513: Aspergers: Things That Sometimes Might Work, Maybe

Let’s face it. It’s pretty much hit or miss with us Aspies. We have to be in an in between state in the first place to be able to utilize any tools for psychological and emotional relief. We absolutely cannot be at one extreme or the other, in mindset or mood, when we set out to help ourselves. I mean the last, very last thing I need, when I feel like crap, is some perky fellow Aspie alien telling me that ‘everything will be okay.’ Or some other well-meaning bystander reading off an invisible list she has collected in her brain about things that work for her.

When I am done, I am done. And there’s just no retrieving me until the crash is over. And if I am super happy, the other side of the Aspie pendulum—that elation we reach when we think to ourselves, ‘Hey, I feel kind of normal in my head. Hooray. Let’s party’—then I don’t want a stupid list. I just want to be happy.

In the perfect world I could pull out a list and assist myself at any point in time. But this is not the perfect world. Still, it’s nice to have a go-to place that might help me some of the time; typically during that “I’ve-almost-lost-it-but-not-yet” teetering psychological/emotional point.

With that said, I dare not review this list (and you dare not) at my lowest point, because it only serves to make me feel entirely useless and hopeless, like I can’t even follow a list of suggestions.

So there’s that.

Just mentioning this incase you happen to be an Aspie, and happen to know what I mean. Kind of like my friendly (but not too friendly) warning label: Attention Aspie brains, proceed with caution. Only refer to this list if, and only if, you like yourself a little still, and aren’t entirely bombarded with thoughts and hating the world. If you happen to be beyond the tipping point proceed with caution and ignore, ignore, ignore.

Okay, that about does it for my lengthy introduction to a list of things that sometimes, might work, maybe for the Aspie when trying to avoid meltdown, confusion, or oblivion in the form of plummeting, free-falling thoughts.

I want to swear right now.

Not sure why.

The List:

1. Change the diet! That’s right, drop something that you already know, from your extensive readings and research, that isn’t good for you. For me it’s the bloating brain caused by gluten-overload, or too much sugar, or not enough of some supplement, mineral or another. This is usually my last resort. I know, I know, this ‘should’ (nasty uninvited ‘sh’ word) be my first approach to remedy. However, let’s be honest, being an Aspie has few advantages some days. And sometimes the only thing getting me through is Ben and Jerry’s Chunky something or another. Still, when I start to literally lose it in nonstop thoughts, my saving grace is to CHANGE something about my eating habits.

2. When I am about to lose it, I sometimes, if I am lucky, will ask myself what is way out of proportion in my life. Whether the answer be over-planning, over-thinking, over-doing, or clinging to one person or project, I will then try to look the situation over and bring some balance. Maybe the entire house doesn’t need to be cleaned in the time it takes the sun to reach the back of the house to the side of the house. And maybe I haven’t been resting, refueling, or letting go. Maybe it’s the opposite. Perhaps I have too much time on my hands and would do myself good to make some plans and get out of my house (and my head.)

3. Another effective question is: What self-inflicted rules have I established and rigidly enforced that are causing me undo stress and pressure? Ah-ha! This is a biggy. I do this all the time. I can’t stop it. I make strict rules for myself about eating or finances (or just about anything, e.g., chores, cooking, shopping) or about how I will respond to a person or situation; and then I follow them with loyal obedience, like I am a slave to my own inventions. I have done this forever and a day, part of my Aspie brainpower, I suppose. The downfall is I get trapped in this rigidness for days, sometimes weeks, until I realize I am the ONLY one who decided to do this, bought into doing this, and gosh darn it believes I have to do this! It’s okay to eat a piece of chocolate. Really, no one will hit your knuckles with a ruler. There is no overseer, beyond me!

4. Rethink it without rethinking it. This is a tough one. You see a tiny touch of cognitive reasoning works, but only a touch. This is vital to keep in mind. Just a tiny, tiny, tiny bit. Like adding salt to cookies. Just a pinch. Otherwise the whole batch of the mind is entirely spoiled. It’s beneficial, at times, for me to allow myself to remind myself that my thinking is out of control, and that I am being a bit irrational and catastrophizing, and that my thoughts might feasibly lead towards self-abuse. And then to maybe spend a minute, or one or two sentences, explaining why my thoughts are damaging to me. In example: ‘You know just because she isn’t available does NOT mean your friendship is over, and doesn’t negate the entire last year of companionship. And, she does care about you, and you have plenty of proof of that. So let’s let it go. Okay?’—but then I need to stop there. Otherwise the actual self-talk is a trigger for over thinking and a free-for-all for my brain. ‘Oh, Look! A possible challenge or problem. Let’s dissect it until it’s solved.’ That’s when I need to come in with a giant halt of the hand and scream: ‘NO, we are NOT going there!” You see it’s good for me to give myself a short little pep talk. However, it’s super bad for me to allow a short little pep talk to be the opened door that leads to obsessive, spinning out of control no-end and no-point solution hounding. (See previous post: The Whipping Girl).

5. Remove the trigger. A trigger can be anything, really. You name it and my mind can turn it into a trigger, if it’s not already a pre-established trigger to begin with. And by trigger, I mean anything that potentially sends me plummeting into a loop of endless thoughts or emotions which I cannot control (even with all my might, and incredible genius ability.) What I do in regards to managing triggers is to prepare and slightly analyze the triggers. I think (not too much) about what is triggering me and how I can avoid or remove that trigger. For me, a trigger could be, and has been, notifications (or lack of notifications) on my phone or computer, the actual bell sound or whatever sound, for notification triggers me. Yes, I am like that salivating dog! Gosh darn it. What I have learned to do to help myself is to remove the trigger, in this case my phone or computer, from the room. I simply (with sometimes agonizing resistance, which is eventually overruled by extreme will power) will have to shut down my electronics to help my sanity. My solution might only last thirty minutes or a few seconds, but in those moments I know I am protecting myself, and that alone makes me feel empowered and good. If the trigger is a person, I give myself permission to not talk to them, if I can, or to wait until I am feeling in a strong state of mind. And if a trigger is unavoidable, whether a situation, event, or person, then I accept the likely trigger-hood of the matter and prepare myself like I would for any catastrophe. I ask myself: What is likely to happen? How will I respond? How can I take care of myself? What has worked in the past? And, this is vital: It’s okay if I go into shutdown. It’s okay.

6. Something else to keep in mind: “Oh, Yeah! I have Aspergers.” This is a tough one. I often forget to give myself a break. I forget that my mind sometimes, (well kind of a lot of the time), doesn’t work like my fellow neighbors. I forget I might scream at noise because it feels like stinging nettle in my brain. I forget that I might not be able to let go of something because my mind is Velcro, basically. And I forget that I will have mood swings prompted by things that seem out of my control and are likely unpredictable and unexpected. I forget the world scares the hell out of me, and that just the action and effort of getting out of bed and showering is a triumph in itself. I forget I can only hold it together for so long, and then I need a huge break, and time to refuel.

