Monthly Archives: March 2016

Why you wanna pretend that I’m fine, that everything’s okay

(Cage—Plumb)

When I was in high school I defined a friend as someone I could say hi to in the hallway about half of the time. I didn’t have a ton of friends, but I was content. Sure, I had fantasies of being a popular kid, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. This girl who hated being the center of attention was certainly not going to join speech and debate or the school play. I was perfectly happy 99% of the time to go home and be alone in my room until the next scheduled activity, and sure, I did declam in middle school, but that was different. Depending on who was running the event that day you were either reading for like three minutes to one adult or to one adult and maybe four other students…and at the end you got a ribbon or certificate or something for showing up…and snacks were usually involved. That did not mean I was at all interested in joining speech and debate or the school play. I was perfectly happy not being popular, especially because the popular kids were super stuck up and clique-y, so joining a group where I’d have to interact with them wouldn’t have been enjoyable before even considering what the activity might have been. So yeah, I wasn’t popular, and by a traditional definition of friends I am not sure I had any, but I was totally fine with it.

More recently I have realized now that I have opened up more I have a LOT of really incredible friends. It is great! Except now that I know what real community feels like, I feel lonely. Living alone is incredible, and most days I wouldn’t have it any other way, but sometimes I want more. I go on the internet to fill the void. Sometimes I feel connection. Sometimes I see connections that they have that I wish I were a part of. I guess it is a lot like offline life. Sometimes the party comes to me and I am thrilled. Other times, I can see and hear the party but it is just beyond my reach. Being physically separated from my friends the majority of the time is painful.

Totally changing topic, but it is not a proud moment when I shove a sucker in my mouth at 6am so that I can stop crying so I can go to school…but sometimes I just have to do what it takes to get through life. Crying wasn’t going to change anything. Perhaps calming down enough that I can write a polite email explaining my situation and my suggested alternative might change things, but I know that crying isn’t the answer. I have to believe God didn’t have me fight through so much to get 46 days away from the end of my (hopefully) last semester of classroom work just to have me be unable to go on rotations. I have done a lot of hard things and climbed over a lot of barriers and navigated around a lot of obstacles. Some way, some how I will get through this one too…God is pretty awesome…I might have place to stay next year that is actually way better than the one that fell through a few days ago…too bad I didn’t look that direction a long time ago—it might have been even better than my apartment! Right now the negativity that still is screaming inside my brain because I am still really upset says great, so you have a place to stay for the rotations you can’t go on, but the logic is starting to break through enough that I can say that I don’t know how I’ll make it happen, but I will somehow make this happen so I can go on rotations.

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I’m not afraid to laugh, I’m not afraid to cry, not afraid to live and not afraid to die

(Wildflowers–Stephanie Pauline)

Spring break has flown by…and I feel like I have taken way too much of a break as I look at what is left on my to do list. It is going to be okay. I just gotta do it. Taking a break does give me a lot of thinking time though…

It is also a little annoying that before I can say yes I want to live with anyone, I have to map it out and determine if it puts me into what feels like a safe zone. Luckily I found a place that met the criteria. Is the location the absolute perfect spot, no, but beggars can’t be choosers, and it is still in the safe zone. I am a little bit nervous and a little bit excited for my first real communal living experience. (I don’t really know if my time in the dorms counts as communal living since I pretty much only shared a hallway and bathroom). It makes me feel a lot more like a real adult to be moving in with someone even if it is for only 5 weeks at a time. It seems like a step up from my apartment.

So yeah, found was the keyword. I was invited over to see the place. It was going to be a good place to live. The person was nice. I was so thankful to have somewhere to live next year. I went to bed thinking I had finally found a good place to stay for 3 of my rotations. I stayed up late writing a thank you note…and when I logged in this morning to send it, I had a message that she didn’t think it was going to work out. So frustrating. Starting over again. On a side related note, it was kind of funny when I was driving home and realized that most of the time if I suddenly recognize where I am it is because it is where I was when I realized I was lost on some other excursion…and therefore recognizing where I am doesn’t necessarily have any bearing on whether or not I have any idea how to get where I am going.

I know God is good. I know that I cried second year because I was never going to find somewhere to live and started paying fees to get on the waiting list for places I didn’t like in hopes of at least having SOMEWHERE to live in the fall…and finally a month and a half before the end of summer there was an opening and it was even at the one place I really wanted in the first place. I don’t want to end up living out of my car, but I could make it happen for five weeks at a time. Plus, God opened up my social skills to make a roommate situation even possible, so I have to believe he will open up a place for me to stay.

How does hurtful relationship change you? Well, as much as I love snacks and as much as I know that I can’t carry enough water to school to really satisfy myself, I refused the offer on Friday. Usually I would be thrilled, but sometimes I feel vulnerable so I refuse people’s attempt to be nice because I am afraid of what might be hiding behind the suggestion, or because I don’t want to be anyone’s charity case. It doesn’t matter that it is someone I have known for a long time and with whom I’ve had no negative experiences. Sometimes my brain just clicks into a position where I say no, because as much as I want to reach out for the hand up, my brokenness tells me that a hand up could just mean the power to drop me and break me further. It isn’t how I want to live—and luckily isn’t where I live all the time, but it is frustrating that I ever have to live there at all.

