So far, far away

Is it possible to feel so far that I have gone away?  It’s this strange feeling of feeling detached from the things that I thought I knew.  Did I truly know these things?  Are my mood swings betraying me to where I sense that I no longer know what I actually knew?  The mind is such a complicated place.  No:  it is a box full of tricks.  How can I explain this to you?

Ever feel like you knew things, yet had all of these unanswered questions about them?  Then again, you never asked the questions because they were either irrelevant or you simply didn’t care at all.  I’d like to call this perception.  Perceptions are an aspect of the personality that people feel they can trust; yet, what if I told you to be really careful?  Here’s the reason:  perceptions are influenced by your feelings and moods.  I still sense that it doesn’t matter how far I go in becoming increasingly real and authentic:  there will always be that little person in the back of my mind reminding me that I am not in charge.

Can I be so far, far away that I am complete gone?

Standing at the edge

I was standing at the edge of my life.  Feeling every sorrowful feeling that could overcome my body.  I was overcome.  I was exhausted, depleted from energy, dehydrated.  I was dying.  The sky had disappeared; the sun must’ve been an illusion.  The night was darker than ever; there was no moon to reflect the night.  The moon must’ve been an illusion.

Hope is for those with a vivid imagination.  The ones that received the gift of overcoming.

It was as if someone had been holding me for a very long time; I was hanging by a thread.  The grip stopped doing its work.  It had stopped gripping the one that was hanging on.  Me.

One day, the hold was gone.  Completely gone.  I could not find it.  The wind was weak, but I could feel some of it still.  I tried to take deep breathes of the thing that the hopefuls breathe, but found nothing there.  The hopefuls had taken all the air, and all that was left was the empty.  The empty, the waves, the nothingness.  The hold; the grip:  gone.  The supportive hold of my imagination had left me.  I should’ve known it would happen.  I had heard of the chosen ones; they were the few.  I was not part of the few.  My few were the most.  Yes; I was part of the most.  By the most I mean the majority.

With them went the supportive hold that kept me together.  I had to breathe on my own, but it was painful.  It was the darkness, coming again to consume me.  Not even the sun could bring light to my existence.  I was drowning.  I was dying.  Nobody, not even God, would help me.  Because nobody likes a “giver upper.”  They corrode you, make you bitter.  Yes, they drag you down ad show you the darkness.  It is scary because…well, nobody should see the darkness unless they belong to it.

I am not a godless person.  I am no atheist or unbeliever.  My problem is actually very simple.  I have simply experienced the loss of the spiritual connection that once held me to Christ.  I know of the sacrifice, the pain, the guilt, the unfairness.  I know about the judgment that did not belong.  Yes; the misplaced judgment.  I know of the tortured body; it should’ve been my own.  But perhaps I get to pay the wrongdoing right here; right at my seat.  This is payback for what I did to the Son.

Playing the blaming game?  Yes.  You see?  I am a weak soul drowning in uncertainty.  I belong to the place that lacks air, form, depth, and soul.  I cannot, will not, may not see the light.  But do not be fooled; I have my moments.  There are times when I have seen the light, but I see it with care.  The light never stays with me; it comes as it pleases.

But for a day, for a minute, or a second…how I wish it would stay.  I wish I saw this light everyday of my life.  But it doesn’t want me.  I bring it down; and down is not the way of the light.

I do not know.  I hope that I do not die a physical death where I am still feeling this dead.  I have been hoping for a dead place where I experience life?  Yes, I understand.  This makes no sense.  This shifty inside; unstable, unworthy; lacking self-confidence because of my ungrateful way.  I am tired of the waves.  They consume me and drown me.  They drown me, they burn.

Yet, we cannot place blame on the waves.  For the waves kill what must die.  The waves kill what must stay dead.

Need-to-breathe.  Dead.

Need-to-breathe.  Drowned.

Need-to-breathe.  Unmotivated.

Need-to-breathe.  Standing at the edge.

Bad advice that may be good for you: burn the bridge

This is my and my very abstract mind; I will apologize in advance for all the nonsense you may be about to read.

Have you ever stared at the bridge and wanted to burn it to the ground?  Not literally!  Picture the bridge being a relationship with a boss, a friend, a family member, and so forth.  I am almost 100 percent certain that all of you reading this post have been in that very same spot.  You know the bridge is close to falling down, you know that it cannot sustain the weight of this relationship.  Yet, you keep putting off the inevitable.  I wish that we would all be a little less concerned with being politically correct.  If we could, for once in our lives, forget about being so civil and just tell the truth.

