that time I wrote a post during psych class

So today is #worldbipolarday, apparently. Thanks Facebook! As I was scrolling through the black hole that is facebook at 8:45 this evening during class (it’s not like you’ve never done it. And besides it’s 8FUCKING45 AND I’M IN CLASS), I noticed that little annoying thing in the corner of things that are “trending,” one of which is #worldbipolarday. I’m about to throw some facts in your face like a cream pie so look out. And taste the cream pie.

First of all, bipolar disorder is NOT borderline personality disorder. There are several varieties of bipolar disorder, but simply, there is bipolar 1 and bipolar 2. It’s kind of like diabetes, 1 is worse than 2. Worse is kind of a bad word. Ok how about “more severe.” When most people think of bipolar disorder, they probably think of the common features of bipolar 1, which is the rapid cycling and severe highs and severe lows that can change very quickly. HOWEVER. People with bipolar disorder do NOT switch back and forth between being angry to happy to suicidal in a matter of minutes. Manic episodes or depressives episodes can last for almost an entire week. Same with a rapid cycling episode. Rapid cycling is more like the stereotype of bipolar disorder: it’s exactly what it sounds like. Rapid back and forth with mood. Rapid cycling can be seen in bipolar 2 as well.

And let me tell you, rapid cycling is scary. It’s unexplainable. One minute you feel great. You can conquer the world. You’re going to go home and knock out all of your homework and stay up all night drawing and tomorrow you’re going to go run 5 miles and then go get plastered that night. That’s the plan anyway. Your manic brain’s plan. But, as the rapid cycling goes, maybe an hour or so later, your mood drops lower than you could ever feel. You want to die. You want to curl up in a ball in your bed and waste away with Netflix and junk food. Nothing matters. You don’t care. You’re tired. Fuck everything. You feel depressed. But wait… you bounce back eventually!

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder. Major depressive disorder is a brain disorder as well, but you can trick yourself out of it (that makes it sound so easy). Yeah, your brain chemistry is messed up but I know that it’s easy to trick yourself into feeling happy. Bipolar is different. You are literally trapped by the reduced volume of your prefrontal cortex (it’s the part of the brain right above your eyes). Among other structural abnormalities in your brain. And some other neuroscience that I don’t understand because I just have an (almost) degree in psychology and psychology majors do not understand biology. Unless you’re getting your bachelor of science. Then you can’t sit with us B.A. psych majors. We’re a different species. Ok so anyway.

Did you know that bipolar disorder is so incredibly common? It shocks me that a very large percentage of the population has bipolar 2 disorder, and often it’s misdiagnosed as depression. 2.6% of the US adult population suffers from bipolar disorder, and 2.2% suffer from severe bipolar disorder (thank you, NIMH statistics). This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s literally about 3 out of every 100 people that have bipolar disorder.

My therapist has a chalkboard in her office that has a huge list of celebrities that have bipolar disorder so here’s a few: Jim Carrey, Russell Brand, Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Mel Gibson, Demi Lovato, Marilyn Monroe (I know, right?), Lou Reed, Axl Rose, Ernest Hemingway…. The list goes on forever.

Sidenote, I don’t have bipolar disorder. I’ve been misdiagnosed with it several times and maybe I do have it but honestly, who knows. And I don’t care. You are not your label. You are not your DSM code or the medications you take. You are a person. A beautiful person that I want to hug and tell you that you will be ok just like everyone else. Some days will be better than others and that’s inevitable. But it’s ok. As a very annoying smiling cat once said…

We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.
Lewis Carroll

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that time I neglected writing for a plastic tube circle

What would happen if I opened a store JUST for adult coloring books? Man, I’d make so much money. I wouldn’t even need this degree. And I think I would love my life too cause all I would be doing all day is coloring and advising people about what kind of coloring book they should buy. And I’d be the perfect sales person.

Customer: So, I’m just getting into the whole adult coloring book phenomenon. I want something kind of trippy maybe. Lots of detail but not too intricate.

Me: SO LOOK AT THIS ONE *throws jellyfish coloring book at customer* I COLORED HALF THIS BOOK WHILE LISTENING TO BASSNECTAR AND EATING AN EDIBLE

Ok that hasn’t actually happened. But for any stoner out there, you should know that you are missing out on adult coloring books. For some reason, I think I was way better at coloring when I was younger. But I love that now I can fucking color and no one goes “oh, no, actually dandelions are yellow.”

