For the first time in 12 years I am piercing-free. In my face. I still have a few in my ears, one in my navel and one in my right nipple.
I am not exactly sure what happened. I was not planning on removing any piercings. I actually just wanted to change my nose studs. In changing my (double) nose piercing I suddenly found myself missing my face, sans jewelry. So out of curiosity I decided (today) to remove my double nose studs, the last of my facial piercings.
I used to have my upper lip pierced a la monroe/madonna piercing, my labret, my tongue, and the double nose studs. And today, about 12 years after my first facial piercing I took out the 2 that remained.
I have missed my non-pierced face… a little. It is a treat to wash my face without any jewellery in it. So smooth. Not to mention blowing my always-running nose is a little nicer.
I have found over the years that I have been less and less satisfied with the placement of one out of the 2 holes. To the point that I actually do regret getting it. Secondly, I have had a hard time finding jewellery that I both love and trust enough to put in my face. I want it to be pretty but I also want it to be a safe material resting in my skin. Ultimately curiosity got the cat and I was just curious as to how I would look without my nostril pierced. I think I like it. I can’t promise I won’t add something new at some point in the not so distant future but I am kinda digging my naked nose.
I still love piercings and the world of piercing itself. I have just come to realize that for me personally, I used my piercings as a coping mechanism. I hid behind them in a way. They served their purpose and that is great but as I am changing so is my preference for certain things as well as possibly even my style.
I have found a new (to me) style that I find myself gravitating towards. I don’t know what one would call it per sae but I am diggin’ it. My latest style role model is Stella Lugosi (find her on insta @stella.lugosi). I love her high bun, her lovely brows, and her overall look. I love the single septum piercing. I am seriously considering getting one… as soon as I muster up the courage to do so…. and I am feeling really good and excited about it, about me, evolving yet again, into the me that I am most comfortable being. When I look at Stella’s pictures not only do I appreciate and admire her beauty but I get a very comforting feeling.
I don’t really know what the future holds but I do know that I am/will learn to love myself and will put myself and my feelings first. No more pretending to be okay with things I am not okay with. No more sacrificing myself for others happiness. I am starting to remember who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. I lost myself before, I am not willing to loose myself again. To be completely lost and not even know oneself anymore is a frightening and exhausting thing. I am still lost but I am finally finding my way, and for the first time in my life I don’t want to stop. I want to keep going. To do better, to be better. To be whole and happy within myself.
It was light a light bulb went off in my head. It makes perfect sense. I love to write things down, make lists, and keep track of, well, just about everything. Instead of having strictly a “journal” to write summaries of my days and feelings I would rather have one big book of everything. Also, since I love notebooks and pens it gives me a good use for the ones I have and it inspires me to buy more (lol).
The first day I journaled, I looked up ideas on Pinterest and jotted them down for future reference, along with my own page ideas. I looked over different designs people have made for their journal elements, became slightly overwhelmed at one point, and decided to just do it my own way. As it stands now I have full 2 sheet spreads for each day. I have the date written in full (Wednesday, May 17, 2017), and ultimately each day consists of 3 lists:
What I ate Today
What I did Today
Under To-do I write down any appointments, chores, or errands that need to be done. Some I write ahead of time to keep on top of things such as laundry or that therapy appointment I go to twice a month. Other things just pop up as I go about my day and I write them down. When something does get done I mark it with a checkmark. Things that I don’t get to I either cross out completely or make a note that I didn’t do it (if it is something that needs to be done i.e. an important phone call… I hate talking on the phone).
Under What I ate Today I like to try to keep a list of what I have consumed. I don’t keep caloric score by any means but I do like to log what I am eating and how much I am (or am not) consuming of this or that. I keep track of how many coffees and teas I take in because I do find that more then one coffee makes me anxious by evening.
What I did Today is where I do summarize my day but in short, quick, bullet form. No long winded explanations needed. For that I have my actual journal (currently sitting unused but available nonetheless).
In between these spreads I leave a blank spread for whatever other list I might feel the need to make. Or in case I need more room for daily jot-downs.
