“Almost Everything” (2018) | BES (Oct., Nov., Dec. 2021)


CHOSEN BOOK:

“Almost Everything” (2018) by Anne Lamott

Notes on Hope; ((nonfic))


TRIGGER WARNINGS:

Suicide, specific suicide methods, suicidality, OCD, depression, mental health conditions, addiction/substance use disorders, perfectionism, eating disorders, topic of weights/ED behaviors (specific weights), dysfunctional/otherwise unhealthy families, stigma, secrets, “behind closed doors”, intrusive thoughts, romanticizing EDs/active substance use, casual engagement of self-harm/”picking up cutting”, suicide pact, toxic relationships.


THEMES:

Philosophy, life, death, suffering, struggling, hope, memoir, life lessons, spirituality, paradoxes, dialectics, retail therapy, health, recovery, creativity, storytelling, existentialism.


SUMMARY:

Hi, so it’s been a while again since I worked on this blog post of a Book Exploration Station. That said, and the roughness of this post and how imperfect it is, I’m going to try my hardest to pull together all the last stitches and details and make this something I can finally post and then, finally, lastly, be done with it all and wipe my hands clean so I can move forward to the next thing (the next books, the next words, the next stories).

So this particular book is non-fiction and begins with a poem that I wish I was more understanding of its significance for the way the author relates to it and the story she later goes on to tell. Like, it was featured but I don’t know why. What did it mean to Lamott? What sparked something in her soul for it and why wasn’t or couldn’t that be explored within her text later on? It didn’t seem all that relevant. I definitely picked up that I was supposed to pick up something from it but I have no idea what.

It’s a tad frustrating and a let down, I’m afraid. Which, I suppose is a good way to summarize how I felt reading this story. I’ll get into that a lot more later. Hmmm, now that I’ve reread it, I suppose it makes sense:

I think Lamott’s entire book here is meant to show the paradox of a dialectic and that two opposing things can exist in the same space and that this small poem is also an example of that. It sets up what she tries to propose as her life and the way she’s viewed life. So, I guess just, on the surface it seems distant and unexplained and later it’s still unexplained and also very fitting. Poetic, even.

A good and simplistic way to sum up this book, I think, is this:

“This is a very profound book. A little nutty, but very profound” — Me, p. 34

I know this description isn’t going in the way I want it to, and that’s a frustrating process. But I’ve spent too much time on this piece and I’ve spent too much time putting off dealing with this post because of all that anxiety, stress and avoidance so I have to just see this through. I CAN say the rest of this review goes pretty well with some really great gems in it, so please keep reading when you have the time! I’d say this book overall was okay. It wasn’t super remarkable or something I’d carry along with me consciously upon the rest of my life’s journey but it was a nice blip and something to think about for a time. Like, I’ll carry a piece of it, it just won’t be on my entire world’s radar. Something faded and in the background works though. It’s definitely a very philosophical book if you like that kind of thing! And it also brings forth a lot of sharp points that are sometimes hard to digest–the types of truths you don’t want to hear but that you need to hear all the same, like from the mouth of a good friend who refuses to only tell you what you want to hear, instead they’ll tell you what you don’t want to be true and you’ll thank them for it later because you didn’t realize how MUCH you did in fact need to hear that. If you’re looking for a book to make you think this would definitely be it. Just be careful if you’re in recovery though because there’s a lot of inflammatory words and depictions in this. It doesn’t shy away from hard topics but it also doesn’t warn you about them either, which I think would have been better if it had.

Personally, I like trigger warnings because it hands back the power into my own hands where I can then decide for myself with all the information given if I wish to proceed or not. I didn’t appreciate or like that a book seemingly on hope and light and positivity, was immediately throwing me into the deep end because of the language it used and specific methods of suicide it gave ideas to. I almost tossed aside the entire book but we know how I am about reading. Still, it was super unexpected and threw me around for a bit. I just would have liked a head’s up. But yes, onward to the next bit!


BOOK LENGTH:

189 pages


MY RECOMMENDATION SCORE:

2/5


OUTSTANDING QUOTES AND IDEAS:

Let us note: Thoughts are just thoughts. Feelings are temporary. Actions are a whole other beast. And let’s work to continue to dispel the myth that suicide is ever a permanent “solution” to a temporary problem. Another, better, way of phrasing that would be “suicide is a permanent action to a temporary crisis.”

Let us also note and ponder this: At what point does being specific about methods of self harm or self induced death in a fashion such as a book or web post, when does that become too detrimental and dangerous for anyone else out there reading it? I know I’m not much of one to talk, I distinctly recall some of this factoring into my time online over the years, while I was struggling in recovery (that’s probs the most dirt you’d find on me, let’s be real) but yes, at what point is that information more suitable for a therapy session rather than a publishable material? It’s a wonder. A thought. I think we really can run into trouble when it’s more and more specific. I get generally defining a self harm mode, but things to do with what is used specifically or the gore and romanticization of it, that’s tricky territory.

For this book, I really felt at first that I wasn’t walking into a minefield of methods and diagnoses. It was a book on hope but it tackled really heavy things that I nearly walked away from it entirely. Also, there were no trigger warnings. So it could have been super hopeful or super triggering. It landed somewhere in the middle but damn. A warning would have been nice, I think. Hence why I do these reviews for the mental health conditions person out there who may be wandering about looking for some books to read or care to read my thoughts on the ones I choose for myself, haha. Best for me to read it first and then offer one perspective about it later, especially when there are warnings that should have been stated but never would (or is that too harsh a judgment?) be.

As for this particular book, it read to me that the author suffers more from OCD intrusive thoughts than genuine suicidal ideation. And that actually confessing it to those she’s with or in a book could actually be a compulsion stringing her along (which is what happened to me, too). I think because it seems more OCD in nature, it’s not something to be too worried about (easier said than done), because it won’t lead into other complicated territories (like what happened to me, damn you co-morbid diagnoses!).

 

“Parents are blown away by something this catastrophic [death of their children] and their roots barely stay in the shifting soil. But life holds on. Little by little, nature pulls us back, back to growing. This is life. We are life” — Lamott, 2018, p. 12

I really just love and enjoy this sentiment and statement a lot. Thought it was particularly moving and I’ve always enjoyed the little sapling/tree roots into the ground to stay within the premises of life. What do you think?

“And that seed pushes up through, no matter what, because this is how life is constructed–to live” — Lamott, 2018, p. 13

I find this to just be beautifully said. A gem within the darkness.

 

“I have felt ectoplasmic flickers of my father and best friends, life forces that have been snuffed out in the human realm but exist, like candles in another room” — Lamott, 2018, p.16

This is pretty much the best indicator of how this author writes in this book. Very philosophical and educated and with a depth that most others don’t possess or don’t quite wield in the same manner. It’s refreshing, albeit confusing at times, but still, refreshing. xx

Is it normal to question your perception of reality? Of your sanity?

Or is it more abnormal not to?

Descartes would have a field day with this. 😂😅😊

 

On p. 22, I highlight how this book is very philosophical but also question why I should take her statements and experiences of life as fact? It made me feel suspicious.

“Every day we’re in the grip of the impossible conundrum: the truth that it’s over in a blink, and we may be near the end, and that we have to live as if it’s going to be okay, no matter what” — Lamott, 2018, p. 25

The accuracy of this is off the charts!! It’s beautifully crafted, once again and what is the true alternative? We can have moments sitting at the kitchen table where we realize, one day I’m going to die and my life will be over and whatever good (or bad) I did will be what’s left and I’ll just be a memory to those around me. That one day, the story will end, in a final bow, and whatever comes next will come to be, though how aware of it we are is up in the air. And then after having that realization: well, time to get back to the present moment where I’m just drinking my milk with my cookies all over again, like I haven’t just thought of this big mega brain thing of how little things matter before that final fall, and somehow I have to transition back into my present day life and push aside this big moment that I can do very little to prepare for! It’s absurd to have these moments, what I call existential awareness. It’s not truly a crisis but it’s a weird moment where I realize this and then am aware that I’m realizing it and then I go back to whatever I was doing to cope with that realization (most probably a Youtube video, let’s be real haha). But yeah, just, so much truth is in this statement above. We have to believe everything’s going to be okay and we’ll be alive to experience it, even though our experiences of things is time sensitive, we just don’t know when or how or why. Life is a very, very strange mystery.

A hard truth, yet necessary:

“Peace of mind is an inside job, unrelated to fame, fortune, or whether your partner loves you. Horribly, what this means is that it is also an inside job for the few people you love most desperately in the world. We cannot arrange lasting safety or happiness for our most beloved people. They have to find their own ways, their own answers” — Lamott, 2018, p. 35

You cannot force another person to live or love or be in recovery, no matter how much we wish we could, lasting recovery and getting help has to begin and end with them, themselves. You cannot make someone do something they don’t want to do. You support them, you offer advice (if they’ve asked for it, and sometimes even when they haven’t, depending on how well you know them and especially when it’s hard to hear), you be there for them, you accept them and you hope to god that they find it along the way on their own, but you’re never really super sure on it. Lasting recovery and getting help starts with them. Unfortunately, you can try forcing recovery but it probably won’t stick. You can’t help someone unless they want to be helped. It’s a horrible affair, clearly. It’s just how life draws the hand at times. I wish it weren’t true. But it’s not up to you to rescue them. They have to find a way to rescue themselves. (Which is possible, by the way!!)

