to quit hiding! The only thing those two actions did for me was to cause me more pain and suffering. And, I wanted to quit damaging myself. I wanted to leave them in the past and try something new.

That is the one of the main reasons I created this blog. It should be pretty impossible for me to run and hide if I continue to use this blog to share my story. I need to share my successes AND my failures. But, considering how many years I ran and hid, I guess I should give myself a break if I get off track every once in a while.

Thanks for reading.

Your Favorite Oxymoron


  1. I wish you would come out and visit me. It's not possible to want to give up in the presence of 25 bouncing running playing squalling lambs and kids.

    1. Funny you should say that Miss Mary! The thing that snapped me back into gear... my sheep surrounding me and nudging me to get up off the barn floor. I wanted to just disappear but they saw me. It was pretty powerful. And just one more reason I love being around these wonderful creatures. I am their shepherd. And, they don't judge my sorrow and fear. They still trust me to guide them. <3 <3 <3

      And, I would love to come and visit sometime! Maybe the next time I head out to Farmersville Grain and Hardware...

  2. I love you and I love that we could have such a heartfelt conversation this afternoon. I am always here and am not going anywhere. Like I said today, you would (and have) done the same for me. You are so special to me and I just texted text me back. K talk to you in a minute :) <3Jen

    1. You are one of my favorite people in the whole wide world! I am so glad I have had the opportunity to meet you. I am so glad that I GOT TO & GET TO learn how to build healthy relationships with an amazing person like you. I really wish I had super powers though... inyoFaceTime is GREAT but I prefer inches or feet between us rather than miles of desert... EVEN IF THE FEET ARE SMELLY!

      I LOVE YA!

  3. Hey Leslie,

    This is my first time so I need to do a bit of catching up - but wow. You are super talented. That painting is just amazing. I wish I could paint like that. I am just devoid of all talent "fine art".

    Congratulations to you for living - through all of the mess. Most people would lie down - would give up. This characteristic shows how special you are. This is why I clicked over from Twitter. I knew you were special.

    Thanks so much for connecting on Twitter. I look forward to following you.

    1. Wow! Thank you Lisa! This was my FIRST attempt at painting EVER! And, holy cow! You mention "fine art" and my painting in the same little paragraph! I'll take your compliment! I'll take that compliment with me all over town!!! I am pretty sure it doesn't qualify for the "fine art" category though. Maybe with more experience??? ;-) At this point, I don't even feel qualified to call myself an artist. And, I'm shaking my head right now because a couple of months ago I was saying that I was NOT creative and if I was in the least, I couldn't actually DO that stuff... I'll be working on a post about my experience and share some more of my projects ASAP! Also, I can't thank you enough for the other encouraging things you said. I still struggle. I probably always will to a degree. I see another post idea forming here! Ok, SO... Why keep working so hard if it doesn't FIX ALL MY PROBLEMS? I loved reading a little about your family & your cool kids products! You have any plans to make adult sizes??? I also wanted to tell you that your positive energy/attitude/spirit is invigorating!

      Look forward to visiting more in the future!
      <3 Les

  4. I love what you wrote and will continue to read what you post. My husband and I were talking the other day, I've had 3 occasions in my life when I've felt desperately (and chemically) depressed. He can barely remember 3 weeks that he hasn't felt it. He works so hard at being happy. He has his strategies, but I really need to learn to live with it too, as it can be hard on me. I think I'll learn a lot from your blog. Thanks for being so open.