FINALLY, After Months of Promising….

WE HAVE A NEW STORE!!!!!!! I have been working NIGHT AND DAY on creating hundreds of new designs for our shop. So far I only have a few of the designs uploaded to our shop, but I am adding more each day. It takes a while to add each product, to get their sizing and placement correct which means my next several days will be filled with the task of getting the already created designs uploaded onto our products. Once I have all of those up, I will be working on several more designs as I have a multitude of ideas and plans for more designs.

Check out our new shop here: Phoenix Goddess Shop

When I created this company and then this blog, my plan was always to have a shop. In the beginning it was laziness that kept me from created a shop.  I had tons of motivation for the company, but I became me own worst enemy. I started out strong with tons of posts, tons of effort, but because I wasn’t getting the response I had hoped for, I found myself discouraged and dismayed. I started making excuses for my lack of posts, for my lack of effort, for the passion I had once had. It wasn’t all laziness though, as living life as a spoonie is exhausting and wrought with challenges. It can be incredibly difficult to stay motivated, to stay focused, to maintain consistency. Life got complicated, it got stressful, and painful for a while there, I went through massive life changes and needed to take some time to myself, to heal, to recover, to find myself. I spent the last several months doing major healing, major work on myself, on my soul, on so many aspects of my life. Aside from the laziness and battles with mental health, the other biggest component that kept me from creating this shop and our products was my lack of experience/ knowledge on how to create products and designs, on where to sell said products and designs, on where to even begin. I allowed my lack of experience and knowledge to convince myself that I wasn’t good enough to even sell products, to create designs, to have any sort of shop. However, after YEARS of struggling financially, of bouncing from idea to idea from company to company, of failing, of learning, of growing I decided to really buckle down and give this a real shot. My designs are incredibly simple for now as I am still learning, but despite their simplicity I am immensely proud of myself for creating them in the first place. I am in the process of teaching myself Photoshop and will be teaching myself Illustrator so that I am able to create even more complex and beautiful designs. For now though, I hope y’all enjoy the designs I have created! Be sure to check the shop daily as I have a plethora of designs to upload!

 

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses,
I Hope You Have A Magical Day

Family Bonds: Blood Isn’t Always Thicker Than Water

Family can be such a tricky thing. Many of us were raised under the blood is thicker than water belief system, yet I have found that is rarely the case. For me, during my time I have found more loyalty, more compassion, more of a family amidst my collection of friends whom I know both in person and online than I have from much of my family members. After my father had molested me when I was young his entire side family had all but abandoned me. Interestingly, the only people who stuck by my side, who I have maintained any relationship has been my stepmom and one of my stepsisters. Once again, they proved to me, how blood isn’t always thicker than water. Then several years later when my cousin raped me and a legal case seeking justice was levied against him after he had a nervous breakdown and admitted what he had done, he managed to turn much of my family on my mothers’ side against me. While that side of my family has always been wrought with strife and struggle, they were the ones I leaned on most heavily in the years after my father had molested me and I lost his family. To once again, have people who I though were family, people whom I considered family, turn on me because of the actions of another was truly devastating. Outside of a few specific family members we hadn’t been as close as we once were, but to have them turn on me in such a way still hurt, still shocked me. Even now some odd years after their dissent from my life, there are only a very select few whom I maintain any sort of relationship with. There is one, who no matter how much time or distance may separate us, no matter what forces may try to tear us apart, will always stand by my side, will always be in my corner.

Because much of my extended family proved to be such a disloyal bunch, I clung desperately to and relied heavily on my immediate family members, which consists of my Mom and my sister who is 3 years older than I am, to give me that sense of family, of being loved and accepted. Try as I might, my sister and I were never close, we never had this unshakeable bond, we rarely hung out together outside of the times when it was expected, or we were forced to. Our differences stemmed from far more than just the meager 3-year age gap between us. At our very cores we are very different people, and nothing will ever change that. Yet, despite our glaringly vast differences I always maintained hope that maybe one day we would find that bond, that connection, that sisterly love. Yet, it would seem that hope would be for not. For us, it would appear these differences are too far apart to create any sort of bridge between. To say I am saddened and disappointed would be a serious understatement, but as I have learned over my life, there are simply some things we must accept. When it comes to her and I, we will never see eye to eye on the one thing that has created the deepest rift between us. Despite our differences, I will always love my sister and a small part of me will hold out hope for a chance at a real relationship. I also cannot completely blame her for how she feels as there were times where due to my mental health I made life anything but easy for her and my mama.

