#EndTheStigma; Saving My Own Life

 Simply put, my first #EndTheStigma guest blog post below brought me to tears.  I not only admire the writer’s ability to paint such a vivid picture of her story, but of course, her sincere strength.  You can follow her on Twitter here.  If you want to submit your own #EndTheStigma story, please see my “About Me” for contact information.

If you throw someone a life preserver, and they turn around and swim away from it, what can you do but let them drown themselves?”

To that, my answer has always been: anything. Do anything.

 

I was not supposed to die on September 24, 2010. But that was what I meant to do when I stared down at the handful of tiny white pills before me, like so many soulless eyes,

taunting me

you’ve no real problems

you’re so selfish

you’re not good enough

ugly

fat

stupid

you have no excuse for being this way

and swallowed them all without a second thought.

 

The second thoughts came later, locked in my bedroom. That was when, consumed by the shame of what I had done, I called the person I would later call my best friend and imagine building a future with: a boy I hardly knew at the time.

 

Despite how far I have come since then, I will always carry with me the guilt of what I put him through. He didn’t know where I live, or the phone number of anyone who could reach me. He was helpless. All he could do was try to keep me talking to him as my words began to slur together, and plead with me to find someone who could help me, which I refused to do.

 

This is the series of events that I have pieced together in place of the memories stolen from me by the medication I took. Eventually, I hung up the phone; irrationally, I hadn’t expected him to be so upset. When I refused to answer his insistent subsequent phone calls, he began sending me text messages instead. I responded, even as my fingers grew too clumsy to spell correctly and my mind too foggy to form proper sentences.

 

I have only one vague recollection of those moments. He had asked me, one final time, to find help for myself. Selfish and afraid, I told him I didn’t want to. His response: “I want you to, Olivia. Please.”

Still, I couldn’t bring myself to do it, and it was completely by chance that I sent a message meant for him to my older sister instead. Later, she showed me the message, which read: “iTs not likee the world [will] be any differennt, just one less problematic person.” She knew something wasn’t right; my depression was no secret in my family, but I had been in therapy and taking medication for months. Everyone, including me, assumed I was better. She found me, and my family took me to the emergency room.

 

I have no memory of what happened there, and I never asked.

These things I have been told but absolutely cannot remember: that my family kept me away from my older cousin, who stayed with us for a night while he was in town for a race, so he wouldn’t know (he still doesn’t); that I could barely feed myself; that I grew irrationally angry when my mother insisted on sleeping in my room with me.

 

These are the things I do remember:

Being asked the current date,

and slurring out the correct date of the wrong year, oh God, how embarrassing

bits and pieces from the day after, at home

“Mom, I’m so sorry.” “I have already forgiven you.” “I’m so sorry.”

sticky plastic circles on my chest, left painful red raw circles

so many bruises, what the hell happened to me

I still have the hospital bracelet

in a box, in my closet.

“[My father's name], I can’t take care of her anymore.”

the noise my mother made when, at the second hospital, I answered the question Were you trying to do yourself harm? with a yes.

Being taken upstairs in a wheelchair with police officers on either side of me. My clothes being taken from me; whose clothes I was given in replacement, I still don’t know.

 

I attempted suicide on a Friday afternoon; I blacked out for two whole days. My first real recollections are from the first night I spent in a psychiatric ward.

 

I remember it was so cold. There was only one blanket on the hard bed, and it was so cold. And my door was locked. And I couldn’t work out precisely why I was there despite knowing exactly what I had done, and I was coming down from being high out of my skull. My arms were covered in bruises, and I was alone. I spent the first night stumbling in circles around the tiny hospital room, shivering and sobbing with my arms locked tightly around myself, until they finally came in and gave me something to make me sleep.

 

I spent a week in the hospital. I met so many people there, kids really, from all walks of life. We chewed a lot of ice, played a lot of cards. I became an excellent poker player during that week. We all came from completely different worlds but connected on so many levels.

 

A boy named Andy who walked in circles with his hands clamped over his ears, fighting against demons that no one else could hear.

 

A fourteen-year-old girl who disagreed with her diagnosis of sociopath, stating: “I have a heart; she’s just at home in her crib.”

 

A soft-spoken boy named Robert who seemed completely normal.

 

A boy named Graham who took nothing seriously and once had tried to escape the ward. The first time I saw him, he was lying on his side on a mat in a tiny room. The door was open, but he was handcuffed. After the only family group therapy session I attended, he told me he’d like to fuck my sister.

 

Another fourteen-year-old girl named Riley who attended regular school outside of the ward. She was terrified of Graham, since it was common knowledge in the ward that he wanted to fuck her, too. I ran into her once outside, but after a split second of terrified eye contact, we both silently agreed that we had to be mistaken, oh, no, I’m sorry, you just look like someone I knew once.

