40

 

I started doing this weird* thing on my lunch break. I have started walking along the roads of downtown Anchorage, sometimes in my heels, sometimes I change into my sneakers. I could walk further down to the Inlet and actually do more than stroll and people watch…but I stay on this course. Up and down 4th and 5th Avenue, merging in with the locals and the tourists. You always can recognize the tourists…always smiling with a hint of confusion because they’re not exactly sure where they are going. It is in that frame of mind that I’m like so many of these tourists I witness strolling with their bags of souvenirs on the downtown streets of Anchorage.

I have absolutely no idea where and what I’m doing these days…I only know that I’m on the right track. 

I received some good news today…good in the sense that a door is being cracked open for me. The hard work will be  my pushing the door wide open and actually walking through. Yet, right now, it is enough. It’s enough of a reminder that things are SLOWLY getting back on track. I can feel myself closer to this place in which I know I belong.

I’m so darn close. It not only fills me with excitement, but I also feel the twinges of fear. I’m scared that this person I identify with as being broken won’t be able to fully put herself back together again. Maybe this is it for me. Maybe that confidence I felt that made me sure…is gone.

I’m trying, I still have it in me to try…because despite being unsure and fearful of the future…it isn’t natural for me to hold to this fear and the idea of forever being broken.  I accept my feelings, but I refuse to embrace these damaging ideas and this fear. I want to keep it as a foreign state. Temporary.

I’ll proceed with caution, but I’ll still continue to proceed.

“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” ~Judy Blume

 

 

 

*Weird that it is out of the ordinary for me just to walk without a destination in mind. Look at me getting out of my comfort zone, ya’ll.

Smartphones are ubiquitous in today’s world and it’s now totally the norm to see many people with a phone in their hand as you walk down any street around the world. Technology and specifically phone and tablet technology have brought huge changes to our everyday lives and most of those are positive. Whilst many would argue that smartphones have also brought issues to those in relationships due to arguments about time spent on them, there’s no doubting that the advances in these devices have brought the world closer.

Today, it’s totally plausible to maintain a healthy relationship with someone based in a far off distant land; that’s due to the availability of so many easy to use apps such as Skype and so on. There are however many other apps that can “improve” the quality of your relationship with your loved one and some are pretty fun to use too!

Why not check some of those apps that my friends over at Carvaka have suggested in this infographic below; choose from apps to improve your relationship’s communication but there are also apps for those who are single and are more casual in their love affairs!

Apps-to-Improve-Your-Love-Life

 

love.jpg

 

 

I have always been an avid fan and believer of the concept of love languages. I tend to buy the book by Gary Chapman for newlyweds. I find it extremely vital for couples to understand how to communicate with one another successfully…which means speaking the correct love language(s).

Learning your partner’s love language is an easy-albeit IMPORTANT-discovery. It’s fascinating. I’m bewildered that anyone wouldn’t want to express love to their partner in an enriching way so they actually FEEL it.

We all want to feel loved. We want our partner’s approval. For women, we want our man to find us sexy and appealing. If we are expressing love to our partner using the wrong love language…we are building a wall built on miscommunication which could lead to mistrust and resentment.

What are the 5 Love Languages?

1. Words of Affirmation

“If this is your love language, you feel most cared for when your partner is open and expressive in telling you how wonderful they think you are, how much they appreciate you, etc.”

2. Acts of Service

“If your partner offering to watch the kids so you can go to the gym (or relieving you of some other task) gets your heart going, then this is your love language.”

3. Affection

“This love language is just as it sounds. A warm hug, a kiss, touch, and sexual intimacy make you feel most loved when this is your love language.”

4. Quality Time

“This love language is about being together, fully present and engaged in the activity at hand, no matter how trivial.”

5. Gifts

“Your partner taking the time to give you a gift can make you feel appreciated.”

How to figure out your primary language:

  1. Your upbringing can speak into your love language. How did you parents show you love growing up? What made you feel the most loved as a child? There is a high probability that is your primary love language.
  2. When you really want to show someone you care about them, what first comes to your mind to show it? Your most basic instincts can show your primary love language as well.
  3. Painful relational experiences can show your primary love language. If someone close to you hurt you in a deep way or neglected to show love the way you wanted, perhaps the deep hurt/dissatisfaction came because the way you most feel loved was not met. This means that what they failed to do is what you value the most because it is your primary love language.

 

Are you speaking your partner’s love language?

What’s Your Love Language?

Here’s a quiz to find out: DISCOVER YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE

 

 

couple

 

Unhappy relationships may be saved with dedication and work from both partners. Having been married with children, I would by lying if I didn’t ask myself occassionally if we could have made it work had we tried harder. Yet, truth be told a lot of damage had been done in those last two years… that repairing the relationship was futile. A bond we both shared since we were both twenty years old…a deep and loving friendship had been destroyed. In our individual hurt and pain, each of us had built up a wall. And I’ll admit, my wall became taller and stronger…he couldn’t get through to me towards the end.

It was…sadly…too little too late for me.

Effective communication, TRUE resolution of past problems and QUALITY (not quantity) time are essential to improving your relationship. I know this now. And I know how important it is that both partners must want to do the work to have a strong relationship.

Unhappy partners usually complain about a lack of intimacy. We all crave affection and attention. We should be encouraging to our partners, lifting them up and praising them.

It’s amazingly simple when you think about it. There is a wonderful scripture in the Bible that gives a wonderful instruction regarding love:

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured.  It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail].  Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]…~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Version Bible  (AMP)

 

My friend who is also a therapist sent me this article titled, “The Four Horsemen of the Relationship Apocalypse.” This is a must-read for anyone in a relationship.

 

True love endures. 

 

The Four Horsemen of the Relationship Apocalypse

By Eric Barker 

Want to be a Master and not a Disaster? 

aw

 

 

We all make judgments and access others from an outsider’s point of view. Everyone has their own shit to muddle through and we aren’t always present to what others are experiencing in their lives.

 

As a writer, you would think I wouldn’t have a difficult time expressing myself in an articulate and basic way. I have all but given up trying to explain and seek some resolve. The look on my face isn’t disdain or boredom, it is worry and fear. The anxiety from what life is throwing at me is internalized, because I keep going back to this one thing: “Everyone has their own shit. No one wants to hear mine.” I allow people to think I’m a bitch. Snobby, even.  Perhaps my overreaction to something small is only my being theatrical. It isn’t because I’m thinking of an ill family member or a deep-rooted issue in my personal life. Stress of jackass tenants not paying their rent, my dog needing a surgery I couldn’t afford…those last two things are relatively small to all the other things I’m dealing with and yet they are on my mind constantly.

I’ve forged a disconnect between myself and my partner…between myself and my family… between me and the entire world. It isn’t because I do not crave their support and understanding. It is simply being too slapped down with fatigue from their assumptions and the disappointment of not truly being heard and understood. When a person has made up their mind of who you are, more often than not, I find myself shutting down. If they’re not interested in trying to know you and understand you, for me…it is game over.

I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder years ago and it is a huge cause for my constant desire to isolate myself when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Usually, I have been really good about having a handle on things…but lately, the vast amount of optimism I always had in life is dwindling.

And that’s where I am now. Overwhelmed, misunderstood and in this escape mode mentality to isolate myself even further. I’m one step away from being the crazy cat lady…EXCEPT I’m allergic to cats so I can’t even do THAT RIGHT. 

I tried to share these thoughts with someone, only because I NEEDED to hear, “You’re okay. I love you.” That would have made all the difference. Instead, I received, “Yeah, I’m stressed out too.”

I couldn’t be upset with this person because they have absolutely no idea what I’m dealing with. I have tried to explain myself…try to share the fears and worries that are torturing me to the point that my jaw is constantly aching from clenching it and grinding my teeth at night. And yes, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t hear simple words to make me feel less like I’m unworthy in their eyes. At the same time-and this is strange- I can’t help but feel envious of their inability to do so. How wonderful it would be to be able to write someone or something off as ridiculous because in their world…these feelings I have are so foreign they’re damn right weird.

