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relationships

Do you have a moment to talk about triggers?

I’ve struggled to even put “two hundred crappy a day” down lately, I know there are things for me to write about. But concentration hasn’t been fantastic for a few months. The migraines and fogginess have certainly been in full force.

But I want to talk about triggers, I’ve been on the receiving end of them, and also caused some of them. The latter made me think about my mental health, and how it affects/affected others in my life. I remember a few years back when I had a break up with someone I stopped caring, and I think that was also probably the time when depression was given a kick and I started on a slow and steady decline.

My mental health took a blow, and it wasn’t pretty. I stopped tidying my house, I stopped cleaning my house, I barely ate. The worst thing that happened though was my weekly once or twice trip to the pub became a five to six night a week. I was drinking a lot, not to the state of blackout drunk. But enough that I was over the limit and still driving home.

I started to feel ill quite often, my stomach would feel horrible. I still kept going, my mental health was going downward until I reached a point where I couldn’t keep feeling like I was and stopped. But it also occurred to me, that wasn’t the worst thing that happened.

The worst thing was that no one stopped me, no one pulled me aside, no one asked how I was going. I just kept going to the pub, drinking, and going home.

Then earlier this year, I made a mountain out of a molehill with something that shouldn’t have concerned me in the first place. With someone drinking at 10am, but also someone who had battled a bit of a drinking problem when their mental health took a beating, and then when I thought about it a bit more. I had quite a few people I have cared about who have had a drinking problem and done the same thing.

I guess the point I’m making here is I cared about them enough that it made me angry about them having a drink early in the morning, rather than just drinking to get drunk, for celebration. But that I wasn’t able to express why it made me like that, and now I regret what happened.

We can’t just jump in a time machine and go back, unfortunately, but I do wish I’d never said anything and everything would still be good. But also at the time, I was going through a mental battle and keeping a lot of it hidden because I didn’t want to upset people. It feels like it was a subconscious trigger at the time, and while I did my best to try and explain it I never got the chance fully.

I’m not really sure what else to write on it, there’s still a lot on my mind. But I do miss someone deeply for my actions.

Hard to Love

I’ve wondered lately about the dating game, relationships and what not, and where I fit into all of it. I haven’t dated a whole lot in the past few years, I haven’t felt in the right place for it. It’s not so much a fear of being hurt again, but that it inevitably happens anyway. In some form, someone will hurt me or disappointment, or not be the kind of person they were at the beginning.
I’ve dipped my toe in the pool a few times, only to take it out and continue to ignore it and not really go anywhere with it.

I think my mental health is part of it, I haven’t been in a good place for anything really. Now that I’ve made some moderate progress with it, it’s left me with a bit more time and energy to think about dating, and what I want. My problem is I haven’t really worked out what I want. I’m not interested in fake people, I know that much. I want honest people around me. The kind who know that being honest can hurt, but being dishonest and to later find out they were, hurts more than being honest in the first place.

I do miss having that special someone, but I find it hard to form a connection with anyone lately, and that may be down to the same fact that I had disassociated myself from empathy towards people, that I’ve also disassociated with others when it comes to forming any type of connection. There are some people I still have connections with, regardless of whether we still talk or not, people I love, people I care about. But that’s as far as they go now.

“In my opinon, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person will still think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”
― Diablo Cody

I’d had a wonderful person in my life at one stage who thought the sun did shine out my ass. Even when things were down and I was struggling, there was still support. There was support and care even when things were good, and I do miss them immensely and always will. I’m definitely finding it hard to love myself lately, and also find that I’m hard to love by others, whether it’s just small things right through to my life may look highly complex to them and they want only parts of me. But I miss having someone who would stick by me, good or bad. Someone to share things with.

“That’s what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable.”
― Deb Caletti

Riddle me this, riddle me that

Who’s afraid of the big, black, bat.

“New Year, New Me”. Fuck that shit. Same shit different day, and you shouldn’t need a new year to find motivation to make life changes.

However, my life changes have been slow. Almost caught up in too much thought about what I should be doing instead of taking the jump. Taking a jump, a plunge or just doing something that can step you out of your comfort zone can be completely daunting.

