I am happy DOMA is shut down.

I am happy Prop 8 is banned.

I am happy SB5 is dead.

I am happy, but after watching the events of last night, I still feel slightly nauseous.

I may not be well-versed in political jargon and I may not be the smartest person.  But I do know when I am being silenced.  To watch political leaders blatantly ignore the rules and only follow them when it was to their advantage was disturbing.  Yes, I read about injustices all the time.  But to actually witness it as it’s happening and being overcome with the urge to scream, “WHAT THE FUCK HOW IS THIS EVEN HAPPENING YOU PIECE OF SHIT” is quite a different experience.  Luckily, we have people like Wendy Davis, Leticia Van de Putte, and Kirk Watson to translate those more colorful thoughts with elegant and intelligent sass.

Granted, we won.  Wendy Davis’ filibuster was successful.  But when the Republicans tried to force a vote through and pass SB5 by resorting to illegally change the official timestamp, I had developed an ulcer.

I am happy and hopeful and inspired.  But to quote something I read this morning, “There is hope. But the hope doesn’t erase what I saw last night. I saw children in a sandbox fighting over their toys.  And their toys were the lives of other women.”

We still have work to do.

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The Ten Commandments

No, not in the biblical sense.  Although, they are much more sacred to me than any religious text.

Today I was going through an old journal of mine and stumbled on this entry from two years ago.  I wrote it right after my last therapy session before I moved back to Keene (a grueling decision I made that I thank myself every day for making).  I thought it might be helpful to share as it gave me some needed insight on how much progress I’ve made in recovery.

August 22, 2011

Today was my last day of therapy.  This is what I have learned:

  1. I am much braver and stronger than I thought.
  2. My depression and eating disorder do not define me.
  3. Anger is not a useless emotion.  But hold on to it for too long, and it becomes toxic.
  4. I can stand up for myself intelligently and with class.  
  5. My friends and family are my greatest motivators.  But they are not my saviors.  At the end of the day, the only person who can pick myself up and move forward is me.
  6. Be honest with yourself and with others.  Always.
  7. There is no point in keeping things bottled up.  It will only hurt yourself.  If you just talk things out and tell the truth, you will have a healthier and stronger relationship with yourself along with the people around you.
  8. Assumptions can lead to the worst misunderstandings.  Just talk. (Notice a trend?)
  9. Making mistakes is human, and I am not an exception to that.
  10. I love me.

When I wrote these ten, say, commandments, I was praying they were true, still not ready to let go of the disordered hand that guided me through most of my life.  They were merely lessons to me that had yet to be practiced.  Nearly two years later, I can let out a big sigh of relief.  These are no longer mantras I have to mentally recite to myself every day.  They are engrained beliefs that I no longer question.  They are all true.  It’s hard to believe there was a time when these words were foreign to me.  I may not always be happy where I am now, but I’m not where I used to be and that’s good enough for me. *pats self on the back*

Why so blue panda bear?

This morning my mother asked me why I was feeling down today.  All I could do was shrug.  I didn’t exactly know why.  I just felt sad.  She replied,

That’s okay. 

Guess what?  It really is okay to feel sad or angry or whatever, AND you do not need to justify it to anyone.

I’m very lucky to have a mother who understands that because her acknowledging it was really all I needed.  I didn’t need a hug or someone to talk to.  I just needed to get it out there and move on.  Essentially, that’s what you have to do in recovery.  When those bad days happen, and believe me, they will happen, all you can do is acknowledge it, accept it, and eventually let your choices and time take care of it.  After 3 years of being in recovery, I do believe that a healthy balance of taking action and giving things time has the best results.  However, sometimes you’re just going to have to sit with the pain and wait for it to pass.  I don’t say that lightly.  It’s a very difficult thing to do.  You work your ass off and commit to making healthy, positive changes in your life, and all you want are instant results.  You want to feel good.  For once in your life, you want not just one good day, but two or three or ten.  Be patient.  If you’re like me, being patient is not your strong suit.  But you have to try.

Remember, your worst days in recovery are better than your best days in relapse.

