I Showered Today

Those with mental illness have always said that when you have depression or crippling anxiety, sometimes the smallest tasks seem unbearable. I am one of those and today this is how I feel. But, I’m still here. For now.

I Showered Today

I showered today

And, To you it may seem small.

But I got up, I got out of bed when I didn’t have to. I got out of bed.

I got out of bed.

I say I got out of bed because that’s the only place I’ve been. My sanctuary. My home.

I don’t want to leave my home.

But I got out of bed.

One foot in front of the other, I twisted the knob and opened the door. One step, two steps, three steps… there.

I made it.

Can I go back to bed. No.

I grab a towel and set it aside. Good intentions aren’t good enough.

I undress. I’m naked in front of the mirror. I pause, scrutinizing every bruise, every flaw.

The deepest ones you can’t see, they grow inside around my organs. My heart, my lungs, my stomach. Hard to breathe. Hard to eat. Hard to beat.

Hard to sleep.

I step inside. The warmth touches my skin. And as it cleanses my body it cleanses my soul, I sob.

Sobbing. I remember I am whole.

Whole without people, places or things. Whole on my own without a single ring. Possibilities vanish down the drain.

I’m still whole. Maybe sad. Maybe unwell. The thorns loosen.

I return to my bed.

I showered today.

Substance

Happy is the heart that still feels pain. Darkness drains and the light will come again. – Ingrid Michaelson

I pay attention to lyrics a lot, more so than a melody. I’m a writer, so naturally it makes sense that words matter to me. I’ve always liked Ingrid, but when I came across this lyric several weeks ago I felt like we were soul sisters, because this is exactly how I felt then and somewhat how I feel now.

If you haven’t gathered already from reading this blog, I’m a sensitive person. I feel a lot, not just of my emotions but others as well. Empathy, it’s one of my biggest strengths and weaknesses. I’m a Cancer, so apparently that makes a lot of sense. All I know is that I feel shit. And I feel it a lot and hard and all the fucking time.

There’s a fine line between being self aware and being narcissistic and honestly I’ve been teetering on the side of the latter the past several weeks. You may recall my post in October about this really terrible thing that happened to me, yeah well, it fucked up my capacity bucket. Let me explain.

So my therapist (Therapy is weird. You should totally try it. It helps you keep your friends when you’re crazy   experiencing a lot of feelings. I secretly like it. Don’t tell my therapist.) is a delightful person and also really smart and great with metaphors. A few weeks ago we were discussing post trauma type feelings that I’ve been having and most of them not having anything to do with the actual incident itself but rather things I haven’t dealt with for a very long time or well, ever. Insert the capacity bucket metaphor. The idea is that everyone has this metaphorical emotional feelings bucket and some people may have a small bucket, some a large one but regardless, everyone has one. Regardless of size or scope, that bucket has a capacity, it can only be so full before the overflow starts to happen. And, when the shit hits the fan and your bucket starts to overflow because you’re not dealing with your feelings…you don’t get to choose what comes out.

To make a long story a little less long, my capacity has been met and I’ve been dealing with a few things. One of the feelings being heartbreak…old and new. Hence the last post.  It’s easy for me to let people go by omitting them completely, pretending things didn’t happen, but somewhere down the road you have to deal with loss of any kind. And sometimes we have to mourn the living, the death of possibilities. Pain demands to be felt, and the mind prefers closure. Insecurity is another thing that’s surfaced. Who doesn’t have some sort of insecurity though, aimiright? I won’t go into the little details over my own insecurities, because they’re still mine and I’m dealing with them but I will say this… one of my main problems is thinking I am both too much and never enough for people. I have a problem seeking perfection. And, nothing is ever perfect so imagine my constant disappointment. (Half joking.)

