oiled floors

it slipped through slots in the cage

black oozing down

puddling on my feet

a throbbing mass of oil

staining stark sneakers

i feel the spot it left

ribs protect emptiness

 

(is this heartbreak) 

 

 

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tripping on stars

Have you ever been star tripping?

You look up and spin around in circles and get dizzy and fall down and get your composure and do it all over again. DSC_0090

But you do it because it is fun. You do it because it is beautiful. You do it because it is captivating and unique and changing.

Sometimes you fall down and it takes a bit longer to get up. Maybe you spun around a bit too much and the dizziness overwhelms you. You might scrape your knee or bump into something. So you take a bit longer to pick yourself up and start spinning again–head held high, looking up.

There is nothing wrong with falling. It’s part of the experience.

That is kind of the most wonderful part of it. You never know what is going to happen. You laugh and smile and openly accept that you cannot control where you fall or when. But you know that you do get to pick when you stand back up and how you hold yourself and move on.

You know what’s neat about star tripping? It’s a lot like life.

viewing the world through a lens

It’s true that you can view the world through so many different “lenses.” I can name a number that I use on a daily basis. But we often don’t realize that our views can become jaded based on the lens of choice for that moment, situation, day, etc.

One can see the world through a “I hate everything and I don’t want to be here so I am going to be miserable” lens, in which we see nothing good and are consigned to having a horrible time. One can look through the “no” lens, where everything that happens is a no-go and one is snobbish and unfriendly. One can look at the world through a “positive, peppy, I am not gonna show any sadness” lens, which seems good but ultimately makes you cry inside. There are positive lenses, negative lenses, neutral lenses, recovery lenses, destructive lenses… you name it and it’s a lens.

I admit, I’ve put on a ton of lenses in my life-especially through my recovery journey- and not all of them have been positive or happy. But the one I love the most is the lens I look through, literally, when I see the world through my camera.

There is a reason that “art therapy” exists in its many forms. It is freeing, emotional, raw, and often mind-opening. For me, this occurs most often when I am behind a camera.

Looking through the lens, I see the world as it is. I see the angles, lines, grids, elements, colors of the world around. I do not see opinion or personal bias. I cannot see in a jaded view through my camera. I cannot even see myself differently than how I am-though rarely do I take pictures of my own person. For me, this is freeing.

I don’t believe that photography is a “cure-all” for dysmorphia or misperception, but I do think that it can help.

Maybe give it a shot. Look through the lens of your phone camera if it is all that you have. Walk around and look at the world as if you have never seen it before. Let go of the judgements and the preconceived notions. Let go of them and give yourself the grace to let go of the judgements for yourself as well, at least while your eye is behind the camera lens.

 

Here are some of my photos from various periods of time. I use a Nikon DSLR camera and usually put it on manual. As you can see, I like flowers…

 

the other side of the rainbow

I want to magically be at my pot of gold and the happy-go-lucky fancy leprechaun. I want to be on the other side of the fucking rainbow.

But I know that this isn’t going to happen overnight. I know that rainbows come after rain. I know that rainbows really never end. And I know that James Taylor got it right way before I figured it out…

Long Ago and Far Away:

Long ago a young man sits and plays his waiting game
But things are not the same it seems as in such tender dreams
Slowly passing sailing ships and Sunday afternoon
Like people on the moon I see are things not meant to be

Where do those golden rainbows end?
Why is this song so sad?
Dreaming the dreams I’ve dreamed my friend
Loving the love I love

To love is just a word I’ve heard when things are being said
Stories my poor head has told me cannot stand the cold
And in between what might have been and what has come to pass
A misbegotten guess alas and bits of broken glass

Where do your golden rainbows end?
Why is this song I sing so sad?
Dreaming the dreams I dream my friend
Loving the love I love to love to love to love

I wish someone would tell me how to climb the rainbow. I wish someone would give me the answers and tell me what I need to do to get to the gold. But I can’t ask others to solve this for me. I can’t learn without doing and I can’t get through without actually GOING through.

The only way out is through.

The only way out is through.

It’s written on the screen at my treatment center. It’s ingrained in my thoughts.

The ONLY way out is through.

