Diary Sessions: Part 1


When I was last visiting my parents in April, I brought all my old diaries back with me and realized…they’re kinda amazing. I was in such torment over everything. Now, I don’t want to invalidate the feelings I had as a kid, because I went to a small school full of awful little children being awful to each other (I think a lot of us can agree on that regardless of where we grew up)…but it’s cute to see how I described this torment. I thought I was such a grown up and was just so dramatic sometimes (not much has changed on that front, probably). I also had the habit of getting myself into ridiculous situations out of sheer boredom.

So. As I was reading my first diary from 5th grade (age 10 was a particularly ridiculous one for me) I came across a few lines that I wanted to share. My comments are, obviously, in italics.

November 4, 2003 — Study Hall We didn’t have study hall. I don’t know who I thought I was tricking other than my older self, but surprise! I have not been tricked….

I wish I could finish a diary sometime but I never have anything to write about other than my problems and I don’t have a vivid memory Spoiler alert: I have three diaries full of “problems” and vivid memories sitting directly in front of me that were written from ages 10-18, plus a few half-filled ones somewhere else.

Sometimes I read peoples diaries who have died already and I wonder, how did they not get writer’s cramp?

At the moment all I want is a friend (single tear). Megan isn’t a friend and never will be because if she even tries I’ll die. Okay, hold on there sister. A little less drama please. She probably wants me to die. I want  her to die. Gosh, diaries are just so private! Not anymore. I am making no sense, even to me. I don’t get it either, you tiny murderous child. 

Cramp! Will write later. I guess I wasn’t like those dead diary-writers who never got “writer’s cramp.”

“Shane is so annoying…sometimes I want to tell him he is an ass and slap him across the face. That would be very rude though!” TO. SAY. THE. LEAST.

Then, later that day, (there are several entries from the 4th of November…I must’ve been channeling my inner dead diary-writer) I wrote: If someone asked me if I don’t think girls’ body parts are fair compared to boys’ body parts I would tell them that girls can get breast cancer, they get a period, because of their period they have to wear a tampon/pad, they get breasts, because of breasts they need bras, blah blah blah. I would be very open about that sort of thing. I really don’t think it is fair…I miss being a little kid and not having to worry about maturity. Oh, kiddo. If you think that’s unfair, you have no idea what you’re in for. Also, though, I love that I already wanted to be super open about the female body. 14 years later and I haven’t changed on that front. #BabyFeminist.

November 5, 2003 — Early in the Morning

As I was saying last night, all you have to worry about when you are really little (You are a child. Please just embrace that and stop feeling so woeful about your old age) is whether or not your friends will share crayons with you. Whoa boy. Times have changed. P.S. The worst thing that can happen is having the same pants as the same person who didn’t share crayons! Ba-dum-chhhhhhhhhhhh.

Then I described some weird incident where a girl named Morgan asked me if I was smoking on the bus and I said I wasn’t and everyone else said I was. What the fuck was wrong with these children?!

Sidney is so sickening (Hello, RuPaul) sometimes. When I was at the drinking fountain she kept bumping me. I almost turned around and said, “Sidney, is something coming to attack you?” (Zing) Seriously, that girl has some kind of problem. See, she sits right in front of me and always wants to use my stuff. I, being the generous person I am, never let her use it. HAHAHAHAHAHA that was actually pretty good.

A few lines later, I made some weird joke about George Bush being the leader of all the girls who were mean to me. I don’t know, y’all. I don’t know. #PoliticallyActive10YearOlds

Dad had surgery on his wrist. He’s gonna show us his cut. What’s so gross about a cut? I don’t know — who are you asking, exactly, and why are you so sure they’re going to argue with you about this cut business?

The next few entries are just me calling everyone I know a “jurk” and a dope, the latter of which I must’ve picked up from my father. After that, it was all about how I was in love with Jesse but he loved Janelle, and then I “made Megan talk to the hand.”

Okay, y’all. I think that’s all for now. Trust me, there’s plenty of material here for next time…

 

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A Few Fuck-Yous…


…Brought to you by international air and train travel.

1. Fuck you for wearing your skunk perfume on a plane (also on the train…I’m looking at you, passengers of renfe who showered in old man cologne). I’m glad you’re making an effort to smell good but we’re all hurtling through the sky in a coke can so everyone can smell everyone else a little too well and I will sneeze on you.

