If they cared, there would be cake.

It seems like this blog runs in waves & warning for this post, there’s a bit of cussing.

From the wave of things going well, to a wave of negativity. I would say that it’s been an easy two months since my last update, but that’s far from it. Mentally it’s been a challenge in adjusting to college life and keeping up with my classes, but I’ll let my current pre-finals GPA of 3.97 stand for itself. I still have two large pieces due soon, and the actual finals to work through, but I feel really good about it despite my anxiety.

Aside from that, my life’s just been… that. Reconnecting with my buddy who went to Alaska, school. The loans I signed myself up for with school have been enough to get me through and a tiny bit more. I am very thankful. I’m going to be in debt by the time I get my Bachelor’s or Master’s if I decide to jump after it, but that’s the price of following your dream I suppose. I’ve also been really lucky this last month that my boyfriend was able to stay for the entire month and celebrate my birthday with being bored and watching way too much Ghost Adventures. I’ll let the photographic evidence speak for itself for how well the time has been lately…

See this? This is a copy that is almost 90% pristine of my favorite roleplaying system, Geist. It’s now out of print and I snagged a copy before the price jumped up trifold.

This is my buddy who went to Alaska’s dog. Her name is Jesse and getting to this point took a lot of video game visits, a lot of cheese treats and waiting for her to adjust to me. She’s a really nervous dog, really anxious about pretty much everyone and hates men even more (yay for not having dangly bits for once on my part), so it was an accomplishment to my friend and I that she trusts me to snuggle me (read: demanding attention and love) while playing Baldur’s Gate.

This odd creeper followed me home on November 4th and demanded to play the copy of Grand Theft Auto 5 I bought for my boyfriend. Oops. This is my boyfriend. I keep telling him he needs to shave more. My cat also mauled him with love when he got here. While he was here we… gasp, spent time together. The previous time he had visited I was still working full time and barely saw him. While he did get on my nerves just a little bit (I think I annoyed him just as much in my defense), it was way better this time around; we’ve finally relaxed around each other and it just concreted in my head how much better this relationship is in comparison to others I’ve had. I can’t express how thankful I am for his patience when it comes to my head.

I turned 22 on the 29th of last month. While I was lucky that I got to spend it with my boyfriend, luckier in that it was during my break from school for the holidays… my depression kicked up. We didn’t really get to do much of anything because of the sudden arrival of a hefty bill that my parents had to tackle, and the plans we were going to do in the evening got mostly cancelled. My parents even mostly forgot until well into the afternoon that it even was my birthday. In hindsight it doesn’t bother me; I understand the situation. The little five year old child hoping to get wool socks and maybe macaroni & cheese at a restaurant didn’t and the monstrous creature that’s my depression an anxiety warped the situation into worse than it was. The five year old that got infected with all that ichor of hate felt like the people who did care in my life, my friends, should’ve at least said hi or something. This breakdown of my head, mentally, happened pretty early on in the day and I eventually got over myself and the lack of macaroni & cheese in my life.

My dad, later that day, made me a pretty epic fucking dinner. I’m talking angus burgers with guacamole, good. And since there was leftover pie, it was better. And beer. Can’t forget the beer. Dead Guy Ale is fucking good.

I guess this picture wraps it up. I feel better now than when I lost my job. I feel more at ease. I don’t know if getting into the Elder Scrolls beta was part of what made November pretty damn good, but I’ll just shrug and accept it. My cat is fine and healthy, I’m fine and healthy, I’m keeping up… I’m okay.

The big black monster still creeps on me day-to-day, but in the end of it all. I am okay.

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Social Anxiety and the Beginning of the Job Race

That’s a picture of the Rosemary I planted near the beginning of the summer. I feel it best kinda represents what I’m trying to tackle and the attitude I hope I can hold onto while I try to achieve what I’m trying to achieve.

Losing my job kinda leads me to start thinking about the long run. Are there jobs in my chosen field? Will I be able to handle supporting myself and potentially my significant other for a period of unknown time? There are plenty of jobs in my field, which is highly encouraging. But I need things like a license, and a stable crap job to get me through until I can reach my career.

