Monday, October 19, 2009


Tonight I feel sunken, like a rusted anchor at the bottom of the sea,
in a dark place and detached...
from the world and me.
I try to find the link, to feel attached,
something that will lift me up again,
I can see the light,
though through a foggy lens,
maybe one day I will fly as high as a kite,
back to the ship so I can sail again...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Cathedral

I don't believe in organized religion,
but there is something amazing that happens everytime I walk into a cathedral.

The stained glass windows depicting events that go on today,
and a woman alone in her prayer praying in the exact same spot as a woman who prayed there 100 years ago. Maybe it's the same woman?

I find solace surrounded by the stone walls,
a kind of damp and dark feeling contrasts the sunlight which pierces through the images we should be paying more attention to.

The cathedral I visited today was an eclectic mix of different styles and periods across Europe from Gothic to Celtic to Renaissance.

Despite the beautiful images imprinted in my mind, what I remember most is the lone woman praying. There was no one else seated in any of the 100's of little wooden chairs laid out facing the center alter, only her. At first she kind of just sat there in thought, she was inside herself and inside whatever it was she saw before her. In what looked like a desperate plea, she finally leaned forward resting her arms on the chair before her and clasped her hands in prayer, letting her head rest on the clasp.

Walking by her you could feel the weight of her thoughts and her's heavier than your own...all you can do is give her your prayer and walk on.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ﺱ ﺈ

A tangoed spar, a dance in the light of darkness,
You reappear now only because I understand you better and am ready to face the reality of you,
I disappeared from you because I didn’t understand your hidden complexity, until it came up from behind and cloaked me, revealing a weakness that made me fall to the ground and beg from your escape from up above.
An act of grace or a show of magic, I lifted the cloak to find you gone, a simplicity unveiled to replace your complexity. A plastic tranquility, an ocean with no water. If ignorance is bliss, I chose to live in this bliss until its emptiness consumed me and what I tried to suppress resurfaced in the form of you again: the truth.
You peak your head around the corner as you know you’re being sought after, I can see you in the distance and know our paths will cross again. I am the light and you the darkness; I am the darkness and you the light. This time I will not fear you, for to fear you is to fear myself.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Beautiful ocean,
Swept in by the undertow,
Looking for the light.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


the thought of you...
the sight of you...
the sensation of you..

My kindred soul..
Your beauty mirrors my own...
Your voice passes through me like a soft wind...

I reach out to touch you...and you're gone...

an apparition all along...

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Power of Support

For the past three weeks all I've been thinking about is this class presentation I would have to give. I remember looking over the syllabus on the first day of class and seeing "Group Presentation: 30% of grade". Fuck, fuck, fuck were my immediate thoughts. I went home to see if I could transfer out of the class, but all the other professors’ classes were closed. I was stuck in this class and stuck with having to give a presentation.

This is January. The presentation would be about two months away. I kept thinking in my mind how I was going to handle this. I was waiting to hear back from a professor on a possible referral for therapy to deal with the anxiety, but it was taking too long to hear back from her. With mid-February approaching, I knew that I could no longer continue to be dependent on a referral from her and would have to do my own investigating into possible therapists. Learning about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in class, I was interested in pursuing this type of treatment as it's evidence-based and delivers pretty immediate results.

Two weeks into February, I remember the professor giving a presentation on Social Phobia, and more specifically, public speaking phobia and making check marks in my head as she read aloud the symptoms of the disorder: "one experiencing this type of disorder feels so anxious about the thought of public speaking, that they will carry this anxiety even weeks before the actual event...they may experience physiological changes such as increased heart rate, blah blah blah.." Wow. She was describing me. I raised my hand and asked how long treatment was for this disorder, "you can start to see results after about 16 weeks." I remember thinking in my mind, "Fuck, I should've started CBT in the fall." I now have 3 weeks before giving this presentation and even if I started therapy now, it wouldn't be effective enough for me to survive my presentation. That's all that I was thinking about "survival". As crazy as it really did feel like a near death experience...I saw that day as the end. I would be exposed and my whole class would see this poor student get up in front of the class and stand there with no words coming out of her mouth. I would be a freak show. I thought I was a freak in hiding.
Racing home after class I could already feel the anxiety come over me. My legs were shaking and my heart racing as I thought about the day. What triggered this thought was not the presentation on this phobia, but watching other groups go up and give their presentation. No one freaked out; they all survived and got it done. Would I be the only one to act out? All these thoughts racing through my mind as I frantically did a Google search on CBT therapists in Manhattan. I started making phone calls and leaving voice mails to set up appointments. I then googled “Toastmasters” to see when their next meetings were and started calling and leaving messages on their line.
In three weeks I would be giving my presentation. In three weeks I needed to get over this.

I got a call back from a CBT therapist and set-up an appointment.

Week 1: intake interview -I felt nervous, I remember sitting on the edge of his couch and starting to shake inside. One thing he said that was reassuring to me as I told him about my presentation in 3 weeks and the purpose of starting therapy, was that I would have at least some tools to calm my anxiety before the day. I kept thinking in my head that I had caught the flu and I was going to fight this. That was my analogy at the time.

