Take Only What You NEEEED From it!

I feel as if everyone I know is obsessed with control.

Having control. Giving control. Control being ripped from our grasp. Somehow we all got this idea that there can be no order or joy without it. Now, I’m not a very spontaneous person, and flying by the seat of my pants is not my bag. I would rather balance the exquisitely fine line between control and disarray. I’m safe there, never going too far and not being titled a total buzz kill.

The only universal truth I’ve discovered in life is that there are none, except this: I am never in control. It’s the way I might plan a party down to the pretty pink linens decorating the tops of wooden tables, but contract a stomach virus at the last-minute and never feel the cloth flutter across my lap. It’s the way that cars stall on the way to important meetings, the way that every fibre of our being can be totally enveloped in somebody with no guarantee that the feeling is going to be reciprocated.

Have you ever lived in a moment that seemed suspended in time, lingering there long enough that you could taste it? That moment that you can recall years after the pages of books have yellowed and roots have turned grey? Those moments have only come to me in the spaces between losing my grip and reestablishing my focus. They’ve only coursed through my veins when I found myself in a free-fall beyond my boundaries, beyond my limits. It is there that I’ve found that my limits are poorly drawn. They are not formal. They are not REAL. That’s a high I’ve never found in any substance.

We are all so hell-bent on being in control of the way life plays out that we forget to acknowledge that it’s happening in the first place. IT’S HAPPENING, and how amazing is that? How delicate are first and last breaths? How beautiful is the forest with the sun beaming through the holes between the leaves? How fresh is the smell of that forest after a moment (or years) of rain? To feel things so very deeply is the biggest catch 22 I’ve ever experienced, but I think that makes it worth it. It makes us hungry, makes us fight, makes us acknowledge and appreciate this vast and confusing, beautiful mess placed before us.

I say that we lose our balance more often. I say we feel without questioning our ability to feel that way. I say that we make noise, ask why, grab whatever the hell we can grip and hold the fuck on. I say we stop apologizing for wanting to dance in the grocery store to a Peter Gabriel song, for crying when we miss someone, for being angry as shit when we are wronged. I say that we live our lives on our terms, as honestly and as openly as possible.

I say we live. I say we don’t take just what we need from this life. I say we take it all.

“Please Don’t Stay In Touch.”

I feel sometimes, although I pour every emotion I have into this blog and feel like what I’ve written has made sense, people still get it twisted. I want to make a few points very clear.

I don’t need anybody’s sympathy. Though I so love the well wishes and the people on the sidelines cheering me forward, I want people to understand that they do not need to be sorry. I have had a comfortable and colourful life, and for the most part, I still do. I don’t want people to be sorry because my illness is not a weakness.

I think it gets thrown out there that mentally ill people are a little less sharp due to their condition, but I strongly disagree, and here’s why: I may not be able to concentrate as well in everyday life as I used to, but rest assured, my focus is not waning. If you can imagine yourself having a conversation, imagine having one with ten people shouting into your ears. Imagine driving and hearing the rising and falling of voices that are not really there. If you can’t picture this, I’ll just tell you that it’s hell. But it’s my hell, and I am ploughing through it.

I’m no damsel. A condition like this causes one to suffer, but because I know this suffering, I know that there is life beyond it. Suffering has made my skin as thick as leather, and my heart soft like butter. I have a deeper compassion than I have ever possessed, and patience I’ve never known before. I feel so deeply that I often live in the past, thinking of ways to correct all of my wrong turns, though I know it cannot be done. On the other hand, I’m determined to create a better future, and I’ll basically crush anybody who tries to intervene. Rumi said “The wound is the place where the light enters you,” and I fully believe that this is what has happened.

By sharing my story, by stripping myself bare for anybody to read, the light has come and it has filled the holes left by other people. I cannot be hurt anymore, because I cannot hide. My naked mind and heart used to feel a chill, and now I cannot imagine ever covering them. I am drunk on the freedom of it all.

