Tag Archives: relationships

So, I might be neurodivergent?

I’ve been wondering this for a while now. My struggles with attending community events or even being in public in general. Never used to be this way. In my 20’s, I was a fairly social creature. I went to all the events I could afford or travel to. Now, I maybe go to five a year.

A conversation this morning online has me questioning it yet again. I also completed the Myers-Brigg personality test and scored the rarest score – INFP – highly introverted and intuitive. The discussion connected INFP types to neurodivergents and well, it got me thinking.

My therapist diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder last year at a DSM level 5. Symptoms were exasperated by my employer. One of the catalysts that sent me into disability life. One of many reasons. I’m getting used to it.

I’m a gen X’er. Which means, we didn’t talk about mental health issues when we were kids. My mother repeatedly threatened to send me to therapy because I spent so much time alone as a kid in my room reading. I couldn’t read enough. I’ve always been a recluse, a hermit and loner. Friendships are hard for me at times. The other excuse was that my siblings were buttheads and there was a lot of bullying in the household.

They still kind of are at times. I only engage with them about issues with my dad, or my brand new baby niece who I am in love with.

But the bullying was traumatizing both physical and emotional. Emotional damage for years that would even induce nightmares about haunted dolls, and clowns.

Anyway…shudder. I don’t need those dreams.

We didn’t talk about mental health issues. I’m only now just connecting the dots through shadow work and her detailed journals, that my mother struggled with high functioning anxiety and depression too. There was a lot of stress in the house. And I would grow up to later have cortisol issues which causes fight or flight mode. On a loop. It’s exhausting.

So, why do I think I might be neurodivergent?

Well, we didn’t have terms like this when I was involved in the scene many years ago. I’m learning new terms all the time. And more neuro type folks that I met and befriended, the more I went… Huh.

And then I had a lightbulb moment.

Am I neurodivergent?

Let’s see how many behaviors apply to me. My therapist would cringe at this. She hates when people self-diagnose themselves.

Struggling to read and write – no. But holding a pen or pencil is painful for me. Most written communication is on the computer for that reason.

Clumsiness? Shit yeah, you should see the bruises on my legs.

Hard to cope with crowds, bright lights, noise, physical sensations? Yes! Even the sound of crunching snow under my feet drives me crazy.

Difficulties focusing? Can’t sit still? I mean, there’s a reason I’m on fetlife a lot these days. Distraction.

No smiling? Or social responsiveness? To a point. I do better 1 to 1 or in really small group settings where I know the people well. I attended a group event this fall and sat there literally chewing my fingernails. The anxiety about saying the wrong thing was surreal. And it was a small and intimate group.

Personality traits: I am sometimes blunt but don’t meant to be rude or hurtful. People don’t like that much. I mask when needed but I hate doing it. I’ve always kind of done my own thing and often don’t fit into communities.

When it came to school, I was never a good student. Classes bored me. I learned way too late in life that I learned better by actually DOING things. Math and science – my brain couldn’t compute. But language, music, arts, crafts, were my jam. Areas where I could express myself freely.

ADHD is also linked to hypermobility which is the main cause behind my chronic pain and injuries. Same with anxiety. Constant fight or flight mode. Throw in insomnia and other issues too. Sometimes I’m not fun to be around.

So, am I neurodivergent or is it something else? I don’t know. But the more people I interact with who are – it seems, the better we tend to get along and make friends fast with. I guess time will only tell.

What’s your neurodivergent story? How did you get diagnosed?

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Things I learned about dating in my forties

As I got back into dating this past year, there were a few hard lessons I learned about myself. The first one is newer to me – I’m an anxious-fearful-attachment style because of my past history with ex boyfriends who would just leave without warning. They’d disappear for weeks on end and I would take them back. Not just once – but over, and over again, falling for their lies. This would result in years worth of trauma that I never really faced.

Something else I learned about being an anxious attachment is that the best friendships or relationships I had over the years, were with people who provided me the things I needed most.

  • Consistent communication.
  • Reassurance.
  • Following through with plans.

Not so much to ask for, right? You would be surprised.

Today, as part of my mental health awareness series, I’m going to share some other lessons I learned this past year, that I wish I had known in my twenties.

If a person says they need space:

Give it to them, but with a couple of measures to protect yourself. Ask why they need it, what the rules are for your relationship and ask them for a timeline. If they cannot give you a timeline, use that space to do your own thing and work on yourself. I don’t mean to start dating right away or replace them – take the time YOU need, for YOU.

Anxiety can make this hard. But with a deadline in place, you are looking out for you. And if that person doesn’t respect your need for a date or plan, then you are not a good match. Be prepared to move on.

If a person says they want “no commitment” or a “serious relationship” – translation:

Run. Run far, run fast.

In my experience, this leads to a “situationship”. The other person may be seeing or flirting with multiple people. You are just an option. Until this person makes you a priority, you deserve so much better. Do not chase the bare minimum. Offer platonic friendship in return. Create a list of core values for yourself. State your boundaries and stick to them. In my experiences, you will wind up with the most heartache with these kinds of relationships.

They will bail when you start to admit you have feelings, or the moment life stops being fun. I’ve even lost friends because of this.

If you are a people pleaser:

Don’t sacrifice your boundaries and core values for someone who clearly doesn’t make you a priority in their life. Do things because you enjoy doing them, not for the sole purpose of pleasing your partner.

