The thread that pulls me through.

What does strength look like? How does one fight? In the midst of this struggle I feel weak and lost, not strong and determined.

You asked about the wobble and I’m so glad you did. I’ve told countless doctors, specialists and friends and they all cling to the pain, offering remedies to kill it. But the physical pain, as horrible as it was, left months ago. Its departure seems to have left empty caverns in my brain that fill to bursting with fluid that sloshes around when I move. The electrical current in there sends sparks all over my head which fizz when I touch my face and hair. Thinking makes my eyes move unnaturally at times which makes my stomach drop and my nerves jitter.  

There’s a channel that runs from my right shoulder, up through my neck to a spot inside my right hemisphere – this is the point where the ‘feeling’ began. It was like a tiny bug was burrowing in there for about a week before the crushing headaches began. This sent me to bed for weeks with near daily trips to the hospital or clinic where doctors would stare blankly at me and say ‘migraine’. One doctor connected me to monitors and injected me with propofol to ‘put me out’  for an hour to ‘reset my brain’, another ordered twice daily injections of torridol and gravol which zombified me terribly. Tests of all varieties,  including CT scan, MRI and blood work,  all came back clear which ultimately led the doctors to prescribe “therapy” and ask about my mental state. One Dr told me to ‘enjoy it’  which was the end of the medical road for me. 

I came to my parents house with the boys for a week after seeing a neurologist who took 20 minutes to diagnose ‘migraine’ and tell me to quintuple the amytriptaline I was already taking. It was only meant to be a week, just a little time to give Adam a much needed break from the pressure and stress of being a single parent and caretaker to me. As a last ditch effort to save my brain my mom took me to see her chiropractor. I was so ‘gone’ by that point that I felt invisible and floaty. I couldn’t talk to people and walked as if pushing through lava. When they gave me an intake form I wanted to just write ‘help me’ but instead dutifully circled my whole head as the ‘problem area’ and checked the little boxes like it was yet another fruitless request for understanding and support.  

With NUCCA treatment for ‘axis sublaxation’ over 6 weeks I’ve had a total of 6 days where I bordered on feeling well. The clarity is like seeing again after being blind. In those moments I begin to think of the future and let gratitude for the miracle wash over me. When the wobbly brain comes back it’s like being in the dark again. So scary and hopeless. I scratch around for clues to what I did wrong to break the spell, wondering when I’ll see again.

So I ask what strength looks like? People keep saying I’m strong but inside it feels like deep crumbling, loss and failure. It feels like powerlessness and rage, resignation and depression. I know of that thread you spoke of, I feel it whispering to me that this death will at last be followed by rebirth. It is the only internal comfort I have. It saves me from the self hatred that threatens to blame me for this whole fucking mess.  It’s the living through the transition that is so unbearable and chaotic. 

I keep thinking of butterflies. Does the caterpillar cry when it disintegrates into cellular mush? Does it hurt? Does it lament the loss of its hordes of tiny legs? Does it struggle against the transition or release itself with some inate faith that soon it will fly? 

This is happening. It is real and it is now and I am alone inside trying to survive with as much grace as possible. 

Thank you for letting me in and offering me a safe place to land in all my fractured vulnerability. Please know that the tiny thread is strong. It will pull me through. 

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I feel like Sally Field

It was 1984.  Madonna was like a Virgin, the Ghostbusters were getting slimed, all the girls just wanted to have fun and Bacon was Footloose in his faded Levi’s jeans. This was the year a bubbly young Sally Field clutched a fresh Oscar and beamed, “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

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Fast forward to 2015. A hopeful writer pecks out her broken thoughts on a small screen and taps publish with a mix of nerves and embarrassment.

Slowly, unknown readers begin to leave kind and inspired comments of encouragement and understanding. One by one the group of followers grows and the likes are tabulated. The writer is humbled and grateful. Having found a little place for her words to live and be shared.

One way or another we are all seeking connection and recognition for our musings.  We foster the thoughts, chew on ideas, lay out a blueprint and then craft each post with the hope that the words will find another head to live in and a connection to make.

This isn’t an Oscar, I know, but it may as well be. It is proof to me that my words have landed. This is my little piece of recognition and I’m taking it to the bank. I’m reveling in this little moment and taking this time to thank you. Knowing that “you like me” is wonderful. I like you too!

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Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

Creating desire

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Stuck in limbo suffering from post concussion syndrome I feel trapped by the limits of my own miss functioning brain. During this time it’s hard to avoid walking the path of fear which inevitably leads to doubt. My feet are too inclined to march downhill. As much as I want to take the road less travelled I’m tired and worn down by pain and despair.

What I have left is my imagination. I can push forward far enough into the future that I can see myself as well again. When I close my eyes to what is I can open my heart to what will be. This is my salvation but it is also my choice. I paint the future with my mind. The colours and brushes I choose define the path I will walk.

I paint joy, abundance and freedom. I paint laughter, travel and acceptance. In my imagination I am. All that I want to be.

100 reasons to write

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Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no idea dump, no stories central, no island of the buried bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the Sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.

