Confronting the Past – Reality & Escapism

No one likes to be reminded of their past. In fact, many of us simply put it in the back of our minds and carry on as if nothing ever happened. But what happens when the past comes back to haunt you?

For the past few months, this is exactly what has been happening to me. I too wish I could lock these memories and carry on with my life, but my mind refuses to let me do so. It wants resolution, and perhaps, it’s for the best.

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Life Is A Journey – Therapeutic Travel

Lately, I’ve been on the road a lot, and I’ve come to the conclusion that travelling can be quite therapeutic.

For a while, I’ve been allowing myself to get wrapped up in my own little world. Going on these trips have helped me to feel a little more human again, and even a little victorious.
Not too long ago, I hated the thought of having to go to school. It was the only place I had to go by myself, to  face my anxiety on my own. With God’s guidance, I was soon able to tackle my fears head on and overcome my agoraphobia. Each time I find myself feeling completely comfortable in my own skin, even with a whole crowd watching, my heart rejoices.

My greatest battle for the last few months of my life has been trying to regain my sense of individuality. After overcoming agoraphobia, I thought I’d already won that battle. Much to my surprise, it didn’t take long for another storm to hit. These days, I’m hardly alone, and I was beginning to forget who I am.

The complexity of my illness often makes the reality of it much too difficult to be explained to strangers, but the questions never stop. The only problem I have with this is the question of whether or not I should lie. So many genuinely want to help. Some only want to know. Some would rather not. Whatever the intention, it always ends the same. I become my illness, not the person behind it.

The more I travel, the more I am reminded that there is a big world out there waiting for me. For this very reason, I have overcome my bullies & forgiven their transgressions. Nothing will stop me from doing what I came here for, and while I’m not sure where this journey will take me, I’m going to make the best of it.

 

My Writing Life – Books, Edits, Updates

It has just dawned upon me that I have been blogging for over a year now. Originally, I had come here as a naive 17 year old who’d just self-published a poetry book and felt completely lost. Suddenly the excitement I’d originally felt publishing my first book had diminished to the mere thought, “Maybe I didn’t think this through.”

As I continued blogging, I find myself able to be as honest and open as I please, whilst sharing my work with the world. As of lately, I find myself conflicted – in love with both blogging & novel writing. I must confess that I’ve spent much of my time blogging and neglecting the very reason I started this blog – that is, sharing stories.

That said, I’ve been doing quite a lot of work behind the scenes. Just recently, I have made some edits to the book that started this all – Human – and have shaped it to match my current style, including a few photographs as well.

 

Currently, I am editing my novel, Daydreams & Disguises. I am also working on offering Human along with a short story ebook both permanently for free reading. Getting back to the basics, I will also be spending some time on Goodreads to be able to connect with other readers & writers.

Now the question is, why all the changes? Well, the answer is simple. I desire a sense of independence, and long for the days I could simply share stories & connect with readers. Through this blog, I feel I have already done this, but would like share some more lengthy & meaningful stories with you all, as I feel these stories are reveal much more about me as an author.

All that aside, at the end of the day, I write because I love it. My poems, stories & ramblings will always be here for your pleasure. Feel free to drop a comment or send an email my way!

❤ DainelleWrites

Quiet Thoughts: Faith, Love & Persecution

I was born into a world of darkness, full of ills that I’d yet to know of. As a child, I spent most of my time in school, learning about the world around me. I met all sorts of people; some more intimidating than others. I was a sensitive child, and it wasn’t long before I realized just how cruel the world could be.

Many times, people have let me down. I was always searching for love in other people, but not just any kind. What I wanted most was a perfect kind of love. Instead, what I received was hatred; hatred so strong and loud that it drowned out any glimpses of love. I was called fat, ugly and stupid. When I expressed myself, I was called an attention seeker. I was even told to kill myself. Simply put, it hurts, but what pains me the most is that many have heard similar things.

When I sought help, I felt even more discouraged. I was told to stop feeling sorry for myself, and that others had it worse. Even upon hearing this, I couldn’t get myself to stop feeling unhappy. When it seemed all the world had abandoned me, all I could do was cry out to God.

In just a moment, I experienced the love that the Bible had talked about. By then, my mind had been plagued with darkness, but in that very moment, it was silenced. Some would call it chemicals. Some would call it survival instinct. The only thing I could call it is impossible.

Why, you may ask? Because an anxious, depressed mind such as mine was could never conceive such an intense feeling of love and peace on its own. Instantaneously I felt it was God speaking to me. Rather than this being a mere assumption, it was a natural, immediate response. If someone had asked me to explain it, I couldn’t.

This was the very moment that inspired me to explore my faith a little more in depth. Reading the Bible, I learned about the imperfection of humankind, and our common enemy. I’ve learned not to take things too personally, but rather to only concern myself with God’s will.

Now hearing news of how Christians are being persecuted in Egypt, I have to stop and think to myself. In this world, death is such a scary concept for many. Willingly giving up one’s life for anything seems almost absurd. Christians have the confidence, however, that in the end, it is good that wins. For all, in as much as death is the end of this life, it is the end of agony.

While Christians are currently said to be among the most persecuted religious groups in the world, we are surely not the only target. Sadly, senseless killing happens all around the globe.  As crime persists, we all become more and more eager to reach a resolution.

For now, I consider myself a sojourner. I am grateful for God’s grace, but also His justice. I pray to grow exceedingly in faith, even to the point that I may die in His name’s sake. I hope that someday, my words will touch someone else’s heart, so that they may also experience the love that I have.

 

Social Media – Beyond the Lens

Hey everyone! It’s Monday again, which means it’s time for another personal post. This time around, I’ll be talking a little about social media.

First I’ll start off by saying this. I love social media (in moderation), though naturally, some sites are a little more enjoyable than others. Personally, I’m a fan of Instagram (and WordPress, of course). However, at some point, I have to remind myself that I have a life outside of all of this.

The ability to communicate freely on social media has always drawn me to it. Sadly, it is also what makes it terrifying. Often times, I find myself scrolling down the YouTube comment section appalled by the hate that these people have in their hearts, even towards people like me. I find myself enraged, fighting the urge to reply. Then I ask myself. What’s the point?

It is so easy to get sucked into this world, where everything seems to be some sort of competition. You fear that what you create is not good enough. You become nauseated at the realization of how cruel the world can be. You wish that “freedom of speech” actually meant peaceful discussions instead of heated arguments. Then you realize it’s time you take a break.

Now don’t get me wrong. Social media can be beautiful thing. It connects people all over the world, and as such, holds the power to unify. Sadly, it is, more times than often, misused. But just as it is in our own immediate surroundings, we must acknowledge the fact that we cannot control what other people say. We must learn to separate opinions from facts, surround ourselves with positive energy and respect those who do not think like we do.

Personally, I have had a hard time processing how some people perceive my Christian beliefs. Where I come from, Christianity is dominant. Using the internet has opened up my mind, and I’ve come to realize now that quite a few look down upon it. I even find myself feeling pressured at times to live up to an ideal image of myself – that is, someone strong and carefree.

I have to remind myself now and then to love & respect myself and others, regardless of what is said and done. It feels good to disconnect once in a while and try to remember who I am, and why I am that person. After singing songs of praise, I feel renewed and unafraid; fired-up and ready to love those who hate me. Everything is simplified.

Spending so much time alone, I’ve learnt a lot about people. I’ve learnt to love them even when I can’t understand them, and social media has played a definite role in this lesson. Opinions may differ, but one thing’s certain. At the end of the day, social media should only be, by choice, a part of your life – not the foundation.

Why I Don’t Wear Makeup

Happy Monday everyone! Yes, I know no one says that (unless you actually love your job, of course).

So today I want to talk a little about makeup. Around age 16/17, I tried to wear makeup. I found this foundation that supposedly helped acne. Naturally, I bought it, hoping I could appear to have clearer skin while actually working towards clearer skin. It sounded like a great deal.

Not long after, I stopped. After 16 years of seeing my bare face, makeup was a foreign concept to me. Even for someone plagued with acne and anxiety, I much preferred my bare face, simply because it was what I’d been used to. Looking back, I see now that it has built my character. I must confess, though, that I still hate it when people point out my acne. (It’s just one of those things).

I also remember temporarily dying my dark red hair once. One of my sisters told me how proud of me she was; that I was somehow “growing.” At the time it puzzled me, but the more I look at it, the more I start to realize something. All my life I’ve been told that the more I change the way I look, the better.

Now don’t get me wrong. In no way do I think I’m better than anyone who wears makeup or dyes their hair. But throughout these years, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing myself grow up to look like my parents, particularly my mother. Not wearing makeup has actually allowed me to challenge myself and work through my anxiety.

See, I may not always be what the world calls beautiful, but I am, in a literal sense, a work of art. It absolutely fascinates me how we grow to resemble our parents, or even our ancestors, yet never having to sacrifice our own individuality. For mother’s day, I just wanted to take a moment and reflect on this.

But more importantly, I’d like to give a shout-out to all the loving mothers in the world, even if it’s a day late.

 

 

Infatuation: The Love We Know Today

As the first draft of my novel Daydreams and Disguises draws to a close,  I’m forced to

Love is something I rarely talk about here (besides the occasional fictional romance) but it’s something I feel must be discussed, especially in times like these. There are many young people nowadays who delight in having multiple lovers. Some go to great lengths to hide these affairs. Some just don’t care.

 

I ask myself the question, How could you hurt someone you love? The thing is, we all do it. Does that mean I condone these actions? Absolutely not. If you truly love someone, you should be more than willing to commit yourself to them. But that’s not the problem here. The problem is that the majority do not know what love truly is.

As a younger teen, love to me was like having a shiny new toy to play with. It was fun. It was exciting. Then it was nothing. All the butterflies and palpitations faded away, and I was back to square one. I was lost when it came to love, but yearned for it nonetheless. I found interest in two or three boys, but none could give me the love I needed. I was broken and needed a different kind of love, one they could not offer.

