Healing

12/8/18

First, I’ll address the glaringly obvious: two posts in one day? Don’t worry, you haven’t fallen through a wormhole to December 2015, this is happening.

*hold for laughter at my comedic genius*

The events leading up to this post are a bit odd, but they’ve made me think regardless.

A few weeks ago, I made the (horrible) decision to shave my legs despite already having razor burn from the previous time I’d shaved. So, as you can probably imagine, this made things immensely worse. And even though my legs have been itchy and red and uncomfortable, I’ve kept up with my shaving routine.

Bad idea I’m aware.

Last night, I was brushing my teeth when my mom came into the bathroom, sat on the edge of the tub, and began applying Vaseline to her feet. Now, it’s winter in the US and my poor mom is so sensitive to the cold, dry weather that her feet get dry and crack. She’s usually in quite a bit of pain this time of year.

I asked her how long she’d been having to do that, and she said, “A few days. I probably should have started doing it earlier.”

This got me thinking. Despite both of us knowing what to do to heal our bodies, neither of us did anything until we absolutely couldn’t take it.

For me, this sort of think happens a lot. Often, I’ll know the exact steps I have to take in order to feel better about something, but I just won’t until I don’t have another option.

Call it laziness, procrastination, or a side effect of depression, but it happens so much.

As of now, my room is a mess, I have homework to do, etc. and although it’s stressful, I have no will to make anything change.

Or at least I didn’t until about a half hour ago.

I was having my usual 45-minute shower concert/daydream/overthinking session and my mind drifted here. To this. I am capable of changing these things and making myself feel better. So what’s stopping me?

The answer is still unclear, and I think it’s different for everyone. But I’m going to change this. I paused to write this but as soon as I press “publish”, I’ll be on my way to cleaning my room, doing my homework, and planning/making my holiday gifts for friends and family.

I used to put such an effort into being productive and always doing something to better myself and life. I’m not really sure where that person went, but I’d like it if she came back and stayed a while for some much needed healing.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

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On Turning Sixteen

12/8/18

So, 3 days ago, I turned sixteen. Which is crazy. I remember when the first friends I made on here were sixteen. And now I’m there.

It used to seem so far away, even a week ago, me turning sixteen just seemed distant.

I honestly don’t think I ever fully grasped that I’d grow up. Every birthday is a little shocking to me. I have a tradition where every year I watch the clock turn to the minute I was born and that always solidifies things for me. Watching the number change makes me realize how much I’ve grown.

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of looking back at old photos. Having my baby cousin run around my grandma’s house the way I used to makes me really nostalgic. And looking through photos, remembering the moment they were taken, remembering myself fix my hair and smile, is kind of crazy.

I went through that phase where I thought teenagers were the coolest people on the planet. So to be a teenager makes my 7 year old self really excited. But it makes present-day me feel really bittersweet inside.

This year, I went to school on my birthday. Which I know a lot of people hate and a lot of students take off to celebrate. But for me, going to school on my birthday made me so happy. I haven’t been in school on my birthday in 2 years. I remember last year I spent the entire day home in my room feeling lonely.

This year, I walked into my homeroom which had been decorated for me by my friends. There were presents waiting for me and a giant card which had been passed around all the homerooms for people to sign. The thought that went into the gifts I received from my friends was astonishing and I almost cried. I am so grateful to be in such a happier, healthier place.

Time really does heal all wounds. If it hasn’t healed, not enough time has passed.

But my birthday also made me feel pretty sad for a number of reasons. There’s quite a few people that I wish I could’ve spent it with but unfortunately, they’re not around anymore. I really wished my grandpa had been sitting at the dinner table telling stories of when he was sixteen and learning to drive.

That’s another thing, I got a freaking learners permit! I can drive a car now. I went for the first time on my birthday and kinda ran over a curb but it was fine. Sitting in the drivers seat, being in control, was mind-blowing. I’ve watched my parents drive for years knowing one day I would and there I was, doing it.

Also, they make it look so easy. Oh my gosh it is not that simple. I’ve never had to focus on so many things at the same time but also not focus too hard because there were other things to focus on.

