Just a quickie!

Sorry I have been absent. (Does anyone read this anyway?) I seem to have developed somewhat of an actual life in the past couple of weeks. Plus, I managed to catch a flu that just wouldn’t let go pretty much as soon as I got home. I have also been spending a rather shocking amount of time on the bus. Um, yeah, down with public transit!

 

            The first week at school was a bit overwhelming. When I first made my schedule, all of my classes were in the same two buildings (which are right next to eachother), which made me feel relieved. However, they decided to change two of them so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where the hell I was supposed to go.

 

            The social work classes are a lot less friendly than I thought they would be. You’d think that people who are going to be social workers would be slightly more, uh… social?

 

I will write something more substantial soon! Xoxo

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Beach baby

 

I have decided that the weather here isn’t rainy enough, so I am going to visit a friend and then hurricane chasing in South Carolina. Be back in 2 weeks. Enjoy the rest of summer! xoxo

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Ugh. Perfectionist!

I am massacring this blog.

Stop before I delete again…

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My first friend… Memory fragments

She takes my little red coat and hangs it on the hook in the hallway. I am three and she is my first friend. She always meets me outside the classroom door and takes me by the hand into the classroom. I am shy and timid by nature, and although I love school, I am often afraid to walk through the door. When Nanny walks me to preschool, she always smiles to see her. She is happy that this little girl will not let me hang back in the corner. I am young, and although I am hesitant, I possess an open lovingness of everyone. She cheats at Candy Land, and I stare wide-eyed and shocked. She isn’t like me, and right away I sense our differences: She doesn’t yearn to please in the same way that I do. She intrigues me.

 

Every summer, we play at the park. I live in the little brown house with the pink fence that is right next to the soccer field, and she lives across from the swings. We pump our legs and imagine that we can fly. She is better at it than I am; Even then, I am uncoordinated and don’t possess much physical strength. One day I bring stamps to the park, and we pretend we are pirates and bury the treasure. As we get older, we become more adventurous: We run up the slide, and I watch breathless as she climbs on top of the bar that holds the tire swing.

 

Over the years, we learn about the world from one another. I love reading and writing, and share the treasures I glean from within the pages. She is bold, but more sheltered and innocent. I am old for my age and feel as though I must always act as an adult. Sometimes it is hard for me to relate to other children, and I cling to her because I feel different. She normalizes me, and I challenge her to grow. We complement one another, and she makes me feel safe.

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Thoughts on dying

I like it when it rains at night. The upside of a dreary summer is crisp nights where the rain falls, cleansing and soothing, outside my window while I am safe in my bed. I like to think that the sky is singing me a lullaby, softly brushing my tears away with its healing downfall. In those moments, I feel truly in touch with the Earth. No matter how despairing I am and how completely alone I feel, the rain still falls. It is comforting and grounding. In spite of my pain, the world is alive.

Spending time with someone who is dying makes everything seem surreal. I watch him struggle to live through one more hour, one more day, just so he can live his final moments out of the hospital. Suddenly things that were so ordinary become sacred. Precious moments to watch one more sunrise or to hear a child laugh. The things we take for granted become gifts to savor.

He was always there, and just like that, he’ll be gone. He will not be there to see me graduate from university or to meet my children. It’s so strange the way life works. It seems as though we have so much power through medicine, technology, science these days. But still, we can’t stop death. It’s sobering and in a terrible way, somewhat comforting. He will die soon. But the world will still turn, and I will still lie in bed at night and listen to the rain fall.

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Grandpa

I’m sorry I haven’t updated in awhile. I never seem to have the energy to write these days.

But here I am to ask if you could please keep my Grandpa in your prayers and good thoughts.

He’s fading…

Thank you.

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Anxiety

Every day when I wake up, I begin a new battle with a demon that plagues me and taunts me into submission. It cannot be seen or heard, but lives inside of me, struggling to gain control. The clinical term is ‘anxiety,’ but inside my head, it takes on a more mystical, sinister facet, and plays the Moriarty to my Sherlock Holmes. My nemesis is a part of me, and thus preys upon me with the calculated knowledge of a psychopathic genius. The circular logic of self-doubt spirals around my head until I feel drunk and dizzy with the disorienting weight of uncertainty, and this is almost too much to bear.

For most people, anxiety is an obstacle to overcome when faced with a large presentation to make or an event to plan. But for the many who struggle silently with anxiety disorders, it simply becomes a way of life. I can barely remember a day when I woke up without that familiar welling of panic inside my chest. Adapting my way of living to my anxiety disorder has dictated my life, and threatens to similarly control my future.

For me, it is this promise of a better future that fuels my fight to survive. The insidious thing about anxiety is that the more that you seek to evade it, the stronger its hold becomes. Thus, we become warriors, and mundane tasks become a battling ground for a fight between will and emotion. A war waged on mind over matter, if you will.

My mind is in a state of constant warfare and turmoil. On a good day, I celebrate life and anticipate an eventual victory. On a bad day, I sit shackled to the ground and unable to fly. My anxiety manifests itself in a torrent of frantic obsessions, without rhyme or reason, and relentless in their pursuit. I will fixate upon an issue, and analyze and doubt and beat myself senseless with it for hundreds of hours. I will watch movies and carry on conversations, and attend class on autopilot. Entire days will go by where I barely remember what happened in the outside world, because my entire being was focused on the obsession at hand, calculating and determining and puzzling over something that cannot be resolved. I tell myself that I will just think about it for another five minutes, and if I haven’t come up with a solution, then I will give myself a rest. But that rest never comes. I never find a solution that calms me, and I gradually work myself into a frenzy, plagued with self-doubt and perceived signs that the universe is against me.

Sometimes this anxiety seems mystical, and I feel as if I am cursed. Other times I resign myself to the notion that this is my cross to bear, and that I must learn to adapt my life to it. The times when I am strongest and happiest, I am defiant and aggressive. I scream in the face of my oppressor and rage against my prison: My life belongs to me, fuck off! Yes, anger has a place, and when channeled correctly, even a dignified strength that shouts out for justice. Indeed, it is on those days when I cannot be silenced that I feel the most free. But, unfortunately, these days are too few, and are overshadowed by the senseless, cold and aching nights.

Sometimes I will stare into the mirror for hours, picking at my eyes. Oddly enough, this is often the one thing that will calm me. My eyes are often red and irritated: Infected from being touched too much. They itch and they burn, but still I can not stop. Another desperate attempt to find peace of mind. I will also ask for reassurance, over and over, until nobody will listen to me anymore. But the answer is never enough. Are they lying? Are they just being kind? The doubt creeps back in, and I swallow the urge to ask again. Sometimes I feel better for a few precious moments, but then the obsessing starts again. No response is enough to calm my doubts. I am needy, and I know it. I worry about my desperate need for affection, but my attempts to smother it only result in an empty aching. I seek comfort from outside sources, because I can not give it to myself. I reach out desperately, but no amount of hugs and kind words can reach me in the prison of my mind. I am alone, and it is dark.

I sit in the darkness of my room at night, overcome with fears and doubts. I try to stop the constant repeating of my mind. I try breathing exercises, but they make me feel dizzy. Maybe they help a bit. I hum to myself, lullabies and hymns, and try to calm myself. It’s okay baby, I will keep you safe. I think of a therapist I once saw who told me I was addicted to the romance of madness. I think she must have been crazy. In reality, there is nothing poetic about mental illness: It is weight gain and unwashed hair and maggots in the sink. I desperately cling to my old friend Bear: His calm, kindly eyes always listening. My faithful companion, always unassuming and quietly listening. We have grown up together. I rest my head on the yellowed fur of his matted head, and try to slow my breathing. In a few hours the sun will come up. It will be better then.

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