Eleanore Vs. One of THOSE Posts

Dear humans,

Some of you know that holidays are not exactly my favorite thing. That includes my birthday which of course just had to be on a national holiday; I did not have control over this, I promise.

Regardless of my disposition, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to still having a sliver of hope that I’ll be pleasantly surprised someday by a holiday or two. That little sliver told me this morning, “go on, make a Thanksgiving post. It will be a nice start to the day.” After some grumbling I agreed, put on my fuzzy robe, and here I am. Don’t let my resting bitch face fool you; this will be cheerful, I swear.

This year has been one of the most difficult I’ve lived through. I moved to Missouri last year with high hopes that my life would take a drastic turn for the better, and instead everything got significantly worse. My health went downhill, I couldn’t find a job and went completely broke, my grandfather passed away, I had to disown two of my four remaining family members due to their constant abuse, and just when I thought I had finally hit rock bottom, I broke up with my boyfriend that I moved to Missouri for. I also lost a few close friends as well as my health insurance. It was all a bummer. Well, that’s an understatement. It all really fucking sucked!

When all else fails, most people say, “at least you can be thankful for your health!” However, when you’re chronically ill and have been without proper care, that isn’t uplifting. So what can I be thankful for? At first the outlook seems bleak;  I sound like the fourth Baudelaire child that they forgot to mention because her story was too unfortunate even for Lemony Snicket. On many days I feel the suffocating weight of my depression. Recently I have begun to look to the words of my favorite YouTuber, Olan Rogers. In his documentary for his soda parlor, he said that during the lowest point of his life when everything seemed to crumble, he began to focus on the tiniest victories to keep himself going. I took his advice to heart, and the last few months, I have been focusing on even the tiniest blips of happiness and positivity to get me through my life. And you know what? It’s kind of working.

I present to you my gratitude through my complex, Sickly Stardust life. Here we go!

I am thankful for the friends I have not lost, who have loved me relentlessly through each battle I have faced. When I thought I could not go a step further because I felt broken and abandoned, they pumped their love into my veins so that I would carry on:

  • Stan Lovelace
  • Jacquelynn Rhodes
  • Chris Berger
  • Michael Enos
  • Cassy Kurdi
  • Austin Cairns
  • Andrey Moiseyev
  • Bre Philley
  • Brian Frink
  • Dominick Colon
  • Jessica Cowan
  • Adam Puckle
  • John Clark
  • My beautiful big sister

Thank you all so much for getting me through to the next level.

I am equally thankful for the new friends I have made who have quickly become dear to me. They jumped into my life at its worst possible time, yet somehow decided to form friendships with me that are now invaluable. I’m amazed how quickly someone can go from being a stranger to being one of my favorite people in the entire galaxy. I couldn’t imagine being without them:

  • Nat Smith
  • Charlotte Kawa
  • Eric and Amanda Van Fleet
  • David Bigler
  • Chelsea Neil
  • Holly Ward
  • Danull Butabi
  • Wes and Kevin Mullins
  • Mr. ShawnEShawn

I am so honored and elated that you are in my life, and many of you have been the highlight of my year.

Then there are the kind people I have met in my life who have become parental figures, since even when I did have parents, they were highly dysfunctional save for my grandmother. They’ve blessed me with the guidance that I never received, and have added hopefulness to my life. Sometimes I felt it was too late for me to learn what I was never given, yet these people prove to me over and over that it’s never too late for me:

  • My adoptive mothers Rose and Sheryl
  • my dear friend and teacher from back home, Jeff Forehan
  • Ron White
  • Adora
  • Betty Shirley and Linda Mudd

I must also mention my friends Jonathan Copeland and Mark Specht. Though I have only had one long conversation with Jonathan, I was fortunate enough to learn quite a bit about him. He has suffered greatly, yet the person he has become despite it all is seriously extraordinary. He completely astounds me. During our conversation he reignited my fire that fuels my dream of being a writer, which is something I’m always in need of. Then there is Mark, my landlord and friend. Out of all the apartments I could have ended up at, I am forever thankful that I ended up at his. He is so sweet and kind as well as extremely fun to talk to. I don’t think he’s told often enough, but he’s wonderful.

Lastly I am thankful for my incredible social worker who raised me up from my darkest and most frightening part of my life. When I had met her I had truly given up hope that things would ever get better for me; I thought myself exempt from the idea that everyone deserves love and happiness. I was depressed and more anxious than ever, having panic attacks every day and called the crisis line several times a week. I was certain I was going to be killed by the sheer heaviness of my life. I felt suicidal, and my soul was smashed to bits each morning I woke. With my social worker’s help as well as the help from the BHR program here in St. Louis, I now have a counselor, a psychiatrist, and am just beginning to see doctors to get my health back under control. I haven’t felt suicidal in a month, haven’t called a crisis line in a month, my panic attacks have gone from daily to only coming on rare occasion, and I have regained belief that my life really does mean something, and that I am capable of having the life I hope for.

Have you noticed a theme in this post? It’s all people!  Throughout my year full of sickness and loss, extraordinary people have helped me to survive. Not only those I mentioned, but even the stranger at Trader Joe’s last night who gave me a bouquet of flowers, the many kind nurses, doctors and techs I’ve met during each hospital stay, and the people I’ve only met for a second, who have come in and out of my life, but who still managed to positively impact me. Naturally this includes my followers who have given me the driving force to accomplish my dream. That sounds disgustingly cheesy, but deal with it, okay?

The world is often overbearing, filled with all sorts of hideousness. But the beauty that remains comes from amazing people, who even through the greatest pain spread love. I firmly believe that there are not more wicked people in the world; the bad people are just so much louder, but just because they’re kicking and screaming, doesn’t mean they are winning. Though it may be difficult to believe, I know that just as in movies, in real life, the good guys prevail. It may not come quickly and we may be battered from the fight, but goodness can still get through.

Thank you to all the superheroes of my life who constantly save me and inspire me, even if they are unaware that they are doing it. By being yourselves you make it far more pleasant for me to exist, and though I have written all these words, they still aren’t enough. I don’t think any amount of words can fully describe how much I love the people I have come to know. I may not have much, I still find myself bursting from the seams with gratitude; and that’s all because of you.

It’s only 9 a.m and I’m already crying on Thanksgiving! I’m going to be one salty turkey.

This world’s an ugly place, but you’re so beautiful to me.

~Going Away to College – Blink – 182

If you’d like to watch Olan Roger’s short documentary, Click here! (you should; it’s deeply inspiring). 

 

 

 

 

Eleanore Vs. Talking Like a Tree

Dearest readers,

It’s very early in the morning and I did not sleep well so I currently lack the ability to come up with a creative greeting; my apologies.

