To tell this story and personal triumph, I need to work backwards to describe how I got to this point. February 2022 brought me my very first bone fracture in 32 years. Honestly, the fracture sucked but the how it happened stuck longer with me than the actual pain of the fracture did. I was walking out of a store near my job and riding an escalator to exit the building. I was on the escalator one moment and then the next I was flat on my face in the pocket of a revolving door. My shoulder had slammed straight into the lip of a revolving door and people watched me fall and did absolutely nothing. I quickly learned what adrenaline was, because I was able to push myself into a sitting position and get the hell out of the door but that still resulted in multiple people stepping over me. Luckily, I was conscious and aware, and I was able to call for help for myself. This injury led me to about a two-and-a-half-month rehabilitation period which became the biggest mental and physical challenge for me I’ve ever faced.
I wasn’t prepared for the mental toll that having a fractured bone would take on me. I thought that I’d be in pain, I’d take some medicine, rest, and move on. However, with a broken limb it took away a lot of the everyday independence that I was accustomed to. I was no longer able to feed myself with ease (I could still do it, it just took long), I was no longer able to wash my own hair (the rat’s nest was real, my friends), and I was no longer able to wear any shirt that I wanted to wear with ease because if I moved my arm too much I was forced to face the blinding physical pain that came with the movement of a fractured limb. I was forced to wear different versions a surgery shirt to accommodate my injury, day in and day out with no change. It was a constant reminder that I was injured with a long road ahead of me. At first, the brilliance of working around the injury was a blessing, but then it became like an anchor of a reminder I was carrying around and I started to hate it.
With the extra time on my hands, I dove into my comfort shows and All Elite Wrestling was one of them. I was watching an episode of Wednesday Night Dynamite and Adam Cole pulls this odd looking guy out from the under the ring. His name was Danhausen. I’d heard of him but never really explored his body of work. With the added time on my hands, I went into a deep dive and fell in love. Danhausen became the humor and fun that would keep me company throughout my injury. While I was watching him I noticed that my dreaded shirt looked like his ring gear which was a nice way to redirect of the thought of having to be stuck in this dreadful shirt. I was now reminded of Danhausen which helped the mental struggle and gave me motivation to push through rehab. Knowing that Comic Con was coming up, I decided that I was going to take this shirt and put it to good use, I was going to survive rehab and no longer think about this shitty feeling from this shirt and I would cosplay Danhausen.
With all of this said, I kept my promise. I survived rehab, I survived the pain of being stepped over, and I survived, period. I kept a promise to myself! I was able to cosplay as Danhausen and even meet him! Being able to tell him my story even if it was a quick talk meant the world to me. It was nice to be able to replace a bad memory with a great one. It’s also nice that I was able to stick to my word. I have a hard time with consistency so the idea that I set this goal and successfully kept this promise feels like a win to me. Sometimes life throws curve balls and it’s especially rewarding when you’re able to hit those curveballs right out of the park.
When I first started exploring my mental health, I went into therapy thinking something was wrong with me and I needed to search for the perfect formula to go back to “who I was” before I was “broken” and “wrong”. I use quotation marks because the truth is, I was never broken or wrong to begin with. I was more human than I had ever imagined before. The realization of the never-ending evolution of oneself has been the biggest game changer for me. I am allowed to experience a full spectrum of emotions even the “bad” ones and there’s nothing wrong with that and who I am right now could be completely different from who I am five years from now and that’s okay. I am a recovering perfectionist and people-pleaser and I’m proud to say that out loud because it took a lot of work to get me here and while I still have bad days that suck, I am now armed with the tools and self-reliance to get me through them. It all feels like I’ve leveled up the human Pokémon that is me ready to take on the next set of adventures.
But what do you do when you’ve come to notice the changes in what’s always been there? How do you show up in relationships that never stopped even when you were at your lowest? I’m sitting here with this shiny new penny that is me, but I cannot help but wonder how she fits in in the most precious parts of her world? This is not to say that any of my relationships are suffering but I can’t help but notice the reputation and the precedents set by old behaviors that I’m working hard to leave behind me. It’s a strange place to be because it’s so new and it’s a little bit lonely because I’m forced to learn how to show up for myself and give myself grace and comfort in this unknown world, while also taking on the curiosity (rather than the anxiety, which feels HUGE) of how to show up for others, my most special and important others. It’s a very unexpected part of the journey for me. I thought I’d do therapy and have a few “ah-ha” moments and then be magically healed. Now, I’m forced to take these skills, use them, and figure out to fit into a beautiful life all at the same time. How weird, but how cool all at once.
