The Happiest I’ve Ever Been

I have four unfinished drafts. I haven’t written in four weeks… or more. I get four new ideas every sleepless night. There’s too much and not enough going on in my life. And I can’t take it anymore. I’m writing at 3 am and decided to publish whatever word vomit I create. A friend of mine once suggested (likely out of pity) that my readers must like the honesty that these sad writing sessions are born from. He said this after I expressed confusion that one such word vomit post did infinitely better, views-wise, than a post I spent upwards of eight hours on.

 

Audio of this post:

 

The Best Four Months of My Life

 

Living on my own, therapy, love, and more…

I want to write. I do. I used to fight for myself. I did very well- surprisingly well- the first semester I moved into an apartment on campus by myself. Sure I had apartment-mates, but I saw them each no more than three times that whole school year (they were worse recluses than me!). It took until finals time to falter. That semester in group therapy I gave more advice than sought it. My life was great and I ran with that. Literally. That was when I started running. I wanted to do a 5K. About two months in I was pushing myself and that was the only area in my life I would not be satisfied with. I wanted to continuously improve and did.

I loved my life that year. It was the best semester of my life. Best three or four months of my life. I did things because I wanted to and that was that. I tried the whole vegetarian thing. I was looking into studying abroad. It was glorious. And, of course, I was in love. My first boyfriend. That’s pure. Completely the wrong person for me and that became blatantly apparent in the next few months, but for that brief beginning… it was glorious. I didn’t know I could be so happy.

 

Friendship, Healthier Coping, and Constant Support

That was the semester I began a friendship with one of the most caring people I’ve ever met- Mariah. I’d never had such a close friendship with someone before. It’s incredible she’s still my friend. That was also the semester we both turned 21. Every other weekend we’d get together, just the two of us (well with her boyfriend playing video games on a nearby couch), at her apartment to hang out and try different types of alcohol. Not the wildest college drinking stories. Not even close. But the best I could have asked for.

I’ve had issues with emotional overeating since I was about 10 years old. That semester? Not until finals time. It was like I imagine nicotine cravings are. Awful. Constant. And gnawing. Obviously, it wasn’t without a couple slip ups, but until I gave up during finals week… it was amazing. I sang so much that semester. Constant music. That’s what they always say. Therapists and other positive role models I’ve had: replace negative behaviors with positive ones. It’s so difficult. Sounds simple, but a song isn’t as effective as a donut for me. Not at first. That’s the semester I learned to be okay with crying. I’d been told crying isn’t shameful since I’d started therapy two years prior to that semester, but on my then boyfriend’s shoulder I accepted it.

It was my first semester as manager at a little food shop on campus. I met my coworkers I’d be friends with for the remainder of my university career. I was so nervous about my first leadership role. The boyfriend was constant support through anything and everything that semester. I’d never had that. With him, my therapists, my friends, and a pinch of belief in myself I learned I could be happy. I didn’t have to keep punishing myself for something I felt I deserved.

 

Beginning to Like Myself and Learning to Enjoy Life

I can’t underestimate this next part. I’ve hated the way I look, especially my weight, over any horrible thought I’ve ever had about my intelligence or other abilities. I never in a million years thought I’d look at myself with anything but disgust and shame. That semester, sometimes I’d wish I looked like someone’s reflection or shadow I’d catch at the corner of my eye then I’d realize that reflection or shadow had been mine. It was extremely confusing and alien at first. I began wearing tank tops for Pete’s sake! I liked how they looked… I almost can’t believe I got to that point. I was by no means skinny. I’ve dreamt of being skinny for more than a decade at this point. I didn’t weigh myself that whole semester. Maybe once for a class, but I think I refused to look at the time. Yet, I’ve never been happier with my body. Sometimes I would look in a mirror (I hate mirrors) and like how I looked! Actually looked at myself and felt good- confident even!

Unbelievable! That whole semester… And I enjoyed the heck out of it. As I experienced it I knew it likely would end. I was terrified. Like an unsavory indigestion I kept swallowing down. Yet, I pushed it aside and had the best three or four months of my life. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re used to wallowing in sadness sure that that’s all you’re worth- pain and disappointment- four months is infinity. I regret nothing. I lived. I loved. And I sure as hell made the best of it.

 

Where Am I Now?

Wow. That was certainly not the direction I expected this to go. Usually when my mind wanders it reminds me how unhappy I currently am. Getting creative, Brain. You jerk. Well, since I doubt I’ll finish up those other four drafts anytime soon, here’s the summary.

  1. I used to publish just whenever I was inspired on my old blog which was about once a month. I’m done making promises I won’t keep. Not to be rude, but I can’t keep disappointing myself. I’ll publish when I publish. Sorry.
  2. I hate living at home. My friend offered to let me move in with her, but she lives in West Texas about six hours away from where I currently live. I said no. I regret that at least five times a day. Okay, maybe only three times a day.
  3. I’m codependent without anyone to be codependent with. That’s what those four drafts said in a nutshell.
  4. The fourth kind of overlaps with the friend offering her home thing. It was a pros and cons list of moving out or living at home with my parents.

 

I hate my life right now. I have plans to make it better. I hope I follow through with them. It’s kind of difficult at the moment to find motivation. But what choice do I have? It’s fight for myself or be miserable. I know I’ve written something like this at least five times before, but that’s what I’ve found life to be: a repetitive pep talk where I have to convince myself I’m the most qualified person to care and put in the work to make my life enjoyable. I don’t know what else I can do.

I’ve given up on people before and I will never forgive myself for it. I’m terrified of what will happen if I give up on myself completely. I’ve seriously let myself go, but I know there’s some line I’ve never crossed. I know I haven’t reached rock bottom. Things can be worse. And I’m afraid. I don’t want to get there. I won’t get there. Stupid pep talk after stupid pep talk- I won’t let myself get there. Thanks, Fear. Thanks, Unhappiness. I will only let my life get better because of you.

