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 one friend 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.  We still talk occasionally, but we were absolute best friends for years. 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.
    My heart bursts with gratitude for her.

     

  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.

Where do we land?

I overwhelmingly connect to the term “Empath.” I am intuitive. I have lived many lives behind many faces. I understand many of the synapses and bridges people find and forge; and while I maintain that the Taste Bud Principle is cosmic “law,” I feel more closely to a person’s pain than I ever feel to a person.

Continue reading “Where do we land?”

Intro (updated 08/04/2018)

How familiar are you with sleepless nights? I sometimes feel like they’re inside me already, waiting perched with their talons hooked into my heart. The nighttime birds open their eyes when I make the realization I may not sleep, and I soon find myself staring at the walls with the eyes of owls.

It is two hours until midnight, which might not sound late to you. It is for me. One conscious Vital Change I’ve made for myself is setting early “curfews.” I am more active by dawn than dusk, and that in itself took me almost two decades to learn.

While encouraging myself to sleep would be wiser, I will introduce myself instead. I am an INFJ. I love to read and find books to be great messengers of important perspectives. I love artistic expression, and I constantly break down with and fear the human experience. But it is something I try to cherish every day. The most important thing about me at this time in my life is that I am currently struggling with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and two physical illnesses: fibromyalgia and a working Dx of endometriosis. My C-PTSD (diagnosed as PTSD) has mimicked other disorders with additional symptoms throughout my life, but ultimately, PTSD is my only consistent diagnosis. I have been chronically suicidal for most of my life, which meant for me that every day was “my” day to die. Suicidal urges and suicidal thinking destroyed what little left I had of a childhood and adolescence. It was an obsession that took my life before I had the chance to. I’ve got quite an inpatient rapport and a lot of scars. But there are times now in which I feel hopeful and even excited for the future. Those times increase in duration and power all the time, and I am learning how to live my life.

I believe we create our own purposes. They don’t, in a big sense, “call” to us. We are drawn to them, but I strongly believe we have to act on them before we can establish them. I am a strong believer in experiences and development. There are always circumstances outside of us, but we control our own selves, and I believe that counts for more than people believe.

I have been in therapy for fifteen years now, in and out of hospitals and partial-hospitalization programs. It wasn’t until April 2016 that I realized what I want to do. I realized at that point that what I want to do with my life is what I want my life’s work to be: Making the world a better place for others and myself.

This blog will be a testament to that endeavor.

As I said, for fifteen years, I have been in/out of therapists’ offices, inpatient bedrooms, and partial classrooms. Very little worked for me. As a teen, I was angry and stubborn and the suicidality was too severe for me to imagine myself growing to adulthood. However, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of the worksheets and quotes and recycled ideas that were given to me would’ve not been of much use otherwise anyway. I’m picky and heavily a seeker of knowledge and more specifically of understanding; both a student and teacher. The field of psychology is terribly generalized, and people have to remember that every diagnosis belongs to a human being and not vice versa. But the mental healthcare field is so crowded with demand and gives too little in supply and it’s already complex enough that tailored therapies are not possible. So instead, you have CBT, DBT, etc. I find that for me, blends of therapies with a strong focus on CBT works best, and I’ve also found that the worksheets I design on my own are usually my best tools. So I want to share.

Everyone is different. Everyone experiences pain differently. So add this website as another resource, another safe place, if it helps, which it may not. (But try it!)

I am not a licensed therapist or psychiatrist. I’m the “coucher” in this situation who has lived lifetimes of madness. Proceed at your own pace and at your own risk. I will mark intense triggers if they come up and of course everyone has a different idea of “intense.” So please be aware of this.

I hope your day is enriching and positive. Sending love out to all, and may we share this incredible journey forward.

 

V.