The Fear of Starting Over

So many times in my life, since being aware of the effect Bipolar Disorder has on me, I have been scared to chase my dreams. I get this surge to push on, knowing the voice in the back of my mind is speaking to me about how silly I will look when I try to push past the hidden nightmare in my mind.

I was diagnosed at 11, but up until I was 23, I wasn’t aware of how much bipolar disorder impacted my life. I had a cycle of behaviors that would start out promising then end up becoming the shadow of hell I never thought I would experience.

Today, I finished my school enrollment to begin my journey to finally attaining my degree. I had thought I would have already done this, but it didn’t work in my life until recently. I have had my hands full with two kids and one of them being autistic and needing a bunch of support.

My feelings have been a mixture of worry, excitement and anxiety that I will somehow mess this up. For the first time in my life, I know exactly what I want to do, and I am excited to embrace the future and allow myself to be excited. I will be studying Neuropsychology.

Heart to Heart

I have been blessed, and I have been cursed. Life is a double edged sword.

In my life I have had the amazing experience of a strong, loyal and fiercely connected family. It has been a blessing unlike anything I could ever put into words.

But it’s also a curse to love so many people.

When you are capable of deep empathy, the more people you love, the more joy and pain you are destined to feel. I am not angry over my aunts death anymore, but I feel like I walk around with a whole in my heart and soul.

My family is my heart. My family is my world. When they leave this life, they take a piece of my heart with them because we are connected heart to heart.

I have experienced exponential loss in my 33 years, but they all hurt in a different way. I lost my cheerleader in Aunt Joanne. I lost my night owl who would comfort me when I couldn’t sleep in a 3 hour conversation about life and nothing specific.

I wouldn’t have been any better off if she died from any other cause besides the Coronavirus, but I would have had the chance to hug her and let myself be hugged by her one more time. The simple comforts of a hug can change a lot about how you experience the loss of someone you love.

Life doesn’t feel the same at all without her, but I know where she is and how much the Lord must enjoy her. I know we enjoyed her so much.

Rest In Peace. You gave me so many reasons to believe in me. 🙏 I love you

Deafening Defeat…

My anger quelled today. I realized a number of things that were flawed in my thought process about my aunt dying at the hands of the pandemic.

The magic that I believed in was tested and I feel like I partially failed at that test. Here’s what I learned.

Anger is Part of the Normal Grieving Process

My anger was bad, but it was part of my personal grieving process. Had I acknowledged that fact, I would have come out of it a lot faster.

When you lose someone you deem special, and they go so fast that you feel like you barely even had a moment to digest what was happening before the outcome, it is frustrating. I will always miss her laughter as well as the fun conversations we would have. This is hard to accept because I really enjoy her jovial personality and all the amazing times I have had with her. Knowing it won’t happen again, gives me a loss of control which is frustrating and enraging to me.

You Can Have Trust or Control…

I did a bible study a few weeks ago that had never left me. The Bible study devotional said:

“Nothing is going to happen without me being forewarned and prepared to face it.

The problem, however, is that trust and control do not coexist. You can have control or you can have trust, but you can’t have both.”

YouVersion Bible App

Reading this really opened my eyes to some truth I never realized. I have spent my life thinking I was trusting when truly I was forcing myself to be controlling of each situation in hopes I could navigate the outcome somehow. I am now making a conscious effort to be more trusting.

I have to tell you, choosing to trust is a more beautiful way to live. Living with trust over control is also one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do. I didn’t realize how much effort it is to change an adherent quality of myself until I started making an effort.

With all that being said, by honoring my journey to choosing trust over control, I have quelled the anger of my aunts passing by remembering that I have to trust that this was meant to happen.

Additionally, a conversation with my aunt B. opened my eyes to how being inquisitiveness doesn’t always serve us. Sometimes you have to accept the intricacies of human existence as it is because you cannot change the past. Why question what happened when it all worked out as it should? (But I suck at this because I need answers when frankly there aren’t always answers readily available.)

Love is The Beginning & Love is the End

The last thing that helped stop the angry and frustrated thinking was remembering that I loved aunt Joanne. I loved her like a mother figure, like someone who believed in me with fierce loyalty no matter what I did. I never felt as if I deserved that level of faith, but if she was capable of that for me, don’t I owe her my loving support in her departure?

