Thursday, June 8, 2017

Breaking

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Last night my heart broke in a way I didn't think was possible. Not since I heard the words "they found a body and its probably your dad". But for the past 12 hours I haven't stopped shaking. My heart has cracked. I am broken.

I looked in the mirror for the first time before I showered and I couldn't recognize myself. Gone was the light from my eyes. Gone was the faint smile I've grown used to wearing to combat my resting bitch face. My whole face sagged. Who is the girl in the mirror now?

I don't know who I am anymore. I don't know how to feel. I sat in the shower with the heat all the way up and I felt nothing but cold. I shivered. I am
numb.

I cannot breathe, friends. I cannot breathe. Because this is it. This is what has finally broken me. I am in pieces. Shaky, poorly oxygenated pieces. I feel like I'm watching myself make tea, take a shower. I'm not driving the car, I'm just a silent observer to my own life.

I did not sleep. I woke up every twenty minutes hoping it was all a joke. Hoping this was a bad dream. That I'd get a call and he'd say "I take it back, this is going to be okay, I'll see you Friday evening." That call never came.

I am breaking.

Monday, June 5, 2017

I Do Not Own This Body

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Night time is the hardest. Because my body knows it should be asleep, but my brain won't get the hint. So I lay here, clutching the same teddy bear I've been sleeping with for almost 10 years now, praying for sleep to come. But I can't.

I have to go through the list of people who don't love me first. And then the people who pretend they want me around but don't really. Then the list of reasons my boyfriend should break up with me. After that its the bonus round of every horrible thing I've done or said in the past 23 years. On a really bad day it includes all the fights I've had with anyone ever. But lately it includes living a very new trauma.

A month ago I was sexually assaulted. Nothing, not selling the bed it happened on, not therapy, not upping my meds, can make me forget what it felt like to wake up with a man's hands down my pants. I will never forget as long as I live the feeling that I meant so little to the world that someone thought they could insert themselves into my body without permission. I can't stop seeing it. I can't stop seeing the look on his face when I wouldn't give him a hug before I kicked him out of my house. As if I was in the wrong. And then his dismissive apology "so that thing that happened....yeah that was weird". If I was a worse person I'd name him. I'd tell you all who he is, I'd whip the crowd into a frenzy and start a witch hunt. But I don't want that. I want peace. I want to stop seeing it in my mind. I want to forget it. I want to forget that I'm now a number, one of the many faces in the crowd, another college aged girl that fell asleep after drinking and was taken advantage of. The worst part? It was in my own home, and on the other side of me was my best friend. Also asleep. How sick do you have to be to do that to someone with such confidence?

And so now, when I can't sleep, I run through that list I mentioned before, and then the laundry list of reasons why I deserved it. Not the "oh she led him on" reasons, but the "I'm a bad person and this is karma" reasons. Is this somehow the universes form of balance?

It happened and then I had to go be in a show with this person. Two weekends of shows with someone who believed they had more rights to choose what happened to my body than I did. Two weekends of shows sitting next to them in the makeup room pretending I couldn't still feel their fingers invading me. Two weekends of shows pretending like just showing up wasn't a monumental feat for me. By the final show my body shut down. I had the worst panic attack I've ever experienced, I passed out just from standing up, I hit my head, I was puking, and I tried to not go. I couldn't say more than that I was sick. I was talked into going, I was accused of having a hangover, and all the while I was holding back this immeasurable rage and pain that I couldn't tell anyone about. I don't cry in public, and that day I couldn't hold back tears as I got into hair and makeup. The stage used to be my safe place and that whole afternoon I felt like a prisoner in what used to be my home.

Since then I've been the absolute worst. I've been clingier as a girlfriend than I've ever known myself to be. I feel like my strength is gone. I'm scared to be on my own. I'm scared to sleep. I'm scared to drink too much and then fall asleep. Sometimes I'm just scared to drink. I don't trust anyone or anything. I feel like I'm watching myself go through motions, not living them, just seeing someone else control the ship while I watch. I'm trying to put on brave face. I'm trying to be happy for everyone. I'm trying to sleep normally, but I can't. He stole that from me. He took the little amounts of joy, the little amounts of normalcy, the tiny bit of hope I had, and he crushed it with one action. And I don't think I'll ever be the same.

I'm so fucking exhausted.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Love You, Too

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This morning I kissed him goodbye for work and told him I loved him. He said he loved me back. I almost cried.

When you break up with someone but you still love each other, life is a little weird. You still cuddle, kiss, hold hands on the couch. You sleep in the same bed, you shower while he randomly wanders into the bathroom to pee, to check his hair, to bring you a towel.

You buy him beer as a surprise, he brings home your favorite ice to munch on (yes, I'm a chronic ice eater).

But there's an emptiness that lingers. An emptiness that wasn't there before. A nagging feeling that you did this to yourself, and even though you're still affectionate with each other, you are in fact alone.

In a matter of weeks I will be in my own apartment. No more rolling over to see the love of my life sleeping peacefully. No more jokes about the oddities of living together, no more coming home to a smiling face. No more waiting at home for him to come home, getting more excited as the hours tick by.

I know that this is necessary for growth. For healing. For us. But dammit, it hurts like hell.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Fear and Loathing In Alexis.

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I wish I could say all the things I've been wanting to say for ages now. I wish that a lot of things I need to say could see daylight. That there was no mystery to how I feel about certain people and things. Because while I am very open about specific parts of my life, there is much I have yet to own up to, or even recognize.

I find myself to be quite melancholy lately. I wouldn't say depressed, because well, I mean, I am, I take medication for that, but this is a different sort of emotion. A weighted sadness. One without definition that doesn't feel like the world is ending, but questions, why do I matter in side of this world?

As Watsky once said "there's 7 billion 46 million people on the planet/and most of us have the audacity to think we matter....I know its a lie but I prefer it to the alternative." Maybe I'm a little existential crisis-y, maybe I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm one very small person in one very large world. I can't make much of a difference on a large scale.

I recently lost my medication. I don't mean no longer am allowed to take it, I mean, I put the bottle somewhere, and haven't been able to find it since. Learning to cope with the negativity my mind can't normally handle without going off the deep end has been quite the adventure, I can tell you that. And trust me, my mind throws a lot of shit down.

I think I'm having a good day, my brain tells me that I'm ugly and my boyfriend hates me. I brag about how wonderful my little cheerleaders are and how proud of them I am, my brain tells me no one cares about my girls or the effort I put into making them good. I feel pretty, my brain tells me I'm unworthy of love or positive attention. No one can hit below the belt like your own mind can.

I guess I keep a lot bottled up because I'm tired of hearing myself talk about how shitty everything is. Truth is, I don't have much to complain about, my mind just tricks me into thinking I do.

That my friends, is anxiety. That my loved ones, is depression. It can literally ruin your life if you let it. I spent three months drowning in a pool of my own making, unable to come up for air, somehow comforted by the fact that I was stuck with this awful feeling now. My reality was waking up and hating my reflection, hating my inner self. As far I was concerned, I was just - bad. Rotten to the core.

I had a meltdown because we ran out of ice. I had a meltdown because Mr. Darcy the Cat wouldn't cuddle with me while I napped on the couch. I felt unloved, unwanted, and unimportant. Many were actively telling me how much I was worth, wanted, and loved, but my brain refused to accept this as fact. And often times, that's just how it is. I have to remind myself every so often that my mind is a chemically unbalanced bitch and I need to fight it with every part of my being.

And maybe because I'm feeling like this a little therapy for me, but we're just gonna say it is all related to my mother. My mother who told me I'd never accomplish anything. My mother who called me ugly, and kind of fat, and not that smart. My mother who chose a pedophile drug addict over me and my brothers. My mother who has a permanent place in my head, who is the voice of all my fears and self-loathing.

Every day I fight this voice. Every day I fight the urge to cry when I see myself, when I think about how little I've done. I know it will all work out. I mean, I hope it will all work out in the end. That hope for a brighter someday is all that keeps me hanging on. I dream of bright sunny days where I'm one of those bubbly girls in a white sundress running through a field of daisies. Until then I'm just hanging on, I guess.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Psycho Bitch

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Raise your hand if lately you feel like your mental illness is destroying your life.
Keep it up if you have been called crazy, psycho, or some variation of those in the past week.
Raise your other hand if you can't help but to think that everyone is right, you are crazy.

Me too, kids. Me too. I know that I'm fucking everything up lately. From my violent mood swings to my current sinking feeling, it is all too familiar. I feel like I've always been depressed, but the switch from crisp fall air to winter winds sends me deeper down the rabbit hole than is normal for me. As more and more leaves fall off the trees, bits and pieces of me drift farther and farther down as well. Maybe it is like....I don't know, seasonal depression 2.0? Where you're normally depressed but then get SUPER depressed when the seasons change? Like, normally I'm on like a 3 out of 10 on the depression scale (thanks meds), but then winter starts to show up and I'm at oh I'd say, a 7 on days I'm medicated, 11 on days I forget.

The crappy part is, I forget that my boyfriend hasn't had to deal with this for very long. He doesn't know how to help me cope, how to help me get out of my funk, how to be there for me when I go from kind of needy to the most helpless human he knows. So then, on top of all the shitty feelings that I'm already pushing down to think on or deal with later, I add guilt, because I can't help but get angry when Cory just doesn't "get" it.

I know it isn't his fault that he can't sympathize with me. I know it is hard to imagine how low I can get over seemingly small things, like accidentally falling asleep instead of cooking dinner, or me putting his laundry away without him returning the favor, or him having a bad day and snapping at me. These are things that happen in life. Average things. Yet for me, they are catastrophic sometimes, and it isn't always easy to explain that my brain chemistry is messed up and I can't handle there not being honey mustard for my french fries right now because why does tragedy always befall me?

I know I'm all over the map right now (thanks meds), but I'm having a hard time processing through all these emotions that I'm feeling all at once. I'm exhausted from it. And I'm so tired of putting on my smile, day after day. Don't get me wrong, there are things that make me smile. I'm not always just putting on a brave face, I'm not a hero, I'm not an inspiration or anything, I'm just a cliche. I find joy in my cheerleaders, my boyfriend, my pets, most days my job. I have reasons to smile. I just never feel like it anymore.

I am grateful for what I have. I am not asking for pity. I'm just asking for some all knowing being to come hang out for a bit and tell me that I'm not crazy for crying over spilled ice cubes, Taco Bell is a healthy diet, and that I am always, always, always, loved, because I am. I know I am.

I just have a hard time remembering. Another thing I'm messing up, I suppose.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Panic Attacks Aren't Funny

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My friend recently related to me a story in which she had a panic attack while trying to drive a manual car. As a fellow anxiety-ridden member of society, I could relate because while learning to drive stick a couple weeks ago, the vehicle stalled out while I was pulling into traffic and was lengthwise across the entire road, not moving, and I was inside, close to vomiting, tears forming in my eyes, on the brink of a panic attack, when a kind friend hopped in the driver seat and got me across the road.

Now the difference between our two situations is large. While I was saved from my panic attack, allowed to calm down, and then helped to learn what I did wrong and calmly taught how to drive correctly, she was recorded, and then mocked for the fact she was hysterical trying to figure out how to drive this car.

This instance is telling of a large problem that pervades society. Mental illnesses are frequently treated like a joke. As a consequence, symptoms that signal someones needing help are treated like a joke. The end result? Being harassed by a video of yourself in hysterics because you can't drive a stick shift and you're scared that it keeps stalling out.

There is a large amount of stigma that surrounds mental health problems. As a society, many people don't want to talk about anxiety, depression, bipolarity, OCD, or the hundreds of other illnesses that one could have. They want the people who have these problems to "just get over it" to "quit being so sad all the time" to not be themselves. To be "normal". But we are normal. Normality for me is occasionally crying because I took too much soda and people might think I'm selfish or gluttonous. Normal for me is crying because something isn't perfect no matter how many times I try. Normal for me is having a long span of good days followed by some really horrid days. That's life. I have depression and anxiety. I am normal for me.

