Monthly Archives: January 2016

We’re Walking Into the Forest

(Kick Drum Heart–Avett Brothers)

In my law book there was a story about a woman who didn’t receive the birth control she was supposed to at a pharmacy and as a result got pregnant and had a healthy child. The book uses this as an example of compensation, putting the “victim” in the position in which he or she would have been had the action not taken place—the pharmacist was required to pay the cost of pregnancy and raising the child.

 

I find that a really lousy example. Without getting pregnant she would not have had the sweet experience of the deepest love one can ever experience: holding a sweet, beautiful, healthy, newborn child. Sure, kids are expensive and she wasn’t planning on one yet, but if the pharmacist is paying the full costs it seems to me like she is getting a double benefit: she gets to keep both the kid and the money…jackpot!! I am not advocating that we should take babies away from their parents, but it seems to me that the joy of a child should be most of the compensation she gets and so the pharmacist should only have to pay maybe half of the costs, because yeah, she intended to not get pregnant, but let’s get real, there’s a pretty good chance that she had a copay on her prescriptions and would have been paying something for a while anyway…and how do you not notice that your birth control looks totally different than it has before?! I am also not advocating that pharmacists can fill prescriptions with whatever they want—that is clearly wrong too.

 

Anyway, that got me thinking about how a lot of people have asked my position on dispensing birth control. I believe that murder is wrong whether it occurs in an adult or an unborn child. While philosophically people argue about when life begins, biologically, it is not up for discussion whether or not life begins when the sperm meets the egg. Oral contraceptives act by preventing implantation of the zygote (egg+sperm), thus ending the pregnancy long before it is detectable. For this reason, I believe that oral contraceptives should not be used if a patient intends to exercise use of their baby-making parts without further protection. I will not refuse, however, to dispense birth control for a few reasons. First, some people are using it in a legitimate way for conditions totally unrelated to killing babies and have no intention of utilizing its other function and it isn’t practical to sort through that at the time of dispense. Second, if I don’t give it to them, I am legally obligated to ensure they have another way to get it if they want it, so it doesn’t really do anything but make me a jerk if I say no. Third, legally, it is acceptable to use birth control regardless of what you want to do with it, and my freedom ends where yours begins. I don’t really think it is my place to act as God and tell you what you can and can’t do. I do know people who refuse to sell it, but in my opinion, it makes more sense to just do it.

 

On a totally different note, I saw this hilarious statement on a blog recently: “Remember to treat your password like your toothbrush. Share it with no one and change it often.” The article also gave a lot of easy to remember passwords which were supposed to be ones they didn’t recommend, but I looked and decided those seemed like good ideas for this girl with an excess of information competing for limited spaces in her head.

 

Sometimes I feel lazy (one of my friends would comment that lazy isn’t a feeling…)…but the vast majority of the time I am not really being lazy even if I feel that way…when I wake up and can’t keep my eyes open long enough to type in my whole password to my email before the screen goes dark again and I have to try again, that is probably a good sign that I still have sleep to catch up on rather than that I am lazy…and if the test is pass fail and I can finish in 25 minutes without checking my work and the only consequence for failing is probably going to be re-taking it over spring break when I am not so squished for time anyway, it makes a lot better sense to turn it in and get outta there. It isn’t lazy, it is time management…and besides, everyone needs a break, even me…

 

Side note number 3: When I totally wasn’t distracted (okay fine, yes I was) I found a document on my computer labelled story. It was an article I had written first year when psychcentral put out a call for personal descriptions of what counseling is like. It was a good reminder to be thankful for what I have, because everything I have is a gift that I worked for. It has been a long time since the days of it being an accomplishment to say hi to a friend. On the other hand, it made me mourn the loss of naïve trust and innocent belief that people would always have pure motives to help me…and I wish I still could believe that self-advocacy is effective…originally I wrote a lot more than this, but I couldn’t decide if it was internet appropriate, so I decided to delete it…also, I discovered this week that someone posted my name, cell phone number, school, and email address on the world wide web for anyone to see…if that same someone wasn’t already calling me twice a day I would complain, but since I don’t want any more intrusion into my life, I am just being frustrated inside my head (and on here)…thank God that I finally figured out how to auto-reject the calls though! Thrilled about that!

Hairbinders are not like apples; don’t twist, twist, pull

(not a song, just the words of advice that came out of my mouth when I was done whimpering about how much that hurt last night when I was too tired to remember how to properly remove hairbinders).

 

The problem with over-tiredness is that by the time I start needing to decide that it is time to be done, it is past the point at which I have the awareness to quickly pick up on the cues. Around 8 to 8:30 my awareness/cognitive level begins to deteriorate to get ready to shut down and sleep for the night…which means the early signs that I have been up late are likely to be missed when my brain is already tired from all the thinking involved in studying and stuff all day (and running as fast as I can to get to class on time only to find that the guest lecturer is missing…my breathing muscles are still sore and telling me not to do that again).

 

So I didn’t notice the problem when staying seated was more preferable than standing up long enough to get pizza.

 

I didn’t notice when I seriously considered the hard floor outside the elevator as a possibility for sleeping instead of going home.

 

I did, however, notice when it started seeming like a good idea to attempt to shove a PIBA in a can of pop with caffeine in the morning…luckily I was smart enough to realize that I would greatly regret that pretty much immediately.

 

If that hadn’t been the realization that I couldn’t keep doing this, I probably still would have missed that the screaming in the car wasn’t simply excited screaming but stir-crazy screaming…

 

…but I would have noticed when I almost decided to turn to go over to where I saw a police dude pull over a guy for running a red light and try to convince him that it was probably an accident or an emergency and to take me instead of the other guy…it is a good thing I am smart enough not to act impulsively like that, because something tells me that wouldn’t go over very well…(yeah, I know I have a problem with my heart being a little too big sometimes…I’m working on it).

 

So…primary lesson learned: back to putting an alarm in my pocket like I did in high school to remind me that it is time to leave. At that time it was because I was trying to accept a new church but was for sure not going to do that at the expense of anything going on at “my real church.” Now, it seems like a really good idea because I am willing to sacrifice a little extra time for Cru because doing it late at night worked better for everyone else, but I really can’t give up more than the allotted time, because that’s when , to quote Francesca Battistelli, “the crazy kicks in.” Even if the lack of sleep doesn’t lead to bigger issues, the craziness makes my impulsive desires seem like better ideas, and in turn makes me feel like a bad person, and that is not good.

 

Also, I found this abstract online, and I was intrigued to know more…but paying money to read it ain’t worth it.

 

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2484488

Black and White Make a Mess When They Turn to Grey

(Alone—Hollyn)

 

So this morning when I woke up in the morning I decided I needed to lick the wall…to prove that everything was okay. Yeah, this whole finding balance thing isn’t going to get very far, because I tend to live in extremes. Can I just say that everything is probably not okay if you are licking the wall to prove that it is okay…because when things are truly going well you shouldn’t have to lick the wall to be sure they are going well. On the positive side, I did lick the wall, and it gave me a sense of relief that I was out of the woods…and when I finally got my lazy butt to school I had a long conversation with someone who was just as passionate as I am about something and we decided we will start a petition since it seems like no one is really listening to the complaints that we both hear from so many people, and putting it all in one place might be a way to draw in the attention we need to be heard.

 

So back to proving that everything was okay…I listened to multiple media sources on Sunday simultaneously, totally by accident, and I laughed, because it is other times quite intentional to be listening to multiple things. If my brain is on overload emotionally, music is calming…and this is something that really does abide by the principle that if some is good, more is better, because the louder it is, the better I feel, and if I can have the radio playing, and my computer playing music, and a phone or two playing music all at once (and maybe even more than one audio source from the computer) it feels even better…I try to avoid doing that, because I do want to not make myself go deaf, but occasionally, it is necessary…

 

…and I should have been doing more emotional prophylaxis, because Sundays are supposed to be my day at my apartment to recharge for the week, but there was this little problem called a mandatory meeting on a Sunday (insert pouty face here). I will give you my Saturday if I have to, but Sunday is supposed to be my day to myself. I think I should have learned last semester what happens when I give away my Sundays…hmm…let’s recap: giving up Sunday=predisposing factor, lack of sleep (currently 2/2 mild dehydration because I fail at life)=promoting factor, stress=trigger. This time the stress was meeting someone I hadn’t met before at the place I volunteer. People there are brought onto my safe list much more easily than outside sources, but it still takes at least a day to initiate them. Time to go couldn’t have come at a better time, because the flare started right about the time I walked out the door. Luckily, this time it was a LOT more mild than the flares I had last semester, but that didn’t make it any more fun. It is never a good day when you are facebook and blog researching the V word and trying not to touch things. It also definitely increased the difficulty in remaining level-headed despite realizing that I had goofed off a little too much and therefore had accomplished like one day’s worth of studying over the course of the past 4 days…I am behind, but I WILL be okay. I am a week into the semester, so there is definitely still time to catch up…I am overwhelmed, and rightfully so being 5 chapters and a video behind (And that’s just in one class), but God has a plan, and I have to believe that his plan is good…

 

He’s had a lot of good plans before, like not making the OCD peak at any time I would have to suffer through the airport. It likely wouldn’t be so bad now, but the airport is a nightmare for a socially anxious and primarily silent girl travelling alone, and that’s before we even think about the germs. I don’t think I will ever forget the day a week before spring break as a first year when one of my friends was almost intentionally late to class on my behalf because she intended to ask a quick question then go eat lunch and instead found me crying because the airport is already too hard and the previous night er(m)c told me to say hi to the other people there.

I need proof, don’t wanna leave it up to my imagination, everybody’s got their own interpretation, maybe I don’t deserve an explanation

 

(What I Hear—Jessie Daniels)

 

I was reading a what it is like to be me description from a person who had experienced bullying. Aside from the emotional component, I really identified with what the person said about hearing. He said that when he doesn’t respond to his name it doesn’t mean he is being rude or ignoring you—it just means that he probably didn’t hear you even if you think he should have, because he has difficulty separating the foreground from the background noise, missing the forest for the trees, and the name gets lost in all the background information. That is such a good way to describe a frustration I’ve been trying to put words to for years. When I was in middle school I described it as if all the words someone was saying were being molded out of peanut butter, and I had to read them to understand, but the words had been smeared together and stepped on. I can see what I am pretty sure might be this or that letter, but am guessing at what was supposed to be between them, and maybe there is a really clear letter but it has been pushed out of place, and I have no idea where that was supposed to be. In my case, I compensate by watching facial expression for clues as to what the missed words were and responding as if I heard my name to a wide variety of sounds. Not perfect, but it works for me…I also listen to music pretty close to constantly so that it drowns out some of the outside noises to at least decrease the sheer number of sounds I have to decipher. That does mean that in class when I can’t listen to music I am still very attuned to the email notification in the back of the room and the people whispering in the corner and the on and off of the fans and the cars honking outside…not to mention the visual distraction of watching cars drive past…212 is a better room for lectures than 111 despite the extra flight of stairs it requires simply because there is less visual distraction out the windows…

 

Another story I read recently that hit me like a knife through my heart, was about a selectively mute girl in a class with a Russian student who did not speak English. The girl and the Russian student had an aide, but no one in the school spoke Russian. The teacher gave directions, but no one could figure out how to give the Russian student directions he could understand. While the aide was distracted with something else, the girl got up and without saying a word explained what to do to the Russian student in a way he could understand. Besides just the piece of my heart that goes out to anyone whose voice is silenced, and especially when it is silenced in a way I have been like selective mutism, this really hit home, because it was a reminder that there is so much more to communication than use of words and language. Not that I would ever recommend being unable to speak, but eliminating that method of obtaining information allows you to become much more fluent in alternative forms of communication…which is probably also why I sometimes have to be reminded to use an interpreter, because I can communicate well enough without one to feel reasonably comfortable without one…and I just hate the awkward staring at each other when we could be communicating that comes with waiting for an interpreter…

 

 

Verbs are interesting. Some people argue that instead of has or is to describe being diagnosed with a disease we should use fight. As in the girl in the previous example was fighting selective mutism. Also if someone is experiencing discrimination or bullying or other injustices. Fighting, though, seems to imply actively working against or struggling to break free. What happens if I stop fighting and just let everything run it’s course…I’m sure these same people wouldn’t argue that you should describe me as failing at fill-in-the-blank, but I don’t feel like you can rightfully say I am fighting if I am too tired to fight and have remained seated on the rollercoaster that has gone off its racks, too tired to get up or try to stop it. It makes me mad at myself when I am not fighting, but sometimes there is just too much on my plate and I have to admit defeat…I feel frustrated. I realized last night that as much as I really crave being around people and crave connection, it seems like socially I am regressing, and that is really frustrating with how hard I have worked to earn the social skills that I do possess. I mean, I definitely am not avoiding being around people, staying on the sidelines, being isolated, being completely unable to speak, or feeling any anxiety when in social situations…but I also am putting of responding to emails and texts. Yes, sometimes I really do not have the time to spare to immediately respond to a text or an email and it is totally legitimate prosocial behavior to wait to respond…but sometimes all the response needed from me is the one word: Yes or No that I definitely am aware of which is the answer I need and could easily respond…but I don’t, and not just because I forgot about it…and when I could be inviting people in to communication with me, I wait for them to decide if they wanna talk, because I don’t want to impose myself on anyone…and when I am with people it is as if I have finally found the on-off switch on my chatterbox and the words don’t come pouring out like a broken floodgate anymore. A lot of this is probably the pendulum swing of locating normal, because I will be the first to admit that when the anxiety disappeared my mouth turned on and a lot of people thought I was obnoxious because I could now say whatever was on my mind, and I did, but when we are studying for finals, for example, no one really wants to hear about ponies and unicorns. So it is better that I am not quite that talkative anymore, but sometimes I want more than a quick hi from across the room and the only thing stopping me is me…but I am not currently fighting it. I feel like there is too much on my plate to fight it, so I am just riding it out to see where it takes me. If this path leads me into anxiety then I’ll go running for help, if it leads to further dissatisfaction with myself, I’ll think about looking for help, but sometimes you have to choose your battles, and if it is no more than a mild nuisance once in a while, it is not worth my time and energy at the moment.

 

Speaking of things that are out of my hands and currently frustrating me, this semester in my class that is a continuation from last semester, one of the students seems to no longer be in the class. That wouldn’t be a problem—I know students sometimes drop out of school for one reason or another—but that student was replaced with a different student. Both of these students are social work students. That is a huge deal for me. I worked really hard at the beginning of last semester and was gently introduced to the student last semester and ended up getting partnered up with her for our get to know you activity before knowing she was a social work student, and I had assimilated her onto my safe list, and no longer felt that I needed to stay “turned on” and cautious while in her presence…and now we have a different social work student and it feels like I am starting all over. This time though, I was already feeling exhausted and overwhelmed before the class even started so I didn’t have the energy to pour into safety learning. This time the first thing I found out after his name was the program he was in. This time instead of being partnered up with him and being forced to figure it out, he was on the opposite side of the room as I was. This time I felt cornered the entire class. What for everyone else was just a hey, welcome to class, was for me a loss of my sense of safety. I know that my reaction is a little bit over the top. I know that in general people in the mental health professions are not out there for the sole purpose of hurting people (and making money). I know that in reality I am still perfectly safe and chances are that no one is going to hurt me, especially not in a class focused on communication with other professionals, but my limbic system senses unknown mental health (pre) professional and sounds the alarm. This isn’t a good way to live needing to get comfortable with each person individually. I need to begin to generalize that I know all these other people in this category that are good, so perhaps the person is good, but I’ve had enough bad experiences that the bad has predominated. There really isn’t any defining characteristic that I can identify to determine in advance who is going to be a caring person, sensitive and responsive to my needs versus who is going to intentionally hurt me, carefully manipulating and gaslighting for their own gain. I want to protect myself from further hurt. I don’t want to let people trample on me and take advantage of me like they have in the past…but I also want to believe that most people are good. I want to believe that most people don’t have ulterior motives, that most people truly do want to be kind. That most people would prefer to put out metaphorical fires than to start them. It is a hard line to walk, remaining open enough to let the goodness of the good people seep into my heart without opening up so far that the bad people can laugh as they throw daggers of hurt into my heart with their eyes closed.

 

Sometimes the only way you can protect your friends is through prayer. It is hard. So hard. Your mind wills them to know that your sudden silence upon reaching that conversation topic isn’t a signal of uncomfortability, nor is it a sign that you don’t care, rather it is a silent scream of warning of what may lie ahead…but your mouth is silent, obediently sealed, hiding away the knowledge of the trap. Your stomach tries to revolt, but of course no one can see that…and even if they did, would have no inclination to believe that it is a stand of solidarity in the warning your mind is trying to put out. I do not like the sense of powerlessness that I possess…but I suppose either way there isn’t much my warning could do anyway…’cause I am for sure not going to advise anyone to argue against agreed upon school requirements when there is a possibility that doing so could cost me my friend and her the education she is fighting for…so it will be better to support her if/when things go wrong than to risk everything and warn her in advance…this makes me mad, in the sense of if you want to hurt me then okay fine, let’s just get this over with, but you don’t hurt my friends.

You Are Perfect In All of Your Ways

(Good Good Father—by some people on the radio)

Note to self: whenever your sentence ends in “and I’ll pack extra clothes so if that doesn’t work I’ll just sleep in my car and figure it out later” you should probably seriously consider whether you should actually be doing the first part of the sentence…my inner extravert and adventurer says “Yeehaw let’s do this!!” My inner voice of reason says “you are an idiot.” My inner voice of reason just wants to spoil all my dreams…okay fine…it only wants to spoil the dreams that involve unnecessary late nights and/or things that are pretty near impossible and/or have relatively high potential to cause harm to me…but it’s still a party pooper that I am choosing to ignore because YOLO and I have FOMO. I’m still young. I have a right to make one or two iffy choices once in a while…yeah, it might mean staying out late and ignoring school on the very first day, but (and I know this is a lousy attitude that I need to drop) my GPA already is bad and life isn’t fair so who cares if I get a bad grade that is completely my fault…okay fine…I do care, but I have justified that maybe just this once the first week of school I’ll take a risk and then I’ll have all semester to make up for it…one night can’t hurt that much…can it? (Yes, it can, but my inner extravert craves connection and not just by sitting in a classroom).

 

Also, check out this cute sequence of photos on how to properly utilize a chair…

it's a backrest not a headrest

This is my brother trying to demonstrate how to use the chair…but it’s a backrest, not a headrest, so that’s so wrong…

obvi it's a squatty chair

Obvi this is how it is done. (Please pardon the lousy picture. It didn’t occur to me to turn on more lights in my apartment so it is kinda dark and grainy, and also, it is really hard to take a picture of yourself sitting in a chair…especially when what you’re actually doing is squatting around the frame of a chair and touching the back rest but not putting enough pressure on it for the chair to roll away from you…)

1225152218-00

If this were pinterest, this would be captioned hashtag nailed it! (Don’t worry, I didn’t actually leave the ball all shriveled up like that…you’re just supposed to wait 24 hours before finishing blowing it up…or as time works in Wiggle Worm’s not so patient world, wait almost 12 hours then give up on being patient and just blow it up and hope for the best). (Also, please pardon the fact that my room pretty much always looks like at least a small bomb went off…I cleaned up a little for the picture, but obviously not enough to truly hide how I live most of the time…I know, I have a problem with tidiness).

 

I didn’t take a picture of using the chair appropriately…you can look on the World Wide Web and find jillions of pictures of people sitting on chairs like big boys and girls…

Every Day it’s Off To School I Go ‘Cause the More I can Learn the More Things I Will Know

(Planes Trains and Microwaves—Go Fish)

 

I had lots of plans for today…as in I am on pretty much like plan Z because plans A through Y fell through…but I don’t even care because there is this super awesome thing called chairs and floors at school…I might have gotten a little bit over-excited and done a victory lap in a very small circle when I picked somewhere to sit and daydream about all the awesome things on the internet that I have no intention of buying…it’s not that I didn’t expect there to be flooring…just that at home I didn’t have those things or a lot of other things, and I forgot how awesome it was to be able to set something down for a minute and to take off my shoes somewhere besides the shower or my bed…I mean, yeah, I spent hours Friday morning in the breakroom at work (best dollar on parking I ever spent) but that isn’t quite the same because I still feel like I need to look like a professional if I am at my workplace…so yeah…who even cares what my plans were or that I haven’t even thought about my classes yet when I am busy appreciating the little things? Sometimes it really is the little things that make the biggest difference…and it took me a ridiculous amount of time to walk out the door this morning because “yay! I don’t have to get my feet in my shoes without soaking the shoes to get out of the shower” and “this is super awesome to be able to walk around without it being super loud” and “my clean clothes can touch the floor and still be wearable!” and “chairs! Let’s sit on them.”

 

I learned a lot of things yesterday…like even if you aren’t really that hungry you should probably eat and drink more than just a peanut butter sandwich and a little water between getting up and going to church…see I got in the car around 4:30 in the morning, and drove to my apartment and then spent from 1:40ish until 3:30 working on unpacking…and then went to church and only got a little bit lost because I hadn’t found my directions yet, and it hadn’t occurred to me I could look up the directions and write out a new set…and when I got to church I had a peanut butter sandwich and some water and went to work greeting…Also I met another girl who was super nice and I might want her to be my friend…It is really hard sitting through a service when you are mentally exhausted, have way too much energy from being cooped up all day, want to say hi to ALL the people, and are kinda starting to feel dizzy from not eating/drinking enough…

 

Church was awesome because I was so craving human contact. After working an average of 41.95 hours per week and spending 5 hours in the church nursery every day in addition to having a family at home, spending all day pretty close to alone was super hard for this extravert…I started playing a game of doing a peace sign in my rearview mirror and seeing if anyone would wave back. One person did…You know you need some people time when your brain is too tired to form words, but you are thrilled to just be around people…

 

Also, I learned not to go to the car wash that I went to last night…it was expensive and didn’t even get my car clean…I was not a fan…

 

I was super proud of me last week. A school bus driver didn’t feel like the stop sign applied to him while I was driving across the intersection and I honked my horn. That is probably the first time I ever honked the horn of a car since I was learning to drive and did that as a checklist of things to be able to do…The people pleaser in me keeps me from doing it…It just feels so rude…

 

Speaking of driving, I am still the same girl I was in high school…I can now follow directions in which left and right are not both doodled out and color coded, but I still won’t necessarily know which way to go if you just tell me to turn left or right…I failed the drivers test one of the times I took it because they told me to turn one direction and I turned the opposite way…they should have said turn towards the window or towards me and I would have been able to follow directions…

 

And speaking of the drivers test I think it is dumb that so much of it involves parking…especially the ninety degree back in. You wanna know the number of times I have done a ninety degree back in since receiving my license? It is ZERO…If you really want another parking section how about how to use a parking lot, AKA if only half of your car fit in the spot then you need to choose a different (bigger) spot…or how about forgetting the whole parking thing since who cares about what you do at 5mph if you know what you’re doing at 50mph and add in how to use the freeway…I mean, yeah, it might be challenging to simulate a freeway in a parking lot, but would it really be that hard to use a real road? Just sayin’

 

I was a crabby pants by bedtime (at 8pm) yesterday, but it wasn’t because life is so bad…I am super blessed. The sky was so beautiful yesterday morning. I stopped at a gas station and it was closed (as in it was under construction and the pumps weren’t working) and I started freaking out because I didn’t know where I was going to come across another gas station and the search function on my phone is kind of lousy and was telling me “no results found” when I searched for gas stations…after some time searching I decided to just try my luck and get back on the freeway and try the next exit…which did have a functional gas station…and greeting gave me a chance for at least a little more human interaction than even just showing up and being lost in the crowd…I was just crabby because I was exhausted after having an entire break of a really disrupted sleep schedule (hello having only one “normal” shift in an entire break instead closing most nights) and also after packing my radio on Thursday evening, sleeping was harder than usual…I already have trouble falling asleep because I have too much energy, so taking away the normalcy of the radio is always hard…so yeah…last night I didn’t even wake up thirsty after a couple hours, instead sleeping a good 9ish hours…probably a world record for me…sleep is so good…

