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Who We Are vs. Who We Were: Is there ever really a difference?

Before the age of 10 I was a fairly happy kid and mostly normal with the exception of severe separation anxiety and timidness, i.e., I screamed and cried whenever left anywhere without my mother, and was very shy and quiet. But I remember acting without self-consciousness and it was ok. I remember my mother smiling at me.

After about the age of 10 is when I got weird. Super uncomfortable to be around, really aspie in retrospect. Grownups avoided eye contact with me. Especially my mother. When I smiled all my gums showed and it was unpleasant. Often people would laugh in response to me and, not knowing how to behave myself, I mistook their laughter for approval. So I kept acting weirder until finally my mother asked me to stop. I was making people uncomfortable, she told me. “No one acts that way because they want to.” She didn’t look at me when she said this. I was in 7th grade. Soon after my aunt took me for a drive. She seemed to be the only person who cared about me and recognized something was wrong, but for some reason I hated her the most. On the drive she asked me how I felt, and why I said the things I did. I stared out the window, my stomach in knots. When we got to the beach I ran to the breakers and dared myself to jump in. I thought it would feel nice to die in the ocean and drift without weight. But the waves crashing against the rocks made me think otherwise. My aunt called me from shore and I finally ran back. “Why didn’t you answer me? How could you not have heard me?” After that, I stopped talking around family. I had misread their signals and the pretend script I created for myself had failed. I didn’t know how to make another one and it was easier to keep quiet. During holidays I would hide in the bathroom as long as possible to avoid socializing. When I had to come out I stayed mute. Thinking back, my family always acted happy to see me. I don’t know why I hated them so much, or if it was just residual from no longer having a script.

Walking the halls of middle school, I felt like I might tip over because my nose was so big. I feared I would turn my head too fast and knock someone over or bash against a locker. I wanted to be invisible, but that wasn’t possible so instead I just stayed mute through the school day. I obsessed over my nose for the next decade until I dropped out of college and got a nose job. In retrospect I realize how warped my reality was. I didn’t see my physical appearance realistically, but I also didn’t see how others perceived me realistically. Without any hobbies I grew bored and fell into maladaptive daydreaming, which I much preferred to reality.

I had a childhood best friend who was normal and well adjusted. But around the time I started getting weird, she moved and her mother didn’t want me to visit her anymore. She thought I was a bad influence on her daughter and that it would be healthier for her daughter to socialize with people at her new school. And she was right. I turned into a terrible friend. I called her once a month only to cry on the phone and lament about my miserable life. I developed a crush on her brother and talked badly about her to him. I called her a bitch and tried to turn him against her. She found out and we didn’t talk much after that. She wasn’t mad, just disappointed. I wasn’t worthy of her anymore. She was at the level of those normal people who knew how to talk to each other and have fun, and I was in the audience, watching with morbid fascination.

In middle school I met two immature, sadistic girls who hated everyone except each other. They befriended me out of boredom and I learned to imitate how they spoke and what they wore. For better or worse, I can say that those girls helped to transform me out of my aspie persona into something slightly more normal. I was still fucking weird, but less so, and I was learning to master the art of imitation.

I remember thinking about fat girls a lot in high school. There were only 2 of them at my school. I had a pretend connection with them. I wondered if they felt as alienated as I did. Did they also feel naked wherever they went? Were they also mortified by their appearance? But they seemed to keep functioning and socializing in a way that I wasn’t able to, and I wanted to ask them how but never did.

Every year my mother would take me to get my annual physical. And every year they would draw blood to test. (I didn’t realize until a few years ago that this wasn’t typical.) I had a phobia of needles, so they would put me in a large brown leather chair that I sunk into, and call over doctors and they would all hold me down while I screamed. I remember when I was a teenager, maybe 13 or 14, going and telling myself I wouldn’t cry this time. I remember sitting in the doctor’s room shaking, my stomach sinking, trying to will myself not to cry, but failing. The doctor sighed with annoyance and said “Oh come on and act your age.” (That’s what I mean by making people uncomfortable – I wasn’t a particularly likeable child.) I remember looking out the window and it was one of those horizontal ones that was cracked open and there was a ledge. I envisioned myself climbing out the window onto the ledge. People would see me and start yelling, but before they could grab me I would jump. My mother would see me hit the pavement. I would be dead, but my mother would feel guilty the rest of her life. But instead I sat there frozen in fear, completely paralyzed.

