What puts meaning into my life?

I have been skyping with my oldest sister yesterday night. We’ve been talking about how I’m struggling with all this extra shit every Christmas and New Years’ and I explained a little about how it felt. She listened and then asked me ‘That sounds so hard, what makes it worth it?” She is direct like that.

I was cross with her for catching me off-guard with the question, and because I thought it sounded criticizing, somehow. So I didn’t reply, but kept thinking about the question anyway. What makes life worth the crap? Worth the pain? Worth the seemingly unending struggle?

I don’t really know for sure, but something makes it worth it. Something makes it meaningful.

I’m wondering what it is. I need to go back to the question, it seems like it would be beneficial to know. Right now I only have this vague feeling that somehow it’s worth the struggle. I didn’t always feel this way, but at the moment I do.

I really need to give it some more thought.

In the meantime, I made another snapshot of my Christmas pressie doll. Just because I felt like it. I think she’s pretty. She also smiles like maybe she knows the answer to my question. If only I could figure out how to make her talk. 😉

Lola's doll

Riches – a lighthearted poem on a little everyday insanity

Riches,Riches poem1

It’s a poem I wrote in response to a show I saw on TV about how people go Christmas shopping. It’s meant in a fun and lighthearted way, but I think it’s got a little truth at the core.  Since the picture turned out a bit small to read it well (and I also made some spelling mistakes), here is what it reads:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Riches
by Lola

Riches, riches people gather
spoon of gold and couch of leather
expensive car’s no luxury
tinsel in the treasury
who has got the biggest jewel?
is the question that is fuel
to the common man’s desire
which makes him withstand hell and fire
on his eternal quest for more
losing sight of solid shore.

The sea of riches will fulfill
man’s addicted strive until
the grass next door seems greener still.

By the way, it doesn’t matter
what kind of riches people gather
as long as they collect with greed
stuff that they don’t really need
just to show off their possession
or – respective – their profession.
The thing itself is not of value
(Of course that’s not what they would tell you!)
It’s other people’s praise they seek
– what other people about them speak.

Which in itself does not give credit
to self esteem (well, if they had it).
A content life? They can forget it.

This is the truth you must endure:
Gather riches and stay poor!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In my approach to see the good things about Christmas, I wish for everyone to keep in mind and to appreciate the things that really matter in life and to remember that those are rarely found under a tree! 😉

Making a Roadmap to a Life that Matters

Wait?! What? - Where the heck am I again?!

Wait?! What? – Where the heck am I again?!

“Why are you even here?”

I have asked myself that countless of times. Looking at the facts doesn’t draw a good picture. I have BPD, which means I’m often a nuisance to those around me, hinder them, or demand they place my needs over theirs. I have PTSD, which means I struggle with shit healthy people don’t even think about. I avoid half a trillion places because they are triggering, I dissociate and am not even a proper part of the world when I do and I haven’t dealt with at least two thirds of my traumatic memories yet. I have no formal education to speak of and no degree in anything. The only thing I’m certified is crazy and dysfunctional.

Looking back, I can’t separate the individual occasions on which my birth mother let me know that I am the reason for her misery. That I was the worst punishment God ever cursed her with. She used to say that, word for word. Then she got a chance to get rid of me for good with minimal effort on her part – and jumped at it, never to be heard or seen by me again.

How she felt about me was how I felt about myself. I had no idea why I am here at all. The only reason why I am still here is that I stopped caring about much of anything and just drifted on, numb with occasional bouts of emotional crisis, wherever life took me. For eight years.

Until my new life began. Not really because I chose it, but because it chose me. I was still drifting.

Since then, however, I ran aground. With all the good and the nasty that brings.

Now, two days ago, I was sick, my mom and I talked. About lots of things, but what I am thinking about now is that she said “you matter” and “we’re glad to have found you”. And you see, she has a way of saying things in a way that I can believe them. Even good stuff.

The sickness bug is gone (thank God) but her words have stayed with me. And I have realized that it’s nice to feel like I matter to my family, but that I’d really like to know WHY I matter. I want to feel like I have a life that matters by my own standards, too.

