Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Guilty Pleasures

This week's Sunday Confession topic:
GUILTY PLEASURES

I like to think I don't have any guilty pleasures...that I am the kind of person who can enjoy anything and everything she pleases without things like guilt. 

But that would be a lie. 

My Guilty Pleasures

1. I love when Bonehead laughs.  I will say crazy things and do stupid ridiculous shit to make that man laugh.  He might be the only man on Earth I chronically make an ass out of myself in front of on purpose.  

2.  I love spoiling the people I love when I can.  They don't need it, but sometimes it just makes me happy. 

3.  I have lingerie that I've never worn.  In my defense... when I bought the item in question it was just a tad too snug but I loved it too much to return it.  So it sits in my drawers still in the packaging, hoping I'll stop eating long enough to actually be able to fit into it some day, but until then I enjoy knowing there is something sexy in my drawers. 

4.  I love trashy t.v.  I used to watch Jerry Springer at night before bed.  I could name all of Bravo's Housewives for years before cancelling my cable.

5.  The More Than Cheese and Beer Facebook Page.  If I were to be honest, I would have to admit to sharing more on the MTCAB Facebook page because people who like my page are more accepting of me and enjoy my personality more than people on my personal page who actually know me.  So I hide out there, sharing the moments of my life where people celebrate them with me and not condemn me for the less classy and graceful moments. 

6.  I am still a Product Junkie.  While I've given up buying more of things until I use up what I have, that doesn't mean I still don't have more than one person should. 

7.  I don't feel guilty about the food I eat most of the time (this is why I'm fat), but one thing I do feel guilty for loving sometimes...Ramen Noodles.  

8.  I keep thinking at some point I should grow up and wear pajamas, but I would rather buy nice sheets and sleep naked. 

9.  Quality Toilet Paper.  There have been times in my adult life where I have eaten Rice-a-Roni and Ramen Noodles out of force, not choice.  But I have never given up my preferred brand of toilet paper.

10.  Schadenfreude.  To clarify, I don't sit around and wait for bad things to happen to other people so I can enjoy it.  But sometimes I can't help but feel a small twinge of pleasure when I see someone "getting a dose of their own medicine", tasting Karma or experiencing something they either supported, condoned or enforced upon another person that wasn't exactly kind or right of them to do. 


Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Way Things Were

I woke up this morning and picked up my phone to look at the time and happened to notice the date.  I stopped and stared at the screen momentarily, wondering how I didn't realize what yesterday was.  In fact, I hadn't even thought about it... not for a year now, anyway.

Yesterday was the BTW's (boyfriend-that-was) birthday.

As I laid in bed I thought about all the things that had changed, the things that seemed to stay the same and all of the roads I have left to travel.  As the one year mark of “the breakup” looms closer, I've struggled with wanting to say so much and not having the right words to express how bad things really were, to acknowledge things I know in my head and heart but can’t say out loud yet, and to tell people a story I’m still ashamed to have been a part of.

A year ago, my life was totally different.  I was in an unhappy relationship. We had conversations only about dinner, work, and bills.  There was no intimacy, emotional or otherwise, other than when he would come in to use the bathroom while I was getting ready to go somewhere if that counts.  We basically just did the same thing day after day, both of us revolving around this idea of a relationship but not really having one and only really interacting on the weekends when we would fight on account of being forced to be awake and interact with each other for more than a few hours.

He had a daughter who would stay with us every other weekend.  She was a good kid and I like to think we loved each other.  Things eventually disintegrated to the point where the only reason I stayed was because I thought me being there made her life better and I thought if he could take out his bad behavior on me it wouldn't be solely directed at her.  A year ago on the weekends, he slept in late every morning, and spent the majority of his day ignoring her and playing video games while I did everything for her from giving her medicine to doing laundry and poop inspection when she drank too much red juice and thought something was wrong.  When she started having behavior problems and problems at home, I was the one reading articles on the internet and staying up late at night losing sleep and sick with worry while he snored in bed.  I will never forget when he told me that he paid child support and that meant that I didn't support his kid in spite of the fact that I had purchased every item of clothing we kept for her, the bed and bedding she slept on and had been the one paying the bills and buying the groceries during his unemployment and for most of our relationship when he didn't actually “live” with me but spent every weekend at my house.

For his birthday last year, he wanted to have his daughter a few extra days.  We fought about it because money was tight and we would have another mouth to feed for 4 extra days (not to mention the fact that somehow toilet paper use doubled due to the presence of a single nine year old).  I didn't see the point in having her there when he was just going to play video games and ignore her anyway and she should be home with friends enjoying summer instead of being cooped up in the house with her dad.  I eventually gave in and then spent days agonizing over the grocery bill, anxious as to how I was going to afford the ice cream cake he always insisted on and worried if the gift I was going to get him would be “good enough”.

Three days before I was to go and get his daughter for the extended weekend, he messaged me at work and threatened that if I did anything to celebrate his birthday I would regret it.  Yes… if I tried to do anything for his birthday there would be a fight, it didn't matter if his daughter was there or not because he wouldn't have anything to do with it and I would be made to regret it and the money spent would have been wasted.

He changed his mind and apologized the day before his birthday.  I should have not done anything instead of running around last minute doing all of the things I had been afraid to do four days before, but I was afraid not to.

Even now, thinking about it sends a twinge of irritation up my spine and leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Looking back, the birthday incident was basically every incident in our relationship. I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't, and that feeling wasn't limited to his birthday because everything was like that.  Nothing I did was appreciated, nothing I sacrificed was acknowledged, and I was never respected.  If I demanded more out of the relationship or asked him to be an equal partner around the house, I was a nag and a bitch.  If I wanted do see or do something I had to beg him to get ready then deal with his rude and obnoxious behavior which ruined my good time, but when I quit trying to have interests and go places I was chastised for never wanting to go anywhere with him.  When I didn't “behave” and do what he expected, I was called a cunt.  When I cried, he laughed in my face.  When I shut down and stopped begging for attention and decency, when I quit setting myself up for his rejection, and when I no longer wanted his affection…I was accused of cheating and called a two-bit whore.  When I decided I no longer wanted to be in the relationship and tried to leave, he did the same thing he always did and fought with me until I could not fight anymore or did something so shocking and scary that I stopped fighting, then ignored me and continued staying in my house.

Eventually I started feeling like I was never going to be free of him.  We’d broken up before and I had been harassed for months.  He’d sent me a video of himself with a gun pointed to his head, I’d called the cops and they responded only to call me to say he made a bad choice but was “OK”.  He’d drive by my house at night.  He’d text from time to time.  In the end, none of it was enough to keep me from going back and making it worse for myself by letting him move in.  A year ago I wanted to get away from him so bad that I wanted to kill myself because it felt like the only way out.

Here I am a year later.  I forgot his birthday that caused me so much stress and anxiety for weeks beforehand last year.  I didn't worry about trying to be good to someone who threatened to make me pay if I did.  In fact, I kind of quit doing things for people who make me miserable.  I go to bed with my furry babies every night and I no longer cry myself to sleep; I don’t go to bed lonely and lay there wishing I were actually alone anymore.  I can go do things, explore things and see things that I’m interested in and make me happy without having to beg someone to get ready and come with or deal with anger, accusations or guilt if I don’t do the begging and just go alone.  I do things because I want to do them, not because I’m afraid to say no or because someone manipulated me into it.  I have goals and things I want to do.  I have people in my life who love me.  I have hope for the future.  It is amazing how much life can change in a year.