The world has seemed chaotic lately. There’s confusion, sadness, anger and all sorts of other emotions being thrown every which way. It has provoked my anxiety so much so that I, the social media alien princess, have had to remove myself from just about all social media save for WordPress. Of course, I have thoughts and feelings about the current state of the world, and I will share them, but not until the world has calmed as is ready to hear me. Right now, I don’t think many people are capable of listening. All that being said, if you are like me and are overloaded by current events, don’t worry; this has nothing to do with any of it.  

A few days ago I had a spectacularly long conversation with a new friend who has quickly become one of my very favorite humans to talk to. We spoke on the phone for hours until the day had ended and a new one had begun. As I’ve said before, I constantly crave delicious human interaction. I’m a conversation addict, drawn to people who both love to express and think while allowing me to do it with them.

We conversed about everything and anything, he talked and I listened and replied, I talked more and he did the same. I at one point became hyper aware of just how much I was speaking and I brought up the fact that every boyfriend, friend, and family member have at some point told me in disdain that I just “talk too much.” I’ve told him this several times before because after having it drilled in my head, I’ve become highly self-conscious about not only how much I speak, but how I speak in general. I have also been constantly told that I’m hard to follow and some have gone further to tell me that I make their heads hurt. As I had expressed to my other friend Danull not long ago, I have decided that when I meet someone who doesn’t ever tell me that, especially in order hurt me, I should probably marry them straight away. I’m kidding of course. Mostly.

My friend then brought up the fact that I serpentine when I have conversations. I tangent, I come back, new things come up and things get lost and sometimes returned. The moment he said this, I had a flashback to the ancient times of the 90’s, playing the video game Snake on my mother’s flip phone. I imagined the snake gobbling up little 8-bit blocks and growing a block longer, then moving on to the next poorly animated victim. The black, pixel-y snake slithered across my mind, and I could see his point, but I felt it wasn’t entirely accurate as to how I felt. Then suddenly an idea hit me and caused me to blurt, “I think I talk like a tree.”

His immediate reaction was, “like Treebeard?” Which, for any self respecting nerd is of course the first thing we’d think of, though I did not mean it as literally as a Tree Ent. What I do mean is that every conversation I have begins as a tree trunk. As I think, converse and discover, my trunk grows a few thick, sturdy branches. As we continue more branches appear, some thick enough to swing on and others not quite so strong, others simply twigs that are barely visible from a distance. The branches continue to grow, reaching for the sky until they’re all over, and then all at once they start to grow leaves. The leaves fill out the emptiness between the branches. My conversation is complete, the zigging and zagging connected by the leaves, the overall point of the conversation. To me, most lengthy conversations with dear friends always have the same point; to hear one another, to connect, and to learn.

I realize that talking like a tree is not everyone’s cup of tea (oh how cute, that unintentionally rhymed!) and as the great Olan Rogers states, “you cannot make everyone happy. You are a not a pizza.” Even still, I suppose because I constantly find myself in such dire need of human connection, when those connections fail, it saddens me and causes me to feel alienated and strange. While part of me thinks that if every conversation were to blossom into a full, beautiful tree, they would lose their remarkableness, the other part of me would like to think that at least with a select few in my life we are capable of growing entire forests together. That thought leaves me ecstatic.

There’s also the problem of my speech impediment and how quickly I speak. I’m sure part of the reason I speak so fast is simply because I’m from Northern California and we’re all just a tiny bit insane. Recently, in this same conversation, I had the miniature epiphany that my anxiety also plays a part in my thoughts flying out of me like fireworks. I assume this is because my anxiety and my lack of memory make me feel that if I don’t get my thoughts and words out quickly enough, I’ll forget them, and I despise forgetting things. I try to stifle this as much as possible because when I forget to, I end up interrupting people even more than I already do and accidentally talking over them, which I find deplorable.

I’m not sure I can fix my tree like thought process, but If there is one thing I’d like to improve, it is that I still tend to interrupt others here and there. While this is somewhat normal and we all do it to each other, I’m afraid someone may get the impression that I think I’m more important than them, or that I’m only talking at them, not to them. As much as I love to talk and let my heart and mind swell with thought, I truly love experiencing others do the same.

My forest contains so much beauty. Some of my trees are small, sad little Charlie Brown Christmas trees, while others are glorious Redwoods. Regardless of the type or the size, what is most important is that my forest is full of variety, and many trees that are not my own. To truly listen to someone is to bring them into your forest and tell them, “you may plant your tree wherever you wish, and I will protect it. The sun will kiss it, the rain will nourish it, and it will always be yours.” After all, my forest would not be nearly as beautiful if it were full of only my trees. And come to think of it, they’d probably get lonely.

I saw this man dispose of hunger and soap operas too.
I saw this field, that grew perfection, full of things you do.
I saw this box get rid of heartache, and cure cancer too.
When I awoke I sat there hoping, this is what we’ll do.

If we can, we will leave a letter and this song for you,
And we’ll write once a day, and float it through the sea to you.
We’ll regret all those things we thought, of but didn’t ever do.

When the sky seems to clear, who will then be left but a few, me and you.

~ Watch the World – Boxcar Racer 

 

 

Eleanore Vs. The Magical Heart

Dear heart-filled beings,

At first, I decided that the title of this post would be Eleanore Vs. The Fragile Heart. I clicked out the title and was then left to stare at the blank page in front of me unsure of where to go next. As any good writer would do in that situation, I procrastinated by scrolling up and down Facebook, when suddenly a little video caught my eye. As I watched I was awe-inspired; it was as if my friend who posted it had literally read my mind. The video was entitled “Nice Guys finish First” by Xandria Ooi. (Link to the video below!) She affirmed everything that I had wanted to write about. All at once my writer’s block turned into a storm of emotion and I began to ferociously type, expelling the storm through my fingers.

As I say in most of my posts, the past year, the last month especially, has been unbearably difficult.  A great deal of negative and positive things have happened to me, and through it all I have felt many different versions of pain. I have gotten physically hurt, I have been given new diagnoses and I have been insulted, abandoned and heartbroken by many people who I loved deeply. That last part often hurts worse than my physical illnesses. Considering how much I suffer physically, that’s really saying something.

I have always known that I am a transparent, emotional, and sensitive person. I am empathetic and compassionate (nearly to a detriment as my friend once said) and I try to use those abilities to improve the lives of both myself and those I connect with. While this all sounds very rainbows and dolphins, it isn’t. I know that being this emotionally involved in my existence comes at a great risk, and that it often leads me to emotional distress.

