Brainstorm: the First chapter of Butterscotch Blossom. A snapshot of the mind of anxiety.

I’m sharing this piece for world mental health day. I hope the Spirit of pushing through falls on every reader.

This is the first chapter of my first self published book ,Butterscotch Blossom. This chapter is based on my life events and penned from the inspiration from the words and love of my family who pushed and revived me through a scary life moment before I gave up on myself.

 

Self, I love you more- the meaning

Self, I love you more.

“I can see anxiety funneling down When I stop speaking like myself,

Thinking like myself,

And feeling like myself.

Those billows of darkness

can’t sneak by me anymore.

I know when to prepare

to embrace myself.

I hear it when it starts to whip and whirl in me, And sometimes I’ll have to get

Way down under the ground to my safe sheltering place

Till it passes over.

I don’t have to run wild away from it.

I know when it pops up on my radar, And I just prepare myself for its thunder.

I let it roll on by.

I get out of its way and fold into God’s presence. I dodge all of its debris, and let it blow on by.

Cause it knows to blow on by.”

Self I love you more-page 94

I am certain that I will be discussing the mental health journey and self love journey for the rest of my life. I’m thrilled that I know this, and that I’m okay with it. My new book, ‘Self, I love you more’, will be released October 15th of this year. I wanted to share where it came from in this life update.

I try to utilize all of the resources I can when it comes to my journey with anxiety. Leaving therapy one day; I whispered to myself that I still didn’t feel better. And myself responded and said well what do I do since I don’t feel better? The answer to this question lived in a lot of places, I found out.

Rebuttals, answers, and open ended questions started to roll over In my mind…

So do I just give up because I don’t feel better?… Do I stop coming to therapy because I don’t feel like it’s working right now?… Do I go back to a self neglect behavior of choice because I don’t feel better?… Do I keep eating poorly and taking my feelings out on my body? … do I Keep morphing into a Not nice lady because I don’t feel better?…

No, I can’t afford To keep doing any of these.

Experiencing Houston Texas, and it’s Ocean fueled weather has allowed me to see how people who live here will prepare for an incoming hurricane, if they can, before they pack up and leave everything they have. I’ve seen them in stores snatching up bottles of water, flashlights, non-perishables, anything else they think they’ll need to ride out the storm when it shows up. And while I watch them stock up on all the supplies, they’re not smiling. They were just determined to get what they needed and get back to their home to prepare for what’s coming. They were ready to do whatever they needed to do, for the sake of their home, and for the expectancy of the storm coming and more than that, it’s exit.

The representation of the determination of my fellow humans is a teaching lesson I’ll always remember. Their Determination to stay home during such a big storm makes me ask myself why I would ever let myself go During the threat of anxiety, depression, life changes and circumstances. It makes me ask myself why would I let everything that I am and everything that I could be get washed away in the waves and the rain that roll in from a moment Of not feeling better.

I say this to say I’m learning to stock up on my hope for tomorrows. I’m learning to tell myself that I love myself more than how I feel …more than how I want to act out…. more than the echo of my mistakes in the past ….more than the evils of the world…

I’m learning to say self I love you more than all of this. And I will stock up on all I need to by way of my writing, my family, my dreams, and brighter days…

The whisper in self I love you more; it tells us that we are staying here and fighting for our time alive no matter what happens ….and no matter what Will happen. It means that we are not leaving our vessel for a storm, No matter the size. We become partners with a wild self-love when we declare we love ourselves more than our struggles and the temptation to give up on ourselves💜

Remember.

-KO

3 tips for a lasting love in a millennial marriage/relationship

3 Tips for a lasting love in a millennial marriage/relationship

Love is action

Love is action not fueled by feelings

Love is the filter in our minds that intercepts the statement that could tear down our lover.

Love is the track for the train

And the track rails are steel.

And the track stays still…

Because it knows it is the only thing that can guide the love train through life effectively.

So what do we do when the love of our life is standing before us in their dirty, patchy, stained clothes instead of their sparkling gowns? What do we do when we absorb remnants of insecurity and walk around with them in our hands, and tucked in the bend of our knee, waiting to project them onto our spouse or partner in our next spell of frustration with the issues in our lives? What do we do when we don’t understand our anxiety, depression, or confusions and begin to detach from our awareness.

Communicate Like Crazy!

Mass media contributes heavily to the unrealistic ideas that young adults have about what love is, about how love should be, and about what makes love real. The millennial idea about love has removed the concept of wrapping your mind and listening ear around the voice of your partners to search out who they are and what they deserve from you as a result of your commitment to love with them. As a millennial in a new marriage, I have to constantly tell myself that I don’t want to have a “normal” relationship with my husband. I don’t want us to ever stay the same. I don’t want us to divorce or look outside of our marriage for a quick relief. I don’t want us to carry our minds away from each other for too long after a disagreement. I don’t want us to be counted in the statistics of failing families. We want to be different and have a love that births itself over and over again. And in love, that’s what everyone should want.

To serve love wholly, you’ll have to talk to your partner at all times. During all things. And in any space that permits you to have a real dialogue about what’s going on in the webs of your brain. Not just any talk; but a sit down where you can really look and listen to each other. You’ll have to tell your partner when your anxiety is causing you to get snappy, ugly, and emotional. You will have to explain to your partner what you need when they are unknowingly passively ignoring your request. You’ll have to listen to your partner tell you why they feel depressed, unmotivated, or frustrated with life. You’ll have to listen without telling them your answer to their problem. You will simply have to listen. And the action after you listen and are heard is to continue to love the heart and being of your partner just the same.

The goal is to always have your cards on the table for you both to see, and vice versa. It’s actually a cool feeling. Now, all the cards may be piled up to the ceiling or have some crazy notes on them, but the goal is that you both see them and work through them together. Unashamed and willing.

Be Accountable for your actions

We are all guilty of not doing this. Let me assure you that accountability is not admitting your wrongs and then rationalizing with your bad behavior to your lover. That’s cowardly.

Accountability is admitting your wrongs and communicating how you want to change it or address it for the good of your relationship. Accountability is saying, hey I’ve been slacking in this area and I want to give you the same degree of love that you give me, but please bear with me while I get there.

For me, Accountability is telling my husband when anxiety is rising within me. I tell him as much as I need to so he knows I need him and am aware of the tide in my temperament. For those with a mental illness or a mental distress like anxiety or depression, be careful not to blame your condition when you know you are the aggressor in an argument or disagreement. Be ready to fess up to when you flat out have been rude and ugly by way of your words or attitude. Mental health isn’t an excuse to treat your partner poorly, neglect them, or abuse them verbally. (You’re the perfect candidate for therapy if the last sentence relates to you. This is okay, and you’re not alone. Become the best you for yourself and the people you love!)

Take Care of yourself

I’m an advocate for the mental health community and for the self-love movement. When you choose to participate in a relationship; it can be easy to slack in the area of self-love and self-improvement if you enthrall your life around your relationship or family. This is a harm to self. Our partners can’t force us to routinely discuss our frame of mind. They cannot force us to seek treatment or counsel during mental distresses. They can’t force us to find resources for ourselves when we need a break from the weight of the demands on our life. They can encourage us to do all of these things but they can’t tie us up and make us do it. If we turn our backs on ourselves during our relationships, marriages and courtships; we are giving ourselves an example and revelation on how to turn our backs on the people we love too.

In the action of love, we are operating in the character traits of love, even when we don’t feel like it.

That’s love, in action.

Muddy Occasions

Using prose and poetry; I detail how the fight and flight response in anxiety makes me feel. read an excerpt from chapter 3: ‘Muddy Occasions’ below.

These occasions, are those endured occasions, that happened, and happen more than occasionally.
I don’t know where they live, but they keep calm where they’re housed, And then rise in my life like an ocean tide.

Sometimes they pause for the moon, sometimes they arrive with the sunshine.
But nonetheless, these occasions come.
And they come muddy, sticky and muddy….

Thick enough for me to believe, every time they come, that they’ll stay on me for good….

….. In the thick of this doom, my body paralyzes herself, and my blood haste up and about, and then fear falls right into my mouth, then turns to anger, and then to sadness, and then all of these sentiments collide.

