So Here’s Something…


I was packing today (I leave in 3 days, y’all…going back to college!) and came across an old diary from two years ago. I hadn’t seen it in years, and I read through the whole thing.

It detailed everything from getting asked to prom to being “dumped” by my prom date a few weeks after the actual dance to getting my first kiss (yeah, that seems a little out of order, but that’s how I live my life) to having my first boyfriend to going to college to…and then it stopped. And as I write this, I realize it was  that time, October 2011, when everything slid downhill. It’s funny when you’re so ecstatically happy and in love with someone and in love with your life, and then suddenly you want it to end. I’ve contemplated this so many times on this blog, each time gradually a little deeper, a little darker maybe, but I’ve never written about this because I’ve actually never thought about this. This post was supposed to go in an entirely different direction, but I may have just had a revelation.

I’ve thought about how terrible I felt at the time. How I couldn’t get out of bed, and how my relationships with everyone but about 3 people suffered dramatically, and how I ate stale, dry cereal in bed one night for dinner because I didn’t want to leave my room. And I’ve thought about how terribly tragic that all was, but I’ve always thought about it like it happened to someone else. In a way, it did, because I wasn’t myself. But depression is scary in one specific way: there is no outside force acting against you. Sure, maybe you’re Vitamin D deficient, maybe you had a traumatizing life event, and those are outside forces, but it isn’t a bacteria, it wasn’t a car crash, it isn’t something you had happen to you.

It is you. Or it feels that way, anyway.

I remember thinking I was eating away at myself. Having spurts of thoughts like I am doing this to myself. Having other moments where I liked feeling so miserable because at least I felt something. Not wanting the panic attacks to go away because I didn’t know how to define myself without them. Not caring that I was being destroyed because I had nothing to be whole for anymore. 

I’ve never really talked to my father about this. I had a really amazing conversation with another blogger about it, and they said they’d never talked to certain members of their family about their suicide attempt even though it must’ve been at least 25 years since. It’s weird…we can’t tell the people we love but we can tell strangers. It’s no fault of mine, and it’s no fault of my father’s, but I’ve just never really told him. And it’s been almost two years, and sometimes it feels too late to bring it up because it’s over. But I think I’m still a little traumatized by the realization that at one point I didn’t want to live anymore.

I think it somehow makes it hard to explain to someone that you had suicidal thoughts because doesn’t everyone? Doesn’t everyone have that moment when they’re looking over a bridge and they have the urge to fling themselves down into the abyss below? Well, sure, those thoughts happen all the time. But they arise from changing levels of adrenaline or something, and you would never just chuck yourself off a bridge on a whim.

You might swallow a whole bottle of pills, though, and fall asleep forever. You might think about that in the middle of the night after a panic attack. You might take a few extra of those pills, pills you were supposed to take for sleeping, and see how deep you could go, knowing you’d wake up because 3 isn’t an overdose but 30 is. 

I always thought it’d be more dramatic, like you see in movies. The heroine, tears dripping down her face, picks up a bottle of pills, closes her eyes, raises the bottle, and…slams them onto a table. No. I won’t do it. But real life is seldom so concrete or exciting. I thought about it, long and hard, wondering what my family would do without me, deciding that they’d be fine. I thought about it, but…I couldn’t get out of bed to do it. I couldn’t fight the depression long enough to end it. And that part is the only part that seems dramatic to me. It might fit into a movie. “I couldn’t fight the terrible weight pushing down on me, George,” Selma said in her light Southern drawl. “I couldn’t move to numb the pain.”

And I make fun of it, like that, because that’s the only way I can handle it without breaking into a million pieces and crying myself to sleep. But that moment, marred by a haze of one or two too many sedatives, is strangely sharp in my mind. I’d blocked it out until a few months ago, but…it’s not that I decided against doing it. I was just too tired. The pills probably didn’t help the grogginess, but it seems like maybe that grogginess saved my life.

When I was seeing a psychologist, I was saddened by the fact that I couldn’t remember a lot of my time in the fall of 2011. It was like I knew I must’ve been doing something…I was breathing and alive after all…but that time is just blotchy black spots in my mind. My psychologist said that my mind probably wasn’t ready to let me remember everything. Like maybe I needed to ease myself into the reality of that period in my life. So I read diaries and remember. I open notebooks and see “Am I crazy” scrawled across pages in red pen, written during a panic attack. I hear a song and cry. I wake up from dreams and flash back. 

