Stability on the Water;

Hi, Friends! I apologize if you missed me last week, because I sure missed y’all. It is funny how off my week can feel when I skip a post (or 2, or 3). Don’t get me wrong I don’t regret taking the time off. I mean if you had the opportunity to go to the beach, wouldn’t you? Especially as summer fades away into fall I figured I should take advantage of any opportunities I can get in the sun and water.

I know I’ve talked a lot about baby Sarah, mostly in the context of hardships, but baby Sarah comes soaring out in all her greatness when I am in the water. As soon as I dip my big toe in I am transported back to that little girl that felt free in the water. There is no pain there, no fear. I am weightless! And for someone that always felt like she was too big, the peace that came with such an escape was indescribable. In fact, I think I could say the water saved my life.

I spent a lot of my childhood hoping to die. Yet, I never felt that way if I was in the water. I found solace lying on my back looking up at the sky or ceiling, the water filling my ears so all that was detectable was faint sounds that didn’t translate. We had a pool in our back yard. I would float or be a mermaid or a shark or a minnow or Marco or Polo and real world problems simply didn’t exist.

This month is Suicide Prevention Month. I’ve spent a lot of my writing talking about moments in time when I felt suicidal. It is not something I am shameful about and, in all honesty, I believe those thoughts are as natural world itself. Some of us feel them stronger than others and some of us believe there is no escape. For a long while, I only believed in escape in the water. However, when my feet would touch solid ground again, I slipped right back into my reality- the reality that I didn’t want to be here.

I am not here to talk about that reality today though. Today, I want to talk about my reality of this moment. In this moment, I doing really well. Well like I could skip down the sidewalk and sing in the store. Well like my heart might burst through my chest. What has caused me to feel so well? Mostly, there is stability in my life, like real stability. I’m not sure if you recall, but that was my news years resolution this year. I have money in my savings account, my credit card balances are finally going down, I have medication that has quite literally stabilized my mood, there is a cute boy I like. And if I am being totally real with y’all.. it’s freaking me out.

Why is it freaking me out? It is a new feeling. New anythings scare the sh*t out of me. New hairstyles, new apartments, new friends, new bedding. It’s unknown and what is scarier than the unknown? My anxious brain loves to think about the unknowns. The current obsession on repeat is “do I deserve to feel this good?” feat. trauma. It’s a classic hit that I’ve heard before. Real catchy, almost like an annoying jingle. Part of it spins out of that depressed girl, that didn’t think she should be alive. The girl that believed nothing could ever feel this good.

When this greatest hit get’s played, I want to rush to turn it off. As I have learned though, that’s not the way intrusive thoughts get shut down. They get shut down by letting them in, understanding them, respecting them. I’ve mulled over the question the last few nights, trying to understand my brain a little more. I have never questioned when hurtful things happen. Without skipping a beat “I deserve this” also feat. trauma, oddly enough, shoots to the top of the list. So, why, when something good happens, does it become the opposite? Could it be that old central message I worked so hard to get rid of rearing it’s head?

DING. DING. DING. Up until this past year I always thought that I wasn’t good enough. Messages that could validate such a statement were snuggled up under the covers with me and messages that didn’t rolled off my back like water. Now, my new message is that I am good enough, but it’s a new message… and you know how I feel about new things. I know though that it is all about practice. New things don’t always stay new. I thought again about my current #1 hit and how I could get it to fit my new message.

Why do I deserve to feel this good? Because feeling good is what everyone deserves. I am not special in that. If I want my friends and family and patients and strangers to feel that way, and I hope and pray for them to feel that way, I should hope and pray the same for myself. I am a human being with a million different parts and I want to experience all of those parts. We are all worthy of such a life.

Your central message right now might be telling you that you are not worthy. I sat with that message for along time, so I know how that feels. If you are hearing that as you read this, that is totally okay. You don’t have to rush into new feelings. Perhaps though you could think of what you would want your central message to say, or what you would want your best friends central message to say. Close your eyes and think of all the words that could make that statement come true, like a vision board. Now, try to trust that new things, although scary, can be the best things that happen to us. Try taking one little step to flip this unworthy message on its head. Maybe that means brushing your teeth, or getting a therapist, or literally just breathing.

And if all of that sounds like a bunch of bullsh*t, maybe go float in some water and drown it all out. That may be all you need for now.

A[wo]men

**Also, I would be remissed not to note that suicide prevention is not just reaching out. Suicide prevention is loving/supporting the LGBTQ+ community, it’s supportive housing, it’s having enough food, it’s being able to afford medication, it’s undoing racism. It’s a million things that are systemic and need to be fixed. Need resources? Contact me.

from the tears of those before you

fill your ears with their

salt and water

float

-you’re not alone;

And as always, if you are feeling in need of support, whether that be because you are suicidal, sad, happy, want to tell me a funny joke, etc. please reach out to me on my contact page. Love you all ❤

Change Leads to Growth

Hi friends, welcome to another week in the revolution and a very, very happy Pride Month. I hope you are all taking care of yourselves in whatever way works for you right now. Cuz times they are a changin’ and we all know that change is hard. I would argue change is one of the hardest things we go through, yet one of the most inevitable and necessary parts of life. It is, in my opinion, that with change comes growth.

This post today is not going to be a long post because honestly I am going through some of my own changes. And even more honest- I am sad, really sad. See, while the world was going through these really intense changes, I also decided to put my heart out there and, long story short, it didn’t work out. **Note to self: starting a new relationship during a pandemic is not the best idea. That growth though, that growth that I don’t necessarily want to be going through right now, is important.

Each time a relationship doesn’t work out I immediately begin to wonder what is wrong with me. Why can’t I find someone that I love and loves me back and we just fit? Why am I so alone? Why does it seem so easy for other people? What is wrong with me? What am I doing wrong? I know these old friends are just protectors that are trying to help. I know that there is nothing wrong with me and I know that things often don’t work out because they are not supposed to. I know that it is not easy for other people and that the story I see on social media is a blip on the radar of an actual relationship.

Still, is leaves me feeling empty for a moment.

Then, my lovely friend, anxiety, has this really cool way of blowing things out of proportion. So, when a relationship doesn’t work out, it somehow jumps from ‘what is wrong with me?’ to ‘I am going to be alone forever and I will never have the family that I want.’ Old me would’ve sat with those feelings and believed them for a very long time. Oh, and by old me I literally mean Sarah from a year ago. My last big relationship melted me down to the core when it ended. I sat with those notions for a long time. In fact, those fears kept me going back over and over again, even though I knew it wasn’t right. The thing is, I am glad it melted me down to the core, because I rebuilt that part of me. That ending brought me to therapy and to healing and to understanding myself better. Not to sound cliche, but that ending truly was a new beginning. Without that rebuilding, I wouldn’t understand that those thoughts are normal, but not true. Without that rebuilding, I’d still be putting other peoples feelings and needs ahead of my own.

