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I NO LONGER FEAR MYSELF (poem)

fearself

there was a time when I was younger

i would look into the mirror trying

to remember, forgetting myself

night day dizzily masquerading

within around me until I crept

deep inside hiding swiftly

worried and fretful about

my own thoughts acknowledging

my differences fearing neglect

but worst that outcast loss–

splitting myself I trudged

ungracefully, smiling always smiling

inwardly imploding this nebulous

dark star retreating

not willing to face myself

undesiring of feeling

numbly shrouded in black

no one comes in and nothing

escapes this severe lack

but belief of control

and yet the sun shone

brightly upon me still the moon

ripped me up and in this

light glowing transparent

I fought to hold onto all

I should have let go long ago

until I surrendered bowing

down to the Divine

releasing my supposed flaws

allowing my past to be a

lesson and i learned what

we all know before birth to love

love thyself and love all others true

there is no greater lesson

love is all there is

love is all that is

I am love

You are love

We are love

One love

I have no need for fear

no desire for separation

BREAK ME WHOLE

over and over again

for forever I shall love

Those words

As a child open-eyed wide

The world, so immediate intimate

Shapes manifesting to sound

Colors vibrant illuminate

All is new and yet of old

Voices share stories told

Listen, listen, listening

To the words that hold

At a time, at a point

A shift occurs and molecules

Rearrange the voices heard

Are speaking strange

Shrieking through the fold

Negative discords

And these lies, these projections

Are seen and reflected

Taught through action

Absorbed by sensitive souls

Who hold onto those words

For all they know

Warped become their views

Of life, love, themselves

These happy hearts these

Children of love for love

Smile onward hurting inside

Cherish love but fester inside

Fearing themselves mis-

Understanding their strengths

Seeing beauty in others but in

The mirror only shame

Repeating the lies they were told

Repeating the lies they were told

Holding onto those words

Anchoring them down, too far,

Down and low hurting and

Feeling so cold, numb

Not recognizing they deserve

All the love – they give so much

And just as everything seems to

Fall apart unravel rapidly

The world seems dark

And no one feels happy

The light within, that spark we hold

Those words release and

They unfold raw

Vulnerable open heart wide

thosewords

PMS

**Brief pause for whatever jokes/judgments to ensue**

And now, ahem, fuck you if you said or thought something rude! (And sorry to my Mom and Grandma who may follow my blog..)

PMS, also known as premenstrual syndrome, is the bane of many women’s existences. Symptoms range anywhere from: feeling bloated and lethargic to fatigue to depression and/or anxiety. Then there are the more physical symptoms of intense abdominal pain, headaches, dizziness, and the sensation of feeling your life being drained on the regular, among others! It’s a BLAST! Truly. What a gift.

The PMS Monster – A Comic by Gurl

And yet, no one really talks about PMS in a serious tone. There are either flagrant obnoxious jokes spewed by men who have NO IDEA how hellish PMS is or it’s discussed in hushed sleepover tones amongst female friends.

There’s also the obnoxious as hell tampon and pad advertisements that make me want to gauge out my eyes Oedipus style. Aren’t they always on several times when you’re watching TV with your family or significant other? I still think erectile dysfunction commercials wins for most uncomfortable, but feminine products are a very close second.

Anyway, there’s something even more debilitating than PMS for about 3-8% of women and that’s PMDD. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. It’s basically PMS on crack sprinkled with a dash of hell on earth marinated in pain and agony for days.

The facts below are from Mass General Hospital’s website:

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

A much more severe form of the collective symptoms known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) affects approximately 3 percent to 8 percent of women of reproductive age and is considered a severe and chronic medical condition that requires attention and treatment.

What causes PMDD?

Although the exact cause of PMDD is not known, several theories have been proposed. One theory states that women who experience PMDD may have abnormal reactions to normal hormone changes that occur with each menstrual cycle. This may include fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone levels that normally occurs with menstruation, causing a serotonin deficiency, in some women (serotonin is a substance found naturally in the brain and intestines that acts as a vessel-narrowing substance, or vasoconstrictor). Additional research is necessary.

What are the risk factors for PMDD?

While any woman can develop PMDD, the following women may be at an increased risk for the condition:

  • Women with a personal or family history of mood disorders
  • Women with a personal or family history of postpartum depression
  • Women with a personal or family history of depression

Consult your health care provider for more information.

What are the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder?

