Reclaiming my soul

You should know that I’m a dreamer; I am whimsical and ever so slightly odd. I am woefully socially inept but I try hard to get involved anyway. I am passionate and probably a little too rash. I long ago banished bitterness, hate and negativity from my life and from my soul and I do not invite it near me anymore. I practice painful honesty because secrets kept do more damage than the momentary discomfort of truth.  I care very little for material possessions which is lucky because I’m abysmal with money. I love my children more than anything they are the reason I am alive and I have worked hard to be more deserving of their unconditional love for me. I don’t like confrontation and will always strive to treat people with kindness. I am a thinker, an aspiring poet and an avid reader. I’m a hopeless romantic but sometimes I struggle with emotional intimacy. I am flawed. I am me. 

I have not always been this person. In fact I feel as though I have lived a great number of lives, each equipped with their own persona, in my relatively short time on this earth.

Somewhere, in the mess of lives that I have lived, I forgot who I really was. Or perhaps I didn’t ever really exist. I have sculpted this person from all the experiences of my past selves, I have moulded the mistakes into lessons and fashioned lessons into blessings. I have not created a perfect person – I have become a real one.

Living with the weight of mental illness is not easy but I have learnt that though some things are always going to be out with my control, I cannot use this affliction as an excuse. It does not justify bad behaviour or selfishness and it does not give me reason not to try. These are beliefs easier said than put into practice but I have made it my mission to push through the instinct to fester, to recline and revel in the misery that is mental illness. It is, after all, far easier to allow yourself to remain stagnant than to fight against the swelling, impossible tides of despair and hopelessness.

I didn’t realise when beginning this quest for balance and wellbeing that instead of pretending to be someone that I’m not once again, instead of another front or carefully constructed mask – I would actually uncover the person I was always meant to be. It lends a certain vulnerability to be you in every way and that is what I both love and despise about it but despite my reservations and discomfort I will endeavour to never be any less than me again.

I have worked hard to reclaim my soul, to live for the first time, to breathe. It is liberating to finally meet the me I should always have been.

If

If now is not the time

If your heart is not yet mine

If you need to take things slow

If I let you run the show

I’ll dream a dream of you

and dream again tomorrow

Hopefully the truth will be quick to follow

 

If it was never real

and all we are was lies

If I imagined what I feel

If the budding bloom soon dies

I’ll dream a dream of you

and hold it in my heart

and tomorrow perhaps

True love will start

Reminiscing

I quite often would describe myself as an open book – if I am asked a direct question I would certainly answer it honestly and succinctly and I lay myself bare here often; but I am learning that in fact I am not an open book – I am an intensely private person, closely guarded.

I have been reminiscing of late. Someone recognised my accent (which is the amalgamation of many an accent!) as that of the place I grew up and it set my mind whirring – am I happy or sad that this piece of history still clings to me?

I don’t reminisce about my childhood often, there is nothing there that I haven’t long ago processed and dealt with in my own way and it is no longer a subject I really discuss with anyone. My father and I did not have a happy relationship. The older I get the more I understand about our skewed existence alongside one another and I hold no bitterness or hatred but regardless we brought each other only negativity. It was a toxic union. I used to dote upon him though, I thought he knew everything (as we all so often think of our parents) I craved his attention and the affirmation that I was good enough – I rebelled too, horribly, but mostly I sought his approval. So, when he began to make fun of my budding Devon accent I set about changing it. In my effort to change my accent I became a magnet for those of other people and now, subconsciously, I draw upon the accent of whoever I happen to be talking to at the time. Though, recently, I have noticed that when I’m at my most comfortable this doesn’t happen and I use what I assume is my actual accent… though I don’t really know if that is true.

So, when someone heard my childhood home in my accent I was instantly happy – I hadn’t lost that sliver of my younger being – I hadn’t fully succeeded in changing myself to meet some impossible expectation that in reality I created for myself as I’m certain my Father’s intention wasn’t to have me change it.

After the elation came the inevitable sorrow.

Life has moved so far beyond the endless feeling of loneliness and desperation. The growing tendrils of deep and deadly depression. I miss the childhood I didn’t have – because I lived too far inside my mind to grasp it, I miss the home I didn’t value or feel at home in. I miss the friends I didn’t cherish, I miss the moments never shared.

I didn’t live a day in my old home.

After another milestone event last week I realised that I don’t need the approval of anyone. I don’t need the attention of anyone and I can be content in my own self. I changed myself before because I didn’t value myself, I didn’t believe that I was enough and so it was easy for others to make me feel worthless. I am not that insecure girl anymore; I will never change myself to meet what I perceive to be the expectations of others again. I like who I am. I am enough.

And so whether I feel sad or happy or indifferent at holding on to a tiny piece of my childhood, processing it has been another life lesson to tuck under my belt, another moment of growth, a realisation that only I can give myself the acceptance I crave and that surely, is a good thing.

I want

I want to weep upon the ground

and scream as though there is no sound

I want to remove my aching heart

And look upon it until it does start

I want some warmth within my skin

I want the touch of familiar kin

 

I need the feel of a thousand knives

I sense the touch of a thousand lies

Your arrows hit with more precision

Than your love within this prison

 

Drag me down and leave me there

I’ll say no more, I do not care

I want to sing, I want to dance

I want to fly, I want the chance

 

Freedom comes and so does sorrow

I want to wake to endless tomorrow

So when, at last, my soul is open

Let us hope it is not broken

 

 

 

2016 and fighting regression

2016 has been an awful year for me, there have been moments of light in the gloom but overall the darkness has pervaded so profusely that it has encompassed most anything it came across. Only now; in October, am I starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and enjoying the race to the end of this year of regression, loss and massive change.

