Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dedicated to the In Between Me's

Recently, I read a snippet of a book dedication that said, "To everyone who thinks I'm writing about you-I am". To me, that line resonated within these weary bones. Maybe it was meant in jest, maybe in love, maybe a wink or inside joke-or maybe...maybe it was the straight up truth. Maybe the author recognized that stranger's could connect and find themselves alive in well written words or maybe it was everyone the writer ever met. Maybe the author realized that every person they ever had an encounter with helped shape them, their being, their essence, their mood, and yes even their writing no matter how small an impact they had.

Currently,I am in between me's. I have one foot shackled to the comfortable, familiar, darkness while the other is toe-tapping in the uncertainty of blinding light. I'm struggling to stay the same and accept the fact that there is a phoenix begging to burst forth from my soul.

'I haven't been writing much lately', is how I would have loved to start today's blog but...that's a lie.

The truth is, I have been writing but most of it is utter rubbish or too 'dark' to share... so I keep it in draft form far away from that dreaded 'publish' button. I wish I could pinpoint why I have been so hesitant to share my struggles with depression and anxiety, but I can't. Or maybe I'm not ready. I don't know.

I do know other people are suffering. They are feeling alone. They mistakenly think they are some freak for shaking uncontrollably while they are anxious or cannot articulate thoughts or think straight, that they're beyond broken for trying to repair themselves with detrimental quick fixes or think they aren't worthy of help or not meant for a happier existence. Hell, not even happier...just tolerable.

But they're wrong.

There are people, like the author recognized, who can find themselves within words, sandwiched between sentences, paused in paragraphs and lost in the literal truth of translation.

So today, today these words are for you...and I hope you find yourself if you've been looking:

You, my dear, are not broken.
You are not lost.
You are not so fucked up that you cannot save yourself, even if that means you have to ask for help from others.

You are worthy of being written about.  People will want to scribble your name with hearts on crumpled papers, stitch a sonnet together seamlessly or dedicate a whole nonsensical blog to you.
You, my dear, are a fighter, even when times get tough, even when your soul gets tired, because you are a survivor.

You have made it this far, you have overcome, you have persevered.

I know, you're tired.

But you got this more than you know.
Because you are in between you's too.

You're so tired from all this crap that's eating your happy memories, that's tearing a hole in your soul, that's making you a sad shell of who you once were.

This is where you are in a confused state, a hot mess, this is where you are halted, stuck in between yourselves. It is where you stare longingly at the past, the mistakes and pain, and cringe at the future, fearful of what it holds, and you find yourself tired.

Just so damn tired that you don't know if you want to keep going.
I'm here to tell you it's alright.
It's alright to not want to keep going.

But you will keep going.

So, take this time and take your time.

This is your time to rest.
This is your time to rejuvenate.
This is your time to make a game plan.

This is where you rise my love.
This is where you brilliantly get to scream at the top of your fucking lungs what you will no longer take, what you want, and how you're going to get it.

And you're not going to take anyone's shit, even your own.

This is dedicated to you, the lost, the confused, the ones who think no one is thinking about them or writing about them-we are. Because we need you, we love you and you matter.

Friday, March 18, 2016

In My Best Friends' Beds

I asked him first if I could sleep in his bed. I didn't want to be weirder...well, weirder than normal. He laughed and told me to go for it. After he went to work, I (still in my foggy tequila haze) dragged my sleeping bag and pillow and crawled into his bed.
 
The light rudely burst through his bedroom window challenging my ability to sleep in. I, luckily, persevered. I fell back alseep until ten in his comfy bed and before I forced myself up and into a world of overwhelming thoughts and decisions that weighed on my heart-I laid there a couple minutes longer. I traced the wrinkles in his sheets,  allowing myself to get caught up in wondering about his every day routine-musing if he had a set day to wash his sheets, if he always skipped breakfast, and what days he liked to grocery shop. I felt the purr of his cat calmly vibrate my thigh, until of course I tried to pet said cat and he violently hissed at me, such a dick-just like his owner. It was nice to get lost in someone else's world for a moment. I stretched and leisurely looked around his room, his sanctuary, at his books, at a closet that I desperately wanted to organize and all the pieces of his life-some he shared with others...others he kept for only himself, and felt at peace.
 
All these random things that made up part of his life, made up part of him, if separate meant nothing, but combined created some sanity and balance for him.
 
I was going to be okay. Even if I didn't know how or when, I at least knew I was going to be okay, and that was a fabulous realization when before that second, all I could find was dark days and an empty existence.
                                                                           -  -  -
Her room did not need organizing. It was full of light and depth and had the energy of a woman on the go. She offered me her house when I told her I needed time to myself, time to think, time to breathe-by firmly pressing the spare key into my hand and telling me she should have given me that key a long time ago. My key.
 
