Heather L. Barmore
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Heather L. Barmore
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    Change In Action at Babble Voices


    "It's Literally a Post About Vomit"

    1. I wrote this post for another website but other things happened and it wasn't used. When my editor read it she commented on the "vibrancy"of the writing and how well it was written and then she said, "it's literally a post about vomit" which forced a giggle out of me. I felt the need to share it anyway because why the hell not?

    2. This is a really gross. Be happy that I'm not your child.

    3. Happy Back to School, everyone.

    "A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket." ~Charles Peguy

    I was seven years old; a second grader whose mother woke her each morning with a rap at the door and a shout-whisper of ‘Beanie! Beanie Barbum!” a pet name for me. “Time to get up!’ My mother was never one to make extravagant, as-seen-on-TV breakfasts but instead opted for quick and easy. Cheese toast was a popular favorite and often boiled eggs.

    On this particular day, boiled eggs were the option. I was, after all, a growing girl who needed her protein. But there was something amiss, a gurgle in my tummy, or something that didn’t feel quite right. I I told my mother that I wasn’t feeling up to par. She rolled her eyes and shook her head as she put her hand to my forehead. “You’re fine and you’re going to be late” and she sent me off to the bus stop.

    I sat on the left side of the bus - the driver’s side. I remember that my bus driver was a woman named Fran and the bus number was 1. I can tell you that instead of taking the main road to school we took the back way, to avoid heavy rush hour traffic. I’m assuming. Off to school we went, down my street through the entrance of a subdivision and out the back. Sometime between passing the neighborhood’s pool and making a left turn, my mouth started to feel warm. I swallowed a few times only to have spit fill my mouth. I swallowed once more and glanced out the window, hoping the others won’t notice. My eyes begin to water and fill with tears because I am still rather unsure of what is happening just that my seven year old tummy is bothering me and that my attempts to keep whatever is occurring within my body at bay, are futile.

    And then it happens. We are on the final approach to school and I can no longer prevent my insides from being on my outside. A quarter mile from my elementary school and everything that had gone down during my breakfast came up. Eggs, probably some milk, a white cesspool of shame and sorrow as I sat on my school bus helpless, tears spilling onto my cheeks because I just vomited on my school bus. If, at seven, I had been well-versed in sarcasm and woe, I would have made some hyperbolic statement about never being able to go on the bus again and how my mother would have to drive me, both ways, to my new school three towns over as that would be the only way to alleviate the pain of that day.

    We arrive at school where I am ushered to Mrs. Ostrander, the school nurse. She asks what happened and what I ate. I tell her about my eggs. My poor eggs. She calls my mother and all I can hear is the pity in her voice as she says, “Well, she threw up her boiled eggs”.

    I was a sick little girl. A child whose body decided to broadcast her illness - a stomach bug - at the most inopportune time and a mother who had to get to work. Nothing more, nothing less and then it happened again.

    I’ve been playing the clarinet for four years at this point and today is a band day - a Tuesday - at my middle school. Everything is fine as I make my way to the school bus with my overstuffed back pack and expensive woodwind. On this day I am sitting on the right side, the passenger side, but in the aisle seat right by the wheel. I look over at my seat mate and then to the floor below her which is how I can so distinctly remember the expanse due to the wheel well. It is then that I see a giant, phlegm filled glob of spit. Someone - probably a disgusting boy - had hocked a loogie on the bus and there it was, practically in my face as it jiggled around in synch with each bump on the road.

    I quickly turn away but I can already sense that it’s too late. I have a sensitive stomach and I can feel the warmth in my throat once again. My face is getting hotter and I try to put it out of my mind and begin to read through my music book. But i am a child after all and I have to take one more peek and that is when it happens. I throw up all over the bus and I watch my vomit roll down the aisle towards the front as small children lift their feet in horror and despair. It’s on the bus, it is on me and it is on the clarinet case I had been gripping for several miles. The sight of my own upchuck causes me to heave once again. And again. And then once more for good measure as I am brought down by bile and subsequent dry heaves. I cannot look at anyone else as I hang my head in hopes that I am able to click my heels three times and be transported out of this misery.

    We finally arrive at school and I am the first person off the bus. As I get outside to the fresh air I see Jason Stewart, with his mouth full of braces standing right in front of me. Jason Stewart whom I briefly dated during the sixth grade. I had been trying to win him back for a year to no avail. Jason Stewart who picks this moment to smile and say hi as I stand sheepishly on the sidewalk. I have to make a quick decision either flirt back or run for cover but there is no time. He walks up to me and starts to say something as I am holding my clarinet case which is covered in my bodily fluids. I can only look back at him and mumble something but he is unsure of what. I say it again but louder, “I just threw up…” and hold out my hands as a final sign of mercy. He catches air as he jumps back and makes a face of absolute disgust. “EW! Go!”, he spits out at me and I walk into school.