7. Enjoy the little moments. I am learning to ignore and not feed the voice in my head that says: ‘Yes, you are happy, but it won’t last.’ I am realizing happiness doesn’t last for any human on earth. Everyone has good moments and bad moments. I just happen to be Aspie and feel the world at an extreme intensity. So while it is a true fact that my happiness and relief of anxiety for the moment, though wonderful, will not last, this truth is okay. I have to wrap myself around that fact like a brand name saran wrap (the generics generally don’t work). It’s OKAY. I have to just allow the happiness to exist, without over-analyzing the peace of mind, and without buying into the fear-based thoughts. Sometimes, many moments indeed, I must allow the party of dismal pessimistic thoughts that dingle-berry in the background (giggling) to completely live. Because, as soon as I fight them off, I am disengaging from my own happiness. So, like in the movie ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ when Nash allows his fellow self-manifested friends to carry on but choses not to interact with them, I allow my negating doomsday thoughts to be there, while I choose not to engage them further. They are like trappings you know—gooey sap dressed up as enticing honey. It’s best not to wade there, if given choice.

506: The Risk is Worth it. Thoughts on Friendship.

I don’t believe I have any answers that anyone else cannot find for himself. Or to non-negate the previous statement: I do believe I have no answers that another cannot find for himself. I have a hard time reasoning in my mind the authenticity of any self-proclaimed or manmade accentuated leader who hints, dictates, or infers that he has the answers. I am quick to steer away, and feel quite many a qualms, when I hear of anyone who thinks they have found the answer, the truth, and the way. I know too much to be a blind sheep, and too little to proclaim I know enough. This is not to say I diminish or shake a finger at modern religion or any new up and coming spiritual fashion, only that I seriously question and outright deny the fact that any human can foreseeably house the answers for another; and certainly without the answer, he has no right, if rights be the matter, to dictate to another how to live or present oneself.

I find the purest souls to be the most delightful in their attempts to literally do nothing but be, and to let be. Those that don’t pursue fame, recognition, reward, and esteem are the ones I gravitate towards, the ones who are actually repelled at multiple levels by anything to do with being in the spotlight. Those are the ones I tend to uphold as seers and seekers of truth.

Secondly, I know enough of myself to know that I am highly influenced by my environmental and physical condition, including my own stamina and mental-conditioning. What I present as reality, and perhaps a semi-temporary-truth one day, will likely be obsolete at another juncture in time.

I don’t like to sway people. I don’t even like to ‘not like.’ Still I don’t like to form judgments, or to reach conclusions about others. Of course some things, some actions, and some people (because of said actions), stand out as recognizably out of the arena of blandness. I mean to say, they make a mark that is recognizable to both my heart and mind. Mostly, it is the things that seem mean, spiteful, unjust, and not lenient which stand out, particularly something that might be deemed ‘evil’ or ‘perverse.’ But even then the lines (and labels) merge into this gray area, and I find myself neither here nor there, trying to counter both sides of an argument that has converged inside my mind.

With all of this said, I offer a few things about my thoughts on friendship. And if that wasn’t an Aspie preamble, I don’t know what is!

Aspie and Friends:

1. I prefer online friends. Online friendships eliminate much of the burden of communication. I have time to think, to edit my thoughts, to respond in a slow and delicate manner, to take time, to get back, and to not be seen physically. Most of my challenges with communications come in the mode of sensory overload and in my evaluation of what I am seeing. Yes, I still evaluate with online friendships, but about 75% of the stress of communication, particularly nonverbal processing, is eliminated. That’s not to say online communication doesn’t offer it’s barriers and weaknesses, but overall, particularly when I take the time to check for clarity, online communication scores high above face-to-face encounters. I mean I could lose myself in a freckle or hair color and miss half of an entire conversation. And forget about the background noise and nonstop monitoring of my tone of voice, inflection, and talking speed.

2. I make online friends. It’s scary but I do it.

3. I support some friends, when I am capable, and they support me when able.

When I am at my lowest, I will sometimes reach out to three or four people at one time, most of whom are Aspie or whom have Asperger’s traits, and if not Aspie then people whom I deem for the most part trustworthy, nonjudgmental, and possessing the capacity to love unconditionally.

4. I reach out to several people at a time because someone might be busy and I also don’t want to overburden one friend with my intensity.

5. I am not blessed to have many friends. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Of course I am grateful for people in my life but no one blessed me with them. I made the friendships, day after day, year after year, risk after risk. Yes, it is hard. Yes, I mess up, and yes sometimes I get super hurt. But I am not fortunate, or even lucky to have friends, because I have worked HARD to make and maintain these friendships. And I have worked hard on myself to learn how to be the best friend (person) I can be.

6. I accept my faults, frailties, and entire humanness. I am far from perfect but I avoid beating myself up. Yes, I allow myself to have a pity-party sometimes, especially when many changes are occurring in my life. However, I have friends that understand these aspects of me.

7. I only interact with certain friends during my most vulnerable times. I choose a select few friends to confide in about particularl things, especially subject matter in which I want no advice or solution finding quests.

8. If I am not careful, and I talk to a friend who offers advice or her view of the situation, the conversation can do me more harm than good. I have learned to be selective. It is a survival mechanism. Some friends can handle my intensity, others my insecurities, others my wild-imagination, and a rare few the complete me. I have learned I can’t be the complete me around everyone; I will get hurt. I have learned I can be complete by dividing myself amongst many friends. I don’t think this survival skill is specific for those on the spectrum, but I do believe Aspies are vulnerable in their ability to be strongly wounded by others, and that they often find themselves in positions of offending or shocking, without that intention.

9. Friends are not easy for me, for there is a part of me who, despite an inconceivable amount of self-reflection, insight, and work, will always think I am not a good enough friend. This isn’t a self-esteem issue. I do like me. It has to do with the extreme ways in which I can psychoanalyze myself and dissect conversations. I am always, and will always be, an observer of others, twice removed from discourse and continually dissecting and evaluating and reliving over and over past conversations.

10. I have one friend in which I can just spill my guts and fears and anxiety and she will JUST listen. She doesn’t do tit for tat. In that I mean she doesn’t ask me for advice, expect me to listen or to return the favor. She just lets me process. I think every Aspie (and every human being) needs someone who will just listen.

11. I recognize I will always feel like I don’t give back enough in friendship. It is just the way it is. When people give to me, in time or other ways, I feel an immediate want and obligation to equal the score. It’s not that I mean to keep score, only that I naturally don’t want to take advantage of anyone.

12. I love to have friends from all backgrounds. I am not picky. Or maybe I am, if you think the capacity to love without conditions, to be honest, to be giving, to be kind, and to be genuine is picky. But with that said, and a little trustworthiness thrown in, I am capable of being friends with many, many people. There isn’t a checklist.

13. I think I need friends. I think everyone does. I think the risk is worth it.

I don’t neccesarily think the introduction matches the list. But, oh well. My friends will understand. 🙂

13 is my favorite number.

Looking for aspie friends? Join everyday aspergers Facebook like page to the left.

471: A Beautiful Morning with a Beautiful Mind

It was a beautiful morning.

