Blogging · mental health · poetry · Uncategorized · writing

How Darkness Became My Friend.

I sat in the dark for so long, I got comfortable. I would fumble around confused and run into the walls, literally and figuratively. Over time, my eyes adjusted to the darkness and I began to see more clearly. There was a comfort in the darkness, for I could not see my reflection, the self hatred written on the walls. It became my safe place from the spotlight shed upon me, all the judgements faded away behind a black cloud of hate.

I pushed everyone away, fear drove me this way, for I just wished to suffer alone. In the mind, you can not hurt others this way. It is a journey they must find for their own. Why would you want to take others to the depths of despair with you? That was my lonely road to travel alone, or so I believed.

You see, I came upon a mirror one day, and was saddened by what I had seen. A stranger stared back at me, skin and bones, the twinkle in her eyes…..gone. I wondered then how in the darkness, I could see her face so clear. He whispered just then, she is the light that shines with me, for our souls are twins. We are a packaged deal, two for the price of one, and I would say that is not a bad deal. For those like me, who are sensitive you see. The light begins to blind you, and you lose your way. Only then when the darkness descends, are you forced to see things in another way.

To find the light and dark within yourself and adjust accordingly. Do not fear the dark for he will show the light when it is time. Frame the mirror from which you found yourself and display it proudly. You have walked through something many never found their way out of and be ready to go back someday. For the lessons are never really over, this world is to cold to hold onto the warmth forever. You will find the blanket along the way and come out each time stronger than before. Have faith they say, I choose to find it in both places. They are both now my friends, for they showed me the right way.

~Jennifer Steen

*This piece was inspired by my sister Emily, she gives me the courage to keep fighting and to dig deep within myself and find the light within. We have walked similar yet different paths and found each other along the way. Along this journey we call life, we will encounter Angels in our midst, they will shine their light on us, and we will be forever changed. I love you Em and thank you!

Blogging · health · Lifestyle · mental health · music · poetry · wellness

Self Survival and Recovery……a creative reflection.

So let’s just dive in and bring it to surface. This feels like coming back from the brink of death, all the pain, unknowns, brain games, and ever lasting shame. Fighting for your life, hypnophobia, your mind on replay. I love how music is on display, in your darkest hours. The melody touches your soul, like the crashing waves on the coast. My other home, where the sea turns to foam. My feet in the sand, I feel at home. Wishing you were here, to see for yourself, the heaven and hell I’ve been in. My own creation, then invited others in. I write to heal, to have a voice for silenced. To put a smile on someone’s face, changes lives everyday.

It is time to let go and just fly, over mile high. Where the sunset paints a canvas, my star in the sky shines bright. Like falling stardust, a continuous process. Take a deep breath and let the calm descend, if only for a moment, as eyes open wide. Looking back it was a slow ascend to the top, full of clarity, then the bombs were dropped. Like a nuclear attack packed with flashbacks and long lasting side effects. Reflections stare back, unrecognizable to you now. Not sure when you will come back, all those faces to survive. Masks are easy to hide behind, what color defines who you have become inside. Synchronicity begins, its 4:04am, how time never ends. 4:20 is usually my jam, it’s very personal, like a vice. I will talk about it some time, for now I will fix what is going on, right here and right now. Or is this a dream, more like a living nightmare. You awaken and the fog is still there, not like the first time, when everything was so clear. Then it all disappears, cycles away like night and day. Why I am I stuck on repeat, the music in my head writing out sentences. How amazing that would be, put pen to paper, and make history.

Which one will it be? Fear or anxiety……overcoming is never easy. It’s relies on strategy, no playbooks are the same. The mind wanders and misses time, so you play catch up as you try and get by. All you have is today, right now in this moment, amongst the parade. The siren she calls to us all, he is hot on her heels, a game of cat and mouse. Who will win these time? Outsmart the ego and call a truce before they tighten the noose. Suffocation like claustrophobia, crawling within my skin. Poison leaks from the pores, and then the healing begins. A slow speed in the fast lane so to speak. Capeche! Understanding comes with peace, take it from me, seeing clearly is the key. One of many shapes and colors for the locks change periodically. The door stays the same, an imprint on the world, for ALL to see. Even the ground beneath our feet and the trees 🎢Twenty One Pilots “Trees” stop and add it to your playlist now!!🎢 blurryfaced in the breeze. Like a coat of many colors, I had one when I was 13, how eccentric of me. Anyways its time to go, I will be back soon with another review.

~Jennifer Steen πŸ¦‰

* I am finally calm now, this is my favorite therapy. The creation of art and using my literary voice. Since my vocal cords only seem to whisper. I wander in this life, all around. I feel quite lost yet found……..it is 5:39am, time to roll over and sleep.

family · mental health · wellness · writing

My life, my kids! Get with the program or get out!

Ok so I feel a long blog post coming on about a subject that many will not agree with or like but I feel it needs to be said, first and foremost it is MY OPINION, you do not have to agree but I would suggest if it offends you, a look in the mirror might be a good place to start.
I will preface it to say that my kids… are just that….MINE! Unless I leave them in your care, you have zero ownership of them. Just because you are “family” does not give you rights to them or that it bestows you access to them. Want to see them, you know my number and where we live. They are underage, you want them to visit you, ask my husband and I first. Period!
Also we know your kids are important to you and the world revolves around them in your eyes. But please, stop expecting everyone to feel the same way. We have our own families, our own lives, and struggles. If someone is absent, consider why and do not bad mouth them to your kids. You are doing more damage than you can possibly imagine. I was told a few months ago that if I did not get my shit together and start making an effort that was acceptable in their eyes, that they would raise their kids to not even know who I am. Go right ahead then, knock yourself out! I bow down to no one who sees fit to threaten me in such a manner. Up until our world feel apart and I got sick a few years ago, I did everything I was socially expected to do and what I wanted to do as often as I could. Then all of a sudden, I am not good enough because I stepped away to protect my kids and myself and to try and fix the brokenness that was left behind. We are still healing and I am still in the fight of my life.
If you want something from me, ASK! If I can not give it to you, ACCEPT IT! Guilting me will only drive me further away.

I have a huge capacity to love and I care for my family deeply but I am under no obligation to constantly be in their lives. If we talk, we talk. If we don’t, we don’t. Start thinking of other people for once and stop making it all about you and yours. See, I am the type of mom who does not give a fuck if you keep up with my kids. I have raised them to appreciate the ones who do make the effort and to be gracious to the ones who don’t. It’s not personal, their self worth will not be based on who makes them feel special. They need to learn that they can stand on their own two feet and that while they are important, it should never be based on someone else. We, the parents, are the ones that are there for the special moments and if others want to be involved that is fantastic. Yet for the ones that can’t or don’t for whatever reason is not a baseline for how they feel about your children. Out of everything that has ever been said to me, the one that hurt the most, was what a horrible aunt I was because I do not remember birthdays or have not shown up to get togethers in the recent past. That I was unavailable for emotional support and I left them out in the cold. I am at a loss really, I do not remember much of the last year as I struggled with mental health issues and debilitating illnesses all while trying to help my kids deal with trauma and grief. That is where I was needed and where my obligations resided. Period! You don’t respect that, you know where the door is.

What about the birthdays and events they have been left out of. Or the grandpa who spends all his time with the other grandkids and hardly anytime with mine? Yep don’t give a shit! Large families are complicated to navigate and there is no room for this type of nonsense, you are hurting your kids far more than the ones who you claim don’t show up. The big problem also resides in the adults and their egos, strained relationships, and hurtful words. Learn to respect boundaries and move on with your own life. Take care of you and yours and everyone else be damned. You can not control other people’s action and their feelings.

My intentions where never to hurt anyone but alas, I did and I am sorry for that. Yet, I will not take ownership of the fact that others have deemed me unworthy. Continue to place expectations on people and you will find that they will fall away more quickly as your demands grow. Keep throwing fits and making people feel bad because you are not the center of their world, and you will find yourself alone. This is why we have large numbers of children with severe emotional issues because we do not teach them to rely on themselves. Continue to teach them that are entitled and uber special and they will become non functioning emotional wrecks as adults as soon as someone does not include them or make them feel special.

I have zero expectation of my family where my kids are involved and it will stay that way. Expectations lead to disappointment and what you should really be asking yourself, is if the problem resides in you and your emotional issues.

Maybe it was how I was raised that led me to this belief or the fact that I know my own worth and my heart. I can barely keep track of my meds much less what is going on in everyone else’s lives and who’s birthday is when. I am not up for pretenses of faking it until I make it, not my style. If you want me in your life, learn respect and boundaries and I will be more receptive. I do not live my life for anyone but me, my husband, and my kids.

