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Guest Post: Therapy By The Book

Today’s guest post is by my dear friend Cheri Pate.  It’s no secret that life can be… well…a bitch.  Situations at work, at home, with our health, and in daily life in general can overwhelm us at times.  Some of these situations are beyond our control and we just have to deal as best we can.  But how to release the related emotions built up inside?  How can we turn the negative thoughts and energy into something positive?  Today, Cheri shares a way that works for her.  Thanks again, Cheri!

When Mike asked me to guest blog for him, I was flattered & excited.  I was also worried.  What would I write about?  It’s not like I’m burning up my own blog with all my witty entries.  Also, would this new group of readers “get” my humor (for the lack of a better word)?  Or would I drive off all of Mike’s readers in one fell swoop?

Panic set in, so I asked Mike what I should write about.  “Anything you want, “ he replied.  “You could even write about your blood transfusion tomorrow.”  I was pretty sure that wouldn’t be riveting reading, but I was willing.  Plus Panic had showed up with its usual companion, Desperation.  So those straws you hear about were being firmly grasped.

Life had other ideas.  Lots & lots of other ideas.  So here I am over a month later & just now putting pen to paper so to speak.  There have actually been two transfusions since then, but Life’s ideas actually affected a different part of my life.  And just to make sure he had my full attention, he brought his buddy, Stress, along too.  While I actually began to feel human again in the health area, Stress tried to use me as a punching bag.

In January, I will celebrate my 10th anniversary with the non-profit that I work for.  A non-profit that I absolutely LOVE working for.  Due to economic challenges, it was decided that we needed to change the model we’ve been working from for over 60 years.  It needed updating, but change can sometimes be hard.  Especially when that change means that the tight-knit family you’ve been working with will suddenly be going in different directions.

It’s been a month full of Panic, Stress, and lots of tears.  None of those are friends with Diabetes.  In fact, they are such jerks that they are always trying to get a rise out of Diabetes.  *rim shot*  These are the jokes, people & it ain’t gonna get any better.

So what have I been doing to keep from running out screaming into traffic?  Making books.  Yeah, you read that right.  I said making.  Not writing.  Not reading.  Making them.  From anything & everything.  Recycled materials or things I had around the house.  So far I’ve made twelve of them.  Lucky number 13 is floating around in my head right now.  In fact, she’s trying desperately to distract me from writing this post.  I’m resisting since I’ve made Mike wait long enough & I’d like for him to continue speaking to me.

The first book was not just about stress relief, but also a bit of therapy.  I don’t make a lot of money & I’m not really bothered by that because I’ve never been materialistic.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like having a computer & a smartphone because I’m a geek girl.  But I’ve always valued feelings & people above possessions.  Having said that, the last two years have been a bit of a financial challenge due to added medical conditions.  Unfortunately that led me into a bit more debt that I’d like to have.  I’ve made some progress with it, but I still felt like the Debt was mocking me.  Damn her!

Part of that feeling might have stemmed from the nearly inch thick stack of paper that two of the contracts were printed on.  I didn’t need them anymore, but hadn’t shredded them or thrown them out yet.  I decided they would become part of my first book.  So I folded each sheet in half & then in half again with the blank side of the page facing out.  It was like I was trapping the words inside the paper.  I then grouped them into signatures & sewed them together.  It was incredibly freeing.

At that point I decided that only good things would go into my book.  It became my version of a Smash Book.  I’ve put movie ticket stubs, fortunes from fortune cookies, a few pictures, & other bits I’d saved without knowing why I was saving them.  Now they have a home & I have a book of happy memories that was made out of worries & fears.

When I’d finished the first book, I discovered that I was still curious about other ways I could make more.  I began hunting up old stationery & keeping things like paper bags with the intention of making more books.  I brought home a stack of file folders that were headed for the recycle bin at work.  Fast forward & you have me sitting here with visions of Book Thirteen floating around in my head amidst all the words I’m trying to set down on “paper” for Mike.  And even though it’s just about bedtime, I am about to succumb to Book Thirteen’s siren song.  So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to work in a bit of book therapy before I go to bed.

Thanks for stopping by & please don’t abandon Mike just because of my crazy ramblings.  I promise I’m harmless & after this post, I doubt he’ll ask me again.  J

Living with a Confusing Pancreas and a Broken Heart at age 36 #Diabetes #LADA #CongestiveHeartFailure. #MakeDiabetesVisible Creator, #ALittleHeartCanDoBigThings Creator, Advocate, Blogger, Nature Photographer.