Balance: The Yin and Yang of My Life

Yin and yang is a concept of dualism in ancient Chinese philosophy, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

I’ve suffered in my life. Oh, how I’ve suffered. There was a time that I allowed myself to be buried so deeply in my own tragedy that all I knew was suffering.

One morning I woke up and said, “FUCK that”!! That was the day I took control of my own destiny. Yes, as adults, life tends to hand us a plethora of shit sandwiches. Instead of turning up our noses at said sandwiches, one needs to learn how to tie on an adult sized bib and dive right in to that bitch. Life gives us circumstances. Some are rich, some are poor. Some are happy, some are sad. Some are easy, some are hard. The only certainty is that life is only going to GIVE you back what you give to it.

I started being abused when I was four years old. Four. The lens of innocence that I viewed the world through was shattered into a million tiny splinters of the sharpest crystal.

Through poor self esteem and bad decisions due to the poor self esteem, I continually made poor choices throughout my adult life. I have been victimized in every way there is to victimize a person. My life was my misery and I wallowed in it.

Learning that you have a mental disorder is not on many people’s top ten list of best things that have ever happened to them, but alas I’m DIFFERENT. Being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder changed my life. For the better. All of the odd and different things about me finally had a name. A royal title if you will. I mean I’m quirky as fuck anyway, but add a double scoop with sprinkles of BPD on top of that and you’ve got one misfit, looney tunes mother fucker😊

I used to let my suffering and craziness define me. It took me coming to the cusp of completing losing myself to the darkness for me to finally shatter again, but this time shatter to a rebirth where I could see the bright, beautiful prisms of light that bounced off all of those broken splinters of my own heart. I OWN my suffering and craziness now. I run this koo-koo ass shitshow that is sometimes my life.

Although I have suffered, my blessings are great and many. I have learned never to judge. We never know what kind of internal war our fellow man is waging just below the surface. These days kindness and empathy just seem like words from days long past. It doesn’t have to be that way. I’m living proof of the balance in the great equation that we call life.

Although my heart has been broken time and time again, the greatest of loves was practically dropped in my lap. I personally think it’s because I GIVE so much love. It’s good for ones heart to spread love in these times of chaos and hate. It did come back around to balance all of my previous suffering and pain.

I had a small little nest egg that I took an uncharacteristic chance on by investing into a few risky high yield stocks, because I’ve always had a generous, charitable nature and have ALWAYS gone out of my way to help those less fortunate than myself (even during my darkest days) my gamble paid off for me and grew my nest egg exponentially.

The common denominator is balance. I, as a practicing Buddhist try to incorporate balance in every aspect of my life. From how I live my life to how I arrange my furniture. If you feel like you are in a rut. Do something. Anything. Get those wheels spinning again, because I know for a fact that “It can’t rain all the time.” (The Crow, 1994).

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Sweet Dreams

Insomnia. It’s such an awful bitch. Nights are the absolute worst. Dark and endless. I’ve always hated nights. Bad things happen in the dark. I am saying so from personal experience. I crave sleep like someone who is lost in the desert craves water. They eventually hallucinate and see beautiful mirages consisting of glistening pools of water. I hallucinate deep, dreamless sleep. It’s bad enough that during the daylight hours my mind is in constant turmoil. The night only increases the battle within to a fever pitch. Occasionally I doze fitfully only to have vivid, violent nightmares of other dark nights long past. The abominations perpetrated upon my person flicker rapidly across the back of my eyelids like a horror movie on fast forward. Although I am at the cusp of the shadow lands, I can feel my body writhe and my breathe quicken as the shadow serpent starts coiling itself around my body as I look into its cold dead eyes and watch its forked tongue touching my skin like an evil whisper I suddenly realize I can hear it. Over and over again it names every sin I’ve ever committed. I shudder as I feel the BPD Monster come out to join the macabre party and wrestle with the Serpent of sins past.

As the serpent continually repeats each sin it’s voice gets louder. Not to be outdone, the BPD Monster starts a litany of all of the sins committed against me. It has to scream to be heard over the Serpent who in turn gets louder to be heard over the Monster until it becomes a shrieking cacophony that eventually turns into a silent scream that my dozing body can’t lend a voice to. I’m frozen in terror. I gasp as I feel the Monster start to rage and the Serpent tighten its coils. Mercifully the gasp startles me awake. I bolt upright in my bed drenched in sweat and my heart galloping in my chest. “Another fucking nightmare”, I whisper to myself for reassurance. Truth be told I did it to make sure I was really awake. Really alive.

Waging this internal battle day and night is exhausting. Most days it manifests itself into excruciating physical pain. What a loathsome life to NEVER have a moments peace. One can not say that I have not tried to do something about this internal conflict. I religiously go to therapy and take my psychiatric medications, I paint, write, continuously clean and organize. I’ve tried acupuncture. I do guided meditations several times a day. Absolutely nothing has worked to block the horrific memories. At this point I don’t think anything short of a lobotomy, a psychiatric ward or death will stop them. They have become as much a part of me as my own body and the organs that keep me in the land of the living. If I thought amputating a limb would work I would saw that fucking limb off with a dull handsaw myself. Alas this is only wishful thinking. My eyes are red and gritty. My jaw has been clenched all night which has given me colossal headache. I toss back four Tylenol’s like they are Tic Tac candies. I listlessly flip through the channels and realize that not even the news is on anymore. Only endless infomercials hawking their shitty wares. Everyone is so happy and energetic. I realize that I envy these anonymous people. In my mind they all sleep just fine. No nightmares for these exultant people. I don’t wish to trade places with them though. Not even for a second. I wouldn’t wish my walking wounded crazy mind on my worst enemy much less some gleeful strangers. So as usual, I will fight the good fight for another short day and another long night. I tell myself, “I am Sparta”, like an encouraging mantra.

At last the sun is slowly ascending the sky. I am finally able to unclench my jaw and reach for the eye drops that have taken up permanent residence on my night stand. Tonight was by far not my first rodeo. As I stand I hear every joint in my body screech in protest as they crackle and pop. I have a moment of vertigo that insists that I sit back down. I know exactly how this day is going to go by the way it has started.

Moral of this story?

The early bird does not get “the worm”. The early bird does not get shit except a lot less sleep than everyone else.

Sweet Dreams.