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83. Everyone is Alone Together Celibacy, People Pleasing, and Self-Love with Ally McDowell

Welcome to Modern Anarchy, the podcast featuring real conversations with conscious objectors to the status quo. I'm your host, Nicole.

Hello, hello. On today's episode, Allie McDowell opens up vulnerably about her mental health journey and reconnecting with her body. Together we talk about itching the wound and mental spirals, giving people the opportunity to love us, and the beauty of smoking a bowl and stretching it out. I really want to thank Allie for being so open and vulnerable about the real difficulty that can be learning to have compassion for ourselves and self-love.

I don't want to give you some BS that this is an easy thing. We're just going to wake up loving ourselves every day. We actually talk about that. What does love look like when it comes to the self? When we talk about other sorts of relationships, we hold space for the reality that some days you're going to be frustrated and some days you might fight. That's also okay and not something to be afraid of.

It's normal to have ups and downs, and not every day is going to be perfectly happy and feeling bright. But in that, it's also a practice and with each time that we give ourselves that compassion to show up for the messy and beautiful complicated human beings that we are, it gets a little bit easier to close that gap between something happening and having compassion and love for ourselves in that. Allie so beautifully demonstrates how she has been going through that in her own journey.

I know you talked about Allie how everyone else is doing this too. Thank you for sharing your experience with that. It's really powerful to be open about that struggle on a public platform like this podcast and to share this with all of the listeners who I know are going to resonate with the experience of struggling with our relationship to self. I hope all of y'all learn from Allie's wisdom and take away something that you want to practice in your own self-love relationship.

Y'all, tune in. What questions do you have? What do you normally talk to people about?

What tends to be your overall theme? My expertise is in relationships and sexuality. That's what I study. That's what I do all my clinical work in.

That's where I tend to navigate towards. As a clinical psychologist in training, I can talk about anything. It's what I've enticed to be able to human experience. I really like to sit back and let the space be your space of whatever you want to talk about, whatever you want to share with the world. Wow, what do I want to share with the world?

Y'all need to make the world easier. I don't know if I'm someone who has a lot to share with the world. I don't think I've ever thought of myself as someone who can change anything or contribute. Outside of my circle of peers and people, of course, but I don't think I've ever thought about my contributions outside of just being nice.

Sure, sure. Even in those contributions to your local community, I mean, dare I say that sometimes more meaningful than trying to change the whole world? I mean, probably. I guess at that point, it's like a ripple effect.

Hopefully, I guess, if I do it right. Exactly. That's what I always say is that ripples out. I feel like sometimes within the smaller community sets, you can have way more of an impact than trying to say, oh, I'm going to change the whole world. That's a really big thing.

But to bring it into a smaller scale and be able to affect your local community, I think is really powerful. Yeah, I think the most that I kind of contribute to that is I am a fiercely loyal person to a fault. I like to knock on that door. I don't like to leave them. But, you know, I think that's kind of usually where I kind of stand. And that's how I help people is I'm there. I'm loyal. I once you're in, you're in. I mean, those walls are hard to climb. But I make you climb them yourself.

There is no assistance. Sure, sure. Yeah, like, go ahead. But once you make it over, you know, we're good to go. It's for life.

That unconditional like love and support. Oh, this is back at hi back at the big cat person. I actually just lost one of mine. He got out in a storm like two or three weeks ago. So and he was like my emotional support animal.

He was my body. I'm so sorry. It's been hard.

Absolutely. Yeah, a lot to grieve. But he and then he has his little we have his brother here who is the same breed as grumpy cat. I adopted it. I rescued both of them. But so I still have him around.

So that's been good. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm sorry for your loss. That's really tough. Thank you. It is.

Absolutely. But you know, I'm so sorry. I have no idea now. I had all these things that I was like, okay, was what I think I'm going to talk about. And now I'm like, no, it's okay.

It's okay. It's like being called on in class. You're like, I don't need the answer. That's okay.

You want to know three facts about me? I was always fine doing that. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's okay. You can push the energy back on me as the host. You can be like, this is your job, Nicole. And I'm like, okay, I got you. I got you.

This is my job. So what were the things that you were thinking that we were going to talk about? Well, I knew because from our emails that we were going to talk about kind of like relationships, it was going to be a little more in depth on that.

And I know a little bit about mental health. I definitely had my own journey there. Yeah. You know, and I, that's kind of where I was thinking, but I also now that I'm here, I'm just like, I'm a little nervous. I know, I feel that I appreciate you naming that in this space. It's very normal. I feel like every single time I have the same feelings to where it's like, it's a complete stranger. I'm like, are we going to vibe?

I don't know. Like it's like a whole thing. So I really feel that. I think we could talk definitely about both, you know, okay. If you want to ask questions, I'll answer and then I'll probably get on a tangent. I love that.

That is the point of the show. So then your mental health journey, would you be willing to share that story? Where does that story begin for you?

Oh yeah. I, it's something I talk about pretty frequently, like just with people in general. I probably always struggled with mental health to some degree. It of course runs runs in our family.

Who does it not anymore? But I had, I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in school, but it was kind of a late diagnosis. And at that point, my parents are like, well, she's got to figure it out.

We don't want to medicate. It was the 90s. So, you know, they're like, you get 100 milligrams of Adderall. Good luck with your personality. So my parents were like, let's not. So I had to learn probably not the best coping skills. Not that it was bad, not like a negative, but it's just you make it, you know, you survive in your space. You try to do what you can. My parents tried to support where they could, but they also didn't really have the, you know, it wasn't the same it is now.

There wasn't the resources there wasn't it wasn't talked about. It was just kind of like drug them and leave them. So they tried, you know, to teach some coping skills. And I think, I think some of the struggles now I've had in my twenties are from not having a good foundation for that. So I've had to like, almost go backwards to like start fresh and like forget all like what I've learned how to protect and cope to like then function now.

So when I was 19, I got diagnosed with severe depression, because, you know, it was just a hard transition college pain bills, which is something I was not prepared for. I wasn't taught how to handle money. I wasn't shown, you know, so that was a big one for me that like I just didn't know how to be out in the world. I knew how to deal with the people, but I didn't know how to be an adult. And I don't think I've quite learned that either.

It's gotten a little easier, but it's not fun. So and then, yeah, so I've always kind of been struggled with depression on and off, mostly anymore. It's situational, as opposed to like a chronic like this is the space, but anxiety the last few years kind of sense the pandemic. My anxiety is kind of manifested a lot.

That's just something that we've been riding out trying to figure out. And that's usually kind of where I stay is pretty anxious most of the time. And I think it's something that obviously I want to learn to deal with and cope with, but it's also one of those things where it's, it's just kind of part of everyone's everyday life. I think more than we talk about, and I don't think it's necessary like we all have an anxiety disorder.

We're not all like. anxious people, I think we just, I know I personally will label a lot of things if I can't be like, oh, I'm just stressed out. I'll be like, oh, I'm anxious because it does feel anxious, right?

So I think it's something that like, if we can all start talking about like how we're actually feeling like, hey, this experience is really hard. It's making me feel really anxious. Well, maybe it's not necessarily like true anxiety. Maybe it's stress.