It’s like PTSD, only mildly satisfying, because remembering makes it real. Remembering gives me a reason to feel bad for myself. I can’t remember for too long, because then I’d get nothing done. I don’t want to live in the past, and I don’t want to wallow. But I do want to allow myself to simply remember. Remember that something terrible happened within my mind, and I — very slowly and against more than a few odds — fixed it. 

There will always be books like The Bell Jar that take me back to those few months. I’ll go back to the town I used to live in someday, and I’ll probably remember horrible moments and cry and cleanse myself, stand up straight and walk away. I’ll find old notebooks, old poetry, old watercolors. Therapy tools. I’ll find them and remember, and I’ll bow my head. But I’ll move on. Someday, I’ll move on. For now, I’m in limbo, living an amazing life that would never have happened if those thoughts had turned to actions. 

I write frankly about these experiences because writing allows me to process. Your feedback is, as always, greatly appreciated. However, this blog is meant to be a safe place for both me and my readers, so I will ask that any negative comments be taken elsewhere and appropriately shoved up your arse. 

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I Am A Child, Neil Young


I’ve finally learned what it is to be a child.

Being a child is crying because you want something you can’t have, even when you don’t even want it anymore. It’s lip quivers for no reason. It’s doing things you know are wrong because you want to.

Being a child is awfully like being an adult.

Being a child is total confusion. Figuring someone else knows all the answers, and that maybe one day you’ll know them too. But then you’re an adult and you still don’t know any of the answers so what have you been working for this whole time? That’s when the lip quivers start again, only you’re an adult so why can’t you pull yourself together and fake it?

Being a child, though, was also fun. And that’s what we miss when we decide we’re adults. Who was the poor bastard that pulled 18 out of a hat and told us grow up? Now you’re an adult and therefore expected to understand the world and yourself, and you’re going to stop having a good time. You’re supposed to work and hate your job because everyone else does. But we all like fun, so why so serious? Why do we mandate that once you’re an adult, once you can stress-smoke until you puke, you have to hate everything and be cynical and just generally frown at everything?

I am a child, I’ll last a while.
You can’t conceive of the pleasure in my smile.

I refuse. I refuse to pretend that I know things. I refuse to drink things that taste gross (I’m lookin at you, Americanos) because I’m an adult and supposed to tolerate — no, accept — the bitterness of life.

So hey, I am a child. I cry when I feel sad. I cry when everything is beautiful, so beautiful that I’m overwhelmed and I think is this all in my mind? Is any of this even real? I cry because maybe I’m nothing, maybe all of this is nothing, maybe there’s no reason for me to bother smiling when everyone else swallows, grits their teeth, and looks the other way.

I’m Peter Pan in a world full of Captain Hooks, but I will feed you all to that crocodile and whistle on my merry way. And you’re not going to tell me no. I’m an adult, after all.

I Did Not Come Here For Staring


Ah yes, another post about the gym. I hate the gym (still) even though I’m steadily losing weight and feeling less blimp-ish when I wear my gym shorts and trot along on a treadmill. I really, really, really hate the gym.

It is too inside. There are too many walls. Of course, walls are necessary in order to support the roof of the gym, so I guess I’m pretty glad they’re there, and gyms are kind of inherently indoor facilities, but…I work inside for 8 hours a day. I need to breathe real air when I’m done.
I just have a problem with how muggy gyms are, and how the oxygen gets depleted and then there’s a weird fan blowing sad air on me while I sadly do my ab workout on a nasty mat that nobody has cleaned in 6 years and has pieces of foam missing from it, like a baby was set loose in the gym and ate part of it. Stop. I don’t enjoy this.

And anyway, gyms these days are more like libraries than real libraries…Everyone silently works out by themselves, with their headphones in or staring at the muted TV (by the way, watching Jeopardy on mute with subtitles is surprisingly disturbing. The contestants look really uncomfortable, like they’re being held there against their will). My sister and I get really giggly at the gym, and then we feel like jerks, like we’re supposed to be quiet and just miserably get on with our workouts. We will not have fun here. Being in shape is not fun. Being in shape is serious business, and if you’re not an expert on getting in shape, then just get out of here. I have been silently getting in shape for 10 years and look how happy I am now. Look at my arm muscles! They’re bigger than my head. I’m so attractive.