 

[about rescuing your kids/friends/partner] “What’s the harm in that? The harm is in the unwanted help or helping them when they need to figure things out for themselves” — Lamott, 2018, p. 45

I found this to be a particularly hard truth. It seems very unnatural to my senses, as a helper and fixer. But it’s necessary and needed. It just hurts to learn and know. 🤔😕

“You can raise and care for your nearest and dearest the best you can, put them in the best schools, rehab, or condo, and never, ever give up on their having the best possible life available. But if you do so thinking you can rescue them with your good ideas and your checkbook, or get them to choose a healthy, realistic way of life, that mistake will make both of you much worse than you already are” — Lamott, 2018, p. 47

Well, damn, isn’t that some tough shit news to learn of. Not the type of information I’d seek out myself but very necessary as a reminder!! It’s hard to think it’s your responsibility to save someone or think you have to rescue them when really there’s little we can do to fix or help here on the outside of them. Of course, one can try and help with validation and good faith and words, but thinking it’s up to you to save them? No, that’s up to them. They have to save themselves. Which is really tough, of course, and necessary to be reminded of. Sometimes just shedding that layer of ‘rescue them’ like a cloak can uplift the burden we carry when we fail or it doesn’t work out. So, lift up this layer and carry on a little lighter for the next moment. 🖤🖤

Hearing the journey it took the author (and mother) of an ill son with substance use disorder to reach the point of removing her help (that was really enabling) from her son by keeping him in jail and how the parents of unlike kids asked, how did you do that, jail is so cold and dangerous, for Lamott to be like ‘Wow, bummer’ is just SUCH a glimpse of strength, power and inspiration. She still thinks keeping her son in jail and not bailing him out, helped him more than bailing him out would have, and that had she bailed him out, he would have wound up dead. Because helping him and enabling him wasn’t helping him at all, maybe just helping her own psyche, but when she removed this notion that she could rescue him and accepted that only HE could do that, she found freedom and she found the ability to let go for him to take up the reigns of holding on himself. Genuinely inspiring (p. 51) I found this so captivating, engrossing and true. xxx

 

Next, at the end of this chapter, Lamott also explains how she had to accept that her son wasn’t going to ask her for help as his mother and would instead look towards others in his meetings and how he would one day tell others the same thing they told him, etc. There was a sense of community that helped him most. I guess, my point is, that this makes me wonder how do I maintain my own sanity with my loved one Fai in a similar self-destructive cycle and where I fit in. Also, I miss a sense of community. I keep searching for that online. So far, results are mixed. 💔

 

“We see this toward the end of many people’s lives, when everything in their wasted bodies fights to stay alive, for a few more kisses or bites of ice cream, one more hour with you. Life is still flowing through them: life IS them” — Lamott, 2018, p. 63

A beautiful and captivating description of the fragility of life amongst all of its beauty and its meaning to hold on for one more second, knowing it’s too good to waste, too good to do anything but pause for a moment, recognize the absurdity that is life and what it contains, appreciate it and let it go to pass, so that other lives and souls and bodies can come to be and to experience similar states that is this thing called life.

“No one can take this hatred off me. I have to surrender it every time I become aware of it. But I don’t want my life’s ending to be that I was toxic and self-righteous, and I don’t know if my last day here will be next Thursday or in twenty years. Whenever that day comes, I want to be living, insofar as possible in “joy though you’ve considered all the facts”” — Lamott, 2018, p. 83

I felt at the time I read this book and at the point of writing and editing this review that this line hits like a sack of bricks onto my bare feet. It just rocks so much and radiates so much power to it. Which I wholly believe in. Some great, great words and larger even sentiments. Do you feel the same?

 

“My friends’ novels are taking years, because they have to dig deep, and insist on being true to the story, to the story they are called, assigned or moved to tell, and on being honest about what they found, instead of telling the story they thought or wished they’d found. Writing that carries truth uplifts us, teaches empathy, purpose, dignity” — Lamott, 2018, p. 93

I feel like this is such a true and deep running canal for story telling and writing. I know it’s something I always try and remember in my own fan fiction and even with my other more original based creative projects: be true to the story. Sometimes what I write about, especially in fics, is really dark and there’s a large weight in carrying that, but I also do refuse to dampen the blow of what I feel in my soul is the ‘right’ thing for that character or chapter or situation, that there’s some reason I feel compelled in that direction and that I have enough faith in myself and my characters that they can survive it and grapple with it and overcome it. Of course, I give proper warnings and such if it IS heavier material in the chapter or story itself but yeah I don’t really shy away from hard stuff and it reminds me to make sure I also take in and explore all the brighter spots that come thereafter too. To highlight all the hope and all the joy and all the purpose and meaning that comes with life, because life isn’t just pain. I think that’s important; to highlight the dichotomy of both: life is pain and life is beauty.

It always mind boggled me when I’d read a good fanfic and the writer would promise a follow-up to the story or a new chapter if it ONLY got a certain amount of comments or likes. I’m very much a ride or die kind of person, so for me, delaying something because of what other people think is just absurd. At least, in the sense that if you don’t comment X things I won’t continue the story. Like, for me, the story will always be continued. It might be literal YEARS until I continue it. I guess on a related note, these days I’m frozen sometimes in the fact that I’m worried that a couple of my stories with larger followings will be disappointing in some way or that it won’t be as good and “perfect” as I want it to be or that I have to be in the “right headspace” to write for it or what if people don’t like it…

But I always strive to be as true to the story and myself—all these issues NOW are a part of my process (and wasn’t before 2016 when I began most of my current present day ongoing fanfic stories) but like I wouldn’t just rely on other people on whether or not I continue something. Like, if I started it, I’m going to finish it. I’m not swayed by ‘Oh, I’ll only continue this story if I get 30 likes/reviews’ To me, it’s like, ‘No, I’ve started this story, I’m going to finish it. Whether people like it or not, I will write it how I see it happening and be true to what I think the story desires and calls for.’ I hope that makes sense!!!!

I have gotten more aware of how people might like or dislike something, and that that is okay, and I do appreciate feedback of course too, I just also can’t see myself downgrading a story to only if other people want it a certain way if I don’t myself believe that that’s the true way for the story. I’m probably rambling now ahaha. Sorry!! I guess my point is just: Be true to the story. No matter how dark or how bright it gets, be true to it. If you are truthful to how the story wants to be told and you’re pulled along for the ride and it’s authentic, that’s all that matters. Of course, you’ll want readers, but if no one read it at the end of the day and you were true to it and yourself then there will be satisfaction there and maybe if no one sees it today, maybe three years from now so many will and maybe it’ll give them some flicker of comfort or fear or wonder or awe. You have that power as the writer. Wield it wisely. 🦄💜💙🤍💚

“The universe is usually telling us the same story, that our lives are rich and fluid and infinitely mysterious; that we only thought we were stuck, that nothing stays the same for long” — Lamott, 2018, p. 95

I find this to be so refreshing and brilliant. A beautiful sentiment to share with others who may be struggling–particularly in my life, Fai and Vanessa (my partner). 🔆💚💜💙

“Gratitude is seeing how someone changed your heart and quality of life, helped you become the good parts of the person you are” — Lamott, 2018, p. 117

I love this. Isn’t this just about everything? One could say….almost everything? 😏🙂😅

“Of course, when certain people die, there is anguish. We will never get over their deaths, and we’re not supposed to” — Lamott, 2018, p. 117

Grief is a journey, not a phase by phase destination. It’s fluid and murky and yucky and necessary. It’s the cost to have loved and be loved. It is everything, almost, and ever present. But because you carry it doesn’t mean it has to consume you. Be aware of the journey you have with your grief and allow it space to hurt and be felt, that’s all any emotion really wants: an awareness of it, a letting the shitty-ness be felt and then, gradually taken up by other emotions and other life experiences and more that goes on, because life, life does go on and so we have to decide how we’re going to go along with it: are we stuck in the past and those damning past hurts or have we moved through and onward, over the next hill, the wolves only a distant howl to an otherwise bright sky? That choice, that is truly the only one, maybe the most important one, up to us. 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

“You can’t force people to be willing to face their pain and anger, to own the ugliness that is in all of us. You can’t. I’ve tried so hard” — Lamott, 2018, p. 142

A horribly true fact. This arises at the point of the book where two people in substance use disorders make a suicide pact so if that is something that could trigger you I’d miss over this book. It is still a horribly true fact though, you can’t force people to get better and that’s exhausting and draining and horrible. You can offer what you can and help support them and encourage. But it’s not your place to fight their battles. Only they can do that. And they have to want it, too, in order to do it. Phew.


flight-of-ideas-bes-thumb-2.19.21

THOUGHTS AND IDEAS I HAD WHILE READING:

  • I really liked the style of the opening page for the book, with the gold dots on the top and bottom borders. That was really sweet. Plus I also enjoyed the symbols under the chapter headers for each one as well. Just a fancy nice touch
  • There are some great cardiophile moments in this book, huzzah! 💚💙💛❤
  • p. 41’s ending reminded me and made me think of Loki in my D&D fanfic. It made me think of adolescence and Loki and his family in that setting, a sense of belonging through new friends and how that will eventually grow and revitalize him and such. 😊🙂 At least, I think that’s what I liked about it hahaha It’s been a while again (12/11)
  • (of shoving food into your maw) “Maybe you do [have to shove it all down]. Sometimes one just does and there is nothing wrong with this” — Lamott, 2018, p. 44

    • I enjoyed and appreciated this small validation. It’s nice! 😋
  • “Life just damages people. There is no way around this. Not all the glitter and concealer in the world can cover it up” — Lamott, 2018, p. 59

    • Maybe it’s just me but I LOVE this line. The glitter and concealer… Maybe because I’m slowly getting into makeup myself but yeah I don’t know I just thought it really stood out to me. It’s fancy. And true. Life is hard and bleak sometimes (and also hope and light). Sometimes it’s really hard to sparkle up a dark picture. And sometimes such efforts are futile to begin with. Life is hard and unforgiving for whatever reason (and maybe not knowing why contributes to this pain) and in the efforts of paradox, it is also bright and opaque and beautiful. We haven’t quite gotten to this latter part for this chapter it’s from yet but the overall arching theme is there.
  • “We do get a taste of the spheres in birdsong (how nature is beautiful and restorative to the human soul), eclipses, the surf, tangerines. In the dark, we see the stars. In the aftermath of the devastating fire, the sun rose red” — Lamott, 2018, p. 62