2. Fuck you for wearing your nicest heels and jewels through the security line. I’m glad you’re wealthy and old, but there’s really no reason to hold up the line with your nonsense just so you can stick your fake nose a little higher in the air.

3. Fuck you for looking nice on an airplane, honestly. This isn’t so much of a fuck you as it is a how is this possible? I look like a gremlin who was caught in a flood and a tornado and a hornets nest. It’s just rude to look so much better than me, and to make it all look so effortless. I’m wearing socks with sandals, goddamn it, because I’m tired, these shoes were too heavy to check through, and my toes get cold. I’m a wreck. This is a PSA.

4. Fuck the system. Or…yeah. Fuck this whole first class business class nonsense. I get it, because I, too, would like to actually be able to stretch my (very long) legs out whilst flying. But I can’t, because I don’t have money flying off of trees and landing in my wallet.

5. Speaking of first class, fuck the stupid curtain. “Okay so what we’ll do is take the rich people and put them up front and then keep the plebs away from them with a mesh curtain.”

6. Fuck airports that don’t have free unlimited wifi. Sorry I have a six hour layover and wanted to write on my laptop but only had 30 minutes to do it, JFK. Sorry. So sorry I refuse to pay $5 an hour for shitty wifi. On that note, fuck writing a blog post on your cell phone whilst using data.

7. Fuck. I’m so fucking tired. I’m in that mood where nothing matters so I don’t understand why people put any effort into anything non-essential. Also I broke a nail and I’m annoyingly emotional about it.

8. 12 hours down, 8 to go. There’s no place like home. Fuck everywhere else.

Chapter 2: In Which Everything is Overwelming and I Lose My Mind But in a Good Way


21688163_130984047636455_2539152691532689769_oY’all, I’m tiiiiiired. Or at least I was a few days ago. My jet lag set in after 5 days, which was later than I’d expected. It sucks. I think it’s gone now, as I’ve been here for 8 days and my sleep schedule is finally back to normal.

I’ll tell you this for free, though: it’s awkward realizing you did not try hard enough in your college Spanish classes, and winning the foreign language award for your high school’s graduating class in 2011 does not a fluent Spanish speaker make.

So yep. I’m tired. And I like the food but it’s also so strange? And they eat so much of it at lunch, which is at 2:30 in the afternoon…so I suddenly understand why siestas are a thing. After eating ninety potatoes, who wouldn’t need to rest? Can I just have a permanent beach siesta, please? I don’t want to walk. I don’t even want to breathe. I just want to lay here and listen to the little Spanish children running around in the street saying things I don’t understand. I like doing this, because I don’t have to try to understand them. Their words just float through one ear and land gently in my brain before floating out the other.

But honestly, I’m having a good time. I get to see the ocean every day, and I can actually swim in it. I’m taking a break from being vegetarian so I can try new foods, and I’m accidentally remembering how much I like chicken. Oops. I’ve always kinda hated palm trees, but they look nice here, and some of them are super short and squat and it’s adorable. There are old, beautiful, colorful tiles on some of the buildings and in the parks, and even the pigeons look different here. The dogs here are goofy, sometimes — I saw one man walking 8 chihuahuas at once the other night and took a photo because I’m the biggest tourist ever. I had the song California Dreamin’ stuck in my head all morning, and this afternoon someone drove by blasting it. A few days ago, some random woman was holding a bunny in her arms and yelling across the street at her friends. God knows why, but now I want to move here and start a bunny commune with my friends. This morning, I watched a man hardcore reel in a fish off the pier whilst smoking a cigar. All the flies in this entire country have decided they love me and want to make little fly houses in my hair, on my arms, and in my water glasses. Every. Single. Fly. Yesterday, one day after I’d mentioned I’d never been pooped on by a bird, a little tiny one decided to make my left arm its toilet. I guess I’ll try anything once, but I’d rate the experience 2/10, would not recommend.

