So Angie Writes – Life's A Challenge, So Angie Writes!

So Angie Writes – Life's A Challenge, So Angie Writes!

Trauma Recovery – Shame Resilience – Self-Compassion – Coping With Chronic Pain


February 14, 2014 | 18 Comments

Who is there to meet me
Upon an open plain?
Or seek me on a mountain top?
Listen, I’ll explain-

What exists within me
Deep wound or great divide
That keeps my heart and head apart
While sadness rules inside?

Where can I find passion?
Tucked up in the trees?
That feeling of belonging
With one who truly sees?

When is the appointment
Of sensing that I’m known?
For surrounded by so many
I feel the most alone


I find that holidays drop melancholy on my doorstep. It has little to do with what exists around me, though the media plays a part. It mostly pertains to my personal walls and heart-shields.

I am standing my ground today, on Valentines Day, determined to express that it’s ok to not feel happy. Sadness and such are valid emotions. There are commercials with smiling folks who went to Jared and Olive Garden. There are oodles of pink and red fluffies in every store. There is a sense there is something really wrong with me for not feeling good today.

I’m allowing space for down feelings, and applying self-compassion liberally.  I’m aware of the disconnect within me, and the blockades keeping me just-this-side of love. I’m working on it, perpetually. And writing about it, honestly.

Write along with me!

Write along with me!

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18 people are talking about “Disconnect

  1. Hurrah for you, that you are truly writing and sharing from the depths of your gut. Holidays flaunt these expectations from every ad and store window, so that we usually find ourselves wanting. That isn’t fair. With my “old lady” knowledge, I think that real connection comes when you work together in the kitchen or laugh together at The Big Bang Theory or travel the trails, hand-in-hand, or when he brings home your favorite allergy-allowed treats after your fall down the stairs. The real connection is in the everyday.

    • Angie

      Your words are perfect.

      “The real connection is in the everyday.”

      YES! Thank you for this comment. I have a hard time determining if I’m upset because I genuinely feel sad, or if it’s due to the media and societal standards. Tricky stuff!

      • So glad. I felt like I was going on and on, but thought it was important to say. You and Steve have that special connection – every day!

        • Angie

          Steve brought home flowers and Cocomels, and our cards for each other both had otters on them. I found that after writing in my journal about my sadness, and writing here, and also texting with Steve through the day, that I was able to feel love and happiness after all. Holidays are just tricky for me. All of them!

  2. good for you. we don’t celebrate valentines, a day foisted upon us to buy chocolate and flowers and tacky red things? unnecessary. i tell my guy i love him every day, we’re connected and don’t need hallmark to tell us otherwise.

    • Angie

      Holidays are so tricky for me. If we don’t celebrate, I feel sad. If we do celebrate, I feel sad. Some underlying issues with vulnerability and sense of belonging are at root. Lots of communication is needed between Steve and I for every holiday, lest I end up sobbing and raging over trees, turkeys, hearts, and pumpkins.

    • Angie

      Thank you, thank you, Juliann! This post was mainly about just that. I feel sad. Holidays trigger sadness. And I can feel sad, and express it! Thank you for your validating comment!

  3. One thing I looked forward to, when leaving for a Muslim country, was not being inundated with holiday commercialism. It still exists here, but is much toned down.

    Constantly being told what you are supposed to feel and experience by a rapacious capitalist machine, an engine just as overwhelming, today, as religion was in previous centuries, and just as vile, is going to affect your balance. It’s going to try and push you over and run roughshod. You’re bound to end up disheveled.

    With tire marks all over, I wave at you in recognition.

    • Angie

      *waves* So many issues at hand here. For me, the commercialism may only play a small part, where childhood issues, and mental health do a lot more. Holidays are tricky, tricky. If we don’t celebrate, I feel sad. If we do celebrate I feel sad. I just feel sad, a lot! And it’s nice that others get that. Thank you.

  4. Shutting those expectations out is part of my work and progress, Angie. Do I want to do something, out of love? Then I will (and I did–a card snuck into my husband’s luggage while he was packing, with a note not to open until Friday). But I’ve let go of my expectations… the idea that anyone *ought* to do anything in a particular way. Motivations should come from within, not without.

