Tag Archive | hope

Some Wednesday wisdom💚

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ❤

“Take that first step even if you can’t see the whole staircase.” ❤

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ❤

“No matter how long we have been traveling down the wrong road, as long as we’re alive, it’s never too late to turn around and begin again.”❤

It’s never too late! Life is hope. Keep going!

Much love & light,

Xoxo Kim

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It’s a confession session!!😁

“You can take the darkness from the pit of the night
and turn into a beacon burning endlessly bright”

Making love out of nothing – air supply

I wrote this like three weeks ago(??) but just posting it now. I have been in the throes of a deep, dark depression. It really had a firm hold on me. This is the longest & worst one in years. It’s like something crushing my whole body. My head felt like a pancake. Like something so heavy, flattening it. These episodes used to last for months then began only lasting a couple weeks. This one is over a month now and so intense. I have not been handling this as well as I usually handle them. Also if you read this post, you will see I mention a friend who is no longer my friend. Maybe we are still friends but it’s not like it used to be. I have been struggling with this grief. Not grief like when someone dies but a kind of grief for something that isn’t the same anymore. Thank you for the sweet comments!! I will get back to you. My head has been so heavy, I was hardly able to see straight. There are so many things to be happy about and I am and still genuinely laugh & smile but underneath it all, there was this emptiness, loneliness, sorrow, pain, this purposelessness. This Sickness crushing my existence. It’s extremely rare for me to say/think negative things about myself even when im depressed. But with this depression, I have been. I felt like this episode was trying to end but then something kept pulling me back into it. It’s like quicksand pulling me and the more I struggled, the deeper it pulled me in. But at least it’s not my physical pain disorder acting up(it does off & on but nothing very serious recently), which is worse than this in a way.

Two days ago was the first full day in forty days that I had no suicidal thoughts/urges/contemplation. It was gray outside & rainy but I felt like the sun was shining on me non stop all day & night. I couldnt stop smiling.

I am generally very happy but with recurring episodes of severe depression, usually for no reason.

It seems I am coming out of this depression now. It started to lift but I can still feel the aftermath of it. Like if you have ever had a bad cold or influenza and it’s over or about to be you can still feel the effects of it. I have been hit hard. After over a month of thick, heavy layers upon layers of nearly debilitating depression, my body has some healing to do. But my sense of self is stronger again. It feels like if Im not careful, it can pull me back in as Im not completely healed yet. So I have to be mindful of it for a while and be especially careful of triggers. This thing is just like any physical illness that can flare up. No matter what anyone says or believes about it, I am convinced it’s a disease. I know what it does to me, not just my mood and thought process but my physical body as well. It is a disease. But I still have the ability to make choices that can help it.

This post is long so I want to add more pics so here is one of me on June 5th, I think. I was happy to be in a park on a sunny & breezy day with my best friend furever (my dog[actually she isnt mine but i love her the same]).

So here is my post(written three weeks ago).

Ok, so I have a confession! Very awkward lol

I have been severely depressed & suicidal since May 3, 2018. It’s bad. It was triggered by an external factor (not like some big incident, just someone who was my good friend for many years and my closest friend is not my friend anymore [he replaced me with someone else; it happened gradually over the last few months and the depression hit me hard that day & is ongoing- it’s not his fault Im suicidal & depressed though as no one but me is responsible for my happiness]and now I have no one and it has completely devastated my whole life) and now just took on a life of its own. Two of the most annoying symptoms are, nothing has any flavor and I cant concentrate on anything. Also, forget about sleeping! There is this devastating sense of complete worthlessness & lack of purpose. Like theres no reason for me to be here in this world and im stuck here and no matter what I do, there is no point and like it will always be this way. My existence is totally worthless. Often when a depressive episode hits, I can tell myself it’s just an illness lying to me, not really that Im worthless but with this one, it’s hard. It seems like it’s not really an illness afflicting me but true pointlessness/worthlessness. There is external evidence. And on top of it, I cant taste anything. Everything is so bland. It’s like everything is covered with something.

Certain songs still inspire me and bring some sense of life into the numbness like the song sung by Air Supply Im sharing here. But everything else is blah. Im sharing this song because it deeply inspires me. It seems like a sad breakup song but just look at those lyrics!

Everytime I see you all the rays of the sun are
Streaming through the waves in your hair
And every star in the sky is taking aim at
Your eyes like a spotlight
The beating of my heart is a drum, and it’s lost
And it’s looking for a rhythm like you
You can take the darkness from the pit of the night
And turn into a beacon burning endlessly bright
I’ve gotta follow it

Isn’t this so beautiful? This person is a light for someone else even in his/her own pain and even when they are no longer together.

The man is singing to someone who has experienced great pain and can take the darkness & use it to become light. He is inspired even though this person seems to have left him. How incredibly beautiful & deeply inspiring!

Everything has become a hassle. I struggle to do simple, mundane things like walking. It’s taking the life right out of me.

And I have lost much of my sense of self. I have also been experiencing anger, which is not typical of me even when I’m depressed. But now Im walking around harboring anger, some occasions more than others. It’s not even really directed at anyone or anything specifically but does tend to show in my interactions with people. Im not unhappy with my whole life in general; it was one thing and like I said, now became a thing of its own and so Im taking it out on everything and not thankful for anything good I have. It’s not fury, just ordinary anger. I dont know what to do because there isn’t anything specifically I want to change necesarily. It’s just everywhere I go, I am surrounded in darkness & crushed by some invisible thing. Im in a different world than everyone else. This is not my choice and not merely a bad mood.

All of my passion is gone. I used to love walking, working, being out & about, now it’s all just an obligation that I have to force myself to do. I know my love for it is still here somewhere and can feel it but it’s now dormant. Even my dogs sense something wrong with me and try to make me better. And I push them away. So they try harder. It’s funny & cute.

It is possible to be very depressed and still have a positive attitude about it. And usually I do. But with this one, I have the absolute WORST attitude about it. I choose to. I’m making a choice in each moment to approach this battle with a lousy attitude. Lol At least im admitting it!

