Sonntag, 4. Februar 2018

#58 Thanks to my anxiety.

It sounds so weird, when I say, that, all in all, I am thankful for my anxiety. Of course, I am not thankful for being a person with a mental illness. But that doesn't change the fact, that I am thankful for the experiences I made because of my anxiety. And that I am the person I am right now because I experienced what I experienced. So let me sum this up by wiriting a special letter.

Dear anxiety,
you might not have seen that day coming, but here I am, smiling at you while saying 'Thank you!'
I was 14 when you put me in chains for the first time. And since then I seemed to be your victim, your hostage. For more than half my lifetime. But as you might have recognized, I raised against you. And here I stand. 
I tried nearly everything. Fighting you brutally, repressing you, running from you, ignoring you. I fell and I stood up again, ready for the next fall. And then, one day, I realized, that there is another chance. So I took all of my courage and faced you. I looked you in the eye. And then, after staring and staring, after rivers of tears and so many tries, I accepted that you are a part of me. 
You have been a part of my life for such a long time, your presence left marks on my soul. So by fighting you, by trying to get rid of you, I would fight parts of myself. And that's when I decided, that I had been at war with myself far too long. It was time for cooperation.
By facing you, strange things happened. I suddenly began to understand what happened to me those days when the lights go out. Also I figuered out, that your existence - and all the things you made me do in the past - where not my fault. I did the best I could. And now, that I knew, I had the chance to do much better.
But most of all you taught me how beautiful good moments are. There is no light without darkness. I know, other people make these experiences as well, without being ill that way. But I am not other people. 
I am the one who feels so deeply, that watching a movie could stun me for minutes just because of the feelings flowing. The one getting goosebumps all over my body because of hearing the first three tones of my favourite song. The one crying honest tears while listening to people's stories. The one being so empathetic, that I am able to feel things I didn't even experience myself.
When I started embracing you, I started embracing all the sensitivity you gave me. And I started embracing the ability to be thankful.
Today I sit here, happy as I never was. And I wouldn't be as happy as I am if I wouldn't have had you, showing me that it was definitely time to look at you. To look at myself. To find solutions. To rally. So I did. And I realized what a strong, stubborn woman I am. For the first time in so many years now I know who I am without being afraid constantly. For the first time in years I really felt the beauty in building up the kind of life I want to live instead of hiding parts of myself in a black box down in the basement while trying so much not to get hurt. I am someone. And I think I wouldn't know it that way, if I wouldn't have had you. So thanks for the awakening.

Mittwoch, 31. Januar 2018

#57 What birth is like.

Three goddamn weeks. Pain and trouble, tears and shivers, grey and cold, dark days and everlasting nights. Three weeks. Giant exhaustion. I AM SO TIRED. All of these ups and downs. So many topics. So many walls to tear down.

There have been so many points, where I would have run if I wouldn't love him so much. Not because he made mistakes, not because of anything being his fault. Of course, he is not perfect. But who is?
So thing is, that my old stuff came up with all its power in the last weeks. When I look back now, I know all of these topics. But all of them came with surprise und with an intensity I didn't expect. Again, I had days of not being able to work. Days of being at work but crying nearly all the time. Days of "Come on, just get the fuck through this!". Three weeks of everyday struggle, of discussions and talks, with him and with friends. Three weeks of saying the same things again and again without knowing if I will ever get answers to my questions.

Two days ago we made the decision to take a break from struggling. Time for ourselves. Time for us. Time for recovering. Time for routine. Time for breathing.
So since yesterday I feel like returning. I am able to feel myself again. I am joking, laughing, smiling, even working,  wholeheartedly. It gave me goosebumps today when I realized who I am without constantly being afraid. And most of all I already started to find answers - right in the moment I stopped seeking.
He told me months ago, that all of this is about what I WANT for my life. It's about what I WISH. So ... as usual I was late again. And the last three weeks have been the birth place of my realization of exactly THIS. I am creating my life. I am the architect. I am not here to fit in, to be easy or assimilated. I am here to show who I really am. And I deserve to be happy.

Three weeks of hell. But god, I have learned so much. I found new strategies to deal with difficult situations. I was so brave, trying new things, adjusting my priorities. And I won. Experience. Encouragement. Acceptance. Respect. Connection. I started treating myself with self compassion. I started embracing the feeling of having strong emotions on one, but being able to make intelligent decisions on the other hand. And I can feel the beauty in all of this.