 

I feel like I should study…but instead I have had a super lazy Sunday watching youtube and/or vegging on the couch doing absolutely nothing…I feel lazy, but at the same time it feels so good…

On My Own I’m So Clumsy

(Free to be Me–Francesca Battistelli)

I have a lot to say…because pretty much when I am falling asleep and when I am driving is when I have all sorts of things I am writing inside my head…and those are not times I can write outside my head and usually don’t remember anymore by the time I am able to write or else I remember the idea but not a way to say it that makes any sense…

 

This is what my winter hands look like…on a good day…

 

20160106_183722

 

Sometimes I am thrilled that at least one part of my body looks like I am definitely not a middle schooler…

 

But other times I am frustrated, because although OCD isn’t the cause behind the current cracks in my hands I am quite convinced that the damage from when the OCD was bad made it so that my hands were less able to handle the cold dry winter weather.

 

OCD was hard on my hands between fear of germs in lotion leading to only using it a few times a day, and the excessive over-washing. At their worst, my hands were bright red and bleeding up all the way to the wrist so that from a distance it looked like I was wearing bright red gloves…it was not a good time…It is also very hard to heal that because when you have very little skin left there isn’t much for the lotion to soak in to, and a lot of new skin needs to be grown. Additionally, sometimes you want to get the blood off of your hands…and of course you are terrified of germs getting into the openings…and thus wash off more skin and the lotion you worked so hard to put on…

 

All that to say that I am not washing my hands extra and I am using excessive amounts of lotion and my hands are still dry and especially my right hand is cracking…(I should note that I use the word lotion when I really mean any product that promotes healing of my skin whether it is ointment, cream, lotion, or any other product…)

 

I say the OCD is totally over, but I feel like maybe OCD has the upper hand now. I had like 5ish days this past semester that the OCD came back. In between I considered myself totally free, as I do now, but in retrospect, ever since the first flare up, I have been living under the reign of OCD. Sure, I am not having obsessions and compulsions but instead I am living in fear that I will have another flare up. It is hard because I love Cru and I love FCA, but it is hard to enjoy them because I know staying up late makes me vulnerable. It is hard because school is really important to me, but caring about school leads to stress which makes me vulnerable. Hope is one of the most dangerous commitments we make in life, but I am working on not living in fear and letting shame keep me from hope. Shame is like carbon monoxide—often undetectable and deadly.

 

Living life constantly en garde makes it easier for me to sink into painful triggers that wouldn’t otherwise have touched me…like when I saw a bus today when driving to work and remembered being bullied on the bus in 4th grade and was reliving the feelings of fear and entrapment while being pinned against the window on the bus…and then remembering a particular day in 8th grade. That day for a long time has been marked by a caring teacher driving me home when I would otherwise have walked home nine tenths of a mile in the rain. After thinking about the bus, it was reminded to be a day when a kid threw up on the bus on the way back from a field trip and I had to wait in the hallway for the teachers to come back from figuring out that problem. The vomit was orange and disgusting. Speaking of vomit…I know I am not supposed to come back from break before 30 minutes are up, but I had to come back early today because the rehab people that we share a break room with came in and they were all talking about vomiting and diarrhea…umm, not pleasant while I am in a place that I usually use for eating…

 

Also, a couple weeks ago the words “happy for you” initiated a flashback into my third year when I was being hurt…luckily although I was struggling for a few minutes, I am in a good enough place now that I am home where everyone thinks I am the next best thing since sliced bread, to start to laugh really hard…I wanted to know what the test was like so I downloaded as many apps as I could find with sample questions…including one with a very satisfying vibration every time I got a right answer…and I discovered that this test was very much common sense and/or common knowledge, ’cause I got 99.9%* of the questions correct in each app on the first try…I guess like one of my teacher’s syllabi said, “Common Sense Ain’t Necessarily Common Practice.” That is also what gave me the confidence that if I am still interested after graduating and getting a pharmacy job that I probably could pull off a social work degree if I wanted.