My Aspie son and I have such deep and complex conversations; I swear he must be at least a thousand years old. He speaks philosophically, in a manner of viewing life that I have only discovered in the ancient wisdom of great scholars across the globe.

This morning we spoke about truth, and the idea that when one threatens another’s truth by confrontation through disagreement or differing opinion, how the other naturally, quite instinctually, responds with a fight-or-flight nature. We opted for the agreement that this human response is based on human nature, on the idea of wanting to protect singular intelligence and mentality. I scaffolded upon the initial points, mentioning the concepts of limited and isolated perception based on the singular collection of reality from a limited scope of an individualized sensory input. He understood entirely.

I elaborated that I don’t hold a singular truth, as my truths vary vastly compared to how I interpreted my world five years prior, and that I am continually changing. He concurred and expressed that I had made sense.

Of course, most of this discussion was a dissertation on my son’s part. His theories of human communication and outcomes are right up there with the geniuses of our time. It amazes me that he is Aspie, and yet years ahead of his peers in understanding the complexities of human nature and societal responses to multiple environmental stimuli.

I suppose I have taught him some by example, and he has sought out his own form of awareness and truth through observation of others and the intake of literature and films; however, the intricate ways in which he pieces the found knowledge into linear and detailed outcomes and conclusions is awe-inspiring. If ever an old soul exists, I see this as my son.

When I offer a gentle reminder to him, at anytime and in any genre of conversation, to keep in mind that he views the world a bit differently than others, and that him and I have complex ways of interpreting events, he is ever so humble, consistently reminded me that he does not enjoy the comfort of setting himself above or beyond anyone else, and that all can see and comprehend as he does, but that perhaps they do not understand what they are doing or in some way do not observe the connections.

He is insistent that his way is no better and that he is not superior by any means; to sit with the idea of being special is a great discomfort to him. And though my son may appear aloof, argumentative, and at the edge of his seat ready to engage in debate, he is at the heart of him a wise sage, insistent upon remaining humble. A concept I did not set out to instruct him upon, but one he shares with me.

I am continually fascinated by his mind. He grows in spurts that are ‘unnaturally’ fast; comprehending and taking in and retaining more than any student I have ever witnessed. And he reworks ideas in his mind to match his view of reality, a view that is extremely open-minded, whilst being seemingly narrow-minded. I mean to say that he comes across, to the typical observer, as strongly opinionated and limited in his viewpoints, but with careful analysis and granted the patience to listen, he is actually extremely open to reasonable and logical ideas that don’t initially resonate as truth with him. And, in fact, he will easily dislodge a chosen truth for a new truth, after taking in what another has shared. The barrier that exists between him and his peers (and some adults) appears to be that exact fight-or-flight mentality my son was theorizing upon. He speaks and if another interprets him as threatening to any degree then the other shuts my son down or out; no longer hearing what he is stating and instead closing off to possible connection.

We were weaving out of conversation this morning, and I found myself going down an interesting course. I had started a sentence several times, never truly completing the string of words, as my son was interjecting (albeit while apologizing for doing so) with his rapid-firing thoughts and connections. I enjoy the way he is ignited with ideas, and take no offense to his interruptions. I see myself a lot in him, and him in me.

I was trying to explain something to my son. At first I thought I was clear on my idea, but something inside of me self-corrected, in the middle of my thought process. I was speaking aloud. I had thought of the isolating factor of Aspergers. How we are so often misunderstood and ostracized. And on hearing my son talk so freely and blatantly, I imagined how this exact discourse might bring him further out of his collective circle of peers. (He attends a part-time academic school for children that are homeschooled). I began to speak from fear, but didn’t recognize what I was doing, until most of the words were out of my mouth.

“As you get older, son, I think it would be beneficial if you monitored some of what…”

The words came through at last, as one cohesive thread, and with that outpour I had time to recollect what I had shared. I immediately backtracked.

“You know what, I have changed my mind,” I shared. “I was originally thinking these past few minutes that you should be more careful around people who don’t love you unconditionally, so that you don’t live an isolated life. But I disagree with this. I think you should be exactly you, and that people will love you for you.”

We sidetracked for a bit to explore the concept of unconditional love. He didn’t understand the idea of choosing not to have someone in your life but choosing to still love them unconditionally: to hold them in love and light, to pray or keep them in thought, to hold no ill-will or resentment towards the individual and wish the person the very best.

He seemed to be taking in a lot more than I was saying.

My son looked at me, and gave me a sheepishly-wise grin. I knew that he knew. And we continued onward, back to the previous conversation, again.

I stated: “I mean, I tried the other way for years. To pretend and hold back myself and I was miserable. Why would I want that for you? I just want you to be free to be you, and others to appreciate you for who you are.”

He listened and answered. “I know. I thought you might change your mind once you said it. You realized you were contradicting yourself before you were finished. That is clear. I understand.”

I smiled. Still in disbelief at the level of this young man’s ability to comprehend others’ thought processes. I added, “I guess I just wish as you grow older that you can focus on being less injurious, if that makes sense. What I mean is there is a difference between choosing to say something that you are highly certain will hurt someone’s feelings and saying something and unintentionally hurting someone. If you are injurious, it will be harder to maintain friends. Does that make sense?”

“Yes,” he said. “And I already do that Mom. Don’t worry. I understand.”

We talked further about the complexities of human communication and the limitations based on others’ interpretations and emotional responses.

As we approached the school, he looked at me and responded more, “Thank you for such intriguing conversation.” He nodded, sounding much like the little professor I have grown to adore in astonishing amounts. “It was quite a good conversation.”

I half expected him to add ‘indeed’ to the end of his last statement.

His voice was monotone, without hints of rejoice; he made no eye contact, and he mostly huffed away as I said, “Enjoy your day, Baby.” But I knew how he felt. We’d connected at an intellectual level without judgment, without expectation, and with equally open minds and acceptance. It was another freeing moment, the way in which the two of us communicate; this unabashed arena in which anything said is okay and doesn’t affect the other’s equilibrium or sense of self or worth.

It was a beautiful morning, indeed.

468: Extremes lead to Happiness

I center naturally and instinctually by going to extremes. I tend to make huge changes in radical fashion with haste. This is my way.

The change is dynamic, akin to a wildfire brought on by drought—drought of the spirit, the psyche, the body, etc. As humans, we all naturally address and confront the need for change when we feel we can no longer tolerate the state we are experiencing. There gets to be a point where the energy spent to maintain a constant place of discomfort is more exhausting than the energy required to take steps towards change.

I know my mind well enough to recognize that when I instigate change, I become partially blinded to the past. I have the tendency to drop all of what I was a part of in order to move on. Only to return, once recovered in a state of balance, to pick up some of the pieces. There is no doubt that when I am undergoing transition, I become increasingly more stubborn about maintaining any pieces or parts that resemble or bring up what I am, in essence, escaping. I move on, but I don’t move on with casualness or a sense of ease, and I certainly don’t move on without shaking up my world a bit.