I'll probably never forget all of the things that happened.  But realizing this morning that I'd forgotten is kind of a birthday in itself... a rebirth of the person I used to be before what would become the worst relationship I've ever been in.  And that in itself is worth celebrating.



Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 8/29/2014


Welcome to Friday Feats & Fails... before a 3 day weekend!  Whoohoo!  I've been a super busy girl... so let's talk about this week's Feats & Fails!

FAILS:
-  I made a day trip to Green Bay... which was fine, except for the migraine I drove home with.  Super ouch.  Pretty sure it happened because I was dehydrated.

-  I seriously could not afford the day trip to Green Bay to see Bonehead for his birthday.  But... I needed a couple of days to myself, and I needed to see him.

-  While I normally try to avoid talking about my job, there are just some things that can't be held back... like my annoyance at the fact that EVERY time I take a day off it is inevitable that I will be emailed with some drama.

-  I haven't done a single thing around my house... except dishes.

-  And then Thursday afternoon I went to put air in my tire, and it wouldn't take air.  Great.


FEATS:
+  I finally got my Thank You cards out the door.

+  I got to see Bonehead.  Super WIN!  Love him.  And he finally got to meet the new baby in his family.  I've been teasing him about having the biological clock of a middle-aged woman for days.  But... the pictures are wonderful and that makes me happy.

+  A blogger friend agreed to join MFP and we're holding each other accountable and working on doing better.  It is weird but awesome to have someone you actually "know" holding you accountable.  And... I've lost some since I last weighed in.  Allegedly.  Which is awesome.

+  It was beautiful for the two days I had off.  It is supposed to storm the next two days, which I like because I'm all about thunderstorms.  I love them.

+  I got to spend some time with my mom and nephew during my days off.  Which was great.

+  My trip to Green Bay meant getting to surprise my brother with a special treat.

+  Speaking of my brother... he got his new Carvin guitar this week.  Which isn't necessarily a FEAT for me but... he's happy, and that makes me happy.  I got to see him open it, and he was so happy.  It is beautiful.


+  My wonderful friend, Mommy Needs Wine, Not Whine, sent me a new mug.  I don't know if you saw my last mug, but it is one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, I've used it so much it is starting to wear and I've had to retire it, but it was my comfort mug... you know, your favorite mug that you HAVE to drink out of when you're having one of THOSE days and you put on your fuzzy pants and a soft t-shirt and watch Netflix all day while drinking vodka cocoa and eating oreos.  It has been my wine mug, my coffee cup, my cocoa cup.... I love it dearly and I'm sad to retire it to being a pen holder.  But...this new mug makes the transition easier.

My old mug

My new mug

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Denial

This Week's prompt:
DENIAL

I've got a problem with denial.

As in... I go about it all wrong. 

I deny that I have a problem.   That I need help dealing with something.  That something... a person, idea, or thing... might just be exactly what it is as face value.  I live in denial of people, relationships and situations I've outgrown...choosing to keep holding on to things that make me miserable. 


Where does one purchase an ACCESS DENIED stamp?  

Sometimes I think I willingly let people, opinions and ideas into my life, my space and my head that should be denied access at the door.  Deemed "Access Denied" and there is no appeal process.  

The older I get the more I'm finding just how important and good my intuition is and just how much I need to trust and use it.  I think we've all been born with a good amount of gut feelings, we just spend so much time pushing them down and ignoring them to pay attention to what we've been born with as a means to survive.

The older I get... the more important I'm finding it is to just embrace myself and all that I am and quit denying myself good things because other people don't share that opinion, or think it is right, or think it is what I want, need or deserve.  I'm in denial of the fact that the things I don't love about myself might be something someone else loves about me.

Funny thing about denial...as much as we associate it with bad things, perhaps it is how we're applying it.  Something tells me if I spend more time denying things that make me unhappy and stop denying things that just might... I'm going to get a lot farther.

Time to stop hiding the things I don't like about myself inside myself



Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 8/22/2014


Welcome to another Friday Feats & Fails!  This week's Featured Blogger is Ripped Jeans & Bifocals.  Where do I start about Jill?  She is a Mommy through adoption, writer, and blogger from West Virginia, but calls Texas home and has been living in England for over three years now.  Which I think is pretty awesome.

I am admittedly a newer reader of Ripped Jeans & Bifocals, but I check in to see what kind of tacos she's making lately, or see what her latest parenting fail is.  But I read blogs because I enjoy reading about the different life experiences of others and that is why I read and enjoy Jill.  Jill is writing about post-adoption life as an older mom (I have started to think that if I'm going to have kids, I'll probably be an older mom... so this is good stuff for me to know).  Sometimes, she writes about Mom Guilt, her experiences in London, and  Dumb Adoption Questions & Comments people ask IN THE CHECKOUT LINE (if this post doesn't make you realize how rude people really can be, you might be beyond hope).  On Thursdays, she features other writers with an "I wish I would have known" piece.

  Sometimes, she even shares pictures of her kids which I love because they're just too cute for words.

Jill is smart, her writing is relatable and enjoyable, and if nothing else... she'll answer all of your dumb ass questions about adoption (in her own way, of course).  You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and over on her blog Ripped Jeans & Bifocals.

P.S.  Jill - I want you to try MY scrambled eggs recipe sometime.  Add 1-2 tablespoons Cottage Cheese (I like the kind of Chives in it) to every 3 eggs (NOT HEAPING.  If you put in LARGE tablespoons, your eggs will be watery).  Scramble.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Use real butter in your pan and scramble them up.  Lightest, fluffiest eggs I've ever had.  Sometimes, I like to cook down some spinach in the pan, then add the eggs and cottage cheese and scramble in the pan and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan, and salt and pepper.  YUM!


On to the Feats & Fails!

FAILS:
-  I have a lot of things I was supposed to do this week.  Like send out "Thank You" cards (and yes, I still believe in fucking Thank You cards... I just forget sometimes, or send them really late).  So... if I owe you one, I'm sorry and it will be on the way soon.

-  I didn't get any mail this week, which stinks and makes me a little salty.

-  Wednesday Sucked.  I cleaned a particularly dusty area at work and ended up with a lot of sinus pain as a result of breathing in all that dust and yuck.  When I went to leave work, I got a double nosebleed as I was pulling out the of the driveway.  Then, on the way to my mom's house... something metal flew at my face and took a chunk out of my windshield.  Super unhappy about that.

-  Job Stress.  The totally unappreciated and undue kind which I was just supposed to get over because of a half-ass apology which wasn't really an apology, coupled with a "Thank you for your patience" as if we had a fucking choice not to be "patient" (aka silent) while someone learned for themselves everything that was required for the rest of us to learn via mandatory training last week.

