Today I Am… Discouraged

I grew up always thinking that for one reason or another I wouldn’t live long enough to become an adult and have to make adult decisions. I’m pretty sure that’s why I never actually had a “dream job” or big aspirations or anything like that. I’m pretty sure I told my peers a different job every time they asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up… I had teachers in high school who tried to encourage me to pursue the things that I was good at (American Sign Language and photography/graphic design/art) but then I had other teachers/professors tell me that I would never be good enough to pursue those things. So I pursued none of those things.

My first year of college I changed my major six times before finally declaring communications as my official major. I ended up dropping out at the very beginning of my junior year thanks to a disgustingly messy breakup and an existential crisis that triggered a complete breakdown. When I started looking into going back to school, I realized that most schools didn’t offer a communications program that would be similar to what I had at my previous school so I had to change my major yet again. I finally decided upon English because I might as well just get a degree instead of nothing.

I’m not super interested in school. I haven’t been in years. If I’m being honest, the classes that I thrive in are math classes but I can’t picture myself doing any sort of career that utilizes math. I just like having concrete answers. Books have genuinely been the only constant in my life. They’re the one thing that I will always end up turning to. They are always an interest of mine. When I started working the job that I have right now it was out of desperation to pay my bills… And now I’m stuck here until I finish my degree. So I’m forcing myself to get through a degree that I’m really not that interested in, to hopefully get a better job that will allow me to pay off my debt so that maybe, just maybe, someday I will be able to retire or own a house.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably start enjoying school more once I get more into major specific classes but also being an English major, I’m stuck doing all sorts of things that I don’t like doing… Like peer reviews. So I guess I’m just really discouraged to be in the spot that I am right now. I royally screwed up my life and I’m just constantly wishing that I was in a different spot than I am now. I saw all my peers graduating and moving away and just all over thriving this year and it makes me really sad to look at my life and see where I actually am. I just want to be happy and thriving and not barely making it paycheck to paycheck despite the fact that I don’t even have a rent or car payment.

I’m struggling to not constantly wish for things to be different. I wish that I had made different choices in my past and I wish that the future was more clear. I wish that I could see that everything will be worth it in the end. I’m an incredibly logical person and it’s difficult to be optimistic when there is so much wrong with not only my life but with the larger world.

Sigh… I don’t want to keep going on and on about this but I’m just really discouraged with where I’m at. I want to take a break and find motivation again but I can’t. Which makes things even worse. And now I’ve just got more work stuff to stress about so that’s fun……..

Sorry to be such a downer on a Friday. I’ve just been overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have to do that is getting me nowhere. I’m just going to try and hold out hope that something good will happen to me and that the world doesn’t end before that has the opportunity to happen.

 

 

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Review: Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff

PSA: If you can’t write a book without using a character’s mental illness to advance the plot (when that isn’t the central theme of the book) then maybe that isn’t the book you should be writing 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff is categorized as a medical suspense/thriller about “a mother’s worst nightmare, a chance at redemption, and a deadly secret that haunts a family across the generations.” I was provided a digital review copy of this by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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First off, this really isn’t a thriller. The entire plot is laid out in the synopsis and nothing was incredibly shocking or thrilling. It was definitely suspenseful at times but wasn’t that gripping in that sense. The book started off really strong and I was greatly enjoying my reading. I love it when people decide to fuck with Mother Nature and then ultimately get screwed (probably why Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies). The ethical aspects of this and the medical stuff was interesting enough but I definitely felt like I had to suspend my disbelief for a lot of what happened. I felt like the characters were all stereotypes and while it definitely wasn’t the worst thing, it just made it even more predictable and a little boring. The ending wrapped everything up with a nice tight bow and I just felt like it was rushed to make it to the conclusion.

This book was short (288 pages) and read really quickly and I would have probably rated it 4 stars had the choice not been made to use Claire’s (the main character) mental illness in order to advance the plot. Like I already wasn’t a fan of it in the beginning but I was going to chalk it up to her just being anxious and still grieving the loss of her first child. But then she got “bad” again and the whole thing culminated in her ending up in a mental health facility which I think had absolutely no relevance to the plot. Literally anything else could have been written for her to be doing in order for her to be away from the house long enough for Jillian to infiltrate and do her dirty work. But no… Also if authors can’t learn the difference between “delusions” and “hallucinations” I’m going to file a complaint and start a riot. These are not the same things. A delusion is a thought, it’s a very strong and unshakeable belief in something that is not true or is completely impossible. A hallucination, in very brief description, is experiencing something that isn’t there and can affect any of the senses. I feel like I should start an entire series on mental health representation in books because I’ve encountered some really, really bad takes recently.

Anyways, I just wanted to share a few quotes from the portion of the book where Claire was in the hospital:

“The schizophrenics are the noisiest; they jabber the most, in different tones. The psychotics are the quietest, but the scariest.”

I notice she’s backed up two steps, in case I try to grab the pen and stab her. The staff never get too close to a wild animal in a cage.”

Pretty soon after that, she’s also apprehended by “guards” and then injected with medication in order to knock her out. Like way to just bring all the mental hospital stereotypes into play right here! This is so unrealistic, like in all my times in hospitals I’ve only ever seen one person get a shot and that’s because they needed a stronger dose than a pill could provide. As is the fact that she was released from the hospital that she was “voluntarily” staying at after her episode in which she was taken down by the guards. That’s not how that works. That’s not how any of that works. Shit, I get that Claire didn’t think she was “crazy” but don’t take down everyone else. Patients are people too. We’re people too. And the fact that the author wrote this section like this was incredibly insensitive and it really hurt me. This is why I don’t share my own mental health and hospital history with people because that’s the kind of representation we get in books.

Please, authors, I beg of you, stop writing mentally ill characters as a means of driving your plot. Stop writing us as crazy. Stop making us the villains. Just stop. It hurts. It makes me sad. It’s not fair. You can do better.

So after reading that part of the book I felt really disheartened. I finished the book because it was easy reading but it never redeemed itself. I ultimately rated it 2 stars and will not be recommending this.

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Today I Am… Stressed

So I know that I said a while back that I really didn’t want to talk about my mental health on here anymore but I need to talk about the struggles right now. I was having a really hard time coming up with an idea for a blog post today and I just realized that I am so overwhelmingly stressed out right now that I might as well make one of my “feelings” posts.

Right now, I am sitting in my bed with a pounding headache and trying really hard not to cry. I’m super nauseous and ready to crawl into a hole and completely give up.

It’s almost my favorite time of year, so why the horrible stress? Well thanks to my good ole PTSD, I can’t enjoy fall without being constantly stricken by trauma induced stress! Wow, isn’t mental health fun?? /s

I’m realizing now just how traumatic the beginning of the school year has become for me. August-October holds a lot of really bad memories for me and it’s hard to get through a whole day without ending up a complete mess because something triggered me.

Recently I’ve been learning just how badly smells can trigger things. But that’s a topic for a different breakdown…

I had a bunch of assignments due last night (I swear prewriting posts gets so weird because at the time of writing this as mentioned above I was sitting in bed finishing assignments but at the time of posting this I’ll be well into my shift at work) and I just got so overwhelmed that I had to completely bullshit my way through proposing research topics. It’s honestly one of the worst feelings ever right now to realize that I could end up failing this class already because it’s not what I expected it was going to be and unfortunately, it’s required for my degree so I can’t just drop it. My expectations are going down the drain because I’m not interested in the assignments, the idea of doing the work makes me ill, and I already want to drop out again.

I’m so far past burnt out that I think I’m going crazy. I won’t bore you with more of the symptoms that I’m dealing with in regards to my mental illnesses but let me just tell you, they’re not pretty.

And so with that I am going to go try and sleep to get rid of this pounding headache because I know that’s the only thing that will help.

And I will pretend to try and be positive and list five things that I am thankful for right now:

  • Makeup that stays on even when I spend all day crying
  • Cool breezes
  • Taylor Swift
  • Memes
  • The morning show that I listen to on the radio every day

Also if you’ve made it to the end of this post, genuinely thank you for reading my manic breakdown panic. Normally if I go to write a post like this, I type it all out and then immediately delete it. I’m kind of at a point where I’ve been told by everyone to just suck it up and deal with what I’m dealing with because no one wants to hear it? So that’s what I try to do… But it’s really hard to keep everything bottled up and not talk about things. I mean it would probably help if I actually had people to talk to. Yay for having no friends anymore. Anyways, hope you all enjoy your days. TTYL.

