Asking For Help

Things have been troublesome for me. My relationship of 4 years has ended, and I’m still heartbroken over that fact. It’s only been a couple days, and so the feelings are still very raw. It’s difficult to have 4 years of good memories in your head, only to be trumped by the memory of one incident: the break up.

I’m okay with having to move forward. I mean, I’ve been through a lot worse things in my life than a breakup, and have had my heart broken on the same level once before. I’m used to the pain. I’m used to the random crying that hits you when you hear a song that reminds you of everything, or see a couple, or hear about people and their love, or see all the pictures we have. I’m used to the constant feelings of “wow, this is all your fault” because I’m used to things getting ruined because of my mental health. And that’s essentially what all this boils down to.

I still have my cat. I love her, and I will forever love her. And I thank him for buying her for me those 2 years ago, she’s been a great addition to my life. So that’s one thing to be thankful for.

On top of that, the program I work for is also closing in December. I feel I am no longer welcome in this town by way of the universe, and that because both my job and relationship are essentially over at the same time, it’s a sign that it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.

I plan to move down to Los Angeles where peer support jobs are rampant in certain areas, and where I can really use my creative talent: my writing, my photography. I want to be able to blossom in this crazy life, and I’m sick of being stifled and stagnant. All of this stress is really kicking up my mental health issues, and so is not having the money to even pay for my prescriptions right now.

I started a GoFundMe. Hear me out: I hate taking money from people. I hate taking offers from people. I hate doing anything that requires me to beg. But I am in a situation where I can’t just up and leave town and not risk being homeless. I can’t stay in town and not risk being homeless. Again. I’m trying to avoid that. Again.

I would use the funds strictly for moving expenses and nothing more. That means the U-Haul to get my stuff down there, the deposit and first months rent on a place ( a room for rent, of course), and food along the way. I’m asking for 2k. Not too much, not too little.

If you know anyone who is willing to donate, that would be amazing. The link is here. I’m just a young 23 year old trying to make a new start in a world that has beat me down from the beginning. And I’m not trying to act helpless. I’m not even on disability, although with my diagnoses I could qualify. But I want to do things on my own, prove to myself and the world that I can be who I need to be without second guessing myself or degrading myself.

I am just in need of a little help.

I’ve been apart of this wordpress community for three years now, and have been thankful to every single person who has ever liked or commented on this blog. And now I’m finally reaching out to every single one of you and asking for just a bit of help. You don’t have to donate, that’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking for you to share the link on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, whatever. I only have so much of a following, and could use more help in that department.

If you do donate, thank you, thank you. Every little bit helps.

Now, I’m going to try and get ready for my day, as difficult as that’s becoming.

Thank you.

Self Confidence

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Confidence is key.

At least, that’s what they say. And let’s be honest: how much of what “they” say should we really hold on to?

I think a lot of people struggle with confidence because of the standards set upon them. You should be good at this because you studied this. You should this, you should that. I think a lot of people struggle with confidence because there’s this misconception that being confident means you’ll succeed.

As someone who is thoroughly confident, I know this is not the truth. To be confident does not mean you will succeed, it means you have the ability to accept where you fall short. It means you don’t avoid the hole by risking your life and leaping over it, it means you fall into the hole and manage to climb your way out.

Some people call that resilience, but you can be resilient and stand strong while continuously getting beat into the ground without a chance to get back up. And without the chance to get back up, you start believing you won’t ever get back up. And that doesn’t sound like confidence to me.

To be confident means you know it’s okay to feel bad. To be confident means you know that the struggle is not the end, but a process to birth an outcome. To be confident means you know that outcome, whatever it may be, is just that: an outcome. And once that outcome passes, there will be another chance, in whatever way it presents itself, for you to create a new outcome.

To be confident means you don’t always smile. It means you accept what emotions come when they may, whether they be “appropriate” or not. To be confident means the words placed on your social media meant to provoke you into a rage doesn’t dent your pride, but elicits a laugh because words on a computer screen are like salt tablets thrown into the ocean.

To be confident doesn’t mean you’re strong, and it doesn’t mean you can turn your weaknesses into strengths. Being confident is the act of allowing weakness to simply exist.

To be confident isn’t to be smarter than the person beside you; confidence and arrogance are not synonymous, I’m sorry to say.

All of the above is the reason they say confidence is the key to success. When a wall is presented, those of us who are confident don’t slink in defeat and we don’t majestically leap over the wall with no effort. We stare at the wall and acknowledge it. We say, “okay, this wall is new; let’s see where this takes me”. Then we walk along the wall and feel the wall and see the wall and never ignore it. We let the wall think it controls our fate and we understand that by giving up the power of perfection and standards and the illusion that we can simply climb up the wall without understanding why the wall exists in the first place, we gain even greater power of our outcome.

You don’t need multiple successes for confidence: take it from someone who, in many people’s eyes, including my own, has failed over and over and over and over and over again. And those failures are what keep me going. If I didn’t have those, I wouldn’t be nearly as confident. I would be terrified that one day, at some point in time, my successes or my achievements or my standards would be ripped away in an instant. I would smile all the time so people couldn’t see my terror.

With that, I shall leave you with another excerpt entitled “Prayer For Keeping On”.

Let us find a way to keep it moving, to keep it alive and free, where it wants to be. Let us walk all the way through doubt consistently, to believe in what we have found in our beginnings. Let us know what is real, and let us pass it back and forth between our hands until we are gone from this earth, and even then, let us remain in this spirit, please.

From “Sam Woods, American Healing”.

 

Apathetic Annie Ate Four Awesome Apples.

Ignore that title.

Sometimes people get this mixed up, so I decided to give a little explanation.

Apathy does not always accompany depression.

