A NOTE ABOUT HAPPINESS

• I'm not quite there yet.

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.."and will I ever be?" has been the question I have repeatedly asked myself these last few months.

I've been introduced to a monster I never thought I would have to deal with – one that I know many people are familiar with, however.

It came into my life and stirred the pot almost immediately. It broke me down and though I wish it was gone, I know it is still lingering about.

I started to feel like it had taken control of my life –  I was no longer in the driver's seat, but instead I was a passenger pleading that the driver please slow down. it did not listen.

At first, rather than asking my loved ones for help I kept it all inside. I figured that would be the best way to hide. I shoved it away every time it tried to make its external appearance, until one day I felt suffocated. That is why I am writing this now. To let you know that it is alright to ask for help. Whether you ask a parent, a sibling, friend, or professional, it is ok. For me, it became necessary.

I think a flaw of mine is that I have always been too proud, so asking someone for help felt so unfamiliar to me. I questioned if I was doing the right thing many times until the answer made itself evident.

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• What other choice is there?

I was so tired of feeling helpless and disconnected from the world, my family and friends.

I was so tired of being up until three in the morning with thoughts racing through my mind one night, only to be completely blank the next.

I was so tired of cancelling plans, and ignoring doing the things I loved to do.

I took the step and sought professional help, and for the first time in a long time I felt safe, cared for and understood.

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Mental health is important

  • acknowledge it
  • find a healthy way to take action
  • ask for help if you need it
  • realize you're not alone
  • finally, never be embarrassed or ashamed

* BE KIND TO YOURSELF.

 

From being empty and not yet full, but I will be. It is a process I have learned to accept. The broken pieces of me do not define who I am and yours don’t either. We all have them, but it’s admitting it that makes the difference. From now on – if you must break – then do it. and I mean shatter. But do not give people the power to empty you and break you just to make themselves whole. Breaking and repairing is a personal process.
— instagram.com/doseofdre

Love and light to you all.

doseofdre

 

 

I HID FOR A WHILE

doseofdre

♉ I must sound like a broken record player at this point.

July 3. My last post. When I was on here writing about my summer; things that were keeping me busy; a book; vacation; etc. Essentially everything except the one thing I should have been writing about.

How broken I actually was.

— and maybe that is why I stayed away from here for so long. Because I knew that I was hiding something from myself that I was too afraid to share. Something that needed more attention than just a few paragraphs on a page.

I have always taken pride on my emotional strength. During times where I could have completely collapsed I always pulled myself back up before falling entirely on the floor; this time it was different. I collapsed. I went all the way down, and there was no saving for a while.

Not knowing how to take care of yourself emotionally is scary, difficult, and dark. People would talk to me, and I'd just pretend to listen. I would hang out with people and pretend to enjoy it. I was lying to myself, and others.


  •  doseofdre entry 12/3/2017:

"people will lie to you. that is just the way it is and unfortunately there is nothing we can do about that. the other truth, however, is that you will lie, too — and sometimes even to yourself. we lie to ourselves, and others, when trying to convince them that we are not broken. i know because i did this for a while. i lied every single time i said i was fine when i wasn't. lied when i said i was over it. lied when i said i slept well at night, and lied when i said that i wasn't thinking about it. it was bad at first, all the lying..but one day when i said i was fine i took a step back and realized i actually was. said i slept well at night and for the first time i actually felt rested. screamed that i was over it and finally i really was. so my advice to your is to lie. but only do it in this way. for you. whenever you feel like you are heading back into the comfort of negativity, tell yourself a lie."


inspiration

But, time heals all wounds — that is something I finally believe. It grants us peace in our hearts, in our lives, and shows us the beauty of forgiveness too.

You need to forgive. You need to give chances to people, even things, that once let you down. Timing has a way of messing us up sometimes.

It is nearing the end of the year, a tough one, but I won't say that I hope the next year is better. I believe that every year is meant to be a challenge for us. A way to test us to see in which way we can excel next.


"there are people that once knew every freckle on my body. but since then the sun shines down on me brighter than ever before. its made new freckles appear on my skin — new stories and memories are now being made, leaving trails they will no longer trace."

THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP

To the ones that heard me when I never said a word, this is for you.