When I reach the point of misery about anything, I don’t like to sit in it. I don’t like to take an extended amount of effort and time to weigh all my options either. I don’t take months to make up my mind. And I generally know when it’s time to move on. And I do. This isn’t to say I don’t logically theorize and contemplate my options. I just do things at hyper-speed, partially when I am asleep and partially when I am awake. I am continually processing and digesting ideas. I have some sort of back burner in my brain where I can place unfinished ideas and decisions, and the mental items simmer there until they reach a boil. And then, with a splatter, the conclusions spill over in my mind. And then I know. So perhaps it seems like I am moving quickly or not taking a lot of time to process, but truly I have been contemplating and theorizing beyond the realms of obvious observation.

I reached an extreme point of discomfort about a month ago. I’d gone through a very traumatic, life-changing illness that left me clinging to fear. I jumped full force into some old habits, kind of jumped back a couple of decades into over-obsessive behavior, codependent tendencies, withdrawal from life, and more. Part of this was definitely biological, as my body recovered from lack of nutrients. Part of it was my psyche recovering from the drama that had been my life.

I found myself having magnified obsessive compulsive behaviors. I justified this by claiming I was self-soothing and self-stemming; and most of my brain believed me. I know now that my actions were a necessary part of my healing process. Cognitively and emotionally, and even physically, I didn’t have the strength to be strong. I didn’t have the strength to do much of anything. So I retreated. I retreated into my home, into my self, and into my mind. Until there finally came a day where I’d had enough of me. I started to disgust myself. Not in a low-self-worth-way, but in a what-the-heck-am-I-doing-way? It was time for change.

Within a minute, I’d had enough. And within another minute, I knew what to do to affect change. I knew what action to take, because part of me had already been planning and deciding (on the back burner), without my conscious recognition.

A part of me had already contemplated that with my recent trauma my online interaction had become way out of balance in comparison to the rest of my life. For months I had partaken in obsessive image/quote searching and posting, obsessive researching and searching for songs and song lyrics, obsessive observation of others’ postings on a social network site, obsessive analysis of my own thoughts, obsessive dependency on certain friendships, and the obsessive need to check and recheck patterns, messages, and comments on various venues online. To justify my obsessive behaviors, I had convinced myself I was a hermit afraid to go out of the house and that the only solution was online interaction.

I had swung my pendulum of self-balance to the far right. And I was close to swinging right out of the “sane” arena. I knew by observing my own emotional state, I’d hit a sort of bottom. I knew I needed to clean up my act.

With this realization came some tough decisions. I had to let go of a lot I’d been holding onto. I had to let go of what I thought was keeping me afloat. This action of release required much courage on my part. However, I’d reached that point of personal discomfort where the angst outweighed the fear of change.

My immediate decisions and actions surprised some. I dropped almost everything. I made changes literally overnight. With life changes came various states of emotional pain. I went through a mourning period of missing my ‘old’ ways. I went through a state of not understanding my own identity. I went through self-doubt about my own choices. But the pain quickly passed and the reward was clarity of mind and a renewed sense of energy.

I have been very much content and at peace now. I have adapted ways of being that have proven beneficial to my sense of serenity and wellness. I have made adjustments to my routine and to my thinking-patterns. Mostly, I have decided to be courageous, to stop being a victim to my own self and thought processes, and to take risks daily. I am being all I can be through changes in the way I talk, the way I carry my body, the way I choose to spend my days and nights. I am not doing this with any inkling of self-punishment, self-cohersion or ‘must/should’ voices. I just am.

I reached that life-altering point where enough was enough. I was ready. Ready to take control of my life by releasing all of what was weighing me down and causing affliction to spirit. I embraced physical movement (walking, cleaning, leaving the house), social interactions, and the desire to become free of anxiety. I immersed myself in comedy, live entertainment and the rekindling and building of friendships. I put all the energy I’d been using towards obsessive online behavior into a plan: obsessively escaping obsessiveness.

In essence, along with my ability to obsess, I took all of my character traits, and put them to work for my betterment. I roped in my acute focus and keen intelligence, and used my attributes to produce purposeful and powerful self-metamorphis. In a way, I faked it until I made it. I tricked my own self into being happy, and I didn’t give me a choice. I used the inherent tools that had once imprisoned me to free myself from the constricts of mental-affliction. I decided I was done. And I was.

My whole life I have had the capacity to be the best at whatever I choose to be. So why not be the best at being content?

Present day I have maintained a state of equilibrium. Now I am ready to go back to retrieve parts of what I freely let go of for self-survival. I can dip my foot back into some of my old behaviors without going overboard into self-abuse. I am taking away some of the rigid rules I established of what I could and could not do when I first instigated change.

I don’t think I am a miracle worker; I do know I am a hard worker. I am also optimistic and hopeful. I carry a strong faith in people and in the world. I see the good. I always have and always will. I see the good in me now. I think because I have never given up on myself, through all the trials and tribulations I have encountered, that I shall also never give up on others. I know the capacity we carry for growth.

I forgive myself entirely for trespasses into discomfort. I forgive myself entirely for the lessons I learn and relearn. I am a constant student. I accept where I am. I suspect I will swing on the pendulum again, far to the left or right; and I suspect I will return, right where I am: Happy.

*********
I am the stillness
The gentle breeze asleep
Before the dawn
Beneath the night
Attuned destiny
Unraveled
Ribboned time undone
A cousin to history
The ancient scholar
Atop the mountain high
Who calls out
To awaken the calm
I am
Without choice
Adrift
In the wake of absence
Falling before reaching
Into the whistle of forgotten
A melody harmonized
Within the intricate lining
Of our conjoined souls
~ Sam

446: Morning has Broken

A caring friend sent me an affirmation yesterday, as I am facing some health challenges and uncertainties.

An interesting thing has happened during this process of unknown. After about three weeks of literally freaking out—panic attacks, high blood pressure, rushing to the ER—I have grown weary of worrying about my ailments and future. I have grown plain tired of trying to figure things out, solve, and fret. And in so reaching exhaustion, I have found inner peace.

My body is seemingly out of control, doing all kinds of spastic things. I have some inklings of what might be happening, but for the most part I am in the dark. I’ve had plenty of time to reflect and digest this process, as I have been unable to partake in little physical activity, do to lack of energy and physical limitations, including pain that is further induced when I stand or sit upright.

Through this I have gained further compassion for those of us suffering with chronic illness and conditions. I do say suffering, as ailments truly inflict the mind, body and spirit. There is definitely a suffering period. Though, the suffering doesn’t have to remain, at least not in the mind and spirit, and sometimes, with those two freed, the physical body can breathe easier, in turn.

I saw a poster yesterday about freedom being found in the moment we accept things as they are. I have found this to be true. It is far easier, and far less work, to let go and go with the flow of whatever is happening to me, then to be in constant battle of wanting something to be different than it is. In accepting I am where I am and things are as they are, I free up energy to ultimately heal and regenerate to a state of equilibrium.

I accept I am where I am. Where I am might not be what society dictates as ‘ideal.’ Where I am might not be representative of what my mind has latched onto as ‘ideal.’ Where I am might not be what others would claim as comfortable or easy. But that does not mean I cannot be where I am in total freedom and submission to the process. That does not mean that I cannot claim this experience as ideal; for in the act of choosing this process to be ideal, I am simultaneously recognizing that cause and circumstance do not hold the power to dictate my own inner peace.

