Hello, Interwebs. It’s been a while, yes? I am not here to apologize for that, though.
I’m here to declare that I am surfacing. Let me explain.
If you’ve followed me on the socials or taken classes with me for any length of time, you’re aware that the last few years have not been kind to me. I’m not going to go into detail here because I’ve already written more than enough about that but the very abridged, listicle form of this looks something like:
- The end of my marriage and all that entailed (five years of push pull, continued emotional abuse, and protracted grief)
- The death of my father
- The diagnosis of one of my children with a devastating mental illness
- An ill-advised move that led, after a soul crushing six months of living with an unmedicated schizophrenic, to my taking refuge in a friend’s basement until I found a place to land
- A move from one city to another in the middle of a global pandemic
- The “shedding years” wherein I realized that many of my most cherished relationships were actually shituationships*
- Being diagnosed with C-PTSD & narcissistic abuse syndrome
- An absolutely devastating break up
- Lack of support around said break up that led to my shedding yet more shituationships
- The worst and most long lasting depression I’ve ever experienced which led to a terrible case of executive dysfunction
- Tax troubles due to the executive dysfunction (which are currently being sorted out)
- The death a beloved friend, which happened after a massive rupture in our relationship so I didn’t get to say goodbye
- Isolation due to the depression
- Jan 6th, the war in Ukraine, the continuing pandemic
- COVID hit me in April of 2022 and the brain fog continues
- A troubled relationship with alcohol (ongoing)
- More shedding of shituationships
- Hitting the motherlode (literally) in therapy
There were good things, too. They can be abridged like so:
- Continued to keep my body and soul together
- Refined and redefined my little empire so it served me better
- Created and taught Moonshine for going on six years
- Developed Journal52, Journal Jam, Prayers To The Moon, and multiple year long programs for Patreon
- Built my Patreon up to triple digits (I hover there around 180 patrons!)
- Dedicated myself to a creative spiritual practice that helped sustained me
- Stayed in therapy despite it being one of the most searingly painful endeavors of my life
- Called out one of my abusers and held him to account for what he’d done
- Ruptured repairs with my children
- Retired Book Of Days in favor of programs that better suit my mystical nature
And in and amongst all of that, I managed, somehow, to keep all my commitments to the collaboratives I contracted to teach in AND was on time 98% with the programs I run for my network of Wilderlovelies.
In other words, I’m still here.
I called this post “surfacing” because it perfectly expresses how it feels to be me right now at this point in my life. I haven’t quite broken the surface yet, but I can see that gorgeous, wavering circle of light above me. I am still tired, still suffering with what I think might be long COVID (heart palpitations, fatigue, brain fog, weird brain zaps), still forever trying to claw my house back out of the chaos that it became while I was in the throes of depression. I’m still unsure where I’m going. I’m still anxious a lot of the time. I’m still afraid a lot of the time.
But I don’t wake up crying anymore. I don’t have to fight the ideation demon, if you know what I mean. I don’t lose it over spilled coffee or forgetting the laundry ’till it mildews (an all too frequent occurrence) or a typo or broken link in one of my offerings. I don’t feel like I’m going to vibrate myself right out of my skin every second of every day. I want to live.
I want to live. And that’s progress. So I’ll take it.
I’m telling you this for a few reasons.
The first is that I want you to know that the person you see on the socials is fighting battles they may share parts of, but you really *cannot know* what is truly going on behind the screen.
The second is that, once again, your presence has kept me anchored to the planet in ways I can’t even begin to express.
The third is that I want to emerge. I want to come out of hiding. I want to surface.
So I’m surfacing.
*shituationships are my word for engagements with other humans that feel like relationships but turn out to be transactional or toxic in some way. I don’t deny my part in these engagements and trust me when I tell you that I work on forgiving myself for how I failed myself and others *every single day* but I have come to recognize that the fawn trauma response that has been my default for most of my life thanks to extreme child sexual, physical, and emotional abuse led to relationships in which I was easy to bully, abuse, use, disregard, and discard. You are welcome to adopt it if the word serves you.
Wow, that’s a lot Effy. Thanks for sharing. I want to make videos where others could see me, currently only hand videos posted, but I feel like I don’t have it together enough to step into it, if that makes sense. It’s easy to look at others on social media or in videos and think they are so brave and got it all together. I appreciate your honesty and it inspires me to write out the past few years as you have. I decided to just become a hermit through it all. Going to the grocery store was my social interaction. I too am reading to surface now. I think that’s why joining Moonshine 2023 was so important to me. I need to belong again and step back into the world…even if it is baby steps.
Thank you for all your sharing and inspiration. Your light always shines through!
Effy you fill my heart. I think you are a wonderful warrior as life can be so shitty. Good for you for surfacing and bless you. Love Wendy
Thank you, lovely. <3
I think you’ll find Moonshine really uplifting. <3 I'm glad you're joining us!
Effy I have always seen you as “This is me like it or not this is the true me”. I love that you have that attribute about yourself. I have felt badly when some of the things you were going through reminisced with me. And being an artist is so helpful and healing but, my goodness so much on your plate as we all have had maybe half of. I feel the “surfacing” is a great way to describe your pushing out of the shituationships that have surrounded you for the last years. I am here as a friend, fellow artist, and woman if you ever need to talk. You have inspired me in many ways with your art and the way you face problems. As Robin said, “May your light always shine through” With Sincere Gratitude for all you do.
Thank you so much, Elaine. <3
I love you to the moon and back. 4eva.
Forever and ever!
Wow! You are a strong person!! Thank you for sharing this!
Thank you Mette!
So glad you can see the light above! You’re strong – it will get closer and closer :)
It definitely feels that way. <3
I’ve been around you and with you for the past 3 years … your ability to put your feelings, thoughts, happenings, and art into words that touch people in so many ways is a literary art in itself. I’ve seen people angry & upset when hearing of your struggles but I don’t understand that attitude…You are Your own person and you don’t hide it, you are so open sharing your days in a dark cave with thought that harm…yet you pull yourself up and hobble to your easel with your own style of art flowing on canvas while your heart & soul find the light. I, personally am not into mystical art but I’ll still pop in to see what you’re sharing. My darling guy passed away a year ago and I’m finding who I am as an old gal with my dog & cat, depression I understand along with an immune illness & post polio syndrome but I’ve turned the lights on in my little studio…a new year is coming. KEEP WRITING EFFY…put it on paper and keep it out of your system for healing and love ❤️
I will absolutely keep writing. <3 Thank you for the encouragement!
I think blogging again especially when you aren’t so busy will be good. I can’t do it but you are a writer and it’s a good outlet for you. I’m like a barnacle. I’m sticking by you as long as I’m able to and happy about it. You’re the real deal. <3
It is a good outlet for me, and the more outlets the better. <3
From one tough cookie to another
All you have traveled through is real. Really real and I praise you for following through on the path to today!
You inspire me to be brave and face it all.
Bless you Wild One Bless you!
Bless you right back. <3
May you continue to find your way to the surface, break through and emerge. We all face so many battles, many hidden. Sending positive vibes and thoughts and prayers and spells across the waters.
Thank you, lovely. <3
I love your honesty Effy and thank you for being you, and sharing so much truth many of us can relate to but can’t find the words to express, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sending love and hugs xx
Gratefully received and returned!
You are a light and I am always grateful for the connection. Moonshine is an important endeavor!
It’s my favourite thing ever. <3
HUGS HUGS HUGS .. I love you // BECAUSE // you are you.
I cannot remember how long I have been reading your writing out here and admiring your artwork and applauding your courage. I tried once in the beginning to see if I could do your kind of art .. sigh .. I found out that I cannot bear glue nor Golden’s Soft Gel (Gloss) anywhere near me .. makes me feel so icky that I just throw the piece away and take a couple weeks to feel .. what passes for normal .. for me. I LOVE YOUR ARTWORK :)
I am filled with thanks that you are helping you with your therapy. I spent years upon years in therapy to help me feel like a member of the human race :) It does not happen over-night by any means .. but it happens when you keep working at making it happen.
You are awesomely wonderful!!! Every day :) Thank You!!!