Whatever.  Anyway... my undue job stress prompted me to create a new word:
Corporamus: (noun) A person or entity who while employed, usually in a managerial position, somehow remains ignorant to corporate policy & the limitations of their position.  
**This has me so annoyed that just writing about it prompted another nosebleed.  I'm at 1 double, and 2 singles now.  Stress and irritation also makes my nose bleed.  UGH!!!!!  **

-  I did a lot of walking one day.  I got around a lot.  Then I went to sync my Fitbit and found the battery died.  I hate when the FitBit battery dies... all those lost and forgotten steps.  I'm very upset.


FEATS:
+  Bonehead told me I need Glitter Anonymous or some kind of similar group.  That just makes me laugh and I had to share.  Speaking of Bonehead... I just kind of love him.  And I get to see him in a few days and that makes me happy.

+  I got to spend even quality time with my Mom again this week.  Which is really good.

+  I actually got some things done around the house (WOO HOO!)

+  I am close to 2,000 Likes on my Facebook page, which is awesome and kinda scary.  In order to get there, I've said that when it happens I'll post a picture of me at prom.  I feel relatively confident that is going to happen.  I'm trying to be positive about it... because 2,000!!

+  I actually blogged this week.  Read about how I got a new perspective (and cried in the Walgreens' parking lot) when a good friend sent me a box of love.

+  I'm actually taking a few days off.  Can't afford it, but desperately need it.  At some point, you have to take care of yourself first and pay up second.  I'm sure this will only lead to more stress in the long run, but... we'll see.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Perspective (or "The day I cried in the Walgreen's Parking Lot")

Sometimes when you've been struggling hard for a long time, it eventually feels like every single problem, even the smallest inconveniences, start to feel like the Universe is conspiring against you.

All little more than two weeks ago now, I wrote a Sunday Confession about Hope.  I cried as I wrote the entire second half of that post.  Life has not been a cakewalk in a while.  I felt terrible writing it, because as much as I needed to write that post and to acknowledge what is really going on with me for myself, at the same time I struggled with feeling like I was taking the hurt inside of me and spreading it on everyone willing to read it, like I was smearing shit on perfectly good white bread by exposing people to the ugly feelings I had been holding onto so tight and making others a part of the shit sandwich that felt like my life.


I thought about deleting it and starting over as I read it over and over again.  It's amazing how even in those moments when we're sobbing at our own misfortunes we still care what people think of us.  

The messages of love and support and understanding were incredible.  Nothing was instantly better, mind you.  But for some reason having people identify with me and let me know that they care and support me was something that I definitely needed.

On Friday afternoon I went to the post office and picked up a box.  A friend had told me she was going to send me something.  I was completely unprepared for what I got in the mail.  I opened the box to find a sweet, thoughtful and generous care package full of all the things someone who is having a hard time might need complete with one of the most heartfelt notes I've ever received in my life.  I was overwhelmed as I looked through the wonderful things in the box.

I put the box on my passenger seat and just sat there.  Then I got in my car and drove to the grocery store.  As I walked around in a cloudy haze, I thought about the person who had sent me the package and everything in the wonderful box.  As I continued on with my Friday errands, I pulled into the Walgreens' parking lot just as my mom called.  I told her about the box and the person who had sent it to me.  And then, there in the Walgreens' parking lot parked in front of the Redbox, I cried.


I genuinely needed those tears, as strange as it sounds.  They were tears of happiness, thankfulness, release, and maybe there were a few "just because" tears in there.  I was blown away and overwhelmed by the wonderful blessing and the beautiful words from a woman who has never met me "in real life" but seemed to know me so well.  I had been fighting so hard, and things just couldn't seem to go right and then someone reached out and blessed me... for no reason other than they could and they wanted to.

I went home that night and vowed to take a night for myself.  I didn't blog.  I didn't post on Facebook.  I just took a hot shower, munched on some snacks, watched some tv, and went to bed early.  And it felt good.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty good still and decided it was time to make some steps in the right direction so I got showered, dressed, and put on some makeup before heading down to the Farmer's Market.

When I stepped into my kitchen on my way out the door, however... there was a beautiful green butterfly flying around my kitchen.

That might not sound like a big deal, except my vents all have screens on them, and my house has been closed up for weeks.  While some people might wonder about the cleanliness or extent of the draftiness in my home,  I saw it as a sign that things are about to get better.  And as I collected the butterfly and brought it outside I spoke to it, wished upon it, thanked it for visiting and set it free.

Maybe that is silly.  But I've found sometimes that when things are going wrong, it is easy to become blinded to the little miracles and beauties of life.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in the negative that it is easy to go stomping through the mud left by the rains and not see the rainbow.

The truth is that I needed that box of love.

 Suddenly, everything didn't seem so dark and ominous.  And it renewed my faith in people...which is something I desperately needed after feeling so jaded and let down by some of the people closest to me.  I am still struggling, but having someone reach out and bless me like that reminded me that while I can and should be honest about the trials and tribulations of my situation, being negative about it isn't going to fix those things.  I need to approach things not expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.  Sometimes when things are going wrong, a little light in the dark makes it just a little bit easier to see and strengthens us for the journey ahead.

I don't know if the person who sent it to me realized just how much they would be doing for me.  But it was like someone hit my Reset button and I felt ready to try again, like my batteries had been replaced with fresh ones, and I desperately needed that.

Words felt inadequate at the time, and they still do.  I could send a hundred "Thank You"s and it wouldn't feel like enough.

I don't have a lot right now and I'm still struggling.  But, I realize that I am still able to take care of myself and I definitely should.  It's time to be a pretty, happy girl again and I need to be kinder to myself.  I also realized that I am so fortunate in so many ways that I can still be a blessing to someone else.  Maybe not in the same way, but there are some things I could be doing to bolster someone else the way my friend reached out and bolstered me.

 I don't think I'll ever be able to thank the wonderful woman who sent me the box enough.  But I hope she knows that she taught me something important...when the world feels ugly, it is amazing what kindness from another person can do for us, and we should all try to be kind to each other now and then because you never really know how far a little kindness is going to go; A little love (even from miles away) can be a game-changer.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Change

This Week's Sunday Confession prompt:
CHANGE

Life has been full of change; I look back, and I can't believe how much has changed in my life since August of last year.  I'd like to think that I'm growing.  I'd like to think that things are moving in the right direction for me, and that I'm making progress towards the person I want to be and the type of person I believe I can be and I can't help but think about the past. 

I had just turned 8 when my little brother was born.  He was a chubby baby who later turned into a curly haired little toddler who loved to hang out with his big sisters and their friends.  And all of our friends loved him...a sleepover wasn't a sleepover without my brother toddling around and watching movies with the girls.

When we got older, it wasn't unusual for me to babysit from time to time.  They used to play Bond movies every other Saturday night on ABC, so my mom would give us money for pizza and snacks, drop my sister off wherever she was having her weekend sleepover as she was that age where there was always a sleepover at someone's house, and go out and listen to music in town for a few hours.  My brother and I would stay in, order pizza and hang out on the couch eating junk food and watching James Bond.

