September 9, 2020 Nine years out...

  Nine years ago this month, I got sick. I don't like to talk in any great detail about the night I got sick, because my PTSD can stil...

December 25th, 2020 - Looking back, at the end of each day


I’m thinking of loss. Something we tend to shy away from, but that needs to be acknowledged. I’m also thinking that optimism, and hope are often conscious choices we have to make. It’s easy to feel hopeful and optimistic when life is going well, not so much when life is full of struggle.


I find myself thinking of the profound loss I ended up having as a result of getting sick 9 years ago. I think about all the collective loss we’ve had as a nation in 2020. The president has, for the most part, ignored the 300,000+ deaths. People fighting for their lives in hospitals, even as I write this. I think about my mom dying in October of this year – not of COVID, but prevented from seeing her in her last days (spent in a hospital for 2 weeks) because of COVID.


I think about the uncertainty that lies ahead – immediately in terms of what the president will do, in his last few weeks – and also in the months to come. I DO feel true hope, knowing that President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will be sworn in.  


I don’t know what my normal will be in 2021, but I suspect it will evolve. I will give myself time and space to continue to grieve for my mom, and get used to her absence. I will continue to – because I MUST – find my way, even as I will always have reminders of the losses my invisible disorders caused. Loss is hard. It is draining, and can be all encompassing. But in all the times I’ve let myself grieve, I remind myself, I’ve ALWAYS gotten through to the other side of the moment. Hurting is hard, but it’s also how we know happiness, and love.


Each day there is a choice. A choice to try to find goodness in life, or to focus on that which is not. To meet responsibilities, and to find joy. Contentment. It’s difficult, but it’s also very necessary. I keep moving because my mom would want me to. I keep moving because in the end, I want to feel good about what I have to look back on, even as simply as at the end of each day.

My mom and I shared a love of flowers.


Leave a comment

September 9, 2020 Nine years out...


Nine years ago this month, I got sick. I don't like to talk in any great detail about the night I got sick, because my PTSD can still manifest itself. I wake up in a state of high anxiety. The good news is that nights are better now, which is also because of the help of medication.


Doing vision therapy and Feldenkrais both helped me tremendously. I am currently not doing either one due to the pandemic. I no longer have the diagnosis of convergence insufficiency, but I definitely still have a vision disorder. I believe Dr. Margolis, the developmental optometrist I've worked with, calls it visual motor sensitivity. Two limitations I like to tell people because they are so easy to relate to, are that I like to tell people because they're so easy to relate to, I don't drive, and my reading is still limited.


I follow a migraine diet very strictly, because I have a lot of migraine food triggers. Following my diet allows me to avoid a great deal of brain fog. I still have to pace myself, which is frustrating, but my body tells me quite clearly when I am overdoing it. I remind myself that I want to try to avoid a full-blown setback. Setbacks are not fun.


I do my best to take care of myself, and manage our household. I'm grateful that I can take care of myself, and with help from my husband, and our daughters who are still living at home, that managing our household is possible. I remind myself that there are so many aspects of self-care and household management that have not always been within my reach.


I try really hard not to focus on all of the losses I have had. I have done grieving, but there comes a point when tears of sadness, frustration and anger are no longer helpful. This is not to say that I shut down, but even with losses, life does go on. I am well aware that my life could be significantly worse. Particularly in this era of Covid 19, I remind myself that I still have much to be grateful for.


I don't know what my future holds, if I will go back to doing any therapy, beyond the once a month touch base sessions I have with my cognitive behavioral therapist. There is just so much uncertainty. So I'm doing the best I can to keep going, do what I can, one day at a time. Sometimes in order to focus myself, I think about what I want, even just a month from now, to look back on. And yes, take it one day at a time. Do the best I can, notice anything positive, especially when it's hard. Because that's when it matters most.

Leave a comment

August 31, 2020 - difficulties, and gratitude


I asked these two questions of my parents today, by e-mail. So now I'm asking myself, and maybe anyone reading this can ask themselves.

1) what's difficult for me right now?

2) what's good? what do I have to be grateful for?

It's very strange not to go places, but I don't know how vulnerable I am to COVID 19. I don't think a doctor could tell me. Having less "conventional" comorbidities means that I err on the side of caution. That just seems smart.


But it means my world is relatively small. I take the approach of "patient heal thyself" because I don't do Feldenkrais or vision therapy anymore. I check in with my cognitive behavioral therapist, Christina, about once a month. But it's definitely challenging. There are so many things that are different now. It's difficult that I have no confidence in the Trump administration.


My mother is right - I do need to acknowledge what's really hard right now. And I try to give myself self-compassion about dealing with what's hard.


Now for the other answer -

2) I'm incredibly grateful that we do not face financial hardship - this is huge! I feel so bad for everyone who does.


I'm grateful we can put food on the table, and have a safe, good house where we live.

I'm grateful my family is getting along.

I'm grateful for our two cats and dog.

I'm grateful I can see my parents now, for a socially distant, but still present visit.


I'm grateful for the friends & family I talk to by phone. Phone calls - hearing voices, sharing laughter is just SO helpful.


I'm grateful for all the music online - YouTube is my friend!


I'm grateful I can take walks with my husband, and dog.


I'm grateful for all the lovely flowers I've seen, and that sharing pictures with family and friends lifts their spirits, as well as mine. Colors of nature are truly awesome!


I'm grateful I play my flute a bit each day. I sometimes play our piano keyboard.


I'm grateful for all the audio books, and for Google Translates audio feature - SO grateful!


I'm grateful for my congregation, and all the effort being made to help us feel together, connected.


I'm grateful for what does work the way it's supposed to in my body - I am not solely my disorders!


I am trying to choose optimism and hope, over pessimism. I'm trying to keep on putting one foot after the other. There are many people who have lived through - have survived - incredibly difficult times, prior to right now, and even found ways to thrive. So why not now, as well?


Leave a comment
© 2014 - 2019 Tamar Schwartz, Visible Person Invisible Problem (VPIP). Powered by Blogger.


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by