In Remission

I have been embarking on very unsettling territory recently; stability. Perhaps, dare I say it, even happiness?

Over the past couple of months, my mental health has been on a steady incline. The voices have ceased, compulsions have stopped, self-harm tendencies have vanished, and insomnia has been replaced with a regular sleep cycle. It dawned on me this morning during meditation that depression is no longer my safe place. While I acknowledge that this is a GOOD thing, it is still slightly unsettling. For as long as I can remember, depression has been my go-to. It’s easier to curl up into a ball, self-medicate and flirt with suicide. However, now I find it increasingly more difficult to allow myself to succumb to it. Sure, I still feel depressed from time to time. I give myself room and space to cry. Then, I get back up, walk my dog, watch a funny YouTube video and move on. I find it irresponsible to get drunk now. I’m not interested in putting myself in harmful situations. Happiness and self-integrity has become the new go-to.

Moreover, I’m not fragmented. This is me now, in my entirety.

There was a shift weeks ago. I had taken ecstasy with my girlfriend. (I am not condoning drug use.) I respond well with natural remedies, including psychedelics. During this particular experience, I felt a lot of my superficial worries fall away as the maternal spirit of the universe visited me and assured me to begin trusting myself and also start loving myself. She told me it’s now time to start shedding childhood pain. She assured me she would stay with me through the healing process. Sure enough, since then, life has been getting better. I found my way back to nature and she has kept her word.

I know, it’s a little esoteric and perhaps absurd. But I find a lot of truth behind the divine and feminine energy.

Anyways, my point is I’m getting better and I feel better about myself and the situations surrounding me. I’ve been working hard on myself and my relationships. I’ve especially been focusing on trying to let go of unhealthy thinking patterns. Anything that has been weighing on my heart and soul, I’m trying so hard to let go of. The common lesson here:

Let go.

For example, I noticed I had a lot of illogical worries and controlling thoughts in my romantic relationship. And it’s not just with my girlfriend; these are patterns I’ve carried from my very first relationship. They stem from childhood abandonment, I’m sure. I have trouble letting go. How? I’ve worked so hard in my life to keep people from leaving. I’ve become a master of tethering my loved ones because “everyone leaves.” I want so badly to be loved, so badly to be wanted that no matter what love anyone has ever shown me, it’s never been enough. And that’s not fair.

I’ve been letting go of selfishness. It’s difficult. I want to say that I don’t want to be selfish. I genuinely care for others. Again, this is another survival tactic from my youth. I NEEDED to be selfish in order to make it. In my adolescence, it became a part of me. Now, as an adult and as a woman who wants to care for others and do good in the world, I am making a conscious effort to reject my previous ideas that the world revolves around me. I am not better than anyone else, yet at the same time, no one is better than me.

I’m letting go of control, in the healthiest way. I’m trusting my intuition, trusting the universe a little bit more. Everything will be okay.

I love me.

My girlfriend loves me.

My friends love me.

My dog loves me.

And despite the grudges I hold, my family loves me.

Ugh, what do I do with all this positivity?

More on Arlo

LOOK AT THIS FACE! LOOK AT HOW CUTE HE IS!! HELP!

Arlo the service pup IT has been going on some pretty spectacular adventures.

Since having him, my social anxiety has dramatically improved. I was getting severe panic attacks before leaving the house to go pretty much anywhere- especially new places. But now, I hardly experience them. We even made some new friends at the dog park! There are regulars at the park by my house and they are very friendly and have wonderful dogs. Arlo’s best friend is a Husky Malamute named Spock. Spock’s human also suffers from depression and Spock has helped him get out of the house and make friends, too!

Arlo loves being out and about, running errands with me. He politely tucks himself away at restaurants and is the best companion.

I’ve noticed that I feel more responsible and more apt to handle things that come my way. I don’t feel as paranoid anymore since I rely on Arlo to be attentive to my surroundings. I feel safe and I finally feel like I can relax. He distracts me during anxiety attacks and provides tons of love with I’m feeling low.

My girlfriend has been amazing and SO supportive. Arlo loves her! She’s a great trainer, too. I plan on having him task trained soon, to meet more specific needs.

It’s been great with him so far. I seriously love this dog.

 


  

  

Therapy Made Me Smile

I feel fantastic. I love when I have good therapy sessions!!

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I am continuously realizing my own strength and will power. I am so cool!!! I’ve been through so much shit in my life- I mean REAL shit, real trauma- but I’ve come out of it. I’ve come out as a good person and loving person. I’m not calloused. I am optimistic, resilient, caring, loving and bright.

I’m really proud of myself for making huge improvements! I’m really admiring every aspect of myself right now. I don’t need anyone’s approval or praise. I am more than enough.

I CAN handle my past. I CAN handle my present. I CAN handle anything that comes my way. I can love everyone and help them if I want to. I can choose what hurts me and what doesn’t.

I am not a prisoner of my prior mistakes. I am a survivor.

I am no longer afraid of the monsters from my history. I can be assertive and firm when it comes to my personal integrity because I deserve happiness.

Love and forgiveness are stronger than hate and anger. I am pouring out my heart and loving vibrations to the universe and am receiving it in return.

There are a lot of people in my life who love me and I am strengthening more of those friendships every day. There are people in my life who are happy to see me happy! Who make me feel amazing and powerful!

Ahhhh….. I’m just so happy about my life right now. So many doors opening, so many lessons and experiences. Everything is falling into place.

Thank you for reading!!!

Character Coma

This is not something I EVER share with people. It has been on my mind however, and I’m curious if anyone experiences a similar thing.

I lose myself in movies. I mean, I really lose myself. It’s more than just a healthy imagination. There have been multiple occasions when I’ve stepped out of a theater and have lost my own identity so much that I can’t shake out of this state for days or even weeks at a time.

Does this happen to anyone else? Is this a writer thing? A dissociative thing?

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My speech will change, my eyes will do this “focusing” thing (like the lens of a camera that tries to focus), my walk, my perceptions… my thought process, everything. It’s as if I slowly morph into the main character. This is BEYOND pretending. I’ll hear the soundtrack over and over in my head, the voices will get louder as if there is really dialogue. I end up acting out scenes sometimes by myself, wherever I am, to satiate the fact that I can’t just jump into another dimension and BECOME this character.

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I really don’t even know how to explain it to you. When I can’t bring myself out of it, sometimes I slip into a derealization episode and nothing feels real anymore. It’s terrifying. Eventually, I come out. However, I know I still have a few fictive alters.

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I did this ever since I can remember. When I was 3, Disney’s Pocahontas came out. I’d act out the scenes by myself, which I’m sure is normal for children. It just never left me.

It doesn’t necessarily cause me any harm. However, I become highly impressionable when I’m lost in it. SO much so that I have no problem in engaging in dangerous activities- like drugs, for example.

Anyone else? Feedback?

Rape and Recreation

Rough week.

I had woken up yesterday morning with a feeling of complete despondency. Yikes—that thick depressive sludge. Though, I must admit, I’m doing better at keeping it under control. Tiny slip ups here and there… nothing too drastic. INTENSE cravings for heroin and pills. What’s new?

More on drugs…(brief tangent) through our fun inner journey over the past couple of weeks, we are beginning to see that it’s not so much the drug that I want, but rather it’s the altered-state of mind. I want a jolt. I want to be scared. I want to feel. The adrenaline, the illusion of danger. Like suicide, I don’t want to die. I’ve never wanted to die. I just want to kill myself.

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I push my limits through self-harm (of any kind) because I live for the JOLT. Unfortunately, I tend to cross the line past the point of the “illusion” of danger, because by then, it’s dangerous. I’m working on constructive self-punishment with the end goal of release and growth. It’s working.

Thank God for my therapy appointment yesterday. And for my lesser-professional therapist.. what would I do without you and your sanity? Thank you for keeping my head above water and for the hourly reminders of how fucking badass I am.

I’ve lately been having recurring dreams linked to fertility and pregnancy. Last night, I woke up from a nightmare- or rather, perhaps a flashback- of my D&C. Vivid images of blood and flesh filtered through my thoughts at midnight…my stomach began cramping, I was cold-sweating profusely, and I cried for a very, very long time, huddled in a ball beneath the sheets, clutching onto my stuffed animal.

This entire week has been a series of blurry patchwork. Despite the situational barriers and challenges, I’ve been handling things very, very well. So well, in fact, that Goldie was talking about make me the Protector of the system. That’s pretty fucking huge news. I was excited and I have been preparing myself for it.

Well, I auditioned for a play last night. It’s called “The Rape Show.” It’s an original play written for the college and weaves slam poetry, public speaking, and acting together to raise awareness of the prevalence of rape and rape culture on school campuses.

That being said, this play is damn near perfect for me. Some quotes from the script for you to ponder:

Rape is a coward hiding its face in the make-up of silence.
A murderous fruit, that grows best in the shadows of taboo.
A murmur of bodies left vacant
by the souls that spend years, pills, poems, and death
trying to learn to reclaim them.

Tell Elizabeth Fritzl
How pretty the flame of her skin was,
that turned her Father a torturous moth of incest
‘til she gave birth to 7 choices she never had

From smothering cat-calls,
to quickened pace of trek home
Rape with a dress on.
Rape without a dress on.
Raped as children, who couldn’t even dress themselves.
Tell them how ugly their consent was.
Tell the depression, the post traumatic stress

Humor helps trauma. We just want to know that you are laughing with us.

We can joke about it because it is ours to joke about, similar to how our bruises are ours to poke at, and yours to keep away from.

You’ll be there when I cry (until my eyes get puffy and red).
You won’t be tearing off my lace panties (because they were expensive, and they make me feel like I’m worth something).
Once you figure out that the only time I deep throat is with the feeding tube at the psych ward, you’ll be gone.

So, I auditioned for that last night. Sure…. There’s lots of concern for the state of my psyche. The second I picked up the script and started reading from it, I could feel everyone within me stir.

Then, Goldie took the Protector away from me. I think that’s okay though. I feel like I’ve been through the wringer.

Overall, I’m doing alright. Minor slip ups. Baby steps. I’ll be okay.

 

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The Girl with a Bleeding Heart

WARNING- extreme hippy dippy talk. 

  
I am currently in bed breathing through the most painful menstrual cramps that I’ve had in a while. I woke up writhing in immense, OH MY GOD MY UTERUS IS EXPLODING, pain. So I decided to take this time to meditate on it.
I used to take my menstrual cycles very seriously, for lack of a better term. Excuse the feminine rant here…  Menstruation is a sacred time for women. It’s a time for not only physical renewal, but spiritual rejuvenation. During this time, our body purges out old blood. In this blood also lies all of the energy that has been collected and suppressed during the month. I was very good about consciously letting go of my burdens when my period came. What a blessing, honestly! I welcomed the pain. My cycle was like a brand new start for the month. I would make it a point to be in nature with the feminine light of Mother Earth and I would find healing in that.

Somewhere along the way I forgot about this. I would pop ibuprofen the second I knew my period was coming and I would distract myself. I began to see my period as a nuisance and curse. But this morning, I brought myself back.

I laid here in bed and took myself through meditation. I drew a golden thread from my sacral chakra and took it deep through the core of the earth, past the rocks, past the lava and core and wrapped this thread around the heart of Gaia, the earth. I felt safely connected to the Mother as this thread acted as a spiritual umbilical cord. 

I focused on my womb. I invited any messages from my subconscious to come forward. I welcomed any feelings that may have been stirring in this place that I have been unaware of. As I became in tune, I realized that my lesson for this month was this: I need to nurture myself. I need to also go back in nature and allow myself to be taken care of by Gaia. I’ve been having so many problems with my birth mom. My actual mother- Gaia- has been here all along and I should rekindle that appreciation I have for her.

To end the meditation, I gathered all of the raw emotions I’ve been carrying of abandonment, self hatred, addiction, jealousy, anger, depression, and suicidal thoughts. I poured them down with my thread right back into the earth. From here, those energies were given back from the earth as unconditional love.

Now that you have sat through my probably nonsensical diary of hippie shit, I’d like to tell you about what happened to me yesterday. 

I talked to my brother about michael, my perpetrator. I don’t feel like getting into the entirety of the conversation, but I will tell you that it was an emotional roller coaster with both highs and lows.

The end result- my brother said the words that I’ve been waiting to hear for the past 10 years of my life. He loves me, he believes me, and he supports me. I feel a sense of justice FINALLY as a victim. I feel that my family loves me. I feel that I actually have a brother. And I feel that finally, Michael will be feeling exiled from our family. 

Hearing my brother say “I love you” was like lifting 100 pounds from my heart. The tears burst we out of my eyes. From this very moment of hearing him say this to me, I heard Allie say, Now you can start healing the right way.

The fragments of my life are starting to come together- particularly with my family. It’s hard. It’s painful! Just as I had mentioned above.. This is like one huge painful cycle of my life. The negative hurt is being purged out of my life and wonderful, healing energy is being poured back in.

As I was getting ready to go out with some friends to celebrate my book release, Allie told me how proud she was of me. And Goldie and Dee were proud too. I’m proud of myself for transforming the shit storm of my childhood into poetry, literally and figuratively.