There is something so special about relationships that teach you what it means to care, love, be kind and, most importantly, show up when someone needs you the most.

Throughout my 23 years I have learned a thing or two about friendships—what I look for in a friend, and what they look for in me. Though not all of my friendships have been successful or have stayed with me, I have learned something from every single one. But, it is the ones that have chosen to stick by me that have shown me the true power of friendship. Through times when I chose to close myself from the rest of the world, they showed me support just by simply reminding me of their friendship.

This is what it is all about, we may not always be able to do everything our friends ask of us, but it is simple reminders of the friendship that help. The "remember when we did this," or "I am thankful for you because of this," goes a long way when a person is feeling lost, incapable of sharing emotions, or feels like no one is around to guide them or support them.

I have always invested a lot into my friendships, and will continue to do this for the rest of my life. To me, if you are a true friend, you are family, and I take the term 'family' very seriously.

Family, and true friends, know your weaknesses but choose to show you your strengths instead. They pick you up when you are down by reminding you of your unique qualities—the ones that make you who you are; the ones that they have grown to love.

Through my friendships I have found out things about myself that I would have never known of had it not been for the people in my life who pointed them out. A true friend shows interest in your life, but they also give you the advice you need to hear. They do this without being sensitive to your feelings and, although this sounds bad, if your friends don't tell you the harsh truth you need at times, who will?

I urge you all to find friendships like these. Friends that will challenge you to be the best version of yourself.

Friends that are there for you through your darkest times, and who are there to spend your brightest times with you as well.

Friends that will show you what it means to live a life full of love, laughter, and fun. But, most importantly, friends that love you unconditionally—through your triumphs, and through your failures. They are there to cheer you on, or lift you up.

To my dearest friends: I hold you all in a special place in my heart and will show you nothing but love, support, and kindness through our friendship.

You have shaped me, and have given me the confidence I lacked when it came to pursuing my dreams.

Seek out friendships that give you a reason.

Anyone can show up when you are happy. But the ones who stay by your side when your heart falls apart, they are your true friends.

LEARNING TO FORGIVE

I missed you —

The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at each other's welcome and say: sit here. eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self; you will give back your heart to itself—to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you maybe ignored for another, the one that knows you by heart.

Take down those love letters from the bookshelf you keep them on, take down the photographs of the past that do not represent you anymore, and the desperate notes written by a broken you. Peel your own image from the mirror; sit and feast on the greatness of your own life. After this, I promise things will change.

I've only ever gone through this cycle one other time in my life and that was after my grandpa passed away two years ago. I remember completely losing myself during that time and I returned a different person. How could I not? A big part of me left when my grandpa left, but it was through all of this that a new Andrea was born. That Andrea, is no longer the one I am today but, with time, I have learned to accept change and let all control go when it comes to different directions and paths in life.

This winter I was taken through a cycle of change that at first I felt I would be on forever. With complete happiness in my heart I can finally say that I am okay with the changes that happened in my life during these months because they have shaped me into the woman I knew I could be. During this time I learned how to forgive.

Forgiveness

When it comes to forgiveness, in my opinion, people may think that by doing so they are letting that person off the hook. Though I felt this way before, I do not think this is the case. By forgiving someone you are not letting them off the hook; instead, you are relieving yourself from a negative feeling that might unable you to move forward. You are simply allowing yourself to not hold in any dark energy any longer. You can, and should, still hold others accountable for their actions, or lack-of actions. Forgiveness takes time, it is a process not an event. Though it might take you some time to work through your emotional problems before you can forgive, I encourage you to do it so you can live a more positive, and emotionally healthy life. Forgiving may also open the door to new opportunities with this person. A new chapter may begin with your forgiveness and, without it, you may never know the possibilities that come afterward.

Another tip when it comes to forgiveness is to remember that even if it is not asked for, you should still forgive. Memorize and repeat this over and over: forgiveness is about your own attitude, not their actions. The most important aspect of forgiving is that forgiveness does not mean forgetting.

Memories may be triggered in the future, which is why forgetting does not relate to forgiveness. Remember that when thoughts of past hurt occurs, it is what we do with them that counts. If you find yourself remembering past events or past hurts, be thankful for the reminder of how important forgiveness truly is. Let go of the resentment; it's time for emotional healing.