Life is at a crossroads.If I go down path A, I will no longer live the current lifestyle I have, which I find boring and depressive. Which sounds bad, but I have nothing to stimulate my mind or have much to be passionate about. But it means more freedom and probably better mental health. Or do I go down path B, where I would have less freedom, but be keeping myself busy, more productive and a potential career change and doing things I’ll be passionate about. Or at least something different than my usual day to day job. But how will that impact my mental health? And also my chronic illness?

I guess I’ll have to find out along the way. Both paths are enticing to go down, freedom versus doing something I really think I would enjoy. But may still give me the option of path A later down the road.

This is how my life works, a constant state of my head feeling like a washing machine going while full of scrambled eggs. The same goes for people and potential relationships, they say one thing but do another. Add that into all the other factors of those scrambled eggs spinning around and my head is just a place of violent, mushy clutter. My mind is set to “slow grind” and will leave me with a cluster of riddles to solve.

 

Peace be the journey

The last month has been a roller-coaster to say the least, incredible highs, incredible lows. Lots of happiness and lots of sadness.

Three years ago when I took the plunge into getting some counselling/life coaching I didn’t really know what awaited. I know I’d experienced heart break and being stripped down to nothing. But a journey had started, I’ve learnt many things along the way and I continue to do so. I was told I had to get used to “bragging” and talking about the things I do, I was told to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”. As I’ve travelled this journey I’ve had something each time that happened that felt like a piece of the puzzle to this journey.

In my most recent session last week, I explained how my week had been and where my headspace was at. It wasn’t in a particularly great space, and my heart was being pulled in two directions. One, from meeting someone new and having a full unexpected connection to them, to revisiting an old one and seeking answers and closure, of which I had a strong connection with as well.

I’d dipped my toe in the dating world a little over the past few months, coffee, dinner, movies. Whatever at the time to meet someone new. But the date never progressed past a first, and I felt no connection with any of them. It was only until I’d met someone unexpectedly I had the first strong connection since I can remember. It felt like every piece of that puzzle on my journey now fell into place. From the things I had learnt, to the music I had listened to, ideas for the future and things I wanted in life, they were all part of the puzzle as they were mutual between both of us.

I had to “brag” about the things I had done to continue conversation, and get uncomfortable when I do that. I still struggle to do that. But the layers around me came off and I dropped my guard because I met someone who was unexpectedly and whole heartedly themselves and I was okay with that. A wonderful woman with more thought and intent from her heart that I’ve come across. My cup overflowed and every corner of me felt something for the first time in a long time.  We talked about a lot, life, love, music, things that we are passionate about. We watched sunsets, walked on the beach and continued talking about anything until we stared at the stars, which I can’t remember the last time I even did that.

The unfortunate thing was, the timing seemed to be wrong. As much as she said she was broken even though I didn’t think it. A string of relationships had led her to the point where she was overwhelmed at someone treating her differently, and led her not wanting any contact. As much as she said other things as to why we shouldn’t have contact, I think they were just there to distance us from each other so she can protect herself.

But during that process, I felt like I needed to deal with some past issues. So I got in contact with someone who had left an impression on me from a long time ago, so that I could deal with the thoughts that still remained in my head. It’s been weird reconnecting with someone who gave a lot of heart break, but strangely we slotted right back in where we left off, it was a familiar place and comfort.

While talking to my counsellor, she started a diagram of my journey when it’s come to my love life and the lessons it has taught me along the way. I started at severe heartbreak, the next moved onto exercising patience. The next was a new experience and dynamics of a relationship, but also continued to be an asset in my life and continued support since.

The next was a lesson in reminding me what I wanted in a relationship. While we had similar morals, interests and it came from a place of love. There was jealousy and in the same form I’ve seen before and I wasn’t willing to go down that path again.

The most recent is yet to teach me a lesson, I let my guard down when I had someone who showed they cared and listened intently.

By my counsellor showing my this path and contacting my initial place of heartbreak, I had gone full circle in my journey, and I’m waiting on the remaining piece of my puzzle to fall into place. But also that the last person who grabbed hold of me so hard is still there to come back into my life, she’s not done with me yet, and for me to understand that I have all the previous lessons I have learned over the past few years from lovers to reflect on to guide me the right way.

The first layer of my journey has been peeled off, and soon I’ll be starting the next.

What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?

I came across this post sometime early in 2017, and it made a lot of sense. I thought it’s worth reposting, not only for others but also to reference for myself at some stage. Just in case the post disappears I guess.


