2017 UPDATE: somewhat manic, mostly reasonable

Note to self: do not post manic ideas as a blog post.

That last post was pretty unnecessary. Manic induced ideas can be awesome. That’s how I came up with the idea to go to U of Edinburgh for school (to get out of taking the GRE) and the idea of painting skate decks for money (possibly still a good idea for side money). I actually did spend a large amount of time researching where to buy blank skate decks and what type of varnish to use, etc. etc. But as much as I would like to extend my artistic talents into the world of skating, I think I’m better off doing something more realistic now that my mania has subsided.

For the first time since moving to Colorado, I finally feel a bit settled. Why’s that? Well I’ll tell you why even if you don’t care.

I finally have a REAL JOB. I START TOMORROW. Like, big girl 9-5 job. Okay it’s actually 8:30 to 4 and I have to work at 7:30am on Saturdays but a set schedule? Damn I feel spoiled.

And then after spending a month and a half of unemployment, I had a lot of time to think about long term. Long term commitments are scary. I couldn’t even decide on what I wanted to major in in undergrad until I realized I might as well major in psych just because I had enough credits for it. Bad decision, but probably ideal for someone who wanted to graduate ASAP.

But anyway, I recently realized how much I hate modern Western medicine and practices. These drugs that doctors have been shoving down my throat since I was 14 have done nothing for my mental health besides permanently damage my brain and have only acted as a band-aid. Honestly, the happiest I’ve been is when I start with treating my body with respect. It’s cliche, but my body is a temple. Treating my body right is what will eventually lead to having a healthier brain. I decided a more holistic approach to my health would be a better long-term decision for myself. Through eating a plant-based diet and exercising regularly, I feel better. When I started getting outside more and more when I moved to Colorado, I felt even better. Waking up sober everyday (this is sobriety Day 9 for me!!) helps me feel more productive and overall better. Doing yoga and meditation before bed calms me down and helps control my anxiety. Drinking teas with natural and beneficial herbs in them have helped my body through this alcohol mental and physical withdrawal. And of course, I’ve been going to acupuncture every week for the last 3 months.

Initially, I went to an acupuncturist because my allergies since moving here had gotten so bad that I was getting sick every week and I felt like I was constantly miserable. Taking massive amounts of painkillers and Allegra and Mucinex would barely help and just felt like poison to my body. A month into acupuncture, I realized I hadn’t gotten sick in weeks. Either my body finally adjusted, or acupuncture really did help. Acupuncture can be used to treat an extensive amount of ailments so I decided I wanted to start working on my mental health since it seems that I’m finally no longer a prisoner of allergy induced sickness.

Leading this more holistic lifestyle based on Eastern medicine has began to fascinate me. Every time my acupuncturist puts a needle in my skin, I always wonder, “why there?” During treatment, I like to meditate. Yesterday, I told my acupuncturist that I wanted to work on my depression and energy levels, in which he then placed three needles in my head. My mind spiraled into a crazy, manic-esque state but at the same time, calm and reasonable. At the time I was still thinking about the skateboard thing but something in the back of my mind reasonably talked me out of it. Eastern medicine is my calling. Coming from a psychology background, this would be perfect. I want to treat mental illness with more holistic approaches instead of shoving drugs down everyone’s throat and telling them what they should and shouldn’t do to cope with their minds.

That’s the short version. Yesterday, I was a unstable and depressed mess. When I finally found passion in something, that finally subsided. I found a purpose. I found a goal. I ordered books off Amazon on traditional Chinese medicine and started my application essay for a couple of TCM schools. I’m suddenly inspired to learn again, and I’m excited. I can be the calm little center of our ever chaotic universe. Zen, focused, and passionate about something for the first time in my life.

acupuncture210

Also, no GRE scores required, did I mention that? Don’t worry though, I won’t ever abandon writing. My crazy mind will still be on the internet for all to see.

