Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lots of Questions.

I am tired. Exhausted. Worn down. It is hard to do anything.

I am in the midst of something of a depression. A crisis, of sorts. Questioning what's wrong with me. Questioning why cancer. Questioning pretty much everything that can be questioned.

I pretty much know it is a useless exercise, but it hasn't stopped me from doing it. It is a point of frustration that brings me here. Nothing else has seemed to matter. Nothing else seems to be the miracle I so desperately want.

I am standing here, alone, and it sucks. It feels like I am in the middle of a desert, with no one and nothing around for miles.

Is that what my life is? Not really. But there are times it certainly feels more that way than not.

I don't imagine many realize the terror I live with on some level. It is an undercurrent that is always present, and I have no idea how to stop it. I am not sure there is any way to do it. 

There is a video with Bob Newhart offering advice about things, and his solution/answer is "stop it." As if it was that simple.

I get upset when people seem to think what I am facing and dealing with is a simple fix away. I can't stand the whole fix it mentality. If things don't get "fixed," then it would seem something is wrong with the person, right?

If I could just tap into the "cause" of everything, then magic will happen. What if there is no cause? What if things are just what they are?

I know as human beings we are desperate to control everything. That means there have to be fixes. If there aren't, it just makes things just too damn scary.

But I think it is pretty cruel to believe that we know everything, but can't seem to   access it, or figure it out - especially if one's life might be at stake.

I am struggling with what to believe about life and the journey. There are lots of ideas people have, and many of them are at odds with the ideas of others. 

How the heck do we know what is "right?" There could very easily be a "Flavor of the Day" when it comes to possibilities.

I know better what doesn't seem to "fit" for me than what does. The hardest part is that I have no proof what I suspect is "true" is, which leaves me questioning and doubting myself. Am I a fool? Am I going to die believing something that never came to pass?

Am I sitting on the fence? Am I afraid to commit to a way of looking at things? Am I afraid to be wrong?

If I totally committed, would my experirnce be different? If I die, is it because I never fully committed? Is it my "fault?"

If I die, is it because I did not do things "right?"

I have a headache.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Pain & Possible Pleasure

The last couple of days I have been in a tremendous amount of pain. I was going to say "a great deal of pain," but I don't think it would have come anywhere near close to being accurate. Even "tremendous" I am not sure even works. Many times the docs have asked me about pain levels. Many times it is more of a "discomfort" than a pain. This time, had that question been asked, 10 would have easily have been the answer.

I think it was a gas/constipation issue. I had a scan this past week, and it seems the dye affected me. I felt sick afterward, and also wound up with diarrhea for a couple of days. Then I went back to my "usual" constipation. Someone told me today that that swinging can create gas. Well, I know at least part of it was gas, as I desperately wanted to pass gas, and I kept burping, hoping that I would have a really good, unlady like burp, so that I would be OK.

It just kept getting worse. I was trying all kinds of things. I tried warm water with lemon. I tried Peppermint Tea. I tried sauerkraut with caraway seeds. I tried GasX. I tried Tylenol to attempt to at least ease the pain (no such luck).

I could not get comfortable. I kept moving around, hoping to find the magic sweet spot, or the magical antidote to the feeling I was having. I even called the hotline my treatment center has. I was going to ask if I could take more GasX than the box said I should. Instead, I was told about a Yoga pose that is called something like "moving wind." Apparently, if you are doing it right, you are gonna pass gas.

I was so desperate at that point. I had been in so much pain I was in tears. To make matters worse, I had company. Someone had come to visit for a couple of days. Even though they knew I might not be my "best," they were OK with it. But, given how I was feeling, the person questioned whether we should go to the ER. I was adamant; I wasn't going to go to the ER for gas.

The center even told me I should go because I mentioned shoulder pain. There was a concern for my heart. I insisted I had had this pain before, and that it had gone away, and I was fine. I did not have the same concern they did. It kind of bothered me that that was their reaction. I suppose it needs to be, but they scared me once before needlessly, and I am wary of letting them do that to me again. I do not take an ER/Hospital visit lightly.

I had hoped that me and the person who was visiting could go and at least see a movie. I cannot even tell you the last time I saw a movie in the movie theatre. But we barely left the house. The person told me it was "OK," but I said it wasn't. I was hoping for a bit of normalcy for a day, or two. Instead I got more of the same, just with different company than usual.

It sucked.

Right now a lot of things suck. One of those things is at least one part of my scan. While there is improvement in several areas, there is a "mixed" result, which focuses mainly on my liver.

Previously I did not want to know what the scan results were, for fear that it would make me fearful. For some reason, I decided to look this time. The best I can figure is that by knowing it is the liver that is having issues, I can focus on working on it. Some believe the mind and the body are connected. Chinese medicine relates the liver with anger. I figure I might just have anger issues that need to be addressed/released...or something - especially when it comes to certain people in my life.

I am not exactly sure what to do about it, but I figure I need to try. After all, anger just never goes away just because we want it to. Logic never really combats it, or even really addresses or heals it. Even though, there are those who will certainly try that route.

As I am sitting here, typing, my shoulders are hurting so much. I am leaning against the back of the chair, and it seems to be helping, a bit. I really am contemplating going to sleep. It is early-ish for that, but I feel like it would be a really good idea. I have been thinking about trying to get up in the really early morning, even before sunrise. I find that part of the day so incredibly peaceful. I noted that to a friend recently. I suspect it is because of the fact that I pick up so much energy from others, and in the wee-morning hours, many haven't even awakened yet.

I don't know if I can do it, really - especially when I get treatments. It is sometimes almost impossible to get out of bed. But the only chance I would have is if I go to sleep earlier than I do. The other piece is actually sleeping. Some nights that is almost impossible.

Last night I tried something new to help me sleep. If I could remember what it was called, I would share it with you. But I don't. Maybe at some point I can post it in case it could be helpful for another. It seemed that it worked fairly well,  even when I had to get up in the middle of the night. I was able to fall back to sleep fairly easily, even though getting back to sleep can be troublesome at times.

Today I tried to give myself something of a break from "everything." It didn't exactly turn out that way. It is really hard to do that when there is so much pending that still needs to be addressed with chemo breathing down my neck.

I definitely think I am stressed, stretched, and perhaps even a bit depressed. I am really having a hard time doing pretty much anything. I can't tell you how much that sucks. Like my visitor, some would say, "it's OK," but you know what? It really is not.

I really need a break. I really need to get out of Survival Mode. It is hard to "heal" and "survive" simultaneously. I don't know that many really appreciate, or understand that.

I have been wanting to post about my desire to take another trip this fall. I have been hesitant to, as I know that many took my last trip the wrong way. I haven't wanted to say anything until I could say it PERFECTLY. The problem is, I am not sure that any approach will be perfect, despite any effort I might make. And the longer I don't address it, the harder it in some way becomes because I am acutely concerned about how what I say will be addressed.

I try not to care so much about what people think. I am much better than I used to be, but I am hardly as good at it as I would like to be. It is a mixed thing to be so aware of what others think. I can try to address concerns, but the one thing I have noticed is that no matter how much I might try to do that, if someone wants to think something different than what I am saying, there is nothing I can say that will cause them to think/believe otherwise.

It kinda is a no win proposition.

But the longer I don't say anything, the more frustrated I get. I feel like I need to say stuff, but when I don't, my body nags me. Maybe it has something to do with my anger stuff, and/or how I have been feeling, who knows?

So...while I should likely do a separate blog post, I think I am going to at least take a first step here and now.  I very much want to do a "Living Life Tour" Take 2. I am not really sure where I want to go this time. Instead of just heading west, and then north, I am thinking maybe I would go coast to coast and back again. Or maybe I would just see where the road took me once I got on it. So many wonderful things came out of listening to my intuition the last time.

Because of this, I don't have specifics. I would like to be on the road for a month, though. I found that to be a great amount of time that allowed for a lot of flexibility. It also helped me clear my head. Physically I also got better while I was away. My tumor marker was lower. I felt amazing. It was great to be away from my worries for a while.

The trip, though, was NOT a vacation. It also was NOT about me "finding myself." It was not a "bucket list" item. It was about me LIVING LIFE in the midst of cancer news that was devastating.

Yes. I had always wanted to take a trip like that, but the trip really wasn't much more than me getting in the car and driving every day, and talking to people along the way. Many told me about touristy things I could do, but I did not have the funds to be a tourist in "that" sense.

I had a card that talked about ovarian cancer symptoms, and I shared about my story. Others I spoke to shared theirs. I received many hugs and many prayers along the way. I did my radio show once a week, and I also blogged and took pictures and posted videos. I did a lot of "work" along the way because I felt like the trip was about something much bigger than myself.

