Meditation vs Rumination

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via Daily Prompt: Ruminate

Ruminate: to meditate on; ponder.

Meditate: to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect.

By their very definition, these two words look interchangeable. I’m not exactly sure what the difference is, only that for me, meditation has a positive connotation vs rumination, which I associate more with being “stuck in my head” or spinning my wheels.

Meditation is something that is good for you, rumination is not. That’s how I’ve seen it. Looking up the definitions today and thinking about it a little, I wonder if the difference isn’t in the intention…

Over these last 10 months, I’ve tried to keep up on my relationship with my sister, despite the obvious barriers.

For months I would ask her to come visit me in my dreams. I’d fall asleep holding her picture or set her music on repeat so even subconsciously I’d be in a place to receive her. While I’ve had tons of signs that she’s around me, I wanted to see her face. I wanted to interact with her.

Radio silence.

Until last night.

The details are fuzzy now but I was running from someone or something in a mall. I saw an empty corner, squished myself in and slid down the walls. I buried my head in my folded arms and sobbed.

I was soon interrupted by a light tapping on my shoulder.

I looked up and I saw her.

The song “These Dreams” by Heart played overhead.

She was … Radiant. Stunning. Healthy.

Of course she was.

I scrambled to get to my feet and I lunged for her, grabbing her tight to me.

I woke up and while this past year has felt like a nightmare, I was convinced that it was over now. I grabbed for my phone, desperate to hear her voice, her reassuring laugh chiding me for overreacting.

But of course that didn’t happen. Half way to the phone, I remembered the necklace. The music shaped urn necklace. I was scared to touch it. Maybe it wasn’t there… but if it was, it meant she was really gone.

I clutched the charm in my fist as the tears continued to burn and I remembered to thank her, even as painful is it was, as it is, as it will always be… she did come visit me.

Lyrics to These Dreams:

Spare a little candle
Save some light for me
Figures up ahead
Moving in the trees
White skin in linen
Perfume on my wrist
And the full moon that hangs over
These dreams in the mist

Darkness on the edge
Shadows where I stand
I search for the time
On a watch with no hands
I want to see you clearly
Come closer than this
But all I remember
Are the dreams in the mist

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

Is it cloak ‘n’ dagger
Could it be spring or fall
I walk without a cut
Through a stained glass wall
Weaker in my eyesight
The candle in my grip
And words that have no form
Are falling from my lips

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

There’s something out there
I can’t resist
I need to hide away from the pain
There’s something out there
I can’t resist

The sweetest song is silence
That I’ve ever heard
Funny how your feet
In dreams never touch the earth
In a wood full of princes
Freedom is a kiss
But the prince hides his face
From dreams in the mist

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

Songwriters

Read more: Heart – These Dreams Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Shit That Pisses Me Off

Please excuse the vulgarity so early in the post, I’m not even watching the debates and they are having an effect on me! Grrr.

What I meant to say, kinda, is the things that frustrate me… You know how YOU can lovingly bash yourself, your family, spouse or bff but if anyone else does it, they’ve crossed a line? Well, it’s along those lines.

When people patronize me. It’s an especially difficult time for me as half the time I really DON’T understand what people are saying and need things spelled out, step by step. That being said, I found a video online that offers “11 Little Things You Can Do To Take Care Of Yourself“.

The first problem with this is the title. I mean, the title would be fine if they actually provided 11 ideas but they don’t. The video should be called “8 Little Things You Probably Already Thought Of But I’m On A Deadline, So Maybe If I Make A Video, That Will Be Impressive Enough To Get Me By Until My Next Assignment”.

I’ll go through the list here, tell me if I’m missing something.

