Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

I spent a few weeks wondering how to continue this blog, mostly because I have nothing really to complain about. No pressing issues either really, that I find I must write about lest I explode.

But then one night I caught up with friend back in Canada, who said to me that there is no word really, for the change that’s happened. Not a victim, not a survivor, but something more. I remembered also the moto (?) of my blog: Learning to thrive… I think I’ve gotten to that place where I can honestly say I am.

So… I’ll continue this blog from there. An update:

I’m almost done the ulpan program (learning hebrew) on the kibbutz after 5 months. I decided to stay here in Israel and apply for citizenship. I’m looking into doing a year of volunteer work (instead of the army, which I’m not obliged to do, since I’m 25).¬†I’ve also returned to singing, and have as a long-ish term goal to study voice in university.

I’m in love. A fact I’ve deliberately kept out of my blog the last few months so I won’t jinx it. He’ll be coming here too.

I also discovered Israel has a winter season. I had scoffed at the Israeli idea of winter. But I’m currently huddled in fleece pjs and sweater. I’m still cold.

I’ve also discovered capability that I didn’t have previously – Its not a big deal to work and learn six days a week. I have no money, and that’s also not a big deal. I’m in a new place, with a new culture and new language and the threat of war.

And I find myself extremely happy.



I saw my gp yesterday, since I’m leaving the country and all. I used to see her at least once a month (narcotic refills), sometimes more often cause there was always something physically broken with me (a reflection of my mental state).

She walks in, stops, and comments about how happy I look.

Yes. I am. But I wasn’t happy to be there. If I still took valium, you can bet I would have downed a couple.

She’s nice. A good doctor in that conventional way, where drugs are the answer for everything, and she thinks my getting off all my meds and firing my shrink is extreme. And I guess I can understand that. People diagnosed as bipolar and borderline aren’t exactly known for clear, rational thinking.

Anyways, I just smiled. I’m not gonna get into my issues with the pharmaceutical industry. Especially cause I know my words can be twisted into paranoia. And therefore I should take a mood stabilizer.

Whatever. I find it really triggering. So I was in that kinda antsy mood all day where I felt I had to shake myself off to feel better. I always feel violated when seeing a doctor.

My day turned out to be really awesome though. There’s a young adult service at church on tuesdays. My reserve is (incredibly slowly) crumbling. But considering I used to be unable to leave the house, and my pathological silence several months ago… It’s not that bad.

What was really awesome about last night was that I allowed myself to actually sing. Turns out I’m a lot more comfortable singing when my voice is drowned out by everyone else. That’s not the awesome part though.

I never trusted my voice, that was the problem. My former vocal coach would always be telling me to ‘release the brakes’. When I can’t hear myself, I can just let go in a way I’ve rarely been able to. Actually, its more then that. Its the need to join in song. A feeling that’s stronger then my need to hold back.

There are notes in the upper register (think soprano), called head notes. You know your singing them when it’s like your head is vibrating with the sound of the note you’re singing. It’s really cool.

That’s the place I got to last night. Where I could feel every note ringing true. The music was alive thrumming through my body.

I’ve talked before of my love of intensity. And my need to lose myself in what I’m doing.

Who knew I could find both at church?

About the song posted, it’s one of my favorite arias. I used to sing it for fun. I haven’t tried to in… years. I still love it. Also, it seems more appropriate then metal.


I believe you need to love yourself first and foremost.

That concept does not come naturally to me. So I had to come up with a couple tricks to teach myself to take care of *me*. The process for me was slow, but I persevered, and succeeded.

These are the things I fall back on when I feel down on myself, am not as confident, or feel a general blah-ness.

Positive Posts!

I write positive messages to myself and tape them onto every reflective surface (not just mirrors!). Anywhere I can see my own reflection is a message like, “I am beautiful, inside and out”, “I am worthy”, “I am a strong and capable woman”… The point of the exercise is to pause and read the message to yourself. Look yourself in the eye and tell yourself aloud, with conviction, that you are a worthy person. When I started, I could not look at myself at all. I could not look at any part of my face. I started out looking at the frame of the mirror, talking to myself in my head. But I eventually graduated to looking at my hair, my forehead, my chin, my lips, my nose… And finally, looking at myself straight in the eyes. This exercise forces you to reconnect with yourself, and face yourself on a level that many people neglect. Highly recommended.


I have no idea how many others do this, but I have a tendency to narrate my day to myself in my head. The writer in me, perhaps. But I am used to talking to myself. Changing the self-talk to a more positive tone, however, was a struggle. I made a deal with myself: For every negative thought about myself, I would consciously think something positive. I still stick to that. Might sound a bit ridiculous, but consciously forcing yourself to become more positive will create more positivity within yourself over a period of time. It is simple, and works brilliantly.

Fake it!

I faked confidence and self-respect until it became real. I would go out for walks, and dress up, put some make up on, all for the purpose of walking tall and confidently, and to teach myself to walk with my shoulders back and my head held up high. I respected myself by asking myself “Is this what I really want, or am I doing this to please others?”, and by learning to look after myself first and foremost. I reclaimed my dignity by cutting off all the toxic people who had been in my life.


I learned to substitute self-destructive behaviours with ones that were caring and loving towards myself. Instead of lashing out my anguish on my body, I pampered it instead. I read to expand my mind. I write to unburden myself, and to try and help others who might be in similar situations as myself.


I do what I can to maintain balance in all things, but especially with my emotions. I consider myself a relatively happy person, but I guess it all depends on your definition of “happy“. To me it means freedom to be my true self, to express myself as I wish, and to live as I want to live as a free person. That, to me, equals happiness.