Love Letter

Whatever you feel you cannot overcome, you can.

Whatever you feel you can’t survive, you will.

Whatever you feel makes you weak, can make you strong.

Whatever you fear makes you unlovable, makes you human and relatable.

Whatever challenge in your life feels like it will never end, it will.

Whatever or whoever has left you feeling empty and hopeless and broken and incapable of picking yourself back up so that you can keep going… it doesn’t matter what or who it is, they cannot win. Because you are so much more than who you were yesterday, then what you feel in this moment. You are so much more than your fears for tomorrow and the anxieties that you wake up to.

It does matter how afraid you are. How filled with worry you are. How much pressure you feel. It does matter that you feel terrified to fail, to let someone down, to let yourself down. It does matter that you feel alone or empty or broken.

Everything you feel matters.

But what you feel is what you feel. Your emotions are not your identity.

Do you notice yourself thinking, “I am angry”? That’s not accurate. You are who you are. You feel anger. That anger does not define you.

So when you feel broken. You are not broken. You are simply resting and recovering and grieving and preparing. You are growing stronger, gaining new experience, learning what does not work, building an extra layer of skin.

Every time you feel like you cannot keep going, you can.

I am not saying it will be easy. I am not saying there are any magic words that will take all the pain away and make you feel strong and in control and “all together”.

What I’m saying is, stay true to yourself. If you feel exhausted, you have the right to feel exhausted. Allow yourself to feel that. But it doesn’t define who you are. It’s simply defines what you’re in the process of overcoming.

Do you ever take a look at what you’ve already overcome? At the situations and relationships and challenges in life that you thought were impossible or would never end? You’re here now. You overcame them. They ended.

You can do this.

You can fight for the life, the job, the relationships, the identity you want.

But you have to believe you deserve it. I’m here to tell you that you do. You deserve all the beauty this world has to offer you.

But you also deserve all the suffering it has to offer to you. Because there’s no way for us to get strong if there is no pain involved. There is no growth if some part of us does not grow old and stagnant and die.

There is no rebirth if part of us doesn’t die first.

The pain will end. You will continue to get stronger. You can find a way to navigate this life and still enjoy it.

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Free Shadowy Story, Chapter by Chapter

You know how I started this blog years ago, talking about the story I was working on?

And then I stopped writing that one, began writing a new one, then gave up on that one too?

I’ve become tired of being a writer who gives no stories. So I started writing a story and I’m going to release it chapter by chapter on YouTube.

 

I’m hoping this constant commitment to keep writing something I’m having a lot of fun with, and hopefully getting feedback as I go, will get me to fight off the depression and anxiety and get on a regular basis of writing.

Plus I’m excited to see what you think.

 

Here’s what the story is about:

Numi is a storyteller living in a town with a secret. She doesn’t know that though. All she knows is it’s been a shoddy week. When her mother dies, a restless spirit begins tormenting her and Numi’s home is broken into. Numi has to wonder, did the ceremony to bind her mother to the other side work? If not, did it let something into the world of the living? She has no idea of the struggle between evil and, well, better that now depends on her finding answers. Maybe Numi will need to do more than find answers…

 

I threw that blurb together while uploading the video, so I will probably change it around as we go.

I got the idea after putting up part one of a bedtime story that I whispered for ASMR purposes.

I’m messing around with the idea of releasing a written version to my $3/month patreon patrons. I dunno.

And in case you’re wondering what the title of the story is, I welcome you to listen to, “Numi of Nysius”.

Let me know what you think. Good beginning to a story?

Help Me Create My Next Bedtime Story Episode on YouTube

We all know I’ve been having a hard time getting to my writing.

Whether its depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation causing hallucinations, or inability to justify to myself working on writing stories when I have no money due to being unemployed once again… It’s been an uphill battle to get to a point where I am writing more than a few days out of the month.

So I’ve begun creating a whispered bedtime story on my YouTube channel, in hopes of keeping my creativity fed and breeding.

The first installment was pretty good for coming up with a story on the spot and then immediately posting it for the world to see. Or, hear, rather.

But life kicked me where it really hurt and the second part of the story suffered from exhaustion.

 

What I’d LOVE to have happen is for you to become my patron and spitball ideas with me on how to proceed with part 3 of the story. You throw me ideas and we’ll pick them apart together and you just might spark my exhaustion into early retirement.