Stop Telling Me That I’m Young

Let me have my existential crisis in peace!! I’m serious though, please for the love of all that is holy stop telling me that, at 22, I am young and have so much life left to figure out that I can’t possibly be feeling the way that I’m feeling.

Do you not think that I understand that? I am fully aware that I’m supposed to have many years ahead of me but we’re not promised those years. And with the state of the world the way it is, how can we guarantee that the world will even survive long enough for me to see old age?

I’m aware that I can’t have it all right now, but it makes it hurt when people constantly tell me that I shouldn’t feel the way that I do because I’m only 22. It hurts even more when it comes from people only a few years older than I. No, I did not graduate and yes it’s okay to have not done that but at this point I’m unsure if I will ever be able to go back to school and that really hurts because I have such a strong desire to finally go back to school.

There are young people out there changing the world, working dream jobs, living fulfilling lives. I’m sitting here at 22 feeling like I have wasted every second of my life up until this point. And it exhausts me to be told otherwise!

Sometimes I just really want to be pessimistic and negative. There’s no reason to pretend to be positive and wonderful and loving life all the time, it paints a false sense of perfection in life and I find that really unfair. If you’re always painting yourself as positive then you start to find yourself never being able to share how you really feel and the thoughts that you actually have.

I also find it really unfair to have my experiences belittled and brushed aside by both people older than me and my peers. Not one person has the same experience as another. Like I was talking to someone the other day and while trying to be motivating about the fact that he was feeling trapped in his position I also empathized. I was brutally honest and I didn’t bullshit him. It’s not fair to try and convince someone that everything will be okay all the time someday because there will always be bad days. But I also do understand that sometimes you have to force positivity when you really don’t want to. So I commiserated but I also motivated, I was very analytical with it and honestly sometimes that’s all I can do. Emotions are stupid, so look at it analytically and then you can find some good in it.

I would just really appreciate it if people replaced the “someday’s” with truth and realism. Because life sucks right now and there’s no proof that there’s going to be a magical “someday” and it’s beyond frustrating to keep having that idea fed to me (not like I’ve ever believe it or anything).

But all in all, I understand that I am young. I understand that I have a lot of stuff left to experience. However, I also feel like in my 22 years that I have lived 10 lifetimes already and I’m just tired of people telling me that I’m living my life incorrectly by being negative about my timeline of living. There are always different paths to take, I get that, but dang!! Let me be frustrated that I’m not on the path that I want to be!! Let me have emotions!! I don’t want to be on the path 30 years down the road, I want to be on that path now and I’m allowed to be frustrated that life isn’t different right now because I fully acknowledge that I am the one that put myself onto this path. I’m allowed to be frustrated that I made stupid mistakes and I threw away many possibilities of different presents and futures. And I own up to that and no I don’t live in that negativity but if I can’t speak candidly about things without being told I’m incorrect or that I shouldn’t think like that then what’s the point?

This post kind of just turned into a massive rant but I think I got the point across. Basically everyone is at different points in life but that doesn’t give one person the right to tell another person that they should think differently about their life. If you are not personally living that life then you have no say in how someone else lives or thinks about their own life.

Anyways, rant over. Have a nice weekend everyone! (Sorry that I may have started off your weekend on an angry note with this post but I just needed to post it now!)

I Fear Boredom: Revisited

Back in April of 2017 I wrote a post about how one of my irrational fears was boredom and empty time. I decided that I wanted to talk about this again because two years later, this is still a really prevalent issue in my life.

In trying to get over this “fear” of boredom I spend countless hours doing meaningless things. Scrolling through social media and doing absolutely nothing. So even though I’m being “busy” I feel horrible about how I spend my days. I feel guilty about the amount of pointless content I consume and yet I can’t stop doing it.

In the past few months I have been trying to be more meaningful with my time. Making sure that I prioritize doing things like blogging and reading and going for walks. I started playing Pokemon Go again and obviously I started using this blog again. I’ve posted consistently and even started reading books again. But then a lot of nights I end up scrolling through Twitter and reading the same tweets seven times in a row because I can’t concentrate enough on what I’m doing to actually consume the media I’m trying to consume.

I know that a lot of this comes from my depression and it makes me hate my mental health problems even more. I feel guilty for not doing things but then I feel equally guilty for actually doing things. I haven’t watched any TV shows in months because I feel like it’s not worth my time to watch anything, so I end up just watching YouTube videos of Vine compilations because I’m so anxious I can’t watch anything else. And yet the list of media I want to consume just keeps getting longer and longer… And longer.

If I do actually do something, I feel guilty for doing it. Why go for a long walk and play Pokemon Go and enjoy the fresh air when there is laundry at home to be done? Why watch a new TV show when you could write a blog post? Why spend a day reading when you could do literally anything else? Why, why, why??? I even feel guilty picking out what book I want to read next because I want to have just read them all already. It feels nearly impossible to truly enjoy myself when doing anything because I always feel like nothing is truly worth my time.

To try and combat the way I feel about my time, I’m trying to just do things. I’ve basically stopped using social media except for Twitter. I’m going to try and watch The Haunting of Hill House sometime soon and Black Mirror season five was released this week so I’ll be watching those three episodes this weekend because even though I have issues with it, I’m obsessed. I’m trying to go to the library for a little bit every week to work on writing and just for browsing and people watching. I’m just picking whatever book I sorta want to read and then reading until I feel like switching to a new book or when I’ve finished that book I first chose.

The next thing I want to do is try to break the idea that I need to monetize my hobbies. I’m going to get back into painting and coloring because I need some color in my life and I’m going to refuse to let myself think I need to be doing something that will make me money. Too much of my life has to revolve around money and it makes me really sad.

Struggling with idleness is a really difficult thing to struggle with. Almost everything makes me anxious no matter if I’m doing something or not doing something. I really wish that it wasn’t like this but for now I’m stuck with it.

So I guess there’s my update on fearing boredom. I hope this wasn’t too depressing for your Friday read. Hope y’all have a good weekend.

Mental Health is a Journey

It’s taken me all month to figure out what I wanted to say in this post. As you may or may not know, May is a Mental Health Awareness month… And as I used to be fairly open about on here, I struggle with mental health problems greatly. It’s not fun and I hate having to admit that I’m like this.

I’ve lost a lot because of my mental health and at this point I realize just how bad it is to truly tell people what you are going through. The stigma is insane and I honestly don’t think that it will ever go away, no matter how much people talk about it.

So this is me saying that I’m probably not going to talk about mental health on here anymore. Maybe very generally, or just in passing but I won’t be dedicating any posts to it, I won’t be discussing my diagnoses or anything like that. I just feel like I have been hurt more by my openness about my mental health than I have by anything else.

And you know what? Maybe I am playing into the whole stigmatization of mental health but until I see true change in people not judging or hurting people because of what is going on in their brains I will not be open with what is going on inside my own brain.

I’m just very tired of how horrible mental health care and treatment is and just how badly people act towards the mentally ill.

I hope that in going forward with this decision that you guys can understand where I’m coming from.

And remember that mental health is a journey for everyone. Not everyone is going to be at the same point that someone else is. Right now, my mental health journey is at a stop where I need to just do it by myself and not bring other people into it.

I feel almost cold blooded to talk like this… But I can’t help it. My mental health has brought nothing good into my life and I can’t imagine continuing being open about something that only destroys things. Do any of you feel this way? Do you think that in my doing this I’m playing into the stigmatization of mental health? Anyways, sorry for such a downer post! I promise I have happier stuff coming up.

And if any of you need someone to talk to, I’m happy to chat. Have a good rest of your day.

My Favorite Self Care Tips

I think self care is really important. Especially during the times when you’re experiencing a really low point in your mental health journey.

When you’re at your lowest, it’s hard to do anything sometimes other than lie in bed and stare at the walls. Despite these feelings, it’s extremely important to get out of bed and take care of yourself.

Before I get into my own favorite self care methods, here’s a video by Lucy and Rosianna, who are awesome, talking about self care.

(Also I wrote this before making Wednesday’s post so hahaha, enjoy another video).

So moving into my four favorite self care tips, tricks, and methods if you want to call them that.

1. Hydrate yourself

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Drink a glass of water, I love to drink a glass of ice water, or at least cold water of some sort in order to wake up a little and almost jolt me out of whatever funk I’m in at the moment. It’s definitely not a cure all but it helps immensely with motivation to then do other things.

2.Clean yourself up

Shower, brush your teeth, wash your face, put clean underwear and pajamas on or actually get dressed. Sometimes I’ll even put makeup on just because it’s something to distract me and I also love the process of applying it. It’s really important to prioritize personal hygiene when you’re feeling low. Leaving yourself dirty and feeling grimy can often make yourself feel worse than normal just because you do feel gross. It’s hard to actually care about yourself as a human being if you’re not feeling quite human.