I know of a couple of people who were inspired and touched by what I was doing, and what I was going through. I even found myself crying at one point, as a person shared about their experience of my experience. I was touched by the fact that they were so touched. So many times I feel like no one is paying attention to what I say or do. Even though I felt it bigger than me, that was the first moment it was clear that I might just be right.

So the trip was about me, AND it was also about others. There is so much we don't say, even though we want to, and we need to. I think the approach that I took, and would take, helps others to share their stories and express themselves.

I am wondering if there might be a way to include a piece for my artist self along the way. Not sure how that will work, though, and time would certainly be a consideration, as well as energy.

There is a lot I haven't figured out, but the skeleton is there. I also know that since I am planning for the fall it gives me some time to try to find some sponsors for the trip. Since I have done "this" before, I am hoping that I can show potential sponsors what might be possible.

I had concerns about my energy last time, and I have similar ones now, maybe even more so, as I wasn't on chemo back then for several months. It is not the same this time. But I don't want that to stop me.

Just like previously, this feels really important. I really felt that I needed to go on that trip. I felt like my life depended on it. I am not sure I am "there" this time, but that feeling of "importance" is certainly present, and I am hoping that I will find people who will see the value in what I am doing, and what I have done - enough, so that they are inspired to help me create whatever comes next.

More when I have it. Feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts on how I might find some sponsors.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Built-in Assumptions

"It couldn't have been that important, if you don't remember it."

Um. No.

You have no idea what I am dealing with.

I was speaking with a person who insists he knows what I am dealing with, and yet, he says something like that first sentence. Nope. Sorry. You have no idea what I am dealing with. This, and other comments made, betray the fact that you don't know what you think you know.

What he doesn't get is that chemo makes it hard for me to remember things - even the important ones. To use importance as a gauge is not a good idea, probably ever, but especially not in my case. Just because I remember some things doesn't mean that everything is working as it should. My memory is often spotty, at best, and what I remember one moment may not be remembered in a different one.

It is so incredibly frustrating to deal with people who think they know stuff they don't. At the same time, I got to thinking about the built-in assumption we have that we will remember the important things. If we don't, then it couldn't have been that important, right? That is, at least, what we tell ourselves. But then, what if we really do forget something important? We feel pretty stupid. Pretty crappy. Many not so nice things about ourselves. Judgments are made based on the fact that we should always remember the things deemed "important."

What if we were juggling 3 balls? What if that was all we could juggle, but then someone threw another one in, and we knew that one was important. We knew we had to focus on that ball, and not drop it. It might be kind of hard, even if we managed to find a way to juggle when we thought we couldn't because we couldn't just let the other things drop in the process of holding on to the important one.

These days I am so incredibly overwhelmed. I found myself walking in circles earlier. I have so much that needs to get done. It is such a refrain of mine. I am sure people get tired of hearing it, and probably wonder what in the world is the "so much." After all, what could I possibly have to deal with these days?

What they don't realize is that the things they take for granted I no longer can. They don't realize how difficult it can be to do the simplest of things. They don't realize how easily I am buried in a mess. If I had done chemo, and was done, maybe there would be a chance to get things "right," but I would still be finding things difficult, as being done with chemo is not being done with the side effects. This little tidbit many do not realize. Most think after treatment all is right with the world again. Well. It's not. And in the midst of on-going chemo it is a lot less than anything that might even distantly resemble "right" off of chemo.

This conversation also got me thinking about other built-in assumptions. Some may think my Facebook pages are all about me because that is all they see. Well. At least a couple aren't meant to be. I have told people more than once to post on the pages, to create conversations, to share their work. I have offered many times to let people guest post here. Do people take me up on it, though? It is extraordinarily rare. But it isn't for a lack of offering, or a lack of willingness, or out of selfishness or self-centeredness.

I have had someone tell me that they didn't want to do it because it would take away from me. I don't believe that for a second. But there is a built-in assumption that we can take away from others by being in their neighborhood. Out of being nice and having care and concern we don't act, thinking it is the "right" thing to do. But, right? According to whom? It has to do with that built-in assumption that has us limit ourselves. What those who may think this may not realize is that it could be a good thing to take me up on my offer. It might just be good for all of us.

