Finding Reality

Reality is rough for many. It doesn’t make sense, even though it is real. Living in reality is hard. You have to pay bills, work, take care of others, look happy. Yes, you just have to look happy, because in most peoples reality you are happy when you smile. What is behind that smile is your reality.

My reality is not that smile on my face, the cleanish house, the laughing on the phone with friends, or the career I am trying to become successful at. Behind the smile is what no one wants to talk about or should I say, what no one wants to hear. The untold story of the secrets in my childhood. The monsters in my head. The snakes that wriggle in my stomach causing nausea and anxiety.

My reality is pretending that life is fine. Life is how it should be. My reality is not reality, it is the fiction on top of the non fiction. Reading between the lines isn’t what most people want to do, they want to only see the words on the page. If it is too hard for them or if it causes emotion, then people don’t want to talk about it. This attitude makes it hard for family or friends, they must tip toe over any subject. We as humans have made it very easy to lie to one another, because we do not want to confront any subject that may involve emotion. It has made it very easy for me over the last 35 years to continue on with the fiction over top of the non fiction.

As a child my life seemed fantastic, I had a mom and dad who loved me. I had a roof over my head. My parents were strict. Although I was also taught that what I thought didn’t matter, I was to do it their way or no way. Even as a child there was fiction over the non fiction. My childhood created my being, the emotional person that I am. As hard as I have tried to overcome this feeling, the feeling that I am not worthy, that people don’t want to hear what I have to say, the “I am embarrassed to be who I am.” feeling, I can’t overcome.

Nature vs. Nurture is a real thing. Yes, you are born with your genetics, but you come into this world a clean minded little being. People start to teach you what they believe, you then take from that and make it yours. People love you and hurt you and that is embedded in you. As I grew I was taught that I was to follow not lead. Kids were mean to me, I was the last to be chosen for kick ball, I was called names, I was picked on, there was one girl who made it her daily ritual to take my fingers and bend them as far back as she possibly could, just because she wanted to be mean. Not once did anyone do anything to stop any of this from happening, because we didn’t live in 2018, we lived in 1978. It was a good thing to be bullied, it made you strong, right?

Being bullied didn’t make me stronger, it made me sadder, less likely to succeed, more likely to be indecisive in my life choices. Yes, some people are more prone to the emotional warfare that happens after being bullied. Some people are more prone to depression due to “Nature” Let me put it straight, I am a grown woman, who has had a few different long term jobs, all which caused anxiety and at some point depression. Only recently have I made a few friends. I’m sure these friends would say that I seem fine, not depressed, not sad, not anxious, but they can’t see inside of me. They have no idea that the laughter is a form of anxiety, that I don’t say what I am always thinking, because when I do I feel chastised about my beliefs. I go over conversations in my mind 100’s of times, I don’t sleep at night. Things that were said months ago still bother me, as much as I want these conversations to disappear they don’t.

Who am I? I am the one who walks into a room and is invisible. I am the one who cries herself to sleep at night, because she feels she didn’t achieve anything that day. I am the one who wakes in the morning to the thought of, “Oh I’m alive still.” I am depressed. I am sad. I am indecisive. I am a painter. I am a mom. I am a wife. I am a failure. I am a panic attack waiting to happen. I am a baker. I am a cook. I am a realtor. I am a social worker. I am a ball of emotional chaos.

You say, “Wow, you’re a lot of things.” No, I’m a mess. I have difficulty approaching people. I look in the mirror and realize that I haven’t accomplished much of anything, because I get side tracked with small things here and there. I am the person who will try any job, only to get bored, to feel unappreciated by employers and managers and then think there must be something else out there.

I am currently trying real estate. I am not great at it. I’m not great at talking to people. I am great at the paperwork. I am great at talking with people I have ALREADY met. I am terrible at marketing. Door knocking makes me anxious and panicky. Calling people makes me feel as if I am imposing and I don’t want to impose on peoples lives. I sit in the corner at our meetings or I don’t go, because I feel incapable of reaching my goals. No matter the inspiration from others in my office, I know that they have a different mind than I do. I am unsure why I chose real estate, in the beginning I thought that I would love working with people and I do, but getting those people to work with me is difficult. Again another job I feel as if I have failed at.

As I look back on the parts of my jobs that made me uncomfortable or anxious I look back on my childhood and can connect the dots to certain events that are embedded in my brain. These events have caused chaos. I am obsessive compulsive about many things in my life, this causes more anxiety, the anxiety causes more depression. It is a wildly sad circle that my mind goes through. Prescriptions have made me suicidal, finding what works has been terrible, nothing works. And honestly no one cares. Most people don’t even know what to say.