Thanks for reading.

Published and Promoting! Plus, a Prize Contest!!!!

Solipsism: (noun) The belief that all reality is just one’s own imagining of reality, and that one’s self is the only thing that exists. 1871, coined from Latin solus, “alone”

I have been published! Solipsist, my collection of confessional poetry, is now available on Amazon and Kindle!

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***SHARE ON WORDPRESS THIS WEEK FOR A CHANCE TO WIN GIFTCARDS TO BARNES AND NOBLE, COFFEE BEAN, AND MORE!!!
I will be sending out thank you gifts to randomly selected WordPressers who share my book on their blog! Please be sure to link lazarusandlithium.com so I can include you in the prize selection! I will be sending the gifts on Friday, January 8th, so please make sure you share and link my blog before then!***

For those of you that don’t follow this blog, in 2010, I hit rock bottom. After struggling with crippling depression throughout my adolescence and heavy drug addiction, I attempted suicide. Thankfully, it wasn’t my time to leave. It has been an uphill battle towards recovery ever since. Every day I needed to make a conscious decision to hang on and get better. Slowly, with the love and support from my family and friends, I began to rehabilitate spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I am very grateful to say that I have been sober (and plan to be!) from the drug that had nearly destroyed me.

Through my arduous recovery process, I had turned to writing for healing. These poems that I have published in Solipsist were deliberately handpicked, as each one was written during a crucial point in my therapy. They are raw, unfiltered. I understand that some of them can be hard to read. They are difficult to share.

So, why open up to the world? Unfortunately, suicide is such a stigmatized topic in our society, along with mental health. I painfully remember not wanting to reach out for help for this very specific reason. All too often, people who are struggling with the above mentioned are labeled as “weak” and “attention seeking.” Then, when someone we love takes their own life, we wonder why we never saw the signs.

I lived through my experiences and I know that my purpose is to spread awareness. If I am able to save one life, my purpose is fulfilled.
That being said, I am VERY excited about my first published book. I am inviting you all to share this moment with me!

 

In dedication to:

American Foundation of Suicide Prevention
https://www.afsp.org/

The Trevor Project- providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

RAINN- Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network
https://www.rainn.org
Thank you all in advance!!
Laz

That’s a Wrap! Goodbye 2015!

2015 has been an emotional roller coaster with really awesome highs, and really fucked up lows. I was trying to think of a way to summarize it all up into one, comprehensive blog post, and came up with the idea to attach one word to the year. One word to encapsulate it all. One word…

Metanoia (noun) 1. (psychology) the process of experiencing a psychotic “breakdown” and subsequent, positive psychological re-building or “healing” 2. The journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life.

Mental health, or lack thereof, at times. Thanks to a gentle push from a very good friend of mine, as well as my girlfriend, I found some refuge in a partial hospitalization program in February. Here I began the road to recovery from a psychotic playground swing-set and drug addiction.

Emergence from a heap of hopelessness and a seemingly-perpetual collapse. At more times than I care to admit, I sincerely felt that this would have been my last year here. I am able to recall a vivid moment in my old apartment: I had blacked out all of the windows, peeled all of my clothes off, and sank into a bathtub of warm water. I pulled myself out and curled up in the middle of my living room for literally hours. I cried silently as I held on to my knees, really thinking about how I could just run away from my life, or my body. Somehow, I have emerged from that very sad position and I am standing- still wobbly at times, but standing.

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Therapy. Not only did I receive fucking amazing group therapy this year, but I also found the best therapist in the entire world. Seriously. The hospitalization program offered me a place to be open and unfiltered about my symptoms. I finally found a med combination to combat depression and flashbacks. I was given coping skills and tools to handle everything and anything that came my way. Through the program, I was prompted to find a therapist- and I’m so happy to have her! Therapy has opened a brand new door towards healing from my past. Even though it’s painful and difficult, it has been totally worth it.

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Acceptance that I have actually lived through trauma, that I have other personalities, and that it’s going to be okay in the end. I’ve accepted the fact that I need to stick up for myself more often, and that I need to also give myself credit.

Not giving up. Yes, this pertains to me not giving up on life, but more than that, the people who love me did not give up on me- or for this I am eternally grateful. My friends were there for me, 24/7, despite the fact that I may have disappeared for weeks at a stretch, they were there to listen and help me back up. My family- my actual family who supports me- welcomed me back home. My therapist has proven to be a stable confidant in my life and integration process. And my girlfriend… from the very beginning… thank you to the moon and back. I would not be where I am now without you.

