Go Big, Then Go Home

Today was uneventful. I slept in again, dang it. I tried baking double chocolate bacon cookies, which are surprisingly delicious. Then I went and celebrated former roomie’s birthday with a nice sit down dinner which didn’t break the bank.

I went to see the counselor the other day, and I mentioned this whole blog thing, and he asked me why. He said, answer this question, “I wonder why…” He’s always going back to that “I wonder…”

Well, for one thing, journaling privately, which I started on the recommendation of various mental health professionals, just wasn’t doing it for me. It was an obligation, and I didn’t feel like I was getting much out of it. I didn’t like feeling obligated.

I read an article about a study of middle school students that compared those who didn’t journal, journaled privately, and journaled publicly. The public journalers got more positive benefit out of the experience.

Another thing is, I feel like I do have something to say. I feel like there’s something in me, just lying underneath the surface, waiting to bubble out. And when it starts bubbling, I want to be ready. Obviously, my writing has a lot of work to undergo.

Now that I’ve started this thing, I like it more than private journaling. It feels productive, it’s exciting. There’s reason for me to go deeper into things, the desire for anonymity forces me to get creative.

And, finally, this is more of a conversation with myself. And it’s nice to have a secret. Obviously, I carry around a lot of secrets with me, but this one isn’t scary or tricky. Not really. It’s clear cut, I’m never telling anyone about this. Ever. Other secrets have to come out at some point. But this is different. Go big, then go home. Y’know?

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(Almost) All-Nighter Adventure

First off, I’m not even going to try to explain my thesis to you, especially if you don’t understand Plato’s Theory of the Forms. Which is pretty much everyone, so I’ll just drop it right now.

What really matters about my thesis is that I had to go through three outlines before arriving at a format that could even begin to make sense of all my ideas that were running about campus. Which is ironic, that I had trouble organizing the paper, since my paper was about order in Milton’s Paradise Lost. But it also involved Plato. Sigh. Really, I’ll stop now.

So, basically:

That’s me. I was turning pink, and my insides no longer possessed the structure I am so used to. I was getting sweaty, and feeling rather spineless. Whoops, sorry, that was an awful pun, both in content and placement. Content and form! That was another theme that somehow noodled its way into my paper.

But seriously, I started working on my paper at about 2PM, took a quick break for dinner, and ended up planting myself at my desk in the print lab, my purse filled with food and eyedrops, where I got paid for all seven and a half hours I spent with my butt in a rather comfortable chair, occasionally selling print credit and answering questions, but mostly just writing that dang paper. A senior came in at 3:30 and was overjoyed that I was still working. We had a conversation about the Cardinals and being awesome. Those two topics generally accompany each other, though, so no surprises.

The doctors, my mom, and my body have been telling me for the past year and a half that sleep is the most important medicine for me. So if some homework assignment didn’t get done before bedtime, well, too bad. But I got worked up about this paper for some reason. I was finishing it, gosh darn it! No matter what it took, it was getting finished.

So I buckled down and churned out that paper. My roommate was wonderful and brought me coffee.  Slowly, but surely. I left the print lab at 5:30 and lay down for 45 minutes, and then got up and kept plugging along. My first class was cancelled, and I kept plugging along, and finished revisions just in time to run back to the print lab, print that sucker, and hightail it to class.

Throughout the day, I was surprisingly alert, despite no coffee intake since around 4AM. In Psych, the guy who sits next to me was impressed.

I even managed to go for a run today. It was really hot and sunny, so Running Buddy (for lack of a better name) and I decided to take it slow and easy. Slow and easy ended up being a little over 2 miles at 11:00 pace. It’s nice to be in shape.

My apologies for the wackiness of this post. I haven’t slept, not really, in about 39 hours. I feel fine, but my roommate says it’ll hit me tomorrow if I don’t sleep tonight.

Good-night, sweet Internet;/And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

MIA

Because of the funk, because of the vicious sleep cycle, and because I am a procrastinator and a pro at getting distracted, I will be MIA for the next 36 hours or so. Plato, Milton, and Obedience are the only things my head has room for and calendar has time for.  So just the highlights:

  • Just telling [insert clever nick name for my best friend here] lifted my funk enough to be productive and motivated and excited for the evening
  • I ran 3.8 miles. I am totally running the 5K on Saturday. And that lifted my funk even more.
  • A Coconut Iced Mocha Cappuccino is bliss in a plastic cup.

My paper is going to be so boss if I can get through the next 36 hours.

My Mundane Life

I dreamed I found my lost glasses in our front yard last night. It was lovely, because I really thought I had my glasses back. Going from seeing details and minimal eye strain even with hours and hours of homework is awful. I keep reading in the Bible that if you persist in prayer that God cannot ignore you. But it’s been literally two months now, and I still haven’t seen them. I left them on my desk, I thought in their case, but apparently not. I’ve deep cleaned my room several times with no luck. Perhaps God meant bigger things won’t be ignored, or maybe I’m not praying hard enough or often enough. Or something.

That’s not the only thing. I lost my smart pen. I love my Livescribe Echo. I want you back, too. While we’re on it, whatever happened to that one cell phone I dropped on the porch? It was literally out of sight for a few seconds, and I never saw it again. Now I’m stuck with a crap phone for another year. Whatever happened to my tie-dye Homecoming tshirt? And the other pair of glasses I lost last semester? My earbuds and mp3 player? My 60G iPod? That pisses me off. I am a loser of things, and it is one of the single most frustrating qualities about myself.  I’ve done it since I was little: just set something down somewhere, and never saw it again. A box of crayons, my favorite Beanie Baby. I’m getting all worked up thinking about this.

Maybe I should just own less stuff. Okay, cool. But my glasses! How the hell does one lose 2 pairs of glasses in a matter of 6 months? It’s such an expensive habit.

Anyway, I missed my work shift. Again. I woke up around 1, and cleaned for a while, but not too much. I was good and limited myself. Then I went to the library and worked 20 minutes on each subject, using the eternally helpful online-stopwatch.com. Then I went to dinner, and there was macaroni and cheese and salsa, and Lucky Charms, and spicy vegetable soup. The weather is almost always lovely now, so I sat outside with some funny people: my best friend’s roommate, with whom I exclaimed about how glorious a meal it was. Not going to lie, I had been hoping this guy I kind of am thinking about liking would show up, but he only did as I was leaving to do more homework.

I sat outside and was efficient, mostly because I have nothing better to do. I blocked all time-wasting websites, like Youtube and Tumblr and Pinterest and Pottermore and Facebook and Twitter with StayFocusd, a Chrome extension. I can only access them for 7 minutes a day. Except when I was signing up, I thought it meant 7 minutes for each, but it meant 7 minutes TOTAL. Which was probably for the best, because I have buttloads and buttloads of things to do.

I wish I could put a block on my sleeping, since I am having such trouble curbing it. Sigh. My roommate laughed when I said this, and she wished for a block on eating. I’ve been losing weight ever since softball, since my metabolism is still hyperactive. Not for long though, which is why I need to start working out again, stat. I want to run in a 5K this Saturday, mucho mucho. First I have to muster up some money.

I went to church, and I had a little panic attack as I was sitting in the back row, afraid that I really was in a Serious Funk, and that I was going to start having trouble sitting through Mass again and all that. But then we started singing and everything was better. And I caught of glimpse of the guy I mentioned earlier. Working on a nickname for him. I am actively trying to not care, though. Really, I am.

I grabbed ice cream and then called my mom, which initially didn’t help much. I told her what had happened that day, and then I told her I was so, so lonely. And she started talking about the summer, which usually does help me out of a Minor Funk, but this time it didn’t. I just got frustrated and teary, and so I told her I would talk to her later. I considered moving out for the night, but I really don’t feel like walking anywhere and stinking in my loneliness, so I set the alarm for 20 minutes again, and I’ve been efficient ever since. Besides this, but this is an exception.

I can’t wait to break this funk. I’m going to schedule an appointment with the counselor and go for a run tomorrow night. I promise.

Laughing Girl

I get compliments from girls when I dress up. Boys, too, every once in a while. I have a lot of friends, boys and girls. I look at photographs of myself and think that I’m pretty 9 times out of 10.

So why do I only attract the flighty boys? And as for my friends who are boys, what is it about my personality that means I’m the friend with whom you laugh and cry and talk everything with, but that’s it. Just talk. Nothing beyond that, ever.

I’m a sanguine phlegmatic. I get excited easily, am affectionate, have low energy levels. I am generally optimistic to the point of tears. By that, I mean I am crying with optimism. Wait, that doesn’t help either. I am optimistic as I am bawling my eyes out. I am a conglomerate of two vastly different personalities: the extrovertive introvert. I am laid back and easy-going, a peacemaker, passive unless I am acting for somebody else. I inspire people, but sometimes I lie. I am talkative, my best defense is my dry sense of humor when attacked or when I must attack someone else. I try too hard usually, when it comes to relationships. I am always trying to balance between that trying too hard and conserving my energy.

So perhaps I am the problem. I mean, I said that already, but I guess it’s more clear when I look at this. One google hit says the sanguine phlegmatic holds deep relationships away with a sense of humor in order to protect my low energy levels. I am flighty, always changing. It becomes apparent that being bipolar might be partly personality based. I am the laughing/crying girl. Just depends, I guess.

