Archive for ‘me, me, me’

January 31, 2011

preexisting conditions

i read a post recently by The Bloggess.  if you’re not reading her blog, shame on you.  she is quite possibly the funniest and most honest woman on the internet.  in the post, titled “Coming Out”, she links to an amazing video on YouTube by a man named Michael Kimber in which he calls on those affected by mental illness to speak up and fight against the stigma that silences their suffering and prevents them from seeking and receiving the treatment they need to recover.

after reading her post and a number of posts that other bloggers have written to speak up about their own mental illness i debated writing my own story.  the whole point of this video is a call to action but it’s still scary to put it all in words with Labels and Diagnoses even though i’ve written about my struggles with insomnia and postpartum depression before.  i just posted a facebook status about my saggy post-pregnancy boobs, for crying out loud, but speaking up about my crazy brain is still tough.  i still wonder if people i know In Real Life (who don’t know the whole story, or who may not understand mental illness) read my blog and would be frightened or confused or judgmental.  yes, most of all it’s the judgment that frightens me.

so here it is.  here are the Labels i currently have or have had during the course of the past ten years since i first sought treatment for the Crazy; had i gotten help during the college years there certainly would have been a diagnosis of major depressive episode as well. but these afflictions are just part of me, they are definitely not the whole of me and right now i’ve got them pretty well managed.  i am so thankful that my OB/GYN was very supportive of me staying on medication during pregnancy and after my son’s birth so i did not have any postpartum depression this time around.  that alone is a huge testament to the power and necessity of medication, and speaks volumes about the need for open and honest communication about the prevalence of mental illness and the need for appropriate treatment.

i will likely be on medication, even if it’s just a small dose, every day for the rest of my life and i am okay with that.  my brain wiring is just a little wonky and needs a few extra chemicals to get the neurotransmitters firing the way they are supposed to.  i know i am not alone; there are millions of people out there who are also battling a sometimes-Crazy brain.  my hope is that someday everyone who needs treatment will get it without fear of judgment, or denied insurance, and without being made to feel as if they are flawed or broken.  i am speaking up and i hope you will too, and i hope that we can all listen to those who are brave enough to share their struggles so that someday soon we can finally de-stigmatize mental illness.

 

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January 12, 2011

right now i am

spending entirely too much brain space thinking about rearranging furniture in my living room, light fixtures, and curtains.

irritated by the cut on my finger – i forgot that i had thrown a knife in the sudsy water in the sink while hand-washing baby bottles.  slice! whoops.

beginning to think about garden planning for this summer, lamenting the errors we made last year as first-timers

getting ready to hop in bed with a good book…  starting with the letter C, if you were wondering, for my goal of reading through the alphabet.  i’m not going in order.

reminding myself that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  ’tis better to bite your tongue now than feel ashamed of your words later.

proud of myself for being dedicated to my goal of improving my physical fitness, but that Step class at the gym last night is haunting me through my calf muscles today.

feeling unfocused.

January 7, 2011

finding my One Word: 2011

i’m feeling surly lately.  sort of like, “knock knock.”  “who’s there?”  “fuck you.”

if you were to ask me today what 2011 holds in store, i’d say it’s the year of Bullshit Intolerance.  i just don’t have patience for it.  i want to cultivate the relationships, the interests, and creative pursuits that fuel me, and cut loose all the dead weight that adds little or no value to my life.  unload the crap.  focus on what matters.  release myself from activities and friendships that drain me and devote myself to the ones that are wholly fulfilling.  Bullshit Intolerance isn’t really a particularly inspiring standpoint.

it feels somewhat heartless and selfish when i look at it objectively, especially when i identify specifically the people that i want need to unload, but i’m feeling kinda pissy and for now i’m going to embrace it.

with the new year and the customary making of resolutions there is a lot of buzz about identifying a word that resonates with you and making that Your Word for the year; a word to guide you, a word to focus on, a word to define your intentions.  i chose the word simplify last year and i’m still working on really living that word.  i will continue to focus on finding simplicity this year but i’m still working to find my One Little Word for 2011.  so maybe it’s a combination of simplicity and authenticity:  being who i am, doing what i want to do, and saying, “that’s just not going to work for me” to the things and people that distract me from what matters most.

November 14, 2010

scattered thoughts ahead: proceed with caution

i have a million ideas floating in my head:  snippets of creativity, inspirations, aspirations, must-do, must-make thoughts.  i want to paint, and sew, and photograph, and design, and create, and stitch, and draw, and then tie it up in a bow, throw some glitter on it and show it off to the world…but i don’t know where to start.  i feel paralyzed by creative aspiration.  is there anything worse than creative paralysis?  the bubbling energy that zipzipzips through me when i dream about all i want to make comes crashing down when i try to think about how to make it all happen.  ::crumble, crash, fail, despair::  linear, organized brain in battle with scattered, creative brain.  harumph.  distracted crafter syndrome in full effect.

November 6, 2010

tweets to my 16 year old self

there was a topic on twitter yesterday in which people were revealing the bits of wisdom they would bestow upon their younger selves if they could travel back in time and have a chat.  i didn’t add mine there, but it inspired me to create this list of my own:
  • it’s okay to let people know that you’re sad – feelings are not flaws
  • it’s also okay to let people know that you’re happy
  • that guy you’re in love with is not the one and that is okay…you’ll find out soon enough that he’s good for right now, but not for forever
  • listen to your parents.  it turns out they’re right about a lot of things
  • eyebrow shaping and maintenance is a job best left to professionals
  • there’s a big difference between loneliness and being alone.  you’ll find out that solitude suits you and that’s just fine
  • the bully who “stole” your best friend and your crush?  she’ll end up marrying someone really unfortunate looking.  thanks, facebook.
  • smart and pretty are not mutually exclusive
  • it’s okay that you dropped calculus.  you will never, ever need to know calculus in real life
  • a fresh start is nice, but don’t try to change who you are
  • don’t quit dance lessons
  • it’s okay that you don’t have a clue what you want to be when you grow up.  you still won’t have a clue when you’re in your thirties
  • that number you’re trying to maintain on the scale but still believe to be too high?  enjoy it, honey.  you will never see it again after college, and won’t even approach it after you’ve had kids
  • dude…lighten up a little.  you’re only sixteen once

how about you?  anything you’d like to say to your adolescent self?

April 12, 2010

living life a decade at a time

i looked at my driver’s license tonight and realized that it’s set to expire in one year.  big whoop, right?  but here’s the deal.  i left california and moved to colorado in 2001.  when i got my new license i looked at it and was dumbstruck by the expiration date.  2011.  ten years. ten. long. years.  i remember thinking, “wow, certainly i’m going to look different in ten years.  will i really still have this picture on my license then?  what the hell will my life be like in ten years?”  it was an odd mix of feelings: sort of like being told to go sit in a waiting room and chill out for a really long time, but it also vaguely felt like i was being handed the challenge of seeing what i could make of my life in the upcoming decade.

so, now, here i am; almost a decade later and i cannot believe that almost ten years have passed.  i was 23 and single when i moved here.  a year out of college, feeling lost and lonely, looking for a fresh start and some sort of direction.  now i’m married, i have a kiddo and a second one due to pop out any day now.  we live in the suburbs.  we talk about things like funding our retirement and paying for our kids’ college tuition.  i wear yoga pants every day.  i have far more wrinkles on my face now than i did in that driver’s license photo.  next year i’ll go back to the DMV and get a new license, one that won’t expire until i’m 43 years old.  i am looking forward to seeing what i can do in those ten years.

January 25, 2010

i’m 32 but…

i still can’t shake the idea that the boogieman is lurking outside darkened windows at night

i peer at the end of rainbows to search for the pot of gold

i believe in magical thinking, evil curses, and the power of a good abracadabra!

i laugh at the same jokes that i did when i was in junior high

i’m still trying to figure out what i want to be when i grow up

January 25, 2010

another year older

yesterday was my 32nd birthday, or alternatively, it was the third anniversary of my 29th birthday.  my wonderful husband got up with the kiddo, allowing me to sleep in until 10 (whoohoo!)  he had a fresh pot of coffee brewing and a batch of sour cream pancakes (from the pioneer woman’s cookbook) cooking on the griddle when i finally stumbled downstairs.  coffee and carbs…the man knows the way to my heart, indeed.  he also surprised me with a new little digital camcorder thingamajig so i can easily capture all my babies’ precious moments in live-action living color.  i met a good friend for dinner in the evening and still made it home in time to take a bubble bath with my favorite girl.  this morning we dropped the kiddo off for a playdate with her best buddy so we could go enjoy a delicious brunch buffet sans child.  not that i wouldn’t have loved to have her there with us, but an all-you-can-eat baconfest is way more enjoyable without a picky toddler in tow.  after brunch i read an entire book and took a long nap this afternoon.  it really was a wonderful weekend.

November 4, 2009

about me

i like: tropical breezes, soft pretzels, hot showers, newborn baby smell, pedicures, massages, bookstores, tea with milk and honey, dessert, public radio, stationery stores, new pens, crocheting, hooded sweatshirts, rachel maddow, peanut butter toast, catalogs, giraffes, good lotion, lip balm, white wine, SVU, trashy magazines, kneading dough, cheese

i dislike: raisins, mayonaise, wind, mouth breathers, socks, popcorn, papaya, obnoxious ringtones, eyebrow piercings, poodles, people who wear too much cologne or perfume, velvet, shoes that cause blisters, cars bumping the bass, long lines, dust bunnies, busy signals, pop-tarts, local car dealership commercials, chalkboards, adults who wear disney clothing, dirt under my fingernails

July 16, 2009

this sort of navel-gazing has nothing to do with fleet week

do you ever have one of those days where you find yourself to be incredibly irritating?  if any other person were pulling the shit that i’m pulling i would smack them upside the head, insult their mother, and then defriend them on facebook.  maybe this is just one of the lovely traits that goes hand-in-hand with my tendency to be too self-critical.  

i’m just having a hard time forgiving myself for failing to ‘live my best life’ (thanks, oprah).  i feel like i’m wasting time, like i should be living a life with more purpose, hell, that i should live a life with ANY sort of purpose, that i should be leading my life with passion and commitment.  but instead i’m sitting on the couch with a milkshake watching another episode of SYTYCD, just thinking about getting through to bedtime so i can wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.  i’ve read recently through a bunch of old journals.  my entries from five years ago could easily sneak into the entries of today, so similar are their themes:  general dissatisfaction with self, a yearning to change but feeling lost as to make that dream a reality, a shallowness indicative of someone without a good sense of self-awareness, a sense of someone just sort of floating through life instead of living for the moment.  what i fail to notice, however, is that life is generally pretty fucking awesome.  i have SO many blessings in my life yet i still feel a need to think that what i have and what i am doing is not enough somehow.  please excuse me while i smack myself upside the head.  i need a little reality check. 

i read tonight that the wife of an old friend from school was given terrible news regarding her fight against breast cancer.  they do not know what her prognosis is yet, but certainly not the clean bill of health they were hoping for after finishing chemo and radiation.  they have three young children who desperately need their mommy to be around to watch them grow.   if you’re the praying/good thoughts/juju/happy wishes/miracle believing type of person, this family could really use a whole lot of love their way.  they need a miracle.  

and now i commence kicking myself in the teeth because i am just so annoying to worry about myself and my little problems when there are people all around the world, and within my circle of friends, who are struggling with issues much greater than i.  i have friends who have been handed a death sentence, or even a “here’s your debilitating diagnosis, now go figure out how to get through life with that” sentence, and i’m boohooing about life being too hard because i have a little bit of an anxiety problem, a bit of a sleep problem, but mostly i’m just lazy to commit to making positive life changes.  

i feel like i need some direction.  i need some structure.  i need more focus.  i need more positivity and passion.  i need to appreciate my life, and live every moment.  i need to get busy living.  i need a map.  and a kick in the pants.  and accountability.