Lesson Learned

I never feel quite as alive as when I’m being rebuked for something.

It’s like all of my blood freezes in place; my breathing shallow; my eyes wide and nearly watering.

(It’s awful.)

Truly, every other moment in life is blissful dreams compared to how a perfectionist feels when being asked to improve.

The problem this time is that I have no filter.

I don’t know when to stop.

And I sometimes even take a kind of sick pleasure from seeing people squirm when I break conversational norms.

I’ve been told many times by loving friends and family (and my therapist) that there is a place and a time to share my story; a right and a wrong way to convey information. I am quite accustomed to the solemn head shake that means: “Have you no shame?”

My parents, siblings, and husband have taken to ignoring my crass and provocative commentary, noting wisely that usually I just want a reaction from them. It certainly takes the fun out of being blunt, but it hasn’t stopped me yet.

What isn’t fun is when I take my genuine, teasing, curious personality into situations that I perceive as safe and welcoming, when in fact I should have checked “Miss Blunt” at the door. My reasoning? “Miss Blunt” is fun, but she can lead to a rebuke.

As I’ve been thawing out my frozen blood all day with hot tears, blankets, and cocoa, I’ve officially learned that there is a time to be genuine Maney, and there is a time to be someone else. It’s a skill I needed to learn, and painful though it has been (and will be), rest assured that I will try to remain vulnerable, sincere, and genuine as I write to you, dear readers.

Keep being brave as much as you can. I still have anxiety and depression on the daily, but I’m still going and I hope you are too.

Stay, life. Staaay… Good life!

I’m gone for a month and WordPress has already changed? Seriously?

So this is what has been happening:

I’ve been unduly anxious (I know you’re all so shocked), mostly because I’ve been agonizing over complicated life crap, such as thinking of my future, certain church policy changes recently made public, and other such magical events.

Not to mention a friend took a public shot at my writing and I lost a little charity–it’s never fun to feel taken for granted, right? But the Poetry Fridays were getting stale anyway, and I was hardly posting anything else, so I think a break was good. I’m only writing today because it’s one month to the day I stopped. Yes, be grateful.

Oh, also, I started dating this guy officially. –>

https://maneysmilesback.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/querido/

(P.S. Why won’t WordPress let me embed my own blog posts now?)

Possibly the universe is fighting against me having this blog.

But I checked recently and I think I have 188 followers, and I’m grateful for all of you sticking out this radio silence, as well as the (as I have so eloquently deemed) average content of this blog.

I am alive, I am thankfully stepping out of a brief spell of mild depression, and I have a devilishly handsome young man in my life who thinks my hair smells nice even when I would classify it as hazardous material.

And how can you go wrong with that?

amidst ashes: surviving suicide

I wrote this piece for Young Mormon Feminists but it totally applies to y’all, my original readers. Much love!

Young Mormon Feminists

In recognition of September being National Suicide Prevention Month

Last year I got this close to killing myself, but I survived.

It hurts to talk, to think about the experience. I went to BYU for a semester and within a few months I was severely depressed—on the brink of suicide. My lifelong perfectionism had finally caught up with me, and it was tightening around my neck in an invisible noose. They were dark times, endless days of pain I can’t even put into words. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to wake up. There was no rest for my soul; not in prayer, in conversation, in closeness. An untouchable emptiness inside me itched constantly. I got headaches from clenching my teeth from anxiety. I moved through the days with a constant wish that a car would flatten me.

I made feeble attempts to live, one of which was joining a BYU therapy…

View original post 543 more words

Moving On

There are a lot of words inside me lately, all swirling in my brain and confused about how to get out. The summer is winding down and I’m looking forward to starting Fall 2015 semester soon. This summer ends along with the hope of a new relationship: someone I love decided I wasn’t for him. It has been painful, and I feel the tugs of grief and frustration as I say goodbye to an era I inhabited, to the pieces of my heart I gave to him.

To quote David Foster Wallace, “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.”

In truth, though, opportunities have been opening up around me, just as other doors close. I feel a shift in the wind and I wonder where I’ll go in the future. Where my bones will travel until they turn to sleeping dust. There seems to be an infinite number of roads ahead of me, and I’m trying to figure out my dreams and goals as the winds of time push me on and on, as new pathways appear and others fade into darkness.

I wonder if I’ll ever really do my best; if my life is going as well as it could be. I wonder how me being alive affects the world around me, and I worry whether it’s for good or evil. Because this life is the only one I get, and someday I’ll look back on it in joy or sorrow. I can almost hear myself calling from the future, urging me to try harder now, to seek for wisdom and truth, to become whom I need to be.

Of course I can ramble on about these feelings, stringing words together that hopefully convey to you where my mind is, but I’ll curtail my post with these thoughts:

Readers, don’t live in the past. Accept yourself and strive to be better. Live for something greater than yourself. Trust God and know that He loves you.

Just keep moving forward.

A music video of Yael Naim singing New Soul.