Turning sixteen has really opened my eyes a bit. I am responsible for myself way more than I ever was. But that also means that I am in control. For the first time in a long time, I feel capable of controlling my life instead of turning to the people around me and trusting them to take the reigns.

I can do this. I can get to the place I want to be in and do the things I want to do. I’m not the same person I was at thirteen who was losing her mind and falling apart at the seams. I am 16, and I’ve got this.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

Taking Steps

12/2/18

I have no plan for this post. Not a clue where it’s going. But I have thoughts I’d like to share.

First of all, I turn 16 on Wednesday! That’s absolutely insane to me. You guys have literally watched me grow up. And your continued support is incredible. I’m going to be able to drive! (pray for me)

But, even among the happiness, I can’t help but feel a bit sad. This time last year, I didn’t know it, but I was on my way to a really, prolonged, dark time. And this year, thankfully, things are totally different. I’ve cut off toxic people and pushed myself into beginning to actually recover from my mental illnesses.

It’s hard to think of growing up without some people. But I know that they’d be proud of me. I also know that they’d be able to provide a whole lot of wisdom right now, and I could use it.

I’ve touched on it before, but recovery is scary. I’m starting to experience emotions that have either been lying dormant for a long time, or I’m experiencing things in full for the first time.

Most of these emotions are positive, I’m not really sure what to call them though. Regardless, it’s scary. I’m afraid to let go and allow myself to truly immerse myself in positive things because part of me is worried that it won’t last.

Something else I’ve been working a lot on is boundaries. Re-establishing healthy ones after lines got blurred is important, but difficult. It’s a necessary step to take before other parts of recovery, but I wish I could skip it and throw myself into new, normal teenage years.

I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that, try as I might, I can’t be a normal teen. I have to work a little harder, do things a little differently. Things have to happen at my pace, and that’s okay. I might not love it, but I’m okay with it.

My goal is long-term, sustainable happiness. Which I have to take steps towards. So I start here.

Also, Happy Hanukkah if you celebrate! Hope you spend it well. I’m off to my grandmas now to celebrate with my family. Thank you so much for reading.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

Gray Autumn Days

10/17/18

It’s days like this, the ones where the cold bites a little harder, the wind whips a little harsher, the sky a little less blue and quite a bit more gray. The days without the sun where the once beautifully painted leaves now look dull. The days that drag. The days where the blue jays fly to the trees. These are the days I feel the worst grief.

It’s these days when my eyes, yesterday filled with wonderment, are now on the brink of tears. It’s these days where in every other sentence, my breath catches in my throat and suddenly it’s all too much. It’s these days when it hurts the worst.

When I can no longer feel the presence of those lost beside me, when I look desperately for a cardinal’s red wings to let me know that they’re here. When the lake is colorless and still, a physical representation of my own mind displayed before me, when I can’t take it.

And on the bus ride home the same song plays over and over in my headphones because I can’t be bothered to change it. And in class I snap at people, making things as sarcastic as possible, but annoyed that they can be happy when so many people can no longer share in the joy.

Days like these, cold and gray, make me desperate. And despite never being brought up religious, I have the urge to walk to the closest church. To shuffle down the aisle between rows of empty wooden pews, and collapse in the front of the large room overcome by my sorrow. To ask a God to whom I’ve never before properly prayed to, why he’d take them. Why was their time up? How could he dare take them and leave the rest of us here? Why am I so struck by some of these loses, left in the wake of it all to mourn people I never got to truly know?

Days like this make everything seem so trifle. Why learn about how dense the center of the earth is when we can all be taken from it at any moment? Why should I rotate this triangle 90 degrees if they can no longer even write their own name?

But, nevertheless, I carry on. Holding the grief the best I can, although it’s heavy. I walk through the halls a shell of a person, yet still aware of every last person’s displayed emotion. I get annoyed that the sun dares to shine between the clouds as they roll by, but I still welcome it.

I miss those I’ve lost. I never let them slip my mind. They stay in a place in my heart, never to be forgotten. I keep the memories and smile though I know there will never be any new ones.

This is in memory of them.

