Allowing emotion – Rage

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Raging 
My head is vibrating. I can feel the tornado inside of me whirling up strong and stronger. I keep having flashes of destroying everything in my path.. Throwing the paintings from the walls.. Smashing the tv.. Punching things and just swinging uncontrollably .. Whats the point of it all??? What’s the point in experiencing all that “awesome stuff” if I can’t feel it.. If I can’t remember it.. If the fucking pictures on the walls could just have easily been bought at the store? What’s the point of wasting hours and hours painting ?? Who cares if I can paint or not? Who cares if I can write? Who cares if I can adopt all these amazing fucking tools and share them with others??? What does it matter, if sitting here in MY living room, in MY house.. I still feel this. I still feel everything. It still fucking hurts. I’m still alone. I’m still fighting with myself every moment just to get up and take a shower.. It’s a fucking shower.. I still feel black hole depressed. I still don’t wanna leave the house, but wanna run far and wide. I still can’t escape the tape player of reasons why I am feeling hurt. It’s just gotten longer. New things added to it.  


I feel so sorry for myself.. How pathetic is that? Millions of people out there trying to survive.. Literally.. They may not survive today.. And I feel sorry for myself. Raging inside my mind, and nothing but a tear rolling down my cheek to show it. So afraid to allow myself to physically feel anger. So afraid to allow myself to ever get close to that line where anger turns rage. I just keep stuffing it back down. I need a healthy outlet. An outlet for anger. Something physical.. But I’m so tired before I ever move… And all I want to do is sleep. 

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Intercepting panic and morphing it into pride 101

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Damnit … I was supposed to go the whole time home without a panic attack ://////
Wtf? I wasn’t even doing anything. What was I doing? Wrapping the painting for Michele.. Ohh .. And thinking of how far I’ve come since I first started seeing her almost ten years ago. I’m remembering the panic attacks that brought me there. So technically this isn’t happening.. Technically this is a memory.. Of how I felt then.. That was a good try…
Ok fuck .. Breathe .. Stop trying to rush thru this to get back to what you were doing… Chill out .. Focus.. Walk thru it .. Stop running … No running!! :))) Courtney 🙂 here and now… That’s it .. Plug into another feeling physiologically … Omg .. Of course!!! Why else would I be so in tune with describing emotions on a physiological level .. So that I can slip in and out of them ? Maybe ..
Ok so I’m feeling panicked.. Chest is pounding.. Stretch it out by breathing .. Sit up straight .. But we need a new feeling … Instead of trying to fight it back down to “calm” which is the largest span to cross .. How about a feeling like happy .. Or excited .. Hmm excited is too close to anxiety .. I want my body to actually feel different.. Ok love … What does love feel like.. Grans kitchen .. That hug from behind when she came to check on my progress mixing the cake.. Being tucked in at night .. Having my back washed.. The warm towels out of the dryer .. Ok that feeling is too emotional .. I’m missing all those things .. Ok .. Happy thoughts … Umm .. Victory!!! The time I bowled a 299 in an adult junior competition with my dad .. That feeling of making him proud … :))) Yupp there we go .. Full Chest.. Standing tall.. Kinda embarrassed to be that focus of attention .. But fuck it! 11 strikes in a row!!! You’re a bowler .. A damn good bowler.. Let it shine!
Ok .. Let’s see if we are grounded .. Cos Adele is on and that shit sure doesn’t help calm the storm lmao .. Ahh Adele .. I love you .. Always adding your two scents on this journey … Not this time tho …
and I’m out the bathroom .. Time Check 9:47 .. Started at 9:33 … 14 minutes!! Woooohoooooooo under the 15 minute adrenaline dump time zone!!!!

I find it so fascinating when I go back and read what I write when i am in the midst of the storm.  This one I happened to read for the first time in therapy later that afternoon after a very exhausting morning of panic.  I felt better when I left, having gained some insight about where to go with it.. but it didn’t stop further panic attacks once I got back home.  Luckily I have a ton of homework from her to work on, so that’ll be fun <- note the sarcasm.

