The Journey

This long weekend, I made it up to Canmore to spend the holiday with Cuppy-Cake and her family. It was great to get away and spend time with an incredible group of people, and the mountains are like my recharging station. Some times, I don't even know that I need a trip until I get there, and once I do, a sense of peace settles over me, like all is right with my world.

As I noted in an earlier post, I have been feeling lately as though I have lost sight of who I am, or supposed to be. I believe I can attribute a lot of this struggle with depression to my slight identity crisis. But by chance I found myself this weekend at a little second-hand bookstore in a basement in Canmore. 

Cuppy had been raving about this little treasure for weeks: it's one of her favorite places in the world and as an avid reader myself, I thought I would enjoy it, too. Only, out of the hundreds of books there, I couldn't find a single thing I wanted to read. I looked and looked, I poked in the dark recesses and saw plenty of things that seemed interesting but nothing that shouted "Buy me! You need me!". It left me feeling very dejected - I never have bad luck finding something to bring home from a book store. Finally, once all the rest of the company had made their purchases and we were getting ready to leave the store, my hand fell onto a book by one of my favorite authors, one that I hadn't had the opportunity to read yet. I scrabbled it up and immersed myself into the book as soon we got back to our suite.

If I was feeling like I had lost my way before, it was nothing compared to how I began to feel reading this book. It was a tale of the authors personal journey of self-discovery and every word I read made me realize just how far from myself that I have strayed the last few years. It was both a shock and a blessing. A shock because I had no idea it had been happening - and certainly not for that long - and a blessing because I know it's never too late to make changes. And this book presented its self to me as a sign to do just that.

Once upon a time, I was a deeply spiritual person. The magic and mystery of the universe was always at the forefront of my mind. I prayed often and looked to signs to help guide me. I also had a very real idea of where I wanted my path to lead me. I knew I wanted to do things that would make a difference in the world, change lives and help guide me to my highest and best self. And throughout all of this, I was deeply at peace. 

I see now, more clearly than ever, that I have changed - I've become almost unrecognizable to myself. The old me would never have questioned the idea of being visited in dreams by a departed friend. She wouldn't   have let days go by (let alone years) without stopping and wondering at the beauty to be found every where. And she certainly would never have doubted that Universe was working with her and for her in order for her to reach her highest potential. 

Some where along the way, I lost that part of me. I moved and met new friends. I took a job where I never thought I'd find myself (but, hey, bills have too be paid). I met a man that knew nothing of spirituality other than what he had been taught in church. Now, I work a job with no meaning aside from getting other peoples paper work done in a timely fashion. I've stopped drawing. I stopped sitting under trees and contemplating  on what it was to be part of something so huge and feeling that, despite my smallness, I was an important piece to the big puzzle. And most importantly, I find myself cut off the world I knew and loved and I feel separated and often horribly alone. 

I think back to a brief but poignant conversation I had three years ago with my boss - the one from the store where we sold overpriced clothes produced in third world countries. I was trying to explain to this boss what a "hippie" I had been in Calgary. I used to pray, and have bonfires with singing and dancing. I'd paint murals of mandalas on the walls my friends houses and make wooden jewelry with my sister. I had been a vegan, and even did the raw food thing s for while. I worked at a holistic clinic where they not only treated the body with things like massage and acupuncture, but they treated the soul, too, with reiki and psychic guidance. 

At the end of my story, my boss, this woman with an elegantly put-together outfit and lips painted my favorite shade black cherry, leans back and laughs. She shakes her head, almost knowingly and sais "And then you traded it all in for makeup and pretty clothes, and lived happily ever after." At the time I laughed it off. After all, what did she know? But I should have seen right away that what she said was becoming true, and I should have made it stop right then and there.

The journey home from my trip this weekend was a wonderful time of contemplating on all the things I used to, and touching on new and ever more fantastic things to consider. The beauty of the mountains, the way the elements work together was much deeper than I had ever realized, the connectivity I feel to certain people as though we had been placed before each other for some greater reason than just to say "Hi" in passing. 

I have changed and now something needs to happen in order for me to find my way back to me. I need to find what it is help me to get to my higher self. I must have missed a lot of signs attempting to show me what was happening and how to get back on my path. I only hope I still have the eyes to see these sign

I have to sleep and pray that that something will become clearer for me in the new day.

A day.

I can't believe it's nearing the end of the month again! Time is just slipping by too fast - sometimes it's a blessing. 

I felt great today, and even when I though I came close to slipping and plummeting into the Chasm of Funk, I managed to snap out of it right quick. Without feeling shitty for having been brought low in the first place, which I'm so happy I was able to. I am pleased with my progress. 

