I CARRIED ON

I look worried in this picture taken from my preschool days. God knows what I had to be worried about that young!

Clicking on the blue link below plays a new guitar instrumental piece, which I composed last week:

MY DREAM GUITAR PIECE – Copyright 2012 by Judy Unger

 

I wished I could write about the feelings. I coped as best I could, but often felt overwhelmed. It did not help that I could not see very well. The therapy of music became less so, because I began to focus on minor flaws within my song arrangements. When I listened to my recent song creations, I was amazed because I wondered how I was able to create anything while under so much stress.

 

For three weeks, I wore glasses that only minimally corrected my vision. Finally, three days ago I was allowed to wear my contact lenses again. Being able to see again dazzled me, and I even became dizzy at first. In only another week, I would have my first cataract surgery.

 

Sadly, I realized that in order to cope I had returned to Zombieland. I had sworn I would never go back there, but now I was in familiar territory. There was no way to get any tears to come out. Despite feelings of intense sadness where pressure on my chest would squeeze, not a single tear would form. Instead, the pool of tears would gather in my throat. Then I’d feel pressure that forced them back inside. I would gasp, take a deep breath and remind myself that everything would be okay.

 

It certainly seemed like there was far too much pressure. I felt pressure from things related to my father’s death, pressure around my sick mother, pressure from my children and pressure related to moving and divorcing.

 

But most of the pressure was what I put upon myself.

 

There was an absence of pleasure, even when listening to my music. It relaxed and soothed me, but nothing really felt pleasurable. Food certainly was a comfort, but the resulting weight gain tortured me. It was harder and harder to smile. It occurred to me that perhaps I was deeply depressed.

 

Then I made a connection. Depressed sounded like pressed and reminded me of pressure. I surrendered, and accepted that perhaps I needed to change something in order to feel better. I knew that writing usually helped me. I plodded through my days as I waited for inspiration that would allow me to write something meaningful.

 

Finally, I heard the mysterious voice that often spoke to me in my mind. Occasionally, I thought it was God or the pure love given to me by my parents. I truly believed that it was “Judy of the Future,” but it didn’t matter. The voice was always wise and helpful.

A picture from my childhood with my two older brothers – they are closer to me now that my father died and my mother has faded.

“My Dream”

 

I want to share my dialog with my inner voice. The inner voice is in italics.

 

I noticed that lately I’m very critical of my vocals and song arrangements. I love what I’m doing, but I do hate focusing on flaws.

 

What about fixing your music do you hate? The process? The time? Why does it upset you?

 

I am afraid that even with my best corrections, it won’t matter. My music and book will not sell well enough for me to support myself. I am losing time by continuing to work on it so hard.

 

Would you say the improvements you’ve made to your stories and songs are noticeable or not?

 

It is actually very apparent.

 

Is it possible that the ability to fix is a gift, and that is the reason you have improved so quickly? Did you ever imagine that you would be the singer for your songs?

 

No – never in a million years.

 

Perhaps, the ability to hear mistakes and correct them is a blessing for you.

 

You’re right. It is the reason I’ve improved. And I continue to learn and learn.

 

What is the pressure about?

 

I want to move farther along in my journey. I want to get to the castle, which is always in my vision. My current life is filled with pain and the castle represents something that is peaceful. I wish I could flash forward to a time when the pain was all behind me.

 

Do you really wish for that? If you could give up this year of your life to be one year older and beyond the “pain” – would you want that?

 

No. I do not want to give up one minute of my life. I wish instead to live for today and not think about a destination anymore. I can never get this time back once it’s gone. I love what I am doing, and removing the pressure will help me. Please tell me how to take away the pressure.

 

Only you can take away the pressure. If you prefer to feel peaceful then tell me: What does peaceful represent to you?

 

I want to live in a place where I do not feel criticized; where my self-worth isn’t constantly questioned. I want to be in a place where I feel valuable. I know I will help many other people by being an inspiration.

 

Why do you have to journey to a castle to feel that way? Perhaps the most critical person in your life is not who you imagine. What if you stopped being so critical of yourself? What if you stopped questioning your self-worth?

 

That is true. I must be gentle and forgive myself for ending my marriage. I haven’t been reveling in my courage. The truth is, I have moved on – even though I am physically still in the same place. I understand now.

 

Remember the antidote to your pain is your dream.

 

The voice quieted. I played my guitar softly and beautiful chords began to appear. I went into my closet to record a new song. I decided to name it “My Dream.” The lyrics will form when they come to me, though my music speaks for me without words.

 

This past week would have been my parents’ 62nd anniversary. My mother’s lack of awareness due to her advancing dementia has turned out to be a blessing in some ways. She is not suffering with heartache over my father’s death or feeling pain around her childrens’ struggles. The card above was written only four years ago, and so much changed so quickly with my mother’s dementia.

 

I have many, many new pictures to add to my blog after cleaning out my childhood apartment. I am going to continue to share them.

I definitely feel it’s better that my mother is not aware of what is going on with me. This picture was taken 20 years ago

I could think of many puns around this, but have less humor than usual these days.

These family vacation images evoke so many feelings. This picture sums up how I always felt chubby. I am serious because I am searching to catch a lizard. I used to tease my dad that he needed a bra.

My mother was always very close to my children. When she visits, it is often sad for them now.

I love my hairstyle in this picture from my Junior High graduation.

Seeing myself in a choir gown brings back many beautiful memories.

Message from a grief forum: 

I am having such a horrible time. My life is no longer recognizable. The last few days have been so horrendously bad. I go from crying to walking through the day like a zombie. I try to be strong for my family but the foundation is cracking. I wish I could understand this. I wish I knew why my son isn’t in this world any more.  He should not be in the cemetery. I just know that I will not be able to do this. The pain is horrible and the memories of what was and what would have been wash over me like acid and I ache. I ache and ache. I don’t want to go back to work. I don’t want to hear people tell me how sorry they are, when what they are really saying is: thank God it wasn’t me. If I didn’t have my husband and other son, I would want to die.

 

My reply:

 

In some ways, death would be easier.

 

I experienced a severe burn on my arm last year. I told everyone that it hardly hurt in comparison to grief over the loss of my child. There is no adequate description of the AGONY. I felt the same way – my children were my only reason to go on living.

 

It is horrible and unlike other people saying they are sorry and thankful it’s not them, I am sorry and wish it weren’t so – because I remember it all so clearly. And that is after 20 years, too!

 

But you will get through it. And someday you will feel better. Right now that seems incomprehensible, so just hang on. And keep writing. And crying. And cursing. And doing whatever you can to cope. Even when you feel like it isn’t possible.

 

Love, Judy

This picture is of my first-born son, Jason. It was hard for me to grasp at that time how serious his congenital heart defect was. He lived five years. The mother above lost her son in an instant. Sudden loss is so difficult for many, many reasons.

© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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One Response to I CARRIED ON

  1. Rena Fisher says:

    Dear Judy, So meaningful.  I love the old photos.   You are so cute and Howard is truly handsome. Thank you for sharing and continued positive thinking in your new life direction. Love, Rena

    ________________________________

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