If there’s no solution, it’s not a problem.

The hardest part of any challenge is thinking about it. The way I see it, inside my mind is very small relative to the world. The world is expansive and limitless, but my skull isn’t. When I get caught in ruminating or anxious repetitive thoughts, it can feel like a cacophony in my head. And whatever problem

Seems so insurmountable, and I couldn’t possibly handle it.

The simple act of writing it on paper, saying it out loud, or just tackling the problem inevitably shows my problem was far bigger in my head than reality. The mind creates the problem, action always diminishes problems. Sometimes, I make a list of what I’m

Anxious about and I pick “low hanging fruit” i.e. the easiest thing I can do to handle something. And I work my way through it.

The most powerful thing I learned with my psychosis came from a random encounter:

If you don’t have a solution, then it is not a problem. Later, I found a Buddhist quote: “why worry? If you don’t have an answer; you cannot solve the problem, and if you do have an answer; your problem is solved!”

My mind loves to say can’t. I can’t handle this that or the other thing. I used to try to change it to can. The problem with can is, it’s still future state. I will and I am are much more effective in retraining the brain. I will do this, I am doing this. Your mind calms and becomes focused on the present as opposed to dancing in future and past.

But at the end of the day, suffering comes from thinking about problems. Life comes in action. Life, experience, love, God, and humans. We are all actions, not nouns. We are beyond words, so don’t let the words in your thoughts control your limitless potential. I will. I am. The two things to change your life.

Shades of Truth

Words are weapons

Words are tools

Like chains of infinity

Like sun to the moon

Black and white runs us blind

Up vs down controls the mind

We’re baby birds flying

No wings, we’ve crashed

The power within disposed like trash

Our eyes see blindly

Wont reflect on the mirror

We think up obstacles

In place of what’s clear

Words now weapons

Praise the new God of Fear

Have you ever felt deeply

This must not be me?

Have you ever questioned reality?

Do darkness and demons sneak ’round every corner?

Temptation, addiction crush your own willpower?

Why are tears so easy, but smiles hard won?

Is it truly so crazy to look at the son?

Did you ever look at the sky and see

the beautiful painting God made for me?

The me is you and you is we

Connected together in gravity

The blue, those clouds,

They’re yours, they’re mine

Breathe in and out, love is divine

Everything, everything is won with us

Yet we only see what mind thinks is best

We’re tied in shoelaces

We’re chained by a feather

There’s nothing to fear,

Our guards aren’t that clever

Just look at the sky and remember you’re soul

Embrace your own heart

Express your soul

Just look at the sky and remember this well

The best days here are the worst days in hell

God painted the sky just for you

God sparkles the grass with tears of dew

Every color you see is how you perceive it

We’ve outgrown this nest

When will you leave it?


I actually wrote this with a song playing, check it out and see if it adds to the poetry. Escape Route

Check out my other poem, also produced by 33 pyramids China white

Mom Duty

I had to do a rough mom job last weekend. Livie’s anole died: she got two anoles at the Renaissance Faire in October, and the male died pretty fast, the female just died last week. Of course, it happened while she was away at camp. We had gotten her another male, because anoles shouldn’t be alone. I sat her in bed with me and told her what happened, reassured her she did nothing wrong, told her how good she’s done taking care of them, and then I just shut up. I let her cry, I listened to her cry, and I squeezed her tight. I think sometimes we crush our kids with the best of intentions. No one wants their kid to hurt or cry, but both are natural parts of life. We come into the world crying, and every mother knows labor is neither free of hurt or tears. It’s just part of life. Sometimes, I think the hardest thing is to let our kids hurt, let them feel pain, and show them how to cope. The best way to do that is to let them see you cope, I think. Be honest with your own emotions at a level they understand, and talk about how you get through tough times.

This time, I just shut up. There’s no words that take away the pain of a lost pet, and what she needed was to cry, and was to just be nuzzled by me. She started smiling again pretty quickly.

She went to get anoles this weekend, because now Pete can’t be alone. I suggested she name her new anole sparkle, so she can always remember the fun she had at sparkle camp, even if she came home to a sad thing. I told her this is how life works, and the best way to stay happy is to always make the bad as good as it can be. Even though you will miss majesty, you can be thankful for her and the memories you had, as you make new memories with sparkle and princess. (Apparently more females are better for the male. They like “harems”… lizards man who knew! 🦎)

When she was happy, I explained the yin yang to her again. There is always good inside the bad, and bad inside the good. ☯️

I Am Mine

I am me and I am mine

A safe cocoon of transformation

Changing constantly with the moon

I grow, I shift, and then I bloom

Breaking old molds and hesitation

I am me and I am mine

I see the love I had denied

When the world grows noisy

I go still

Still to find the center

The place inside that no one sees

The place inside where there’s only me

Inside my heart, I found this space

It was lonely, tattered and neglected

That space in me held love rejected

But it was me, and it was mine

So I planted seeds of love divine

I am me and I am mine

I see the love I had denied

When the world grows noisy

I go still

I see the power of my will

I willed myself to break out of this shell

I changed my eyes to stop seeing hell

That space, though shabby was fertile soil

Watered by old tears, and endless toil

I am me, and I am mine

I see no more of love denied

When the world grows noisy,

I fly away

I drift amongst the garden and play

I see no more these shades of gray.

Inspired by the beautiful, wonderfully talented poetess Yashkan

Continue reading “I Am Mine”

Writing Challenge – Causal Dating

Writing Challenge from Fearful Fitful Phantasmal

Summary of Autopsy Findings:

  1. Victim is 5’9″ with hazel eyes and brown hair. Caucasian. Approximately 190 lbs. 38 years of age with no remarkable features.
  2. Victim has deep lacerations covering back. Wounds suggest large knives were used. Lacerations are different size and penetration, suggesting multiple knifes.
  3. Blood loss suggests all wounds suffered pre-mortem.
  4. Victim has a dark contusion around neck, suggesting he was hanged for a period of time. Burst blood vessels in eyes confirm asphyxiation and trauma from hanging, but also not fatal. It appears, from the varying patterns of the contusion, he was hanged repeatedly, and probably lost consciousness.
  5. Contents of the stomach: semi-digested pizza and beer with trace amounts of Xanax. Based on digestion, victim would have eaten approximately 3 hours prior to death. Contents also included the victim’s testicles, undigested. It appears they were eaten less than an hour before death.
  6. The victim’s genitalia was severed. The penis was forcefully inserted in victim’s rectum. The wound and bleeding show this occurred before death. The wound pattern shows it was a serrated knife and severe trauma indicates the penis and scrotum were removed after several tries leading to an almost hacking wound pattern.
  7. Cause of death: self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. GSR present on hands, skin, and clothing. Angle of bullet and trauma confirm victim shot himself.

Detectives Notes:

  1. Victim is Jason Styburn. 38 years old. No immediate family or connections. Body was discovered by landlord approximately 24 hours postmortem. Landlord was coming to collect overdue rent and found the body and called it in.
  2. Rigor mortis suggested victim had been dead for at least one day. Landlord unaware of any connections, said victim “kept to himself, never brought anyone home, rarely talked, but did seem to go out at all hours of the night.”
  3. Search of phone records showed thousands of texts to different numbers. Texts suggest relationships and dating, often with victim barely responding and all ending with an agreement for another date.
  4. Most recent text thread, with over 3,000 text messages were to Alison O’Neill. According to phone records, she is the last person to see Styburn alive
  5. Suspect is female, 40 years old, no police record. According to phone records, she and Styburn were getting pizza. Conversations in text suggest an ongoing relationship. Landlord confirmed he had never seen her before.
  6. Search of phone numbers have revealed connection to missing person cases – all female.
  7. All missing persons have similar profile: new in town, active online dating profiles, brunette, aged 38-45.
  8. Search of suspects’ home revealed:
    1. Pictures of her and Styburn
    2. Love letters from Styburn
    3. A note written in (victim’s confirmed) blood: “Please love me again”
    4. Private journal with details of relationship with Styburn
  9. Suspect’s Phone revealed ongoing complaints from her to coworker about feeling she is being stalked, and seeking advice to feel safe.
  10. Possible Vigilante situation?