I hate wasted days.

No, scratch that.

I hate uninspiring, wasted days.

Today began with me skipping my morning walk as I was far too cozy on the couch.  It rarely offers much comfort so I was lazy enough to relish it.  But from there on out the day stayed on a stagnant plain.

I tried writing.  I must have written a hundred unfinished sentences before opting for a book.  An hour later, I was finished with Eve Ensler’s I Am an Emotional Creature and sufficiently disappointed.  There’s nothing worse than having high expectations for a book, and ending up more uninspired than you were before.  *sigh*

Now it’s 9 o’clock, and I have resigned myself to my throne a.k.a the couch.  Meep.

Moral of the story?  Don’t skip your morning walk!  You go for walks to sort out your thoughts so that the rest of the day you’re not stuck playing Tetris in your head.

Lesson learned and moving on.

Nighttime tunes brought to you by Bright Eyes:

The Game is On

I have had an exceptionally relaxing week.  Despite last week’s string of anxiety attacks, I am remarkably content.  Days when you look at the clock and wonder how it’s nearly dinnertime are the best kinds of days.  I’ve been filling my time with surprising ease.  I started exercising again, and have been following my meal plan.  I feel great.

One thing that made this week so enjoyable was rediscovering the simple pleasures of escapism and what geeks all over the internet fondly call “fandom”.  My last semester of college was possibly the busiest semester I’ve ever had.  On top of coping with my relapse, I was basically juggling two majors and trying to combine them into an Individualized Major.  It was incredibly rewarding, but very stressful.  I didn’t really have time to invest in anything I enjoy outside of academics.  However, now that I’ve graduated and time has opened itself up to me, I finally started watching the BBC mini-series Sherlock.

THESE GUYS.

Season-3-of-Sherlock-Starts-Shooting-This-Monday

Brilliant.  No, I promise this post is not going to turn into fangirling (I have Tumblr for that).  I bring it up though because I haven’t really gotten into any literature or films with such a significant following for a long time.  Like I said before, I haven’t had the time.  In fact, that’s partially why I’ve stuck to poetry for most of this year.  It’s not as time-consuming.  But I am a sucker for good writing.  Not only is it enjoyable to read or watch performed, it inspires me to pursue my own creative endeavors.

Before college, I loved to draw and write.  It really was all I did.  I was a closet geek, still am.  I loved investing my creativity in the stories I’d read or watch, or creating my own.  When I went to college, my depression and eating disorder stole that from me.  They stole a lot of things from me; desire, hobbies, people, etc.  I’ve been in recovery for a while, but the rediscovery of things lost never ends.  I’m happy to find my imagination still intact.

I am an introvert.  I always have been.  I am a solitary being and happy to be one.  Some people can’t stand to be alone, but I’m quite the opposite.  I thrive off it.  Some of my more outgoing friends will ask me how I don’t mind being so lonely, but there is a difference between being lonely and being alone.  Am I lonely?  Sometimes.  But when I’m alone, I’m not really alone.  I have my thoughts and my imagination, which in turn drive me to explore my creative outlets.

Though fandoms can sometimes be distressing (Reichenbach Falls?  My soul is still curled up in the fetal position), investing time and becoming emotionally attached to fictional characters from books and movies is therapeutic.  You’re taking a break from the non-fictional plots and characters in your life.  As for anyone calling escapism just another term for avoidance:

tumblr_mnx7x0noL71qil6ygo1_250

I don’t think of it as an avoidance strategy.  Not always, at least.  You’re just putting your own book down and opening a different one to read.

Escapism is beautiful tool.  Use it.  Better yet, use it as a motivator to make your world a place you don’t want to escape from.

“Make good art.”

gaiman

http://zenpencils.com/comic/50-neil-gaiman-make-good-art/

This is a wonderful comic strip illustrating a quote from Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  If you haven’t heard it before I demand that you stop what you’re doing and click here.  Yes, that was an order.  If you are passionate about the arts and are pursing a career in them like I am, the time you take to watch it will save you time in the long run if ever you start losing your way.  Enjoy and become inspired.