My own private purgatory

It is the first gray day in a month. Even though I’m still not feeling well, I am enjoying this morning of soft shadows and rain. The autumn is transforming the trees outside my window into a colorful drama.

I’ve been struggling with anxiety lately. It feels like I am stuck in a personal purgatory, even though I don’t believe in stuff like that, but that’s what it feels like. Everything I want is out of reach. I am in a limbo, a waiting room. It’s so frustrating and I’ve become quite negative, I don’t like it. I need to shake it off, otherwise I am afraid I’ll sink into another depression. There’s just so much pressure right now; I have to get healthy and strong so I can look for a job, otherwise I can’t afford to make new art projects, or starting my own business and moving Johnny from the States to Sweden to live with me. But the pressure makes my health worse and then I don’t feel strong enough to work, because I’ve been burned out for so long. It’s like a vicious circle and I need to break it.

I made a list of everything that’s going on right now (or things refusing to happen until I’ve dealt with other things first) and I have 11 active processes that I’m going through at the same time – each and every one of them demands a deep focus. Some of them are just things I have to go through right now to be able to get to ‘the other side’ [of this purgatory] and the rest of them are just part of life and nothing I can control but nonetheless things I have to deal with.

This is a crappy time of my life but I guess life is really nothing but a cycle of good and bad times. The only good thing about feeling like you are going through a private purgatory – is knowing that better times will eventually come; my future looks like a treasure chest full of everything I have ever dreamed of!

It all just seems so far, far away.

And it’s driving me a little crazy.

“Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around”

It’s a sweet morning. White skies. Stillness outside. Nothing but wind. And I’m under the blankets, watching Vanilla Sky on DVD. There are so many good things about that movie. The soundtrack is amazing. And it’s filled with little lines that fits perfectly as a reminder of what life’s all about.

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Vanilla Sky, 2001

The movie focuses on the relationship between actions and consequences. To be mindless and mindful, to make decisions or to live with the consequences of not making them. To be emotionally numb and awake. To feel like life’s owning you and how to own your own life by painting your sky in any tone you want, grey, blue or vanilla.

It is about human vanity and the comfort of buying a lifestyle and the illusion of happiness it creates, “living the dream” – and the discomfort of adapting to the cruelty of reality – being stuck in a nightmare, a spiral of negativity that makes you feel like a victim of life.

But the message is far from negative. we are not victims of our own lives – we are the artist who’s creating it. “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around”. What a powerful statement.

But all those chances are far away from any comfort zone and doesn’t come with a price tag.

You can’t buy yourself a vanilla sky, you have to paint it. The opposite of being a victim of life is to be a Claude Monet. And here comes the importance of making a decision again. Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around. Now. Now. And now.

Harmony of the core

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I feel so much gratitude for the people close to me. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have so much love and appreciation around me. I’m building a new family of friends and I have Johnny across the ocean who’s looking after me more than any other boyfriend whom I’ve shared my everyday life with, ever did. I’m painting my life with careful brush strokes. Every decision I make has a meaning and is pushing me forward instead of me clinging to what I already know. I’ve wasted so many years, tears, heartbeats and headaches on the wrong things. Stuff without substance. Destructive things that drained me. And unattainable fantasies and ghost hunting. Now I want everything in my life to be real, positive and to unfold naturally. I’m done forcing life in the direction I want, life doesn’t work that way anyway. I am accepting the fact that even if I make decisions and even if I’m leading my life in a non-forced way, life is still full of surprises and occasionally creates little mazes for me to find my way out of. But with acceptance comes a sense of inner peace. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted for myself.

There’s a big difference between being comfortably numb and emotionally paralyzed that I use to feel – and to be at peace. The serenity of the heart and mind has nothing to do with passivity. On the contrary – a vivid inner life of wants and dreams but with the acceptance of circumstances and reality, creates the perfect balance of ambition and stillness – and ultimately finding the harmony of the core. It is very difficult to get here, but once you find this place everything in life unfolds with a sense of ease and simplicity.

A taste of Heaven and Hell

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Yesterday, the hormone storm returned. I’m always unprepared and terrified when it happens. – and I get buried underneath a heavy fog of fear and hopelessness. At times I feel like I don’t want to exist anymore – and that’s not me. But that’s how deeply affected we are by hormonal changes. Some women get anti depressants during these days each month, but I’m skeptical when it comes to medication. I guess it goes in line with the fact that I’m against drugs and alcohol.

But I have new ideas for writing projects and I am starting my new job at the gallery tomorrow. Good things are happening and I’m holding on to those when I feel a little lost. My life is finally starting to look like a real life and not just a pile of a broken pieces. I have love in my life, I am creating art again, I’m making new friends who means a lot to me – and I have a new job. My life looks so different now. I can’t believe how many years I spent in bed, or wearing a robe just because I wasn’t doing anything. My life had lost its purpose and I got lost in the comfort of the everyday life routines. That’s why I can never get too comfortable in my life. I am highly allergic to it. But of course, I don’t want my life to be uncomfortable either – I’ve been living in the sufferings of traumas for almost 20 years and it’s just a living hell. There has to be a balance between the comfortable and the uncomfortable. To not be suffering but not falling asleep and get lost in the security of life.

woa

Even if I still have days with anxiety and panic attacks, it’s nothing compared to how it used to be. Now, the anxiety only last a day or two. I feel very grateful. And it’s an evidence that all my hard work to overcome the PTSD symptoms have paid off. I am proud of the journey I’ve made. Now, it’s time to continue the journey – and I know it will take me to wonderful places. I’ve been to Hell, perhaps I’ll get a taste of Heaven too. Who knows?

Welcome, reality

Ok, so here it comes – the hangover to all the good changes that are in motion right now. I’m freaking out a little. My world has been so small for such a long period of time –  it’s just been me and my own inner Universe – and now it’s expanding, so fast and with so much intensity and I feel like it’s being invaded by reality. It’s healthy but it makes me feel vulnerable and anxious. I’ve been spoiled with clean hours – hours free from any expectations or pressure from the outside. Those hours used to pass with a slow movement, almost like they never existed inside my apartment, like it was only an illusion just to keep up with the world outside it. Now they feel manipulated and distorted. Cut in half. Speeded up. Attacked. I need to get used to this. It’s just a matter of adjustment. But it still feels strange. I feel a little stressed by it. I haven’t had the time to create anything this week. Hopefully I will find some time tomorrow.

Life has changed its rhythm and I have to accept it. I will even try to embrace it.