Back to reality. The reality is that mental health is a subject no one wants to talk about. Reality is that if something bad has happened to you by someone else, no one wants to hear about it, because it would mean having a conversation about things that make people uncomfortable. It you are a child and something happens to you, going to an adult is hard, because as a child you are made to feel inferior. Children don’t always have someone they trust and children who already are bullied don’t have friends to go to either. So those feelings, those memories get pushed down and as we grow older they start to percolate until one day they overflow. Sad thing is, it won’t be talked about, because people will say, “Why didn’t you say something when it happened?” Their thought is that you must be lying.

Sad that this is our society. We are made to hide in the shadows. Live life in fiction with non fiction percolating beneath.

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Etsy listing available in my shop Geometric acrylic painting, coppers, blue hues, reds and yellows. Textured in some areas. A painting for a time in my mind that has been anxious, worried and attempting organization. #mentalhealthmatters #kansascity #localartist

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Paradox

Depression doesn’t have a rhyme or reason. Depression knocks at the door whenever it chooses. It might be the middle of the night, it might be in the middle of dinner or possibly in the middle of vacation.

Anxiety approaches a bit more casually, slowly intertwining itself in the doings of your everyday life until it feels like it has you gasping to breathe. In the middle of the night you wake up heart pounding, sweat on your brow in the midst of monsters surrounding you in the dark.

You consider the plan, how much more can you take? How many more sleepless nights can you endure? You stand staring in the dark at what, in your mind, could be the last night you wake with anxiety.

You wander through the room, searching for the one thing that can get you through the panic. Then suddenly you stop mid step to realize there are no walls, you have been wandering for hours in the dark. You search for the light switch only to find more panic from the darkness. It seems darker than when you woke. You stumble and slowly fall. You never hit the ground, you continue to fall and as you spin you realize that the darkness has mixed with colors. The colors that make you feel. Colors that give you emotion, empathy and happiness. At that moment the anxiety has been suppressed along with the depression and you feel at ease, calm and your body is cool.

You awake to find the sunshine beaming in through the dirty window of the hospital room. The depression returns quickly, while the anxiety takes its time to re enter your life and panic ensues.

Lemons

Life doesn’t ever give you lemons. Life gives you what you deserve. Life gives you what you created. It gives you either chaos or happiness. It gives you sadness and uncontrolled behavior. If you don’t have control of yourself within your life, your life will never be happy, it will never be good, it will always be out of control.

You’ll find yourself always upset. You’ll find yourself looking at others with anger. You’ll find yourself demonizing others when in fact it’s your life that has been out of control for so long.

Instead of demonizing others and looking down on others and blaming others for what is going on in your life and how you feel, you need to look in the mirror. You need to make a list and determine what it is that you’ve done in your life to create this chaotic uncontrolled life that you’re living.

What can you do right now to make a change in your life? To make today better. What is one thing that will change what is going on in your life?

Do you need new friends? Do you need to stop doing drugs? Do you need to clean up what’s going on in your life by getting rid of some people, some things, a job? Sometimes we fill our lives with people who we think are our friends. In reality those people are just markers in your life. They just mark a time, a place, a season. They mark when everything was not as cohesive in your life as you would have liked it to be. 

When you have friends in your life who pretend to be friends. Who don’t really want to be there for you, but say they’ll be there for you, that can cause a lot of strife. It can cause a lot of depression. It can cause a lot of anxiety, because when you need someone to be there and you don’t have anybody who will be there it can cause thoughts that you really shouldn’t be thinking.

So think about what it is that’s in your life that’s causing you to have chaos. Write down what’s causing the chaos. Whether it be people, relationships, stuff that you have in your house, a job that makes you feel belittled or it could be a number of other things. Then decide what you can get rid of. Decide what it is that causes the worst chaos, the worst feelings, the feelings that make you feel like you need to make lemonade out of lemons.

Remember when you say, if life gives you lemons make lemonade, you grew those lemons yourself. And by making lemonade you’re going to dissolve some of the things that are in your life.

Life can be happy. Life can be fun, it can be filled with great people who love you, it can be filled with wonderful things that create a sense of calm. So take a moment and figure out what makes you happy. Figure out what makes you sad and get rid of those things.

What If

What if? There are too many what if’s in life. Imagine if you took those giant leaps forward. Imagine what could have been.

What if I finished that book. What if I went to law school. What if I moved across the world.

Why do we stop ourselves from those big endeavors? Is it because we follow as opposed to lead? It would make sense, leaders are more successful. Leaders are more outgoing. Leaders speak up when they believe in something. Followers do just that, they follow. They adhere to what society believes is the right way.

