raw around the edges

skyclouds
But it seemed to me that this was the way we all lived: full to the brim with gratitude and joy one day, wrecked on the rocks the next. Finding the balance between the two was the art and the salvation.

Elizabeth Berg, The Year of Pleasures

Well. He is home. For now. But that doesn’t mean things are perfect. In spite of how comforting his presence is (albeit tenuous), I am struggling so hard just to get back to baseline of feeling “normal.” Which is funny because I have never been nor will I ever be, normal, by anyone’s standards. I take my pill religiously. I am not angry, I am mainly just depressed. I think about everything over and over again. How I feel about things. I check it like you do when you lose a tooth and your tongue runs over the empty spot, you know it’s gone but you’re still checking anyway. Still there.

I was ready to quit my job and do anything else. Take a huge pay cut. (That did not pan out.) Then I remember, insurance. Pills. Doctors. Oh. I am a slave to my job for these things. It is funny how you know inside you have so much to offer and yet you spend all day saying “how can I assist you?” and it really feels like your soul is actually dying.

I used to be obsessed with makeup videos and fashion blogs. I was always wondering what I could buy next. I have stopped that cold. I have no real desire to experience any superficiality. I have not painted my nails in a week (although I will probably never stop wearing full face makeup just because that is me). I have been coming back to my favorite books by my favorite author, Elizabeth Berg. (Durable Goods, Joy School and True to Form.) They are fast reads I suppose but being in that world, and being back in that world I remember being in so many times and for so long is just about the only thing I find real solace in. Absolutely, within the last few weeks, those are the moments when I find peace. In those books. She writes so well it hurts. It is just so true to the heart, it just pulls at me, all the way back to my own thirteen year old self.

But what else.

Then I thought well, I’ll save up a bunch of money, and take the road trip I’ve always wanted. All the way to California, via Route 66 as much as I could. From coast to coast. Dip my toes in the Pacific like I have always wanted to. I have thought about it many times but listening to Lana Del Rey always makes me want to just drive forever and ever. I guess I always pictured myself sharing that experience with someone else (special) but maybe it should just be me, some cheap motels, bags of Cheetos, truck stop food, lots of mix CDs and the open road for miles and endless miles. I would be like Kerouac. Maybe it would inspire me. I got bright little flips of excitement thinking about it. Then I talked myself out of it, at least for the immediate future. Money, time. Oh, those traps.

So the battle begins. I keep choosing safety, and “safety” seems to be keeping me pushed inwards, against myself. I really want to break free.

wake me when the hour arrives

somethings

This song has seen me through some tough times.

I keep hearing keys rattling, cars pulling in. I always think it’s him; even though I know it isn’t because he is someplace else. 

I thought he would be home by now, and it splits me apart that he isn’t. I cannot lie. I miss his lips. I miss his everything.

 

 

what’s happiness worth?

leapoffaith

Most Americans hate their jobs. Think Office Space. Let’s present a strictly hypothetical situation:

You work 40 hours (Mon-Fri) at a cubicle-type job. The work is tedious, the interactions frustrating, and draining. Management is cracking down and becoming increasingly punitive and micromanagey. Your colleagues are quietly complaining at the water cooler and in whispers; morale is low. When you get home you (wrongly, of course) tend to take your frustrations out on your significant other and find it hard to focus on your schoolwork (as you do have aspirations beyond this desk job) or other hobbies and passions.

You have no emotional connection to your work. It depletes and exhausts you mentally. You are absolutely the “wrong fit” for this type of job and you know it isn’t serving your mind or spirit. Yes, It’s “easy” and bearable at certain times, and you get some downtime to play on the internet, you’re allowed your phone at your desk. You get paid decent wages (but not a lot) and have good health benefits, allowing you some basic financial stability. But bottom line: you HATE your job.

officespace

Let’s just say (hypothetically) you got an opportunity for a job that was less hours, odd hours (possibly weekends/holidays), and less pay. But, it was a job that aligned with your passions and interests, something you think you could really be happy doing, something that would allow you to use skills and knowledge that you already have. The decrease in working hours would allow you to spend more time on your coursework, thus allowing you to graduate from college sooner and work harder on your eventual goals.

If you had the (hypothetical!) support of your family or significant other, would you take a leap of faith into the “unknown” into a job that could fulfill and satisfy you, or continue to “play it safe” at the job you loathe with a passion? The economy is a reality, sure. But what about happiness? What about achieving something greater than just a bank balance and “stability?” What’s it worth?

