My Naivety – 31/05/19

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I have alluded previously that I am horrendous at making decisions as I cannot rely on my own brain.

I get caught up in fantasy, choose to see things the way I want to see them, a defence mechanism built up over many years of being hurt. Reality is usually too painful to acknowledge, so a retreat into a version of life where things are not as bad is an easy thing to slip into, and for the most part does no harm, it just makes things easier to deal with.

Unfortunately the down side of this is when reality comes crashing in and collides with the fairy tale life I am weaving for myself.

It is better to live in reality. I wish I could. But it hurts too much. The despair, the pain, the realisation, is too much. Perhaps, however, a source of this pain comes from the juxtaposition I create, in having a fairy tale life in the first place, by having hope and reaching for it. Perhaps if I embrace full pessimism, accept that my chance of happiness is not going to happen, I can live in reality. It might be depressing and it might change who I am, but maybe it would be the best option. In order to do this though, I would have to stop giving a shit about anything. And that is hard. Giving a shit gives us a reason to live. It gives us the passion to do things, to make the right choices, to act with honour and integrity, to move forward as a person. Is it fair on other people if I stop giving a shit?

I am fed up with the words from others that perpetuate the fantasy, but the actions that tear it down.

I am fed up of catching myself believing those words, only to find myself a fool again. Perhaps this is one life lesson I will never learn. Perhaps I will always be naive when it comes to the things I desire, because I want so much to believe it. So perhaps the only option is to believe nothing. To live in nothing.

Most of all I am fed up of living in my brain. If I stop giving a shit, will the thoughts finally stop? Or even if they don’t stop, will I at least be able to dismiss them because I don’t give a shit anymore? What would living a life like that be like? How would it affect those around me?

Recently, I have started recovering what is left of myself. I had been a shell for so long, and all I wanted was to regain what I used to be. This has been slowly beginning to happen, but if I chose to live a life of reality, I would be kissing that person goodbye once and for all. If I chose this path I would be essentially killing her and letting someone else walk away and live my life out. Is it fair to her? Or is it a mercy killing?

Can someone please make the decision for me. Just make sure it’s the right one please.

 

I Will Find A Way – Lucy Lyness

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youth’s ultimate beauty of innocence and hope

if ignorance is bliss, then surely, therefore, so is this

the potential and possible timelines and paths

streaming out of my body like ribbons of life, like lifeforce  itself

 

you took this, it attracted you like the murderous magpie you are

that malleable soul before you

that you systematically destroyed, inhibited, reduced to nothing

but it was my fault of course

 

no different from those that find a rare and undiscovered animal

Shoot it and put its head on their mantel piece

I sat on your mantel piece, broken remnants of a once wondrous masterpiece

now shattered into a thousand jigsaw pieces, the complete picture wiped away forever

 

that lifeforce, once so bright and strong

now a dark cloud, a demon smoke

inside every one of my cells

it is more me than I am

 

now that I have gained my freedom, why can I not be free?

still trapped beneath your limitations, your words and intentions, your strikes and misses

I wish I could twist your neck until I heard every last vertebrae snap

watch the ligaments dangle like spaghetti from my hands

I wish I could scream in your face, unhinge my jaw

and release that black demon smoke into your own being

fill you with everything you gave to me, an unwanted gift

watch your brain spark and burn under the pain

I could crack open your ribs, splinter one into a quill

remove your heart and write on your forehead

in your own blood, am I enough now?

 

At least through my anger I can purge you

I can feel something, a reminder that I was once a person

I don’t know how to start my life without you

I don’t know what to do or how to cope

you were my battle

my fight for freedom defined my every thought and action

now I am free I have nothing to live for, no purpose

but I will be damned if I waste it

I will find a reason to live

I will find a way to allow myself happiness

I will find a way to release you from my soul

I will find a way to love life again

with one foot in front of the other I will walk away from you

until I no longer hear you in my brain

until your reach no longer permeates

and I can finally fly away

February 11th – I need to breathe

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I am struggling and I don’t know what to do. I am pissing myself off with my inability to grab things head on and deal with it. To me, my struggling is a weakness I abhor.