My key to happiness?  No, not exactly.
 
But my key to get away from everything, including the stale thought process of me already knowing who I am and who I am not. To be convinced with such certainty in the midst of finding oneself is stupid. Humorous, yet stupid. I am in the middle of a self-evolution, a self-revolution if you will, so the only thing that should be set in stone is that I'm finding out who I am. That should be my only conviction.
 
I crawled into her bed the first night and the sweet smell of her freshly washed sheets enveloped my senses. The dogs jumped in and nudged me until I lifted the covers so they could burrow in the blankies and cuddle me. Her room was exactly the kind of room I envisioned growing up, wooden worn floors, peaceful energy, comfortable bed, and if I'm being honest-full of love.
 
She has one of those glowing souls that you are lucky if you hear about in this world, let alone get to love, and I swear she left a bit of her heart behind for me to let me know-my heart would be fine.
                                                              -  -  -
They gave me their beds. Their beds. The very place where they rest, where they love, where they rejuvenate their souls, where they mend when they are sick, where they cuddle, where they writhe and sweat, where they end their nights and start their days.
Make no mistake-they did not just offer me a place to sleep-they offered me refuge for my soul.
                                                              -  -  -
I'll return to my bed in a couple weeks and I wonder if I'll feel the love that I felt in these two beds. I wonder if I will feel the love left for me, if I will feel the acceptance for myself at this point in my journey, if I will feel content with who I am-ugly, emotional breakdowns and all.
I wonder if I will show myself kindness as I would anyone else? I wonder if I will remember kindess...and understanding? I wonder if I will love myself and build up my spirit like I would for anyone else?
 
I hope so.
 
I have been shown, by people that love me for reasons I do not know, how to love and accept myself in my darkest times.  
 
In the meantime, before I return to my bed, I have some work to do. I have to work on not merely accepting love, but raising the standard of love which I accept for myself, from others...and from me too. Until then, I am sleeping in beds that have been made for me with love, adoration and a little firm ass-kicking by people I am simply blessed to know.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

You Want To Cheer Me Up? No, thanks.

You want to cheer me up? 

Yeah...thanks I am going to pass on that. 

No seriously. I don't need cheering up. I need time to sort and sift through the shattering of a life I am not sure I have ever fully embraced. If you want to get me back to being me or help me find the real me then you are going to have to let me cut myself on the fragmented pretty parts of my life that have splintered into unrecognizable elements that had neatly been compartmentalized for too long before I can suture them up with hope for a better reality. 

I can handle your cheering, your support, your encouragement to 'get better', but please understand I do not need a weak attempt at 'lightening my mood'. I need to be me. 

It is not that I do not appreciate your short-sighted, shallow attempt to fix a bigger problem that is raging inside my soul, but I kind of have this feeling that I should probably work through the feelings that are eating away at my will to simply exist in this world. 

No, I get it. You want to see me smile. You want hear me crack jokes and make inappropriate innuendos. You want to see me participate and get back to being the old me that held tightly to the illusion that everything would be fine if I kept trudging along with my head down. You want me to make you feel less uncomfortable by pretending to be something that I am not. 

However, I am not willing to do that anymore. 

My soul has been awakened to what was, what is, and what could be-and I cannot go back to merely surviving in this world. I want to live. Really live. 

It hurts to be awake. But the hurt does not last forever. Regret does, though, and I refuse to participate in my life by making conscious decisions that I will regret. 

So when you say you want to cheer me up? Every damn time babe, I am going to tell you no and not so respectfully, if need be, because I need to respect myself by being real to me. 

There is nothing wrong with this darkness that my little light has permeated. There is nothing wrong with not feeling up to putting on a facade for other people's comfort. There is nothing wrong with being level with the Dead Sea in my journey at this point in my life. It is a low point. And I am okay with that.  
Eventually, I am going to make it to my summit. I am going to climb the shit out of my own Everest and scream with only the joy that lungs of victory and strained sinew can enunciate ever so clearly. 

But in the meantime, I am going to be here, in the muck, in the mire, in the darkness, trekking, fully aware of my surroundings, refusing to ignore them anymore. 


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

No. No Is Okay.

Hi.

It's me.

The girl who used to say yes to everything. Seriously, to everything. Yes, even that.

If it made someone else happy, I would eagerly agree, trading my wants for their smiles believing their happiness was worth more than...well my worth. I felt indebted to others. Indebted because they simply allowed me into their worlds, their lives, their existence on this crazy bluish-green marble swirling around this universe.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way I forgot that this world was mine as well, that every inch my feet claimed for their own was not a misstep, that I actually belonged where I stood. So, I did what many others do, I overcompensated. I tried to prove my worth, I tried to show I belonged, I tried to create the illusion that I was irreplaceable.