Maybe it's this, maybe it's that. But it's so hard, even like if your best friends or family like go up to people like that, especially now because I've become so much more aware that, you know, everyone feels the same. I recently learned that everyone's just like, again, not necessarily anxious, but everyone's like, no clue what's doing, no clue what's happening. I just keep waking up and I just, I try to roll with it. But, you know, and I think that's brought a little bit of comfort, but then it's also made harder for me now to like go to those people for support because it's like, not, I don't want to add to it. And I also know you're going through the same thing, but like, is it working for you?

What are you doing? Yeah, absolutely. So that's been really interesting to learn and talk to people about because luckily with my friends, we're all very honest and like open with that kind of conversation, but so that's one thing that's been really interesting to learn is that everyone's alone together.

And it's a weird process. And I think I don't know if being alone together is beautiful or more lonely. I would argue it's more beautiful, but I'm always trying to see that half full glass, you know, I have to actively work on the half full. My brain definitely tends to want to go this way, just like I think as a protection, like don't get your hopes up, don't get disappointed. I think I was probably disappointed a lot as a child. So now my like as an adult, I'm like, don't get your hopes up. Yeah, of course, because if you get your hopes so high and then it doesn't happen, then you have to go through that process of grieving all of that you dreamed of all that you hoped of, you know, so tough. Yeah, and I think that's where I kind of, you know, I go that way, but I am actively trying to work on like, it's okay to be positive, you got to let go of the outcome like, and that's been one thing I think in the season of my life, I was out in Scottsdale, as you know, before I came to Denver. And honestly, my sister had come pick me up like it wasn't good, I had to go Arizona was over. So my sister came out, she helped me finish packing up in a way we went, you know, and it was honestly the hardest thing I've ever done was to leave. Yeah, because I, the universe very much was done with me there.

The signs were clear. But also, I thought I was going to have a few more years out there, you know, to do whatever I thought I was going to do. So that's been interesting in the season. And obviously, like, this was the much better option, I'm so glad this is what worked out. And like I said, all the signs were there. And I just trusted universe in my gut for once. And was like, I mean, I might not mentally or emotionally be ready, but clearly it's done.

And, you know, it was a real active faith for me, a real practice of practicing faith. And I'm really glad that it worked out. But at the same time, it's still really weird to like, I'll have those little thoughts like, but what's it over?

So yeah, absolutely. So trying to let go the control and the change and all that is kind of what I've been trying to practice. And I'm way more stubborn than I realized. Hey, acknowledging it is the first step, right?

That is step one, like I see how stubborn I am. But yeah, I mean, it's so hard when it's, you can sit back in your head and wonder, should I have stayed? What would my life have been? And then before you know, you're like an hour deep into like projecting out what your life would have been if you would have stayed.

And then you're like, Oh, wait, I'm not even, oh my, like how much time have I spent thinking about this, you know? Yes. Oh, I am the worst.

I am the queen of a good spiral. And the bad part is, you know what I've realized, my friend actually pointed this out to me like six months ago, she goes, can you just leave the scab alone? Just like just leave it alone.

And I'm like, but it is. Right? Exactly. And I, yeah, so that's been like an interesting thing too to have. And also like that's where I'm grateful to like have the girlfriends and the friends that I have in my life now, because they will tell me that stuff. And they do it in a way that's not like offensive or abrasive or like, you're crazy. It's like, it's got to let it leave it alone.

And I think that's kind of where I've struggled like maybe more with the depression or like living in the past of like, I just sit there and like, keep going. It's a vicious thing. And I don't know. I'm not sure why I do it.

I think it's probably a part of me that likes it and finds a little comfort in it, you know, but you gotta leave the scab alone. Yeah. Yeah. What do you make of that?

Why do you think you usually go back to that space? I'm not really sure. You know, I think in someone, I'm a big processor. I like to think things. I try to be very thoughtful. I try to like, I really try to like care for people and like, do the right thing. And I think if I fall short of that, or if I feel like I could have done better in whatever situation it is, I like to think like, okay, well, next time this comes up, then I can do this next time. And that's where most people stop. And then I keep going to like, well, it's because you're this, this, this, this, you know, and it's just like a vicious thing.

And I think I took self accountability a little too far. Sure. Sure. Yeah. So it's like, sounds like looking back to the past, and then trying to maybe analyze the spaces where you could have done better in the future and trying to take that, but then also like, in that process of thinking about those spaces where we could have done better, then making meaning of what it means about you, right?

So now it's like, because I didn't do that, I am this person, I am not person, I am this. And I think that's one thing I'm really like in this season, like coming back home to Colorado, like I said, when I made up my mind, I was like, that's it. We love Allie. We love past Allie. Bless her heart.

She did the best she could. Exactly. In a lot of situations. But I also don't want to be that anymore. And it's hard to leave yourself. It's hard to like grow out of faces, even when like you physically feel that person's gone, even when like to me, no one else agrees. But I think I look different now. Not drastic, obviously, but I'm like, I think I look different. And everyone's like, no, okay. They're like, no, you still look like you.

What do you mean? But I think that's, you know, because when I came back out here, I was like, I just, I need to be done with it. At some point, you just got to leave it out there, you know, and I have picked every scab, I have gone through it, I've gone to the therapy, like, we get the point, Allie, you're doing, you did good, let it go. So that's one thing out here that I'm really practicing and trying to do is like, I did what I had to do, I did the best I could. And just trying to like repeat that to myself when we go there instead of all the negative or all what I think people are saying about me or like, whatever. And I've, my friend, again, the best friends you can have, like that's who I got in my quarter, but we're big shitscreeks fans, people. Yes, yes. Because it's amazing. And you know the episode where David's going to get his license renewed or whatever?

Sure. And Alexis in the car, like, nobody cares. Like, you think about you more than like, it's just you, like, and how and like, I'm David, he took the bus, he was, we did the whole thing. Yes, I wanted to be Patrick.

I wanted to be Patrick so bad. But so like, that's why I like what David, like, I get like, that spiral of him, like, whether it's just gonna think I'm stupid, they're gonna think I'm like, what if they do this? And she's like, they literally don't care. They're like, you think about you way more than anyone else.

Like, you worry about people thinking about you more. And when I struggle with it, my friend will send me that clip. And because of course, like in the show, it's funny and it's up, it's not like that harsh. But and that's what she said.

She goes, you got to put on the shoes and walk. So she's really helped without a ton. Like when I do get my head first off, is she'll send me that clip every so often, even if I have it asked or said anything in a long time, she'll just send that just to remind me of like, you think about you thinking about people thinking about you way more than people think about you at all. So that's been one thing to that's been I kind of keep repeating to myself when I do have those moments of going back and reliving old situations of like, you know, I can beat myself up or something that happened 10 years ago, but I guarantee they probably didn't think about it after it happened. And I think that's what I'm trying to practice now in this new season of my life like more in the moment though, you know, because we're trying to, the past is gone.

It's, you know, so I'm just trying now, like when those situations come up and be like, you know, I'm probably the only one still thinking about it. And then working on just leaving it. Yeah, that non attachment to it and letting it go. I think I get very attached to it.

I get attached to everything though, I'm a little clean. I feel that I do, I do. And I mean, this is also hitting me, right? Like it's like, I struggle with this all the time too of that, like we can get so hyper fixed into like, yeah, how are they perceiving it? What does this mean?

Do they like me? Like all these sorts of things. Oh, yeah. It can go on for eternity.

And it kind of hit the point too. So I'm 28, I'll be 29 in October. Yeah. And I've kind of hit the point where I'm just like, kind of like to live a little bit more. Like I've done some amazing things. I've put myself in situations.

I have made opportunity for myself. And when I talk to my friends or family, like, oh, do you remember when you did this? Do you remember how this one, I'm like, do you remember how this failed? Do you remember this struggle?

Do you remember this hard thing? And they're like, I thought you had a good time. And I'm like, Oh, it was great. So, you know, and trying to see that as opposed to like, because I was so worried in the moment, always in my 20s of like, how am I going to be perceived? Are they going to like me?

What's going to happen now? And just overanalyzing even in the moment, like how I was presenting, you know? And so it's kind of one of those where now I'm like, you know, I've made some great opportunities for myself.

I have thought tooth and nail. And, you know, I'm kind of at the space now, like going to be 29 where I'm like, we got to praise her a little bit. Like I got to start giving myself like a little pieces, little something, like kind of start putting a little love back in. So, and it's hard. Oh my gosh, it's hard.

I didn't realize I cared so much about what people think. Yeah. Yes. Yes. Yes. And I mean, it sounds like maybe like in our headspace, it wasn't as even, right?

Like, there was maybe a little bit of self love, but there was way more negative judgment, critical talk going on. Oh, yeah. Very sure. Yeah. I think I've always kind of been that way.

I think I've always been very aware of what people think and say. I developed very early, like elementary school, I started my period in fifth grade, far too young, like, had like boobs by like, I was getting boobs in the third, fourth grade, like just far too young. And I think that's really, I don't think it was so much, I mean, probably the hormones at 10 weren't a good time, but my body was so commented on. People were looking at me so much. It was so like all of a sudden, literally in third grade, all of a sudden, I was like, told I was fat.

Why do you have boobs? And it just from third grade on, I was just like, oh my God, people are watching me? Oh my God. Like, I had no idea before that. So I think that's where that shift was for me of being like, oh, people are looking at me.

People are aware of me. And I think that's where it kind of started. You know, and obviously it was probably more gradual in middle school, high school, you know, all that good times. But I was also pretty though by junior year, because I started early.

So, well, Lex, um, yes, absolutely. And my braces were off. But so I think that's honestly for me, where I became very aware of people being aware of me.

And I think instead of in college and stuff where most people learn to let that go, because they want to show up at themselves, I think I just kept going harder, because I was so afraid of rejection, so afraid of like people not liking me or wanting to be around me that not that I've never, I'm always myself, but I very much will curate who I am and present it to different people. I mean, and it's like pristine. I mean, I got boxes for it.

Like, it's bad. I never just show up. And it's exhausting. It has been exhausting.

Yeah, like, you know, curate your personality or curate how you want to appear, like what you say and think, and it's made me have to be so hyper aware and hyper fixated and just that constant, like thinking and turning and being, my sister always says it's like, you're always on, you always have to be on, because you have to be ready. And that's one thing too, that like the last, probably the last year, nine-ish months, I've been really practicing, like, not doing that, take it or leave it, you know, is kind of the attitude with love, you know, be a nice person. But I've been like really just trying to show up and let it go. Like, you either got to like or you don't.

I just don't have the energy anymore. And I think that's one thing if I could talk to like, a group of like 18, 19 year olds, that's what I would tell them, honestly, is like, you got to find a way just to be taken or leave it with yourself with love and respect, love and light, all that good stuff, like, don't be a dick. But like, you got to find that in yourself to be able to show up that way. Give people the opportunity to love you. Give people, like, I think the relationships I would have had with friends, romantic, my family would have been better overall, had I known how to just show up as myself.

But when you're from the eight, like, I've spent almost 20 years being aware that people are watching me and noticing me, you know, and that's hard to like retrain. So that's what I would really share is like, if you can figure out how to show up as yourself and give people that chance, but also have that like, self respect and the like, courage to be like, God, take it or leave it. You got to take it all. So, and that's so hard life advice. And that's so hard. And you know, your younger self, yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Yeah. But I mean, your younger self having, you know, developed early, having all those people look at you and then make judgments about your body and judgments about you at a young age. And I'm sure it was like, ostracizing in a lot of different ways. So I think it makes sense to then want to control how other people are perceiving me when the way people have been perceiving me has ostracized me from people around. Yeah. And like, I was a class clown, like, and the weird part is I was very, like, I had a lot of friends, like I could make, I've always been able to make friends, keeping them again, because I don't show up authentically.

So then when I do, they're like, who are you? Which is it now? Like, I used to get so mad at friends and all that stuff. And now it's kind of like, I'm not as mad as like my past friendships and all that, because it's like, I didn't give them a chance. You know, and clearly, it wasn't meant to be because they're not around, but I didn't give them the chance.

I didn't show up as myself. So then when I would, obviously, they were like, I have a big control problem. And I think it's just exactly what you're saying is being watched and looked at and kind of like weirdly sexualized in elementary school. Like, and my parents, my mom tried to protect me a little bit. So in the fifth grade, she, I wore boy clothes. Because I felt more comfortable because I was like, it was baggy.

They couldn't see me. And I felt like I had like a shield on at that point. Yeah. And then, yeah, just, it was tough. It was weird. It was definitely weird.

To like be that aware of other people so young. Yes. Yes. And that was always, yeah.

Yeah. And then I always was, you know, had to modify my behavior. Like, I could draw attention to X, but not Y or that was always, I think, really hard and confusing. And I think I just learned it a little too well. So then at that young age, you learned that. And then that's kind of how the rest of your socialization connection with others kind of went of how am I being perceived and how can I control that perception? Yes.

Yes. And then too, like when you develop early, you're a lot taller. You have boobs, your friends don't, you get in your period, your friends don't. You know, and so like, I always felt like, I don't know, I was just like a big person.

Mmm. You know, I was always so aware of like my size and like, everything going on. And I always was so jealous of other people. I'm like, how is everyone else just floating through here? And I'm just like trying to take up as little space as possible. And so that was always like super interesting to me of like, my friends would just sit down like at a table, casual, get comfortable.

And I'd be like, how can I compress and not have people see? Oh, yeah. Yeah.

I had double, I had a decap freshman year of high school. Like, wow. That was rough. Yeah. How did that make you feel like even the size difference at the tables?

It's really funny. So I was like, super tall for my class. I'm five seven. I am not a tall person now. I was the tallest one in my class probably until sophomore year of high school. Freshman sophomore year, the boys started catching up and people started to grow.

And you know, all that, I just got a head start on everybody. And you know, and I think that was just always so weird. And then in middle school, I was made fun of for my boobs. I would run, and obviously sports bras were not what they were now.

So y'all are lucky now. I had these like Fruit of the Loom, thin little things. And I was the only one in gym class who would have to put on a sports bra.

No one else needed one. Or they would wear the cute little printed ones. And I was like, minor gray, Fruit of the Loom ones from like some old ladies store probably. But yeah, so that was super weird. Like to be made fun of for having boobs.

And I'm like, I'm a girl that happens. I don't know. Right. You know, it's like, I remember, I remember playing, I liked, I'm not very athletic, but I liked sports because I liked to move and run and jump and who doesn't, right? I was a kid. I actually stopped playing sports when I went to high school because I overheard, I don't know where or when or who anymore now. People were like, yeah, when Ellie runs, her boobs just bounce so much.

It's so gross. And I'm just like, I don't think I ever ran it. I don't think I've ever run again.

Unless it's been an emergency. So I've just, so I stopped doing sports. You know, and it was like a really weird thing.

And then it got weirder because then I turned like 16-ish and then all of a sudden the boobs were great. And I'm like, we got a pick one here. Yeah. And so then it became the split of just over sexualization.

Wow. That I was like trying to navigate and like, I'm 16, 17. You're like, finally a tension. Right. That's positive. Well, felt positive at the time, you know, and that's been hard to kind of navigate ever since, you know, as then I learned, my boobs are great. So then when I would start relations, I'd lead with sex. I lead with that intensity as opposed to like, you don't have to get to know me. I just need the hit.

I need the fix. I need to, you know, and so then my early college years, a little slutty. It was a good time. I mean, I did not. I told I told a therapist once I was like, I feel like I weaponized my vagina. Like I weaponized my sexuality at that point because I was like, I'm going to get you.

Like make up for that. Almost, I think of feeling so rejected. And all of a sudden it was great. All of a sudden. And that, you know, you have the people pleasing.

You're already curating your personality and now you have this over sexualization on top of it. And I leaned into it hard because it felt better than the other. Yeah, yeah. So when it's come to that, the last I've actually been kind of celibate the last year and a half on a personal choice, because again, like that's not the relationship I want to have with sex. It's not the relationship I want to have with my partner, you know, so that's been interesting. And the best thing I've ever done just to take it off the table completely when I meet friends, like, because it's just not a conversation now. They're like, you know, because it is, who doesn't want the tea on that? Like, you know, like what's what is everyone doing now?

Like I need tips and tricks. Like so that was it's just not a conversation now in my daily life. It's not something that I'd see even an option when I am dating or meeting someone. Like I literally for most of that year and a half, I wasn't. I wasn't on dating apps. I wasn't like talking to anyone.

I was just chilling, taking it off the table. And like after the first six months were hard. Sure, an adjustment period. Oh, and then after that, it was liberating. And that really I'm honestly very proud of myself for doing that, because it was hard. It was a weird it was hard to look at yourself and be like, this is not healthy.

You were not using this correctly. Like, you know, and that's something that I don't want to feel weaponized. That's not something I want to feel disassociated from is the sex, like the sex or like my vagina or my boobs. Like I want to feel like, yes, we love it.

I feel great. So doing that has allowed me to realize I don't show up as myself. I don't show up authentically and I don't necessarily show up as fake either. But you're not going to get the whole story.

You're not going to meet the whole person. And so it's allowed me to learn how to show up in spaces as myself because now it's like, this is all I can offer. Hey, it's funny. You know, so that's been something that I'm kind of glad has happened. It really helped me. I always knew I was doing that. But when that's the only thing now I have to show up with, like, it's been really liberating and freeing, I think.

Yeah, yeah. You know, and I think it just goes back to being so sexualized and then using it and then being used and, you know, all that good stuff. And now it's my now I'm starting to feel like it's mine again. Like the choice is mine again. The desire is mine again. And now the desire is different. Now it's like, like I had a great conversation with.

A guy went on a hinge date with because I'm getting a little bit back out there. Little toes. A little free. Free dinner.

Yes, very like, very minimally. But I had such a great conversation. It was so mentally stimulating. That was the first time I have been genuinely like out of the blue, not like a sexy scene in a movie, but like randomly like aroused. And I was like, this is what it's supposed to feel like.

Yes. And so now I'm like, now I'm more excited to date. Now I'm more excited to like go out and meet people because I'm like, oh, it feels good. It doesn't feel weird. It doesn't.

I don't have that little like in the back of my throat or they're like, don't touch me. It's the. Oh, oh, you're smart. Mm hmm. Oh, you know, and so that's it was so cool. I actually have not told anyone that you're the only person I've told that to.

And this was like two weeks ago that I was like, I thought hot and bothered. Well, we had I had one margarita. So I wouldn't be crazy. It was just such a good conversation. I was like, yeah, absolutely.

Absolutely. And what do you what do you make of that sitting with this now? I'm proud of myself. Good.

I really am. I'm proud of myself to like, you know, it's been a year and a half. So there's been times where it's like, I could break this, you know, no one's gonna know it's fine. And it wasn't like I didn't put a timeframe on it.

I just knew I needed to take a break for a while. There was no timeframe. There was there's still no plan. It's what I've kind of told myself on it is when it feels right. That's when I'm going to have sex again. And that's always kind of been the theme of it.

And I'm just so proud of myself for kind of sticking it out this long. And as we know, man, sex is great. Like I, everyone wants to have it for our reason. But I now want to have it in a way that leaves me feeling good. And now that I'm seeing that, like, I don't have to like, I had a button up like very loose fitting like shirt on.

So that wasn't like there was a lot of exposure. Like I wasn't very comfy, like cute clothes, but, you know, so I showed up as myself and I felt weirdly, not that I was rewarded for that, but I was met equally. And then my kind of reward was like that natural, like learning what's around learning, what gets my gets me kind of going and stuff. So I'm just proud of myself.

I think we're sticking it out and kind of learning more natural cues. And you should be. That's amazing. You set a goal and a plan for how you wanted to show up in the world and you've been sticking to it. And it sounds like it's been this practice of I'm going to know when it feels right in my body to move forward and change this. And so it sounds like a very deep connection to yourself. Yeah. And like we did not, we did not have sex or anything like it was a such day.

Which you can. I'm all about it. Hey, I always want, even like I have been like in good relations.

If it feels right, I'm usually gay. Exactly. Exactly. Um, but we made out a little bit and it was raining. So, you know, a good little summer. Like, and then I mean, it kind of fizzled after that because he wanted, like we kind of just went different, which is fine. We both talked about it like adults though. And yeah, you know, but yeah, it's just kind of getting to have those little more experiences that I feel like maybe when I was a teenager or younger, I kind of robbed myself of. And I always kind of was like, oh, it's just what boys want. It's how boys are blah, blah, blah.

It's like, was it just the boys or was I like, love me? You know, whether that was for. a relationship or for the night. Like I just wanted to feel loved and held and all that. So, you know, just to kind of like have that's been really cool.

And I think free. And I feel like it's kind of helping me, maybe heal a little bit more of that those past experiences or at least be able to see them different. Yes, yes, yes.

And I think it makes a ton of sense. I mean, to come from the environment of developing early, having all of that sort of judgment on your body, which one you can't control. Let's just talk about that. You can't control that. So then all these people, yeah, trying to control your body and make judgments on it and then having that period in your life when you're maybe decided to be more covering of it, right? To protect yourself from all of that judgment. And then to come into the space where people are now starting to like your body.

What a confusing relationship. Then at 16 to be like, what the fuck now it's cool. Like, OK, so now I'm going to use it. Exactly. Exactly. So now I'll use it as something to control power. I mean, you said weaponized, right?

Use that to get power in the relationships. And I did. Oh, I was good at it. Not to brag, you know, but like it was weird.