Every summer, my uncle would take me camping. I don’t remember ever having a real conversation with him. He was intimidating and I had a lot of respect for him and wanted to appear normal and cool, so I avoided talking to him unless absolutely necessary. When I was little I got to sleep in the same tent as my male cousins and we would play all day and night. But there came a point when I had to sleep in my own tent. It was a very uncomfortable week and proof just how miserable my home life was that I actually looked forward to it. I stayed in my tent as long as possible. In the mornings I tried to stay asleep so I wouldn’t have to leave the tent and interact with my uncle and have to eat with everyone around the campfire. They expected me to take initiative and make myself breakfast like a normal person, but I was too terrified. My aunt would shake the tent yelling at me to wake up, it was 2:00. I heard a podcast today about camping and thought to myself, why on earth did I go camping every summer for that terribly uncomfortable week?

I remember sleeping until noon on weekends, or later. And staying up too late during the week and being exhausted at school. I remember we never had much food in the house and I’d usually take a swig of coffee and walk through high school like a zombie, shaking from too much caffeine, feeling sick to my stomach from fatigue and lack of food. After school I would eat bowls and bowls of cereal and whatever was in the house, binging on it. I had no self-control and no idea how to take care of myself.

I finally got a boyfriend when I was 17. He had a rare form of anemia and needed blood transfusions every 3 weeks to stay alive. We were both desperate and neither of us liked each other much, but we stayed together for 3 years. I became obsessive about his ex girlfriends and jealousy ran my life. I hated it but was terrified of it going away. I couldn’t imagine life without constant anxiety. The alternative seemed to be terrible boredom, death of all emotions, and no point to life. I had started cutting at the end of high school and it got worse in college. My mother applied me to a private school to fulfill her dream of having a successful daughter. I wasn’t ready and shouldn’t have gone. I was surrounded by intelligent, strong-willed overachievers with big personalities. I failed classes and spent all day in bed listening to emo music and cutting my arms.

I also remember feeling manic, but I didn’t know it was mania then. Toward the end of high school my old aspie self came out around my mother and sister. I blurted random things and cracked up laughing at things that weren’t funny. The typical response I would get from my family were eyebrow raises, which would send me into hysterics. It went that way for a couple years and I loved it. Often my mind would race and I would talk very fast. I would pace back and forth flapping my hands. But eventually that ended. My sister stopped raising her eyebrows and answered me seriously. She told my mom to stop responding or “she’ll keep doing it.” Oops. One time when I was flapping my hands she told me to stop it, it was weird. I never noticed it much except that it felt amazing. But I made myself stop.

Each year after high school and especially after my breakup and nose surgery, I got more normal. The cutting got a little worse, but with longer interims between. A big normalizing force was a 5-year relationship I had with an extremely stable, near-emotionless engineer. He had a very balancing effect on me. I also went on wellbutrin after cutting and hitting my head on the carpet. The medication helped a lot.

My last “episode” was 3 years ago, when I was 31. I became infatuated with a bisexual goth and, upon realizing he didn’t like me as much, grew anxious and cut. But it wasn’t working like it usually did and so I had to keep cutting. The sheets and my shirt were bright red and I realized I wouldn’t be able to stop because it wasn’t working like normal. So I drove myself to the hospital and immediately felt better as soon as acknowledged. The doctors were kind and brushed nice feeling cool brown stuff on my arm and thigh. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw their reactions. Doctors came in and stared as if in awe and a counselor was called in to talk to me. When I got home I was giddy and high and drew pictures the rest of the night laughing. After that I added Lamictal to the Wellbutrin and the urge to cut pretty much disappeared.

 

I’m not writing this to play the victim, or ask for attention or for a diagnosis (although I am rather curious as to what people would diagnose me with). I’m writing this because now, at almost 35, I feel normal, stable, well-adjusted, and pretty content. I don’t really get depressed anymore, and while I have fleeting vibes of mania, it’s nothing like it used to be. (It might not even be mania, I just feel excited sometimes and worry that it’s mania, because I’m not totally sure what normal is.) I can wake up before 9am, of my own accord (most of the time). I get all A’s in my classes. I even stopped biting my nails. But I’m not medicated anymore. And I don’t really understand why I feel so normal and good. And it freaks me out a little, to be honest. I’m constantly afraid the real, horrible me will come back. Or that thing I have, whatever it is, will descend upon me once again and everything will fall apart. Or that if I let my guard down, that weird aspie girl will come out and people will shudder and turn away.

I spend most of my time with my dog. I rarely go out to socialize with people. (Although I think I might actually enjoy socializing if I could be anonymous, but that’s not an option here.)  The other day I was listening to a new band I like, and I thought of cutting and paced a little, moving my hands with the beat, but not flapping. Is this ok? I asked myself. Sure it is, I have it under control, I told myself. See, no flapping. And I’m changing the song after this one.