If you only have one thing in common:

For me, many of my friends and partners – the only thing we really had in common was the kink side of things. When life got in the way, or someone got sick, we ran out of things to talk about. And when you need to take a break or leave the community for a while, then a lot of those close friendships you once had, start to drift apart.

Find people you have lots in common with.

When you aren’t looking for a relationship, that’s usually when things will happen:

This happened to me both times. I wasn’t looking for anything really long-term or serious. Then my dynamic came to be, and another “ship” happened. Both times, I just wanted to be friends. Now, I’m sticking to my boundaries and only offering friendship. No more situationships.

I also know what red flags to look out for, and I’ll post that in a separate one. But those flags might not always be red flags. It depends on what you’re looking for and what your core values are.

Don’t chase for the bare minimum:

I really wish younger me would have known this – but in my day, we didn’t talk about attachment styles. Only people who were really ill went to therapy. And we didn’t have social media until later. The amount of things I learn daily on Tik-Tok about relationships – mind-blowing. And it gives me inspiration for daily posts here.

Don’t chase for the bare minimum. Stick to what your needs are, and work with your partner to offer them what they need in return. Sometimes life gets in the way or problems arise, but again, it’s a two way street. Work and commitment is needed on both sides.

You deserve more than the bare minimum. You deserve to be treated as a priority in someone’s life and not just an option.

You are not TOO much for the RIGHT person.

The hardest lesson of all. The right person for you, will be understanding about your attachment styles. They will work with you and not against you. They will listen to you and value your thoughts. They will offer reassurance when needed about your insecurities. They will love you for who you are, and not what you do for them. Well, maybe there is a little bit of both there.

All relationships are two way streets and they take work. Even in friendships. Both parties need to reach out every once in a while.

The right person will stick by you during your low points. And they won’t rush your healing. They’ll just “be there” for you.

What have you learned from relationships over the years? I sure wish I had known this when I was younger, perhaps life would have been very different.

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Saying goodbye to a community I once loved (kink edition)

It’s Saturday afternoon and I slept in late today, sipping my first cup of coffee for the day and watching witchy videos on YouTube. This is my happy place. This is how I start off most of my days.

It’s been a while since I did an update post and I thought it was about time. Things have changed. Heck, I have changed – I’m not the same person I was last year, let alone six weeks ago.

Having two relationships that meant a lot to me end around the same time after exploring the poly-am world (multiple partners who were aware of each other), it forced me to take a step back from dating and kink in general. I needed to heal and learn to let go of things that were no longer working for me.

Unfortunately in this process, I noticed that some of my friends were starting to distance themselves from me. Some things I’ve heard recently: “you need to move on, get out there and date” or from others, “positive vibes only.” It seems like if you don’t heal within a specific timeline, you aren’t a stable person to be around.

Depression and anxiety isn’t something you can just shut off and hearing these comments hurt. I realized that the common denominator here was that I was just with the wrong people. Other than kink, we had nothing in common.

While I realize, that I made some mistakes – and could have handled things differently, telling someone they need to “get over it” – isn’t cool either. People need to heal in their own time, in their own way.

And I realized a few things.

Writing out all my thoughts or struggles for all to see in a journal entry – not a good move. People talk. People blocked. And some people refuse to have anything to do with me. Which makes me question their motives even more. Writing is something I’ve ALWAYS done on that site. It’s how most of them MET me. And now it’s a problem? It wasn’t a problem before with other relationships. Hell, they encouraged me to write about those relationships. So, that’s why I’m focusing on my books and this blog. Pouring out my frustration here in the form of spreading information about healing and spiritual vibes.

And so, I realized – the problem was me and the community as a whole. I realized there are way too many rules and expectations that people have of you. People often tend to mirror you and put on a false charade early on. But once you see and recognize patterns, you can’t unsee them. And even pillars of the community, you find out are nothing more than predators. And all the things you were warned of early on – turns out – were actually the GOOD people that I should have gone with initially.

People often cry: “you crossed a boundary” when you really didn’t. Or you didn’t know there WAS a boundary to cross. The responsibility falls on both parties. Boundaries must be clearly communicated. And if they are crossed, then the appropriate thing to do is tell that person. Don’t shy around it. Just tell them.

How can they right a wrong, they didn’t know they committed? So, I call bullshit on that. “Boundaries” is feeling more like a buzzword in that community and thrown around too much. While boundaries are healthy, people should be able to talk freely about them.

Things I learned:

Some things I learned recently, that I wish I could unlearn. But now having seen patterns, I know better. This is the same in many smaller communities.

  • Predators are in leadership roles and they will groom newcomers to the scene. They will try and play with you. And once they are finished or problems arise, you are easily discarded and replaced.
  • People will play with as many people as they want to. They won’t bother to inform you of when they add new play partners to the mix because you aren’t “committed” to them. And they will talk about you to other play partners, but expect you not to talk about them.
  • There is so much secrecy around who is playing with who. You are discouraged from approaching other partners or even attending the same events. And forget being listed on their profile as a primary partner. You won’t ever be.
  • Once you spot the patterns of an abuser or predator — you can’t UNSEE them. You try and warn the next person? You get ousted as being the problem person, trying to stir up drama.
  • Don’t ever go through depression or a bad spell. People will drop you if your healing doesn’t happen within their timeline.
  • Don’t sacrifice your boundaries because you are a people pleaser or natural submissive. Fuck that. Fuck them. Stick to your boundaries. Look after you – because NO one will.
  • You WILL be branded as a trouble maker or problem person because you refuse to conform to their rules or cultish ways. I am no longer their vessel for them to use and abuse. And that pisses them off the most.

