Monday, February 3, 2014

Day 2: Melting Snow

Guess who's behind already? I'm determined to keep up with this though, dammit. So I'm just starting back up right now. So... today I'm thankful for the warmth of the sun on my back when wind is blowing right through my clothes and chapping my cheeks. I'm thankful for the melting snow.
Melting Snow

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hot tea makes everything better.

I haven't posted in a while. And I'm so sorry for that. I've been struggling lately. Older blogs of mine were begun with the purpose of accepting my venting, allowing them to become these sad, festering sites of negativity. This blog was designed with a very different purpose. I wanted to lift myself up, along with all of you. But because I have been falling apart a bit, and I didn't have much positivity to offer, so I avoided this blog. If you can't say anything nice don't saying thing at all, right? But I'm back. I'm fighting that darkness in any small way I can. And maybe writing posts will force me to seek more positive things in my life.

My emotions and behavior have been pretty erratic. Good friends have been brave enough to point this out to me and for that I am grateful. I won't disclose details about my breakdown, but I will tell you that I am taking steps to get better. On Monday I go to my first counseling appointment, and two days ago I started taking my medicine again. The medicine has given me really nasty nausea. Yesterday I threw up and missed a meeting (boo). I'm assured that it will get better when I've taken the medicine regularly for a while. It would be freakin sweet if I could know EXACTLY when I would stop feeling like throwing up constantly, but I've chosen my sanity over my stomach apparently. I'm just holding onto the hope that it will get better.

This is one of those windows I'm passing up.

Anyway, to combat my negativity, I'm starting a Gratefulness Project. Every day I'll post something I'm grateful for. I have plenty of things to feel thankful about, but I need to look a little harder. And that looking will hopefully shove me a little further out of this funk.

So today, I'm thankful for hot tea in the morning before my early classes. Tea gives me a reason to get out of bed. It's easy to make. It warms me up on my way to class in this yucky dark time of year. So today is tea. Tomorrow will be something else.

Hot tea makes everything better.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thankful Thursday

So every day during November, like most people, I tell Facebook what I'm thankful for. So I thought I'd tell y'all too. :) I'll give you a week full of thankfulness.

So far I've been really bad at it and missed a day or two, so I'll fill it out for you.

November 1st: For my parents. For my mother who has understood me in ways my teenage self would not have believed. For Jim whose name I finally share. I couldn't be happier to have adopted you as my father.

November 2nd: I'm thankful for my education. Women all over the world are facing such backlash for seeking an education. Acid, poverty and marriage stand in the way of so many young girls getting to have what I have. ISU has been so good to me. I only had to pay $40 for this semester. That's unheard of. My scholarships have made it possible for me to make the most of my college career with campus activities and opportunities to travel.

November 3rd: I'm thankful for my best friend, Shannon. Yesterday at Union Board (ISU's programming board) Shannon gave me the Good to the Order with a note that made me cry. She hadn't even given me that yet when I posted about her, but she consistently says exactly what I need to hear, and does exactly what I need to see to be okay. Thank you.

November 4th: I'm thankful for my professors in my major. I always feel better walking out of Dr. Rider's office than when I walked in. She is passionate, incredibly smart, and kind. Dr. Dunbar takes time out of his schedule twice a week to meet with me privately so I can practice speaking German. He wants so badly for his students to do well and is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

November 5th: I'm thankful for my job. So many college kids (and real grown-ups for that matter) can't find a job, let alone one they love, and I was lucky enough to stumble upon my boss at the farmer's market. It's a job that challenges my creativity and helps me meet interesting and talented authors. I'm the social media intern. So... basically everything I do anyway, I now do for Tanglewood Press. and Tanglewood Press. and Tanglewood Press. and Tanglewood Press... if you didn't get the memo, I want you to click on all those links and follow us. ;) Thanks.

November 6th: I'm thankful for strong women in my life. Kathi and Rochelle, Mom, Kayla, Grandma, Frau Weir, Aunt Betsy... there are so many I know I'm forgetting right now. They're all movers and shakers. Women that showed me that being opinionated and smart and loud and passionate were good things--were GREAT things to be. A woman can be exactly who she is.
This quote is way too perfect. Didn't even plan to find one that fit so well.
November 7th: I'm thankful for my vegan friends. This is incredibly cheesy, and if I could think of a better way to say it, I would, but they showed me the light at the end of a tunnel I didn't even know I was in. They've shared recipes, humor, advice, and community. I couldn't be more grateful.

November 8th: I'm thankful for Laci Green. She really taught me what it was to be a feminist. She taught me about fat-shaming and slut-shaming and sexuality. In my very darkest time, spring semester of my freshman year, watching her videos taught me about myself and helped me to work through years of shame I'd built up. She convinced me that I was worthy of love and connection. Thank you.

PS: Tell me what you're thankful for in the comment section!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Bloggess Told Me Depression is a Lying Bastard

As most of you know, I struggle with bipolar disorder. And anyone with a mental illness, or anyone who loves someone suffering from a mental illness knows, this is the worst time of year. This is the transition from light to darkness, both literally and metaphorically.

Bipolar disorder is kind of a cluster of symptoms, but in the simplest terms, it is when a person cycles between periods of mania and depression. But the definition is easy enough to find. Anyone can pick up a DSM and figure it out. But let's set aside all that bullshit for a moment and just focus on the experience of bipolar disorder.

Actually, kind of exactly like this.
Bipolar feels alternately like flying and like shame.
Bipolar feels like creativity and like listlessness.
Bipolar feels like sleeplessness and sleep.
Like color and grey.
Like passion and emptiness.
Like relationships and loneliness.
And worse of all...
Bipolar feels like doing everything right and falling apart anyway.

You can be taking your meds, exercising, sleeping right, staying on top of responsibilities, and focusing on the positive, and still find yourself in pieces when autumn knocks on the door. There's helplessness in that.

You find that when you were once waking up at 5 AM to exercise, you now cry in your bed at 7, because it actually physically hurts to will yourself out of bed.

You find that all your incredible, creative ideas no longer interest you and fall to the side because you simply cannot find the energy to pursue them.

You find that although you once inspired people and were a leader, you are now exhausted by the presence of company. But being alone is equally unbearable, when you used to feel content with yourself.

So right now I'm suffering. It's just the right time of year for that. But I want you to know that I WILL be happy in spite of myself. I don't know how yet. Every day I'm learning how to manage this illness, and I'm sure that someday I will be better for it. It's just that right now it feels hopeless. But as my favorite blogger says, depression is a lying bastard, and life will get brighter.

And dammit, I can do nothing but believe her. Have faith in me, friends.

Remember bliss. It's coming back, and it's worth waiting for.