Rainy Days, Hair Woes, and missing Mom

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Today was a very rainy Saturday.  It has been cold, wet, and grey. I don’t like it.  This weather just makes me want to curl up in bed, which is exactly what I did today.  Turned out to be a bad idea.

I woke up feeling all sorts of funky.  It happens on occasion, it’s a shame really because I do love naps but this waking up to feeling not-so-fine causes me to avoid naps sometimes because it’s just not worth the risk.  I feel like I may have been dreaming.  I woke up with my mom on my mind.  I should go visit soon, perhaps make use of her bathtub that I enjoy so much, have a cup of tea and a chat.  I feel like I miss her.  She’s not far away and I did not see her long ago.  I just could not shake this funky feeling-aka looming anxiety- so I took an Ativan to calm myself.  I even woke my Love because I felt I needed him awake with me.  He now sits beside me watching the hockey game which is fine, as long as he is beside me in case of emergency-comfort-needing I am good.

Phew. Ativan is kicking in.

I have been thinking too much today.  Thinking too much about the past and who I was and how I got here.  Thinking too much about my life before.  I am not that person any more and I do not miss her, I don’t know why for a moment I felt as though I missed that person.  That person was so down she couldn’t see any light, she self-sabotaged and constantly isolated herself and she thought that she wasn’t worthy of the happiness she so badly wanted to feel.

I have to remind myself of how far I have come.  I am plowing through my EMDR so I should not be surprised if a few episodes pop up here and there but I always am.  It always seems to happen after a period of feeling really put together and whole in myself.  I felt great the last few days-a week and then tonite I just felt like I could fall apart.  I have actually probably been feeling this way since I woke up this morning I have just been trying to ignore it.  Again, turned out to be a bad idea.  After all day of thinking too much it just overwhelmed my brain.

I was feeling as though I am doing nothing, going nowhere, just watching life go by.  I was questioning if all this time and money spent on therapy is worth it? Is this where I want my life to go? Where DO I want my life to go? Even now the answer is the same: I DON’T KNOW.  I have come this far that I can’t stop now so I can only hope and pray that this is the right path for me, that life will work out, and I will feel worthy of everything I want, deserve, and work for.

I got the itch to 2 tone my hair again last week which I am still not sure if that was a conscience or a dissociative thing to do.  It seemed like a BRILLIANT idea last Monday but pretty much since Tuesday I have been regretting my decision.  I did all this work to be all blonde just to f*ck it up in less then 20 minutes.  This too I have been overthinking – am I just trying to revert to a previous self? Did I really want to do this style? Am I looking dated in a way I don’t want to? Am I making myself look harsh? … Again, the answer is I DON’T KNOW. Looking at that photo I took the other day it looks pretty rad and I feel like I like it. Something so mundane as hair colour keeps me lost in thoughts for hours.  Leave it, keep it, change it, color oops it… all these options overwhelm me.  For now, mostly due to my lack of ambition (thanks depression!), I will NOT bother to do a damn thing color-wise for a few weeks yet.  Buys me more time to make my decision and see how this black/purple/blue dye bleeds out… I seem to have had a hair dying addiction for a few years now.  Really, I just want to be back to blonde. I was born a blonde and I love blonde.  I just want blonde.  All these years of red, black, violet, orange, blue and any other color you can think of was just a desperate plea to be blonde.  My mother always told me I looked “cheap” with (white) blonde hair so to keep her happy I would often I would avoid keeping it blonde.  I have got to stop thinking that way. I can do what I want and be whoever I want to be.

I think this scares me, the thought that I can be whoever I want to be.  Quite possibly because I am not quite sure yet who I want to be but I do know that I am on my way there. I have become so used to pleasing someone else before pleasing myself that it feels weird to be fully in charge of myself.  Sometimes I feel like I want to do everything and I can do anything and then I get overwhelmed by all the things I could do and the feeling that time is just slipping away.

I keep feeling the desire to return to school.  To me, going back almost feels like I am REALLY starting over.  School is a place I have always felt safe and enjoyed and it would help me to re-socialize myself and get back into society.  It would also allow me to upgrade my now-outdated skills.  I don’t like the thought of looking for work with outdated skills.  I feel inadequate for the positions that I want to work.  I also so desperately do not want to repeat the last 10-14 years of my life, jumping from crappy job to crappy job just feeling crappier and crappier about myself.  I have been to college a few times before but my old self wasn’t focused on the program(s) I took, I was looking for a distraction from life.  I lied to myself in trying to be someone I wasn’t and it has always blown up in my face.  Lesson learned.  Follow my heart and choose wisely.

I don’t know if I will pursue school or what I will end up doing really.  I don’t feel that I can make that decision today per se, but it is definitely something that is on my mind.

I think I hear my bed calling my name. It is time for me to rest my weary head and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

The PTSD Tag

I was tagged ages ago now on YouTube to answer the “PTSD Tag” questions.  I have actually filmed this twice yet I have never put my footage, and ultimately my answers, out there.  I decided to blog it instead.  Maybe I will eventually re-film it and upload it but for today let’s just blog it and see what happens.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF YOUR PTSD?

The cause of my PTSD is childhood trauma, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.

WHEN WERE YOU DIAGNOSED? ARE YOU IN TREATMENT?

I was misdiagnosed for a number of years as mildly bi-polar.  In and around 2012/2013 is when I was re-diagnosed with PTSD which made a lot more sense then the previous diagnoses did. I am currently in treatment and have been for about 4 years now.  Every 2 weeks or so I go to Therapy.  For the past year or so I have been getting EMDR Treatment.

WHAT IS EMDR?

WHO KNOWS ABOUT IT?

My family is aware.  My boyfriend knows.  A few close friends might know.

WHAT ARE YOUR SYMPTOMS?

My symptoms range from mild to SEVERE anxiety, dissociation, and depression.  SO NOT FUN.

HARDEST PART ABOUT LIVING WITH THIS DISORDER?

I find the hardest part about living with PTSD is a combination of never knowing when an anxiety attack or depression is going to hit and feeling like a failure.  I feel like I am failing in life, no real job prospects, living in my moms basement, hating where I live… but I am here, failing, because of PTSD, because I have been hit too many times with crippling anxiety and/or depression and I needed to take some time out.

COPING SKILLS THAT HELP YOU?

Therapy has helped me immensely.  Not everyone needs Therapy, but I did.  Talking about it helps me sometimes.  When I start feeling anxious I can get overly chatty about it.  I also like to lay in a hot bath and try not to think about anything.  Or hide under a soft and cozy blanket in front of my space heater, I like the noise of the heater.

MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PTSD?

That we need to be medicated.  That is not true.  I tried medication for 3+ years and it was terrible.  Medication does not treat the root of the problem : TRAUMA.

That we need to “just get over it”.  Honey, if I could just get over it I’d be way past it, believe me.  I have made my Therapist cry with some of my life stories.

That is is mostly a Military issue.  Yes, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT our Military men and women suffer PTSD, and I feel for them, I really do.  They deserve our utmost respect and they should be entitled to the best care that can be given.  It is an absolute travesty that we let men and women fight for our Country(ies) and we tell them we support them.  But who supports the Veteran who is fighting for his life in his own head?

At the same time, THIS IS NOT JUST A MILITARY PROBLEM.  It is a PEOPLE PROBLEM.

People are fucked. Not all, just some.  Sometimes a really fucked up person comes into your life and really, well, fucks you up.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO OTHERS WHO SUFFER FROM THIS DISORDER? ADVICE?

Wether you are a Veteran, a regular person, hec, Lady Gaga – you are not alone.

YOU

ARE 

NOT

ALONE.

We are NOT failures and it is NOT our fault.  Don’t let anyone ever make you feel bad about something that you cannot control.  And if they do, your better off without them. Yes, even if that person is a parent, a sibling, a boyfriend, girlfriend or a spouse- if they make you feel bad about something you have no control over then that person-whomever it may be- is not good for you and is not healthy for your healing.

My advice is to cut out toxic people, which can take time.  And to look into EMDR, who knows, maybe it could help, maybe not, but I figured it was worth a shot.  I may not be healed yet but I am on my way to living a healed life.  I really do not want to know where I would be right now had I not decided to pursue EMDR… but that’s just me 😉

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Thank you so much for stopping by! Please feel free to take these questions and answer them for yourself (if you suffer from PTSD), I would love to read your answers!

FUN FACTS ABOUT THIS PICTURE:

My Dad bought me that KoRn sweatshirt when I was 16.  For my birthday.  It’s almost 17 years old now but I still love it!

This was a video still that I was going to use as a thumbnail for a YouTube video I never ended  up uploading because I got too stuck in my head about it.

I crocheted myself that yellow scarf.  I don’t even like yellow that much but I love that scarf.

That’s 2 studs you see in my nose.  Currently I only have one in.  I can’t decide if I like 2 or just one.

 

Thanks for the Music

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.

recordplayer
My Dad died in July of 2013 from complications due to Pulminary Artery Disease.   He was 53. There are so many things I will never get to say especially THANK YOU.  Thank you Dad, for the music that will always be in my heart. 
  • FEATURED PHOTO is my own creation.  It’s a finished project from my Graphic Design Days, created for Typography class circa 2003.

The Fighter in Me

The fighter in me is tired.

I don’t want to fight anymore.

I feel as though I have been battling my entire life and I am sick of it.  I am sick of hiding my true self and my true feelings.  I am sick of being someone else just to please those around me.  I want to live my life.

I am sick of feeling bad about myself for wanting to be myself.  I am sick of the anxiety and depression eating away at me, always reminding me it’s there and that it can and WILL ruin anything and everything.  I am sick of feeling like “the little engine that can’t”.

I have been off of work (and on Disability because of my illness) for over 2 years now.  It’s almost up and it worries me.  Part of me wants an extension, part of me doesn’t.  Disability, though helpful, really sucks.  I seem to have the case-worker who never calls me back and doesn’t seem all that willing to help me.  I want to be helped.  I want to be better.  Why do I always get the shitty case worker?

When I was first off work and looking into Disability, I had to temporarily go on Welfare whilst I waited (over a YEAR!!!) for my Disability claim to be accepted and begin.  While on Welfare I had a case worker – a different one then I have now.  I went on Welfare to get Disability (this is what they tell you to do) so I could focus on getting better and become a strong member of society.  My first meeting with my Welfare case worker I was told to “go on medication and try harder”.  Thank you.  I NEVER thought of that! I haven’t already been over-medicated, over-worked, and out of options.  I was literally treated like dirt on this woman’s shoe.  This is what we get for trying to help ourselves???  To add insult to injury I had to pretty much tell this woman against my will that I had been victim of sexual abuse as a child, my mom is crazy (not literally speaking) and my dad is dead.  I will never forget driving home from that meeting.  I cried the entire way home.  I seriously considered slamming my beloved red Cavalier into a telephone pole.  End it.

I perservered and I indeed was accepted to receive Disability payments until early 2017.  Great! The bullshit is over.  WRONGO!!!  I literally have to chase down my case worker via telephone if I have so much as a simple question.  I have had to get my local MP involved because I felt as though I was being completely ignored.  Here I am, a few months later, being ignored AGAIN.  I have questions I need answers to.  I have been calling and leaving messages for over 2 weeks and have yet to receive a call back.  Now I know not every case worker is like this, I just seem to have this incredible luck.  I try to help myself and I get these assholes who make me feel like I have taken 2 to 12 steps back.  I went on disability to help myself.  Is that not what it is for?

I have been crying all afternoon and some of the night.  I feel like I have completely screwed myself with all of this.  In a few months I will be kicked off.  I no longer have my beloved car.  I had to sell it because I needed the money more at the time.  The confidence I was hoping to gain is non existent.  I find myself wondering why the hell I even bothered trying [to help myself].  The fear, anxiety, and depression still cripples me and I am so sick of it.  I am sick of it all.

Something needs to change.  The system sucks all the way around.  I know this from a lot of experiences.  It’s not right.  We tell our children “it will get better”.  Why are we lying to them?  How does it get better?  You become an adult where nothing gets better.  The bullying doesn’t end, it just appears in other places.  Grow a thicker skin? Fuck you.  Learn some compassion and have some understanding.  My brain is already against me.  I don’t need validation from assholes that it’s right.

When my dad died in 2013 I promised myself I would make my life what I wanted because life is too short not to.  I still believe that but I am tired.  I have spent over a decade making decisions based on fear and agoraphobia (and what my mother will say but that’s another story for another day…).  I am tired of the fear holding me back.  I am tired of being afraid. I don’t want to cry anymore.

I feel as though I am either giving up or just starting to move forward.  I am honestly not sure which it is.  I have not given up yet but if I can’t get this ball rolling I can’t promise I won’t [give up].  I can’t live the next 10+ years the way I lived the last 10+ years.  I can’t because I won’t make it if I do.

 

THERAPY THURSDAY | July 2016

I started therapy before my Dad died, before I quit my job, before everything got really bad.  I am still here and I am desperately trying to finish what I started.  I have quit a few times only to return in need of help.  I went with the goal of receiving and completing EMDR Therapy (what is EMDR? click here to learn more ).

