Advice You Never Asked For.

I admit I don’t know your full story. 

But I encourage you to write because of my own experiences of that being a hugely beneficial path to take. 

When I was depressed for years, 

frequently suicidal, for years

when writing was my only emotional outlet, I pushed through it all and eventually pushed out through all the hurt into something that was truly a little bit beautiful amidst the terrible darkness. 

It was on the advice of a dear friend I started blogging. Fear made me keep it anonymous. But what I met was a writing community that embraced me and encouraged me in every way. I found friends who taught me about understanding and grief, about strength and persistence, about discovery and perseverance.

And I am forever grateful for that experience. 

I see now how I pushed myself through the fear. Partly out of fear of the darkness, but mostly because ALWAYS inside me, no matter what other shit was going on, there was the tiniest spark of light that guided me onwards. Perhaps it was a genetic gift from my mother, of hope or optimism. Perhaps it was the repeated words of a few close friends who reminded me during those darkest times that it wouldn’t last, that life will get better, that I deserved better, that just hanging on for another minute is all I needed to do in the moment. 

How can I not be grateful for experiencing that genuine expression of love from people I’ve only known for a few years?!

And now it’s my time to shine for myself, and for others. It’s my time to pass on the love. To “pay it forward” to someone else. Not out of any duty, or karma, just because its who I am. Simple, honest, caring for other humans. (And because, well, in that place, there are new lessons for me too.)

So I don’t know what you want in your life, what your personal goals are. But I see you already caring for and discovering yourself in many ways. We all want to “be better” or perhaps just “feel better”. While that path is a very personal choice, I see you finding your way forwards already.

And I just want to encourage you to do, and to keep doing, whatever it takes to maintain forward momentum in your life.

I encourage you past the fears in whatever way it takes, because that is just the way forwards. 

Don’t be afraid. Just be who you need to be.

=

[ feature/title image aerial photography of Mona Vale Beach, Australia, by Bo Le @safromabove ]

I Remember.

I remember times when just getting up out of bed
was foremost on my mind
and the biggest struggle of my day.
I remember times curled up with undiagnosed pain,
when I wanted to die,
when I hated myself for being this way.

I remember times when I could get up,
could get out of the house;
yet my head would spin,
and focus and comprehension were distant lands,
long journeys away.

I remember not crying through most of this,
because that felt like weakness when I needed to be strong.

I remember needing someone close to me,
needing someone to sit with me and be present.
Not to fix, not to suggest I am broken,
just to keep the loneliness at bay and
to bring positive energy into my day.

And I remember rarely receiving that.
I remember not having those people around me
and not knowing how to ask for it.

I remember alone, pain, hatred, depression,
and all the physical manifestations of a life in turmoil.

I remember Stars in the night. ✩
I remember pouring my heart into words,
flinging those words into the dark sky and
watching them match up with the results of others’ efforts.

I remember seeing out there;
words – with emotions,
that became faces, that
reached out to me, that
helped make sense out of it all.

I remember their souls
their energy, compassion, and love
some now faded, some drifted away,
some still flickering – as my light did for so long.

And I am blessed
to have lived through this all
to have been present through it all
and felt every fucking feeling that life has to offer.

Now…
I see this knowledge and understanding,
an integral part of me,
a gift I am able to share with others
As my light shines bright, once more,
for myself, and for those I connect with.

This life exists most wholly
with those whose paths cross mine
For minutes, or days, or months.
And in those moments I am brightest
in those moments I shine and
share the warmth that glows in my heart.

Awareness Questions in 2 Parts and A Sad Conclusion.

Standing back, to get a clearer picture of what is going on
Not yet ready to step away from it completely
Wanting to understand this territory of pain
But why?
And does that matter, does any of this really matter?
Does any of this questioning and searching serve me any more?
I notice the struggle to let go of this moment
What am I hanging onto?
Is this just fear of change, or something much more?
The current advisory is to just be with it all
Paying no mind to what can or cannot be managed on any given day
Being at ease with just needing to rest, or to just feel
Which sits very uncomfortably with me
With my need to feel productive, to feel active
Ponderous times that I must journey through
Before being able to step into the productive day
Is this moment in time the journey’s end or a fresh start?