Here’s a handy list of phrases I have been told by others in regards to what’s wrong with me:

  • You just need to stop being so damn sensitive!
  • You just need to grow a thicker skin!
  • You need to be more careful what you tell people!
  • You can’t trust anyone but yourself!
  • Everyone is out to get you because people only care about themselves!
  • I’m not responsible for your emotions!
  • YOU ARE JUST TOO NICE TOO PEOPLE!

Good thing it’s just about Halloween because that list has my skin crawling. Since I was young I have been caught in a seriously unhealthy cycle. An event would happen that would be emotionally painful. Whether it was something I had done or an action of a friend, boyfriend, family member or other, something would get me to a point where I would feel frustrated and heartbroken, and when I would express how I felt, I’d be met with at least two of the responses from the list above, then left to ponder life in solitude. I’d promptly resolve to “harden myself,” never trust anyone again, and stop being “too nice” to people in order to save myself from the heartache I have grown weary of. Sounds fool proof, right?  It was! Over time, I completely succeeded in hardening myself to the world, and I am now invincible. The end.

Haha. Just kidding! 

This plan never, ever, EVER worked. I would try to bite my tongue and let things go, which is code for suppressing everything in the deepest, darkest part of my soul until I erupted. I would ultimately end up more upset, more frustrated, and significantly less happy that I had been before.

There is so much people seem to not understand about those of us who are naturally empathetic and emotionally involved in everything we do. The first and biggest being that WE CAN’T FUCKING HELP IT! Everyone needs to understand that personalities vary greatly. There is a wide spectrum riddled with complications and combinations that define who we are, how we influence the world as well as how we are influenced by it. While naturally there’s the case of Nature Vs. Nurture and every personality being a mix of  both, I truly do believe that the way we express and interpret emotions is largely a natural part of us that we’re just stuck with. Just as you cannot demand someone be “less gay”, “less black” or “less depressed” (all things I have heard said to others, I shit you not), you can’t simply force a person to be “less emotional”. You can force them to not show it as my family had done to me, but I never changed; I only quieted.

There’s also the idea that people who are too open or too nice are that way due to naivety. While I don’t speak for all of the soft hearted people in the world, for me personally, the reason I am myself is because I have been relentlessly abused and neglected. When you are raised with such unfortunate circumstances, there are only two ways to live your life. You either fall into the vicious cycle and end up like your abusers only to carry on the misery to others, or you put all the might you can muster into being as opposite as possible.  Every day I wake up and chose the latter, even when it seems nearly impossible. While once in a while my compassion does get me into awful situations, at worst, I take it as a lesson to be more careful next time.

As Xandria explains in her video, you can be nice, compassionate, and empathetic while still being smart in making yourself a priority. While we may not be able to control what people do to us, we can control how we react and how we learn from it. As she goes on to explain, and what I can’t possibly express enough, closing your heart off not only makes it so that you aren’t being your true self, but also makes it so that you aren’t just closed off from negative experiences, but from positive ones as well. My heart has been broken countless times because of how open I am, but I have also made incredible relationships, have become the most genuine version of myself, and of course, started this blog which is now one of my very favorite pieces of my life. We can’t force ourselves to be less than who we are. While I don’t at all agree that pain and suffering always teaches us lessons or happens to us for a positive reason, I do believe that we can still have beautiful lives in spite of it. 

After pondering and writing, I’ve decided that kindness and compassion are not flaws, and while my soft heart is indeed easily affected and fragile, it’s also magical in what it has led me to do and resilient in carrying me through my pain. I’m not going to shame anyone, especially myself, for trying to spread compassion in an often ugly world. If anything, we deserve celebration for all the times we have been crippled by emotional and/or physical pain, yet still strive to move forward. We may give up momentarily, but it is never for long, and I hope it never will be.

In other news, as I wrote in my last post I am really struggling to survive right now. So, I am selling most of my things. Please consider purchasing (and convincing others) to help me pay for rent, gas, and my medical bills that are currently adding up to the height of Mt. Doom itself.

Click here to see jewelry.

Click here to see books.

Thank you!

 There is a saying, follow your heart…but don’t forget to take your brain with you!

~Xandria Ooi – Nice Guys Finish First  (I can’t seem to link the video but it’s the very first one on her page!)

Eleanore Vs. Goodbye to the Memory Theater

Dear readers who contain galaxies and memories,

Yesterday was my dear friend Michael’s birthday. I met him when I was a youngling at only 19 years old, which makes him one of my longest standing friendships. He’s helped me through some of the very worst parts of my life, so I’m very thankful that he was born.

I met Michael and a few months later I also met Aaron (who is now my boyfriend). Aaron, Michael and I quickly became similar to the 3 Musketeers. Fucking hell, that’s cliche. Forget that. Let’s say we were more like Shaun, Liz and Ed from Shaun of the Dead. Yeah, that’s better. (Aaron and Michael: Which of us is which? Eleanore: NOT REALLY THE POINT HERE YOU GUYS).  It became our tradition to watch movies together every weekend we got the chance, and our theater of choice was always Camera 12. I’m actually not sure why or how this began. Maybe it was because we enjoyed the fact that it had three levels and barely any people. Maybe it was that the tickets were slightly cheaper than elsewhere. Or maybe there’s no reasoning at all. Truthfully, there doesn’t need to be; it became our theater.

For about a year until Aaron moved back to St. Louis, the three of would sit in mostly empty theater. We would watch good movies and bad movies, and I’d spend most of the time whispering to them both, “Oh my god can you not?” Because both their laughs and commentaries were so loud I thought they might reverberate off a fault line and cause a quake. They both loved it. They also had a remarkable talent of taking everything I said and rephrasing it so that I sounded like more of an asshole than I already am, which they took great pride in as I rolled my eyes and whacked them both on the arms.

More often than not I was convinced the main reason they wanted me to come along was because we would hide snacks and drinks in my purse. It got to the point where Aaron would often remind me, “bring your big purse!” and if I didn’t or happened to forget, my partners in crime were truly disappointed…until they remembered their hoodie pockets were big enough to stow away cans of Monster. Psh. Amateurs.

On lovely nights after the movies, we’d roam a little bit downtown, admiring the rainbow christmas lights that always hung from the sidewalk lamps regardless of what season it was. We would walk underneath the tallest buildings, and look up at the lights, theorizing about what Knight Ridder meant and what types of devious things probably happened in that ever so creepy building. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s this:

27knight_ca2-190

It’s very Hollywood Tower of Terror-eqsque, especially in the dark. Of course, we could have just Googled what the building was for, but let’s be honest. That’s not nearly as fun.

After Aaron suddenly moved away,  Michael and I did not stop the tradition. We were movie buddies, plain and simple, and we ended up filling the void Aaron left us with In-N-Out Burger dinners before each film. Considering In-N-Out was the only place in the entire city I could safely eat, and Michael unlike most of my friends never seemed to tire of eating there with me, neither of us had complaints (because our mouths were filled with delicious burgers).

