I’ve spent the weekend in pure joy. I’ve been granted permanent disability aid! That may seem might a let down to most folks, but for me it is a joy. I’ve been fighting this system for so long, and now I’m finally able to breathe. I have a steady income and I have the time to grow.
I have the time to grow, on my own terms. I don’t have 3 years, or 14 months, or 5 months. I can finally be free. Free to build the live I want to live, with my conditions. I have the time to learn, to experience, to grow.
It has been hard living in this process, of knowing/not knowing. I know I’ve must’ve lost some hair over it. But it is here. And I am safe. It is weird and it is good. I am safe. It doesn’t exactly slow down the process that Autumn is here with me. I feel good, I feel enlightened, I feel inspired. I hope that will come to show on my instagram and of course – here.
I ‘ve started writing again and I hope this will be a good thing for me. My sentences, my words, my meanings. I have so much to say, but I’ve never really known the words to say them. I feel like this is a turning point, and I am here. I am here to let you know how I feel, to know what I experience, to know what life is life how I live it with the diagnosis that I have. I am ready.
I’m sitting here in the lazy chair in my parents house, I’m cat sitting this weekend. It’s a grey morning outside, wind is blowing through the apple trees and shaking some apples to the wet grass from the rain earlier. The heating pump is on and Leesi is sleeping at my feet, curled up in a blanket. As I am sitting here, my thoughts wander to the things I’m grateful for in my life, and I thought I’d share five of them with you today.
❥ My animals. The way they show me unconditional love every day and I do the same with them. Even on my worst days, they bring out the best in me. They fill up my entire heart and I don’t even know how to put into words what they mean to me. Love, love, love.
❥ My parents living close by. I have felt some embarrassment from getting an apartment so close to my parents house, (even though it was the best apartment out for rent when I was looking), but I am happy that’s where I landed. I am independent, but their support is just a few streets away.
❥ Writing again and picking up my camera. I am slowly getting back into expressing myself on paper and capturing little moments, and that I am very much grateful for. Lowering my expectations and trying to just enjoy it.
❥ The best season of the year is just three days away. In a short time the leaves will turn orange and red and yellow. The sun will become golden and create that crisp, but sweet scent in the air. Rain will pour down and there will be full days spent under blankets with reading, tv-series, tea, hot cocoa and cuddles, in the soft light of lit candles. Layers of knitted and fluffy sweaters and cardigans and dressy trousers and Dr. Martens and checkered and dark coloured floral dresses and pantyhose!
❥ The Internet. I’ve met some good people online over the past years, and even though there’s a part of me that don’t dare to call them my friends, (how can anyone want to be my friend?), there’s another part who cherish them so much and they show me love, and I suppose that’s what friendship is. I guess I just have to come to terms with the fact that I am wanted and I am someone people care about.
The temperature is harsh this morning, it’s not hard to tell that Autumn is right around the corner. I’ve put on woolen socks that my mom has knitted for me, the heater is on, and I’ve made myself a cup of apple and cinnamon tea. It’s a slow morning, and I’m visiting my mother today. I have no real plans other than that at the moment. Or probably several more cups of tea. And a walk with Khaleesi.
I’m on day nine of no self destructive behaviour, and I think I might be feeling good actually. It’s going way smoother than I had expected? I thought I was going to fight hard for this, but the urges are bordering on insignificant and are in a way easy to overcome. I have had some help from my anxiety medication, but I wasn’t using too much of them before, so this increase is okay in my eyes. I hope this next week will be equally as good as the last one in these terms. Fingers crossed.
I am once again back here behind the screen typing away. The sun is going down, I’ve lit a scented candle – Pine Spice – and Khaleesi is softly slumbering in her cuddle nest next to me. My mind has been pre-occupied with some not-so-good things lately. I feel freer now, and I want to come back, but I’m struggling. Struggling with the idea that I’m worthy to take up space, that I can be someone, be seen. Which is why this blog never really was anything, I suppose.
I seldom feel like I am good enough, (other than on my ups when I feel like I am beyond best, but that doesn’t last long), and I realize everything that I’m missing out on personally. I am scared to the bone of being perceived as thinking I am Someone, a Person. I don’t write, I don’t journal, I don’t do much photography anymore. Half of the time I won’t even allow myself to think. And the reason can be boiled down into six words: Who do I think I am? Who do I think I am sitting here breathing?
I can’t seem to shake off the need to try to be something specific, trying to please the expectations I project on others in my mind. Messy me isn’t enough, I don’t feel like a complete person. But at the same time I don’t think I’ve ever let myself truly try to be something for myself. Almost all I am is set in these expectations of what I believe others want to see and hear.
I need to start being Unapologetically Me. Start from scratch. I know I keep repeating myself, but life is a journey, ones person is a journey. I probably say it more to comfort myself most of all, but I think we all need to hear this from time to time. We don’t need to have it all figured out at all times. I need to accept life, and first and foremost myself. No more apologies, no more trying to justify my existence. I am enough just as I am, imperfectly perfect.
What has it been? Like five weeks? Longer? Time has flown by so fast I haven’t even noticed. This move has taken so much of me, physically and emotionally. It has been a big step to move out again and start on my own, and I haven’t been sleeping really, except in daytime, and then my day has been done to be honest. It has been a good move, but I haven’t had much energy afterwards, and then with not sleeping properly it has been tiresome. I recently bought a weighted blanket though, and these past few nights have been so good. If you struggle with your sleep I highly recommend it!
I have tried to keep some sort of routine these past weeks, but by going back to sleeping in daytime, (it hasn’t been 6 hours like I did when I was depressed, but enough), it has been hard. We’ve had a walk, and I’ve been reading some, and then in the afternoon we’ve been visiting Koda, Kalypso and my parents. Khaleesi has been needing that for the transition to our own life to be smooth. I haven’t been doing much productive since, though. I’ve ordered a desk from IKEA, which has arrived now (but I haven’t set it up yet because I’m cat sitting at my parents house), and I hope that will make me want to sit down and work, give some incentive to sit down and get creative again.
My first week of having the keys, I spent painting my living/dining room. It was originally painted a very sad grey tone, not even a fashionable one, (how anyone managed to live in that I don’t know).
I’ve added some photos from my apartment as it is now to this post. If you want to see the before and after photos of the paint job I have a link here! (The plant is a cover photo).
The photos following are of my living room as it is, I have photos of my kitchen as well, but they would be too much for this post as it would contain too many photos, so I’ll add them later if that’s interesting. My bedroom wouldn’t be much to show, though, as I haven’t made any effort there yet, haha.
I am very happy as to what my living room looks like. I have my 50’s brocade couch and chairs, my 70’s teak table and stool, a sewing table and a proper 2020’s bookshelf.
The hanging to the right in the photo above, or down right at the picture below is a picture of the moon phases which I got in a small local store in Brooklyn when I was there in folk high school. It is one of the parts of that time in folk high school that I recall vividly. I have some other problems, trauma, that have made me forget most of that time, but I remember this.
We were in this small boho shop in Williamsburg that sold jewellery and scarfs, I found this and had to take it with me. I got it with me safely, no wrinkles, and I think it just states the preciousness of those moments in New York. Like somehow I had to remember this.
I think my first goal for June is very much accomplished. 2nd goal: which was to spend more time outdoors is also done. Khaleesi and I have been sitting in the garden quite a bit until the heavy rain came. (I am very happy about the rain, though, I love rain). We’ve also been on walks every day.
The “no post processing my photos” has been fun. None of these photos are post processed, just presets that I’ve made in camera, and I quite like the result. It’s not a commercial preset, it’s just my preference and I think that’s nice. I like that it’s kind of “original me”.
Keeping up with my previous routine is a story by itself. I have not managed to do this in any form or way. I have gotten dressed, but that’s it. I think it has something to do with me not having a designated workspace, and probably a lot to do with me having to take a lot of time just getting used to the move and sleeping. We have had some routine though, which I mentioned earlier in this post.
This is where I plan to have my desk, next to my dresser. I’ll have to move my Begonia and the two small boxes I’ll keep stationed on the legs of my desk. I’ll have a lot of light coming in from the window and also from the window in my living room. It’ll be good.
Two pictures down you can see my dining area. I have a proper 70’s dining area, with teak chairs, (they are a lovely forest green, but you can’t see it, I still have to adjust my “preset”), and a teak table. My table needs a vaseline oil coating and then it will be perfect.
I have to show you the light that my disco ball gives. I have photos, but that too will make this post too long. I’ll wrap it up here.
I’m very content living here. I feel like this is a place where I can stay for a bit while saving up for my own apartment. It feels safe, (it’s in a cul-de-sac), and it feels nice. I’m happy.
