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

Look

When people look at you like you don’t matter

Know that you do

You are strong

You are brave

You are loved

You are worthy of the love

Love yourself

You have to or you won’t survive

You are not a quitter

They just want you to be

Don’t look back and don’t give in

Only you can forge your path

You know there is light in the darkness if you look for it

LOOK

J. Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

17 months sober.

I am 17 months sober today.

I feel good about it. I’m pretty ok with where I am right now, even though it’s still not ideal as a whole. I’ve grown immensely in myself and learned a lot about life this past year-and-almost-a- half. More than I ever have, actually.

I’m still growing/learning, and I’m happy about that too. It means I’m not stuck anymore, and that there’s hope for me yet….even on the bad days.

I know I won’t compromise myself anymore to make other people happy. I don’t care what some may think of me. I’ve struggled too long, and too hard to care much, honestly.

I know I won’t compromise myself to not feel anymore. I’d rather feel everything because at least I know it is real.

I know I don’t want to ever drink again, and I will keep choosing not to drink daily; because messing up now would ruin every, single thing that I have been working for, and have already accomplished. It would make no sense at all, and would be the stupidest thing I could do. I’m done with that nonsense. It will never be worth drinking again for me because it was never worth it in the first place.

My focus now is on finding a private therapist that will actually be able to get me in on their schedule. The other therapist I can’t wait for anymore.

A side thought is that I’m not looking forward to spending all these holidays coming up, alone.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas…..

It sucks when you want the company, but don’t want to deal with any of the other stuff that comes along with the said company.

I don’t know anybody in real life that’s into deep conversation and cuddling. Although I’m not intensely focusing on it, the cooler weather coming always reminds me that I am single again. (Lol). Worse things for sure I know; just sayin’.

I just wonder if that’ll ever be in the cards for me again.

A companion.

Right now, I can’t wait to get out of work, so I can go home and sew and paint.

I’m making myself Sunday dinner tonight too, to celebrate the fact that I’m not an active drunk anymore and I’ve chosen to live instead.

I still need more money coming in, and a raise at the job I already work at. I cannot move any further forward in working for myself, without more money.

Reviews are coming soon they say, also another shot at the shift lead position…I should get it this time, and I’m ready for it.

It just has been very stressful, to be extremely honest. I do realize it is a first-world problem of sorts, but I really don’t know what’s going to happen with my finances at all. I’m staying optimistic though and going day to day, because it’s too much to think about any other way.

Just a rambling of random thoughts today.

That’s how I feel. One of those days, I guess.

Not much more to say right now.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

A Mother’s Regret.

My eldest daughter will be 29, at the end of this month.

THAT is CRAZY.

She is surely one of the brightest and most beautiful people you will ever meet; and I am grateful every day that she turned out to be so level-headed and smart…despite having someone like me, for a mother.

It’s true; that was not a “poor me, feel bad for me”, statement.

My truth hurts me MOST of the time…because I chose to put a lot of things in front of what I should have done…for most of my life.

I haven’t allowed myself to fully feel the thoughts of how much I was not there for my first born, when she was growing up.  I love her SO much, that it’s hard for me to think about how much I missed out on by choice, how much that must have hurt her, and how much I know I’ve let her down, when it counted.

I was not there for her when she was little, not really. Not like I should have been, at all. 

I was more of a visiting friend…and it wasn’t consistent, or of much quality. She was not yet a year old, when I left my mother’s house. She didn’t come to live with me full-time until the age of 13, and by 16, she was living with her father.

I think that one of the hardest parts for me about being sober, is that all of the parts that I was trying to kill with substance, come seeping back in through the cracks; like an octopus that is systematically creeping through a crevis five times too small for it’s body.

I sometimes think that what hell really is… is the pain you have to suffer through, when you are alive on this Earth.

It sucks to know that I hurt my daughter emotionally. 

How and why, is a story of it’s own…that maybe I can manage to get fully down on paper some day.

I was texting with my daughter yesterday; and she thanked me for continuing to reach out to her. 

All I could do was to reassure her that I was there if she needed me. 

All I can do today, is to prove it to her by being consistent with love and support when she needs me, and otherwise always.

