When you forgive yourself…

People have often asked me if I would change my past and it is a question I have pondered quite a bit.  The answer is always… no. I would not change any of the moments of my life, good or bad. The bad decisions I made that hurt others, including myself, have helped me grow as a person. In the process of growth I spread pain to those I care about by way of self-isolation and bad decision making, but I cannot wish to have done things differently because I wouldn’t be on this current path of enlightenment.

I have hurt and have been hurt in many ways that I wish not to discuss, that is for me to let go as I learn to forgive others and myself. The past year has been full of learning, being present and losing my mind. I had to fall apart in order to rebuild myself in peace. I have people I thank daily for the impact they have had in my healing. There are moments that cause me to stop and self-reflect and realize everything happens for a reason. Every. Single. Thing. Obstacles will always be there whether through your own mental turmoil or the actions of others, the fact of the matter is that growth of self happens when you learn to stop, reflect and give thanks instead of trying to control every outcome of our unpredictable life.

Give thanks even for the negative because they teach you to truly see and be thankful for the positive in your life. That sounds crazy, right? How can I be thankful for something that has caused me harm? Simple. I give thanks for the lesson learned and use it in my growth and/or to inspire others. Those who know my story know I battle daily with the feelings of being tainted, of being unlovable, unworthy, etc. but I have learned to view it from another perspective and give thanks for those moments that bring me low, I see how far I have come and realize I am worth so much more than I could imagine. To be able to see and feel the change inside is nothing short of a miracle. Life is not easy, everyone battles demons, it’s how we bounce back and prove to ourselves that we can persevere that keeps us moving forward.

I used to look back, take 2 steps forward and 4 back until I told myself that life is forward moving and I no longer live in the past. I had to forgive and let go. In the same vein looking forward can be a trap, it can lead you to not see the present moment; this is what I have been working on the past year. Living in the moment, stopping to give thanks, to enjoy the sun on my skin, the breeze in my hair, the changing of the leaves, the smell of lavender, and so much more. That’s when I realize I was living life wrong, I was being swept away by the future while living in the past. Confusing? Hell yes, it drove me insane, until I broke down from the back and forth of thoughts in my mind. I had to change my perspective and learn to forgive.

The person I needed to forgive was myself. When you forgive yourself a new door opens showing you a path of opportunities to move forward. At 38 years of age I am finding myself through self-love and it is beautiful and empowering. I’m no longer looking back, there’s nothing waiting for me there. I must continue to look forward and remind myself to look around at the moment I’m living. Surrounding myself with moments that bring peace, people who remind me to take a breath and live, not merely exist.

How is worth measured?

How Is Worth Measured? By: Jae Vel

 

Parts of me float, gravitating toward an existence long gone

Where I question my sanity and my worth.

But,

How is worth measured?

Through torrents of tears that have stained my cheeks?

Through the labor of my physical body as it took on the lashes of life?

 

How is… worth… measured?

Through the actions of my mind?

The kindness in my heart?

The pain that’s lived inside of me?

 

Is it measured from overcoming obstacles that had me running circles in the dark?

Or

Through a body so empty of emotion that self-destruction was the only way to feel?

 

Tell me, how does one measure worth?

 

Through the triumphs or the failures each step of the way?

Maybe through the hand that grasped the light and let it warm the soul?

Through a body terrified of touch that a wisp of a feather had the power to shatter a mind?

Through the healing and growth that gave way to the broken being renewed?

 

How is worth measured in your eyes?

 

By the hand that now reaches out seeking touch; a physical touch that once froze an entire being in stillness-afraid of the backlash, the ridicule and memories of unwanted advances?

Tell me now…

How is WORTH measured?

My story, the lessons I’ve learned, the message I bring forth, the pieces reconnecting in my mind

Knowing worth was always there hidden waiting for me to discover

I am not broken but whole

I am not caged but free

I am worthy!

Mental Health and me.

I wrote part of this on 12/9/2019 and I never hit the publish button. I didn’t finish my thoughts, at that time I was still healing: Today, I expected the same negative internal monologue that replays everyday, I expected a million thoughts to be colliding in my mind, a typical morning greeting for me, instead, I was greeted with silence. The silence frightened me at first, I didn’t know what was wrong, I wasn’t sure if I was truly awake yet, I had barely slept 5 hours, I didn’t expect utter silence. I rose from the bed after being lovingly attacked by my dog, as I went about my morning routine the silence in my mind followed me on my walk with my pup.I felt the cold breeze hit my face as I walked her, I looked around and actually saw without any running thoughts in my mind. The only thought that came through was “this is a nice walk, I love my dog.”

