It’s been a while.

We are halfway through 2017, and I haven’t written in months. I have been hit by a strong wave of depression, and while trying to commit to usual self-care routines, I have not yet brought myself out of the void. I am tired and sad and weak. The only thing keeping me going right now is the love that I am surrounding myself with, which brings me to a point I haven’t really covered yet.

Many people recycle the line that you have to love yourself before you are loved, but please don’t listen to them. I think there’s credence to that in a sense that when you harp about people leaving, people will tend to leave, but it goes no further than that. I have coped for years in my past with self hatred and have been loved tremendously and wholly regardless, and for someone to further shame you for hating yourself is ludacris; don’t listen to it.

While we can’t control other people and we don’t have full control on who comes into our life, we do have more control over who stays in our life than we realize. Family is of course more difficult, especially when we are under 18, but for a great portion of our life, we can control the kind of love we accept and the kind of love we refuse. This is crucial to quality of life. Even as an introvert, I can safely say positive social interaction is as vital as food and water to human life.

Surround yourself with people who enrich you; who allow you to grow; who are honest with you and respectful; who are communicative and expressive, especially during times of conflict. Be a person who enriches others; who allows others to grow; who is honest and respectful; who is communicative and expressive, especially during times of conflict. This nurtures your spirit. This nurtures the world.

I strongly believe in self-sufficiency and self-reliance; I can even say I admire it above almost all else. But I am far away from it on my journey still, and I would be not be alive without the people who have supported me and who support me now. I will expand more on the concept of recovery from abuse soon, as suffering from abuse related PTSD, trauma from abuse is a huge and serious issue to me that I know all too intimately. But for now, I’m exhausted. For now, this is all I can do. I hope everyone is well today.

Sending all my love.

 

V.

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For the Q: How do you set goals?

A great reminder for the new year. What are your resolutions?

Making vital changes

This is kind of long so while I hope you’ll read all of it, I’ll write key sentences in bold. 

They often suggest goal-setting in psychiatric environments, and I have to say that this is one totally generic, simple thing that has effectively worked for me. For two years now, I’ve used “resolution” binders in which I try to set goals daily in accordance with my New Year’s resolutions. I feel like the biggest problem with achieving New Year’s resolutions is not necessarily motivation (or lack thereof), but the fact that people so often lack a formula or plan to achieve those resolutions. There’s additional complication to that.

In 2015, I set goals such as “lose weight” and “live in less clutter” and wrote down ways to achieve them in bulleted lists. The only goal I accomplished in 2015 was “read 30 books,” which was fairly easy-ish for me, since I love…

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The month of gratitude

Another apology for a lack of posts. October was so hard on me, and truth be told, positivity is hard to maintain. I’ve been more social than perhaps ever before, which is good, but I’ve also been mega stressed. I have many complaints, but this entry is not going to be a place for those complaints. Instead, I’m going to write about what I’m most grateful for. I feel everything has at least a duality to it. The human experience, when truly lived, is neither singularly joyful or melancholy. It is complex. It is both. It is all. It is neither.

Chronic suicidality makes gratitude hard for me, because every good thing, event, place and/or person is often enough proof to me that I should stay and bear the pain. I don’t resent these, but it makes gratitude itself more complicated. I love, and I am grateful, and I have always loved and always been grateful, but allowing that gratitude to be a positive motivator is something new to me.

My blessings:

  1. “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” – Walter Winchell ; This is one of my favorite quotes, particularly because of the subtle implications. I don’t believe friendships always last forever, real and true or not. I used to have friendships with people who abused this sentiment but never wholly grasping what it meant–at least to me. To me, “walks in” means “supports;” alternatively, “walks out” means “disowns,” “neglects,” or “betrays.”Real friends are hard to come by, but for me any friend in general is particularly hard to come by. Despite this blog, or tied into this blog I guess, I am in reality a very sad person who is easily triggered. This is something I am working on, both via the blog and life.  Books. Classes. Therapy. You know, many methods and mediums. I am difficult for people to handle, because I am intense. That is something that will not change no matter how hard I try. Intensity is tied with me, and so it is tied with my sadness.

    I have had two (2) friends I have experienced this sentiment with. I am luckier than most in this. Maybe luckier than anyone. Although our friendship is more or less over, my first best friend is one of the most important people in my life. I say “is” because I still and will always love her. She showed me what friendship really is; what platonic love really is. She ran to my house through a blizzard in her pajamas to ensure my safety for the night. She ran to my rescue every time I needed her at such a crucial age.  I was 14ish when we got close like this, and I lost this bond as early as 15, due to life-changing circumstances on both our parts. We still talk occasionally, but we were absolute best friends for a singular year. It feels like a lifetime. She defended and protected me. She listened. She reasoned with me. She was my rock, my guardian angel, and my best friend.

