Waking up on the right side of the bed is nice.

Last night, I had a strange – but nice - dream. In my dream, I was in my apartment sitting at my kitchen table, and in walks “D”. I’ll mention that Roomie and my sis were a couple for as long as “D” and I were together, so whenever Sis and I  made trips to see each other,  we'd all go out like a double date situation. I liked that Roomie and “D” got on so well: We all had it in our heads that were going to be a big happy family one day. So in my dream, Roomie had invited him over for a visit. Normally this would have pissed me off as we did not part on good terms, but I was oddly at peace with the whole situation. We sat and had a brief chat to catch up. He told me about his new girlfriend and how things were going. I was surprised to learn that it was not great. This new girl didn’t like a lot of things about him, most especially that he was bald, so he had stopped shaving his head. It may have been a dream, but I can tell you that the awful hair was exactly how it would have looked if he let what was left of it grow back.

Were I awake, I’m sure I would have felt smug to see how he suffered while I flourished.  Instead, I remember looking at him in a new light, a sad one. It made me unhappy to know that this girl was trying to change him. He and I may not have been good for each other, but we are each perfect for someone out there. We tried to change each other in small ways to make us fit together better, but in the end it was no use. I was not happy with the dulled-down person I had become and he couldn’t dream of filling the expectations I had in a partner. In my dream I would have told him as much, but he never liked how opinionated I was.

Anyways, this dream had me waking up feeling great. Just a few weeks ago, it still made me mad to think of him and how he’s wronged me. Now I feel like  I’ve finally forgiven him. I can bring him to mind and feel only contentment that we had parted ways when we did and hopeful that he’ll find someone who’s particular brand of perfect he already is.


Yesterday, I told the roomie that I needed sleep badly - work is crazy at the end of the month, and my paperwork was about to bend me over my desk and screw me. If I didn't get any sleep again, I would be fucked, so please be quiet...

At the time, I was exaggerating. Today, work actually bent me over and screwed me. If it was at all enjoyable, it would have been an orgasmic marathon. But it was not enjoyable. I turned my mountain of paperwork into a fortress of files on my desk to (unsuccessfully) hide behind. I got frazzled fast - I was putting my pens into my coffee mug full of coffee and got all droppy-handsish. At one point, I thought I knew what it must feel like to be autistic. There were six voices around me all going at once and something shiny on my desk distracting me. It all got so overwhelming, I just shook my head crazily and walked away without a word. 

I thought I looked like a spaz, but one of my co-workers came up to me and asked "How do you stay so calm??"

"I'm on meds, " I responded, deadpan.

"Well, so am I, " she said, looking exasperated, "but they're not working like yours."

"I'm actually crying on the inside," I confided.

"Oh, ok - that's better. I knew it wasn't just me."

The kicker is it's still not quite the end of the month, and I have to do it all over again tomorrow.

*(I should clarify that I actually do love my job: the end-of-month madness makes me appreciate the next three weeks so much more.)
**(And wine. Wine is so much better when you work that hard for it.)

Striking a Balance (seems impossible, just saying.)

Something my therapist told me to consider was that I am way too hard on myself. I set expectations for myself and when I fail to achieve a goal it gets me down - like really down. I know she's right about this, but I have no idea where the habit came from and when.

To be frank, no one ever had expectations for me when I was growing up. Because my mother was at work for the bulk of my formative years and my father was completely out of the picture by the time I was 2, the responsibility of "raising" me fell onto a number of babysitters. I don't remember a lot about them, because there were just too many, but most of them were stay-at-home moms. I know there were a number of Newfies, and that one of them had dentures and it freaked the shit out of me when she whipped them out... I digress.

The problem with being raised by these babysitters is that all of them had their own children to pile their expectations onto. Sis and I were simply around for extra income, not to be parented.  I didn't know any one expected me to get a diploma, find a career, and/or make grand-babies for them one day. Looking back as an adult who set these expectations for herself, this actually sounds like bliss. 

