Swans & Sisters

Mossy letter for an ancient friend. 50c0319422c004419b5f32ae2fec4865

Dear helping hand,

Your days of turning on my internal face are twisted with confusion.  I am early and late. I am sprawled out and lacquered onto the surface right in the midst of evaporation. Evaporating into the future and fossilizing into the past: this is always an almost game. We are always interrupted. Where do my blue birds fly when the skies turn to grey? Where do my ambition and humble stillness run to? Show me the way out of this. The etching of a lifetime still hurts because I am sensitive STILL even after all of this. Thick skinned and painfully new at it, new in it, as you already know. Wisdom and strength are no match for the feeling of failure at some certain angles. Imaginary. It is always shocking, and it does not go away.  Like a song or a poem I wrote standing at my podium at the cafe in midtown. The places I know and have known are just another wave of your arm, another beat caught in your path. The place that hurt me helped me sew my own handmade red shoes. The knowing that I could do something on my own was important. This chip on my shoulder continues to fill in. It wraps itself around and around until it is exactly heavy again, and oh do I have questions for you; 

  1. Will I withstand the waves of passive aggressive jaunts and blows of girl games and labels? 
  2. Will I stay steady or collapse with the pressure of it all? Am I below average? Why is this still a question!?  Please. Give me answers. Please. 

Respectfully and wishfully, 

You Know Who ❤

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By the sea, Vancouver.

Dramatic P.S. 

The poetic cries of anxiety and depression lead to one great conclusion;  I have not been home since I got sober. The part of my sobriety that works so well relies on empowerment, but am I really working that hard at all if everyone in my life is out of the main picture? Well, YES! Yes I am because I found out recently that I am a swan, and I found out that “The Ugly Duckling” is a lifelong lesson for children and adults because some of us have to go outside of ourselves to find out who we really are. We have get out there to find our pacs, and we howl like wild to do so because if your family hates the water and you love to swim you cannot stay dry on their behalf.

 

I have a Sister.

(New Years Eve 2013)

It is the third and final New Year’s Eve I will spend at Charlie’s parent’s house with Jeremy and that bright life a lifetime ago, and my sister is here. She has just moved back to Georgia after two years of hard knock living in Tampa, AKA: “Trigger City”. We sit alone side by side on a wooden panel bench in Charlie’s basement gazing out into the quiet woods. We set our eyes out through the darkness like a trance by campfire. I am firmly sober. She is drunk, but I hardly mind seeing as how we are together on a holiday, and we are laughing. Everything makes sense in this world, but even here I am careful with little mental reminders; Do not go too fast with her she has her own path that you cannot change, but I am just grateful that my little sister is here, and I can protect her. I am a big sister, finally, at 24 years old, and I am sober. We are falling into friendship, so in her drunken laughter while we are alone, she turns to me and says, “You know, Jacqui, you are actually really funny and smart a lot of the time, but I never want to tell you that I think you are because I don’t think your ego needs to be inflated anymore. I do not want you to think that you are funny or smart. I don’t let you know that you are cool because I don’t want to give you any little extra amount of confidence.” I take this as a crumb, a keepsake, for a relationship of openness and sisterhood. I take this as hope for a bond that will only close itself off further from this point forward, but at the moment, underneath her words, I realize just how much she misunderstands me. There is still love here though, and at least this is a start, I think to myself. This is the last conversation about anything remotely real that we will share even up to present day 2017.  She shut down sometime after this and has not opened a ray of light in my direction since. As the beautiful, young, and bright little-time-capsule-world with its almost too-good-to-be-real set up of friends and Jeremy with that big house collapses in the summer, my little sister latches on to what is left of it. She makes sure that I am not allowed to come back to destroy any hearts there again… not ever. She has kept this promise unwavering, but I will always remember that time with the friends on her first year back from Florida. The time where we were laughing and everything felt right in our worlds. The time where she saw me as something like a human, and maybe even like a sister because I really do have a sister.

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Swans image via Pinterest

Mossy Haired and Imaginary Friended 

I am learning how to be my own best friend through hot flashes and humiliating projection scenarios roaring off and on my mind’s stage. The flames that heat through arms and cheeks like solar flares from some kind of deep molten core. Breathe through it. I am learning how to let myself off the hook, how to be heavy and uneasy with the heat. Shame is on the other side of the door sometimes, and since we’ve only recently broken things off, I take special care to treat myself like my own best friend who needs taking care of and love. Support and love are things that I never understood in relation to myself because I was so invested in controlling my outgoingness, my overshadowing-ness, and my  Watch out for burning too brightly you might just suck all of the air out of the room, and then what will everyone else do? How will you expect everyone else to shine while you are shining so brightly? Well, I will try to be more right sized with my shining. Ugly and hurtful. My essence hurts people. And Oh, I’m sorry I will hold back. I will hold back. These are the thoughts hanging out with shame on the other side of the door. STAY QUIET AND LEAVE ROOM FOR OTHERS TO SHINE!  I have spent my whole life trying fit into the least damaging person to be close to people. I have tried to hold myself back to bring myself closer, but the longer that we put ourselves on hold, the more  outpouring and spilling everywhere and HURTING PEOPLE we actually end up doing. The distorted perspectives take time to reformat, and the one thing that we actually cannot witness is our own transformation. It happens in a language that we do not speak, and it appears in the night like some kind of mythical thing. It happened one night for self discovery.  Even as these old behaviors creep up,  I try to maintain the positive self talk as if I were talking to my best friend. Anxiety brings on abusive self talk because when things get hard I naturally try to hammer myself into place and be the perfect girl, but I am a good best friend. When we are unsure about how to be kind to ourselves, think about how we might be kind to a best friend, and start the love and healing from this place.

Anxiety and Other Things

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Vancouver with love.

I took a break from writing to recharge my brain and learn more about myself now without predetermining my every move. Immortalizing versions of myself through writing started to feel dangerous, so I took a two week break. Was that a long enough time? Maybe that was too long because now I have a million ideas that seem to lead no where! Why am I REDUCED to this feeling of uncertainty AGAIN? This is not easy anymore, and lo! here I am again on the bottom of my chariot. The weight of my teenage self sits heavy on the back of my torso. The reverse collapse, the sneaking pitfall pulling at my shoulders next to last year’s shame and doubt. This same scenario is unique in that it is  forgettable if we are not quick to recognize it. Hello, Anxiety, Angst and Anguish. There you go again rolling around in my chest coiling yourselves around my sternum, looping knots through my blood vessels. C O N S T R A I N. They tighten and constrict thoughts and possibilities as they grow, but the difference now is that I keep going anyway. The healing here is not that I am free from anxiety, but that I know how to loosen its grip and steadily continue swimming forward. Swans keep swimming. I am a swan. I keep breathing. This is where the healing lives, and I will prove it to you in that we just finished packing for Japan. Swans keep swimming! The difference in anxiety now and anxiety then is that things actually get done. This is progress not perfection. All of our belongings in the world right now fit into 1 tub and 4 suitcases that will load onto big ship and meet us in Tokyo, Japan. It has taken two years, but I think the packing game is finally under control. Less is so much more when we move every two months. Detachment never ends. ❤

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Drifting. Vancouver for always.

For more on the sobriety journey, follow The OAM on Instagram @the_oam, and check out The OAM facebook page. ❤

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2 comments

  • I love you Jacqui. I really understand this post, and recognize myself in some of you. You are a terrific writer, feel free to call me anytime, especially while you are home.

    Liked by 1 person

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