When we got older and I got my own apartment, I would drive across town to pick him up and we would hang out watching cable tv until late in the night.  Now that we're even older, we do things like have Resident Evil marathons (rendering me afraid of the dark for much of my adult life), and I still owe the kid an Aliens marathon (I've only seen Alien vs. Predator).  My brother first introduced me to Zombieland and I bought him his first Toppers pizza years ago.   

This is just what we do.  Pizza and a movie, and we tell stories and catch up. 

I spent tonight hanging out with my little brother.  I guess I can't really call him my little brother anymore because he towers over me.  I'm still trying to figure out how my parents created a child that is 3+ inches taller than either one of them and most of the people on either side of the family. 

But I digress. 

I picked up dessert and snacks and we were going to watch Sharknado 2 (we have a love for stupid movies) but settled for Rapturepalooza and some Mark Wahlberg movie I've seen before.  

Eventually, my mom came home and it was just like old times.  My little giant brother and I on the couch, and mom in the recliner watching the end of some movie until late at night.  Then Mom eventually falls asleep, and we watch the rest of the movie until it ends and I collect my stuff, and remind him not to turn the porch light off until I reach my car because I'm afraid of zombies.  

As I drove home tonight, I thought about all the changes of the past few years.  I'm an incredibly annoying big sister and I have cried at every milestone moment of my brother's life. 

Every. Single. One. 

When he went to Kindergarten.  When I had to drop him off at the daycare before school.  When he started middle school.  When he went to his first dance.  When he went to high school.  When he got his driver's license.  When he graduated.  When he got his first job.  When he graduated college. 

I cried every time.  My entire family teases me about it.  

But with everything that has changed... like the fact that my chubby baby brother is now tall and lanky and grows weird facial hair, there is something comforting about the occasional night of cramming on the couch for crappy movies and junk food.

And I know someday that will change.  Maybe he'll meet a nice girl, decide he wants to get married and make babies (or have 5 wiener dogs, or something) and then there wont be pepperoni pizzas with stuffed crust & extra cheese, no movies with D-list celebrities and cheap special effects and he'll want to do Saturday Night movies with his wife and his family. 

I've been trying to embrace the changes in my life, and sometimes I feel a little lost.  But nights like this are what bring me back to myself, and I hope we never stop having them.  It might be unrealistic, but this is one thing I hope never changes. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 8/15/2014


Welcome to another Friday Feats & Fails!  Our Special Guest this week is the gorgeous, make you pee yourself hilarious, Tracy on the Rocks!  I have to say... I'm realizing how fickle I am because if your blog has an awesome name, I'm definitely more willing to give you a first look.  And as someone who has spent a fair amount of time "on ice" for a back injury and has called herself "Hot Ash on the Rocks" in the past... Tracy on the Rocks was almost a shoo in.

But... the woman DID NOT disappoint.  I think the first post I read might have been the hilarious If You Didn't Shit Your Pants, You're Fired!  I laughed out loud when I read that and I've followed her ever since.  And the thing is... I adore Tracy because she is frickin hilarious, but also because her stories sound a lot like my stories.  I mean, The Suit Story actually happened to me once with a pair of grey pants and my hemming job looked just like hers.  I've gotten Tracy to write a few Sunday Confessions for me and in April she wrote a Sunday Confession about Lessons called The Whites: A Lesson for Men; It was while reading about her shoving melted caramel, coconut cookie disaster into her mouth while yelling, "See, it’s like…it’s like he WANTS me to be fat!!! FUCKER!!!" that I realized that Tracy and I could really be incredible friends.

Tracy, how I love thee, let me count the ways!  She talks about drinking wine.  She tells Auntie Stories (I'm an Auntie...so I can TOTALLY relate and see the cute in EVERY SINGLE ONE).  She is sarcastic, awesome, and frickin' hilarious.  The thing I love most is that she inspires me to work towards being a better writer by writing about experiences we "share" in a way that I wish I could.

You can find her posting shenanigans on Facebook, and read Tracy's stories in all of their comedic glory at Tracy on the Rocks.  If you love me, you'll love her... you won't regret it.  I hope you'll go check her out!


On to the Feats & Fails!

FAILS:

-  I totally cried in the Walgreens' parking lot on Friday.

-  My landlord left town this weekend.  On Saturday, I snuck down to his basement to use his washer/dryer because they're bigger than mine and I desperately needed to wash all of the blankets in my house.  I tossed his dirty laundry in the sink and planned on tossing it back in when I was done.  No harm, no foul and he would never know the difference.

Wrong.  So wrong.  To make a long story short, the basement flooded a little and I got bleach water on his clothes, which I then washed.  Because I like to keep it incredibly fucking awkward.

-  Sunday Night: I didn't follow my own fucking recipe.  I ended up burning squash.  Then made the sauce too thick for my stir fry.  It still tastes good, but it has the texture of glop.  And I made a shit ton because I wanted leftovers.  #dumbass

-  Brian the Foot Guy has officially surpassed me in searches for my website on Google.  Which wouldn't bother me so much if I weren't being contacted and sent foot photos from people with reading and comprehension problems who miss the bright red lettering that states, "PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ME ABOUT THIS OFFER. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, PLEASE CONTACT BRIAN DIRECTLY.  I WILL NOT RESPOND TO REQUESTS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OFFER AS I AM NOT THE ONE POSTING IT.  THANK YOU."

Yet week after week I get comments and emails and foot photos from people who don't get that 1. I am not the one making this offer and 2. I am not Brian the Foot Guy.  I can't even begin to tell you how many coy/flirty messages I receive...I have no idea how Brian does it because some of these women are ridiculous.  All I did was write the interview and I can get anywhere from 1-3+ messages a week.


Four people searched for me in the last week. 4. 


- Robin Williams death.  Need I say more?  While his passing was hard and traumatic enough, what happened in the days following was just as hard.  I wrote about it.... Fear and Loathing in the Aftermath of Robin Williams.



FEATS:
+  I received a wonderful care package in the mail from my friend Debra and I got to spend Friday night munching snackies and taking some much needed time for myself.  I definitely needed that box of love.

+  The Union at the company I work for didn't go on strike.  It wouldn't have affected me, just made my day harder.

+  New Bras.  Because sometimes you just have to give in and buy new Hooter Holders.

+  I got to spend some much needed time with my Mom this week.  Sometimes you just need your mom. 

+  I actually cooked this week.

+  I'm feeling better and more focused.  Baby steps, but getting there. 



Super Thanks to Tracy for joining us this week!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fear and Loathing in the Aftermath of Robin Williams

I was sitting at home on Facebook when I saw the first post about Robin Williams' passing.  At first I dismissed it, as it wouldn't be the first time there had been a celebrity death hoax on Facebook.  I kept scrolling and saw it again, this time from a reputable news source.

It was less that an hour before the "RIP Robin Williams", the memes, and the sad updates were everywhere.  I logged off Facebook because I knew what was about to happen and what was coming next was going to leave me upset.  But you can only avoid it so long.

What am I avoiding?  I'm avoiding all of the messages of "support", how sad the situation is, how people should get help, and the "please come talk to me if you need help" posts from people who I feel lack real empathy and who I feel are "reaching out" out of some sense of obligation and not a genuine desire to support people who know Robin Williams' struggles on a more personal level.  The observations and opinions about depression and suicide from people who clearly have no idea what the they're talking about and statements reinforcing the stigma of mental illness has filled my newsfeed for the last 24+ hours.

