Dark Shadows

In this moment

I am lost

Spinning

Spiraling

Out of control

It is my secret

How the shadows

Cast light on the darkness

When all hope feels lost

And peace becomes

A fleeting memory

Slowly inching closer to death

More so now

Than ever before

For when you feel as though you have nothing

You feel as though you have nothing to lose

And so I lay alone

Watching the night

Waiting for the dawn

Making bets with the devil

That I shall live to see the sun

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It’s not always about you…

Wouldn’t it be nice if it was though? All about you?

Perhaps, but when you really stop to think about it, maybe not…

I made a declaration to myself this year that I would try my hardest to break out of this funky feeling I have been experiencing over the last few months.

The theme of my life during that time was one of overwhelming defeat. Most of which I brought on myself through negative thinking and over extending in order to please others.

Something that sounds like a good quality to have, but it can back fire very quickly!

It got to the point where I put my own needs aside to focus on the needs of others so much that I began to fall back into old patterns of self defeating behavior that inevitably led to a spout of depression deeper than anything I have felt in close to 10 years.

And the worst thing about it, was that there was no one to blame. No love gone wrong, no friendship lost or the passing of a loved one.

Sure, it felt like a part of me died inside and maybe it did, but if so, it was all my own doing and may have been the best thing for me.

It is hard to explain why, but I’ll try.

When I get into slumps like these, there will be a day or in many cases several days, where I crawl inside myself, shut out the rest of the world and swim in the abyss of thoughts swirling around in my head.

I completely detach from everything and everyone.

It sounds a bit unhealthy, but I have found it to be the only path to overcoming it.

The more I talk about what is bothering me, the more it seems to bother me. And the more it bothers me, the more I shut down. Until a day comes when I literally feel nothing at all.

And I mean that in all of its intensity.

It is as if I am in the audience of my own life.

I become resigned to the idea that all of this is meaningless.

There is so much beauty in the world, but yet so much pain and tragedy that reaching for appreciation becomes a mournful task.

After all, none of us know what’s next. We tell ourselves that these struggles, these constant battles with life to keep moving forward will all mean something in the end, but we will never know until we reach that end.

Dark, I know, but that is where I go and where I stay until something switches inside of me for reasons I will never know.

It is usually a process, like the shedding of ones skin or emerging from a cocoon.

Suddenly, I shine a little brighter.

And inspiration to creatively express myself returns. Which is when I compose some of my best posts.

All the time spent inside my mind, pours onto the page with little to no effort from me. I will be working on a project or driving somewhere and an idea will come out of nowhere!

It could be a word, a phrase or my favorite, some off the wall theory that I am convinced is the answer to one of life’s many oddities!

In most cases, during the beginning of my emergence back to reality, it’s poetry.

And for me, a poem is just a passing emotion.

The words just flow to me and I capture them.

Seems fitting I’d shed those first in order to make room for the big revelations.

Although there is a caveat to this resulting overflow of inspiration.

And I am sure it is something that is very frustrating  to a lot of writers who have their writing linked to their personal social media platforms.

At a certain point you begin to feel as though you lose the ability to freely express yourself, because people tend to read into things way too much and that can pose a whole new set of issues.

It can be very hindering to your writing when every time you sit down to write a post, you worry about how it will be received by those who are closest to you. There is no free expression there.

And why do I worry about this so much?

Because I am very good at over thinking things! Haha!

No but seriously…I have to remind myself daily that it’s not always about me!

And I know I am not the only one with this problem (or numerous others we may have in common). Which is the whole reason I share my thoughts.

I know what it’s like to feel alone.

“Every living creature on this earth dies alone…

 Does that scare you?

 I don’t want to be alone.”

Donnie Darko (2001)

As emotional beings, I think we all have a tendency to internalize and worry about things that are completely unnecessary and unjustified.

It can be extremely challenging not to take things personally and the more you care about someone, the more personal their behavior becomes.

However, in all reality it may have absolutely nothing to do with you. And although it is important to express to them how you are feeling, it is also important to keep in mind how they may be feeling.

