Stream of Consciousness

Humans Are Messy

(i know this is a long one, gals and guys, but i’ve needed to get this one out for a while)

 

I have issues.

I’m sure you do to.

It’s called being human.

But the world and all the social media and unrealistic read:fake news, reality shows, and images, etc., would have us believe that there is such a thing as “The Perfect Human”. And not only is this perfect version of a human being real, but there are loads of them, living daily, normal lives all over the world. In fact, most people are perfect and we’re just a rare messed up breed with issues.

So we should pretend. Fake it til we make it. Put on a mask. Ignore parts of who we are and shove them deep down inside where they will then technically not exist.

Because no one wants to see your “human”.

 

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I don’t think it is humanly possible for me to roll my eyes any harder.

 

Everyone is messy. Emotions are messy. Life is messy.

We are constantly changing, adapting, growing, or we are becoming stagnate and atrophying.

Humans don’t come with a Non-Mess Version.

We have problems. We struggle. We feel a wide range of emotions and think a vast amount of conflicting things – all at once. We’re pretty amazing. So why do we look at this like we’re bad, wrong, or defective if we don’t only feel one thing?

 

I’ve had enough of feeling like I can only do a blog post, tweet a tweet, or record a video when I’m in a FANTASTIC mood.

At this point, I’m beginning to feel fake.

I’m not lying or acting as if I feel something I don’t. I’m not making stuff up or putting on a mask. But I AM hiding my entire personality.

A lie by omission is a lie nonetheless.

My struggle is thusly: I want to uplift and inspire and help others. I want people to know how amazing this life can be and what wondrous things they can do. That everyone has the choice of becoming who THEY want to become, no matter their circumstances and struggles.

Honestly though, I feel like a fraud. A fake. A phony.

 

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Because I’m really struggling right now.

With my gut disease – which has literally taken over my life and made it hard for me to do any real living. I’m struggling with chronic pain and exhaustion from other chronic issues. With the reality that I might not get better and will have to figure out how to deal with the way my health is (and it’s gotten much worse lately) and still work part-time, participate in life, and still try to do things that I enjoy. I’m struggling with a lot of shame over not working full time because my body literally stops me. With the shame of not being in a good mood all the time. I’m struggling with bi-polar depression and anxiety that are swallowing me whole. I’m struggling financially and with the shame of not being able to financially support myself. With restless leg syndrome that won’t let me rest during the day at all and keeps me from sleeping well at night, even with the pills. I’m struggling with lack of sleep and lack of calories and not being able to eat anything I enjoy.

I went off sugar for a month, for crying out loud! And nothing happened. I swing back and forth between eating only what my gut disease lets me and getting physically sick of the foods to the point I stop eating – and eating something I like and suffering for it (and looking like I’m gaining weight due to inflammation, which causes a whole host of other internal pains).

I know people aren’t in a good mood 24/7. But lately, I’ve grown apathetic, angry, bitter, overwhelmed by depression, numb, and scared. I’m swarmed by these struggles for days or weeks on end. It’s exhausting to force myself out of bed.

I don’t want to be the person who is grumpy and drags people down. I don’t take my upsetedness (yes, I know that’s not a word, but I’m a writer, I’m allowed to make things up) out on others. But I’m not as peppy all the time any more. It takes a lot for me to focus past the pain and remember how to be a human and do the human things.

 

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And no, I don’t look sick. My chronic illnesses are invisible. I’m not missing a leg. I don’t have swollen arms or oozing puss. I don’t have rashes or any sort of visible symptoms.

It’s all inside. And I try to ignore it as much as possible.

But it’s getting to me. And I feel ashamed about that too.

 

But I’ve had enough of expending what little energy I have on pretending that I’m not in pain. On being there full tilt for everyone else and ignoring my own health.  Expending my energy on digging deep into the optimistic and peppy reserves I’ve got left and forcing it out.

Something occurred to me.

You might be struggling with the exact same thing.

Maybe you’re a mess too.

Maybe you feel like you have to pretend to be totally okay and happy-go-lucky, as if it’s your responsibility to be in a great mood and capable of doing all the things everyone else around you can do, so that everyone feels comfortable around you or uplifted and supported by you. As if others’ emotions and happiness are your responsibility. (It’s not, by the way.)

ENOUGH

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to be an inconvenient truth. It’s okay to be a mess. EVERYONE is a mess to some degree. We are all struggling and pretending we’re not so that others won’t judge us or exclude us.

We, as a society, don’t like to look at things that make us feel uncomfortable.

But you know where the magic happens in life?

In the UNcomfortable moments.

 

So be a mess out loud.

I’m not saying emotionally vomit on everyone that walks past you. But be honest. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to be happy for someone that happens to exist in the same space as you.