The biggest feeling to surface though has to be loneliness. I’ve always been good at being alone. I make myself busy. I’m not someone who needs constant attention. I’m independent. But there’s a huge difference in being alone and being lonely.  And when you can’t  make yourself busy or you find yourself wanting people to be there when they aren’t or can’t be, loneliness can rear it’s ugly head. Loneliness is one of those feelings I hate because it demands another person to alleviate. I don’t like “needing” people. I don’t like states of vulnerability. But, sooner or later, it happens. And all the feelings, good and bad demand to be felt. They demand to be dealt with. It’s not good or bad it’s just true.

So here I am with these feelings and stupidly trying to shovel out my capacity bucket so I can function like a normal human instead of a wallowing mess of a person, until it hits me.

Perhaps once upon a time I was a wallowing mess of person, full of broken bits I didn’t know how to put back together. But I’m not that girl anymore. I dealt with those parts of me, and now I can choose to move forward and be this awesome badass of a woman everyone reminds me I am or I can regress back to a wallowing mess. There really is no happy medium here.

Don’t get me wrong, feel the way you feel…but then move on. I haven’t been moving on. I’ve been a wallowing mess of a person. So focused on the bad feelings that have come from the overflow that I forgot to be present in my own life. I haven’t been here. I haven’t been present. I’ve been asleep. It took a really good friend of mine to say, “What’s got you so upset about this situation?” to wake up. She refused to coddle me. She reminded me it could be a lot worse. Yeah, something I am painfully aware of. Thanks. But she was right. I am not dead. And as long as I have breath in my lungs and feeling in my bones, I need to be present in my own goddamn life.

People keep asking me what I want. What would make me happy? I think at this moment it’s fluid. Adulting is difficult and at almost 30 I’m still trying to figure out what the heck I’m doing. One of the things that doesn’t change though is this, I want to fill my life with warmth, light and love. I want people to take care of and people to take care of me. Not to be afraid of loving someone or needing people. I want to experience things, not just buy them. I want to see the world and I want to try everything that’s within reason. Stop saying no just because I’m scared. These are little big things I think would make me happy.

What does any of this have to do with you? I have some advice. (Shocker!) Deal with your feelings. Because, sooner or later you’ll have to. Wake the fuck up in your own life. The hourglass is glued to the table and the mortality rate is still 100%, so live your life. Live it as well as humanly possible.

Terrible things happen every single day. Chances are that the terrible thing that happened to me didn’t happen to you. Your story is your story. Don’t let the bad things or past mistakes keep your future from being bright. Glass half empty or half full? Lately there’s been no glass. But then I woke up, and reminded myself that the glass is there and it’s not half empty or half full… it’s refillable.

And, isn’t that better. It’s just a season. One of growth,change and uncertainty. Deal with the ginormous bucket of feelings and find out what you’re made of. You have substance, kid.

So, if you’re in a season of wallowing, remember this: Happy is the heart that still feels pain. The darkness will drain and the light will come again.

Six Years Later

toa-heftiba-274947A few months ago I was talking with a friend and a question came up… if you were given the opportunity to make something right or tell someone something and it was the last time you were able to do that, who would you choose and what would you say? I didn’t have the answer then. I think I chose something that would have been nice but I don’t think it was the real honest answer. So, because I’m not a verbal processor and I’m a writer, I’m going to share this answer with you & the universe.

To be honest, I think we all have that one thing we wish we would have said, that one apology, I love you and I’m really glad your in my life kind of thing. The following is a short and concise version of that for me. These are words that are actually too late to say but nevertheless they are true.

So here is my very real, honest and vulnerable apology love letter.

___________,

Sorry it’s taken so long. I’m not great with relationships. You know that all too well. It’s been a very long time. My fault of course. I cut you out of my life entirely. I do that and I am sorry. But the truth is I miss you. It use to be every couple of minutes, then every hour, then every few weeks, then every month and now every few months I think about you. The less and less I think about you the more it makes me kind of sad. Sad that would have, should have moments exist in our lives. Sad because it was of my own making. But,  it’s very easy to romanticize the past. It’s simple to reminisce about rose colored glass versions of people. I have a very real and rosy version of you in my mind. But… that’s all kind of changed.

