Strength in Knowing

There is strength in knowing that the only way to live my best life is to cut out the things in it, that make it unbearable to live.

Knowing this makes it easier to do the right thing when I have moments when I feel like I can’t do it.

If I ignore what I know then I am setting myself back.

Doors open when you shut the one’s that go nowhere instead of leaving them open to suck your life away.

Keep going. Shut the doors that lead to negativity in any way you can, at whatever pace *that works for you…just shut them.

I personally work every day to shut mine and keep them closed.

It’s a process; a day to day one.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

The Universe Speaks to Me When I Listen.

It is said that knowing is half the battle, and I agree fully.

There’s another part though that matters just as much, and it’s what you do after you know.

I knew for a long time that I needed help to come back to ME. I knew I couldn’t do it alone too. I thought about change for a long, long time; for years.

I thought for a while that if I had a “good enough” life to the outside world, that that would fix things for me.

I was wrong.

I looked for happiness in bad relationships, material things, and other people’s opinions of me; like that was going to make my insides full of what I didn’t have.

I was wrong.

It took a long time to look at myself, for the simple fact that you never want to think that it’s your fault. No one does. You never want to think that you may be responsible for some of the worst parts/times of your life.

It’s easier to blame it on other people or on unfortunate circumstances.

I did that.

There are different stages of waking up, so it took me an awfully long time to look inward and actually get to implementing the changes in my life that I had only thought about before.

I’m waking up. There are still changes I’d like to make in my life.

It’s a process that I really wouldn’t change for anything at this point.

I honestly struggle sometimes to make sense of things I don’t understand. I can get overly anxious and I have to pull away and be mindful and deal with those feelings. I have bad days, but they are not full days of bad like they used to be. They are moments now; Sometimes multiple moments strung together; but mainly just small moments like my mind is backfiring, and then I come back to center and start running right again.

It’s a weird way to describe it, but yeah….that’s what it feels like.

It’s hard, still; but it’s not the unbearable, my life is over, I can’t go on hard like it used to be for me.

I think it will continue to get better the more sober time I get and the more I keep living life on life’s terms.

I am free of synthetic meds and have been for as long as I’ve been sober.

I don’t know if that’s where faith comes in or not.

Lately, and for a bit now, I’ve just been giving it over to the universe and knowing that I’m going to be ok, and that I am ok because I’m doing the right things for myself.

I’m walking the walk finally, every day, and it feels good. I don’t feel like I have to prove myself to anyone.

That feeling that has been with me since childhood has left the building.

I don’t think people really get that because they are so used to the old way I used to be.

I have cut people out of my life for that. I don’t regret it either.

They say that people come in and out of your life at appropriate times to show us what we need, so that we can make better choices for our own lives.

I’ve been embracing this theory and it’s been helping me to be a kinder, more gentle in nature, more understanding person than I used to be even six months ago.

I think over the years of trying to suppress myself, I built up walls and some things that weren’t really true, became to feel true to me.

I had to get past those things. I had to really look inside myself and look at how I contributed to my own sickness and my own unhealthy cycles.

It’s really freeing to make amends with yourself, to own your mistakes, to stop letting your mistakes define you, to make better choices.

It’s nice to be able to just live today in my skin, no matter what the day brings, and not have expectations on what level I need to be at, to be good enough for anyone else but me.

Sometimes I have bad days. It’s gonna’ happen. It sucks, but I work it out because that is who I am now.

I know I am so lucky to be able to still have this life, and I think about that every, single, day.

I needed the struggles to see the good in me again. I needed to know in myself that I was strong enough to turn my life around and that I could do good things with my life.

I needed good people, healthy people, people that loved me; to help me.

For a while, those people kept me alive, and that’s not a dramatization. I could never put into words how grateful I am for those people, but I try to all the time because I am thankful, and I know that by myself I could not have done it.

Now, today, it’s like the more I push past the fear of not knowing, the more chances I take to change my old thinking patterns, the stronger I become.

I have so many positive people in my life that I don’t want to be around negative ones because that’s not my normal anymore.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; I am waking up.

I am 2 years, 4 months, and 23 days sober. I’m not looking backward anymore like backwards is my path.

It’s not.

My path is the one that I am forging today, and it’s not in that backward direction at all.

It’s a fact at this point, as well as a belief that I am on the right path.

This is MY path.

Putting genuine effort into being well, is an investment in yourself that will last a lifetime. Once you wake, you cannot go back to sleep.

This I know.

Thinking about change doesn’t change you either; only changing, changes you.

