emotional rescue…

my god, i love that song…for that matter i love the rolling stones. p***a and i used to play their albums on her record player. 

she introduced them to me and we used to talk about their songs in depth, while looking at fashion magazines.

i miss, p***a. she was my very best friend and my first girlfriend. she introduced me to cosmopolitan, vogue, and elle.

we’d lie on the floor and talk about models, clothes, shoes, shows, and designers. i loved fashion, the stones, and p***a.

as i think about it now. i think, “things were so easy then. i was with someone that i loved. i worked hard. and, i had money.”

i realized that my thoughts about that time period, were examples of “emotional truths.” they were highly romanticized. 

i then looked at that time period through a “factual truth” lens. and, i remembered and relived, the “factual truth.”

these things were all issues. i was underage and living in my parents house. i wasn’t out and was terrified of my parents.

they suspected something, they hated p***a, and forbid me to see her. i was threatened with homosexuals anonymous.

my dad promised, t*m l***e, that i would marry him. he was seven years older than me. i stood my ground and said, “no.”

p***a and i drifted apart. ironically, i moved out and into my own apartment, two weeks before, i was dumped.

so, my 🕵 gave me some homework recently…list five things that are symbolic of five, of my “emotional truths.”

i had a meltdown last night, because when i left her office on tuesday, i had all of the information that i needed. i understood.

but by last night, i still had all of the “pieces,” but had absolutely no idea of how they fit together, or even what they meant.

i was completely clueless, frustrated,  and embarrassed. today, we went over the differences between the two truths.

and i just sat there, looking at my therapist. i wasn’t understanding what on earth she wanted from me. i was frustrated.

she asked me what emotions were. i didn’t know. she asked me how i was feeling. and, i didn’t know that either.

she rummaged around in her desk and found a sheet full of “smiley faces,” representing different emotions/feelings.

she made me a copy and asked me to look at the faces, and read which ones corresponded to how i was feeling.

i scrutinized the faces, trying to understand and interpret them, and make connections that i could identify with.

as i looked, i got frustrated again. i don’t exactly know why, but i was just struggling to understand the differences, in the faces.

i was hard pressed and it took me quite awhile, but i eventually identified each one that i was, or had felt today…see below.

she looked at my notes from last session and came to the realization that, all of the familial drama, triggered my ptsd.

she told me that it pushed every button that i had and sent me straight into “amygdala highjack,” and no wonder…

i couldn’t think, feel, or understand. i was running purely on emotion, and not at all on logic. the following describes it:

“Under normal circumstances, you process information through your neocortex or “thinking brain” where logic occurs. The neocortex then routes the information to the amygdala, a small organ which lies deep in the center of your “emotional brain.” On occasion, there is a short circuit whereby the “thinking brain” is bypassed and signals are sent straight to the “emotional brain.” When this happens, you have an immediate, overwhelming emotional response disproportionate to the original event. The information is later relayed to higher brain regions that perform logic and decision-making processes, causing you to realize the inappropriateness of your original emotional response.” – by Neutrino 

i left therapy feeling frustrated, confused, silly, and kind of ridiculous…but hey, i’ve got a new worksheet to help me to identify emotions 😊.

my emotions throughout the day

the gift…

i made a gift that i put all of myself into. the gift filled my time, my imagination, and my heart. it made me happy to think about the person that it was going to and how it may or may not be used.

i spent three days. i used an old-timey ledger book and began by writing out all of my thoughts and ideas for the project. i focused on the person that the gift was going to. i listened to music.

as i created, i documented. i wrote everything of interest down. i took photos. i made simple animations. i made a playlist of all of the music that i listened to while creating. perhaps that matters to no one, but me… but, i will look back later and remember.

before deciding what to create, i meditated on that person. what i came up with was a deck of cards…a deck to do readings with. at the time, i had no idea if she was even capable or interested, in doing so, later i found out that she was.

