Mental health, Spirituality

What silence means to me

Life has it’s ebbs and flows. Lately I feel so connected, balanced and centered in my human vessel. The universe is providing me all that I need. I’m awake and conscious, sharply focused on manifesting my intentions. The best way I have learned to get there is through meditation.

Rediscovering, reclaiming and restarting my meditative practice has been absolutely vital to my whole body health. I was taught Transcendental meditation over 4 years ago but stopped my practice due to larger life stressors and putting my own health on the back burner. Not a great choice but that’s life sometimes, right? Knowing I can start again and get myself back to a place of zen is a beautiful gift that I’m choosing to give myself! It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I’m showing myself grace by allowing missteps to happen.

I’ve really evolved this summer and integrating both Transcendental meditation, chanting and energy balancing meditation back into my life is a huge part of my newly uncovered peace of mind. We humans are mostly living in the subconscious while 95% of our brain functions this way. I believe because of my gifts and the higher vibration that I function at, I definitely use more than the average person. My therapist and I talk about how igniting different parts of one’s brain can definitely benefit those of us who have experienced trauma.

I read a study recently that showed the mental health field is now paying more attention to how trauma has impacted so many other conditions. A great deal of applause needs to be given for Dr. Gabor Mate. He has a background in family practice and a special interest in child development and trauma, and the potential lifelong impacts on physical and mental health, including autoimmune disease, cancer, ADHD, addictions, and a wide range of other conditions.

Basically, most of us think as trauma in the Big T way. The DSM-5 defines a PTSD trauma as any situation where one’s life or bodily integrity is threatened; these are typically large ‘T’ traumas. While small ‘t’ traumas for the most part would not lead to the development of pure PTSD symptoms, it is possible that a person can develop some trauma response symptoms. In other words, the person may experience increased distress and decreased quality of life. Most individuals develop PTSD as a by product of avoidance strategies, being “tough” to avoid the stigma of having a mental health issue yet completely inaffective in actually healing from the trauma itself.

I have been living with Complex PTSD my entire life. I can tell you the latest therapies (EMDR & Acupuncture for me) research and advice about how to actually alter my behaviors due to my trauma responses has proved life altering for my quality of life. I have connected with a great little group of mental health practitioners, empaths and light workers on Instagram who deal with the exact same “stuff” as I do. They have found a way out and are so validating to me while I navigate my own experiences.

My mission with this blog is to shed light upon, connect and share my truth with others whom have similar life experiences. Good, bad or indifferent. It’s all about gathering more positive energy and experiences so we can counter balance the negative ones that are inevitably going to show up during our journey here on Earth.

I recently had another bout of laryngitis. I am a chronic sufferer. When I lose my voice I must commit to at least one day of silence so I can recoup and rest my inflamed vocal chords. On Monday I found myself writing on a yellow legal pad so that I could effectively communicate with my partner. That experience was surprisingly amazing! I retreated into an inner realm that reminded me of meditation. As both a writer and somebody who likes to talk, I feel I have a lot to say most days. My fiance has to remind me to enjoy the quiet more, close my ever flapping lips and just be more often than I care to admit here.

By Tuesday I can admit to having a very rewarding and enlightening experience with silence. This poem was the end result of those emotions and experience. Sending love, light and positive energy to all my readers and fellow writers while we “Triumph over Trauma” ✌💪😊

Spirituality

Making peace with my past and moving forward

I have really been going through quite a transformation as of late. The universe is always there to provide what I need when I need it. A return to caring for my emotional health, really a blessing in disguise. A sort of tap on the shoulder to remind me to always make my mental health a priority. Another opportunity for growth, understanding and healing. As an emotional, intuitive and physical empath and a woman who has Complex PTSD, I must work extra hard sometimes at maintaining my whole body health. This summer has been both tremendously painful and incredibly enlightening. I have learned to accept my shadow self in order to reap the benefits of a deeper understanding of myself and my personal truths.

I have uncovered more of what makes me ME, my authentic self. Disconnecting from the daily grind and using this leave of absence I am on to truly heal is a gift. I am eternally grateful to those who have crossed my path and helped me along the way. We are all connected and we need each other to survive. Speaking one’s truth can be scary sometimes but ultimately so liberating!

I had the pleasure of visiting with my oldest son, my parents and other family members in celebration of my Mom’s 75th birthday. What a milestone to ring in and what a month August has been for me. In order to think on a more complex level we must feel more and in order to do that, I have realigned myself by living in the moment.

Last week ushered in an abundance of gifts. Reconnecting with my oldest brother, having the opportunity to be there for somebody who needed support and spending more one on one time with my boy er man (he’s 18 now) lifted my spirits like a homeopathic medicine!

On my last day with my family, my Mom and I spent time at our favorite beach. The beach in general has always been my safe space, my happy place and where I feel most alive. This day was made extra special because I helped my Mom overcome her fears of living in an aging and sometimes failing body by getting into the ocean. It was so serene and refreshing, becoming one with the waves as I float on top of the water allowing the sheer power in it’s current to rejuvenate my soul. It’s the best cure for whatever is ailing me. Nothing brings a more peaceful vibe to me than floating in the ocean!

Once we were in the water and working to stabilize ourselves, we noticed this man. I instinctively could tell he was summoning the ocean’s great power for something. Turns out he is an energy healer and claircognizant. After a brief conversation he invited us into his energy grid of crystals. The intense warmth I felt while standing inside of it was so welcoming and soothing to all of my senses. He then proceeded to transmute the negative energy we each carry due to trauma into positive life affirming source energy. When I glanced over at my Mom, she was glowing! Absolutely beautiful and engulfed in this bright white light, it was amazing to witness! I’ve long suspected my mother too shares some metapyschical gifts and that experience proved it to me. He also successfully healed the trauma cord between us.

I also shared some very special time with my son. He admitted to me that he too has intuitive instincts, knowing things before they actually happen and feeling on a deeper level. I’m so happy he has me to talk to about his extra sensory perceptions because I didn’t have anybody to share my own experiences with at his age. I didn’t even start talking out loud to anyone about what has always been a huge part of my life until five years ago. Sharing these gifts with him is so deeply ingrained in who I am and I feel has brought us much closer.

The universe is taking care of me by providing all the answers to my many questions and fulfilling my desires. I’m vibrating on such a higher plane now. It feels amazing that I can clearly manifest my intentions. The love I have inside for myself and humanity is overflowing. I know how loved I am in return. My spirit is so bright and this human vessel I am in finally matches my insides! I feel completely whole. I possess an inner knowing, so much more makes sense to me.

Everyday I make it my 1st priority to meditate and align myself. It’s as important to me as breathing. Keeping myself balanced not only facilitates my own ongoing healing but is vital towards assisting others in theirs. I’m right where I’m supposed to be. My feet are planted firmly in today. Being present in this moment allows my free spirit to soar to new heights!

Mental health

My relationship with myself

This summer has been chock full of unexpected realizations, observations and shifts in my perception relating to my past traumas. As I continue to heal and incorporate new skills for coping, my therapist lent me a book entitled, “Unf*ck your brain”. It’s an easy read and I was able to read most of it on the plane during the recent visit with my family. Today I finished the last ten pages.

I’ve read many self help books but haven’t read anything in that category in years. Now that I’m solely focused on my own healing, I took this opportunity to really soak up the information this book presents. It’s a very common sense approach to understanding how your brain operates, reacts and handles trauma, the potential and possibilities for real change. Neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury. Each chapter is a break down of brain functions and the chemical responses to our emotions.

Awareness is more than 90% of the battle. Learning about and becoming aware of my triggers can help me slow the process of my reactors and responses to my emotions and behaviors. I’m not new at this but given my current circumstances this book was a good refresher. This is a long repetitive process because our brains love recognizing patterns and we become creatures of habit. Disrupting and challenging my thoughts can help rewire my brain’s ability to cope in a more productive way. I learned that emotions only last 90 seconds. They are meant to be temporary and when they persist longer than that, we have entered mood territory.

The best tool for rewiring the brain is meditation. The ability for my brain to recall a state of mindfulness and calm is extremely beneficial once I become triggered. It takes practice but it’s the best thing I have learned in self healing.

