Mental health tools – blogging

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Well it’s been a while since I wrote a blog, and it’s been a while since I was panic free. Courtney even responded on a post I made about having anxiety for hours, “when’s the last time you blogged or did some artwork” but I was so caught up that I didn’t really hear the message. I had just written in my notebook that morning trying to ease the anxiety and it hasn’t helped.. But it had, it just wasn’t at the level that blogging helps me when I’m practicing it every day. It’s like exercise for my brain, and just like the stationary bike sucks on the first day after not getting on for three months.. Writing is the same. These tools only work for me when they’re part of my daily life. Doh!
Ok.. So what’s going on in my world? 
Well, I’m currently writing from a commune in chicamauga, Georgia. It’s an abandoned elementary school on the Alabama/Georgia/Tennessee state lines. It’s 10 minutes from Chattanooga, which is an amazingly beautiful town. Last night we went to the river walk to watch the sunset. I can’t tell you how big my smile is that I can write “we” .. Third year in a row that I’ve made a New Years resolution and it’s become realized.  
  So Yupp.. I’ve been traveling.. When I got back from Greece on March 16th, Amber went home, back to New Orleans and I stayed in Conroe, Texas at my besties house.. Courtney (the one with the bad ass food truck Falacos – if you’re anywhere near Houston, YOU WANT THESE BALLS IN YOUR MOUTH!!) and Benny (the artist behind the badass wall murals and famous peeps paintings that y’all see me posting) .. I have so much love for these guys.. Definitely on the inside of my circle, and have been a rock of support in walking with me thru this recovery journey. So I wanted to stay and visit before heading home from Greece.. and a friend came to visit for Courts birthday.. Introducing Kate.. Now, I wasn’t expecting to meet someone in that moment.. I was jet lagged, working on little sleep, and attempting to be present for the day at the food truck.. But something about listening to Courtney tell me about her friend that was coming over had captured my attention. I wanted to know more .. And after meeting her.. I really wanted to know more… and now I’m in Chattanooga Tennessee, with Kate.. And Athena (who I adopted the day after meeting Kate) and here we are .. A happy lil family road tripping!
  So .. New Years I made a resolution that I wanted to manifest a wife. Kind of a weird one isn’t it.. But in that moment, I asked God to present that person in my life, and I made the decision to really focus my energy into envisioning what that person would look like .. I don’t mean physically.. I mean, what qualities would I want.. Ability to travel, ability to be patient wit my panic stricken ass.. Someone I felt safe with, and could talk to without fear… Someone secure.. That wouldn’t get jealous or possessive and not be ok with me traveling alone still. There has been quite a process of really picturing the role that this person would play in my life, and learning myself enough to know the role I can offer to play in theirs. I’d love to be Casanova every day for them, but in reality.. There are some days that I just can’t be that.. There are some days when I need to just be by myself.. I’m learning how to be open and honest during panic instead of acting like I’m ok. I’m learning how to ask for my needs to be met.. Because I never wanted to bother anyone before .. I didn’t wanna be a burden, and I felt like I was on my mental days.  
  I have to say, God delivered when he introduced me to Kate. This road trip is showing me how true that is. 
So.. Where else have I been since Greece?? 
Miami, home, Pensacola, Orlando, Cincinnati, Ohio, Galveston Texas, and now the smokey mountains… And I’m supposed to be staying home for my therapy. Oops! Truth is .. My anxiety is better when I’m on the road and distracted by life, and falling in love with the new places.. 


Having said that, it’s time to get dressed and check out Rock City! I’m so excited.. And now my anxiety is down so I can get dressed and start this day! She’s so patient.. Just sitting in the chair across from me.. Athena on her lap.. Taking care of her own affairs. She’s amazing. 😍

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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. 

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!

 

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 

  

“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.  

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

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I wrote a private blog a couple of weeks ago.. I guess it was like my way of saying a silent prayer.. manifesting what it is that I am looking for in life.   My life is already so blessed that I felt somewhat greedy asking for more than I have, but I have been taught that I can manifest what it is I want to create in my life, and the yearning to share life with an amazing partner has never truly gone away.

The silent prayer began as a reintroduction of myself to someone that I thought knew me well enough, but when I really listened, I realized they didn’t know me at all.  I wonder how many times that shows up in my life.  As I wrote, the vision became clearer and clearer.. in fact so clear, that I felt I reached a finishing point.  I saved it.. sending it out in the Universe, and went on about my plans to research converting the minivan and travel.

 My name is Storme 🙂

I’m a fucking amazing person who is passionate about anything I put my hands and mind on… Those things often change.. It used to be painting.. And photography .. Lately it’s been writing and traveling.. Helping others.. Dulling the suffering that goes on in the world even its just putting a smile on someone’s face. I seem pretty social but I like my me time too. I’m the kind of ex that every ex wants back, but I don’t look backwards. I crave a family more than anything.. A home filled with love. I’ve rarely known either. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the last three years mostly on my own discovering who I am and what I enjoy.. I’ve been able to do some of the things I always resented past relationships for preventing me doing. The grass is always greener on the other side. It’s been pretty awesome but none of it has filled that hole.

I love campfires, beaches, swimming in salt water, mountain views, and the great outdoors. I don’t care for materialistic stuff. I’m a simple person that just loves to love. I’d give the shirt off my back even if it were my last.. Well maybe not my last bc i am insecure about my body image lol I’m easy to fall in love with but I don’t fall too easy.. I’m skeptical and I’m not willing to change the dynamic of my life unless I know that I love that person unconditionally .. That means you need to piss me off a few times and I need to be able to see that I won’t just say fuck it. It’s rare that that happens. I’ve beaten enough dead horses and life’s too short.

The most valuable thing to me is time. I don’t believe in waiting for anything because who knows how long I have left. I want a life partner.. Not someone that’s gonna be up my ass 24/7 .. Like I said .. I like my me time and I want someone who enjoys their own space. I’m not a babysitter. I want someone who is passionate about things in their life. Someone who loves themselves and isn’t looking for a partner just to feel validated. Someone who wants to take the time to really get to know each other .. I’m not about the uhauling. I am ready to build a home with that person whenever that person appears in my life. I wish for it. I tell the universe all the time that that’s what I want.. And when I meet new people., I access them to see if they match what I’m looking for.. Just in case the universe is sending them my way. If they hit enough points, I spend more time talking to them.. Making great friends along the way, but when it becomes apparent that this isn’t going to blossom into something further, I tend to drift away. That’s something I need to work on.. Communicating what’s going on. I want life with a partner as opposed to without but It’s not a necessity.. I’ve had the best three years of my life in the last three years.. Falling in love with me.. and implementing a lifestyle that keeps me mentally healthier than I’ve ever been before. It’s in both of our best interests that that isn’t disrupted too much, which really narrows down the pool. Not too many people can genuinely be okay and understanding that no matter what it is that we were about to do.. I’m having a panic attack and simply cannot do it.. It leads to lateness or even being absent.. Social gatherings.. Needing help with something.. I understand it can be frustrating.. Another reason it’s mandatory that we spend time getting to know each other.
I want to build a house from scratch.. I don’t know where yet and was hoping traveling would answer that but it hasn’t.
I am diagnosed as mentally ill for various reasons and symptoms, but I don’t take meds. I was on and off them from the age of 16 and I think they’ve made things worse rather than better. Ive now been off them for over a year, and been able to manage my symptoms effectively. That doesn’t mean life is normal.. It just means it’s as contained as it can be and doesn’t stop me living life anymore.
Things i am working on.. Using my voice. I still struggle with standing up for myself. I pick my fights .. I’m mostly laid back and would prefer To avoid confrontation.. But if it starts affecting my mental health and becomes an obsessive thought then I speak up. I’d like to get to a place where I speak up before it effects me. I’m still working on managing my PTSD. It’s like a spiral Spiraling up wider and wider. There was a time I was afraid of my own shadow.. Now I travel across seas and stay at men’s houses that I don’t even know.. Creating pretty cool friendships. My zone has gotten so wide that it throws me off when something triggers me again and I get pretty angry at myself initially.. But part of loving myself is accepting that it’s going to happen.. And knowing that I have the tools.
My goal is to never work for an employer ever again. I don’t like having an authority figure over me. My parents weren’t active parents and I raised myself practically so it’s difficult for me to respect elders and law enforcement.. Bosses.. Anyone that comes across as having power over me. I’m the boss of my life, and so far I’ve been successfully unemployed or self employed for 6 years.
My savings plan for my future financial security is real estate. You really can’t go wrong with it. I want to own a couple of houses internationally .. Mostly because I have a paranoia about being stuck to one place should a world war break out or Mother Nature go nuts.
And that’s pretty much me in a nutshell.
Until I remember something else

Upon returning home I visited the animal shelter in Conroe Texas.. And there I found Athena.. A mixed dog that stole my heart in an hour.  My prayer was answered.. I would no longer be alone.. And in her companionship, I no longer needed to find a person to share my life with.  We make pretty awesome road buddies.. And I am truly blessed to have her.  It’s definitely an adjustment, but she’s my child now, and in that, all adjustments are possible.