Let me know what you think should happen next, what creatures you’d enjoy joining the cast, and what you’d like Loska to do about her craving for a certain prize the djinn require from her.

Become my patron and let me know. 😍 I’m excited to see what we can create together!

Click the following link to join me.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/help-me-create-24869136

 

Don’t worry, becoming my patron doesn’t cost an arm, leg, or your unborn first child. 😀

Becoming my patron means you’ll be helping me keep creating in a world that doesn’t think creative types should be paid for their contributions to planet earth. It literally can be as little as $3 a month. Literally.

There are 4 different ways to become my patron. Become my Cohort in Crazy, my Messy Mystery Mate, Beta Buddy, or Pal Beyond the Pale. For more info on each option of becoming my patron – and all the perks that come with it – click the following link.

 

And if this isn’t your thing, no worries. Stay tuned for the next episode of my bedtime story. (And if that’s not your thing, then don’t worry about any of this. 😊 Continue on being awesome.)

4 Things I Know to be True

 

Take a vacation in depression. Don’t move in and live there.

 

Life doesn’t have a one size fits all path.

 

Adulting comes with instructions that don’t work.

 

Parenting is like putting together a puzzle with one piece missing.

 

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How to Talk to Your Mentally Ill Friend

 

If you wouldn’t say it to someone with cancer…

If you wouldn’t say it to an amputee…

Don’t say it to someone with mental health challenges.

 

A person who is missing a limb can pray to God for help all day and night long. I’m pretty certain God (insert your Higher Power here, if not God) isn’t going to grow their limb back. We aren’t lizards. Not how it works.

Mental illness challenges are much the same. Not saying they’re the same as having your arms blown off, but you get me.

 

I get told to pray to God and He will take away my sadness.

One – depression and sadness are NOT the same thing.

Two – God gives us challenges on purpose. So we can figure out how to live with them in the way He wants us to. As well as help others who suffer from the same challenges. These things help us grow, challenge ourselves, rise to the occasion. Pretending like being bipolar is something I can just pray away is an insult to God and to myself. He has trusted me to handle this.

Perhaps it will go away. That happens.

Or perhaps it will be more like getting a knee injury. Occasionally, that knee will act up and I’ll have to deal with it.

There is no one way that mental health challenges work. Different person, different life experiences with mental illness.

But none of us can simply get up, decide to no longer have mental illness issues, and *poof* be healthy. Doesn’t work that way.

A cancer patient doesn’t get the diagnosis, decide to stop having it, and *poof* no more cancer. Uh-uh. They have to fight it. Give it everything they’ve got.

Sometimes the disease kills them.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes it goes into remission and comes back, only to go into remission once again.

 

If you aren’t sure how to approach or talk to someone with mental health challenges, consider how you’d talk to a friend who has fibromyalgia or is in the process of going blind.

Mental illness isn’t a choice.

 

 

Yes, making good choices can alleviate it or even get rid of it. But that’s a process. And is true of all illnesses. Get diabetes or cancer, you’re going to have to change what you’re doing, eating, etc. Get panic disorder and you’re going to have to do the same.

We can all make good choices.

That includes aiming for understanding, empathy, kindness, compassion. Instead of telling someone with devastating depression or a mood disorder or any host of other mental illnesses, to simply “knock it off”, “get over it”, “choose to be happy,” “pray and trust God to take it away”, etc.

Perhaps your Higher Power will take it away. Just as He might take away cancer. But that’s not going to happen without the person trying, working for it, making changes, and suffering through a lot of pain that they didn’t choose to have.

 

We can be happy and depressed at the same time. Because happiness is the opposite of sadness. Not depression. Depression is an illness.

You wouldn’t tell someone to just knock it off and quit sneezing when they have a cold, would you?

 

SO IF YOU’RE UNCERTAIN whether or not to say something to someone who struggles with mental health issues (anxiety, depression, personality disorders, dissociative disorders, mood disorders, etc.) a pretty good guideline is:

If you wouldn’t say it to someone with cancer…

If you wouldn’t say it to an amputee…

Don’t say it to someone with mental health challenges.

Worst Fear and Worst Enemy

 

“What’s your worst fear?” He asked.

“Myself.”

 

fight — don’t give in

 

I answered immediately.

I realized this later.

Didn’t skip a beat.

Didn’t have to think about it.

It wasn’t forced, it was honest.

