I Wonder

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I’ve wondered lately if I’m a good person. I’ll say it to myself. I’ll let it marinate.

Sometimes I contemplate it so hard, that I lose track of time.

Hours go by for me without one word uttered. It blurs me in and out.

I never discover the answer. My mind never commits one way or another.

Today, I started feeling the familiar twinge of a migraine.

Light sensitivity, nausea, searing pain, intense fatigue.

It’s one of the many symptoms of this mental illness circling inside me.

It is the curse of thought, self-doubt, and a deep unrest within me.

Am I a saint or a devil? An angel or a demon? Good or evil?

The middle ground has disintegrated around me.

I can only replenish the sadness.

I can’t eradicate it.

I can only chip away at how much I care.

 

Little Victories Vol. 5

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Hello!

It’s been a while since I’ve written in this area, and it feels like the time to contribute again. I hope everyone has been well and thriving this holiday season. A lot of things have been shifting in my life lately, and processing it has been hard, particularly in the two weeks. I’d forgotten to take some time out of the chaos to remind myself that there are things worth celebrating. So, I’ll get to it!

Kindness-As I’ve alluded, things have been a mess for me lately. After a rough few weeks, flashes of old, scarring situations have surfaced. I seized the opportunity to write them down for this blog, to hopefully start a conversation with people who may be feeling similarly or raise awareness that mental disorders are sneaky bastards. I’ve written two entries so far, resulting in some great email conversations with individuals. I urge you to read them and join the conversation. Mental health continues to be considered an unsavory topic, and often people are uncomfortable with talking about it. I had this instance last weekend after my mom followed me into a room and watched a panic attack ensue. She would not address it. She kept talking to me like the attack wasn’t happening. Blindness to or unwillingness to understand mental illness is a true detriment to the individual healing process and societal empathy.

But there have also been some people who have risen to the occasion, and have helped me through the issues. They have supported the weight of it, propped me up when it felt crushing. For them, I am truly grateful.

Sleep-Finals crept up for grad school too quickly. After an incredibly hectic semester, I felt ragged. Finals seemed like an unnecessary hurdle for the end, so I procrastinated my work slightly. This meant I had two weeks where I had extra late nights. However, I achieved a 4.0 semester! My celebration of this will be a weekend of true rest starting tonight. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about this. In my true nature, I have pre-scheduled naps tomorrow and Sunday to ensure I complete what I have set out to do. Only one work day stands between me and R&R (I can do this!).

Music-With the emotionally chaotic  few weeks, I’ve turned (even more so) to music to get me through. Like books, music has been a staple in my life since the womb. I grew up playing instruments, stuck with professional lessons on the piano for 14 years, achieved awards in percussion, and started lessons on the violin this year. Music builds me up and allows constructive ways to reflect and relax.

Thanks for reading today. Your support has not gone unnoticed. Happy Friday!

Little Victories Vol. 3

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Everyone. I’m going to be honest with you. This week was busy, but has been so good. It’s amazing how much staying grounded in the whirlwind of my schedule has helped to keep my self-esteem up. I made sure that read a little bit each day, even if it wasn’t for long. If you’ve kept up with me, you’ll know that books keep me calm during the long haul, and during the times when I can’t remember who I am. When I forced myself to read when I was on the verge of stressing out, I was able to recharge myself and clear my head. I hope to keep this habit up, because books helped me see the positive things that happened this week. What I saw was:

How strong I am. I keep my schedule so tight, that I’m booked out (accident pun! love it!) from 6 am-9 pm, Monday through Friday. I’m good with this for now, because I can see how the things I’m doing now will not only ease up soon, but are helping me tremendously with my future.

How wonderful my spouse continues to be. I’m not a person who expresses feelings well with men. Situations in my past have resulted in a fear about what men expected me to be. I didn’t grow up with a great example of humane men. I grew up knowing I was different than others, too. I didn’t like hugging or touching. Holding hands with anyone (even friends) made me break out in an anxious cold sweat. And then, I met my wonderfully, non-aggressively, persistent husband, who didn’t worry that I couldn’t express myself with embrace, but I could with words and acts of kindness. I don’t struggle as much with being affectionate, but it took a lot of patience on his part to feel comfortable.

This week, he knew that I couldn’t focus on intimacy. It’s a positive stress point for me, but stress nonetheless. He knew I was in business mode, that I would come to him when I was able to hug tightly again. He let me be my quietly distracted self, and then last night I gave him a big hug (on purpose!) and felt open and happy with him.

How much I’m trying. I fail at being positive a lot. If I’m not prepared, I can let things get me down really quickly. Anxiety and depression can get overwhelming sometimes, like a choking smoke. Last week was rough for me. I was on my last speck of energy, and it felt like I was ready to throw the towel over a lot of things. I let myself feel it, fully. Ally Tymo, from #SoulSparkChat once told me that allowing myself to feel what’s rushing through me will allow me to heal more steadily. Her wisdom came at a really good time, and I’ve been implementing this thought daily. It’s innately human to feel, whether it’s negative or positive. It’s humanity’s blessing and curse. This past weekend, I let myself unpack emotions that I had kept bottled, one at a time. I let myself cry when I needed to. I let myself be upset and angry. I also let myself be unabashedly, chaotically happy. It felt so happy to let it all out, and feel content with who I was. I even let myself write something beautiful…but more on that later.

That’s all for me today. Now, it’s your turn! How has your week been?

 

 

 

Little Victories Vol: 2

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Another stressful week has passed. On Wednesday, I had to stay home from work, having developed a migraine from hell. Most Tuesday evening, I attempted to stave it off, but alas, on Wednesday I woke up feeling like something was crushing my skull. Thursday, my head was sore, but I braved work with the horrible lighting and bad computer monitors. I worked Tuesday through Thursday, I worked on a dimmed screen to ease some of the pounding, twitching, and pain that commenced.

I’m not great at taking any time off when I’m feeling burned out or stressed. I work until I make myself sick, which isn’t healthy. I know this, and I’m making attempts to change that. Stress unfortunately comes with the territory of my current position, along with graduate school and other obligations I signed myself up for.

Taking Wednesday off was a huge improvement from my normal actions. I felt how badly my body and mind felt, and forced myself to recognize that it was time to implement self-care. It’s incredibly important if I want to live a long and happy life.

So today, I’m celebrating the little break I gave myself, to allow myself to breath in this busy life of mine.

What are you celebrating today?