I'm Jeffrey James

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hellojeffreyjames·21 days agoText

“One reason I’m grateful for 2020”

An overview of what it’s like to live to be 37 and finally figure out that no amount of books about growth will help me with the thing that has been sabotaging me my entire life. 

All of the stress and global trauma impacted my mental health so much I think I am on the verge of getting an accurate diagnosis for the first time in my life.

I’ve been flying under the radar for like 30 years. I’ve been figuring out little tricks, workarounds, and arrangements I can make for myself to cover up what’s wrong with me, even though I had no idea what it was. Starting in March everything flared up more intensely than ever before in my life. Think I’ve almost had a nervous break down at least five times. I would feel so much anxiety I would throw up at work.

One day a month or two ago I just, out of complete curiosity and a little desperation, joined in ADHD support group online. I was still at a place where I didn’t know if I had it, and didn’t know it was all that difficult of a condition. I didn’t know that it’s so severe for some people that they are on disability for the rest of their lives. I thought that if someone is getting any amount of Social Security Disability income for having ADHD, must be really milking it. How could being distractible be a disability to any degree? Standard boilerplate stuff people who have never learned about it might think.

I shared a few things and read a great many experiences others have had. I learned about paralysis of initiate, rejection sensitive dysphoria, and how rhythmic movement syndrome has recently been strongly associated with ADHD. This is a condition I’ve struggled with my entire life, and it can be quite maddening when it’s bad. Things started to click. The way life has always felt started to make sense. The way the simplest thing can be incredibly difficult, and yet some of the most difficult things can be incredibly easy started to make sense. How I could stare at two dishes on the table and scream internally about how I should pick them up, take them to the sink, and wash them, but still not be able to do it… Started to make sense.

I scrolled through and read story after story after story, and I even cried few times. Because if anyone would’ve caught me red-handed in one of my odd behaviors, the only thing I could tell them is that I have no idea. I’d have to tell them, “I’m really sorry I can’t mail a letter. I know that It’s a simple task - that’s why it’s so difficult to try and explain. I don’t know why I can’t do it. I guess it’s because I’m selfish and shitty person.” I wouldn’t say that sarcastically either. I literally had no other way to describe it. There was nothing to connect the things that are nearly impossible for me to do, with any reason other than I am a bad person, a selfish selfish person, or a lazy person. I leaned on just saying I’m depressed a lot. That didn’t feel good because I don’t actually feel depressed, I just felt very frustrated with myself and discouraged.

I have a diagnosis for severe depression but I never felt like it fit. I never felt the loss of interest in the things that I’m passionate about. I felt an inability to do them no matter how passionate I felt. I have had suicidal ideation, at least once a week, for years because I can’t do the things I want to do. I can’t even do the things I’m incredibly passionate about and would love to complete. There are certain normal life landmarks I know I can never reach, like buying a house. I literally could not get through the process even if I could pay in cash. I can’t finish creating what I’d love to exist in the world, and leave behind the most authentic pieces of myself. I have no control over the steps I take towards my dreams. And even if I can take steps some days, I can’t control how many. It’s like being in the passenger seat while someone else decides what I will be doing all day. Usually, it’s absolutely nothing. Usually, it takes me 4 hours of thinking about taking a shower, to actually take one. I would think about eating all day and never make food. I would think about the project I’d love to do and then watch it slip away while I think of the steps I need to do to finish it.

And as it slips away, I’m conscious of what’s happening. So much so, that I feel grief. I feel sad that the one and only thing I would love to do is vanishing before my eyes. I think I have a good way to explain this though:

It’s the same feeling I think most people would get if they were about to do a task and then someone appeared and forced them through a three hour lecture about that task. Whatever spark or zest was there, just fades away and it seems like too much to organize. Too many steps and considerations and just an overwhelming amount of stuff that discourages you out of doing it. Only the task could’ve been the simplest thing like, “pick that pencil up off the ground and put it in the pencil jar.” some days you could do that, some days that morphs into, “solve cold fusion,” which is so frustrating that I want to jump out the window. I don’t think I’ve ever had a dangerous thought about suicide or self harm. I think my mind is feeding me what I’m feeling like. Just how frustrated I am that I can’t do something simple, or can’t control what I focus on. When an intrusive voice tells me I should kill myself, it’s out of being the maximum amount of frustrated because I have no control over what I do, or how long I can do it.

It’s most devastating when the only thing I wanna be, is to be there for someone else. Because it communicates that they are not important to me, even though they are the most important thing in the world to me. It’s one of the reasons most of my relationships fall apart. Why trying to grab the wheel and do what I really want to do, honestly, feels like a scene in a messed up movie were a villain is forcing someone to put a gun against their best friend’s head and pull the trigger. In terms of mental and physical resistance, that’s how hard it is for me to hijack my mind and push myself through something I want to do, or something I absolutely need to do. Imagine putting that much effort into something that you WANT TO DO. Then there are other things I don’t prefer to do, but need to do, and that’s even more difficult.

