Empty Words + Empty Threats

June 22nd Prompt . . . Empty

Hopefully, this will be a post that actually gets created and uploaded today, on the day it’s written, onto the blog. I can’t guarantee it, but if you wind up seeing it, I guess that will be answer enough.

I’ve thought about this daily prompt throughout the day today. With enough thought and because I’d just be lying about on my bed for a while longer, I figured I would, in fact, write for it. It’s been a long time since I’ve last accomplished a daily prompt, unfortunately. I’d like to think I’ll go back to write some but I can’t be sure…

First, I did my nails again this afternoon. πŸ™‚ I cut my nails since they were getting long and I took off the chipping away pink polish and designed them a bit (myself!! Which I’m quite proud of) into an artsy fashion. They remind me of red velvet cake (’cause I was listening to a video about it as I made them ahaha), Christmas, frost, melting snow, the works. I’ll include some photos here. πŸ™‚

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Keeping this as individual images so you can see the full effect from a further back perspective.

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I think nail art is something I’m going to dabble in in the future, so I can keep getting better at it! πŸ™‚

Some of it has already started to mush away, but that’s okay, the majority of them still look snazzy as ever πŸ˜‰

That took me a couple of hours to do my nails and listening to Youtube videos. I also completed ANOTHER coloring page, and I think I will share my two page spread and my most recent page with you all THIS Friday, after I get back from my psychiatrist’s appointment.

Tomorrow I have therapy in the afternoon, as I believe I mentioned some place else recently. I’m also going up to campus by noon to hang out with a friend and see Craig briefly. I have to also buy some more train passes before the price goes up in July πŸ˜› (ew for sure!)

I haven’t quite started my next book yet, but it’s on my mind. I’ll be hanging out with some friends all the end of this week, my friend Elliot tomorrow, my friend Kobi on Saturday and my friend Jeanine on Sunday. I should make a list of these code names because I’m going to forget I made them at some point!! XD I’m really looking forward to seeing dogs on Sunday too, maybe even with Jeanine if she’s willing πŸ™‚

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It took a few tries to do this since some of the nail polish in our home is verrrry old and likely unusable now. Anywho, the bottom coat is a wine color, then I added the sparkles and then the white dripping frosting effect πŸ™‚ And yes, I did go everywhere with the nail polish, that’s okay though!!! Perfection doesn’t exist anyhow πŸ˜‰

I also added my mantra to my wrists again today, to help keep me believing and trusting in tomorrow. ❀

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I made the font more fancy this time. Done in metallic purple and outlined the outer right of the words in metallic blue. Ink. “Stay Safe” phrase.

 

For a prompt named ’empty’ I have been filling it up with words, thus far! πŸ™‚

I do want to address the title of this prompt though. ‘Empty words + Empty threats’. The OCD has been making me a lot of empty threats lately. I’ve been residing along Struggle Lane these past couple of days. I’ve acted on some compulsions, of which I am ashamed of and reluctant to admit, but I have also come to accept them and that is a HUGE step as I’ve been lying to myself about this particular issue since it began in February this year.

I’ve mentioned it briefly before on here, but I’d like to mention it more abruptly now. It works in line with my values of openness and honesty and I think it’s critical for me to be open about these struggles now as they are becoming more of a problem in my day to day than they have been in some other instances.

So, I am currently 3 weeks clean from scratching myself, and 1 day clean from another type of self-harm I’ve been engaging it. It’s not bruising per se because there are no bruises or marks left behind from it, but it does cause soreness that is physical.

In February I developed an obsession about my heartbeat, which is particularly annoying because as someone who identifies as a cardiophile (I’ve always gravitated towards breaking people down into the amazingness of our biological systems, particularly the wonders of the heart) the OCD jumping on this topic is unfair and annoying to say the least. Anywho, part of it was wanting to hear my heartbeat (which is pretty normal, I’d say!) and part of it was within the line of the suicide/self-harm obsessions in wanting to “feel” what it was like when my heart stopped beating. Yeah, not exactly the best of things. Lol.