I can be exactly where I am, experiencing exactly what I am experiencing, and find this comfort and ease. I proclaim it so.

I choose not to live in the past mourning the activities I was once able to do. Nor do I choose imaginings of what could be or what I could be losing. In actuality I am losing nothing. In embracing this change and transition, I am gaining everything. I am gaining opportunity, open-heart, and open-mind. I am surrendering to what will be. I am surrendering to being.

I just am. I am right here. I am reformed again and again, continually transformed from one ‘thing’ to another. I am the same water molecule in the stream, the ocean, the cloud, the air. No matter the manifestation of my physical form: I am the same. I am movement. I am existence. I am part of the collective ocean. There is no way to detect where a wave begins or ends. The wave is the ocean. I am a manifestation of the whole. And in being a part of the whole, I am already in completion.

I find solace in the fact that I have been through challenge after challenge and always chosen to shine brighter. I acknowledge my divine inner strength.
I have been reformed continually. This isn’t something I have chosen or sought after, but something that is my existence.

Nothing has ever been easy. Nothing has ever been simple, either. But who is to define easy and simple? It’s all, like the rest, a matter of perspective—sensory input, society, environment, biological make up, scaffolding off conclusions, energetic influences, and so on. Events are not good nor bad. What is happening to my body is nothing to be feared. And in truth, nothing is happening to my body. My physical form, as a collective whole, much like the pond, is working in unity to regain balance and function at optimal level.

My body is not my enemy. What is happening to me is not my enemy. The unknown is not my enemy, either. As life is a constant unknown. Any truth I think I have about the next moment is illusion. And any truths I have gathered from the past, illusion two-fold.

I have peace in the fact that I have truly lived. In reviewing feasible ‘future’ avenues of my life course, I can see that if per chance this is the so called ‘end’ of life or ‘end’ of full-mobility, that indeed I have already led a very authentic, love-filled life. I have no regrets. I have left nothing undone. I have been true to my calling, true to my self, and true to my soul. I have embraced life fully, and continue to do so.

I have been to doctors and healers. It seems when one mystery remains unsolved and turns dormant, another mystery appears. I seem to take on ailment after ailment, each wearing a different mask and speaking with a different voice. They are my teachers. I see this. Even as they are illusion, manifested purely by my body re-shifting and seeking equilibrium; I can see these manmade conditions as a force that reveals parts of self. I can choose to make this experience for the betterment of my soul. I can choose again and again to be a student.

I can choose to make every experience anything I wish.

There is true power here.

Wherein I might have very limited access to dictate how my body reacts at this singular moment, I have full opportunity to choose how my spirit reacts. I have true ability to decide to use any of my perceived suffering as a benefit for the all. I can embrace the rest that are suffering and hold them with me, and we together can move as the wave. We together can be the ocean. Much less afraid, and much more joined in hope. Encircled in union, here is where I find the deepest solace of soul.

As I break upon the shore, so you break, endless beauty, rising and falling, again and again.

In Peace ~
Sam

My Healing Mantra

I open my spirit fully in the understanding that all people associated with my healing process are able to assist me. I open my spirit fully in the understanding that I, in my being a part of the collective whole, am able to be at a state of equilibrium and balance of body, mind, and spirit. I recognize that I am experiencing life in fullness and that everything is unfolding as an integral part of the natural flow of nature. I acknowledge the wisdom of nature and the wisdom of my body. I recognize that all possibilities are ever present in this incredible universe. I accept that the spiritual laws of the universe support and love me unconditionally. I accept that all prayers are perfect in their expression and accept all beneficial energy, thoughts and prayers provided to me from loved ones. I am not distracted by the illusion so named fear. I claim my complete healing at this moment and extend this proclamation and understanding to all other beings in need of complete healing. I give thanks to this and to the ALL of us.

(Thank you Pat. F for inspiring me with your light.)

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(A photo taken about a year ago, that I believe shows an element of vulnerability and uncertainty.)

436: Lessons Learned: What Ails Me

pinit super power

I have been depleted for two weeks, utterly exhausted, in pain, and unable to do much of anything, beyond a few simple errands. But that’s okay.

My life is a process. I am a process. And I firmly believe, despite my intense moments of pure panic and doomsday fear of my singular obliteration, that all is unfolding as it is meant to be.

I have had a lot of time to think, and over-think.

The thing is, with so much time to think, my mind tends to go into overdrive. I try to find all types of creative ways to preoccupy my brain, but it does its thing regardless. I sketched, I wrote poetry, I wrote a post or two (I think), I discovered how to make posters with my original photography and quotes, I watched a bunch of movies, or at least the first thirty-minutes of a lot of movies. I had a hard time focusing. My body wanted to move—to walk, to get out, to accomplish something, part of my body at least.

I got rather forlorn and lost in myself. Biologically this is caused, I gather, from the fluctuating hormones from PMDD. Physically, I hurt from what is most likely the result of my childish (as in spanking it) short term memory, in which I forget I have various muscle ‘conditions’ and quite frankly act like a dang super athletic hero, when I ought be seriously sitting on the sidelines.

I tend to forget I have limitations. Seems to be my area of expertise: overlooking limitations.

And… when it comes to my body, it’s not advantageous to overlook feasible limitations.

I have to learn to listen to this part of me, and I am finding I am a wee bit stubborn.

I keep thinking something will change. That if I just look hard enough, try hard enough, and just BE hard enough, (in that place of letting-go-zen-di-ness), that I will transform. That this physical pain will dismiss itself, and I can run and leap and charge forward like a little girl reborn, without repercussions.

The truth is: It’s time to let go of who I want to be and time to embrace who I am.

I am disabled.

I have had free parking (courtesy of the blue handicap plaque) for four years now. I have been unable to work more than part time for 12 years now. I have scoured literature on every disease, affliction, and illness known to man, and though I have developed practical theories on why I am the way I am, in regards to my pain ailments, I have not solved anything. Today, after thousands and thousands of research hours, and attempts at various regiments, restrictions, and so on, I am no closer to discovering an avenue of reprieve, than I was over a decade ago.

Deep breath.

I am coming to grips with this today. I am mourning. I am realizing that it is really time to throw in the towel. I can choose to spend my next decade focusing on a cure and an explanation, or I can choose to focus on the life I do have. I am not giving in. Not in the least. And I can’t promise I am giving the search up, but I do know that I am shedding attachment. And discarding of some lie I have enchanted my spirit with that preaches: I am not enough.

I am enough. I am not my pain. I am not my condition. I am not anything that has a name or label. I can’t be defined. And I am not inadequate, flawed, made wrong, or damaged. I just AM. I want to drill that into me. I want to tell myself again and again I just AM.

I have had enough. Enough tears. Enough struggles. Enough puzzle solving. In all my efforts, that I know aren’t wasted, but definitely over-drawn, I have collected more and more diagnosis, theories, and questions than a singular being ever needs in one life time. And all for what? To find out I am at square one, back on the couch, unable to proceed with a ‘normal’ life.

