An Honest Account: Recovery is a Spectrum.

Recovery is a spectrum. I don’t think you can put a time frame on gluing pieces of a broken soul back together. Our minds are wondrous and bafflingly strong. Hence, when one turns against itself and slowly self destructs, it takes it’s toll. Those who find themselves lost in the depths of mental illness are beatiful and strong. And still recovering. 

Nearly five years have come and gone and I’m still not sure where on the spectrum I land. Some days I’m on top of the world. Most days, however, I’m simply nowhere at all; a world of grey and uncertainty. 

That’s the world I spend a lot of time on. I don’t mean that despairingly -I do a little bit, I suppose- but it can be difficult. I would compare it to having lost enough little bits of my heart to where I am unable to feel as I am myself completely. I simply could not just go back to the irrevocably optimist I once was. My bright eyes were simply darkened a bit and I could not change that. 

Living like that emptied my soul of nearly every ounce of motivation. In truth I wake up each day feeling, at most, a little bit more motivated than not. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to paint it like I’ve given up and lost all hope on full recovery. That’s something I will not do again. I just want to be as open as possible in this account. 

This state of mind has caused me to be more distant and hesitant to unveil my feelings. Its caused me to step away from everything I was before and reexamine every detail. Determine what I want to continue carrying and what I need to cut loose to allow myself to move on. It is no small process and one I have barely scratched the surface of. 

I am the same person at my core. I am me. I am a ditsy goofball with a desire to bring others happiness and hope. That could never be taken out of the equation. That is why I am writing. I do not think that recovery is an unreachable place. I believe incredible things can happen and healing can happen unexpectedly. That is why I believe it to be a spectrum. Each human mind and heart is unique and complex. 

Sometimes all you need is a step in the right direction. I feel that step on my horizon. I know it’s something I must do by my own choosing. I feel the smoking embers of a motivation I haven’t felt in what seems like a lifetime. 

Regardless of if my spectrum brightens up again and I find myself completely whole, or not, I will carry on. I will share whatever amount of hope and happiness I have that day with others. I feel that is the case for many who have dealt with the kind of darkness depression and anxiety can throw you into. 

And to all of you who can relate, I believe in you. Wherever you are on the spectrum, you are beautiful and never alone. It’s ok to have shitty days. It’s ok to have an amazing day after that, as insanely confusing as that is. 

And to those close friends and family who know we have crazy minds and support and stick by us, you are amazing and we need you. Thank you for sticking by. Continue being the lifesavers you are, despite our sometimes wishy-washy days. 

Keep fighting on. Much love. :)’ 



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From The Heart of My Idealist Hideaway… 

“Now I’m not saying that we’ve all got to agree. God might be something to you, and something different to me. But every time I turn on the news I see, somebody telling us we’re stupid if we choose to believe. It’s tearing us apart. We’re all the same. Every single one of us.Black, white, gay, straight. None of us above the other. God is love. Love is all we need and we can figure out the rest if we find something to believe in.” -Safetysuit – Numbers or Faith.

This song resonated with me and how I’ve been feeling about the current state of affairs with the American government and with humanity in general. So if you’ll allow me to leave my introvert shell for a hot second; my feelings… 

Humans are creating a track record where we only belittle those who differ from us; where we spout poll numbers and laugh if you’re on the opposing side. We’re just closing our minds further and leaving our hearts behind. The news is filled with it. Social media is the perfect platform to violently disagree with dumb people who believe in something unusual to you. Our lives are flooded with agendas that don’t get anything done other than saying other agendas are bullshit. 

I don’t claim to have answers but if there’s anything our current events and presidential “candidates” have brought to light, it’s that our strategy isn’t working. I don’t care if you believe in my God. I don’t care what God you believe in, or if you think all we return to in death is the worthless dust we were born from. As long as you believe in love and something bigger than what our hurtful attitudes are doing to ourselves and the other humans we come in contact with.

Be better humanity. If Christians are wrong(myself included), cool. Let them be wrong as long as they’re actually living out what they claim to live for. Love. If republicans, or democrats, or atheists, or friends, or enemies, or just the regular assholes are absurd enough to disagree with you, but do so lovingly. They deserve the same. Even if they’re the type to disagree aggressively, step up and let them feel right or whatever it is they need. Love them. Open your mind. Listen to different perspectives without needing to defend your own. Don’t force your own agenda on every pour soul who unknowingly lets you speak freely. In the name of all us idealistic introverts, let’s be better. 

Thanks for listening. Heading back to my hideaway now. 🙂 

Practice Makes Progress.

‘It seems that some of our souls are bound to tarry on the edge, struggling awhile longer than other souls around them. It makes them stronger and wiser. I believe that in my heart. It allows them to relate to the deep darkness seeded within the souls too far gone to remember that there was any light to begin with.

