This little light of mine, doesn't shine, please let it shine!

“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”  ~Chinese Proverb~

 

I remember a time when my little light sure did shine. But now I think it is hiding under a bushel. The years have taken their toll, and I am wondering how to get that shine back into my light. Many might think this a defeatist attitude but if you think about it, it really is not. It is going to show me how to get back on track, and learn how to heal, to learn how to put that shine back into my light. I am bound and determined to learn how to put that shine back into my light. I remember when I was a young lady and I had the world at my feet, I was adventurous and thought there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. I told myself I was going to travel and see all the many wonderful sights this life had to offer. I was going to make my own path and have some type of impact and help change the world, or at least make my imprints. And now I sit here and wonder what happened, how did that change?

 

Let’s go back in history for a moment. My history when my light did indeed shine. I was carefree, wild as a gypsy, I loved to laugh and dance and live all life had to offer. I never truly felt the burdens of life, well not in the way I do now. Was my life perfect, far from it, but it was mine. I started to feel periods of emotional stress here and there, always being somewhat of a high-strung person.  It seemed easy enough to overcome. I suffered bouts of anorexia, not for the normal reasons though, but for phobias. I hated food, and hated the thought of what it would do to me. Not meaning gaining weight, but that it might upset my digestion system. I had ulcers on and off since the 3rd grade. I have bouts of not wanting to leave the house for fear, and truly unsure where those fears stemmed from. Then one day it turned into something else. One day my life changed so dramatic that it has never been the same since.

 

This is a self-discovery while trying to figure it all out, trying to figure out if hormones have a play in this, or environmental, hereditary, or whatever it may be, perhaps a combination of all. It started to change after I had a partial hysterectomy, and was recovering from the surgery. The Doctors told me that things would not return to normal for quite some time, but that seemed to be alright. It was only removal of a uterus after all; nothing major, and the pain had seemed to stop. I was also living with an abusive husband, and he was not very supportive. Okay, he wasn’t supportive at all. But with children to take care of and being far away from my family at the time, I knew that I had to take charge and hurry with my recovery.

Then my life changed, drastically. It seemed like it changed in one blinking of my light being blown out. Or perhaps someone poured water over it, I do not know what happened, all I do know is it changed. I was standing in line at a grocery store in New Mexico with a friend and my three-year-old son and he told her he had to go potty. I was having a hard time with walking about so soon after surgery, and she told me to stand in line with the cart and she would hurry, and be right back. All of a sudden this hot flash came over me, and I started to feel as if the place was spinning. This overwhelming panic swelled up inside me like I had to escape the store! My heartbeat was raging and at the same time I felt as if I could not catch my breath. I felt as if I was going crazy, and all I wanted to do was get out of there as fast as I could. I leaned against the counter and the clerk asked me if I was feeling all right. I couldn’t speak.

My friend came back and I was slumped over the counter, and she quickly saw the pallor of my skin and hurried and paid for the groceries and whisked my son and I to the car. She asked if I needed to go to the emergency room and I pleaded with her, NO! I was not going back to that place again, I felt that it was just a delayed reaction to my surgery and perhaps I did not have enough time to heal. After arriving home, I found a cool wet washcloth and put it over my forehead, and that stopped some of the hot flash, but the panic refused to leave. I lay there on the couch for what seemed like hours, trembling and shaking, praying that whatever it was would just go away. That was in 1996. And since then I have been diagnosed with panic disorder, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), Cued Panic Attacks, Situational Predisposed Panic Attacks, Spontaneous Panic Attacks, generalized panic disorder, Agoraphobia, OCD (Obsessive–compulsive disorder) and other mental health disorders relating to panic and PTSD.

 

I have been to therapy, counseling, groups, doctors, and have been put through paces, tests, trials and tribulations. I have tried self-help, group-help and just about every possible kind of therapy there is. I have been hospitalized for this illness, I have been put on just about every type of anti-anxiety medicines that exist. And nothing. There have been periods of my life that have been better, and there have been parts of my life that have not. I live in a darkness at times with only a flickering light that barely shines from time to time. I live on quotes that seem to be uplifting and I live on quotes that speak reality.

“We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light.”  ~Earl Nightingale~

 

And try to find meaning in each one of them, just as life, learning from the experiences, learning from the mistakes, learning from the joys. But now I must learn to live in the light, or should I say, get back in that light. Just as that ditty from my childhood states, this little light of mine, I’m gonna make it shine, make it shine, make it shine.” I believe it is a journey of self-discovery, lighting our lights to get us to that place we need to be. Lighting our path to show us the way. Charting our course to get us out of that darkness and back into the light.

 

It sounds simple, even though at times it is not; it is as complex as can be. It is now 2010, and I still suffer in the battle. But I can’t give up I have to shine again. I am not looking for a cure; I am looking to have a shining light again. I have to have that hope that only the light can bring. Darkness of mental illness is a frightening experience, you feel all alone, and void at times, a void so immense that it is engulfing and discouraging. You feel as if your light shall never come back, that you are crashing against the brutal shoreline of life, bruised, battered and broken. You feel as if ice-cold water has been splashed over your light, and nothing shall ever dry it out. I speak in metaphors yes, but I also live in this planet called reality. I will never stop looking for those matches that shall strike my light back on.

 

It is all about a positive approach, and so much more. It is about learning to re-light and find those answers that are elusive and escape sometimes right out of grasp. And some days there is none there is only negativity, and wondering when shall it ever end. The pain, the darkness, the debilitating realities that this is all there is. But I know better, there has to be something out there that will change and make those imprints in my own life. That will shine, that will beam bright and end this darkness.

 

This little light of mine, I’m gonna make it shine, make it shine, make it shine.

 

 

“Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light.”  ~Jean Giraudoux~

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Comments 20 comments

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

Laurie babe, did I tell you about the year I spent in bed? No, well I will - not just yet though. My current meds, Cymbalta and generic Xanax are not keeping me symptom free or actually functioning but I am staying out of bed most days and since I found HubPages and all of you wonderful folks, I feel some what connected again. It's only been about three weeks now or maybe four but I am beginning to look forward to waking up and checking my email first thing to see who has written or maybe, if I'm lucky someone has read something of mine and made a comment. That said, if one of you lovely people told me you were going to be in my neck of the woods and would love to meet for coffee or stop by OH MY LORD - just typing that gave me a small panic attack. I can't take full scale reality just yet and make it out of the house about once a month or maybe every six weeks or so to get groceries and run errands. I am exhausted and overwhelmed most of the time. I carve out time for my granddaughter and sometimes barely make it through that slice of Heaven but I WILL not give that up. I guess what I'm trying to say is - small steps. You don't have to make a huge impact on the world. Go stick your booted foot in the snow and look up at God and say, "There! I did it and I thank You for the strength it took." I will tell you it was absolutely my faith that finally pulled my head almost above water - now I'm treading and you can too - come on with me, sweet lady. We'll dog paddle through this. You do have the Life preservers, RIGHT?


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

I wish for you a brighter light this coming year, your sadness drops tears on the page in front of me as I read. You have been tested with loss and burdens that many of us have to cope and do our best to stay alive every day.

My advice to you is find comfort in sharing with others as you do here, volunteer, get out and meet people, darkness will be lifted and your little light will shine.

The greatest feeling comes over our souls when we give of ourselves unconditionally. Just get out there and keep giving. This is a medicine for our souls and heals our aching hearts. Your Angel will stand beside you and guide your heart.


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago Author

Awww my Dear Lady Pooh! I have the life preservers! And thank you for sharing part of your story with me. I hope this did not come off as negative, it was meant as lifting me up and telling myself that I could do this, no matter what. That I was going to beat this somehow, someway, instead of just existing like I have been doing this past few months, instead of just going through the emotions and to feel again. And people like you give me hope, that there are times when we have to just embrace life as it comes!

Blessings and hugs,

Laurie


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago Author

Thank you Saddlerider for your encouraging words. It helps to spill my words on the pages at times, and if it can help one person out there to feel something of comfort, that knowledge makes me smile and warms my heart. That is why I often write of the negative aspects of my life, and try to put my words into poetry.

To help others, and to put myself out there, knowing there are others out there in the darkness that share their pain. And if we all have at least a little ray of light, we can light up many souls.

Thank you so much and may your light continue to shine too !

Blessings and hugs,

Laurie


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

There was a point in your piece above where you stated, "My history when my light did indeed shine. I was carefree, wild as a gypsy, I loved to laugh and dance and live all life had to offer. I never truly felt the burdens of life, well not in the way I do now. Was my life perfect, far from it, but it was mine." That describes the perspective which you must reclaim. As long as you can describe it, you know what it is and that is a great part of the battle. My mother taught me not to worry or try to control all things in life. Not that she had mastered it, quite the contrary...she worried about everything and everybody. She worried about the people who worried too much. In her I saw that life is not about being totally in control. You steer the parts you can and you let some of it take care of itself as it generally does. Most situations have a way of working themselves out and ususally not in as dark a manner as one might imagine. Our light shines brightest when we are living life fully. In those times, we really do not notice others that much because we are caught up so much in living ourselves. This is when we are the most interesting, the most intriguing to others because we are so captivated ourselves with life...in turn they are drawn to us trying to capture some of that for themselves, trying to get into our light. That is where you will find your center and that is where the candle burns ever still just for you...there is still time, go get it! WB


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Oh my dear LauraDawn, I just wrote about the same thing, this is so strange, my hub was about aging, however I also have PDSD and it is hell...many people have this, however once your life is altered in a large way, you can't find that path back and to be honest with you, you don't want to find that path back. You need a NEW path, you need to heal, all that happened to you I have experienced...I too lived in New Mexico during some of my hard times. The Native Americans and I came together and I discovered the sweat lodge and the native ways. So, my mind keeps wanted to go back to those times when I was young and free, we do not get a second chance, now we must change our life that we live in now. Write me if you ever need to talk, I am here and just keep writing and letting it all out, that is what has healed me along with my hubpages friends that gives so much love and support. We are all here. Love & peace darski


FrankiesGirl6Yr profile image

FrankiesGirl6Yr 5 years ago from South Carolina

I to suffer from mental disorders borderline personality, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and hypersommnia . I to have survived an abusive relationship, one that almost ended my life (2005). To cope with the issues in my head and a reality, that only seemed to bring bad news and pain, I self medicated. First through pain medication, which led to hard street drugs? Once I decided to deal and end my drug use, every plaguing disorder I had rioted at full speed. For about a year I slept 20 hours a day in order to avoid, well everything.

