Sunday, 23 June 2019

Let's Hear It for Rock Bottom

"In my perfect isolation I can stay here for a while. Antidotes and revelations just extend my own exile."

When I started blogging it was to help myself grieve after my divorce, heal and learn to enjoy my own company. On this journey I chose to share my challenges, roadblocks and mental break through moments.

There are a few times where I expressed my inability to blog. Most of the time the reason I gave was that things were 'good'. I wondered if I was only able to blog when I faced challenges or roadblocks. Then I started writing for work - so I knew that this was not the case. I have not posted any blogs in a year. I have been writing them, I just never posted them for various reasons. 

Reflecting on the "Why" I believe that I never posted these blogs because they were not a part of my divorce/grieving/dating. They were about my journey into leading a team in the workplace. My revelations and learning of moving from a 'control freak of a manager' to a leader. I struggled with how these new blogs would tie into the old ones. How the posts would flow. In my mind they wouldn't.

Several months ago, someone dear to my heart told me something that hurt me to my very soul. They said that I needed to close the book and write a new one. In my usual stubbornness I dug in my heels and tried to stay with the same story. Guess what, I was wrong. This gave me an idea when it comes to my blogging. Perhaps it's time to move on here as well. Maybe not a new book, but a new chapter. Since my blogging has been about my life's journey, why not start writing the next chapter in the book?

The theme is the same - self-love, self-awareness, learning, growing, etc. but the topic around my challenges are a bit different and will change. Having found several blogs I have written during my managerial struggles I know I need to write to remove my roadblocks and find clarity. I find myself with yet another upset in my life, which in a lot of ways is very much like another divorce, so this is the end of this chapter. I hope you will enjoy the random thoughts and rambling of my next chapter - The Cozy Mystery Series.


"Wasting away the world's right in front of me. Funny you should say that it's all in my head. Wasting away we're hitting rock bottom. And going down in flames, well it's not that bad." ~ The Offspring

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Sharp Edges

"Sharp edges have consequences. I guess that I had to find out for myself. Sharp edges have consequences. Now every scar is a story I can tell."

So the moral of my story is a simple one. In this grand thing we call life we are constantly faced with challenges and change. We chose to confront and surpass or deny and resist. In the end it is all up to each one of us. It is our life, our choices and path. Others can influence your decision, right or wrong, should you chose to listen to them the outcome lies on your own shoulders. 

While my last few posts and this one may seem dark, deep and depressing they are to me the exact opposite. They are empowering. I am looking into my darkest depths and I am rising like a phoenix from the ashes. In Linkin Park terms I have gone from Paper Cut to Sharp Edges. 

"But all the things I couldn’t understand, never could’ve planned. They made me who I am."

I have moved from the angst, fear, confusion and frustration to the acceptance that this is all natural and a journey that makes me, me. I never lost my "me-ness", I just never realized that the panicked, resistant, trapped person was still me. This is me when I am overwhelmed and unsure of my true resilience. I am always stronger than I think. 

Every time I fall down I learn more about me. I pick myself up and dust myself off and I am better for the stumble. Life is a journey that I am not ready to stop. I will never be anything more than me. Having said that I intend to be the best me I can be. If I fail, I will forgive myself and learn from my mistakes.

Once again it is the voice of Chester Bennington and the music of Linkin Park that has brought about this revelation. One man saved millions, but millions could not save one man. There is something so heartbreaking about this that wants me to always appreciate all I have in life.


"We all fall down. We live somehow. We learn what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger." ~ Linkin Park

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Restless Heart Syndrome

It's funny how in a few short weeks I have had more thoughts in my head than I have in a really long time. One thing that I quickly forgot is that there are only 2 good uses for my thoughts - to find a solution to a problem and to find the root cause of my emotions.

Forgetting this rule caused me to become overwhelmed with all the chattering in my brain. I felt trapped with no way to get out. I was fortunate enough to have someone who could see my panicked state behind my happy face and painted several big exit signs for me. This gave me the time to calm myself down and realize what was really happening in my head.

Now that I am aware of all that is going on with me emotionally and mentally I am able to look at the root cause and find solutions. With the concerned words of a good friend I had sudden clarity. It all goes back to my I'm Coming Undone post and my core personality trait of caring. Not only do I care, I am empathetic with those that I care about.

