Choose the quiet of your apartment over the noise of yelling children at work
Choose the comfort of your bed over the discomfort of your work environment
Choose the peace of solitude over toxicity
Choose to relax over being triggered throughout the day
Choose easing your anxiety
Choose having time to sit and eat your lunch
Choose a good conversation with your sister
Choose to be honest with your friends about how you're feeling
Choose what you need over what they need
Choose giving yourself a break from chaos
Choose catching up on This Is Us
Choose catching up on homework
Choose to not go to the doctor who never listens to you
Choose to write in your journal
Choose to watch videos of dogs that cheer you up
Choose to say you're not okay today
Choose your mental health
Choose to protect your peace
Choose to listen to your body
Choose to say no
Choose yourself first
Today and always
You need to give birth to something that is healthy.
Nothing healthy can grow in toxicity.
Nothing healthy will ever grow in toxicity.
Health is not synonymous with toxicity.
Toxicity does not promote health.
Toxicity steals from all things healthy.
Mental escapes only work for so long.
It's time for consistent strides to get out of the toxicity.
If you do nothing, then nothing will ever change.
You've done nothing thus far, so nothing has changed.
"No one can sit in toxicity forever and not succumb."
You've accepted toxicity all your life.
Your health has suffered as a result.
Toxicity is no longer acceptable.
Toxicity will no longer be tolerated.
Your health is more important than anything.
Healthy people and toxic environments do not mix.
Remove yourself from the toxicity.
Create a healthy environment for yourself.
Inside and out.
You deserve to live a healthy life.
You deserve to know what it feels like to be healthy.
You deserve to know what it feels like to have a healthy home.
You deserve your health more than anything.
Can't escape it
Can't catch my breath
An accurate reflection of how I've been feeling
With grad school
I need a moment to just be
I need a moment to just breathe
I need a moment of clarity
I need a moment of peace
Running from the smoke
It follows me everywhere
My eyes are burning
I can't see clearly
On top of a mountain
Closer to the sky
Closer to God
Searching for a moment to just be
Searching for a moment to just breathe
Searching for a moment of clarity
Searching for a moment of peace
Anxiety walked up this mountain with me
It complained the entire way,
But it kept going until we reached the top
Perhaps anxiety wants to teach me a lesson
In going when I don't want to
In moving when I'm afraid
In trying even if there's a possibility I'll fail
Exhausted. Burning eyes. Burning chest.
Climb up that mountain
Watch a beautiful sunset in good company
It's okay if anxiety stays
As long as it doesn't steal this moment away
The one you need
The one you're searching for
The one you're in
This is a moment to just be
This is a moment to just breathe
This is a moment of clarity
This is a moment of peace
Today you are a butterfly
Light and flying free
You fly into my bedroom window
And watch me as I sleep
I wake up to the warmth of your presence
You float around as I get ready for the day
You are so quiet I barely notice you
You move with me
From the bedroom
To the bathroom
To the kitchen
You sit on my glasses
As I make breakfast
Letting me know that you are present
We say nothing
You do not bring me chaos
You do not make me cry
You do not make me question myself
I am present
You are present
A reality that I will always miss
A reality that never did exist
When the yelling and arguing commences
Every single day
I can only play my music so loud for so long
I can only read books to escape to another world for so long
There are only so many words I can write to express my frustration
I can only take constantly being triggered for so long
I refuse to shed any more tears over the toxicity and dysfunction
I've been doing this for 18 years
I can't escape this anymore
I can't do this anymore
I can't live like this anymore
I refuse to live like this anymore
Staying here is asking for another mental and emotional breakdown before the year ends
I've been down that road before
I'm not going back again
Of all the goals I've set for 2017
The one I need the most is moving into my own place
A healthy living environment is essential to my physical and mental health
I wonder why I continue struggling with depression and anxiety
The answer is this
I live with my triggers
This is such a trap
I have to fight my way out of here
I have to fight to stay out of here
6:15am. The yelling begins.
Who the hell has energy to be yelling this early in the damn morning?
Why is he yelling?
Why are you tolerating this?
Why does no one seem to comprehend how annoying this is?
Why does no one seem to comprehend how frustrating this is?
Why does no one seem to comprehend how triggering this is?
That's how it always started.
It gets physical.
Somehow I was the first to step in to stop it.
Only, it never stopped.
There was no regard for the safety of their children.
He said sorry like that made it all okay.
This was never okay.
This is still not okay.
This will never be okay.
Why don't they comprehend how triggering this is?
Why does she stay?
Why won't he go?
Can he please just go?
Why haven't you stayed gone?
Remember, this is temporary.
You are planning to leave this madness.
You are okay. You are okay.
This is not okay.
You are okay.
You say this until the pain in your chest eases.
She comes in your room to ask you a question.
You answer her "with an attitude".
It seems like you always have an attitude these days.
You haven't slept.
You thought you'd rest your eyes for an hour.
Until the yelling started.
That's how it always started.
You really don't want to be bothered.
You are still awake.
They left the house.
You are still triggered.
It's nights and mornings like this that used to keep you home from school.
It's mornings like this that heighten your anxiety all day.
It's mornings like this that make you concerned for her safety.
It's mornings like this that remind you not much has changed.
It's mornings like this that remind you not much will change.
It's mornings like this that remind you that you must make changes.
It's mornings like this that make you worry about your mental health.
It's mornings like this that make you want to book a one-way flight today and not come back.
Because, "All she wanted was to get away from all the madness. One-way ticket with no baggage."
Can you curl up in a ball and not deal with today?
But that's how you're still here now.
This is hard.
This is hard.
You are triggered.
That is not okay.
You do not have to settle for this reality.
You do not have to repeat this reality.
Today is the start of your journey.
Today is one step closer to the permanent solution,
That solution being leaving this damn trigger, for good.
You can do this.
You will do this.
Please, do this for yourself.
You can do this.
Take time to take care of yourself today.
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
Reading that hits home for me. I am a light of this world. My light cannot be hidden. My light cannot be dimmed. I am here to give my light to everyone around me. I haven't been doing that. I have been holding my light hostage for people who aren't around me, for those whose presence is limited in my life. I walk around waiting for a few moments, a few days, or a few weeks to share my light, to feel something that is missing the rest of the year, to fill a void of connection. I have created that void by not connecting with my community, by not connecting with the people who are around me, by not connecting with the people who want to be around me. I have done that by being distant, by isolating myself, and by not wanting anyone to see me struggle.
I want to be the strong woman who can handle it all because that means I don't need anyone, I don't have to depend on anyone, I don't have to open up to anyone, and no one can hurt me while I am vulnerable. This comes from never feeling protected or safe at home, finding someone who made me feel protected and safe, finding out that this person is an abuser, and feeling like I can't trust or believe anyone because I don't know who they really are. In all that I am just breaking my own heart out of fear of someone else breaking it. That fear is not allowing me to open up to anyone. That fear is not allowing me to open my heart to anyone. That fear is not allowing me to love anyone. That fear is not allowing me to let anyone love me. It's almost like the wall I've put up around my heart to keep people out has my heart crying for someone who's willing to break it down to see my heart, to see my truth, to know where my heart is, and to learn to love me.
The safety and protection that I seek can only be found through my relationship with God. The fear that I feel can be cast out by the unconditional love of God. God hears the cries of my heart. God will help me break down the wall I have put up around my heart. God already sees my heart. God already sees my truth. God already knows where my heart is. God already loves me. It's me who is still learning how to release the fear. It's me who is still learning to surrender. It's me who keeps my wall up. It's me who is holding my truth, my heart, and my light hostage. It's me who is still learning to love myself.
Being a light means coming out of hiding. Being a light means boldly sharing my truth. Being a light means learning to love myself (which is hard to do when I am hiding the best parts of myself). Being a light means stepping out on faith. Being a light means being the woman that God created me to be. Being a light means answering the call that God has placed on my heart.
The challenge is to put actions to these words. That action starts here with posting and sharing these words. This is only the beginning.