I want to reach out to someone and tell them that I cannot cope, but I don’t know who to turn to. I don’t want platitudes, meaningful quotes written in script on a sunset background. I don’t want to hear that everything will be ok, everything happens for a reason, these things make us stronger. I am tired of having to be strong, of swimming against a never ending tide that washes away the sand from under my feet, leaving me constantly unstable.

All I want to care about right now, is meeting my basic survival needs, but in order to do so I have to make myself ill working a job, in order to earn enough money to almost meet my survival needs. The rich care about money, I do not. If I could meet my needs without it, I would. My soul is trapped in an ever tightening cage, I feel crushed and in pain, I want to neither exist nor not exist. I just want to be able to breathe.

I have always had ambitions, not ones important to anyone else, but ones for myself,  becoming self sufficient, self employed, free from the chains of capitalism to whatever degree I can manage. But now even these thoughts give me no pleasure.

Some people may wish to be at home to rest and recharge from these things, but I hate my home. It is a prison, a symbol of everything in my life I want to get away from, the reason I need to earn so much money, and for what? Four walls I don’t wish to be inside. A glorified shed for belongings I have no time or desire to touch. It is the guarantee that for the next month I shall have a roof over my head. But the price, is wishing I didn’t.

I find myself floating from friend to friend, telephone conversations about nothing, attempts at socialising face to face, to take my mind off it, to fill the hole of loneliness, but this only serves to make me feel isolated even further. But if I reject these interactions I fear I will lose my brain completely into a pit of nothingness.

To think of the future before, gave me hope. I had a passion, something in my present to fight against, and the idea that in the future would lie my freedom. Now I do not know what the future holds, I am struggling to see a way out, so all that fills the gap is the day to day strangulation of my being, stretching out to eternity in front of me. It may be easy enough to say, “do not think of the future, concentrate on the present,” but if I have nothing to look forward to and to live towards, what is the point in living today. Every now and then, if I find myself in a lighter mood, I daydream of a potential future, one that I would like to have very much, but the path there seems so obstructed that what should be a pleasant daydream leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

I simply wish to be able to breathe again. This isolation, much my own doing, is not good for me, but I don’t feel able to connect with anyone, or know where to start, as I don’t want to drag anyone into this pathetic fuckery. But if you feel like someone has your back, you can tackle anything that is thrown at you, but if you don’t feel like you have that, then everything can so easily overwhelm you and make you feel like you are breaking.

I am proud of myself for not resorting to drinking through it at least. Every cloud…..

 

 

December 2018

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I haven’t written on here in over a year.  A lot has changed.

2017 was a year of discovery, hope, breaking out, finding myself and new experiences.

2018 has been a year of depressions, difficulties, reality checks and avoidance. Also a few good bits.

I lost the house that I had so badly needed. My finances have been in tatters. I have withdrawn from social situations.

I discovered that I am not as strong as I thought.

Currently, I am low and struggling. I have made the decision to once again leave the boat and get a house. It is not going to be easy, my finances are going to be tight, but i know it is the right decision.

The relationship was too hurtful, and after 11 years I could see no way of undoing all that had been done. But I didn’t know the half of it. I assumed as I had put up with this over the course of the 11 years, that I could handle it. I have discovered that it has actually left me a very broken person in many ways.

I am more fucked up than I thought.

This is impacting those around me, and more importantly driving me insane.

I have sought help , which will begin in the New Year. In the meantime I want to purge.

Purge my possessions.

Purge my emotions.

Purge my past.

Purge my brain.

I want to scream and throw things and cry and paint and empty my brain.

Maybe I need to acknowledge my past. Acknowledge the hurt and the damage. And realise that it does not reflect me. It is not me. It is part of my past. I am a different entity to my pain.

I feel that I need to pour it out. Verbally, write it, scream until the pain is at the surface. I have pushed it down for too long and now it has become my foundation.

Now I feel at risk of ruining something that has the potential to be awesome. My inability to get out of my head and be present with the situation is making things awkward. The onus is not completely on me, there are other parties who are complicit, but their deal is their deal. They can choose to get out of their own heads too, that is not down to me. But I can help by doing my part for my brain.

I want to regain what I used to be. I used to have life sparkling in my eyes, everything was mischief and nothing in the world was too serious. I have been through so much throughout my childhood and teenage years, and yet I never let it rob me of who I was. But now I feel like a shadow. A spectre wearing her face, her clothes, whispering through her life.

It is my life. And I want it back.

 

 

Imposter Syndrome

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Wiki describes Imposter Syndrome like this:

Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

“Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.”

Impostor syndrome is particularly common among high-achievers, but it is said that 70% of us will experience it at some point in our lives, so it is more common than first thought. It is true though that those who are more brilliant tend to suffer from it more extremely.

I can only speak for myself, but imposter syndrome is something I have encountered at every step of my life. In every job I have ever had I have never been able to shake the feeling that they are going to rumble me, and that I will be fired for not being good enough. That one day someone will request a meeting with me and say “You shouldn’t be here.” Every time that I receive praise on how well I am doing I smile awkwardly and try to give them an excuse as to why I “appear” to be doing so well.

When I first started my therapy practice it plagued me more than ever. I was convinced that one day a client would look across at me and say, “Who the hell do you think you are, trying to help me with my problems? You are a liar and you are going to jail for being a fraud!”

That was my honest thought on the subject. I seriously believed that I was going to get into trouble for setting up my business, despite being fully qualified, and achieving high results on all my studies, because I felt like a total fraud. It is a feeling that I still haven’t quite shifted to this day, but one that I manage a lot better.

If we take my therapy practice for an example (I even have trouble typing the words and calling it that because a little voice in the back of my head says “it’s not really though is it? It’s not a real one is it so you can’t call it that.”) I actually found that my attitude was starting to sabotage sessions. It was minute, almost imperceptible little things, but I noticed. My lack of confidence in myself was communicating to certain clients, who I could see starting to shift in sessions, no doubt unconsciously picking up on this and implanting that doubt in their own minds. I realised that if I wasn’t careful and didn’t deal with this issue, I could turn my irrational thought into a truth. I wouldn’t be good enough to do my job, and it wouldn’t be through lack of knowledge or training, or not being able to do the job well, but it would be through letting my own mental processes interfere with the work that I was supposed to be doing. I had to do something about it, but what is there to do?

I began trying to talk to myself and motivate myself before sessions. I began “rehearsing” sessions with a non-existent client. I re-read study materials (that I knew like the back of my hand) and did old exercises from modules. I even sometimes would ask a client to close their eyes to do an exercise because their inability to watch me doing what I was doing helped me relax. I began going to any little course, seminar etc to make myself feel as though I was doing something, reigniting and maintaining my frame of mind. It helped, and little by little I didn’t need to do quite so much to feel more at ease. I still go on courses and to seminars etc as I feel that really helps to keep my mind keyed in to what I am doing and boosts my confidence.

I am really good at what I do, and always have been. It was only my own mind I had to prove that to.

I know that it won’t be the last time I encounter this problem, and I know that I am not the only one who does. I think thoughts like these can rot away at the base of your brain, undermining everything you do and ruining your chance to be happier and perhaps to excel. I know I have been afraid in the past of trying something, of pushing myself, because I thought I would fail because I wasn’t good enough. But through trying different things I have found ways that help me, and if more of us spoke about these things, maybe they wouldn’t knaw away at us, and maybe more people could feel happier.

 

The Void Inside

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I have discussed said void before in posts, it is the ever present, ever sucking hole inside of me that I cannot determine. It is the restlessness, the procrastination, the goal that is always planned but not quite begun, the decision that teeters on the edge of my mind, the identity dancing just out of my reach, the achievement mocking me from the corner of the room. It is emptiness, dissatisfaction, waiting, sadness, anxiety and hedonism.

There are a few things that hit it right in the centre. They don’t cause it to disappear, it is still there, but they fill it and numb it. I still feel it, but I feel the fullness of it and there is a release. Those things are:

Being drunk

Having a cigarette

Getting a tattoo

Getting spanked

Orgasms

 

It is a physical feeling of fullness and the release is sweet, but fleeting.

There are however, two things I have encountered in life that have made the void disappear:

Doing a truly spontaneous exciting thing

The excitement of the build up to a first kiss, if it takes weeks or months, even better.

