Posted in Confessions, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Making Sense Analysis, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

Breaking From Trauma: Accepting Split Pockets of Peace

The Split Second

A week ago I sat at the edge of my bed and noticed a sensation I forgot I had the ability to feel. While coming to terms with the symptoms of my anxiety and basking in its reality for most of three years, I hadn’t felt a day that didn’t consist of nausea or worry. I haven’t felt nauseous for two weeks now. I recalled the sensations of calmness and suddenly didn’t understand what to think. Feeling okay felt strange and alien.

Being in a constant state of panic, worry, or fear became how I lived for years leaving calmness and peace strangers in a barren abyss. No thoughts resided in my head, my body felt rejuvenated from a full nights rest, and an overwhelming desire to get some work done filled me with energy. This is what it feels like to be okay, to be ready to take on the day. I didn’t think I could feel like this again.

Recollections

Although this year continuously has torn me to pieces, I didn’t realize the amount of effort I put into dragging myself out of countless depressive moments. Whether it was getting out of bed, not sleeping in, giving myself a bedtime and writing/career goals, eating more fruits and less bread and sugar, or even choosing to separate myself from thinking about situations I cannot control I became unconsciously active in my desire to feel better. Physical aches and pains have plagued this years list of what nows, but learning to not overthink is my new habit of choice.

Despite finding myself in really low moments and contrary to what I expected to become of me by this point, I recall several split moments of peace like the one mentioned above. Pockets of rainbows I would call them.

Accepting and Welcoming Peace

Confused by how I could possibly see or feel pockets of peace in arguably the worst year yet, it’s only fair to give myself some credit. Fear of leaving my trauma behind brought up some old feelings following the pockets of peace, allowing me to realize the comfort I sat in when it came to my anxiety and depression.

I’m used to feeling anxious and depressed. I don’t know what it is to not feel constantly overwhelmed with everything. Living and existing in a state of uneasy chaos is how I know to survive. I learned to live like this, who am I without it?

Witnessing and realizing that I’m able to feel better has caused both panic and peace disrupting the old state of chaotic homeostasis (if that makes any sense). I found myself having nightmares almost every night filled with both obvious and hidden messages. I’ve also recently become aware of my shadow and toxic characteristics, making me aware and awake when it comes to how I interact with others.

Now, because of all that’s happened, I’m able to gain control and pull myself to a more stabilized consciousness quicker than before. Both bizarre and contradicting as it seems, I’ve always thrived in a state of turmoil, it would only make sense for the key to my healing to lie in my darkest moments.

What Now?

Aware that I’m in another phase of transformation like in my college years, I’m open and accepting of something new to come. Despite the on and off nature of these pockets of peace, I know I’m able to gain control of my mental wellness more than believed before.

I’m both scared and excited to continue to take on the beast that is overcoming my trauma and will not give up knowing I can and will.

Posted in Confessions, Reflection, What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

#MeToo…

*Trigger Warning*

My #metoo story

When I was in middle school, on my way to school one day, a grown man grabbed my butt. Startled and confused I looked back trembling to see him smiling as he walked away in satisfaction of his actions. I did not know this man. There were hundreds of kids around as it was by a high school and bus stop. I trembled the rest of the day, could feel my nerves all of sudden feel uneasy. I avoid the area where this happened to me. I feel uncomfortable to be alone outside sometimes. I’m hyperaware when I’m alone and often paranoid to walk by large groups of guys.
What’s happening now makes me more uncomfortable and afraid then I was before. The power I lost that day was unreal. To see so many women coming out in #metoo, to express their hopelessness in this country’s justice system to help makes me disgusted. To read the comments on these posts of people justifying these actions because of a loss of time or lack of evidence makes me furious. No one saw what happened to me that day, where there were swarms of people. I didn’t think what happened to me mattered. I didn’t understand what was going on. I didn’t grasp the idea that this was not ok. All I felt was a loss of self and of safety. I just want to feel safe again. When will I feel safe again?

It was a lot to think about this today. To think how often sexual assault, rape, and harassment happens on a daily basis. As women, we have to always be aware, be awake, and be looking out for our safety. It’s not fair for us to live like this. I’ve been disgruntled and uncomfortable all month.

Stay safe and be careful. It’s never your fault if these horrible things have happened to you (whether you’re a man or a woman).

