Category Archives: Suicide

This thing is gonna bend and shake you

(This thing is not gonna break you – Christa Wells)

 

It is still so hard. Today (Thursday) I was holding back tears at work. Saturday is the one year anniversary of the first match day when I didn’t match. It hurts so much. I pray for God to take me home, but he keeps saying no and I feel frustrated and overwhelmed and trapped. The pharmacy match day is Tuesday. The student sitting next to me kept talking about the awesome residency she plans to match with. She asked me where I did residency. I know she meant to make conversation, but it was another wound in my hurting heart. The physician match day is tomorrow. There are lots of information out about celebrating that. I don’t want to celebrate match day. I am grieving match day. It hurts too much. When can I go home to heaven? Why does this have to be so hard?

 

I want to believe the lyrics of this song that this thing is not gonna break me, but I feel so broken and I feel like I’ll never be able to put the pieces back together. It is too hard. I just want to not hurt anymore.

 

I know I am doing so much better than I was – still eating, at least able to hold back tears…but it is still so hard. It still is so intensely painful. And sleep is kind of hit or miss, but I’m at least getting some sleep some nights. But I am so exhausted of just surviving. I want more. It hurts too much. I just want this to end. How long do I have to keep going through this? Why won’t God take it away? I want a way out. Where is my white flag? Why can’t I just quit? I’ve wiped the tears from my face too many times. Does this ever end? Can my fractured heart ever be healed?

 

I’ve been looking up suicide rates following match day. I haven’t found any statistics. What I have found is that medical student suicides are most often quickly swept under the rug and hidden or disguised – labeled as accidental overdose when it was clearly intentional for example, or natural causes or unknown cause of death when wrists were slit or it was a self-hanging or whatever. I have also found that not only is the attempt rate higher in physicians or medical students, but the success rate is also very very significantly higher. I have found nothing on pharmacy students. I do know, however, that stress and anxiety rates are higher in medical students than in the general population and that stress and anxiety rates tend to be higher in pharmacy students than in medical students, although mental health is MUCH less studied in pharmacy students than it is in medical students…so I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if there is also a hidden phenomenon in pharmacy students. So maybe I should be proud I’ve made it a year almost without killing myself. But I don’t want to be proud. I want to be dead and I want to be happy. I’m sorry about not tying this up in a pretty package with a bow, but I’m just so tired of pretending I’m okay every day when I’m struggling so much. I just want to good enough. Maybe then I could express myself well enough that people wouldn’t invalidate my pain. It is probably my fault that people don’t get it, because I’m not good enough at anything, not good enough at using my words, not good enough at explaining what happened. Maybe she was right that I’ll never be wanted. It hurts to know I’ll never be good enough ever. Why did I bother trying so hard for so long just to be left here so aware of my worthlessness? Maybe it would have been better to get a job at Caribou or something or McDonalds or something. I might not have been competent at “would you like fries with that” at the time of high school graduation, but I could have learned. I would have learned, because I am determined and stubborn.

 

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Looking for someone to save your life

(Worth it – Francesca Battistelli)

 

Music is an important part of my life. It is how I best encounter God. It is how I like to experience my world. It used to be omnipresent in my world. I realized recently that through this period of grief, music has not been so consistent. Sometimes it was my lifeline, but other times it was absent, the empty soundtrack mirroring the emptiness in my life. But anyway, on Tuesday I was walking home, trying to hold back tears, and singing to myself…”So whatcha gonna do when the bottom falls out and you’re left with nothing but your fears and your doubts to hold to? Who’s gonna hold you?” The lyrics showcasing the desperation and pain and immense loneliness and worthlessness I felt. “And where you gonna run when it’s all on the line and you’re looking for someone to” and then I stopped. I couldn’t explain it. I just inexplicably couldn’t keep going. The tears came as I frantically tried to keep anyone else out on the streets from seeing my wet cheeks. I turned the corner and partially hidden by the privacy of a building I took a deep breath and weakly finished the sentence “to save your life. Save your life.” Those words so hard to say when the last thing I wanted was my life. I wanted so badly to die. But now I am doing better. Now I can move on and start to actually believe the second half of the song. “Love can hear you. Love can heal you if you let it inside. Oh remember now, love’s not easy. But it’s worth it.”

 

So yeah, I thought considering my last post I better hurry up and get something more positive up before anyone got too worried about me. I’m sorry. I do not usually edit my posts anymore now that I am free and don’t need to hide, but that also means I don’t have the opportunity to read my words and wonder if anyone will be legitimately worried about me. I am still trying to heal the hole of grief, and sometimes it is hard. I know my goal was for this year to be better, and crying uncontrollably doesn’t sound like better, but I have to give myself grace. Being able to give myself grace is better than before. And really, I am learning to climb out of the pit I keep being pushed into. I was pushed hard and the wind was knocked out of me, but I didn’t stay down too long. On Thursday, my manager came to apologize to me about the situation (okay, not the whole thing obviously, but the tiny piece he knew – that the PALS class I was excited about was happening without me). He wasn’t going to change it, and wasn’t going to bend the policy about training only being allowed on paid time, but somehow just being brave enough to acknowledge to my face that he understood my frustration was enough to start building the bridge. Like I have always said, there is a lot of power in “with,” and I think that is why that helped. Although I will say that initially breaking the news to me via email was also good, because I don’t really want my manager to see me cry. Vain, maybe, but whatever. Anyway, I might have come home Friday and had skittles and cookies for dinner before going to church, but I had so much fun at the game night that I actually did eat reasonably well and didn’t want to leave…I was up WAY past bedtime and was practically asleep standing up by the end of the night, but I really enjoyed it, and this morning I was feeling so much better.

 

I know that it is not “good” to be fighting life so hard when grief storm hits. I know it is not exactly “normal” to spend significant amounts of time deeply yearning death. I am working on it my own way, at my own pace. I also know that there are some things I am just not ready for, and trying to process with a counselor is still something that is too similar to the abuse for me to be ready to seriously consider it as an option. There is more healing to be done before I am willing to try again.

 

So on that note, back to what I actually originally sat down to write…

 

I know I can’t expect life to be perfect or anything, and sure, I rarely do compulsions anymore, but I do occasionally have more than an appropriate amount of germ anxiety. Yes, I know people do get sick, and the world goes on, but OCD doesn’t make sense. I am so much more free of it than I used to be, but when I am scared I don’t want “better,” I want no fear. Zero. Nada. Zilch. It (the OCD) probably did get worse than it had to because of what else was going on a few years ago, but I am a fighter. Compared to where I was mid to late third year, I basically haven’t had a single problem since the summer after third year…it’s just that I want recovery to mean 100% of the time having zero fear, but that isn’t realistic, because every single person has at least a little fear once in a while. Having some non-disabling fear occasionally and even having disabling fear once in a long while is normal…which is hard to understand when you have spent time in the very black and white world of OCD. Either it is clean or it is not, and either you are afraid or you are not…no in betweensies. So realistically, I probably am totally normal or pretty close, but my perspective tells me it is pieces of OCD back because I had fear…

 

I read an article maybe a month ago about how hard contamination OCD is in the winter and talked about how people with OCD tend to have a radar for signs of sickness and how that can be like a game of dominos. I definitely have a radar for signs of potential sickness and it sets off a theoretical chain of dominos and I end up with a feeling of impending doom. It is terrifying. For me it has always been linked to social difficulties. If you get sick you have to either communicate that you are sick or somehow manage to hide it, which is probably not completely possible (particularly around anyone like me with a very sensitive radar) and is also super disrespectful of other people to not quarantine yourself if you are germy. Communicating it is scary and also means that you have to decide when to come back.

 

I hate winter. I hate germs. I hate norovirus. So far I feel healthy, but my world doesn’t feel stable, and working in healthcare can definitely impact how safe I feel. Plus, the compulsions I had/have with OCD were not just washing, but also “researching” (in quotes, because primarily through social media). So I am acutely aware that a person remains contagious for weeks following the end of symptoms and traditional hand sanitizer is not effective against it, and even cleaning supplies that *can* kill it are often not effective because they are used wrong. For example, I’m not sure if Clorox wipes are effective against noro even if used appropriately, but the way a lot of people use them they might as well be using wet paper towel to clean. Cleaning wipes require a minimum wet contact time to be effective. If the surface doesn’t stay wet long enough you haven’t cleaned the surface and if you *cringe* wipe the surface dry immediately after using the wipe then you have just become a master of the placebo effect if you believe you actually did any cleaning. Frozen noro can remain infectious forever. Room temp noro can remain infectious on surfaces for significant periods of time as well. Very possibly months or more. The number of viral particles required to cause illness is in the single digits. Compare this to the millions to billions of aerosolized particles following a single vomiting or diarrhea episode, not to mention the amount in the vomit or feces themselves, and clearly it is no surprise why infection doesn’t tend to happen in just ones or twos.

 

So yeah, winter can be a really hard season for me as a former OCD-er. I go on a rollercoaster ride from almost certain I am doomed to promising myself that I am safe and back again. Knowing way too much from my former hours of research makes it easy to be fearful. I know how easy noro spreads, so not only do I react to the people in my actual life that get sick (umm, yeah, I have determined my parents entire house is contaminated and am not sure I ever want to go back…kinda a problem), but I also react to the Olympics outbreak in Korea and the outbreak at a college in Wisconsin. I see the dominos. Even if someone doesn’t get sick, suppose somehow an American tourist’s backpack picks up a few viral particles from being near someone who was near someone sick (and realistically there would be a lot closer contact than that). That backpack gets put onto a plane with zillions of other people where the germs are transferred to another person’s purse. That person goes to work and their purse is hung on a hook touching lots of other people’s bags and coats and the germs transfer to the inside of someone else’s coat. That person’s coat comes home. The next day they put their coat on over their pajamas to go to the mailbox. The germs transfer to the pajamas. The pajamas are worn to bed the next night and the germs are transferred either to hands or sheets and then to the mouth. By that next night the person is sick and there are zillions of virus particles everywhere and they are tracked all over the city and people are very mobile, city to city, state to state, country to country.

 

That little scenario I wrote out takes out a lot of potential steps in the process, and drastically simplifies from the zillions of vectors to a single chain, but I hope that it helps understand how easily I can fall victim to fear. It took a lot of words to write that scenario out, but it took less than a second from reading about the Olympics to feeling a sense of lack of safety…and anger. The Olympic committee put out a bunch of hand sanitizer in response. Unless in Korea hand sanitizer is actually pure bleach rather than something like the ethyl alcohol we generally use in America, it will not help prevent spread. In fact, it probably decreases safety, because it makes people feel safe even though they really aren’t. When people feel safe they are a lot less careful which greatly increases the potential for spread of sickness. I want to say that is not okay.

 

But I am proud of myself. So far I have thought about whether I should keep eating and drinking, but have continued to decide that yes I should. Even with all the other things going on making life hard, or maybe because of all the other things going on, I have not come to a panic level of fear. I might be exclusively wearing pajamas in or near bed – not even clean casual clothes, but I am able to go through life seemingly normally at least from the outside, and that is important to me.

 

Although I will admit that I do have a desire to know everything there is to know about what is going on with noro at the Olympics…but that is probably also related to my input strength – trying to collect and categorize all the information available. It really is a bummer that news sources don’t seem interested in reporting full stories. From my perspective they give just enough info to whet my interest and then end the article and cease follow up coverage. It is kinda frustrating when you are someone like me who desires to know the entire story. It’s the same way with a lot of news – like with a school shooting I want to know how people are doing after it’s over. How are things different? What new frustrations are they facing? …ad nauseum…if I had my way we really wouldn’t need much news, because we’d still be getting news updates on the school shooting that happened in December 2012…inquiring minds want to know…

 

Lol…what do you want to know? I would love to do a Q & A post…although realistically I don’t have anywhere near enough viewers for that to ever happen…

I know you said you’d never ever leave me and I know you never ever lie

(Here – Jamie Grace)

 

I wish I could say that I prayed and shared and suddenly everything was awesome…people who speak fluent Christian-ese like to talk as if that is exactly what happens every time we pray. I really don’t like when people act like that, because it is incredibly naïve. God promises to give us everything we NEED, not everything we want, or even everything we THINK we need. He also doesn’t promise to give it to us here on Earth. All we truly need is salvation, so in reality, God has kept his end of the promise if we eventually die and get to go to heaven. God never promises that life will be easy. He never promises that the answer to all our prayer requests will be yes. He actually tells us that in this world there will be trouble…but people want a vending machine Jesus…and I have to admit that when I hear that theory enough times and I am so desperate for what I really want, it is easy to want so badly to believe it that the fact that God doesn’t deal in plea bargains is forgotten. You can’t buy what you want with good deeds, fasting, prayer, reading the Bible, or any other good thing. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do any of those things if they are what God is calling you to do, but it just means that you can’t expect to get to cash in your “goodness” for what you want.