A month has passed and a new one lies before us. May was harsh, but at the same time relieving and uplifting. I was finally able to send my application for disability aid, (after waiting 2 1/2 months for my caseworker to do two simple things, that she had said would take 2 weeks), which sparked a whole lot of different emotions.
It is a grief having to come to terms with the fact that I’m not functioning in school or work and won’t be able to stand on my own feet financially because of my mental illnesses, and knowing what I’ll miss out on not having a career. It is a grief knowing that you don’t function “normally”. In many ways I have lost. It is also a huge relief to know that I can have financial stability despite of that, if this application goes through. I’ll be able to have a life. Permanent disability aid, instead of temporary 4 year work ability assessment pay, also means that I have time to learn what works for me and find out how I can live my best life with my limits. It means security and calm.
In this post I talked about waking up from a dormant state of mind and wanting to reclaim my life. Of course this doesn’t indicate that I’m 100% healthy, and that all of a sudden I’m all well, I am simply having a better period. My struggles are still there, but I see them more clearly and I’m able to address them in a more productive manner as they come along. I am more aware of when I’m (for example) spiralling and have the extra energy and will to pull myself out of it or distract myself. It may come easier for me now, but it’s still work.
By “reclaiming my life” I mean taking ownership over my day, my emotions and my actions – in my best-est of efforts not letting my disorders rule over me completely. What do I want this life to be and how do I get there? How can I easiest facilitate ways to achieve an overall good quality of life? Where should my focus lie in my everyday life? How can I grow? These are questions I have to keep asking myself regularly.
I’ve set myself some goals for June to cover different areas, from general well being to sparking creativity. I thought I’d share some of them with you.
GOALS FOR JUNE
✎ Make my apartment cozy, a place for relaxation and inspiration. I love decorating, so I’m very excited about this task. I have some ideas already. Having nice and clean surroundings is good for everyones mental health.
✎ Spend more time outdoors! Fresh air is good for your body and soul. I get a little garden patch at my new place and I want to spend (almost) equally as much time there as inside this summer. (I take the liberty of reserving myself from this goal if it gets too hot). If anyone wants to join me reading on a picnic blanket in the grass, just let me know.
✎ Not post process my photos, rather change settings in camera, and keep the photos as they are afterwards. I want to get more creative and mindful with my camera and I hope this will help!
✎ Keep up with my newly started routine and keep getting dressed on weekdays. Keeping some sort of routine is in my eyes one of the keys to a healthy life, it is a way of taking action.
I haven’t set too many goals, I don’t want to drown myself and end up doing everything half-way, but I have set enough to not make me lazy either. Good middle-ground.
My plan for the rest of the day is to try and stay calm before I get the keys to the apartment tomorrow! And I really do need to start packing for my move, I haven’t packed anything yet… I thought I’d get a clearer idea of what I wanted to bring as I was closing in on the big day, but I haven’t. I probably know subconsciously, so what’s left is actually p a c k i n g.
The contract is filled in and signed and today it’s exactly one week until I get the keys to the apartment! Am I allowed to be a little over-the-top excited? It’s been three years since the last time I lived on my own and I’m eager (to say the least) to be independent again.
I have sort of made myself a new routine, getting ready to “start over” and get more out of my days, so I thought I’d share it with you.
. . .
Bedtime is around 10:30 and I have my alarm set for 9:15 the next morning. I might not get up before 10, but at least I’m awake. (Baby steps).
I don’t touch my sweats on weekdays, I usually put on a dress or a soft jumpsuit, and I do my brows in the morning, as to feel a bit made for the day. I used to be in my sweats all day, six days a week, and actually getting dressed has made a difference. This may sound weird, but I’m very emotionally attached to my clothes and I can’t stand the thought of slowly wearing them out by only sitting under a blanket all day. I feel like they deserve to be used for something good.
Next on my list in the morning is getting downstairs to grab a Monster and upstairs again to my desk, put on some Bon Iver or Keaton Henson, journal for a bit and write my to-do list for the day. (This would paint a much more aesthetic picture if I said I made myself a cup of tea, but I pinky swear that happens sometimes as well). This is also a good time to day dream while listening to the birds singing in the apple trees outside.