One of the biggest misconceptions in dealing with someone like myself- is that there isn’t anything you could say to make the person feel better. If you’re dealing with someone who has chronic anxiety and suffers from PTSD, simply asking the person what you can do to make them feel better at that moment is monumentally helpful. Being sensitive and empathetic, especially if this is a person you love, is amazingly comforting.

It makes a difference. 

This is what I want people to know: We all experience anxiety in our lives…those sizzling nerves about public speaking or hosting an event…those types of anxiety are relatable. What I experience (on a daily bases) are the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach at such a constant speed it is painful. My world right now is in an upside down state and I don’t have the confidence and hope I once had to fight through.

It’s shameful to admit publicly the feelings of inferiority I’m experiencing, but this is my reality. I am clumsily stumbling through life reaching for this anchor that doesn’t exist.

 

 


Suggested Reading:

What You Should Know About PTSD

What You Should Know About Anxiety 

 

 

A political opinionated piece I’ve written is published on Thought Catalog.

You may view it here:

 

Trump Isn’t Making America Great Again, He’s Just Embarrassing Us

I usually do not discuss politics. Mainly, like religion, people aren’t going to change their opinion despite any facts thrown their way. (And let’s be honest…sometimes these ‘facts’ are shimmered with opinionated verbiage) Politics, in general, are personal.  A person’s political affiliation has to do with their moral character and beliefs. I respect and understand this and I am usually interested in why they feel the way they do. It’s intriguing to me because more often than not, there is a lot of merit in what they are saying and a glimpse into their background…

I have lost my car keys. It’s Day 3. I have looked EVERYWHERE and yet…NADA. My wallet is also in my vehicle, along with some other work stuff. I only have one set and have been dealing with the dealership about the second set of keys for months. (They never gave me a second set when I purchased the car) It’s a long story, but I can’t even use the remote start I received for a Christmas present UNTIL I get a second key that the dealership (who was taken over by another dealership) gives me the second key. They want me to pay for it and OMG…I’m having a panic attack just writing all of this.

And if that wasn’t all…I have tenants who are LATE on rent AGAIN and despite all my efforts in communicating and trying to work with them, they are the poster couple of being low-life manipulating losers. I just called their phone from my work phone in another attempt to reach out to them and someone FINALLY answered. When I asked for the husband, she was like, “He’s not here.” So I asked if this was the wife and she paused before saying, “No.” THEN she started saying she didn’t know where the husband was (saying his name) and that she found the phone at the store. “I don’t even know who’s phone this is.”

Being that I’ve had a lingering headache for a couple of days, beyond stressed, a wedding I’m in and a bachelorette party I’m co-hosting…NOT to mention  I have a dollar to my name until payday, I immediately took a heavy breath and brought out my inner thug attitude.

“Look, I don’t know who this is and what is going on, but this is <NAME AND NAME>’s landlord and I need either one of them to call me back. Do you understand?”

The ‘stranger’ or whoever agreed, but I doubt I’ll be receiving a phone call anytime soon.

I don’t know what is going on in the universe…in MY universe, but the hundreds of things that I’m dealing with are overwhelming. I can’t even begin to start in on everything and whilst I know I’m pretty fortunate in a lot of aspects, right now the negative is outweighing the positive.

It’s hard to fake all is well when you feel as if your soul is tearing from the burns of unfortunate and needless occurrences. It’s enough to make you want to throw yourself down like a toddler and cry.

It’s enough to almost think this is it for you. That maybe things are never going to get better.

That maybe…this is just what you deserve.

Four years of crazy is enough to turn you crazy and I wish I had just one aspect in my life that was relatively easy. Doesn’t have to be perfect, but I need something…ANYTHING…to be golden…or even a rusted bronze.

Right now, life pretty much sucks and I’m tired of pretending that it isn’t.  However, I’ll plastered that smile on my face and bury myself in work and pray.

Things must get better.