Clingy Ex and a Cool New Song

Loved You Once by Clara Mae (lyrics by AirwaveMusicTV)

We don’t need to be best friends
We don’t need to hang again
But tell me why we have to be strangers?
‘Cause I loved you once

Surprise! As I was making the current playlist post before this one I found this song by an artist I like. I can tell upon first listen that it’s going to make its way to my playlist immediately. Especially as at the moment of writing this my ex keeps texting me and apologizing for how he treated me when we were dating and not appreciating me. That’s the gist of it at least. He’s sent me two or three of those texts in just the past three weeks now that I’m back in town. Our relationship only lasted for nine months and was mostly long distance. We broke up in summer of 2017. It’s summer of 2019 as I publish this. -___-

I can’t be nice anymore. It isn’t working. I could be his friend because I now know and firmly believe what everyone told me when he and I were together: that I can do way better than him. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. I don’t want him back and there is nothing he could say or do to change my mind. I’m not that naive and desperate as I was when we got together; nor will I ever be again. That being said, as Ariana Grande put it and I’ve been telling him over a year before the song got released: Thank You, Next. I could be his friend, because I feel this way.

But I don’t believe he can. Unfortunately I’ve dealt with clingy people like him before and any form of niceness just encourages them. Asking to hang out like friends (when our “dates” were just be us watching movies or shows at his house anyway) that would just not be a good idea. I am not about to even imply to his delusional mind that I want anything more than a friendship which is how he’d interpret my friendship, I’m sure because it has happened before.

It’s been two years and he says he can’t let it go. Two years is long enough. If you can’t move on J, at least leave me alone.

 

Note: Picture from Pexel’s Free Photo Library

The Gift of Gab, no! The Wit of Writing!

Writing is such an eclectic thing. You know how some people have the gift of gab? I most definitely do not have that. I do, however, have something much less useful in this world of short attention spans: the wit of writing? I guess??? I can write. On and on and on. Yet, I don’t like to. I have no direction. That’s what my fourth grade teacher said. (She was right and I’ll never forget it as long as it’s true.) And without that direction, I can go anywhere and jump from one topic to any other. In writing.

It doesn’t connect to conversations. You would think that it would because it’s my same brain and my same knowledge and thought processes, but no. A rotund no. With people, they have to say something to me first. Otherwise I won’t talk to you unless it’s absolutely necessary. Then I’ll respond to your queries. If you have no queries…. I go silent. I wasn’t always like this. In fact. I was quite the opposite. The silence used to make me nervous and I’d purposefully and awkwardly fill in all the gaps with nonsense babble. Until a friend straight up told me it wasn’t necessary and that silence was okay. I took the idea and ran.

Dammit Jane. (My sophomore year roommate. XD)

On paper (or screen too, I guess) it’s different. I can write and write and write. About something as well as nothing. I will sit and stare at the screen not feeling in the mood to write often or not wanting to make the effort to fully develop an idea that I care about. Is it strange or self absorbed to say I value my ideas that much? But I do! I don’t want to just spew trash to you guys! That’s why I find it so difficult to actually write. This that I’m doing now is easy. It’s that thing I least enjoyed analysing in English class: stream of consciousness. Writing anything and everything that comes to mind. In other words… word vomit.

That’s easy. But to take one (just one!) idea from all of the shining beams of thought shooting around my mind and tend to it, clothe it, feed it, and nurture it into a fully developed adult. Eh, I’ll settle for adolescent. That’s difficult.

So, what did we learn today? I’m a lazy piece of shit that simultaneously thinks too highly of her ideas yet too lowly of herself to formulate them into something sensible and meaningful. We also learned that, yes, I’m committed to publishing Friday Thoughts and Pasts posts again. I’m sorry. XD

 

Help me out for next week, will ya?

 

 

Note: Picture from Pexel’s Free Photo Library

 

Should I Write About More Risqué Happenings in my Life?: A Personal Word on Explicit Topics

Original Strategy: Censor Everything

My strategy since I started using social media was to be completely censored. No swear words, no inappropriate photos (pretty much no photos of myself, even) and, of course, no sexual talk. Honestly it wasn’t a problem at first since I didn’t swear, hated getting photos taken of myself, and didn’t have a romantic life, much less a sexual one. With the passing years, each of these things have become a part of my life and I’ve adapted to that. I’ve eased up on it for my blog because my blog is small and feels like my little safe corner of the internet.

However, maybe one day it won’t be so small, or maybe it will, but a future employer, family member, or acquaintance will find it which will result in unfair judgement. After all, people get to know each other slowly. It’s usually not an open manuscript like on my blog. While I do have a lot of sensitive material on here (personal stories and insecurities), I have not broached the sexuality thing.

 

Current Censorship Thoughts on Swear Words, Pictures, and Sexuality

Swear words are fine. (Until the internet forces me to censor it.) Sorry if you have a problem with that. You have been warned. I have included a couple of pictures of myself on this blog. It’s still not something I feel comfortable doing all the time, but it’s not off the table. More risqué photos, well, we’re not like that, fam. Unless I get super fit and proud of my body, there’s no reason for it to happen anyway. But sexuality…

It’s definitely a new area in my life. I thought I would need to be super fit and proud of my body for that to even be a thing, but apparently not. And there’s nothing wrong with it! I don’t want to just censor everything that happens. It’s part of my life and it’s a fun topic. UGHHH. Really. It’s my family reading this stuff that worries me more than random strangers/employers awkwardly bringing anything “inappropriate” I write up in conversation.

 

My Main Concerns: My Parents and Internet Backlash

Not even most of my family. It’s my parents. I’d hate for them to find out about something I haven’t told them. Ever since my first (also my only) boyfriend I refuse to talk about romantic or sexual topics with them, so it’d be pretty much any story within these topics. UGHHHHH. But I don’t want to live in fear of what they will think or say. I’ve lived that to an extreme most of my life. It’s why I didn’t take a chance on my first real crush. That could have been beautiful and I do regret it.

No! But what’s the limit? After all, my blog is still a brand. What type of stories do I want to be known for? I firmly believe that one should not be afraid to be completely honest. If you wouldn’t want other people to find out about something, you likely shouldn’t do it in the first place. BUT! The internet is a topsy turvy place and people are all sensitive nowadays. BUT! I’m never going to make everyone happy nor do I want to waste the time or energy to try to do that. This is my blog. This is me. I’m going to be honest.

