I have been feeling overall AH-mazing. I have been able to do more, show up more and generally kick ass more. Yet, I have allowed myself to compare pre/post trauma versions of my capacities (which there are numerous of I’m sure). This post is a bit of that comparison mindset but also talking about how feeling great can lead us to some challenges. I will also be sharing my own challenges in humbling myself to asking for help. Also, I will share a bit of my own theories about personality vs. soul. I tend to talk about life/ living with mental health like a video game- which I don’t feel great about but language can be limiting. We will end up with more questions than when we started I imagine- but oh well- c’est la vie… or is it? #BrainInVat
I am going to confess something to you…
I didn’t put my wellbeing first consistently for about a month.
It started innocently enough- I was going to volunteer at Bluesfest to get a certification so I can start applying for serving jobs. Then, I made a new goal of applying for at least 1 job a day, which was scaled back from my initial desire to apply for 3 jobs a day. I committed myself to visiting family at least once a week. I wanted to go to yoga classes at least 3 times a week. I was determined to pick back up my cleaning shifts to bring in extra money. I decided I was going to apply for college. I focused going to sell at least 3 paintings. I showed up fully for multiple networking events.
I was juggling, it was great. I felt ALIVE and on fire with purpose.
Then, my social anxiety reared up from having to sell tickets at a networking event.
Then, I started getting rejected by multiple jobs and flailing during interviews.
Then, talk of my mom’s murder over breakfast came up.
Then, fights started during my shift at Bluesfest.
Then, I bailed out of yoga class.
Then, I was caught up thinking of the future.
So true to the form of a spiritual sadist, I stuck myself in an isolation tank.
All of these effected my overall HP (Health Points) and I had a stormy mini breakdown of the New Age Blues. Luckily, I wound up in the arms of someone who loves me and just cried angry tears. I felt better afterwards but the hardest part of getting better, in my view, is admitting you are not okay.
I know from having been really sick this past year that once I started to feel okay. A part of me was like “FUCK YEA! Everyone, go back to your business- I am back 100%! Stop looking at me.”
The small voice inside continued excitedly… ” Once we are better, people won’t see Anona as sick. I won’t be judged for living with mental health challenges. I won’t feel so exposed. Everyone will forget that we failed. Everyone will forget how badly we fell. We can be normal again. We can succeed and save lots of other people. We can just be quiet about our icky parts so no one has to know how pathetic we are. I want to be 1000% a champion all the time. ”
That little self (which sounds a bit like Smeagol/Gollum in my head) is the part that is so immensely fearful of being rejected, abandoned, forgotten that it tries to force itself to be desirable 24/7.
Yet, I am offered a few really beautiful questions:
What if there is nothing to transform? What if there’s nothing to change? What if you are already completely healed? What if you are truly perfect exactly as you are and there is nothing more?
The idea that I am already perfect even when I am not okay is radical. The idea that there’s not a single part of me, even the little Self that says all those speeches is perfect in its own way is oddly calming.
There is so much dogma to side step; whether its food, career planning, family and cultural programming, wellness and mental health initiatives.
Each different set of dogma hasn’t offered the results, peace or presence that I get from accepting the whole package of Me.
I have always consistently felt ME. Most likely because the essence (or soul (?)) that I identify as my entirety IS always constant. (no matter how much you change as a person- you always have an overarching sense of self).
When I was in the hospital and thinking everyone was an angel. I still FELT like Me.
When I was lost in the forest and screaming at strangers. I still FELT like Me.
When I was listening to Mom’s trial and learning details that should not be known to a daughter… I still felt like ME.
When I am being held by a lover and feeling overwhelmed with joy, lust and love… I still feel like ME.
Which begs the question, who/ what the fuck is ME!?!
It can be interesting to intellectualize are way through our own stream’s of consciousness (hello- my blog, art and everything I basically do) but really its’ proven in my life to be more fulfilling to surrender to the moment.
Sometimes, the moments are horribly heart wrenching but that can be perfect in its own way.
The only aspect of Me that I know to be true is that it is constant, timeless, and indestructible. Everything else is just a whopping amount of beautiful bonuses.
“I used to have a sign pinned up on my wall that read: Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us…It was all about letting go of everything.”
― Pema Chödrön,