Yesterday seemed like a day where a lot of people seemed to be struggling.  I had to step back at one point and just take care of myself.  I wish I could plug my brain in and just let everyone check out the tools they need in the moments that they are needed, but it doesn’t work that way.  Not yet anyway.. I am sure that will be possible one day.

Over the next 8 weeks, I will be facing the monsters inside of me once again.  Thankfully I have already cleaned, swept and mopped my closet once, so this time won’t be so bad.  On a good note.. I have a whole lotta pictures and footage of my travels that i’ll also be unpacking, and working on when taking mental breaks.. maybe even some artwork.. who knows?

For everyone who asks me how to get from where I was to where I am (because it’s usually when I am flying high on life that they wanna know) it’s time to tune in.  Lemme know you’re tuned in and wanna know.. I’m undecided at the moment about just how much I wanna share publicly.. preferably all of it so that it can help others.. but not exactly sure yet.

Goals: complete abstinence from self harm, binge eating, dissociation, panic attacks

Ok.. time to stop avoiding!

 

Recipe For Love? It’s no secret…

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“You attract what you are” – how many times in my life had I heard that?  How many times had I pondered that .. did I want to attract someone just like me? What did that mean? What would be the point of that … I mean, I already know me, right?  Why would I want someone just like me?  There’s things about me that I don’t like.. ohhhh

My journey into the world of self love was completely under protest.  It wasn’t a blissful “ah ha” moment after some downward dog, or during a meditative sunrise on the beach.. it was kicking and screaming, fighting every step of the way.  First of all, I had no desire to be single.  I’d never been single for longer than two weeks, and I had always been the one to leave, once that next step was already in the works.  NOoooooo way was I getting caught out to be left alone in some dark depressing house with nothing but my miserable self! Then she left… just as I had gained all these beautiful tools about how to create everything I wanted to create… with her.. she left.

Well.. there went 50% of the names I had listed under “name the people in your support group”.  Thank goodness for the next question and answer.. “How can I build my support network?”  I went online and sent a couple of messages out to Pathways staff, and looked up the nearest location of Codependents Anonymous.  This was as good a time as any to work on that.  I didn’t really understand how becoming codependent on meetings full of other codependents was really going to help me separate from those behaviors.. Heck.. what if I met a new lover there?  Ha! Man, my brain is a trip isn’t it? 

Today I am overwhelmed with how many people are in my life.  I don’t mean all the people listed on my facebook, although I am proud to say that I interact with a good percentage of them.  I’m talking about the number of friends that I can be completely transparent with.  The number of friends who trust me, and confide in me.  The number of friends that I can do the same with.  The acceptance that these don’t have to fall in both categories.  I am honored that people seek guidance from me, because I take that as a testament of how they see me living my life.  No one would’ve wanted advice on how to sit on my couch and binge watch 2 seasons of a TV show.

The biggest thing that I am grateful for is self love.  While I entered that path kicking and screaming.. the time I spent living alone, and entertaining myself, taught me who I am.  It taught me that I don’t like to watch TV that much.  That occasionally I like to read, and it’s okay that it is only occasionally.  It taught me that I like to dance around the house or record music videos and covers of my own.. that I think I have a decent voice, and I’m not too shy to share that.  It taught me that I don’t fit into a scheduled kinda lifestyle.  That some days coffee may be at 7am.. and some days I may not function well enough to brew it until noon.  Some days I won’t be able to drink it because my anxiety will already be too high.. and some days I’ll drink a whole pot.   It showed me that I could sustain life on my own.  I didn’t need two incomes… I needed to learn how to manage money.  How to stop the waste, and in doing so, I found that I actually had more.. living in the same house, on one income.. those of you that follow me will know that I’m not just talking about the occasional meal out.. I’ve traveled across half the United States.. 9 countries overseas.. funded my love of artwork, photography, upgraded my car, furnished and maintained my home.  Self love made that possible.  Faith made that possible.  Walking the walk, made that possible.