I talked to one of my friends yesterday who paused with me as I cried and in the silence she whispered ‘I am really proud of you.’ I don’t think I realized how much I needed to hear those words. I cried harder, like a mix of happy and sad tears all in one. She reflected back to me all of this growth I’ve had of putting myself first and understanding what I deserve.

I’ve been in some pretty toxic relationships before, both platonic and not, and the toxicity only flourished because of my insesent need to please people. I just wanted everyone around me to feel good at the expense of my own feelings; my boundaries were non-existent. In the last year I have done a lot of work at expressing my needs and putting up boundaries. It is the scariest, most freeing work I have done with myself. I say it is scary because it means that not everyone is going to stay in my life. It means that sometimes I will say what I need and it won’t be met and I will have to walk away. Letting go is scary. I say it is freeing because I am building a family of people that love me so much and want a balanced relationship. It is freeing because I am no longer held down by needing others to like me. Letting go is freeing.

All of this is to say that right now I am really sad and I am really proud of myself and those feelings can coexist. So, I am going to sit with those two things and eat my Oreos and cry and laugh and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and remind myself that love wins, especially when it is directed towards ourselves.

A[wo]men

“what is wrong with me,”

she screams.

“i love you,”

she whispers.

-conversations in the mirror

 

 

 

 

Body image, trauma responses, and a pandemic, OH MY!

c/w trauma, binge eating disorder

Hello all! I hope this post finds you in a space that is ready to read. If not, perhaps put down the device and take a moment for yourself to create a more suitable space. I take no offense, please take care of yourself. For those of you that do find yourself in such a space to read, I welcome you!

I’m currently sitting at my dining room table as my skylight windows are drenched in what can only be described as a bleak, gray, uninviting day. I would also describe this as the perfect writing weather- nowhere to be, no rush to get outside, just a strong desire to process. So buckle up friends because today we are driving full force into it: Body image, trauma responses, and a pandemic, OH MY! So, let’s get into gear, shall we?

This last week or so has been rough. I had a shift in mindset and I can pinpoint the exact moment it happened. I was sitting on my phone, for longer than I had intended, scrolling through social media, and this old voice comes into my head. ‘You’ll never be like them. They are popular and beautiful and you will never be them, so stop trying. And they certainly don’t want to be like you.’ I couldn’t seem to turn the voice off. Running, which has been my solace throughout this pandemic, couldn’t even shut it down. It just played over and over. This voice has been a dear friend of mine for some time even though I used to be really harsh with her. “SHUT UP!” I would usually yell, which only made it louder. I now use a different approach. I respond gently and inquire what is coming up, what memory or pain is there?

There were plenty of memories and pain. I knew I was having a trauma response (hence the skipped blog post last week). I had stomach aches and I recognized them from a mile away; I got them all the time as a kid. This is known as the mind-body connection, wherein your body hears what your mind is saying and responds to it (i.e. sadness leading to stomach aches). I have gone through different types of trauma in my life and there are a few warning signs that let me know a trauma response has been triggered. First, my inner critic starts up. Second, are the stomach aches. Third, is this overwhelming desire to eat until I can’t feel, which then masks the stomach aches. No longer do I have to think about the feeling I am having, but rather I can focus on the self-induced pain I have caused by eating too much.

This is also known as Binge Eating Disorder, something I have suffered from for most of my life. Actually, I would like to instead say, something I used for coping with most of my life. Albeit, not a healthy way of coping, but a coping skill nonetheless. The thing about binge eating though, is that it all connects back to that initial thought, right? Because when I eat too much, I feel like a failure, which then makes me sad, which then makes me have stomach aches, which then makes me want to binge eat. It’s a cycle.

So, this brings me back to that harsh vs. gentle voice. Since I now know and recognize all the signs, I am able to process a little differently. In this last week, I had a lot of reflection time. What is coming up, what memory or pain is there? This pandemic has brought up a lot of hard memories and pain. Memories of feeling alone. Memories of being a teenager and feeling like being here was just a little too hard. A lack of direction and needing guidance. Pain from broken relationships. Thoughts about loss of love. It was baby Sarah again, just wanting someone to hold her.

I would like to note that as I am writing this, tears are splashing onto my table, flowing from my cheeks like a waterfall. Not because I am sad, no; I am crying because there is a release happening. It’s like being under water for a long time and then getting to come up to the surface for air. There is that mind-body connection again, my brain processing and my body responding to it. In this connection, I’ve learned that the best way to heal from past experiences is actually embracing how my body is responding, not shaming it.

I’m also crying because my younger self only knew shame. Now, knowing that there are other ways to understand oneself is equivalent to taking in that first big breath of air. Shame was something I learned young and specifically from how I presented my body. I remember being a young girl and “developing early” as they say. My boobs grew in fast and my butt was always bigger than the rest. Something I now embrace, but as a kid I could only feel shame about. I remember wearing outfits that would hide and distract from the fact that my body didn’t look like the girls in my class. My friends were all thin and blonde and kids. I was thicc, had boobs in fifth grade, brunette, and had to grow up too fast.

I guess this is all to say that quarantine is bringing up these feelings in me again. I can feel baby Sarah isolated and alone, but instead of feeling shame I go to the source and I examine it deeply.  So the source came from when I was scrolling. What was I seeing as I was scrolling? This thicc body of mine has been a source of jokes for many people lately. Memes draped in images that look like my body, with words that express fear of being like me. Posts about eating too much because there is nothing to do, when my stomach knows what overeating really feels like. These images have hit the core of baby Sarah and that inner critic. However, after exploring it more I found that these things have not made me feel shame, what they have made me feel is lucky that I now know my worth. That I have had time to examine my body outside of what others think it should be and I have found pride in the creases and lumps and dips and highs and lows. I remind baby Sarah of all the things this beautiful body has brought us. This life I have is all thanks to the body that got me here.