So, it is with wide open arms that I welcome the new me, the new chapter in my life, and the people who decide to journey with me. I spent too much time at war within the walls of my own skin and I decided that I can no longer be scared to tell everyone that I am beautiful. I have done the work to get myself here.

It is important to visit that place inside you. That place no other human is allowed to enter. There you will find no fear. You will find the laughing sun, and you will love there, and rise there, and fall there, and break there, and put yourself back together there. Let that be the only thing you live for, and let it take you back where you began. To begin within, I swear that might be the most beautiful thing in the world.
— R.M. Drake

GRIEVING LASTS AS LONG AS LOVE

FOREVER

As far as I know, grief will never truly end.

You may find that over time your grief becomes softer, maybe even more gentle—but some days it might also feel sharp. These feelings, I have learned, are normal to feel and completely valid. It is the absence of your loved one that manifests in your heart.

You feel a deep longing for that person; a longing that is accompanied by deep, immense love. Some days you may notice that the heavy dense fog is beginning to roll in, and the next day the sunshine forces the fog out of your way. It is an endless cycle, and one you should welcome.

It is like you are in a constant dance with sorrow and joy, pain and love. The most important thing to remember is that grief is not just a series of events; there is no timeline for it. Others may heal quicker than you do in terms of grieving, but whether you are ahead or behind is completely up to you. Deal with grief in a way that benefits you, your mind, body and soul.

You may have a broken heart, but believe that your loved one(s) will help mend your heart and piece you back together. I know this from personal experience having loss both of my grandmas when I was little, and my grandpa just two years ago. Though I dealt with my own grieving very differently in each case, I know that they were with me; helping me heal and reminding me that life goes on and that they are still with me.

Below is a poem I wrote a year after my grandpa passed away:

This morning I thought of you; what’s it like in heaven, how’s the view? He’s fine and happy I thought, but once again it brought my stomach to a knot. I will love you every day of my life and at some point I think I will be alright. But for now, though I have fresh scars, I know someday I will see you on the other side of the stars.”
— Andrea Garcia

To the loved ones in my family I have lost—I promise to live my life for you, striving to make you proud with everything that I do. (I encourage you all to do the same.)

I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU

"Life is unpredictable, it changes with the seasons. Even your coldest winter happens for the best of reasons; and though it feels eternal, like all you'll ever do is freeze, I promise that in spring, you'll be blessed with brand new leaves."

 

Happy first day of Spring, friends.

It has been one hell of a ride getting here, but I have learned so much about myself along the way. Mainly about my own emotions, and my strength.

I have realized that healing is dealt with differently with everyone, and that trying to make myself better so quickly was actually slowing down my process. Funny, huh? I read somewhere that healing can be looked at as a wave. It comes in waves and maybe today and tomorrow the waves hit rock bottom—that is okay, because you are still healing.

Change the locks of your doors. Chances are that through your healing you have changed, and how couldn't you? Everything in your life has changed.

Feed your soul the things it needs in order to grow. Find a new hobby, a new song you admire or a new place that relaxes you. Make connections with people; people that love who you are as a person; people that nourish you; and people that are kind, compassionate and real with you.

So, what if instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.

IT'S POSSIBLE THIS PAIN IS HEALTHY

So please, don't hide your hurt.

Instead, grab a hold of that pain you feel. Run with it at full speed through your heart, and work on making it something beautiful. Allow the depth in your pain to flow inside of you, at some point or another it will expand, and maybe even into compassion. Always remember the feeling of darkness it caused you, and work toward being someone else's much needed light. It is important not to deny your pain, don't ignore it and bury it away.

Let it rise to the surface, show the world that your pain is turning into something magnificent. Work on transforming your pain into something worthwhile, something you will always remember.

Emotional pain is hard to deal with, and the fact that it somehow can pain the rest of your body always left me confused. But, emotional pain (whether it is heartbreak, mental, grief from death, etc) is a universal truth that connects us as humans because we share the same experience.

Mountain sunsets; at times this is where I find myself doing my deepest thinking.

Mountain sunsets; at times this is where I find myself doing my deepest thinking.