 

These things make the void disappear completely, and for those moments I am whole. I am alive, truly living in the present. I get a similar, if not quite as satisfactory, feeling when looking at something new and being independent on my own on a sunny day.

But how feasible is it to bounce between these things in order to try and feel alive? I have spent my twenties (and latter part of my teenage years) partying, doing these very things in a constant stream, in order to try and feel alive and plug up the inevitable consuming void inside. I cannot carry on like this. My body is starting to show signs of wear and tear form the years of partying, my mind haunted by some of the things I have done.

I read about people who discover meditation and yoga and green juice and fill that hole, but I don’t think that is going to work for me. I have tried it.

I need to find a way of plugging the hole, otherwise, if I carry on like this, it is eventually going to suck me down with it.

 

 

Impression

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/impression/

Some people leave an impression. Like an indent in your brain or your soul.

Sometimes it’s bad and it hurts and that scarred piece of you will never be the same, always bearing the imprint of the impression left behind. But let’s not talk about negatives.

Let’s talk about the people who’s impression makes you better. I only have a very small handful of these, but they are like a magic tonic for the soul.

Just thinking about the way someone looks when they smile can make my chest swell and my face wear my own unbreakable smile. A throwaway comment or funny quip, otherwise meaningless, can sum up someone’s personality and every reason why you love them, and it fills a tiny part of you. I get a text and my face splits in two because the person I am talking to is so beautifully them, mischievous and playful, and witty and them and I love them for every reason and no reason. These people have left their impression on my soul, people who I will always and forever have alongside me, in my heart and in my brain. Something about them has made me better, made me more whole, and I can only hope I have done the same for them.

Each of these people, and each moment makes me. Instead of the imprint taking away, it shapes, molds, and fills me up with the things that I think really define and create my life. Not the long list of achievements, or the long list of things I haven’t got round to achieving, but the long list of times I have felt that imprint tingle within me, and smiled because one of my favourite humans is there.

Creative Block

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Perhaps I am just destined to live my life feeling vaguely frustrated and agitated and not being able to put my finger on it and fill it.

Lately I have been feeling a creative block. Inspiration has been at my fingertips but just out of reach.

I find it so easy to slip into a numb yet frustrated melancholy when this occurs, and give up on things too easily, because I just don’t have the will power or incentive to try anything. All too often I will be struck by some inspiration or motivation but when I’m busy doing something else, and by the time I am free to do whatever it was I was feeling excited about, that feeling has gone and I end up doing nothing. That is exactly why I am writing this at this moment in time, I arrived at work today and was suddenly filled with positivity and inspiration and motivation and sunshine, but I can’t do any of the things that I truly want to be doing because I am stuck at work for the next 8.5 hours. So instead I am channeling that feeling into writing, that energy has to go somewhere, and no, I don’t want to channel it into my work, thanks. My work is uninspiring and suffocating, so let’s leave that there.

 

But I find it so hard to be creative and motivated at home!!

creative-block-someday

I notice though that despite now feeling the inspiration and motivation, it has not got rid of the frustration. Perhaps I am just destined to live my life feeling vaguely frustrated and agitated and not being able to put my finger on it and fill it.

When I have no motivation I find myself filled with doubt, insecurities, self-dissatisfaction, self-berating thoughts which push me further into the hole that I am in, but I seem quite incapable of stopping myself from doing it. I have no internal locus of evaluation, which is pathetic, and probably why I can’t commit to anything or get my arse in gear and do things.

So today I feel pumped and I want to go to a yoga class and a Zumba class and go find a beer garden near a river and fall asleep on some grass and sit under a tree and read a book, and I want to write, and get on with some of my projects and take pictures of weird tiny objects and make a cool thing and organise my belongings and maybe hang some pictures….

I resent my work because I don’t want to be here. When these moods strike me I want to be free to do something about it. By the time I have finished work and got home my enthusiasm for doing things has waned considerably, and I tend to dick around, or hang out with people, instead of doing something productive, and I can’t keep beating myself up about it, because I have been doing something productive for 9 hours, it was just for someone else’s benefit, not mine.