 

I am my own worst enemy.

I knew this already, in the back of my mind. My subconscious always knew.

And, in the front of my mind, where I’m aware, now that I think about it…

I agree.

 

I tie myself in knots over emotion.

I don’t know what I feel, I don’t know how to get to what I feel when I do know what I feel, and I don’t know what to do with what I feel.

 

I read an article yesterday.

An Important Question to Ask if You Feel Suicidal

It’s a great article. Even if you’re not suicidal, even if you don’t even have depression — its a great eye opener. The stigma of depression, suicide, and anxiety is made up of untruths, half-truths, and ignorance. This gal goes all in, committing to be honest to her readers.

I’d like to do the same.

Lying has never served me.

I’ve always had the urge to be honest. Vulnerable. Ironically, vulnerability isn’t my thing. I war with myself, in case you haven’t noticed.

Anywho.

 

and just so ya know, fighting sometimes simply means surviving the day healthily

 

Depression isn’t my fault. It wasn’t my choice. I didn’t ask for depression, didn’t sign up, didn’t decide, ‘oh yeah, sure, no problem, I’ll work with this’.

Depression isn’t who I am.

It’s only part of who I am. Also — however I deal with depression, with all my struggles, that’s also who I am.

 

The gal in the above article put into words my exact thoughts.

If there was a lever I could pull, one where no one would get hurt, and I would die in a painless, instant way — some days, I would pull this lever.

Not today.

Today I’m doing pretty good.

Okay, that’s a lie.  But I’m not ready to pull that lever.

And pulling that lever — that’s not me. That’s the parasite living inside me, drugging me with this disgusting, confusing, and numbing paralytic.

Sure, I learn through dark and painful stories, but I’m stubborn and I always try, sometimes even to my determent. I’m optimistic and goofy as well as dark.

I fight depression. Giving into struggles isn’t my thing. Stubborn, and all that.

 

So I suppose I’m my worst fear because I don’t know how to define myself, how to reach myself, how to be all of myself.

But hey – at least I’m aware.

Awareness, Acceptance, Action

That’s a good start.

 

What’s your greatest fear? Worst enemy?

During Therapy

“I know of people who are bedridden. I’m not saying I’m not grateful.” I smirk at her. “You know I’m a lot more grateful now, than I ever was. I see the greatness in my life, the potential, options, beauty, goodness.”

I look down, play with the black tassel of the zipper on my bag. “I fight it. I don’t think I’ve accepted it, how it affects me, controls me, every day.”

My therapist smiles softly. “How do you fight against it?”

“Struggle to be awake, to focus, to get rid of a chronic illness, one of many. It’s like I’m filled with lead in a world of people filled with helium. And I’m sitting here berating myself as if I’m only being lazy.”

“And how would you be if it didn’t affect you?”

I shrug. “Without ME? I’d have energy. Suddenly not be affected by it at all. Be able to focus and be part of my life. I actually like life now. I want to be here for it. Instead I’m sleeping it away.”

“What do you think you’d have to do in order to stop allowing ME to affect you?”, my therapist asks.

My laugh is short and without humor. “Be God.”

 

She laughs and smiles. “You’ve got it.”

“There are only two things you need to know about God.” She holds up a finger. “One, there is a God.” A second finger. “Two, you aren’t God.”

 

“You’re experiencing a lull, yes. But it’s normal.” She responds to my concern. “Life does this. Humans do this. It’s like going to college. At first, you’re excited, you’ve got your eye on the prize – your degree, your desired job. Freshman year is a breeze. But then it gets hard. The homework. The papers get harder. The professors, the lack of sleep.” She looks at me, kind, clever, and all-knowing as ever. “You’re somewhere in your sophomore/junior year. Keeping going.”

“Right,” I agree, nodding my head as I think it through, “life is always going to be hard.”

I brighten a bit, a troubling issue illuminated. “You’re right. I’m doing everything I need to be. I’m taking care of my responsibilities and striving to do better at being kind to myself, accepting myself for who I am. I’m finding ways to enjoy my life. I eat some froyo and deal with the minor migraine later that night. Then the next day I go back to eating the way my SIBO having self can deal with, without regretting or getting down on myself for indulging. I’m still trying and in many ways succeeding.”

I smile to myself. Take a deep breath in, let it out.

“My depression and anxiety are just taking me through a detour. I’m still on the right path.”