It was initially suggested for me to stay single for a year.  I don’t know if any of you have seen “28 Days” with Sandra Bullock.. Jermiah was a bullfrog… anyway, in that movie it shows the idea that someone getting sober should first learn to take care of a plant.. and then a pet.. and THEN they may be ready for a relationship.  Well.. in 12 step programs, they suggest staying in the relationship you’re currently in, or staying single if you aren’t.  Looking back at the impact relationships had on my previous attempts to stay sober, I thought this would be a good area to follow the suggestion.  I remember coming up on my 1 year anniversary of sobriety.  I was so excited that I was going to be eligible to find a partner.  I had three plants… 2 animals.. and a year of sobriety under my belt!!! I was READY!!! And then it dawned on me.. if I was still this eager to find the love of my life, and be with someone, then I probably wasn’t ready.  If I still felt like finding that missing piece in my life was the answer to all that wasn’t right about my life.. Dang it!! Admitting I wasn’t ready was one of the harder things for me to do.  To live with the intention of being whole, just as I am.. I’m still working on that.  I can say that I have moments where I feel that in its entirety, and it s a pretty awesome feeling.  To know that I don’t need to make more money, have a newer car, a bigger house, more friends, a closet full of name brand clothing, acceptance from everyone and their mother, initials after my name, a “mrs” before it.. a weight that begins with a 1 and not a 2.. or a 3..  I am beautiful.  I am kind, and giving.  I am disciplined, and just.  I am courageous, and strong.  I am peaceful and safe.  I am creative, and intriguingly talented.  I am adventurous and empathetic.  My heart hurts for others’ trials and tribulations, and I still snatch my superman cape from the closet.. wanting to fix it all.. and I still get heavy hearted and depressed when I can’t… and I’ll try three more times before I accept that.. if not more.  I am stubborn.  I should say that again… I AM STUBBORN… and I love that I am stubborn, because in that quality, I never give up… not unless the pain outweighs the pleasure, and then I have learned how to let go, and that I can let go, and I can feel all those feelings that come flooding.. and survive.  I am love.. I am love.. just as I am.

I would love to tell you that I walked this path flawlessly.  I didn’t.  For the majority of these lessons, I loved another, and it was in seeing how I showed up in my love, that I learned what I wanted to be loved like.  It was in the constant desire to improve, and be enough, that I saw how far I was willing to go to be the me that I always wanted to be.. in proving that I could make anything happen, that I saw I could make anything happen.  It was in attempting to prove to her that I was worth taking a chance on, that I learned I am so much more than a chance.  I am a gift.  I see it in the feedback that I get from close friends and complete strangers.  I feel just how loved I am.  I see what I have to offer.. and I began being picky about the person I’d wanna share my life with.  By this time, my life was something I didn’t want to sacrifice in any way.  I wanted to find someone who lives exactly as I live.  I wanted to find someone that was free to roam the world with me, while being self supporting.  Surprisingly, there aren’t as many of those as I thought there would be.  I remember thinking about how I could create that person.. the first thing that always got in the way was a job.. so I started looking for someone who wasn’t employed, and figured I could take care of them until they figured out an avenue of income that would support them.. Yea.. I know .. that wasn’t the smartest plan.. “Hey, do you wanna move in, be taken care of, and travel?” not exactly motivation to get up and do for themselves.  That lasted a month, and again I realized just how unready I was for a relationship.  I was still too desperate for it.