Who, What, Where (A Brief Autobiography)


Contrary to popular belief, I am indeed still alive and well. It’s been a rocky road (unfortunately not the ice cream, though I desperately wish it was), and I have absolutely not fulfilled my resolution to continue blogging more often, as it’s been about 4 months since my last post. I’ve said this before (so many times) but this started out as a humor blog exclusively, but as I’ve gotten older and faced adult challenges, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to be constantly hilarious. I’m still hilarious, but am faced with the fact that I am a multi-dimentional, emotional human being. Of course, that’s okay. Less entertaining at times, but okay.

So what have I been up to? Dealing with multiple mental health crises, honestly. I stay pretty private about it for the most part, mentioning it only in passing unless talking to specific people about it, but you’re all part of the internet so I feel a little more anonymous and lately am less concerned about talking about it anyway. I don’t feel any shame about it anymore, but I also believe it is my story to tell when I want to tell it, and only when I want to tell it.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II at the very end of 2016 and began various methods of treatment at the start of 2017. It’s been difficult, to say the least. Everyone has their misconceptions about what bipolar even is and I’ve received a lot of unnecessary and unsolicited advice from both strangers and those close to me. Be warned: the comments section here is not a forum for advice, but is perfectly allowed to be a place of kindness and support if you really feel the need to speak to me on this subject. This is not a dialogue. It is absolutely a monologue, and I feel perfectly fine drawing that boundary.

I will give very brief and basic introduction to what Bipolar II looks like for me. I know a lot of people don’t understand the disorder (or didn’t even know it existed in the first place):

I live my life in one of three states at any given time: hypomanic, stable, or depressed. I also occasionally experience mixed episodes, which cause me to swing from depressed to hypomanic within short periods of time. Hypomania is sometimes defined as “mania lite,” but I find that definition both overly simplistic and invalidating, as it implies that it isn’t distressing or difficult to live with. During hypomanic episodes, my symptoms range, but can include extreme irritability (what I call “road rage whilst walking”), insomnia, restlessness, compulsive speech, persistent risk-taking compulsions, increased focus on projects (I’m talking picking up an activity and not stopping for days — I’ve acquired several lovely hobbies over a short period of time) and lack of appetite. These episodes last for at least 4 days, but typically last longer for me. I also rapid cycle and at one point had 5 or 6 episodes within a two month period, which was super fun except when it totally wasn’t.

Essentially, I don’t sleep, I don’t eat, and I can’t shut up or stop moving. Sometimes this all feels really fun and freeing, because suddenly I’m the life of the party. Often, though, I feel scared and get the sense that I don’t know who I am or what I’ll do. In general, emotional swings that severe are really distressing.

It ain’t easy, folks. It’s taken a lot of dedication and effort to work toward stability and feel like myself, but I’m getting closer every day. I think. My goal is to keep the hypomanic and depressive episodes fewer and farther between so I can remain stable longer. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t. I barely slept for the past three weeks, and started absolutely losing my mind until I finally found the perfect combination of relaxation, essential oils, tart cherry juice, and ocean sounds to get 9 hours of sleep for the past four nights…this is probably the only reason I’ve found the energy to write this post in the first place. That combination may not work forever, though, as I’ve learned in the past, and I’ll have to switch things and work even harder. Extra medication is sometimes involved, sometimes not. It’s hard to know what will help at any given time.

I’m finding plants have helped me heal a lot lately. Doesn’t matter how hypomanic or depressed I am, potting a plant will make me feel sane, if even for just a few hours. Plus, I gain little green friends and purify the air in my house all at once. An unexpected but absolutely appreciated medicine, for sure. Celebrating life and maintaining my creativity has been essential — there’s a lot of art, bass playing, and journaling that goes into my stability. I remain vague about other parts of my treatment because it ain’t nobody’s business but those are also difficult and frustrating at times. Support groups help the most.

I’ve had a lot of revelations over the past 8 months…about life, my will to live, what and who I love, what I deserve in this life and the next, what I want to focus on and what I want to leave behind. I’d 100% prefer to not live with bipolar, but if I have to, at least I’ve done a lot of soul searching and self exploration to learn how to manage it.

Hopefully I’ll write again before another four months have passed, but you never know. Either way, know that I’m here, I’m alive, and I’m more than just this disorder.

xo

If you’re interested in learning more about mood disorders, NAMI is a really great resource. If you happen to be a person living with bipolar, DBSA meetings have benefitted me more than I can ever explain. 