At one point in my life I basically fell off the face of the Earth. I got engaged to a man who was not at all my soulmate. He was controlling and had other negative attributes that made it difficult to do anything without him. I lost contact with most of my friends except for the friends he and I shared, and for nearly two years I was utterly miserable and somewhat non-existent. Now two years after the end of all that, I still deeply regret not trying harder to stay in touch with Michael. For every movie I saw with my evil ex-boyfriend, I would have much rather have been at the Camera 12 with one of my dearest friends instead. I’ve said it before for and I’ll say it a thousand times more; Michael, for this part of my life, I truly am sorry.

Thankfully after that clusterfuck  we got back to it. In-N-Out and movies, usually on Sunday Nights. It was made even better by the fact that since Michael began working at Psycho Donuts, he was able to get tickets for free. Of course that was a plus, especially since I was working three jobs in order to save up enough money to move here to St. Louis. Even if I had to pay for every one of those tickets, it would have been worth it.

Our tradition carried on until a few weeks before I moved. My family was being horrible as ever, I was not fully recovered from my hysterectomy, and I was altogether stressed beyond my limit. In a moment of perfect timing, Michael brought me an adorable stuffed Baymax from Big Hero 6, who I consider to be a sick Eleanore’s perfect companion.

It was equally perfect that the last movie we ever saw together was Inside Out, a film about a young girl who has to deal with her emotions as she moves away from her hometown. I was in so much pain and so burned out that I spent half the movie laying my head on Michael’s shoulder, because the pain from my hysterectomy and the sickness that came with the rest of my chronic illnesses was simply too much to handle. (Click the blue things to see my posts about each subject after!) Oh yeah, and then the whole thing of me crying through several parts of the movie, considering it was basically about my exact circumstance. We later agreed Inside Out may not have been the best choice to watch right before a friend moves away from another.

I was extremely frustrated that by the end of the night I felt so sick and so engulfed in pain that I could hardly walk. We staggered to my car, and I tried to wait it all out, but instead broke down into a mess of tears. We ended up having to call my other friends to take us home because I had finally lost all functioning capability and felt simply done for. It was clearly not the ending to the day that I had wanted.

As I said in the beginning, yesterday was Michael’s birthday. It was also the day that our Facebook timelines were suddenly were swelled with posts about the Camera 12 shutting down. Michael txted me about it, and though neither of us were surprised because the place never got much business and wasn’t in the greatest shape, it was where Michael, Aaron and I spend so much of our time. For Aaron and I, it was where we escaped our abusive homes. It was our rocket ship to imaginative places that hurt less than our reality. For the three of us, it just always seemed to be where we belonged.

As for Michael and I, this theater holds even more memories for us. It’s where we once ate 75% of an entire box of See’s Candies because that particular day my depression was taking me over. It’s where we sat after credits countless times, either because we were waiting for a secret ending, or because the movie had made me cry so much  I had to compose myself before walking out. It’s where we almost always got the seats in front of the railings so that we could put our feet up, and feel just a little bit cooler than everyone else. Each of those memories have had a part in creating who I am. But the most wonderful thing about memories is that regardless of what that building becomes, even if it is reduced to rubble, it will still be a landmark of our friendship in our minds. That may not be much, but it’s enough for me.

Thank you Camera 12 for your three stories of escalators that lifted us to our seats, where my darling friends and I could enjoy some of the best (and worst) movies you had to offer.

And thank you Michael, for, well, everything.

All right! We did not die today, I call that an unqualified success.

~Fear, Inside Out

Eleanore Vs. Fun With Friends (While Being Chronically Ill)

Dear internet friends, real life friends, and those in between,

After endless miserable months, this week was slightly less painful, and it ended with a fabulous day spent with one of my awesome friends, Chelsea. Chelsea is not only sweet, ridiculously intelligent and other positive adjectives, but she was also the first friend I ever made after moving to Missouri. The first time we hung out without our boyfriends we ended up talking for what seemed like too short a time while we consumed sugar cookies we had made ourselves, and I was consoled by the fact that she was someone very much like myself in a place that I felt I didn’t belong in.

It was only 8 months into my new life here that Chelsea was whisked away to a new job in Cinncinati, Ohio (which for some reason in my head always looks like Townsville from PowerPuff Girls)

cincinnati-oh-cityscape

I mean…

Townsville_in_The_Powerpuff_Girls_Rule!.png

I’m really not that far off.

While I was proud of her because she worked absurdly hard to get a job in her field, I was seriously bummed to have her go from living fifteen minutes away to five hours. Even though she still comes back to visit frequently, there’s only so much a person can fit in one weekend. Finally a weekend came where she could see me, and I was elated. “It’s better than Santa coming!” I told my boyfriend, to which he instantly replied, “that’s a little weird.”

Chelsea showed up around 1pm and we hung out until 11pm or so. We cooked, ate, ate some more, played games, and talked and talked…and talked. I was hoping that my illnesses would for once, allow me to enjoy a day without throwing me into a pain filled vortex; but I must have wished upon the wrong star, because around 6pm I became nauseated, achy, and pain quickly spread throughout my body. “Do you mind if we go hang out in the bedroom?” I asked her, which really meant, “for fuck’s sake I’m in too much pain and my stomach is going to flip inside out. Either I lay down or I might actually implode.” Of course Chelsea complied, and to my bedroom we went.

This is an extremely common occurrence in my life. If I have someone visiting or vice versa, at a certainly point I have to ask if I may lay in their bed, guestroom, or couch. I generally fake through my pain, but the older I get, it seems the facade is falling away at a rapid speed. It was not always this way; it has only been within the last few years that this has become a thing. It is just a very, very annoying thing.

Most healthy people do not have to ask during a visit if they can lay down in a friend’s bed, or if a friend can come lay down with them (I mean, when it is put that way, I kind of sound like I am trying to seduce people). I feel fortunate that most of the friends I have are generally understanding that I only have so many spoons at once and that I never have a choice as to when my body decides to run out of them entirely. The days I have visitors, go to someone’s home, or go to a party and I don’t have to lay down I feel so accomplished. While it is strange that this is how many of my social interactions go, it isn’t entirely unpleasant.

I’ve come to love the simplicity of laying next to one (or several) of my friends and talking without much else in the way. The raw and honest human connection that comes from these days and nights have become very dear to my heart. While it is frustrating that some days I’ll go to a person’s house with the intent of watching movies or playing games and end up laying in their dark bedroom holding back my tears, it’s also a lovely feeling to do something so personal with someone that I don’t always know extremely well. By the time I’m feeling well enough to either carry on our plans or go home, our hearts and minds are a little closer and a little brighter, and neither of us are disappointed that the original plans fell through.