I recently began talking about my current struggle with depression.  It isn't the first time I've struggled with this; I've been struggling with depression and self-harm since I was a teenager.  I've been in the position to need to ask for help.  I am no stranger to therapy.  I am no stranger to anti-depressants though to be honest I usually give up on them before really feeling "helped".  I'm not an expert on depression, and I'm not trying to claim that I am.  In my experience, sometimes what I find least comforting is actually of great support to another person... that is the beauty of this world, we're all different.  I'm just writing this as someone who has experienced the struggle with depression and knows what it is like to want to end it all.

When you suffer from an illness or affliction, and you see someone "lose their battle" it generates a lot of fear.  Of course there is a lot of sadness as well, and that sadness is only exacerbated by the first hand knowledge of what those feelings feel like.  I know what I feel like when I've self-harmed, and knowing the thoughts and feelings that go through my mind causes my chest to physically hurt at the thought that he probably felt and thought all of them in a way I never have leading up to his last moments.  No one should die feeling that way, and my heart aches.

But behind that sadness is the fear that you yourself won't be able to survive, that if the person who died couldn't make it in spite of whatever they had going for them whether it is fame, money, family, friends or great personality then what chance do you have?  While death might serve as a reminder of mortality to a normal person, death by illness or affliction to a fellow sufferer is a double whammy of mortality and the glaring fact that the thing you struggle with has claimed yet another victim, someone you might have even thought was better than you, and even they could not find a way to survive it.


Robin Williams made people laugh for a living.  He brought so many people joy and so many people loved him, and he had the money to pay for the help he needed...if this is how it ended for him, what is to keep me from falling over that ledge too?

Maybe it is just me, but it is infuriating as someone currently struggling with depression who has admitted she needs help, can't afford help, and who has to wait another 4 weeks to see her doctor to even begin to talk about things like medication (which I also can't afford) to see messages offering "support" from people who I've seen make disparaging remarks about mental illness, or have said hurtful or insensitive things when they've been asked for support. 

I'm willing to admit that I'm a little bitter and feel let down because I see so many people talking about Robin Williams and offering support up who were less than approachable, receptive or compassionate when I tried to reach out to them for help.  People who are supposed to be my friends.  People who are supposed to care.  I'm hurt because I feel like some of those people didn't support me when I needed them, but I'm more scared knowing that someone might reach out to them only to end up feeling the same rejection I felt and not have other supportive people they can turn to.  

It is so hurtful seeing people who I thought cared about me posting disparaging remarks about Robin Williams' being selfish and cowardly and belittling his struggles when I understand so much of it all too well, and I can't help but wonder, "If I don't make it, if that ends up being me, will they say those same things?"  As I write this, I know that there are some people I need to remove from my life immediately.

Looking at the Internet these past few days I see just as much stigma, judgement, and ignorance about the struggle that is living with mental illness as there was before Robin Williams' death.  I have avoided news media and blogs because I am finding myself triggered.  I am sure I am not the only one.  But for all of the genuine help I see posted, I still see a constant stream of negative opinions and judgments that make me not want to reach out to anyone and that scares me for people who might not have the supportive people that I do. 

Sadly, I think when talking about suicide and depression the "niceties" contribute to the problem. When something tragic happens, people naturally fall back on the socially acceptable behaviors of offering up support, and the truth is that sometimes people offer support which they are unwilling to actually provide. 

It is a crushing let-down when you've built up the courage to reach out to someone for support when they have put themselves out there as someone willing to listen and be a friend, only to find they have no interest in being supportive, helpful, or understanding.  Not everyone can handle emotional upset and discussion about death, depression, self-harm and suicide can be very upsetting to some people.  I'm not judging people who are emotionally or psychologically unable to handle that; All I ask is that people who are unable to really help forgo offering personal support to people who need it if they are incapable or unwilling to actually provide that support. 

There are people out there who I know really want to help people who might be struggling.  There are genuine, wonderful people who have been my warriors, my heroes and my champions time and time again.  They are literally lifesavers and I can't even begin to express my appreciation, gratitude and love for those people.  I want to see more of them and people like them.  I want people who really do need a friend or a listening ear to be able to see these sincere people who are genuinely effected by this sad death and reaching out in honesty for those who might need help and are being lost in the sea of people who I feel are just "saying what people say".

To those of you who spend every day trying to help and approach this with sincere compassion and love, thank you. You save lives just by trying. 

I wish I could tell the people who are being mean, condescending and enforcing stigma that one in ten people means there are pretty good odds that there is a Robin Williams in your life who just read your post calling the actions of a desperate man selfish and cowardly, and there is a good chance that person feels hurt and even more alone and ashamed than before.   

The best advice I can give to those who genuinely want to reach out to people and perhaps might not know how is to read up about how to be an active listener, maybe do some reading on how to help/what to say to someone who is suicidal or suffering from depression, arm yourself with a box of tissues and phone numbers for resources such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, refrain from making judgments that would make people feel uncomfortable coming to you, and strive to be a person someone could come to in confidence.  Most importantly, try asking how you can help someone.  You don't have to have all the right words.  Most of the time you don't even do anything except be there, let them know you care, and listen.

Don't know what to say?  Want to help people but don't have the words?  Unable to handle the complex thoughts and emotions about depression, self-harm and suicide?  That is OK.  You can still help people by simply sharing information from people who can. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sex

This Week's Prompt:
SEX

Sex.

I’m not having any.   Which is a damn shame because let’s be honest, I could probably use the stress relief.  It isn’t that I haven’t had offers, but I'm just not interested contrary to what people who don't know the details might think.  There seems to be this idea that when you’re “bigger”, ESPECIALLY when you’re a bigger woman, that you have problems attracting interested members of the opposite sex.  Maybe that’s true for some people, but it isn’t for me.  There's no rule that says you have to be "fit" to be sexy or to have good sex, I'm doing just fine and my weight doesn't hinder my sexual opportunities so much as my porky mouth and feisty personality do.

I’m ok without sex… when the situation isn’t right, it just complicates things. Then again, sometimes I think I take sex too seriously.  Other times, I think other people take it too lightly.  Either way, to each their own I suppose.  If it doesn’t hurt anyone… do what you will.

I don’t know that there is anyone who doesn’t have an embarrassing moment whether it is an awkward injury, getting caught, or most unfortunate flatulence.  I’m not any different and while I don’t necessarily have anything story worthy about doing the deed I can say I’ve had all three embarrassing moments, and then some (Ok, fine, I do... I just don't want to tell ALL of my secrets).

I think the best thing anyone can do is explore their sexuality and whatever that means to them personally whether it is trying everything, trying some things, or trying nothing.  I believe every single sexually active person should know themselves… at the very least know their body, know how to take care of it, and know what they like;  It is a responsibility, a right, and a joy everyone should have.

