Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Cycle Ends Now

While contemplating life this past Saturday night I suddenly realised that not only had I not blogged in almost a year (most writing still sitting in drafts or on pieces of paper laying next to my bed) it had been one week shy of a year since I tried quitting smoking. The scandal.

So much has changed and yet here I stand at this cross-road again.

What happened last time?

This time last year I made a feeble attempt that was soon squashed during a yoga class by fears that had plagued me all my life - the fear of being a focal point and not being "respectful" of others. What happened? I struggled to stifle a cough (my lungs trying to rid itself of the poison I had been puffing), of course being unable to and feeling like I had destroyed other people's zen time I decided cutting down to only smoking socially instead of going cold turkey would be a better option. It wouldn't be tough (I thought) since I had already been trying to not smoke at work and in my car (and mostly succeeding) . And it wasn't tough. Well, most days, <cough>, crazy deadlines.

Where am I now?

Over the course of this last year I have tried quitting multiple times, but this time I know there is something different about this. This time (I think and believe) it's for good. The only issue? Social events minus my crutch will be quite a bit more tricky. Combine social drinking and social anxiety and my crutch is really the only way I know how to "keep myself busy" when there's an awkward silence or I'm standing wishing the ground would swallow me whole because I don't know how to stand let alone speak because everything just feels wrong. How does one human again? Where are the animals for me to befriend?

What is the plan of action?

To get it right this time I will remove triggers and create a plan of action. This does not mean I will not be social, but it does mean that:
  1. Alcohol may only be consumed when and if I feel it will not be a trigger, i.e. on a "good social day". 
  2. I will not go out unless I am "feeling social" so as to prevent myself from being triggered.
  3. I will surround myself with friends who support my decision and will remind me in my times of need that I don't need my crutch.
  4. I will find a healthier way to de-stress, deal with social anxiety and so on and so forth (e.g. breathing exercises)
What are "good social days"?

I don't know if this makes any sense at all, but for me there are days when I find it easier to blend into the crowd and act "normal". Some days the anxiety I feel while socialising is less. It's the days when it doesn't make me feel like I'm about to puke because I have to talk to people. It's the days that I don't need, not want, but physically need, to disappear into my music because music doesn't judge. It's the friend that is always there and it always understands you. 

And so here we are...

It's time to end the cycle. I may just stop drinking again too, but that is yet to be decided. All that I do know is I'm 4 days clean from cigarettes (and alcohol) and during this emotionally heavy time in my life the best thing I can do is focus my energy on being good to me (whatever form that takes). If I take care of myself I will be better equipped to take care of my loved ones who need me to be strong for them and to support them in this tumultuous time. As someone very special to me said: "let their karma be their karma". And so it was done. Or at least attempted. 

Over and out.



Friday, 26 September 2014

Self-love VS Fear


It's a funny thing trying to build yourself up again when you're down (bi-polar or not). If you're anything like me, you over analyse everything, down to the last day when it all changed.

Fear is a sneaky fella; he creeps around at the back of your mind sometimes driving you to do things with or without your consent. He allows you to fall back into old patterns for the mere fact that they are safer.

The Journey

One such fear I have tried for years to overcome is the fear of not doing everything perfectly. I strive to be above average in aspect of my life - from work, relationships, in the kitchen and even in the bedroom (the last 2 where I feel I fall short due to fears of inadequacy so rather saying I can't). I can't tell you if these are just fears, but what they are is real.

I grew up in a household where I was not welcomed into the kitchen, but rather told to get out and go play outside (generally some tomboy activity I loved far more anyway). At no fault to my parents or my upbringing it left me feeling rather unsure of myself when it came to cooking and the like. And society tells us that all females must know how to cook or at least enjoy trying to, especially once in your 20's.

At 16 I took Home Economics in hopes that I would acquire some new skills, and I took to it like a duck to water, easy A's all the way. But the fear was still there, the fear of judgement.

Nowadays I cook, but only for myself. I even baked the other day for the first time in years, to the delight of my office colleagues. Unbeknown to them they were part of my little experiment to build my confidence in this arena. For what I have been doing over the last month is an experiment of sorts to grow in ways I had previously neglected out of fear. Pushing my boundaries and getting out of my comfort zone.

Over the years I chose to grow in other areas, but left these 2 alone out of fear. Each time I put my big toe in the water to attempt to get over them, life would give me a person to prove why my fears were valid. What I didn't know, or better said, what I couldn't see, was that I was allowing them to be that person. I have the power to allow people to affect me, be that in a positive or negative way.

Growth & Self-love

We cannot grow unless we are open to the pain that change brings, nor can we change because someone tells us we should; it must be an inner monologue being acted out because we want to grow.