    • I LOVE how this was said. It’s just so fruitful and amazing, I find. That, while life is so hard, it’s also so, so beautiful and gives back.
  • So there’s this interesting concept that got the gears turning in my head during this book: This notion that as the Reader reading the work of a Writer, you get taken out of your element either because you can relate or because you can’t and it reminded me of this realization I had in my early twenties (when I was far more creative than I am these days), where I realized that some of the life experiences I gave to my characters, particularly if they were set earlier than my chronological age, were experiences I had “missed” out on living but that I could live through them instead. I don’t know if that makes sense but like I remember I was sitting in the old science building of my university working on my laptop and maybe taking photos and I was just like “Damn, when I write about Susie in a mosh pit, I’ve never done that myself but I can live it viscerally through her” or just generally realizing that maybe the Craft doesn’t always reflect the Experience (like my recent creativity discussion post). It was just like a sudden dawning epiphany that I could write about Susie in a mosh pit all I wanted to but because she did that at nineteen, and I never had at twenty-one, I was never going to be able to go back to experience that or have that as a part of my own life. Like, I guess, it was just this notion that one day I will cease to exist but all these characters and things I’ve done will (hopefully) live on. Like, even if I was one person via body, I was made up of many more in soul because I was creative. Does that make sense? I could probs do a whole post on that separately if anyone is interested. Maybe I’ll start a Creativity Discussion series for this blog…. I don’t know, that was just something on my own mind. I just remember it as a sudden epiphany and existential awareness that was pretty wild at the time. It’s interesting to have a creative mind!! I think that creativity and the characters and plots and scenarios (our imagination, shortly put) we create in our minds is such an incredible talent and to craft that into something so believable that other people buy (physically and metaphorically) it is just such a wondrous thing. It’s wild if you think about it too long. But it’s cool. Art is nice, isn’t it? What do you get out of your craft? What keeps you going when maybe the audience for you is mute? I’d love to know and learn your perspective!!! I definitely will toy with this ‘creativity discussion’ thing too. I think that has some great potential….
  •  
  • (I can’t tell if I highlighted this enough so here’s another short verbiage on it: It was that strange notion that my characters would get to experience things that I no longer could because of time passing and experiences and life happening that happens for them differently than it did for me. But that even if I couldn’t have experienced it myself based on how time fell for me, didn’t mean they couldn’t or I couldn’t live vicariously through them. It was that daunting realization that even if my characters were false, they felt very real to me. And they had their own hopes and dreams and stories to tell that I was just the messenger to. I don’t know, it’s… very interesting. I can almost feel them shaking about in my skull and coming out from under the cobwebs… I should do some reading soon about imagination and creativity and all of that. I’d love to re-access all that they have and had to offer. I miss that… A lot.)
  • I also liked the notion on p. 79 about those who have been nearly destroyed may explain why they also destroy. Reminds me of Loki a lot and was something I particularly liked and wanted to highlight here. 😊😊
  • p. 89’s got me questioning myself as to why I want to write and publish books. Is it for creative release? To add my voice to the many others out there? To create? To make a career out of it? To earn money? To do it like those who garden? Interesting question with interesting answers….
  • Any time I see the word “unmasked” it makes me think of my FFN and AO3 account’s name (Unmasked Potential). Same for when I hear “Lighthouse” by GRL the song. Reminds me to do videos, that and my BANNERS outro hahaha. Love it. But yeah, this book mentioned unmasked at one point and so I was thinking, oh! I should write some fanfic soon. Still in progress with that idea currently hooray!!
  • Trees are fucking awesome and we should have more of them (not less! Never less!) 🌳🎄🌲🌴
  • By the end of the book, when Lamott is commenting on school shootings, she raises the idea that instead of focusing on all that’s wrong with the world, what if instead we focused on what comes after–the humanity and goodness in that that arrives or the new land that still breathes and grows after a fire, etc. She suggests where placing our focus and attention could bring forth another perspective or incidence of thought (so instead of just focusing in on the tragedies themselves, where else could we turn for an uplifting narrative? Even if it’s one we’re just creating for ourselves). I bring that up because it reminded me of an interview story I watched (and was the original inspiration for miscellaneous reviews for this blog, though I never fully wrote it back then, although doesn’t mean I can’t next year!) about the Nice terror attacks a few years back and how the girl the storytelling focused on wanted to give more power to the man who was there to hold her hand after the blast than the guy who perpetrated the evil acts. That always really stuck with me. And it’s such a fantastic strength and spin on what would otherwise be a horribly terrible bad after taste for humanity but is instead a celebration that love always wins. It’s beautiful, honestly.
  • I loved this notion: “The characters in your story are real people to you and include you but they aren’t yet real people to your audience” — Lamott, 2018, p. 96-97
    • I just loved that this is so true for fiction. It’s so true and makes it such a wonder how imagination works and how storytelling is so powerful and so useful and so artistic. As the Writer, you know your Characters so well, but the audience doesn’t yet, and how you go about showing them that and pulling them along to witness whatever story you wish and are destined to show, that’s so remarkable. It also reminded me once again to do more writing soon which I have been able to do so far with my mental health fanfic! It’s actually the first time I’ve EVER written scenes out of order and am then pulling them together to form a cohesive chapter that I plan to update before the end of the year! Huzzah!!! More updates on that in the future (and I’m planning to get this post out by the weekend before Christmas, so, hooray). That’s the pull and the drive I have for today (12/16) at least! [[**Oops, got this out after Christmas, but the intention was there and this is still something (just one day late!)!!]]
  • “More than any other sentence I have come across, I love Ram Dass’s line that when all is said and done, we are all just walking each other home” — (Lamott, 2018, p. 109

  • What I love about the above quote is that it has such a touching significance that I really adore. A beautiful soliloquy, a timeless tale. 💙🤍💙
  • “Get out of yourself and become a person for others, while simultaneously practicing radical self-care: maybe have a bite to eat, check in with the sky twice, buy some cute socks, take a nap” — Lamott, 2018, p. 131
    • This was cute and genuinely a sentiment that made me smile. I enjoyed it and wanted to share it, here, too with you. XX
  • “It’s another inside job: if you are not okay with yourself at ___ pounds, you may not be okay at ten less or even thirty less. The self-respect and peace of mind you long for is not in your weight. It’s within you” — Lamott, 2018, p. 157

    • Weight specifics aside, this is super duper accurate and so super duper important, for anyone out there suffering with an ED or on the disordered spectrum. A worthy component to keep in mind. Whenever you’d hit that next “goal weight” you won’t be satisfied, it will take more and more (or less and less) to bring you some kind of satisfaction and it honestly won’t be worth it. You deserve to take up space as you are. You don’t need to be “ill enough” or too ‘wide’ or ‘small’ in order to have help and seek support and be worthy of recovery. You are worthy, as you are right now. I don’t know, I thought this was important to also highlight in this review itself. And it will help to add to my fanfic D&D too.

book-prints-thumb-2.19.21

MY EXPERIENCE: WHAT KEPT ME READING & THE BOOK’S IMPACT ON ME:

Something that I really loved about this book occurs at the very end of p. 64 onto p. 65, where the author Lamott takes us through what it’s like for her to experience reading books and the imaginations of others’ minds she plays in for a time to forget her own struggles or just to feel something or feel inspired or learn wisdom and to have that accompaniment of humanity with her in her darkest (or brightest) hour. Personally, I loved that depiction so much. I absolutely adore and love books (and plan and dream of publishing my own!!) and they’re just SO transformative and wondrous. I just want to become a life reincarnated again as a whole ass library. That would be SO sweet. Maybe in my RecoveryHome I’ll have a room just designated for books (but let’s be honest, there’s so many I own (let alone borrow!) that I’d probs need a room and a half for all of them). Hahhahaha. Physical hard copies of books are just so… magical. Which, reminds me!!

There’s a book I took out from a further away library that I had to return because it was so overdue and it was a whole thing but it was REALLY hard to let it go so I did order it on Amazon for my own personal copy and though I haven’t read it whatsoever I’m SOOOO enthralled and greedy for the aesthetic of it and what it captures, I think it was… yes, the “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George and oh my gooooodddddd. I’m just craving other things like it by other authors/similar themes and it’s totes a thing for me now. Which, I think George has a few similar to that anyways (those little coffee shops/bistros and there’s some Christmas related one that recently came out by a separate author) and I’m just LIVING for it. I love it. It has piqued my interest ahaha SO, if you know any others out there like that, let me know in the comments what you’d recommend!!! And also, what type of genre would that be? It might make my search a little easier. I guess it’s like a hygge kind of thing, isn’t it? I love it. It’s like getting into Bath & Body Works sprays and lotions–I never knew I’d want to smell like a pastry but now that I can, I LOVE IT. I’m all in, 100%. Hahaha

Something that recently came up for this BES was this conversation I held in previous sections, particularly regarding more of a series from the creativity discussion panels and also from being true to the story that wants to be told, whether it’s what we set out to do at first or how it evolves as is. These are two really distinct moments I had writing this review again today (12/15) and they were really, really nice. I think a good part of me could see the bright spots of creativity from the writing in this book and relate it to other things like the MCU and Loki in particular (and all my fanfics as a whole). I just also loved this section on p. 94 where Lamott talks about her favorite stories being the shifts in points of view, from point B to point A, where something changed and hope unfurls its wings from a previous setting of pain and doom. The paragraph in Lamott’s story details how the details are so important in such changing tides of stories that move us and inspire us and let us see something funny or something remarkable. I guess, the overall framework is this: telling stories matter and how they are told matters and what they leave behind, that matters too. You could genuinely change someone with a story that you tell, so what are you going to tell?

To be fair, when I read the eating disorder heavy chapter, I was pretttttty confused as to what I should have taken away from it. It was a tad unnecessary in how triggering it could be for someone who struggles with that type of thing (and of course there are no warnings for such content) so it just left me perplexed and bothered. It was odd.

Something else I really took away from this book is that notion of how writing and creative writers and writers as a whole really hold a powerful light against the darkness that can crowd out the stars: this symbolism of characters who have gone through hell but came out the other side, this powerful attestation to hope and faith and belief in one’s self (even if for a time, it’s only because of the faith and light we find solace in from others holding it out FOR US until we can one day take it into our own palms). The way a story can be told to inspire and get other people moving…. it’s magical, writing is, and art in general and of itself, and that is so, so beautiful, so precious and so kind. Humans lighting the way for other humans is probably the best of humanity as a whole. (Theme from Lamott, 2018, p. 98).