Can We Discuss Disney Princesses Though


I was on the phone with my dad yesterday crying (surprise) over my lack of romantic luck recently. He gave me some really wonderful advice, the most hilarious of which came when he said, “The worst thing Disney ever did for society was write those stupid happy endings.” Or something to that effect — I tend to describe things a little more sassily than he does.

Anyway, it got me thinking: according to Disney, everything works out in the end if you’re a quiet woman in a patriarchal society. I am not quiet, and I’m actively attempting to smash the patriarchy at every turn, so I’m a little concerned about what this means for my love life. Also, I’m not exactly straight so I just wanna know what Disney would recommend if I’m trying to woo a mermaid, but I doubt I’ll be getting any answers on that front any time soon.

I’ve never wanted to be a princess, but I’m realizing that in a Disney world, I would have to be in order to fall in love, so uh…here we go. Now, there are a few (million) necessary adjustments I must make to my life in order to attain princess perfection:

  1. Become tiny. Which might be difficult since I’m 6′ and not exactly slender. Maybe I can cut my legs off at the knees, which would successfully reduce my weight and height in one fell swoop. It would also allow me to become helpless. Maybe my prince would be down to push me around in a wheelchair for the rest of eternity (which is obviously also how long our love would last).
  2. Replace my sweet mother with some horrible woman who wants to lock me in a tower or make me mop her floors and take care of her fat, evil cat. I could probably start looking for that type of woman at the local Chicos clothing store. The more chunky jewelry, the better, I’d assume.
  3. Become straight. And probably develop a dwarf and/or squirrel fetish.
  4. Don’t leave the house unless I look immaculate (note to self: find fairy godstylist). Only do housework if forced to. Allow mice to take up residence in my apartment.
  5. Immediately unlearn every self defense skill I’ve ever been taught. Walk into forests alone at night. Take food from strangers. Make deals with weird octopi in ocean caves. Make out with frogs even though they probably have weird swamp bacteria all over their bodies. Totally wander into random cabins in the woods without worrying about some racist hillbilly coming in and axe murdering me while I’m fast asleep.
  6. Let teacups teach me about love. Employ candlesticks for both light and therapeutic advice. Become easily impressed by silverware. Become way too obsessed with my hair for anyone’s good (this one might not be too tricky for me).
  7. Stop talking. This might be hard, as I don’t think I’ve spent more than 3 hours in silence at any given time. I even talk in my sleep, for goodness sake.
  8. Assume kissing men will always be magical and totally save my life. Because obviously everyone knows how to kiss me the way I’d like. None of them will shove their tongues down my throat (princes don’t actually possess tongues, anyway) or drool on me (and yes, before you ask, that has happened to me and I really don’t want to talk about it). Let random twerps kiss me just in case it helps my situation in life.

I think that’s it.

And yes, I’m super serious about the squirrel fetish.

Remember?


Remember when I used to blog? Yeah, I barely remember either….

I’m watching Julie & Julia, the movie that started this whole blog off in the first place. I figured if Julie Powell could utilize her writing and cooking skills through a blog, that maybe I could try my hand at it too. At first, I wrote a lot about how much I loved Julia Child — her spirit, her television persona, her life. Then, I wrote complete and utter silly nonsense. All the time. I’d write a post almost every day, about the books I’d read, the things I noticed about people.I wrote sarcastic posts about boys who had rejected me. I wrote about my declining mental health. I wrote about writing. About college. The Bachelor. Rabbits. Dancing. Barney…

So when I started writing almost 7 years ago on this very site, I didn’t really expect my life to go this way. I thought I’d be a writer by now. Then I thought maybe I’d be a psychologist. Now I’m in cosmetology school, which I wouldn’t have predicted but definitely won’t complain about. Clearly this path hasn’t exactly been linear. I just…thought I’d have it all figured out by now. I’m 23, after all, and when I was 17, I trusted my future self to take care of everything.

This blog was my everything. I had a solid following, an actual subscriber base that cared about my wellbeing and loved my humor. It used to be called Writer’s Block. “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll run kicking and screaming,” the caption at the top warned. A picture of typewriter keys occupied the banner. The web address? bymyink.wordpress.com. Now? Cappy Writes. A web address that matches the blog’s name. A picture of a packet of letters I bought at an antique shop. No tagline. A lot of sadness. Anger.

