Whole Again

Deafening silence breaks

And with deep breath the world awakes

Sounds that warm the coldest heart

Shadows that loom slowly depart

Darkness no longer fights the light

Death resurrected, grey becomes bright

With seams unseen, what’s torn is mended

She’s whole again as nature intended

The Light in The Darkness

In The Darkness a small speck of light

“Follow it” she said “a guide through the night”

But where will it take me? I feared in my heart

“Where you should go. Where you should start”

I trusted the light and followed its path

The Darkness angry, feeling its wrath

“Push on” she said “you can make it through

The Darkness is weak, nothing it can do”

Fearfully trailing, I tremble and cower

Until the light shines brighter the final hour

The end of The Darkness I finally see

I turn to the light, and could it be?

“Yes, I am you and you are me

I was inside, you set me free”

The Profound Impact of “I’m Proud of You”

I just published my first post last night. Immediately afterwards my anxiety had a field day with me.

Part of the purpose behind this writing journey is therapeutic…to help work through and relieve a little of my own anxiety.  However, once I hit the “publish” button that nasty little anxiety monster (I picture him as Gachnar, the little Fear Demon from Buffy) sat smug and all scary looking on my shoulder, whispering diabolically in my ear … “you overexposed yourself”, “no one wants to read about your shit”, “you’re wasting your time”, “people are going to judge you”, “your friends and family are going to be disappointed in you when they learn how fallible you are”, “you’re embarrassing yourself”. I was so full of self-doubt, worry, fear. I expressed myself in writing to help my anxiety but ended up riddled with it! Oh Alanis…sing it, girl.

Then my daughter sent me a text and said “I’m proud of you”. That’s all it took. All squinty eyed, I glared at that little shit-disturber on my shoulder, he looked back at me defiantly, and I gave him the finger and flicked him off. He begrudgingly crawled back to wherever it is he lies in wait for the opportune moment to perch himself right back up there on my shoulder to fuck with my reality. But he retreated. He retreated because of those four simple words from my daughter.

Then I read comments on my blog and on social media from family and friends that made my eyes sweat. I teared up with the feeling of acceptance and support. It wasn’t at all what I expected…because that little monster had filled my head with irrational worries and fears. It’s difficult not to listen. It’s hard to differentiate between what the little monster is filling your head with and what is actuality.

Telling someone you are proud of them has an extremely profound effect. Whether you use the exact words “I’m proud of you”, or just take a minute to give recognition and praise in some small but genuine way, it will have a powerful impact. Especially on someone who is struggling. Don’t underestimate that. It can help correct their perception of their reality.  It can also help them recognize that they have achieved something positive, regardless of how small the feat. It might have been an incredible win for someone to just get out of bed that day and your words of encouragement, no matter how simple they are, could make all the difference for them to keep going, to continue making an effort.

The thing is, we don’t always know who is struggling or with what. Some of us are really skilled at hiding it behind the smiles, the jokes, the laughter. So never assume that anyone is exempt from needing a little praise, a little recognition.

So tell the people you care about that you are proud of them for something. Anything. Even if you get an eye-roll or an “oh, whatever, it’s not a big deal”, trust me…it hits home…and it IS a big deal. It might seem trivial, but you will have made a huge difference in their day…maybe even their life.

Guys, Remember that time I started a Blog?!

I don’t really know what I’m doing here, people. As I’m writing this, I’m still working on setting up my actual blog site (if that’s what it’s even called) but I’m determined to figure it out…as I am with most things.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m here…to figure some shit out. I have so much rattling around in this brain of mine…a cornucopia of fragmented thoughts and emotions that need piecing together into some sort of nutshell. Do I really need to air out my issues on a public platform that anyone could read…and judge? Well, no. I could just write a personal diary and hide it in my underwear drawer where I hide my other personal things like…uhm…my underwear.  However, if these thoughts of mine, once formulated into legible content, translate to something positive and inspiring, and my weird ramblings end up helping even just one other person besides myself, well then that’s worth the risk.

It’s very humbling and, honestly, pretty damn terrifying, to check your pride at the door and be transparent about your own mental and emotional instabilities. People close to me already know I’m kinda loopy and have “issues”…but, yikes, throwing it out there for anyone to read about? Even though I know there are people suffering way worse than I am it’s still scary AF. Many of us spend our time telling people to “pay no attention to the person behind the curtain”, so big time kudos to those who are brave enough to pull that curtain back and tell people “it’s ok to get to know the person behind the curtain”.

It’s especially terrifying to let your vulnerability show when you know there are toxic people out there who are negative, small minded and judgmental and they could (as they maybe have done in the past) make life even harder than it already is by knocking you even further down. But fuck them, right? I still feel motivated to expose myself …er…not like that…you know what I mean.

My life has had ups and downs just like anyone’s life, and I’ve generally felt I’ve had my shit together…or if my shit wasn’t together, I was capable of pulling said shit into a neat little pile and moving forward. I had a way of bouncing back relatively quickly with little drama and minimal lasting damage.

I would joke about the whole “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” thing and how “I must be like Wonderwoman or She-ra by now so yay me”. I was proud to be recognized for being someone that could continuously get knocked down but would get right back up…and yes, be stronger for it. But the last couple of years have been particularly trying for me, resulting in…well…basically me becoming more of a mental case than usual. I got knocked down for the umpteenth time and this time it was a lot harder to get back up. I’ve been challenged with some debilitating emotional tortures like depression, anxiety, insomnia and became more of the mindset “what doesn’t kill you makes you an insecure recluse with poor coping mechanisms and a dark sense of humour”.

I’m now in a much better place than I was 6 months ago, much less of a train wreck. I know what I went through, and am still going through, does not define me. I’m learning to navigate these turbulent uncharted mental health waters in order to punch my issues right in the face. Although… those issues walk around wearing my face and I don’t really want to punch myself in the face…so…let’s just forget that metaphor…but you get the point.

So, basically this Blog is a form of personal therapy, an outlet of sorts, and if people want to come along for the ride that’s cool. I’m down. I just can’t predict what this Blog will really be like for the reader though.

Sometimes it might be a venting rant or I might share what’s helped me manage my emotional fuckery in more of a clinical way. Sometimes I might write lightheartedly and all motivation-y. Sometimes there might be a strong cheese factor. Sometimes I might write all dark and broody.  It might sometimes be funny, sometimes not. It might be Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey. Who knows. It’ll depend on my mood and state of mind at the time…which, these days, is like a box of chocolates.

I do know that I am well on my way to getting back to my old bad-ass self but I have a ways to go yet. I plan to continue to build my inner strength back up and feel empowered again through this little therapeutic writing process and hopefully maybe help a few others along the way …because everyone goes through shit at one point or another and many, unfortunately, are in a continuous state of struggle. Everyone is or has been fucked up at some point in their life. Everyone has issues. If you say you don’t then you really ARE fucked up. Admit it, own it and try to work through it. C’mon…we can do it together.

Now… if I could just get over my anxiety about hitting “publish” to actually make this public I’ll be laughing. Or crying. Not sure. But I will definitely emote something.