This book holds a beautiful wrap-up that if this review has done anything for, is worthy of reading again. It’s a beautiful tight bow to everything that was covered. Maybe that’s enough of a tease for you to get it out at your local library or maybe the entirety of this review has made you say “Nah, I’ll pass.” That’s okay. Both can be true, just for different people.

Thank you so much for reading all my rambles here and my interaction with the chosen text for this BES. It was a wild ride. It took a long time to get to the point where I’m able to fully immerse myself and set aside all the time and all the page flags and jotted down notes, to fill in all the empty spaces, read it over again one final time for the editing process and then, finally, finally submitting and publishing it into The Void. It took a long time, it usually does, but after procrastinating on it again and again (and again!), I can finally say it’s done and I can let it go and move on from it to my next few books. Thank goodness. It took long enough!!! Ahahha. Here’s to cheer towards the next books to come!! Rejoice! You’ve made it. Thank you so much for reading and supporting. Sending light and love to all who made it this far. XXX 🌻🔆🌈🥂 I still have so much in store!!! For you, for me, for everyone reading. 🤍😊


THINGS I’D LIKE TO CHECK OUT:

Other works by the author:

  1. Stitches: A handbook on meaning, hope and repair
  2. Crooked little heart
  3. Blue Shoe
  4. Imperfect Birds

Book reference:

  1. The Magnificent Defeat

Quote reference and following book it arises from:

***”You must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on” by Samuel Beckett from “The Unnamable” (ref. p. 180, Lamott, 2018). This seems particularly profound and interesting, powerful and everything. Even the search results on Google were interesting so I want to check out this book some time for sure!! Very cool.


Next up….

Fiction books: “Shut Your Eyes Tight” by John Verdon

Nonfiction books: “A Teen’s Guide to Getting Stuff Done” by Jennifer Shannon LMFT

((Now, if I can actually read these today, that would be an entire miracle!!!!)


TRACKING DATES AND TIMES I READ THIS BOOK:

10/12/2021 (super late evening), 11/5 (evening), 11/6 (brief, early evening), 11/7 (morning), 11/8 (evening), 11/9 (noon), 11/11 (early evening, evening), 11/13 (early morning, morning), 11/14 (early evening to evening).

TRACKING DATES AND TIMES I WROTE THIS REVIEW:

11/14/2021 (late evening), 11/17 (evening at the library), 12/1 (afternoon in the library,) 12/11 (3am), 12/15 (evening, late evening), 12/16 (evening), 12/26 (late afternoon, early evening).

You Don’t Have Lived Experience Being a Serial Killer–So You Shouldn’t Write About One | Creativity Discussion

I’m feeling pretty agitated. Focused. Annoyed. Distraught. Forgiveless. Oh, I mean, of course: unforgiving. I just single-handedly obliterated my own therapy session from some BS online and so I’m just feeling at a loss. But I have a platform, like Agatha does as well, and I’m going to use that platform now because this comment has been bothering me for months (and it’s SUCH a good comeback, I think) that I’ll never get to properly utilize and all that jazz. So, I’m angry and I want to talk about this key point:

“If you haven’t lived through X, you cannot write creatively about it.”

So, Agatha isn’t their real name of course. And who they are will remain anonymous because it’s not even about them necessarily. I can have my own thoughts and some things don’t need to populate as they already do on the Internet.

Here’s what’s relevant:

Empathy exists but at the same time does not. At all.

And this notion that unless you’ve BEEN THROUGH something (let’s say, mental health struggles (as broad of a term as that is): substance use disorders, personality disorders, psychosis, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, suicidality, homicidality, on and on–) you CANNOT or worse, SHOULD NOT (NEVER EVER) write about it because… well, I don’t know why you can’t.

But this really has been bothering me. Essentially we’re saying:

“You can’t write fictitiously about a serial killer unless you’ve BEEN a serial killer.”

“You can’t write about time travelers because TRUE time travelers would be offended and irked that you wrote about them so incorrectly.”

“You can’t write about completed suicides because you’ve NEVER BEEN a completed suicider (because how could you if you’re writing about it?)”

“You don’t KNOW because you haven’t LIVED through it!”

Do we see–can we ALL agree–that this notion, this concept, makes very, very little sense?

Can I not write about vampires and unicorns (hopefully separately, nudge nudge) because genuine vampires and unicorns may not agree with the way I convey them? Is this so inherently wrong–that writing about something you have not lived through, you don’t have actual experience in, things you could never (mermaids, fantasy, dragons, queens, kings, war, magic, creatures) and things you just haven’t (sickness, cancer, suicide, homicide, being an actual detective, being a medical doctor, historical fiction, being a prisoner of war, being a veteran, living through depression, and on and on) that that somehow means you could NEVER, SHOULD NEVER write about it?

That not educating yourself on the topic, to researching it, to finding that you could convey something so HUMAN, so natural, so beautiful and meaningful and hell, maybe even some form of relatable, is something you should not do, never do, because… because… because some people, and there will clearly be people, who can’t relate or don’t feel reflected in the categorization of your characters and your plot and your ideas?

That because one person, or five hundred, can’t relate and don’t feel adequately seen or heard, you should, as the writer, just never try to write about things that you may have never or just have not experienced firsthand?

What happened to empathy? What HAS happened to empathy? And why is that not enough?

 

I just don’t understand. I mean, yes, I understand that not everyone will feel represented so fully and wholly and completely based on just one person’s experiences. That’s true. That’s valid. I just… I can’t believe that because my experiences are my own (and not of those I write about) and no one will ever fully know what my experiences are (they are mine for a reason), that that is somehow an indication or warning sign that everyone else out in the world with imagination, empathy, understanding, willingness to be educated and bring forth more creativity and knowledge than I could even see in my situation because it is mine and I’m blinded to it–to even think of proposing to them “No, you can’t write about THIS because you have no experience with it.” Or, “because you haven’t experienced like THIS you can’t write about it. Because you’re THAT not THIS.” As if it were ever truly your choice.

 

No one on this earth will exactly experience the same event in the same exact way. That’s what makes us human. Our perception is everything but not everything. It shapes us and how we see things–and how WE CHOOSE to react back to it, that’s up to us. And some people are more aware of this than others. And some people will never get it. It’s true. But for those who are curious, who are willing, who are feeling–maybe we should do less judging of them and how they go about their research and their feelings to not cut them out from a full experience of life and the lives they can write about so flawlessly, so believably that we don’t have to question it, whether it’s true or not, whether it’s been lived through or not, maybe we can let those writers feel and experience and engage with the world in a form of art that other people, that maybe some people may not feel heard or seen, but others, maybe they will.

 

I think it’s naive and silly (and silly doesn’t have to be bad, inherently) to police what people can and cannot create and for not having lived it to be a huge indication of what can or cannot be written about. Will it reflect everyone’s experiences? No. There will be differences. Maybe accepting those flaws, those inherent cracks, those demented dimensions, maybe the fact that some people, maybe even a lot of people if you’re lucky, will understand, and will feel seen and heard and uplifted, maybe it’s for those and mainly only those that we write for. Because we have stories to tell. And stories to heal. And stories to begin.

Maybe that’s what it’s all for.

 

What are your thoughts? Where do you fall on this line? What determines something to have art and value and purpose? Or is it all just a waste of time to twiddle our thumbs and feel absurd connections to others that exist until we all become dust again and the world is obliterated into oblivion? Or is there something here? Something worth exploring? No matter how much time we have left?

 

As for Agatha: Please don’t make puppet accounts to come after me. Your identity is safe with me. And if we can agree to go our separate ways and do our separate things, that will be all I ask for. I hope you feel better one day. I hope that Life gives you more than it has.

 

As always, be safe, my friends. And be kind. And wonder and ponder and question. Question it all. Because maybe we’re bound to find some very interesting answers….

 

Until next time. xxx

💙💜💚💛

PS Do you like that I made this thumb on Canva JUST for this post? Ahaha. First time I have in months. Next posts will be book reviews, once I can finally get them done!! XX

My Letters to Avoidance | #itsokaytonotbeokay


Dear Avoidance,

It should come as no surprise to you that I’ve been avoiding dealing with you lately. Properly. As it should be dealt with. 

I dislike you, very much. That much is obvious. You take away my time, my satisfaction in life and yet you still seem to serve some type of twisted purpose for me.

Why are you so hard to get rid of? Why won’t you leave me alone? What type of self-sabotaging bullshit do you exist in?

I wish you would leave my house already. You’ve brought it back into shambles and I hate that for you. For us. For me.

But every corner I turn, you are there. Waiting and lurking for me, watching me stumble and trip and then swooping right in to waste another hour of my day, another moment of my breath, another video to watch and lurk in but one is never enough, never enough. More and more you crave and more and more I find myself slipping into you. Into your cool embrace and maybe the feeling is just comforting enough that I forget how much I hate you and how much I am frustrated at myself for once again falling in love with you.

Because you’re so, so, so hard to resist these days. You beckon me forwards. You cling to my soul and you dampen my moods and distract me from everything I’m afraid of. You’re a dangerous pill and I wish I could stop–if only it were that easy.

In moments of revelation, I get myself to break free. To run. To hide.

And in other moments, I let myself slip away, into your grip, your hand (locked) on my wrist, dragging me under and making me believe that I’m okay with this torture and the taking away of everything you want me to (not) feel.

You drag me in. And I let you. That’s my mistake, I’ll give you that.

 

Dear Avoidance,

It’s a new day. A new sun has arisen and new clouds are passing through. I thought you were going to pass on through too but today I found that I re-engaged in the same behaviors that for some reason, I was thinking would yield different results. But here I am again, locked in the shadows of a dismantled household and here you are again, watching over me with a sinister grin upon your darkened face. I still find myself broken and with cracks run so ragged my skin bleeds at the tears. I wish to leave, I whisper. I wish to go.

But no, you say. No.

And I whimper close. But no one hears it. No one hears here. They never do.

 

Dear Avoidance,

Take me away again, I beg. Take me away from my thoughts and my feelings. Numb me out, make me laugh, provide me with the comfort I’m so incapable of giving to myself. Shield me from the world and make the hard easy again. Make the fear of tomorrow, the worry of regret, make it all fade away. Make it run dry, make it soundless. With you here, you’re all I need. All I need. I need no one, no thing, nothing else but this. You give me peace. You give me pride. You give me life.