Contrary to what people have been believing these last five days, I am not depressed. I do not feel sad. I don’t feel like my life is horrible. That is not why I was pushed towards suicide.

There is a difference between being fed up and being depressed. I was fed up and hollow. Not depressed.

Contrary to what the LCSW said, I do not have low self-esteem. I’m actually a pretty arrogant prick, and in some respects to certain talents, I have a reason for it.

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And no I’m not arrogant to make up for my low self esteem. Because I don’t have low self esteem. I’m confident in what I can accomplish. I’m aware of the things I suck at. And I’m okay with both.

This indifference has been following me around for a couple weeks now and it’s what has been putting a damper on all of my school work, I know this now. I was not crying in front of the damn social worker and sheriff because I was sad, but because I was incredibly, incredibly angry. I was angry I don’t have an explanation or answer for all of this. I’m usually pretty good at having answers. I stopped crying pretty quickly, within about two minutes of starting. I arrived in the intake place monotone. I think that’s why the LCSW started throwing out all her feelers trying to break me for 45 minutes. Didn’t work.

This really puts a damper on shit. I’m used to this shit lasting a few days because I decide to say “fuck it all, I’m too stressed!”. I’m not used to it not being spearheaded by me consciously.

I just don’t care. I can’t be bothered to take a shower or eat or get out of bed and make it to class. If I do make it to class, I couldn’t be bothered to give two shits. My anxiety can’t even break through these walls: I’ve been wandering outside and into stores in leggings, socks, and a sweater with the uncombed rats nest that is my hair, and I just don’t care that my neighbors cut quick glances in my direction.

I don’t care that Walgreens calls a code into the speaker after I make eye contact with the clerk and then suddenly I’m looking for soap and another employee peers around the corner at me and smiles and leaves. Yeah Walgreens, I’m really going to steal soap.

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I don’t care if people think I’m rude for not making eye contact with them. I don’t care if I don’t laugh at your shit joke. Maybe if it weren’t so shitty, I would laugh. Ever think of that?

I’m usually a hypersensitive person, and that’s no different when I’m depressed. When I’m depressed, I’m crying a lot but I’m feigning a smile. When I’m depressed, I’m listening to sad music and thinking about how shit everything is. When I’m depressed, I feel like a failure. When I’m depressed, I tell myself I’m worthless. When I’m depressed, I want someone to hug me and tell me everything is alright. When I’m depressed, sometimes keeping busy actually helps keep myself out of my head and makes me feel better.I have a lot of experience with depression.

Granted, I still can’t get out of bed, I still sleep a lot, and get to class or keep up on work, but it’s because of the overwhelming feeling. That’s the key point in all of this.

I’m not crying; I’m not sad. I’m not happy, but I’m not sad. I’m nothing. I’m not feigning a smile, I could care less to appease anyone at this point. I’m listening to Michael Jackson and dancing a bit in my seat. I don’t feel like a failure. I don’t want anyone to hug me for fucks sake; in fact, I’d prefer it if people stayed away from me. Keeping busy hasn’t changed anything. I actually went to work. I went to work hoping a couple of specific people were there but turns out I decided to go insane the week none of them were.

It was worse the days leading up to the hospital, and the days after. It wasn’t until today that I feel a little break in the fog: I laughed at Kim Jong Un banning sarcasm is North Korea. That’s huge. A laugh is huge.

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I guess I laughed at the hospital once, at the guy who crawled like a spider across the floor. But that was more sad and disturbing than funny. And I laughed a little uncontrollably for about five minutes. The girl next to me kept staring at me. I should have said bitch turn around, you in the same place I am, don’t act like you ain’t never seen someone laugh for no reason for five minutes straight. 

 

 

As I walked through the mist tonight in my same sweater, same leggings, same socks, I have been for the last five days, I was taking a look around. I think briefly I’ve talked about my disassociative experiences. They’ve been flaring up again. And as I walked I was trying to figure out why the world looked so different to me now. I was looking for some fascinating, descriptive words to make me sound like an exquisite asshole–I mean exquisite writer–but all I could come up with is “video games”.

Life feels like a video game now. Everything around me doesn’t seem like real life, it seems controlled. Things look different, people seem different. Like they’re all players, or puppets maybe.

You know the way GTA 5 has real looking facial features and nature features, but you can obviously tell it’s not reality? That’s what the world looks like to me: really good graphics that aren’t good enough to fool me.

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Trevor was by far one of my favorite video game characters by the way. The black people in these games are always way too stereotypical though.

For those followers who have been with me for a couple months, do you remember when I said as a joke that this blog has steadily become a diary of my descent into madness? I think the madness is here.

To Be Or Not To Be “Disabled”. . . That Is The Question.

How do you respond to failure?

How do you respond to not “doing your best”?

I think these are two questions we have to ask ourselves constantly when dealing with our mental health. How do you respond to feeling “unwell”? How do you respond when you feel your “symptoms” or as I like to say, your mental health experiences, start interfering with your daily, hourly, tasks?

As I am only 21, I feel I am striving to improve on this daily. My current response is “curl in a ball and ignore the world”.

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I’m not sure how far that will take me.

What are your healthy and not so healthy ways of dealing with your struggles?

I’m sure you can guess by reading my “This Is Me” portion of my blog, that my diagnoses have always hopped across the spectrum of “mental disorders” as the DSM calls them, and I’ve never been through enough services or in enough crisis situations to warrant a decent one or two. This creates many problems.

This creates many problems because when you are not labeled, you do not get extra services. You don’t get your tests proctored in other rooms. You don’t get social security (you just hop around from job to job every couple of months hoping something will stick, knowing full well you’re not prepared for anything just yet), and no one believes what you say because a doctor hasn’t signed a little piece of paper.