I’m not lamenting what used to be, really, so much as finally remembering. Realizing.

Obviously, I haven’t put the time and effort into blogging that I used to. At its peak, blogging was a tool to help me learn about and expand the world that I occupied. It was a way to gain support, to express myself, to hone a craft. It was pure. It meant everything to me. It was how I showed the world who I was, at a time when I thought I knew.

But the past few years haven’t been easy on me. My “mood disorder not otherwise specified” developed into generalized anxiety, a panic disorder, and depression. I was suicidal for a while when I was 18. I went through a surprisingly complicated breakup. I found Hinduism. It helped. New obstacles popped up. I got through them. I went to India. I got E. coli. I came out as bisexual. I graduated college, moved to a new city. I started cosmetology school. And through that all, the anxiety ebbed and flowed, but stayed mostly beneath the surface.

So now? I don’t know. I’m not okay, honestly. Something new is happening inside me, and I can’t understand it. I dealt with some serious depression over the summer, which is unusual for me, as it tends to stay contained within the “fall and winter seasonal affective” bubble. The panic disorder seems to have stayed away, which is one of the only things I find myself grateful for these days. The world doesn’t seem real lately, and neither do I. I’m going through the standard identity crisis that most people in their early 20s seem to experience, sure. But on top of that, some weird depersonalization/dissociation issues are cropping up. Therapy is happening. It’s rough, trying to stay afloat, stay alive, when you’re not even sure what’s going on anymore. I know all of that is vague, and I wish it could make more sense to me too. Just know that I’m dealing with it. I always do. I just don’t always know what to do anymore.

What does this all mean? In terms of this post, this blog, me, my life? I don’t know. All I know is, I got 15 minutes into watching Julie & Julia and I just got this itch to write. I’ve been cooking a lot lately, too. I’ve noticed that the worse I feel mentally, the more I cling to activities and people that used to make me feel calm and human and happy. This blog, more than anything, steadied my life when everything felt like it was going up in flames. So maybe it’s time to jump back in, ya know? To see a little humor in all the bullshit around me. To tell the world what I’m thinking, how I’m feeling. To share my story again with anyone willing to listen (and some who are very unwilling but are forced to because I’m a witch and I’ve hexed them).

So I’ll try, if you’ll help me. Your job is very simple: to show up and to read. I don’t even know how many of you are still out there, how many are new to my blog today, how many of you aren’t spam robots trolling through wordpress………

But yeah. I’ll try. No guarantees I’ll be funny, because half the time I just want to cry. But I’ll be here, writing into the abyss, for as long as you’ll have me.

 

Healthy Living, or I Sexy-Danced for My Cat


I hate New Years Resolutions because I think that every day, not just January 1, presents an opportunity for change, but I think I’ve accidentally made one…

I’m going to lose weight. How much is my own business, and I share enough of my life on here as it is, but it’s really important to me that I lose it. I want to be healthy, feel better, get active, eat well. And…judging by how much pizza I ate last semester alone, this change is a little overdue. But better late than never, I guess! Plus…as much as I’m always yelling “love your body no matter what!” I want to feel sexy again, and it’s hard to do that when most of your clothes don’t fit. I suppose I could go all Lady Godiva on everyone, but I don’t particularly feel like getting arrested.

I’ve been back in my apartment for the last two days, and since then have been cooking for every meal, juicing, and exercising. Plus, I’ve had so much water that half of my life seems to be spent in the bathroom. Again, I share too much of my life on this blog. But I feel really good! A little more energetic and excited for the future. Y’all know how much I love to cook — the more complicated the recipe, the better — so this is fun for me.

The weather was gorgeous yesterday, so I went on a run around my neighborhood, past my old apartment. I bumped into an old friend — the little tiny kitty cat that lived upstairs — and she ran up to me for a cuddle. If every run involves snuggling tiny cats, I’ll lose this weight in no time.

But the weather changed today. It’s been so cold in my apartment that I checked at least 5 times to make sure the heater was actually working. There’s fog outside my window — so much that I can’t see outside. And so, with no other option but to stay inside and die slowly, I decided to work out and generate some body heat…and my sister had just given me a Zumba DVD.

Zumba is ridiculous. I probably burned more calories laughing at the instructors and myself than I burned from the actual workout. I kept yelling, “I CAN’T SALSA WHAT IS HAPPENING” while my cat stood under my feet and only just escaped being trampled at least three times. He retreated to his cat castle while I did this weird dance move that involved more shimmying than was really appropriate and I’m pretty sure I learned to booty-pop.

So I guess today’s lesson is…if you want to lose weight and you need to keep warm, you can always sexily dance for your cat.

xo

Happy Happy


I just wanted to sit down and write something in the middle of the night because…I’m happy.

I’m happy because I’m warm in my bed and it’s absolutely frigid outside. I’m happy because I’m going home this weekend to visit my family and exist outside of this college town for a few days. I’m reading Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please, and every page I read reminds me of who I’m going to become — spirited and wise and silly. I played so much guitar yesterday that my fingers are still sore today. I’m listening to The Doors, Peter Paul and Mary, The Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young…and realizing how much beautiful music has made my life worth living. I spent the day with my roommate studying at a coffee shop and actually got a lot of work done. I’m happy because I’ve got two exams this week and feel enormously unprepared for both of them but…when has that ever stopped me? There’s always time.

I’ve found people I love and I spend time with them. I tell them how I feel about them. They feel the same way back.

I smell like incense almost every day because I bought champa flower oil and haven’t been able to stop sniffing myself for the past year. I worked out and ate cookies today.

I’m happy because…I’m me. And I’m a happy person. Even the word “happy” looks happy and that makes me happy, too.

I’m Still Alive


In case y’all were worried, I’m still alive! But I have had an exciting two weeks, so here it goes!

1. I hate faxing. I have spent at least 15 dollars in the past week faxing paperwork to my doctor, my study abroad program office, and the other university I had to be “accepted” to in order to receive credit for studying abroad. I hate faxes. I thought faxes had ended in 1985, and even though my mom faxes stuff all the time for work, I hate it. I hate it because I have to go to the student union, get ripped off by a grumpy asshole who doesn’t even look at my face while we exchange money for services, and…basically, faxing is stupid and I will never change my mind on that.

2. I also hate paperwork. Do y’all know how much paperwork is involved in going to India? From disclosing where my tattoos are located because the university in India won’t allow any of my tattoos to show while on campus to reading about the chances of me getting malaria and rabies while I’m there, I’ve gone through so many documents I’m surprised my head hasn’t exploded.

3. There is a mouse in my house. First it was ants crawling all over my food, and now apparently it’s a mouse. At first, I felt badly about potentially killing it because I have this idea that it’s wrong to punish a wild animal for existing in this space that I have designated as “mine” even though the little mouse isn’t aware of these rules I’ve made up…anyway, it started pooping on top of my fridge and I quickly changed my mind. I am not about to get some sort of disease from this rodent (I named him Ralph and he has a white tummy) no way no how. I am living the real-life version of Mouse Hunt and I will vanquish him. 

4. Guys, there’s still a mouse in my apartment. I think what bothers me most is that I was dusting my living room table and once it was clean I turned away for about 5 minutes before turning around and…is that mouse poo on my table? The sneaky bastard is an acrobat, I swear, and I started screaming at an invisible ghost-mouse for about 3 minutes while alone and waving my arms around like a madwoman. 
What really gets me, though, is the fact that he pooped about 3 inches away from one of my mouse traps, like he was taunting me…

Anyway, I have 4 weeks left in this terrible basement hut and then I’m off to India, where the bugs are no doubt gigantic and where I’m supposed to look out for wild dogs with rabies and not drink the tap water or eat “suspicious” meat, where there are guards outside my apartment complex and where I must remove all piercings except one in each ear lobe before going on campus. Where I will be riding around in 3 wheeled auto-rickshaws and getting the chance to feed an elephant, where I will be working with underprivileged children and taking classes on Hinduism and holy places in India. Where I will meet beautiful people and explore my soul and wear colorful clothes and where I will be so absolutely happy that any memory of this demon mouse will feel far in the past. 

I’m so pleased.