personal

Approaching a Breath

On Sunday at 6:10pm, I will be taking off in an airplane headed for Ireland.

For now, it is 10pm and I have not (yet?) eaten dinner. Not for any Bad reason, just because I’ve been going nonstop since 8:30am. A week of work in the middle of the busiest month in our office, right before I’m out of the office for 6 business days–it’s Go Time. I’m hyperfocusing all day at work and then come home to either watch all of Season 2 of Sense8, pet my cat, and/or spend 5 hours trying to sign up to be a video tarot reader (only to hit red tape–god damn you Oranum).

And it feels like it has been go time for the last 5 months. I keep getting frustrated with myself the last 2-3 weeks. Why am I so tired? Why have I stopped blogging? Why don’t I feel filled with focus and energy and purpose like I did one month, two months ago?

Well, me, and anyone else who Relates: because you can’t always be “Up”. Because I was running on fumes of a survival instinct.

The last 5 months have been a whirlwind. They’ve kicked my ass. They’ve kicked my spirit. But they’ve also healed my kicked ass and my kicked spirit, all at the same time. It’s weird how things work that way sometimes. I see you, Saturn.

But now–I’m approaching a breath.

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breathe in that mossy irish beauty

Not only because I’m going to be away from my desk job to visit my most favorite place in the entire world for 7 days and 8 nights. But also: Jack has finally moved in, so my home is finally settled. My bedroom is finally a bedroom. We finally have all the furniture we’ve spent the last 2+ months looking for.

Come Sunday, “go time” will stop.

Today at work I started to feel nauseous out of the blue; I think it was anxiety and blood sugar. Luckily it was right around my lunch hour, so I left my desk and headed down to the staff lounge to lay on the couch.

My head hit the hard wooden arm of the couch (not ideal but better than my desk) and I became aware that I was legitimately spinning. I shut my eyes and felt my thoughts swirling through my head. It was like having the spins from drinking but without any of the carefree laughter before falling asleep for 4 hours (only to wake up and have to go Number 2, drink a glass of water, and fall back asleep for another 4).

But really–I was shocked at how I physically stressed felt. My head was swirling. My chest was tight. My stomach was clenched. My breathing was shallow. My jaw was shut tight.

And something clicked for me: Oh shit–this is what mindfulness is. I’m noticing how my body feels. Lol 19 year old me would kick and scream.

I noticed all the ways my body was holding in stress and discomfort.

And then I breathed. I breathed in deep, all the way to my belly, and let my tense muscles turn into mush as much as they could. And the nausea went away. The headache went away. The discomfort went away.

It’s not like I haven’t ever done this before, but I think I really haven’t ever firmly understood that, like–yes, I can do mindfulness. I don’t need to call it that and use hippy dippy language that makes my Capricorn rising grind my teeth in defiance. But I can do it, I do do it, and it actually does help.

Pausing, noticing, allowing, and releasing.

As I head into Sunday, to a week I hope to be deeply restorative, I will keep these words in mind. Because chances are the moment my head hits that airplane seat and/or Jack’s shoulder, I will finally be able to notice how much I’ve been spinning over the last many months.

A thought for us all, each day:

Pause, notice, allow, release 

mental health, personal

Unmasking My Madness – Mental Health Awareness Month

Well my dear ones, it is May and thus, I have learned, it is Mental Health Awareness Month.

I would love to make a series of posts during this month about mental health–personal posts, informational posts, and advice-offering posts. Let’s start the month off right by goal-setting. I’ll stick to small potatoes; May 2017 is a Busy As Hell month for me in all parts of my life. So the goal is: three posts, one in each aforementioned genre. 

A brief foreword

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If you have known me for a moment or a lifetime it is likely not News that I have a deep interest in psychology, and in mental health / illness specifically.

When I was but 10 years old, scouring the internet for brain-stimulating material, I spent many hours reading through the “Psychology” page of Wikipedia. I remember clear as day digesting articles such as “Insomnia,” “Schizophrenia,” “Sleep Paralysis”, and “Depersonalization Disorder” (ironically, I remember this one really, really clearly because it scared the Hell out of me–and yet here we are, folks).

At 11 I made my own website about schizophrenia as part of an independent study–it was titled, appropriate to online speaking conventions of 2004–“schizophrenia o rly”. The website is now defunct, but I can still remember the graphics clear as day. And typing up information about “positive” and “negative” symptoms. Ah, cherished childhood.

And now here I am, a 23 year old version of Me (v.23). I have continued to amass knowledge on mental health / illness, some from reading, some from hearing others speak, and some from experiencing it myself. I continue to write about the subject online–through freelancing jobs, Facebook posts, and this blog–and talk about it at length with dear ones and on my YouTube channel.