This is my normal.

I need to digest that like chocolate. I need to let it melt into my mouth—melt into me.

I need to hear it. I need to accept that I am okay with where I am at and to stop fighting. I have fought my entire life over one thing or another, trying to make better, to find the escape, to find the peace, to find the remedy.

My sickness, or ailment, of phantom quest, whatever I choose to call it, is a symbolic representation of my spiritual hunger, that need I have for answers and truth.

I thought I had let go enough to accept the flow of life, to be that stream. I know I have in many areas. But my health seems to have taken over my brain-processing like a singular-minded dictator. Getting better is pretty much all I can think about. It’s all I can do. I am over powered by this innate drive to fix and solve.

And I am rebelling. It is time.

This is as good as it gets. Right now, at this very moment, for you and for me. And if I can’t be happy exactly where I am sitting, whatever my circumstances be, then life will continue to be a rollercoaster.

Oh, how I want to blame the fixers of the world. Try this. Try that. Do this, it helped me. Have you done this?

Oh, how I want to blame the complainers of the world. Always me. Poor me. That’s me, too. It’s so terrible. I wish I was dead.

Oh, how I want to blame the proclaimers of the world. Just change your energetic vibration. Just visualize your reality. Create yourself in wholeness. Illness is illusion.

Oh, how I want to blame the coaches of the world. Just be strong. Life could be so much harder. You have so much to be thankful for. It’s not that bad. Toughen up, girly.

Oh, how I want to blame God. Why did you do this to me, Lord? Why me? Should I be better? Should I try harder? Is this punishment? Is this my fault?

Oh, how I want to blame the past me. Karma. It must be karma. Come to kick me in the butt. I must have done something right. I mean I have had a lot of accomplishments and love in life. But man, I must have really screwed up somewhere.

Oh, how I want to blame the concept of normal. Why can’t I be like her? Does she understand how hard this is? She takes her health for granted? She has no idea what suffering is?

Oh, how I want to blame the invisibility. No one can see this pain. No one can understand. I am so alone and isolated, forlorn, forgotten, un-important and lost.

Oh, how I want to blame everything and everyone, but me.

I have a choice today. I can join anyone I am blaming. I can blame them or become them (minus God) or I can start to be ME.

I can start relishing life for what I can do, and not blaming life for what I cannot do.

I can begin by pointing the finger at self, and then softly point the finger away to a space of emptiness. For no one and nothing is to blame. And just as there is no blame, there is no hidden promise of discovery to what ails me. What ails me cannot be relieved through attachment. Just as in my spiritual quest, I understand what ails me can only be relieved through letting go.

So today, I am letting go.

I am releasing this clinging-need to make myself whole and healed. I am accepting I already am whole and healed. I am accepting that the latest advice, tip, or cure isn’t for me. Nothing is out there. And if it is, this nothing, this something morphed from nothing, will find me when I am ready. I have to trust in the higher plan. In the course. In the miracle. I have to believe that this is as good as it gets, and be happy in this moment. For life is only this moment.

sam's hair

433: Five Ways

marcelle in lightFive Ways

1. I recognize that I am okay in who I am and where I am. I recognize I am okay in where I am going. That everything is unfolding as it should. There is no rush. There is no destination. Only now. This moment. This breath. I breathe in the essence of the world. Taking in the ingredients of millions of breathers before me. I am one with the universe and the world is safe.

2. I recognize I am changing every moment. Each thought, each stimulation, each person, each encounter, affects me at a molecular and spiritual level. I am no longer who I am within a second that passes. Beyond change, I am nothing. I am that which transforms and rejuvenates. The entirety of me working together to live and breathe. I am enough in that I am like the all. Interconnected in my being. I exist. And in my existence, I strive. Not for goal or need; yet simply as an intricate and important part of the whole. I am completely renewed each moment I am.

3. I allow myself to experience emotions. As the observer, I step back and watch. I move in recognition. I speak in recognition. I think in recognition. But I do not attempt to control, counter, or interrupt. I allow myself to be as the river, flowing in a natural state along the stream of consciousness. I remove all judgment and unchain the bondage of should, could, and what if. I release the pain and suffering, and breathe in the constant joy. In my silence, I rejuvenate. In my stillness, I grow. In my grief, I embrace opportunity. No emotion is punished. And likewise, I am not chastised for simply being. I am aware. I am continuing to prosper in awareness and recognition. The rest is unnecessary. In awareness all avenues are opened, all veins of love moving at full capacity. I am all that I am and nothing less or more. Nothing is in need of repair or evaluation. All that I am is already enough.

4. I allow myself to feel attached. I am attached to substances, to dreams, to places, to goals. I am attached to others’ evaluations, opinions, emotions, and energy. I am attached to beliefs and perceptions. I am part of the whole, and in being so, I am part of everything. I am attached, yet I do not need to cling to the attachment. In recognizing the attachment, I can watch, as I move in the motion of need and want. I can watch as I cling, and watch as I attempt to let go. I can see myself in tears, in struggle, and in the illusion of triumph. I can glimpse the happiness attached to substance and the sorrow attached to absence. I let the joy move past the now and into eternity. I am neither an empty vessel nor a net that traps. I can hold nothing, as I am already over-filled with love. Everything I am is plenitude and freedom. There is nothing outside of my own understanding of self that can satisfy me. Everything and everyone is fleeting. All that I need is already within. The light of me is serenity, peace, and gratitude. The light of me is complete love.

5. I release fear. Emotions are a part of my being. All emotions are okay. Fear is okay. Fear is my teacher and at times a protector. Fear reminds me of who I am and where I have been. Fear instructs me of the inner workings of my mind. There is a mutual relationship between what I feel as fear and what my body communicates to the whole. Each part of me responds to anxiety and discomfort. Sometimes I sit in pain. Sometimes I rise out of pain. In everything there is release. I am like the seasons, the tides, and the nature of the living world. I bloom and I wither. It is natural and expected. When fear comes I approach him without caution or dread. When fear comes I answer his calling. I welcome his company. I let him move through me, to penetrate my being, to whisper to the rest of what he seeks. And then, in union we release. Together, hand-in-hand, we walk out of the shadow. In the darkness I have learned, and in the light we are formed as one. My friend. My darling companion. In loving him. In loving all in completion, all turns to light.

424: To the Girl in the Altered State

To the girl in the altered state

Every once in a while, about six to ten times a month, I enter an altered state in which I cannot recognize or reason with myself. Mostly this happens during the week before my menstrual cycle, but also occurs sporadically throughout the span of a moon-cycle. I am not separate or without consciousness of experience during this altered time, but I am definitely separated from a healthy self-image and from a sense of hope. Partially, this state of being can be explained through the symptoms of PMDD and/or severe PMS. Partially, this altered mood state can be explained through environmental influences, such as exposure to people, foods, weather fluctuations, and events. Causes of the root of these states can also be found through the intake of others’ words, actions, body language, moods and emotions. These altered states are intensified, if not jump-started, by the complexities of my thoughts, including my innate ability to scaffold one thought upon the other, and then root my ideas through advance complexities of processing equivalent in design to a skyscraper building upward and outward with exploding and expanding firework-like threads.