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in the beginning…ideas pouring out…

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moving right along…gaining momentum…

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entering the home stretch…

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and there you have it…a labor of love…

as i thought about this person, my materials, and my overall vision for the project…ideas just flowed into my mind, one right after another. it wasn’t hard to know what to do. i can’t put it into words, i just felt it. one of my many gifts, is that of being a sensitive or intuitive. i am very good at reading people and energy, until self-doubt creeps in.

most of the time, i have absolutely no doubt in my gifts. it is only when i allow myself to become too close and emotions are involved that i even entertain doubt. in this project, i had absolutely no doubt. the person that i was making this deck of cards for has many gifts and skills of her own. when i thought of her, it’s what came to mind, quickly and easily.

when cards popped into my mind, i immediately thought of this deck. i have carried this deck with me in my backpack for the last two years and before that i carried it around in my car for the previous nine years. i bought this deck for myself the very first time that i ever went to montana. it was in 2006, with sarah…my mom spotted it and had me buy it.

the cards have been with me for the last eleven years. they’ve traveled with me through oregon, washington, idaho, montana, wyoming, colorado, utah, arizona, new mexico, nevada, and iowa. i never played with them. i used to take them out and just look at all of the dogs. they made me happy. they absorbed all of my good energy, travels, and history.

i thought about the characteristics of this person. i thought about what i wanted to relate to her. i thought most of all, i wanted her to see herself in these cards. i wanted them to be a reflection of her. that’s why i chose the materials, text, words, and phrases that i did. i wanted her to be able to read for others or herself, but to be able to be very specific.

i wanted her to see herself in these cards, the way that i saw her. i wanted her to be able to see herself and see the word/quality, right there smack dab in the middle of her own reflection…so that, she would have to confront the reality that she embodies so much more good, than bad…that she is more yin, than yang…and much more light, than dark.

i chose to utilize aluminum foil to accomplish the reflective element. the foil definitely gives a reflection, not crisp and clear, but ethereal and open ended. i decided that it would be up to her and her own sensitivity to interpret the reflection, along with the word, the number, the suit, and the placement of the card, thus making it very specific to only her.

i chose to utilize words and bits of text, as communication and conversation were always very important to both of us. we were both very avid readers and have a passion for books. we both were very verbose and possess a more than superior knowledge of vocabulary…both proper and slang. we both understood and utilized double and triple meanings quite often.

the gift was one of the most unique gifts that i have ever made. i put a lot of time, effort, good intent, great energy, and unconditional love into it. she knows that everything from the reflective quality, the word, the number, the suit, and the placement of the card means something, and she knows she’s the only one who will ever know exactly what they mean.

that all being said, this how the idea that i received broke down, when it came to the cards themselves:

the deck itself existed of 56 cards total. the standard 52 number and face cards. 2 wild cards. and, 2 advertisement cards. all cards were altered and embellished. all cards are meant to be used in conjunction with one another.

the suits and the qualities that they reflect/stand for:

hearts —> reflect/relate to feelings and emotions.

diamonds —> reflect/relate to worth and value.

clubs —> reflect/relate to domesticity and family.

spades —> reflect/relate to career and social.

the number cards of each suit and the words/phrases that they reflect/stand for:

hearts—>

     2 = happy – shihtzu

     3 = thankful – boston terrier

     4 = loves – miniature schnauzer

     5 = hopeful – old english sheepdog

     6 = wonderful – american cocker spaniel

     7 = curious – rottweiler

     8 = gracious – welsh corgi

     9 = accountability – chow chow

    10 = nurturing – siberian husky

     j = positive – jack russell terrier

     q = passionate – saluki

     k = compassion – border collie

     a = genuine – akita

diamonds —>

     2 = safe – labrador retriever

     3 = trusted – pomeranian

     4 = strong – papillon

     5 = smart – newfoundland

     6 = creative – japanese terrier

     7 = loyal – australian shepherd

     8 = courageous – afghan hound

     9 = solid – maltese

    10 = amazing – english cocker spaniel

     j = insight – bull terrier

     q = honorable – bouvier des flanders

     k = without fear – bulldog

     a = confidence – golden retriever

clubs —>

     2 = open – pug

     3 = fun – dachshund

     4 = supporter – german shepherd

     5 = help – poodle

     6 = mentor – basenji

     7 = advisor – st. bernard

     8 = productive – airedale terrier

     9 = comfort – shiba inu

    10 = empowering – lakeland terrier

     j = responsible – french bulldog

     q = diplomat – miniature pinscher

     k = control – shetland sheepdog

     a = commitment – irish setter

spades —>

     2 = beautiful – chihuahua

     3 = excited – dandie dinmount terrier

     4 = direct – basset hound

     5 = engaging – yorkshire terrier

     6 = focused – chinese crested

     7 = reasonable – boxer

     8 = pride – flat coated retriever

     9 = winner – cavalier king charles spaaniel

    10 = professional – dalmatian

     j = resspected – polish lowland sheepdog

     q = successful – bichon friese

     k = competitive – leonberger

     a = power – bernese mountain dog

the 2 wild cards and the 2 advertisement cards reflect/stand for:

wild cards —>

     1 = prepared and in control

     2 = calculating and composed

advertisement cards —>

     1 = extroverted and quick witted

     2 = zealous and vigilant

*** here’s the thing about the gift. i was told that it never arrived. so, i guess that the reason that i chose to write about it, is so that i can look back and see that i made something pretty unique. so, when i am much older and much greyer, i will know that i created something pretty meaningful and pretty extraordinary. so, in the end, i guess that i made the gift for myself…and, chose words that were a reflection of me…and, i saw the words in my own reflection…and, apparently they always were parts of me. i only wish that she would have received them, because i made them for her…when i told her about them on the phone…she was excited and happy…we went over every single detail of each meaning, of each card. and, i told her that if she didn’t want them, that she should take them to the roseman covered bridge, and toss them through the hole into the icy river below…and she asked, ” but why would i do that?”…i really don’t know why i said that, but it seemed apropos at the time, since that’s where she dropped her phone, and we had quite an adventure and history there…we will never know what became of…the gift.***

stuff…

i have a lot of stuff going on in my life. i had the “one to one” conversation about, austin, yesterday with the ex. 

quite honestly, i have some things that i am going to say, but today is thanksgiving and not the time to waste on that business.

i will say that, i spent the last three days, feeling like shit, crying, and being angry…livid in fact.

i was broken, devastated, shocked, and hurt repeatedly. i tried to ease my pain, by going out into nature, hiking, shooting, creating, and just disengaging.

so, in order to be present and here for myself and my friends, i’m putting this aside for the moment.

without you…

without you, i wouldn’t have ever been able to accomplish the things that i have physically over the last six months.

you ignited a fire inside of me, that has pushed me and propelled me forward to help myself, save myself, find myself.

you forced me to see the true value of good health, my good health. your concern set this journey in motion.

without you, i would’ve never had the desire to choose myself. i wouldn’t have had the passion or heart to change.

thank you.

never seen one of these before – henderson, nv – november 20, 2016

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30 minute parking – henderson, nv – november 20, 2016

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on the way to mt. charleston – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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joshua trees and storm clouds over the valley – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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standing in the middle of the road, facing east – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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standing in the middle of the road, facing west – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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joshua tree l – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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joshua tree ll – mt. charleston, nv -november 20, 2016

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i hiked out there amidst the joshua trees – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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illuminated joshua tree – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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i hiked out here in the sage brush – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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hiking – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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the road up to the ski area – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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real trees in nevada, amazing – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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hiking and exploring l – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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hiking and exploring ll – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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bristlecone pines – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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down the trail i go – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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coming back up the trail – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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bark – lee canyon, nv – november 2016

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bristlecone pine needles – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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bristlecone pine trail – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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deadwood – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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fallen – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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rocks, needles, and half-a-pine cone – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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sunset through the trees – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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dusk – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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trail head – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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ethel climbing up the mountain – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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wendy walking the dog – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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fire restrictions – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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lower bristlecone trail – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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new rocks for my rock garden – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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more new rocks for my rock garden – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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twin trees reflected in a puddle – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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pine cone selfie – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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carload selfie – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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as we eased on down the road – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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the view over the valley – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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edge of the cliff, treeline – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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sun setting, behind the treeline – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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wanted – lee canyon, nv – november 20, 2016

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incredible view – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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view between the crags, at the top – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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rocks and pine cone – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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pointy rock – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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lucy and ethel – mt. charleston, nv – november 20, 2016

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it was a very weird feeling…

it was a very weird feeling, when i packed a bag, put it in the car, and drove myself to somewhere that i’ve never been. it was kind of like a deja vu moment.