This I know for sure.

Believe that you can change the things in you that hold you down because you can. No matter what anyone else tells you.

The universe is with you.

Knowing is half of the battle. Look to the people who lift you up to show you the way.

The rest of it is up to you, and you alone.

You can do it.

Love yourself.

J. Rounds ©2019 ~ Peaces of ME

It’s a situation. Mental Health Stigma, Social Media, Political Views and Me.

I should be more upset that whenever I don’t say what people want me to, I get slammed over my mental health issues and sobriety.

I’m not though, because I know that people these days get excitable over pretty much anything (sometimes myself included), and it isn’t worth the time to take those words in as truth, when I know I am doing the work to stay sober, and emotionally am doing quite well.

The stigma of mental health is real, and if you have strong political views and talk about them on social media, it is even harder to live down your past struggles. It’s the first thing people zero in on if they don’t agree with you, or don’t understand you as a person.

People automatically think you are talking crazy. They automatically assume you are drinking again. They automatically assume you are spiraling down. They tell you that you are wrong in any fashion they care to. They discount you.

Even if your words make sense and are directed towards peace and stopping gun violence. Even if you are afraid of guns, don’t own one, can’t own one, and don’t want to own one.

Even if.

I pulled away from Facebook again because I needed to.

After these last mass shootings, I took to my wall to let everyone know that I was tired of the gun issues in America, the mass shootings that have happened 251+ times just this year alone, the looking the other way so it continues to happen, and the fact that they sell guns in America to any seemingly normal person that wants one.

As you know, I moved from Dayton just a few weeks ago. What you also must know is that the mass shooting in Dayton was 15 minutes away from where I lived, and where my friends live as well. For some time I was worried that some of them could have been there; and I was worried.

After finding my friends were all safe, I then became angry. For over a week I posted numerous things on my wall about the mass shootings, gun control, videos on peace, finding peace and solutions, and also numerous opinions of others as well that justified my stance and supported it.

I figured I could do nothing but use my voice, and so I did.

I don’t regret it either.

It wasn’t until I was honest and admitted that I was tired of talking about gun control, had been talking about it too much and was going to focus on my family, friends, and job; that people started coming to me and asking me if I was ok.

Numerous people.

I don’t much get it.

Although I more than appreciate the concern for my welfare (I DO), I have to say that I was taken back by the fact that people could be so worried over the fact that I am concerned about the way our country works and the way we always look the other way on every real issue there is.

I’ve decided that social media (Facebook in particular) is no longer a place of reason, and in reality, never was.

Most people are unwilling to have real discussions on ways to change anything.

It doesn’t matter what you say.

This week it solidified what I in essence, already knew.

I understand that mental health struggles are real. I do sometimes still struggle with depression and symptoms of PTSD myself.

But I don’t feel that wanting to feel safe in your own country without having to have a gun, and talking about it….is me being mental.

Social media, is in my opinion, a relevant starting point for change about the way we communicate and treat others in general.

I know I have work to do myself in that regard as well.

What it is for me personally regarding guns, is me being worried for the future of my children and yours, and I have every right to be.

It is not my cross to carry if people don’t understand that. At all.

Will I get locked away for not wanting a gun and for wanting my children and all people to feel safer? Pff. It’s just too much, and it doesn’t make sense to me at all.

I am not sure in the future if I will ever talk about politics in an open way again on facebook, because if people can’t even accept the talk of reason from me and inquire to see if I’m ok, then it seems all I am really truly doing is worrying people, and digging myself a social hole for people to imply that I am still sick.

It makes me sad mostly. That I can’t be myself.

It makes me sad that people potentially see me as sick again, because I have been open about my struggles, and I chose to speak up about my opinions on relevant topics and things going on in this country.

It makes me sad that people can think those things about me.

However, I think it is the price I pay for having conviction, principles, and passion. I think it is the price I pay for opening up my life online, to try to help others that struggle.

I am sitting on the porch of my sister’s house this morning with my dog and my coffee, writing this blog so that I can assure anyone that worries about me that I am not a threat to anyone, and that I am indeed ok. It is something I feel I need to do because, like I said, the stigma of mental health is very real. I feel it is my responsibility to assure people, because I do speak on a public platform about my struggles and life.

Today, I struggle because I want change in my country. I struggle because I know that it probably won’t come. I struggle because the only thing I fear in this world is losing another one of my children senselessly.

It is somewhat of a grieving process for me, letting go of the fact that I can do nothing; and there is nothing wrong with that.

This is what I want people to understand.