Even if you’re the same one taking away my soul and taking away my motivation and my inspiration. You’re taking my life just as you manage to breathe it back into me.

For that, you are a fool. Because one day I will realize and I will leave and you’ll be all alone again, with only your dark thoughts and the shadows to keep you company. One day I will break free because I was born to fly and these wings are not defective, not like you. One day I will scream and cry and someone will hear me and then the beauty of the lies you hold will break the facade as I crawl my way out of your grasp and out of your darkness.

Mark my words, Avoidance, I’m coming for you. And you can’t ever dare to break me again.

I will find you. I will erase you. I will not stop until you are but a speck of dust in my vision. I will tell this tale loud and I will tell of this fight proudly. I will make a road map for those who are also caught within your grasp and through that, I will find purpose and meaning all over again.

My feelings may be large, but my inspiration is endless. All I have is this moment. All I have is this breath. So I will take it from you and explore it for myself. For me, by me, to me. And maybe, Avoidance, that’ll be the greatest gift of all.

 

Dear Life Outside of Avoidance,

I may be too scared today to release you. I may be too scared tomorrow to understand your worth and your place within my speck of space in this world. I will try to have an open mind. I will try to do something better for myself, to make beauty out of pain. I will try to take charge of the situation I’ve been placed in and I will try to do better for me because I’ve earned it, no, I LIVE it and that is more than enough.

Dear Life Outside of Avoidance,

You’re so beautiful, it’s hard to look at you for long. But I will try. I will try. And with your grace, I shall move ahead towards the next opportunity. And when I am afraid, because I will be afraid, I will try for one minute to be with you. I will try for one minute to just be here, now, and look not so far ahead but rather just up to the next corner. I know it’s just hard sometimes. Sometimes, life is just hard. I can’t even quite see what you look like, but I’ll keep trying to diminish the blur before your face and live my life as mindfully and spiritually calm as possible. And with the faith that everything else will fall into place, I will live.

Because that is what life calls for. That is what the Life Outside of Avoidance calls for. And I will heed this call. I will take notice of it. And I will follow it. Because it’s right. It’s right.

And after all, there’s only ever so much time in the world.

 

All the best,

— Raquel

 

Also, PS Avoidance:

Fuck you, too.

Creative liberties taken up on about 8:50p EST Tu, May 11th 2021. A creative nonfiction release of thoughts and emotion. Grappling with the big questions and the big adversities in my life at the moment. I know one day it’ll get easier. Today isn’t quite that day, not yet. Thank you for reading. I have a new video up on my channel if you’d be so kind as to interact with me there. There will be more to come. Always, always more. xxx 💛💛💛

Goodbye, Athena: My Grieving Process.

this isn’t easy, I don’t know how and what to feel. Keeping busy: it does the job but it doesn’t heal.

It’s getting harder to feel. And they all say: “You need to take care of yourself, my darling.” but they don’t know how it feels to be broken. I can’t help it, I feel numb. I’ll wait for the waves to leave and come. I think I’m breaking… I’m a mess in the making.

I’m getting tired of the same old feeling in my chest. I’m not a liar, but I’ve got secrets I can’t confess.

Don’t say you love me: ’cause I don’t understand those words.

And they all say: “You need to take care of your health, my darling.”

I’m holding on a tightrope and know I’m not coming home. Hurting, searching–you know I’m not coming home.”

lyrics from Marina Lin’s “this is what self-destruction feels like”


Dear Athena,

….but also dear any other eating disorder or mental health condition survivor Reader out there:

Hi. You don’t know me. You maybe never would. We interacted a couple of times online but I was a fan for a while. I started following your story and your YouNow’s and your Youtube videos back in 2017 when there was one of the first large pickups of your story and the speculation that you were living with an eating disorder. I even made a blog post here about you and what you might have been going through.

Over time I watched more and more of your videos. Just as every other person in the world was, I was slowly watching you kill yourself. Anorexia, eating disorders in general, are those slow, gradual killers–sometimes. I saw you waste away video by video. I cared about you deeply. …I still do.

And then there was that all time low in the beginning of 2019, where Jaclyn Glenn and her friends forced you into treatment for your disorder(s) because you were, you are, a danger to yourself. Your own hand, or maybe even multiple hands behind all the screens, smoke and mirrors, are your ultimate demise.

So you went away for a while. A month in treatment and 4-5 months off the Internet.

You returned with an improvement in your physical health in about May or so 2019, helped along by Shane Dawson’s documentary on you and your story. You didn’t get into specifics, you did admit to an eating disorder, but you didn’t want to label it yet. You said you were better. You said things were getting to be okay.

And we believed you. We always saw the best in you, we saw you for your amazing kindness, compassion, positivity and endless amounts of potential.

It seemed to help for a while. It seemed like things were looking up for you, finally.

And then, then time passed. And you started to have similar behaviors visible to the human eye: placing your fingers around your wrists in a body-checking maneuver, standing up for long periods of time, watching yourself in the image of your camera rather than in the lens, wearing more revealing clothing, streaming on Twitch for 6-8 hours at a time with no breaks, no bathroom runs, no eating and no drinking.

And as it went on like this most people were still saying praise and supportive (enabling) comments. On videos, in streams, everywhere. Except the place you sometimes lurk on, sometimes read about yourself on and definitely a place of honesty and reality that I’ve found myself on many, many times now: Reddit.

People there were more honest, more bold, more informative, more witnessing and putting out their thoughts, their feelings and their fears about the winding road you, Athena, were traveling down towards.

And as the days rolled on, the less and less life shone in your smiles, in your green eyes, in the way you carried yourself. The less Recovery Athena existed the more the hope faded from us passerby’s witnessing you slowly fade away.

And I’m so…annoyed. I wanted you to do better. I wanted you to be more. I wanted you to live.

but you didn’t.

And I have to accept the hard reality that if you stay in the environment that made you sick, if you continue with these eating disorder behaviors, if you continue to restrict or purge or all of the above, if you continue like this, Athena:

you are going to die.

you ARE already dying.

Your skin is so pale but not just from lack of light but because it’s tinged with grey. Your hands and your legs are red, sometimes at the knuckles, sometimes just the back of your hands. You’ve had rings of red around your mouth. Your chest has been red before, too. You stutter more, and maybe that’s nerves, maybe that’s from the weight of the world that you’re holding trying to present yourself as “so much better now” and “fully recovered” and “I really am okay and everything; that was a long time ago and stuff”. But you’re not. You’re not, Athena. You are struggling. You are dying. And you’re doing it in front of the entire planet. You’re doing it for reasons we’ll probably never know, not, not unless some health scare happens and you’re able to get out of your household and away from the people who are so likely hurting you–because it’s NOT normal for a mother or a father or a family to watch you waste away hour by hour and not do a THING to stop it. That’s not love. At worst it’s abuse, at least it’s neglect.

And if anything does happen to you, if you lose your fight in this that I so very much wish would never have to happen, then I hope proper justice is brought to your case. I hope that the millions of people you’ve influenced will see that you were NOT immune to the disastrous and tragic consequences of an eating disorder so severe, so crippling, that you were lying about your recovery and your journey and wanting to be better, that you were struggling and in pain and unhealthy and DYING–I hope they see that this is a real and serious disorder and issue, and I hope that if nothing else, it destroys the illusion you’ve been painting for years that “everything is fine” and you’re “really okay and everything” and that eating disorders, mental health conditions, kill. And they will kill. Anorexia is the number one leading condition that kills its participants. And you will be one too if you don’t change your behaviors, your thoughts, your emotions, your actions.

And maybe as unfortunate and not worthy of a trade it is, maybe the laws and legislation in the United States will decide another life lost–one so public, so out there in the world, so resonating and so deliberate–was enough to finally change how eating disorders are treated; how wellness checks are necessary, how to not have the law and the people in power see someone so ill and believe whatever bullshit falls from themselves because of the fact that eating disorders just aren’t seen as the real and dangerous disorders they are–they’re not seen as IMMINENT danger to the self or others and so they’re allowed, time and time again, to slip through the cracks and failed over and over again by a system that refuses to change its citizens and make their lives whole again. Something has to change in these cases, these lives, something has to be DONE on the matter, like in other countries, in other places, in other situations. There HAS to be something. There has to be.

I don’t know how many people we have to lose in life before the world takes it seriously. Before the state does. The family. The country. The psychiatric system. The educational system. The healthcare system.

I hope that when you go on to the next life, Athena, that you will find peace. And that we’ll remember you. God, I’m crying. I hope that people will remember you for how kind you were. How much life you had in you. How compassionate you were. I hope they remember you for everything that you could have been. That you had so much potential to make a positive impact in the world, and in some ways you did, and in many others you didn’t. People see you as an inspiration–whether that’s from when you started a recovery process (for healthy reasons) or because of how frail and damaged your body allowed you to become (unhealthy). You impacted so many people, whether you realize it or not. And you had a responsibility to teach others, a platform you could have used to teach others, about the dangers of these disorders, about the REALITY of these disorders, but most of all you had a responsibility for YOURSELF.

To get better. To become well. To be happy. To be YOU.

You had this responsibility and it never clicked in your head. You kept up all the old body-checks you’d done in videos and photos, you kept up controversial videos, you apologized for everything that didn’t matter and nothing at all for everything that did, you let yourself go when the world just wanted to hold you close. You denied your influence on others and turned a blind eye to predators and lurkers who meant you harm and who meant others harm.

But at the end of the day, you never took on that accountability. At the end of the day, you went on, down the shadowy path. You didn’t want help. You got comfortable in your disorder and you didn’t want to change. We can’t save everyone. And sometimes, sometimes people don’t want to be saved. And you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.

So all of this is to say, all of these tears and words and ideas, all of it is to say that I have to say goodbye now.

