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Behind those Walls She Stands

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Recovery work is difficult, there is no doubt.

My struggles and challenges find their way into my works just as often as the triumphs and successes do.

It has been a process.

A journey.

And I have shared it.

Not all of it. But some of it.

I share because I know others must be breaking down their own walls.

I know they are.

And perhaps my story can be of inspiration as they work to break those walls down.

And it is true.

Sharing my story has proved to be valuable to others.

And valuable to myself.

I know there are family, friends, and readers who believe in what I am doing.

They believe in me.

For that I am grateful.

And now I find myself in a strange position.

I have broken down the walls.

I am no longer trapped in.

But I found a startling surprise.

I am now face to face with the girl who built those walls.

She is brilliant. She is hostile and angry. She has a quick whit and a foul mouth. She is 15. She is me.

She did the best she could to overcome all that she was face with.

She was assaulted and raped when she turned 14.

Not long after, she attempted suicide.

She was tired of feeling dead inside.

She smoke pot and stole cigarettes.

She ground her teeth and clenched her fists.

She was overwhelmed with fear and anxiety that something awful would happen because she didn’t prevent it from happening.

Awful things did happen.

People she loved continued to get hurt.

She continued to carry more than she should.

Eventually, she found safe haven in the arms of another.

She loved deeply and gave everything.

She cherished this sense of security.

She found confidence in working.

She found ways to show the world that she was okay, maybe, after all.

She built those walls.

Those walls I just tore down.

She is on the other side of the ruin.

Frightened and confused.

And what can I do?

I broke down the palace she created.

I cannot apologize.

I have to hear her out.

To hear all that she has to say.

With all the hostility and rage and four letter words.

I have to hear her out.

Even though I am scared of what she has to say.

I have to hear her out.

After all, if I don’t, who else will?

(Trying to) Navigate Stress in New Ways

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(Trying to) Navigate Stress in New Ways

Stress and I have an unhealthy relationship. It’s kind of a co-dependent relationship. I tend to respond to stress with compulsive behaviors.

Yesterday I put my husband in the hospital and today he might have surgery. It’s only his tonsils… but still, I feel the familiar stress of any set of crisis and unknown outcomes.

Without working a 9-5 job, I am not entirely sure how to spend my time. In fact, I am almost certain that working on any of my projects would not be a healthy option right now. For me, work as an escape is a habit. A bad habit. Using work to escape from the stress of any current state of being is essentially the same as using a chemical substance. And of all the things in my mind, work, play, rest, sleep, spazz-out, be grateful, write, draw, do dishes, walk…the one thing I can confidently know NOT to do RIGHT NOW is to have a drink. So, it would make sense not to engage in any other addictive behaviors, right?

This is day three of being in a stress response mode. And I feel like I’ve done remarkably well up to this point. Prioritizing, eating well, meditating, sharing, sleeping, I even went to yoga last night. And yet it is like speaking a foreign language. It takes great effort and sometimes feels like I’m doing it all wrong.

I think the key here is to remember the choices we have. I don’t know anything more than I did 10 minutes ago in regards to my husband’s condition. However I choose to use this limbo time, it is up to me to make choices that nourish me, reduce stress, and enhance my sense of well-being. Because acting like I’m trying to fix the situation certainly doesn’t fix it.

Interesting… the things we can learn when we are mindful of the situation at hand.

My Politics of Peace

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My Politics of Peace

Words, 

They are where my power resides.

They give a voice to my consciousness.

They are what I share with the world.

They are my weapon of choice,

My mode of resistance.

With words, I share the truths of my own.

As I write, my mind and heart unite

And they know my cause.

As many lose faith in the system of our country, 

I lost that faith long ago.

My choice is to not engage

Not to mobilize against the state.

Not to persuade the courts.

My heart is heavy with the thought

That I have privileges that others do not.

But do not think me apathetic.

Do not think I do not care.

For my choice to not align,

Is in itself a political move.

I continue on, to share my stories, my struggles, my triumphs.

I continue on, to embrace the world I love.

I continue on, engaged in art, in nature, in words.

My fight is here,

Inside.

To find peace.

To embrace joy.

To engage love.

To heal my soul.

To take steps everyday

To create

A change 

In my world.