What if the right way was your way. What if we were all individuals in our own right.

Be brave, be fearless, be you! Take chances, do something you always wanted to do. If you never try, it will always be a “what if”.

Blaze your path!

Writing, when writing seems impossible.

I’ve been writing for many years, never to finish a book. My one dream is to finish a book and yet I continue to write, but never finish. Why? I have every excuse in the book. I am busy. My house is dirty. The kids need me to cook dinner. The laundry needs to be done. I have cancer. I am sick. I don’t feel good. I am anxious. Yet my mind tells me to write. To write what I feel, what I see. Write the crazy chaos that is encapsulated in my brain.

There are stories in my mind that continue on and on. I write and write only to set it aside and not continue on that story for months or even years. I started a book this year. It was going fantastic, then July 27th rolled around. Chaos ensued and I didn’t open it back up until 5 days ago, when I realized that July 27th was the day depression, anxiety and chaos entered my life once again. I also realized that writing during these times would be the best times to write. When my mind is spinning is when the stories become real for me. Putting my emotions on paper is what I love, but when my emotions become too much I don’t do it. Why?

I don’t know why, but I do know that I need to get into the groove and stop waiting for peace and harmony to write, because it never happens long enough for me to gather my thoughts. Peace and harmony rarely enter into my life and I need to be ok with that. I need to use the chaos to create a wonderfully, crazy, insane book. Even if no one loves  it or reads it, I know that I put my most wild emotions into the story and I know that one day, at least one person will read it and ask themselves, “What in the world was this woman going through? I need more.”

Culture of A Workplace

It’s been a while since I have blogged. The last few months have been rough. It would seem when one thing happens there is a snowball effect.

In the last 6 weeks, we had a family “emergency”. One which required my husband and I to make a critical decision.

After downsizing last year into a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath house we have now taken in my 2 nieces and nephew ages 15, 13 and 11. They are currently living in my front room, “family room”.  We aren’t sure where this is going or how long this will be our situation, but for the time being we are dealing with it.

Throughout the last month I have really learned what it is to be a Real Estate agent at Keller Williams. I have never worked for a company that does so much for their people. I have never had so many people reach out to help me in a time of distress. In fact there is a stark contrast between my last place of employment and Keller Williams.

The culture at Keller Williams is unbelievable. They are there to help the community, their agents and families. They never stop giving. The last few months have changed my vision on what mankind is truly able to give.

I have had a rough year mentally and emotionally, I have considered suicide in the worst moments, but the kindness from those I have surrounded myself with has created a place within me that is filled with gratitude and hope.

My husband and I have been married 27 years and we have had some rough moments in the last month, but it is not within me to let the stress kill the love that we have created. We will persevere with the support from those who have come into our lives, we will make it through. We have always felt alone, never had a real support circle of people who were there to help. This new career adventure I chose last year was the best career decision I have made and although it is slow to get started, it is perhaps exactly where I needed to be at this time in my life.

Mike also changed jobs last year and that too was the best decision he could have made. We have been lucky enough to have John Schutt create new plans to add onto our home if we need to in order to accommodate the kids. And John Baker for being there for Mike when he needs a friend.

I want to thank the Culture Committee at Keller Williams Southland for their help. I truly am forever grateful to all of you for thinking about my family during this time. Also Heartland Partners in Caring, I cannot express the gratitude that I felt when I received the HPIC hug to help with the kids. There are a lot of people in my office that stepped up to help with items the kids needed. The kids came to us with nothing and now they have clothes, beds, shoes, backpacks, school supplies and so much more.  There are many people I want to name in this blog and say thank you too. Linda, Scott, Patrick, Barbara, Angie, Elzeen, Tammy, Beth, Wendi, Lonnie, Amber, Alex, Chris, Ryan, Stephanie, Kris, Bill, Debbie, John Baker, John Schutt, and I am positive I have forgot a few names. I am so thankful for all you have done for us. I can’t say it enough, the support we have felt is overwhelming, in a good way, and we will always be appreciative of every single one of you.

The road is long and it is winding, but we will continue to follow it until the next fork in the road.

I have to admit I forgot one of the most important people that has been there for me during the last couple of years. How I forgot her I can’t explain, perhaps because I think of her as a family member. Or because she is always there at the drop of a dime and those are the ones that when giving appreciation are occasionally forgotten and not because I don’t appreciate everything she has done, but because like a precious family heirloom, you forget how precious it is until something happens to it. Jenn I can’t express how lucky I am to have you in my life. I thank you for everything you have done, for being there when I am sad, depressed, happy, and stressed. Truly you are one of my most loved friends. I’m sorry I forgot you in my original blog.