I journal obsessively, whenever I can, wherever I can

I basically like, HAVE to. I have to get the words out, the thoughts out, the feelings out in a way that makes some semblance of sense. And the thing is that it’s usually always all confusing and messy, so I have to MAKE it make sense. Straight-up forging meaning out of nothing. Well, not nothing. But like, out of chaos.

Anyway. I have physical notebooks (tons of them). I always have. But I also journal digitally. I guess it started when I got my first iPad. I have journals upon journals in goodnotes (that are now all uploaded to my phone). I went through a microsoft onenote phase, so I have all those journals too. And then I just have years worth of entries from the notes app on my phone. I love having every thought I’ve ever had with me at all times on my fuckin phone, it’s the coolest thing to me. Oh, and then there’s google docs for like essays and bigger entries.

I’m currently using notion. I feel like every youtuber I watch is big into notion these days. I don’t know if I was using it before it exploded in the realm of influencers, but either way, it’s cool seeing videos on it specifically, because I like seeing people customizing it.

But like…that’s not the point of this blogpost, actually. It’s related, I guess. Because I think using different mediums to journal promotes creativity. And this notion site is allowing me to really lean into the creativity thing.

My point, though, is that I’ve had a lot of thoughtssssss lately, and it’s overwhelming. Maybe it’s just that LIFE is overwhelming (it objectively is, like, you can’t argue with that fact, tbh). But it’s more than that. I keep facing philosophical dilemmas and being plagued by existential crises. It is nonnnnnstop.

Like why are we here. What is the purpose of all this? Is my life meaningful? I’d say all life is meaningful by default, but that’s not what I mean when I ask that question, really.

I keep track of these random tremendous thoughts and questions and predicaments somewhere on one of my journaling apps (or in a paper notebook, obv). But now even that’s not enough. What good does it do for me to explore these deep fucking ideas if the ideas just rot in a journal app on my phone.

I don’t know where I’m going with this lol. I also don’t know where I’m going in life, but I’m actually less concerned with the latter because it’s just too big an issue to focus on. Like I said earlier. Overwhelming.

Probably not healthy to ignore that looming question of WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE. But maybe if I find the meaning of existence, life will give me a free pass in the career department. Who knows.

Some T H O U G H T S:

My moods was stable as fuck and consistent for a good three days and today I’m just blahhhh, which I guess is normal, but it’s annoying. I’m unmotivated and uncertain and unfocused. I somehow turned a cozy and relaxing day into a waste.

I do so much mood tracking and I’m so careful with how I handle my moods and symptoms and how I handle my disorder. But am I doing ALL that I can? Does any of it even matter?

I’m disappointed that my class is turning out to be less than ideal. I mean, it is what it is, and I’ll take what was given to me and run with it. And I guess it’s good that I’m sure of my values and sure of how I feel (which is a rare thing with me haha, in terms of feelings, at least). I’m determined to not less this whole experience bring me back to the center of nowheresville.

See? Trying to be motivated. Because all I want is to be creative and productive and to make a difference. Or a impact. Or something. I want to be loved too, and to enjoy love and affection, and somehow that’s lumped into this whole paragraph??? My brain is weird.

I’m really sick of the rainy weather and I know it has such potential to be comfy, that it’s great reading weather, that it makes the flowers grow, blah blah. But like fuck I need some sunshine I want to sit outside and have my mornings out there.

Speaking of which, I need to regulate my sleep. I’ve been sleeping GOOD, to be honest, but I go to bed too late or sleep too late even when I go to bed early. I want my mornings. I need to set the right time for my day. It fucks me up when I have a bad morning, and even though I know I always have the power to turn my day around, it annoys me.

Follow my train of thought

I’ve been known to become somewhat aggressive. Well, I mean I doubt anyone knows me by that and that alone, not if they actually KNOW me, anyway. I’m this little thing and I try to be as nice as I can at all times. Especially to retail workers, but I’m not gonna get into that. My point: I know myself as getting super aggressive and it’s been in the back of my head lately. You know. Blind bipolar rage.

It’s an actual thing, and it’s different from regular anger because there’s often no clear cause and therefore no clear way to diffuse it. The outburst might be caused by something, but it’s the perpetual feeling of frustration that makes no sense that’s the real issue. Like, for me I might be in traffic and start screaming bloody murder. And maybe the screaming and throwing myself around it caused by the anxiety that I’m gonna be late (or simply not early) and there’s nothing I can do about it, but there’s most likely been a storm brewing for a while.

