Throwback Thursday #18

Last week, I admitted that I am on a weight loss journey, but I prefer to say that I am on a wellness journey. I am not only improving myself physically but mindfully and spiritually, as well.

I have always tried to be the kind of woman who gives without expectations, without need for acknowledgment, and learning to be content with what I have. After my mother died, I learned more about myself, but after chatting with my girlfriends, I think that has more to do with entering my thirties than losing my mother. I digress. Without realizing it, I had been practicing the teachings of the Tao. Of course, this led me to delve deep into research, learn more teachings, and I have adapted them to my life and consider myself a Taoist. In addition to the way of the Tao, which literally translates to “the way,” I practice meditation and keep a gratitude journal, which I will delve further into later.

I keep my mind active through reading, research, and crossword puzzles. I also make a point to learn at least one new piece of information daily.

I also practice yoga, which helps improve the mind, body, and spirit!

I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I typically start to feel depressed around this time of year. The holidays are over, most of my friends and family live far away, and I think about how much I miss them, and the lack of sunshine and frigid temperatures start to take their toll as I develop cabin fever. It is easy to fall into a yoke of misery as I think about how my life is not how I imagined it would during this chapter of my life.

In addition to SAD, I have noticed a correlation between winter weather and nightmares. I have an incredibly vivid imagination that seeps into my unconscious state. My dreams often feel real, and I awake a little disoriented as my brain finally realizes what I just experienced was unreal. With that said, I have had nightmares every night since Sunday. These nightmares come from real-life traumatic experiences, but my mind alters the details.

For instance, in real life, I watched my mother die. I sat by her bedside, holding her hand while I listened to her take her last breath. My mother drowned in her own fluid, and the gurgling sound still haunts my nightmares. I immediately wiped the yellow liquid from her mouth so my father would not see it. That moment has stuck with me, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t shake it.

In my dreams, it is my father. I either walk into his house and find him lying dead, blood flowing from his mouth or his head, as I often dream that he falls down the basement steps and hits his head on the concrete floor. I wake up terrified, sometimes screaming out for him. Much like the way I screamed when my mother’s next inhale failed to come.

In real life, my ex held me down by my throat as he forced himself on me.

In my dreams, it is not always my ex. Sometimes, it is someone I know or must have just seen in passing, but it is always someone bigger than me, someone I try and fail to fight off, and he holds me down by my throat. When I wake, I can still feel the attacker’s hands around my throat, and I always have difficulty finding sleep afterward.

And lastly, in real life, I had a very close call with a tractor-trailer that almost ran me off the road and down a very steep hill. I remember white-knuckling the steering wheel as my tire was right on the edge of the shoulder, and I could peer down the mountain’s edge. Fortunately, the driver realized his error and moved over to allow me back on the road before I lost control of the vehicle, but I still do not like passing tractor-trailers on the highway.

In this particular scenario, I dream in the third person. It is like watching a movie where I die. My car veers off the road and wraps around a tree, and I am trapped, limbs bent in ways that are not normal, and blood everywhere.

To combat the depression and the nightmares, which often only increase the depression, I keep multiple journals, but the one that helps the most during this time of year is my gratitude journal. Writing is therapeutic, but more importantly, it allows me to focus on what I am most grateful for. Most of my gratitude journal is composed of the little things in life, which leads me to today’s “Throwback Thursday” poem.

I wrote this poem three years ago when I started my wellness journey. I went through my gratitude journal and was inspired to write a poem. The poem itself is long, and so is this explanation. Please forgive me for the long post, but I am bleeding my soul here.

Anyway, if you also tend to struggle this time of year or any time for that matter. If you suffer from PTSD, whether it be from abuse, combat, or any kind of traumatic event, or if you simply need some encouragement and inspiration, I hope this finds its way to you, my friends.