If I took all the struggles in my life that boggled my mind, things that I could not think of any explanation for. Every single, “Oh dear god, why am I like this?” …and ask if ADHD explains it, the answer has been yes every single time thus far. I want to tell you what that feels like.

Imagine being close to drowning in the middle of the sea for days and days. That feeling when you don’t know how many more times you can kick your legs and keep your head above the water to breathe. When you feel like you’re about to have a panic attack, but you are trying with every ounce of your strength not to, because if that happens, you will definitely drown. Then someone pulls you out, dries you off by a fireplace and carries you into a comfortable bed.

That’s how it feels to finally find a cause that I can address. To have an answer to what has been sabotaging me my entire life. In reality, I’m still out in the water, but I know someone’s coming, and I have people encouraging me until they arrive.

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hellojeffreyjames·23 days agoText

Another mental health awareness month has come to an end. One challenge that a designated period presents, is that it can be hard to navigate for people who struggle to function in a neurotypical culture. It’s hard to parse all the virtue signaling or things folks say just to just participate in the theme of the month. To get ready for all the people to check in once in November, and then abandon them when that dynamic is so stressful they’d rather not have that person check in at all. It can be stressful to interact with people who are well intentioned, but lack an awareness of what being supportive means. It means they may dismiss the idea you have a neurological difference because they view a diagnosis as a defect instead of a part of neurodiversity.

This dullness may not happen, but if that’s the case, it doesn’t have to be forever. It can be a stepping stone towards building cognitive habits and disciplines you need to reduce your dosage. It can be the phase you needed to rewire your neurons. You may be able to build the structures you need to be medication free in a couple years instead of decades.

There are some neurological conditions that make it impossible to do certain things. One can learn the skills to work around that, and make the impossible, possible.  but for many people it’s like trying to learn calculus while bench pressing 200 pounds as someone keeps sticking a needles in your foot and telling you that you have no value and would be better off dead. For me that is not a question of whether or not I could learn calculus like that. It’s whether or it I should.

There are simple things I intend to do every single day and just cannot do them when I’m not on meds. I will beat myself up, tell myself I am a waste of a human life, and a burden to everyone, because I can’t do the even most basic things. I can’t do for those around me what I absolutely believe they deserve from me, and I don’t even have the language to explain why the most simple tasks are next to impossible. How it just looks like me being inconsiderate and selfish. How climbing Mount Everest would genuinely be easier than, say, mailing a letter. 

That’s not an exaggeration. I mean there are chemical differences that make a simple mundane task more difficult than something that includes tangible stress, urgency, extreme physical challenge, and in a distraction free environment. Obviously I’d fail at climbing Mount Everest as an untrained mountain climber, but I would engage with the activity. Taking three coffee cups off the nightstand and putting them in the dishwasher?  Without medication, that might happen if I think about it every day for the next… 2 years. Ok, that one is an exaggeration, but it would be quite a while.

I feel very proud as I watch my friends make life plans and conquer the world, as I formulate my own elaborate 36 step plan to ensure I brush my teeth today. 

If anyone identifies with any of that, to any degree, I just want you to know that you’re not alone. Yes, I also set myself 26 alarms and nine reminders and still did not make it to the post office yesterday. Or the day before that. Or the day before that. Yes, I also don’t know what to tell my family about why I don’t reciprocate birthday cards. Yes, I also feel like I am doing my best to hide and perform happiness and high function.

Have you gotten so good at it you’re afraid people think the performance is the really of how you are doing, and that mentioning your struggles would be seen as being attention seeking or melodramatic? Hey, me too, and I also feel this paradox:  Wishing somebody knew, yet embarrassed that if anyone really new, they wouldn’t know where to begin to support me and I wouldn’t know what to tell them. Yes, you and I both share that fear, that it will only end with a loss of dignity and to be treated like that unstable neurotic friend that folks keep at arms length and never expect much out of. That you’ll be stuck at the “kids table” of life and never be invited to anything that counts. And “me too” about… a lot of other and darker things we won’t get into right now.

We can spend a lot of energy juggling all of these difficult concepts and throwing the balls up so high in the air we don’t realize The massive amount of energy we are blowing through to just make it through each day. We can’t see them all at one time and realize, no one on the earth should have to do all of that alone. No one on the earth can do all of that alone. You are not a failure to seek help.

You are not a failure to seek help.

You are not a failure to seek help.

You are not a failure to seek help.

You are not a failure to seek help.

To stay afloat we keep juggling but if we stopped we would see it fall to the ground and say, “Holy shit I’ve been trying to manage hundreds of emotional, intellectual, psychological, spiritual, and physical burdens that the people I compare myself to …simply don’t.”  The reason I feel feel like I am at the razor’s edge of losing everything, is because I am trying to do something nearly impossible, and perhaps absolutely impossible to do on my own.