I had taken myself back to my psychiatrist after some of the worst regression since my breakdown this year. People think that I am so strong – they tell me as much, they worry but in the same token they do not… and considering I am still here and fighting I suppose they are right to do so but during this episode I really was concerned, terrified even, about whether I would make it out of the other end and if I was capable of enduring, it was a struggle even to  get home safely on some days after work and how I even continued to go to work every day is beyond me.

I have now been discharged from my psychiatrist again – no doubt I will be back but I hope that it is in the distant future and that now I can begin to rebuild my management structure and find a new sense of contentment. I am pleased that I did not take the offer of medication this time – even though I was in some desperate situations and faced some tough circumstances once the circumstance was removed the depression was not so dire that I can’t fight my way out.. though had my circumstance lasted longer I am certain medication would have been invaluable to my staying mental wellbeing.

Having to move home 4 months ago played a large part in my regression and struggle and since moving it has been hard to follow the management techniques I once used to stay stable. I have realised that moving into a new environment has negated a lot of the methods I used to use to find calm and restore order in the cataclysm of biology that is my brain. I have lost my ‘safe place’ lost my anchor and place to hide. I feel vulnerable here and as though I need to face the world a little more than I did previously. I was angry at first – furious, in fact, that my previous years of work to find the ever elusive balance meant nothing in the face of these new challenges and that I was essentially thrust back to square one, back to being lost.

However, once I had accepted that I needed to start again and build new management techniques and find new ways to cope I began to see a change – it is gradual and I am still woefully depressed, my anxiety is higher than usual but I can feel the control returning to me and logic is beginning to come in to play where it had no power before. Frustratingly it even seems that I may be building a stronger foundation of coping mechanisms than I had hastily constructed before and so it would seem that all things really do happen for a reason and that there is a positive to come out of all that has happened this year.

I now just wish for a little peace in what has been such a riot of storms.

Peace

At first, a flicker

a dying flame

what we could see, was all the same

and though we tried

we could not fathom

how hearts could beat

and love, in tandem

Slowly, slowly

grows the light

it shimmers there in sheer delight

‘Believe’ it cries

‘and I shall glow,

the brightest star you’ll ever know’

it is a choice we all must make

and all mankind is what’s at stake

do we fill our souls with hate and fear

or give love a chance to come ever near

I choose the light of this tiny flame

and so it grows

Peace is its name

The importance of finding peace…

The ever elusive, peace – Peace in ones very being, a little tranquillity amongst the noise of life, quiet, calm, content… peace.

I think we all endeavour to find it, though it can be hard to remember the importance of finding peace- life gets a little bit too much, there are bills due that we worry about paying, the kids want/need a million things that you can’t give them, people are leaving/getting sick/old/dying and we must move with those great changes within our lives, something unexpected is thrown at us and shakes our resolve, relationships are forged and lost, money is worked for and spent, time passes, we age and responsibility becomes a crushing weight; so we look for peace, a little reprieve from all the commotion. We all find peace in different things, music, nature, television, silence, reading… If it calms you, if it softens the blow of your troubles and woes then it is peace, it is worthwhile and it is needed.

It is no easy task to discover what calms you and I think perhaps your needs change as you grow and as your responsibilities broaden but when you finally do discover what brings you peace you will crave it with all your being and open your heart to it at every given opportunity. My peace is my selfishness; perhaps I should find peace in my children but I do not. I love them with all of my being and I find joy in watching them grow but there is no peace for me in raising children, only worry for their futures, only stress about what is right… Perhaps I should find comfort in those around me, lending an ear and a shoulder but I don’t. Their company and understanding is a great gift to me, I am grateful to the point of feeling indebted to them and so I hold myself back, I release my personality in small doses, stress, worry, fear of loss…

My peace comes from the night time; how I wish it was normal to function only at night. Gazing at the stars lends perspective to my problems, it grounds me in a way nothing else can – does it solve anything? no, but my world seems a smaller, a more manageable place with the stars watching. I find peace in the smell of night time; people often give me a puzzled look when I say this to them but there is a freshness to the air at night that awakens everything within me, it invigorates me and I feel ready to take on all that is thrown at me; no it won’t give me any answers to my problems but I have the drive to find those answers. I find peace in the wind, feeling nature beat against my skin once again reminds me of how insignificant my woes are and nothing seems so impossible to solve. I like to meditate, my mind can often be a place of great noise and so to empty it – or even just attempt to can be incredibly therapeutic. Writing this blog brings me peace, it organises the many thoughts racing around my mind and leaves peace in its wake.

We tend to ridicule the pursuit of peace, but why? We have all gazed upon the stars, we have all dreamt of better days, we are all searching for that awe inspiring thing that gifts us with a little perspective, we all crave a little quiet. My noise, the noise of worries and stress, pressure and life in general, is both in my head and out of it and so I must pursue peace more vigorously, I must find things that reach deep within but we are all moving towards the same goal, peace, calm, tranquillity.

Today I need peace. Today I need to find calm, the problems weigh heavy upon me and there seems to be no way forward, no way out – my mind is desperate, my emotions rampant and so I will search for peace to remind myself of what I am fighting for, to gift myself with a little perspective and to save myself from giving up.