I am finding Bullet Journaling to be somewhat of a therapeutic activity. I can escape into my own little world of planning and brainstorming. It is helping me to organize myself and my thoughts… and keep track of what the hec I am doing with my 2 google accounts … (still frustrated if you read my last post). I want to get another one that fits in my purse so I can write out blogs or blog ideas when they come to me (instead of thinking oh I will do that AS SOON AS I GET HOME… inevitably forget and now I have a backlog of over 20 blogs I want to write – not a bad thing per say- overwhelming though).
I am still using the Erin Condren planner I bought almost a year ago, but, truth be told, I was actually using that as a bit of a bullet journal all along. In fact, I have been bullet journaling most of my life and did not even realize it! As always I am late to the party but I am indeed here and enjoying it anyways. Even on days when I don’t feel like doing anything I can at least feel like I am organized. I can also look back at all the days and weeks that I did actually fulfil tasks and run errands and not only pat myself on the back but also reassure myself that I again, will be happy and busy.
So far (in the 2 or so weeks that I have been [actively] bullet journaling), I have been able to clear the “clutter in my head” and focus on what I really want, need, and desire out of life. I have rekindled an old hobby (which is painting). And I have come to the decision that I need to move. Again.
This is not to say that I would not have some to these conclusions without the journaling, I am sure I would have gotten there… eventually. I just feel that through making lists, planning days, brainstorming, and really just taking time to think, I am taking notice of things and I am realizing I want to change them.
For the first time in my life I feel as though I might actually be on the right track. It has taken me a lot of time, therapy, tears, and frustration to get to this point. I am starting over and it’s ok. This time it will be different.
The more I proceed with my EMDR Therapy the more put-together I am feeling. It is slow and sometimes I only feel put-together for a few hours or days before I am back to feeling all over the place but regardless, the feeling is there. And it is a wonderful feeling.
When I am in this put-together state of mind I am easily able to do things and make decisions, I get excited about my future and I cannot wait to pursue it. This is what is so new and different for me. I have never really given the future much thought in the past, I just kind of acted on impulse, even at times when I thought that I wasn’t, I was. For the first time, possibly ever, I am thinking about my future, who I want to be, and how to get there – and in a positive light no less. I am so used to looking at everything with such a negative spin that to think and see my future in a positive way is so very refreshing, relieving, and new.
I know this feeling may not/will not last long. I always hope it does and still I am always surprised to find myself back in a depressed and negative state of mind. One day the positive me will stay [I am assured almost EVERY Therapy session] and my negative self will not be so prevalent. I look forward to that day SO MUCH. It’s part of what keeps me in therapy. The other part is fear of becoming a very bitter and lonely person. I was starting to go that way and let me tell you, it is NOT FUN. For a long time I felt that I wanted to be alone and that I deserved to be bitter. I had long accepted that this was to be my lot in life, to get more angry and sad as years went by. I am happy to say that at 33 I am just realizing that it is NOT my lot in life to be alone, sad, bitter, and angry. Not only is it not a good look on anybody, but it is a horribly miserable world to live in. It is one full of self-loathing and destruction.
It has taken me my entire life to get here, to a place I did not even know could exist. A place full of self-love, self-trust, happiness, safety, and positive self-reassurance. I can almost taste the freedom of my new self, a self I never even knew I had.
I finally feel as though I am blooming, my new life is starting as it has gotten all too painful to remain closed tightly in a bud. A bud that was created to keep me safe in times when I was so very unsafe, a bud that I thought I needed around me in order to avoid more heartbreak. A bud that I am starting to no longer need or want. That my friends is something so special, so new, so different then all the other times I thought I was on my way to mental-wellness.
It has now been just over 2 and a half weeks since we have moved. So far so good – better then I thought actually… Until by the end of week 2 I realized I had not been…as “regular” as I should be. Being the over-paranoid person that I can be I started thinking the worst and decided I better get me some bran, and perhaps some Activia yogurt. I figured it was best to cover both bases of good bacteria and fibre.
I ended up deciding to just mix the yogurt and bran buds together which to my pleasant surprise is pretty good and pretty filling. I literally pour out my ‘lil cup of yogurt into a bowl and add bran buds, mix it up and enjoy! Easy peasy lemon squeezey.
Within 24-48 hours I was feeling the affects of my yogurt-bran concoction and now, a few days later I feel fantastic. Thanks to my enjoyment of my new little healthy snack I am becoming more regular then I have ever been and I am feeling physically and mentally better. I might be to a point where if I am not careful I will consume too much bran. I do not wish to experience what that will do.