 

So with that in mind, the sermon at church today was exactly what I needed to hear. It was about living in God’s love, but not experiencing God’s love. A good reminder that yes, God is good, even if life here on Earth is sometimes so very bad. The speaker explained how trying to be really good makes us either a failure or a jerk. He talked about how sometimes we are dealing with so much brokenness, loneliness, and/or loss that eventually God can only protect us and give us refuge in two ways – either by healing our circumstances or by taking us home. Another way God is showing me his presence – another normalizing influence on my desire sometimes to just go home to heaven where there will be no more pain. And speaking of pain, the speaker also reminded us that God’s love is bigger than whatever anyone has done to us. As someone who has been abused by someone who should have been protecting me, forgiveness has been something I have struggled with. At times I feel like I really do forgive her, but at other times the hurt wells up and cuts off my ability to forgive. God’s love covers me and all the pain I have endured.

 

I know God is with me. Last year it felt so much like maybe he gave up on helping me through life, that I was ready to believe it. It took a long time to be ready to believe again that God does care about me. He does love me. Yes, it started with maybe it is possible and slowly progressed to maybe he does before I think he does and then yes, I know he cares…but the whole time I was struggling to keep my head above water, God was there helping keep the water from drowning me. God is there and God cares even when life is incredibly difficult. The first resident interview at my current place of employment was Friday and that was hard, but I have to remember that God is with me even when it is hard. I was thankful for in exchange for being one of two pharmacists not getting to attend the interview I got to trade into the first available lunch time even though my position that day is supposed to have to wait. That let me have the breather I definitely needed after being face to face (literally and figuratively) with the resident candidates.

 

I’ve been listening to the Healing Path by Dan Allender again. Found another quote that I am thinking about “Faith is hope regarding our past. Hope is faith regarding our future.” Faith means I know that despite my painful experiences that God is there working all things together for good. Hope means I believe that one day I will be living in paradise with my eternal daddy. It is a good reminder that although hope is really really hard, if I have faith then I am already succeeding at hope in at least a small way.

 

Totally unrelated, but I was teased in college about having ADHD. I do not have an ADHD diagnosis. Most of the time I think there is absolutely no way that I have ADHD. I did fine in school. Externally until the past year anyway, I was super organized even if my room was sometimes a disaster zone. Surely if I really had ADHD someone would have noticed way sooner than a group of study buddies halfway through college. But once in a while I wonder if they might be right. I know I have heard statistics that only like 25% of ADHD diagnoses are in females, but it is suspected that ADHD is equally common in males and females and simply less well-recognized in females. Add that to times like when I forgot I was making pancakes only to be reminded by the smell of burning pancake…three times in a row, and I start questioning. I followed a series of links today (don’t even ask where I started…) and ended up on a paged talking about women with ADHD. While I still am not totally convinced that I fall into that category, there were definitely some parallels. Girls with ADHD tend to learn coping mechanisms to hide their differences. They become perfectionists who spend hours taking notes and double triple quadruple check everything. Umm, yep, for a long time I strived (strove?) for perfection, not that I wanted to be perfect, but that the closer to perfect you are the more space you have to screw up later without it causing major problems, so basically, what looked like fear of failure was really preparation to make potential failure less damaging. The article talked about how whereas a boy is disruptive by constantly tapping his foot, the girl is forgotten while she twirls her hair…yep, I definitely am the person whose hair is a fidget device and has to be tight against my head if you want me to remember not to touch it. The article also discussed that male friendships tend to be instantaneous via a shared activity whereas girl friendships require noticing and acting on social cues, which girls with ADHD struggle with. I don’t know exactly where my social struggles come from, but I like the idea that it isn’t all my fault 🙂 . The other thing in the article I connected with is that ADHD often comes at a significant emotional price for females which makes medication less tolerable by exacerbating anxiety-like symptoms…if I am being really honest, that is one of the things that makes me not even want to get formally tested for ADHD. I am terrified of the side effects of the first line medications…

 

Of course, then there’s this afternoon/evening that makes me wonder if those people were right. Somewhere around 2:30 or 3 I tried to start getting some chicken cooked. If you were wondering, it is a bad idea to put an entire tray of refrigerated chicken breast in the freezer, because not only does it stick together, but it sticks to something that appears to basically be a cross between a pad and a diaper in the bottom of the tray. Once you have successfully separated them once, it is an even worse idea to throw them all back in a plastic bag (wet) in the freezer. Now instead of a row of stuck together pieces of chicken along a diaper, you have one big ball of chicken uniboob. I tried really hard to re-separate it and even tried cooking it just a teeny tiny bit, but those stubborn things were not coming apart, so the only way to cook them was going to be the oven since it was the only place this monstrosity was going to fit. So somewhere between 4 and 5 I put the chicken in the oven at 350ish degrees…I started at 375, but the internet told me quite definitively that chicken cooked at either 350 OR 400, not 375. So anyway, I set a timer and go back to my laptop. Y’know, the oven does the same thing that they say is the reason you should get a dog – it reminds you of what you should be doing. The oven faithfully went off every like 5 or 10 minutes after the timer went off to let me know to go give it some attention, and I was in my own little world ignoring that beeping…and suddenly it was 7:08 and it beeped again and I was like uh oh, I was making chicken. Luckily the fact that there was like 3-4 pounds of meat there meant it didn’t have time to burn, but just get overcooked. And that explains why I was so hungry and snacky and consumed so much candy and still wanted to eat my brain out – chicken was supposed to be the main course for dinner and I hadn’t eaten it yet. Lol, it is times like this that make me claim I am no good at adulting.

 

You don’t know what’s ahead, you just know you must stand, in that moment when you believe

(In that moment – Ester-ordinary Faith)

 

Sometimes I am working really hard to stay in those moments and keep standing.

 

Today last year was my first on site interview. It has been a really emotional week so far because of that.

 

I am having a really hard time, but I know I serve a really good God. I have to keep believing that God has a plan and it is a good one even if right now it just really hurts and doesn’t make sense.

 

I am struggling. I am still eating and drinking which is a huge step in the right direction keeping me from totally crashing again, but there is more to life than just eating and drinking and breathing and sleeping…and sleeping isn’t exactly something at which I have been excelling even though I bought a really wonderful new mattress…’cause that is another thing I struggle with when grief brain takes over. I can’t turn off the hurt at night to sleep. But I am doing my best. I am a fighter.