it reminded me of when i drove to sheridan, wyoming. same thing, i packed my back, had a room waiting, and drove off to a place that i had never been.

as i drove to mesquite, i couldn’t shake this very weird feeling. it was attached to me. it was everywhere. i fought to keep my heavy eyelids open (no provigil).

as i drove to sheridan, i was extremely nervous, worried, excited, scared, and full of hope. i fought trying to keep my heavy eyelids open, by eating jerky.

as i drove to mesquite, the radio volume was kicked, all the way up, and i listened to a station that was 70’s to today’s music. i thought that, that was apropos.

as i drove to sheridan, the radio was blaring. i switched stations constantly, trying to find the things that i liked, at the time. i sang, at the top of my lungs.

driving to mesquite, my god, adele kept following and haunting me, until i heard, “hello…,” at which point i began laughing so hard, thinking of the parody.

driving to sheridan, because i kept changing the station, every song was a song that i liked, every song was happy, hopeful, and uplifting.

on the way to mesquite, i watched the landscape, as it changed from sharp gravel, dirt, and dust…to beautiful mesas and valleys, of orange, pink, and red.

on the way to sheridan, i watched the landscape shift, between rolling grass plains and big tall, strong, beautiful mountains.

going to mesquite, i was excited to be going to spend time with my friend, of thirty-five years. i knew that we would have a great time, not miss a beat. 

going to sheridan, i was was so nervous. i was going to meet someone that i had never met before, but had only talked to. as nervous as i was, i was full of hope.

pulling into mesquite, i noticed that it was both a quaint old town and ritzy, retreat town. a mix of old and new. i filled up with gas, it was $2.49/gallon.

pulling into sheridan, i noticed what a beautiful, old, historic town it was. full of cute shops and places to explore. i filled up with gas, it was $1.79/gallon.

upon my arrival to mesquite, i met my friend at the hotel. i was so happy to see her. we got settled into our rooms and then met up to talk, and walk dogs.

upon my arrival to sheridan, i parked the car, my nerves subsided, and i went and met my friend. i came in from the back and surprised her. i gave her a hug.

in mesquite, my friend and i decided to go to dinner. we drove around and around, looking for a place with outdoor seating. we finally found a place.

in sheridan, my friend had already picked the place, based on a feeling. java moon was located, in a 1906 building on main street, full of history and charm.

in mesquite, we chose to eat at peggy sue’s diner. we ordered breakfast for dinner. we talked about my craziness. we talked about her adventure to scotland.

in sheridan, my friend had already had coffee. i was okay and had nothing. she was there trying to study. i was there to try to help her. i don’t think i helped.

during dinner in mesquite, i was often times distracted, by the multitudes of creepy, crawling crickets that gathered themselves, on the walls around us.

in sheridan, we decided to go get something to eat. we ended up, at subway, for salads. i said,”we will always have sheridan, subway, and salads.”

we waddled out of peggy sue’s diner, in mesquite. we were both pretty full. we went back to our rooms, rested for a bit, and then regrouped.

we went back to java moon, in sheridan. my friend got out her books and started to study again. i got distracted by her left hand. i felt compelled to read her palm.

in mesquite, my friend and i, decided to walk the dogs, one more time before sleepy-nighties. we enjoyed the mild evening, talked more, and laughed.

in sheridan, our studying and chatting attracted the attention, of a man sitting near us. he was straining to hear each word, to know why we laughed out loud.

back in mesquite, my friend and i, called it a night, both of us exhausted from driving, eating, and walking dogs. we agreed to meet up again, in the morning.

back in sheridan, we tried to study a little bit more. it happened to be three vee words,”venturi-vagal-vaults.”then, we threw in “vagina,” for shock value.

the next morning, in mesquite, my friend and i regrouped. we talked a little more, while we walked dogs. we enjoyed the beauty surrounding us.

java moon, in sheridan, was trying to close around us. we had scared away the gawking, eavesdropping man with,”vagina.” the books were gathered.

in mesquite, my friend finished packing her car up. she loaded up her pups. then, we posed for selfies to commemorate our trip, with the mesas, in the background.