Opportunities to be who I am, speak up about mental health, seek therapy, fall in love, find happiness, and much more.

Integration. I’m not there yet, but I am thankful for the moments of cooperation from my system. I’m thankful for the communication that has grown stronger, and for their protection.

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Appreciation. Every morning, no matter how shit-tastic I may be feeling, I manage to still offer my appreciation towards the people that I love and have in my life, towards getting better, towards my inner-system, towards the roof over my head and food on my table. I have grown to appreciate my family more this year. Especially through group therapy, I’ve developed a habit of gratitude lists everyday that really help ground me.

I am looking forward to 2016. I know there will most likely be some major speed bumps in the road, but I even look forward to tackling those as well.

I encourage you to find a word that suits your year!!

The Six

I am working hard today. Since I woke early this morning, I’ve been battling mood swings of sudden, intense abandonment feelings. It’s Senka. She cries, wails, slams her fists into the pillows, pouting and whimpering, “Don’t leave me… come back… come back… I’m scared….” Then, it’s over- almost as quickly as it came on. Something about the house today is not settling well with any of us. I feel unsafe. There’s parts of me- child parts, mostly Senka- that are scared and wanting to hide. There are other parts that are observant and are armed with weapons.

Through therapy yesterday, I have come to realize how much neglect I actually experienced as a child through my teenage years. Feelings of selfishness have been surfacing throughout the passed few months. I feel selfish for taking so much time for myself, it’s always about me, there’s always something happening. I’m 23 and yet here I am in therapy, desperately trying to piece myself back together. I know it’s not selfish; it’s what I need right now.

Compassion. Try to be compassionate towards myself, ourselves. But how? I’ve gone through life making an ill mockery of my sad predicaments. I use dark humour in every aspect of my life. I can see where I lack in the compassion.

Dee is bulimic.

The Six. They are my protectors. Allie, Goldie, Dee, Senka, Rogue, and myself, the host. The rest I’ve yet to figure out their purpose.

I return to work on Monday. I’m very curious to find out what happens then.

Citizen has decided to take over now. There is an intruder in proximity to the system. Research. Lots of research, planning, careful planning will protect us. Citizen reports to Goldie as Allie distracts Senka.

When my father died, my family came over to the house to break the news to my grandparents. I remember my brother’s wife, who at the time was a close sister/maternal figure for me, pulled me into my bedroom as the 4-year-old that I was and distracted me with my stuffed animals. I could hear crying in the next room, yet I paid little attention and instead focused on my sister-in-law’s smile and jumpy eyes. She was always really great with children.

Proteus

Please excuse the silence.

A few nights ago, there was an internal shift which sent me into a seizure. These have happened before; the convulsing, the blood coming from somewhere in my mouth. I’ve been tested numerous times for epilepsy,diabetes, etc. There’s really no medical reason other than stress. I was released from the ER around 6:30 am. My girlfriend and I went back to her apartment, slept for a few hours, then she was off to work and I was off to group.

Yesterday morning as I drove to group, I felt extremely different and movie-like. I feel this quite often. Usually, the movie revolves around a victim and a detective. I’m almost always the victim. However, this time, I was the criminal. I had- or we had?- fleeting homicidal ideation.

There is a security gate to the hospital building. You need to be buzzed in. When we approached the gate, *I* was pulled out of my body and began watching everything as a ghost. The door buzzed. He smirked. Loud music thudded in my head as I watched this. It was as if he had just gotten away with murder as he pushed the gate open and walked through the therapy bungalow.

Whenever this happens, I watch the movie as if I’ve watched it a hundred times before; I always have an idea of how it “ends.” This particular movie was about a serial killer right before a rampage. I don’t get the feeling that it is a pointless rampage. I feel an underlying current of vengeance.

Today I’m speaking to my doctor about Abilify. She recommended Abilify and Latuda to stabilize my paranoia and hallucinations.

I didn’t sleep last night. I was so convinced that someone was in the house with me. I could hear footsteps and breathing. My dogs are here and logically I know that they would notify me if anyone were actually in the house.

Anyways, it’s not all negative news. I do feel that I’m gaining more strength from therapy. My girlfriend came in for a quick family session and I found it to be very beneficial. I also found how strong our relationship actually is. Not that I didn’t know that before, but talking it out aloud really opened my eyes.