Make no mistake, though I try to be compassionate AND patient, I still have a fire under my ass that can’t be put out. If you doubt me, if you wrong me, I welcome that. I will take the bitterness and seething anger that would usually apply and use it to smash every last one of these goals like an orange ditz on the Jersey Shore. I will do it better than you could ever imagine simply because you don’t think I’m capable. And I promise, when I come back, while you’re busy eating that crow, I will tell you to go FUCK yourself.

This has been “Hulk Smash: the Softcore Version” with Karlee Gorrie.

It’s All Gravy

My whole life I have dreamed of creating something beautiful.

I was always told that I had potential. I heard it from my teachers when my grades were lower than limbo. I heard it from my peers when I didn’t run for the ball and stood still instead. I heard it from my parents as they watched me climb out of the lows from the highs that I constantly created for myself.

At the time, those words seemed like torture, for the problem wasn’t that I didn’t realize that I was unique. The problem became amplified by the fact I was acutely aware of it. I felt so different, so foreign to almost any activity that I tried, and because of that I chose always to back out of the spotlight and fail quietly in the shadows by never beginning, never investing, and certainly never winning.

A year ago today I typed my first words onto a blank screen and sent them out into the abyss of the worldwide web. Though it would be some time before I would choose to advertise my new hobby, something about it felt alright. When I created this blog, it was mostly as a means of speaking up over the voices that I could not seem to overpower in real life. It was a way for me to feel light and funny when in reality I had been rotting from the inside out. I was sick and I was desperate. I kept thinking, in case this doesn’t get better, in case I go, I want the truth to be known. I want someone to know the girl I’ve kept locked beneath my skin, and even if nobody reads it, I want to know that I had the guts to say it.

I didn’t expect any of you to find me, and I definitely didn’t expect the overwhelming support, praise and unwavering love from both the blogging community and my own community. I didn’t expect anybody to read paragraph after paragraph of what I had thought was merely rambling. I didn’t expect you to laugh, to cry, to cheer me on or push me forward. I didn’t expect all of you to launch me into reaching my full potential. But you have.

I expected to bleed, to cry, to scream. (Which is a damn good thing since there was plenty of that shit involved.) I did NOT expect to adapt, to heal. But I did. A year ago I was losing entire days to the white ceiling above my bed and entire nights to the insanity that beckoned to me to join it every moment. A year ago I was unhappy with my life, my body, and my lack of contribution to the world. A year ago, I didn’t expect to see today. But it’s here.

Not only has keeping this blog created friendships and rekindled old connections, given me perspective and strength, it also allowed me to see the changes in myself firsthand. It is a permanent reminder of my progress and the pain it took to arrive there. It showed me that for everything I missed out on, for every time I thought I had nothing to give, there was a time when I was present, there’d been a time when I’d had a victory, no matter how small it seemed.

I’m still unemployed and still occasionally feel like a useless drain to those around me, but here’s what accomplished while I was busy convincing myself that I was a useless drain:

– I quit smoking.

– I joined a kickboxing class, something I had never attempted before, in a room full of noise. I look forward to that class 2 days a week.

– I exposed my true, naked self, the one I feared and kept hidden. I love her.

– I shed 25 lbs and the vicious, self-loathing thoughts with it.

– I apologized, and I forgave.

– I committed to, and have been training my ass off for a Tough Mudder event.

I know there will still be dark days, and darker posts. I know that I will battle this condition for the rest of my life. I know these things, and yet I am fine with them. I am glad for them. The truth is, I wouldn’t be able to write what I do without the burden and the blessing of my experiences. I have grown to see beauty and wisdom beneath the cloak of pain, and I’m grateful for every moment I spend on this planet, even if those moments beat me black and blue. I’m grateful for every one of you who believed in me enough to follow, to share your own heartache, to comfort me in my own. You have all had a hand in giving me something to work for, to live for, to fight for.

Oh, and here’s the best thing about this year! I’ve finally done it. I’ve created something. And I think it’s pretty damn beautiful.