It also appears to sometimes set a great weariness on their already burdened hearts. You see, it’s a wholly beautiful thing to help another heart through their darkness to see the hope again; all because you’ve wrestled with that demon. It’s a cold, dark, and damning thing to start the cycle over again and again and again and again. Hearing the voices inside screaming “It’s hopeless, it’s over, it’s over, it’s over again.”

That is the line many of the souls before me walk. It is a line I am still walking. A balance of helping others heal till we’re broken again; of fighting again and again till it’s over. I imagine much like walking a tight rope high above over an abyss, the fear of falling tends to be a motivator to stay on, if only just barely.

I have ceased pushing perfection on myself and those around me walking that wire. We are all in it together, they and I. Each heart faces demons daily and tries its earnest to face them head on. For if in unity we can each share the burden and help keep hope alive, I will not break that striving for a perfection I have never achieved myself. If someone has one more ounce of hope than a week ago; if they have lasted one second longer in the fight against their demon than last time, well there is cause for joy and encouragement.

There isn’t a soul to cross my path that hasn’t been a little bit broken. Therefore I will choose transparency and be broken right alongside them, that we may strengthen each other and inspire hope where there was once none.’

 

…Of Hands and the Cards Dealt Them.

‘I stand on the edge of a new discovery, barely able to stand the excitement. I spent five years in a state of discontentment and a false hope that I was owed something; that my life couldn’t be fully what it was meant to be unless I was freed from my illness. A rather naive notion, if I’m honest with myself.

Now here, on the cusp of a new adventure, I’ve realized that all along, it wasn’t the absence of my disease that I longed for, but the presence of hope amidst it. Finally finding closure in a hand of cards I never asked to be dealt. That was more freeing than a magic snap of the fingers. Escape was no longer my agenda. Every second spent looking for a way out, could now be used looking at all the ways my life has become beautiful.

After all, who among us here is completely void of their inner demons? The world around us has been filled with chaos and hardship. That is a fact we cannot change at this hour. Waiting for it to disappear until we feel freedom and joy and hope, is as powerless as it gets. Waiting for a scenario we feel is owed us before making a difference for ourselves and others. For amidst the chaos, we are surrounded with beauty. It takes an effort to see it sometimes and others may need help finding it once we have.

This is the place I have found my heart, and never has it been happier; more content. I will no longer spend energy on an outcome I have yet to see. Not because it is unlikely, or I don’t believe in it. Rather, I have much to learn, a world of other hearts needing to feel hope again, and a heart full of love I need to be alive enough to give. The time for feeling defeated about my sorry hand of cards is over. After all, the cards I’ve been dealt are a winning hand waiting to be revealed during the right game.’

Iced Interrogations. 

‘I wrapped my heart up and puffed air into my lungs to keep it warm. The normalcy of this process had made it more understandable, but nonetheless trying. 

Each time their icy tendrils came to draw the life out of me, I had to decide to keep going and adapt accordingly. They never came the exact same way twice, scouring every inch of my heart, mind, and soul for weakness. I learned more about myself through each of their interrogations. New strengths. New beliefs. How little I actually believed in some things. 

The process, though painful, I must admit strengthened me. I went through it far more times than I would’ve liked, but so did we all. To this day, I can still sense the cold, icy presence of their questions…and to this day I find I’m faced with a slightly different heart than before. 

Beneath The Armor. 

‘It was that day I discovered that what had always made me who I am still made me…me. 

Strip everything away; the gold, the glitter, the polished armor, and I find underneath it all still lies someone who matters. Someone with real feelings, dreams of grandeur, and love. 

Someone who listens to too much music because it makes them feel alive. Someone who likes the way the hair in their eyes feels because it’s another layer to pass before their inner thoughts can be gazed at from the outside. 

I find someone who gets lost in between the words of awe-inspired wonder written across the pages of endless books. 

I find this someone has immense worth. They have a heart filled with beauty and hope. I find that while forces have been working to slowly kill this wonderful individual, they have survived; fighting on day after day. I find that the strength I’d been searching for was not in the armor I put on every day. No. 

The strength was in the heart of the one who had been hidden beneath the armor.’

Strength’s Pain. 

‘To be strong; to have that sort of inner strength, can be one’s own personal torture. 

Choosing to keep going, because deep down you know you can handle the chaos inside. 

It didn’t take long for some around me to break. They chose falling apart quickly for they had not yet been forced to endure great loads at once. The burden was too much. I’d been there a year already. The darkness, the mold, the thirst that never gets a chance to be quenched; I was used to that. 

Every now and then though, a day would come along and I would feel like breaking. It would become too much. Still, I would remain strong. The younger ones had come to look to me as a leader, someone to encourage them through such pain. I no longer felt like I had the luxury to break down. I was more than happy to be a source of hope, but my soul was not, nor is it ever perfect and whole. 