I’m so done with this life. Im not even waiting for this episode to end because I really dont think it’s going to.

My mom wants me to go to a hospital but I’m not.

I am still my very easily amused self though! That hasnt changed at all. I still have genuine belly laughs everyday! And my smile is sincere. Even though Im deeply depressed, I am not miserable or gloomy or bitter. Some people think when depressed people smile, joke, or laugh, it’s a coverup to hide the pain. But im not trying to hide anything. If I was, then I wouldnt be posting this. I am just naturally lighthearted & cheerful even when my whole body is heavy with depression. Not all of us are fakes. Depressed people can still smile & laugh & love for real.

I must admit that I still have things to be joyful about and they do bring me joy but even that true joy doesnt make me want to live. I still savor the moments of simple joy. Each occasion Im with a furball, a cool breeze on a hot day, all the Spring flowers (I sometimes stop to inhale the scents, so beautiful), a belly laugh, saying hello to a friendly stranger…it’s not the same though, with depression.

As bad as this depression is, one of the worst I have ever experienced, for sure, it is not the worst thing I ever felt. Grief and cluster-like headaches are worse (at least to me) even though grief & loss and those physical headaches dont usually contribute to me wanting to die and this severe depression does. Interesting right?! This somewhat lesser pain gets me wanting to die more than more severe pain. It’s a different kind of pain though. It doesnt always have to do with severity level but the kind it is.

This depression sucks but sure is better than those headaches! At this moment, I would choose this over those devastating, horrifying headaches.

I recently came across some things that surprised and amused and inspired me.

I found this one during a very difficult struggle last week, I think(I have no sense of time anymore), walking up the street in the rain. I was desperate for anything to ease my mind and right then, I saw a fortune cookie, broken, on the ground. I picked up the pieces and read the fortune before eating the cookie! Lol jk I did read the fortune but did not eat the cookie!

I laughed out loud because it’s so coincidental and perfect for my situation. It’s true that people want us to succeed, even strangers! People are always stopping to help others and sending gifts to those in need in the midst of tragedies, donating blood and money and other things. Anyway, it doesnt matter if people are rooting for us or not but the thing is, they are!

One day, I was in a car thinking about killing myself just as I looked over and saw this. Lol

I was at a subway recently (not to kill myself but for a different reason) and it was on my mind and then I saw this. Im not calling the number but I love the message.

I told my mom and she is 100% convinced they are some sort of supernatural “signs” that I should stay in the world. I dont believe in signs like that at all. To me, they are coincidences. But I was still happy to see them.

My mom was angry at me because she was talking to me and I got angry and started saying negative things. She recently called my friend, the one who replaced me, a rude word, only to me, not to his face, and then later while talking to me again about something else, I brought it up and said it was rude of her to call him that and that she probably thinks it of me also. And my sister was also angry at me because she was concerned about me (i was out late one night without my phone n she thought I got murdered and i had like 20 annoying messages)and I told her to fuck off. She then told me to go fuck my self. Lol I was amused when she said it to me. My mom said we have terrible language. I rarely talk like this! Im posting this so people can see the truth, that im not sweet, kind, and beautiful like people seem to think. Im not constantly angry and rude or snippy like this, more often I’m not. I still smile at strangers and say hello and want to help people in need. So it’s not that im like a horrible monster or psycho. But im also not beautiful and pleasant like im often mistaken for.

It feels that something has invaded me, invaded my body, my existence, my whole life. A dark, heavy cloud or quilt just hangs over me everywhere I go. It weighs on me physically. I have felt the life force drained right out of me and dont know that I will ever get it back. I dont know that I will ever be the happy girl I was. This is my life now. This isnt a usual episode of suicidal depression that I have occasionally. Those are nothing new. They come and go and Im generally happy. This thing is worse. This one has ruined me.

My body has never been so sick. It’s like each part of me weighs 1000 pounds. It feels like my body is producing extra blood and making me extra heavy and hard to move. My ass drags. Lol Im not trying to be funny but I did just make myself laugh with that.

Now maybe someday the suns gonna shine
Flowers will bloom and all will be fine
But nothing’ll grow on this burnt cursed ground
‘Cause the breath of the death is the only sound

A strange thing is, somehow, deep inside, I have have this suspicion. I suspect that I can & will get better, that I can be that girl again. The happy girl, full of life, passion. It’s just this faint inkling deep within that I really do have what it takes to get back to myself, to not live in darkness, in pain, in emptinenss. I know it’s my responsibility to get better. But I dont care to embrace that small spark of hope. I dont have the motivation, the strength to hope or try to fix. I have this angry tenacity that wants to extinguish that speck of hope, that glimpse of Knowing. I want to drown it and just disappear forever. But I can feel it here.

(Me today)

Fun fact: I dont care what I look like anymore (I was never overly concerned even when Im not depressed – I go out in pjs sometimes and with no makeup n ratty hair!😁) or what clothes I wear. (This surely isnt the fun part!) Getting a shower & dressed in the morning is just a big hassle. But it has to be done, right? So heres the fun part! I just reached into my clothes to pull out any random shirt and the one I happened to get is my one & only suicide prevention/HOPE shirt! Lol So I wore it n walked around all day feeling like a hypocrite.

Here is me recently in my “STAY” shirt! A while ago, over a year ago, I was in a depressive state and wondering if I should stay or go and was actually thinking those exact words when I looked up and saw a heart painted on a wall with the word “STAY” just like this one. I was inspired & found it heartwarming and love the heart! It inspired me so much & I carried it with me then coincidentally, a while later, I actually met the girl who put it there, in person! Amazing! I told her how much her work inspires me, especially the STAY heart and as a gift, she have me this shirt, a pin, & a print all with this heart!❤

And one last thing, on a more positive note, I totally conquered my debilitating fear being on an elevator alone! I did!! I even fulfilled my dream! Lol Usually we probably think of big things like educations and jobs and stuff when we hear/read about dreams being fulfilled. This one is simple but to me it was very important. There is one elevator that really scared me more than the rest, just looking at it. And it’s very slow. I truly believed I would never ever be able to get onto that one alone, even after recovery. Somehow I recovered enough to get onto that one alone! Without any fear!! Holy guacamole! Lol🤣😂😙

So, to sum it all up: im depressed & suicidal and often in complete despair and have been for like nearly a month and it’s not necessarily that I dont think it can get better but just that I dont even have the motivation or strength to try to get better. It takes everything out of me. Usually, I just let them run their course and they get better on their own along with my positive attitude and personal development techniques that help them along. But Im just about sure this one isnt going anywhere on its own and on top of it, my attitude about it sucks and im doing nothing to help it. Ultimately, it’s up to me to get myself better. It doesnt feel like it can or will ever get better but some part of me Knows it can. I dont know if it’s even worth it to keep going or try anything to help me.

(Lol I see this on a wall everyday & it resonates with me in my depression.)

It’s like im so worthless it’s not worth keeping me alive. This is true. I really dont know if I am going to win this battle with this one.

I know it’s my choice though and that this is no one’s fault or responsibility but my own. I dont know if I will muster the strength to win this battle. I really may not survive this one like I always do. I don’t see a point in me surviving & keep not wanting to even if it can get better. I keep wanting everything to end, good & bad alike. This is very, very bad. This one is kicking my ass good!!

This is an awkward post, right?! But it’s real and it’s good to post the good & the bad (if we dont mind sharing!) so people can see we arent all one or the other. And my main reason for posting this is in case it can help someone else in any way. It may help to read about someone else’s experience & these sweet messages here!

(Lol! Ok. When I saw this “hang in there you pussy,” it really made me want to hang on if even just a little bit longer. I laughed myself to sleep, genuinely amused. It may be a bit inappropriate but definitely lightens my mood. A suicide prevention person shared it. Kind of appalling to call us pussies while advocating suicide prevention [like wth?] but still funny.)

Just so everyone knows, I am not in any way dangerous to anyone else at all. I only want myself to die and if I ever do choose to go, it will be a way that will not in any way hurt or interfere with anyone else. No matter how low I sink, I never want to hurt/kill anyone else, physically or psychologically(so I wont kill myself in public with anyone around or any way that involves or potentially involves others like in traffic/train/jumping). If there is even the slightest chance anyone else (human, animal, or insect) can be hurt physically or suffer psychological damage of witnessing the act or being involved in any way, I will not choose that method. I prefer to live in agony than hurt others. I have absolutely no desire to hurt/kill/traumatize anyone and also I know it’s wrong morally &/or legally. Even when I sink to the lowest depth of my despair(like lately), I still have my wit about me enough to know it is wrong to hurt others. I love everyone!! I won’t hurt you!!❤ I’m responsible. I am not homicidal and not a psycho and have no urge to go on a rampage. Never have. I want my own pain & worthlessness to end. That is all. And I am not going to “snap” & go on a killing spree. There is no such thing as “snapping.” That is a myth. I cherish/value all life, just not my own now. Most of us aren’t a threat to others but we still have people who think we are.

I wish you, anyone who may be reading this, the best and hope you are surrounded in love & light & beauty. If you’re struggling hard like I am, then as you can see, you arent alone in the struggle. I am here. (Not for long hopefully, lol jk) Much love & light, always…

P.s. June 13, 2018 – I dont mind having this disease. I like what it teaches/reminds me and how it deepens my empathy and how it strengthens me after weakening me. And I just love so very much, the feeling of it lifting. It’s like a whole new world. It is totally worth living in deep, oppressive darkness for weeks or months just for the few days of the feeling of it lifting. What a gift!! So beautiful. Depression is not my enemy. It’s my teacher, my disease, my gift, part of me and I embrace it. Of course it’s easier to say this when I’m not in the midst of it. I wasn’t always able to say this but now I can. Also, if this post is full of spelling or any other errors, I wasn’t in my right mind when I wrote most of it. Lol Maybe I’m going to survive this battle after all?

xoxo Kim ❤

Today

(A pretty picture I took today – April 14th, 2018 but when I publish it, it will probably say April 15th because it’s nearly 10:00pm now)

“By effort and heedfulness, discipline, and self-mastery, let the wise one make for oneself an island which no flood can overwhelm.”

Today, I got onto an elevator for work. I could have taken the stairs but chose the elevator. I was on the 4th floor of the apartment building. Going back down, I felt that the doors were taking longer than they’re supposed to to open and guess what?! I felt not one ounce of fear!! Not one little flash of fear, anxiety, panic, nothing!! And did not even feel a sense of panic coming on or anticipate it like I often do. This is incredible progress! This has to be my greatest accomplishment in this life, ever!

In case anyone reading this is confused or it seems like no big deal, here is some background info. about my experience with phobic fear:

F.E.A.R

It actually freaking happened

Welcome to rock bottom-the only way now is up

Serendipitous Strength

Phobia.

It’s a big, big thing! I suffered another terrible relapse recently and now I healed it again and can get on elevators myself with no fear! I have been working hard to heal this phobia. It doesn’t always take long to heal a relapse. Phobias are weak, even though they feel extremely powerful, and they lose their power very easily when properly faced again & again.

“Unlike many other mental health problems, phobias can be brought under manageable control or even totally destroyed, sometimes within hours. This is a far cry from some of the medium- to long-term work which is required for other mental health issues. So the good news is that phobias are relatively easy to deal with, providing you have the correct knowledge, support and treatment plan, along with a determined and proactive attitude. In life there are many REAL problems, which we all have to contend with, so my view is that we should conserve our energy to tackle those by ridding ourselves of the UNREAL threats, which are the hallmarks of a phobia.” ~Patricia Furness-Smith

The way I am recovering mostly, is exposure in combination with Buddhist philosophy (that can apply to anyone at all, not just Buddhist people – see Dhamma quote above). Even without the meditation part (which is also great!), I find Buddhist philosophy so very helpful in healing my fear (and in general!).

The reason that this is such a big accomplishment is not the amount of work it takes or the duration of treatment but the amount of courage & strength it takes to face it. It is hard!!

I am working on not just recovering but building my mindset in a way to see elevators as a safe place, a place of comfort, a space where I experience a feeling of being embraced in warmth & safety, security (i know security is an illusion but dont mind feeling secure in a place I once felt seemingly unbearable terror and panic). I don’t just want to tolerate them and don’t want them to just be a mundane thing or task I have to perform. I aspire to come to seeing them as an opportunity for a few moments of simple joy or pleasure.

I may not be recovered just yet or my recovery may be shaky and at risk for relapse again. It’s new and not quite ingrained yet. But it will be and then evolve into something more. I feel that Im already inclined to view elevators as a warm, cozy, safe place. Why not? They are safe for the most part. In there, alone, I am protected against the dangers of the world. I can feel that to some degree but not in great depth yet. Im working on it!

This is my goal!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Much love & light, always,

Xoxo Kim

Spring. 🌸🐞🐿

There are signs of spring appearing all around, assuring me that the natural world is re-awakening, despite the fact that it does not yet feel like spring.

There are still piles of snow on the ground and icicles hanging from the roof tops, and the overnight temp last night was a cool 15 degrees!

But in spite of what feels like winter’s final, desperate cling, there are buds sprouting on the trees, hundreds of birds returning to the garden, newborn ducklings, squirrels aplenty, and, perhaps, the most awe-inspiring sign has been the visits of two bald eagles, who have been flying overhead, right over my backyard at dusk each night, perhaps nesting in a special spot nearby!”

This is something I received in an e-mail through a soulfulliving.com subscription, written by Valerie. I was going to share my photo above, on Instagram, and caption it, “Spring is in the air!” Then I realized today actually is the first day of Spring here. I totally did not realize til someone told me lol

It sure doesn’t feel like Spring; it’s freezing cold and we’re having a snow blizzard. I love it! But also love Spring weather & am so happy for the impending Springy weather and everything that comes along with it.

This beautiful piece, I shared above, by Valerie, inspires me and is a beautiful reminder of how inspiring nature is.

I have been struggling a bit with lower back pain. It’s not chronic pain; it’s only temporary (at least I hope so!) but it does tend to get quite severe every now & again. Sometimes I can’t reach for things and it throbs whether I’m sitting, standing, or laying and occasionally I get just very little to no relief. It is difficult because I work with dogs! So it’s kind of hard managing back pain & physical limitations with a bunch of furballs jumping all over me and pulling me. Lol

At some points, I found it difficult to have an interest in anything because the pain consumes me. It’s definitely not the worst pain I ever felt and generally, it’s not unbearable. Pain of any sort or any level isnt fun though! I’m also sick and exhausted. Im laying in bed now half sleeping but still managing to think & write. Lol

For about two months, I have worked seven days a week(I generally work seven days a week and love it but have been working many, many more hours than usual), some days, 24 hours(overnight), morning til night. Some days I was out for work at 6 something in the morning til around 10:00pm. I LOVE the job. This much physical work really takes a toll on the body though. My poor body needs a break. It has been under a tremendous amount of stress. (At least it’s work that I love though)

As Valerie states in her message, it doesn’t feel like Spring. It’s cold, snowy, icy…but there are signs of Spring everywhere, still blooming through the harsh Wintery weather. Spring blooms and life blossoms are around. Snow, ice, cold, Winter, doesn’t hinder it.

I am reminded that we can do the same. We can blossom, keep going, and let our beauty bloom all around straight through the pain, stress, exhaustion, depression, anxiety, grief…or whatever other struggles we may currently be experiencing.

We can channel that inner-spring and unleash it, sending it out into the uni-verse to lift everyone around us. Look for all the little gems of beauty we can find, all the flowers, acts of kindness, butterflies, animals, smiles, hugs, laughs, pretty colors, inspirational quotes, uplifting social media/blog posts, the love of a pet, a favorite song or food, the feel of soft blankets, the fragrance of flowers, food, coffee, cookies baking….any little bit of beauty…these are the things to focus on, to dwell on, to embrace.

I’m happy to share this soulfulliving message here along with my experience and hope others can be inspired also, to keep going & appreciate all the simple joys of living.

We all have an inner-spring just waiting to be embraced & unleashed!

Much love & light, & hugs!!

Xoxo Kim💐💚

F.E.A.R

My therapist recently told me that we have a choice for how to handle fear. We can Fuck Everything and Run (lol!) or Face Everything and Recover. He said that both are ok but of course facing & recovering is more healthy and in the end will likely bring us the more desired results.

Recently, I encountered a scary situation. And I remembered my F.E.A.R choices. And I chose to……fuck everything and run. Lol!

The scary situation? Having to go into a building with an elevator.

In case you don’t know, I’m deathly afraid of being closed in small places alone, especially elevators – always have been and don’t know why – sometimes I actually feel like I’m going to die when I just think about it; I actually feel like death is around me, squeezing me, suffocating me. You can read more about my struggles & victories in these posts if you want!

It actually freaking happened

Serendipitous Strength

welcome to rock bottom – the only way is up

My choices? To suck it up and get on the elevator & know I have the courage & strength to handle it (going up I have to get on because the door to stairs is locked but coming back down, I can take the stairs), to take advantage of this opportunity for growth or to take the stairs and avoid that fear and the possibility of getting trapped on one by myself. And yes, I chose the second. :-/

Generally, I’m really good with facing my fear and even staying calm and getting inside the elevators alone. But this is the building where I recently got stuck in one, very briefly but still not pleasant(and I handled it so well, I must say!) and I just felt that I was in no mood for any nonsense that morning. Lol

It’s good for me to get onto elevators alone as much as I can so I can stregthen my courage & inner peace with them. I haven’t suffered any terrible relapse recently. But it’s possible that I can as I have before. Sometimes my heart still races a bit and my hands almost tremble when I get onto elevators alone but sometimes I’m very calm when I do. For a while, my phobic fear was pretty much gone, healed, recoverd. But I suffered a relapse a while ago and began to struggle again. Nowhere near as badly as before but still a bit of a struggle.

