{May 15, 2016}   A Sigh of Words

Writing, this writing. It’s my saviour, my therapy, my friend in need. I’ve always loved writing, and I seem to turn this way when nothing else can relieve the pressure, each keystroke unknotting a tangle, rubbing a balm on a wound. A sigh of words.

I don’t sleep much anymore. Without alcohol I am in a constant hangover, a throb constant at the base of my skull, an unrelenting tension in my neck and a persistent pain down my left arm. Maybe I should drink, at least I would feel like I got something for this noose of discomfort. 5:30am, I don’t even need to open my eyes to know it’s far too early to be up, thinking. So I write, meditate or make it to yoga, self soothing.

I cannot eat. It’s not uncommon for me. When I am troubled. I cannot eat. It’s not that I don’t want to eat, I cannot physically put food to my mouth. Most people eat their way through things, nibble their way through pain and boredom. Right now, I eat because I know I have to. I am trying myself on a pre made food delivery next week, it is one way I can think of to make myself eat. 7 smoothies to drink in a day, no need to think about anything, make anything, and still make sure I am getting enough nutrients to work and be a mother. Left to my own devices I couldn’t really care less about eating right now, let alone shopping or cooking. One could say this may be why I have the constant hangover from above.I am not OK

It’s only been a few weeks, this too shall pass. Life will move on, projects will come up, new people will cross paths, new loves will form, and new futures will bloom. We have all been here in some capacity or another. I just want to hit fast forward, hold that button down and make time fly. I don’t want to mire in this, why grieve someone that didn’t want you enough to make things work, it seems ridiculous to me.

adoptionThe best analogy is the foster child being picked up from the foster home, not wanted anymore. He’s thinking what was it about him that couldn’t fit in this family, why did they not want him, what’s wrong that they couldn’t make space for him. And I want to say to that inner child, it’s not you, you’re perfect and beautiful, this was not the right hole for you, don’t want them if they didn’t want you, someone else will want you and open their home up to you who truly loves you enough to make that change. Be patient and in the meanwhile, love yourself because that is all that matters. Don’t grieve a family that could not see your beauty.


{May 14, 2016}   Rome

I try not to cry. Then moments, simple moments, happen, where I sit still, and the tears just fall of their own accord. Not even stirred by a thought, but perhaps just the act of being, of being still, gives permission for the walls to come down for a moment, to have a moment of frailty.

I am not frail, I know this.  I’ve been to further depths of despair and unhappiness than most could even dream of bearing and I have borne them. However, I feel cheated by these moments. By these tears. I vacillate between yin and yang, of wanting to burn myself out so I am too tired to feel and in the same token wanting to stand still so feelings can burn through me.

I didn’t want to love someone and not have them love me the same. I didn’t want to love someone who didn’t love me enough to make change. I don’t want to hurt because I loved genuinely. I don’t want to feel sad for myself. I am angry with myself. I don’t want to miss someone who didn’t care enough and I feel betrayed by myself. So I push and I push each day so I can obliterate thought, but the smile doesn’t ever quite reach the eyes and the lips never make complete a smile. This makes me frustrated. I don’t want to be this way.

I’ve been told to do many things. Exercise, form a girl tribe, start dating, work harder, travel, join Tinder, take up a hobby and the list is endless. I truly just want to curl up in bed and let the pain wash over me with as much time as it needs and be done with it. Hurt me till you can hurt no more and leave me. But that, is weakness, it’ll beat me hollow with memories, feelings, sounds, smells of the past, and then anger will kick in with fists and blows. Because, I say to myself, I made the mistake to love without honouring myself and standing up for what I needed.

And I want to say damn it, I put myself here, of my own accord, I didn’t stand up when I should have and I didn’t leave when I should have. I kept trying and eroding and morphing into a person I started to despise, because my roots and foundation were being neglected. I poisoned myself, I know, have known, honour what you need and if someone cannot honour that, you move away, not try and force the situation. I tried to force my needs, water from a stone, put a square peg into a round hole, or actually no hole, there was no hole for me, not even for that damn flag. Rome was already built, Caesar ran the palace. Cleopatra, she left. To create her own special, with Mark Anthony who loved her for she she was and what she needed. She’s not crying.


