daily entry, jam of the day, misc, recovery

day 311 – you look greatest when…

okay, so this song does and doesn’t have a ton of substance to it…
however, i really appreciate the message it sends, especially considering the fact i’m raising a daughter who’s not slowing down in age, and the older she gets, the faster time keeps flying.

this song is more of a “feel good” / “love the skin you’re in” type of song, and sometimes we just need a good ol’ bop to sing along to and really pump ourselves up.

…and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

alas, here’s my choice for today’s jam of the day – “most girls” by hailee steinfeld

“Some girls, feel best in their tiny dresses
Some girls, nothin’ but sweatpants, looking like a princess
Some girls, kiss new lips every single night
They’re stayin’ out late cause they just celebrating life

You know some days you feel so good in your own skin
But it’s okay if you wanna change the body that you came in
‘Cause you look greatest when you feel like a damn queen
We’re all just playing a game in a way, trying to win at life

Most girls are smart and strong and beautiful
Most girls, work hard, go far, we are unstoppable
Most girls, our fight to make every day, no two are the same
I wanna be like, I wanna be like, most girls

They’re stayin’ out late cause they just celebratin’
I wanna be like, I wanna be like

Some girls, like to keep their physique real private
Some girls, wear jeans so tight, ’cause it feels so right, yeah
Some girls, every day searching, keep the page turning
Sleepin’ in late cause they just celebrating life

You know some days you feel so good in your own skin
But it’s okay if you wanna change the body that you came in
‘Cause you look greatest when you feel like a damn queen
We’re all just playing a game in a way, trying to win at life

Most girls are smart and strong and beautiful
Most girls, work hard, go far, we are unstoppable
Most girls, our fight to make every day, no two are the same
I wanna be like, I wanna be like, most girls
I wanna be like, I wanna be like

They’re stayin’ out late cause they just celebratin’
I wanna be like, I wanna be like

Most girls, our fight to make every day, no two are the same
I wanna be like…

Most girls
I wanna be like, I wanna be like, most girls
They’re stayin’ out late cause they just celebratin’ life.”

daily entry, misc, personal, recovery

Day 307 – Hope Dealer #563

Kristin_HopeDealer563

“Greetings from  DFWTX—

First off, I just want to say THANK YOU for everything this movement stands for and for offering me the chance to be a hope dealer!

Second of all, I want to say that I’m writing this line after I wrote my story, and I didn’t mean to write a novel. It’s just incredibly difficult for me to try and simplify something so complex like living life with both a mental illness and substance abuse problem. I hope you’ll understand.

Now, I’m not going to lie… I was slightly selfish and held onto the chip for a while before feeling comfortable enough to send you my story. You see, I experienced a brief spell of exhaustion and a tinge of hopelessness during chip #563’s stay with me, and I wanted to be sure I was in the best state of mind and able to fully be the best version of myself, before contacting you + realizing there is somebody out there who could benefit from a token of hope more than I. That’s the whole point of this, right? To give hope away and deal it to those who need it more than ourselves? I’m now prepared the keep the hope I’ve regained, and am ready to pass the hope on.

Anyway, let me pull out my “crystal ball of doom,” so that I can give you a good understanding of what lies in my past + life in active addiction.

I didn’t start out drinking at an early age, really. I started out as a “normal” drinker, didn’t really touch or have any interest in alcohol until my senior prom in high school, and even still wasn’t sure why people were so smitten with essentially losing control of their inhibitions. After graduating high school, I would have wine coolers and other various fruity malt liquor beverages on an occasion, but nothing crazy or untypical for an adolescent, really. My behaviors and alcohol consumption were pretty “typical” from the ages of 17-20, as I was considered by others and viewed myself as a studious person, who was passionate about art and music, and enjoyed being as present as possible and couldn’t be bothered with the idea of getting buzzed. Now, between the ages of 17-20 I was becoming more aware that I wasn’t quite feeling happy (or what I imagined being happy should feel like), like people I knew. I was diagnosed with depression, which turned into later being diagnosed as bipolar, riddled with some anxious tendencies. I saw doctors and took my medication like I was supposed to, until one day I decided I’d had enough and took matters into my own hands, and eventually took myself off my medications and turned to other means of “feeling good” instead.

We’ll cut to what should’ve been deemed as a serious wake up call; well, more like two separate incidents that should’ve gotten my attention but didn’t. Mind you these happenings took place between the ages of 20-22; something that might be viewed as me acting in devious behaviors as a subconscious way of making up for the 18+ years I spent under a strictly run household…and more or less as a subsequent to me also playing doctor. Not long after my 21st birthday, like a few months after I turned 21, a doctor heavily advised I become abstinent from alcohol consumption for a lengthy duration of time due to how much gastrointestinal damage I was wreaking on myself. So, I went along with it and as soon as I was “allowed” to drink again…it was fairly obvious I was doing my best to make up for lost time. We’ll fast forward another 6 months or so, to the night of May 11, 2007. I went to see Bright Eyes play a gig with some friends, and the last thing I remember was trading my Xanax for drinks from the bartenders, and continuously popping them myself in between cocktails.

The next morning I found myself in the ER, with absolutely no recollection of what happened past the point of trading and popping pills. But, being the good little barely 22 years old girl I was, I decided (well, not decided, more like just got too caught up in chasing the next buzz) that I stopped taking my oral contraceptive somewhere along the way, and found myself pregnant come late summer of 2007. The last 3 1/2 years leading up to that point had been “fun and games” and I didn’t really see or care what was happening to me. So, I found myself having to drop out of college in order to pursue a life as a young mom.

April 2008 I gave birth to my first child, then I returned to college and graduated with my B.A. in 2011, and so forth. I was doing good and things were looking up, only they weren’t as happy-go-lucky as I made it to be. From about 2010 or so until I became pregnant again in 2015, I drank pretty much every night. At first it was still “normal” (what I thought was normal, but what turns out to be textbook binge drinking by definition), but hey — I was still maintaining control and my inhibitions most of the nights, so it was okay, right? Only it wasn’t, and I can’t even recollect how many nights I can’t recollect. I began checking out, began filling my head and my heart with endless pity parties, even further trying to make up for lost time and convincing myself that getting buzzed was a decent way to compensate myself for the amount of hard work I was doing. It’s not something I look back at fondly.

Now we’ll spin ’round the tornado that became my final and absolute “wake-the-f***k-up call” / the event that has changed me as a whole for the better, the battle I finally lost but gave way to the war I eventually won (and will continue to battle every day for the rest of my life), as I finally threw up white flag against my raging, high-functioning alcoholic way of life. Leading up to the day that provided me with my “awakening” I had already tested too many waters, was lying to those who loved and cared for me the most, I was becoming sloppy and crafty with trying to conceal all that I was doing, and I was just basically killing everything inside of me, physically and mentally. But for some reason, I just kept chasing that imaginary feeling I had never and would never be able to capture.

September 6, 2016 is the day I simultaneously died and was reborn — and I haven’t been the same since. While I still prefer to keep these details as withheld and private as possible (I’ve only told less than 10 people in real life what actually happened, and I’ve shared some within a private sober commUNITY), I can safely say I no longer have to keep up the tiring, ruthless way of living that was that of having an active addiction + love affair with alcohol. I’d hurt and lost enough people over the years, because I fancied courting Mr. Al Cohol instead, and the time had come to fully stop hurting the person I was cutting down the most, myself.

Since September 6, 2016 I’ve experienced more spiritual growing pains than I had in the 31 years leading up to that day (roughly 10 1/2 of those years involving a continual reprieve I believed only alcohol could provide), and I have handled more stressful situations than I have ever faced — and not only did I live through them, but I’ve learned from them and have found an inner strength in myself I never knew was possible. I’ve successfully completed an intensive outpatient program with a substance abuse counselor, I am incredibly active within various online sober commUNITY families, and I aspire to become a substance abuse counselor of some kind once my own children aren’t so dependent on me. My number one job in life is that of being a mother, and everything else comes second until my kids don’t need me as much. Outside of being a mom, my other number one focus in life is that of my sobriety and life in recovery, and until I can become educated and professionally certified to become a counselor or therapist, I will continue to be as active as possible within my newfound family, those who have also converted to a sober way of life.

Recovery is most certainly not a cure-all for life’s problems, and I still have depression, but I’m now coping with these things as opposed to viewing myself as a victim or sufferer of these illnesses. I’ll always be an alcoholic, but I don’t have to live a life full of fear because of it, I simply just don’t partake in its consumption anymore and I don’t feel sorry for myself because I “can’t drink.” I choose to live now, not exist, and I’ll be damned if I don’t make myself find the magic in the mundane on a daily basis — because it’s the little things that add up to the big picture, and that’s all life is — one, big picture. It’s a f**king masterpiece, and I am so insanely grateful I get to be present for every millisecond I get to spend on this earth.

It gets better, friends, and I’m living proof.
So, now it’s time for me to pay my hope forward, and deal it to somebody who needs it more than I do.

Sending strength, support and love.
-Kristin”

The above letter was the one I wrote to the lovely folks who started the Hope Dealer project, Plus P Productions. You can find out more by visiting them here.
jam of the day, misc, personal, recovery

day 292 – wild and fluorescent

lorde’s new album, “melodrama” is 100% pure perfection. and i am utterly in love with “supercut.”

i spent this evening out on the waterfront watching the sunset, wind warm and gentle, observing families and lovers and friends bumbling about eating ice cream and enjoying one another’s company, and lastly i sat at the edge of the boardwalk staring up at the capital wheel as it lit up the night with its vibrancy. i imagine this is what complete bliss is supposed to feel like. i’m on my own little cloud right now, dancing all by myself. and i am happy. so, so happy.

i hope wherever you are, that you’re happy too. you deserve to be happy.
xo

In my head, I play a supercut of us
All the magic we gave off
All the love we had and lost

And in my head
The visions never stop
These ribbons wrap me up
But when I reach for you
There’s just a supercut

In your car, the radio up
We keep trying to talk about us
I’m someone you maybe might love
I’ll be your quiet afternoon crush
Be your violent overnight rush
Make you crazy over my touch
But it’s just a supercut of us
Supercut of us

So I fall
Into continents and cars
All the stages and the stars
I turn all of it
To just a supercut

‘Cause in my head (in my head, I do everything right)
When you call (when you call, I’ll forgive and not fight)
Because ours (are the moments I play in the dark)
We were wild and fluorescent, come home to my heart

In your car, the radio up
We keep trying to talk about us
Slow motion, I’m watching our love
I’ll be your quiet afternoon crush
Be your violent overnight rush
Make you crazy over my touch
But it’s just a supercut of us
Supercut of us

Cause in my head, in my head, I do everything right
When you call I’ll forgive and not fight
All the moments I play in the dark
Wild and fluorescent, come home to my heart
‘Cause in my head (in my head, I do everything right)
When you call (when you call, I’ll forgive and not fight)
Because ours (are the moments I play in the dark)

We were wild and fluorescent, come home to my heart
Cause in my head (in my head, I do everything right)
When you call (when you call, I’ll forgive and not fight)
Because ours (are the moments I play in the dark)

We were wild and fluorescent, come home to my heart
In my head, I do everything right

daily entry, jam of the day, misc, personal, recovery

hey! guess what?

i’m not dead, or fallen off the wagon, or anything like that.
(today is day 254 for my life in sobriety and recovery.)

i CANNOT wait to have alone time to fully pour my heart and soul into some entries once i get to my destination for my upcoming business trip.

i’ve found it best and easiest to fully immerse myself in writing and letting my thoughts and feelings flow when i’m 100% by myself.

however, i’m taking a quick break from entering in my 23,984,732,908,473,294,872 work orders, because i’m trying to salvage what bit of sanity i have at this millisecond — mmm, probably doesn’t help my toddler son is teething and/or growing and has established an absolutely unpredictable sleep pattern over the last seven days — because i have to gush and share a three part “jam of the day.”

y’all i love pop-punk. and while this band is now identifying as “genre-neutral” i love them just the same… if not, more than ever.

the older i get, the more i understand and appreciate how musical artists grow and evolve. over the last 14 years, i’ve gone from a wee, angsty “i can’t believe XYZ band made such a shitty album as their follow-up from a ‘perfect’ album” person, to a reflective soul who now thinks “wow, this is so cool being able to grow up alongside these artists and feel the emotion and understand the meanings, metaphors and themes behind certain songs and really identify with these people as humans.

i guess that’s part of maturity, right?

anyways, paramore has put out a nearly perfect new album, “after laughter.”
i shit you not, i’ve already listened to the album at least fifteen times since they dropped it this past friday, may 12.

so, i’m doing a MAJOR “jam of the day” by going hard with not one, not two — but THREE songs. i’m doing this, because i HIGHLY encourage you to listen to all three, in order, so you can ride this beautiful, turbulent roller coaster along with me. gaaaahhh — I FUCKING LOVE THE FEELS — ALL OF THEM.
xo

without further ado:

song 1/3 – “idle worship”

“Standing here like I’m supposed to say something
Don’t hold your breath, I never said I’d save you, honey
And I don’t want your money
If I was you I’d run from me or rip me open
You’ll see you’re not the only one who’s hopeless
Be sure to put your faith in something more
I’m just a girl and you’re not as alone as you feel
We all got problems, don’t we?
We all need heroes, don’t we?
But rest assured there’s not a single person here who’s worthy

Don’t let me let you down

Hey, baby I’m not your superhuman
And if that’s what you want
I hate to let you down
I got your hopes up
Now I got you hoping
But I’m gonna be the one that let you down

Oh, it’s such a long and awful lonely fall
Down from this pedestal that you keep putting me on
What if I fall on my face?
What if I make a mistake?
If it’s okay a little grace would be appreciated
Remember how we used to like ourselves?
What little light that’s left, we need to keep it sacred
I know that you’re afraid to let all the dark escape ya
But we could let the light illuminate these hopeless places

Just let me let you down

Hey, baby I’m not your superhuman
And if that’s what you want
I hate to let you down
I got your hopes up
Now I got you hoping
But I’m gonna be the one that let you down

Oh, no, I ain’t your hero
You’re wasting all your faith on me
Oh, no, I know where this goes
Think it’s safe to say your savior doesn’t look a thing like me

Don’t let me let you down

Hey, baby I’m not your superhuman
And if that’s what you want
I hate to let you down
I got your hopes up
Now I got you hoping
But I’m gonna be the one that let you down”

song 2/3 – “no friend”

“Another brick-red room
Another black-top town
Another misspelled band burning their own houses down
Another pine-box tune to fill the cemetery day another stay
A touch of orange over purgatory gray
Another thorny field to scatter fruitless seed
Another song that runs too long
God knows no one needs more misguided ghosts
More transparent hands to drop a nickel in our basket
And we’ll do our riot! dance beneath another burning sky
Behind our painted lips in scares of catatonic smile-covered ankle-bitten ships
So throw your pedestal of stone in the forgetful sea as protection from the paper-thin perfection you project on me
When this repetition ends behind the window shades,
A semi-conscious sorrow sleeping in the bed I’ve made
That most unrestful bed, that most original of sins
And you’ll say that’s what I get when I let ambition win again
I’d hate to let you down
So I’ll let the waters rise and drown my dull reflection
In the naïve expectation in your eyes back in a cast bit-part
Back when I felt most free
I had a butcher’s heart and no one thought they knew me
So before the regiment resumes
Before the dreaded sun appears
My driver’s waiting so let’s make one point crystal clear:
You see a flood-lit form, I see a shirt design
I’m no savior of yours and you’re no friend of mine”

song 3/3 – “tell me how”

“I can’t call you a stranger
But I can’t call you
I know you think that I erased you
You may hate me but I can’t hate you
And I won’t replace you

Tell me how to feel about you now?
Tell me how to feel about you now?
Oh oh let me know
Do I suffocate or let go?

Think I’m tired of getting over it
And just starting something new again
I’m getting sick of the beginnings
And always coming to your defenses

Guess it’s good to get it off my chest
Guess I can’t believe I haven’t yet
You know I got my own convictions
And they’re stronger than any addiction
But no one’s winning

Tell me how to feel about you now?
Tell me how to feel about you now?
Oh oh let me know
Do I suffocate or let go?

Tell me how to feel about you now?
Tell me how to feel about you now?
Oh oh let me know
Do I suffocate or let go?

Keep me up with your silence
Take me down with your quiet
Of all the weapons you fight with
Your silence is the most violent

Tell me how to feel about you now?
Tell me how to feel about you now?
Oh oh let me know
Do I suffocate or let go?

You don’t have to tell me
If you ever think of me
I know you see me dancing wildly in the fog
Of your memory
You don’t have to tell me
I can still believe…”

daily entry, misc, personal

Everything Wrong with “Thirteen Reasons Why”

Okay, so I finished watching “Thirteen Reasons Why” last night. Probably not the best idea, especially since yesterday was already emotionally heavy, given everything that was going on with our fifteen-year-old cat, Klaus, who we had to put down for eternal sleep yesterday.

I will admit over the past couple of weeks, I most definitely spoke up too soon in trying to “defend” or even argue certain points (albeit I was very clear about aforemetioned chiming in, whilst still being only halfway through the series), because my heart most certainly imploded during the last 30 minutes of the final episode.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Honestly, I thought the first 12 1/2 episodes were a fair depiction and (most likely) accurately captured what it’s like to be a teenager in the 2010’s. It can’t be emphasised enough, how powerful mass text messaging, private + public forums and chatrooms, basically any and all social media platforms can be. They can be very damaging towards people’s esteems and reputations, and they can really “destroy” a person’s image in a matter of minutes.

That’s high school and gossip though, however, what we experienced doesn’t hold a candle to what kids have to endure now. What’s even more frightening, now that I/you/we are on the parental end of things, is seeing how spiteful kids can be, as early as elementary school.

Kids are much more rude, entitled, you name it — I can personally attest to this, because I’ve got one myself. While I/we have done everything in our power to raise a child with a good moral compass, who will practice compassion and provide empathy to others, to stand up for themselves and for others when they’re being treated unfairly… all we can hope, is that we’ve taught them well and that they abide by these same things while they’re in the world without us physically by their side.

Anyway, back to my original message, the final 30 minutes of “Thirteen Reasons Why” and what I took away from it. I’m in NO WAY trying to justify, defend, rationalize…whatever… suicide. At the end of the day, no matter your circumstance, no matter what religion or ideology you believe or follow… YOU are your own “God” (your conscious is, anyway) and you have nobody to answer to but yourself, when you lay your head down at night. Applying this same thought process to suicide: it is a 100% personal decision that only an individual can make for themself. Suicide is the most permanent decision one can ever make, and it’s a pretty fucking selfish one at that.

There will ALWAYS be tens, more like hundreds, of days where it will feel like:
– It is YOU against the world
– No one else can possibly understand how YOU feel
– No one else can possibly understand what YOU think
– No one else has time or energy to actually LISTEN to you
– That there is no point or purpose for your existence
– You want to cry out but feel there’s no hope or no point
– You’re merely existing and not living

You have these days, I have them, your next door neighbor has them, strangers you’ll never meet have them… it’s a part of life, and that’s all there is to it. Some days will hurt WAY more than others… it’s also a part of life, and that’s all there is to that as well.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to TALK TO SOMEBODY and realize YOU ARE NOT ALONE and IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP. Do not wait, don’t say to yourself “next time” — asking for help, or feeling weak does NOT make you any less of a person, if anything else it makes you more of a person, and a strong one at that.

There are so many more intricacies that I could go off on, but I won’t.

I feel like following the “story of Hannah Baker” and her “thirteen reasons why” was a very intimate, fresh take on what it’s like to be a teenager — more matter of fact, a teenage girl — in the 2010’s. (Yes, I am aware the book was written in ’07.)

I felt myself becoming as consumed and intrigued by Hannah as much as Clay was, and I felt myself silently cheering for him as he took it upon himself to be some sort of vigilante in Hannah’s honor. My heart broke several times throughout the series, I cried quite a bit… look, it was an intense take on adolescence. One that stuck with you well after you powered off your television for the night.

Then I found myself at the last 30 minutes of the final episode. We all knew what was going to become of Hannah… but then we started seeing more previews into the lives of Justin Foley, Jessica Davis, Tyler Down, Bryce Walker… oh yeah, and we caught wind about Alex Standall.

My point is — they should’ve just left it at Hannah’s story, in my opinion. I felt like that was a powerful enough message to send, that cries for help really can “look like nothing”… and I do NOT feel it was necessary to start showing open-ended story lines as they were beginning to unfold.

It’s not the suicide portion I necessarily take an issue with — it’s the idea of shining a spotlight on self-harm and vengeance that makes my heart shatter.

Example : We got to see the impact and toll that was being taken on Tyler’s character… now we’re left to wonder what he’s going to do with those guns, and what’s the true significance of those black and white photos he was stringing along in the dark room. Is that going to be his “artistic” take on retribution? Hannah takes herself out, and leaves behind a collection of reasonings in the form of a “lost art” that is cassette tapes… So, are we to think that Tyler is going to hang these beautifully taken portraits, as a way to highlight his perpetrators and soon-to-be victims? Hannah left behind a string of stories about her “reasons” which turned some of those people even further against Tyler, which I imagine was already a tad emotionally unstable, and now as a result of his “role” in Hannah’s death makes him the next bomb about to blow. Main point of reference being Clay, who sought revenge on those who wronged Hannah, but in reality made him no better than some of the others — because now he, too, is tormenting others…

We got to bear witness to what can take place in the aftermath of a high school student’s suicide, but I really don’t find it tasteful to leave things up to the imagination of the viewer, what’s to become of some of these characters. Especially, if the viewers are also impressionable, vulnerable adolescents who are trying to figure out who they are and what is the meaning of existence in a world we all know offers many beautiful opportunities and is bountiful in deeply caring souls, but also has many grotesque facets hidden in plain sight and an infinite amount of wolves in sheep’s clothing.