Although, I do see the problem with the level of honestly that I am proposing.  It sounds pretty outrageous; but step back for a second and consider this well.  I do not expect you to go out and insult all of the people that may have done you wrong, or to snap at anyone who annoys you.  This post is not about randomly or ceremoniously hurting people’s feelings.  This is about using honesty as a power tool.  You see?  If you are honest, you do not have to hurt anyone’s feelings when you apply authenticity in your communication.

If you were the person receiving the message, how would you best receive the information that is being given to you?  In simple terms:  put yourself in the person’s shoes, but do not stop yourself from giving the message.

There are times when you will simply need to ‘burn the bridge’ of that relationship because it does not do you well.  The same holds true for that other person.  Sometimes we get so consumed by a certain relationship that we truly forget ourselves.  We forget what is important, and we forget our priorities.  Sure, priorities and goals change.  However, bridges may need to be taken down when we stop being ourselves.  When we start resigning to ourselves.  When we stop dreaming, and when we start believing in limitations.  These are things that are not good for anyone.

I have personally burned quite a few bridges in my lifetime.  The difference between the bridges that I burned in my 20s, compared to those that I have burned as I have gotten older is rather simple:  I cared a bit more as I got older.  In my 20s, I was bold and knew that I had a life ahead of me.  I did not have the responsibility of a family, and I only had to take care of myself.  These days I do have a family that depends on my financial stability to thrive in many areas.  Having a high stress level job in a highly specialized area did not help diminish the level of stressed that I faced.  There was a point when I had to take a leadership stance and say “no more!”  Burning certain bridges would guarantee that I never looked back.  Burning those bridges separated me from the negative environment that I encountered on a daily basis.

However, burning a bridge and moving on does not mean that you get to “move on” immediately.  There is a period of time when you should detox yourself and forget the madness.  Do yourself a favor and spend time appreciating yourself.  There may be negative thoughts lurking here and there; however, nothing will prove more valuable than knowing that you are, and never stopped being, a valuable person.

If you feel that messing up certain relationships so that they will simply get out of your life will benefit you, do it.  Join the club.  You will be better off.  I saw somewhere a line that read “if the door does not open for you, it is not your door.”  The same holds true about those wrong paths with the wrong bridges attached to them.

Have faith; your bridge will come.  There is a greater day for you in the horizon.

What to do when everything leads to a no?

You’ve been there before; the place where you feel that everything is a big N-O for a massive NO.  It’s that point where you feel that nothing else can go wrong.  You feel that you have tried everything, yet nobody cares and nothing works.  Nobody cares that you are trying to change your negative thought process, you’ve tried every piece of positive mind trick on the book.  You have tried to see yourself “in a different light,” and have gone as far as changing the way that you deal with people or do business.  You keep trying to get out of the hole of depression that continues to keep you captive.  Somehow, you keep hoping that things will get better.  Yet you are afraid of smiling and abandoning yourself to a happy moment because you just don’t know when things may get bad again.  Gotta keep your guard up.  Gotta be prepared for the next blow.

And I can tell you how it begins.  I can tell you exactly how you start shifting from the good, to the bad…and finally, the ugly.  You’ve been away from that place for a long time, yet it keeps calling you back.  You don’t want to go back to that crap hole, but it sinks you like still waters.  It’s a slow process that consumes you rapidly.  The fall is slow and painful; the impact ridiculously painful.  You start to wonder why is it that you are not used to this shit.  Yes, I know how you continue to return to that drowning godforsaken place because I’ve been there so many times.  In fact, I visit this personal Hades quite often.  I’ll tell you how.

One day you feel like you’ve reached a good point in your life.  You feel good.  You can get up in the morning without that nasty headache or the thoughts of dread.  You’ve listened to so much Tony Robbins style stuff that you feel like you can take the world down right now if you had to.  You feel smart, empowered, like nothing can stop you from reaching the place that you’ve seen in that big dream of yours.  Oh yeah, you got a dream and NOBODY is going to stop you from getting there.  You start building on good things until one day ‘reality’ hits you right smack in the face.  SUCKS!