{May 12, 2016}   Parasite

Pain can be disgusting, its parasitic in its ability to breed and grow within you, spreading like mould into your lifestream, into your thoughts and emotions. Empty and soundless, you wake up day after day with an ache that blossoms and migrates further into places you never knew could feel. I felt my heart crack, with weeds of shame curling sinuously around the beating organ , with embarrassment combing tendrils through the chinks, with the air slowly, slowly escaping. It feels like my lungs are caving inwards, falling into the ocean like an iceberg melting, huge shards, slipping down and away, exploding into the waves and disappearing. I am disappearing, crumpling, wasting. Pain, like I am nothing but a hollow vessel of shame and remorse, with parasites laughing & crawling through my skin, begging to be set on fire, so I may, like the phoenix rise once again from the ashes.

carrionLike a carrion, beetles infesting, hyenas watching hungrily by for the fall of Rome. I can see the remnants of my carcass being picked free, I can imagine every last visual reminder of me is slowly being hunted out, rooted out and stacked, ready to be picked up or given away, because it never belonged. Must be like a game to find what was mine, where it did not belong, flush it out and banish it, waiting for another walk of shame to pick up the leftovers polluting the sacred space. Maybe its better to just throw it away, never have to face the insignificance of my existence within that world again.

I am sure it’s beautiful now, perfect, that’s what makes happiness. Because the perfect hqdefaultshow was all that was ever wanted. At the cost of love, of happiness, of companionship. Not a blemish in site. Not a parasite visible. No carrions or interlopers remain.  I see the landscape, soundless in its sterility, its perfection. The show must go on. Must be Nirvana, I’d never know, never welcomed into the inner sanctum, not perfect enough to be given a fit into perfection A blemish. One you could cover up, push aside, hide away but never remove unless you burst it, spilled it out like a parasite and threw it away.


{May 7, 2016}   Interloper

I stood on the threshold, lashes fluttering like butterflies, held upwards to hold the dam of tears forming and building behind the emotions curling and curdling in my soul. My chest cracking from the breath that could not be found, tightened and pinched as the compressions of emotions trolled across my ribs. Sometimes you cannot fight emotion, it opens from the heavens and spears you in its beam of light, so strong you gasp for air and your eyes water from the pain.heavens

What I thought was sorrow was not. I thought I was sad, sad that I was stepping away from something special. But as I dug through the pain and forced myself to part the seas of hurt, anger came. The truth was there was not much special. Special means you leave a mark, a sign, a symbol, maybe a legacy to remind people that you meant something, that like the man on the moon, your flag continues to wave in your absence. I had no flag.

flagMy sum total of existence in what I thought was a home, was relieved of its burden in a mere blink of time. My entire existence, packed neatly and gone in less time than it would take to make that perfect bed. After over a year, my mark was indelible, it was as if I was never there, wiped, erased so quickly, because, as anger pointed out to me, I was never there, never made a mark, never given a seed to sow. I was the interloper. Poaching space and time where allowed, like a scavenger, accepting the bits that were thrown and retreating to the space given.

So anger did come and shame followed close, like lightning to thunder. I was indelible, my physical mark no more than a pencil smudge wiped away. The smudge of myself I wiped away as I carried my belongings as quietly away as they came, as unseen as they always were.

shameShame, my friend, that I allowed my worth to be less than a piece of furniture, a closet, an empty room. That I begged for space, for that mark, for my flag. Waiting in shadows to be promoted above the worth of a physical space, of material objects, of vanity, of aesthetics, that my feelings would be worth more than the image of perfection and order. They were not and the heavens parted and the light shone down with shame. Naked, humility.

And I wondered, thundered, where did I let my self-worth go. As my chest cracked and the dam of tears built. As I stood on the threshold, with my indelible belongings, piteous enough to be compiled in 30 minutes of an hour, fractious enough to fit into a boot of a car. My entire physical worth did not weigh up to the cost of a room and a couch.
But its my worth and I take it back, it may not be anyone else’s treasure but mine, may hold no value, but it’s mine, and it may shame you in your space but it’s mine. So there is no need to guard your space,  because the interloper is gone, not even a hole for a flag remains, not even a whisper of shame.


{September 20, 2015}   How You Learn to Live Alone

First you fall, then you fly
and you believe that you belong
up in the sky.
Flap your arms, as you run,
every revolution brings you closer to the sun.
You fall asleep in motion, in unchartered
and you wake up with the stars
fallin’ down around your ears.
And when they hit the ground,
they’re nothin’ but stones
that’s how you learn to live alone.
That’s how you learn to live alone.

Bit by bit, you slip away,
you lose yourself in pieces
by the things that you don’t say.
You’re not here, but you’re still there
The sun goes up and the sun goes down,
but you’re not sure you care.
You live inside the false,
till you recognize the truth.
People send you pictures,
but you can’t believe it’s you.
Seems forever since your house
has felt like home
that’s how you learn to live alone
that’s how you learn to live alone.