Life has a funny way of reminding you, though, that everyone is replaceable.

Could I babysit? Yes.
Could I loan them money? Yes.
Could I volunteer? Yes.
Could I raise money for another fundraiser? Yes.
Would I be on a new committee? Yes.
Would I help make crafts? Yes.
Would I stop and take a moment, just one damn moment, to myself to enjoy my world? No.

I was too busy saying yes to participate in my own life. Work. Volunteer. Donate. Outing. Work. Crafts. Helping others. Volunteering. Maybe sleep. That was repeated until I no longer remembered what downtime was, what I liked to do, or why the hell I was saying yes in the first place. It was a knee-jerk reaction, if someone asked me for something I said yes. No matter how much it put me out-I did it with a smile on my face, because I should have been lucky enough to be trusted with that responsibility.

^What kind of crap is that? Unacceptable crap-that's what.

Saying yes did not make me happier. It did not make me kinder. It did not make me more loving. Staying that busy saying yes to allthethings, simply distracted me from my life and things I wanted and needed to do.

These days I hesitate if asked to do something. I deliberate and choose what events to get involved with, I pause before jumping in, I weigh if I truly want to do an activity or feel if I should do it simply because of some imaginary inadequacies that can fill my heart and plague my head at times.

Saying no is not rude. Saying no is not mean. Saying yes and stretching yourself way too thin is rude to yourself and those you pledged your commitments to. Saying yes because you do not think you are worthy of someone's company is devaluing and demeaning yourself. Saying yes when you want to say no and forging along with a sour heart and disposition is wrong.

When I say no, I am not saying no to your event. I am not saying no because I do not have time for you. I am not saying no because I am being stuck up and have better things to do. I am not saying no because I am mad at you.

I am saying no because too many times I said yes to strangers masked as friends who willingly and brilliantly took advantage of my giving soul.

I am saying no because I like the way it feels coming out of my mouth.

I am saying no because I do not have to prove myself to anyone.

I am saying no because my worth, your love for me, and my self-esteem should not hinge on me placating you with a plastic sycophantic smile plastered on my face to please you.

I am saying no because I want to.

I am saying no because it is a complete sentence. I do not need to justify, explain or legitimize why I am not doing it to anyone, at any time.

Really, I am saying no because saying it is okay.

And because by saying no to the things I do not want to do, I am finally saying yes to my desires, my dreams, and to my amazing self.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bringing You Into The New Year

"New Year, New Me" bullshit? Nah, I like the old you. The old you has learned and evolved and it has got you this far in life. And it smells like macaroni and febreeze. But here's a few things to remember when crossing that threshold into a new year.

You will never be everything to anyone. If someone says you are their *everything* back away slowly because they are either lying or delusional.

You are not a half. You are a whole being that deserves to love themselves for who they are, what they want, and where they want to go in life.

You are not sorry. You do not need to constantly apologize for speaking up, for being different, for offering another perspective, for craving alone time, or liking what you like. You are only guaranteed so many breaths a lifetime do not waste them saying sorry for things you enjoy.

You are not a dump. You do not need to accept any kind of trash, toxicity, garbage or anything foul from anyone-including yourself. Accept what will help grow you into a content and healthy person in your emotional, spiritual and physical self-and leave the rest behind.

You live in the now. Keep your memories, your mementos, whatever puts a smile on your face but don't give up today's happiness while searching for a perfect day that never happened in the past.

You do not need this new year to become who you want to be. You just have to be a little brave. You have to remember that moving forward into the unknown is better than getting stuck in the comfort of the dead past. You can do it now or in five months or two years. Whenever you are ready to embrace yourself and live life fully you are ready for change. It is not selfish to enjoy time with yourself, by yourself. You are your longest friend, it's healthy to invest in that friendship. It is not being selfish to remove hazardous-to-your health people from your life. That is self-preservation and healthy. It is not selfish to try new things to be unabashed for your opinions. That is self-love.

I cannot promise you or tell you how this new year will go. I do know there will be pain and  confusion. Heartache and relationships lost. There will be tough times. But there will be good too. Even when it is super hard to find. There will be kind people and loving hugs, good music and new adventures, shattered misconceptions and growth.

Do not fear bringing you-the true you-into the new day, the New Year, the future, into the light for all to see. Fear living a life where you are not comfortable existing and cannot do or say what you want out of a silly fear of what people will think.