I’ve been really good lately, though. I’ve noticed it more than a few times. I brewed my tea wrong the other day and didn’t have a conniption. It didn’t FEEL the same as it would have before I was in the hospital. And this morning when we didn’t have internet I literally felt the anger start to bubble but it was like I turned the heat on the burner down so the pot never boiled.

Boom. Victory. I am quite proud of myself.

And more seriously, I’m glad I’m able to do that. I’m glad I have finally been given the tools I need to help myself. I’m glad I’m using them to my advantage. I’m thankful.

I mean, sometimes I just WANT to get crazy mad, but it really isn’t worth it.

Anyway, the reason I wrote that whole fricken thing was so I could explain an analogy I thought of whilst not having a meltdown this morning.

I usually think of fire when I think of bipolar rage, but this time I thought of water. I was trying to grasp some sort of way to explain the way the anger used to cut into me (and how it still tries to). But weirdly enough I thought of water. Like, if I were to high-dive into a pool. I’d cut through the water. There’d be a splash. A noise. I’m not explaining the powerful image I have in my head but like, I’m trying to show that the water where my body was would be displaced and I’d be physically in that space. And maybe a human being should be in water. Well, no, I guess people can be in water. I guess a more true-to-my-nature analogy would be a knife stabbing someone, and the knife is stuck in them, and blood gushes out. A knife shouldn’t be in a person.

I’m rambling. I’m not making sense. But my goal today was to write words and upload them so I have now checked that box.

a shitshow of a brain-dump

Even though I keep thinking this episode is over, it never is. Or, it hasn’t been yet. Eventually, it will be. Hopefully sometime fucking soon. But today is not that day, my friends.

I went to bed at 4:30pm last night. Like, the afternoon. Slept til 7 this morning, too, which I guess isn’t a bad thing. It certainly beats being conscious. But maybe that’s a bad way to look at it haha, like, I shouldn’t want to be unconscious. It’s just like…how else am I supposed to deal while just waiting this fuckin’ thing out?

I was asking myself what’s better. Crying for hours, tears saturated with anguish and discomfort and uncertainty and fear? Or all-consuming emptiness, nothing left to think or feel or experience, al emotion lost in the void? They both suck. But it’s been changing up nightly, so there’s at least some variety in the fucking depression.

I had therapy this morning, which always helps, and it did help, and I’m so relieved because I’m still kinda riding that high even though I needed my Klonopin (that I’ve been taking daily, because why suffer, I can’t take the suffering).

Anyway. I went in all mopey and folded into myself as usual but she eventually got me talking (damn, how does she do that?) and I was able to breathe for 45 minutes and have that time as a break from wanting to cease existing just to escape the torment. I could go on forever about the miracles that happen there, while we sit next to each other on the floor by the window, but more on that later.

I hung out with a friend after, a fellow mental health warrior, and it was a great distraction, and she totally understood that I needed to bolt outta there once I felt the oncoming, out-of-nowhere panic attack ready to pounce.

Came home. Ate fucking food (berries and cottage cheese, weird but healthy, I guess?). I actually ate something with my therapist today too, she gave me some of those breakfast biscuit things, and I ate them, go me.

I took all my fucking vitamins and supplements. Multi bc I’m not getting enough shit I need, biotin because since I’m not getting the shit I need my hair is falling out. Magnesium because it’s supposed to help with anxiety. PassionFlower extract because that is alsooo supposed to help with anxiety and I am desperate.

I also feel the need to say that I’m doing everything right. I’m taking the meds and stopping to inhale and exhale like a normal human, I’m tryinggggg to stay positive. I’m disheartened (and fucking furious) that this still happened.

Now for the brain-dump part that probably isn’t going to make any sense because it’s literally just random nonsense I typed up throughout the day.

I was thinking about what I want right now (an end to the torture, a plan of attack to kick back at this bullshit, some internal motivation that doesn’t dissipate abruptly and painfully) and about what I need (aside from a damn miracle). Like, how do I ask for help from people? What can I tell them I need? Basically I just need patience. Lots of love and affection (all the hugs and cuddles, please). I need work to be understanding about this. Which they are. It’s just ugh I’m still embarrassed.