I say to her now:

“Baby, we don’t feel shame for this body anymore. We still feel a lot of things all the time, but we do not have the space for shame. Brené Brown once said ’empathy is the antidote to shame’ and we hold that antidote inside. We are superheroes, healing ourself. We still feel a lot of things all the time, but baby shame is no longer one of them. There is a pandemic and people are sick. We are healthy and surviving. I know it feels easier to focus on our body because it is a space we can understand, but if we are going to do that we are going to use our antidote. Baby, we don’t need shame, we need understanding and self-compassion. It’s okay that we felt triggered, we experienced some tough things, but guess what? We made it through and we will keep making it through. Baby, we do not have the space for shame.”

In this quarantine if you are finding yourself responding in ways that you don’t like, try not to yell “shut up!” Maybe try a gentler approach. Gather your empathy that you so often share with others and turn it inward. You deserve love and understanding as much as anyone around you does. Perhaps, you’re having trouble knowing how to be gentler and that’s okay too. Just try starting small, like saying ‘shh’ instead of ‘shut up’ and maybe those words eventually turn into ‘I love you’.

But for now, just remember, you are a superhero with the antidote for shame right inside of you.

A[wo]men

**Side note: with this blog post I am doing a giveaway! To enter:

  1. Follow my instagram account- sarahlorrainerobinson
  2. Follow my friends instagram account- sopowart
  3. Tag a friend that you think would enjoy reading this weeks blog and use the hashtag #awomengiveaway on a photo on my instagram page.

You will then be entered to win $50 via Venmo and a painting made by sopowart (see featured image for painting). Winner will be chosen Friday 5/1.

SHUT UP!

SHUT UP!

SHUT UP!

“I can’t.”

they whisper.

“but maybe,

if you held my hand,

i could change my tune.”

-how to approach yourself

 

 

So, that’s why they call it chemistry?

Hello friends, glad to have you back & happy to have you here/hear.

In my previous post I referenced some pretty heavy moments- suicidal ideations, depression, and lack of functioning. If you thought it was a lot reading it, imagine living it (I’m sure some of you can).  I am happy to report that within this last week it has been a lot more tame and stable. I’ve felt alert and present and able to complete daily tasks. Life seems more manageable. Thank yeezy for that, because I was not ready to handle another week of that.

This past week, while much easier to handle, was still full of moments I thought about sharing with you all. I had a lot of processing time, friend time, down time, bachelor nation time, and dating apps time. You may find yourself more interested in some of those things over other things on that list. I could go on for hours about the most recent bachelor season, but I won’t bore those of you not interested in it. To sum up my opinions though- they all suck, including Peter. Let’s wrap it up…

Speaking of one loser dating a bunch of people- this week I want to to discuss my dive back into dating. It’s what I get the most requests for, so I shall oblige the masses. I also like that I am being really ballsy and jumping back into dating during mercury retrograde. What an adventure. I had made it a personal goal to not date until after February, but you know, V Day came and I was like let’s just see, which then turned into scheduling dates. It all happened so fast. **Not really, I knew exactly what I was doing, so whatever. My main goal with taking a break was to clear my head and stop feeling so bogged down. I was ghosted twice in December and it took a toll. It is not cool to be ghosted during your birthday month. There should be a rule against it. But while I was treating myself on Valentines day, I thought you know what, I’m ready to get back out there and jump back on the ol’ dating horse. The wind blew, as I wrapped myself in my sheer sweater on the beach porch, just a single, 40 year old, divorcee, ready to date again. Sorry, went into my own little romcom there. Let’s get back to reality.

Because in reality, this is not a romcom at all. It would be like if a romcom removed all the rom, and only included com – that is how I would describe dating on the apps. The good news is though, that I am a big fan of comedy. Messages about my figure tend to take the lead. “MMM love those curves,” appear in bold letters, like it’s supposed to make me what? Drop my pants for them? I screenshot for my friends and occasionally insta and then don’t engage. Second funniest dudes are the ones who like to say hello and then nothing else for 4 months. Not exactly a ghoster because I didn’t invest any time in them, but like what are you doing? Why did you say hello? So mysterious, so funny. Then there are the people that literally didn’t read anything on my profile and ask me everything about what is already there. “So, where do you work?” Bro, it’s literally the first piece of info on there. Less funny, more annoying. This now leaves like 2 people who I actually have a conversation with. Eventually we meet and then we mutually decide if we want to keep meeting or play the disappearing act. Ooh, maybe it’s comedy and some mystery, a commyst™ if you will.

Like I said, I oddly love it. Not just the comedy of it all, but the whole meeting new humans and figuring this all out. Don’t quote me on this if in a year I’m still on the apps and it isn’t working and I am ded. Truly, my favorite part of the apps are the first few month or so. I’m just so full of hope and my grade A detective skills back online. Full systems go. No, I don’t mean detective work like stalking their social media, I mean in the sense of who they are and who they are in reference to me.

Each date, each person I meet or talk with, I learn more about myself. What I want and don’t want. I also just love meeting new people. I am the type on the apps (because everyone is a different type) to be like ‘lets meet up ASAP’. Yes, I am that girl. I want real conversation and I want it right away. You would be amazed by how many people are great at texting and not so great at talking and vice versa. Plus, I’ve seen catfish. Don’t even try to play me like that. Little tip for those in the same app boat, I highly recommend the coffee date. It’s the easiest, most low-key way to get to know people. One hour, over yummy drinks, without alcohol impairing judgement. Plus, to me it feels like a lot less pressure. It’s not this big formal date I have to dress up for. I’m getting coffee with a potential friend. Because what is a partner if not a friend that you also do romantic stuff with? (romantic = sex)

Even as I am writing this I am realizing the change in mindset I have had since taking my break. I’m trying to look at dating as more experimental than definitive. I am molecule A and I am adding different molecules to my equation until I find one that seems to make sense. Ya know, I really loved chemistry as a kid, so this is all making a lot of sense to me. Woah, is that why they call it having chemistry. What a lightbulb moment. I love when things just seem to come together.

I guess all of this is to say that we humans put a lot of pressure on ourselves all the time. Do this, don’t do this, feel this way, don’t feel this way and I just want to call some bullsh*t on it. Do I want to find someone special that I want to spend the rest of my life with, I don’t f****ing know. I don’t even know what I am doing this weekend, I’m not really interested in thinking about a lifetime. I don’t even know how long my lifetime is. Do I want to find a friend to do romantic stuff with who only wants to do that romantic stuff with me (still talking about sex)- yeah, I do. Am I over feeling bad that I don’t have that yet- absolutely. Which is precisely why I chose the featured image that I did: That feeling can kiss my a**.