Thankfully, I am learning over time that most people are safe and not out to hurt me. Gradually, I am learning to let people in and not be constantly enguarde waiting for the next attack. But sometimes I revert back into that place where the world was shaky and being nice could just mean an easy way past my armor to make the next attack hurt more. I am learning that it really can be safe to put down my armor, but change doesn’t happen overnight. I am still a people-lover, but it is only a select few with whom I feel safe going deep…most of those people might wish I didn’t feel quite so safe since they probably get too much of me since there are fewer people to spread out the sharing between…

Also, writing this made me realize a new solution to trying to carry all the water I’ll need for a day…yeah, I can’t get to the sinks without breaking rules, and yeah, the cafeteria is technically closed…but I can get to the water dispenser outside the bathrooms…I heard on the radio a few years ago that in order to not get sick at school you shouldn’t use those…but I mean, everyone else does, so maybe it is time to give that a try. It does seem safer than a drinking fountain since the water can drip downward instead of festering in a puddle of germs in the spout…we’ll see if I get to the point of needing it before I go home.

LOL: How to run out of water by 1:00…Realize that you don’t drink water from the water dispensers outside the bathrooms and everyone else does…decide now that you’ve realized it that maybe the radio people are wrong and you should do it. Also realize that you’re not sure you’ve even used a drinking fountain for its intended purpose since high school because the radio telling me not to came shortly after the OCD going away and there were only like two months in between so it probably never happened, and the unknown is a little scary. Decide you absolutely must do this no matter what today. Finish two water bottles and can of Sprite that were supposed to last all day. Yeah, there are extra water bottles in the student org room that are up for grabs, but I tried one of those on Tuesday when I ran out of water, but they taste like plastic. Yuck. No wonder they were up for grabs.

Sometimes life is frustrating. Particularly the times when I have been sitting in front of the exact same article trying to read it for the past 1 hour and 50 minutes and have read the first sentence. I am slow, but not that slow. The problem is, inside my head I am deciding if one braid or two is more professional for my rotation next October…and I am fantasizing about sleeping in my car…and I am thinking about grocery shopping and cookie making and Qdoba…I think I may have gotten less done in the 9 days of spring break than I usually get done in the 2 days of weekend. It is going to be okay though…and besides, it isn’t really fair to say I didn’t get things done when I started off spring break conquering the big fear that had been eating away at me for a while, and then conquered the water dispenser later. Plus it discounts the final hour or so I spent in the student org room finishing up consolidating and organizing all of Cru’s stuff…oh my…we now have 4 fewer boxes, and the boxes we have are at least mostly organized. We have way more stuff than we need.

I don’t want to complain, because I am blessed with the ability to pick up on certain things relatively quickly without a learning disability getting in my way, but it is frustrating when I know I could be doing so much better. There is no reason that my homework should be completed early yet not turned in. There is no reason to not bubble in the answers that I circled on my exam. I play it off as lazy or careless, but the reality is that I am trying really hard, but sometimes the connections just don’t get made. Seeing as how I even went through the exam to double check my answers, I know that I wasn’t being careless. It doesn’t take that long to bubble in an answer and I care about my grades, so there isn’t a good reason to leave it blank. I really have no good explanation for how these things happen beyond that the length of time required to pay attention to make it happen sometimes just doesn’t happen. It is frustrating, but it is the way I am…and why I write a lot of stuff down and try to remember to reference my notes when possible. Another reason that being off campus will be good: very few if any scantron exams in my life. I know I shouldn’t wish my life away, but I just want the pharmacy school chapter of my life to be over.

Sometimes things don’t go the way I planned. I was thrilled to be greeting at church and accidentally ended up there super early because I was so excited, because greeting is one of my happy places. Give me something of value to do, and I will be happy. Also, like the song “Sunday” says, “It’s Easter weekend come on come on!…looking forward to community…We so excited. We know Jesus is alive today!”…and then, long story short, I don’t even remember what happened but anxiety was rushing in and all I could do was ride it out, because I don’t think a greeter should leave in the middle of the service. When the service ended my nametag was off and I was out the door. I went to my car, changed back to my t-shirt, hugged my knees into my body, and threw food in my mouth. It is frustrating, because I know what made me vulnerable: staying up late, and deciding that I was going to wait to eat until after church combined with disappointment and stress. I know from the blog I used to read that if you have a history of anxiety that as your blood sugar drops if you haven’t eaten in a while that can trigger a panic attack. Since I usually eat dinner around 3:30 or 4 on Saturdays, and was using up energy sorting stuff for an hour before going to church, and this started around 5:40ish I guess this is a reminder that I am human and need to eat on a regular basis. Oops.

The evening didn’t end negatively though! I went to Schnucks and got all the things on my list except semi-sweet chocolate chips (because I decided it wasn’t worth it since the milk chocolate ones were on sale and the semi-sweet weren’t and semi-sweet are so much more yummy). Also, even though it meant waiting in line longer, I was thrilled that Schnucks was busy so that I could bag my own groceries!! Yay!! Jesus died so that I could experience true Joy…by getting to bag my own groceries at the store…it’s the little things.

20160326_202319This is what really hoping pinterest didn’t steer me wrong on delicious cookie recipes looks like (Don’t worry, I washed my hands in between touching my phone and touching anything at all food related–when I prepare food for myself I am not overly careful anymore, but it probably does still reach OCD levels when I am making food for other people)…pumpkin cookies waiting to go in the oven, and banana cookies in the bowl waiting for a clean cookie sheet. Just in case I also bought an itty bitty container of creamy peanut butter and eggs to be able to make some peanut butter cookies that I know are delicious. The cookies are for the event I am doing Wednesday on invisible pain. Plan A was making bean bags, but I couldn’t find a set of directions on making bean bags that were simple enough for me to follow, much less teach, plus that would require going to the land of far far away (AKA Target or Walmart or somewhere else besides Schnucks) to get supplies. Plan B was making ice cream, but considering that the ice machine and the rooms I have access to with video projection equipment are in different buildings, and I have never successfully made any ice cream in a bag recipes on my own, that didn’t seem like a good way to set myself up for success…enter cookies…because pinterest found me a few recipes that looked good and it would give me an excuse to try them. By the way, pumpkin puree is not good all by itself. There were a couple spoonfuls left in the bottom of the can when I was done measuring how much I needed, so I figured I like pumpkin things so I’d just eat it…umm, yeah, pumpkin bread is delicious but pumpkin puree is not. I am super proud of myself, because I have not snuck any cookies yet, and if I can get through taking them out of the oven and putting them in a box without sneaking any then I know for sure I can wait until the event starts to start eating them!

