Temporary 

Feelings can be a truly terrible thing. Only they are capable of making you think you’re suffocating when you’re not. That you can’t take one more step when you can. That things will never get better when in fact, they will. Our ability to feel is what makes us human; and it is what makes us volatile and unpredictable. They are why so many people stay in bad relationships out of fear, why people kill themselves, why so much damage has been caused by and to so many. They are the reason that everyone has a poison, whether it be drugs, sex, love, or any other thing that can be abused in an attempt to numb our existence just a little bit. 

They can make everything seem too loud, too big, too hard. Simply put, they’re extreme

But they are temporary. And they aren’t fact. A feeling is just your perception of any given person, situation, or circumstance; but the amount of power it holds over you depends on your state of mind for it’s survival. How you react to that is your choice. The ones who kill themselves break my heart the most. I’ve been in dark places before in my life, where I felt like suicide was the only answer. But I’m still here today. I’m here because someone told me “This too shall pass”, “Feelings aren’t facts”, and “Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle happens”. At the time, I didn’t believe a single fucking word of it. I had experienced so much pain in my short life that it was all just a bit too much; but their words were just enough to make me wait a few years. 

And today I am truly blessed. I have amazing friends and family. I have a beautiful daughter who fills my world with light. I have my life. The feelings are still there, sometimes they are still extreme, and some days I still feel suffocated by the weight of them. But today I recognize their impermanence; and I try to give that more weight than I give the feelings themselves. I actively practice acceptance and I make the conscious decision on a daily basis to just do the next right thing for the next right reason, regardless of how I feel at the time. I owe almost all of the love and beauty in my life to that practice. And I never would’ve learned it had I given in, let the feelings take control, and chosen a permanent solution to a temporary problem. So, if you feel like shit today, that’s okay. Own it, accept it; and know that tomorrow is another day that you don’t have to let be weighed down by the problems of tonight. 

Life is short. And too many people leave us too early. So embrace your feelings, however temporary they may be, and be fucking grateful for the fact that you’re alive to experience them…

by Ashley King

© All Rights Reserved 2017

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Ask Me Anything Monday

This is a little fun exercise I used to do last year that fell into obscurity between working and being pregnant. Soooo, I’m giving it a shot again. If you’re interested, ask away 🙂 

Submit any questions, queries, or random wonderings you may have! 🙂 As always, it can be a personal question about me or my life or it can be completely random. And I promise to answer it as completely and honestly as I can! There are no rules or limitations. Let’s go! 
Much love,

Ashley King

© All Rights Reserved 2017

It Is Enough…

I’ve been working too much. All I want to do is sit down with this here computer and write some awesome piece and yet, I’ve been staring at the screen for 20 minutes. My boyfriend said he would play a game of Call Of Duty before we head to the gym so I have time to write, which is awesome. Except I have writer’s block. I’ve talked about this before in The Writer’s Dilemma. Every time I get writer’s block I think of this ingenious quote by Maya Angelou…

 

creativity.jpg

Because of this quote (and the ensuing thought process) I truly believe that we (or at least I) get writer’s block because I’m not using my creativity enough. I get bogged down in 50 hour work weeks, meetings (which I enjoy but do not use any creativity), and other various, mundane life things. “Adulting”, as some would say. Laundry, cooking, dishes, making the bed, cleaning the house (or my trashed car), and any other thing that doesn’t include me using the creative side of my brain. Okay cooking might, but that’s it. The rest just creates a traffic jam in the creative part of my spirit. When I write regularly I may not create masterpieces but I do keep that constant flow of energy going. I use this “gift” that I’ve been given to express myself and to share my feelings about certain subjects or my memories with the world. My mommy always said that I have a way of writing that allows the reader a glimpse into how I truly felt when I wrote the piece or when I experienced whatever it is that I’m writing about. When she used to read my work she always said she could actually feel the way I felt. She always called that a gift. I don’t look at it that way necessarily, mostly because I have issues with admitting that maybe I’m good at anything. I’m a realist. I know there are many, many writers in this world who are far better than I will ever be. However, I also recognize that that fact in no way makes my work any less mine. While I may never create a true masterpiece, I can still touch one person with my words. One person makes this worth it. If one women reads something I’ve written and it helps her leave an abusive relationship or opens her eyes to another method she can use to heal from some trauma she’s survived, then it is worth it. If one person having a shitty day reads one of my sarcastic posts and gets a giggle out of it, then it is worth it. If sharing my pain, or memories, or happiness helps another person share theirs and in turn lessens their burden, then it is worth it. So no, I’m not Edgar Allen Poe or Robert Frost or William Shakespeare, but I am Ashley. No one else can tell my story. No one else can speak in my voice. No one else can touch someone’s heart exactly the way I can. My writing is unique to me. That is a gift.

