There is growth in the comfort zone

A few months ago, I was listening to a talk on growth. There was a quote that said: “There is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone”. The more I thought I thought about it, the more I disputed this idea.

It’s important to get out of you comfort zone. There is a lot to learn and experience, hence the growth. But if you are someone like me, that has been housebound for years, this idea sounded toxic and detrimental to people who are living in their comfort zone.

In my opinion, there is growth in the comfort zone. Growth and healing. You can read, do self-care and evolve while being there. I’ve been in that place for many years and I have grown. In my case, the comfort zone is not a paradise. There’s a lot of self-analysis and suffering. You can really have insights on your life.

It’s okay to be in your comfort zone. You probably need as you’re healing. There is much to be gained there. In my case, I was out of my comfort zone for many years until it broke me. There’s this feeling I have that I must recover before venturing out to the real world and facing different challenges.

Seeing a therapist is also a good way to grow. You may be mainly in your comfort zone but therapy will help you to overcome that and some of it will be uncomfortable and hard. From that comes growth as well.

If you need to heal, if you’re suffering from depression, don’t feel guilty to stay in that zone. Growth takes many forms and, as you heal, you are evolving. Never forget that.

What are your thoughts on this?

Picture by StockSnap, courtesy of Pixabay

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How to deal with New Year’s Eve when you feel you haven’t accomplished anything in the passing year

Every New Year’s Eve, some people go out and have fun. Others stay at home, celebrating with friends or family. It’s an exciting time, another year has ended. You look back at what you did that year, all you overcame, all the struggles, good days, bad days and experiences. Not everyone does this, of course. Some just want to drink and do substances, it’s an excuse to get high and there’s not much to think about. They choose to become numb (among those, some still evaluate the year that is passing because people are more complex and diverse than we sometimes tend to think).

When you spent the whole year alone and depressed; not leaving your house or accomplishing anything that is important, in the eyes of society, it’s easy to feel very down during the celebrations.

I remember my 2011 NYE. I was very down, frustrated and suicidal. I was celebrating with my family but I wasn’t actually there. I was far, far away in a planet of despair and self-pity, thinking to myself “I’m a loser, a disgrace and a failure”. I smiled buty heart was dark and unhappy.

In the next year, I wasn’t suicidal but the dark thoughts were there. I had accomplished nothing, my life was going nowhere. I was just succeeding at being depressed and a complete mess. It was a self-pity party again. I started to hate the progression of the year. In January, I felt like I could turn my life around, made plans and had expectations. As the year went by, plans failed and everything was the same as it had been in the previous years. Spring and summer made me a bit happier, as I love those seasons. Then September came, all the sorrow and existential dread would come back. The end of the year was approaching and my life was still the same.

This year, as summer was ending, I started to feel a bit uneasy. Next thing you know, it’s Halloween and Christmas. Boom, a new year starts and, alas, nothing was done.

I started to feel differently about it. I feel like I’ve come so far, even if I’m not in school or employed. I got my family back, live an harmonious life and I quit weed. The blog is also something to be proud of l. I’ve done 300+ posts so far and exercised my writing skills. Met wonderful people, read beautiful and witty posts. Experimented with poetry and got good feedback. Made great online friends that love and support me.

It’s nothing for most people but I feel like this is big. It means that I’m slowly recovering and that I will be able to do much more in the future. Baby steps are steps nonetheless.

It also makes me think that, if I can see things in such a positive light nowadays (not always but I’m progressively feeling better about myself), maybe depression is in remission. It’s great and it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I feel closer to the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel.

2018 will be the first year in a long time where I will have a happy NYE. There won’t be fake happiness, it will be real.

I want to tell you all: all of you who struggle with depression, BPD, agoraphobia, whatever you struggle with; don’t compare yourself to your peers or what society says you should do. Focus on your baby steps and don’t disregard your accomplishments, no matter how small you feel they are. You are progressing, recovering and improving yourself. Enjoy yourself in NYE and remember to evaluate 2018; look at it from a distance and see how you can grow even more. I know this is easier said than done, believe me. Different perspectives are important, so maybe this piece can help you think a bit more positively and help you with NYE blues.

Image by nickgesell, courtesy of Pixabay.

Daily repetition

Every day, we repeat actions. Shower, brush teeth, brush our hair, eat and many more things. There’s something about repetition that is assuring. It provides us with stability and structure.

When you are depressed, it becomes tiresome and difficult. Everything is a struggle. That’s how I feel about it now and that repetition bothers me. It’s something that I can’t avoid and that is good for me but I reject it. Its boring, repetitive nature makes me want to quit doing everything, which is impossible. Makes me think that the creator of everything, God ( be it nature or theist), could’ve designed things differently. Most people don’t question this and, to be honest, I wish I didn’t. But I question everything, that’s the way it is.

I have to think that things were much harder a century ago. Designers, engineers and scientists help people us do things in an easier way and I’m very thankful for them. They make the world a better and less complicated place.

In my corner of the world, things are stable. At least, in my life. That comforts me but I always think that something terrible is about to happen. Something that will change our lives dramatically. I fear that wars are about to start but I try to stay positive. Enjoying the present moment is essential. It’s the best time there’s ever been and it can be even better if the people in power don’t ruin it. Like Freddie Mercury sang, “this could be heaven for everyone”.

Things need to be maintained, taken care of. We must feed our pets and clean up after them. Clean the house and ourselves. Read articles to be informed. Do our beds and fold clothes. I wish I saw this in a more natural light and not as something that I don’t like. Well, I like reading articles and a few other things that I do each day, the more creative, the better.

Writing can be an escape from reality. There’s no repetition (unless we want to add rythm). It’s important to sculpt each poem, each text as no one else has. A wide array of vocabulary enriches and adds value to what we write. No one wants to bore people. We want to use our creativity to add to people’s lives. Make people think outside the box and see things from a different perspective. Different points of view are so important. I just love to read things that provide me with a different perspective. I feel enlightened afterwards, like I can see further and better. The world is so complex that it needs different perspectives to be better understood. I don’t like superficial characterizations of subjects. They always lack vital information.

What do you think about repetition? Does it bother you or are you used to it?

Image by 1A-Photoshop, courtesy of Pixabay.

The Red Pill documentary and my views on men’s issues

Feminism is a mainstream movement that I’ve been interested in for many years. I empathize with women’s struggles but I recently started looking at men’s issues, too. In my opinion, it’s important for feminists to look into what is happening with men. It’s important to hear other perspectives, in order to have a more clear perspective.

This documentary is 1 hour and 57 minutes long and it’s very thorough. A must-watch for people who want to know more about the men’s rights movement. The documentary’s director interviews many prominent men’s rights activists but I think it paints a rosey picture of what they are. Just like radical feminists have misandry, they are misogynistic. I disagree with both perspectives. There should be a middle ground. If we want to end stereotypes, we must end them for men and women. Not just replace them with biased stereotypes that actively harm people.

The biggest problem that I see nowadays is that people live in echo chambers. It’s important to be around like minded individuals, there’s a sense of belonging and we can discuss issues that affect us. As everything, it has its downside. We lack other perspectives that could further our comprehension of the world. I see people on Facebook basically preaching to the choir, blocking and berating people with different perspectives. I don’t do that anymore because I value other points of view. My feed isn’t a safe space that coddles to my views and I’m okay with it.

I can now see both sides and be more fair. Men have it hard as well, they are also oppressed. In this system, we are all oppressed. That white male privilege view does not correspond to the truth. Workplace deaths are disproportionately male. Completed suicides are also mostly male and war deaths, too. There’s also custody issues, where there’s a bias that benefits women. I understand where it comes from: women are natural caregivers of children, they bear them and take care of them since prehistory. What I ask is: is it fair? It’s not fair when men that are more suited and willing to be care givers are overlooked. The system should look at individual cases and assess them without bias. It harms fathers and children. Not all women are natural caregivers as they are abusive.

