Can You Live Without Me?

If you’ve been living under a rock, then you might not know that the *amazing* Halsey recently released a track called “Without Me” (view video at the bottom) in which she sings about a toxic relationship. She stated that it was a “mix” of relationships she’s had in the past, with some stories from friends, but I definitely think it’s solely about G-Eazy, but I digress.

The lyrics are pretty much all amazing and oh-so relatable, but there’s one or two lines that stand out for me the most:

Just running from the demons in your mind
Then I took yours and made ’em mine

This spoke so deeply with me because it’s something I do all the time in relationships, with partners,  friends, and family. I take on their “demons” and make them mine, making it easier to push everything going on in my life aside. For example, I have a slew of mental illnesses that one couldn’t even count on two hands, yet whenever one of my friends has a minor inconvenience or is experiencing an episode themselves, I immediately stop what I’m doing to focus on them. A very close friend of mine just texted me that she wanted to jump off her building this morning (but ended up going to her Doctor instead, thankfully), and I instantly dropped all the work I was doing to try and talk her off the figurative ledge. I went on and on about how she needed to see someone (girl had been going through some SHIT) and needed to fix her meds, etc. I even went as far as suggesting she go and check herself into a psych ward, if only for a few days, to get her situation sorted out and get her meds/therapy back on track.

This quickly brought me back to the afternoon where this, almost exact, thing happened to me and my therapist had to almost 302 me into a psych ward right before Thanksgiving (around this time about five years ago). I thought she was insane and 100% out of her mind. Eventually I succumbed, but it wasn’t without push back. And even then, I thought I was ok enough to leave the facility early and ended up in the hospital just days later after an accidental overdose…Again, I digress.

While at times I can live a crazy life with the ups and downs of my mental illness, I will always take on the “mother” role when it comes to my friends, partners, and family. I completely ignore my own issues, putting them on the back burner to look at at a later time, or maybe never. I know it’s a coping mechanism, but it’s who I am. I’ve said this time and time again, “I wouldn’t wish what I go through on a daily basis onto my worst enemy,” and I stand by that. The torment of the mind is a terrible thing, especially when there is nothing that can really be done about it aside from medications that don’t always work and therapy sessions that goes around in circles.

It’s just who I am. Even in rehab I would push my fellow residents to complete their tasks and meals, as I sat there, blatantly disobeying my orders because I couldn’t fathom letting go. Sometimes I fear I’ll always be like this and push my feelings and issues to the side in order to help others, and I still can’t figure out if that’s the worst thing in the world? I know I need to take care of “me” but there’s nothing wrong with helping others, right?

Why do I, or we, deem our issues to be of less importance and put others before ourselves? More importantly, why do (sometimes) our so-called “friends” allow us to do so?

 

Here’s the fabulous song and video for your watching pleasure:

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A Fierce Fire – How a 13 Year-Old’s Poem Ruined My Weekend

Last weekend, my family and I escaped to Williamsburg, Virginia, for a dreaded family reunion. (The five-hour long drive did not help.) After finally arriving after a shocking eight hours due to heavy traffic, I deeply inhaled on a Marlboro Light to ease my tension and anxiety from sitting in a car with my parents, listening to my step-father mutter four-letter words under his breath.

After unpacking and attempting to still settle my nerves, I was called to the lobby to venture out to the main historical strip for a quick dinner with my family in tow, including my step-grandfather who had yet to speak a single word to me (it wouldn’t be until the third day there until we spoke briefly). We arrived at the meek diner serving cold food when all I wanted to do was head back to my room to rest or interact with my nieces and nephew.

Let’s fast forward through the days spent viewing the historical sites to which my nine year-old niece deemed “boring.” Saturday evening was to be the real reunion dinner at a local spot near the hotel. For some background, my grandparents love the show Seinfeld and decided to have our own version of a “Festivus.” For said “Festivus,” each family was instructed to bring a family photo to be placed on a piece of cardboard to be displayed at the dinner. My grandparents also took some of their own photos from over the years to place up, as well. This is where I come to my true story.

As I glanced over the board and examined closely pictures from my childhood, teen years, and images of my grandmother as a young adult, I came across a poem I had written when I was 13 (I was big into poetry and writing in general in my teen years). After not remembering the poem, I quietly stood there to read it over and ended with a gasp and horrified look on my face. The poem reads:

A Fierce Fire

10:00AM, Saturday.
I could hear the screaming bacon,
As it started to sizzle.
Knock, Knock.
It was my mother.
Come down stairs, girls.
I quickly got tense
For I knew it was time
For the family meeting.
I knew
It was coming.
My tears poured down my face,
Like a warm waterfall.
I couldn’t stand the noise!
I tried to remember the good times,
But like a fierce fire,
The bad ones burned them away.
I try not to cry
When they tell me the truth,
But I know that whatever happens,
My life will change.

As you may have guessed, this poem was about my parent’s divorce when I was five. It was completely fabricated, as I don’t recall them telling us about the divorce, but I was a creative soul at the ripe age of 13.

As if in an instant, the memories started flooding my brain of what I actually remember from the divorce and how it did actually affect me. The poem served as a reminder of how tormented and depressed I was as a teen, and yet no one noticed these symptoms until years later. It was my cry for help that went unanswered. Clearly my grandmother didn’t have the time to sit and read the poem, as I would assume if she had, she wouldn’t have included it, but you never know with her.

Seconds after finishing the poem, the depression came back “like a fierce fire” and I suddenly realized that I would have to sit in this restaurant filled with people I barely knew that had probably read it in shock for another three hours. It essentially ruined my night. I know it may seem silly to let something as trivial as a 13 year-old’s poem of sadness get to me, but I couldn’t help what I was feeling inside.

It still sits with me, almost a week later, about how my parents chose to ignore my cries for help, and continued to do so for most of my life. It brought back horrible memories of panic attacks and serious bouts of depression that were deemed me simply being upset. How could no one tell?

Eventually I will forget how this poem made me feel and I will go on with my life, but the question will always remain, “why didn’t anyone ever think to do anything?”

Recognizing When You Need Help

This may be one of the hardest things to do in life. We are constantly at a battle with ourselves, yet find it impossible to ask for help, even for the smallest things. We want to be able to do it ourselves and be proud, yet the journey ultimately leads to stress, anxiety, and even more harmful effects.

“I don’t want to burden anyone,” “I can take care of this myself,” “I need to be able to do this myself,”are some of the many mantras that go through my mind on a daily, maybe even hourly basis. It’s scary asking for help – it’s admitting defeat and letting go of all control. However people can simply push this thought away and keep turning it back into “I’m fine,” when what they really mean is “I’m not ready for help.”

Let me tell you: you will never be ready. You can wait to hit rock bottom all you want, but if you’re in it deep enough, rock bottom never comes until it smacks you in the face and the consequences are severe. I discovered this about two years ago when I suddenly broke down and my parents forced me into the hospital. Well, I “obliged” when my doctor said I could drop dead at any second, even though I was still in denial, and I couldn’t bare to see that look in my mother’s eyes again. So I did my time and in 6 long weeks I was released back into the real world. But was I ready? Technically I should have stepped down to a lower level of care, but my same mantra of “I can take care of this myself” slowly crept back into my mind.

I could go on and on about my achievements and struggles over the past few years, but the point of this post is I’m coming at the crossroad again of wondering if I really can or cannot do this on my own. While I do have a team of doctors (therapist, psychiatrist, pcp), there’s only so much they can do. They can’t be with me every second of the day, watching my every move. Unfortunately, I know I need that. I need someone to figuratively hold my hand throughout the day and push me when I don’t want to be pushed and fight me when I fight back.

I’ve taken the necessary steps to understand how I can get help, regarding short term disability for work and looking into various centers, which is huge considering my past denial and refusal to give up my job. But what is next? That’s up to me and me alone.

The question still remains, “do I need it or can I just do it myself?”

2017 is Just a Sunday

“Can’t wait until 2017!”

“2017 is my year!”

“So done with 2016!”

I hate to break it to you, but January 1, 2017 is this Sunday, and I 100% promise you it’s going to be just like every other Sunday you’ve had for the past year, minus the fact that you may have off on Monday.

Sure, you may have “new goals” for yourself, which I clearly don’t believe in (as stated here), but you’ll still be the same person. Truth be told, there are a lot of things about 2017 that I’m not looking forward to:

  1. Trump will be sworn in as our President
  2. Sweet little Joe Biden will leave us
  3. I have 3 major conferences to deal with at work
  4. My company’s largest conference is in June, which means my work load is about to quadruple
  5. I’ll be testing out a new medication (which could go either way, good or bad)

Sure, good things may come with 2017:

  1. I could (hopefully) get a promotion at work
  2. My lease is up in July and I want to move to the city (or a city)
  3. I’m hoping to plan a few trips throughout the year (my good friend is getting married in Austin, so that’s already a trip set)
  4. I want to start volunteering
  5. I’ll be testing out a new medication (which could go either way, good or bad)

But these are all “maybes” because I don’t know what’s going to happen after Sunday, except the next day will still be Monday, then Tuesday, and so on. Also, some of these things aren’t dependent on the fact that it’s a new year. I could start looking at volunteer opportunities right now (if I wasn’t feeling so lazy).

Maybe I’m just being my usual cynical self, but I just don’t get it. Come Sunday morning, I’ll be the same person, and so will you.

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Via Happy New Year Store

When did We Lose Ourselves?

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Via GIFY

I was sitting outside last night, smoking a cigarette, and as I watched the smoke float up into the air, I thought, why do I do this to myself? Because it feels good? Sure, but how long does that actually last? For me, maybe a few minutes or a few hours, depending on my level of stress. For others, it could be different. But it wasn’t the cigarette I was concerned about, it was the general idea of why we do terrible things to ourselves?

Drinking until blacked out; inflicting physical pain; inflicting emotion pain, starving; throwing up; binge eating; self-deprecation; doing drugs; the list goes on. We do these things to feel better or maybe to escape, but is that the actual outcome? Does it last? Hours, days, months, even years later, do we actually feel better or free from our problems? If it’s consistent, then maybe the answer is yes. I can attest to many of these actions helping me to cope with various issues, but when it comes down to it, at the end of the day my problems are still there and I’m left with mental and sometimes physical scars.

Some people aren’t able to ever stop and see the other side. I’ve straddled that line many times, and may be doing so right now. It’s hard to see and even harder to sit down with yourself and ask “why?” The hardest part, in my opinion, is learning that reason, or that there is no real “reason,” and trying to figure out how in the hell to stop and find a better way to cope. That’s the place I’m in and I’ve been in multiple times. You’re in limbo, not sure where the light is at the end of the tunnel, or if it even exists. I like to believe it does, but I’ve yet to see it.

I know it’s much more complicated than the things I’ve written here, because I’ve lived it. I’m still living it. But I still beg the question:

Why do we find it so easy to destroy ourselves?

New Year, SAME Me

Whip out your steno pads, fresh 2017 calendars, journals, and any other surface with which you can scribble down your New Year’s Resolutions! Diet? YES! Organization? YES! Exercise? YES! Be less of a bitch? Meh, maybe not. What incredible and outlandish goal will you create for yourself come January 1? How do you even begin to choose? If you’re like me, you just don’t. Plain and simple.

People make extravagant, ridiculous goals and resolutions for themselves, only to fail and ultimately feel like shit. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve said that I was going to diet starting January 1, only to find myself crying over a pint of Ben & Jerry’s on January 7; I’ve signed up for gym memberships and cancelled them six months later; I’ve created lists of 30 books to read by the end of the year and found myself scrambling to finish book number four come December. Why was I setting myself up to lose? How was this added pressure in my life making it any better? And WHY did I have to put a timeframe on it? I was getting nowhere, up until a few years ago.

I could say it was a “chilly afternoon in mid-December” when I came to this realization, but in reality it was probably just some random day when I was bored AF, just trying to find things to think of that would provoke a panic attack. Classic me.

During that time, I decided that I would make goals for myself whenever I felt it necessary with no dead-set timeline (you will always need some sort of timeline or nothing will get done).

Consider a few weeks ago: A friend of mine let me borrow a book of hers that I had to read. Well, it’s been sitting on my dresser ever since, with piles of shitty jewelry covering the title. I saw it there as I was cleaning my room (a simple weekend goal I set for myself) and remembered I had an unfinished book on my kindle, along with three others that I NEEDED to buy during the Amazon Kindle sale (don’t ask). I told myself, “yo, read the damn book.” I paused my desire to read this new book, to go back to an old desire to finish the other book. So I picked up my Kindle and placed it on my coffee table. Granted, it’s been there a few days, it’s there and it crosses my mind every time I walk by. Actually, I’m looking at it right now and thinking I should probably get to it once I’m done writing.

Most importantly, I’m not putting any unnecessary pressure on myself. I’ve already had a glass of wine, so I’m kind of tired, but I’m also not too tired to pick it up and read a few pages (clicks? I don’t know the proper wording for the use of a Kindle). Sure, I may make another excuse not to read the book tonight, but I’ll forgive myself. I didn’t say my plan was fool-proof. But sometimes life happens. Why didn’t I read the original book in the first place? Because life happened. I purchased the book right before I had three crazy work projects due and two vacations coming up. Naturally I forgot about it. But at this moment in my life, work has died down a tiny bit and (unfortunately) I don’t have any upcoming trips.

The whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing might work for some people. More power to you! But if you’re like me and struggle to complete the simple task of reading a damn book, consider making smaller goals as you move throughout life. Things change and you should be able to change with them.

As I always say, to each his or her own. But sometimes, my way is better.

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Via Reaction GIFs

Okay so…

So maybe “I’m back” wasn’t quite the best way to start off. I think “I’m Almost Back” probably would have went over a little better.

It’s only been 16 days, so like, whatever. Sorry guys. I’m the worst, I know. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to write in your critically acclaimed blog. Just kidding, like every 20-30 year old has a blog and they find all the time in the world to write. My problem is a compilation of things from my brain being to fried after work, sheer laziness, and honestly, a lack of creativity in knowing what to write. BUT (a big one, unlink my own), I did say, somewhere back in the abyss of 2015, that I was going to write here about anything that came to mind, just to brush up on my skills. And here I am, acting like I have nothing to write about. Psshh. Impossible.

So much has happened since I last wrote here, so that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about. It may not be interesting or always as hilarious as my natural self, but it’s going to be something: something deeper maybe? I’m not sure. But hopefully, just maybe, it may improve my ability to form coherent sentences.

I can’t tell you when I’ll write my next post, but I’m hoping to aim for once a week. I know, I know, I’ve said all this before, and maybe I’m lying again. I won’t find out until I try. So cheers to me trying to get this thing going again.

*As always, constructive criticism is always welcomed. Note I said constructive. I’m not a genius people and I don’t respond well to anger, even though as a person, I may be one of the angriest people alive.

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via GIPHY

Side note: I really need to revamp the look of this thing because it is down-right boring and ugly as all hell.