A very quick update

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Trigger Warning: Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, US politics

I’m running a little late with this week’s planner spread. I’ll have it up either later tonight or tomorrow. School and sanity takes priority. Thank you for your patience.

But, I need to vent a little bit here, so bear with me in the meantime, please.

I’m tired. And frustrated. And angry. And scared. And a lot of other things that a lot of other people, and especially those who live in the United States right now, can probably relate to.

These aren’t good times to have depression and anxiety. A protest is a bad place to have a panic attack and I freeze up talking on the phone, so I mostly sit at home and write emails to my state’s senators thanking them for being from California and not being complete a*holes.

I wish I could do more. There’s a war being fought out there and I feel like I’m not doing enough to help. But I can’t read the news on the way to work anymore because I almost jumped in front of the train the other day and it’s getting difficult to explain my red, puffy eyes to my coworkers when I get in each morning because I’ve “never had allergies this bad before.”

I try to spread information, and I try to donate to places on those rare periods when I get a little extra money in my paycheck, but it doesn’t seem like enough. I’m exhausted from arguing with people who just don’t want to get it. I want to have hope but it’s just so difficult right now.

I feel helpless. Like I can’t help myself and I can’t help anyone else.

I’ve been considering switching my major back to psychology, which would be… a thing. I’d basically be starting my entire education over from scratch because I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten a lot of what I learned a decade ago when psychology was still my major. I just feel like… with a psychology degree… I could actually help people?

And right now, I feel like the world needs more people who want to help each other. The outpouring of support from lawyers in the wake of Drumph’s “travel ban” (which, let’s be realistic: was a ban on Muslims) has been magnificent and uplifting and is probably one of the few things I’ve been able to hold onto to remind myself that life is still worth living.

I just want to help people.

Again, thanks for your patience with this week’s Plan With Me. I’ll try to get it up tonight.

Stay strong.

I love you all.

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Musings: Anxious Anxiety and Public Transit

This past weekend was Comic Con. It’s been years since I’ve attended Comic Con. This latest one, I didn’t even try to get tickets. And yet, somehow, it still managed to screw me over.

Let me explain: On Friday, I was late to work.

Let me explain further:

I take the trolley to work. It’s a long commute. It’s time consuming, I have to wake up at five, and I’m always nervous there’s going to be some delay which will mess up my razor-thin timing. Which has been known to happen.

It happened last Monday, in fact. Due to “police activity downtown” the trolley was delayed by forty-minutes, which made me miss my transfers and would have put me at work around ten in the morning. Typically when this happens, I consider it the Universe’s way of telling me I need a day off and so call out of work. Which is what I did on Monday.

But then I was delayed again on Friday.

Due to Comic Con and increased traffic to the convention center, they pulled orange and blue line routes (the ones I use to get to work) to add more green line routes. This, by the way, enraged me. Not that they modified the schedule, but because at no point during any of my commutes the prior week did they mention this would occur. You’d think there would be an announcement every few stops or so: “Due to convention traffic, orange and blue line trolleys will be running on a modified schedule July 20th through 24th. Please go to our website for more information.” Nope. None that I heard, anyway.

So, by 6:28am–a full ten minutes after my trolley was supposed to arrive–I realized something was amiss. I also realized there was no way I would make my connection. I debated for a moment turning around and going home, but then I remembered: I couldn’t. I already called out on Monday.

Missing work on a Monday or Friday is bad enough–it always looks like the person calling out just wants a three-day weekend. But twice in one week? Plus I have a four-work-day vacation scheduled in two weeks? That just looks like I don’t feel like coming in, period. And I would hate for one of my bosses to make that permanent.

So, I quickly Google Mapped a new route–a very new route. Multiple transfers in areas I’ve never been to. It made me anxious about… being anxious about it. For as anxious as I was for my anxiety to kick in, I wasn’t actually anxious about my new transit route. I made it to the new transit center, and the different buses, and work without a hiccup. I even caught a Vulpix on Pokemon Go that I would have never been around otherwise.

It worked out.

I guess the anxiety of being fired for missing too much work out anxiety-ed the anxiety of getting lost in San Diego. Which I’m considering to be a step of forward progress.

I love you all.

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Depression is a Monster

I used to love myself. I used to take care of myself and enjoy myself. I’d get dressed up, dolled up, and feel good, just because.

I don’t do that anymore. And I know why: I have depression. And that’s what depression does. It saps the joy from what we love until we’re not sure if we ever loved it to begin with. It messes with not only our emotions, but our memories. It’s a trickster.

And I know this, objectively. I can parrot these words out like holy scripture.

But depression is a charismatic asshole. It’s like having an emotionally abusive partner who lives in our heads. It convinces us that everything is our fault. I become convinced that all of my sadness is my fault.

So, I wonder: What changed? What am I doing different now compared to the last time I was happy?

  • Oh, I have a job now. I must hate my job.
  • Oh, I’ve gained weight. I’d be happy if I were skinny.
  • Oh, I live with my partner. We must not be compatible.

But my job is actually great, I was still sad before I gained that weight, and my partner is literally the most supportive person I’ve ever met. Those things did not make me depressed; the depression prevents me from finding the inherent joy in those things.

I need to remember that. Any changes to my mental state will not come externally. Changing one (or more) of those things, may  provide me a temporary relief, but will not fix my true problem:

I have a monster living in my head and I need to get it out.

What I need to do instead, is make my head an inhospitable environment to this beast. Depression feeds off of listlessness and lethargy, off of darkness and negativity. So, what I need to do is fill my head with positivity and light, get up, get out, and do something.

And serve that motherfucker an eviction notice.

One of those weeks

Trigger Warning for Depression.


 

The weird thing about having depression is that it doesn’t always feel like sadness, so it can be difficult to identify an episode.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been in this weird sort of funk. I haven’t really felt bad, but I haven’t really felt good, either. I’m just kind of existing in the void, a bit listless, a bit unmotivated.

It wasn’t until I was folding my laundry last night (laundry I washed on Wednesday) and finally hung up the clean pants which have been sitting on my exercise bike for three weeks that I realized, “Oh. Well, that explains it.”

Being unable to identify when I’m in a depressed slump (as opposed to just being lazy, to which I am also prone) is probably one of the worst things. If I can catch myself slipping early enough, it’s a little easier to distract myself, or remove the trigger.

After three weeks, it’s a bit deeper, a bit more ingrained, and nearly impossible to identify what the trigger was/is. I can’t specify a coping mechanism (certain things work for certain triggers–if I’m over-worked, exercising doesn’t really help; if I feel bad about my poor diet, lying in bed and eating a box of Girl Scout cookies is not a good option; but reversing those two works wonders), so I just kind of have to try things in my coping arsenal and hope I stumble on something that works.

Which is going to make for a very fun week.

Things I Am Grateful For

I’ve been feeling really down, lately; in a really dark place. In an effort to try to keep positive, I decided to list ten things I’m grateful/happy for.

I didn’t write any explanations on why I’m grateful for these things or why they make me happy (although I probably could, if anyone is interested; some of them are self-explanatory). It was just a quick little exercise to remind myself that not everything is doom and gloom.

Let’s just get into it. Continue reading