The first and only time I went to a sex toy party was awful. It was being thrown by a girl I worked with who had decided she wanted to be a Passion Parties Rep to make extra income and wanted practice giving her presentation.  So she asked her best friend, another coworker, to host her first party.  It was a nightmare.  The presentation was good enough...the problem was that my boss was there and it was more awkward than bonding overhearing my manager telling her friend which remote rabbit she had. The worst part, however, was when the orders were "delivered".

I expected a phone call and a drop off, or a discreet pass off...maybe a fancy gift bag with some pretty tissue paper.  No such luck... instead she brought the box everything was shipped to her in to work and told everyone to just grab their stuff.  Nothing was separated by order, grouped together or given any thought to privacy...in fact, she left the order sheet on top so we could make sure we got our items.  We were all just expected to go behind the Service Desk at the retail store we worked at, dig through everything everyone else had purchased, then double/triple/quadruple wrap everything in the store's white plastic bags with the hopes of getting out the door without someone noticing.

Let's just say I had made my first significant Adult Novelty purchase, and I had made quite an investment in her future as a Sales Rep.  I was the only one who didn't order some rinky dink bubble bath shit.  It was humiliating.  I walked out of work that day with my double quadruple wrapped package under my arm like I was smuggling drugs.  I have never been to another party since.

 There might be some great debate on what makes the best sex and what the best sex really is, but I believe the best sex is completely uninhibited.  Getting there starts by educating yourself and not buying your Adult Novelties from a coworker.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails (8/8/2014)


Happy Friday!!! 

Welcome to Friday Feats and Fails!

The "Rules":

Write a blog post with the Feats and the Fails from your week, or comment them below

Feats: something you did, accomplished, conquered or triumphed over or something that made you want to brag or celebrate.  It can be as simple or complex as you want.

Fails: something you said or did that wasn't so awesome, something that happened that wasn't so great, a low point in the week, or just something you wish had gone better...share, commiserate, and then LET IT GO because it is Friday for goodness' sake!

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Check out the other people who linked up, congratulate them, commiserate with them, and giggle with them!

~8~8~8~8~8~8~8~

FAILS:
- Just because I can admit that I'm struggling with Severe Depression doesn't mean I know how to fix it.  I know I should probably follow my own tips but it is incredibly hard.  I've started making moves in the right direction, but getting the ball rolling is always kind of a slow endeavor. 

- A complication of being in denial about my "Depression Situation" for so long is that I've fucked up a lot of things the last few months.  There are some good things that have come from it, like being able to finally let go of some people/Joy Vampires and situations that no longer agree with who I am or what I want to be and distance myself from people who didn't have my best interests at heart because it is easier to see Psychic Vampirism when you're "budgeting your resources" on a psychological and emotional level.

Unfortunately...I also hurt some people in the process.  A few weeks ago, I wrote a Sunday Confession about hurting someone I love and the "problem" went away for a short period of time before bouncing back and nailing me in the face, the way things improperly dealt with tend to do.  Bonehead once told me "Sometimes in life, there are things/people we have to let go in order for them to grow in their own way".  Sadly, it seems that maybe this time I'm the one who needs to grow.  The events of the past few years have taken a toll on my emotions, my all around well-being and how I look at the world.  I don't know what the outcome is going to be, but I'm already feeling anxious.  I know what is going to be will be, but... that is never an easy pill to swallow.


-  I kind of just gave up on my calorie tracking.  So much for dedication but... I need to focus on my mental health before anything else.  A healthy body is nothing if I'm rotting away on the inside. 

-  I don't think I did anything around my house all week. 


FEATS:

+  I admitted and realized that I'm struggling and might need help.  Some people never get to that point, so I feel pretty good about it.  I've started talking to the people around me so they know and understand. 

+  Lots of people have come out to support me and be on my side.  It is one thing to "know" people care about you and another to have them come out and tell you when you really need it.  I needed it.  I'm glad I have those people. 

+  I won a gift card from Tracy on the Rocks for being a stalker-like on her page and sharing her.  She's awesome and she agree to be the Featured Blogger for Friday Feats & Fails next week. 

+  Bonehead got some positive news.  He'll be moving closer!  I'm very excited for him!

+  I sidestepped another hot and steamy conversational topic this week when I was told that men my age don't have manners and don't treat women with respect because they weren't taught to cherish them...because of equal rights.  So... while I might have all kinds little thoughts in my head, I just quietly turned around and went back to work.  Not a peep.  Go me!



More Than Cheese and Beer
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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Online Dating: Douche Bags say What?!?!


If there is anything I've learned, it's that if the profiles don't kill you... the first message will.  Most people know about my incredible partnership with Jenniy from Climaxed and our joint project: DoucheArt.  And if you're a fan of the site... you know we get douchey messages ALL the time.  Believe it or not, many of the messages we receive are the first messages the people who send them to us ever send.  But there is so much more to crappy messages on Online Dating Sites, they aren't all douchey but that doesn't make them good either.

Neverending Pleasantries.  I love men with manners.  But for some reason, I have a couple of men on dating websites who just continue to make small talk with me... it usually consists of "How are you?",  "How is your day?" followed by a compliment, and then stop replying to me.  I can ask questions, I can attempt to start a dialogue and just don't get a response.  They just never reply and in two weeks start over with "Hi" and "How is your day?"

The Douchey Sext Message.  I've noticed that Jenniy tends to get more douchey initial messages than I do whereas I tend to get more of the kind of messages that start out reasonably normal but go bad before I really know what the hell is going on.  We've both gotten awful, predatory, unsolicited sexts and DoucheArt is proof of that, but what usually makes them even worse is when we look at the profiles.

Some of the messages we get will make your skin crawl, but very few things make me want to crawl out of my skin like an insect shedding an exoskeleton quite like getting a predatory, vile message only to look at the profile and see the man exclaiming, "I'm a father to the World's Most Beautiful 5 year old girl", or even worse... see pictures of him holding his two kids.  Or for example, this DoucheArt post from Jenniy about a man with the username "OrgasmDaddy" whose profile was all about his kids but his first message was downright icky.

Photo from BackyardNature.net

The Great Insulter.  They are by far one of my favorite types of messages.  I know that sounds strange, but after having been in a 3 year relationship with a narcissist I didn't see coming until I was already emotionally invested it is kind of refreshing to have someone show you their ass right off the bat.  And it is funny for me... because every time it happens, I want to ask them, "Did you not realize how insulting that was before you sent it, or do you literally expect me to respond to that favorably?"  Sometimes I wonder if it is some of that Pick Up Artist negging crap, and I don't understand why anyone feels that is appropriate in an online forum much less in real life.  But what it comes down to is, I want to be with someone who thinks I'm wonderful and wants to build a relationship with me and by "taking me down a peg" or criticizing me... I immediately know that the person who said it to me doesn't want to respect me, build me up, or work towards success with me because someone who does wouldn't feel the need to try and bring me to a level where they felt they could approach me.  That's just kind of sick and stupid.

I'm not even sure I want to bring up the guy who assumed that not answering him in the middle of the night meant that I must be "picky", as if I don't have a right to be picky about choosing someone to date (you can see that DoucheArt post here).

Conversation Cock-blocking.  I run into this situation more than I care to admit.  I personally do not think I'm hard to talk to.  I ask questions.  I respond to messages in ways that allow further conversation.  That being said, it is incredibly irritating to me when someone sends me a message that I in no way can respond to.  What REALLY irritates me is when they keep messaging me to have these conversations that just drop off over and over again.  Are these guys really douche bags? Not necessarily, but when you read the profiles and they are cutting down the website and talking about how hard it is to find someone, it's hard not to tell them that it isn't what they're saying, so much as how they're saying it.  They don't leave any room for a woman to respond.

This was originally shared on DoucheArt, click the picture to read the original post


"Am good"?  I just couldn't bring myself to answer him in a way that would encourage further communication.  That, however, didn't stop him from asking me if I wanted to text him in his next message. *Facepalm*



The Little Engine That Could.  As time has gone on... I quit returning messages to anyone who messaged me, but for a long time everyone who sent me a message got a response (more on that later).  I'm willing to admit that I might be a little sensitive to certain behaviors, but when I get a SECOND message from someone before I even had time to respond to their previous message (or even receive it)... I am extra cautious.  I'm not talking about people who message me again because they wanted to say something extra, I'm talking about the guy who messaged me three times in 2-4 hour intervals in one day and has messaged me every couple of days since then.

He must be saying, "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can... get her to answer!" (he's messaged me "Hi" twice since I took this screen shot on Saturday)


The Horny Novelist.  Every once in awhile, I will get a huge long first message.  Not like... full of personalized compliments and totally interesting kind of long either.  They're really more like swipe, swipe,  swipe, play Words with Friends, check Facebook, forgot if you read this screen and swipe without reading, answer phone call from my mom that lasts 20 minutes and I have no idea what she wanted in the first place when I hang up, "wait- did I read this already?", swipe, skim to the end.  What are they about?  Honestly, they're so fucking long that I couldn't even really tell you though what I do read is usually fairly well written (spelling and grammar).  There is a smattering about hobbies in there, but messages like these usually come from pseudo intellectuals self-described scholars or college guys/undergraduates wearing houndstooth and "nerd glasses" (and if you're really lucky, they'll throw in a bow-tie) and bullshitters philosophers who want to talk about the meaning of life and share with you what I can only assume is their Mission Statement.  It comes off as being really deep and and genuine and it can be really tempting to take a guy who sends you such a long introspective message seriously... if you haven't encountered it before.

If only they looked this good.  Mmm... I love you J.T. 

I admit... dudes who kind of remind me of Kevin Smith win brownie points

Unfortunately, while the guy just might be geektastically sexy, when he seems barely capable of making general conversation and after maybe four messages asks you if you want to "meet up for some fun" it's just kind of a turn off.  Because WHY?  Why write such a long, seemingly thought out message that you send to women with the expectation that they actually read it if you're just going to proposition them for sex?  Seriously?

But you can normally tell these guys by the pretentious bullshit in their profile.  They'll go on and on about being a "liver" of life, but won't actually ever say what they hell it is they're literally doing.  Then, in the section that asks about movies... they'll say something like, "One should not need interests in media to seem interesting, we are human beings, we are plenty interesting by ourselves."  But what they really mean is, "why watch tv when we can fuck?"

Call Me, maybe.  He'll have virtually no information on his profile, and will send you one, maybe two messages before asking you to text him... complete with his phone number.  One of these days, I'm going to find something really interesting to do with those phone numbers.  Maybe write them on dollar bills "for a good time"?

Maybe I'm just hung up on a bad experience, but I chatted with a guy for over a week one time before giving him my number... what happened next was unbelievable.  We had been texting for a few days... next thing I know, he sends me a video of him jerkin' the gherkin.  Then he wanted to meet up.  When I declined, I got text after text about how he had just fucked some chick, was going to shower and go fuck another one and then maybe meet up with a third.  I quit answering and the next day he texted me like nothing happened.  When I asked him to lose my number, he said fine and then continued to randomly text me for 6 months!

And that is why I don't give out my number to strange guys on online dating sites.

Face Time.  Some women have a problem with online dating because it seems like they don't actually get asked out; I have the opposite problem and I get asked out regularly without actually knowing anything about the person.  I realize that there needs to be some kind attraction outside of a few pictures, but I just can't bring myself to meet a guy after one message, especially if his profile has zero information on it.  The whole point of online dating is to have access to many single people that you can chat with and see if you're even remotely interested in...it's one of the great and wonderful things about online dating: you don't have to spend your time getting ready to go pay for your own drink, meet someone you don't really like and then find a way to get away from them.  It's just not safe or smart to just agree to meet someone after one message.  Maybe I'm a dummy, I just don't want to end up in a hole with someone standing over me telling me to put the lotion on the skin so he can wear my stomach as a meat dress after he starves me for awhile and clobbers me over the noggin.  I live in frickin Wisconsin...it's a very legitimate fear.



Also.... this song


The Guy that makes you ask WHY?!?  I recently got a message from a man and I could not for the life of me figure out why he messaged me.  The profile was just too long for me to include it here, but I'll just share the highlights with you:

  • "I would like to say that my profile is not in any way intended to control any woman as some ladies here think it is. I am a fully grown man and I know what I want in life and certainly know what I want in a woman." 
  • "First of all I have very strong passion for my faith and believes [sic]. I am a Christian and I can not[sic] imagine a perfect life without God and I am looking for someone who has strong religious background as well, preferably a Christian." 
  • "I have instruments that I practice everyday, gospel,smooth jazz,classical and reggae music are my favorite.
  • "I don't know how to cook but I always try to get in the kitchen to do something. I am single so why not.. lol. :)." 
  • "I like to run and ride my bicycle it constantly keeps me in good shape." 
  •  "I am not here looking for multiple women to sleep with. I am not desperate for a woman, though it would be nice to have a life partner. I am too much of a decent guy for that. Its not safe at all to be sleeping with many people. (STAYING 100% CLEAN IS A MUST )...I don't like a cheater so if its all about sex but no commitment or nothing serious then forget about talking to me." 
  • "I am also very sensitive to derogatory terms such as "f*** you" or "f**king" (simply put i do not like cussing, if you can't say it on TV then its NOT allowed ), and under no circumstance will i tolerate any insults from any woman it doesn't matter how mad she may be, insults only add flames to already heated conversations and its not a good way to achieve a positive results in a relationship. I believe there is a much better ways to resolve issues as loving couple. I don't want a woman to constantly cuss at their own kids.. its not a good way to raise a child and i do not want my future kids to learn insults from their parents or anybody else. I don't like a woman who calls herself a b**** and acts like one either.... I have met women in the past who always did all of the above and i don't see myself dating a woman like that. A woman should always respect herself first." 
  • "I don't like going to the bar or the club, I don't smoke or drink and I prefer a woman who doesn't smoke or drink or go to the bar or club" 
Ok, so maybe I'm being an asshole.  But this guy actually messaged me.  Seriously.  I say "shit" in my profile.  My username has the name of one of my favorite liquors in it and I specifically say I like wine and having drinks.  I do not mention religion in my profile AT ALL, I think anyone who is so passionate about their faith would look for someone who feels the same in a way that they put it on their public profile.  Running... just NO.  His weird little paragraph about staying clean made my skin feel creepy crawly.  And no derogatory terms? FUCK THAT.