You are not a failure to seek help. You are not dishonoring your body or your mind to take a medicine. You’re not a failure if you need to talk to a psychiatrist. You are not a failure if you believe you have neglected your whole life, for your entire life.  Because I know how hard it is to just make it through the day and still be alive. I know how hard it is to wake up every morning knowing you’re going to make it through this day, by the skin of your teeth, again.

That’s not your fault. The hundreds of things you have to conquer in your mind to make it through every single day - that’s not your fault and I need you to know that I am so. goddamn. proud of you. I’m proud of you because this fight is absurdly difficult. I hope you can trust me in that because at this point I’m an an expert in this fight.  I’m an expert at putting in every last drop of my effort and willpower, just to tie my shoes, get in the car, and drive to work. This fight is not a fair fight. You’ve been fighting an incredibly unfair fight, if not always by yourself, often by yourself …and that is why I am so goddamn proud of you. 

I am more proud of you than I am of billionaires. I am more proud of you than those people who get to live laugh love their dream life and get paid to travel the world and sample ice cream for their ice cream travel blog. I’m proud of you because I know what you have to do to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you don’t get to sample the ice cream flavors of Bangladesh for doing so. 

So I want you to know, again: it’s okay to seek help. It can be a difficult road but I recommend professional help. Some wonderful spiritual books and friends can’t often fight that incredibly unfair fight.  You are a specific person and a mental health practitioner will be able to understand your specific needs and make adjustments as needed. 

I can’t promise you that I will give you exactly what you’re needing but I am here if you need to reach out and want to know more about getting help. I can promise, that if your friends fail to support you in the ways that you need, it’s not because they don’t love you, it’s because they are not professional supports. They haven’t trained for this. Seeking professional support is the way that we begin to believe we are not a burden to our friends and family. 

Even when you never were, it’s the same feeling of asking loved ones casually about some car issues for years, tinkering with your engine for years, then hiring a mechanic. There’s no one in your life who will shame you for seeking a mechanic and you might be amazed at how quickly your car begins to drive more smoothy. 

Anyone who talks negatively about medication, therapy, psychiatry, etc. do not have your well-being in mind.  they are sales people for their own ideologies. It’s not about you it’s about how you should take natural medicine or trust Jesus. There are people who would rather you buy some supplements and remain miserable than to see a professional and be shown that professional help does make a real difference.  it’s best to avoid those folks for a little while.

You are not a failure to seek help.

I am more proud of you billionaires and  professional ice cream tasting supermodels. 

You are fighting a battle you do not deserve to fight alone.

You are absolutely positively not alone.

You’re not a failure to seek help.

Things can get better.

Things will get better.

In the darkest places, reasons to try, to go on, to keep living, are often often nonexistent. I don’t want you to have any hope that things will change. I’m asking you to place a tiny sliver of trust in these things I’m saying. The best recent to do something different and to seek help is going to be, for no reason. The voices in your head will try to stop you and you must tell them, “there is no reason I’m doing this. But I am still going to do it.” Hope will betray you. Friends and family are not professional supports and will let you down because they don’t have any training.

I just want you to place that sliver trust in how I know road will get smoother. Things will get easier. Seeking help is not failure. I’m not asking you to hope I know this. I am asking you to trust that I notice. And I’m asking you to please keep on seeking help even though the help feel sometimes. The system may be broken but system can be a crucial part love you reconnecting with yourself and your inner resources so that you can create your own path of healing.

I’m so incredibly proud of you. thank you for reading all of this and if you choose to, thank you for placing that sliver of trust in these things I’m saying. And if you can’t do anything else, keep being around people you feel good around. The people that do you feel excepted and listen to with, and if you don’t have any of those let me know and I’ll make sure you do. 💛🤍🖤💛🤍🖤

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hellojeffreyjames·24 days agoText

The Psychcic Metamorphic

part 1:

To be exceptional, is not to become exceptional at holding your temper when someone stimulates it, and saying, “I’m so proud of myself - when I was younger I would’ve harmed them.”

That’s a nice thing to have learned, but is it healthy to stifle your energy? Is using willpower for restraint a courtesy we extend for our own reputation? To be seen as composed and unaffected? To hold a temper, we dishonor the self: what is really inside. To be authentic, one needs to step outside of anger and follow a trail leading to a psychic shift. You have not been given a curse when a person stimulates anger, you have been given access to a path and discipline called The Psychic Metamorphic. You have been given a gift.

First, to find this gift, you must not resist the feeling. Anger will always win because of it’s purpose: The emotion that reminds us what is deeply important to us. 

If that is true, then when someone stimulates anger, you must not hold anything back, and see how lovingkindness comes out because you’ve trained for that moment. You have learned anger is separate from action. We can process anger in any number of ways, and there is a magic in the tracing and transforming that energy. 

The Metamorphic begins this way:

First, I can’t understate how much practice it takes but you must master the art of one simple thing, to pause before you do anything else. If you can achieve this second, lean on a previous negation you had with yourself, and begin with thankfulness; that someone was able to give you an incredibly potent reminder of what is most important to you. To treat it like a note on your bathroom mirror containing a beloved mantra or reminder to your spirit, but now it has been ignited and you are no longer you. A metaphorm is dancing through all of your veins and racing through your heart. Uncomfortable as it may seem at first, this person has just transformed you into your value. You are now in metaform. You are no longer who you were moments before.  Generally this discomfort causes us to lose a good portion of our ability to control it. As soon as the Metamorph is aware you’re fighting, them you instantly defeated defeated. The art of Psychic Metamorphic is not to control but to guide. Not to hold back a closed fist, but provide better options for the expression. Options that make a closed fist seem like the toothpick beside a sword. 

Don’t squander your metaform by reacting. Do not let it take over. You can pause and breathe in this form, but you must negotiate that with yourself in a space when you are not being gifted metaform. With some practice, you can enjoy your anger to concentrate on the energy flowing through your body. You can look around and see through these new eyes. 

Now, let’s say this value is the belief that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.  Someone has stimulated anger in not observing this value. Now let’s modernize what we call that event and say:

What has happened is not precisely that someone has made you angry, but that you have been presented with a gift to fully embody a value.  If you subscribe to this method as way of life, and wanted to develop it further, you might give it a name.  You might say to yourself, “I am now the metamorph called dignity. I am no longer me, I am the embodiment of treating people with dignity. I have been sent a messenger not as a punishment, but as a catalyst for igniting my soul, and seeing through the eyes of my value at the highest level I am capable of. I cannot think of a greater gift to be given.”

That is the basic discipline of The Psychic Metamorphic, but it is only the beginning.

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hellojeffreyjames·a month agoText


There is a certain beauty,

when even a photo feels like

a peaceful rest,

but when she looks at me

I forget.

Then I race

with my heart

and through reasons.

She’s a stranger now

because my mind can’t believe

I’m in her gaze intentionally.

I need to calm down.

She may need directions.

I’m trying to breathe

and tell myself,

“Don’t make it weird.”

It’s just the most beautiful person

I’ve ever seen…

Walking towards me


My mind comes back and I realize,

I’m with her. We’re together.

we’ve been together for a while.

I’m only beginning

to come to my senses.

Then she kisses me.

I feel like there’s nothing

in a thousand lifetimes

I could have done

to be worthy of that affection.

Those are the kisses that taught me

to let go of what I think I deserve.

She takes my clothes off

When I barely just accepted

The reality of her kiss.

She tells me she has visions there

That there’s something special about this

and I don’t know what to call it anymore.

We left the earth together.

We found a place outside of time.

We didn’t make love or have sex or fuck.

I’ve done those things before.

I’ve never done this.

It’s not even similar.

It held us together for five years.

When nothing else did.

Imagine how hard I tried.

I hope you can believe

I’ve never fought harder

For anything in my life.

Desperately, to change myself.

To cure myself.

Cure depression.

Heal trauma.

To be enough.

I hope you can believe

I made miracles happen.

I made so much

out of the nothing in me.

“So much” is not noticeable

When it’s walking poorly while paralyzed.

But I know a miracle when I see one.

And I had more up my sleeve

around the time she left.

She’s not coming back for them

no matter how much of my heart

I pour out on pages.

We all know what to do with ‘em.

Use them on ourselves, goddamnit.

Even just one.

If anyone’s still reading this:

Don’t live your life using up all your miracles on someone else. You can live your whole life watching them fizzle out. Don’t spend your whole life learning that every miracle you have, was made for you alone. They don’t work on anyone else in the long term. They do, however, require the same amount of passion and emotion that we used when we tried to save the greatest love in our life.  When you use that energy on yourself you don’t have to worry that yourself is going to walk away. You are the greatest love of your life. You can save the rest after you save yourself, and, it’s okay if you’ve wasted a lot of miracles; you only need one. 

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hellojeffreyjames·a month agoText

Deep Rest

When you’re the opposite of depressed everything is funny. When you’re as depressed as one can get, nothing can be funny. Why is there a constant battle between those two? And what determines which is winning?

“Nothing can be funny,” is strong today. I’m in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I had to take a canoe to this island. I may be one of the few people to lay here. I’m with a group who happily went exploring along. And I’m on the rocks crying a little to myself. About how I’m so tired all the time. Everyone I’ve ever looked at seems to have boundless energy compared to me.

And the clutches of being institutionalized seem closer and closer every day. If I did not have such a heart for wanting so badly to be in a lasting love, I’d let that wave pull me under. I’d eat applesauce and watch reality tv every day and be comfortable. Shriveling up and up and up.

