Knocked Over By A Feather




Aunt Mildred and Her Owls

When I was growing up, our neighbors to the left of us were an older couple, with grown up kids. They were always around though, coming and going. I remember that their son had an orange Chow who enjoyed scaring the hell out of me through the fence in our backyard. I could see him snarling at me, between our tomato and green pepper plants.

He was a mean dog who wanted to eat plump little me if he had gotten the chance, I’m sure of it.

My mom became tight with the woman of the house, forging a strong friendship despite their age differences, which only proves the fact that age means absolutely fucking nothing when it comes to relationships.

My brother and I called her Aunt Mildred, out of respect for our elders. It wouldn’t have been right to call her Milly like my mom did, plus she did have an “aunt” kind of vibe about her.

I have many memories of Aunt Mildred. One time, while we were all at a store, I pointed to a box of Summer’s Eve disposable douches and asked her what they were.

She got all flustered right before my young eyes. “Ask your mom, Merry.”

My mom said that it wasn’t anything that I needed to be concerned about for a long time, now go walk the yellow line and get outta my hair, kid.

yellow line
We 80’s kids knew how to live on the edge.

Aunt Mildred was a quiet, sweet, kindhearted woman who moved to northeast Ohio (for some reason) from Alabama. She had a bit of an accent and a gentle lilt to her voice that was soothing to listen to. I always hovered around the adults when I was younger, listening intently to their conversations, hoping for some magical insight on what being an adult was all about.

I also hoped to catch a swear word now and then.

It all seemed pretty swell to me. If I had only known the truth, maybe I would have spent more time walking the yellow line like my mom always told me to do.

In jest, I’m sure. Um…it was a joke, haha.

I think.

Anyways, the main thing that I remember about Aunt Mildred was that she loved owls. She collected them. She had owl knickknacks, coffee mugs, wall art, clothing, throw blankets…anything that you can think of that’s inside a home, there was an owl on it.

When she moved a few cities away, we stayed in contact with her, until one day, we didn’t. Life happens as it does and people fade away from our life.

I hadn’t thought of her in years until the other night when I was coloring on my smart phone, which is now a new nightly habit of mine.

While I was searching for another picture to bring to life, I came across these owls. She instantly sprung to my mind and I decided to start working on it, taking my time to make it perfect.

“The Who”

According to my calculations, there’s a chance that she’s still alive. If so, she’d be in her early 80’s by now.

At any rate, I colored this in her memory. She was a lovely person and I’m glad to have known her.

It’s amazing to me how little things like a love for owls can trigger a memory of a person that touched my life so many years ago.

*My mom corrected me below in the comments. Aunt Mildred was younger than I thought, she’d be in her early 80’s now. I had originally said that she’d be in her early 90’s. Thanks, mom.*


You are not my friend!

Having one of those days … looking into a mirror. Yep, she’s there, looking back at me. “You are NOT my friend.” I remember to say “today” under my breath because I’m trying to ‘turn my frown upside down’.  Why does that saying plague me? It is like an annoying mosquito, you can hear it but you can’t see it.

What do you do when you are having a not so friendly day with yourself? There are the ‘mild annoyances with oneself’ days, and the ‘I better not see you at all’ days. I’m going to ask you to be honest and open. Let people around you know, “This is not a good day for me, but I will get over it”. “Why?” “Because that is just the way it is some days.” You can play out the rest in your head … even prepare for it;

“Well, aren’t you selfish?” “Wish I had that much time to think about myself.” And the most endearing, “Get over it.”

Well, I could tell you what my mouth so desperately wants to say in response, but I’ll cool off and speak from the heart. My stock answer, “it is what it is.” I choose not to engage! I have enough going on with not liking myself (today). I choose to do something about that, as for the insults, you can go … get yourself a hobby!

Today I will choose to be nice to myself, even though I want to kick and scream and throw a tantrum. I also want to cut off all my hair, myself. Yes, it’s one of those days. I need to focus on what I like about myself. Since I’ve decided to be kind to the world and not run errands today, I will take out my journals.

Journals can be used for a vast array of things. I found one I liked, in particular, to just mess around with; Art, Doodle, Love, and I found one to write inspirations and aspirations in, my ‘green’ journal (very original name). Then I just found an awesome tablet divided into three sections, my ‘funky’ journal (again, a name of my own choosing, in case you were wondering). The funky journal has a section of lined paper, graph paper, and plain paper. And, my journal, The Shadow Boxers. I wrote it. I use it. I journal in it and make choices that I have advised others to make. I love my journals.

What kind of journals do you have? Would you like to start one? Is it already a habit for you? I finished Art, Doodle, Love but refer back to it on those days. I keep the green journal for the ‘I want to cut my hair off’ days. But all four get me through the ‘that person in the mirror is not my friend’ days. I am not crafty by any means. But it is helpful to review your scribbles and musings when you are in a bad mood. I have a good old stack of 99 cent tablets that I scribble in and write nasty notes in, they get thrown out as soon as they are filled up, no need to continue to travel down that path…

So, on those days, make sure it is just a regular old ‘you are not my friend’ day and it is not depression. If it is depression, this is a disorder, an illness that often walks hand in hand with chronic illness. You must be treated for it.  Once you’ve established what type of day you are having, grab the appropriate journal, book, DVD, photo album, whatever it takes to turn your day around and make it bearable. Because I can promise, tomorrow will be better!


Depression is Insidious

I try really hard not to get stuck in a vacuum here on my blog by only writing about depression and fibromyalgia. Just like eating a ham sandwich every day for lunch, that shit gets old pretty quick.

I don’t mean to offend ham, I’m just saying, give turkey a chance. It’s not just for Thanksgiving anymore.

And if you’re not allergic, try a peanut butter and jelly sandwich once in a while. Yum.

But things don’t always work out the way that I want them to. I can’t seem to find any stable footing, any peace. If it’s not one illness fucking with me, it’s the other. Or it’s both. Plus, I have a slew of heavy life issues to deal with that makes me sad.

I read a great post yesterday about how people who are depressed often have the knee jerk reaction of saying that they are “fine” when someone asks them how they are. It really hit me then, that I’ve been doing the exact same thing with almost everybody that I interact with.

I don’t want people to worry about me.

I mean, I’m human. I’m an empath. Emotional.

It’s normal to be bummed when life continuously throws you turdballs, right?


Depression is insidious, it can grow slowly over a long period of time and before you know it, you’re in the woods on an unseasonably chilly, rainy July day with a bottle of hydrocodone, trying to kill yourself.

I’ve been thinking about running away from home, dreaming of a new life where I have the chance to start all over again, hoping that I can be free of the chains that are rubbing my skin raw.

Maybe I’m not the only person who has that urge sometimes. I hope not, anyways.

So, yeah, I’m not doing great right now. But I’m holding on. I do all of the things that I’m supposed to be doing in order to combat that mother fucker that is depression.

I take my medications every morning, I have a great therapist, I disconnect when I need to (not as often as I should, though) in order to recharge myself. I’m taking more time to do things that make me feel momentarily joyful.

I’ve stopped trying so hard to save everybody at the expense of my own well being, repeating what my therapist taught me, “you can’t fix everything.”

It’s something that I whisper to myself at least 20 times a day, if not more.

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