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Today Will Be a Good Day

Dear Me,

I can be awesome. I AM awesome.

I WILL be productive.

I will NOT wallow in self-pity today.

I WILL set aside my negative thoughts.

I WILL think on my own self-worth.

I will NOT let all of my diagnoses get the better of me today.

I WILL be great.

I WILL have a great day.

And so will you.

💛 Lauren

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Anniversaries

Not all those who wander are lost.

But, some of us are. I was. Part of that was evident in the fact that I couldn’t stay put to live in one place for an extended period of time. I don’t mean moving within cities, because let’s face it, rent is ridiculous and sometimes moving is fiscally responsible.

I was born in Virginia and grew up in Maryland. When I got my first job, I moved just over an hour from home into Southern Maryland. I thought that was far away. I had a lot of issues and very deep depression and I hated my job. I lasted 8 months.

I moved to eastern NC with a new job. I continued gaining all the weight I had started to put on when I graduated college. I made some new friends, some of which I still have. I was aggressive and abrasive in my personality (still am). I became less happy with myself and eventually with work, but I was afraid to do something different. Three and a half years later, I received an unexpected job offer. I didn’t want to leave my best friend (at the time) and it wasn’t until I had her blessing that I decided I would go. Never was good at making decisions for myself.

Next stop: Orlando, Florida. The happiest place on earth. I didn’t want to move here so I never intended to stay more than a year. As a result, I never learned to embrace it or my job. Since I had gotten a Master’s degree in the field of the job I was offered, I felt I had to try it out for at least a little. I was still too agressive and taking work home with me. I started smoking and getting deeper into depression and drinking. One day I got a phone call asking me come back to NC. I had made it two years in Florida, more than I’d planned, so I said yes, I’ll go. Felt like it was a sign. It was time to go home.

So, back to eastern NC I went thinking I would never leave. I had missed the slow pace, the quiet country-like nature of the town. I designed and had a house built that I could grow into and live in for years. I put everything I ever wanted in it. Four months later, I wondered why I was home everyday crying. Some of my best relationships fell apart over stupid things. I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I’ll be damned, I missed Florida heat because I realized I hated being cold. I realized I had never made decisions for myself and I was wandering from place to place looking for something tangible instead of working on the intangible things inside. Everytime I would visit Florida, they would ask when I was coming back. I would tell them to give me time. I needed to be ready this time.

I got braces to fix my smile. I lost 93 pounds. I got back into writing poetry. I got involved in volunteering and in my town. I made friends with the mayor. I became somewhat famous. All in just under two years. I got to know myself and my interests. I learned to look for happiness within myself and not outside of me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still struggle with deep depression and have my days, but this was a step I had never taken before and it was one in the right direction.

I took a vacation to Florida. I said I was ready. I knew I was ready because I didn’t feel like I had to go back to any of those places.

Today marks two years that I’ve been back in Florida. For once, I’m not ready to run away. I’m content living where I am and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Sunshine makes me happy and is good for my health. Perhaps, that’s why my nicknames are Summer and Sunshine, haha.

Not all those who wander are lost. I may still be a wanderer, because who knows what the future holds, but I’m not lost anymore.

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Achievement Unlocked: 100 Follows

I’ve hit three digits! This might not seem like a lot to some. It might not seem like much at all. But, it’s meaningful to me that 100 people care enough about what I have to say to take time out of their day to follow my rants and musings. It’s been an exciting two months so far. Here’s to many more!

Thank you!

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Wisdom From Star Trek

Just as repetition reinforces repetition, change begets change. I guess, the truth is we never really know what’s coming. Sometimes the only way to find out where you fit in is to step out of the routine because sometimes where you really belong was waiting right around the corner all along.

Discovery, Season 1, Episode 7

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Thoughts

I find myself missing group therapy. There’s some irony in this because even though i voluntarily went, I was agitated for the first few sessions, not wanting to listen to how everyone’s weekend was. As time went on, I began to enjoy it, even though sometimes three hours seemed interminable. It added structure to my day, especially when I stopped going to work. It filled some void I did not know I had. By the end of therapy, it felt like I was leaving a little family. It’s amazing how much you can grow to care about strangers after you’ve shared your entire lives with each other, with the prospect that you’ll never see each other again. Yet, somehow, you’re forever bonded by that experience.

Lately, I feel that void creeping back in and I’m trying to fill it with bad decisions. I’ve swapped shopping for drinking. I’m not sure which will help me live longer. I’m back to work, but somehow do not feel that is adding that structure back into my day. It’s not occupying my mind. I bought a new car! Did I need one? No. Did it make me happy? Momentarily. A fleeting happiness. (Actually, I love the car.)

I fear slipping back into bad habits – spending too much money, spending too much time alone, spending too much time trying not to be alone, spending too much time trying to think through everything to make it ideal and then spending too much time overthinking and then spending too much time chastising myself because I can’t just relax and spend time enjoying each and every day. Life is full of moments that I’m letting go by because I’m always thinking and analyzing.

That all being said, I started this blog has a means of self-medication, if you will. As I read through everyone’s stories, again, getting to know strangers and caring about them, I feel like I’m building that little family again. I find that I am excited to read new stories. I’ve swapped playing games on my phone for browsing through the Reader to discover new posts from those I follow and those I don’t. I love getting to know everyone’s authentic self through their articles, poetry, advice, or just plain rants. I can’t wait to get new notifications. I never thought I would become so attached to this. I’m enjoying getting to know each and every one of you. I actually feel bad when too much time has gone in between my posts and I’m not sharing more of me.

words poster
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I know for some of us, this is a fearful endeavor and you wonder if it’s doing you or anyone any good. I will tell you that it most certainly helps me and it fills some empty spaces, knowing that there are so many out there that think and feel the same way I do on everything from my selection of music to the internal darkness of mental illness. I’m HAPPY that you share yourselves with me and others and I encourage you to continue doing so. I encourage your authenticity and audacity. In being such, you encourage mine. Thanks to all of you.

*****

Side note: It’s amazing how you can go to write a post with a word or thought or two in mind, not really knowing what to say and then five or so paragraphs later… it’s like the words were on my heart and mind all along.

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Thank you for reading!

I started this blog just over a month ago on June 20th. I was fearful of it at first, of sharing my feelings and experiences so openly, but it has been therapeutic and cathartic for me. Today, I achieved 200 likes and 50 followers!! Thank you to all for reading and for your support. ❤️❤️❤️

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At the Bar

Wednesday evening at the bar. I had to check to make sure it was Wednesday. The days blur lately.

I’m having boneless wings in the restaurant’s special sauce. I’ve had them before. I didn’t feel like being brave today.

Tullamore and ginger beer. I have to ask for lime. Whiskey is my drink of choice, in general, but also for contemplation. The bartender has finally remembered not to fill my glass with ice.

To my right are two women exploring a jewelry catalog. One is speaking about how the jewelry can tell a story as though it is a spiritual journey. Their intense small talk about nothing makes me twitch. I wonder what, if anything, is really important to them.

The man who was sitting to my left has just left. I did not see him depart. His empty beer bottle, the condensation from it, and the signature on a soon lost piece of paper are the evidence that he was here. He was complaining about the rain. I think to myself, “It’s Florida…. Maybe get over it.”

The women have received their food. It grows cold as they are engrossed in their shopping venture. They are complaining about an acquaintance that’s super loud. I want to tell them they are annoying and they’ve killed the ambience with their unsubstantial bullshit.

“Is anyone sitting here, ma’am?” There is now a new couple to my left. He takes beer. She takes wine. Typical. They couldn’t hang with me. I look at their faces and I wouldn’t expect them to be together. They’re discussing the price of lobster rolls and whether or not they are hungry. It would seem they’ve come to the wrong place.

I’ve just realised I’m the only black person at the bar. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, I’m used to it in the South. Only an observation that only people like me tend to observe.

I am wishing someone I cared about was sitting next to me. I am wishing I would not walk back home in the rain alone. I long for the warmth of more than whiskey. I am longing for the warmth of your hand.

Books, Mental Health, Movies, Music, Poetry, Random, Uncategorized

Taking Requests

In an effort to improve my writing and get outside of my comfort zone and explore, I thought it would be fun to take requests from the audience. I’ll try my best to write on your selected topics or put words to pieces of art, in addition to the sporadically scheduled program. So let me know if:

1. You have a movie you want me to watch and review, e.g, see Movie Depth: Moonrise Kingdom (2012).

2. You have a book you want me to read and review. (I haven’t done one yet.)

3. You have a topic you want me to pen a poem or random thoughts about, e.g, Trust and Toxicity.

4. You have a piece of art that you want me to write a poem for (ekphrastic poetry), e.g. see Time/Awake, Part 6/Collaboration, Part 2

5. You have a song you want me to listen to and dissect, e.g. Song Depth: Heroin

6. You want any feedback on anything related to my personal mental health journey, e.g. D-Day.

Should be fun!