I’ve ran for my life from buildings, and out of traffic, and off planes for fear that death was in them….in the thick of this doom……

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

I started 3 weeks of treatment which included one on one sessions with therapist and cognitive behavioral specialist, as well as group sessions. In the treatment space, I learned to shed the thought that there was a perfect mind somewhere that I could inhabit. There wasn’t. There were already beautiful things and behaviors to step into that I had within me. I

had to learn how to let those be louder than the muddy ones.
The ultimate benefit left with me from my time at the facility came from the group sessions I attended there. I pondered, going back and forth about how I could explain my time here. Primarily, I realized that we are all distinct standards of ourselves, that the only individual anyone should

compare themselves to is their own SELF, their own mind……

In treatment, it was like the sky opened up, and someone turned the lights on all the darkness in my thoughts…and in that darkness, things started to glow in the dark.

Engage and purchase ButterscotchBlossom online at Amazon or Barnes&Noble.

Green

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I’ve started becoming fascinated with the color green. Specifically with the way the color looks on plants. I purchased a painting right after I got married in July, because it was so beautiful to me. Every day I walk in to my home and look at this painting. It gives me a new feeling. It’s almost like a reset button when I look at it, sit up under it and write, or see the sunshine lighting up one of its corners.

Reflecting on the greenery of the brand new spring… I could almost cry. Have you ever really sat and looked at the trees…? Walked your eyes through a single limb…. and all its extremities?

If you’re familiar with plants then you know that they have their own reproductive cycle ….all the way up to the petals…Their own ovary.

they’re all around us. And they are quietly laboring through their own birth pains . It’s just beautiful. But so familiar to the natural eye; that it’s vanity is overlooked.

I couldn’t help but think of all this green while I reflected on life. And especially when I thought about the resilient hearts who are walking through their own mental struggle, or life change.

I asked God for just the right words to say before I respond to readers, or people who are drawn to what I write in a like-minded way.

The answer I heard was “Tell them they’re not alone.”

My book details several testimonials from my life in a beautiful, poetic way. I told my story through poetry because I needed it to read beautifully, no matter how tragic it really was. There are topics related to suicidal thoughts and behavior, life altering anxiety and fear. But there is also A tone of overwhelming victory from the very first page until the very last.

I’ve had life changing conversations with people who don’t know me, people who haven’t read my book; but they know through my own revealing that I am just like them. They’ve admitted that they’re afraid to deal with themselves….. that they didn’t want to be put on medication… That they didn’t want their family to know how they really felt internally.

In Spirit, I translated these things as people ultimately saying they didn’t want to look at who they really are. These thought processes decoded are saying; I don’t want to really know what I look like… I don’t want to see that, because I’m afraid of how bad I am.

Just like the magic in the trees, in every plant… We are laboring together. We may be planted in different mud, but we are pregnant at the same time.

and more than that, we are birthing at the same time; different experiences, but similar frames of mind.

And there is world full of trees like us, like you…..we are not alone.

 

Blossom Entry: In a moment of spring 

Butterscotch Blossom“The truth”

I Have to talk myself and my mind out of its obsessive thinking on a daily basis.

This is a frustrating walk.
I have to soothe myself gently when I hear an airplane or helicopter too loud when it’s flying over the house.
“The why”
I don’t know why. I don’t care why at this point. My anxiety shows up like a neighbor. So I walk this little fella around like I’m his map around the city. Cause he’s gotta watch me if he intends to pop up like he does. And I decide most of the time to keep moving while he hangs onto my leg.
“The weight”
It’s weird. Sometimes I have days that are stellar. What I mean is that on those days I feel like I am experiencing what it’s like to not be anxious. On other days I feel like I am flipping back down the anxiety hill as viciously as possible. And when these different intensities happen within a day of each other;It gets me down.
“The humanity of it”
In my book, Butterscotch Blossom, I write about how my intervals in my mental health journey help me have humility. I relate the heavy, real feeling of doom that I get in an anxiety spell to the state of mind that a lot of other humans have to sit in.
The mental health world view is master crafted. It’s different. I call us, in the mental health community, people who are glowing in the dark. Cause that’s how unique we are.
I moved to Texas last July, and am traveling back to Tennessee tomorrow.
My family’s been so supportive of me during my mental health journey. I feel good. 💜