    I really enjoy marking Valentine’s Day with my kids and have done so since my oldest was small (pre-Internet pressure). I like making an ordinary day in February a little special, because February is typically a long, snowy, difficult month to get through. Cheerful red hearts and a small gift at the breakfast table along with handmade Valentines…it’s sweet, but I don’t do it out of any Pinterest pressure.

    But on the other hand, there’s a lot of sentiment out there to ignore Valentine’s Day, that it’s commercial, the pride in not needing a day set aside for love, and I find I have to shut *that* out, that the result of all that cynicism, if I let it in, is to tarnish the small, welcome, anticipated rituals my children and I have for this holiday, that if I pay attention to these views, I may start to feel like we are somehow wrong for making a bit of a fuss on February 14, that if we “did things right,” we’d be celebrating our love every day and wouldn’t “need” a day set aside to do so. It makes me want to protest: Of COURSE we love each other every day. Of COURSE we don’t only celebrate our love on this one day. But what is the harm in showing our love with handmade Valentines and making cupcakes, too?

    So I think it comes down to deciding what feels right individually and going with that, and shutting out the rest. xoxo

    • Angie

      “I like making an ordinary day in February a little special, because February is typically a long, snowy, difficult month to get through. Cheerful red hearts and a small gift at the breakfast table along with handmade Valentines…”

      I think this is beautiful and thoughtful, and yes, these bright pops of red often enliven a stark Winter landscape. I am so glad you find happiness in these rituals. I, too, hope to find some peace with holidays. They seem to all give me fits. It is less about external forces for me, I think? And more about what lies (LIES!!!) within me- wounds, scars, trauma, and sadness.

  5. Holidays can really open wounds for people Angie. I don’t think it is so much the actual holiday it’s just the strength of the expectation to be happy, when perhaps you really aren’t.

    My husband and I have always done a little something for Valentine’s Day and I am glad we do because it could just be a little bit of sweetness in what may have been a pretty shitty week. I tell my family I love them every day too but I don’t see anything wrong with giving a card or some chocolates, clinking glasses together and saying we are still here, loving, living and making time for each other.

    I am so glad you were able to feel happiness and love after all xxxx

    • Angie

      Holidays are quite hard, and so is the cultural bias against pain, pessimism, sadness, and expression of such! Welp!

      Steve brought home flowers, and we exchanged cards. Both our cards had otters on them!

      Writing about my sadness and tricky emotions certainly was the key to getting through yesterday without a big messy tearful rage breakdown. Success! <3

      Thank you. I loved your words. XO

  6. You and Steve sound very connected Angie and this is beautiful xx

    Unfortunately, many people are still very uncomfortable dealing with ‘negative’ emotions but I refuse to believe that these same people have never experienced sadness or pain. If they haven’t then they are very lucky. I feel that the trick is to try not to let any one kind of emotion define you. We are our experiences, our emotions so to suppress this is to suppress our very being. Keep expressing everything you are Angie because it is wonderful x

    • Angie

      Jane, I love what you have to say about suppressing emotions, and thereby suppressing ourselves. I learned in Daring Greatly that we can’t selectively numb emotions. The pain is part of the game, and is a reminder that we are fully human! I literally only learned that over the past Summer! Up until then I’d been trying to cut the negative from myself. Now I’m working hard to embrace, and express, it all. Thank you for your words. XOXO

  7. Hi Angie,

    I just wanted to say how much I appreciated your poem. It has a lovely rhythm to it, and feels rather like a ballad to me. I’m really enjoying your writing so much – as well as seeing your progress.

    I’m sorry to hear about your hand, but if there can be a positive to this, it could be that it allows you some reading time? I’ve found that reading about poetry – and of course other people’s poetry – and the analysis of it very useful in growing my own poetry.

    Best wishes and hugs to you X

    • Angie

      Thank you, Marija! I am so glad you like this poem. <3

      Yes! More reading time! I'm smack in the middle of my first feedback experience- a gentle feedback e-course. So lots of reading there, and making notes, and learning SO MUCH by this process! So yes, more time for reading definitely bolsters my habit too! Thanks for pointing that out! XO

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