Depression hits.. Now what? Love yourself!


Until you’ve found pain, you won’t reach the cure

Until you’ve given up life, you won’t unite with the supreme soul

Until you’ve found fire inside yourself, like the Friend,

You won’t reach the spring of life.

Rumi ♥

hhhhhhh

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Last week I came out of the closet with my post: Let The Truth be Known:  I Suffer from Depression  I acknowledge the myths about depression seeking to help those who do not suffer from this mental illness understand just a bit more, and to furthermore relate to those who do.  The same day, I noticed this post opened doors to many of you who have had depression or are still fighting it.. writing letters and comments which warmed my heart. To you I say thanks!

This week I want to talk about the beacon which keeps me on top of things. The little light inside me which flickers the fire to stay focused on my healing. It is not easy, at times, when I wake up at 4am in sheer panic, like I did this week, wondering what the hell is happening? The wheels of life start turning so fast in my brain that I cannot fall back to sleep… It is quite scary.

However, I am reminded of how a mother loves her child. Being so close to my mother and my children, I realized this week, if only I can love myself like mom loves me, or how I love my children. So I set out to find words of comfort when I feel like the world is spinning. I ask myself “What would my mom say to me now?” or “What would I be telling my children?”

While researching this post, I found an article online: Self-Compassion: Treating Yourself As You’d Treat a Good Friend by Kristen Neff. She defines self compassion (after studying Buddhist writings) as: kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.

She writes:

  • Self-kindness refers to the tendency to be supportive and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical or judgmental. Instead of tearing ourselves to shreds when we fail or make a mistake, we soothe and comfort ourselves, providing the caring concern needed to try again.
  • Common humanity involves recognizing that all humans are imperfect. It allows us to connect our own flawed condition to the shared human condition so that we can have a greater perspective on our personal shortcomings and difficulties.
  • Mindfulness can be defined as the clear seeing and acceptance of what is occurring in the present moment. It involves being aware of one’s painful feelings in a balanced manner so that one neither ignores nor exaggerates personal suffering.

These 3 self-care tools are what I have implemented in my healing, along with therapy, medication and support.

These things often shed light on the situation I am going through and help me stay grounded in my personal space. So when I am having a panic attack, instead of trying to run away from it, which is often the case during panic attacks, I first drink a very tall cold glass of water (something my mom would tell me to do), then I speak to myself in ways that are soothing: ie:  “You’re ok!! This too shall pass”. I may also reach out on the phone or online to seek support during the crisis, and then stay grounded by following mindfulness techniques like meditating on my feet!! Feeling my feet on the ground, really helps me regain consciousness during an attack!

I have plenty of self-care tools to run too, thus I think its important for those suffering from depression to seek out those beacons of light to help in the healing process. We are not alone!

Concluding today’s post, Kristen Neff writes:

“…the more you’re able to admit the pain of being a limited human being and accept this fact with kindness and equanimity, the more you’ll be able to heal your pain. By soothing and comforting yourself, just as a caring mother soothes and comforts her child when he or she is hurt, you will be able to rebound from setbacks more quickly. You will have the emotional resources needed to take on new challenges and reach your full potential. Beating yourself up doesn’t help anyone — least of all yourself.”

I totally agree! This is new for me too.. so the next time you are so bummed out your body is riddled with fear? What mothering technique could you do to self-comfort in a loving way?

Note: You can find more information on the writings of Kristen Neff by following the link to her site: www.self-compassion.org she has written a book entitled: Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind

Blessings of love,

ooo

Pragmatic or Care Free?


If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.  ~Toni Morrison

I’ve been thinking outside myself a lot lately.  Not being able to settle down yet to meditate for long periods of time.  I do manage to journal short sentences, sit for tiny periods to breathe, and read a little.  I am looking for answers… I think I spend too much time looking for answers.  I do not know why I need to know everything at every moment.. this has been a struggle most of my life.. even as a child.

Around age 8, I once sat on an egg to see if it would hatch… I was so curious about how chickens form that the urge was too strong for me to resist.. Alas!! the egg broke on contact… Which leads to me ask:  “When I seek to know the answer right away.. does the egg break?”  I mean, even if I sat on that egg for days.. it would have never hatched right?  Yet, if I were a hen and that egg had been fertilized, then, eventually, I would have a chick.

So.. how does this apply in life?  Well I am not a hen.. I am human.. so maybe looking at things that are out of my control is not something I want to do. Obviously I cannot be what I am not.   What I want to do, is really trust what I already know and work with that.  I am on the verge of declaring to the world what I already know.. and admit this to myself.  I am on the verge of letting the hens lay eggs, and allowing myself to do what I want to do, what I am meant to do.. but I need a plan.

I am not much for planning.. for some silly reason.. Plans scare me.  Maybe because, many times in my life, things didn’t go according to plan… (very disappointing).  Yet I know, when I set goals, I can achieve them.. it HAS happened.

Surrender!  Surrender is one of the most challenging things one can do, but once one experiences surrender, the journey is much more enchanting.  So for today, I will surrender all my questions to the Universe, and devote my time to being ..  just be.. yet allow myself to set a few concrete goals and see where life takes me from there.

I guess it’s all a balance between being pragmatic and care free!  WOH!

Love and blessings

Kim

Related Post:  When I get pissed off, its a clear sign by Jennifer Shelton FEMCENTRAL

Kinky, roadhouse kicks and tiny red socks?


In this article Wear Your Oxygen Mask First, the blogger describes why it is important to give yourself oxygen first if ever there is an emergency on an airplane.  This dream I interpreted in September reminded me of my struggles of putting myself first order to be a healthier mom for my children.    The mom in this dream is an amazing mom! She really cares for her family’s well-being, however, sometimes like many of us moms, especially new moms, we (out of pure love for are children) are too tired at night for anything.. Including sex!!!

The names in this dream are changed  Maria is the dreamer, hubby is the boyfriend and Tod (for Toddler child).

The Dream

The dream opened with me in the backseat of a long car (like a Cutlass), the seat belts in back were brown with black seat belts. I bent down to grab my bra from the back seat floor (I was clothed) when I noticed a black bra affixed by the clasps to the seat belt beside me. I pulled it off and I noticed it was a size C and the words “Kieran” were on the label. The bra was from American Apparel. Hubby was in the front passenger seat sleeping. I thought nothing of the bra and went to put mine on. As the minutes passed, it started bugging me so i searched around in the seats (behind and under them) for more clues. I found a key chain (a digital photo viewer one) with a hotel key attached. I looked at the pics to find they were of him and a girl (who looked like a hooker) on a bed in a hotel room. I scanned through the pics and saw MANY pictures of many ppl in various stages of sex and even some (omg lol acrobatic type sex positions) I woke him up and showed him the pics at which he laughed and smiled and was embarrassed and speechless. I yelled. “Oh snap!” and I ran out of the car into a locker room nearby. He followed me and every time he opened his mouth i punched or roundhouse kicked him in the face. He was surprised by my flexibility and athletic ability. (So was I) LOL! Anyways, I beat him 😦 repeatedly and then I hog tied with Tod’s red socks (?????) and stuffed him in a locker. I told that if he wanted kinky, I could tie him up and then set his clothes on fire. (EEP! Crazy lady alert!) I proceeded to go home to burn all of his clothes. I found out via the news that several  members of a specific group were involved in this weird sex convention thing and were taking work time to do it. Everyone besides Hubby had been found and charged (Hubby was still in the locker) I was heartbroken and sad because I had physically lost control. Then I woke up.

Background Info (this often help me shed even more light on a dream)


I was *extremely* hung over yesterday. I am feeling more human today. Two: A band t-shirt I had bought at the concert was from American Apparel (which is probably the link there). As for the other stuff. Hubby is quite honestly the most sincere and genuine person I have ever met. When I was first with him, I worried intensely he would cheat on me bcuz he was just “too perfect”. I have since dropped that bcuz I know he wouldn’t have it in him to do such a thing. I have accepted that I *deserve* him. At any rate, by the end of our day, I am often too exhausted to “do the deed” 🙂 I know this frustrates him sometimes and he wishes that part of our life was like how it was before we had Tod. When it happens, it’s never disappointing (ever), it’s just that we have no time to make it a priority like we used to. Sigh.

I knew he was the one for me. However, the permanence and legalities of marriage has never appealed to me bcuz I had a failed engagement once before. Needless to say, I have always said to him that I never cared if we got married or not (he was always the one who seemed more gung ho from it at the beginning of our relationship) Until we had Tod. About 6 months ago, I started becoming more open to the idea. I haven’t really shared that with him, until my drunken confessions, which had him blindsided. Yadda, yadda…he said he never gave it much thought, which upset me…drunken crying…you can fill in the rest. Next morning I am slightly mortified lol and he’s feeling guilty bcuz he never realized how much it bothered me. I told him to never ask me because I would say no and that’s where we left it. He knows I’m kidding but I really didn’t want to have to deal with the fallout of my drunken alter ego’s antics when i was already dealing with the hangover from Hell. haha. He told me that in his Province, it is very common to not be formally married and just be common-law. 

The Interpretation

It seems to me that since you (Ego) are in the backseat something (like maybe intimacy and fun) are taking the “backseat” in your life. The parked car tells me that maybe you need to “stop” and enjoy life (and do the things that you love including time with hubby). The seatbelts symbolize the need for security, so do the bras… Being a mother is important to you and you work hard at being such a great mom, however, this dream is telling me there may be a bit of resentment going on (which is normal cause all moms I know feel this now and then when time for fun and intimacy start to take “the back seat”)

Hubby (your Id) is taking a passive role.. Sleeping quietly.. While you are starting to feel the urge to uncover a mystery behind. Since your “drunken convo” in life explains, I feel some insecurity there. You want a marriage? You want a commitment? Or Do you really feel that you have this commitment with Hubby? (those are the questions I would ask myself) What steps can you take (being flexible) to have this time?

In the dream you are suspicious, insecure and looking for clues of an affair. You finally find the clues.. The KEY to your darkest desires (the love fest). You face that part of yourself “Hubby” and you feel embarrassed (like you felt embarrassed after you woke up that morning). Really Maria your (id) is the one with the hidden desires for intimacy now. However, I think you are stuffing these emotions somewhere (beating up on yourself and stuffing yourself in a locker is not a good thing).

Tod’s red socks = Anger, resentment.. That maybe (NOT Tod HIMSELF) however, that having this child has (like you explained) kinda cut off some of the “good intimacy” you had with the real Hubby, and yourself (time to have “me” “woman” time). When in fact, when you do build some time to really be with “Hubby” in life, and “yourself” in life you surprise yourself on how flexible you are!

What Maria has to say 1 month later:

Hey I thought of something. It sort of just popped into my head. The lockers in my dream…they represent the gym. See, my sex life is so much better (and my drive is) when I exercise regularly. That was also put on the back burner! Hence sex life also suffered as a result. Of that. No longer an issue btw 😉 !

Me:  Maria!  Going to the Gym is taking care of yourself, and giving you the “libido” you much-needed in your relationship.  I am very proud that this is no longer an issue for you!  You go girl!! xxoo  Keep on giving yourself that oxygen first! 

Blessings,

8 Reasons Why I Believe in Myself


I believe in myself because I can make a stranger smile just by smiling at them.

I believe in myself because I can see the beauty in something withered and torn.

I believe in myself because I can cry, laugh and scream all at the same time.

I believe in myself because I can multi-task without even realising it.

I believe in myself because when lost I am able to follow my inner compass even through the forest.

I believe in myself because I have gifts.

I believe in myself because I can see far ahead, yet take myself to where I am at the moment.

I believe in myself because of my faith in the impossible… that is why, my friends, I believe in me!

Do you believe in yourself? Tell me why?

Love and light

.

.

Face Above – Workin’ on trust


Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.
~Karen Ravn

This past week or so, my fascination for dreams and what lies in them, has grown even deeper.   Every time someone surrenders a dream to me, I am amazed and perplexed at the mysteries that lie within.

For the past few days I’ve posted consecutive dreams my good friend Mel has experienced over a two-week period.  These dreams came to her after much self-work and questioning.  You can read more about Mel here, and find dream 1, dream 2, and dream 3.

This final dream, is a short one, but the message is powerful.  In the end, it’s all about trust!   I want to give Mel a big thanks and a hug for letting me do this! 

 

The Dream

Last night’s started with me and my closest Aunty in a car together that I was driving. I said to her: ‘Did you lock up the flat on your way out?’ She said: ‘Well not lock it, I just let the door shut on its own. It locks automatically doesn’t it.’ I stopped the car. I was shocked. I felt panic. I said: ‘No. I need to go back and make sure the door is firmly locked. I know you’re right and it will more than likely be alright but just in case. I will pull into the main car park for visitors as it’s the quickest way to get up there as soon as possible. You will need to watch the car for me.’ She agreed although I was slightly panicked as my aunt cannot drive and so she wouldn’t be able to move the car if someone checked and realised I was parked in the carpark where I shouldn’t be. I went into the building which is like one of those baroque italian buildings with a concierge at the desk etc. I get the feeling I was in Italy. I started to rush up the stairs but realised I needed to go up seven flights of stairs and I was quite tired already so I pushed the button for the lift on the second floor even though the lift was quite slow. It finally came and I jumped in and got to my floor. I did discover the door to my flat was unlocked but when I checked nobody had been inside. I locked the door and felt better that I had stopped and checked for myself.

 

The Interpretation

Since you are driving the car Mel, it tells me that you are capable and working on navigating from one stage to another in your personal growth. Which is what you are doing in your life now. Your aunty represents the parts of you who IS strong, determined, family oriented and loyal. This is the second time loyalty comes into play, so being loyal to yourself is important. Especially these times when you feel you have trouble fitting in to your environment. Stay true to who you are!

You seem to not totally trust that part of yourself that is your aunty. You had to go back up and check the apt, when in fact, she felt all would be ok. When you did double-check (which took time and effort although you avoided the long hard way up Thank God) you saw that all was well. (like worrying for nothing which we all do at times)

The fact that you left her in the parked car a bit worried, leads me to believe that you seem to resist accepting to relax and just be and have fun. Go go have fun and do something for yourself. It’s so important.

 

Mel’s Response

I had to sit with this for the day and think about it. You are right about the trust part of things. I always doubt myself all the time! There are two sides of me. There is the part of me who is quite slapdash and forgetful and very much of MY family. The part that leaves the door unlocked and there is the careful, sensible part of me which fits in with me since I’ve left home. The part that I WANT to be ALWAYS. Does this make sense with your interp do you think. I think it adds another level on what you told me. This ties in again though with the part which doesn’t know how to relax and have fun. As you know I’m often not doing stuff but it’s not relaxing. I am still worrying about the stuff I ‘should’ be doing and not really having fun. I’ve practised doing stuff when and if I want, rather than doing stuff because I feel I have to and it’s really not easy. I don’t want to move from a place in myself of fear any more but from a place of love.

How do you think this fits in with your interp? I think it fits in rather well. Kind of like putting another sheet of acetate over a page with more information on it.

Mel

This journey of self-love for Mel and all of us, is a journey of a lifetime.  The dreams were only a small part of this journey, however, our dreams do act as a compass and give us insight to what lies beyond our waking lives.  Our dreams CAN and if you let them guide you, WILL take your hand a bring you to awareness. 

This is not the end for Mel, its just the beginning!

Love and Light

Face In – Workin’ On It


How do the geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans, know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown.–Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I introduced you to Mel here on Wednesday.  After “Facing Off” with herself in yesterday’s dream post here, Mel goes deep inside to discover what still needs to be cleared to continue on this amazing self-exploratory journey she is on.  As you will see, she is experiencing a “shift” in consciousness.. and things are about to get a lot better! 

The Dream

Last night I dreamed that we bought a house (this is what we are gearing towards in our life living in Italy has been a way for us to save all our spare money so we will have a deposit so to buy a house in the UK.) and as I went into it for the first time I went to go upstairs but I noticed the first part of the staircase going up was really narrow. I remember thinking that I hadn’t noticed this when we bought it. I managed to get upstairs to the first level and I realised the upstairs was bigger than I remembered and the old occupants had left a lot of their stuff. Some of this stuff would be useful but I also felt resentful that they had left their junk that we would have to spend time clearing it out. I then went through a door and there was a shop there! It was a builder’s merchants full of men and the smell of sweat and sawdust and oil and brick. I remembered that we had bought this too and they were our tenants. They didn’t really want me there so I just carried on.

I noticed they were going outside in my garden to smoke cigarettes.  I made a note in my head to look up in the contract to see if I could stop them. Then went up another level to even more rooms, and our bedrooms and realised there was even more stuff to clear out. I noticed the lady had left clothes in the wardrobe and I liked some of it and I noticed she had loads of projects like hand-made bags etc that she had made a lot of but never sold that I felt I could do something with. I met my partner upstairs, clearing things out and I mentioned that we would need to hire a skip to get rid of everything so we could start afresh and he said we couldn’t afford that as we’d sunk all of our money into the house so we might want to keep all the old furniture for a while before we stripped out the house and then found we couldn’t furnish it. I remember feeling frustrated at this for the reason that even when we get a new start there are still things we have to put up with.

The Interpretation

Remember the other day when you cried after de-cluttering your room? This is the part where you are de-cluttering your soul.  I love this dream. So representative of the process you are going through. It still amazes me how dreams work!!

New House: This house represents the new you, your essence, the “new phase” you are shifting to. The upper part of the house is usually where your thoughts lie. The narrow staircase reminds me “narrow minded” or the parts of all of us that is like so. So that you hadn’t noticed the “narrow staircase” makes me think of “today” in life, you are “opening up” to new things. Being surprised of how big it is up there, is also you realizing that things are bigger than they seem.. The old occupants stuff represent all the past hurts and regrets you may experience (resentment). In the dream you are angry about “the stuff” you didn’t notice before, you are opening up, and you understand you must spend time clearing out the clutter in your mind which still resides there. Also, you notice the hand-made bags, those you see as useful, and I presume these represent the “tools” you can go to today to continue on your journey.

You enter another part of your mind you open that door and see: They are building something! Hard work, sweat.. *you are building something* Smoking cigarettes we know is bad,.. So what is it that you are doing that you know is bad for you? You really want to take charge of this now.. Smoking in the garden could represent something bad in a good place. Here I feel the procrastination part of you. Or it could be someone or something hurting your “sacred space”. You want to “look that up” before you stop them, instead of saying; “Hey guys, put those smokes out, this is my garden and you are not allowed to smoke here” Get it?

Rising up into your house, you dig deeper and see you still have stuff to clear out.. All the different memories are stored in those bedrooms… different things to look at and clear out. Oh and you discover stuff that you like (like you are doing now) you know what you and what you don’t want at this time in your life.. You are sifting through piece by piece.. Take what you like (like good memories ) and leave the rest.

The end of the dream is so CLEAR! The money you sunk in to your house , to me, represents the energy you put into YOU!!  If you have to take a break once and awhile until you “bank” more energy is quite alright!  Yes, there is still work to be done, it’s a process, you are frustrated with this.. Yet all this work is SO worth it.. So in the meantime keep your old furniture, choose to be happy, work with it until another new phase comes along and you can furnish it with all the love and kindness you wish.. J

Mel’s Response

Spot on I would say! Love the bit about the procrastination. This is the thing that I know is bad for me and yet it’s still here with me. I even need to go and check (read about it) how to get rid of that!

Your Turn

As I was reviewing this dream, I noticed I may have missed a few things in the interpretation.  So, my question to you is, what do you think I missed? Test out your intuition today and leave Mel and I a comment with your interpretation.

Stay tuned Monday for dream #3 while Mel is stuck at the cash in a grocery store anticipating her next move! 

Have a good weekend, and Happy Fall Equinox 2011!!

How I made the world stop by creating a halt.


“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.” ~Deepak Chopra

 

Can everyone just be quiet?!

Almost 2 years ago, in November 2009, I felt the world seemingly crashing down on me. I had an episode in the shower, which led to other health issues I needed to sort out, I wasn’t well in my body, my spirit felt broken… I felt I needed an umbrella to protect me from the falling sky, yet with every gust of wind, my protection kept on flipping upside down.