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Welcome to Emily’s second quarter life crisis

I think I like changing up my format for how I do my titles now. Or I guess, lack there of. I always hated making up titles for essays when I was in school but since writing a blog, titles can be the most challenging but most fun part because you WANT people to read your blog post. And what’s gonna get people to start reading? The title. Even if it’s irrelevant to the rest of the post like mine mostly am. But hey, that’s just my style. Off topic, random and sometimes not so PG. Continue reading “Welcome to Emily’s second quarter life crisis”

that time I realized I needed to be vulnerable

Despite a very long blog hiatus, let’s talk about something serious: vulnerability. Ok, so I just watched this TEDTalk that my therapist recommended to me and I’m still coming down from the feels that I got from it (I’ll post a link at the end). But think about it, how do you define vulnerability? And, how many people are actually willing to feel vulnerable? Continue reading “that time I realized I needed to be vulnerable”

that time I realized that I am Jack’s cold sweat

Good days for me are the ones where I accomplish things. And by accomplish things I mean I went to the gym, ate breakfast, showered, and went to work. A really productive day would be that, but I also went to the bank, put gas in my car and even bothered to shave my legs while in the shower. That was today. I am exhausted. If I make time to see someone somewhere in the midst of all that then, damn, that was a really good day. But you know, people like me who have the most crippling social anxiety are just proud of themselves for shaving their legs or making it through the work day while maintaining a good mood.

I’m just going to tell myself that today was really productive because I studied for an exam I have this week, but really, I kind of just glanced over my notes and read them and I’m telling myself that that is better than nothing but knowing that when I get to that test, I am going to have no idea what is what. And then there’s that anxiety of knowing that but being kind of unmotivated while also overanxious about having to study in the first place. See, this is anxiety. Anxieties have anxieties and it’s always a downward spiral. So how do you stop it? Anyone?

In the past, my anxiety could be avoided by me saying goodbye to the world for a few hours while my alternate personalities take on my life for me. Now it’s just me and my brain. My overly emotional, hypersensitive, overly anxious brain. It’s a really dark place in here. Earlier this week I felt great about myself. I knew that yeah, I have a lot of issues, but damn my makeup is on point and I felt alive and free being outside playing with a hula hoop. Now I look at that hula hoop and I feel sad because I’m frustrated about it. I have social events I’m supposed to participate in this week that I’ve had several months notice about but I just can’t bring myself to go.

So I decided that eating a whole box of cookies and writing would be a better option than hooping for a bit, having a glass of wine, listening to good music and then getting some possibly well-deserved sleep. And now I’m having anxiety over the fact that I just ate a whole box of cookies and that’s why I’ve been gaining weight lately. The worst part is that anxiety isn’t even really an emotion. I don’t feel sad or depressed. Anxiety is just this state of being.

And then there’s social anxiety. In the past, I’m normally saved by alcohol. If there’s going to be alcohol involved, then yeah, I got this. Funny, charismatic Emily brought to you by Alcohol. If there’s not alcohol involved? Well.. Maybe I’m just gonna have to either bring a flask or flake at last minute. I am that notorious friend who flakes last minute. I guess that makes me what they call a “flake.” It’s not that I’m a “flake,” I just can’t do social situations that don’t involve alcohol. Clearly, I’m a social drinker.. or maybe I’m just an alcoholic. You decide. We all remember that time in Fell’s Point when I had 10 drinks and.. oh yeah that time at the Phoenix when several beers in.. and that other time when I ran away from my boyfriend at the time.. oh and I guess everyone definitely remembers that time I drank too much tequila and took some Xanax and ended up in the hospital for 3 days.

And now there’s that time when it took drinking a whole bottle of wine just to write a fucking blog post, play with my hula hoop, and say “yeah! I’ll be there tomorrow!”

I am Jack’s wasted life.

 

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┬áreduced 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

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.

that time I watched Taylor Swift videos instead of studying

Honestly, I’m kind of upset that Taylor Swift doesn’t allow Spotify to use her music. It would make this whole Taylor Swift binge much easier instead of having to listen to ads on YouTube ever 4 minutes. Wait, that was a terrible beginning to a post. And not even the point. I should be studying for the 3 exams I have over the next 2 days but instead I’m eating sweet potato fries out of the pan because I was too lazy to get a plate and I’m jamming to T-Swizzle.

Also apparently I took a picture of myself in the ambulance. Fasten your feet for a bumpy ride!
IMG_0563

I know I know I haven’t posted in a while. Ok like 5 days but THATS A LOT FOR ME. I’ve also officially been sober for a week. Correlation or…? -hold that thought while I devour these fries because I can’t multitask..Ok back to this-ONE WEEK OF SOBRIETY THOUGH. That’s the longest I’ve gone in…………????????? Since I turned 21 probably. Which sucks because I have some really nice wine that’s untouched and I would totally drink one glass because it’s $12 wine and not my $4 Three Blind Moose Merlot. $4 wine is okay to drink in one sitting (financially, not okay for your health, I know that), but when you actually spend money on GOOD wine, it’s not okay to drink that all at once.

