June 27, 2010
To everything there is a season,
And a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. ~Anais Nin
We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. ~Anais Nin
Begin doing what you want to do now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake. ~Marie Beyon Ray
What the caterpillar calls the end the rest of the world calls a butterfly. ~Lao Tzu
One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again. ~Abraham Maslow
The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can. ~Mike Dooley
Celebrate endings – for they precede new beginnings. ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. ~Nido Qubein
You don’t need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating. ~Barbara Sher
And you? When will you begin your long journey into yourself? ~Rumi
June 26, 2010
Just seven days until my wedding day.
Only seven more days until a new chapter in my life begins.
I am finally making the leap. Turning the page. Starting anew.
The time has come for me to, once and for all, put my past behind me… The pain, the heartache, the hurt, the sadness, the scars.
The lessons, the refinement, the wisdom, the beauty, the growth, the maturity will remain.
To the rest, I will say goodbye.
As part of this transition into what I feel is truly a new turning point in my life, I have decided to end this blog. I will continue to write, but my focus will be on other aspects of my life and self-expression and less on my struggle with depression and Borderline Personality Disorder. Though I will always have my struggles and my “moments,” I have experienced so much growth and healing over the last few months (largely because of this blog, and also because of the beautiful relationship I’ve found which will soon culminate in marriage) that I no longer feel the need to have an outlet specifically for these issues. I may even go as far to say that I no longer feel that my mental and emotional struggles are a part of me, but rather outside forces that encroach upon my daily life in an attempt to derail me from my efforts to move forward. However, through the support of my therapist, my family, and my loving and superhumanly patient fiancee, and also through considerable practice (including many trial-and-error experiments!) I have improved considerably in my ability to cope with these forces and handle each difficult moment as it comes. My feelings and thought patterns have become more predictable, I have learned to keep track of high and low cycles, and I have become more aware of how my physical symptoms reflect my inner emotional world.
Now, to be clear, I have no expectations that it will all be smooth sailing from here on out. I know there’s a chance that my illnesses will come back to bite me in the butt at some point down the road, and I know for certain new problems and trials will arise as life goes on. But I’ve come to realize that no matter what happens, no matter what life throws at me, I have the strength and the skills to cope, to pick myself up, and move on. That even when I make mistakes, even when I fail, I can get up again. That even when I fall, I can at least fall forward. I have no doubt about that, whatsoever. I’ve survived quite a bit… I’m not strong all the time, but I’m strong when I really need to be. I’m a survivor. And that’s all that matters.
My final blog entries… And really, I don’t know how many there will actually be… Are all going to be grouped under the title of “Seven Days of Sunset.” During this next week, I will be tying up all my mental and emotional “loose ends” — the random thoughts that have been hanging about the corners of my mind waiting to be typed out… The lingering fears, doubts, and concerns that have been bottled up and are ready to explode any moment… The memories, dreams, and nightmares that I just want out and in the open so they’re outside of me… Anything and everything. Content that is too sensitive will be password-protected and for my eyes only… So don’t take it personally. 🙂 This will be a psychological, spiritual, and emotional cleansing for me… Something I feel is necessary for me to truly begin a new chapter in my life. Some of it will be painful, I admit… But I will be relieved when it is finished.
Then, I will be able to move on… Free and unfettered…
This has been the First Day of Sunset…
This moment is a bridge between
Past and Future ~ carefully cross it.
This moment is choice ~ Make it.
This moment is life ~ live it.
May 31, 2010
*Dedicated to Lydia… Thank you my dear friend :)*
This is just an ordinary day
Wipe the insecurities away
I can see that the darkness will erode
Looking out the corner of my eye
I can see that the sunshine will explode
Far across the desert in the sky
Won’t you be my inspiration?
Don’t you throw your love around
What in the world, what in the world
Could ever come between us?
Beautiful girl, beautiful girl
I’ll never let you down
Won’t let you down
This is the beginning of your day
Life is more intricate than it seems
Always be yourself along the way
Living through the spirit of your dreams
Won’t you be my inspiration?
Don’t you throw your love around
What in the world, what in the world
Could ever come between us?
Beautiful girl, beautiful girl
I’ll never let you down
Won’t let you down
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson
A true friend is not only there for us, but also teaches us how to be there for ourselves. ~Me… 🙂
April 11, 2010
Dedicated to Aunt Sue.
And plunge into vermillion skies.
In the dark, dusky fragrance of nocturnal stillness,
Heavy beads of midnight’s tears settle sensually on my shoulders.