Three weeks of pain. But that is what birth is like. Its hurting. And then, something beautiful is born.

Montag, 1. Januar 2018

#56 The danger in hope. The chance in danger.

So ... It wouldn't be me if I wouldn't have found another big topic to start my new year with. It struck me a few days ago, when I read an article about late moms:
"Hello ... Remember me? I'm your biological clock. We've been talking a few years ago, you kinda ignored me since then. Now I decided that it's time to talk. And ... well ... I hope it's okay I brought a friend home? His name is Panic, you might have met before."
Well, thanks. As a really good friend of mine said: "Ah ... That's another of these silvester things ..." Awesome.

Thing is, the biological clock itself wouldn't be that much of a problem - but while I am quite certain, that I would really like to have children in a few years, the love of my life is quite certain that he does not. And I've never been in a relationship with a man who didn't want to have children. I had "Not yet.", lots of that. But never a "Nope". And while my life changed so much in 2017, I cancelled all of my future plans and decided to enjoy what I had right in the moment as much as I could. That kinda worked. Until that moment, a few days ago.

For the first time I realized, that this relationship could be endangered. Really endangered - not by all that "wishi washi daily fears stuff". The question "Children or none?" could be a dealbreaker. And in worst case, I might be working some years on something I would want to last a lifetime - just to realize then, that there couldn't be an "us" anymore, because our plans wouldn't fit.

We've been talking about it. About our points of view, about sharing the fear to lose each other. Realizing that I suddenly really started to question "us", to ask if we'd waste each others time ... it hurt both of us. But while he didn't seem to make any move to escape, my flight instict set in instantly. And I had a quite hard time, finding my way back to "us".
It didn't take me long to realize, that my goal was set. I want this relationship. I want him. No matter what might be in a few years. But between knowing what I wanted to decide and making the decision with all my heart, I had to fight the risk minimizer, sitting in my breast for years now, being my own true love-hate. I had to get rid of my enormous craving for (the illusion of) control. I had to feel, that this love is worth any risk.
But there was another discovery to make. All the time I was stuck in thinking, that my biggest problem was, that I was always focusing on the worst case, drawing bad scenarios, hurting myself that way. Now I know that this wasn't the crucial point. Indeed, it hurts to do so. But what really paralyzed me again and again in my life was that I forbid myself to hope.
Because hope is dangerous. There is only a thin line between hopes and expectations. And if you hope, if you expect, you could be disappointed. If you hope, you make yourself vulnerable. And if you started to do so, you can't stop it anymore. You are losing control. So you better don't even start to hope. And with this, you get another problem. Because if there is no hope, things might never turn out well. So all I could do was to run. And so I did, many times.
I realized it last night, laying awake, watching his face while I could already feel myself packing up my things, running. But I was too stubborn to give in to fear. I love him so much, I can't accept that my thoughts or emotions are able to divide us. So I thought it through, again and again. Until I found my mistake. And when I realized that I am allowed to hope that this might turn out well, I instantly broke down in tears, feeling an endless relief while I was flooded with love.
I made my decision. Of course, I don't know if our positions might fit in a few years. But how could I leave him without knowing? How could I hurt myself that much by losing the best thing that ever happened to me without being able to tell myself that I tried everything? So I will stay. I will hope. And I will embrace my vulnerability, again. For this is real beauty.

Thanks to all of my girls, who gave me the chance to settle my thoughts in the last days. I am so lucky to have friends like you!

And thanks to you, my love, for being so faithful, showing me your vulnerable side - just a much as granting me stability and security by simply being there and staying by my side - again and again. Thank you for being you.

Montag, 18. Dezember 2017

#55 A(nother) year of babysteps.

When I start looking back on 2017, I can't even believe that it's nearly over.
When you are young, adults always tell you, that time is passing by faster the older you get. And they were right. Two weeks until 1st January 2018. And it still feels as if 1st January 2017 was yesterday.
At the same time, so god damn many things happened. And I am so bad when it's about remembering. But 2017 was different in so many ways. There are so many memories, being as tangible as if they were brandings on my skin. Though, I'm not going to talk about each and every of those moments. I'm going to talk about what 2017 taught me. And that is quite a lot. So let me share my most important experiences.

