relapse

trigger warning: self-harm

 

it’s hard to admit, but i’ve relapsed in self-harm.

Sasha found a weak spot and she took hold of me. I didn’t want to admit that she’s been running the show lately, but she has. And when I was all alone, she found me in the darkness and whispered dirty lies in my ear. She tricked me into giving up 10 weeks of no self-harm. Now I am back at square one; hour one with no self-harm.

I know I shouldn’t have let her in. I have ways of shutting her up. But she was so loud and alluring, I didn’t want to use my skills. I didn’t have a frozen orange to squeeze, and the rubber bands seemed too far away. I didn’t care about doing something else. So I gave in to her.

I have been really proud of how far I made it without self-injury. Even when I went to the hospital I managed to stay clean. A good friend of mine reminded me that what I did is now in the past, I shouldn’t dwell on it. But I should remember this feeling, of guilt, embarrassment, and shame the next time I want to hurt myself. Because it’s not worth it. No matter what Sasha tells me.

 

To find out more about who Sasha is, click here.

10 Weeks is a Lot of Weeks

Today marks 10 weeks free of self-harm! I can’t believe I made it this far; some days it seems impossible, but I keep pressing on.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the ER and was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for the next few days. While it wasn’t super helpful, it reminded me of the tools I have, and reminded me what I had to live for. Also, I managed not to relapse in self-harm, which was a huge win for me.

It also gave me insight into the field I’m now pursuing, and made me realize that a hospital is where I want to be working. Not only that, but getting a job in this field is great incentive for me not to self-harm. I don’t want to be hypocritical by helping others who are struggling with self-harm if I’m secretly doing it, too.

That’s not to say that I don’t still struggle. On my darkest days, when depression rears its ugly head, I wish I had something to relieve the nothingness that seems to fill me to the brim. But I don’t want to ruin my streak. After all, 10 weeks is a lot of weeks.

Breaking News! (don’t worry, it’s good!)

It is with insurmountable joy and gratitude that I’m announcing I have just accepted a position at the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute as a Psychiatric Technician. This job is a dream come true, and I’m hoping it will lead me to more work in the mental health field. I’ve been exploring careers in the mental health field off and on since I was bullied in middle school and developed a relationship with my school counselor. I used to want to grow up to be just like her, and I’m so thrilled to finally be making some moves in that direction. I am equally as thrilled that the job is located here in Nashville, so I can still be with my family!

I want to thank the mental health professionals who have taught me and inspired me; it is because of you that I aspire to work in this field. Thank you so much for everything you do.

 

 

Seasonal Depression…or is it?

I don’t remember the last time I felt like myself.

Great way to start off a blog post, right? Well, it’s true. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about seasonal depression; I thought it was something I’d face upon returning to a city that actually experiences changing seasons. And, while I have been struggling with depression, it certainly isn’t seasonal.

My previous therapist said to look at depressive episodes like I would a cold. They last for a period of time, usually a couple weeks, and then they end and I go back to my regularly scheduled life. Well, I don’t remember the last time I felt particularly motivated to do anything. It took me landing in the hospital to realize how little I was taking care of myself.

Of course, some of that was due to the fact that I wasn’t taking my medication as prescribed (meds are no joke, friends, don’t mess around with them) and therefore was messing with the chemistry of my brain.

Every day I struggle to get out of bed, and every day I have to fight myself to get through the day, at one point or another. I was reading the graphic memoir “Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me” about a young woman dealing with her diagnosis of bipolar disorder, when I realized I was actually jealous of the author. Because with her, at least she experienced episodes of mania, where she was productive. Granted, I don’t really wish I had bipolar disorder, but the days when I start crying on a hike I forced myself to go on, or when I wish I could stay in bed all day, I miss feeling “normal.” I don’t even remember what “normal” is nowadays. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have trouble showering every day, or when I didn’t have any issues taking medication. Now even taking Advil feels like I’m climbing Mount Everest. I wish my depression was seasonal. Because then I could at least foresee an end to all of this.

That’s not to say that I haven’t had any wins lately. I’m fast approaching 10 weeks with no self harm, and I’m using skills every day that I’ve learned in various treatment centers to push past the depression and continue to fight for my happiness and my life. I’m proud of myself. I even think soon I will reward myself with the semicolon tattoo, because I’m still here; my story is not over.

Nothing/Everything

Nothing is interesting.

Nothing is special.

Nothing is amazing.

Everything is boring.

Everything is difficult.

Everything is average.

 

What it’s like to have depression.

I’m sorry, I really wish I could care, but I just don’t. I’m trying so hard. I wish taking a pill every morning didn’t seem like the hardest fucking thing I’ve ever had to overcome. I wish I didn’t cry thinking about my future because I don’t see one for me anymore. I wish I was motivated to pursue passions, and I wish that I didn’t think the result of my actions- when they do eventually happen- weren’t complete garbage.

Having depression sucks. And I’m getting really tired of it. I miss caring about things.

 

 

7 Weeks Clean

Big win today! I am officially seven weeks free of self-harm! This is a major win for me, and lately I have not been celebrating any of my wins, so I’m going to take the time to celebrate this one.

Some other wins I’ve made since being home:

  • Got a job within a few days of being back home
  • Made a friend here in Nashville (Duuuuukes!)
  • Went out and shot some photos at a local park
  • Used my tools to overcome high urges
  • Supplemented meals as needed

 

If anyone has ideas of ways to celebrate, comment below!

Back into Habits

While I’m home, I’m going to work on getting into better habits. One of those will be writing more regularly! I was writing often when I was in treatment, but now that I’m not, I don’t keep up with this blog like i used to!

Once again, I’ll have to challenge my perfectionism. Even if the post is short, I’m still going to publish it.

 

Like this one.

My Biggest Fear

My biggest fear. Might as well cut to the chase, since it’s what you’re all here for.

I’m terrified of never achieving greatness in any aspect of my life.

I feel average at everything I do.  Writing, ASL, singing, songwriting, poetry, directing, stage management, photography, critiquing art…etc. etc. etc. Even my work ethic is average.

Now, I recognize that some of these things I have just begun and therefore I can’t accurately judge whether I will be good at them or not. And often my depression gets in the way of me really pushing myself. So I don’t even know if I will ever be able to work towards greatness. But so far, I feel perfectly average.

And that makes me wonder if I will ever be great at anything. Or will I just coast through everything I set off to do? My latest adventures has been making music; songwriting, and I want to learn how to play an instrument (well, more than one instrument, but that’s beside the point), but I bet I won’t be any good at that, either.

I was watching the movie Megan Leavey, which begins with Megan feeling aimless and lonely, so she joins the Marines. Now, I don’t want to join the Marines, however, I do feel very similar to the way the character Megan does in the film. And all that aimlessness and average feelings lead me to feel pretty hopeless. It makes me wonder what the future holds for me.

I have just moved home to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with my life, and how I am going to support myself while doing something I enjoy. It’s hard for me to accept that I will be good at anything I do if I don’t enjoy it.

Fortunately, I am feeling healthy enough to know that just because I feel aimless now doesn’t mean the feeling will last forever. Sasha has been trying to tell me just to give up, but I’m not letting her win!

I Wrote a Song! and other news

Good evening, readers!

It’s an exciting day today. My friend just sent me the finished song that I wrote and recorded with him! The good news? I’m going to let you listen to it!

Normally I would be petrified to share anything like this with you; but this song is very special to me and I’m going to set aside my fears today because I want to share this piece of music with you. Unlike many things I do, I am very proud of this.

My dear friend, Skyler Garn, co-wrote and recorded this for me. I couldn’t have done this without him.

You can listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/user-376535138/independent-lady 

 

PS- I’m planning on starting a Perfectionist Group on Facebook! This group will aim to help squelch those pesky perfectionistic thoughts by encouraging posts of projects/artwork/writing/chores/etc. etc. etc. that may not be 100% perfect in your eyes. The group is meant to be encouraging and nonjudgmental. Please let me know if you would like to be a part of it!

PPS- A lot of people have been asking me how my move to Nashville went and how it feels being back home with my parents. The move was long but good, and I am happy to be home! I don’t think it’s hit me yet that I won’t be returning to LA anytime soon, but at the same time I’ve already done a lot of thinking about my career and the steps I will be able to make towards figuring out what it is I want to do! So far I’m excited and a bit nervous and anxious. However, I am extremely happy to be with my family and my doggo. A more detailed post is forthcoming.

if i could i would…

…Play the guitar
…Play the bass
…Take vocal lessons
…Write songs
…Start a band
…Go on tour
…Learn what I can about the music industry
…Be a photographer
…Continue my photo series project
…Start my podcast
…Finish my personal narrative project
…Submit my piece to publications
…Take a UCLA online class on writing

I started this post by making a list of all the things I wish I could accomplish to start becoming the person I want to be (if you remember, I wrote about my desire to do that in my previous post). I wasn’t sure what I was writing, because I haven’t felt very connected to my creative mind lately. But as I wrote I realized that this list is actually pretty achievable.

I was reading an op-ed in the NY Times recently that discussed the reasons people don’t have hobbies. The main point the author made was that people don’t pursue new things is because they are afraid of being bad at them. I often feel that this is why I don’t just head to an open mic and sing just because I love to sing; it’s because I’m terrified of being horrible at it. And I don’t want others to judge me and my hobby. So instead, I stick to singing in my car and when people ask if I sing I give them a hard “no.”

A friend of mine has been inspiring me lately to just start pursuing music if I want to, because that’s exactly what she did. And, not to compare, but she just got back from her band, Blushh’s, first tour. She is still learning about the music industry and how to play guitar, but that’s not stopping her from pursuing what she loves.

I’ve been pouty lately because I’ve felt like my creativity is gone. However, if I really think about it, maybe my creativity isn’t gone, but my drive is. I can’t become who I want to be by snapping my fingers. I have to work at it. And I won’t be perfect right away. Hell, I’m sure I’ll never be perfect at it, and maybe I won’t even be good at it. But I have to at least try, because not trying sounds miserable to me. So I’ll let this post serve as a reminder to myself that I can achieve my goals and explore my creativity in new and different ways, without having the expectation that I have to be perfect at everything I try.