I tried to stay away from her for a long time, because I was ashamed of myself, my selfish ways, and I didn’t want to screw her up. 

I wish I would have had the support to believe in myself, and that I could have been a good mother to her; because I think I could have been. 

The truth is, my mother had me believing that I couldn’t do much of anything but fail, by the time she kicked me out, and I left the house…a month before my 18th birthday.

Another truth.

When your mother says “I will call the cops if you take that baby…”

Let’s just say if I would have been smart, I would have believed that I could have been a good mother to her. 

I would have found a way to be, the mother I should have been, because I would have known that I could do it…

And I would have, TAKEN MY OWN BABY with me.

I love my mother, but I wish she knew sometimes, how much I wish I could have been my daughters mother, instead of her. 

I’ve struggled with this, for almost 30 years now.

I hope that some day, I can truthfully talk to my daughter about that time..because mostly my goal is to LISTEN.

I’m proud of my daughter, and the woman she is. 

I hope she always knows it. 

I’m glad she was raised to always believe in herself no matter what; because I think it’s made all the difference. 

I have more to say about it, but not today.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

Because it’s MEANT to be…

This house T and I have been working towards getting…                                                 


150 bucks away from the goal!

My Birthday is tomorrow. 

This is last challenge in reaching a huge goal that’s been very arduous to get done, but will be worth everything to say I did it; simply because I didn’t think at first it was achievable. 

I haven’t sold my camera. I haven’t gotten one dime from anyone. 

It is true if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. T and I deserve this win, and $150 bucks from now, we are going to be able to say we did it all by ourselves, together. 

THAT is something that is worth it’s weight in gold.

My Birthday present to myself, is to make sure we meet this goal. 

I’ll be taking my camera off of Ebay, and selling it outright locally instead. There’s been no traffic as expected, and I don’t care, I’ll just pawn it. 

Either way it’s going to be a Happy Birthday for me; because tomorrow isn’t going to be any ordinary day at all. 

This I know for sure.

120 days on the wagon today, and counting.

I can definitely dig that 🙂

Love yourself.
J.Rounds (c)2017 ~Peaces of ME

Be Strong.

Since my son passed, my mother always tells me when we talk, that I am a such a strong person. 

Many times I feel like I let her down, because I don’t really feel so strong sometimes.

I wish I had a way to find the strength tonight, because I need some.  It still surprises me just how bad those kicks to the gut really hurt…and it shouldn’t by now at all. Perhaps it’s because I thought I was worth more than that to you… Perhaps it’s because I’ve known for a while now that I’m not, just by your actions.  This is my life, not a game.

I do know though, through my own personal struggles, that sometimes you just have to accept the fact that there are some instances that cannot be understood or fixed, and you have to move forward anyways.

I can only control myself, and I don’t have to put up with people hurting me anymore… and I WON’T.

At any rate, staying sober is the only thing on my agenda tonight because I am not about to Fuck my life completely up again.

I’m staying sober for ME tonight. And ME alone. At least I give a shit enough to be honest about that and with the ones I love. 

Today marks a month sober for me. 

I’m pissed off, and I’m out of herbal medication, so my anxiety is rocketing. 

I do not know what tomorrow will be, but tonight I sit in the cemetery and think of my son.

He would be 12 this year. May 3rd…7 days away.

Something I cannot understand or fix…It haunts me still.

Have a good night. 

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME

        Dissappear Here

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I am alive.

I am an ever flowing stream that has no end.

Within me I carry the darkness and the light of my heart and soul.

I breath hope and strength, and every step I take forward leads me to the new; and new opportunities to love myself and those around me.

I have never known this peace before; and it suits me.

I will forge ahead with the tenacity and heart of a million men.

Nothing can stop me from being the best that I can possibly be.

I feel alive for the first time in years.

I am moving forward, and not looking back ever again.

J.Rounds (c)2016 ~Peaces of Me

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June 27, 2016

Even though you are scared shitless and don’t think anything is going to be O.K. at all right now; IT’S GOING TO BE O.K.; O.K.?!  Just believe it and make it so. You are a strong person and you can do anything you set your mind to.

You can do it. You have been through, and survived, worse things than this.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds 2016~Peaces of me