The first lesson in 2017 was: Running away doesn't lead you anywhere.
You never reach anything, you are completely helpless and useless at the same time when you are running away in panic. Running killed several relationships and friendships in my life, so it did in 2017. And though I started facing my fears already in 2016, it needed another year to realize how serious this point is - and how much more effort I needed to put in it. So I did. And I grew. I'm still working on it, this is going to be some kind of lifetime progress. But my ability to face my fears and to talk about them has grown. Which makes me really proud.

Second lesson of this year is: Every end is a new beginning.
It can hurt so damn badly, when you realize, that you have to let go of people you loved, plans you had, a future you imagined. Saying Goodbye, leaving, moving on - it's never easy. And sometimes it might shatter your heart with a big boom and you might think, you would never find a way out of the mourning, the pain and the need of ice cream or Nutella right out of the glass at 7 in the morning. But you ALWAYS heal. It goes on. And then comes the day when you realize that you moved on and that it doesn't hurt that badly anymore. So you will open your eyes, look around and see that new things have already begun. And that this is another chance for you to create the life you want to live. So use it.

Number three is some kind of never ending challenge for me - but so important to mention: Risk it! You will win, either way.
Anxiety is playing a big role in my life. The need of keeping myself safe is so big - there are days I am not even able to think about other things. But it's getting better and better and this year showed me how much better I got when it's about risking things, trying new things, giving chances to situations which seem to be out of my control or going through my life without constantly being ready to use my safety net. And what I found out again and again: Even if I lose, even if the worst case is happening, I will survive. I will get through this. And I will step out of it stronger than I was before. No matter what you experience - you will have grown afterwards.

The fourth lesson is not a really new one, because I heard the words before. But this year, I FELT them for the first time: You decide what you're worth.
I have asked myself so often if I was worthy enough to be invited to the party of XY or to be loved by Z or to get that job or whatever. But come on - who in hell decides what I am worth, except myself? It doesn't matter at all who invites me to a party or not, who loves me or not, who offers me a job or not. What really matters is what I allow people to do to me. What really matters is that I am my best friend on this way and that people who are not good for me or who don't give me a chance are definitely no people I should keep in my life longer than neccesary. It's my decision that I am worth anything. I am.

The fifth one is is a quite soothing one: Identifying good friends gets easier the older you get.
I finally have a picture of what real good friendships should be like. Most of all it's about being easy. And I do have these people. These beautiful, easy ones I could open up my heart to. These people, I could trust. People I would always have an ear for - or a place to sleep, a warm tea or a cup of ice cream. People who are always welcome. People who enrich my life. People who give me the feeling of being great, fearless. People who remind me of the good days to come when I'm drowning in my own tears. People who reach me their hands and help me getting back on my feet when I fall. It's no fighting and no fears. It's being each others advocate in a natural way, without the need to make an agreement before. All of these friendships have grown on their own, I just cultivated them a bit. And in the end, that's it: If it feels good and it's easy, it should be.

Number six is something, that needed to be corrected after many years on the wrong way. I really believed, that big fights are the end of friendships. So I refused to give second chances. But now I know: If somebody is fighting for your friendship, give them a chance - even if you thought it's lost.
Most of all there is one girl I owe all the special thanks when its about this topic. We had a fight in 2016. And also she has this property of being so damn honest it often hurts. Far too long this frightened me to death - so after our fight I tried to run from her. But she fought for our friendship. She tried to message me, tried to speak to me, tried to safe us. And she did, by being stubborn. So we built a new friendship, based on honesty and on the goal to make it easier. Und with this I regained my belief in friendships and their ability to survive fights.  I'm pretty thankful about that.

Number seven. Another discovery, another good friend I owe all the credits. I have been spending so much time and energy on other peoples stuff this year. And now and then I was close to losing myself in it - or at least I stressed myself. Too much. Thanks to her, I tried asking myself an important question now everytime I start to stress myself: "Whose Shit is that?" Such a helpful tool. I kept out of many, many conflicts that way. Staying serene is a good base for productivity. And by not directly involving myself in other peoples problems I have the chance to be a much better advisor. I totally enjoy that.