Then you get some weirdo staring at you, and you can’t tell if it’s because they’re attracted to you (probably not, because I look like a wreck when I go to the gym, which is a fact that I am very proud of, actually) or if they hate you…because the gym is for hatred. I did not come here for staring, sir, I came here for exercise. And I would appreciate if you wouldn’t creep me out while I contort my body into weird forms and lift my butt in the air for some very questionable glute exercises.
Speaking of, the gym is the only place in the world where you can lay on your back with your legs spread and not seem like a complete twit. Normally it’s not acceptable to practically flash your lady bits to the whole world, but apparently in this muggy, sad gym it’s not only accepted, it’s expected. I still feel weird doing it…

Basically, I’ve taken to riding my bike a couple times a week and going to the gym less frequently. I will breathe fresh air if it kills me. Which it won’t. Because it’s fresh air, and that’s good for you.

Cheers!

Go Forth, Cappy. You’re A Man Now


Today was a day rivaled only by the day my dad taught me how to spit properly (the key is in the tongue placement…I think).

I drove a total of 150 miles to interview for a position at school with the office of alcohol and drug counseling, assessment and prevention service. The position was one for undergrads who would assist graduate psychology students with their outreach, etc, in the school.

I was so scared, and probably for no reason. I didn’t know what to expect (other than those top 10 interview questions, which I’d fully prepared for) and didn’t know how the interviewer would like me, but once I got there it was like I’d been meant to have the position my whole life. I realized I was born to talk to people, and if I just say what I really feel, what I’m passionate about, people tend to connect. So I got the job, guys. I did it. I really freaking did it.

I came home and went on a ride as soon as I could, because the amount of nervous energy pumping through my brain was getting a bit overwhelming…I say nervous only because I was so excited I couldn’t handle myself. Get it? Handle? Bike handle?

Yeah, terrible pun.

Anyway, I don’t consider anyone a great cyclist in my area unless they can bike up The Hill of Death, as I like to call it. It’s incredibly steep, pretty long, and really curvy. Plus, it’s actually got quite a bit of traffic, and the speed limit is 55 mph there. And there are those rumble strips in the middle of it, so if cars are nice and give you room, you practically fall off your bike with shock from the noise. I’ve never ridden up or down The Hill of Death. I have been perpetually scared of it and refused to go anywhere near it, for fear I’d make it down but not be able to get back up and be stranded forever in the middle of nowhere.

But for some reason, I decided to take it on. And after a mini heart attack when someone honked at me (please don’t do that), I made it. Y’all, I made it up the hill! Funny thing was, it wasn’t even that hard. The hill that had scared the living daylights out of me for 5 years was a piece of cake compared to some hills I’ve taken on. And I felt so silly, because I’d been worried about the unknown for so long, but at the same time I felt fabulous…I learned something about myself and that hill. I can do just about anything, no matter how daunting. And y’all, I do it with style, fingerless riding gloves and all.

I think some really cheesy things while I ride, usually about the meaning of life and other broad, vague concepts. This afternoon, I realized there was a connection between that hill and my interview this morning…and life’s challenges in general. There’s always something that’s unknown, scary, daunting. But once you tackle it head on, straining up the hill until your legs are on fire, it’s not so bad. Usually, you make it to the top just in time to see the wheat dancing in the wind.

Today I felt invincible, and so I was.