Okay, now a word on understanding. I hate when people tell me they understand because unless they have bipolar, they most certainly do not and don’t insult me by saying that you do. I’m not gonna invalidate the pain other people feel, that’d be a shitty thing to do. But like, it’s insulting and upsetting. If I’m trying to explain how in my dark moments I literally CANNOT see clearly, I CANNOT fathom a time when I wasn’t in pain or a time when I won’t be in pain, I CANNOT function…and you tell me you’ve been there? Well then why can’t I just “be positive” and move on, like you apparently were able to do. I don’t wanna rant about this too much, but like. It’s on my mind.

I also had this random thought: I take one step forward, two steps back, two steps forward, one step back. I’m staying in the same place (cue bitter frustration seeping out of my brain). But I’m kinda dancing with it. Dancing in place. Like, what I mean by that is I’m trying. I’m doing new things and trying my best (when I am capable of it) and just. I dunno, is that a good perspective?

Lastly, I’m trying to find a way to love myself even with my malfunctioning, glitch-ridden brain. Even with my blossoming bouquet of mental illnesses. What I really mean by that is I’m trying to be proud of myself in spite of feeling like a total failure. I mean, yeah, surviving on a daily basis is a HUGE accomplishment for someone who’s got a mental illness. If you’re in that category of people, congrats and I’m so proud of you. But like gahhh I wanna be proud of myself and it seems to be a struggle for me. I’m gonna try being patient. I mean, nothing says I can’t get back up on the horse and try again. Actually, I’m gonna do that. Because I really have no choice, but because that’s how I like to think I am. Resilient, blah blah, we know. Bipolars are resilient. But, like. Yeah.

Some definitions:

  • Fail- to be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goals
  • Success- the accomplishment of an aim or purpose
  • Goal- the object of a person’s ambition or effort, the desired aim or result
  • Ambition- a strong desire to do or achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work

And some quotes:

  • “Failure is not a sin” –dunno who said it but my HS principal said this at our graduation
  • The only way to fail is to not try –again, dunno who said it, but we all know this basic idea, don’t we
  • “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” –apparently Henry Ford said this
  • Success is a journey, not a destination –I think of happiness the same way, interesting
  • “Ambition is believing in yourself even when no one else in the world does”

I’m just trying to convince myself that I’m worthy of the time it’s gonna take for me to get my shit to an acceptable level of “together.” The words I typed up there totally aren’t gonna make sense if anyone reads them, buuuuut maybe when I go back and read this thingggg later, it’ll jog something in my brain that helps.

Alrighty. Enough smashing this keyboard for the night.

this round: a summary

I’m hesitant to say this round is over. I won’t say that just yet. The remnants of unbearable fear are still with me, the trauma is still too recent.

Like, fuck. It was (I’ll use the past tense there) like 15 or so days of just. Well, if you’ve read my shit before you know what it was like. Or if you’re unlucky enough to suffer this sinister fucking disorder, you know. You don’t need me reminding you.

It always starts with the violent, aggressive, uncontrollable irritability. It has no actual cause and therefore no clear way to be diffused. It’s terrifying. I notice it in the car the most, driving. No matter who’s in front of me and no matter how they’re driving, I am angry. Intensely. White-hot rage is literally all I know or have ever known.

Then major depression. I noticed that when I was driving during that phase, I was angry as fuck still but literally to weary to respond with anger. It turned inward and tore me apart from the inside. It literally radiates off of me (like my anxiety does). My boyfriend always comments when he feels it radiating off of me.

Sidenote, I love that he senses/sees the changes that happen within me. They’re so sudden and for no reason, and they leave me feeling crazy (I already feel crazy like, generally, but I’m constantly questioning like “did that really just happen, did I really just sob hysterically for an hour?”). 

After that (or along with it) comes anxiety. Fuck the fucking anxiety. Like, physical panic attack symptoms coupled with the racing thoughts, none of which I can fully latch onto, most of them scary, many of them about death. It’s just indescribable to not have a safe place in your brain. No amount of visualization or breathing can fix it. Not even having someone next to me speaking words of comfort. Not even a hug, and I love hugs.

I had family stuff all weekend, and my cousins were visiting from another state. And it was terrible because I spent one day holding back tears and hiding and then actually letting the tears just fuckin’ flow. I couldn’t even bring myself to make eye contact with anyone that day. Yesterday was a little better. I was mopey and uncomfortable and distracted and totally not myself.

