Conveniently Disregarded

In this life, we are forced to make decisions on an almost constant basis. Sometimes we operate on auto pilot and in others we ponder the choices before us, exploring every angle of their consequences.

I think the true character of a person can be found in neither. But rather in the instantaneous actions or reactions to a choice made quickly. In the fragile moment before action, the place one’s mind goes reveals a lot about their true intentions, even if they don’t realize it.

In the age of cell phones and Apple watches, an un-returned message can be taken much more harshly than someone not returning the message you left on their answering machine in the 90’s. People are expected to respond, if not immediately.

And why? Because when you think about my a fore mentioned point about those fragile moments before one makes a decision…No response = Non-priority, or at least that is how it is perceived.

I disagree however, I think that is a little dramatic.

I never expect an immediate response from anyone. Do you know how many times I simply turn my ringer off on a Saturday, spend the whole day in the yard, never looking at my phone once?!

I think it is important to detach sometimes and I know that I personally need that or I would lose my mind!

Now if you have had no response from several texts, than chances are you are being conveniently disregarded.

And let me tell you from experience, it’s most likely your own fault. I like to think I have always been the loyal friend everyone can count on. Even those who have wronged me end up forgiven and I fall back in line again for their torture.

Then one day I realized that maybe it was time to start setting higher expectations. Not just for my friends and family, but for myself. I always said I wanted someone who would fight for me, but maybe the reason no one ever does is because I never give them a reason to think I’d ever go away.

If I want to be treated like someone with value, than I had better start learning to value myself.

Ever since my mother left the first time, I have had this overwhelming feeling that I was unlovable, that there was no point in revealing my true self to anyone, because in the end they all just go away, so what was the point?…Dark I know.

It became the main story I told myself for years and years. There was always going to be something wrong with me, some deal breaker that would make anyone I tried to love end up leaving me in the end.

As time moved on, various relationships and friendships continued to validate this idea that in the end I was destined to walk among the strange. Fitting into the world, my armor, as I struggled to make it through the dim normalcy of the every day.

I think it’s time I put down the armor…or at least try a little harder to shed a few layers 🙂

I need to be done apologizing for being myself, for needing my space, or for taking the time I need to heal over whatever, whenever. It has been my experience that keeping up this charade, the appearance of togetherness is debilitating.

Sure my crazy antics may scare people away and my sense of humor my be a bit rooted in the gutter, but let’s be honest, I’m a rare breed and rare breeds seldom travel in herds.

Call it an acquired taste, I’m not for everyone!

So I guess what I am saying is, the next time you are conveniently disregarded, don’t think about it as a disappointment, but rather the universe giving you direction. If you think about it, it could be a real time saver to pay attention to signs like these.

If I were to spend more time noticing what was right in front of me (or not in front of me), I’d waste a lot less time focusing where I shouldn’t be.

I have been paying attention to the moments I have just before deciding to do something and it has been quite revealing.

And well, I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say at the root of it all…I want what I want and I want it yesterday.

It’s a little hard to admit, but it’s the truth and it has been eye opening.

I will literally find myself making a decision that I know will bring me pain later, simply because I want the instantly gratifying feeling of disillusionment, even if just for a moment.

Perhaps it is the flaw in my code. The deep rooted comfort I seem to find in pain.

What can I say the darkness is my muse. 🙂

 

 

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Creative Insanity – A Blessing Not A Curse

Have you ever wondered why people do the sometimes seemingly stupid things they do? I am sure we all have.

Honestly, I think the majority of people are clueless as to the why themselves. I look at people sometimes and think to myself, “wow, you have no idea how much of a mess you really are”. And coming from me that is not a shallow observation. I am a mess in a lot of aspects, but then again, I think we all are in some ways.

What sets us apart from the herd is the awareness of it.

For a long time, I expended great effort hiding my imperfections from the world until one day I realized by doing so I was hindering myself from the creative insanity that I was blessed with.

I began opening up more and more about the wars going on in my head, until I began to feel comfortable going out into the world uncloaked.

I no longer needed the mask of sanity I had worn for so many years, because I have finally reached a point where I just didn’t care anymore about keeping up appearances.

Which I apparently did very well considering several of my closest friends had no idea I even battled with depression, let alone that I was bi-polar. I was diagnosed with mild cases of both, in addition to social anxiety when I was in college.

By my 3rd year, my anxiety had gotten so bad that I couldn’t even answer a question in class with out turning bright red & fumbling over my words until I was almost in tears.

My boyfriend at the time knew how I felt about therapy, so he never pushed it on me. Instead, he did his best to be supportive and ensure we had a steady supply of self-medication on hand. Mostly for me, but I am sure it helped him to keep his cool when dealing with Tiffany’s seemingly un-provoked moments of mania.