I haven’t cut in 3 years. I can’t remember the last time I lay in bed all day from depression. But it still haunts me. Sometimes I feel like I’m fooling everyone. I even fool myself. I’m pretty confused about my sexuality, sometimes desiring women and sometimes feeling totally asexual. Sometimes when I’m socializing I act so normal, it feels genuine. Sometimes I talk in the tone of that sadistic friend I had in middle school, whose tone and manner of speaking I carry over to this day. (She’s no longer sadistic and is actually wonderful, now. But I limit our interactions to facebook because she reminds me of who I used to be.) And other times I get just a little quirky as to feel like myself, but someone I like. And sometimes, I’ll say something and immediately regret it. Was that an aspie moment? I’ll ask myself. Sometimes I’ll run something through my mind over and over again, trying to hear it objectively to decide if it’s cringe-worthy. For a while, I would say something out loud and immediately panic, forgetting if I asked it out loud or just thought it in my head. “Did I just ask you that, or did I think it?” I’d ask. Cue perplexed expression. That hasn’t happened for several months now, which I’m very thankful for.

I’m thankful for a lot of things. And afraid of everything. But usually, feeling thankful enables me to appreciate what I have.

Do we ever really change? What if we hate who we used to be? How do we reconcile who we are today with who we used to be? Do some aspies imitate their entire lives, faking it not until they make it, but literally embody it? And if we embody it, does that mean we’re cured?

 

 

 

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blunt, drunk

I’m no longer attracted to my best friend and only lover who has given me consistent orgasms for the past 2 years. He’s incredible, buff, sexy, well hung, goes down there for hours, emotionally connective, all that. I’m just no longer attracted to him. And he’s moving away soon, so I won’t be able to see him anymore, and I’ve been crying about it and missing him, and who we used to be together, back when I thought we might be something more. But that isn’t our destiny, and the best is over, and it makes me sad.

I miss my other best friend, who I also abruptly stopped seeing because his girlfriend won’t let him talk to me or even be facebook friends with me. It all happened so fast. I can’t text him anymore, or joke around with him, or get drunk and party with him. But he’s happy now because he found someone to love and who loves him back, and I’m happy for him. Besides, part of me wonders if I don’t miss our friendship as much as I miss him loving me, which is selfish. It feels good to be worshiped; it’s addictive. With him I felt smart and like a better version of who I really am.

I’m into this new guy, but trying not to be too clingy because his friendship coincides with these above recent losses. I want to talk to him, fuck him, and be with him all the time. He’s easy and I want him there in the background always. Yet my interest in him seems to have coincided with his sudden retreat. He’s still into me, but seems to not be pining for me anymore. He seems content with less, but maybe he sees through me to who I really am, or who I fear I really am.

I fear that I’m bad, like most borderlines really feel on the inside. I’m afraid I’m bad because I’m not genuine, and when I think I like people it’s really because they satisfy a narcissistic part of myself that needs to be fed so I don’t wilt away. I fear that I’m boring, because really I have no identity and see myself in others, and so I look for others who will provide a good reflection and let me be in control. I want to fuck him always, but for several months I thought I was asexual and was disgusted with sex, and I fear that it’s only a matter of time before I completely lose interest, whether I want to or not, because desire is out of my control and fueled by extremes and unrealistic expectations.

There were people I thought I was in love with, only to realize the absurdity later. My “love” was really manipulation. I thought I was attracted to women for a while. I still am, sometimes. I always want to be alone, but I’m often lonely. I am confused, and I don’t trust anything about myself.

Cinnamon vanilla soy cold brew 

As happens on occasion with us adhd folks, I was initially burning with interest to blog about my daily life struggles, ideas and inspiration, but then promptly lost interest. Drive and emotions in general seem like friends (or foes) who visit when they want and we have no say in the matter. Maybe I’ll want to again someday. 

Fortunately, my health kick is still going strong and I need to put together some recipes for school semester. Maybe this will be a fun way to catalog my recipes! What better way to start than with my first true love, coffee. 

I mentioned in an earlier post that I have long suffered from digestive issues/IBS that recently started interfering with my life in a serious way. Cold brew coffee is known to be less irritating than hot brewed due to lower acidity, and my stomach seems to respond much better. I’ve also saved a lot of money by brewing it myself in large batches-recipe soon. 

This morning’s treat came out especially well:

  • Large cup that brings you joy 
  • Ice, fill cup
  • Cold brew coffee concentrate 
  • Unsweetened soy milk
  • Vanilla extract, dash
  • Truvia (or stevia of choice), half packet or to taste
  • Cinnamon, dash

Combine. I add around a 3:1 coffee to soymilk ratio, as the cold brew is meant to be diluted and it gives a rounded, dessert-like flavor. 