Then, of course, I got home and was hysterical for a little over an hour. And not that I wanna put myself back in that terrible, terrible moment (or any of the MANY previous ones I’ve had), but I just remember so vividly wondering how I’d ever be able to function again. I couldn’t fathom how I’d ever been able to function before. There was no escape, nothing else but inward-pointing disgust and depression and fear. I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t stop dwelling on the fact that I’m only fucking 28 and that this thing is gonna live with me for the rest of  my ever, and it might get worse and there’s no cure and like. Yeah, the cure thing. I explained to a friend of mine that “cure” is not a thing. Meds are not a cure, therapy is not a cure, doing all the right things is not a cure. They help. They give me better tools to survive the next round. But that’s all it is, most times: survival.

Sounds like a totally negative way to view it. And I feel no guilt for feeling that way. This. Shit. Sucks. I deserve a pity party after every fucking episode. At least grant me that (not that I need or am asking for permission).

Also, could timing possibly have been any worse? Ugh. I missed them all and they were physically here. The guilt I felt made things worse. The longing didn’t help either.

And I’m pretty sure none of them have ever seen me quite that bad. I was afraid I scared or upset them. But honestly, they are all so understanding and helpful and supportive, and the tremendous amount of love I feel for them is mind-blowing. I am so lucky, and I’m at a loss for words. I doubt that in a lifetime of writing and collecting words, I’ll ever get enough to explain how lucky I am or how much all that means to me.

And I have to mention my sister. And brother in law. Not only their actually support, but they were sending pictures of my amazing perfect adorable pure nephew. Immediately puts a smile on my face. Lots of people reminded me that he’s a big WHY. I want to be the aunt he deserves. And I know I can be, although I dread having to explain to my little guy why Aunt Laura loses it every now and again (but there’s a Dr Seuss book about feelings which is actually totally about bipolar disorder that I’m gonna use when he’s old enough). It sometimes hurt that I had to feel so shitty and have that someone be connected to how he was making me feel better. There was some measure of guilt that I can’t explain. But my god is his little face and his little rolls worth it.

Right. So I’m feeling better but not ready to call it being out of the woods yet. If nothing else I think it’ll be less dramatic from here on out, and I think it’ll be less rapid cycling. I think I’ll be at least somewhat less reactive to tiny insignificant bullshit going “wrong.”

Mind you, this is all sheer optimism and positivity. And I do not for a single second take for granted the fact that I am, at this moment, capable of thinking that way. It’s fleeting. All of this is fleeting. I mean, life can be looked at that way by everyone, which might be a helpful push toward “living in the moment.” But bipolar fleeting. Moods are fleeting. Flux is constant and its effects are omnipresent.

I’m just trying to find the silver lining. Wrap this up in a bow, as I tend to do. Actually no, as I need to do. And like, don’t we all? Part of what made this episode suck so bad was that I couldn’t write (even though I had some deadlines) and I couldn’t describe this bullshit in a way that I haven’t already. Each bought of insanity brings with it new…shit. And it is infuriating to not be able to explain it again. Also, I couldn’t move let alone form words. Couldn’t make eye contact let alone summon the energy to talk with other human beings.

I dunno. I guess for now I’m gonna focus (something I’m able to do again!) on finding the beauty in the spaces in between the chaos. Find a way to drill it so deep in my brain that I’ll inherently remember it (or just fucking FEEL it) next depression (well actually this was a mixed episode but whatever).

Until I get around to doing that, peace out, internet.

Saturday 1/25/20

Dear tomorrow, you stupid motherfucker,

I hate you. I hate you already because I know what you’re certain to bring. More of this absolute torture. More gruesome depression. More of the same agony, the agony I write about over and over and over again. I’ve put so many words to it, I don’t think there are many more to be used.  I’ve spent so many hours feverishly writing about this thing, this demon come to life and ravaging my brain, passionately and powerfully. But it doesn’t matter, nothing does, and I still know that when you come in the morning, I’m gonna get gutted with it all. Again. So I hate you. I wish you wouldn’t come. I’m afraid I can’t handle you. It’s all-consuming.