I’m sick of feeling like a failure. Is this the price for good behavior?

(Good Behavior–Plumb)

Sometimes my texts go off topic…and they are hilarious and then I delete them prior to sending because I am not stupid…Like a text that started out deciding if I was going to an event then wandered into if I died at least I’d die super happy and wouldn’t have to take any more tests or even go back to school, before ending in sort of back on track thinking about sleeping in my car overnight. Me and my car are friends, and I do know someone who used to keep a sleeping bag in her car for the sake of sleeping…but considering I am on my last ounce of water and have no sleeping supplies with me whatsoever or even any clothes besides the ones on my body, that is probably a dumb idea. I almost had a really awesome social experience planned for this evening…if someone could just get on creating a transport device that doesn’t require consciousness it would have been perfect! Instead I am googling random things trying to find adequate social connection online. An airplane almost crashed but didn’t in 2010 because the wing like practically exploded but the pilot pretended he was flying his beginner airplane. Falling asleep and/or sightseeing things behind me while driving forward, however, may not have such a wonderful outcome…and there is a definite limit to how long I can control myself to stay safe…and that limit would not allow me to drive 40 minutes at 9:30pm.

Spring break has been good though despite being a little bit separated from people. I kicked it off starting to wear my glasses again. That was a huge success that helped me break free of the tightening spiraling cycle in which I had been stuck. In February school got excessively difficult…which led to struggles in academia due to focus being elsewhere…which led to stress that made me more raw and vulnerable to school issues…which made grades get worse…I was feeling more and more trapped and wasn’t going to be able to hold on much longer. Things aren’t perfect now, but at least I do not have the very real, very in my face, reminder every day that things aren’t okay. It is better. (Yes, school and academics to me are different things…that confuses people…but once my brain decides on things if it isn’t hurting anything it probably isn’t worth changing).

I got to talk to one of my friends on Monday. It is so sweet any time I get friend time. This person is so wonderful. So sweet, so caring, and so positive. The positivity in particular is something I really admire because it is real, not artificial, dismissive, gooey, or condescending. It is easy to be dismissively positive and make the other person feel wrong and bad for having negative emotions about difficulties in life. It is easy to put on blinders and deny the pain that someone else experiences because of one positive thing they also experience. It is not easy to listen, really listen, and stay positive.

I have spent many hours cleaning…which isn’t fun, but gives me a chance to listen to audiobooks with full attention. So…I still adore The Healing Path (Dan B. Allender), I thought “What if your blessings come through raindrops” (Laura Story) was kinda dumb and disappointing since the song was so good. I also listened to Wounded Heart (Dan B. Allender) and it is like 10 hours and 13 minutes long, which I feel is a little excessive so it was on 1.5 speed to make it go a little faster. It is okay, but the beginning is a bit boring…it is written or people interested in sexual abuse and I’m not though, so that might explain why I wasn’t a fan of the beginning. The middle is really good though.

I have been realizing that online mental health related people feel safe to me despite the same types of people feeling scary and requiring assimilation in real life. I think the difference is that online the people are less real, and I can choose to turn them off whenever I would like. I came to this conclusion because someone was talking about a conference where Dan Allender from the books I was listening to would be talking. At first, the idea sounded awesome, and even putting aside the fact that conferences are very much not for me, a few minutes later, seeing the person in real life was scary proposition. Not going to happen. I think perhaps if I ever were in the right place at the right time a Kati Morton meet up might still be fun—because she is more of a friend than a mental health professional from my perspective, but others are still scary. I know that this fear of mental health professionals in not an adaptive protective mechanism, but for now it is where I am living.

Some really good points made in Wounded Heart:

~She assumed she must be wrong if anyone disagreed with her, despite how sure she was of her stance.

~Our abuse is lesser to Christ’s on the cross.

~We tend to have deep reluctance to say “I have been abused,” to admit that there was damage. It means we have to recognize the pain we have experienced.

~We often believe it is only abuse if it happens to someone else. We believe that it would have had to have been much worse to be abuse to us, or that we don’t deserve to feel bad about it, when if it had happened to anyone else we would recognize the horror the person had experienced.

Cleaning means realizing that I have no real need for 75 connect cards sorted by color and size. Considering I have maybe used two in the entire five years I’ve been at my church, and most weeks bring one home, I don’t think I really need to stockpile them…

Speaking of church, I have no idea how to go about finding a new one. At home, it was always just a matter of wherever my parents went, I too went. At school, everyone else goes to this church so I went too. I am going to South Dakota for a rotation next year. It isn’t in the area with which I am familiar, so I am looking for a church. I used google to search…I was hoping for a native church to visit while I was there, but everything I found seemed to be very much a white church…which isn’t bad, I mean, I am off-white with brown polka-dots, but just wasn’t what I was hoping for. I also have no idea what I was looking for…so when I found one that said it had “inspirational” worship and that you could bring your triple pump whipped cream drink that you could save your money getting a drink for free there probably with donuts, I decided that was the church for me. Music, community, and nursery are what I come to church for, and the way into my heart is often through my stomach, so this church won me on both accounts. (Although perhaps when I get there someone else will tell me about a church to which everyone else goes and I will too).