So on days like today when I think I have nothing to say, I write anyway. Because I do this for me and for the one person who reads it and feels something. That’s what I want to do with my life. Make people feel. Pure, raw, unadulterated emotion. I also like helping people and I do want to do that too but I can’t make anyone help themselves. That comes from within. I could give someone every bit of the best advice I have to give and it could do nothing. We can only help people who are willing to do it for themselves. Take for instance, my mommy. When I came to her I was a volatile, broken, hurt little girl and she taught me everything I needed to know to survive my life. Yet I didn’t use any of her wisdom until years later, when I was ready to. Much like some people do for others, she showed me my own strength, she taught me coping mechanisms, she taught me how to not lash out or bottle everything up. But I continued to for years. Her advice didn’t get better with my aging did it? No. It was just as good on Year 5 as it was on Day 1. My willingness to follow it was the only thing that changed. So, while I may write things that could potentially help an unimaginable amount of people like me, it won’t actually help but a few. The select few who are in a place of willingness. Who can see my words for what they are and use the advice or experience that is told through them to better their own lives. Who have suffered long enough and maybe need their eyes opened to a way out. A way that was always there, but was made clear through one of my stories. Or maybe one of these select few will read one of my posts about something I overcame and the words will shine a light on that dark place inside of themselves where they’ve stored their own strength. And they’ll use that strength to overcome whatever adversity they may be facing.

Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t believe that I’m some life saving, infinite wisdom having, young woman. I don’t think that I am powerful enough to do this for people. I swear I’m not just a narcissist with a keyboard. But I do believe words are that powerful. I believe that wielded the write way they can change everything, or maybe just one thing for one person. So when I sit down to write my only goal is to do so honestly, without pretense or fluff. I aim to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Writing was one of the tools mommy showed me to help me. For years I thought she gave it to me, but that’s untrue. The ability was always there, but would I have seen it had she not suggested it? She knew I needed somewhere to place all my pain. She knew I needed something to cope with 15 lifetimes worth of damage and bad memories. And she understood that at the time, I didn’t trust anyone else enough to let them see it. So in her infinite wisdom, she told me to write, even if I sucked at it. So I did, and I did suck at it, for a long time. Now, I don’t think I suck but like I said before, I damn sure know I’m not and will never be the best. All I can hope is that what I write does for someone what Maya Angelou’s quote did for me. Get them thinking, make them evaluate their beliefs, and maybe, just maybe, change something. It used to be that whenever I hit a roadblock in my writing I would just not write. I would wait for some grand inspiration to hit me. That waiting would turn into months or years of nothing. I’ve learned from this mistake. I know that this post is just a rambling mess. I know it won’t mean anything to anyone but me. But I also know that it will lessen the traffic jam in my head so that I will keep writing and inevitably write something of value again some day soon. It will make me feel as if I’ve taken advantage of this beautiful day and this amazing coffee and this brain that is mine and mine alone. For me, that is enough.

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016

Catching Up & The Creepy Guy

It’s been a week or two since I’ve written consistently. Life has gotten VERY busy! Between working, celebrating 3 years clean, and not sleeping well I feel like I haven’t had any time! Normally I’ll wake up a little early, write a post, and then go to work. But, I’ve been sleeping like shit the last two weeks; so I’m not doing anything early. It’s been a struggle to get out of bed everyday and my significant other keeps waking up in the middle of the night to find me sitting straight up in bed, sleeping, whilst talking about completely random shit like “looking the cars up.” I know this happens when I’m not going into REM sleep properly, which is common for Fibromyalgia sufferers. But it still sucks. 

