Monthly Archives: November 2015

Got that fire when they thought she’d fade away…some days she feels like cryin’ but she’s holding on surviving on the love that makes their little house a home

(Fighter–Jamie Grace)

Alternatively titled: I have opinions and one of them is that you probably don’t want to read all the way to the end of this post…

1128152014-00In my happy place…creating…umm, yeah, my happy place does double as the floor of my apartment in this picture…pretty much any flat surface, preferably a bed or a floor makes a good spot to create. Tables aren’t as comfortable…I make them work all day at school because that’s what normal people do, but I am so much more comfortable curled up on my bed or on the floor…speaking of comfortable…I was goofing around and tied my sweatshirt around my knees, and it made studying at the table at school so much more comfortable on Saturday that every time I had to untie it to get up I retied it as soon as I sat down again…the only problems were that it got really hot underneath the layers of sweatshirt, so if I could just find a giant rubber band, that would probably work better and that if I dropped something it was kind of a nuisance to untie myself, pick it up, and then retie myself…but yeah, I deserved some creation time…not because I worked so hard…’cause I didn’t. Actually, I am a bit frustrated with myself because I got less studying done since I got out of class early Tuesday afternoon than I usually get done after getting out of class on Friday…and I have SO MUCH to do…but I deserved creation time, because we had a little problem at church…

 

See, first I had like 20ish different people picked out inside my head that I might sit with at church, and also a list of people that I was going to talk with…sounds good, right? Well, except that I didn’t see any of those people there…which wouldn’t be a huge deal, especially because someone I am kinda getting to know came in late and asked to sit with me and I was able to say yes, and because someone else I know said hi to me…but that didn’t set me up for success, so when the pastor this week said something I didn’t agree with I started spiraling…slowly at first, but then deeper and deeper…

 

“Anxiety is what we experience when we are doing for ourselves, instead of doing for God. It is sin.” I am sure no harm was meant by that statement, but I need to very strongly disagree. I would have been less upset with the statement if he had substituted the word “worry” which is the word that the Bible actually used in the passage we were reading, but using the word anxiety got my attention a little too much in a bad way. No, anxiety is not necessarily doing for ourselves. Because sin entered the world, we do have illnesses like OCD, social anxiety, PTSD, GAD, panic disorder, and phobias…and we also have cancer, colds, influenza, diabetes, asthma, and ebola. If you wouldn’t tell someone with a cold that their sore throat is because that they aren’t doing enough for God, then you shouldn’t say it about someone with panic disorder. If you wouldn’t tell someone with cancer that they got it because they were doing too much for themselves then you shouldn’t say it about someone with GAD. If you wouldn’t tell someone with diabetes that experiencing hyperglycemia is a sin and insulin is just masking their sin then you shouldn’t say it about someone with social anxiety.

 

Church has mostly been a place where I felt that however I was that I was accepted unconditionally for who I am rather than being forced into a mold of who they’d really rather have me be, and that comment momentarily made me question my own theology until I realized that this person is wrong, and I don’t need to believe everything that other people say even if they are in a position of authority, because humans are fallible, and we all make mistakes…This statement was really wrong, because there is a subset of OCD called scrupulosity. People with scrupulosity have high anxiety, but they are also doing SO much for God…that is actually the problem. They are so afraid of not doing enough for God that their compulsions cause them to go completely overboard in terms of doing things for God…for example, I am pretty sure God doesn’t need you to be so focused on praying that you are multiple hours late for school because you were so focused praying that you physically could not get into the car to get to school, yet I have heard of this happening.

 

…however, thinking about anxiety and especially OCD a couple days after realizing the reality of my grade situation was definitely not good for me, and try as I might to ignore it, by the end of the service, OCD was undeniably paying me another visit. I could not wait for the service to end so I could escape to the lobby where there would be hand sanitizer…only there wasn’t hand sanitizer. A paper towel was a short term substitute, and I tried to wash the hand that felt contaminated in the sink, but the bathrooms weren’t made for one-handed use and my stuff definitely wasn’t allowed to be sat down anywhere, so that was only a moderately successful venture…so I left…as it turns out, there were a couple alcohol wipes in my lunchbox and by the time I wiped my hands and bible and pens with them I felt fine again, but when I got home I decided I deserved creation time…seemed like a lot more wise idea to eat an extra dinner and create than to try to study and potentially flip myself back into a problem…(food solves a lot of problems…)(especially world hunger, but also emotional problems).

 

Also, it is great that the OCD was gone in the morning because then my only guilt in staying in the shower until the water got cold was that I had just wasted over an hour that I could have been studying and not also feeling guilty that I was giving in or anything…if I had it to do again I would have taken Tylenol when I woke up at 3 in the morning before closing my eyes to keep resting and then I would have probably spilled less peanut butter and ramen in the process of making lunches/dinners and by taking something that I don’t have in a liquid or chewable form before that was all I could take I’d be able to double up on meds and would not be trying to use the shower for pain control and also not even really able to move very well…(yes…I still am trying to adjust to the stupid time change and not wake up at 3…chances are eventually I will just forget that waking up at 3 isn’t normal and be thrilled when the time changes again and I go back to waking up at 4…even though I’ll be busy whining about losing an hour…)

 

I am excited that it is almost break even though that means being faced both with finals and final grades, because I am craving stovetop stuffing, and you know it is something I really want when I am craving it at a time getting things in my mouth is hard…I mean yes, in theory I could buy some myself, but wandering aisles at the grocery store sounds extremely unfun…even just walking along the perimeter to get apples, peas, and milk (my standard grocery repertoire) isn’t exactly a task I would call in any way fun.

 

P.S. As I work towards packing for break and thinking forward towards the joy that will be taking my last final on a Friday in May, having the weekend to evacuate my entire apartment and then start my first day of my first rotation Monday morning in a completely different state, there are some things that I need to part with. If you want any of these things or know anyone who does let me know:

 

  1. FREE: Target puppy stuffed animal with a lab coat.

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I’m not really sure why I’ve held onto this puppy besides that it seems wasteful to throw him away. He doesn’t actually have good memories attached…he is actually kinda 20151129_110256a reminder of the event third year that they changed the dress code for an hour in advance…umm hello, no one is going to drive home and back on icy roads because you arbitrarily changed your mind. You’re lucky I planned on wearing my dress clothes all day that day and even had dress clothes to put on, so stop being picky about the fact that my shirt had no collar. Yeah, afterwards I got a very rude email informing me that a certain person was very displeased with me because I didn’t follow the dress code and because it was so rude that I had my backpack with me—umm, I’m sorry, but I don’t live on campus so I’m going to need somewhere to put my backpack, and it wasn’t like I placed it in anyone’s way…and if it is really true that it really bothered the people sitting at my table then they sure have a strange way of showing it. I was the first one there aside from your little clique, so when I came in I sat at a table on my own. The people who sat with me chose to do so and seemed pretty happy to sit there and had no negative comments about my backpack. There were plenty of empty tables they could have chosen, but they sat with me…let’s also remember that this email was sent to me the day after the email informing anyone who didn’t know yet that another student from my class had died…(yeah, the student who sent this was someone who for an unknown reason that I suspect may be related to the fact that I was two years below her and getting a better grade in a particular class than she was (probably because OMG I actually showed up to class once in a while…) decided that she didn’t like me…this wasn’t the first time she had whined at me about something ridiculous like that…I was devastated for a little while then I decided to be the bigger person)…not to mention all the other injustices that were occurring around that same time…

 

  1. FREE: Bubbles

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I was dumping out my bubbles because I don’t need them anymore and the last two times I moved with bubbles I ended up with ruined items and a large amount of cleanup from bottles that exploded after getting a few too many things piled on top of them…but part way through I realized that someone might actually have a use for some bubbles and then I wouldn’t have to be so wasteful…I believe only the smile face bubbles are still sealed…the others were opened as part of the assembly line of dumping out the bubbles…

 

  1. FREE: Magnetic doodle pad

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So when I got this I didn’t really talk much and I had been reading about how for some people writing can be a really good bridge towards verbal communication, so I intended to try it out…as it turned out, I’ll never know if that would have worked, because this board didn’t really serve my needs…it doesn’t fit more than one or two words at a time, and a conversation one or two words at a time isn’t going to get much further than yes or no questions that can be answered without words anyway, so it never got to serve its purpose. I probably should have bought a mini white board, but I already had a bigger one at home that I wrecked with scrubbing bubbles (I wanted to make it extra clean like brand new because I got sticky stuff on it…) so I was hoping a different but still small device would work better for me…

 

  1. Bike

bike

It is a Trek brand men’s city/trekking bike from Penn Cycle. (Yes, I know I am not a boy, but I also don’t like pink which is sometimes limiting when picking from the girl’s bikes, and also as I discovered as I was picking a step-up bike this summer, my posture fits better with a men’s than a women’s bike anyway). I am more of a tell it like it is than sell it kind of person. It does have a lot of miles on it, and has been kept outside part of the year since the beginning of third year. It got a brand new front tire summer 2014 and has not been ridden a whole lot since then, but it is getting to be time to get a new chain. I forget what they are called, but it has the kind of gear shift with the clicky levers and has three gears on the left hand gear shift and 7 on the right. If I don’t find anyone in person who wants this one I am putting it on Craigslist. (This is not a free item…). (It is currently at school).

 

  1. Mattress

 

I won’t be able to fit much in the car to move home if the mattress has to come home. It is a Sertapedic twin size mattress that according to the packaging is “perfect for bunk beds” although I can’t validate that claim since I use it on a full size loft bed. It has been used whenever I am at school since third year. I am definitely not looking to get rid of this until April since I’d like to continue to sleep on it until then and as fun as sleepovers with myself sounds, I know that probably isn’t a good long term idea. This is also something that is not free…(yes, I know pretty much only college students buy used mattresses…but I know a LOT of college students seeing as I am one)…no picture here seeing as how that would require taking the sheets off my bed and I don’t wanna…

 

  1. Dresser
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The little hole is on the side where the magazine rack currently sits…

I have to check with my parents to make sure they don’t have any plans for my dresser, but in my opinion it takes space in the car and I don’t like it all that much. It does have a little hole at the bottom on one side, and has some scratches. It holds a ton of stuff and has a really great flat space on the top for books or whatever else, so it is super functional for a college student, but it isn’t really my style and I don’t see it being something that I’m going to want in my home or apartment when I move into a big-girl dwelling. What is my style? I don’t really know, but not this…

 

  1. Textbooks galore.

 

I am lousy at the whole selling old textbooks thing because I don’t like to bother people and I don’t like to ask for money. I have given a few away for free and I have successfully sold a few others, but I still have Micro and micro lab manual, abnormal psychology, the old biostats book that they probably don’t use anymore, the IPP book, the physiology book, Questions of Character (HSM), both volumes of Remington (ceutics), two copies of the auxiliary patho book (oops, ordering fail). Ansels Pharmaceutics, and Aulton’s pharmaceutics. I feel like I probably have more testbooks, but those are the ones I can see from my bed anyway…now I know why some people get a $450 book for $5 from a fifth year…I would rather keep most of my books or give them to someone I know really needs them (not someone like one of my friends who buys books off people then sells them to other people for a LOT more than she paid) than sell my books for $5, but I am tired of looking at them taking over my apartment…

 

NEXT THOUGHT:

So…umm…you know that musicals are kinda your thing when your favorite part of the Christmas story is when Joseph says “this is just swell” and Mary says “you wanna see something swell? Take a look at my ankles!” Yeah…pretty sure that part didn’t actually happen seeing as the play on words likely wouldn’t translate well into their language…and the rhyming of “Caesar Augustus the keeper of law and justice” and “a census is planned so all must go back where their family began” probably wasn’t in the original text either…(I’m not really sure what musical this is from…it might be The Plane Truth…I love that one so much even though I remember throwing up the night before I performed it and therefore being really hungry because I was afraid to eat any of the snacks all day…I was wearing a blue shirt that day…I think it is probably an early sign of my OCD that the first thing I think of when I think of that musical is throwing up…but anyway…”Why are the planes grounded mom? Did they miss the hay? No, Emily, it means the planes can’t fly because the weather is too bad. It also means we won’t make it to Nana’s in time for Christmas. This is just awful, a total disaster. Can’t we just rent a car and drive to Nana’s. I know! We can take the train. No apparently everything is snowed in. I’m afraid we’re stuck here until the weather breaks. Just try to have patience. Patience? I’d rather have presents than patience. Yeah, me too…You’ll make a bear-y good Joseph”…the musical did set me up with unrealistic expectations for what an airport is like though…May I see your ID please? Did you yourself pack all of these? Has any person strange or scary given you something to carry? Thank you next please!—which is probably a good thing because me and my brothers started responding to has any person strange or scary given you something to carry with “yeah, my mom gave me a barbie.” Growing up with brothers was good…and led to my parents corralling a loud group of kids through the airport yelling at each other to not say Hi to your friend Jack when we went on our first vacation out of the state…I wish I could be little again…although I have to say it is kind of nice to be grown up enough that getting new sheets doesn’t cause a meltdown because I liked the old sheets and I’m never going to like another set of sheets ever again and I like my blanket even though it has finger grips (just going to say that the new blanket was used less than a month before I had accidentally ripped finger grips into that one too ’cause I liked my covers really tight back then)…yeah, I’ve never done change well, and it took extra time to get new sheets on my bed because I refused to cooperate…which is why my bed at home has a skirt as a shut up and stop hating everything bribe that worked, but really as soon as it was purchased only made me feel guilty…but even I can now realize that the color and design of the sheets has nothing to do with their function in covering me while I sleep…)

 

…just going to say if you are going to want to make a change that I might not like you probably don’t want to spring it on me and you probably want to kinda mention it but wait to actually change it until I think it is my idea, which might be a slower process, but will make life easier for both of us at least in the short term when you don’t have to listen to me scream…I’m learning to accept the changes I can’t control, but it’s a slow process…I still would like to reactivate my old phone…change is harder to accept when it is thrown in my face when I am overtired…my parents probably should have known better seeing as how the last time they tried to surprise me when I came home exhausted it ended with a trip to Caribou $20 in my wallet and a promise to never again move my stuff while I am gone after around five hours of nonstop screaming (this was in high school…)…I am not a pleasant person to be around when I am tired and upset…but like a nurse commented when I was a teeny tiny baby, I’ve got a good set of lungs…and God wouldn’t have given them to me if he didn’t want me to use them 🙂 .

 

This wasn’t what I intended to write about and wasn’t such a good idea, because I was already feeling bad about myself because I can’t sit still and concentrate long enough to get anything done and I talk too much in pretty much every situation and get yelled at to shut up and this is just one more thing to add to the list of things I can’t do right…and reminded me of night two after the phone when the tears were no longer solely because I was never going to make a phone call or send a text ever again…I need help…or a hug and reassurance that I can still be loved regardless of my grades and my ability to keep my mouth shut…and I suppose my ability as a child to maturely express intense emotion. ‘Cause I know that is true, but I don’t know it on the inside sometimes…life is really hard alone…

You’re a winner, the cream of the crop, a hero in the eyes of God

(You’re a Winner—Discovery at Camp Wise’n’up)

 

Last year I tried to stay off of social media for finals…it was moderately successful in keeping me more focused although I have plenty of non-social media avenues to reach distraction…however, my first final is November 24th and my last final isn’t until December 11th, and there is no way I can stay off of social media that long…instead I am going to keep writing and stuff but it’s going to be less edited or focused and more of a stream of consciousness so I get the same joy of creating content without the time it takes to make it look presentable…

I have three quizzes today I am not fully ready for as well as a quiz tomorrow and a final exam tomorrow…if there were a better day for a tornado I don’t know what that day would be…well…assuming that tornado closed school for the next three weeks but didn’t actually mess anything else up…or if it could strike today at about 1 and then tomorrow from 9 until maybe 2:30 and then next Thursday from 1 until like 4?

 

I recently went to see a teacher because I missed every single question on a particular unit on the exam…after talking to the teacher I still completely disagree with his choices as the correct answers, but one of them the reason why there was absolutely no way that my answer could NOT have been picked as the best answer I’m not sure where I came up with, or rather, I am pretty sure I know exactly where it came from. The answer talked about a guy running a marathon in order to lose weight. Although even without my extra interpretation, I think that answer makes the most sense and the other options were kind of dumb, especially since the question was really an opinion question about which patient would YOU spend the most time working with on a particular counseling technique…I am pretty sure I spent too much time reading The Mighty and not enough time studying, because I assumed the guy had anorexia…actually, it make perfect sense to me even now, because if you are running a marathon it seems to me like you probably already are at a reasonably low weight and actually should be eating in such a way to maintain your weight because a malnourished body will not perform well, but an overweight body in a marathon is going to have to work a lot harder…

 

Last Tuesday I had to go to a stupid lunch and learn. First they said required. Then the night before they said we needed to dress nice. Then they completely failed to mention that this lunch and learn was sans lunch…also it was sans learning as well. They said the topic was managing neonatal abstinence syndrome. That actually might have been a reasonably interesting topic if the speaker had actually talked about it…instead the entire 75 minutes was spent telling us to be sure not to stigmatize people because that makes them feel bad and not trust you. No kidding. Not stigmatizing people isn’t really something you can learn from a lecture—if it were everyone would have learned that way back in preschool.

 

 

One of my friends posted this on facebook: “Never have I been so happy to get an “A” taken away from me. #LMFT #whew.” I laughed so hard when I saw that…I really wish there was an A in intern or student so I could post something similar when I graduate…

 

One of my friends told me she’s been voting for me for brightspots at school (a program that is a good idea on the surface but makes there be winners and sorry someone thought you were a bright spot but then we decided they were wrong…or in one of my other friend’s words: sorry, you’re actually a blackhole………which is why I liked the dancing flower event a lot better……….plus this one is secretive, which is why of the three I still think the good stuff list was by far the best). Back on topic, she said she wasn’t allowed to tell me who voiced an opinion against me, but that was a happy moment.

 

Sometimes my computer decides that it is auto-detecting French and I spelled almost every single word wrong…super annoying…except I just figured out how to switch it back to English…which is good since I am no longer fluent enough in French to type papers in French anymore even if I wanted to.