Why we get more bor(ed/ing) with age

In an attempt to revive my dying libido, I hooked up with an acquaintance recently. We initially met on a dating site but I wasn’t attracted to him. A couple months went by without seeing him and I started to wonder why I didn’t go for it and thought I was attracted to him after all. So I texted him with my usual in-the-moment urgency and we made implied plans for sex.

Social Urgency: The feeling of impatience and urgency which follows the spontaneous, fleeting desire to partake in social interactions. A phenomenon commonly observed in those suffering with social anxiety, as the veil is inexplicably lifted, prompting the individual to connect with others as quickly as possible before the oppressive weight of discomfort resumes.

Of course, when I hung out with him again I realized I was not, in fact, attracted to him at all, but I had already forged the path we were on and I couldn’t turn back. The sex was awkward and distasteful. Some highlights:

Me, stuttering, far too high: “This feels weird and I can’t bring myself to kiss you, like it’s really hard. I get platonic vibes or like you are my brother.”

Him: “That’s weird.”

Him: “So, you want to try it?”

Me: “Sex? You’re okay with this being so weird for me?”

Him: “Totally fine with that.”

Me: “Okay. We need to talk first. My mother had cold sores, so I probably carry it. Around 80% of the population carries it but doesn’t know it -”

Him: “You’re fine, I don’t care, it’s totally fine.”

I’m slightly disappointed this doesn’t bother him, and realize I could have phrased it much more menacingly, like that I have herpes, which has no cure and can be transmitted by kissing and causes disgusting sores that burst open and are highly contagious, and in some cases can even be transmitted to one’s genitals in which case condoms aren’t a reliable defense, and then you have genital herpes….. But too late for that and sex proceeds.

At one point during the introductory missionary, he stopped and said “I have to get up. I have to get this lube out of my hand, it’s driving me crazy.” As he exited the bedroom to clean said hand, he asked me, “What is your favorite position?”

Seeing as I was not at all attracted to the person who was fucking me, favorite position didn’t seem relevant here. I burst out laughing because the weed was making such obvious details more pronounced and hilarious, but he didn’t get it. “What we were doing,” I said. He looked disappointed. “Think of your second favorite” he said and exited.

Later, he stopped to take a break, panting and sweating. I was fine and joked that I was lucky he had to do all the work. “You could help,” he said. “Cowgirl?”

There was no fucking way I was going to hoist my fat ass on top of this stranger and bounce around in such a ridiculous fashion (this is why I’m greysexual, because I view sex in such terms, it’s a problem and I’m working on it), and besides, if this really was work to him, we could just, you know, stop doing it.

So anyway, thus concludes awkward sex story. I did have a few insights as triggered by the weed, but they’re less impactful in retrospect:

  1. You do not know this person. A realization I had when hugging him and trying to force myself to kiss him. It was a moment of paranoia when I felt like I was hugging a stranger I’d never met or spoken to before.
  2. You did it again. The realization that I had done precisely what I promised myself I would never do again: have sex out of obligation. In fact, I had deliberately crafted and executed a plan which resulted in me being in a position of not wanting to have sex with a person, but feeling obligated to do it anyway. It wasn’t even accidental. I was like a fly who helped a spider construct its web so that I could have my own cozy hammock to relax in, only to realize far too late that I had designed my own trap…

And later, this insight: Experiences get less and less magical with age. I don’t know what it is about 34, but there was no gradually, just suddenly. I’m suddenly old and suddenly bored with things I would have found magical in my 20’s. I was extremely high and we were listening to the most wonderful jazz album, Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. I suppose hearing that album made the night worthwhile. But it would have meant so much more a decade ago.

That’s the thing about being a late bloomer; nothing feels in sync. I’m out of step with people in their 30’s who have careers and plan vacations and babies and buy houses. But I’m also out of step with all the students here who I associate with, just by virtue of being a decade older than they are. I do my best to blend in and should probably just stop mentioning my age…maybe people will forget and assume I’m 24 also.

One last thing. I have an admirable but self-destructive ability to distort memories. After enough time passes, I miss things from my past and slip into nostalgic, mournful daydreams. The reality is that, in the past, I wasn’t really that happy, but I forget that. The solution is simple, of course: create goals for the future that are more captivating. Hashtag careers. This should really be a priority for me right now….

Anyway, I’m off to the lab to stare at bugs under a microscope. It’s about as fun as it sounds, but at least I get paid. Plus it’s in the biology building with a bunch of professors and graduate students doing cool research. Sometimes people ask me what program I’m in and that sucks. But whatever, keep on blending and maybe people won’t notice I don’t quite fit…

 

 

Post 4

I’m stoned so this might suck and end up deleted.

Big development today: I was horny.