What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?

What if I all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between. Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?

The world is such a noisy place. Loud, haranguing voices lecturing me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count.

But what if I just don’t have it in me. What if all the striving for excellence leaves me sad, worn out, depleted. Drained of joy. Am I simply not enough?

What if I never really amount to anything when I grow up – beyond mom and sister and wife. But these people in my primary circle of impact know they are loved and that I would choose them again, given the choice. Can this be enough?

What if I never build an orphanage in Africa but send bags of groceries to people here and there and support a couple of kids through sponsorship. What if I just offer the small gifts I have to the world and let that be enough.

What if I don’t want to write a cookbook or build a six-figure business or speak before thousands. But I write because I have something to say and I invest in a small community of women I care about and encourage them to love and care for themselves well. Because bigger isn’t always better and the individual matters. She is enough.

What if I just accept this mediocre body of mine that is neither big nor small. Just in between. And I embrace that I have no desire to work for rock hard abs or 18% body fat. And I make peace with it and decide that when I lie on my deathbed I will never regret having just been me. Take me or leave me.

What if I am a mediocre home manager who rarely dusts and mostly maintains order and makes real food but sometimes buys pizza and who is horrified at moments by the utter mess in some areas of her home. Who loves to menu plan and budget but then breaks her own rules and pushes back against rigidity. Who doesn’t care about decorating and fancy things. Whose home is humble but safe.

What if I am not cut out for the frantic pace of this society and cannot even begin to keep up. And see so many others with what appears to be boundless energy and stamina but know that I need tons of solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to be healthy. Body, Spirit, Soul healthy. Am I enough?

What if I am too religious for some and not spiritual enough for others. Non-evangelistic. Not bold enough. Yet willing to share in quiet ways, in genuine relationship, my deeply rooted faith. And my doubts and insecurities. This will have to be enough.

And if I have been married 21 years and love my husband more today than yesterday but have never had a fairy tale romance and break the “experts” marriage rules about doing a ton of activities together and having a bunch in common. And we don’t. And we like time apart and time together. Is our marriage good enough?

What if I am a mom who delights in her kids but needs time for herself and sometimes just wants to be first and doesn’t like to play but who hugs and affirms and supports her kids in their passions. A mediocre mom who can never live up to her own expectations of good enough, let alone yours.

What if I embrace my limitations and stop railing against them. Make peace with who I am and what I need and honor your right to do the same. Accept that all I really want is a small, slow, simple life. A mediocre life. A beautiful, quiet, gentle life. I think it is enough.


Source: https://www.alifeinprogress.ca/want-mediocre-life/

Grand Chancellor… of life, love, and all that comes with it

In 2016, I made the decision to see a counselor. A holistic one at that, I didn’t want to go and see a psych who would just shove me on some kind of anti-depressants and peddle me out the door “come see me next week”, and then talk about my childhood.

The seed was initially planted after several heated arguments with friends, one suggesting I get some help. Some people can take that on negatively, but I can only see someone that genuinely cares about the person and their mental health.

I don’t see going to a counselor or psych because some may have mental health issues, that’s where a bad stigma exists. Some people use them for a career change and seek advice, advice with families and relationships. Not just all those who have a mental health issue.

Seeing a counselor was the worst, and the best decision I’d ever made. It taught me and gave me the tools I needed to deal with the past, present and future problems. It helped me be more mindful of what I’m doing and the things around me. Like how much plastic goes into landfill, how much ends up in the ocean and from that, I worked to have less general waste. Everything now goes into recycling or compost. I haven’t had any general waste in over 6 months. It’s also made me more mindful of the people I have around me in my life. But it also presented me with new issues, events and feelings I hadn’t dealt with before. But it’s certainly made things a rollercoaster ride with everything new, and even old experiences when it comes to managing them.

Prior to seeing the counselor, I’d had a relationship that had ended very badly. Badly enough that I had mentally checked out for about six weeks or so. There are only three or four events during that time that I remember. I know I barely ate and lost a lot of weight, and I don’t have any other recollections of what happened during that time. I do, however, feel guilty that the people I care about and consider close, sat by and tried to help someone that wasn’t aware they were being helped or even walking on the face of the planet.

I’ve never been into the conventional views of relationships, like the man going to work to earn and provide. Nor have I been the same of people’s views of having a successful life and relationship, be it marriage, kids, car, house successful job/ well-payed career.