Melancholy caresses of ocean’s breath on my cheek,
The jealous wind slips its phantom fingers through my hair.
Flirtatious petals of velvet magenta brush across my lips
And flutter away into the creeping, clandestine fog.
Barefoot and carefree, I begin to twirl,
Faster and faster and faster still –
Arms reaching towards the azure canvas of space,
Wispy blades of gray-green grass tickling my ankles,
Spinning and spinning, the world a senseless blur –
Breathless I tumble to the earth quivering beneath my feet,
But the stars above me keep on whirling madly,
Dancing in time with my briskly beating heart –
I shut my eyes to the frenzied firmament.
Then, far off in the distant haze, strains of symphony –
Violin, flute, oboe, timpani –
Familiar knowing pierces through my dizzy brain,
And scrambling expectantly to the crest of a tangled hill,
I behold marching towards me an astonishing procession,
A fantastical assembly of forgotten childhood playmates –
Hurried rabbits clutching tiny pocket watches,
Mottled rocking horses with feathered wings,
Cerulean unicorns and frolicsome fairies,
Diamond-decked dragons and wise old wizards,
Tea-sipping fawns and clumsy patchwork girls,
Jaunty scarecrows and imposing lions,
Radiant princesses with glittering jewels,
Little girls adorned in red capes and hoods,
And chivalrous knights riding snow-white steeds.
A parade of long-missed fantasies resurrected,
Sleep-induced phantasms fading away,
Melting into the pink-and-gold-tinged sunrise.
The music remains –
Lilting melodies surreal,
Stirring the trees from their rapturous nighttime reveries,
Awakening from despairing dreams the mourning doves,
Still grieving the loss of some long-ago legend,
Prying open the alabaster daises sprinkled across the green,
Shaking the drowsiness from my eyes…
I awake, regretfully –
Longing to linger,
To abide evermore,
In the midst of my Debussy dreams.
April 9, 2010
Tonight my thoughts are tripping over each other struggling for expression, overflowing the delicate vessel of my mind and spilling out into words – words inadequate, unreliable, unpredictable. If only words could capture the true essence of thought, of emotion, of meaning. If only words had the universal power of music in their ability to convey the spirit of what is intended – communication in its purest form. Less subject to varied interpretation than poetry or art. Dance is one step closer I believe, but still unparalleled to sound purposefully organized to resonate in the very soul of the listener – setting particles in motion, inspiring feeling, painting vivid mental pictures, conveying a story through the combination of tone, rhythm, and measured silence.
Take, for example, Beethoven’s Symphony Number 7 in A, Op 92: II. Allegretto. The first time I heard it, I wept. It would be an iron-souled person indeed who was not compelled to feel – and to feel deeply – the angst, the desire, the passion that Beethoven is able to infuse in the very heart of the sensitive listener. I cannot listen to this piece without feeling my spirit being lifted into a higher realm, where emotion is experienced more deeply, tinged with a surreal sense of otherworldliness. I envy the ability to create such music. I don’t believe I would ever feel the need to speak if I had such a divine power. My music would speak volumes, and would be more than sufficient to communicate the true depth of my feelings on pain, on love, on despair, on joy, on the ebb and flow of life.
I am sitting in my room. It is completely dark except for the light shining from my computer monitor. The draft from the ceiling fan mingles with the coolness of the night air drifting through the open window, creating a pleasant and calming breeze. Beethoven’s genius permeates the darkness surrounding me. Looking outside my window, I can see the willowy forms of the gray shadows that have followed me about today. I am not afraid of them now. Armed with the strength of music and the spoken word, I will use them for my own benefit. I shall let them inspire me, not torture me. They are under my power now, to move and to speak and to act according to my will. With the force of my mind I command them to dance a mysterious dance in time with Beethoven. Twirling, leaping, tilting, swaying… Now gone. The weary shadows waltz each other away into the blackness of the night. I shall miss them, perhaps.