It was very confusing. It was very hurtful a lot of the times and not like to myself. You know, to have those hard feelings and also not having, you know, you're 16, you don't know how to talk about that. You don't know how to be like, hey, mom, I feel really weird because now all of a sudden guys are like, your tits are great, but like I couldn't do sports anymore because, you know, and I was, you know, anything physical. And I was like the when I was like a kid kid before the boobs.

Sure. I was the bike kid. I rode that bike around the neighborhood. I ran with the boys. I played basketball soccer like you could not keep me still. I was outside. I ran in the I did all of it. And then I think to lose that deep connection to the outdoors, to nature, to my body and just like in the physical sense of movement was really a terrible, terrible thing because I basically lost 15 years of movement in a relationship with my body because I was like, stop. And then all of it became difficult.

I did get into snowboarding when I was in high school and middle school. And I think that was easier because I was so covered up. You couldn't see if my boobs bounced. You couldn't see if I had any. I was you're in ski pants and a thick jacket and a helmet. They're like, we don't know who that is. Right.

Right. And I got very into snowboarding. And that was like the only thing I did through the rest of that time because I was covered up.

I was pretty good at it. I could just go really fast. And that's all I had. And I literally would not move.

I didn't want to dance and I I wouldn't go hiking. Like it was and that's something that the last year and a half, two years. I've been really, really focused on since. Well, I've had some free time.

Since the celibacy journey that I focused on. I've gotten very into yoga. I do a ton of yoga now. I like to dance for myself. I will put my headphones in in the backyard and dance with the moon.

I did it with the full moon the other night. Even when I do feel silly, I feel weird. But I also am like, I'm going to take up space right now.

Like, I don't want to not feel like I can't use my body anymore. I moved to Germany for a while. And I had to take a plan B pill out there. I had a boyfriend.

It was fun. But the hormones in that caused me to gain like 50 pounds in a few months. Like it was hormones are terrible. Like I cannot wait for the day I can get off earth.

You're like, I am so over it. But I gained a bunch of weight and then I came back to the US. And kind of since I've been back the last few years, I've been working very slowly on losing that and I have. I've lost like 40 pounds.

We're getting back. Congrats. And it's one of those things that now that I've lost more of the weight and I've started to feel like myself, I'm starting to look like how I see myself and stuff that's helped me so much.

And that's been because I just started moving again. Wow. What felt right. What felt natural. I took sex off the table for not just people, but myself. You know, and I think that's the biggest thing with the celibacy and like kind of doing a journey like that is.

It's not it's very selfish as it should be. It was for me. It was to protect myself because I wasn't doing a good job at it. And no one else was going to step it and save me.

And it was one of those moments of like showing up as your own hero. You know, being like, we just got to get rid of this. You need to stop worrying. You got to stop.

You got to figure something else out. And I found yoga. And it's changed my life. And I've met so many wonderful people through yoga. I've gotten to do workshops.

I did a handstand and my boobs were in the way. And it was great. There they are.

Yeah. And another act of like rebellion that I've done is I do yoga and kind of scantily clad an extra cleavage sports bra and some booty shorts. You know, and like starting to show up that way to enjoy like my body. Yes. And that's been kind of the journey. It's just trying to leave it in the past, whatever it is, and just show up today, take up some space, try to be myself. Mm hmm. And it's a weird thing to learn.

It's a weird thing to learn how to be selfish with yourself. Mm hmm. And we call itself love. But.

So it doesn't always feel very loving. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

I mean, especially as at least for me and I don't know your gender, but someone is socially conditioned as a woman that is not what we're taught. Right. I mean, let's look at Disney just like, I'm going to wait for Prince Charming to come and save me. I'm going to wait for my love romantic to save all of these problems in my life and to like take that narrative and flip it into know what you said.

No one's going to come and save me. Right. No, other than myself can make this move of I'm going to switch and do the practices that are best for me. So like, yeah, it hurts to me that we call this selfish because it's fucking taking care of yourself. Right. Like, what?

What? OK, you know, so it's like, my God, I mean, I always equate it to the putting your mask on before you help another person. And we know in the plane, they're like, you know, the air drops, you put your mask on first and then help the other person. I think we're like constantly like helping other people mean like, why can't I breathe?

And it's like your mask first than the other people. And I would never call that selfish. No, no. And I also think, too, that like I kind of struggle with the self love like movement that we've been seeing.

Sure, sure. Because again, it's not very loving. It is loving, of course, and it's core and like how you treat it because you're learning how to retreat yourself. All I've learned is I am my biggest bully. I am very mean to me. Everyone's like, you're so nice. I'm like, not to know.

She doesn't know that. And that's one thing I've learned, too, is I am my biggest bully. I always thought I was bullied and was everyone else being mean to me, which it was, of course, in some situations, but for the most part, especially in my adult life, like I've been my own bully.

I have been nothing but being to myself. So when I have done these practices or like the. Oh, my God, I have to go do yoga because it makes me happy or like I need to go dance because I haven't like I don't want to lift my shoulders up anymore. Or I don't want to like take up space on the couch. Like that's when I know I need to like really get moving is when I stop wanting to take up space, you know?

And so I think to have to constantly. Like have those thoughts of like, well, it doesn't matter. You don't like it's fine.

It's whatever. And then like to have to go back and be like, listen here. You know, it doesn't always feel loving. It doesn't always feel like an act of love. Sometimes it feels more like an act of desperation or just clinging to anything, you know, and I think that's where I kind of struggle with all the self love or calling it self love is because this has been a full time job. And then some since it started.

Yes. Which I think you're talking about something very important is that like this practice of self love doesn't always feel easy. It doesn't always feel like love of like, oh my God, I love myself so much.

So of course I'm going to go do that. It's like, no, I think that's why sometimes I like the inner child metaphors of like, how would you parent your inner child, right? Of like.

like holding space for them. Yes, I see that you're tired. It's okay, take a nap and then we'll go to yoga class. Like, you know, having that sort of like love compassion that we would for a child, someone younger, and then applying that to ourself. Oh, I love that. Yeah, that's a much, I like that better because the self loved to me, I just think of Instagram posts and Oprah yelling at me and I'm like, I don't always love myself.

I know me. All right, she's got some. She's stubborn, you know?

Like, that's hard to get in there. But I think again, like what you said is being a woman too is like there's so ingrained. And I've recently learned about like generational trauma and how that like goes into your body from my mom and her mom and all that. And I don't even know. I don't even want to know what I got. Dad like, Jesus.

You know, so I think it's those deep rooted and weirdly ingrained things that are like, you shouldn't take care of yourself. You need to go find someone else too. You need to go get married, have some babies because how are you ever gonna feel whole? I feel like I'm just my hands are full with just me. Okay, we got plenty going.

Yes, yes, yes. 100 % taking care of my apartment, myself, my all the things I need is a full time job. It's a full time job. Yes. I cannot, the idea of adding one more moving thing into this pile right now, absolutely not. Yeah, 100%.

I feel that I really do. And I mean, I'm sure we would flex if that situation never happened. And we chose to engage in it, right?

Like we'd find a way to like flex the ability to make that happen. But yeah, right now, at least with my current state, like no, I don't have that space and it's not something I'm choosing, right? And like, I think it's important to say that that's not selfish for either of us to do that, you know? Yeah, no, I like that.

That is true. Like, and I think now that I've been more interested in dating and now that that's starting to feel like something just, I don't want like, I don't want to bore, like I want something funny and fun. I think in my mind, I think what my goal is right now with it is I am looking for that 16 year old romance I did not get. Yes. If that makes sense. Like I want some puppy love right now, that's it. I don't want to work at it, not like not work at it, but you know, I just want that easy breezy, the light, but like, let's just do something fun because I've never had that. Sure.

So, and then after like being celibate now, like it's made it so much easier because I'm like, well, you want to go do something? Like, we can't do that. Exactly.

Yeah. So something like light, fun, enjoy, like the beauty of a connection. And that's been, and then again, like with that date the other night, that's made it so much more exciting because now I'm like, oh my God, I'm not being unrealistic. I can have that. I can have those moments without it being like, Hollywood or like whatever I've exaggerated in my head.

Sure, sure. It's also making me think right now about what it means, like self love means in general. Like what, I mean, this is a deeper question, but you know, what is love? And I mean, in the sense of like, what does love look like in a long-term relationship? Not necessarily with partners, but like with yourself, right?

Yeah. Because when we think about long-term relationships with other people, there's going to be a lot of like, ebbs and flow, like true long-term relationships, right? Ebbs and flows of frustration, anger, joy, like all of those come together to make what is love in a long-term relationship. And then understanding that also in terms of self, right? Like our self love practice might have periods of frustration with our self and anger, right? And like recognizing that all that also can be self love.

What I'm thinking about right now. That's interesting. No, that's really cool. Like it's so cool. It's cool to like, here's what I'm saying and feeling. This is why I like talking to professionals. Because I'm like, here's what I say and feel.

And then you guys make it so much more eloquent, beautiful. I'm like, so this thing sucks. And you're like, so what I'm hearing? And I'm like, yeah, dad!

That's it, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I think it's an honest reflection of like, what does love really look like? It is not going to be fairy tale romance every single day. There's going to be days that you fight, right? Oh man, there's going to be days like you're fighting because you're fighting with yourself.

It doesn't even necessarily be like, you're going to be fighting with the other person. Also, one thing I've learned is I'm someone who requires a lot of rest. And I don't so much mean like a nap or like I need to have 12 hours of sleep. I need little breaks throughout the day.

Yes. And that is one thing I've learned. And I've also like been really, especially now, because like I'm staying with my sister and her two kids. One thing that I've learned is like, especially when it's with kids. And it's like, weirdly enough, they like taught me this.

It's like, just walk off for five minutes, come back to whatever it's fine. So we'll be there. Yeah.

You know? And so that's one thing too that I've learned is like, I just need little breaks to just be alone. And not so much to like, sometimes that means just to zone out Instagram scroll for a few minutes. Sometimes it's hanging out with the cats.

Sometimes it's just sitting outside. I just need to change a space. Yes. You know? And so that's also been one thing too that I think with like, I can bring that now into a relationship. I feel like now I can handle my big emotions a little bit better. And my trigger is because now I'm learning to like, yeah, you just need some breaks. You need a snack and a nap probably more often than I realized, but whatever.

There's that inner child. Okay. Like let's give you a little snack and a nap and we're going to bundle you back up and go back out into the world. Like it's okay.

You need a time out. Okay. It's all like, okay. Well, especially at least I resonate with you so much as someone who has, I'm very like, I don't know how to describe my diagnosis. I mean, I've been diagnosed with anxiety.

Do I believe in that diagnosis as a mental health professional? I don't know. It's a question, right?

Cause I think we all kind of have this baseline anxiety and currently where I'm at now, I'm able to function. So like, does that label even fit anymore? I don't know. But what I'm saying is I resonate with you in the sense of like people pleasing code switching around other people of like, oh, I'll show up as this self here and do this sorts of thing. And I think when we think about that dynamic, it makes a ton of sense why it's exhausting to go out into the world and have a ton of social interactions because if we're constantly doing that work, that is literal energy that is being spent so much more. Oh, and then hyperanalyzing constant. Like I freak myself out.

I pretty much can figure out what people are gonna say before they finish their sentence. Ooh, almost pervade them. And that's creepy. Like, so when people are like, oh, I wish I could know what people are thinking. And then like you're starting to like be able to like in your head, finish someone's sentence before they finish it.

So I'm ready. Like that is how hyper aware like I have become in every situation that it's like. Yeah.

And that's not fair to other people because like they deserve to have the space to share their thoughts without me being like, I already know what you're gonna say. So I'm already like ready. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And I mean, all of that being like an act of trying to protect ourselves, right? I think that's even like, and those moments where we look back and we're like, oh, like myself is my worst bully. I think is what we were talking about earlier. Like even in those moments, like if we understand that our bully is also trying to protect ourselves because it's like, oh, if I can project what they're saying out, then I can know what they're gonna say and I can respond perfectly. And then I can do this.

So that way I still stay in connection with them. Like it's like, it's always trying to protect us even if it's, you know, maybe a warped way of doing it and not the most adaptive, healthy way. But like at our core, like our nervous system, our body is trying to keep us safe. Yeah. And I don't know, I don't necessarily know what I've been running from.

Well, I don't know what I think is coming after me or like if I had a past life where I was a night, I have no idea. Sure, sure, sure. Tired.

Yes. I've been tired for like probably three or four years, just like a chronic. Also we had COVID, you know, and all that good stuff. But I was tired before COVID.

I'll be honest, I was already having all this before. So I think I weirdly found comforting. and the isolation of COVID because it was the first time that's like, well, I have to be alone and I can just like, relax. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, in a weird way. So I think it was scary and hard and lonely, of course, but it was also like kind of nice because it was like a reprieve of like having to be on, having to worry about how I showed up for people or like, like exactly what you said, like with the coding, like I didn't even know that was like a thing. I thought I was just kind of weird, you know, and like, it's kind of cool to hear that other people were doing it and other people understand how exhausting it is.

Oh, yes. Because the people in my immediate life and in my family, they don't necessarily do that. They don't show all of themselves, of course, but they're not like curating sections of themselves.

Sure, sure. And even that, I want to push a little bit of like, it can be authentic to curate how you show up. This is something that I have learned a lot in coming into the field of psychology where like part of what I do in my work is create a relationship, right? So like, how do I show up authentically, even when like, you know, I might be sitting with someone and be like feeling frustrated about what they're saying, right?

But knowing that that is not going to bring them benefit, that's not going to bring them joy and help them in their period of growth. So how do I show up authentically? Because I for a long time thought like authentically was like, I'm going to tell you what I'm thinking and what it is. And like, here it is, like, you're annoying me.

Do you know what I mean? But like, how can you keep authenticity in a relationship while choosing how you're going to show up? And that has been something to really like sit with me a lot of like interesting, like it is still authentic for me to choose how I want to show up in relationship. And I think that's like the aspect of mindfulness, right? It's like, we're constantly going through this life and we're going to have intrusive thoughts, thoughts that just come out of nowhere. And that is uncontrollable, right?

Like if you start trying to control the pop up thoughts, you will lose. Every time. Yes. So like, we only like to show up at night. Yeah. And so like you're brushing your teeth and you're just like, you suck. Damn it.