So many of these moments have lead me to grow relationships with my friends that are based off a deeper connection than favorite bands and movies. Cassy, my other big sister from another mister (and misses) and I would often lay on her bed with her eccentric dog Pepper. Since Cassy often feels unwell herself, we’d both lay there, abdomens wrenching for their respective reasons, sick of all the things, while we talked about life, the universe, and everything. At parties, when I am exhausted to my core and find myself slumped on a couch, it rarely takes long for someone to come sit near me for whatever reason they wish to take a break. Once a stranger came to sit by me for whatever reason while I was floored (well, couched actually) by pain from not only my illnesses but also an overload of red wine, and he ended up becoming one of my favorite people to talk to.

When I had my hysterectomy, I couldn’t sit up for longer than an hour, and I had to fluctuate between laying on my back and sitting up. When my friends came to visit me, they’d all pile onto the guest bed I was practically living on, all of us squished together. My particular friends that I did this often with dubbed this the “cuddle puddle.” When I stayed with another friend, Andrey, who selflessly gave up his bedroom for a week to allow me to recover somewhere safe, he and I sat on his bed and talked late into the night (at least, late for two very exhausted humans), which was especially neat since we hardly knew each other at the time. These situations have constantly made me feel safe; they make me feel at home with the people I share the moments with.

I’ve given up looking for cures to all my illnesses. While I am hoping that they will all improve once I learn how to care for myself in the best possible way, I’m never going to be a normal girl. I am never going to be not disabled, and I am always going to have to act in different ways than most of the people I meet. Yet as I have written before (though possibly not for a while since I have been even more depressed than usual the past year) I really believe with all my being that it is more than possible to live a happy, healthy, thriving life, even with all 14 of my illnesses.

That might mean that I won’t always be as functional as the rest of the people I am around, even on my best days. However, as long as I am around compassionate and empathetic people who have no problem laying with me on a strange bed talking about whatever pops into our heads at the time, I am pretty sure I’m going to be okay. Hopefully, I’ll eventually be more than okay.

Thank you Chelsea for being a particularly spectacular friend in every way, despite not knowing me for very long. Say hi to the PowerPuff girls for me.

You have my heart in your hands.
You have my heart, so don’t, don’t let it go.
Check my pressure, patch me right up,
You’re too good to be.

~New Found Glory – Too Good To Be

 

 

 

New Video! Eleanore Vs. Being an AmbiWHAT?

Dear darling humans!

Do you know what to do when you are convinced you are an extrovert your whole life only to find out later that you aren’t? Me neither!

So, I made a very short video about it. Watch it here!

I believe that this whole personality subject is a very important part of life, and I will probably write and Vlog about it more in the future. This is just an overview.

I hope you enjoy my video, and might even like it so much that you subscribe to my YouTube Channel, so that you can not only see all the videos I put my heart into, but so you can also make me jump up and down in my kitchen and sing, “I got a new subscriber! I got a new subscriber!” While my boyfriend slowly backs away in fear.

In other news, Friday is a somewhat important day for me; the one year anniversary of my hysterectomy. I have been crafting a blog post about it the last few days, because I have so much to say regarding it all. That post won’t be as lighthearted as this is, but just like the rest of life, my blog is a pile of good things, bad things, and all things in the middle. It is a reflection of the life I am living.

From the bottom of my heart to the top of my brain, thanks!

 

 

Ellie Vs. Home

Dear fellow travelers that are going from one planet to another as I am currently doing,

Okay, well I am not traveling intergalactically, rather I am traveling interstate, but let’s be honest; that isn’t nearly as exciting. I find myself at LAX impatiently waiting for three hours to board my flight back to my home in Saint Louis, while secretly hoping that either Chris Hardwick or Pete Holmes will pass me by so I may gush over them. I have spent the past week in California, also my home as well as birthplace, visiting my grandmother only two weeks after the death of my grandfather. I am not quite ready to write about that as I keep trying. So, I will write about this instead.

Since the day I moved to Saint Louis I have felt torn apart; and I mean that as literally as possible (while still being figurative, of course). The Bay Area is where I was raised, where my grandmother is, and where my friends who are closest to my heart reside. Unfortunately, I often felt like it was far from where I truly belonged, and I didn’t see much of a future for myself in the Bay. So, I went on an adventure to Saint Louis, Missouri, and just as any other place in the world, it has both negative and positive attributes. Some days I love it, other days I despise it, but most days I’m caught right in the middle.

This is my second time to California since I have moved. Both times were unplanned, and have been less for fun and more for coping with the tragedy of losing my grandfather. While of course I missed my friends more than I can usually bear as well as In-N-Out Burger, I also missed other things that until now I didn’t think I would. For example, I very much miss being in the vicinity of the ocean. That’s right; not being close to the ocean, but just in the general area of it. Both visits to California I never got closer to the ocean than when I would fly over it. Yet I found it comforting that even though I was still an hour away from the ocean, the ocean was there, always inviting me to the warm sand and the icy, sapphire water. Even on the coldest days in Missouri, the air still feels thick and heavy; in California, on most days in the Bay Area  (though the humidity has certainly become more frequent), you can still feel the lightness of the air and a slight breeze. Even on the hottest days I remember, when the wind itself felt more like a hair dryer’s fiery blow rather than a wind, it’s nowhere near as heavy as the air in Missouri. More often than not, though I am sorry to say it, Missouri feels suffocating, and there is no shore to call me near. Likewise, the traffic and rush of far too many people in the Bay is asphyxiating in it’s own disturbing right.

Since I got the cheapest rental car possible and was unable to plug my iPod into the stereo, I listened to radio , which is not something I normally do, especially since moving away. I thought I would be constantly flipping from one station to another, and at first I did, until I came across LIVE105; the “alternative” radio station that has been around for over 15 years. The music they played felt so new and exciting, because while many people who listen to the radio quickly get sick of music played over and over, songs that may seem “played out” are very new to me. For instance, I had never heard the song “Electric Love” by Bo/rn and I was absolutely enthralled by it. When I looked it up on Youtube, I found the song was already a year old and had over 7 million listens. I suppose I am a bit late to the party.

Not only was the new music invigorating, but they also played many older songs that used to belong to the soundtrack of my teenage years. Songs such as “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers, “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance, or “Lazy Eye” by Silversun Pickups were forgotten until they suddenly came flying out of my rental car speakers, drowning me in an overall pleasant mix of emotion and nostalgia.