Writing about being regular and bran snacks may not seem like much to most but the thing I wish to highlight here is that my stomach has not been the monster I had expected it to be – minus some minor constipation. Since moving I have had less stomach aches, cramps, and bathroom issues in general. I find it interesting that moving myself to a more positive and engaging environment is most definitely affecting me physically [and mentally] and in a good way. This is showing me how negatively I was once effected by the life I had created for myself. Back in 2008 into 2014-ish my stomach was like a ticking time bomb. I felt like shit so much I got used to just feeling like shit. When I was working I would watch what I ate around my shifts so as to make sure I would not have any problems during my shift. I’d not eat instead of risking feeling sick- or I would have no appetite at all because I would be so stressed. There was a time that I would get so anxious before going into work I would have to throw up before every shift. Every. Shift.
I can now see so clearly how my life was effecting how I was feeling physically. I hated my job, my living situation, hec I think I must have hated myself to let myself continue to be miserable for so long. At 25/26/27 years old I felt so stuck, I felt like life was beating me down, that “this” is all that there was for me. I could not have been more wrong. At 33 I feel like I am getting a new life. It has been a long journey to get here and there is still more to hike but I am so grateful that I am on this journey and that somewhere I did love myself enough to decide to change my life. Watching my Dads health fade away so fast at such a young age made me realize how short (and sad) life can be. I decided right then and there that I wanted to change my life and pursue my ultimate best-self. Before he died I was only living half a life and I was lying to myself about what I wanted and who I was.
Now, almost 4 years later and thousands of dollars in therapy, I am finally starting to feel like my whole -self is coming together.
I have made it. Made it through the first week of being in a new place. It has it’s pros and cons, mostly pros, but it is still a battle for me. During the day I feel fine, content, a little lonely and a little lost but ok. At night I have a hard time. Last night I completely broke down and cried. I am not unhappy here, it’s just different. I need time to adjust.
I like being in/closer to town. A few days ago my brother-in-law and I walked to a few places. It was so windy I almost tripped over my own feet but I was so happy to be out and walking. Freezing no less, but walking. Our main purpose for walking to town was to get chocolate. We both need our chocolate. I also bought a Marc Ecko “cut & sew” pullover sweater, 100% Wool, for $10.00 at a local discount store. It’s a men’s medium and fits a little large but I love it. We came home to eat our chocolate and make tea.
My kitten, Marble, is adjusting pretty well. She was sick yesterday a few times which immediately had me in tears and worried but by late afternoon she was totally fine and has been since. I don’t know what cause her to be sick, her food is the same, her water is the same, same dishes, she has not gotten into anything… I don’t know and I am going to try not to over worry about her which I am all too good at. Today she has been running all over the house, she has seen her first bathroom and kitchen. She sat and watched me do dishes this morning. Such a cutie. She helps keep me occupied and she is great company.
I am doing my first load of laundry here tonite. I feel good to be getting on with laundry life. I have had a nice hot shower with Sienfeld-like pressure. It still blows me away every time I get in it. It’s kind of fun. I did some dishes and tidying while my mother-in-law was out, I figured it was the least I could do. I feel good this evening, granted it is Friday and I did take an Ativan earlier because I did not wish to repeat last night.
I was fine all day yesterday, at least I think I was fine. I was longing for the weekend and definitely stressing about my Marble all day and I guess by 10pm I finally cracked. Today I opted to try to keep myself busy and I have even decided that I want to re-arrange our new room already. I love a good re-arrange and re-organize.
I also really love our new little room. It is much smaller then the one I had at my moms but it is cozy. We have opted to put our mattress on the floor instead of taking up extra room with my antique 4-poster bed frame-plus in time of anxiety I like to lay on and sleep on the floor so just slapping the mattress down seemed like a good idea. So far, so good, I quite like it. I even have all the comforts I have gotten used to having, a small space heater and my heating blanket (this house is old and though very solid is limited on heat vents, this room of ours in particular does not have one). With the door open during the day it heats up in here pretty fast but if I want the door closed it can get a little chilly. Nothing compared to the chill of the basement though. I love living above ground. I was so sick of living in the basement, it was kind of depressing [for me]. We have 2 beautiful windows in our room that both myself and my cat enjoy.