(*percentage calculated based on the fact I got one question wrong…I got through all of middle school without knowing the names of some of the people I had considered my long-term friends…I saw these people and interacted with them everyday, so obviously out of all these old psychologist people I’ve never met with theories and stuff I am bound to forget who one or two of them are…)

 

I think I saw this on the internet, but it might have been the radio…either way, someone said organized is not the same as tidy. That resonated with me, because I feel like I am a pretty organized person, but I feel a lot of the time like I can’t claim that, because tidy I am not. Umm…the fact that the door of my room won’t open all the way and some items need to be held above my head to fit out the door because of all the stuff on the floor…and the fact that the only usable flat space in my room is the bed and almost like stepping stones from the bed to the door negates any thought that I am tidy…mostly it is just that I hate making decisions so things sit on the floor while I wait to decide where to put them.

 

I think I might have gotten this from youtube, but it might have been from facebook…someone said If you miss your exit, do you get off at the next exit and turn around, or do you keep driving all the way to Mexico? I have absolutely no idea where I was going with that…but I thought I’d share it anyway, because I thought it was great…and now that I think about it, in terms of grades it is a good reminder not to throw in the towel…yeah, my grades aren’t the greatest…the mark was missed…but on days when I am disappointed and feel lacking in hope, it is good to remember that just ’cause I missed my exit doesn’t mean I need to take a trip to Mexico.

 

In my email, I have saved an email from Anne Marie Jackson (I think that’s her current name?? It kept changing for a long time). It says “You are not a jar of Nutella…so you can’t please everyone.” I love that. It is a good reminder that even though I am a people pleaser and am happiest when I can make other people happy, that even if it seems like I failed that it doesn’t mean I am not good enough.

 

I have the bestest friends ever. I am so blessed. From my work friends, one of whom told me that she thought I should be the new manager (which is not going to happen because aside from the fact that I am not yet a pharmacist, even once I do get my degree I would like to do clinical, so taking a management position would be a bit of a detour, because I doubt that I would have time to do both…to my beautiful and gracious friend who is interested in me and my life even though she had a beautiful baby two weeks ago, God has blessed me with some pretty amazing people in my life who more than make up for all the people that don’t treat me with respect.

Behold him come, offspring of the virgin’s wom #awkward

(Hark the Herald Angels Sing)

 

Womb doesn’t rhyme with come, so I know they didn’t mean that…they must’ve meant that as an abbreviation for womanly parts…#awkward

 

Christmas songs are so annoying most of the time…which is why it is super annoying that Christmas songs play on the radio all the way until the end of December when Christmas is the 25th. That’s a whole week of lousy radio when there is no holiday. #awkward…

 

Wanna know something else awkward? This advertisement…

awkward

Yeah I saw this ad on facebook. As it turns out, the next line says “alone.” Which is great, but someone should have thought about that before left justifying the sentence and leaving that one word all by itself on the next line. I did google this thing to find out what it is…turns out, it is an adoption agency. I am not so sure that is the greatest catchphrase for an adoption agency, but I suppose no one asked for my opinion.

 

Oh yeah…and also awkward, the conversation that happened last night because I was stir crazy due to being up just like 10 minutes late which was 10 minutes longer than I should have been…So yeah, because I was kinda crazy I messed around checking my email and texting when I should have been filling my water bottle…which meant that when I stopped bouncing on the bed and actually fell asleep, I woke up an hour and a half later and my water bottle was empty.

 

Me: Hey, the water bottle is empty. Me needs some water. Who is going to fill it? Not Me! Me shouldn’t have to both identify and solve the problem.

 

Myself: Can’t. Too busy cuddling with my pillow and sheets and Myself.

 

I: I am too thirsty to get up to fill the water bottle.

 

So that happened…

 

Oh, one more thing:

Inbox - Victoria.Anderson@stlcop.edu - Outlook

Umm…yeah…pretty sure my high school diploma ain’t gonna cut it when you require a minimum of a masters degree…and I don’t really see how an APA membership would be a reward for myself. I’d rather reward myself with skittles and goldfish and stuff…