Trust the Next Chapter

Today I had my second session of CBT. I have been waiting for a year to start Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Sandra is my therapist and she challenges me in a way that no one has before. She attacks my negative thinking and puts a new perspective on it, making me dig deep to see how unhealthy and unrealistic my thoughts are. I have homework, and a lot of it. She says I sleep to avoid and I need to be more active. Sandra does her job well. She asked me tonight, if I wanted to continue to be depressed and miserable. To some that may seem like an easy question to answer. No. But for me depression and being miserable is my comfortable norm, so I hesitated when I answered her. My answer was still no, I do not want to live my life like this. I’m here because I want to change. I want to be the author of my life. So far depression and anxiety have been writing all the pages so far, and that’s a shitty book. But I keep reading it over and over as though it’s my favourite book.

So we made some goals…
1. I have to go to work at 7 am at least once a week instead of the regular 6 am and know that I am still going to be a capable teacher who does her job well.
2. I need to sleep less. Sleeping is my avoidance strategy and it needs to be replaced. I can replace it with almost anything, but I am not allowed to use sleep to avoid.
3. I have to run three times per week for 20 minutes and know that it’s ok to be a beginner runner again.

So I ran tonight. Slowly. Very slowly. I am starting from scratch again. I ran 2.5 km which my mind tells me is not good enough. Real runners go much further and much faster. Sandra would tell me to be aware of that thought and ask me if a friend told me they ran exactly what I did, what would I think? Well, I would think they are awesome, because that’s great. So I will tell myself, that what I did was great.


Do what needs to be done so you can save yourself. Just because your progress isn’t obvious it doesn’t mean your effort isn’t paying off.

 I trust the next chapter because I am the author.

A War Was Coming

Everyone needs at least one friend who understands what we do not say. I’m extra cautious about who has access to me lately, and it’s not because of arrogance. It comes from the need to protect my space and my energy. This, hopefully short chapter of my life, requires me to be a little bit less accessible. Do not take it personally.

The war hit again. The enemy is coming. Help me hold up my head and enter the arena so that I can face the dark side. Help me fight until I cannot fathom to fight any more, then push me to fight harder. Help me to remember to never let go and to never give up because this war, this time is a war all too familiar. Help me to never run and never surrender and to fight a good fight; even when it seems inevitable.

How rare and beautiful it is to even exist and I guess the point is that I’m still alive, even after all these fights. I don’t remember easy, I only remember difficult because it is all too familiar. My brain is still trained to think of self-harm as the first and only option to make things better. What an easy way to end the pain. I think I deserve bad things to happen to me and sometimes I wish they would, however,  I do think I’m past the point in my illness where I would never self-harm again, and so instead I sleep. Sleep is safe. Sleep doesn’t harm me. Sleep passes the time.

I’m a thinker, not a talker. So if you are one of my people, don’t take my silence for bitterness or a wall not to be tackled. Ask me yes or no questions because those are easy for me to answer. Ask me if you can touch me and if I say yes give me deep pressure. Breathe with me until it passes. Tell me that you’ve got me and that you’ve got my back. Don’t tell me it will be okay because to me it won’t be okay. Instead, tell me to be strong and that you will be strong with me. Sit with me without talking, your presence means more the typical responses that we get.

Sending love to everyone who’s trying their best lately to heal from things they don’t discuss.

xo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cjwPWFgPKg

Queen Bees

For all the queen bees out there who may also be heartbreak dreamers, you will be alright. Set boundaries to respect yourself and not to offend anyone else.

The world has better plans for you. Align yourself with the things that you want. If you feel discomfort, it is a sign that is meant to tell you change is needed and it is coming.  Sprint towards your dreams. No walking.  Get the momentuem you need to go for your dreams and own being a queen bee.

There is a specific reason why your heart and soul isn’t made up of things that can break. Your heart and soul can bend and adapt while still being strong. You were created to be resilient. Queen bees don’t break. Even in the darkest moments, when there may appear to be no flowers for you, there is light waiting to be discovered.

I have been off running for weeks now. I still felt like myself but in a different way. Today I watched young littles run their hearts out at a cross country meet and I was inspired by those unbreakable, mendable, little hearts. It’s time for me to look for my queen bee to come back to me to refind her in the love that I find in running.