The primary symptoms that distinguish PMDD from other mood disorders (i.e., major depression) or menstrual conditions is the onset and duration of PMDD symptoms—with symptoms appearing during the week before and disappearing within a few days after the onset of menses—and the level by which these symptoms disrupt daily living tasks. Symptoms of PMDD are so severe that women have an impaired level of functioning at home, at work, and in interpersonal relationships during this symptomatic time period. This diminished level of functioning is generally in great contrast with the same woman’s interactions and abilities at other times during the month.

The following are the most common symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

Psychological symptoms

  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Lack of control
  • Agitation
  • Anger
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Severe fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Forgetfulness
  • Decreased self-image
  • Paranoia
  • Emotional hypersensitivity
  • Crying spells
  • Moodiness
  • Sleep disturbances

Fluid retention

  • Edema (swelling of the ankles, hands, and feet)
  • Periodic weight gain
  • Oliguria (diminished urine formation)
  • Breast fullness and pain

Respiratory problems

  • Allergies
  • Infections

Eye complaints

  • Visual disturbances
  • Conjunctivitis
Gastrointestinal symptoms

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pelvic heaviness or pressure
  • Backache

Skin problems

  • Acne
  • Neurodermatitis (skin inflammation with itching)
  • Aggravation of other skin disorders, including cold sores

Neurologic and vascular symptoms

  • Headache
  • Vertigo
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Numbness, prickling, tingling, or heightened sensitivity of arms and/or legs
  • Easy bruising
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle spasms

Other

  • Decreased coordination
  • Painful menstruation
  • Diminished libido (sex drive)
  • Appetite changes
  • Food cravings
  • Hot flashes

The symptoms of PMDD may resemble other conditions or medical problems, such as a thyroid condition, depression, or an anxiety disorder. Always consult a health care provider for a diagnosis.

How is PMDD diagnosed?

Aside from a complete medical history and physical and pelvic examination, diagnostic procedures for PMDD are currently very limited. Your health care provider may consider recommending a psychiatric evaluation to, more or less, provide a differential diagnosis (to rule out other possible conditions). In addition, he/she may ask that you keep a journal or diary of your symptoms for several months, to better assess the timing, severity, onset, and duration of symptoms. In general, in order for a PMDD diagnosis to be made, the following symptoms must be present:

  • Over the course of a year, during most menstrual cycles, five or more of the following symptoms must be present:
    • Depressed mood
    • Anger or irritability
    • Difficulty in concentrating
    • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
    • Moodiness
    • Increased appetite
    • Insomnia or hypersomnia
    • Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
    • Other physical symptoms
  • Symptoms that disturb social, occupational, or physical functioning
  • Symptoms that are not related to, or exaggerated by, another medical condition

Treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Specific treatment for PMS will be determined by your health care provider based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the condition
  • Symptoms present
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the condition
  • Your opinion or preference

PMDD is a serious, chronic condition that does require treatment. Several of the following treatment approaches may help alleviate or decrease the severity of PMDD symptoms:

  • Dietary modifications (to increase protein and carbohydrates and decrease sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol intake)
  • Regular exercise
  • Stress management
  • Vitamin supplements (i.e., vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI)
  • Oral contraceptives (ovulation inhibitors)

For some women, the severity of symptoms increase over time and last until menopause (when menses ceases). For this reason, a woman may require treatment for an extended period of time, and may require several reevaluations to adjust medication dosages throughout the course of treatment.

So, next time any of you assholes or your assholish friends decides to say something annoying or crude about PMS consider this: thank your mom for dealing with life long enough to have you because without menstruation you wouldn’t be here.

PEACE.

close eyes; rise

everything I once thought
chasing pavement, sullied dreams
a fallacy-ridden fantasy
brain-washed to believe and breathe
impossibility; choices made
no matter what lead to certain
misery we are all born into our
catch-22s with no right way only
wrong ways sure to lose
just another number, part of the machine
until you stand up, breathe
rightfully pursue your dreams
heaven on earth is capable, before
your eyes possibilities stream
tears remembering you’re alive
let your fire burn, eternal flame
no more running, no more hiding,
no more guilt, no more shame
for every moment ever-present
all is well, there’s no need to masochistically
forge your own hell allow your
embers within your heart to burn
manifesting dreams within as you yearn
for peace through universal love accepting
guidance from above with
each breathe in you ignite
each breathe out release your light
uniting as one and go forward
fearlessly alight like the blazing sun
bolstering the dram allow
the moon to take your rest
know you’re doing your very best
be gentle with your heart
as all you believed falls apart
let your intuition guide
angels always by your side
be blessed by grace
a smile comes across your face
know that you are dearly held
as your journey is propelled
just simply, graciously be
the one true Spirit sets you free

© Alexandra Foran

From 9/11/14

unclephil.alex

When I was in fourth grade we had to choose a hero to write and draw about. I chose my Uncle Phil and Uncle Tommy, two New York City firefighters who were “humble, courageous, and taught kids fire safety”. I also drew a hilarious picture of them that made them look like Bert and Ernie. Lol! 

