Jun 7, 2014

When I was young, I dropped a bowl onto the kitchen tiles. An accident, of course. But I cried. Mum came and helped me clean it up and calm down, but I still cried. Why? Shock. Shame. Fear of getting in trouble. The unexpected.

Another time my mum went on a holiday and brought me back a present. It was a necklace; black leather cord with a pendant made from some kind of polymer clay. It was made to look like a picture of a lizard in amongst some dots and colours, looking very 'outback Aboriginal' in its design.
I felt special recording that gift; it was precious to me, because it was mine, and because my mother had given it to me. I kept it in my pocket on that first day, and I loved to play with it; the pendant felt slightly rubbery and bendy and as I kept testing its strength and malleability between my fingers, it snapped right in half.
I cried. I took it to my mum, and she reassured me that we could fix it, but still I cried. Why? Shock. Disappointment. Pity. I was so sad for myself - I had just got this new thing, this prized and precious possession, and it was already destroyed. Sure, it could be glued back together, but it would never be the same again, never pure and new again. It was ruined forever and I was in mourning.

Today a plate broke at my sister's house. Part of a one-of-a-kind thrifted set with unique painted details. It's my sister's crockery, but even I loved that plate. It wasn't my fault, but my sister wasn't home to witness, so I sent her a photo with excuses and reassurances that the whole thing was an accident, or course including an obligatory sad face emoticon in mourning for the plate. I was expecting retribution and scolding in reply. I received this:
"It's okay - not precious!"

And that is precisely when I sat down and began reflecting upon all of this. All my life I have put items and objects and things in a place of protection and preciousness, often before even myself.

Earlier this year I had a car accident. It was my fault, but an honest accident nonetheless. It's left me quite cripplingly in debt, and for the days following the accident, I was an awful mess - but my sister said this to me:
"Em, the most important thing is that no one got hurt. There are more cars and there is plenty of money in the world, but there's only one you. You need to look after yourself."

And that is true. It doesn't immediately seem like entirely helpful advice - I'm still in debt, regardless of my self esteem. But it has been a battle since then to not define myself by my financial status or what 'things' I have. Coupled with having a new job, necessary for the debt, but in a semi-rich area of town where status is quickly applied with money and possessions, the battle has been a difficult one.

Who would want to be friends with me when I'm at a financial loss?
Who would think anything of me when I don't have rich fancy things?
Why would anyone want to hang out with a girl who drives a shitbox car?

You know what, though? Those questions shouldn't matter - anyone choosing their friends based on that criteria is misguided.

There IS only one of me - my financial status, the things that I have and don't have, the car I drive... All of these things affect my life, but they aren't me. I'm always me, rich or poor. 

And you are always you, rich or poor,  healthy or not, happy or sad, here or there. 

This year my goal is to minimise. To stop being precious about my replaceable things and realise that I am precious. That I am more important than the things I own. That things don't own me. 

That all being said, I'm off home now to clean my room. To get rid of the things I don't need and make that space my bitch. I mean, make that space my own, and make it life giving. To reflect that I am one of a kind and value myself far above any of the clothes or trinkets I own.

'But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.'
-Philippians 4:10-13
Mar 21, 2014

It's only scary because I don't usually do this.


Mar 17, 2014

I woke up dizzy again
Sent a message to all my friends
Said 'Tell me it'll be alright'
I breathed in air and time
Waiting for their reply
Should I make a fist or make a flight?

Friend or foe 
Why can't you go
And leave me alone?

Today is longer than yesterday
By a thousand years at least
And tomorrow feels forever away
When I'm staring down this beast

I searched for a face I knew
But everyone just looks like you
Their eyes are filled with fear
I've prayed a thousand times
That someday I'll wake up alive
But I am still right here

One day I know
And soon I hope
This place will feel like home

Today is longer than yesterday
By a thousand years at least
And tomorrow feels forever away
When I'm staring down this beast

I see the sun but
I can't wake up
No I can't get out of this bed
But I can not sleep for
The fear in my dreams
Will not leave this head

Make it stop
Make it stop
Make it stop
Make it stop

Today is longer than yesterday
By a thousand years at least
And tomorrow feels forever away
When I'm staring down this beast
And it's staring back at me.

Songwriting is cathartic. When there's no pressure, when you just take your feelings and put them into minor chords and go all emo for a while, there's a sort of peace that floats along with it.

This song, if it's not clear, is about a less-than-healthy mental state. Depression/anxiety, call it what you will, this is how the 'Beast' has preyed on me at times and so I wrote about it. I'll probably upload a recording when I get around to it.
I wrote it last year in the middle of an oval on my ukulele, just singing my feelings in the midst of my frustrating depression.

The other one I uploaded, 'Pepper//Terry' is about a girl I knew, even if it was only barely. But she impacted my life so much in my journey to work with youth in the brief time that I knew her. She was full of life and made me laugh constantly, but hers was already a tragic story before she was killed in a high speed car accident along with two others.
I wrote it this past weekend at the Surrender conference, which I immensely enjoyed, though spent much time feeling mournful. I've wanted to write a song about my encounters with this girl for a long time, but I could never get it right - I still don't think I've hit the nail on the head (because how can you do something like someone's life and death and impact justice?) but it's what it is.

Like fire the pepper burns my tongue
Your smile laughs at what I've done
I hope that you can find some hope tonight
As we sing all these words about the light

But you're spinning out of control
Shouldn't have to know this pain at only 14 years old
You're spinning out of control
Just trying to find a home for your soul

The call comes early on a Friday in my car
This time you've gone too far
And it's too late now there's nothing I can do
Maybe this life was just too hard for you to hold on to

You're spinning out of control
It's too soon though, you're only 16 years old
Now you're spinning out of control
Down the highway too fast you lost your hold

We drive all morning and stay the afternoon
We've got seats saved just behind row two
The song they play says we'll find Someone Like You
But I don't think that's true

Now I'm spinning out of control
Thought I'd have it sorted by 23 years old
I'm spinning out of control
And the pepper burns like fire in my soul

The pepper burns like fire in my soul

The pepper burns like fire for your soul
Feb 19, 2014
But it feels like it is.

I started this blog over a year ago, and titled it 'Finding Lost Things' because that was the journey I had started - a journey to find all the things I had lost while suffering from depression in my teenage years. I had expected the blog to be filled with wondrous and inspiring self-discovery, delivered through creative photos and prose; it would be a beautifully crafted anthology of pieces, dedicated to life, joy, and recovery.

And now, I want to smash my computer screen and fill the cracks with these endless tears.

Fuck depression, fuck anxiety, and fuck relapses. This blog is not what I wanted it to be, namely because I'M not where or who I want to be. I'm numb, and if I'm not numb, I'm scared. I can't decide if the depression or anxiety is more insufferable.

I mentioned before - all the 'blah blah blah' about not being ungrateful for what I have, etc, and people will often say 'be careful what you wish for', so let me be clear: This is not a 'wish', it is merely how I feel. And how I feel is raw, and real (though it may not be 'truth') and completely and totally fucked up -

I would rather suffer a painful and chronic physical illness, than this mental mind-fuckery. And don't think that if I only knew such a thing that I would change my mind - I wouldn't. I have had my own share of chronic physical issues - asthma, hayfever, sinusitis (all of which play off each other), vertigo, astigmatism, TMJ disorder - some worse than others, some diseases, some symptoms of whatever else is going on. The vertigo and TMJD are probably connected somehow to the stress.

My point being, in this feeling, is that throughout all of these physical issues, I have always had hope. That simple yet strong lifeline. Hope has gotten me through some very dark spaces. Hope has helped me survive. Hope has allowed me to keep smiling, dreaming, and acting even when my body doesn't want to cooperate entirely.

Do you know what depression and anxiety do? They steal your hope, your joy, your energy and zest, they steal your dreams and your passion and peace. They steal it all and lock it away in a taunting box, then dangle that box right in front of your face to remind you what they've stolen.
'You could unlock this box' they say, 'you could have your joy back, but you know it won't last long. You know you're worthless, and a liar, and will never achieve anything. You know you're going to fail and fall to pieces, you know everyone you love will turn their backs on you at some point. Try and unlock this box and get out your creativity while we remind you of everyone who has ever left you, while we remind you of everyone who is better than you. Go on, it's right there, just take it.'

I'm left with this restless lethargy - I need to do something other than sit on this couch, but there's simply nothing I can think of doing, nothing I want to do, nothing I can stick to. The amount of concentration simply to write this is physically taxing and even still I'm all over the place.


I have a bunch of childhood pictures on my fridge. And I see this little me, so filled with hopes and dreams and goals and laughter, and I think 'FUCK you depression, fuck you anxiety, fuck you shit-humans who screwed that little girl over and sent her into a lifetime of fear and doubt, who can't trust or be intimate, who is so uncertain of every little step even when the path is laid right out for her. I'm so sorry to that girl because I lost her hope; I wasn't strong enough to keep it.

I thought I was done with this black dog, but it seems this time to have sunk its teeth to the bone.
Jan 27, 2014
Is it treason

To mistrust
To question and challenge
To be filled with disgust

Is it treason

Is it right

To not belong
To not chant and cheer
To suggest that you've got it wrong

Is it right

Is it self-righteous

To exclaim
To point out the injustice
To point a finger in blame

Is it self-righteous

Is it futile

To love
To care and to change
To look for help from above

Is it futile

Is it treason

To write a letter
To mourn for this nation
To believe we could do better

Is it treason?

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Just trying to figure this whole thing out and getting it wrong along the way.
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