Verdict:

  1. We the people find Alison O’Neill not guilty of the murder of Jason Styburn

News Headlines:

  1. Heroic “Black Widow” not guilty of all charges!
  2. Serial Killers beware, Black Widow is Not Guilty!
  3. Most Absurd Trial Ever: He Kills Them, She Kills Him, She is Free
  4. Dexter – Move Over, Black Widow Released

 

In Mr. Habte’s Apartment (also, see the writer’s challenge after this story)

FFP’s Writing Challenge!

Fitful, Fearful, Phantasmal

a list of the contents in the trash bin belonging to Mr. Nadir Habte:

  1. one set of sweat-soaked, piss-wetted, blood-stained bed sheets
  2. one shattered bedside lamp and light bulb
  3. seven used tissues–all drenched in mucus and tears, some speckled with blood
  4. glass shards from a broken bathroom wall mirror
  5. scraps cut from a length of medical gauze
  6. three plastic-wrapped, unopened packs of Winstons–all branded with the slogan: “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”
  7. near-full pack of Oreo Double Stuf
  8. half-eaten bag of Jet-Puffed Jumbo Marshmallows
  9. three egg shells
  10. one apple core
  11. two used tea bags
  12. one empty bottle of Visine
  13. receipt and tags cut from new pair of Nike jogging shoes
  14. plastic seal ripped from the lid of a tube of Banana Boat Sunscreen SPF 50
  15. packaging from a set of sweatbands, (2 wrist bands and 1 headband)

a list of items on the night stand belonging to Mr…

View original post 126 more words

Creativity and Anxiety

I’ve loved writing poetry since I was a teenager. I remember my parents sent me to a poetry workshop in elementary school and I was so excited to read my poems out loud. They told me I had a gift, and I didn’t really believe them. I only recently started writing poems again, and even then I struggle with telling myself I’m not good or whatever. It’s resistance from me to me. I get random inspiration constantly, and I can usually write a poem in less than 20 minutes. But I fight myself.

I am finally coming to understand how art works. If my focus is on me and my problems, I’m wasting my creative expression with creative oppression. The creativity is the same: i am either inventing a story about my life or I’m writing a story or a poem or whatever. I read somewhere anxiety is repressed creativity. Art lying inside of you that cannot come out so it creates anxiety.

This is what I do know: the more I have accepted myself, my life, my problems, and my successes, the more often I get random bits of poems that need to come together. This poem here is clearly about an ex and it was built around the line “your love is like rainbow sprinkles and I’m starving for a feast.”

The only way I know to connect with my heart and intuition is to take these bits and paint them into poetry and let whatever happen happen. The only way that happens is when I stop focusing on my bullshit stories and stare at the sky, or a tree, or meditate. Then I stop squandering creativity by inventing worst case scenarios and projection.

When you were a little kid, there was something you loved. Maybe it was singing, maybe it was writing, maybe it was coloring. It doesn’t matter. Find it again and give yourself time and space to do it. The changes that come from connecting with your creativity and inner child… it’s nothing short of magic.

Beautiful Lies – Fine White

Pajamas and Anxiety

In my old blog, I talked about pajamas a lot. The thing is, I live in pajamas. It has nothing to do with depression, I just love pajamas. I started wearing pajamas out and about because I realized anxiety doesn’t get as bad if I feel comfortable in my clothes. I mean, anxiety makes you uncomfortable in your own skin, so why not surround that uncomfortable skin with softness and loose clothings?

