A Place to Breathe

2 years and 8 months of believing that I deserve to live and not die.

Yes, it IS like that.

I want to remember this journey. The good and the bad of it…the lessons.

Change requires turning some attention to yourself instead of looking outward at everything and everyone else to fix it for you.

This I do know.

You have to be mindful of your life and choices, to actually change. You have to own your choices in this life.

At one point is does become a choice.

Even though it’s uncomfortable at times. Even though you aren’t perfect and have to admit it openly.

You can’t change the uncomfortable parts in life.

There’s a challenge but also a peace and calm and understanding in knowing and realizing that. With that understanding comes a sense of strength and some peace too.

Peaces strung together.

Just because it feels like you can’t get through something, doesn’t mean you can’t get through it.

I believe now that working through personal challenges without things that make my life unmanageable is the healthiest way to have a healthy life.

I cannot drink.

I equate a healthy life to helping myself so that I can help others in this life.

I’m guess I’m glad I’m done making excuses, and more to doing the work today to change towards better ways.

Feels good to be in recovery a little more every day.

No one can take the work you put into yourself, from you. It can ONLY make you stronger in character and happier in yourself.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

Limits.

I’m tired of being put in positions for other people’s gains and I won’t be anymore.

At all.

I could be in a completely different place had I known the truth of the matter.

My life is not waiting for others to get their shit together and change.

It’s not my job to make other people comfortable at the literal expense of myself because they feel entitled, either.

My life is changing on the daily and I’m at my limit of what I can give out. Literally.

I have things I have to focus on to make my life work, and to not lose the things that I have worked for. Why should I have to?

I won’t go backward for anyone, especially when it’s not even appreciated and the whole thing was a ruse in the first place, just to not have to fall alone, or try. Thanks.

You don’t even know how hurtful it is and you don’t even care.

It’s always great until I’ve got nothing else to give. Right? It’s hard to keep doing for others when there’s nothing but people implying that you aren’t doing enough, and they aren’t doing anything at all themselves.

Why don’t YOU do something for a change?

I have kids that I can’t even afford to see, and I live 45 minutes away from them.

I have 33¢ in my bank account. My credit card is maxed out, even after a credit increase. For giving when I didn’t have it to give.

That’s fucking sad and not right, considering what’s actually going on. Considering you knew all along your position.

I’m making some hard choices and it’s not going to be fun.

But at the end of the day no one’s doing anything for me, but ME. It’s very obvious as well. Very.

I want to move forward and not back, and that is exactly what I’m going to do.

Your life is on you. I can’t save you. You have to save yourself.

It’s not fair to me, to make me feel guilty for that either.

I’m 2 years, 7 months, and 25 days sober. I don’t even smoke anymore, and haven’t for over two months. You’d never, ever know it if you went just based off the way I’ve been feeling inside over all of this.

I bet you didn’t even consider my feelings.

That is what hurts most of all.

Loving myself, because I deserve to.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

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

The More You Know

I have not written words on paper for a long time.

A computer screen would not be paper, but I haven’t wanted to write here on this blog either. I don’t know why exactly, but I feel like I need to just go with the flow when it comes to my writing, so I am.

My life is pretty different then it was the last time I blogged.

I am a legal resident of Michigan now.

It was a slightly daunting move that took patience, but I financed it all myself and so for some reason, I am proud of that. I worked hard to make it happen and accomplish the goal. Two years ago I wouldn’t have even been able to attempt it.

My growth inside is daily, and I am sober. My mind is open. I’m embracing all three of these gifts because that’s what they are.

I took some time off from working to decompress and regroup. I’ve been slightly depressed at points these last three weeks, but the time off has done me some good. I think after a big change it just takes a bit to level out. My mind was tired and my body was tired too. I needed the rest, and so I’m glad I took the time.

Now it’s time to look for a better job than the one I used to work before. I have an excellent referral letter from my former employer and motivation to match it.

Time to get going again, and I’m ready.

I don’t know where it will lead, but I trust the direction the universe is taking me. I also trust myself.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

One In the Same.

In the still, I can feel it haunting me.

It’s the familiar tinge of anxiety saying that I have fallen, and I can’t get up.

Doubt is not my friend. It certainly at times, loves to lick at the base of my spine and shoot out my eyes and mouth, with a sharpness.