The morning I was in that building, I was struggling with the phobic fear and wasn’t up to facing it.

So when the elevator doors opened, I bolted and ran for the stairs.

I won’t make a habit of it. I will still choose to get into elevators alone and know I can handle whatever comes my way. I will remember my strength and progress and accomplishments. But there will also be moments I’ll give into weakness, forget my strength and courage and take the easy way, the way that doesn’t allow as much growth and an opportunity to strengthen my courage & virtue of patience. And that’s ok too!

We don’t always, always have to be strong and brave and inspiring and positive and perfect.

I’m generally very positive and mostly use social media for sharing inspirational and/or happy/positive things. But I also think it’s good to be genuine and share my not so inspiring experiences/choices. Like running away and not facing my fear.

I was disappointed that I couldn’t write a post about how I was brave and strong in the face of my phobic fear and how I handled it like a pro! Lol I was sorry I couldn’t use my own experience to try to inspire others or encourage someone to be brave, feel the fear and do it anyway. I could have written that post but it would be dishonest.

But then I remembered that sharing our weaknesses and less than pleasant aspects and experiences can be just as inspiring and just as encouraging and uplifting to others as sharing our strengths. There are others who run, make mistakes, have setbacks, do things that aren’t the best. And sharing this can help each other see that someone else understands and that it’s actually ok. We have permission to not always be positive and strong and brave. We have permission to falter. To stumble. To fall. We have permission to run once in a while. Just so long as it doesn’t become a habit or way of life, it’s all good! And if it does become an unhealthy habit, that’s ok, we can fix it. Habits can be reversed. Fall and get back up.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Or not.

Whatever you choose, I’m here cheering you on!

Virtual Hugs to you! ❤ (virtual hugs are good for all because even if you don’t like actual hugs, you’re not actually being touched. lol)

Xoxo Kim

Welcome to rock bottom -the only way now is UP

“Face to face, out in the heat

Hanging tough, staying hungry

They stack the odds still we take to the street

For the kill with the skill to survive”🐯

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Here is a post I wrote a couple days ago and just edited it a bit.

“Welcome to Rock Bottom

One day, after another routinely dreadful morning, I sat in my car looking at our office and thinking, ‘I DO NOT want to go in there. I hate my job. I can’t stand Frank. I don’t make enough money. I am so underutilized! Should I leave the company? Would I even be missed? What’s the point of all this anyway? Is this really my life? This can’t be my life.’ And there it was. I had finally reached it—I was at rock bottom. As I mentioned, I believe rock bottom is the moment when you finally find the power and the strength you’ve always been lacking to change your today and go on to create a better tomorrow. I knew I couldn’t get any lower, and at that moment, I realized that all of the training, coaching, reading, and inspiring I’d engaged in just a few years earlier had not disappeared completely. I started to sense something deep within. There was still a tiny spark of hope that things could get better. That internal spark was like a smothered flame that just needed a little air, and as soon as I realized the spark was there, it was as if someone poured kerosene on it. I started to think: ‘If my circumstances won’t change, maybe I can change the way I look at my circumstances, and maybe as a result, they actually WILL change.'”

These are wise words by Kevin Clayson, author of Flip the Gratitude Switch. I have experienced “rock bottom” before, just like he mentions here, where it’s like I just can’t get any lower, so desperate, plummeting to the lowest depths of my despair, until I can’t possibly sink any lower. Pulled deeper and deeper and deeper into some dark, seemingly endless abyss when finally I realize there is an end. And I have reached it.

What do we do when our world is crumbling on top of us, when everything shatters, when it’s hard to stand, so difficult just to live & breathe, and we are pulled so low we can’t go any lower?

We rise.

Usually when I have experienced this “rock bottom,” it’s with depression and sometimes when my chronic physical pain disorder is flaring up to what seems like unbearable levels and my body is wracked in physical agony beyond belief. The only way I can get lower when I’m like this, is to be put in the ground. I haven’t experienced these things in a long while. My physical pain disorder has been doing so well. I have been experiencing mild to no pain each & every day. Thanking my lucky stars! And I can’t even remember when I was last depressed! I’m so happy!

But it’s true, this morning I realized I have hit “rock bottom.” A different kind of rock bottom. Not depression of any kind or physical pain. But still I have found my self in a very low place in this life. Two months ago, I think it was, October, I wasn’t depressed or in physical pain but was in Hell everyday for a couple weeks. It ended for a while and now is back!🙊😱

This Hell I speak of is fear. Terror. Not just a bit of anxiety. Fullblown fear. It’s not fear in general but about a specific thing. As I mentioned here, in a post titled Serendipitous Strength, I used to be deathly afraid of being closed in small places that I can’t just get out of the second I want to, especially elevators and especially when I’m alone. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. Why is a mystery. As a child, I had breakdowns going on elevators even with my mom & dad.

I healed myself. It is an incredible accomplishment and awe-inspiring. The fact that I had a relapse doesn’t matter. It doesnt change how incredible it is. I healed this fear once and can and will heal it again.

I never worked on this fear specifically but during my personal development journey, my quest to find healing, working on myself to help heal my depression and cope with tmjd “cluster headaches” without realizing it, I was conquering my fear of being closed in. With my personal development plan I teach myself and train my brain to know I can handle and conquer anything. To know I will always be free no matter what position I’m in in this life. To know life is a gift no matter what. To see positivity and opportunity in any situation no matter how dreadful. I trained my brain with meditation and quotes and music and songs and writing to stay calm and composed for the most part, in any situation no matter what, no matter how painful physically or emotionally. (Out of my post Serendipitous Strength)

The #1 one thing that helps me with my fear is my Buddhist studies, not even just meditation but the writings I read even when I don’t put them into practice as intended. Just the reads are so powerful. All of these other things, quotes, songs, basic mindfulness…, helped me to a great extent, with depression & chronic pain and when I found Kadampa Buddhism, I found deeper healing and healing for this fear.

