Trying to come back.. :/

I keep trying!  I promise I keep trying to get back on this!  I suck.

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I keep coming back because this is important, only to me.  Nobody else.  But I’ve found that when I’m the most stressed or anxious about really ridiculous (like embarassingly ridiculous) things, I like to write it out.  I feel too dumb to actually talk to someone about my random thoughts, but the echo chamber of my mind drives me insane.  So writing it and illustrating it via gifs is soothing.  When I write I find myself going back, editing, changing my opinions and thought processes in vivo.

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Part of why I never get much published is that I write, then I edit, then I sit on something for a day to be sure I don’t look at it the next day and cringe.  Then I do look at it the next day and cringe and I delete the entire thing.

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I write when I’m upset, annoyed, impulsive.  And even now, after stepping away for awhile because I hated everything I was writing, I find myself hating 90% of what I’ve written in the past.

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I don’t know what I expect of this blog.  It’s personal.  But it’s also political.  It’s the grand “The personal is political!”  I can’t stop being a feminist psychologist.  It’s impossible, apparently.  Even when I just want to rant and rave about things.

But seriously, I don’t know what to do here.  I like writing.  But I hate what I have to say.  I’m so not eloquent at all.  So putting my thoughts together takes forever.  But I feel like  I need an outlet to rant.  And doing it on facebook gets me in trouble (more on that in a later post, but I got kicked out of the family again–please read hyperbole, mother!).  IDK.  I’ll figure it out as a go along.

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Anyway, another year has gone by.  Another move.  Another medical diagnosis.  Another job.  But all in all good things.  I have a happy home, a happy job, a happy income level, a happy dog, a happy partner.  The only really not happy thing is my health.  My body has recently decided to turn on itself.  I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which means my joints are actively destroying themselves.  Yay autoimmune disorders? Anyway, after many months, I have a clear diagnosis and medication that helps me to get to somewhere around 85% my normal functioning (up from literally 3% functioning where I couldn’t get out of bed, walk, or even type.  I recall one day crying because I couldn’t squeeze toothpaste on my toothbrush.  I should write about that.  That sucked).  But my anxiety never seems to go away.  That shows up in the strangest of places.  I meditate now!  So crazy!  Part of this all comes from feeling that I have a partner that values me and values me valuing myself.  Weird, right?  Anyway.  I’m working on writing more. I have some stuff in the drafts.  Like I said, it goes through that editing process where I have to not cringe at it after a day.  Maybe soon?  I want to do more.  I will do more! I’ll put it in my damn bullet journal!  Yeah!  I”m one of THOSE people now!

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I had a terrible realization…

I had this little realization the other day…

See I just bought a bike a few days ago.  I was all excited because this meant I could run errands on my bike, bike to work (cause my new job is super close!), and get some exercise/relaxation at the local bike paths and forest preserves.  All around, pretty happy right?

Within a mile of my first fucking outing my self kicked in.  My brain.  My stupid brain.  My stupid internal competitiveness and attitude of self-hate.  All of the sudden, instead of going for a leisurely bike ride, I was competing with myself.  Timing myself and setting immediate goals.  What’s my time now?  What’s my speed?  How far can I go today?  How long until I can do 20 miles?  That’s too easy, 30 miles by the end of the month.  What schedule should I be on?  How many days a week can I get in an hour bike ride?  What’s my speed now?  What if someone is better than me?  How long before I’m better than them?  How much weight can I lose?  How much muscle can I gain if I do this 5 times per week?  Should I take a class or do a race?  Not until I can finish in the top 5%.  What’s even the point of doing this unless I’m going to compete.  I should at least be better than that rando I just passed.  I bet I can be healthier than my sister if I stick with this.

This thinking style sneaks up on me pretty much every time I start a new thing.  If I start running, I can’t just run.  I have to building.  I have to be competing with someone, even though they usually don’t know that they’re competing with me.  I can’t just have a hobby, I have to do it to until I pass out.  I have to give it my all.  It’s do or don’t.  And I don’t just let myself enjoy any of it.