I think my March I wound up acting on my thoughts by giving into it and buying a stethoscope, which again isn’t too intense of a step. It’s subtle and benign… Or so it began! I threw it out after a day of using it, ’cause I started tampering too much with it in a negative fashion (i.e. if you look up heartbeat files on Youtube you’ll find a whole community about it and some people engage in adding pressure to their chest (okay, I admit, this is embarrassing for me to type again) to see how it effects their heartbeat) in a way that I feel, ultimately, is a type of self-harm. Not so much intentionally but as an after effect. It definitely just feeds the OCD for me as it’s captured this topic, which again, just sucks.

I recall when I was severely depressed last year and could barely register my heartbeat and was more concerned with ending it then being comforted by it. It was a very strange and out of character time for me. But now with the OCD latched onto it, it’s just miserable and again focuses on ending my life. I’ve had images of me stabbing myself in the heart specifically but of course, I’ve never acted on that.

However, in May when I overdosed on some old medication of mine, initially I was trying to muck myself up by taking an old medication that fucked with my sinus rhythm of my heart so, again, it went from ‘benign’ to ‘serious’ VERY quick. I played around with pressure stuff a few times in April, I think, or at least in March. And definitely in May before I took the OD. I had the thought about the OD a day before it happened, with my biggest warning sign up and the next day I wound up acting on it.

Again, it was meant to be a way of fucking with my heart rhythm via the OCD obsession yet the medication I thought was there wasn’t there at all, but there was another medication around so I took that instead because, well, I could and I was already there… That became my disqualification of cleanliness from self-harm. I didn’t want it to be, but I did make it 9 months clean with 2 lapses, and that’s STILL a damn good record!!

So in truth, I relapsed in the start of May with an OD, I relapsed in scratching myself towards the end of May, and I relapsed a few more times since with this other form of self-harm via soreness/pressure shit.

 

I consider it a form of self-harm because I don’t know what I’m really doing. I don’t know if this could affect me long-term. I don’t know if I’m doing damage. And yet, it’s also incredibly addicting. But when I do it, I regret it, and feel shame and embarrassment over the nature of this type of obsession (I find heart stuff to just be intimate, you know?) and it just feeds the damn OCD cycle because then I’ll have another thought about it and I’ll want it to shut up so I’ll act on it but that just helps for a “time” and then I have the thought again and it’s this whole damn cycle.

In the past, I’ve made it a few weeks before relapsing with this type of self-harm. Which is good.

But as of right now, with acting on other compulsions of fixating on the OCD and having tea parties with it, I’ve been struggling a lot more.

 

I wish I could go inpatient for a while so I’d be away from the stuff I’m using to perform this type of self-harm. I recognize that finding video files about it is a big trigger for me to wind up acting on it, so I’ve got to limit myself some way so I don’t fall into that pattern. I also know that being tired is a trigger and a time where I’m more vulnerable. I’ve caught myself a few times today from acting on the obsessive thought, and it’s given me the urges to do it and to scratch myself and then to just try and kill myself.

I was thinking about it a lot yesterday and I came to some conclusions. Some of it involves positive coping strategies that are more effective and better for me to engage in instead of those self-harm behaviors. Part of it involves keeping two separate records of cleanliness from the types of self-harm (i.e scratching vs pressure? I don’t know what I’ll call it exactly. And in case anyone gets the wrong idea, I don’t believe my interest in heart stuff is a fetish, not for me at least. Then again, my sexual education is 5% of 100, so, I know very little about that area of life). I’ve made a list of the consequences from the pressure self-harm actions. Steps I can take to limit my behavior of it. And then I dumped out some additional thoughts in a composition notebook because it related more to the OCD.

In doing that, I found that I’ve been avoiding my ERPs because I’m afraid to let go of the lies the OCD has told me about suicide. Part of me still wants to believe the OCD to make it easier for me to do away with myself, rather than recognizing how badly it’d impact those around me and myself and more. Kind of like ignorance is bliss.

 

I also feel that, as of yesterday’s musings and less of right now’s writings, that I feel unsafe because I don’t feel unsafe. As in, if you left out a bottle of pills and assuming we were in the same building and I had access to them, I would definitely take them and ask questions later. Preferably if they were painkillers.