It will help you with the difficult task of expressing how you feel, while being supportive and non-defensive.

An art I have not yet mastered, but I do my best…and it is never via my blog.

Hardly anything I write is directed towards someone or meant to rely some hidden message to those that have wronged me.

Of ‘course, my words may stem from an internal struggle, but by the time they hit the page, that is in the past.

I don’t play the passive aggressive game folks…if I am upset with you about something, you will hear about it! And I can assure you of that!

If you are close to me that means I value and respect you.

And I wouldn’t write some passive aggressive post about it, hoping you figure out it’s about you.

It should be pretty well known that when I have something to get off my chest, there is not much that will stop me from spewing it out (whether you like it or not!). It may take me a moment to compose my thoughts, but once they are composed, they must be released.  It’s self preservation.

I know that if I don’t say what I need to say (good or bad) it will eat away at me, because I will not be able to move forward without knowing the result of words unspoken.

Anyone of us could be taken from this world at any given time, so why wait?

How many people in your life have passed before you were able to tell them how much they meant to you?

For me there are just a few and I think about them all the time.

I don’t have a lot of regrets.

There was a time I would have said I had no regrets, but that’s not true.

There will always be…just a few.

 

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

 

I haven’t yet, but I will.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about how when we were younger and a guy we were dating treated us well, we would instantly no longer find him attractive. And the ones who treated us like dirt, we fell madly in love with.

I mean what rational person behaves like that? You are basically screwing yourself from the get go!

And then we wonder why all of our relationships fail?! Really?!

Does it really make sense that someone you were originally attracted to for being a jerk would all of the sudden become the thoughtful person you originally pushed away.

Having been that way most of my life, I realize now that any relationship I have ever been in was founded on unrealistic expectations. All of which were not communicated to the other person.

I came to this conclusion a few years ago when I was doing some major rehab on myself. And I swore that I would make a great effort moving forward to stop expecting and start enjoying.

I also made the decision to stay single until I learned to appreciate the value in it. I was a serial monogamist for years, jumping from one relationship to the next without taking the time in-between to evaluate where the previous one went wrong and what I needed to work on myself.

It was not fair to the person I was dating or to myself.

I have learned so much about myself over the past few years. The most important of which is that my happiness should never be considered the responsibility of another. That has always led to co-dependency and failure in my relationships.

I have also learned not to take things so personally. I mean let’s be honest, people don’t always say what they mean or they may in the moment, but in the light of day, everything changes.

I am a very strong willed and sometimes stubborn person. Partnered with my independence and the magnitude by which I feel, it can be a lot to handle. It always seems like a good idea in the beginning, but it is never very long before the opposite sex turns and runs in the other direction.

I used to internalize this as there being something wrong with me. Maybe I was just unlovable?!

It took a long time for me to realize that was simply not true.

I am not unlovable, I was just not meant to be loved by them.

And I know this now because I have been loved and I mean truly loved. For all my faults, through all my mistakes, unconditionally, I have been loved. It was a very long time ago, which is perhaps why for so long I forgot it was possible to find that again.

I haven’t yet, but I will.

And until then, I am content.

I know now that I am cut from a very different cloth. I am not the usual run of the mill gal and loving me is not a task for the weak.

I also know in my heart that behind the scenes, everything is falling into place.

There is nothing I need to do, when the time is right, I know our paths will cross. And it is important that they do not cross too early. Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself that had the timing been different, it could have been perfect. But for one reason or another, one or both of you were just not ready for the intensity of what you shared.

As I am growing and becoming more myself, I am sure that person is doing the same. Meeting now could mean preventing ourselves from lessons we are still meant to learn.

And besides, the main focus for me at this point in time is staying true to myself. Something that has been a challenge in the past when sharing my life with another.

After all, we are no good to anyone if we have not found a way to be comfortable in our own skin.

It was a rarity and a blessing back then to have found someone with whom I could walk that path. We were so young and our love so strong that nothing else mattered. And although we have both chosen to walk a different path, he will always be the one who gave me the courage to be myself.