 

I haven’t spoken to any of them since I got out; we weren’t allowed to share identifying information. I hope they’re all okay.

 

It was in the hospital that I took the first steps towards coming to terms with what I did. More importantly, I began to understand that depression was not me, but something about me. I was not selfish and stupid and ungrateful because I wanted to die. I was sick. A very sick, sad, scared seventeen-year-old girl.

 

The boy I used to credit with saving my life stayed in touch with me for the entire week, unbeknownst to me as I wasn’t allowed access to my cell phone. Every day he sent me text messages and left me voicemails, encouraging me and telling me his thoughts were with me. Later, when I read them, I cried.

 

I say “used to credit” because I have since come to realize that only I had the power to pull myself out of the hole of self-loathing I had been living in, though God knows he helped.

 

He wasn’t allowed to visit me, but in the same box in my closet as both hospital bracelets is a journal in which I wrote him a letter he never read, with a “safe” felt-tip pen that I could not harm myself with. I attempted to explain how sorry I was for what I did. I’ll never stop being sorry, but somehow he forgave me.

 

But more importantly, he taught me a powerful lesson that I will carry with me for the rest of my life: that no person should ever give up on another. He never hadto pick up the phone. He wasn’t obligated to stay on the line. He was never required to forgive me. And God knows he didn’t need to accept me back into his life, after everything.

 

Years later, still in therapy but finally medication-free, I look back on his act of kindness and realize that it was him throwing me that life preserver that got me back on my feet after that first hard fall, and back on the long path to saving myself.

 

Nearly a year later, I was asked to write an essay called This I Believe for my AP English class. With the anniversary of That Day approaching, I could think of little else and when I put my fingers to the keys of my computer, my story flowed out in words and tears and incredible raw honesty. When my essay was selected by my group to be read for the class, I stood with it clenched in nerveless fingers and in a halting, tiny voice I opened myself to my classmates in a way I never had before. By the time I was finished reading, my eyes were not the only ones in that room brimming with tears.

 

Afterward, I was shocked at how many of my peers reached out to me and admitted to their own struggle. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the experience. Part of me was afraid– I didn’t know how to help these people; I often barely knew how to help myself. But then I remembered that voice in the darkness, and realized that that was what I had to try be for them, if I could. I couldn’t save people; I could only be there to listen, and to remind them that they are capable of saving themselves.

 

I was lucky. I was thrown that life preserver. He did not give up on me, and it is because of that simple fact that I will never again give up on myself.

Part One; Confirming The Crazy

“You’ve gotta work with me here.  Are you going to hurt yourself or anybody else if you leave today?” She(who held the position of nurse, but I will refer to as the appropriate socially constructed gender pronoun or “the girl”, because she, in no wa,y was a nurse figure to me in the slightest) stared at me through her oval framed glasses, her brown eyes full of annoyance.  We’d been sitting in an ER room for over an hour as she drilled the same questions at me over and over again.  I answered them all honestly, but this one…this one question had sent me into a full fledged breakdown a few hours earlier at the clinic.  How was I possibly supposed to answer this…when I had tried, it left me collapsed on the floor in a state of hysteria?  She was briefed on my situation, but it hardly phased her.  She repeated her intake inquiries.

“Are you on drugs?”  No.

“Have you been drinking?” No.  I wish.

“Are you going to hurt yourself or anybody else if you leave today?”

I looked down toward the floor, catching a glimpse of the cream-colored scrubs the first nurse had given me when I was admitted.  The first RN who had led me back to the exam room was kind, but even so, wary of my condition.  They(the nurses and ER doctor) had all assumed I was on drugs when I came in, I’m sure.  My body heaved with sobs the entire walk into the hospital, with both parents grief-stricken at my sides.  They were unaware of my mental state until the nurse practitioner at the clinic had called my dad at work, giving him the news I would be admitted to the ER for psychiatric evaluation as soon as the phone calls were returned.  He had picked up my mom on the way, despite my resistance to her coming along, as I knew her emotional state would leave me even more humiliated as I already felt.  I had let them down; I had tried for much too long to be the perfect daughter with no real success or accomplishment to prove that in YEARS.  I was a failure.   I was better off dead.  Heaven or Hell, it didn’t matter at this point…as long as I didn’t have to endure another day living my life as an ungrateful, unsatisfied girl who hated her entire existence for no reason.  I didn’t deserve any of it.  People will KILL to have my life, and all I wanted was somebody to do just that…kill me.