Several names came and went on my radar of possibilities.  I’d always find a reason why it wouldn’t work out.  I was in love with a married woman who lived a thousand miles away, and I was comfortable.  That’s actually a lie, because if I had been comfortable then my closest friends wouldn’t have gotten sick of hearing me cry over it, but I was in denial, and just knew  that if I waited long enough.. she was the one.  Sure enough, the time would come where she would sound like she was ready for us to be together, and I would freak out!!  What would that look like?  Would I have to share my home? Would she wanna redecorate? Would I be able to stay as laid back with her in person as I was thru a screen?  I hadn’t written about us in “our” journal for over a year.. I hadn’t drawn or painted.. or even written a poem.  Everything that had come to life when I felt the love flowing had stopped.. long ago.   I didn’t look at my phone in the morning to see if she’d said Good Morning.. because I knew she hadn’t.   I’d stopped telling her all about my days.. we still talked every day, but never about anything.  If anything, I purposely didn’t tell her about my day, waiting to see if she would ask.  I’d entered the world of tests.   I’d taken a step back, and tho going through the motions of it, I was watching the cycle.. our cycle.. and seeing the insanity of it.  My anger felt forever present.  I wrote and wrote in my blogs about my struggles, and never once did she ask, because never once did she read.  Not that I expected her to read everything I ever wrote.. I know I write a lot.. but I had alerts set to tell me when she posted things to multiple social media outlets.. I wanted to know.. because I wanted to know all about her.. and in watching myself come to these realizations, I learned how I love, and how I want to be loved.

So here we are, full circle.  NOW I wanted to attract who I am.  It finally made sense.  I wanted to be loved and respected, the way that I love and respect myself and others.  I wanted that love to inspire me to grow, and create.. just as it had before.. but I wanted it to bloom, and be reciprocated.  I wasn’t really looking for it anymore.  I had moved my attention to traveling.. and seeing the world.  I’d fallen in love with life.. and life was busy loving me right back.  I’d fallen in love with my faith in the Universe.. and boy was the Universe loving me right back!  I was pretty content with my life.. and then it happened.  I was introduced to someone new, and all I wanted was to know more…

  
I can’t tell you how many smiles have graced my face since I met her.  My favorites are the ones that come when she does or says something that I would say or do.  I find myself drawing her.. getting lost in the details of her face… writing poems or blurbs so that I can capture the moment, and the new feeling that I am feeling.  I feel twitterpated. J  I also feel cautious, determined not to float with the same river of relationship pasts.  I want us to carve our own river.  There’s no rush.  It’s healthy for me to miss her.   We both have completely different lives.. lives that have been such a blessing.   The travel life doesn’t allow much in person time because I am always somewhere else.  It’s the perfect breeding ground for creativity.  Exploring the obstacles of distance, and appreciating the time together so much more.  Next month we will meet in Cincinatti and roadtrip together to Florida.  Neither of us lives in either of those places.  J It’s exciting.  Every day is a new lesson.. a new area to work on.. or growth to be celebrated.  It feels good to be growing again.  I didn’t realize how stagnated I had become.

So yea.. you really do have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love another… and then you’ll attract what you love. 😉

The Happiest We

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I want YOU to love you
I don’t want you to need me to

Because I want to want to love and

Not feel obligated just to save you
I can’t know how to love you unless you show me

Spend time with you where you allow me to see

All the tiny cells of you and your soul

How else could I know which piece has fallen, when you don’t feel whole?
I want you to appreciate what it is to truly miss me

To be able to live our unique lives, sometimes separately 

With trust, loyalty and love

We’d sometimes find it tough,

But never slip into stale familiarity 
I want you to be YOU 

To do what you and your heart wants to do

To embrace your dreams

And create your legacy

To shine as bright as bright can be!
I want these things for you

Because I love these things about me,

And if we both have these things, 

Well, we would be the happiest “we”
– cre8ivflame

If it made you smile, give it a share 🙂

Manifesting Her

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I wanna get inside you .. Slip between the layers 

In which you try to

Hide, where I cant find you..

And sing our song
I wanna nestle into your heart, 

Give it a little kick start

And Let 

my butter fly,

flutter for a while 
I wanna get in your fear,

Hold it close and be its calm, dear

For its there 

I know you’ll declare 

That I have won 
I wanna roam 

where no one goes, see

Be your one and only

And live the life 

Of death do us part 

  

To hyper vigilant and beyond!!! 

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In my world…

So I left the house for the first time today besides going to work and being sent home. I’m at the pier in long beach and there’s one man in his truck in the parking lot. The lot is under construction and I assume he is a worker .. A construction worker so of course I am paralyzed. I’m on the pier freezing my ass off scared to go to my car because he may see me. Now there is another car near my car and idk who is in it so I’m really panicking. That car is leaving so must be drugs now I’m really not going in there. I can’t breath I can’t calm down my chest in pounding and I’m fuckin cold. I keep trying to convince myself to walk walk fast towards the sand and pace but panic of I try to step tht way. Panic means freeze body locks up and doesn’t have any auto pilot. Every thought movement breath is an active process and feels confusing like ummm idk I forgot. Now I’m panicking bc I need to move to warm up but there’s another car and a man walking with a hoodie and gloves. I know he’s going to hurt me and I can’t deal with that. I won’t survive it this time bc I don’t have it in me. I can’t do this again. 
In your world…

Two guys met at the beach for a chat.. You probably didn’t even notice

“What’s the point?” 

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“I couldn’t get my 270lb self over the side of the bridge fast enough before the cops got to me and pulled me down. “

I didn’t want to live anymore.  
Depression, memories, intrusive racing thoughts.. The internal anguish that festered inside of me on a day to day basis had worn me down. All I wanted was one day of peace. I wanted a lobotomy. I wanted someone to take my mind and erase it. I wanted nothing,more than anything else in the world I wanted it all to stop.. But it never did. I’d cycled thru the psych hospitals, doing the two step back to “balance” more times than I could count. Medications and therapy.. The magic cocktail.. But it had never worked for long periods of time. The medications turned me into a zombie if I took them, and therapy was pointless since I never really talked about the exact nature of my demons.
  February 13, 2013.. I reached the end of my ability to cope. My fiancé was cheating on me with my best friend.. My son had been sexually abused, and I had zero legal authority to protect him.. I was financially stressed, lonely, and haunted with memories from my past. Flashbacks and panic attacks came daily, and I just had zero desire to carry on.. And couldn’t fathom a worthy enough response to “what’s the point?”

  
  I used a bottle of vodka to swallow my meds, one every minute or so, until I felt full of liquid courage and made my way to the bridge. I’d always had a fantasy of free falling from a bridge at night.. The full moon reflecting off of the water, with Sarah Brightmans’ “Time to say Goodbye” filling my ears with her beautiful voice. That’s how I wanted to go out.. So poetic. I found the song, inserted the earphones and pressed play. Just as I got out of the car, a cop car pulled up behind me, lights flashing. I panicked. I was too intoxicated to be behind a wheel. I hurried to the front of the car, and began trying to get up onto the side. It wasn’t exactly how I’d imagined it to be, but there was no going back. I couldn’t get my 270lb self over the side of the bridge fast enough before the cops got to me and pulled me down. I’m thankful for that today.  
  While in the psych hospital, I protested to the same staff I had been institutionalized there with in the past. This time felt different. In the past I’d landed there following cries for help, and threats of suicide.. This time I felt so hopeless that being there merely felt like an obstacle to the inevitable. I repeatedly told them they were wasting their time.  

  
  I was outside on the patio smoking my first cigarette of the day… Staring out between the cracks in the fence, and I saw a bird land of the grass at the base of a tree. I watched as it pecked at the ground. It hopped around pecking away, feeding I was sure. I watched it for a few minutes, and thought about how it didn’t go to work.. It didn’t earn money.. and yet it was provided for. No matter what, it would find the resources to survive. I thought the things I had been through.. And even during times of homelessness, I never went hungry, I had clothes, I figured out places to sleep, and eat, and even provide orange juice and diapers for my son. In those moments something shifted in my perspective. The stress of finances were lifted. Technically, I didn’t need a home. All I needed was food, water, and a change of clothes.. And I would survive. Everything else outside of that were things I wanted, but I didn’t need. I never forgot that little bird.  

