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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Dog

When you’re young you want a dog. A friend, because when you’re young, kids are mean and the one being you can talk to without judgement is Dog. Dog loves you without judgement, with all he has and throughout all your trials and tribulations.

As you grow you learn about death. You are still young, a teenager. Dog is old, but Dog still loves you. Dog deserves to die peacefully and without pain.

You’re an adult and you want that feeling again. The feeling of caring, love, a judement free feeling. You search for that perfect companion. You determine that the only being that is able to give unconditionally is Dog. You find the perfect 4 legged companion. He is cute and soft. He plays hard and loves even harder.

Dog goes everywhere with you. Dog loves road trips. Dog listens to your awful singing in the car with his ears flapping in the wind. He kisses your cheek and curls up in the passenger seat. Dog is in it for the long ride.

Dog is there through illness. Dog loves you through cancer. Dog loves you through depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts. Dog wipes away your tears with his kisses. Dog doesn’t judge, he just loves. Dog cuddles, kisses and follows you through the house. Dog is expert at weaving between your legs as you cook dinner. He is the stealer of cookies and bread. Dog can steal the pizza off your plate without you knowing. Dog is the expert at distraction. Dog keeps you warm on cold nights.

As time passes you and Dog get older, but Dog has a shorter life span. You know that someday you will have to help Dog pass over. Dog would do it for you, so you must do it for Dog.

You watch as Dog becomes a shell of his former self. Dog can’t see. Dog can’t hear. Dog doesn’t know who you are, but you know who he is. He is perfect. He is a lover of ice cream. He is a traveler far and wide. He is a caregiver and a protector. He deserves your strength in the end, to know that you would do anything for him, that you were there for him in the end.

Dog has a name. His name is Zorro.

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

Check out this item in my Etsy shop

https://www.etsy.com/listing/602576803/comparmentalized-acrylic-painting-sharp

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.”