Everyone likes progress but no one likes change.

Paulo Coelho said it best…

I’ve come to realize that not everyone will like the “new” Jackie. The Jackie that is true to herself, that will no longer accept being treated less than I deserve, who will not tolerate people speaking to me in a manner that I deem inappropriate. I was not put in this world to please anyone but my God. If you get any pleasure from knowing me and being in presence, it is a byproduct of my service to Him and myself. Don’t misconstrue my kindness and please don’t mistake it for weakness. Most importantly, do not assume that by sharing my struggles with the world and admitting my vulnerabilities that I am weak.  I have weak moments.  I AM NOT WEAK.

On the contrary, I am stronger than I ever have been. This new-found strength has allowed me to say NO when I need to say no. It’s allowed me to be EXPLICITLY clear if I don’t like something or if someone makes me feel a certain way other than great. And this same strength will help me to smile and continue my beautiful life despite anyone that may leave it.

With that being said, I am in a constant state of evolution and I will still make mistakes. I do not strive for perfection. My goal is always to be better than I was yesterday.  When I get it wrong I make sure I learn the lesson, forgive myself and move on. It’s that simple. If that’s not good enough for anyone else, that is not my problem. I can only apologize and correct my errors. I do not have any power over anyones emotions just as no one has any power over mine. 

My point in sharing this public service announcement is to shed light on some of the challenges that come with recovery from mental illness. Change is never easy but when it seems you are changing fundamentally who you are, people get thrown for a loop and begin to rationalize it in order to understand it. They will either look at it positively and continue to support and accept you OR they will react negatively and make assumptions that you have been phony and have become righteous.  Either way, keep focused on your recovery. Don’t let peoples judgements sidetrack you or make you doubt yourself. Do what feels right. At the end of the day those that are worthy of a spot in your life will remain there. Those that are not…well, as I like to say VAYA CON DIOS! 

J

Demons Playground

My joy disappears with the sun
The demons rise with the moon
To play in my mind
Like children on the playground
Each demon a memory of pain
Tag! You’re it
The play gets rough
The demons cry
Fighting
No one to break them up
No one to catch them when they fall
No one with a band aid
No one with a kiss and hug to help the pain
Exhausted they search
For someone
Anyone
To tell them to stop
That everything will be ok
Eventually they sit in their own misery
Until the sun begins to rise
They settle into a numb realization
They are alone
They retreat to the shadows
Unable to stand the light
Because it makes things too clear
Exposed
As the light of day dresses the world
The joy returns
And my mind is at peace
Or so it seems
Because the demons are still there
Restless
Waiting for the sun to set again
And my mind to open up the playground
For the demons to play
For my soul to ache with helplessness
To calm them, to save them
To bring them peace
And in turn, bring me peace