I expierienced many ah-ha moments reading this book. I made an important connection between my trauma and what is called “traumatic grief”. My brain displaced and delayed the grieving process in order for my survival at the time of my trauma. Our brains are hard wired for survival. Any feeling you don’t allow yourself to process, will keep reappearing until it is healed. If you feel it, you can heal it! I believe the disconnection I carried for so long of not feeling worthy enough to heal, not trusting or believing in myself created enormous amounts of guilt and shame. Then I was stuck in a pattern of feel, hurt, push aside and suffer. Over and over again throughout the years.

My patterns for a long time were centered around blocking and resisting painful and uncomfortable feelings. As a result of the traumatic grief I have been carrying, I believe much of it in my subconscious, has led my brain to establish this chronic cycle of depression and anxiety. A quote in the book that resonates with me is, ” no one ever told me that grief is so much like fear”. Our cultural expectation is to possess rather than release. We are conditioned to hold on to something rather than letting it go.

The expierience of traumatic grief is created when we don’t allow or aren’t allowed the necessary grieving process. My sexual abuse has a child was something so painful, uncomfortable, confusing and scary that I simply didn’t allow myself to feel it. It created this inside motor of fear that literally drove me. For so long I have thought my spirit animal is a rabbit. Always hypervigilant and nervous.

I’m reexamining the relationships within myself. That is the area I must attend to because it’s the foundation for everything. My ego, attachments, feelings of chronic abandonment and displaced emotions have created a disproportionate reaction in other situations. All of this has played a role in developing a constant trauma response to life. For example, keeping myself busy and always moving soothed my anxiety but further delayed my grieving process and once the memories came rushing back, I was thrown sideways.

This book explained the biochemical roots of my brain’s reactions to stress. Most of this is the perfect storm combination of genetics and triggers. It’s more validation that I’m not crazy. I’m giving myself permission to honor my grief and by accepting it I’m showing myself grace. I will have to develop a new spirit animal now!

Self compassion is something I never really thought about until recently. It’s the opposite of self esteem. Focusing on my insides rather than my outside successes and failures. It means forgiving myself. That which I wasn’t aware of, I didn’t have the opportunity to heal. Now that I’m so much more conscious of it, it helps me make sense of what happened in my past, how the fight/flight/freeze patterns developed in my brain.

My relationship with radically accepting not only myself at this moment but what has happened in my past to bring me to this point is now my main focus. I’m using this time wisely so that I can fully heal and let go. My trauma recovery timeline has been disrupted many times over the years. I will not do myself the disservice of over analyzing why but I now see that much of what happened to me was not given the proper amount of time and focus to heal. Researchers have found that ninety days is the basic timeline for reestablishing equilibrium after a trauma. Each trauma is unique to that individual. There is no cookie cutter, one size fits all for healing mental and emotional trauma.

Another variable that I must recognize is my experience as an empath. We sensitives are the people that notice early on what is dark, broken and hidden in our society. For much of my journey I was an unrealized empath, meaning that I immediately took on the discomfort around me like it was my responsibility to feel all the dark brokenness around me. My vibration was lowered to match my environment. I didn’t acknowledge this or know how to talk about it. Now I’m shifting to allowing for a higher vibration by first aligning myself so that I may raise the vibration and offer solutions. Seeing the situation from my inner being. Pretty deep stuff.

This is hard work. I follow a couple of awesome profiles on Instagram that help by providing me daily reminders. Positive affirmations and guidance so that I can do the work. I’m challenging myself to allow and make room for change. It’s all part of the ever changing process of healing and growth. Becoming more aware and adjusting as is necessary. Following my inner guides so that my spirit can shine through unfiltered.

The definition of radical acceptance is this, Radical acceptancemeans completely and totally accepting something from the depths of your soul, with your heart and mind. I’m determined to keep moving forward by intensifying my ongoing relationship with acceptance which will allow myself continued healing. Namaste y’all🧘‍♀️

Mental health

Emotional breakdown to spiritual awakening

Since my last post two weeks ago, I have been in the thick of what was first believed to be an emotional breakdown. Now I’m coming to understand that I’ve been experiencing a spiritual shift, an awakening and a rebirth of my spirit. The reiki sessions I had coupled with some introspective meditation has led me to this place of knowing that what has taken place has elevated me to a higher understanding and evolvement.