-Dani

(^^)/

Quotes That Help Get Me Through Bad Days

“Promise me you will always remember: You are braver than you believe, you are stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -AA Milne

“You’re not as simple as they wanted you to be” -unknown

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” -Theodore Roosevelt

“Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night” -unknown

“To the world, you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world” -Michelle Phan

“Don’t believe everything you think” -unknown

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow” -Albert Einstein

“Practice like you’ve never won. Preform like you’ve never lost”-unknown

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” -Winston Churchill

“She believed she could, so she did.” -unknown

“Never stop being a good person because of bad people.” -Jay Shetty

“You are deserving of the kindness you show others”-unknown

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” -Abraham Lincoln

“You’ve survived 100% of your worst days” -unknown

“It hurt because it mattered” -John Green

“People never forget how you made them feel.” -unknown

Thanks for reading. I hope you found a quote to lift your spirits.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

Dilemmas

Hi! I’m having school dilemmas and could use some advice. Please read for more information and leave any tips you can. Thank you
-Dani ❤

9/30/18

Many of us will experience many dilemmas over the course of our lives. If I’m honest, I don’t know what exactly the difference is between a dilemma and just a decision.

Give me a moment to consult google.

di·lem·ma

a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones.

de·ci·sion

a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration.

the action or process of deciding something or of resolving a question.

Okay, so this is definitely more of a dilemma. Got it. I learned something today, that feels good.

Anyway, my dilemma is as follows:

I don’t know if I want to go back to mainstream high school or not.

Currently, I am attending a “therapeutic K-12 school” in my school district. And in some aspects, it’s been great for me. But it was only ever supposed to be temporary.

I’m not stuck there. If I wanted to drop everything and go back to mainstream high school tomorrow I could, and I’m free to stay as long as I need to also.

I have a love-hate relationship with it. It was the place I was in while my physical health was at its worst and while I thought I’d never make it through high school. It was the last option I wanted to have to use when it came to getting me to go back to school. I never wanted to be there. And it serves as a constant reminder of some of the worst months of my life.

But on the other hand, I’ve grown. I’ve made great friends. I’ve gotten through my school phobia, watched myself turn a corner in recovery.

I originally wanted to go back to the high school where all my friends go to by the end of the first semester. But, after going every day during the regular year, I like it. I like my schedule, my classes, my teachers. Not to mention that I’m not even sure how I’d do in a mainstream environment, I only know that I can function in a therapeutic environment.

However, mainstream high school means typical American high school experience. Everything I thought I’d have growing up. Lots of homework, stress, dances, spirit week, friends, essays, free periods in the library cramming for tests.

And believe it or not, I want all of those things. Not just spirit week and dances and friends. I miss writing essays with word counts and drowning in a sea of homework and procrastinating until I cry.

It’s so hard to watch my younger brothers get to live out the freshman year I didn’t have. No, scratch that, it’s not just hard, it’s heart wrenching; soul crushing. I can’t count all the times I’ve cried over this lost time. These memories I’ll never have. All those moments I’ll never get back. Because I spent my freshman year in psych hospitals and refusing to leave my bed.

Although, mainstream means explanations. Currently, I’m the girl who just vanished. The one who stopped coming to school but who still shows up at football games. The one shrouded in mystery. The questions. All the questions they’d ask if I came back. I don’t know how I’d cope.

Part of me wants to let go of the place that reminds me of the hard times and move on to a place where I can feel ordinary. But another part of me wants to hang on to the place that’s safe, the one that doesn’t require explanations, where I can come as I am and nobody bats an eye.

It’s difficult. Hard to have this weigh on me. It feels as though a three pound weight has been placed on my chest. It’s not heavy enough to hurt me, but heavy enough to notice, heavy enough to feel with every breath and heavy enough to add just enough pressure to make me feel like tears are about to escape my eyes.

If by some miracle, you have any advice, let me know. Please. I know that nobody can make this decision for me, but a little help would go a long way.

Thank you if you’ve bothered to read this far. I really appreciate it.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

High School Football Games

9/28/18

Ah, is there a better way to bring together underage drinking, illegal drugs, and teenage angst. There’s nothing quite like a high school football game. At least in America.