It started with wearing pajamas to Wawa when I’d get my daily coke and smokes. Admittedly, it was laziness that started the trend, but a wisdom emerged. No one noticed me. No one gave me funny looks or started discussing me covertly. I would just get my coke and smokes. I began seeing how far away I’d be willing to go in my pajamas, because I used to not really like leaving my house. I used to work from home, so I never actually needed to get dressed.

Anxiety always tells me how everyone is looking at me. I project my own self criticism and judgement on random strangers. I think the biggest lie of anxiety is if you worry about it, you’ll be better prepared when the worst happens. The truth is: when you inevitably prove yourself right, you still feel like crap. Pajamas helped me realize no one looks at me. Everyone else is busy buying hoagies, cigarettes, or sodas. I’m literally another random face in a crowd of faces.

Recently, I went kayaking in my pajamas. I was weirdly anxious about kayaking because I guess anything new is imminent danger as visions of me falling in the lake danced through my head. Legitimately, I just forgot to get out of my pajamas and put on suitable clothes for kayaking. But kayaking in my pajamas showed me again it doesn’t matter. Everything that buzzes around my noisy brain is just noise. I didn’t fall in the lake, and lightweight PJs are delightful on a hot day on the lake.

I don’t know that Jesus was necessarily directing people to wear pajamas when he said to give no thought to your raiments, but it’s great advice. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, nobody cares. Anxiety cares, but I am more than my raiments and I am more than anxiety too. Every time I challenge the thoughts in my head with reality, I see how meaningless thoughts are.

Anxiety is hyper self focus projected on to others. It feels like all eyes are on you even when no one sees you. One of my biggest fears used to be driving, and part of it was I thought everyone was criticizing my driving and watching me. It wasn’t until I forced myself to drive 5 hours north to Long Island and sit in New York traffic that I realized I am driving like everyone else. I’m just another person contributing to traffic.

The cool thing about anxiety is, if you can shift your focus, you can be one of the most compassionate people in the world. Anxiety boils down to stories we tell ourselves about ourself and others. I tell myself someone thinks I’m an idiot or whatever. What I can also do is step outside of myself and tell stories about other people. Maybe the person honked at me not because I suck but because they’re late for work and could get in trouble. Maybe the person passing me in Wawa is having a bad day and I can say hello and smile instead of looking at the ground and shuffling.

Anyone can apply all the creative thinking anxiety creates to actual creativity. I wouldn’t have done this pajama experiment otherwise and it helped me. I wouldn’t have had the idea to road trip to my best friend if I wasn’t terrified of driving. When anxiety is all self directed, it feels like a weight on your mind and chest. It’s like wearing a cement dress in a sprint. But, if that intense self focus can be redirected, it’s kind of a super power in understanding other people. You’re more sensitive because you know how hard it is to feel comfortable in your own skin.

The creativity we use to lie to ourselves can be applied to challenging our thoughts and perceptions. It can also be used to be a better person. Our minds don’t know the difference between expressive creativity and oppressive creativity. We can always change the track in our brains, and we can find the good in every challenge and situation. I’m not trying to say just think positive, that’s another oppressive creativity. I am saying: find the ways to be yourself and express yourself. So much of our anxiety is actually repressed emotion and expression. All the things we could have or should have pile up in our minds and manifest with sweaty palms, racing thoughts, and crazy heart pounding.

It takes a bit of effort and practice to start questioning your thoughts. Some struggle to even recognize the thoughts are present. I’ve found, though, the more I hold my head up, look into peoples’ eyes, smile, and say hello: I’ve seen a lot of people smiling back and not laughing at me. Our brains lie to us. Our brains do not connect us with reality, because reality isn’t words. It’s experience. Reality is walking around in pajamas because I’m teaching myself to always be comfortable in my own skin and sometimes I need Santa Claus jammies to do it. One milestone at a time.

