Never give 100%. That may not sound like good advice, especially in our driven/competitive culture, but honestly after 30+ years of burnout it's the best advice I can give anybody. Save at least 30% of your time/energy for yourself. Nobody else is going to make sure you get what you need - your boss, your coach, your mentor, even your friends and family - no one will ever ask you to do less or only what's necessary. We're trained to push ourselves and others, always. Only you are responsible for making sure you have enough gas in the tank to get to a station after a long journey. Save that last part of the tank for refueling. Nothing is worth running on fumes, nor are you doing anyone any favors playing martyr and driving yourself into a ditch. For myself this has meant gradually accepting that I need downtime to rest, read, and relax - I've made career sacrifices to maintain a healthy work/life balance, and I've made lifestyle sacrifices to live on less. I've also had to start making time for things I always made excuses for never doing - like cooking whole meals, exercising, and sleeping more. Not having enough time for any of these isn't a good excuse. If you don't make the time now you may not have as much time in the long run as you hoped. And while I still struggle to balance at times, I remind myself that my ultimate goal is to meet what I need not just what others ask of me.
A Script for Therapy
College ruled, on paper
Shaping thoughts: origami
Resin of wound’s vapors
Stained each stitch of tapestry
Staring at white ceilings
Sweeping floors with broad brush
Painted past a-peeling
Mask of “fine” is finally broke
A quill to couch the questions
Ink secretes what’s hid in thought
While candlelight and balsam
Soothe the images once caught
Whatever time or reason
And as oft’ as rhyme permits
Frays of threads find freedom
Words versus pain, my script
My Shadow World
Today I open my eyes and know that today will be just like yesterday—just another day. Today could be tomorrow and morning could be night, as time progresses differently in my world. My world is the word of shadows, the world of the unforgotten and the silent; and time for me moves slow, stretching on and stretching any bit of sanity I have left; and time moves fast, blurring together while I’m left in the dust to analyze my unsuccessfulness of moving forward with the rest of my world. Today, when I open my eyes to my world I know that time is on fire, moving as fast as it can to combat the overwhelming amount of negativities.
Today is darker than normal. The sun doesn’t dare to peak through the black curtains of my world; so when I open my eyes and question whether they are closed, I am scared—the sun always tries to shine light on my world of darkness.
I’m shivering and shaking, the blankets of my bed unable to warm me. I’m being suffocated by the remnants of my negativity, the smoke that hovers like a thick net that I’ll never be able to escape. I’m blinking, begging for my eyes to see something, anything but the shadows. But the demons are already flowing, shambling, clomping, running away from the fire, towards me. I’m too meek to do anything but cower into a ball, hoping, wishing that someone would save me. But I’m all alone, and no one comes, no one cares, and the demons of the shadows know it. They’re on top of me, pushing me down into my hard bed. I’m squeezing my eyes shut so tight as to not see their ugly molten faces that blend in with the shadows that surround them.
I’m whimpering as I feel their talons dig and slice along my wrists, and I’m screaming and thrashing as their skin burns into mine. I’m begging them to shut up, to leave, to leave me alone, but their words trickle down their slimy tongues into my ear “you’re all alone”, “you are nothing more than the dirt of this world”, “you are nothing”, “no one will save you”, “you’re too worthless to save”, “you’d be better off dead”. Their words echo in my head, bouncing around and stabbing me, embedding themselves in my brain.
“I’m worthless,” I cry out, “I’d be better off dead!”
I’m heaving, the smoke tearing my lungs apart.
I’m bleeding, the demons artwork gleams at my wrists.
I’m thrashing, trying to throw the demons off me.
But it’s all too late. The smoke, the demons, the shadows, have finally won. I was too late, too weak to fight them off, and now they have seeped into me so far, that I can’t pull them out. Their inside of me. And I’m jumping out of my bed, slamming myself into walls, hitting my fists against my head, slicing my wrists even more, just trying to get them out of me. But I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. But I keep slashing at my wrists, I keep hoping that they’ll come out, I keep hoping that maybe the sun will finally come out.
But today, is no average day. Today, the shadow world had finally consumed me. Today, there was no hope. Today, there was only a permanent darkness that set in when my body turned to stone, when the blood dripping from my wrists was nothing but my life, seeping out of me so fast that I couldn’t even open my eyes.
Today, when I close my eyes, I’m sad that this is the way it had to end; if only the sun wouldn’t haven given up on me, then maybe I wouldn’t have given up on myself.
Is she tantalizing?
Am I fantasizing?
Is it fragility?
I’ve built resilience,
From my perseverance!
Like the calm before the storm!
With each breath,
Like Undulating waves.
Rising and falling,
Of my chest!
An Unnerving Balance.
Within these last few weeks, something in me has changed. It’s the kind of change that happens as a response to something. Not the kind of change you set in motion. That makes it ultra scary because you realize you can be changed without your consent. I retrace my steps, trying to figure out where I went wrong. Which decision led me to the place where I got so violated? Why was a change this drastic so necessary?