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So maybe I can’t control my swings of motivation vs hedonism, but I should probably try to be nicer to myself about it and stop beating myself up and holding myself to such a ridiculously high standard, or at least I can hold myself to that standard but not expect myself to meet it every second of every day. It is ok to have blips and emotions and not be feeling it.

 

How Much is Too Much?

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These days I see increasing pressure to be a fantastic all round person and it is killing my friends. People are trying to do too much, and it’s not healthy.

[I would like to note that this is written from a female perspective, concentrating on women, simply because this is my own personal experience as a woman. However, this happens to men too, so I welcome comments and experiences from men.]

The 1950’s gave us the modern model of perfect family. A man had a good job and provided well for his family, expected to uphold certain social requirements and maintain networks and look smart. The women were expected to be women who not only looked impeccable, but were also accomplished in many things. They were expected to follow the latest fashions and trends, spending time ensuring their aesthetic portrayed the perfect housewife, they were expected to be good cooks, good at crafts, good at being a mother, good at sports, good at dancing and singing, good at being a wife, good at entertaining, good at being entertaining, good at socialising, good at being a friend, good at maintaining a home. Trying to do it all and be perfect.

We may be in 2017, but this attitude hasn’t left us. Women still strive to do all of these things, but on top of that they are now expected to go out and get a career on top of all of that. I see countless friends who have full time jobs trying to portray an image of themselves on social media of someone who eats healthily, who manages to go for a run or to the gym, who tries and succeeds at many crafts, who is a wonderful mother, who has a social life, and who cares about social justice and politics.

Gym, crafts, food, design, social life, film, pop culture, beauty, work, education, growing veg, meditating, career, friendships, current affairs, global affairs, local affairs, all these things flood my news feed but not because I have amassed a collection of friends with massively varied interests, they are all coming from the same people. People are exhausting themselves to try and be a polished “someone” and no facet can be left unturned. Then away from the spotlight of the news feed I receive personal messages, texts from friends saying “I’m exhausted, I’m so stressed, any chance we can chat, do you have time for a coffee sometime? I can squeeze you in between 11:13 and 11:49 on 28th July this year.”

So I find myself surrounded by friends that I never see, unless we actively arrange to meet up and do an awesome thing that can be tagged on Facebook. I don’t mean to imply that all my friends are social media obsessed, but it is becoming an increasingly important factor in people’s lives and in the way they express themselves or define themselves.

I am guilty of trying to do too much. I was dissatisfied in my job so tried to build an empire of self-employed avenues to enable me to leave the job I was currently in. I also decided to do a degree at the same time, and lose weight and maintain my meditation practices and groups on top of all the other things.  It wasn’t possible and something had to give. Fortunately, just before I was the thing that broke, I decided to cut down on my list of “current activities”. The only thing I achieved in doing all of these things was not looking after myself.

Self care is so important. It is not selfish, it is necessary, and something that everyone should do every day. One thing a day for you that has no purpose other than to make you happy. It doesn’t matter whether that one thing is awesome or not. It is not to be judged, just enjoyed.

Here are some of the “self-care” things I have done for myself over the last week.

Mon 8th May – had a pint by myself in a nice pub.

Sun 7th May – had a good cry after sorting through memories

Sat 6th May – Got a tattoo

Fri 5th May – indulged in some of my favourite foods

Thurs 4th May – dyed my hair and watched drag queens

Weds 3rd May – went to yoga

Tues 2nd May – wrote a letter to my penpal and drew him a stupid picture

These aren’t massive things. They are things I enjoyed and did purposefully. Everyone’s self care is different. Sometimes it is just saying “No” to something you don’t really want to do, or saying “Yes” to something you would ordinarily turn down, but want to do. Sometimes it is just embracing your flaws and spending time with them rather than trying to hide them.

So many people are chasing the image of a perfect person, believing that being this person will make them happy. For me happiness is not the goal. Happiness is another thing we chase that is killing us. We are not meant to be perfect, and we never will be.

https://amiagrownupyet.com/2017/05/09/the-constant-quest-for-happiness/

 

The Constant Quest for Happiness

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The Quest for Happiness

(originally posted by the author in July 2016 on another blog)

It is increasingly common these days for people, (especially those under the age of 40) to be on an eternal quest for happiness. Now I could easily write 10,000 words on the subject and have still only scratched the surface, but for now I will tell you about my “quest”.

