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Why M*A*S*H Quiets my PTSD.

Hello my loves – out here in what seems like a time capsule of my not so hottest moments. I have kept this blog out of sight, and out of mind for such a long time. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with curiosity to read through what moved me forever ago – and I tuck it away again – or I come back and jot down quick thoughts with what seems like years in between them. I have debated over and over deleting this website – and finally out of a sheer miracle I decided to give it a much needed facelift and re-boot. I am so so proud and thankful to all of you who have been readers even through my most difficult and “loud” phases. I remember how therapeutic it use to feel sitting down at my laptop nightly, scribbling out all my most inner thoughts to help me process my disease. I went to conference after receiving the Young Adult PH Citizen Award in 2014, came back home so inspired, and then quickly spiraled. I was increasingly unhappy in my environment, and could not focus while my mind was clouded with so much anger and paranoia. My disease was forcing me to look at things with a different shade, and the results were earth shattering and numbing. While writing kept me sane, in some aspects it backfired, but gave me a log to see how trauma and disease changes the brain.  I’ve very very very slowly begun writing over the past two-ish years mainly trying to get to know the new me – who understands my triggers, and who knows when to breathe and re-associate myself with my actual surroundings. I wasn’t fixed the day I was diagnosed with PTSD but rather it has taken two years since then of training my brain, and reactions with hiccups along the way. The person who started this blog is no longer existent which is a very heavy thing to say. My body has changed, along with my cells and skin. I have tubing that pokes out of my chest, new scars, new tattoos, and a less clouded mind – depending on the day. I have come to understand this is natural, and like I have typed before, it is okay to change amidst your survival. Thank you again, for your support and please email me or comment if you would like to get in touch or have questions. All pages on the blog have been updated so please take a peek if you feel like it!

Moving forward…

I was diagnosed with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the summer of 2016. From around August of 2014 I began to have ridiculous over the top anxiety attacks. I would zone out for hours sometimes, would breakdown over little things, lose my temper, had memory issues, and I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. I tried to take on more work to feel “responsible” to make up for my sudden weirdness, my drinking increased, and I had just quit education because it was really hard to be around kids you adored everyday knowing you could never have your own; unknown to me I was triggered, and my outlook on my disease and treatment was changing. I felt lost, and very much so an outsider – cue the alienation phase. I began dancing in our beautiful winter ceremonies that winter, and it did in fact give me relief until they ended around February. By late April, I was the worst I had ever been, completely sedated and addicted to Xanax, and I decided to move to New Mexico which ultimately opened up so many doors in healing – not only spiritually – but also with a new specialist team who knew how to deal with me. I am extremely thankful everyday that I listened to this internal pursuit to go to the Land of Enchantment.

But before I got to New Mexico it was hard to put down pills and find some kind of everyday relief while I was in my worst moments. Music seemed to bring on more emotion, and could very quickly aggravate and disassociate me. This is when I ran across MASH (the TV show) on Netflix, and attempted to give it a try. It’s basic knowledge to anyone that I love the oldies, and while I never got to really watch MASH I remember seeing it on TV from time to time (like everyone else:)  It’s an understatement to say that I was instantly hooked. Instead of sleeping all day – I would prop my phone somewhere playing MASH while I cleaned my room, or got the motivation to apply for jobs in New Mexico. MASH had a way of dulling the background noise, balancing out my thinking and surroundings to where I could function again.

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Hawkeye – for me – is someone who my soul tugs at. He remains his kooky comedic self among nothing but despair and disaster in the middle of a war. He is relatable how he fights against the trauma and injustice he feels he is experiencing; I can watch MASH and feel heard yet relieved.  Pulmonary Hypertension is my war. Hospitals, surgeries, losing funding for basic life needs, fighting just for your existence. It’s known to lead to some mental breakdowns – as we all know Hawkeye had plenty. He lost Henry Blake, and Trapper John but I lost Sean Wyman and Rebecca Lindenberg. “I’ve been fighting death since I came over here. I’m tired of death. I’m tired to death. They’ll keep coming whether I’m here or not. Trapper went home – they’re still coming. Henry got killed and they’re still coming.” -Hawkeye  Friends pass, others are recovering from the beautiful miracle of organ donation. And here the rest of us are – our oxygen tanks, pills, pumps at our side, continuing to fight for our lives.

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MASH is still an escape, and relief to my reality four years later after experiencing an internal war. I am so grateful for my PH family – my beautiful friends who I feel like they exist in those green tents with me while bombs explode outside. We all share this sense of mortality, and morbid hilarity; as Hawkeye has put, “joking about it is the only way of opening my mouth without screaming.” If you are needing something warm, funny, and relief to an active mind consider this show for comfort! Everyone is different including their triggers. What works for me may not for you.

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All of this and MASH babbling to say that if you are struggling – you are not alone. There will be a day when the clouds clear and anger subsides. Sean Wyman reminded me of that while I sat in ICU crying over the new tube in my chest. The anger has subsided, the paranoia comes in waves, and the grief will always be hanging in the background like some decorative tapestry. That is just the new normal. With that being said I am so grateful today for another summer, beautiful New Mexico landscapes, wildflowers, farmers markets, days with Rocco Ricardo, and groovy records. Peace is possible within this fight.

-haley.

 

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Religious Freedom. Nertz.

Religious freedom. Well, that’s a bombshell combination, isn’t it? The whole world is up in flames at those words, and the intensity behind them. I’m just about in flames too. Honestly people, I’ve just had enough of Religion. Not necessarily of Jesus, or God, but of the people who choose to be a direct representation of him. I’m so tired of it that my heart is hardened. I’m so tired that it plays a huge part in my relocation ( I  used to live in the Bible belt.)

