Lost words

The words used to flow so freely from my mind and through my hands onto the page. After the chemo, the medication, the illicit drugs, and the health conditions that have all affected my memory, my concentration, and the speed of thought, it has become such a struggle to write anymore. It takes forever to find the that perfect word I have on the tip of my tongue and I remember a day when 10 page papers were a breeze to me. It’s painful when your passion becomes a difficult reminder of how much your brain has changed over the past 20 years or so. I have so many thoughts spinning around up there but focusing enough to get them down on paper is a serious chore. Writing used to be a release for me, a therapy session with myself. Now I find myself getting frustrated because I can’t find the ‘right’ words to express what I’m trying to say.

What do you do when your passion has become a painful process for you?

Gaslighting

Being one of the vast number of people who suffer from a mental illness, I’ve learned the importance of protecting yourself from gaslighting and recognizing it when it’s happening to you.

According to Wikipedia, gaslighting is a form of manipulation that tries to create doubt in an individual or group in hopes to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to break the victim down and delegitimize their beliefs. Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term originated from the 1938 Patrick Hamilton play Gas Light and its 1940 and 1944 film adaptations. The term is now being used in clinical and research literature as well as in political commentary.

It’s so crucial for those with mental illnesses to be aware of this form of abuse because we are perfect targets for it. I mean, think about it… we already feel crazy without anyone’s help so it’s that much easier for someone to magnify that thought. We must remain vigilant in order to prevent falling into this type of abuse. Sadly, it’s very easy to become prey to the manipulation used in this kind of abusive relationship. It’s all about tearing someone down to gain complete control of them.

Personally, I’d rather be decked in the face than experience the psychological abuse I’ve endured. Luckily, I made it out in one piece and survived the pain. I just want to warn my fellow “crazy’s” about something I’ve been through and hopefully, save someone from being put through the abuse of a toxic relationship. If you can relate to anything in this post, get out and run… run far, far far away! When I became a target for this horrible psychological game, I had never heard of gaslighting or knew anything about it. For me, I don’t think it would’ve mattered anyway. The truth of it is that you only fall victim to what you allow. So maybe, just maybe, I might be able to enlighten someone to beware of relationships that seem to fit the gaslighting description. Or maybe, just maybe, someone will have faith in themself and their mind enough to trust their truth and stand strong against anyone who tries to make them think differently.

Hope

Hope is what happens when you first see a light,
Just a distant, small star in the darkest of night.

Hope is what happens with the first buds of spring,
When dawn touches the sky or a bird spreads its wings.

Hope is what happens when a wound starts to heal,
Whether skin deep or soul deep, you begin to feel real.

Hope is what happens when you’re poor but not broken.
There’s a goldmine of dreams still yet to be awakened.

Hope is what happens when someone is kind,
A feeling not lost, just misplaced in your mind.

Hope is what happens when war turns to peace,
After everyone prayed that the fighting would cease.

Hope is what happens with the smell of fresh rain,
When your long drought of dreams is renewed yet again.

Hope is what happens when clouds finally clear.
Troubled thunder falls silent, courageous whispers you hear.

Hope is what happens when fresh bread is baking,
And what hungers your heart will someday stop aching.

Hope is what happens when kindling ignites.
You rediscover your passion that burns day and night.

Hope is what happens when the pain eases a bit,
And deep down inside, you find your true grit.

Hope is what happens as long as we breathe,
For although it takes time, the sorrow will leave.

Hope is what happens long after the pain…

Hope is what happens, again and again…

~ Catherine DeVrye

RIP Mommy

Mother’s Day is probably one of the most difficult days of the year for me. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to spend a moment in time with my mom today. Losing her was like losing my whole sense of self. Looking at each other was like looking into a two-way mirror.

Without trying, my mom raised a daughter who shares most of her best and worst qualities. I give her all the credit for my ability to love unconditionally without boundaries or limits. She instilled most of the values I will always live by such as honesty and compassion for others.

I will forever hold dear to my heart the way we continually switched off as the caregiver throughout the years. On the other hand, I definitely got my “crazy” from my mom. You can only imagine some of the epic blowouts we had when our “crazy’s” would collide.

As I get older, the questions I wish I could ask her continues to grow. I guess that’s one of the worst parts of losing your mom at such a young age. She was only 54 years old when she passed away but they say only the good die young, right? It’s what I choose to believe. Just like I choose to believe she’s always looking down and protecting me as one of my guardian angels.

Warriors

I fought cancer and won that battle. I struggle with addiction and found that recovery is possible. I deal with a number of chronic illnesses but don’t let them control my life. With all this being said, there’s still another monster that defeats me every time it rears it’s ugly head. Depression is the most powerful opponent I’ve ever encountered. How are you supposed to win a battle against something that steals all your desire to fight or do anything really?

To those who don’t understand mental illness, it may seem like people suffering with depression are just giving up on life. Knowing this enemy all too well, I see things in a much different way. I believe that some of the strongest people are the ones who pull themselves out of the darkness and do it repeatedly throughout their lives. It takes a true warrior to make it through depression alive.

All In

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I don’t want to be stuck in bed doing nothing while life just passes me by. This whole “living” thing isn’t meant to be a spectator sport. It’s about experiencing every encounter, the good and bad. I’ve made a decision that I WILL NOT HALF-ASS MY LIFE NO MATTER WHAT!

I guess you could say that I’m “all in” because what’s life without taking risks? I know for a fact that history wasn’t made by people who played it safe. I could lose it all and it wouldn’t matter. Things can be replaced. I’m more interested in a thrill at this point. I don’t expect to live forever or even make it through my 40’s so I’d rather jump headfirst into the unknown than hang around in the shallow end where you can drown just as easily.

I may be crazy. I may be delusional. I may be sick of people placing labels on everyone just because they’re different. I may just happen to be myself and that should be good enough for the world. It is for me. I am who I am and I’ll never be anything else. I kinda dig her actually. You should meet her sometime. It’ll be fun. I promise.