If you live somewhere else, as many of you do, for clarity, I’m talking about American football, and our legal drinking age is currently 21.

So, the epitome of partying and the culture it surrounds, the peak of young-adulthood and fake school spirit, why bother talking about it?

Well, I don’t know if you’ve picked up on it, but I am a bit of an introvert. And social anxiety added to it makes these nights a bit daunting. But, as part of my ongoing push to be an “ordinary” teenager, I go to these events. Not all of them, just the ones that are somewhat interesting.

I do enjoy the time with my friends, watching and cheering on our dance team while the cheer team falls out of sync and forgets their choreography, shaking our heads in disappointment as our school loses the homecoming game for yet another year in a row.

However, high school football games draw large crowds. Crowds that are easy for people to disappear into. Crowds that are passing pens filled with mystery substances and crowds that start fights and impromptu rap-battles.

It’s a tad bit scary. There’s a lot of drama and a lot of time spent trying to find your group again because you turned around to say hi to someone and they were swept away by the mass of teens in your 3 second interaction.

It seems like I’m describing my literal nightmare but it’s not that bad. I don’t mind it all that much.

However, people capitalize on these events. And one boy in particular is known for it.

I don’t know him, I don’t even think he goes to our school, but he’s at every game, promoting his music. He’s the kind of guy that likes to think he’s a big deal and everyone just kind of plays along.

He likes underclassmen girls with pretty faces and skinny bodies to pose with for his instagram.

Tonight, he approached a friend and I. My friend knows him, and she was okay giving him a hug hello. I wasn’t really paying attention. My back was to him and I was still walking back towards our group. Then I felt an arm around me.

“I don’t dap girls up, I give them hugs” I heard him say. We kept walking.

The term “dap” refers to a handshake of a sorts and I’m not certain how common it is.

Point is, he hugged me, or awkwardly side-hugged me. But I don’t know him and the feeling of a stranger’s arm on my body was one I wasn’t prepared for. I tensed up a bit and the entire thing couldn’t have lasted more than 20 seconds total.

But I’m still trying to work through some things, some things that I’m still debating with myself on wether I should share them or not. If I did share them, I’d never break anonymity.

As much as Lyss might want to, and as much as she wants to share all of herself without censoring details, if I told those stories, I couldn’t give up my identity to the public.

So with a recent semi-diagnosis of ptsd looming over my head, I did my best to let things roll off my shoulders and continue with the evening. And things were fine, I even forgot about it, until I got home.

I got home and watched TV with my mom and brother. And I watched as the plot line of a woman with ptsd from an abusive relationship having a panic attack unfolded on the screen. And then it came back.

Just an arm. Just a friendly hug. Just a second. I tried to tell myself that because of these things it didn’t matter. That there was no reason to be upset.

But it does matter, because I didn’t agree to be hugged.

It matters because he didn’t know who I was and couldn’t see how I was reacting to his attempt to be friendly. It matters because he didn’t see any sign that I was aware of or okay with any physical contact and he proceeded anyway.

If you’re not up-to-date on the shit show that is American politics, we are currently in need of a Supreme Court justice. Problem is the one who was chosen sexually assaulted a woman by the name of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

And while the senate goes back and forth trying to make a very simple decision, this woman is empowering young people across America to speak out and tell their stories.

I will say this, I believe her.

She’s doing incredible things for this nation, things that shouldn’t fall on her as responsibilities but she takes them in stride, helping pave the way for everyone who’s voice deserves to be heard.

Politics aside, if I’ve been taught anything, consent is important. Always. No matter what you are or are not consenting to. Your say in the situation matters.

I am fortunate that my situation only went this far, because a lot of things can happen at high school football games. In the moment his arm was around me, I thought I might turn around and scream at him for it, “I didn’t say you could touch me.” If only.

If I leave you with anything today, let it be this:

1. Consent always matters

2. Consent to one thing is not consent to everything

3. You always have the right to revoke consent.

This was the compilation of many thoughts I’ve had tonight. Thank you for reading them.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/