But what is all this for, if not to love someone? Why should I take breaths every day, if no one’s there to take them away?

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hellojeffreyjames·a year agoAnswer

Hi Jeffrey James, will you come back? I hope you’re doing well, sir.

Come back to where?

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hellojeffreyjames·a year agoText


I imagine the flowers

will have something to say

about my glassy eyes

and foggy mind

when they bloom for me

each day.

and the winds that make

the grass dance

always asking me to join in

while i step on it

like it’s simple carpet

instead of a joyful movement

instead of an invitation

to dance along.

and the sun shining on my skin

like it loves me

and wants me to come alive

basking in a glow

it sends me

quite dependably

and what of the trees?

always screaming

“climb me! climb me!”

giving oxygen

caring about my lungs

My secret family

always with me

giving relentlessly

while i forget

and sleep

wallowing in despair

but i need only to appreciate one

to remember the others.

I’m playing psychic games

some days

impossible to win

just to remember

how much is poured out

how much the natural world

demonstrates love



unconditional dedication

but I place demands

on other environments

for these provisions

poking around hollow constructions

my depression

is a futile attempt

to create

what is already there

for me

every day

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hellojeffreyjames·3 years agoText


I’m unlearning the lessons you’ve taught on

The ones that showed me I was forgot-on

But i as no one still spied my self

Scared beneath the covers of your field

Well this no one’s finally braver than intended

And I’m coming to recover what you’ve stealed

and get my mind back

Through my body I’ll

Get my mind back

through my body I’ll (repeat)

How could you have never told

you put me in a sheath

and slid me under your bed

You self important thief.

With a more important job

And you knew it all along

But held armor and the blade

To keep me as a slave

And when I left you

You mocked displays of strength

Confident in my return

As the keeper of my worth

But I as nothing chose to hope

My self hatred would fade

And this nothing would recover

The person that you chose to take

and get my mind back through my body

I’ll get my mind back through my own body

I don’t need your body

I don’t need your sorries

I’m back in my body

I’m my own glory now

I made my way out

I’m in my body now

I’m in my body now

I don’t need your


I’ve got my own


they’re in my


And that’s the way



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hellojeffreyjames·3 years agoText

Still baby

Recently I stared wondering if a lot of things are stuck and in a catch 22 like “I’m depressed that I’m not being productive but I can’t be productive because I’m too depressed,” are because my inner child is paralyzed with fear and so there’s no motivational tool that will help me get unstuck because I’m not really needing motivation, productivity, or accomplishment. To try and force myself to pursue those things is putting the cart before the horse.

What I need is to related to my paralyzed and frozen self like a child who is hiding under the bed in complete terror.

So I started this practice of talking to that aspect of myself. I started incredibly small. And kinda by accident. I would just say “it’s ok,” over and over when I had panic attacks (and still do) because it was the only thing that would keep me from having a psychotic break and jumping out the window or something. It didn’t fix it but it softened the intensity. I discovered later that if I say more things with an intention to comfort and reassure my inner child that they are safe, the impact was very big. Especially recently when I started setting a timer on my phone and then when it rings I turn it off and put it down and I say something like:

“Oh hi, I’m sorry I was on my phone so much. It’s just a bad habit like picking my nose. You are way more important to me than this phone and I want to spend more time with you because I love you and you’re one of the best parts of me. You’re where creativity and playfulness come from and without those things I don’t think it life would be as meaningful. I could do it. I could grit my teeth and carry on, but I love so much having you with me and adding those things to my life. And I know you’re scared and you don’t need to do anything right now, I’ll just sit with you. Maybe we could listen to a book together?”

One night I kept going on and on and speaking like that and I cried pretty hard from a profound send of gratitude and self acceptance.

It might sound a little weird and like a lot of work but if you chose to, maybe a simple self reminder like “it’s ok” would help. Or even “it’s ok to not be ok. I’ll sit here and bear this with you, you’re not alone.”

I think that if I can shift my focus from thinking productivity is what I need to be doing and put it on comfort and safety for this part of myself that is frozen in fear it is what will bring me out of these dark times of feeling stuck and unable to do anything.

I think of how incredibly insensitive and ineffective it would be to see a kid hiding under their bed, scared half to death, and yelling, “hey get out from under your bed and clean your room!” And yet, this is how I think I have been raised to relate to myself both from verbally abusive parents and abusive religious ideology.

Religious portion. Ignore this part of you’ve (luckily) not been exposed to fundamentalist religion (let’s say “FR” for short):

FR puts pressure on everyone to conform to a perfected and prescribed identity and hide any negative emotional things taking place. In religious culture, negative emotions show that you must be outside of god’s will, or that god is “refining you” because to have faith in FR and not explain it in one of those terms threatens the entire faith system. FR also practices self annihilation and deferring everything good you do as not coming from a place of self worth, but because of God working through you. Everything bad (sinful) you do, of course, is your fault and God has nothing to do with it; it’s because you faltered in your faith/devotion. This teaches a person that they are worthless and the only good thing about them is that they get to have God’s love and attention when they obey and follow Him. This is like taking your core self and smashing it to pieces. It is like hearing someone say “you’re worthless without me” and responding “you’re right.” It is also a common brainwashing tactic that can be found in books about conditioning that are making no attempts to criticize or even mention religion. You can just read it and think, “oh that sounds like a lot of religions.” All of this adds up to a total and complete neglect of your inner/child self and so your self hides in terror as you say “I’m worthless” over and over in a hundred different subtle ways within FR culture. This is religious trauma and I think it’s one of the most overlooked sources of the kind of developmental trauma that leads to mental health issues that can be very severe.

So be it verbally abusive parents or abusive ideology, picture your true self paralyzed in fear and hiding from a severe lack of comfort, care, security, acceptance, love, understanding, allowance of playfulness, rest, and on and on I could go. I can’t speak for everyone but for me and my life - It is not the right time to measure my success by productivity. It’s time to measure my success by how much I encouraged myself today for who I am, not what tasks I’ve done. That I’m worth getting out of bed for. I’m worth having my teeth brushed. And when I work on these things I use a parent-child paradigm. I say to my inner child, “You are worth sitting with until you feel safe. I was so happy to see you come out from your hiding place and laugh and dance with our friends last night. It wouldn’t have been the same without you. I want to take you everywhere with me, but I’ll stay in and sit with you and hum a lullaby if that’s what you need. You are worthy and deserving of comfort, and I will always be here to do that for you.”

That’s the best I’ve got right now on my 20 year struggle with depression. I hope it helps someone. I’m here for anyone who has a question or two for someone who has been to hell and back a few times in their struggle with mental health. I’m going to repeat this again a few times because I’ve definitely needed to say it to myself a lot:

You are worthy and deserving of comfort.

You are worthy and deserving of comfort.

You are worthy and deserving of comfort.

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hellojeffreyjames·3 years agoText

After reading about developmental trauma, and the findings of the Adverse Childhood Experience study (or ACE, and I’m a 6), I have kind of pieced together something: I keep building structures and gathering resources that serve my passions and interests. I do this automatically all the time. I buy equipment. I bookmark design resources. I scan for good deals on music creation software. I scan very deftly at thrift stores for anything that will serve my needs. I research what the “best” in terms of value for cost. I will look at every protein powder on Amazon and hold it against my current understanding of nutrition and pair down the list until I find the one that is perfect. I often do this with people in trying to help them be better people, people that would better suit the environment I’d like to live in. I notice that, in spite of all self judgment that I have no motivation, there is a substantial energetic force that is functioning strongly and continuing to perfect structures and systems in hopes that the environment is made functional, I will be able to function within the environment. Ernest Becker is inspiring me to accept that the environment will never be truly manageable in that sense and we build myths to cope with that fact. Fictions to help us achieve a kind of heroism that allows us to keep our existential fears at bay. 

My stress response (amygdala?) has me feeling frozen most of the time. For all these systems I spend the majority of my energy on to perfect, I do not engage with them. I am building fictions to someday exist in, that are perpetually incomplete, because completion is the antithesis of the the environment (and even nature itself). I am not frozen because I have no energy. My energy is displaced and spent gathering the right ingredients to cook up an idea of safety, that will only exist in conditions that are impossible. My mind will always think of one more thing, or I’ll run into a problem of maintenance where even parts of the construction will require attention, much like the parlor trick of spinning plates. I see all the energy I spend in this domain; to cultivate and maintain structures that are ultimately empty. 

My critical mission is how to place that energy where I can see it is most useful, rather than the futile environmental perfection that will never come to fruition. All I know about that process currently has to do with immersion and sustained focus. I can try to focus, but immersion will be more difficult because this task of categorically shifting energy from preparation and planning to action oriented motivation is one I haven’t seen much literature about. Perhaps I’ll be the one to write about it, years from now. 

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hellojeffreyjames·3 years agoText

Realty is diverse and we have never seen it all at once, and never can. Our brains are selective and decided what parts to look at during our development for the purpose of survival. You initially survive roughly 2 decades of your subconscious deciding what parts of reality to focus on based on the environment you are in. The subconscious mind of a 4 year old is intelligent as fuck - it’s like having an etherial extra and best parent: the only parent who can really attune to your needs because it is tapped into them on biological level and directly integrated. The subconscious is an intelligent new womb one lives within after birth.