Somewhat recently, I suffered a relapse and my old fear returned to me with a vengeance. The second the elevator doors close and I’m on there alone, my first thought is “I’m screwed” and a sense of panic arises.

For work, I sometimes have to get on elevators. For about ten months I had to seven days a week, mostly by myself. Thankfully my fear was healed. But in a fraction of a second, while on an elevator, by myself, I suffered a relapse. I made the mistake of watching the numbers go up and waiting for the doors to open and you know when we watch & wait, a second feels like forever. I felt the doors took a second longer than usual to open and that’s all it took to bring that breath-taking fear crashing back into me. Flooded with terror, when the door finally opened, I stumbled into the hallway, trembling inside & out, legs like jelly, dizzy, panicked.

And my fear has been with me since then. I no longer have to be on an elevator every single day anymore and that may be part of the problem. I’m no longer accustomed to it and no longer have that chance to practice being calm on an elevator everyday. Now with those two things, the relapse & being out of touch with elevators, I nearly fall to pieces when I have to get on one by myself. I’m not scared anymore if I’m on an elevator with a dog or a human.

What if the elevator malfunctions while I’m on there myself and I’m trapped inside a box for who knows how long? My worst nightmare. I know I can handle it. My conviction is strong. But I don’t always feel that I can handle it. My conviction never falters. I know anyone can handle anything if we train our brain and adjust our attitude. But sometimes I focus too much on the feeling of not being able to handle it. And i fear if i get trapped, I will become a blubbering wreck and never recover. Two or more weeks away and when I think of it, my head is in turmoil.

(Photo not mine)

I am not someone who curses a lot out loud, in writing, or in my head. It’s not that I think it’s wrong. I love when people curse a lot. Lol It’s just not me. But early, this morning I was walking up a street thinking about how in a few weeks I will be required to get onto an elevator(the doors for staircases in some buildings open to get outside but are locked on the outside to get upstairs so elevators are generally required), most likely alone, and everyday for at least a week, and how I’m going to be living & breathing fear, I’m going to be a total wreck in my head, just like two months ago, and I just thought Fuck this shit. Seriously, fuck it. I am done. Not done with life or with work. I am done being conquered by this fear. So done. And I realized I have hit rock bottom two months ago and am still here now. And I remembered Mr. Clayson’s story about how rock bottom is our opportunity to rise above. I will rise above this fear. I will conquer it.

How? I’m not quite sure but I know I will. I will discipline my brain. And I have a few things in mind. More intensive Dharma practice & gratitude practice, The Work, rhythmic breathing, desensitization…

There is no place for this fear. I don’t want it and I won’t have it. I don’t have to accept it because it can be changed. Two months ago I found it difficult to focus on anything other than this fear. I spilled coffee all over because my hands were trembling, My legs were shaky and I was lightheaded. After getting off an elevator, it took me so long to recover, those mornings & nights. Outside I probably looked a bit shaken up but inside, I was wrecked. (I did face my fear and kept getting on elevators though, {BY MYSELF, ALONE!!!, ME!!! On an elevator ALONE!!! Whhhaaattt?! Holy guacamole!} which is a display of great strength & courage. I did what I had to do while not repressing my fear) I felt that I couldn’t even stand up straight each day.

This is unacceptable and I will change it. Whatever it takes. I will not avoid elevators and will not put up with this terror. And there’s no place for it in my world. It’s not welcome here and I do not have to accept it.

I healed my fear mostly with Buddhist philosophy. And I will again. This is the main thing that brought me so much deep healing and I know without a doubt, it will again. I just have to concentrate.

Recently, I received a Dorje Shugden Empowerment and I am totally counting on it (& my previous Empowerments) helping me cope with & heal this fear.

Om vajra wiki witrana söha.

OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHI

Just like Mr. Clayson shares in the excerpt above, it can feel like all our previous strength, wisdom, personal development is down the drain, but it’s not. Somewhere deep inside, there is strength, wisdom, courage even if it seems to be long gone or seems like we never had any to begin with.

What I am promoting here is not necessarily any specific techniques like gratitude, meditation, conscious breathing or philosophy like Buddhist philosophy, though I do generally promote those. Here, I am just suggesting that we rise above our fear, pain, struggles…and keep going. Keep moving up. Pro-act. Let’s not sink to the bottom and stay there. Do something. Whatever it takes. Whether it’s professional help, meditation, personal development books, exercise, gratitude practice…find something, do something, and just keep going.

(Photo not mine)

It can be done. I did this before and if you are reading this now, so can you. I was able to make the choice to face a fear so powerful that I feel it can drive me insane, like I will lose all sense of language and awareness…, face it & conquer it and completely overcome it. Whatever your issue is, grief, fear, depression, addiction of any sort or something that may seem less serious…you can face it and overcome it. It’s not the problem itself that is actually the problem; it’s how we attach to it, perceive it, view it, react to it…and we have a choice to change that.

“I choose to FIGHT BACK! I choose to RISE, not fall! I choose to LIVE, not die! And I know, I know that what’s within me is also WITHIN YOU.”

We can & we will.

I am here cheering you on right along with cheering myself on. I have a lot of work to do and it’s every bit worth it. Keep going.

“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on!!”

Much love & light & strength to you,

Xoxo Kim❤

P.s Elevators are the worst invention in the history of ever!!! I have a few choice words for the inventor! Blahhh!!!

Congratulations to me! 😀

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“Woke up this morning with a big ass headache
Y’all I ain’t kidding this son of a bitch hurts
Where the hell are my pants must be with my shirt
I still got my boots on but make no mistake
They can’t help me kick this big ass headache” 😂😭😍❤

Big Ass Headache – Justin Moore -mobile

Big Ass Headache – desktop

No, I did not get the job I been waiting for or any job! I lost my job of ten years after the store went out of business and mentioned that just over a week ago I got an interview, which I’m very thankful for! It’s always great for the experience. The job interview went well and I got to meet two adorable kitties! It’s a pet sitting\walking place and they had two really big cats there. But I never got the phone call for a second interview or any rejection e-mail or anything, which is nothing new; I’m used to that! I’m still positive about it though even though it can be a bit discouraging.