5 year old me: “Bitch, it’s MY dandelion. I can color it purple if I damn well please. STOP SUPPRESSING MY ARTISTIC SIDE.”

I don’t think I actually cussed that much as a 5 year old and I don’t think I ever yelled at anyone either, but I think that if I could go back in time and be 5 years old again (which would be awesome because adulting is too hard. I miss nap times and snack times and playing with shaving cream on the desks) I would probably be like that.

I guess that doesn’t make sense considering that I had to live through the other 17 years to get that attitude.. but whatever. Time machines are coming along just swiftly, aren’t they?

This rant is brought to you by my insomniatic thoughts last night as I was trying to sleep. And kept thinking about coloring books.

 

that time I prevented myself from graduating

It’s finally here. Spring! Spring means flowers and warm weather and me being FURIOUSLY HAPPY and manic because of all the sunshine and warmth. It’s ridiculous what a little sun can do for a person’s mood. Spring also means May. May also means college graduation. I submitted my application for graduation this semester and I was waiting to hear back and was so excited to FINALLY be done with school and then….

I dropped a class while having a panic attack. While in said class.

My hands are still shaking and I’m still using a paper bag so that I can breathe.

So, I’m not graduating now. That light of freedom that I saw at the end of this long tunnel called college is now actually just a train. *insert gif of a person getting hit by a train* That’s how it feels. Maybe more like a punch in the stomach, realistically because I’m not going to actually die or step in front of a moving train. Who does that anyway? I guess people who really want to die. As much as I feel like I died a little, I’m not in the hospital again and gasping for life.

Anyway, I know it was for the best. I was starting to lose my mind this semester. I was getting so stressed out that I was beginning to lose myself in the stack of books and notes and being at my computer for 10 hours at a time (not that I’m not at a computer now, this is more cathartic than studying, obviously). Ironically, the class I dropped was called “The Psychology of Motivation.” Yeah, I was motivated to graduate. Not fail 3 exams and then not be able to graduate because of that. In the end, I think I’m better off knowing that I’m not graduating instead of being faced with the disappointment of being so close and then failing a class.

It’s ok though, I’m trying to tell myself. I can take the class during the summer session and everything will be fine. I can still make it to Colorado in September. At this point, I will do almost anything just to make it to my goal: move away to my happy place. University is not my happy place. They’ve trapped me here and I don’t even feel like a person. More like a drone just doing what college kids are supposed to be doing. This is not living, this is hell. I’d rather stand in the TSA line in the Denver airport again. That was less nerve-racking than studying for exams.

All I can tell myself now is what a very wise hobbit once said..

“Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate”
-J.R.R. Tolkien

that time I decided I hated being vegan

I guess the title says it all. I’m just bracing myself for the amount of spamming I’m going to get from my vegan friends. But like, that’s just your opinion, man. *Deep breath* Ok. I have reasons for this guys.

First of all, I’m not saying I’m jumping off the wagon completely. I’m just going back to being vegetarian, and since I’m lactose intolerant, milk and cheese won’t be in my diet much anyway. I bought the first carton of eggs that I’ve bought in months today! And they were the super expensive cage free eggs from happy hens. *bracing myself for the animal rights people* It’s ok everyone. I’m still for animal rights, and I’m still doing my part by not eating meat.

I was really on the fence about this for a while actually. I jumped and went tumbling off the vegan wagon pretty badly this past month. First was the veganazis that started to drive me over the edge. I don’t consider vegan a lifestyle, just the way someone eats. And some people take it wayyyyy too far to the point that it becomes an obsession and I just really can’t deal with that. Good for you if you are an animal rights activist! Really. I’m not being sarcastic. But I can’t hear about it 24/7. You are not your job or the food you eat. Eat your vegan food, share your vegan food (there is really good vegan food out there, I can’t argue that), embrace the fact that you are doing a good thing.

But please don’t shove your views down my throat like I have no idea what’s going on in the world. I work in a vegan restaurant. It’s kind of part of my job.

After being the hospital, and my blood pressure every morning was just like “HELLLPPPPPPP I NEED SALT I NEED MEAT I NEED PROTEIN HELP MEEEEEE.” That’s what I imagine my blood pressure sounds like when it talks. Not that there’s one single organ or actual thing that is blood pressure but let’s just go with the fact that it is so temperamental so I’m going with that it is a thing (blood pressure is a noun, right?) Well after the whole hospital incident, I could feel my body craving the protein and other things it needed: iron, biotin, B12 and all the things that you get from meat. I know I’m deficient in these things because I get mad cravings for meat when my iron levels are low. Really, I’ve tried everything. I have minor anemia and no matter what I do, I just can’t keep my iron levels out. I’ve taken every supplement I can think of and I know that everything Blob makes me is packed with nutrients, but it’s just not cutting it for me. My health is deteriorating and that’s something I really cannot risk.