It’s a much different state than I’ve been in before, because I do NOT feel suicidal. Yet, I could engage in suicidal behaviors… So what does that make me?

I genuinely do not know. (I’ll be discussing this with my therapist tomorrow, don’t worry)

I’ve been feeling that I am SO well medicated lately that I don’t feel the depths of depression like I once did. And in that way, I do not feel suicidal. Yet, if I had the ‘opportunity’ (I KNOW how that sounds and I KNOW it’s horrible) I would act on it. For the lamest reason of just having something to do. Can you imagine that? Killing one’s self over just saying fuck it, it was something to do?

I just don’t have the ‘opportunity’.

And what’s worse is I’m convincing myself so much that I can’t go inpatient because I’m not suicidal. Yet if I did go inpatient, now’s just not the right time. And that sucks too because I keep waiting it out so damn effectively and then being okay again once that ‘crisis’ is over with. So then I REALLY can’t get extra help because I’m ‘all right’ again. Talk about another circular cycle!

It’s very strange to be in a place where I actually wish I could be suicidal so that I could get the help I feel I need. I’m not used to this level of treatment, of working through exposures on the outside, as a part of the world. I’m used to inpatient units for periods of intense crises.

I also know that part of this comes from the idea I have in my head that if I just act on the OCD thoughts again and realize that it’s telling me a bunch of bullshit, I’ll be so filled with regret that I won’t act on it again (for at least 6 months until it wears off again and leads me back to this moment). I don’t know how to do these exposures over an extended period of time. I feel I only know how to act, and act now on the thoughts in my mind. Yet, I know that that’s not a treatment plan. That’s practically a death wish… But I don’t know what else to do. And doing something feels better than doing nothing. But why would I even bother trying to kill myself?

It’s a mess and a vent, I swear.

 

I wanted to stay away from the blog today because of how I was feeling because I know that fixating on these issues just feeds into the OCD and its spiral. But it’s starting to wear me down and I’m getting irritable and I don’t know what to do exactly, even though I kind of do, and I should likely call a hotline or consider inpatient options but I don’t want to get involved with all the financial concerns of that and I’d like to make it through the weekend. Again, that’s always my problem. I want to make it through X day, and then it comes and these feelings go and I’m left behind just having to dwindle my time until the next round comes and I still avoid getting treatment all over again.

I wish someone would call me out on my bullshit, just get me to the damn hospital already. But it’s too much to ask for, and for very little reason.

 

Anywho, it’s 11p now. I need my rest. I may be able to post before I leave tomorrow and then in the evening, if I can gather up the energy to do so. I may not be home until 7p or so, not sure.

Empty threats, just a bunch of empty threats. . . .

This World We Live In | Book Review

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Book 3 of 4.


Prior books in the series:

  1. Life as we knew it
  2. The Dead & The Gone

PLOT LINE:

Β This is the third book in a series of four. The premise of the series is that an asteroid has hit the moon and pushed it closer towards Earth, which causes a post-apocalyptic world in which volcanoes erupt producing ash into the air, tsunamis and earthquakes occur, drought and famine, illness and lots of death. The story follows first, Miranda, and her family of older brother Matt and little brother Jon, her Mom and their cat, Horton, through the first summer and winter of their new world and the trials and tribulations that accompany them as they try desperately to live despite the odds against them.

In the second book, we follow Alex Morales, a Puerto Rican brother whose older brother, Carlos is in the marines, and his two younger sisters Briana and Julie are left to themselves as their parents (Mom at work in the hospital and Papi in Puerto Rico for his mother’s funeral) have disappeared, and presumed dead, to the new world that’s rocked their ships overboard. They stay as long as they can in New York City, before the sickness and more death plagues them as well. With a heartbreaking end to one of the sisters lives, (I totally cried at that bit personally and once I finished the book went over a long plot line to my Mom about what it was about) it’s up to Alex to take responsibility for his last sister, try to find Carlos and what they should do next, and ultimately move away from the death grip on NYC to better times and better lives ahead.

