Hi, friends! It has been awhile and I am so excited to be back. Gosh, even just typing nonsense feels good. I missed my time and my space that I created for myself here on the internet. I forgot how therapeutic writing for me really is and my goodness do I need all the therapeutic activities I can get. So let’s just dive right in, shall we?
There has been so much going on in my life I barely know where to begin. I believe my last post was approximately 6 months ago, give or take a few. Even in those last few posts I wasn’t in the best head space to say how I was truly feeling or what I was going through. I think I have made it through the fog and I am ready to let it out. “Hold onto your butts” as the great Samuel L. Jackson once stated in the greatest film of all time (let’s fight about it).
I will start with the biggest news of all, I MOVED BACK TO NEW YORK CITY! Basically it all started with a text from my previous intern supervisor informing me that there was a job opening and I was encouraged to apply. As soon as I saw the text, I knew in my heart of hearts that NYC was where I was meant to be. Of course, even when my stomach knows the truth, my brain has a tendency to disregard all natural instincts.
I explored options with friends, family, therapists, trees, stray dogs, the wind, etc. I went back and forth, back and forth, unsure if I should stay or go. Although, everyone around me seemed to know my answer before I did… There were just so many things I loved about Alaska. I have people that I call family there. I loved my kiddos I worked with, they were the reason I woke up in the morning. I never stopped being in awe of the beauty. Alaska was the place I thought I would be for a very long time. However, there were also dark parts of me in Alaska; a side of me I hadn’t seen in a long time. I would isolate myself, avoiding any human contact for as long as I could. I thought about not living anymore, more often than I would like to admit. It got scary. So, as much as the pros of the island were really great, the dark pieces of me were longing to feel light again. After a lot of consideration (and getting hired, which the whole plan was contingent on) I decided to make the move. I spent my last few weeks in Alaska with the people I love, exploring the island. It was the most beautiful 4 weeks of my entire time there. I then loaded up my car, got back on the three day ferry that got me there in the first place, drove to Wisconsin, then flew to NYC all in a total of 5 days. Talk about a wild ride… There has not been a day since I left where I don’t think about the island. There will always be a part of my heart there, just like there was always a part of my heart left in NYC.
Coming back to the city felt like coming home. As soon as I stepped off the plane, I could feel a weight lift off of me. When I was in Alaska and working through my depression, I didn’t realize how far down the hole I had gotten until I was out of the hole and breathing again. It is difficult to recognize something is wrong, after it had been wrong for so long, because that starts to feel like your new normal. I have said this before, but it bares repeating: My depression is my friend. She is a comfort in a lot of ways and often I don’t notice when she has over stayed her welcome, but when she leaves there is an immediate ability to reflect on all the harm she does.
I think I appreciated her presence even more in Alaska because I was going through heartbreak. (I like how I said that in past tense, like I am not still going through heartbreak. Cute.) I felt rejected and hurt and my depression validated my feelings. I would say I was worthless and she would say “yeah, you’re right. Let’s just stay in bed.” At that time, it was exactly what I needed to hear. Ending my relationship made me feel extremely out of control, but giving into my depression made me feel safe. I am sure many of you are wondering about my breakup and want more details, but it just isn’t going to happen. The wounds are still there and I think they will be there for awhile. Love hurts, ya know? *Cue Nazareth (1976)*
While I am not talking about the breakup specifics, I do want to talk about what I have been going through emotionally, in hopes that maybe I find some more healing. Mostly, at this stage, I have felt frustrated. The idea of going through that whole process again to potentially go through more heartbreak is v. upsetting. There has to be an easier way, right? I mean, I guess it’s called being alone, but that doesn’t sound fun either. On top of feeling frustrated, I am also feeling alarmingly scared. I have lost a lot of trust. So much so that I start to panic around strangers, assuming that they want to hurt me in some way. I have been on edge, particularly around male-identifying humans. I know it’s not fair that a few bad experiences have made me generalize, but trust me I am working through it. We’ll get to how in just a moment. I have also felt very confused. I constantly miss this person, yet know I shouldn’t be with this person, but also can’t stop comparing everyone to this person, and all my feelings get jumbled up into a big ball of mess. One big, confused, fucked up, ball of mess. Pretty much the epitome of human existence, I think.
The good thing about all these feelings I have been experiencing is that I am officially out of it, so I can start to work through some of these things. Living in Alaska, seeing them every day… it was really hard and what was harder was letting go. Right now, that is all I am really focusing on. Letting go of the past in hopes that I am making all the best choices for my future. Which is why I am back to blogging and back to focusing on myself and my needs. ALSO, I deleted social media off of my phone and only visit the pages for blogging purposes. It has made a world of difference. My own self-esteem has increased by at least 40%, and honestly, I think that is a gross underestimate. I realized the constant comparing I was doing and the damage it was causing. I would search his page daily, wondering if he was thinking about me. I would find myself googling plastic surgery, calculating how much I would have to save to start looking like the models I follow. It was hazardous. Healing from this way of thinking is the most rewarding part of my journey thus far.
Another part of my healing plan, and desire to get back to trusting others, has included dating again. *EEK* This is that part of the story that we weren’t ready for earlier. That’s right, friends… A billion dates with men is on the agenda. Okay, maybe not a billion, but really I am trying to create my own form of exposure therapy. I figure that the more dates I go on, the more comfortable I will start to feel around the male-identifying population and perhaps may even find feelings for one them. *not holding breath* It is refreshing to go in with this mentality, solely because I feel very much in control of each situation. I don’t spend time wondering if I am putting on a good show. I actually haven’t worn makeup or dressed up for a single date yet. I am genuinely just there to hear their story and find connection with the human sitting in front of me. I don’t know if this technique is for everyone, but it certainly seems to be working for me. So far, they have all been pretty decent dates too, so that is helping the journey go smoother. *Informercial voice over* Some of the side effects to this form of treatment include: spending a lot of money on dates, being out too late on work nights, spending 5 minutes prior to a date exploring what to do if the person tries to murder you, and of course *relationships not guaranteed*. Other than those few hiccups, it is fun.
I am also dating myself again which is always my favorite thing to do and actually blossomed out of my first blog. RIP Tumblr blog. Last weekend I took myself to the movies. I’ve taken myself out to dinner a few times. I love taking myself out for coffee. I am an excellent coffee drinker/people watcher date FYI. I gave myself time to write. I heart self-love and I am glad I am giving me the attention I deserve.
And with that, I would like to end on a poem I wrote, as I try to further develop my poetic skills and continue to show myself love and compassion in new adventures:
The way the wind rustles the leaves
That is the way I fall in love.
Light and mesmerizing,
without a path to follow.
The way the fire burns with rage
That is the way I fall out of love.
Powerful and dangerous,
without water to make it stop.
The way the water ebbs and flows
That is the way I heal my soul.
In and out, in and out, in and out
without an end in sight.
The way the earth exists for us
That is the way I exist for others.