 

What friends are for: I sent one on a mission-ish to confirm that there still is a prayer room…I kind of suspected that based on the volume of people going down the hallway in one outfit and emerging in a completely different one, but I didn’t really know…on the subject of changing clothes though, over the past year and a half it has gotten a lot easier to change clothes in the bathroom without losing my balance–practice makes perfect, perfect I’ll be…also, considering I haven’t stayed overnight at school in close to two years, the toothpaste can probably come out of my backpack…

 

My inner stupid came out last week…yeah, I definitely shouldn’t be up late three nights in a row…The only negative consequence this time was exhaustion, but I know better…I had a lot of fun at small group Bible study, FCA, and then Cru, but three nights in a row is too many…It’s like living in a perpetual nap hangover.

 

I don’t always burn my popcorn, but when I do it becomes a gooey blackish un-identifiable blob that necessitates taking out the trash because the smoke hurts my eyes…actually, that’s not true…occasionally I smolder the edge of the bag before I really burn the popcorn…but I now have popcorn with parmesan on it which smells delicious…

 

I don’t like that people are so focused on France. Yes, it is awful that there was terrorism there last week, but there was also terrorism in other countries last week that we are completely overlooking. Does the terrorism matter more when it strikes a country where the people look more like you? I think not. There are some countries where people live in legitimate founded fear of terrorism every single day. Why do we pick and choose which lives matter? They ALL matter. There is one caveat though…if you are actually directly connected to France as in actually being in Paris during the attacks you have license to freak out a little and act like this is an isolated event. I just read an article from that perspective. It said that the Parisian motto is “fluctuant nec mergitur,” which means tossed but not sunk, and shows the resilience of the Parisians. I love that. I want to adopt that as my own personal motto, ’cause that’s kinda awesome.

 

So there’s this really beautiful song on the radio “your world’s not falling apart it’s falling into place. I’m on the phone stop holding on and just behave. Just behave.” Well, actually, that’s what I thought it was saying, but as it turns out the song is actually “I’m on the throne stop holding on and just be held.” Completely different, but a lot more meaningful and obvi still beautiful…also there was another new song on the radio that I liked too, but IDK what any of the words were…in my world songs are required to have words, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll remember any of them…I am binging on radio music while it is awesome, because soon it will be Christmas music instead, and while I do like Christmas music, I start to miss all the other songs I like, and also Christmas music has a completely different sound to it which makes it harder to fall asleep and harder to concentrate…kinda like how a different radio will make the same songs sound totally different…I am excited for Christmas break when I don’t have to take any tests or write any papers!!

It bothers me more than it should when people talk on speaker phone in places that are intended to be quiet…if you want to talk on speaker phone, go to the cafeteria, go outside, go to your room, go to your apartment, go SOMEWHERE besides where people are trying to study…ditto for if you want to watch videos at full volume without headphones on…if everyone around you is being loud and obnoxious then feel free to do the same, but when everyone else is being quiet and studying then maybe you should do likewise…

This is where the healing starts

(Healing Begins—Tenth Avenue North)

 

Just having to ask for a Band-Aid instead of being able to grab one myself used to be a painful reminder of my trials in life. My God is pretty incredible though. There has been a LOT if healing in my life. I needed a Band-Aid on Sunday, and it took the girl at the front desk like forever to find one. I was understanding and patient despite having an exam to study for and the fact that the box had moved since last spring, but was in pretty close to the same location. There was not any real triggering. That is huge. Would it have been much more convenient to be able to just grab what I needed and move on, certainly, but God doesn’t always give me the solution I want. He will always get me through whatever is going on, but I don’t get to choose whether that means changing the external situation, or changing my reaction to it…I’d much rather change what school is like and I’d much rather change my grades, but sometimes I have to accept that God’s solution to school and to grades is to help me through it emotionally, knowing that one day I will be in heaven and these things will fade away. Is everything totally awesome with school? No, but it is so much better than it used to be and I have no reason to believe it won’t eventually get even better than it is now…

Yes, school and academics/grades are two totally separate things in my opinion. It is pretty awesome that once I graduate I am free of both!

When things are going better my ability to process information is significantly improved. For example, a bracelet and some paper towel fixed the problem of a clothing issue and forgetting my hairbinders at home. It would have been easier to whine that there is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to go get myself some rubber bands and tape, but instead I figured out how to make things work with what I had…note to self, try on clothing in the light before packing it up to prevent this in the future though…I mean, I got halfway there—I changed what I was planning on wearing after trying it on and realizing it wasn’t going to work very well, but I didn’t try on the second option…oops…also, it occurred to me that the gratitude papers on the wall are only stuck on there with painters tape…so the one that was bugging me could very easily be moved…problem solved…now the wall looks much more symmetric and the page that was bothering me is filling in an opening in another wall of papers that I don’t have to constantly stare at while I am studying…much better…if only all my problems were so easily solved…

 

I have a final on next Tuesday that I am definitely not ready for and a bajillion other things I need to get done between then and now so I leave you with two pictures…

 

This is all that was left of my apple after lunch…I might have been a little hungry…(don’t worry, this apple didn’t have a stem)…

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This is why I have to pay attention to what my fingers are playing with…surprisingly, however, the headphones still work…even on the side on which these wires are now exposed…yeah, I’m probably flirting with danger…

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I’m sorry…am aware of what you mean

(I’m sorry–Flyleaf)

I think I need apologize about my last post…I don’t think I was very respectful about the person I was talking about. The negativity is definitely not something this person was implying at all…that is something I learned when it was spelled out much more clearly and definitively a couple years ago…hear every week for a year various variations on the theme of “you are a bad person and your thoughts are wrong” and eventually it sinks in and you have trouble seeing yourself any other way. I am finding my way out, but my brain is still wired to jump into what it thinks is coming next, because when those words were literally coming at me I learned to put myself down…I was constantly put down and so I imitated someone who should have been modeling appropriate self-communication and did it to myself too…and it made things easier sometimes because being put down doesn’t hurt as much when you are braced and when you don’t feel worthy of anything else anymore…and you also learn to stop standing up for yourself because it doesn’t get you anywhere except maybe inciting more anger in your direction…but that is off topic…

