what a wonderfully crippling world.

And ya’ll actually thought I had given up on writing. It was pretty believable for a while there. My facebook page is gone, and I haven’t posted a single thing since July 3rd. But here I am, here to tell you the things in my life that I don’t always know if people will care about, but are still relevant to the mental health community.

So the move happened, and I’m finally settling back into this life of living at home and regrounding myself. The beginning was rough. As soon as I got off that airplane, and walked out into the 95% humidity, I immediately started crying and regretting the decision I made to leave Colorado. And for about 2 to 3 weeks following coming home, I was pretty depressed while still trying to figure out what I was really doing here.

Familiarity is always good. Feeling the warm hugs of people who genuinely love you make you remember that life isn’t always so lonely. Sitting down in front of the easel you abandoned so long ago and just painting every color that you feel in your blood and soul is an instant release of everything that feels bad. Seeing my old therapist in person was weird, but ultimately relieving. Even when you go back to the gym you used to go to and see the same people doing the same things feels both homey, yet slightly sad, but I mostly find it hilarious. Finally, after one good night, it’s like something in me finally opened up, and I finally felt like I could dig myself out of my depression once again.

One night towards the end of July, I peeled myself out of bed on a particularly dreary rainy night to go see Andrew McMahon in Baltimore (if you don’t know him, please do your mental health and your soul a favor and look him up). Standing in the crowd of all types of people I would normally hate, there was this weird community where we all felt that Andrew had changed our lives in some way, and was still continuing to do so as he sang his little heart out on the stage of Ram’s Head. After the show, it was pouring down rain. I mean POURING. I got a flash flood warning on my phone. But regardless, I had gotten this far, and I decided to be an idiot and stand out in the pouring rain for an hour because I was that determined to meet Andrew for some weird life-fulfilling reason.

After waiting in the rain for an hour, or so it felt, Andrew finally steps out of the venue with no shoes on, and a giant plastic cup filled with wine, looks at us all standing in the rain waiting for him, and with a huge smile on his face, says “What’s up, everybody?” He made his way down the line of people and when he finally got to me, I gave him a hug and started crying while I told him how his music saved me when I was the most alone I had ever been while in Colorado. I’ve never felt like anyone has actually listened and understood how I felt in that moment until then when he looked me directly in the eye, and gave me another hug like there was nothing more that needed to be said, and I could move on now.

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sometimes people make you feel the impossible

After that night, I started using my synesthesia for painting. I stopped caring about making my painting good, and making them look how I felt emotionally and physically. Synesthesia presents itself in different ways, so for me, I perceive emotional and physical sensations as colors. Instead of feeling the warm fur of my cat, I sense a warm campfire orange. If that makes sense. Feel free to ask me more.

I was painting everyday. I was painting so much that I was stepping over the paintings in my room to get almost anywhere. And it felt so good. I looked forward to just sitting down with a bottle of wine and my paintbrush and watching the colors form across the canvas. And as I kept doing this, I kept feeling more and more at home, and happier in some way, which is a weird thing I’ve never felt.

A couple more weeks passed and I had never felt so great. I was beginning to feel at home with my new job, some new friends and old friends I had reconnected with. I could socialize comfortably for the first time in years. I started doing great workouts at the gym and was starting to feel comfortable in my own skin after months of hating my body. I felt great, I looked great, and I knew it. Each day was better than the next. I would try new things, and do things I wouldn’t normally do, and that was totally ok because I was finally stepping out of my comfort zone and into this new, confident, happier me.

But finally it hit me. This “new” me, wasn’t me. This was hypomanic me. This was the uninhibited, no impulse control with nothing in my brain to tell me to “stop” me. I wasn’t sleeping much, would eat a lot or nothing at all, and got annoyed when people would try to stop me. I felt invincible. I was a goddess and nothing could bring me down.

And it’s amazing what small things will bring a person down from that kind of high. This post is brought to you by my post mania depression that resulted from a bad night of drinking, yelling at people in the street, and spraining my ankle, my wrist, banging up my knee and elbow and ultimately, an extremely bruised ego. I can’t walk, can’t exercise, can’t paint. I went to my first ceramics class of the semester yesterday and walked out feeling completely defeated because my ankle hurt too much to use the wheel and everyone was making beautiful pieces while mine kept falling apart.

I guess the lesson in all this is that it’s not a bad thing to have unmedicated bipolar disorder. I wouldn’t trade my hypomania for anything because it’s the best thing I could possibly feel and it feels like a gift to feel so alive, and to feel something that no one else can. Sometimes it’s even worth the horrible, crippling depression that follows and the stupid mistakes you made (like wearing heels while drinking and dancing). But there’s a difference between managing your mental illness, and living with it. And obviously, I can’t just live with it and expect to be okay. It’s not okay to start acting psychotic and screaming at people in the street because voices are screaming in your head. It’s not okay to become a total klepto during a hypomanic episode. It’s not okay to let depression make  you sleep for 3 days straight despite having an ankle injury and avoid contact with everyone.