Smoking weed mellowed me out and alcohol numbed the pain, but eventually neither of those helped and I knew it was time to talk to someone. By that time, I had switched my major to Psychology and it didn’t take a genius to realize that there was something majorly wrong.

Obviously, the depression wasn’t a surprise to me as I had dealt with that for as far back as I can remember. The worst was in high school after my mom disappeared and shortly after I went through the common right of passage for any teenager, losing my first love.

All I remember from that time is feeling alone. No matter where I was or who I was with, it was always like I was more of an observer than an active participant in my own life. I hated myself, my life and at one point tried to make it all go away.

That is not something many people know and a weakness I was ashamed to admit I almost gave into.

As you all know, my grandfather and I were extremely close. You see, it was he who saved me.

There I was, laying in my bed, about to down the rest of a bottle of painkillers I stole from my grandmother and something told him to come upstairs and check on me. If he hadn’t, I may not be here today.

The other time I seriously considered leaving this world was in Seattle.

It was after I had been sexually assaulted in my apartment, something else very few people know about me.

At the time, it was the only way I could see to end the pain that had became my existence. If it had not been for the one person who was present that night, I again may not be here today.

When I opened the door to my bedroom, I had full intention of running a bath and making my exit, but something made me walk to the living room instead.

My friend, sleeping soundly on the couch awoke to an ever spiraling Tiffany sitting on the floor next to him. I had tapped on his shoulder, waited for him to awake and with tears rolling down my face I asked if he would hold me. Just for a moment, I wanted to feel like I wasn’t alone in this world.

Without question, he opened his arms and in a welcoming embrace, he held me through the night. I owe him my life. When everyone else brushed me aside, he was there to help me pick up the pieces and put my life back together.

I love that man in ways no one will understand.

Talk about a true friend and one that sadly I never truly appreciated back then. I think part of it was that I didn’t want to be reminded of that time in my life, the time I almost gave up, and so unknowingly I pushed him away as a way of burying the past.

Looking back, I think I was frightened by our friendship. For someone who tried to hide her true self from the world, the fact that someone knew me so deeply terrified me.

There was only one other person with whom I shared such a connection with and even he never knew the gravity of the emotional issues I struggled with, but I had been in love with him since I was 18 years old, so baring all could have meant losing him and that was simply not a chance I was willing to take. And therefore, there was always this % of myself I kept hidden, even from him.

I realize now that I was going about all of this in the completely wrong manner. The more you try to please the world by fitting in the box labeled normal, the more you lose yourself.

My depression wasn’t really something I talked about openly because I thought of it as a disability, but it’s not.

A friend of mine described it quiet well.  He explained, after the darkness, everything seems to shine brighter. It is where we draw our creativity and in many cases our strength to manage our way through the next manic episode.

Spiraling out  as we call it is like riding out a wave. If you fight it, you are working against the natural course of nature and may end up stuck beneath the undertow.

Where we are doomed to repeat the cycle over and over again until one day it breaks us.

Brave are the ones who are not afraid to admit that they have been weak. To be weak is to be human and it is what allows us to grow.

By masking ourselves from those around us, we are doing a great disservice to ourselves and halting the potential be extraordinary.

For we are the dangerously creative, our madness a gift and the world our canvas.

“Wear your tragedies as armor, not shackles.”  – Anonymous

A New Reason to Smile

Like I said the other day, I think we forget sometimes, just how much power we have in creating the life we desire. Sure, there are a million things we can’t control, but the one thing we can control is how we think and therefore how we feel. I know it doesn’t always seem like that. Especially for anyone who battles with depression, anxiety or any other mentally challenging disorders. And I’m not saying it’s easy either, it’s not, but if we ever want to truly be content in this life, we must find a way to change the way we think.

That is the only way to change the way we feel and the negative belief system that has been ruling our lives. After all, a belief is just something you keep thinking over and over again; that doesn’t make it true.

You might be thinking, “Sure, that’s easy for you to say, your life is great!”

And I would reply, “Then, I must be doing a pretty good job of convincing myself it is!”

Hicks always says, “Fake it until you make it!” and that is literally what you have to do, almost every day.

Do you think I wake up every day happy and excited?

Well, I can tell you that is very rare.

For me, depression is like an evil villain lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on my good mood at any given moment. I never know when it will hit me or what the trigger will be. The only thing I do know for sure is that its visit is inevitable.

Every day before I open my eyes, I take the first thought that comes to mind and should it be a negative one, I take a deep breath and say to myself, “Not today” and then I reach for the closest positive thought I can find. And I continue to do that until I have moved my train of thought over to something or someone that makes me smile.

If that doesn’t work (and sometimes it doesn’t), I may surrender to the moment, but as soon as I have a chance to release those emotions, I take it.

Whether that be writing, painting or simply taking a moment to blubber about it, we all need an outlet. I have a friend who whenever they get upset, they go running and I have another friend who whenever they get upset, they go for a drive.

