Cleaning out 

Over a year ago, we moved my mother who has MS and early onset dementia into an Assisted Living Facility. She took with her the bare necessities, clothing, books and photos. The rest of her stuff sat and waited, collecting dust and cockroaches. Until yesterday. This week, I’m down in Florida emptying out my mom’s…

Decluttering : Home

My mother’s tiny Florida home sold last week. Selling the house represents a milestone for my mother’s future care, and simultaneously, a new emotional river to swim through. This river runs deep, littered with floating memories and mementos. Porcelain Christmas houses, fragile bird statues, hand-carved armoires, and hodgepodge glass dishes, all tossed into a new…

Birthdays, Cake & Tiny Reminders of Dementia

My birthday is this Sunday. I should be happy. SO much accomplished in my 30th year on planet Earth. 31 will be just as awesome, right? A wave of anxiety hits, pangs of sadness, grief. Racing thoughts. I quickly try to find the reason behind this sudden emotional downpour. PMS? Stress? Probably a bit of…

I haven’t seen her in ages…

“Liz?” asks my mom over the phone to my aunt, her older brother’s wife. “I haven’t seen her in ages.” It’s hard hearing my mom doesn’t remember our recent visit together, one of the best we’d had in ages. I know her short term memory isn’t great and I know that comes with the territory…

The Dance Continues

Been two months since I posted. This time of year time’s an elusive beast: months go by like days, and in a blink of an eye, Winter is coming. I’ve been busy at work, writing another novel, cleaning my house and keeping my OCD at its bay with journaling and therapy.  Stress is a huge…

A Vacation from OCD: Sorta

Going on a vacation with an anxiety disorder is like forgetting your cellphone at home. You’re constantly checking where it is and it’s driving you nuts. When anxiety lurks its ugly head, it can be hard to wrangle it in. Travelling makes this especially hard because normal distractions, work, cleaning, a bubble bath, a nature walk aren’t there….

Cup of Tea: Mental Compulsions

My doctor once asked if I performed any compulsions with my OCD. I had told him no, because as I understood, compulsions were repetitive behaviors like handwashing to try and neutralize the bad thought. These were things you acted out to try & make the obsessions or bad thoughts go away.  Nope, don’t have these,…

OCD, it isn’t me: a poem

Whisper, whisper, you little streams of Conscience inside my dreams Am I alive or is this nothingness? A dread of life to plague the mess Of futile thoughts, of racing games The mind is clever, Queen of shames Guilt me this, guilt me that, Beguile the whispers of fruitful crap OCD, you are not me,…

Alien World of Assisted Living

Visiting my mom at her assisted living facility can feel like crash landing a spaceship on a new planet. The terrain is different and has all sorts of new fauna to be careful of. While shopping at a thrift store with my mom today, I walked ahead of her at the checkout line and noticed…

Aunt Grief

Anticipatory Grief, whom I like to call Aunt Grief, lingers like a ghost. Long before our loved one has passed on, part of them, an indescribable essense, has disappeared- an ambiguous loss that’s often ridden with guilt. Guilt for a grief we’re not ready for perhaps, because our loved one is still here on this earth….

Hellos & Goodbyes: mom

My mom was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago, around the same time my parents divorced and my childhood home in New Jersey was sold. MS is short for multiple sclerosis, in which myelin is damaged, nerve fiber conduction is faulty  and nerve cell death occurs, resulting in impaired bodily functions, like numbness, trouble walking and cognitive…