That’s another thing that bothers me. The whole narrative that women are the sole victims of domestic violence. Women can be as abusive as men. Both men and women can suffer from childhood abuse and trauma, which leads them to be abusive adults. Men are shamed and not encouraged to report domestic violence against them. People joke about it and don’t understand how that can happen. “Men are stronger than women”. Yes, they are but they may not have the capability to stop a woman when they are being attacked. The woman can throw things at him, stab them. There are a number of ways that a man can be victimized. Men’s shelters for domestic violence are a rarity and that is not fair. 1 in 4 men are victims of domestic violence but it’s not really talked about. There’s an inherent shame and men usually keep it to themselves.

That’s another problem that men face. They are taught not to cry and be strong. They are taught to keep things to themselves and push through. It is important that we encourage men and boys to be open about their issues. There’s also this notion that women are emotional by nature and men aren’t. Being emotional is seen as a handicap and a sign of weakness. I believe that it’s the opposite. Being in touch with our feelings and being able to cry and express them is a strength. Men repress feelings all too often, like they’re some sort of malfunction and something to be avoided. This is toxic and harms them.

The director of the documentary proclaims in the end that she is no longer a feminist. I see where she comes from but I still see myself as a feminist, after watching the documentary. I’m just not a feminist that fits into the mold and what is expected of one. We still need to fight for our rights, especially in third world countries. That’s where the biggest injustices lie. Western societies are now more fair but there are still issues that must be faced. I feel for women that live in third world countries. There’s been a lot of advancements in activism and that makes me hopeful.

I believe men’s rights activists should have a platform as feminists do but I don’t believe that hate speech against women should be a part of it. As I don’t believe that misandry should be encouraged. In my opinion, there’s a lot of traumatized people in both movements. Men and women that have been victimized by partners, family members and others. Our experiences shape how see the world and that leads us to believe in things that are not true. Not all men are predators or violent. There are some good, caring and understanding men out there. They deserve compassion, too.

Also, I agree that women are protected in some issues but I don’t believe that they have it better than men. When you’re a man and you know your own struggles, it’s easy to believe that women have it better. I believe that both genders are equally disavantaged.

Men should fight for their rights and they could learn a thing or two about it by looking at feminists. We came from not being able to vote and many other things, to being empowered and have many rights granted. It’s time for men to fight. They need to be heard, too.

Image by Free-Photos, courtesy of Pixabay.

Suicide is not selfish or cowardly

I am hurting, crying. The pain is immense and overwhelming. He was such a loyal and caring friend. A dreamer and an idealist. I knew him for 18 years. One of my oldest friends.

I can’t stand when people say that suicide is cowardice and for weak people. My friend was not weak or a coward. He was just hurting in a way that we didn’t understand. I have absolutely no respect for people who say those things. How low it is to feel superior to someone who die in such tragic ways. “I would never do it”, “It’s the easy way out”. Please, shut up. Seriously, shut up. Those words are heartless and completely unnecessary. Walk a mile in their shoes and then talk. Those are the real cowards. Bad mouthing the dead. Invalidating someone’s feelings and desperation. I have heard it in person. Some guys were laughing about a suicide, mocking the person who died. I was disgusted and I voiced my disgust. I will never shut up if you say such things in my face. I will forever defend people who can no longer defend themselves.

They care too much, think too much and feel too much. They are tortured souls, like me. But medication, therapy and my support system keep me alive. I will forever be thankful for that. Not everyone has that, it’s a privilege. So I understand the ones that can’t make it. How hard it is to deal with life at times. Life can be cruel and senseless. Life can be surreal. It doesn’t make you weak or a coward, just human. Suffering and pain can affect tremendously. It twists your perception. Those who have never been suicidal or attempted suicide will never understand.

I love and miss you, J. I thought we would be friends for many years. You wanted a family and kids. You had so much to give to the world.

Image by pasja1000, courtesy of Pixabay.