OCTOBER 11, 2021: “Let ‘Em Go” …

Fade it out into the light. All these years we never get it right. I need to let it go. I need to let it go. I NEED TO LET IT GO!

‘Cause, sometimes it’s just like that, and guess what? IT’S OKAY! Indeed it is true … “Your life is YOUR life”. You only get one spin around this globe each day my friends, and truth be told, none of us knows when our last spin around is coming. My point being: Life’s too short and precious to let anything or anyone club you down to the ground and steal your fucking light. Just, say, NO! Oh, and one more thing …

NEVER feel bad for “not feeling bad” when the people, places, and sometimes even memories don’t make the final cut. You are allowed to be happy, at peace, and free from the deadweight of all those toxic fronds. Besides, you can’t grow any new leaves without losing the dead ones first. Meanwhile, the garden of your life is patiently waiting for you, and has been all the while, so I say GET TO PRUNING! While you’re busy trimming things down, here’s another one of those songs you can sing to yourself as you’re practicing self love and care and letting some fallen leaves go …

LET IT GO

Wait it out ’til the light. Take a breathe, say good night, but don’t ever go away. Wait around to find the time. Only you can take what’s mine, but don’t ever go away. I’ll be waiting’. I need to let it go. Fade it out into the light. All these years we never get it right. I need to let it go. No more reasons to deny that I believed that you were mine. I need to let it go. I need to let it go. I NEED TO LET IT GO! A chance to change or stay the same. One night with out the blame that’ll never go away. Only you can make it right – to walk away and have no fight – but don’t ever go away. I’ll be waiting. I need to let it go. Fade it out into the light. All these years we never get it right. I need to let it go. I need to let it go. I NEED TO LET IT GO! No more reasons to deny that I believed that you were mine. I NEED TO LET IT GO … {Cavo}

JULY 31, 2021: “Padded Rooms” …

Indeed it’s true – I really DID survive my own insanity, and one of THE most stigmatic, complicated, and difficult to treat mental illnesses in the book. (Yes, there is an actual book.) Other than my faith, my children, and knowing FULLY what my purpose in this life is, my “insanity survival” is one of my most treasured badges of honor!

Hi everyone! It’s me, Cat! Once upon a time, I lost my own damn mind – LITERALLY – not figuratively – and here I am to effing brag about it! How do ya like me now?

If you are struggling with “insanity” right now, please let me assure you:

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Take a look around. Look left. Look right. Chances are that one of those “normal” people standing right beside you may be struggling with some insanity of their own. Mental illness doesn’t always LOOK like insanity. So often, it just hides behind a “Look how normal I am everyone!” smile. Don’t be ashamed – GET HELP! There is a Light at the end of your Darkness.

Much love to you all …

“Crazy Cat”

MAY 24, 2020: “Reopening A Gift” …

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THE GIFT

Hold me now I need to feel relief. Like I never wanted anything. I suppose I’ll let this go and find a reason I’ll hold on to. I’m so ashamed of defeat. And I’m out of reason to believe in me. I’m out of trying to get by.  I’m so afraid of The Gift You give me. I don’t belong here and I’m not well. I’m so ashamed of the lie I’m living right on the wrong side of it all.  I can’t face myself when I wake up and look inside a mirror. I’m so ashamed of that thing. I suppose I’ll let it go ’til I have something more to say for me. I’m so afraid of defeat. And I’m out of reason to believe in me. I’m out of trying to defy.  I’m so afraid of The Gift You give me. I don’t belong here and I’m not well. I’m so ashamed of the lie I’m living right on the wrong side of it all. Hold me now I need to feel complete. Like I matter to The One I need. I’m so afraid of The Gift You give me. I don’t belong here and I’m not well. I’m so ashamed of the lie I’m living right on the wrong side of it all. Now I’m ashamed of this …” {Seether}

Today is the fifteen year anniversary of the release of one of the most impactful songs of my life, Seether’s “The Gift”. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I actually heard it for the first time though, Monday, April 21, 2008, just a year ahead of the nervous breakdown I’d been trying SO hard to avoid when the Circadian that had been my life finally crashed into the wall.

I remember it vividly! I’d been out running errands and was approaching the house in which I dwelled that was certainly not a home when it availed itself on my cue. From that first solemn chord, the forlorn guitar began cutting me like a knife as I pulled into the garage. I couldn’t shut my car off and was compelled to sit and listen as the words began to play. Then, out of nowhere, a barrage of tears washed over me, literally and metaphorically. I was so numb and paralyzed in the moment that I couldn’t even lift my arms to wipe my eyes. I could neither breathe nor feel my fingertips as the music began manifesting a truly physical aching inside my heart.