This year was really difficult in ways I could have never imagined. It made me question  a lot of different things I thought to be true. One of those things was love. Once upon a time I thought I loved you. You were my best friend. But, the timing was never right. The gumption was never there. And, even though I was young and not a fully formed adult, I knew that I was way too much for someone like you. You treated me with so much kindness and grace all the time. You cared about what I cared about. You wanted to get to know my crazy family. You supported me in ways a lot of people didn’t. And… at the end of the day, you were there. You were there when I needed someone. Until… you weren’t.

The reason I could never tell you I loved you was because I wasn’t sure it was true. There were things I loved about you, but other things I really really didn’t. You were passive. You weren’t ambitious. Your number one priority was to get married and mine wasn’t.  And, most of all, you never fought for me. That’s the hard part. No one does. I leave. It’s what I do when things get hard. But, it’s not always what I want. I expected more.

I’ve learned a lot about love since then. There’s many different types. The fact that you can love people in different seasons of your life. And, when you want a person, you don’t get to choose which part, you take the whole thing and hope that all the good outweighs the bad. You also don’t get to choose when a person enters or leaves your life. I’m learning to embrace my seasons with people.

I use to think our timing was just a bit off. If I had met you later in life I would’ve been ready. Truth is, I’m not the same person. You’re not the same person. And, at the end of the day I cared about you in the right season of my life. I’m sorry it wasn’t enough. I’m sorry that I left and that I wasn’t a better friend. I’m sorry I broke your heart a little. I didn’t love you well. Love is a choice and it’s manifested through action. I didn’t choose you and I left. I chose me. My goals, ambitions and selfishness were my priorities.

Ours was the healthiest unhealthy relationship I’ve ever had. Complicated. Messy. I don’t do any of those things for very long you know. And I’m really good at cold cut endings. I’m sorry you were part of that. You were my best friend. Now you’re not.

Truth is, you don’t need my apology. You are happy. I know because you’ve found your person. You’ve made a life. A life you wanted, a life that you deserve. I’m happy that you are happy. This apology was really for me. Parts of me are still pretty selfish. I blamed you for all of it. I sowed a seed of bitterness towards you that made it super simple to walk away. But in all honest, I very much bare a lot of the blame.

So, one last I’m sorry and I’ll be done. I wish you well. Thank you for being the one who made me happy for a little while, for showing me what a good and decent man looks like and for treating me with kindness when I didn’t even know how to give that to myself. I’m glad we met. I’m glad you’re a forever piece of my story. Go, be happy.

with love,

Kate

The Lie of More

So there’s this guy… when a friend starts a conversation with this you know that you’re going to have a lot of opinions. Brace yourself.

I sat down with a friend the other day. She’s dating this guy. Someone who makes her happy, she loves spending time with him , but she’s quick to remind us that he’s flawed. Aren’t we all. “There’s a few serious red flags there,” she says. She goes on to say that someone ( a few people) recently told her that she could do better, that she deserves better. She was conflicted. Someone who normally gives no mind or matter to what people say is now coming to me, the perpetually single, for advice. Luckily… I give great advice ;).

Here is my opinion of this statement… the more statement. The idea that someone could always do better is a lie that keeps us alone. When you find someone who clicks several of your boxes, but falls short in several key areas… do you cut them loose? If so, why? There’s this idea that there are different levels of people. People being numbers. “She’s a 9, so why is she with a 5?” This is such complete shit if you ask me. And, you did because you’re reading my blog, so let me explain.

Better is not out there. More is not to be found. People are people. People are flawed. If you can find someone that you genuinely care about, who doesn’t waste your time and who shares a lot of the same ethical standards and goals that you do… what is the purpose of more? More of what? What are people looking for?

“We only accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky, Perks of Being a Wallflower. And, what do we deserve? There’s two sides to this coin. The acceptance and deserving part. 

The point here I think, is that we should know our own value and worth. We should be able to then make ourselves happy, alone, apart from other people. The problem with “love” is that people think that another person can complete them. That would mean that your happiness is dependent upon the existence and the decisions of someone else. Love is not completion, it is not the solution for the unhappy or even the lonely. I know some people who have been married for years or with a partner for decades and they are still some of the most unfathomably lonely people I know. You can’t depend on other people to complete you or make you whole. You’re already whole. You’re just seeking a bandaid for your own insecurities. 

So then, what do I think it is? First, love is a choice. It’s not a feeling like all of our other feelings. It’s a decision to choose someone, regardless of day, circumstance or disposition.   But, I digress, and that isn’t the topic of this blog… back to the idea of more. 

So, I told my friend… “That is a lie. The idea that you can do better is a lie. What even is better to you?”

“Well, for starters, I can find someone who I feel is more authentic and honest. Someone who shares more of the same moral standards that I do. Someone who has healthier relationships, ” she responded. Then I asked her how he could do “better” than her.

“Ha, could definitely find someone who is easier, on a lot of different levels. Someone who is much prettier, more successful and has a better rack, lol. Someone way less in touch with her feelings or feels like she has to talk about everything all the time.” she replied.

And, side note: as a completely objective third party, I can attest that both of these individuals are a strange match but also kinda great together. They are always laughing and smiling and seem genuinely happy. Some people just need to back off and let people be happy. 

The idea of “better” doesn’t just fall to one person. You don’t deserve “better” or “more”. What you should be looking for instead is… Does time with this person make my life better? Are we both growing as individuals and do we help encourage each other in that growth? Does this person add value to my life or is it a complete waste of my time?

That’s kinda it. I said it once and I’ll say it again, relationships don’t have to be complicated. They are difficult yes, but that is not the same thing. Complicated means drama and lack of intentionality. Difficult means that you disagree and that you have to learn to do life with another person, which isn’t easy.

At the end of the day… if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. If a person decides (key word) that you are not the right person for them, then they are not the right person for you. End of story. You don’t have to be sad about it, you don’t have to choose to mourn that loss, you can just be done. (But, you’re also entitled to mourn it if you want. Break all the plates, eat all the ice cream. You do you girlfriend.) There are other people out there that could be your person. The one you choose. The one that chooses you. So, stop believing this lie of “better” and “more” and start having some damn grown up conversations and making better life choices.

Gallows

paul-volkmer-299704

Gallows

Two roads one wood, and there I stood

on the frozen ground

The dead arise, I hear the sound

And they’re calling for my name.

(Throw in some oos)

Chorus

Beckon me back from the gallows

Hallowed ground where the dirt’s still shallow.

I don’t wanna rage war, with the dead no more.

So beckon me, Beckon me

Back from the gallows.

V2

This alabaster skin contains these secrets and my bones,

So let the ground quake so my soul awakes.

And bring me back to life,

Bring restoration to all this damnation.

(more oos)

*Chorus

Bridge

All these restless renegades, all sound the same

With their hearts so bruised and battered,

They all just want to matter.

*Final Chorus

 

Gallows is one of the very few songs I’ve written that I’ve actually ever put to music and didn’t just destroy. I wrote the original song in five minutes, it just seemed to pour out of me. I hope that one day the book I finally write will be the same. Because, let me tell you… writing a book is damn hard. You gotta chip away at some layers to tell the truth, regardless of the story being told.  So… even though I wrote this song almost two years ago, it’s still something I’m proud of. I think it’s relatable and honest.

Surface level I can be super bubbly, happy, witty and full of confidence. But… I can also be very introspective and dark and twisty. I also always expect people to disappoint me and leave me. Someone who thinks too much and feels too much all the *cuss* time. Sometimes it’s all too much. But I wouldn’t give that up most of the time… it’s how I’ve learned to be brave, depend on myself  and demand my own happiness apart from anyone else. It’s how I’ve learned to see through people, how they think and how they feel. That helps me serve those who are worth it and cut out the people who are not. Life is about being brave, loving fully and courageously bringing ourselves back from our own theoretical gallows. Whatever that is. Whatever that looks like. Find your brave.