Recovering From Reprimand

I began the day with the insane idea of hiking up to my favorite spot near our house and painting an outdoorsy mural on a rock formation.

The above photo is what I ended up with.

As I was skipping out the door with my backpack full of supplies and Cricket the cat sauntering along, I found myself in a conversation about how it’s against the law to do such a thing in a national forest and some of the neighbors might not be pleased.

We rent the house we live in.

I said “I appreciate you letting me know, wouldn’t want to piss anyone off.”

The little me felt reprimanded, and as I continued to my destination my body felt like jello, my heart was pounding, my breathing shallow. I was choking back tears and had to fight the urge to abort mission and retreat back into the house.

My brain was flooded with black and white catastrophic thinking.

Long story short, once I got to my spot, it took me 45 minutes to work up the courage to “paint anyway.” To remind myself I could find a small rock to paint and bring it back with me once it was dry.

Go figure, I had failed to pack some of my favorite colors and ended up with that easter egg looking thing. My mural would have sucked anyways.

I’m proud of myself for looking anxiety and fear in the face, calming down and coming up with a new plan. I still feel the sting of disappointment as I had grand ideas of creating my own little nook on the mountain. A safe haven of artwork that I could keep adding to.

Maybe living in a tent in the far reaches of the wilderness isn’t a bad idea after all…………I am a black and white thinking goddess, oh yes I am….

Once back at home I chose to read an article “How to survive being scolded” which proved helpful. Later I dusted off my 2 anxiety workbooks, (should have gotten those out days ago) also very helpful. Then I popped in my headphones and hiked for an hour.

After all that my 5 year old self was still lurking around. I fed her a bowl of lucky charms with unsweetened almond milk so she wouldn’t ask for seconds.

Living An Unscripted Artsy Fartsy Life

I tell the nervousness and fear rolling around in my gut to fuck off. They don’t listen. Those unruly bastards. Toddler twins, destroying my digestive tract.

So I paint cats.

My inner artsy fartsy is swimming to the surface. I buried her deep within when I was younger. Buried her in the recesses of low self worth and other victim mentality jargon. Key word: “I”……..no one made me do it, I submitted to stuffing down my authenticity.

Anxiety is also rearing her head, begging for attention, so I take the time to observe her. There are things that need to be seen.

I take her on walks, dragging her behind me on a chain. She bumps along in the gravel until I accept her as part of myself. In that instant the chain dissolves and she becomes my twin, walking next to me, no longer a disfigured creature being dragged through the mud.

In this time of slowing down, she’s showing me I have a deep rooted fear of people. I’ve kept it somewhat at bay by staying busy for much of my life. I have a raging case of social anxiety that I’ve kept hidden behind the masks of life. (Mom, workout fanatic, born again Christian, nutrition guru, store clerk, office manager, new age spirituality mountain hippy chick, housekeeper, fibromyalgia, depression, insomnia, divorced woman supporting herself for the first time, introvert, backpacker, soon to be homeless person etc)

If I’m wearing a mask, I don’t have to engage as myself. I put on different personas depending on the task at hand, living my life as a script. Allowing myself to be pulled apart in a million scripted directions.

Underneath it all we are just people.

The authentic me is working on crawling out of the cave I’ve stuffed her into. The light can be blinding after being in the dark for so many years. She’s been out a few time,s but retreats when the demands of life push her back inside.

It’s uncomfortable to look at ourselves but it’s the most important work we will ever do. Having life’s rug pulled out from under you is one way to go about it.

For today, I’m going to live life with out a script. I’m going to eat processed food, drink a glass of wine, go for a few walks, get lost in my own thoughts, spend too much time on my computer, I’m not going to meditate or read anything spiritual, I’m not going to take any vitamins, I’m going to pace around like a caged animal and give my companions Anxiety and fear proper names. Fred and Louise. I’m not going to feel guilty about any of it.

Guilt is a shit filled sewer. The stinky possibilities are endless.

Do You Forget You’re an Introvert?

Came across this video from last summer

I did it again.

I forgot I’m an introvert.

Fuck.

Introversion is NOT shyness.

I am not a shy person. I’m more of an extroverted invert.

I become drained from socializing. It doesn’t matter who the person or people are. The only way I can recharge is by being alone, getting lost in my thoughts, doing something creative etc. I have to desensitize.

In a world of misconceptions about introversion, I fell head first into an “introvert hangover”. We’ve had Jases’s girls here for almost 3 weeks. I love them to pieces, they are wonderful and fun, but I was underprepared.

