ISLAND HIKE

Hello bloggy, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.

It’s been a while now, hasn’t it? March 10th was my last post. As you’re probably well aware of by now, I really struggle with heavy periods of emptiness and hopelessness, and that is also the case nowadays. Days go by with me hardly even noticing. All of a sudden, as it seems, another one-two-three weeks have passed.

I’ve been doing better this time. Even though my body seems to gravitate to the ground by what seems like 200kg on my back, I get up and I go out and I soak in the magic that Spring has to offer: hopeful wood anemones and other flora sprouting up here and there, sunlight breaking through the branches of the trees creating a fairytale-like light in the forest, calm breezes stroking my face, the crunch of dry gravel under my sneakers as I walk… I could go on.

I have truly been enjoying the forest this Spring. It’s still that time of year before all the creepy crawling creatures come out. (Ants are my biggest fear). I have been getting out on my own, but my aunt has really done a good job getting me outside as well and has taken me to a few places I haven’t been before. And yesterday I was on a hike with my sister on this really beautiful island. (I took a bunch of photos, but I couldn’t put all of them in one post, haha).

Other than that my days have been spent trying to finish The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I have struggled with that one, I couldn’t get into the story, I hope The Prisoner of Heaven is better, because I really liked The Shadow of the Wind and Carlos’ storytelling. It’s tough to read when you’re not in the right head space, but now I’m finally done and still on schedule with my reading goal.

My mom and I have also been a lot of watching Masterchef Australia. We had been saving up weeks at a time of the Back to Win season, as we’ve done with previous seasons as well, to watch a bunch of episodes at a time. The best way to watch a series is to binge many episodes at a time, in my opinion. I cried an embarrassing amount of times during this season, more than I dare count, it’s just so wholesome.

Now we have found a streaming service with every season, I have just watched from season 6 I think, so we’ve started on the first and it’s so weird and so good(!) to see how much the show and the judges (Matt, Gary and George), have grown over the years. Season 1 is so bad and commercial, haha! Still fun, though!

Back to the hikes/walks. I’ve used my camera a lot lately, and I am so grateful for the sparks the hikes have created when it comes to photography. Nature is the best inspiration! Maybe it will help me out of this rut again.

x Almond

A SEIZURE AND MY BIRTHDAY GIRL

Things haven’t been going too great lately. I’m a mess. I feel hopeless when it comes to my self destructive behaviour, I don’t know where to begin to get out of it. I try and I manage for a couple of days, but then give in. It’s easier that way somehow. I want to get better, I just can’t seem to do it. The biggest part of me has given up.

On top of that I had some sort of seizure last Monday, early morning. Went to my GP and described it to her and she said that it might have been an epileptic seizure. I’ve read a lot since then and epileptic seizures are so comprehensive, there are so many different kinds, so now I’m pretty sure that was what it was.

I was half conscious when it happened and apparently that’s possible after what I’ve read. I tried to reach for my phone and call my mom when it when it got worse, but then the seizure climaxed. There wouldn’t be enough time to unlock my phone, go into my contacts and find my mom in my favorites. I was certain that that was it, I would be dead within the next few seconds. I was in full panic and it was rather traumatic.

Obviously I didn’t die. All of a sudden it was over. My mom is kind of perplexed how cold or indifferent I have been about it in the following days. I don’t know how or why I’m not more scared and anxious. Maybe that is just another sign of how I’ve given up? Or maybe I’m just in denial, or completely shocked and don’t know how else to deal with it.

On a more positive note, my precious baby girl turned four yesterday! She has been a true godsend. She is so loving and on the constant lookout for cuddles. She truly is the light of my life, I don’t know what I would do without her. We celebrated at her grandmas and grandpas with big brother Koda and little sister Kalypso. They got some extra snacks for the occasion. I think she thought it was the best birthday.

Hope you’re doing well, (at least better than me).

x Almond

1/365

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.

Hope you have a good one ❤

x Almond

LIVING A LIFE

With not working, I feel like spending whole days by myself can be challenging and rather rough sometimes. I’ve done a whole lot to get the hours to pass by without noticing, make them disappear, and it has dawned on me lately that I should be doing the exact opposite to be content and get them to flow. So I’m making an effort to slow myself down, take deep breaths and connect with what I am doing. Be present.

My life is a little life. There’s not an overload of things or events happening. I have myself, I have my fur babies, my family and the World Wide Web and a few friends there. Some interests and hobbies to also keep me going. My life doesn’t necessarily need anything more to be bigger than it is, I just have to keep watering the little sprouts that are already there.

I could spend more time nurturing my hobbies: start a 365 photo project or bring out my collage-stuff again and sit down with my journal, and I already have a reading goal this year. I could grow my relationships, push myself to interact more and better with my Internet friends, (a challenge in itself (still) trying to convince myself I am someone they want to be around). I could buy an agility set for Leesi for Spring and play around with her in the garden. I could take more walks with the dogs and my mom (and my camera) in the forest. I could take an hour and just sit and listen to music.

In other words, I have an idea of what I need to do to get my days and the (seemingly) endless hours to flow, what I need to do to not wish to magically (and tragically) make them disappear. Next is to actually do it.

x Almond

IN THE COMFORT OF MY LIVING ROOM

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.

x Almond

CHRISTMAS UPDATE

Christmas has passed for now and a new year is creeping up on us. I had a rather good Christmas holiday this year actually. I went to my parents for a little holiday get-away, and my mom and I watched a lot of Bones. It was a calm few days, without less of the usual agitated arguments about all that needed to be done. Christmas Eve was spent at their house with my sister, her boyfriend, and my grandmother on my fathers side.

I was a bit on edge, and there were a couple times I felt like bursting into tears and run out of the room, but I quietly managed to collect myself. Kind of emotionally muted the rest of the evening. It wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t exactly overjoyed either. Just unaffected, another day crossed off this year. That’s depression I guess. But like I said: rather good. No penetrating doom, no anxiety to mention.

Khaleesi and I are back at our apartment now, listening to my Missed Hits of 2020. It’s been stormy all last night and today, and it’s supposed to rain for a few days now, which fits very well with our plan to just have a couple of days to ourselves and take it slow until New Years. Charging the batteries for a day that usually brings a lot of anxiety and not-so-good thoughts.

Hope you had a nice holiday, if you celebrate! And if you don’t, I hope you’ve had some good days leading up to the new year. Take care ❤

x Almond

A VOID

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.

x Almond

MAY SUMMARY, RECLAIMING MY LIFE AND GOALS FOR JUNE

Hello again, precious earthlings

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.

See you soon, stay safe ❥

x Almond

LIFE IS EVERYWHERE, GARDEN WALK, WAKING MYSELF UP

Hello, earthlings

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 ♥

x Almond

GOOEY SADNESS DRIPPING ON THE FLOOR

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.

Hope you’re okay ♡

x Almond