April 16, 2014

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

~Rumi. From this meditation on hospitality from Parker Palmer.

Love this.


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~Rumi. From this meditation on hospitality from Parker Palmer.

Love this.

December 18, 2013
Why can’t life come with a manual?

Seriously. I’m 31 years old and I still feel like there’s basics I struggle with. Like, how does one get closure when the one get need it from can’t or won’t give it? How do you grieve the end of something when it didn’t end with a bang; it just fizzled out without any real closure? How come I intellectually know telling someone that has hurt my heart won’t make anything change but deep down I want to tell this person they hurt me and I’ve wasted too many pointless tears over them? And most of all, why do I care?

I know I need to stop beating myself up for my feelings. Not only am I sad and hurt and embarrassed, but then I add in shame, guilt and confusion and it just muddies everything. I keep thinking that I’m crazy because of all of this, but I think I just have a hard time not getting closure. Not being able to say “hey, asshat, thanks for lying to and bs’ing me and jerking around my feelings. Thanks also for pulling your shit right at graduation and right as bar study started so I had a hard time focusing, asshat” really makes it hard for me to move on. I think I need to realize that no matter what I do or say, nothing will change. I can write a mean email and get it off my chest and he still won’t validate my feelings or make it right. And that’s hard to accept. I try hard in my life to be open to people and be a good friend and to not bullshit people, so it hurts when it’s done to me and I don’t really know how to handle it. Clearly.

I just want this to stop catching me when I’m reminded of him or someone brings up his name. I am going to try just accepting my feelings and letting them pass. That’s all I really can do. Beating myself up and willing the feelings to go away has not been successful thus far. I wrote him an email back in July (never sent, obvi) and it helped. I probably need to do more of that. Also if any of to happen to run into him feel free to nut-kick him for me. Just sayin. I doubt he even knows I’m this hurt, but that doesn’t help me feel any less angry or hurt, when you can’t discuss it or talk it over with the dude.

October 21, 2013


After struggling with anxiety, illustrator Toby Allen decided to draw what the illness looked like—as a monster. This has since developed into the Real Monsters project, which includes his depictions of Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Social Anxiety, and more. They are drawn “to give these intangible mental illnesses some substance and make them appear more manageable as physical entities.” Here’s to creatively expressing mental health struggles—and overcoming our monsters.

(Source: psfk.com)

September 26, 2013

I’m so pissed.  I keep telling myself (and others) that I’m over it.  That it’s not a big deal.  I mean, yeah, I’m not crying myself to sleep anymore.  But I’m PISSED.  The worst part is that I can’t express this anger to the person that has treated me this way.  He deserves to know that he treated me far less than I deserve to be treated.  That I know he treated me that way. That it’s not ok.  I find myself hoping that he’s miserable at his new/old job, and I don’t generally wish ill on people.  I had a dream that I passed the Bar last night, and in the dream I sent him an email that told him “hey I know you don’t care, but I passed the Bar, and it’s no thanks to you since your bullshit caused my study time to be about 50% less efficient than it could have been.  Dick.”  Honestly it would be so nice to tell him that.  I don’t honestly know how to deal with anger.  Like, what happens next?  Normally I eat my way around it and never deal with it.  But I’m not doing that, so I’ve been having trouble sleeping, and I’ve been really moody, and I think it’s this anger I’m carrying around.  I can’t directly confront the asshole, so what do I do?  Just blog?  Bitch and complain until I’m sick of myself?  For reals, I dunno.  I really wish I could tell him he’s an ass hat.  And I hope his life still sucks.  I mean, I know he doesn’t give a shit, but it’s nice to think he might.  Hey, thanks for dropping back into my life during the most stressful time of my life, then ditching me during Bar study time with no explanation and being a terrible friend. Thanks for flat out lying to me when I called you out on your crap.  You.  Are.  A.  Dick.  Seriously, just writing this now, my heart is racing and I feel like hitting something.  I don’t have issues with exploding anger, but I do internalize it.  What are you supposed to do with anger?  I’ve googled (no joke) and it’s all about what to do to control it - but I have the opposite problem, so I just don’t know.  Screaming “YOU’RE A FUCKING DICK” to ass hat would help, but since that isn’t a (realistic, healthy) option, I’m just not sure.  I know anger is normal, but I need help with working through it.

August 21, 2013

I’ve been a little hesitant to write because I don’t want to jinx myself, and, well, I’m feeling so dang good.  

I got hit with a bad bout of food poisoning on Monday morning and had been laid up until pretty much Tuesday night.  I noticed as I was recovering Tuesday that I was feeling….better.  Not just physically but mentally.  I wasn’t racing through thoughts of jerk face (I’ve been able to refer to him negatively - I think it’s a good sign I’m getting angry and grieving), wondering why he doesn’t care, what I did wrong - the tapes of my summer.  They are gone.  I mean they sneak up here and there for about a second.  But I haven’t felt this light in a while.  I’m not sure if people have been praying for me or if I just puked it all out Monday - but I feel a lot like myself again.  

Even as I sit here, typing this, I’m sorta looking over my shoulder thinking it’s going to hit me in the face again when I least expect it.  And maybe it will, but in 4 months I haven’t felt this good, so I’ll take it.

I’m volunteering with my usual group with Nashville Humane Association on Saturday, which I haven’t done in months.  I think that will help me gain some perspective on life…just because one dude doesn’t want to have lunch with me (yes, I know how lame that sounds, thanks, anxiety) doesn’t mean the world is over.  I have so much to give and there are plenty of people who are deserving of what I have.  So I’m going to focus my energy on that instead.

I don’t think I can adequately describe how crazy I have felt all summer.  I’m not sure anyone could even understand unless they’ve experienced it.  Basically, I’ve been feeling and thinking (and sometimes acting) like a 15 year old girl, except I’m 31 and fully aware of how ridiculous I feel/think/act.  Then for me, when I’m feeling that anxious about myself and know how ridiculous my anxiety makes me sound, I get into the self-hating depression.  Which then makes me anxious.  It’s one vicious self-defeating cycle.  It’s also hard because I feel like just even having anxiety makes me lesser of a person and it’s led to a lot of issues with my self-esteem and self-trust.

I think that’s the root of what I am struggling with right now - trusting myself.  Even in the situation with jerk face, I would say something and then immediately regret it.  Or, choose not to say something and then wish I had and spend days beating myself up because I hadn’t said it.  It’s SO EXHAUSTING.  Nobody’s brain can take that much abuse and back and forth and doubt, especially from themselves.  

All I know is that I feel like I’ve turned the corner.  I’m not expecting to feel 100% fine about this situation with jerk face, but I think the intensity is starting to go down (which is important so I can start functioning again).  And I know that this craziness I’ve been through is just a symptom of a larger issue.  I’m ready to work through it so that the next time something like this hits me, I’m not down for so long.

August 16, 2013
The Upside of Anger

I watched the movie “The Upside of Anger” several years ago.  I actually didn’t really love it (too slow, characters were a little wearing) but the moral of the movie was amazing and has always stuck with me.  Basically the wife/mother of four daughters spends the entire movie having a meltdown and destroying herself out of anger over her husband skipping town with his secretary and never speaking to the family again.  She spends all this time and energy on being so full of hate and rage and anger.  Then SPOILER ALERT come to find out he had actually fallen into a ditch out behind their house and died.  Hence no contact.  So, she realizes she has spent years carrying around all this negativity over something that never even happened.  She just assumed.

Obviously, my situation isn’t nearly so dramatic, but I often wonder if this is what I’m doing to myself.  I have nothing to go on in regards to why he’s chosen to ignore me.  A little context - we’ve known each other a little over two years.  He got a new job about a year ago and we don’t move in the same circles so I didn’t expect to ever hear from him again.  I had made peace with that even though it bummed me out.  Then, out of the blue in April he wrote me to see how school was going, and we talked back and forth a little and decided to meet for lunch.  I was pretty pumped!  I mean, I had missed him and we make each other laugh and I can just be me around him, so I was excited.  So we figured out a day and time.  Then, the day before we were going to go, he cancelled.  I tried to set up another time (and even said that if he really didn’t want to go that that was ok too - just to be upfront with me) and he assured me that wasn’t the case.  Fast forward about a month, I go to email him on a social networking site to check in, and realize he’s blocked me from being able to contact him.  To me that means there is some animosity or he thinks I’m crazy and no longer wants to hear from me.  I just cannot for the life of me wrap my head around someone actively reaching out to me, asking to go to lunch, and then ignoring and blocking.  Hence the round and round and round in my mind constantly.  I would do much better if I just knew WHAT it was - whether it might hurt my feelings or not.  Personally, I would rather be told a hurtful truth then to just be ignored.

Anyway, back to my point - I know most of what I’m putting myself through is caused by my own assumptions about this situation.  I have no idea what is going on in his life or what he thinks.  But it’s so hard when you have nothing to go on and no explanation.  This is the worst case scenario for someone suffering from OCD (heavy on the O).  I really hope by just putting it out there and with some time, I can realize this pain and confusion is not bigger than me and I can get through this.

August 16, 2013

My latest descent into all-consuming anxiety and depression started in May.  I was contacted by an old friend (who I hadn’t seen in months and that I was missing terribly) who wanted to say hello and wanted to do lunch.  We were texting and figuring out when to go, and, long story short, he just stopped communicating with me with no explanation, and has not responded to my attempts to re-initiate contact.

I have been wracking my brain all summer (while studying for the bar exam) wondering what I did, wondering what happened, convinced that I must have done something to cause this reaction in him.  I have cried.  A lot.  I have bored my friends with analyzing every conversation.  It’s been so exhausting.  Mentally and physically. So, because I got so tired of feeling so bad, I started eating a lot to deal with the discomfort.  I had lost almost 40 pounds from January to mid-May and just threw my good habits out the window.  Most of June, I barely worked out, ate whatever I wanted (mostly sugar and large portions) and started driving myself crazy trying to figure out what I did.

Then came July.  31 days that I would like to forget ever happened.  Probably the worst time of my life outside of undergrad (that’s another story for another time).  I went to my doctor at the end of June to adjust my medicine (to help with my obsessing and anxiety) and it caused a side effect that made me suicidal.  I don’t think I have ever felt so close to the brink then when that happened.  Luckily, it was another quick change to my meds and that side effect went away, but it set the tone for the rest of the month.  I never quite bounced back from that.  I struggled to get out of bed every morning  I slept 12 hours a day.  I studied for the bar while all of this was happening, but spent so much time being anxious about whether I was doing enough or what I should be doing better, that I’m not sure how effective my actual study time was (I guess we will see in October!).  

I continued to beat myself up over the situation with my old friend.  Even in the midst studying for the most important test of my life I just couldn’t let it go (thanks OCD).  It was horrible.  I managed to pull myself together in regards to the obsessing the last couple of weeks of July and focus on the Bar studying, but my depression stayed.  I’m not even sure how I made it to the Bar and actually took the test.

The week in between the Bar and going back to work was not so bad, I felt like the weight of the world was off of me, and that I had turned the corner on the situation with the friend.

Wrong.  I got back to work on Monday.  I immediately started obsessing again and took what felt like 100 steps back.  I started wondering what i did wrong, regretting things I had done and said during our few conversations before he disappeared, and blaming myself entirely for the situation.

I have been struggling with why I care so much.  I know that what one person thinks of me doesn’t define me.  But I can’t let it go.  I don’t like not having closure, and I like having explanations for things, even if I might not like what someone has to say.  I can accept and understand anything, if I know what anything is.  But I won’t get one in this case, and I just know I need to let it go.  I’m also pretty angry that this person chose to contact me after months of not speaking, then I get excited, and then they just drop me.  I don’t know; it just hurts.

Which leads me to what I realized last night after having a major meltdown, where my depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts took over with such fierceness that I could hardly function - I thought I have been grieving this situation this whole summer.  I was wrong.  What I have been doing is refusing to accept the fact that I have been rejected by someone I care a lot about.  Literally typing that, thinking that, hurts.  REJECTED.  By someone I genuinely care about and would not choose to reject and ignore.  It’s like he said, sorry, I don’t care about you and you are not important to me.  That’s what it feels like.  That may or may not be how he feels but that’s how it feels in my head.

I mean, everyone gets rejected and it sucks, but most adults bounce back pretty quickly.  That’s what anxiety does.  Your mind takes over and your fears and worries become what you view the world through.  It really messes with your mind.  I think the combination of stress from the Bar with my utter disappointment in this situation just did me in.

I’m hoping now that I’ve started to accept the reality of this situation I can start to really grieve and move on.  I know that’s what happens and how it’s supposed to work - but I’ve spent my adult life eating to deal with emotions and pushing them away and avoiding them - so this is new for me.  It’s scary.

I’m hoping by sharing this that I can help people understand me better and help to remove so much of the stigma around mental illness.  No matter what your circumstances this stuff can take you over.  It’s tough.  But I hope by talking about what’s on my mind it can help me to heal and grow and handle a situation like this in the future much better.

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