Posts tagged with "growth"

i'm okay

I can say that now.

It’s hard to tell exact­ly when every­thing became too much for me to han­dle, but I knew I reached sta­ble ground when Marie said it was nice to see me smile. It seems like she’s only seen me at my worse — when I’m not cop­ing and try­ing to ratio­nal­ize all the wrong things — but she still wel­comes me every time with­out any expec­ta­tions, and that’s the kind of accep­tance I need at this point in my jour­ney.

self-portrait

This is my okay face.

Not to say there aren’t strug­gles, espe­cial­ly months like this, when I’m deal­ing with col­i­tis flare-ups on a dai­ly basis and the con­stant feel­ing of being over­whelmed. Between the time I spend to nour­ish myself, find­ing peace with so much of my past, and this love that found me, I’ve start­ed to under­stand how life can catch up to a per­son with­out warn­ing. There’s bare­ly a chance to process the devel­op­ments in my head, let alone record curves and colours with a cam­era.

I’m anx­ious to get to the point where I can start grow­ing instead of heal­ing, and liv­ing instead of sur­viv­ing. Being okay means it’s eas­i­er to deal with the inse­cu­ri­ties and moments of weak­ness­es I face on my way there.

so we beat on

Life at the com­ic book shop con­tin­ues to be the Empire Records fan­ta­sy every­one dreams it to be. Maybe that’s why some­one walks in every shift to hand in a resume. Even peo­ple who have no inten­tion of look­ing for a job ask if there are any open­ings as soon as they see the merch catered to every genre of geek.

The fact that there are only a dozen among us means the crew is tight. I get to play back-cash DJ and turn up the elec­tron­i­ca that’s come to define this peri­od of recov­ery. Still, there are days when the com­put­er breaks down on a night when I’m run­ning a tour­na­ment by myself, I have to do all the pair­ings man­u­al­ly, and get­ting home to a hot show­er is the purest relief.

dog in snow

Having a steady stream of plans mixed in with work means I’m con­stant­ly wak­ing up to an alarm. It’s wear­ing me down, but my need for stim­u­la­tion is out­weigh­ing my need for sleep. For now, at least.

I don’t write any­more cause I get my val­i­da­tion through peo­ple. The right ones set aside time for me, lis­ten as much as they speak, and don’t treat me any dif­fer­ent­ly cause of my past. I haven’t felt the need to sort out my thoughts — one of the main rea­sons I used to write — as much as accept myself. It’s a mat­ter of patience at this point, and weath­er­ing the rough peri­ods.

Arcade Fire — Reflektor tour

Arcade Fire on their Reflektor tour, fea­tur­ing Stephen Harper as tam­bourine-play­ing box head.

That means I’m still learn­ing how to take care of myself. Still com­ing to terms with the fact that love is so rarely clean or tidy or in our con­trol, but real­iz­ing that’s okay. Still try­ing to believe that I should­n’t be embar­rassed of any­thing I’ve suf­fered. Still fig­ur­ing out my idea of hap­pi­ness, what’s mean­ing­ful and what’s pos­si­ble.

it is okay to hold your heart outside of your body

It’s been more than a week since I had a night alone. I nev­er thought I’d be able to han­dle this kind of stim­u­la­tion again, but most peo­ple work dur­ing the day and my shifts involve run­ning the tour­neys when they’re off, so I still have morn­ings to myself. I can tell how quick­ly time is pass­ing cause the gaps in my pho­to fold­ers are turn­ing into months.

Being around so many peo­ple gives me a chance to work on my altru­ism. It’s always been easy with peo­ple who are impor­tant to me. Now I’m try­ing to fall into the habit of being kind to the ones who are neu­tral, to try to tru­ly under­stand their real­i­ty so I can acknowl­edge their hap­pi­ness or suf­fer­ing. It’s a way for me to remove my bias, includ­ing whether I think they deserve either of those emo­tions, and always a hum­bling exer­cise.

girl on couch

Still, I wish I could explain what I was feel­ing. So much of myself was defined by my emo­tions. I remem­ber rid­ing the bus, los­ing myself to the warmth of the sun on my face and the swelling sound in my head­phones. Nowadays, every scene plays out like all caps slug lines in a screen­play. Nothing has changed but the dosage, and I don’t know if that’s a fact I should take com­fort in.

Not to say there aren’t dif­fi­cult times. I don’t have much con­trol over trig­gers, and I’m not ready to deal with cer­tain parts of my life yet. I’ve had to keep a dis­tance from tox­ic peo­ple and sit­u­a­tions to gain a sense of sta­bil­i­ty before I approach them again. It’s a way for me to give myself time to heal, after real­iz­ing just how much needs to be done.

for you, i am sweeping words together

Winter has always been dif­fi­cult at times. At ‑15 or below, breath becomes a lay­er of ice on the win­dows when parked out­side, and I can do noth­ing but wait for the car to warm up again so I can see enough to dri­ve. At that point, it means I’m sit­ting in the car for longer than my com­mute. I try to take it as a good way to prac­tice patience, but it’s a hard wait after an eight hour shift on my feet. It’s still win­ter in all it’s muf­fling glo­ry though, the time in the year I most appre­ci­ate liv­ing in Canada. Girls and cats alike are more affec­tion­ate too, and I don’t mind being the source of heat.

cats and winter

I tend to get up around sun­rise now, and every time I step out­side before the rest of the world wakes up, it feels like I’m born again. It’s a chance for me to hit the reset but­ton on the last day. To let go of the past, even if it hap­pened only sev­en hours ago, and become a blank slate.

I also grad­u­al­ly broke the habit of check­ing my feeds after feel­ing jad­ed about news and media, then com­ing across this arti­cle. After months of absten­tion, I can say that I’ve gained time and lost noth­ing. It’s left me feel­ing increas­ing­ly dis­con­nect­ed from the world, but I know that means I’m begin­ning to learn what real­ly mat­ters.

50/50

I’m writ­ing as a way of prac­tic­ing self-com­pas­sion. Weeks get lost to the cus­tomers and com­mute, and when time off involves not think­ing or being around peo­ple, it does­n’t leave much room for per­son­al growth.

The prob­lem is that noth­ing feels real or true unless I write it down. The changes are start­ing to flow togeth­er, and I’m at var­i­ous stages of progress on sev­er­al fronts. There are no begin­nings, no ends, no chap­ters, no dis­tinc­tive tran­si­tions I can sum up neat­ly in a title. The lessons stretch out to years instead of months. Development has giv­en way to evo­lu­tion. It seems sil­ly to write about a feel­ing that won’t last from the first time I hit Save Draft to Publish.

I’ve been reach­ing out to new peo­ple cause it felt like every­thing I was doing was wrong. Marie came to feed the cats, not know­ing I was back from the hos­pi­tal. I broke down in her arms, and she bab­bled at me over break­fast, excus­ing her­self for talk­ing so much cause she was ner­vous about not know­ing how to help. I asked if she’d watch a movie with me, some­thing to do that was nor­mal and not cry­ing. It helped.

Jason’s also been talk­ing me through the upheaval. Advice is eas­i­er to accept when it comes from a sur­vivor, espe­cial­ly one who nev­er pre­sumes to know what’s best for me. He’s become the stick prod­ding me for­ward one small step at at time, a voice of rea­son in my ear that reminds me to keep on doing this until liv­ing is like breath­ing again.

It’s a reminder that I’m here only cause peo­ple believe in me; they’re the ones tip­ping the scales when it feels like I might as well flip a coin and let fate decide what I can’t.