Through spiritual growth, I’ve come to learn more about love and what it truly is. The truth is, love is hard work. It takes patience, dedication & self-control. It is not all about looks or charm. It is about building each other up and working things out. Infatuation and love are not the same, regardless of how convincing it can be at times. The difference? Love takes time.

I will always remember the time that a peer of mine told me it was time I got a boyfriend. Everyone seems to be in a rush to find this thing called love. The pressure is on high, and even some who think they’re not being influenced are being affected.

The thing is, love cannot and must not be rushed. You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend right now. Don’t feel pressured into it. Take this time to get to know yourself. Enjoy being a child a little longer. What’s the rush? Love will come, eventually.

 

A Life Of Purpose

Earlier this year, I decided it was time to start reading my Bible more.

You see, I’ve considered myself a Christian my whole life simply for the fact that I believe in God. As a child, I only followed what my parents told me to believe in without reason, and that was enough for me.


Now here’s the thing. The older I got, the more miserable I became. People became cold towards me, and I became cold towards them. It got to the point where I began to question the very meaning of life. If you think no one really cares for you or that you are inferior to the rest, life simply becomes one big puzzle.

I was unhappy, and often times, I’d cry out for God’s help. I spoke to God when and only when I needed Him. That was not enough. It wasn’t until I reached my lowest point that I really began to see Him at work. This was when my journey to recovery began, even though at the time, I didn’t know it.

At that point in time, I had a strange spiritual encounter. I couldn’t understand it at the time, but it was enough to keep me going, even when I wanted to stop. I felt something that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I felt loved. Some time later, I decided that enough was enough, and with God’s love, I was able to overcome agoraphobia.

These days, I see a lot of hate directed towards Christians and even God Himself. Some wonder how a loving God could allow such awful things to happen. I don’t feel I can change anyone’s feeling on the matter as I believe religion is a personal thing; something that much be experienced to be understood.

However, I will say that terrible things do happen. For me, Christianity has helped me to come to terms with this, knowing that a better life is ahead. To neglect these beliefs would mean losing my purpose. I would either be forced to accept a scientific explanation of creation or stop trying to understand altogether, both of which would lead me to think that life, in the end, is meaningless.

I would have to convince myself that doing or having something will make me feel satisfied. In fact, it was for that very reason that I became miserable in the first place. Whatever I thought I lacked I wished to have. Whatever I could not do I wished to do. But in the end, I’m only human, and I can only do so much. It is through religion that I learned to accept this.

These are my personal beliefs. As I grow, I learn to share them in a more respectful way. Right now, I only wish to help others, whether or not they share my beliefs. Even so, I always wish to let God’s love be known, hoping that someday, it will touch someone else’s heart just as it has touched my own.

Travel Photography: Road Trip

Hello friends! I’m back, and I’ve got something to show you.

On Monday, I went on family trip, which, as always, was poorly planned. So as usual, we winged it!

First Stop: The Good Hope Estate

Road to Estate

Now I’ve never been a fan of history, but visiting historical sites is always a pleasure. The above picture shows the road leading up to the Good Hope Estate. Although I didn’t get to see the actual estate due to my family’s indecisiveness, I did get to see some horses.


Next stop: Swamp Safari

Under the blazing sun, we took off to see some animals at the Swamp Safari Village.  Have a look.

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A tour guide took us along the way and even got bitten by a crocodile on our behalf. As you can see, some of these animals are not so friendly. On the other hand, some of these animals will make you want to go out and buy one of your own! Take this cute little deer for example.

A friendly deer

Despite the heat, I thoroughly enjoyed this tour.

Last stop: The Beach

This is where my energy ran out. My bad. But hey, I did get some good shots.


Have you traveled recently? What was it like? Remember, don’t overwork yourself. Take a break now and then. It’s good to getaway once in a while.

A Short Break -Mentally, Physically & Emotionally Exhausted

So I’ve decided to take a short break from posting. Let me explain.

Recently, I announced that I would be starting a new blog, as well as a storytelling project. However, while making some preparations, I noticed my mind was all over the place as I tried to get everything done at once.

By starting a new blog, I had hoped to get organized, focusing solely on writing here. Soon, I realized that starting a new blog is (or would be) rather quite time consuming, and I would like to make this blog my priority, as it has always been. The same goes for my storytelling project.

Now onto the meat of the matter. There’s no better way to explain this than to put it bluntly. I need to get out more. I’ve exhausted myself, and while I’m passionate about blogging/writing, I cannot ignore what I’m really feeling. I’ve been affected by my illness greatly, and need to start taking better care of myself.

I’ve been quite patient thus far, but I simply cannot afford to put my life on hold any longer. I must carry on. I want to apologize sincerely for making false promises. I really overestimate myself sometimes. Anyway, I just want to say thank you to all of you once again. This blog has really been a sort of refuge for me. See you in a week!