What is it about the night that inspires me so? Why is it that in some moments, I beg for sleep to overcome me, to numb my feelings, quiet my mind, and paralyze my body into blessed stillness? Why is it that at some times, I pray for the angel of rest to pass by my door, too fascinated by the magic of the night to yield to sleep’s unconscious stupor with its muddled and sometimes frightening dreams? Insomnia is at once a curse and a blessing. I drift in and out of phases of chronic vigilance, in which I am held captive by the clutches of sleeplessness, plagued by the lack of refreshing respite from the cares of the day. I lie wide-eyed in the darkness while others bask in the throes of unconsciousness. Many things, both dark and disturbing, inspiring and enlightening, lurk in the corners of my mind as the ticking clock propels me closer to morning light. Weep for me, oh ye fully rested ones who slip into dreamland the moment your heads alight upon your soft pillows. And yet, despair…for only such as I hold within their weary souls the secrets of the night…
I am staring at the tiny white Seroquel pill and glass of water in front of me. I know I should take it, but I don’t want to. It makes me sleepy, and I want to be awake tonight. Free from dreams, free from endless tossing and turning, free to do as I please with this quiet solitude that is all mine. I wish I were brave (or foolish) enough to go out for a walk. The air is crisp, the sounds of the night coming through my window enticing, and I long to mingle with my fellow nocturnal creatures. But here I remain, in the safety and comfort of my little room, listening to my music, hiding from the Sandman.
I am alone, but somehow… I am not lonely. The gentle breeze wraps its arms around me, the music cradles me in its gentle embrace, and even the darkness seems soothing to the yet raw and aching wounds of my soul. My head aches and my eyes are bleary, but I am no longer numb inside. The icy chill in my heart has at last been thawed by the fiery strains of the music and the softening ambiance of the evening. Sometimes I think it is better to feel sorrow than nothing at all, better to feel pain than that cold, empty, hollow, dreary numbness in which there is no saving spark of fire, no glimmering undercurrent of hope in the sadness. Of course, it is far better than either of these things to feel joy, but when that cannot be attained, I’d take any emotion that carries with it some kind of soul-moving ache than over the deadness that seems to eat through your heart and mind, creating a vapid nothingness where every color turns to gray and every thing around you turns to dust.
And then, sometimes, I’d rather feel nothing at all than experience the pain. Or… I’d rather feel the pain on the outside than on the inside. I guess, still, that is preferring pain over numbness. I was born to feel. Without it, I do not exist.
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
So sing to me, oh violin, cello, flute. Stir my soul into feeling when nothing else will. Satisfy my longing to feel alive. Comfort me, oh night, oh darkness, oh solitude. Let my very breath vibrate the air with a subtle music of my own. Let my every atom resonate with love, with light, in tune with the universe surrounding me. Let me cry in agony, let me sing with joy, anything… Just let me exist, exist with every particle of my being. Yet, not merely to exist… Let me be alive. LET…ME…LIVE…
I want to feel passion, I want to feel pain. I want to weep at the sound of your name. Come make me laugh, come make me cry… just make me feel alive.” ~Joey Lauren Adams
March 20, 2010
When you have recently been through a really dark, confusing time in your life, even the smallest “good” thing seems almost unbelievably incredible in that moment you’re experiencing it. I thought this as I drove home today froma picnic in the park with my friend and her three-year-old son. I found myself delighted in just watching this adorable little kid throw popcorn to the ducks and “fish” in the pond with a branch (seems the fish weren’t keen on catching today, to his dismay). Merely being outside felt like a special occasion, as I usually spend most of my time indoors. After eating lunch, we went for a walk and found lots dandelions to blow the fluff off of. I remember when I was a little girl, I used to pretend that the seedlings turned into tiny fairies as they blew away. My friend and I had the opportunity to talk quite a bit, and I found myself a little more comfortable with opening up, which felt good. It’s nice having someone outside my family that I know I can trust as I’m testing the waters of this “new” me I’m working to develop. To be honest, I’m still pretty uncomfortable with myself, but my general attitudes towards and acceptance of myself is improving bit by bit. I look forward to the day when I’m completely comfortable in my own skin and with my own thoughts and feelings. I hope I can get there alright.
The last few nights have been rather odd, and I’m wondering if I’m starting to experience side-effects of my medication (Lexapro and Seroquel) that I’ve been on for six weeks now. I’ve been having nightmares and/or extremely emotionally intense dreams that I’ve woken up screaming from. Last night and a couple nights ago it only happened once, but the night before last I cried out three times (totally freaking out my poor mom). It’s like my brain is creating every possible scenario that would cause me to either be incredibly scared or angry to the point where I wake myself (and everybody else) up with the intensity of my reaction. It’s starting to get annoying. If it happens again tonight, I might have to call my psychiatrist and figure out what’s going on.
