i'm darkness and light and bubbles and faerie wings. i love purple and faeries and music and i'm pretty sure that WordPress hates me.

truthful tuesday

truthfultuesday

It dawned on me the other day, after I received some sort of comment/message from someone who told me something made them think of me, and inspired them to do something, that I am often surprised by the thought that people think of me when I am not standing right there in front of them.

I have a come a long, long way from that shy, insecure girl who thought there was no point in living because no one would miss her. Yet, I am still surprised when someone likes me.

I am surprised that you call me friend.

I am surprised that you think of me.

I am surprised that I have inspired you to do something, or challenge yourself.

I am surprised when you compliment me and tell me I’m funny, or kind, or fun.

I have no idea why you want to be my friend. Not because I don’t think I am worthy of friendship, or love, but because I can’t think of what might have clicked with you.

This isn’t one of those “woe is me” moments. I am not wondering if I am good enough for anyone, or not enough. It’s more that sometimes I have this moment of clarity and realize just how surrounded I am by friends – amazing friends – and surrounded by so much love. These are all things I never thought I would have, or be worthy of, for such a long part of my life.

I was shy. I was terrified of what people thought of me. I thought myself ugly, boring, invisible. I never thought I’d have true friends. Friends who would accept me as I am. I was constantly worried that I would offend someone, or do something to make people leave me.

Then, one day, I stopped caring. As I got older I grew so tired of spending energy worrying about other people, and just started being me, and not caring about what I was wearing, or saying. I would rather choose comfort over fashion and name brands. I would rather stay home and read than go out to a crowded, loud place where you can’t actually converse with the people you’re with. I started to make my own decisions about what I liked to do and I was sure I’d be alone in my life forever.

A funny thing happened, people came to me, and befriended me. Wary at first, slow to trust, I didn’t let myself believe these friends would stick around. But it was ok. I had learned to love myself and I would be ok without close friends.

And I lied to myself for many years about how I didn’t have friends. Again, not in a “woe is me” way, but because I wasn’t actually looking at what was in front of me. I was so used to keeping my head down and not making eye contact.

There are moments in life when you really learn who your friends are. When you look up, feeling alone, and realize that you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the middle of a circle of people who are covering you in love and support and helping you stand, and fighting at your back.

And when I really open my eyes, and look at what’s right there in front of me, I know I am not alone. And I am overwhelmed by the number of people I have opened up my life to. The people who love me, and care about me, and support me. I have a small, close group of friends that to me are family, but I have an outer circle of friends that give me extra protection from my demons. They circle the smaller circle, and they might not know all of my deepest, darkest secrets, but I know I can count on them, and they can count on me.

I felt so alone and unworthy for so long, that when you tell me you have thought of me because you saw something, or read something, or whatever – it surprises me.  I felt so insignificant for so long, that when you tell me I have inspired you to do something – it surprises me.

I wonder, “Why?” Why did this make you think of me? Why did I inspire you? What did I do, that I thought wasn’t a big deal, that made you think “wow. I can try that!”. Why do you like me? What is it about me that you love?

I am not asking these questions to the world for answers. This isn’t a post written to fish for compliments or attention. It’s just a post in response to a very vivid realization I had the other day. I know I am not alone in these thoughts. I know others wonder why someone likes them, or why they have inspired someone, or why someone might find something that reminds them of their friend.

We all have insecurities. We all wonder if we are enough, or worthy. We are. We truly are. And you know, telling someone “Hey, I thought of you today because I saw this *whatever*, and it made me smile and think, *so-n-so* would love this!” might just mean the world to the person you’re thinking of. That person could be sitting at home, feeling alone or miserable, and then being told they made someone smile, or whatever, is such a warm feeling.

And I will always be surprised when someone wants to be my friend. I will always be surprised when you tell me that something made you think of me. I will always be surprised to realize how much love and support I have cocooned around me. But I will never, ever feel alone and unworthy again. I love myself. I love being myself. And I love that I have friends and family who love me for being me.

So, thank you for surprising me.

