What goes down, must come up.

I wrote an original post that talked about all the pain that I and others are suffering through right now. About how my moods have been up and down and there is so much going on that it is hard to process any of it. Halfway through though I deleted it. I deleted it because we all know what is happening right now. We all feel the pain and the fear attached. We all know the downs right now. But, if my moods are up and down why am I only writing about what it feels like when they are down? I think we have enough of the down right now, so imma go ahead and talk about those ups. Those moments in my day when I feel peace.

When the sun is shining in my little neighborhood, I go to my stoop and I sit there. I let the sun drench my skin and I can feel myself come alive. My days off of work provide me solace in the sun. No schedule. No place to be. Just in that moment having vitamin D absorption provide me with the only medicine I need. This is where I have found the most peace. The Sun has been a bit fickle here, as is expected with spring weather. April showers yada, yada, yada. There is something about the sun though that lets you forget for a moment all that is happening.┬áIt’s a reminder that the world keeps turning and each day will come and go again, regardless of pandemics, politics, or anything else.

Those cloudy, rainy days though have been the toughest, so I’ve been channeling my energy every day into something more productive. I run my chaotic energy out like it’s a little kid I need to exhaust before their bedtime. I am officially up to three miles, which I intended to reach by the end of April, so way ahead of schedule. I guess I can thank chaotic energy for that. Turning my music up to full volume, feeling my body push itself in ways it never thought it could, this is one of my favorite feelings. Fat bodies are often told they can’t do things; they can’t wear crop tops, they can’t be healthy, they can’t run. It’s funny because at the moment my fat body is doing all of those things, so I am not sure where they are getting their data from. Running is an act of defiance in my fat body. I’ll show you what a fat body can do. I feel the air fill my lungs, my feet gently tapping the pavement, and my sweat painting my body. How fantastic human bodies can be. I can’t help but find peace here.

At work, it’s been a bit more difficult to find peace. I feel lucky, scared, sad and a whole mix of other emotions while I am there. As a social worker and an empath, I am a holder of not only my own emotions, but of others as well. Finding a way to unwind in that role is important. On my lunch break I leave the building even if it’s only for a minute. It is amazing the impact fresh air can have on a busy mind. I make it a point to find a spot that is empty, which is much easier these days. I stand there for a moment, with my headphones in, but no music playing, just to drown out the sounds of the city. In through the nose, out through the mouth, in through the nose, out through the mouth. I repeat these words in my head until it is all that I can hear. My anxiety started to shoot through the roof the day we had to start wearing masks at work. Which is when I realized how valuable fresh air is. Between patients I would stick my head out of the window and just breathe it in. *While I am painting a pretty picture it was actually a pretty hilarious sight, which I sent to a few friends.* This need for fresh air then turned into my need for my lunch time inhalations and exhalations. Hand to hearts center, namaste.

Nah, imma stay in bed is also where I find peace. I don’t actually lay in my bed all day though because I reserve that for sleeping (which I’ve also been doing a lot of). I do, however, spend more time sitting on my couch watching TV. Not just any TV. TV shows that I have seen a hundred times before. I recently read an article about this and they said we gravitate towards these shows in times of crisis because they provided us with a sense of comfort and control. This makes total sense to me. When Dawson’s Creek is on I feel way more in control and, by in control, I mean I am just swooning over Pacey J. Witter the whole time. It’s a great distraction. I love you Dawson’s Creek. Never Change.

Another thing that hasn’t change is finding comfort in food. An age old tradition in my brain to turn to food in moments of crisis. While, yes, stuffing my face to the point where it doesn’t feel good is not the healthiest of coping skills, I have to say I really don’t give a sh*t. Oh, I’m sorry, was that aggressive? But seriously, the copious amount of posts talking about the fear of emerging from this quarantine with a fat body is horrendous. If your worst case scenario is that you get fat, I’d have to say you are a really lucky person. I’d also urge you to unpack your fat phobia. Your fear isn’t of your health, it is purely of your body getting bigger. Digest that for a minute. Food is comforting and that doesn’t need to scare us. It’s okay to eat the things that bring you joy. In fact, anything that is bringing you joy right now is important to hold onto.

Because right now we don’t have a whole lot we can hold onto. Right now things are unpredictable and ever changing. So, I am holding on to these little pieces of life right now that bring me up when I am down. And the beautiful thing is that there are ups. I think it was Isaac Newton who said “what goes up must come down”. Well, it seems you can’t have one without the other and therefore, what goes down, must come up.

Try to find what your ups are. Maybe they are similar to mine or maybe they are vastly different, but either way search for them today. Heck, search for them everyday. You might have to look all over for them, but trust me they are there. And you might just find it helps you through the downs.

A[wo]men

*Featured image from a stoop session*

look up;

close your eyes;

embrace 

-the known;

accept 

-the unknown.

inhale,

4,5.

exhale,

4,5.

repeat.

-how to find your ups.

 

An Exercise in Grounding

Wassssup (entering old school today- tongue out and all).

I think we are all aware that the world is, well, to put it gently, “off”. Now, I could spend the next hour writing about how I am feeling and all the scary ideas that are running through my head. Most typically, this is exactly what I would do. I would want you to know your aren’t alone in this and we are all going through it together. However, I don’t think that’s helpful right now. I think we are all feeling the unknown and we all have a better understanding of just how intense anxiety can feel. So, I thought it might be best to switch it up on the interwebz for a moment. You know, share something that isn’t all about a pandemic, or anxiety, or toilet paper.

I’ve been racking my brain over the last few hours trying to figure out exactly what that would be. What I could write about when my mind seems to be consumed with all of these things and more. What would help me to slow down and for a moment forget I’m alone in my apartment, unsure about the state of the world?

Gratitude.

It’s so simple, I am surprised it took me a few hours to come up with it. Just hear me out, I know that sometimes it is annoying when you are feeling one way and people are like “just think of all that you have”. Sometimes it makes me want to puke in my mouth. Sometimes I want to be angry and scared and petty and vent and not think about all the good. Sometimes things just suck and I want to sit in that suckiness for a bit. We have every right to do so. There are other times though that thinking about all I have can alter my mood in ways I never thought it could. When a brain is on fire and is able to say I am thankful that I have water to put it out- that, my friends, is power. A power that is free of cost and fills up time and is totally doable in, let’s say, a quarantine situation.

Today I will be making a list of 25 things that I am so incredibly grateful for today.

  1. The sun is shining, baby. Gettin’ that Vitamin D under my skylights as I am writing this.
  2. I have a place to live.
  3. There is food in my fridge, freezer, and cabinets.
  4. My friends are amazing. They check-in on me. They call me. They send me texts. They remind me that I am loved. I may be physically alone in this apartment, but I am definitely not alone.
  5. I have hobbies. I write and I dance and I run and all of these things keep me grounded.
  6. I am working. People still need our care and I am going to help provide that care for as long as I am able to.
  7. Netflix.
  8. Hulu.
  9. Disney+. (Yes, they all get their own separate numbers because that’s how grateful I am for each one.)
  10. My family group chat right now is straight fire. We even got a water challenge going so we all stay hydrated.
  11. Memers are on the top of their game. They say laughter is the best medicine and damn, Instagram has been saving lives with its pure comedic medicine.
  12. I have a washer and dryer in my apartment. Thankful for this on a daily basis.
  13. I am healthy.
  14. I have running water.
  15. Electricity.
  16. My awesome book collection is, well, awesome.
  17. Coloring books are a gift.
  18. Fat activists/diet school dropouts reminding me that it’s okay to eat. That I don’t need to prioritize weight loss in this moment or any other moment. And that sometimes food is comfort.
  19. Healthcare workers.
  20. Grocery store workers.
  21. Therapy. Talk about your feelings- get support.
  22. Soap. and subsequently-
  23. Lotion.
  24. Candles aka therapy of the aroma variety.
  25. I’m alive. And while life can seem so fragile, it’s that fragility that reminds us just how important it is to live it.

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed right now, just check-in with your body. You are here and that is enough right now. Maybe you could make your own list. If 25 seems like too much, think of 1. Maybe you’ll start and not be able to stop. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll remember all you have right in front of you. Or maybe you’ll just want to sit it in the suckiness for a bit. That’s cool too.

If you are struggling with any of the things on this list, like lack of food or TP or essentials in any way please reach out to me. I may not be able to help out a lot, but I will do what I can.

Also, if you’re just looking for an ear, I am pretty good at listening, or so I’ve been told.

A[wo]men

i

love

you

-simplicity