Feeling emotional pain is a good thing. I know what you are thinking; how is it possible that feeling this pain is a good thing? Well, the feeling can really only mean one thing—you tried for something, you gave it your absolute all. This leads us down the path of healing, there is strength to gain in any emotional breakdown. At some point, the feeling of comfort may take over because you were able to overcome the hurdle. You were able to deal with the pain day in and day out, and look—here you are; a living, breathing, beautiful human that is shining bright.

I sat in silence; I began to listen to my thoughts instead of everything and everyone around me. This is how I began my process of healing. I hope you can take these words and apply them to your own healing process; may your healing change you, and make you realize just how special, important and worthy you truly are.

Life is about moderation, except when it comes to the beach, wine, good music and time spent with those who make you feel something other than guilty for having fun. It can become a lonely world for some, but I promise you, if you stay away long enough, you will learn to appreciate where you end up in your solitude. Fall peacefully back into the depth that once made you afraid to swim. now you can’t get out of the water.
— Zachry K. Douglas.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF MUSIC

There is nothing else like it.

There is something about music that allows us to be present with our experiences. Music is a source that is so easily accessible to every single person on this planet, and we all take in music in a different form—that is beautiful to me.

Music is there for all of us, all of the time. It forces us to remember and relive moments that have been put to rest. It makes us feel things we may not want, but need to feel. There is something so tender about music. The way it takes us back to the moments we wanted to forget. It is so powerful.

When I wake up, I turn to my phone and start playing music. I listen to it all morning while I am getting ready; listen to it at work while I am working on stories; listen to it when I am back home relaxing; in the shower; and as I am falling asleep. Music is very special to me. I have always felt so close to music. I have found some incredible artists through my passion with music. Artists that I feel have spoken to me through their songs.

In this post I wanted to share some of the artists and songs that I am currently listening to. Almost all of these songs have moved me in one way or another. If you take a listen, I hope they have the power to move you too.

1. Bloodstain — Wrabel.

I swear this song was written for me. The first time I heard it, I started crying. All happy tears.

Since I heard it, this song has been playing on repeat. It has even inspired a project that I am currently working on. (Stay tuned, coming soon!).

LYRICS:

"Thought I found the one when I was 23
And when it was done, it nearly killed me
I've got a little heart, not built for one night
I give it all away even when I know it isn't right"

"I'm gonna pull myself together
Gonna wait til it's forever"

2. Different Skies — Shoffy.

Sometimes the outcome is not what you want. Love changes, and sometimes you see yourselves living in two different worlds.

Strangers once again, a different life; different skies.

3. I Miss You — Grey, Bahari.

This song I think says everything you might be wanting to say to someone that is no longer a part of your life.

"I miss you. after all that we've been through
I never told you that I do, but I miss you."

4. Let Me Touch Your Fire — ARIZONA.

This song, for years, has been a go to of mine. It is about intimacy, and the desire for someone that you love.

 

Music Inspires me — It inspires me to think deeply. To notice things I may have never noticed before. It inspires me to express myself; and it especially inspires me when I feel as if the song was sung for me. I hope some of these songs can resonate with you. Enjoy.
— instagram.com/doseofdre

QUERIDO ABUELITO

Abuelito Querido,

It has been one year since you left, and I am still struggling just as much, if not more. The morning of September 21, 2015 came as a surprise to all of us. We tried to prepare for that day having known you were tired, but nothing could prepare us for that day; no matter how hard we tried.

We have cried for you abuelito, and continue to do so because ever since you left, life has not been the same. We loved you so dearly, and deeply in life; in death we do the same.

Our hearts were broken the day you left, and have yet to be mended. It seems as though that may be impossible as part of us went with you the day God called you home.

I think about you daily abuelito; I dream about you nightly. I just wish I could see you, and hug you—you always shined so brightly.

The memories you left with us bring us all a bit of peace, and the love you showed us all will remain our guide in life. It is so hard not to see you, but we all know that you remain by our side. Taking care of us, and loving us more than ever.

Our family chain broke when you left, and nothing has been the same since then; but we know that as God calls us one by one, our chain will link again. Te amare por siempre abuelito hermoso, te extrano cada dia mas.

MY WORST NIGHTMARE

My world was completely flipped upside down on Sept. 21,2015—the day my grandpa left us. I still remember exactly how I felt when I heard the news, and sometimes that pain comes back to haunt me. I felt lost, incomplete, empty and overall just incredibly sad.