I often try to write something afterwards, to continue my journaling-thoughts in a more structured manner. If I can’t do that I’ll watch some videos on YouTube, either on personal growth or photography, to get inspired for the day. I don’t meet many people and I don’t go to work, so it’s good to get some input from other people in ways that I can. And I water my plants.
After this I’ll most likely pick up my camera or start a brain-dump with ideas and try to build on them. I do wish I was more determined to put these ideas to life, though, but I’m too insecure in myself still, so most of them just stay ideas and inspirations. My photos are rarely significant, but I try to take at least a couple of photos a day, even if they’re less than insignificant, just to keep it up.
If it’s sunny the dogs are let out for a while. Koda can’t go on walks at the moment, because he has a fracture in his toe, so the garden is a good substitute. They get to smell and run (restricted on a soft ground) for a bit and they sometimes get their dog bones to gnaw on. Khaleesi is pretty much satisfied with just sun bathing.
When the afternoon comes there’s dinner and I like to participate in the cooking. I am somewhere in between anxious and excited as to what that will look like when living on my own again and cooking for myself.
I’ll try to write some more, or edit the photos I’ve taken throughout the day, if I’ve taken several. I’ll probably put on a couple of episodes of Homeland, (I’m currently on season 2), and half-watch it while I edit my photos.
To end the day I like to put on a timer to read for 30 minutes. This way it’s easier for me to read. I always think that if I don’t read for at least an hour and half, there’s no use and I’m not a good enough reader, which feels overwhelming, but setting a timer for that amount kind of says “this is how it is, this is achievable, this is enough” and I usually end up reading for a bit longer. I also try to have reading be the last thing I do at the end of the day, so I don’t end it with screen time, and my head will have some time to cool off. I’ll also write a few words in my journal to reflect over the day.
. . .
This is more or less my routine as a stay-at-home dog parent. Or this has been my active routine the past week, and I will do everything in my power to keep it up. What I have not put in here is the time I spend on mood swings, on overthinking, on anxiety and overwhelmed, zoning out, staring at the wall – but it’s in here. Some days I’m not able to do much except these last things I mentioned. But that is okay, too.
Here the other day I was wandering in the garden with my camera for a bit. I haven’t held it in my hands for a while now, so it was good picking it up again and what perfect timing! The apple trees were starting to blossom, (they are in full bloom as we speak, the bees and bumblebees have fully invaded it), dandelions all over the uncut lawn, sunflower sprouts in the flower beds, blooming strawberry plants – life is everywhere.
I’ve been a zombie for so long, but even I seem to be awakening too. For many years I’ve been dormant. Life has been hard for many years now; depression, trauma, BPD, AvPD, I had to distance myself to get by, and I shut myself off, became full on apathetic. I realised a few weeks ago I had completely forgotten what flowers smell like and I had to run up to my room and cry for a bit.
Almost every good experience I’ve had in between the bad is gone too, like my memory never stored it anywhere, I didn’t have the space in my brain and I wasn’t open for the information. A friend of mine keeps bringing up memories we’ve shared since we met in folk high school in late 2015, and it’s very nice, I love when she does it, but it’s also really hard, because I don’t remember them myself, and I’ve had to realize what I’ve lost to my illnesses over the years. There’s been a lot of tears.
I’ve struggled with flashbacks, but they’ve become more frequent and a lot of things that have been buried in my apathy has also resurfaced. The bad has come back, but the good still stays hidden somewhere. I was talking about awakening and I feel like I’ve become more conscious lately and hope as I continue to wake up more, the good memories (because I know they exist!) will come back too, if they’re actually stored in here someplace.
But waking up… I don’t know if it’s Spring who has done it, or if something in me has suddenly just shifted, but I don’t want to be dormant anymore, I want to live and experience things – smell, touch, hear, see, taste – even if that also include the not-so-good parts. I believe this is an all or nothing situation and if I’m going to be alive anyway, I don’t wish to lose anymore of my life, I want to be present.
Only by being present and in the moment will I be able to share and create, hopefully help, and grow!
And even though I have my struggles and there’s probably no hope in every single part of them ever truly going away, life itself still is hopeful. It can be good, I can learn how to better handle and live with my struggles, and I can have an overall good quality of life, even while living this life. You can have a good life despite your struggles, too! You “just” (and I put “just” in quotation because I know it’s not always easy to “just” do things, I do) have to take the moments you have to spare, in between the pain, and fill them with The Good. Smell those flowers, cuddle your pet, allow yourself to laugh with your friends, breathe deeply, go out to dinner, write something, paint something, walk barefoot in the grass, take photos of our pretty Nature, listen to good music! I’m not saying life will be perfect if you “just” do those things, but it will be better.