Silently I chose to crack. An inch here, a seam there. Never losing it all at once and never around others. I wasn’t raised to be someone who feels superior or more equipped to handle struggles. I still question why I chose solitude over letting them see and help me pick up pieces of myself in those moments. Why my strength felt like more of a burden to my back than wind to my sails. 

For even the strong have weakness and need a hand to help them. Some say true strength lies in numbers. I’ve watched this truth unfold before my very eyes and I’ve witnessed the beauty in fighting alongside another. 

Still…every now and then, strength infects my mind. A darkness clouds my head. I need only let the cracks show and look to the Light, but I tarry; leaving myself to my own methods of self destructive habits. Watching as my strength withers and I am left with only cold vulnerability.’

The Weary-Hearted. 

‘The very weight of my thoughts pull at the roots of mountains and swallow oceans as if they were mere puddles. The depths of my heart can be as hollow as an old log reduced to a borough for other inhabitants; while remaining a remnant of burning ash remembering it’s time as volcanic fire. 

The intentions behind my voice are as scattered as leaves falling from the branches they once called home. My mind deceives me more times than I have remembered to count, playing my emotions like a grand theatre preformance.

In all of this I have learned that I am both capable of uncontainable love and unimaginable chaos. The mind is a foe who knows no match. It does not recognize competition. It has already made itself its own master. 

The heart is not weak either. It experiences an emotion to the very fullest it can follow it. It does not go just half of any journey it’s presented with, rather, is unrelenting in its forward motion. 

Inside my soul lies the ability to love deeper than I did yesterday. Therein also lies the fact that I am but a human and can become chaos and struggle in an instant. 

We would do well to remember those parts of us we cannot run from, as we all face a demon or two. I have been the strong, hope-filled heart. I have been the broken, the weak. There is not one who is better, superior; elite. We all fall down. We all need hope.’ 

On Growing Up.

I find there is more to growing and growing up than simple aging and day-to-day experience.

Who you are will be tested and you start to work out whether you actually believe in the things you’ve always said you do. You start to discover whether your stances on life are based in fight, or in flight. 

Growing can be painful at times, but if you really believe something is worth growing for, you experience exhilaration and joy at overcoming the fear and coming into your own. 

Whether in jobs, relationships, religious beliefs, or simply living… I am finding myself here a lot lately. 

While I would have assumed, or believed I was mostly based in flight, I’m realizing the opposite. I’m a lot more fight than I would give myself credit for. 

I believe in God. In someone and something bigger than me or anything else. That means I believe in an unstoppable love that no fear can stand against and an unmovable hope that will not simply give up. 

I believe in sharing life and beauty and hope with those I love most, and strangers I’ve yet to meet. 

I haven’t always lived up to my beliefs, as I think natural for any human being. Life always gives us a chance to grow, however, and I hope to be on the side that says I faced my fears, I faced the crappy circumstances, I faced the depression, and I came out the other side a better individual for it. A better son, a better brother, a better friend, a better someone’s significant other. 

I’ve been looking at many chances to grow lately. Frankly, it’s unnerving as hell sometimes. But my heart is to grow and seeing as how I will have to one way or another, I pray I take each chance with grace and joy in my eyes. 

Kids don’t think about this when they wish to skip childhood. Growing isn’t always easy. It remains beautiful, though. Always beautiful. 

Passion Punch. 

“Purpose is the reason you journey, passion is the fire that lights the way.” -Unknown 

I recently made a decision to further myself along the education path. It hasn’t been a strong suit of mine for awhile now and I felt it was holding me back. 

Now with open eyes and fire in my heart, I am eagerly pursuing bettering myself in this way. I feel hope again about school. 

I have many dreams. It has been hard to be driven or consumed with motivation for them of late. Though I know what some of my passions are, it has been as if the fire has been taken from them. 

Maybe it was not knowing how to go about it. Knowing I have very little figured out. Maybe the fear kept me frozen. 

Then again, maybe I just needed to refind my passion. 

I believe passion is sometimes effortless and sometimes you have to sweat a little for it.

There are moments along the way that push you down and steal some of that fire from your soul. You end up wandering around aimlessly, feeling like you’re lost. You should know it happens to most, if not all of us. You won’t be aimless forever. It might take a couple months, or even a few years, like it did for me. 

I just needed to think about baby steps and then look at those from a new angle – one filled with hope and excitement. See, now I’m starting to feel fire again. I’m recognizing the warmth and the drive. I’m remembering my passion. 

When you find your passions, whether they’re to be a writer, or save the world, or even to get through college and find a career; you go for it. Take all of that passion and run. Don’t let fear have any say in it. Don’t give it time to freeze you. 

And when you’re in the midst of a season where you feel like the passion is gone and you’re hopeless, don’t be afraid. Just find something, anything you can find hope for and work towards. You’ll find that passion again. And you’ll be unstoppable.