The person I was talking to did use my distractedness and laughing as examples, but he phrased it respectfully. His words were intended to be caring, but it was my past that made me turn it negative…Re-reading what I wrote, I wanted to clarify that, because I don’t want to characterize anyone in a negative light, particularly when they didn’t really do anything wrong besides being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The words hit me in a place I already felt a little insecure about myself which allowed my thoughts to drift towards negativity, but the other person implied no such negativity…and yes, I am still working on rejecting the lies and believing the truth. There’s been a lot of healing going on, but clearly I still have a long way to go…

…just wanted to clear that up…

…sorry I mess everything up…

…except handing out bulletins at church. I haven’t messed that up yet…although it is kind of an easy job…I could even do that job back in high school when it also required counting people and money…although the counting people thing I wasn’t so good at and tended to figure about X number of people per row and about Y rows equals Z people and subtract a few because there are fewer people in that row and add a few because some kids are sitting on the floor in front of their parents in that row…

Every Tear I Cry, You Hold in Your Hands

(Praise You in The Storm—Casting Crowns)

I love this image. It shows such an all-knowing, all-loving God. I think I know myself pretty well, but how much more well must God know me? You gotta know someone pretty well and be pretty attentive to them to be able to hold their tears in your hand. Even an infants who cannot wipe away his or her own tears will usually have tears falling onto the blankets and clothes before their earthly caregiver can attend to their needs…and clearly if every single tear I cry matters enough to God to be cherished then he must love me quite a lot. He holds my pain knowing that it is not something to be taken lightly, that it matters. He knows he didn’t create me to be too much or not enough even though the world may make me feel that way.

As the notecard I wrote (with poor grammer…oops…proofreading would have been smart) in high school says, “I am a girl that God created that turned out exactly how he wanted, and whom he loves and has a plan for. I am not a mess-up or failure, and God is not disappointed in the way I turned out. God does not want a redo. He is not ashamed of me.”

It seems like a contradiction, but I often feel like both too much and not enough. Either way, I don’t feel adequate.

Sometimes I am not enough. I can’t handle the cavernous, mall-like-minus-the-decoration-lights-and-stores, ambiance of the stupid new building. Aside from the fact that some idiot put the career fair at a time when every single fifth year student had at most a 70 minute break between classes for lunch, but more likely had only 10 minute breaks between classes and meetings, there was no way that I was going to get there. Should I attend the career fair, well, probably, but did I, no. Sometimes it is better to cut my losses. I had to walk through it to get from point A to point B and the activity and crowdedness (umm we have a lot of large rooms, even rooms with doors that close so you aren’t distracting people in classes trying to actually maybe learn something at school, so why are you having an event in the hallway…) just accentuated the awful ambiance of the new building and even just walking down the hall to get to the stairs I wanted to figure out whose bright idea this was and impolitely give them a piece of my mind…however, I am more mature than that, so I just kept walking and minded my own business..

Sometimes I am too much. I am an extravert (wrapped in a shell of introversion for protection) so I LOVE communicating and people wanting to talk to me is pretty awesome…but I can’t end the conversation very well, because I just want to keep talking forever, and so what started as just a hi can become an hour or more conversation if the other person doesn’t have anywhere to be. It is great at first, however, when it is the end of the day and I am realizing how little I have gotten done and you are like the tenth or so person to stop to talk to me, as much as I appreciate it, it starts getting a little frustrating, because clearly another hour talking could have some serious implications for my grades…and my grades are still important to me…

Sometimes I am both too much and not enough simultaneously. That last person who talked to me Wednesday started talking about how he thinks I probably have ADHD. I suppose I should be grateful for the concern. I should be happy he felt safe enough to share that with me, but what I am hearing is that I am too much; too much energy, too much noise, too much talking and laughing, too much joy, too much everything…and not enough; not enough focus, not enough points in my grade, not enough patience, not enough sitting still, not enough of anything…I am still happily living in ignorance/denial. Sure, the questionnaire I filled out last year placed me with a high likelihood in that category, but I am still content to pretend that it isn’t real…sometimes I might not really be that interested in your opinion that I have ADHD. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t, but I am not interested in pursuing that possibility. I am not interested in medication, not only because like you pointed I am already bouncing off the walls without a stimulant, but also because although caffeine is a different class of stimulants, it is still a stimulant, and it makes me sick so I am kind of scared that a narcotic stimulant would be even worse. I’d much rather be a distractible ball of energy than be exhausted and nauseous. (This is what pt-ctrd care means to me–not putting me automatically on a stimulant just ’cause it is first line). Yeah, there are other possible directions for treatment, but even then, we are missing the other problem that ain’t nobody got time to go diagnosis-seeking and then attend f/u meetings. Plus, I am not interested in the kind of accommodations people usually get for ADHD, so there doesn’t seem to be a lot of benefit in a diagnosis. I would prefer to take my exams in the room with teachers in it, not proctors who know nothing about the exam content. It feels safer that way. It is also not all that often that timing on exams is a problem. Most of my problems come in with remembering to do and turn in my homework, and actually studying rather than sitting with notes in front of me while thinking about something completely different…someone to sit next to me to keep me on track would be super helpful, but is not a very practical solution.

A few times I have scraped ice from my car in a t-shirt and shorts and sandals. I am not responsible enough. My umbrella remains at home and it pours rain later. I am not prepared enough. My laundry is piling up while I desperately attempt to shove info in my head. I am not smart enough. I paste on a smile over my hurt and loneliness and frustration. Not happy enough. Not real enough.

But I will never be not loved enough. I have the amazingest friends ever who love me more than I deserve, and I have God who loves me more than I could ever imagine. To God, I will never be not enough or too much. To God I am perfectly just me.