Let me give you a metaphor to explain this process.  Picture a balloon full of water.  The balloon is the positive force that surrounds and contains the negativity:  this would be all the positive Tony Robbins stuff we just talked about.  The water inside the balloon represents all the negativity that you are working to get rid of.  You want it gone NOW, so what do you do?  You contain it with this balloon of good things.  The problem is that life keeps throwing these balloons full of negative water at you.  You manage to move out of the way and keep pressing on with your life.  Then one day, just when you’ve reached all the goodness that the planet can offer you…the balloon hits you precisely on your face.  You get so distracted that the balloon reaches your face, explodes at speed (so it hurts pretty bad), and all the nastiness of that negative water marinades your entire face, your hair.  Your eyes burn from it, gets in your nose so you feel like you are literally drowning.  It gets messier than that.  Your clothes have also received a splash of that water.  Just when you thought that this was bad enough, that flippin’ water drips down your shirt, your pants, your shoes…ALL OF YOU!  It is a wicked mess, and you want life to give up on you.  You want life to make that choice because you are too freakin’ tired to deal with it.

What to do?

Full disclaimer:  I’m speaking form a very broken heart.  This is written truly in the first person.  I have lost so much in my spiritual and emotional life that I just don’t know how I’m getting the energy to write this.  However, I will tell you that I get put back together as much as I break down.

But I am going to get up right now.  SCREW the screw-up.  I’ve burned so many bridges that I may have to drown at one point.  But I am going to do it fighting.  Perhaps this is why I will drown, they say that you shouldn’t fight when you are sinking.  I say different.  Give this life a fight.  Use this bullshit to give you courage.  Thrive and take this life by the wicked nuts.  Use this negativity to get up and ROAR.  I sound like a crazy person, but trust me, I am not.  I am angry at the way things have turned out.  I am tired, but I am not broken.  I am broken, but I am not useless.  I am useless, but I am alive.

I am alive.  I am alive.  I am alive…Fight with me.

To answer the title question:  “What to do when everything leads to a no?”

You say yes.  Screw no.  It doesn’t count.  What do you say?  Say yes……………..and fight right back.

whatifyoufly

 

Introverts

Listen to Susan Cain’s powerful talk on the power of introversion (not to be confused with being shy).

If you are one of us, welcome to the club!  Be proud; you make a difference.  Extroverts, I just ask that you don’t feel left behind.  You are loved, and yes…we need you as much as you need us.  Enjoy her wonderful presentation.

Life: Not so bad

I often describe my bouts of depression as the waves of the sea; and I sense that many out there in the mental health field may agree with me.  One day, you are up.  The next day, you are completely down.  It doesn’t matter how much people that love you try to encourage you:  if you are down.  That is it.  You are down and nobody can get you out of that dreaded funk.  Nevertheless, I want to speak about something that happens to depressed people that seems to take the cake.  The ups.

When a depressed individual faces the up, and I speak from a very personal standpoint–I am by no means in the medical field–the up is rather amazing.  Suddenly, all of the pain is lifted and you rise above the waves and see the sunshine.  The feeling is better than when I used to not have depression.  For the record, I have never been diagnosed with depression.  Yet, you can probably tell that I don’t need to walk into a doctor’s office and get this thing certified.  Suicidal thoughts have plagued me from a very young age.  I just never took action because of a couple of strange things that keep me walking on earth:

  • I still believe in miracles
  • I still believe the world is a beautiful place (even with all of the trash that exists in it)
  • I still believe that God can turn my situations around
  • I like to live with hope that things will change
  • I believe that when I have a breakthrough (the up) I experience it from a very positive place.
  • I love to look back and say “man, I cannot believe how depressed I was then.  Look at me now!”
  • I believe that my pain is due to a season of transformation and change; therefore, I must experience the pain to experience the ‘up.’

I think I know what you are thinking.  Yes, I am a “professional worrier” that lacks faith in the areas where I usually need it the most (remember, sarcastic Christian here!).  Anyway, I feel that I can say these things freely because I know who I am.  Or better yet, I have come to know myself a bit better than yesterday.  I also am not afraid to let out whatever is bothering me. I am comfortable being this person–although many, MANY, MANY times I cannot stand myself!

Also, I am not a hypocrite.  I am not the type of person that will tell you that God will take care of all of your troubles; therefore, you must show trust and be happy because He has this!  Absolutely NO.  I am the type to tell you that, while I believe that God is behind the scenes in all of my troubles, I believe that the transformation comes with a TRUCKLOAD of pain.  I believe that without pain, you cannot learn what exactly is being perfected in you.  Here’s the kicker:  I would not be able to commit suicide because I still believe that, even when I say ‘what’s the point,’ I know that God has a point.  I believe that my very statements of pointlessness are the reason that God finds me relevant.