The third book, this one, is where Miranda meets Alex and Julie. Along with them, Matt has become married to a girl named Syl when Jon and he went fishing for shad to feed the family. Then came in baby Gabriel, Lisa (step-mom) and Dad (of Miranda and the two brothers) as well as a new friend, Charlie, as they’ve all six of them traveled in a pack since they met up a couple months before. Alex feels like a burden on Miranda’s family and ensures them that they’ll be leaving soon, but until they do Jon and Julie form a budding relationship and Alex and Miranda wind up doing similar (after some build up and attractive tension). Alex, Miranda, Julie and the Dad go out from the PA (Pennsylvania) area to find the convent for Julie, but when they arrive there is only one sister left and they wind up back in PA. It’s discovered that Alex has passes to a safe town and Miranda decides to go with him and for them to marry and wed. It would take care of their Dad and Lisa and the baby and Charlie–until a tornado hits the town and another, very sad and had me sobbing loss of life occurs in a tragic, heartbreaking manner that REALLY makes reading this series SO WORTH THE MOURNING. In the end, what’s left of their family is moving out from the broken edge of their town to find a better place.

I actually tried not to give away too much this time!! And onward we go…..


My Recommendation Score:

5/5 STARS. Worth reading two other books prior to REALLY feel the sadness of the character deaths and to get to know them better (so when they rip away for you it hurts and you cry just like I did. BUAHAHAH)

Who doesn’t like a good cry, anyhow? πŸ˜‰


QUOTES + Some of my THOUGHTS:

  1. “‘The shad’s not the problem,’ Mom said, which could have fooled me, since the shad had been the problem thirty seconds earlier” – p. 41

A humorous scene that made me laugh πŸ™‚ There are a couple quotes like these for you to get some of the humor filled within this series ❀

2. “And I had this great realization: I don’t have to be happy all the time. With [everything’s that happened] no one should expect to be happy. But moments of happiness can sneak up on you, like pairs of unworn blue jeans, and you need to cherish them because they’re so rare and unpredictable” – p. 77

I think this quote is poignant for both what happens in this series, to the characters and to the town, as well as it’s relatable to the present moment, the journey of recovery and getting over and through the wreckage that’s lasted for the duration of time you’ve been in the darkness. It’s a quote about hope and joy and cherishing them no matter how fleeting they may come to you. ❀ Remember, feelings are temporary, both the good and the bad. ❀ Hold them in a jar, glowing in the night, then let them go when their light starts to putter out. It won’t be forever that you’ll have no light in the jar, it’s just that sometimes we have to pass through some part of the journey with the light within us glowing rather than the world around us. Even if we don’t realize that light within us is glowing again. It is. Always. ❀

3. “It’s nice to know the first thing he’d noticed about me was my ravishing collection of black-and-blue marks” – p. 129

Another humorous bit here πŸ˜‰

4. “‘Picture Princess Leia on her planet, or a Klingon, or some eight-eyed thing with four brains. And whatever it is, it’s outside on a hot June night, looking at the ten thousand stars in its sky. Our Sun is one of them. It can see our Sun better than we can, and it has a name for it, like we have names for the stars. But Princess Leia doesn’t know we’re standing here looking up to where the stars used to be. Does that mean we don’t exist just because she can’t see us?’

I had never thought about that before: all the life on all the other planets throughout the universe as unaware of our lives, our suffering, as we are of theirs” – p. 140

In this passage the characters were talking about whether or not God exists and how we can’t see him so one of the characters brought up this metaphor and it was a breakthrough for our narrator, Miranda, who made a lovely discovery thereafter. I just love this. It’s beautiful and thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy it as well ❀ It makes me want to take a moment of silence to just open my mind to the possible enjoyment and suffering that is going on throughout our planet and our universe in this one sliver of a moment, and speak my thoughts out to them and just, for a moment, be aware that someone somewhere may be suffering and that I, some other human some place else, is thinking of them and wishing them through their hard time. ❀

5. “But it’s our curse and our blessing to remember the past and to know there’s a future” – p. 148

I think this is really relatable as well. Especially to know there’s a future. Sometimes it’s easier to imagine there not being a future, but that’s just another lie to ourselves, I think. Right now, I’m finding it difficult to know there’s a future for me, and in that, I take some solace with it as well. I can recall the past and it’s difficult, and I can know there’s a future for me, which is also difficult and also hopeful. I may not feel I can make it to that future, as I have in the past, but I made it to here and now which IS a blessing, even if it may not always feel like it. I will take a moment to just believe in that. ❀

6. “‘You. Charlie. Everybody. You talk about the future like you’re so sure we’re going to have one’ (Miranda).

