Letting Go Over & Over Again Until There's No More Going Back

August 13, 2019

It's been a while since I've written a personal update. It's been 2 months since I've actually written a blog post. I think I find it easier to blog when I'm sad and I haven't been sad enough apparently. Things are going well. I'm inspired, I'm getting to know myself, my new and improved self. I can tell I'm slowly falling in love. I can feel my self acceptance is growing and how all the healing is making me glow from the inside out. I'm still afraid, a lot of the times, and I hold onto old coping mechanisms but the process of letting go has been easier. I'm letting go over and over again until I no longer feel the need to go back. I've changed a lot in the past 6 months. I project less, I take care of myself in social situations, I'm more confident and I don't take what people say to heart anymore. The way I speak has changed also. I'm now in a phase where I can clearly tell what old me would have said or done and where new and improved me carefully chooses her words and expresses her opinions.

But here I am -  I'm finally sad enough to be making a little sneaky come back on my beautiful website, how convenient. I've just returned from my holidays and I've been feeling down ever since. I'd like to write that I'm having a little down period - with the emphasis on little, but that is not true. I wrote about coping with the holiday blues last year, so I won't get into that again but I'd like to update you all on some things that have been going on in my life, good and bad. Although I've been doing great mental health wise, that doesn't mean shit hasn't hit the fan behind the scenes. I think I've levelled up in the way I cope with whatever challenges have been thrown at me - and I've become less of a sharer. I don't talk about what happens anymore because it riles people up, unnecessarily so. People think it's about them when it's not, so I've been focusing my energy on other things such as learning to set boundaries and not feeling bad when I express a need.

I recently figured out why my therapist doesn't like it when I lie, both about stupid and important things. It's because whenever I do lie, I avoid setting a boundary. I lied again recently. I didn't want to attend my father's birthday. To give a little bit of a back story, I haven't seen my father in 4 years. He handled his divorce so poorly that it was the perfect excuse for me to stop speaking to him entirely. I said I was on holiday which wasn't true, I would already have been back for 2 days at that point, which to be honest isn't actually enough of a recovery period for me to be meeting a person again that I've been passionately avoiding. I did RSVP by email and I did set a boundary then - but I probably should have just said I didn't want to go and why. After giving it some thought, I realised that my father doesn't know why I'm not speaking to him and neither does the person he lives with, who sent me the invite. Did you notice how I used the word excuse earlier? It's not the divorce that's the problem or the reason why I've cut him (or my mother) out of my life, it's my entire childhood. If only both my parents had actually addressed their demons when they should have, I probably would have had a very different life. I've been in therapy for 3 years because of this and I'm grateful for therapy but childhood trauma is something I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. Anyway, let's be honest here, celebrations are absolutely a breeding ground for unresolved feelings and family disputes so it was a firm no from me. I also don't have good memories of my father at parties, so there's that. I wish him well but from a distance. I want to see growth, understanding, healing and responsibility. Time is not enough. Time can help, true, but if you don't actively try to work on yourself there's really no point. My time is precious and I want to spend it with people who not only respect me but respect themselves. My fear is that our relationship would go back to the way it was: where boundaries aren't respected and where assumptions are taken as facts.

Even though my stress levels did reach an all time high during the Summer holidays my acne has finally subsided. I haven't had great skin in a while so I'm very much enjoying wearing less makeup and being less conscious about what I look like. I quit drinking a beer every day and saw great improvement. I'm not a person who drinks juice or soda or tons of coffee or tea, I like to drink water and a beer in the evening, turns out that beer has been aggravating my skin. I'm drinking wine now, I'm curious to see how that will work out for me. My skin care routine is expensive,  a lot of cheaper drugstore items break me out instantly. I'm very fortunate as a blogger to be able to work with companies, such as Pixi by Petra, that make some great skin care products but I have been wondering how much money I would save if I simply went back on birth control. I quit taking the pill a couple years back and initially didn't have any issues - now I have all the hormonal acne the universe has to provide. I'm assuming it's hormonal acne because it's all in the t-zone. My skin care routine is ruining my bank account but it's either that or taking medicine every day or having a medical device implanted. I'm honestly not sure if any of that is worth it. I have so much trauma that I carry around in my body already. When I talk about it with my partner, also he is a bit wary. He very much remembers how much I struggled when I was on the pill. I have accepted, to some extent now, that I have acne but it's still hard. I just want to feel good, be a good person, be a good bunny mom.

When I think about how much joy Chloé, my free roam rabbit, has brought into my life I can do nothing but smile. She's so cute and loving and just so happy. Sometimes she flops over like 100 times a day which in bunny language means she's super content. I've said this before but I still can't believe there's a rabbit running around in my home. We recently had to bring her to the vet because my boyfriend had accidentally stepped on her foot, thankfully everything is fine. She's also been vaccinated again and has another appointment at the end of the year to check up on her teeth. Chloé doesn't like her vet appointments. I think it's the travelling to and from the clinic that stresses her out most so I'm looking to get her a better carrier that is more suitable for her needs. I'm really grateful that we found a great house sitter to take care of her while we were on holiday. I didn't want to board her because it would entail more traveling and she is a bunny that is way more comfortable staying at home so a house sitter it was. I'm glad it went so smooth. She was super relaxed and happy when we came back. I think she made a new friend. I'm always worried when leaving her with a stranger, I think anyone is when they leave their pet in someone else's care. When looking for a petsitter I always look for someone who spends a lot of time at home. People who either work from home, stay at home or study. Chloé isn't used to being by herself and I wouldn't want her to be by herself, ever. My boyfriend and I often talk about getting another rabbit but it's not possible in our apartment. We never planned on having a pet in this home in the first place. Chloé was going to be returned to the pet shop by her previous owner and since we had the means and the space to take care of her we immediately went to pick her up. I think she's a happy bunny but I'd love for her to be happier. I would also like to get back to work at some point and I probably won't have the time to train another house bunny when I'm working so I'd like to do all of that when I'm still at home.