There were other things I was thinking about, but between the stress and the chemo fog, I can't remember what else there was. But the essence was the same. We have these ideas about things that we bring to life and our interactions with others. These things - "right" or "wrong" wind up guiding our actions. Based on the equations that have been created, everything adds up or doesn't, and further influences how we interact with another.

But the thing is that many of these things aren't necessarily even conscious, or spoken of. The person being interacted with doesn't necessarily know which equation is influencing how another is treating them. They can only guess, based on any of their own, known equations.

Is it any wonder we can communicate with each other at all?

PS Please check out Patreon.com/JoLoPe and if your heart says to become a patron, even if it is "just" a $1, please join me. Thanks.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Are Some People Oblivious?

I feel miserable at the moment. I think I ate some delicious pancakes with some bad sourdough starter. I feel bad enough as it is, but my body is not happy right now, and I don't think there is a damn thing I can do about it. Plus, I am generally constipated, so I am a bit concerned about the stuff getting out of my body.

I am feeling rather anxious, too, and thinking it may have something to do with the 3 year mark. Yesterday was 3 years since I began this blog. Two days ago was three years to the day I found out I had a 10cm (4") tumor in my ovary. If I hadn't been persistent with my arrogant and condescending doctor, I think there is a good chance I would not still be here.

I am also thinking about some people in my life who think that things are "Business As Usual" for me. They just don't get how much I am impacted by everything I have gone through, and continue to go through. They interact with me as if everything was "normal," and as it was before, when it is anything - but. And then I get upset, and that - to them - is unwarranted, and an overreaction. Their reaction only makes me more angry, more frustrated, more annoyed. Like. Didn't you hear me the first, second, third...time? Didn't you hear what I JUST SAID? 

I have come to the conclusion that at least one person may be in my life to greatly, and completely, upset me. In doing so, I get to feel a lot of emotions. I cry, and I release stuff. Afterward, as long as that was the trajectory, I usually feel better. But, the thing is, I would much rather find a calmer way to deal with stuff. I feel so out of control and irrational when that happens. The goof thing, I suppose, is that I at least recognize that that is what is happening. I try to explain it to that person, but they are just not hearing it.

I don't know if it is denial, or what. But they just do not hear me. Further complicating things, they ask me questions about something that I just answered - right before they said what they said. RIGHT BEFORE. And then when I re-explain, they still do not hear me. It is like they only hear what they want to hear.

I thought this friendship was over a long time ago. But it keeps coming back. I recently acknowledged the person because I felt like there had been a shift, a change. And it was a good one. But then we had another blow out incident. That is partially why I wonder if their presence is a gift, as no one pisses me off anywhere near as much as that person does. No where even close.

It is really hard to deal with the stuff I deal with. And it is so much worse when those closest to me just do not get it. If they don't get it, what hope do I have for those who do not know me well, if at all?

The fact is, I don't think anyone could really understand. No one that close to me has ever dealt with cancer personally, and even if they had, odds are, given who they are, and their circipumstances, their experience wouldn't be the one I have been having. 

I occasionally get grief from others who have dealt with cancer who think I am not handling things "right." There isn't necessarily even a camaraderie amongst those who deal with cancer. Like many things, opinions and mileage will vary - and sometimes the differences can be as distinct as the cultures and language and customs between two different countries.

I sometimes have more in common with those who aren't dealing with cancer, but with some other major/catastrophic illness or life experience. I guess there is no competition there. I win. Of course. The illness cancer seems to be the trump card. "I know I am not dealing with cancer..." 

I am kinda kidding. At the same time, I suspect there is some piece of truth in there, somewhere. I had wanted it to be more light-hearted than it ultimately sounded. Oh well.

My stomach is so not happy right now. My shoulders also hurt. I really hope I can get some sleep. And I hope even more that while I sleep, my body finds a way to release, transform, modify what I ate that I shouldn't have so that when I awaken I feel much better. If you read this any time soon, and want to add your cosmic few cents to creating this outcome without a horrible night in the process, it would be greatly appreciated.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Meeting My Shadow (Self)

It would seem these last few years I have been getting acquainted with my Shadow Self. I was watching a movie yesterday from Hay House in which there was a lot of talk about one's Shadow Self. The above quote opened the film. Much of it was voiced by Debbie Ford. 

In the video, she talks about the things about ourselves that we push down as beach balls in the water. When we push them down under the water, sooner or later they will pop up. She also says that when we are younger, we have more energy to push them down than when we are older. 