This is a big deal because for the past several months my sex drive has been so low I started reading blogs in asexual communities and considered getting my thyroid tested (still not a bad idea, although the other times I got it tested I was always CERTAIN I had a thyroid problem but nope it was just my brain). I’m in my 30s and when people say should be a woman’s sexual prime. WHAT THE HELL.

Anyway today I was horny and now that I have Time and Money and also my newfound Freedom to Choose what to do about it (I really am in a new phase of life but that’s another post), I made the decision to attempt to seduce a man.

Mind you, it has been a LONG time since attempting such a thing. The victim, let’s call him Brad, is a super nice guy that I met on okcupid and we went on a few dates but it fizzled out because of course I wasn’t attracted to him. I blew off his last invite to chill (for “movie night”) and then wished him happy Singles Awareness Day and haven’t heard from him since. Ironically, when I texted him he acted like I was the one who had flaked out. What’s up with that? Anyway he clearly had given up on me in the interim of our silence because he wasn’t exactly jumping to make plans. After he went to bed (LAME) I texted him the following:

Ha, so I just checked my p tracker app and I’m ovulating today. That explains a lot. This SUCKS lol! Sorry to suddenly blow up your phone. If this is what it’s like to be a guy I rather be asexual. 😂  K time to smoke and chill the eff out. 😂 You’re like, a super nice guy for dealing with my flakiness so kindly by the way. K night for realz

He really is a nice guy because I’m a horrible friend. My opinion of people changes dramatically in a short period of time and I lack enthusiasm to pursue the relationship 90% of the time, and 10% of the time I’m suddenly and inexplicably very eager to hang out and very much value their time (when I feel social I try to take advantage before it passes. People have no sense of urgency dammit!).

That was after he went to bed so we’ll see how he responds. I almost didn’t send it because of the following thoughts:

  1. Is this a weird thing to say? (I reread it, imagining I’m him.) Is this something Aspie Tessa would say? Will this be embarrassing tomorrow?
  2. DON’T send that. You’re just being manipulative. You want a certain reaction from him.
  3. You’re just provoking anxiety in yourself because you’re bored.
  4. You’re seeking negative attention.
  5. You’ll regret this.
  6. You’re going to be anxious for the rest of the night if you send that.
  7. Is this even true? Am I even horny right now? This might be a really bad thing to do to someone.
  8. What if I don’t feel this way tomorrow?
  9. His response will make you sad.
  10. You’re being too cryptic/passive aggressive.

These thoughts go through my head fairly often in social situations. I imagine many aspies could relate, and borderlines as well. (I didn’t realize how much aspies and borderlines have in common until I started this blog and they keep showing up in the same sentence!)

I once told a guy I loved him. When I told him that at the time, I felt it very strongly and was almost euphoric. His response was something along the lines of, Thank you…I believe you believe you love me, but I think it’s manipulation.” He was right, it was completely manipulation because he pulled away from me and I wanted him back. But the scary thing was I didn’t realize it at the time, because the love felt so real. (I most definitely was NOT actually in love with him.)

The above thoughts can be toxic, BUT they can also be extremely helpful for guiding and maintaining one’s social camouflage and self-awareness. I’m extremely grateful I’m not a lower functioning aspie, it sounds absolutely exhausting.

I think I ended up sending it because I was craving intimacy very badly and wanted a connection so I wanted to be truly genuine. I felt relieved after sending it. There, ah, I got it out. Here’s a little bit of my bare naked exposed flesh. I really hope you don’t burn it. What if you like it, my real skin? ME? Is there a chance you could like the real me? I fear that he won’t respond in a way that I perceive as supportive.

Wow, sex adds this entire new, raw dimension to things. Like everything goes from animated to live action.

Borderlines feel they are undeserving of love and believe they are bad people. I’m glad I’m not a lower functioning borderline also. Rejection sucks and understandably so, but it should never reflect on one’s esteem.

Apparently this is turning into a blog about a girl’s struggles with mental illness* and how she fares in the real world. The Blog of Tessa will explore her daily struggles socializing with others, speaking and acting appropriately, dealing with confusing sexual feelings, struggling to stay responsible and attentive in the work place, dealing with setbacks, implementing emotional cognitive coping skills, and taking care of herself.

I just remembered, I want to text some guys I knew about a decade ago and ask them t make me a mix tape. Because a decade ago (at least), they made me really GOOD mixtapes! And lately I’ve wanted new music and I bet they still have good taste. So why not?

I’m terrified of living again and having freedom to make my own choices. I feel like a little kid who was suddenly given the power of adulthood and is afraid to use it, but can’t wait to see what happens.

I can’t wait to maladaptive daydream tonight. That’s another thing I’ve lost, the ability to MD. Wanting sex helps a LOT, but I wonder if this new phase, let’s call it the Freedom Phase, will help to bring it back? I miss it.

*Disclaimer: Mental illness of first world millennial proportions.

 

 

 

Post 3

Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law? According to Wikipedia, this law states “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Meaning if you have 5 hours to complete a task it will take you 5 hours, and if you have 10 hours to complete the same task it will take you 10 hours.

This seems to be the story of my life lately. It’s really annoying. Why is it so hard to make myself get shit done when I do in fact WANT to get shit done?

Morbid aside: Some mornings I wake up and my first thought is that one day soon I will be dead for all of eternity, and I feel time rushing through me like a waterfall. I try to catch up but am always so far behind, and now that I’m in my mid-thirties it’s really jarring, but fortunately I’m obsessive and hyperfocused enough as to find self-indulgent projects to become completely consumed with, so most of the time I don’t dwell on morbid subjects like mortality.

What if hyperfocusing is a coping strategy more than it is a symptom of mental illness? If I didn’t have passions, there wouldn’t be much point to this life thing.

Passions operate on Parkinson’s Law also. Now that I’m not preoccupied with school, I’m suddenly fixated on fitness. Now that I have a tiny bit of financial wiggle room, tantalizing items that I suddenly need very badly (i.e. Instant Pot, freezer, pullup bar) are occupying my attention. Self restraint is a beautiful thing. As is the ability to defy Parkinson’s Law. Maybe a possible solution is to just add more tasks within the same allotment of time…I shall make a to-do list.

I told my roommate yesterday, “If you don’t have anything worth writing about, you’re not doing a good enough job keeping life interesting.” Boredom is a choice, albeit a lazy one.

One of the things I really like about blogging is the switch that can happen when the blog begins to feel more real than the real-world. It really combats anxiety. For example, yesterday I was bored and considered going to a bar alone. Then I remembered I’d probably see someone I know because I live in a small town where everyone knows everyone, and the thought was immediately unappealing. But THEN I thought, well I could just blog about my experience trying to go out alone and meet new people in a town where everyone knows you and there is no escape.

That’s where writing becomes more than just writing. Writing has a secret powerful ability to alleviate anxiety and dissociate you from reality, whereby freeing you to break out of your shell and, dare I say it, live a little. If it all goes to hell, you can perceive the experience however you like in your blog. My preference is through humor, think Running with Scissors style. That dude had a fucked up, super depressing life…or a hilarious, creatively inspired one.

I read somewhere that one thing about depressed people is that they never surprise you. They’re predictable and boring. Depressed people don’t crack jokes, think of new things to do, or do something spontaneous out of boredom. They don’t press buttons or poke just to see what will happen. I say go poke and prod, and if it’s a disaster you can digest the experience and regurgitate it as a funny story later. Magic!

Time to make my list, even though I rather be sleeping. Someday all this healthy eating and exercise WILL kick in and I will have energy and feel wonderful. Just not right now. =D

Post 2

I’ve been having many urges to write, but then I think about what the subject should be and if I should focus this blog and what the goal is, so I end up putting it off, but that’s pointless so I’m going to just write whatever disorganized bullshit I feel like.

My friend recommended using Medium as a platform rather than WordPress. I think I’ll use both and see what happens. You can create portfolios on Medium which are individual connected stories, which might be nice to do for tracking fitness goals. I was thinking of taking pictures and posting updates every week or so to help keep me on track.

Does anyone know of fitness forums where people post pictures of their diet progress to help motivate each other?

Today was atypical in its degree of healthful behavior. It was a bit ridiculous, actually. It went like this:

  1. Woke up, made some coffee, and took my hound-aussie-bulldog Cloe for a trail run. Sun felt GOOD! Why do I live in Idaho where the weather is only nice 3 months of the year?
  2. Had my usual breakfast of fried eggs with turmeric, and Scottish oatmeal with wheat bran, blueberries, and kefir, and an orange. [I tried exercising before eating because that is apparently great for fat burning! Who knew? Also, look up the benefits of turmeric. Shit’s cray.]
  3. After eating I was very tired so I took a nap.
  4. Woke up from the nap feeling groggy as hell. Did my hair and makeup (go ADLs*!) and made it to work by 4, stopping first to get a double shot over ice.
  5. Felt dizzy as fuck at work. Couldn’t really focus very well. Wasn’t tired exactly, just weird unfocused feeling. Perhaps too much caffeine or just that I ran for the first time in ages, or maybe the 2nd day off lamictal?
  6. For lunch I was craving salmon. Weird. So I ate salmon, spring mix/chick pea salad with walnuts, and mangoes.
  7. Felt much better the rest of work. Got off at 11 and ate apples with raw honey and tahini, more mangoes, cashew milk, and sunflower seeds.