As an extra sensory person, an intuitive, emotional and physical empath I vibrate on a higher frequency which lends me to experience all these beautiful gifts our creator has bestowed upon me. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and more like a curse or burden but lately due to the emotional flashbacks from trauma, moon phases, eclipses and shifting planets my world felt extra heavy. That’s when my shadow self appeared.

Over the years on my spiritual journey into healing and understanding of myself, I have learned that we possess both light and shadow selves. One cannot exist without the other. We tend to praise our light beings and have a more positive attitude and relationship with that part of ourselves. Meanwhile our dark or shadow self is cast aside, unaccepted and deemed wrong. It’s not ok to be depressed or sad. We deny it, resist it and try to abolish it altogether.

Lately I’ve been delving into research in holistic psychology and reading about this dark side that we may consciously or unconsciously be aware of within all of our egos. I’ve come to see the beauty and necessity of both sides. Again, one cannot exist without the other.

I have spent two weeks in a thick heavy mud feeling stuck. A roller coaster of emotions from sadness to anger and rage. All these feelings I stuffed, deemed as unacceptable or wrong even “bad” have come bursting out of me. My psyche has been attempting to block these uncomfortable feelings tied to my traumatic events for so many years.

Now I have this awesome opportunity to fully heal BOTH sides of myself. I sat in the mud, I told myself it’s ok to not be ok. I stopped resisting my depression and moved through it. Three nights ago I actually had a spiritual awakening. It was so powerful and left me with this overall feeling of peace and calm.

This is the best way I can describe it. It felt like an outer body expierience. All sounds became muffled and I felt outside of myself just observing the moment. Then there was a shifting feeling, like something propelling me forward. I was walking through the fog into a bright light. I immediately felt lighter, and I could breathe again! I haven’t been able to take deep relaxing breaths lately but now I could breathe a sigh of relief, finally! This sensation lasted for maybe thirty seconds.

Now I can get to work on the next step of my healing process. Eradicating the block I’m having while accessing those uncomfortable feelings during EMDR sessions. My traumatic event and the feelings that are tied to it must be properly reprocessed. I’ve done the soul searching and introspective work by accepting it now I can’t allow it to harm my emotions in a destructive way any longer.

It’s a balancing act really. Acknowledging both sides of myself and accepting both of them as they are. Appreciating the role both play in my personality and how I interact within my relationships with others. I’m moving forward and I’m on my way to feeling whole again.

Mental health

This is my watershed moment

I have spent the past month in the grips of an extremely disruptive and emotionally charged reckoning with severe trauma from my childhood. A flood of feelings and upsetting memories I thought stuffed down so long ago have come floating actually erupting to the surface of reality. I’m riding an emotional roller coaster from moments of sadness to rage and confusion. I also at times don’t feel anything but complete numbness. I haven’t felt like doing anything at all, this past week I have been especially depressed.

My mind is constantly vacillating from what I can control and that which I can not. In my past I would’ve made a rash, spontaneous and emotional decision to do something that was not in my best interest in the long term but that would’ve allowed me to escape my uncomfortable emotional state. This time however I can recognize and give myself some credit in choosing to ride out this emotional turmoil. Sitting in it, enduring every moment. Recognizing I only have control over my response to these uncomfortable feelings.

I was reminded recently about the concept of a watershed moment. Google’s definition is the following:
A watershed moment is a turning point, the exact moment that changes the direction of an activity or situation. A watershed moment is a dividing point, from which things will never be the same. It is considered momentous, though a watershed moment is often recognized in hindsight.

My life right now is in the midst of this exact shifting. In the first two weeks of attempting to get a handle on my intense emotions and memories I kept thinking about how content and perfect seeming my life was. Why did I need to remember and acknowledge this life changing traumatic event from my childhood now? My therapists reminded me again of the onion. Life unfolds in ways that allow us to learn even when we think we have dealt with all of our “issues”.

It’s within these times, moments of crisis and inner turmoil that we are presented with an opportunity to dive deeper, evolve more and yes learn some major life lessons. In this case, I am learning more about myself and why I have made the decisions I have throughout my life.

A few sentiments I have reflected on and which truly define my actions are as follows….

Courage is not the absence of fear-Courage is being afraid and anxious and showing up anyway.

80% of life is just showing up.

Don’t wait until you are perfectly recovered to be happy and enjoy life. It’s OK to be happily imperfect.

Finally this statement really rings true for me and something I have unfortunately let drive my decision making throughout my entire life….. When we make decisions out of fear-they are usually not in our own best interest.

I have attachment issues stemming from my upbringing. Attachment to anything positive or negative creates suffering. I am also someone who wants to run away from my emotional problems. Whether I self medicate, cover up or actually run away from my problems all of these choices have resulted in some very undesirable consequences for me and the ones I love.

Wallowing in my perfectionism, I have two modes. Trying to keep the outside looking pretty and good while on the inside I am shaking with fear and grappling with the rage aimed towards myself for the missteps I have made. Both are counterproductive and aren’t beneficial to my life in the long run.

I had another energy clearing session too. I was advised to manifest grounding by visualizing myself as a tree. Immediately my favorite tree and the one we had on the corner of my childhood home sprung to mind. I adore weeping willow trees. After my session I painted a picture of one I call, “Enchanted Willow” and I wrote this poem.

For now, I will do my best to stay grounded by actively working on recreating some inner peace so that I can let go and move on. Baby steps 👣

Mental health

Continuing to peel the onion

It’s taken me a little over two weeks to get back to my writing and posting here on my blog. If you read my previous post dear reader, you understand that I am in the process of healing some deeply rooted emotional trauma from the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. I have been experiencing emotional flashbacks from that time that are quite disturbing to my daily functioning. I have had some really dark days but I feel I am turning a corner. I can now see a light at the end of this tunnel of feelings I tucked so neatly and carefully away man years ago.

I’ve returned to what works best for me which is a combination of psychotherapy and EMDR. I even had an energy unblocking reiki session with a newly discovered master shamanic healer. All three methods of healing have served as a powerful tool in guiding me forward down the path of healing and helping me return to my most powerful self.

This was the third reiki session I have had over the span of almost twenty years. I was educated about energy chords and how empaths develop both positive and negative ones. These chords become tied to our seven chakras and can literally block the flow of energy in our bodies trapping and holding negativity in. I can’t express enough how powerful and freeing this session was for me. I was able to dig deep and release that energy which was no longer serving me and holding me back like a hostage of sorts. I cried, I tingled and shivered internally in a way only those whom have experienced the transformative power of reiki can understand. I highly recommend utilizing this ancient practice for anyone that is interested in peeling their own emotional onion!

I’m so grateful that my job has not only approved a medical leave for me during this crucial time of healing, but they also set me up with a wonderful psychologist with over thirty years of expierience. I have been engaged in some sort of therapy since I was seven years old. I liken the process now to a blind date. I meet with a total stranger and tell them the most intimate details of my life. Again I am thankful that my new therapist and I clicked and were able to quickly develop a connection. He and I mostly discuss my personality type of being an INFJ and how it has affected my relationships and behaviors throughout my life. We keep on the surface really because the details and more of a deep dive into the emotional trauma is for my EMDR sessions.

My latest EMDR session was rough. At first I was able to visually transport myself back in time to the trauma and recover those feelings of intense fear and shame. Suddenly though, I became unable to allow myself to become vulnerable and I started actively blocking myself from feeling and reprocessing the memory of being sexually abused. It’s so frustrating and I couldn’t help feeling disappointed in myself at first still sitting there in her office. Afterwards, I opened my eyes and admitted to visualizing my adult self rescuing my inner child hurting self which is couterproductive to what needs to happen.

I need to gather all the courage I can to face these feelings without fear of disassociating. I am only holding myself back and therefore stunting my own healing. Fear is a real motherfucker for me. It has been the driving emotion that is so deeply rooted in my life experiences. Like a fire burning inside of me threatening to swallow me whole.

I’m grateful to have another intensive week of therapy ahead of me to continue to dive deeper, peeling more layers of and letting go of this trauma I have been carrying for over thirtysomething years.

A dear girlfriend of mine asked me to step outside of my own pain to write a poem for our Women Vetrans here in Texas on June 12. It was like a shot in the arm, giving me the boost I needed by practicing gratitude. It’s hard to feel upset when we are thanking others for their fearless efforts defending and protecting our country. I am honored to have taken part in this event and look forward to many more like it in the future.