(And of course, if pajamas are inappropriate for the occasion, there’s always yoga pants…)

At least it’s not a rash…

I’m at an interesting point in my mental health journey. One of my biggest problems with medications is always side effects. Lamictal and topomax gave me a drug rash. Lithium made me constantly tired and I gained 40+ pounds and didn’t notice much beyond more depression. Prozac gave me crazy anxiety. Abilify, haldol, seroquel turned me into a robot or almost drooling mess of drugged human.

Effexor is the only anti depressant I’ve “liked” and Latuda is the only mood stabilizer that hasn’t ruined my life. However, side effects are so bizarre. My jaw locks, my muscles have started randomly clenching and spasming, and I’m getting restless legs. I also have a weird neck/head jerky twitch. By now, I would have cold turkeyed off the drugs and argued I’m fine.

But I’m not fine. Without something, I can’t find a baseline. My moods swing so quickly, and not in an orderly fashion. I’m never manic or depressed, it’s both, anxious, and cleaning obsessively or freaking about cleaning because I can’t clean because I cant stay awake. I’m not doing anything or I’m doing everything or I’m having a panic attack about both.

With Latuda, I’m calmer. I respond more than I react. A lot of this is helped by meditation and yoga, but without medicine, I struggle to perform these things on my own which makes it all worse. But the side effects suck.

What doesn’t suck is my doctor, who is listening to me, confirming these are side effects and actually changing stuff around rather than telling me I’m wrong or just want to be manic all the time. The funny part is I guess all of this work to stabilize my moods is just to get me on adhd medicine. This past month wasn’t good. Lots of depression – more than usual. But I got through okay. I have a lot of stress right now – I am a mom of 3 lol. My life is crazy as a baseline.

But I’m not quitting the medicine. I promised myself after the psychosis I was going to figure this all out. My doctor is adding another drug to stop the side effects and either lowering the Latuda and increasing the Effexor or just increasing Effexor. There are a lot

Of benefits to taking these medicines and unfortunately I’m sensitive to medicine (ask me about my NyQuil experiences lol) so this is really hard.

I’m sharing all this because I think it might be helpful if anyone is struggling with doctors/therapy/medicine. A lot of doctors treat statistics, not people. Some of these side effects are rare, and because of that, many doctors are dismissive. Or, they say the benefits outweighs the drawbacks. But everyone needs to be really educated about their diseases and medicines. Reading side effects, tracking side effects, speaking intelligently about symptoms and frequency. Journaling is an amazing way to understand yourself and what’s going on with your body.

I usually read my journal for the past month and read a journal from an earlier time period (say 6 months to a year) before aby appointment. I can then tell if I’m improving or not, I can see where I was at before and where I’m At now, and how frequently these things are occurring. I track my period in my journal and I note every day I have it in my journal so I can see how the anxiety and depression was. I make notes on my moods and anxiety levels all the time. I note if I forgot a medicine and what happened. I’m my own psychologist kind of.

Because I know the drugs and my body, I’m able to be an active part of my treatment plan instead of just sucking it up and dealing with it. The muscle stuff I’m describing is a big deal. I could end up with long term problems like tardive Dyskinesia. It was because I started noticing these muscle spasms and took notes that I could talk about it with my doctor.

It’s never enough to just take the medicine. A journey of mental health is a journey of self awareness too. I’ve stopped medicine a lot because the side effects were too much and no one was listening. It took a lot of doctors to find one who did. The only difference now is I fight for me, I speak up for me, and I’m an open book with everyone especially my doctor. When i went to the mental hospital

The first time, all I said was I get sad and anxious sometimes. No mention of eating disorders, obsessive cleaning and other compulsions, I said my brain was telling me to hurt myself because I didn’t even know what intrusive thoughts were. Frankly, at that time, I didn’t know what was Wrong with me.

Now I know nothing is wrong with me, I just need support. I care about myself now, so I take care of myself.