Long story short, he messaged me and asked how I was for a two days, and then I asked why he messaged me and he asked if I wanted to date.  I told him based on his profile I couldn't figure out why he would ever message me in a million years... he responded by asking me what was wrong with my profile.  When I told him I seemed to be the opposite of what he was looking for, he still kept messaging me asking me what was opposite, then started grilling me as to whether or not I was a part of any religion, and when I said I believe in a higher power, he asked me the name.  I mean really... I'm sorry, but what the fuck?  If you're going to have a specific profile and want specific things, you should look for people who meet what you're looking for.  When you just message anyone, it makes you either full of shit or the kind of person who is going to try and force someone to be what you want them to be.  Either way... not awesome. 


I have to stop here.  I could keep going.  We could talk about the Text Speak guy, Typo guy, the guy who is bored, the guy who messages you a single greeting and never replies, the guy who says hi and then asks you to sit on his face... it is never ending.  What happened to a nice greeting, maybe a compliment, and then an actual conversation?  Ugh.  I'm starting to miss cheesy ass pick-up lines in bars.

What is the worst pick-up line anyone has ever used on you?


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hope

This Week's Prompt:
HOPE

For some reason, if Hope were a color I would imagine it as being yellow.

You would think that someone who has faced depression before, and who has openly discussed issues with self-harm would know the signs of depression and wouldn't be afraid to talk about it or seek help.  It seems that even being well experienced in struggling with depression and speaking out against stigma does not lead to immunity from stigma and personal shame.  That being said... it's time to come clean.

Hi, my name is Ashley and I'm suffering from Severe Depression.

It is no secret that I've had a real rough time of it lately.  While I've been open about it, I've tried not to whine (and not always excelled in the endeavor).  I've tried to embrace that things are changing for me right now.  I've tried to accept that perhaps right now I'm supposed to be learning something about myself, life, love, happiness, hard work...I'm not entirely sure.  While I've been open about my struggles, the truth is that I haven't been honest with anyone (including myself) just how bad things are.

While it might appear that I am still functioning because I get up and go to work every day, every morning is a fight to get out of bed.  While I still manage to make this blog happen, I feel like I'm not expressing myself as creatively as I would like.  I am exhausted from stress and maintaining the facade things are ok.  I'm not sleeping at night and when I do, I often have nightmares.   My home is messier than it has ever been in my life and I am ashamed.  I am struggling financially and every attempt to cut costs, budget, and find a second job in an attempt to catch up and improve things has proven futile.  While I still shower daily, apply deodorant and wear clean clothes, my personal hygiene consists of the bare minimum; I'm taking care of myself but not taking care of myself in a way that makes me feel good or confident about my appearance.  Speaking of appearance, I'm gaining weight yet again... which doesn't help the chest pains (I know they come from stress and have seen a doctor, but it is an incredibly scary feeling anyway).  I'm struggling with my back injury and my chronic pain is exacerbated by my depression while contributing to it at the same time.  I feel guilty for not being the daughter, sister, aunt, partner, friend or person that I want to be or have been in the past.  And the guilt is crushing...I feel guilty because I feel this way, because I'm letting people down, because I can't bring myself to tell someone because I don't want to make all of this ugly and soul-sucking darkness I feel inside their problem.  I feel guilty for being a fake because I just keep pushing to pretend it is all ok.  I feel guilty writing this.

I have isolated myself.  Following "the breakup", I became incredibly aware and sensitive towards behaviors I felt were manipulative, controlling or abusive.  Realizing that many of those behaviors were also present in some friendships was incredibly hard, especially when no matter what I said or did to attempt to talk to those people about the problem, they just didn't get it.  At some point, you just have to let go of people who don't make you feel good inside.  But eventually I started to feel like I was that person to others.  When things happen, I NEED to talk about them over and over again... it's how I process experiences.  Unfortunately, that can be incredibly hard on the people around you and I felt like I just kept projecting my negativity onto people I care about.  Eventually, I quit answering calls and stopped accepting invitations from people who are genuinely my friends because I hated feeling like I ruined everyone's good time with yet another angry bitter story or comment.  I got tired of feeling like I was being the kind of friend I was trying to get away from, and it became easier to just stay home.

The one person I felt I should be able to talk to about all of these things shut me down with "you should go outside and exercise".  No one who has ever been depressed wants to fucking be told to go exercise.  Is there anyone in the free world who doesn't know exercise helps depression?  Being told to go exercise after confiding that you're struggling with mental health issues is like being nailed in the face with an snowball that turned to ice: cold and incredibly painful.  What I really wanted from that person specifically was for them to just be there for me while I let it out.  I wanted someone to validate my feelings and tell me "You've had a rough time.  It's normal for you to feel this way.  It's ok to be bitter and angry and shitty and salty for awhile.  It's ok and I still care about you" without having to ask because everything feels less sincere when you have to ask for it.  Needless to say, I didn't get what I wanted.

Part of me feels like I need to just sit down and cry because I haven't...as if while trying to be "strong" I forgot to just be human.  I've shed a few tears here and there, but I think I've needed to break down and have a sobbing, ugly cry.  The kind of crying that requires an entire box of tissue.  The kind of crying that leaves you puffy faced the next day.  The kind with sobs that feel like they come from so deep inside that it must be your soul.  The kind of tears that feel hot and somehow cleansing as they come out.

Unfortunately, when you feel as bad as I've been feeling, there is no way to tell people how bad it is without there being an outpouring of the kind of support that feels overwhelming to an introvert.  I don't want people to stage some kind of totally unnecessary intervention.  I don't want people to start randomly showing up at my house to check on me, or doing things that make me feel smothered.   I'm ok being alone.  In fact, right now it kind of feels necessary to me to cocoon until I can make the necessary changes in myself to emerge.  All I really want is some understanding and some love.  I wouldn't say no to a hug, because lately I could really use one more often than not.  I want people to know that it isn't personal, that I just need to work on some things.  I want to know that when I'm ready to emerge or come around that I have a place I can come around to.  If I show up, I want to be welcomed.  I wouldn't say no to a text message saying, "Hey, I miss you and I'm thinking of you" without all the pressure to put on a face and perform the "everything is a-ok" routine.  I don't want to feel guilty or made to feel guilty about needing to take care of myself.  Above all, I really just want to know that right now when I can't do anything for anyone else and I'm struggling to be the best version of myself that I'm still loved.

Through all of this, the one thing I have is Hope.  Hope that when I'm done cocooning I'll emerge a better person.  Hope that the people I've tried to be considerate of, perhaps the wrong way, will be understanding.  Hope that by admitting this out loud that I will be able to do what I need to do for myself and move towards something better.  Hope that by openly admitting that I'm struggling harder than I ever recall struggling before someone else will feel moved to share with someone who cares about them that they are struggling and might need some help too.

When I think of Hope, I think of the color yellow.  I think it is because I realize and understand that without the darkness, we cannot see the light.  And though my world in many ways strongly resembles a long, cold night... at some point there will be rays of yellow sunlight, and as long and I just keep facing a new day I have another opportunity to try and make things better.