For anyone who has ever suffered with depression, anxiety, and PTSD like I do, maybe you will understand this phenomenon I felt today. I spent years trying to push away all the thoughts and pull forth what I needed to function in my day to day life, I refused to get help, especially medication help. I started counseling here and there, it helped some, but I was still closed off, afraid to let go of all the pain inside. A few months ago I was given no choice but to start on medication, I was going through major changes in my life and I was barely functional. I didn’t know what to do to fix it all, I found temporary fixes but it was short-lived, the darkness always took over, not always at bedtime, sometimes it hit me during work.

*********************************************

Today:

Monday, May 25th 2020.

I look at the Facebook memories from a year ago today, solely focusing on photos of me. I have been doing that every day since November 2019. Just looking back at photos of me, looking at my eyes, my smile or lack thereof. In some photos I don’t recognize myself, at least, it is not the person I am today.

Most of my life I have battled my demons that assault me in the form of depression, anxiety and PTSD. Now at the age of 38, I can freely speak of the darkness and pain that always lurked in the shadows of everything I did. I am proud of myself for fighting to live, the days where I struggled the most I pushed myself harder, I would not accept defeat. This has been my attitude most of my life, “I must keep going”. I kept going until I shattered, November 12th, 2019, I fell into the darkness and didn’t think I could come out of it.

November 12th 2019, a date I won’t soon forget. On that day, I could not tell you what was up or down, I didn’t know what to wear, I could not make my daughter breakfast. I began to hyperventilate and cry. I clearly remember the non-stop flow of tears, the pain in my chest as I fell to my knees and cried in the kitchen floor while my daughter watched. I could not stay strong any longer, I crumbled at her feet, even as I shattered I tried to comfort her and tell her I was “OK”. I clearly remember my words and her face, her words of comfort. It was then that I knew I needed help, I could not live with such pain and be the mother my daughter needed.

Today, I look back on photos, memories, and I’m thankful for the growth. I am grateful for peace, the stillness in my mind. I am living in the present and it is an indescribable feeling, I smile at the smallest of things, the birds chirping in the morning, my child’s laughter as she plays with our dog, I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and I smile. I feel. I’m no longer numb, I have a myriad of emotions, at times I feel more than one at a time and it is eye-opening. In the past I would hold everything in, I would not cry, the only way I was comfortable expressing emotion was through laughter. Anger burned inside me and scared me, tears made me feel weak, and any other emotion I reserved. I held myself together for so long it was no surprise that I could no longer keep it together. My mind and body were at odds, I was in pain emotionally and physically from holding everything in. But,  I was afraid to fall apart, I always wanted to be the strong one for everyone, being a mom, a wife, a nurse, a daughter, a sister, etc, I tried. I tried to be superhuman and I realized I had a breaking point. I had to deal with my demons in order to truly experience life and be there for those I care about.

I no longer hold back, I speak my mind, I feel the emotions as they come and I have found a sense of peace. My body is no longer in constant pain. Self-care is key to keep me sane. I must put myself first in order to be there for others, my empath ways can make that task difficult but I have learned to recognize the signs of when I need to recharge. I have learned to use my voice. I am learning, evolving and I am truly happy inside.

 

I’m proud of myself. My journey is just beginning. I am worthy, I am a badass, I cry, best of all… I feel.

My Journey One Day at a Time

It’s been a while since I posted anything on this blog, but tonight I felt like exploring some things that have been living in my mind, I hope you don’t mind as I ramble for a bit.

So, somewhere along the way in my journey I lost myself. My sole purpose in life was to exist. Basically, I would wake up, work, be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, sleep and repeat. I became mentally beat at some point but I didn’t recognize it, I just kept going through the motions of it all.

I gained small joys in little moments of peace or moments with my daughter. She could always make me smile, but at one point, the smiling became automatic as well. When I could no longer find joy within myself I held on tight to my job of being a mother. I wanted to make sure my daughter knew her mom was ok and that I would always be there for her. I realize now how wrong I was to hide my true feelings. My smile stopped reaching my eyes, they used to sparkle with happiness and mischief, but looking through old photos the life behind the eyes had dulled. I didn’t notice.  She saw right through me, she saw that I wasn’t truly happy, I know this now because she told me.She can see the difference in me now.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t have moments of true happiness, I did, but I couldn’t keep it going. At one point, I blamed others for the lack of happiness I felt inside, that was unfair of me to do.  I came to realize that true happiness comes from within, from loving me, loving life and everything that I am doing. When I realized that, I started to make changes. I started focusing more on me, I began reading again, writing, took up yoga classes, started a meditation practice and my favorite, acupuncture. I focused on ways to make myself feel better emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually. I tried a few different things, but I would always end up with an empty feeling inside. I began to question myself, ‘ What was wrong with me?” ” Why couldn’t I be happy?” I reached out to my therapist and began exploring those feelings, not directly of course because at that time, I was still pretty closed off to sharing and feeling emotions. I was afraid of what others would think, I felt I was broken and didn’t think others would get it. I didn’t want to let myself feel the pain, which I needed to do in order to feel the good.