When it was over, I just sat there trying to gather myself before having to walk back inside the lie that had become my life. Before I knew it, my son and daughter appeared in the doorway. He was holding her in his arms as they both smiled and waved to greet me, completely oblivious to the sobering reality that I was secretly dying.

That night, after everyone was asleep, I sat down at my computer to write a letter to God in this “Diary Of My Perfection”, which was then merely an outlet for my very private hell. The words to the song said everything that needed to be said at that moment, and thus my entry, “APRIL 21, 2008: I’m A Gift. I’m A curse.

Here I am, fifteen years to the day that one of the most beautiful “gifts” I never knew I needed became a part of the tapestry of my beautifully woven life. It took a lot of truly blind faith, time, accountability, honesty, self-discovery, and patience, forgiveness and grace for and with myself to be sitting in this chair writing this, and not a second goes by that I don’t remember how damn lucky I am to simply be alive.

When I listen to this song now, my emotions are a paradox, as on one hand I can smile as I look back and realize how far I’ve come, but on the other, I am sadly reminded of a night just weeks before he left that my beautiful husband also listened to this song while we were driving home from “somewhere” and silent tears began falling from his eyes. It rips my fucking heart out when I think of how helpless and hopeless it felt to watch him dying right in front of me and even more so that he was never able to see what a gift to this world he truly was.

If I had one wish for anyone reading this and struggling to find “The Gift”, it’s that that they listen to this song in a very quiet place and really sit with all the chords and words as you let them break you down. The answer is inside you, I promise that it is, so challenge yourself to find it. Your weakness is your strength. Being broken makes you whole. THE PAIN THAT YOU FEEL IS THE GIFT! Do the work, take your time, CRY OUT TO JESUS, and find your way back “home“.

And by the way, it’s okay to feel sadness and grief for the things that have died inside of you, and it’s certainly okay to cry. Now that I think of it? It’s such a blessing that one of my favorite verses in the Bible also happens to be the shortest: JOHN 11:35: Jesus wept. So, with that, yes … GO AHEAD AND CRY AS OFTEN AS YOU NEED TO! Get mad! Scream loud! Do what you must to let yourself feel everything that’s hurt you so can finally let it go! Then, someday when it’s time for you to sit back and marvel at what you’ve survived, listen to this song again. Maybe, like me, you’ll find that ONLY these words remain …

“… now I feel relief … I’ll hold on … I do belong here and I’m well … I’m living right …  I can face myself when I wake up and look inside a mirror … I let it go … I have something more to say for me …I believe in me … I defy … now I feel complete … like I matter to The One I need … now I’m THIS … I’M THE GIFT!” 

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APRIL 1, 2009: “He Remembers – EVERYTHING” …

~ The Phoenix Collaborative ~

… that moment your son sends you a bittersweet cryptic text message at 3 o’clock in the morning, and although you’re glad that he’s finally telling you how he really feels about all the ways you’ve let him down … it’s a Five Finger DEATH PUNCH straight to your heart. What he doesn’t know is that my heart is breaking even more than his, because I have to live with the sobering, tragic truth that I’m the one who’s broken his.

Dear God:

Please. Help me. Help me help them. Please. Help me find a way to unbreak my own heart, so that I can stop breaking theirs. They … will remember … EVERYTHING.

REMEMBER EVERYTHING

Dear mother, I love you. I’m sorry I wasn’t good enough. Dear Father, forgive me, ’cause in your eyes, I just never added up. In my heart I know I failed you, but you left me here alone. If I could hold back the rain, would you numb the pain? ‘Cause I remember everything. If I could help you forget, would you take my regrets? ‘Cause I remember everything. Dear brother, just don’t hate me for never standing by you, or being by your side. Dear sister, please don’t blame me. I only did what I thought was truly right. It’s a long and lonely road when you know you walk alone. If I could hold back the rain, would you numb the pain? ‘Cause I remember everything. If I could help you forget, would you take my regrets? ‘Cause I remember everything. I feel like running away. I’m still so far from home. You say I’ll never change but what the fuck do you know? I’ll burn it all to the ground before I let you run. Please forgive me. I can’t forgive you now … It all went by so fast. I still can’t change the past. I always will remember – everything. If we could start again, would that change the end? We remember – everything. {Five Finger Death Punch}