Lets go back a couple of years. In 2008 things at home where not going as planned, my relationship was taking a turn for the worst, my son was bullied at school, and I had this huge sense of always feeling overwhelmed. What was keeping me going that year, was my work. I would literally escape there.. I loved the school I was in and the kids I was teaching. However, slowly I felt the trickling of wear and tear of my home life seeping in, as the tears would start to show up there too!

In 2009, I took “the teaching contract from hell”.   I was burning out. My excitement of starting in a new school took the wayside as every eraser, pen, pencil in class was being thrown at me. These kids were NOT like the kids I was used to and I felt like I was thrown in with the sharks! No wonder I was about to fall… somehow by constantly yelling at the Universe “STOP I want to get off this damn ride” I created an opportunity to do so.

How do I love thee? Let me count the stops…

Since, March 2010.. I have almost been at a complete halt. I was put on sick leave, for a few weeks (again after being on sick leave from December to January, and began 2010 as a substitute teacher. That was when I decided I was going to think of ME and take the calls I really needed to take and leave the rest. I decided that 2011 was the year to get well and be selfish. It was the year to STOP, get off, lay low, shoot the breeze.. You get the picture.

So I put everything on pause and said:

“Wait a effin’ minute here! I matter, I’m sick and about to explode so I am taking a break” “Whomever doesn’t like what I am doing can go….. Well can go FLUFF UP A GUM TREE!”

This morning…I was reading Jo Anna Rothman’s blog post: (for some reason WordPress will not let me link to Jo Anna’s blog.  I will add the link at the end of this post.. thanks)

How I fell in love with my life

She was saying how she began courting herself as she not longer wanted to feel crappy:  she created an opening…  she states:

“I paid attention to my needs. My wants. My desires.”

That is all we have to do right?  And so it is…

Well guess what? This summer I courted myself. At first, I felt guilty, lazy, dumb, selfish (in a bad way) and spoiled.. All the names you would call a couch potato. Although I would have preferred a spot beside a willow tree, I set up an office on my trusty couch; where I kept my journals, my online friendships, all here in my laptop, on my couch, in my office. I did my spiritual work, my blogging, my dream interpretations. I was (and still am) actually BUILDING something. The kids visit me here, and I close the lappy if they need my time and my attention.. Even my dogs joined in the fun!

Now, if you haven’t stopped reading because you think I’m a crackpot, let me explain. I still washed dishes, cooked dinner, cleaned house (sort of lol) took care of teen crises, loved, tucked in , laughed and played. However, most of the time the need to just be, to be quiet and alone was greater. The need to connect, to write, to draw, to listen, to read, to analyse, to discover, to reflect, to rest… was way more important than continuing the cycle I was on. The pendulum had to swing completely to the right from the left to come back in the middle.

This is where I am at NOW! Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I felt good, and the feeling was almost foreign to me. I felt relaxed, uninterrupted by my mind, my thoughts or my fears. I held on being in that vortex for as long as I could. Today I feel the same…. Yet I am not going to JUMP off my couch and run the marathon. This time.. I am going to break out slowly. The amazing circle of friends I have met online, has really encouraged me to spend less time online. When I log back on, I know they are still there. I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything.. On the contrary, going back online hours later is filled with more discoveries. Also, I connect more with myself, I don’t delve into the internet to escape from what I am feeling.

My Life is My Creation

So even if my soon to be X was concerned all summer that I did absolutely nothing, and I am sure others were worried.. I did something important that not everyone will understand.. And that’s ok with me! I would be worried if I didn’t have the urge to get up anymore… but I do!! I needed this time desperately and finally I was able to listen to what my mind, my spirit and my body needed.

Now my body needs excercise and good healthy food. My mind needs for me to keep up on not taking it so seriously, my spirit needs to continue to fall in love with myself.

This time, I’ll know to take short breaks in between and not procrastinate when I hear my senses calling. I’ll know when to say “Yes I can” and be comfortable saying “No thanks I cannot”. I know when to stop and when to go.. When to laugh and when to cry.. And know when it rains its ok to get wet.. And when its sunny.. Sometimes you can get burned. The signs are there.. All in balance.. One baby step at a time.

Jo Anna’s blog could be found here:

http://www.receivingproject.com/how-i-fell-in-love-with-my-life