    For You the Bugle Trills 

    "People call those imperfections, but no, that's the good stuff." - Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting

    Whenever I write about my depression I start with the story of my sophomore year of college during which I found myself at, what I had assumed would be, the lowest of the low. How I walked around my DC neighborhood smoking and then putting cigarettes out on my arm in the hope of actually feeling something, anything. Or the weekend that I disappeared to my newly leased apartment after a week of staring down the orange and blue lines of the metro thinking that I could just jump. If I jumped everything would be OK and it would be over. Ease was what I sought because death had to be far better than being in what seemed to be an insurmountable amount of pain. And despite having written about this struggle on numerous occasions I still find my heart thumping inside of my chest as I hit publish for what will others say or think about me? Will I be seen as broken and unworthy or will others acknowledge that this is a disease that will never go away and one that I will spend the rest of my life fighting?

    I have had several major depressive episodes that have been fixed with talking or a bit more Lexapro. This is my life, which I have long accepted but it isn’t my everything. To speak out and write about mental illness is to write about any other thing that happens to be going on in my day to day living including what my cat is doing, the wine I’m enjoying, the dress I just purchased. It simply is. I present as an average and capable adult because I am, in fact, a boring typical adult who happens to struggle mightily at times.

    Like many others who have depression hearing about the death of Robin Williams made everything ache. The ability to wrap my head around the death of someone so brilliant and beloved as he has everything to do with having been in that same deep, dark hole, crushed by a pain so unbearable that it is hard to breathe. For those who wonder how such a successful person could succumb to such a horrible illness it is because depression is a disease that does not discriminate. I know why he did what he did. I also know that but for the grace of God and therapy, I could easily be on that same treacherous path. Robin Williams’ death feels personal because it could easily be me or anyone else I know.

    Thankfully depression isn’t a foe for me today but it could be tomorrow. For those seeking words of advice I can only say to be gentle. Reach out. Dole out kindness. For those suffering, well, obviously you are not alone and when you are ready to talk there are people waiting to hear you.


    How to Spend a Thursday Evening 

    {This is a sponsored post. Product and compensation provided by One2One Network. Opinions provided by yours truly}

    Last Thursday evening, some time between the second glass of sangria and the 47th selfie, I had this feeling that I had done something very right in my life to be asked to host a party that combined two of my favorite things: wine (well, in this case, Eppa sangria) and yoga. Like, clearly I have been doing something in my personal branding to have someone know me well enough to say, “Heather Barmore! She likes wine and yoga! Perfect fit”. I was actually debating not attending BlogHer this year, which, I KNOW. But then everything fell into place and next thing you know I’m standing under the San Jose sun with my cheeks and belly aching from laughing and smiling so much.

    Me and Morgan. You can’t tell but we’re dressed like twins here

    You know when your life is all, “Tick…tick…tick…BOOM” and The Universe dumps a heap of crap on your lap and you’re like, what am I supposed to do with this and the universe is like, I dunno. Deal? That’s how the last two months have been. The Universe saying that it’s going to give me something to cry about and me being skeptical but amazingly enough going right along with it. I mean running away sounds swell but trust me when I say that in any attempt to run escape will end with your problems following close behind. There has been a lot of going with the flow and yogic breathing: Ujjayi, ocean sounding breath. Everything in through the nose, out the through the nose. The air swirling at the back of my throat. There are many things I have realized that I am terrible at but I have learned to breathe like a boss.

    PHOTO CREDIT: Lucrecer Braxton

    The evening was perfection. Then again it’s hard to make a party horrible when the rules are: 1. Wear yoga clothes. 2. Drink sangria. In nine years of attending the BlogHer conference this was by far the most chill party I have ever attended. My idea of a good party is no pressure; neither for the hosts nor attendees. I am often a very tense person and achieving even the briefest moment of relaxation has been a very long but valuable learning experience (thank you, yoga). It also helps that I was forced to host with three women who…I don’t even know what to say. We really can't stand each other. Can you tell?

    PHOTO CREDIT: Farrah Braniff
    There was a minute when I had to walk away from all of the commotion. I found my little corner of our party space to simply observe the action. I do this quite frequently because I get so overwhelmed with all of the people and I needed to step away to see that after nine years all of these people who I have met and adored for so long were standing there, melting but having a fantastic time, right along with me. I know I sound all ‘woo woo’ and introspective which has been one of the highlights of a regular yoga practice: the ability to take what you need from life and leave the rest. The ‘rest’ being whatever that is blocking you from enjoying yourself and the present. Being at a party that was all about sangria is my jam. Being at a party that involves walking around in yoga pants, is exactly how I like to spend my Thursday nights. Being at that party, with that group of people, was like having the Internet in my living room.

    There was a sense of balance and joy and an internal high five because perhaps, given everything, this is where I needed to be.

    For those of you who attended, I hope that you enjoyed yourself. For those of you who were unable to attend but got this far and waded through the clichés, I salute you. As a treat, how about 25% off from Soybu? The promo code: #NamastEPPA. Limit of one coupon per household. Valid through Sept. 24, 2014.

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