carved carcasses in the garage; don't park in it

My trip to the Dominican changed my life. I saw my worst demons face to face. I had realizations about myself that were always there, just below the surface, and going on this trip helped me dig them up. Like realizing I carry much more negativity within me then I thought. To cope with my bad feelings, I became one with them. I turned myself into them so that being unhappy became my baseline. It was easier to accept being miserable than it was to fight it. After having my sanity turned upside down over the slightest bump in the road, I have come to know that the darkness inside of me is more than I should allow. This darkness isn`t me not wanting to go to parties or smile at everyone at school. It`s hating my body, it`s hurting myself physically, it`s making judgements on other people on a constant basis. It`s being unreasonably okay with the thought that I could die within any given moment. It`s thinking I can`t be social because I like to be alone.

I`m starting to make changes to get these things. I`ve been looking both ways before I cross the street. I`ve stopped trying to have a cute laugh or look cool in front of everyone at school, at work, everywhere. I`m smiling more. I still need to figure out how to stop hating my body. I`ll try to take better care of it and stop feeding it garbage. And I want to accept that it`s the one I`ve been given and only I have the authority to change it. Then there`s the fact that I have a debilitating obsession with having control. When I lose it in a situation, I get anxious and lose most of my functionality. There has to be a way to let go of this, but I fear it`s another personality trait that`s ingrained. I`m still working on it.

I`ve considered feminism my hill to die on for a while but haven`t done much to affect change in this area. I came back motivated to do more. For whatever reason, I`m very affected by other people`s words and their impressions of me. Some of the biggest turns in my life were catalyzed by the words of someone else. Someone on the retreat asked me what Canadians thought of feminism and I told them I wasn`t sure, but I certainly was a feminist and gave a few reasons why, off the top of my head. But I thought about it later and realized I didn`t say nearly enough that I wanted to. So I wrote out all the reasons why I consider myself a feminist and there`s a lot of battles on that list and I really want to start fighting them. I learned on this trip that I am capable of making friends and having a good social life while also spending a lot time by myself. I do want more friends. I just have to keep finding more people who won`t make me feel like I`m fucking weird for enjoying my alone time.