The people who love and respect you will understand and support you. And what’s more, they’ll probably feel a bit more comfortable around you because you’re giving them the room and safety to be NOT perfect too.

 

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Stream of Consciousness

Social Media and Guns Are the Same Type of Thing

EVERYTHING is a 2-sided coin.

I believe social media is no different.

Take away twitter, take away blogs and instagram and tik tok, etc… People will STILL find a way to hurt each other.

I think everything we have created or discovered is usable for good or evil. It all depends on the choices we make.

Like guns. Take away guns, make them illegal – bad people will get them illegally and if they cannot, they will use a knife, a brick, their nearest blunt object. If someone has decided they’re going to kill someone, the objects available won’t typically change their mind about killing them. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Guns and social media are both TOOLS.

How we use them matters.

And I will always, ALWAYS, opt to have social media even though it spreads pain. Humans will always find a way to spread pain (I don’t understand why, but it’s true). But look at the good social media can do.

THE POSITIVE POTENTIAL IS LIMITLESS.

How would the isolated, abused, and young human being know there are good people in the world? That there ARE people that exist that truly care? Or people that have been through the same thing and

Are.

Now.

Okay.

They made it through and you can too.

Without social media I wouldn’t have known.

Social media connects us and HUMAN CONNECTION is the only way to live this life. Isolation hurts most of us. It is literally a way to torture another human.

We need each other. And social media can connect us.

I will keep it because there is goodness that comes of it. And I want to squeeze all the goodness out of this world there is to find. We deserve to enjoy this life, we deserve hope and inner peace.

How has social media helped you?

Written Word

And then there were three…

In the darkness, they shivered, trapped, looking around wide-eyed and blind. Golden moonlight dripping down, down, down, until there was nothing left but his silver, skeletal remains.

They would not survive this. And yet, they couldn’t leave him. Huddling together, grabbing onto one another’s arms, hugging close, they awaited the gates to open.

The pool of savory sorrow grew, leaking toward them. Closer.

Closer.

Shadow Poetry

Marble Tongues

Maybe when it drops down

We’ll make sense of it

Maybe not

 

If the sun drips sapphire

It might burn to the bone

Maybe simply warm

The ashes

Until they catch fire

 

If we drown in our riches

Perhaps the earth will sorrow

Or perhaps she’ll sigh

And drink down the blood

An offering to the carrion

To restore balance

 

Maybe when it falls down

We’ll make a foundation of it

Maybe not

 

If the bones keep dry

I’ll sleep inside the carcass

No one will breathe my way

 

 

By Daphne Shadows

Shadow Poetry

Cinnamon Swirl

 

Sunlight Melts

Like lemon drops

And butterscotch lace

 

 

Kissing

Tick

An icy dam

Tock

 

Dripping down the side

Seeping through the cracks

Spilling over

 

Molten flame

Licking at the

Patchwork parts

 

The cold fights back

Tick

Like a broken flurry of

Plastic wrapped mints

Tock

 

Cutting deep

Frenzied

 

Heated satin

Cauterizes all breaches

Lapping up tiny

Peppermint tears

 

This house

Is a walk-in freezer

Tick

Burning exposed flesh

Tock

 

 

 

By Daphne Shadows

Fun Stuff/ Research

Shame vs. Guilt

Shame is bad.

Guilt can be good.

 

Shame is when someone eats an entire box of donuts and someone says, “You’re disgusting.” Or, “You will never be a good role model for kids”. Or something else equally shaming.

Guilt is when someone eats an entire box of donuts and someone says, “Eating all of those donuts in one sitting is kinda gross.” Or, “Eating all of those donuts isn’t something you want to model for your kids.”

 

Shame = YOU are wrong, bad, disgusting, an idiot, not good enough, etc.

Guilt = something you have DONE, an action or decision you’ve made, is bad, disgusting, and so on.

 

The difference may be in one word, but the difference is in reality, HUGE.

The difference between shame and guilt is whether or not we hate ourselves or something we’re doing.

 

Shame tells us (whether we heard it from ourselves or someone else) that there is something fundamentally wrong and disgusting about us. It tells us we aren’t good enough, we’re broken, we cannot achieve anything of value. Shame tells us that we have no value and never can.

Guilt, on the other hand, tells us when we aren’t doing something we approve of. Our actions, motives, or words aren’t lining up with our values or beliefs.

 

For example: Bob steals from Sandy.

Bob has three options.

Option A: Feel guilty.

Option B: Feel ashamed.

Option C: Feel guilty and ashamed.

 

Option A gives Bob the ability to say to himself, “hey, self – that was messed up! I don’t believe in stealing. I feel terrible about what I did. I know it was wrong.” This gives Bob the ability to make amends with the person and then make life changes to ensure he doesn’t steal again. This also allows Bob to tell himself that what he DID was wrong and bad and terrible. Bob does NOT believe Bob is wrong and bad and terrible. Guilt allows Bob to condemn his action of stealing, feel bad about it, make amends, then move forward with the intent of following through on his values and belief. Which, in this case, is ‘thievery is wrong’.

Bob also needs to look into why he stole, what his motives were, and so on. Guilt allows him to do that. It gives him the comfort that Bob is a good identity to have, a good person. Simply a person who made a bad decision and now needs to adjust his way of living to align his future actions with his values and beliefs.

 

 

Option B gives Bob a very limited doorway for positivity. This doorway is squeaked open only if Bob realizes he is shaming himself and needs to stop. Then targets his guilt and does the inner work.

If Bob doesn’t do this, and continues to shame himself, his inner monologue goes something like this.

“I stole something. I’m a horrible human being. Who steals from a working, single mother? I’m disgusting. No wonder I’m single, alone, hated, fat, gross, mean, etc. No wonder everyone hates me.” Bob feels disgusted with himself. He feels ashamed of who he is. Bob feels uncomfortable with his own existence and brings up every negative thing about himself, every negative situation, thought, and feeling from his life to back this theory up that Bob is indeed, a horrid excuse of a human being.

Guess was Bob does with this? He hates himself. And will repeat the thieving behavior. And then hate himself more. Rinse and repeat.

Shame keeps us locked in with whatever we hate about ourselves. Shame tells us there is no possibility for change because we are flawed at a basic level and can never be any good.

Shame lies to us and we do nothing to change.

 

Option C is what I’m fairly certain most of us feel.  And our shame smooshes our guilt with a twenty pound dumbbell again and again and again until it’s little more than a twitching inkling in the background of our minds that only further backs up our shame’s reasoning for why we are horrid human beings who deserve to suffer in their horrid human fate because that’s just how life is and we’re all going to die anyway! See option B.

 

We have a choice.

Choose option A.

Seriously.

We all do bad things. We all have and we all will. They’re called mistakes and we instantly recognize we just hurt someone’s feelings or have that liver clenching moment when we realize we forgot our best friend’s birthday.

We all do things wrong. That does not make US bad people. Unless we value hurting people to get ahead. Unless we value chopping people up in little bits. Unless we think it is fun to hurt people, animals, children, etc… we are not bad people.

We make human mistakes because *ahem* we are human. Not robots of unfeeling perfect precision. Thank heaven!

 

When we do things wrong, it is our responsibility to feel our guilt and do something about it for the better.

 

And I KNOW this is hard advice to follow. Three years into a support group and four years into therapy and it’s only now really pinging for me. But it does make sense. I has sunk into my stubborn skull, darting past the negative loops of habit ingrained in my brain.

We can all change for the better.

We have to want to.

And if all we do is shame ourselves, we will never fully believe we are capable and deserving of doing better, of change in the direction we want to go.

 

 

We are deserving. We are valuable. We can change. We can allow our guilt to help us to take a realistic look at our behaviors and spring us into becoming who we want to become. Who we choose to become.

Stream of Consciousness

Life is Weird…and Contradictory

So are people.

I know I am.

 

I don’t really understand how I can be really low, totally depressed or suffering AND really optimistic and hopeful, feeling kinda pretty good.

But I can. Doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Humans are a lot more complicated than I think we give ourselves credit for.

If we feel more than one thing – we *must* be crazy, with multiple personality disorder or something. Did you know they changed the name of that disorder quite a while ago, to “dissociative identity disorder” or DID? I wonder why they change the names of things so freaking often and no one seems to know.

Anywho, we can feel a huge range of emotions at once. We can be more than one thing at a time. I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s been a foreign ideal to me before now.

 

I get so tired of people telling me that if I were emotionally unstable, I wouldn’t be able to hide it.

Don’t tell me that.

I am a walking act.

All my painful secrets stay inside.

I haven’t known how I could be anything but ‘happy’ and still feel what I feel, hiding it all the while.

I’m optimistic, I’m hopeful.

But that is not all that I am.

Don’t tell me that if I’m bubbly, smiling, or kind, that I can’t possibly be in pain, physically and emotionally. Don’t tell me, when I open up to you, that this isn’t possible.

Why are people so willing to take everyone at face value and so unwilling to believe that there’s ANYTHING, something, beneath the surface???

I thought I was working on all of this stuff but I found I haven’t even made a dent. I guess getting really sick is good. Health failing obviously equals that something is wrong. It just takes a lot of pain to wake me up.

Then again, I am human. I guess human beings have to realize something over and over again until something pings in just the right way that we’ll believe, too.

 

The holidays ran me over and have been dragging me down lollipop infested roads. So perhaps I’ll have something more to say next month. 😉

On that note, HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Try not to eat yourself to death. Or children. Don’t eat children either.

 

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