I also know, that you are what you focus on and that I can’t let that fear keep me from living. It isn’t, and does not.

I talk about things to process them, and to learn new ways of understanding within myself.

It is time for me to focus again on things that I CAN change in my life.

I am having real conversations with my kids and family for the first time in years. True friends too. It feels good to be loved for who I am, opinions and all.

People that know me in real life understand, and support me. They support my growth and the process I’m going through to become the best version of me.

Today I will focus on being mindful of the fact that I need to live despite what’s going on in this world and in my country. Despite the fact that I can do no relevant thing to change anything at all, except to change myself.

It is hard to be human. It is hard to be in a world that doesn’t make sense. I think it is hard for all of us, mental health struggles or not.

I still feel grateful for this life, and for the blessings that I am lucky enough to call mine.

I still have hope that in America, we will become kinder as a people and that we can work it out someday. Together. We are all in this life together, after all.

I will always be who I am and have opinions on things that affect me. I will never feel guilty or bad about my opinions on those topics ever again. I will not feel bad for being me. I made that promise to myself over three years ago, and I am sticking to it.

I did not in any way want to cause concern to people or hurt anyone’s feelings.

I will in the future, consider not talking about politics as much in general.

That’s just a consideration…not a promise.

For now I’m done talking. I’m focusing on living this life to the best of my ability, integrity, and being kind.

Mental health struggles do not always equate out to irrelevance, or active spiriling down. They are case by case, as anything is.

We also need to understand that it is ok to struggle, but that it is essential to ask for help if you feel like you are spiriling down.

Don’t be ashamed of who you are.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~ Peaces of ME

Feeling whole inside is a journey that begins with the active, daily choice to participate in your own life.

Investing in your emotional health every day = loving yourself = feeling better = being better = BETTER LIFE 🙂

Let go of the negative influences that make you second-guess your gut instincts.

It is essential to protect your gut instinct, and use it. Without it, you will drown in a literal sea of bad choices, and most likely not survive it at all.

Admitting that you need to get control of your life is the first step, in whatever area of your life that it may be.

It won’t be easy and that’s ok. Don’t worry. This is the start of a new destination to a better you.

Now that you’ve admitted it, you can actually begin.

Being honest with yourself means you’re actually going places now.

Trust your gut.

*Smiles to self.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~ Peaces of ME

These days it feels like I can breathe again.

It helps to know that you are ok, and that you no longer have to struggle. This is what I hold on to now.

Warm memories of your smile and laughter fill my heart when I think of you.

Yesterday you turned 14 years old. I still find myself wondering how I ever got so lucky to have you in my life, and I’m still forever grateful for the time we had together.

Thank you for helping me see that there can still be light when you are traveling through a storm.

You are the light in my dark and always will be.

I miss you. Every day.

I know you are flying now.

I know you are free.

I love you to the moon and back.

Fly away Karty.

J. Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

I am Not Afraid.

I am not afraid of the dark anymore; this is why I can travel through it.

It has made me stronger.

Time.

It heals most things.

But the real healing comes in facing the demons inside.

Ruthless reminders of the past, put upon the shelf of life, where they belong.

You owe it to yourself to live the life that you were given.

Not just give it away to whatever and whoever would take it from you.

Be grateful because it will save your life.

You make your own path in life, no one else. There is hope on the other side of despair. Always. Reach for it.

Be grateful every time you conquer adversity.

Look yourself straight in the eye, and be proud. You deserve to acknowledge that you did not break where you would have before.

There is internal strength and acceptance that comes in that gesture. Grace, healing, courage…so many other things.

Be kind to yourself every day.

In doing that, you can also be kind to others.

You will want to be.

Be the person you needed to be all along.

It spreads to others like a rash.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Thankfulness.

I don’t know what my life holds for me. To be honest I sometimes still feel like I don’t deserve the good things in it, because I’ve taken life for granted (or did), for so long.

It is still hard for me to see the positive in some situations. It still takes practice to be mindful in times of stress.

I am a work in progress and I know it.

I think we all are, really. I think things happen to teach us about ourselves, what we are capable of, and what we can do to become more whole as individuals; *so at the end of it all, we are at peace when we leave this world.

Remembering a school friend that passed yesterday, and his entire family.

It got me to thinking about thankfulness.

This Thanksgiving I am truly grateful for so many things.

I’m grateful that I chose to end my alcoholic cycle for good.

I’m grateful that I have the desire to work every day, to keep it that way.

I’m grateful that I feel like it’s ok to be me.

I’m grateful that I have my beautiful children in my life, and that they are willing to forgive my past, because they believe in our future.

I’m grateful that I have a loving mother, and sisters who have always loved me, even when I was lost.

I’m grateful for my niece.

I’m grateful that I am still able to learn and grow, and that I’m not stuck in my ways, because many of them were not healthy.

I’m grateful that I have wonderful friends who encourage me to live, and listen to me and encourage me when I feel weak inside.

I’m grateful for my animals.

I’m grateful for my job, and the kind of work I get to do for a living.

I’m grateful that I have the desire to keep moving forward….not back.

I’m grateful that I got a chance to know and care about people that are no longer here on this earth; and for the things they taught me about life, love, and the human spirit.

I’m grateful that I have a place to call home, and that I’m ok with being the only one in it.

So many other things as well.

What are you grateful for? What has your story taught you?

There is a light in all of us and every day we are alive, we have the opportunity to share it with others.

I hope that you are grateful for that fact, because it could all end in a moment. This I do know.

This Thanksgiving I will be working.

It may seem corny, but I will be a light for the animals that could not be with their families this holiday. I will be their family.

To me, that is the second best thing, to being with mine.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Love yourself. Always. Xo

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

{The picture kept will remind me.}

When I see pictures of us that are from when we were together, it still messes me up inside.

I still see you in real life from time to time, but the images I have of us are what get me the most.

I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because it turned out so much different than I wanted it to.

Maybe someday I will be able to delete them, but I am not there yet.

I go on with my life because I know that things happen for a reason, and my place is obviously not with you.

I can’t help but wonder if the lessons in it all, are more than I am realizing.

Every day, I become a little bit more ok with the fact that you are gone, and were never really there to begin with.

I used to be so angry about it; now there is a certain peace in the fact that it is no longer consuming my every waking thought.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Focused on the DO

Today I’m focusing on focusing.

One of my biggest issues is DOING, because I’m easily distracted. I have to focus on focusing, or I won’t get anything done.

I don’t know why I’m like that; I am also changing it day by day with actions; because I don’t like that I’m like that. I’m sure it will continue to get better, if I keep moving forward and trying every day.

People do it all the time. I’m not special in that regard. I get what I put in.

FOCUS.

I’m happy to be feeling generally positive. A little anxious, but it’s normal. A lot to do to get to where I want to be with my life; and where I want to be with T, and our life together.

There doesn’t seem to be enough time to do it all.

Daily I work on the patience part of it, as well. It can be hard, but I know that change and goals take time to come to fruition. I can’t compare my time line to others.

Today is going to be a day that I will have to work at anyways; I cannot lie. I’m fine with that because it feels good to work…it’s my side projects; but I have a lot on my mind this morning as well…so in that way too, I will have to work.

I’m am going outside, and I’m going to enjoy the sun and take photos 🙂

I don’t know where I’m going with my photography; but I do know that I have the drive to make it a permanent extension of who I am as a person; in many regards.

My issue has always been financial (lack of). Also focus. (Focused on wrong things). Also time management. Also thinking I couldn’t do it. Not doing it.

I have to focus always….even on my days off…. to get to where I need to be, for me.

I’m just glad I can still be positive, and I have the motivation to try to spread that positivity. I have the belief in myself now, that I never did before.

Today I am spreading more than usual positivity on myself….because I need it 🙂

I’m admitting it fully because that’s OK.

I am eleven months, and eight days sober; and very grateful for that. I am grateful for my family and for T and for my friends that never left me, and believe in me.

That is a GOOD thing.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

{In and Out of Love}

I wonder how it is,

That so many people spin on a whim for love; but never truly find it or feel it. 

It’s as if the world is in love with being in love; hungry and desperate for it; but there is no real love left, to be found. If there is; it isn’t valued for what it is worth; or even wanted most times from the receiver.

The measure of love seems to be these days; just how much you can bend to fit the mold of your “other”.

There shouldn’t be a mold, or any bending going on; because that bending always bends you eventually, to the point that you will break.

Love doesn’t mean much, if you’re moving on to the next best thing in your head, after your “other” is asleep. 

Love is just a word that people use to describe a feeling; but most of the people using the term, don’t even get the concept.

There is no loyalty, or true assurance backed up by actions anymore. Nothing to rely on, except the latest fight…and what will be spun into something that it’s not…next.

There is nothing really but people falling in and out, of what they claim to be love; and then wondering why and how things didn’t work out; and then going on to love someone else, that will only bend better than the last one. 

J. Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME