It feels like this day has lasted for an eternity, but strangely enough I haven’t felt like I was suffocating at any point, I’ve felt content. Almost happy even.
After a few nights of bad, if any, sleep, I decided I needed some help and took a sleeping pill last night. Woke up at 9:30 this morning actually feeling rested, it was like I was a different person. Together with the pep-talk and reflection I did with myself yesterday I was looking forward to the day that lay stretched out before me. Read that again. Looking forward to. How many times have that happened the past year? I think I can count that on zero hands.
I had no specific plans other than listening to my own advice and take things slow and be mindful in whatever it was I was going to end up doing. And I did, and I was. I made oatmeal with almonds and finely chopped apples, (I love the ritual of making oatmeal), brewed myself a cup of blackcurrant tea and ate slowly while listening to my favorite song at the moment on repeat. (When Wedding Bells Ring – Midnight Choir).
I wrote a post on my Instagram, opening up a bit about my depression and my 365 project plan. Then I posted the actual 1/365 photo. It felt good to have started and it pepped me up even more about the day, the week!
It had been snowing all day, so I had planned on staying in, but decided I’d ask Leesi if she wanted to go for a walk. She ran under the dining table and gave me a death stare: how could I suggest such a horrendous thing, it was snowing? But she got around and we went out onto the snowy streets of our neighborhood. Brought my Fuji along as well and snapped some photos. Ate some snowflakes mid-air. (Yes, I am a child).
Well at home, I managed to make my first proper dinner in months. That was such a huge win for me. People who have been or are depressed, or struggle with eating, will know.
I’m praying that I’ll have the same state of mind tomorrow, (I didn’t even have one BPD meltdown). But you can never know with mental illness, only hope. So I cross my fingers and hope.
… to read 12 books. In 2020 I only read 8, which is partly because I suddenly decided to knit some Christmas presents and they took a lot of time and energy to get done because I haven’t knitted for such a long time. This year I have definite plans not to knit anything, so I will have plenty of time to read, haha.
… to get control of my self harming. It’s been a lot lately and at the moment it feels quite hopeless. I’m drowning in shame and guilt and I just want it to stop. I know I can do better. It’s hard when you don’t actually care what happens and couldn’t actually be bothered to stop, because you know “it’s fine as it is”, but I’m determined to take action and don’t let it control my life.
… for the first time to write out and finish my first ever notebook. I’ve been journaling my entire life, I remember I must have gotten my first notebook when was about 4 or 5. It was this tiny book with an orange plastic cover. I called it something that translates to “little writing book of mine”. (I find that pretty cute, to be honest). I didn’t finish it and I haven’t finished a single book since either.
I think one of the issues is that I love collecting notebooks and when I find a new one I just have to start writing in it. Another is also my constant need for for fresh starts, a way of deleting the person I was, press the reset button. But this is the year!
… to save up for a tortoises! Since last Spring I’ve really wanted tortoises, I find them fascinating and think they’re awesome creatures. I’ve talked to a breeder, and now I just need the money to pay for it. I have never been good at saving money, never thinking I would need it as “I wasn’t going to stay around for too long”. Bad impulse control has had a say in it as well. I’m hoping these tortoises will help me look forward and stay on track. After all, if I don’t save I don’t get those tiny dinosaurs.
… to lose XX kgs. This is not a healthy one, but it’s on my list so I’m sharing it. I haven’t talked about it here before, but my eating habits and body image aren’t exactly healthy and I was diagnosed with an eating disorder around the time when I was first inpatient. It has stuck around in different forms. I have to do this, if I don’t I will most definitely not manage to get control over my SH.
… to eat more fruit. Over to a more healthy one! I have been very bad at eating fruit the past years, it just never had a place in my mind. I know fruits are very beneficial for both our physical and mental health, so this year I’m going to focus to have fruits as a big part of my diet.
… to photograph more, and bring my camera with me everywhere I go. I’ve been in a rut with my photography since Autumn, and it’s been painful, at one point I felt so much like a failure and loser in photography that I put my camera up for sale. But I’ve had a serious talk with myself, telling myself I am good enough and that I need this, so I took the ad down again. And so far this year I’m doing good! I feel content with what I do.
Crappy New Years, peeps! The time around New Years is usually a pretty difficult time for me. Thinking about how I have lived another year and have to start a new one. I don’t understand how I’m still here, why I’m still here. It’s just every year I get this panic-y feeling. Another wasted year, another year over due.