•••

If I stop fighting (this war inside my head)
Does that mean I give up, or give in?
If I stop pushing and resisting the lies
What does that reality look like?
If I stop the active struggle, the result
Curling up in bed, withdrawing in fear
Unable to face the world through exhaustion
And inability to concentrate or function
Replacing one undesirable situation
With another.
A friend keeps mentioning acceptance
This word keeps crossing my consciousness
Imagining it might just work, I hesitate
So tired to find the energy for any action.
As a tear trickles down my left cheek
I contemplate my present, for my future.

•••

I just want future me to be happier
With life
To not be engulfed by pain
Physical and mental
It’s too late for present me
All has led to this current experience
Lost in the shroud of darkness.

Days Of Abandonment.

Some days I am fearful for what feels likely to come
Fearful for the pain I experience
Fearful for feeling unable to cope
Fearful for wanting to give up
Fearful for a body and mind that collapse and fail me,
that abandon me where I stand,
leaving me naked and alone.

Looking Past Thoughts, Looking To The Heart.

I think about myself tonight
About what has been going through my thoughts lately
And I’m left wondering why I’m so hard on myself
Judgemental. Harsh. Critical.
(Unintentionally) hurtful.
Where is the love for myself
That I so freely give to others?
What have I learnt, that makes me this way?
I see damage
I see the effect it has on me
And it brings me to tears.
How can I hold so much hate in my heart?
How can I direct so much negativity at myself?
I would feel ashamed, but I know that is just more judgement coming out
So I sit here on the floor, in silent contemplation
Attempting to be open to any answers
Listening for a voice of reason to rise out from the chaos
And I just feel
I know that loving myself is a requirement
But it’s surrounded with Should, Must, and Have-to
And that just doesn’t help at all.
.This situation.
I give it a label
Compartmentalise myself into a box
Contain the problem
And I know that is exactly the wrong approach
Punishment is not the path to freedom.
Some sort of openness
Freedom to let me exist within mistakes
Where errors are not a crime
Somewhere there, is where I will benefit.
No certainty, no answers
Only the call of my heart

A Letter from Inside the Struggle.

I don’t know who’s standards I’m trying to live up to. I just feel that 1½ productive hours in the office today is not enough, when I have jobs due to go out.

Maybe I am being hard on myself, I don’t know why that is so. I see it happening, but I can’t put together enough energy or thought to get past that observation. And so I feel helpless, or useless, or both. Maybe other people can find ways to switch their thoughts over to a more helpful, more positive direction. But for me Even a small amount of depression seems to make that an impossibility. 

Sometimes the best I can do is try and cope, try and get through whatever crisis or reaction is going on in my brain, try and survive to get to another day. 

What sort of messed up life is that? I don’t want to have that struggle every day with no end in sight. So often that is all I can see in front of me, and it’s not pretty. It’s not desirable in any way. It’s not something you want anyone else to have to feel or to go through. 

I could say I stand strong through it all, but that is nonsense. What I do is crumble, fall apart, and somehow just manage to not get washed away by the storm. The silent storm that nobody else sees, nobody else experiences. It leaves me wrecked and alone, locked inside my own head. 

And if I wasn’t able to express this all in words, I wouldn’t have survived thus far. 

Survival, how I hate that word. While it means life at the end, it also means the battle not to die. And I am so weary from battling. So drained from fighting, and for what? The chance to go through it all again? 

A vicious circle of perpetuation fills my sight tonight, as it does many other times. And seeing past, through, or around that to something else, seems beyond my present ability. 

So I thank you for listening, for thinking about what I say and for responding in a considerate manner that I truly appreciate. I apologise for my depression. I honestly wish there was some other way for me to be right now. And yet, here I am, in this unhappy place.

I hope you manage to be somewhere better.

