Disassociation

In autopilot

Watching

The world around me

From the front row

I see fog

Clouds

surrounding me

Blissful

Air pressure drops

I feel light

In the clouds

I float

Just enough time

to look around

realize

That no one

Has offered

Any peanuts

On this flight

I am alone

My body

stone

Dragging me down

Deeper

Unable to move

Or think

Panic sets in

Tears flood

Oxygen masks

Release above

I gasp

Trying desperately

To catch my breath

Staying grounded

As I crash

Breathing in

And out

No one

Around

To help

Isolated

I am forced

To let go

Back into the clouds

I float

And continue to watch

From a distance

As my body

Lies there lifeless

Awaiting the crash

That never came.

My depression is many things.

my depression is a veil

that impairs my vision

forced to obey

oppressed I stay

unable to escape

this pre-enlightened state

I can’t get myself

to remove it.

My depression is an ocean

powerful

it pulls me under

I drown, slowly

in my thoughts

rocking back and forth

I begin to feel

seasick

and the nausea

makes food

so unappealing.

my depression is a blanket

I continue to hide under

in 90 degree weather.

I want nothing more

than to hop out of bed

open up the blinds

and focus on absolutely

anything else

instead,

I suffocate in silence

sweating under this

damn thing

and think about all

the ways to explain

that my depression

is a shapeshifter

that hides

behind my smile.

 TOODALOO JW

 

2am thoughts

I toss and turn

On the second hand mattress

I bought off

the last girl

Who lived in this room

I dream of a future

Filled with luxury

Of a stable family

A life that is anything

But this one

I’m tired

Of struggling

And living

I’d be lying

If I said

I hadn’t thought

About suicide

But every time I do

My moms voice

Trails behind

Telling me

That it’s alright

Things will be just fine

To pray

Have faith in God

And smile

I have her

By my side

It doesn’t feel enough

Some days

harder than others

But for now

I guess

I’ll close my eyes

Get under my covers

Breathe in deep

On this

second hand mattress

At least

I have my mom

And a place

To lay my head

And go to sleep

It’s not so bad

In the morning

TOODALOO JW

Live like the Lotus

A lotus flower

grows in mud

Even through dirt

the flowers bud

Rising above adversity

Untouched and unsoiled

water glides

off its petals with ease

Gently drifting,

guided by the breeze

symbol of strength

And peace

In awe at the sight of it

A troubled past

Leads to a beautiful future

If you learn to live

grow

And gently flow

Like a lotus

TOODALOO JW

Silent suffering; my PTSD story.

I want to start by saying that I absolutely hate labels so this is going to be a challenging post to write and publish. I have PTSD..a mental illness that affects over three million people every year. It’s exhausting to deal with and those closest to you won’t understand what your going through or even what to do during an “episode”. I have gone years without acknowledging it because in my head PTSD was a mental disorder that affected veterans and older adults. I knew that it wasn’t the case but I didn’t want to think that along with having depression and anxiety at 23..I have a mental disorder that might continue to affect me for the rest of my life. It consumes me during sex or any form of intimacy. At any time I can just have a flashback and lay there paralyzed and completely absent-minded. I also don’t like to talk about it so every time I hear that “are you okay” I automatically say yes even though inside I just want to scream out for help. I usually can’t move, don’t talk and feel empty. As if my soul were floating right outside of my body and its so random that I can’t even figure out what triggers it exactly.

signal.gifI was on a facetime call with my boo and he noticed that I was having an attack. It has happened before, but never on this level. Truth is that he and I were in the middle of a super intimate video call and all of a sudden I zone out. My eyes fixate on absolutely nothing and I felt so absent. He kept asking if I was okay but the truth is that it happens so often that I don’t even notice it sometimes. In that exact moment as I was zoning out I had a flashback.

It feels like a deep little hole in the back of your mind that you crawl in when you’re in trouble.

I was abused a lot growing up and this was my “safe space”. I would often make myself block out the abuse and just wait in this absent stage until it was over. I remember laying in my mom’s bed under the covers waiting for her to come back from her night class and my dad hovering over my bed yelling at me and forcing me to call her. I felt no pain even though he was physically grabbing me and throwing me off the bed until I did what he said. His hands left marks that burned to the touch and my back was always red and tender after every class. I was asked several times about the bruises at school but I always denied any type of abuse because I didn’t want my mom to get taken away from me. I would often stay quiet even during the worst nights. My mom worked all day and went to school at night so that she could earn more money to take care of my brother and I. One of the strongest people I know and I haven’t heard her complain once so I thought if she could live through it, so could I.