  1. Get Enough Sleep- Every Night. Like, every night? Is that even possible? Even if it is possible for most people, it isn’t for me. I’ve been exhausted my entire life. I’ve never had a real great relationship with sleep, even with the use of rx meds. So, I’d LOVE to get enough sleep, even some nights, but that’s not a realistic goal. What else have ya got?
  2. Exercise- Even If It’s Just A Brisk Walk. Brisk or not, everywhere I walk is an exercise. I don’t have a mode above “easy” anymore. Having arthritis has limited the amount of activity I can do, although I was making it to the pool nearly every day- I live in MN. I can’t afford a gym membership and our apartment complex has closed the outdoor pool for the season. My current exercise plan is forgetting my anti-anxiety pill until my leg shakes so bad, something falls off the kitchen table to remind me how stressed I am. Does that count?
  3. Eat Real Food- You Deserve More Than Vending Machine Snacks. I also deserve a full night’s sleep, what’s your point? I’d love to eat healthy/ organic and home cooked meals… Can you help me afford groceries? Help me cook said groceries when my back gives out and I’ve only been standing in front of the stove for a couple of minutes? That’d be grrrreeeaaatttt. Thanks.
  4.  Take A Break- From Your Phone. No. Just, no. What if I miss another eye opening video???
  5. Ask For Help- When You Need It. Hahahahahahahahaha. Just FYI, asking for help can actually exacerbate the stress when repeated pleas go unheeded.
  6. Keep A Journal- It’s A Great Way To Work Out Your Feelings. Hey, ya got one! Good for you.
  7. Read A Good Book- And Escape Into Fantasy For Awhile. Yep, I’ve spent the last several years in therapy learning how to KEEP from escaping reality. I’ve been practicing how to stay grounded and mindful. Yes, I understand reading a book and drinking (or whatever bad behavior people use to medicate/escape) are different things AND I’d like to point out, I’m just taking the advice you recommended in strategy number six.
  8. Call Your Family Or Friends- To Vent. Why bother them with a phone call when I can just post it on the World Wide Web?

I’m sure these are all good suggestions bur are there any you haven’t heard of? Can you see where maybe the author (or video person) just whipped out some stale regurgitation of anyone’s common sense list? God, I hope they didn’t get paid for that…

What’s it to me, right? I guess it’s because I give a shit about the amount of work (and passion) I put into projects (even this one, although not my most refined pieces) and for people to just … put so little thought into it? It pisses me off.

At least change the GD title to the correct number of “things”.

Sunday Update

Hello all-

I don’t have much to say tonight, nothing really thought out or prepared but I guess I usually don’t. I think it feels different because there’s sort of a lack of focus. There’s a lot going on, what with spending hours deliberating on whether or not to take a shower (not today) and getting ready for the move on Wednesday (which consists of me mentally packing).

Daily and Weekly posts are happening, for now. The word of the day prompt is me writing raw. I don’t put too much thought into it ahead of time, it’s mainly my initial reaction to whatever the word has to be. As time goes on, I’m sure there will be pieces that I can develop into longer, better pieces but for now, I just want to get into the habit of writing everyday. And twice on Sunday. And Wednesday. 🙂

I’m working on another endeavor though too. It will be a thorough look into addiction and the desperate places people have fallen into, consigned there, mostly by the doctors who were supposed to help them. I’m going to write about the heroin epidemic in general and get personal. I want to find out how and why this is happening, in addition to figuring out what I can do to help. This is a big undertaking as the use is so very widespread.

Saturday we signed our new lease. We’re moving the big stuff on Wednesday, yay! Back into an apartment. Leaving the townhouse life, which at first I was bummed about. I’m 38 years old. I think it’s time I had a house. Then again, I don’t like to be all that responsible. I guess I mean, I have enough responsibility right now to last me a long time and apartment living does have it’s benefits. I’m hoping sleeping will be one of them!

School is out on Thursday! Oh shit… well, there is a lot of stuff to do around the new place…

Work is going well. I still like my job. Working three days a week, it’s good for me.

My health is… ok. Had my blood sugars under control for a little while, then pregnancy and loss fucked them up. Got back into a good “normal” range and then Natalie passed. I’ve been afraid to check them because stress affects them so greatly. I am taking my insulin and other meds though. The psoriatic arthritis is acting up, again because of the stress but I’m managing.

People keep asking how I’m sleeping. If I’m sleeping. How can I sleep? Honestly? I was medicating for the first week to week and a half. I had to. I take prescription Xanax at bedtime but I try often not to… just because it’s one more pill and who knows how many more chemicals? I had exactly a week of dreamless sleep. On the eighth night, I had a dream, I know I blogged about it. Since then it’s been like I’m just trying to dial in the right bedtime. The later I stay up, the fewer times I wake up during the night. It looked like 1:30am was a good time. I’d sleep all the way through until 7:00. Last night sucked. I woke up at 2:30 am and haven’t slept since. It’ll be an early one tonight.

I don’t want to bore you with anymore mundane details of my life… what’s going on in yours? Anything exciting? Want to share? Let me know in the comments below!

What a Night(mare)!

