Damn Depression

I’m feeling a little down this week. I talk so much about trying to stay positive and productive but I’m new to it and I slip up sometimes. I am having trouble loving myself and seeing the good that I do. My work and responsibilities have also become a bit overwhelming and I have fallen back into my usual habit of closing up and ignoring everything and doing nothing.

I felt bad for not posting here after having done so well these past few months so I put my butt in the chair and started typing. I thought of the quote by Earnest Hemingway, “Write hard and clear about what hurts”, and thats what I going to do.

I am hurt that depression is winning again. I have struggled with depression since I was a kid and at this point I imagine it will be an ongoing battle for the rest of my life. I get down and then I hate myself for not being able to cope with life like an adult. I am always a bit sensitive and during the times when I am feeling more depressed than usual my emotional sensitivity gets much, much worse. Every perceived criticism cuts right to the bone and I fall apart and cry almost daily. Then I hate myself even more for letting people affect me and for not being stronger.

I am hurt that I feel lost. I feel like I have no worth or purpose. I feel like nothing I do gets me any closer to a better life and I don’t exactly know what I’m doing wrong. I work with people who do nothing more than what they have to and they enjoy the same pay and benefits I do. I question whether or not I should even keep trying to go above and beyond because in the end I just feel taken advantage of and stressed out.

I am hurt that I feel so alone in the world. I feel like no one can see my pain or maybe they just don’t want to. I try my best to help out where I can and to be a good employee, friend, sister, daughter, and girlfriend but I feel like I fail at every turn. I wish others would make more effort for me in return but I know no one in this world owes me anything. It would just be nice to hear some kind words. A little encouragement and reassurance would go a long way.

My girlfriend is busy at work and even when she isn’t busy she’s never been very good at dealing with my emotions. She grew up with a very emotional mother and so when I get really down it can be triggering for her. She is trying to be there for me but I know when I am like this I can be a bit much. I know that dealing with a depressed person can leave you feeling exhausted and emotionally drained. Dealing with a depressed person can make you feel like nothing you do is good enough.

I have to pull myself out of this. I know no one else can get me through it. All I can ask from family and friends is support. I have to be careful not to ask too much of them. I don’t want to bring anyone else down. I don’t want to become an emotional vampire, just living of the energy of others. I have been around people like that and it is horrible.

I have to keep writing. Writing helps get the bad feelings out and I always feel better for having completed something. I have to get back to drawing to for the same reasons. I enjoy working those creative muscles. I also need to get back into maintaining and building relationships with the people who matter in my life. Yeah they don’t always make the same effort but someone has to and I really want my loved ones around.

I’m also going to talk to people about how I’m feeling. I’m going to tell my friends and family that I don’t feel like they are making efforts to maintain our relationships. I’m going to tell my bosses that I am feeling a bit undervalued and overwhelmed. I need them to help me lighten my work load and to take some of the responsibility off of me that I am not getting paid to take on.

I’ll start with those and see if I can’t get out of this funk I’m in. I apologize for not being around but I am going to try much harder to write more often and hopefully add some value to your days. I haven’t forgotten my dear readers for one second and I hope you are all doing well, or at least better than me :)

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Monday Motivation – Blogging 201 Edition

It’s Monday again, the hardest day of the week to love, but I’m alive and I’m grateful so it can’t be all bad right? Monday’s are for starting fresh and setting the tone for the week and for me, this week is going to be good. I want it to be anyway so I’m going to make the happiness happen!

I’m starting up with Blogging 201 and today’s assignment is to come up with three goals for your blog. I’m not sure I like the idea of goals per se but there are some things I’d like to try to do in the future to improve my writing, make better connections with people, and to be more creative.

For one, I’d like to reach a wider audience by interacting more on social networks. I love Twitter but I’m just not very good at it and I’ve only just now made a Facebook page for my blog. I’ve been on Tumblr for awhile and I have a good following there but it’s all been pretty passive. I enjoy talking to new people and sharing useful and thought provoking content, but I get nervous and don’t join the conversation as much as I should. I would love to have a better sense of community but it’s not easy and I’m learning as I go along.

I’d also like to start creating some original images for this blog, and for my other social network pages. I have image editing apps and access to a decent camera so it is possible for me to start doing this right away. I want to have a specific look and bring everything together, have more of a brand like everyone says I should. Mostly though I just want to be more creative and this isa good reason to make something and showcase what little skills I have.

And third, I’d really like to set up an editorial calendar. I do my best to post everyday, and for being new to all of this I think I’m doing really well, but I admit it’s hard to come up with ideas everyday. If I could have post ideas laid out in advance than I think I could not only wrote more easily but write better and more interesting content.

Surprise bonus goal #4 is to narrow my blogging focus. I’ve only been blogging for 7 or 8 months and at first I didn’t really know what direction I wanted to go in. I’ve been pretty random lately just trying to find a voice and figure out how all of this works. I like to think I have a better handle on things now and I think it’s time I focused more on exactly what it is I want to say here. I’ll be making a list of topics I’d like to cover and doing my best to stick to it.

Outside of this blog I’d like to try to take it easier this week. I’m still working on trying to quit smoking so I want to keep the stress levels as low as possible. I won’t be able to control everything but I can control my reactions, I just have to remember to relax and breathe.

I hope you all have a great week. I wish you luck in everything you want to accomplish. Remember to stay mindful and look for the good in every moment.

If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I’m sorry I’m a little later than usual. I’m taking advantage of the first lazy day I’ve had in a long while. Me and my lady slept in until we felt too guilty and had to get up. I plan to spend the day doing as little as possible before we’re back at work tomorrow. My girlfriend has been especially exhausted and overworked and I just want to take care of her and make things as easy on her as I can. I have been doing my best all week but unfortunately I can’t take on her work load so I am not as much help as I wish I could be.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you it had been a long week, and a long weekend too. I think I tell you that every week but long does not mean bad here. It was actually a pretty good week, just long. I have another long week ahead of me again but very soon I will get a break. The last week of October is fall break for the schools so that means I am off. I plan to work a few hours a day helping out but it will be on my own time. I will have much more time for writing and for art. I’m going to work on cleaning up this blog a bit and getting some drafts written of all the things I want to say. I am trying to gear up for NaBloPoMo next month.

If we were having coffee I’d tell I’m also working on learning to use the Paper app by Fiftythree. I first downloaded the app about a year ago and while I thought it was cool I really didn’t have much use for it. Now that I’m trying to be more creative I think it would be a great tool to work in everyday. I also found that now there is a sharing element too. They call it Mix and it allows you to share your art as a sort of template. Then other people can use it as an inspiration and remix it, make it their own. They also have a nifty-neato stylus made specifically for the app that looks pretty cool too. Mine will be here on Tuesday!

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I failed miserably to quit smoking last week. I feel bad but feeling bad doesn’t help me quit so I’m going to stop feeling bad and try again. Today is my new quit date and tomorrow will be my first test. No cigarettes. I have installed apps and I have signed up to have encouraging texts sent to my phone to remind me not to give in to the cravings. I get bored easily at my job and smoking helps pass the time. The days drag on too and it helps to have a cigarette to break up the day. I have to find new ways to get through my days now.

If we were having coffee I’d ask you to please wish me luck in the week ahead, it’s going to be a rough one. I have this blog, I have my Paper app, I have a log book to write in, and I have all of you, my dear readers, to help me get through it. I have you all to talk to and I have you all to hold me accountable too. Thank you for listening, and being here with me.

Saturday Reads: Posts I Loved from Around the Web

Sentance First – Non-life-threatening unselfconscious hyphens

Happy the reader who is unselfconscious about hyphens. Or is it unself-conscious? Un-selfconscious? […] Even un-self-conscious has its advocates.

I had never really concidered hyphens. I don’t think I use them very often but maybe that is because I shy away from those words. I never know if I am putting the hyphen in the right place of if there should even be a hyphen at all! This post cleared up a lot of my confusion and I don’t feel so afraid anymore.

High Times – What Happens When You Eat 1000Mg of THC?

What’s the most potent marijuana edible you’ve eaten? Most people I’ve asked have said 250-500mg the most they’ve had, and they said it was strong enough to knock them out. Few weeks ago, I was dared to eat a Kushie Kandy 1000mg Thin Mint chocolate bar.

So for those of you who don’t know I live in Colorado and marijuana is kind of a big deal here. It’s legal for both medical and recreational use and it’s about as easy to get as a pumpkin spice latte is right now. There has been a bit of controversy around the edibles industry though. Edibles are food items, usually candies or pastries, that contain THC. They thing is the concentration of THC in these edibles can be VERY high and it’s very easy to overdose. But the question is, what happens when you overdose on THC? Spoiler alert: you don’t die, you just sleep a lot.

The Good Men Project – Better Than You Found It

“Think about this–what if you committed to leaving everything that you touch a little better than how you found it?”

As a person who is trying to live a positive life and who wants to spread the positivity around this post really spoke to me. The idea had occurred to me previously but someone else wrote it first. Leave the every room you enter and every person you encounter better than you found them.

You Don’t Need a Winter Romance: The Case Against Cuffing Season

What was once just some millennial shorthand to describe a well-known pastime of dating behavior—our tendency to long for a relationship more as the air around us gets colder—has now become the pumpkin spice latte of dating mores.

Ahhh cuffin’ season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Actually I wouldn’t know I haven’t ever participated but I do enjoy the jokes and memes on twitter and tumblr lol!

The Guardian – My baby will be mixed race. So why did I automatically think of him as ‘black’?

I picked a black baby to represent my unborn child on a cake because of my own adherence to the ‘one-drop rule’

I was interested in this story because of my own history with racism and the “one-drop rule”. Growing up I never even considered myself white, and nobody else did either. My mother told me that the government considered me black and that all of society probably did too. She told me I could identify as whatever I wanted but that “one-drop” of African-American blood made me black.

What Inequality Has Meant to Me

Inequality means not bothering to propose to my girlfriend of 12 years because we can’t get “real married” anyway. Inequality means following every political debate hoping to hear a candidate say they support your right to marry the person you love. Inequality means also having to listen to all the politicians who don’t support your right say horrible things about your character. In equality means hearing them compare your love to bestiality and pedophilia.

Inequality means having to pay more for health insurance because you can’t put the person you love on your policy. Inequality means wondering who will get to make your medical decisions if something happened to you. Inequality means wondering what will happen to your home and your belongings should something happen to either of you. Inequality means wondering if you could have children one day and if you both get to be a legal parent. Inequality means you get all the paperwork in place to protect yourselves but in the back of your mind you know a judge could wipe it all away in court if her family decides to sue.

Inequality means having to “come out” over and over again to new friends and coworkers and wondering how they will react. Inequality means having people tell you to your face that they don’t understand your “choices”. Inequality means having people tell you that you DO have the same rights as everyone else because “you can marry a man”. Inequality is having people tell you these things without ever having to worry about the things you have to worry about.

Inequality is being told those things while also being fetishized. Inequality is have men ask you if they “can watch” or “join in”. Inequality is being hesitant to kiss your girlfriend in public because guys are watching. Inequality is being told on a regular basis that you just haven’t “had the right man yet”. Inequality is having to deal with random men hitting on your girlfriend in front of you because they don’t respect your relationship. Inequality is seeing her uncomfortable and feeling helpless and scared when nothing you say makes him stop.

Inequality also mean getting to be apart of the change and seeing new allies come forward everyday. Inequality means celebrating with your friends when the supreme court decides not to hear appeals and suddenly marriage equality is legal in your state. Inequality is tearing up when your family tells you they are happy that you can finally marry the girl of your dreams. Inequality is being grateful that your parents didn’t disown you for loving a woman. Inequality is seeing public opinion change and being happy, but at the same time, being sad it took so long and knowing that there is so much farther left to go.

Prompt via The Daily Post: Did you know today is Blog Action Day? Join bloggers from around the world and write a post about what inequality means to you. Have you ever encountered it in your daily life?

Start Each Day Like It’s Your Birthday

What a wonderful concept, to wake up everyday and imagine it’s your birthday. I’ve been trying to find way to wake up excited and happy for the day but nothing has worked. I recently came across a quote that said to “start each day like it’s your birthday”. Now that might work!

I mean, in my opinion my birthday is the greatest holiday of the year! I have never understood people who whine and complain about their birthday and refuse to celebrate it. I force others to celebrate my birthday! I mean what is more awesome than a day to celebrate the fact that you were born? It’s your day to do whatever you want and be the center of attention. A birthday can never be a bad day.