Yet! Not everything needs to be shared. I don’t tell y’all everytime I go to the bathroom or smile at a pigeon while walking down the street. If it seems like a fun story, I’ll share it. Otherwise, what’s the point? It’s not different than any other topic. I don’t believe in unnecessary censoring. (Watch the episode in season 4 of Black Mirror titled Arkangel for a much more eloquent argument about that.)

 

 

Speaking of well worded arguments against censoring, here’s a quote from an article I read recently on the topic.

Do not write for other people, second-guessing what “they” will like. That’s a sure path to mediocrity. If you’re going to fail, fail spectacularly. Jump off the building, not the stoop.

Johnny Shaw for Writer’s Digest “Why You Shouldn’t Censor Yourself When Writing

 

Embracing the Potential Consequences

Welp, I won’t say I’m not scared about the potential consequences/backlash, but I’m a masochist and I believe pain and controversy is necessary to learn and grow, so I’m going to do it! I’m going to talk to you guys about sexy times! XD It’s somewhat ridiculous that I had to give myself a pep talk to feel ready to do that. X) But really, life is short. How many slutty days do I have left? No one knows! Might as well get all that out of my system and into written word. The extra entertainment factor for y’all is just a plus!

 

The Saucier Side of My Most Romantic Date with Chance

Soooo, look forward to some saucier stories??? Haha, let’s see which one I want to tell first. Ah. I know how to start. Remember that post about the most romantic date I’d ever been on (my first date with Chance)? Specifically part 2? (Link here) Yeah, well when we had our first kiss, it did turn into multiple kisses. Not a ton of tongue, but definitely making out. And Chance wasn’t just holding my waist like an old fashioned sweetheart. No, his hand slid down a bit to fondle my ass. And I let him.

When we sat on the stairs, he pulled me into his lap and we continued making out as he continued to caress my behind and eventually found the hem of my shirt. I was a bit disconcerted, but I allowed it. When his big hands found my breast (woo!) did I start breathing a little heavier. That night wasn’t just shy and sweet and intellectual and personal. It was HOT. I’m sorry for censoring that part out. It’s part of my story and it adds something to it. Maybe I’ll write a post just adding in the sexy bits I’ve been erm… avoiding up until now. Or I’ll just not avoid them from now on. Not sure yet. I have a lot of stuff going on at the moment.

If you are wondering how the whole fondling moment ended that night, well, his other hand reached to go under my shirt. Maybe he was just trying to give my other breast some love, but I freaked thinking he was trying to pull up my shirt and I put my hand over his to get him to stop. He got the message and we continued kissing for a while before separating and him suggesting we get out of the stairwell before we went any further or did something we might regret. Something along those lines.

I just hoped for a kiss on the first date, but I have to say what actually happened was a pleasant surprise. WOO! This being honest thing is going to be fun! Also maybe hurtful depending on the reaction, but no matter!!!!

 

Comment Below!

Let me know your thoughts on this topic. Do you guys think it’s okay to swear, write about sexual activity, or other explicit topics? Would you/ do you write about these things in your own personal blog?

Also, did you guys expect the stuff with Chance on our first date? Or did y’all think it just ended with a couple kisses and some cuddles? X) Again, this is going to be fun! Welp, please comment below and look forward to the next post! 😀

Health Doesn’t Just Come From Your Doctor: The Importance of a Team Approach to Health.

I’m easily triggered. Just because someone isn’t diagnosed doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling. Do you know how many people have medical diagnoses that either aren’t discovered until years after the onset or at all? It’s not uncommon. And often times medical diagnoses have physical symptoms. Can you imagine how difficult it is to go about life with constant or extreme pain, inflammation, fever, cough, whatever it may be, and all the doctors, specialists, and medical professionals tell you nothing is wrong, when you clearly know it is? How can everyone- professionals especially- doubt what you feel so strongly every day?!

Now imagine that same negation, doubt, and being brushed off but no physical symptoms. Or the ones you do have aren’t even considered. I’m talking about undiagnosed mental disorders. I’ve gone to the doctor. Other than being overweight and having a twinge of high LDL cholesterol, I’m fine. You know, the last time I went to the doctor, the nurse asked about any signs of depression or anxiety. It’s a complicated, but simple question. I mean, the whole concept of mental illnesses are things most lay people (in my experience at least) don’t seem to understand. It was nice to be asked. I replied, “yeah, some anxiety”. I was too anxious to mention my depressive tendencies.

 My Experiences at the Doctor’s

I’ve been going to therapists/ support groups on and off for the last four years now and I can say that it’s really helped me. However, all of that was when I was in university. It was either free or really cheap, super close to where I lived, and on my own account. I remember the doctor I went to a couple years ago didn’t say a word to me about mental illness. But she sure did waive the mood screening she supposedly did. Just because I wasn’t bawling my eyes out or trembling as I spoke, I’m ruled out for anxiety and depression, not to mention all the other known disorders? I didn’t know the DSM had changed their criteria!

Mental health isn’t that easy. You can’t just look at someone and know they are mentally okay. Sometimes you can. I would argue that when I went to the doctor this winter, I was a stereotypical depressed person. I looked tired even through most of what I did during the day was sleep, I hadn’t showered in several days. I know the doctor and everyone else could tell by my greasy hair that fell slick over one side of my face. Maybe I looked better than I remember feeling, but the not having showered thing was evident.

Despite that and the fact that the nurse seemed to have written down something about my anxiety comment, the doctor didn’t mention a word about mental health. I understand doctors are much more physiologically inclined, but health is multifaceted! You couldn’t run a hospital with just cardiologists. What would people with diabetes do? Or burn patients? How about a hospital filled with dentists? No! Each medical professional has a role.

Collaborating with other Medical Professionals as a Dietetic Intern

As you guys may know if you read my weekly blogs, I am doing a nutrition internship at the moment with the end goal to become a licensed dietitian. My first rotations were mostly clinical which meant I was evaluating patients at hospitals. One thing that I got harped at for? Not referring patients to other medical professionals. At first, I assumed, well they called a nutrition specialist so I should focus on the nutrition aspect. Makes sense, right?