I am currently pretty much smack dab in the middle of reprocessing.  I am in the third and final stage, the home stretch if you will, and I hate it.  I want to be finished.  I want to be finished and I hate it not because of the therapy itself but because of how I am feeling physically and emotionally towards my environment and surroundings.  I am starting to see certain people for who they are and it makes me very sad.  I hate living in the my mother’s basement and I need to get out.  I should have gotten out a long time ago.  I should of used my inheritance to get myself out of here.  This environment is crushing my soul.  It is very negative, tense, and close minded here, it makes me feel like I am suffocating.  My boyfriend lives with me and for that I am forever grateful.  Without him I would crawl into bed and just stay there.  But we both know we need to get out of here.  We want out so bad.

EMDR has been monumentally helpful to me since the very beginning.  What is hard is seeing people and situations differently.  Realizing you need to and want to make changes but you can’t yet.  Feeling yourself change.  I am feeling myself change.  I was really worried about this change in the beginning – who will I be? what will I like? will I like me?? – essentially WHO THE HELL AM I REALLY? but the more we press forward in EMDR the more solid in myself I feel.  The more I understand why I feel so overly sensitive, why I decided to silence myself and essentially just give in to the constant yelling.  I understand why I was giving up.

A person can only take so much before they give up and after living through multiple traumas since the age of 2, by 28 I was out of gas.  I was out of gas and my best driving buddy – my dad- had just left me.  Needless to say, I trashed the [metaphorical] car.  I stopped sleeping, I stopped eating, I started drinking because nothing would take the pain away.  I looked worse and worse, I bleached, coloured, and dyed my hair so much I had to chop it all off a la pixie.  Somewhere along the line I plucked almost all my eyebrows out, which I am STILL trying to grow back.

It was in that time period when I looked and felt my worst that an Angel came to me.  To this day I truly believe my Dad had some hand in it, I think he was watching from above and knew what I needed.  Who I needed.  It was a few weeks after I had started drinking. I was already (back) in therapy but I was struggling.  At this time I should also note that my father was an alcoholic and I never really enjoyed drinking, I stayed away from it, everything about it turned me off.  Then one day I just stopped caring.  I found a bottle in the house and just started drinking.  My days became a routine of waiting for the liquor store to open so I could get home and drink … Until it dawned on me to buy BIGGER bottles (oh geez…).  I spent a lot of time alone, with my short hair, drinking on the deck listening to the oldies.  I do believe that is one of my most sad times in my life.  I was very sad and I felt very alone.  I felt like I was dying inside.

And then something happened.

One day this lovely and incredibly handsome Facebook friend I had insisted we meet at the beach.  We had been fb chatting and texting each other for months but being so preoccupied in my grief I didn’t want to think too much of it only to become more sad if he wasn’t interested in me.  Luckily he had caught me before I made my first drink of the day and I could still drive.  I blogged about it here!

I did not know then but I know now that he was my Angel.  I did not drink that day.  Nor did I drink the day after.  He became my other half and inevitably saved me from going down a very dark road.  He built me up when I was weak and enabled me to continue therapy, he inspires me to get better and to do better just by being there and caring.

My therapy sessions improved immediately.  Finally feeling like I was loved and supported made it so much easier to go to therapy, to actually want to do the therapy.  See, I did not realize then and I am just coming to realize NOW how little love and support I was feeling and getting before he came along.  I was made to feel like my feelings didn’t matter, my anger was unreasonable, that I was being dramatic, when really I was crying out for help.   He could see it and he did not run away from it.

My therapy session this week involved this topic of feeling very dismissed by certain people and learning that it’s not really their fault.  They simply do not have the capacity or willingness to understand my feelings.  This saddens and angers me but at the same time has brought me the decision that those people shall not need to be informed.  They cannot understand so why waste my breath?  It is a new and interesting decision for me but I want to be happy.  I am sick of being weighed down by other people and their ignorance towards mental health.  Especially when those people are family members.

I now need to focus. Focus on finishing therapy and building my life with my Angel.  I am terrified because I do not know what is on the other side.  At the same time I am grateful because without therapy and his love and support through all of this I cannot fathom where I would be or what I would be doing.

That’s all I have for this, my first instalment of “Therapy Thursday”.  Today I just let my thoughts come out regarding this week’s therapy session.  I am not sure where this series is going but I plan to keep writing and find out!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I write, I appreciate it more than you know.

 

Quotable Quotes | Led Zeppelin

quotable quotes 2

“Standing on a hill in my mountain of

dreams telling myself it’s not as hard,

hard, hard as it seems”.

~ Led Zeppelin | Going to California

Ain’t that the truth.  For me anyways.

Even now I feel as thought I am standing on a hill, a very small one, in my mountain of dreams.  I keep telling myself it is not as hard as it seems.  Life is not as hard as it seems.  I keep thinking and hoping that if I work hard and keep going that I will reach the mountain.  I will reach my dreams.