Our love is different now and in many ways stronger. He is not a lover, nor would I want him to be or could he be. The story of how we came to this place is a long one and I am saving that for the pages of my next book, but let’s just say that he and I have the same taste… in men. 🙂

The last few months have been hard. I have struggled with the same feelings of inadequacy in love and after the most recent heart break, I really thought I would never feel unbroken.

But I do.

Now, I do.

I have been fortunate enough to find the strength to pick myself up (once again!) and move forward. I have been able to look back on the situation and see it for what it truly was…not meant to be.

He was the first person, I found comfort in after a very long stint of being alone. I could see his potential, but he could not. He was important to me, but I was not to him. And you know what? That is not his fault and it is not mine. My feelings for him changed, as I changed. He changed me.

That was more than a month ago now and I can honestly say that I have no ill feelings. He was doing the best he could with what he had at the time and that is all I could have expected from him.

As I said before, I know now that I am cut from a very different cloth and loving me is not a task for the weak.

I have been loved and I mean truly loved. For all my faults, through all my mistakes, unconditionally, I have been loved. It was a very long time ago, which is perhaps why for so long I forgot it was possible to find that again.

I haven’t yet, but I will.

And until then, I am content just being me.

What if we don’t have to be broken?

I think one of the most difficult parts of growing up is finding the strength to pull the skeletons from your closet. It would seem so much easier to hide them away forever and leave the past in the past, but in everything we have done that we are not proud of, there is a little piece of ourselves hidden among the ashes.

I hear a lot of people say they are broken. I have even said it myself in the past.

What if we don’t have to be broken?

What if there was a way to put ourselves back together?

When I first started writing my memoir, I remember it being very painful at times. Revisiting memories that I had selectively forgotten in order to save my own sanity.

As soon as I opened the door to my childhood, they all came rushing out and the wall of security I had built began tumbling down out around me.

It was from within one of the lowest moments of my life that I found my greatest strength.

One by one, I confronted all the residual emotional patterns that I had built up during those years.

The feelings of disappointment, neglect, abandonment, and loss.

The root of my constant need for approval and codependency.

My fear of love or the loss there of.

Piece by piece, I began putting myself back together.

Until I came to a place of great appreciation for all that I had experienced.

I was a new person the day I finished the first chapter and even more so as I wrote the final page.

And now, as I struggle with the pages of the 2nd, I am reminded of the same reluctance I felt when I wrote my very first blog post.

I know writing this next phase of my story will be just as, if not more of an emotional roller coaster than that last.

The first was during my early childhood and most of it was about my mother and her skeletons. There was aftermath, but it was her aftermath.

This next book will begin as I am entering High school, my mother having  been missing for just short of a year. I was lost and confused, but determined to act like neither of those were true. I don’t even know that girl now.

I picked up one of my old journals for inspiration and I barely got through the first few pages before I had to put it down. I could feel the pain on those pages and worse yet, I knew what was to come.

The moment my mother left me, something in me changed. Something it took years of reflection to understand. I spent a great deal of my life beyond that point feeling as though I always had to prove something to someone. In the earlier years it was proving to everyone else that I was not my mother. Showing them that I could conquer anything and everything she couldn’t.

Needless to say, it led me down a road where I did a lot of things I am not necessarily proud of. Things…the majority of the people in my life have no idea I did and for that matter would have a hard time believing I ever could do.

Up until now, I was not ready to share these things with anyone, let alone the whole world.

But you know what?

The person I am today is not just the result of all of the good things I have done. It is also and maybe more so, everything I have done that I am not proud of, those little piece of myself hidden among the ashes.

I am living proof that in this life, we are not bound by the mistakes of our past or the circumstances placed on us by others.

If telling my story is an inspiration to even just one, it’s worth it. That was the whole reason I started this blog and went on to write the book. So believe me when I say, I am not going to quit now, just because I hit a raw moment!

Thank you to everyone who has been so patient, yet persistent 🙂 in kicking my butt back in gear!

The wheels have started turning and I promise you’ll be the first ones to get a sneak peek!