It’s frustrating. Not to make psychosis seem like a walk in the park, because I know it’s not, but Christ sake, if I was running down the street without any clothes and covering myself in mud so the CIA satellites couldn’t track me anymore, or if I went to the ER and said “the FBI put a chip in my head, they’re recording my conversation, you need to surgically remove this right now” or I went into therapy and said “Every time I read a book Satan removes the words from my head and laughs at me, he follows me everywhere”, I would get some attention. I would get a very strong, and adamant label. Life would be very confusing and it would be hell to be stuck bouncing in and out of that. But I would have a label. 

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The small pile of “magical beliefs” or whatever the hell part of my personality that got me the “possibly, maybe, who-knows” “semi-partial, not really official” diagnosis of Schizotypal PD is not enough to count for anything. They probably messed up on that too: I’m more paranoid about demons following me and people conspiring against me than I am “magical”. Or is that magical too?

Whatever.

And this is where I’ve ended up: arguing back and forth with people over characteristics of myself.

Today I wanted to go to the Accessibility Support Center at my college to hopefully register with them, meet with a DSS (disabled students services) coordinator and be able to get accomodations like tutors and my tests proctored in a different, sound proof room with no people so I could concentrate for once.

Unfortunately, two things stopped me from getting out of my car.

  1. I can’t go places by myself. I drove all the way to campus, stared at the sign and drove off. I’ve never been able to shop for myself or go anywhere by myself. There is one market I can withstand about fifteen minutes from my house by car because it is large and it’s rarely ever packed, at least not during the hours I go. I don’t get my hair cut. I don’t shop for clothes, shoes, or anything I can’t get at that one market. I don’t go into the financial aid office the enrollment office or any office on campus without a friend with me. I can’t even print a piece of paper without someone with me. How the fuck am I going to walk into a place, say hey, I have mental problems, I’m fucking crazy, let me take my tests in a sound proof room please? 
  2. I don’t have a label. I’m walking into a place where quadriplegics, people with learning disabilities, Down Syndrome, severe Autism, e.t.c all go to say “hey, I need this help” and I’m sitting there looking normal, acting normal, without papers or documentation asking for something the person across the counter is going to assume I don’t need. This part is my anxiety of being judged.

You ever have anxiety of being judged as not having a mental struggle? That’s a new one. That’s when you know you’re fucked up. 

dependentFrom where I stand, I am extremely dependent. People go to the store for me. They do laundry for me most of the time (it’s hard for me because the laundry room for the apartment complex is very loud, the washing machines are loud, and if a cricket breaks its leg on the window sill the crack echos off all four walls. It’s just sensory overloading. Not to mention running into other people in there. That’s my nightmare.), they make appointments for me, phone calls for me, e.t.c. Sometimes the depression fatigues me so I can barely put something in the microwave.

You might be thinking what any social security officer or doctor might think: well, you have a job. You went to the interview on your own. You went to the office and did the paperwork on your own. You’ve done your laundry before. You drive.

And I have done all those things. But nothing is ever maintained. Every time I think I’m doing well, I backslide and everything overwhelms my mind. I only work three times a week and I’m already feeling like I can’t handle it. I’m ready to quit again.

I know people say “you can do it, don’t give up!”

Listen. You can’t see the floor on my room. There are crickets crawling around on my computer desk as we speak and I have no idea where they came from. It’s a wonder I haven’t made more attempts on my life with the amount of time I spend thinking about it. My cumulative G.P.A has fallen from a 4.0 to a 3.5, that literally makes me cringe to write. I can’t sleep at night because my heart rate decides to pull a NASCAR and race, I wake up thinking “well, shit” and go to sleep thinking “well, shit”, and today, realizing that I can’t do a simple task to make things easier for me, something for myself, at college has only beaten down my morale once again.

I have to go into work in about twenty minutes. If I make it through this week without banging my head against the wall until I’m unconscious or slitting my wrists vertically, it will be a miracle.

That’s not a joke, I”m a self-harmer.

People need to stop making jokes like that. “Ha, ha, Imma slit my wrist”. How is that funny. I don’t get it.

Anyway.

WWYB: Where Would You Be?

assassins-creed-syndicate_bugWhen I’m not screeching at my computer for suddenly restarting and updating without my permission, and when I’m not attempting to break my Playstation controller in half because AC Syndicate has more glitches than my skin has fucking pores, I’m calmly and collectively scrolling through dozens of articles pretending like my opinion on anything I read actually matters.

Sometimes I talk about these articles on here, you all are aware of that. I tend not to avoid any topics: religion, spiritual things, politics, and how those things relate to mental health. Sometimes I come across articles so infuriating I have to forget about them for a few days lest I want my brain to explode. Sometimes I come across stories so stupid I have to get up from my seat and take a quick jog around the apartment to rid myself of the stupid that got spilled all in my eyes.

tears-glassSometimes I read things about Nick Cannon challenging anyone to a rap battle for 100,000 dollars and tears of pity stream down my cheeks for that poor soul who thinks he can actually spit a bar worth anything more than the water in my toilet. Which, granted, can be valuable in areas of the world that don’t have fresh water.

Then I see a story of an Orca beaching herself at Seaworld after performing a show and I read the reports of her having repeatedly been caught banging her head into the metal railings and I’m reminded of how real feeling captive and trapped is to all life in some form. To those people who say self-injury is for “attention-seeking teenagers”, is that whale an attention seeking little shit too?

I can’t say for sure whether she was beaching herself on purpose; as the Seaworld people said, they’re trained to do it, but they don’t have an argument for her slamming her head into metal repeatedly. They train her to do that as well?

I see articles about what’s “TMI” (too much information) in mental illness and my reply is immediate and unwavering: nothing. Stop sheltering people from the truth about mental health struggles and stereotypes get debunked. It’s very simple.