The revisions my resume has undergone has begun to make me feel a lot better about looking for a job. I’ve posted a brief outline of myself on CraigsList’s resumes section and gotten a few responses, put out a few copies of my resume. It feels really good to have not two or three, but six references who are willing to attest to (what I hope is) my awesomeness. My resume is sitting on the desks of the manager of a local small market and a video game store right now. I’ve applied to the game store twice before, and I hope that third time will indeed be a charm. It’s not too much to look for a part time gig doing just about anything, right?

The second question I’ve been asking myself relates a lot more to how I want to handle my psychological stability. I have a semi-dependent personality and both I & the man know this. We’re very similar in that respect. I’ve only been unemployed a few days, but he’s been unemployed going on a few years now. Being stuck in bum-fuck nowhere does that. The times he’s been down here before have been filled with good times, but also job hunting. Do I think he’ll have a better opportunity down here, to find a job and hold out until he can establish residency? Yes, it’s with 110% certainty I say that. Am I financially stable to support both he and I as well as my beloved fur babies while I go to school? That.. I’m more worried about. 

The idealist in me wants to say, YES, yes, it will be just fine. But the realist in me is screaming NO, no, it won’t be fine. And I’m just sitting here, on a slowly dwindling away monthly transit pass, scrolling through CraigsList and spending my afternoons turning in my resumes to whoever will give it a glance. All while putting in 150% effort in at school, to understand algebra (which I have absolutely no confidence in but apparently I have an A in the class so far?) and remember how the bloody fuck to write a paper.

Each time I approach an employee somewhere I get this screaming wave of terror that they’ll laugh at me, that I’ll be ignored or that I will be seen as “sub-par”. I’m scared they’ll judge me by the pants that just barely fit and the dress shirt that’s too big, and not by the fact that I’m well kept, responsible and ensure tasteful placement of my piercings as well as consideration to keep the only religious symbol I own on my person under the tshirt that also hides the text of the tattoo I have along my collarbone.

So, what does a picture of a flourishing Rosemary plant have to do with my job hunt? I’ve barely paid attention to it over the summer. I’ve let nature take it’s course in letting it root down in the barrel it’s planted in, watering it only slightly while it got extremely dry over the summer. The damn plant seems to have just slowed down, and taken root as much as it can before slowly getting bigger and bigger. It kept on going.

So here’s to hoping. That my fat ass can keep on going.

The light at the end of the tunnel

It’s been way more than a month since I’ve updated this, and with the big black monster I addressed several posts ago looming over my shoulder, this is how I’m trying to handle it.

I’m disappointed to say that I was fired from my job just yesterday. It was unexpected, and unjust; filing unemployment and a complaint with the labor bureau (shout out to Boz) and adjusting my financial aid with my new jobless status. Oof. I had to literally knock myself out last night. It took two advil PM’s and a few cups of Trader Joe’s Well Rested tea. The self loathing is intolerable. But I guess there’s more than a few things that are positive right now that I’m gonna try to focus on.

First off, school is going well so far. I’m keeping up with my Math 60 class (beginning algebra) so far, been keeping up with all the reading for both Ancient History and Intro to Natural Resources. The very first yoga class I have ever had was way more enjoyable than I anticipated. My yoga instructor (that class is 3 hours long, just btw) is also the instructor for the Wilderness Survival class I will be taking sometime this year, and she is extremely chill.

Losing my job means for the first time in well over a year, I have another 60 hours a week back. That’s a job & homework right there. I’ve already applied to places in town and I’m getting some things put together, such as a photography gig Saturday evening at Edgefield and possibly some freelance drawing for the game shop’s Magic tournaments. I’m sleeping more and I’m not as bad off as I feel I am.

I will be okay, I think. I just need to keep on trekking.

Addendum: considering writing a book… I have one sitting in limbo. Decisions, decisions…

Adrenaline

I’ve been working very hard lately. My boyfriend is in town currently, I’m filling out school paperwork and items for my FAFSA and loan information, and throughout all of it…. I’m still vegetarian.

Usually by now I’ll have broken and jumped to the nearest meaty comfort food (my personal favorite is biscuits & sausage gravy, which I may post the recipe for soon because I want to make it Saturday morning), but for some reason I’ve been able to beat the craving. I’m going to blame the bounties of summer & her fresh vegetables and the promise of my own measly zucchini plant finally pushing out a single squash (did you know that? zucchini is a squash? yeah? oh..). The recipe I tried this week and totally spaced on taking pictures about was Eggplant Parmesan. I literally had no idea what I was doing but it turned out pretty decently. Well. Amazing enough that I had to put my foot down in order for there to be leftovers.