The parts that we push down want to be expressed, and sooner or later they will come out. For me, it seemed that being diagnosed with cancer was my pathway to meeting those parts of me that might not have seemed so pleasant.

The movie talks about how important it is to face things as they are: a theme of mine for a while now.

It seemed to be incredible validation for the journey I have been on. I just recently shared with you what I told someone else about embracing the journey, and that is that I truly believe that how I have handled things in the last few years is likely why I am still here. 

I think I want to go back and look at it again. I am trying to remember other things said, and I can't. I may have to watch it, and take notes. But I guess the important part, the validating part, is what I do remember. I suppose if that is all I am left with, it isn't such a bad thing. But it still sucks to reach for stuff and not be able to remember it. 

Speaking of remembering things...last night I dreamt about my hair. In the dream it was long and beautiful and really thick. But then, at one point, I ran my hand through it and a huge clump came out. And then more. And more. But I still had hair when I looked in the mirror. I was surprised. 

I suspect it is my fear of being bald again after more treatment. I lose a bunch of hair every time I have a treatment. It is no where near what it was on my first round of chemo, but it is rather significant, and the fact that my eyebrows are looking the way they are, I can't help but wonder about that part.

I am feeling so anxious today. I have so much to do. Getting one or two things done every day really isn't enough. Today I really want to make some pork chops. I haven't made any in the longest time, and have been thinking I really want some. So that may be the best of what I can get done today. I guess it won't be a bad thing, or the worst thing, but my list is rather lengthy. I also have a deadline to get some of the things done. It may be a bit arbitrary, but the pressure is on, as I already know if it isn't done by then, it probably won't be for weeks, or maybe even months. 

Some would tell me not to stress about it. The thing is that there is stress no matter what. I either stress about getting it done, or I stress because my life is more complicated and messy because I didn't get it done. I kinda can't win this one. At the moment, I choose the stress of getting things done because I am so tired of the mess. It is hard enough to function for so many reasons.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Withdrew My Request

This is what I wound up writing to the person whose show I inquired about:

I think I will withdraw my request. I approach things differently than many by acknowledging - and embracing - all aspects of this journey. While some may think it "negative," I would call it empowering. I'd go as far as to say I think it is why I am still alive.  I do not know where our conversation would go, but I am not sure that my approach would work for what it seems you are looking to create.

If I am incorrect, please let me know. 

Their response was that their intention was to be as positive as possible, and that they were unwilling to veer from that mission. I understand that we all have different needs and perspectives, so my intention wouldn't be to try to convince them otherwise. Maybe there are people who need to hear things just as that person plans in presenting them. 

I just need to find the ones who are like me, and would find the focus on positivity to be unrealistic, and not all that helpful - especially when one compares themselves to it, and finds themselves lacking, or just in general, comes up against stuff that just doesn't leave us smiling, or happy, or...feeling very positive.

It may not be very pretty, but in my world at least, it works. And while it may often seem I am alone in this regard, I know I am not. I guess if the only place that is willing to hear me out is this blog, and places that are my space on the Internet, so be it. 

I really don't feel like I have a choice in this regard. Something really feels like it is compelling me to go in this direction. I certainly hope it is the "right" one to go in. If my circumstances were different, I might question the rightness of it all a lot less. But, as it is, right, or "wrong," it is what it needs to be, and if I go down while doing what I am doing, at least I know I will be without regret.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It is not ok.

It's not OKAY. Today I noticed a good part of my eyebrow is gone. I pulled out my bag of tricks to draw on eyebrows, but am missing a thing, or two. I was hoping not to have this issue. But it looks like I need to re-aquaint myself with how to draw them on. I always did it with other makeup, so it might not look quite right without. 

This is when things start to really suck. This is when Is need to be more self aware when going out, or even answering the door. I don't look the same without them, and couple that with the paleness that chemo offers, it really does suck. I got my fingers crossed that I have enough hair to not have a bald spot, because then I will reluctantly have to wear a wig, on top of everything else.

I hope I can get to a place to break before it gets too much worse. The physical part is harder than anyone likely thinks, given how people seem to react when I share how I feel.

The thing is: no matter how good anyone thinks I'm look, how I look is not something I chose.