I began pouring positivity into myself, began to love me, part of my struggle was that I didn’t love myself because of a trauma history. I felt unclean, unworthy of being happy. I felt like I shouldn’t be happy. So many negative things went through my mind at all hours of the day and night, I couldn’t stop the negative self-talk. I didn’t know how to give myself compassion. I knew that what happened to me was not my fault but deep down I felt it was. If I had just said “No”, if I had said something, etc etc. I worked through some of this with my therapist, and during a session it finally clicked. I was avoiding feelings because I didn’t want to feel like that shattered person, I wanted to hide that part of me, but one day that section in my mind opened, tears flowed and that is when I began to heal.

As I began to heal on the inside, the life I was living started to weigh on me more, I felt like an impostor and I didn’t know how to break free from the vicious cycle of it all. So, I did what I normally would do, I avoided that and dove into my writing. I was still focusing on me but I was avoiding the biggest decision I needed to make. One night while I was looking for more information about writing I revisited Twitter. I began to see a new world, this was a space I could be my authentic self and I felt safe being me around strangers who would never meet me in real life, strangers that didn’t know my history. I could share my pain, my scars by writing my own poetry.

When I began using my voice via written word, I discovered a part of me that I had missed and on one of those long nights on twitter I met a group of writers that I will forever hold dear to my heart. It was the longest night of chatting back and forth on a thread, one we finally had to take to a private chat because we were getting lost in the responses. What always gets me is that night I couldn’t sleep so I logged onto twitter and the timing was just right for all of us to ” meet”.  If you have ever been on Twitter you know how fast paced it is, so to have caught part of a conversation and kept up with it was a damn miracle or possibly the universe doing its thing. We were all meant to connect. . I love each one of them dearly, each similar yet different in their own ways and it works. The most supportive bunch of people I’ve encountered in social media world and we have not even met in real life yet, its in the plans.

I lost much sleep talking to this group of people, ” The Chaos Crew” as we call ourselves now, after we went through a few name changes, this one fits us much better. We tend to cause chaos on threads. By the universe and her mysterious ways I connected with someone from “The Chaos Crew” on another level. On a much deeper level than expected that was for sure. Talking to him was easy, granted it was via private messages on Twitter at first. I’m still trying to figure this part all out, but I keep coming back to the fact that I was able to divulge such heart-wrenching memories with him with ease. I was then able to use my voice in my real life, not just social media. I felt like the puzzle piece I was missing finally clicked into place. A sense of ” this is right” came over me and I continued to explore. I continued to be authentically me, then… I fell in love. It hit me out of nowhere, the feeling of love. I was terrified of what I felt for someone I hadn’t even met in a real life setting. I told myself I was just romanticizing the situation, because I am a romance writer after all, but the more I explored my feelings, I knew it was real.

I was in trouble, I didn’t know what I was going to do now with the feelings that were swirling in my soul, because that is where I felt them, deep within myself. Like I said, I felt complete and it scared the shit out of me, but I just went with the flow and let myself feel. My friends and even my daughter noticed a change come over me. I would smile everyday and it was genuine, I have pictures to prove it. I went through a lot of changes in a short time but the ease I felt with the biggest decisions in my life (divorce,  selling my home, living on my own) let me know that this was all  part of my journey. It was as if I was building to this moment of meeting these people, and this man. I’m still working out some of the thoughts in my mind about all of it but for the first time in 18 years, I feel whole. The feeling is insane but the happiness I feel is genuine. I feel like myself again, I feel like the person I was becoming before my life took a turn into the darkness. I see light, I see the beauty in things big and small, I enjoy gazing at the stars again and just being. I enjoy my daughter completely and she sees the change in me, she tells me all the time which brings me greater joy.. I want to hold onto this feeling,  now that I’m able to feel different emotions at once, when before I didn’t let myself feel any.

I will continue working on myself because it is part of the journey, every day new experiences and new challenges present themselves and I will get through each of them one day at a time.

— Jae Vel

 

Mental Health and Social Media: An observation

By Jae Vel

I just want to say how much I love and hate social media. I opened my Twitter account over five years ago and I barely interacted with it but the last few days I started immersing myself into the Twitterverse by finding people and posts that interest me.

I started reading a lot of posts and comments on threads some hateful, some negative but surprisingly most of what I’ve read has been hilarious, positive and inspiring. I’ve been latching on to the positive messages that I’ve seen, liking/retweeting, as well as the stuff I find humorous all mixed in with the serious stuff.