Love begot the world, and love will be there in the end. She was loved and maybe she didn’t hear it enough, but at the end, we made sure she knew how loved she truly was. We comforted her with our voices while she laid in a coma, telling her how much she meant to us. I will never be able to thank God enough for that.

The pandemic is terrible. Many people are dying alone. It’s enraging and devastating, but please try to take a moment to pray that God is opening his gates to all these souls, even if they haven’t had the chance to come to Him before dying.

I could never believe anyone is unworthy of the love of our Lord, no matter what the Bible or religious leaders teach. The Jesus I have come to know is so full of love that there is no way he would leave even the worst of us to burn in some hell fire. That love from Jesus makes the anger within me feel less severe.

I didn’t intend on turning this post into a religious one, but when death, grief and loss are involved, it’s hard not to share faith and belief.

Today I am grateful I found a way to let go of my pain and anger. The feelings are still raw and the wounds deep, but I know that I can’t be angry forever. Thank you all for not judging me as I ranted about my disgust and rage yesterday. I am only imperfectly human and the shock crippled me.

Rest In Peace my sweet Aunt Joanne. You are loved everywhere you go and missed deeply. Your loss is not what I would have ever wanted, but I’m eternally grateful to have had you in my life, to have had your love, and your faith in me. Rest easy my angel. 🙏

If I Shall Die Before I Wake…

People are sick.

People are dying.

My family barely braced for the loss of my aunt Joanne, before she was gone faster than a speeding train.

I am feeling the pain, agony and desperation of loss in the air and it’s suffocating me. I feel like each death is leaving its mark on me.

Death is a part of life. I know that but why does someone have to die alone?

I just hate life today and I hate this whole fucking Covid situation. I have always had trouble doing this goodbye thing. My stomach is in knots, I can’t sleep because I loath nothing more than grief. I don’t do well in situations that are fast moving. It’s the one thing about faith I have struggled with.

Today I am struggling to understand why I am forced to say good bye to someone who is so special to me. It’s making my heart really heavy. I feel about as useless as I can feel. I hate feeling useless, and I hate saying good bye. So I won’t do it.

For you aunt Joanne, I say my final “oh Haaa.”

Rae’s Confession: The Book Almost Didn’t Happen?

“For many years, these worries ran the show. My team of inner critics ruled my life and kept me from writing this book for you.”

– Amber Rae “Choose Wonder Over Worry”

About “Confession: I Was Dying with my Gifts Still Inside”

Procrastination. The not-so-gentle nudge of the what-if’s. The thoughts of the world not accepting your words, therefore rejecting your biggest dream.

Does it sound familiar?

All these things that many of us experience everyday lay the ground work for this short chapter with Rae’s confession of how she almost didn’t create this life changing book.

This chapter really encouraged me because it showed me that someone with an incredibly huge gift for writing suffered from the same fears I have day after day as I try to aim for my dreams. No one is safe from the inner critic, but it isn’t about the critic, it’s about how you man handle the critic and push forward to be what you are meant to be regardless.

“The reason why rejection hurts..”

This chapter unlocks the fear of rejection that the author experienced because of being in her own way. This is a common fear of great people with great ideas.

As a child, my mom was constantly saying to me, “you don’t need approval from the world to be yourself,” or “stop sabotaging yourself before you have a chance to try.” My mom is a pusher. She never allowed me or my siblings to give up or stop trying to achieve our goals, because against all odds, she never stopped striving for her own. If you stated a goal to her, she pushed until you attained said goal.

As a kid, I hated when my mom did that. I actually thought it was super annoying and unhelpful. As an adult, she instilled this desire within me to meet my goals and be my own motivator in attaining them or evolving the goals.

When I became an unmovable ball of fear, suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, all her lessons felt lost inside my mind. I allowed myself to get in my own way. The worst part is that I didn’t notice I was doing this to myself. That is why this chapter brought me to a deeper understanding that even though I deeply needed this book, the author feared I wouldn’t think she was worthy being the authority of the words within it.

I’m glad she choose wonder, pushed past her anxiety, and created this book that changed my life in many wonderful ways.

If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, I highly encourage you to check it out.

I think that books that focus on anxiety and panic miss the important things that are happening behind the anxiety and panic. “Choose Wonder Over Worry,” hits every scenario till you figure out where you are struggling and why. It doesn’t take a doctor to unlock the healing power within ourselves, it only takes a will within us to recognize our difficulties and remedy them.

