I. I just emerged from a long hot soak in scented, CBD oil-infused water. I feel like a million bucks. All I’ve managed since I got home from the cottage was a couple of quick sluicings off in the shower, so this was thorough. I even dry brushed before immersing myself. Self-care.
II. Therapy yesterday was exactly what I needed. I unpacked everything that’s happened, asked the questions I needed to ask, heard the things I needed to hear.
“Self-loyalty,” she said. “This is huge.”
Yes, it is.
“There’s nothing about any of this that is ‘crazy’ or irrational. This was the only way any kind of healing could happen. You chose you.”
Yes, I did.
III. Today is good. The scrub down. Clean nails. Squeaky hair. The rose water and glycerine face cream. The cocoa butter body lotion.The work I did for Darling Human for October. The zero’d inbox. The puttering around with a list of potential guest artists for 2021 (I am WOEFULLY BEHIND ON THIS). The toaster, sitting there all squat and pristinely white with chrome details and four slots just waiting to be filled with thick-sliced Italian bread. The grocery order that’s coming later today that includes chunky peanut butter. Plans for a Zoom with my wee girl on Saturday. Plans for Art Winos on Sunday. A live gathering to do with my Art Witches this afternoon. The garbage and recycling got done this morning in time for pick up, which felt very adulty. Journal52 up in The Wilderhood and on Patreon. A little audiobook listening to round out the work with a little play. It’s feeling autumnal out there, which I love, and I’m ready for tea and hoodies and socks and soup.
IV. I know what I know. This is a thing that’s finally sticking.
V. I want more people in my life. COVID needs to fuck off so I can go find them. I want to gather in meatspace with people of like mind. I want to laugh and learn face to face. I want to circle with fleshly people. I want to take pottery classes, too, and learn to throw & fire. I’m dreaming forward about the ways I will fill my hours and days so that I am not caught up in isolation, because there be dragons.
I am too vulnerable when I’m lonely.
VI. Post-processing therapy with Renee is becoming a habit, and I am not mad about it.
VII. All my readings are telling me to sit tight and be patient. This too shall pass. I just don’t know what ‘this’ they are referring to because there are so many ‘thises’. *Annoyed*. Patience is not one of my superpowers.
VIII. The whole conversation about strength and how all that we experience ‘makes us strong’ and how sick I am of that story. The way I handle what I experience makes me strong. The experience itself doesn’t get any fucking credit. The way I do the work, the way I work to learn, grow, grapple, the way I do my level best to own and hold my own, the way I move through…that’s all me.
I’m also over the story that I would not be who I am without these experiences as though that’s a *good thing*. I would not have C-PTSD. I would not have crushing anxiety. I would not be undereducated. I would not have imposter syndrome. I would not be afraid all the time. I would not be so goddamned guarded. Unraveling what my experiences have laid on me in terms of coping mechanisms and behaviours is the work of a lifetime that I would not *have had to do had I not had these experiences.*
I’m not bitter, though. I’m just tired of *having no choice* but to be strong. I’m tired of doing my own work and then some.
I’ll keep on keeping on, but I am okay with admitting I’m tired.
IX. This has been a year of shedding. I wonder what next year will bring? <—–and that’s progress, because I am asking that question with curiosity, optimism, willingness, openness instead of dread.
Ok, there might be a little bit of dread, but it isn’t overwhelming all the rest.
X. This made me laugh out loud.
I. I think the sage might have survived the herbapocalypse. I’ll take it. At some point next week when I can carve out some time, I’ll replant the others. I might get some new pots since I’m pretty sure they would have survived if they were in something other than terracotta, which doesn’t hold water very well.
II. I don’t know how I feel about Hoʻoponopono from a ‘misappropriation’ point of view, but I know that I have just sort of naturally fallen into saying it every time I flick my Zippo (so, about two dozen times a day).
I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
This little ritual is life right now.
III. Monday’s Journal Jam was pure magic. You can watch the raw full-length version here if you want.
I’m moving into a very busy time of year so I won’t be able to do these every Monday anymore, but if you’d like to get an email when I am able to do them, subscribe here.
IV. Therapy today. Dread + hope. I really need some perspective, and I know she’ll give it.
V. Cobra Kai was amazing and kept me good company. Now what? Any recommendations?
VI. Life Book 2021 Taster Sessions begin on September 28th! They are free, and I’ll be there.
There will be all sorts of fun and healing things to do during this week and it will give you a gorgeous idea of what Life Book is all about!
If you already know that you want in on all the fabulousness, you can pre-register here.
Use coupon code FEELHAPPY20 to get a discount!!
VII. This song is on repeat today.
VIII. On the last day of my weekend at the cottage, I sat in front of the Franklin Stove in the living room and fed my latest (written) journal page by page into the flames. I needed to purge all that writing – the questions, the assertions, the grappling, the denial. I skimmed as I tore the pages out and I realized that I knew what was coming for a long time. I knew, and I fought the knowing because it was just too painful a thing to accept.
We always know, though. We always know, and maybe next time I’ll listen to my own knowing sooner. Maybe I will learn how to trust myself and stop letting other people talk me out of what I know.
IX. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
X. The problem with blowing bubbles in the house is they pop and coat the floor in soap, which makes for a slippery trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Guess who’s washing the floors today? Heh.
XI. This song, too.
I really thought I was okay
I really thought I was just fine
But when I woke up this time
There was nothing to take you off my mind
And I keep saying over and over and over and over again
Let it rain, let it rain
Over and over and over and over again
Let it rain, let it rain
I. This is who I am.
II. I am so grateful for the weekend I spent with my chosen family over Labour Day weekend. Our First Annual Hippie Pocket Cottage Bash was everything I needed. The dogs had a good time, too, what with all the running around free-range, fresh air, and many many laps to occupy throughout.
I processed recent happenings on the first night with the eyes of love full on my face and that was healing as fuck. The rest of the weekend, though, was for shenanigans, and while I missed him terribly and achingly the whole weekend long (these people were also his people and he would have loved this weekend as much as I did), I just told myself to snap out of it when the morbs hit hard and I found something else to dwell on. Like how goddamned lucky I am that these are my people. Like how beautiful it was to see otters on the water. Like how exciting it was to catch my first perch since early childhood. Like how amazing every morsel of food was, and how good it was to be fed. Like how gorgeous it was to fall asleep to the sound of my friends drumming around the fire. Like that long hug that held within it everything needed to move forward as friends, no words required. Like Braja’s honey and that tea he made with fresh herbs picked right off his land. Like laughing so much over Cards Against Humanity that I am *still* sore around the middle. Like that dress Dani put me in that made me feel like a fucking goddess. Like the way we all love one another fully, completely, unconditionally.
III. I want to find a partner who loves me at least as well as my friends do.
IV. We are trending upwards here in Ontario, which makes me so very glad I went this weekend because I suspect we will all be in lockdown again soon and there is no way I could have made it through winter without seeing these people. No way. I am hoping to spend Xmas with Dani and her family (they’ve adopted me), and if COVID means I am stuck here alone with the dogs, I am going to be mightily pissed off.
V. Journal Jam yesterday. Magic happened.
VI. Swamp witch x Lilith. But also so fucking full of sorrow. But also so fucking full of hope. Gold from lead. You can turn this all into a force for good in your life or you can wallow in your victimhood. We always knew this was going to be a catalyst for something. Let it be a catalyst for good. That’s my choice. You make yours.
VII. I had a nightmare in which I was at Harvestfest wondering where he was and when he was going to arrive. I was wandering around feeling lost and at loose ends. Breathless anticipation. Any minute now. And then I remembered that he wouldn’t be coming at all. There was an eclipse at that exact moment and when I looked up at it, it seared my eyes. I woke up crying, with a pounding headache that hasn’t yet let go its talons from my brainmeats. I hate breakup nightmares. They are the worst.
VIII. I wonder if we will ever be friends again. Can I forgive you? Can you forgive me? These thoughts are dangerous, though, so moving right along…
IX. I need water, rest, and another weekend with my people. I miss everybody so much my throat aches with longing.
X. Most of my herb babies died while I was away, but that’s ok. I can plant more.
I choose to love this time for once with all of my intelligence. ~ Adrienne Rich
I created the art cards and musings that I release week after week in The Wilderhood and on Patreon a few years ago, but I swear, some part of me was preparing me for this moment in time, because every one of them has been whispering to where I’m at *right now*.
Especially this one.
We’re moving into Autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the earth is taking a long, slow exhale after inhaling all spring and summer long. Everything the earth and her creatures takes in must be released at some point, and that is what I’m focusing on this week as I ready myself for the last quarter of the year.
I’m pretty good at letting go of things. I de-clutter twice yearly (in spring, and in fall). I do the whole ‘toss, donate, keep’ thing with my art supplies and clothing. If something breaks, I don’t hold on to it ‘in case I can fix it’. I keep my ‘stuff’ pared down to a dull roar so that I’m not overwhelmed by too many choices.
I’m pretty good at letting go of ideas, too. As I take in new data, my beliefs shift and morph, and some no longer work for me at all. I don’t resist this process, because this is how wisdom grows. We know, and then we know better.
Releasing people, though…that’s my kryptonite. I suck at it, even when I know in my heart of hearts that it is what must be done. I will resist that kind of release long after it seems sane. I will fight it tooth and nail, go out kicking and screaming. This has resulted in some unnecessary, protracted grief over the years. It has consequences of the ‘single too long’ variety, too. To me, releasing people feels like abandoning them, even though I know that releasing them releases me, too. I think releasing people also feels like releasing dreams I’ve had about those people, and that, too, is difficult.
You can read the rest on Dropbox.
One of the things I’ve been working on in therapy is the understanding that it doesn’t have to be malicious to be harmful. In other words, if I’m being harmed, I’m being harmed. Impact over intention. Especially if I am saying “This is harming me” and it continues. Saying “I don’t mean to harm you” and then continuing to do the things that harm me is – well. What the fuck? How is that okay?
I’m also working on understanding that love isn’t enough of a reason to hang in there. In fact, sometimes love is a rusty hook that keeps me bonded in a connection that is making me really unwell. Some might say ‘crazy’, but that’s ableist and untrue – what I really am is traumatized & reactive as fuck, which I simply would not be if the harm were not being done.
We’re all some version of fucked up as a soup sandwich and I feel so much compassion for all of us as we grapple with the consequences of our actions (or lack of action, as the case may be), but I’m learning to stop with the longsuffering, already. It isn’t a virtue. I’m learning to step out of the way of harm even when that means breaking my own goddamned heart.
It’s so hard. So hard. Because it doesn’t mean I don’t love you, and I live for that. I really do. But for once, finally, after all these years of grappling, it means I am choosing to love myself more.
On that note, I’m off for the weekend. I will probably spam my personal (as opposed to my business) Instagram feed, though, so if you miss me, that’s where you’ll find me.
I. My fest fam and I have had plans to do a mini-fest at the cottage for about a month now, but recent events had me bowing right the fuck out. I just didn’t see how I could do everything I needed to do for work while I couldn’t stop shaking like a leaf while I couldn’t even *feed myself*, let alone do laundry, pack, and run errands so, I canceled.
But they came after me.
Dani is packing enough clothing for the two of us (we wear the same size + aesthetic). Food is covered. Kimi helped me run the errands I needed to run (pick up meds in Kitchener) and do the LCBO run (because we *neeeeeeeeed* Bailey’s in our morning coffee, okay?). I can bring the dogs. I have a bed to myself indoors (so no tent required). I just have to show up.
So now I’m going. Because they miss me and I need them.
Love knows how to show up.
II. The shaking, though. I now understand why whenever Hollywood portrays someone who is having a ‘nervous breakdown’, there is all this shaking.
There *really is* all this shaking.
We’re calling it a breakthrough, though, because that is what it is.
III. There are stories I’m telling right now (true ones) that include moments so unbelievably ridiculous that I find myself able, even this soon, to laugh out loud.
Me to him as he’s helping me into my Uber: “Men are shit.”
Him to me with a nod: “Yes, ma’am.”
IV. The way Renee stayed on the phone with me the entire way home. The way all of my people are circling me, many of them with exhortations of ‘it’s about time’ and ‘goddamn, I’m proud of you’. No one will let me hang my head, not even for a moment. I’ll never forget that.
V. I visited with my lovely Sal today. We sat in a triangle, me, her, and Kimi, on the back deck so we could visit without masks, sipping coffee, and getting caught up. Out of the corner of my eye, while I was talking, a hummingbird came to visit the bush that grows in her yard. I was talking about how what I’ve done and what I’m doing is an attempt to reach back in time and rescue the little girl I was while simultaneously ensuring that someone else I deeply care about need no longer experience the kind of cognitive dissonance (and, frankly, gaslighting) that my younger self was all too familiar with and damaged by.
That bird hovered and posed for a good few minutes while we ooooh’d and ahhhhhh’d.
Y’all, I could have cried.
I had only seen one once before, and that was in Austin, Texas in 2002.
There’s more to this story – the hummingbird has deep meaning for me and always has, but it’s too personal to share.
Suffice it to say I’m taking it as a sign.
VI. I am the storm.
VII. I’m deeply afraid that she’s going to die. I know that’s cryptic as fuck, but I just needed to put that somewhere because I can’t hold it alone. If she dies, I don’t know what the fuck. I feel like I was almost there, wherever ‘there’ is, but I feel like I’ve reached some kind of tipping point and I don’t know how to navigate what’s left to navigate without her.
Light the candles. Pray the prayers.
VIII. I have moved out of dreading the coming gathering (like I always do) and into craving it. What I most long for is the laughter I know we’re all capable of when we are together. I am also longing for the fire, for the shenanigans, for the absolute certainty that every pair of eyes I gaze into are eyes that love me like I love them. No subtext. No questions. Unconditional. No matter how fucked up I am, no matter how badly I fuck it up. Loved.
IX. Celibacy. Shields up. The Holy No. There has been no more destructive force in my life than romantic entanglements with my masculine counterparts, and I’m eschewing them indefinitely.
I have a good vibrator. I will be fine.
X. I choose me.
I. September is my birthday month (the actual date is the 30th) and I aim to celebrate. I don’t know what that will look like from day to day but yesterday it looked like heating up leftovers and ignoring the disaster that is my kitchen. I watched two episodes of The Circus, two episodes of The National, and then rolled myself in my blankets and went to sleep to the sound of the rain pummelling my skylight. Hello, 52, I am almost in you. Are you ready for me? I’m ready for you.
II. September 2020 – September 2021 will be a hermit year for me in the realm of sexual/romantic attachment because I have a lot of healing to do in that realm around the kinds of attachments I find myself in. I will be nurturing friendships, fostering reciprocal energy exchanges, eliminating transactional connections, having corrective experiences wherever possible so I can shed the old stories about being ‘too much’, not ultimately mattering, and not being worthy of being chosen. Those stories have to go.
III. I have finished month-end and I am less omgdoomy, but I am still not caught up with the year’s collabs, so I have miles to go before I sleep. It’s okay, though. Busy is good as long as I’m making space for lazing about in my underwear on the divan with the dogs eating ice cream and ignoring my phone.
IV. I painted this for Moonshine’s monthly themed painting and I want to redo it on canvas so I can hang it on my wall.
Every year, I do one just like this with the falling leaves and something that expresses the beauty of the way trees know how to let go. If you want to do this painting with me, you can join me on Patreon at the $20 level where you will be treated like royalty and get all the things.
V. The magic of the ebbing year. Take all of this with you, if you please. All of it. Take it and transform it and I’ll do what I can to rise.
VI. It is very hard not to think of the last 18 months of my life as a monumental fucking waste of time, and I resent that, like hella lots, but I know that as the anger eases and makes way for grace I will be better able to glean the wisdom, the lessons, the gifts, and I will cherish them. I’m not saying I will ever be ‘grateful’, but I know how to make gold from the lead of my own lived experience, and that is what I plan to do.
What you do with your lived experience is none of my business anymore, but I wish you the gold of it, the healing from it, too.
VII. Today’s birth month celebrations will include NÜTRL Vodka Soda – Grapefruit flavour – over ice. Leftover Greek salad. A long bath. A new series. I’m going to unwrap a pack of three XL Moleskine Cahier notebooks and start a new journal entitled The Year Of The Hermit. I’m going to unsubscribe from all the Twin Flame bullshit I’ve been reading because it *legitimately makes me crazy*. I’m going to order You Are Not Too Much by Jeanette Lablanc. It’s temporarily out of stock, but I bet it will be restocked soon since it’s flying off the shelves. I’m going to continue to ignore the disaster that is my kitchen, studio, and laundry pile. I’m going to cuddle my dogs. I’m going to talk to my herb babies. I’m going to burn nag champa and paint my toes gold.
VIII. Love and anger are not mutually exclusive. Love *requires* of us that we own our own and let those we love own theirs. Love is not a warm fuzzy feeling you get to have whenever you feel like making time for it. Love is a goddamned initiation. I’m in the trenches over here, and that’s okay because I love myself enough to get in there and do what is required of me to be completely self-possessed.
IX. Self-loyalty. Self-forgiveness. Self-soothing.
X. I choose me.