…and when I can see my value I can think more logically…so maybe I can’t access everything that I set my heart on, but that doesn’t mean I have to stay stuck at a standstill. I know exactly what the trigger was when I had the last OCD flare. My research topic for an entire semester was on treatment of OCD…pretty sure I have some idea what I need to do even if I don’t wanna follow my treatment algorithm (which I thought was a novel approach I came up with through my research but apparently according to my teacher’s comments it is pretty similar to Canada’s treatment model…great minds think alike…not so great minds also think alike…everybody thinks alike…see, the action potential goes down the axon, which activates the calcium channels and the calcium influx causes neurotransmitter release which stimulates or inhibits dendrites or whatever else to which the axon connects).

The part where I am not so sure that self-treatment is going to work is that a lot of the time even things that should be triggers don’t bother me. Case in point: Monday is the next therapeutics exam, so stress is definitely on board. Wanna know what I saw walking in to school: someone had metaphorically tossed their cookies on the sidewalk. Wanna know what I did: walked around it. Wanna know what I didn’t do: freak out or do any extra washing or researching or anything I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Yeah, I did spray 409 over the table I was going to be working at, but that’s because some people still haven’t figured out that their mommies and daddies didn’t come to college with them and so they’re going to need to wipe up their own spills. Someone left the entire table super sticky, and my homework papers already get sticky enough from my own spills so I don’t need them stuck to the table from someone else’s. I don’t understand why people can’t grab a Kleenex or a paper towel and wipe up their spills. I also don’t get how it is that a couple weeks ago I could get stuck over touching toilet paper whereas today arguably with more stress I didn’t get stuck over V…not that I ever want to give back my recovery, but in some ways it was easier when life was predictable and I pretty much knew upon waking in the morning that it was going to be a day like any other, fighting the obsessions and compulsions all day rather than how it is now where most days I am totally fine and then BAM flare…actually, last year when I didn’t have any flares was bliss and I just didn’t know how lucky I was to not even have to wonder whether the next day might be a problem day…I mean, I suppose I kind of did with other life circumstances, but in terms of OCD it was golden.

Keeps Her Head Up Feeling Stronger Every Day

(Fighter–Jamie Grace)

So I found these shirts online because apparently someone peed in someone’s cereal in the morning and their panties got in a wad over these shirts…Shoulda let them know that although Fruit of the Loom discontinued my favorite kind of underwear that Target probably still sells other kinds of wad-free panties 🙂 . LOL…

awesome shirts

I am not in the least offended by these shirts. In fact, I saw the pictures of these shirts and instantly determined that if I could have these shirts for free I would be the first in line…but since I already have more clothes than I really need, I am not going to try to find somewhere to purchase them, but I am going to save the pictures to my computer as a reminder of the awesome clothes that could one day be mine if I ever needed some new clothes.

The argument was that these shirts trivialize obsessive-compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. I disagree. I think these shirts are spreading awareness through humor. You will get a lot further on a deeply serious topic via humor than you will trying to convince someone why they should listen to what you have to say. You attract a lot more flies with sugar than water. If you want to reduce stigma then you need to do it via pop-culture, because I can nearly guarantee that the people who stigmatize mental illness are not going to read your beautifully written prose on the International OCD Foundation blog. I am fairly certain that most people know that these shirts are not displaying the true meaning of the acronyms and therefore people are not believing that PTSD is just about eating turkey.

I love these shirts and the message that it is okay to talk about OCD and PTSD. I think these are an awesome tool for building awareness and tearing down stigma. IDK how many people outside of the community of people who are secure in their past or present with mental illness would really be interested in these shirts, so I am not sure how well they are selling, but that being said, I really appreciate the effort of whomever created them to work towards destigmatizing mental illness…and apparently at least the OCD one is being sold in actual stores which is awesome because I also kinda want a kinion shirt and a #shameover shirt, but I am not really that comfortable with shopping online…or rather, I LOVE shopping online, but I prefer to make the actual purchase in person…which is why I have like ten tabs of stuff I need to buy from Walmart saved…because I am hosting a mindfulness ice cream social next week…so I need ice cream and a set of utensils for this super awesome icebreaker that I am really excited about and obviously spoons and bowls for the ice cream, and probably some toppings. I have no idea where there is a Walmart around here, but I know there must be one, so sometimes after therapeutics I will figure that out…actually, I’ve been to the Walmart, but I am directionally challenged, and the Walmart run occurred after much running around to a bajillion other stores so I don’t even have any idea what general direction it was…

Back to the point: In my opinion, whining about these shirts is likely to cause more stigma rather than less. If you have time to whine about these shirts rather than being grateful that these shirts are spreading awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness then you have probably never truly experienced the painful depths of an anxiety disorder. Additionally, it has been shown that humor is helpful in attaining recovery, so if you are trying to protect your friend from these shirts then I applaud your effort, but you are likely doing the opposite that they need. Also, this is pretty much on par with whining about how Starbucks undecorated cups are anti-Christmas…umm hello? What do snowflakes and ice skates have to do with Christmas? If anything, these cups are more Christmas-y than the previous cups…also, the sleeves for the cups are still decorated with snowflakes, and they still sell advent calendars and Christmas tree shaped decorations and other paraphernalia with the word “Christmas” on it…clearly they are aware that it is nearing Christmas time…I think the cups are beautiful…almost beautiful enough to justify walking all the way to Starbucks to get a drink…but since I kinda want a smoothie and those still come in a clear cup that would defeat the point…plus it isn’t that nice outside…

I don’t really see how this is much different than that video of the old guy saying “I eat ice cream all through the night and as a result I got diabeetus.” Is eating ice cream how you get diabetes? Um, no, not really, but this hilarious video brings awareness to a serious disease, keeping it in our public conscious. I would argue that this video is probably worse because it implies that it is the sick person’s fault for getting sick, but I haven’t heard any uproar about this video…and the shirts don’t make any such implications.

Don’t Mess With The Quo

(Stick to the Status Quo—High School Musical)

Actually, this is about how not sticking to the status quo is pretty awesome…change is hard sometimes, but change can be good…(I still operate on the policy of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and my favorite if a baby falls asleep on me, NEVER move a sleeping baby…but if the baby isn’t sleeping you have options).

I took a risk. I used constructive criticism to let someone know about a way this person hurt me. I expected at most a quick thanks for the email and more likely to be completely ignored, but instead I was pleasantly surprised to get a very thoughtful and apologetic response. It was really incredible. This person clearly displayed that my concern had been heard and taken to heart and this person would act differently in the future. This is exciting on the basic level of someone going beyond the call of duty, but also exciting, because I stood up for myself, and wasn’t hurt in exchange. Who this person is also made the action even more significant, but I am not so sure it is a good idea for me to really go into that, so I am just going to say that I got more benefit from this than I probably would have gotten from not being hurt in the first place.

Things look different in the light, but I don’t always have the lights on in my apartment. Sometimes my drawings look a lot different in the light than they did in the dark. Sometimes that is a good thing, and other times it isn’t…this would be one of my problems that I could easily fix by only opening my journal in the dark…or more realistically by turning on the lights instead of studying (and doodling) in the warm glowing warming glow of my laptop screen…

I really like going through the documents on my computer to get embarrassed at myself and to get proud of myself depending on what I find…I recently found a list labelled December goals that appear to have been aimed at December 2012. I strongly doubt that I actually achieved like any of those goals that year, but as of this summer, I have achieved every goal on the list…Yay me! Other things I find are just super laugh-worthy…like how someone suggested that over the summer after first year I should learn one thing about each of my co-workers…so I have a list of everyone’s name and a random fact such as “knows ceftin is brand name so we use the back of the book” “is moving sometime” “plans to be out of town or pregnant when [name] needs help moving” “still works there.” I am not certain what the intention of that comment to learn things was, but something tells me this wasn’t it. I also recently scrolled down in my non-school email account and saw some of my high school emails…my only thoughts were pretty much “Oh, girly…you were SOOOO awkward.” I had absolutely no filter whatsoever (like seriously, you think I have no filter now, you shoulda seen what I was saying then), and, umm, let’s just say I make awkward turtles look downright graceful.

Another change from the status quo: I have an exam on Monday. I am not ready, I am nervous, and regardless of how good I do a good grade in the class is a mathematical impossibility at this point, but I am choosing really hard not to be frustrated, because frustrated isn’t going to get me anywhere that joy would not. To use the analogy from Inside Out, headquarters was feeling kind of cramped, so I am kicking out fear, disgust, sadness, and anger and just letting joy run the place. Joy did a pretty good job when Riley was an infant, so why wouldn’t she be able to do it alone again as a college student? Plus Joy and Sadness are both super beautiful…maybe sadness can stay too, because even though the emotion she represents in real life is kinda lousy, in the movie she was a lot of fun too…she seems to need lots of hugs, I love hugs, sounds like a good match to me…

Also, you should mark Tuesday November 10, 2015 in history, because I said NO! I got an email that I was wanted for to help with childrens ministry…and I was like YES!! I want me to help with kids too!! And then I sent the email that no, I am not available for that…

There are some things that never change though…I still am upset with myself when I accidentally hang up on telemarketers…even when they are kind of dense…I was starting to get to the point where I was wondering what part of I don’t have a tv is so difficult to understand, but I didn’t mean to hang up on her…it just kinda happened accidentally…also, just a PSA: if you are ever a telemarketer and the number of TV’s a person has is 0 then probably you should skip the questions trying to find out what TV shows that person watches and what time of day they watch TV and what room their TV is in, and so on…it isn’t like APP where you have to ask every question regardless of how irrelevant it is or your grade will go down (and even if it was, I am living proof that it is still possible to pass (albeit with a low grade) if you don’t ask the questions that don’t make any sense given what the patient has already said and even if you do ask all the questions in the right way someone just might take points off because how dare you smile while counseling a patient).

…And some things I wish would change…I still expect to be yelled at in certain circumstances in which I didn’t really do anything wrong…which occasionally leads to some awkward emails I wish I could take back when I try to pre-emptively dissipate the anger…even if someone is consistently caring and gentle and a wonderful person, if they are in a certain field of work and share an idea that I am not 100% sure if I agree with or if they ask me a question that is not a direct command I might look and act normal on the outside, but on the inside I am cowering and scared…the fact that I can recognize that this isn’t a rational response is a sign of great progress, but the fact that I am still responding with fear isn’t so good…

Life has just begun

(Kings and Queens—Audio Adrenaline)

I’ve got a lot of living left to do…Some days I realize how naïve I still am…

I have no idea what to say to someone I barely know who just asked me why a girl likes him…which prompted him to ask me if I am always awkward…yeah…I think we’ll just go with yes on that one.

I told myself that someday I would find and buy shorts that were bulky enough to hold my pants up but also tight enough to not get bunchy underneath my pants…umm, yeah or I could go looking for pants that stay up on their own. Maybe someday I’ll be blessed with a store selling black pants with both an elastic waistband and pockets. That would be my mecca of pants…but not falling down would be a good start.

I thought I was really organized…then I took a look around me…and realized that most people would probably identify this as a hot college student mess…but LOOK, I found my pencil! (It was moderately lost which is what prompted me to realize that I was not as organized as I thought I was…

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I feel like I know myself, but then I was thinking about love languages and I realized I had no idea which was mine…I remember taking the quiz five times a while back and averaging the results and ending up with time, service, and words all ranking pretty much equally but not overly highly and gift and touch rating lower…but I thought it would be interesting to do it again now that the OCD and social anxiety are over and see if I can figure out what my love language really is. As I suspected, touch shot way up. See, it is hard for the questions to measure how much touch represents love for you when interaction with people is hard and some days you’d prefer to live in an impermeable bubble, so I expected my touch score to increase and wondered if my time score would decrease since now that I can talk, I don’t wanna feel silenced just sitting by someone. What I did not expect, however, is that I am now even further behind in figuring out what my love language might be…now everything except gifts is pretty much at a tie…but I also know that I do appreciate gifts…so yeah, I guess I still have a lot more to find out about myself…but I think the gifts being low makes sense, because while I do appreciate the gift itself, the thought and time that went into the gift and the words accompanying the gift are often more important to me than the gift itself…that makes me feel bad about myself though, because to me it is letting people down if the gift itself isn’t the central thing I am receiving…and of course there is always the awkward situation of happily unwrapping a CD only for my parents to see it still shrink-wrapped on my dresser a month later…there is very little music that I dislike, but if it doesn’t have words, then to me it is like nails on a chalkboard…and even if it does, it is so much more convenient to listen to digital music or even tapes than CDs…the concept of CDs and DVDs never really caught on with me. Why would I ever want to lose the ability to take the tape out, put it back in, and be in the exact same spot I ended at? Youtube fixes that problem as long as my computer doesn’t decide to shut itself down and as long as I don’t accidentally close the window…or have a quiz on stupid lockdown browser and have to close out of youtube to make lockdown browser work…

On that note, if I could find an online quiz somewhere, I’d also like to re-take the MBTI and strengthsfinder quizzes now that I have grown up significantly. The naviance “shampoo assessment” that gave us our MBTI type was a 10th grade activity, and strengthsfinder was an activity my first year of college…a lot has changed since then. I don’t really know for sure how much my MBTI has changed, but I do know that although I still think that my top 5 strengths define me pretty well, there are a few other strengths that I think may have been in hiding originally 2/2 the anxiety problem. I suppose it might also be interesting had the test not been taken down to re-take the MMPI and verify that my scores have improved since first year, because the primary categories I scored way out of range in were anxiety and social introversion, so I want to see where they are now.

There are actually a lot of things that I don’t know…like why do I have to have all this stupid formatting and stuff to show where I got my information from. It seems to me that it would be easier to just copy and paste the URL, because then you have a direct link to the information, which in my opinion, is a much more useful way to see the information. If I see a paper that has cited other papers and I want their information, it would be infinitely easier for me to just click on a url than to have to interpret their stupid citation to figure out where the information came from and how and/or if I can access it. In my opinion, this is really just a space saving trick left over from the time of print resources and typewriters that avoided constantly creating new lines to designate title, author, and edition number…I really want to do what I saw this morning and draw a picture of my head…’cause in reality with this paper, I decided what I wanted to say, then I found sources that agreed with me. It doesn’t exactly take a genius to figure out that NPH is way old and therefore way less expensive than insulin analogs but isn’t as good, but generics tend to greatly reduce price and therefore generic insulin analogs would be super helpful…also, this verbose girl had a really hard time editing her paper down to only 500 words…that sounds like a lot, but it is really just barely over half a page of 12pt font and standard margins. I feel like at this point my paper sounds like I forgot what I was writing about, but I couldn’t figure out how else to reduce it to 500 words…Also, as much as I hated the Wildcat Style Guide, it was at least a lot more descriptive and helpful than the one page reference guide my teachers want me to use for this…

I think my textbook no understand how percentiles work…I was under the impression that a percentile was a ranking and thus a maximum of 15% of people can be at or above the 85th percentile…and last time I checked, 1/3 was approximately 33%…which means that if you define the upper limit of normal weight at the 85th percentile then it is a mathematical impossibility to follow that up by saying that 1/3 of people are overweight or obese…not sayin’, just sayin’…and, umm, dear Micromedex, if the drug is only for post-menopausal women then why do you list a contraindication for patients who are pregnant or nursing? I was also under the impression that at menopause women could no longer become pregnant and therefore would not be breast feeding.

Someone asked me recently why I would ever go to church. My brain went—umm, well, because that is what I have always done every week, but before I could blurt that out, I realized that church is so much more than just a routine. Just a routine would have been given up a long time ago to make room for more studying and maybe a little free time. I go to church every week, because I have friends there. Like the place I volunteer, church is a place where I feel like I belong. Yeah, there was that one week when DYL was getting married that there was like no one at all at church and I felt lonely and disconnected, but the majority of the time, I go to church to love and be loved on, and to worship my creator. I don’t feel like I have much to give back, but I so appreciate everything that the people at church have given to me. Church is more than a safe place to run to escape the hurt places, church is a community of people who are willing to embrace me brokenness and all and let me just be…but I am a coward and I didn’t say all this to the person who asked. This person believes that it doesn’t count as having ever attended a party if you haven’t had alcohol, so this person has a wildly different worldview than mine seeing as how I have had fun at numerous parties without ever drinking alcohol, so my answer was simply “because I need my friends…and God.”

In some ways though, I am realizing recently that life hasn’t just begun…in fact, I have already lived quite a lot. Things that crushed me years ago are little more than memories. I can remember, reminisce, and put the memories back in their little mental boxes without being bent out of shape. The empty match box in my drawer from my old church at home is still very near and dear to my heart as a remnant to hold on to, but it isn’t with me constantly, out of sight but not out of mind, anymore. I still remember the pain of being torn away, but remembering and flashing back into the pain are totally completely different things. I didn’t use to know it was possible to remember without again being crushed, but now that is a situation that I remember without renewed hurt. God is good. He brought me through that trial, and will walk with me through the difficult things thrown my way now and in the years to come. There is no shelf-life for pain, but when God is good and ready he will take it away, because he loves me.

Last year I learned that when making popcorn on the stove one must put a lid on the pan if one does not want popcorn flying all over including behind the stove never to be seen again. This year I learned that while it is possible to make soap suds in the microwave, that it is not an overly useful nor advisable way to speed up washing dishes, because as soon as the microwave stops the bubbles go away, and also the water is deceptively hot and WILL hurt if you stick your hands in it…and I learned that using a measuring cup or something is a very good thing even if only for the fact that you don’t accidentally pour about a cup of oil in your macaroni…a little bit of oil is a good substitute for butter and milk…that much oil is just a mess. (I have not required hands on learning though to know that dark chocolate milk is probably not a good choice in macaroni…but it is a good choice in my mouth when it is on sale…it might be on the lower limit of the calorie count I will spend my money on for milk, but it makes me so happy it is worth it…the other flavor I really want to try however, caramel coconut, only has like 50ish calories…sounds like a waste of money to me if I can get twice the calories in dark chocolate milk…

I almost texted someone today to ask if they would still like me if I got Cs and a few Bs this semester…but then I thought of this, and not only does God’s love not follow a dose-response curve, I am fairly certain that while my friends would be sad with me the same way they would be excited with me if I miraculously got the (currently mathematically impossible) grades that I desire…the friends that I have right now are not fair weather only, dependent upon my good grades or lack thereof to determine whether I am worth friendship.

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