I also think it’s important to have a cleanish space. I would change my bedding and pick up the biggest messes on my floor (probably all clothes). If you have a dishwasher, definitely put any dirty dishes in there and if you don’t, don’t feel like you have to wash them all right away however, getting that task done would be a big accomplishment. I know finishing a task always makes me feel better since it gives me less to do some other time, and I feel productive!

3.Eat something

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Eat something small and snacky if you’re not feeling up to cooking, or make yourself a nice meal and store the leftovers for the next few days. I personally like to bake when I’m sad. Sweets are kind of my weak spot. Right now I have a ton of extra peanut butter in my cupboard here at school (because I got a jar in my stocking for Christmas) and I definitely think I’m going to make some of the peanut butter balls from this post the next time I need something distracting and worthwhile to do.

I think it’s important to get your blood sugar up and some nutrients into your body. I know I can always tell a huge difference in my mood when I eat something. Carbs are my friend when it comes to being sad and I love pasta for meals. A smoothie is always good too. I tend to lean towards a chocolate protein smoothie with frozen bananas, chocolate protein powder, peanut butter, and almond milk when I’m sad. It tastes like ice cream and always makes me happier because it doesn’t come with the lovely stomachache that real ice cream gives me.

4.Do something you enjoy

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Now when I say do something you enjoy, I mean do something that you absolutely can’t mess up no matter what that you actually like doing. Like reading, or watching YouTube, or for me I really enjoy to stress crochet. I find that it’s better not to do something that could possibly be messed up, you don’t want to end up getting angry with yourself or even more sad because you can’t do what you want to do. This is not the time to start a new hobby! That is definitely a task for a different day! And don’t try to deep clean anything either, if things do need to get cleaned, see my above cleaning category.

When I do stuff like this, this is when I like to also treat myself. Usually this means drinking a soda, sometimes even a Diet Coke (because honestly I never drink diet soda).

So, when you’re really feeling down and getting out of bed is almost impossible, I really encourage you all to form a simple routine that you follow when you need some structure the most. The four things in this post are pretty broad and there are so many different things that you can do to take care of yourself.

I hope you all have a great Friday.

Pokemon and Mental Health

I’m pretty sure that if I sat down with my past self right now and told her that Pokemon would be a huge part in helping with our mental health, I’m pretty sure that I would have laughed in my own face. I was definitely that kid in elementary school that made fun of the “nerds” who played Pokemon. Which is pretty ironic considering I am and literally always have been a giant nerd.

Back in July, when Pokemon Go swept through the United States I decided to give it a shot. My boyfriend taught me how to play it and it took me less than half an hour to realize how much I loved this game. The more I played it, the more confident I felt in walking around by myself, and more often than not I actually looked forward to leaving the house. I started to feel more comfortable about leaving the house with no makeup on, or with a full face of makeup. Slowly but surely I began to care less and less what people around me thought about me because I am so excited to go out and try and catch new Pokemon.

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This is a screenshot from very soon after I began playing the game, I was very proud of my small collection of Pokemon.

So even though now that the game has slowed down I still play it. I feel as if it gives me a sense of purpose in some small way. It makes me feel like I have a reason to go outside and it gives me something to enjoy my time. It’s odd how much an app could change me, but it made me want to get outside and get walking. I love being outside but I would always feel self-conscious so this was a big change for me.

Coping with mental illness is difficult, and it can be incredibly time consuming to figure out something that even comes remotely close to working. People can suggest lists and lists of things and some things may work while other times nothing will work. Things can work for a short amount of time and things can work forever. I find that for me, things work for very short amounts of time, or I trick myself into thinking that they work and then they stop.

I just know that coping with mental illness feels almost impossible most of the time and sometimes it definitely feels better to just sleep all the time and not do anything, but it’s always great to have a brief reprise when you can actually find something that seems to help.

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 So my favorite Pokemon is by far Eevee. She’s absolutely adorable and if I could have one as a pet I would totally want one. I was so excited when I caught the first one, it made me so happy!

Do any of you out there still play Pokemon Go? What’s your favorite Pokemon?

I hope you all have an amazing night and remember that whatever you use to cope is good, don’t let anyone look down upon you for trying to make positive changes in your life.