 

But I feel really alone. I work 40 hours a week and once you include transportation time and my half hour break each day and before you even consider the time spent working before I am technically scheduled because I can’t magically appear in my seat ready to work at the right time and therefore tend to be early and then add to that the time I have to stay late because being a salaried employee (and really just being a responsible employee) means that if you are in the middle of something when the clock hits the end of your shift, you don’t get to just drop everything and leave. You still need to complete what you are working on or at least pass on to the next shift what is going on. That adds up to about a third of my life. And it is not like I can talk at work about how much I hate my job and how hard it is for me going to work every day to be a trained monkey when I want to be doing something meaningful, so that is a third of my life I can’t talk about what is going on. And then there is the 8ish hours every day that I am in bed at least trying to sleep, so there is another third of my life I can’t talk about what is going on. That leaves about one third of my life left to do all of life’s tasks including potentially talking about what is going on, but even then, I really just feel like I can’t. First, I am trying to make friends and no one probably wants to be friends with the person who whines all the time. Second, there is a lot about the pharmacy world and about my world that people I have just recently met just won’t understand and so even if I do try to start talking about it, no one really gets it. I wish I were somewhere right now where there was at least one person who understood enough to just be there and smile and hug me. Grief is isolating, and my life has also put me somewhere that I am sorta functionally isolated as well.

 

The anniversary of the first on site interview isn’t just a reminder of the stressful interview season that was supposed to be a lot of work (and expense) to push me towards my dream but ended up being a fruitless venture. It is also a reminder of all the places I am not this year and all the exciting experiences I am not having. Additionally, I have been surrounded in interviews and the match for the past few weeks. Emails from a couple health systems letting me know when interviewees will be arriving and to be welcoming if I see the candidates…emails from professional organizations about it…students doing rotations excited about what lies ahead…the residency committee at work talking about candidates trying to decide who to extend interviews to (umm, yeah, that is a committee I attended once or twice and quickly decided was way too painful)…everyone on facebook announcing the jobs/residencies they have already accepted for next year…it really hurts.

 

I am trying to live out my goal for this year to make this year a year to be better, not bitter, but it is really hard when life hurts so much. Sometimes I just want to scream “but I tried so hard.” Like last week when I took myself to Starbucks after ordering online and they were out of one of the flavors in the drink I ordered and my social anxiety reared its head and just had them do it without the flavor because telling everyone it didn’t matter was easier than being upset. Then the girl who ordered after me whined that it took more than two seconds to get her drink (when she should have been able to see that all the employees were trying to simultaneously take drive through and in person orders while preparing drinks for everyone) and so they gave her an eight dollar gift card to shut her up. The drink I got was okay, but I know I should have used my words to ask for a different flavor. I feel like I can’t do anything right. And that second girl made me mad, first because she was able to use her words to express her discontent and I couldn’t (so, okay, jealousy), but mostly because if people who to me are clearly doing their jobs quickly and to the best of their ability are supposedly failing miserably, then how much more of a failure am I? I know I am a little bit fragile right now and things like that shouldn’t emphasize my worthlessness, but sometimes they do.

 

So, it isn’t just the fact that I do not really enjoy my job and want to do something, anything, else. This whole thing has constantly been linked to my identity and self-worth. When I was abused, I was told that I would never make it as a pharmacist and no one would ever want me. All the rejection served to make that feel true. I try to hold on to hope, but it feels so hopeless. I feel like I am never going to be wanted and I am going to be stuck in this dead end job that I do not enjoy forever. I am chasing happiness in anything I can find…most recently agreeing to switch into shifts I really don’t want because it will make someone else happy and that gives me at least a little temporary joy…I always have been a heart on the outside kind of girl in terms of vicarious joy. It works better for me, because I can stay home from the retreat that will be really not fun for me, and then look at all the pictures and hear people’s stories to get all the joy they claim I would have gotten by attendance. I just want to be happy. I feel worthless and that is hard. I know that is a lie and God doesn’t see me that way, but that doesn’t make the feeling any less real. I feel like it is true that I will never be wanted or good enough.

 

Sure, it has been a long time since the abuse occurred, but that doesn’t go away overnight. It sinks into your mind and soul…

 

And I have to remind myself that it is okay to grieve and that grief doesn’t come with an expiration date. And I am doing a lot better than I was. After the match(es) for a long time I really had no interest in being alive. I yearned for my forever home in heaven. Right now I would really like that, but the feeling is not as overwhelming as it once was…not to mention that while I am crying every day, it isn’t uncontrollable tears a lot of every day. I am healing, and I can’t force it to happen faster.

 

It is hard. There is one part of my job that helps though. There have been a lot of overdoses at the hospital recently, mostly attempted suicides, and it starts to normalize the feelings that I have had of wanting out. I really understand how those people feel, so I guess knowing that I was strong enough to never try that yet makes me remember that I am a fighter who gets her strength from a strong God who will help me until the battle is over. I guess even though I feel really alone that I need to remember that God is still with me. He has always been with me even though I wasn’t sure I believed he existed and cared. It is still hard to believe sometimes. I really understand that cry now, Lord I believe, help my unbelief.

 

Umm, yeah, it is just going to get harder if I don’t at least try to sleep, so I guess it is time to stop writing and go to bed. Sorry this is probably super rambly and stupid and pointless. I just needed something to keep my fingers busy for a while…I just want the pain to go away. I would certainly accept prayer for strength to keep standing through this and peace and joy and realizing my true identity in Christ and all those other good things. I accept that I am broken and I need help putting the pieces together.

Hold on you said and I held on

Go – Plumb)

 

I have been holding on for a long time. One way I deal with pain and loss is to pretend I’m fine and to shove it away into a box and try to cram the lid on top. It may not be the most recommended method, but you have to use the tools in your toolbox, not the tools in your neighbor’s toolbox. And this method is not completely ineffective. I have a lot of unhappy days, but I also am healing gradually and finding more opportunities for joy. Sure, I haven’t even seen a really young child since moving here except for one time at work for a few seconds, but recently I have gotten to hang out with a super cute almost 2 year old and her 5(?) month old sister. It is pure joy…until they have to go home…

 

Each breath breathed means we’re alive and life means that we can find a reason to keep on getting by – Breathe Superchick

 

I didn’t use to realize that life was a choice. It was just the way it is. I have since realized that it is a sign of my resilience that I am still alive and staying that way. It means that I have figured out how to get by. I am strong. I work really hard sometimes to make it, but I keep going, because that is what I feel like I need to do. I keep breathing and finding a way to keep getting by. It is very difficult realizing that my dreams have died. It is still painful and I still cry sometimes, but I am alive. But on Saturday a 6-year-old told me I needed to kill myself. Is it obvious even to someone so young that I am not worth it? I know she’s 6 and I’m 25 so I should know better, but it is the same message but just a little more blunt than I received at school so it is harder to pretend that didn’t happen. I feel like I try so hard only to fail. Why keep trying if it just means more pain later? I so desperately want to get back to pediatrics and especially to get back to my friends at Children’s, but I don’t know if I can take the pain again. The wounds aren’t quite so raw anymore, but neither have they healed enough to have strong bold scar tissue growing to better withhold against tough things. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may break my heart.