As much as I hate losing an hour with daylight givings, I have to admit that if I have to do daylight savings in the fall then daylight givings in the spring is good. Now I wake up in the morning and actually feel like I am fully alive. That doesn’t mean I actually get up, because facing the day sometimes still feels overwhelming, but before I gave up an hour, I woke up way too early but by the time the alarm went off I was almost half back to sleep again…they say that going to bed too tired makes you sleep less well, and I think it is true…the difficulty of staying up an extra hour every single night meant I was constantly mildly sleep deprived and therefore constantly not getting the sleep I needed…I don’t know how I never figured this out before now, but now that I have, it makes me hate all this stupid time change even more, because I know I am going to go through it all again next fall.

Sometimes life is frustrating. I pretend I agree with the idea that self-care can prevent emotional falls, but in reality, I think my experience shows that for the most part, self-care is palliative, not preventive. I pretty much lazed around all week and that did absolutely nothing in preparing me for the huge let down of exam grade and key release. It is extremely frustrating that, as seems to always happen, they accepted blatantly wrong answers on questions that I got right through hours of studying because a lot of people didn’t bother and got them wrong, yet my answers on other questions that were nearly correct but not perfect on other questions weren’t accepted…and my grade in that class was already in the danger zone. I know life isn’t fair and the sooner I realize it the happier I’ll be. I know that I miss the fair every year because my stupid school starts ridiculously early in the fall…but I also know that not being fair doesn’t take away the frustration of having spent innumerable hours agonizing over notes when I could have gotten the same grade by going out and partying. It doesn’t take away the sting of knowing there is another seemingly objective item inviting people to reject me. I know that grades are fiction, but I also know that grades are what the real world uses to judge young people’s character. It isn’t necessarily right, but it is the way our world operates. If your grades are lousy then you better hope someone is feeling generous and wants to look past that and offer you a spot anyway.

I would get a lot more done over spring break if I could focus on one thing for more than five minutes at a time…I am kinda mad at myself that I wasted like all of break because I was busy doing I don’t even know what ’cause mostly I sat in front of my computer supposedly studying, but actually not…oops…

You were bruised, yeah you took great pains for me to breathe now

(King of Failures–Remedy Drive)

Church last night was about suffering and about loving your enemies and not suffering in silence. I almost cried, because loving your enemies is hard y’all. What if you are so weary, so bone-achingly tired of loving your enemies. What if your enemy keeps making use of your vulnerability and makes love increasingly difficult each day. What if you are suffocating and feel like you will drown if you have to keep loving much longer. What if the silence is so deafening and so painful and you have done everything in your power but your voice and your pain have been muted. What if you wake up each morning to another day you’re not sure if you can face, another day where you know you’ll be torn down again and again and have to bear it with a smile on your face. What if the forbidden fruit of community feels like it has been just out of reach for so long and you’ll never get to touch that freedom for which your soul yearns. What if you are close to ready to give up and walk away from your dreams because it hurts too much and you are being crushed underneath the weight of your unshareable burden.

There is something I have skirted around the edges of for a long time…I don’t want to write hurtful things about anyone, so to process this I am going to keep the emotional components the same and tell a different story.

This is Emily. Emily is a special needs third-grader who communicates using a communication app on her tablet. Emily uses a one-to-one aide to allow her to be mainstreamed all day. Last year Emily was only mainstreamed 90% of the time and the other 10% of the time she was pulled out in a special class with Mrs. Kaycee. Mrs. Kaycee has been stressed out at home and for the entirety of their shared time at this elementary school, Mrs. Kaycee has been doing whatever she could to make Emily’s life harder but make it look from the outside as if she were an angel helping Emily more than anyone else ever could. Emily is such a sweet girl, and sees Mrs. Kaycee’s pain and wants to make her feel better and really believes that if she makes Mrs. Kaycee feel better that life will get better for both of them. Mrs. Kaycee sees her kindness as vulnerability and continues to seek out ways to make Emily feel hurt. Last year, Mrs. Kaycee repeatedly broke Emily’s tablet, rendering her almost completely unable to communicate. Finally, Emily realizes she cannot handle this on her own and asks her aide for help. Her aide wants to protect her. Emily could sense a possibility of change at school and worried that Mrs. Kaycee would start teaching third grade and that she’d be placed in that class, because she was slated to be in the class with the new teacher. Emily communicated with her aide who agreed to talk to Mrs. Kaycee. Mrs. Kaycee claimed that she was going to be teaching at the middle school across the street next year. The aide relayed this to Emily, and Emily was so excited and proud to move up to third grade without this person in her life. Everything looked pretty hopeful. That is, everything looked hopeful until the first day of school. Emily walked into school and saw Mrs. Kaycee. “That’s weird” she thought, “but maybe she just needs to grab something she forgot in moving her belonging from her office or she had a meeting and is on her way back across the street.” Always the optimist, Emily clutched her tablet tighter and closer to her body and was determined not to let that ruin her day. As Emily walked to class, Mrs. Kaycee seemed to be getting closer and closer as if she were following Emily. Emily slid into her seat next to her aide a few minutes before the bell, and wondered where her teacher might be. Then the bell sounded, the class recited the pledge, and Mrs. Kaycee began class. Emily was trapped in the cycle again. If she left now, it would show she wasn’t really ready for mainstreamed third grade, but to stay was to have her voice taken away day in and day out and to be pushed to her limits every single day. Emily felt the sting of betrayal yet again. Emily became so strong on the outside, yet on the inside she was becoming merely little more than the shell of the positive, bubbly, friend to everyone that had previously permeated her being.