I wanted to spend New Years Eve alone, just practising some self care for myself. I was going to cat- and dog sit for them while my parents visited my aunt and uncle with a couple of family friends. They cancelled last minute due to Covid, so I stayed. I know New Years is yet another holiday my parents appreciate, and where they value family time, so Leesi and I didn’t go home to our apartment.
It actually turned out alright, my mother and I found out Bones was available for only thirty more days(!!) on our streaming service, so we watched that while my dad was in the upstairs living room watching horse races and the usual movies that aires around this time here in Norway. My mom and I have only 29 days to watch the remaining 3 and 1/2 seasons of Bones now. (I think we can do it).
I went to sleep at 23:00 yesterday. It’s not a big deal for me to see the fireworks. The fur babies were doing so great yesterday. The fireworks started slowly at around 16:00 and they barked a little at the first few bangs, but it seemed they understood that it was going to bang a little more that evening, so they either went to sleep or came onto my lap for sleepy cuddles. I am so grateful they are so calm about it, I can’t even imagine the stress and sadness people with nervous and stressed out animals on New Years Eve feel, and especially the animals themselves. I truly feel for them.
My parents, bringing Koda with them, left for the cabin this morning, and I’m staying at their house to watch the Kalypso. She’s currently fully stretched out on the living room rug, I think she appreciates having the space to herself. Well, Khaleesi is also here with us of course, but she’s pretty tired out from last night. I think this is going to be a pretty chilled out day.
I have layed out my unused A&O book now, and my new A&O Acrylograph pens, and I’m thinking of starting off the year in my new book. I brought all my bujo stuff with me when coming here just to be sure I didn’t miss anything, haha. I hope you had a great New Years Eve and I wish you all the best for the coming year ❤
Sipping tea from the Marimekko mug I got from my fur babies for Christmas, watching big, wet snowflakes fall from the sky in the comfort of my warm living room. Vanilla scented candles are lit and Khaleesi is slumbering by my side. I know the snow won’t stay long, so I’m savouring this moment.
We’ve had constant rain for two weeks now, so looking out at the millions of snowflakes falling, almost dancing in the wind, gives a very welcomed feeling. Rain in Autumn is perfect, but rain in Winter makes gets me down. The sun sets at 15:00, if we even see it at all, so snow should in my humble opinion be mandatory, (do you hear me Mother Nature?). I guess this is what we’ll be seeing in the coming years due to climate change. It’s a real bummer, the snow brightens up the surroundings in a usually dark time.
I have no specific plans for today other than to try out the A&O Acrylograph pens I got from my mom and dad for Christmas. I’ve been eyeing them for so long, and an online store here in Norway finally got them not to long ago.
I’m thinking of starting with bullet/creative journaling again the coming year, I’ve fallen out of it the past few months. I miss sitting at my desk; writing, planning, creating. Cutting and pasting, stickers here, stickers there. And luckily I found an unused A&O book lying around the other day, like it was just waiting for January 1st to come around.
I’ve had a good couple of days, but it has taken it’s toll. On Monday I invited my mom over for coffee in the late morning. I drank tea, the same old Original Chai from Pukka. It was very cozy and Leesi had such a good time parading around the living room, strode around so proudly showing off her home, even though mom has been here before. It was such a precious sight.
I had a rather difficult night though, and it ended up in self-destructive behaviour. I felt like the nice start to the day was way beyond what I deserve, and I had to make up for it somehow. That’s how it goes, I guess. I do feel grateful for the time my mom and I spent together, but I don’t feel worthy. And that it is where it goes wrong. When will it okay for me to feel good about good times?
Tuesday was good, Leesi and I had a nice morning watching Six Feet Under before we went to grandma’s (Leesi’s grandma that is, my mom) to see the new furniture they had gotten for their living room. Mom was not happy with the color of her couch, and I must say so myself it was a lot duller than the one I had seen a testers patch of. But I gave her some therapy and I think she’s slightly okay with it now.
My sister came to visit today and it was good to see her again. She’s starting a new job soon and it’s all really exiting. We had a good talk, my mom, her and I.
Now I feel like I’m spiralling again, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where I should begin to even take this problem into control. Somewhere – I guess that’s where I should begin. And that Somewhere is Here. I have to start here. From this moment.
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.
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.
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.
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 ♥