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

(^^)/

Advertisements

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

(^^)/

Finding Safety In Illness

8/19/18

As I type these words, it is 1:56 AM. The latest I’ve stayed up in a very long time. The hum of the fan in the hallway outside my bedroom is the only thing breaking the stillness of the night.

Until now, I’ve been sitting at my desk, mindlessly removing the gaudy embroidery from a bag I bought years ago while The Office played in the background.

I’m not sad. Not happy. I’m in that weird limbo where you really don’t feel anything. And in that limbo, there’s a tinge of mysterious heartbreak and a bit of melancholy in the back of my throat, waiting for the right moment to unleash itself into my world.

I’ve started recovery for my mental illnesses. Well, I’ve started real recovery. I’m making strides in getting things back to the way they’re supposed to be. I’m starting to function above baseline. I started to function at all. And it’s been great and overall I’m proud of myself, really I am.

However, your brain doesn’t like to give up easily.

Since mine is programmed with these illnesses, they don’t just want to leave. And in a way, though I use my skills and try to keep the thoughts they bring in the back of my head, I don’t want them to leave either.

In a sick and twisted way, they have become Home. They have become safe. And it is easier not to fight. To let them have their way and for me to retreat to the comfort of my bed.

After so long of just letting these things exist in my head with no way of knowing what to do about them, they’ve tricked me into believing that they are what’s best.

“Don’t fight” they say. “You know us so well” they say. “After all of this time you really think you can just move on?”.

To be clear, I don’t actually have voices in my head. But I’ve found that it’s easier for people to understand what you mean if you personify the illnesses.

Maybe it’s an utterly ordinary part of the process, but the farther I move away from the lifestyle of someone with depression or anxiety or the many other things I have diagnoses for, the less I trust recovery. It all feels as though it could come crashing down at any moment. It could leave me at square one, stuck in one spot reaching for pieces of myself just outside my grasp.

And it’s all terrifying.

So wouldn’t it just be easier to keep things the way they’ve been? To let myself wallow and live in pajamas? Watch homework and laundry pile up until their piles topple over?

Maybe in times like these, late at night when I can’t sleep, that seems to be the answer. Because recovery is exhausting. It’s a lot of work. But in reality, when I step out of my head for a minute, I look at myself and see how far I’ve come. And if I look out into the distance, I can almost see the life of the girl I thought I’d be at 15.

I want that. I want my life.

My life. Not the life that these illnesses have laid out on the table for me. Not one ruled by an abstract Stockholm syndrome or fear of change and the unknown.

I’m tired of letting my illnesses be my defining characteristics. I am not them. They are not me. They are not Home. They are not safe. I know that I can get better. And I want a life where I am better.

Thank you for reading

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

I’m Welcoming Change

8/12/18

I’ve always been scared of change. That classic “fear of the unknown”. But as I get older, I think I’m starting to recognize the difference between growth and change.

When we started this blog, I was 12. And this December I turn 16. So it’s safe to say I’m not the same person I was when I started writing here.

I’ve grown up a bit. Not all the way; I am most certainly not grown up, I’m still very much just a kid. But I’m different now.

And as of today, I welcome it. I am growing, changing, developing as a person. My writing style has changed. What I want to post about has changed. The frequency of my posts has changed…quite a bit.

Maybe I won’t post everyday anymore, about all the mundane little details about whatever test I’m stressed about, but that’s okay. It’s really a good thing.

Change, growth, they’ve brought me good things, and bad things for that matter, but all the bad has led to the good. Everything happens for a reason. I’ve always said that. But now, after everything, after all the stories that I could tell, I truly believe it.

Thank you for reading.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

Snowballs

8/12/18

My therapist used to say that things were “snowballing”. And I always kind of knew what she meant, but not really.

Snowballing always seemed bad. It always seemed like when things were “snowballing”, bad things kept happening.

Over and over and over.

But recently, as I’ve made my commitment to recovery and my final push to change my life for the better, I’ve learned that snowballing isn’t always bad.

Once I started doing things that were things someone in recovery would do, it kept getting better.

It started with small things. Wearing actual clothes instead of pajamas that could pass as clothes. Having a skincare routine. Making sure I took a shower every day, it only kept going.

And after the little things were in place, the bigger things started to fit back into the puzzle too. Education, family time, friendships, everything.

Slowly but surely, my life is snowballing it’s way back together. And I’m so sure that this blog, this piece of me, is very close to getting snowballed back in as well.

Thank you so much for reading.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/