Saturday, November 5th

Today is the day that my face will be up on a digital billboard in my town! I was lucky that the writing community I am in wanted to advertise in a major city near me, and they were generous enough to give me a billboard right in my town too so I didn’t have to go an hour and a half away to see it! It will be playing with other ads, and it is only for today! The billboard says: “What Makes You Strong? Enter our writing contest on TheUnsealed.com,” and then has my happy face on there! I am so happy that I joined this community and have been able to get some of my writing out into the public eye; this whole experience has been wild, as it has brought up things within me that I hadn’t truly realized before.

I always have had trouble celebrating myself, and I also hate being the center of attention (although apparently as a Leo I should love the spotlight), so being excited about something so public and personal felt weird to me. I know I am allowed to feel from this and I honestly do, but I realized that I have a habit of downplaying any exciting things or achievements in my life. When I graduated from community college, with a degree that I paid for with no loans or help from FAFSA, I remembered saying to my boyfriend: “Is it weird that I am not that excited? Like I don’t even want walk the stage.” He was encouraging and understood that school had been stressful and it was probably just a relief to be done, but also made sure I knew that he was super proud of me and I should be too. I did end up walking the stage, and both of our families were there to celebrate me which made me feel so loved.

While realizing that I have trouble celebrating myself, I also was connecting that to how I also have trouble truly looking at my life traumas as… well, traumas. I can honestly say that it was only within the last year or so that I truly felt validated in feeling traumatized, and it happened while listening to Gabrielle Bernstein on her “Dear Gabby” Podcast. She was talking about how everyone has trauma, and then talked about “Big T” traumas and “Little T” traumas. An example of a “Little T” trauma would be if you were standing in line to get food as a child and another classmate came over and called you fat. Even though this may not sound like a big deal, this thought can live in your brain and if you get stuck on that thought it can become all you think about and completely diminish any self-love or self-esteem that was there. But what struck me in this podcast was when she listed “having an alcoholic parent” as a “Big T” trauma… because I had two. Even though I had been going to therapy for years at this point, it still never hit me like it did in that moment. I had “Big T” trauma that I was dealing with, and I should be so proud of how far I’ve come. As I sit here and write this today, I am very proud of all of the work that I have done, and I look forward to seeing my continued progress.

I can say that as I am continuing this healing journey, I have moments of grieving where I feel so sad and distraught about the fact that I have been so distant from my own feelings and presence. But in those same moments, I am very present in those feelings, which makes me feel almost happy in a way, because that means I am here now. What I mean is that I am present with those hard emotions and I am feeling them all the way through, and that in and of itself is being present. I still struggle with celebrating myself, but I find when I am writing, it tends to come through me. There is that confident, higher self that is within me and she is working hard to break through. Together we are un-learning bad habits, re-wiring old thoughts, and immersing ourselves in podcasts and books about healing and mental health. I am the one who is writing my blog posts, I am the one who is going to therapy, I am the one who is doing all of this hard work, and I am doing it for me. I deserve to feel the love for myself that others can so effortlessly give to me, and I deserve all of the happy things that are in my life.

clouds ☁️

Is it what it is

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by life this past week; it has a lot to do with my PMS and lack of sleep, but also just unexpected life stuff. I had a conversation with myself out loud in my car last night trying to get to the root of everything, and I am realizing I still have a lot of guilty feelings and am still very hard on myself.

I have to constantly remind myself that I am allowed to relax and take breaks, and that am a human being who is allowed to have emotions. Life gets stressful, and we don’t have control over much that happens, but I can control how I react and respond to situations. I can also look inward and ask myself questions to try to help myself move forward and understand myself more.

We all have bad days, but that doesn’t mean we have bad lives. Focusing on my blessings and practicing gratitude is what is helping me through these situations, and although it’s a struggle sometimes, I am proud of myself for truly trying to make it a habit to think more positively, no matter the situation. I don’t spiral out of control like I used to, which is progress in and of itself.