I've been trying out mindfulness meditation lately. I can honestly say that up till Sunday night, I had never had success with meditation of any kind. How does any one shut their brains up when there is so much to think/worry about? But I guess that's the point, shutting it up. It was the oddest, but most pleasant sensation, this being simply in the "now". Not beating myself up over mistakes I made yesterday, or worrying about what mistakes I may make tomorrow. It was bliss, really. The only thing I can liken it to is sex (passionate, not obligatory), because those are probably the only times I've ever been able to completely focus on nothing but the moment I'm living. Well, and maybe singing a song I can really put my soul into (I like that I can channel the emotion the song evokes without having to think about what made me feel that way).

On that note, I'm hoping to add something new to my routine. If I can find it online, I want to meet people who want to make music. Nothing serious, just as a release. I can sing -well, I like the sound of my voice though few others have heard it, I get compliments - I can and pick up songs well enough on the piano. If I can't find anyone to pay with for fun, and if I can swing it financially, I might try taking up lessons. I've had this brand-new and untouched guitar sitting in my living room since July...

Things I was grateful for today:

  • great hugs
  • busy work day
  • an engrossing book
  • coming home to flowers

I'm Fine (and by "fine" I mean "faking it")

Sometimes I wonder just how many people out there might be going through a tough time when we've been conditioned to be "fine" all the time. A coworker or friend will ask "How's it going?" and automatically we say "Good!", even when we're not good at all. I know that the level of enthusiasm in my own voice is a tell as to just how shitty I really am. Like if I'm having a meh day and you ask, I'll say "Meh, you know how it is." But if I'm losing my shit, I'll shove "I'M FANTASTIC" down your throat so you can't tell otherwise. I can feel the crazy-eyes happening, but I hope no one can see it. 

And now that I think about it, that isn't the only time I find myself pretending to be something I'm not. The biggest instance is when I get quiet. When I'm happy (or distracted, depends on the day) I am animated and chatty. I love interacting and laughing and being ridiculous normally. But sometimes I'll forget I'm not alone and spend a little too much time in silence. The other party will ask "Are you ok? You're so quiet!" and I'll tell them "I have a headache, weird!" or "I dunno, I guess I just lost my steam, LOL SORRY GUYS!"

If I'm having a bad go of it, why shouldn't I be able to say "Well, I ran out of clean socks today, but I unknowingly spent my last $10 on a pack of smokes so I had to do laundry in my bathtub because my coin card was empty." or "Well, I was feeling sad, but then I spoke to a friend about the passing away of her husband and now I just feel like a complete fucking douche."?

Well, of course, I know why: the first reason being that I'd make people sad or uncomfortable. How are you supposed to keep up the semblance of "fine" when some crazy woman is telling you her whole sad life story  and dragging you down?

And secondly, I don't want to worry my loved ones, and I certainly don't want anyone to think I am incapable to handling my life. Then, God forbid, some one might offer me help - and that just can't happen since, even though I'd love to take you up on the offer (because, in reality, I do need help), my conditioning and pride simply won't allow it.

C'est la vie, am I right?

I don't feel like faking it today.

Monks & Onesies

 If you have the time, watch this video:

 Among all of the articles, blogs, and youtube videos about dealing with depression, this is likely best I have ever come across. It was nice to be hear the little truths we know but tend to overlook (and it was nice to be reminded of why I got my most recent tattoo, "This too shall pass").

Also, I watched the Hobbit (again) last night, and there's been something bothering me all day...

How in the fuck did they manage to put pony onesies on all those horses?

Breathe in, breathe out

Let go, be fine.
I have control, I can stop this from overwhelming me. What's done is done, so just let it go. 
Breathe in, breathe out.

Another Win!

I had the most marvelous conversation with Elle today! I got such good input and came away with something that I think will really help with the whole cycle of self-loathing. I think that there's a part of me that always knew this, but the pattern of feeling unworthy and less-than has stopped me from really believing it:

The fact of the matter is that, despite the depression, I am great. There's nothing about me that makes me less worthy of good things happening to me than any one else out there - something I get to show the world all the time. I may be fickle, and often I am too honest for some people to handle. Every body's got their flaws, right? But you'd be hard-pressed to find some one who cares more and loves harder than me. I may not have much, but I'd give it all up to help a friend, and that's pretty special. I know that I greatly value that quality in others, so shouldn't value it myself as well? 

And it's not a boastful thing to say, by any means! I know that after years, a lifetime really, of feeling like I was not good enough it's hard to say things like this without sounding conceited. But I'm trying it out and finding it's not so bad. And unlike my previous posts where I was simply stating positive mantras in the hopes that I would feel better soon, this time I truly believe it. 

I'm not cured or any thing like that, but I have another tool to help me win at life and that's a start!