The only way to the other side of the rainbow and to the pot of gold is trekking along the WHOLE FUCKING rainbow. To the other side.

mind vs. ed

 

*Note: ED means eating disorder

Conflict:

 

Imagine what the world could be

if it was only you and me;

the chatter of many fading slowly to few,

Think of all the time, the things that we could do.

Imagine all the wreckage, all the dead, the diseased,

the souls of all others suddenly ceased.

Wouldn’t it be quiet, only whispers on the breeze.

the crashing of the waves, the surf on the seas.

Imagine all our chances, the beauty and the grace.

The sky the only boundary, with smile on our face.

Imagine the sky crashing down,

the city burning, ashes on the ground.

The cries of helpless, panic ,and fright

darkness overwhelms, an ending of their plight.

Imagine all the good, the love and light

as we build a city of glass, mirrors shining bright.

The sun glints and shimmers as we finish our design,

but the world is far from done, beauty waits in line.

Imagine all the horror as the earth splits in two.

Run you silly souls, have you seen what I can do.

I have only gotten started with the torture you will face.

Brightness versus darkness; light will lose the race.

Two together make the devil present in the brain

fighting, clawing, biting, but only one can be tame.

Which will rule the conscious, which will fall behind?

Which will be the champion, who will win the mind?  

becoming a tree 

If you made it past the title, I like you. (I would like you anyway, but I like you a lot cause you gave this a chance.)

I’ve always liked trees. I used to like climbing the cedar trees at my childhood home. (And those are realllllyyyyy sappy, so my mom loved that I made this a regular thing.) I climbed the huge magnolia outside of the church I went to as a kid. If I’m being honest, it was the only part of the church day I liked. But I like trees for more than just climbing.

I like how resistant they are. They weather  storms the world throws at them. And though they might lose a limb in the winds, they persist. And, eventually, they regrow the branch and continue on.

They root into the ground and find stability in themselves. Their foundation allows them resilience and autonomy. (And there’s stuff about nutrients and sunlight and water and stuff… of course.)

Lexi… what. Okay, stick with me here… get it? I want to be like a tree. I want to be able to find comfort and safety in myself. I want to root into my life and take hold. I want to withstand storms and regrow and thrive after them. I want to be resilient.

But trees… and recovery? What? During a embodying recovery group, we discussed how you have to first ground yourself if you want to push out and expand. You must find your footing before you lean into something else, or you may lose balance. So too must a tree establish itself before it can grow taller and stronger.

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Haphazard tree attempt on a wiggling chair…

I think one of my all time favorite yoga stances is tree pose. It’s powerful and connecting.
You must anchor yourself to the ground using the ball and side of one foot while balancing. It takes strength, focus, and persistence.

But so does recovery. You must find a part inside of you to grab hold of and never let go. You must find your “roots.”

****Side note. I wrote this waiting for my medication. Small moments (or 30) of reflection.

it’s the small things that heal

As much as we may hope, there is no big turning event when it comes to healing. We do not wake up one moment and decide that whatever has be plaguing us is not an issue anymore. The worries and the thoughts and the obsessions don’t just disappear after a night’s sleep.
Healing comes from the small things.

Healing comes from the simple. Healing is taking out earphones and walking around on a crisp, quiet night listening to the sounds of nature. Healing is looking up at the sky and noticing a cloud shaped like a flower. Healing is in the smile that a stranger throws your way as you pass in the street. It is the morning sun trickling in through the blinds on the window.

Healing comes from the delicate things. It is the shimmering dew resting quietly on the grass in the early hours of the day. It is the fog that glides gracefully off the water. Healing is the sound of an owl communicating across an open field. Healing is the twinkle of glass as it catches the sun just so. It is warm bathes and bubbles that tickle the skin. Music that dances through the wind from a party miles away.
Healing comes from the unique. It is the wind rustling leaves on a cool autumn day. It is the sound of a train whistle carried by the night. Healing is noticing the flowers when they first bloom. Healing is the smell of the hot pavement after rain. It is the whisper of crickets as they serenade the night. It is the lovingly worn pages of an old, well-read book.
But most of all… healing is personal. Healing is not loud and boisterous. Healing does not broadcast its progress. Healing is modest and reserved. It is internal and placid. It is slow and variable, but there all the same.
Healing is learning that YOU are enough. Healing results in simply and purely being an unadulterated you.