July 3, 2010

The Sun Sets…

Posted in recovery tagged , at 2:17 pm by eddejae

Never forget… the sky is always blue behind the gray… the mountain has another side…the stars are still there in the day…and caterpillars become butterflies.

~Edde Jae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorblind
I am colorblind
Coffee black and egg white
Pull me out from inside
I am ready
I am ready
I am ready I am

Taffy stuck and tongue tied
Stutters shook and uptight
Pull me out from inside
I am ready
I am ready
I am ready I am
Colorblind
Coffee black and egg white
Pull me out from inside

I am folded
And unfolded
And unfolding I am colorblind
I am fine

This has been the last day of sunset…

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To My Fellow Survivors

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:10 pm by eddejae

This is dedicated to all those out there who are struggling… whether it be with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, suicidal thoughts… Anyone who is hurting, lonely, sad, hopeless…

This video and these words go out to you, as if said personally by me…

You are not alone.

I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place.

I hope that the world turns and things get better.

But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, kiss you… I love you, with all my heart…

I love you.

…Edde Jae

Seven Days of Sunset ~ Day 7… Closing Words: Part 2…

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:04 pm by eddejae

When you hold on to your past, you impede your progress.

The greatest thing you can do for yourself is to forgive yourself and to let go so you can move forward. This often the hardest and last step. It was for me.

Ultimately, you make the choice of how you want your life to be. No matter what has happened in your past, you can change your life. Make the decision. Right now. Decide to take responsibility from this moment on for who you become.

Start where you are. This moment. Stop waiting for a miracle.

I realized it wasn’t God that was punishing me. I was punishing myself for things that had happened and things I had no control over. At least not anymore. Living in the past does nothing. So I let it go and chose to begin a new chapter.

I gave myself the power back. I took the power away from my past, from my mistakes, from my abusers, from depression, from BPD, and gave it back to myself. I chose to rise above. When you accept what has happened and relinquish yourself from undeserved blame and guilt, while taking appropriate responsibility for your actions – you become empowered again. You are able to let go of the burdens of the past. You are able to forgive yourself and move forward.

This is what happened for me, after years and years of blaming myself, of striving for unattainable perfection, of feeling guilty for everything I did.

Now I am moving on. Putting my past behind me, only taking what I have learned so that I may use it to bless my life and those around me.

I can allow myself to be happy now. To live, freely.

I can be me.

Perfectly imperfect.

Day by day, step by step, I’ve become a little more unbroken.

And though sometimes I fall… I’m forever falling forward…

July 2, 2010

Seven Days of Sunset ~ Day 7… Closing Words: Part 1…

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:14 pm by eddejae

It is hard to believe that just eight months ago, I truly thought my life was over. That there was nothing left for me to live for. That I was worthless, used up, incapable of ever being happy again. After years of struggling with debilitating depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and what I later found out to be Borderline Personality Disorder, I was tired of trying. I was ready to throw in the towel. I was ready to give up the fight. Over a two month period I attempted suicide three times and overdosed on at least five other occasions. I coped with the pain of past and present abuse, trauma, guilt, and self-loathing with binging, purging, cutting, alcohol, drugs, and victimization. In order to survive, I either disassociated from my surroundings or changed my entire personality depending on where I was and who I was with. I didn’t know who I was from one moment to the next. Most people didn’t even know everything that was going on with me, because I was very good at putting on a mask. Life was chaos. Chaos was life.

I failed therapy after therapy. Medications made me even more suicidal. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder that things started to make sense. However, it still took me a little while to accept my diagnosis and to make the decision to change. It wasn’t until after my third hospitalization that something inside me snapped. I realized that if I didn’t commit to recovery now, I never would, and I would be miserable the rest of my life. It was a decision I had to make on my own. No one… not my family, not my therapist, not anyone… could make it for me. It was a deep, inner choice and true dedication to becoming healthy.

I am convinced that the one deciding factor to my success in recovery was my commitment in that critical and pivotal moment to becoming better.

Without that, nothing would have worked. Not the best therapy in the world, not the most perfect combination of meds, not even the most loving relationship. No…only that commitment that remained even in the most difficult, heart-wrenching moments when those voices screamed at me “Give up! Give up!” …that one small voice of commitment inside that remained, that whispered… “Remember, remember…” That is what made the difference.

My current state of happiness and healing did not happen all at once. It is a result of a lot of hard work, of a long and painful process. Healing, progress, recovery… They are all a result of a series of small, but very important, choices. Really, there is no such thing as a small decision. Every choice you make has vast consequences, no matter how insignificant it may seem at that moment. Remember that when you when you try to get down on yourself when you think you are “failing”… give yourself credit for the tiny successes…. They make more difference than you realize….For it is those seemingly small victories that accumulate and create something magnificent in the end.