The quest can be categorised as the search for the object or situation that will finally bring you lasting happiness. It could be a job, a romantic partner, an ideal weight or any other “event” that will trigger the eternal happiness, and then that person thinks that a switch will be flicked on and they will wake up every morning feeling happy. But, the thing is, the Quest itself is the main thing stopping you from achieving that happy, contented feeling. I, myself, have pursued the discovery of the one thing that will “flick that switch” for me and it took years to realise that what I was looking for, I had all along.

Whilst on my quest for happiness I believed that it was my career that would unlock the key to happiness for me. I was stuck in dead end jobs and believed that once I got an office job, I would be happy. But I wasn’t. I got the office job and I still wasn’t happy. Then I thought I needed more money, so I got a better office job. But that didn’t work either. Then I thought I needed recognition of position. Yep, did it and that didn’t work either. So I thought the answer was obvious. I had always wanted to have my own business and work for myself. Surely that freedom would unlock the key to my eternal happiness. Luckily before I drove myself insane, I managed to realise that what I was chasing didn’t exist.

Mindfulness. It is a word that is very popular at the minute, although not many know the true concept. I interviewed over 30 people who expressed an interest in mindfulness and only 4 truly knew what it meant. Mindfulness is being touted as the new cure-all for depression, obesity, stress, heart disease and more. And don’t get me wrong, it is incredibly good for you, if you are practising it properly, but there are so many people out there teaching their own interpretations of mindfulness that, unfortunately, it just sets people off on new quest for happiness. They will finally be happy once they “master” mindfulness. This is a contradiction of enormous proportions. It is impossible to be happy all of the time. But it is possible to be at peace with your situation and existence. Read “The Guide to Happiness”, written through interviews with the Dalai Llama. Read “What’s in the Way, is the Way” by Mary O’Malley. These books tip the western thinking of “pursuing” or “achieving” happiness on it’s head.

Now happiness is different for all individuals, what may make you happy may terrify me and vice versa, and the many self-help books that tell you the “magic recipe” to happiness, to confidence etc don’t work. Some of them have great ideas, but unfortunately the results are seldom long term. There is no magic cure, no step by step guide that will change your life into a happily ever after. It is not something that can be taught like history. It is not a permanent state that can be accessed and inhabited. Happiness is a fleeting or lingering emotion. It will come and it will go. We cannot be happy all of the time. We cannot control happiness. It is unique to the individual, but there are certain premises and techniques that help most people maintain a peace within themselves that eradicates this incessant need to seek happiness.

 

  1. Let things go
  2. Realise that upsetting things will happen to you in life
  3. Realise that you are going to die
  4. Prioritise your life
  5. Enjoy life
  6. Be mindful
  7. Do not expect anything
  8. Learn to accept others
  9. Learn to understand others

 

And that was it. Instead of chasing the items, situations and objects I needed to be happy, I realised I could just accept life in that moment and choose to be happy. Now you may think it is easy for someone, who’s life is pretty good in the first place, to say that. Well here’s the thing. My life isn’t pretty good. It is rife with struggle, grief, and trauma. But I am ok. When something awful happens, I can choose to be ok. But I can also choose to really feel all the bad bits as well. Because that is what life is. It is the good and the bad. And there is no point in pretending otherwise. Accept that there will be bad times. Accept that there will be good times. Accept that there will be boring times. Most importantly accept that eternally chasing a fairytale is the most sure route to misery.

Now do nothing. Stop and appreciate the world around you. Appreciate the wonder of you being alive right this moment. It is tiring, trying to keep up with everything society thinks we should be doing, a career, a great family life, a successful relationship, constant personal growth. Chasing a perpetual dream will leave you exhausted, especially if it is one that doesn’t really exist. Don’t judge anyone, don’t judge yourself, don’t compare yourself to others. Do nothing. You are a human being. You don’t need to meditate to a point of ultimate Zen, or run away from your true feelings, just embrace your true nature. Don’t try to change yourself, just change the way you approach life. It is not a race. It is a wonderful, amazing, impossible thing happening to you right now! Stop waiting for the thing that will trigger eternal happiness and enjoy being alive.