And that is my rant, my opinion, and how I raise my kids. They know who loves them and if you are not a constant in their lives, they love you anyways. Your welcome!

Jennifer Steen

health · Lifestyle · mental health · Uncategorized · wellness

Health and Wellness Progress Report

Hey! So as I am waiting on the first round of tests to come in, I wanted to give you all an update on what has been happening and where I am at on my journey.

Things are improving slowly and positively so while I am still weak and fatigued, my mind is in a much better place. With Omega 3 supplements and adrenal tonic, my brain fog has cleared, my hair no longer falls out, and I have more energy. Hopefully the test results, I will have a clear picture of the damage the steroids did to my adrenal glands. So important message, if you are diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency, please find another alternative besides steroids. They will turn your adrenal glands to stone and you will be dependant on those for the rest of your life, I was lucky and caught it in time before it did irrevocable damage. Your adrenals, when insuffiecient, need rest, proper diet, and all natural support! I have gone from two steroid pills twice a day to a quarter of a pill once a day, guys that is huge!

I have been on a no grain, no diary, no soy, no corn, and no processed sugar diet. While as hard and as complicated it is to maintain with all the temptation around me, I have found that I feel better physically and emotionally. My gut issues have all but gone away and my joint pain only flairs occassionally. Consider trying it for a few weeks and see how you feel!

I also have been facing my internal struggles with trauma, hurt, pain, and fear. This one will be a life long commitment and one that will test my emotional intelligence to it’s breaking point. I will not change who I am to the core, because she is a beautiful person, but I can change how I react and perceive the world around me. Not facing my issues did not help my medical issues, it made them worse. Stress kills and damages our immune system. We are so much more than the pain we carry around and only we can change our circumstances. Look inward, pray, meditate, and be grateful for every single good time and every single bad time. They are lessons and a pathway to a fulfilling our life path, or destiny!

I have found a level of patience and an understanding that stress leads me nowhere but down. I want answers but I must trust the universe and the creators plan for me, I surround myself with love and support and just breath. I work on myself, my goals, and becoming a healthier. Being ok with being sad sometimes, and enjoying the happy times to the max!

I want to give a shout out to the first doctor, who ever truly helped me, she believed me and in me, and the weight she lifted off my shoulders was so much more than I could have ever hoped for! When no one listened or believed me, she did and gave me the information and the tools to help myself and I am forever grateful to her! She is brilliant, kind, and one of a kind. If you are needing to find a doctor who will take a natural, holistic approach to your health please do not hesitate to reach out to her! She is based in Trinidad, Colorado and can also work remotely with you wherever you are. Her name is Dr. Ivory Raye. http://www.rayenaturopathic.com/

I also see a local doctor here in the Texas Panhandle who has also helped me immensely and is running the tests that I will be having over the next few months, he is also a chiropractor and is patient oriented and will do whatever he can to help! He also offers a holistic approach to healthcare, his name is Dr. Mike Vennell. https://www.spineandsportswellnessclinic.com/

Your health and wellness is important and I hope anyone struggling and feeling hopeless in their journey, to reach out to me or to my doctors. There are people who are willing to help and I am here for support! Thank you for reading and following me on this journey! I will be updating the blog with the results of my dutch test as soon as I get them.

Jennifer Steen

Lifestyle · mental health · poetry · Uncategorized · writing

My Heartache

The mental anguish is excruciating, frustrating, and debilitating. I smile but it is behind sad eyes, the pain is all consuming. My sensitivity spreads like wildfire, scorching everything in it’s path. I am fighting with everything I have but can not break the surface of despair. Drowning in sorrows that are not even my own sometimes. My heart breaks over and over, sending shards of the remains through my veins. This is what depression and anxiety feels like for me, my very own prison, in which I remain. A vicious cycle of sadness and anger for which I try to escape. It takes planning, prayer, and faith. It requires time, tears, and heartbreak. Eggshells are insignificant as I walk on broken glass, bleeding as the pieces tear at my skin. Add fuel to the fire and I will burn everything around me to ash. Be gentle with me or walk away, every little thing amounts to something so much bigger than one person can take. I will fight for myself and leave others in my wake. I hope one day the wounds will heal and the scars that remain will be a symbol of that strength. To leave others behind will be my greatest heartache yet time heals most things and that is a risk I am willing to take.

~Jennifer Steen