Another thing that has greatly helped me in this process has been getting outside myself. The more I reach out to others, the happier I am. The more I isolate myself and retreat inside my own little world, the more depressed I feel. It is hard because I struggle with social anxiety, but just like any other skill, the more you practice, the better you get and the easier it becomes each time. One thing I love to do is bake, especially at night when I can’t sleep. But I don’t just do it for myself, I do it for my friends and family… There’s nothing more fun and rewarding than seeing the joy on someone’s face when you show up at their door with a plate of fresh-baked cookies. Talk about endorphin rush! Believe it or not, it’s little things like that that can really lift you up out of a rut. Try it. Experiment. Can’t hurt, right?

I also had to decide, at a point, to let myself be happy. For most of my life, whenever I started to feel happy, I would immediately begin to feel guilty. For me, I never felt I “deserved” to be happy, because only “perfect” people deserved to be happy. And since I was never perfect, I could never be happy. Took me a very long time, well… my entire life!… to realize that: 1) I am never going to be perfect, and no one is; 2) There is no such thing as “deserving” to be happy; and 3) I can (and should) be imperfect and happy simultaneously. Once I could accept that, emotionally as well as logically (and I still have to work on this daily, as a lifelong habit is hard to break) I was able to do things like enjoy the little things, be in a relationship, and get married (tomorrow!)

Something else I’ve had to learn and work on is boundaries, especially when it comes to helping other people at the expense of neglecting myself. I’ve always had a bit of a “savior” complex, partly out of a genuine compassion for others, but also as a result of low self-esteem. I need to love, but also be loved, as much of my self-validation comes from others’ approval. As a result, I tend to give everything I have to others, whether they deserve it or not, and am often left empty. I give others validation instead of encouraging them to validate themselves.

Over just the last couple of months, I have learned (the hard way), that unless I am taking care of myself first, I am not good to anyone else. I had to learn to step away a bit and focus on my own recovery, otherwise I was at risk of breaking down again myself. One day, when things have settled down and I am comfortable and strong in this new chapter in my life, I will return to helping others in their journey – it is part of who I am and always will be. I love helping others – listening to them, comforting them, being a help and support wherever I can. But I always need to be sure I am in a good place myself first, before I can be a strength to someone else.

The best thing I can offer the world and others is myself – healthy and whole, with a voice that is clear, strong, and true.

Seven Days of Sunset ~ Day 7… That I Would Be…

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , at 10:09 am by eddejae

It took me my entire life to learn this…

Even now it is difficult at times..

But the wonderful thing is…

Whether you realize it now or not…

You are…

That I would be good even if I did nothing
That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
That I would be good if I got and stayed sick
That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

That I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
That I would be great if I was no longer queen
That I would be grand if I was not all knowing

That I would be loved even when I numb myself
That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
That I would be loved even when I was fuming
That I would be good even if I was clingy

That I would be good even if I lost sanity
That I would be good
whether with or without you

Seven Days of Sunset ~Day 7… Scars…

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:53 am by eddejae

A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars. ~Carly Simon

I remember one morning, about two and half months ago, that I stood in front of my closet staring at the long row of twenty-something sweatshirts. Even though the the weather was starting to get warmer, calling for shorter sleeves, until that day I had refused to show my arms because of my many scars. I was ashamed of them, not wanting to be stared at or judged. I was deathly afraid of being asked questions and hated feeling self-conscious. Hardly anyone in my life knew I was a cutter, and the scars were too deep to use  the “cat-scratch” excuse. So I used the easy way out and just pretended I was cold-blooded.

However, something changed that morning. For the first time, I didn’t care what other people thought of me. I had finally gotten to the point in my recovery where I was open enough to accept myself with my flaws and let people think what they may. Perhaps it might even give someone else the courage to not be ashamed of their battle wounds either. I made the decision that morning to love my scars. I closed my closet, walked over to my chest of drawers, and pulled out a t-shirt. That day, I walked around with bare arms, my struggle with depression and BPD exposed to the world. Sure, I got a couple of glances, I was a bit uncomfortable, but in the end… I was ok. No one asked any questions. I didn’t break down. I didn’t panic. The world didn’t end. I was fine. And everyone else was fine. I was just me.

Perfectly imperfect me.

Now, my scars have faded quite a bit, but they’re still there. I’m getting married tomorrow. They’re not that noticeable anymore, but I will still have to use some cover-up for pictures. But I’m fine with that. To me, they are just indicators of where I have been and the things I have overcome. They are my battle wounds…markers that I have fought… And that I have won. That I am a warrior. The most important scars are the ones you don’t see… The emotional scars. And I am happy and relieved to say that those have been healed. Through therapy, time, commitment, and love… Those have been healed. And that’s all that truly matters. It IS possible. I can testify of that.