in sheridan, my friend put her stuff, into her car, then walked me to mine. we talked for a little bit, about the man that we “scared” away with “vagina.”

in mesquite, i gave my friend a big hug. i asked her to let me know, when she reached her destination. i told her to travel safely and i thanked her.

in sheridan, my friend needed to get going. i wasn’t sure what to do, so i stuck my hand out. she hugged me, and kissed my cheek. i did the same, awkwardly.

once my friend left mesquite, i felt gratitude. gratitude for our friendship, for time to talk and share, for time to relax, and for some canine time.

once my friend left sheridan, i felt a lot of things, one of them most definitely was gratitude. i was grateful that she met me and gave me a chance.

on my way home, from mesquite, i reflected on my thirty-five year friendship. i know that my friend has always been there for me and i try to do the same. i know that the next time, that we meet up again, we will pick up right where we left off. she is part of my family. she is in my heart.

when i arrived at my hotel, in sheridan, i received a phone call, from my friend. we had a really nice call, that lasted her whole drive home to gillette. i told her about my bagel story. she told me about talking to her friend, about our meeting. it was quid pro quo for awhile and then she just asked me to tell her things. she let me know when she arrived home and we hung up. i felt hopeful. i felt good. 

it’s a very weird feeling, when one thing can trigger another thing. and bam, you are right back in that place…hearing the words and sounds, seeing the sights and people, tasting the flavors, smelling the fragrances and aromas, and feeling the touches and feelings. to me, as long as it is a good trigger and not a bad one, sometimes it’s good to walk down memory lane. this walk down memory lane, was bittersweet for me. though my friend is no longer in my life, she will always remain in my heart.

i guess that this was just my first solo road trip, going somewhere, that i’d never been before, since going to sheridan. i guess that’s why i had not a very weird feeling, but a very bittersweet memory.

ace’s…

ace’s are another term that i had never heard before. there was a really fascinating study conducted by the cdc (the study), that was based on them.

an ace is an adverse childhood experience. basically, there are certain types of adverse experiences, during childhood. each time one of the experiences on the scale, matches an experience that’s been had, it scores “an ace.” 

the more ace’s a child has, the more susceptible they are to develop detriments, as adults. these detriments include: risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential, and early death.

i scored very highly, ace’s all over the place. which according to the study puts me into a higher risk category, for developing the detriments, that i listed above.

the good news for me, is that i have received guidance and caring suggestions, to counteract and even reverse the adverse affects to my health and emotional well-being.

🌪,🦄, and my 🕵, have opened me up, identified problem areas, and given me positive, concrete tools to utilize…to get me from just surviving, and having a “victim mentality,” to living the fully, meaningful, abundant life, that was always meant for me.

someone else also helped me greatly, in the quest to become a health warrior. she made me want to change my life, not for her, for me…but, she made me want it…good health, strength, endurance, and weight loss. 

she encouraged me with diet and nutrition. she cared enough about me, to be concerned about my poor health, and brought it to the forefront of my mind. i wanted to improve my health, so that i could become an active participant in life, and not just an observer.

another thing that helped was removing myself from the source of most, of my ace’s, my health and emotional well-being, have flourished. i can do anything that i set my mind to, physically. i don’t huff and puff, or struggle to breathe. i am strong. 

my mind and emotions, are calm, peaceful, and sometimes, downright giddy. i still hurt and am sad sometimes, but i am doing the work. i am changing what needed to be changed. i am growing into the person that i always knew, that i would be. 

i have accepted that i can’t change the past. i realize now, that as a child, i was very exceptional, kind, trusting, and loving. i finally, have found love for her…that bright, inquisitive, truly special girl. i realize now, that she wasn’t the problem and she did nothing wrong.

i have been working on forgiving myself from all of the guilt, shame, and blame…that i placed on that child, over the years.

i realized that, in order to love that precocious child, i needed to forgive myself for being so cruel to her. once i could fully forgive myself, i was able to embrace that little firecracker…and, just be.

it’s a very strange feeling, to be without guilt, shame, and blame. it’s a lighter feeling. it’s a feeling of freedom. it’s knowing that my possibilities are endless. it’s knowing that something wonderful is waiting for me…this me. i am excited.