I think He would say the same about you.  So, perhaps this post does not reflect all of the beauty that a Christian post should present.  Perhaps this isn’t your common religious essay where by the end of it, you feel empowered.  The point is to give you something that is real in me.  I am leaving all pretensions and showing you the real me.  I truly hope that you live a life that looks into the future with the intensity of a ‘yes’ and the possibility of an ‘up.’  I would say that I still believe you should give life a big YES.

The waves

Depression is like a room engulfed in flames and you can’t breathe for the sooty smoke smothering you limp – and suicide is deciding there is no way but to jump straight out of the burning building … You don’t try to kill yourself because death is appealing – but because life is agonizing. We don’t want to die. But we can’t stand to be devoured.” Ann Voskamp

The pain; like the waves of the sea

I have been very resilient for most of my life.  There have been a lot of times when I simply didn’t feel powerful at all; yet there was something that always allowed me to bounce back.  Today is not one of those days.  There is one person in my life that can cut through the walls of emotional protection that I have built; that is my husband.  His opinion means a lot to me; and sometimes, a bit too much.

As you may know from reading this blog, I have been unemployed for some time.  There was a time in my life when I truly felt that I was thriving so fast and furiously that I thought I’d surely make it to the top.  The things started to change.  I met people that simply had no moral value to their character.  I had to make choices to either be part of it, be the ‘better person’ by continuously making better personal choice–yet being impacted directly/indirectly by their bad behaviors, or walk away from it all.  I chose the last option. I quit.  With quitting came a bunch of financial and emotional mess.  I can say that today I am emotionally in a better place.  Financially, I would say that we simply manage as much as we can.  My student loans are on deferment, when in the past I used to pay as I went to school.  It has been close to 3 months since I’ve been unemployed.

I have found it truly hard to find another job.  Yes, I have been offered opportunities.  The problem is that coming from a negative background in the type of work that I do, it has been hard for me to move into any of these opportunities.  The first reason is that many of these smaller companies have no clear goals or vision to what they do.  In the world of contracting, you can see from a mile away when I company may not be able to make it.  I am not intending to build a resume full of ‘mini opportunities.’  The larger companies that I have targeted have called me…I didn’t make their cut.  I have replayed in my head what I have done wrong.  Nevertheless, I try to go back to my faith and keep telling myself “God didn’t want you there.”  The problem is that I don’t know how long that’s going to help me.  Its almost like giving myself a pat on the back…but how long is this going to work?

Today, my husband came home in a horrible mood.  Speaking badly about people in our home, down playing when people do nice things for him…just horrible.  I could not stand it so I stood my ground and stated that I would not put up with this foul treatment.  He laughed at me.  I know that I sound bitchy right now, but in my emotional situation and with all of this going on in my life, I felt betrayal.  I felt that he cannot be happy with anything.  Later on, he attempted to touch me but I just couldn’t bare it.  I told him that if he wanted to laugh at me, and it pleased and made him feel good, to go ahead.  I said that I am already a joke, he is just another one getting with the program.

So, for years I have felt that my husband saw me as another paycheck.  I have never felt that he valued me as a wife, mother, a woman.  I have always felt that he only saw my value as long as I brought money home.  Today, I have nothing for him.  I have nothing but requests and debt.  It is very demoralizing to feel this way.  I feel that I should die, but I am too chicken to go through with it.  Plus, I know that people that commit suicide are selfish and end up burning in hell.  I am not being sarcastic, just saying how I feel.  No, I’m not going to go kill myself.  That’s ridiculous, and it would negatively affect my children.

I have prayed that God will provide the way so that others won’t suffer, and I will stop occupying space on earth that I don’t deserve.

I am drowning.

Why are opinions so hard to digest?

Ever wonder why opinions are so hard to put up with?  As much as we want to respect differing points of view, it is truly hard to understand why other people think so different from you.  It is easier to say that you respect someone for thinking differently, than it is to actually do it.  There are subjects in which each one of us is truly passionate about.  We feel that we are correct towards that subject.  We feel that our view makes sense, and why would anyone disagree with it?

The truth is that we form attachments towards certain subjects as a result of our life experiences, upbringing, culture, socioeconomic background, religion, and so forth.  Opinions are the result of a thought process that started its formation long before you realized that you thought a certain way.  There are times when we, ourselves, have no clue about how we feel towards a topic until someone introduces the subject to us.  The tough times come not from the formation of that opinion, but from the argument and disagreement that takes place with others that disagree.