And this is where my experiment continues; at its own pace of course - life has no timeline nor is anything definite. But what I do know is that I am nearing 2 days clear of smoking (again). I don't know how long this stint will last, but I am being good to myself. I am showing myself love and in-turn will be better able to show someone else love. I don't know when, if ever, for now it's just Toby and myself...But I am quite content to be a cat lady until someone who is also working on themselves chooses to grow alongside me.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Change is the only constant

It's been almost 2 months of writing this piece, editing and scribbling notes down on my phone during moments of trying to find how best to heal. I was torn between my psychologist (writing), my love of privacy regarding private matters and the fact that I did not want others to be affected by this although I knew I needed to write. But between the edits and the tears I knew that I had to write this piece. I knew that in order to gain perspective I needed to write.

It was a rather blurry matter of events, things were said, but they made no sense to my head or my heart. It took a mere 6 days to go from a sparkly eyed girl to a blubbering mess. I knew what you had said, I knew we were over but I didn't know why. Looking back at the sequence of events after, it still makes little to no sense. But I do know one thing, you seem happy and that is all I ever wanted. It just hurt.

I thought you were my person, and I yours until you told me I wasn't. It shook me to the bone and shattered my heart to the point that I literally felt violated and could allow no one into my space without becoming a panda. I felt naked and unprotected after months of feeling the safest I had ever. And the remnants of you surround me, what you gave to my soul and the physical gifts that meant the world...yet you were gone. It was as though you had died, but your ghost haunted me at every turn.

I tried to move on like all my friends told me to, but it felt wrong even talking to a guy. As with most heart problems, logical is a far cry from close at hand and it's impossible to see past the pain when it's too close.

All that kept playing in my head was "...But where do you go to my lovely...I want to see inside your head."

It's a song that plays over and over in my head without end. It's like a stuck record and I am quite sure my friends are rather tired of hearing it, but you were my person and I yours.  

Making sense of it all

I wish it was different, but there is no way to return. Life doesn't work like that. Even after taking it apart piece by piece to make sense of it I know this. What is done is done. What I learned is forever. In life there are no do-overs, but the lessons learned, once learned allow us to progress to the next stage. It's kind of like Nintendo, only the stakes are far higher.

Putting the pieces of me back together

Slowly but surely I am gluing myself back together again and I am building a 2.0 version as I type this. I will never be the same, but I am thankful for that.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Highs & Lows


This past weekend was one for the books. From Ramfest on Friday to the wedding of one of my best friends on Saturday - a wedding that rivals anything any Hollywood writer could scribe. It truly was what little girls dreams are made of.

Witnessing love in its rawest form

I have attended a few weddings, but this one takes particular preference after witnessing love like no other. This is love in its rawest form, a love that I got to witness in all its shining glory. A first dance that made my heart sing with joy at witnessing one my bests marrying her best friend, her protector and he his best friend and pillar of strength. Words do it no justice describing your first dance, Jez & James, your souls on fire joining as one for eternity. It really is a love story for the ages.

Traffic and Directions

Troubles before like traffic making me late for both and my directional challenges throwing a spanner in the works leaving me feeling beyond guilty to the point of re-thinking life and what it means to me and how much gratitude I have for my best of friends, I eventually made it to both and even got a Hollywood walking down the stairs kind of moment thrown in for good measure too. I wish I could have a video to remember this weekend for eternity. There is a video of part of it, and you guessed it, I found a way to throw in a cringe and die type moment. Typical. It really was a reminder of all the great people I have in my life and how those that I have lost are missed, but never forgotten. It had me wishing I could do things a lil’ differently in some moments, but as they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the past few months have been proof of this if anything. But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger and able to grow into a better version of our yesterdays.

A lil' moshing in the right direction

At Ramfest I got to re-live a lil’ of my youth moshing to Killswitch Engage with one of my best friends in the entire world! Although I left bruised and struggled to find him originally (due to lack of signal at the venue), I of course found him on my way and was able to enjoy a night to remember. It’s funny how life has a way of working out just as it should have. My soul feels fed after this weekend. Re-newed spirit to continue on my path of personal growth while being ever mindful of how terrible I am at keeping in contact (signal or no signal) and how I do not tell those that mean the world to me often enough just how grateful I am to have them in my life. I am blessed beyond words.

Un-quiet mind

Now if the voices in my head would just shut up and my bipolar meds would start working again that would be a real sweet deal. Time to find a new pshyc and sort that out, again. The forever evolving noise that is my neurons not making the right connections is a little haywire at the moment. He’s out for blood, but I will not give in. For this is my silent battle while living the life I dream of.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Perfection - a myth


The concept of perfection, she is not natural. She is not found in nature. She is but a myth we have created to keep ourselves unhappy. 

Forever and a day I strived to be the "perfect" example of what those around me wanted to be. I failed dismally of course, seeing as that I am but a mere mortal (albeit not a "muggle" per say).

Irrational Fear

I have sat toying with the concept of writing this piece for months now, knowing that the only thing stopping me was my preconceived ideas surrounding what those I know would think of me should I. Crazy I know, but sometimes that is what is going on up in my head.