Gobinda Hari, or I Now Understand Obnoxious Christians


Most of you know that I’m on a path of self discovery, and that I’m learning about and utilizing Hinduism on that journey. Most of you know, also, that I do not really identify as Christian even though I was brought up Episcopalian and still occasionally go to church (mostly because the people there are my family, and the dean of the cathedral is one of the most brilliant men I know and his sermons are thought-provoking in a way that transcends religion). As such, I have typically felt incredibly uncomfortable when certain Christians suggest that I pray when I’m distressed because “God is with you…blah blah.” Incredibly uncomfortable. I don’t like talking about Jesus, and I don’t like conversations that make me feel like I’m being “saved.” I, at times, wish I could wear a sign around my neck that says, “Please do not approach me about your religious beliefs. I will wet my pants from discomfort, and nobody wants to see that.” I get really dismissive and try to escape the conversation as soon as possible. One time my dad suggested that I just talk to Jesus when I’m upset because it can be really comforting for him. And while I understood that it was valuable for him, I really didn’t want to “talk to Jesus” because to me, Jesus isn’t important, not in a religious sense. Sure, I believe that he existed, but why should I talk to the “son of God” when I really don’t think a Christian god exists? Of course, there are a million little exceptions and nuances that I won’t be able to get to in this post, so please understand that I haven’t written anything off completely because the world is full of mystery and I’m sorting things out my own way. I just feel more of a “spirit” than a “god,” and maybe that’s the same to some people. As I write this, it’s incredibly difficult to put my conflicting and confusing feelings into words. There’s just something there with Hinduism that isn’t there with Christianity. Maybe it’s more the practice of Hinduism that I connect with. Maybe God is the same no matter what the religion.

But. I might’ve accidentally become a version of The Obnoxious Christian. That person who suggests meditation to those who struggle. The person who talks about Krishna and “the higher spirit” (I literally said that) to her friends. The person who, when reading more about the mantra “gobinda hari” wants to print out the article to share it with her sister. The person who blogs about Hinduism and its benefits. (As a side note, the mantra gobinda hari can be used as a self-reflection mantra that aids us in connecting with our accomplishments and what the world has given us, while acknowledging that we were an integral part of our self-improvement. It also allows us to thank the world for the help it brings us and the bounty it produces. Or something like that…it gets a little complicated and sounds incredibly hippie, so I’ll spare you. Just know that it’s valuable to me, as I tend to forget what I’ve done well in life and continually put myself down for not “working hard enough.”)

I’m okay with becoming that person. I’m learning more every day — about myself, about the world — but I’m also uncovering more questions, and I like that too. So if I’m reaping these amazing benefits, why should I not try to share them with the world? I led a meditation workshop before finals week at my sorority, and it was absolutely brilliant and everyone liked it and I felt accomplished, like I’d shown them something they would never have found without my help.

I’ve been to hell and back: I contemplated suicide a year and a half ago. I had a panic attack every day, and was in the darkest place I have ever been. I sought therapy and saved myself, by myself, and I don’t think I have God to thank for that. I was broken, and I fixed myself (with the help of many people around me) but God was not involved. I don’t feel abandoned, and this does not come from a bitter place, but I just didn’t feel anything with me or around me or anything as I clawed my way back to reality, to normality. But as I learn and grow, maybe my opinion will change. Nothing is ever definite.

Until then, I feel connected to the earth and the universe in a way that has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with my soul’s movement between bodies a thousand times on this earth. I sound like such a nutcase as I say this, and I can practically hear you all scoffing through the computer, and that’s fine. I believe what I believe (that our soul never truly dies, just moves from body to body for eternity) and you can believe whatever you’d like (that I’m insane, that heaven exists, whatever). I know now, at least, why those obnoxious Christians that make me so uncomfortable do what they do, say what they say. They’ve found something valuable and helpful and wonderful, and it makes their lives richer and more meaningful, and they want to help me find that. And good on them. I appreciate the sentiment.

I will continue to look to help others who seek guidance in this really, really, really difficult life we all live. But I do promise this: no matter how great I feel, no matter how much I learn, I swear I will not try to “save” anyone. Because everyone is fine, nobody’s going to hell, nobody’s going to bleed for eternity if they don’t “know Jesus” or “understand the ways of Hinduism.” The minute you look uncomfortable or bored, and believe me I can tell, I will send you on your way without judgement. Pinky swear. What works for me doesn’t have to work for you. Guaranteed it won’t work for most of you. Besides, forcing people to accept something doesn’t work. Typically, they need to realize things in their own time; had I been bothered with spirituality when I wasn’t ready, I don’t think I would’ve made the same strides I did on my own.

I feel like I should end this post with some sort of profound statement, but to be completely honest my shoulder is cramping up and I can’t focus on much else. So I’ll leave you with this: anything we find that allows us to learn more about ourselves and others, whether it be religion, exercise, music…anything at all, is worth spending time developing. So go forth and question the world, my friends! And namaste.