Aside from that, work has been good. Still learning a bunch of new things and trying to be as useful as possible with what I’ve learned thus far. Just a few minutes ago an incredibly creepy guy came into the office, never gave me his name, and was asking what we do here and if we’re hiring. He made my skin crawl. He randomly told me he got fired from his last job because “some woman” alleged he sexually harassed her. He said “woman are just like that”. Then he looked at me and it must’ve occurred to him at that moment that I am also a woman and might find that offensive. He then corrected himself and said “Uh, uh, well maybe not all women.” He was asking me all these questions about what exactly we do here, where I’m from, what my name is, etc. He was generally just “off”. So much so that I texted my boss and let him know (because of course this is the one day I’m in the office completely alone). I even attached a picture of the guy to the message because he creeped me out that bad. I truly believe he had bad intentions but when my boss called he started backing away and stood in a defensive posture. Then I had to call the magisterial court to pay a ticket one of our drivers got and the guy left very quickly. Before all of this he had asked for an application, sat down with the clipboard and pen, put his glasses on and then blurted out that he “wasn’t good at this stuff” and asked if he could take it home. The entire reason he came here was because he “wanted a job”!!! Maybe he didn’t want me to know his name? I don’t know. Either way, I was looking around for something that could be used as a weapon. 

I TRUST MY GUT. 

I’m sure to some of the people reading this I may seem like some paranoid, damaged woman but at the end of the day, we’re given intuition for a reason. There have been many, many times where I felt the same way about someone as I felt about this strange man and it was proven to be true. When I was 14, I told my mom that the stray guy my mom and ex step dad started working with was a rapist and I didn’t like him. She told me not to “say stuff like that.” A week later he disappeared and a week after that we found out he was wanted in the rapes of a 4 year old and 5 year old. That ex step dad I mentioned? He also gave me the creeps; 2 years later he stuck his hands down my pants while I was sleeping. Some of my friend’s boyfriends have given me a bad vibe and then they would turn out to be woman beaters or cheating assholes. It’s always something and it is always right. 

I have also ignored these vibes before. I’ve thought, “I’m just being paranoid. I need to relax. A history of trauma can skew your perception of people; you know this Ashley. I’m sure he’s a good guy, don’t be sexist or judgemental”. That’s  just to name a few. And then whatever person I ignored the vibe about would end up hurting me or someone I cared about. The days of ignoring this hyper sensitive intuition I’ve been given are long past. This thing I have is a gift… And a curse. 

I’ve avoided many bad situations but I also know things I don’t want to. I know almost every single time someone lies to me. We all lie. Everyone does. But I can see it. I can feel it. Generally it almost sounds like their voice changes; even though the pitch change that occurs during a lie is undetectable to the human ear. Regardless, I sense it all the time; in my friends, my family, the cashier at Target who says she’s having a good day. Sometimes, ignorance would be nice. All people have motives behind their lies and generally I can sense that too. Whether the motive is to fit in, stand out, hide something, hurt someone, whatever, I can almost always feel it. I’ve had to watch my friends not trust me enough yet to tell me the truth. I’ve seen them hide things so they won’t disappoint me. I’ve seen my mom lie to me to protect me. I’ve seen deep seeded pain in a stranger’s eyes and have just wanted to help them. But I can’t; I can’t even bring it up  without seeming like a psychopath. So I see these things all day long and all I can do is try to protect myself and my friends, be incredibly understanding of human nature and what makes people lie, and just live my life. I’d rather know than not, but it isn’t always a fun things. It’s made me a very non-judgemental person. When you can sense things like that no situation is just black and white. The emotions and intent of the person involved can change everything. You see things you don’t want to, things that save you, things that hurt you, etc. and all you can do is just accept them and move on. 

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016

Morning Mindfulness- Smoking & Gratitude

I think I can dare to say that I do believe this FM flare up is coming to an end. I’m still on edge and in pain but I’ve recently stopped fantasizing about peeling my skin off with a potato peeler. That’s improvement, right? As such, I think I’m getting better. This last week has led to a lot of things. The consideration of removing refined sugars from my diet because they’re horrible for all of us; and in my case, make the fibromyalgia much worse. Check out this (pretty awesome) video if you want to know more. It showed me so much and is important to our health. 

Also, I’m considering quitting smoking. Anyone who has followed me for long knows that smoking in and of itself, is one of my coping mechanisms for dealing with the pain. You know I enjoy it as well as I do; nonetheless, something changed this week. I was smoking so much (2 1/2+ packs a day) because of the pain, that my chest felt like it was on fire. So I go to my local vape shop, buy some juice for my dripper, and stater vaping again. Just to be clear, I don’t use those E-pens that still contain 400 cancer causing ingredients and are developed by the cigarette companies. I use an RDA (rebuidable drip atomizer), where I make my own coils, thread cotton through them and then drip juice on the cotton. The juice contains nothing but vegetable or coconut glycerin, natural flavoring, and nicotine. Yesterday I only smoked 9-10 cigarettes (because I was vaping more) and I’m about to smoke my first one for the day today. I’ll make another post about vaping at a later date, as there are many misconceptions. Back on topic…