To the ones that already have it, I hope it is a friend that you feel safe and healthy with. To the ones that don’t have it, I hope that you feel safe and healthy with yourself and try not to let society tell you that you’re doing it wrong, or that you need to be with someone, or that you need to feel a certain way. You’re doing great and you are exactly where you supposed to be right now. Be easy on yourself… and maybe review your chemistry notes from high school, could find something useful in there.

Oh, and if anyone, yourself included, is mean to you, tell them to kiss your a**. And that’s advice for everyone.

A[wo]men

 

Black History Month’s featured Black Artist:

“‘I woke up in this
In my skin
I can’t wash it away, so you can’t take it from me
My brown skin”

Melissa Jefferson (Lizzo), My Skin

My Skin was released by Lizzo in 2015 on her album Big Grrrl Small World. Lizzo is a fierce advocate for people and her song My Skin was born out of the desire to stand up against racial profiling. She has also made a lot of strides in fat activism often referring to body positivity in her music. Her references to self-love were a major influence in my life as soon as I listened to her. She has this way of making me feel beautiful in any light. No matter what I am doing, when Lizzo comes on my playlist it feels like she is a friend, telling me not to talk down to myself- ever. And lest us not forget that Lizzo, the queen, is single.

P.S. Excited to bring you our upcoming brave and honest story teller next week. She’s been through a lot and has a learned a lot along the way. I hope you come back to read her beautiful story.

P.P.S Yes, that is my butt.

Diving into Love

C/W suicidal ideations

Welcome back, loves. Glad to be here, even if only 5 days ago I would not have said that. Went through a small spout of depression this week. The bad kind. The kind where I could barely get out of bed, brushing my teeth was considered a victory, and the idea of disappearing sounded more ideal than anything else. Haven’t felt that down in a long time. Luckily, the feeling didn’t stick around too long and I am out on the other side.

While it was hard to be in that state, I did get to reflect on some pretty cool self improvements. First, I recognized what was happening. I didn’t try to pretend it wasn’t there or act like I couldn’t explain it. It was a feeling I knew well and I jumped in. I thrust my body off of the diving board, gracefully crashing to the bottom of the pool. Second, when I hit the water and was gasping for air, I listened to that. My body told me to breathe and I took long, deep breaths. It said rest, so I laid on the couch all day on Sunday. It said eat, so I ate. It said don’t eat, so I didn’t eat. It said take a walk, and I took a walk. That is a huge improvement. In the past, I felt as though I couldn’t trust my body; my body was the enemy. If my body said eat, I would say “why are you trying to make me fat?” A gross statement in and of itself. Now, when my body says eat, I say “what are we craving? What type of fuel do we need?” What a relief to find trust in my body. Finally, I didn’t let it hang around too long. I had previously wrote a post about needing to fight. That we need to fight when things don’t feel worth fighting for anymore. This is where listening to your body can get a little complicated, because if I let it my body could stay under water for a very long time. It’s easier to not kick and just stare up at the surface through the water seeing a blur of what life used to look like. It’s safe down there. But see, I had to kick because my body also screamed for air. That line is understanding desire vs need. I spent a few days below the surface before breaking through- pushing my legs and arms as hard as I could to in order to reach the surface. What did that look like in reality as opposed to this diving metaphor?

It was crying and telling myself that all things change. It was saying that this feeling, as hard as it is to feel, will indeed change. It was saying that this is not how I want to live. It was hiding under that covers and then coming out from under the covers. It was going to work, after 1100 ‘snoozes’ of the alarm.  It was doing things one step at a time. It was everything I could muster. It was reaching out for help; it was me telling my friends I’m drowning. (Can’t seem to escape the swim metaphors *shoulder shrug emoji*.)

At one point, I started to feel like a burden. That is a sign for me that I am reaching the lowest place, the place that is hard to come back from. The place with suicidal ideations. I had to repeat to myself that I am not a burden and that people love me. I was sitting in the dark, my arms wrapped around myself, fighting that feeling when all of the sudden there was a bright light in my face. My best friend was calling me. I picked up sobbing into the phone. She said her “best friend spidey senses were tingling”. She knew I need her more than I realized I needed her. We talked on the phone for a couple of hours. When I first answered I was crying, barely able to breathe, feeling like I couldn’t go on. By the end of the conversation I couldn’t remember why I was upset to begin with. It was like my soul had been restored. A simple conversation from a friend who sat there with me and said “I wish I could do or say something, but all I can say is I love you.” The thing is… that was all I needed. I needed to be reminded that I am loved, I am loving, and I am lovable.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I know, it was a really lengthy way of getting here, but I am dramatic and had to build it up. But seriously, it’s that time of the year. If you’re sitting there confused, I’ll fill you in. LOVE TIME aka Valentines Day aka hallmarks holiday. This Friday is that day that romance gets shoved into our faces and us single folx are reminded that we are not in a relationship. Okay, that may have sounded a little bitter, but honestly I am not bitter about it. I love Valentines Day.  When people ask me why (which is just rude, tbh) I always respond with “why would anyone hate a holiday that celebrates love!” I mean I know why, but I LOVE love. Yeah, I’m annoying like that. Every year I make a point to celebrate the love I have for myself. This year I am treating myself to some takeout and a bikini wax! I also believe I owe myself extra because last year I spent the day crying into my pillow because I ran into my ex with another girl. Gotta make up for that disaster. I think I see a massage in my near future.

This year though, I want to make it a point to celebrate even more love. This year, I want to remind the people that I love that I love them, because Valentines day isn’t just about your romantic partners- it’s about having a day dedicated to reminding the important people in your life that you care. My friends, as is evident from the story above, are life saving humans. My family lifts me up and gives me so much support. This type of love, well, its unlike any other. It gives me power to get through feelings of suicide that can lead to me forgetting I was even having those feelings in the matter of two hours.

I refuse to be bitter on a day about love because I am luckily enough to be surrounded by it. That is a gift I will never take for granted. When I was sitting in the dark, crying, asking someone to make the pain stop I got that prayer answered. I am pleading with you this year, for Valentines day, celebrate all the people you love. Pick up the phone and call your friends, family, dog, neighbor. Spread it around like it is bursting out of you. You may just answer someones prayer.

And I know one day isn’t enough, we must say it continually. So, staying on theme, I am just going to dive right in: I love you, my dear reader.

A[wo]men

Black History Month’s featured Black Artist:

“Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved.”

Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Published in 1982, The Color Purple focuses on the life of a black women in America the 1930’s. Alice Walkers way of writing is done in a way that nothing else matters while I am reading her material. The book was also adapted into film and a broadway show. I saw the broadway show and it was hands down the best performance I have seen thus far. I cried… hard. Alice Walker herself is a brilliant mind that graduated valedictorian from her high school. She grew up struggling with personal difficulties and would find comfort in writing poetry and reading. The Color Purple was one of the first books I read when I started reading for pleasure (I was a late bloomer in that aspect). It will always hold a special place in my heart.

The Battle of the Secrets

Hello beautiful souls. Welcome back and I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts of 2020 thus far. I just wanted to start by saying that I will not be having an interview piece for the month of January, but they will be back and better than ever starting in February. Which reminds me, if you are invested in telling your own story feel free to contact me and let me know.

Okay, now that housekeeping is out of the way, let’s get to the goods. I have been feeling some type of way and I’ve enjoyed exploring those feelings more as of late. Interestingly, I have started a new form of birth control that I swear has evened out my hormones. I know a lot of people say they feel more mood swings with the pill, but I have never felt more even keeled. I am sure there are a lot of factors that go into why I am feeling like this, but I really think that is one of them. Now, when I say more even keeled, it does not mean I am not emotional. I still cry on the regular, don’t you worry y’all, gotta get that release somehow. However, those low-lows that I used to have, get less and less. I haven’t had a real low-low in about a month, which is impressive, if I do say so myself. Plus, that low was triggered by alcohol which I have been avoiding as well. So, I am sure that has helped a lot. While I do feel more stable there is an area of my life that is bringing up a lot of feels and a lot of what I’ve been exploring this past month.

Ey-yo, low self-esteem check! (Tiktoc reference, for you oldies. JK I’m old, but I like to stay up-to-date on what the cool kids are doing). But seriously, I’ve been feeling not very powerful and it has been really interrupting my groove. As someone with a history of eating disorders, the new year is the hardest time. Everyone around me is talking about their diet; the weight they have gained over the holidays; the desire to be thinner, thicker, taller, shorter, beefier. Every “I just need to loose 5 lbs, 10lbs, 100lbs” scatters about me and I don’t know how to respond. I oscillate between wanting to be happy with who I am and wanting to be thin. Should I want to loose weight? Should I not? How do I feel about myself? So many thoughts constantly echoing in my brain. “The Biggest Loser” flashes across my screen and  brings me back to the image of fat people puking while a thin person berates them. I play Demi Lovato’s new song Anyone on repeat while I think about all the things she has overcome and how glorious she looked on that stage at the Grammy’s.

Last night, with Demi in mind, I stared into the mirror and I saidyou are worthy of everything you want’ and I began to cry because I didn’t know if I believed it or not. Everyday I wonder if I am loving myself correctly. In this instance, is self-love admitting that I want to change? Is it wanting to feel okay in my current skin? Is it both? I think it is both… No, I know it is both. Why can’t I have a desire to change while also loving who I am? Both can exist at the same time and both can be a beautiful admittance. My worth does not depend on whether I want to change or not. My worth is a value that comes from  inside of myself, even on the days I get self-love wrong, I am worthy.

This morning I stared into the mirror and I said ‘you are worthy of everything you want’ and I began to cry because I knew it was true whether I believed it or not. That’s thing about being gentle with yourself. It’s okay to be exactly who you are at all times, even when it feels like you might be a walking paradox. It is hard to feel worthy, unless you start to accept pieces of yourself that might feel scary to accept.

In light of this revelation, there is a secret I have been keeping to myself that I feel I need to let out. I joined Weight Watchers again and typing that is really scary for me. There it is, out in the open. Even just typing it out loud feels liberating. I think this is scary for me to admit because it feels like I am failing in some way, like wanting to change means I don’t just fully embrace who I am now and that means I am doing self-love a disservice and everything I’ve said before is a lie. The thing is though, that I do love myself as I am today and I want to be able to eat more reasonable portions and I wouldn’t mind losing weight. I do not want to feel shame or guilt in that. Weight Watchers, to me, is a place where I find community, where I can talk about my struggles with eating and feel no judgement. It feels so good to not be holding that in any longer.

Keeping secrets is a heavy weight to carry around. As a social worker, I think the number one phrase I’ve heard in my position is “I’ve never told anyone that before“. After they say it, their change in body language can only be described as amazing. There is always a deep breath and a feeling of relief. The power that I witness firsthand in letting out a secret is one of my favorite parts of the work I do. I feel that feeling each week as I sit at my computer. Each post accompanies a deep breath and feeling of relief.

There are pieces of me that are hard for me to admit, but with each blog post, with each conversation with a friend, with each confession, I feel more and more worthy of what I want. It all starts with ripping the bandaid. Telling your secrets to the air, your pet, a piece of paper, a computer screen, a trusted friend, a stranger, your therapist – is powerful. Scream it out or whisper it quietly. Secrets that we keep inside are the real parts of ourselves that we need to battle. Today, take out your sword and be brave- tell a secret you’ve been holding on to. If you don’t have anyone/thing to tell, you can tell me. Just go to my contact page and if you want to remain anonymous just make up a name and email. I just want you to know that you have a place here that is safe. I feel safe in telling you my secrets and I hope you feel the same in return.

Today I am going to be brave alongside you and I am going to tell three more secrets before the day is done. You will be able to find them on my Instagram page.

A[wo]men

i feel the aching-

today in my chest,

yesterday in my bones,

tomorrow in my stomach.

it will always linger,

always want out.

i close my eyes,

open my mouth,

let the words

escape my lips

i’m free.

-letting go of secrets

 

 

 

 

 

Dream a big dream of me.

Hello fellow readers! Did you miss me? Because I sure missed you. Can hardly believe it’s been a month since we last connected. It was a much needed break with time for reflection and connecting to the real world. I laughed, cried, and watched a lot of Gossip Girl. There was also a lot of ‘oh perhaps I will blog about that’ moments. So many in-fact, that I have several pieces of paper floating around that say things like “7 hours in the airport” and “girl skipping”.  Today though, I don’t want to discuss my travel woahs or how sometimes simple things give me the most joy; today I want to write about dreams. I’ve been having a lot of them lately. Some while I sleep and some while I am awake. There is a thread to them all though, the future.

My last blog post was about my goals for the new year and we are officially in it. 2020 has begun and just as any new year, I have started out strong. THE FUTURE IS NOW. This topic of the future though is a big deal to me. In a previous blog post  I discussed this new possibility of living without suicidal ideations. Since that post, I have absolutely had suicidal thoughts, but not in the same way. They are more fleeting and I am able to breeze past them like I am on a boat just passing by a sea creature and waving goodbye instead of it swallowing me whole. Which, of course, makes the future so much more exciting. I have all of these ideas constantly swirling around my brain. Making plans to travel the world. To turn 30, 40, 50, 60. Thinking about how and when I will get published one day.