– Stephen King

All my life I have written. I received a journal when I was in fourth grade and immediately started writing about how much I hated my brothers. In time the writing morphed into doodles and hearts and words lamenting after boys in high school. It then became the conversation I had with myself about life and yearning for things not yet come to pass. As I traveled around the world it became a record of thoughts that I was lucky enough to think upon inspired from other people and their cultures. As a mother my journals became very sparsely written due to sheer exhaustion and a new focus on that which was not myself.

As my boys grow up and I’m faced with a little more time my writing is becoming more urgent. I realize that when putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard I am doing what I was meant to do in this world. In writing this blog I have found an audience, and am finally able to share thoughts that have always been private. It is frightening and also liberating.

Last night my cousin told me that she thought I was courageous for launching my words out into space and sharing them with the world. This made me contemplate the word courage which stems from the word coeur. As so many of us know,  coeur is French for heart. I’m struck by the fact that it takes heart to expose ourselves to the world. Perhaps that’s why things written from the heart are received most voraciously by the audience. In baring

our soul we connect with the reader and that makes it all worthwhile.

As I reach the milestone of 100 followers I am struck by a vision of 100 people in a room holding a book that I wrote. This image gives me chills and propels me forward into more writing and more sharing and more courage. I sincerely thank you all for being part of this journey and for helping me do what I’ve always wanted to do. I am a writer.

Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

Hard time

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I’m always giving myself a hard time.

Have you ever heard someone say that?Have you ever felt deep inside that you are giving yourself a hard time?
Do you criticize and critique your every thought, every move, every action… thinking that somehow it will propel you to be better.
Do you think that doing this protects you in some way? Think it will make you smarten up or behave or do the right thing or be the right person?

The truth is it will do nothing but cut you down and make you feel awful. Harsh words reduce and diminish they don’t inspire and ignite. Whether said to yourself or someone else criticism is not what makes us grow. It is love and compassion that makes us better.

If we get what we give in the world and we spend so much time giving ourselves a hard time it makes sense to think that what we would receive in return is a life that feels hard,  feels difficult, like it’s beating us up.

Whether we like it or not we are part of this cycle of giving and receiving and if we continue giving ourselves a hard time that’s what we will get. Give yourself a break.. give yourself love and compassion and you will receive that in return. Look for examples of how you are in the cycle of giving and receiving in your life and you will see very quickly that it is true. Look for beauty and it will find you. Give into the temptation to find what feels good and your life will be full of things that feel good.

Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

Coming up from within.

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I am in awe
Blown away
Can’t ever unsee
What I saw tonight
Thankful for the awakening

I am abundant
Connected and pure
Can’t ever change what is
Only how I see
And my eyes are open

I am love
Can love myself
Without guilt or self hatred
And still be ok 

Coming up from within
Can’t stop me now
Bursting with life
With a smile on my face

The journey goes on
Never starting or stopping
Just going forever
As love does in me

Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

Go giving…

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It seems the people I admire the most are those who give. They give their advice, they give their love, they give their time.  They give freely without expectation.  They give with integrity and honesty.  Imagine a mother or father’s love for their child. It is endless, it is selfless, and it is the fuel that drives life. 

Through many channels I have learned about the cycle of giving and receiving. In order to enter into this cycle you must either give or receive, but you cannot horde. You cannot hold on to things and imagine that there will be shifts in your life and movement
in your heart. You must give in order to enter the flow. 

Interestingly enough,  the work affluent means to be in the flow or to flow to

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I’ve also heard it said that you must give that which you wish to receive. If you want love – give love. If you want respect – be respectful. If you want recognition – recognize the value in others. It’s such a simple notion but all too often we do the opposite. If you ask yourself how you really feel when someone else gets what you may may quietly realize that subconsciously you are blocking the flow.

Bob Burg wrote an incredible book called The Go Giver which cleverly tells a story that sounds so much like so many.

The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be…

What do you really want in life and how are you giving it? I want followers, readers, comments and a connection to the world. I will reblog anyone who reblogs me.  I will follow anyone who follows me, and I’m forever reading and commenting on the incredible work out there. What an incredible community to be part of. 

If you want me to reblog you, please send me the link to your favourite post… the one you’re most proud of. I’d love to read it.  I know this will expose us both to new blogs to read, new conversations and new opportunities.

Sincerely,
Jo Traveller.

PS the following bloggers are kicking ass at giving… And I’m humbled.

yesterday after
amommasview
Erika kind
wandering violet

Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

Digging deep…

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In sharing my struggles with post concussion syndrome with my friends family and readers on my blog, I have opened a door to compassion and love and sharing. I think on some level I felt as though sharing my pain with the world was a sign of weakness and I was very hesitant to do so. As I pursue positivity and strength and wellness in this world it is what I wish to project, but I am also human and vulnerable and in this moment going through something very difficult and painful.

A friend of mine shared the photo above with me on Facebook and it shook something deep inside me. What a beautiful sentiment to imagine that the darkness is where you plan to yourself and from this place you grow stronger and into the Sun.

I would really like to open a conversation about how the darkness can become a place from which you grow. Does anyone have an experience they would like to share?