So I figured I need a roadmap to a life that matters, because I tend to get lost on whatever way I want to go. So far I have put on my roadmap:

1. Going after what I’m positively passionate about, so that there’s meaning in what I do. Right now, it’s blogging. I’m passionate about how people with mental health problems get treated and the many stupid/ignorant/unhelpful attitudes people have. Also, about the things that help me get better. About the things I have learned. I’m pretty passionate about those. I want to share them. Blogging is a way to do it.

2. Going the right way, not the easy way. The more I think about this one, the more I realize there is a huge pull in society in general towards the easy way. People want outcomes, but they don’t want to be bothered with getting there. Mind you, I’m one of those people, quite often. What gets sacrificed is quality and having something proper. Take convenience food. It’s quick and easy. Hey, you can even have it off paper plates so that you won’t have to bother with the dishes. But is the food good quality? And can you truly feel good about yourself, knowing you burden the world with unnecessary waste for no other reason than your laziness. Everyone can answer that for themselves. The right way is often the harder way. But also the one that leads to something that matters.

3. Finding out what “right” is for me – positive principles to live by. This one is probably the hardest one for me, because it’s in direct competition with BPD. Being borderline makes me rush judgment and draw faulty conclusions to act upon. Positive principles require me to do the opposite. Virtues such as honesty, self-control, persistence, kindness, generosity and patience don’t come easy to me. Like, at ALL! But I want a life that matters in positive ways, so this is where I feel my “right” lies.

4. Keeping in mind that a roadmap is meant for a journey, not a destination. If I were there already, I didn’t need a map anymore. I need the map because I’m not there yet. In fact I’m far from there. Far from making the right choices, and choosing the right path, even when it’s a hard and long one. But that’s exactly what a roadmap is for. So I can look at it when I err or stumble. So I can keep track of where I am, even when I went the wrong way. So I can get back on track. Even when I need to do it a thousand times before I get anywhere.

5. Recognizing the good things along the way. If a map is not so much about the destination as about the way – and I can already see that the way is a long one – I might as well treat the way as if it were the destination and appreciate the good things that make going it worthwhile. For a life that matters, finding meaning in what I do is a good way to start. Meaning in the successes, when I manage to walk on the right path. But also meaning in going astray, like figuring out why I got lost and how to get back on a better path.

I want a life that matters. I want to be here to show that I can use my life for something good after all.

What’s in a name?

I just happened across this website that suggests ‘Lola’ is a slutty name. That it shouldn’t be a first name but one to only use if your personality is ‘Lola’. I wonder when your personality is Lola. When you’re a whore? A stripper? A porn-star? A pet name for Lola would be Lolita – most people probably have some ideas that they associate with that as well.

Sometimes I wonder why and how my mother chose my name. Her name was Loretta, so maybe something starting with ‘Lo’ and ending in ‘a’ rang familiar to her. Or did she not think of that at all? Everyone called her Etta, so maybe she wasn’t even aware of the similarity. Maybe she just opened the newspaper one day, read the name somewhere and figured it was as good as any other. Or she heard the Kinks song, shrugged and reckoned ‘transvestite, daughter, whatever, it’s a name’. Sometimes I like to think she chose it deliberately. Most of the time I can’t imagine she attached meaning to it. She never called me by my name either. The only things I remember her calling me were ‘hey you’ or ‘stupid’ or ‘dirty slut’ or variations thereof. So who knows, maybe it was even my step-father who named me. Maybe because he was already thinking along the Lolita angle. He used to call me that and I hated it. I cringe when I hear it and want to puke. That’s not me.

My sister (one of the two I have now, I don’t have biological siblings) once asked me if I liked my name. I guess I like it okay. I like it when people use it to address me. I like it when my mom says it. In fact, I think I like it since my mom says it. She makes it sound nice. She says it in the same voice she uses to call me honey or kiddo or sweetie. It’s like she claimed my name and gave it new meaning. Like she claimed me. In my ears my name sounds different now than it used to.

I guess this post has no real point. Just random rambling about how weird it is that we end up with a name that someone else chooses and that can take on different meanings along the way. So what’s in a name? What you put in it, I guess.

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