Confessions From Quarantine 04

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We all put up a facade to the external world to hide the parts of us we don’t want anyone to see. If someone asks us how we’re doing, even if we’re having the shittiest day we’re not expected to actually talk about it. For people who feel so intensely and deeply like myself, it’s tough to show up for work everyday and even in a great environment, still be so affected by those around me. Having to work from home for an extended period of time has taught me just how much energy I naturally expend around other people to project this “bubbly” persona. Some days yes it would be genuine if I was feeling it, but most days I’d be depressed and anxious, worrying what other people will think of me if I CAN’T be in a good mood. And this feeling would take over my entire day, making work absolutely MISERABLE. Those FEELINGS were all I could focus on. For me, there’s a certain shame in not being “on” for people, even though my logical mind tells me that it really doesn’t matter, no one cares, and everyone has their own shit to deal with. It’s a huge part of why I quit social media. It’s unhealthy to feel like you need to “portray yourself” a certain way to the world. I knew that pattern I had developed needed to be changed, to be healed, but there was never any time to really do it.

Having to stay at home has finally made me sink into who I really am, accepting that there are different sides of me that need to be honored and expressed. It’s taken a lot out of me to hide these parts of myself for so many years, expecting that someday I WOULD just be able to just be happy and bubbly for people ALL THE TIME and come back into the world. Absolutely ridiculous. It just got worse! Having the opportunity to slow down has allowed me to shift that perception of feeling that I need to “be something” for other people. After living so much of my life moving WAY TOO FAST to really take in and enjoy ANYTHING, I see now that slowing down IS actually an option, and it’s so necessary for someone like me. In order for me to stop feeling so much shame, I’ve decided I HAVE to talk about who I really am in order to move past this wall that’s gotten so high over the years. Hiding our true selves takes a HUGE toll on us that just piles up over time until we’re crushed under the pressure. It’s so important to just…learn how to be you.

Phew! Been meaning to say this for quite some time! It’s funny how liberating even drawing that image of me was….

I set out to do this comic for “art therapy” reasons, but I guess I really didn’t expect to feel what I’m feeling working on it. For me this whole thing is a legit life reflection session…it’s like sifting through broken glass to find pieces of gold.

When I did this page I was the vibrating, pulsing kind of manic and I feel like as much as I tried to control it, to me it shows through even in how I wrote it. I love that I’m learning how to channel my emotions into this… it’ll be so valuable to look back on when I’m in those dark times 🙂

And such a great release to finally let go of all this!!!

Confessions From Quarantine 02

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I just have to say… I’m really grateful for being on the path that I’m on during this crazy time. I feel like I’ve made such immense progress as a person over these past 10 years and it blows me away how I am where I am right now. I would NOT be able to handle it as well otherwise…

Seriously… going to meet Mother Ayahuasca broke me open in ways I’m just beginning to feel and understand. Moving forward as a species, we have to all be able to connect with nature in a similar way as taking ayahuasca… She has a way of making you feel it.. feel it ALL…that warmth of connected oneness with the universe. And we’ve done so much to damage her so now we’re paying the price…

I watched this pandemic series on netflix and in one of the episodes a student asks this virologist “Why do you think humans haven’t evolved to take care of this virus yet?” and he replies something like “That’s the question isn’t it…” But to me it really does seem something like… this is just part of the cycle. As humans we have to collectively learn how to handle the pain of the consequences of history if we’re meant to move forward once this quarantine is complete.

And what kinda person will you be then?

Bipolar Extremity As A Superpower!

Mood: 😀

So that’s what I mean by “enjoying life”– allowing yourself to feel this blissful, like everything is right in the world, even if it’s burning down around you.

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“Now this is livin’!” – Me at this very moment (Wonder what it’ll be tomorrow lol…)

Dunno if I’m going manic or what, especially after what happened yesterday… but I dunno I’m just feeling really great all of a sudden. I think it started when I was working and thinking “I wonder if I can enjoy this” and then I realized that, part of what’s been wrong is that I NEED TO ENJOY LIFE and I’ve been CHOOSING not to this whole time! And it JUST dawned on me.

How ridiculous is that?!

I think… on good days like this for me… I can step back and see that life is just one huge game. I think it was as I was reviewing older posts and I saw this enneathought I posted.

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I am simply the result of too much selfishness and egocentricity, but to look at it and accept it… to KNOW that where I’ve come from has turned me into that… I can now just… let it go.

I wish I could see the enneathoughts for the other types for that specific one… because it shows me that we humans on earth, basically all we’re here for is to exist to provide examples for other humans to learn. I was looking back at my life today thinking “at what points do I feel like I’ve learned the most? And what am I learning from? I feel like I’m ALWAYS learning!”

And that’s because you learn from the world around you!  Yeah sure people go to school and value that sort of academic learning… learning more about how other people say the world works… but someone like me learns from doing. Learns from experiencing.

And I think that’s why I’m one of those “Apocaloptimists” they’re talking about, and Eddy is the complete opposite of that.

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I’ve been following this “healer” path for a while, but I guess just realizing it’s a healer path since I’ve come back from doing Ayahuasca, even though I had been doing it all along.