If I’m being honest here, this want to smoke less or not at all is probably motivated by more than just my burning chest. As I mentioned in my post a few days ago, Flare Ups & Fuck Ups, my love’s daughter is about to start spending every other weekend with us. I just can’t help but feel a certain way when I think about coming back in the house, reeking like cigarettes, and leaning down to pick her up. This is not at all to say anything about the parents who do smoke! My family always did. But no one in either of her families does. So you can hopefully see my hesitance. The wheels are turning to say the least. My only solidified goal is to smoke much less (as of right now) though. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll keep y’all updated on my progress :). 

In closing, I just want to thank all my readers! It has been absolutely lovely to get so many comments full of positive feedback and opinions from others! I thank the readers in each comment for taking the time to read my post. I know this may seem like some typical thing that anyone who wants readers would do but it’s not, for me. I am truly grateful for the people who have read this blog (some from the very beginning) and who take the time to comment and encourage me. This has been an incredible journey and I plan to continue with it as it has now become a necessary part of my happiness. You guys have made this such a beautiful process for me and for that, I am truly grateful! Much love!

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016

Ask Me Anything Monday

It’s that time of the week again! Submit any questions, queries, or random wonderings you may have! 🙂 As always, it can be a personal question about me or my life or it can be completely random. And I will answer it as completely and honestly as I can! Let’s go! 

Much love,

Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016 

 

Flare Ups & Fuck Ups

Hello fellow bloggers. So this is going to be a seemingly pointless rant session so feel free to run for the hills now…

Moving on, I am going through one bad ass mother fucker of a flare up. My clothes feel like sandpaper, the shower (which usually brings me comfort) feels like a million little needle pricks, and I’m so exhausted I forgot my own name for a second yesterday. I have Fibro Fog to thank for that. Not to mention the ever present, distracting as an old man in a leotard pain. Fuck me, right?

My love’s daughter is spending her first weekend with us in two weeks and we made plans to set her room up and paint it tomorrow. We made these plans earlier this week. But due to my Fibro Fog, lack of sleep, and pain I just completely forgot. It just slipped my mind in between trying to be a productive member of society and remember to not leave the house without pants… Or keys… Or shoes. So what did I do? Accidentally double booked myself. There’s a woman I’ve owed a tattoo for the better part of 3 1/2 years and we had made plans to do it yesterday. However, by the time I got off of work I was so utterly exhausted that I quickly text her and asked her if we could just reschedule for Sunday. I was then reminded about his daughter’s room. Her spending weekends here is a big deal for both of us. We’re both incredibly excited and have been waiting 7 months for this to happen. His ex wife is a control freak who has a resentment against me (for no other reason then I happen to exist) and created this restriction that he could only have his daughter at his parents house, purely because I live at ours. In an attempt to be the bigger person and give her time to heal, he agreed. And now, it’s finally over. No more packing up and splitting our lives twice a month. No more planning every other weekend around having to drive to another town. Now it’ll be he way it should’ve been from the beginning. And again, were ecstatic. 

And somehow, I forgot. 

Naturally, he got a little upset and feared this wasn’t as big of a deal for me as it is for him. But it is. This is just one example of how this thing wrong with my body can creep in and effect my relationship and even, my partner. Obviously it was an easy problem to fix and I did by rescheduling the tattoo. But it was still a frustrating thing. It amazes me how I can remember all the talks we had about setting the room up (painting it was my idea for fucks sake) and planning when we would do it; yet when I double booked, it just was not present in my mind. It just floated away into thin air regardless of the fact that it is massively important to me. 

Fuck You Fibromyalgia. 

I’ve started taking Magnesium Malleate because it’s supposed to help the pain and I’m trying to eat better. There’s of course still a steady flow of NSAID’s as well. But facts are, there’s probably more I could do but I need to get new doctors down here. I need to make the appointments on Monday. I spoke with my one doctor about it and expressed how I had lost all faith in doctors and he encouraged me to just try one more time. I agreed. I am not just choosing to suffer. But I also happen to know I’ve tried everything that’s ever been presented to me and have walked away with horrible side effects and a decreased quality of life instead of the intended increase. Needless to say, it’s maddening. And now I can’t feel my fingers anymore and I have to get ready for my day today; so this rant is over. Thanks for reading (whoever was actually enough of a masochist to make it this far :))

by Ashley Hebner

© All Rights Reserved 2016