Where'd you come from? Exactly. And if you try to fight that, like you're not going to win. Like we know that because that is not something that's within our control.

But like what is within our control is how we make meaning of that and how we deal with those thoughts, right? So then in the, oh, I'm getting frustrated. It's like, okay, clearly maybe I need to know. Maybe I need a break. Maybe I'm low in my compassion right now.

And so I need a moment. And so that's something I've been thinking a lot too, of like the code switching and even like some of it is to like fit in an environment, right? But like some of it also of like, I just for the longest time thought being authentic meant saying everything that was on my mind. Yeah. Or just being like, this is that high, like almost manic. And then they're like, whoa.

Yeah. And I always like to think about it too of like, when you go to work, obviously you're yourself at work, but you're also like, I'm not going to talk about where I'm going to do it. And do a drugs like you just don't at work. Like, and so it's those kinds of things too that I like to think of like, I'm not lying about who I am at work. It's just, it's a different environment. It's a different thing. And I read a quote a while back that said, one thing you need to learn about thoughts and feelings is that they're fleeting.

They're just passing through. You put it on a post it and you throw it out. If it's something that's really sticking around, sure, I think on it, but for the most part, like thoughts and feelings, you know, it's a post it. They're just supposed to go through. Yeah. You don't have to like cling on to everyone. You don't even have to like necessarily acknowledge everyone. And that's what I've been working on. It's like the other night I was like in my head about something because I think I fought with my mom or someone in my family or immediate circle said something that was a little triggering.

And I literally was like starting to, you know, find the scav. Yes. Cause it feels good. It's just, I don't know why.

Yes. And it's bad way. Oh God, but you know, being bad's fun. And I literally was just like, no, to myself. I was like, no, it is 10 30 at night.

We're just done for the day. No. No. And I mean, I literally nine, I probably had to say no to myself a hundred times.

Yeah. Cause it kept me and I was like, no, no. And I mean, it wasn't a restful night, but I really was, you know, telling yourself no is hard. Yeah. Especially when your brain's like, I think that's one thing too.

I try to remind myself is I don't have to pick and hold on to every thought and feeling. I got a lot throughout the day. Apparently I have a lot of days ahead of me and you shouldn't make any decisions or plans for your life after 9 PM. You are not allowed to have judgments about yourself after 9 PM. Sure. Sure.

Anything that comes up probably isn't true. Sure. I feel that the time when like the rest of the day settles and so then all the thoughts that maybe haven't been going on through the day start to feel very prominent. And I think this is some of the best times to practice mindfulness, right? Of I see that thought.

I'm not going to attach to that thought. I see it like a cloud. It's there. I'm not ignoring its reality. It is fully there. I fully see it.

I fully see it. And I let it go on by, right? And that's the act instead of trying to be like, well, the cloud doesn't exist. And so now I'm going to fight about the existence of the cloud and go down that spiral. It's like, no, no, no. Yeah.

See it. We just hold on and let time bring it on by, you know. Yeah. And like, I think that's amazing. Like my yoga practices are primarily in the evening and that's why I like to do. I'll be very honest.

I like to smoke my bolts and I do yoga for like an hour. Absolutely. Hell yeah. And everyone's like, smoking so bad. Like my family, like people in my family aren't like fans.

And I'm a very honest, open person. Like I am exhausted from hiding. Like you're going to know it all. Yeah. So be careful what you ask.

And there's some who are like, I just don't understand. I don't think it's good coping method. I'm like, I get high and do exercise.

Like, what are you doing? And that has been one of the best things I found for myself. Better than the Ritalin. Better than the sex. Better than the drinking. Better than codepending on another person or food or whatever it was.

Smoking a bowl and stretching about. And you're just kind of, they're like, and now we go to doggie posts. We're like, I don't have to make a single decision for myself either.

Okay. So that's been like my sweet space is on the mat because I'm someone's in a good way, telling me what to do. So I don't got to make a decision.

I'm high. So I can only have one thought at a time instead of all 97,000 constantly. And then you stretch it out. Yeah. And especially. And then you're sleepy. Right.

Right. And especially with ADHD, I know there's, I don't know if there's formal literature on this, but I've definitely read some assets about marijuana being used to like help cope with ADHD and the amount of thoughts. And at least I've heard that in my personal life of people with ADHD smoking and it doing this like calming of the brain.

Oh. And most people are like, God, I get sleepier. I get hungry. And like, I'm not a big, munchy person. That's part of the reason why I know weed is very good for me is because like I don't have a normal reaction.

Sure. I'm like, Oh my God, I have one thought. Everything doesn't feel like such a big deal anymore.

And I can finally get my kitchen cleaned. Or I go on a hike or like there's definitely been times where I have overused it for medicine. It's turned into a little bit more fun. There's also been times where like that was the crutch and I've had to like stop cold turkey and like take long breaks. And it's being self aware of using it in a way that works for me.

And what works for me is just using it. So I just have a little break. And that for me, honestly, is just going to have the one thought of a time and not everything feeling like such a big deal. Yeah. And I think I struggle with everything feeling so catastrophic all the time.

And like just getting to have that space. So 10 out of 10, you guys, if anyone out there is anxious or has ADHD, go load a bowl. See what happens. Yeah.

Start little. Yes. You don't have to get like ripped either. Right. I think that's how people like, oh, so you're just faked. And I'm like, no.

Yeah. I mean, it can be a deeply spiritual practice, right? One that slows down your inner meditative state because someone is guiding you. And so all you have to be with is in your body, in your breath and to slow down.

That's a beautiful thing. It's been interesting because I was on an SSRI for two and a half years for anxiety. And I recently went off a month ago.

So it has been a radical rechanging of my, exactly. Oh, I remember getting off antidepressants and I was just like, yeah. I was, it was a pretty tough, like physiological transition to say the least. But what I have found is it's been very interesting because my relationship to cannabis has shifted. Like I have to smoke significantly less.

Like I get much higher on less, which is great. But like if, if I smoke significantly more, it does start to reach this point of like anxiety provoking for me that I don't think it ever did before. Being on an SSRI. So it's been really interesting for me to have to like shift my relationship as my physiology changes with the medication that I'm no longer taking. Oh, exactly. Or like I've noticed major life changes or big focuses.

Like it changes how I want to use it or how different like strains or whatever will affect me. I like a good hybrid. I don't want to be hyped.

I also don't want to sit on the couch, like give me a solid hybrid. I don't know anything outside that weed is weed after that. But like finding like that sweet spot, like is so huge and like, you don't have to get ripped. Right. You can just, it's like fear.

You can just have the one and you're okay. Yep. And I think it's so great that people are exploring this more and more. And I feel so fortunate. that I've had the space and the availability to and I don't take it lightly that like there are people in prison for the same activity, you know? And I really, so when I am practicing and I am using it as medicine, that's part of the reason why I'm so focused on myself of using it as medicine and not so much for the fun and like, you know, for the hype and the party of it because it's like, there's people in jail for it for very long time and that's not fair, you know what I mean? So I try to be very respectful too of that thought with it. So that way, I, you know, like I said, I can't change the world, but that's something I feel very strongly about too is like, if you are gonna use, if you are in a state where it's legal and you get that choice, realize that people didn't.

They were just selling a bag to pay for their college class and now they're in jail for 10 years. Like it's having those thoughts too and being aware of like the history with it too, I think is super important and respecting that and the people who didn't get the same opportunities with it. Right, right.

Yes, yes, that's very important to have that intentionality and presence when you're engaging in cannabis to know that. I think it's really beautiful. One of my friends also has had this practice of before they hit the bowl, like actually having a gratitude practice of like, what is one thing I'm grateful for before every time they hit? So then it's also like, yes, it's like, it's almost like can you use it in, you know, a little bit different, you know, you're getting a little bit different than like a sip of the wine, but you know, like that same practice. I love that. No, I'm gonna steal that.

That's good. I know, right? Normally I'm just like, thank God.

Yeah, exactly. Sweet relief. I like that. Yeah, I actually like to read poetry when I'm like smoking, if I'm not like going to go straight to yoga or whatever, I like to read. I like to have something to kind of, and some of us just have something else to think about or something else.

And I really like poetry and stuff because it's just having like exactly like what I said to you earlier, taking what I'm saying, but making it prettier. Mm-hmm. But yes, that's what I meant.

I know what you're saying because I feel the same. Yes. And it's going to have that kind of connection with one train of thought. Yes. And that is a spiritual self-love healing practice.

It has been. Some good old alone times. Mm-hmm.

I'm totally with you. I think one of my favorite things is, literally I have this, there's this post-it note that says like what to do when I'm sad. And on the top of the list is get high and dance to her in a past life, which is a Maggie Rogers album.

I love Maggie Rogers. Do you know the song Back in Your Body? Yeah. That's exactly what I was thinking about when you were telling your story about like the journey with your body. Yeah, it's I'm going to go listen to that next. Yeah, yeah.

It's been, it's been a trip, man. And I think talking to you, you know, and like getting to tell the story without like probably the first time getting overly emotional or being like, it's hard, it hurts me. To me, that just speaks to like, maybe I have come a little further than I think. Maybe I'm maybe I'm not all bad.

Maybe the story is not over. Maybe I get to change what I want to be. I mean, I can confirm that you are not all bad.

I will just say not like strongly like no, no, no, no, you are not all bad. And it sounds like this has been a beautiful journey of connecting back to yourself and showing up as yourself and taking up space and doing the practices that feel good for you and your body, which is a beautiful journey. It has been. Thank you.

Thank you. It's been, you know, and I tell everyone, like when my friends are kind of stressed, like, have you tried yoga? Have you tried smoking? Have you tried doing them together? Have you tried getting high and cleaning your kitchen? You know, I'm used to when I can't get clean. I'm like, all right.

Mm hmm. But it's been a it's been a trip and it's tiring. But I can say for the first time in probably fourish years, I finally have energy. I finally am starting to like have it like be able to do things after work again or not have to have everything so scheduled and planned out. So that's been the last month or so that like I'm like I woke up.

So when I came back to Denver after my sister came and got me from Phoenix and with your post it was funny because in Phoenix and I was like in a really, really dark, dark, bad place. No one was telling me like I would even tell my mom on the phone. Like I need you to say these words to me. And she's like, well, you have to tell them to yourself. And I'm like, no, I need to come from someone else.

We don't trust this opinion. And it hurt me not in a way that was like, you suck, mom, you're so mean. It was more of a like, you told me to tell you what I need. And now you're telling me that I can't bring those needs to you.

Yeah. And it it weirdly hurt me. But also what I did then, because you know, I'm stubborn.

I was like, fine. I went and wrote it. I wrote everything I wanted someone to tell me on sticky notes. And I put them all over my apartment.

Wow. And I didn't always remember what the sticky notes said. I didn't necessarily always read them. But I knew when I saw a sticky note, I knew it was something positive.

I knew it was something I needed to hear, even if I didn't go and read it. Oh, and I had them. I mean, all over like anywhere I commonly look. Yeah. I'm like, you don't even know.

I've got a whole ball of post it notes of little things. I'm with you. You know, and that was also kind of cool to be like, oh, OK, maybe I can't tell myself then, but damn well, it's going to be in my eyesight.

Absolutely. I literally it's this is also on my list of what to do when you're sad. Look at your written mirror. Like I was talking, calling the post it notes like a mirror.

That's of words, right? This moment to look into it, not a physical mirror, but like a mirror of like, oh, yeah, I am this person, I am that person. I know this and like take time to like look at all of my post it notes. I love that. Oh, that's so I'm going to call it that instead of my sticky notes.

Yeah, look at your. It sounds more beautiful. Make a written mirror of all the affirmations that you need to like look into.

Oh, I love it's kind of like a mood board or like a dream board or like manifestation, whatever they call them. Sure. Yeah.

She's saying, yeah. Wow, I love that. I'm going to steal that. That's good. Steal it, steal it, create it, make her own.

The gratitude smoking and a written mirror. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I love it. Yeah, this has been so lovely.

I really, really, really appreciate you being vulnerable and sharing your story and all of it. Yes. Yeah, no, thank you. Sorry, like it was an awkward start.

But like I said, I've had all these things and I was like, I'm sorry. Starts here. No awkward starts here. Just real human beings. Awesome. But yeah, this is I mean, you really have brought so much vulnerability. That is a powerful story. And I promise you that so many people are going to connect to this experience. I hope so. Yeah. You know, you were the one who said it too. Everyone is feeling this way.

So I promise you, I'm confident. Yes. Oh, yeah. There is one question I do want to ask you that I ask everyone on the podcast.

Yes. And it is, what is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal? Oh, but I wish other people knew was more normal. Yeah.

Oh my God. I think what would have been a great comfort to me to have known what was more normal would then instead of all the adults as a kid showing me that like, when you're a grown up, you know what to do? You could have ice cream for breakfast, like it's whatever. Like I think everyone should know it's normal that no one has any clue. We don't know what we're doing.

Adults, it's all a lie. We're great actors. Cool.

Yeah. Chris Evans is hot and can act. And so, you know, Ken Jennifer Aniston, but like all of us are actors too. You know, like nobody, it's normal to not know what you're doing.

It's normal to not think other people know, you know, like that's what I wish we knew. We're just struggling and they gave us bigger bank accounts and here we are doing our best. Still figuring it out every day, still cherishing that inner child that wants to play. And still, yeah, figuring out the path.

There is no right or wrong way to do it. So there's a lot of decisions, a lot of freedom there. Yeah. Like that's what I wish I would have kind of been told. And who knows, maybe after this journey and doing this podcast and having more of these conversations, maybe I'll find out where I'm meant to be or what my thing is or who knows. Absolutely.

I promise it's coming to you. And even in what you're doing now, you're doing it, right? Remember, even through your new job is selling this and connecting with people, you have the ability to change lives just through how you connect and show up. Wow. It's true. Here we go. Yeah, I'm so excited for you and your new journey. Thank you. Thank you. This has been super fun.

I can't wait for it to come out. And seriously, if you're ever out here, give us a call. If you enjoy today's episode, then leave us a five star review wherever you listen to your podcast. And if you're a part of the anarchist community, then follow us on Instagram or nominate a guest for the show by sending in a letter to modern anarchy podcast at Otherwise, I'll see you next week.


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