Recovery Reflections: Going in Circle and Change

It’s been more often than not, in the past, that I take my recovery as some sort of a disease that I have to heal.

That sort of sense, the one that I am not full, not complete, not a regular human being unless I get rid of my past, it never quite goes away. It never will, I suppose, until I change how I look at it. It eases off at times when my life is going great, and then rears it’s ugly head the moment something goes wrong. I’m tough on myself, tougher than anyone else. If anyone else treated me that way, they would no longer be in my life. I try to change that, but at times of higher stress it appears again.

Lately, I go back and forth.

Yes, life has ups and downs, but we manage.

Lately however, I feel like a leaf being carried in different directions. I go up, I go down. I try to improve my life, I make leaps forward…then I fall into deeper fits of stress and depression then before. I improve, I regress. I have moments of high success and moments where I’m really close to destroying all progress. They come and go, really close together. Sometimes I think that’s just a more convoluted way of progress, of ultimately going in positive direction. Sometimes I wonder if that’s progress at all.

I realize lately, that I can’t be sure.

I can’t be sure that all the PTSD effect in my life will ever be fully gone. Or my anxiety. But perhaps, it can be managed in a way that I can be okay with. That I can have what I want to have in my life, even as I am managing this.

It’s a new thought, and it might be another step towards healing.

Maybe, it’s not about beating this. Or leaving it behind. It happened, and it affects me, period. I’m only human. People wallow over breakups and daily things, is it really that much of a surprise that I’m still affected by this? Perhaps the truly human, healing thing to do, would be for me to accept myself, as I am. Right now. With my past, with the aftermath, with all the invisible ways it intertwines with my life. Continue reading

PTSD, aftershock, and financial issues

It’s another day of doing nothing for me – almost- but for a first time in a week, there is no hidden mounts of pressure, no insurmountable challenges and feeling of despair. I’ve just receive my next chunk of money, my next payment, and the suffocating feeling like there is a ring around my heart(or lungs) constantly squeezing, has released a little. I can finally breathe. For about 10 days, I’ve reverted back to whom I was when I was scared, panicked, in shock and generally depressed. Sure, partly for money reasons, but let’s face it, it’s not only that. Once again, I’ve went from a period of regular weekly income, to having almost nothing. Literally- nothing in my bank account or wallet. Spending my last money for the bus and wondering how I will pay the next bill. Again. It’s not such a novel concept. I freelance, which means I’m floating from periods of getting more than I need, to periods where I just have to be patient for a month or two while I am trying to get new work.
But this, it’s like a physical reaction, and I completely lose all my logic, and ability to get myself out of that situation. It’s debilitating. I’m just starting to think there’s no getting out of it, and it’s all dire and impossible, until, when I receive my money, there is a day of shock and relief, whilst I’m fighting to forget that paralyzing fear…And then I’m back to real life. Like I just awoke out of the haze(which I pretty much did) and became real. It’s like my reaction to losing weight. It’s one of the hardest because I wonder if I can ever get over it. Continue reading

The Big R – for rape…and resilience

A while ago, as I watched one of the shows I like to follow- the Big C- I start thinking about definitions. The things that people know or don’t about us that shape who we are, who we become. The things that we have no control over, that just get attached to us and shape parts of us.

Like cancer. Traumatic incidents. Loosing a person you are really close to. Becoming an addict. Being homeless. Diseases. Heartbreaks.

Rape.

When I first started telling some of my friends about what happened to me, I feel like I have peeled off all my skin and then went out- exposed, sensitive. As if I had what happen written on my forehead. For the most part, I was wrong. My friends didn’t see me differently- they just saw that I was going through hard time and needed them. Continue reading

Why trauma cheats you out of your own recovery?

So as I have been getting better, I’ve finally, mostly regained my ability to work 8 hours and even enjoy it (okay, that one depends on the day). So I have been leaving very little time for blogging, which wasn’t such a good idea. Suddenly, I feel overwhelmed and sad. I feel again constantly tired and busy, I get irritable. I often break and eat chips or sweet things- way too much of them. ..and then recently, I suddenly find out why. Or one of the reasons anyway. Continue reading

Recovery Alphabet: Q for Question

“But I’m not the same. I can’t be the same.”

That’s the sentence coming to my lips every time I get overwhelmed with the recovery lately. Never once do I ask myself what would it mean for me if I am not the same. I’ve been struggling in my own way with the notion of change.

I have done the hardest emotional part of recovery, and I finally have energy to do something different…but I have no clue what that should be.

I mean I have the lists and all, that I have made in moments of desperation, with all the things I need to change. But when it comes to actual doing, they all seem too big, too hard. Because yeah, I have changed, I have more energy…but I’m not there yet. I can do some things…all of them just make me feel overwhelmed and panicked.

But then I realize. This is what we do as grown ups- we forget how to really accept and question facts. If you say to a grown up you got divorced, they will tell you they are sorry. A kid would probably ask why. Kids ask about everything. Somewhere on the way of growing up we forget how to do that. We take as granted having to do the job we have, be with a certain person or break up, do the things we do.

We don’t question facts. We accept them. The wrong way.

I don’t know how to live without that person.

I can’t lose all the weight I gained in 1 night.

I can’t do more than this.

I’m not the same.

I have to relearn everything.

Everything is a mess

*

Here is a radical thought: use the old prayer. Accept what you can not change from that, change what you can, and then think about what is next. Question what is next. You may not get a clear idea, but eventually you will. Continue reading

The Brave One (2007) movie quotes

This is a movie about a woman who sees her partner being killed in front of her, and is brutally beaten up…and she ends up killing other people around the city who terrorize others. As I watched the trailer, I found her choices very far from me, but her reflections- dead on with all I was not always sure how to express.

I haven’t watched the movie yet, but I found quotes from it online and they just stuck in me. So true, so well said…and so close to the enormous feeling that overwhelms you once you realize something grand, something life-altering, has touched your life, in a way that rarely people can understand, and you can never go back.

Only figure out a way to go forward, and change to accommodate that new person inside of you.

Here are the quotes:

“It is astonishing, numbing, to find that inside you there is a stranger. One that has your arms, for legs, your eyes. A sleepless restless stranger who keeps walking, keeps eating, keeps living.”

“There are many ways to die. You have to figure out a way to live.”

 

{my} Africa

I was going to first do a post on what happened during the last 2 years before I stopped denying my trauma, but if I go chronologically, this post comes before.

This is about the reason I made this blog besides getting over the rape.

This is about who I became and the dream born that very same summer.

*

As I said before, when I went there, I needed to make money. In combination of things, including being in the middle of financial crisis years, I found finding a job increasingly hard. And with everything else happening that summer, in the middle of addiction, abuse, homeless people and gunshots I saw that summer, I knew I had to make choices for myself, and I was reluctant to let this world chew me up and spit me out. I knew I was smart and creative, and I thought I can change things around.

As it turns out, that was too naive of me. I was facing something bigger than the knowledge I had. Either way, I was there, and I had to do something to preserve my sanity.

So I thought- long and hard- of the life I want after I get out of that hell hole. I have been raised not really thinking that I can make a living out of creative things. Artist life was for hobbies, not for actual making living out of it. That summer assured me that life is too short to live it in a way you don’t enjoy.

I wanted to do something creative. I was going to try to do it part time while being there, to make some more money. At first I thought of the most obvious (for me) – making drawings and greeting cards, and trying to sell them to tourists (it was the middle of the summer, I loved drawing, and that made sense)…but in the middle of the emotional turmoil I was feeling, I couldn’t find inspiration to do that. Unlike some people, feeling low usually completely froze me when it came to drawing. I can draw only when happy.
I even tried pushing myself- I went to a crafts store and bought things for drawing in vague attempt to inspire myself. The fact that I spend some of my last money for supplies for something that I wasn’t sure would work, produced the opposite result. But I kept trying and praying.

Drawing did not work out for me. I stopped drawing that summer and none of my attempts to get back to it these 2 years succeeded.  But in my second visit in the store, I completely randomly stopped in the isle with beads and things for creating jewelry- they were all so different and colorful and I was fascinated. I must have been there for an hour, looking through things, materials, books with beading basics…that day I bought my first supplies for jewelry creating.

Later on I will create my own etsy store and decide to sell them online. And it will take 2 years for me to figure out that I want to take it and make it main source of living.

But for that moment, I just bought supplies, not even sure what my plan is, and not knowing much. But between different types of pliers, head pins, and my first pale pink crystal beads, I fall in love with jewelry making.

And 2 years later turns out, it isn’t a fling-it’s a life-long love affair.

p.s. yesterday I missed adding post for the day, but just like missing a day in a diet should now stop you from completing it, I’m not letting this one day derail me from posting each day from now on.