Then I come across articles where my opinion is swayed in neither direction, where the author describes a position I’m sure we’ve all been in at some point in our lives: How do you transition into adulthood with Mental Illness?

The author speaks about Autism, depression, and struggling with life changes, routine changes, and transitions in terms of graduating college and moving out of the sheltered, very redundant scheduled life that is public education and into a world that provides no manual and no hopes of accurate predictability.

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She speaks about fantasy and reality: what you want to do with your life and what you can do with your life. This quote stuck out to me

“You might look at your goals and realize that you may never actually run a business or be a fashion designer. It’s too much. I’m always wondering what I would have been capable of if I were neurotypical. But we have to let that go.”

for a very particular reason.

I do not have Autism, apart from the few months I did when they thought I did back in Kindergarten, but from what I understand from the people I’ve met, one thing that can be particularly difficult is establishing connections and relationships with people. I might not have Autism, but I empathize with that completely. People don’t like to talk about consciousness and philosophy for hours, they get disturbed by the things I say, they get offended by things I say and even more offended if I say “I’m speaking generally, don’t take it up the ass” (I wonder why), and I’m not comfortable around them in any way, shape, or form. I don’t like people too close to me, I don’t like staring in their eyes, I don’t like how I can’t tell if their tone of voice and facial expression is meant to mock me like I’m convinced it is, or whether I’m just over-analyzing them.

Simple things overwhelm me. Noise, light, loud voices, large crowds, a Jury Summons letter, a conversation, grocery shopping, phone calls, people near me during phone calls, my own thoughts, my moods, walking through my own house when someone I’ve only seen but never spoken to other than a tentative and slightly reluctant”hello” is in the living room speaking with my father.

109789lost_in_my_own_mindThere are times I feel so overwhelmed and busy that I have to sit and think for a moment, because the strange thing is I haven’t done anything. I haven’t done anything other than listen to the inside of my head. And in there I get lost, sometimes purposefully, for hours or days or weeks or months. I lose focus on school work, on regular work, and I start doubting myself again.

I tell myself the same thing: it’s too much. If I can barely handle college here, what will Medical school be like for me? If I can barely handle working 20 hours a week, what will residency be like for me?

Being alone at night drives me crazy: I’ve been pretty open with my issues of feeling like there’s some kind of demonic watch over me (no, I am not religious), and it’s most prevalent at night; I always hear footsteps in the hall that don’t seem to exist when I open the door (although sometimes it is my mother) and it only fuels my paranoia. I go through periods of spending my money on the stupidest little things, lots of them, until the point where at least a hundred dollars is gone within a matter of minutes. How, with those two things working against me, will I be able to live on my own?

Roommates make me nervous. I’ve lived in that situation before. They would conclude me a freak for isolating myself, and they won’t understand why I have to have lights on and fans on to block out noise, they won’t understand how little things like the mumbling of the T.V or voices through a wall prevents me from sleeping or how I have to have a generally quite environment to keep my sanity.  How would I survive a dorm?

The list could go on for ages.

But it all results in one thought pattern that hurts more than anything: “I’m always wondering what I would have been capable of if I were neurotypical”. 

I wouldn’t be living here with my parents. I would have already finished the majority of my degrees–I know I’m very intelligent, it’s the whole having to go outside and be around people thing that’s preventing me from moving at a steadier pace. I would be pretty average. I would still have problems in my life, everyone does, but why do I feel like those problems would be easier?

I think this is also something many of us can struggle with, especially those of us trying to work or establish an educational title for ourselves. Some people get over this hump easier than others. I am not one of those people.

While I cherish who I am and how I am, while I will always be grateful I think the way I do and see the world through my own eyes, it can be difficult to get out of that doubting mindset. 

Limitless

 

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Never limit yourself. 

People say “don’t let your obstacles limit you” or perhaps more specifically to the majority of people who read my content “don’t let your mental health limit you” but in reality, that’s just code for don’t put limits on yourself. Because those two abstract things, your supposed obstacles and your supposed ‘disordered’ mental health have never limited you, the majority of the time you just believe they have.

I’ve been searching for some motivation to get me out of my most recent pit and via the other night’s post and the last few days re-reading Nietzsche, I believe I’ve found it. But all of my excitement over future prospects, over my realization, doesn’t belittle the fact that my mental health will indeed, along this path, get in the way.

That’s what it does best: get in the way. 

I’ve spent the last two days planning the equipment that I want to start filming. I’ve received a letter from my college where the judges of the “Literary Criticism Category” considered one of my essays ‘masterful writing that successfully and with poetic insight weaves a critical analysis of the two novels . . . insightful and compelling’, gave me first place, and $100. For an essay I procrastinated on (due to many things) and wrote in a few hours. It was ten pages.

To be fair, who knows who my competition was or if I even had any. 

51bpisjndtl-_sx299_bo1204203200_I’ve also spent the last few weeks gathering books that I plan to read, one of which is called “The Life and Loves of a She-Devil” by Fay Weldon, another by the name of “Man Gone down” by Michael Thomas and of course “The Psychopath Whisperer” by Kent Kiehl, Ph.D because why not. I mean, I forgive him for using the age old term “Psychopath” when, as a psychological professional, he should know the term ‘sociopath’ or ‘antisocial’ is more properly used for those who have been convicted of a crime already since the majority of his book discusses his time in interviewing prison inmates. But I’ll let him slide.

While I enjoy all the ideas I generate for my filming, while I generally enjoy the award I’ve received, while I enjoy spending hours writing, while I enjoy reading multiple books at the same time (my mother can’t stand doing that) all of it is often thwarted by my beliefs of what I can and can’t do, by my mood, and by my thought pattern. 