It don’t feel right, but it’s not wrong.
It’s just hard to start again this far along.
Brick by brick, the letting go,
as you walk away from everything you know
When you release resistance
and you lean into the wind,
till the roof begins to crumble,
and the rain comes pourin’ in,
And you sit there in the rubble,
till the rubble feels like home
That’s how you learn to live alone
that’s how you learn to live alone
that’s how you learn to live alone

Learn to live alone

Read more: Nashville Cast – How You Learn To Live Alone Lyrics | MetroLyrics

{July 18, 2015}   It’s Just a Flu

Having a mental illness makes a great actor. All we do is act, act to make the people around us comfortable. Act to stay normal, act to hide hurt, act to hide pain, act to hide our illness. Act to hide the fact that we can be sick. That we have weakness, that we have symptoms, that we are ill. We’d make great athletes, push on through the pain.

As someone with a mental illness I spend most of my suffering in silence. The truth is, when I’m hurting, it makes people uncomfortable. As much as people can hear the science, think they “get” the concepts and read the words on paper, reality is a different matter. I’m meant to be happy, bubbly, positive, energetic… not sad, depressed, withdrawn, in pain from inner demons. I become almost a pariah, people tiptoe around me, fidget nervously, scared to touch me, like I’m a monster that might implode. That I might bite you?

I’m just sick, there’s nothing wrong with being sick but you make me feel like I’m an outcast. If I had the flu, you’d be by my side, tending to my fever, helping me eat, checkin on me, wanting to make me comfortable, asking if I was feeling better and staying by my side. I can give you the flu, I can’t give you a mental illness. I need TLC, I need caring and a gentle touch, just like if I did have the flu or broke my leg. I don’t need to be ignored, treated like a leper, walked around, gaze avoided, like I am the bearer of some contagious disease, that I might infect or hurt you. That I am so strange you would spend as much time away from me while sick, as opposed to helping me through.

So, what do we learn when we’re sick, that stigma always raises its head, it makes us feel different, that what we have is outside the boundaries of normal. That we don’t fit, that our illness is not acceptable. We know how people with AIDS feel, why they want to hide, why they suffer in the shadows. Stigma. People are scared of what they don’t know, what they can’t see, what they can’t explain into a little box, or find a solution for on Google. And so we pretend. We feel sick inside, our fevers are raging and yet we put on that happy face and pretend, drag our bodies through the motions to make the people around us comfortable, put ourselves in the box that makes people happy, make us explainable.

And we suffer in silence. Stigmatized. Isolated. Alone. This is our dirty little secret, we make this our normal so you can keep your normal. We adapt to you so we can belong, we can be accepted. The truth is we can’t come out of our closets. I mean, yes we can, on paper, logically, but not with any symptoms, not publicly. Because from that point on, there’s something wrong with us. No one looks at us the same again because we’re “different”, we make them uncomfortable, we make you step out of the box.

And so alone, eaten up inside, and pretending to be OK so the world feels OK. Aches, pains and fevers along with a stiff upper lip, ignored, pariah, leper, weirdo, psycho, crazy. I’m just sad, sad enough that it hurts, do you think I want to be alone and ignored when I’m sad, would you? Do you think it feels good to be sick and kicked to the curb, shivering while the world walks around you like the beggar on the street. We avoid their eyes, scared to look at poverty and suffering. It’s pretty similar what you’re doing to us. You like us when we’re pretty and shiny, not so much when the tarnish starts to show.

It’s just a flu, it passes, we’re not abnormal. You’re hurting me. I’m hurting me.  #nomorestigma

{July 17, 2015}   One Foot In, One Foot Out

Words seem so inadequate at times, when your soul is breaking, stripped, gutted and fighting to stay afloat. Emptiness, so full it threatens to swallow you, make you into nothing, pull you down into the depths of grey. How is it that I can ache so hard from within from emptiness? Shrouded, like an Arab concubine, moving in slow motion through dense fogs, trying to swim out from myself to feel. I am trying to smile, to find fun, to find an emotion outside of loneliness. It’s so hard to even breathe life, to lift the corners of my mouth, to try and spark life in my eyes. It’s not pretend but it feels like pretend, I am trying. Surrounded by humanity but trapped by my mind. I can’t find the exit key, is it time, is it to drop lower to come back up, like a seesaw.

Encapsulated, walking and talking in a sphere of gelatin. Each movement an effort, each word a push, a smile painful. Trying to break out of this jail of an eggshell without shattering. I keep saying “this too shall pass”, what do you want? What does my mind want to let me go back to normal, what do I need to do, what skills should I reach for, what salve do I rub, what means do I take. I feel like I have tried them all.

