The Cool Girl

My whole life there has been two of me. There has been the person that truly exists and lives. The one that is real. Then there is "the cool girl". She lives in my mind. She is everything that I wish I was but I have never been. She is skinnier than me, more creative than me, more talented, more organized, more motivated... more EVERYTHING.

Since I have developed insecurities she has existed to break through them. I could always close my eyes and just see her, always so close to reality. Just 15 pounds away, just pushing myself a little further towards a goal. Always so close to my cool self. My perfect self. I wanted to be her so bad. I still do.
It's an obsession that I feel I constantly stand in the way of. I have confessed this to my fiance during our late night talks when we are lying in bed in the dark. He says I'm already cool. That all my goals are attainable. I still want to be her.
She doesn't take pictures with back fat.
She doesn't have weird adult acne.
She has cool clothes and hair that looks way better than mine.
She has the willpower in the morning to do her hair and put on makeup.
High heels don't hurt HER feet.
She practices her cello everyday.
She pushes herself to use her yoga mat.
She eats healthy delicious food.
She doesn't cry all the time.
She has way more fun.

God damn her.



The best decision I have ever made (besides my fiance) was the day I decided to get my dog, Pickles. The second I locked eyes with her, I just knew that she was my dog and I somehow knew her name was Pickles. I didn't think about anything when I got her. I had my friend sit with her while I ran to the bank to cash my tax refund check so that no one else could take her. From that second, Pickles and I would never be apart.
When she first came home she fit in both my hands. She would squish herself in between pillows to fall asleep. I had never in my life before that ever been more in love with a living thing.
Pickles has shown me love when I had none. She has gotten me through the toughest times in my life. She has always been by my side. I can't imagine how I would have navigated the last six years without her. The love from a dog is one that cannot be replaced or described. She has a brilliant personality, she makes me laugh, she comforts me when I cry, and she is way too fucking smart for her own good. I will never be able to repay the countless heartbroken nights where I shed too many tears or the nights I felt so alone that she was there for me.

One day I hope to have many more pups to share my love with but Pickles will always have my heart.

Suicide Anniversary

Today, March 20th, is the eight year anniversary of when I took a hundred and fifty pills after walking home from high school and then after hours in the ER, throwing up and feeling numb, got committed to the mental hospital for a 51/50.
The memories that surround this incident are buried in my mind, only to sometimes reappear with a vengeance. I remember that day being filled with feelings of intense desperation and worthlessness. I remember crying the entire walk home from school, calling all the normal comforts in my phone to only be met with silence. I remember getting home to hit myself with a baseball bat like I would normally do in extreme emotional pain to just not feel satisfied this time. I remember calmly sitting on the computer in the family kitchen, slowly popping pill after pill down my throat while on Myspace. I remember all those people I had called finally calling me back once the bottle was empty, demanding I call an ambulance or they would. I remember sitting quietly by the front door while EMTs shoved oxygen tubes in my nose and put me on a stretcher to wheel me out in front of all the neighbors that I couldn't care less about. I remember my best friend's mom. My mom. My best friend. Crying. I wasn't crying.
The EMTs scoffed, "Why would you kill yourself over a boy?"
It was never the BOY.
It was the abuse, year after year after year by so many different faces that just blended together into nothing. The constant feeling of being worth nothing, being treated like an object. It was everything, I wanted to feel nothing. I was rotting inside so let me rot all the way through.
We sat in the ICU with tubes all over me. I threw up a lot but the nurse says I'm so lucky because the pills I took aren't poisonous. I did't feel lucky.
My family cried and I laughed.
I could't stop laughing.
I am not dead.
I am going to keep living.
This is funny right now.
No one knows I am bipolar yet. No one understands me.
They finally found a ward after midnight.
My mom cried as she signs the paperwork.
I don't want to talk about the ward. Maybe one day. Not today.

I've O.D.ed in private since. I've threatened. I've thought. But I've lived.
I haven't tried in over 3 years.
I am grateful I am alive even when things are so bad I want to tear my skin off.
Leaving doesn't solve the problems. Closing the door, exiting the room just means that you will never experience anything again. Nothing. Not the embrace of your mother. Not your favorite song. Not the smell of Jasmine blooming in the summer outside your window. Every bad day has some beauty in it. I promise. So just stick around and find your things that make your life beautiful.
My beautiful things

Manic Expression: Mixtape

If there is one thing I am like, REALLY super good at, it's having a massive garbage melt down with zero warning that usually results in hysterical screaming. And crying. And being really, REALLY furiously angry. I'm INSANELY good at that. I didn't know until I was diagnosed that these are manic episodes; at the time I thought I was just a really excellent crazy bitch. (I am joking about this but seriously, it ruined my life for years)
When I am amped up on the mania juice there really isn't much in the way of calming me down besides just riding out the wave. I can isolate myself, take anti-anxiety meds, cry it out, punch a wall repeatedly, punch my leg repeatedly, but usually the healthiest way to go about it is scream it out to some good music. There has been quite a few days I have done this in the car ride home after a particularly rough day. Releasing all the horrible, pent up rage of the day out the window of my car and into the smog ridden, Los Angeles atmosphere. Crying it out feels pretty good too but we have already chatted about the crying.
I put together a playlist (mix-tape if it was my choice but you can't very well put one of those onto the internet) of amazing songs to raise your voice to and play as loud as you can. Ignore the cars around you because when the hell are you gonna see them again anyway? Just yell. Scream. Don't try and sound pretty. Make ugly faces at the road. Fuck everyone else for awhile and just rage.