For example, earlier this morning, about 4:30 a.m, I woke up my boyfriend so he could take me home. We both always fall asleep, we really need to stop doing that because I hate driving that early in the morning and I know he hates driving (if he’s picked me up) too. But because of my anxiety and my obsessive fear of some demonic entity always watching me while I sleep, I sleep better if I’m in the bed with someone other than just myself. It takes me approximately twenty minutes to fall asleep in his room, it takes me an hour and a half in mine.

He falls asleep immediately anywhere, as a comparison.

At any rate, I woke him and he went to the bathroom. I was already awake, sitting up, playing on my phone when I noticed ten minutes had passed. Then fifteen. I started to get worried. First, I thought perhaps he’d fallen asleep in the bathroom. Twenty minutes passed. My social anxiety kicked in: what if I have to walk up there and knock on the door and ask if he was alright and wake up his parents and explain why I’m there at 4:30 a.m knocking on the bathroom door in their hall (they’d came home at 2:40 a.m).

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Then came what I guess people would consider “Abnormal thought”. It’s dark in this house, it’s an older house, I’ve heard stories about entities in this house before (although I believe it had been blessed out of it) but what if something else was back? What if it had possessed him?

I’m not religious nor is my family. This isn’t a random fear or a mock of Paranormal Activity for me, it’s a reoccurring paranoid fear. My heart rate rises in my throat, I start sweating, and I’m paralyzed because I fear if I move, I’ll be found out. Think Jurassic Park and the T-Rex’s eye sight.

paranormalactivity31I believe he’s standing in the middle of the living room, possessed, absent minded, waiting for me to crack open the door so the demonic forces can attack me. So, in the midst of my sweating and paralyzation, I must come up with a way to outsmart them.

I see the dog. I want to wake her as well, but when you move in his bed the wooden frame creaks. I feared if it creaked, the possessed body would barge through the door, wrap it’s hands around my neck and choke me before anyone could hear my screech.

Perhaps I could reach my hand through the bed frame and poke her and get her to go into the living room? No, my arm won’t reach. Damnit.

I’ve heard stories about animals and the supposed paranormal: she would bark for certain if she felt something was wrong with her family. She’s good at barking. If she didn’t bark I would know he’s either generally approachable, or I can have her distract the entity within him while I get the fuck out of the house.

As you read this I’m sure you can see the rational fault within it or at least the unlikely hood of my belief. At this time, I did not. By now a half an hour had passed. I thought about texting him–I couldn’t find his phone so I assumed he took it after all.

Now I’m hearing light footsteps in the kitchen and a clank of something. Am I imagining it? I’m not sure. I waited for him to come through the door. He did not.

3373992-little-child-looking-through-a-crack-between-wooden-planksAfter thirty five minutes I essentially leaped from the bed. I peered through the crack in the door into the dark and saw a sleeve of an arm on the couch–turned out to be a jacket. I took a deep breath and closed the door. I texted him “are you alive?”

He responded instantly. He was having stomach issues–the food we’d eaten had left an abnormal feeling in his stomach.

That was relief to hear. I still refused to move or open the door, but when I heard his footsteps for sure this time and he entered without the look of possession, I felt generally comfortable.

For me this type of thing is a constant. I fear of this for many people I’m around, I don’t trust people’s outwardly appearance or what they say to me or who they claim they are. Not because of an underlying fear of possession necessarily, but that can come into play if it’s night time and I’m in a dark house or dark street by myself.

So what does this drawn out story have to do with anything? Even with all the plans I have, with all the things I’m excited to do, I’m very well aware of what I’m going to have to work through to do what I enjoy. As I’ve stated, College has become my Hobby, work (whenever I find it) has become my survival and monetary means to fuel my career. My career is what I can create whether that’s in my studies (medicine and philosophy) or my art (photography, film, writing). I still want to study. I still want to film, do photography, and keep up my writing path.

There are a lot of things I want to do. And lot of reasons why I could tell myself I can’t do them: I’m tired all the time, I’m anxious all the time, I’m uncomfortable all the time, I’m paranoid, I can’t handle noises or conversation and when I least need depression, it strikes me.

Am I ever going to not be those things? I don’t know, none of it seems abnormal to me, it’s always been there. But whether I will or I won’t, there’s one thing I knowwon’t be: stuck in a place in my life I despise because I was too afraid to take or create an opportunity for myself.

Success speaks many languages. You have to find the one you understand the best.

 

 

 

Plummeting.

I’m always interested to see what countries across the world view this blog and my amazement never ceases. I know many of the people who read me do not have a WordPress account but nonetheless thanks for reading and taking the time to stop by and see what the crazy American has to blabber on about today.

I’m still not satisfied.

I don’t know what’s going on with me anymore. There’s something that’s sucking the life out of me and it’s not school. I think my being “strong” has pushed me to a breaking point. The last time I was this bad, this unmotivated, this blank was when I was 17 and it was the last semester of high school. I got myself together that summer and blazed through the first year of college.

But I’m losing my ability to stay focused and to stay interested. You all know me, I find positivity in everything. I coach people to find positivity in everything. I’m actively enacting every single coping mechanism known to me to be able to hold myself together at the moment, and, like I said, I haven’t had to put so much effort into this in years. It genuinely scares me.

I have another interview tomorrow and somehow I have to keep this flattened demeanor from fucking it up. Somehow I have to gt out of bed and go to class tomorrow.

I like being alone but this is when I hate it. I’d like to have someone keep me company in my room or just take a walk with me or just sit somewhere with me. I’m a very simple person, I don’t need to go through a lot of things for me to feel content. Sitting on a log underneath an Oak listening to birds makes me content.

As for tonight . . .

I just can’t type anymore. It takes too much effort to think of words and that hurts too, because words are my only true friend.

Depression. Period.

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Depression.

Depression sucks. 

It sucks worse when someone calls it a choice.

If you think that’s what happened to me, you’d be wrong. In fact, my depression isn’t acting up at all right now. Mine comes in waves, strong ones, usually resulting from me screwing myself over, someone else screwing me over, or me just sick of feeling emotionally confused. Otherwise I tend to be rather blank. Not externally, that I fake, but internally yes. And I enjoy that. I enjoy that without feeling joy, because. . .

because I’m blank so . . .

so It’d be kind of hard to feel the joy of it all.

Now anger . .  . that’s a whole separate beast in itself.

cheer-up-smileyAnyway, when I am deeply depressed and wondering if there is a point to anything at all, if there is even a point to fighting it or coping with it or learning to accept it, I hate when people tell me “cheer up” or “stop being so negative” as if I’m choosing to be intensely negative, as if that’s something I strive to do in my daily life. 

Now, let’s pause.

Mostly because this is a touchy subject for those of us with depression. We know we hate people who tell us our depression is a choice. That’s like telling someone with Cancer to stop choosing to have cancer, or someone struggling in active psychosis to stop having psychosis.

But we’re also aware that because depression is something everyone has experienced at least once in their life (not on a clinical level, but on a basic level), it’s hard for them to separate our experiences from their own experiences. We understand that they figure because they can snap out of it, we should be able to snap out of it just as easily. We’re aware that they’re not fully understanding our situation, but they aren’t.

That being said, they do have a point.

*Shields face from angry people*

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Just kidding, I’ve honestly never given a shit if people don’t like what I have to say.

I care, but it’s a different kind of care.

Whatever, that’s off topic. The point is there does come a point where we do have a choice. We have a choice to consistently tell ourselves that we don’t have any choices, we’re stuck like this, we’re doomed to live like this and die like this. If you’re telling yourself that, you’re making a choice to do so. And making that choice only further progresses your mindset.

If you don’t believe that, well then I don’t know what to tell you. Because nothing I tell you will convince you otherwise. And it’s not my job to convince you that you have choices in life, that’s something you either need to realize for yourself or never take advantage of. 

While I agree that no one chooses to have depression, I disagree that there aren’t some people who choose to take part in maladaptive thought behavior patterns, even when you’ve exposed those patterns to them. It’s often the case for SOME people (NOT ALL) who take therapy and come out saying it didn’t help them.

Assuming your therapist wasn’t a complete prick, how much effort did you put in?

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Did you do the exercises? Did you enact coping mechanisms and discuss which ones work for you and which ones don’t?

Or did you go in expecting them to do the work for you because, well, shit, you just can’t do anything right?

Hey, hey, don’t give me that look, there are people out in the world who act like this. Yes, I struggle with depression and self harm and anxiety and this and that and blah, blah, we could be here all day going through diagnoses and criterion, so I empathize with these people. What I don’t empathize with is their unwillingness to work on themselves. 

What, you expect a magic fairy psychologist to land on your head, tap your hair, zap your brain with some fairy dust that you hope isn’t just cocaine, and “poof!”, you’re all better?

I don’t think so.

If the world worked like that, we’d all be cocaine addicts.

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Which I mean, if you think about things practically, at least we wouldn’t have an overcrowding of people on the planet. Life spans would be significantly shorter.

Let’s not knock it before we try it.

Quick fixes. That’s what we’re obsessed with. If you’re not willing to work on yourself or break your back trying to change the way you think, that negative pattern, than I guess you really are up shit creek without a paddle.

Quick fix for the overpopulation issue? Gas half of the population against their will and bury them or launch their bodies into space. That’s a quick fix. Would you condone that?

If you won’t condone that, why do you condone pressuring yourself to find a quick cure for your issues? Remember, if you can’t will a world in which everyone would follow what you do, in which your actions become normality without contradiction, you’re acting unethically, and this applies to yourself and to others.

In other words, if everyone in the entire world tried to fix themselves with quick fix magic, well, it wouldn’t work because 1) magic doesn’t exist and 2) neither do the quick fixes, everyone would be searching for something that doesn’t exist. So there’s your contradiction.

It’s important to see that while you may not have put yourself in this situation deliberately, you are in this situation and therefore you’ve got to manage it. That’s that age-old argument you had with your parents and siblings when you were a kid. Your brother left his dirty dish on the table and your parents tell you to clean it and you say “I didn’t put there!”

So what? You live in the household, you can pitch in every now and then. You can take control and manage something that you didn’t ask for.

It’s such a simple concept that’s so hard to enact in ourselves. That I also empathize with. You get so used to being in one mindset that even when people point out the faults to you, you find reasons for why their wrong and end up keeping yourself in that same cycle.

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Mean Trick

Depression makes you feel as if you’re out of control of how you feel and what you feel. It’s playing a trick on you, a mean one. You may not have had a choice in developing depression, but you have a choice in whether you want to live according to it’s rules or not.

 

 

 

Foolish Thinking

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The moment I think I’ve got something figured out about myself is the moment I realize I’m a complete fool. There will always be something new to learn about myself and the more experiences I have the greater possibility there is they will be revealed to me.

That being said, I’ve realized the likelihood I will finish something I’ve started is zero-none. Either I get distracted by something more interesting, the socialization aspect of the project is too heavy for my introverted mind, or I just plain don’t give a shit.

I get sick of things so easily because I never see the practical point of them in the grand scheme of life. It sounds like teenage angst, like “ugh, what’s even like, the point of like, life, like, really, like, this is stoopid”.

But I’m not a teenager and it’s not angst: I see no point in anything.  It’s not part of my depression either. My depression stems from the fact that there’s no way I can ever be who I am. That’s where a lot of my general anxiety comes from as well.

I’m a very confused person, that’s my problem. I make rash decisions based on sudden perceptions of people and things.

passion-flower-5x_vegicaps_800Even though I’m not at work anymore, I’m pretty sure someone tried to frame me. Weird things were happening all over the place. The weirdest was when I found one of my supplement pills in the main vault in front of the thousands of rolls of quarters. The girl I was with started laughing because she thought it was weed in a capsule and I didn’t have the heart to tell her inexperienced ass that weed does not smell anything like that. She’s obviously never hit a joint or bong or even been near it.

We told the others but the question is how did it get there. When I’m particularly anxious there are times I’ve taken passionflower because it’s helped in the past. I always took them at home and either left the bottle in my room or placed it in my bag which is locked in my locker by my key outside of the cash room in the hallway of the basement. So I was thoroughly confused.

What are the chances someone else takes the same exact thing?

And why would they set it right in front of the quarters? Eye level to everyone in the vault? On the few days they were forcing me and someone else to practice?

Hmm….

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One thing I will miss about that place? One of my managers and one of my leads. If you knew me well, you’d know that there are instances in my life where I meet people on the first day and are instantly comfortable with them. It’s very rare and the last time it happened I was 15 and in high school. I’m still friends with him to this day. The time before that was in first grade with a girl. We’re not friends anymore but she had been my first friend. So throughout my life I’ve made two friends on my own.

The lead I think I liked because he reminded me of myself. He’s very stone faced and doesn’t show much emotion, it takes a lot to get him to snicker to smile, and we were getting to a point where I could evoke a smirk from him. I’m usually a clown, people who don’t immediately laugh at my jokes become my own personal project. It’s a self-fulfilling thing, just ignore it. He wouldn’t touch the capsule unless he had two napkins in his hand because he was worried about it being some kind of drug. He laughed when I was like “I ain’t gettin’ blamed for this shit” and took it to management. I laughed because he had to use a napkin to pick up a capsule filled with dried flower leaves.

The manager for night shift was also very nice and always willing to answer questions. He wasn’t very intimidating and always smiled. I often had to help him with things and he left me in charge of the cash room with a friendly reminder of “just don’t touch anything”.

So the people were very nice. I memorized the procedures and was even getting comfortable answering the phones.

Why did I leave? The truth is, besides it being a little too fast paced for me, that there was too much socialization. I was constantly stuck around people. Not guests, but just people. And I need my mental space. I need it. It’s a requirement. It’s like water to me.

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People. Wouldn’t. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Someone was always talking or moving. My anxiety was there sometimes, but the majority of the time I was overwhelmed with annoyances. The kind of annoyances that overload your senses and halt your rationality.

I have a very specific personality. I don’t care to make friendships. I don’t care to have conversation with people unless it’s necessary. I act like I find people interesting, I smile, I wave, I say hello, I make jokes with them because it’s the easiest way to get on someone’s good side. But honestly I could give two shits. I don’t care about working, I don’t care about school or friends or any of that superficial shit.

There are times I feel like I’m a little more comfortable. For example, my boyfriend and I are planning a summer trip to Los Angeles (granted I have money to pay for my half) and although that’s a lot of people and even though we’ve been inviting people to come with us, I know I will get enjoyment out of that. My boyfriend is one of those rare people I don’t feel completely dead around, kind of like the people I feel instantly comfortable around.

But even then I have to constantly keep up a smile because I don’t want him to be offended if I suddenly stop talking, or suddenly don’t answer his questions or respond to him. It’s hard for me to explain that if I stop talking or go around with a blank expression it’s not that I’m not enjoying myself, it’s not that I’m mad or depressed, it’s just that I don’t have emotions right now so you’re going to have to fucking wait.

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It’s hard for people to understand that none of it has anything to do with them. So I try to always keep a smile on my face.

 

What people don’t know is that the majority of the time (95% of my waking life)  I’m blank and emotionless. Not depressed, just blank. When I go outside I have to pretend like I give a shit about conversation, or people, or that I’m even apart of this world when I know damn well I’m not.

I’ve thought about all of this extensively. I’m very disconnected from what you all consider ‘reality’. I’ve always been and I’ve never had a problem with it. It only becomes a problem when I’m trying to keep a job or stay in school.

My anxiety is entirely separate from this, I’ve also realized that.

Conclusion?

I’m a clusterfuck.

 

 

Columbus Sailed The Ocean Blue In 1492 . . . India, You lucked Out.

If you have social anxiety disorder, there’s a very particular phrase that I’m sure teachers and professor alike say that you and I hate equally:

“Feel free to ask any questions”

What does that even . . . mean? How do you feel free to ask a question? If someone has a secret for it, I’d like to know; I’ve been trying to do that for years.

And if you have social anxiety disorder and you’re in college, you’re probably well aware of the fact that you have to talk. If you’re in graduate school, you’ve probably had to do at least one Socratic seminar (I did mock one’s in high school, they sucked ass) and if you’re in sciences, you’ve probably had to work with a group or at least a partner.

If you have social anxiety disorder and you’re in college and you experience any of the aforementioned (or any equivalent), than you probably have a very clear understanding of how hard it can be to speak and think at the same time.

I’ve gotten better since high school, but still encounter moments when I struggle in composing my thoughts and stutter like a first grader trying to read The Odessy by Homer.

Regardless, it’s Thursday night currently and you know what that means: I had my Native American Literature class, so here comes a mess of thoughts.

The thing about this class is the very feeling of it encourages participation. In grade school dread always washed through me when I heard that word. It still does, I just choose to ignore it. The same goes for the phrase “Well, here’s what we’re going to do” and “this should be fun”. Both of those phrases are notorious for preceding a group activity or class-wide participation that would torture me for an hour or so.

But my professor in this class never uttered the words “participation”, although we often break into smaller groups for discussion and then discuss as a whole class. Now I’m not thrusting my hand in the air and being a know it all like I could be, but if I got randomly called on I can tell my anxiety would be lower than usual. The aura of the class demands respect, it encourages it, and it nourishes it. Even when I get people staring at me I can more easily brush it away. Because whether or not they think I’ve said something stupid or think I look stupid or sound stupid or whatever, the aura of the class squanders whatever power they might put in their judgement.

Whenever we finish a paper, about every other week (the class is only once a week for three hours), we form groups and read them allowed. Mind you, this takes a while as each paper is 7 pages plus. One girl kept staring at me. We were all in a circle. She sat across from me, started writing in her notebook, and rested her chin on her hand and directed her eyeballs right at me. I’m not joking. Then she started writing again. Now, I’m not paranoid but . . . the fuck you writing about me?

Anyway, I let it slide. I read my paper last, of course, and all the other groups had already finished. The professor started wandering around telling them that I “have some great things to say” and that they should listen to me too. So he had me start over reading my paper aloud to my group of four (not including me) and another group of five. Then, I heard the shuffle of other footsteps. The rest of the class ( a huge group that was reading outside) came in and were instructed to listen as well. So I basically read my eight page paper to the entire class.

I don’t mind that at all; reading my words off a paper is easier than trying to explain my thoughts orally. If anything, I take it as a huge compliment. If there’s one thing us people with Social anxiety disorder think, it’s that what we say is irrelevant, that what we say is dumb and no one would ever care to listen. Whether these people were forced to listen or not didn’t matter to me; the fact that the professor acknowledged my words only reminds me my thoughts are valid. That’s something I’ve never experienced in a class setting.

I’ve had teachers compliment my writing, that’s nothing new, but to have it shared in a community like setting, and for it to be appreciated–that’s something they don’t stress in public education very often. Not here, at least.

And don’t you even worry about it; if you’ve been reading my posts for a while you know I’m very outspoken about mental health and when I can find a way to weave our struggles into something available to the general public, I do it. And I did it tonight. There were a few pieces we read that used “schizophrenic” as a way to describe the split mind of America, which is really one of my pet peeves. Of course, the use of the term was relevant in this woman’s book so I didn’t argue it. Instead, I transformed the metaphor she used and manipulated the words with a real life example that reminded whoever the reader (or listener) of my paper was, that this disorder isn’t just a word.

I talked about my own struggles too. Afterwards a woman came up to me and thanked me for writing those struggles, as she’d experienced much of the same in her life. And as I walked to my car I realized how often people stay silent about mental health just as they stay silent about Native Americans. And I realized I’ve never been ashamed of my anxiety, of my depression, of my twisted way of thinking, unless people gave me a reason to be. Even as I read my paper, I got a queasy feeling in my stomach–because, shit, they’re going to start thinking I’m crazy.

Why is it taboo to talk about this? Why are we getting messages that we should be ashamed of how we act, that we need to fix who we are with all these treatments, with all these methods?

All I have to say to that, is this: Get the fuck up out of here with that shit before I fix your face; it’s looking a little stupid.

My professor told a story of a friend of his who is Apache and how he applied to a Christian University to get his degree to be a drug and alcohol counselor. The board woman loved his record and wanted him to attend but said . . . “well, you have to be Christian to go here.”

He said, “I’m not Christian; I’m Apache.”

She said, “Well, why don’t you go pray to your deities and see what they think about you converting to Christianity while you’re coming to our university.”

He said, “Okay.”

He went and he prayed and he came back. He said, “I prayed. I am who I am. I can’t do what you asked of me.” He continued with “Now since I did that, I want you to go home and pray and I want you to see what Jesus Christ would say about me attending this University.”

She said, “Okay.”

She went home and she prayed.

She called him and she said, “You’re accepted”. And she approached him and said “Thank you, young man, for reminding me what it means to be a good Christian.”

Whether you’re religious or not, It doesn’t matter. The point of this is you are who you are. And anyone telling you otherwise, anyone making you into something otherwise, or anyone making you feel like you should be otherwise, isn’t worth your time. That includes aspects of society. That includes the drug companies telling you a drug will make you normal.

Normal is who you are. That’s normal for you.

Sure, I want to be a little more at ease around people, I don’t want to be depressed; there’s a lot of things I want to improve in my brain. But that’s just it: I want to improve it, not change it. I don’t need to change it. I don’t need to be a social butterfly. I don’t need to be some happy freak skipping down the sidewalk. I need to be whoever I am.

The same man applied for a drug counseling job on a reservation. They loved him. When they asked for his card (You have to have a card to be considered truly Native American to the U.S government) he said he did not have one. They said he needed one. He said he will never get one. They went back and forth for a while. He told them “are you free people or are you dictated by the laws of the government?”

Reservations are supposed to be a sanctuary where people are free to live how they have for thousands upon thousands of years on this continent. Yes, thousands of years. If you live in America, millions of people stood where you stand before the year 1492.They kept it clean, proliferating with vegetation, and otherwise untarnished. Appreciate that fact.

Anyway, they wouldn’t hire him.

Two months later they had reconsidered and called him for the job.

Be who you are whether someone agrees or not. You have the right to stand up for yourself and in standing up for yourself, you’re standing up for all of those who struggle with you.

P.S: Just to be clear, I’m not saying run around in a murderous rampage after you flush your medication down the toilet, I’m saying be proud that you have the right to run around in a murderous rampage after you flush your medication down the toilet.

They tell you that you don’t have that right, but you do.

Doesn’t mean you should.

Don’t murder people.

It’s not nice.