Trying to Feel what Others Share.

I don’t understand why some days I can function fine, be productive at work and home, and engage with other people in a meaningful way. And other days I fail at all those things, I struggle to get up, to get going, to think, to focus, to function in any normal sort of way.

It’s terribly upsetting. It leaves me feeling broken and useless. Can you see how much this affects me, how much it feels like it damages my mind and grinds me down into dark despair?

And this is just one aspect of what I deal with in my life, it’s just one thing that I could grab hold of long enough to write about tonight.

So when I’m tasked to find a positive focus for each day, to find three positive things about my life to start each day, That just feels like an impossibility most of the time. One more thing that I struggle with and can’t seem to manage – one more failure of me. I can’t seem to get my brain around this all. I struggle to find any way around the negative stumbling blocks I can see, to manage to latch onto anything much that is positive. I am trying to find a way forwards and I’m just not having much luck with any of that.

And it’s all about failing. I know in the counselling we talked about how failing is just learning a way that doesn’t work. That’s fine if you have the right mindset. But the way I grew up, Not getting it right, or failing, was a flaw – was something bad and something to be avoided at all costs. Because then came judgement and punishment. That’s what I know of life. So the fact that I can make any sort of effort forwards, to try something new or different, to help myself, is significant. But often it seems that effort uses up all my energy. I have nothing left to deal with the aftermath, or to make plans from that point onwards.

So I feel stuck and ill-equipped to help myself. And I’m not sure anyone trying to help me fully appreciates this. I’m not there for myself, and it seems others aren’t there for me. And loneliness despair closes in.

I know there are people there for me. I know there are friends who care and others who are willing to help me. But when I feel stuck, I tend to withdraw and not lean on them, because I’m not accustomed to having reliable caring people around me. My negative thoughts slide in early and isolate me with lies. But I don’t know enough to counteract the lies. They are the only story that gets regularly fed to me.

I’m putting all this out there, because I don’t know what else to do right now. I know I’m struggling. I know I’m not communicating with people around me very well. I know I’m not coping with life very well. I’m just writing out my heartfelt feelings in the hope that it is enough, to let someone else understand enough, to help me get back on a better path.

That’s all I long for right now. To know I’m on a better path and to know I’m not alone. But there is a big chasm between others’ actions and me actually knowing the feeling. And that’s where I continue to struggle.

Wrong Way Go Back.

I’m tired of falling down, exhausted
Of not seeing progress around me
Of not feeling progress within me
I need help, and whom is there to ask
Who isn’t too busy or too unreliable?
And I’m unreliable, when my body decides
Today is too much
Overloaded and overstretched,
I snap back into a tight ball of
Misery. These undertakings that
I don’t have to do, but I want to,
I enjoy doing, and they ultimately
Are done for the best
And this is solely at home
Add paid employment into the mix, and
There are other needs, others’ needs,
My promises and paperwork
To keep it all working, and some days
I just can’t rise to the challenge
Some days I manage a few hours
And sme days I only manage myself
So it’s no wonder,
I constantly contemplate
My inner workings, my motivations
And finding no solid answers to stand upon
I stumble down into the rut
That catches my feet, that keeps me going
This way.

Stockholm Syndrome.

This environment is my familiarity
My friend through long association
Warning intentions are long silenced
Pushed back and smothered by
seemingly real existence.

I have embraced my environment
in order to survive
in order to feel some comfort
when there was insufficient elsewhere
Now I cage myself in the familiar
And hope can only be expressed by others
The sweet syrup of darkness,
sticks and engulfs me
Your light is not bright enough to shine through.

(12 May 2016)

Dangerous: A Point Of View.

There is hope and optimism
in the hearts of others
Belief in better days to come
for this person they see occasionally
But they have not experienced
the persistent pressure this body exudes
The depths to which it plunges
darkness and crushing pressure
at fathoms of failure
To let someone else in
would squeeze the last breath from their lungs
before being engulfed by the pitch black,
the cold and creepy,
black skeleton of death.