Anyway, I am not congratulating myself for success with jobs! Something even better! Many people who know me may know of my headaches. I have a severe case of tmd or tmjd, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. For most of us who have it, it’s not severe. But mine is really bad. My pain isn’t always severe; it’s usually not. But I have pain and other symptoms (jaw locking, vision\hearing problems, teeth breaking, jaw clicking, the list goes on n on)almost constantly and some occasions the pain flares up to beyond severe, the point of seeming absolutely unendurable. There’s no known cure or effective treatment. Agony beyond words. Here are a few of my posts where I mention the living hell that this disorder is. I’ll also give a brief description of the pain here too in this post.

He’s My Son (a heartbreakingly beautiful song)

Inner Strength

On Pain & Suicide Headaches (prevailing)

(this one is on the extremely long side!)

Stepping out of our ruts

On Pain, Hope, & Life Lessons (Healing Hands)

And then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on

It’s like being burned. Like scalding hot water being poured over the side of my face, scalding my eyeball, head, face…mixed with the worst toothace, earache, sinusache imaginable, and an intense pressure in the eardrum building up, up, up til eventually it feels like it’s being punctured and as if it will very soon explode. It’s worse than it sounds. The disorder I have can feel like various kinds of other disorders and headaches. The one I’m describing above is the Cluster headache. Cluster headache is a rare disorder that my disorder, tmjd, can mimic. I don’t have these headaches very frequently but when I do, they are extremely traumatic. Just one will probably scar you for life, emotionally. A life changing experience that can never be forgotten. They aren’t dubbed “suicide headaches” for nothing! The pain is so severe, many people contemplate and even attempt suicide just to stop the pain while it’s occurring. Sometimes during these headaches I have screamed through the night til my throat became raw and I lost my voice. I often have to keep hitting my face and head over n over in a panic or claw at things because I’m so frantic and panicked and desperate when it happens. There’s an impulsive urge to claw at the face and eye and bang the head against a wall. That’s not uncommon in those of us with this pain.

They usually occur at night or very early in the morning when it’s still dark out. When they appear and they can last a few hours. And when one ends, another can begin soon after. There’s nothing amusing about it but when thinking about it, sometimes I have the urge to laugh. It’s the only physical pain I ever experienced that leads me to feel as if I may really go insane. When they blast through my head, it’s like nothing else in the world matters or even exists.

Recently I was thinking how I haven’t had one of these headaches in a while. Through the years, I learned to cope with them better. Sometimes they have been frequent and sometimes very infrequent. They usually flare up worse in the cold weather, for me. Last night or early in the morning I had my first one of the season. They begin very abruptly, often with no warning sign. Just slamming into my face out of nowhere. Then last minutes to hours then end just as abruptly. I had one around 1:00 in the morning. It lasted less than an hour. But it was excruciating.

The reason I am happy about it is I was able to meditate through the episode. I could never do that before! With these headaches, there’s no staying still. We often have to pace, hit or throw things, hit ourselves, scream hysterically….even though I learned to handle them better, I still could not be very still or meditate through the pain. I have come to be much more positive and less angry during flareups than I used to be but still have room to evolve.

Last night when the first headache hit, I felt like I was in a nightmare that couldn’t really be happening. It was unbelievable. But soon enough I stopped the loud inner chaos to ask, “What can this teach or remind me?” “How can this strengthen me?” “How can I take this experience now and use it for the better, not just for me but for others?” “How can this better me?” “How can this agonizing experience be used by me to help, uplift, or inspire someone else?”

This is not uncommon for me to ask these questions during a very painful experience or any struggle but it’s usually more difficult to think like this, to execute such wisdom with this kind of physical anguish. Last night though, it was easier. And that is because of the work I do on myself in general. I’m naturally very positive but in general I work to strengthen that natural inclination, make it more intentional, conscious.

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If we only work to be positive, to meditate, to practice gratitude, to focus on breath….during problems then we don’t get much practice and not only that but it can be difficult to find the motivation or desire to do these things when serious pain arises, especially emotional pain. We may be tempted to give into the pain, let the pain conquer us and not practice positive techniques. But if we consciously practice positivity in general, whether or not we are naturally positive, we will be more ready when serious pain occurs. I can’t stress it enough! It’s depression that taught me this! But it applies to physical pain as well and any problem!

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/serendipitous-strength/

Anger and especially fury, is not an emotion I’m very prone to. It’s the emotion I experience least often. It usually takes a lot to get me angry and even then it usually subsides quickly. But when I experience these headaches I would often become furious, aggressive (not against living beings though), i would have the urge to break and throw things, demolish buildings, scream and tear things to shreds. I wanted to hear and see, feel destruction, the way my body feels when it’s forced to endure such cruelty. I would be outraged at the pain. I wanted it to materialize before me so i can scream some more and rip it to pieces.

But a year ago, in June, I had one of these debilitating headaches at work and it devastated me. It frightened me. It disabled me. It almost destroyed me. I used to let them bring me to ruin. This can be a good thing. Fall to pieces so we can build our self up even stronger. And that’s what I did. This headache at work did not infuriate me like they do. I felt no anger, just pain, fear, love, compassion. The anger did not arise. And the one last night was the same. I waited for the fury, for the destruction, for the outrage. But none came. I felt fear so strong I could almost taste it.  There’s always that nagging fear “What if this one doesn’t end?” even though we know they eventually end. I felt love, compassion, hope, anxiety, optimism….but no anger.