So imagine what it would be like if everyday were your birthday? If you could wake up and just know that today was all about you and nothing but good could happen. If you could wake up and just celebrate the fact that you were born and you are still alive. If you could wake up and wonder what surprises the world has in store for you today. How amazing would that be? I think even the most mundane day could be made better by just imagining it’s your birthday.

Or maybe, so as not to cause any confusion, I will instead celebrate my UNbirthday! If you’ve ever seen Disney’s Alice in Wonderland than you know what an unbirthday is, if you haven’t seen Disney’s Alice in Wornderland I question whether you are in fact a human being at all. Anyway, for those who may not know, your unbirthday falls on the 364 days of the year that are NOT your birthday, those days are also cause for celebration. There can even be a party with cake and presents and tea if you wish!

So go on and imagine today is YOUR day. Take time to celebrate you and the fact that you are here. Be grateful, have fun, treat yourself, and make a wish. I hope you all have a very merry unbirthday.

The Pretty Girls with the Empty Hearts

This is not about all pretty girls. This is about the pretty girls who use their looks to take advantage of  others. This is about the pretty girls who keep themselves stupid and bat their eyes to get what they want. This is about the pretty girls who shit on the girls with big hearts and brains. This is about the pretty girls who only see other girls as competition and put them down to further their own ends.

Not too long ago I wanted to be one of those pretty girls. The ones who get all of the attention and are worshiped by the boys who want them and the girls who want to be them. I would see them at work or at parties and everyone would be complimenting them and offering them drinks. To me, it seemed like they had it all, and what they didn’t have they could easily get. The pretty girl always looked like she was having the time of her life. The pretty girl had no worries. Oh, what I wouldn’t have given to be one of them!

After being around girls like that I would go home feeling ugly and unwanted. I started asking my friends if I was attractive, they always told me I was but it just didn’t make sense. Nobody ever said I looked good unless I asked. I figured they were lying to make me feel better. One day my best girlfriend told me I was pretty, I immediately called her a liar and she jump on me. She told me to stop thinking like that, she told me I was beautiful and I needed to start loving myself.

And so I did. I started to love myself. I learned to love my looks and to love my brains. I have more confidence now and I’m even starting to get more compliments. Not just about my looks but also about my intelligence and kindness. I now know that all of the friends I have are genuine. They like me more for my mind. I know that I’m not ugly, I just don’t have the “typical beauty” you see on magazine covers. I’m not the first girl anyone looks at in a room. I take more pride in the fact that it’s my mind that really attracts people. I’m not being cocky here, and I don’t think I’m a special snowflake. These are just the things I have been told over and over again by other people.

After that, I started to pay closer attention to what the pretty girl was doing. I often saw the pretty girl barking orders and making unreasonable demands. “buy me this”, “take me to lunch”, “give me ride here or there!” she would smile why saying it and even give a laugh, but I could see she didn’t care at all for the person she was demanding things of, she only wanted the power. She only wanted to have her needs met and she pretended long enough to get it. The pretty girl also demanded constant attention from those around her. She would talk over everyone around her, and gossip or bad-mouth others to make herself look better. The pretty girl was not comfortable unless everyone could see she was pretty.

There are many girls out there like me but a lot of women are still too busy trying to be the “pretty girl”. I know I was for a long time. Looking back now I think it’s sad. I hated my body because I didn’t look like them. I hated my mind and curiosity because I thought no one wanted to hear the things I had to say. Everything around me reinforced these ideas and the pretty girls let me know I was never going to be one of them.

That’s not to say there aren’t pretty girls out there who have brains and big hearts too. I have met more than a few and they are awesome. And to the not so pretty girls with brains and big hearts, to me, you are beautiful too. It is much more about what’s inside than what’s outside. Looks fade but intelligence and kind souls are forever.

I wonder if those pretty girls ever learn. I wonder if they ever grow and see the world from a new perspective. I hope they do. I hold no animosity for the pretty girls, I just wish they knew there was so much more to life. I try to show them whenever I’m given the chance but all too often I am brushed aside by the pretty girls. Me and my plain looks and brains make my unworthy of the pretty girl friendship.

The pretty girl rarely sees the things I have to offer, her mind only focused on what she can take. I still try, though, because the pretty girl is my sister in the struggle too and I will fight for her always. I hope one day she will see the there is more to the world than looks. I hope she will see there is more inside herself too.