 

Some storms claim you. Some will rename you. – Be My Rescue Nichole Nordeman

 

This whole song has some really good imagery. Sometimes when the storm comes through you can’t escape it. Sometimes caught in the storm you get soaked, but when it ends you dry out and everything is back to how it was before. Sometimes though, you can’t go back to how it was before. As much as I would love to be the bubbly girl I was before everything happened, as much as I would like to be the confident girl I was before the abuse, those ships have sailed. Now I am different. I connect differently and I act differently than I did before. Although I guess it is kind of strange to label a girl with social anxiety to the point of near silence and potential selective mutism as confident, that is how I saw myself. I was not confident in *every* realm – socially I was not confident, but I was confident in who I was and in my abilities. That was before I had internalized that I was stupid, worthless, not going to make it, unwanted…It takes time to learn those things, but it is near impossible to really unlearn those things. I miss who I was, but at the same time, I recognize that I can never be that girl again and that who I am now is not all bad. I might be at a dead end career-wise and really be struggling with dissatisfaction about my job, but with God all things are possible and maybe God has wonderful plans for my life. Maybe someday I will be a success story. The more pain and obstacles in the way, the more inspiring the success stories are, so maybe God has something really cool waiting for me…but I have to remember that even if not, God is still good. Even if I never get to be a success, God still loves me and I still will one day get to go to forever home…just not today and probably not tomorrow either.

 

Sorta kinda related, but I recently read a story online that I really connected with. I don’t remember the whole thing, but long story short, this girl experienced a painful loss. A few years later she was shopping for gingerbread ice cream treats and they weren’t available at the store. Somehow in that moment it sparked a reminder of her loss and those ice cream treats were the most important thing in her world and she was crumbling in pain in the store, but it wasn’t really about the treats, it was about the loss…that is kind of where I am. I am doing just fine, minding my own business when all of sudden some unassuming tiny pebble becomes a giant mountain I can’t climb. It is exhausting.

I am what I am and that’s all that I am

(Please please like me – Go Fish)

This post was written a couple weeks ago-ish…then I was busy and didn’t post it…and then the grief got so deep again that I kinda forgot about it. But better late than never, right? Also, a lyric stuck in my head right now is “I won’t take the world’s abuse; I won’t give up, I refuse.” And also, I just finished watching a youtube video and it ended with “you are not a failed version of normal.”

The title of this post has been my quote on twitter since I joined in 2013…and I still love it.

You know you are living in a world a bit differently than the stereotypical female when you are thrilled looking up a calorie count that it is a lot higher than you expected. I guess I should back up.

It seems based on my stats that there are quite a few new readers over here so I thought I’d do a quick review on some of the major events that have made me who I am. Super abbreviated, because I want this to be short and sweet, not like one of my marathon posts that ends up way longer than I even would have an attention span to read.

Hmmm, where to start? August 10, 2008 my family attended a new (to me) church for the first time (and stayed). It was really hard being taken away from everything I knew and my plans for my life. On top of that, 90% of my writing and art projects in middle school were swimming themed and that year for the first time I was no longer a swimmer…and for the first time I was struggling in school (although causation is hard to determine so that part might have been a result more than a cause). Those things together really took away everything I had to identify myself. I realized that year I was using self-injury as a coping mechanism as I struggled. It has been suggested that perhaps I have PTSD from that situation. I was never totally sold on that, but considering that even five plus years later it was an extremely painful experience to recall, I do credit it as a difficult experience in my life.

A few people in my life at the new church had suggested that I try out the free counseling at my school when I went to college. I intended to go once, say I did it, then be done, but once I got in I didn’t know how to get out. I was seeing a counselor who was so involved in the social realm that she really wasn’t comfortable and didn’t know what to do with someone like me. I was someone who defined a friend as someone I could say hi to maybe 50% of the time if we passed each other alone in the hallway – and I had very few friends. I didn’t do a lot of talking. Based on my records, it appears there was a question in her mind about selective mutism. I wouldn’t be overly surprised if someone made that label official for that time period. Let’s just say my best friend literally jumped out of her chair to celebrate one day when I said “I haven’t thought about that” in response to one of her questions. She was used to my usual communication of yes, no, I don’t know, and silence…and those first three responses were primarily reserved for my very closest friends after good prompting.

The next year I switched to someone who was a lot better match. I also started having some issues with excessive washing as a coping mechanism. At the beginning it wasn’t overly linked to germ fears, but eventually it was very firmly linked. In any case, I wanted to set rules to get rid of that problem. Every assignment I turned in for a while was bloody and my hands were bright red, but she didn’t think that rules was the right answer. Long story short, she eventually agreed that if I promised to be safe with it I could make rules (and it was wildly successful). That was probably a God-thing though I didn’t know it at the time, because the ability to figure things out on my own with little to no support was going to become important later. Oh, it is also important to note that second year everyone at my school interviews into third year and I was terrified and my counselor had asked me to think about what I might be interested in doing if I couldn’t be a pharmacist. It took months, but I thought maybe I’d like to be a social worker…but I wasn’t super thrilled with that, because all I’d ever wanted to be since early elementary school was a pharmacist.

I planned to transition to a different counselor the next year despite warnings from my current counselor, because she was going to be at a different site and I was overwhelmed at the prospect of going anywhere else and flat out refused to do it. I should have recognized that the counselor I insisted on switching to had already shown how lacking in trustworthiness she was and how unethical she was, but I really thought that I could deal with it because in all honesty what I needed most at that point was an accountability partner and someone I could see at a convenient time in a convenient location. She was emotionally abusive. She had no respect for her clients, and I really want to believe that because I was not a tattletale that I got it worse than other people, but I mean, she was teaching shame to keep people quiet. I could see that she needed love and as a result I worked really hard at loving her well and I guess I thought I could fix her, but I couldn’t. I could go into a laundry list of wrong-doings, but suffice it to say that this is not just me being a pansy, but that her conduct was completely inappropriate.