Inside my mind is a jumble of ideas edging their way through to exactness and refinement, entering a filter of dissection and biopsy, spit out into a conveyer belt which feeds each piece with microscopic filaments of possibility. As my mind functions much like a separate entity of its own, I get carried away in the potential outcomes, swept into immensely thick images and awakening, I can both feel, create, and to some degree control.

Here is the only place I find a semblance of control, and because I can find this peace, this place of no unexpected upset, but instead a returning again and again to the matter at hand–this machine of causation digesting and reproducing with each throb of my heart—I can remain here unaware of the happenings around me, the things occurring outside of my own thinking.

This serves me well, my thinking-machine, in times of deadlines, needed production, problem solving and sorting. I have the capacity to debate both sides of an argument with ease, essentially seeing with expansive foresight the end-trail of either avenue taken. Whether I be supporting myself or another’s endeavors, I am more likely than not to typically find beneficial solutions and make beneficial progress with any given task. I am able to mass-produce with focused concentration and powerful self-drive. Nothing is forced, induced or made to happen; the output of self happens instinctually and naturally, the process akin to the effortlessness in which a flower unfolds. I am neither under pressure or in a state of panic. More so I find myself in a blissful alleyway of escape with my troubles blocked out on one side and my worries blocked out on the other. I have managed, through simply being, to slip past both the mundaneness and challenges of life, and bask in an inner-state of creation. Here, in this creation state I am blissfully working. Pouring out information in graphic and written form, both in hardcopy and in my mind. What I see is transmitted and then drafted. Draft upon draft is reassembled and reconstructed, both internally and externally. I am me, yet I am not, producing with an extremeness I am familiar with, a rush of production that seems to resemble an urgency and need, though, to the creator resembles a necessity of action—something one was born to do and must do to survive.

Given a subject, I can learn mass amounts of information in a short amount of time, not because I am told to or want to, but because I am internally driven to completely fill the vacant spaces in my mind with input. I am taking in what I crave, as if the newness was the exact food I needed. I have nothing to prove to anyone. And thoughts of improvement of self spurs feelings of the potentiality for pride. This pride feels like poison to me, indigestible and damaging to the whole of self. I create with passion and fever, but not for the reasons others might suspect. And the suspicion, the judgment, the expectations of onlookers, is the first part that disturbs what I take in. The latter part which causes disruption being the layers of guilt I wade through for being what I am in the way I delve into the alley of reprieve. Together, the meanderings of thoughts, including the knowingness of what I am and who I am (in the way I deviate from the world-proclaimed norm), the indigestible thoughts of feasibly self-filling through prideful ways, the known ways in which I appear to others through my behavior, and the guilt which soaks through, leaves me in a split state—one in which I am in the alley of reprieve but pushing back a self-punishing voice that regurgitates what I have been shown and told through experience and exposure of normalcy.

It is the processing and creation that occurs within me that both feeds me and causes the worst agony. Yet I can discard of the self-defeating thoughts most of the time, except the handful of times in which I am in an altered state and feeling low self-worth, as previously mentioned above.

During these moments, which I have called altered states, when I am emotionally at my end, sad and what could be labeled ‘depressed,’ I am tested by my own thoughts and circumstances, inventing ways to end my agony, and undoubtedly coming up empty with possible recourse and explanation. My mind takes off again, as if bound to creation with engines revved. Only this time I am digesting bits and pieces that don’t make sense and leave me suffering. I am stuck on the loop, a conveyor belt that keeps recirculating with the same information over and over. I keep misfiring inside, keep trying to solve the unsolvable, and inevitably end up disappointed and forlorn.

I can step back while in this state and feel myself adrift, unable to help or pull myself outside of a surrounding feeling of doom. Not one to dismiss possibilities or explanation, not setting aside feasible reasons, I keep forming hypothesis and testing theories through personal trial and error, digging myself deeper into confusion and darkness. The only way out is to sleep, to process verbally with another, to create through writing or art, or to cry. When I am on overload, having reinvented the same scenes again and again, dizzy and upset by my own making, I might have a panic attack.

During these times of reconstructing the same thoughts over and over, I cling to my greatest fear of the moment. For me this is usually attached to abandonment, sickness and death. I see these fears in full picture, too. And having died a thousand ways through various ailments or found myself worthless in forever isolation by all I love, I become exhausted. In theory, I suppose, I climb into a storybook of sorts, living out alternate lives again and again, wherein I am not the heroine but the doomed sufferer. If not a storybook than a vivid horror film in which the characters all dissolve and I am left alone in a sucking suffocating darkness that breathes me into a state of hopelessness. Because my mind is the way it is, for whatever cause or reason, the very tool that creates masterpieces is the same tool that creates my demise. In this way, the same control I lack in being swept into the alley of reprieve is the same tool I lack that keeps me from being sucked into crushing isolation.

Having tried various measures to offset these altered-states, I have found that some things can make a difference. But usually these measures are unexpected, unpredictable, and cannot be created through planning or intervention. The only thing that stops my altered-states is the unexpected. A few ways I am pulled out might include circumstances such as a joyful surprise, a state of urgency in which I need to help another or solve a pending challenge or expected occurrences such as a good friend visiting from out of town or a celebrated accomplishment.

Time and time again I have wished I had a letter to read to myself during this altered state. Ideally, I would benefit from videotaping myself reminding myself I will be okay because during the dark hours it seems nothing will ever stop the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.

Dear Girl in the Altered-State,

You are here again, and you knew you would be; even though you think this is a new thing, it’s not! I know this time you think this is it, the end, the worst, the real test you will fail, the trial that will end you. Again, it’s not. You are fine. You are momentarily lost in a loop like a time traveler who has lost her way. The key word to remember is ‘momentarily.’

‘This too will pass. This too will pass.’ You aren’t going anywhere. You aren’t checking out. You aren’t crazy, and you are certainly not dying. No more than anyone else on earth, anyhow. You are a mortal and a human being and you are affected by so much in this world. You take in mass amounts of information, much of what you can’t even recognize until it is spewed out the other side through you, like some salmon flying upstream and landing on shore.

You are enough. I know you think you are not. But you are. You are pretty and smart and lovely. You are sweet and kind and caring. I know you think you aren’t good enough, no matter how hard you try and that you aren’t worthy. But you are.

In a few days you will be smiling again and loving life. Here are some important things to remember. The rest let go. All of it. I mean it. Let go of the worry, fret, regret, upset, and all that makes you mourn. Cry if you need to but don’t hold it in, and follow this list like a trail of breadcrumbs that will bring you home.

I love you. I love you so very much. You are brave and my princess, and you are never alone. You will lose your faith during this time, but the angels are still here. You will lose yourself, but you are still here. You will question everything and everyone, and not believe a positive word out of anyone’s mouth, including mine, but that is okay.