I know how this story ends. That if you don’t get help, that if you don’t enter into recovery, that you die. And I… I can’t be waiting for that to happen anymore. I have to walk away. I have to get out all my thoughts and just never look back. And it won’t mean that I’ll never think of you again. Far from it, hun. But I can’t do this. I can’t consume your content when it fills the void of my hunger pains. I can’t keep seeing you shrink and shrink away and for my mind to play its own tricks on me. I can’t go on Reddit for hours to see how you’ve gotten worse, to see the comparisons, to read the truths there, to see what new way you’re using to distract yourself (usually makeup) from the reality of your situation, the way the mods in your streams try to protect you in the name of “care” but is really just veiled attempts at getting your attention and winning over your praise in the same breath that you struggle to take. I can’t do it anymore.

I’m walking away. So even when it kills me inside that I won’t know what you’re doing, HOW you’re really doing (did anyone ever anyways?), if you’re getting better, if you’re getting worse, that I won’t see you until I hear the news of your death and wonder why and how and everything… I still will stay away. Because I have to. I have to protect myself because I can’t protect you, only you can.

I won’t be checking in on you anymore. I’m not going to click on any Youtube videos about you (maybe save for Jaclynn here and there), certainly not any you make and minimize any about you, I’m not going to go to Reddit until I hear that awful, awful news one day, I’m not going to look at comments or tweets from you (I’ve muted, blocked and everything). And I’m not going to write another blog post, not, not until we hear the news. Because I’ll probably have to process then and this has helped already to process it.

If I want to read about anorexia and the dangers of it, I’ll do so by finding some blogs, some other advocates, hell even Jessie Paege or books on the matter. I’ll finish my own story about it (by that I mean a fictional fanfic) and I’ll move forwards.

With or without you, Athena, I will move forwards. Because that’s all we can ever really do.

So, I’m gonna wipe away my tears and set this into motion.

You’ll never see this, Athena but I really do wish you the best. I wish you could be whole again. I wish your life mattered as much to you as it does to so, so, so many people out there. I’m not sure if it would be a curse or a blessing for you to one day realize how severe your condition is and the legacy that you’ve tarnished and left behind because of some bullshit in your brain that you weren’t able to overcome for some reason that we’ll never ever truly know.

I wish you were stronger. I wish you had more time. I wish we could have seen you grow and evolve and become more than everything else. I wish you didn’t have to suffer. I don’t know why some people do more than others, but I’ll have to believe in the Universe and know that it works in mysterious and often unfair ways.

Most of all, I’m going to remember you like this:

Athena.

I’ll remember you smiling. I’ll remember your killer makeup looks. I’ll remember those green eyes and long hair. That hopefulness and life there within you. The idea, the promise, that things were really getting better. I’ll remember you like this. Because I can’t remember you like how you are now. I’m so sorry, Athena. I wish this wasn’t how you left.

Goodbye.


This post got a lot more emotional than I could have ever imagined. If you are struggling with an eating disorder or some other mental heath condition: know that you are NEVER alone, that you CAN get through this, that there is HOPE and HELP available and that you’re so strong, you’re so amazing and you DESERVE to be here and take up space. I wish you all the best. xxx


There’s strength and a certain amount of courage to write so publicly about your life, to share the journey is a blessing and a beacon for others who may be struggling, because it says, ‘hey, I’ve been where you are and you can get to this stable place, too.’ And that, above all, is what really matters.” — “My Hopes for My Legacy” by Me back in 2018 (article)


Resources: 
NEDA , National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA) , Healthy Place .
thank you for reading and if you have any thoughts on this matter or about Athena or want to encourage her or share your story, please feel free to do so down below. if not, that's okay too. i believe in you and i always will. i want the best for her, i do, it's just hard. it's just hard. thank you for stopping by. sending you light, love and hugs. xxx <3 <3 <3

 

#SummerComer #PoetryChallenge Entry #4: Do Not Make This Funeral Her Home

Hello there and welcome back to another poetry related blog post!!! I apologize for disappearing off the face of WordPress the last few weeks, I’ve been busy being forgetful and often procrastinating on my adult responsibilities, having lack of motivation at times, an otherwise glum type of mood or pretending like certain things don’t exist if I preoccupy myself with something else in the mean time, so, you know, the usual. 😉

I wrote today’s entry’s poem a couple of days ago as you’ll see noted down below, and I pulled from a few different elements which I’ll get into after I paste it all here. Overall, my life’s been all right and I’m happy to have been able to reconnect with some online friends of mine, starting back up where we left off which has been amazing and very heartwarming and rewarding. I have a few other messages I have to attend to soon, a book to finish somehow and in some manner, tweets to make and a couple of emails to write up. I’ve been trying to do some fanfic related reading and messages too so there’s also that. There will be a few new blog related posts to come into fruition soon as well. For now, let’s start off the end of this week with the poetry challenge!!!


QUICK! WHAT ARE THE RULES?

This post marks my fourth entry into the weekly Summer Comer poetry challenge I’ve made for myself to last from the end of May 2020 to Sept 4th 2020. The rules include:

  • each post begins with the thumb above
  • each poem will be individually titled and labeled by the entry number in both the piece itself (at the end) and in the title
  • each post will include any background music used to “set the mood” which will be listed at the end of the entry
  • each poem loosely exists within the context of summer but is not strictly limited in constructing that imagery. I.e. it’s a summer project but may venture outside of that topic/theme-wise. 🙂
  • the goal: one poem each week from the end of May to the start of September under the hashtag: #SummerComer

Let me know what you think of this week’s poem down in the comments! (And as for how I was feeling last week, I’m a lot better and I was able to do some fanfic writing that helped get out of my sexual frustrations ahaha.)

And if you want to help support my mission with this poetry challenge, leave me a prompt, theme or character name/subject you’d like to see me cover and I’ll incorporate something in and give you a shout-out, too!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ Stay tuned until the end to hear my process of this poem, what song I listened to and all that jazz. 🙂 Also here is last week’s entry if you want to reread it!


Do Not Make This Funeral Her Home

Trigger Warning: Grief, loss, death

 

One day,

he knew

the sparkle would

return to her eyes,

the sunlight that

wafted down from

the thick leaved treetops

would part through her

blonde hair as alive and well

as she had been.

 

In the summer night glow

he’d smell her favorite perfume

again,

and he’d hear the shrill

whine in her voice as

she called his name,

“Tyler!

Tyler!”

growing louder and louder

as her heart sang and her

voice rose to the clouds

up above.

 

Her laughter would turn his

insides to goo. He’d be

swinging his head back to meet her,

chuckling as his brown hair

met the rays of iridescence.

 

And it would feel like someone

had planted rainbows in his chest

and his heart would flutter

in anticipation and just as he

was turning towards her—

it would have happened.

 

the truck came barreling

out of nowhere and

his face had enough time

to contort into horror and

he just managed to see

Madeline’s eyes twitch in

confusion as her slim brows

rose in question

before a thunderous roar

escaped and

somewhere between heaven

and Earth,

their shouts and formless

words were blinded by the

truck’s horn and

in the flicker of a second

everything he had once

cared about was

obliterated into nonexistence.

 

He’d thought there’d be

more time.

He’d only wanted

more time.

 

More time to:

hug her,

love her,

cherish her,

need her,

want her,

build a life

together

with her,

carry her,

dream with her,

be–just simply be–

with her.

 

But some dreams shatter

and some fates

are just

not meant to be.

 

So with a mournful look,

he watched as she was

laid to rest–

a rest he couldn’t

fathom would be easy.

 

She had so much left to do,

so much left to change

and impact

and he couldn’t understand

why her life would be taken

instead of…

instead of…

another’s?

His?

 

His.

 

She’d wanted only

the best in life

and it should have been

a sin to take away

such a radiant beam

when the world was

only growing dimmer

and darker by the second.

 

He knew he had

to make a change,

take a stand,

have something be

different

because Madeline Cross

had been alive

and existing once on

this planet.

 

And now that she

wasn’t–someone

had to know what

they were all missing

out on.

 

So he spent months working upon

awareness and reading

agonizingly boring

books on law and

legislation until he

found the way for the

city to commemorate

her death and

build not only a

memorial walkway

where Madeline

lost her life,

a guard rail

to better seclude the

nature trail and install

a stoplight to further

separate the rough framework

between nature and

manmade civilization.

 

And for a while it

eased the ache left

inside his heart

but it didn’t all go

away,

he was pained instead

with a loss so deep he

had no plan on how

to mold or change it.

 

So he didn’t.

 

He mourned.

 

And when he thought

it was over,

it returned again–

until one day

he was out on the

sandy beach,

watching the tide

come in and fade

and he felt her–

he felt Madeline–

take his hand and

squeeze and if he

wasn’t mad,

he heard her giggle and

he heard her say,

“It’s all right, Tyler.

It’s okay to let me go.”

 

Because now he knew

he never really would

and their relationship and

her loss would shape him

and refold him

for all the time and

years he had left.

 

He couldn’t control how

much time Madeline had–

and he certainly

couldn’t control his–

but it was time for him

to move through his

grief–not as a destination

rather a process,

a journey.

 

So when the salty air

pricked the tears

forming in his eyes,

he let himself go,

and he wasn’t surprised

to find all of himself

 

still. there.

Technical aspects of the poem:

Handwritten: 6/11/2020

Typed and Edited: (any minor spelling errors resulted from the typing up portion, in case you find any lingering flaws) 6/12/2020

Music: “Where the Shadow Ends” by BANNERS ft. Young Bombs. Train ambiance also used in the writing process.


About the poem itself: This is honestly the first true original characters/setting poems that I’ve done in a very long time and it was incredibly refreshing and helpful to just take a moment in the pause between my reading a book (of which many frustrations arose) and just create again. It was really, really nice. There wasn’t really much I was upset about but I could use what I learned from the grief book I’m reading as well as tossing in some images I could relate to (for instance, the truck accident made me imagine that scene in “Pet Sematary” the original movie) in addition to some sad news I found out about a friend of mine. It all just wrapped together well and like I’ve already said, it was nice and soothing and I felt calmer after I had written it. I’d had vibes earlier in the week but it was nice to sit down and just let it all flow and see where it would go.