So into adulthood, with the selective perception of reality the new womb has provided to keep your survival chance as high possible. Now, in a completely different environment, our perception of reality is made obselessant. And the “law of attraction” is a woo woo sounding concept that simply refers to the act reconfiguring one’s reality selection, with intention and discipline, to keep the environment just stable enough for the womb to adapt. To realize old threats are gone and don’t need to be scanned for hypervigilantly, and new opportunities are now present that weren’t there before (and even completely blocked through domination, trauma, familial rules, etc.).

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hellojeffreyjames·3 years agoQuote
Yvette Erasmus

These are probably some of the most powerful and insightful words I’ve ever had the great pleasure of hearing:

(In nonviolent communication) You’re dropping down and drawing on more data than we use in a domination system. Because in a domination system we care about human beings that are obedient and compliant and serving authority. In order to have social control in those kinds of systems, we need people to be out of touch with their needs and not trust their needs because we want them to put their needs aside in the service of a social system that maintains a power hierarchy. They need to think that to be good people and to be safe that they are going to behave the way the system wants them to behave.

And so this is super radical in that sense, it says “no, social systems are suspect.” Whatever your family has taught you, whatever culture has taught you, whatever you think is normal out there; all of that is changeable, and the way we get guidance about the change is, “Do these things meet the needs of all people?” Because what we care about in nonviolence is including every human being and, quite frankly, all life on this planet. As we see systems not doing that internalized or external we don’t change it through the demand energy of it being right or wrong or good or bad, we don’t even enter into to that conversation. We talk about serving life or meeting needs. You need to then include the people you are previously seeing as enemies. You need to include the people that activate all of the fear in you because you’re going to bat for their wellbeing too, and until they know that you’re also going to bat for what’s important to them, there won’t be change, there will be power struggle.

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hellojeffreyjames·3 years agoText

Sometimes i think social media is like a depression and anxiety laden toxin and like… kind of a strong one. Not like a, “haha i could see it being that! lol,” but more like, “Holy shit this is really really bad and the only reason we can’t snap out of it is because they built an addiction engine based on billions of dollars invested in tracking and exploiting human behavior.”

Like… it’s a lethal toxin but we don’t want to say it out loud because we might have to change out habits if that notion is true. I’ve been reading about hypernormalization and baudrillard’s simulation and it’s spooky but it feels comforting because it explains a lot of existential depression I struggle with and hear about.

I think it’s a wonderful drug that one never has to come down from except for when trying to sleep, showering, and hopefully driving. It feels so good to get notifications and comments and internet love. Mixed in with the positive there’s some bad stuff. Companies don’t spend billions on maintaining structures do you can get your needs met, it’s so they can get you to meet their needs.

More money than we could ever fathom and more social science then we could ever fathom goes into delivering us as a product by putting us into a very structured daycare that trains us to be effective consumers. More than ever we are at risk of being cattle for marketeers. There are people working very hard around the clock to make you think a certain way.

The place you can notice this the most is on social media. It is the colosseum for consumer conditioning. And you could take a few very educated people who really see this, and they could convince anyone that this is going on. The tragedy is the next day all of those people are probably going to hop on Facebook and Instagram like it’s not killing them.

I remember “before the Internet.” Time was a more pleasing experience. Existence felt more slow, gentle and relaxed. To this day I wouldn’t say any of my favorite experiences were online. I spend my time online like it’s where I’m going to get these things because some clever engineers know how to build habit forming products.

When I think about how trapped and doomed i may be I feel like I’m at the edge of the cliff where I either have to get rid of my smart phone and etc. or kill myself because I have no control over my life or my experience or my destiny. I don’t feel sad saying that, it’s actually kind of comforting to just be blatantly honest about what the fuck is happening and how serious it is.

In the scheme is pretty old. It’s kind of like the same mechanism of being a Republican because you don’t want to kill babies. It manipulates primal human instincts and needs for safety and belonging. There’s a feeling of, “If you leave the Internet you won’t have any friends!” When the fucking holy shit motherfucking fuck fuck holy fuck absolute opposite is true. Severing the Internet will bring real relationship and profound connection. The only difference between what’s happening and a corporate controlled dystopian sci-fi movie depiction of society is that we have less space ships.

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hellojeffreyjames·3 years agoText

Machined time

Please pour love on my foolishness! 

 Breathe deeply and cradle me 

 Nothing needs to make sense 

 I don’t need permanence 

 or any promises! 

 I only know that each second you’re still here 

 Is one I have failed to kiss 

 The end will hurt either way 

 Why pretend separately?  

You’re my only source of gravity. 

 I can’t breathe here. 

 Just let me die in the company of your air. 

 And you can leave me 

 You’re just not allowed to live by my grave; 

 It doesn’t save anyone. 

 Let everything die 

 but wait till it must 

 I hate you this way 

 You’re cutting off the flowertops 

 For no reason 

 What about gravity? 

 What about desire? 

 Why can’t we live by desire?! 

 What else is there? 