 

 

I have reached a point in my life where I only want those in my life who wish to be here, who will love and accept me despite any areas in which they may feel I fall short, who will meet me with the same empathy, compassion, understanding and forgiveness in which I meet them, who will want to be a part of my life as much as I wish to be a part of theirs. If someone cannot see me for who I am, as someone who is so much more than my struggles. If they fail to see the unwavering love and compassion, I have developed from all that I have overcome. If they do not see all the successes I have had, but instead choose to focus on my failures. If they look at the life I have lived, the wars I have waged and are not proud of me. Then they have no place in my life. I spent far too many years feeling worthless, feeling like I was undeserving of love and respect simply because my life doesn’t look how people expect it to, because I don’t follow their rules, because of all the other reasons I have been made to feel inferior.

Yet, something profound happened to me in the last few months during my reclusive time. Instead of just bullshitting my way through my healing, like I have done nearly every other time. Instead of compartmentalizing the things which were too hard or too painful to deal with. Instead of running away from the darker side of healing. I chose to face it all head on. I’ve put in an immense amount of time and work into my healing process. It hasn’t been all bubble baths by candlelight or facemasks and pretty makeovers. It has been wrought with sleepless nights, days where I felt like I was suffocating, hours locked in my room with the curtains closed, months of hard truths, and so much more. I am still far from where I wish to be, but I am better than I have ever been.

Now that most of the difficult part of my healing is done, it is time for me to refocus my energy onto my present moment, onto what I can do in order to create the life of abundance now know with every fiber of my being I deserve. My goal over the next few months is to really sit with myself and figure out how to create a true financial independence, what career path is the one I TRULY want.

 

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses,

I Hope You Have A Magical Day

Life With Endo: Robbing You of Pleasure, Instead Giving You A Lifetime of Agonizing Pain

(*Image Credit: Endo Awareness )

In our last post we talked about the pain experienced during a flare-up from endometriosis. For this post, we are shifting our focus to a different kind of pain. As if dealing with the boundless torrent of pain ripping throughout my lower body is not bad enough, to add into that the agonizing pain and complications of having intercourse with endo is enough to frustrate one to no end.

For years, before I knew I had endometriosis, I had experienced painful sex. I always just thought it was because of me, because of the way I was built, because of how tiny I am. I convinced myself that this was my life, that sex would always be painful for me, that I would never be able to experience the pleasure others have. I tried to address the issue with some of my previous partners to no avail. Our society has raised us with the antiquated belief that for women our sole job it to reproduce, that our pleasure matters little, but for men their pleasure and orgasm is paramount. The porn industry hasn’t helped that mindset either as it gives men unrealistic expectations within the bedroom. As I got older, I learned it is difficult enough for a woman who doesn’t have endometriosis to achieve an orgasm, which meant for me that is basically an impossible task. Even something such as masturbation yields little to no pleasure for me because of the pain my body experiences at all times.


Having sex with someone who suffers from endo is complicated experience filled with a lot of trial and error, with lots of foreplay, and excessive amounts of lube. What does and doesn’t work changes with each partner as no two people are built the same. It is a lot of exploring different positions, adding pillows, switching angles to find the right ones. For many of us, any chance of us obtaining any discernable pleasure comes from a heavy emphasis on foreplay. The more time we spend getting aroused without insertion, the better chance we have of that arousal continuing throughout the entire time. Another issue that many of us run into, is how quickly we dry out, no matter how much we may be enjoying ourselves. Far too often, partners do not wish to stop in the middle to add more lube as they feel it kills the mood, but for us we don’t have a choice. Many of my most painful experiences with intercourse were a direct result of the friction caused by my dryness. So often men get into a specific rhythm or get so close to their climax, that little else matters to them in those moments.

At this point, I have all but given up on the idea of ever achieving true pleasure, of experiencing an orgasm, of having sex without pain. I have never had a partner who was willing to work with me, with my limitations of my body, of the ways in which endometriosis effects my body to find what feels right, what feels great, what feels pleasurable. Far too often, they may start off seeming to be willing to work with me, but then after a short period of time, they stop caring about my pleasure and focus solely on theirs. Over the years, I have learned to just bury my head in the pillow to stifle the cries of agony, to wipe the tears from my face, to make my suffering as silent and unnoticeable as possible. Each time, with each partner though I hold out hope that just maybe they will value my own pleasure as much as theirs, yet that is never the case. It shouldn’t be like this. I’ve talked to far too many women, who share the same stories as I have, of painful sex, of partners who seem to care little for them or their pleasure. Far too often, we are silenced because heaven forbid you give them advice, heaven forbid you try to assert yourself. I am sure there are those of you out there who are saying, “just be assertive, just say you don’t like it, find better partners, etcetera.” While that is great in theory for those of us with anxiety or whom have survived abusive relationships, using our voice and confrontation are not always viable options for us. Although, in recent months I have become far more comfortable with using my voice.

By writing the posts, sharing my story it is my hope that it helps myself and others like me feel comfortable and safe to open the dialogue between them and their partners. It is my sincerest hope, that with the series I am doing on endometriosis, life and the complications that come with it, will help to raise awareness, to help those who suffer with this horrible disease to not feel so alone, it will get people talking. I know for me, personally it is incredibly cathartic to write these posts, to share a little bit of what daily life is like with endometriosis, to find my ability to use my voice to ensure that my sexual experience is that of pleasure rather than pain.

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses,

I Hope You Have A Magical Day

Endometriosis: A Indescribable Pain Coursing Through Your Body

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One of the most common questions I get about endometriosis, is how it feels to have endo, or more specifically how does it feel during a flare up. While no amount of words or description will ever be able to fully convey the sheer pain and agony experienced by those of us whom have endometriosis, I will try my hardest to describe the pain and what life is like with endometriosis to the best of my abilities.

(*Images 2 & 3)

Here’s a little information and facts about endometriosis before we get into the main part of this post. Endometriosis is an incurable disease in which the tissue which makes up the lining of the uterus (Womb) grows or is present on other organs throughout the body. While it is most common to be centralized on the organs within or around the lower abdomen, it can appear anywhere on the body. For many women they can have a multitude of symptoms including but not limited to; painful periods/ovulations, painful intercourse, fertility issues, hormone imbalances, yeast infections, weight fluctuations, food intolerances, thyroid imbalances, digestive issues (not Chron’s or IBS,) lower back/leg pain, PCOS, headaches/migraines, multiple hospital visits for various symptoms which rarely yield answers, bladder infections, UTIs, low magnesium (which can also lead to many other issues including sleep disorders, anxiety, mood swings, and more,) and plenty more. For many suffers of endometriosis it can take 10+ years before finding a doctor who takes you, your pain, and your symptoms seriously, which leaves many women suffering endlessly for far too long. Many times, doctors will only look at one or two of the symptoms and be unable to yield any answers for you, rather than looking at the symptoms as a whole. Or doctors will simply tell you that you’re being dramatic, that you just need a higher pain tolerance, etc. and will simply dismiss you as another hysterical weak woman (and yes, female doctors will do this just as much as males.) Or the doctors won’t even know what endometriosis is so they will misdiagnose you, never run the proper tests, which means they will never perform the laparoscopic surgery (surgery is the only definitive method to diagnose endometriosis) thus leaving you to suffer longer. The number of stories I have heard from women over the years surrounding endometriosis, their journey to their diagnosis, their recovery and more is powerful and heart-breaking. For a really great article about another woman’s journey through the endo cycle click here: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/13-endometriosis-symptoms_b_9775518?fbclid=IwAR1nImwHUNR9Z_FxVEKdzHVdhSIomBhQjhQ7cE_rM2Z7QnbH2FeqeKYRaGs . The author of that post does a brilliant job explaining many of the symptoms of endometriosis as well if not better than I can.

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So, you want to know what it feels like to have endometriosis? Well for this part I am going to talk about how it feels during a flare up, at least for me. How it feels to each woman will vary dependent upon their pain tolerance, location(s) of their endometriosis, treatments, severity, and many other factors, so please understand this is just based upon my own experiences with my endometriosis. On top of experiencing nearly every single symptom I’ve listed above, the pain is exacerbated in the days before, during, and immediately following my period, then again in the days before, during, and after ovulation, which means that for maybe 4-6 days out of the ENTIRE MONTH I am not in severely excruciating pain, although the pain from endo is generally always there, but during those few days it is more of a manageable dull throb. For many women, especially those with irregular periods they can many times be caught off guard by their periods, however that is far from the case for me.

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As for me, in the days leading up to my period, my everyday pain slowly increases from a dull throb to more relentless ache and I usually get sick (small colds, little to no energy, coughing fits, low grade fevers, dizziness, etc.) The closer to my period I get, the worse the pain gets. I’ve heard many women describe it as akin to someone taking barbed wire and wrapping it around your entire abdomen/lower back region, which is quite accurate in my opinion. For me, it is a mix between that and feeling like someone has taken molten lava/acid and poured it throughout my entire reproductive system, my abdomen, lower back, and upper legs, while there are multiple little knives stabbing me incessantly, while also having every step, every movement, every breath nearly bring or even bring you to tears. When the pain gets that bad, there is nothing that can touch that sort of pain, no amount of Tylenol (for those who can even take pain relievers such as those, which for me is not an option,) no amount of heating pads or hot baths, no amount of position changing, or anything will touch that pain. I am a HUGE proponent of CBD and its wealth of benefits due to the relief it has provided me for many of my other health problems, but even CBD mixed with arnica, as well as many other pain relievers (herbal based, as those are the only ones my body tolerates,) does nothing to quell the sheer agony ripping through my body during a flare up. This pain is both felt on the surface as well as deep within. The best and most widely use course of action for many of us, it to take whatever pain relievers we can, grab the heating pads, curl up in as comfy of a spot as we can, clutch our abdomens, shed a lot of tears, and resign ourselves to our beds until the worst of the flair up has ended. Many women wind up going to the ER in a desperate need/attempt to find some better relief, but rarely do they get any true help as most doctors send them away simply telling them it is just really bad cramps and to take some Tylenol or Midol. I don’t much trust doctors and I know how rarely they take our pain seriously, so I just sit and suffer at home, usually alone.

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To give full example of my life during a flare-up, tonight before settling down to write this post, and even during much of it I am in the thralls of a pretty brutal flare-up. I ended my period on the 18th (today is the 21) and am 5 days out from ovulation, which means of course the pain is still heightened from my period and increasing again because of being so close to ovulation. For me, ovulation is far worse than my period (however, this is not to say the pain I experience during my period is by any means not severe or excruciating.) Earlier tonight, I was laying in my bed finishing some Hallmark movie and getting ready to delve back into the latest YA Fantasy series I was reading through my Kindle app on my phone, when slowly but surely I felt the specific throb of pain which I only feel during my ovulation phase (the three to five days before, during, and the up two days after my ovulation.) Little by little I felt this dull throb slowly growing to a more noticeable ache centered around the lips/clitoral region of my vagina, this is not uncommon for me, leading up to my ovulation day. During my period the pain in more centralized internally, around my reproductive organs, rather than the pain being focused on my legs and the outer regions of my vagina I experience during my ovulation phase. However, within a matter of moments the pain which had been manageable and about normal for what I experience around this time in my cycle, exploded into a nearly blinding searing pain. At times felt like my vagina was being crushed, like someone was ripping and pulling my vagina apart while at the same time squeezing it in an invisible vice. Even that doesn’t fully portray the pain in which I was feeling in that moment, but it is as close as I can get to an accurate description. The pain was so severe that, I was brought to tears (for those who know me in real life, they know tears are not something I shed easily anymore and especially not for an extended period of time), as endless wave after endless wave of mind-numbing pain assaulted me. I tried in vain to shift positions, to remove my clothing (to no avail as the pain was too much to be able to focus on the task of taking off my clothes, which comprised of leggings and men’s boxer briefs), only to wind curled up on the floor (after falling off my bed while trying to readjust and find a comfortable spot) next to my bed bawling, in agony, and clutching my sides hoping it would end soon. After what felt like an eternity but was much closer to 30-45 minutes the pain finally became to subside, allowing me to crawl back into my bed, remove my leggings, and regain some of my composure. Even now as I write this post nearly 3 hours after the flare-up ended, that pain is an ever present and ever throbbing reminder of the fact that I have endometriosis.

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The pain right now, during the duration of this post, and since the end of that flare up has been cycling between a 4-6, whereas during the flare up the pain was very far off the charts. As the hours creep closer to my ovulation day, I can feel the pain beginning to spread further into my body, around my back, into my buttock, down my legs, filling my abdomen and more. By this time tomorrow, it will become difficult for me to walk as every step is akin to fire coursing through my lower body and with each passing hour, every time I move it will feel like daggers are shredding me up, every graze or touch especially on my buttocks and back of my upper legs will send me through the roof bringing or nearly bringing tears to my eyes from sheer pain, my feet will feel this deep relentless ache that no amount of rubbing will dull. As I said above this pain, is vastly different than the pain I experience during my period in many ways, but most noticeably is the fact that during these flare ups, the pain travels down my entire backside (including my lower back, buttocks, and upper legs,) as well as in my feet, and on the outer parts of my vagina. Usually at this point in the phase, is when the pain starts to climb to become more noticeable until finally it becomes unbearable, however typically while the pain increases each day, it doesn’t really become unbearable until the day before, the day of, and the day after ovulation. The rest of the time, it can ebb and flow between painful, super painful, and excruciating but not fully intolerable.

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Then there is the endo pain outside of a flare up, which is far less severe and far more manageable than the pain experienced during a flare up. This pain serves as a painful beacon shining light on the fact that your body has invaders within it. Even outside of my ovulation and period phase of my cycle and an endo flare up can happened at any time, which makes for not so fun outings. Before I had endometriosis, I thought, I knew what pain was, but man was I WRONG! This pain, even that experienced outside of flare-ups in unlike any pain I have known before. There is no end to it, no such thing a real relief, no cure.

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For the next post, I am going to talk more about intercourse, pleasure, and orgasms with endometriosis. I had planned to touch on it within here, but decided it would be better discussed in its own post.

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Until next time my loves,

As Always I Hope You Have A Magical Day My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses

IMAGE CREDITS: I have no rights to these images and some of them may lead to products, however I am in no way affiliated with the companies or blogs they may lead to.

Image 1: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0jBb3dAoJV/?igshid=1k2yxrj6v0url

Image 2: https://www.google.com/amp/s/anglebaby304.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/please-understand/amp/

Image 3: https://www.google.com/search?q=endometriosis+warrior&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiOsa-iu5PkAhVVMFMKHU6gBzAQ2-cCegQIABAC&oq=endometriosis+war&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-img.1.1.35i39l2j0l2j0i24.3847.8364..9261…0.0..0.125.1916.9j10……0….1………33i299j0i8i30j0i30.RVP4N34OWjQ&ei=tvVcXY7-LdXgzALOwJ6AAw&bih=718&biw=412&client=ms-android-samsung-ss&prmd=ivsn&safe=off&hl=en#imgrc=sq5UY4kAP3VRuM&imgdii=LVXidfcnmyWiIM

Image 4: https://images.app.goo.gl/B44b3HHFgGqCpsep7

Image 5: https://www.theunchargeablesshop.com/products/endo-nftw-sticker)

Image 6: https://images.app.goo.gl/bqXawr8TnjNtyZnJ6

Image 7: https://www.google.com/search?q=endometriosis%20warrior&tbm=isch&hl=en&hl=en&safe=off&safe=off&tbs=rimg%3ACbKuVGOJAD91IkCsDPSn2V0wWdOoxwllWLPpLVXidfcnmyUYqQUEvc8yNTe2JayijTeqWt0NhHLiF01J9puMUtLRAH1koQpx_1d1EKhIJrAz0p9ldMFkReiYLMuoJZ7gqEgnTqMcJZViz6REXOguNwGAoDSoSCS1V4nX3J5slEcw7eEcInP7hKhIJGKkFBL3PMjURtkEx8DKKa6QqEgk3tiWsoo03qhFlulPHnvf9USoSCVrdDYRy4hdNEV2KKd-cTumEKhIJSfabjFLS0QARDM1_1mEjaNGoqEgl9ZKEKcf3dRBE0

Image 8: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1O2KDNgwkZ/?igshid=x6lih1xo25wt

Image 9: https://images.app.goo.gl/tnR1Hy2UzJ1ohxjF6

The Time For My Next Adventure Has Arrived

For those who know me, I tend to be a bit of a modern-day gypsy. By that I mean, every few years I pack up and move to a new location. I am quite fond of my nomadic lifestyle, even though I am quite aware it is not for everyone. For me though, I am not just moving because I feel like it. Ever since I left California, I have found myself searching for a place that felt like home. For a while there, Pennsylvania came close to giving me that feeling I had been seeking. However, after years of bouncing around Bucks County and creating a lot of memories, many of which weren’t so great I was ready to move on. Then I got married, which took me back to Jersey briefly, but the marriage didn’t last for reasons I discuss in a previous post. At that point I was even more done with the East Coast than I had already been. Which meant once again, I was in search of my next place to reside.

A friend of mine whom I had connected with through a manifestation group I had belonged to offered to let me stay with her in Georgia. It was a state that had been on my list to check out, so I decided to give it a shot. However, after a little less than a year my time in Georgia was coming to a close. Back to the search I went, when an old college friend offered to let me stay with them. They were living in Florida which wasn’t a place on my list for so many reasons, but it was that or go back North, which was an even less desirable choice. For most, Florida is a dream state to live, I was never one of those people. Between the weather with its hurricanes and stifling humidity, the fact that it was a tourist state meant lots of people crammed together, lots of traffic, lots of noise, and not a lot of land or room to spread out, it was never a blip on my radar. However, I put my apprehensions and reservations aside and decided to not judge the state until I moved there.

After a long and incredibly exhausting 8-hour drive, I found myself in beautiful Bradenton. Despite the fact that my friend’s condo was about 15 minutes from the beaches and the development was located in pretty much the middle of everything, it was located in a bird sanctuary with gorgeous landscaping. You do however tend to hear quite a bit of the street noise and there aren’t sidewalks for the development, but generally most people pay attention to the pedestrians walking on the roads, so they were minor things. Especially, when I didn’t plan to spend much time indoors with the water so close and a beautiful development to wander. My first hurricane season/summer here was a breeze, which was a very welcomed scenario for me. Yes, it was hot and humid, but wasn’t as unbearable as I had expected, and I spent quite a few days at the beach or at one of the many pools in my development. Weather in Florida is quite special, as it can be bright and sunny one moment then five minutes later downpouring with some thunder and lightning, then back to bright and sunny after another 10 minutes or so. I don’t mind that so much as I love me a good thunderstorm and the rain. My first hurricane season started and to be honest I was quite nervous as I am quite the anxious person. Yet, as hurricane season was winding down, I was shocked as I had experienced worse storms up North. I thought to myself, this wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, my thoughts and perceptions of Florida were shifting. I also understood, this was only one season, but so far, I was pleasantly surprised.

However, that was all about to change when the toxic algae boom RED TIDE grew out of control. For those of you whom have never experienced the incredibly undesirable misfortune that is Red Tide, I will break it down for you. Red tide is a horribly destructive and toxic algae bloom that destroys the delicate ecological system of the ocean and any bodies of water is in. It also smells absolutely foul, especially when you factor in the mass amounts of fish it kills, which wash up on shore and begin to bake and rot in the hot Florida sun. Keep in mind, where we live in Florida we are surround by different bodies of water from the ocean to a few bays, all of which were affected by red tide. Red tide can also be a health hazard for people with everything from rashes caused by swimming in affected waters to breathing issues. For most people, aside from the smell they’re pretty unaffected by red tide. I, however, am not most people which meant that I was pretty much confined to my house. In order to go to the grocery store or walk my dogs (which we tried to keep their walks as short as possible, as we didn’t want them affected either) I had to wear one of those masks’ painters wear. It helped a bit, but I would still find myself coughing with awful headaches anytime I was outdoors. This bloom was also one of the longest and largest in history and decimated much of Florida’s water based ecological systems. It left many of the residents like myself unable to enjoy the outdoors for months. So here I was in what many would consider paradise unable to enjoy it. Eventually, a few months ago the bloom subsided, and we were able to enjoy the outdoors again. Or so I thought, first came the nearly unbearable heat which I had already been expecting, then came the multiple cases of people contracting and some dying from a flesh-eating bacteria from our waters. Once again, I find myself unable to enjoy the outdoors because I am not taking any chances with contracting anything like that. Generally, so long as you don’t have open cuts or wounds you should be fine, but people who have compromised immune systems are far more susceptible and the bacteria isn’t always transferred through any cuts or wounds.

When you also factor, that like most southern states Florida is a very deep red state regarding politics, I am reaching my point of being done with Florida and ready to move onto my next destination. It’s beautiful here, but definitely not where I want to reside for much longer.

While I will always maintain a bit of my nomadic gypsy lifestyle, I am really starting to search for a place to settle down, to set roots, to call home for many years. I will have a bus that I will be converting to a tiny house, when I wish to travel and experience all the beauty and culture this country has to offer, but now it is time to find my forever state and town. Currently, Oregon is leading my list as it finally brings me back to the West coast which is where my heart will always reside to some degree. Yet, California is quite expensive, especially when my desire for a decent amount of land is factored in. I also never want to be landlocked as I love being within a few hours of the ocean. Oregon, while yes it can be quite expensive, they have more of what I am looking for than just about any other coastal state. The weather is far more tolerable yearly than any of my previous locations, they have quite the massive organic and self-sustainability community, tend to be a relatively blue state in regards to politics, have tons to do outdoors, a huge smattering of adorable small towns and activities, and quite a bit more to offer. All in all, I feel that Oregon is going to be the fit I have been seeking.

Now the goal is to save up money from my vinyl craft business I will be starting soon then to Oregon I go. 

 

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddess and Gods,

I Hope You Have A Magical Day!

Shattering Societal Norms and Expectations

Earlier today I got to talking with a very good friend of mine about societal expectations vs reality, especially for those of us whose lives dwell somewhere on the mental health spectrum. We specifically were touching on work and sleep patterns, how society expects us to be one way, but how we are creating and living life on our own terms, in a way that not only works for us as people, but also within the confines and limitations of our mental health. Society has very strong opinions about how people should live their lives, we see it reflected every day in movies, media, posts online, within our families, and beyond.

For some they are in the mindset that having a college degree automatically sets you up for success, that somehow that degree makes you smarter, better, more reliable. However, for those of us with mental health, college may not always be the best avenue for success. Between the pressure and expenses of college, it can become very overwhelming very quickly. I am in no way knocking college nor am I denying the benefits of having a college degree, but rather saying a degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee you success. Several of my friends have various college degrees across many subjects, but few of them actually work in the fields in which they have those degrees for. Instead, they have mountains of debt, but are unable to enter their desired field due to various factors such as a lack of the necessary experience, an over saturation of prospects vs positions available, and more. Then there are those who work within their desired fields, but it is not enough to make ends meet, or they are working so much, they have little time for a life outside their jobs. I tried the college thing a few years ago, but mentally I wasn’t in the place to be dealing with the stress that comes from college. A part of me would love to go back to school, but the money required is a major hindrance for me, as I already have an exuberant amount of medical debt, as well as a lack of consistent income which I will touch on later in this post. Times are far different than when our grandparents or even our parents pursued higher education, as the cost of living and tuition have gone up significantly while the minimum wage hasn’t risen enough to account for the rise of expenses of everyday life