It’s a terrible mentality that was drilled into me when I was a kid.  I was already a kind of obsessive kid (neurotypicalities kinda run in my family).  And then I started playing basketball.  Just a little background: in the town I grew up in, girls’ basketball was INSANE.  Like, we were just kind of expected to go to state.  You played year round, be it summer leagues, preseason conditioning, etc.  It was hypercompetitive to even make the team, let alone get any playing time.

I think my parents tried to put some limits on it when I was younger.  I wasn’t allowed to play travel teams (although I think this was also partly cost).  But my parents told me that high level of competitiveness wasn’t good for kids.  I was just bitter about because it meant I was falling behind.  So, just to make the team, I had to work harder and harder and harder.  Dedicate so much time to it.  It wasn’t healthy.  I knew it, because I wasn’t eating well, I wasn’t focusing, and I didn’t even care about playing so much as I just wanted to be better.  I was actually pretty miserable playing.  Especially once I started high school.  I didn’t even have any friends on the team and I’m pretty sure I cried out of frustration or physical pain every time I came home.  But I played for another year, and intended to play the following year.  I quit partly because of depression and partly because I felt I had to work.

But then that hyperfocus, hypercompetitiveness just transferred into my work.  I took like all of the hours that I could at work.  I wanted more and all the responsibilities.  I ended up moving jobs to get more time and experience and money.  By my senior year of high school, I worked two jobs, was enrolled part time in college courses and part time in high school, and was acting as a tech crew leader for the theater.  I was also applying to colleges and trying to get scholarships.  I don’t think that I ever stopped to enjoy any of this stuff.  I mean, it helped me to avoid the depression.  That was great.  But I just had to keep doing things and keep doing better and be a better worker than everyone around me.  Even if no one else knew.  (In fact, the other AP students would often say I didn’t deserve to be in the AP classes because I wouldn’t do the homework and they thought I was dumb.  Fuck those guys.  I killed the tests, which was all that mattered).

I struggle to slow down.  I struggle to relax and enjoy what I do and what’s going on around me.  I just have this constant need to work harder.  Go faster.  Do better than whatever I was doing.

That doesn’t sound like a terrible thing to some people, right?  No.  And in some ways it has been super helpful in getting me through college and grad school.  Getting a good job, two good jobs.  And putting my life back together when things get rough.

But at the end of the day, I end up exhausted.  Burnt out.  Isolated from the people and things around me because of my hyperfocus.  I know that it pushes people away.  And maybe I do it because, in addition to helping me avoid negative moods, it enables my social anxiety.  When I’m focused on work, I have a reason to avoid people.  I feel like if my friends saw this, they would be confused.  Because I don’t really do hobbies, at least I don’t get into them.  I don’t because I hate myself within 6 months after I start them; I’m burnt out and angry that I spent money.

Since I’ve had this realization, I’ve decided to try and be mindful about it.  Use it when I want to and try to manage it when I don’t want it interfering.  It’s a work in progress.

Bowie tried to save us.

I’m officially convinced that it was, in fact, David Bowie that was keeping all of the goodness in the world.  He took all of the bad and evil in the world and channeled it all to good and happy and wonder and curiosity.  And that’s why he was amazing.

See, for decades Bowie was able to take all of the evil and negative, absorb it, and turn it into, well…

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Yeah, all of that and so much more.

I believe that he tried his very hardest to do his best for human kind.  He absorbed what he bad and hate that he could.  But there was clearly too much. And it turned to cancer.  He couldn’t control it anymore.  And, yeah.

I mean, look at the world since he passed.  I don’t understand w. I’m not saying that Bowie was the last string holding shit together, I’m just saying.  We have lost his amazing glow.

We lost his beautiful metaphors and story telling about saving the world.  His many lyrical warnings and worries, that he refused to explain (See: Valentine’s Day).  Many times he tried to tell us that he had come here to save worlds and make things okay again (All the Young Dudes, StarMan, all of The Man Who Fell to Earth), but the world just wouldn’t let him.  He did everything he could to soak up the negativity and replace it with wonder.

We failed Bowie.  And now we have to suffer the consequences.  For not respecting all that Bowie did for us, that beautiful orange-haired space man was taken back to where ever he came from.  We are left with some other sort of orange-faced, hate-filled monster…It won’t end well.

Back! (I think. I hope.)

So I really don’t know where to start.  I have been absent from writing for well over a year now.  This was never my intention, but it just became a thing.  I can’t excuse it.  I don’t want to because this blog has very much been a self-care thing for me.

But my life has also changed pretty significantly in that year.  The biggest changes being that I ended a long-term relationship.  This was definitely for the best.  I feel better than I have in a long time.     I have finally dealt with and have some answers (or at least lack of further questions) with my health.  I became fully licensed as a clinical psychologist, meaning that I am no longer a trainee.  I have a new job that I feel significantly happier in so far.  I started a new relationship that is pretty awesome.  Overall, I feel like I am in a better place, having come to terms with a few of the things that led me to the anxious and irritable place that I was in.

So what got me back here and wanting to write this was looking one of my last posts.  Things that I wanted and goals.  I think I met a few of those.  I’m definitely still working on others.  I still struggle with social anxiety.  That’s something I’ve come to accept will probably never change.  I was shy and anxious as a kid (sometimes I do wonder if I would have met criteria for Selective Mutism, but my parents are not best record keepers and I don’t trust my own memories).  But, I feel more together and confident in a lot of areas.  The changes that happened were necessary and positive.

Yep.  Here I am.  Getting back into something that makes me happy.  Again, even if no one reads it.  I’m still trying figure out where I want to go with this.  I enjoy writing in such a stream of consciousness way.  I miss being able to just start on a topic and see where it takes me.  So I missed this.  Here I am!  Yay and I am making a commitment to myself to start writing again!

Here’s a Cumby!

 

Poll: What is wrong with me?

After a week of severe pain and going to work with a fever, I was finally told that I “look like death” and bribed into going to the doctor.  So I went to Urgent Care (cause it was Saturday afternoon by the time I got around to going).  They sent me to the ER because I needed imaging done and looked too hellish to wait until Monday.  So I got the kind of “cool” ultrasound that would make Scott Walker proud, told that I had fibroids and an infection, given antibiotics, and a ridiculous bill.  I took my pills and followed up with my doctor.  I was miserable for many days.  I was tired, depressed, confused, and feverish.

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So that was many weeks ago.  However said pain has not gone away.  I went back to doctor and was told “There’s no reason for you to still be experiencing pain.”  And I was sent on my way.

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So, since there is no reason for me to still be in pain and everyone keeps telling me this is in my head, I’m left wondering what the hell is wrong with me.

After consulting with my circle of people (which happens to include many therapists of different orientations as well as people who read too much), my options have been widdled down to:

Factitious Disorder
Conversion Disorder
Existential Crisis (Samuel Beckett style)
Hysteria (a la The Yellow Wallpaper)

To help you along, my symptoms include:

Feeling that someone is stabbing a knitting needle through my left ovary
Exhaustion
Ennui
Self-Loathing
Staring blankly at things without realizing that people are talking to me
Desire to read a lot of Murakami

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Your input is appreciated.

Life Goal: Getting my shit together.

I’m increasingly impressed with my ability to think that I’m a complete fuck up and later find out I’m only 90% fuck up.

In hopes of getting the most out of that 10% of success in life I’ve decided to make a list of life goals.

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They are these:

Get a second beagle puppy.

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Get a third (and possibly fourth) beagle puppy.

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Find a house in Chicago that is conducive to multiple beagles.

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Find a permanent job/never be a “trainee” again.

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Find a job that pays enough to maintain my lifestyle of Netflix, good bourbon, and beagles.

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Not have anxious, insecurity freakouts on boyfriend (more realistic goal: decrease number of anxious, insecurity freakouts on boyfriend)

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Be amazing like David Bowie.

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Resist urge to read comment sections in the news.

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Be able to talk to people at social gatherings (more realistic goal: decrease number of bourbons it takes to talk to people at social gatherings)

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Realize that “full time” means 40 hours, not 65, 70, or 80.  Also decrease caffeine intake.

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Convince self that socializing isn’t death

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Figure out why Ben and Jerry’s says there are 4 servings in a pint (it’s clearly 2 at best)

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Ok.  Plan to get life on Track: Go!

Introvert Fail.

I feel incredibly awful about having not written anything in nearly 4 months.  I ‘ve half written like 8 posts that just fizzled at some point.  I actually can’t even believe how much time has passed.  Mostly due to incredibly busy schedules and adjusting to new jobs and adult life which, as it turns out, sucks as bad as I always feared it would.  See, I thought, I hoped, that it would be one of those things that I built myself up for so much and then when it came it would all turn out to be okay.  Nope.  Nope nope nope nope nope.  Sucks.  Real bad.  Hate it, hate everything about it.

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Long story short, I may have entered adult world, but I am still my 5 year-old self who clearly wants to be left alone to play with my Legos and watch X Files in peace, and please don’t interrupt me while I’m reading.

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And, as it turns out, that is not how a functional adult functions.

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This is a fact I was not prepared for.  And it has now gotten me in trouble.  Gone are the days when I can kick ass and do my work alone in peace and kick ass at it while I make snarky comments under my breath because at least I know I kick ass at the work that I do.  No, apparently and this sucks real bad, I have to do this socialize thing.

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I’m going to blame my parents for not preparing me for this “office politics” thing.  I don’t really have a basis for this, but I can’t afford therapy right now.  Sorry Mom and Dad.  😦  I’m sure you did your best with me, but I fail in the functional socialization aspect of life.

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Anyway, apparently I don’t smile and chat enough at work and everyone hates me.  I seem to come off as “disengaged.”  Not sure what to with this information other than feel really bad about myself.  Can’t seem to get past that stage….

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But this is where I get so frustrated with myself.  I fully recognize that I am bad at interacting.  I don’t like it cause it’s genuinely hard when I first meet people.  I am one of those people who has to mindfully tell myself to look up from the ground, to look at people, and to smile, and to show interest.  It would be wonderful if these things came naturally.  But they don’t.  I’m usually not paying attention to my surroundings because I’m lost in my own thoughts, focused on whatever I’m doing or some random thought that popped up in my head.  I also have to mindfully tell myself to compliment or comment on people around me.  But I also have to focus on filtering the weird, tangential thoughts that I have to something more appropriate.  This, my friends, takes a minute.  So it ends up in this situation where I have to take a minute to put together thoughts into something socially appropriate, at which point the conversation has usually taken a turn or I have missed my opportunity.  And again I end up seeming disinterested, no matter the effort I’m putting forward.  These are the things that suck.

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Now, for my own self, I prefer just embracing the introverted thing.  That gives me the leeway to get used to a situation, see how much I actually have to filter and what I can get away with not filtering, also reducing the anxiety that makes the filter work slower.  Most of the time, this has worked out fine.  I spend a few months looking like a quiet weirdo and then come out of my protective hate shell.

But I promise if you get to know me I'm amazing!

But I promise if you get to know me I’m amazing!

But adult world does not want to be this patient.  So I am here now, drinking wine and wondering if Irishing up my coffee will help things when I return to work in the morning.  Introvert Fail.

I promise I’m really not a cold, disinterested bitch!  At least not on purpose!

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Although, in all fairness, I don’t ask anyone else to give a fuck about Asimov’s Foundation Triology or which David Bowie Era was the most creative.  <—Defensiveness

Long story short, absenteeism=shy adult anxiety stifling word writing ability.

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Me vs. Internet Companies

It never fails.  Internet hates me.  And all I tried to do is love it.  This is the story of every single time I move and try to get internet hooked up.

I call internet company and they tell me that it will be 3 weeks.  

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Fine.  Okay.  Whatever. 

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Week 2.  Patience wears thin.

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The day before interwebz comes, I start to celebrate and think about all the internetting I’m going to do.

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And the day comes and no one shows up.  And I call…

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And they’re like “blah blah blah, no internet for you.”  

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Me:

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Them:

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Please?

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Them:  Okay, we’ll send someone out in 3 more weeks.  Now, piss off.  Wait.

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wait…

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But it’s time now!!! Let’s call to make sure they are coming this time!

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Me:  Hey internet people!  Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!  What?  You’re not coming?

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Internet people:

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Me: 

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Them: “Let me see what we can do.”

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Me: …on hold….

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Them:

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Me:

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Them:

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Me:  “I don’t know why I ever trusted you.”

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Them:  Because you have no choice.

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Me:

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Until this gets resolved, Internet, just know this:

gg

My Weekend as Told by The B in 23

This weekend I learned that I should never leave town.  And there is a world of people I need to never interact with.  Because when I leave my house and interact with people…

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Seriously.  It was bad.

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I tried to give fucks.  But there were none to give.

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Luckily, there are a few supportive entities in the world.

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But now I need a break.  I return to my hole with my internets and dog and boyfriend.  Or else.

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But that’s behind us now.

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And anyway, I suppose it could have been worse.  I was preparing myself for worse.

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I think I’m just awful at being a human being.

The more I’m forced into Adult World the more I’m forced to realize that I”m bad at being a human being.

Really, I’m horrible.  I find human interaction absolutely exhausting.  I just legitimately DO NOT understand so many things that go into being a functional adult.  I’m learning that questioning things that are ” just what you do” get you hella side-eye.  Oh, and apparently you’re not supposed to admit how much you hate thing or try to be funny with your boss.  If your hobbies aren’t crossfit or something on pinterest, you are a weirdo.

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Instances that brought me to this conclusion:

Commiserating with co-workers about expensive travel, I said this: “I’m glad I don’t have any friends, it means I don’t have to go to a lot of weddings.”
Coworker:  “So…essentially you just said that friends a hassle.”
Me:  “Well…yeah…right?”

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Co-workers talking about weekend drinking, workouts, etc.  Then ask how my weekend was:  “Oh!  The antique shop down my street had a sidewalk sale!  It was so cool, OMG!”    *co-workers blink, then stare*

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My sisters asks me how I like my neighborhood: “It’s fucking weird.  All these people wave at me and shit and try to be friendly.  They invited us to a block party.  Who does that?”

My friend and I getting out of my car and neighbor waves “Hello:”  *awkward wave and forced smile* “quick, get inside before he thinks he can chat us up.”

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Family leaves after visiting for a weekend: begin immediate cleaning, hug dog, and tell him “it’s okay, it’s just me now.  And ice cream.”

On discussing the zombie (or other type of) apocalypse:
Me:  “I think I’d just die.”
Boyfriend:  “What?  Wouldn’t you like try to fight or save people or anything.”
Me: “No.  It just seems like it would be really hard.  Like, everything would be hard.  I don’t want to do that.”

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Debating the worth of Indian Jones movies with a history buff:
History buff:  “But Indiana Jones is like history adventure and action.  You add aliens and it’s just ridiculous Chariots of the Gods stuff.”
Me: “But all the other movies are based on religious myths.  I see religious myths and alien myths as the same….but I think that’s offensive to say isn’t it? umm….”

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Boyfriend getting ready to go out of town for weekend:
Boyfriend: “What are you gonna do while I’m gone?”
Me: “Transcribe research interviews.  Analyze.  Self-loath.”
Boyfriend: “Why don’t you go out with friends?”
Me: “…I don’t….have friends?”

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After my graduation ceremony:
Mom: “Did you want to go to that cocktail hour for your graduating class and see your classmates?”
Sister:  “You know she doesn’t.”

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When my friend comments on my back tattoo being hard to read:  “No, I like it that way because I don’t like when people comment on my tattoos and ask what they mean.”

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It’s become kind of a fun game, my utter lack of social grace/interest.  I’ve learned that if I laugh off the more offensive things that I say (only noticing how offensive they are as I get to the end of the sentence) I get people to just think that I’m a funny bitch.  This doesn’t always work and I often come off as just a bitch.  But I’ve also discovered that when I really REALLY try to be social and engage with people I’m fucking miserable.  I just don’t care.  I don’t care about the lives of 98% of people around me.  If you are my dog, boyfriend, or one of the very few friends and loved family members that are important in my life, I’m probably not going to try.

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I know when I really have to try.  I can do it for a bit at a time, socialize and be casual.  But, and I can’t stress this enough, it’s exhausting and stressful.  It’s who I am.  I’m bad at being a human.  I’m okay with that.

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