Just a side note that this is the story that came into my head to process my thoughts, but I really hate the term “special needs.” Doesn’t everyone have special needs? I would argue that my needs are not identical to yours, nor are yours identical to the person who sits at the desk next to you each day. Apparently, my needs aren’t special, because I don’t have a diagnosis that keeps me from functioning independently in the classroom without official accommodations.

I read somewhere that sometimes love feels like loss and looks like surrender…and it is true. But God has big plans for his children, so he calls us to do big things. Loving our enemies doesn’t feel right; in fact, it would feel a lot better sometimes to get revenge, give people a little taste of their own medicine, yet we do it anyway, because while we were yet sinners, while we were hurting the very one who created us, Christ sent his son to die for our sins, to pay the ultimate sacrifice to forgive us of the wrongs we were committing against him…

This is why I was close to tears in church. I was on the emotional edge in addition to being hangry and tired and just generally stressed out about a variety of things. The arms above my head success moment of the early morning had been replaced by a long day of unproductive studying that a bit of friend time hadn’t fully mitigated, and I was just ready to get home, eat, mop the floor, take the clean clothes out of the dryer, and go to bed. And I messed up. I am not proud of myself, but I am in awe of God’s goodness.

I start pulling into a spot and this lady starts yelling at me, so I stop, because I am lousy at parking and wasn’t paying that much attention so maybe there is something behind me I am about to hit. She tells me that I can’t park there because her friend is going to park there. There is no sign of any other cars on the road in the area (and I am lousy at parking and this was a reasonably sized spot) so I politely tell her that I am parking there and her friend can find another spot. She doesn’t like that and stands behind my car so that I can’t park. I politely ask her to move and she doesn’t despite someone else coming who watched this happen also telling her to move. I am immature and sit there for a few more seconds before giving up and praying I can find somewhere else to park. As I am pulling away she screams that I should have done that in the first place. That is the last straw, and I snap and yell back at her that she is very rude. Completely inappropriate, and certainly not a very Christ-like way to act.

I am ashamed of my behavior, both because I immediately know that was not a loving comment, and because I realize I did almost the exact same thing I hardcore judged someone else for doing a couple years ago. I may have done it with a feisty grandma-like lady whereas the person I judged did it to a gang member, but either way, a parking spot is not worth fighting over. I definitely should not be running my mouth over a piece of pavement. The audience notwithstanding, it was wrong and stupid.

I did find another spot. It was smaller. I struggled, but I parked there…and I was afraid to walk past the house the person was in front of, so I sat in my car and prayed both for protection and forgiveness. I heard screaming, but couldn’t make out the words. The woman starts banging on my window. I pretend to be on the phone and I don’t know if she sees through this guise or just doesn’t care, but she keeps banging. I am terrified, but not knowing what else to do at this point and really thinking about asset management, I roll it down just a little, valuing my car over my life…and she starts apologizing.

It was all I could do to not start crying while she was talking. You guys, I should have been apologizing to her for losing my temper and not taming my tongue, but she apologized to me. The spot I wanted remains empty, but as soon as I was out of sight I started crying…not angry tears, not frustrated tears, but tears of if that isn’t showing grace and loving your neighbor I don’t know what is. That woman looked past my wrong to apologize for hers, and I have to believe that God placed that woman in my path not just to humble me, but as a reminder to keep holding on. As a reminder that love doesn’t have to be easy, yet it covers a multitude of sins. Do I need to be more careful not to run my mouth? Indeed I do, but God is a gracious God, and gives me the strength I need to live for him, unending forgiveness for my sins, and deep abiding grace that lets my heart be filled with the joy of salvation.

I wouldn’t trade your love for all the candy in this great big world

(Me—Plumb)

 

Ironically I actually had a conversation yesterday with a teacher about how isolation hurts so much more than almost anything else that happens in life…and then today my stupid ID wouldn’t work to let me study where I wanted, which equates to a sense of isolation, since it separates me from all my friends and everything else that I want. Although I was thinking about it overnight, and I don’t agree anymore that nothing is the worst thing to say to someone…Nothing is worse than an unintentional wrong thing, but the worst thing is actually to tell someone that they aren’t grieving. (At least I sure hope that wouldn’t be an accidental wrong thing…I have a hard time believing that telling someone they aren’t grieving when they clearly have something hard going on could ever be an accident). This makes me sad but also makes me laugh a little remembering a particular day I am not going to write about.

 

On the positive side, on a whim a week-ish ago I went looking for where the microwave in the other studying building on campus got moved to, so I still have a way to eat…which is good, because I like eating. Girl would be very crabby if she had to wait to get to church to eat lunch.

 

A few days ago an email went out that we have to sign that we agree with who is joining our fraternity (the one whose whole attraction factor is that you can go greek without having as many mandatory meetings to attend…so I did pretty much as a resume booster, because it is the most stupid and pointless group ever). Hahahahaha. You tell me I am required to sign that I agree with who is going to join our fraternity, and if I don’t agree I have to write a letter stating my preferences, and you know what, you could be telling me that Hitler was joining and I’d still say go for it…it doesn’t really change anything for me if someone else is joining. Not going to lie…I didn’t necessarily read the list before I signed my name to say I agreed. Sometimes I don’t care if my opinion is heard…besides, I am fairly certain there is only one more mandatory meeting left, so it isn’t like I actually have to be in the same room with this group more than one more time (and you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t show up for the mandatory meetings anyway…and I don’t blame them, because I’d rather go stick my head in a pot of boiling water than go to the meetings. So yeah, I do have the best friends that money can buy, and you know what, money doesn’t buy very good friends…the biggest problem is probably that leadership in the group is a popularity contest just like student council and when you have stuck up people who have no leadership skills running a group it isn’t going to go very well. (Side note that not the entirety of the leadership is stuck up, but the “president” is, and that sets the tone for the rest of the leadership).