I am learning what I actually need and use. I don’t know where half my stuff is right now- I mean I know ALL of it is right above me in storage- but I don’t know where to begin to start looking for this and that. Last weekend when we were moving I was so in a tizzy to just get outta my old house by the end I was just grabbing shit and putting it wherever. I hope tomorrow to be a very good find-and-organize day.
Looking back at the week I feel that I will be ok. I still need time to adjust and I need to take my time and I need to remind myself that it is ok. My love is so supportive and has been since day 1, one of the many reasons I love him so. I feel like as long as we are together and have each others love that I, we, will be ok- not just ok, FABULOUS. I don’t praise him enough and he certainly deserves it. He rubs my back when I cry because I am sad for no explainable -or at least cry able – reason. He checks in often to make sure that I am ok and when he does he looks at me with such a look of genuine caring concern, it makes my heart skip a beat every time and it reminds me why I am doing this. I mean aside from the fact that I am in my thirties and IT IS TIME for me to leave the nest… I need to do this for him, and us. He stayed by my side no questions asked and no judgements ever and now I will stay by his. I will be the best me I can be [if not for me] for him. We made this move for me, so I could feel more relaxed and less sad, lonely, and frustrated. And I am happy to report that I am feeling more relaxed, less sad, lonely, and frustrated which is an amazing feeling. Sadly it is such a new feeling that I am not sure what to do with it yet.
The weather has been crazy this week. From pouring rain to insane winds to snapping cold with flurries, literally every day has been different… I just wanted to log that for memories sake.
Well, my computer is dying and my eyes are getting heavy so off to bed I toddle, looking forward to Saturday, and Saturday morning snuggles with my love of course ❤
To the teller at the TD Bank in Fonthill, whose name I did not catch, thank you.
You asked what I was doing [for work] and I decided to, for ONCE, be honest. I said “I write a blog”.
“About what?” you asked.
“About anxiety, depression, mental health” I replied.
To my surprise you seemed impressed with my response. You said I was brave to talk about these things and get them out in the open. I think you even thanked me! I had no idea that admitting that I write this blog would have such a positive impact. If I was smarter I would have given you a card with the name of my blog on it but hey, one day at a time. Maybe that could be a goal I work towards, feathering my cards to potential future readers. Hmmm. Interesting.
I feel like this is a sign. I took the leap and decided to stop making up some “normal” job that I do not have and just admit that I am currently writing (instead unemployed and on Disability). I am not currently making any money from it and that is FINE. I do not write to make money. That would be nice, of course. But I write for the love of writing, venting, and typing. If that goes somewhere I’d be over the moon but for now I am just happy that someone I don’t even know is happy that I am writing about mental health and the struggles of having a mental health problem.
I will never forget the feeling I got talking to the teller at my bank about my blog. I will never forget the way she looked at me, very genuinely and almost with respect. For that I will be forever grateful.
I love music. I love it so much that a good tune gives me goosebumps. I love all kinds of different music too, a good song is a good song.
I have to thank my parents, in particular my Dad for all the music in my life. My dad introduced me to Classic Rock long before I knew what it was. He would make me tapes off his records so I could ride the [horrendous] school bus with tunes in my ear. He bought me my first Sony Cassette Walkman which I used until I could not use it anymore. He bought me my first CD Walkman in 7th grade. It was one of those super-bright, super-awesome Panasonic anti-skip CD Walkmans. I think I actually still have that one. That puppy had me ‘jammin all through high school. Thank god. Without my music I may have gone insane.
I was a very shy and anxious child, teenager, and young adult. I was also lucky enough to have been bullied since the first grade. I don’t know what I did to invite the bullying. I was always quiet and wanted nothing but some friends. Somehow this made me different.
I wasn’t born here. I was born in Newmarket, Ontario which is just north of Toronto. I was born in the same hospital that I watched my father die in.
Newmarket was a lovely little town to [begin] growing up in. I remember going to Grandma’s often, I remember Pre-School (and the sand in my mouth that I could NEVER seem to avoid no matter how far away I stayed away from that damn sandbox). I remember trips to the Zoo and Canada’s Wonderland. I remember being surrounded by love and care. I also remember the night we left.
My parents never really got a long and by the time I was 3 it was long over. My mom packed her Jeep up, put me in it, and drove for what seemed like forever into the darkness. Little did I know I was headed straight for hell.