On this Sunday night, I think it is important for me to reflect upon my progress and set an intention for my near future. I am walking through the pain and accepting the feelings I thought would kill me to survive. I’m not running away or stuffing them. I am looking at them straight on and I know just like my fellow female warriors, I am not invisible. I will keep going. I will survive❤

Check out Spiritual Metamorphosis’s page at https://www.spiritmetamorphosis.com/
Lindsey Luna is an amazing woman and healer!!

Mental health

Little Ms. Perfect

What is perfect? There are two separate definitions. Using it as an adjective means this, “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be“. When used as a verb, perfect means “make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible”. Either way it’s used I have suffered from perfectionism my entire life. In psychology, perfectionism is described as a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting high performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.

My Mom has told me that when I was younger she used to find me obsessively organizing my room. I loved to neatly arrange my books, toys and knick knacks. Cleaning and straightening a room, tidying up things brings me a peacefulness and calm that’s hard to match by other activities. It’s also something that has made me feel strange and weird.

There was a period in my life when I literally couldn’t sit still or overlook a piece of lint on the carpet without having to immediately stop whatever I was doing to pick it up. After the birth of my first son, I found myself in a perpetual state of motion, always wiping a countertop or vacuuming a room that was already spic and span to everybody else’s eyes. I got caught up in routines that kept my in a “loop” for hours. So many routines and rituals had to be achieved compulsively and repetitively. Some days I got so stuck I didn’t even leave my house. Looking back those were dark days.

I’m a shift supervisor at a Starbucks and at 41 this is the first time I accepted a management position. In the past, I had been offered/recommended this role but I always turned it down due to my overwhelming fear of failure. Truth be told my perfectionist ways have plagued me throughout my life. Recently at work my manager challenged me to stop working like a superwoman. She asked me to examine my leadership skills by holding others on my team accountable for certain tasks. At first it felt awkward delegating the things I have been doing alone without help. Lately however I can feel an important shift taking place.

A favorite quote of mine by Maya Angelou is,”Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. Boy does this sentiment ring true in this regard!

I’ve always been an analytical thinker, wondering why things are the way they are and trying desperately to make sense of the world around me. I had this book as a kid called, “The book of why” and I loved it. I’ve especially been intrigued by my own emotions and the emotions of others. That intense curiosity has sometimes kept me up at night.

A former therapist once told me to disengage myself from the outcome of a certain problem I was having a difficult time finding a reasonable solution for. My perfectionist ways and drive to control a situation can leave me breathlessly spinning my wheels. Despite my efforts I end up feeling exhausted mentally with no end in sight.

When I start to feel my old ways creeping back into my daily choices, I try and recall his words. Letting go of the outcome and maintaining an open mind sounds logical enough but my heart stands stubbornly doubtful.

Establishing a connection within myself has been key to easing off my perfectionist attitude. Grounding myself really quiets my mind and eases my fears. Whether these fears are real or hypercritically blown out of proportion, I can often find myself overwhelmed and grasping for my idea of perfection. I’ve learned I’m only hurting myself when I put this kind of pressure on myself.

For there is no such thing as perfect my dear reader but perfect imperfections throughout life. Try shifting your perspective taking a closer look at yourself. Deepening your own connection within your soul. Becoming your own best friend, saving yourself from yourself. Like Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true”.

Spirituality

For love of water

I was born on the East coast and have lived all my life near water. When I was younger it took an hour or so to drive down the New Jersey shore, depending on traffic. Then in my early 20s I met and got married to a man from Rhode Island. I lived in a few different cities there but my favorite house was a cottage I rented right on a private beach. In all of my adult life I have only felt at home in that cottage, it was my safe and happy space. One entire side of that cottage was windows looking out over Narragansett Bay. The smell of salt water and the sound of seagulls greeted me at my door every day. It was peaceful, serene and beautiful. I’m reminded of how much I cried the day I moved out. Thankfully I took pictures that I look at from time to time and reminisce.

I moved into that house with my family but moved out a divorced single mother. It was there that I found my independence and a renewed sense of self. In the 2 years I lived there, I discovered the confidence I needed to change my unhappy life. Everything about my life from move in to move out was drastically different. If those walls of that beach cottage could talk. Ultimately it’s those circumstances that helped propel me into more healing once I moved to Florida.