 Until I forget your name 

 My guts are dizzy and stung 

 And you’re right there 

 Telling me it’s all true 

But that it’s somehow better this way 

 Like the distance matters 

 Like it’s not torture.

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hellojeffreyjames·4 years agoText

I had always been estranged from the possibility of safety, but today I found a the tiniest pinhole and am bewildered at what a common idea it is that i have never felt. I feel grateful but sad at what a dead thing it has been. “Some people just have this most days,” and other thoughts put lumps in my throat, accompanied by hope in my guts.

I notice the hundred clenched fists inside and I let go of a few. I loosened some of my grips and felt drunk on the feeling of undefendedness. I feel amazement that ground exists under my feet.

I notice that these fists are all me. They are my preconceptions and anticipations, designed to keep me save as a verb but not a noun. I never felt it like a noun until today. I’m coming to terms with needing no tight fists, but fuck, this is difficult work! To reach inside and loosen a vast sea of defenses, whispering, “It’s ok” to each one until I feel like I can relax for the first time in my life.

Close watch of these tiny energies is rewarding. The exhaustion and irony of being vigilant against hypervigilance is illusory when my reward in energy vastly exceeds energy mindfulness requires.

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hellojeffreyjames·4 years agoText

Instead of wanting sex (IE: giving your attention/focus while letting it control your plans and decisions), cultivate a great desire for every other kind of connection. I promise the sex will still happen unless it was impossible in the first place. You will enjoy sex the most when it was not an objective; when it was the natural magnetism of intimate connection on other levels.

sex is not, in and of itself, intimacy. It is an activity that can occur within the container of intimacy. I am speaking of a vital consciousness shift were you do not enter an interaction with someone with an sexual objective. The street name for this approach is “creepy” because you are not respecting their personhood and are attempting to manipulate them into feeling connected to you so you can get your needs for sexual expression met.

When you are open to ALL potential connections AND NO CONNECTION you will start to notice your life change and feel closer with people. It is the beginning of a process in which your sexuality starts to heal and become balanced with an appreciation of intimacy without trying to use sex to chemically induce intimacy.

Now this process can still occur rapidly. It is a shift in consciousness - The approach of openness to any connection and all kinds of intimacy (including a non sexual one) while holding a space of non judgment in your mind for the possibility that they will not want to connect and engage. Put your ego on a time out for this part and appreciate someone who is making decisions that serve them best. They may simply not feel resourced to take on a new connection with someone, and that’s okay. It’s a good lesson to see someone who can make that sort of decision because it shows us what being in tune with our needs and values looks like even as we walk away from someone who did not want to engage with us.

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hellojeffreyjames·4 years agoText

“The Case for Missing Teeth.”

There are very few opportunities to say you need someone. Very few opportunities to spark a close connection and experience love with a stranger or even a friend. Finding someone to share a meal with can be your week’s biggest challenge. We are made to live as teeth on the gears of a machine. Mechanistic activities are praised. Softness, stillness and holding space for moments of shared vulnerability have been replaced with digital simulations so you can be a stronger tooth on a gear on a machine to make widgets that have no meaning other than to create more teeth. Teeth are the currency of power for the machine but there is no one at the wheel. Machine navigators are obsessed with nonhuman interests.

Connecting with people on the internet makes being a tooth, less painful and isolating, but if I had that pain and no opportunity for self deception, I would be motivated to lift myself out of this isolation and go out in the world to truly meet my needs rather than accept a cheap copy.

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hellojeffreyjames·4 years agoText

The implication of hell as a potential consequence for exploring spirituality outside of one’s parent’s faith is pure brainwashing. It’s like wanting to leave a gang but staying because they might kill you. So you essentially have no choice because of fear indoctrinarian at an early age. Fear of damnation is a violent retention tactic and if you are conditioned to have no choice, how can you be sure of salvation in the first place? This psychological warfare happening to tiny children makes me feel nauseous.

It’s not until one starts to attempt earnest truth seeking, the kind that requires all beliefs (both theistic and atheistic) having equal footing and consideration, that ptsd ravages the soul and one feels helpless and choiceless because extreme psychological violence was wrapped up with a pretty bow and labeled “love” since before you could walk or speak.

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hellojeffreyjames·4 years agoText

Desperate to feed The mouths of their children
try to rob the store for a little bit of food
but it’s much worse than that.
But it’s much worse than that.
go right to jail, get a record.
A record that says they have no voice
That could legislate away from the poverty
That generated their desperate plea.
But it’s much worse than that.
But it’s much worse than that.
Some shot in the head for sitting on the street
Lives worth less than the comfort of elites
But it’s much worse than that
But it’s much worse than that
Nature inconvenient for economy
Portable wealth destroys every living thing
But its much worse than that.
But its much worse than that.
wealth extracted leaves a vacuum
Where people point at each other
While masters of confusion
Play the part of a mother.
What could be worse than that?
What could be worse than that?

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