The next summer she sent me an email telling me how well she thought we worked together and how glad she was to work with me. Not too long after that an hour or so before we had a planned phone session she emailed to say that she wouldn’t be available for the session – I thought we were getting somewhere. Her usual modus operandi would have been to just not answer or to be at least 20 minutes late to the phone session. A bit after that she emailed again that we were done, and unlike what she usually did with those outbursts, she didn’t forbid me from talking with anyone else, but she refused to tell me why. Yes, she had deeply hurt me over and over and over, but I was still trying to fix her and at that point I don’t think I had quite registered that having an accountability partner wasn’t helpful when you are being abused by said partner. In a way that only makes sense when you are as upset and confused as I was, I acted out I think attempting to slow her down to make her think long enough to cool it.

I tried to call to apologize. That took a lot of courage for this girl who will drive across town to avoid a phone call. She hung up on me. A lot of my closest friends took her side and blocked me on facebook – super hurtful when that was one of my primary ways of interacting with my world. I was very upset and the message that I was not good enough and a worthless failure that she had been barraging me with during my time with her started feeling really true to me and to be honest, I am not really sure I would still be alive right now if I had been at school where there are metro trains near campus. Because she reported me to the behavior response team (of which she was a member) and recommended I was too stressed out to be in school, a whole series of new stressors came my way…I didn’t get the okay to come back to school until the day before classes started, and on my way in the first day I was stopped by a security guard who was convinced I wasn’t a student anymore. Not a great way to start the semester. Anyway, I think I am getting into too much minutiae, so back to the point, in exchange for staying in school I was forced to sign among other things that I wouldn’t tell anyone about anything related to what happened and I wouldn’t tell anyone that I couldn’t tell anyone – so I was pretty effectively silenced from any means of getting support for the chaos in my life and had to keep the mask of okay on to protect myself from unanswerable questions. I was still being abused by this counselor, and despite my finally cracking and telling my advocate a little of what was going on, my abuser was never punished and instead was given princess treatment.

Fast forward to January/February/March of this year. I am in the intense process of interviewing and when questions get asked about hardest moments or dealing with unfair situations or conflicts, guess what pops into my head. I have to work extra hard to not just freeze and deer in the headlights. I come up with other answers and push the tears away until I am alone. Then I fail to match in phase I despite everywhere telling me how amazing I am. I struggle with deep grief. On the outside I keep going. I apply in phase II and have an insane schedule of interviewing nearly every day for a little while including leaving at like 3:30 AM to drive to an interview and not getting back until past bedtime and still having interviews the rest of the week and trying to keep up in school. I failed to match again in phase II. I am back to square one with the grief. I am barely functioning. I have been praying every day just crying out to God to please just take me to forever home. I have no desire to remain on Earth. I am hardly sleeping. I am fighting to eat and drink. I lose a LOT of weight. I will admit that I came into this with a little extra weight on my body, but not nearly as much extra as I lost…In the week after Easter I gained 8 pounds (yay!!), but since then progress has been very slow…and sometimes backwards. I still have 10 pounds to gain to reach my goal weight and I think the closest I’ve gotten is 5 pounds away…hence sometimes looking up calories to spot check intake in hopes of getting this under control.

So, I tried the scramble (failed) and also started looking for non-residency jobs. I did finally get hired. The job isn’t exactly as expected and I am bored out of my mind a large majority of the time, but God is helping me through molecule by molecule, not universe by universe, and I really am healing.

So yeah, this is the uber-abbreviated version of my life…obviously leaves a lot out, but you can probably find a lot of the details going through the archives or asking if there is anything you really wanna know…hope this gives some useful background on who I am.

And for my long-time readers, thanks for bearing with me as I repeat a lot of what you already knew. Love y’all 🙂

And there were times I cried myself to sleep at night only to wake up wishing I didn’t

(The Reason – Lacey/Flyleaf)

I read a blog post recently that I think corresponds really well with where I am right now. The gist of the post (since I can’t seem to find it again…) is that sometimes things happen in life and you are in the middle of a river, drowning. All you can do is hang on to a log floating in the river and hang on. It is not ideal, and it is tiring, but it is saving your life. Eventually, though, you need to realize that you can’t stay there forever. When you can see the waterfall in front of you it is no longer safe to keep holding on. You need to let go and get to the shore. So you try to let go and swim to shore. Sometimes you get a little bit away from your log but it is exhausting and scary and you can’t get to shore so you hold on again, but you are getting closer to the waterfall, and it isn’t safe to keep holding on. It is frustrating, and exhausting, and seems hopeless, but you have to try again to reach safety. There are times when you are not safe (not on the shore), but also not in acute danger (not holding onto the log). You are swimming. It is hard, but even though you aren’t safe, it is self-care that will eventually help you reach safety, hopefully before it is too late. I was drowning when I realized I was going to have to remain alive, but now I think I am ready to continue trying to swim for the shore. I’m not safe and I am certainly vulnerable while I am trying to reach safety, but I am not actively headed towards the waterfall, so that is positive.

 

After I went to bed very much alive on June 30th and woke up alive on July 1st, it was incredibly difficult to realize that the endpoint I had been living for over the past few months was gone just like everything else I had lost. It was a secondary loss that was incredibly painful and dunked me back under the waves of extreme pain. What little hope I had was pried from the death grip of my fingers. It is still very painful, and was certainly a setback in my emotional recovery from the deep grief I have been walking through, but you know what? I know that God is in charge and my opinion isn’t ultimately the one that matters. I have to continue to face each day knowing that chances are I will be facing this every day for a long time and will need to figure out how to be okay with that.

 

I know that I am strong and over time the pain may not completely disappear, but I really want to believe that over time it will fade to a point where life is not so difficult and the wound isn’t so raw. Maybe it is just the shear physical exhaustion and lack of sleep, but last night anyway I slept a lot better than I had the past few days, and while eating and drinking are definitely still hard, I have today at least been thinking about food at the correct times of day which is a helpful step in normalizing my eating. I have done a really good job of at least mostly maintaining my weight once I achieved my goal, but of course I also know that being completely responsible for myself in a few days versus sometimes having meals as a family a home where I just need to show up can greatly increase the level of difficulty of keeping myself fed somewhat appropriately.