Thank you littles, for helping me align myself again, with those things that I want. This next chapter is going to be queen bee worthy. I was buried in a darkness that was a shadow over me. There was a light that was dull but now it’s ready to come out of it’s abyss and shine.

Healing comes in waves, and maybe the waves have hit the the rocks. But that’s ok. We are all still healing. Queen bees you are still healing.

Silent Battles

My personality confuses people, because I enjoy being alone a lot. In solitude. However, I can also be social if the situation dictates it. But me, I will remain alone. Entangled in my love affair with solitude. I make my progress that no one recognizes because you never see my darkest moments. I silently win battles and make expansions in my mind. Transforming myself. Quietly.

This confuses people. I am confusing. But even though my illness is invisible, I am not.

Creation is quiet, and it is long. The power of silence lies here. Destruction is overwhelmingly loud and causes chaos. This is why you never hear from me.

Do you love me enough that I may be weak with you? Everyone loves strength, but do you love me for my weakness? That is the real test.
-Alain de Botton

It’s Not Black or White

I don’t believe in God, or an after life. I believe in memories, hearts and people. But I also believe things are rarely black and white.

I don’t think God gave me Tunie. But I believe there is a reason why she is here. I believe she was meant for me for so many reasons. I am forever grateful for her, for her lessons, for her personality, for her love. I believe I was given to her so that she could be loved and taken care of. To teach her that life can be good, that someone wants to take care of her forever. It’s truly a match made in heaven. But I don’t believe in heaven, so I guess it’s a match made from love and perfect, specific timing from the universe. I promise her that I will keep her safe and protected and I think she has promised me to keep me unconditionally loved.

I guess my love for her is black and white. I will love her forever. But the depth of the reasons why I love her are grey. How lucky do two beings have to be in order to fall for each other at exactly the right time in the right way.

So many things are not black and white. Depression is most definitely not black and white. It’s all the saddest shades of grey. I have learned that I am more than the darkness found in those greys. I am more than the stigma that is associated with mental illness.

One of the main reasons why I am functioning at a productive level is due to being on medication. It allows me to be who I truly am. It lets me be me more than I ever could when I wasn’t medicated. I finally feel like myself and it’s wonderful. I am grateful for finally finding the right combination that is right for me. Please don’t judge when you see someone with multiple bottles on their counter. Please don’t think that we can do better without them. Don’t tell us just to be happy. They have gotten me to a place where I can do the things that I want to do. They have let me have the strength to handle teaching and my career. They have allowed me to properly love people, to properly love Tunie and to love myself. They have opened me up to love; and so I am not afraid of medication.

Who you were, who you are, and who you will become are three very different people. Be proud of the journey for it’s not going to be black and white, but my goodness, grey can be a beautiful colour.

The Biggest Apology

Who is the hardest person to forgive? Maybe if you tell yourself enough, it will seem acceptable and you will be able to apologize to yourself.  For accepting things into your life that are not what’s meant to be.

I’m at a place in my life where peace and self love are priorities and negativity does not have a home. Suddenly you know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings. I owe myself the biggest apology for putting up with shit I don’t deserve. So do it and decide – is this how I want to live my life? Decide. Breath in. Breath out. And decide.

When the world around you is breaking down, have a look to see what doesn’t belong. You’ve got this. You’ve always got the fight in you. You’re going to be alright. I’m slowly starting to believe that the universe doesn’t make mistakes. Timing is so important, when things enter or leave your life matters. Be mindful of what you let into your life because in fact you do have control over it. Look for and speak for growth, change and the opportunity for expansion.

The timing of when sweet little Tunie came into my life was not a mistake. She has saved me in a way that no person could. She has brought true unconditional love into my life. I often think, how did we get so lucky to deserve the love that we get from animals. There was always a place in my heart for her, and when she arrived, she filled that space. It was waiting just for her and only she could fill it in the way that it needed to be filled. She will always occupy this special corner of my heart. In turn, I’ve had to come to the realization that in order to make room for unconditional love I’ve had to clear space in my heart and mind for her. That means examining what was already taking up space there and ask myself if it was fulfilling – in this process, apologizing for accepting things that do not belong and then forgiving myself for letting and keeping those things in.