I hope everyone else is surviving this week!

Easter Weekend

Happy Easter to all who celebrate! I am not religious at this point in my life, nor do I have children to hide eggs from or to make baskets for, so this year is very low-key, yet still enjoyable! I won’t lie though, this morning was a rough one for me, but I am definitely proud of myself for not letting it ruin the entire day like I would have in the past.

This morning I woke up at 2am to terrible nausea and cramping- to my not-so-surprise, lovely mother nature was here to pay me a visit. I dealt with that and curled up with my heating pad for a while before shifting it to my lower back, and I fell back asleep.

When I got back up around 8:30-9ish I decided I wanted to take a shower. I got a haircut yesterday and the stylist put a lot of product in my hair to keep my curls looking nice, but it felt like a lot of residue was just sitting on my hair so I was ready to rinse it all out. I brushed out my curls and went to start my shower, and when I turned the nozzle nothing happened.

I messed with it a couple more times and then told my boyfriend that it was not working. Of course my anxiety decides to set in, and coupled with my hormones I already felt myself starting to get worked up. Luckily my boyfriend just grabbed a screw driver and was able to fix it; we were able to turn it on and off with no issues!

I quickly got into the shower and washed all the build-up out of my hair and then scrubbed it all off my body; I felt so clean and refreshed running my fingers through my clean, healthy hair. Once the water was all running clear and I was rinsed off I went to turn off the shower and the water wouldn’t shut off.

Now I feel the spike of anxiety in my chest again and I yell to my boyfriend “babe! now the water won’t turn off!” I quickly get out and have him go in and once again, he was able to fix it. We discovered that part of the plastic nozzle had broken on the inside, which is why we were having so much trouble. He removed that and used pliers to shut off the water, and we added a new shower nozzle to our Walmart list for today.

After I got dressed I decided to do a Dunkin’ run for us as I really wanted some iced coffee, and honestly I was using it as a pick me up for the shitty morning I was having. I left and got our coffees, and while I’m driving home I go to sip my iced coffee and all of a sudden I just feel liquid start spilling down my chest, shirt and pants- iced coffee was dripping from the lid all onto my new tank top.

I was driving so I wasn’t trying to get into an accident or make things worse than they were, so I kept driving home and when I was able to stop at a stop sign I grabbed napkins from my glove compartment and began go wipe the coffee off of me. I got home and when I got inside I set the coffees on the floor so I could get situation to go upstairs, and of course I then knocked over my iced coffee and spilled some onto the floor.

At this point I felt myself having psychical symptoms of anger; when I used to get panic attacks they often made me feel like I just needed to scratch myself or stretch or shake; it’s hard to deceive but it’s likely I could feel the rage/anxiety rushing threw all of my veins and pores, just bringing me to a boiling point. I felt this happening and decided to take a couple deep breaths.

With my head feeling a bit more clear, I went upstairs to get paper towels, went back down to clean up my mess, and proceeded to bring our coffees upstairs. I walked into our room and set our coffees down and said “the universe is testing me today,” and began to remove my coffee stained tank top. I changed into another shirt and plopped my body back on the bed and proceeded to just let the tears well up and stream down my cheeks.

I started talking to myself in my head- asking why I was so upset, and reminding myself that I am okay. I still had coffee, I still have other clothes that are not stained with coffee, my shower is fixable, and there is still so much left in the day where this doesn’t have to be a bad day. After a lot of discussion within myself and deep breaths, I finally stopped crying and sat up and decided to take on the rest of the day.

In the past, I would have let these string of events ruin my entire day and I would have spent so much time feeling bad and guilty about it. Instead, I took time to acknowledge how I was feeling and reminded myself of what I should be grateful for and got back up and ready to go! My boyfriend and I had a good rest of the day! We went to Walmart to get stuff that we needed, and I did a dread detox and re-twist for him! Overall it was a pretty good Easter!