Be like the bird

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“Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.”

-Victor Hugo

One of my favorite quotes. Beautiful once you think about its meaning.

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Project Happiness

As I’ve said before (or you may have picked up on in some of my posts) I suffer from depression and like many others know, it can really take a toll on your life. I’m always looking for new ways to get around it, and recently I’ve been focusing on doing something everyday to help take hold of some happiness. Or at least find a way to bring a spark of happiness to every day. And when I say this, I don’t mean I find time to lie on the couch with a huge bowl of ice cream (although ice cream does tend to make me happy), but I mean doing something, even if it’s very small, that will just make me feel all around better about myself and life in general. Whether you suffer from depression or not, trying to squeeze in that moment can benefit us all. We all lead hectic lives that can weigh us down, and if you’re anything like me, you may tend to find your days going by where you’re focused more on other people and making sure they’re happy. Which is great, don’t get me wrong, but it sure leaves your poor neglected self alone out in the cold. And we certainly don’t need that! There’s a lot of sadness in the world as it is.

I enjoy running, but the weather has been so boiling hot lately (we’re looking at highs of 105 next week!!) that I’ve been forced to workout indoors. Last night the weather had cooled down slightly, so I decided to take advantage of that and grab a moment to myself for a quick run around the neighborhood. After adding some new songs on my iPod (who doesn’t get amped up by new music?) I was out the door to enjoy the fresh air.

So even something as simple as stopping to check out the books at a neighbor’s mini library:

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Just the way they decorated this box makes me happy. Notice the owl on top.

Or taking time to stop by the park right before sundown:

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Even just taking the time to do something cost free and good for yourself can make a huge difference. If we all took the time at some point in our day to do something for ourselves that will make us happy, then what an improvement to our health, mind, and attitude it would make.

And who wouldn’t be thrilled to be greeted by this eagerly awaiting face when you get back?:

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(Unless, like 80% of the rest of the population, you’re terrified of rats then being greeted by one probably won’t help bring a ray of sunshine to your day.)

If there’s something special you do during the day for yourself to bring in that spirit of happiness, I would love for you to share it with me!

And this too shall pass…

-I always remember my grandmother using this quote when times were tough.

Here I am saying I’m going to write in my blog at least once a week and now it’s been over two weeks since I’ve last been on here. In my defense, I’ve had dreadful internet at work (our new office building is having issues) so that’s been one factor. Another, not so much in my defense, would be that I’ve just been in a slump. I haven’t had the energy or desire to write at all. I can’t even seem to find the drive to work on my creative writing, even though that usually can be an escape for me. I’m just in one of those “I have no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going” state of minds.

My relationship has gone pretty sour. I take a good bit of blame of course, but I can’t help but feel like I’m trying to make things work. But when one person tries and the other doesn’t…it will never be fixed. I’ve never been in love, despite the many relationships I’ve been in, and I’m not sure I actually can. That’s always been a frustration for me because I watch the world fall in love around me, and yet despite the wonderful people I’ve had in my life, I just can’t ever get to that point. I have no idea what it feels like.

As delightful as LA can be, I also find myself tiring of the fast paced empty Hollywood lifestyle that comes with the entertainment business and I’ve had this strong desire to just pack up and leave it all behind. I find myself becoming so drained by the alcoholic infused parties with the shallow minds and banter and games that are continually played. Having to act a certain way and look a certain way, it has a very claustrophobic feel. I get this urge to just runaway somewhere full of big beautiful land where I can have as many animals as I want. I can finally buy that horse I’ve longed for since I was a child and I can grow gardens full of vegetables and swim in the ocean, or gaze at the mountains.

Yeah, so that slump that probably happens in most people’s lives has kind of hit me at the moment. Who I am kidding though? I’m always in a slump. Just call me Ms. Misery. But once I figure out a way to break through- and find what I really want to do and where I want to be in life- I bet it’s a lovely feeling.

 

“Think of your head as an unsafe neighborhood; don’t go there alone.”

You know what’s great? Every Wednesday afternoon, I feel so uplifted and happy. Why? My therapy session is in the middle of the day and once I leave that office, there’s this giant weight that has been removed from my shoulders. I seriously feel so much lighter. Sometimes I don’t have a breakthrough or life shattering moment during therapy, but just being able to be listened to, being able to open up without the fear that I’ll be judged as some kind of a bad person or weirdo gives me such a feeling of relief. It’s better than any drug I could ask for. Of course, the long term affects have not been permanent so far, but perhaps one day?