After you leave, there’ll be another tomorrow. I write that sentence as a plain fact, but there’s still emotion attached to it. Maybe the days following yours will be just as bad. Maybe they’ll be worse. The emotions there are obviously…not good. But then, of course, there’s the eventual tomorrow when the sun starts shining again and I start my mornings humming and the magic inside my first cup of coffee stays with me for the entire rest of the day.

It sucks that I have to face you before I feel the world get lighter again. I hate that.

Maybe I shouldn’t hate you, though.  At least not specifically. You’re gonna be hard, and surviving you is sure to suck (this thing is gonna last a while longer). But if nothing else, you’ll be a bridge to better days. Aaaaand to cross the bridge, I’ll need to see you. Tomorrow.

Fuck you for now,

Laura

again

I am completely exhausted. Insomnia has finally given way to excessive sleeping, or maybe it’s just because I’ve been taking multiple doses of multiple sleep aids every night, starting at five, just to become unconscious. I don’t want to have to think. Although I say that as if thinking is an active process at this point. It’s something that just happens. I’m dragged into it. The thoughts come in, rising like floodwaters, forcing me wherever they want me to go. My moods move in a similar, violent fashion, dragging me with them in a deranging pattern that seems never to end. I’m scared, as dramatic as it may seem to say. There’s no other way to describe it. Nothing else seems to capture what this feels like, although everyone I come across who sees my dead expression and my body twisted with anxiety seems to “understand.” Because, apparently, they’ve felt the same way at one point or another. I need that to not be true. Because if “everyone” feels this intensely terrible, then what in the fuck is wrong with me? Have they really experienced the painful ripping of their sanity from their brain? Repeatedly? Have they suffered the debilitating fear waiting for it to happen again? Have they been pulverized by the gravity of the rage within them, caused and quelled by absolutely nothing? Have they collapsed into bed, exhausted from staring blankly into space trying to summon the will to move. Have they laid there in agony that stems from nowhere, that goes on without a beginning or an end, an explanation or a solution? Cried empty tears for hours? Heaved heavy sobs until the accompanying headache stops them in their tracks? Yes, sadness happens to all of us. And yes, even depression can be felt by those still lucky enough to not have bipolar disorder. But do not. do NOT tell me you understand. Don’t insult me like that. Don’t compare your commonplace emotions to the colliding hurricanes of unwarranted pain I am tortured into feeling. Your sadness was caused by something, and I don’t deny how much that sucks. But my suffering comes without reason. There is nothing to blame it on, and nothing to repair to try to end it. It is meaningless, but its omnipresence demands it be given a meaning. Confusion rips into every aspect of who I am. My concentration is turned to smoke and dissipates like it never existed. I am sick with it. My appetite is stolen and morphed into disgust. Mr. Hyde to its Dr. Jekyll, they are one and the same, and maybe one is an excuse for the other as goes the moral of the story, but how can I be blamed for the defect thrust into me, for the malfunction that invaded my body and soul like a virus and continues to violate my every moment. Survival is all I can hope for. Day to day, minute to minute. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. It is heavy, the air like lead, but there is no cure. There is nothing left to do. Deal with it. Barely get by, but get by. It requires constant distraction. Frantic, panicked distraction. One wrong thought and I’m paralyzed. One spare moment and I’m incapacitated, another day wasted in the darkness of my mind in the darkness of my bedroom in the darkness of life itself. It wouldn’t be so extreme if it didn’t bring powerful uncertainty and unintelligible, mangled discomfort. All-consuming distress. My deadened eyes announce the signs of visible resignation. The dark bags have never left, and I don’t need a mirror to know they’re getting more pronounced. I scream into my pillow, not actually hearing the blood-curdling slice through the silence. It’s a faraway sound. It might be coming from something outside of myself, but what does it matter if I don’t have a concept of who in the fuck I even am? Spiral again. Spiral further into it. Rather than reaching for relief, clinging to whatever remnants of happiness I can find in my memories, I give up. Relief would only be fleeting. Why bother? Maybe giving myself up for consumption will get this whole ordeal over with sooner. But for now, existing is difficult. Building myself up over and over again is futile, but I have to keep doing it if I want to drag myself from under my covers to the bathroom at least twice a day. My brain is mush, but it’s still firing neurons or something, I’m still alive or something, so I’m left with gray matter leaking down into the rest of me. It’s sticky, and a sickening sight. And it lacks the neurotransmitters that might be some sort of help in this fucked up situation, lucky me. I am left with a mind disconnected, sensations out of my control, moods trying to escape the bounds of their intangible nature, and a stomach ache. Congratulations to me, I’m having en episode.

