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

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

SHE

I breathe in deeply as the last light bounces off the branches, and across the rolling field into the horizon.

She is a wonder of a thing, Mother Nature. She is my strength; something wonderous I can see and feel in times when only stolen moments with her will suffice.

I am reminded of the gifts she gives to us all on the tips of dusky nights like this.

My mind wanders with a million flutters…

The lessons I’ve lived through. The gifts I have inside me and in my life. This gift of peace in life that I’ve never known before.

I worked hard for it, and still do. It is nice to finally be feeling the results of some of the work.

She reminds of how blessed I am to feel life again after being lost for so long. I know it’s because I didn’t give up on myself, that I am able to even feel it.

She whispers daily to go slow…

To never forget what this moment feels like…

To always remember that I am not alone.

To be kind.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

I will be a Light.

There is a new-found peace within me.
The struggles are still real, but I am finding my way.
Every day I am grateful for this new understanding, and second chance at life.
I am grateful that I am no longer afraid of living.
I am not my addiction.
I am what I choose to be.

I choose to be Jenni.

I choose to be sober Jenni.

Everything that I do from here on out, directly stems from this fact.

I will DO, instead of not doing.

I will BE, instead of not being.

Every day I will remember where I’ve been; and just how far that I have come.
I will love myself; so that I can love others.

I will be a light in a world of darkness.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Full-time decent person this year for for me.

“Be the person you want to be all the time, not just when people are looking.”

There is something to be said about marching to the beat of your own drum.

There is something to be said about being a full-time decent person, that marches to the beat of their own drum as well.

The friend circle is smaller for people like me, by nature, because I don’t like to people all the time anyways.

Now, that I try to do the right thing; my friend circle is even smaller.

I’m not as entertaining anymore.

Decency equals boring, right?

Not right.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter to me about the numbers of friends that I have in my personal circle.

Does it, Ozzy.

No.

Quality is much better for me.

Tomorrow is my 47th Birthday, and it has been a BS-axing year for me.

I am sober, and I thank myself for that.

Birthday gift.

I am moving forward, although there are many kinds of pitfalls and drop-offs that like to shake stuff up for me, I’m finding.

I’m weeding through it daily.

That’s the best way I can put it.

I’m not jazzed about certain things in my life, but I know it’ll be up to me, all of it; to push through it, and change those things.

It’s my life.

It’s days like this that make me anxious.

My Birthday and all; really any significant date in my life.

I do hope the year will be a good one for me, and I think it will be.

It’s days like this that I remember, that I’ve made it this far, and what the journey means.

Also that age is just a number.

Live.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Never Let Me Down.

So, here’s the change in me. Every day it is new. Every day I am growing. It is a slow, but assured thing; that I am excited about.

I have boundaries. I have to. I like it that way. I’m happy I’m able to be free to be ME again. I’m NOT actively hurting now. I can be strong and keep healing.

It’s a good thing; like my boundaries.

I beat all the worst parts of myself into submission. I lined them up; and made them ALL accountable for their actions. I made peace with myself. Every, single quirk I have, and ever had, as well. I Let go of the fact that I spent so long screwing up my life….for whatever reasons they were. I vowed to never stoop to that level again.

Because what is this life for anyways? For ME; surely not to be an alcoholic, piece of shit mother, and person…which is what I was.

That is not my path. That was the path my sickness and mental disorder wanted me to take.

I am NOT my alcoholism; I am NOT the bad parts of my mental disorder. At the end of the day, I know right from wrong. At the end of the day, noone can save me from myself; but ME.

I KNEW I was better than THAT.

It was only THEN that I started to see my path appear. It was only then; that I wanted to LIVE…and started fighting to.

Be your own change for yourself. Start by not letting yourself down EVER again. That’s what I’m doing with the hard things in my life; and what I recommend for others trying to change their unhealthy ways and flaws. It takes daily practice in the beginning and you will fail. When you are used to chaos and self-sabotage; it takes daily decision making to keep yourself from doing stupid stuff. It is SO worth it to REALLY be accountable to yourself; and think things through before you fold. It emanates to every avenue of your life; and soon you’ll start to see…that the hard things you’ve been through in your life, and by yourself; can be dramatically less. You have choices about how you ARE. Start inspiring yourself to keep going no matter what.

Allow yourself the time and let go of things you can’t change. Make NEW memories always.

Let go; and let live.

I don’t know how I am still alive; or how I got to this place in my life; but I know for a long time, I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t anything but ok. You could totally tell that I was not ok; as my actions proved it… so. It didn’t get me anywhere.

I couldn’t be more grateful today; to finally feel like I am actually LIVING. I’m glad I stopped synthetics and alcohol. Every day. I removed negative things in my life because I have to now.

I’m single; but I’m really ok with that; and getting better on that fact daily. I’m focusing on personal goals. Staying sober, getting an apartment, work, my kids, travel, other family and true friends, being responsible, projects and goals I want to achieve; but over all of that… having fun doing all of it!!!

Alone is fine.

Today I am one year, two months, and 12 days sober.

I have accomplished many goals within this period of time; that in the beginning of this; I did not think I could achieve. Like staying sober.

That’s different for me now.

The more I live with honesty; the easier it becomes to know the way.

I’m not a Jesus Crispy at all; OR a perfect person by far. I just think that the only thing that really matters in something; is the intention behind it.

I’m tired of wasting time on things that don’t matter; like people that don’t appreciate me, and things that make me hurt. I know for a fact that life comes and goes in the blink of an eye, and I DON’T want to miss it.

Day off. Im still doing things.

I am living for today. 🙂

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Blog for the Props of it.

I’m a bit flustered, as I go to the Dr. for my check up tomorrow.

I’ve needed to go for a while now.

I am scared; I won’t lie; but T will be there for support.

A little flustered with the paperwork for a new patient appointment though.

Writing down the things you know, that run in your family, is scary.

Not knowing your biological father and his history; [your history]; on his side, is more than scary. It’s scary sobering.

I don’t know anything about my father; except that he is going to die in jail, if he hasn’t already. He is a coward; and deserves to be where he is.

I don’t forgive him for anything.

I also am almost positive I have other siblings; a half-sister for sure; but I’m not expecting to ever meet her/ them(?)

Point is

I think of how long I told Dr.’s offices my step-father’s medical stuff instead, by default; just so no one would have to know that I didn’t know my real father; or had one, that didn’t want to know me.

I don’t know that part of my potential medical ailments; because I don’t know my father… or his family.

I am glad today that I do not know him; and I do not want to know him; as much as that sucks to say…it really doesn’t anymore for me.

He is not a man I want to know.

Tonight I marked N/A in my father’s spot for medical history.

Because it’s my truth.

I gave myself props for seeing it for what it was worth.

I also gave myself props for getting through this BS paperwork; which also, by the way; asked my sexual orientation and gender orientation as well. (both I declined to say; because it’s a baited question; used for profiling; that should be illegal, in my opinion.)

Anything else I need to find out about myself, will be way of a 23 and Me DNA kit, books, and Google search; if they tell me I have something wrong with me.

I guess I’m starting to realize that certain things are not important to pursue; and others are.

I hope tomorrow will go well for me. Generally, I tend to get more anxious than I should; so I’m trying to go with that one tonight….and not be.

That’s good enough for now.

Love yourself.

J. Rounds ©2018 Peaces of ME

Festivus for the Rest of Us.

It’s the classic Seinfield episode, that most accurately fits my holiday celebrations; and/or, lack thereof; depending on the year and how I’m feeling. Festivus…It’s the safest Holiday greeting to give; if you don’t want to get beat up or shunned this Holiday season. (*Huge sarcasms) (I’m laughing as I type this)

Christmas used to be a time that I was excited for every year. When I was a child, I’d literally make myself sick with excitement; and I could never sleep well Christmas eve, because of it. My mother still refers to those days sometimes…and we always have a laugh about it…because seriously, I was a total dork back then too, as well; whoda’ *thunk it.

Yes; I do have good memories of Christmases past. Memories of my childhood, and memories of my kid’s childhood Christmases too.

As I’ve gotten older, and am also divorced now;  I’m no longer involved with my kids Christmas mornings. I’m grown as well. So what used to be a really special time of year for me, has morphed into a rather take it or leave it holiday instead. It’s just another day to me really; except everything’s closed. Not to mention the over-commercialization; and the obvious over-inflation of the idea, that you must spend money to excess. It starts sooner and sooner every, single year. People act more desperate and “Scroog ish” as well. To me that is frustrating; and also sad. It’s not about the Black Friday deals…

My Christmas changed to Festivus because of it.

It suits me better.

Grievances.

I don’t know. I guess this year I’m just happy to be able to celebrate with T; and to know my kids had a wonderful holiday; because I know they did. I don’t have grievances that I’d really like to share…most are internal struggles, and not really grievances at all.

This year I am sending my friends and family some candies I made, that have my own Festivus Jenni touch on them.  I’m considering doing more of these in the future to sell (this is just one idea); but I thought I’d do a trial run first on the “immediates”. Haha.

I also made a donation to the Ronald McDonald house in my son Karter’s name. I try to do that every year; because I know without their support, my son could have never gotten the care he needed in Detroit or Cleveland.  At that time, we were a new family, and just doing the best we could financially. We were able to stay with the Ronald McDonald house while in those hospitals; and it really did take a big financial/mental burden off of us because of it. We were able to focus on more important things; like my son’s future care and treatments.

I will always be grateful for the Ronald McDonald house; and I look forward every year to donating, so other families that need help, can focus on healing as well. It makes the holidays better for me.

Here is the link, if you are so inclined. It truly will help people who need it.   

  The Ronald McDonald House 

I did not have a pole this year like a regular Festivus celebration; and my feats of strength consisted of lifting and moving a lot of dogs at work, and whatever yummy goody I could manage to shove in my mouth. I got to talk to my kids; and I was happy to be with T and his family today; and happy to know that T and I are celebrating one year together; AND 9 months sober today as well. That’s a Festivus gift we both gave to ourselves, and the people we love. We worked for it; and continue to do soevery day, because it will always matter most.

Also, if you ever want to look at a cool light display, check out Light up Middletown, if you’re ever in my neck of the woods next Season. It’s awesome! 

That’s about it, and what counts this season, in my world right now. 

I hope wherever you are, and whatever you are doing and did this year to celebrate; it truly was and will be festive and beautiful for you. 

I mostly say Happy Festivus to people; because it saves me time from dealing with the PC people of the world, that have to have their Christmas greeting worded in such a way, that it suits their beliefs/religion. 

Festivus knows no boundaries, and is ALL inclusive. 🙂

I think it’s safe to say, that it really doesn’t matter how you say it; as long as you remember what truly matters in the holiday season, and really always. That is kindness; family and loved ones; giving of yourself in any regard that is positive, and in any capacity; and to remember that gifts come in many different forms. Just being there for someone and valuing them when they really need you, is probably one of the greatest gifts you could ever give someone…and is FREE.

Happy Festivus for the rest of us, and all that jazz. I hope your holidays are amazing.

Love yourself. Xo

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

Love Your Future Self, TODAY; A Lesson in the Wrong Choices.

Free writing.

……………………………………………..

There are moments in time that I look back on; and I am grateful that my life has moved on; and that time does indeed heal old wounds.

It’s not so much that they have healed, per say. I guess it’s just more of an acceptance that it cannot be changed, no matter how much I would like to change it, or erase it.

In very many circumstances I am glad for that, because I don’t want to go back in time at all. It totally sucked. Changing it wouldn’t be right, or true anyways.

There ARE things I wish I didn’t know, about the world; and myself as well. It was way easier to live unaware of them and denying; although my gut always made me unblissfully “aware” anyways somehow…and then my OCD took over until I found out for sure, every single time.

All it took was time. Sometimes, lots of it.

That’s just how I am. 

I have spent my life consciously and unconsciously ignoring and tricking myself into many things; until I couldn’t anymore…and I was forced to find out and realize the truth…start living life, on life’s terms…and save myself.

My truth generally hurts.

The accepting part doesn’t go so well with my brain. I’ve had PTSD for years, before finally being diagnosed formally three years ago. That was something that I became in the end, grateful for; because it explained a lot to me really, about the way I am…and how I could manage myself and my symptoms. Got me to thinking about my future.

I struggle a lot in the world of today, because I don’t like the way the world runs; and the fact that the world is pre-occupied with everything sexual, easy, and fake.

I got sucked into that world.

I have put myself out there on the internet in the past, for everyone to see…and they did. It was on selected sites, and then it eventually became Facebook groups.

Because of it; it led to a divorce; people cyberstalking me; hacking me; physical, verbal and emotional abuse; rape; people doing illegal things with my images and videos all over the internet. Slander of every form. Death threats. Blackmail. Extortion threats. (that one was ridiculous). My images were sent to my family members, and illegally posted on my own Facebook page…and everyone saw it all. 

Yeah, I’m glad time has moved on from that. To this day there is a scar on my psyche from it all, that can be quite hard to bear. 

It’s the opposite side of a success story, that felt in the end, more like a daily death sentence…and it was no fun living it, in any way.

It was traumatizing because a lot of the abuse was done by people I used to trust and care about.

It was traumatizing, because I did it to myself; if you want to get really technical about it. I had already posted other compromising pictures of myself in the past.  I lived in the behavior for a long time too; up until about three years ago…as far as the recent past goes, and really off and on my entire life.

I very well could have done a million different things in the porn industry throughout my life, and have been offered on many occasions, legit work for money, that I would not do. It was just not something I wanted to be in. 

It is not a good feeling, when people try to bribe you with money, to try to get you to compromise yourself in unsafe ways. I was already compromising myself enough…and you’d think, I would have “grown up”, quicker.

I started to think about it all tonight.

Every day I give myself credit for those bad decisions that I did not make; because they were very wise ones. 

I think it was something of Devine intervention in those cases, that I am not further recouping from my nonsense regarding my “porn phase”.

For what people do know of it though… It’s enough, and too much. 

I compromised my body in various ways for many things in the past, and it is not a good thing to have to admit; but it could have been something way worse, and way more no coming back from, than it has been for me.

I have to look at it that way.

I do not know why I did some of the things I did. I only know that I was out of control; in personal relationships that were not happy, and abusive emotionally; and I was also in active addiction off and on; trying to hide it. I felt like, sex was all anybody wanted from me; and the attention I got from it, FED my damage, my addictions… my pocketbook, and the way I felt about myself. 

I hated everything that was me.

My worst point was in 2013. I was actively hustling, prostituting, and compromising myself for four months.

I did it for drugs and money.

I wanted to die, every day.

Every day, I wished I could stop.

I think in my case, it was a cry for help.  I also think most people that knew me around that time; knew. Those people couldn’t and wouldn’t help me…because I was not helping myself. I was desperately wanting stability (in my head and life); but what it really ended up being, was attention from anyone or anything; because I was completely lost and damaged. My whole life had been a vicious cycle.  I was going to die soon…mainly kill myself straight out.

It really kills me to admit that. But I hope it will help someone…because I know I’m not the only one.

I was desperate for love, and I latched on to anyone that I thought would give it to me…

And it was a sick existence.

It was like a drug….fully. the whole behavior.

The people in the hustling world, that did help me… they always wanted something that I did not want to give. It was not “help” at all. They promised me money, drugs, friendship, love… they told me anything I wanted to hear…And THAT’S how I got sucked in, in the first place. 

And that’s how it always goes.

All of the people I dealt with; they never cared at all…not one of them. They just wanted to fulfill their own needs…escape from their reality, through me. 

For a long time, it was like a game I played with myself…even though I knew all along, that I was the only one that was losing.

Pieces of me every day.

I still have a hard time accepting it…. I look back on suicide videos and recordings that I have made; and it reminds me of how far I’ve come…and how bad I WAS. 

I will never allow myself to feel that despair, or live in it, ever again.

It’s easy to compromise yourself, when you are emotionally numb. It’s easy to hustle. Anyone that has ever been in the position will tell you so…if you really want to…it’s go time.

It doesn’t make it right.

Then you have to look in the mirror at yourself and know what you’ve done. You have to live within yourself. 

It’s not so easy.

Here comes the vices to numb the feelings further; hence the cycle.

I have come SO close to killing myself because of my personal failures to myself; that I don’t even want to say it.

Many, many, many, many, many times, I have thought about what it would be like, to just stop it all. I have tried four times in my life to actually do it.

And that’s what people don’t know. They were not there when I was standing on my roommates car in the garage, with a rope around my neck; nor where they there when I considered jumping off the overpass…my pill OD…none of it. 

I was alone, and I was hopeless.

I made myself ask for help; because I simply could not give in; OR destroy the people I love, any further.

I didn’t want to actually die; I just wanted the mental pain to go away. 

Sounds familiar, because it is; and a more than common running theme in most people with depression, mental disorders, and addiction. The feelings can manifest in many different ways; and are never good.

Asking for help changed my life. It gave me the skills I needed, to become less afraid of the things that were actually going on in my life; and it gave me the courage to change them.

I can never take back all of the things that I have done in my life, that make me a horrible person, to the average “normal” one…whatever that is.

I can only say that I spent years of my life trying to recoup my self-esteem and mind from it all; and now I only put out images of myself that are not images that I’d be ashamed of, in any way. I don’t compromise my body like that anymore; and NEVER will again.

The scars remain though.

Today, I am a photography major; and I hope that some day I can look back on the images that I have taken today, with great pride. I hope I will find it in me to share my work in the future; because I have a lot of great ideas, that I’d like to bring to fruition…and some I already have.

I am an artist, and always have been one and will be. Those are the images I want to be known for, not the others.

I live with integrity and honesty now; because I want to be remembered for who I am as a person, and what I did for the world; not the mistakes I’ve made in my life, or the damage that I’ve carried from the past.

Today is today; not yesterday.

The other pictures that I am not so proud of, will eventually resurface again some day; and I know this. 

But we all have pasts and skeletons..don’t we.

This is mine. Not so much of a skeleton anymore.

My advice to anyone really; and any female especially, is to consider your future self. Love yourself enough to know, that you don’t need to do that kind of thing for attention or love…or drugs.

It’s a hollow kind of attention; its a hollow kind of existence… and it does not fill the void in any way…only masks it. No amount of that kind of attention can save you, and that is a fact.

Do not trust that the images you put out into the cyberworld, to not show up where you least expect it, and don’t want them to…

Because they will EVERY time.

There are a lot of people in the world, who will take any opportunity they can, to use you; betray you; and hurt you for sport…and monetary gain or complete selfishness. They prey on broken, desperate people…and always pose as friends who want to help, or say they love you. 

You always find out TOO late, that that’s NOT the case…and then you can’t go back.

Don’t be one of those people, like I was.

I wish that I would have considered my actions more wisely. I had no idea about the extent of the ramifications that it would bring to me; all of it. It’s also embarrassing still on a small level…but what can you do, but not do it again.

It’s changed my view of everything I’ve ever known or thought about how the world really is.

It’s a shady place, with sun in some areas. 

I prefer the sun today.

I am SO glad, that I finally asked for help, and started seeking true friendships and support from people who never gave up on me; and truly cared for me.

It’s one of the reasons I’m able to write this publicly…and why I am still here on this earth. 

It’s one of the reasons I’ve found it in me, to love myself again.

Mental disease has many different facets to it, most times. Living in a world of darkness alone is really hard too. I remember not being able to see, any shred of light at all; until I started remembering that in the end, no one else is responsible for my life, but ME. 

I know I had help in realizing that. Always I’ll be grateful.

So even though I had to trainwreck through my entire life, I’m proud of myself today; and of every, single, little thing and piece of myself that I have managed to find and discover so far; because I have fought for it…and it IS ME who has done the work to get better. No one can take that away from me. 

I know that I’m not the only one who’s been through this ride either. 

For me, it has been MORE than a struggle; it has turned into a life-changing quest to never give up, give in, or compromise myself like that again….EVER.

Daily, I remind myself, that it’s OK to forgive myself, and to live with integrity today…because that’s what I can do for myself and the people I love. 

This is a piece of me, that I have finally made peace with. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.

I appreciate every single person in my life that values me for who I am…still. 

I hope this helps to put some things in perspective, and that it helps someone to be smarter about the choices they are making for themselves.

I hope it will help someone to forgive themself too; because we all have parts of us that we hide, and we can’t make peace with them until we do forgive ourselves….and stop the hiding.

Where there is courage, there is hope; and with hope, all things become possible. I believe it because it’s true.

Love yourself. 

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME