I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Serenity in My Words, Clothing, and Body

Here is another picture from my Color Me Calm coloring book:It states,
Serenity is Life's true brass ring. It's yours for the taking.

It's true too. Serenity can be yours and is a very valuable thing. However, there was a time when I would have disagreed with that statement! I used to think serenity was overrated-I only wanted to have wild times. Wild times are great, but they are exhausting and a lifetime of only wildness would definitely end up in burn out. For the majority of my life, my emotions were always super intense and wildly out of control. I pushed people away and I often regretted what I said or did. I wore myself and other people out. I consider it a great marker in my recovery when I was able to choose serenity at a time when ordinarily I would not thanks to my new DBT skills. I was with a group of friends and one of them was pushing my buttons. I was just about to give her a colorful retort when I noticed how high my energy was. In DBT, we spend some time being mindful of what our emotions feel like in our spirit and in our body. Because of my previous work, I was able to notice that I felt amped up and I realized that if I chose to say my brilliant comeback, then I would probably say something that I would regret. Then I would be embarrassed, ashamed, regretful, remorseful, and angry at myself for the rest of the night and I would obsesss and obsess about what I shouldn't have done. I also realized in this split second of mindfulness that I could choose a different path-I could choose serenity by not saying a word for a couple of minutes until I was sufficiently calmed down enough to not be worrying about what I may do. Recognizing my energy level and that I had so much power was definitely a new thing for me. Fortunately, I chose the path of serenity-I grabbed "Life's true brass ring." I decided to be quiet and I simply listened to the conversation for a while. Then, once I did not feel so "amped up" anymore I rejoined the conversation and had a really nice evening with my friends. No regrets or embarrassment-no pushing people away. Instead I found a power in choosing serenity and contrary to what I had always thought life is like, I found confidence in being quiet. My silence gave me confidence, because it gave me time to be sure of my feelings, my words, and my actions. A little bit of silence enabled me to be sure that what I was doing was the next right thing, instead of a wild fling out of desperation. There is power in being that sure of one's self.

Another way that serenity has entered my life is that I feel more at peace with my body. A couple of weeks ago, I bought two pairs of leggings at Dillard's in fun colors-hot pink and purple! Besides the fun colors, I like how they are made out of a thicker material than most leggings-I think it makes them look nicer. I also like that they have real back pockets. They were sort of expensive, but who can pass up hot pink and purple pants? Not me!

Here are several outfits with the leggings-I love the way I look in them!
The necklace was a present from my mom.  I think she got it from the store, Ten Thousand Villages, but I'm not positive.  The navy blue tank top is from Old Navy and the rainbow one is from J.C. Penney's.  The shoes are from Marshall's.
Gotta wear some rainbows-it is pride month, after all!!!
Sorry this picture is a little bit fuzzy.  The green tank is from Old Navy and the flowered shirt is from Delia's.  I'm wearing the same shoes as in the previous picture.  Aren't they just fun?  Those leggings truly are hot pants!!!  (Sorry, I just couldn't resist!)

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