Love & life lessons,


Soon it will be Warm Enough to Open Windows

bless the men with wounds so deep

they bleed from the spears in their sides,

driven in their ribs by their own hands,

carved from the voices, the ghosts, the darkness.

bless the women just the same.

bless mother nature as she shakes her snow globe–

furiously kissing everything she touches

with her shimmering flakes.

bless the hearts that ache for the sun

and age with each new fallen

blanket of white.

bless the sadness that falls like rain

down hills of fleshy cheeks,

and bless the hours upon hours

of uninterrupted television watching.

bless the foolish dances to the Fabulous Four

socks sliding across linoleum kitchen floors.

bless the appreciation of the moment

of being.

bless the friends who show up

who create traditions, a way of saying–

“I’ll always show up.”

“I’ll always be here.”

“Come to me just as you are.”

and bless me for believing them,

that I am enough, just as I am.

bless my love for you

which knows no bounds.

bless the mind that wanders

to fantastical places –

the Himalayan Mountains

with the man who makes me love myself

when I am with him.

bless the man for it–

for who he is, as he is now.

bless the demons that burrow inside of him,

the ones he fights daily, refusing to stop.

bless him. bless him. bless him!

bless the characters created

and bless the escape into their love

and the journey of finding it.

the starting friendship,

shared laughter

and shared morning breakfasts.

late night conversations

the screen light reflecting in their glasses.

the want dripping between them

so hot

I can feel their flames.

bless the feelings of heat

of the ink that pours out of me–

waterfalls of passion

and want

and desire

and need

bleeding out like spread bedsheets

drenched in sweat

bodies entangled

as love and passion

escapes from my pen,

bleeds into their souls,

piercing mine.

bless the vice that eases

the woman’s aching stomach,

hips and back,

every twenty-eight

to thirty-one days.

bless the emotional roller coaster ride–

crying at St. Jude commercials.

laughing at the roadrunner

who outsmarts the coyote,

for the hundredth time.

bless Justin Long for his performances;

Zerk and Junior never fail

to make me laugh.

bless the laughter that pours out–

rainbows of giggles

and thunderstorms of cackles.

bless the souls that refuse to stop feeling–

the pain, taking it and twisting it

time and time again

until it becomes easier to inhale,

becomes easier to exhale.

until the sting becomes a bite.

bless the heart that helps the soul to heal,

refusing to cause the same pain

that was inflicted.

hearts that free the wolf that lives inside

to feed it until it sleeps.

bless the balance, the yin and the yang–

mountains of hope,

oceans of pain.

bless the growing, and learning

and knowing of self.

bless the herb that awakens

all that’s within–

the mind,

the tastebuds,

the sound waves,

the skin.

bless the mouths that speak out

for what is right

and not what is popular–

those with millions of eyes who follow

and those whom nobody knows.

bless the comforts of familiar old friends–

movies that carry us back in time,

songs that bring back images of moments

that squeeze our hearts,

and books that pour out the writer’s art

through our eyes.

bless everything under the sun

that helps mend the seams

when they start to come undone.

bless the acceptance of all that is now

and embracing what comes

as best we know how.

This entry was posted in Lessons, Personal, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Throwback Thursday #18

  1. Beautiful words and thoughts…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brad Osborne says:

    This wonderful poem will bring a lot of comfort and perspective to all that read it. Well written and unabashedly honest!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My wonderful friend, this was yet another post from you that took me through a myriad of emotions. Writing a comment here would become a novel, since I personally felt every word and personally related to most of them. I am choosing to save my comments until the time that we are on the porch, cups filled with fresh coffee, waiting for and then watching the sunrise. I’m back to again wondering if we came from the same family tree long ago in our pasts. And also, I’m a tad bit envious that you write words that resonate with me that I’d never be able to put into words as eloquently as you do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • kristianw84 says:

      I am looking forward to conversations over coffee while we watch the sunrise. We will have to make that happen in the not-too-distant future!

      It is very possible that we are kindred spirits! You are a skilled writer, my friend, but I so appreciate your kindness and support!


  4. Oh wow, like wow ❤ Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laura Beth says:

    This whole post took me through a number of emotions. You know my past and my heart. You’re such a gifted writer, Kristian!

    Liked by 1 person

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