A few days ago I learned my aunt, who until recently was a doctor in a clinic at the UM medical school, has made plans to start a wellness center with a few of her friends.
My mother just returned from her brother’s 60th birthday party in Holland and we had a long conversation about how everyone in the family was doing and what was going on, as I was unable to attend. Turns out one of the ladies that my uncle used to date (who is 29 and married, apparently) is a massage therapist and the three of them, my aunt my mother and this woman my uncle was involved with, all bonded over their involvement with non-western forms of medicine.
I’ve had my fair share of experience with this stuff. My father took some reiki classes once upon a time. My mother is 100% sure she meditated her MS away. I have had a homeopath tell me never to consume milk again. I’ve done meditation classes and all kinds of breathing exercises. But, I have never before faced my family’s role in all of that from my perspective or even really asked myself how I deeply, truly feel about it. I’ve chewed on the whole thing for a few days and I think I’ve come to some conclusions. I think they may also be slightly unpopular opinions.
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So since the regular world is about a week behind the Internet, I had a conversation with my boss today about the preacher who said gays should be fenced up.
I’ve been thinking lately about anonymity and my lack thereof. A friend just began blogging away from her pseudonym. I’ve had issues with my thoughts being ill-received in the past.
I tend to not think about it, as it’s easier to pretend I don’t need to keep my online life separate from, say, my work life. Today I was reminded how careful I need to be.
And how much that pisses me off.
A bit of background: I work in not quite the middle of nowhere, but we’re about 10 miles from the middle of town. It’s about 5 seconds from where I went to high school. It’s not so bad, but we definitely get more than our fair share of overalls.
So last night, one of my managers was talking to me about how she’s seen a lot of people talking about racism and “gays” on Facebook recently. So she starts talking about her opinions on some pretty touchy subjects. I started feeling awkward because I didn’t think there was anything I could add to the conversation.
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I’m sure we’re all aware of all the crazy that’s been cropping up recently.
Electric fences and death sentences for homosexuals.
Amateur snake-wranglers not learning from their father’s mistakes.
As I’ve grown more comfortable in myself and found more labels I actually like and want to use, I keep wondering where the line is drawn? I’ve never slept with someone of the same gender, but I’ve thought about it. What are the criteria for this? I want to go up to the bigots and ask. Ask where I fall on their scales of acceptability. If nothing more, maybe a completely (well, mostly) normal looking person showing up and trying to figure it out would tip them off that there is so much more of this than they can see. Nothing is even remotely close to binary here. These are the toughest questions and we read do not need to only get yes or no as answers.
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I sat in front of a computer screen staring at tiny numbers for six hours today.
I toggled spreadsheets and created chart after chart after chart.
I’ve got a new job working for my anthropology advisor in his lab. I’d already been working there, but now he’s paying me. I’ve never been this happy to do grunt work. Today we discovered that two of our tests, which are completely separate, corroborated each other for something we weren’t even expecting to show.
This is really, really awesome and I’m very, very excited to go to work barefoot, but I am so tired. I’ve been working normal hours at my regular job and then fifteen(or so, I stayed twice as long as planned today) at the new one. I had so many plans for posts and topics and things to talk to you guys about before I started this job and now my brain feels like mush. I haven’t been back to the psychiatrist. I thought my appointment was yesterday, but it wasn’t and now I haven’t any idea when it is. As I said, I haven’t been medicating. I’m definitely square one material and I remember, very clearly, why I went in the first place. I’m hardly keeping up with daily life right now, let alone having deep thoughts about the universe.
I want to have time to think about the universe, but I’ve barely got time to sleep.
So I know it’s been a bit longer than usual, but I’ve been out of town Meeting The Proverbial Parent(s).
I’m actually on the way to a wedding right now. I’m far too young to date people who go to weddings. I’m sure of it.
However, small update: I left my meds at home(3 hours away) this week and initially I was really low, but I’m getting back to square one currently so I think I’m going to stay off until my appointment on Wednesday.
I’ve got some thoughts on Huntsville(where I’ve been all week), but I’ll save those till I’m home for good.
I’m sitting on the living room floor, smoking hookah and watching Bill Nye, My Little Pony, Hellsing Abridged, and Adventure Time. Not at once, of course. I was crocheting a baby blanket a few minutes ago. I’m drinking from a mug I painted with a pink shark puking a rainbow.
I like this.
I love this.
I am as happy as I get. I relish these moments. I feel Good. I fit here. I rarely feel like anything but, for fear of sounding trite, a square peg in a round hole.
I know there are many, many square pegs. I know this does not make me a Special Snowflake. But I feel like myself.
However, I have now, finally, managed to find a bunch of square pegs to surround myself with. I even see a couple square holes into which I could see myself fitting.
Now, I don’t believe in luck, but I feel pretty lucky. I don’t feel that I deserve this life. Sometimes it’s because I don’t think I deserve a brain that fights me every time I try to do anything logical. Sometimes it’s because I don’t think I deserve the kick ass people of whom I’ve stumbled across.
That’s how it feels.
I am just walking around, kind of color blind and confused, running into people and situations and ideas.
Sometimes those ideas suck.
Sometimes those people suck.
You get the idea.
Every now an then, and I still feel like its less than for “normal” people (read: no one is “normal”, these people only exist as the antagonists in romantic comedies and young adult books*), but once in a blue moon, those people make my heart soar. Those situations make me spin around because my emotions are going through the roof. Those ideas make my brain think harder, feel more truly, and cement myself in my stance.
That makes me so HAPPY. In awe and happy. I have touched on this before, in my first post. I can’t fathom anything better than this. I’ve already beat all the odds to simply exist. I don’t need to be saved from this life. I love this life. It hurts and it sucks and it is confusing. But it wouldn’t be so great if it didn’t have those parts.
One of my tattoos is pretty much about this. I love all the things.
I was originally going to end that sentence with “that this life has given me”, but that’s not what I mean.
I love all the things.
I love all the people.
I love all the emotions.
*Now, young adult books rock. Please don’t think I am confused about this. YA is most of what I read. YA is in your head. YA knows that you think everyone else has it Made. YA also knows that you actually happen to have it Made. And YA lets you know.
In the interest of being Completely Open, this is your warning. This will not be a happy post, but I am making it anyway. I do not want to talk about my headspace, but I am doing it anyway.
Confession: I’ve been avoiding the writing and the feeling and the doing.
The new dose is clearly off. Since I’ve been taking the 20mg pills, I’ve gotten worse. I’ve tried to get in touch with my doctor, but the receptionist hasn’t returned my calls. I know something isn’t quite right, but I can hardly muster the Give A Damn to do something about it. I haven’t stopped taking them because we haven’t gone over what can happen if you just stop, I’m not familiar with the side effects. And while I could probably very easily google them, here’s the kicker…
I’m comfortable like this.
This is how I am used to functioning. Not functioning, that is. This is charted territory. I have a little butt impression in the seat of melancholy.
But I’m restless. The whole point is that I don’t want this. And I know, logically, it can’t be an overnight fix, but I will admit that the main reason I went on medication in the first place was I needed to pass for acceptable for long enough to get Better. I knew it wouldn’t happen but I thought it could hold me over for long enough to get some serious fixing done. It did, even. I felt a good bit better on the smaller dose. I was still having some symptoms, but I was getting back to a place where I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Where I knew what the next step was. Where I could see myself being all right in the proverbial future.
And the first day of the higher dose, I had a moment of panic and epiphany and absolute shock in a way I can’t remember ever having before. I work as a cashier at a retail pharmacy and generally work is at best, not stimulating in any way. I went to work the first day of the higher dose and I was handling things. I didn’t have to try every second. I thought, “Oh. Oh my god. Is this what everyone feels like?” And I thought it was going to keep being like that. I told my parents how I was doing, the first formal update they’d gotten since I informed them of my appointment. They were proud I was getting the help I needed. They were surprised I had seen such a change, they didn’t know I was ever that bad.
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