Love is a Place

My love is reserved for a specific few. The ones that heard me when I never said a word. For those who show me support when the tide is out and when it comes rushing in. Lately, the tide has been out. I’ve been distant, pulled away from the shore, out somewhere in the horizon. The tide has pulled me just far enough out that swimming in to the shore seems challenging, but not far enough that I need to send an S.O.S.

I can still see everyone else on the shore, living their lives, playing, laughing. They can still get a glimpse of me from time to time, when the sky clears up just enough for them to be able to see a far distance; but I’m still out with the tide.

I’m tired, and it’s not always about sleep. It’s from treading water every day.

I’m different. I don’t belong at the parties. But I also don’t belong out at sea. I belong in the quiet places. Where you don’t need to speak to communicate. I belong amongst the trees. Surrounded by other things that also live quietly. I belong surrounded by towering mountains. Keeping the silence encased within them. That place is love for me.

Brave girl, you are here for a reason. You were made for bigger, more beautiful things than the silent, complicated chaos that is within you.

All I ask is that you love me in any condition. Love me in all the settings. Love me in my place.

My Choice to be Child Free

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never had the urge to have children of my own, and I am content with this decision. My decision to not have children is not an impulsive one. It is well thought out and it is one that I don’t want people around me trying to convince me otherwise.

I will not live my life childless, because that implies that something is missing. I will live my life childfree, because I have made the choice to not have babies, and I am happy with said choice.

I’ve been lucky enough that most people in my life are supportive and understanding of my choice (or they just knew to keep their opinions to themselves) regardless, I appreciate the support. I have been asked “What if you meet the man of your dreams and you change your mind?” To which I reply, “Then he’s not the one for me and I’m not the one for him.” And I truly mean that. In my head I’m actually thinking, “Well will you change your mind about your children? No? Then I shouldn’t be expected to either.”

Womanhood is not the same as motherhood, and this is something that I think society needs to understand, before you automatically ask someone when they are going to have kids, or why they don’t have kids. I also don’t need my own children in order to fulfil my maternal instincts. This can be done in many ways: through my career as a teacher, through my nieces and nephews, through adopting my wonderful little kitties and so on.  I can care for, love, nurture and raise littles because I am a caring and nurturing person, not necessarily only because I am a woman.

My career in teaching lets me have an influence on many kid’s lives, yet I know that if I were to have my own, something would have to slide. Either my career as an educator, my career as a mother or my ability to take care of myself would go by the wayside, and that is just something I was not okay with. Of course there are people out there who do both and do both extremely well, but from what I know of myself and the journey I have been on through self-care, I just knew that I would not be able to do both. And so I guess it comes down to choosing me over anything else, and I am quite comfortable with that.

So I recently made the choice to have the surgery to make it so I would no longer be able to have children. To me, this was the responsible choice for my life, although I had been told that I was being irresponsible by taking away this option for my future. I disagree because, it would irresponsible for me to bring a baby into this world when I wasn’t ready for it and it would be irresponsible for me, someone who struggles to care of herself mentally to ask myself to care for another being to the extent that I would need to in order to properly raise a child.

And so, as I continue on this journey of self-care, I have made the decision to continue to put myself first so that I can take care of me. In so, doing what is best for me, and my future. And I feel nothing but comfort and confidence in my decision to do so.

Depression Confession

Of course I struggle, I just don’t quit. But I do have a confession to make. It’s my depression confession.

When I’m lost in the dark:

I have gone multiple days without changing my clothes or brushing my teeth.
I didn’t eat properly and ate too much in order to fill the void.
I only left my house to go to therapy or to work.
I had suicidal ideation.
I lied about what I was doing so that I could sleep to avoid.

What Depression feels like:

Feeling tearful and tired all of the time.
Feeling worthless.
Guilt and indecisiveness.
Little to no energy.
Low self esteem.
 Persistent negative view of myself.
Hopelessness.

What Depression looks like:

Sleeping too much.
Avoiding contact with friends and family.
Neglecting hobbies.
Isolation.  
Having difficulties at work.
Loss of interest.

One of the bravest things I’ve ever done was continuing my life when I wanted to die, and I think it’s brave to try and be happy.
Be brave my sweet friends, be brave.

 

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.

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