Another interesting part of this chapter is when Rae brings up the topic of comparison. She mentions how her friends are creating their books and bringing them into the world while she is still stuck in a loop of personal criticism.

I’d watch with envy as friends brought their books into the world. I’d be happy for them, of course. And, my soul would ache watching someone else accomplishing a dream that’s still swirling around inside of me.

– Amber Rae “Choose Wonder Over Worry”

In my own life, I have always wondered how some people are able to do these incredibly cool things while I sit back and wish I could do it. I compare myself to them and suddenly I feel completely insecure about who I am versus who they are. When you truly break it down, you can compare all you want, but there is no comparison. We are all completely different, we all have 50 ways to say the same thing, but we are not always understood the same way.

For example, I used to do computer sales for a big office supply company. If one of my coworkers was working with a customer and the sale wasn’t going well, they would come find me or another coworker to help. This is because the whole point was to achieve the goal of a sale. There was no personal commissions, so the only important thing was to make sure the customer left with a computer and protection plan. Even though my coworkers all said the same thing, why is it that only one of us achieved the sale?

The simple answer is the way the information was presented. If sales person A didn’t have the tone of voice, the demeanor, or the right arrangement of words that catered to the customer, they weren’t going to buy.

It’s not a comparison, it’s the way it is! We might really like someone but they just don’t mesh well with our own comfort seeking needs. We might really enjoy talking to someone but perhaps we won’t buy from them because we don’t feel that the person is making a strong case. The main thing is that we all have a way of expression that works with some and not with others. Another great example is multi-level marketing, where some do amazing and others are lucky to make one sale.

Comparing won’t change the outcome. What you do is just a small part of the whole picture and this chapter really unlocks that within me.

Next chapter is “The Choice: Moving From Worry to Wonder.” Get the book and lets keep analyzing. 😁

Choosing Wonder

Choosing Wonder IS the easiest choice. Wonder expresses how much you value the feelings of anxiety and how badly you want to heal those feelings. Amber Rae offers some amazing advice in her authentic book, “Choose Wonder over Worry.”

I have read and continue to read this incredible book I found by chance called, “Choose Wonder Over Worry,” by Amber Rae. Let me say, I give this book 10 out of 5 stars because 5 just doesn’t seem like enough.

I have been through a lot in my life and I don’t remember experiencing noteworthy anxiety until I was in my early 20’s. Now, after years of suffering, reading blogs, forums, medical journals, books, anything that would help me understand and overcome this intense fear I had inside, I found this book.

This book was the first thing that truly resonated with me and it’s taken me so long to write this blog because I couldn’t think of the right words to express to everyone of how invaluable this book became in my healing journey.

If you haven’t read the book, click here to buy it. Truly the author, Amber Rae, speaks from experience.

While I read this book, I have become obsessed with highlighting the best parts. When I finished reading, I had highlighted nearly the whole book. Every chapter fulfills the lessons I need in order to be the best me and offer my best self everyday to everyone.

She adds journal posts to the end of almost every chapter called, “Journal Into Wonder.” I am going to write posts journaling my entries so I can find my awesome fellow “wonder writers” who want to share in this healing journey together.

The First Journal Entry

Again, grab the book here if you want to join in this fun series!

“The answers are already within you. You’ll find journal prompts throughout the book to connect you with your inner knowing and voice of truth. Begin with this inquiry:”

What is your relationship like with Worry? With Wonder?

– Amber Rae “Wonder Over Worry”

My Relationship with Worry

I connected with Worry when I was in my early 20’s right after my son was born. I had always had a little cautious voice inside telling me to be careful, make smart choices, and I was not great at listening to it. The worrying really began when I was responsible for another human life with the birth of my first child.

Suddenly the world was more dangerous, the emotional roller coasters were more harmful, and I was all around terrified about how all this would affect the wellbeing of this tiny human that was entrusted to me. I started having anxiety attacks when he was about 6 months old, and soon after, I developed panic attacks and phobias of driving and being alone. My relationship with Worry became a 10+ year quest to balancing my internal fear with the reality and faith of being alive.

My Relationship with Wonder

Wonder was never easy for me to comprehend, even though I have a naturally curious personality. I considered myself to be a logistical person, everything had to make sense in a realistic way.

The concept of wonder is fairly new to me still. Prior to reading this book, I would allow myself to get anxious when I was feeling anxious. Now, I think about the meaning behind the anxiety and try to be patient with myself throughout the observation and consideration of what is going on to cause the anxiety.

