There are 17 days left until Winter is here and yet again I’ve missed Autumn. I’ve been stuck inside my head and been mostly paralyzed from my thoughts, or the lack of, or both. I don’t know where the days and weeks and months have gone, but suddenly they’ve become the past.
I had so many plans for the season this year, it wasn’t going to be like previous years, it was supposed to be filled with forest walks and photography and journaling and Autumn season in Animal Crossing, but I feel like nothing. Not doing nothing, but like I am nothing. It seems what’s left of me is a void in a fragile shell. Ready to break at any moment. I don’t find joy in the things I used to and I don’t have the motivation to look for it or try to create it either.
At this point I am merely existing. It hurts, but at the same time not, because there’s nothing here. no thoughts, no emotion, no nothing.
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.
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 ♥
I’m not sure when the glass went beyond full, when it tipped over and spilt dark, gooey stuff all over the table, sadness dripping on the floor.
I haven’t been “right” for a few months now, and I’ve felt that – more frequent and harsher mood swings, all-consuming emptiness, worsened pressure and escalation of my AvPD, tears on tears on tears – but I didn’t want to believe that I would be back here again, too. Back in the hopeless state of depression.
I’ve avoided what usually is hugely telling signs, because seeing these signs makes the depression a reality. It means facing the fact that it came back again, that it will keep coming back.
My depression has (obviously) interfered with my blogging, as with many other things. I haven’t had much to give. Ideas come and go, but I never have the drive, motivation or energy to work on and execute them. It’s hard to seldom perform sufficiently, after your own wish. And I want to apologise to both you and me for being absent.
I think I need to lower the expectations I have to myself and what I can actually manage to do in this state. (Well, I think we all need to lower the pressure we put on ourselves, no matter the state we’re in). I’m sorry if the blog will (continue to) be a little dried up.
This weeks read? I’m still reading The Goldfinch. I’m so afraid I will swallow it just so I can start reading The Shadow of the Wind, so I haven’t read as much as I would like.
This weeks high? Definitely the Ásgeir concert on Monday. It was so good. His live performance is amazing, I wish he would release more live recordings. His voice is so pure – fragile but strong. One of a kind.
This weeks low? Falling asleep on a wet pillow a couple times too many.
This weeks work? I’ve gotten out of the house every day this week, (if I remember correctly)! Well, it hasn’t really been that much work, because I’ve been on a high when going out, but normally that would take a lot of work.
This weeks panic? Haven’t really had any big panicky episodes? Hmm.
This weeks want? A break.
This weeks mood? All over the place. I’ve had some big mood swings the past week. I’ve felt inspired, utterly depressed, careless and joyful, hopeless, invincible. It’s been intense. It’s hard, because I’m on medication and it should dull it down, and it has for a while, but now the mood swings are back in full force.
This weeks new? Inspiration to start bullet journaling again! As for material things I bought a Moleskine soft cover notebook for the occasion. I’ve never tried Moleskine before (what? I know), but I can say I’m already in love. The quality of the pages are YUM, I can’t believe that I’ve missed it for so long?
This weeks cosy? Sitting on the train reading and/or imagining myself a character and a story, someone else going to a wonderful place, having some grand meaning and purpose.
Something to look forward to next week? Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe to see what getting back into bujoing can help me do.
Good day to you, precious souls! What are you up to today? I just woke up from a nap in my lazy chair. I haven’t been sleeping too well these past few days, so I’ve had to a nap a bit. But who doesn’t enjoy a good nap?
It’s Valentine’s Day today, and in that occasion I thought I’d make a self-love kind of post where I write myself 9 compliments. I’m not big on self-love unfortunately, so whew, this was a tough one, but let’s see!
☁️ You are so strong for making it this far! Start giving yourself some credit.
☁️ You actually do take some good photos now and then. (This post isn’t much to show for it though, haha). Keep practising, keep shooting. Don’t be afraid to keep on trying in fear of failing, it’s by failing and making mistakes that you learn and evolve. Take some risks!
☁️ You are curious in nature, you love learning and you are open to new perspectives, (to an extent).
☁️ You have a good fashion sense, in my honest opinion.
☁️ You are respectful to everyone you meet, and for those who you let get close to you, you are very caring and empathetic. You would do a lot to see them happy and content, even though you might have enough with yourself at times.
☁️ You know what you care for and what you don’t, you don’t waste time.
☁️ Even though you are very self-conscious, you’re still yourself, and I think that’s a real accomplishment.
