I. It’s been a while because, year-end and month-end and I have been dancing between yellow and red on this infographic.
I keep having to remind myself that this isn’t *just a me thing*. This is *a we thing*. I’m not alone. Neither are you. It’s okay to not be okay.
Oh hey, Darling Human. It’s okay to not be okay.
II. Pretending we’re okay when we’re not okay actually makes things much, much worse. There is something to be said for ‘faking it until you make it’, sure, but that can’t be all we’re doing. We have to give ourselves time to be with ourselves in what is true for us. It’s a cha-cha, I think. Dance in, dance out.
III. My therapist thinks I’m somewhere between depressed and dissociated, and that’s okay. However I am is how I am right now. Dissociated and depressed is a perfectly reasonable response to *waves at all of this*. Reminding myself of this helps me shrug it off and do what needs doing to keep body and soul together.
IV. And yet, mostly, I am okay. I’m eating semi-regularly. I’m toting around a massive bottle of water and sipping from it all day every day. I’m making art. I’m sending newsletters. I’m meeting deadlines. I attend my therapy sessions. I go to bed when I’m tired. I get up when I’m ready. I take calculated risks, like having distanced fires at Kimi’s, like having Lee over for T.V. marathons, like getting a 2.5 hour deep tissue massage for the first time since January 2020 because my body is *broken* from all this stress.
V. Focusing as much as I can on the little things that are working. Journal Jams. Live painting sessions with my art witches. Coffee over Zoom with my nears and dears. This week, I brushed off my journal and started writing in it again. I resumed the daily tarot draw. (2 of Cups today, and I know what it’s about. #cryptogram). I’ve stopped sending letters into the void. I pour libations and light candles and say prayers instead. I buy every virtual concert that comes into my awareness. Marianas Trench. Billie Eilish. Rufus Wainwright. LP. Patty Griffin. I snuggle in with the dogs for naps. I’m opting for The West Wing over true crime or anything that might shred my nervous system. I’m taking in less news. I check this website once per day, and I watch The National every second day or so. I’ve cut way down on ordering in because Door Dash can’t get my address right and standing on the corner in my nightgown trying to wave down a delivery driver was making me very, very fucking cranky. I add a lot of heat and serve stuff to my grocery orders. I eat lasagna for days. Or cabbage rolls. Or shepherd’s pie. Anything comforting, including Ramen. I do the dishes in stages. I ignore the dust bunnies.
We do what we can.
Speaking of doing what I can, I painted this for The Darling Human Art Journaling Program, which is wrapping up in December. It’s being released as a standalone self-guided e-course, which you can sign up for here.
VI. Can I just remind us all here that we are allowed to feel sorry for ourselves when things fucking suck? Because I’m really irritated by toxic positivity right now. Looking on the bright side is all fine and good for some, but it feels like a spiritual bypass to me to ignore *waves at all of this* and declare the rightness and goodness of all things. I think this is how we got here in the first place. Ignoring all that’s wrong. Sweeping it under the rug. Denial. Sucking it up. Shoving it down.
I think what we’re seeing play out on a global level is a massive explosion of shadow.
Let’s acknowledge it, confront it, name it, and clear it.
Who’s with me? *Links Pinkies*
VII. Journal Jam #23 was really healing. You can watch the replay here.
VIII. I’m not over any of it, and I have people who have had this kind of grief who tell me I will probably never be ‘over it’. I believe them. that seems right to me. Some losses change us forever. They take root in us, like thorns in our sides, and we learn how to live with that, like an amputated limb.
I’m learning to live with that.
IX. It hurts because it mattered.
X. My heart is not a home for cowards. ~ d antoinette foy