I’d like to be happy with who I am, where I am, and what I do. Not measured by other people’s standards. Marriage, a house, and all that pressure externally from others hadn’t been in my mind until my last relationship. I miss that relationship because I could be myself, there were no fears for the future, wanting to marry her and all of the above weren’t pressure from the outside world. They were on my own terms, and I wanted to see the relationship and those involved flourish because the deserved happiness, as much as I deserve happiness too.

When you spend time with someone and get to know them, you fall in love with every part of them. You only want them to have endless happiness, to give them things that make them happy. For me it was also a want, to give her happiness, inner peace, and contentment.

I would have happily given her a house, not just for a place to live. But a place of peace and content. Something that could be built to our own morals, and hearts. A place for a garden, a place for peaceful activities. While I like gardening, I don’t have many options in a rental. But I know it was her form of relaxation, and meditation, an off switch when she needed it most. I would have loved that chance to give her that space. For me, designing a house is something I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s an off switch for me, even watching tv shows about architecture. I can immerse myself and be lost in it. A house with recycled materials, big jetty pylons, and blocks of concrete. Earthy tones and a warm feeling, big windows to bring outside into the house so you never feel complete shut inside, or outside. If it was at all possible, I’d have tried to get the land that I grew up on, but now it’s part of a conservation park. It’s still a peaceful place for me to go.

Happiness and peace are important to my life, I never got a lot of it growing up. It was only until my late twenties that I was starting to experience it and felt I’d find that in a relationship. My mental health suffered during this time, and while I’m told I’m good at masking it. I should have been open about it, and not let it affect the relationship as it’s no excuse. It was my responsibility to look after it and I didn’t. It only got worse when the relationship ended with the most wonderful woman I’ve ever set my heart on.

The road to recovery will be long, hard, and confusing. I will have to find patience again. I’d like to find my passion again as I’ve lost it. There isn’t much that interests me anymore and I feel like I’m wasting away and wasting my time. I’m also not sure what I’m passionate about anymore either.

I do know I’d love to get a chance to be a husband, partner, sidekick, educator and role model, a Dad. But the word “father” never really comes to mind. Just because you can bring a child into this world does not make you a Father. Regardless of whoever’s child, it is, I’ll always take time to listen, educate and be a role model.

But where is my passion, and my heart supposed to go? If you observe the people around you, a lot of them are the same. Live the same lifestyle, do the same things over and over again without much thought to their own growth as a person. It’s the different ones I take notice of. Am I mean to stay in one place? Work in I.T. and do the same things over and over again? Am I meant for something different? Give up the rat race and live out a van like a nomad? Become someone who travels full time and blogs? Live in a different country as a writer about whatever the fuck that feels right? These are the people I take notice of, the “round peg in the square hole’.

 

That night, I thanked God for seeing me through that day of days and prayed I would make it through D plus 1. I also promised that if some way I could get home again, I would find a nice peaceful town and spend the rest of my life in peace.

Richard Winters

 

With a little help from my friends

I’ve found over the past few years I have a lot of people who come to me for advice, more specifically relationships, mental health and dealing with situations they’ve run out of ideas with. I’ve been told a few times I think a bit more than other people. Higher capacity? I’m not sure, I can’t really think of the words right now.
I’ve always been the one who holds up to be strong and still able to think when there’s disaster. Even with my own life, but that’s not always the case. While these people are friends, it got to the stage where I felt like an emotional drop in house. People would have no contact with me for a while, and then I’d get a text, a call or something out of nowhere because something in life has caused them a problem. After a while I had to say no, it was costing me friendships and relationships.

It’s probably cost more recently, because I’m that person everyone comes to for advice they seem to have this expectation that I can always help and always give advice. But there’s no forethought that I too, can be dealing with my own issues.

It’s like I guess that because of who I am, I’m not allowed to have a break down, ever.

For the first time in a long time, I struggled to handle something in my own life. But all those who were dependant on me when they needed help, have shut me out. I already had very little friends at that stage, and I guess that shows who the people are in your life. Whether they are there to support you when it gets tough, or they are ready to run.