You have to believe in the future. Otherwise there’s no point in being alive‘ (Alex)” – p. 150

This is a very common theme in the book as you will see through these quotes. I’m glad it is, it’s very relatable. I find this is true for right now. The future is something for me to hold on to. It’s something that slips through my hand like sand but it’s real and it’s coming and I’m going to be here for it when it does. Is that easy? No. But it’s something to hold onto. And I like having things to hold onto. ❀

7. “‘You don’t have to believe in the church or even in God. Believe that people can change things’ (Alex).

We’re all helpless. There’s nothing we can do. There’s nothing left to trust in.’ (Miranda)

Trust in tomorrow. Every day of your life, there’s been a tomorrow. I promise you, there’ll be a tomorrow‘ (Alex)” – p. 150

Today I’m trusting in tomorrow. If you, too, are struggling, I invite you to also trust in tomorrow. We can both trust in our tomorrow’s together. Never alone, just side by side, trusting in them. ❀ ❀ ❀

This also reminds me of this song:

8. “‘I’m sorry for everything.’ (Alex)

‘It’s okay, it was just a dream.’ (Miranda) ” – p. 151

This scene in the book has a little dream metaphor, and it is lovely and is worth the read for this series. ❀

9. “Life’s sloppy. You think you know how tomorrow is going to be, you’ve made your plans, everything is set in place, and then the unimaginable happens. Life catches you by surprise. It always does. But there’s good mixed in with the bad. It’s there. You just have to recognize it” – p. 177

There’s positive with the negative. Look hard enough, make notes of it as you do, and you WILL find it. There is ALWAYS HOPE! ❀ ❀ Believe in a better tomorrow πŸ™‚

10. “I want him so much. I want the wall between us to dissolve, for us to be alone, to be together, to be one. Then my doubts would be gone. My nightmares would be gone. All there would be is Alex and me. Two bodies. One heart” – p. 179

For the lovebirds out there reading this. ❀ A simple shout-out πŸ˜‰

11. “Mom took my hand. ‘This wasn’t how things were supposed to be. You should be in high school, your future ahead of you. Not this.’

‘It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Alex, either. Or Matt. Or Jon.

You have to fight for happiness. Maybe it didn’t used to be that way, but it is now.

I’m not going to settle for sadness. That’s not what you want for me, not really.’

‘I want to protect you. I want to know that you’re safe, that you’ll be all right.’

Just love me. Love me and let me go‘” – p. 207-208

This scene is a double whammy. For one, the ‘supposed to be’ part reminds me of the Grey’s Anatomy Lexie/Sloan relationship and their final parting of ‘meant to be’:

The second wave of it is with Miranda’s ending, that she wants her Mom just to love her and to let her go. Letting go is such a magical, heartfelt and sad theme for me and it really blew me away the finality and poignancy of this scene in the book. I just love it. It’s so critical for these two characters and of the book itself. I love it. ❀ ❀

Also, I love the idea of not settling for sadness. I feel that’s the spunk that’s needed in recovery, to not settle for your brain’s bullshit. Instead to fight and fight strong like the WARRIOR & SURVIVOR you are!!! (Especially when you don’t feel you are yet you ARE by your actions and your values)

12. “She began to cry. ‘Don’t leave me. Please. I made Alex promise he’d never leave me to die alone” – p. 231

THIS SCENE. If the dream sequence doesn’t pull you in, then THIS SCENE WILL. It’s so beautifully heartbreaking, so utterly sad, so much ‘letting go’ and just had me sobbing like a baby. It’s amazing. It really brings out the love and attachment you’ve formed with the characters along the journey and it really HITS YOU IN THE FEELS. It’s so, sooooo beautiful. I wish I could express it more, and put in the whole scene for you guys, but it’s meant to be read more than anything. So beautiful. So sad. It took me a while to get all the details aligned in my mind but they are THERE and the flow of this book and leading up to this scene, god, it makes you really think about life and question what you’re doing or not doing. Amazing.