Just because people with mental health problems aren't someone else's idea of normal doesn't mean that they deserve to be treated as a joke. I've mentioned before how harmful it is to invalidate symptoms of major mental health issues. I should have been treated for anxiety ages ago. Instead,  I just got on medication five months ago. And these symptoms can take all forms.

For example. I sleep a lot. In fact, I went through a period of two months last year where I barely left my bed. Now I go to bed at 230 pm, wake up at 6 pm, eat dinner and am back in bed by midnight so I can sleep until 830 pm. Most people read this as lazy. My boyfriend, my doctor, and a therapist I saw once continue to be worried about the fact that my depression makes me incapable of doing anything that doesn't require a pillow and blanket.

Then there's the whole anxiety thing. Anxiety comes in many forms. In fact it is diagnosed in many different forms as well. Panic attacks look different on everyone. For me I become nauseous, obsessive, jumpy, and hysterically tearful at the worst. On the mild end I just zone out, and become nauseous. My friend gets hysterical in the way that she is laughing and crying at the same time and doesn't know what to do. Panic attacks are paralyzing. They are terrifying. And when the people you are around are mocking you for it, they are the most embarrassing thing in the world.

By mocking those who suffer from serious mental health issues, you are contributing to their fear of seeking help. When I went to the doctor's office to be officially diagnosed I was so embarrassed that I couldn't control myself that I almost walked out of the clinic after checking in. I was there because I had such horrid suicidal thoughts that I checked myself into a hospital and they told me the best course of action was medication to level me out. But still, all I could think of was what people were going to say about the new "crazy" version of me.

All my life people called me spoiled, bratty, dramatic, a cry-baby, weird, and psycho. For problems that I couldn't control. And that's why, at 22 years old, I still couldn't quite manage to take myself to the doctors office to get help for depression and anxiety so bad I was losing control of my entire life.

Here's what my probably disconnected thinking train wreck post is all meaning to say. You cannot mock people for their mental health problems. Mocking people with mental health problems only perpetuates the stigma that surrounds mental health issues in general. Do not be that one person that prevents someone from getting help because you have to be funny, because you have to draw attention to someone else's embarrassment, because you are too ignorant to recognize when someone clearly needs help.

Gain awareness. End the stigma. Think about someone besides yourself.

Friday, September 2, 2016

When You're Suddenly a Flake (I'm Sorry)

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Lately as in for the past 6 months, I have been horrible about getting to things. I will make commitments then cancel last minute, just won't show up, or will just say no, that I can't be there. I've missed deadlines, lost motivation, and basically just dropped the ball on almost everything.

For all of these things, I would like to apologize.

For all of these things, I would like to explain myself.

I have depression and anxiety. Like, bad. If the wind blows strong enough I can't drive my car. I once had a panic attack because it was slightly drizzling and I still had set cleanup to do after a rehearsal. I got sent home because I obviously couldn't calm down (and wasn't expected to) and then bawled my eyes out for the entirety of the 20 minute drive back.

I take medication that makes me exhausted and helps everything, but not even medication can help on the bad days. The days where my existence is too much to handle for no particular reason besides I am me, and the weight of the world is crushing my helpless body.

I don't want to do anything anymore. I go to work, I go home, I sleep for a few hours, I do laundry, I eat dinner, I go to bed. That's it. I am supposed to be an assistant cheer coach and a photographer on the side. Because of the way my meds have affected me this past week I've barely left my house save for on my birthday when I felt the need to give myself at least one good day. I've quit taking photography clients and quit doing my most photography related things in general.

Depression and anxiety have made the way I live my life so much different. I am constantly worried that something will trigger a panic attack, I'm constantly degrading myself for no particular reason besides the fact that eh. I just suck lately.

I am sorry, friends and family, for my extreme lack of consistency. If you know me, you know this isn't like me. I'll be back to myself soon enough.

Hopefully.