Somewhere up in there I laid on my new yoga mat. Didn’t actually do yoga, but it’s the thought that counts.

This is all still very new feeling, being healthy. I’m still elated from having time and money again now that I quit taking classes and am not teaching. Nothing new to study, no papers to grade or lessons to plan. All I have to do is go to the grocery store and stock shelves. It’s mindless, repetitive, boring work that in no way requires an education…but this is the least stressful period of my life in a long time and I’m loving it. Hell, I’m writing in a blog and planning diet and exercise routines. How on earth did I survive for so long busting my ass studying and working 24-7 and being broke? That was HORRIBLE!!!

 

The trigger for this newfound health devotion (aside from being 15 pounds fatter than my baseline) was actually IBS. I’ve always had IBS issues as is common for people with depression and anxiety, but it started getting really bad a few weeks ago where it was interfering with work and was just bad; I will spare you the details. Not sure I’d have the willpower to be so strict were it not for the negative association between IBS and unhealthy foods, so in a way it was a blessing. I really have no desire to eat junk food or dairy; I’m actually a little scared to.

I’m also hoping if my body gets healthier, my cognition will improve. I know there has been lots of research connecting gut health to mental health, and I was thinking, if I’m digesting food this poorly, it has to affect my thinking.

Oh, I haven’t mentioned my thinking yet, have I? Way more rational these days than it used to be in terms of keeping negative thoughts at bay, but I have this problem where I do stupid things like copy something wrong, can’t remember details, miss details, or just screw up really simple, mundane things. It sounds minor. It isn’t. It’s interfered with many jobs I’ve had in the past to the point where I would break down in tears and wonder if I would ever be able to hold down a job.

For example, just today, my boss informed me that I missed some out-of-date products last night. I was in a rush last night and only did certain sections of the aisle, so I asked which products. Milk and eggs, she said.

I checked milk and eggs. Carefully. I looked at each individual item and made sure none were dated today or I would have discarded them. And yet, I missed multiple items.

In disbelief, I started questioning my boss with unexpected urgency: “Are you sure no one filled them this morning with older products? Was it the gallon or half gallon milks? Are you SURE?” And then started rambling to myself, hand on my forehead, “I just don’t understand, because I checked those, which means I must have looked at the items and not realized the date…” It’s always jarring when that sort of thing happens, because I have a recollection of doing something, but the reality of what I did was different than what I thought I was doing, and that is what really freaks me out.

So yea, my point was just that I hope if my body gets healthier I’ll be able to think more clearly too. And I just realized it’s after 2am. This post took WAY longer than I intended. Goddamn!! Saving for later: memory weirdness, sex stuff, relationships, turmeric, when to exercise.

This is sounding way too much like a diary and I can’t imagine why anyone else would want to read this. But it’s my diary and I want to read it! Yes. 🙂

*ADL = Activities of Daily Living i.e. grooming, eating, cleaning, etc. that are indicative of healthy mental functioning. When depressed people start doing their ADLs it means they’re getting better. Having a psych nurse for a sister is pretty sweet!

First post!

The time is now 1:40 pm and I have just finished breakfast. Eggs with turmeric, oatmeal with blueberries and bananas, and coffee. I started a new diet a few days ago that centers on “whole foods” that are mostly plant based. Trying to cure persistent IBS and other less-than-ideal health matters.

Also, I just finished my last half Lamictal tablet last night. So I’ll be med-free for the first time in years.

Looking forward to seeing how that goes. Hopefully better than this diet, which has thus far left me feeling hungry and bloated, and triggered late night binges of unhealthy portions of frozen mangoes.

Since this is apparently Life Improvement Month, I’ve also started to finally pay down my credit cards a bit. I owe, like, a lot of dough. But I paid off one credit card already, woohoo! And got an email that my credit score went up. No clue what it is as I’m too terrified to check it since snowplowing so much goddamn debt.

The scary thing is, I have no idea how I racked up all this debt. No idea as in, no recollection of the debt getting this high. I just checked it one day and was like, oh wow, that’s a lot of money. I seem to be good at avoidance and denial about these sorts of matters. Randomly it hits me that I’m a broke 34-year-old in massive amounts of debt with no promising career path whatsoever, and I panic and wallow in self-pity, but it passes. Anyway, this is where I’m at, and it’s actually quite fun to be able to pay things off bit by bit.

