Video and graphic I created for Mental Health Awareness Month
“Rank these in their order of importance to you…”
I like walking in the woods. I like walking along trails. I like being near any body of water that I possibly can. I like exploring new places and taking spontaneous road trips. I like women. More than I like men.
Resiliency, spiritual journey, confusion, anger, and pain. 90% of it self inflicted. Finding self. Loving self? I’m almost there, but definitely more than I did this time last year. Or the year before that. Or the year before that.
Fun fact: it is not fun cutting off toxic people. Rejection sensitivity, chronic over thinking, and then seemingly searching for your place now that you are a “new you,” is intense.
Even more fucked up fact: sometimes birds of a feather do flock together. Sometimes you are the company you keep. And sometimes misery loves company. Cliche? Yeah. But true.
I was toxic as hell because I chose to only operate out of trauma. I was a manipulator. A liar. A drug user. A firecracker. A shape shifter. A mask wearer. Probably even a sex addict. I was lost. I was hurt. I was negative and very pessimistic about life in general.
My last relationship was no healthier than the one before that. And the one before that. And the one before that.
No more blame game truthfully I learned first hand the spectrum of cluster B personality disorders and how entangled they can become. Empath vs Narcissist, Borderline Personality Disorder vs Narcissist Personality Disorder. Male, female, non-binary, transgender. No matter who is who and who is “what,” it comes down to a choice of wanting better.
But in keeping up gratitude, I must be thankful for the lessons learned in every choice that I have made. The good ones. The horrible ones. The fun ones. The rewarding ones. The dumb ones. And the wonderful ones to come.
I made this cute little graphic after my appointment with an occupational therapist. Well to be honest, I made it while “attending” the 30 minute virtual appointment. I’m a work in progress.
Thank you for reading this reflection.
Part 2 – Do You Have the Time? I’m late, but I’m here. (Writing my way into my destiny)
Sometimes I feel that people choose not to heal because they reach a point where they see no purpose in doing so . Although being trauma bound and stuck in victim mentality can be tricky to escape from, it is more difficult to consistently step out of it.
Starting a healing journey will not lead to the arrest of your childhood abusers. It does not make toxic people in your life see the light. It does not guarantee any apologies. It does not make family look back and go, “Hmm. That’s why he or she is that way.”
Unless you’re a notable member of society with high status and a wonderful reputation or a ton of money, many people of society don’t care what happened to you. Many people do care, but it’s quite often not the people you’d like to care most. And there are times when those we want to care actually do care, but they may feel powerless as to how to address the taboo topic. They also may be simply trying to keep themselves balanced and may not have the capacity.
And that’s okay. That’s why we create safe places for ourselves. I have been in therapy for over 10 years. And while I often long to shout things from mountaintops in hopes that my recurring nightmares dissipate, I would much rather be driven by the dreams that I enjoy. The dreams that are leading me to my destiny. My soul’s purpose. Besides, I have a fear of heights.
Some secrets pass away with us. And while I was so close to something by sharing my own secrets, I now realize that I don’t have to. I just needed to forgive myself for my own role in my suffering. And let go.
I got to this point of acceptance: that even though my feelings are valid, it holds no true value to my growth to make a long list of who done what when and why, nor is it acceptable to use that list as an excuse for all the wrong that I have done to others and myself.
The only thing standing in my way at this point is me. And from this day forward, I am going to write my way into the future that I have dreamed of my entire life.
And I’m going to do it right here on this blog.
You may find me floating around on social media, posting many cool and seemingly odd things, but I refuse to stop writing. Thank you for viewing, and please do share any parts of this blog or any of my social media posts with whomever you desire.
Facebook: (New Page) Jusjess Poetry page (@jusjesspoetry)
Sunday Blogging- Tools from Therapy – Chameleon Confessions
“What is your favorite color? ” “What is yours?”
“I’m trying to learn how to be happy and satisfied, but just like a narcissist I find that there are many moments of feeling empty.”
For a long time I fought against all things that were good for me. Self sabotage and harmful patterns can only work for so long. The mind wants to question anything and everyone, the spirit wants to clear up tainted perspectives. I had to choose which lens to look out of, and no one could do it for me, which kind of sucked, but really didn’t.
The thing about an inner voice, a conscious, a form of internal conflict, a dream, a goal… Well.
How effective is using defense mechanisms as coping strategies? Finding every excuse and blaming any and everyone for my actions and choices?