On one night during my visit, I went to my friend’s house to spend time with three of my very favorite people. Unfortunately, after only an hour my body suddenly decided to be taken over by horrible exhaustion. My organs felt flipped over, my bones felt as heavy as lead, and my skin felt weighted down by sandbags. Every bit of movement became a great effort. My sweet friends remained by my side as I lay helpless and frustrated in their guest bed. Once I was capable of taking myself back to where I was staying, I dragged myself into my car and blasted the stereo to keep awake. As I drove down the expressway, admiring the coolness of the air and the clarity of the sky while contemplating the purpose of my existence, a familiar guitar riff began to play.

dodododododoododoodododoodo

dodododoodododoododoodododododo

dodododoododododoodododo

dodoodododododododoododo

dodododododoodododo.

And then, that oh so familiar lyric sang by an equally familiar voice for most people of my generation:

Hey.

Don’t write yourself off yet.

It’s only in your head you feel left out, or looked down on.

My heart was lifted and in that moment I didn’t feel quite so sick. Driving through the beautiful California night, singing my little heart out, I felt that it was possible that maybe everything really could be just fine, and everything, everything, will be alright, alright. The radio is such a funny thing; I have Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” on my iPod, and I listen to it regularlyBut having it come on shuffle via iPod is not nearly as exciting as a DJ at a radio station deciding to in a certain moment play that one song that impeccably matches what I am currently experiencing. These itty bitty, seemingly unnoticeable events are for some reason massively important to me. To me, they are reminders of the human connection, a reminder that I am not alone in my whirlpool of emotions and conflict. The DJ gets it. Jimmy definitely gets it. I don’t think that’s the singer’s real name, but whatever. Oh wait, I googled it, and his name is Jim! You learn something new every day! But anyway. Back to the whole being ripped apart by life…thing.

Of course the hardest part of leaving home is not being around the people I adore. When I am with them it feels like I’m a puzzle piece that has finally been properly placed after sitting in the box for much too long. The familiarity between us is what makes me feel more at home than anything. It isn’t often that I feel as if others truly and sincerely understand me. Whether a friend and I are making up odd scenarios that only we find funny as we try to stifle our laughter in a Starbucks, or the friend I see as my very wise older sister is advising me on how to navigate my life, moments like these remind me that despite being a far from normal girl, there are amazing people that have found a normalcy with me that we can happily  coexist in.

I explained my conflict to one of my newer friends who has quickly become a very close one, which is also rare for me. His reply was actually quite inspiring. He told me,

Well, if Luke never left Tattooine, he probably would have never been a Jedi. It was probably the best thing for him Adventure wise. You will do great things even if it means leaving the ones you love.

I can’t help but hope with all my heart that my dear friend is right. I don’t know where my home is, where I belong, or if I’ll ever find where I belong at all. If anything, I at least can look forward to arrive to wherever it may be with a lightsaber, a badass robe and control of the Force. Now that’s a great silver lining.

Even though I also hope to make new friends wherever I find myself, the fact remains that one friend does not replace another. Each of my friends are fantastically unique and are one of a kind. I hope to add to the list of people I can trust in and love, but none will ever overwrite the other.

Good thing I’ve got a pretty big heart.

Wherever you go, if my heart was a house, you’d be home.

~Owl City – If My Heart Was a House 

Ellie Vs. Strength

Dearest Readers,

Last night at 2am I laid in my bed, and I listened intently as the wind sounded off like a wolf pack and as the thunder boomed, shaking my entire complex. At 25 years old and more physically and emotionally fragile than ever, I listened as I watched lightning dance in the darkness, and I felt fear stinging my mind. This morning I realized that the fear I felt was not only from the storm, but rather the storm amplified the fear I already have inside me.

I was raised just as how most people of my generation and every generation before was,  drowned out by the idea that showing emotion was akin to losing your strength. Between the media and our communities we were plagued with such phrases as, “big girls don’t cry,” or “boys don’t cry,” or “stop being so sensitive.” Once my brother told me, “you’re one of the strongest girls I know, but you’re so damn sensitive.” Just in case you couldn’t point out everything wrong with this remark, I made it extra bold. The fact that he was astonished that a girl could have any level of strength at all is equally as irritating as the fact that he, as well as far too many others, believe that my emotional sensitivity negates my strength.

Often times we also find that those who suffer the most, whether from poverty, illness, abuse and/or other, seem to be far stronger than those who have suffered less. The rest of society along with many people within these groups begin to assume that if one suffers, they don’t need to show emotion as much because, “well, their lives are always awful, so they must be used to it.” These people are often seen as inhumanly strong by others, and are then left behind. Or, if you are one of those people who often is seen by those around you as a “feel good machine,” where no matter what you are dealing with in your life, you still somehow manage to help, listen to, and take care of others, the rest of society tends to forget that while you are strong, you are still in the end just a human being.

Here’s a reality check for the human race:

  • Being allowed to show your emotions is not a privilege. It is a human and very basic right.
  • Showing emotions does not by any means weaken strength.
  • Even the strongest people you know still need help, support, and someone to listen to them. No one is exempt of the basic needs of understanding and compassion. This is why The Avengers exist – even superheroes can’t handle life all on their own.

A war veteran who has seen horrific scenes of battle is still allowed to cry when he remembers those images, or cry happily as he watches his daughter marry the love of her life. A doctor who has watched countless people die after her attempts to save their lives is still allowed to be angry and cry after those deaths, despite her best attempts to create armor in hopes that the next death won’t hurt as badly as the one before.

Even those who have suffered a thousand times over and who attempt to create armor to shield themselves from emotional pain are never truly protected from it. Just because others do not see the tears on a person’s face does not mean the person is not crying out from their souls. Likewise, seeing those tears does not make them feeble. The strongest act any person can do, in the end, is allow themselves to feel. 

When I had my hysterectomy (now nearly a year ago) I woke up from my surgery in my hospital room crying frantically. I was terribly confused and for some reason driven manic by the idea that I would be left completely alone. I remember faint glimpses of a nurse holding my hands, her pretty face looking down at me repeating, “I’m here.” I blacked out again and didn’t wake up for hours after.

It wasn’t until a week after my best friend who had been in the room with us told me that when he walked in, he saw the nurse sitting on my bed, holding my hands, crying. “Why was she crying?” I asked, having only a small dreamlike memory of it. “Because you were afraid to be alone and it made her very sad how scared and upset you were,” he replied. His response left me in shock. I made a nurse cry? This woman who has seen human suffering like many can’t even begin to imagine, sat on my hospital bed, holding my hands, and cried with me.

Unless a person works with patients of some kind or is a patient themselves, this may not seem like much. Yet a year later, I am left in awe of this beautiful nurse, who despite her mentally and physically challenging career, instead of creating a thick armor that repressed her true feelings, allowed herself to be left just a little bit open . She cried with me and comforted me, regardless of the facts that she was probably exhausted beyond compare near the end of a 12 hour shift, or that she hardly knew me at all. I may have had over a hundred nurses in my lifetime, many of which have kept their compassion to a minimum for one reason or another. While they were by no means bad nurses, the ones such as my nurse from last year are the ones that I could never possibly forget.