The girl repeated her question again, giving me a loud sigh.  I raised my eyes to meet hers once more, and if she felt any sympathy toward me, she decided it was better to keep it inside.  “Is it okay if I get your parents?” She asked me.  I nodded.  At this point, it felt more like an interrogation than a psychiatric intake.  I just wanted to rewind the last 6 hours of my life.  I would’ve walked in the clinic, confidently answered “no” to that stupid suicide question, picked up my prescription, and went on my way.  Went on with my life.  And done what I had to do; live with no passion or satisfaction, but plaster on the smile that convinced the world I was happy.

I heard the girl laughing with the security guard a few moments later, as she recounted a story about her dog pooping all over her house while her husband and her were at a wedding the previous Saturday.  I heard him mutter something under his breath, and they both chuckled, continuing in light conversation like old friends as I listened from the examining table, shaking with anxiety.  I was not priority.  I was not important.  SEE, your problems aren’t real?  They’re all laughing at you.  The demons had followed me into the room.  I closed my eyes and counted to 150.  Sometimes it made the bad thoughts go away.  But I couldn’t shake the girl’s high pitched laugh and the security guard’s mumbled commentary.

Ten minutes later, after the story had seemingly ended, the nurse led my parents back into the room.  My mom refused to look at me, her tear-stained cheeks smudged with mascara, quiet gasps of air escaping her lips; the aftermath of crying so hard you hyperventilate.  My dad was on edge, running his hands through his rustic gray hair, crouching in the seat of the chair facing me, looking expectantly at me for something…but for what, I will never know.  Maybe an answer.  An answer I didn’t have at the time.  An answer I still don’t really have, except for some shitty brain chemistry and a stigma that silenced me for over 5 years.  They looked exhausted.  I was exhausted.  The girl was exhausted too.  She made that clear, as she began her tangent about how the in-patient unit is for people who are in danger of hurting themselves or other people.  Was I going to hurt myself?  The question of the day.

“She’s not cooperating with me, and you know her better than I do.  We can send her home with you, but I’m not able to gather if she’s telling me the truth or not. ” The girl said to my parents, gesturing toward the chart she held in her hand.

Point blank.  Did they really know me THAT much better than her?  I’d been keeping the entirety of my life…the impulsive spending, the binge drinking, the way I cried myself to sleep every night until one day, the tears just stopped coming…a complete secret.  Did they REALLY know me any better than a stranger, a Registered Nurse who was supposed to be licensed in helping people like…me?

My dad stood up.  “Maybe it’s best if she stays here for the night until she can have a REAL specialist evaluate her then.” Zing.  You go, Dad.  I look back and realize at the time my sweet father, he was standing up for me, when I was convinced he was throwing me to the wolves because he didn’t want to deal with this entire situation.  He was going to keep me there forever.  But in reality, he knew this woman was unkind and unequipped to help me, but it felt like the biggest betrayal.  I started to cry as my parents said their goodbyes.  “We love you more than anything, B.  We are going to do anything we can to make you better.” He said to me, as he walked out.  My mom still couldn’t look at me, but she whispered a meek “I love you”, and clasped my hand into hers before following my dad out of the door.

The next hour or so are very blurry for me to recount.  Internally I was in a state of complete hysteria, although outwardly, I kept my composure relatively calm…aka, I didn’t speak.  My purse, cell phone, and the clothes I wore in were all secured into a bag and sent with me on my wheelchair ride up to the psychiatric unit I’d be staying in.  The security guard pushed me as I slumped back into the chair, closing my eyes and listening to the rhythm of the wheels against the floor.  The girl passed us, plastic baggy of pretzels in hand.  “Good luck” she said, breezing past me, into the adjacent elevator, with nothing as much as a comforting smile.  Hell, I would’ve even settled for a head nod.

Even as I sat in that wheelchair, I had no idea what led me here or why.   This was the moment where anything I had worked for in the past didn’t matter…I was now seen as a crazy person.  Was I crazier because I didn’t even know why I was crazy?  Was I even more fucked up for not having a reason for being so fucked up?  Was I even fucked up…or was I just dramatic with petty problems that allotted me to overreact in times of pressure?  I spent days in bed…but maybe I really WAS just lazy.  I had no name for the demons other than ones I(as well as friends and family) had used in the past to describe my behaviors: moody, lazy, hormonal, aggravated, pessimistic, crazy.  Crazy.    All I knew is that being dead would have sure surpassed this feeling of complete hopelessness.   At the time, I was convinced this was the end.  And I was right.  It WAS the end.  The end of the silenced fight I led against a stigmatized disease which held my mind captive for more years than I can count on one hand.  The end of the self-medicated abuse I would wage against my body in an attempt to mask the hurt I felt internally, making sure everyone I knew held no serious suspicion to my self-loathing.  It was the end of knowing something was wrong, but without knowledge and connection to any healthy and available resources.  It was the end of my ignorance.  It was the end of my consistent heartbreak.  It was the end of letting my demons win.  And although I couldn’t see it at the time, the end was the beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Clusterfuck Of Thoughts On Moving On From Mindfuckery