When you feel suicidal for most of your life the future is this vague idea that, in all honesty, you don’t think will ever really come. I would speak of the future because I had to not because I believed it was real thing. It just seems to be a common topic amongst humans. What do you think your future partner looks like? What do you think you’ll be doing in the future? What kind of house are you going to live in? My head would yell IT’S BLANK and then I would spit out things I had seen in movies. Now, I want to tell everyone my plans. My partner will be kind, I will be a social worker and/or politician, I’ll have an apartment in Brooklyn with exposed brick! Ask me more!

And you know what else, feeling less suicidal has also allowed me to live more in the present. I have all this free’d up space to really witness the hustle and bustle around me. Instead of spending all of this time trying not to feel like I dying, I can now sit in an airport for several hours and observe the beautifully mundane world around me. Airport people are fascinating, btw. The bar was FULL at 6am and there were several kids on leashes. It is just a whole different place, almost felt like I was dreaming.

Speaking of dreams, I would also like to share changes my asleep dreams. Some of them have been seriously mundane. For example, I had one where I just went and got coffee and then walked to the park and sat in the sun and I met this super cute dog. It was simple and beautiful. I rarely dreamt before and if I did it was always a nightmare. I would wake up in panic with visions of me nearing death, often by way of murder. There are a lot of different theories on dreams. Who knows if any are correct or not, but I do know that something within me has changed. It can’t be a coincidence that when my mental health starts to feel more stable I stop dreaming of my imminent death. I must say, it has been one of the many perks of getting valuable help and really diving deep into my own psyche.

I know it’s cliche, but I am writing all of this because it can get better. Maybe right now you are reading this and thinking about wanting to die. Maybe for the last 10 years you have spent most of your days thinking the future isn’t possible. I see you. You’ve been through things and you have extremely valid pain in your life. If your dreams are more nightmares right now, it’s okay. It’s human and it happens. Please, be gentle with yourself. Give yourself the space to unpack the nightmares because they are there for a reason.

If you aren’t sure where to start, try reaching out to someone to talk to- whether that be me, a friend, a family member, a stranger on the subway, or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (800-273-8255).

I see you and I love you and part of my dreams includes healing for you.

A[wo]men

my thoughts are silent films

the meanings my own-

to create

& feel

& hold

to rewind

& rewatch

& rewrite

-how i see my suicidal ideations

 

Winter Appreciation Post

Happy Hump day my fellow readers. I hope you are all bundled up in warmth on these frightfully chilly days, or enjoying your heat if you are from a place that is warm during these months.

Let’s see.. over the last week I have done a lot of self-care. The burnout I was experiencing was a bit overwhelming, but I knew I had to keep fighting and pulling myself out before I went far too low. It’s interesting, as I become more aware of my emotions and my coping skills, the less I get buried under them. Fascinating how that works, huh? Over this past week I started running again, colored in a coloring book, went to bed early, set boundaries, and cooked at home. It is amazing how all these simple tasks, when combined, become a haven of healing for myself. All that is to say I am feeling back to a stable human being and super excited about it.

I spent my whole C train ride to this Starbucks wondering what I shall write about today. A few things crossed my mind as I simultaneously wondered who else’s bum sat on this subway seat *crosses fingers ‘I hope that Lin Manuel has sat where I sat’.  Then I started to think about the season. The season of cold, of holidays, of peppermint mocha lattes *decaf, of so many layers you melt when you get inside, of seasonal affective disorder, oh how the list could go on. This season gets a bad reputation, predominantly because it is cold and dark AF. I get it. I’m tired by 5:30 and most days I can’t feel my nose. The thing is, I love this season. I’m a Sagittarius, if you couldn’t tell, so winter IS my season. Often when I say this, I am met with faces of disgust and sometimes real harsh words. We all have our opinions, I suppose. Even though I am right and you are wrong (BIG Sagittarius energy).

Usually what I hear when people talk about cold weather is that of pessimism and dreams of being rich and famous and in the Caribbean. As someone who used to be a full-time pessimist (now identifying as part-time) it totally makes sense. To dream up an alternative life somewhere else that doesn’t involve the cold, but then I think wait… weren’t you the same bloke that was crying about the heat and wanting to be in A/C all day? Yeah, I see you Karen. Nothin’ makes ya happy.

All of this is to say that for today’s post I wanted to make something light-hearted and fun and perhaps heart-warming for all you cold folx, whether that is your soul or physical temp. So, here is my list of reasons why I/we should all love winter:

  1. People are so much more generous during the ‘holiday season’. One time someone bought my coffee and they were just like ‘Tis the season!” That sweet, sweet coffee angel. I’ll never forget you.
  2. Dogs. In. Jackets.
  3. Snuggly sweaters- both the object and the candle you can buy from Target.
  4. Throwing snowballs at people and things you don’t like. I once threw a snowball at Trump Tower and that was cool. Some ideas for all you in case you need them: Throw them at people that are bad at parking. Throw them at your evil ex or throw them at pictures of your evil ex in case you don’t want to actually see them. Throw them at Donald Trump. Throw them at yourself when you’re near someone rich and then blame them and maybe they will give you money because they feel bad and because “Tis the season!”.
  5. Running in the snow. It’s like regular running except slower and I often pause to stick my tongue out and I get significantly less sweaty. I also sometimes pause to stick my arms and tongue out while spinning in a circle because I believe I am the lead in a rom-com.
  6. Hats/gloves/scarves are cheap to buy and also v. cute.
  7. Did I mention all of the layers you get to pile over any insecurities you might have? I could have anywhere between A-DDD breasts under all of this, you may never know. (DD, if you were curious though.)
  8. Getting to use the excuse “I’m eating more to stay warm for the winter months.”
  9. Sparkly lights all the time, everywhere.
  10. People are more understanding of you going to bed early because the sun is no longer out and that seems more acceptable of a reason to people than ‘it’s good for my mental health’.
  11. It is perfectly acceptable to cancel plans because it is too cold.
  12. Since my birthday is in the winter I get to find out who my true friends are because they risk their lives in the cold to meet me at some dive bar. Thats real friendship, y’all.
  13. Makeup stays on really well because it freezes to your face.
  14. Dogs. In. Jackets.
  15. Boots elevate any outfit
  16. People want to cuddle up next to you a lot more. Fact, my first close contact with a boy was in high school. I’ll set the scene: It’s the annual Grafton High School outdoor, haunted corn maze. In Wisconsin winter starts in October. As a cool kid, I was on the student council and volunteered to be a ‘scarer’. Fake spider webs are everywhere as we wait to scare the next poor child that walks past. “It’s so cold” says the group I’m with “perhaps we should all congregate together for warmth.” My crush, a year older than me, just happens to be in this group. He put his arm around me and I think I blacked out from there. Thank you, cold weather. We never spoke again, but I’ll always have the memories.
  17. Seasonal Affective Disorder. This may seem strange to be thankful for, but recently my roommate told me that her old therapist said that blaming your emotions on the weather can be the number one way to invalidate how you are feeling. And ya know, sometimes I would rather not realize that I’m actually sad for a valid reason. Sometimes I want to blame the weather or mercury in retrograde, k? *This is not to discredit SAD. I fully believe this is real and if you do experience this and are looking for some tips/tricks/referrals feel free to shoot me a message on my contact page.
  18. The subway is significantly less stinky. Less sweaty people=less stinky. It’s called science.
  19. People like to read more in the winter because they are at home and curled up by the fire or candle that they imagine is a fire and also feel they are in their own rom-com. People always read by the fire in rom-coms. In turn, my blog is read more in the winter. I do not have data to back this up.
  20. Clumsy people have more of a reason to fall. They can blame the snow and ice instead of blaming their inability to walk properly.
  21. Blankets.
  22. I do my hair much more in winter. It typically last longer and looks better because again science. Less sweat=better hair.
  23. I am lucky enough to live in a warm home with electricity. I get to feel blessed everyday when I walk in from the cold into the warm. Even if my heater sounds like snakes and demons are in my walls.
  24. Winter rom-coms are better than other rom-coms.
  25. Dogs. In. Jackets.
  26. Ice skating is romantic as hell. Even on your own. #self-partnered
  27. People love to commiserate together. Winter haters love to congregate and shake their fists in the air discussing how cold it is and dreaming of a cruise somewhere warm. They are the cutest grumps out there too because they in all their layers. All you can see is the hatred in their eyes. People that hate together, stay together.

As you can now see, winter is not that bad.

A[wo]men

most people think you

suck the life out of a room

I think you are cool.

-winter

Good GERD

Hi, friends. Last week I thought I was dying. And I don’t mean the normal ‘I have the flu and I feel like death’ dying. All of the sudden while I was writing my blog I started to get this pain in my chest. It felt like I couldn’t breathe and I was having trouble swallowing. Turns out it was severe gastric reflux or GERD as some people call it. I also had severe back pain which was being impacted by the reflux. It was uncomfortable and I was sure WebMd was right, it had to be cancer. Of course, it wasn’t and I am doing much better as I sit here and write this, but it brought up a lot of feelings for me. Feelings about my body, my misunderstanding of health, and trying to find a balance of self-love and self-care.

If you are an avid reader, you know we have been here before. (Also thank you, you da real MVP.) The battle with my body is repetitive and important. Prior to my move to Alaska I was in the best shape of my life. I was running 6 miles, eating well, and felt good. Then I moved, and moving is scary, and I was told to be easy on myself, do things that make me feel good. Following my break-up, I was also told to be easy on myself, do things that make me feel good. In fact, if I look back at all the things I’ve struggled through in my life, these words are often uttered to me in some way. It is a kind message, but a message I took quite literally. Carbs make me feel good… Carbs and cheese and chips and well you get the idea. I did what everyone was telling me to do, I made myself feel good. I ate and I ate and when I would eat, even if just for the moment, I would forget how I was feeling.

After my break-up I was in a low place. I thought that there was something wrong with me, and more specifically I thought I was physically gross. I thought I deserved what happened because I was a monster, with thicc thighs and hairy skin. I thought that, that feeling would never pass and I would die alone, a monster. Trust me, I know how dramatic this sounds. I can now recognize how truly absurd I was being; thinking that the weight I was at or the growth of my hair somehow impacted the respect I deserve. This was partly baby Sarah making an appearance and it was also the years of media telling me that only the skinny girl finds love and the fat girl gets to be the sidekick on her journey. When I started dating my ex, I believe a part of me thought I had broken the mold. A fat girl found love and I couldn’t lose it because it was an anomaly that it happened in the first place.

Fast forward to New York City. Through my millions (or what felt like millions) of dates and ghosting and texts and calls, I started to realize that I wasn’t in a film where I was the side kick. I am the star, baby. Even better, I realized that I get to choose who I fall in love with and I don’t have to settle for someone because *SPOILER ALERT* fat girls fall in love too. Then, last week, when my body started to revolt against me, all those thoughts came flooding back. Not only will I not find love, but I am going to die early because I mistook binge eating for self-care. I was a failure and I deserved this, because I am a monster.

I was mad at my body and my brain for failing me. I wanted a new body and a new brain, an all too familiar thought. For a long time, I thought that self-love was about denying that part of me that doesn’t like myself. Every time a negative thought would surface, I felt like I was failing my message. It begged the question: Can I preach self-love if I, in fact, don’t love myself? The simple answer is, of course, yes. I am human, with human flesh and human faults. At the core of me, I love who I am and I think that is what is important. I strive for self-love everyday, while honoring the part of me that wants a flatter tummy, a thinner face, more toned arms, etc. That part of me is what started this blog and pushes me towards constant self-reflection.

Because I am in therapy and being much more proactive about my health (both physical and mental) these recent thoughts did not last long; I honored them and let them go. However, these thoughts really made me reflect on what messages I still cling onto and what core ideas I am finding hard to let go of? I mentioned media earlier. When I say media, I predominantly mean romcoms, because let’s be honest I am basic AF, a fact I am v. proud of. These romcoms though have become extremely problematic in my way of thinking. [And I would like to point out the multitudes of other ways romcoms are problematic, but that’s a whole other post… or research essay really]. Not only did they make me believe I wouldn’t find love, but I think I excuse a lot of behaviors in the name of love, as is seen in romcoms. I let my boundaries become irrelevant in order to please others, because the most important goal in any romcom is to find the one… *pukes in mouth* ..even if that one is completely wrong for you and treats you like trash, but he apologized and told you the 3 most basic compliments to make you forgot the horrible things he did, so like oh, well! Marriage is on the horizon, ya know?