Find a safe space

You’re having a panic attack, struggling to see straight, calm your racing thoughts, slow your pounding heart, and breathe. You tell yourself you’re okay. You aren’t in actual, physical danger. But something triggered your alarm system, which sent a message to your amygdala, which made all this shit happen in your body in order to keep you safe. Too bad the danger lives more internally than externally. Still, your fight-or-flight instinct has taken over (even though you can’t run from or fight the source of your crippling anxiety), and adrenaline is surging through you, all because we inherited such a response from our ancestors thousands of years ago and our brain systems just haven’t caught the fuck up. So what do you DO?

You can try to force yourself into breathing normally. Inhale slowly, hold it, exhale slowly, hold it. Repeat. Repeat. Or you can try to “ground” yourself, to reconnect with the fact that you’re exactly where you are, here and now, to live in this present moment instead of the impending future. You can try (almost desperately) to distract yourself. Solving math problems is great for that. So are word puzzles. Your brain can’t focus on figuring things out and panicking at the same time. The same is true of experiencing a rapid and drastic change in temperature. Take an icy cold shower if you can. Your brain will stop processing the paralyzing fear you’re experiencing (or so I’m told). The scent of lavender is supposed to be calming, but personally, I open a familiar perfume bottle and breathe in the comfort it carries for me. I always use that perfume before I do happy, relaxing things. So I’ve (almost) effectively trained my brain to associate it with happiness and relaxation.

But something that’s been particularly interesting to me lately is visualization. A kind of intense mental imagery. A purposeful relocation to a safe place.

I have a pretty active imagination. Maybe that’s the writer in me, but I have a particular proclivity for getting myself lost in whatever place I’m thinking of. Like, I force myself there. I picture everything vividly, paying careful attention to detail. I mentally feel the sensations that accompany that place. I let myself experience the feelings that would go along with being there.

Sometimes it’s a made-up place in a random, made-up scenario. Sometimes it’s an actual place in a scenario I wish would happen there. There are the typical escapes. The beach, with sun shining, the waves crashing, the smell of sunblock wafting through the air. And the perhaps less typical cozy cafe, with a good cup of coffee and a book I’m completely absorbed in. A lot of times it’s a memory that, a moment in my past that I’d love to go back to. (Again, that might be the writer in me; I love the quote “we write to taste life twice,” and I think reliving memories is another way to do that)

I haven’t had a full-on, gasping, clutching, gut-wrenching panic attack in about a month. And after being prescribed an as-needed benzodiazepine about two months ago, I definitely feel more in control of those situations. Knowing I have a pill in my bag that can alleviate those sickening physical symptoms is often enough to reduce the unrelenting (and usually unnecessary) fear. And if that isn’t enough, I put the pill in my mouth and swallow.

But I’m still an anxious person. That probably won’t ever change. So I’m trying to get this visualization thing set in my mind so I can get a better handle on my general, day-to-day anxiety. I’m trying to set up predetermined safe places that I can teleport to at a moment’s notice. So here’s my attempt at collecting them and getting them ready for use:

Disney World. The Happiest Place on Earth. In any park, with any loved one, either in memory or projection. Perhaps it’s the Magic Kingdom on Main Street USA in the early morning with my parents and sister. There’s time-appropriate music playing from seemingly nowhere, and we’ve just turned the corner to see Cinderella Castle standing majestically in the distance, and I feel like I’m Home, like nothing else matters because this moment is perfect. The love I feel around me is palpable. The excitement is tangible. All is well.

Driving down Ocean Parkway, looping from one Long Island beach to another, singing loudly to a crazy array of music with the man who’d soon become my boyfriend. It’s late at night and we’ve been driving for hours, alternating between deep conversations and enjoying the fact that our tastes in music are so similar. I’m calm and happy and fulfilled.

The bookstore. Summer 2010, the summer I really came into my own. My best friend just walked in the door and we greet each other by immediately launching into talking about exciting plans and things to try and what’s been going on since we’ve seen each other a day ago. We get matching cups of coffee and sit by the window and we bounce ideas off each other while simultaneously bouncing off the walls. When we’ve exhausted that, we wander the bookstore, admiring the books we hope to buy, feeling the peace that comes with being surrounded by such an awesome amount of written knowledge. Things are good.

