Being a food illustrator certainly has me thinking about food.

Being a food illustrator certainly has me thinking about food.

A month ago, I asked a friend on Facebook if I could use a photo she had posted of a garden castle.

When she “liked” my last blog post, I wrote: “What did you think of my artsy images created from your vacation photo?”

That was when my friend admitted that she had “liked” my post but hadn’t yet had a chance to read it. I wrote her back with:

No worries! I write a lot and understand how it takes time to read my stuff, especially if you’re busy. But I love how you are always so supportive.

Also I know some people don’t like metaphorical writing. So here’s a summary of my last Princess story: SHE FINALLY WENT ON A DIET LOL!

The Door and Butterflies

My last story ended with the Princess receiving a key and her mission was to find a door for it. That is why this post title is a line of lyrics from my song “The Door.”

Below is the third verse from that song: 

As you look upon

the empty spaces when I’m gone

You will see – someday

I know you’ll fill them

They won’t stay empty

I originally wrote those words with the hope that my “ex” would one day feel better – long after I had gone through the door.

But whenever I sing those words, instead I imagine my mother is speaking to me. She was a very optimistic woman and I know she would want me to feel better. When my child died, my mother grieved for me and for her grandchild. No parent wants their child to suffer.

Grief is like a door – I’ve often spoken about going through it, rather than around it. I know from my own experience after losing my child that going through the “door of grief” led to my healing. I’ve met people who never went through that door until many years after their loss. Despite the passage of time it was as if their loved one had just died. And there are people who never imagine they could heal. Everyone handles grief differently.

The key and butterflies

I no longer suffer from intense grief over the loss of my child. But in the last few years I’ve experienced many other kinds of losses. Sometimes I’ve noticed that a recent loss can trigger painful feelings from my past.

I’ve used the term “empty spaces” to describe an aching void inside of me; it represents a longing for something missing in my life. Perhaps that is another way to look at grief.

I’ve acknowledged many times how much I miss my mom, but I haven’t really cried much to release those feelings – I’ve suppressed my tears. Pushing down feelings and stuffing them inside is not healthy.

I can express myself through singing and songwriting, but it hasn’t been enough. It’s been far easier for me to find other ways to deny my empty spaces. Food has been something that I’ve often used to numb myself. No matter how much I eat, the emptiness remains when I’ve eaten for the wrong reasons. And after that, I’ve beaten myself up for my weakness.

I realize I’ve written a lot of “heavy” stories lately. Now I feel ready for a “lighter” approach.

In this baby picture I’m thinking, “Mommy, keep feeding me!”

In this baby picture I’m thinking, “Mommy, keep feeding me!”

A few weeks ago, I had a wonderful turning point. I became tired of waiting for motivation to get into shape and eat healthier. I was ready!

I thought of another way to look at this and it is rather funny. I’ve decided to “divorce” food! My relationship was very unhealthy and below are some parallels to my former marriage:

1. I was miserable, but figured I’d deal with it when I was ready.

2. I preferred to be safe and comfortable; making any changes seemed monumental.

3. It was a relationship that was more fun when I was with other people. (Lest I be misunderstood, this was not about cheating on my spouse. It represents how socializing took away some of my emptiness because my ex-spouse seemed far more jovial and less negative in company. With food, certainly it was more fun to eat out.)

I'm swimming to Cancun!

I’m swimming to Cancun!

All of a sudden, a light bulb went off and I realized it would be great if I could start swimming laps again. It was a really hot day and the idea seemed refreshing. I hadn’t swum laps in over two years.

I looked online and found out where there the nearest YMCA facility was. I was amazed that I was able to squeeze my large body into my old bathing suit.

The first time I went to swim was on a Sunday. The YMCA pool was at capacity and I had to sit on a bench until the lifeguard gave me a sign that I could go in. Even though it wasn’t a great lap swimming experience, I did feel very relaxed afterwards.

I was so pleased with myself for doing this!

The next few times I swam during the week. The pool was practically empty and it was great.

The only hitch was when I had a panic attack because I thought my towel and bag were stolen in the shower room. I was dripping and certain where I had left it hanging. But it was gone!

Next I went into the locker area to discover my clothes were also missing.

Suddenly, I realized that this was all because I was in the MEN’S locker room. I made a beeline out of there quickly – WHEW! I was semi-relieved that I hadn’t run into any naked men.

Once again, I was reminded how I really need to look where I am going.

That leads me to the topic of my eyes. A lot has been happening for me and I plan to write an eye update very soon.

Blood Draw 2

Thankfully, my blood has replenished and I’m not as empty as I was after my serum blood draw from two weeks ago.

The technician told me she had never drawn blood for serum tears before. I was explaining to her about it and enjoying our conversation when she said, “Okay, we’re all done!”

I hadn’t even noticed all the vials being drawn!

I took some pictures and sent a text message to my friends.

One friend wrote:

“Yikes. Glad you are finally able to get started on it. Hope they gave you lots of cookies after.”

No cookies for me now that I’m on track!

And I’ll end this post with my favorite text response:

“Whoa! Vampire party favors!”

Blood Draw

© 2014 Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com. 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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4 Responses to WON’T STAY EMPTY

  1. keep writing in the way that is most comfortable for you. i know that when i read your blog i will need to set aside the time ad quiet to thoroughly soak in each word and metaphor. i love to look at the world with a variety of views and words. the swimming is great for your mind and your body. i hope you make time for t in the future.

    much love and hugs to you my friend.


    • Judy says:

      Knowing you take your precious time to soak in my words touches me greatly. And thanks for your encouragement, as always. I have been told not to write in third person, but it feels very helpful sometimes as a way to express feelings. And for me, that is most important of all. I’ve had even more challenges, which I haven’t shared yet – but I’ve gotten through them. I had a bad reaction to the serum tears. It’s very rare and I’m not sure why. Thankfully, doctors say I don’t have anything “wrong.” But the pain has really tested me and it has been very discouraging. Still, I’m on a healthy track and will not let go of my butterfly of hope. Love you lots, Sandra. As always, thank you for your unending support.


  2. jmgoyder says:

    I am not a very good at praying as much as I used to be, but I find myself constantly praying for your eyes, Judy. You are such a magnificent person in so many ways. Love Julie


    • Judy says:

      I’m praying too, Julie. Your support means the world to me. I haven’t written the follow up to the serum tears. I had a bad reaction and fear there was some kind of contamination. I did see a doctor and was told that I don’t have an infection or anything that is visible. But the pain and effect was intense last week. How amazing that I realize now how much better I was the week before this! I will get back to where I was and keep hoping something will rid me of this. I think of your hands, too – these things can be so annoying. But I’m on a much better track and have not slipped. I love the word magnificent; what a nice comment. Thank you, Julie.


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