I love you and I’m here if anyone wants to vent.

Posted in Confessions, Mental Health, Notes, Reflection

SWT 100 Notes Note 29: Exhaustion

You ever been so tired your bones hurt?

You ever been so tired your eyes were heavy and your head nodded to the side?

You ever felt so tired that you could feel real tears forming in your eyes because all you wanted was to be able to sleep?

My worst fear in life is to feel this type of exhaustion again. To feel so much in a daze about reality that I wanted a break from being awake. I’ve become this exhausted more than one time, and I’m so afraid of feeling like this again. I’m afraid of the headaches, the irritation, the hunger, the dissociation, the lack of energy, and the anxiety that comes with it.

While my sleeping patterns will probably never get to where they need to be, I can always count on being able to sleep through the mornings while I gather myself to live through the next day.

College and food service jobs exhausted me so much I just want to be in bed. I want to recover and be able to sleep as much as I need to. I guess that’s why I’m afraid of getting another job.

I don’t want to feel this type of exhaustion again.

Posted in BayArt Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Self-Talk

BayArt Article: How Six Feet of Water Changed my Anxiety

Floating changed my anxiety
Learning to Float Changed my Anxiety

Vacations with Tati

In the first week of May, I visited my closest friend Tati in Syracuse. When I’m with Tati we go on adventures and I have the opportunity to try new daring things I would otherwise pass up. This May I went jogging in six feet of water for the first time. I didn’t know what water jogging was or that it meant going to the deepest part of the pool until we arrived at the YMCA.

Excited to do something different, I tagged along thinking I would be in a pool that was at least four feet because all of my experience with pools consisted of small blow-up kiddie pools. I got this, right? Not at all. At least not at first.

When I walked down the pool steps into the chlorine filled abyss of horror, the water made my legs wobbly but my flotation belt (which helps with the water jogging) helped me stand straight. Instant fear struck and I became paralyzed. I never felt this type of fear before. Tati looked at me concerned because she didn’t know this was my first time in an adult pool. After learning how I afraid I was, she quickly grabbed a small kickboard to help me float. I watched as two young girls, unafraid, swam with confidence and joy. I wish I had the confidence of a child.
I felt terrified at first, but after a few moments of Tati explaining to me of my safety I floated to the edge of the pool and began to float along to the deep side. Five feet…then six feet. She explained to me that our bodies will always float but I have to take control of my movements. I used my strength to maneuver my body and muscles into more comfortable positions which meant focusing while I was floating. “When you panic your body tenses and you lose that control,” she said. Water jogging is harder then it looks. It helped to straighten my legs in order to trust that my control of myself will keep me afloat.
The more she talked to me the more I began to understand my fear and was able to control my body. I needed to trust the water and trust myself. I WILL ALWAYS FLOAT. As my lesson continued and with Tati’s voice to guide me, I finally got the right rhythm to water jog. My first time in an adult pool and I learned so much!

Water, Anxiety, and Control

How does this relate to my anxiety? An uncontrolled situation fuels my anxiety. My mind escalates situations even before I can decide in what ways I have control and what ways I don’t. The water became my uncontrolled variable. While in the water, I found myself panicking because the water resistance did not allow me to comfortably stand straight or control my immediate movements. In order to stay upright, I needed to focus.

I learned to stay calm and remember I will always float and control what I do. Fighting back the water resistance allowed me to use my abilities and strength to build focus and confidence. Control in water means I’m able to move my body, stay straight, move my arms in ways that helped my head stay above the water. I controlled myself even though there wasn’t immediate support around me. Just me and the water. The moment I felt overwhelmed my body would float in a plank position until I straightened myself and rid my mind of my own anxiety.

I have control because at that moment I realized I’m always in control one way or another. I will always float and I will be okay. Focusing allows my mind to become relaxed. As I trust my element, my situation, and circumstance I will be in control of confidence and calmness. Six feet of water taught me that calmness and focus is what keeps me floating above the water. I will not drown, I will learn to swim. My anxiety will not fool me into believing I do not have control of myself.

I will always float.

Find article on link below:

How Six Feet of Water Changed my Anxiety

Thank you to my best friend, Tatiana Williams, for challenging me and being patient with my healing journey and fear.