 

imaginary blogger

I have to admit, I was feeling pretty proud of my last two blog posts. I mean, I talked about some important things and felt I was quite eloquent.

Imagine  my surprise when I opened up my blog and didn’t see the posts. Where did they go? What’s going on?

That’s when I realized I “wrote” those posts in my head when I went to bed and was falling asleep. I must have thought them out just as I was asleep for good if I was that convinced that I had actually written them. I often draft blog posts in my head as I am falling asleep. I rarely remember them the next day, or often the next day I decide I didn’t feel like blogging about whatever I drafted in my head.

But this time? I seem to have convinced myself of two blog posts that I wrote in my head to be real.

I can vaguely recall what one was about, but I have no idea what the other was about.

Now to decide if I want to try and recreate the one post I vaguely recall. Hmm.

I’m sure I am the only one this happens to. Good grief.

sophspirational saturday

peripheral participation

I don’t want to participate. I just don’t feel like it.

It may look like I’m participating because I’ll post something on social media; I’ll update a status; I’ll take a photo of the dogs (mainly Yoshi). But I’m not participating. I don’t read emails, I don’t read private messages on FB. If I do, I don’t reply. I don’t want to reply. I honestly don’t feel like interacting with the world these days.

I’m not scrolling through news feeds to see what your doing. I follow, and speak with, only a handful of close friends these days. They are all I am comfortable with right now.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the kindness and concern directed at me. I truly feel lucky to have people in my life who care about me and want to help. But I don’t have the energy to explain everything over and over to people. I don’t want to. And for some, even though I don’t keep what happened to me a secret in any way, I just don’t feel like spilling all the details.

I have a very close, tight, bubble around me at the moment and only a small number of people are allowed past those walls. It’s all I can handle. I am avoiding requests to come over, and hang out, or having people want to come over and hang out. Nope. Can’t do it. Don’t want to do it. But thank you for caring about me. Honestly. It means the world to me.

But I don’t want to come out and play with people right now. I don’t want to read up about anyone. I barely scroll through FB or twitter at the moment. I visit specific friends’ pages, and that’s about it. I can’t handle anything else.

So just because you see I’ve posted an update somewhere, that doesn’t mean that I’m actually online and participating in everyone else’s life. I’m in my own bubble. Seeing the private message notifications gives me anxiety. It’s stupid, but it does. I know I don’t HAVE to reply to people, but I feel guilty if I don’t. So I just ignore the messages.

Half the time I don’t even have my laptop open anymore. I knit and listen to music (yay for the 90s music station on cable!) I update occasionally from my phone. I’m mostly disconnected from social media and it’s NICE. It’s quiet. It helps the noise in my head to be far, far, away from the noise online.

I don’t want to talk to you, or anyone else. I can’t right now. My comfort zone is limited space right now and all I ask is that that space is respected.

And for those allowed through my bubble, thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me heal and stay sane. Thank you for understanding what I need when I often don’t myself. Thank you for your patience and your love. Thank you for not making me explain everything over and over and just being there, making me laugh, helping me knit, and just being an ear to talk to.

One of the things I am dreading is the small talk that is part of my daily life in the office. I just don’t want to be part of that right now. Maybe in 2 weeks I’ll be better, but right now? I don’t want to talk to anyone except my closest friends.

I’m in my own world, my bubble, right now and I am not ignoring the world to be rude, but because the world is just too loud and cacophonous to handle at the moment. Be patient with me, I am not being a bitch on purpose.

(And I am not withdrawing from life in a depression. I just need quiet space around me. Dealing with people is exhausting.)

aKNITction

My new addiction: knitting. Turns out that knitting is quite helpful at dealing with anxiety. The repetitive motions and the feel of the needles and yarn are rather soothing. And, well, if you have an addictive personality (like I do), it suddenly becomes ALL you want to do.

Two weeks ago I needed to up my mental health healing game. Painting the craft room wasn’t cutting it (and I still need to finish that room, sigh.) So I took myself to Michael’s and WalMart and bought myself some yarn and needles and was determined to teach myself to KNIT.