It’s been a little over six years since I moved away from the only real home I felt I had. Now I live in the land locked state of Texas. This area has a beauty all it’s own with some wonderful lakes and parks. Lately I have this longing for back home. The people, the food and most of all the ocean!!

I have caught myself feeling nostalgic and even melancholy about the place I call home. There is just something about sitting out on that sand, tasting the sea on your tongue and gazing at the waves. There are two places that give me the ultimate feeling of zen. One place is in the shower, the scent of clean body wash as the water cascades off my shoulders bringing me a sense of calm. The other is the beach.

I read an article recently that discussed one’s attraction and claim to a body of water calling it, my water. It’s that place where you feel most connected and alive gladly naming it as your own. I’m not sure if I have just one of “my water” spots yet more realistically I can claim a few. Nevertheless I feel them calling to me. I need a visit back home. I need to be refreshed and renewed by the ocean’s powerful force.

As an empath who is constantly being twirled around by other’s emotions and energies, the ocean is a place where my own energy can be restored. The ocean provides such a force, an immense energy that is so freeing for me.

I feel stuck in a rut lately. Not creative, bored and unamused. Two days ago I wrote this poem about my favorite thing to do in the ocean. Floating takes me outside and away from myself. It allows me to really clear my mind, release and let go. I feel amazing afterwards.

I set a goal for myself that this summer I must go for a visit back home, up North. To take in the ocean mind, body and spirit. I will leave all that weighs me down on its shore. I will be reborn.

Mental health, Spirituality

Learning to see the forest for the trees

I’m a highly detail oriented person who naturally takes everything in without a filter. Certain things come easy to me while others are more of a work in progress. Emotional intelligence is an area that I have worked hard to understand and master at a young age and I feel is crucially important to one’s well being. Seven years ago while I was in the thick of dealing with many complications from Complex PTSD, I took part in an outpatient therapy called DBT or dialectical behavioral therapy. This psychotherapy is the creation of psychologist Marsha M. Linehan. I enjoyed it so much and (needing reinforcement) I attended it four times! I fondly refer to it as emotional college. I was in a classroom of sorts in a separate wing of the psychiatric hospital I did many inpatient stays at for an entire week, 9AM until 5 PM with only a break for lunch. Our class was small, only 6 or 7 other ladies. We had reading assignments as well as homework. After completing that week I was invited to join an aftercare support group for an entire year.

In many ways those ladies saved my life, helped me learn some tough life lessons about myself and aided me in realigning my mindset, body and soul. Taking an introspective look at oneself is difficult and the desire to change one’s behavior takes lots of patience and practice. At first it was confusing and awkward but after my fourth time going over the educational materials, reading some self help workbooks focused on DBT and spending 2 hours every Wednesday evening with my support group I reemerged with a fresh outlook.

I learned that my intense emotions can sometimes drive me into certain behaviors that are self harming and self defeating. Continuing down that path creates more suffering. Learning and incorporating DBT principles into my life has changed the game!

Like everything in life, it only works if you work it! Over the past few years I like to open that workbook up and give myself a refresher. The main principle that I work the hardest at is definitely Radical Acceptance. DBT uses both behavioral science and Buddist concepts like acceptance and mindfulness to teach better coping methods for people with Borderline Personality Disorder. It has proven highly effective for many mental health disorders as well.

This is Google’s definition of dialetical behavioral therapy:

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy tries to identify and change negative thinking patterns and pushes for positive behavioral changes. DBT may be used to treat suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors.

In a nutshell it taught me that I can coexist between two mindsets, see both sides of an issue, be both comfortable and uncomfortable in any given situation. The definition of dialetic is this:

Dialectic or dialectics (Greek: διαλεκτική, dialektikḗ; related to dialogue), also known as the dialectical method, is at base a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments.

For me the bottom line is that one principle I mentioned earlier, Radical Acceptance, is the key to ending my suffering. On most days I can clearly and easily achieve the understanding that even though I may not like something or think it to be ok, it still is. It is what it is. I have the choice to respond or react, always taking my emotions into account.