Speaking of psychiatrists… I had an appointment with mine yesterday and I’m feeling the need to vent. To put it bluntly… I hate doctors. I hate going to appointments. I hate being asked questions. I hate everything about doctors and doctors’ offices. I just have this aversion to being examined, whether it’s physically or psychologically. I get extremely intimidated, especially with my current psychiatrist. He is very good, thorough, and nice… but regardless, he’s a doctor, so he’s not exactly my favorite person. It’s like immediately as I walk into his office, I become a scared, helpless child who has difficulty answering questions and making eye contact. I start fidgeting with my hands, I hold my legs tightly together, and I find myself taking on a certain “fakeness” that makes me feel disgusted with myself afterwards. I answer questions in as few words as possible and just do everything I can to get out of there as quickly as I can. I also have to fight the urge to tell him what I think he wants to hear, because I know if I do that, I will be the one harmed by it. But it’s tough. And that smile on his face! GAH! It comes off so patronizing! Or like he’s thinking something about me. Ya, I know, I’m paranoid. But I just assume he’s thinking all of these bad things about me and is judging me. I don’t feel that way with my therapist at all, just this doctor dude, and really, most doctors I’ve come into contact with give the impression that they know so much more than you do and “well, aren’t you such a good little girl for coming to see me and behaving so nicely”… I half expect them to pat me on the head and give me a lollipop on my way out. It drives me insane!! I always wind up feeling bad about myself over something they said, or something I thought they were implying, or a look they gave me… Like I said, I get very paranoid. I also made the mistake of mentioning my blog, which he was way too curious about, in my opinion. Grr…This is probably just all in my head too. Sigh. Whatever. It’s just something I have to put up with I guess. Bleh! Ok I’m done with my rant.
Anyways, I did something else positive today. I did not wear a sweatshirt. Ok, I know that sounds really funny, but I always wear sweatshirts in public, and baggy jeans. I try to hide my body as much as possible. But guess what? Today I wore layers instead – a thin white long-sleeved shirt underneath a t-shirt, which wasn’t entirely form-fitting, but not baggy either. Ok, that’s huge for me. I’m still not comfortable showing my arms because of the scars (which are fading nicely, by the way), but it was a lot more stylish and not much less comfortable than the typical big sweatshirt I wear. It really is the little things huh… Lol. I’m a dork.
On a final note, my friend sent me this picture last night and it made me laugh:
If only it were that simple, huh?
P.S. I’m listening to this song right now, and it is making me smile. So I thought I would share…. 🙂
March 14, 2010
The smoke of last night’s dreams still
Lingers around my pillow.
My cheek is imprinted with the creases of the sheets
Gathered tightly around my body –
Now shivering cold, now burning with fever.
Coughing to clear my lungs from the
Suffocating remnants of yesterday’s tears.
My headphones cord tightens around my neck
As I turn towards the wall –
I fell asleep to the familiar lullabies
Of pain, healing, loss, and redemption –
My dreaming mind, to make a point of sadistic irony,
Dismissed the messages of comfort and love,
Summoning for fears and monsters and
Merciless tales of doom, regret, and tragedy.
But the afternoon light streams through
The trinity of windows and casts an inviting glow
Across the cold wall upon which I press my feet, listlessly –
Thinking of yesterday and wishing for tomorrow.
I trace my finger along the wall in a language
Only I know, and do not care to speak of,
Then count the freckles on my arms.
In a place between asleep and awake,
In a state where dreams and reality intertwine
And fight for dominance in my brain,
In a place where only I can go, where I am alone,
I live a myriad of lives patched together from memories,
And tell myself stories that become dreams,
That melt into mere emotion to be circulated
Through my bloodstream like a drug –
But I’m not allowed to bleed it out.
So I lie here, and drift to sleep, and drift to wake,
In and out, light and dark, real and make-believe.
I am falling. Now I am flying. Running. Now still.
Thoughts dance the maddening dance and collapse into silence –
Jolted to motion again by the sudden beat of my pounding heart.
Future, past, present, now past again – No, present only.
I am here and that is all I need to know.
There is nothing else for me today.
The puzzle, the problem, will not be unlocked this way.
My muddled mind cannot touch your words.
I have no strength to hold it, carry it, examine it –
Too heavy, too heavy, it slips from my fingers.
So I lie here, exhausted, in the smoky of haze of dreams.
This is my reality today. This and none else.
I cover my head and bury myself in my sanctuary of
Sheets and shadows and pillow creases.
The truth will have to wait until tomorrow.
Tomorrow I wake up.
But not today.