You know, people say about mental illness that you can shift your perspective to see it as a “superpower” rather than a “flaw.” I could clearly see the obvious superpowers of bipolar — boundless energy, sometimes productive mania, generally more open with others — but one of the something I’m starting to become really aware of is the EXTREMITY of it all.

I guess I’ve been slowly becoming aware of this for a while, but it hit me really hard today! When I went to the Journey Home women’s retreat last year, Claire brought up the idea of a pendulum, and how we have to allow ourselves to swing all the way to each end in order to truly see ourselves and heal, but a lot of us are afraid to and only swing somewhere in the middle.

But if you live just in the middle…it’s true that you feel less pain because you have walls up to protect yourself, but is that truly living? Some would argue that not truly feeling life to it’s fullest isn’t, but I suppose some people would be ok with that in order to be safe. One of my friends literally told me so when I mentioned the pendulum — she did NOT want to venture further, which was shocking to me!

So that’s what I mean by “enjoying life”– allowing yourself to feel this blissful, like everything is right in the world, even if it’s burning down around you.

Lol I feel like I now understand this on a deeper level:
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Yes, this is a good mood day, but it made me realize how much I value this “enjoyment,” and I suddenly started seeing that I was choosing to just look at certain things as “unenjoyable” when… that was only a perception I was deciding to choose.

But that’s just a habit right? A pattern? And something I realized today was the effect music can have on me… I never knew before, but I guess today I was extra sensitive, and I noticed that listening to mantra calms my mind down enough to simply enjoy the act of working.

And now having felt that enjoyment working, I can continue to chase that feeling to release dopamine and keep me entertained by something I previously disliked. And maybe turn THAT into a habit instead!

Of course this is just a hypothesis and I won’t know until I try it tomorrow and… I wonder if it can work even if I’m depressed. At least it’s a ray of hope!

Something interesting too is, I asked Eddy if he considers it a priority to “enjoy life” and he said no! I knew it! I don’t think it is for an Enneagram Type 5! To him it was more about “protection of life.” I wonder… what would YOU consider your “priority” of life? Yes, it changes… but I’m curious what it could be other than to “enjoy” it too.

ANYWAY LIKE I WAS SAYING!!! The extremity is a superpower because we as bipolar people ALLOW OURSELVES TO FEEL BOTH ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM!!!

I dunno how this is with other people, but at least for me I feel like I come alive in a crisis situation. Like… if everyone else is freaking out, I feel like I can keep calm and somehow make people around me feel better, even though normally I feel like I’m complete shit.

Yeah, it sucks to be on the low end but I’m betting that being in that dark place so much gives us a tolerance to it that only people with similar experiences have. And because we’ve been equally as far on the other, “good” side… (remember: pendulum) we’re able to stay optimistic because that feeling was SO GOOD that we’re constantly trying to get back there. Then once we’re there and people experience our true joy, they see that it IS possible… to feel that. And that’s one of the true beauties of life, isn’t it?

And THEN, when the world goes to this level of darkness, like it has, many of those people haven’t allowed themselves to feel enough pain to be ok with it. Like their tolerance is too low. But I suppose… being a hungry ghost to the extreme level — a “perpetually unsatiable 7,” the hunger trains you for… The Hunger Games. LOL.

“Lessons from gluttony”, if I’m not mistaken haha xD

I’ve noticed that people at these retreats and such that I’ve been going to are similar… they’ve gone through enough pain to make them seek an alternative path in life… a path that’s painful, but they don’t give up trying to understand — themselves and others. It truly is the path of healing, because once you heal yourself, obviously you’d want to pass that knowledge along.

And that’s what I’m vowing to do. Hopefully I can remember this… and come back to it.

We’ve all got superpowers! I’m so happy I feel like I’m starting to discover mine!

This is the song that helped you have this epiphany btw, good idea to maybe come back to it later when things go bad again. Ganesh is a great for you — “REMOVER OF OBSTACLES” — exactly what’s needed right now 🙂 Highly recommend this mantra if you wanna stop being stuck! I’m gonna try listening to it the whole time I work and see what happens!

Confessions From Quarantine 01

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Back in October I said I wanted to post more on here and make it really feel like a “home”… where I could say whatever I wanted. Considering everything going on with the Coronavirus pandemic, that feels like a world away now. It’s nice though…to look back at encouraging words from your past self. Amy says it all the time, how it’s nice to leave little notes for your future self. It makes you feel less alone.

Not gonna lie, the quarantine has been rough, but also REALLY REALLY NICE. I feel like a lab rat in my own control experiment, given the time to observe my behaviors and patterns and figure out what to do to make positive change stick. One of the things has been realizing I seriously need an outlet during this time, so I started this “Confessions from Quarantine” comic.

I’ll be posting daily panels on my Instagram, and once a week I’ll post the 4 paneled spread on here and see where it goes! So feel free to follow me on there if you want a sneak preview 😉 I also started a Twitter account! Who knows how much I’ll update that but… it’s there!

GASP! It’s so strange to think I’ll be making a serious effort to go back on social media.

….shudder.

Really hoping I keep up with this though because there is SOOO much I wanna share!!!

HAPPY EASTER!!!