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.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Virgin Islands Vacation Day Five - Patience and Freedom from "Stinky Donkey Dip" Days

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. ~ Aristotle 
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. 
Fear of people and of economic (and housing) insecurity will leave us.
~ First and Tenth Promise of the 12 Steps
I am so excited!  After so many years of living with my parents, I am finally moving out and I would not be able to be trusted to do this successfully if I was not living in recovery.  In the past, I have lived on my own or with roommates while I attended college and the situation always spiraled out of control after a while.  Hospitalizations, extreme loneliness and neediness, relapses into disordered behavior would always happen and after coming home from college, I worked hard on my recovery.  Unfortunately, I experienced more relapses; fortunately, those relapses pushed me to work even harder and to take two rounds of DBT classes.  Now that I have been practicing using my DBT skills on a regular basis for several years now, have a strong support network of trustworthy friends, knowledge of support groups, and a future plan should I start to feel a little shaky, I am confidant for the first time since being diagnosed with severe mental illness that I can live on my own with success.  Success means happiness, independence and freedom-it means living in love, instead of fear.

BUT before I get too carried away....I must wait.  For I am not moving out until the end of this week.  The best thing to do when the waiting is hard in my experience is to keep yourself busy in order to keep the anxiety at bay.  Bumpyboobs post, "Ten Things To Do While Waiting for Test Results" has many good ideas, including blogging, which prompted me to write this post.  Instead of pacing the floor (I have already pretty much packed), I will now take you back in time to the fifth day of my Virgins Island vacation.
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First we snorkeled at Maho Bay.  I enjoyed seeing lots of coral and fish in beautiful focus using the "turtle board," which we decided to rent out for the rest of the trip.  My dad took some great pictures using my underwater camera:




Aren't those pictures gorgeous?  Argh!  Looking at them makes me want to go back!  If I can't physically go back, then I will just use my imagination as I look at more of these photos...

After a nap, my family hiked on the Cinnamon Bay Factory Ruins Trail.  This cute little lizard greeted us at the beginning of the trail:
 
The ruins are from an old sugar factory.
I thought it was another instance of creepy beauty.
I especially like how the forest seemed to be reclaiming what used to be a site of exploitation.
The trail is a .5 mile loop that goes through the forest to the crypts of a Danish family.  Creepy....  Besides looking at the man-made structures that were becoming one with the forest, I admired the forest itself.  I thought the trees were simply gorgeous, like graceful goddesses with their arms stretching to the sky:

As I look at these pictures of water, trees, and animals, I am starting to feel more relaxed.
And as I look at this "Stinky Donkey Dip Ahead" picture I laugh and my anxieties seem to melt away.
Anxiety is its own "stinky donkey dip" and the best way to beat is to stay busy, and when I cannot be busy, then it is time to take a deep breath and be grateful for what I have already.  Remembering the love that I have already experienced and my previous pleasurable activities gives me hope for a new, creative future where that love can continue.  

What are you grateful for?  If you are anxious, what is a pleasurable event that you would like to remember? 

Link Love:

 Bumpyboobs
Feminism and Religion

Many of the women that I interviewed in my book Baby, You Are my Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall lived a closeted gay life. Their respect for their gay self had to be hidden in order to survive. It was how they respected the gay inner self—it is how they protected that self’s very survival.
[So] How can we support our gay elders? 

 Feminism: My New Religion by Michele Buscher

Feminism is the reason I get to live healthfully another day. […]Feminism is my new religion.



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