I find solace in living and challenging myself to mentally grow every day in some positive way; to move forward no matter how small the step, even on my worst days.

A level-head, and reason always prevails.

Today has been a good day for me. I know that I am at the point in my life where letting go and moving forward, are one in the same.

This is what life is all about.

I have faith in the universe, and what it’s taught me thus far. I am open to whatever lessons it holds next for me.

I reminded myself again today that I do have true friends that will listen to my rambles when I need support. I thank you.💯❤

I also reminded myself that “letting things go”, means actually letting things go; not re-evaluating the same situation over and over again, like the outcome will ever be different or change.

I’ve found for myself that validation comes mostly just in knowing the truth of the matter…..and most times, that’s all you’ll get.

I’m looking up and ahead to the future with confidence and grace.

I am sober and Michigan bound in two weeks.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

I Am Not One of Them.

I’ve learned after decades of struggling with pretty much everything, that the things I hold onto in my head, are the things that I will focus on. Also, that I am in full control of myself and my actions. No one else. That’s the bottom line.

Get to living.

There’s never going to be a moment when I won’t be bipolar or in some sort of recovery. There’s never going to be a time when I will be able to fully accept some of the traumas and betrayals I’ve lived through in my life. THIS is what I’ve accepted and made peace with. That and knowing the fact that I DID live through it all. Somehow that realization made it easier to start letting some of the hurt, anger, confusion, hate, self-loathing and pain go.

My pain was like a comforter to me, for most of my life. It was a horrible side-effect from a lot of different things, and something I was used to, and knew well. My pain built thick walls that were riddled with doubt and fear, Hatred towards myself, and those around me.

It was not a comfort in the slightest. It was a liar. It didn’t keep me safe. It didn’t keep me from drinking. It didn’t keep me from getting hurt by other people, or from hurting other people.

It kept me from living. It kept me stuck.

For me personally it is hard to let go of some things, because I can’t even remember every part, and every single thing that has happened to me. I don’t know all of it, because there’s no way I could know everything. It’s been hidden from me. I do know enough though, to know that it’s there and will come back in different pieces, and I’ll know then…. or it won’t come at all. I might never get the answers to certain things. I might never get validation or closure from anything. THIS is what I accept and make peace with. Then it becomes easier to let it go.

Getting to the point where I was actually present in today, every day, took me a long, long, long, long time to actually implement.

Even though I knew exactly what to do.

Self-loathing is really detrimental to your life, and is a running bi-product of most mental health issues.

For me, I just reached the point where I couldn’t keep dragging myself through the mud every day anymore.

{You spin me right round baby, right round}

Like a record baby; a broken one.

ENOUGH. I was my own problem…..

I wish sometimes that I didn’t know how things actually are in the world because it’s too much for me to handle sometimes. TOO MUCH.

I then start to look at the other side of it and realize just how much internal strength there is knowing what I know. Learning what I’ve learned. Living through the things I lived through. Hard lessons or not, I am around to talk about it.

The pressures we put on ourselves are often tainted with underlying needs.

My underlying needs were to feel validated and loved and safe. Those were my underlying needs for most of my life, because I never felt it. In the past I have ruined any opportunity for those needs to be fulfilled, because I didn’t know how to feel it. I would do things to push people away from me.

It was because I never validated or felt love or felt safe in myself.

I was my own problem.

When I actually accepted that about myself a big weight was lifted.

I didn’t want to be that version of Jenni anymore, because I sucked the life out of everything and everyone, and it was miserable and exhausting every day.

That realization and the need to feel peaceful inside, set me on a path to building a life that was real; honest to myself and my beliefs, no matter what.

I am present in this day, and not in my past with my ghosts that kept me chained and locked away from HOPE.

Some people lie to themselves their entire lives and are totally fine with it.

I am not one of them.

I choose not to be.

I hope you will choose not to be too.

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

Jenni was Here.

When I write, I feel a sense of decompression as the words leave my brain and come into sentence.

It makes room.

Eventually there will be nothing left to say, and this will be all that remains of me.

It’s documented proof that I fight the fight, and live this life.

Writing about my life has been the most freeing and beneficial thing I have done for myself, for my mental health, and also for my recovery; which will be an on-going, life-long process.

I’m good with that.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME