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My existence is starting to feel whole

I’ve been struggling to figure out what to write about until I realized, that my existence feels whole today.

My belly is filled with yummy beef jerky and coffee – an almost disgusting enough combination to work, my home is warm and filled with the sweet scent of candle and incense, and my heart is just as full for so many reasons today.

I think they call this feeling gratitude, and I realized that it is in part because of the people who read this website, who follow me on social media and the ones who exist outside my immediate location.

There are so many wonderful people in the world, take my friend Annie for instance. She posts beautiful photos online, each night she signs off on twitter, and yet as lovely as she is, she is constantly hounded by negativity on social media. I am grateful she exists, because she reminds me to take a moment and gaze at beauty when I get the chance.

My friend Ben, who I don’t really know all that well, but who reminds me to laugh at myself when weird shit happens around me, and who is genuinely interested in my experience.

I didn’t realize how much I needed Heather in my life until recently. I actually struggled with whether or not to reach out to her because she seemed so unapproachable at first, until I learned from her, that the reason I wasn’t reaching out was because I was afraid of my own fears. I conquered that fear, reached out and made a brand new seriously true friend who I work with each week on After Abuse Chat.

These people matter to me, and it confounds me that people think that social media friends aren’t really friends, because honestly I don’t know where I would be without them.

There are a lot of people like this, who have in small ways and big ways, reminded me that I deserve to be happy, that I deserve to be loved and they do it simply by existing in the same timeline on the same planet that I do.

It’s strange how that works don’t you think? We never really stop to realize how important someone’s very existence matters until we lose them. We don’t take time to look at someone and say “dude, I’m really glad you’re alive.” But these people, these social media friends, have taught me how important it is to do that.

I am learning that I do need people, but it’s the kind of people that I am choosing to surround myself with that has changed, as much as I desperately want to hang on to the old I am realizing that it’s okay to let go.

Someone told me recently, to let go of the pain, and that hit such a high note with me because I have been holding onto pain for so long that trying to let go sends me into a spiraling panic attack that is really difficult to pull myself out of.

Looking around my room and my life I am realizing that I am missing a lot of time, days and moments have vanished from my brain, and now appear in much different ways than when I was actually experiencing them. I am feeling myself grow into a brand new version of myself and while I’m sure it’s not the final version, it feels the most honest that I’ve ever been with myself.

It’s a mentally healthier version of myself that doesn’t mind breaking down in the middle of a meditation, it’s the kind of version that knows I can be incredibly lazy and utterly terrified of change…even when that, and especially when that change is for the better.

I am acknowledging these things about myself with acceptance, while simultaneously allowing myself to feel ashamed, for a short period of time, because I know that being ashamed of that shame only makes the feeling ashamed worse.

I accept that being ashamed is a part of my journey right now, and while I actively am looking for ways to overcome that shame, I have to acknowledge that it exists in ways it didn’t used to.

Part of this is growing older, these realizations, but a great deal of it is because of the people who reminded me that I deserve to be loved and happy.

Namely and most above all others, my Krisya Ohana…my spiritual family that comes from all over the world and have a million different experiences under their belt.

In my twenties moments of “de ja vu” sent me down a weird freak out panic attack spiral, these days I just accept that I have probably experienced a certain moment before. I have decided these moments are reminders that I know how to deal with any situation that may come up because I’ve done it before.

A Girl who didn’t used to shy away from talking publicly feels strange sharing her story today, a woman who understands how to help other victims and survivors of abuse is learning what it feels like to really understand what being a survivor means.

I am learning as I grow that I am a capable woman, but I am re-learning things that I thought I already knew, like how to keep a room clean. I used to think that if you clean things once they stayed clean, I’ve learned over the last two years that’s not actually true…I just am used to having someone do it for me.

I’m very privileged, and I am only just now learning, with having a serious lack of personal funds, what it means to have to do things for myself, and it’s fucking hard.

It’s both hard for me to clean my house, and to let go of the dirt, because I am so used to being surrounded by clutter that as good as a clean house feels, getting there feels overwhelming and incredibly difficult.

I didn’t used to have to clean my house, and because I just didn’t care…but I care now because I spend most of my time here, I want it to be comfortable, and yet at the same time two days ago the thought of having to sort everything out sent me into a panic attack.

Years ago I would have just chocked that up to being lazy and selfish, but really it’s a system shock. It’s understanding that I don’t actually have to live in the clutter, I can change and put the work in…it also means understanding that I’m not a leader right now.

I’m not fit to lead in the outside world so I am having to relearn things that like I said I already know how to do.

The truth is no one taught me how to clean, my mom was always at work, and somehow kept the house clean as well….I just went about my life. When she stopped cleaning I stopped noticing how bad things were getting often until it was too late and too depressing to think about.

Now that I am staring -again- at my clean dining room and almost clean kitchen, I want to actually work to put the steps in to keeping it that way, and as I learned from Kristen Bell, to just do the next right thing.

One moment at a time is a lot easier to deal with than big huge gaps of time that become worrisome overwhelming events. I can deal with one moment at a time.  I can do that because I’ve had and continue to have good inspiring people that I learn from…so my question is who taught you to take one moment at a time? who gave you the tips tricks and skills you needed to survive your moments?

Let me know in the comments below.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall


It’s A Hard Knock Life…For A Brown Girl

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