For others, they have the mindset if you are not working a full-time job, you are lazy, you are a plight on society, you are worthless. Yet, for those of us with health conditions, and even those without, there are a plethora of reasons for why we may not be working. For myself, and others who live with mental health and/or chronic illnesses, we are unable to work full time or even part time hours. Many of us have to rely on friends or family to survive, use programs such a SNAP/Welfare (which comes with its own strong opinions from society, we will touch on this later), or we have to start our own companies or get creative with ways to make money. I did the working full-time thing, for quite a while, I was even working 2 jobs at one point, but was still hardly able to afford my bills and worse I was putting my health in serious danger. Eventually after pushing myself so hard, after putting my health on the bottom of my list, I broke. I found myself in my mid 20s physically and emotionally broken and unable to work. I tried to apply for disability, since I live with severe mental health, but was denied more times than I could count. Despite having a lawyer and years’ worth of proof, they still kept denying me. I also applied for programs like SNAP and state insurance, but that only covered groceries and left me less than desirable options for doctors. That didn’t help me with my regular expenses like shampoo, conditioner, rent, etc. Then there were the comments and the looks you get anytime you pulled out your EBT card. People would scoff, they would call me lazy, they would say that I am abusing the system, they would tell me to just get a job like everyone else. So many more comments were made, but you get the idea. Then there are those who want to or even are able to work, but there are no jobs available for them. To which most people respond with, “Just move to an area with jobs,” yet they fail to grasp the fact that moving is expensive and it isn’t always a viable option.

Since, I stopped working in the manner in which society expects me to work, I have bounced from one work from home job/idea to another, with little to no success. I have had idea after idea for ways to create income, for businesses to start. I have even tried starting a few businesses but have once again have little to no success. You see, when for those of us who live with mental health or any chronic illness, we live life by a whole different set of rules. The never-ending struggle and battle is to find/create a job that works for us on both a monetary level, but also within the limitations our health conditions places upon us. To the outside observer, I may look flaky and unreliable, I may look flighty, I may look like I am unmotivated, or even lazy. Yet, few realize how hard I am working to create consistent income. Few take the time to understand, that each of these ideas, each of these attempts, each of these businesses are my efforts to create income. While they may fail or it may seem like I give up too quickly or easily, that is rarely the case. I have lived with my health for long enough and spent far too long getting myself to a more stable place emotionally and physically to risk my progress for a job/company that will ultimately do more harm than good. Initially the idea, may seem viable, but as time progresses, I may come to the conclusion that for one reason or another it isn’t actually as viable as I had hoped, predicted, or expected it to be.

For those of you, who wish to comment something along the lines of, “just suck it up and stick to something,” as I said above, I REFUSE to risk my well-being for money. I did that before, and it nearly cost me my life. I vowed to myself I would never do that, I would never put myself in those sorts of situations, I would never put money above my health. That, however, doesn’t mean I am giving up on creating consistent income either, as anyone who knows me, knows that I have an abundance of ideas for creating enough income to give me the financial independence I seek. I will exhaust every idea until I find one that works for me. There are also those who think, I am okay with my life like this, that I just sit on my ass all day doing nothing. Yet they do not understand how hard it can be to just get out of bed some days, they do not see the massive amounts of work I am doing on myself, on my health, on so many things. Many fail to realize just how exhausting life is with mental health, or even how much work it is to function more days. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, THIS IS NOT THE LIFE I ENVISIONED FOR MYSELF, NOR AM I HAPPY WITH HAVING TO RELY SO HEAVILY ON OTHERS. What people do not see is the hours spent on my computer writing, working on business ideas, researching viable work from home jobs, working on myself and my health, growing, and more. Every single day I work towards my goals, even if some days they are small steps, even if I get knocked back several steps, even if I fail at one idea, I refuse to give up.

For others they have the mindset that if you sleep all day, once again you must be lazy, yet for many of us, especially once again with mental health ailments, sleep quite frequently alludes us. For many of us, like myself nighttime is when we are most active or when many of our diseases are at their worst depending upon the day. I personally have tried just about every remedy, idea, medication, and solution out there for getting consistent sleep, but sleep still alludes me a lot of days. I am far from lazy, but insomnia has always been a massive issue for me. For years, I have tried to force myself to get on a more “regular” or “acceptable” sleep schedule, to absolutely no avail. It may work for a few weeks or even a few months, but eventually I revert back to my wonky schedule. Most nights, I was/am lucky if I get an hour of sleep, which is spread throughout the night, depending upon the day. A few months back, I decided to stop fighting my sleep schedule, to give myself permission to find a sleep pattern that works for me, society be damned. Let me tell you, that was the best decision I have ever made. While, I may be sleeping my day away according to some, I am getting real consistent and restorative sleep for the first time in my life. By allowing myself to go with the flow of what works for me I am no longer fighting sleep, I am no longer forcing it. I find myself falling asleep easier and staying asleep. This is not to say there are not days where I still struggle either, but I am getting more sleep than I have had previously. Small steps in the right direction are something I will always take. Part of this is due to discovering a new CBD which helps to manage my pain, anxiety, PTSD and other health ailments while I sleep, but part of it is also due to allowing my body to work at its own schedule. Here’s a little fact for you as well, for those of us who are considered “night owls,” this is not on accident, but rather a leftover biological response to the times of cavemen. Back during those times, we had to have someone watching the village/livestock/family 24/7 to prevent attacks from others, from predators, etc. For those of us who find we work better during the night, we never fully evolved out of that mindset, that need to be awake to protect. While my sleep schedule may not be societally acceptable it is a schedule that works for me, far better than anything I have ever tried, and for me that is more important than anything.

Far too many years of my life, far too many days, far too many nights, were wasted worrying about what others thought, were wasted trying to fit within the limiting societal expectations, molds, and boxes. I spent so much time risking my health, my life, my peace of mind, and more trying to be what everyone wanted me to be. Little by little, I started fighting against those expectations, I started breaking free of the mold, I started making myself the priority. Over time, I have started caring a whole lot less about what people think of me, what they say about me, what they expect of me, and a hell of a lot more about what works for me, about what is right for me, about putting my health and well-being first and foremost. I’ve stopped trying to justify myself, the way I live my life to others, because quite frankly, I just don’t see the need in it. I still try to educate people, but I no longer take what they say or think so personally. I think that is the most difficult thing for all of us, but especially those with invisible, chronic, or mental health ailments. There is something incredibly freeing about not caring though.

As always my Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses/Gods,

I hope you have a magical day!

They Can’t Silence US

Let us get one thing crystal fucking clear here, all these new abortion laws are not about the baby, they’re about controlling women. If it were really about the baby (which at the time when most abortions are performed, it is still a clump of cells. And the times when it is a baby, there are life threatening medical reasons behind it. Don’t even bother trying to change my mind on that fact either. Abortion is not murder.) then the very same people who are advocating for and supporting these laws wouldn’t be defending or turning a blind eye to the detention centers, concentration camps, cages (pick whichever term you prefer to use) holding migrant children in deplorable conditions. I don’t give a fuck if they came here illegally, they’re CHILDREN and still HUMAN BEINGS. Those who support these abhorrent laws and actions always have some bullshit and/or antiquated excuse for their disgraceful and despicable behavior. However, those excuses do not change the facts. But I digress, this post isn’t about the migrant children, although don’t get me wrong, I am furious that it is even happening and have plans for a possible post about it.

As I was saying, these abortion laws are about control, they are about taking the body autonomy away from women, about keeping us in line, about trying to silence our voices. Gone are the days when women were quiet and meek. Gone are the days where a woman’s sole purpose and job in life was to stay home, cook, clean, and raise a family, because more and more women become focused on their careers, on bettering themselves and their lives with each passing year. I am in no way knocking the women who do want or choose that life either, as being a stay at home mom/caretaker/homemaker is a full time job in and of itself. Gone are the days where women are buying into the We must compete with one another mindset and it is instead being replaced with a much healthier mindset focused on helping, inspiring, and rising together. Gone are the days where women hide their sexuality or feel shame for being beautiful baddass sexual beings. Gone are the days where women accept having to fear for their life as normal.

No longer are we willing to stay silent, while our male counterparts make more money than us, based solely on the fact that they have a penis. No longer are we willing to sit back while other people make decisions about bodies and what we can and cannot do with them. No longer are we willing to stay silent after someone sexually assaults us, after someone abuses us, after someone takes away our safety. No longer will these “Boys will be boys” “But he has such a bright future” “What were you wearing?” “Were you drunk or high?” “Did you explicitly say no?” “But you were fine with sex initially” “That’s just how it is” and the plethora of other asinine misogynistic excuses and bullshit we have been told throughout the years to justify their behavior. No longer are we willing to hide our strength, our weirdness, our independence.

There has been an awakening, which was started many years ago when women marched for our rights to vote. That awakening is continuing through 2019 with movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp, #WomensReality, #WhyIDidntReportIt, #HeForShe and a whole fuckton of others, all centered around Feminism, around shedding light on the struggles, traumas, prejudices, and harsh realities women face each day. These movements have been met with backlash from those who wish to silence us, those who wish to control us, those who seek to return us to the kitchens, those who feel their power slipping away. But we cannot be silenced anymore. We have found our voices, we have found our strength, we have found our power. We will not back down, we will continue to RISE, we will continue to fight, we will continue to share our stories. We will continue to call out our attackers, our bosses who pay us less, those who let rapists and abusers get off without any real repercussions, anyone who tries to control or silence us.

I used to think the word Feminist and Feminism were bad words, but now I proudly proclaim that I am a Feminist and I do believe in Feminism. We are not seeking to destroy men, but rather seeking to be treated as equals, we are seeking justice for the wrongs done against us, we are seeking respect.