I had been debating on going to therapy for some time. I knew I needed it. I was just scared of seeking help. I had never been to any kind of doctor about this before, and having no one to turn to- only myself- was terrifying. But my mind was lost in this fog where I was screaming at the top of my lungs and no one could hear me. The only thing I could think of to find relief was to just jump through that fog and off the nearest cliff. I’m so glad I sought help. To anyone that feels like they need it, but is unsure, I can only say go for it. Do it for yourself. My feeling of being so alone and strange in this world is being chiseled away. (Okay, I believe I’m still strange, but not everything can be fixed, right?) Being able to understand myself better and why I think or do the things I do is coming to light and I don’t feel so confused. I always thought I was a bad person. Well, I knew deep down I was a good person, but I felt in everyone’s eyes, and even my own at times, I was pretty rotten. *Hence, my not so subtle blog header of two different sides/pictures of myself. Ah, I think I’m so creative. And then I realize readers probably think I just like putting pictures of myself up all over my blog. Not so! There was a (poorly) hidden message in there!* I felt kind of like those poor villains in the fairy tales that are born, or turned via circumstance, into a less than great person and that’s just how they’re fated to live out their life. They’re the evil screw ups sucking the life out of all the hero’s happily ever afters. Even their own. That’s mainly why my blog has antihero in the title. I just wasn’t the hero in my life, but I couldn’t be so hard on myself to be just a villain. Feeling like the world sees you as a bad person, and then viewing yourself that way became so unhealthy. There’s a lot of things I have to work through. Part of my problems are just who I am and learning to accept that and love myself is new, but I’m getting there. Part of my so called “problems” I honestly don’t want to get rid of because I like being different. Everyone should embrace their differences. But there are some areas of my mind and actions that were destroying me that therapy has been able to give me some relief. Like I said, things haven’t completely turned around for me, but the weight is becoming easier to bear. I’m not as depressed, I’m not as angry, and I’m finding my moods easier to control. Well, sometimes. I’m still a pretty moody person. I’m also learning about how the things that happened to me throughout my life have affected the way I turned out, but I can learn to overcome that. For the first time in, I don’t know- forever?, I feel as if I have somewhere to turn to and help bring me out of the darkness and back into the light.

This post really doesn’t have much structure to it. I really just wanted to write this down to try and state how relieving therapy can be (even just talking it out) to anyone who, like myself, knew they needed it- but were too scared to go for it. We all have our hidden issues and sometimes they become too much to keep to yourself. I’ve found seeking help has been one of the bravest and most rewarding things I could have done and I encourage anyone who feels they could benefit from it, but are fearful, to just think about what is best for you. Worse case scenario- you realize this isn’t what you need and you stop going. Best case- you feel that wonderful, delightful feeling of relief I have been able to experience.

This building had me thinking about castles as I sat outside therapy today.

This building had me thinking about castles as I sat outside therapy today.

 

 

Oh, take me away from here

 

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I have this insane itching desire to just pack up my bags and leave. I want to travel the world and see everything, but year after year I seem to be putting it off. But for what, exactly? Oh well there’s money and work and all the responsibilities that come with the adult life. Sometimes I can’t help but feel like I’m stuck in a loveless marriage with myself where I feel trapped and suffocated. I find myself staring out the window of my cage as I do the monotonous daily chores, trying to imagine myself being anywhere but here. I’ll blast the music as loud as I can while I sit in that rush hour traffic, trying to blare away that hopeless feeling. Just staring at the weathered saddened faces of those in the city as they pass me by, and I’ll get a clinching feeling in my gut and I begin to think, will I turn into that person? Is that me now? I plug my headphones in and turn up that “happy playlist” my therapist had me create so I can just escape that darkening dread that begins to descend upon me. I find myself sometimes ignoring life, finding anything to distract myself. Just finding something to take me away. As far away as I can get. When it gets to the point where I realize how far I’m vanishing, that’s when I feel the need to come back. To come back to this world that I know can be so glorious and run. That’s right, just run away and find what I’m looking for. It’s only when I realize I have no idea what I’m looking for that my true problem emerges. I need to find myself and therefore I can find peace, happiness, and what exactly is missing in my life. I need to stop giving a damn about what everyone thinks or what I should be doing now. If I could just find a way to shake it all off my shoulders then, ah, what a relief that would be. What freedom! Then, I feel as if I could sprout wings and just soar through life. Do whatever the hell I want to do. Be who I want to be. I would no longer feel so shrouded in this heavy cloak of expectations and instead I could just be me. But not the sad, lost me. No, I could be the happy, confident girl I want to be. It wasn’t too long ago I seriously considered dropping it all and just taking off. Just trying to find myself. I’m beginning to think now that it may not be such a bad idea to follow through on.

As I child I would imagine a big giant white unicorn would come to my window at night. I would see it in the moonlight, throw open the window, climb onto his back and he would just fly me away from here (unlike most unicorns, mine would fly). Far away. And I would never return. Unicorn, if you’re out there somewhere, I could really use that escape plan right about now, buddy.

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A breakthrough in therapy

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I feel like I really hit a break through in therapy this week. As I’ve mentioned in my last few posts on this subject, I’ve always been iffy when it comes to therapy. It took me years to finally just admit that I needed it. My therapist is lovely and I feel like I can really talk to her which is great. Still, I’ve been going for a little over a month now, I believe, and haven’t quite felt like I’m getting anything out of it. She was giving me some interesting advice on how to cope with my depression and emotional issues and I’ve been starting to look and see if there’s a pattern in my good and bad days. I understand it can take a while to really feel like you’re getting somewhere, so of course I stuck with it. I hate to be a quitter.

This week though, we really got into something emotional in my past that likely causes so much of the pain that I have now as an adult. For the first time, I had someone tell me that I’m not to blame, I shouldn’t have had to deal with this, and it’s very unhealthy. This whole time I’ve in someway thought everything was my fault. I felt the things that happened to me never needed to be addressed. I was this disturbed person, because that was just me, and I had to deal with it. I never like to go into things that have hurt me because I have this fear of coming off as a whiner, like I’m just holding a little pity party. To hear that what I dealt with, what I thought was normal, were indeed wrongdoings – and not on my part, felt like a weight being lifted. I’m not just this weirdo who is angry, sad, who has no self esteem and is lacking the ability to show emotion and love. There is a reason that I have turned out this way, and more importantly, what I longed to hear, and did hear, was that I can overcome this. I can grow stronger and find ways to separate myself from the pain that has happened to me and find who I really am. This whole time I’ve felt like I’ve been walking through life, sick, in this dark misty haze. After my session, after hearing that I’m not the bad person that I’ve always felt I was, that I had no control over what happened to me, this wasn’t my fault, — just hearing that I can learn to love myself and turn things around, made me feel so…happy. I left with a new sense of freedom and way of looking at things. And these past few days I have found myself feeling calm, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time. 

 

First day of therapy accomplished

Recently I wrote about the swarm of butterflies inhabiting my stomach as my day of therapy drew near. Well, that day was yesterday and I’ll have to say it wasn’t as frightening as I thought it would be. I mean, I guess I knew it was a good thing which is why I went for it, but at the same time the idea of therapy is a bit daunting. I went in there with the mindset of “I’m not going to be afraid or hold back.” I would just try my best to spill what I’m feeling. Which I did, rather awkwardly. This is something a little difficult for me because I’ve grown up not expressing how I feel. I can be a great listener when I put my mind to it and really care about other people and their problems, unfortunately I grew up around people who didn’t return that favor. Maybe I wouldn’t have even expressed what was bothering me if I had the chance.

Anyway, my therapist was lovely and made me feel comfortable. Since it was only the first day, I can’t say anything great really happened, but I was expecting that. The fact that I liked her was promising. I tend to ramble around in circles when I talk and also crack sarcastic jokes, so I had the therapist laughing…which is I guess a good thing? Of course, she did ask me to keep track of my dreams and write them down since I have such vivid ones so that we can analyze them. Personally, I’ve always been a skeptic when it comes to dream meanings. I know a lot of people believe in this and I do find it interesting, and maybe it does work for some, but for me I know what my dreams are. They’re crazy, so unless it means I’m crazy, then they’re just what I think they are- the works of an overactive imagination.

Take for instance my first dream to write down which was last night. Very detailed, but to quickly sum it up in a nutshell, I was in a film crew for a show like “My Strange Addiction” or whatever it’s called. The guy’s addiction was raising a bunch of pets (cockatiels, puppies, ferrets to name a few) and eating them alive. I, of course, was horrified and tried to run off all Clarice Starling-like with one of the pets when I saw it happen. He ended up chasing me down, and pinning me on the ground with a knife, intent on taking my life. So, we’ll see how she analyzes that. Despite my skepticism when it comes to dream analysis, I feel like this is going to be a good thing and I’m glad I took that plunge. I’m proud of myself. Even though I’ve only been to one session, I encourage anyone else who may be like I was, suffering but unsure if they should seek help, to just go for it. Give it a chance. It’s definitely, if anything, a calming experience which my emotions needed. And hey, maybe you’ll learn why you dream such things as being chased by pet eating maniacs. ;)

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and they will come forth later in uglier ways.” Sigmund Freud