How on earth is it possible to relax when you are a person that lives with constant anxiety? When every day you are always obsessively thinking about what you aren't doing right, what you should be doing instead of what you are currently doing; and what the next day, week, month, year... etc. will bring?

If you are me, you really don't. I really don't feel like I ever truly relax the way a human being should.
I am always trying, don't get me wrong. Regularly attempting to rest after a long day or shut my brain off during the weekend. Unfortunately, my brain runs about a million miles per hour and the best chance I have had to give my constantly pounding heart a break has been to pop a Benzo.
I know the same things don't work for everyone. I also know it can be very irritating when people suggest so. "Oh, just take some deep breaths. Just meditate. Relaxation exercise. Blah blah blah." Those just don't work for me. I am just TOO anxious. I am thinking TOO much. I have some things that do work though and I am happy to share them with you. I am by no means telling you that these are the things to live by because what works for you, works for YOU but I am so glad that someone I trusted told me about these.
The first one is tapping. I do not know everything about tapping. Please, investigate on your own if this interests you.

How I do this for myself though is I tap one of the points suggested (I like the "karate chop" point with three fingers), I close my eyes to shut out visual shit from distracting me, repeat a mantra to myself like "I may be very anxious right now but I am going to be okay", and to even engage my brain further I mouth it to myself. My best friend it still teaching me about this but this helps me SO much. You can tap on any feeling, just change the mantra.
Another way I relax is since I can't deep breathe just by myself, I find a visual aid. My Fitbit charge has a relax setting that has one. The circle expands and contracts with when I'm supposed to breathe. It also really helps that it vibrates with it too.
Anything to completely distract me really so I can't do that awful thinking thing.
I hope these helped you. If I find anymore techniques that help me, I will definitely share them. If you have any great ones, feel free to share them back!

The Laughing Heart

"You are marvelous
The Gods wait to delight in you"

The Places We Cry

I am sitting at my desk and it hits me. Something, anything. Yesterday it was the news that there was a massive tornado near where a lot of my family was and I couldn't get a hold of my dad to know if they were okay. Sometimes it's an e-mail that rubs me the wrong way. Sometime I'm home and something just doesn't feel right.
Usually it isn't the actually thing that triggers the emotional break. Most of the time it's the straw that broke the worn down as fuck camel's back. The camel that hasn't drank any water for a few weeks and has been pushed around by some assholes that need to just let the camel be a god-damned camel.
Whatever it is, I all of a sudden can't keep the feelings all smashed up inside anymore. It's coming out and I better find somewhere to do it or everything is going to get really awkward. Like a pregnant lady about to be sick, I bolt for the nearest safe space. These are the places I cry:

As you can see they are as much solitude as I can get in a busy world where we work in open, trendy offices and every action we take is displayed on the social platform. I hide. I hide usually in plain sight where at any moment someone can just pop around a corner or open a door and uncomfortably discover me. This has happened. It's not fun for anyone. No one enjoys other people's emotions, especially the uncomfortable ones like depression, anxiety, or anger. People want to shut the door and pretend they didn't see it.
This is what makes us seek solitude in the first place. This is why we shove everything down until we break and have to hurl ourselves into these spaces to quietly fall apart. Then we blow our nose, wipe our eyes on our sleeve, and shove it all back into place. 
We do this because we don't want to make anyone uncomfortable.
We do this out of shame.
We do this out of embarrassment.
But we shouldn't suffer like this. We shouldn't be in pain alone. We shouldn't shove it all down just to explode. This is how we immobilize ourselves. By isolating ourselves in our cars and bathrooms, we feel like there's no one who cares. To be in pain alone is a terrible thing. 
So stop. 
Stop worrying about making your friends and family uncomfortable. Don't feel shame and embarrassment because you have feelings and especially if you have depression or anxiety. You need to share and be supported and find a group of people that make you feel strong when you are most certain you are weak. Sure, we still need to be alone every once in awhile but please, for me, don't hide.

One Winter: Mixtape

The book 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' was the sanctuary where I tucked all the bits and pieces of my pain and rejection into in late high school. Every time I felt out of place, weird, unwanted, heartbroken... I would read Charlie's words. I felt his pain. His disassociation. He loneliness when surrounded by friends. What the world around me didn't know was I felt his sexual assault. 
And then, one day, I felt his suicide attempt.
In my recovery after I got out of the ward, I became obsessed with my mom's cassette tapes. I loved just how personal they felt. The memories laced inside. The incredible effort just to record your favorite songs onto one. So, I started making my own mix-tapes. In the book, Charlie loves cassettes as well and receives one that is particularly special to him. He gives them too. I saw these as yet another connection to a character from this nonexistent world that brought me such comfort.
To honor him and what the story meant to me I made a mix-tape for the book. I tried to make it as true to all it's forms. I even took a nod or two from the movie. (I cried so hard during the movie at certain points people must have thought something was wrong with me)

If you haven't read the book, maybe it'll remind you of being some weird kid in the early 90's going through some old records and including your own shit while sitting on the floor of your garage. Maybe you can't relate at all but that's okay. These songs still are full with feelings and beautiful ideas. And really, buy the book and take a trip back to high school. There is a good chance it will heal some old wounds that you didn't even know there was band-aids for.

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