Yeah, well it isn’t that simple. Some patients were sedated, others had a tube down their throat, and yet others just didn’t understand their disease. I couldn’t just waltz into their hospital rooms and focus solely on nutrition. Everything was entwined. From the patient’s medical diagnosis (doctor), their ability to move (physical and/or occupational therapists), ability to swallow (speech pathologist), will to live and eat (psychologists), any damage/ deformity that could alter nutrition intake or absorption (surgeons), to when blood sugar was checked (nurses) and how much family support/ financial stability they had (social workers), it is all intertwined. If I had a patient who was hungry but was in too much pain to eat, I couldn’t do my job. Or, more like, it wouldn’t matter if I did my job because the patient still wouldn’t eat. That was doctor territory. I wasn’t about to tell a doctor what to do.

The Intertwined World of Medicine

Health is a complicated thing. It even goes beyond medical professions to each individual. It includes, yeah, any diseases, dental caries, and so on, but also diet, physical activity, sleep, stress management, and emotional balance. I knew that when I was doing nutrition evaluations at hospitals, but I didn’t want to overstep my boundaries. I didn’t want to boss around professionals with more studies than me. But that wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. This is what I mean when I say health is simple and complex.

I don’t have to know all the inner workings of the body or mind or even that patient’s life. All I have to know is that if I see something not quite right, it’s okay to consult someone. It’s okay to take a couple minutes of someone’s time if I believe it would help. I am not a dentist, but if I have a patient who can’t eat because their dentures don’t fit right, it is my responsibility to call one. Otherwise, I’m being negligent. It’s wrong to recognize a problem (worse if you also recognize a solution and even worse if it’s a relatively simple solution) and then do nothing about it.

A medical professional shouldn’t leave a patient to figure things out if they have already figured it out. The least they can do is mention the observed problem to a patient and suggest they seek help from a specialist. Better yet would be to call in a referral. That being said, it is all health care worker’s responsibilities to be observant and help where they can. I know every profession is busy with their own work, but if you see something that’s not quite right, no matter your line of work, say something!

If Only my Doctors Read my Blog…

I’m getting better at it. I wish my doctors were better at it. I know I need some sort of mental health specialist to get out of this rut I’m falling into again. I’ve never experienced such extreme symptoms as I am right now. Yet, my doctor didn’t mention a word about mental health. She asked if I’d gone to the dentist though, so I guess that’s some positive points there.

I don’t know if I am certifiably insane. I don’t blame my doctors for the fact that I haven’t gotten up the courage to set up an appointment with a psychologist. I’m not saying people’s health is solely a doctor’s responsibility. In the end, you are in responsible for your health. What I’m saying is doctors are the gatekeepers that connect most other health professionals and a quick referral can change someone’s life for the better in a matter of weeks versus the months or years it may take that person to figure it out on their own or, as is my case, build up the courage to do something for themselves.

Oh, well, I guess that’s what natural selection is about, right? Hooray for not knowing what, if anything, is wrong with my mind!! Maybe I’ll feel like making an appointment with a psychologist next year…

Do Anything

Note: Let’s try something, every time my mind yells a swear word I’ll write “frick” and every time I zone out I’ll mention it, both in italics. Other stuff in italics will be inner thoughts. Prepare to enter my mind. Sorry.

***

Do anything. When I’m feeling extremely unmotivated, this is my only plea. Do anything. I’ve had days where I am so zoned out, it’s difficult to type “written by: Laura”. (That happened a week ago…) Frick. I’m zoning out now. I don’t know why other people annoy me so much. Zone out I feel inadequate. In comparison, I feel inadequate. Yeah, yeah, don’t compare. Moreover, my flaws are another’s dreams. Yeah! Well, same here! I don’t like me. What I do like, I feel like I can’t mention, because then people make faces and say I have a big ego. What I don’t like I can’t mention either, because then I’m told I’m exaggerating. That I don’t appreciate what I have. Frick.

When I’m in a bad place. Let’s say in a funk. (I don’t want to say depressed, because some people get uppity about the use of that word. Plus, I haven’t been to a psychologist since about half a year, so I don’t have a professional to confirm that.) Anyway, when I’m in a funk, Zone out, frick I –my mind zones out a lot and also does some not so nice things. The first is that it curses. I curse? In my head? I don’t know.

Example, Zone out if I zone out, the moment I realize I was doing something and zoned out, I’ll hear “F**K!” in my head. I don’t tell people about this or the other thing my brain does. So, often, people will think I’m exaggerating when I say I’m down, can’t concentrate, or anything negative. They’ll quote how smart I am or some accomplishment of mine. It could be grades, or how organized I seem, something along those lines

What they don’t understand, is that I have to be that “great”. I have to be super organized and a try-hard when I can, because I know how horrifying it is to sit in front of a blank computer screen with my mind just as blank. Frick *Remembering the last time this happened* I know how bad it gets, so when I am okay, I need to be better! To make up for what I know will come. Because my funks are a cycle. Zone out Or a roller coaster. Who knows?

Zone out Ummmmm But most people only see the “good” parts of me. They see when Zone out I work on assignments or give presentations (for context, I just graduated university in May and now I’m in an internship that also has a ton of assignments and grades). They don’t see when I get home from a business trip out of town and flee to the bathroom to quietly sob before wiping my eyes and pretending nothing happened.

They see me watching YouTube on the couch all afternoon for days in a row and call me lazy. They don’t know that it’s either that or stare into space. Sometimes I believe them. I think, why am I so lazy and unmotivated? Why don’t I just work on what I should? I tried this last week. In my defense, it does work sometimes. Sometimes, I don’t want to get to work on homework, but once I start, it’s okay. I get into a rhythm and I’m fine. Last week, I just succeed in getting progressively more self-loathing and blaming myself for not starting. Think: staring at a blank computer screen.

Do anything. That’s what I tell myself in those moments. Even if I should be working on an essay or a case study (*cough cough* me right now…), I allow myself to work on whatever I want or am motivated to. Doing anything, even if that anything is making a faux Christmas tree out of tissue paper (featured picture) or writing this blog post, is a million times better than last week when I started “working” at 3pm, and “worked” until 12pm because it took me that long to type up four paragraphs on lactation. Frick.

Blah. This building I’m in doesn’t have working air conditioning. An— Frick!! I was looking up the temperature where I am, but got distracted by my friend texting me. Twice. Frick. Frick! Stop it brain! Umm, so yes. It’s about 84 degrees outside, and hotter inside this non-air-conditioned building. And I’m cold.

You think my normal posts are long and rambly? Yeah, well, my mind is worse. What was I going to say? What am I doing? Yeah, do anything. That’s it. Zone out. Man! Um, so yes, do anything, guys. Doing something is better than nothing. Unless it’s harmful. Then try not to do that.

Thus, the second thing my mind does: it flashes scenes of me hurting myself. After seeing a flash like that usually I get uneasy. Other times, I feel desire. For the more gruesome ones, I tend to feel scared that one day my body will actually go through with something I’ll regret.

A common one is smashing my hand against a wall. I don’t know why. I know I’m not in the best place, but I don’t want to hurt myself. Well, maybe I do want to do that. <— Example of an intrusive thought that just popped into my head uninvited. Fine, yeah, I don’t love myself and I do want to hurt myself, but not severely! Not noticeably! That’s a good topic for other post: what I feel I deserve and how I punish myself.

I don’t want to publish this. Zone out. Zone out again. I’m afraid of getting put in an asylum for the mentally ill if I were to admit self-harm desires/behaviors. Frick. Plus, it seems personal. I’m sleepy. Don’t want to be awake. Video idea! You know how some people talk about all those things they do to stay positive and happy? How they say things like I get up and stretch, open the blinds, and feel the sun on my skin and appreciate the universe? Or some crap like that? (No hate. In my better days, it’s those hokey pokey things that really do help.) Well, what if someone made a video/tip sheet of the habits of sad people? My first one is: Daily morning ritual, wake up, realize you are now conscious, grumble, curse the world, declare you don’t want to be awake, and throw the covers over your head before falling asleep again. Do not wake before 1pm, if it can be avoided.

This post is getting out of hand. Bye.

 

Note: It’s a couple of days later and while I’m still terrified of posting this for the darker involuntary desires I mentioned, but I figure I don’t have enough people who read this blog for it to be a problem. I hope. I’m fine, guys. I don’t self harm or anything like that. I’m open to professional help. Not to being committed to a mental hospital. Got that? ‘Kay, now bye.

 

Why am I not enough? (Remembering to put on a fake face to survive in the “real” world)

I’ve had problems with depression and anxiety …also probably paranoia and anger management at least since 8th grade. Everyone has traumas. Mine happened when I was 10 years old. It was no one’s fault. Who was I to be angry at then? I think humans need to blame someone or something or else all that anger gets internalized. At least that’s what happened to me.

 

Brief Overview of my Life Growing Up

I’m not ready to write about what happened. I don’t want pity. What I want is to explore its effects. At 10 years old, I learned that loved ones aren’t a given. They can be there one day and not the next. (No one passed away, if you’re wondering.) But I learned no one is a sure thing. Not even my parents. However, through this turbulent time I still had my teachers and classmates. I learned that was my constant.

Middle school years

That’s all that I carried with me: my school friends and academic success. (More so my friends, but at the end of the day I chose academics and switched schools.) 8th grade. New school. I don’t know why since I’d always been the kid who had a friend by the end of the first day of school, but I didn’t make any friends that year. I didn’t feel the need. I wasn’t interested in talking to other people. So I didn’t. Academics. That’s all I had.

High school

I tried, but by now it wasn’t just a lack of desire. It was full-blown anxiety. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone. I’d only talk when teachers called on me in class. Even then my heart worked overtime from the stress of being called on. Academics. That’s all I had. Not having friends, I dreaded school breaks. Winter break, spring break. The worst was summer break. My mind would over think. I’d get into existential crises. At 15 years old, I knew I needed a distraction. I needed a purpose. Without school, my life, I feared death. Or maybe I feared not living.

I lived (arguable choice of words) like this for 3 years. By senior year of high school, I began to wonder. What if I didn’t treat academics as my life. What if I did poorly? I felt my parents weren’t proud of me with all A’s. (My dad praised anything and everything, while my mom questioned my A+’s for not being 100’s.) Would they freak if I got C’s? So, I stopped trying. I tanked my GPA in the last year. Began failing tests. (I’d never failed an exam before then.) And. Nothing. Happened. They were disappointed, but they didn’t lecture me. Just told me to try harder.

Or maybe they did care. I don’t even know how I felt. I’d say I didn’t care, but I did because I was worried that they didn’t care. I was nervous watching my grades drop and them not bat an eye. I wanted them to care. I wanted to matter to my parents. Not that I didn’t. I knew, intellectually, that they cared about me, but at the time I needed to proof to believe it. My dad’s praise was so frequent it meant nothing and my mom’s was nonexistent. Positive wasn’t happening, so I sought negative attention.

But I didn’t get it.

Then I went to university

I’d made a friend during those last two years in high school. I’d stopped trying so hard to keep my grades up and still passed. My priorities shifted. I learned the wonders of human connection. School didn’t matter. I had friends! Maybe it was my depression or paranoia or broken trust in family stability (no one got divorced either, in case you guys are wondering). Whatever it was, I could not feel or believe that my parents loved me. I knew that as a fact. Not as a feeling.

But I knew my friends liked me! And that feeling was indescribable! A feeling! That itself was surprising! I was numb all throughout high school. The only time I felt anything was during that short-lived flirty time with the boy I snuck off to the library with (blog post on that here). Often I remember anger. But that was it. Anger or nothing. It was like I wasn’t alive. Emotionally, at least.

But in university, I made friends and felt emotions. The most important of which was happiness. I’d had that spark of nervous flirty happiness with the boy in high school, but not like this. Not from friends, and later happiness all to myself, from myself. I found freedom in university. I wasn’t always at school or at home surrounded by people. Being watched all the time. Or not, but that’s what the paranoia told me. I had my own space. It was scary at first. I still struggle to do things by myself. I don’t think I was ever allowed to be alone growing up (bedroom doors were not allowed to be closed in my household and I didn’t go out with friends, much less on my own). University was life changing.