Four Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Give a S***


bikini body

I found this photo online and couldn’t resist. The sentiment is just too perfect.

I’d like to begin this post by establishing that I hate Lena Dunham, and it has nothing to do with her appearance and everything to do with her mind – which is the opposite of why most people dislike her. I think the show Girls is utter tripe and that I could probably write a more convincing show about today’s youth, but whatever. All that aside, I admire her for one reason: she doesn’t give a shit. When I say this, I mean she doesn’t give a shit about what people say about her body. And, she says, “I am going to show my thighs every day till I die.”

I recently read an article  about this, and the author made a few amazing points. Why should she, or any other woman for that matter, be constantly preoccupied with her looks or her weight? Why should she feel sorry for how she looks (which is actually just fine, by the way)? Why should she be responsible for hiding herself and saving the rest of the world from the absolute misery of looking at her thighs, her arms? With that in mind, here are 4 reasons why you, like Lena Dunham, should tell everyone else to shove off.

1. If Your Clothes Fit, Wear Them – As long as you are wearing an appropriate outfit (and by that I mean wearing business attire to work, a swimsuit to the beach, etc) and it fits you (so that you are comfortable and feel confident in yourself), you’re golden. If someone has a problem with the fact that your thighs rub together a little bit, then stab them in the eyes and save them the trouble of looking at you. It isn’t your responsibility to make everyone feel comfortable when you don’t fit their skewed model of the “appropriate” female form. Just because someone else is attracted to unhealthy, bony women doesn’t mean that you have to become one or hide under a muumuu dress for the rest of your life.

2. It’s Not Your Responsibility to Fit the Mold, But it Is Your Responsibility to Break It – Do women all over the world a favor and be an amazing size 16. For goodness sake, as long as you’re not about to die of cardiac arrest, it doesn’t matter how big you are. I say this because I want y’all to be healthy, and I want y’all to feel good, but if you care at all about how your children are going to grow up, if you want your daughter to be able to be happy the way she really is, then start now. Start today and say, “I am wonderful, and I am not to be judged solely by how I look.” Go get a great job and be amazing at it. Raise your children the way you should. Have wine with your friends. Enjoy life. Eat some butter. Let the skinny girls worry about their upper arm fat and you just embrace yours.

3. If You Obsess About Your Weight, How Are You Gonna Live Your Life – I am speaking from experience here, y’all. If you’re constantly worried about how other people view you, you will not live a happy and productive life. I struggle with this daily, and I feel guilty for exposing people to my “grotesque” form sometimes (I quickly snap out of it, usually, but it isn’t always easy). But how am I going to grace the world with my amazing presence and talent if I can’t even walk out my front door without feeling terrible about myself? So, I encourage you all (myself included) to try to let it go. Just be amazing the way you are right now. If you want to lose weight, go ahead, but don’t obsess. Live, because you only have about 80 years total, and most of those are spent doing things you don’t like. So those other years, the amazing middle ones, should be spent giving the world your talents. Write, paint, dance, whatever, but do it in the best way you can. Be carefree, and tell everyone else to go shove it and worry about their own belly fat.

4. There Are a Million Men Who Love Your Fat – Seriously. Sure, there are a lot of guys who like super skinny girls, and that’s their prerogative. You like who you like, they like who they like. But there are a whole bunch of other guys who are worth your time who loooooove the way you look. And if you’re confident about it, they like it even more. It sounds like something your mother would say (I’m pretty sure mine did a few times), but mothers are typically right.

So take my advice (I’m always right, even if I don’t believe it myself). Adele is your new role model. Lena Dunham has empowered you. I have hypnotized you into believing me. Go out there and be fierce about your body, and let your arm fat wag about with wild abandon – just don’t feel bad about it.

Listen to Adam Hills. His defense of Adele starts around 30 seconds: 

Note: This all applies to men too, as Ben from Ben’s Bitter Blog pointed out! I just know nothing about the “male condition” as it were, so I didn’t mention it. But if you got it, boys, flaunt it! 

Are You Single or What?!


Im_Single_display_copyThe world needs to be clearly labeled so I don’t make a fool of myself. For example, I’d appreciate if, when I was lost as a driver, I could pop up a sign that says, “I’m not from around here, so I will be driving weirdly for the next few blocks. Please don’t road rage at me.”