March 11, 2010
I’m taking on a big task today. I’m facing those nasty “shoulds” that have been hounding me for years now, not only originating from my own perfectionism and unrealistic expectations for myself, but also other people’s expectations and ideas of what I “should” be doing with my life. I was a pretty smart kid – skipped two grades, graduated high school early, went to college on full scholarship at 17 years old, etc. School was just always easy for me. After I graduated college, I really had no clue what I wanted to do, but I kind of took it for granted that I would get a post-graduate degree. I considered several options, including law school, business school, or going for a Masters or PhD. However, nothing ever seemed to really fit, and honestly, while I did miss the learning aspect of education, I didn’t really relish the idea of going back to school for another three to five years. So for three years now I’ve been going back and forth with the idea, getting input from other people, and changing my mind every few weeks it seems.
Friends, family, and coworkers have also felt the need to “advise” me as to my life path. My boss encouraged me towards business, my aunt practically begged me to become a lawyer, and a close friend of mine even told me that if I didn’t go to grad school, he would be “disappointed” and that I would not be “living up” to my “potential.” So here I am, bombarded with all of these pressures, on top of the nagging voice in my head saying “If you don’t, you’ll regret it!” and “Don’t sell yourself short!” So great was my anxiety over the issue that it was the topic of many sessions with my therapist. She presented me with a very important question that, at the time, I could not even answer: “What do YOU want?”
The query stumped me. I didn’t really know. I just had this expectation built up that I was going to become something “great,” and somehow that translated into becoming some sort of professional with multiple degrees. But how did I define “great”? What would I consider as “living up to my potential”? What do I want to do with my life? Who do I want to be? What would make ME happy? At the time, I was so overwhelmed by opinions and expectations that I couldn’t even identify my own inner voice. I just assumed that the only way I could ever be happy with myself was if I went back to school… But what if I didn’t? What if I decided grad school wasn’t the thing for me, at least for right now? What if I decided on another path? For a long time, I couldn’t find those answers within myself, and I continued in my discontentment and lack of direction.
Yesterday I had an enormous breakthrough. I was able to identify those things that make me the happiest. I realized that going to grad school at this time in my life would NOT make me the happiest. Sure, I could do it, no doubt. But do I want to? No. What makes me happy? Expressing myself through music and writing. Being a daughter, sister, friend. Being involved in my church. Learning on my own through good books. Trying in some small way to make a difference in this world. Volunteering. Loving. Enjoying nature. Discovering who I am and just being that woman, no more, no less.
What do I want for my life? What do I hope to become when I am recovered and healthy in every way? I will tell you.
First and foremost, I want to be a wife and mother someday. I want to have a beautiful, peaceful home full of love and happiness. I want to be a wonderful lover, best friend, and incredible wife to the husband I hope to have one day. I want to have children. I want silly things like… Surprising my husband when he comes home from work with a candlelight dinner. Tucking my children into bed and telling them stories I make up from the top of my head. Taking my kids to soccer practice and ballet lessons. Going on romantic picnics with my husband. I want a flower garden. I want to invent delicious and healthful meals for my family. I want the kind of home that my kids’ friends will love to hang out at. I want to teach my children how to love God, others, and themselves. I want my home to be full of warmth, love, music, and laughter.
I want to be a supportive and loving daughter to my parents. I want to be a positive example to my younger siblings, especially my little sister as she becomes a teenager. I want to be there for my family whenever they need me.
I want to be a published writer.
I want to go to a community college and get an associates degree in music and become a music teacher. I want to give piano lessons in my home. I want to write my own songs and maybe someday make an album.
I want to travel when I can and see as much of this beautiful world as possible.
I want to serve in my church.
I want to keep learning for the rest of my life, and developing new skills.
I want to live my life with passion, taking advantage of every opportunity that comes my way and living life to the fullest.
I want to change the world for good in some way and let my light shine. I want to be a conduit of God’s love and an instrument in His hands to lift His children. I want to inspire others and help those in need in whatever way God has planned.
I don’t need to be a lawyer or doctor to be happy and make a difference in the world. I might still do that someday when my kids are grown, but it is not what I feel is best right now. The last time I was in the hospital, I had this overwhelming feeling that I have something important to do with my life, and that is why God needs me here. I’m not sure what that is yet, but I believe as I do those things I listed above – the things that make me and others around me happy – I will surely discover my purpose.
Finally, I feel free from those expectations and “shoulds” I had bound myself with for so long. Free to enjoy my life. Free to be all that I can be. Free to reach my true potential.