This ramble was published with the intention to be more unfiltered. I spent a lot of my earliest moments on this page terrified and trying to figure myself out after my parents moved away. I want to revisit some of that rawness in this newer stage of my life in hopes to help someone else along the way. Will I stick to a schedule? Probably not. But, as the thought bubbles pop into the air I’m going to do less running from them and more letting them stay awhile.
I wish I had a consistent flow of thought that could be an endless supply of profound or exciting things to say but too often my writing is dictated by mood, events, and just general time to sit down and really think about what I want to say. There are so many times that I come on here and try to draft the perfect stream of thought and get angry when it inevitably disappears out of my brain. A lot has been happening to me and the general population and I’m freaking exhausted. It’s a hard line to walk when you’re trying to figure out what your personal life looks like during a pandemic while the world feels like it’s on fire around you (obviously hyperbole but these days you never know).
I’ve had this incessant need for self-expression and not the faintest clue of where to start. There’s so many topics I’ve dabbled in on this site and I want to continue to grow the platform. I am trying, I am here spinning my wheels hoping to make use of my abilities and give myself a space to heal but also a piece of myself to those who do read this. To the people who do I appreciate every single one of you. All this to say, I’m working on some things, with zero timeline so I don’t look like a fraud in promising content and having it not be there. I know I’m not disappearing from thousands of people but the level of consistency I’m trying to learn is very important to me.
I know I’m not alone in this struggle. A lot of writers and bloggers I’ve come across all hit a dead space from time to time. I have the privilege of not making this my career but rather a passion project. It’s something that doesn’t go unnoticed. I’m hoping to find that passion or a more consistent realm.
The sentence “I don’t know.” is enough to make me break out in hives at times. As a person who suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I find my comfort in the stability of a good plan, precise information, and the guarantee of something happening. It’s a rigid way to live but it’s been my reality my entire life. I’ve never really noticed this behavior until I started therapy and realized how my anxiety worked. It took a lot of learning to realize that all my behavior was learned and wired rather than something I was doing to myself or someone else. I no longer had to punish myself for being “too much” or “annoying” or the “chicken-shit”, I am now able to recognize that my flaws are moldable and things can be done that can further improve my interactions with myself and others. Anxiety was never my fault, but it is now my responsibility. The power is in my hands to change my ways and learn how to approach life not resenting my anxiety but using it as a part of my identity. I’ve been given the tools to take my power back and use it to my advantage instead of becoming stifled by my disorder.
I find myself approaching my mental health with a sense of curiosity. The use of “what and how” instead of the “why” has been coming up more frequently. What can I do differently to make this task manageable for my stress levels? What can I do to relax when my nervous system dysregulated? What are my “happy spots” and how can I use them to my advantage in hard times? What is my absolute mental limit before I need to ask for help from someone? Reframing the process into a learning experience versus how to eradicate my flaws eases the pressure of perfection. I don’t have to do all things perfect; I can continue life’s path of trial and error. What doesn’t work doesn’t have to be dissected, it can be learned from, and new processes can be created that can foster a better relationship with myself and my world around me.
It has been eye opening to lean into the curiosity instead of always being at war with myself. It hasn’t been an easy road but it’s a road I’m growing to appreciate because I am becoming in a way that I never have before.
My intention was to blog daily during the month of September and for 14 days I was successful. However, the preparation of the trip and the trip itself became consuming and I found myself more present in real life than I had been for awhile. Post trip, I found myself barreling Into the Unknown of my return to the office, getting Penny settled into a daycare situation, and the entire month of October being filled with activities. I still have a lot I want to post outside of the confines of a series and in the upcoming weeks and days I’m going to do my best to post that.
Thus far, I haven’t been successful in posting within the timeline of a series. However, I did feel growth throughout this series. I was able to post work 14 out of the 30 days in September, I was receiving more frequent feedback from WordPress due to the consistency of posting, and I had some family members reach out to say they were following along. I embarked on this as a way to get out of my head and prepare myself for November for National Novel Month. Being able to get out of my head was a great success as I did my best to stick to the schedule and write within the ideas I came up with. There’s still some kinks to work out for consistency in my writing but I’m proud of the ability to practice in a live way and learn in real time with all of you.
Thank you for following along and reading as I work out a writing schedule and most importantly share myself with all of you. I hope to continue to chronicle my journey and hopefully share something that can help somebody else.