More importantly, though (let’s be real, it doesn’t matter if I get critically injured in a road rage incident, because I don’t even have a boyfriend), I would love if men could wear signs that say, “I am single” / “I am SO NOT SINGLE” / “I am single but I find you repulsive.” So much less confusion would ensue. I don’t do subtlety well at all, so I kinda need to be conked over the head with romance (which, in itself is supposed to be subtle…basically, I don’t do well with romance).

Also, I could then let people know that I am not asexual, I’m just constantly uncomfortable and kinda weird. It’d go something like this:

“Hello, I am a single lady, please take my hand and try to woo me. But please, do not send me pictures of your genitals or your biceps, because I do not want them and you need to keep that to yourself. Take me out for a nice dinner and tell me I’m funny. Laugh at my jokes. Laugh at more of my jokes. Laugh when I do something awkward/stupid. Kiss me goodnight. Don’t rest your tongue in my mouth. Thank you.”

And I’d be looking for a nice, tall boy who had a nice sense of style (seriously, boys, learn how to dress yourselves) whose sign said:

“I am a single fella. Sometimes I say fella as a joke because I’m super hilarious. I like thinking about things, and I don’t say “that’s gay” or “that’s retarded” because I’m sensitive…but not so sensitive that I’ll cry when I’m stressed or if you accidentally offend me. I’ll laugh at your jokes, even the ones that make no sense, because I’ll understand them. I don’t have a habit of doing weird things with my tongue when I kiss girls goodnight.”

And that is how the world would go ’round. Wouldn’t life be easier?

Tom, Huck, and Cappy


I’ve been a pirate on an island with Tom and Huck, smuggled French Aristocrats with the Scarlet Pimpernel, jousted over a river with Friar Tuck and Robin Hood.

Whenever I see little islands in the middle of rivers or lakes, I tug my dad’s sleeve like a little kid and say, “That’s just like Tom and Huck’s island!” Y’all, I even named chipmunks in my yard after Robin Hood characters (Will Scarlet was my favorite).

But those experiences are not mine; they exist in the imaginations of authors past. I think that’s why I love writing; I’m constantly looking to create experiences like those in my own mind.

Anything that reminds me of childhood or wilderness reminds me of books. I can’t look at the Mississippi River without picturing a riverboat on it. It’s like my life and the fictional lives of every character I’ve ever encountered have blended together, and I really don’t mind at all. I have so many friends, and they’re all from so many places and backgrounds.

Traveling pulls them out of me, like they’ve been hiding in a cupboard, waiting for me to hop on a train and roll across the country.

I like that the term “train travel” reminds me of countless black and white movies: Marx Brothers Go West, The Song of the Thin Man, Sherlock Holmes, etc. I like that I have those references in my mind, that I can recall these films that most other people wouldn’t have ever heard of, much less watched over and over and over throughout childhood.

I’m on a train as I type this on my phone…what would Mark Twain think of that? He might be horrified, but he might also be excited that I’m using my phone to write, and not to fling little birds at green pigs.

I saw a lot of this country in the past few days. Glacier National Park, the Mississippi River (even Twain didn’t prepare me for how enormous it is), little baby towns on the edges of lakes, and a whole stretch of brown plains. We live on a gigantic continent, and I’m pretty stoked that I got to see a bunch of it, though I only got to see bits and pieces and I didn’t truly experience most of it.

But hey, maybe these memories can help me create my own characters. Until then, and even after, I’ll be hanging out with Tom, hustling people into whitewashing my fence for me.

Please excuse the fact that this post rambled on more than usual. I’ve been motion sick for the past 36 hours and am currently in a tunnel in Wisconsin. I love you, muffins!

The Truth About Anxiety


There’s only so long you can take anxiety before it makes you loathe everything around you (and everything about yourself). Because there’s only so long you can beat a dog before it bites back. But where do you direct the anger you feel toward anxiety? Who do you bite? All the anxiety, everything that makes you hurt, seems to be coming from inside you. And it starts to eat at your insides, causing you to want to rip them out, throw them across the room, and scream. Imagine that: ripping your guts out and just chucking them 10 feet, seeing them splat against the wall. Imagine that actually being satisfying. That’s what anxiety does. Even though that image is disgusting, it can be preferable to letting that horrible, clawing feeling stay inside you. 