I guess that’s where it could have started but continued on through adolescence where I was molested and raped on a few different counts.

les mesBeing raped is a whole other ball game. Complete silence. I just laid there, staring out the back window staring up at the stars. I had already told him to get off and he was a lot bigger than me so I just went into complete shock and let him fuck me because at the time I thought it would be easier than fighting him and causing a scene. I wasn’t happy but it could have been worse. I just took it with a grain of salt and I thought I was over it but that is the flashbacks prove that I’m not.  I am working on accepting myself and accepting that the problems of the past are behind me working toward a brighter and more positive future but its easier said than done.

yoga

I am thankful for discovering the peace and self-love that comes with Yoga. I’ve been taking time out to do 30 min of yoga every night and its helped so much. I also enjoy practicing at the beach right after a long day of work. The fresh air and the sun shining on your mat while you connect with the earth is such an incredible feeling. During flashbacks, you have no control of your body but yoga forces you to be present and grounded allowing you to gain awareness of your body and its strength. I feel calm and in control of my thoughts while practicing which is something that is difficult to do when you’re dealing with PTSD.

I was debating on whether or not I should post this because honestly its a very personal thing to go talk about but I trust that you all can respect my decision and stay respectful and supportive throughout my healing journey. Next step is to figure out if I can see a new therapist or maybe even get connected with a support group or something..idk yet but I know everything will be just fine.

Till next time,

TOODALOO JW

 

For Stephon Clark may he rest in paradise

I had an interesting conversation with a wonderful woman on the phone while I was trying to apply for Medical today. (I thought I might give it a shot because at this point I have nothing left to loose now that I am officially unemployed.) She told me about how scary it is to grow up in a place like Oakland. How even at five years old she had to worry about shots fired into homes. Can you imagine being so scared for your child’s life that you make them lie down on their stomachs on the floor while they are doing their homework? That just put a whole lot of perspective into the situation for me.

Being black in America is such a terrifying thing in this day in age. There is an abundance of unreported incidences involving injustice to so many black-Americans all over the states. One that she personally shed a light on in our conversation today was that of Stephon Clark. The 22-year old father of two who was mistakenly shot in the backyard of his grandmothers home in Sacramento, CA. I went back and re-read the reports and I instantly felt grief for him and his family.

There were reports of break-ins that led to the 9-11 call that night .”The caller stated that the male subject had broken car windows and was now hiding in a backyard,” the report said. “The caller described the subject as a male … wearing a black hoodie and dark pants.” Stephon was in the backyard of his grandmothers home when police had shown up. The police believed an “object” was pointed at them before they took action. The officer also thought he was shot by Clark because of a flash of light that reflected off his uniform. “… At which time I looked and based on the light coming off of … my tactical light — it appeared I thought that he had already shot at me because I saw what I believed to be a metallic reflection or muzzle flash — something coming at me,” Mercadal said. “I was scared. I thought that he had shot at me. I think I remember yelling, ‘Gun.'” Instead, Clark was just trying to document the injustice. The “object” that they thought was a firearm was actually his cellphone.

The worst part of this story other than his grandmother having to witness this happen in her backyard after being shot eight times by police unnecessarily was the fact that there were no charges filed against the officers who shot him. It was considered a form of self-defense even though Clark didn’t even have a weapon or firearm on him during the entire incident.

The universe will allow you to cross paths with some incredible souls that will end up teaching you something you needed to know at that particular moment of time. Today’s lesson is value every second you have on this planet because you never know what’s gonna happen. Also, you need to stand up for what you believe in because we live in a democracy. We are given a voice here so let it be known. I admire those who protested this particular injustice and if I could go back in time I would take a stand and march alongside his family and friends. I can only hope that one day stories like Stephon’s and many others will contribute to change that we desperately need right now. May he rest in peace.

TOODALOO JW

Mental Health Matters ;

Mental health matters! Please don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Your feelings are valid and if you are in a bad place in your life right now it’s understandable. I feel like I needed to create this post to raise awareness because mental health disorders are so powerful and usually difficult to overcome. It is a constant battle within yourself and half of the time you don’t even realize that it’s happening. At least for me, I just thought being depressed was just a part of life like it was normal until I was finally able to open my eyes and realize what was happening right in front of me.

I haven’t been in the right headspace lately and I have been pushing off receiving any type of treatment or medication because I was ashamed of it; I was scared. I wasn’t sure if it was going to make it better or worse. I have been through just about everything early on. I have been raped, abused (mentally and physically), I would cut myself often and considered suicide. I’ve also been in bad relationships and cheated on more than once. I have had an eating disorder since middle school and I binge eat only once a day. Finally, to top it all off I have family issues and my father passed away my senior year of high school which was hard to go through because there was a lot of resentment toward him.