There is a big difference between choosing to have short hair, and having it because of a treatment. A HUGE DIFFERENCE. There is nothing anyone can say or do to compensate for that fact, many times I think people try to mitigate things, probably to try to help me feel better, but I suspect it has something to do with how they feel, too. 

I don't want you to think It don't care about what people say, or don't appreciate it, but the fact is when I share, I share for perspective. I don't share to be fixed, or complimented. I imagine that in my sharing there may be some insight that will be helpful for someone who has someone dealing with cancer, or that someone else dealing with cancer might appreciate my words - especially if they align with their own.

And it doesn't matter what anyone says, this really sucks. No one is going to be able to say a dang thing to change my own personal experience of this aspect of treatment. It doesn't matter what does, or doesn't happen with others; this is about me.

Totally unrelated...

In follow up to the person I was in touch with regarding the radio show...it looks like it ain't gonna happen. It seems my gut feeling was more than likely correct. It seems that the conversation would need to be positive. I am not sure that it fits the message I am looking to convey. I am just not sure that it is "real." I wouldn't look to be negative, just realistic. 

We all have our moments all over the map, but we try so hard to push away the stuff we would rather not see. I really don't think it does any of us any favors by putting the spotlight on only the positive and the good. I think it just makes it harder for us to deal with the things that are in the shadows. 

This bit is frustrating for me. I don't seem to fit anywhere these days because I don't see things the same way as many do. Most of my life I have been different, but this is even different from that. This feels like it is about something larger than myself. I feel like this is something that chose me. I don't really feel like I have chosen it. 

It is so hard, and there is a part of me that wishes I could just shut up, just walk away from it. It is just so painful at times to keep coming up against the pre-existing ideas about things that really don't work.

But the problem is that most don't realize just much they don't work until they are challenged by something that was not previously an issue. At that time they can be unpleasantly surprised by how it is to be on the other side of things. They can also become a voice for something they once had no clue about, and perhaps even an air of indifference. Or maybe their relationship with that thing may have come from a place of fear, and the relationship shifted, once they have no choice but to be immersed in a situation that has them come face to face with that fear. It can, and often does, change every-freaking-thing.

But. For as much as we likely sense this on some level, we avoid it as much as possible. And how does one talk to people about the stuff they rather not talk about because they won't even acknowledge it? Some would say, "don't even try." There is a sense of being defeated by the history of human nature.

I think we have a bit too much of that. 

I also think others may agree, given some of the things that seem to be happening in the world. Some people are waking up, and asking the questions that those who are still sleeping would rather not hear. They are saying that "just because" is no longer acceptable. They are seeing the lunacy of some of the things we collectively seem to have agreed to, and it is not OK - no matter what anyone else says.

And, it occurs to me that this blog post has come full circle, as what I just wrote is how I started this entry. I may have been talking about my vanity in some way, but the essence is the same. Individually we will have to look at some things that are not pleasant, or pretty. Others may try to negate it, or dress it up, or minimize it, but it doesn't change what we perceive to be reality in that moment. And it is best for us to not negate, dress up, or minimize our own perspectives - which is often anything but easy.

We can try to explain to others how we feel, but some just won't get it, or want to get it. I guess we are not doing the explaining for them. Perhaps we do it to clarify things for ourselves. Or perhaps there are others who want to hear someone else say what they think or feel. Maybe it gives them permission to speak up, speak out - to be themselves.

So much of the way things work silences the voices and messages that don't fit. Reactions of others often can intimidate, or make a person feel any number of not so good things. We are really good at controlling each other that way, and even better still controlling in the name of "positivity" or being "helpful."

We've all likely done it at some point, or another, and have had things we have allowed to happen when having to deal with what others think and believe, and while it has such an incredible personal cost, we somehow think it good enough for us in some way to preserve the fabric of a situation that does not really work.

Breaking free from the things that stand between who we pretend to be and who we really are can be extraordinarily difficult. It can feel like tearing off a layer of skin, as the things we pretend to be can sometimes seem to be too much like who we are, and we can't always discern what is or isn't us, and even when we can know which is which, we go for the safer, known route - even when we know it does not really work. 

I am getting very sleepy. I can barely keep my eyes open. I am already suspecting Inam talking in circles, but am hoping I am wrong. Sheer exhaustion is having me post this, as is. If a I don't do it, I might just forget. I can always come back and edit/add, but it ain't likely. :p

So this will just be my brain dump for the night. Hopefully it has made some sort of sense...