The most beautiful one is definitely number eight: Love always has another surprise ready for you.
So the important thing about surprises is, that you are not prepared for them. Let me tell you, I am always some kind of prepared. I am so good when it's about imagining upcoming situations, about pondering over possibilities. So I'm always prepared. But I wasn't prepared for this. I met a man. I found a love. And I could NEVER have imagined, that it would struck me THAT hard. I am used to feeling deeply. But loving him is beyond all borders. Waking up next to him is giving me these warm shivers morning after morning. Looking into his eyes gives me the feeling of being home day after day. Falling asleep in his arms makes me appreciate night after night. I wasn't expecting that. But I couldn't be happier.

And last but not least 2017 finally taught me, that I definitely do have a greatest passion. It taught me how to embrace my emotions. That feeling deeply, experiencing intensely, being shaken to the bones could be scary, but most of all it is a gift. It is life. And it's so beautiful. Connecting with people, getting closer by sharing thoughts and feelings. Going through joy and pain together. Finding out what luck means - to me and to others. Being honest and open. Being the one still standing after every fight. Crying tears of grief, anger or joy. Finding chances to evolve in every vulnerability of mine. Facing fears, no matter how f***** up it might feel right in that moment. Being myself with all the ups and downs. That's my greatest passion. And I will live it.

Thanks to all of you, who guided me through this year. Thanks to everyone who believed in me when I couldn't. Thanks to those who challenged or criticized me and gave me a chance to grow. Let's do this another year.

Freitag, 1. Dezember 2017

#54 The beauty of loving you.

Day after day goes by. And with every sunrise and every sundown, with every quiet minute, with every moment free for my thoughts to flow, there are these words running through my mind. They are kind of stubborn. So now I will give them some space, for they are all about something so damn beautiful. For they are all about you. About what you mean to me.

It's not so easy to find the right words to describe what you mean to me. But I think I am quite close to a perfect fit. At least I can promise that I will do my best.

As I told you before, I didn't really realize that it struck me right in that moment. On that Sunday morning, at the buffet. But now that I know, I can remember what I felt right then. And I am so thankful for that moment. For that feeling. And for you, asking for my number just a few minutes later, because otherwise I think I wouldn't have been brave enough to ask you. At least I was brave enough to write that first message. Our first teamwork, kind of.
I am so thankful for all of those messages we wrote. For spending hours reading, typing, waiting. For the short dialogues in between, just to shorten the waiting time. For all those thoughts we shared. Even for the pain we shared, because it's always these moments, that make people connect a bit more.

I am thankful for all those moments that followed. For our bodies, connecting just as if they'd been searching for each other for a long time. For our minds, connecting in that strange "What the fuck, why do you exactly think what I think?"-way. For being so similar and so different at the same time. I am so thankful for all of these beautiful memories we made. And for many more to come.

It's so easy to fall in love with you. You are so charming. You have that dangerous ability to make every woman feel as if she was the only one in the room. You do look so good. You do feel so good. Your smell is incomparable. Your smile makes my heart stop for a moment. You are so beautiful. No matter what you do, you touch me in that intimate, lovely way.

It's so easy to love you. You keep me warm at night. You wrap your arms around me in my darkest moments. And everytime I think that I might have been too much for you, everytime I'm scared to lose you, everytime my fears seem to kill me...  really everytime you return to me, holding me until all the pain is gone. You make me laugh, even when I am in total darkness. You make me realize, that my fire is still burning. And most of all, you believe in me.
You make me grow. You taught me, that the demons will leave again. That I am so much stronger than I ever believed. That you are so worth it to fight for us. And that dreams could come true. Because now I am laying right here, next to you, in a bed that we call 'ours'. Because you tell me, that coming home to me is so beautiful to you. Because you make me believe that I do mean as much to you as you mean to me.

I have been thinking so much about the question, why I deserve someone like I you. What it is that makes me worthy enough to be the woman by your side. And you made me realize that these questions don't matter at all. It's not about what I deserve or what I earn, this isn't a pay off.
What matters is, that I make you feel good, as you make me. What matters is that you feel like home to me. That I feel like home to you. What matters is, that I am worth anything, because I am great. As you are. As we are. And that this "we" feels so incredibly good. What matters is, that this is love. And love simply is.