I have cried every day for months now. I have panic attacks that are relentless. Every day I am living my life with a great deal of fear for an even greater amount of reasons. Most of the world tells me this makes me weak, and that I need to be stronger, or should stop being so sensitive. The rest of the world rarely sees me break down, or take my bluntness and transparency regarding my life as incredible strength. While that’s certainly better than the first option, it leaves me dead, because those who believe I have that amazing strength believe that because my life has been a constant battle all my 25 years, that I’m “used to it,” so I don’t require any support or help. And so they keep going, in need of my help constantly, yet never thinking to offer up their own. Both of these are extremely wrong.

I am a remarkably strong human being, as are the others that suffer like me. However, we are not invincible and we are not Marvel’s inhuman characters that you see showcased on silver screens. Even so, my strength does not  mean that I can handle it all on my own, or that  I can handle everyone else’s without breaking into pieces. It also does not mean that when I cry or panic that my strength is lessened. My strength wavers on a daily basis, as I assume most people’s does. But it does not waver because of my tears. It wavers because of the constant battle that I fight every waking moment.

I am not exempt, either way, from needing those I love to reach out to me, support me, help me, or listen to me. In the end, I am just an exhausted, sick girl who is both in dire need of receiving support just as I constantly crave to give it. I can still be strong while being terrified of the storm.

Is it possible for us to brave it together?

Pick you up, let you down, when I wanna go
To a place I can hide.
You know me, I had plans, but they just disappeared
To the back of my mind.

Oh can it be, The voices calling me
They get lost, and out of time
I should’ve seen it glow, but everybody knows
That a broken heart is blind.

~The Black Keys – Little Black Submarines

Ellie Vs. Brains & Hearts

Dearest eyeball movers,

Let me get the undead elephant out of the room.

No, I am not writing this to tell you that I have turned into a zombie and now am plagued with an insatiable craving for brains and other organs, I promise. Zombies obviously can’t type; their fingers would just fall right off. If you’re wondering why this is titled Ellie Vs. Brains & Hearts while it is not about zombies, keep reading. It’ll all make sense in the end.

Every day is a difficult struggle that I often lose due to chronic illness. On the bright side this is the main reason I started blogging, and it has quickly become an obsession, because my main goal is to reach out to others like me. Throughout my life it has always been difficult for me to reach out to others for help, because many times I’d end up regretting it. All too often, though someone has well meaning intentions, they don’t always know how to express them to people such as myself, and whether they want to or not, they can end up actually making me feel worse. Then there are people who are apathetic; and these people can spew words that turn to daggers and cut though me when I am in desperate need of just a sliver of sanctuary.

No matter what battle you have been fighting, we have all constantly been told this phrase by someone:

Just be grateful for what you have. IT COULD BE SO MUCH WORSE. There are people STARVING IN AFRICA. 

Right. Let’s talk about what is wrong with this statement; which in my eyes, is literally fucking everything. 

Minimizing problems is the antithesis of supportive. This does nothing except make the person you are talking to feel invalidated and guilty for feeling their emotions, which is something no one should ever be forced to feel. Emotions are valid to the person who feels them; whether or not others agree is irrelevant. Let me clarify that last part – I don’t mean to say that if someone is angry at you for an illogical reason that you can’t disagree with them. You absolutely can, but you also have to reach a point where no matter how ridiculous someone else’s feelings are, you must understand that what they are currently feeling is their reality and has created a type of emotional “tunnel vision”. If you don’t acknowledge that key fact, communication between two people is almost impossible. The person feeling the emotion shuts down and the person communicating with them gets more frustrated every second, eventually leading to an eruption on both sides, forgoing the opportunities for understanding and negotiation.

The phrase “it could be so much worse” automatically fills me with rage and makes my skin crawl. No matter how good or bad your life becomes, there will always, always be someone both better off and worse off than you. Someone will always be richer, healthier and smarter than you, while someone else will always be more sick, poorer, and more miserable than you. But the fact still remains that regardless of the queue of people in the world and where you stand within it, your problem is still a problem, if it’s a problem. I really hope that makes sense. To give an example, what I mean is that the fact that I have 9 disorders and 3 diseases is not at all effected, negatively or positively, by someone else that has a worse disease than mine. I am still suffering, I am still sick, I still struggle through my life, and that should be acknowledged, just as the other, worse off person’s pain should also be acknowledged.

 ALSO. ACKNOWLEDGED.

And by “if it’s a problem,” I mean if it is legitimately a problem. While everyone has a different opinion on what defines problematic and what doesn’t, most reasonable humans can look at a situation and figure it out. If someone is dealing with depression, their cat died, they are dealing with illness, if a tornado went all Wizard of Oz on their life and threw them into a different world where an evil witch tried to kidnap their dog, or any of the billion of other fucked up things that happen to people, that’s a problem. If it’s something extremely minor that ultimately has no true impact on your life, that may be a fleeting nuisance, but it is not problematic. Here I encourage the use of brains, for contemplation, not meals that is.

Imaginary person in my head that I’m talking about this to: 

Okay, well. If I can’t say that others have it worse, even though IT’S TRUE, BECAUSE THEY DO AND YOU SHOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE AND NOT THINK EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU, what am I supposed to say? How do I acknowledge both people? Why do I have to be so POLITICALLY CORRECT NOWADAYS AND WHY CAN’T I JUST SAY WHATEVER AND I AM JUST TRYING TO HELP AND AND AND

Okay, calm the fuck down, imaginary twit. There’s a really, absurdly simple way to fix this problem so that we can both acknowledge the fact that we and many others are suffering, because much to many people’s surprise, life is not a shit contest. When you meet someone who is struggling, your first reaction should not be that you or anyone else has it worse. We have to learn to remove our egos and actually focus on the other person first. Then, after you have acknowledged what they have expressed, you can use your empathy and experiences to make them understand that they are not alone in their battle. If they follow this system as well, both people end up in a wonderful conversation where they are both being supported.

Ultimately, not only does my main point stress how important it is that we change how we interact with others, but equally as important, how we interact with our own brains. For some reason I have never been able to comprehend, far too many people believe that the brain and body are disconnected and that one does not greatly affect the other. Often we hear the phrase, “mind over matter,” when talking about overcoming physical challenges, but we rarely acknowledge just how important the mind affects the humans they live inside of. The phrase should be turned into, “mind matters,” because the way one thinks does matter more than most imagine.

