self love… or the pursuit of it, anyway.

Oh love, how complex you are.

Lately, I’ve been very introspective in thinking about love. But not the normal love or the hunt for partnership that I normally bitch about on here. Love for myself.

I don’t know if I’ve really gotten into it, but I have some pretty deep rooted self esteem issues that I know I need to figure out. I guess the first step of fixing a problem is admitting it, right? Well, there it is. I constantly struggle to love myself. Luckily, my grief counselor is also a bit of an everything counselor, so it’s something that I am working on. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s a constant battle to stay positive and to work on my self image.

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13% success rate

My sincerest apologies for the delay in posting. I went on a cruise (yay!) and also had a really solid therapy session this week, which made me a little introspective. I didn’t want to write anything until I had polished up my thoughts and determined the direction I wanted to go with my next post.

First off, cruise was great, yay! I love water.. it gives me life, it makes me happy, and it cures everything.

On to the tough stuff, though. I don’t know how much I’ve written about this before, so if this is repetitive, I apologize. I started going to grief counseling a few months after my mom passed away in 2013. I found that counseling is very therapeutic for me, so continued going regularly. Now it’s a very real part of my life. I am not too prideful to admit that I need help, a lot sometimes. I still deal with hardships as it relates to the grieving process and missing my mom, but most of my counseling sessions nowadays center around my own self worth and growth.

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carpe la vie

I’m baaaaccckk! This post may be a little lengthy, because I have a lot to say. Also, I know carpe la vie isn’t actually a thing, but it maybe should be.

First, let’s talk about my trip. DR was basically amazing, for several different reasons. It’s a beautiful place, so you can’t really go wrong there.. but I also met some really awesome people. Turns out that wedding crashing has a few perks!

One of the beautiful things about going to a place like the Dominican Republic is the opportunity to completely disconnect. I am admittedly very connected all the time, and I sometimes feel very lost when I don’t have a phone or tablet nearby to stay up to speed on what is going on. In Punta Cana, I was able to step away from that. Ok.. the WiFi sucked ass, so I was partially forced to, but you get the point. I’ve been trying to be better about stepping away from screens, and this was a good opportunity to do that. I didn’t record performances, I didn’t take a shit-ton of selfies (just a moderate ton), and most importantly.. I just focused on the moment. 

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hospitalized.

Once upon a time, I decided I would try to be outdoorsy. Okay, bear with me, I realize this post has “hospital” in the title and I promise we will get there, but let me first set the scene.

I love the beauty of nature. I love.. to LOOK at it. I don’t necessarily enjoy being in it, but in 2015, I decided I would challenge myself to do things I hadn’t done before, and that involved being one with the earth or some bullshit. I started spending a lot more time outdoors, hiking, and even.. camping. I will admit it was definitely more like glamping, but you get the picture.

My first camping trip in probably… I don’t know, maybe 15 years? was a definite success. We made s’mores, we hiked the Appalachian Approach trail, I had about 23482482 steps on my fitness tracker, the weather was chilly but nice, the scenery was beautiful.

Fast forward 10 days later, and I don’t even know my name.

So, for those of you who aren’t aware, ticks and other pesky creatures are apparently active year round in southern states, like the one I live in. I had apparently been bitten by one of these critters and won the grand prize of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Haven’t heard of it? Google… but here are the basics. I had brain swelling, a very high fever, and a pretty nasty rash that landed me in the hospital for 10 days. The doctors probably would have kept me longer if I hadn’t actually tried to Uber out of there.

Luckily, after about 3 months of building my strength back up, I was left relatively unscathed, other than a nasty case of what I really consider PTSD, and a big increase in anxiety. The troublesome part is, as someone who has always struggled with anxiety (and diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder), this added stress did not help. I began having panic attacks, and bordered on being a hypochondriac… any little thing that felt “off” would send me into a full blown conundrum about how I was probably dying. This may sound crazy to many of you, but when you’re a pretty healthy person who almost dies unexpectedly from something so random, it’s hard for your brain not to go there. Especially when you’re already battling the Anxiety Monster on the reg.

The moral of this story: live your life. Do what you want, because you really never know what may happen. I still struggle every day with anxiety, but I am working on ways to embrace who I am and live for me. I’m trying to keep the people who were there for me when no one else was close, and appreciate what I have, because not everyone is lucky enough to have those things. Also, wear bug spray people!!

xoxo, Tempest