I learned what happiness is. I learned what friends are. I learned who I am. When no one was watching, I knew who I was and amazingly, I liked myself.

What did books matter when I was learning all of this?! They didn’t. And while I was learning who I was, I had to decide on a career. (Blog post about how I came to that decision here.) And now I’m here. In Puerto Rico. A place I knew nothing about when I decided to move out here for a year. Much less did I know anyone here. All the interns in my program were strangers. Now, I wish some of them still were.

I’ve learned that people can be mean and care only about themselves. I’ve learned people can be indifferent or too interested. I’ve learned people can be angry. They can be distracted. They can be cruel. And they are hypocrites.

I knew these things as fact before. But now I know them as feeling. …It makes me wish I didn’t have emotions again. It’s an empty wish and a common one of mine, to go back to the numb high school days. But in those moments with friends, some with romantic interests, and others through my own personal accomplishments,  I’ve learned what positive emotions are and I believe they are what makes life life. Only being able to feel anger, which later morphed to sadness, is not life.

When I was in high school, it was a numb, unfeeling depression. In university, with happiness, I learned sadness. Harsh, deep sadness. The peak of which occurred in my senior year of university. This year I lived with a great friend of mine. And I hurt her. Before her, I always had a facade up. An act. It wasn’t to be cruel. It was to be kind. I didn’t want to expose others to my sadness. But with her…

Life Changing Friendship- Learning to Trust and that it’s Okay to be Myself. Flaws and All!

To Mariah I gave all of my trust. I let go completely. I let her in as far as she wanted to go. And she went far. She saw me at my worst. I’ve never been that depressed since. Even though she’ll deny it, I know I ruined (or at the very least) inconvenienced many of her days. We spent Thanksgiving (2017) angry with each other and that weekend trying to drag me out of bed, literally. I made her suffer. It wasn’t on purpose; it just goes with depression. With depression and anxiety and paranoia and anger issues and what ever other labels exist for all the not positive aspects of my personality.

But she refused to give up on me. We’re still friends. I know that woman would do almost anything for me. And I don’t know what I did to deserve her. I don’t feel like I deserve her. It’s rare, someone like that. So loyal (against their own good even). And I was spoiled.

Post Graduate Nutrition Internship- Learning to Distrust and that it’s NOT Okay to be Myself. Flaws Should be Well Hidden.

Now, I’m here in Puerto Rico working on a dietetic internship (when I doubt I want to work as a dietitian for the rest of my life) almost attached to the hip with my internship partner. I go from rotations where I’m supervised and evaluated. Hello, paranoia and anxiety! Oh, there you are anger! To an apartment where everyone has beef with at least one other person. The environment is toxic. Doesn’t help my depressive tendencies.

Sorry I can’t be positive and supportive 24/7. I still try. It hurts, but I try. Thing is, I can’t give what I don’t have. Every day I feel more paranoid, more anxious, angry, and sad. Or then I’m manically happy! But one misplaced comment and I’m underground again trying to dig myself out. Or not. Sometimes I don’t ever want to surface. (Related blog post here.)

I let myself believe, due to my experience with Mariah, that people can be trusted 100%. I can let go and be my completely flawed self and not worry about the repercussions. But I now know how truly lucky I am to have someone in my life like that, because that’s not the case with anyone else. I already had trust issues. Maybe everyone does. However, I was healing. I was learning to trust again.

But now, I feel as if there is nothing to learn. From my experiences here, no one wants the real me. No one wants my flaws. I am, as I always feared, an inconvenience. I have to pretend to be only the best parts of myself, because that’s the only parts people care to get to know. That’s understandable to me with the preceptors who supervise and evaluate us, but I mistakenly thought it wouldn’t be the case with my fellow interns. I was hopelessly optimistic. And I was wrong.

I have to learn how to fake it. Something I wasn’t 100% successful at during my customer service-y job as a cashier during university breaks (2015 to 2018). I could do it, but only for so many hours a day. Here, I share a room, I go to rotations where I am supervised and evaluated 5 days a week with my internship partner plus travel to the site and work on assignments outside of those 8 hours with her and I come home to an apartment where people aren’t happy to see each other.

 

Constant People, Constant Need to Fake It (to fake sanity/happiness)

The only saving grace is that I feel that genuine care and friendship from my roommate. But, he’s still another person I am around every day. In university, I had space. I had freedom. Now, it’s back to how it was when I lived at home. Constant people! But higher stakes! The only time I’m alone is when I go out by myself. Remember my friend anxiety? Don’t forget depression! To motivate myself to go anywhere is difficult enough. To not change my mind is another thing. Depression tells me it’s not worth it. Anxiety tells me it’s all going to go wrong anyway, so why try?

I don’t wish to blame my hard times on these mental health issues, but I know they are a big factor. And I feel like I have to keep them to myself now. My struggles and thoughts should remain my own to not affect others. Even then, there’s nothing I can do about my energy or aura. If I’m that depressed and empty inside, it doesn’t matter how big I fake smile. I’ve lost my ability to act believable. Thank you Mariah, for making that ability obsolete in me and damn you.

I’m truly going to have to fake it and hope I make it. Seven more months until the end of this internship. Wish me luck, please.

 

 

Note:

Featured image is of me last Halloween (2017). I’ve always loved goth fashion, so I enjoyed expressing myself that day through dress, hair, and makeup. I use it as the image for this post because it represents how I feel at the moment. I am in no way saying goth culture equates to sadness or anything like that, but that’s how most people seem to take it. And I feel like this is how I come off to people without make up and even when I do put on non-goth makeup. I feel like no matter what I do outwardly, all people see is my obvious sadness or negative aspects of my personality. And what can I do about that?! (Nothing overnight!) Why am I being punished for that?! Isn’t the depression, anxiety, paranoia, distrust, anger, and self loathing punishment enough??

Week of October 15th 2018- Nutrition Support (Beware of Burnout)

My life is stress. I know this. I feel like I should be prepared for this. But no matter how much I’ve lived through, I feel as though I’ll never be ready for what lies in front of me. Maybe I never will be. I definitely wasn’t ready for this week.