One foot in hell, the other grasping for a ledge in normalcy. Momentous, the tiny foothold, every small weight is a burden larger than life, minuscule as it may seem. Multiple feathers eventually become a weighted quilt mantled on my shoulders. Trying to juggle them, watching parts of me float silently into the abyss as tears come and go.

Inside looking out while the outside tries to look in, bewildered.

A simple yet compelling series of illustrations that highlight much of my world.

Sometimes simplicity is the best way to make a point.

After seeing firsthand how mental illness can take a toll, Marissa Betley decided to sketch out how it truly feels to struggle with a mental health disorder. She then posted the minimalist illustrations on Instagram. The results are simple, yet powerful — and thus, Project 1 in 4was born.

The initiative is aptly named for a statistic that many people still have yet to grasp: Approximately one in four American adults — or about 26 percent of the population — suffers from a diagnosable mental health condition in a given year.

Despite the fact that it’s so common among men and women, mental illness is still incredibly stigmatized — and that could prevent those who experience it from seeking the help they need. Betley says she created the project for this reason.

“So few are talking about [mental illness] and initiating change,” she told The Huffington Post in an email. “I thought if I could just find a real human way to raise greater awareness then maybe I could help break down the stigma surrounding mental illness that is preventing so many people from getting the help and support they need. Maybe the project could even save lives.”

Betley posts one illustration a day on the project’s Instagram page and plans to do so for 100 days. She also shares the images and other mental health resources on the project’s website.

Project 1 in 4 isn’t the first of its kind, but it’s a welcome initiative for a community of people who often feel alone in their experience. Anti-stigma projects like singer Demi Lovato’s Be Vocal campaign and beauty brand Philosophy’s Hope & Grace initiative also assist in promoting awareness about mental health issues. But society still has a long way to go: Only about 25 percent of people who suffer from a mental health issue feel that others are understanding about mental illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I hope the project will help erase the stigma surrounding mental illness that prevents so many people from getting the help and support they need,” Betley said. “Also to provide a sense of comfort to those suffering, knowing they are not alone. Millions of people around the world are up against many of the same daily challenges.”

Ultimately, for those one in four individuals experiencing a mental health disorder, Betley hopes the project inspires acceptance within themselves.

“You deserve to be happy and healthy — don’t forget that,” she said.

We couldn’t agree more.

Check out the slideshow below to see more of the Project 1 in 4 illustrations:


Please share.

Moods. dysregulation, like pleasantly drowning in quick sand, the sensation leaches into you, like that slow pin prick into a vein. You feel that warmth, blanketing like mugginess on a hot day, steaming and settling onto your skin, the poison, velvety caressing into your veins, drawing you down. Each breathe is a sinking , languid melt you don’t want to fight off, it’s easy to slide into that comfort of turning off the pain, the triggers, the hurt, the chaos. Each breath deeper into the warm mud, closing in, safe, terrifyingly safe. Depression is a womb, it comforts and envelopes, seals you off into a space where you’re suspended in hurt and sorrow, all you know, timeless, un-seeing. There is no up or down, around, sights, smells, all you feel is hurt, bone deep hurt, everywhere, out your eyes, in your skin. You’re meant to fight this, don’t sink into the warm cocoon of the sand, don’t slide into the mucus of the womb, because once in, you’re trapped, coming out is a labyrinth of emotions, and days of recovery.

But how to elude the crumbs of safety, come in and we will make you safe, warm, turn off that outside world, to hell with working through all the pain, let it welcome you, let’s revel in it, become it, and lose oneself in it.

I know I don’t want this but I am just too tired to fight all the triggers, they’re all around and I am tired. Each one seems bigger than the next though infinitesimally smaller, crashing in never ending waves and I’m drowning, can I not just drown?  I am tired of swimming, I am tired, and I am tired of people and their pokes and prods, tired of smiling, tired of trying to be me, the smiling me.

So easy to let go, so much easier to find that hole and crawl in, womb, wave, sand, take me to nothingness. Instead, put the training on, the hard hat and back to fighting, fighting all the demons that come within it, inviting me down down down to their opulent palace of oblivion and panacea of anaesthesia.

I will win the fight, again, as always. In the meanwhile, let’s face the pain. Pray its sticks and stones and not knives and bloods.

{June 5, 2015}   Funerals make me sick

Triggers, the little buggers, they can come at you out of no where. Ambush. You think you’re fine, great and next thing you know you’re not.

I got asked to help with a funeral, a very high profile funeral 2 days ago. No big deal, I manage things for a living, generally not dead things, but the same principals apply. I didn’t think I’d have an issue with working on a funeral, till I had an issue working on a funeral.

