Split Decision

It doesn’t take long for the vision of solid oak pews lined in rows to come to the front of my memory log. A memory as clear as yesterday: singing hymnals as Shell Anderson’s hands danced across the keys ensuring any of the off tune singers are drowned out by her perfect cords. I disliked Sunday school. Every Sunday morning I begged to stay in big church. I would lay across, belly down, on the burnt orange cushion. My side barely touching the dark oak back. My Great Great Aunt, who I called Ebe, tickled my back. I would drift off just as Brother Harry cued the congregation to open their bible to Luke Chapter 2 Verse 5-10. A church nap is almost as good as a golf nap.

I experience a warmth in my soul as I reminisce of Sunday morning at First Baptist Church. I was safe there, most importantly I felt that safety.

Why is it now that I can’t get there? I can’t seem to find where religion and spirituality either combine or need separation. I’m torn between what I was taught as a child and what I feel as a woman.

I have this internal cry for a deeper self love. A meaningful, healthy self love that allows me to give freely without yearning for approval. I want to break this cycle of damaging self-sacrifice and endless codependency. My soul has been crying out for some time, my emotions have, until recently, made my mind to foggy to see.

My religion taught me that I am nothing without god, the power is in him. What if you can’t connect with that god? On my knees, I have tried tirelessly to connect. Mathew, Mark, Luke and Paul; chapters I am all too familiar with, and could probably quote from if needed. I have believed that only a select few are going to heaven and if you don’t believe that Jesus died on the cross and ask him to forgive your sins you are destined for hell. Today, I just can’t wrap my head around this.

I feel a deep desire to search for an inner peace. It is almost like my inner child is begging me to become aware, to love deeply, to forgive. I need to somehow find a way to exist peacefully within the chaos.

In this season, a dose of self care is my RX. Practicing mindfulness in the smallest of moments is helping me become more aware of today’s gifts. A deeper understanding of my emotions, has given me the rare ability to see others through a different lense. A telescope to their soul, allowing me to love without fear. Self care has given me the opportunity to tap into self kindness. Self kindness is a prerequisite for forgiveness.

As I expose my frailties, one by one, I can feel an opening of kinship moving within myself and between others. I know there is a higher power within me, around me, above and below me. I just can’t seem to define it.

Vice

Bipolar disorder can cause risky behavior.

I am currently in a season of acceptance. The thing about acceptance is that you can’t reach it unless you are aware.

Awareness of my mental illness, coping mechanisms, emotions, the life I live.

I mentally untangle as I work hard to become aware and to accept what that awareness will bring. I hustle to find positive coping mechanisms; refinishing furniture, running, CrossFit, multiple MLM business starter. I wish I could say that all my vices stay in the positive lane, unfortunately that’s not the case.

My most impactful vice is spending copious amounts of money. I’m an equal cash/credit spender. I am a TJ Max bag hider. I spend hours tracking the Fed Ex truck just to make sure there is no one home when he drops the packet on my door mat. If I need to avoid my emotions, you better hide your pocket book because like an addict, at times I will find clever ways to spend and work over time to hide my vice. I am the favorite Direct Level Marketing target. If I am manic and decide your product is going to allow me to spend money and create cash flow I’m all in. Like skip add to cart and click Buy It Now. Ok, before you are like “oh shit I may be bi polar”. While I don’t want to share the details of my vice I will say that the lengths that I would go to in order to spend is extreme. In addition to many other manic and depressive behaviors that attribute to my diagnosis. If you spend a little more money than you have…you’re an American…not bipolar.

I am seeing a therapist three times a week and we are currently discussing the science behind mental illness and connecting the dots of my past to now to understand why I do the behaviors I do. This alone has had a tremendous affect on my wellness journey.

Calloused

I spent the first days of my life as an adoptee. At the time my mom was alone, and made to feel like less of human because she got knocked up out of wedlock. What other option did she have? My life started in chaos and I have since saturated my mind with a negative introspective. I bury the bad and soldier on with what sense I can make of my calloused brain.

I have done this for years. Looking back I see it, like a movie reel on rewind the images of me constantly suppressing emotions. I mean I smiled as I greeted the guest for my daughters funeral. I smiled and then invited everyone over for food and fellowship after her funeral, as if it were a celebration of some sort.

What.The.Fuck

Eventually the wolves turned up at my door. The bill came due and those mofo’s surrounded my house until I had no where to run. [insert emotional breakdown with a dose of suicidal ideation]

Here I am today, two months after being tossed into the psych ward, so terribly broken but somehow equally hopeful. I am so thankful that my emotions and my thoughts didn’t fulfill their promise and I listened to another shallow voice.

“It doesn’t last forever, and you can better”

❤️

Summer Rae

Impermanence

I have reached a point in my life where no wall or avoidance or denial – no cause or excuse – can keep the rawness of life from running through me. This is scary, at times the vulnerability of it is devastating. It has left me preoccupied with death.

I wonder and as much as I can, I even believe that the same energy that brings the rawness from my subconscious to my conscious, can also heal. The very same impermanence-with the right skills- can be used to soothe my soul with the understanding that even the deepest pain will pass.