What is the origin of a disagreement?  This is simple, and I am certain that you would tell me something along these lines:  “disagreement is the lack of agreement; the absence of like-mindedness among people, etc.”  Once you realize that equal thoughts emerge from the aspects that I outlined above, you can at least, move forward with more clarity.  The question is not “how do I get them to agree with me?” but “how can we disagree and still relate to each other civilly?”  My answer is quite sarcastic and simple:  mind your own business.

Listen, unless it is something that will hurt someone, breaks the law, is in violation of rights…and the rest of the legal/relational stuff:  I recommend you to mind your own business.  This does not mean that you cannot have a nice, healthy, heated debate.  It means that you do not allow yourself to lose sleep over a difference of opinions.  There are those of you who will find it hard to understand why your friend of “x amount of years” cannot agree with you on this one thing that is SO IMPORTANT TO SAVING HUMANITY.  The truth is that your friend and neighbor has every right to think for themselves.

I always say that rather than being against something, try to be for something.  Your perspective of life will change dramatically.   I used to be the type that would think about disagreement of opinions, especially the political/religious type of topic, and would just toss and turn at night trying to figure out why people thought a certain way.  I just could not wrap in my mind that others also had the same right to feel, say, or express an idea that was different than mind.  How limiting to be this way!  I found myself in the very misery of what I had created.  I went as far as breaking friendships because we did not agree.  I was so almighty, all-knowledge, all-power, all-right, all-perfect.  When in reality, I was wasting away these wonderful relationships and friendships that could have resulted in strong bonds.  I write this from the perspective of the jerk that could not, and would not, accept that others also had the ability to think on their own.

So what are we to do when things get tough and we suddenly feel that we no longer “like” someone?  We get over ourselves.  Listen, you can have a healthy friendship where you establish parameters of communication.  If you know, in your heart that you cannot deal with someone else’s difference of ideas, then you need to stay away from having a conversation that may lead to a weird argument or the exercise of the silent treatment.  If your religion has a certain set of believes, such as mine within the Christian construct, you need to ask yourself whether you are showing and extending true love.  Your job is not to judge, or convince that person of your opinions, but to extend mercy.  We extend mercy by accepting the relationship…never by judging.  If you are concerned about a friend’s lifestyle, you can safely express it without pushing away that person.  Remember that you are not perfect either.

As a Christian, I have friends from many walks of life that do not necessarily conform to the Christian lifestyle.  I have learned to show love in the place that I am in.  This does not mean that I am a passive Christian, or that I am simply okay with anything that my friends do…it means that I have openly showed who I am and that they are forever welcomed in a safe place of respect and love.

You may disagree with me, but this is who I am.  Would love to hear your opinions, whether they are in agreement or disagreement of mind.

Joy and happiness are two different things

I have often seen the terms “joy” and “happiness” used interchangeably by people.  The problem is that, although these seem to derive from similar decisions, they are truly not the same.  Not to get too “churchy” on you, but Christians have a different perspective on what joy is, and what happiness represents.  I am presenting to you this highly opinionated post from a Christian perspective; however, do not just dump it and move on.  There is quite a lot that you can get out of this.

Joy is an emotion that demonstrates a sense of content.  Being content does not mean that you have settled for something that is lesser than what you deserve.  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  It means that you are at peace with yourself, that you have lived enough to know that things will work out.  You have also learned to “get over it” and move on with your life.  This all sounds very negative; however, these are true statements.  Joy is not an emotion or a word that you use as vengeance, but as an empowering feeling that no miserable memory can take away.  In the Bible, there is a verse that speaks of joy as a term of resiliency.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”  James 1:2-3 (NIV).

Therefore, one can truly find joy in the trials that are presented in life.  I remember being present during the last living days of my maternal grandmother.  He was in such absolute pain from cancer that was eating at her red cells.  I prayed that either God would please remove the pain and bring her back to normal, or to get rid of all pain by sending her to grandma heaven.  My grandmother died about a week after my prayer.  I was devastated, but felt joy because I felt that she was now at peace, in a way better place than cancer!  I felt joy in my time of mourning because I was convinced that God was with me in this impact-full life trial.

Happiness is an emotion that can be confused with other emotions.  It is also dependent upon a stimuli.  Therefore, an individual cannot truly feel happy if not triggered to be happy from any source deemed to make funny the individual.

My recommendation is that you seek out a positive emotion, and exercise it like an actual muscle.  You will be surprised at how much you will want joy over happiness.