Continue reading “Unmasking My Madness – Mental Health Awareness Month”

mental health, witchery

To the Ardent Atheist: In Defense of Astrology & Tarot

I’m a part of a lot of Facebook groups.

They are generally chaos. Especially the political ones.

On one of these political, anti-Trump groups I’m in, a mod(erator) posted to say that bashing astrology is not allowed on the basis that its a valid spiritual belief, and to bash it is just Cruel.

I agree.

So I smash the heart react, scroll down to post “Thank you for this!” and see a slew of comments to the effect of, “Are you fucking serious?” “This is how Trump got elected. Anti-science bullshit.”

Whoa buddy.

me, disheveled cognitively in response to this madness

I and others mention the role that astrology plays in some people’s coping with the chaos that our world is–especially one in which djt is the president of the us.

Someone responds to this assertion, saying that we should instead read some Camus and accept and/or blame the absurdity of the universe for its lack of meaning, and then find actual scientific solutions to real world scientific problems like climate change.

OK–you can practice astrology and spirituality and still endorse science, still be a scientist, still ground your decision-making and voting and politics in science.

Continue reading “To the Ardent Atheist: In Defense of Astrology & Tarot”

mental health, personal, Uncategorized

Healing from Depersonalization and Derealization: A Series

Today, I did something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time, but never quite had the wherewithal to do. Or the privacy. Or the headspace.

I created a YouTube channel where I will post weekly videos about depersonalization & derealization.

You can watch my intro video here:

I’m going to make an outline this weekend of the whole “series”, and sketch out their content. This is so exciting! I hope folks find it useful.

mental health, personal

5 Fears I’m Embracing This Year

My life has been in such flux recently. This flux has affected my external experience (housing, relationships, work), but also my internal experience (thoughts, beliefs, values, motivation).

 

Honestly, it feels like there has been a monumental shift in the core of my being. I’d call it a growth spurt of the soul.

 

And as this shift happens, I’m feeling a huge impetus to expand. To shed. To learn. To engage. To grow. To act. To become.

 

It’s incredible.

 

I imagine the future and I can imagine my own success. I see what would make me feel stable and secure and fulfilled. And beyond that, I can see the actionable steps I need to take now in order to get to that ideal future.

 

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Me getting my first freelancing job and realizing I could really do something with this.

 

But why haven’t I done all this transitional work sooner? 

 

Continue reading “5 Fears I’m Embracing This Year”

advice, mental health

On being “Too Much” (or “not enough”)

Whatever the situation, your emotions towards it are not an “overreaction”. Similarly, your emotions are not an “under”reaction. Whatever you are feeling, it makes sense. Maybe something hits you harder than you’ve seen it hit others. Doesn’t matter. Your nervous system is your nervous system. Some of us are ticklish AF, some of us are not at all. Similarly, some of us feel emotions really strongly, some of us do not. Either way, your emotional response makes sense and you deserve to feel every single ounce of it.

And if someone says you are “too much”, let this only show you that they are not someone whose support you can rely on. It means nothing about your worth, the validity of your feelings, or you as a human being. It is a reflection of what that person is capable of (and if you are that person: it’s also ok to have limitations), and of the way your two needs & personalities mesh. It is not a reflection of you being intrinsically TOO anything.

You do not have to suffer guilt for feeling deeply, or for not feeling much at all.

mental health, personal, witchery

Thoughts on Transitions, on Limbo, on the In-Between

It is Wednesday, which is the arbitrary turning point that, for those of us who work a 9-5 job, marks the moment where the dreaded beginning of the week crosses into the highly anticipated end of the week–paving the way for the always relieving weekend.

Wednesday is, in its own tiny way, a transition.

And here I am, on a Wednesday, exactly one week away from moving into a new apartment. Waiting with bated breath for a job decision that is one month overdue, but is supposedly being sent out this afternoon. Sorting through conflict in my relationships. Sorting through conflict in myself.

I am in limbo; I am in the in-between.

And, really, I’ve been here for months.

Conflict in my friendships were hitting their boiling point months ago, in ways that I could see, and in even more ways that I was unaware of. On the same token, my housing situation was on the cusp of falling apart, and all I really wanted to do was live with my partner and begin our lives as a Real Official Duo. My job has been sucking the soul out of me for months. My mental health has been deteriorating since the early fall.

And in the midst of all of this decay, something clicked in me.

I had left work in tears–who knows if it was work-related or just me finally letting something else hit my nervous system–and ambled sadly but briskly to my car. I climbed in, and I continued crying. I didn’t want to stop, I just wanted to let the emotions move through me. I flipped down the mirror and looked myself straight in the red, wet eyeballs and croaked out,

“I don’t want to hate myself anymore.” 

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~!~eureka~!~

 

This was my Wednesday Continue reading “Thoughts on Transitions, on Limbo, on the In-Between”