I would say wonder has opened my mind to exploring what hides beneath the anxiety, the fear, the phobias to discover how to heal myself.

I encourage you again to grab this book and get involved in this impromptu conversation digging into Wonder and Worry. If you are suffering from Panic attacks or anxiety attacks, I know you will appreciate the work of Amber Rae.

I suspect you’re reading this because there are aspects of yourself that you want to discover and express. I wrote this book to coax that out of you. To show what’s possible when wonder leads the way.

“Choose Wonder Over Worry” by Amber Rae

How To Love Someone Unconditionally

I have heard the advice on the topic of lasting love from happily married couples repeating itself in my mind.

The secret to lasting love is learning to love someone unconditionally.

Sounds so easy right? Unfortunately, I have never had a basic knowledge for what it means or what it takes to love someone unconditionally (besides my parents, family, and children). I have had a great example, but no personal experience. Therefore in this post I want to share what I learned on my quest to understanding unconditional love, what it means to me, and how I plan to implement it in my life with a lover, and with myself. My blog posts on understanding love will likely turn into a series due to the complexity of the emotion.

The Definitions in Simple English

When I start researching a topic, the first step I take is to define the variables, then I research what each variable means and what it represents. I am a programmer so that is the process I take in writing code or understanding life. The variables in this post are the words, “unconditional” and “love”.

I need to understand what they mean on their own, as separate entities. The thing I love, and loath, about the English language are the varying degrees of uncertainty in defining things. Every definition leaves so much room for interpretation.

I’m going to start with unconditional.

According to the dictionary, unconditional is:

not subject to any conditions, absolute.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/unconditional

The thesaurus offers similes that include:

decisive, definite, explicit, full, genuine, outright, thorough, unequivocal, unlimited, unqualified, and unrestricted (among many more).

https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/unconditional

What I got from this is that unconditional is essentially a sure thing, unbreakable, and completely unlimited.

Now for defining love, which is not as easy. Love has so many thousands of definitions, depending on context, which makes it harder to define. Let me start with the dictionary. According to the dictionary, love means:

a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/love

Due to my religious beliefs, here’s what the Bible says about Love:

“There are three things that amaze me—no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.”

Proverbs 30:18-19

“Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”

Ruth 1:16-17

“Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ … So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”

Genesis 2:18–25

Let’s examine briefly, the difference between being in love with someone and loving someone wholly.

Love or In Love?

On my quest to understanding unconditional love, I learned of the differences between being in love and loving someone. I didn’t know there was a difference and more so, I had no idea that there was actually more to “love” then just the electricity of a connection or the building of a relationship.

Being “in love” is a like a cosmic explosion. It comes on passionately, madly even, and consumes your thoughts, revs up your emotions, and develops strong surface level feelings that are fleeting. To be in love is what many define as having acute feelings. These feelings aren’t lasting, but they have the capacity to turn into something great if both parties work at it and except each other at face value.

Being in love with someone can fade over time. With this in mind, when you’re in love with someone, this spike of intense feelings and emotions can be fleeting. In other words, you can go from intensely adoring someone and being hopelessly in love with him or her to having these emotions diminish as time passes on and the novelty has worn off. In fact, being in love with someone isn’t a guarantee that you’ll feel this same way forever.

https://www.mydomaine.com/whats-the-difference-between-being-in-love-and-love-3976739

Loving someone is sustainable. To love someone, you are pledging to weather the storms together. Loving someone is what is needed to have a partner for life. Loving someone is unconditional, and leads to the creation of strong families. To love someone, you risk the arguments about real life topics to see reveal if you have a lasting connection. Loving someone is unconditional.

Loving someone on the other hand, goes beyond the physical presence. You desire to see them grow, you see past their flaws, you see opportunities of building into each other and together; you motivate, encourage and inspire one another. You do not have to second-guess or ask before you step in to do so. Loving someone requires 100 percent commitment on your part. The concept of true love is hard to comprehend by some. Hence, they get the wrong impression when dating someone who completely gets it. They cannot seem to understand why they deserve the love you are giving. This may make the relationship feel like it is one-sided.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/falling-in-love-vs-loving-someone_b_57709758e4b0fa01a14049fa

Now that I know what love and unconditional mean by definition of the English language, and what it means to be in love or love someone, I’m going to deduce my understanding and make some assumptions.