Week 2: I attempted to attend a Toastmaster's meeting at Hunter College and found that none least I couldn't find it and there was no contact phone number, only the address and times they met which was posted on the internet. Coincidentally, in the room where the meeting was supposed to take place, there was an LGBT student caucus mtg. going on in the next room. I attended that mtg., but that's a whole nether blog that has to do with synchronicity.

The next day I have my first initial therapy appointment with the therapist/intern I've been assigned to. I go in for a double session (1 hr. 30 min.) and learn deep breathing techniques, gain a deeper understanding of my physiological responses to anxiety, and start to make some connections. I'm made more aware of my actual thoughts and feel confident that CBT will help me. I learn about the SUD scale and rating events that cause me to feel anxiety. I'm assigned a homework assignment to work on until our next mtg. Our next mtg. (session 2) will be my last mtg. with her before I have to give my presentation.

Week 3: I do the homework assignment and start to monitor my thoughts, where they come from and how I react to them. I practice deep breathing techniques when I feel the physiological changes starting to occur and I jot down my experiences. I practice changing my thoughts on the outer environment while refocusing them on what I have control over (the inner). I attend a different Toastmaster's meeting (one that actually exists and gives out their phone number so you can confirm.) I attend their 2 hour meeting and am prompted to speak on my first night there! To my surprise I wasn't even nervous...well, I was a little nervous but not to the extent where my feelings took control over the situation. I attributed this to the fact that everyone at Toastmaster's is there to work on their communication/public speaking skills and so the environment felt supportive. This lead me to question why I felt the environment at school wasn't supportive. I then remembered thinking about the people who I know in class and thinking that they were supportive after all. Nobody wants to see me faint in front of the class or run out, etc. People want to see me succeed, as I want to see myself and others succeed...and the people who don't...well then they have issues deeper than my fear of public speaking.

Session 2 of therapy was great! We worked on my public speaking skills by having my therapist video tape me as I talked about random subjects. Again, I didn't feel the anxiety because I'm paying her to be fucking supportive. Hmmm...was that the issue...feeling or having thoughts of an unsafe/unsupportive environment? Wow, I never thought about it in that way.

Week of the presentation: I practice in front of friends a few times...I'm not nervous because I truly feel supported by them. Through out the whole week all I get is support. Support from friends, family, co-workers, colleagues and fellow class presenters...everywhere I'm surrounded by SUPPORT. I never realized how emotionally supported I am by others.

Day of the presentation (dominating thoughts): nervous. that's normal. as my therapist once said, even JFK was nervous before addressing the nation. deep breathing. drink kava tea with 2 tea bags today and throw in a chamomile tea bag as well. text msg's of support, voice mails of support, my magical stone, and the picture of Khadidia in my left pocket...I'm good...I've got this. I'm going to break the record, 16-sessions of CBT, please...I can do it in 4 (2 double sessions). It's just like a track meet...the feeling of nervousness before running the hurdles...going to the bathroom a lot, uneasy stomach...all that adrenaline warming my body up to shoot as soon as I hear the gun...same for public speaking...the same bodily responses...different way of viewing them.

March 8th 2007 @11:30: every ounce of anxiety, the racing heart, etc. was channeled into projecting my voice. my biggest fear was that I would start off weak, it would throw me off and all I would be thinking about was failing. No, no, no...I channeled in all the support and while I'm no JFK at public speaking, I made it through without fainting, running out of the room, throwing up in front of the class, turning catatonic, and all the other things I used to imagine happening to me and made it through.

(Tomorrow) March 9th: it's not the end of my work in public speaking, because I survived's the beginning of working through things I fear I anticipate being faced with future challenges.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Sex. What would it feel like to not think about sex, but rather connect with someone in the most intimate way possible. To know them. To understand how they think and why they act the way they do. To witness how they live life and believe in miracles the magic of life. To see the depth of her soul through the beauty in her eyes. She has a strength that can only be felt by being in her presence. She lives life through the highest truth she understands, and seeks to discover what she doesn't understand. She feels her emotions as they arise and allows them to pass, never for once taking for granted the meaning behind them. If you feel pain, it's not by her intention to hurt you, but her intention to stay as close to the truth as possible. You feel this energy and you recognize it because you live life in the same realm. You connect with this energy and you suddenly feel a natural high. Life couldn't be any more beautiful than the moment you look into each others eyes, and see the beauty of yourself reflected in the beauty you recognize in her. Time ceases to exist and this moment is one where you understand how not even death could separate this feels too real, and you could die there and know that everything is going to be alright. You move in closer and chills rush through your body as your hands touch each other, fingers interlacing. I can feel the pulse in her hands as she feels the pulsation in mine. She leans in to give me a kiss. Her lips are as soft as the petals on a rose and her fragrance even more ....when she kisses me I feel every part of who she is and am in love with every part of it...the darkness may dance with the light, but the flame is eternal in a heaven where darkness only brings out the passion and beauty of a flame that would go unnoticed had darkness not existed. She is this eternal candle, the one that burns inside me that brought me to her. The sex unfolds. Not in a fleeting moment soon to be forgotten, but in a moment that resonates so deeply within that it feels like the ultimate union.