So what if you apologize and decide to lose yourself in change and growth and accept the timing that the universe has planned for you…..it may just turn out the way you need it to.

Always Come Back

I know it’s not been easy, but easy is not always worth it. But I don’t ever want to forget how lucky I am. Because, darling, you are the one that is going to lift yourself up. When things start slipping at the seams, I am the only one I want to be with when the setting sun and the day is done. Everything seems to be about timing. Sometimes I feel unworthy, like I’m not adequate. But someday, someone is going to look at you like you are the best thing in the whole world. And I ask myself, why can’t that person be you. Why can’t we look at ourselves in the mirror and tell ourselves that we deserve all the love, all the good things, all the beauty the world has to offer us. Don’t forget how far you have come. You are FIERCE. You are a fierce woman. Let the other fierce women around you join in your circle and lift you up.

But when times are becoming a little too tough, it’s okay to step away, breathe, practice self care, gather yourself, and then, come back. But you must always come back. Don’t leave this place, because, beauty, you are so worth it.

So listen to the wind because it talks and listen to the silence because it speaks too. But most importantly listen to your heart because it is the one that knows.

To all the beauties out there, your love for yourself should be crystal clear.

Forever That Girl…

This is my fear: that I will forever be THAT girl. That girl who cancels plans with no warning. That girl who prefers to be alone, rather than with company. That girl who says nothing and comes across as quiet when all I want to do is have a conversation. That girl who is messed up and can’t cope. That girl who struggles.

The discomfort in my chest today is almost unbearable. The knots in my stomach feel like they are eating me alive. My body is sending me so many obvious hints that I am not okay, and yet, I don’t know what to do about it. I wander, aimlessly, from room to room, and feel bad because Tunie follows me around. I obsess over the list in my head of things that I know will be unsuccessful today. I am having a bad day. I’m struggling to cope today and I hate days like this. My body shakes and I can’t control it and I’m on the verge of tears. I am craving sensory pain like you wouldn’t believe, because it would be a release, a distraction, a solution. This is what a moment feels like when your anxiety is present. Now imagine all the moments in a day and think about how much you would dread that day. This is my today.

I need to work on being in love with the person in the mirror who is still standing after being through so many struggles. I want to actually forever be that girl who gets really excited when the sky is in lovely colours. That girl who is proud of who she has become. That girl who can talk to anyone without worrying about what they will think when they find out I struggle. That girl who is gentle with herself. Today I will work on being gentle with myself but forgive me for also being that girl who can’t leave the house today.

Until tomorrow.

Stick With the Things That Pull the Magic Out of You

There are so many things I love about this picture. I am genuinely happy in this moment. My sweet little Petunia is exploring her world and I am exploring caring for something else other than myself. It is a wonderful experience. I’m glad I am sharing it with her. Petunia or Tunie for short, was a scared stray cat who appeared at my place one day. Right away I knew she was a creature of love. She needed to be loved and needed to love as well. I told myself if she came back the next morning I would consider taking her in.  Well, return she did, she was hungry and craving help. I still put it off one more day, but the third day showed the return of Tunie and so that day she become my sweet girl. Tunie was a sick little kitty, she was full of infections and had clearly been roughing it out there in that scary world alone. The vet said she was so infected: she had an upper respiratory infection, her eyes were a mess, she was severely underweight, had two large abscesses and there was a potential for feline leukemia and FIV and a white blood cell count that topped the charts. Bloodwork was needed to rule out the feline leukemia and FIV, which thank our lucky stars came back negative. And then so began our journey of a different type of recovery. Together we are learning about each other and what the other one needs. Tunie needs someone to help her get better: her recovery consists of special food for weight gain, lots of antibiotics and more bloodwork in the future, and of course lots of love. She is learning to become comfortable and feel safe, while giving me the love and affection that I need. I truly believe we picked and saved each other. She sleeps a lot and that’s just fine because I know the importance of sleep in recovery and how important it is in assisting medication to work. She slept at the foot of my bed from the first night together, and every once in a while I’ll wake to soft nuzzles in the middle of the night. We love each other. Tunie brings out the love I have in me to give and the magic of feeling happy. I adore her and am grateful for this beautiful creature. I think I’ll stick with her…

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