The day my grandpa left, a part of me left with him.

For my family—and close friends—finding out about the death of my grandpa scared them. Every single day of my life I talked about my grandpa; every single day I laughed remembering something about him when I was away, and every single day I prayed that he would continue to be happy, and healthy. I remember being a little girl and looking up to my grandpa. He was my hero, my role model, my best friend—in my eyes he was invincible. Death was not something I saw in his path; but now I look back and realize that I was just being naive. As I got older I realized my grandpa was getting old, and tired. Suddenly death became a possibility—the thought of that haunted me every single day.

I changed as a person after my grandpa passed away; it was too hard to continue being the happy-go-lucky girl I always was. There really was no reason to be happy anymore, at least that is what I thought at the time. But I realize now that my grandpa did not want that for me. He encouraged me all throughout my 22 years with him to live a happy life. To shine positivity, to be loyal, kind, caring, loving and compassionate—just like him. When I realized this, a new me was born. I am not the same person I was before my grandpa left because I can never be that girl again. But I’ve grown, matured and accepted the fact that my abuelito was tired. He is no longer tired. Instead, he is happy with my grandma, enjoying his beautiful rose garden and eating his conchita (Mexican sweet bread) with a tall glass of milk in the evenings.

My grandpa taught me so much about life: he taught me about the incredible power of friendship, and the importance of expressing love. He taught me about the beauty that is within life, and how you can find this beauty in almost everything. He taught me just how good a warm hug, and a nice smile can make someone feel when they are down. He taught me the importance of being responsible in life, but at the same time to not play anything safe. He taught me that taking risks is important, but that staying alert goes hand-in-hand with that.

I still cry when I think about my abuelito—he was very dear to me, and his death hurt more than I could ever imagine. My grieving has not ended, and if I’m being honest I do not think it ever will but I’ve come to terms with it; I’m okay with this. His love is a treasure that will never be forgotten.

“The warmth of his gaze said he loved us, the strength of his hugs said he’d keep us safe and the gentleness of his hands said we were all precious to him.”

(Left): January 29, 2016. My sister and I both got this tattoo remembering one of our favorite songs that grandpa used to sing to us. Every time I look down on it I remember him singing the song with the most beautiful voice, and smile on his face. (Right): July 15, 2016. Abuelito had a passion for his garden, in particular his roses. "If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever."

Te amare por siempre abuelito; thank you for blessing my life with so much wisdom, and love. I miss you more and more every single day.

A CHANCE FOR RESILIENCE

My sister is more than my sister; she is my best friend, motivator, role model and biggest cheerleader. When she is happy, I am happy. When she is frustrated, I feel the frustration and when she is sad, I am devastated.

It is unfortunate, but as humans we (most of us at least) experience heartbreak at least once in our lifetime, if not more. It is a given; it is part of the path we take to find our one, true love.  I feel inspired to write this post because my sister recently has been dealing with heartbreak and it has been one of the hardest things to see. Her pain is deep, and honestly it makes me want to go give the guy who broke her heart a piece of my mind. I don't though — for my sister I won't do it, but man do I want to.

Having never experienced heartbreak before, I can only do so much. I am there for her when she needs to talk — she doesn't want advice, just ears to listen to her. The confusion and sadness on her face makes me ache. The only thing I ever want to see is my sister happy, and smiling; at the moment that is just not the case.

And that's fine, she tells me. Time will heal.

So what is the purpose of this post? To tell you all that heartbreak is normal; it is human nature; it is written in our path. But, don't be alarmed — you will come out stronger, brighter and more determined than ever before. Experiencing heartbreak gives you insight for what you want in a relationship, and what you don't. What you need in a relationship, and what you don't.

During your heartbreak you will feel depressed, unwanted, you may even lose yourself — but after some time you will begin to notice a change. That name that once hurt so bad to hear won't bother you; it will no longer be a pain in your heart, just a chapter to your book. You will change yourself, better yourself and love yourself even more for the struggle you were able to pull yourself out of. 

So when you experience heartbreak, remember it is normal to feel all of these things; it is. But don't forget that at some point you will surpass the pain, you will no longer ache and you will be able to pursue something bigger; something better. 

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