But I will be okay. I always am. And at least this time, I’m not alone because I’m finally home.

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2017: the year of applying to Hogwarts while being an adult under a stack of pillows

Well, hey there 2017. I was going to post yesterday but I got too stuck in the black hole of WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE AND IM NEVER DRINKING AGAIN. I spent most of the day in bed. And eating. And continuing to ponder my life choices. But for real, I actually did give up drinking as my New Years resolution and so far I’m about 36 hours in. I’m doing okay. Now onto bigger things.

After the 50-something jobs I’ve applied for and 15 or more interviews I’ve gone to, I’ve realized how soul sucking all of these dead-end jobs are so maybe 2017 is the year I decide to crawl out of the hole of soul sucking retail and food service jobs and be a big girl. And apply for grad school. To do something. Like, writing? Why do I have to go to school for that when it’s something I already do? Oh yeah, your name means nothing with out a Ph.D or M.S./M.A. next to it. So okay, step 1: school research. FOUND SOME AWESOME ONES….

Oh yeah. The GRE. My recurring nightmare. Continue reading “2017: the year of applying to Hogwarts while being an adult under a stack of pillows”

The Official 2016 Wrap Up and My Unofficial Resolutions

My mom sent me an email this evening (okay like 20 minutes ago) wishing me happy new year and that she said (and I quote)

Hi! Am home this evening. No plans, but I have always hated New Years. –  too many expectations and unfulfilled resolutions. Am going to clean out my file cabinet in the den, as I always do for NY, and run the wood stove.
Yup. That’s my mom. She spends every new years eve/day cleaning out one filing cabinet in her house. Meanwhile, I’m doing laundry and plan on shaving for the first time in 2 months while consuming some NOT $5 wine and rewriting the lyrics to Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day (obviously, to be titled Wake Me Up When 2016 Ends). This may end up in a Green Day listening marathon and trying to awfully cover some Green Day songs on my guitar. Check the Instagram feed on the right side of this blog if you wanna see what happens after I’m through a couple of glasses. Sorry, Mom. I love you. I hate New Years too.
As far as resolutions go? Well, I did look back at my resolutions from last year (thank you, Facebook) and they go as follows:
1. Get back into yoga and running (I did not)
2. Stop buying $4 bottles of wine (any of previous posts will prove that didn’t happen. Sorry, but I’m a broke, unemployed alcoholic)
3. Graduate and move to Colorado (THAT I TOTALLY DID DO, where is my diploma UMBC???)
So I set some more realistic expectations for this year.
1. Seriously stop buying $4 bottles of wine
2. Reinvent my guitar career (via my room and entertaining my stuffed animals and boyfriend)
3. Overcome social anxiety (not sure how realistic that is, but we’ll see)
4. Climb a 14r. Definitely doable out here.
5. Don’t associate with sociopaths and fuckboys (definitely doable)
6. Get off of my klonopin
7. Stop vaping so I stop looking like such a douchebag
8. Not chop off my hair into a pixie cut so I regret it for the entirety of growing it out
9. Visit potential cities to move to (maybe just “city,” I’ll start with Seattle or Portland, maybe somewhere in Cali)
10. Quit therapy
11. Get serious about my writing career (you guys are reading my blog, aren’t you?)
12. Taxidermy something
13. Go to a music festival and actually have fun
Less realistic expectations:
1. Join Americorps
2. Move away from Colorado (yeeeahhhh we’ll see)
3. Overcome social anxiety (I put this in both categories, because let’s be honest, I’m such a social flaky croissant wreck)
4. Get tattooed by Kat Von D
5. Take the GRE (HAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)
6. Quit drinking…………………………
I should really rethink these but really, I would like to thank for anyone who read my blog this year. You guys are awesome and deserve to be furiously happy with a cupcake and cherry on top. Unless you’re already there. Good for you.
And for real, RIP to everyone who died this year, especially my two 4 legged friends, Zeke and Gonzo who died in the same month.
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They didn’t like each other. But they were still my babies nonetheless and died quite tragically (Gonzo of pneumonia, and Zeke of an ear tumor).
Happy New Year everyone, I’ll be here with Xander and Finn and a bottle of wine.