For the title I thought of “Funeral homes” and how that shouldn’t be Madeline’s home and so the title is a call to how we have to learn to move forwards and through our grief rather than expecting it to come and go in expected, structured manners. That her home, or anyone’s home, isn’t in the death and casket or urn itself but her life was the home all along, instead. It’s a way of remembering her and finding justice and peace in her untimely death, it’s a way of trying to make her life have meaning and have her leave behind a positive legacy. It’s also all about the relationship and attachment that happened prior and the end of the relationship isn’t really the end, it’s just a new normal so to speak. Again, when I do this book review on GIAJ this theme will make more sense.

PS In my mind, both Tyler and Madeline were in their mid to late teens. 🙂

Any who, that’s it for me for now!!!

I hope to have much more posts in the coming weeks and to find ways to motivate myself again and finally finish this book!!!

Thank you so much for reading!!! Stay safe! xxx ❤ ❤ ❤

#SummerComer #PoetryChallenge | Rules and Entry #1: (Thanks) To the Music in Her Soul

Welcome to the #SummerComer thumb and blog post poetry challenge!! All photographs by me and the thumb itself was made on the ever so lovely Canva! 🙂

Why, hello there!!!

Welcome back to another blog post on my WordPress account! 😀 This one is especially nice as I’m bringing to you all an idea that I got inspired by this author’s blog post (Jason A Muckley) which was also inspired by this author’s blog post (Brooke Cutler) .

Basically (and I had to switch back to the Classic Editor I know and love because the top bar was missing in the new block editor and I have no idea how to get it back nor do I have the patience for that level of fuckery right now, PLUS we just temporarily lost power so now I feel like I’m racing against the clock, ahahha, sad.) I will layout the outline of each of their respective challenges here:

  1. Brooke’s challenge was to come up with a new poem every day in May using the word “darling”
  2. Jason was then inspired to create his own type of challenge. His involves (and you should totally check them both out, by the way!) writing a new poem every day from May 10th (Mother’s Day) until June 20 (first day of summer) all about summer themed activities and going-on’s. He then came up with a hashtag for the event calling it #FunInTheSun

Now here’s where I come in:

My challenge, inspired by Jason’s, is to create a new poem each week (just one!) starting from this week (originally yesterday, but today is still the first week for me, I’m going on the assumption that Sunday’s are the starts of the week rather than Monday’s) May 22nd 2020 — September 4th 2020 where the theme will be summer but a little looser so it can apply to other topics or happenings that relate beyond summer itself. 🙂 I am calling this series: #SummerComer

So, essentially, I’m going to be doing a creative poem each week starting now until the start of September! Whoooo!!!

If you have any ideas or prompts or things YOU’D like to see me cover, leave them all down below! The layout for this series is as follows:

  • each post will start with the thumb above
  • each poem will be individually titled and labeled by the entry number in both the piece itself (at the end) and in the title
  • each post will include any background music used to “set the mood”. I may sometimes use the Calm App, potentially, and will credit that as sees fit.

That said, here is this week’s first poem:

 


(Thanks) To the Music in Her Soul

 

She heard the lyrics

Of the song within her soul,

Heard the pitch,

Heard the beat,

As she strolled along the shore.

 

She swayed her hips,

Rounded and pure,

Her shoulders knocking back

Moving with the music.

 

She wore a peaceful smile

Upon her full cheeks,

And the pink lip gloss

On her lips

Sparkled in the setting sun.

 

She was aglow with light,

As it wafted down from the large,

Fluffy white clouds.

 

It parted through the shadows locked

Behind her brown eyes,

And it swept away the doubts

And insecurities that would cling to her skin

Late at night.

 

It washed over her like the waves

Lapping at her bare feet,

Chilly in the summer wind

Yet comforting all the same.

 

The scent of the ocean

Flocked over her,

And she dared to break out into song,

Verbalizing the words that had haunted

Her dreams for days.

 

She did this,

Serenely,

As the sun departed behind the hills

Far, far away

As the beach was empty save for a few

Passing gulls

 

And when she left that day,

When she, too, departed from the world,

She did so with a blissful heart

And a song that felt richer

Than it had ever been before.

 

(Technical information about the poem:

Entry #1: #SummerComer

Written: 5/23/20

Background music: “Happier” by Marshmello ft. Bastille)


 

Annnnnd, that’s it!! Thank you so much for reading!! I hope that this can be something neat to look forward to each week on this blog and that you can be inspired in some way by it and hell, maybe someone else will be inspired and continue the challenge-inception spiral! Ahaha.

I will have more blog posts coming in the future.

Thanks again!!

Best! ❤ ❤ ❤ xxx

SADIA1: I Needed to Lose You to Find Me | & Life Update

Song a day THUMB


Chosen Song:

“Lose You to Love Me” by Selena Gomez


Trigger Warnings & Themes:

Loss, grief, letting go, dependency/co-dependency themes.

Loss, grief, relationships, interpersonal effectiveness, identity, finding yourself, rescuing yourself, love, hope, trials and tribulations, overcoming adversity, triumph, letting go, dependency/co-dependency, growth, empowerment, moving on, regret.


Video:


Chosen Lyrics:

You promised the world and I fell for it
I put you first and you adored it
Set fires to my forest
And you let it burn
Sang off key in my chorus
‘Cause it wasn’t yours
I saw the signs and I ignored it
Rose colored glasses all distorted
Set fire to my purpose
And I let it burn
You got off on the hurtin’
When it wasn’t yours…
We’d always go into it blindly
I needed to lose you to find me
This dance, it was killing me softly
I needed to hate you to love me,
To love, love, yeah
To love, love, yeah
To love, yeah
I needed to lose you to love me, yeah
To love, love, yeah
To love, love, yeah….
I gave my all and they all know it
Then you tore me down and now it’s showing
In two months, you replaced us
Like it was easy
Made me think I deserved it
In the thick of healing, yeah….
….And now the chapter is closed and done
To love, love, yeah….
And now it’s goodbye, it’s goodbye for us
SourceLyricFind

My Interpretations/Related Experiences:

So, hi again. It’s been a while and this post is a bit of a smorgasbord of multiple things but we’re gonna go with it and wing it, right? Right. Good.

So, I heard this song a few months back, maybe even as far as Nov. 2019 and I always wanted to do a song a day entry for it and just never got around to it, got busy with other posts, forgot, lost inspiration and motivation and then it got buried underneath everything else. Because, quarantine and work and all that jazz.

But I’m here now. And that’s what counts.

I’ve been reading this book on grief, or at least trying my hardest to, (it’s a dull read but I’m so invested now that I feel like I HAVE to read it, and I don’t give up on books either soooo…) and it’s made me think of some things I’ve been both ignoring and avoiding for months now.

Which, roll the credits, brings us to this song and this message and this interpretation.

As I read about loss and I am reminded that grief is a response to any type of loss–through death of course but not always–it can be items, it can be divorce, separation, leaving relationships, moving away from relationships etc. Even pets. And so it’s made me think a little about things I purposefully and deliberately avoid and pretend like they don’t exist in my life because that’s what I DO. I’m a Master Avoider. Wish I could put it on the job apps but I keep avoiding it. 😉 😀 (Imagine a cheeky grin here.)

I haven’t dealt a lot with death in my life, yeah some pets here and there, and god knows when I was more creative with original fiction back in my high school days, it would seem like I was enthralled and mortified about the subject as that’s typically all I wrote about (death, harm and destruction) but really I haven’t lost too many people…yet. Not, not yet.

Sure, there’s been the celebrities, the waiting death reports for Athena because we can all pretty much agree that she’s not in her ED recovery and has relapsed badly but that’s a topic for another day… (that I probably won’t even get into because I’m working to actively not give in to that type of addiction, because it is so detrimental to me and my mental health, bleh.)

But without having lost people to the deep, dark chasm of death, I’ve lost people due to mental health complications and co-dependency. More so my own co-dependency on others. I think of two particular individuals for this: Steve and Luna.

With Steve, I was forcefully pulled away from them by the smart choices of my university’s Counseling Center. Every now and then, as I’ve described in few Mass Media articles back in the day, I would look up Steve online, find his accounts, find some of his information and then taunt myself with the IDEA of reaching out even though I knew it was a giant no-no (and luckily, I never did).

But Steve was from a different time ago.

Luna…Luna’s been on my mind more these days. I have more tokens, more physical items, from Luna that I cannot begin to dream about parting with. Not now, maybe not ever. The idealization is strong with me from them and I wish things could have ended differently.

And let me be clear, I was the one who left the relationship. I was the one to enact The Ultimate Avoidance into my social life as I was in my last semester of school. And I wrote about it in some articles, some I think that I still don’t even have up on my blog, (sorry about that!!!) and I got through it, but it was hard. Really hard. And I had, like this song says, to lose them to find me.

I had to lose Luna to rebuild the broken shards of glass that was myself, my identity, my soul, my worldview, my RECOVERY.

I had to realize, hell not even by myself but by my Mom and my family therapist (turned individual therapist now) June that it was NOT a healthy relationship and if I continued to try and hold onto the past with Luna and be around them, then ultimately I was choosing to return to havoc-wreaking emotions that would destroy everything in its path, especially me, and land me in self-harm, suicidal ideation, potential death and definitely a hospitalization.

And I had to realize and accept that it wasn’t healthy for me or for them and that I had to move on, move away, move forwards. And I could only do that by realizing that no one and no thing was worth getting suicidal over, a profound lesson that has still aided me even today. And I had to also realize the way I was being treated wasn’t necessarily healthy either. And that it was for my best interests to pull away. And that the relationship we had wasn’t necessarily even friendship. And that I had to forgive the fact that Luna had lacked several boundary laden territories and overextended themselves more than they should have in retrospect. And I had to come to the terms that as a friend, they had abandoned me more than once and that ultimately it wasn’t THEIR job to save me.

It was mine.

And there were red flags. More than I realized at the time, more than I could begin to fathom and certainly more than I could reasonably encounter and acknowledge, especially within my unstable mindset.

They had to pull away a couple of times, they couldn’t be there to support me and at that time all I had wanted was THEIR support. I wanted only THEM to save me, to help me, to rescue me. And I could be aware of this at times, but I still ignored what it meant.

And I didn’t realize, at the time, that there were other individuals around me who could see, sense and interpret and recognize this co-dependency.