(Okay this got real peppy real fast, I might have had one too many Monsters. I’ll stop now).
I’m trying to create some kind of routine for myself. It’s not easy when you don’t go to work, or have some sort of daily commitment, but I’m trying. I’m trying to get something out of my life, create more of those moments to fill with The Good, create meaning.
I know life is tough, I know how easy it is to want to give up, but please don’t. Life is worth it ♥
The last time I talked to you I was in suspense waiting for an answer to whether or not I would the apartment I was looking at, and on Thursday two weeks ago I got a call from the owner saying that I did! I am so happy, I can really see myself there with Khaleesi and my golden yellow 60’s brocade sofa. My dad really doesn’t like the apartment though, because it has a kitchen from the 60’s/70’s, but I think it’s perfect, I love me some retro.
Talking about retro; while I was still looking at apartments I came over this teak dining table and chairs. I had no idea where I was going to end up or if I would even have the space for it, but I bought the set. Irresistible impulse or impulse not resisted? Luckily I will have the space if I move into this apartment. (I say “if” because I haven’t signed a contract yet, and the owner could still change her mind, so please still have your fingers crossed for me).
I wish I could have moved in yesterday(!), but the owner takes over the house from the previous owner on June 1st, so it’s a bit of a wait. Now that it’s finally happening I can’t wait to move in and live. It’s stupid thinking that things are going to change just because I move out, but I can’t help but feel like it will somehow. I’m justified though, because my GP thinks it will help with a lot of troubles as well.
As you probably have noticed I’m blogging under a new name – journish. I changed my @ on Instagram as well. “Musky Musings” have kind of felt a little over the top and I’ve wanted something more relaxed, so when finding out that the musk tone that is used in perfumes is extracted from the excrements of male deer, I had yet another reason and obviously had to change it.
I feel like “journish” fits very well with my blog and IG. I don’t really have a specific niche, other than “being me”, and these platforms are an overall documentation of my journey in life, (whatever that means), so “journish”? Yeah, that fits. I’m also using my chosen name now, so hi, I’m Almond.
Changing the name of my blog also meant I had to make a new logo, so I opened Procreate. I don’t practice lettering as much as I would like, so this was a good exercise, and it also made me want to keep doing it more! I have this tiny dream of maybe creating my own font someday. I have a few “half” fonts, but perfecting them, completing the alphabets and making them seamless for typing on a keyboard for others to use would be amazing.
I guess this was just a lil’ update from me. I’m always telling myself I’ll get better at posting, but then I get overwhelmed thinking that needs to be 3-4 times a week. I think I’ll try and lower the pressure I put on myself to even be able to think about this blog. We’ll see what happens.
(I’m going to start off this blog post with a very cliché “long time, no see”, so brace yourselves).
Long time, no see! Almost a month has passed since I last posted something here and on my Instagram. My life has been 90% Animal Crossing, and I think I just needed it to be for a while, being present in my mind has been a bit too much. I’ve really been struggling with intrusive thoughts and recurring memories of past trauma. The littlest things set me off, so keeping my head preoccupied has been my main directive.
There has been some glimpses of light on better days too, though. I’ve visited my sister a few times, which has beenreally nice, and had some walks with a friend of mine who’s just moved back into the country. Him and I actually started looking at apartments to rent together. Him asking really helped me get out the cowed state my parents have put me in.
My parents have told me for so long that I won’t be capable of living on my own, that I would fail like I’ve done before, but when he asked I could kind of “blame” him. I didn’t have to stand up for myself to my parents, which my AvPD brain was very happy about, and never would be able to do. He changed his mind though and doesn’t want to move out until after corona, (he says it’s because his job situation might not be so secure, but I think he’s saying that instead of saying he changed his mind about me), so now I’m looking by myself again. But he helped me, I’m so set now.
I’ve found an apartment that I really like and I’m getting an answer to whether I get it or not tomorrow. I went to look at it on Friday and waited for an answer since, which has meant a spontaneous scream in anxiety every fifteen minutes. Cross your fingers for me, please!
Things feel really weird, because I feel so hopeless at the same time as I’m very ready to start my life. There’s some kind of hope growing there in the black dirt. Hmm.