things I do when I get catatonically depressed

  1. Look up pictures of fluffy dog butts on Pinterest. Corgis have the fluffiest butts, hands down.
  2. Watch my rats attack each other in their little t-rex way. The winner is the one who manages to stay up on his hind legs and push the other one over. The winner gets to groom the opponents belly.
  3. Pretend that I’m Adele and horribly belt out songs with my guitar. This isn’t so good for my self esteem. Note to self: do not record.
  4. Free association writing. Pick up some paper. Write down some random shit. Tear it up and throw it away (well actually please recycle it, unless you want to burn it, then that’s okay too).
  5. Eat something healthy because I know I really want to eat all of the cheese in my fridge and drink all of the beer I have. Strawberries and health tea make me feel superhuman for a second.
  6. Wear the comfiest socks I own.
  7. Put on non waterproof mascara and cry for the satisfaction of the emo look. It mostly just ends up being random streaks of black on my face.
  8. Clean my room. OCD tendencies are instantly satisfied.
  9. Pick up a damn book.
  10. Do not look at Facebook. I repeat. Do not. Look. At. Facebook.
  11. Read The Oatmeal
  12. Look at these cuties again. It was so cute I cried and sent the picture to my boyfriend.
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Today sucked. It’s okay.

Ok so where should I begin without ranting too much?

Let’s just start out with when I get mad, I looked like a fat red baby about to have a tantrum (which I was, regression for the win). I can’t say anything. I know that if say even more than one sentence, then I will be screaming, crying, and possibly Hulk-like aggressiveness (not kidding, testosterone runs in my veins when I’m angry. Might explain a lot of things).

So I sat in silence.

As they told me everything that is wrong with me. Continue reading “Today sucked. It’s okay.”

Graduating from college is actually terrible/I decided to uncreatively change up my blog titles/Uncreatively is totally a word because I used it

Hey guys, it’s been a while. Over a month actually. I’ve been kind of avoiding doing this because my complete lack of creativity and humor is not exactly great for writing a post that people want to read.

But can we go back to that “post college depression” thing? Yeah, it’s getting more real. I finally got approved to graduate and it was one of the most anticlimactic things I’ve heard in my life. 5 years of blood, sweat and tears (mostly tears) and here’s an email saying “hey, you did it, good luck with getting a job with your degree that means absolutely nothing.” Let’s face it: you can’t do squat with a B.A. in Psychology. Congratulations, you know how to read articles and write papers. Continue reading “Graduating from college is actually terrible/I decided to uncreatively change up my blog titles/Uncreatively is totally a word because I used it”

that time I fell asleep in a field and made friends with a 15 year old girl

That actually did happen. And at least it was the field of a music festival and I was just listening to whatever was playing. That’s acceptable at a music fest, right? Everyone was placing bets on how many bottles of wine I would go through throughout the 5 day affair and my answer is this: 1 bottle in one night. But only one night. That’s like, a record for me. So go me for kicking alcoholism?

But I haven’t kicked my other problems apparently. Why do we always settle for the people we know are not right for us? Well, I’ll tell you why. Human kind is a desperate species. We are always seeking companionship. If the person comes off as not creepy and for the most part nice, then yeah you only see all the good parts in them… and then the honeymoon phase ends and everything they say and do gets to every nerve ending in your body. The emotions become overwhelming and you try to fix them to be the way you thought they were, but the truth is you can’t change anyone else but yourself.

I guess I could have seen that coming. Here’s my advice: if you are an emotionally unstable person and have a tendency to lash out at the people closest to you, don’t hang out with borderline sociopaths. Granted, I’ve had my fair share of feeling like a sociopath when I was not completely integrated because all of my emotions were stored in other personalities. But now that it’s one big part of personalities integrated in my brain, “emotionally stable” is not in my vocabulary. After going so long without emotions, once they come back, you’re not sure what to do with them. It’s like being thrown a bicycle and being instructed to ride it and you’ve never learned how. I guess that’s what changed: I started having emotions, and having no idea what to do with them, I threw them in the face of someone who’s close to me and is completely not used to it. But the truth is, I’m not completely integrated because Alice keeps running away (hence my lack of mania in the past month, and then transitioning for the first time in a month on the last day of the music festival).

It’s not like I’m not trying. It’s overwhelming and I have no idea where to start sorting through how to feel, embrace, and behave accordingly with the emotions I was once lacking. And with that, I managed to push a lot of people out of my life because they can’t understand it. I’ll take the blame for that one, but I won’t apologize for having this problem. I can apologize for the way I act. I just kept ignoring how I was acting and not addressing what the real problem was. I still don’t know what the problem is. But step 1? Be selfless, be kind, and when someone doesn’t know how to handle me, tell them what I need instead of shutting down.

I want to get better. I want to stop crying everyday for no reason. I want to have the energy to be a better person. I want to believe that I will move past all of this. Moving cross country won’t cure me, and I know that. I want to be able to stop apologizing for what happened last night/yesterday/last week/a few hours ago/a minute ago. And most importantly, I want to stop regretting everything. I can wish I didn’t do a lot of things, but it doesn’t matter now because the only direction to go is forward.

You may call it in this evening
But you’ve only lost the night
Present all your pretty feelings
May they comfort you tonight
And I’m climbing over something
And I’m running through these walls
I don’t even know if I believe
– 
mumford & sons