Back to the first phrase that makes me want to flip tables: “be grateful because it could be/others have it worse.” Why is it necessary to put one person down to raise up another? Why is it necessary to point out the worst in order to see the best? When I think about those worse off than me, they don’t make me happy that I am not them. I think it is cruel and unfair to use those suffering worse than I to raise myself up to feel better, or to highlight what I have that they do not. Instead,  I look at people who are suffering and say, “despite what they struggle with, they still carry on. If they can do it, I can too, and that’s remarkable.”

People who are less fortunate than I should not be examples of how horrible life can be. They are not the poster children of misery; they are the faces of courage, strength, persistence and survival. People who suffer with me or more than me are the faces that instill faith in myself and others that we can get through even the most tumultuous parts of ours lives. Saying, “if they can do it, I can too,” rather than, “well it could be worse,” affects your brain in completely different ways. Wording the thought positively, and looking up instead of down, can make the difference in not only your mental being but your physical being as well. Not to mention it will change how you also see others and your connection to them. I never, ever want someone healthier than I to look down upon me and say, “well I am glad I’m not that sick girl. I’m so lucky, because I could be like her.” I want people to look at my body, read my words, and be encouraged by all that I am and say, “look how she lives. look how she fights. If she can fight her monsters, I can too. I want to be a part of her beautiful army and fight for myself.”

My readers, friends, brothers, sisters, fellow human beings. I am utterly exhausted of living a life that uses the negative to point out the beauty of our world. It is time that we forget the idea of competition, of being the one who has the most good or bad, the one who has been through the worst experiences, or the one who hurts more than everyone else. Especially among those who suffer, I see this as a constant problem, and it is time that we stop aiming at each other’s necks and instead support each other’s minds and hearts. We can be grateful yet empathic to both ourselves and others all at the same time.

It is time that we begin to raise each other up to the light, and as it warms our skin, we sing together in beautiful voices of the hurting, that we are suffering, but we are not suffering alone.

 

What do you know? this house is falling apart.
What can I say? this house is falling apart.
We got no money, but we got heart.
We’re gonna rattle this ghost town.
This house is falling apart.

-Anna Sun ~ Walk the Moon

Ellie Vs. The Point

Hello deer readers, and human ones as well. Hahaha. See what I did there? Aren’t I funny? No? Okay. Sorry.

I have returned home from a ten day trip to my mothership, California, which would sound like a vacation if it weren’t for the numerous clusterfucks that are presently taking over my life. I’m lethargic, and exhaustion has consumed my entire soul. After my 5 hour flight, I stepped out of the airplane, walked through the airport, and onto an escalator that promised me a reunion with my luggage. As I descended, only one thought really crossed my mind: what’s the point?

I realize this sounds incredibly depressing. That is most likely due the fact that it is definitely depressing. I have suffered from depression along with many other illnesses and disorders (check the CheatCode if you’re curious) since I came into this world writhing with confusion. And now, nearly 26 years later, I still often find myself writhing with confusion, albeit slightly less screamy. I am  nearly 30, I have no hard earned degree, no solid career, barely any money, no plan, am chronically ill yet without insurance, and don’t seem to belong anywhere at all. While I strive daily to improve these conundrums, there are some days, such as today, where I am too weak to carry on, and I feel trapped within the walls of my own brain which is like a broken record, repeating over and over, what’s the point? 

These are the days when I try to remind myself that despite the overwhelming loneliness that accompanies my existential crisis, I am not actually alone. I gently recall that Neil Gaiman was a starving writer at one point in his life, along with JK Rowling who was barely getting by on welfare. I think of Chris Pratt, a chubby stoner living out of his van turned actor, husband and father. I think of my favorite band Blink-182, and how one of their first shows was in a bar with no audience. I am sure that all of these now better off people of note often wondered in their younger years, “what’s the point?” just as I am now, as I lay in my bed, frozen by my own existence.

However, I also have to wonder if those people, in the time of their crises,  were comforted by the fact that The Beatles were said to never go anywhere or by Walt Disney’s failed animation company. Am I, myself, inspired by the past struggles of those who I now look up to? These little facts should get me out of bed and motivate me, but instead I am left curious not by their success, but how they got through this painful, aching of the soul that they felt before success was within their reach.

Coincidentally (or not, depending on how you look at it), the point of this post is mostly unknown. It is mainly allowing me to rant about the fact that I feel as if I am wandering through life aimlessly, and how helpless and hopeless that wandering feels. My heart is heavy; so heavy it often falls from my chest to the pit of my stomach.

This afternoon, I took a break from writing to have a breakdown. I sat on my couch, looked out at the not at all uplifting, grey sky, and I cried out in fear, pain, and frustration. I mumbled over and over, “help me, help me,” to my invisible audience, and I begged for them to tell me how to get out of the deep pit that is my current life. I even got so desperate as to actually google how to fix a broken life. Naturally, I got millions of hits, all with a billion different solutions. I only clicked one link, a blog post by someone I didn’t know, and read his explanations of the five things one must do before fixing their broken life. I can’t remember all five, but one stood out to me. The subheading shouted at me in their bold font, realize that fixing a broken life takes a fucking buttload of time. I mean, I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it. And that one sentence allowed me to steal a breath of air in between my sobs.

One attribute 99.9% of all humans lack is patience. I am generally quite patient with others, but God forbid if I must be patient with myself. I desire change now, and I want to get it all right now, and if I don’t, I’m a massive fuck up and should probably just quit. That isn’t exactly healthy thinking now, is it? I fail to understand that massive, true changes to a life don’t just happen, and they definitely don’t happen without struggle and mistakes. Life is not a straight line from one point to another. It’s more like the kind of scribble a two year old draws all over the hallway that makes a parent want to rip their own hair out. All that anyone is ever trying to do is get through this scribbly life thing and make something positive out of it. We’re all just trying to, well, for lack of a better explanation, get to the point.

I don’t know how I am going to get through all of the dreadful situations I am currently in. However, I have to keep the idea that I will get through it. I truly believe that when a person loses everything, when the very idea of getting out of bed each morning is too much to bear, the only thing that is left is hope. We must have hope, because sometimes it’s all we can hold onto. A tiny glimpse of hope can turn into a thought, thoughts turn into chances, and chances turn into change.

I am hoping for change, the good kind, for once. And if whoever reading this is in desperate need as I am, I will hope for you too, because while it isn’t ideal, right now it is the best I can do.

Though the pressure’s hard to take, it’s the only way I can escape.
It seems a heavy choice to make, and now I am under all.

And it’s breaking over me, a thousand miles down to the sea bed.
Found the place to rest my head.
Never let me go.

And the arms of the ocean are carrying me.
And all this devotion was rushing out of me.
And the crashes are heaven for a sinner like me.
But the arms of the ocean delivered me.

~Florence + the Machine – Never Let Me Go