 

I tried to go ride my bike or rollerblade or something to help get some fluids in, but I didn’t even step outside before I realized it was way too hot for that…and besides, I was already going to be breaking the rules I set for myself of drinking something before doing anything active. It is so hot outside 😦 Speaking of outside, I am still pretty sore, but externally I am healing really quickly…unless you know how well my skin heals and how long it has been since the injury, my back doesn’t really look bad anymore – just a little scraped up. I can now lean against things without pain and pick at the scabs without re-opening the cuts…sounds like a weird thing to comment on, but it is super helpful, because I will totally admit to being a skin-picker, so once I could reach my back without a lot of pain, it was a conscious effort to not pick at the scabs…

 

I should be studying…but that is still something that feels too hard, and I just want a break. I don’t have that long until the test though so I really need to work on that…

 

I am playing with the idea of a quick celebration trip if or when I pass the exams. A trip to Lake Superior is something that I have kinda daydreamed about for years but never very seriously considered because going on trips isn’t really who I am…my idea of an adventure is sometimes as simple as going the opposite direction that I usually go around the block. I also have a lot of friends that don’t live near me that it might be fun to go see…Considering that I am a single female who would be traveling alone, IDK how safe Lake Superior would be, and since I am a people-lover, it might make more sense to go somewhere with people and make it a separate mission to find a lake as beautiful and clean as Lake Superior that is closer to home to fall in love with…

 

I usually celebrate with food, but as a totally new chapter in my life has been unfolding this year, I thought maybe it was time to think about something crazy that I usually would never consider. The loss I experienced is still an open wound and I figure either this could turn into something really cool to shock my mind out of the pain even if only for a little while, or it could be a really stupid idea where the stress and new experience causes a setback, but I figure doing SOMETHING is better than doing NOTHING and since I am viewing a trip as something that would be a huge achievement of stepping outside my comfort zone for me, I think it would probably tend towards the former feeling like an accomplishment…of course, if I went somewhere and the trip was a fail, it could also be another failure, but I’m choosing to think about how it could totally be an esteem-building success. Like toll roads. That was terrifying, but when it was over I was SO proud of myself! I did it!!

do you see a rescue or a deeper kind of hurt…just when you’ve lost the will to live

(drifting – plumb)

 

Life is still really hard. I still want to be done with life. I have been telling God what day I thought would be best for me to die, but on the somewhat positive side, I have also resigned myself to the fact that God is most likely going to say no. And I will have to deal with that. It is hard when my whole life I have been working towards one thing and that one thing is gone. Everyone told me I wasn’t good enough and it feels so much like they were right. I realized to have any chance I probably have to wait at least two years before re-applying, because besides not being at all in my personality, it probably isn’t kosher to be like hey, I know I started training like two days ago, but would you like to be my reference for the job I actually wanted more than this? That was a really hard realization, but it also really helped because it put a timeline on getting back to my dreams.

 

I recently read this article about helping people in crisis. The author’s explanation of each concept wasn’t necessarily exactly in alignment with my opinions (though some weren’t far off at all), but the concepts themselves seemed pretty good.

 

  1. Stay calm – so true, if I am already in crisis, I don’t need you to add drama to my life. I don’t need you to make life more difficult. I need someone to be an anchor in the storm. That doesn’t mean you don’t show emotion (also not necessarily good) but that you don’t freak out and make this about you rather than about me.
  2. Understand – no one (probably) wants to feel bad, but when we do it can feel very isolating. Grief takes a lot of energy that makes it hard to have anything left to do anything but survive. Crisis makes us less good friends as the primary focus is on survival. When it feels like no one gets it, especially when for a reason that feels shameful, I feel that much more alone. Taking a minute to listen and try to understand is a huge gift to me.
  3.  Touch them (if they’re okay with it) – I love hugs and stuff. In most situations, it makes me feel safe. It is a good way to help me feel less alone. IDK about this for everyone though since I know some people hate being touched.
  4.  Stay with them – grief is lonely and isolating. It is super awesome to be willing to come into my life and try to help me, but in my story of abuse and rejection, it isn’t just the loneliness and isolation that return when you leave again. Although sometimes I am so desperate for help that I want any possible thing I can get, but most of the time I feel like it might be better to have no one at all than people who leave again…but at the same time I know I don’t really want that, because I really need people even if they aren’t always exactly what I need. I know that studies show that support tends to last about a month and at most 3 months, but grief or other crises tend to last at least a year. That is a minimum of 9 months of isolation while the pain is still very raw and very intensely painful. I just need more hugs sometimes…or just a quick text hi. I finally figured out that was something that would help but then I never actually completely followed through on making sure it happened…I asked…a couple times…and then I ran out of energy to devote to a task that wasn’t as directly survival based.
  5.  Ask why they haven’t – so this is referring to why they haven’t hurt themselves in response to the negative emotion. While I am not sure how helpful this would be to me, I think it is a good question to ask to gauge safety. On a smaller level, eating and drinking was SO hard at first and such a chore (for that matter, even now sometimes I am okay in that arena and sometimes I am packing goldfish and skittles in my lunchbox and calling it a success that I am eating something even when half of that pathetically non-balanced lunch comes back home with me), but almost every day I tried really hard to get three meals into my mouth. Why didn’t I just do what was easiest and just not even try? Mostly because that might worry people and draw attention to me, and I didn’t want to draw any attention to myself and I didn’t want to hurt anyone. So, yeah, I am a major people-pleaser. I am pretty much always okay, especially when I am not. It is good when people can understand this and see through my mask to see that just because I am smiling and laughing instead of crying at the moment doesn’t necessarily mean I am not still fighting really hard just to make it through every day, and it is also good to realize that because of that, when I am in crisis, I might be a lot more sensitive to the perception of letting people down, so recognition is huge if I am doing something right. On a bigger scale, why have I not killed myself even though I want so badly to not be alive? Because I strongly believe that life and death are in God’s hands, and my religious beliefs tell me it is wrong to hurt yourself in any way. This probably makes me a lot safer, but also means there should be a big red flag going up if my faith becomes less important to me…luckily even when I couldn’t believe God cared or was even good, my faith was still super important to me.
  6.  Make a plan – consistency, structure, routine, and predictability really help me in life, and even more so in grief. Helping me know what to expect is really helpful. Waiting to offer something to me until you are pretty sure you can make it happen is awesome so the change in plans later doesn’t crush me. Remember that what seems small to you can be a lot bigger when it is the one thing that I am counting on to help me through the day, and when a minute is an eternity, the idea of a generic ‘maybe later’ is a forever that doesn’t even register on the time scale.