I am happy to say that today wasn't a complete fucking failure! While there is still a particular trigger that makes me instantly upset (I'm talking so mad/sad I get physically ill), I managed to nip most of the bad thoughts in the butt with the power of positive thinking:

- When I was in my last relationship, I was never able to wear high heels because I am already very tall and didn't want to dwarf my boyfriend. Now that I am single and have miraculously found long pants, I've been rocking heels non-stop. It's fantastic! Added bonus? Taking off one pair of heels to slip into a smaller pair feels like heaven.

- Despite all my efforts to change the fact, I am at heart a very girly girl. Doing my hair and makeup is like a little ritual where I get to reflect on my good features and bolster my self esteem. It's soothing to me. I have successfully mastered the art of liquid eyeliner and am now a motherfucking god at giving myself cat eyes, and I have my hair trained to do whatever I want it to. 

- I have what is undoubtedly the worlds most laid-back office job. I can start and leave when I want to as long as I put in a days worth of hours (7-3? Um, yes please!) and they give practically zero fucks about what I wear. I kid you not, I have showed up in yoga pants before. Might do it again tomorrow, because sitting in a chair all day with your jeans digging into your gut is tiring. I deserve comfort!

- Breathe in, breath out, let go, be fine. Breathe in, breath out, let go, be fine. 

The little things

Sometimes, when I'm standng in the snow and I've just realized that maybe my choice in footwear was probably not a good one and my morning is looking bleak, I look to the person on my right and think:
"At least I'm not a meth-head."
And I know the day will be all right because I can appreciate the little things.

I can do this, yes? No. Wait... yes.

Ok, some how I managed to get through the day. By some stroke of luck, I didn't lose my job or ruin any relationships. I should feel accomplished for having displayed any strength at all when, frankly, I would have liked to just off myself in order to not have to go through this downward spiral again, right? Wrong. Instead, I just feel embarrassed by what a complete fucking moron I must have looked like today. 

I know, I know - can't help the way I feel, don't beat myself over it, only making things worse, blahblah whatever the fuck. I really am trying to take the tools Elle has given me and use them to beat this funk. But the lack of control over my self feels like a weakness on my part, and I abhor weakness. If I thought I could manage it, I would force myself to get better just prove I could do it (because there's not much I enjoy more than proving someone wrong), but there's no way of knowing how I'm going to feel in two fucking hours, so chances are I'll start and then give up because "it's all so pointless". Or I'll snap out this and forget there's anything to be down about till next time. Who knows? It all depends on what life and my brain throw at me next.

You see what I have to deal with? I'll be fine, amazing even, and one little thing will get me down. If I don't pick myself up right away, other little triggers will start to pile on, like a ball of shit being rolled around by a dung beetle*. Eventually I will start feel so down that I begin to resent myself, and that's where the self-loathing kicks in. Inevitably, something good will happen - like hanging out with a friend, reciting all the lines from nostalgia-inducing 80's movie ("FIGHT THE SADNESS, ARTAX!"), or pissing my pants laughing over an internet meme - that I forget there's anything wrong. And thus we come full circle. 

" I am an educated white female living in the third best rated city in Canada. I have all of my appendages plus (as a bonus) huge tits, manageable hair, great legs and bangin' eyebrows. I am laden with skills both necessary (cooking, sewing, hygiene, shoelace-tying) and inane (butter-churning, mirror-writing, song-memorizing) and I am sponge for random facts. My need to absorb new information constantly means that I am rarely bored. I live all on my own, which I understand is something many people are incapable of doing for various reasons.  I have lots of gadgets on which to read books and listen to music (which are essential to me) and I managed to score all the furniture after my first serious breakup. I have good relationship with my sister and some of the best friends any one could ask for."

So these are the things I need to focus on, although it's exhausting to put that much effort into positive thinking when half of my mind seems to be fighting against it. I'm told that eventually it'll become second nature to look on the bright side automatically, like remembering to put on deodorant every morning. I sure as shit hope so, because I like depression as much as I like B.O..

Which is not at all.

*(I realize that I could have just as easily gone with the snowball analogy, but that's just the kind of day I've been having.)


It's 6:30 in the morning and I should be finishing up getting ready for work. I've never had the issue before where I felt like I just might not be able to handle facing the day. Work is (as sad it sounds) my number one priority and often one of the only reasons I get out of be in the mornings. At least when I work I have some thing engrossing to throw myself into and not have to think.

But today, I'm feeling very out of sorts, very out of control (and I hate not being in control), and I just don't know if I'm going to be able to keep it together well enough. I'm at a breaking point I never dreamed I'd reach, one where I don't think I can pretend to be ok for other peoples benefit. 

I can't stand this paranoid feeling that life is trying to get me down. I feel like my body is betraying me and I am limited in what I can do to fix it. My doctor is being pretty stubborn and frankly very cold at the idea that I may have been misdiagnosed. I came to her over 3 weeks ago, telling her that my mood was getting worse and more erratic and I'm hoping to seeking new answers and help to get me through this and I have heard nothing back. 

I wish I felt like I could turn to any of my friends for help, but in all honesty, not one of them knows the whole story. Depending on what I feel like I need to omit, each one of my support circle gets various details that make up part of the whole, and I just need one person to tell every thing to without the fear of hurting them or being judged. I want some one to hear me and tell me it's all right. 

Fuck, I'm all over the place right now. This feels really bad.

Part Deux

My day was made when I stumbled upon internet treasures to piss my pants laughing at. Also, I found a mostly-full tub of cream cheese frosting left over from the baking bonanza weekend which I have proceeded to nom on like a girl from in a Midol commercial. 

All in all, not a bad end to the day. 

Mood Swings & Losing My Fucking Mind

All day, I have gone between wanting to throwing a tantrum and just plopping down to sob. And it's killing me: why am I like this? I'm trying not to beat myself up over the way I feel, but this is getting ridiculous.  How do so many people just live their lives free of the insane roller coaster of emotions?

I hate this feeling of self-pity, but it just doesn't seem fair that this chemical imbalance is part of the hand I was dealt in life. It's bad enough that I am prone make thoroughly stupid decisions, it's bad enough that I struggle constantly to maintain a lifestyle that allows me to feed and shelter myself while still having some social activity, and it's bad enough I have to this all on my own. I don't need this affliction ruling over my emotions and making all the little things seems that much worse. 

I sit quietly in the file room of my office and ask myself: "What is different about today than yesterday?" The answer, of course, is nothing.  Yesterday, I was still in debt, I was still single, and I was still feeling way like I was in way over my head with the choices I've been making regarding the people surrounding me. Yesterday, I could laugh about it because I was at peace with all of these things, and today I simply am not.

Often, I feel as though I am two entirely different people. There's the me I loath to be, and the me I love and want to be all the time. I know they are essentially the same person, it's just that one of them reacts a little more sanely to outside stimuli. I am perfectly aware that every one has their ups and downs... I would just like to be one of those who handles them like normal person. 

Every now and again, I feel like I've almost got "it", that balance I that I need in order to feel sane. But then in a flash, it escapes me and the negativity comes washing over me again. With it comes the feeling of not being able to catch a break, accompanied by a hopeless which is in no way conducive to my well-being. 

I know in my heart that life is a journey of lessons and when it's all done, I will have become the "me" I was meant to be - my Higher Self, if you will. In my head, my Higher Self is already very much like me. She is loving, crazy, compassionate, extreme, generous, funny, jealous, wise. The main difference between her and I is that she is finally at peace with all of herself and her surroundings. I cling to the hope I will one day soon become this Higher and Best version of Me, all the good things and the not-so-good finally in harmony. 

But on days like today, even with that beacon of hope shining ahead, I wonder if I have the strength to ever get there.

The Unintentional Masochist (That's Me! *ting*)

What is it with our love/hate relationship with pain and drama? Are we, the unbalanced, in such need of extremes in order to feel anything at all that we find ourselves making obviously poor choices? Or are we so desperate to feel good that we'll risk our precarious hearts for the briefest moment of happiness? We see these choices being presented to us, and still we seem to go out of our way to fuck things up.

Example (in which Logical Me and Emotional Self have another conversation in my head):

Emotional Self: "Oh, this feels good... like, really good! How can I get more of this?"

Logical Me: "Um, we've definitely been here before. Don't you think you should consider all the possible outcomes before something bad happens? Again? There is a huge potential for pain right here."

ES: "Fuck that - I'm having fun! Besides, maybe fifteenth time's the charm!"

LM: "Yeeeeah, I would really take a moment to step back and think here."

ES: "Nah, it's probs all going to work out for the best. LOL, you worry too much! It's all about positive intention, baby!"

LM: "And pain in T minus 4... 3... 2... 1..."


And Logical Me just crosses her arms and shakes her head as she tells Emotional Self "I fucking told you so."

On the other hand, I can't help but think that if I take too much time to consider the possible outcomes, I may let great opportunities slip right by. This renders the epiphany I had about going after your desires basically invalid. I might be miserable if I don't go after what I desire, and might likewise be miserable if what I desire doesn't pan out. Hmmm. This is quite a dilemma. A cyclical, maddening dilemma....

But also occurs to me that this dilemma may well be the mysterious and elusive formula I've been seeking so long. The key to becoming a real-live adult (or at least a functioning human being):

I have to be both cautious enough to pick the right desires and brave enough to chase them. I have to get my heart and mind in sync, to work together for the greater good of "Me".

BOOM. Mind blown.

Now, how the fuck do I do it?

Let me entertain you

I have been non-stop cooking for people for three days - and I love it. 

On Friday I did some tipsy cleaning, where you drink a glass of wine for every room you clean (the only downfall is that you may start losing focus and the rooms get progressively less clean as you go), then I baked a cake. I had Cuppy-Cake and her husband and mother over for dinner on Saturday. The meal I had planned for my adoptive family was maple-glazed salmon with cinnamon mashed yams and brocolini. It seemed to be a great success! And tomorrow I am finally having Buddy over for dinner. I made my very first shepherds pie tonight.

I truly love to cook for and entertain people; if I had the money, I'd entertain all the time. Even more than that, I'd love to have a partner and family one day to do these things for. And I have to tell you, that's really surprising for me to admit. I never thought of myself as a domestic, just as I never saw myself marrying or having kids. But I find the idea appealing and I honestly think I'd be pretty great at it...

In the meantime, though, I am happy to have found something so productive to take my mind off the shitty feelings. I need more of this type of thing so I can squash the negativity before it happens. I think if I can maintain this habit, I can beat this thing. Fuck ya, positivity!

Why, body chemistry? WHY??

Puddles of tears collected in my glasses. Drops of running mascara now stain my carpet...

No, it is not my lame attempt at poetry - this legit just happened to me. I made the huge of mistake of watching a heart-wrenching movie tonight because I am evidently an masochist on top of being clinically depressed and (despite all my efforts to overcome the  affliction) I have a set of fucking ovaries that screw me every month. 

I really should have thought a little harder before stumbling upon Seeking a Friend for the End of the World on TV. By the end of it, I was rocking back and forth on my floor blubbering "That's just so fucking beautiful! I remember when some one used to love me!" 

I've had a good run feeling great about being single, you know? Getting to rediscover my self as a solo unit, doing what I want to do rather than what we want to do, not feeling bad about shameless flirting. Besides the overwhelming frustration caused by the lack of sex that has left me feeling pretty "I-want-to-punch-someone-y", it's all very magical and liberating and blah blah blah sisters with no misters unite.

But what about the companionship, always having some one who cares who'll drop everything to be there for you when you need them, and vise versa? What about never being bored and having great sex with your best friend whenever you want it? Waking up next to some you love every morning and seeing them brightens your whole day because you know you get to see them as you fall asleep? I want that again. 

I feel like a little kid with kick-ass toy made of moonbeams and fairy dust, the greatest toy she could have hoped for, and she is having so much fun. But then she sees some one else on the playground with an even more kick-ass toy. It's shiny and new, made of T-Rexs and unicorn farts. She stares agog at this glorious new plaything and thinks to herself "I want thaaaaaat..." as she wipes the drool from her chin.

So the kid in me looks down at her own toy and wonders if she should just keep the one she already has. It's not a bad toy, and after all moonbeams are friggin rad... BUT NOT AS FUCKING RAD AS A T-REX  PLUS UNICORN FARTS! So does she stick to what she's had all along and have the same old fun? Or does she  bribe the other kid with Tamagotchis and Orbitz and take what she wants? Sounds like a fair trade it ask me...
Well that's enough of that metaphore now, I think. On to another amusing conversation with Buddy which, despite the mild blow to my self-confidence, I found pretty damn funny:

 "... so basically the name every ball used in sports is the 'sports name' plus 'ball.'" Buddy told me was we were on a smoke break. (Don't ask how we got to ball talk... I have no idea)

"Yeah, except for Quidditch. None of them are called Quidditch balls," I nerdily pointed out. "Do you beat the Bludger?"

"Oh, I'd say I'm a fair beater," he said roguishly.

"I'd have to say I'm great chaser, if you catch my drift." 

"But how," Buddy asked me in mock innocence, "can you be a 'great' Chaser if you never catch the Snitch?" 

"Ow... I don't think I like that one." 

I chase boys and they constantly elude me, is what my dear friend is (needlessly) trying to remind me. 

Even though he got the players jobs mixed up. Seekers catch the golden snitch and Chasers chase the quaffles... some "nerd" he turned out to be. Seriously. Get your shit together, man.

These are a few of my favorite things

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference."

It's easy to get down on myself, taking on the mentality I have in some way failed. Truth be told, I am proud of myself for being brave and trying to change a situation I believed I could control. I'm proud that I could see past the potential for heartache and tried to do something I thought could make me happy. I wish I could say that I was successful and didn't end up in pain after all. But I guess, in wanting so badly, I forgot that things simply cannot be in my control when another party is involved. 

I tried my best, though, and I have to believe that counts for something. 

I would like to say I had a good day and, to an extent, I did. I laughed a lot and worked just hard enough to feel accomplished. But I still have lot on my emotional plate I have to move on from. There's still this undercurrent of melancholy inside threatening to drag me down. 

I need a pick-me-up. Let's see if Julie Andrews knew what she was talking about. In no particular order, things that I love and that I am grateful for:
  • Coffee
  • Conversation
  • Laughing
  • Singing
  • My phone full of music
  • Reading
  • Harry Potter
  • Drinking
  • White wine
  • Eating
  • youTube
  • T-Rexs 
  • Sausage
  • Sex
  • Kissing
  • Men's scruffy faces
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Thunder storms
  • Sex during thunder storms
  • Shoes
  • Magazines
  • Gem stone jewelry
  • Letters (real ones, not that e-mail shit.)
  • Movies
  • LOTR
  • Mountains
  • Kaslo
  • Colors
  • Red Velvet anything
  • Photography
  • Silver
  • Organizing
  • Sisters
  • Men (when they're behaving.)
  • Ladies (when they're nice to look at)
  • Tits ('cause, hey, they're fun)
  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Pizza
  • Pasta
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Art Galleries
  • Concerts
  • Road trips
  • S'mores
  • Peacock feathers
  • Owls
  • Tattoos
  • Trees
  • Gerber Daisies
  • Pianos
  • Lakes
  • Swear words
  • Graphic t-shirts
  • Slumber parties
  • Restful sleep

Back on Track... ish

Pretty amazing what a slumber party can do for your mood. I love my Cuppy-Cake and her Hubby-Boo, and I feel fucking fantastic.

Now, when I feel slightly more alert, I will be sure to write an actual post...

Ok, I am feeling much more alert, and not nearly so high as I was before. This shitty feeling is caused by two things and, on top of being a little crazy, I am apparently also a masochist.

At the risk of sounding really hoakey, I have a serious problem with empathy - meaning that peoples emotions affect me on a very visceral level. It's something I've always been aware of but up until recently I had no idea how negative an impact it could have. Don't get me wrong, having compassion can be an amazing thing. Being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes can lend great perspective. And getting a sense of another's happiness can lift your own spirits. But on the other hand, feeling someone's despair and grief so clearly that you can't tell if it's your own emotions you're feeling can be unbearable.

So when someone I care about very deeply is in pain, it can hit me like a ton of bricks. I know that I can't carry burdens for them, but I wish with all my heart I could.

On a completely different note, I tend to let myself get confused in my feelings towards people. I wish I could say after ten years I've learned a thing or two, but I have had no such luck. And now I'm in a weird place where it kills me to be see a loved one in distress - almost as much as it kills me that I can't be enough for them. It's a helplessness coming in from two sides, and I stand the chance of being completely consumed if I can't be strong.

So, here's an epiphany: it's my turn to be strong for no one but myself. It's time to care about me as much, if not more, than every body else. 

Today can go to hell.

This past week, I've been feeling fantastic: I kept myself well occupied, thought positive things, had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. The only thing that could have been better was more sleep. Roomie has gone back home, but still sleep is evading me...

Last November, I fell into a major depressive episode at the worst possible time. Obviously, "D" can't be blamed for the way I handled things, but the break up threw me right over the edge. Also, he picked my first day at a new job to tell me he was leaving. Life felt pretty bad for a long time, but some how I got myself out of bed every morning and into work. I don't believe that I ever missed a day because the episode was getting to me (short of doctors appointments) . It was, however, taking a serious toll on me and I'm still struggling with changing the bad habits I developed during that time.

When we broke up, I had no apatite and suffered from insomnia - which I'm told often happens when one goes through a break-up, but probably not to this extreme. I couldn't stomach anything, and even looking at food made me feel sick. I think I went roughly ten days on no food before I had to see a doctor  as my hands were going numb caused by vitamin B deficiency. And sleep, no matter how exhausted I felt, came late and was rarely peaceful. 

Eventually I got into a routine that, while not ideal, allowed me to be a relatively well-functioning human. I lived off of coffee and vitamin water to help me stay focused at work and forced myself to eat something every evening. I lost 30 lbs in roughly six weeks. And I learned to work with getting 3-4 of sleep a night. People are pros at adapting, I guess. 

Anyway, this went on for roughly a year, even when I was feeling mentally back to normal - although I did train myself to eat little more throughout the day to keep headaches at bay. So when this winter started getting tough and I caved and got prescriptions drugs, we found something that could help me get a full nights sleep on top of anti-depressants. And let me tell you, it was fucking glorious. How the hell had I managed to get anything done or stay sane without more than seven hours of sweet, sweet sleep every night? I had energy, pep in my step, and I was happy.

That was, however, to be short-lived: About a month ago, while having a session with Elle, my tongue seized up. Weird, right? I just couldn't finish the word I was in the middle of saying. I had to stop and sort of stretch out my tongue before I could continue. (Thank god I have my appointments with Elle over the phone, or that would have been mortifying) But then it happened again and again, for days, every time I'd have to stop for a second and wait for my face to relax. It felt like was developing a stutter, and it was really scaring me. 

Thinking it might have been stress-related, I sought my doctors help. She promptly took me off of the magic sleep aid, saying that it has been known to cause tremors or twitches, though they should be isolated to the limbs. Now I am back to being lucky to scrape three hours disjointed sleep and it's killing me. 

I had, up until yesterday, what I think was a reserve of energy/good mood that kept me going. So long as I didn't stop talking or moving, I could stay focused, energized and efficient. I seemed to have reached my limit, though. And what happens when widdle babies don't get enough sleep? They get cranky as fuck, which does nothing to help me in my path to normalizing my mood. 

This cycle of ups and downs is driving me bonkers. It's really hard to go over all these positive mantras when all I want to do is stomp my feet and scream. 

I'm sure it's probably up to me to do it for myself, but I wish some one would come here and save me.

On Living Fearlessly

"Living Fearlessly" is perhaps not an apt title. Fear is inevitable - especially where you and your feelings are concerned. No one likes to be hurt, so most of us make our decisions based on what we think will cause the least amount of pain. But this is a big problem. You see, if you're making choices or - maybe worse - choosing inaction  based on fear, you shut yourself off from the possibility of so much happiness.

So, you want to quit the lucrative job you hate and pursue a fun career that pays less? Sure, you may struggle with money a little if you do, but doesn't being "happily employed!" sound so much nicer than just "ugh, employed"? 

You think you maybe you'd like to try to make things work your ex - but it blew up in your face once before,  who's to say it won't happen again? Or worse, what if you put your heart out there and are flat-out rejected?  Sounds awful, right?  So rather than making any choice at all, you just sit in limbo and see what happens. 

You struggle with negative thoughts and depression. You know you can ask for help, but there's a niggling fear that, even if you seek the help you need, you'll fail and never get yourself out of this funk. Surely not trying at all feels better than failure?

You know what you need to do. What are you waiting for? Quit that job, profess your love, ask for help! You could be successful in more important ways than financially, missing out on the bliss of a mended relationship or letting altogether new happiness pass you by. You'll never know, because you never tried. 

It can be hard - believe me, I know - to follow to your heart to happiness when your brain is doing this: 

But you have to fucking power though it. The bumps along the way are well worth the reward.


Took an extended lunch/field-trip this afternoon with Buddy. Found ourselves in the Chapters at West Edmonton Mall.

"Hey, look!" Buddy said, "I found a book about you." And points to a book titled Easy.

"You know, I'm not actually a slut." I informed him. "I only have sex with people I really like."

"Well, you like a lot of people."

"... I know," I conceded,  hanging my head in shame. 

*I maintain that I am not slut, though: Sluts get laid, and I most assuredly do not.  


Hobo Soup

Note to Future Self:

Today, I made hobo soup. It sounds a lot worse than it tastes (which is pretty yummy, if I do say so myself), it's nutritious and it's cheap as fuck to make. All you need is:

1 onion 
3-4 cloves garlic
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 lb potatoes
1 lb ground beef (but pork is cheaper)
1 can red beans
1 can crushed tomatoes
Oxo cubes
Salt, pepper, Italian herb blend (or whatever you've got on hand. Get creative, bitch)

In a big-ass soup pot, brown meat. Sweat mirepoix. Dump in remaining ingredients with enough water to cover the veg. Cook that shit for an hour, eat like a boss for days.

Total: $15.81
Number of servings: Infinite (seriously, I'm pretty sure this shit regenerates its self nightly...)

It blows to be broke all the time (trust me, I know), but you're a smart cookie. You know you will always have every  thing you need, if not every thing you want. You're always good for paying rent and bills (not always on time), so kudos to you. So as long as you have $15, you can feed yourself for a week. 

Remember, you will not be a broke-ass joke forever. This too shall pass.

PS: Future self? Go easy on the canned tomatoes next time. You know they give you heartburn...

Will Power

When I was 21, The Secret told me that if I wanted to attract a man into my life, I had to act as though he was already there. I should try and sleep on one side of the bed instead of the middle.I should empty out half of my closet for his clothes. And in a strange way, it worked. That is, I spent a lot of time in my bedroom with a particular man. It didn't turn into anything, but it did work...

I am a firm in believer in a Divine Power. Being raised by an atheist mother, I was never exposed to the religious portrayal of a bearded man in the sky, watching over us all and judging. When I think of "God", it's not an entity separate from the world, but in every part of it - or rather, it is every part of it. It's the molecules and the force that causes them to group together to form the physical and it's the energy that makes up our egos and souls. So, in my opinion, we are all connected to the world and each other on much deeper levels than "we're all human and we inhabit the Earth" because we are all, in essence, "God". And as such, we have it in us to change the world. This is will power and prayer in effect, and when you  become aware of the power you have to bring things into your life, it's a wonderful liberating feeling.

Often times it feels as though the world is working against you, it's deliberately stopping you from achieving your goals or finding your happiness. I truly believe that this is not the case. The world is actually conspiring to bring you all that you require to live your  life to its fullest. If you're not being given exactly what you want, it's probably because it's not the right time for it, or maybe what you think you want is simply not what's best for you. And frankly, you have to work hard and experience suffering to get what you want. After all, how will you know you've got a good thing if you've never had the bad? 

Fuck yeah, elbow grease!

So, I never thought this day would come, but I am ready to admit it: I thoroughly enjoy cleaning. 

I am tired when I get home from work, and I happen to have mad skills when it comes to procrastination. But I know that as an responsible adult, I have to take care of my home. So I will (eventually) cave into my inner mom and grudgingly start to clean my place. Today was one of those days.

Where normally I would hate what it was that I was doing and take a smoke break between each room completed as a reward, today I went at it like no ones business. I went above and beyond the normal routine: I threw out crap that had been accumulating for weeks, unclogged the tub drain, sorted the recycling. I even did the dishes by hand (and I realize this does not sound like a big deal, but I fucking loath doing dishes so it was totally a big deal). 

By the end of it, I was a sweaty tangled mess, but it felt really good to step back, take in my work and think "I may not be able to clean up my life, but goddammit I cleaned the shit out this apartment. And that's got to count for something, right? Right! GO TEAM ME!"

Now I shall reward myself with a broke-chick spa day (which basically means an extra long shower where I  remember to shave my legs and use conditioner) 

"I'm sorry, but I can't give you the benefit of the doubt."

Even though I what I want most out every situation is honesty, I wonder: is being blissfully unaware of the truth the better option? Because the truth fucking hurts some times.

Last night, I had another appointment with my therapist, Elle. We always start these sessions in the hopes of sticking to a game plan, but more often than not, we veer right off course. I’m thinking it’s because the more I discuss the things going wrong in  my life, or just in my head, the more little tid-bits I discover to learn and grow from. It’s never going to be as simple as “I have mommy issues, let’s fix that.” I’m a Russian nesting doll, and every new layer I pry open I find some new repressed issue to deal with.

Most of the time, I come away from these sessions feeling like I've been given a map and now that I know where such-and-such negative thought comes from, I can find the root and squash it. But last night, in our disjointed conversation, Elle dropped a truth bomb on me that hit home. Worse than her telling me this nugget of wisdom, was realizing that I might have known it all along, and I simply didn't want to acknowledge it.

I don't know if I can properly describe what I'm thinking, and I probably don't have the strength emotionally to delve too deep (the night is still young, and I'd like to try and enjoy myself) But this truth bomb was this: Maybe the reason I am so accommodating to people is not just that it's a distraction. Maybe, Elle tells me, it so I can buy their affection. And you'll notice I use the word "affection" and not love or respect. I know there are plenty of people around me who love and respect me, and they do so because they think I am good person, or a funny one, smart or caring. Some of these people know me to be all of the above, and I am secure in that knowledge. But affection? That's different. Maybe I think "If I show this person how much I care and how dedicated I am, he is bound to reciprocate." 

Then comes the real kicker: on top of wanting so badly to be the helper, I am much too trusting for my own good. I give every one the benefit of the doubt, and the majority of the time, a person will be able to sniff that out in me and use me for every thing I've got - be it my money, shelter, time, energy or affection. Maybe it's just my trusting side, but I genuinely don't believe these people mean wrong by me. They just know that they can get what they need and take what I happily offer up.

Elle called this an “epiphany”. I called it “kicking a girl in the box when she’s down”.

Further, Elle tells me that "normal" people simply don't give every one the benefit of the doubt. Normal people don't let their unemployed friends move in with them on nothing but a promise of getting rent soon... ish or sleep with their friends on the vague hint of a relationship one day. I didn't know that! I really had no idea how trusting I actually was, because in all honesty, I feel like I was becoming pretty damned cynical. Seems like there's actually a long way to go to get to cynical.

It goes against what feels right, but maybe Elle has a point. Perhaps I should be more selective in terms of who I choose to trust and give pieces of myself to. 

(And I was totally right: that was emotionally exhausting.)