If I have to I will ruin myself

I. Yesterday, while I was feeling completely unanchored and tossed adrift on this internal storm I’m navigating, I remembered these words:

It’s a harder trick
Turning love that’s lost in betrayal into something
Beside bitterness into anything beside this rage

– Jim Carroll

And then I went running to Spotify to see if I could find the album from whence it comes, and lo, there it was, and I cried my way through it because, yes. This.

Nobody is going to ruin me
If I have to I will ruin myself
I’ve spent too much time
Expended angelic energy
On my own disintegration to hand the contract over
To another now

As if it were
A finished painting
Needing only a signature
You are not going to get to me
You are never going to be with me
As once was

There will always be the poem
I will climb on top of it
And come

In and out of time
Cocking my head to the side slightly
As I finish shaking, melting then
Into its body, its soft skin

There will always be the poem, long after the rage and bitterness are gone.

II. The rage and bitterness are very much here, today, though so I’m a tumult. I am compass wildly spinning again because I can NOT get my brain to shut up.

If you meant it you would have done something about it. So many broken promises. You drove me there and dropped me off. Lovebombed me for a year and then knocked me – *ME* – down, peg by peg, until I didn’t know which way was up. So many mixed messages, so much subtext, so many lies.

And I don’t mind that so much because it helps me find my way forward and away from that ever happening to me again, ever.

The part I mind is the part where my knees buckle when a song comes on and I see your face, and I hear your laugh, and I remember what it felt like when you grabbed my hand to hold when I sat in the passenger’s seat, and how much I loved to climb you like a tree when you finally returned to me after what always felt like a goddamned eternity.

Knees buckle, and tears come, and I doubt myself so hard – doubt my way forward, doubt that any part of it was even *real*, wonder if maybe I really am too much (that old worn-out tape really fucking needs to go) and I hate you for that.

I love you and I hate you, and from what I’m hearing from the grief experts, that’s pretty normal, but fuck.

I’d rather just love you and forgive you and send you on your way into whatever future you build for yourself without me, but my love, my own, I am not there yet.

Give me time.

III. I do what I have to do.

IV. Onward.

***

V. I put that little row of asterisks up there because I want to make a clear separation between that part of today and the next part where I snap the elastic band that I’m wearing on my wrist and say “Enough, Effy” every time I think of him. I want to be with myself today. I have therapy. I have filming to do. I keep tucking my thumb between my first and index finger to remind myself to come back to the present moment. I keep using the switch words Myrna gave me to pattern interrupt. I snap my fingers and bellow ‘SNAP OUT OF IT’ out loud.

Fucked up as a soup sandwich.

VI. SNAP OUT OF IT.

VII. I spent the morning on the front stoop – with the dogs for a while before their barking at everything drove me batshit, and then solo. There were about a hundred sparrows on my front lawn, having breakfast, and it softened me so much that I felt my high alert slip down to medium. One of them took a dust bath right at my feet, and I was so enchanted that I forgot to take a picture.

If that’s all the beauty I get today, it will have been enough, but…

VIII. My lovely neighbours (Jessie and Emi) passed by me on their way out for breakfast. I am not brave enough to indulge in such things right now, so I wished them a happy breakfast and waved them on.

“Can we bring you back some?”

“You’d do that?”

“Of course!”

And they took my order and brought me back two perfectly sunny side up eggs, some of the best hash browns I’ve had in a long time, bacon, and toast, and delivered it right to my door when they returned home.

I really, really like where I’m living.

IX. Full Bush Tour started today.

X. Self-iso ends on Monday and I might have drinks with a friend.

P.S. You are not going to ruin me.

A Softer World

I. It’s so quiet in here this morning that my ears are ringing and I just caught myself reaching to click the ‘play’ button on one of my lists over on Spotify. Stopped. Took a deep breath. Started typing instead. I’m trying to cultivate a life in which there is a little less input so I can hear myself think. I’ll press play once I’ve ‘heard myself out’.

II. Every New Moon in Moonshine (registration for 2021 opening soon), we create a painting that expresses a desired outcome that we vow to work towards in some way throughout the cycle. These desired outcomes vary from art witch to art witch, but we do try to align our desire with the energies that are present in the moment we make our painting so that all the effort we put into it acts as energy raised that we can offer toward the attainment of that desire.

New Moon in Virgo is nigh and I am working with Virgo’s ability to discern what works and what doesn’t. In examining my habits, I realized that I have a few I want to swap out for healthier ones, so that’s what I’m working on this cycle.

More tea. More silence. More reading & research. More stillness and presence.

Sometimes in order to understand what you want more of, you must grapple with what you want less of, and that can be hard work, because it can be all too easy to fall into shame about the things we have been allowing, but inventories like these, once we get over the hump of self-reproach with loving self-talk and nudges in the right direction, can foster real change.

Less wine. Less noise. Less mindless consumption of media. Less ‘killing time’. 

I’m making these shifts gently, though, because there’s a lot going on in the brainmeats and sometimes I need to duck out of all of that for a while or I start to spin.

Less spinning. I want a softer world.

III. Isabel Faith Abbot is doing another round of writing sanctuary. The theme is “Listen To Your Life” and the timing couldn’t be better. For those of you who don’t know, Isabel’s writing sanctuaries are where I began writing these lists of ten things. Having this modelled for me – this way of making room for *everything* that’s going on in list form instead of trying to write something cohesive and limited to one subject – has been incredibly liberating.

Some days are fridge soup and the lists help me sort them.

Maybe I’ll see you there?

IV. Life Book 2021 Free Taster Sessions begin on September 28th, and I am really looking forward to watching all the gorgeous art pop up in the Facebook group.

Thousands of people have joined the free sessions so it’s going to be a glorious madhouse of riotous creativity in there! You can join here.

If you know you want to pre-order Life Book 2021, or you want to read more about what it’s all about, you can do that here. Use coupon code FEELHAPPY20 to get an early bird discount.

I will be there with a bonus + main lesson again in 2021, and I’m so looking forward to it!

V. It’s so gloomy out there this morning that the dogs have decided not to get out of bed at all. They’re still all bundled up in the covers while I sit here typing. Smart creatures. I could learn a thing or two.

I considered doing the same, but the truth is, all the life stuff that’s happened since July has put me so far in a hole that I fear I’ll never dig myself out, so I’m up. Doing morning practice. Sipping coffee. Readying myself for a plunge into the list.

It’s still stormy here but I have an umbrella, so let it rain. 

VI. When I came home from the cottage, I resolved to isolate for fourteen days because I’m considerate like that. I’ll come out of it next Monday, but it seems like we’re surging-ish here so it’s not like it’s going to make much difference.

I am so over *waves at all of this* because I really want to be building a new life here, getting myself involved in things that get me out of the house, meeting people, etc. etc. but that’s just not possible right now. *WHINES*

Art Winos is on for this coming Sunday, though, and while it is over Zoom and while it really doesn’t even come close to the pleasure of meeting with my meatspace people meatsuit to meatsuit, it will have to do.

VII. Journal Jam #17 is scheduled for Tuesday, September 22nd at 12 p.m. EASTERN. It’s usually on a Monday, but I have another obligation. I’m trying to do these about every second week now that I’m in the last quarter of the year and my time is limited by the usual year-end OMGDOOM, and even though they do eat up a huge chunk of time when I do them (actually doing them and then editing the raw footage for a more polished version for Patreon and BOD2020), I am loathe to give them up.

I love hanging out with you. <3

VIII. This new release by Disturbed on repeat because reasons.

IX. I think that’s all I’ve got for today so instead of trying to force myself through ten, I’ll end here with a *clinks mugs* and my best wishes on your day.

I am the moon

I. I never know what the title of my blogs will be until I’ve finished writing them. I’m a ‘pantser’ as in, I write by the seat of my pants. It works for me, because once my fingers start moving over the keys, the words just flow. It wasn’t always this way but I got my first computer in 1997 and I have been typing out my musings ever since.

Y’all, that’s twenty-three years of writing practice.

Before I got my first computer, I was an avid diarist. I started when I was 19.

Y’all, that’s *mumblefish* years of writing practice!

Sometimes I forget. It’s good to remember.

II. I met a guy over the weekend (virtually) and we talked for hours and it was a lovely distraction from *waves at all of this*. He was *smooth*. Sweet to look at. There was no intention on my part to actually meet because I am fucked up as a soup sandwich, not even remotely over 42, and there’s this little matter of a global pandemic, but still.

And then I realized we had a mutual friend.

And when I mentioned this mutual friend, he turned sketchy as fuck.

So I asked him a few pointed questions, took in his denials, and outed him to our mutual friend *immediately* because all the red flags were waving, and I listen to those now.

She reported back to me that they *just broke up* and while he was spending all that time texting me, he was trying to convince her to come back to him. She was in the process of trying to decide whether or not to go see him when she got my message.

It is rare that one gets to be an unwounded messenger, one that gets a thank you, but that happened and I’m grateful because knowing what I saved her from, and what I *saved myself from* by asking all the right questions and then acting on the answers is so fucking validating I could cry.

Men. Am I right?

Get your fucking shit together or leave us alone. 

III. I think that whole interaction was enough for me for a good long time. I want to laser focus on year end, therapy, and getting my own shit sorted out so I can become a nice soup OR sandwich OR both separately on a beautiful plate instead of *waves at this healing pile of congealed snot and bitter hag*.

IV. I painted this for Darling Human. It’s going up tomorrow at the Darling Human $10 tier or the Darling Human Lite $5 tier. Come and get it. 

V. Next year in Moonshine (registration will open soon), we are going to have four extra celebratory gatherings on Zoom at the solstices and equinoxes. The equinoxes will be private, current students only. The solstices will be open to those who are doing Moonshine Lite on Patreon and/or were in previous years of Moonshine. Open Court. I’m into it. We’re going to dress up and everything and I AM SO HERE FOR THAT. Adornment. Adoration.

VI. I almost feel like I have a handle on all things work, and that is giving me a bit of pep in my step. I caught myself singing out loud today. I grinned at myself in the mirror at one point and said “YOU ARE THE BOSS”. I am healing. I think I’m going to live.

VII. My herb babies, however…sad panda. They’re all dead. I think maybe I’m not meant to be a green witch.

VIII.

This was taken at Braja Cole’s honey house. It was just the thing I needed to see in the moment. Renee calls these kinds of things “Secret Messages”. Do you know her? You will love her. 

I stopped to snap this photo before descending the rest of the staircase, because it was one of those moments that sends a frisson of yessssssss up my spine and I really like noticing those.

I will never give up hope. Never.

Where there’s life, there’s hope.

IX. That doesn’t mean I’m waiting for you. 

X. I am my own North Star. 

But I am also the moon.

 

 

 

The Fall

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.

Onward.

X. This made me laugh out loud.

Let It Rain

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

This Is Who I Am

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.