Still with all of this said, you will think this is it, the very last straw, the end of it all and the beginning of everlasting suffering. That’s bull. It really is. It’s a dark voice invented in some alley way in your mind. We don’t know why it happens, but it does. Probably a side effect of all your processing, like the sludge overspill form a well-greased engine. That’s all this is: an end result of your mind at work.

Don’t trust the negative messages and don’t make any decisions. And believe in us, in you, and finding your way back. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to fix yourself. You are perfect. And you don’t have to search for a way out. It will just come. The custodian is in there right now cleaning up the gunk with a mop. Just wait. That’s all. It’s okay if you are impatient and you don’t believe me. All is okay. I know that anything on this list will take all of your energy, but doing just one will help you. Remember I am here waiting, and you will come out of this altered state soon. For now pamper yourself and know you are loved.

1. Shower or take a salt bath. You will instantly feel better
2. Walk and if you can’t walk then dance to music. Move. Just move.
3. Accomplish one small task, like emptying the dishwasher, one little thing will show you that you are okay and capable of productive activity.
4. Create through your sorrow: dance, paint, draw, write, or do something that spills the emotions out of you into reality.
5. Process aloud with loved ones how you feel.
6. Treat yourself to food, you will be starved during this time, and that is okay. In a few days, once rebalanced, your healthy eating habits return.
7. Avoid the mirror and taking photos of yourself. How you view you is not reality. You are creating flaws and negative messages when you see yourself.
8. Go outdoors. Even if for a moment. Let your feet touch the earth.
9. Get in contact with nature, feed the wild crow or pet your crow, stare at the water, breathe in the air, soak in the green of your surroundings. Don’t hide out in your house, you will suffocate.
10. Allow yourself times of no production. Just be. And don’t analyze. If you need to listen to the same song over and over do it. If you need to watch a movie over and over, do it. Don’t judge yourself, your actions, or what you are doing. You are enough, and it is okay to rejuvenate.
11. Avoid triggers that increase anxiety including gluten products, coffee, and exposing yourself to people that drain your energy.
12. It’s okay to say no.
13. It’s okay to let go of your responsibilities, slow down, and take care of yourself.
14. It’s okay to cry and to be afraid.
15. Don’t try to solve, fix, or understand what is happening. It is out of your control and that is okay.

I love you, my precious one.
You are enough.

423: I am enough

Life isn’t simple. It never will be.

As hard as I try to make it so, life will continue to be complex and awe-inspiring, heart-rendering and heart-breaking, and full of a mystery so full that to attempt to empty the bottle of unknown would leave me drowning within the first rendered droplet.

I am this and I am that.

And I see myself as constantly changing, as if I have lived a thousand life times in the span of a few days.

My mind is preoccupied and occupied by both my thoughts and my conclusions, and this gigantic network of interwoven threads of information.

I am constantly spinning. Unlike the spider’s quest, my web doesn’t begin anew; instead I build, scaffolding off of previously filtered information again and again. Some gigantic enterprise continually producing inside of this person I seem to be.

It is odd to look around at the world and take in the rules and regulations, the patterns and shapes, and the ways in which I am told to be and even see.. am told to understand and even how to use my mind to comprehend.

It is odd and extremely confusing to live in this world of extreme rigidness when such a remarkable being I be, full of potential and possibility.

Yet, indeed, I understand the need for structure. Of course without some sort of system all would fall apart and fail; at least that is what I have been told.

That teaching along with so many more that my mind hurts, and like the bottle of unknown spills out into more masses of reasoning upon reasoning.

I want to be simple, I suppose. If I think long and hard about the idea, which takes me a matter of seconds, I can see how simplicity breeds comfort—a false type of security that doesn’t exist in nature. I can see how simplicity eases the soul and leaves one freer to breathe and carry on. And I can imagine myself simple and free, drifting through life with the troubles past me because the challenges were never captured long enough to matter.

But what of my heart? So large it grows. I cannot help but want to complicate matters. Not because I long for disturbance or am the eager eater of drama. Nor nearer is the fact that I am in need of complexity. It is just how I am made: built into this someone who meanders to and fro inside a self that meanders to and fro; an insider watching through a window as the outsider moves. Each step we make either together or separate; each step leading deeper into a knowing that nothing is within control. Even as all about people reach, stabbing onward like phantoms attempting to grasp a steering wheel of hope.

I am not melancholic. At least not always, and essentially not at this instant; still I see enough and know enough to understand that no easement of woes exists. And I watch as bystander within bystander observing the masses create havoc of life in an attempt to alleviate a suffering they do not understand. And I watch, waiting for the games to end, waiting for people to come home to their own selves and to stop the games that seem so endless and limiting all at once. Restricted with manmade boundaries and manmade torture to be something and someone else through process and progress, when all along the someone was already divine and perfectly whole.

It is a type of treachery many succumb to through manipulation, repeated exposure and through the absorption of the spillage of the profiteering fools. How we are played as pawns and how I am made to watch helplessly the empire that calls itself wholesome.

I am not this gentle foolish child set innocent into the world. I am wisdom unfolding through and through. Cherishing the dance I play out in my head, as the dance outside in the place called reality is folded into layers of hatred and trickery. For I am escaping all that I see aching outside. And I am pulling in the answers to the folly and pain. I am reworking the outcomes and calculating the events’ offspring, hoping to counteract the wickedness that seeps through the avenues of discourse and greed.

I am enough into myself and need not partake in the ways that were made by the few to reinvent the perfect ones into blundering self-hating conformist.
And I am enough to know that when the season passes and the lies are exposed, I will remain the same. I will still be here with my honesty, integrity, and abyss of hope-filled love.

I refuse to be created into something I am not. To be made into something that is easier for others to comprehend and forget. To be ironed out and made flat and non-dimensional, so the waves I create no longer disturb those adrift in their own murky dark sea.

I am me. And in this I am everything. In this I can reach out my hand to another who is still breathing by her own accord and wish, through the pain of the world, and take hold of purity and hope.

I am me, and in embracing all I am, I have the capacity to embrace all that another be, before the blindfolds were attached and the ground moved asunder, so that floating ghosts appeared where banished souls once traveled.

I am enough and empowered with light, so that where I travel the warriors of angels come and guide me.

In my folly, in my surrender, in my imperfection painted as a coat of varnish on my silky silhouette, I am still enough.

I am everything and nothing. I am entirely filled and emptied.

And in each way I move and think and live, I am a testimony to truth and fairness.

I refuse to be what the world wants to make me into. Refuse to climb out of who I am to be someone I am not and leave but a shell of what I was created to be. For no one can fulfill their potential half-empty or entirely gone. And no one can withstand the weight of the world beneath the burden of their own disheartened soul.

Whole I stand. Undone and complete. Entirely me. And when the others shake because I am, I shall reach out again to find the hand that used to be, and offer my love. Over and over I shall reach, if not into my outer world then into my own self to pull out what has been formed and blended into the miracle of making, and to offer out what is no longer mine and undoubtedly the thread of love that keeps us sewn in strength.

To pull out of the game long enough to remember I was neither born a pawn or made into less than enough. And to remember I am here in serenity, fulfilling my dreams, the ones born onto me beyond the misery of fools’ making.