Category Archives: Stream of Consciousness

I Dreamt I was Loki

It’s true.

I had a dream I was Tom Hiddleston as Loki.

Don’t worry, it’s not the first time that I’ve dreamt I was a dude. The first time that happened, I was Will Smith.

Which is weird, considering I like being a chick.

*shrug*

Perhaps it’s a writerly thing.

 

Anywho… back to me being Loki.

*wiggles eyebrows*

 

 

The entire human species was on a living ship in the depths of the ocean. I say ship and not submarine because somehow it was a bloody ship and we weren’t covered in water even though we were submerged in it.

It’s a dream. Run with me here.

Something was causing a huge hole in the bottom of the ship, which was allowing water to actually get into it. Or onto it. Whatever. Hole in the bottom – death by drowning looming on the human race.

Loki (me) was trying to help Captain America and Thor fix the issue. In the beginning of the dream Loki was a bad guy but by this point he (me) is an anti-hero. So, a good guy. Trying to save all the people.

Glad you’re all caught up. Moving on.

Then my grandma is in the dream, and she’s in one of the bottom levels of the ship (it has loads of levels, because you know, entire population of world stuffed in there) and her dog (she doesn’t have one in real life) is dying. She was above her sleeping area in another level at the time of the hole being created and escaped with a lot of others.

She called me (Loki) to save her dying dog. (I think he was dying of old age.)

Loki gets to the dog but then my grandma, still on the phone (because apparently cell reception in the middle of the ocean in a ship that doesn’t let in water while being fully submerged, is great!) decides she doesn’t want me to risk my life by trying to get her dog, since her dog is dying soon anyway. I, Loki, was like, just because your sweet little fluff-ball of a dog is going to die, doesn’t mean his remaining life doesn’t matter. And he shouldn’t die alone. So Loki saves the dog.

Then the dream does dream like stuff and skips ahead. I’m still Loki but now we know that the hole in the huge ship was caused by The Villain of this dream – and now we know who that is.

Captain America and Thor try to fight off the Villain in an end-of-the-movie-like-showdown.

Human lives hanging in the balance. *drama*

 

 

Captain America and Thor are fighting against the Villain and they get thrown to the ground in dramatic movie fashion after hitting each other really hard.

*rolls eyes* This is in my subconscious, don’t forget.

Then the Villain isn’t the Villain anymore.

The Villain is Loki, lying there all beat up and disillusioned.

It becomes apparent to me (in the way dreams just let you “suddenly know” things because it’s in your own bloody head) that Loki and the Villain share the same body. Two different beings, one body. And Loki didn’t know this until just now. Neither did anyone else.

Captain America looks at Thor. “Two beings in one body. That’s a problem.”

Or something like that. It sounded cooler in my dream.

They both look at Loki, who says, “You know the only way to kill him is to kill me.”

And you know what the sad thing is?

Captain America and Thor don’t even try to figure something out. They just nod at one another, then Loki, and walk forward with the intent to kill him. And Loki just sits there.

Then I woke up.

 

You know what the actual sad part of this is?

I realized I’m not just Loki in this dream. I’m Captain America and Thor too.

Because I am always the one to give up on me. I never stand up for myself or my dreams. I never say, “wait, we can figure this out so I can live too”. I never try to be my own friend or protector. Never try to understand or help out or wait for.

I am always trying to pretend it is outside forces that keep me from writing or exercising or making the changes I want to make and becoming the person I dream of being.

But it’s not.

It’s me.

I’m pointing at Captain America and Thor – but it’s me, Loki.

Just sitting there. Knowing I will give up on myself and just waiting to die some more inside.

 

My being Loki was interesting to me.

Loki and the Villain in one body. That’s a whole can of worms for me. Yes, I’m my own worst enemy, but it goes further than that for me. Yes, I am bipolar and at odds with myself, and moody, but still. More to it.

But you’d have to understand my relationship with the character Loki before knowing all the meaning the dream holds for me.

I’ve liked Loki the Trickster long before the Marvel movies. I love mythology and tricksters just kinda do it for me. Plus Loki in the recent movies was unloved and treated poorly, then became evil and terrible as a coping mechanism. There’s a whole list of reasons Loki is relatable to me. (Not that I plan on becoming arrogant and murderous.)

I also particularly like Captain America because he always does the right thing, whether that means standing alone or not. No clue why Thor was in there. Not that I don’t like him. There are loads of heroes and versions and mythologies and let’s not get into that because it would be never ending. I just love superheroes and mythology.

 

 

I’m certain there are tons of interpretations behind this dream.

I figured if I wrote it out for all to see, I’d think about it more, instead of ignore it. Because ignoring myself is something I do FABULOUSLY.

But I’m hearing from many sources – including psychology sources – that dreams are a lot more our brain and a lot less wishy washy things to be ignored. So if my subconscious is trying to tell me something, I’m trying to listen. This week anyway.

 

Just so you know – I don’t think it comes across in this post – I actually really enjoyed the dream. And I woke up in a good mood. Its like a symbolic, mythological, superhero, metaphorical map of my subconscious.

 

What do you guys think my dream means?

Had any interesting dreams lately?

Obsessed with mythology?

 

(As for my grandma appearing in my dream, that’s personal.)

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Mental Illness and Failure

 

I read over this, continued on, then stopped as the end of the quote made it through my “scanning” mentality and into my freaking rib cage, where it proceeded to rattle around and saunter on into my soul with a glass of chocolate milk, a hatchet, and a killer smile painted red (from the blood of my demons, not lipstick).

 

“Your mental illness is not a personal failure.”

NOT

A

PERSONAL

FAILURE

 

…Yeah… Just let that beauty sink in.

Seriously. Take a minute.

 

I don’t think a sentence has ever given me such a pause.

If I get caught in a hurricane, a volcano’s explosive raining lava (like in the movies), and an earth cracking earthquake – all at once – I will not be as shooketh.

And I do not mean to cheapen the gravity of this truth with goofy word-smithery. But this is who I am. And if we’re on the subject of truth, how can I mute my strangeness while trying to communicate the uncommunicable of HOW THIS QUOTE HIT ME IN THE HEAD WITH A COYOTE AND ROADRUNNER SIZED ANVIL and then let me fall down the rabbit hole, forever?

The answer… I cannot.

 

My issues, they are not a personal failure.

This never occurred to me before.

Feeling ashamed to tell the truth, that ‘no’, I’m still not doing okay. I am still struggling. I am still broken and scarring and trying as hard as I can to dig myself out of a hole, only to find that I’m standing in the middle of a desert with a body bag and a knife.

…. This isn’t me failing.

This is me telling the truth.

Trying as hard as I can.

And feeling shame when I can’t just “pull myself up by the bootstraps” and become a mentally stable person.

 

Someone told me I remind them of Eeyore in the mornings when she picks me up for work. She didn’t say it maliciously. She was smiling. She is okay with who I am.

Why can’t I be?

Why do I see myself as a failure because I am not “whole” like other people?

Why do I feel the need to “get over” mental illness the way that people get over a cold?

I don’t have any outward symptoms. Any tell-tale signs of a physical illness. And unlike a sinus infection or bronchitis, I cannot “get over” mental illness and expect God to wipe me clean of the challenge He gave me.

Who knows if it’s a lifelong challenge? I might wake up in three years from now and no longer struggle with mental illness. I’m a believer in miracles. But I’m also a believer in God (or whatever/whoever your Higher Power is) giving us trials. And some of those trials are lifelong.

 

People don’t seem to understand this.

They expect us, those with mental illness, to simply chipper up. To get better and stay better forever. That because we had a good day, a good week, a good month, that we’re “cured” and we won’t struggle with this in the future.

A bad day, a bad week, a bad month, these things aren’t signs of failure or doing worse. They’re symptoms of mental illness.

And guess what?

We understand.

Sure, some of us use it as an excuse to do nothing, to expect nothing of ourselves, and to do nothing but wallow in the pain and expect everyone to disfigure their faces in sorrow and pity and miserate with us. But there are people like that in every walk of life, whether mentally ill or not.

Those people are a personality type. Much different from a passing emotion or coping mechanism or grieving stage. They’re different from the days we need to sit in our pain and feel it. How we need to define how we’ve been victimized before we can let go of being a victim. Or sit, paralyzed by anguish, fear, and stunned apathy at how unaware we were of how hard things would get. Or those days where we need to look at what we’ve been through, what we’re still hurting through, and sit there and hurt in it. Those move, they’re fluid. Mental illness is fluid. People who plant themselves firmly in misery and soak in it permanently, without trying to solve any puzzles in their lives… that’s not mental illness.

 

“Your mental illness is not a personal failure.”

I cannot put into words what this means for me. To me.

I can do everything right. Make all the right decisions. Get into all the healthy situations, atmospheres, in with all the right therapists and doctors and group therapies. But that sometimes doesn’t affect where my level of mental illness is that day.

I cannot keep myself from ever getting a cold by eating healthy, exercising, and taking healthy herbs and micronutrients.

Just as I cannot keep myself from having the unpredictable and uncontrollable symptoms of a mental illness by doing everything to keep my mental, emotional, and spiritual self as healthy as humanly possible.

Only God can heal me of mental illness permanently. And I am not God.

I can only do so much.

And still, I can get a cold.

That doesn’t mean I’ve personally failed.

 

And somehow, I feel shedding the tears that welled up when I read that sentence, is the only form of communication that can describe, paint, encapsulate all that I feel inside when I read it.

I cannot explain it to you.

You must feel it. You must know it.

We must believe that having a mental illness does not measure if we are a successful human being or not. Our challenges do not define us. What we do about them, how we do it, all those details… those are what define us.

 

“Your mental illness is not a personal failure.”

 

 

For more quotes on mental illness, check out this page, which is where I scrolled upon this paradigm re-shaper.

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‘Grow Up’ Can Get Lost

Cut the crap.

The drama.

Get over yourself.

Get over all the dramas of your life and the dramas of your relationships.

 

I love that the support group I go to helps me to see that I am held responsible for myself and no one else.

I can be here to support but I am not here to fix people or their situations. Enabling them will help them stay ill. Keeping them from feeling the consequences of their actions, inactions, and/or words will help them stay ill. Lying so that I appear to be who they want me to be will help them stay ill.

Not doing that.

Doesn’t matter what kind of illness it is either. There are so many addictions. So many ways for us to hurt ourselves and others.

 

I am responsible for me.

You are responsible for you.

My words, my actions, my issues, my pain – my responsibility to deal with.

But that’s not what I want to get into today.

 

Today, I want to challenge the saying, “grow up”.

I was going to add it to my thought process. My support group reminds me, tough love, grow up.

But that’s not quite right.

Tough love at times yes.

Grow up?

“Growing up” isn’t exactly getting good at life. It isn’t exactly enjoying life. It isn’t exactly living life.

At all.

 

Perhaps what we really need is youth. A youthful mindset.

(Not childishness. Don’t think child. Think youthful. Really, there’s a difference.)

 

Youth focuses on self-care and self-love and relationship with God (or whatever your Higher Power is), and then thinks of others.

Youth breathes.

Simply is.

Youth says “no” and doesn’t feel ashamed for meeting their NEEDS before someone else’s WANTS. (Don’t forget, unless you’re the parent to a child, other peoples’ needs are their responsibility to meet. You don’t disregard your needs to help someone else meet their needs because they’re good at manipulating you, or a thousand other scenarios.)

If we are to become youthful, we will know and believe we matter and so do all others; humans, animals, and nature alike.

Just breathe.

Enjoy our lives more.

Seek out what we are passionate about more.

Change our perspectives. If we make a mistake – we are NOT horrible, a loser, the scum of the earth, etc. – instead, when we make a mistake, why not think of it as an experiment?

 

Youthfulness realizes life is a gift.

Youthfulness accepts that life is going to hurt.

Youthfulness both knows and believes we have to create our own magic to feel our lives are magical.

 

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What to Do About Shame

If you want to know the difference between shame and guilt, check out my blog on it, here.

Now the only question is what to do with the information.

My advice?

 

Positive Affirmations

If you want to clear our negative thought loops, you must integrate new positive thought loops. Write down and say out loud every morning, “I eat in a way that makes me feel physically good. I am kind. I am positive. I am changing for the better.” Whatever your thing is.

Fill your head with positive thoughts.

How often do we go around calling ourselves ulgy, fat, not good enough,  not smart enough?

You’re feeding your brain the only food it has to eat from.

Like Kristen Lamb said, “The mind cannot tell the difference between truth and lie. What we tell it, it simply accepts and obeys.”

If you want a positive life, get your mind out of the negative thoughts you’re soaking it in.

Seek entertainment, music, books, people, situations, and activities that are positive. Not filled with more junk.

 

Physical Proof

If you want to change, you need to prove it to yourself that you can. More than that, you need to prove to yourself that you are changing already.

Every time you don’t drink? Get excited! (if that’s your negative behavior) If it’s unhealthy eating habits, find healthy alternatives that taste good. I have a chocolate problem. Seriously, don’t laugh, it’s unhealthy. So I’ve replaced it with chocolate, bone broth, plant-based, crazy healthy protein shakes and bars. It’s working! I now get excited about getting to eat and drink those things. Because they taste good and feel good.

Figure yourself out. Implement a change. Congratulation yourself when you do, each and every baby step!

If not, then you’re telling yourself it doesn’t matter when you do make changes, because somehow you’re just never going to make changes and you’re a loser.

That makes no sense.

 

Find Your Why

No one makes lasting changes if they don’t have a solid “why” backing it. The science behind this is so staggering you couldn’t hold all the books on it from last year alone without falling over. And for good reasons.

Why do you want to change? Why does your current state make you feel emotionally and physically (because emotions manifest in our bodies) gross, uncomfortable, not okay? What values are attached to this?

To go back to my own issue of food. I’ve eaten that whole box of donuts. Why? Because I was emotionally eating to fill a void or deal with stress. So I need a new way to deal with stress that is healthy and fits me, and I need a healthy way to fill all those emotional and psychological voids. What value is attached to this issue? I value eating healthy, fitness, and enjoying small amounts of dessert. So now I eat healthily and feel good about it, exercise the way I want to, fill myself up with good books, psychologically informing youtube podcast thingies, enjoy desserts, eat protein bars and drink protein shakes that make me feel like I am eating/drinking a dessert, etc.

We need to know ourselves before we can change ourselves.

 

 

Get Help

Seriously. People you can trust and who will have an idea of what you’re feeling or going through. We are social creatures. Think about a pack of wolves or a pack of dogs. We thrive in healthy relationships. Which is why we all crave healthy relationships.

Pick who you ask for help from wisely. If your problem is a relationship, don’t go to the person in the relationship to get help or clarity of perspective.

Talk about it with trusted friends and family.

Seek out support groups. You might laugh but I was surprised how much it changed my life. How much going gave me the strength and courage to change myself.

Seek out therapy. There’s talk therapy, art therapy, etc…. LOADS of types of therapy.

We all need help through life. It’s called being human.

 

Get Articulate

Write it out. Don’t simply harp or complain. Harp and complain and then slog through the uncomfortable emotions, feelings, thoughts. Analyze yourself. Ask all these questions. No better way to know yourself and find your ‘why’ than to write it all out.

As a writer, I’m not joking when I say – speaking about genre fiction here – that I learn what I have to say once I’ve already written it. Write out all the stream of consciousness you’ve got going on in there. Writing is a huge decluttering tool. You don’t have to be “good at writing”. Who said you had to write in complete sentences? Simply get it out in words and I promise you, you will gain some clarity on who you are and why.

Talk it out. This helps immensely too. But as mentioned above, only with someone who is trusted and will be able to understand your specific issue. And don’t harp. Don’t go to this person and complain about something for a half hour every week. Talk it out. Establish what’s wrong and vent. Brainstorm possible fixes, solutions. Study those out. Talk about progress. Failures and why. Successes. If all you’re ever doing is complaining, well…. you’re not getting anywhere. Get out the gunk and then start working on solutions to the problems.

Don’t forget we are humans and need to rehash some things more than one friend really needs to hear. Therapists are great tools. Utilize them. They care. But find the right fit for you.

 

Feel Without Reason

Also, we need to feel our emotions. Don’t assign a story, truth, reason, or seek understanding for why you are feeling what you are feeling. I know this goes against what I just said, but we need both.

Just feel it.

By yourself. This is for you and you alone to be responsible for. Feel it. It’s not going to go away. In fact, it’s going to build and build while you’re not paying attention and come back stronger and nastier next time.

Deal with it NOW. Or continue suffering worse and worse.

Accept it. What you’re feeling is part of YOU. It is not going to go away or be ignored forever.

Painful emotions are YOU screaming for YOU to hear YOU. Pay attention. Feel it. Don’t always have to look for a reason. Sometimes we simply need to feel it.

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Put Your Name On It

 

Smudges and all.

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Who Am I?

I hate that question.

 

I hate writing “about” pages.

 

How on EARTH can I TELL YOU who I am???

Can you accurately tell me who you are?

How can any of us tell another who we 100% honestly, genuinely are?

We can tell people WHAT WE DO.

We can tell people WHAT WE DESIRE.

We can tell people WHAT WE FEEL.

 

But when it comes to WHO WE ARE, there are too many answers to sum a life up.

We are every single moment of our existence.

And we are different things to different people.

 

Perhaps to the grocery store clerk you’re the person who smiled at them.

To your child? Evil Lady Who Won’t Let Me Gorge in Chocolate Non-Stop.

 

How do we define ourselves?

How do others define us?

 

These questions are ping-ponging around in my head today.

I think we overcomplicate identity.

I think we oversimplify identity.

 

I think it’s a good thing I’m not allowed to give anyone else their identity and no one is allowed to give me mine.

We can change our minds.

Our identities.

We can change our beliefs, our looks, our desires, our feelings, our needs.

We can change everything. We can change our minds.

But we can never make up someone else’s mind about ANYTHING.

 

Stop worrying about what others think of you.

Poke at your fears, desires, needs, thoughts, feelings, fantasizes, actions, behaviors, etc.

Decide who you want to be.

Change.

Most importantly?

BE YOU.

 

Be okay with NOT having all the answers.

Be okay with not having any of the answers.

No one in the history of life has ever had everything figured out.

Be happy with being alive.

Having the options, opportunities, possibilities, etc.

Be happy with knowing you can change.

 

I guess the most important thing is to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Do what you want yourself to do.

Be who you want yourself to be.

 

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Really? I mean, Really?!

Entertainment affects our mood.

We know that, right?

 

So…. why don’t we watch and listen to things that don’t degrade us or bring us down?

I turned a movie on I’d never seen this morning, and it was a total downer. Sky is falling. Negative characters who cuss every other word, throwing around individuals who are dressed skimpy and forced by life to be a sex slave in order to make enough money to hate life and keep living. Large men beating up on everyone. The good guy is a loser who everyone hates and calls a freak. The atmosphere is gross and demeaning to every human being ever.

You know, that movie where you’re wondering… is this almost over yet? Is he going to find her yet? Can everyone just die yet?… You know that button the moron president kept almost pushing in that kid movie about aliens and monsters? Yeah, can SOMEONE please press that button in this universe? Just blow them all up.

*head desk*

Or you know that song that talks about people like they’re not… um…. people?

Or that tv show where nothing good ever happens to the main characters? It’s like drama and pain had a child and it came out with Godzilla size world domination plans. It’s all bitter and death and manipulation and DRAMA eaten by misery and vomited up into a trash can of nothing good is ever going to happen.

 

Yeah.

So why do we watch or listen to stuff like this?

I don’t know. There are too many reasons.

 

 

So, here’s something strange.

This morning I woke up in a bad mood. I got up later than I wanted to. I was grumpy. Agitated.