Simple Addition & Subtraction

Unconditional says definitively that it is absolute. It is forever and has no conditions that must be met. Unconditional is unrestricted, unlimited, undisputed by rules and “should be’s”.

Then love is affection, tenderness and warmth that deeply connects two people. Love is a union of a relationship. Love is the simplest of thing, but yet the most important emotional need of all humans. Many emotions seem to stem from love and therefore love is the goal in emotional contentment. This goes for all relationships in life.

My way of defining unconditional love is that it is an affection that is given unselfishly, without burden, and represents loyalty, compassion, trust, communication and the promise of always being there. Unconditional love is the kind of love that can withstand any storm knowing it can’t shake or rattle the connection or the desire to be connected to each other. Unconditional love is loving someone wholeheartedly and excepting that the person is imperfectly human.

Love is not just a word. Love is truly hard to understand and when we experience deep feelings that we know will flee, we know we have fallen in love and what we do next determines if the love is forever or not.

Now that I know the secret to lasting love, I want to know how to ensure it doesn’t disappear or fade with time. My next post on this topic will focus on how to keep love alive. I want to know how to keep choosing love or walking away when life gets hard. Love, in my experience, is very fragile. If you don’t find new ways to love before you walk, it will disconnect you from the person you love. The results are miserable, depression-driven heartache.

I would love to hear what you think about the topic of unconditional love. Share what you have learned or links that you found helpful. I love learning about emotions and how I can be my best version always.

Strength is a Curse

Where do the Strong People Go to Fall Apart? Where do I lean when my whole entire life is ripping at the seams? Where do I cry? How do I cry? How do I feel joy? Where is the joy in the world when everyone leans on you?

I’m falling down, but no one sees me, no one notices it. They all believe my strength will save me. This time I don’t know what to do, who to turn to, who to talk to, what to feel or even what to think. My insides are hurting, my whole body is drained from fighting off the anger, the pain and the stress of everyone else around me. I’m so tired.

Being strong is a curse. It’s a curse because you know you have to be the leader, the one who has to break themselves in half to help the people who can’t see that you are doing them a favor.

Being strong means you have to be capable of handling heartache and sadness in a raw and miserable way. You have to hear how you are an asshole for hurting someone when you are trying to help someone be the best version of themselves while also trying to give them the best version of you.

Being strong means you have to be comfortable being alone in your pain because no one will be able to handle the pain you carry. Even if you just lean on them slightly, you will crush a person who isn’t meant to carry the load you are meant to carry.

Being strong means you have to shovel shit, while shoveling more shit and then keep shoveling even when your arms are begging for a break.

Being strong means you have to cry to yourself because your break down is more comparable to an atomic bomb exploding and wrecking everything in its path.

Being strong means giving others your positive energy even when you need it. This is because just some of your strength can move mountains for those with less strength.

Being strong means you will attract people who are weaker because they need you and believe in you.

Being strong is a curse. It’s a curse I would gladly walk away from and happily find a strong person to lean on.

I’m exhausted, bleeding inside, breaking at the seams and ready to escape this hell or being a strong person. I don’t want this curse, I don’t want to break my own heart to feel like I’m doing the right thing.

The worst part is that the strongest people I know die young. They die from trying to be too strong for too long. I have to hope for a different outcome. I hope my Lord is watching my back as I struggle to find good in a world that has crushed me and devastated me over and over and over again.

The Fragile State of Frustration

In life, I have made these choices that I knew would probably end up bad at the time I made them, but I forged forward ignoring the clear signs. Maybe my hope in humanity is much greater than it should be, but I can’t stop believing that people are more good than bad.

I was taught by my amazing parents to treat others the way you want to be treated. I struggled for a long time with this lesson, and I even lied to myself that I was doing it, when I wasn’t in many cases. I know lately, I have been making an amazing effort to be good to those who are good to me and that is a beautiful transformation.

The Frustration About My Recent Choices

Lately, I have made an insane amount of good and bad choices in regards to my happiness and who I surround myself with.

The best choice I have made lately is my choice in a lover. My sweet, handsome spark of goodness who makes everything positive, even when it seems impossible.

The worst choices I have made, as of recently, was letting an old friend tear me apart again, believing she was actually a good person who was capable of love and compassion. Then I made the bad choice of believing (and having faith) that my ex was capable of being a decent human being when clearly he isn’t, and never will be. Both of these people do not have boundaries and would benefit from learning how to give as much as they take, and now I know that they are not good for me. It hurts a lot to let them both go again, but at least I stayed true, and authentic to myself throughout the situations that were meant to destroy my self confidence. I gave them both a chance in hopes that there was more to the story then the pain and destruction they continuously bring into my life.

I’m moving forward now

Someone once said to me:

When someone shows you who they really are, believe them.

From now on, I am no longer going to waste my time, energy and loyalty on people who don’t wish to exchange energy in a healthy way. I have an amazing amount of love in my life because I surround myself with good, decent, positive people who do not believe in harming me for fun or shoving their feelings down my throat as though I have no feelings to feel myself.

I want to blame my need to salvage bad relationships and selfish people from their personal torments on my own empathy, but truly I just care so much and have so much compassion for others that I give my heart and soul to everything and, sometimes, I never get the same respect in return.

In fact, I got told that I am abusive, and narcissistic because I wrote an honest post about my own feelings on a situation that hurt me. The post, entitled, “Speaking to the Wall with Thorns,” was my lament for how I felt after being hurt by someone for the millionth time. It was a healing post for me.

Although I never mentioned any names in my post, it was stated that the person who was the subject of the post was hurt by it. Due to this fact, it gave this person the right to emotionally abuse me even when I stopped fighting and defending myself through a text message war that came out of nowhere.

No!

Abuse is when you continue to come at someone with physically, emotionally, and mentally damaging intentions because you either derive joy from hurting someone else or you feel that you’re feelings or thoughts are more valid then the other persons.

I am not that kind of person. I don’t derive pleasure from hurting others nor do I want to invalidate another persons feelings to justify my own. I don’t need someone to validate my feelings and I don’t need to righteously justify myself in anyway. My intentions are always to love and appreciate others. I may have a hard time sometimes, but I always pull through to love and appreciate others.

The Good Choices Shine Brightest

When I finally reached my limit of drama with my recent choices, I had a momentary break down this morning. I looked up and my best choice was meeting my teary eyed glance with sympathy. He cared about my hurt, my pain, and it wasn’t a half hearted care, it was a truly devoted, truly sincere care for my wellbeing. He looked at me like he would do anything to see me smile through the pain he witnessed me experiencing these past few days.

That amazing choice in my seemingly messy, and chaotic life is a great man. I feel sometimes that I don’t deserve him at all! He is a truly awesome person who will do whatever he can to make me smile through the pain or hold me while I cry it out.

He saw me down and gave me chocolate ♥️🙏

In return, I feel the same way! I never want to see him in pain and I am beyond grateful to have his loving embrace when the overwhelming burden of over-loving and over-caring for ungrateful and harmful people is too great for me. This is an exchange of good energy with someone capable of giving and receiving energy in a healthy way.

Note to Self From The Pain to The Gain

Note to self moving forward from this horrible storm in my life right now, I am worthy of respect and love from those who I invite into my life. I will not ever be held down by my past or treated unkindly to justify someone else’s feelings or stressors. Compassion and ability to care for someone even when you don’t always agree, is a must in my choice of who will stay in my life from this moment on.

I try to remember, we are all stressed and we all have feelings, but no ones feelings and stressors are more important or more valid than another person’s feelings or stressors.

Literally, No one is more important than another.

It does not make me narcissistic or selfish if I miss a message, or don’t always have time to listen one time to someone I care for (especially when it is rare that I can’t find time for everyone I love). If I am working a million hours to care for two special needs kids, or have a lot on my plate in general, I don’t need to justify that to someone who’s intentions are to harm me regardless. In addition, every single person has narcissistic traits, but if you believe someone is narcissistic because they are doing the best they can to get by, then is it really worth it to try to hurt them? No!

No more!

I will not have friends or people in my life who want to be passive-aggressive, or flat out aggressive, and hurt me even when I say, “I’m sorry,” for something I don’t fully believe I should be sorry for.

The sad reality I am beginning to see is that there are people who don’t want an apology. Sorry is just the beginning of your efforts to make them happy, then they want your undivided attention whenever they ask for it, and all of your time should be theirs if they ask for it also. This kind of relationship or friendship is too much of a burden for me. I don’t need this drama in my life. I choose to send these people away with love and leave it alone.

I am happy with who I have become and I had a momentary breakdown when I looked at my recent choices and realized that these two people have made me question if I really changed or not. If someone makes me question my kindness, my unconditional love for others, or my sanity, they aren’t good for me.

It’s hard for me to accept defeat, but I am not going to fight for someone else’s respect, love or loyalty anymore.

You showed me who you are, and I choose to believe you and send you away with love and hope you find happiness in this life. ♥️🙏

Speaking to the Wall with Thorns: Good Bye Ex-Best-Friend

Relationships have always been a struggle for me. I always used to care about the wrong people and I never knew how to set boundaries. I would do things I didn’t realize I was doing and, in the past, I always ended up losing someone close. I didn’t know then that I had codependency issues that were ruining my relationships. Last year, I learned all about boundaries and, since then, I have put them into most of my relationships, finding that there were some exceptions to the boundary rules; namely best friends, significant others and children. Recently, someone I cared for a lot, someone I let inside my boundaries, left me heartbroken. While this blog isn’t about boundaries, I want to share this story to both say good-bye and move on. Here’s what happened …

The aftermath of being hurt so badly by someone I thought was be a “good” friend…

I got hurt (again) by someone who I thought was my “best” friend. Kind of cliche but I shared my whole life with her, spoke to her daily (sometimes more than once) and listened when she needed me to and thought she was doing the same for me.  I was there and thought she was too.  I thought it was the picture perfect friendship dynamic even though I would think to myself sometimes that talking to her was like talking to a wall with thorns.

Then I woke up a few days ago, texted her (like I did every morning), and that’s when I realized she blocked me from contacting her at all. I didn’t have a single warning or reason that this was coming, except that I had a feeling she was pulling away (which I told myself was me being paranoid she would never do that to me!).  No there was not a fight to end our friendship.  We were so close and I don’t even remember having an actual fight during our friendship, other than a disagreement about politics or something less important than what our friendship meant to me.

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We did a lot of stuff together. Hung all the time, talked for hours on the phone, laughed a lot, loved most of the same music, and bought each other some happiness with our hilarious morning GIF/text exchanges.  She was like an aunt to my kids because she was like a sister to me.  I even shared with her my most intimate relationship and personal struggles in life.  I told her things I would never tell another human. In addition, I drove her 6 hours out of the way to see someone she wanted to see, even though the person we drove to see only spent 5 minutes with her.  I didn’t care because it was important to her and she was important to me.

She was the kind of friend who showed up, listened to me complain about my relationship woes, my children or life in general.  She seemed to always have some decent advice even if I wasn’t always receptive to it.  She called me out on my bullshit and most of the time I laughed and said, “whoops I lied,” (yes I am imperfect).  But she got me, or at least I thought she did.

I tried to be understanding because I knew her life wasn’t easy.  She is alone and doesn’t know what a healthy relationship with anyone looks like.  She runs when anyone tries to care about her or get close, and runs even faster if you criticize her choices or motives.  Mostly she ran because she didn’t get her way. But a “good” friend doesn’t leave for any reason and I stayed even when I didn’t agree with her choices or actions.

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After realizing I was blocked, I called and left a message.  I was, of course, devastated by the revelation that instead of telling me something was wrong, she chose the route of blocking me everywhere from contacting her. I told her in the voicemail (I don’t remember my exact words) to NOT come back and try to fix this relationship because it obviously doesn’t work. There really is no point in missing someone who doesn’t care about you.

Twenty-four hours after blocking me, she tried to text me (from an app or something because she feels the need to keep me blocked) and I considered reading it.  I thought about it a lot in fact, then I opened my phone and immediately erased it.  I don’t want to have a bitter end to a good friendship. In my opinion, we had a special friendship and I didn’t want to be angry or hurt.  I have lots of people whom I am blessed to have in my life and I don’t need someone who is going to up and leave regardless of the reason.  I was grateful I took some time to grieve the loss for a bit so I could write this blog about my feelings and let it go.

But I finally read the text when I opened my Mac and it didn’t erase (curiosity got the best of me plus I was ready to get upset if need be surrounded by friends at home). Instead I got more nothing ….

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This is super childish, don’t do this to someone you claim to love. Talk to them about an issue before dipping out.

This isn’t the first time she let me down.  In fact, I blamed and judged myself so harshly every time she hurt me in the past.  I didn’t feel it as strong as I do right now because I always knew we would work it out.  This time, I have decided that the days of reconciliation are over because I am so badly hurt this time. That being said I will never feel regret or hate toward her, she can’t help being this way. Honestly if I did, she’s so cold she wouldn’t care. I pride myself on being a forgiving person and I thank my parent’s for raising me to be a loving and kind person in that sense, but I am not a masochist.  I have to look at all the blessings in my life and know when to be done with the things that hurt. Some people need to have masochistic friends so they can hurt then as much as they want without worrying about losing them.  I just can’t be that person.