 All this changed after one conversation this morning. Those fears melted away after opening up the big bag of crazy. It's funny what a mind shift one can have while chatting to a fellow "non-muggle-type" can do to remind you why you started on this self-exploration train nearly 2 years and 5 months ago (not to say it hadn't started long before, but it become more defined within this time).

Now while I may not have kept up with the conventional program, the program I set myself, the one of self-discovery, learning healthy coping mechanisms and applying them all the while striving to be the best possible version of myself, that I can confidently say I have. Not perfect, but happy. Content most days (something I for a long time deemed an impossible state of mind for one such as myself). I can honestly say that it's nearly 2 and half years on and I am happier than I have ever been.


I know myself better than I have ever. Not because I didn't before, but because I allowed people's preconceived concepts of myself and what I was meant to be blur the lines between who I was (a skinny nerd with big boobs, a tomboy who loves nature & is happiest at the ocean, but could easily get lost within a book for days and so much more). For I am not one thing, I am merely a compilation of my many varying interests & life experiences. A creation built over time through those who have molded me by touching my life at various points, be that about myself, the world or everything in between. I am me. I am the pieces that make up me. I am.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I could be this content, living a balanced lifestyle that feeds all parts of my personality, but here I sit late one night at the office and I type this, the reminder. The reminder that when I really look at it, really take the time to reflect, the growth I see is exponentially larger than what I thought when I was holding that little piece of paper too close to see the entire picture.

Over & Out.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Ready, set, achieve your Dreams.

Ready, set, achieve your Dreams.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

First step: Setting Goals

A prime example being my week that just passed. I set goals & almost all were achieved (one was partially, but I cannot in good faith count it, the perfectionist in me will not allow for it). Thriving under pressure, a short time span was set. Momentum is now needed to keep this progress going, but as I mentioned in my last post, you always know in your heart of hearts where the truth lies.And I got this.

This got me thinking. What are the ways in which are best to set goals for yourself and to achieve them and as such I came up with this.

How to achieve your dreams:
  1.  Know yourself: Set goals, but personalize them so as to circumvent the bad habits that might cut you off at the knees (we all have them, just got to work with them).
  2. Deadline: Make sure that your deadline is of importance or will motivate you, e.g. A holiday away
  3. Baby Steps: Pace yourself in order to keep up momentum.  
  4. Tell someone: This creates a sense of responsibility and will make it harder to drop the ball. (Maybe even grab a group of friends together and set goals and motivate it each other to achieve them)
  5. Persistence: If you don't get it right the 1st time, try, try, again.
Rinse & repeat. 

Now some of you that have read this may say, well, I don't know where to start. You, good sir/madam are lying. There is a dream inside of all of us (yes, I just quoted Mr Schuester in Glee). It may be daunting and scary or perhaps perceived to be unattainable. Or perhaps your parents/one of them are like mine: fear holds a tight grip, so tight they cannot nor do they want to, see passed their comfort zone & they keep telling you why it won't work. If you're anything like me though, you're an adventurer (albeit sometimes that fear grips you too). Push on. Climb those mountains. They are set for us to climb and it would be a waste if we didn't at least try.

Over & Out.


Monday, 21 October 2013

A Beautiful Conundrum

Life. It’s a beautiful and at times exasperating cycle that continues to ever evolve and back track until we have hit our stubborn heads against the metaphorical wall enough times to grow from the lessons that have been set out for us. 

Many a late night has been spent pondering these cycles, trying fervently to unravel them piece- by -piece. I want to understand the world, the psyche and everything in between. I am forever curious and like many, seek answers; solutions to the many conundrums life has presented me at various stages of my life.

However, one thing remains constant. A constant fear that lurks in the pit of my stomach. I feel a bit like what I imagine the crocs feel like when they swallow a stone (gastrolith) to aid digestion. Heavy. It is a question & a feeling that rings true to many. The fear that I have not, nor ever will have done everything I want to in my life. None of which defines me, but all of which makes up pieces of me.

Currently I reside in my comfort zone, but I once again have itchy feet. I seek new adventures, the wind in my hair, the ocean stretched out in all its grace & glory, new tastes, new sounds and more importantly more chances to grow. New challenges, new conundrums. They are in abundance, they surround me & set me free while suffocating me at the same time. As scary as these new adventures I seek are, as daunting as the probability of landing squarely where I am now, simply in a foreign country (for we carry ourselves with ourselves) I know that my next step is to venture once again beyond these walls of comfort. 

There are times like these that when they stand before us, we know what is written in our heart of hearts. We fear it. We want to ignore the reality. The question is, do we allow the fear of the unknown to cripple us or allow it to be the wind beneath our wings? So we may soar to heights previously unknown or unimaginable to us. This is the question that burns a whole in my head and my heart on so many occasions and forces me once again to take personal inventory. 

The time is now, time to get the fuck out of my comfort zone. I have already been here for too long this time round. And so the cycle continues. Life and her many questions and my quest to unravel at least a part of it. My truth. For after all, we live in a world created by our own perceptions and timing is everything.

Over & Out.