Healing is possible.

Hope is real.

Love is attainable.

Believe in yourself…

Keep fighting your battles.

And be proud of your scars.

They mean you’re strong enough to survive it all.

July 1, 2010

Seven Days of Sunset ~Day 6… No Day But Today…

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , at 9:54 pm by eddejae

This is the ending scene from the movie version of the musical Rent, one of my very favorites. The music and the message is profound and moving…

There’s only us

There’s only this

Forget regret

Or life is yours to miss

No other road

No other way

No day but today…

There’s only now

There’s only here

Give in to love

Or live in fear

No other pay

No other way

No day but today…

This has been the sixth day of sunset…

Seven Days of Sunset ~Day 6… Soldier’s Daughter…

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:56 pm by eddejae

I will never forget the night that Todd, my fiancee, played this song for me. I believe it was his way of communicating his acceptance and understanding of me and the pain that I had held inside for so long and was working so hard to let go of…By sharing this song with me, he acknowledged my past full of heartache, my complex emotional life, and my deep need for those parts of me to be recognized and loved.

I will always be grateful for that gift, and I now share it with my readers in hopes that you will may feel perhaps just a little bit understood too. That you may know you’re not alone.

It’s the way he looks at you
That says to me
This isn’t over
From the outside looking in
You see there’s nothing sacred here
Nothing sacred
You can bend
But you can’t break
For the reasons out of our control
You try to make it roll
Like a dice away
But you say that you’re all empowered here
This is obviously not clear enough
To me
You can bend
But you can’t break
Hey little girl keep dancing
Hey little girl keep dancing alone
‘Cause there’s not enough time in your day
To keep you here
The soldier’s daughter
Did your daddy
Did your daddy hurt you
Did he make you feel bad
Did he poison your views
With the water he was raised on
Oh your father’s son says hang on
Hang on
Hey little girl
Keep dancing
Hey little girl
Keep dancing alone
‘Cause there’s not enough time in your life
To stay here
So over the hills he’d climb
Just to see her there in time
Just to watch the sun shine through her dress
The sweet soldier’s daughter
The sweet soldier’s daughter

Seven Days of Sunset ~ Day 6…Beautiful History…

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:17 pm by eddejae

This song has gotten me through a lot… Want to share it here…

Remember that you are always writing your story, and every chapter is unique and amazing – the happy chapters, the frightening chapters, the sad chapters, the emotional chapters, the healing chapters. Every moment is another sentence, another word on the page… And it is important, and it is beautiful. Tell your story. I guarantee you it will touch another’s life in some way, and it will help to you realize that nothing you have gone through has been in vain.

Everyone has a history…Lessons they’ve learned and wisdom to share.

Let your voice be heard.

Begin to speak today.

Not only will you change someone else’s life…

You will forever change your own.

I have made mistakes
And I have been afraid
I have felt alone
Then you called my name

Things were crashing loudly
Happening all around me
But your still small voice
Was all that I could hear

I am here
I’m holding you
You’ll make it through this
I am here
I am here

Whenever you run away
Whenever you lose your faith
It’s just another stroke of
The pen on the page

A lonely ray of hope
Is all that you need
To see
A beautiful history

Well I have been such a fool
When I have known the truth
I’ve wasted so much time
Doing what I want to do

I’ve been living solely
For myself and myself only
But your still small voice
Is whispering

Whenever you run away
Whenever you lose your faith
It’s just another stroke
Of the pen on the page

A lonely ray of hope
Is all that you need
To see
A beautiful history

I toss and turn and scream
I try to do everything
With two feet on the ground
I just keep falling down again

I feel so far from home
Completely all alone
And then I hear you say
“I am here, I am here”

Whenever you run away
Whenever you lose your faith
It’s just another stroke of
The pen on the page

A lonely ray of hope
Is all that you need
To see
A beautiful history
A beautiful history
A beautiful history

Seven Days of Sunset ~ Day 5…

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , at 7:52 pm by eddejae

I have no never-again, I have no always. In the sand
Victory abandoned its footprints.
I am a poor man willing to love his fellow men.
I don’t know who you are. I love you. I don’t give away thorns, and I don’t sell them.

Maybe someone will know that I didn’t weave crowns
to draw blood; that I fought against mockery;
that I did fill the high tide of my soul with truth. I repaid vileness with doves.

I have no never, because I was different–
Was, am will be. And in the name
Of my ever-changing love I proclaim a purity.

Death is only the stone of oblivion.
I love you, on your lips I kiss happiness itself.
Let’s gather firewood. We’ll light a fire on the mountain.

~Pablo Neruda

This has been the fifth day of sunset…