Long story short, my health is keeping me from eating a 100% vegan diet. Maybe someday I can go back to it, but right now, it’s not ideal for my health. I know a lot of people can do it, and if you can, I fully encourage it! I know that it has the lowest impact on the environment as far as diets go, and of course, animal rights are still something I believe in strongly. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Everyone should be vegan, but not everyone can. Those who can should, those who can’t should just do their best to find ways to eat sustainable food.

In other news, I made a new friend! His name is Finn. I promise I won’t try to taxidermy him whenever he dies.

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that time I found home, and other cool places

So hello from Colorado? From the other side? I haven’t called a thousand times because I don’t miss anything from the East Coast. Ok not EVERYTHING because obviously I miss some people (key word, “some”). But damn, let’s start off with the fact there is a hipster coffee shop every other block, breweries everywhere, and just look in any direction and you’ll see the mountains. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I came home.

Also, did you know that hula hoops are not just for the rave kids that I hate so much? (Not “hate,” but they’re pretty annoying and sorry but molly isn’t my thing, party on though guys) Well, when you have your friend’s girlfriend give you a light show with her LED hoops and you realize that you literally cannot do anything she’s doing, you start to reconsider this “hooping” phenomenon. So now I have my own hula hoop and I feel like I’m 5 years old again. AND IT GLOWS. JUST SAYING. So I’ll be honest, I think I can give up binge drinking and Netflix as long as I have some chill pills, a hoop, and beautiful mountains that I can go to whenever I want. This is it, guys. The Rockies are calling my name. I was gonna do an internship in Florida, but now, I honestly think I’ll be happier just living for a bit.

Let’s break down my trip into a few paragraphs. I know that not EVERYTHING about Colorado is amazing all the time, but the things I’ve discovered have been so eye opening to me. Baltimore is such a little closed off city in comparison. Unless you’re just about going to clubs and bars, there’s not much to do except work and go to school.

Boulder. Let’s start with that. A place that I know I could never afford but it’s literally surrounded by mountains. They’re within walking distance. We hiked up part of Chautauqua and you don’t even have to walk up that far to get a beautiful view of the city and the mountains.

And ok I know I said I’ll take the chill pills and hoops over drinking and Netflix, but this really is the best place to find good beer. I don’t like foam on anything. Lattes, beer, etc. Never appealed. But then I tried Left Hand Brewery’s Nitro Milk Stout on tap and I entered an entirely new world of “foam.” Literally like ice cream.

But also check out the foam on that latte. I take back everything I’ve ever said about foam being gross.

Ok, I know that not everyone really wants to hear about my trip just because, you know, I never find any interest in anyone else’s vacations but maybe that’s just me. Like, when Blob went to Belize, I don’t think I even really asked him about it (Did I?). Maybe because I was just pretty jealous that I was stuck in Maryland in the cold and he was hanging out on a beach. Then again, he did get food poisoning. I guess my jealousy radiates (sorry Blob). But I think I’m happier to be around the snow and mountains than some tourist trap beach with sand fleas. In the end, it works out.

I’m just not happy in Maryland. I’m just not happy with my life right now (complaint moment). School is terrible and stressful when combined with working, and for some reason, I just can’t find myself doing things that I would like to be doing with my life. I’m not living right now. I’m just cruising on a huge ship to nowhere and praying to every god from every religion that I graduate from college in May so I can get on with my life and start actually living and experiencing everything our world has to offer. And not just the course catalog.

So I guess it’s official. The next time I come out here, it’s for good. I’ve never come to a town where suddenly felt like “hey, I could stay here for the rest of my life.” I know I don’t want to stay in Maryland forever. 22 years has been more than enough. I’ve seen the East Coast, it’s cool, but I’m ready to move on, to reinvent myself, and to be in a happier place. Yes yes I know I’m talking about a geographic cure and that my problems will follow me wherever I go, but honestly? Location makes a huge difference. Being around beautiful things makes life feel more beautiful and worth it. Out here, I haven’t laughed as hard as I ever have, or even just let myself go with dancing. It’s a vacation and I know it won’t last forever, but I’ve never felt so ready to be alive.