The point is, we are all human and part of being human means that we are emotional beings. There is nothing we can do to change that.

And emotions are meant to be expressed. It is when they are not that we find ourselves spinning out of control.

Which is why having a support system or at least one person who knows you as well as (if not more than) you know yourself, is detrimental in winning the fight.

We all need that one person who is understanding and supportive, but also not afraid to call us out on our shit!

Something I think we all need every once in a while 🙂

The minute you turn from the ones who care for you, you surrender completely to whatever it is that is causing you to feel that way.

Whether it is a person, a problem or an illness, when you turn away from the world and crawl inside yourself, you are giving up your power to change your circumstance.

You become, the title of one of my favorite Perfect Circle songs – Weak and Powerless.

Maybe this will only last a few months, but there is always a chance of permanence.

Darkness in a world full of color.

The longer you spend in the dark, the harder it becomes to find the light.

Why?

Because every thought you think, results in an emotion and every emotion another thought that leads to another emotion…you get the point.

“when you are feeling insecure you start to think the way you are feeling. Then, you begin to feel the way you think and feeling becomes the means of thinking. When this occurs, the mind becomes immersed in the body and you begin thinking as a body and not as a mind; it becomes your state of being.” – Dr. Joe Dispenza

So when we wallow and believe me, I can be the queen of wallowing sometimes, we begin to validate the negativity we are experiencing.

The story we tell ourselves is incredibly important. It forms the way we see the world and ourselves. As well as determines what we attract into our current reality.

This was a huge revelation I had back in 2016 and it has been my savior over the past few years when it comes to pulling myself back from the downward spiral of emotions that can pull me away from my path.  I wrote a post about it that you can find here, What is Your Story?

Obviously, I have not yet mastered the art and perhaps I never will, but at least I’m trying.

And some part of it must be working, because I am seeing evidence of it more and more as time goes on.

Take for instance that last few months or even all of last year for that matter. It has been an emotional roller coaster for me.

My heart has been broken, friends have let me down and in many cases, I have let myself down, but despite the disappointments of the past, I am still going strong!

I have learned that although it is natural to feel defeated at times or get caught up in someone or some event in our lives, if we dwell in this place for too long, we may let something amazing walk right on by.

Life has a funny way of working itself out and it is way too short to hold on to the people who do not value you or cling to the mistakes of the past. This life is about moving forward, not backward.

Sometimes what we want and what we need are completely opposed to one another and that is just all there is to it.

How do we know the difference?

That is a tough question to answer, but I’ll give it a shot based on my own experiences.

First of all, you should never have to beg for love and/or attention from someone who truly cares for you, because to those who truly care it is something you will never have to question. Words are merely words and leave the lips of the deceitful just the same as they do from those with good intentions.

The difference is that those with good intentions validate those words with actions. We all make mistakes and behave in ways we are not proud of, so I am not saying you should dismiss anyone who doesn’t put you on a pedestal – that’s a bit extreme!

It is okay to give someone a chance to make amends, but be careful about letting them off too easy. The word sorry is over used and over appreciated in my opinion and it is again just a word. True amends are made by going the extra mile, not just apologizing for what you did wrong.

The day you embrace this knowledge you will find that you hold not only yourself, but everyone-else in your life to a higher standard.

And I assure you, when you least expect it, you will cross paths with someone you may have never seen coming, had you been too busy chasing after someone else.

And the same advice is relevant with circumstances too.

Just like people, opportunities will come and go in your life, you just have to try your best to ensure you are going after the right ones and not spending too much time trying to make the wrong ones into something they are not.

We are all in this together… some of us just weren’t meant to walk next to one another.

Image courtesy of suwatpo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You Matter

There are only a handful of people in my life that I have truly opened up to. And if you are one of those people, you know how hard that is for me to do.

The two things that hurt me the most are being lied to and being disregarded/dismissed. More so, when the build up of false hope and greatness proceeds being left behind.

From a very young age, I was made to feel as though I didn’t matter, I wasn’t important, to the one person who held my whole world in their hands. She walked away from me as if I never meant anything to her and as a result, I find it extremely hard to believe that I really could matter to anyone the way they matter to me.

I am not saying that is true, in fact I know  in my mind that it is not, but my heart is another story.

With every new friendship/relationship, I am constantly on guard. Waiting for the day they decide to walk away or hurt me in some way. For anyone who understands the law of attraction, you can clearly see how I am bringing this all on myself.

There in itself lies the challenge.

There is this emptiness, this worry, in my mind that never seems to go away. There is this constant state of fear that resides in the pit of my stomach. And with every failed friendship/relationship it grows larger.

And it is not so much an issue of self esteem or confidence, although I am sure many would argue as such. I know I am a person of value. I am aware of all my good (and bad) qualities and I am proud of the person I am today. So I can assure you there is something different at play here.