This means that I go into their deep dark hole with them and I share their emotions with them as if they are my own. I relive my own emotions to relate to their emotions. Talk about a light bulb moment. I have often referred to myself as an emotional sponge, soaking up all the emotions around me. What I never realized was how this was happening. It has always just been so natural to me, like breathing.

Even though I show empathy naturally I have always been aware of the dangers. I often feel drained and vulnerable. Sometimes I need to 'hibernate' for long periods of time - which I just attributed to being an introvert. I am starting to think that there may be more to my behaviours. Perhaps this has been the way my brain protects itself and helps keep me stable

My fear now is that I one of these days I will go into the deep dark hole with someone I care about and I will not have anyone on the other side to help pull me out. Should this occur, will I be strong enough to pull myself out? I don't know, nor to I want to find out. So I continue to find those that I can trust to have my back and pull me out when I ask for help. Even better are those select few who notice when I am too far gone to ask for help and reach out with a helping hand.


"I'm a victim of my symptom. I am my own worst enemy. You're a victim of your symptom. You are your own worst enemy. Know your enemy." ~ Green Day

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Crazy Train

Okay - I am starting to think that I am now loosing my mind. Out of the blue, BAM, I have become extremely jealous and defensive. What in the world is going on? Why am I having such erratic and strange behaviours? This is so unlike me. I oscillate between feeling like I am being undermined to extreme flashes of jealousy. 

I have been finding solace in rereading some of my old posts. I'm both surprised and disappointed to see that my current need to please and self-doubt are recurring themes. As is sit here laughing at myself I wonder why it is so difficult for us to see our own road blocks. Had I not written about my struggles this would be all new to me. It feels all new to me. Like something I have never experienced before...apparently I am very good at fooling myself.

Perhaps this is the way that the mind protects us. I doubt that I am the only one who repeats their behaviours like this and doesn't see them for what they are. Perhaps this is why behavioural changes are the hardest thing to accomplish. Changes in behaviour are great until there is stress - then most often the old behaviours return.

I wonder if it is possible to remove all of the old behaviours forever, or if they are part of our genetic makeup. The whole nature vs. nurture scenario. Were we born this way or did our environments make us this way? Or is it a combination of both? 

Why do I always doubt myself when I go through major change? I can hear a familiar voice in my head 'You do this every time. You can do this. You have done this. Why are you fighting it?'. Why am I fighting it? Why do I question myself? Why can't I just be me? Why am I afraid to succeed? Why do I have such a hard time believing I know what I am doing?

As strange as it sounds I am glad to have these posts to reference. They allow me to see my repetitive behaviour easily. On the flip side, while the pattern is easy to see, the reason behind it is not as easy to understand. This will be my focus for a while...Why do I continue to have these core behaviours? Why are they manifesting in such extreme ways this time? What can I do to expedite the process? 


"Mental wounds not healing. Life's a bitter shame. I'm goin' off the rails on a crazy train." ~ Ozzy Osbourne

Monday, 13 November 2017

Turning Into You

"I've been drowning in the sea. I've tried to please you. It's all I'll ever be. It's all I ever knew. I try to be me, but I'm turning into you."

So, I took the leap of faith, confided my fears, shared my darkest secret and although I didn't self-destruct, there has been no improvement in my mood. In fact it is the opposite - I feel I have made a grave mistake and that I have failed in a universal way. My self-esteem is at an all time low.

I do recognize that this is not a 'pity party'. I am not seeking some form of universal 'atta girl' message. This is deeper. It is like everything I have know to be true is gone - changed - moved on - is missing. None of my coping techniques, support systems or reference points on change are working for me. 

I have been told that other people care about me. I find that extremely hard to process. I am the one who cares about other people. Rarely do they care about me. Or is it because I rarely give them a reason to worry about me? This all goes back to the 'who do I trust' statement. 

Which came first the chicken or the egg? Honestly it all hurts my head. I would really like to stop all my analyzing. Trouble is, as soon as I stop thinking I start feeling and then the pain in my heart starts. Once the feelings begin they are overwhelming. So I feel safer thinking right now than feeling. 

In my You Can't Judge a Book By It's Cover post I was so excited to finally have someone who believed in me and accepted me. Now I have gone to an extreme where I am so afraid of failing that I am immobilized. Fear is a horrible thing.

My bigger question is why am I like this all of a sudden. I am used to failure. In fact I often set myself up to fail. Is it because I have finally found a path that I want to be successful on? Is it because I feel I have expectations to live up to? Is it because I feel that I talked the talk and now I need to walk it? 

