Challenging my truth… keeping house.

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Because there’s no place like HOME.

I would like to preface this post with this: I am not a doctor, nor am I trying to be. I am not a medicine hater – if that is what works for you, then please, please do what works. I, myself, am moving away from it after years, and years of medication, for my bipolar disorder. What I have discovered for myself, for my journey, is that maintaining the health of my soul, and the health of my thought life, are the best medicines. I am hoping and praying they are the only therapy I need. If not… I’ll revisit. Please create your therapy plan with the help of those you trust and quality, professional doctors. Please find doctors who listen well, and treat you with respect. This is very important.

My brain has waves of energy – something I will always navigate. I’m on kind of a neutral energy wave right now after a fairly good “high” and so joy isn’t a constant vibration, I have to make sure I’m seeking it. I haven’t found enough time for scripture lately, and I was very restless last night… My husband and I had a small disagreement we mutually blew out of proportion… Fault was a 50/50 split. He went to bed before me; we had made up, but I felt out of sorts and despondent. I has been my life-long tendency to feel that way whenever my relationships aren’t “perfect”, especially when that disharmony is with my husband. But I’ve learned to check in with myself.

I asked myself if I really had to feel this way… And I realized I didn’t. I realized I was giving my husband too much responsibility – I was unconsciously asking him to be perfect (when I am decidedly not holding myself to that standard), and I was asking him to make me feel happy and peaceful. None of those things can be accomplished by another human being, even one so dearly loved. So I shot up a fumbling “Whose am I?” to the only One who knows… And I was at peace again.

Learning to question reality. Reality vs the space in my head. I don’t want to say “I’ve arrived” because you always keep learning, always want to grow. But my brain doesn’t feel like a prison anymore. What felt like a cold, decaying prison cell with unfriendly jailers is beginning to feel like a house. A home.

There are rooms in my brain house now. Rooms, closets, storage, workspaces, sanctuaries, places to be creative. There are chores and maintenance, and sometimes like in real life you have to look at the clutter and say, “I just can’t today… Too tired…”

It’s hard to fix messes from a place of exhaustion or a place of powerlessness. And sometimes not fixing the mess can drain you more, especially when you beat yourself up about it. You must learn to say, “Okay mess, you just have to sit there and I’ll deal with you tomorrow but I’m going to let myself really rest and not make myself feel guilty.” (We are commanded to rest, y’all.

Sometimes you get stuff done. You are a powerhouse. You are doing dishes, and vacuuming floors, and making everything WORK. You are finding the parts of yourself, of your mind, of your thoughts that need a little tidying up, and you have found the strength to get after it.

Sometimes you get creative and you make BEAUTY. You get a new picture and hang it on the wall; you grab some flowers from the farmer’s market and place them on your table. Your brain house is a HOME and you can enjoy it and flourish. 

But SOMETIMES… You find that you’ve tripped, and you’ve fallen into the cat box and Oh my goodness… that is disgusting wtf, get out of the cat box – that is for crap what is wrong with you?!

So if you’re wise? You get out of the cat box, because you don’t belong there. (Go take a shower, girl.) That receptacle is there with a purpose – it’s a toilet. It’s there so you can scoop cat crap out and throw it away. That receptacle is so that filth is kept to a manageable level that you can deal with, so things don’t get out of hand. It has one job. Reign in the crap, so you can deal with the crap.

This is also a good time to point out that CRAP IS A PART OF LIFE. THERE WILL BE CRAP. THINGS ARE NOT PERFECT IN THIS WORLD. But… You don’t make a seat in the middle and settle in to watch TV. I’m sure this reads as humorous (and it is meant to), but it’s also serious. 

How often do we become so consumed with our crappy, destructive thoughts that we make them a dwelling for our being, instead of understanding that they can be dealt with and removed? And don’t tell me you’ve never sat down and watched a season of something terrible on Netflix from your brain’s cat box before, cause we all have, honey.

The beauty is you DON’T HAVE TO. You don’t belong there! Take a look around and realize that you’ve tripped and fallen into the cat box and GET UP.

Get into your brain’s kitchen and whip up something nourishing for your soul! Seek truth and fill yourself up with that!

Get into your arts and crafts room and make some beauty. Look for it. See what’s already there and make some more.

Climb into the tub in your brain’s house and find some relaxation.

For the first time in my life I am not trapped in a jail cell in my mind. My brain makes sense. It’s not perfect but it’s a good brain. It’s good. Because I know WHOSE I am. And that shows me who I am. I can be at home… any time, and any place. Love to all of you.

Challenging my truth… “Surprise!”

So this won’t be the focus of this post, but I went vegan the first week of June of this year. I have experienced overall positive effects. Definitely some trial and error, but overall I’m super happy with my decision (health wise) and I’m 100% on board with the socioeconomic and spiritual positives.

That said… did you know that Trader Joe’s has delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies? :p

My clothes have started fitting different – I was feeling like I was losing some weight (slowly, which is what I’m after), so I decided to check the scale today. I haven’t weighed myself all year, other than at the doctor. So… SURPRISE: apparently I’ve lost a whole two pounds. My normal reaction to this would be to freak out, cry, hate myself, cut myself down and ironically (though I know you get this if you get food addiction) to go binge.

I have worked so hard, so so so hard over the last few months to develop healthy self-talk… that it’s starting to stick. I looked at the number. I said a few thankful words to myself that it wasn’t higher than the last time I’d checked, and I felt something I haven’t felt in awhile – motivation.