As usual, I find great truth in Gabrielle Bernstein’s vlogs. I actually put off watching this video because I knew I WAS “dancing around the perimeter of who I want to be.” I’ve been looking from the outside in at people who have careers that I want, and live creative and satisfying lives. I need to think about what’s holding me back and make those changes happen now. Life is too short to be complacent. That may be fine for others, but I know it’s not for me, not anymore.

Please share your own thoughts & experiences on job (dis)satisfaction and career “leaps of faith.” x

unmoored

sunlight

I keep almost forgetting that I live alone again now. In the midst of a “manic Monday,” I quickly thought to myself how I couldn’t wait to wrap myself in the security of boyfriend’s perfect arms as the rain pours outside. Comfort. Security. How I miss it already.

I’m hardly eating. I’m hardly sleeping. It’s more than him just being gone. I’m being swallowed by something else, something bigger than he or I could ever be. It’s monstrous. But him not being there doesn’t help.

I am a child on the bicycle, training wheels suddenly removed. No warning.

Steady, steady.

I’ve been released.

I hope that before I know it, I can pedal smoothly all on my own.

I can’t remember ever feeling this depressed, this hopeless, this frustrated. It’s coupled with a maniacal attempt to DO EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE/BE AWESOME/BE CREATIVE/BE THE BEST AT EVERYTHING because in order to be satisfied I have to be creating beautiful art or poetry or something else profound.

Instead I stare at the blank walls of “our” apartment, thinking about what we wanted to hang there. The bed, empty on his side. Once so comfortable, only provides restless nights of kicking and turning, waking with a start to realize that he’s gone.

He’s really gone.

There are small signs that I need to awaken my spiritual self but I’ve been ignoring them. I don’t trust spirituality will save me. I don’t believe in the universe’s unconditional loving light and all of that patchouli nonsense anymore. If it were that easy, we’d all do it. Wouldn’t we? I should really listen more. And think before I speak. And fix the million other things that I do wrong, that make up the glorious blackened mass of mental/emotional defects that infiltrate my being like knife cuts. Oh, beautiful knife cuts.

Then I remembered the one spiritual book that shook me (shook a lot of people, I’m sure) – Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. And this:

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life…”

Hmmm.

call me a gypsy

USA Roadtrip 2 -1

I’m living out of a duffle bag and a laundry basket right now. All of my stuff is scattered.  I’m really no good at being nomadic. I never have been. I’ve always done better in my own space, knowing where everything is. Staying with my dear friend is awesome in a lot of ways. I know I’m not mentally healthy enough to be by myself, really. But I miss my –our–home. I’ve been going to the apartment once a day to feed the cats, grab stuff I need, etc…but it feels so strange. Without my boyfriend, without his stuff, it feels so hollow and empty. It’s truly the saddest feeling.

I have “my” room set up, and it’s nice enough. It feels like some kind of weird and unwelcome vacation. I do love having the company of my friend, but all I really want is my soulmate back. We spent the fourth together, in his hometown. Went to the lake and played in the water. We held each other. I cried. I cry a lot lately. He loves me and I can tell. We tell each other constantly. This is hard for him, too, I know. And I know that he doesn’t want to backslide into old habits. In the meantime my “coping method” is just moment to moment. I hold myself together, even though I feel completely unraveled.

I stopped by at our place on my way home for the cat chores. Then I went to my friend’s place and laid in the yellow bed for an hour after I talked to bf on the phone, just thinking, being, dealing.

I’m back on my meds. It’s going to take time to feel/notice the effects again. I never felt them in the first place. I guess that’s common with antidepressants? Other people noticed, apparently. Who knows. That’s why I stopped. Also, no word from any of the psychiatrists I was referred to. Sad and frustrating that when you really want help and are asking for it, it seems to be out of reach.

Everything that’s going on makes it nearly impossible to focus on things that I need to do–like coursework–and the things that I want to do, like painting. All I do is think, and wait patiently for something to change inside of me.

Have you ever lived out of a suitcase before? Or felt like you didn’t know where you belong? Comment and let me know. xx

a separate peace

The last two nights I’ve slept in a yellow bed that isn’t my own. It feels like a vacation that I didn’t choose.

I’ve written about my relationships before, and my BPD (borderline personality disorder). The two do not play well together. Two days ago, my boyfriend moved out of the apartment we moved into only a month ago. This was triggered by my constant vitriolic behavior with regards to his new teaching job — something I *should* be proud of him for, and want to celebrate with him. Only his getting that job only made me feel small, stupid and unaccomplished, and most of all, angry with myself for not making the “right” choices earlier in life. Despite our solid connection and deep love for each other, he left.

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I came home from work to a near-empty apartment. He took everything of his. I begged and pleaded on the phone. (Classic BPD behavior: “I hate you/Don’t leave me.”) Through many tearful experiences and an act of self-harm I won’t get into, I wound up staying at my best friend’s house. When I pulled up in the driveway (a total mess) I saw my other best friend’s car in the driveway. Having my friends there helped tremendously. I really do have the best friends in the world–they seem to think that with a little time, and me getting the help I need, that me and bf can work things out.

We’ve been in pretty consistent contact. He’s said “I love you” so many times, and so have I. He was the one who took me to the hospital yesterday. The love hasn’t changed. I want him to come home so much. My cats are alone there, which breaks my heart. They’ve been cared for every day so far, but I miss them and worry about them. But being there is impossible, being alone is impossible. There’s nothing left there. No internet, no TV, no xbox, no air conditioner. No boyfriend, no love. I feel like he took it with him when he left.

At the urgency of my friends, my PCP and a psychiatrist’s office I was referred to, I went to the emergency room yesterday to be evaluated. They decided to release me because I wasn’t an immediate danger. The plan is to see a psychiatrist, start back up on my Wellbutrin and find out if I really do have BPD. (The therapist who “diagnosed me a few years back was a LICSW, which means she can’t technically diagnose mental illnesses.)

This is the hardest and most painful thing I’ve ever done. A part of me is afraid boyfriend won’t come home, even though he says he wants to. I’m afraid it will take longer than I want. I’ve been reading online about the benefits of separation (I can only find stuff on marital separations, really) and I’m hoping that starting the path of getting help, and getting some space away from the relationship will give us both perspective. I know it won’t change how I feel about him, and I hope it doesn’t change how he feels about me. My heart hurts. All I want is to be in his arms.

It’s been too many nights of being with
To now suddenly be without.

- Jewel

comparing is toxic behavior

comparing

In light of recent events – my boyfriend getting a teaching job and me being extremely bitter/jealous/resentful of his success due to my dead-end job and being at the very beginning of my education – I’ve found myself gravitating towards “positive” blogs. I used to be much more spiritual, much more aligned with love and light, and my intentions were better. I don’t know what happened, but I’ve definitely lost that spark. I hate who I’ve become. I feel completely inadequate and ashamed of my choices and where they’ve lead me. I compare my lack of success to my boyfriend’s success and it eats me alive.

It’s unrealistic, obviously, to expect to be an exact even match with your romantic partner. It is difficult, I’m finding, when you find yourself with a fellow creative person with similar interests, passions and goals. It feels competitive, but it shouldn’t. I’m not sure I want to teach, per se. I just want to have a career that is more tailored to my the things that I love (just like everyone else in the world).

I stumbled across this post by Rosie Hanke, and it really resonated with me, so I thought I would share:

“You don’t need anything more in your life to be someone great….”

Have you ever looked at the lives of people around you and then came back to yourself with a yucky feeling inside questioning why you don’t have what they have or how you could be at such a different place in life than them? *raises hand* I have. It’s part jealousy – part insecurity.

I have looked at my friends’ lives and compared my own life to theirs only seeing the positives in their own and the negatives in mine. I saw how far ahead some of them were in their schooling, in their careers (yes, careers, not just jobs), and life in general. I thought how did I mess everything up so much to end up where I am? ..So far from where I thought I should be and where society said I should be. I was mad at myself and comparing myself to others success only made things worse.

Are you comparing yourself to someone else or someone else’s accomplishments? If so, Stop! When we do things like that we are only hurting ourselves. I came to realize that looking at my life in such a way that could only make me wish I had more to prove of myself was pretty ridiculous. It doesn’t matter where I am in life or what I have accomplished at this point in time- None of those things make me more or less loveable and the same goes for you.

You don’t need anything more in your life to be someone great, or to be more valued, or to have a better looking life— You are already worth so much more than you can imagine. Where you’re at in life does not define your worth.

It can be so easy to fall into a place of self-hate when you compare yourself to others; don’t do that to yourself. When you stop comparing, you open up your world and yourself to a newfound freedom that gives you the magic and the beauty to just be yourself!

Love yourself where you are, for who you are.

Do you ever get stuck in comparing yourself to others? How do you deal with it? Please share in the comments! xo