  
I never forgot that shift in thought. Over the next few years, it repeated in my mind as a reminder of the only things I really needed. I didn’t have a higher power at the time, and wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go on living.. But in later years, I would hold on to the minimization style of living, and find a freedom that has helped mold my life today. 
  Thru working the 12 steps, I came to believe in the universal energy of life as my higher power. I never know where the wind is going to blow me, I just know that I’m willing to go wherever that is, and do whatever being in those places provides me an opportunity to do. It’s taken me all over the world at this point.. Literally on a dime at times. In September 2015 I was in NYC with $19 to my name, a bus ticket to DC, and a flight from DC to New Orleans booked. I had ten days before I would land in New Orleans, so it was definitely a time to be frugal, but I wasn’t stressed.. I had a way home, and $19 can go a long way in oatmeal if need be. I’ve never gone hungry, yet I have stressed going hungry a million times. Part of me wonders if its that fear that causes my body to store food, but that’s another topic.  

   
 
  In March 2016, I found myself in Athens, Greece. I accompanied my friend on a trip of her lifetime. We were regular tourists, viewing the Acropolis, taking a ferry to the islands, buying the souvenirs, eating the food. On our 6th day we discovered that the Syrian refugees were at the port we had sailed from .. Hidden in terminals and tents around the other side. We decided to go and see what we could do to help. Boy did our hearts hurt. I don’t think either of us were prepared for what we would witness there. That too is another blog.  
  Upon returning to the United States, the images of the refugees stayed wit me. They filled me heart, and have had me questioning what I can do to make a difference. My heart has been pulled to the point I’ve found it difficult to take care of myself without feeling guilty. It’s no mistake that after flying into Houston, and staying with friends for a few days there, that I was introduced to a new person in my life. She has shared her experience with her faith in Jesus and God. These are two words that have always automatically shut me down, but Initially she tailored her belief to accommodate my belief in the Universe. Connecting about faith in general helped me to remove my premeditated stigmas of organized religion, and become open minded to the church.  

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  Yesterday I attended church with my AA sponsor and her son.. A family that has loved and adopted me as their own. I spent an hour crying as I related to the words of the songs and the sermon. At the end of the sermon, Brother Ben left us with two questions.. “When was the last time our hearts wept for others in the world?” And “when was the last time we wept for the brokenness of ourselves?”
The refugees came flooding to my mind as I wept again.. I then recalled the moment last week that I stood in a field of a dog park in Florida and cried from my gutt for my own pain and feelings of lost and alone. I decided to stay behind and talk to Brother Ben one on one about what was going on for me.. The feeling that I was being called for a higher purpose, but not really knowing how to go about serving that purpose. He spent 30-45 minutes with me, listening, and sharing his experience as a follower of Christ. He remained respectful of where I was in my beliefs, and refrained from telling me what I should do. He gave me a Bible.. A book I’ve vowed many times that I would never read.  
This morning I woke up near Baton Rouge, in a place where I had zero cellphone service. It gave me three hours of quiet time to sit and read.. I opened the Bible and flipped to random pages… And then I came across this… 
Matthew 6:24-37

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your Heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

  
My story of how that little bird had lit a small spark of faith.. Right there in black and white inside the pages of the Bible.  
I don’t know where this road is leading, but I know I’m on the right road. As I talk about my experiences in Greece, and how heavy my heart is for the refugees, I often hear “you’re just one person, you can’t save the world” and a feeling of defensiveness comes over me, because I disagree. Mother Theresa was one person. Nelson Mandela was one person. Martin Luther King Jr and Princess Diana … Jesus Christ was one person. One person can make a difference.  

I truly believe my purpose is to make a difference.  I don’t yet know what that looks like.. Whether it’s giving a voice to those whose cries go unheard, whether it’s doing missionary work, or sharing my experience of recovering from life with PTSD and addiction… Maybe even something I don’t yet have the capability to imagine?
 I DO know that I can make a difference.  I WILL make a difference.