Reality bites

The reality of being a survivor is something that strikes me a lot.

The honest fact is that ‘survivor’ means something different to everyone makes that sentence bring something different to every readers mind.

The basic definition of the word is simple.

  • A person who survived, especially a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died.
  • The remainder of a group of people or things
  • A person who copes well with difficulties in life

Definition’s in the dictionary are great but it always feels different. They never seem to be able to describe what to expect the feelings to be.

That said I can’t even begin to explain how it feels different depending which thing I am feeling like I am a survivor from that day. That sounds crazy even to me.

But when it comes down to it, I am a survivor of a whole list of different things. As is every person alive.

That list can seem daunting but that needs to be something I chose to focus on in the near future to make sure that any of my past damage does not creep up to affect my future.

The biggest thing about being a survivor however is learning to move past it. Past the trauma. Past the events. Past the guilt. Past the feelings. Past the judgement. Past the pity. Past the expectation of what it should have been. Past the expectation of what could have been.

I think that is the hardest part. It doesn’t matter what type of ‘event’ happened. It’s the idea of forgiving yourself for letting it happen. Forgiving yourself for expectations. Forgiving yourself for not seeing it coming. Forgiving yourself for not getting over it as fast as people think you should. Or even as fast as you think you should.

Be kind to yourself. Accept the reality of it. It is your domain. It is your safe space. It will always be overwhelming. Break it down into peices. Handle the peices in the best way possible… for YOU.

Was I wrong?

There is this a time in your life when it suddenly becomes obvious that the big circle that you have surrounded yourself with has disappeared.

Instead there is gaping holes that you work to fill.

Somewhere over the next handful of years you realize that you would rather your squad be small because at least you know that they are true friends. Honest. Real. The kind of people that you want to have around you.

So when being an adult forces you to have long distant friendships with these inner squad members, you find yourself spiraling again.

Why do I always feel as if I am in a constant spiral?

I used to swear that adults had there shit together.

I think I’m ready to admit that I was wrong.

Daddys lessons

Growing up every Saturday afternoon I knew I could find my father in his bedroom playing records on an old record player. As I got a little older he advanced to big speakers attached to whatever the newest computer model he could afford to have. The one constant however was the music.

The man taught me the love of sound.

The feel of the bass coming through the floorboard and pounding a distinct rythm into my soul.

The sound of the harmonies had an absolute calming effect on whatever stresses my childhood overthinking had caused over the last seven days.

He would pull out a chess set sometimes for us to spar without words. Shifting little wooden pieces around the board attempting to out -think each other.

I’ve managed to fall in love with music just the way he does. Every sort of music has heart and soul, even if its not my taste.

I envy those that can close their eyes and play their feelings on an instrument. I dawdled and gave feeble attempts but was never able to truly make magic happen. Not even the type of magic originally spun by someone else.

I’ve come to accept my place in the musical world is simply through someone else’s imagination.

Instead I dedicate every emotion I feel, and every Saturday afternoon, to loud speakers attached to a music playing device like my daddy taught me.

Chose what to focus on

This new flower of thinking has bloomed and spread pollen to others near me.

I LOVE IT!

I know that its early January still so the “resolutioners” will fall off, but what a great start! I know its just the people around me, but that is helping my mental health anyway. I bask in the positivity being shown all around me.

I spend a lot of time in life forcing myself to accept the negative but focus on the positive. Being around people who focus more on the negative, or SPREAD the negativity around like wildfire, drains me. I can’t handle that mentality. I understand that life deals some bad cards to people at different times in life and that it will be super hard at times to find the positivity during that time.

I have clearly been through some incredibly hard times surrounded in negativity as well.

From that place I found that so much of my day to day life depended on what I chose to focus on. If i focused on the negative things happening too much, my mental health took a bad hit for the day. When I had something to look forward to, or focused on something that had more positivity, my outlook was completely different.

I was still smiling by the time the day was winding down.

My family got to see a happier version of me then the slow moving begrudging human being that I had become. Seeing them make choices to do the same is amazingly uplifting to me.

I still have negative thoughts of course. I still have negative things going on around me.

I just choose not to focus on them.

Learning to occupy my time

So I don’t do New Years Resolutions but this year I figured that I would try something a little different. I have goals that I would like to start implementing this year, but they are much more like life style changes instead of resolutions. At least that’s what I continue to tell myself.

ThisĀ  year marks the first kid graduating high school and having the potential to move away from me. It doesn’t matter that he may not any time soon. It’s the idea that he is old enough to be able to. I have been trying to focus on how to pull my mother hen instincts back a bit so that he has the ability to grow and learn a bit before he moves out. I am not sure that I can make myself succeed at this, so instead I will occupy myself with other tasks.

This year I will be working harder to find different volunteer options to work with military veterans. I have always been drawn to work with the veterans in our country and am always looking for different ways that may work into life in a long term way. I already work on donating to people who are able to send care packages fairly frequently throughout the year, as well as send Christmas cards to soldiers overseas. However this doesn’t take much time nor effort on my behalf. I would like to find more opportunities. Please feel free to offer any ideas that come to mind. I am wide open for suggestions.

More to come.

The beauty of Zebra’s

“Some days, 24 hours is too much to stay put in, so I take the day hour by hour, moment by moment….”

 

In a 2016 study, an estimated 20.4% of adults in America had chronic pain

8.0% of adult Americans had high impact chronic pain.

That’s 50 MILLION American’s

That’s 2 out of 5 adults

1 in every 4 people with chronic pain are also diagnosed with a sleep disorder

It is the leading cause of long term disability in America.

70% are women

I know I am just spouting off with statistics that I found on the internet. However this is something that effects my family tremendously. We used to get told that we were the zebra’s of the medical field, but we are not. We have some extra stripes sure, but really we are the same as everyone else.

I hate knowing that. We accepted our stripes years ago. We all knew that we just needed to focus on getting back up and straightening out crown a bit before trudging on before the next faceplant.

Maybe some people could feel better knowing that they are more normal than they thought they were. The problem is that the way that life is showing me that we are not that unique is by knocking the legs out of the people around me. I’ve watched car accidents diagnose brain disorders, broken bones diagnose connective tissue disorders and allergic reactions diagnose auto immune diseases.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

I want to go back to where we were the zebras. I wasn’t ok watching my closest family members going through it but at least I was under the impression everyone else got to live happy pain-free normal lives.

zebra