(Also, cause why not, here’s our dorky craft beer brewery selfie)

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that time I didn’t feel the need to defend myself

Treat your views like a dick. Don’t shove it down people’s throats, and don’t harass people if it’s not for them. Don’t whip it out just because you want to show it off, no one really cares and some people really don’t want to see it.

This is a long-ago found metaphor I found on the interwebz, but you know, it remains true. Keep your dick in your pants gentlemen (and ladies, don’t shove your vagina in people’s faces either, metaphorically of course).

that time I got writer’s block

I really have writer’s block guys. Like, I’ve started the beginning of this post about 5 times already and can’t think of anything witty or worth writing that anyone would be interested in reading. Maybe NOW I’ll actually start losing followers. Maybe I’m just brain dead from my episode last week in combination with cramming for THREE exams this week. As much as I did study, I realized that overstudying is a real thing. In high school they always warned us of “overstudying” which I thought was total bullshit because how can you OVER study? If you know that material page by page and can recite it without anything in front of you to the point that all you can think about is the information you’ve studied, then I think you’re more than set for a test.

Turns out this is definitely not a good thing.

I overstudied, but I absorbed absolutely nothing. Man, why did I take all classes this semester in which my grade is reflected by my test taking? I can’t even take a buzzfeed quiz without getting distracted or disliking my result. I can write a paper no problem. Last semester I went insane with writing. As in, I wrote a 10 pager AND a 5 pager in about 7 hours. Cited sources, bibliography, background research and all. Except I didn’t proofread at all. But I got an A. That’s like, college mastery if college was ONLY papers. Most of the posts on my blog I write in less than an hour, sometimes half an hour. I guess the content must be alright if you guys are still here reading it.

Wow, writer’s block is terrible. I’m writing about writing. I have to keep you guys coming back somehow though, right? Honestly, if you give me a prompt I will write a post about that. As long as it doesn’t involve D Trump’s hair or “Feeling the Bern.” Thanks, I know where I stand politically, I’d rather sit out here in the sun and not scroll through the internet finding more and more redundant articles about what political figure did or said what or how the Trump’s hair looks today (honestly though, why does he not have a stylist with the amount of money he has? Unless he thrives on making his own style decisions… in which case, if you can’t even make your hair look okay because of personal choice, I won’t vote for you. Personal appearance is a make it or break it, let’s be real. Everyone voted for JFK because he was a handsome young candidate. And he was actually a good president.*)

Oh here’s something: So it’s been like, 80 degrees all this week. It’s still technically winter and I’m confused but considering how happy the sun and warmth makes me, I’m not complaining too much. Sun brings the Alice in me out. I’ve been wearing my sundresses and heels everyday. But today I walked out of the house in a skirt that was kind of flowy (yes that’s a word spellcheck, don’t tell me I’m making things up), realized there was a slight breeze, but nothing too bad. But of course, if the wind is 5mph at my house, it’s 20 at school. So yeah, I’ve been that girl walking around campus keeping my hands by my side nonchalantly to make sure I don’t flash anyone (at least I’m wearing cute undies and not grannie panties. That would just be embarrassing). The odds of me pulling a Marilyn Monroe today are slightly high. It’s not like it’s never happened before.. flashback to standing on top of the building of the Newseum in D.C. and my skirt went up all the way. At least I was, like, 13 and in middle school and not 22 and on my college campus.

And in other news, Alice is back. She is alive. She’s weak, but she’s still here! Proof? Blob. Alice loves working with Blob for some reason. She must like him even though apparently she doesn’t. He definitely seems like her type but you know what, she also tried to convince herself that she liked my ex-boyfriend also and that did not end well. Anyway, I transitioned for the first time in a few months last week. It was very brief, and thank god she didn’t try to drink anything (Alice is more of an alcoholic than I am) because I’m trying to stay sober and not fuck with my blood pressure. I was there in a depersonalized state though. She seemed exhausted. What the hell has she been up to? Her wonderland must be falling apart. I can feel her as a part of me still. My hypomania has come back in small bits, just like how I felt when I felt fully integrated. My libido is back, I love my lingerie again, no pants are the best pants, I’m craving meat again (I really should get my iron levels checked, a bacon cheeseburger sounds so good right now) and damn my legs look good and I know it.

Or maybe I’m just happier being sober.

*I know I said I wouldn’t talk about politics, but JFK was a pretty damn charming man. Get real guys.