For me, you are my significant other. You are the one who touches my heart like no one ever could. The one I wake up next to every morning, thinking: "Oh my god, how beautiful you are! Oh my God, how much I love you!"
You know, I am able to feel deeper, more intense, than many other people. But I never felt anything like this before. If there really is a "love of my life", then - I am sure now - it is you.

There has never been a greater beauty in my life then the beauty of loving you. Thank you for making me feel all of this. Thank you for being you. And thank you for loving me with all your heart. I might have been a good one all my life, but with your help I have become even better.

Freitag, 27. Oktober 2017

#53 How I would introduce you in a novel.

There comes a moment in your life, which is changing everything. You might not realize it right then. But when you look back, you know.
I can still see him, standing there at this breakfast buffet, looking a bit sleepy and, somehow, vulnerable. I can still see myself, entering the room, suddenly stopping, recognizing. Connecting.
That moment was such a normal thing from the outside. But it also was the moment, when I really FELT him for the first time.
I always asked myself, why I felt that need to send him a message. But now I know, that this was the moment, when it totally struck me. It was the moment, I KNEW him. Somewhere deep inside I knew, that this was supposed to be something so beautiful, you can't find words to describe. And I was right.

That's how I would introduce you in a novel.

Dienstag, 17. Oktober 2017

#52 Vom Stehenbleiben.

Heute ist so ein Tag, an dem die Welt um mich herum rast. Alles ist in Bewegung, alles geht so verflucht schnell - und ich bewege mich in Zeitlupe. Wenn überhaupt. Es ist so ein Tag, an dem ich eigentlich alles in der Hand habe und zugleich fühlt es sich so an, als würde mir alles entgleiten. Ich verspüre den ganz großen Drang danach, weiterzukommen. Und irgendwas zu tun, was so wirklich ganz und gar ICH bin. Und ich habe keine Ahnung, was genau ich da eigentlich will.
Wie so oft ist es nur ein Gefühl, nichts was ich genauer einordnen kann. Aber es ist verdammt stark. Es fällt mir schon schwer, hier einfach nur zu sitzen und zu schreiben. Stattdessen will ich mich bewegen. Ich will irgendwas Großes tun. Irgendwas, das die Barrieren in meinem Kopf sprengt. Ich will mich irgendwo auf ein Feld stellen und schreien. Nackt in einen See springen. Irgendwas aus dieser Kategorie, die gleichzeitig verrückt ist und doch so gut. Ich wünsche mir einen dieser Momente, an die man sich ewig erinnert. Zumindest an das Gefühl.

Ich ahne, dass ich mich gerade mal wieder einfach selbst vergesse. Ich laufe zwar wie eine Maschine und das auf Vollgas, ich gehe Dinge an. Ich mache das, was gemacht werden muss. Aber genau das ist wohl auch der Punkt. Vielleicht mache ich zu oft das, was eben anfällt - und zu selten das, was ich wirklich will. Dann kommt dieses Gefühl von Enge auf, wenn gleichzeitig alles zu viel und dennoch zu wenig ist. So viel zu tun, so wenig ICH. Da stimmt was nicht.
Was dabei wirklich schwierig ist, ist wohl die Tatsache, dass ich mich so leicht von außen lenken lasse. Es kommt Input, ich nehme ihn an. Meistens verwandle ich ihn zu irgendwas Gutem - ich bin so unglaublich gut darin, Dinge für andere zu tun. Was dabei fehlt, ist mein eigener Input an mich. Und der kommt dann hoch in Momenten wie jetzt, an einem Dienstagabend, nach einem Tag voller Anspannung. Das Bedürfnis auszubrechen ist gerade so groß, dass ich mich am liebsten aus meiner eigenen Haut schälen würde. Aber was macht man damit, an einem Dienstagabend? Irgendwo mitten im Alltag, in einer festen Form, in der einfach nicht viel Platz für Verrücktheiten ist?

Heute Abend kann ich diese Frage wohl nicht besser als mit einem Glas Whisky, Sinhead O'Connor und dem Schwelgen in Erinnerungen beantworten. Aber ich kann mir zumindest vornehmen, all das nicht morgen gleich wieder vergessen zu haben. Und vielleicht kann ich mir einfach Dinge vornehmen, die sich so richtig nach mir anfühlen. Es ist mal wieder Zeit dafür. Ganz dringend sogar.