I didn’t want to be. I hate waking up in a bad mood. I actively try to get myself out of it.

I typically do.

Nothing worked this morning.

I hit that downhill slope and kept falling down it, chocolate bar in hand.

“HA HA! HAPPY FEELS, YOU’LL NEVER CATCH ME NOW!!!!!” *hits NOS button*

I think I might have actually been on an airplane jet-propelled little red wagon, Hitler in the back singing “It’s a Small World After All” …

*help*

Anywho.

I searched around for a movie and found one that looked kinda good.

But it had a squicky mood to it.

You know what I mean.

You watch the trailer and you KNOW it’s not going to be a fun ride. It’s a crappy movie with a crappy half-baked theme and all the bad guys sweep the floor with all that’s decent in the world. Not to mention they win.

But I turned it on while I made and ate breakfast anyway.

WHY???!?!?!?!!!!

Why turn it on when I’m already ready to take someone’s head off with the knife (hatchet) I’m using to get this freaking unripe avocado (green rock) open.

But I did.

I got almost an hour through.

*lightbulb*

*common sense fairy whispers for the thousandth time* Turn it off….

But I had to know what happened.

So, I did the same thing I do with books that are pushing my, “I’m thinking much too much on how Vlad the Impaler impaled people” button… I skimmed through and watched the end.

Even that sucked.

Epically.

Why make a movie if it’s going to suck?

Honestly.

I mean it didn’t even have a good reason for sucking. No “message”. No “warning” about why we shouldn’t use science to unhuman humans. No tragic ending that sends a message about the purposes of human emotion. No big picture reasons why not to pick up random strangers covered in blood and carrying a knife the size of your thigh on the side of the road in the middle of the night while you have no phone reception and no one knows you left the country and you have no clue how to speak the foreign language.

Nope.

None of that.

Just sucked.

A 2-hour movie and I only watched it for about forty minutes.

 

 

I was real irked by then.

But something started to perk my interest.

As soon as I started skipping through it and then clicked out, I realized I was feeling a bit perkier.

We all know what we need to do at this point.

Right?

We find something to lighten our spirits. Something good. Like going from five donuts, a bucket of cookies, and eight toaster strudels, to ending the day praying to the porcelain gods. To eating a healthy but yummy breakfast the next day.

We all know what we need to do.

It’s what I knew I needed to do this morning.

I sought out something funny. Something lighthearted. Happy. Goofy even.

And I feel better.

 

But I’m left wondering something.

Why didn’t I start the morning out with the right vibe inducing entertainment? Instead of turning something annoying and defeatist on?

Is that what I needed in all actuality?

I have a paper to work on, studying to do, jogging to jog, yoga and stretching to do… You know, daily needs that must be met in order to do what I want to with my life.

But this morning I didn’t want to do any of it.

If I tried, I know I would’ve been frustrated and done a bad job.

I knew this.

So, I turned on the angering movie and sat my butt down with my breakfast, steadily getting more and more frustrated.

Why didn’t I turn on something positive????

 

That’s what’s mind-boggling for me at noon, with nothing to show for the day.

Did I need to get more irate? In order to get to this positive, motivated mood?

Is it that I wasn’t honestly feeling my irritation this morning but hiding from it, trying to switch it off somehow, and thusly not feeling it… making certain it wouldn’t go away but build until I paid attention to it?

Perhaps I did what deep down I knew I needed to do.

Get myself to feel the “ugh” sitting under the surface.

Even though I wanted to feel good. Motivated. Positive. Joyful. Peaceful. Like I could actually handle life.

 

Perhaps watching that crappy movie allowed me to feel crappy and realize !hey! I feel it and I don’t want to! Let’s make a decision to skip through this and move onto something else.

Perhaps I turned on that horrid movie because I knew I didn’t want to. Just like I didn’t want to feel on edge.

Maybe I used the movie to force myself to do what I knew I needed to do: feel it so I could get over it.

 

Which leaves me – in a good mood, positive, ready to go for a jog and then come back and tackle my day – wondering one more thing.

Do we ever really figure ourselves out?

 

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