However, what matters now, what matters most, is that I got out. I got away. And even when I cringed to see them, when my heart aches in missing them, in missing what once was, I’m so much stronger now than ever before. I’ve grown so much and I’ve developed boundaries even within myself that I don’t cross or barely ever cross anymore these days. Yes, it puts me at somewhat of a disadvantage for particular art projects but somehow, someway, I know I’ll make it through.

 

So for now, I cannot part with the things that Luna has given me: the art, the reminders, the memories I don’t really spend much time at all looking back on, the good that was there, the pain that was there, the bad that was there. But I keep a piece of them with me, a piece I had returned to fondness over without actually reaching back out to them.

I’ve thought about it, a few times more lately than usual, but I don’t act on it. I recognize that I can have the thought and the curiosity and that I don’t want to, I don’t need to, look into it and find out what they’re up to and what’s going on in their life. It’s over now. I’m new. And the rest doesn’t really matter.

So to this song, to what is sung here:

It reminds me of letting go of the co-dependency and finding myself from all the rubble. And I realize that I can grow and learn more about grief and the MCU hole that exists within that grief and I can prioritize and…just LIVE my life without Luna, without Steve, without even the pain most days of moving away from them. You know, it’s been almost two years since letting go and things are pretty badass lately, ahaha. I think I’m a lot happier and definitely far more stable. I have to accept the lessons I was taught and recognize my own needs and work with myself to develop better self-validating remarks and comments. Instead of seeking validation and attention from others, instead I can work on completing that myself by myself with myself.

That’s not to say I don’t reach out for supports too, because I do. It’s…a balancing act for sure, one I haven’t completely figured out yet, and that I look forward to doing so in the future. ❤ (The balance between when do I need to self-soothe and when do I need a sound board.)

I think this song is a good depiction of the troubles with idealization (putting people on pedestals and thinking they can do no wrong) and demonizing people (putting them down so low that they have flaws and only their flaws). When the reality is that people have both good and bad qualities. People are flawed. People are not all good or all bad. Grey exists in the world, especially when it comes to humans, because we’re so diverse and so special and unique one by one. It can be easy to try and see and think in absolutes, however, the world is not one big absolute thing. It’s muddled and murky and sometimes we don’t get “closure”, in fact, in this grief book I’m reading it even states how “closure” isn’t often closure itself because grief is a continuum, grief is not something you get over rather something you learn to live with and alongside as you continue your life’s journey.

And as for the life update of this post…


I’m doing pretty well, overall. I just subscribed to Disney+ and I’m pretty excited to get into that and hopefully create more online content in the form of reviews for it and because of it. The grief book has also inspired me to attend to my MCU avoidance by re-immersing myself into the entire timeline from start to finish, which will probably take me over the course of the next year and therefore help me to come to terms with my grief through the individuals and characters we so recently (it feels recent, at least) lost. I’m actually quite looking forward to this.

I have been reading somewhat here and there behind the scenes and I have plenty of blog posts to catch up on and work on and eventually, hopefully soon, publish. They include:

  1. My sexuality
  2. Book Reviews
  3. Film Reviews
  4. Fanfic stuff
  5. Song a day’s
  6. Part 2 to my Recovery and Music post
  7. Maybe some more interactive type posts.

I’ve also returned to all my tracking stuff in the last week and that is so far up to date currently. I’m making daily goals for myself with a few that carry over when I don’t achieve them (the reading a book to the half-way point and completion, ideally). I’m considering creating Movie Monday’s for myself and Film Review Friday’s. I still have work at Amaryllis I go to twice a week. I have fanfic ideas, particularly one inspired by covid-19, that I’m trying to pick through and work on here and there but lately, the last week, I’ve been having zero writing vibes (which obviously related to blogging issues, too). I’m juggling a lot, probably the same as usual, if I’m being honest, and I want to try and interact more online with 3-5 tweets a day and then step up my WordPress game too. I have to break down the fact that I make so much more work for myself and projects out of everything, to be honest. I reorganized my room a few times though so that’s helpful. And I’m trying to get ideas and input on how to properly set self-care time and activities for myself so if that can get going I’ll be in REALLY great standing. Additionally, I have a Youtube video I have to finish editing and then work on uploading, which, again, hopefully, I can do this week.

I will probably make a tweet soon because apparently today is my 3 year Twitter anniversary. I want to celebrate that, even within some character limits and maybe that will make me feel a little better, too.

Overall, life is going, even while life outside these walls of my home are absent, crumbling and deteriorating. I’m trying to get by as best as I can but I can definitely say I can’t wait until it’s all over. For now, I have extended loans on the 36 books I have out from the library so I will take that in stride. I’m going to go eat dinner, take my meds and watch a movie now.

Thank you all so much for reading, learning, understanding and, if you please can, commenting. I hope to return to this blogosphere more going forwards.

Thank you.

xxx ❤ ❤ ❤

 


Worked on: 4/23/2020, 4/27/2020

“It’s The End of the Line”

Today’s Prompt <-> Unseen

 

“Have a hard time letting go…

It’s the end of the line for you and I…

Was lost in limbo long enough for two,

But my Identity was Wasted on You”

img_00003718

This is my new theme song for the second part of my recovery. Be prepared, for we are going on an unseen mission, from one pole of recovery to the next pole of wellness.

It will be a rocky journey, and I can only promise that I will strive to balance my unhelpful pleas for help with actual sayings of help in real life. I can only promise that while I may-no, will-struggle, that I’ll do my best to go down fighting. I’ll be spitting in the face of my adversaries and I’ll be gathering all my strength and wisdom to keep plowing on.

I will not do this alone, I understand, and I too, hope you know that as well. We ARE all in this alone, TOGETHER. We are on separate paths able to see each other from afar. The fog may be strong at times, and we WILL persevere.

Here is one of my newest hallmark drawings for this new journey. Consider this my Volume 2 of Recovery to Wellness.

The drawing is very conceptual in nature. It was heavily inspired (thank god I was able to use my iPod eventually while inside!!) by the song above, “The Line” by The Dear Hunter. Some of the lyrics I’ve highlighted especially in the quote box. (I’m actually planning on doing another drawing inspired by the second part of the lyrics in that box).

The concept came to me when I spoke to a nurse for a lengthy (impressively) amount of time while I was in the hospital (I got out on Wed). He advised me on many things, some involving working hard in school and making that my number one priority (which I slightly disagree with as my health and wellness should be number one but same difference) while I’m there as it won’t be forever and people listen more to peeps with degrees. XD

He also spoke with me about mindfulness and self-disclosed his own struggles with anxiety and such.

Any who, the point I’m trying to get at (and I’ll get back to that other stuff in the future, someday, trust me) is this person conveyed the idea that if I am to move on into mental wellness from my mental illness, I am ought to move on entirely. That means no keeping any little boxes of mental illness in my life. It means getting rid of it ALL.

Which is…daunting and intimidating and necessary. Because only when it is all gone can moving forward occur. There can’t be any left for you to ride on as a crutch (“I’m too depressed, I can’t go out today”) or for you to keep for shits and giggles. It’s ALL gotta go.

So that made me link up to this song. So, it’s hard to let go of what I’ve used as an escapism of twisted sorts for the last couple of years. It’s not happening over night, but it’s a process. The self-harm, suicidality, OCD and depression have run their course, is what he advised me. I needed them then, and now I do not. They served their purpose and now it’s time for me to move on without them.

It’s just like what I said about a month ago, I’ve got to move 11 blocks up the street. I can’t spend the next five years or more years stuck in this rut.

It’s time I dig my way out again.

It’s time for the wall to come down.

It’s time I start shining and start thriving. And to help inspire you all out there, who read my ramblings, to do the same. ‘Cause we can do this!! I’m with you til the end of the line 😉

So back to the drawing!! (And may I interrupt myself to say I don’t believe there’s a version of recovery that’s a cure all for mental health conditions, however, if you read on my explanation of the drawing you may see what I mean when I say getting rid of ALL of it.)

The balloon is meant to signify the mental illness or whatever it is that afflicts you (the stick figure).

The collar is where the balloon is attached (save from the last frame) at the neck because that’s your life source (and it has taken over your life).

There are chained hands at the beginning but those fall away.

A happy mask that also leaves next.

The collar breaks (changing from gray to blue dotted to blue).

And the end of the line comes, where it’s time to let go of the mental health conditions and live YOUR life again. The balloon, as you can see, is still present. It is shriveled and broken down, yet still it exists. This is to convey that mental health conditions will still be there in your life, YET the shining power and inner strength and beauty of RECOVERY will OUTSHINE THEM.

Here are these elements in closer forecast:

img_00003713img_00003708img_00003711img_00003720img_00003714img_00003715

Also, you may have noticed, I’m changing my artistry signature!! I am moving on from HMD (in reference to my DA page) to RtW! For RecoverytoWellness, of course!!

I also made two other WIP’s during this hospitalization. I am behind on uploading artwork for you peeps, so you can see that changing in the future. I finished reading “The Shadowkiller” tonight which is awesome and got in more orders of mental wellness books as well as my DBT workbook!! 😀

All of this and more will be shared with you all soon.

I have to be writing my returning article of the semester soon, and with that essay I want to finish it up tomorrow to send it off for the deadline.

I’m also discovering, just before the semester, that the Internet has become unfulfilling for me. I think I will be narrowing the time I spend online in response, as reading books feels fulfilling and working on myself feels fulfilling too.

I’ll figure out the details later though. That’s all I have for now, folks!!

I have another fabulous art idea that I can’t wait to share with you all, and see if it’s possible we can all make it happen!! I think you’ll all like it, too. 🙂 I just gotta come up with a catchy name for it….

OH! And I have a NAMI presentation on Wed. And going up to school on Tuesday for a Mass Media meeting and Monday hanging with friends AND DOGGGGSSS TOMORROWW!!!

I also have incentive for the next 4 months to self-care and manage well on in life, because then my Mom may consider us getting another doggo! 😀 But, I’m getting all a bit ahead of myself… 😉

This is enough for one evening.

Thank you ALL for your kind support and amazing, compassionate selves!! ❤ ❤ ❤ I’ll see you in the next one.