Mirror mirror on the wall…

There should always be time for self reflection, be it how you go in a job, your personality, your goals, and even relationships. It’s easy to get caught up in the busy parts with life, people pulling you left and right, the constant stream of work that needs to get done because of demands. Always make time for yourself to wind down, and always make time to reflect on how these things are progressing, and if they suit you.

It came to the forefront of my mind recently, that while I’m busy doing other things that I feel I need to do, prioritise or want to get done. It can come at a sacrifice to others, their well-being, headspace and health in general. Three things come to mind now, my commitments to the cricket club, voluntary commitments to others that I may help in some form or another, and also my own headspace being caught up with whatever may be bothering me. Those examples are that I was tipping a lot of time into getting the cricket clubs season up and running, I was also helping a friend who was doing some fundraising for Beyond Blue to create awareness of depression and anxiety, and I was also stuck in a place where I felt I had no control over my health. Waiting on a magical pill or doctors to find some way that my Fibromyalgia could have it’s symptoms reduced, instead of trying things on my own.

The problem with these is that while I was helping someone to raise awareness of depression and anxiety, I wasn’t paying the attention I should have to the woman I love and care about. Going through the same battle herself, it drips in irony. While I wasn’t completely shut off from this, sometimes taking action may be what’s needed to help them, to show that you’re paying attention to what’s going on with them and know that they are fighting a battle. But that they aren’t fighting the battle alone, they will have the support, love and care they need behind them through a tough time. They can’t see an end to it, that’s what the people for love and support are for, to show them that there is light at the end and things will be better.

Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up. – Alfred Pennyworth

It’s these kind of events that you need to take a step back, and realise that family, and people you love. Come first. They will, and have been the ones there when you’ve needed it. The ones you’re comfortable with, the one you can laugh and cry with. The one who will tell you during the bad times that things will get better, and enjoy the moment when the good times are there.

I was caught up in my own headspace trying to fix myself, knowing that there was nothing I could do to control it and didn’t offer any logical support, and that was a shitty thing to do. It’s something to learn from, something to take on board and self reflect from.

This is certainly the first relationship where I’ve found something close to “opposites attract” and is actually true. While there isn’t a great deal in common when it comes to hobbies and things we enjoy. There’s a certain comfort that comes from it, no expectations to be anyone we are not. Just ourselves. It’s fun and a good place to be in. Enjoy the simple things, like tea and custard tarts, and the odd arse crack and fart on Snapchat.

Minimalism, for art thou savior!

Dear Friends, Do you have a moment to talk about Minimalism?

Dear Friends,

I love you. I’m picky with my friends. I’m picky about who I spend my time, and my efforts on. Is it from getting old and becoming wise? From the repeated disappointment that comes from the expectations placed on one another? You are my friends, you are a place I can bury my thoughts, my insecurities, to vent when I have a bad day, to seek advice from when I need it.

You all do the same, to vent, to ask advice, to bury your thoughts and insecurities. You are all capable of doing much more, you are in control of your life. If there is something that no longer makes you happy or suits its purpose, change it. It may feel like you have a lot at stake, but the fear of what is on the other side is holding you back. The “what if’s”. Change it anyway. Only until you make a change will you see the benefits after, regardless of the risk.

“If you no longer go for a gap which exists you are no longer a racing driver” – Ayrton Senna

My friends, do you have a moment to talk about minimalism?

Do you ever feel weighed down? And I’m not talking about the big things, the small things, the ones that each time something happens it adds a little bit more to the pile. More weight, more problems (Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems). It will keep adding and adding until eventually, you break. The straw that broke the Camels back.

Life is complicated, life is stressful. But it doesn’t have to be, you’re allowed to make it simple. You are allowed to have a simple, loving, fulfilling life. You are allowed to simplify everything. This includes your friends, family, work, and your commitments. You are allowed to say no.

Minimalism has its benefits, and I’m not going to go all ‘preachy, preachy’ praise minimalism, on you. We, as humans, are only equipped to handle so much, and some things we are not able to handle at all. Simplify a number of aspects of your life that you need to manage and then learn ways to manage the aspects you can’t. You will have extra time to do so, it’s time to start investing in yourself and your well-being. Invest in your growth, and make investments with your time. Don’t waste the time on people who do not help you grow, or stomp on your voice.

People are a great stressor in life, regardless of who a person is to you. There are always complications regardless of the type of relationship. If the relationship is no longer making you happy, reassess if it is right for you and then remember. You do have a voice.