 

I decided that living in an apartment is something that I am going to stop doing ASAP…Apparently once you tell them that you are officially planning on moving out, you are required to keep your apartment completely clean and presentable at all times and if they find out you didn’t then there is a significant fine. I have so many problems with this. First, I am a college student and I have a lot more important things to worry about than whether there is a stray shirt of the floor next to the washer or if the pile of books is starting to look like the leaning tower of Pisa. To me, it is my apartment and if I am stressed out and don’t want to deal with laundry and dishes until after an exam then I should be able to do that (assuming that there is not a science experiment brewing). Second, how in the world do I work on moving out while keeping my apartment presentable. Moving out is a huge process that usually spans over the course of a few weeks when I am *only* going home for break, so you can imagine that it is going to be an even bigger project when leaving for good…especially since I am trying to sell my dresser so once that is gone it will be pretty limited where I can store my stuff. I spent a significant portion of yesterday cleaning…and then of course getting ready in the morning takes twice as long when the bed has to be made and the pajamas neatly folded and…and…and…etc Not so bad when I have some extra time, but the majority of the time I do not have extra time.

 

On the positive side, now that they might be showing my apartment to prospective renters, perhaps they will finally fix the ceiling I have been complaining about since I moved in, and fix the broken burner I have been complaining about since November…

 

On the note of cleaning…I determined that if things were still halfway (or fully) shrink-wrapped then I probably didn’t need them…yep…which resulted in a trip to the dumpsters in the dark and rain…which was frustrating because the fire escape was slippery and also apparently they said they changed the codes on the gates, but what they didn’t say was that they only changed it on some of them, so I was frustratedly trying to release myself to go back to my apartment and the stupid code wasn’t working…I mean, it doesn’t work 70% of the time with the correct code anyway, but eventually I tried the old code and got to go home.

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Sitting on top of the World

(I have no idea who the song is by…but I think it is called “get up”)

So yeah, God has a great way of creating a plan B (or whatever letter of the alphabet we end up on…sometimes it isn’t what I wanted/expected, but other times it is SO much better than my plan…

Like last night. I had this idea that there was someone I wanted to talk to so I was going to hang out in the auditorium and pray this person was there before someone else I was afraid might be there as well. The plan was have a short conversation and hopefully get outta there without seeing person number two…the chances of this working the way it worked in my head were at about 50-50…My plan B was so insane and intricate that there is no point writing about it, because there was only a marginal chance it would even work.

God had a wonderful Plan C. I went to the auditorium and there were already people there…one of whom being the person to whom I wanted to talk! Score! The people in the room were already talking, however, and re-conquering anxiety isn’t on my to-do list until today and tomorrow…so the whole talk thing didn’t happen, but my written communication skills and the verbal skills I had left that late in the day let me communicate briefly…and that worked super well because then I was out of the entire building long before there person number two ever would have been there…

Then one of my friends wanted to hang out. The plan was to talk but she needed dinner so we went out for her to eat and me to keep her company…The agreement was also that I would go but only if I could be back no later than 8:45 and preferably 8:30 because I didn’t want another insanely late night. That didn’t happen. Neither of us can understand how in a fast food restaurant with a couple other customers it can take 45 minutes just to get food…not to mention the wait to order. So, umm, yeah, my friend felt bad and rushed as fast as she could, but we didn’t get back to school until after 9:30, which means it was almost 10 by the time I got home…but on the positive side, distress tolerance is going to be super helpful for my weekend plans. I don’t know what it was about the restaurant, for that matter, I can’t usually place a finger on what it is about a particular object or person that makes it seem contaminated versus safe, but the restaurant felt dirty…and, like you would probably expect at a fast food place, the people there were using things like ketchup and stuff that make me cringe…and I didn’t want to give my friend more reasons to feel bad so I just pretended I was totally fine. And as a result, I am now sitting on top of the world, because if I can spend over an hour like that when I am exhausted and therefore definitely not functioning at full capacity, then I know I can handle so much more than that! Although, you know you need to get more sleep when your alarm goes off for 15 minutes before you recognize that it is going off instead of just listening to it.

So yeah…God is super awesome…

And if you want to figure out for me what the song is, here are some more lyrics:

“Reject rejection and refuse to fear, believe the truth about you. Steal the moment ’cause it’s very clear that you have got some livin’ to do. Impossible you say. Impossible today. Maybe when, maybe when, maybe when I’m old and grey, ’cause impossibility is only possibility waiting for someone like you to believe. Get up. Get in the game. It’s get up. Get in the game. It’s get up. Get in the game. It’s time to play.”

Not a Doubt Check it Out Better Believe that God Rocks

(God Rocks Theme)

But it is hard to believe that God Rocks when I just finished an exam that I know I didn’t do well on in a class I really needed to pull up my grade in. Even though on the outside I claim that it is fine because D’s get degrees and because I know exactly what my problem is and it is definitely not intelligence or effort, on the inside it really bothers me. Right now is not a good time for me to talk about that though, so we’ll move on to a random assortment of all the things my brain wants to write about after telling myself no more blogging until after the exam.

Yesterday for the first time, I got lost getting from the other school I have a pointless class at back to my actual school…I figured it was no big deal that I had no clue where I was because I still was oriented enough at that point to know what general direction I needed to go to get back to school and assumed that eventually I would end up somewhere I recognized…yeah, unfortunately the random road I chose to turn on actually very quickly became an entrance ramp to the freeway…exactly what I didn’t need when I just wanted to get back to school to study and was frustrated about even having to go to the other class…On the positive side, I forced my way over to the exit lane for the very next exit and ended up somewhere I could figure out getting back to school from…I was frustrated, but Nutella makes everything better.