    The second friend is my mother, who will always be my mother first and friend second, but she and I are friends nevertheless. She has grown. We both have. Significantly. Our interpersonal relationship has improved, and she nurtures me and loves me.

    My heart bursts with gratitude for both.

  2. I can eat well and often enough. I have a roof over my head, a pretty safe environment, a loving mother, nice clothes, supplies for creative expression, healthcare, and to sum it up: Enough to live well at this moment.
    I have great battles every day, but I’m grateful I do not sleep on a dirty floor or in the streets. Despite financial troubles, I am richer than many and have a lot of support.
  3. “…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?” – Vincent van Gogh ; I suppose there’s a dark and serious irony here, since the Impressionist painter committed suicide. But he had a beautiful soul from what I know of him and beautiful ideas. And truthfully, in these moments, there are few things more important than these. I am grateful for human expression and creativity.

  4. My “gray matter” in many matters. I have strong education however informal, I have great creativity, some awesome skill sets, a knack for art, an immense love for the world, and am able to see beauty in small things. I suffer from mental illnesses that are heavy and complicated and painful. I suffer from chronic suicidality and other severe symptoms that impact my day-to-day living. But yesterday I bought a bag of apples and found one still with a leaf on it. The sun is shining beautifully, and I am not overheated, despite my hyperthyroidism. I am happy. If just in this moment, I am happy. I am hopeful. I have a break from my suicidality. I can breathe. I know what I need to do. I know how to plan to achieve those goals. I am grateful for my flawed, beautiful, and capable mind.
  5. “When you know in your bones that your body is a sacred gift, you move in the world with an effortless grace. Gratitude and humility rise up spontaneously.” – Debbie Ford
    The body I’m in is not limber or ever comfortable. I have days during which I am bedridden and crying out in pain. But it is a vessel to carry me, and I can still–on most days–paint with it, dance with it, and hug with it. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to create, dance, and express affection.

I choose gratitude today.

Advice for 18 October, 2016 + On living

Embrace today and remember that life and death, in all ways, are commanded by process, and it is up to the individual to align that process towards progress.

***

I’ll be perfectly candid with you: I went back to the hospital on the second of October after another overdose. I stayed in the medical hospital for two nights and three days, sleeping most of the time as my mid-30s heart rate tried to recover itself. It did, although I’m still having residual effects.

After those three days, I was put back in the psychiatric ward. Wards honestly have become “homes” away from Home at this point–a sad realization but a realization nonetheless. I got along [mostly] fine. I cried a lot. I spoke a lot, read a lot, spent a lot of time with a lot of people. I let myself be discharged too early–too early as this depressive episode has drained blood out of me–and discharged as I was having difficulties with another patient.

I recently left. Just Friday, so ten days of groups and socializing and routine. When I come back, there’s always more of an adjustment period than I have going there. The “real” world is so hard; so harsh. Everything is too much: too loud, too potent, too bright, you name it. It’s “too” everything. It has great beauty in it–great, profound beauty–but it’s very stressful and overwhelming for me.

I am trying to get back into a good-enough-for-right-now place, but it’s difficult. So bear with me as my entries may be a little more dispersed than usual. I appreciate the patience.

Sending love always always always,

 

V.

Taking my own advice: 260916

Part B to Part A 260916

(I’ve decided to start chiming in on my own reactions to the advice I preach for clarification, actualization, and socialization purposes.)

So….

accomplishmentssample

Part of most kinds of recovery is about acceptance. Being aware that five things doesn’t look like a lot, I have to be mindful that I set a very short timeline, these things were difficult for me, and that is okay. I did them! (Also it’s 05:54 so I’m still a little sleepy. ;))

Please share also if you want to. 🙂

090916

Things have been a little flavorful lately in the sense that life has been tasting a little like hell. It’s during these times that my posts here are especially important to me, and I’ve found rereading some of them has helped me get through things but still not very well. It’s amazing how when the depressions grabs you, you start sinking and are so easily swallowed up, like the Swamp of Sadness in The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.

I remember the first time I read that book. I was twelve, and I stayed up all night to finish it. Beautifully imagined, it’s one of the most creative books I’ve ever read. But just like it’s important to read novels from other countries and cultures to expand your mind, it is also important to nourish yourself with positivity and intuitive beauty.

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