Somewhere floating in the back of my mind, I know what happened. It’s not just where I went. It’s how comfortable I got there. Something had to happen. Something unforgivably hurtful had to happen or else…I would settle for something that really isn’t good for me. I’d talk myself into thinking that everything is okay. We’re safe. We’re good. I’d fall into the same false sense of security I did before.
Deep down inside, I know this. I know although it hurt me and disrupted my life, it needed to happen. It’s the paradox of life: I had to be wounded temporarily in order to protect me from something that would inevitably crush me. Somehow, knowing that doesn’t change how I feel. How I feel is, I’ve been gunning for a breakthrough for a very long time. I’ve been building up this faith and this belief that if I have integrity if I work as hard as everyone else (or harder), if I just keep moving forward…I’ll get that breakthrough. And it’s not that I don’t believe it anymore. I do. It’s still apart of me and it drives me to carry out the tasks I have to in order to survive and make progress.
But I now carry with me this experience, this knowing that even when I do my best, I can’t outrun the pain. I can’t outrun the abuse. I can’t outrun the systems that have been constructed to ensure I never have a life worth living. I know there are spirits and energies and a God who has affection for me and empowers me. I also know there are forces that who wish to harm me and steal my future from me. Having firsthand experiences with them, seeing how effective and consistent these forces are makes me feel like there is no point. It makes it so hard to try. And yet I still try.
The will to continue striving for a better life is buried so deeply in me now that I can’t ignore it. I have to heed its calls. I have to keep trying. But that doesn’t mean I’m not carrying an enormous weight of reality that has hindered me and made this journey even more difficult and less likely to end successfully. I constantly grapple with the fear that although I’m taking the steps and walking the walk to the best of my ability, it will amount to nothing. Because I’m mentally, emotionally and spiritually in a place that so closely resembles…nothing.
How do you continue fighting for anything in a world where it seems like nothing matters or makes a real difference? Where does the motivation come from when everything you thought was the point of it all, is suddenly flipped on its head and you feel like you’re running out of time?
I’m losing touch with my spiritual nature and that scares the shit out of me. Because for so long, it has been what has kept me from giving in to self-harm, suicide, a life of complete disaster. In December of 2019, something in me broke. And I don’t know how to fix it. There’s something still pulling me to connect with the Source we all come from. It’s there and I feel it. It won’t let go of me. There’s also the devastation of my reality pulling at me, forcing me to confront it. It won’t let go of me, either.
Pouring everything I have into rebuilding spiritually feels disingenuous. Because right now, half of me feels like no matter what I do or how I think or what energy I devote myself to, nothing will ever really change. Thank Goddess for the half of me that still believes a better future is within reach. But this isn’t sustainable. I know that a lot of us live with the cynicism and constant desire to end it all. But just living with it seems like a sure-fire way for me to end up either dead or so dead inside I wind up killing everything I touch.
Each day is a toss-up. I don’t know if I’m going to wind up with my pessimism and distrust front and center or if it will politely hide behind other things I make room for in my brain. I just keep living. The thing is, when those thoughts hide away for a while, they still always show themselves again.
They’re never really gone.
And in a way, so am I.
I got an official diagnosis two years ago. It's a struggle to go to certain places and wonder who I am going to run into. Confrontation has always been something I have avoided. Anxiety over this has cost me one of my closest friends because I ghosted her rather than facing possible questions about a conflict. Anxiety has always made my blood pressure skyrocket. I have very bad white coat syndrome. I am nervous about doctor's visits and my blood pressure readings have always been something of concern. I did have a few therapy sessions. Though ultimately I did not agree with much of what he was saying to me or his methodology, it did make me more aware. When I went to my physical last year, my doctor commented on though well still elevated, she saw that my blood pressure was much improved. I believe that this improvement was caused by the knowledge that I have anxiety so I was able to control my feelings much better than I had in the past.
Ever since I turned 11 I found it hard not be angry
Some might blame it on bullying
Others say it's hormonal
Some might even say it's a long term side effect of the anethesia I was put under
Honestly I don't know, the only thing I've noticed is how it seems to follow me everywhere
I can't even look straight sometimes
All I see is another oppressor, another bully, even if I'm wrong
I hate you
I hate you
I hate you
Rage has enveloped me, hijacked me
Like some kind of fever which will never cool down
I know the comparison between fire and anger is hundreds of years old
But that's what it honestly feels like
Some uncontrollable inferno, of pain, hate, and suffering
Rage in a way is like some proactive depression
You get it for the same reasons, you feel it the same way
But anger wants to do something about it
To fight back
Even when you are only fighting against yourself
Only to wind up in the principals office again
That bloody bastard
Wouldn't you like to see me cry
Over some bully who'll never get in trouble
Over some circumstance you have brought on me yourself
I hate you
My mind says it's wrong to hate
That I can dislike but I shouldn't hate
Hate, it's the same as love
Just as pandering and pointles
Pointless, just like every fight I got in, in middle school
The vice principal was mostly right this time
"That pencil stab made him bleed
He had to see the nurse"
I sometimes wish the pencil did more than just make him bleed
But I can't wish that
I hate it
I hate myself
I hate myself for being angry
When it is for the mundane things
Like chores and homework
Or my cat begging me for attention
I can't be angry in real life
But I can be angry here
This is how I struggle
On my computer screen
My rage will always be with me
Whether I want it to be or not
But at least I have an outlet
Oh My Gosh, I Just Became One of Those People Who Say it’s All in the Mindset
The way I have always overcome mental struggles is by
1.) Thinking, and
2.) Not thinking.