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This week I stopped hiding how much it hurts to see this one thing…sometimes the energy required to hide my reaction just isn’t worth it…it’s not like it is a surprise that certain things will upset me…

Sometimes you have to laugh about the little things so you don’t cry about the big things. A few days ago I literally LOL’ed, because apparently the homepage of my blog came up for someone’s google search of “after suicide picture.” I’m not really sure what that person might have been looking for, but I am fairly certain that my blog wasn’t it…

I have a very loose definition of “emergency.” See, there is at least 2oz of skittles in my car at all times for emergency use only—that is, not to be used just ’cause I want it…However, with no defined criteria for what constitutes an emergency, the utilization review would be a bit interesting to interpret…So, last week when I was quite obviously crashing, struggling to breathe because I was crying so hard, and attempting to drive home, barely able to see, that apparently did not constitute an emergency. Not having any candy whatsoever on Saturday counted as an emergency because it would have been too easy to fall back in if anything happened. Tuesday? Well, I am not exactly sure what the emergency was besides I thought there was free cake and sunscreen in the res hall and there wasn’t…which was kind of a problem that I defined that as an emergency, because inside my head I was done for the day at 4:20 and could go home if I was struggling…but outside my head, I actually am not done until 8:30, and remembering what was going on the week of the last T4 exam was pushing me into the danger zone where I really actually might need the bag of skittles that was inhaled three hours ago…so we were down to just prayer that I’d make it…spoiler alert: I did.

I created a new pinterest board: The Healing Path…I am kind of biased, because everything about it is all mine (Except the information from the book obviously), but I think it is pretty awesome…

So yeah, last weekend I decided I was tired of cleaning chocolate off of my sheets so I needed a new place to study besides my bed (or the floor, because my knees get sore too fast on the floor)…it is no good when you notice what you think might be a new chocolate crumb rubbed into the sheet and attempt to lick it off only to discover that it is actually smeared blood from either my fingers or my face where I picked away too much skin that will have to wait another week for laundry day…priorities…I have them…see, chocolate smells weird at night when I’m sleeping, but blood doesn’t…

So I started out sitting in my chair the way it is intended to be used…but being on wheels was super distracting for actual studying…so I took the ball off of the base, put a beach towel on the floor, and used my big red ball to support my weight in frog position…besides not being able to have so much paper at eye level or spread out within reach around me, it is a really great way to study…it is a good thing that I don’t have a blue ball, because anatomy has made the phrase “big blue ball” sound really dirty…let’s just say there is a giant reproductive model that is blue that everyone loves…and refers to as the big blue ball…

I took a picture, but I have no idea where I put it…

Maybe I’m like the girl shrek who turned green when she got married…’cause I might be half frog…

Sometimes my mouth is like “hey would you like me to stay” when my brain is screaming “please give me an excuse not to go back to school today.” So even if my grades are lousy, I am not spending extra time here to remediate, because I am reaching that point where every single day is a conscious choice about whether it is really worth it to keep going…even though someone did say I should set up an advising appointment to discuss class registration…I sent an email back that I wasn’t planning on registering unless I failed something and would set up an appointment when that happened…

As much as I hate daylight savings and givings, it is super awesome that bedtime comes an hour earlier, because I feel so much more alive…on the negative side, having a boatload of energy and no good way to use it up is not so awesome for my ability to study…and bringing my ball to school is not an everyday thing…

A word to the wise: check that your cup is empty before pouring in milk…’cause vanilla milk + the sprite already in your cup = no Bueno…not that I accidentally did that or anything…

…somewhat surprisingly, somehow Thursday of last week did not repeat itself at all this week! I was close to crashing on Wednesday, but I didn’t!! (Well, crashing emotionally that is, I was obviously crashing physically, because my lap was vibrating the entire drive home and it wasn’t until I got out of the car that I realized that my alarm was going off…my alarm was not *just* vibrating…I’m not going to re-hash last week since that is what I wrote about last week and I don’t think I need/want extra processing now, but I am so happy to not have experienced it again despite the obvious stressor of another therapeutics exam…My guess would be that it has something to do with taking (in my words) far too many micro-breaks and discovering bouncing on my ball instead of staring at the wall when the energy overflows at my apartment, but either way, not having breakdown or flare at all is wonderful, especially since I also even attempted exposure on Monday (I say attempted, because I didn’t do it the way that was in my head that was a lot more intense, because I wanted to protect myself from crashing in a setting in which it would be hard to escape and in general from crashing again prior to said therapeutics exam…but I probably shouldn’t say attempted, because I actually did it. I worked hard on that, and every little bit counts.

Plus, it was marginally successful since I wore my glasses in EBM on Tuesday and didn’t just let them fall off my face when they started sliding…

…And I have a list of like fifty-billionty teachers I should have emailed over the course of the last week (slight exaggeration) that I didn’t because I felt too busy to put words together, and so I should at least start that with the minutes I have left prior to my next class…

Don’t Touch the Positive with the Negative End

(Overthinking–Relient K)

So I just filled out a really dumb survey…Okay, the survey wasn’t dumb, it is an inanimate object so it really has no intelligence dumb or otherwise…and the idea behind the survey was valid…but it is kind of pointless to give me the illusion of choice when

  1. you don’t give me any indication where these places might be. Your descriptions aren’t very descriptive…like if I renamed all the cities and was like hey, would you rather drive to cloudtown or monkeyville? You have no idea where these places are, so how are you supposed to decide where you’d rather drive? Distances from school pretty please? Even putting down “Walgreens” isn’t very helpful because you could mean the one that is about a mile away or you could mean one fifty miles away…addresses people, let’s use them, or at least a distance from school after each option…’cause I don’t really care the name of the place you put me. I care how far out of my way you are dragging me to do something completely irrelevant and pointless to my studies.
  2. I already know that these “opinion” surveys are really only to give us an illusion of control…case in point: one year I said I wanted to do option A in the morning. My friend said she wanted to do option B in the afternoon. Guess who got option A in the morning: my friend. Guess who got option B in the afternoon: me. Guess what they expected all the people they assigned off campus who indicated they didn’t have cars to do: walk up to 10 miles in 90 degree heat in dress clothes (thank God someone who HAD a car expressed concerned so that the complaints stopped being brushed off and they actually provided rides, because guess who is crabby when it is hot outside: me).

20160313_070214On the positive side, there are a lot worse things I could be doing in church besides doodling all over my bulletin…I really was trying to pay attention (see the bottom right corner where there actually are notes)…but sometimes I have to choose my battles.

 

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Don’t mind the red and black boxes…those are protecting location and identity cues…

Another positive: I finally found a place in the new building that feels like school…the only problem with this location is that there are zero outlets…which is kind of a major problem…well, that and that it is super far away from civilization (AKA the parking garage and the rest of campus)…

 

There’s a chemical in your brain it’s pouring sunshine and rage

(Manic—Plumb)

 

I’m not sure about the physiologic accuracy of this lyric…I mean, lack of serotonin and norepinephrine is suspected to be an underlying cause of ADHD and depression, so you could link the depression to rage and the ADHD to sunshine…but that is kind of simplistic…and not at all what I think the song is trying to express…in any case…it’s crazy how a single situation can change so dramatically with the introduction of tiny new variables…

 

Back to the song, it is a Christian song, but it also not totally theologically sound in my opinion. “I won’t forgive again because she takes so often.” Umm I’m pretty sure that 70×7 wasn’t intended to mean that you got to stop forgiving when you hit 490…in fact, the song goes “70 times 7, don’t use a calculator to figure it out, forgive as God has forgiven you, that’s what it’s all about.” (Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t necessarily get my theology from children’s songs, but I’m pretty sure the forgiveness isn’t something where you can meet a quota and then stop.

 

Also, this blog post made me cry a few days ago. There are people in the world who make bad choices, but there are also SO many good people. Sometimes God orchestrates some pretty awesome people to work together to make big things happen. http://themighty.com/2016/03/to-the-strangers-in-whole-foods-who-surrounded-me-after-news-of-my-fathers-suicide/

 

Speaking of bad choices, I almost made one today…but then, like usually pops into my head, I remembered the book “Song Lee and the I Hate You Notes.” I honestly have no clue what that book is about, but the title has stuck with me a lot longer than the actual content of the book. I do remember that in the book, Song Lee got an I hate you note (I don’t remember whether it was intentional, a joke, or intended for someone else) and I was very sad for her. I don’t want to make anyone feel like that…so it isn’t okay to post online that I think someone stinks (not in the sense of smelling bad, necessarily, but in the sense of personality)…although sometimes smell makes me really want to punch someone in the face even though I would never do that, because I am no longer nearly as picky as I used to be, but there are still a lot of food that not only will I not eat, but I can’t stand how they smell…including ketchup, wine, salad dressing, cooked fish, barbecue sauce, greek yogurt, funyuns, and beer…I’ll tolerate it, but it will drive me insane…

 

But…just a PSA…I have a personal bubble that I like to be respected…My getting up to go to the bathroom is not an invitation for you to stand by my stuff. As far as I could tell nothing was taken, but there was absolutely no reason to stand there, and you’re not going to get any juicy gossip because I mostly leave only notes out, and not things like my journal or my facebook, so it isn’t going to be that exciting unless you are thrilled by antibiotic resistance or whatnot…When I sit back down it is certainly not an invitation to come on back. It is my opinion that if someone would like to use a particular space that my stuff and/or my body has already claimed then that person owes me the dignity of a smile or a hi or some other form of acknowledgement…obviously an exception would be if I am quite obviously in the zone and won’t notice the difference anyway, but if you are someone who doesn’t think I should receive that level of respect then you should probably not be invading my space…especially when there is absolutely no reason to do so and it actually is seemingly an inconvenience to you to be there…IDK about you, but I like to be respected.

 

Discussion was awesome today for at least part of it because there was pizza…who wouldn’t be thrilled about being in class when there is pizza? However, while it was okay to eventually accept the fact that I forgot to turn in an assignment last week, that acceptance quickly disappeared when I found out the teacher was still deciding whether to enforce the syllabus and give me a zero or how to otherwise penalize me. I am so thankful that this teacher was so much more compassionate than my teacher last semester who told me I wasn’t going to be a good pharmacist because I cared about my grade…it was also completely false when the teacher last semester said a particular assignment I got a zero on (because I got 7 wrong out of 50…) wouldn’t impact my grade, because at the end of the semester I was like 3 points away from the grade I wanted in the class…so clearly if I had even gotten three points on the assignment it would have impacted my grade, and dramatically impacted my self-esteem.

 

I thought about drowning my sorrow today in half a pizza, but I didn’t know if by the time I picked up the pizza and found an okay place to set it down if I would have enough time left on the ticking time bomb of my brain to get somewhere alone before I lost control of my emotions…but I kinda wish I had taken some, because now I am hungry…and I need to run, because I just looked at the clock and have class in 5 minutes!!