Monday, October 15th-First Day at a New Hospital- Nutrition Support

New rotation! Another clinical area, this time Nutrition Support. For those who are new to my blog, I am doing a dietetic internship with the Puerto Rico Department of Health. This consists of completing assignments from the Health Department itself plus going to different hospitals or community locations to experience a week or more in about 20 areas over the course of one year. Each rotation has its own dietitian preceptor that is in charge of us. They essentially guide us in that area and give us more assignments/ work to complete for them.

This preceptor had us define 36 medical terms that relate to nutrition support. Nutrition support is exactly like it sounds. When a person can’t eat in the traditional way (by mouth) hospitals support their nutrition by feeding patients via a tube to their stomach or intestines or through a vein (using an IV or catheter, basically a tube attached to a vein). There’s much more to it than that, but I hope that gives y’all an idea.

Our first day we turned in the vocab and saw our dietitian preceptor do patient rounds. 11am, we were on our own. We were given a patient to do a case study and that was it. No further instructions.

Tuesday, October 16th- Learning TPN Calculations?

So, we got all of Monday to work on the case study. After a while we went to ask the preceptor for further information on how to do the case study and she gave us our patients’ laboratories and told us we needed to interview the patient. My patient (which I essentially got randomly, since we didn’t get much information about who was whom) was so ill, even the preceptor didn’t go evaluate him. She told us he was on death’s door, and wasn’t about to go in and ask him how he was doing. …great.

Today the preceptor dashed through an example of a TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) calculation. This is the math a dietitian does to figure out how to “feed” a patient through their veins in order to meet their total needs for the day. My internship partner, Gia, and I had done this during our general clinical rotation at another hospital, but were both completely confused by the end of her “teaching” us.

So, after going to see the daily patient rounds it was about 11 am and we got the rest of the day (until 4:30pm) to work on our three calculations that were part of our homework. We spent the day puzzled trying to figure out how to calculate things the way the preceptor did. I was sleep deprived. Don’t remember from what, but I was running on about two hours of sleep and couldn’t think enough to figure out the math. Gia went to ask the preceptor and came out even more confused.

Wednesday, October 17th- All Nighter for Nutrition Support Homework

What did we even do at the hospital today? I don’t remember. So, I’ll tell you about something that I didn’t mention about Tuesday. At the beginning of patient rounds, our dietitian preceptor turns to me and Gia and, almost like an afterthought, says something along the lines of “Oh Laura, your patient died”. … Okay. That was it. Then we went up to see the day’s patients. When we were in the hallway that led to my deceased patient’s room, the preceptor mentioned the family was still there as the medical staff were preparing his body for removal. …Alright.

I didn’t say anything. Later, the preceptor told me the nurse she works with had told her to give me a new case study, but she’d decided not to, because that’s part of life. That’s what happens. At that moment I said, “Yes, I know. He’s my third.” That I know of, he’s the third patient that I evaluate that I later learn has passed away. Even though I just had a conversation with them, it’s an odd feeling to know that one day you were talking to someone trying to help them eat/ get better and the next… there’s nothing to get better. They’re gone.

Thursday, October 18th- All Nighter for Department of Health Assignments

Since this week we had a meeting at the Health Department on Friday, our rotation at this hospital was cut short. This meant all of our assignments were due on Thursday. I typed up those calculations we didn’t really figure out how to do, the case study that we were also not 100% clear on, and the summary of an academic article about TPN. Gia and I worked on it all night. I was able to sleep one hour before waking up at 6am to take the train to the hospital. That hour was glorious. I felt renewed.

After presenting our case study and turning in our work I’d planned to sleep about 5 hours to then finish another case study I had to present during the meeting on Friday. I felt awake though, so I didn’t sleep. I worked on the case study and told myself I’d finish by midnight and then I could maybe sleep two hours before working on a grant proposal that was also due on Friday. Nope. I barely finished the 20 page case study and power point presentation that went with it by 6am. I didn’t take mindless breaks. I laid on the cold floor to wake myself up. I was running on an hour of sleep. But I finished my terrible work. I didn’t even get to begin the grant proposal.

Friday, October 19th- Presenting Clinical Case Study

6am. Meeting started at 7am. Printer issues. Chaos. I presented with a shaky voice and without an idea what I was saying. It was disastrous. At one point the director of the program (I was presenting to her and my fellow 9 dietetic interns) asked me a question and I was so tired, so beaten, that I responded the truth. She asked me why I’d decided on some supplement for my case study patient and I said, “honestly, because my preceptor told me to.” This was my first patient. Ever. This was during my first day at the general clinical rotation way back in September. I listened more to my preceptor than to myself. She’s the one with the experience. She was supposed to guide us. *Sigh* Trust no one. Make your own decisions.

Saturday, October 20th- Sleep Blissful Sleep!

I fell asleep at 8pm and woke up at 1pm today. It was so needed. When I woke up Gia and I went grocery shopping. Mostly ramen. Both of us hardly ate this week. That’s not okay. Hardly any sleep or food plus a ton of stress meant we were working ourselves empty. I didn’t even have pasta at home and subsisted mostly on ramen.

Luckily, this hospital feeds its employees and for the four days we were there, they fed us too. That was the majority of our food. Even there, I’d only eat a scoopful of rice or the meat. Because of the stress, I just wasn’t hungry. I bought a cookie and it tasted bland. Things were getting bad. My body didn’t care much for food. To avoid that, I bought pasta and tortillas. The most basic of foods for me. The easiest filling things to eat. I don’t want to go through a week like that again.

The rest of the night Gia and I worked on a powerpoint presentation and handout due on Sunday. Yes, our preceptor for the next week told us it was due on Sunday. …Okay. So we got it done, because I really don’t want another week like this one.

Sunday, October 21st- Catching Up on Priorities

Woke up at noon and then went to the store to buy some ink. Gia recently has printed a lot of my assignments because I’ve been having issues with the printer at my apartment. So I felt like I owed her. After that we wandered around the mall. I bought some food, but since I’d made an effort to have a filling breakfast (eggs and apple juice) I was stuffed. Gia put the fries in her bag and I did the same with my chicken nuggets. We wandered some more when I saw that the flower stand was there. (I posted a picture of the flowers I bought from there on instagram a few weeks ago. Links to my social media below!) Today I bought some yellow daisies before returning to our apartment complex. Gia went to her apartment and I to mine. Since then I watched a bit of YouTube and began writing this blog post.

