Life is what happens…

I had a series of unfortunate events (hey mr. Lemony Snicket it happens to all of us) Nothing earth shattering in and of themselves but combined with my current mental health work it sent me skittering off the rails and barely able to handle day to day living let alone making actual progress.

While you make plans.

I knew it had been awhile since I had written but I had no idea it had been over 10 days :O Talk about life happening. I had a series of unfortunate events (hey mr. Lemony Snicket it happens to all of us) Nothing earth shattering in and of themselves but combined with my current mental health work it sent me skittering off the rails and barely able to handle day to day living let alone making actual progress. While I’m focusing mainly on controlling, understanding, and working WITH my bipolar nature I have other health issues I am trying to resolve as well. One of them has been my ongoing allergy/sinus kerfuffle issues. This led to a CT scan that showed my nasal passages are a wreck and that I’ve been living with a chronic sinus infection for probably years – yippee kay yay MFs – so I went on a massive antibiotic course along with a week of prednisone. Can I just say that adding steroids to your body while you are trying to get to an even place emotionally is not something I recommend to anyone. I am also notoriously extra f-ing sensitive to everything (my personality is tough my body is weak sauce LOL ) and antibiotics throw my whole digestive system into cement mixer mode which seriously impacts my ability to think straight. Just as I was coming off the prednisone I had my scheduled 2nd Covid booster AND my Shingrix(TM) Shingles vaccine…it was on the books and I didn’t think much of it. HOLY AUTOIMMUNE REACTIONS BATMAN. Now I don’t think the covid booster did much to me, I’ve already had covid and all the boosters so I feel like my immune system is pretty on board with that whole thing and never did any other of the shots HURT. But this shingles vax? OH BOY. (I got the new shingrix vax…see pic for info)

Y’all this shit KNOCKED ME ON MY BUTT for close to a week. And it hit FAST. Within 1/2 hour I was fatigued, feverish, dizzy…it hit so hard so fast I didn’t even realize it was the shot at first. I mean I couldn’t imagine that my immune system would react that quickly and severely. Boy was I in for a ride. My arm was on fire, swollen, red – it looked and felt like a softball pitch had hit me at full speed. My tattoos all got raised (a clear indication that my immune system is on high alert and a reminder that they probably aren’t all that healthy but that’s a whole other oprah) and I was tired, I mean, as someone with CFS I thought I knew tired but my idea of tired LAUGHED at the body fatigue that overtook me.
I was still faithfully taking my antibiotics so I was still dealing with cement mixer digestion as well, it is an understatement to say I was not running on full cylinders. So writing was at the bottom of the list. I had ideas a few days but couldn’t hold a thought for longer than like a minute.

So this may be the world’s most boring blog post but it’s a reminder that sometimes our best intentions are sidetracked and that is not a reason to give up or surrender. (#nevergiveupneversurrender) All things are temporary, #thistooshallpass is such a great thing to remember. So past me probably would have given up and said some dumb things like “well I ruined that”, “I can never catch-up” (to the arbitrary goal I set), “here’s proof that I’m a loser”, and other fun downer thoughts. But new me post #theartistsway me knows that you have to get back up and just keep #fillingintheform and one thing that kept me going was no matter what I wrote my #morningpages and that kept me from losing the thread entirely. It matters.

So that’s it my totally boring, non-sequitur blog post that serves mostly to remind myself that I can keep getting back up. And when life happens plans are just delayed or mutated not destroyed. What have you let lapse that you could pick back up? It’s never too late to start again.

Bright Bright Sun Shiny Day

“The Midnight Show”, 1973 Johnny Nash singing I can see clearly now

I was promised one world and learned something else – it has been messing with me my whole life.

I was around 5 when this aired. This matters because today we are going to talk about core beliefs.

Recently I’ve given a lot of thought to things I believe from my childhood. I have done 3 rounds of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way over the last 2 years. I have written my #morningpages 448 days (and counting) in a row. That is a LOT of introspection, and a lot of decunstructing of my beliefs.

We all have them. Things we picked up either directly because someone said them to us a lot – or just once in a very vulnerable moment. Think things like “you are so lazy”, “you are such a slob”, “you are too sensitive” or if you are lucky “you are smart” “your smile lights up a room”. And other societal beliefs that we pick up more by proximity. Things we see and hear from other people and in the media we consume, “poor people did that to themselves”, “the world is a scary/kind place”, “hard work will get you where you want to go”, “equality is possible”, “racism is evil and systemic”. (Pssst this is how racism ended up systemic, core beliefs we are given often w/o intent as children)

It has been said that we form our core beliefs and personalities by age 7

Now we all grew up in different places and different times. We had parents with their own beliefs, we went to different schools (maybe someday I’ll write my feelings on what catholic school did to me) So we all were programmed, one way or another with a core set of beliefs. Many people don’t examine these beliefs over the course of their life. What they were taught is what they know and beleive and they change very little. But some of us have a sense that something isn’t quite right. Maybe those beliefs didn’t match your own inanate morality, or maybe as you grew up you saw conflicting information and you couldn’t ignore new ideas. What ever it is when we examine those beleifs we can begin to understand who we truly are, what we truly desire, (Luci would be so proud) and that is the beginning of healing for a lot of us. Because if you are still operating from the same place you did at the age of 7 w/out finding out if your coping mechanisms and beliefs are still relevant and true you may be in a bit of rut. It’s quite possible your life has been on repeat for many cycles.

Do you even truly know?

The only way to get out of your loop (Thank you Westworld) is to examine it and see what you want to change. Or maybe see what you want to enhance.

Either way, reflection, questioning, examining, and challenging your beliefs is how we become our most authentic, grounded, peaceful selves.

Wow, this took a different turn. A much more positive turn really because I came here to say this: This was what I heard in my youth…this was the future I was promised —finding out we were lied to really drug me down, man. I want the diverse, accepting, anti-racist, equitable future I was promised.

But I realized something uplifting in the process. My core beliefs are about equity, fairness, anti-racism, diversity, inclusion, feminism, humanism. My core belief system is a big ‘ol 60s hippy that believes in peace, love, and rainbows. And although it is at odds with *gestures vaguely* all of this, it’s a comfort to know that my core being still believes in the messages of hopes and the vision of a diverse and accepted humanity. (this is my plug for how #sciencefiction made me a better person)

I’ll return to my bipolar journey soon. I promise. But in true bipolar nature that part of the story sent me off on a tangent and it might take some time to circle back around.

Until then what are some of your core beliefs? helpful or harmful. told to you or absorbed by proximity. What are some you have changed? What are some you wish you could change? What are some you are glad are firmly entrenched in your being?