Here are the signs of an introvert hangover. I’m experiencing ALL of them, and I thought it was my hormones, BUT, that time has passed and I’m still a lunatic:

  • Everything is getting on your nerves
  • You’re struggling to make decisions
  • You can’t think clearly
  • Your speech changes
  • You feel physically unwell
  • You’re tired
  • You’re zoning out
  • You feel anxious
  • You feel depressed
  • You’re not acting like your normal self
  • You can’t do polite chitchat anymore
  • You have an intense desire to be alone

I came across Introvert Dear and am binge reading the articles. Nothing compares to feeling understood and being able to explain to your loved ones why you’re acting like some one took a tweezer to your short and curly’s.

Are You Freakin The Frack Out?

I am.

Not because of the virus.

Triggers come in all shapes and sizes. I can’t pinpoint the trigger this time.

Maybe it’s feeling a loss of control.

We can say we have control of ourselves until we’re blue in the face. It may be true to some extent………….and then there’s

TRAUMA…….

When the old wounds of trauma are triggered, all bets are off.

Taming the effects of trauma takes work, and once you’ve been triggered, all the lessons fly right out the gaping hole that’s been ripped open.

We grasp frantically at the tactics that have worked in the past only to find we’re too far gone. Fallen so deeply into the pit.

Alas, does this mean there’s more to heal, more layers to be pulled back. The dark holds lessons we missed the last time we were triggered. Will we ever heal completely?

Distraction. Distraction. Distraction…………….Paint, read, paint, walk, write, stare at the wall, scroll Instagram, hide in your room, pop a valium, pour some wine………………peel yourself back like a sardine can……look at the content stuffed inside……cramped into a small space…..you never asked for the contents in the fucking can……….

Go though the motions. Go through them again. Meditate. Meditate again.

Sigh.

Accept the fact you’ve been triggered. Stop trying to fight it. Stop feeling guilty for being human. Being vulnerable. Stop apologizing for the fact you haven’t fucking arrived yet. You’re not as strong as you pretend to be.

Mary Lambert is a beautiful, bad ass woman. I adore all of her albums.

Happy B~day Cricket

Hey astro kitty! You’re 2 today 🙂

We snagged Cricket from a shelter when she was 7 months old.

Jase, the so called “cat hater”, arrived at the shelter before I did. With in 5 minutes of his arrival my phone rang.

Him: “Hey honey, I think I found our cat. She’s meowing and pawing at me through the bars of her cage.”

Me: “Yeah, ok, cat hater, I’m almost there, cool your jets.”

Sure as shit, he was right. Cricket chose us.

I’ve always had a knack for finding dog like cats, and months prior to this had been envisioning an indoor/outdoor adventure kitty, all the while assuring Jase it was possible.

The picture above is the backpack we would take Cricket out in. We brought her hiking, we took her to the grocery store, we took that cat everywhere.

Then we introduced her to a harness and leash.

I took her out every day.

Now she hikes with out a leash. She goes outside daily and comes when we call her. Or she’ll meow and paw at the door just like a dog.

Funny thing is, she won’t go to the bathroom outside, she comes back to use her litter box. We use Dr. Elsey’s cat attract litter and holy shit, it’s no joke. They guarantee your cat will go in it’s box with out fail. There are few guarantees in this life, but this one is legit.

It goes without saying pets are family. They worm their way into our hearts and help those of us who struggle with mental illness. Little angels in disguise.

Happy Birthday Little One! Here’s to believing we have another 20 plus years with you.

Jase is now a cat lover.

Odds And Ends…….Day???? I’ve Lost Count

Painted these little guys yesterday.

Came across an excellent blog a few days ago. “The Boy Behind the Door” The link will to take you to the first post and then each post is in chronological order.

It’s a true story about the life of an adopted Native American written by his lovely daughter. It’s an amazing read that will put you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend it. Emma is a skilled writer and is sure to pull your heart strings and remind you how great the human spirit is.

I got through my “self care” list yesterday and even took 2 walks. One with Jase and one with cricket. The pic below is Cricket being in trouble for rolling in deer shit.

Poopy cat time out

Here’s a video of our current back yard. This is our best rental home so far! Hoping we don’t have to leave since money has become an endangered species.

It’s Cricket right before she rolled in poop.

Hope you are all well. As always thank you for reading and for being a part of the blogosphere!