For thinking, you think of your problems in a new way. If you are struggling mentaly, it can be best to imganine yourself as sopmeone who has never felt that way before. Someone who doesn't understand what your going through could wonder how something is a big deal, and how it can way you down.
If you use this mindset, you could end up thinking these exact thoughts, and realizing that it can be overcome.
You can also try something similar if people are being rude to you. Set your mindset to take everything as a compliments, or just nott care what others think of you. We all know the ignoring the "bullies" makes us seem like idiots, and when you fight back, you never win. This way has worked great for me, since I started trying it a month or so ago. Just thinking it's a compliment, or unimportant, will make you eventauly beleive it.
Now, for not thinking.
You don't think about your problems when you don't need to, you will find them taking up a lot less of your time. You will have less anxiety if you don't think about things that make you anxous!
Ways to deal with physical pain:
1.) Look on the bright side, and
2.) Distract yourself
These are some pretty obvios ideas, but they honestly do work.
Like, for lokking on the bright side, you feel better about the pain. Like, if you are one of those people who hate P.E., then you can think about not having to be as active in P.E., or being able to skip it all together. You can use your pain as an exuse to get away from annoying younger siblings, cousins, or whoever.
Okay, distracting yourself. If you don't think about the pain, it's less noticable. Like I stated above, don't think about things any more than you have to.
This is everything I have done. It may not work for different kinds of people, and it may not work for certain problems, but it will lesson some pain.
I'm sorry to anyone who is struggling right now, and I hope my advice can help you!
The Struggle Is Real
First let me say my prayers are with you. I fight a similar battle and I'm stuck in the middle of the worst time of my life. I was working fine up to december. I had the perfect job making pay with commission, five days a week, monday through friday, 8-5p.
Benefits and I could sit down when needed. Time went fast and I was happy. On Dec. 5th, I was taken off the schedule because I had to use a stool to sat on. I had a pinched nerve in my hip which caused my leg to hurt really bad when I walked. So I needed to use the chair during the day, but I still got the job done. I made the company alot of money. I begged them to leave me on the schedule because Christmas was right around the corner and I have four grandchildren to buy for. They told me NO. I had no Christmas. It all wasn't because I used a stool to sit on, because I used the stool day one with the company. No it was because the new District Manager, was formerly a manager that I reported for discrimination. His mission when he made DM was to ruin me. From the time he made manager, to the time I was taken off the schedule, was approximately two weeks. I had been treated badly since I started the company, but I ignored it because I liked the job so much. But I cried a many nights, from the stress they caused me daily. They were rude to me, they picked at me for using the stool, they made fun of me and marked me. They did everything possible to give me hell. The company is OReilly's Auto Parts. I applied for unemployment, they denied it because the company said I still work for them. I applied for short-term disability, they tried to block it and say I don't receive it until I have worked a year with the company. When I asked to work they said NO. My bills are due, and the Devil controls the bank. I have to let go and let GOD, and he will handle it for me. Stay strong my friend, and know
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!
Am I Special?
And to whom would that be?
Am I special loved a priority?
My kids don't call me, my guy he barely notices me; if any at all.
My Mom has no time she has other things to do these days. She proudly isn't ashamed to say.
My siblings 3 in all really don't care.
I don't even look at them the same anymore.
Still I've been hoping that they'd call.
Am I special?
A piece of someone's day?
Part of a puzzle they couldn't live without?
Am I special enough to be hugged, cooked for, understood?
Am I special and to whom would that be?
Monday through Thursday I'm only special to me.
Even that's become hard for me to see, to find the worth I expect for others to find within me
Am I not worthy of love and protection?
Not even a simple apology or a natural show of affection.
A sparkle in the eye, maybe or even a few words spoken out loud.
Am I special to anyone at all?
I'm trying hard to see, to feel that warm special feeling I'd pay a hefty fee.
I'm seeking that warm feeling one gets when you know that someone cares.
But I keep ending up vacant minded my mouth parted wide; absolutely terrified. Nope.
Am I not special enough for anyone?
Am I special? If I am then to who would that be?