I failed almost immediately because I couldn’t figure out how the heck to cast on to start a knitting project. Thanks to a video chat with my wonderful friend Jeanna, I figured out a very basic way to cast on that I could actually DO. And then I began to knit.

And knit.

And KNIT!

I was a non-stop knitting machine! The simple garter stitch, over and over. It was calming and fun. I am in love with multi-coloured yarn. I can’t even seem to buy any yarn that’s only one colour. I like the rainbows that show up with multi-coloured yarn. I wanted an infinity scarf and very soon, I had one.

This took me five days to complete. I also watched 2.5 seasons of Law & Order SVU while knitting. This was my second attempt at a scarf, the first yarn I bought was too fuzzy and fragile for me to knit with. It kept breaking, and knotting. So I switched to this thicker, yarn and voila! And it was still cold enough to wear outside! (Bitter sweet really, because I’d really like some above 0C weather soon.)

I didn’t know what to do with myself once I finished this scarf, so I picked up my original yarn and tried it again. And soon…

Knitty!

KNITTY!!

DONE! I am so happy that I was able to make this yarn work the second time. I absolutely LOVE the colours and the way they stripe. I love how soft this is. I love it so much, and it’s lighter to wear, so the slightly warmer temperatures that still require a scarf make this a perfect fit for March.

I took out a couple of knitting books from the library, but I’m having trouble figuring out directions. I work better when I am shown how to do something. In fact, I had a second video knitting session, this time with Monkey. She helped me figure out how to purl. I was getting all tangled and adding stitches. So now I’m on a third scarf – this one isn’t for me. And it’s a knitting and purling experiment.

I’ve had to backspace on this one twice so far. I kept messing up which side I was knitting first or purling first. I finally added an elastic to the end of one needle so I knew each time that side came up I had to start with a purl. So I’m farther along than this photo shows, AND it’s not all messed up in the middle like this one.

Right now I’m all about scarves. I bought some cotton yarn to try and make some dishcloths. I’d love to be able to make hats, but I think that’ll come with more practice. I want to knit ALL of the things. I wish I had taken to this more when my grandmother tried to teach me when I was little. I don’t think I appreciated how soothing an action it is.

Besides my own amusement over knitting, Yoshi is my biggest fan. He has loved all the yarn I use, and the scarves I have made (as witnessed by the first photo.) He’s been a fun knitting companion to have. Except when he likes the yarn too much and decides he needs to sleep on top of it.

This new toy is FUN! I’m going to catch all of the strings!

Thank you for making me a THING to snuggle into! I luffs it!

This new THING is even MORE snuggly! I think shall sleeps on it. You got it for me, right?

Are you making me a new scarffy? I luffs this one! Does it go with my eyes?

Sophie, on the other hand, isn’t such a fan of scarves, knitting, or fashion. Even though she looks beautiful in this scarf.

What is this thing? Get it off me! This has nothing to do with FOOD.

(Although she DID discover that bamboo knitting needles are DELICIOUS, and ate mine while I was working on the second scarf. We went out to buy me more needles that night. Sigh. Now I have to keep them way out of her reach. Oh, #NoSophie!)

So, I’m knitting. A lot. And learning. And it’s helping calm my anxiety immensely. And it’s mindless, but not really. And I can get lost in the rhythm of knitting and not think about anything for a while. It calms my breathing and distracts my mind. Something that I used to get from reading, only these days I can’t read. I just can’t focus on what I’m reading. Even my regular comfort food books aren’t holding my attention. It’s upsetting. So I’ll knit for now and eventually I’ll be better. And eventually I’ll learn to knit things other than scarves. And eventually I’ll be back at work (hopefully after Easter), and eventually I’ll have fewer ptsd-related set backs. And I’ll make it through a year without falling apart. It will only be two years since the trauma at the end of this month, so I still have a ways to go to distance myself from things that trigger the set backs.

Meanwhile, who wants a scarf?