Oh, and that grant proposal I didn’t finish? It’s due in two weeks now. Catch is, passing grade is an 85. This week is another intense rotation: Trauma (aka, critically ill patients). Plus! Gia and I were just notified on Friday that we will be going to another city (about an hour and a half away) this coming Friday to put up a little information booth about nutrition for older adults. OH! And! Next week our (five day) rotation is in that city. Ah! And we don’t have a car. We might just stay from this coming Friday till next Friday when the rotation there ends. But… how will I turn in the grant proposal? (It’s due as a hard copy.)

 

Who knows?! Isn’t life fun?! I should be going crazy, but I’m taking everything in stride. Either I can get through this internship or I can’t. Simple as that. I’m going to do what I can, because I can’t do more than that. If my best is enough, great. If it’s not, then I wasn’t meant for this. That’s okay. There’s much more to life than a  single career path.

Take care, friends. Eat well and sleep. Nothing is worth your health. I learned that this week.

Why Be Happy?

Originally Published February 18, 2018

Hey guys, I found a draft from a post I was working on during winter break. It’s got a tiny story moment so I figure why not post it. I’m doing better in regards to the happy issue, but that’s today. Here’s that old blog:

Y’all deserve a happy blog. But, I am not happy. I feel like I should be. Not for myself. That seems like a nice perk though. I feel the need to be happy for those around me. After all, who wants to hang out with someone who is sulking in the corner? In public, such as when I am walking around campus (background info, I’m a senior in university), I used to feel pressured to hold a light smile. Why? People in high school would periodically approach me with a concerned look on their faces and ask if I was okay. It’d baffle me every single time. First, that someone was talking to me as that was rare in those days. Second, by the question itself. “Yeah, I’m fine. Why do you ask?” was my common response. The answer? Infallibly, it would either be “You looked really sad.” or “You looked really angry.”.

This didn’t end in high school. Once, maybe a year or two ago, I was on campus looking for the electrical engineering building. There was a meeting for the software development club that afternoon. Now, I’m not an engineer or a programmer, so I gave myself ample time to find the building. By the time I did, I still had at least fifteen minutes to spare. So, I did what any sensible socially awkward person would do. I sat outside a side entrance and waited in blissful solitude. It began getting dark when a young woman exited the building and approached me with that same concerned look I’d forgotten about. She asked me if I was okay. Baffled as always, I replied I was fine. She looked at me a second longer and explained that I looked very sad. Just as quickly, she gave me a kind smile and walked away. I sat there dumbfounded under the setting sun before deciding to head inside despite the likelihood of social interaction.  (I never went to another one of those meetings.)

Why do I feel the need to be happy around co-workers, subordinates, friends, and family?

***

I don’t want to be a burden. I don’t want to be the weakest link. The last resort. I want people to want to hang out with me. I want to promote friendships. I don’t want people to equate me with a boring or sad time. In high school I dedicated myself to my studies and only my studies. I was quiet and sullen. No one talked to me unless I had cupcakes, it seemed. (A strong factor in why I learned to bake, I’m sure.) 

Being positive and happy around co-workers makes people want to work with you. It makes work more fun and easier. Around subordinates, it helps to get work done because people are generally more receptive to orders given with a smile than a furrowed brow. With friends, positivity makes you a good option to have fun together. Same with family, and all the other categories.

It all comes down to this: Looking happy (even if you don’t feel it) builds relationships. It lets others know that you are receptive to fun or positive experiences and thus, encourages people to invite you to have a fun, positive time with them. Happiness is a social beacon. 

I don’t know about you guys, but I want to attract happy, positive people. Even if they are people like me who may not feel like that all the time. That’s okay. I want to be able to put aside any pain or pessimism in my life and be able to have fun and be happy despite it all. And I want to find people who can do that too. 

So, I’ll continue to smile, even as I cry, because I want people around me to know that those two things are not mutually exclusive. I hope you reading this can find a smile within you today and all your days to come (no matter how small or fleeting that smile may be). Take care, friends. 🙂

The Purpose of This Blog

Originally Published February 18, 2018 

Read Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. If anyone knows how to combine narrative and fiction it’s her. I just don’t have the experience. It’s amazing how she uses her characters to build on ideas and say what she really means to about society. I am much more literal. It’s not that I don’t trust my one or two readers to understand my underlying meaning if I wrote fiction. The issue proves to be more that I don’t know how to be subtle about what I have to say. So, yes, it seems this will be an opinion blog. I have nothing to inform you or educate you on. I am no expert on anything, but instead an amateur in everything. I dream and sin. I experience as everyone else does yet completely differently.

Some Oftentimes, I consider either abandoning this attempt at a blog or deleting it altogether. If my purpose with this is not to inform or argue a point, it must be to entertain. Maybe not. My personal purpose is to put my thoughts and experiences into words. What you do with them is your choice. I hope my words will at times make you feel understood. I know I’m not the only one who has dark thoughts or has made mistakes. I also hope you will find joy and hope in my positive posts (however few and far between they may be).

I could write for hours so, I’ll try to dedicate some of those hours to writing fictional stories. Don’t expect too many of those though. It seems I am better versed in venting sessions. Either way in the end, I wish to inspire people. Learn from my mistakes, please.

***

I wrote that on my old, obscure blog which I have since wiped clean. It was my last year of university when I wrote that, and I didn’t have very much time to dedicate to my writing. Now that I have graduated and am in Puerto Rico for a dietetic internship, I have made it a habit to write daily for a sort of open journal about my experiences here. My goal with this new form of writing is to document my adventures abroad for my own entertainment and so I’ll have written memories to look back on. I share them because I like to think that friends and family that I left behind from university, work, and maybe even childhood are interested in my current adventures. If my experiences serve to entertain people I haven’t personally met, then all the better.

I will be very busy with the internship this year, so probably no time to write any fiction like I’d mentioned above, but I will keep up with my weekly blogs and sporadic Thoughts and Past posts when I’ve finished posting all of my stuff from my old blog. Keep coming back. I’m glad to have you along for the ride! 🙂