I keep asking myself over and over why God is punishing me. Like what did I do to deserve all the bad things that have happened to me throughout the years? I guess you have to look at it in a glass half full perspective and keep telling yourself that shit is happening to you because you CAN handle it. Every other problem you encounter after this is going to look easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Recently I was given an ultimatum at Claire’s where my district manager told me that I have to choose between work and school and that triggered the start of my depression. I moved to Long Beach with a guaranteed high paying job that I thought would get me through the two years of school that I have left. I didn’t expect to be forced to resign halfway through my first year but I guess everything happens for a reason. I absolutely hated the job, and it was interfering with everything including school which was the whole point of moving out here in the first place. I don’t have anyone to really lean on for support other than my mom but she isn’t exactly financially stable at the moment either so I feel so bad even asking her for anything. I have never been put in this position before because I have had a job (multiple jobs at a time) since I turned 15. I have always been able to support myself and never had to think about not being able to pay the bills on time which I know realize was such a blessing. To me, losing this job felt like the end of the world. I felt like I had failed and that I wasn’t good enough. I felt like I wasn’t going to make it and I just wanted to give up trying. I kept telling myself that If I couldn’t find another job I would have no choice but to move back home and try to transfer to SJSU or something. Idk man long story short I was going through this crazy spiral in my head of random what ifs and I was so desperate to just mellow out and not have to worry about anything.

This was the peak of my obsession with alcohol and weed. I just felt like I had to be fucked up so that the negative thoughts couldn’t control me. I would come home from work or school and the first thing I would do is smoke a bowl or maybe two in my car. The moment I stepped in the door I would go straight to the kitchen, grab a glass of wine and my first and only meal of the day. I would lay in bed high as a kite and watch Netflix until I fell asleep. This was what I considered bliss at the time. I felt permafried and knew that it was doing a lot of harm to my lungs but I couldn’t give less of a shit. I would wake up with massive chest pains and I had to use my inhaler three times a day. It got so bad that I had to go to the health center for a breathing treatment once a week but for what? I didn’t give a fuck.

With depression comes a decline in motivation and drive. I completely ignore any responsibility from reading emails and doing homework to basic things like eating or calling your mom after she calls you a million times. I can disappear for weeks or months at a time and the longer it takes me to snap out of it the bigger the pile becomes and the more overwhelmed I feel. I smoke a lot of weed. Like a loooooot. I thought it was helping me through it but honestly, it just made me feel even number.

My TriDelta twin Maddy talked me into seeing a school psychologist and taking advantage of the services available on campus. Like I said, I was super skeptical about the whole thing but once I went in for the first time and opened up I felt like I huge weight had just been lifted off of my shoulders and that I could finally breathe again. I didn’t realize that I had been carrying sooo much baggage hidden deep inside for so many years. Every time something bad would happen I would just shove it to the back of my mind and laugh it off because it was my coping mechanism. I felt like if I didn’t think about things, it would just go away and I would be fine. The psychologist wrote down a summary of everything we had talked about in our previous sessions and read it back to me. I started crying because even though I told him those things I couldn’t believe that it was actually my story. I guess I just needed to see it from a different perspective.

He prescribed antidepressants which are working pretty well right now. Idk if its the placebo effect but I feel like I am in a better place. Last night I tried smoking weed while on the medication and I regretted it sooo bad. I don’t feel like I need it as much which is insane to me because it was such a big part of my life for a long time.

So the moral of the story is don’t be afraid to try new things and open up to things like therapy or medication because it might help you in ways you could never even dream of.

I also wanted to give a little shout out to my angel who has helped me these past few weeks as well. He has been a blessing in my life and is currently waiting patiently for me to finish writing this post as we speak. This post wouldn’t have even happened if it weren’t for his love and support. I feel like I finally found someone who understands what I am going through and it feels special to be able to connect like that. Thanks for nagging me to eat, bringing me chocolate and always making my happiness a priority ❤ I appreciate you!

TOODALOO JW

My new journey on anti-depressants

So today I decided to take a step in a new direction and find a solution to my problems that have been bottled up since early childhood. As many of you who follow my blog know, I’ve gone through a lot and I don’t really talk about it with anyone but I try and gather my thoughts through journaling and poetry. I have decided after years of denial I actually needed help before I “slip” again. I’ve been seeing the school psychologist for the last month. He prescribed a medication which might help me in a number of ways including my drive and focus when it came to school. He also said it might help stabilize my mood enough to where I don’t feel like I have to smoke weed every day to escape reality. I’ve just felt like taking medication was a sign of weakness. My mom had to go on antidepressants and she had a really bad experience on them. I can’t base my opinions solely on someone else’s experience because everyone is different and who knows..this could actually help.