I accept that any single emotion that I feel, I feel to such an extreme point that interferes with my reasoning at times. The dangers of masking, for me, were that I managed to lose myself in the versions of myself that I tried to hide inside of for some form of acceptance.
Looking back I have a better understanding of my patterns. Because let’s keep it real: some of these things were fun. Well, they all were. They satisfied my brain’s need for instant gratification. When I learned to gamble on slot machines, it became the most fun few hours a couple of times per week ever. To the expense of losing thousands of dollars and a series of events that led to another hospitalization. When I was in active addiction, I thought it was a bragging right that I would be the most intoxicated person in the room. Which led to a series of events that led to another hospitalization. Feeling rejection, whether it was from a text message, a misinterpreted phone conversation, or a past event that I would ruminate about (even years later) would also lead to a series of events that led to another hospitalization.
I also noticed how things affected me while dating. First: there had to be some element of thrill within that person to keep my interest. And then their habits became mine, whether that meant healthy or unhealthy habits. Whether they pushed me to the heights of physical fitness, or their life choices led me to the depths of addiction, I learned that I made a series of choices based on an unhealthy mindset and a lack of identity and self love. My favorite color? The color that person loved on me.
What I learned is that no diagnosis is a crutch or an excuse to act in ways that are harmful to myself or others. That no matter what mental illness I have, I must love myself and my children enough to do the necessary work to take care of myself. I cannot do the work “for show” or to prove a point. I must do it publicly and privately, no matter who sees.
I found that the one thing I loved about myself, the ability to “blend in,” to “camouflage” and be liked and accepted by any group of people, was the thing that was hurting me most. Because at some point I began to wonder: WHO AM I?
“I’m trying to learn how to be happy and satisfied, but just like a narcissist I find that there are many moments of feeling empty.” This is a message I sent to two friends in our Facebook Messenger group chat.
I can also recall a pretty comical TikTok video that I posted with some decent effects to keep people’s attention. I was sharing a note that I took down from a recent therapy session. It went something like this:
“Borderline Diary Post: There aren’t enough pets, partners, babies, tasks, accomplishments, jobs that you can obtain or add into your life that can show you that you are worthy of love. You only have so much love to give and these things do not fill the hole inside of you.”
Catch my drift?
I have a point here, stay with me (as I try to stay with myself). The brain of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder, ADHD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and unspecified Bipolar Disorder traits can take years to sort through. It took over a decade to solidify my correct diagnoses.
It took me years. Years of opening doors in my mind that I had managed to shut in harmful ways. Figuring out which versions of myself I was during various stages of my life. I am nowhere near “done” or “fully healed.”
I have to ask God for strength daily, and I feel that I am given the tools and resources that I need in order to succeed and meet my own expectations of the meaning of success. I am still working to affirm my purpose, keeping in mind that what I feel my purpose is today may be something else this time next year.
The immediate need for my life is consistent balance. Because with balance and stability comes the ability to focus, to plan, to continue healing. And with that comes the moments in which to obtain more of my goals. It does me no good to exhaust myself with several temporary jobs that I have difficulty maintaining and the way that I feel when I have to send that email, as some part of me probably knew that I moved too quickly into applying for a position that I equated to my self worth.
It does me no good to “fake it til I make it” around family members who (for some reason) I keep convincing myself are better than me and that I don’t fit in with them, and even that they don’t love me. I know that this is not true, but there are moments, long lasting moments even, when you can’t pay me, bet me, or dare me to believe that I matter to them. Or anyone. Or myself.
So cheers to mental health awareness month. Cheers to healing and growth. Cheers to me making the choice to keep going. Mental illness is a real thing that affects many good people. Not everyone understands it. But I think I finally understand that no matter what we struggle with, it is our job to take the best care of ourselves. And thank God for this realization.
Cheers to a new thing.
Cheers to consistency.
No matter who is watching, I am going to fully embrace and love and take care of ME.
*Growth is a choice, and progress is a process.
Mental Health Awareness Month
Many of us joke around with terms like “adhd,” “bipolar,” and “schizo” when things or people seem unusual. I use my complex diagnoses with funny videos and some poetry to spread awareness and try to normalize that many of us struggle with some type of something when it comes to mental health. No matter what that may be: self care, therapy, medications, support… whatever works for you is what you have to stick to. It’s a slippery slope and a long way down when we don’t take care of ourselves. It’s a tough world out here, take care of you! Be kind! Keep going!