Christmas morning. My parent’s living room. The day that we’ve been anticipating for an entire season. Surrounded by my family and presents, the Yule Log on the TV, love and laughter and magic filling the entire room. It feels right.

I’m at a concert venue about to see my favorite band play. My friends and I are standing by the mosh pit, being bumped by someone dancing in circles every now and then, and we’re all screaming the lyrics to the songs we know by heart. The music fills my entire soul and leaves me feeling energetic in the best way. They start playing my favorite song. Then the singer cuts out and he points the mic into the crowd so that the crowd can take over the song. We’re all different but also so similar, most of us with tattoos and dyed hair and checkered vans and band t-shirts and the like. I feel connected and important.

It’s Monday morning and I just sat down in my therapist’s office, on the floor by the window, where we can watch the clouds go by and the wind blow through the trees and the cars driving by. But we’re talking about important things and processing the chaos that is my life, and occasionally veering off topic to easier things, and oftentimes looking at funny memes. I’m wiggly and all over the place, but there’s safety and comfort sitting across from me so it’s okay.

I’m in our room, sitting there on the bed under my weighted blanket, laptop propped up on a pillow, and I’m scrolling tumblr. He’s sitting next to me, and every 10 seconds we stop to show each other something stupid we stumbled across online. We’ve been sitting there for like an hour in relative silence, but it’s the epitome of what love looks like. I don’t have to worry about anything because he’s there and he understands and he loves me.

My favorite places, my favorite moments. There are more, of course. And I’m sure throughout my life I’ll continue finding ones to add to the list. But for now, I’m gonna try to remember that I have these to escape to whenever the need arises.

Different days can take different forms. Rolling with it.

It’s a new day, sunny and bright. The snow that fell quietly but persistently yesterday is melting. I’m off from work again. I was yesterday, too, and it was a “do literally nothing all day” day, where we didn’t leave the house at all, even to shovel. I woke up and changed into sweatpants and a hoodie and put on thick fuzzy socks and made like four cups of tea (after having coffee, obviously). I enjoyed it a lot. Before for the boredom-turned-to-existential-dread feeling kicked in, of course. My mood took a dip, but not in an overly-dramatic bipolar way. I was just “blah” and “off.” It was survivable.

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Right, but as I said, it’s a new day and that’s brought a fresh start and plenty of possibilities (what a cliche but inspiring thought). I can shape this day any way I want to. I don’t have a specific plan for today, other than hopefully bang out the rest of the article I’m writing for that eating disorder magazine, and maybe the other article I’m writing for the psych magazine. And I’m hoping to get a movie in, or maybe a few episodes of whatever funny tv show I feel like binging. Basically, I want to repeat yesterday but with more…pizzaz. Or something similar haha.

For now, though, I’m flipping through my planner and sort of reviewing my 2020 goals #letgetit. It’s almost the end of January (holy shit that went fast). And I haven’t totally forgotten what I wanna do this year. I’ve pretty much followed through. I didn’t include anything completely life-altering on my list of shit to do but having the reminders written down and knocking around in my head definitely help direct me.

Basically: Don’t miss any days of meds, take those vitamins and supplements, drink more water, go for a walk every once in a while and move more in general. There’s obviously shit like “read more” on there, and that goes along with “work on writing more, find more writing jobs, submit some short stories to competitions, and take some writing classes.” And the obvious, save money. The more specific things are to whiten my teeth and make sure my skin isn’t constantly dry. Oh, and I wanna start writing more here (and maybe get people to actually read it? haha).

Anywayyyy, so far, at 10:30 in the morning, today looks like it’s shaping up to be a good one. I’m determined for it to be. To continue with the subtle metaphor I’m going with, I’m gonna be like a fricken sculptor to make sure of it.

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Boom. Happy Sunday, people 🙂

Happy things to appreciate 💙 (updates!)