This is a sign that i am evolving so well. They are so much easier to bear without the fury. Sometimes anger is good and can fuel us, give us a backbone. But the fury I have with these does not serve me well. It just seems to trap me. It’s like there’s no outlet for it. I can’t go screaming and destroying things, especially late at night. I always have the urge to run when I have these head attacks. But instead I sat down and focused on my breath. The most basic thing. I wrung my hands and keeled over. But I (gently) forced myself to stay focused. My own breath calmed me. I just breathed in & out, in & out, consciously. The pain throbbed away, at some points seeming to threaten my sanity. But i mustered up all the wisdom, courage, strength I know and just let it throb. I tried not to identify with the pain or even my own body. I told myself that “pain is arising in my\the body” instead of thinking “I’m hurt” or “i’m in pain” or “my head hurts.” It’s all the same concept and the reality may seem the same but our choice of words can really make a difference.

I took all my experience with meditation & mala recitation each day and applied it to my waking nightmare last night. I chose not to judge the pain. This isn’t bad. It just is. Just like I don’t judge my straying mind or bodily sensations or thoughts during meditation each day. They just are. And that is ok. Something can be bad but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing that it’s bad. Just let it be bad. 

I sat in meditation posture in a dark room, right hand lightly cupped in my left, thumbs gently touching, back straight, feet flat on the floor and i just breathed. Then I envisioned the Buddha before me surrounded in bright white light of wisdom, compassion, love and I breathed in that white light and breathed it out into the uni-verse. At first I kept gasping for breath because the pain was too much but eventually my breath calmed. And I stayed like that for a while. But even in the midst of so much horror and this technique helping me cope, I knew I want to not just help me but i have this strong desire to help others. Visualizing the Buddha was helping me greatly but that may not help everyone else in need. Not everyone is into Buddha. We don’t have to be Buddhists to benefit by his wisdom and follow his teachings or practice Buddhist techniques. But still, some aren’t interested in Buddhism. So I imagined Buddha fading away into his bright white light but the light remaining and I kept breathing.

It still helped me greatly. Whoever isn’t into Buddha can just imagine the white, sparkling light or imagine another religious figure in his place or a fictional character in a novel or movie or any person dead or alive. Any figure who stands for or symbolizes love, peace, strength, compassion, hope, fierceness….will do. Just breathe in the wisdom of that figure. And keep holding on. Very likely the pain will end even if not right now. And in the off chance that it doesn’t we can learn to live with it and live well. We have to detach and not judge or identify with the pain. It may take practice and some serious work and setbacks and relapses but it is possbible to live with whatever it is. Whatever the struggle is, we can endure it and survive it together. Whether it’s grief and loss, depression, anxiety, severe physical agony, chronic illness, addiction, sexual assault, an eating disorder, a devastating diagnosis, a breakup, a common cold, a bad day at work….no matter how seemingly serious or trivial the problem, we can do things to help it be better and to help others. We can live with it. Bringing light & love into the mix.

Last night I lived with pain that felt like I was being burned alive. (Being seriously burned  is way worse of an experience and can kill someone. My condition can’t kill me like being burned but it has to do with nerves and feels like a severe burn.) Pain that has at some points provoked me to scream for hours on end til my mouth tasted like blood and I had no more voice. Pain that has possessed me to crack my head against walls. Pain that has influenced me to contemplate ending my life just to make it stop even though I wasn’t depressed at all and was happy just seconds before it hit and shattered my world. After the first head attack finally ended I fell asleep while reading a book about gratitude, and was woken up by another one at 3:30am. I handled it similarly. My hands wrung, fear gripped me tightly, my face and head throbbed but I remained calm and stayed positive. After the headaches ended, I did not feel as traumatized as I usually do after they end. Today I can feel the aftermath but I’m very well. When the headaches do end, often the effects of it still rage inside or linger. It’s like after a heavy and wild storm ends but we can still see or feel the aftermath. Wires and trees knocked down, things thrown about, just a gray lingering. 

The only pain in this life I have felt worse than this is grief (and I have experienced some serious pain, depression, kidney stones, surgery…)when my pets die and when my close human friend, Diane, died, or when I hear of tragic things happening to others or see someone else suffering, human, insect, or animal. This pain is like the physical version of grief. But I feel that it’s more difficult to cope with than grief because it’s physical and demands immediate attention. It’s that same throbbing, unbelievable, unbearable, urgent, “claustrophobic” senation that is a component of grief. 

As soon as my head attack hit, I knew I would share my experience to potentially help, inspire, uplift, console, or even just entertain another. I want to bring hope to anyone suffering or in any kind of pain, whether it’s as bad as I was, not nearly as bad, or way worse. There’s always hope. Life is hope. Just breathe. Keep breathing.

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(i found this wall at 3rd street & girard avenue, here in Philadelphia! Thank you whoever is responsible for this deeply inspiring message! ❤)

When pain or anxiety or fear make it too difficult to keep our positivity, faith, philosophy,meditation or gratitude practice going, that is when we have to push even harder to keep it going strong. That’s when we have to be firm, be tenacious, stand strong against the winds and not be uprooted. This is when we can’t slack or stray. We have to keep going. It’s ok to fall, to scream, to cry, to sob, to relapse but keep getting back up and holding onto that positive philosophy even if the mood isn’t positive and we can’t right now feel it. Keep meditating, keep giving thanks, keep exercising, keep working, writing, running, keep searching for the beauty in the world…whatever it is we do that helps us, keep it up. Keep breathing. ❤😀

“She dropped the phone and burst into tears
The doctor just confirmed her fears
Her husband held it in and held her tight
Cancer don’t discriminate or care if you’re just 38
With three kids who need you in their lives
He said, ‘I know that you’re afraid and I am, too
But you’ll never be alone, I promise you’

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.”

I’m Gonna Love You Through It – Martina McBride – mobile

I’m Gonna Love You Through It – desktop

Much love & light to you, now & always. I’m wishing you the best, cheering you on, loving you through whatever it is and even if it’s nothing. If you are having a happy, pain-free day or life, I’m so happy! May you know inner-peace and joy, always. ❤😍😀

xoxo Kim ❤