Not the crazy, LET’S GO ON A DIET!!!!!! kind of motivation that plagues extremists like myself, but a quiet voice that said, “Ah, well I can probably do better than that.”

So I thought about it. When I chose veganism, it was 50/50 on health/convictions. I told myself, “you have permission to take as long as you need to, to fix things up.” I realized that health and wellness isn’t all physical, and it’s not a race.

How many programs had I gone on? Only to totally fail and hate life. So I’m going to make ONE health goal happen per month. August is: drink enough water. Not MORE water, but ENOUGH water. Mindfully, with care, and with love for myself. Hydrate this body. I have been doing a terrible job of hydrating and I keep putting more focus into sugary drinks, coffee, tea, caffeinated things.

If I start organically making some other healthy choices alongside my goal of the month, well then awesome. Organic is the key word – forcing myself to completely change everything about my habits overnight has never worked for me. I’m too fascist. I beat myself up over mistakes.

So here goes the rest of my life… one month at a time.

Challenging My Truth, pt 1 of…

tumblr_o1bkm0IViW1rz97e3o1_1280[Insert declaration/apology for lack of posts. Blah blah, blah.]

32. Thus far, in a little over ONE month, year 32 around the sun has been the most productive period of personal growth I have experienced in years. It’s about time, too. It’s not that I haven’t been growing until now, it’s more like the Gardener, His helpers, and myself have been planting seeds in my life, and this year all the plants bloomed.

I decided awhile ago that I was going to live my life in outrageous honesty. Radical truth. If this meant I discovered some stuff that wasn’t so great, cool. If this meant it was time to finally acknowledge and honor what was great, awesome.

I am wont to post loooooong posts, and I am kind of over that (as are you, more than likely), but this is a looooooooooooong topic. So I hope to make this a series, but I am not good at sticking to things so we’ll see how it goes. (See, honesty).

Today’s Subject #1: Mild-to-Moderate Agoraphobia & Vehophobia

Although this is actually the most recent discovery I have made of myself, or at least the most recent I’m acknowledging after burying it deep and making excuses, I’m starting here because it involves you. More than likely, if you’re reading this, you’ve been affected by this so I want you to know.

Ever since I can remember, the act of getting into a car and driving it has freaked me out, particularly if I’m driving to:

  • a place I’ve never been before
  • somewhere in a very metropolitan/busy/confusing area (i.e. Seattle; WTF one-ways)
  • somewhere outside of a 10 mile radius of my home
  • honestly could be driving anywhere on the wrong day
  • a commitment (appointment; friend date; Buy Nothing pick-up; recording studio time) – the added pressure of having to go somewhere, even somewhere I really, really want to be, somehow makes the anxiety go up

This has actually evolved into just not wanting to go anywhere. Even if I’m not driving. If I am leaving, I prefer it to be with my husband, where he is driving, and we are going somewhere familiar. And often I don’t even want to do that.

This is where it has gotten out of hand.

I work from home, which has probably deepened the trench of “hiding-out” in my life. On the one hand, it is a grace and mercy that allows me to stay comfortably employed (I had to fight against this disorder most mornings when I worked outside of the home). On the other hand, it does little to challenge my most comfortable patterns.

So, this has evolved (or devolved?) into me not leaving the house much. Even to see the many fabulous friends I have in my neighborhood who I could simply walk to see. I have driven myself further, and further, and further into my comfort zone.

This is very confusing to my psyche, as I am an extreme extrovert. I LOVE people! I love getting to know people, sharing thoughts, spending time. But apparently not enough for the light to overcome the dark.

So here’s why I’m writing this, beyond me figuring out stuff that I need to figure out.

To anyone and everyone who needs this from me:

I’m sorry for canceling on you.

I’m sorry for any number of excuses I’ve made.

I’m sorry for being late to stuff. I was talking myself into putting on pants. Pants are freaking scary.

I’m sorry for avoiding making plans in the first place.

I’m sorry for seeming disinterested in your thing. I’m not actually disinterested. I’m having a mild panic attack.

I’m sorry for seeming like I want you to be proud of me and/or grateful to me, just for showing up. You’re actually correct. I do want you to be proud of me cause it was probably very hard for me to get there. I don’t need special attention and I don’t feel like God’s gift to “x” gathering I’m at; just know that me showing up is special because it means I overcame the battle in my brain.

The saddest sufferer of my condition is my son. I should be taking him to the park. I should be going on trips to the zoo. I should be, I should be, I should be. I am not. I am trapped. WE are trapped.

I’m not sure where to go from here, but I’m beginning to live in the light. I’m here, raw, sharing my heart. Encourage me, I guess. Know that I’m not avoiding YOU, I’m trapped in my head. Perhaps even though it is enabling, you can offer to drive. Many friends do this for me; I think they’re on to me. I think they know what’s going on IN HERE (this old brain cage of mine).

I am challenging all of my truths – by this I mean the things I’ve told myself and assumed are true. I know that I allow myself to believe I am scared to leave my nest; it’s my default pattern and one I need to challenge. Leaving my life of addiction behind has been a journey – I’m over 15 months sober now and it really reveals what you’ve been hiding from. I’ve been hiding from life and I’m ready to step into the light.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. If you know me and love me, thanks for your patience. I love you, too.