I mean, yes, I knew one day I was going to have to fend for myself and I figured getting a diploma and not having to work at McDonald's was good idea. I scraped by with the bare minimum of actual academic courses but managed to graduate with 130 credits because of all the art electives. I even went to college (or a "mish-mash of bullshit lessons I will never use") for a while. I had a string of piddly jobs that payed my rent and supported my extra-curricular activities, but they were nothing to write home about. It's actually kind of a miracle I even got that far as I had virtually no encouragement to succeed or threat of punishment if I failed.

So where did this habit of setting not just goals, but pretty damn hard ones for myself come from? Why do I all of a sudden have an imaginary deadline to hammer out the details of my career so I can buy a house all while trying to find a suitable mate and pump out children before I turn 35 (because, for some unknowable reason, I am now aware that there are potential health risks when you have kids after a certain age)? Am I unconsciously competing with my peers, or are my hormones telling me this just what I need to do? 

I don't know when I started giving any fucks about these things, but it's confusing and frustrating. I am a creature of extremes, you see: toeing a line between any two things is damn near impossible for me to do. I'm really going to have to work hard to strike a balance between wanting these things and being OK if I don't get them when/how I want them, I guess.

... oh, God. Did I just set another impossible goal for myself?


The Power of a Good Friend (aka: Melon-Farming Superheroes)

So, I have this friend, a really great one. I haven't known him for as long as some other buddies, but he's actually one of the best that I have. Let me explain to you why:

Some times (a lot of times, actually) I feel like I'm alone and I have to struggle with life's hurdles without help from others. It's mainly because I don't know how to ask for help, and I am easily disappointed - unjustly so. I can't expect people to just read my mind and know that I need help, but I kind of do it anyway. So I've taken on the mentality that if I don't have expectations of others, I won't be disappointed. It's a win-win, right?

But this friend, he surprises me all the time. Just when I am starting to feel so completely isolated I lose hope, this guy swoops in and saves my day. Sometimes he knows I just need some one to have a five minute chat with (or vent to) over a smoke. Some times he rescues me from my life altogether. It's kind of hard to explain, but he has a way of making me talk my issues out till they're not issues anymore. His advice is always sound, and I listen gladly to what he has to say. He is my Voice of Reason when my Logical Self has checked out for the day. And in being so, he redeems all the negative thoughts I had about how one-sided friendships can be. 

Truly, if you have even only one friend who makes you feel this way, you are blessed just like me.

Sobriety & Roommates (aka: Not So Sober Any More)

When I was all graduated from high school, I decided to loosen up a little. And by a little, I mean I went all-out party animal for 4 years. I thought I deserved it. I had been a good teenager, got good grades never got into trouble. So I started drinking (every other night), smoking up (all the time), experimenting with drugs (only on weekends) and sleeping around. 

This was all a lot of fun, and I have no regrets about the decisions I made. I think of them as life lessons in the art of letting go. That being said, the phase did not last long. The truth is it is exhausting spending that much energy on having fun. And it was toxic, bad for the body and soul (and short-term memory). But none of my friends were at that stage yet. Without really realizing what it would mean for my partying, I made the decision to move to another city where I had no friends and, more importantly, no hook-ups. 

That was over four years ago, and I never really regretted moving on from that part of my life. It's nice to come home to an empty apartment, do nothing but read and watch youTube videos. I like going to bed at 10 pm. I like that my idea of a fun night out is getting together my girl friends and grabbing a bite or maybe seeing a movie. Every now and again, I'll imbibe in a bottle of wine. It's calm and steady and perfect for me. 

I'd hoped all of my old friends would reach adulthood some day. And one of them has finally decided to make that step. He made a choice to move up here and try to get his life on track. And I, with my compulsive need to help every one, happily and enthusiastically opened my doors to him.

This was less than two weeks ago, an I am wondering if it was not the dumbest decision I have made all year (including sleeping with "D" on and off for about 10 months after we'd split, and professing my feelings to a dear friend and being shot down twice). 

Ugh, fuck it. Long story short: I am drinking a Solo Cup of cheap white wine by myself.

How Funks Work (and why I think I may be insane)

There is a pattern to how these bastards work. I can see them coming from a mile away, but I just can't seem to dodge them. It goes a little something like this:

Emotional Self: That thing I wanted to happen... it didn't happen.

Logical Me: Yeah. Well, that's how it goes sometimes.

ES: But why?

LM: You can't always get you want. If we all got what we wanted all the time, the world would be a fucked up place: we'd all be millionaire bombshell hotties with wicked magical powers and unicorns for steeds. Dinosaurs would run rampant... it'd be pandemonium, and it just can't be.

ES: I bet it was me.

LM: Wait, what?

ES: I bet it was me. I bet there's something inherently wrong with me that decided the outcome of this thing I wanted to happen but didn't.

LM: I don't... I don't understand.

ES: Yeah. Like I'm probably not good enough for (insert boy's name, job position, amount of money needed, ect). I fucking suck, therefore my life is crap. I fucking fail at life!

LM: Oh, fuck me! Are we doing this again? REALLY?

It's like I'm a car and inside there is a sane adult and an angst-ridden teenager. Logical Me is trying her best to steer me in direction of sanity, but Emotional Self keeps grabbing at the steering wheel, trying to lead me down the road of funk. And the two of them are arguing the whole time (and if you've ever tried to reason with a child, you know it's pretty damn frustrating) until Logical Me throws her hands up and says "Fuck it. I'm done with this shit." Then we're off to the Town of Self-Loathing and Depression.

So much truth. It hurts.

if life stages were action figures

This is probably the most pertinent thing the internet has shown me.  Besides all the cats

Funking Winter Funks

Spring and summer passed without much issue, and I know it's because I was keeping myself well occupied. I had landed a new position at work and was doing bridesmaid duty for a girlfriend. I changed my look and went out all the time. I even met a pretty fantastic guy and started seeing him.

Now, I don't know if it was the wedding being over, or that this guy I was seeing had to leave town for a while, or just the lack of vitamin D, or all of these at once, but this fall I slipped into funk again. Every day I went over in my head all the things I should be happy about - like the fact that I had a job and managed to get back on my feet after "D" moved out, that I had amazing friends, a healthy body, ect. But, while I knew these were things that should make me happy, they simply didn't. And don't even get me started on the anxiety attacks! This resulted in a hopelessness that started overwhelming me. I am ashamed to say that right around my 26th birthday I was seeking a way to just end it. 

It's a terrifying place to find one's self, and it's silly. There was, somewhere in my brain where logic still ruled, a part of me that could look at my emotional self and say "Snap the fuck out of it! You're being ridiculous!" I am happy there was still that glimmer of sanity  in there, because after wandering around in the middle of the night on the eve of my birthday and trying to figure out a way to off myself before midnight, I hauled ass to the doctor for help.

I may not be the "tree-hugging wastrel" any more, but I still have a problem with pharmaceuticals. This problem stems from being forced onto anti-depressants by my mother and doctor at the age of 12. Looking back as an adult knowing very well what depression feels like, I can honestly say I didn't need these meds. And certainly not for eight years. Not to mention the fact that they know now that Paxil is likely to make adolescents more depressed. It occurred to me that the industry didn't care if I was depressed or not, so long as some one was pumping money into the system. I stopped taking any prescription drugs when I was 20 - right down to birth control pills. 

But after that  night in late November, that night I felt like I was actually losing my mind, I caved and asked my doctor to please, give me something to make this end. After going over the adverse side affects I was hoping to avoid (mainly weight gain and reduced libido) we settled on Wellbutrin and Elavil, which is used to help me sleep, and I started seeing a therapist once a week.

It wasn't an overnight success by any means. I was not expecting miracles. But slowly the drugs started working. After a year of being lucky to get more than 4 hours sleep at a time, I was getting a whole night's worth of the stuff. And I was uncovering things with my therapist that helped me move forward. Besides a minor break-down where I couldn't figure out  if the drugs were changing my personality, or if I was actually insane before the meds, I was on a pretty good streak! I really can't remember the last time I felt so great. I was confident, charismatic, funny, and having a blast. I loved this improved me.

That is why I was completely blindsided when depression hit again - and with a vengeance.

Depression Impression

Last year, my break-up with "D" left me utterly shattered. I mean, I had been diagnosed with depression at an early age (which I maintain is bullshit - being a teenager just sucks), but what hit me that winter was unlike anything I had ever felt. The crying, the lack of sleep, not eating for days at a time... that was a cake-walk compared to the overwhelming hopelessness and the feeling of being worth less than dirt. And shit got real when I started eyeing up the bottles of sleep-aids and pain-killers in my medicine cabinet and thinking "Yeah, that would be better than dealing with this".

And, of course, having never felt this way before, I couldn't imagine any one else had gone through it. So, I did the logical thing and bottled it all up. I'm sure my friends and family knew something was up: they're not stupid and I had become a virtual hermit. But given that there is a pretty negative stigma surrounding depression, I felt it was better not to share. I didn't want any one to think that I was crazy or - much worse in my opinion - weak. It was, I realize now, a big mistake because going through something like this on your own is too hard.

Any ways, I did what I thought would be best and went to the hospital to seek help. And I sort of got it - that is, I got a diagnosis and did next to nothing about it. 

This is because I made a friend who was also going through a very rough time. It was nice to have to have some one who understood just how shitty depression can be. At the time, I truly believed we were helping each other, but I can see now that I really wasn't gleaning anything from the relationship at that time besides that I had a distraction. I had some one to comfort and help and throw myself completely into. And of course there was the sex, which was a nice bonus distraction (and a much needed ego-boost). And for a good long time, I had distracted myself so completely that I believed I was better. 

But that was last winter, and I have a learned a few things since then.

A little about me.

You'd think after 26 years, I'd know more about myself - but the truth is I have no idea who I am.

I don't remember much (probably by choice) about my childhood. And from the ages of 12-20 I was on Paxil to treat depression. Once I decided to say a big "fuck you" to the pharmaceutical industry, I spent years in varying states of inebriation, as well as smoking ludicrous amounts of pot and experimenting with other recreational drugs. After moving to a new town, I unwittingly sobered up and quickly became some one's long-time girlfriend. After being brutally dumped by this douche, I proceeded to throw myself into other peoples issues in hopes of helping them rather than dealing with my own problems. Do you see where I'm getting?

I can tell you I've played the role of "rebellious teenager", the "tree-hugging wastrel", the "significant other", and the "supportive mother-hen" - and I played them pretty damn well. But I've now come to a point in my life where I must be the "independent woman", and I have no fucking clue what that means.

I'm not sure if the major depressive episode I have slipped into is the cause of this identity crisis, or if it goes the other way around, but I can tell you it really blows one way or the other. And I can't help but think that, with no role to embody, is being "that depressed girl" who I am destined to be?

Ok. Here we go.

So let me start off by saying that this is not my first blog. Way back in the day, when I was 16 or so, I had a LiveJournal account. I visited that thing not too long ago, and decided never to go back. Reading over these posts about how exciting and funny, terrible and heartbreaking life seemed to be as a teenager... I mean, does any one really want to revisit what is arguably the most excruciating time in one's life?

Don't get me wrong, though. Ten years of experience tends to give one a lot of perspective, but life is still terrible and heartbreaking, exciting and funny, just in different ways...

I don't exactly know what I am hoping to accomplish by putting my life into words for the internet (or just me) to view. Part of me thinks it may be a way to reach out, to find others in my particular situation. Maybe it's just a way to keep track of  down-falls and successes. Or maybe I am crazy as I am starting to feel. But I'm here, and I have a lot to say.