I started getting mad, very mad. BPD come up from within and consume you emotion. Listening to the details needed for this funeral caused the slow burn to start. Budget was not an issue, thousands and thousands of dollars in flowers, catering, flying world renowned entertainers in to perform, all these things were just so important… colours, napkins, music… meetings hours after the person was deceased to work all the details out. The vulgarity of it made me sick to my stomach. Sick that death had become a spectacle.

Sick to my stomach at the 3-ring circus this death was. Have you ever been to a funeral, is any family member actually happy to be there? To talk to people? Every funeral i have been to the widow is distraught, beyond sad, barely able to speak yet he/she has to be there, has to be there because he/she has guests to see and entertain. There to watch his or her public sorrow. Are the kids ever happy to be there? Their parent has just died and they need to smile and entertain relatives and guests. Who is this for? Does anyone want to eat and drink? Does the open bar draw a crowd?? Shall we take selfies to say we were at THE funeral? Hashtag #bestfuneralevercircus

The decor, the food and the entertainment, do you come to a funeral for good food and entertainment? Isn’t it crass that someone you loved has just died and you’re more worried about what people will think about your funeral arrangements than spending time with your family in mourning? Who cares what people think, if they think badly of your funeral then obviously they shouldn’t be classified as a friend. There’s a reason people bring you food when someone dies, it’s because you shouldn’t be thinking of cooking and cleaning and entertaining, they’re not important, love, feelings, family, that’s what’s important. It’s so pompous that even in the death of a loved one people are still more worried about perception. That they are so important that appearance and vanity supersedes being human.

My black and white BPD came out in full force and I could not think positively about anyone involved in the funeral. So much so, I had to bow out because the judgemental side of me could not be put down and I knew I would come away vilifying people I work with on a day to day basis for their decision to work on this funeral. Everyone has a right to make their own decisions, and I realized this, which made me realize I had to walk away and shut this out or I would destroy and walk away from relationships as a consequence.

funeralI walked away, shut down for the last 2 days and I’ve been in a churning hole. I am so disgusted at the materialism and showmanship. The fact that this funeral has become a production, a production, like we’re putting on a gala dinner and show. The thoughts and images keep turning and turning in my mind. I can’t sleep, my mind wants to tear apart the people involved in the funeral, to make them bad to fit my judgements. It’s trying and exhausting winding the emotions and feelings down, finding the middle ground, taming the judgement and making sure I stay mum and do not engage.

They say, memories and experiences in your past create situations in the present where a seemingly innocuous event can cause a blown out of proportion reaction. When my father died, my extended family was very involved in “helping me” wih the funeral arrangements. So much of what you “should do”, I shouldn’t have to do anything, this is my father and the only thing I should do is be with my family and mourn my father. But the should do’s continued, i should pick the right casket (he’s dead and getting cremated) and spend my time looking at upgraded and premium versions of wood and lining. He just died yesterday who cares about the wood? We should get flowers and wreaths, who the fuck cares? My guests? Are they going to judge me for not having flowers on my dead father’s casket? He’s dead, he doesn’t care, he’s the most important perons here. We should get on the phone and call everyone and send invites even though my heart just cracked and broke. We should invite every person who has ever come into contact with my father, really? Why? So in addition to mourning I can smile at strangers, find the right words to say and wish like hell this was over and then pull out a cheque book to pay for all the people who felt they should be here because i felt I should invite them. Is there anyone that actually wants to go to a funeral? If they loved my father, saying good bye is not a public spectacle, it’s done inwardly, towards the heaven, the soul, whichever faith you believe in. It is most definitely not at a party with good food and entertainment with 600 of your closest friends. The straw that broke my back was my aunt wanting to film the funeral. Can we get some reality here, this is sorrow, a way to say good bye, not a movie I plan on re-watching every year.

Yes, I’m scarred, funerals are not a show, death is not a show. I’ve seen death, people close to to me have died. Maybe you need to see death that close to understand what loss is and how private it is. That celebrating pain is not a celebration. Misery is not a party unless you’re a narcissist.

That these people and their lackeys are so self important, that their china pattern, canapés, entertainment and napkins mean more than finding the space and time to mourn their loved one privately with class and decorum.

This is all opinion and judgement, I am well aware of this, hence, I have nothing to do this funeral or anyone involved with it. Walk away. If something bothers you, it is my prerogative to walk away. I walked.

et cetera
A Forgetful Traveler

Remembering the world one blog post at a time

Life after BPD

Life after Borderline Personality Disorder; making a life worth living through love, laughter, positivity and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Bi-polar parenting

Thoughts and ideas

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