But that’s enough of that. There’s a bigger issue in all of this. Working full time (at minimum wage, no less) with a commute that adds another 20 hours to my work week that is unpaid for has finally taken it’s toll. I am exhausted.

I need something better. I need a new start and I need to focus on school. I can’t be distracted…

This short post is here for one purpose and that’s to alert the masses that for the first time since 17, I won’t be trying to work as many hours as I can. I won’t balance it with school. I either will be working weekends or evenings, but I feel there’s a big chance I will be attempting to ease myself out of working my current job to find something else to pay my core bills while I go to school.

I’m terrified. Let me say that again. Terrified. All of my friends have moved on to either university or are almost finished. I turn 22 at the end of the year and while that’s not that big of a deal, I’ll be older than the other freshman. I haven’t taken a math course in six years and I have never been through this scary process of applying for aid & loans. Not only that, I have my animals to worry about. I have that beautiful kitty Peaches and my wonderful little crazy ball of poo, Annie. I know there’s going to be bigger vet bills for the cat in the future and Annie will be reaching two this December.

This is me having a panic attack. It’s an irrational fear of the future and the small things that has me nearly hyperventilating as I sit at the kitchen table, waiting for my breakfast muffin.. things.. to finish baking in the oven before I run out of here in a whirlwind to replace my phone charger and then leave for another 1.8 hour commute and 7 hour shift and another 1.8 hour commute back. Run on sentences. Self loathing for run on sentences. Coffee gulp. Stare at the screen for a few minutes with a twisting feeling in my stomach. Yep.

This is what a panic attack does to me.

Sometimes I really can’t justify the way my head works, and that’s okay.

image

It sounds kinda lame now that I read it, but I’ll tell you why this is an achievement for me.

You see, behind this pale blue fontface and earthy “this is my garden”, post, there’s this big black (as in color of its inky dripping fur, not ancestry) monster that creeps on me. There are thousands of little strings attached to me, my limbs and further my emotions and every day I can repeat that stupid little mantra that everything will be okay, is another day I kick that monster in its shaved gorilla balls and save the cake princess and by extension, have a good day.

I also call that monster depression.

Now at first he wasn’t that bad. It was when I had my first high stress job that he decided “hey, I’ll just put these strings here and… yeah, theere we go. Ignore your responsibilities.” I was miserable. I had a physical aversion to work that made me so sick I ended up with walking pneumonia and furthered how bad my chronic bronchitis had hit me that year. Panic attacks, resulting in me literally curling up in my bed for days at a time and calling in sick to work.

I wish I could say that it got better after I quit, and began working retail. It really didn’t. I reached the heaviest I’d ever been… and I honestly lost sight of what I even wanted anymore. I had never known but it was bad enough then that I stopped caring.

One day, about a year after I had made it out of call center hell, I actually looked at myself and saw that monster standing behind me. The worst part was just how much he had grown and how badly he had gotten his strings under my skin and made it impossible to do anything unless he let me.

“Unless he let me.” I hated thinking it. I hated almost everything I had done up until that day. I wasn’t living anymore. I was waiting to die.

I was able to cut one of the biggest threads the beast had on me that morning, and I went and had an hour long tattoo session.
A month later I was alone in my bed for the first time in three years.

There had been something comforting about having someone next to you. I had felt safe and took it for granted, and when he was gone it took several months to feel comfort in my room alone.

I feel pathetic right now talking about this. As I sit here on the train, tears coming down my face as I realize just how hard everything had hit me and how far I’ve come to own up to my mistakes and shortcomings.

This is what that monster had done to me. And this is where I am now.

I don’t think anyone really realizes just how much counseling I’ve been in over the last two years and how much better I feel now.

To all my friends, thank you. To all the people I’ve wronged or have unconsciously done anything to, please tell me. I’m trying to do better. I’ve never been good at this social thing.

I wish I could say that this is me relearning how to live, but I never knew in the first place. Instead, this is life. And every day is another tally on my win/loss against the beast.