I’ll never forget how much they both appreciated that tribute to them. I felt so much love from and for both of my uncles — and still do.


Uncle Phil was truly an amazing man and inspiration for me, in fact he still inspires me from the other side During his life he chose to live life to the fullest. Family was number one on the priority list, and he was an exceptional dad without question. Some of my favorite memories with him are learning how to play soccer with him. Whenever I stepped on the field after September 11th I always felt his presence. Soccer was one of the places I could always just lose myself, just be, and I felt so safe and supported out there playing a game I loved with some extra guidance from above!!

Thank you, Uncle Phil, for the way in which you lived your life. While many will remember you for the way you died, I’ll always remember you for the way you lived. I love you.

What the F@#! happened?!

I’m exactly where I never wanted to be: Franklin, Massachusetts.

franklin

Ever since we moved here when I was 12 I have not liked the place we lived. Our home always felt like a house, my peers always seemed too interested in things I could care less for, and I always felt like there was nothing to do in this area. I used to become ill regularly (there were a few years I hung out with doctors at least once a month) and I definitely suffered from bouts of depression throughout my time living here prior to moving away for college.

Granted, we moved here during trying times. My Uncle Phil had died on September 11th the year before, we moved from Michigan where we had begun making our roots after moving there only three years before, and my mom’s best friend was dying. When I look back at that time of my life from where I am at today I cannot believe I even made it through those phases of my life, especially because I was and still am such a Highly Sensitive child, Empath, and Intuitive. Thank God for angels, friends, family, and guides who help me from this plane and the next!

As high school graduation loomed closer I was already completely burnt out from school and honestly from life. I didn’t care where I went to school as long as I wasn’t going to school in Massachusetts! That was it. I had hoped to go to school in New York but given my health it didn’t feel like the best idea, especially according to my parents.

So I settled for a college in NH where I could play soccer and study Literature. And then I ended up getting chronic illnesses, which we found out later on was due to mold problems in the dorms (I’m severely allergic to mold) and food allergies/sensitivities (cafe food killed me, basically). After a year I spent a semester at another college in NH and again became ill quite often due to mold. I was supposed to move in with friends and continue attending this college, but found out I was allergic to cats as I moved in.

And in 2010 I begrudgingly attended college in Massachusetts. LOL. The school I graduated from, Eastern Nazarene College, accepted me within the hour I applied and visited – which was the day before spring semester classes started. And the roller coaster that is my life didn’t stop there, I suffered a concussion, vertigo on and off, and other illnesses while attending that school too! Will be posting more in-depth pieces about my illnesses, food sensitives, and alternative medicine in the future as I have plenty of first-hand experience 🙂

Upon graduating I continued working at a military base in Natick, MA as a Public Affairs Specialist. Writing for a living was and is amazing, especially for a recent college graduate, yet it simply wasn’t the place for me.

Now, here I am, a yoga instructor, reiki practitioner, intuitive, writer, editor, and music maker. I’m teaching several yoga classes, private classes, facilitating reikki, doing angel readings, channeling messages, practicing psychic mediumship, and making music. I am loving life. And I am exactly where I kept running away from, exactly where I never thought I would want to be.

Alex3

Here I’ll happily stay, for now! 🙂       Photo Credit: Ashley Jardim of http://www.sheofthewoods.com/

Where I reside feels somewhat temporary, I’m giving it a couple years, but I feel comfortable exactly where I am. I am amazed at how many beautiful, loving, wonderful, amazing people I have met over the past couple years through yoga and reiki. It’s been incredible. Although, I should share that most of these people are not in my peer group at all and are in their 40s/50s and that’s GREAT! I love it. I love meeting and being with children and people of all ages. I feel blessed that my life purpose work allows me to meet and share love with so many different beings!

I cannot believe the changes created within me since I first started this blog a couple year ago. My posts have been sporadic and all-over the place (just like me – not sure that’ll be changing anytime soon) – but the integrity of my being and writing is much the same – I’m just learning to authentically express myself more than I have before.

And I am so very very grateful.