I do not know how I will get there but at this point in time I am trying not to concern myself with the how.  The how will come.  At this point I need to worry about me, my metal health, and getting through therapy so I can live my life to its fullest.  There are many little hills to stand on before reaching my mountain.  I must reach them all so to ensure that I will be ready, willing, and capable when I reach my dreams.

My dreams are not huge.  Really.  I just want to be happy.  I want to love and be loved.  I want to work and make enough money to live off.  I don’t want to be constantly worried that something bad is going to happen.  I want to move out of my mothers basement into a place that is ours (by boyfriends &mine).  I can’t wait to feel what it is like to wake up and not feel as thought I am mentally and creatively suffocated.  To wake up and begin my day without running into triggers before I have even had my morning tea.  These triggers range from anxiety, depression, and panic – sometimes all 3 at the same time which makes for quite the EXPLOSIVE morning let me tell you.  It’s also exhausting and embarrassing but I can’t help it sometimes.

My bud can only bloom so far under these conditions.  It will only reach a certain point before it will stop and stall.  I feel like I am already beginning to stall.  At this point (July 2016) I wanted to be further along in not only therapy but in life as well.  I have been off [from work] for 3 years now, I had hoped these years would have been more productive, on my part, creatively.

I want(ed) to do more about mental health and the issues and stigma that surrounds it.  I wanted to create an example, a documentation, a smiling face that says “hey! it’s ok! You are not your Mental Illness! You can do this!”.  I want(ed) to create a community of care where we can share our plights and talk them over.  Help each other out and lift each others spirits in a positive and non-judgemental environment.  If you are in therapy we can encourage each other to keep at it – sometimes therapy is great and sometimes it sucks.  If your not in therapy for whatever reason that is cool too, maybe you have your own way of coping and that is awesome.  I am not here to preach therapy but I would like to promote positivity, talk about mental health, and ultimately learn to love and accept myself.

My mom has often said “go with what you know”.  After battling PTSD over half my life I feel that it is something I know very well.  I know what it’s like to be misdiagnosed and medicated (ahem … overmedicated).  I know what it’s like to not be able to go to work or school because you are so anxious or depressed you simply cannot get out of bed NEVER MIND leave the house.  I know what it’s like to feel like you are crazy because the “norms” just can’t understand what is wrong.  Therapy. Oh my lanta do I know therapy.  I’m on my 3rd therapist now, so far she has stuck but we have had some fraying moments.

I know a lot about dealing with anxiety and depression and I don’t know what else to do with all of my information except share it.  Share my story, share my journey, for not only you, the reader, but for myself to look back on when I [presumably] reach that damn mountain.

Quotable Quotes | Anais Nin

Rainbow of Petals_Fotor

“And the day came when the

risk to remain tight in a bud

was more painful than the risk

it took to bloom.”

~ Anais Nin

My therapist turned me onto this quote a few years ago.  I remember vividly hearing these words and feeling such a connection to what they said.

Somewhere along the line I started to turn down the volume my personality and dreams and began to raise the volume in the afraid-to-be-the-real-me department.  Looking back I can see that it got so bad I almost lost myself completely.  Toxic people, toxic relationships, and toxic thinking can affect so much of you if you let it.  I had gotten to a point where years of the 3 T’s (the toxic people, toxic relationships & toxic thinking) had forced me into a bud.  A tight, closed off, suffocating bud.

Even though I was trapped in this bud I knew I wanted more. I want[ed] to be that beautiful flower that I was born to be.  I was so afraid to go forth and enjoy my life [and myself] that I felt I literally could not stand it anymore.  It was becoming entirely too painful to remain living tightly in a bud.  I started by making small changes that ultimately turned into bigger changes.  The first few changes were terrifying.  I spent a lot of time alone.  MONTHS.  I cried a lot.  I cried myself to sleep, I cried on the cat, I cried if I spilled tea, I cried while driving – which I do not recommend by the way.  The anxiety of hating where I was in life literally made me sick to my stomach at times.  Whatever it took, I had to get out of that bud.

The risk I was taking staying in that bud was becoming far greater then the risk it was to let myself bloom.  I knew I could not do it myself so I put myself in therapy.  I quit therapy a few times before I finally realized I needed to stay.  I owed it to myself to stay and try my hardest because I did not want to find out what would happen to me if I didn’t.  I am still in therapy and still working on blooming fully.  I still have bad days and I still get the urge to quit therapy from time to time but when I remember being a bud it inspires me to keep going.

It is not an easy road but I feel that it would be even harder to look back and have never even tried.