Why are you still reading this? You know you best, so go. Do something that makes your soul happy. Don't get lost reading in between the lines and lose sight of the story that is waiting to unfold in front of you.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Confessions: Dig

Never be afraid to dig your heels in for what you want. Stand firm and refuse to back down. Sink your teeth into the best part and enjoy the victory juices that dribble down your chin.

But what if we are just holding on because we are afraid to let go?
We have always been taught to fight what we need, what we want, what we desire. We have been inundated over and over again by the movies with the anticlimactic endings where two star crossed lovers finally run into each other's arms finally fulfilling their desires and destiny. We are told to never stop dreaming and to always believe in whatever we want because we can achieve whatever our little hearts desire. We are told to reach for the moon and even if we do not reach it that’s okay because we will land among the stars.
But that’s not okay.
Stars are hot.
They are gaseous, balls of angry heat that can get up to 100,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Why would we ever want to land among them?
Sometimes, we are encouraged to do whatever we want that we do not even think if it is what we should be doing. We can get caught up in routine that we do not stop to evaluate if the habits we are desperately clinging to are something that serves our hearts and souls. We just hold on, regardless of the rope burn we get from trying to stay grounded, from trying to dig in, trying to hold steadfast to our initial hopes and desires.
It can get scary abandoning all we have ever known. It can be downright frightening to give up what we thought we wanted and take a chance on what could be good for us. To gamble on what might make us happy is a bet many refuse to make. Because it is easier to know what we know and not risk the unknown.
 
But what if changing things up is a new shot at happiness? What if choosing to stray from the course we have always taken is something that brightens our days like nothing ever has? What would happen if we admitted that not meeting a predetermined goal is okay and that we can move on to new adventures and new ways to challenge ourselves…and then find our true selves?  
If you want to stick to clich├ęd memes and quotes that is your prerogative. If that is what truly makes you happy that is all what matters.  However, if you are chasing after the same ideals and goals you always have just because it has become something you have always done, perhaps, it is time to reevaluate why you are so insistent on meeting those objectives.
Never be afraid to admit that your desires change. Never be afraid to change your goals. Never be afraid to let go and move on to something new.
This has been a Sunday Confession with the one, the only, the magnificent Hot Ash from More Than Cheese And Beer. Please stop by her blog check her out and link up if you have a confession on "Dig".

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Use Your Words: December 11th, 2015

Hello and wishes for the happiest Friday for you.
 
Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them.
 
Until now. 
My words are:
 
cold ~ shopping ~ snow ~ flat ~ broken ~ holiday
 
They were submitted by: http://www.southernbellecharm.com      
 
At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 
 
****
 
There are times, seemingly that feel like all the time, that you are flat out broken. No matter how much love and kindness you have in your heart, you just feel empty and cold inside. Unfortunately, it hits people no matter what time of year it is-around their birthdays, anniversaries, holidays; it does not matter if the sun is shining or snow is covering the ground-our emotions cannot be controlled or predicted.
 
It does not mean you have a defected character, it simply means you need time to renew your spirit.
 
When you feel broken or worn out it's a warning sign to yourself that you need to take a moment and figure out what you need to nourish your soul. It might be something simple like pampering yourself with a pedicure or treating yourself to a day of shopping. Other times the process of revitalizing your soul starts when you force yourself to take a good, long, hard look at what's causing you to feel defeated. You may need to eliminate the areas of your life that is bringing you down. Yes, that includes negative people who chip away at your self-esteem and discourage you from your goals. We all need to foster healthy relationships and dispose of any that are toxic to us. It may be hard...but it is necessary so we can get back on track to being ourselves.

And sometimes, unfortunately,we cannot pinpoint where our distress and unhappiness is coming from. But that does not mean we cannot resolve our issues...it just means we may have to go outside of our comfort zone and talk to a therapist, medicinal professional or trusted pastor to help you get back on your journey to being you.

There are dark times behind us for sure but awaiting us as well. But there is also light and guidance if we are willing to persevere and find out what is dragging us down in the first place.

Not being yourself is identity theft. Never be afraid to steal your life back.
 
Links to the other amazing “Use Your Words” posts:
 
http://bakinginatornado.com                                     Baking In A Tornado
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade
http://themomisodes.com                                          The Momisodes
http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/                                 Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
http://www.southernbellecharm.com                        Southern Belle Charm
http://www.renasworld.com/                                    Rena’s World
http://dinoheromommy.com/                         Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/              The Bergham Chronicles
http://eileensperpetuallybusy.blogspot.com/            Eileen’s Perpetually Busy 
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                         Never Ever Give Up Hope
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                    Someone Else’s Genius
http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch   Confessions of a part time working mom   
http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com                               Climaxed