I’ll Be Okay

A girl likes a boy, and sometimes loves him. She gets on fine without him for many years. They keep in contact and make each other laugh. She misses him often but it gets better with time.

She grows up and learns about herself and the world. She feels her heart expanding past the boy and the love she felt so strongly. It grows and grows and it can soon fit so much more love. She loves more than just the boy. She loves parts of the world that were once new. She moves on but still remembers how it was to love him so deeply.

Then the boy returns and the girl doesn’t know what she wants. She knows she’s willing to slow her heart a while to see if the boy can keep up.

But it’s only a matter of time before the girl will be forced to make a choice: learn to love the boy again as before, or let him go.

What’s most important is that either way, she will be okay.

* * *

Just going through some stuff, folks. 🙂 Here are some lyrics from Sondre Lerche’s beautiful song “I’ll Be Okay”:

You who replaced every beat that was false
And uptight like a metronome
You should’ve stayed ’cause that winter was long
But by dawn you were gone

I’ll be OK
I’ll be OK

Feeling Better Better Better

A few months ago I expressed my concern that once my mental health started improving, I wouldn’t have anything left to blog about. Now after about a month of slow posting, mostly reblogs and Poetry Fridays, let me say one thing:

Mental health is not so bad.

I’m no longer desperately clinging to, and then dejectedly hanging from, one last thread of life. There are bad days, of course, but now I can distinguish between my emotions, all my feelings spread across a palette from the lightest yellow to the deepest indigo; tears over past horrors, hours of inexplicable contentment, bursts of energy, and more and more. I am so consumed by this diverse spectrum that I can hardly even remember when all my emotions ran together in a blackish, hopeless mud.

Life is actually and really and truly okay. I am moving forward. I’m making plans. I am learning about myself–learning to love that girl for who she is. I’m learning where I want to go in life, not just physically, but emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Things are definitely still hard. It hurts to remember what I’ve been through, to think about all the sadness and pain in the world. But things are beautiful, too. I’ve been patient; allowed myself to just heal slowly, months and months passing until I can’t even recognize myself anymore. And I have a loving family, medication, and a supportive counselor to thank for that. Not to mention the many prayers that have been offered on my behalf.

Yes, that’s right, prayers. Maybe you’re noticed, readers, but I’ve haven’t mentioned much of God or religion for a few months. I guess that was part of the healing: learning to trust God again and let His love heal me. Great, I’m tearing up as I type this. I’m so grateful that I feel deep within me that the doctrine I’ve been taught my whole life is truth. That doesn’t mean I don’t get to ask questions. There’s plenty of room for that. But the beauty is, I don’t want to trouble with questions right now. I’m just soaking in the beautiful feeling that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings into my life. I love Him so much. Not as much as I should, of course, but I’m working on it. He’s patient with me.

So anyway, I don’t know how much I’ll be posting in the coming months. Maybe I’ll go back to three a week again, or we’ll just stick with Poetry Fridays for a while. Whichever, please know that I’m doing better. I love and appreciate you all for being a part of my crazy journey through life. Keep being your wonderful selves, my dear readers.

And because I have had this song stuck in my head for several days, here is Regina Spektor’s song “Fidelity.” Do the lyrics pertain to this post? I don’t think so. The music just sounds like turning a new page to a “better better better better better better better” chapter in life.

I’m Giving Up This Whole Lie

Team, I am quite bamboozled. Indeed, I am not confused. I am not mixed up. I am not even flummoxed.

I am bamboozed.

(Prepare yourself for an immature rant.)

Question: Why does every boy I am even vaguely interested in seem to enjoy playing with my emotions? I think it is my own fault. I think maybe I am simply attracted to sociopathic creeps. This is deeply unfortunate for two main reasons:

1. I can never trust my own judgement in choosing mates.

2. What does this say about me?!

I’ve pretty much given up on my own good judgement. I’ve lost my faith in humanity. I’ve tossed the idea of happily ever after, as least for me.

(I know I’m just being dramatic and I’ll forget this feeling in just a few days (hours?), but allow me to relish in it a bit.)

The one positive thing about my habit of choosing manipulators as crushes is that it has held true for many years; therefore, I have been able to identify it and maybe move forward in a better direction. Or maybe I’ll just embrace celibacy for the rest of my life. It’s a tossup.

Anyway, folks, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for for about a year… I’m finally going to share my favorite song with you! (And yes, I do mean favorite.) It matters because this is what I listen to when I need to be me in the greatest sense of the word. You get a little piece of raw Maney this Monday morning.

So without further ado, this is the gorgeous, the inspirational, and the life-changing song “Resolution” by Matt Corby.

Here is just one lovely piece:

You said don’t lie so I made the truth
Seemed like a lie to even you
Control your fear, it’s clear
That you do not know where you’re going to

So, don’t you worry
You’ll be my resolution
Characters of no illusion
You’ll be my resolution

You are welcome. Stay gold, y’all.