I can’t focus. I can’t last. I jump around. Life is like a dance for me. Sometimes I am sitting down, worn out, resting. Sometimes I am dancing madly, madly. I suppose I go big and go home in a quick cycle and come back for more at the earliest possible moment. I am so honest it hurts, I seek beauty so brilliant it hurts, I am after the Sun, the Form of the Good.

Sorry this post is angsty, poorly written in the passive voice, uses the word “I” much too much. I am just worn out, and must put forth all my energy into a paper about obedience in Paradise Lost. This isn’t even a daily post, really, I just had to say something. Maybe I’m getting sick or something. Last night, I was up at 4 in the morning watching Leave It To Beaver in Spanish.

There’s that dry sense of humor again.

Head Spinning & Violence

Have you ever had something ripped away from you so violently your head spins?

A high school friend called me today to ask a very serious question. A close friend of hers had been very recently diagnosed with depression, and is being put on medication within the week. What should she expect? She knows I have personal experience with this very scary situation.

I’m not going to go into what I think about the pharmaceuticals, nor am I going to go into the psychiatric drug culture. Sorry if you were looking for controversy. Personally, the entire arena of psychiatry is much too inundated with controversy. What psychiatry needs is a little more understanding, compassion. Hopefully these will lead to a gradual removal of the stigma.

How do you treat someone with depression? How does one act?

First, a reassurance: suicidal people are generally honest. If you ask them direct questions, like, “Do you ever think about killing yourself?” most people will be as straightforward as your question leads them to be.

Second, and logically, make her talk. Most of the time, just make small talk, and if something bigger needs to be said, it will happen. Every once and a while, force a question. This should be done sparingly, though. People need their space, especially if they are licking wounds.

Third, if somebody can’t get out of bed in the morning, what my mom would always do is ask me if I could get up to go for a walk. No school, no commitments, nothing. Just a walk around my neighborhood. Most of the time, I could muster this, and after walking for a little bit, I was good to go. Getting out of bed, taking that first step, is more than half the battle won already.

Fourth, “good endings make for good beginnings”. Rituals at night can help the next day start out right. Brush your teeth, actually put on pajamas, tidy your room, write in a journal, pack your bag.  This is just a general life rule, as well. End one thing well, and the next adventure will be even better. Learn from what you just experienced in order to make the next experience even richer and more rewarding.

Fifth, be mindful of how you look at someone who is breaking. If someone is at a breaking point, and if the person is close enough to you, you will know…don’t stare. Don’t gape. When I was breaking, people would always look at me with this expression of pain and helplessness, their eyes all big. faces wide. Not moving. A person at her breaking point should be moving around, maybe mentally, maybe physically and so should the people surrounding her. Offer to get a drink, or a blanket, or a hug, or a hand. Do something. Don’t just sit there, staring. A depressed person needs to be surrounded by winners, not the perfect. So it’s fine if what you are offering isn’t the perfect thing to say or do. Doing something is enough.

Sixth, take care of yourself.

Seventh, medication is not a magic pill. At least initially, it is a stepping stone to get a person to the point where she can take care of the best medications.  The best medications are good rest, a healthy diet, lots of exercise, good relationships with people and God, and counseling.

I mentioned head spinning and violence earlier, but I think I’ll tackle those monkeys tomorrow.

My Nike Vomeros: A Year in Review

Still in a funk, despite bossing an exam, laying out in the sun, participating in research for extra credit…I did stuff. And I’m still funky.

So instead of writing about how I walked around in a funk all day, I’m going to write about my shoes.

Yes, my shoes. They’re a pair of Nike Vomeros, and I bought them at a legitimate niche running store for the track season last year. I got to go jogging around the block in them before I bought them, and together, we hauled butt through a rather grueling track season. I managed, for the first time in my life, to run a mile in under 9 minutes (I know, I know…I’m slow) despite ITBS problems. We adventured through a triple digit Texas summer that involved a lot of running at night. I ran my first 5K on a treadmill, in 31 minutes.

The school year began, and I joined the softball team. I began the tradition of drawing diamonds on the soles of all my shoes. Over winter break, I ran 2 miles on the road. This spring, the softball season actually started, and my sneakers began to get a lot of use, although real running wasn’t a part of that. I sprained my LCL sliding into second. They also accompanied me on a crazy thing called Treasurequest, a wild scavenger hunt race battle of smarts which my team almost won. Almost. Now there’s a month left of school, with free time for real running, and a trip to Colorado for a few weeks which I hope will involve a lot of hiking. So we have a little time left, but…

We’ve had a good run, my Vomeros and I. Pun wholeheartedly intended. I’m sad to say they’re on their last leg, and once my first summer job paycheck comes through, I’ll be heading out to another legitimate running store, telling them about my past injuries, letting them examine my Vomeros for clues, and jogging around the block to put a new pair to the test. Another year with even higher goals and expectations.

A year packs in so much. As does a month, and even a day, and even a second, if you really think about it.