Depression really sucks. I know I don’t actually have depression and that I’m the biggest hypocrite in the world because I do go through those really awful periods of FEELING depressed but not BEING depressed. (see next post that will probably be called “that time I realized I’m the biggest hypocrite on the internet) But today I was able to say I am happy. Not in a “I had a near death experience and life is beautiful and shouldn’t be taken for granted” kind of way. It was just a moment. I was sitting next to the gross lake at school in the sun just taking in the sunlight, sipping my tea, listening to Summer Vibes by Walk Off the Earth (yes, you should look that up right now. Blob actually has a good taste in music*) and just enjoying this moment I had with myself. I felt confident, sexy (I wore heels for the first time since being discharged from the hospital! And I even whipped out a dress I hadn’t worn in a while and DAMN MY LEGS ACTUALLY LOOK GOOD), and even feeling better about school. So yeah, I kinda felt like a bad bitch and hence why I’m now listening to Taylor Swift because darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream (that actually might be accurate).

But today, I felt ok. That’s really weird considering how stressed out I should be. I’m ok with that. Ever since I stopped drinking, I’ve been sleeping better and my concentration has been improving slightly (despite probably irrepairable brain damage YES SPELL CHECK THAT IS A WORD). So maybe that’s some incentive to stop drinking. Not to mention I have to save up money to finish every tattoo I want on my body RIGHT NOW (not really, but 2 of them). And maybe I’ll even lose some weight from not consuming 600 calories of red wine every night. Yeah, there’s 600 calories in a bottle of red wine. I almost stopped drinking when I read that, but instead I just cut back my overall calorie intake. That was a mistake. But you know, don’t a lot of “experts” say that drinking a glass or 2 of red wine daily is beneficial to your health? Not that I could actually stick to 1 or 2 glasses, but is this going to negatively impact my health by NOT having wine? This is an actual question and I don’t trust the “experts.” I don’t even trust the doctors who said my blood pressure was back to normal. Or my gyno telling me that the strings of my IUD disappearing is nothing to worry about. I feel like these are all things to be paranoid and have a legitimate concern but I guess no one trusts a hypochondriac either.

Wow and I keep having to keep taking breaks during this post because T-Swift is really the bomb.com. By the way, if you ever type “bomb.com” in a text, it will automatically make it a link. DONT CLICK IT. I totally did. It took me to a site that linked me to virgin hair and indian hair weaves. Indian hair weave I get, but virgin hair? I think I should probably not click on that link, mostly because I don’t want my computer to get a virus and not necessarily because I’m afraid of getting some really weird porn pop up on my screen. I take back what I said about my concentration getting better. Apparently it isn’t considering I’ve jumped around 5 topics in this post. That’s ok. I’m a blogger, not a writer. We’re like, a completely different species because we don’t have editors. Some do. Like Jenny Lawson but really how much does her editor really do other than fix minor errors? I should probably get one of those….sounds expensive.

Someone asked me this week what my “thing” is. I totally realized I don’t have a thing. I guess this blog is one of my “thing”s but what is my purpose? I really don’t want to address that actually. That sounds way too complicated and that would be about a 5,000 word post that no one would actually read. Let’s be real: no one cares about another person’s life purpose. Everyone is existing for themselves. That’s just human nature.

Good things might be starting to happen in my life. Some things are ending (I’m sorry you’re suffering Zeke, please go peacefully and please no one report me to animal control for not taking my dying rat to the vet because he is actually dying and he’s beyond treatable now). But new things are beginning! As they happen, I’m sure I will be nonstop posting about it, not that anyone really cares about my personal life considering that’s not the point of this blog (what is the point anyway?) I am still the same person because as Zach Braff said in one of my favorite movies… (I love ending posts with a quote)

“Let’s just be whatever it is that we are. And everything will be okay.”**

Okay I lied about this post being over. Alice is back. Thank you for coming back Alice. I missed you.

*For some reason, I can never find that perfect song that uplifts me but Blob sends me these random songs I’ve never heard and I’m always like WHY DO I NOT KNOW THIS I HAVE SPOTIFY I HAVE THE MUSIC WORLD LITERALLY AT MY FINGERTIPS. Thanks Blob. You’re the best.

**Garden State. Watch it. Now. No really. Watch it.