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“Holy crap, another rebellious youngster/liberal that wants to turn against the cross!” Oh yes, I get this label daily. Um, Nertz. Calm down crazy, lets back up a bit into religious freedom. You see, people across the world right now are literally fighting for theirs. Be-headings, executions, persecutions, and I get in a way we still have to fight for ours in America. To be able to say a prayer at a football game, and all that. Yes, I do get the fight for religious freedom. I should be able to answer my student’s question about Jesus in school without having to shush them. But when are you just crossing over into being a straight up asshole? When does your religious freedom become your new weapon against society making you the “Frank Burns” of the religious world? This should be fun explaining all this with MASH memes.

Shall we continue?

You see, that’s why this blog post had to be. So many of us think that because someone opposes our views, they are they enemy! Don’t pull a Frank Burns; Unless they are telling you that you may no longer pray or go to your place of worship, then they are not the enemy loves. Unless they are directly effecting your way of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness then they are not the enemy…they are simply different.

IMG_0518See, you look ridiculous with all that hate in your eyes.

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Good grief, can you imagine trying to put up with everyone’s happiness? You just can’t, that’s why you leave it up to them. Sure, we feel responsible to keep other people happy. To donate that extra dollar, gather cans of food, and save the world!! Why yes, some of your deed’s might be good, and others might be unwelcome. Sharing opportunities versus pushing them are two very different things. Your Religion is not threatened by others who do not choose the same path as you. Hobby Lobby for example; they choose not to cover birth control for their female employee’s out of religious freedom. Wait, so because you believe something, I don’t get to live my life the way I feel as though I want to? “But that’s my religious freedom!!” Well, what happened to theirs? You get to worship freely on Sunday, don’t you? You get to wear a cross on your shirt, and openly say you are a Christian, don’t you? Thats more than a lot of people get in most countries.”You shouldn’t have an abortion because that violates what I believe in!” What about what they believe in? Shouldn’t they have religious freedom too? After all, didn’t the God you are throwing in people’s face even give the humans he created a choice to believe in him? Hmmm. You have religious Freedom; now you just want religious force. Religion and public do not mix. If you are trying to put your religious freedom in the workplace, or with politics, IT IS NOT GOING TO WORK BECAUSE EVERYONE BELIEVES DIFFERENTLY AND DESERVES THEIR OWN FREEDOM.

frankburns2Nertz.

Moving forward from the religious force, er, I mean freedom, into loading your religious guns. Haven’t you ever been around someone where they used it as a weapon against you? We all have. Its annoying, it tarnishes the belief for us (especially if this happens when you are young) and it hardens our heart. The driving force behind this problem is fear; fear of what that person is doing, believing, how it will affect you, and how you will protect yourself. 

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You see, most people find me weird (are we surprised?) because Native American spirituality is a big part of my life. I don’t know what life the Creator (God), or Jesus have planned for me, but they have given me some awesome gifts; gifts that let me feel closer to them. I just don’t click in a church, sorry. Dont shoot! During worship, the songs make me feel weird, I’m distracted by lights, I’m bored, and I’m usually drifting somewhere else within my mind. When I put on Regalia I’m proud of, that I studied, and I’m gathered with people who make me feel loved, and happy doing something we love together, I just feel him. It’s the weirdest, but best high ever. When I’m dancing, I don’t know how my lungs let me do it, I’m on autopilot. I’m feel elated, and I know he feels that energy he gave to me vibrating back through to him. When I study his creation, from the organic food I should be consuming, to the mountains that give me peace…I see him and I feel him.  When I study animal spirits, I feel a great puzzle piece has been found. These animals I know he chooses to communicate through because they are his creation. He is present through his art. People don’t know that because people don’t ask. People think I am some anti-church and crazy buffalo eagle spirit lady with bells on…because they choose not to communicate. I am different, and I am to be feared…which is ridiculous.

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You should never fear another person because they are different. It leads to a shut out, lonely, misinterpreted and lost life. In that individual’s mind you just took away their worth. You’ve labeled them, pushed them away, and shown them exactly who they do not want to be or what they should not believe in; you lost and so did they. People wonder why I don’t hang out with certain groups? Because words may lie, but energy doesn’t. You can feel the invisible barriers, and being “ganged” up on. What do we do to change this? One of my favorite quotes is “We do not go into ceremony to talk about God. We go into ceremony to talk to God” by Quanah Parker. We are made in his (God’s) image. Sit down and talk with him, as well as you should the people. I don’t care where you are, who they are, what they look like, believe in or represent. Just be a human with them, that’s all there is to it. No, you are not Jesus. But supposedly the holy spirit is still around, doing its work. Maybe just sitting down as though Christ would with people who others rejected, you could be passing something onto someone else; You could also feel a change within you. The kind of change that makes you feel so good that the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. What a privilege it is to go outside the typical limits and experience things others have no idea what they are missing. I’ve had some pretty incredible answers, and experiences too in abandoned schools for instance. It’s insane the feeling you get from just loving people, even if you do not believe in anything…loving people, and listening to people is still something to practice. “If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt; Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.” John 4 20-21

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So, all of this legalization of same-sex marriages? I’m not up in arms about. Whether you agree, or you don’t agree, you should smile and present these people with a mariage certificate. It is not affecting your way of life. “But God will be angry!!” God see’s your heart, more than you know. I think he would be proud of you upholding a loving image, rather than showing people your hatred. Because Religion is just another excuse for labeling, and hatred. Texas should be ashamed right now for throwing its religious freedom flag only to control others. There is a wrong way, and a right way to do things. And the wrong way is to try to get everyone to do it the right way.

What image are you upholding to people? What circle are you running around in everyday, and who are you impacting? Do you have guns-a-blazin’, or just an open mind? Because these days I hear a lot of outcries for freedom, but I’m seeing more force.

-haley.