Perhaps it is because now I am in the spotlight. I have never liked being in the spotlight. I have always preferred to be in the background just doing my thing. A friend mentioned that I just need to keep being me. Simple words which put so many things in perspective - I have lost sight of 'me'. I have forgotten who I am, what I stand for, and how to be me. Everything is new for me right now and I struggle to apply my 'me-ness'.

How does one reconnect with who they are?


"I'm not how I used to be, I'm changing cause of you. I'm screaming just to breathe. It's all that I can do. I try to be me, but I'm turning into you." ~ The Offspring

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Trust In You

"I am the one, your help I’ve refused. Your offering hand just set off the fuse. Too proud to beg, too stubborn to try."

Trust. It is the one thing that I have not been able to get back. After all these years I still don't fully trust. I have let my wall down slightly for certain people, only to build it right back up again. This year has been particularly rough for me. I feel as if I have no one in my life to share my deepest darkest fears. 

I know that this might sound a bit strange. Once upon a time I used to have someone in my life to share my fears, losses, and excitement. I now realize that the receiver of this information didn't always get it, at the time it didn't really matter to me, I believed whether they got it or not they always had my back. I was wrong.

These days I struggle to find someone who will always 'have my back'. Or are there people in my life who will always 'have my back' and I just don't trust that they will be there for me? I have constantly heard that people will always put their needs/wants first. I have also been told that I am cynical. Perhaps I am cynical because the people that I chose to listen to fed me incorrect information. Which has brought me full circle - who do I trust? 

Parts of my support system are no longer available to me because I don't trust any more. I need a new support system. How does one get a support system when one does not trust?

So, I start with myself - what is holding me back from letting down my wall? Fear! Fear that I will be seen as weak, incompetent, insane (although there may be some truth to this), unfit, and so on. Ultimately, it all boils down to making myself vulnerable and the fear that the receiver will reject me.

While I understand my emotional challenges are only a small part of me, it is not easy for me to reveal my fears to others. Our culture sees fear as weakness. I personally believe that my ability to recognize my fear makes me stronger than those who 'bury' their fear. 

My path is now clear, to do what I always do, analyze my fears and determine the best way to face them. 


"I want to move on. I want to have hope. So I’m willing to change. I’m going to try to show I am strong enough to trust in you. Pull me up, cause I am ready." ~ The Offspring

Sunday, 29 October 2017

I'm Coming Undone

"Keep holding on when my brain's tickin' like a bomb. Guess the black thoughts have come again to get me.

Two months after my last post, expressing my concerns with complaining and negativity, I am still in a holding pattern. Every day I feel that I am suffocating. I constantly feel that nothing I do is right - nothing is good enough - overall I am not enough.

I have been told to 'grow a thicker skin' to 'suck it up' and 'be a man'. These comments remind me of a line from How to Train Your Dragon where Hiccup is discussing with an elder how much of a disappointment he feels he is to his father:
Gobber: Now, you're thinkin' about this all wrong. It's not so much what you look like, it's what's inside that he can't stand.
Hiccup: [sarcastic] Thank you for summing that up.
I don't know how to not care. I don't know how to not 'feel' things. I don't know how to shut off the emotions. This is who I am. Am I overwhelmed? Yes. Am I emotionally raw? Yes. Am I emotionally unstable? Yes.

So this begs the question - why? What happened? Why did my apple cart tip? How did things get to this state so quickly? It's that pesky word again...CHANGE. 

Over the last 4 months I have been experiencing many different emotions - all of which are normal with change. The one that I am struggling the most with is the loss. Some of the more important things I have lost are my support system, how to measure my success, and my purpose. The biggest piece is the support system. I can learn to track my successes differently and my purpose will then become clear. Without a support system it is really hard for me to see clearly. As a result I have fallen into an endless loop, a downward spiral.
This explains the complaining (disappointment), the anger (fear), and the self-doubt. I am grieving. Now that I recognize my emotional state I can move forward. Doesn't mean I will stop grieving, it just means I now understand my underlying issues better. 

My next step will be to get a new support system in place so I am better equipped to cope with my emotional roller coaster. Ultimately I want to get to enjoying the EXCITEMENT I feel when I see all the new challenges I am facing!


"I'm trying to hold it together. Head is lighter than a feather looks like I'm not getting better. Wait. I'm coming undone. Irate. I'm coming undone. Too late. I'm coming undone. What looks so strong, so delicate."~ Korn