We moved 3 hours south to the Niagara Region. I still remember arriving that night. I knew instantly I hated it. I hated the house. I hated this new man I didn’t recognize. Nothing felt right and after that night nothing was ever the same again.
My mom was too busy re-kindling a [bad] high school relationship to notice that I was falling deeper and deeper into despair. I was a very lonely child. I missed my father and my grandparents terribly. I started to feel more like a burden, like I was more in the way then I was wanted. All I wanted was a friend. I made up a few imaginary ones. They were nice, they always listened and never made me feel sad. There was a time when my mother would not let my father see me. To this day I don’t know if she even realizes how much that hurt both him and I. She was becoming so blinded by her new boyfriend.
She married that boyfriend a few years later. I was not a part of the wedding. I got shipped off the the babysitters. I was so confused and again, I did not get to see my father or stay with him. My mom was busy planning her new life and I feel like my father and myself we just big problems she wanted to ignore.
When my (half) sisters came along I thought I would finally have some friends. Someone to talk to and play with. What I didn’t realize until they came home from the hospital is that they are babies and cannot talk to play yet. I also learned that babies need a lot of attention from mom which meant even less attention for me.
It also meant there was more time for her “husband” to start playing with me. By the time I was in Kindergarten I dreaded coming home. I became a very terrified little girl. I did not feel safe at home. I never knew when he would come pluck me from my bed and take me to his to undress me and play with me for the night. My mom would be out on some errand or with a sick sister at the hospital, he kept her busy enough so he could have me all alone. This went on for years until one fateful July day in 1991 when I said something peculiar to my mom. I must applaud that she did not waste one millisecond, she jumped into action immediately and called the Police. I wasn’t even 8 years old yet.
I had to tell my story repeatedly to Police Officers, Investigators, and Family and Children’s Services. It was all very frightening and embarrassing. I did not know what he was doing was so wrong. I hated it but I didn’t know. I was just a child.
This incident turned my mom into a very angry, bitter, sleep deprived, and somewhat crazy woman. Which is understandable, but she became more mean. I was punished for any kind of emotional outburst. I was made to feel bad for trying to express my feelings. My mom was always yelling at me, thinking she was shaping me for the better when really she was yelling at a child who badly needed help.
By this time I was allowed to see my real father again. It was glorious. Through him I could escape. Literally, mentally, and emotionally. He took me away from this awful town on weekends. We would go back to Newmarket where I felt safe and loved. Nobody there made me feel bad about myself. They encouraged me to be me, they told me I was their Princess, I felt wanted. My grandma knit me sweaters that I would wear when my dad took me ice skating in the Winter. In the summer Dad would take me to Wasaga Beach and we’d go camping by by Algonquin Park. And there was always music.
We were Rockin’ everywhere we went. We drove to Ottawa (7+ hours) to see my cousin play squash. We drove the Trans-Canada Hwy East all the way to Cape Breton to see Grandma and Grandpa. We flew West to Alberta for Christmas ’99/NYE 2000. There was always music a long the way. He introduced to me Nazareth, ACDC, The Doors, The Rolling Stones … the list is endless. The music made me feel free. It still does.
It wasn’t long before I had my own music collection which became my armour and my saviour. When I was sad and lonely, music was there. When I missed Dad our favourite albums were (and are) a trot down memory lane. When I felt no one understood me, music did. Music has been my friend since I was a child. It is the only constant positive I have had though out my entire life.
A friend’s mom once told my mom “Carla idolizes Rock Stars”, as if there were cause for concern. Yes, I do idolize Rock Stars but not because I desire to be them per se but because their talent and music has helped me immensely. If not for the music I don’t know that I could have lived through the last few decades. I cannot thank my father enough for the music. He let my ears taste many different types of music and gave me the tools to listen. I also cannot thank him enough for leaving me his stereo, he knew I wanted it and I do cherish it. It is priceless to me for so many reasons.
As I continue to struggle music is here to comfort me. To tell me that I am okay, I am not alone. It makes me feel sublimely happy to hear a good tune loud and proud. For a brief time I can forget all the sadness and negativity that I am trying to work through and just be me.
FEATURED PHOTO is my own creation. It’s a finished project from my Graphic Design Days, created for Typography class circa 2003.