In this last week I have been blessed with so many amazing opportunities. My fiance and I mingled with some A list former professional football player friends of his, had an overnight in a phenomenal luxurious lakehouse and on Sunday I met Mariel Hemingway at a small movie watching party and interview session.

I have admired her life and career for a long time. I even gave her my poetry book, “Emotional Musings” that she asked me to sign! A real “pinch me” moment that I will cherish forever. To be able to meet such a kindred and emotional spirit is so profoundly powerful.

Despite the years of psychotherapy, DBT classes, numerous sessions of EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) and reading shelves of self help books I still struggle with my core belief that I’m not good enough. I do however understand that I can chose to change that tape that plays relentlessly on repeat through my mind, unpack that emotion from that invisible backpack I wear daily along with the other intense emotions I cope with or I can suffer. Intellectually and logically I get it. Sometimes the disconnect is to my soul. The memories, the flashbacks and unfortunate nightmares that will plague me for life.

At the end of the day, I am growing and evolving everyday. I am blessed and humbled. I have people around me who love and understand me. I’m able to see the many miracles of humanity being an empath. Life is good ❤

Mental health

How I see things

I’ve been in my current relationship for almost six years. Most of the time I can’t believe how blessed I am to be able to be with a man whom I truly consider my best friend. He’s my person. Unfortunately, there is also a black cloud over us at times because of his mental illness combined with complex complications from years of playing professional football. This is simply my side of the story. What it feels like for me.

I say sometimes that the hardest part is missing somebody so much yet they are standing right in front of you. This man has endured the highest of highs on the gridiron and is now forced to suffer the harshest blows to his ego and personality as his memory, physical pains and overall health deteriorate slowly. I often feel helpless and overwhelmed by the reality of his conditions. As of right now he takes fifteen pills in the morning and about six at night before we go to bed. He has told me numerous times how he loathes all these pills.

Another aspect of our relationship that becomes hard to handle is his mood swings. Feeling so out of control, up and then crashing down creates this pushing away and then pulling towards one another. I could set my watch to his manic period every month, like clockwork. The rage, confusion, discomfort and instability inside him tells him to push me away. That I’ll be better off. I can’t help him. I need and deserve a different life. This from the man I love so deeply and have promised to be with forever. In one breath I’m hearing, “I love you”. In the next I’m being told to leave. More accurately I’m being left alone in our bed at night, staring at the four lonely walls of our apartment. We live in the back of his mother’s house and he often retreats into there.

No matter how many countless times I have begged and pleaded with him that I don’t want us to go to bed angry with each other and how it’s really hard for me to sleep alone because of my own C-PTSD symptoms and the feeling of security I get when we sleep together.

Right now my heart is so heavy as yet again I am alone after an irrational bout of senseless arguing. I tell myself each month not to take anything personally, don’t give in to fighting back with him. Yet every month I fall into this trap again. Laying here crying wondering what I did that was so wrong in his eyes yet knowing that he doesn’t have the ability to see things from my perspective. His perception right now is very skewed as his mind whispers lies to him.

I have vowed that I am down for the ride but the journey to healing is one he must take by himself. I can’t fix him. All I can do is be there for him and support him. Love him in spite of the hurt, love him even when I don’t like him and yes also love him when the voices in his head are screaming at him to give up for good.

It requires patience, understanding and stamina on a daily basis. It requires courage to put my own fears aside and not take the things he does and says personally.

I have come to be able to recognize the man I fell in love with as two different people. Both are intense, sometimes intimidating and passionate. One side is an amazingly funny personality and possesses an outgoingness that is infectious to everybody around him. The other side is serious, mean spirited, quick to criticize and unforgiving.

The roller coaster I ride is not for the faint of heart. It has taught me lessons about myself and my own inner strength. I rise and I fall within each and every month’s cycle living with a man who has severe schizoaffective bipolar disorder, PTSD and Concussion syndrome. We are doing what we can to slow down the progressiveness of his conditions yet I am aware of what our future will look like.

As I write this I choose to remember all the love, fun times and so many belly laughs we have shared. I want more of those yet I see them slipping away a little more each month. My heart aches for a more simple and less complicated road ahead.

I will never leave, give up or give in. I’m a love warrior, that is my job❤