Why is it…people have to be jealous of someone I wonder? Why is it…they don’t notice the remarkable things about themselves?
– Tohru Honda
Rewatching the original 2001 Fruits Basket with Eddy and oh my gosh is it nostalgic… watching old shows lately has been so informative of my younger self and what I gravitated toward. I like to say it feels like I’m “meeting my younger self.” Fruits Basket reminds me just how much I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere…but I so wanted to learn about other people and find someone who truly accepted me for the monster I thought I was. I guess it’s something I haven’t fully healed, even though I’ve found places where I totally do belong, and my logical adult brain can tell I’m not actually a monster. It’s so strange to locate exact wounds from your past and recognize that it’s still sore…and even stranger to not be ashamed of it.
This is a great demonstration of why story is so important. I feel like everyone needs to hear this message, especially now, which is why I uploaded it. Couldn’t find it anywhere else.
What a weird show with such lovable, charming, dysfunctional characters ;_; I love Kyo-Kun so much, I remember wearing a Kyo hat around in high school and people thought I was so weird. Here’s an old drawing from my deviantart back in 2004. I was 15. That was before anyone really knew what anime was…such fun magical times. I can’t believe I’m posting this. I guess I’m feeling brave today.
My cycles are starting to become unbearable and the more I try to figure them out, the more shitty I feel. It’s like the more awareness I have of myself, the more I hate myself for being this way…
Yesterday I started this awesome program called “Women and Wolves” at Wolf Connection, a ranch that offers wolf therapy here in Southern California. I was way too excited to start and it totally triggered my mania and I ended up making a horrible first impression on the group, speaking my story from my head and not my heart, taking up all this time and rattling on and on about things that didn’t matter. I could tell they probably thought I was insane because I was talking so fast and I know I came off so self absorbed… It’s like I was swept up in a current that kept pulling me further and further from shore… I’m super bummed because I was so excited to start this journey and ended up making a fool of myself and don’t even feel comfortable going back next week.
Something that gives me hope though is how they mentioned we’d be returning to our story during the final week to see if we’re seeing it a little differently…they talked about one of their wolves Annie, and how she lost one of her legs and that they used to introduce her to groups with that story. “Here’s Annie she’s such a symbol of resilience for losing one of her legs,” but that Annie would howl over them speaking. This made them realize that maybe this wasn’t her story…that she was more of a warrior who didn’t let what we’d consider a “disability” bother her. So they started telling a different story… they didn’t talk about her accident anymore, they focused more on her being a warrior. And they told us how they wanted us to start viewing our stories that way too… hopefully by the end of this, I can finally let go of this story I’ve been clinging to for far too long, that I’m really starting to feel as a hindrance to my wellbeing. Why is letting go so fucking hard?!
When they brought out my favorite wolf Willow I felt like breathing into her presence completely calmed my weird energy down and I was able to feel grounded in my body again. I hadn’t even realized how nervous I had been and how that made me vomit out words I didn’t even realize…I suddenly felt flooded with shame for just HOW MUCH I TALK when I need to just LEARN HOW TO BE.
Willow came out with her tail between her legs, which they said shows both a nervousness but also a sign of peace. They explained how her behavior would probably be described as “anxiety” in humans, but that she just accepts that it takes her a while to get used to a new environment and new people, and that’s ok. They called it “attuning to her environment.” She allows herself the time to get used to something before taking action, and it’s TOTALLY NORMAL. Whereas we humans like to diagnose different types of energy in favor of what the culture seems “normal.” I realized that what I’ve been experiencing lately (especially because I’m off my meds and had to stop smoking weed for a variety of reasons) is this new awareness of how unconsciously I act due to way too much manic energy in my body.
They said that wolves are always ok with who they are…and I’m wondering when I’ll finally be ok with who I am. The shame I felt in that meeting yesterday made me feel INCREDIBLY far away from accepting myself, and immediately afterward my mind jumped to suicide because I felt so hopeless about who I am. I started looking up stories about drowning, because lately that’s been my method of choice. But then I felt a ton of shame for how little mental discomfort I’m able to handle…just because I feel like I came off as a crazy weirdo to a bunch of strangers? God I seriously spiral way too quick and it’s so easy for me to forget all the good I have in my life. I really need to be more like a wolf.