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Friendships and relationships in general depend on communication and not flakiness and judgement. Every single person in the world does something you don’t or won’t like, it is up to you to say, “this is bothering me and it is a deal breaker if it keeps happening.”  Lately, I have been complaining a lot about stressful situations in my life, venting to her about it, but she said nothing about it being a problem. She just ghosted me.

Since I live with Bipolar type 2 and generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks, my sensor isn’t always working to tell me that someone isn’t good for me.  Sometimes I completely miss the signs or I notice and ignore them in hopes that I can find something special where I wasn’t looking, or perhaps, shouldn’t be looking. But just like every general rule in life (follow your gut being the rule), it never works to break the rules. I am going to start trusting my gut and not going against it anymore. I will continue on my journey of self improvement and life will fall into place again.

I know since she has her own issues, she hurts and devastates people a lot, pulling them in and out of her life as if they are toys to be used at her disposal. I have seen her do it to unsuspecting people throughout our own friendship, I just never thought she would do it to me again. The reality is that eventually everyone figures out they are being used or judged or thrown away at a whim. I am trying so hard to give the whole situation some logic because that is how my brain deals with a trauma, but the only logic I see (in my own opinion) is that she is unwilling to give people the chance to be imperfect and that is not something anyone can live up to.

In writing this blog, I am finally letting go of my pain and feeling some hope for my future relationships.  Here is my good bye letter to her (written for me to let go):

Dear ex-best-friend,

Thank you for the valuable lessons you have taught me about relationships, myself and in general. I now understand that I don’t have to feel pain remembering you. I am grateful for the good times and will never regret our friendship.  I know that you are a good person and you hide a lot of yourself from the world, as you did from me.  I know that you have a heart of gold and an amazing ability to listen.  I know how beautiful and wonderful you are and I hope you do too.  Even though our friendship didn’t meet your expectations, I hope that you find a friend who does.  You deserve love and friendship with someone who can be there for you in all the ways I couldn’t be because I know that you have a lot to offer people.

Do not sell yourself short in life, it’s okay to have bad days, just try to be aware if there are too many that something might be wrong. Don’t depend too much on your mom’s opinion because you have one too and it’s okay to trust it especially since you are a lot stronger than you know.  Let someone have room in your heart without any expectations or judgements because love is beautiful even when it is hard at times and almost impossible at other times. Offer forgiveness when someone wrongs you or makes a mistake that seems big because you may end up losing someone important.  Life is too short to hold onto negativity and pain when you could be open and free.  Make sure to eat more than just TV dinners or junk food on a regular basis because they aren’t good for you and don’t drink too many energy drinks so you don’t get sick again.

Fight for yourself, go to therapy so you don’t self-sabatoge and isolate because it is dangerous for many reasons (that you know) and I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.  Walk outside of your comfort zone whenever possible so you can experience something worth remembering.  Being alone isn’t something you can look back on and smile. Travel. Write. You are an amazing writer with a gift that no one can take from you. I will try to follow your blog so I can read your work if you let me. Keep being honest because you are the most honest person I know.

Take deep breaths when life gets hard, feel the emotions even when you don’t like them, give everyone a chance to be a part of your life because in the sea of silver you will find gold. As my mom always told me, “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime,” let my reason and season mean something more than just a painful memory. If you choose not to take my advice, that’s okay, I know you will eventually figure out what works best for you.

I will always care even if I can’t keep getting hurt. Our friendship never seems to work because we are too different and I can’t be constantly pushed away, but I will always send positivity and love your way and I hope you will feel it from a distance. Don’t judge too harshly what you don’t fully understand because we all wear our hearts on our sleeves in hopes that someone will accept and love us. I am no different and neither are you.  Despite my tough exterior, I am a soft person who hurts deeply and feels deeply. What you did hurt me deeply, but I will be okay. I will keep working toward my goals and making huge strides in my journey to self betterment. I hope you will do the same.

Be safe with yourself and your choices. I truly hope you will find whatever you are looking for in life, even if you never read this letter, it is always here for you. I am mad at you now, but this too shall pass. Best of luck in life.

Sincerely,

Niki