A few years ago, I tried Ambien to help me sleep. It was amazing. I had never felt so well rested! So refreshed! I love it. It, however, didn’t love me. The last night I used it, I put a plastic bag over my head and tried to tie it off. Thank God for Don. I tried to explain to him that I wasn’t trying to kill myself, I was just cold and inside the bag was “warm and happy”. His logic, which explained just because I wasn’t trying to kill myself didn’t mean I wouldn’t end up dead, was lost on me. Until the morning. I didn’t remember doing that. Nor did I remember what I’d eaten that was now crusty and caked on around my mouth. Or what I’d done with the car keys… (refrigerator). I knew it was the end.

I’ve tried a number of different medications to help me hit a 6 or 7 block of uninterrupted sleep but to no avail.

Currently, I’m not really taking anything for sleep, which is why the other night was so strange.

I’d been sitting at the computer until my chin hit my chest, for the third time. “I HAVE to go to sleep” is the last thought I remember having.

The next morning, I get back in my chair and see my wallet laid out and my credit card gone. Oh shit. I checked my bank balance, no evidence of any purchases. I checked my email, to make sure I didn’t have any confirmation of purchases I may have made. Nope, all clear. WTF then? Where was my card? Why was my wallet even out in the first place?

After a few hours, a purchase did appear on my bank statement. For $1. A dollar? What can you even buy for a dollar? Who? Wha? Wher??? I couldn’t even form a complete sentence or question.

I googled what little information there was and found a Facebook page, dedicated toward hating this company of “scammers”. How they “steal from people”, lawyers and police are getting involved… I noticed under each comment though, there was a simple “call 800-xxx-xxx. Cancel and ask for a refund”.

I sigh and prepare for a long, uncomfortable phone conversation.

“Hello. I’m calling because I ordered something from you, in my sleep. I need to cancel it.”

“What?” says the guy on the other end of the line.

“Sometimes I do stuff in my sleep and this was one of them. What did I even order?”

“Ma’am (big mistake) this is a credit score monitoring service. Have you received your credit score?”

“Why the hell do I want to monitor my credit?” I ask, because I’m sure he’ll know.

“Are you trying to buy a car or take out a loan?”

“No.”

“Well, are you moving?”

Oh shit.

“Yes, we are moving but I don’t need to monitor my credit score. They’ll check it and charge me for it anyway, so please cancel this.”

“Oh, you don’t want to cancel this. If you’re already a member with us, you won’t be charged again.”

“What? No. Please just cancel this.”

“You’re still on the free trial. You have this available to you until May 4th”

“The same free trial that cost me a dollar? Listen, I don’t want this. I certainly don’t want to be charged $29.99 for it… I’m already pissed off about the $1.00 I spent but that’s on me.”

“I understand. The cost can be a bit much. I’ll tell you what. You can have all of the same service, for just a fraction of the price. I’ll knock it down to just $12.99. How’s that sound?”

“Still like something I don’t want.”

“What about $9.99. There’s no obligation and you can cancel anytime.”

“Are you sure? Because I’m trying to cancel it now! I don’t want this, I wouldn’t want this, even if it was free. PLEASE, cancel my subscription.”

“Ok ma’am. There’s just one other thing… Identity theft is abundant nowadays. We can offer you protection from…”

“Listen man, if anyone steals my identity, the joke will be on them. They are welcome to it. Please, I’m asking nicely. Cancel my membership and stop trying to sell me stuff.”

“Ok, hold on a sec, I’m going to get you a confirmation number”

“What did I JUST SAY about trying to sell me shit? Oh, confirmation number? Ok, that’d be great.”

I kinda thought he hung up on me at this point. There had been so much background noise, I had to close my other ear just to be able to hear him. But, the call timer was still ticking.

A few minutes later he came back with the number.

“Make sure you don’t lose that number now, just in case you get charged for anything. Now you can prove you cancelled it on April 29th.”

Why the fuck would I get charged for anything else. I almost ask but deem it too risky. He may have a dozen solutions ie things he can sell me to help.

“Is there anything else I can assist you with today?”

Are you kidding me? I wonder.

“No, you’ve done enough” I said and hung up.

Now, I’m going to have to figure out how to hide my wallet and/or the computer from myself at night but still know where it is in the morning…

Can’t even imagine how much trouble I’d be in if I were still taking Ambien. Scary thought…

***Do you have any strange nighttime habits or extracurricular activities going on after lights out? Strange side effects of sleep medication? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!