What helped me; I don’t know if you have only been on anxiety medication, but a combination of an antidepressant that includes a benzo (Such as Effexor) as well as a separate dose of a benzo medication, didn’t cure me, but made a great improvement. With this I was able to progress. I know someone mentioned volunteering, this has truly provided improvement within myself. It especially helps if you can volunteer in area that you have overcome. For example; I volunteer at a Domestic Shelter regularly.

You are looking for a way out, some light at the end of the tunnel...and since you are looking you will find a way out, much sooner than you would if you were sit hopless and do nothing.


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago Author

Thank you Wayne for your encouraging words. How true is that, if we are our living life we do not have time to think about it much do we. And that is what I used to do, and I need to learn to get up and do that exact thing again! I know that the Holidays this year have brought me to a level of despair due to many things, but I should remember to be thankful for those that I do have in my life, wonderful people, and truly, truly be thankful.

May you and yours have a most happy holiday.

Blessings,

Laurie


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago Author

Lovely Darski! You always shine your light around on these hubpages and how refreshing that is! To see your words upon these pages, always full of light and love! I am so honored to have "met" you, and to have you part of this great big family. It has helped me here, to know that people care, and are bright in their words of life.

I hope you have the most blessed Holiday Season and Merry Christmas Lovely One!

Love, hugs and blessings!

Laurie


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago Author

Greetings FrankiesGirl,

I am sorry to hear that you suffer those horrid disorders also. No one should have to go through the pains of what they bring. I think I have been on every type of anti-anxiety meds, along with anti-depression, and just about every other anti medicine. I take Valium when the attacks get really bad and that is all that seems to work, along with coping techniques that I have learned over the years.

I am always trying to figure out a way out of this darkness, so I guess that is part of the fight.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comforting words.

May you and yours have a Merry Christmas.

Blessings,

Laurie


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...well you certainly have brought a light into my life my friend - and I know by your writing that you have a beautiful soul and a tender spirit - so always look after yourself as Number #1 but also remember it's a tough life without the nurturing and respect from people around you - and you shall always receive much respect and admiration from me for being a survivor and a - winner too! Stay well and keep thinking good thoughts! And thanks for supporting me too!


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago Author

Thank you Dear Epi. You know you find a place in life that makes you smile, and makes you laugh, and makes you shed tears, and you meet some incredible people. And then you know that there is life still beating inside of you, when you can feel emotions. Thank you for being my friend and for your wonderful heart-felt words. They sing from my heart.

And I love reading your poetry, reading your penned words upon this screen. I can always find the beauty in them.

Blessings and hugs,

Laurie


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago

Laurie , Although you have had a terrible time of things , there is a light there , I have seen it in your beautiful heart felt comments , and your hubs shine a light too. I myself have had a past of anxiety problems . I have to tell myself in each day [I try to remember to } That I don't have to feel this way . Our time here on earth is so short. I was always envious of others and thier "Light", We don't 'Know' each other here on hub pages at least as in real life , but we do all share something because of our writing. If I were there near you I would give you a big "light" hug! I hope for peace and serenity for you . Can you feel it?.....


Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 5 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

Thank you for sharing your "journey of discovery."


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago Author

Greetings Ed,

Thank you for your kind compliments and anxiety is horrid, but you are right, you just have to get up and try to get up and do it everyday. And I can feel it! Even in this vast world of virtual, I can feel the hug and the well wishes. And through our writings I can feel the gentle words of yours.

Blessings and hugs,

Laurie


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago Author

Thank you Silver Poet for your kind words. It is a pleasure to have you here, and to "meet" you.

Blessings,

Laurie


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

You cannot imagine some of the parallels of what you describe with some of my own afflictions.

Take heart. You can and will shine inside again and that will provide what you have been missing. It's not "out there somewhere".

As your quote from Earl Nightingale says - we each turn on our own light. That's because it is within us. Nothing on the outside, no darkness "out there" can dim it once we realize where it is and always was.


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago Author

Oooo Nellieanna, I couldn't have said it better myself! Your words are so encourgaing as I have been trying to learn how to get past the darkness and back into the light. It has been an uphill battle, but I believe that one cannot give up, one must continue to climb and then perhaps one day soar!

Blessings and hugs to you Dear Lady!

Laurie


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

You will shimmer and soar. Hugs.


sarmack profile image

sarmack 4 years ago from Washington

Very sweet video! This hub was written quite awhile ago. It is my Hope that you are Walking in the Light, now. There is a Prayer called the Mourner's Kaddish. Reciting that prayer brings Peace and Hope. We grieve over many things. You suffered a great loss to your life with the partial hysterectomy. Perhaps, your Soul was grieving the loss of children yet unborn... God's Blessings.

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