Here’s a photo of Willow from an in person visit I took to the ranch last month. She has a really strong presence, and they were surprised when she came over to sniff me. It felt like a blessing. Seeing her again yesterday even over zoom I felt that same presence, and without all the people around it was awesome to watch her open up, get comfortable and not be so on edge. They call her a symbol of “balance” because by this point (she’s 11) she knows who she is so well that she’s very conscious of her needs, and that inner strength is immediately felt when witnessing her. I could feel her nervous apprehension when she was brought into the space, but they explained how she takes time to “attune” to down regulate that energy and calm herself down. I hope I can get there someday…With as much healing work as I’ve done on myself, I’m still unable to regulate. I try to not let it bother me, but I’m really sick of it…seeing Willow gives me hope and reassurance that maybe I’ll get it someday.
Lately my mania has been OUT OF CONTROL and Eddy keeps telling me I need to be silent, because my throat has been hurting for over a month. It’s like the awareness I’m building is making me so uncomfortable that being alone with myself makes me feel this bubbling up energy that needs to explode in a flurry of speech…but at this point in my life I’m honestly so fucking exhausted. I’m literally on a roller coaster I can’t get off of…like a horror movie one that wants to kill me. And now it’s beyond mental, it’s in my body and I just keep getting sicker and sicker to where I’m starting to have to cancel all my client meetings…
We as humans are naturally self serving, and for real change to happen, both in ourselves and the world, we have to look at history. Patterns. A good place to start is looking at your OWN story, because the truth is… we’ve all been programmed with a ton of lies and too many of us are still unconscious and asleep. Once you start unraveling those lies… change is inevitable.
Joseph Campbell says “When looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.” Now more than ever this is important to be aware of, with so much negativity in the world. But in order to be able to bounce back into the positive… we have to do our part.
To gather my thoughts about what I wanted to talk about in this project, I chronologically wrote out the events that stood out to me in the last 10 years of my life. The black bubbles were “irreversible moments” for me, and when I told that to a friend she called them “plot points of my hero’s journey” which I really loved. So many emotions came up while doing this, the biggest being GRATITUDE — gratitude for how far I’ve come, the great connections I’ve made along the way, gratitude for this path I’m walking and insight on where I’m headed in the future.
There’s a lot going on in our country right now, and if you don’t know what to do, remember that change starts within. I’d highly recommend doing this exercise (ideally with your entire life) if your past feels like a tangled mess and you’re unsure of what your values are. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE. It’s a good start.
This project has been so organic for me that I’m constantly making realizations about what to do with it WHILE I’m doing it. I wonder if that’s how it is to do personal work and I just haven’t done it for so many years that I forgot? Haha anyway, so much of this time away from social media has been spent consuming other media, which has given me insight and solace into how I am as a person. As much as I wanted to quit doing art so many times, taking IN art reminded me why it’s so important… it makes you realize that all these stories come from a real place. Because they exist means that someone somewhere has felt similar things and they thought it important enough to include it in a show, movie, book, whatever. As I think of the ones that have really stood out and helped me make sense of my situation, I wanna put them in here for my future self to remember that I’m not alone, that I HAVE learned these lessons before.
As a kid I’d watch so much TV, which influenced my love for TV and movies as an adult. But strangely enough it wasn’t until I lost my dad that I started to look for the MEANING behind things. Prior to that I was always using it as a distraction, or a way to drown out my own emotions. Even though I worked in animation, I realized I hadn’t been fully appreciating the art form until this tragedy hit in my life that forced me to look for answers in the world around me, and slowly they started appearing everywhere. Story and metaphor are such amazing tools to aid in our own development if try to see what they’re actually trying to tell us. The shitty thing though is that I have a really bad memory and tend to learn more from FEELING rather than THINKING, so documenting these things really helps retain what I’ve learned.
The Avatar clip about fire ended up getting taken off Youtube, but here’s a great music video that talks about both the positives and negatives about fire which… is really relatable for bipolar in my opinion