What I have been really gravitating to is the positive post in regards to mental health awareness. People talking openly about depression,anxiety,PTSD, all of which I’ve suffered with for years.

I felt the need to write this after I read a post by Nick. I probably wouldn’t have found his post ,if it weren’t for the fact that I follow Daniel Gillies and his “like” brought forth the post to my home page.

Nick’s post resonated within me because I have been there. For years, I suffered in silence thinking I was alone. I have been in the darkness, in the bottom of a lonely,empty well, and I have crawled out, only to fall back in a few more times. Thankfully, I’ve found my way back out of the darkness, but I’m reminded that there are more of us out there who are suffering and you don’t have to suffer alone.

Finding others out there that I have never met and will probably never meet, who are putting it out into the Twitterverse is truly inspiring.I love that I found all this positivity out there in the middle of all the negative. Thank you to those people who are fighting every day to get out and stay out of the darkness. The journey isn’t easy but to still be able to speak positively and bring forth the awareness is greatly needed.

Thank you to all the warriors, we must stick together because the darkness is a lonely place.To whoever needs to hear this today, I want you to know that somebody is out there, you are not alone and I’m sending positive vibes your way because, you got this. I got this! We got this!

You took from me

You took from me

By Jae Vel


You took from me 

Over and over 

You took from me 

You took years

You took my smile for a while 

You took my trust

You took my peace 

You took from me 

Over and over 

You took from me

You took my balance 

You took part of my sanity

You took my voice for so long 

You took a part of me 

 

You took from me

You never said why

You kept taking 

You never asked

You took from me 

Over and over 

You took my control 

You took my sense of self 

You took what I didn’t want to give 

You took my security 

You took from me

Over and over

You took from me

You took my choice 

You took my childhood dream

You took off my rose colored glasses

You took so much 

But you didn’t take my hope

You didn’t take my strength

You didn’t take my will

You didn’t take it all 

You took from me

Over and over 

You took from me

You took 

You almost broke me completely 

But you didn’t take all of me 

You didn’t take away my fight

You didn’t take my mind

You tried to take it all

But you didn’t succeed 

You took 

I survived 

You took 

I never gave 

You took

I forgave 

I found my voice

I found my smile 

You tried to take it all

You failed

I survived 

I rose again 

 

Y al fin..Paz

Y al fin.. Paz

-Jae Vel

Tira’o en el suelo, como un tecato

Lleno de su droga preferida, plenamente arrebata’o

Asi quiero estar, entumecido,

que no me llega na’a

Quiero dejar de sentir por un ratito

Sin dar un paso, quiero flotar

Ni quiero pensar

que se duerma mis sentimientos

mientras vuelo en paz

si vuelvo a despertar con tanto sufrimiento

que llenen mis venas otra vez

Y que me dejen ahí tira’o

Sin sentir na’a

Ojalá asi te olvido

En la pérdida total de cognición

inconsciente de todo a mi alrededor

haber si entonces vuelvo a sonreír

Porque el dolor de no tenerte,

me esta matando

Time to mourn

Time to Mourn

-Jae Vel

I never truly mourned the loss of you

I kept a part of the pain inside

I used it to fuel the rage, to fuel, me

I held back tears because I didn’t want to seem weak

I held back because I had hope that you would one day return

I only let some of the pain seep through

it was reflected in my writing, my song choices and my eyes

the pain, the sadness, the void you left behind never left

I couldn’t cry, I wouldn’t cry, I wanted to keep a part of you with me

Even through the pain I wanted you here

I held on so tight for so long that I lost touch with reality

So many years, so much wasted time half mourning you and half hoping

I would catch glimpses of you and my eyes would light up again

Only to be thrown into despair

A despair of my own volition

You never told me to hold on

You never said anything

You just up and left one day

And I’ve been lingering in purgatory

In a state of unbalance

Without giving myself permission to mourn

To mourn the loss of you

Of us

Of time

Of hope

Of reality

What I wanted didn’t matter

What I wanted didn’t matter

-Jae Vel

I wanted to tell you everything
I wanted to let you know all that I learned
About myself,
About you,
about life and the space within
I wanted to show you what you built up in me and then shattered
I wanted to scream, cry, and destroy
I wanted to hug, smile, and rejoice
I wanted to do so many things with you
For you and for me
I wanted to explore what you made me feel
I wanted so much that I failed to notice what you wanted
I wanted you to want the person that I am
the person I grew to be,
the person you helped shape
the person you helped me find again
I wanted you to want me, the real me
but you didn’t want to see, didn’t want to hear, didn’t want to feel
in the end, you just didn’t want me