It is instead and inability to trust that the intentions of others are honorable.

And I am not talking about trust as in cheating, I have never really been the jealous kind and besides I am not just talking about relationships, I am talking about friendships too.

In the time I have been on this earth, I have encountered so many people who claimed to care for me dearly. Those who promised they would always be there and most of them are not here today. And many I would find out later were not the people I thought they were to begin with.

Two great examples can be found here.

Situations like these have arisen over and over again. It is a wonder I can still find the courage to open up at all.

I guess maybe somewhere down deep inside, hidden behind the emptiness in my heart is a hope for something more from this life and the people I share it with. A hope that drives the courage to face another day.

Perhaps it is what gives me the strength to keep moving forward, when all I want to do is run away and hide from a world that has proved to be so cruel.

One that dangles happiness on a string only to pull it away just before you grasp it.

Eventually, there comes a day, much like today, when frustration & exhaustion drive you to anger. And for me anger has always been the path to moving forward.

For in anger, there are no feelings of unworthiness, but rather that of animosity; resentment from ever being made to feel that way in the first place.

 

For those of you that have stuck around for all these years, stayed true to your word and accepted me unconditionally, thank you is simply not enough.

If it was not for you, I would hold no hope for the hearts of men.

Truth would seem like a fairy tale and love…well…I am not sure I’d know what that was.

And for those of you who have left me on the shelf, assuming that I would always be there…how foolish of you. I hold no desire to be part of your collection, nor will I tell you when I decide to walk away, but I assure you, I will.

In the end it is your loss I suppose, but I wonder if there will ever be a day when you hold remorse for the damage you inflicted on an already wounded heart.

A heart that was meant to be treasured, but instead, was treated like just a random acquaintance or notch in your belt.

This life is too short for any of us to spend our time wasted on those who do not see our worth.

Actions speak louder than words and words are not actions…pretty sure someone famous said that! 🙂

We tend to get caught up in the declarations & promises of others, but those are just words and if not followed up with actions then they literally mean nothing.

And with every disappointment lies a lesson, usually one of personal growth. Therefore, there is no other direction but forward and sometimes the only way forward is through forgiveness and reflection.

Both of which are not always easy, but they are necessary in order to begin telling a new story!

Embracing The Darkness

How can you truly appreciate the light, without embracing the darkness?

For is it not the contrast between that enables growth, change and the prospect of something more?

Throughout my life I have battled with depression as I have expressed here many times before. It is something that for me is always just below the surface, scratching to get out.

Most of the time, I keep it at bay with my writing; poetry mostly.

Which is why I am sure to tell everyone not to read too much into those words.

They are merely a compilation of hope, insecurity and fear that has usually already fizzled before my fingers ever hit the keys.

As I do with inspirational memes and random thoughts, I share them, because I know somewhere out there, they may be just the words someone needs to hear.

A voice to help them feel less alone, to let them know that even the strongest people can feel weak, neglected, and lost, to assure them that just when they think they will never feel loved again, that they will and if that love should fade, they will continue to find it again and again and again.

And I am not just talking about the romantic kind, those of you who have experienced depression understand that. For us, there are moments when all we can see is the darkness. All we can feel is the deep penetrating pain that for me is best described as the complete lack of love.

You honestly feel, even if only for a short time, that your existence on this earth is meaningless. You feel as though everything you have worked so hard to achieve and all the people whose paths you have crossed along the way, wouldn’t think twice if one day you just disappeared. So then, you begin to think about disappearing and if you stay in that place long enough, eventually you might.

I think we are all quick to assume we know the reasoning behind someone’s actions and it is usually rooted in our insatiable need to be offended. We all struggle, some more than most.

And many of us keep it well hidden. If not for the depth of my words, the majority of the people in my life would never know that behind these eyes is a lifetime of suffering.

They would not know that I am prone to believe that everything ends, that everyone leaves, eventually…or how deeply in my heart I wish that someone would prove it all wrong.

Nor would they know that for me, feelings of abandonment and uncertainty are the first to trigger the storm. No matter how much I try, there are somethings that I just can’t shake. But what is of the utmost importance, is that I do try. Over and over again, I try.

Because I know, that it is how we deal with these struggles that define the person we become.

The older I get, the more I am able to control the darkness, but every once in a while it takes me before I see it coming.

It is in those moments, that it must be embraced. For I know that after the clouds have cleared, I will rise anew.

Each time, I am stronger than the last and much more me than I ever was before.

The darkness takes me to a space I keep locked away from the world.

A dungeon filled with broken pieces that have not yet found their place and perhaps they never will.

Each time I fall, I seem to delve deeper.

Just as each time I rise, I seem to stretch higher.

And it is because of this that I am grateful for the darkness.

For without it, I would be unable to appreciate the light.

 

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net