☁️ You get very passionate about things, (on the border of obsessive, but that’s a story for another day).
☁️ You are reflected and you think a lot. You don’t settle for the first and the best, you take your time to make things make sense to you.
Well, that was my 9 for the day. When I started listing them I honestly didn’t think I was even going to make it to 5, but 9(!). Whew. I have to admit, though, that most of these compliments are things others have said about me and that I’m not sure I believe in, hmm.
Nonetheless, this was a really good challenge for my self-esteem, I needed this. I highly recommend doing this exercise, no matter how hard it seems, you might find some gems hidden inside you.
What is one compliment you would give yourself today?
I seldom feel like a whole person, just bits and pieces of whatever pass through my life that I pick up on. I try to fill a hole, where my identity should have been, by copying traits of others that I find appealing. I think most people copy others to some extent, but as an extra addition to their identity, whereas I copy to even have a base.
I have been blogging before, but I switched platforms to WordPress, trying to be something else, to maybe find myself here. Like, I saw this other blog that had the same design as I’m using now and that was really a big part of the reason why I switched.
Her blog was so neat and she seemed so content and stable in her own being, so I chose the same design in hope of becoming that as well. That I would immediately have the same cute manners, be this precious human being, as my idea of her was. Sad isn’t it, to be so uncertain in yourself? Well, hmm. I have more examples, but this would be a very long post if I was to name them all.
I do this to try and fill my identity in hope to find the mix of traits, manners and thoughts that will make people love me, want to keep me, need me. I mold into others, I lose the little sense of self that I have, and when people I get close to leave I’m left with nothing. I have to start all over again.
Being like this makes me feel like a lesser human being, but I’ve managed to figure out one trait that definitely is part of the real me: my care for animals. That has always been with me. At least that’s a good base.
It’s been two hours since I got home and my legs are finally starting to calm down. My mind is a different story, it’s still racing one hundred miles a minute. For what? Grocery shopping. How can such a normal thing set me off that much?
It’s the people. It’s what I perceive as judging looks and mocking smiles; distaste and critique of my being. I’m certain that my perceptions are real, but I also know it’s a symptom of my AvPD. I know – and I don’t know – that it’s an overreaction and (hopefully) not true, so why am I still feeling this way? Shouldn’t me being aware of it have burst the bubble?
Over to something more related to the photos… I wanted to show you my spread from week 2. It turned out to be one spread due to my flu and being chained to the couch, and Thursday to Sunday was more like a summary. This week I’m more in the game again, and I’m writing every day. It feels good to be back on track.
The smell of lasagna has filled the room now, which means it’s dinner time. I hope everyone is having a good weekend! Tomorrow I’m going to the movies with my mom and my aunt to finish it off. What have you been doing this weekend?
My head has been a mess these past few days. A complete, utter mess. But it’s also so empty. Intense thoughts filled with the whole spectrum of emotions fly by at the speed of light. There’s so much going on one second, and it’s gone the next. From everything to nothing. Over and over. I’m not sure how to describe it other than, maybe, mind cramps?
I can’t grasp everything that passes through my head and it makes me feel at a loss and that’s where the emptiness comes in. It puts me off not even being able to make out what’s going on in my own mind most of the time. Like I’m not good enough somehow. To identify my emotions have never been my strong suit, though. It’s a chaos and it’s tiring. I’m left feeling lost.
So that was the rant-of-the-day, but anyways… I have set up my bullet journal for the new year and started on January, but I have some spreads from last year that I want to show you first. Like this weekly reflection from week 49.
It’s not my best work visually, but it did serve its purpose. I usually have some standard questions I answer in my weekly reflections, like what I can improve the next week, what worked and what did not work, what I was grateful for, what I can forgive myself for and let go of, and so on. I plan on getting back to them this year as I find they can be quite productive.
Above you can see the printer I use for photos in my journal. It’s the Kodak Photo Printer Mini 2. I tried the HP Sprocket for a little while, but found that the images turned out really blue and I spent 2-3 sheets of “film” on trying to get them edited perfectly, and I felt like that was too much of a waste. This one has better colour rendering (in my opinion).
I actually have some plans and goals for my (bullet) journaling in 2020 which I thought I’d share in another post, (because this post is already too long, haha). But to finish off, what is your goal with your (bullet) journal this year? Is there something you’d like to get better at or something you want it to help you with? And how do you plan on accomplishing this? I’d love to hear your thoughts!