I’ve been conditioned to play games and beat around the bush when it comes to my feelings since I first sat down with my sister and watched “10 Things I Hate About You.”  The girl who plays coy, so in this case, Kat(and if you’ve never seen the movie…DO SO NOW), the one who doesn’t show immediate interest in her male suitors, the one who provides the challenge…SHE is the one who gets the guy in the end.  Or so I thought.  After a multitude of situations where I shied away from any serious potential with guys over the course of my life, even when they have been straight up and forward with their intentions with me(which again, I can conclude I have always suspected weren’t pure but hey…that’s guys for ya) have left me just as alone when I throw myself out there.  Where can I find a happy medium to let my guard down but also not feel 100 percent vulnerable?  That’s what I’m trying to figure out here.

I am not someone who particularly ENJOYS meeting new guys if not in a group setting.  There is something terrifyingly awkward to me about knowing someone is interested in me, because just as much as I like to play mind games, the guys I tend to be attracted to also do.  It freaks me out when guys WANT to take me out on a date or text me…and then double text me when I don’t reply because I’m still in shock he actually responded in the first place.  I’m not used to compliments or sincere gestures with no ulterior motives.  I’m wary of all men, and I never give myself TRUE reason to believe they aren’t in it for…well, you know.  This isn’t a sob story or a chance for me to divulge into my past where I bitch about my former relationships and how I was mistreated.  Because no matter what kinds of bullshit I’ve been through with dudes, I know I’m the only one who has the power to push through my trust issues and emerge stronger, hopefully with someone I believe is for my highest good.  The amount of “things” I’ve had far surpass any official boyfriends.  As a matter of fact, I’ve only truly had a “real” relationship with one person, and even then, I was young, stupid, and didn’t even know what I was doing.  I wish I could say within the last 4 years that has changed, but to be honest…I’m still relatively young, a bit more academically educated, but I sure as hell don’t know what I’m doing.

I’m reaching the age where people ARE more blunt about their feelings, even in this hook-up culture we live in.  When I talk to a new guy, I just immediately assume he only wants to hook-up.  That notion is still ingrained in my mind from my college days.  And although it isn’t fair to the guy, it’s like because of who I am, I almost PREFER that vs. him interested in wining and dining me.  I mean, in no way, and it’s not like I NEED to share this with the world because it’s noneya biz, but just so we’re clear…my number isn’t particularly high or anything.  I’m not actively seeking a FWB or a fuck buddy.  Been there, done that, caught feelings…was the worst.  So no.  If he’s only texting me after bar close or seems to disappear out of my life for weeks at time, I usually chuck up the deuces and bounce out with the cold shoulder.

If I can’t get a good read on someone, it makes me so much more interested in playing the game.  Witty, sarcastic, and mysterious guys…that’s my real aphrodisiac.  Entice my mind and make me wonder what you’re doing and just WHY you haven’t texted me back instead of at my beck and call.  I don’t want to be this way.  Sincerely, I don’t.  Not only because my friends are SO annoying about how I handle all of these situations “wrong”(and yes, if you’re reading this…you are fucking annoying and YOU KNOW IT), but because I think I’m ready to actually date someone.  I have the capability to put myself out there and truly dive head first into something new BUT my mind bounces back and forth between being too scared to open up or to continue living my life vying for the title of game-maker in the love battlefield.  But for the mots part, I think I’m ready for this. I think.  I don’t know.  Maybe not.  UGH. YOU SEE MY PROBLEM HERE?!

I’ve been emotionally independent for the majority of my life.  It’s not like I was born this way…but yeah, for the most part, I would classify my demeanor as heartless when it comes to guys.  Do I get upset when a guy fucks me over?  YUP.  But those times are far and few in-between because I am picky as all hell.  I know myself well, and I don’t just jump on to any D.  Any time I’ve ever truly given my heart away, it’s been stomped on.  AGAIN…I am not looking for sympathy or pity because guess what?  Everyone has been there, and I know this!  This isn’t a sad story at all, in fact I can laugh at most of the my relationship flaws in the past because they’ve made me who I am…it’s actually something I can turn into positivity, because I have been doing 100 percent kick-ass by myself.  Do I dwell on the past once in awhile?  YUP.  But I stop myself from turning back the pages instead of moving on to the next chapter.  It’s just taken me awhile to like…I’m gonna text this boy back right away, and I’m going to be honest with myself form the beginning, even if that means getting hurt early on.

Just wish me luck on this transformation from mindfuckery master to something…”normal.”  I will need it.  But I know I’ll thank myself later.