13. “But we can’t stay here. The house is falling in on us. It’s collapsing, Alex, but you have to believe the world is still there. The house is gone, Howell (town) may be gone, but there’s a world to live in, a world that needs us. We’re family, Alex. You’re a part of us” – p. 236-237

Another double wave dose. I love the idea that the world is still out there. Like, when I am struggling, the world hasn’t gone any place else, it’s still there and it’s still there for me to welcome myself back into it. I can go out, I can go to a store, there’s freakin’ STATIONARY THAT EXISTS. And while I exist too, I can HAS THE STATIONARY. And I love the part that the world still needs them. This world still needs me. I have to believe and trust in that tomorrow. Because I’m not done with this story yet. ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ (and neither are you!!!)

14. “This is the last time I’m writing in my diaries. I’m choosing not to burn them. They’re witness to my story, to all our stories. If I burn them it’s like denying Mom ever lived or Jon or Matt or Syl… I can’t deny them their stories just to protect mine… I’ll leave the diaries behind. I’ll never write in one again.

My story is told. Let someone else write the next one” – p. 238-239

I just love this. I like the idea that Miranda’s diary is a witness to her story and all those she wrote about. It fits into this post-apocalyptic world AND it fits into our real world now. If you think about it, this blog is a witness to my story, just as yours is to you. I like the idea of not denying others of their story, of protecting theirs while telling your own. It’s what makes code names and a change of the story so much more interesting and protects what others may not be ready to tell, even if you are. ❀

I also love the idea that Miranda’s story has been told, and that someone else will have to write the next one. That just makes me smile. πŸ˜€ I also have a thing for stories being told, as you can imagine. πŸ˜‰ It’s a little spooky and eerie thinking of when the last story will be told…. *shudders* Oooo! Sppooookyyy.

15. “Without Julie I wouldn’t have remembered that the darkest sky is filled with stars, that the sun casts its warmth on the coldest day.

Alex is calling to me. I’ll go with him, stand with him, hold his hand as he takes his first steps toward life.

He taught me to trust in tomorrow” – p. 239

A really beautiful quote here. ❀ I just love it, like I’ve loved this book and series. I was glad that while I was reading this book I could recall scenes and conversations from the prior two, that was really neat and really showed that I’d invested myself into their lives and their troubles. It’s one of those books where when you finish it (and you’ve sucked up your days to finish it) you look up and have to take a few hours to re-adjust to THIS world again. It’s like ‘Oh right, we’re NOT in a apocalypse and we HAVE electricity and things and soap and food and the moon IS in its place…. Riiight’ It’s kind of dizzying but in a really awesome way.

Like when you see an intense movie and you walk out of the theater like ‘Right, there’s not dinosaurs running around going to consume me and I have to run for my life.’ Or there aren’t superheroes or Loki’s army around…. which is too bad, really. πŸ˜‰

I like that I’ve learned to trust in tomorrow from this book. That’s an awesome life lesson.

 

And as of now, towards this end, I am feeling much better and lighter than before. I hope you guys are all right. And if you’re having trouble, invest in a book to read, it may just help your day. ❀ ❀ ❀

Thinking I may go outside today…as I begin my next fictional journey!!! “He’s Gone” by Deb Caletti. πŸ™‚

 

Hope you liked this!!!

 

P.S.!!! This book had that prayer ‘If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take’ and it totally reminded me of this book I read YEARRRRSSS AGO that used that same prayer multiple times and after some DIGGING I FOUND IT! I cannot WAIT to re-read it!!!!!

“The Intruders” by E.E. Richardson. πŸ˜€