Or there are the times when you feel guilty for feeling sorry for yourself at all. You don’t have cancer, you’re not really going to die, and a lot of people don’t even think anxiety is real. With everyone doubting you, with you doubting yourself, it’s hard to feel sympathy for yourself. When you ask yourself Is it okay that I feel this way? Is it okay to cry because I want it to stop? Is it okay that I don’t want anyone with anxiety to sympathize with me? Because why the hell would you want to commiserate with some other poor sap who also hyperventilates in the middle of the night when you can’t even “commiserate” with yourself? Odds are, you see yourself as weak for letting the anxiety get to you in the first place, so you’ll likely not want to blabber about it to others.

Sure, you say you’re open about it. You tell people you have an anxiety/panic disorder, but you’re so cavalier about it. “Yeah, I get really anxious. I have panic attacks. They’re scary.” But you never go into the heartbreaking/gut wrenching details. “I used to think I was going insane” or “I automatically think I’m unsuited to be a parent whenever I have an attack.” Because talking about attacks, and what they do to you, terrifies other people. No one likes a psycho.

Attacks. What a way to put it. Accurate, yes. Possibly dramatic? Sure. But not really. Everything you’ve ever hated throws itself against your heart at once. Every unknown that ever scared you jumps out of the bushes again. Every bad memory, no matter how deeply buried, troubles you once more.

But it’s all you, all inside you. And unless you rip your guts out and sling them across a goddamned room, you don’t know how to make it go away.

Every single person in the world needs to understand this, because I’m sick of hiding myself to everyone else. Sick of having to pretend that everything is fine, sick of skulking off into a dark place so I can flip out in solitude. Not that I’d want to have another panic attack in public, because that’s more traumatizing than anything else I’ve experienced. But I don’t want to feel like it’s this big secret, like I’m some monster that comes out at night. It doesn’t mean I can’t function in normal society, it just means that sometimes I can’t function within my own head. 

When nobody else understands this, or maybe they even act like you’re being dramatic and lying to yourself, it’s hard to get better. So I’m getting better through therapy, because psychologists understand. 

There’s no one to blame for the way that my brain works, and that’s including me. I am not to blame, because I do not do this on purpose. So I guess this is sort of an education session for y’all: People with these problems aren’t being dramatic, and they deserve support, not skepticism. 

So go out and accept everyone, my little muffins! I know how wonderful you all are, and you give me support on a daily basis. Go do good for everyone else. 

xo

Santa, You’re A Bad Husband


santa kissingI know Christmas is over, but we’re supposed to keep it in our hearts all year long anyway, so I figured I’d amuse you all with a rant about how terrible of a husband Santa probably is. Special thanks to Christina, my sorority sister, for starting this joke and inspiring this post.

1. He’s fat, which means that he eats a ton of food that Mrs. Claus has to cook every night, he’s very possibly diabetic, he probably has a lot of heart problems, and he  refuses to go to the gym. Or maybe he was just born this way, baby. Either way, he’s a financial drain because food is spensive and medical bills don’t pay themselves.

2. He kisses other women underneath mistletoe. Santa is a loose woman unfaithful! He gets it on with other people’s mothers, then gives those children presents as a bribe to keep quiet and not tell their daddy.

3. He’s gone all night on Christmas Eve doing who knows what with who knows who (see #2).

4. He’s home EVERY OTHER DAY FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. Sittin’ around, yelling, “Linda! (That’s probably Mrs. Claus’ name) Get me a sandwich! I’m trying to watch the reindeer games on ESPN! LINDAAAAAAAAA don’t forget to use extra mayo! LINDAAAA you didn’t use enough mayo! LINDAAAA I’m having a heart attack, take me to the hospital!”

5. His best friends are squeaky little people who hammer on things all day long. Can’t anyone get any peace and quiet around here?!

6. He’s basically unemployed. Who pays Santa? Certainly not all the children that he bribes with toys. Certainly not all the fathers whose wives Santa has kissed. Certainly not those women, because that would technically make Santa a prostitute…wait…

7. He might be a prostitute.

The End. Merry January, my little muffins.