 

 

 

16 Things I Learned Before Turning 24.

16 Things I Learned Before Turning 24

 

I know what you’re thinking…not ANOTHER generic list crafted for “20-somethings” full of “live in the moment” and “it’s okay not to have your shit together”(which I totally agree with by the way, but hey)  Hear me out.  I’m on a mission to make my quarter life crisis my bitch.

 

1.  Being able to own up to your mistakes is one of the most noble, yet most mature, things you can do.  If you’ve wronged someone, and even if it isn’t ENTIRELY your fault, a simple apology without the “blame game” can do wonders for any kind of relationship.  Let your ego subside.  It won’t kill you.

 

2.  Wear what you want, when you want, and how you want it.  Confidence is key to any situation- especially regarding fashion.  Don’t let anyone diss your sense of style.  Art is art, no matter which medium.

 

3.  People deserve second chances.  Just not third, fourth, or fifth ones.  Move on.

 

4.  Your grandparents are full of stories, ones that mirror a textbook enriched with history lessons, but with REAL testimonial to what life was like much before your time.  Embrace this, as inevitably one day you may not receive the privilege to hear their stories firsthand.  Use that iPhone for something other than stalking your ex’s social media pages, and record their favorite story.  I’m willing to bet you won’t regret it.

 

5.  Since we’ve now dabbled on the topic of exes and former “things”, avoid their social media pages at all costs.  Yes, we ALL do it…because it’s SO tempting to keep tabs on them but let’s be serious, it’s not healthy in any aspect.  The over-analyzation of every comment and “like” can really take up unwanted space in that noggin of yours.  Un-friend if necessary.  (And just for the record, you are SO much more fabulous than his new girlfriend.)

 

6.  Okay, and now speaking of “things”…if the person who has captivated your time, thoughts, and a place in your heart(and bed) won’t commit to you and you WANT them to…time to find someone who will.  I don’t care if he’s moving to Africa tomorrow…if someone wants to be with you, THEY WILL.  No questions asked.

 

 

7.  You are the only person who knows what’s best for you because ultimately, you are the one who deals with the consequences of your words and actions.  Choose them wisely, especially when someone’s heart is on the line.  Your intuition is 

 

8.  If you CAN change it, you have no right to bitch about it.  This goes for the job you hate, the relationship you’re unhappy in, or any sort of problem you spend the majority of your time complaining incessantly to your friends about. If it’s something within your control to change, do it.  Or shut up about it.

 

9.  Read books.  I don’t care if you’re not into them because “you’d rather be out living your life.” Learn to be into them. Do you know how many books are in this world? Google it, because I’m too lazy(and then let me know).  Point being, you’re gonna find something you can relate to, one you’ll fall in love with.  Promise.

 

10. Speaking of, always read the book before you watch the movie and be willing to accept the fact the cinematic version never compares to the original literature.  It’s a heartbreak we all must endure at sometime. 

 

11.  Learn how to meditate.  It takes time and practice, but the result of a clear, concise mind is worth the frustration that often ensues before mastering it.

 

12.  Don’t stick to your “type” when dating.  Maybe there’s a reason your love life isn’t flourishing…and it may have something to do with this apparent demographic you limit yourself to.

 

13.  Get to know an introvert before you write them off as “boring” or “snobby” or “awkward.”  Often huge misconceptions for those who are reserved upon first impression.

 

14.  It’s ok to take full advantage of the open bar at the numerous peer weddings you’re invited to, especially sans date.  Ignore the pity glances from all of your taken friends and get your cupid shuffle on.   

   

15.  Find someone who likes to Netflix binge-watch the same shows you do.  And never let them go.

 

16.  There will be a time when you’ll be convinced everyone is moving forward- while you’re moving backward.  Not true.  There’s no deadlines for life, no set requirements we must fulfill in order to be deemed successful. 

10 Things I Learned About Myself In The Past 48 Hours That You Probably Don’t Care About

Disclaimer: Nothing profoundly tragic nor incredible happened to me in the last 2 days, however, I had a lot of time to ponder about myself.  And I realized a few things.  Most of them I probably already knew but whatever.  Not important.  This blog post is not here to entice you…in fact, feel free to save yourself the clusterfuck of my emotions and run while you can.  ONWARD.

1.  I am extremely awkward around attractive people.  Like…mind-blowingly FML.com worthy sometimes, but of course, I can’t think of a decent story to impress or distress you with right now.  Point being is…I belong with only my species of plain Janes/Johns because I develop social anxiety just thinking about interacting normally with sexy guys(one in particular that I may now have my eye on).  I can’t wander out into the world of hot boys.  I’ll never make it out alive.