Random acts of kindness 💕

Cloud watching ☁️

Giving something my all💯

The tippytap of my dog’s paws as he comes to me when I call him 🐾❣️

Family!! 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

Fairytales about princesses and castles 🏰👑

Classic Disney movies °O° 📼

Waking up without an alarm ⏰ 🌅

Selfies when I’m really feeling myself 🤳🏻

Coffee ☕️ enjoying that first cup in the morning 🙂

Meeting up with friends 👭

Getting stronger 🏋🏼‍♀️ (physically or mentallyyy)❗️

Proving my resilience ⬇️🆙

Beer with friends after a long week 🗓🍻

Going on a trip ✈️

Pretty bows 🎀 (and other accessories) 💍

Smiling for no particular reason 😃

Roller coasters!🎢 the anticipation at the top!

Fruit salad 🍒🥝🍍🍎🍉🍇🍐🍌

When it all comes together like a puzzle 🧩

Old school video games 🎮

Leaving love notes (or any notes!) 💌

Gettingggg love notes (or any notes!) 📬

Good news in the paper 📰

Enjoying nature 🏔🏕

Karaoke 🎤

Flowers on a spring day 🌷🌻🌺🌿🌸

Cookies and milk 🍪🥛

The smell of rain/ thunderstorms ⛈⚡️

Balloons 🎈

Tea 🍵 with honey 🍯

Binge watching a good show on Netflix/Hulu 🖥

Tropical vacations 🏝

The smell of mom baking apple pie on a fall morning 🍎 🥧

The sun, rising every day 🌅

A fresh notebook waiting to be filled 📓

Cute puppies 🐶

Cute cats 🐱

My favorite music 🎼 🎶🎵

A stack of books waiting to be read 📚

Seeing a rainbow 🌈

Photography that captures feelings 📸

Improving myself 📈

The sun coming out 🌥⛅️🌤☀️

Fireworks 🎆🎇

Cosmic phenomena 🌙💫 -notice the miracles

Getting a good night’s sleep 💤😴

City skylines 🌇 🌃

Office supplies 📎✏️ 📋

Magic✨/ unicorns 🦄 / etc 🌟

Being alive!! 🌎 appreciate that 👈🏻

Shooting for the moon 🚀 🌕

Hot chocolate 🍫 on a cold winter day ❄️

Making someone happy 😃

Deep conversations 🗣 with close friends 👥

My perfect nephew 👶🏼

Learning something new about science 🧬

Comfy pajamas ✔️

Jeans that fit just right 👖

Frantically writing ✍🏻 getting ideas💡 on paper

Pride 🏳️‍🌈 for whatever I am

Connecting w people I love on social media 💻📱

Self-care 🕯 🧼🛁🧖🏻‍♀️

Really appreciating stars 🌟 in the night sky 🌌

Good fortune 🔮

Getting into a video game 🎮 (or watching one)

Shopping sprees! 🛍

Fall 🍁🍂🌾🌼 bonfires 🔥

Achieving something to be proud of 🎓

A big paycheck 💵

Late night car rides🚙 with Andrew🥰 singing🎶

Funny memes 😂

The incredibleee excitement the night before a Disney trip 🔜

Waking up on Christmas morning 🎄🎁

Feeling lucky 🍀

Winning something 🎰

Classical music that brings back memories 🎻

When things fit together perfectly 🔐

Making art 👩🏻‍🎨🖍🖌🖊

Appreciating all the world’s differences 🗺

Becoming the best version of me 🏆

Learning 👩🏻‍🎓

Books 📖 & how so many of them exist📚

Making wishes 🧞‍♀️🧞‍♂️✨

Things that comfort me 🧸 🐘 (my stuffed elly!)

My favorite perfume 🥰

The first snow ⛄️ of the season 🗓 [peaceful!]

Singing in the rain ☔️

Checking something off my to do list ☑️

Tattoos 🌀

Ice cream (size congruent with my mood) 🍦

Parties 🥳

Quiet mornings 🔇

Crocheting someone a hat 🧶

Ska shows 🏁

Facing fears 🕸

My infinite internal power ♾ 💥

The journey 🛤

Climbing into bed feeling accomplished after a long day 🛏

A new haircut (or color!) 🆕👱🏻‍♀️💙

Reliving memories 💭 / looking through keepsakes 🎟🎫

Being the perfect amount of energetic🔋

Finding light in the darkness 🔦

When good things fall apart but better things fall together 💔➡️❤️

Counting down on New Year’s Eve just like the entire rest of the world 🎆🎇

Making someone proud (even if it’s myself)☺️

Late night adventures 🌙

The fact that I kicked the fucking shit out of anorexia once and I can fucking do it again 🍽