 

 

Moderately unrelated, but I also read this post recently where this mom claims she did a study and found out that she is invisible. Her logic is that she intentionally only wore one earring every day for six months and no one said anything…ummm…dude….what an idiot. First, if anything you proved that the earring, not yourself was invisible. Second, people are generally paying attention to YOU, not analyzing your attire. Third, your ears are on opposite sides of your head so depending on how good of eye contact you are using they might have no way of knowing that one of these things is not like the others. Fourth, people are generally respectful and mind their own business. Why should they point out that your appearance is less than perfect? And especially by the end of the six months if they had noticed they probably figured you liked it that way…yep, people be dumb…but using that logic, then I know that I am also invisible. I wore a shirt with a nice oxycodone stain on it a few days ago and no one said anything…I don’t know what bright drug manufacturer decided that oxycodone should be bright red, but I do know that whenever I spill it, particularly when I spill it on myself I do not appreciate the color…it stains…on the positive side, I mean, my shirt wouldn’t have been stained if I hadn’t caught the bottle that I lost my grip on. Because I did grab it, I only lost like a mL of oxycodone. I lost it all over my shirt and the counter, but at least I didn’t lose almost the entire bottle on the floor…

You remind me of a cigarette…you make it harder for me to breathe

(Jekyll and Hyde—Plumb)

I have therapeutics tomorrow so this is going to be another brain dump of a post…

What is life like on campus? Well, sometimes I am doing pretty well and maybe not thriving but definitely doing more than surviving…and other times I am standing just outside the door holding a notebook and trying to force myself to take the next few steps to hand the notebook to the person who needs it and wishing I could just turn invisible and melt right into the brick wall…which then leads to a flurry of decision making trying to decide what to do next for best chances at both short and long term success…but each day is a new day and I get new chances to try again. That was then and this is now.

Similarly, although my goal in life despite people trying to dissuade me, is still to be just like everyone else…which usually is not a big deal, because I know I am not actually everyone else and can adjust accordingly…but yesterday we were doing yoga at school and I adjusted as much as I could without making it obvious that I was accommodating myself, but it was not very possible to blend in and support all my weight on my left side…which meant that by the end my right ankle was on fire and my right shoulder wasn’t doing a lot better. yeah, I may be right handed, but I am left-everything-elsed…and I used to be pretty close to ambidextrous, so I mean I probably could have been left-everythinged if I really had wanted to when I was little. And that would be a lesson learned that fitting in is not the most important thing in the world.

This morning is going to be the very best day of my whole entire life so far!! Inclusion is my favoritest thing in the whole world!! I haven’t proctored since the day I did it barefoot and then after proctoring worked the front desk. I miss working the front desk, and I don’t get to do that today, but I do get to proctor which reminds me of that day. And after that the real excitement starts…I am so so excited…I am way too much of a rules follower to run my hands along the walls even though I want to, but I love that I could because I didn’t technically say I would not pass go, not collect one million dollars…I probably shouldn’t use that analogy, because that is about not collecting extra rewards when going to jail in Monopoly and even though there are some pretty awesome rewards inherent in going to jail in real life, there really aren’t in Monopoly, and also I am not going to jail…and the fact that going to jail also means that you are probs going to never going to be able to easily find a new job or housing again, the rewards are probs not worth it unless you plan on living out a life sentence in which case I could totally understand the security of good food prepared every day and no rent to pay and getting to the top of medical care lists automatically and getting that for free…what’s not to want about that?! We incentivize going to jail quite a lot…LOL…but I am not going to jail, just to my happy place…and I am very happy…probably happier than I would be going to jail anyway, because IDK if you can wear shorts in jail because all the pictures have people wearing winter pajama pants.

I was never on the every single week list either for proctoring or for working the front desk, but that front desk thing worked out really well in my favor because everyone knew I was really quiet and recognized that I didn’t usually work the front desk which meant that instead of asking me to call IT, people would tell me they were going to call IT, which was awesome, because at the time, having to call IT might have been the end of my volunteering my time to the front desk…yeah, I was comfortable with everything else, but making calls was not my forte. Proctoring is kind of take it or leave it for me. I like being on the emergency list, but aside from helping out when it is critical, proctoring just isn’t that exciting or rewarding for me.

Why is it that it is when I am re-watching my favorite videos (like talking to Siri about suicide) that everyone wants to talk to me…hashtag awkward…I feel like I am constantly stopping my video so people don’t get the wrong ideas…but seriously Summer Beretsky Bukeavich has a really awesome video series on talking to Siri about suicide and it is hilarious and I have been re-watching it for years…she also has Zerby the parrotlet videos, but those get old really fast…

When I was at Panera yesterday at like 6am, there were a bunch of girls there who were super obnoxious…I waited in line for 30 minutes because “can we have salad” “can we have soup” “I don’t know what I want.” They apologized when they finally finished ordering, but oh my…those girls were driving me crazy…one of them was going on and on about how she was in trouble for being late too much and it wasn’t such a big deal because she was late like every day for a month but it was never her fault…(for example, she was at Panera, so she was only a block away an hour in advance so it was basically like she was there…)

Today I think I figured out why I have wanted to scratch my eyes out despite the fact that they really didn’t look like pink-eye…hmm…probably something to do with the fact that there is a yellow haze of pollen that I have to wash off of the windshield of my car in the morning which means it is probably in the air and I just can’t see it without a surface to collect it…

So my water bottle dropped and I was sad to see it was not Wiggle Worm-proof…but when I picked it up I discovered that actually it was Wiggle Worm-proof. Despite having a hole I could shove my key into, it still holds water…it’s not that I abuse my things…the problem is more that tutoring was supposed to end at 8:30, and it didn’t, and I was having trouble leaving. So I was out too late, and by the point I was walking to my apartment, my awareness, coordination, and memory were lacking…sometimes I drop things because I just forget I am holding them and let go (that happens a lot to my poor phone). In this case, I remembered I was holding the water bottle, but wasn’t holding it very well due to poor coordination at night, and didn’t have sufficient awareness to realize it was falling until I heard it hit the ground…I also picked up the trash the mailman leaves in my mailbox three times on the way up the stairs…sleep is a wonderful thing that I need every single night, preferably at or before 9pm…

20160419_215706

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…