I often speak about how I want to go back to work. I want to be financially independent, I want to move to a newer and bigger apartment. I want Chloé to a have bunny boyfriend. I want to pay bills, I want to save more, travel more. I want more. I find it sad that I'm still consumed by self doubt, I doubt my capabilities. I also don't know where to look for a job, or how to. Whether I should maybe go back to school. I've had people offering to help but the way they go about it sounds absolutely terrifying, unhealthy and dismissive about my needs. I don't want to throw myself into the deep end. I don't want things to be like they were before. I want to grow when I work, not dig myself deeper into a hole. I don't know what to do to be honest. I'm almost 30 and even though I have worked hard throughout my life, I've never had to deal with a lot of paper work or colleagues. I'm comfortable at home as a SAHG now. I finally book my own doctor's appointments, I'm no longer afraid of home deliveries, of sharing with others why exactly I don't work and haven't in years. I go to the hairdresser, I go out by myself more often, I book concerts and organise dinner parties. I wasn't able to do any of that a couple years back. Even though I don't have a solid plan yet to go back to work I think that this is one of the main reasons why I have been less active on my socials.

Blogging and vlogging was something I did to cope with the ups and downs of depression, it was something I did to survive. Filming videos for my Youtube channel every week and uploading makeup reviews - it all stopped as soon as I started therapy 3 years ago. I'm a different person now. A healthy person that wants to live and that wants to enjoy life. I sometimes wonder what kind of a blogger I could have been if I wouldn't have been so ill. I used to dream of being a successful influencer and even though I am definitely successful in my own beautiful way, being an influencer full time is no longer one of my goals. The social media scene has been really tough on bloggers. Instagram recently cut down everyone's reach again another 10%, which explains why my photos no longer reach 100 likes even though I have over 1000 followers. When I did a poll asking what people liked to use Instagram for - watching the stories is what came up on top, so that is what I've been focussing on mainly on my Instagram profile. It's frustrating how no one but bloggers seem to understand the importance of engagement. The more engagement you have the more reach you have. Meaning, the more people interact with your content, the more your photos will show up in other users's feeds. It's not fun to post a photo on a 'social' platform when no one will be able to see it, not even the people who actually chose to follow your content. A good example to compare this to is Youtube not showing all of your subscriptions. Or imagine placing an online order but not receiving your parcel in the mail. That's what it's like, you don't see our content even though you signed up for it, by pressing the follow button. Everyone gets mad when they don't receive their online orders, right? So why blame bloggers for supposedly making boring or outdated content? I guess there is some truth to that as well but many bloggers who are very talented and who have worked hard to build a following aren't getting any likes on their photos either. Social media is weird. I've tried to stop caring about the likes and one way to do that is to post less, sadly enough, but that's okay. Times change, people get older, Instagram will get old at some point. I'm sure another trend will make it to the surface soon and it will all be fun and games again.

I hope you enjoyed this rather long update. Some of the photos in this post are snaps from my birthday trip to Paris, I wanted to share those memories with you. I had a great time on that city trip. Also my holiday in Pisa, Italy, was absolutely wonderful. I've missed blogging but I'm not going to pressure myself. Feel free to leave a little life update of your own in the comments, tell me what you have been up to. I'd love to spend some time reading today. I hope you're well and I hope to see you on my site soon again. Love Xx Jolien

1 comment

  1. It sounds like the housesitter was the perfect fit. I find that I limit my going places because I don't want to leave Kal El with strangers. The Parrot Casa had two incidents of birds being stolen. People just walked into the store, and casually walked out with Parrots. I never heard if the second robber was ever caught and the bird returned. My heart broke for it's owner. That particular bird wasn't for sale, they were bird sitting while the owner was on vacation.
    My youngest son watches him on the rare occasions I have to leave him.
    I didn't get to do anything this Summer other than be a YouTube junkie. I was sick, I caught what at first I thought was the flu bug. I finally gave in and went to see the Doctors who put me on antibiotics. It took me two months to get well, I still have a nagging cough.
    I will be moving next month to go up to the U.P.(Upper Peninsula) of Michigan for the winter. I will share photos of my winter adventures. I'm told they can get up to 35' of snow. I must be crazy...LOL
    Michael is buying this house from his dad, it will be his first time as an Adult living on his own. Jacob moved to Tennessee and is thriving down there. Although I miss him terribly, I love that he is happy. Like you he suffers from Depression and he is Bipolar. But he's working hard to create his life, he loves being a Truck Driver most days. Joshua is very independent, a couple of new nurses. His only male nurse moved to North Carolina and he is missed. He was ex military and they had a great bond. I told him he's not allowed to get sick this Winter, because once it snows. I won't have any way to come back down until Spring thaw. He just laughed at me, he lived in Alaska for a year, he knows what kind of winter I am about to face. I have my paint brushes and my camera ready. My home is the second house from the Coast Guard station. The nearest Veterinarian for Kal El will be an hour drive. So I told him he's not allowed to get sick either...LOL
    How do you feel about taking one class and see how you do? Maybe the following semester take two or three classes? Here in America we are able to do college classes online, do they have that there? I love that you are able to get out in the world and you are becoming stronger.