These are not just things I’ve learned for myself – but through observations in general. Talking to friends and hearing about their experiences. Having friends call me and cry to me on the phone about being treated like crap by their play partners. And yet…you speak up about it, or try and talk about the abusive situations, and you’re told NOT to write anymore.

Just writing this could land me in hot water, but I no longer care. I’ll make my own groups. Stick with my own friends. Play long-distance if I have to. The community has far too many predators and I speak from experience as someone who was physically assaulted by more than one over the years.

So, that’s where I am this Saturday. Single. Finally in a good head space. Feeling STRONGER than ever. And doing my own damned thing and starting to thrive and shine.

The thing they don’t tell you:

The ones who really love you for who you are will stand by you, no matter what you go through. Those are the friends you hold dear. They don’t enforce timelines. They don’t gaslight you. They don’t manipulate you. And they certainly, don’t use you. And you will lose them (the players), as you start to heal yourself.

How to incorporate mindfulness to your daily routine

Mindfulness is described as being the state of being aware or a state that keeps you in the present moment – instead of dwelling on the past, or worrying about future events that you have no control over.

As someone who struggles with anxiety, this is difficult for me but also a necessary part of healing and moving forward in life. In addition to incorporating daily spiritual practices, I thought I would share some ideas and tips on how you can practice mindfulness in your daily life.

These are things you can do from anywhere – even if you’re on the road or traveling. It won’t cost you anything and you only need minimal supplies.

My spiritual workings involve a lot of meditation, journaling and doing a lot of these things already – so, don’t be surprised if some of my advice is overlapping in some areas.

Start your day with intent

Something I’ve always done as an anxious person, is wake up in the morning and run through a list of things that I need to get done for the day. I keep calendars and sticky notes with reminders of important tasks or appointments that I can’t miss. I run through plans multiple times in my head to make sure that I won’t be late or miss anything I need to do.

Now that I’m not working, my to do list is a lot shorter. So, it’s important for me to find things to do during the day that fill up the time and give me a sense of purpose (as health and symptoms allow for). Some days, all I can do is sleep if I have a migraine or in a lot of pain. On those good days, like today – I feel motivated and try to be productive where I can.

  • Take some time after you wake up, or during your morning routine to think about what you want to accomplish that day. Whether it’s finding time for yourself to meditate. Or get that workout in. Or go for a walk. Visit with a friend. Whatever it may be – set an intention for you that brings you joy. Even if it’s something like buying a coffee and drinking it while listening to music.
  • Check in with yourself during the day. Make adjustments if necessary to fit it in with your schedule. Remind yourself why this is important to you and why it is needed. The more you do this, the easier it will become a habit for you.
  • Rinse and repeat – every day, until this becomes second nature to you. Soon, you won’t even need a journal or to write things down. You’ll train yourself to be able to just follow through. The important thing is not to give up on those down days when you’re feeling low. Don’t be too hard on yourself. And don’t set unrealistic intentions. Start small and work your way up.

Mindful Eating and Exercise

Too often, I find myself eating meals at my computer while watching my favorite YouTube channels or binge watching shows in the evening. Sometimes, I eat so fast, that I feel hungry within an hour or two, and then crave junk food which always makes me feel worse.

One thing that can help with weight loss and improving eating habits in general, is to be more mindful of how you eat – now just what you eat.

  • Take a few deep breaths before eating. Calm your mind. This works better if you eat meals alone or on your breaks. Eat slower, chew slowly. Enjoy every bite you take.
  • Eat the foods you love – don’t force yourself to eat foods you’re not a fan of. Eating should be pleasurable. If weight loss is your goal. do research into healthy meals – there are lots of foods out there that can help you meet your goals, you just have to put a little time and effort into them.
  • Listen to your body. Pay attention to how hungry you are. If your stomach is getting full, don’t force yourself to eat all the food in front of you. Package some of it up for later. Or eat smaller meals throughout the day. This will depend greatly on any medical conditions you have or special diet requirements. Eat to sustain your energy, not because you are bored or feeling sad.
  • Look at your relationship with food – do you have healthy eating habits? Do you often forget to eat or skip meals? Do you eat out of boredom or to help with grief or strong feelings? Once you recognize your eating patterns, you can work on your relationship with food. You may need to recruit a professional therapist or counsellor if you really struggle with it.
  • Move a little every day – You don’t have to get an expensive gym membership or build a full gym at home to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Start small. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a walk on your break. Go to the mall and walk the halls in winter months. You can do things like yoga or pilates at home. As long as you move at least 15-20 minutes daily, you’ll notice a shift in how you feel overall.

Meditation to strengthen your focus

As someone with undiagnosed ADD, I struggle a lot with focusing on specific intentions or tasks. I easily get distracted or become disinterested in things the moment I get started on. Even with this article, I started on it five hours ago – and have worked out, cooked dinner and completed other tasks that I could have waited on.

Meditation can really help strengthen your focus. This can be done by focusing on your breathing, listening to music, or doing something physical like yoga. For me, music is my meditation. Or I have to force myself to lie down and try and clear out thoughts that are running a mile a minute in my busy and anxious brain.

Here are some types of meditations you can do, to help “slow your roll” and that may help to strengthen your focus.

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Body scan meditation (lay down, relax, focus on breathing)
  • Sitting meditation (with intent)
  • Walking meditation (connect with nature)
  • Music meditations – binaural beats, alpha, or theta (I’ll write another article on this)

Bullet journaling or practicing or writing

This is something that is new to me and I have a private journal I write in often, especially on those low days where I want to keep thoughts to myself. On good days, I’ll write a post here or share with my friends.

Using a daily bullet style journal is a very useful tool for practicing the art of mindfulness. It’s about self-exploration, writing down thoughts that come to you or questions that might come up. You can jot down your feelings about certain events or situations. Or you can create lists of intentions and things you want to accomplish.

You can do this the old fashioned way, on pen and paper. Or you can download journals from sites like Etsy and use on your tablets. Journaling has come a long way and you can tailor something to help meet your bulleting needs.

I try and write a little every day. Whether in this blog, my private journals, or working on my short stories and books. This is a hobby for me, and helps me relax.

Why is mindfulness is important?

If you’re a person like me that struggles with anxiety, adding these practices to my daily life can not only give me something positive to focus on, but also can greatly reduce the number of panic attacks or anxiety attacks I might have in a given day.

Living with chronic pain and a disability can be difficult to manage – especially on those days where it seems like just getting out of a bed can be a chore. I felt a lot of guilt for not being able to work, and now, I’m accepting this is life now. And I’m making the most of the time I have here. This blog is a hobby for me and I’m writing about issues that bring me joy.

Mindfulness can help manage illnesses like generalized anxiety, depression and other mental health issues that you might struggle with. If you live with daily pain like I do, it might even help boost your serotonin (the happy hormone) or dopamine, and give you energy needed to get your daily tasks done.

You may even find over time, that your relationships become easier to manage as you learn new coping techniques for stressful events. You learn what’s worth fighting for, and what’s worth letting go of – even if it hurts.

Learning to work with things you can control, and letting go of what you cannot control, is honestly a game changer when it comes to mindfulness. Knowing that you’re doing the best you can, in extraordinary circumstances, focusing on what you can do, while letting the universe take the wheel for the rest.

What are some ways that you incorporate mindfulness into your busy routine?

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The thing about shadow work they don’t tell you

For the past month or so, I’ve mostly kept to myself. Focusing on healing and shadow work. Trying to let go of outdated patterns that no longer serve me well. Also, trying to move on from this depression.

But the more time that goes on, while I feel less hurt, and I’m not crying on a daily basis – it still stings.

Shadow work can be draining in itself. When you’re forced to face your trauma head on, especially if it’s the reason for a relationship ended or failing – you’re also forced to look inside yourself to figure out why these relationships fail.

In asking for space and time to heal, I lost some friends that I used to talk to often. I think that’s the hardest part of a breakup, especially when you see your ex’s out in the same community. It’s one of the reasons why I left the alt community in the first place. Too many ex’s and everyone seemed to play or hook up with each other. To the point where it gets “icky” for me to think about.

Something I have learned recently, is that when you do the work on yourself to heal and grow – and you share your experiences – it can scare friends away. And not for the reasons you would think.

I think in some cases, maybe those people aren’t ready to face their inner demons or work on their trauma. Yes, they acknowledge they have issues, and pain, but they continue to move through life without doing anything to help overcome it. And trust me when I say, there comes a point where you recognize your patterns can be hurtful, and you want to make changes. Well, maybe not for everyone.

There are some people that have stood by me through this and are noticing the growth and changes I’ve made. I’m not writing daily – at least not on social media for friends to see. I’m more working on artwork, and getting back into editing and rewriting my book series. It’s distracting. In between sleeping and naps. I cannot seem to get enough sleep – another side effect of shadow work. It drains you.

I think the lesson here for me, and something my Tik-Tok feed keeps telling me is this:

People come and go into your life for reasons and seasons. Some are there to teach you karmic lessons. And others, will stay by your side, and support you on your journey, no matter what it looks like.

For me, I’m grateful for those friends I’ve had for years who have stuck by me. They’re the ones I can rely on. Some read this blog. They’re the people I can visit with, after months of not seeing each other, and we just pick up like no time has passed. Or we can sit in comfortable silence, watch a movie, or a concert and just enjoy each other’s company.

I’m really trying to let go of those people that don’t want to be in my life. But it’s hard when it’s a small community. There are some that I love dearly, and want to keep in touch with. Even though there is hurt there.

I wonder if part of the thing with shadow work – does healing and letting go of trauma, make you rethink those connections and friendships you thought were right for you? Were they really friends, or were they just hanging onto you for whatever reasons? Maybe you provided a service to them. Or maybe you made them feel good with attention.

Or maybe.

Part of healing is recognizing to see the bullshit that others put into the world. You catch on more easily to who the players are. You’re moving into a new phase of your life, where you’re just tired and don’t have the energy to put up with the crap.

You re-evaluate your core values and boundaries. And when you enforce those boundaries, you’re called an asshole and ungrateful. At least, that’s what I learned from family. And so, I just disengage. Remove myself from those conversations and people.

There’s a lot I’m feeling right now. And mostly, I want to be alone. I want to write. I want to share my thoughts and ideas. I want to heal. I want to let go of everything and that will happen eventually.

The resentment? Yes, it’s still there.

But deep down, I know I’m on the right path. That these lessons had to happen for a reason, so that I could start this healing journey and unlearn responses to trauma that are from generations of trauma.

So, if you feel like you need to do work – do the work. You don’t have to go it alone, sometimes it’s just better to. Just be careful when you get started.

You won’t look at people in your life the same way again.

And oddly enough. The one person I really want to talk to, is one that I left behind, because I was told he wasn’t good for my mental health. And yet, I miss our nightly chats and flirting the most.

How can shadow work be so therapeutic, rewarding, needed, and yet so fucking lonely at the same time?

What is toxic positivity?

In follow up to my rant on Sunday about those people who demand positivity from others – I had someone mention Toxic Positivity to me in a discussion on Twitter – so I thought I would write a separate post for that.

Who knew. They have terms for everything these days whether it’s toxic or not.

In spiritual practices such as Wicca, we all know that what you send out to the universe comes back at you. Some call this karma. Others believe in the Law of Attraction and how sending out positive vibes to the universe will bring positive things your way.

While that can be true, it’s not always the case. Sometimes in life, things just happen whether you manifested them or not. And while having a positive outlook on life, can result in you being a happier and energetic person, there are downsides to it too.

What is toxic positivity?

Reciting positive quotes about hard situations – obsessively, as if you are trying to convince yourself and others everything is okay.

Experiencing guilt for being sad and angry or experiencing confusing feelings or situations.

Hiding or masking painful emotions, putting up a false front or a shield that makes it seem like you are happier than you are.

Ignoring your problems, dismissing others’ problems, instead of working on them or yourself to help make things better.

The image above was saved from Dr. Bryan Pearlman’s website. Reading it makes me cringe. I have heard so many of these phrases from people in my life. “Just smile and plug through the day!” Or “Just get out there and meet new people!” Or “Just stay positive! I need to be around positive people only!”

We all experience painful emotions from time to time. Some people are better at hiding or masking their emotions from friends or loved ones. For me, I’m a writer. It’s my main form of communication to my networks online. It’s how I share my learnings and experiences. It’s therapeutic for me. And I’m working on myself, doing shadow work, healing, and working hard so that I can be a better person for those people in my life who need me.

I’m also an emotional being. Someone recently said to me, “You’re a walking emotion, how did he not know that about you?” Which is true.

Anyone who has followed my writings for any amount of time, knows that I’m not afraid to share my emotions and put them out there. So, if you get in a relationship with me, you shouldn’t be surprised that yes, I’ll be writing about it from time to time. Especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed or confused. Though I’ll keep private details – private.

It’s like the guys that date Taylor Swift and then are surprised she mentions them in her songs. Duh. That’s what writers and artists do. I’ve even modelled fictional book characters around my ex boyfriends. It’s therapeutic.

“Good vibes only!”

When you tell people that you want “good vibes only”, it’s saying that you only want to hang around when it’s beneficial for you. It’s not being a good friend or partner.

What this tells me – is that you’re the type of person who will bail at the first sign of trouble.

We all face hardships in life. We may lose a job. Or get heartbroken when a relationship that meant a lot to us ends. Or we lose someone very dear to us to illness or an accident. Or just sometimes life gets to be to “too much” and emotions can become overwhelming.

We all handle our emotions differently too. Some people lack the ability to control their emotions. While others, are avoidant and will do whatever they can to shut others out. I’ve dated a few guys like this in my time. Relationships can be tough with those who avoid “serious feelings”.

How toxic positivity makes others feel

For me, I know I felt deep shame for sharing my emotions publicly which is ironic, since my journal writings were how I connected with many of them in the first place. People want to be seen and heard and have their emotions validated. Saying things like “happiness is a choice” – is a bit of a slap in the face to those who experience depression or other mental health issues.

The guilt we feel for not being the person they expect us to be is real. I know for me, during dark times, I tend to isolate and withdraw from friends. This is a trauma response or triggers. I need the time alone to sort through my feelings before I can my game back on. Sometimes it takes longer. The guilt is there for wanting the time alone.

This also prevents growth. If you are the type of person to avoid facing your emotions or learning from them, then you’ll never really grow. Life is about karmic lessons and learning from past experiences and mistakes. It shapes us into who we are meant to be. Toxic positivity is avoiding dealing with those feelings and emotions and situations that may seem difficult to face.

Facing those challenges head on, can be a daunting thing, but worth the work you put into it, in the end.

“Positive vibes only” can also be a sign of gaslighting. And as someone who broke free from a narcissistic abuser, I’m so done with this in my life.

It’s okay, to not be okay

Your feelings and emotions are yours to feel. Don’t let others judge you for that. If you’re feeling sad, angry, or whatever you happen to feel in that moment, your feelings are valid. You don’t need others to validate them, though it can help when you are seen and heard.

Something I’ve learned to do on really low days, is write in my private journal. Or here on this blog where few friends follow and I’m writing my thoughts out to mostly strangers.

You can manage your negative emotions, and keep some to yourself. But don’t feel guilty or shame for thinking them.

Focus instead, on others who have offered support. Read as much as you can and learn about developing healthier habits to incorporate into your daily routine – things like bullet journaling, meditation, making sure you get sleep, exercise and sunshine. These are all things you can do that helps to elevate your moods.

Learn to recognize toxic people and remove from your life. Even if it means cutting out people that you thought were your best friend at one point.

Do reach out for support when needed

I’m learning that friends shouldn’t be used as therapists. I’m learning that I’m not the type of friend who you want to chat with on a daily basis. I’m also the type of friend that won’t sugar coat things and will give honest and real advice.

While I have a few close friends I can turn to for advice, if you’re struggling with a current situation or problem – get support from a licensed therapist or coach. Find someone you can trust who isn’t connected to you personally.

Write daily. I often write here or my private journal. I’m getting back into fiction writing to help with trauma dumping and letting go of things.

Find creative outlets to pour your emotions or anger into.

Get out there. Meet new friends. Find people who are similar to you and understand what you’re going through.

And seriously, just forget those people who say things like “happiness is a choice!” or “failure isn’t an option!” or whatever. These are outdated terms and are now considered gaslighting or toxic.

Do you have people like this in your life? How have you responded to them? Let me know in the comments.

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A rant about positivity and people

This is going to be a bit of a rant, but I’m tired of getting shit upon for going through a depression.

Depression isn’t something you can just shut off. Like anxiety, it’s part of your genetic makeup. It’s a chemical process in the brain that happens when life gets to be too much. Sometimes it happens for no reason at all.

It comes and goes as if it were a living and breathing organism and you have zero control over it. Yes, you can take medications, go to therapy, do all the healthy things to “snap out of it” – but you cannot just will it to go away.

Positive thinking and attitudes are great. But with depression – you see the worst of everything until it finally passes. You might cry daily. Or sleep. Or isolate and want to hide and be alone in your feelings. Which sometimes makes it worse.

But what I cannot stand.

Is those “I need positive friends” all the time people.

People aren’t positive ALL the time. If they are, trust me, when I say they are masking their pain.

Sure, having a positive outlook on life can help. But people aren’t meant to be happy and positive all the time. Life is all about karmic lessons and challenges that throw you off your game.

I’ll say it again.

People who are showing positivity ALL the time are masking it. They’re putting on a show. Some people are just more open and honest about their feelings. And that was never a problem for me before.

But when you hit rock bottom – you find out quickly who your friends are. And those people that stick by you, will surprise you most. I also find that this is a good time to make a clean sweep and start over. Make room for new friendships and connections to form.

Dropping someone as a friend when they are at their worst or in a serious depression, is more about them than you.

It’s not normal to be positive ALL the fucking time. And while I don’t see myself as a “negative nilly” all the time – I’m not the type to sugar coat my moods or hide my true feelings about something.

So. This phase of my life is more about finding friends that are similar to me and real.

Because let’s be real.

You can’t just shut depression on and off light a light bulb.

You can’t just shut feelings on and off. Well, some people can but I’m not one of them. I feel everything and strongly.

When one door closes it – use that fucking door to let someone new in who will appreciate you for ALL of you and the lessons they could learn from you.

For me, I’m grateful for the new friends I’ve made in recent months. They have shown me what support really looks like. And I couldn’t be more grateful.

People are temporary. Feelings are temporary. It’s those that stand by you during your lowest times – those are the connections and people that you treasure.

Anxiety and depression doesn’t just “Shut off” at will. And those who don’t live with anxiety, just don’t get it. Find people that “get” you.

Meaningful apologies and making amends

This is something that I’ve been really mulling over the past couple of weeks since having a falling out with someone that I felt was important to me. It saddens me how easily relationships can fall apart. But – as everything in life, I acknowledge that I made mistakes in how I handled the situation. I’m going to use this space to share what I learned during this process. And hopefully, if my person sees this post, he will know that I am truly sorry for the way things ended.

And TikTok Tarot is just messing my head with promises that he is missing me just as much as I’m missing him and he is full of regret. I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m trying to believe that if it’s meant to be – it will work out. Anyone else tired of these karmic lessons in life? I know I am.

Take ownership of your mistakes

The first step to making amends is to own up to your mistakes. Fully acknowledge what you did wrong. Write it down if you need to. Don’t make it about you – owning up to your mistakes means knowing how it affected the other party involved. Own up. Admit that you were in the wrong. Take responsibility for your actions.

Listen to their side of the story

This is crucial. Don’t make it all about you or how the situation affected you. Listen to them. Acknowledge that their feelings are valid and that you hear what they have to say. Make them feel heard and seen. This is an important step that not everyone remembers to take.

If they ask for time and space, give it to them

Maybe this was my biggest karmic lesson of this year. If someone asks you for space and time, give it to them. We all process news differently. Some people need to take a longer time to deal with their emotions. Sometimes space is needed to figure out what a person really needs in a relationship. And sometimes space is needed when things move too quickly. It’s okay to take a pause.

However. For me, I’m an anxious person and attachment. If someone asks for space, next time, I’ll ask for a timeline. Not only does this confirm that the person plans on coming back, but it also gives me an idea of how much time will be needed. Whether it’s days, or weeks. If it’s any longer than a couple of weeks, than prepare for the fact that the relationship may be over. Don’t make rash decisions. Don’t pull away completely. But just be prepared for whatever outcome that may happen. Don’t put your life on hold for a “maybe”.

Apologies mean nothing if you don’t back it up with action

In order to truly show that you are sorry, you’re going to have to work hard to rebuild trust if it was broken. That means, following through with promises made. Making a list of actions you’ll take going forward to help rectify the problem. That might mean getting counseling or outside help if the problem is a big one. Or just simply by being there for your person.

Find out what they need and do your best to fulfill those needs. And if you can’t, or find that you aren’t compatible in that department – then make an exit plan to let them go. But gently. Be kind about it. Show compassion. Don’t promise to “be friends” if you don’t mean to. Let them go if necessary. Make a clean break if all else fails.

Give them time to heal

Even after you’ve made your apology known and taken all the steps above, your person might need more time to heal. It’s possible that whatever happened, triggered something inside them from past traumas. Or some hurts, like cheating/infidelity, might take longer to “get over” or forgive. And sometimes, the hurt is just too much to let go of.

Practice empathy here. Don’t smother. Don’t love-bomb them. Just be there for them and give space when asked for it.

What NOT to say during an apology

Some things I have learned about what NOT to say during an apology:

“I’m sorry you feel that way” instead try “I’m sorry that I caused you (insert feeling here). It wasn’t my intention.”

“I don’t know what you want me to say” instead say something like, “I’m really sorry. What do you need from me at this time?”

“I’m sorry, but…” – this makes the apology all about you.

“I’m not perfect…” it comes from a good place, but it’s cliché. Again, the apology is not about you. It’s about how they feel.

DO show remorse! This is crucial. Show remorse, and mean it. But don’t exaggerate it. If you feel the need to cry, then let it out. If you’re really hurting, then that is your emotion and you need to manage that. It could be guilt from knowing that you hurt the other person. At least… I know that’s the case for me. I feel a lot of guilt.

Karmic lessons for personal growth

Apologies only mean something if you are truly remorseful for your actions. Without remorse or understanding of how you hurt the other person, then there is no way for you to learn or grow from your mistakes.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable in a connection can be a frightening thing. Opening up your heart and actually following through with promises, shows that you are willing to make up for your wrongs.

Making mistakes is a very human thing to do. Humans aren’t perfect. I know I’m not. I don’t strive to be. I had someone call me a “perfect diamond” recently, and it made me want to puke in my mouth a little bit. Perfection is too much work.

I believe in karmic lessons and what we put out into this universe comes back to us. If you continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, then you’re not giving yourself the chance to grow. By taking ownership of your faults, and working at them, to better yourself – you’re opening yourself up for a world of possibilities and growth.

Whether you believe in the law of attraction or not, owning up to your mistakes and doing all you can to make amends is part of the human experience. What I have learned is that you also have to be willing to forgive yourself too. Some hurts might be too much for the other person to let go. And sometimes, relationships can’t survive or end because of the damages you caused.

Healing can only happen, when we learn to forgive ourselves – for when others, cannot.

Promises to myself and more lessons learned

It’s been a very introspective kind of weekend and I’ve been lost in a lot of thought and soul searching. In between social gatherings, seeing family, friends and having a few too many glasses of rum. Oy vey. But – I compiled a list of lessons that I learned this year and am making some promises to my future self.

I thought I would share them here. Not only for accountability, but to help inspire others to do the same. I may have written this out in haste last night after a couple of glasses of rum. I woke up at 6 am this morning, wide eyed, and in a better mind set.

I love early mornings when it’s still dark out. The world is quiet. I’ve got the fireplace roaring. A hot cup of coffee. Quiet music in the background. And the world around me is still silent. Or maybe that’s the noise canceling headphones.

Note: this isn’t aimed at any one person in particular. Just some lessons I learned since coming back to the scene.

You can’t be friends with everyone. Not everyone is going to like you

I learned this lesson last time I was out in the scene. There are going to be haters. People that you just don’t see eye to eye with. But you choose to either avoid them, not share your space with them – or learn to communicate in a respectful manner. Sometimes avoiding is just easier.

Don’t lose yourself in relationships

This I still struggle with. Sometimes I lose a bit of myself when in relationships. I’m a people pleaser. I like to see my partners happy. I tend to put others needs before my own. And when that relationship ends, it feels like I’ve lost a part of myself. Which, I guess, is partially true. But the lesson now is to learn to take better care of myself. Treat myself as I would my partner.

When someone asks you for something, give it to them

When someone asks for space or time to think about things, let them have the space or time. My anxiety is terribly for this. I’m an anxious attachment that works better with secure attachments. I tend to make things worse by trying to fix them, instead of just letting them be. I’m not needy. I’m not this clingy person. But when conflict arises, I suddenly lose all reason. And the irrational side of my brain kicks in. Panic and fear takes over. I make things worse than they are. Until eventually, I push people away. And I’m tired of doing this to myself and to others.

It’s okay, not to be okay sometimes. But don’t isolate.

Fight or flight mode is high when you have anxiety. My initial gut reaction is to just hide with my feelings. I can sometimes go for days without speaking to people. Or at least I used to. Now I have people that reel me back in. I want to work at being a better friend and being there for them – and not solely obsessing over my own problems. Isolation makes things way fucking worse.

It’s okay to be okay, but DO ask for help or support, or a hug when needed. Right now – I’m getting there. Slowly. Day by day.

Keep on writing, and creating things

Instead of turning to music and art during emotionally challenging times, I should just work with my hands and keep busy ALL of the time. It’s something I love and people love seeing my work.

Get back into handmade crafts. Sell some bracelets. Do some painting. Write some music. Do more baking and cooking. Entertain more. Get busy with it, girl.

Size doesn’t matter when it comes to play

One thing I am grateful for, is that there were people who showed me I could have relationships and play even given the size I am right now. I’ll never be thin or athletic. I need to lose weight for health reasons. But it shouldn’t STOP me from enjoying the things in life I want to enjoy.

It’s okay to make mistakes

I made some mistakes this year. I’m working on making amends and doing the right thing. I take every mistake as a learning opportunity. Some mistakes cost me A LOT. And some I’m still healing from. What I can promise to myself, is to do better at apologizing and communicating in a way that is effective and also works for the other party. I also need to learn to forgive myself, even if the other person doesn’t.

Let go of what no longer serves you purpose

This is the hardest lesson of all. I get attached easily to new relationships and friendships. I’m the type of person who wants to make things right. I have my limits and my boundaries, like everyone does – but I don’t give up easily for those people I really care for. And sometimes it hurts like hell that people are so easy to just walk away from connections. It’s not easy for me.

Even if it’s the right thing to do at the time, it’s not easy. I struggle with letting go. Even if there are no more reasons to stay.

There are more things I’ve thought about – but I think that’s a good list. Writing is a passion of mine. I do have a blog that I don’t share here (stalker issues). Communication was going to be my career before I got sick. So, I’ll get back into blogging and sharing informative articles here too.

What have you learned this last year?

This year’s life lessons

It’s Tuesday morning. I’m sitting in my recliner in my fuzzy pj pants and the fireplace is roaring. I’ve got my first cup of coffee and decided I needed to start writing here again. It’s bitterly cold outside sitting at -33 this morning. No matter where you are in the world, that’s cold. And once again, I’m sitting here feeling confused and wondering – where did the good go?

First off, I did make my blog private for a while. The premium plan expires soon and I’m not sure I’ll renew it. I’ll probably go back to personal plan which means losing some features and having to redesign it. I’m trying to keep a low profile in general online these days. But we’ll see.

My primary long distance dynamic ended last month. The relationship started to get toxic and pretty abusive due to some jealousy issues on his part. Which wasn’t fair. He had a live-in partner and was well aware that I was looking for someone local for me. And I did find that. For a three months, I had someone that I was seeing. Until last week.

The LDR dynamic ended with taking some time apart and going no contact for a few days. Then he called on the Sunday of that week and we talked a long time. He said we could be friends. But people always say that. We talk still just not often. I don’t know how to act with him now. And there are still some bitter feelings on how toxic things got towards the end. I’m embarrassed for how much I chased him, when he seemed to unattach himself to me pretty quickly.

Then I had a wonderful but short-lived relationship with a guy that I had flirted with all summer. Or rather, he flirted with me. I had no idea he was interested in me. We saw each other weekly. He drove me to events and introduced me to his friends. I cooked for him. We had a few movie nights. He came to the few social gatherings I had with friends. And in the last two weeks, we started getting really close.

Like… acting like a couple on Fetlife for two weeks. Daily. And I was pretty happy. I think he was too. In the time that I knew him which was as long as my ex, I had never seen him interact that way with another woman.

We clicked. The chemistry when together was hot. But there were issues. Some compatibility issues that made him uncomfortable. And I made the mistake of asking a question about a sore subject for him. And we are now currently in no contact.

Once again, I had a man that I had been intimate with and started developing feelings for – withdraw and ask for space.

Seriously, asking for space is the worst thing to do with an anxious attachment. I pick at things because I want to fix them. I really should have just let him have space, because now we’re no longer together. He just wants to be friends.

And I realize he’s probably right. But I wasn’t ready for the connection to end. We were just starting. But I also realized something else.

I refuse to be with someone I have to chase. I refuse to someone’s option. I refuse to be someone’s last priority in life. I refuse to try and make things work with someone who is questioning whether they want to be with me or not.

I’ve done that for too many men. Too many times. And it always ends in heartache.

If he comes back after this “break” then we’ll see what happens. But I’m not chasing him.

For now – I’m focusing on me. On health. Re-writing some short stories. Working on art. And healing. There’s a lot of healing to do from this past year. THREE connections that I had this year. And my heart just hurts.

I don’t think I’m a bad person. I ask questions because I like to know things and I was getting some pretty mixed signals. Maybe he realized that when he pulled away.

The lesson learned this year?

It’s so easy for some people to pull away from a relationship rather than work on it. If that’s the case, what’s the point anymore? Why try? And how can some people walk away from something like it was nothing?

Because it wasn’t nothing to me. It meant something. And I miss it.

PS: If anyone tells me to “love myself more” and thinks will work out – I will throat punch you. I’m not a violent person but I will make exceptions. That’s gaslighting yourself into thinking that people won’t mistreat you or abuse you if given the chance. Because trust me sweetie, they will. Only some of them are so clever at it, you don’t realize until way too late. And you know what? I have too much self respect to even put up with that crap anymore.

Get out of here with your self-love crap. Setting boundaries IS a form of self-care. And I don’t need that on my page. Or in my comments sections.