Really, I am just trying to rewrite these automatic thoughts I get about my worth and how I attach that to the need for love from others. Life isn’t a romcom and and I am not a monster and things are never perfect. If I am being honest, I am up and down on the whole loving myself thing and I think that is healthy and normal. The thing I embrace about the self-love movement is that it centers on honoring oneself, all the parts of oneself. There is a scene in one of my favorite romcoms, ’10 Things I Hate About You’ (told you I was basic) where she is reading this poem about all the things she hates about her love interest, Heath Ledger: heartthrob, sexual awakening, RIP. BUT the poem ends with how she doesn’t even hate him at all. Honestly, it is one of the cheesiest things in a film I have ever witnessed, but her poem resonates with the way I feel about myself. Let me show you what I mean:

Me to me: I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you [wear] your hair. I hate the way you [sweat and chafe when you walk]. I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb [stomach], and the way you get [caught in your own mind]. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me [write]. I hate the way you’re always [comparing]. I hate it when you [over-eat]. I hate it when you make me [angry], even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact that you didn’t [rest]. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

Okay, I made some small edits, and it no longer rhymes, but you can see what I mean. There are parts of me that I will struggle with throughout my life, but the good news is it will be me the whole way through and I am here for it.

*Also to circle back on the GERD diagnosis, I basically have to avoid acidic foods. Meaning it has now been 7 days since my last coffee. I am surviving, but would appreciate your #thoughtsandprays in this trying time. Honestly though, my stomach is healing just fine and the back pain has subsided. Thank female yeezy. 

**Also, also dating is still going really well [as you might have guessed from my rant about the lies media has told me], thank you for asking!

 

Featured image found on https://www.mooreaseal.com/products/self-love-club-sticker where you can purchase the sticker for $4.50

Nobody Puts Baby [Sarah] in the Corner

Hi, friends. Since my last post I’ve had several people reach out to me. They reached out to check-in on me. They reached out to tell me their own stories of suicidal ideation. They reached out. Over the last couple of weeks I have felt supported by people both close to me and people that I don’t know very well. It is amazing how much this keeps me going. It reminds me how special this blog is to me. Please keep reaching out, even if it isn’t to me. Just check-in on your friends, you never know how much someone might need it.

This morning riding the subway there was a person. They were wearing pants on their head and screaming at the top of their lungs. The passengers on the train gave them weird looks, heck I probably gave them weird looks. Some people would enter the train car and immediately hop back off, like “not today, Satan.” All I could think for that 15 minute ride was ‘where were they going? Did they have people that would reach out to them? How different would the world look if we took care of each other instead of feared one another?’ Don’t get me wrong… I am guilty of the fear. The fear that drives my internal system and tells me people are bad. It is that baby Sarah voice that takes over. It’s a really cute voice with a bit of a speech impediment and she is not very nice.

I’ve actually been spending a lot of time thinking about baby Sarah as I move forward from my recent heart break; the role she plays in my daily life, her goals and dreams, and how they are both similar and vastly different from the person I am now. I think it is important to think of our inner child often, as they are typically the drivers of our natural instincts. Baby Sarah is a peace keeper. She always wants to make things right, even when it wasn’t her fault that things went wrong. This makes sense to me, then, that as an adult I cling. I cling to the hope that I can fix just about anything with a nice smile and a quiet voice. What magic it would be if we could simply smile and cure pain and suffering. If it were that easy, I would have fixed a lot of problems ‘cuz, to quote my many dates, [I have a great smile].

Which reminds me, in the last few week I have been on many dates. Talk about the inner child, whew. I find it fascinating the way humans behave within the first few moments of meeting. There are so many things people are willing to disclose; so many things that aren’t being said at all. Dating is mystery, excitement, and inevitable choice: Do I kiss them? Do I ghost them? Do I see them again? Do I runaway to Europe? Sometimes it feels like I am the one wearing pants on my head. Sometimes I want to be the one screaming at the top of my lungs on the subway car. With that being said, to my surprise, dating is going really well. I’ve met some really awesome people and I am feeling more hopeful about finding a partner that is kind, honest, and holds me in a safe space and I do the same for them.

In fact, baby Sarah shows up a lot on my dates. She thinks about her future and the family she one day wants to have. She also gets really, really scared. I am trying very hard to both listen and understand this part of myself while challenging it as well. From a young age I absorbed messaging that I was not good enough. I don’t think this was the message that I was supposed to receive, but this is how my kiddo brain interpreted things then. I think the point was to protect myself, but I just ended up hurting myself. I became the victim of my own life and I set out on a self-fulfilling prophecy to ensure I would continue to play out these patterns that remind me I am not good enough. This is where I have to challenge this girl because… I AM GOOD ENOUGH. I deserve happiness, love, and to follow my dreams. I actually just got done with therapy and surprise, surprise baby Sarah was the star of the show. She kept coming up over the hour and a half. My therapist also mentioned the protecting she does for me. The protection of leaving my body, the security of giving trust to those that I shouldn’t, the safety of providing ‘soft no’s’ all in hopes to avoid pain and hurt. She is my keeper after all; however, I am also on the right track with this whole pushing back thing. While these patterns provide a sense of safety they are in fact hindering my ability to live a happy life. Instead, I currently live in a constant state of fear. How exhausting…

My assignment given to me for the week is to A. Find moments I disassociate (leave my body) B. Find the places where I feel safe and happy and C. Establish more consistency. After leaving the session 20 minutes ago I have left my body twice and I have felt safe and happy once. Sitting here, writing this blog, listening to two girls watch a stand-up comedian and laughing so hard the one blew soup out of her nose, I feel safe. I feel happy. I’ve always struggled to do this for myself. To put my happiness above other things. I tend to come in second to the rest of the world. I preach self-love and then shove baby [Sarah] in the corner. I’m over it. I’m over the soft no’s and the quiet complacency. I want to say YES when things feel good. I want to demand people hear my NO when I say ‘NO’. I want to stand up for myself and not feel concerned about how people might react to that. I will be stronger, every day, continually growing into the person baby Sarah could only be proud of. So, I would like to give you all an assignment as well. Think of baby *insert name here*. How are they serving you? Would they proud of the person you are now? Is there anything you can do in this moment to make them smile? Maybe, just maybe, you have 5 minutes to devote to this reflection.

And on that note, I would like to end today’s post with a poem written by Rupi Kaur, whose words have been a guiding source in my healing and growth over the last few years:

it was when I stopped searching for home within others

and lifted the foundations of home within myself

i found there were no roots more intimate

than those between a mind and body

that have decided to be whole

-rupi kaur