2.  What did Shakira even MEAN when she said “my hips don’t lie?”  Because like…I don’t get it.  I think I’m scarred for life.  Once upon a time, my boyfriend(at the time) told me that I had wide hips.  I asked him, “WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN?”  And he said(and oh my God, this sounds so 8th grade sex-ed class but c’mon now…he was probably attempting to halt WW3 which NO WORRIES, later came on in full force that night over Cheez-its…don’t ask) “it means you’re like…a woman.”  Does it really?  Because how is it that God gifted me with these apparent assets that mean I am ready to bear 14 children but decided to skip over the whole thingy-ma-bobs that you know, feed these children?  Like sure, my barely there B cupage is sufficient enough but SOMETIMES it’d be cool if I just had a really huge rack to go along with these hips that make it near to IMPOSSIBLE to find jeans that fit right.  RANT OVER BYE.

3.  I really hate the number 3 alone.  13 is grand.  But 3?  No.  It’s a stupid number.  In fact, this entire blog post was inspired by the fact I realized I HATE the number 3.  I really have no set reason.  I just do.

4.  If you think you can eat more fudge-striped cookies than me(especially during Aunt Flo’s visit into town), you’re wrong.  And YES, that’s a challenge.

5.  Orange Is The New Black is not a show I liked.  Please withhold the death threats, but I tried to give it a SECOND chance on Sunday and I simply could not.  Just not for me, I guess.

6.  My OCD is particularly selective, BUT it never skips a beat in regards to making sure I lock my car after exiting at least 3 times(with the horn that lets you know that INDEED, it has been locked).

7.  I’m not proud to admit this, but I’m mastering the skill of “listening but not really listening” during stories I couldn’t care less about, especially regarding the random girl you see once awhile and her obsession with her boyfriend.  Sorry, but let’s wrap it up here…what you got for Valentine’s Day was great and all and I’m sure that $7.99 Walmart teddy bear will look great in the trash can after you break up, but I already read your status update, your tweets about it, and saw the Instagram pictures.  BITCH WE ALL TUNE INTO THE SHOW YOU PUT ON FOR US ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND I DON’T WANT A RE-RUN.

8.  I will never be the writer I want to be, because I think I’m losing my passion for it.  Sure, I am decent with words, and I like to dabble in social media and blogging BUT…I’ve come to the realization that I just am not as talented as I once thought I was.  I’m not trying to look for attention or compliments or even encouragement…I’m just being honest.  There are a lot of good 20-something writers who probably have the same voice I do.  I am not THAT unique.  I don’t have low self-esteem…I’m just being realistic.  I read blog posts every day, and the way these people can craft words so beautifully together makes me ooze with jealousy.

9.  When I’m drunk, I am convinced I am fucking Beyonce or some shit on the dance floor.  I’m not.  But give me 4 glasses of wine and ask me that question again…and it’s on.

10.  I will be booking my flight to NYC for this summer sometime this month.  Can I afford it?  Nope.  But it’s happening.  And I’m pretty sure I am going to go alone, because I think sometimes, it’s just best that way.

The Recyclable Boy Cycle; A Short Memoir

Blair Waldorf, like always, said it best.  Sometimes it seems near to impossible to completely move on from THAT guy.  You know, the one you’ve spent MONTHS(maybe even years) doing the “we are not dating but basically we are on again/off again” dance with…however, you both seem to butt heads on who is doing the “leading.”  For awhile, it’s nothing short of contention.  There are moments when the both of you capture the embodiment of a potential relationship; one full of inside jokes, buzzed up intimate encounters followed by The Office marathons and Chinese food, and text messages that make you second-guess your “OMG I hate romance and it makes me gag” factor, because you fucking love this feeling of what could be.  He’s charming, totes hot, and really seems to know what he wants in life(actual lines you’ve used to tell your girls over tinis how he really may be THE ONE THIS TIME and has SO changed).   But it doesn’t last for long.  In fact, the music eventually cuts out…the lights turn on, and you realize your dance floor is more of a gym converted into an awkward middle school dance; it’s not the posh ball room with $15 drinks at the 5 star hotel a few miles away.  And your dance partner?  Well, he’s not near as suave as he was five minutes ago(aka a few days, weeks, months). In fact, he’s a commitmentphobe, he has no sense of style(although it’s KIND of endearing), stubborn is his middle name, and he seems to be rather protective of his phone.  The latter really irritates you, so you casually(JK LOL because girls are crazy) bring up his firewall privacy toward his beloved iPhone 5 and he goes all “WE ARE NOT EVEN TOGETHER” on you, which leaves you in a state of hysteria.  “DON’T EVER TALK TO ME AGAIN!” you scream back, as you storm out of his tiny, shitty suburban apartment.  And oh fuck.  You forgot your knock-off Chanel earrings on his night stand after last night’s sexcapade.

meeveryday

    More than likely, the music has cut out more than once.  This isn’t your first rodeo, girlfriend.  So you blare the CD you have hidden for emergencies in your glove box(yes, you still make CDs).  The title you hastily sharpied on after your last “see ya never” moment?  “Single Girl Swag.”  Clever, and oh so true…you don’t NEED him anyways.  The rest of your car ride home is spent screaming along to “Single Ladies”, “Single Again”, and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”, all while intermittently answering phone calls from your girls, filling them in on the dramz you just threw down.  You are SO over that boy’s shady ways…I mean, he never really did anything wrong that you knew about but still…he can’t be trusted.  The following nights are spent over-analyzing his social media accounts.  He liked that bitch he got a hand job from freshmen year’s status about her dog’s urinary habits.  They’re PROBABLY DOING IT.  And the last time he tweeted was 3 hours ago.  THEY ARE PROBABLY DOING IT RIGHT NOW.  You log off and remember(although it’s now been approximately 6 hours since “ending it”) how you guys used to…you know, DO IT.  And how he was…you know, GOOD AT IT.    But not important.  He is a total douchebag who does’t deserve you.  Boy bye.   You fall asleep spooning a carton of cookie dough ice cream with The Notebook playing.  Bliss.  Single Girl Style.

tweet19

     The first few weeks are always the hardest, especially after a night out on the town.  You stagger into your bedroom solo, gazing at your cellular device you hold in your hand.  Yeah, you deleted his number, but your memory(even when shit-faced) is pretty fucking impressive.  Those digits are ones you’ll probably never forget since you can’t count the amount of times you’ve drunkenly blown up his phone.  But what would you even say?  He’s probably doing piss-a-lot dog’s owner doggy-style.  “TEXT HIM” scream the combination of whiskey shots and cheap beer you inhaled an hour ago.  You decide against it and order a large pizza for yourself instead and tip the pizza guy $10.  “Thanks for being a dependable man!  I love you!” You slur at the Domino’s delivery boy.  He looks at you funny, and you realize you’re not wearing pants.  Oops.  Single Girl Life.

53480314295399148_kFAJVCjC_b

You totally have embraced the fact he’s out of your life for good…who needs a guy who can’t even hear the word “girlfriend” without running in the opposite direction?  Like…college is over, dude.  It’s been like 3 months, and you no longer have any temptation to stalk his Facebook or masturbate to the image of his face.  You spend your nights looking up inspirational Pinterest quotes about female empowerment as justification that you are TOTALLY doing life right by giving him the ax.  Guys are totally stupid, and you are WAY too busy for a boyfriend anyways.  You climb into bed after you brush your teeth and start your nightly social media routine, complete with some BuzzFeeding for good measure.  Your phone buzzes and you instantly roll your eyes…didn’t you tell your mom you’d text her tomorrow about Grandma’s 85th birthday party?  Multi-tasking hasn’t ever been your strong point, so you push your laptop aside, unlock your screen and low and behold…those 9 digits you can’t seem to erase from your noggin stare back up at you.  What the actual fuck.  Your face expression is as follows.

loldyingloveit

He starts out the conversation cordially, with a “Hi, how are you doing?”  It takes you 5 minutes to re-collect yourself and another 10 to make sure you call every single girlfriend of yours to let them know he’s like TOTALLY in love with you again.  You hope the 15 minutes you’ve made him wait is ANTAGONIZING to his self-esteem.  You respond coolly with a “Who is this?  I got a new phone”, even though you didn’t.  Actually, screw that…you delete the last sentence.  You’re totally gonna play this on your own terms.  The two of you engage in a familiar conversation, although you’re hesitant.  He brings up a stupid inside joke about the time you didn’t know what raisins were(not your proudest moment) and you feel your heart thump a little.  SHUT UP FEELINGS.  I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOU RIGHT NOW…you silently tell that fucked up organ of yours.  Or maybe you said it out loud…who knows?  Anyways, it doesn’t take long before the texts come in more frequently.  You finally end up seeing him again.  The music starts playing and you’re dancing again and it’s happening so fast and you know it’s so wrong for you and you wanna hate him but things are so different this time and he’s probably changed and maybe this could be really it and mayb-

girlplease

This recyclable boy cycle is never-ending.  It’s like he knows EXACTLY when you’ve accepted the two of you will never be and decides to reappear just when you’ve reached that breaking point of a moment.  It’s frustrating but almost romantic in an annoying way.  You WANT to make it work, despite knowing it’s toxic for you.  Hell, you’ve never even officially dated…but maybe that’s what gets to you.  The “what if’s” take over late at night and you’re convinced maybe THIS time it will be different.  Maybe THIS time you’ll both figure out what you want.  Maybe THIS time the dance won’t end in shambles.  But it will, and it does…and you find yourself repeating all of these steps until he texts you again.  It’s time you did yourself a favor.  Ignore that inevitable text…just do.

I write a lot about mental health, which by now, is no surprise to anyone who happens to be reading the opening line to this blog post.  However, I feel like I’ve neglected to talk about a detail that will be inevitable to any recovery.  From my own personal experience, facing my demons and giving them a name was liberating all on its’ own.  It was a HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders.  Simply put, I had kept it a secret for far too long and it was drowning my entire being.  But just because I admitted I was sick didn’t mean my problems went away instantly.  It didn’t make the depressive episodes disappear immediately.  In fact, it took MONTHS before I truly felt “like me” again.  This blog post is a reminder that the worst is over, but it will still take HARD WORK in the aftermath.  But you are strong, beautiful, and a boss ass bitch.  In retrospect, you will look back on the journey and be thankful for what it taught you.  It’s hard, but you’ll emerge a warrior.  Oh, and PS- this is in no way going to be edited for perfection, because I am currently self-medicating(read on to find out more), and I don’t really care about typos or run-ons or just sounding like an idiot.  Ya dig?

Medication

Meds aren’t for everyone.  In fact, a lot of people who have e-mailed me tell me they’re scared of pills in the first place and that’s why they’re hesitant to get help.  Although I can relate to this feeling, I don’t believe I could function normally without my daily dosage of serotonin.  Literally.  Why, you may ask?  Because my brain chemistry lacks it, hence my imbalance, hence my DEPRESSION.  It’s really no different than receiving the proper amount of insulin when you have diabetes.  I hope that comparison sheds more light at the topic at hand.  There are people who will claim that medication isn’t necessary to overcome mental illness, but I don’t think it’s fair to give it a negative connotation.  Medication gives me the strength I need to get out of bed every day(although still grudgingly because hey- I’m not a morning person).  It may take time to find the right medication or dosage to fit your needs because EVERYONE is different.  Med changes aren’t fun, as I have experienced them first hand.  But be patient with your doctor, as I would assume he/she only wants wants best for your recovery.  Do not get discouraged if one doesn’t work out because there are a variety of options to suit you, generally speaking.  And do not EVER go off medication without a proper plan for a doctor.  I have said it before, and I will preach it until the end of time- absolutely DO NOT, especially when dealing with your noggin.  

…what if I don’t like my therapist?

Another issue that may arise…and it’s OK!  My sister(who also has mental health issues) has seen countless therapists; mostly because she just could not connect with one or the other.  It has nothing to do with her personality…sometimes the psychologist/patient chemistry just isn’t there.  It’s very important to feel comfortable with the person who is guiding you through the stages of recovery.  My talk therapist was kick ass.  She was there to support and offer guidance, with absolutely NO biased opinion.  If you don’t leave your therapy sessions feeling refreshed or at least like you LEARNED something new, it may be time to move on to the next.  Give it a solid chance, and do not get bummed out if it takes a few switches before you find someone you look forward to your appointments.  

You find out who your friends are

It’s true.  But you don’t need people who refuse to educate themselves with your illness anyways.  It may hurt at first, but I think you will come to find freeing yourself of negative energy(especially regarding your mental health) is one of the greatest things you can gift yourself with.  There will be people who make remarks that make you feel like shit, whether they intend to or not.  You’ll be asked countless times “WHY are you depressed?” and it will leave you at a loss for words.  But that’s what the #EndTheStigma movement is all about!  A lot of these people have just neglected to learn more about mental health awareness, which leaves them ignorant and prone to make statements that make us advocates shake our heads in disbelief.  Be patient and use this opportunity to teach them something new.  If they’re still douchey, then say “see ya never” and find people who ARE willing to support your recovery process.  There is NOTHING to be ashamed of, and anybody who tells you otherwise is NOT worth maintaining any sort of friendship with.  Point blank.  THE END.

Find a (HEALTHY) form of self-medicating.

 

 Personally, I find solace in writing(duhhh).  It doesn’t have to make sense.  In fact, 99% of the time it’s completely all over the place and looks like a 12 year old threw it together in 5 minutes.  BUT THAT’S OKAY!  It doesn’t have to be for anyone’s eyes but your own. Putting your feelings on paper(or computer screen, I guess) helps them escape from your body…at least, in my opinion.  Having a healthy outlet is wonderful.  Words ARE powerful, no matter what anybody tries to tell you.  Reading can be a great escape.  I like to Google new blogs to read ALL the time(so if you have any suggestions, feel free to comment also).  I just like words.  Even if it’s as simple as finding song lyrics or a quote on Pinterest that really makes me think. There are so many other activities you can engage in your free time.  Exercise(it doesn’t have to be anything crazy…walking your dog would be fine of course) or meditation are two others that seem to be very effective for most people, including myself.