It’s Like White-Water Rafting, I Think…

I’ve never been white-water rafting, so I guess I don’t really know what it’s like, but if I had to imagine the experience based on the photos and videos I’ve seen of other people white-water rafting, I could claim a fairly reasonable comparison.

“WTH are you talking about, Rachel? Comparision to what?”

Well… to my life, as of late. I did some prep work, bought the right gear, kinda knew what to expect, (but not really. Nobody ever REALLY knows what to expect), then trotted my happy ass into the raft and grabbed a paddle. That was the last time I smiled for real in many months. Everything thereafter has been one fat, white-water wave slap in the face. Not to mention I’m completely soaked to the bone and FREEZING. I have endured the near-capsizing of my modest river vessel many more times than I care to remember.

Alright, alright. Since my last blog post, I have changed jobs 4 more times and bailed on my return to college. My finger hovered over the “Accept” button on a Federal Student Loan to complete my Associate’s Degree in Paramedicine, but after returning to EMS for a short stint this last year, I realized I don’t love this job $20k worth of student debt. So, now I brew coffee, pull espresso shots, and chit-chat with a smile for a living. It doesn’t pay much, so I may end up living in a tent in my sister’s backyard, (which reminds me… “Heeeey sis, how is your lawn looking these days? Soft and vacant?”).

I have been using what seems like a tremendous amount of free time away from work, (since I only work 8 hours per day now instead of 12+ (because EMS sucks the life out of you and demands all your time)), to explore my hobbies again. Photography, piano, guitar, sewing… I even tried my hand at bookbinding recenty! I got distracted midway through, so I haven’t finished that project yet, but researching the whole process and trying it for myself was very interesting.

I’ve also been continuing to deal with the ever irritating cycles of depression that sweep across my mindscape to squash the tiny buds of blossoming hope back into the dirt. I’ve torn up and scribbled over a handful of Vision Boards over the last few years. Many of my journal entries consist mainly of swear words – some freshly created ones and a few enduring classics. I still faithfully attend every counseling session, and it helps A LOT, but in the back of my mind is this shitty voice… the voice of my own jaded, cynical, pessimistic, hopeless, traumatized self. She stomps around in all her nasty-not-niceness, casting judgement on my every thought and movement toward hope and joy and peace. Somehow she has made be believe that I am a big disappointment, a complete failure, and utterly useless. Even when the quietest whispers of my worth float gently into my awareness, they are quickly silenced by the Voice shouting, “Wouldn’t that be nice if it were true? But it’s not, you piece of shit.”

Ouch.

The shame cycle is a brutal beast to disrupt, but it can be disrupted. According to my counselor, the continuing practice of shame-cycle disruption will eventually create new neural pathways in my brain, and the Voice will eventually be nothing more than a weak whisper. God, I hope that’s true! Haha! I’m reeeally tired of how mean I’ve become toward myself.

After taking the microphone from the scaly claw of that damned Voice, I’ll be better able to hear my heart concerning who I am, what I’m about, how I would be better spending my time… ya know, the important, more interesting stuff that makes life more enjoyable. That’s all I really want from life right now… something that makes my continued existence on Earth enjoyable.

I’d also like to invite the Universe, and my Angels and Guides, to please plop within my consciousness any divinely inspired ideas for a successful side hustle that will help me pay the bills. Thank you in advance.

Anyway. A few things you can Google if you’re a little nerdy, like myself, and enjoy digging deeper into fascinating topics…
* The Shame Cycle
* Adaptive vs. Maladaptive strategies
* Co Regulation vs. Self Regulation
* Blog – http://www.positivepsychology.com
* Book – “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown (highly recommend)
* Book – “Wired for Love” by Stan Tatkin

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