The problem with me is that once I fall into the deep hole of depression I just start shutting everything and everyone out of my life except for my best friends which usually talk me out of doing things I might regret later on. I haven’t cut since high school but for some reason I have been thinking about it a lot more lately which is usually the first sign that I’m falling back into the hole.

I have also learned that I have a very addictive personality meaning that once I start doing something (in this case its drinking coffee and smoking weed) that I feel so dependent on it. If it’s not a part of my daily routine I will feel off or like something is missing. I’ve decided that because I am taking this medication I am going to give up smoking cold turkey for 30 days and see how I feel. Throughout that time I will be trying to update my blog more to help me understand how I feel with or without the medication.

Something else I am struggling with is my eating disorder. I only eat once a day and sometimes that can just be a cup of coffee and a pastry. I hate the thought of gaining weight and have been struggling with it my entire life. I used to go weeks without eating and work out excessively on top of that. This immense feeling of satisfaction just comes over you after a long day of starving yourself. I don’t think anything can compare to it. I just feel so beautiful like one of those models in Vogue.

I’ve just met another beautiful soul who understands what I am going through and to be honest..hes probably the reason why I am more aware of things too. He asks me if I’ve eaten every time we talk and I just always reply with “no” which always makes me think about how unhealthy this lifestyle is. Food should be fuel, not your enemy. There are healthier alternatives and I have to get over this stupid fear. I am grateful for him and I feel like my angels have just sent me a little blessing. He has come to open my eyes and help me realize my worth. I need to start taking care of myself and appreciate what I have been given. I feel like I should be more grateful.

So here we go with day 1: I really hope this isn’t a placebo effect because after a few hours of taking it I’m already more focused which is crazy to me. Like I’ve been procrastinating writing another blog post and right now I’m sitting on the shuttle on the way to school just typing away. It will take me about a month to really know how this is going to affect me but I am going through this journey with a positive mind and an open heart. I know my angels got me no matter what so I am just going to sit back and trust the process. If I feel that it’s not working or its negatively affecting me I can stop taking it at any time so there really shouldn’t be anything to worry about. I am going to track my progress as often as I can because this will be a good way to reflect as well.

PS: if you’re reading this Freddy please leave me and my friends/roommate the fuck alone. I have your ugly ass jacket somewhere in my laundry basket I’ll give it back eventually…k, bye.

TOODALOO JW

I think I’m in love with Happiness

Happiness is easy

Comes naturally

Leaves suddenly

Returns unexpectedly

Stays comfortably

And lives honestly

Happiness looks light 💡

Feels sensual

Tastes powerful

And sounds like laughter

infectious laughter

that leaves you in tears

Happiness is a friend

Who stops by to say hi

Even in the worst times

Happiness is remembered

And loved

Happiness is needed

And wanted

Happiness is craved

what is the purpose of living without it

It is as important as a brain

and as strong as A heart

Once you stop living

The memory of your happiness will live on

So protect it

And nurture it

Create a garden within yourselves

Allow it to bloom the most obscure flowers

Let it fill your life with colors

And please share this experience with others

Because happiness spreads like a wildfire

So I’m igniting the light

Planting the seeds

And clearing the debris

So that happiness can stay

For as long as it needs

And when it does decide to leave

We let it

For happiness is like fresh air

It can’t be contained

If it was always there

We would never notice it

That’s why it’s so special when it comes to visit

I think I’m in love with happiness

TOODALOO JW

To my best friend

By my side

Through the good and bad

Partners in crime

Best I’ve ever had

Thank you for everything

For all that you do

For putting a smile on my face

for knowing what I’m going through

My dory ass is always lost

You always know where to look

When I get lost within myself

You can read me like a book

I can count on you to know

Exactly what to do

When I feel broken inside

You show up

And bring the glue

You can put back the pieces

better than anyone I’ve known

Thank you for being there

I no longer feel alone

Thanks for keeping me warm

These long winter nights

These last few months have been dark

thanks for hanging twinkle lights

Thanks for everything best friend

I moved out here for a reason

I want you to reach your goals

And push you to achieve them

I hope you’ll come back to this

Whenever you feel down

To remind you of how amazing you are

And that I’ll always be around 😘

TOODALOO JW