The method that seems to finally be working for me is as follows: I purchased a mini wall calendar. On the calendar I write when bills are due and the amounts. When I’m able to pay them off, I highlight them in green so I know they’re paid. It’s quite reinforcing to highlight it. As for budgeting, Washington Federal allows multiple bank accounts that you can name whatever you want, and you can do limitless internal transfers for free. Yay! So I have a Bill Pay account and a Rent account. When I get paid the first week of the month, I transfer rent and utility money into the Rent account. Most of what is left over I’ll put toward credit cards. Once everything on the calendar has been highlighted, I’ll put the excess toward the credit card with highest interest.

I just need to figure out how to track the excess that goes toward credit cards, since everything has already been highlighted. I need a way to visualize all the extra going toward the principal balance to keep myself motivated. Hm.

So yea, there’s diet and finances under check. Huge relief there. It sure is nice to be able to afford rent, bills, and food without panicking, digging into credit, or borrowing money. Unfortunately I’m supporting myself with a retail job at a grocery store, which sucks bigly, rather than something more…lucrative. So at this rate I will never actually pay off all my debt, including student loans which I won’t type here for superstitious reasons that by typing the amount it will automatically double.

So as for the career path. I’ve become so financially desperate that I’m considering engineering. Technician, not a real engineer. It’s a 2-year program with a job at the end of it, starting at around 50k, in a location of my choosing. Big demand. Very promising. Soul-sucking work that I will probably hate BUT I could just do it for a few years to pay off credit cards and student loans and then do whatever I want.

That’s right. Work a job I hate to pay off loans that I took out to go to school to get a job I hate. Catch the irony there?

I had an interview for a scholarship the other day. I won’t recount the experience cuz it sucked but I think I did alright. Unfortunately I’m not sure I could afford to go even with my tuition covered, considering the high cost of living, but there are options. There are always options.

So anyway I’m not painting too rosy a picture here am I? Suffice it to say I’m not so good at life. I have basically been living on borrowed money for years to enable me to stay in school which is the only thing I feel like I’m good at. Extremely unsustainable lifestyle. But when everything looks like it’s going to shit, I remember that at least I’m not married and don’t have any human children or a house or car payments. Thank god for that, things can always be worse. I could have cancer, or be paralyzed, or dead! Or worse than dead, never have been born to begin with. I could be any other species on the planet. Maybe barring plants, that would kind of suck. Cuz you’d have a horrible death by getting eaten by some other animal or poisoned or trapped by a human or starve to death or by some horrible infection because there are no doctors in the animal world….I think you get the idea.

Ok so finances are in order, diet is good. Exercise is getting better…I have to exercise most days to run my hound bulldog psychomutt, and I just got a Yoga mat yay! I still want a pullup bar, but saving for that one. Next sphere: social life. This area could use some improvement as well.

I have this problem that I imagine many introverts/aspies struggle with. I get a lot of fulfillment by researching topics of interest and making plans. I love making plans, like life plans that don’t suck, exercise plans, diet plans, etc. I love cleaning and organizing my life and being a minimalist and watching random documentaries etc. There are a lot of projects I want to do. Most of them are purely self-gratifying but whatever. Like I want to compile a bunch of nutrition research and write a literature review and organize articles into a binder. Doesn’t that sound crazy fun? (No? I know. I’m weird.) Now that I think about it, it would be fun to make binders for other topics too, like history which I don’t know much about, or politics so I could be a real good debater….

You get the idea. So anyway the problem lies in when I go out to meet new people and have to talk about things that don’t really interest me. It’s SO. BORING. I actually find the idea of meeting new people to be quite exciting, but in reality, or maybe just cuz I’m stuck in a drab conservative family town, it ends up just being boring as fuck. So I need to find ways to make socializing fun again. I think I just need to find other likeminded people. They’re just so hard to find, especially here. In IDAHO. Cuz yea, I live in fucking Idaho. Which might not be so bad if I wasn’t born and raised in a cool hipster city (Boston) where I could be as anonymous as I want and have no shortage of new people to meet and new clubs to join. Le sigh….

Which brings me to this blog. I don’t actually feel lonely at all, but I must be because I’m human. Even the most extreme of introverts need friends. And I want to stay med free so I’m not tired and flat all the time. So I figure if I can keep my finances in order and my health in check, all I need are friends to stay sane and happy and not fall down a never-ending spiral of despair and self-destruction.

I’m writing this on a Word document on my laptop. Not sure where I’ll get a blog or what the subject of it will be. I’m just looking for other like-minded people to share with. Possible hashtags might include: introverts, aspies, borderline, add-pi, sluggish cognitive tempo, hippie nomads (more an aspiration than reality), biology geeks, asexual, bisexual, maladaptive daydreamers, friendseekers. In truth, none of those labels fit me very well, but we’re stuck with words so that’s the best I can do.

Thanks for reading, future cyber friends.